Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Starcraft 2 Harrassment and Cheese

Hey there everyone, Markco here with my first post at Super Game Bros. Jhaman and I have been playing a lot of SC2 lately, even taking out some great players from as high up as master league. In our long journey to learning SC2, we are coming across truisms in the game that all players can relate to.

For this post I'd like to talk about the truth behind the effectiveness of harassment and "cheese." In reality there is no such thing as "cheese" because you cannot cheat at starcraft 2. However, there is such a thing as an economy destroying all in scenario that many players use to get into the master leagues. The way it works is that your opponents can alter their builds to be ultra defensive or they can lose the match in five minutes. Common cheeses include bunker, cannon and spine crawler rushes. Others include two hatcheries pumping out zerglings or even a proxy hatchery. Two players going all marines and zealots is another common and very powerful early strategy that cripples both economies but more often than not catches opponents completely off guard.

I'm coming to the realization from seeing these cheese strategies that you must have an early playstyle that either counters or is cheese itself. You cannot simply scout and hope to spot everything, you need to instead open up with units that beat common tier one cheese and counter their pushes. Just think about what happens when you do spot cheese: you bunker down and attempt to survive. Why not instead go on the offensive with units that counter them and do so from the get go instead of waiting to spot the cheese? Marines/marauders, roaches/zerglings and zealots/sentries all do well countering the early pushes of cheese players.

By opening with a counter to cheese I can then adjust my build to fit the situation. If a player is instead teching then my early push will kill or cripple him. Why not learn from the cheesers and punish anyone who isn't prepared for early pushes? Next, I can move on to building harassment units that compliment my main army and act as economic doom for my opponent. It all starts with the cheese though, you have to be able to either counter it or do it better than your opponent. From what I've seen, starcraft macro determines the outcome of the game more than anything else, and it all begins with a cheesy opener.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lava Corridors!

Hey guys, just wanted to inform you of a little custom starcraft 2 map that I made. It's called "lava Corridors" on Battle.net.

It's a standard melee map with a single twist, Three paths on the map are covered with lava. Controlling a Xel'Naga tower lowers that lava.

It's a pretty nifty gimmick but it's a a good but of fun to play. Plays very close to standard melee, except for the lava of course!

-Jhaman

Friday, May 20, 2011

Amnesia is Memorable

I recently played the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Finally! Some of you probably realize that the game has been out for quite awhile and a lot of people have been talking about it. I bought the game after hearing so much press and found it hard to make myself play the game.

I do not like horror movies. I am a total wimp usually when it comes to that stuff. After having the game sit on my hard drive for about 3 days I finally opened it and played it. Of course the first thing it tells you is that Amnesia is a game that you play to immerse yourself in. It is not a game that you play to beat. As a student of game design I found that intriguing. Right off the bat the developers had to create a mindset of the player that they were inf act running around this haunted mansion/castle/dungeon/sewer/whatever this thing is supposed to be. It was not subtle, it was direct, in your face and absolutely brutal. It was telling you throw out everything you know about games and just play this without trying to over-think it.


I of course, have no way of doing that. Especially if I want clean underwear when I'm through. I played the game, it took about 6 hours for me to beat, and yes a couple times i did Jump, but those were closer to the beginning of the game. By the end of it there were no real unknowns that started throwing me for a loop. I think the scariest thing about horror games and movies is the unknown. Amnesia really tries to play with that. It has the character your playing as have absolutely no idea who he is or was. By the middle of he game though you have a pretty good understanding of what is going on and that you are slowly progressing towards a climactic ending.

There are only a few monsters and you can easily avoid them most of the time.

So basically I'm downplaying the game as a game itself, and the problem is the game was already stated as not being a game in the opening credits. Wow that's a mind-trip. So for how it is, its a great game, for an absolute great price. If you like horror films/games then you will love this game, If you just enjoy game design then you will enjoy picking apart this game, as I did. The atmosphere the game creates is perfect and the level design and spooks that are thrown at you really are awesome.

