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A Year of Starcraft II

Category Archives: Stream

Rectification

Working overnights at work this week has really screwed up my schedule (both sleep and otherwise); I have not been playing as much as I should.  I have probably not played more than 4 hours in the last 3 days (and streamed even less).  I’ve kept up with watching Day9, SoTG, and some streams (it’s infinitely easier to throw one of those on at 6 in the am and watch until I start nodding off than playing for some reason), but I don’t feel like I’ve done enough to hold up my commitment to this year.  So, Tuesday, November 15 I will try to rectify the situation.  Normally my day off (I’m just going to move that to today because it’s my last overnight and I am beat), I will instead be playing and streaming for five hours.  From 7pm to 12am central I’ll be on.  Hopefully it will help me reset my schedule and get back into a rhythm.

In actual SC2 news, I’m solidly back in the top of my gold league, playing the random platinum.  I feel better, back to where I was before at least, but still not good.  Working on spending my minerals (now that I’m back to droning well) helps a lot, to the point where the games in which I truly focus on it well are won handily.  Macro, Macro, Macro is the mantra, right?  Why do I suck?  Macro.  How do I get better?  Macro.  Why did my opponent win?  Cheese…  Wait, I mean Macro.  I’m going to keep focusing on this for the week, really trying in every game to spend every last mineral as quickly and profitably as possible.

Good Morning and GLHR.

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Jitters & ZvZ

I figured I’d try writing these before I actually started playing for the night, so this is referencing my playing yesterday.

I got home from work last night to discover that djWheat had talked about me on his show yesterday.  The video is here, it’s around 45 minutes in.  I was kind of awed at this, and felt incredibly nervous when I finally got on to play last night.  I was jittery, and playing pretty crappy for a while.  I guess the idea that he could be watching gave me a bit of stage fright, or something similar.  I am not one to be nervous on the ladder or while streaming, but, yeah, this did it.  I got over it by reminding myself to harden the fuck up, as it were.  I mean, dj-freaking-Wheat is cheering me on!  After that I was cool, and even more inspired to get better at this game.

Last night, after a couple ladder matches, I played a number of ZvZ matches vs a friend to practice the match-up.  It was fun and informative.  Informative, as in I suck at ZvZ.  It is very difficult to play someone who knows what they’re doing.  On the ladder, I can out-macro most Zergs if I get past the first few minutes.  It didn’t happen much last night.  I will continue to work on this match-up and even found a great article on the exact subject after going to Screddit after playing last night.  It’s something to work on, but at the same time as focusing on my 3S’s.

Speaking of those pesky S’s, I was still having trouble with supply.  After being yelled at by an observer a couple of times (nut-punches were threatened for each instance of blockage), I had a couple of games where I did a lot better.  Apparently threats work.  Spending was better but still not great.  Scouting also needs work.  I was faked out in one game, my opponent going banes after I saw his roach warren going down.  This wouldn’t have happened if I kept up with the scouting.  So, they all still need work.

Now, time for some laddering.  Goodnight and GLHR.

I Hate Thinking of Titles (Gold, Passion, 3 S’s)

Thank you all once again for the outpouring of congratulations and help.  It was so exciting to actually hit Gold, and I’m glad it’s not weird to be so happy about being promoted.  I know it’s a long way from Masters, but it felt like proof that I’m improving.  I am also having a lot of fun with everything.  Playing, streaming, watching games and I finally caught State of the Game for the first time last night.  Hilarious, informative and very interesting to see the players and casters interacting and joking around.  I have a new found admiration for both Artosis and iNcontroL.

Now I want to watch even more of everything surrounding the game.  It’s kind of like I have been thrust into the very thing I was looking for: an all consuming passion.  Starcraft 2, whodathunkit?

Tonight’s games (in Gold :p) went well.  I had a few games where my spending kept up with my producing and overall thought my scouting is starting to improve.  I may lose more overlords, but it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal.  Being supply blocked otherwise, though (as in, when I didn’t lose an overlord), is still a problem.  I can remember trying to focus on this last month and I’m still having the same issues.  I should be checking every time I inject, but it is something I haven’t been doing.  On the list it goes.

