New to SC2

#1 Posted by Spitznock (539 posts) -

Hey folks, I'm pretty new to SC2. I was curious if anyone was aware of a good learning series, but one that is more focused around learning the individual units and their counters, and less about build orders/gimmicky strategies/etc.

The in-game help menus say what units are and how to spawn them, and they say what units are good or bad against, but it doesn't say why they're good or bad against such and such.

I'm just looking for a good resource (be it a video series, a written guide or what-have-you) to explain unit/structure mechanics and how they intermingle.

Thanks!

#2 Posted by TruthTellah (9153 posts) -

My favorite introduction to SC2 is watching the Giant Bomb Thursday Night Throwdown videos of Brad and Norm playing SCII. If you watch the first and second one, they sort of explain how the game works.

Outside of that, I recommend checking out Day9. He makes videos specifically helping out new players and just having fun. Just google search for Day9 and watch his many Daily videos on Blip.tv. :)

#3 Edited by MentalDisruption (1639 posts) -

As far as written guides go, I google'd but can't find anything that's up to date with the current patches and actually good material. Not sure about videos because I didn't take the time to look through youtube. Really it doesn't matter though. I know that may sound weird, but knowing the ins and outs of how the units damage each other won't win you games. That's stuff you learn when you get to higher leagues. Focus on just learning the basic mechanics for the races and your macro. If you get that down well then it won't matter what you're building. Once you get to that point then you can start worrying about how this unit is what you should be building against that, but honestly, once you play enough to have good enough macro you should be fairly knowledgeable about why units work against other units. You can learn that easily enough from experience. Don't put the cart before the horse.

Also watch day9's funday mondays and newb tuesdays. They're an invaluable learning tool. I've also heard good things about this video series, http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=330787 , but I've never watched it myself so I can't vouch for it's content.

#4 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3052 posts) -

Day[9] is the best out there. Look for his Blip.tv channel for archives.

#5 Posted by YI_Orange (1151 posts) -

As other people said, Day9. Once you have the basics down, the thing that worked best for me was watching pros. Find some streams of Pros, check out the GSL, or NASL, or MLG, or the million other tournaments. Take mental(or written) notes of what they do and try to emulate them. If you get into enough where you're willing to drop money, I'd say get into the GSL. Artosis is one of the best casters for learning things.

#6 Posted by Spitznock (539 posts) -

I'll definitely check Day9 out. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

#7 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

I feel like I am mentally incapable of learning how to play StarCraft 2. I can barely make it through the third level of that game on easy. I think my brain's just not wired for strategy games.

#8 Posted by L1GHTN1N (458 posts) -

Check out Day[9] as others have said. Thanks in large part to him (and some practice on my part) I've gone from bronze to platinum, he's really good at breaking things down and explaining why you do this; he's also pretty damn funny.

Start out with #252, #257, and #262? as he shows you some basic tips you might not think of. After that check out teamliquid.net, they are one of the biggest SC2 forums and fairly newbie friendly.

#9 Posted by DystopiaX (5315 posts) -

@Spitznock: I learned by just watching tournament games or casted games from youtube. You'll pick up the current metastrategy and the things you're looking for that way, and you'll see some epic games to boot.

#10 Posted by endless_void (706 posts) -

I personally learned the basic unit traits and counters just from watching/playing matches. Just remember to A-attack and don't mess up basic game mechanica. I'd be able to help alot more if I knew which race you were. Btw, day9 daily is the best show to watch to improve. There isn't anything that comes close honestly.

#11 Posted by ImaTreee (209 posts) -

watch day9 and some streams on twitch.tv to see what the pros do. it may be hard to follow at first but you'll start to understand when to build things after a while of watching.

#12 Posted by csl316 (8766 posts) -

Just go straight to Blizzard's overview.

Honestly, it's the best place to start. They got their cool little videos, and if you go to race overview they have detailed stuff about every single unit. Strengths, weaknesses, counters, etc. I'm sure people at the highest levels will point out flaws in what they have, but to learn the game it's a great place to go. Maybe if you want a bit more in depth as to the "why," check out the Liquipedia. When I started watching stuff I pretty much had that open at all times.

Day9's good and all, but he'll spend a good 20% of the time just wasting your time trying to be funny. I hate to say it since I used to watch him. But last time I tried I thought... get to the point. Plus he's got around 450 videos at this point so it'll take some time to find what you're looking for.

