The Escapist Presents: Starcraft 2 101: Tips & Tricks

sigma83

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Re: Mules. Orbital commands generally do either of two things: Mule or Scan. Supply drop is (generally) not cost effective, as a supply depot costs 100 minerals while Mules gather 270 over their lifetime. It is useful if you need the supply NOW, like when you've blocked yourself and the enemy is barreling down your front door.

When to Mule? 'Whenever you don't need to scan.' Mules are what keeps the Terran economy on pace with the Zerg and Protoss ones, what with spawn larvae and chrono boost. By building multiple orbital commands (on your expansions, naturally) you can more easily balance scanning the enemy and getting economy boosts.
 

sigma83

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Which leads to the question: When to scan? Whenever you don't feel comfortable. It's been 2 mules since I last saw what was going on in his base. I shall scan him. I don't like that the giant army I just saw disappeared. Scan. What if there're siege tanks on this high ground near his base? Scan.
 

Madkipz

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What a munchy wall in you terrans make, banelings would love to eat it all up in one small bite. ;)
 

John Funk

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Lonan said:
I won't be buying this game. After the World of Warcraft fiasco I wonder if Blizzard will find a way to make you pay for online gametime. It's just a better graphics version of Starcraft anyway, it's just for more money. It's heavily in favour of Blizzard's pockets, not you're enjoyment. Don't buy it.
Man, you're... pretty much wrong on all counts, tbh.

You're well within your rights to not buy the game - if you don't feel it's worth your money, don't buy it. But honestly, thus far? The beta is my favorite game so far this year. It's really, really fantastic. So yes, it is for our enjoyment :p
 

GoGo_Boy

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Sorry to bring it up again but I cannot believe that 4 workers on gas is beneficial at all.

In fact there has already been an analysis of that mechanic over on TeamLiquid where it get's clear that the third worker already won't get you 100% more gas income out of the geyser because when using 3 workers there's already a little pause. So adding a 4th worker would do nothing, as the geyser was already permanently occupied with 3..
 

Pendragon9

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I think one last thing you may have forgot to mention is the MULE, which is one of the most vital organs in the Terran body. For 50 points of energy, it gathers 30 minerals every time an SCV collects 5 minerals, so having them in mass at a new expo would net you 6 times your normal return.
 

hidden walls

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John Funk said:
Lonan said:
snip or however this works.
Man, you're... pretty much wrong on all counts, tbh.

You're well within your rights to not buy the game - if you don't feel it's worth your money, don't buy it. But honestly, thus far? The beta is my favourite game so far this year. It's really, really fantastic. So yes, it is for our enjoyment :p
I agree with john here the beta is a brilliant game on it's own blizzard actually do care about their games and unlike world of warcraft they wont milk it for every penny.

The game has millions of things to do so you will never be bored if you get it; even if you get sick of the actual ranked games there are hours of great custom games being made every day
( Battlecraft 1.6 is brilliant even if ultralisk + zerg + ultralisk combo is a bit overpowered )

the game's beta managed to be my favourite all year just wait until the full game comes.


edit on the mule front a nice terran vs terran tatic I found is if you scan their base and see siege tanks drop a mule near the econamy and their own siege tanks will destroy thier econamy ( splash damage )

also I prefer using the bonus supply units over mules however I often 4x mule on a rich mineral expansion
 

Denamic

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It's 3 workers per vespene geyser.
If you have 3 of them, one will enter just as the last one exits.
4 will have one worker stall at all times.
 

Ne1butme

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Lonan said:
I won't be buying this game. After the World of Warcraft fiasco I wonder if Blizzard will find a way to make you pay for online gametime. It's just a better graphics version of Starcraft anyway, it's just for more money. It's heavily in favour of Blizzard's pockets, not you're enjoyment. Don't buy it.
What fiasco?
 

Sir Bob

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hidden walls said:
Terran
- 6 rax reaper rush ( only useful vs toss tbh (Requires heavy micro))
- Marine, Maurader and medivac get this going right and very little stopped you
Going for a straight up rax with only your 6 builders seems a bit wrong to me... When I pull off a reaper harass, I usually do it with about 12-14 builders, double rax and double gas.

Also, by the time most players rush to MMM, I can have my first 2-3 siege tanks out including the siege mode upgrade, this will decimate your army even before you bust the first supply depot.

hidden walls said:
Zerg
- 6 pool rush (useful vs zerg and toss only terran players will finish thier wall unless map is steeps of war) get 200 minerals make pool make 2 workers during building process build 3 zerg send in should defeat anyone who has been overstocking economy.
- Extractor tricks,
use your drones to build a extractor in the enemy base
A) cuts off early tech
B) forces early infantry
6 pool is less efficient as far as I'm concerned than 7 pool, because that extra drone brings in more minerals which makes the productions of 'lings and the spawning pool go faster. Also, dont forget to build an overlord after you made those 2 workers during the construction of the pool.
This extractor trick is a very good one, since you can cancel the extractor that you are building (costs 25 minerals) at 95%, get your drone back, and build another one, rinse and repeat, or continue scouting. This is also a good tactic because its zerglings make minced meat out of your marines.

