First off I would like to say I have finally broken back into the ladder and won my first two. I recently have been practicing with a real life friend of mine, NoobyD. He plays Terran and is a very skilled player now. He learns very fast and adapts very quickly to situations and strategies. I have learned more from the matches we have had than any number of matches against the AI. Find a practice buddy and go at it. find someone better than you, that way you are facing something you may fear, the great potential of a lose for you. When you lose, make sure they do that same thing again and try to counter it, and keep trying until you do.
Now here is something I have noticed, when a player plays defensively, you may not be able to burst through his front door, like in a recent match I had with another player recently, but that means you have map control. you can effectively keep him contained, unless its a map like Jungle Basin, which I'm quickly beginning to realize will make for quite long games. Taking and holding the expansion is one of the easiest things to do. Breaking the enemies base early on, damn near impossible, unless they are Zerg. Zerg have a serious disadvantage on this map. With no way to effectively block there ramp, it seems that would they suffer from early aggressive players and not many options to harass the enemies expansion.
You can find the replay of my game here. It is a PvP game so it will be a bit boring, we both went for very similar builds, early expansions, and similar unit counts. However, I chose to be aggressive and keep him contained, or so I thought. I am not accustomed to this map yet so I was actually hurting myself trying to break into his base and stay outside to keep him from moving out.
His Sentry play was awesome, he knew when to throw them down every time, I kept trying to sneak in and catch him when he wasn't looking so I could get my full force in, but he blocked them, not once, not twice, but FIVE times, even with a distraction from a quick drop.
At the peak of the game it was a 150 food fight vs 132(me), and I pulled it off with a bit of a tie, but what turned the game ultimately around was my ability to out macro my opponent due to the increased number of production facilities. As a Protoss, when you expand, you should be have 6 warp gates total shortly after the 2nd nexus is completed as well as a few Robotics Facility or Stargate. Even if you went only Warp Gates, on 2 bases, I believe you can support up to 8 on them, and that is still no reason to grab a Twilight Council, Forge and Templar Buildings to further your arsenal or Warp Gate units. It was one of the more exciting and fun games I have ever played.
I will say this though, a lot of people on the forums have given me flak for my build saying its not economically possible to constantly build units. At the beginning it is, after two rounds of Warp Gate charges, its not, the recession kicks in and I have to slow down, but placing that Robotics Facility down early allows me to transition easier into later tech. Also, placing that 3rd Gateway down allows me to quickly warp in units when I make a mistake. And lets face it, at this level of play, we all make mistakes and our game isn't perfect, its why we are in platinum and lower leagues, diamond players make mistakes too. So instead of hoping to play that perfect game, why not expect to make the mistake and have that backup plan. My backup plan? That 3rd Warp Gate. I always happen to use it after I have gotten supply blocked or when I lose my army to a push.
When you play for that perfect game, you tend to leave yourself with little room for error. When you make an error, that error effects you even worse because you weren't accounting for it.