I guess you can't go wrong with the Artosis Hour for seeing the pros, although you said you aren't that interested in strategies right now. Only a handful of episodes so far but Artosis is one hell of an analytical caster. Maybe you'll pick something up.

This was the first introductory episode, so the game probably starts around 15 minutes in.

#13 Posted by TruthTellah (9153 posts) -

@csl316: When someone's starting out, having that added bit of fun from a comedian/caster like Day9 is a great thing. If he looks up Day9 and the basics, he'll find plenty of great videos about how to get the basics down.

Specifically search for "Day9 Back to Basics" and "Day9 Refining Mechanics" series. Plus Daily #252. And "Day9 The simplest daily ever", a really short one focused on a basic build. (and remember, singleplayer teaches the mechanics decently. Focus on multi after singleplayer if possible)

Daily #269 is a great one, as well. How to get into SCII:

Back to Basics: http://blip.tv/day9tv/day-9-daily-132-back-to-the-basics-the-mental-checklist-3751430

The simplest daily ever: http://blip.tv/day9tv/day-9-daily-306-a-simple-plan-hasuobs-pvt-5210490

#14 Posted by csl316 (8766 posts) -

@TruthTellah: True, the dude's charismatic and one of the reasons I got into watching stuff. But when I spent some unemployment time watching every single GSL match (back when Tastosis did everything), I started to turn. And I don't play much anymore, so of course it'd get a bit boring for me.

Day9 is a-ok, just not for me anymore. Maybe for the TC!

#15 Edited by Spitznock (539 posts) -

I'm not all that interested in the super serious tournament stuff or perfecting ideal build orders, nor placing super high on the leaderboards. I'm just looking to get familiar enough with all of the units/buildings to know what I'm doing and have a good time. Thanks for all of the responses though; I'll keep rummaging through this Day9 guys stuff and picking out the information I need.

The link csl316 provided (to the the official site) is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a ton, sir! I suppose I should have at least looked at Blizzard's site before coming here, but I figured the site would just contain the same information as the in-game Help section. Curse my hubris.

#16 Posted by TruthTellah (9153 posts) -

@csl316: When Artosis and Day9 cast together, now that is when things get good. ha.

I do love me some Tastosis for tournament casting, but when I'm just looking for something basic, casual, or silly with SCII, Day9 is the man I go to. :)

SCII can be so intimidating at first, and Sean just does a great job making it accessible. To me, that's one of his biggest legacies as a caster.

#17 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3211 posts) -

Watch tons of streams.

#18 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -

@Spitznock: The only way to really find out is to play. The multiplayer matchmaking is so good that you'll always be paired with people around your skill level, even if you have no idea how to play. You can learn build orders but they won't really teach you why one unit is better than another, only that it is. Learn how to do a simple build order, eg.:

  • Terran: Marine Marauder (Bioball)
  • Protoss: 4 gate
  • Zerg: 14 pool/Roach rush

Then just play it by ear. Build orders only take up to the first five-seven minutes anyway, after that it's a bit flexible. Just mess around and see what works. Always remember that marines beat everything.

#19 Posted by MacEG (255 posts) -

@Jrinswand said:

I feel like I am mentally incapable of learning how to play StarCraft 2. I can barely make it through the third level of that game on easy. I think my brain's just not wired for strategy games.

I'm a fan of FPS (CS and Tribes) and I figured out that in those games, you can pretty much turn off a lot of your mind and it'll come down to how fast your hand/eye/mouse coordination is. (I'm pretty sure I just offended everyone in the CS and Tribes forums).

I started playing multiplayer a couple months ago and realized that I almost need to be red lining my mental faculty(ies?) to play Starcraft and be any good at it. (Make SCVs/build rax/pump units out/build gas/whatsthatdudedoing/VOID RAYS?/HOWTHEHELLDIDHEGETTHATMANYVOIDRAYS?!/I'mDead/Ihatethisgame/whydoIwastemytimeplayingthisstupidgame/GG/Okaymaybejustonemore.)

Anyways, keep with it if you're even mildly enjoying it. It'll click one day and you'll start to really enjoy and appreciate the game.

I think that's what you mean right?

#20 Posted by Sweep (8872 posts) -

@ShadowConqueror said:

Day[9] is the best out there. Look for his Blip.tv channel for archives.

Day[9] is my hero and I love him <3 <3 <3

Moderator
#21 Posted by csl316 (8766 posts) -
@Spitznock

I'm not all that interested in the super serious tournament stuff or perfecting ideal build orders, nor placing super high on the leaderboards. I'm just looking to get familiar enough with all of the units/buildings to know what I'm doing and have a good time. Thanks for all of the responses though; I'll keep rummaging through this Day9 guys stuff and picking out the information I need.