The 11/10 trick works, but normally I can't be bothered to.

hidden walls said:
Protoss
- Cannon rush build pylon as soon as you can in a blind spot in enemy base build cannons should he ignore it for too long you can tech warp gates and send in zellots or stalkers.
- fast tech warp prism and build a lone colossi if you do it quick enough you can wipe out a entire economy rather quickly (also if you tech warp gates shift to warp mode and send in zellots.
Cannon rushes are hard to pull off against both Terrans and Zerg, because you can't build on creep, you cannot harass the worker line of the Zerg, and if you have a reasonable Terran playing against you, with the extra building time that came with a patch, you can have a siege tank after not too much harassment, and you can just siege the cannons to hell.

If you do manage to get that cannon in his base, and you got the enemy in a choke hold, don't bother with zeals, just get more pylons and cannons in HIS base. This means you can go straight up minerals and get them by the dozen.

As for the fast colossus, this CAN work, but its easy to counter, because most Terran go for fast Vikings these days anyway.. 1 air unit and its bye bye big boy.
 

Thedutchjelle

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Never forget to make mules are Terran! I underestimated them at first , but they bring in tons of cash - I heard someone say they do the work of 6 normal SCVs , but I can't confirm that. They do bring in giant piles of cash though.
Also, upgrades. Don't forget those either - especially weapon upgrades are the ones I usually take.

A tactic I usually do with my mates in a 3v3/4v4 is that we 'starve' the opponent. We don't directly assault their base, but deny them any expos or any intelligence on the map. Eventually, they come out with a big ass army, we come out with a big ass army, fighting ensues, but after that, we got more cash then they do - the enemies might pull out another big attack, but if he has no expos he'll eventually run out of money.

Some other small tips:
-Use stimpack not only in fights, but also as a means of transport - having medivacs fly allong with a stimmed pack of rines and they'll get to where you want a lot faster.
-Never forget to focus fire.
-Know when to retreat. You can do more damage if you retreat your forces at the right moment than if you let everything die. For example, at one point in a 3v3, I dropped the opponnent's base with a marineball. Although they ripped through the buildings, the defense was there very shortly. Had I remained, the rines would've been slaughtered, but I loaded them back into my medivacs and sailed away. I lost a few, he lost a lot. So I 'won' that fight.
-Get those watchtowers. You won't regret.
-If you plan to use cloaked units, do not show them until you are ready. If you attack with 2 banshees, you'll do some damage, but eventually they'll die. If you then plan to come back with 10 banshees, you may find the whole opposing base filled with detectors.
-When your expo is getting attacked, you can load in some SCVs in your command center to protect them from harm.
 

Markness

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Slycne said:
Sir Bob said:
4 workers on a gas is a nono as far as i'm concerned, 3 is the most effective.
As you can see in your movie, you always have 1 probe standing and waiting outside of the geyser.
Yes, but that one probe still gets in faster and you usually want to get as much Vespane as you can quickly for all your higher tech. I'll try to go find the math on it.


Edit:
Research done by Xiphoris.xiphoris

I ran some rough experiments measuring the number of minerals and gas measured per unit time as a function of the number of gatherers, to determine the optimal number of workers to maximize efficiency and to maximize gathering income.

Methodology:

I measured the numbers according to the statistic reported during the replay, that is, the Income statistic. It's pretty noisy, unfortunately, which made gathering this information difficult, but you can see the general trend. A better experiment could be conducted by measuring the actual income over time, rather than relying on the Income statistic reported by the replay viewer.

I measured each data point for about 5 mineral trips from a worker before adding another.

As a general observation: If two workers are harvesting from a mineral, they spend almost half full time on it. It appears that there is a slight amount of downtime, which is why more than 2 workers per mineral is productive in the results below. Although adding workers beyond 2 results in the significant visual appearance of wasted effort, income continues to increase.

The base in which I ran the experiment has 8 minerals. Where there is one number, that appeared to be the average. Where there are two numbers, it's roughly the average and the max value I saw for Income. Where there are three, it's min-avg-max.

Data

1 worker: 38 income
2 : 76 - 95
3: 114 - 133
4: 152 - 171 - 190
5: 210 - 229
6: 248 - 267
7: 286?
8: 324 - 362
9: 381
10: 400-149
11: 438
12: 476 - 514
13: 533 - 552
14: 571 - 590
15: 630
17: 667 - 765
18: 705 - 725 - 743
19: 705 - 762 - 800
20: 743 ?
21: 781 - 800
23: 800
25: 800 - 819
26: 800 - 819

Results:

Adding workers past 2 workers per mineral continues to increase income, but with diminishing returns. Income increases steadily until around 2 workers per mineral. At 1 worker per mineral, income is about 324. At 2 workers per mineral, income is about 667, roughly double. At three workers, income is about 800.

I additionally ran an experiment with gas. 3 workers produced an income of about 91 - 107. 4 workers produced an income of 107 - 122, consistently slightly higher.

