Sunday, September 26, 2010

Personal Progress and Strategies

Current Stats

I haven't been playing as much as I would like to this past week. I've been pretty sick and my brain just couldn't cut it. I took a pretty big loss dive when I did try to play. (I believe I lost about 10 games almost consecutively.)

I'm just barely hanging past 1100, however I'm ranked pretty high among random users which I think is great.

My new goal is to reach 1400+ by my birthday (December 9th). I'm sure this is very reasonable. We'll see if I can do it though.

Favourite Race


Although Zerg feels underpowered even with the new Zerg favoured patch. I still very much enjoy playing them. Terran is a very close 2nd though, with Protoss being far behind. Not that I don't like Protoss, I just can't PvZ for the life of me.

I like the Zerg play style mainly and how it's more macro focused. I like their harassment capabilities without risking an "all-in", and their easy tech switching methods. It really throws your opponent off when you suddenly start producing different units. Zerg is easily the best race for doing so since all you need is a single tech building. Unlike Terran or Protoss where you have to make multiple buildings all at once, which is quite slow and risky.

Taking over the map by spreading creep all over just looks cool too.

Favourite Build Order

This is more of a ZvT/P build I enjoy using. It doesn't work so well against another Zerg because of Banelings.


10 Overlord
14 Hatch (At Natural Expansion. This depends on the map though.)
14 Pool
14 Extractor
16 Extractor
18 Queen (Once your 2nd hatchery finishes. It gives you two supply for your queen.)

Lair once you have collected around 200 gas, and make sure to throw down your spire as soon as it finishes. It's also important to try to not let your opponent scout your spire tech. mutalisks are easily countered so sometimes suddenly going hydras instead might be the better choice.

Depending on the pressure my opponent tries to play, I will make a few zerglings and Spine Crawlers. 4 is usually the magic number, it can take out quite a large attack force. When you have zerglings as well you can fight off almost any attack unless they do an all-in build then you might need to add more crawlers, and more zerglings. Scouting is very important at this stage in the game, so you can compensate your defenses for his unit count.

Once you get a small amount of mutas like 6-8 I'd recommend you go and harass your opponent as much as you can. Ideally you'll want to focus on disrupting his economy. Adding in a few more mutas while the gas comes in. Don't fear stalkers, mutalisks eat them for breakfast.

It's also very important to expand again in a secret location while your opponent is busy defending himself. You should also be teching and making different units. I usually like to go with zerglings/banelings/infestors. Against a Terran he'll start making more marines or thors to compensate for your mutalisks. This leaves him extremely weak to zerglings/banelings. Same thing can be said about Protoss, he'll most likely make cannons and more stalkers. Leaving himself weak to zerglings.

If the game drags on you should have enough bases and income to support Ultralisks. They're really solid units and a lot of bad players really over look them. A few ultralisks easily turn the tide in a battle.

Favourite Unit

I absolutely love mutalisks. I really liked them in BW as well. Hydralisks were my favourite though due to the fact they were so bad ass; their sounds, looks, and attack. They lost all of it in Sc2.

Mutalisks are such great harassment units. With just a small number of them I can keep my opponent in disarray for a very long time. They're very mobile and can grant you easy early-mid game map control in most cases. If you plan on playing Zerg I would really recommend working towards having great mutalisk control.

Here is a good video which shows the effectiveness of mutalisks.

Credit to: TheUENtv @ Youtube.

In closing I still enjoy using all the races. I still plan to stay a random user. Maybe I'll finally pick a race in the coming months. We'll see though.

I also plan to write up more strategies for Terran and Protoss.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Image is heavily edited due to resizing issues with this blog.

I've reached my goal of 1100+ points earlier than I expected. However I'm on a 11 solo game win streak right now so I'll probably dip below 1100 a couple more times until I'm steadily past it.

Also lol @ Six in 6th place.

Positive and Negative Notes

The good side:

1. Fun factor; Despite my constant whining about Starcraft II it's still a very fun game to play. The game is young so build orders and unit compositions are not necessarily set in stone yet, which leaves a lot of flexible play. It's fun trying to make up your own unique rushes or build orders. With the amount of units available at your disposal the fun never ends. This was something that was essentially taken away with Broodwar, you absolutely had to play a certain way or you would get steamrolled. I'm sure the game will be a lot different in a year from now though. But for now... just enjoy the game in its youth.