Where am I at on that list, I wonder?  Supply, spending, and scouting all need work.  Micro, especially with infestors, needs work.  There’s so much to do if I want to keep progressing, that I feel a bit overwhelmed.  It’s so much easier to just play.  But that’s only going to help to a point.  Those 3 Ss are my big focus for the next month.  It’s basic, but so important.  Supply- never block myself.  Spending- never go over 800.  Scouting- know what’s coming.  I’m going to try and find a few articles or posts about these, to see if that may give me some ideas on how to improve.  I’ll keep the builds I’ve been doing (15 hatch, gas, and pool for T and P, 14 pool and gas, hatch when I think I can get away with it for Z) and just try and keep myself glued to the top right and bottom left of my screen.  When I’ve got that down to a point I’m comfortable with, I can move to the micro.  For now, for the most part, I’ll stick to the A-move.

Goodnight and GLHF

 

 

 

Slugging It Out

It’s been a few days since an update here, and once again I find myself apologizing.  I feel bad for not updating this as often as I should.  I know that the faithful readers out there deserve it, and I know I should do it simply to coalesce what I’ve learned in one place. But it’s incredibly hard after having a few hours of fun playing SC2 and then doing nothing but trying to think of something to say for two hours and writing this.  Reddit calls, and other things beckon, and I simply put it off until the next day.  So, again, I will try to make this at least an every other day thing.

I am still learning a lot about Starcraft 2.  There’s so much going on at once, I don’t think I’ll ever get it down.  Lately, I’ve been focusing on spending (still, yes) and scouting.  I also spent a few hours throwing myself up against a Protoss 4-gate.  Damn is that a scary build.  Done right, it is fierce.  A kind of modified Spanishiwa build seems best to counter it, at least with a crapload (4 or 5) of spines with it.

Spending wise, one game will go great, but the next I’m back up in the thousands.  I think my goal, from here on, is to never have over 1000 minerals at one time.  Once at 200/200 I don’t know what to spend on except for upgrades, but by that time I should have most of them.  I guess I can dump them into others I won’t really use or throw down multiple macro hatches.  I may make an exception for any game that reaches that point though.  I’ll have to work it out as I play.

Scouting I also spent a few hours on, to a little bit of success.  VS Protoss, which I practiced most on, I can do fine.  Most builds are easy to spot and the gas is a tell-tale sign of what they’re doing.  Terran, though, is harder and needs more work.  Overlords, though, are harder to use vs Terran.  But I guess that’s really if they’re going heavy bio, which will tell me that anyway.  But, still, I need work on it.

I feel like I’m flailing around, though, to be honest.  It’s hard to know where to go from here.  I’m hovering at the top of my Silver league, which is great, but I’m not improving much.  I’d say that my mechanics alone are getting me there right now.  Sitting at 90 APM can be a huge advantage vs a 50 or 60, it seems to me.  And I believe that makes up for my lack of solid macro and micro.  Well, that and the little bit of game sense I have right now.  I may be beating myself up for nothing, I don’t know.  I just realized I’m not even at two months yet.  That’s in four days.  So, in two months I’ve gone from complete noob to actually doing okay.  Wow, that makes me feel better about all of this.  With a little more focus and study I can pull myself up.  I can do this.

I guess that’s it for now.  Streams are here. Goodnight and GLHF.

 

MLG

I didn’t play yesterday and instead watched what was left of MLG last night when I got home from work.  I really enjoyed it and I was getting excited as I was watching the games.  Sitting on the edge of my chair, cheering on Idra (Idra playing with Day9 casting makes me strangely giddy) and then Huk (that Jaedong guy was scary good, but I think Huk was just off those games from tiredness).  I am actually currently watching the VOD of today’s matches and trying to write this update.  I am officially scared of hellions and nukes.  But seriously, these tournaments are awesome.    It’s made me want to figure out a way to use an old HTPC I have as a stream box so I can watch these tournaments and streams on my TV.  I already envision a Yo Dawg scenario where I’m playing SC2 with a match on the television.

I played tonight and it was more of the same.  I am continuing to work on spending my minerals, which did slip a bit today.  But overall my game sense, I guess you would call it, is growing, which allows me to play a bit smarter.  Not much else to report and I want to get back to watching a few matches.  I promise after MLG is done I will go back to doing in depth posts.

Goodnight and GLHF.

Coming Along

So it seems that my macro is coming along nicely (Stream split because of internet drop.  1 & 2).  Focusing on spending has really improved my game.  Also, my mechanics have reached a point where I’m not thinking about what I’m doing as I’m doing it.  By that I mean, hotkeys and control groups are so much second nature to me now.  I think that this is behind my recent jump in APM.  I know it doesn’t really matter when I don’t know to build lings or roaches in a certain situation, but it feels good to have reached a level of competency on something and have concrete evidence.  I have, though, lost a bit of my habit of watching the mini-map, so that goes back on the list.  It really seems like it will take a while to get everything to work all at the same time.

