Small Bites & an Announcement!

Things are starting to wind down for me. I’ve been extremely active with my studies and things are coming to a close. Because of this I’ve been absent from the blog and think I want to start contributing something more than just rants and ramblings. From time to time I plan on making a post relevant to a community I participate in and today I’ll make a post to address an issue I’ve been seeing frequently on http://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft2_class

Starcraft2_class is a small subreddit on the site with about 1,400 readers. Its single purpose is for more experienced and skilled players to coach and advise more novice players on the game. As a fairly seasoned player myself I find that I like to spend time coaching others and providing advice on how they can improve their game.

So, what is the topic? Well from the title I’m sure you can guess: Biting off more than you can chew. What I mean to address is an issue in novice players that I’m seeing very frequently that they most often aren’t aware of. The issue stems from players dreaming of reaching the high stars but forget that the path to obtain greatness is one small baby step at a time.

These players watch Day[9] like a religion and have subscribed to every professional tournament streamed online to date. They often follow Idra, Psy, Jinro or Destiny like a cult but all still share the fundamental problem of dreaming too big for what they can obtain (at least at this time).

These players recognize what needs to be done. And that’s the fundamental issue. I don’t want to go too far and say they know too much but it almost comes across as that. They realize the importance of creep spread, saturating bases, maintaining map control scouting your opponent’s movements, teching at a right pace and managing their economy properly but they simply can’t do it all.

They spend a solid phase of their game working their army positioning all the while forgetting entirely to scout the map or expand their vision. They’ll vigorously watch for the larva pop only to neglect the overlord buzzing through the opponent base and once it dies see nothing but partial structures.

And how does one solve this? One step at a time.

It is awesome that players realize everything that needs to be done but it means nothing when you do all of them poorly. If you’re so concerned with your creep spread that you forget to inject larva or research +1 weapons for your roaches you’ve still lost no matter how nice that spread gets.

If you’re a player you feel is guilty of this issue then its better for you to get out there and play some games rather than watch more pro replays. You can keep ramming all the knowledge you want into your head but it will not solve the issue that you don’t have the muscle memory or mechanics to execute it.

I want to stress the importance of practice in this game. More players I see are getting concerned with their rating and it is off setting to them. They abstain from the game to watch professional players and get advice from Mr. Plott but neglect to execute it themselves. I fear it is a mental issue where they believe they’ll get better without actually playing and can return to a shiny Platinum or Diamond rating and once they fail to achieve this are unsettled even further.

So yes, the answer is as cheesy as the 6 pool but the solution is to go play some games. Focus on one thing at a time and don’t get worked up over small details. Broad Strokes (like Day[9] says) are more important than minute details.

But Stank, what’s the announcement?

This is actually unrelated but something I’m quite proud of. I started this post by saying my studies are winding down. What that means is I’ll be entering the workforce ripe with knowledge and ready to get put in my place. I feel however that I have lots to share in the Programming community and have registered a domain to contain these factoids. So, in the future look towards http://www.pro-graham.com for programming blogging, advice, tips and stories. My first post will be regarding a small game AI I wrote for a class this semester. I stand by my work in saying I’ve written the most advanced Battleship AI to date. Such a minor achievement but fun never-the-less.

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About CapnStank

Software Systems Engineering Graduate working in Operational Support Systems hardware/software and network fault monitoring/provisioning. I have spent the last 5 years or so working on coding projects ranging from games, to utilities to phone apps to almost anything you can imagine.