2. The community; I actually don't mind if not "like" the Starcraft II community. When compared with games like CS:S, HoN, or Dota the SC community is godly. Most of the time it's people trying to help people. Granted the community still has it's turds like Idra for example, overall though the level of manner is much higher. People who play Sc2 generally want to better themselves at the game instead of sitting around yelling at everyone else for their own downfalls. I find games like Dota the absolute worst for this. I swear those games attract the most immature 13 year old kids out there. I've only come across a handful of bad mannered players.

Another thing I like is sometimes after you win a person will message you and ask you for tips on how to beat your specific strategy. I actually enjoy sharing my knowledge of the game with others and helping people out. I sometimes do the same myself, and as of yet I haven't had anyone tell me to "Beat it newb" or anything of the sort. People are always just glad to help. So if you're really looking for ways to get better just keep your cool and ask the community for help if you need it.

The bad side:

1. You don't learn much from ladder play; I feel this is really a huge problem with the current game. You absolutely need practice partners to actually get better. Ladder play isn't that great for multiple reasons.

You never play the same people. You think this would be a good thing, but it really isn't. You go into a game with no knowledge on your opponent, and he has no knowledge on you. It causes a lot of players to not play normally because of the uncertainties that are potentially in-store. The player pool is also very diverse, one game you go from playing a legitimately good player, to a very poor player. This happens to me ALL the time, it's quite annoying really.

Another issue with ladder play is people generally play to win. I mean sure we all play to win, but some people will do whatever is necessary to get an easy win. They're called cheesers. I've encountered a lot of them during my journey through the ranks. Majority of the time they fail and just leave the game. Both of you end up learning almost nothing other than to defend against cheese, and this creates a problem. You eventually find yourself with the ability to fight cheese, and once you play a good player. You just don't know what to do and end up losing.

There really isn't any way to avoid these problems if you want to play ladder though, so I guess complaining about them is pointless.

2. Ladder ranks need to be more diverse; Despite my previous whining about the ladder system I really feel that it's lacking. There just isn't enough leagues. Being a high diamond doesn't mean much really. I think there should be at least 1 lower league, and two higher ones added. Really separate the elite from the beginners. Make it so when someone says their in X league it actually means something. I think this would motivate people to try harder.

3. Minor note; I think there should be more unlockables and achievements. I personally don't really care about the achievements but there should be more options available to unlock. I won't really take this one into great detail because I'm not sure what else could be added without clustering things up too badly.


Sc2 is still a really great game to play, I enjoy playing it even though I've been taking a semi-break lately to focus on other things. I still have a lot of fun playing it and learning new things. It's just a constant learning experience and self-challenging game. I would really recommend everyone to play it.

Buy it if you don't have it yet.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is Terran too Versatile?

DISCLAIMER; First off I'd like to state that I know a new patch is coming out which has some confirmed Terran nerfs, so it may render this issues raised in this blog obsolete by the end of the month.

1. Marines/Marauders/Medivacs

For a game that likes to promote (If not downright force a player to) using a compositional army, Terran sure doesn't have to follow that. Unless you consider 2 Offensive units, and 1 support caster a composition.

I feel that right now MMM is gamebreaking. Whenever I random T and I am up against a Z or P I know it's going to be an easy game, and it almost always is. Unless the Zerg can get off some lucky baneling hits he's going to die. Unless the Protoss can keep me contained or out of his base long enough with forcefield, to get colossi he's going to die. Even then I could be producing tanks or a few vikings to counter them. Storm is laughable with proper micro it doesn't give you that much trouble. I just feel that MMM is too strong right now. The other races have to work so much harder to beat your much smaller army.

2. Easy and Good Macro System

Now due to the fact that Terran starts off slower than the other races due to only being able to produce 1 worker at a time, I feel this is somewhat okay, but it's still a little too good if you ask me. Because of these little guys...

Mules are really great mineral gatherers. Once you get up an orbital command and start pumping these guys you pretty much don't have to worry about your mineral resources anymore. I would really find this system fine if the other races didn't have such less forgiving methods; mainly Zerg.

With Zerg you have spawn larva, which takes a very long time to complete. If you miss casting it when you can that is just wasted time, and production. It really doesn't matter how much energy your queen has saved up.

With Protoss you can chronoboost your buildings. Now I actually feel this is balanced somewhat due to the fact you can chronoboost everything. I still don't feel it's as good as Terran's ability to gain such a huge economic lead though. Sure you may able to spit out a million probes, but they can only collect so fast. With Mules they can overlap workers on mineral patches, and they don't take any supply.

