Any way to improve my game without micro//hotkeys?

#1 Edited by JoyfullOFrockets (1177 posts) -

So I'm not super great at strategy games. But I did have quite an interest in SC2, yet really didn't think it was enough to warant a buy.
 
Well, my friend bought me SC2 as a present. Now I have to try and do something with this, whether I like it or not. I do find the game enjoyable, yet most of the time, I end up losing badly. I can generally multi task and click on stuff quickly, but I don't use hotkeys worth a damn, nor do micromanage or all of that.
 
See, I'm fine with losing 1v1 matches. It doesn't gimme that feel that I let someone down. But when people end up blaming me for a loss in 3v3 or 4v4, just bums me out. I know there's tons of dudes out there who get a field day out of it, but still, it'd be better if I can try and do at least something beneficial.
 
My strategies are pretty standard. Usually I block off my base, try and expand as fast as possible, that sort of thing. But I don't really have any good ideas for offense. Playing as Terrans, since I have absolutely no clue as how to utilize Zerg or Protoss adequately.

#2 Posted by jimmy5150 (122 posts) -

you can get pretty good at the game by perfecting your macro, but you need need NEED to use hotkeys for that.  you can use a build order map like YABOT to practice your opening, but as a terran player I found that playing through the campaign helped my hotkeys a lot.  There isn't nearly as much pressure in single player, so you can take the time to mouse over what you want to build and learn the hotkey for it.  IT all becomes intuitive pretty quickly.

#3 Posted by TomA (2531 posts) -

play Toss. They are hard to get proficient with but once you do you will dominate the playing field.

#4 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Terran_Strategy  
 
Check some of these out, pick one that you think suits your style, and practice it. 
 
Also, for hotkeys, go into your interface options and change to Grid. This makes your keyboard function like a "Grid" on the command area. So the top left button is Q, the next button to the right is W, etc. 
 
This makes it a lot simpler to learn hotkeys. It can be a bit daunting at first; I remember when I refused to use a keyboard. Then once you start, and get used to it, you have a revelation along the lines of : "how the how did I even enjoy myself when I wasn't using the keyboard?". It really doesn't take that long once you start. You just have to force yourself a bit. Instead of clicking to build buildings, hit the proper hotkey. Instead of clicking on Attack to Attack Move, hit T and click (or A if you decide not to use Grid). 
 
To answer your question, yes, you can improve without hotkeys. Having a good, solid build is more important than extremely fast clicking. However, executing this build is important too. And spending a little bit of time getting used to hotkeys will let you execute it at a much higher efficiency.  
 
Edit: Also, ignore people blaming you if you use a team game. I'm a diamond (highest league) level player who is 99% of the time the highest scorer, generally responsible for much of our minor victories, and I still get called out as calling our loss. It's just immature people who generally aren't very good themselves and want to blame anyone but themselves. Ignore them. 
#5 Posted by jimmy5150 (122 posts) -
@Pinworm45 said:
"Edit: Also, ignore people blaming you if you use a team game. I'm a diamond (highest league) level player who is 99% of the time the highest scorer, generally responsible for much of our minor victories, and I still get called out as calling our loss. It's just immature people who generally aren't very good themselves and want to blame anyone but themselves. Ignore them.  "
Forgot to add this to my reply, well said pinworm.  
@JoyfullOFrockets:
   I find that team games are the best mode in Starcraft when you are playing with friends, but is the worst mode to play with random people.  Team up with friends or Giant Bomb folks if you want to have fun/receive constructive feedback on your play instead of getting chewed out by your own teammates each game. 
#6 Posted by JoyfullOFrockets (1177 posts) -
@jimmy5150 said:
" @Pinworm45 said:
"Edit: Also, ignore people blaming you if you use a team game. I'm a diamond (highest league) level player who is 99% of the time the highest scorer, generally responsible for much of our minor victories, and I still get called out as calling our loss. It's just immature people who generally aren't very good themselves and want to blame anyone but themselves. Ignore them.  "
Forgot to add this to my reply, well said pinworm.  
@JoyfullOFrockets:
   I find that team games are the best mode in Starcraft when you are playing with friends, but is the worst mode to play with random people.  Team up with friends or Giant Bomb folks if you want to have fun/receive constructive feedback on your play instead of getting chewed out by your own teammates each game.  "
Hmm, okay man. Thanks to everyone for the advice. My battle.net email is therealjohnyman@abv.bg. Add me so we can play some team games :)
#7 Posted by Addfwyn (1934 posts) -

You can get better without hotkeys, but they such a vital part of SC2, and one of the best ways you'll notice a huge improvement in your gameplay.  Being able to macro during a fight without having to look away requires hotkeys, and is just such an integral skill to have.   
 
Have you played through the single-player challenges yet, there is a set of 9 and they help with some of the fundamental skills.  Getting gold in all of them isn't too bad, and will help you a lot.  There's even one challenge designed to help you learn hotkeys better, as it doesn't allow you to click any of the command buttons.

