Sunday, April 15, 2012

Software Issues (cont) and Rolling Random (rage)

::EDIT:: Everybody should watch for me on Facebook and Twitter (links at the end) and tune in for the NeSPA SC2 tournament that Sleepercells and myself will be casting live! April 18 and 19 will be the online seeding rounds, and April 21 we will be at the venue in Lincoln to cast the event!

The Software Woes Continue
So as many of you may know, I had to take an extended leave from Starcraft 2 casting (and subsequently Starcraft 2 itself) due to a nasty issue with my broadcasting software, Xsplit. Xsplit, until very recently, has been in a Public Beta for quite some time now, and the last version of Xsplit before the official release severely jacked things up. There was a major bug in Public Beta 7.0 that cause massive and frequent CPU (aka processing) spikes up to 100%, which cause nasty lag spikes in-game. Because this affected my CPU, this also hampered my ability to cast pro games offline, as the lag spikes were still present. Public Beta 7.0 was pulled, and days later, Beta 7.1 was released. Public Beta 7.1 was the fix to 7.0 that worked for about 75% of Xsplit users.
I was part of the 25%.
And for some completely unknown and baffling reason, even when rolling back to the previously effective Beta 6, the lag spikes persisted. This is the problem that forced me to play other games, for a time, including Riven, Myst: Exile, and Alien Swarm, among a few others. I greatly enjoyed my time playing these games with you guys, and will likely continue to do so on the side. Thanks for sticking it out with me, and I am excited to move forward with the C0ffeecast and the growing community that you are all contributing to : ).

Random Rage
I am sitting at my computer desk in my dorm, relaxing and sipping my coffee. I can't help but reflect on the interesting set of events that occurred last night while I played random on my alternate account (technically my father's, who does not currently play SC2, but may someday!) First and foremost, I want to thank those of you who joined me last night, played your own off races or main races, and helped me begin picking up the mechanics of both Zerg and Terran. There are no doubts in my mind that, between my two off races, Terran is by far the better one. I feel like I understand the underlying concepts of both, but, just as my Protoss play, I am working with my execution, which will come with practice!
Through last night I played 10 games as Random: 6 Terran, 3 Zerg, 1 Protoss.
I had some great practice games with my friends from the chat, and learned quite a bit! As Terran, I confirmed that you really can win most games by just making marines and tanks (LOL!), as that is all I ever did (never having to face a Protoss opponent). I knew that, while playing races I was less experienced with, I would have to confine my goals a bit, and remove the "let's just win" goal. So to start, here are my goals I set throughout the night, my starting goals in normal text, revisions / additions to existing goals are italicized, and new goals at the end are bold:

  • Terran
    • Macro hard: I want a quick 2nd base, and a decent 3rd (~10 - 11:00)
    • Watch the minerals! The Protoss rule of 4 production facilities / base does not apply to the other races. Drop extra Barracks, get another factory or Starport.
    • Mirror the old Thorzain style: quick 2-2 bio, supported by +1 mech.
    • Don't forget infantry upgrades (aka Stim), and don't overstim / stim too early
    • Watch the CC energy. Mostly Mules, and a scan doesn't hurt anyone if you have plenty of SCV's
  • Zerg
    • Larva injects are the most important of the 3 macro mechanics of Starcraft.
    • Larva injects during combat are even more important to help resupply your army in a lengthy fight
    • Creep spread in a non-ZvZ game is ultra important for defense and vision
    • Map awareness: scout the 3rd, hold the towers, Overlords in place to scout for drops
    • Macro mode: drone harder that Nestea himself. Take that macro risk
    • Macro mode: take a quick third (4 - 6:00), saturate, then worry about teching
    • Macro Hatch once on 3-base. So many resources!
A quick conclusion to this entry. I have played ~150 ladder games and Protoss, my main race, on my main account, Coffeebreak. It took me 150 games ladder, and probably about another 250 custom and 2's (I have ladder anxiety, shutup!) to finally reach Diamond league. 2.5 years of (totally worth it!) work. In my 5 placement matches as Random... I placed diamond, beating players with well over 1000 ladder wins (I think my main account in somewhere around 450...) as my off races. 2 things for that:
  1. They should be freaking ashamed of themselves!
  2. I can't believe that in 5 games as Random, I achieved what took me ~400 games as Protoss...
This entry has already been longer than I thought it would be, and I have more thoughts, so perhaps I will continue writing about my Random exploits in future blogs!


1 comment:

  1. Leagues are a crazy business. I think 5 matches are far too few to properly place someone's skill level, and it apparently takes absolutely forever, almost no matter how good/bad you are, to change leagues after the fact. I went 5-0 in placement matches and got placed in platinum, so I guess sometimes it's just not possible to get placed in diamond. Then, after taking quite a few months (years?) off, I went 4-1 in placement and got placed in ...platinum. I think there should either be more fluidity in moving between leagues or many, many more placement matches required.