It's just not the minerals that are an issue either. If a Terran forgets to spend his energy it saves up to 200 which is enormous. This allows him to throw down multiple mules, or even increase his supply. Terran isn't disadvantaged by player error very badly compared to P/Z.

3. Terran Controls the Game

Due to MMM being very strong a Terran can gain control of the game very early. They can easily contain Z or P, and they're free to do whatever they want. The other races have to react to your actions the entire game. It's easily exploited as well. I've won countless games with just MMM use, it didn't even matter what they threw at me. I just feel Terran has it too easy compared to the other two races. With Zerg you're forced to make everything, and the same goes with Protoss. Meanwhile the Terran can just sit in his base and keep making the same 3 units.

With the upcoming nerfs I hope this changes the Terran meta game a bit. This will only matter if they do something about Marauders or Medivacs, which were not mentioned in the incomplete patch notes. So we'll see.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Final Fantasy XIV Beta

I'm going to take a break from complaining about Sc2, to complain about another game.

Please note this is just a beta test right now, and the full version of the game probably isn't going to be anywhere near as bad. However I still have concerns regarding the complete game during it's initial launch.

I've been playing the beta since the day after it's open beta release. It's not that very good of a game as is. The problems are immense, which is sadly a huge understatement.

1. The lag.

This is really my biggest problem with the game right now. Everything lags, and takes a very long time to do. Something as simple as changing your weapon takes a really long time because it's so laggy. Actions are extremely delayed, when you attack an enemy. It's just everything is slowwww. Seriously if you want to play this expect a lot of time wasted just doing simple things like crafting an item.

2. Changing weapons.

This is really an annoying one, coupled with the lag it is just frustrating, and extremely redundant. When you change weapons it takes a long time to switch out the weapons because of the lag, and then once that's done. You have to set all your skills again. Each class has a set of skills related to that class, and once you change your weapon of a different class type all your skills are reset. So you have to set up ALL your hotkeys over again. It's quite annoying and makes me too lazy to change weapons most of the time.

3. Unresponsive mouse, and commands.

The mouse delay is huge and choppy. When you look through your item list it's really hard to select a single item then look at it. It's really hard to explain it's more like a you have to try it for yourself to see. It's just god awful and it's a huge problem right now in the beta. I generally enjoy good mouse accuracy, but that is no where to be found on FFXIV.

4. Crafting is unforgiving.

Crafting items is really tough in this game. Not only do you need a bunch of obscure items from all the crafting classes but you also need a lot of luck, you also need crystals which are only obtained from fighting mobs, or buying them from other players. Which is really hard if you're just starting out, especially since you're a crafting class and not really set up for combat. The chances of failing are really high, and when you do fail you lose all the items involved in the crafting process. You're then rewarded with an extremely meager amount of experience. It's just not worth it. Also to make matters worse when you fail synthesizing items there is an odd chance one of the crystals you are using will explode and get this... IT DAMAGES ALL THE EQUIPMENT YOU'RE WEARING!!! Right now crafting is just a joke and should be avoided.

5. Quests are redundant.

I really hate MMO's which are "Go here, kill X monsters, get paid X amount of money, and repeat". FFXIV is pretty much just that. Minus the main story quest. I really hope there is more to the full version of the game. I've heard rumors that there is, but we'll see.

6. The Map.

Navigating on the map is completely impossible because you can't move the map or zoom in and out. You have to constantly press M to bring up the map, or close it when you're walking around. This is because the map also doesn't follow you around when you walk. It stays stationary all the time. It's also zoomed in pretty close, so seeing a location from far away is impossible and you have to blindly navigate your way through the world if you want to find something. I've walked in a direction for like 30 minutes only to find that I've went the wrong way.

7. The game itself.

This game just doesn't feel ready at all. I can't see how the game is going to be ready by the 22nd of September. It's just REALLY bad, and I don't think I can do it any justice in this blog by explaining it. It honestly seems like a really shitty port of the Ps3 version. People have told me the game is a lot better played on a controller, which is dumb since I'm on PC and I really prefer the mouse/keyboard set up.

I also don't like the lack of races, and character creation options. It seems really lacking and everyone just ends up looking the same of that specific race.

I could really go on complaining about this game all day, but I'll just leave this as is. I'm getting frustrated just talking about the flaws in this game.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Units That Are A Little Too Good

I'm going to name off a few units which I feel are too strong in specific match-ups. Some are very role specific but dominate the role they play too much, and become impossible to fight against. Be it strong attacks, or abilities.

