Thursday, October 25, 2012

Teaching Starcraft

This is a hard subject that I have been struggling with for quite a while. I have a handful of friends who are in silver/gold and while I suck at the game, I am still doing a little better than them. They are not new to the game, they just don’t improve that much if at all.

In itself this is not strange. Improvement is rarely gradual. Most often it is in jumps. For instance, my ZvP improved dramatically when I realized that versus a fast expanding Protoss it was safe to do nothing but drone until 6 minutes in the game. From one day to another, my win-rate went from 10% to 35%. Much better.

If you are in silver or low gold you are probably having problems with the following:

  • Macro, basically building workers and spending your money
  • Basic build orders
  • Scouting – not enough
  • Scouting – seeing something but unaware of its implications
  • Certain categories of cheeses
  • Bad engagements

If you have 1000 games behind you and still are in the lower leagues, then you are probably aware of all of the above problems and yet seem unable to step beyond it. So what to do?

Things I have tried:

  • Concentrate on one thing at the time (usually macro, build orders or scouting)
  • Training certain situation: i.e. how to defend a specific cheese or how to deal with a 4-gate
  • How to works toward a late game goal

None of it reliably works. Any ideas?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Heart of the Swarm

I got a beta key last night. Wuhu!image

I just played my first game where I random’ed against a zerg and lost. I ended up as Terran and of course I had to see if I could rely on widow mines. They are kinda fun in large numbers, but they probably still take some knowledge to use efficiently.

In the end I lost to ling/ultra and then he switched to swarm hosts for the humiliation effect.

The things I wondered about the most was whether there were any general improvements to in the beta, but unfortunately no. No shared replay watching, no automatic mini tournaments. Basically just the plain old Hopefully they will add that later and the game I just downloaded just tests the multiplayer balance.