A kind of weird occurrence happened today/yesterday.  An opponent from last night (the guy who I played in the replay I posted yesterday) found both the blog and stream.  I guess I knew this was going to happen at some point, what with Reddit’s gargantuan reach, but it’s strange.  It makes me wonder if I’m supposed to let other players know I’m streaming.  On a pro gamer’s level, it’s pretty much a guarantee that their games will be streamed by one or both of the players and seen by a bunch of people, but someone in bronze or silver is not expecting it.  I guess it doesn’t really matter.  There’s no real pressure for them if they don’t know it, that’s all on me.  I was just wondering if there is some kind of etiquette involved.

Equipment wise, I went ahead and ordered a new monitor.  I really wanted a new LED LCD monitor, as my monitor is, I think, 5 years old and doesn’t compare to the newer ones out there.  I am planning on keeping it and seeing if I can run them both so I can have the stream and music, and probably Reddit, on an alternate screen while playing.  It should be interesting trying to figure that out.  I’m hoping for plug and play, but don’t think it’s going to work out like that.

I once again missed my off day this week, so I’m thinking about taking it this weekend to watch MLG.  I don’t know that I will, but if I don’t stream a day this weekend, that’s the reason.  I could call it research and just not play all weekend, but that’s not cool and I don’t think I could even not play all weekend.  I’m addicted and need at least a few games a day.

Goodnight and GLHF.

 

A Quick Update

I spent too much time on reddit post gaming, so I’m not going to do a big write up tonight.

All in all, it was a good night.  I continued to work on spending my minerals, and it’s paying off.  I did a little better in ZvZ too, although apparently I could’ve done better.  I’m still at a point where I don’t know what everything I see means, or what I should do to respond to what I know.  I suppose that just playing and playing will lead to being better at this.

One of the games, a very long one vs. a Terran, was a lot of back and forth and some of the stream watchers wanted to see the replay, so here it is.  I was surprised to see that my APM was 85 at the end of that game.  My hands weren’t though.  I’ve been forgetting to stretch, but won’t anymore after tonight’s apm heavy play.

Also, there was a request for a playlist.  I joined Spotify, thanks to a commenter’s suggestion here, and have found a crapload of dubstep.  One playlist in particular I keep listening to:  TOO Much Dubstep – Updated July 2011  Pretty much everything dubstep you’ve heard on my stream for the past week or two is from this playlist.

Time for some much needed sleep.

Goodnight and GLHR (Goodluck!  Hi Reddit!)

 

Climbing Back Up

I knew last night that the season started today, but when I sat down to play tonight, I had completely forgotten about it.  I was nervous again.  I don’t normally have what I’ve seen referred to on Screddit as Ladder Anxiety, but throw some consequences on a game and I get all jittery.  The game went well and I placed Silver.  It was really just a straight game vs. Terran, with the only weird thing being my opponent’s large group of reapers.  Freaked me out for a bit, but I had popped his wall off already and had lings and mutas taking down his base, so I just kept at it and took him down.

For the placement game, and the rest I played tonight, I was simply trying to focus on spending my minerals.  In a comment on yesterday’s blog, Joakim (the swedish dude with good advice) said I was focusing on my little “tricks” too much and instead should just be spending my minerals constantly.   The comment really stuck with me, and reminded me a lot of Razer’s advice.  He was right and tonight that’s what I did.  Forget specific builds, forget little tricks to try and out think my opponents, instead I would just spend.  I need to know how to do this, I need to keep my minerals low.

I’d say it worked pretty well.  I had a good night, and for the most part kept my minerals a lot lower than I normally do.  It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a specific time or composition to shoot for, I had to keep myself building, teching and upgrading to get rid of those minerals. And that meant I had what I needed to win.  Usually.

I’m going to keep working on this.  I know I can improve.  I still sit on a lot of gas at the moment (heh) and I need to get rid of it.  I guess that means that once I have more than two gases going, I need to start pumping the units that use up that gas, as it can’t all be used in upgrades.

Thanks to all the well-wishers tonight.  It amazes me that Screddit is still interested in my little experiment, but it’s awesome.  I’m having a lot of fun and glad I can share it.

Goodnight and GLHR.

 

 

 

 

First Days Back

As if a looooong day back at work after over a week’s vacation wasn’t enough, today’s SC2 matches did not go well.  I didn’t lose them all; it didn’t go that horribly.  However, everything seemed off.

