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So I started about five years ago, just using the game pad as a mouse to browse the internet and click on videos of music and play some small games or something that's how it started anyway.I started playing world of warcraft with it for awhile, was simple enough. That's how I was introduced to Star crafts 2 Esports.
My guild held that Thor pet in high regard and I had to have it for myself. So my story playing Star Craft 2 with the xbox360 controller began. I started playing the campaign I only had a few buttons mapped like the marine and the medic I knew which units to make .
Played through all of the campaign a few times getting all of the achievements on brutal. I played Terran for about the first year of my star craft 2 quest playing on the game pad. I only had about 3-4 hot keyed buttons. One to make Scv's one to make marines/marauders/medivacs but again that's all I needed to play Terran in season 1.
Had a problem with ladder anxiety back then my heart rate would go up and my hands would shake. So I mostly stuck to custom games both melee and unique ones. I would practice by myself against the AI trying to figure out my own build orders that I thought were cool. However I was not alone in this en-devour I had the Day9's Vod's to watch and I would apply the concepts he would talk about to my own play.
After a couple of months or so I started to play custom melee match's. I would still get anxiety with the increased heart rate and shakey hands, but it was a good chance to test out whatever crazy strat I would have thought of, 2 port banshee into mass marine or something.
One day I got put up against a diamond player in this melee custom It was on steps of war I believe, This was before the masters devision was set up. I did a basic timing attack off one base with two rax with tech labs and one with a reactor. This was back when I thought marauders were really OP in someway. Anyway I did a bit of damage with my 3 rax push and I followed it up with a medivac push while being an expansion.
Up in till this point I did not really think I could really compare to people playing on the mouse and keyboard. After this win I started to become a bit more confident. After awhile like most people I had gained some friends who were really big fans of playing star craft 2 and wanted to get better at it, I would play king of the hill custom games with these people.
They never really suspected that I played on the xbox360 controller. After awhile I would tell them one by one that I was playing on the xbox360 controller, I would get instant reactions of "Are you trolling me?". A few of them never believed me intill I gave them absolute proof and a few of them just took my word for it off a leap of faith and offered suggestions.
It took me about 8 months to arrive at a control setup that is even close to what I have now a lot of time and effort went into making just the controls.
At this point a few of my friends were saying I should start streaming my games. Now at this point I was probably functioning at about 40-60 apm only a fraction of what I have now and I still had pretty bad ladder anxiety and when you try to throw in the aspect of streaming and having people watching you it only intensifies that. So basically My first attempt at revealing myself to the community was not really something I was ready for.
Star craft 2 had only been out for maybe a year or so at this point. I had a decent stream quality nothing great. Got about 80 viewers but I ended up choking up too much. I was trying to switch to protoss at the time my builds were pretty wonky one base charge sentry and just weird builds.In the end I decided I would try again at a later date.
After about a year and a half of playing Star craft 2, I be friended this Canadian goes by the screen name Waffles. Now This Waffles character was a bit of a free spirit he had.
I guess what one could call a personalty defect at the time with liking to use racial words often. That got him a lot of hate even hate towards me for being friends with him. Hes since changes his vocabulary but its something worth taking note of as a lot of people remember me doing 2v2 with him in the past. However if it was not for him I don't think I would be at the level I am now. Hes since quit star craft 2 and moved on.
We played 2v2 a lot and that it helped me overcome quite a bit of anxiety I had towards playing the game, We were able to reach top 100 NA and something like top 200 world wide. Played against a lot of what we considered famous players like Protech and EGmachine and would win these matches. 2v2 does not really mean a lot but it was a morale booster for sure. Probably raise my Apm to something along the lines of 80-120 apm. That's only about half of what I have now but it was a clear sign that I was improving or at least my average natural apm was going up.
After about 2 years the game was getting a bit stale. There was a visible decrease in stream watchers and Heart of the swarm was quite far off. Due to various reason in my life I needed to take a break from playing star craft 2 consistently. I remember going on my twitch account and deleting all of the VOD's Waffles would often use racist remarks on some of the Vods and even though he was joking around in his own mind I suppose. People would take him pretty seriously. Even though I went through and deleted everyone One Vod escaped being deleted, unfortunately it was one of the oldest and poorest quality VOD's with waffles using somewhat inappropriate language.