1. The Viking

This unit is fairly versatile given it's ability to land on cliffs, and exploit certain advantages/disadvantages on certain maps. However, that's not really where the biggest issue lays.

Simply put, this unit dominates to skies too easily. Once a Terran masses enough of them it reaches a critical point where they're just impossible to beat, which absolutely forces you to focus on ground. This can be somewhat problematic in a number of ways, since siege tanks are currently dominating all ground units. See the problem? Sure it may be difficult to reach that point when you're Terran, but if you do the game is almost always in your pocket. Every air unit except vikings are bad against vikings. They're also inexpensive, which means you can mass produce them quite easily. They have insane attack range, which renders a lot of units useless with a bit of micro.

I really feel that Viking range should be reduced by a bit. I'm unsure what other balance changes could be done though since their HP seems fine, and their damage isn't that great until they're in higher numbers.

2. The Colossus

The Colossus can also be a bit of a problem when it comes to ground vs ground battles. Granted colossi are useless without their range upgrade, or sufficient AA support, but once they get it they completely dominate the ground unless up against a tank force. However with good support tanks shouldn't be much of a problem.

A colossus just does too much damage, and it's range is too great. I've lost a lot of battles due there being 1 or 2 colossi on the field under my opponents control. They may cost quite a bit and take up a lot of supply but for their damage output I'd say they more than make up for their price. This unit is literally every Zerg users nightmare, and it's still scary for Terran or Protoss. Bioballs get completely manhandled by a couple of them, and Protoss ground gets completely crushed by them too.

I can admit these units are really bad if they're by themselves though. As are most units though. A good player won't lose his colossi though.

3. The Voidray (The noobs friend)

Generally this unit is bad in small numbers, but that isn't always the case. If you don't scout it for whatever reason, voidrays can completely decimate your base and units in a matter of seconds. Once fully charged a voidray fleet is completely unstoppable unless you're REALLY prepared for a void rush, even then it's difficult depending on which race you are.

The problem is voidrays charge too easily by attacking buildings. Since they are flying units they can avoid any static defense you may have up and can get a free charge from one of your buildings. Then once you come to attack the voidrays, and they melt your army in an instant.

I just really dislike the fact that a handful of these can win someone a game if the other person is caught off guard. I think their charge rate for attacking buildings should be reduced.

4. The Ghost

This unit is pretty good in a multitude of situations due to it's abilities:


This is really a game breaking ability at the moment. Right now Protoss' hard-counter to tank mass, is Immortals. Which are completely dependent on their shields. One blast from a ghost can render them all useless and they become tank food. I've done it to people, and have had it done to me countless times. It's not just Immortals that suffer too, it's all units that rely on casting spells to be effective.


This ability isn't as bad as EMP however it's a devastating spell against Zerg. Zerg has no way to deal with it. Mutalisks become completely obsolete once a couple ghosts are out on the field. That's really my only gripe with snipe at the moment.


The only problem with nuke is it's very hard to see the painter. Maybe it's just me, or my settings. But I have a VERY hard time looking for the red dot. Especially in hectic games where I have more than 1-2 bases operating. It's very hard to find where the nuke is going to land.

5. The Baneling

Now before I make any points, I'd like to say that banelings are extremely useless in some situations. I am well aware of this.

Banelings are too good in ZvZ, in fact the matchup almost becomes a coinflip. ZvZ was pretty bad for this in SC:BW, but with the introduction of banelings ZvZ just became a whole lot more hectic and unpredictable. A few banelings can easily wipe out a large attack group of zerglings.

ZvZ has just become so much more one dimensional. It's generally just zerglings/banelings facing off, and whoever gets the lucky pop off wins the game. Sadly I'm unsure how this problem can be resolved. Roaches are a perfect counter to them, but roaches are very slow early game and can easily be out maneuvered. Leaving your mineral line at the mercy of the other player.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Starcraft II's Music

I really dislike comparing Starcraft I to Starcraft II since it's a new game. So I try my best to let issues like these slide, generally when it comes to units, and game-play mechanics. To put it bluntly though, the music on Starcraft II is vastly inferior in my opinion. Each race has 6 themes now compared to Broodwar where each race only had 3, but I feel that they all suck excluding 1 of them.

This theme is really quite excellent it has a very "Zerg" feel to it. It's the only one that stands out to me. The rest of the music feels really half-assed.

