By Juvenfly 10 Comments
So Starcraft 2 has obviously been out in the wild for a while now, and now that my review has been featured on the front page (woot!), I thought I'd give some updated multiplayer impressions. In short, I've been sucked in, and I did indeed end up buying a new rig so that I could get better performance. But the real point I want to make is that the multiplayer system that Blizzard has put in place for this game seems to work. I'm usually skeptical of matchmaking systems in general, and that wasn't exactly helped initially when I beat a Protoss opponent rushing to void rays in the silver league and came out rank 10 platinum. I didn't play a game for a day after that because I was certain I'd just get destroyed by the competition.
Turns out...that's not the case. At least for the time being, Platinum league seems completely manageable for a casual player like myself. I've watched some tutorials (I can highly recommend ForceSC2Strategy as well as day and the like for those of you looking for some good info on improving your game) and learned some hotkeys. That along with getting a general sense of counters and standard strategies has been more than enough to make me feel competitive in Platinum league. Apparently there's still a significant skill gap even between a lot of upper diamond league players and the pros, which is understandable. After all, this game has a much larger audience than the first, so it just makes sense that there will be a lot more "good but not great" players filling up the leagues, and that's exactly the category I like to think I fit into.
There's been a lot of complaining about Terran's being overpowered in the current game build (and as a Terran player, I don't disagree), but honestly, even in the upper platinum league, general player skill is still the biggest determining factor. Starcraft is an intensely macro focused game (by that I mean economy/base-building), and the best advice I can give to newer players who may be struggling in bronze and silver leagues is never stop building workers. Mo' money, mo' units. Until you get into the higher leagues you can really get away with minimal micro (army control) as long as your macro is good. Hotkey your production buildings (I have all my unit-production buildings set to 1 and all my command centers set to 2) and get used to periodically switching back to queue up a new set of units. It's really much better to only have one or two units queued up at once so that you don't have money tied up in units that won't be out on the field for another 5 minutes. Instead, use that money to build an expansion or grab some unit upgrades. You want to keep your unspent resources as low as possible, but you also want them to be doing something for you right now, not 5 minutes from now when that 5th siege tank you queued up finally pops out.
Anyway, I guess the whole point is, even for a guy who never really got hardcore into SC1 multiplayer back in the day, Blizzard has found a way to make SC2 all that much more appealing. They've streamlined enough that I don't feel like I'm completely clueless as to how anything in the game works, and even though it's only been a few weeks since the game came out, I've definitely gotten my $60 worth. It's a shame school's starting back up :)