I decided to write this for fun and because I thought my way way out of date impressions might be amusing to some of you guys
Even though I obviously expected people to get better, it's SHOCKING to see just how much players have improved since 15+ years ago. I was initially ranked at D rank and assumed I'd swiftly climb up as I got used to the game - not so. I even got kicked down to E rank after a long series of losses, at one point I lost 12 games in a row to D rankers. People seem to simply have way much more units much faster, have a plan mapped out for way later in the game, sometimes have tremendously high apm (I run into D players with 250 apm in long games, WTF?), are comfortable with multiple maps, and seem to have no problem dealing with my rush builds (yes, I started out trying to gundam rush every tvp game like I used to - didn't work out), get supply blocked less often, etc. The only thing that people haven't improved at markedly seems to be scouting - a lot of opponents seem to be completely uninterested in what I'm doing.
Whenever I won a game, it seemed to be due to some extremely lucky factor. E.g. my opponent goes for a risky cheese and I stop it, I get vultures into a p's mineral line and kill their probes, enemy T never scouts my ridiculously greedy expansions, enemy player doesn't want TvT and leaves immediately, etc. In "honor & skill" type games I always got destroyed.
Anyway after playing a billion (100?) games my average apm is up to 145 and I cracked C rank for the first time (I'm sure I'll get demoted to D rank again swiftly, still happy). Celebration time!
Some of the things I've changed that helped me start getting my first wins against the other newbs without uber luck:
- Watch twitch.com/nyoken - amazing stream for tvp. He kept building walls and I eventually followed suit which really helps if you're a newb who can't micro vs zeals early.
I also had a tendency to think "this p is being greedy, allin" way too quickly, it's actually reasonable for them to be quite a bit ahead in economy because your units are very strong in the endgame, I never knew that. I've strangely been doing better since I started taking my time even if they are mining considerably more $$$ than me which was very counterintuitive for me.
I've also been leaving 1 tank in my main placed ridiculously far in the corner against recall (on top of the usual mass mines + turrets) because I was getting killed by recall over & over and that really seems to help. They never seem to figure it out where it is. I read somewhere that terran is supposed to max out in like 13 minutes but I've never even come close tot that, I think my fastest was around 15 mins but that seems to be good enough at D rank. I usually end up having a max/near max army only around 16 mins - I notice many other terrans at my mmr are better at macro.
- In tvz, when you have low apm and skill, IMHO you should open with goliaths every game. M&m is very skill intensive, but I think goliaths require much more skill from the z player. If you open with 3facts goliaths it seems like you can get away from mutas without building any turrets at all, whereas with M&m I was dying early game even with mass turrets. I like to start m&m upgrades early and switch to m&m when they go mass hydra or hydra/queen. I get to win some games against zerg players who are clearly better (faster, better micro, better macro, better understanding of the game) than me because this strat is so newb-friendly
Things that are better now;
- Matchmaking is great, playing against people 5x better or worse than you is just not fun
- It's great to see people playing many maps. The new maps are varied and interesting. I ended up vetoing the semi island thing (plasma?) after a while because I didn't enjoy it
- People are really quite good. If you are like A or even S rank in this era that's pretty insane imo, congrats to all of you degenerate sickos.
- That map 'optimizer' tells you how to make walls with highlights in the terrain, so helpful and prevents so much pointless losses, bravo
- People seem to use pretty much every unit and ability in the game now except protoss scouts. (back in the day we had the Stove...). Very cool to see
Things that seem worse now;
- Many seem pretty bitter / taking the game too seriously even at D rank. Especially in TvT where my play is quite unreasonable/greedy/cheesy I get a lot of hate when I get lucky. Well I can't read korean but I assume they're not writing sweet poems at the end
- People seem pretty obsessed with their rating, maybe they'd be better off if they played a bit less to win and more to improve or just have fun. I actually don't want my rating to inflate because C / B rank players will massacre me easily if they play safe & standard
- There's definitely more of a "hive mind" mentality with many players trying the same strats. I'm not even sure if that's a negative actually but in the old days everybody played wildly differently and were trying to figure things out as they went
- I can't get in touch with anyone! Is it me or is the friends function on the battle.net client really buggy?
- Back in the day we had WGTour and you could just download and watch the replays of anyone. It seems like replays are private now, that's a shame imo
- I'm old and my hands and eyesight suck