Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Starcraft 2 Battle Report 4 Bring on the Protoss

To round out my abilities and further learn the game I've been playing a lot as protoss lately. I must say initially I didn't like the race at all but now I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable with them and liking a lot of what they have to offer. I've done some funny things with them as well as had some interesting things another protoss did to me. I still play some Terran as well and will have to revisit Zerg too as I continue to play the beta. I figure what better time than now to try funny strategies and explore all the races, I'm having fun with it So here are some highlights:

--I tried a protoss photon cannon rush and it actually worked. I did a horrible job at it, but I'm not in a high level league or anything so it still worked. Perfected it could have been a lot better. Not nearly unstoppable or even that great later on but fun none the less. I had a network of photon cannons stretching into my enemies base and then started producing out of a gateway I built over there, my main base just had probes and a forge.

--While playing terran a protoss rushed me with zealots and won. He didn't proxy pylon them either, just built them from his main. I admit, I should have walled better and built bunkers but still was interesting what the other guy did (I watched the replay). He built 2 gateways early, saved up his chrono boosts and only used them on the gateways to produce faster zealots (usually protoss use the chrono on the nexus to build more probes). So he ended up with 6 zealots pretty fast while I had only 3 marines and one maurader. Anyway as I said this was not unstoppable and many things could have helped including bunkers, better scouting, better walling off (in this case it was scrap station with a large choke). But still was pretty effective and cool, I may try it sometime.

--I feel protoss ground game is really strong. The thing I am liking most about protoss is that I really feel a transition when I start getting immortals and collossi. Once I get an ample mixed force I feel like there isn't any other ground force that is stronger. I've been beaten by Terran ground using siege tanks and other units so its not unbeatable, but it does feel really strong is all. When I play Terran I mostly feel my bio mass is as good as it gets with some tanks behind it. Anyhow I'm enjoying protoss late game ground and I haven't really even explored their air much (except for observers, next point)

--I love observers as toss. I kind of suck at scouting and checking things throughout the game. This unit makes that 10 times easier. I queue one or two around the map to check expansions and most the time can sit one right in their main and see what they are building. Observers are awesome even though they take a while to build and do cost a lot of gas.

--I'm loving photon cannons too, probably a little too much. Being able to quickly defend or fortify expansions is pretty nice. I've been tossing down cannons near my line, near my choke, and at expansions. Stops small scouting units and some harasses.

That's all for now, hope to explore more protoss air and templars soon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nerf the Mighty Marine?

Been playing (and loving) starcraft2 beta, focusing on Terran as my race of choice. They are a fun race and have a lot of different things at their disposal. I’m still very “green” but I’m having a lot of fun. I really need to work on my building design (for chokes) and just buildings in general (when to make more, when to expand, how to make sure I spend all my minerals). I have a decent grasp on early game Terran, pushing with marines/mauraders, and adding in some medivacs/tanks depending on what is going on. However after that my game gets quite a bit more cloudy as the battles wear on, what do I build end game for those ultimate battles? Well now more than ever I need to find some answers to that because they just put out pretty large change patch for the beta and wiped our stats! Here are some highlights on my thoughts on the changes.

--They doubled the build time of the reactor (building upgrade to produce two units at once) and on top of it upped the build time of actual Marines by a few seconds. The net result has been an increase in me building more mauraders and usually having a smaller army than I otherwise would have. Its harder to fend off a rush as well. I play most of my games getting three barracks having two with tech lab and one with reactor but on occasion would get two reactor. To do that now takes a really long time and probably isn’t worth it, also I can’t see it ever being worth it to make a reactor on your first barracks unless you are certain you won’t get attacked, just takes way too long. I think these changes were to stop some cheese marine/scv rush but I never knew how to do that anyway hehe.

--Tech lab gas cost reduced from 50 to 25. This is nice for early game building a tech lab but later on not a big deal. However it does make reaper rush is a little faster now. I may try a strategy where I pump out 4-6 of these then rush. As for now my typical build one of them rush comes out a little faster and that’s pretty nice. Those buildings are then set to build mauraders later.

--Reduced gas cost allows for Vikings and ghosts to be produced a little easier. Not too big of a deal but its still cool. I need to find a much better way to use Vikings though, to me they die way too fast and it doesn’t feel like they pack as much anti air as you would think they should. Being able to land them is cool but slow and micro intensive.

Other notes on some things I tested and matches I played:

--One guy sent a early probe to my base and threw me off hard core. He attacked my scv making my first barracks. The problem was it was at my choke, so after a few seconds I had to take my scv and send him back to my mineral line then replace him with another to continue building. This made it take ages to get my first barracks up. If I attacked him with a scv or 2 he just ran, soon as I tried to build he came back. All the while he was wasting my scv’s time and stopping me from building. It was pretty damn effective. A friend suggested taking another scv and repairing the first, that might work. Other thoughts are taking another scv to attack him. Either way one of his guys basically wastes the time of a few of my workers just to get rid of him.

--Medivacs can airlift Thor’s one at a time haha! I didn’t know if they would be able to pick them up but was messing around and they can. It basically turns them into a giant metal box under the medivac, looks pretty cool!

--Due to the ladder reset I got matched up against some players that were way out of my league last night haha. It was fun though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Starcraft 2 Battle Report 3

Getting a lot better with Terran now and having a lot of fun with them. Here are some highlights/thoughts of my recent matches:

--In some matches I try to pop out a quick reaper or two for harassment. My micro is not quite up to par on it yet but it can be pretty strong when done right and seems to make the enemy build more base defense then they actually need. Then when I roll in with my big army I have more men than them, this tends to be a nice way to win (at low levels I'm playing at).