I guess at some point someone found that Vod and thought my play was impressive. They decided to post it up on Reddit. Some of my friends who browse reddit more often then me alerted me too the post on Reddit. Which apparently was Top page for a little while. Not exactly the best VOD I would have wanted people to see, but I guess life works that way sometimes. Blizzard had also left me messages about the xbox360 controller on my twitch account. I only noticed them about a month later as I did not really log onto it anymore. They wanted to know how I pulled what I had done off and my key setup.
I was actually probably planning on putting star craft 2 down permanently before this incident. Maybe it was a call from fate saying "Hey This is awesome.. don't stop"
I also could open my twitch mail box to see the same message from other people who saw my stream
So I decided to start streaming again, this time doing as much 1v1 as possible and to my surprise I had a little fan base going a few people that cheered me on every game
Giving me words of encouragement. If it were not for these people there's no way I would be at the level I am at right now.
Well I've been doing this for three years now and I've achieved a lot. I've beaten hundreds of masters players both in wings of liberty and in heart of the swarm.
I've gotten really good with this thing =D. My current strength level hovers at about mid masters. I won't stop there, theres still greater height's and greater plateaus for me to break through.
First off I wanna say to everyone who contacted me to offer words of encouragement. Thank you so much <(^,^)> There were some Grand masters and masters players who reached out to me to offer support as well, thank you to those guys as well <3.
As you know I have wrist problems, weak wrists you could say that's how I started using the xbox360 controller game pad. I never had wrist pain from using the game pad before and I assumed that it completely prevented it. So I ended up playing way to many hours forcing myself to play as fast as possible and I ended up injuring my wrist in the process. After some time my wrists seem to be healing and feeling strong again, but I should take it slow and steady from now and not get reckless and abusive towards my wrists xD. Sorry for not streaming more because of these issues.
Anyway, I've started learning Zerg now and my Protoss strategy's are borderline crazy *cough* CARRIERS *cough*. In the future I'd like to go into some builds that I was playing around with for zerg. I feel like zerg is more fun for me to play at the moment. Its refreshing and a new experience Although I have to admit smashing masters players with carriers is absurdly fun.
This section might give you an idea of the of stuff I've been experimenting with in hots. As a player I'm very innovative both with my builds and with the game pad I guess you could say. Its both a blessing and a curse.
I have some of new and interesting to say the least new builds I've been playing around with for protoss. I opened a discussion thread earlier this week about building carriers in PvT and PvZ hope you enjoy it : http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=416113
<(^,^)> (>^,^)> Carrier Dance <(^,^<) <(^,^)>
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My Terran in wings quickly became one of my best match ups. I would do my 18 nexus build and follow up with 3 gate pressure at 7 minutes. I would be pushing at the
terrans front door with 8 stalkers and a zealot while getting the tech up back at home, would get something like 9 minute charge and 11 minute storms with upgrades
and take a 3rd. the gateway pressure would force worker pulling and you could do a lot of damage. Obviously if they were one basing it you would take a more defensive
stance and get a robo for defense against banshee's and any sort of 1/1/1 all in. You would also have warp gate ready at 6 minutes to defend against any heavy rax
Anyway a lot has changed for terran and the viablty of gateway pressure has gone down by quite a bit. Doing any sort of gateway pressure will get shut down by a widow
mine or two. So I've been taking a more defensive approach against terrans right from the start in hots. A lot of people who have been watching my stream have been
asking for build orders for my 18 nexus I figured I would do a short little build order here. This will be my modifyed one I've been using in hots.
My build order would go something like:
15/gas (Put 3 workers in gas when it finishes)
(burn 3 cronoboosts on your nexus and let yourself get supply capped at 18)
(you can scout on 9 supply or on 13 or when you plant the nexus down at 18 supply, I usually 13 scout, its up to you though)
18/nexus @400min @ 3 minutes in game time
18/Cyber core @ 150 min
18/pylon @ 100 min
18/probe @ 50 min
18/Zealot @ 100 min
(when your second pylon finishes you should resume probe production and be making a zealot)
(your cyber core should be finishing up right before one of your probes)
(go ahead and cronoboost your warp-gate tech when your core finishes and make your mother-ship core you should be at 23 supply with the momma core)
23/Mothership core/ Spend one crono on core to get it out faster (you will need to core to scare away reapers)
23/build a stalker right as your zealot is finishing up
25/build 2 gateways @150 min each ( you should start building probes again at both your nexus's use your cronoboost on the warp gate tech in till its finished)
27/build your second stalker right as your first one is wrapping up
(You can either scout for an expansion from the Terran with your stalker or your mothership core both will work. If the Terran is showing aggression you will need the nexus cannon though)
(You will have warp gate tech done at 6 minutes and a nexus cannon at 6 minutes in game time exactly makes for a very nice expand defensive build)
From here on out its just a matter of response's I've been playing around with putting blind cannons in my mineral lines if the Terran is not expanding
(robo can work too but eats into your gas a lot more and won't help later in the game against drops. The cannons are mostly a defense against widow mines that would dropped at 7 minutes or so game time)
If they are expanding I put down a twilight and take my gas's while cronoing out probes its okay to not be using your warp In's from your 3 gates not unless you feel you need them.
