I did not write any of this. This is a repost of some advice from ex-progamer Legionnaire which went under the radar. I believe it warrants its own thread as it deserved far more attention than it ever got.
On August 03 2008 11:56 Legionnaire wrote:
For D level players there is not much you need to think about. Just do the basics well.
Steps 1-4 are the most important for all beginners.
1 - Load up a replay of yourself. Click on the nexus/CC (harder with Z - but click on hatchery and watch the larvae / minerals) and just watch the probe production. The nexus should never stop building. It should always have 1 queued. Particularly early -mid game. If you need to ask 'when do i stop building them' you aren't at the stage in skill to EVER stop!
2 - Hotkey buildings. more improtantly, hotkey Production buildings. and learn the unit production keys.
3 - Watch your mineral count. If it gets high, utilize step 1 and 2!
4 - Scout. i always scouted late, but i pretty much knew what most ppl would do. You do not. You must scout. Scouting provides information, and information provides counters to builds. So many people build canons, or build things just for the sake of doing it. Why waste lots of money building something you dont need? When you can build something you do need!
For beginners, just learn the 2-3 most common strats that your opponsition race uses. And scout for it. If you see 1 fact or 2, your basic build should switch over to a better counter. etc. The counter doesn't need to be 'huge' it just needs to take advantage of what you've learnt. If you see a 2nd upgrade going at a fact, you can expect vulture/mines soon! Get goons! etc etc
5 - When you get an advantage, expand.
6 - Learn early game builds. Late game doesn't matter, early game is where it counts. This used to mean a lot more until everyone became replay whores, but the point still stands.
7 - Macro well. this is all hotkeys, mineral expenditure, and expanding.
Later on you will learn things like.
- Scouting also involves knowing when the army is moving out. Then utilize the terrain to attack them.
- Does it favour you to wait for them to move into open ground to attck, or move to high ground and keep them on the low ground.
- Expand to areas that help this, an expansion in a certain location might take longer to get up and running, but for them to attack it is a lot harder.
- Expand to other mains! Seriously why does noone do this. Especially when they have ramps. You can build a few gates up there, then for the entire game you can do flanking attacks, while purely defending all game. (DEFENSIVE fights almost always has an advantage - of course you can do defensive attacking as well...). Noone is going to attack up ramps vs an army half its size, while letting the other half army flank them (or attack a now undefended base). Thus you can macro and abuse the terrain!
Maybe more advanced thinking like -
- Is their starting position in the corner of the map (think 3 player maps like longinus with spots beign top left corner, mid right and bottom left.) Top left can only be 'attacked' from 1/4 of the total map area, while mid right can be attacked by 1/2. Thus if they are midright, harass is so much more powerful.
- What does your opponent know? What can you make him think? If he has a bigger army but you have more of the map, you may need to buy time, keep your army outside his base to make him scared, if he moves out (think pvt) keep attacking/retreating, seiging tanks takes a long time , and you can buy 2 lots of production cycles from your bases just by not even doing anything but making them think you are attacking.
- Buying time. One of my favourites. You may have sneaky expansions, but you have less units as a result. You know that if the game lasts just a bit longer you will have the same/more units while having more bases. But they are about to attack. So the key is to harass.
You see them get ready to move out. (ie they start buidling vults after massing tanks. you know in the next minute they will attack.) or if they start to move. Have a shuttle with a reaver waiting out of their vision, use it to attack when they move out. Or attack their expansion with some units. They will stop their attack and focus on defence, buying you time.
The important thing with these attacks is NOT to lose your 'attacking force' easily - remember, you are buying time, if they are about to be killed, run them to the corner. A few more seconds of them chasing your last 2 goons to the edge of the map and then having to retrace their steps can be critical. This is why i liked reaver drops so much, you kill a few units, run it away, then as they get ready to move out again, you drop it back in. You can hold them up for minutes.
The object is not to do critical damage (unless the opportunity arises) so you shouldn't do risky 'do or die' attacks on the mineral line defended by anti air stuff etcetc. If you can only attack a crappy building, then attack it! He will still be just as scared as if you have gone after the mineral line. (buying time is also for waiting for an upgrade to kick in etc)
- Do the map starting locations favour certain builds? Some have more open chokes, forcing them to do different openings. Thus you have better openigns to take advantage of it.
Tonnes more stuff.
On August 03 2008 12:00 Legionnaire wrote:
If you do steps 1 to 4, and KEEP doing it, you will become a C rank player.
Even for good players. Load up a rep of yourself and do step 1, i bet you dont do it perfect, i know i didn't.
These are all quite general thinking tips for improvement and can be applied across other games... sc2 comes to mind.