--One match I played the zerg had roaches and burrow super fast, they hid them in between our bases. He thought he was going to use the burrow and quick heal of the roaches to take the advantage, and it might have been ok had he gotten the move while burrowed ability. But he didn’t have that yet. In any case he popped out, my army was larger, then he popped back down and up a few times before figuring out that wasn't going to win. In retrospect I could have used a scan to kill them all before moving on to his base, but at the time I just figured I would take out his base before he got mine (plus I had an expansion). That's pretty much what happened, fun game though!

--I love siege tanks, even 1-2 of them in the back of my marines/maurauders seems to make a massive difference in the battle given I drop them to siege mode at the right time. I don't always get them, but I've started using them better when I do get them and its been working out nicely.

--Most my games I go triple rax with either two tech labs (for more mauraders) or two reactors (for more marines) depending on what I see the enemy doing. Then I grab one factory, sometimes upgrade for siege tanks I guess it depends on what is going on, other times just get a star port after and build some medivacs. I will eventually start trying more off the wall builds but this basic strat seems to be pretty successful and a good way to start off to get the hang of Terran.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Starcraft 2 Battle Report 2

I switched to playing Terran for a night and boy did I get romped. The build order and way you produce units seems way different then SC1. I'm still noobing it up quite a bit but I did notice I am significantly weaker with Terran than Zerg right now. Anyway, I like the race a lot though and I think it could be one I'd like to master and make my main anyway despite the early issues. Their units are fun, look good in game, and I like a lot of the options and things they have. Here are some interesting highlights and lessons from the night.

--When you get an orbital command, you probably should spam the special SCV guy it can make, the amount of extra minerals you can get from this is pretty huge especially early on.

--The protoss sentries shield move is pretty sick when used on a choke. In one game I played I had massed my army in my main, they went to my expansion just below it and were able to force field the choke effectively not allowing any of my units down the ramp while they blew up my expansion easily.

--Zerg banelings can blow your marines up fast. I think everyone knew that but I wasn't really prepared for them. Either need some bunkers or better micro to stop it. One match he rolled in with some of those, blew up most all my army, I did eventually defeat him with scv's but then he came in shortly after with mutalisks to finish me off.

--There are a lot of fun off the wall strategies with Terran. I have yet to try them all but I did have some success with one. I walled off my choke with buildings. Made a few marines for defense. Teched strait to starports and build 4 banshees (air to ground) and one Raven (air caster unit). Flew strait to the back of protoss base, used the raven to cast two of its anti air shot towers (they block attacks against my units) as the 4 banshee's took down their nexus. It was pretty sick and I really was super slow doing it so could have been a lot better.

All in all I had fun with them and think I will be playing them more. I am still stronger with zerg but that's not saying much at the moment lol.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Starcraft 2 Battle Report 1

Few interesting notes from my first night of action in SC2 Beta. I played zerg in all my matches this night.

1v1 – 2 wins 1 loss

2v2 – 1 loss

Lost my very first 1v1, I was producing units wayyyyyyyyy slow and basically just got outnumbered. Expanded too early and my build order was fairly crappy.

Then I won the next two. One against a Terran who once I saw that he was expanding I rushed. Beat him with a superior army. He did the age old Terran trick when losing early game of launching his base into the air and sticking it in the corner so I had to wait for air to finish him off. I had overlords at every single mine spot on the map so it wasn't like he'd be able to rebuild anywhere. Eventually we both just laughed about it and said gg.

Third game was zerg vs zerg. I actually lost the initial encounter when I tried to rush him as he expanded. He had more roaches than me. I tried to micro a little bit to focus his down faster but it wasn't enough to over come the unit advantage. Still it was a close fight so he had maybe 3-4 units left in the end, not enough to rush me back since that fight was in his base. I expanded and we both built our armies back. Both of us had roaches/mutalisks and corrupters. I think I had more corrupters than him and when we had a big army clash I was able to win that battle and take the game. In retrospect I should have saved the replay on that one to see what the army sizes were.

Lastly played one 2v2. I really love the group strategy aspect of RTS games. Unfortunately I'm new to SC2 and my partner sucked so we got stomped. We were both zerg vs a protoss/terran team. The cool part about the game was on this 2v2 map there was a choke point in front of the team base where our enemy actually turtled up with cannons and teched. My teammate also seemed to do that only I didn't see him with very many good units lol. The protoss player went MASS void rays which was pretty interesting since they are considered kind of underpowered. With a mass of them though they blew stuff up fast and looked quite awesome doing so. Even my corrupters and muta's were not enough. I think our major downfall though was not sticking together and fighting at the same time, we basically sent our armies in to attack the enemy but his zerglings got there first by themselves and got wiped, then we trickled in the rest of our guys. Wasted a bunch of our units like that, also fought seperately in the next big fight, needed a lot more coordination hehe.

RobWild State of Gaming

I've still been playing champions online all this time and enjoying the game. It has many flaws regarding end game but fortunately it provides many cool things for the early levels in terms of customization of your charactor and abilities. I find that once they reach 27-30 they feel complete, and end game doesn't offer anything I want to strive for. However despite all that I'm still there, grinding away my latest creation with a friend. I'm not sure how much longer the game will last but its been a good game to play anyway and I'm happy I decided to play it.

All that being said, there are some great games coming out on the horizon that I'm sure will pull me away. In a stroke of good luck one such of those games in beta fell into my lap. I got a starcraft 2 beta invite from a friend at work. This is a game my friends and I have been waiting for for a long time. Its great to be able to try it out. As I have only played it once so far in the beta I will try to detail out some things about my games and what I learned as I go here.