The best thing about this game though is its level editor. You can download the level editor for free and easily create your own horror adventure story with their simple editor. Level design itself is relatively simple if you've worked with any 3D creation program before The scripting and programming are a little more advanced, but their are good number of resources online that will help you try and get the hang of it.

If you haven't heard of Amnesia:the Dark Descent, then you need to read some more video game websites. If you have heard of it and haven't tried it yet, then you're missing out on a wonderful experience. Check out Amnesia you won't forget it.

Have you tried Amnesia? How did you fare in this world of horrible things?

Starcraft 2 Ghosts

Probably one of the most underused units in the Terran arsenal are its casters; Ghosts and Ravens. The highest level of gamers obviously use these units when they're required or they include them in their build, but for the lower level platinum level and below players including these units into your build feels like a very large leap from the norm. If you are going for Marine's and marauders and all of a sudden you want to include ghosts it can really throw off your game. That barracks that you're so use to producing from to get the "proper" amount of Marines and Marauders is now being used for the ghosts.

Lets look at some stats about ghosts:
  • Cost: 200 Minerals 100 Gas
  • Build Time: 45 Seconds
  • Upgrades: +Infantry Attack/+Infantry Armor, Mobeius Reactor(+25 Starting Energy), and Cloak.
  • Classification: Biological, Psionic.
  • Damage: 10
    vs. Light: 20
  • Range:6
  • Weapon Speed: 1.5
  • Targets: Air and Ground
  • Each Infantry upgrade increases the attack of a ghost by +1 normal/+2 light
    With 3 attack upgrades a ghost does 13 damage, and 26 versus light.
Abilities:
  • Snipe - costs 25 energy and deals 45 Damage to biological units as well as ignoring armor.
  • Cloak - Makes the unit invisible to enemies unless they have detection. Drains 0.9 energy per second.
  • Nuclear Strike - Calls down a nuclear missile at a target location, deals 300 damage(+200 vs Structures) in a large area.
  • EMP Round - Removes 100 shields and energy of units in the target area and reveals cloaked units for a short time.
Now that we have the basic boring stuff out of the way! I feel it is necessary to point out how good and versatile Ghosts are.

Snipe has not yet had its usefulness fully explored in the pro scene, in my opinion. It is basically a miniature Yamoto cannon with a very small cost.

Some Tips:

Cloaked ghosts have the ability to remained undetected from any unit with detection. Overseers can be sniped, ravens are light and take extra damage from the ghosts attack, and observers can be uncloaked with EMP, as well as being light and receiving that extra damage. If you don't want to waste your ghosts energy uncloaking a observer you always have scans at your orbital commands!

EMP does work on your own units, if you're scared of having your thors "feedback'd" by high templars and can't get off the emps on your enemy, ghosts can EMP the thors to remove energy without hurting them.

Ghosts kill workers in two shots, two cloaked ghosts in a mineral line will rain havoc on it.

Banelings die in one shot from snipe. Ghosts are a very effective counter to baneling busts as seen in Day[9] Daily #298. (Embedded at the bottom of this post) Be warned this daily is before the 3.1 patch changes to ghosts where their costs were changed from 150 Minerals/150 Gas, to 200 minerals/100 Gas.

Ghosts can snipe every zerg unit. Having just a few in your army will soften up the enemy before you have to engage directly. Ghosts can EMP every protoss unit, doing the same thing although shields regenerate faster than zerg health regen.

Nukes have seen more use in controlling the enemy rather than direct damage in pro level games. Placing a nuke on a choke point forces the enemy to avoid that choke point and can give you control over where the enemy is going to be.

You can EMP buildings, such as Orbital Commands, but be warned it only removes 100 energy, so if they haven't been using it it will take two EMPs to get rid of

Are you going to incorporate ghosts into your Terran play? Anything useful you've discovered in your games? Leave a comment!