#8 Posted by mikeprime (17 posts) -
@JoyfullOFrockets said:
" So I'm not super great at strategy games. But I did have quite an interest in SC2, yet really didn't think it was enough to warant a buy.  Well, my friend bought me SC2 as a present. Now I have to try and do something with this, whether I like it or not. I do find the game enjoyable, yet most of the time, I end up losing badly. I can generally multi task and click on stuff quickly, but I don't use hotkeys worth a damn, nor do micromanage or all of that.  See, I'm fine with losing 1v1 matches. It doesn't gimme that feel that I let someone down. But when people end up blaming me for a loss in 3v3 or 4v4, just bums me out. I know there's tons of dudes out there who get a field day out of it, but still, it'd be better if I can try and do at least something beneficial.  My strategies are pretty standard. Usually I block off my base, try and expand as fast as possible, that sort of thing. But I don't really have any good ideas for offense. Playing as Terrans, since I have absolutely no clue as how to utilize Zerg or Protoss adequately. "  
First, I'd say don't play a game unless you enjoy it.  If you find team games to be stressful skip 'em and enjoy the 1v1.  Oddly enough, if you don't find ladder games a little nerve wracking then you're a better man then I.  
 
Second, learning keybindings and controll groups are some fairly basic things that will definitely help you get better at the game.  I'd suggest switching to the grid keybindings as they're easier to learn by simply looking the grid of buttons in your lower right corner.  If you can touch type a little bit you should be able to pretty easily translate what you see into the appropriate keybindings.   Control groups are huge because they can allow you to cope with managing both the macro (economy stuff like base building, producing works and mining, calling down mules and scans, spawn larva, chronoboost) and micro (controll of your units in battle) aspects of the game.   
 
A quick example of control groups.  I'm a pretty newb player so take this with a grain of salt as this is not "THE WAY", just "a way" to lay out your control groups. 
 
Typically at the start of a match I do: 
 
1. Start my workers mining 
2. Select my CC/Hatch/Nexus and hit "Ctrl+4" to create a control group containing that core building. 
3. hit 4 and then "q" to start building a worker while setting the rally point to my minerals 
4. Build more workers as usual, build a supply depot, etc.  When you build your barracks, as it's building go ahead and select it and add it to "Ctrl+5".  
 
At this point you can hit 4 and "q" to build workers regardless of what you're looking at or where you are.  So if you're controlling your units in the field you can still be producing extra scv's or easily calling down a scan on the battlefield to expose stealthed units. 
 
As you build guys from your barracks add them to there own control group.  For instance, if you send out a scout early (around 9-10 supply) you might put that scout in a control group "CTRL-1" for example.  Then you can send them running out to your opponents base by clicking on the minimap.  As soon as they get there you can just hit 1 twice to jump immediately to the location of the unit / building in the 1 control group. 
 
This way you might have a couple different forces and a base or 2 all setup to easily jump between.   
 
Oh, and last but not least:  Say you expand.  Want to add your new CC to the 4 control group?  Just select the new CC and hit "SHIFT+4" and you'll add it to group 4 instead of overwriting the group.  This is usually a lot easier then selecting everything again so you can hit CTRL+4.   
   
By using control groups you should be able to mount an attack on your opponent and still produce more units to reinforce the ones you lose while fighting which is extremely important. 
 
Anyway, those two things really helped me focus more on important things like scouting, map control, etc and are really not as hard to learn as you might think.
#9 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
@mikeprime said:

 Typically at the start of a match I do: 
 
1. Start my workers mining 
2. Select my CC/Hatch/Nexus and hit "Ctrl+4" to create a control group containing that core building. 
3. hit 4 and then "q" to start building a worker while setting the rally point to my minerals 
4. Build more workers as usual, build a supply depot, etc.  When you build your barracks, as it's building go ahead and select it and add it to "Ctrl+5".  

Pro tip: select CC/Hatch/Nexus and start a worker building FIRST THING. 
 
Doesn't really make a huge difference, but your early economy will be slightly more robust if you get that worker training in the first second of the game.
#10 Posted by mikeprime (17 posts) -
@Ravenlight said:
" @mikeprime said:

 Typically at the start of a match I do: 
 
1. Start my workers mining 
2. Select my CC/Hatch/Nexus and hit "Ctrl+4" to create a control group containing that core building. 
3. hit 4 and then "q" to start building a worker while setting the rally point to my minerals 
4. Build more workers as usual, build a supply depot, etc.  When you build your barracks, as it's building go ahead and select it and add it to "Ctrl+5".  

Pro tip: select CC/Hatch/Nexus and start a worker building FIRST THING.  Doesn't really make a huge difference, but your early economy will be slightly more robust if you get that worker training in the first second of the game. "
Heh :-) I did mention I'm pretty newb.  Thanks for the tip. 
#11 Posted by Bigrhyno (505 posts) -

Using Hotkeys makes strategy games considerably easier. I highly suggest practicing using them.

#12 Posted by Chokobo (1228 posts) -

Use hotkeys, basically.

#13 Posted by StarvingGamer (8370 posts) -
@JoyfullOFrockets: The easiest way to get better at playing 3v3 and 4v4 without hotkeys is to give your allies control of your units.  Then you can just focus on building inside of your base.
#14 Posted by Turambar (6808 posts) -
 http://day9tv.blip.tv/file/3732340/
  
There are some very basic things you can do to improve your game as that Day9Daily shows.  Hotkeys are important to make your play efficient, but just plain remembering to do things like constantly making workers and units goes a long way to making you comfortable with the basic of the game.
#15 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

You only need to worry about intense micro once you become a higher level player. Hotkeys on the other hand are super super easy to learn. Just learn the supply depot, barracks, marine, and marauder, then from their just add more until you have them down, it's really not that hard at all. So yeah, just mass up units and attack, watch a Day 9 Daily, make sure your build is smooth and your using up all your money.

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