A Year of Starcraft II

Still At It

After my day off and cooling off, I jumped into this weekend both watching a lot of MLG (great once again) and playing some more SC2.  I didn’t stream it all, I was trying to take some of the pressure, I guess, off.  It seems to have worked, at least I’m not getting pissed off anymore.  I have also been thinking a lot about where I’m going in Starcraft 2 specifically, and what I need to do to get there.

It was suggested that practice solely by laddering may be at the point of diminishing returns for me.  I guess I can see that.  I mean, solely playing random people and never knowing what I’ll face, is that a way to improve?  But I am sort of stuck on how I would actually practice.  Getting practice partners was suggested, and I can see that this would help, if they were around my level and moved up as I did.  But what would I be practicing?  Learning every build order perfectly?  Responding to every P, T, & Z build order perfectly?  Is this how to do it?  Do I need to know every single build order out there?  Or do I stick to my general build orders and just learn to defeat each of their build orders?

Like I said at the beginning of all this, I’ve never really stuck with anything long enough to get where I’m at now.  I don’t know how to go further, or what going further would even look like.  I can see the holes in my game, usually.  When I lose, I know I did something wrong.  When I get supply blocked, I know I’ve screwed up.  But fixing the small things is a lot harder, because I don’t always know what it is I’m looking for.  Like when I would watch replays to figure out what I did wrong at the earliest point, I generally don’t know.  There are so many variables, it’s hard to figure out what the best option is.

I’m going to keep ruminating on all of this, and try to figure out what my best next move is.  As it is right now, I’m going to keep laddering.

Goodnight and GLHF.



8 responses to “Still At It

  1. Azzu August 29, 2011 at 7:48 am

    To know if the ladder is really a “point of diminishing returns” for you, you must know what the problem is that prevents you from winning more games.

    Are you spending your money and you aren’t getting supply-blocked, but you lose because your opponents do many allins and you don’t know how to defend them/scout for them? A practice partner could help you with that, by doing one allin at a time until you know when and how to scout it and how to defend it, then moving on to the next allin you have problems with.

    Are you losing because you were floating 800 minerals at the time the enemy attack hit and killed you, and you would have won if you had those 800 minerals as 32 zerglings? Are you losing because you didn’t see the attack coming and didn’t build units in time? Are you losing because you were supply blocked often and just couldn’t produce enough drones/units? Are you losing because you over-produced units and did not have enough economy for the later part of the game? Then you don’t need a practice partner, because you can practice all that just as well the next game.

    In the end, you must know yourself if you “need” a practice partner. Chances are high that you don’t “need” one for improving your gameplay. But maybe you “need” a practice partner because you need someone to make fun of you when you do stupid mistakes? Maybe you “need” a practice partner to joke around with while playing?

    I certainly started enjoying SC2 a lot more after I joined a clan with many people to play with and talk about Starcraft, talk about the pros and shittalking each other about how much we suck 😀 . It also helped me getting more motivated about improving myself, but you don’t seem to need that, your motivation seems endless ^.^

    Anyway, I wish you good luck, have fun and much success in the future 🙂

  2. mikejarocki August 29, 2011 at 9:36 am

    You don’t need to ‘learn every build’. You could get to Diamond using one solid, standard safe build on any race, in any matchup.

    There’s always room to improve your mechanics and control. You don’t need a practice partner, though playing someone regularly around your skill level would help.

    Best of luck!

  3. bob August 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    You don’t need practice partners. Laddering is totally fine.

    It would probably be beneficial to know a general build order for each match up. Practice the build order til you get to around 30 food. Also, you need to learn on how to make deviations to your build order depending on what you scout. e.g. scout 2 rax, you’ll need to cut drones and just make lings, forge FE get a 3rd asap, blue flame hellion get some roaches, etc…

    Don’t focus on the small things. While watching your stream, I feel that there are a few major areas that you need to work on in the following order:

    Macro – I notice a lot of times you’ll either have too many minerals or too much gas. Your injects seem pretty good for your level, you just need to work on spending your larva better. You also need to work on not being supply blocked. I also notice that you usually get all 4 of your gas when you don’t have as many drones as you should. Then you proceed to produce non heavy gas units. Only get 4 gas if you are going to get mutas and infestors immediately. Otherwise stick to 1 or 2 gas and use the extra minerals to expand or make more drones.

    Decision Making- a lot of the time, I see you not attacking when you should. Especially when you are maxed out. It is very important to attack when you are maxed and reinforce your units in the attack, which is essentially a 300 food push. Also, when you are reinforcing your units and I see you have like 400 minerals and 1000 gas, don’t make lings. Either make like roaches or maybe infestors if you think they’ll reinforce in time. When you have a lot of money and limited larva, spend it on more larva efficient units.

    Unit composition – You need to work on your unit composition a little bit. While toss has a stalker collosus death ball, I see you still making lings. While terran is going thor marine, I still see you making mutas.

  4. Oni August 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    If you need a toss practice partner I’m a shitty gold leaguer!

  5. Lykkin August 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    If you haven’t seen this ( and the following episode (340 and 341) it might be worth looking into. I think it might be what you are looking for. It is somewhat the same method you have been using to improve, but it gives you some specifics to focus on (e.g. scouting for expos, spreading creep, keeping queen energy <25, etc.).

    In personal experience it isn't who you are playing that is important; rather you should just have a goal in mind. I would watch replays of myself against the computer and find things to nitpick, like keeping scouting drones moving and keeping queen energy low. After you figure out what to do, it is as simple as doing it to work it into your routine. Something else that helped me a lot is to macro only when your hatcheries are off screen; after your split and hotkeying, maybe place your screen over an unimportant place on the map and only go back to place buildings. If you have units that you have made maybe work them around the map and work on macroing while scouting/harrassing with them. Maybe work on not looking at fights when they happen; if you watch your replays you might notice that you just watch the fight, not actually doing anything but worrying about if you are going to win or not when you could be doing something more important like macroing or spreading creep at the very least.

    Perhaps not for you, but thought I might share some personal experience with you.

    GL HF,

  6. scudst0rm August 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Have you been using an SC2 notebook? If your not sure what to improve on this might be the best method. Just make a brief note of what happened in each game (mistakes you made, what your opponent did). Then after a ladder session go over your notes and pick the problem that seems to come up the most.

    i.e. if your getting critically supply blocked alot, make supply your top priority in games. also look at whats happening when your getting supply blocked. its probably because your getting attacked or attacking yourself. figure out what causes supply blocks and create triggers to remember when you need to make overlords

    and if your losing alot to 6 gates, then get a practice partner and just drill out 6 gate games. figure out how to scout them and how much you need to defend.

  7. Kyle Halladay August 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I think the best way to go about practicing, is to have a build and game plan you like (a la Day[9]: when and how are you planning on winning? how will you get there? ) going in to your games, and then try to practice adapting and responding to a variety of threats while also executing your game plan ( take my advice with a grain of salt, I’m just a platinum scrub 😀 ), but this seems like the only intelligent way to go about things. Memorizing builds is great and all, but they only last until you have to respond to something and start deviating.. or about 3 seconds in starcraft time.

    If you’re looking for practice partners, just put the call out on reddit, you’d get tons. If you want a zerg buddy around your level (i hover between low – mid plat), feel free to add me FerDeLance 724 . I’m not on nearly as often as you, but if you catch me when I’m online, I’m happy to play a few games.

    In any case, good luck with what you’re doing, I love the blog. Have a good one

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