Ah my salty comrades I’m glad you’ve returned. To be honest you faithful few have kept me true to my word, otherwise I would’ve quit earlier this week when I was having an absolutely dismal run in the multiplayer. Whatever I tried to do I was foxed by a simple strategy executed with conviction, leaving myself down in the 50s rank-wise. Knowing that the Sword of Damocles was wavering above my neck, supported by the single strand of doing Midlife Gamer proud, I had to grit my teeth and grind my way out of the self-induced mire. As luck would have it, two saviours were just around the corner, the first being the Midlife Gamer community. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet but I feel Micro Your Macro has really struck a common nerve in that most people love SC2 but just can’t get into the multiplayer. It seems my Cornish rallying cry has pulled all manner of wannabes out of the woodwork who are studying and playing just as hard as myself. The hive-mind of Midlife Gamer SC2ers suggested I take a gander at a player called MarineKing, a Terran pro who concentrates on harassing his opponents with mass Marines and Medivacs. On paper MarineKing should lose most of his match-ups as the basic marine often lacks the efficiency that other more expensive units possess in this grand old game of paper-scissor-stone. Lee Jung Hoon (MarineKing) shows that determination and conviction of a build can overcome tailor-made strategies to suit the situation. Also I believe his readiness to frequently attack is a lesson I would do well to practice.
My other saviours this week were Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons a.k.a The Chemical Brothers. In the past I’ve muted other game’s audio and listened to podcasts, WoW and Minecraft to name a couple. The idea came from watching a livestream of a frantic German guy who was owning in the Diamond league with ear-busting Dubstep in the background, he seemed to be happy enough, what was the harm? Starting with some Röyksopp I had mixed results, probably winning about half the matches to the ambient Norwegian grooves. Manic Street Preachers were definitely no good, despite my love for their melancholic poetic ditties, the low tempo just didn’t get me ramped up in the right way, instead contemplating why it is a siege tank, why?!? I can scientifically conclude that The Chemical Brothers is my artist of choice for SC2. The fast-paced rhythms get the heart pumping and the electronic and often logical patterns in their music really get my analytical mind going. I’ve tried it with The Prodigy but their dirty beats seem to chaotic to focus me. With Tom and Ed at my back I won ten games on the trot, greatly boosting my league position.
This Week’s Homework: Intertubes
For week three I scoured the internet for lessons to be learned on SC2. Typing SC2 Lessons into a search bar opened my eyes to the very real market of Starcraft coaching. For around $25 per hour you can have a semi-professional player give you 1-1 coaching from the very basic up to high competition play techniques, results are guaranteed. Needless to say I didn’t put my credit card details anywhere near those sites, not just the security aspect concerned me, more the fact that all the information you need is out there for free, you just need the motivation and more importantly the practice to improve your game tremendously. The next search result was the most recognised source of all things Starcraft, Team Liquid. Such is their prosperity that even Blizzard owned competitions use the stat tracking provided by Liquid in addition to their tournament table feature which is the number one repository for those invested with competitive gaming. In just a few clicks I was into Team Liquid’s own Wiki site that could tell me the original name for the Hellion, instances of where a 4-gate isn’t appropriate for Protoss (never) and a great deal besides. I would recommend anyone just starting out to visit this Wiki, there are several builds listed and their correct usage within varying scenarios. Some background knowledge of terminology is helpful to parse the articles but in layman’s terms it taught me the error of my ways. From the information there I cobbled together the following table of Terran units and their counters. Feel free to print it out and stick it on the wall behind your monitor just like I have.
Despite a rocky start it has really come together for me this week. By not trying to second-guess my opponent or too closely emulate my Terran heroes I have found a sturdy base from which to build variations in my play. The basic concept is that ten non-specialised units is better than 3 that are perfect for the job, especially when those 10 units are cheap and fast to produce! It is somewhat gut-wrenching when a Protoss opponent (or Pro-tossers as I now refer to them) decides to cheese your base with the invisible Dark Templars rather than face you on the battlefield but hey, may they be very happy in knowing nothing of the beautiful game, It will serve them well as they are stuck in the Bronze league forever, unbeknownst to them that winning matches and being top of your league does not equal promotion. I’ll let you into a little secret here, there is a hidden statistic you can never see, the MMR (Matchmaking Rating). Basically in their efforts of world domination Blizzard has created a system that tries to gauge how skilful a player is which is then mainly used to pair you to an opponent you have a 50% chance of winning against. I just hope and pray that in this magical black-box system is the ability to detect cheap and cheesy play. Sure a fast tactic has its place, but not every game surely. In fact in protest to being cheesed out of a game I have lifted my structures up and flown them to random places on the map, forcing my foe to earn his victory by teching up to flying units to shoot my command centre out of the sky. This would probably take about 10-15 minutes, I can’t say for sure as I go and make a nice cup of tea, hoping that this R-tard might think twice before doing it again. Ain’t I a stinker?
Week Start: 50th Bronze League
Week End: 25th Bronze League