This Thanksgiving has mostly been consumed by sleep, reading for book club, and playing Borderlands with friends, but I also got in a decent amount of StarCraft. About half of it was 4v4s, but I also played 3 ranked games as Protoss in HotS for placement, all of which I won. I think the last guy I played was silver (not sure how accurate HotS ladder is, though), so I guess this is just working up from the bottom.
Overall, I didn’t get to play around with new units much. The first game was against Protoss, and I attacked with 3 gates, and he didn’t even have warpgate yet. The second was against Terran on Cloud Kingdom, and poor map awareness on his part (and decent awareness on mine) allowed me to see reaper harass and various widow mines coming in via watchtowers. The final game was against Zerg, which I will discuss soon.
I didn’t get any Oracles out, though I should try that soon. I did build a few Tempests, though I’m not really sure what the benefit of that was. And I did build Mothership Cores, but I didn’t use any of the abilities. I believe they’ve changed since I tried out the game months ago, and in a ranked match, I didn’t want to take the time to read.
One big improvement for me was that “x/24 workers” thing over the Nexus. Like most players, I do a poor job building workers; I think I often end up with about 10-15 workers on minerals per base in most of my matches, and I’m not very good at checking. Having that dialog bit was a good reminder, though, and I think it evens the playing field for those without spectacular mechanics.
The last game I played against Zerg was particularly interesting because he went for a Swarm Host rush on Antiga Shipyard. My poor map awareness meant that I missed him taking over the space at the bottom of the ramp to my natural, where he had a few Swarm Hosts, Queens, Spines, and Spores. The Swarm Hosts continually spawned the Locusts, and when I tried to push down the ramp to take them out, the spore would snipe my observer before I could spot and hit them. Having never seen anything like this before, I got flustered and couldn’t figure out a good composition to beat this build. Regardless, I macroed well enough to rush down the ramp, break out, and get a 3rd.
Through the middle of the game, he used a lot of corruptors and overseers to kill any observers I had, and then planted the Swarm Hosts to slow me. This actually neutralized my Colossi really well, which was the best answer I got for the Locusts. Again, I managed to overwhelm him, control the center, and beat his late game composition of Brood Lord/Swarm Host with a lot of blink Stalkers and some blind storms over his Swam Hosts.
I’m glad I won on mechanics, though he clearly had a build that I didn’t know how to deal with. I guess these are the surprises to expect from a game in beta. You might be wondering why I’m playing Protoss, given that I started this blog as Zerg and mentioned that I recently switched to Terran. Since I’m planning testing all races, I thought it might be nice to make the circuit starting with the race I’m least likely to play in the long run.
The more honest answer, though, is that I’m getting ladder anxiety about HotS, too, despite the fact that I know that the game is incomplete and probably not very stable. To fight that, I’m trying to play with my weakest (well, least-emphasized) race so that I don’t feel like I need to be performing particularly well with it. Still, that hasn’t gotten me through placement yet on HotS.
In the meantime, I seem to have a spare HotS beta key as I won one with a bad joke and received another for preordering HotS from Amazon. I thought I might share it with a friend, but it turns out that NONE of my friends want the beta key (probably also a factor in my low motivation to ladder). As such, I guess I’ll hold a mini-contest here.
Leave me a one-sentence comment with a suggestion on how to overcome ladder anxiety, and if your suggestion helps, I’ll pass along the key. I say one sentence simply because I don’t trust myself to be reliable in this contest (e.g. giving it to another friend anyways), and I don’t want you to waste a lot of time crafting a response when I’m being unreliable.