Monday, August 9, 2010

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

StarCast Show #17


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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.