I still get a forge for a +1 upgrade even if the terrans going for a 10 minute push and I've been playing around with rushing out storms getting storm started before
charge even. After you get storm you can take a very safe 3rd against bio, They won't be attacking you intill they have ghosts, although you may want to put on some
aggression before they do though.
I'm still not sure how I should respond to a mech player in the mid game. I can usually win by preventing them from taking a third, but its not always reliable. This
build does pretty well against early heilon openings as you can do a warp in of 3 stalkers at 6 minutes for a total of 5 stalkers as well as having the nexus cannon
All in all I think I have a decent ground work layed down for Pvt.
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I feel like this match up was a lot more solid in wings as well. There's about 3 new factors I've been struggling with. The new maps make it more difficult to take a
3rd not imposable, you just can't be as greedy as before for fear of getting the 3rd killed by lings. No more easy force fielded chokes like cloud kingdom or the super easy 3rd in
entombed. Swarm hosts are trouble to deal with if you don't have colossus defending the 3rd and vipers shut down my fan favorite carrier build in wings ^^;.
I've been doing a lot of gate way expanding in hots and over all they seem safer then in wings because of the nexus cannon however I've not sure what reliable pressure
to do with the gate way expand or what advantages the gate way expand would provide to me in hots, been testing a lot of things. This is sort of an example of my
innovation being a bit of a curse insisting on testing gate way expands. Who knows maybe I will figure out something amazing. Nothing incredible as of yet though.
That's not to say I don't beat master zergs. I just don't have a good ground work layed down to beat high masters zergs who are very refined just yet.
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Probably one of the most different match ups from wings of liberty for protoss. In wings it was as simple as don't die to cheese like proxy 2 gate/cannon rush and don't
die to a 4 gate. Then worry about how to get more colossus then your opponent while not dieing to one of the 3 tech choices Gateway>Stargate>Robo. In hots things are
very different. Probably in a good way, 1 gate expands are more viable it seems although I have yet to play around with them too much. Been playing with One base
Star gate openings and Dark shrine openings. Nothing feels incredibly solid to me as of yet. I'll see in the future though. Maybe a gosu protoss will wanna practice
the match up in till it becomes one of my bests =D.
Its been asked for a number of times. My exact detailed explanation of my control setup that I use for the game pad. I'll go over it here, so you can even try it for yourself. Maybe you'll even gain a new found respect for how I'm able to pull it off ^^;. I don't think the setup I use is the most effective one. There are a few others that would potentially be better. Its like changing your hot keys on a keyboard though takes months to get used too. So I've decided to stick with the setup I have right now with potentially changing a few buttons here and there in the future.
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I added a short little video explaining how exactly I have each button set up.
I fail to mention that I move the directional keys with the left analog stick which allows me to move the camera without help from the mouse. I move the mouse with the right analog stick. I use the mouse clicks with the trigger buttons.
They are switched from a normal mouse though the right trigger uses the left mouse click and the right trigger uses the left mouse click. Its just more comfortable I found.
(Warning: Not representative of actually game play. Watch other VOD's for that.
Now I have put together a text version of my controls for people also:
These controls however are not really the most effective way to play I believe, for explain you would be better off binding shift to say the right bumper, So your hand won't have to cross your fingers in a weird way.
I have the Left control stick bound to move the directional buttons so I don't need to use the mouse to move the screen I can move them both at the same time, its an interesting concept. The left stick also can be pushed to bind hot keys
So I would push the left control stick in and push one of the directional buttons on the game pad to bind something 1-4. When I push the left control stick in it changes certain buttons on the keyboard also. Which effectively doubles the amount of buttons on the game pad for me to use. The left stick also allows me to queue up actions on units when held.
I will try to give a rough breakdown here of what buttons do what and if they change if the left stick is pushed or not.
I play on grid also, which will allow me to play all races while having all the buttons I need mapped.
