Friday, December 10, 2010

Starcraft Noob: Idea

I had this idea after reading a few posts about Protoss Shield upgrades. It seems that having 2 separate upgrades for defense(1 for shields 1 for armor) is kinda redundant. What if the Shields upgrade increased the max shield available to the unit instead of reducing the damage the shield takes, perhaps a set amount or a percentage of the units current Shield points. This could make getting the shield upgrade more viable as currently its, "Well I've upgraded my weapons and armor to the max I might as well get the shields upgraded" To top it off, the games which you get that far are few and far between.

The units that would take most advantage of this would be the Immortal and the Archon. Lets say the upgrade would give 10% more shield life. That would give the Immortal the chance to shrug off 1(if fully upgraded up to 3) extra big attack, but still keep it vulnerable from smaller hitting creatures.

The Archon would gain 35 shield per upgrade, or 105 total, which puts its hp at 455(i think right?). Which would increase the viability of this particular unit as I have also read too many threads concerning the uselessness of this unit.

As for buildings well our most important building, the Pylon, would gain 30 shield points, not a big upgrade but still, as the game goes on the importance of this building grows. This could be a great way for us to help protect our key buildings without giving us an huge early game advantage.

But in some cases like the nexus, its shield life would increase by 100 at a time. However, Zerg's Hive have 2500 Health by the time they upgrade it, and Terran's have the ability to not only repair their buildings but also upgrade their Command Center to a Planetary Fortress as well as have separate armor upgrades for their buildings.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Starcraft Noob: Need help remembering?

I saw this map on the forums and tried it out today. It definitely helps you remember to be active. One problem I have in a match is keeping consistent actions. Sure the first 2 minutes theres not much to do, but if you dont give your self a running start, you may end up dead last....

The objective is simple, play a typical melee map, the catch? In the top right corner is one of your workers being chased by a particularly angry Zergling. You need to keep him alive while getting your base going, but guess what, the catch even has a catch....You cannot use more than 1 waypoint for that worker. So every 10 seconds you need to be checking your worker. 

Don't worry they give you different difficulties to choose from so you aren't thrown directly into the wolves...But there is another catch. You need to keep your minerals under a certain amount throughout the entire match. Sounds interesting right? Well the good thing is you don't have to worry about early rushes, at least not on Easy...An attack does come around the time you would normally expect it, however there is yet another catch...

The objective is to destroy the enemies command center, deep within a protected line of at least 1 of almost every unit that race has to offer, but before you can do this objective, you must rescue a unit and bring him back to your Beacon in your base. Depending on your difficulty, you may have to do this more than once....

Shouldn't be a problem right? Well the list goes on....The energy of your Nexus, Queen, or Orbital Command cannot Exceed 99/150/99 respectively. But the last interesting tidbit is this, you need to do all this within 17 minutes of the game starting. Sounds easy right?

Here are some tips for completing the Easy difficulty as thats as comfortable as I am with it....

Make your Nexus or whatever a control group. I use 4 as its very close to the other commands I use.

Use your keyboard to build the workers, D for Drone, E for Probe, S for SCV. all are within your hands reach, assuming your right handed that is :)

Make the Worker(for me it was a probe named Proberto) group 3 and press that group twice to quickly switch to it and switch back. By doing this you can switch back to your Nexus and build workers without having to actually look at the Nexus.

To rescue the VIP, Just build a transport, get within proximity of him and pick him up and bring him back :)

Keep building units! Turn the Coach on to help yourself remember to keep building workers!

I had fun and I felt myself getting mentally faster, keep playing up the difficulties until you can win them perfectly.

Awesome Q&A post from a Pro

I found this post on the forums. The Original Poster(tGEmo) wanted to help the lower than Diamond players with their game and answer a lot of more detailed questions about improving your game other than. "Macro more, 4 gate, win." It is catered towards Protoss but somethings do translate to the other races.

To better read it, simply look for his posts, he always quotes the question in his post so no need to read every single post from every reader.

I'll try to add a few in this post as time goes by.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cannon Rush Cheese

We all hate this. I for one never employ this tactic, I think its cheap and unfair. So as an update to my last post about the topic(which you can find here), I'd like to discuss a bit more about the subject as the cheese play has gotten a bit more difficult to deal with. First lets start with the maps this is more commonly used on and why:

Any map where only two players can spawn have a higher chance of this happening as the rusher already knows where you are at. Steppes of War is probably the most common as this map has close positions and big areas to hide that pesky Pylon. The key is taking out that Probe creating them and preventing him from escaping. If he manages to get a Cannon down, this is something I found out recently, if you put 3-4 workers attacking it while its warping in, they will destroy it before it becomes active.

Remember, Canon Rushes are for the most part All-ins, but lately the person doing the rush will block his ramp as to prevent you from coming and and destroying his economy. At this point you will need to focus down his pylons and make sure those probes go down first. No probes means no way of building more trouble, and a blocked entrance into his base means he cannot bring more probes in.

