Saturday, August 28, 2010

#20 - StarCast: "Clan, Guild, Tourney Oh My!"

Another week, another episode of StarCast.  This week we cover a plethora of news and emails.  Blizzard drops the first Status report on us since beta.  We start our clan, our guild, and our first tournament.  Head on over to the forums to sign up for all these goodies and more.

On a side note, the campaign round table will not be on this week's episode due to a large amount of scheduling issues and technical difficulties during two attempted records.  Our apologies as we know a large amount of our listeners have really been enjoying this segment.  We will figure out what is wrong and record for next week's show.

As always thanks for listening and head on over to the forums for the show notes.

Virtus Opprimo StarCraft II Clan Application
StarCast Experimental SC2 League

The Virtus Opprimo Guild can be found on the Argent Dawn server in WoW, on the Horde faction.  Whisper Shielde (Garrett), Achromic (Ben), or iHug (Dismal) for an invite.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

#19 - StarCast: "Pistol Whipped by a Vulture"

Sorry about that folks.  My ftp client was failing miserably with the upload due to it's size.  Anyways it is fixed.  So delete your old episode 19 and download the new one!

Hey StarCast fans! After a long week of overthrowing the grammar-nazi regime with Zealots, we have returned with our 19th episode. Kinda of a long one but that's to be expected with the campaign discussion

Check out Brian "Grey Ghost" Griffith's site.  He does the music for StarCast.

Episode 19 show notes

Saturday, August 14, 2010

#18 - StarCast: "ZEE - lot"

Hey StarCast fans.  No shownotes here anymore, you'll have to head over to the official StarCast forums for that.  "Wait... what did he say?" you may be asking yourself, but yes, you heard correct.  The StarCast forums are up and running.  So head over there and sign up and lets begin the next phase in our online community.

Joel joins us at the end of today's episode for a round table discussion for the StarCraft II campaign.  So if you usually bail once the outro music starts, you should stick around.  However, be warned, this will be full of spoilers which is why we put this segment at the end of the show.  Hope everyone enjoys the new episode and enjoys the forums even more.  Well I will see you all in the forums and in the game.  ENJOY!

BIG thanks to Ben for getting the forums up and running.

StarCast Forums

Episode #18 Show notes

Monday, August 9, 2010

#17 - StarCast: "Would you like some cheese with that Hydra?"

StarCast Show #17


Most Valuable Poster Program
MVPs are not employees of Blizzard Entertainment. Instead, they're recognized members of the community with strong social skills and understanding of gameplay. Think you have what it takes? No applications are necessary. Simply take to the forums if you’re interested and show us that you're a dedicated StarCraft II player with the drive to help make this community the best it can be.
Start posting. Thats the application.

Blizzard is Policing User-Made Maps

Blizzard poster Lylirra writes:
“While players are encouraged to share the maps they create through, published maps are subject to review to ensure that they promote a fun and safe environment for all players. You can learn more about the StarCraft II content policy here:
If a map is found to contain inappropriate content, it will be removed from and the map maker will be contacted via email. Should a player have any questions or concerns regarding a specific action, he or she is welcome to contact our support representatives by using the following web form:
If you see a player-made map that contains inappropriate content, simply right click on the map image thumbnail under "Details" and then select the "Report this Content" option.”

Kotaku writes:
The response prompted one player to question why the policy was in place for the second game and not the first, where some of the custom map names were extremely colorful. Community manager Bashiok gave the player the following answer.

“Because we can. Literally. We have a support department now of size and ability to enforce these types of things. It simply wasn't possible when our in-game support used to consist of approximately 20 technical support agents. We did, however, actually police Warcraft III maps to a small degree if they were reported. But it was a rather archaic process.”

Original Article:


Shurafa’s Loot Table vs. Blizzards Beginners Guide

Should the nydus worm stop screaming?

Jacked by Void Rays and Dark Templars

As you may know, many of us are new to starcraft and we're getting our butts kicked online...  
Info about strategies online is sparse or it is cryptic jargon people have been using for so long.
I think it would be a good idea to have a show that goes over the SC multiplayer lingo and some strategies for each race (maybe a show per race?).
At least the do's and don'ts would be awesome!