The first key is the button on the game pad it uses the second will be, the keyboard stroke it transmits
A=Q while left stick is pressed changes to A
X=W while left stick is pressed changes to S
Y=X while left stick is pressed changes to R
B=Z while left stick is pressed changes to D
We just doubled the amount of keys we can use by doing this trick.
Start button: 5
Back button: B
Left Analog stick: bind hotkeys/changes key layout. controls camera movement
Right Analog stick: controls the mouse Also pushes number 6 when pushed
Left Bumper: Stop Command
Right Bumper: Attack Command
The Trigger Buttons are switched here,
Left Trigger Button= Right mouse click
Right Trigger Button = Left mouse click
It recently occurred to me I've never played one game using the keyboard and mouse, not even a custom game. I guess I'm committed to see how far I can push the limits of this. Star craft 2 is more about effective accurate actions then being extremely fast. Sure I'm fast with the xbox360 controller about 220 natural apm.
Do you need to draw box's over the entire screen all at once? The answer is probably no.
When I was platinum I was consistently told That's impressive cress but I don't think you can make diamond with this.
When I was diamond I was consistently told That's impressive cress but I don't think you can make master's with this.
In that moment when they said that. They were absolutely right. However eventually I broke those limits. I obviously have a long road ahead of me to consistently play at a grand masters level.
Its a road I'm willing to travel though. Even if I need to play everyday for the next year or two just to reach it. Mid masters is pretty far away from a Grand masters level. I know that.
What do you guys think? Is it worth it? Would it change perspectives or inspire people? Come so far. Why stop now?
As always I <3 you guys
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What Program do you use to play Star Craft 2 with the xbox360 controller?
I use Xpadder
Have you shown this to Day9. I'm Sure he would absolutely love this?
I have no idea how to contact him unfortunately
Wanna play Team games with me and my mates later?
Sure maybe we can do something after a streaming session.
Whats your apm while using the game pad?
Something along the lines of 220 apm
This is really cool cress. How do you make stuff?
Have you shown this to blizzard?
They contacted me and we exchanged a few emails
Can you play Terran and Zerg?
Yeah I can, it's not difficult
What league are you?
Have you ever beaten any Grand Masters?
Yeah I've defeated a few.
How long have you been using the game pad to play games on the PC?
Something along the lines of Five years and another three years for Star Craft 2
What type of game pad do you use?
I use a standard stock xbox360 controller its colored black
How fast do you wear down your game pad's and need to replace them?
Usually every Five months or so.
What's your favorite protoss unit?
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Streaming hours Monday-Thursday Pst: 5 PM intill I get tired.
Answering The Legendary Question
LOL? Cress This seems so pointless why don't you switch over to a keyboard and mouse? Theres no reason to play with a game pad?
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I know I've touched on this question briefly. The short answer was, that its a comfortable way to play. Its clear though I need to go into as much detail as possible. I actually spent a lot of years using a mouse and keyboard to do gaming. The mouse would cause me discomfort though. Wrist pain and carpal tunnel can be two of the biggest draw backs to using a mouse that I did not like personally. I tried those stress relief mouse pads and attempted to have proper posture, but it did not really work for me.
Maybe some other people have ways of making a mouse work for them with limited pain/no pain? I also got back pain I guess from trying to conform to using the keyboard. I know that was probably just bad posture. I know wrist pain is a difficult problem for a lot of heavy mouse user's though. Maybe Liquid TLO is an example of this?
Either way. I started turned away from PC gaming for a little while and getting back into console gaming and really enjoyed the comfort it provided so after awhile I started to treat my Pc like a console and thats how playing video games with the game pad started. It was always my number 1 reason for using the game pad.
Putting myself out there for the community is just a side effect. I've been doing this in secret for years now and would still be doing it even if I never revealed myself from the shadows of the void =D.
I'm not forced into any sort of position while using the game pad. Can move freely and have no wrist pain. Just in general more comfortable. I only have one set of wrists after all.
I know this might be a bit complicated so I have a video to help a bit
This is a video of me playing earlier today. Notice how I can change positions dramatically while playing and still have near perfect micro. It really gets my blood flowing. Lets me concentrate more then my opponent and out play them.
XD In all seriousness. I hope this makes more sense to people. No wrist pain no back pain and still able to play like a boss =D.
One factor that could help out a bit with precision while using the thump stick for me. Is that I have double jointed thumbs. So maybe I can get a lot more range of motion then the average person? dunno? It's definitely possible though