Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Foundation: Macro

Due to lack of feedback, I'll have to start at the basics of Starcraft....

The foundation to competitive/online RTS gaming, not just Starcraft, is called macro management or "Macro." Macro is the management of your infrastructure to glean the most effectiveness out of it. To put it in laymen's terms, Macro is using your base and resources to their maximum potential. Contrary to common belief, RTS gaming isn't just building a big army then box attacking into the other army. You need to make the most use out of the resources your given.

In realistic terms.... Macro:
  • Constant production of harvesters (SCVs, Drones, Probes)
  • Constant production of units
  • Constant addition of production facilities
  • Consistent expansion
If you've played an RTS before for any amount of time you already know that; that's obvious. Macro is what wins games, not strategy or cutesy micro management play ( which I'll talk about in future posts ). Being able to macro up a large army and secure your dominance in the game is what wins. Why does macro win games? Well... macro just lets you have a lot of... stuff. Having more stuff than your opponent is good. Say you go into a battle and you trade armies, if you have better macro than your opponent you have more stuff than him faster... it's totally intuitive when you think about it. From Bronze level up to Master's level I guarantee that macro will win 100% over any strategy.

Most of you have probably heard of a player named EGIdrA. He's known for being the heaviest macro zerg in the world. EGIdrA last GSL (Korean Starcraft tournament) was the foreigner who made it the second farthest into the tournament, into the round of four. The number one foreigner is a Macro Terran player named TLAF-Jinro. Legendary macro beast TT1 placed second in MLG Dallas behind TLAF-Jinro. Mousesports Mana placed second at Dreamhack last year through macro and wearing his opponent down through sheer attrition. Mousesports Naama placed first at dreamhack through having superior macro ( and really nice positioning but that's a later topic ) than Mana. Matter of fact here is the best of five match between Naama and Mana. Study their play, all they're doing is macroing, not some cute fancy Marinekingprime.WE or SlayerS_Boxer micro play.
The up and coming French Protoss player Adelscott, plays with an amazing macro gateway style, just sending waves and waves of units and just having more stuff than his opponent. From here on out I will always always always stress the importance of macro. MACRO WINS GAMES.

The question now you're probably asking is, how do you improve your macro? Sadly there's no simple answer, there's no "do X and you get Y result." Your macro is developed through playing tons and tons of games. The best advice I can offer as to helping your macro is find a comfortable hot key setup. For those of you not familiar with hot keys or don't have 300 actions per minute ( essentially being able to do 300 things every minute ), get in the habit of binding your structures and units to keys and get very comfortable with your keyboard. For instance, for my hotkey setup I use 1-3 as my army units, 4 are all of my command centers, 5 are all of my barracks, 6 are all of my factories 7 are all of my starports and then I reserve 8-0 for special needs such as watching an engineering bay to see the progress of an upgrade.

Now for people who've never played an RTS before or Starcraft before this all went over your head. Basically, it's just knowing how to build stuff in an efficient way. I'll go deeper into this topic in a later post.

I'd like you guys to leave questions below as to what I should elaborate on and I'd like to make a few shout outs. Firstly, I'm not the highest level player obviously and there are way better players than me. For the first, my hero and THE MOST INFLUENTIAL GAMER IN E-SPORTS RIGHT NOW is Day[9]. He's an extremely high level veteran Starcraft player. He's been playing this game for eleven years now. He does hardcore game analysis and shows you how to be a better gamer. Watch him if you want to get better at Starcraft, Day9tv.blip.TV is where he archives all of his videos and you can watch him live at Day9.TV. Second, if you're looking to get into the Starcraft community definitely start looking around on Team Liquid is the center of the Starcraft community. If you want to watch some high level games and have some shoutcasting fun, go to Youtube and check out HDStarcraft, Huskystarcraft, Psystarcraft, and Totalhalibut. Also I'll sometimes stream myself playing games over Xfire. If you guys want to watch me play download xfire (it doesn't take up a lot of space at all and it's a really fast download) and then add me, kamikazetriadia. When I'm going to stream you'll be able to see on xfire then you can just right click and watch. So give me feedback and I think that's all I have for now.


Oh and because Tristie forced me to ...

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Introduction to the blog.

Hey, this is Kobain. I'll be using Tristie's account and profile to possibly do this. Funny story about this blog was that I was asked to do this AFTER she posted the promise of a Starcraft guide. I'm still unsure of if I actually want to do this but I'm considering.

If I do this I'd like to start out with you guys by having you put a few things in the comments: Firstly I'd like your Division (i.e. bronze-master's). Second I'd like your rank and then I'd like a little summary of your play experience. What I'll do is if I decide to do this blog I'll take a look at all of the comments and see what the most common issue is amongst us all and I'll talk about it and see what we can solve.

And as a disclaimer I'm still undecided about this so don't get your hopes up. Anyway leave your comments