The StarCraft II Dictionary, from Archon to Zergling!
Even if you think you're the champion of the Terran and the bane of the Zerg, going online to some forums and seeing strategies will confuse even the most hardened player if they've never seen the terminology before.  Starcraft 1 had its fair share of this, but over the course of the many years of following it most of it could be figured out fairly easily.  With Starcraft 2 around the corner though, we here at Ten Ton Hammer don't want you to be in the dark when watching the best players and hearing seemingly foreign commentary, so here's a good start towards filling out your vocabulary.

APM - Actions Per Minute.  Generally refers to your ability to control your units, build more of them, and continually manage your economy and expand it.  Most players will barely break 100, semi-pros hover a little under 200, and the pro level of Starcraft 1 is anywhere from 250-400.  Even if this is calculated through the general clicks and button presses you make, don't make random clicks or spam to raise this stat.  You're only kidding yourself.  We'll elaborate on this in later articles.

Macro - Macromanagement skills.  This refers to the beginning of the game and managing your workers and production well.  Powerful macro play will keep your resources on hand below 500 and keep your unit production facilities running 100% of the time to build your army.

Micro - Micromanagement skills.  This term refers to your ability to control the fights as they break out.  If one of your Roaches get wounded and you can pull it back or burrow it to prevent its death, that's micromanagement.  Focusing down the units that are the biggest threats, or the units your squads are most effective against, is all micromanagement.  Micromanagement enables you to take down superior armies with less forces or losses.

Worker Saturation - There's a point where you get no extra income from extra workers mining minerals or gas at a base.  It varies from placement to placement, but it averages to 2 per mineral patch, 3 per vespene geyser.

Rush, or All-Ins - Sacrificing your economy building to get out offensive units faster and catch your opponents off guard.  Common rushes involve Reapers, Hellions, Zealots, and Zerglings.  Some of these involve building your production facilities right on your opponent's doorstep.  Doing this is called a Proxy, described below.

Proxy - Putting up production facilities or a pylon outside your opponent's base, or inside them.  The key to a successful proxy is hiding it, and a hidden proxy is often quite difficult to stop.

Cheese - The Starcraft 2 terminology "cheese" refers to a gimmicky strategy that relies on the victim of the cheese being taken by surprise. An example would be a cannon rush as if a wouldbe cannon rusher is caught in the act, the strategy usually does not work. The saying is short for "I smell cheese", which makes a reference to cheesy strategies.

Expo - Short for Expansion.

Timing Attack or Timing Push - These attacks center around knowing the vulnerabilities in the build of your opponent, or the strengths of your own build.  Say your opponent is going all out with defense and rushing to Battlecruisers.  If you know it takes 10 minutes to feasibly finish the Starports and Fusion Core necessary to begin production, you know that the time to attack is right as he's spent all of his money on the tech, and you've spent the money on the army, givng you the advantage should you strike then.  A lot of these center around upgrades--Terran infantry are much fiercer with the first weapons upgrade complete, and Zealots can kill a Zergling in two hits instead of three once their first upgrade finishes.

Terran Specific

Bio - Refers to anything involving marines and marauders.  Reapers and ghosts are biological as well, but don't factor into match-ups as the bread and butter infantry.

M3 or M&M&M - Marines, Marauders and Medivacs.  The staple Terran army of high damage with stimpacks, combined with mobility and healing in the Medivacs.

Leapfrogging - Using two groups of siege tanks and using only one in siege mode at any given time, while the other moves forward and sieges up, then un-siege the one behind it. Repeat until in your opponent's face!

Orb - Orbital Command.  Generally the building most players forget to make the most of, it's your MULE station for extra resources.

Mech - This refers to builds that are centric around multiple factories and a mechanical ground army.  Large quantities of Siege Tanks with Hellions in front and Thors for light anti-air and punching holes in those tough enough to endure your first tank barrage make up this strategy.  As of beta patch 5, mech builds are generally non-viable due to the weakness of Thor anti-air versus large targets, and the amount of time it takes to produce the army.

Wall-in - Terran Specific only because they do it so well.  On any map with a ramp or chokepoint, 1 barracks with add-on and 2 supply depots is more than enough to prevent any scouts from coming in and preventing melee forces from overrunning your marines early on.

