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A Year of Starcraft II

Category Archives: Things To FIx

Replays For Review

I decided to do a duo of replays from each race, one loss and win vs P and T, and two losses vs Z.  I feel like this will help point out my problems better, perhaps. Reviewing them myself, I see problem areas already.  In the Entombed Valley ZvZ loss, I made too many drones towards the end.  If those were roaches or lings, I perhaps would have fared better.  In the ZvP loss, I had way too few drones until a minute or two before my opponent attacked.  The shorter ZvZ is a classic case of my crappy micro, I believe.  It was also included because a redditor (Rexel) was my opponent and was adamant that I upload it to Reddit.  Hopefully this post and my cross post to StarcraftFeedback will suffice.

It is obvious too, from watching these, that I have decided on a open to use across the board- 14g 14p.  It was suggested to me by a masters player who helped a few times and I have had success with it.  I think that sticking to so much ling/bling/muta is a detriment rather than a good plan.  I thought it would help me focus on my play issues, but don’t know if it’s working.

Thought this new site might make it easier to upload, but was basically the same as simple SC2.  Hopefully it’s just as easy to download.  Could not figure out how to do a pack, so the individual links are:

ZvZ – Loss

ZvZ- Loss

ZvT- Win

ZvT- Loss

ZvP- Win

ZvP- Loss

I don’t expect any incredible revelations from this, really.  I am thinking, though, that the problem most pointed out by those who comment will be worked on for a week.  Then, I will move on to the next most suggested problem.  A sort of coaching by vote.  I’m still at a loss for why I’m stuck where I am.  It is the sum of all the little things that lead to my losses, but why I win one game, but not the next eludes me.  I feel overwhelmed with problem areas, and don’t know how to fix my game, so any suggestions are appreciated.

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.

Mindset

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.

GLHR

Going For It

So, I have decided to go ahead and do the MLG next year, at the end of this experiment.  It seems like the perfect end to the year, a way to take the skills I’m learning and use them for something exciting.  Hopefully I can post the replay packs from the games I get to play, along with a couple from each month in a large pack.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  There’s still a lot of work to do.

I’ve added quite a bit to my SC2 notebook, but came up with a few additional ideas so I’m going to start over.  I figured I’d let you know how I plan to set it up.  I got a good start from a bunch of TeamLiquid posts (so much information there, I get lost in that forum like I get lost in tvtropes), but want to organize everything in a way that helps me study and see things at a glance.  I think doing a section for each match-up, listing the major builds and their timings is a good start.  But I want to put these into an easy to read at a glance list on a single page for when I’m playing or need a quick refresher before a game.  So, that list will include major timings, and will be color coded to the gases taken early.  This was originally a way someone was helping me with ZvP scouting, and it worked well so I’m going to put this into play here.  A different color for no gas early, 1 gas and 2 gas will let me know at a glance what I’m dealing with in a general sense.  After that, continued scouting should help me out with what I need to build.

After a day or two working on scouting, I have realized I’m focusing too much on attacking and winning.  This is not putting Day9’s way of improvement into practice.  So, for the rest of the week, I’m not going to attack until my opponent does.  I’m going to try and embrace the Zerg way of reacting and scouting.  The losses may add up, but I don’t care.  I just want to get better.  My scouting needs so much work, this is the only way I can make myself focus on it.  There’s no way I can sit there at ten minutes in without scouting, that would make me way too nervous.

I’ll be back at it tomorrow.  Goodnight and GLHF.

Having Fun

Even when working on my mechanics, macro or scouting, it is still a lot of fun just to play this game.  Massing a roach army with corruptors and watching a protoss deathball disintegrate is a great feeling.  Successfully holding off an early pool, even to lose a while later when I got greedy, makes me grin like a fool.  And I don’t even have to mention, but I will, watching Day9 joke around and teach a lot too.  I don’t know where I was going with this, but after playing tonight I was in a great mood and wanted to share.  I had actually started the night kind of off, after a long day of work, but throw in a Newbie Tuesday and some good games and I am feeling good.