The link csl316 provided (to the the official site) is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a ton, sir! I suppose I should have at least looked at Blizzard's site before coming here, but I figured the site would just contain the same information as the in-game Help section. Curse my hubris.

Their site's actually come a long way in 2 years. They've done a ton of refinement to make it an accesible guide to newcomers. Glad I could help!
#22 Posted by Shinji_Rarenai (73 posts) -

I agree that Day[9] is a great resource.

However, I don't know that you need to concentrate on the counters too much in the beginning. I think the most important thing to be able to do is to be able to fight while still managing the base at home and making more units and buildings. If you have enough of an army, it doesn't matter if your opponent has the counter units - you will still win. Often, it's better to build anything instead of pausing to think of what unit you should make to counter the other player's units. Making the wrong unit is better than not making anything while you're still trying to decide.

Of course, there are a few exceptions - Some units cannot attack air units. Some air units cannot attack ground units. Some units cannot be seen unless you have a "detector." If you manage to remember those, I think you'll be fine for a start.

Good luck!

#23 Posted by Spitznock (539 posts) -

Quick question: Is there a way to spawn units directly into a hotkey group without having to manually add them?

Say I have a handful of Hydras (assigned to say the 3 key). I want to spawn in another wave of Hydras and have them join the 3 key's binding. Is there a way to do this without doing what I've been doing so far which entails hitting the hotkey then Ctrl+Shift clicking the spawn pods to select everything and reapply the hotkey?

I'm aware that I can set the rally point on one of the units in my hotkey's group and they'll automatically run out to follow them, but that doesn't give me full control over em. I could set them to rally onto an existing group and then simply select them all once they group up and hotkey from there, but if I'm attacking someone this gets a little hairy.

(Maybe it wasn't such a quick question, but I wanted to be clear in what I'm asking.)

#24 Posted by Chronologist (267 posts) -

@Spitznock: No. However you can just select the new hydras and shift+[hotkey]. Ctrl+[hotkey] creates a new hotkey group, whereas shift+[hotkey] adds the selected units to the already existing hotkeygroup.

This usually results in having a set rally point at your army or somewhere else, and box-selecting all your units (if you only want specific units in the hotkeygroup you can ctrl-select or double.click those units), and shift+[hotkey] to add the new units to the army.

Hope that helped :)

#25 Posted by Spitznock (539 posts) -

I see. S'unfortunate. It would be convenient if there were the option to set a rally point onto your hotkey, and have the game smartly guide those units to that hotkey group's position, but I suppose a few key-presses won't kill me.

While we're on the habit of asking silly questions: when grouping multiple types of units in one cluster (lets say melee units and caster units), is there a good way to make sure you'll always be able to hit the caster's ability keybinds without having to select them manually on the battlefield?

#26 Posted by Chronologist (267 posts) -

@Spitznock: hmm, that depends on the units. I believe the game has a prioritization-thing where a certain unit will always be represented as the "leader" unit in the group (seen by the highlight in the bottom of the unit panel, and the fact that you see their abilities in the panel to the right. For example if you have infestors and zerglings in one group, you will always be able to use the infestor abilities because they have a higher priority than the zerglings. You can cycle between the different unit types with the Tab key, if you want to access the other units abilities (if they have any).

The game is pretty smart about this actually, for example to use stim on marines and marauders you only have to click T once, and it stims both the marines and the marauders if you have them in the same group. I don't know all these things for zerg specifically though, since I don't play zerg. Sorry I didn't help much there :(

#27 Posted by Spitznock (539 posts) -

@Chronologist: I had no idea I could Tab between unit types. That's tremendously useful, thank you!

#28 Edited by Chronologist (267 posts) -

@Spitznock: You're welcome :) Happy to help

EDIT: It also works with buildings.

#29 Edited by MentalDisruption (1639 posts) -

@Spitznock: In addition to tabbing, it's also a good idea to just put them on a seperate hotkey. That ends up being less keystrokes and is easier to control in a chaotic battle. Ex: have your lings, banelings, and infestors on hotkey 1, and then bind the infestors to hotkey 2 and the banes to hotkey 3 so that you can quickly select them on the fly. Ideally you'd want to leave the infestors and probably even the banelings out of hotkey 1 altogether in this example, but sometimes new players find that tougher to control when moving everything at once so it's up to you.

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