Worst theme in my opinion...

I really dislike a lot of the Terran music this time around. It sounds very "country" or "hick". Almost like you're playing a race of rednecks. I suppose it's fitting given the bad story, style, and acting of the campaign mode. But I prefer music that pumps you up as you play. This music just doesn't do it for me. It makes me feel like I'm listening to Dwight Yoakam.

Now let's look at Starcraft: Broodwar's music.




All of those are my favourite themes taken from each race. The music feels like it belongs to each race, and I feel they're a lot better. I would post Starcraft II songs for comparison but I don't feel that I would properly pick the right songs for comparison since I find them all equally bad. So if you're really interested just look them up on Youtube.

Enjoy high quality sound with these bad-ass headphones.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Zerg Problem

Anyone who plays Starcraft II will know that Zerg is currently underpowered for a multitude of reasons. I'm going to list the general problems and take them into detail.

1. Zerglings are too big, and in the lesser extent so are Ultralisks. (Design and Pathing Issues)

This problem is widely recognized among Zerg users, Zerglings are just too big. They have trouble producing dps against buildings because of it. This means each Zergling needs more surface area to deal damage. It works "okay" against units, but against buildings you just lack that damage output. Especially against clustered buildings such as Terran "wall-ins". Also the pathing is problematic as well, when you're attacking in a confined space all of your zerglings will try to enter the same pathway, causing them to become clustered and just "dance" around. Once again leading to less damage output. You have to manually make a group follow a different path to reach it's target. Even then this sometimes doesn't work out too well. Ultralisks essentially suffer from the same problems. They just act like giant zerglings, and spend most of their time bumbling over each other. Zerglings should also be capable of passing underneath ultralisk, just like units can walk under a colossus. This would raise the damage output from both units, as well keep very true to the "swarm" feel Zerg is supposed to have.

2. Roaches are dead end tech, and are easily countered.

Roaches are a very niche unit, I was under the impression that Blizzard was going to make every unit have their uses throughout the game. However roaches are not very good once the game reaches a certain level. Their upgrades are also all T2 which requires more time to make the unit useful. Their biggest problem though lays in the fact that their useless against air. Which is problematic to say the least, for a few reasons. Zerg has no defense against early air. Zerglings, Banelings, and Roaches cannot attack air. When we look at the other races they have Marines, Stalkers, and Sentries. Sentries are not so great against air but the point still stands. Zerg is essentially left with queens which do not make good air defense. Meanwhile the other races have excellent early AA units. This makes roaches a bad investment unless you can win by keeping on early pressure with them. They're also countered very well by stalkers, marauders, and especially tanks. They're just not good units. I feel they need a revamp of some sort to make them more useful and more enticing.

3. The current ladder maps are bad.

A lot of the Blizzard maps are gimmicky and they have very bad natural expansion spots. Majority of them are wide open and very hard for a Zerg to defend early game. Also Blizzard felt the need to add destructible rocks, and cliffs everywhere; to flaunt their new unit abilities, and game mechanics. However Zerg doesn't benefit from any of these. Not only does zerg lack high dps early game to take advantage of destructible rocks, but they have almost no way to combat cliff drops. This was problematic in Broodwar I can admit, but it's so much worse in Sc2 since you can no longer shoot up a cliff unless you have vision from an aerial unit. Zerg has a very tough time dealing with reaper harass early game, and every map is conveniently loaded with cliffs all over. It's very difficult to defend, and you're always vulnerable to harassment.

4. Zerg isn't very intuitive or versatile.

When compared to Terran, and even Protoss. Zerg isn't left with very many options. Your whole game seems to based around struggling to survive and reacting to everything your opponent does by making hardcounters. This may not be a problem but Zerg has a difficult time scouting until Early/Mid T2. This leaves you very vulnerable to attack. You might make mutalisks only to find your opponent has made vikings or phoenix. You might make hydralisks to find your opponent has made tanks, or colossi. The list goes on and on. It seems the only units that are solid in the zerg arsenal is a lot of zerglings and infestors. This makes them a boring and difficult race to use. Broodwar didn't really share these problems since unit compositions were not very diverse, and the meta game was set. You almost always knew what your opponent was going. It's no surprise that not many people use Zerg compared to the other races.

These are just a few reasons which I feel that Zerg is a bad race. I hope that Blizzard will address these issues down the road, and by that I mean sometime soon.

Buy this if you don't have it yet.