I have also recently discovered the Mafia custom game in SC2.  It is a hilarious way to kill an hour or two.  It’s not actually still an RTS, but more like one of those dinner party murder mystery games with a bunch of online trolls.  Hilarity. I’m not using the time I play this variant as part of my focusing on SC2, it’s just a fun little one off.

There’s not much else going at the moment, and it feels kind of boring to continue with the “work on something, watch videos, play, work on something, play, watch videos” updates.  I wish I knew more of what to write here.  I’ve already proved I’m not good with the daily updates.  Anyways, I’m just going to write where I’m at right now.

In the match-ups, my ZvP feels like my strongest.  I can usually build up quick enough to counteract a deathball.  I haven’t seen many four gates recently, so I’m not sure how I’d handle that at the moment, but I feel like I play my best vs. Toss.  Next would be my ZvZ.  It feels kind of funny saying that, considering how much trouble I used to have.  But I do have to admit that I’m kind of playing a cheese currently, going mass ling to try and end the game quickly.  It’s still fun, which is why I’m still playing it this way, but I should probably start looking for another build to use.  Finally, there’s my ZvT.  God, do I hate this match up right now.  If it’s not a bunker rush, it’s quick hellions into cloaked banshees.  If I can get to the late game, I can usually find a way to win.  But there’s that problem of making it there.

I started out this week trying to focus on continuing to check for my opponent’s expansions.  It honestly is harder than I thought to keep myself coming back to this.  I’ve done the lings at expos, and some overlords, but mid-game, in a place where I forgot or my opponent went through and killed out the scouts, I lose track.  I’m thinking more mutas to do a constant harass and check of the expansions.  This will add more micro to my game, which I know I need to work on, but I think that since this is my focus, it will be good to at least try.  And it doesn’t matter if I lose, as long as I keep scouting

Goodnight and GLHR.

Becoming A Better Gamer

I’ve been working on supply the last two days, and I have to say it is going well.  It is kind of funny how much easier the games go when I’m focusing on not getting supply blocked.  Keeping it at the top of my Pay Attention To list is really stepping up my game.  No more getting caught without units when my opponent starts to move out because I need two more overlords.  Nope, I can drone and then grab those units when necessary.  Also as a side benefit, I’m checking minerals more, because, hey, it’s right there next to supply.  Bonus!  So, yeah, actually having fun with my little rule for the week.  I have still missed some overlords, yes, but I am getting better.  Hopefully after a week it will be ingrained.

I started a new kind of schedule, playing and streaming for two hours one day, the next day watching a video for one hour (a Day9 Daily) and then playing for an hour without streaming.  We’ll see how this works out during the current week and I may keep it up.  Takes some of the pressure off, I think.  And it gives me more of the learning and studying aspect I’ve been looking for.

Today’s video was Daily #194 about Zerg droning.  It really gave me some things to think about and I tried to put it into practice in today’s games as I was focusing on supply.  I may drone a little longer now, perhaps too long to go by some of my losses, but I will keep this in mind as I play from now on.  I will try to go through and find all the Zerg dailies and watch them.  The next one I think I will watch is one suggested on reddit where Day9 coaches DJwheat.  Probably all of the Newbie Tuesdays will be beneficial to me.  I haven’t watched one yet that hasn’t taught me something (triple negative?).

Goodnight and GLHF.

 

 

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

 

 

 

First Day of Replay Watching

I watched two replays tonight, looking for the earliest mistake I was making.  In the first one, I saw that my hatch (at 15 is when I’m doing it in P and T games) was about ten game seconds late.  I started correcting this in the next game I played and then reviewed that game.  In that one, I was late on my 13 and 14 drones.  There were 20+ extra minerals when I did each of them.  I should probably pick one of these to work on, but I think that getting the exact timing on this early hatch build will be beneficial.  So, in that vein, I will be working on the timings from the beginning to 15.  It’s small enough, I think, that I can pick out when I don’t do this in my games tomorrow and it’s not going to make me lose focus on the game at hand because it’s so early.

So, for tomorrow:  Exact timings up to 15 supply.

Goodnight and GLHF.