Zerg Specific

Speedling Builds - These revolve around getting Zerglings with enhanced movement speed as fast as possible.  You put 3 drones in your first vespene geyser and pull one out every time it returns at 92 gas (so you get 96, then 100 gas, enough for the upgrade).  From there you can deny your opponent scouting, early expansions, and more with the map control you get from fast zerglings before counters hit the playing field.

Cracklings - Zerglings with both movement speed and attack speed upgraded.  Not as fierce in terms of raw damage output and attack speed as they were in Starcraft, but they benefit greatly from the improved pathfinding and surrounding AI of Starcraft II to make up for it.

Burrow Micro - This refers to avoiding deaths of your units by timing your burrow to go off just before your unit dies.  This is only effective when your opponent has no detectors, or with Roaches since their burrowed regeneration rate is so massive that they can actually tank quite a few lesser units while underground and detected, mostly due to their high innate armor of 2.

Muta Stacking, or Muta Stacks - A well controlled group of mutalisks that stays mobile, harassing any and every target they can find undefended in their opponent’s base.  Lone anti air defenders, workers, supplies and overlords, and tech buildings are all high priority targets of this type of raiding.
The term comes from an old Starcraft trick that had you controlling a large group of mutalisks with a unit far away from your base, typically an Overlord, that caused the Mutalisks to all gather on top of each other and create one ominous Mutalisk that the actual number count of them is a mystery.  This still exists in Starcraft 2, but they will stack quickly, and unstack quickly when attacking.  One of the neat methods of determining how big an enemy stack of Mutas is, is by looking at the strength of the shadow cast by them.

Protoss Specific

Cliffjumping/Cliffwalking -These refer to strategies with Colossi making great use of their ability to walk up and down different levels of terrain without a ramp.  Typically it's used to harass workers and other undefended areas, or buy time against melee hordes to keep frying them with lasers.

Proxy Pylon - A proxy in general is most often pulled off by Protoss, who can do anything from one mere Pylon hidden in the back of a base, behind tall grass or smoke, or placed below a cliff.  From there you can warp in a variety of units, from a horde of Zealots to overrun from within, High Templar to Psionic Storm all of the opponent's workers, or Dark Templar to take advantage of a lack of detectors or assassinate workers without making a ruckus on the radar.
Did you get all of that?  It's only the beginning of the game's lifespan, and more vocabulary and definitions will arise as the game evolves.  We'll keep you posted and informed, so you're never clueless when watching the finals of a tournament.... or participating in one!

Joel’s Hellion Review

In reponse to matts roach problem last show:
If you are playing Terran early game marauders are absolutely devastating because of their increased damage vs armored targets, it can rip them to shreds. Add in a well timed stim and a scan if they burrow and you can ruin their day pretty easily. Additionally concussive shells with the marauders range of 6 (vs the roaches 3) makes kiting pretty easy. If you have some unsieged tanks and there isn't an overwhelming amount of roaches, they blow right through that armor as well. Hope that helps ward off future mass roaches. If that doesn't work you could always try Raid®

I love SC/SCII and have started playing the campaign, but I have yet to try multiplayer and am frankly a bit apprehensive about it. I haven’t played original SC multiplayer in at least a decade, so I’m total multiplayer noob.

My apprehension is that I know being good at multiplayer is largely about speed, the more you can do faster the better. My problem is, I HATE rushing. I very much enjoy taking my time and building up my base and armies how I want (even if I know something may be overkill I tend to find myself doing it anyway, I’m just a bit OCD about it I guess). Rushing through and just building building building and rushing to expand to an annex resource base ASAP, etc. is just not that enjoyable to me, so I feel like I’d be absolutely awful at multiplayer.

So I guess my question is, is there any hope for noobs like me that do not like that rushed mindset? Is it just a matter of starting to play and get used to being crushed over and over while
trying to learn to like/improve at being as fast as possible?

I also don’t clearly remember all the units from all the races, so an occasional quick description of some of the less common units when you mention them would be appreciated. In that same mindset I’m still way off in seeing a unit and instantly knowing which of my unit would best counter it, so maybe a breakdown of what you guys like using to counter certain enemy unites would be helpful as well.

