redditpickedmyhobby

A Year of Starcraft II

Reflections On A Month Of Starcraft II

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days.  I’m sorry about the delay.  I’m actually, as of now, three days over a month.  Writing this blog, without a doubt, has been the most difficult part of the month.  It is hard to put into words what I’m experiencing in a way that’s not boring as hell.  And it takes upwards of an hour to write, so most nights I’m still working on it past 4am after playing all night.  In the interest of keeping myself sane and getting sleep, I’ve decided to alternate days with blog posts straight about what I’ve been doing and the next day a replay that I go over briefly to illustrate what I was thinking in a game and how I think I can improve.

On the actual Starcraft side of things, I’m having a blast.  There’s so much to the game, that I have yet to find myself bored.  I even skipped last week’s day off because I wasn’t thinking about it and simply wanted to play.  All of my in-game friends and those who watch the stream have been nothing but helpful.  I am actually surprised.  People told me that posting my character code was a bad idea and that I would be spammed or trolled.  But only a little bit of stream troll chatter is all I’ve seen of it.  And even that was kind of eh.  I’m almost disappointed.

There are a number of people who I’ve played games with and are a big part of making every night I play a blast.  Espera is a great 2v2 partner and always there with a word of encouragement on the stream and in game.  Lucidburrito (one of my favorite names) is another who’s always watching the stream and helping and playing in the couple of 1v1 observer matches I’ve played.  OSJP has also been a lot of help with practice games and tips as I’m playing.  RNA, Combust, Lykkin, Justice, Skitzor, HTMC, Krispy and a lot of other people have helped and played with me over the month.  I thank all of you for making this an incredibly easy and fun month.

Razer, my coach, has been the biggest help by far.  Since I began playing online, he has been online almost constantly watching my stream and giving me tips as I go and telling me what I missed on my goals.  His progression of things to work on and teach me has worked better than I could have hoped.  After only working on mechanics and macro for a few weeks, I believe I’m headed out of bronze (I’ve begun playing silvers and golds).  I was sorry to hear today that he won’t be on as much in the future, and  it feels strange to say this about someone I met online only recently, but honestly this makes me sad.  To celebrate with or knock me back down when I thought I was hot shit, and just someone to talk to, Razer was always there.  He’s not gone completely, but I just wanted to say how much his help and friendship has meant.

All of this is just part of what I’ve gotten out of letting Reddit pick my hobby for a year.  I also feel excitement about something again.  Even if I’ve not had a good day, I’m looking forward to playing.  Not just to play a game and escape, but to improve and work at it.  I’ve had to hold myself back from trying to learn everything all at once and instead focus on my goals.  Here is the passion I was looking for.  Like I said originally, I wanted to focus on something and luckily the thing chosen was exactly what I needed.

In the last week, I finally got a new desk and chair.  I’m playing in a correct position and my hands don’t hurt after playing for hours.  I have also ordered a new CPU cooler, which should cool the computer down a lot.  A headset with mic is next.  I was going to just buy a crappy one, but decided against it and want a nicer wireless headset with mic, hoping it makes the dubstep I’ve been listening to sound even better.  Also on the to purchase list: a mechanical keyboard (everyone talking about click heaven has convinced me), perhaps a new monitor (not sure if I really need one), and a Starcraft II poster to complete the battle center I’ve got going.

Looking forward, I hope to keep progressing steadily.  I could put a goal out there, like Masters by the end of the year, but I don’t know if it would help or hurt.  Putting a final destination doesn’t seem like it would do much other than to make me feel bad if I failed to accomplish it, but there’s always a possibility it would spur me to work harder.   I will at least continue to work hard and try for this.  If nothing else, I can say I tried.  As it is, at the end of the year I’m sure I will keep playing.

Goodnight and GLHR.

 

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7 responses to “Reflections On A Month Of Starcraft II

  1. OSJP July 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I really think having a solid practice partner to spar with (and more specifically to practice one strategy/playstyle or to practice against one strategy/playstyle on the same map over and over) while Razer spectates would do wonders for your progress. I remember playing 10 games in a row on the same map against a zerg friend of mine. I 4gated him 10 times. After losing to it the first 4 times, he got a bit frustrated but we talked over what he could’ve done better each time. He managed to fend off the 4gate a couple of times but was still a bit shaky. By the 9th and 10th games, he and I both realized how worthless the 4gate all-in was against zerg if the zerg knew what to look for (and also what doesn’t work against it). He never feared the 4gate all-in on ladder ever again. After playing the ladder some, he asked me how to deal with 2rax bunker rushes and 2base colossi timings. We did the same 10game process with those 2 strategies.

    I found using the ladder to help find my weaknesses and then playing custom games with a practice partner to patch those specific weaknesses helped me so freaking much. Ladder helped me with general play and cheese but I know that playing custom games over and over to clean up a specific aspect of my play is what pushed me into masters.

    Trick is to find someone reliable and about your skill level to get better with (and to have fun).
    Like always, I would be more than willing to spectate and point things out 😀

    Good post today/tonight and keep it up!

    – OSJP

  2. Garg27 July 11, 2011 at 9:43 am

    If you are going to get a new monitor, make sure it is in 6:9 ratio and not 3:4 or even 6:10. 6:9 gets the most amount of width available, which will obviously help you to see more of the action at once.

  3. TheRedComet July 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Yeeuh, join the Das Keyboard master race!

    Also, if you want your music and general audio quality to be better, I’d recommend getting actual headphones and a separate mic. I believe Zalman makes one that can clip onto your shirt/the headphone’s cables. For a low-ish end audiophile headphone, perhaps check out the AudioTechnica ATH-M50, I’ve heard good things about that.

  4. HTMC July 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Glad everything’s still going so well and you’re showing so much improvement already, it’s been a blast following. Keep it up! I can’t wait to see what you look like in a year 😀

  5. Ambiguous July 13, 2011 at 8:49 am

    If you do convince yourself to buy a Das (although there are many other mechanical keyboard alternatives), they offer a very special student discount of 20% so long as you can provide a scan of a student ID. Even though I’m pretty sure you’re not a student, you can borrow any friend’s or relative’s ID and get the same deal. $129 Model S Professional gets slashed down to $103.20, not bad.

    Or you can always visit the tiny but happy community of /r/keyboards and check out the sidebar for some really informative links. I definitely recommend checking out OverClock.net’s guide to mechanical keyboards first to get the gist of the terminology, then GeekHack.org’s guide for places to actually buy your keyboard. If highly recommend checking out both, it’s a pretty big investment.

    I’ve used many different kinds of mechanical keyboard switches and I have to say that the ones I most prefer for playing StarCraft 2 are either the Cherry MX Blues(clicky) or Browns(“silent”, but still clicky), due to the low amount of force required to actuate them. They’re also excellent for typing, unlike some of the other switches that require more force and fatigue your fingers.

    • redditpickedmyhobby July 14, 2011 at 3:40 am

      Thanks for the tips. I will check out r/keyboards and try to figure out what I’m going to get. I was thinking Das or even one of the Razer ones but wasn’t exactly sold on anything yet.

  6. Anony July 14, 2011 at 4:23 am

    A new monitor will help you spot cloaked units – great for higher level play

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