Conclusions:

As the most precious resource, vespene probably deserves 4 workers per vespene geyser. Assigning 4 workers yields about 14% - 17% more income than 3.

The most efficient number of workers per mineral is about 2, while income continues to increase (with decreasing marginal income) until about 3 per mineral. 3 workers yields about 15% more minerals than 2 workers. In a competitive match, it is probably worthwhile to build workers until 3 per mineral, and then transition a third of them to one's expansion as it becomes available.

There are certainly variables and situations that will make you want to adjust, but I felt those were solid numbers to offer to new players as a rule of thumb. I don't know about everyone else, but I found that starting out I was always resource starved.
I think the bonus from 4 would be far outweighed by the mineral gain from having an extra worker. I'm a bit of an esports fan and I can tell you that I've never seen anyone ever put 4 workers on gas. I've seen a lot of very good players, and I think that if there was any tangible benefit, at least someone would do it.
 

Sir Bob

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Thedutchjelle said:
-If you plan to use cloaked units, do not show them until you are ready. If you attack with 2 banshees, you'll do some damage, but eventually they'll die. If you then plan to come back with 10 banshees, you may find the whole opposing base filled with detectors.
This times a hundred.
 

Aenir

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3* workers on vespene gas.

Unless your Command Center/Nexus/Hatchery is placed farther away than it should be, there is absolutely NO REASON AT ALL to have more than 3 workers. It's the same as in the original StarCraft. You will NOT mine gas any faster and you're just wasting a worker that could be mining minerals or at a different base.
Thedutchjelle said:
Never forget to make mules are Terran! I underestimated them at first , but they bring in tons of cash - I heard someone say they do the work of 6 normal SCVs , but I can't confirm that. They do bring in giant piles of cash though.
Mules bring in 30 minerals per trip. On High-Yield minerals, they bring in 42 minerals per trip. SCVs bring in 5 and 7 respectively.

Also, Mules can be mining at the exact same time on the same mineral patch as a SCV.
 

Sir Bob

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Usually when a game drags on for a very long time, I already have 2-3 command centers with Orbital Command upgrades. So a tip from me: Once you are in a similar situation, build a command center at the high yield, and fill it with mules from all command centres. Once all those mules are done, evacuate and return when you have enough minerals to do the trick again. That way you can get a lot of extra minerals without having to worry about defending them.
 

Excludos

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I agree with most people here about having 4 SCVs in the gas. I have seen a lot of pro matches, and no one uses more than 3 workers in gas. You can, however, have more than 3 workers on each mineral patch. But theres very little to gain from it unless you plan to expand, in which case you'll have a lot more workers to bring over to your new expo when it finishes. (Of course, this is just my opinion..maybe The Escapist have found something that will revolutionize SC2? :p)

I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to link to other sites here, but if you're interested in more tips and tricks (and not to mention commentary and analysis of pro sc2 matches) then you should definitively check out Day9. He does a show called Day9Daily 5 days a week where he focuses on something new, some nice tactics, or just simple cool games. He also commentates for a lot of tournaments.

You'll learn a lot from him..plus the guy is very funny :)

You'll find his VODs here http://day9tv.blip.tv/
 

Lonan

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John Funk said:
Lonan said:
I won't be buying this game. After the World of Warcraft fiasco I wonder if Blizzard will find a way to make you pay for online gametime. It's just a better graphics version of Starcraft anyway, it's just for more money. It's heavily in favour of Blizzard's pockets, not you're enjoyment. Don't buy it.
Man, you're... pretty much wrong on all counts, tbh.

You're well within your rights to not buy the game - if you don't feel it's worth your money, don't buy it. But honestly, thus far? The beta is my favorite game so far this year. It's really, really fantastic. So yes, it is for our enjoyment :p
But what about it is better than Starcraft? From in game videos I've seen, just the graphics.
 

Lonan

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Ne1butme said:
Lonan said:
I won't be buying this game. After the World of Warcraft fiasco I wonder if Blizzard will find a way to make you pay for online gametime. It's just a better graphics version of Starcraft anyway, it's just for more money. It's heavily in favour of Blizzard's pockets, not you're enjoyment. Don't buy it.
What fiasco?
I wasted hours, days, weeks, and maybe even months playing that terrible, money sucking game. I even defended it. But I was wrong, a sucker to corporate before humanitarian considerations. I call it a fiasco.
http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html
 

Markness

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Lonan said:
Ne1butme said:
Lonan said:
I won't be buying this game. After the World of Warcraft fiasco I wonder if Blizzard will find a way to make you pay for online gametime. It's just a better graphics version of Starcraft anyway, it's just for more money. It's heavily in favour of Blizzard's pockets, not you're enjoyment. Don't buy it.
What fiasco?
I wasted hours, days, weeks, and maybe even months playing that terrible, money sucking game. I even defended it. But I was wrong, a sucker to corporate before humanitarian considerations. I call it a fiasco.
http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html
All mmo's are addictive time-wasters. Starcraft and other rts give lots of intense sessions of quality games that don't take up as much time. Not to mention you buy it once and its yours.