Once you have cleared him out you are already ahead as the majority of his economy has been devoted to knocking you off early, but don't rush into his line expecting victory as he can still hold his own against you, but his weakness is the immobility of his force. He will have not built a Cybernetics core yet so expect a force primarily of slow moving Zealots and stationary Canons. Whats the best way to mop this up? Drops into his mineral line. You need to bring in forces to put pressure on him as this is the point in which he is weakest. When you know you are about to mop up his buildings in your base, begin researching or building that structure that lets you transport units. The sooner the better.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jungle Basin

This map has probably given me more trouble than any of the others. I have played on this map 5 times since its release and have only had one win on it. My usual strategy is to 4 gate or grab a Robo and do some early aggression, but I am quickly finding out that the positioning of the bases and their ramps have made early aggression easily defended against.

The natural expansion is also easily defended and hard to harass as the entrance ramp to the main is so close to the natural ramp so there is no reason to take it early. With a Sentry or two you can easily prevent your opponent from sneaking in. Terran Siege Tanks can easily defend both from the same spot. There is also not much room in the back of each main to hide air units like in Desert Oasis. So a frontal assault and harassment are both easily negated, so how do you defeat your opponent without relying to heavily on either tactic? In most cases your opponent will not try to do some massive attack early on, instead relying on Void Rays, drops, or Banshees to keep you on your toes or catch you unprepared and finish the game early.

As a Protoss, I realized that I too can take that an early expansion and that Colossus cost only slightly less than Carriers but require the same amount of tech structures to create. Why not go Carriers? If you watched Day(9)'s daily on how effective Carriers can be. People didn't realize that each Interceptor does 16 damage (2 shots 8 each). The majority of my opponents went primarily ground assault forces, very little anti air was ever made. With the distances between the bases so far, and an expansion easily defended, there is no reason to skip the initial tech and go straight for Carriers.

This reasoning applies to all races. On this particular map, take that natural early and get some more advanced tech, you will be surprised how fast you can get it and how easily accessible it is.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back to 4 Gating

So I find myself going back to four gating. My three Gate Robo build was not working out as well as I had hoped. After three week of not playing Starcraft 2, going back to four gating just seemed natural. Its an easy build:

4 Warp Gate Build Order

9 Pylon
13 Gateway
14 Assimilator
16 Pylon
17 Cyber Core
19 Gateway
20 Stalker
23 Gateway
24 Pylon
24 Gateway

By the time you hit your 26th supply(provided you only build 1 Gateway unit and are constantly building probes) Warp Gate tech is ready and you will need to produce mass amounts of Pylons. I like to drop 3 more at once to expand my supply to 50. Then start warping in units and gradually be placing Pylons down as 4 gateway units count as 1 Pylon worth of supply. This is also a good time to put a proxy Pylon somewhere.

Chrono Boosts
Chrono Boosts play a big part in any Protoss Build. No matter what opening build you are doing, you should be going for Warp Gate research. It is the cheapest research with the biggest benefits. It cuts training down by five seconds per gateway unit and allows any Gateway unit to be warped in to your Pylon influence in four seconds. Ideally you can use 4 Chrono Boosts on Warp Gate before it finishes. Each one cuts 10 seconds off the time. However, if your timing isn't perfect you can end up wasting half of the 4th one so I tend to stick with 3. By doing this I can also use 3 Chrono Boosts on my Nexus as well.

Poking and Scouting
While you are getting your base setup, send a probe every now and again to poke into the base, yes you will lose a probe but you will be able to tell what his unit comp is or isn't. In my latest match, my opponent went for heavy Stalkers and very little Zealots, I saw this by simply suiciding a probe onto his ramp. So I quickly put down a Twilight Council and started researching Charge. Zealots with just the movement speed increase move almost as fast as a stalker.

What to transition into.
Before transitioning into Colossus or Voidrays or whatever, you need to take an expansion. Having two bases mining is so important in Starcraft 2. You will want to take you small force in and cause some trouble, make him think twice about moving out. This will allow a safe expansion to be warping in. Once you have two bases its time to decide what to do next. Two bases can support up to 8 Warp Gates and a Forge. However this way leaves yourself vulnerable to Cloaked units. You may want to grab a Robotics Facility to grab an Observer. This will also open up a transition into Colossus. You can make one Robotics Facility and get up to 6 Warp gates for faster unit production. Picking up a Twilight Council as well to grab Charge or Blink is also useful as the building alone allows you to research more effective armor and weapons upgrades.

There you have it, the 4gate build order. It is a heavy macro oriented build. To learn more about macro and how to master it check out my post about the subject here.

1v1, 1 v 1, Protoss, Starcraft 2, SC2, Starcraft2, Protoss Build Order, 4gate, 4 Gate, Chrono, Chrono boost, Chronoboost, Nexus, Pylon, Pylons, Supply, Supply Blocked, Stalker, Zealot, Core, Cybernetics Core, Warp Gate, Gateway, Assimilator,Strategy Game, 3 Gate Robo, 3gate robo, 3gaterobo, Probes, Probe, 4 warpgate build order, 4gate build order, Twilight Council, Charge, Blink, Blink Stalkers, Stargate, Star gate, Observer, Macro