Starcraft 2 Guide: Becoming a Better Player

Author: Grunt

As a disclaimer, I'm not yet good at SC2, but I will be soon. What I do bring to what I am writing is a past pedigree of success and an outlook that will help many a gamer.

I've been in Cal league in FPS, top 40 PvP teams S1 in WoW, and have been in various clans and ladders for RTS games.

I am writing what I am writing from the standpoint of someone who never played Starcraft 1 and who has only been playing starcraft 2 for approximately a week.

If you are in the same, or a similar boat as me, then I hope you heed my advice.



Without further ado, here are my suggestions as to:

Multi-player

Multi-player Matchmaking System
- I've created a multi-player matchmaking system in an effort to match up players in multi-playef: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/374718250#new-post
- If you want or need a partner, please post there.

Mindset:

- Be patient and slow to anger. Its the internet. It doesn't matter what someone else says or does to a large extent. But getting angry or frustrated will effect your decision-making and focus.
- Don't chalk up a loss to something being 'Overpowered, Imbalanced, Cheesy', as these labels are irrelevant (I was void ray rushed two times so far, and the third fourth and fifth time I countered easily).
- Think of losing as a good thing, it's a way to refine your strategy and to learn what does and does not work.
- Aggression is a great attribute to have and will separate average from good players.
- Be gracious, win or loss.

Pre-Match

- Develop a basic strategy as to what you'd like to implement against your opponent after viewing his or her race.
- Look at the maps before you load and think of likely opponent positioning so as to know where to scout
- Be comfortable and have a familiar set of keybinds for important groups / structures

Beginning Game
- Have your build order on paper, or in your mind, and adhere to it strictly in the first 30 seconds
- Get your econ going asap and follow your general build order until you scout
- Scout. This is the most important thing in nearly any RTS. Scout their base asap, and scout the corners of your base and your closest expansion site.
- After scouting, switch your build order based on what you've seen of your opponent.
- Begin building your units / structures in reliance on scouting data to maximize your rush, and how you plan to counter their army
- Rush the opponent if your strategy calls for it, otherwise position your army so as to counter their rush
- Attack your enemy at their base, or if you can find their army in the field. Your goal here is to decimate their army and to then ruin their economy / troop building capacity, and to ascertain (if you fail) the types of units you will need to build to counter. Don't be afraid to attack. Attacking early places you as the arbiter of your own fate. As is said in the responses, usually active beats reactive.
- Attempt to inflict economy damage and avoid economy damage of your own
- At the end of the beginning stage of a match, depending on the success or failure of your rush, be ready to switch strategies.
- Only continue employing the same strategy if you have a decisive econ / unit advantage

Mid-game
- Get your expansion going unless you were all-in initially (ie your strategy previously employed dictates that if you fail you lose)
- Scout other areas to determine if your opponent has expanded
- Constantly produce troops, workers, upgrades
- Amass a main group with support (ex: Marines, Marauders and Medivacs)
- Employ a secondary group for harassing opponents econ / countering specific types of units (ex: helions to non-ranged infantry, thors or vikings to counter mass, banelings to counter clumps of infantry)
- Continue expanding and focus on map-control. Part of map-control is constant intel as to where your opponent is expanding and where you can expand to.

Late-game
- If you are losing the economy battle you will have to focus on out microing your opponent. One good way would be to arrange ambushes on his armies, or to do coordinate strikes at multiple locations simultaneously to force him to focus on micro instead of macro. You need to regain the macro advantage, negate his, or destroy vital pieces of his army.
- Continually expand and accrue intelligence from scouting

Post-game
- This is the single most important aspect of becoming a better player: WATCH REPLAYS and learn what you did right/wrong and learn what your opponent did right and wrong.
- I use a word document to write down any strategy that worked or failed against which race and my opinion as to why. Additionally, I write down trends in early-game so I understand what rush I will be facing in the future, and how I should counter.
- Don't get frustrated. Replay Losses are a positive good. They provide you with free education. Think of losses as personal instruction from your opponent.

Summary (TLDR Version):
- Watch replays and learn
- Don't get mad
- Implement lessons

Single-player
- Play the campaign once on normal, going for achievements that first play through if you so desire.
- Play the campaign once on hard, going for achievements if you desire.
- Save and save often.
- Do the challenges. The challenges in my opinion are Blizzard's way of teaching beginners how to macro and how to micro and how to counter.
- Save during the challenges; you will still get the achievements.
- Store your money and purchase an entire line of upgrades in order to get an achievement and then reload that save ;)
- Replay any branching missions (missions in which you had multiple choices)
- Play custom games against the computer

Character Code: 339.

1 comment:

JaccoHop said...

I added you to my sc2 list.

I like your articles. My personal opening favorite is the Phoenix rush followed up by void rays.
In 1/1 I still have to play in the novice levels and never lost with it this far.