A Year of Starcraft II
Category Archives: Scouting
As I look back on my week+ of scouting, I know I’m doing better. I’m doing each of the scouting pokes that I know to do in almost all of the games. It has helped my game play immensely and, like I said, a great deal in an economic sense as well. I drone more now, in addition to getting upgrades quicker, I think. But as I finished my games tonight, I was struck by a situation that I realized happens all too often.
It was in the mid-game of a match vs. a Protoss, and I had poked in with a few mutalisks, to do some harass and see what was up. I took out a few probes and was then chased out by stalkers. After watching the replay, I realized I had seen his multiple warp gates ready in his main, but it didn’t actually register as I played. He pushed soon after, I repelled and pushed back, only to be met by a large group of 2-2 stalkers. It was pretty much lost there, as my mutas had been lost on his push and I only had +2 attack on my roaches. The point of all this was my not thinking about what I was facing. And I realized I do this way too often in games. I may be taking in all the information I can with scouting, but I’m still not trying to figure out what is actually going on. I had also, in this game, seen an extra forge, so I should have figured on more upgrades also.
I’m not sure how to practice this, or even work on it, really. It’s more of something I’ve become aware of and have to focus on myself. I should keep asking myself questions about what my opponent is doing, what I’m doing, and what could happen. Someone said that I should always be asking, “What can kill me here?” and work off of that. It’s really another thing to add to my mental checklist, a thought process rather than a game mechanic.
I’m going to keep the scouting as a focus for this week, I know I can work on it more. I will also endeavor to think about what I’m seeing, rather than taking everything at face value and just being happy to see what my opponent has at that moment.
Yesterday was yet another dismal day of poor play and okay scouting. I started off the day by watching Day9’s new mental checklist daily. I tried doing the exercises along with him, and practiced for a bit, but when I went into a game, I felt off somehow. Like I was confused as to what I was doing because of all of the separate things I was trying to focus on. I kind of feel like I was trying to play someone else’s way, or worrying about how I do what I normally do. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I was flustered as hell in the first couple of games. When I made an effort to scout, and just scout, I was fine. I may not have won many of the games, but I did know what was coming and what my opponent was doing. Some glaring errors of unit composition ruined what otherwise would have been good games, I think. But it wasn’t until today that I hit a stride with the scouting.
Today went a lot better. Something strange happened as I got better at the scouting: I suddenly had plenty of time to drone. For example, after seeing only 5 stalkers and a few sentries, I knew I could use a round of larvae to populate my third. I think I also took thirds and fourths (even a fifth!) much quicker than usual because of this. My macro slipped a bit, as I was not used to having so many minerals so early, but that’s fine with me for now. I didn’t keep the scouting up perfectly, by any means, but simply throwing some overlords, overseers, and lings at their bases and checking for expansions kept me apprised of what was going on. I did do some attacking, using mutas as a mix of harass/scout in the mid game when it became difficult to sneak a peek with my other units. Also, along with the droning I had time to do, I made it a point to spread creep wide and far and keep control of the Xel’naga towers in most of the games. I guess it was just one of those days where everything comes together.
It sucks that I have to work all weekend, MLG Orlando sounds like it’s another great tournament. I’m going to try to catch as much as possible on the VODS, but it just isn’t the same as live.
Tomorrow, more scouting, scouting, scouting. Goodnight and GLHR.
I spent some time today on scouting, as that is what I’m working on this week. It actually seems to be going well. In particular, in a game vs. Zerg I continued to poke and prod with lings (okay, I took out an expansion which is attacking, but it was there and looked so easily grabbed), used overlords, overseers and changelings. I knew pretty much what was coming at all times. I still lost, though. I had too little gas to deal with the giant ball of mutas he had at the end. I think I wasted the gas on ultras and also took my fourth’s gas way too late. I’m not going to worry about the loss, though, because the scouting was good.
I also had a chance today to play a couple of games against OnYourWifi (link is to his stream), another redditor. He was kind enough to give me a few games and some tips (he’s in diamond league). I can’t say I did great (I didn’t), but it was fun and he gave me some things to work on. Most importantly, I think, was having patience in game. I wasn’t doing the heavy scout/no attack in those games, but I might as well have been. I spotted his push and then just sent each wave of units in to die. Had I waited, letting him slowly work his way to my base and then attacked en masse, it would have been a much better engagement for me. Another good point was my penchant for just making units to feel safe. It is nerve wracking for me to just sit there with a few units, waiting for attacks, so I make a few units each round of larvae. This is cutting into my drone output and has to stop. Scouting should help me feel safer, I believe, so this is part of that. Also, I needed to take more bases. This is, I think, part of that nervousness of not knowing what’s coming. So, as I’m scouting, and when I have the minerals, I need to expand. OnYourWifi was saying that some master’s Zerg will have a third by 9 minutes vs. Terran. Crazy quick, maybe, but at least a good benchmark to keep in mind.
I’ve started learning some of the timings, and continue to work on my notebook. I think it’s going to be a constant thing I have to go back to, to get all the timings memorized and know what to look for. Not a quick glance and I’m good thing, but a good long while of studying. And then the metagame will change and I’ll have to learn what else could be coming and when. It’s actually pretty cool, because I like that kind of game. I’ve always been looking for a game that’s deeper, that I can figure things out on. I guess I should’ve been playing RTSs sooner.
I finally purchased a mechanical keyboard and it came in today. I have to say it is pretty damn nice. The clickety-clackety (and that’s exactly the sound now as I type) is addictive. I went with the SteelSeries 6Gv2 and I’m liking it. I was actually kind of confused as to which keyboard to purchase and kept putting it off. I knew I wanted one, but they are kind of expensive and I didn’t exactly need one. But as soon as the spacebar on my old keyboard started sticking, I knew it was time. After looking at a bunch of keyboards, I finally just went with this one because, honestly, it’s the one Idra uses. That is such a fanboy statement, I’m kind of embarrassed to say it. It’s actually the first time I can think of where I purchased something based on someone else’s use. Kind of strange, but, hey, I can always say I’m supporting a Starcraft sponsor.
That’s it for now. I just wanted to point out, 3 blogs in a row. I’m trying to make myself do this more. I know I let it slide, and that sucked, so I’m working at it.
Goodnight and GLHR.