Starcraft Diary #10: Stuck in HotS

So, after getting a relatively strong computer on which I can consistently play SC2 in the summer of 2012, I have gone from top Silver to mid Diamond in the ladder on the North American server. I still don’t play nearly as much as I’d like, but I felt that my pace of improvement has been steady. That was until I started playing the Heart of the Swarm beta a month or two ago, when I’ve found myself stuck in mid Platinum, with barely a 50% win rate.

I do realize that the beta is just one server, which means that everyone from around the world is playing on this server, which also means there are way more masters, diamond, and platinum players on the beta. The game is great, the new units are fun presents an entirely new meta game (I shall discuss balance in another post). But in the past week or so, I’ve really felt that my pace of improvement has not kept up with the higher level of play that I’m confronted with in the beta, despite playing almost 400 games.

I should also note that I didn’t start to play Wings of Liberty regularly until maybe a year after the game came out. Furthermore, I wasn’t even aware that there was a competitive gaming scene, and an entire industry, behind Starcraft 2. I played Starcraft: Broodwar as a recreational thing but I didn’t realize that people can do things… so fast!

Nowadays, I’ve turned into one of the biggest fans of the game; watching Day9, Husky, State of the Game, Inside the Game, checking Team Liquid everyday, watching good players stream, watching tournaments… which all inspires me to get better.

Needless to say, I am way behind in terms of experience compared to people who have played way more. But is that the only thing? What’s missing in my game that’s needed in order for me to get to the next level? I don’t think my mechanics are too bad, but rather it’s my decision-making that’s losing me games. How do I achieve better decision making in SC2? Just play more?

Bad Manners and Liars in StarCraft 2

Just a little experience I had from playing ladder today. I lost a game to a terran where I went warp prism 4 gate, but was delayed and got crushed by a big terran army. When I gg’ed I said “nice all-in”; experience told me that that many units meant the terran was pretty much investing all his resources on units and not tech. Thus, I was surprised when he replied “2 base…” I checked the replay, and was comforted by the fact that I was right, and at the same time surprised (not even upset) that he flat out lied about how many bases he had. Doesn’t he find it embarrassing to be called out, especially when all I needed to do was check the replay to see if he was lying?

Anyways, such was just many examples of bad manners and liars I encounter at the ladder. It’s quite disheartening to see this as it just perpetuates a bad image for the community. Granted that there are bad manner gamers for all games, I think we owe it to the game to be better mannered. Who knows? We just might attract more players by just saying ‘gl hf’ before and ‘gg’ after every game!