For some reason, I keep going back to the Spanishiwa build.  I know it doesn’t work well for me (for the most part), but it’s stuck there in the back of my head.  I can get the open down, up to around 40 supply.  Then I’m lost.  I don’t throw down enough spines, I float gargantuan amounts of minerals, I don’t tech up quick enough.  When my opponent is slow or turtle-ing, it all evens out for me and I can pull out a win, even with some late-early or early-mid (lol) aggression.  But an early push, or a heavy mid push, and I’m done.   So, I’m telling myself once again, I’m just going to drop it for now.

What I’d like to do, and I know I’m probably not mechanically or macro-ly at the best point to do this right now, is have a set build, that is not the Spanishiwa, for each match-up.  I think this will take the guess work out of my mid-game, give me something to focus on and practice a lot, and help me progress overall.  I’m not talking 7RR or 6-pool, but something that will get me into late game, and allows me to begin working on specific timings.  I will be looking on TL and any suggestions you, faithful readers, may have are welcomed. I’m not going to do this immediately, but familiarize myself with what’s out there.  Perhaps even give each build I’m curious about a full day of play next week.  Actually, that sounds like a good plan.

For now, I will return to the way I have been playing:  14 pool, 14 gas, and maybe 18 hatch.  I had a moment tonight where I could’ve done this, but the first inject was finishing so I didn’t put it down.  I thought about it, but wasn’t sure which was worse, having to wait on using that larvae or expand later.  It would help later in the game, and I would have had a larger army to fend off the push that killed me, but I’m not sure if it would have actually worked out that way.  So, now, after writing this out, I think tomorrow I will try the 18 hatch on all of my games and see if I can make it work.  At least this way I’m working on my own build.  Refining, as it were.

On another note, I changed my stream to include mature themes.  I was semi-actively avoiding music with profanities because of not having that setting on Justin.tv, but got annoyed with having to switch songs when I noticed.  I’m not sure anyone cares, but I figured I’d put it in here.

Goodnight and GLHR.

 

No, Bro (Or, 100 Wins)

I got a couple of comments on the last blog post about where I’ve been, even one slighting my age and how I work in retail because I can’t follow through with anything.  I may not have posted on here in nine days, or streamed in a few, but I have been playing constantly.  Obviously, I haven’t been on the last three days (like I put in the blog post that was commented on) as I was on a mini-vacation after playing through the last three of my “off” days.  I wasn’t exactly pissed about the comment, but annoyed.  I am aware that I suck at life and that a great deal of that has to do with my not following through with things.  But that’s what this year is about , following through with something.  I haven’t given up.  I’m still working at.  I’m sorry if I didn’t make it clear what was going on, but I’m still here.

About the missing blog posts:  This is really the most difficult part of the year.  It wasn’t a stipulation of success, and I originally said I would do it semi-daily as a way for those of you out there to check up on me.  I have been doing it regularly for the most part, but the last week or so has been a little taxing AFK, so I decided to stop for a bit.  Getting to sleep before 4am, usually, was better than 5am or later after finishing a blog post.  I am throwing myself back into it tomorrow, so daily posts will return.

I finally made it to 100 wins on Thursday night.  This had became my new goal before my vacation after I realized that the leader of my league had 1600+ points and there was no way I could best that in four days, even with my bonus pool. It felt great to hit this milestone, and while playing mostly silvers, with some high bronzes thrown in.  My mechanics are getting better, APM is hovering around 65, which is up from around 45, and the wins are a lot more satisfying.

I have been trying to make myself tech up quicker, and farther, while still playing without a specific build order.  I worked on the Ice Fisher (or Spanishiwa) build for a few days with a coach, but didn’t think it worked well where I’m at and vs. the opponents I face.  I can see the benefits, and will most likely return to it later, but playing more of a counter game has worked well for me.  Generally speaking, this means lings/banes, with mutas and, later, broodlords vs Terran, and ling/roach, corruptor (screw you, Collossi) and broodlord vs. Protoss.  Zerg is more of a crap shoot right now.  I will play an earlier pool and generally base what I do on what I’m facing.  Vs. a faster zerg (like quick mutas) this results in losses if I don’t pay enough attention.

I’d like to go ahead and have particular builds, but need to do more research to figure out what the best for each race would be for where I’m at right now.  I think I’m ready, and will start looking in the next week.  I foresee a lot of TL browsing.

I’ll most likely play tonight, so look for a stream later if you’re interested.

Goodnight and GLHF.