Mr. Anonymous
Hi again, its Mr. Anonymous and I had just made it into Platinum in the Australian server and every Protoss I play Rushes me. I don't know if you guys are having this problem on the US server but I was wondering as a how do you guys KILL A ZEALOT rush as Terran, Protoss and Zerg.

I have noticed a problem when dropping in large quantities, the dropships often stop dropping due to the lack of room. Simply shift click to drop where you would like the bulk of your forces, and then once again where the overflow would go. Using this method, the dropships will drop until they have no more room for units on the ground and then move to the next location to finish dropping.  As I play zerg I have found this technique to be useful.

Also I have also found a way to very effectively and quickly speed up the production of creep on the map.  if you have researched overlord speed and the carrying ability, you carry around a single queen in an overlord that is dropping creep.  by the time the overlord has stopped and the queen hits the ground, there is enough creep on the ground to drop a tumor. After the tumor is placed, simply get back into the overlord and do it again. It very effectively covers the entire map in creep quickly, but also allows you to have free recon. You can use this at all of the open mineral patches, being sure to place the tumor where the Command center,nexus, or hatchery would go, effectively preventing expansions for everyone.  Even if your opponent is zerg they still have to kill the tumor to correctly place the hatchery.

Garrett as we have the same name I tend to look around wondering who called my name when it is said by Kyle.
Now here is a lovely T and Z strat. It is a 2v2 strat that is an early game counter to Protoss, and is very annoying as I play toss. The Terran walls and gets many reapers, while the Zerg goes mass lings. The lings counter the Stalkers, and the reapers counter the Zealots.
Good luck with the cast and have fun.

Get ready to hate me even more.  Another strategy My buddies and I have used is pooling. Especially on a 3 player map. The middle person just gathers lots and lots of minerals and gas. Once the 5 minute time limit is up, he gives it all away. Preferably to a Protoss partner (Carriers are nice arent they!)  The third player works on defense, or harrasment to keep the opposing teams busy.  It could certainly be considered cheese by some, but can be easily stopped early game with a simple scout. But if not expected, to see a mass of fully upgraded carriers and a mothership within 15 minutes into a game is a scary thing and hard to stop.

I was wondering how you guys feel about the recent announcement that SC2 is going to be at the rest of the Major League Gaming Pro Circuit events. I haven't ever heard you comment on the competitive scene, and I am not sure if either of you really follow it.
As someone who is trying to improve my game, being able to see great players play at this event is going to be great.

I was listening to the 8/2/'10 podcast and heard about the protoss strat to counter zerglings with large ammounts of cannons. I encounter this a lot when playing in 2v2, so I have an interesting way to counter it. First, keep in mind that those cannons are not cheap. This means that when the time comes, you more than likely have the army advantage. So, first, I do a tech switch straight into Hydras. Next, research overlord speed and continue to produce hydras while upgrading them. Next, when you have a sizeable force, build a nydus network in an open location inside your base (ex: against the cliff a couple hex's away from your ramp). This placement will allow units to easily reach the network without having to dodge buildings and such. It is important to note, instead of right clicking on the nydus network, tell your units to move to a spot next to it before entering. This prevents units from trying to enter from the bottom of the cliff, ultimately staring blankly at the cliff. Now that the network is placed, continue to make hydras while saving up resources for multiple worms. Now, send an overlord around to the back of their base and find an unguarded. Assuming they have placed cannons around the proximity of their base, it may be difficult to find an area covered by fog. Instead, place the worm in a spot just out of range, or in-between two cannons. Next (assuming you filled the network before placing the worm) unleash your giant screaming worm of doom upon their base.

A couple pointers:
 -You can rally your hatcheries directly into the network
 - If this is in a team game, save up for an additional worm(s) to place inside their ally's base. When you have obliterated the victim's base, send your units back into the worm they came out of, then place one in their ally's base, and jump right over their expansions. This allows you to easily target tech and production buildings, but does not efficiently harass their mineral lines.

Hey guys great podcast. I just wanted to send in a 2v2 combo that was amazing for me. A double proxy with terran and zerg. Terran gets fast expand 3 racks reapers and zerg pumps the CRAP out of zerglings. Reapers hop in the back and lings pressure front.The only flaw in this would be your bases when you are attacking but when terran fast expands you must get double gas because you need the planitary fortress. If you maze the entrance to both basses then your set.

Ps fast expand for terran HAS to be 6 or 7 scv's and zerglings protect you until reapers comeout.

Whilst working my way at pace to the bottom of the EU bronze league, I've noticed that league position is calculated on points and wins, but I'm completely clueless as to how points are gained and also what the league "bonus points" pool is.  Last time I checked I had at least one win chalked up but no points.  Was hopin' you could shed some light on these things for me.


Hey guys I am brand new to StarCraft 2 and I am looking to join a group of people online to play with, and who wont totally kick my butt right away and help me along.  I would love to join what ever clan you create.

-Forums Soon to Come

IvantheTerrible (south african no internet listener)
Haha, Oh YesSSs! You guys are awesome! And yes, it was a joke... Good news, I did get internet this week, and the REAL game, FTW!!

Adam  (*Comma*)
Hey guys, I thought I'd inform you of the secret mission. During the campaign, as you cannot do this after you have beaten the game, during the Media Blitz mission try and find a Science Vessel in the bottom right, and pick up its loot. This will unlock a secret mission from the StarMap called "Peircing the Shroud" *period* Anyways have fun playing and character code for anyone who wants to add me. (Isadork 165).

Just in case you were curious, there are currently four independent
cracks for SC2. No one can ever make it hard for pirates; within about
two hours of release there was already a crack for the campaign. The
harder you make it, the more teams will be interested in being the
first to win.
You talked about how important the multiplayer content is and since
LAN is not included a legitimate copy is the only way one can access
it. If the multiplayer is truly the core of the experience, pirating
the game will only provide you with a taste of Starcraft 2. The best
way to stop pirates is to include persistent value for actually
purchasing a copy of the software, be it additional content in games
or extended support features in utilities. That is how you stop
pirating and how industries flourish in the age of the internet.

Monday, August 2, 2010

#16 - StarCast: "Epic Launch Detected"

Episode 16


The obvious:
StarCraft II launches worldwide.  
Analysts predict sales of up to 7 million copies by the end of the year.  Generating $350 million in sales.

Name Thing
Your StarCraft II character name will be the only one you get.  When logging into SC2 we were greeted with this:
“Welcome to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.  When logging into StarCraft for the first time you will be prompted to create your character.  This is the name you’ll go by on Battle.Net and while playing in all multiplayer games.  You only get on shot to choose your permanent character name.  So make it count!”
AKA ButtFuz

Reviews come late  
This is normal with beefy, large-content games.  Much like with MMO’s, gaming sites like IGN and Gametrailers need more time to make a complete review of the game.  Overall reaction to the game is positive however.  But honestly, it’s a Blizzard game.  No surprise there.
Kotaku’s Review:
Gametrailer’s Score: 9.5
Gametrailer’s Review:

StarCraft II’s campaign can be finished in 16 hours.


Mar writes:
hey guys.
Here is a strat that will really make your jaws drop. a proxy hatchery. on a 1v1 map u put all of your drones to work BUT 1. the one that u leave out send him to your appoints base and hide him in a dark corner. then as fast as you  make a hatchery in his base. when you start the proxy work on a pool at your main base. then make zerglings from your main to attack the front and make drones from the proxy for spine's.... with a queens and lost of spines/ zerglings you can win in about 8 mins. if you can talk about this strat on the show I'd love it....i love the show it makes work go by very fast.

Grimdore writes:
I was listening to your podcast, and one of the writers asked about which race combo works best in 2v2, and you mentioned a double zerg team with ling rush is deadly.  This is very true as well as a reaper rush when your playing protoss.  The thing that saves over all is to build to early cannons, and proxy your base around your economy line with the cannons resting behind your bigger buildings. This prevents the lings easy access to your cannons and supply long enough for your cannons to mame.

Matt asks:
What is a good counter against roaches?

Roger writes:
Hey guys,
A lot of the listeners seem to have a wrong opinion about Dark Templars. They are amazing units but don't nearly have the potency that some of the listeners describe in the higher tiers. DKs have the distinct disadvantage of diminishing returns, the more you use them the less likely they are going to be useful later (there are exceptions to this of course since it will make the opponent wary of attacking without detectors and may tie up robotics facilities and starports).
Think about how many structures are needed before you can fast rush with DKs, You need a Gate, C-Core,Twilight Council and Dark Shrine, if your opponent attacks with a small diverse force you won't be able to defend. For example I once lost against a force of Marines and Hellions.  
However thats not to say that Dks are bad units. They are a scalpel unit, use them to make small surgical cuts in your opponents forces that keep him/her busy enough to strike with your main forces.
For example using stalkers to attack from the front while you perform a DK drop with warp prism into mineral lines is a great way to use them. Stalkers are your fastest units so you can always pull out if you dont think you can win, but in the mean time your DKs will decimate a mineral line. A single DK does 45 damage and if you have 2-4 dropped while your opponent is distracted it is devastating.
It is probably the single best unit against a fast expand zerg. If you can kill drones while keeping forces engaged your opponent will have a hard time balancing production.
Anyways love the show, but wish you guys had a toss player. If you guys ever need one though let me know, my favorite race is toss and then terran and although I'm not the best player in the world I know and understand each and every unit and structure.


Anonymous writes:
Hi guys it's mr anonymous again and I was wondering what you guys thought was the worst unit. Also what do you guys think is the least used unit.
Great show 5/5

Mr anonymous

Richard writes:
I love listening to your show, talking about Starcraft is great!  Every week I mean to write in to say something great about the show and add a few cents.
For example, a few shows ago when talking about Steven Colbert you guys were trying to remember the name of Pow Wow, FSU's version on Gator Growl.  Almost every year FSU gets better guests then UF does, but you've got to be an FSU fan so remember to take the good with the bad.
But I'm writing today to say one thing, Dont buy a Mac book to play Starcraft!  You guys dont sound like you are made of money, why would you throw away so much cash so frivolously?  Obviously you guys like Apple products so I'm not going to bore you with logic about why its a poor investment other than to say this.  Every Mac / Windows cross platform game requiresmore horsepower on the mac platform1, 2, 3, and at the same time every equal horsepower device costs so much more under the Mac banner.  So you'll end up paying a lot more for something that will be obsolete sooner.
You'd be much better off building a desktop system for gaming, get a cheaper laptop for running Diablo and all your usual portable needs.  While you're in Florida I'll even build it for you!  But if your lifestyle really requires you to game on a laptop, invest in a linux / windows based laptop.  You'll find more apps available for less money on this platform, and honestly it 'just works'.

But if you ignore everything I just said, keep up the great work on the show.  I love it!

Granite returns with:
hey everybody just wanted to say that in the ghosts of the past trailer, the badge matt handed raynor was his old marshal badge, from when he was marshal on mar sara. Also you should really read heaven devils the book it explains so much of the lore.
PS. in reference to comments made last week my email is my real name .
PPS. have you heard anything about a Ryk Kyde in wings of liberty

Zes writes:
Hello starcast. i recently played my placement matches and won 5/5 of them, placing me in the platinum league. so i was wondering, how do you get up to diamond league? i figured 5/5 wins would put me in the best one.
Thanks, sincerely,

Ivan writes:
I really enjoy the show, thanx..keep up the good work.
I live in the wonderful country of South Africa, but unfortunately do NOT have Internet at home :( so I'm one of the many people who are appalled at the fact that SC2 is only online. I never played allot of SC1 but did and still do enjoy WarCraft 3, especially DotA.  (I got this uber cracked version of SC2 with a maphack which lets me play against ai without ever having to connect to Bnet which is wonderful for now but would like to play against people at some point when my game is respectable ;).... SssssHHHhhh, don't tell anyone!) But i would really like to play the campaign as well, which i also cant do.. this really sux!
Anyway, hope to get Internet soon and then maybe (if i can afford it) SC2. If/When I do get internet and the game which server (US/Euro) should I play on?
Thanx again, sincerely your loyal listener / fan / subscriber... ;D