Time flies. Terrancraft is four now.
I will take this opportunity to post about Starcraft related stuff that probably does not fit into a post of its own.
Type of content
I have been asked frequently what I think about certain builds that people have seen in professional games, and whether I will blog about it. More often than not, the answer is, no, I don’t plan to blog about it. By “it”, I am referring to the build per se, but I may cite that specific build for a related post. This is mainly due to my habit of not focusing on a single build, but rather the implications of that build and other related ones. It is the over-arching trend and dynamic development that interest me. I will give you a good example.
Do you still remember the prominence of Widow Mine drop builds in TvP in 2015? I had actually observed the beginning of the trend in late 2014, and discussed about its relationship with the previous builds and how the trend might develop. Despite the main build was stated in the post, I focused on the bigger picture. The play style evolved later, and I had written a few posts about the topic. I started with analysing many games played by different players, and this allows me to understand what the core of the play style is (part 1). Subsequently, I changed my perspective and looked at how Protoss react differently to this shift in metagame (part 2). Later, after a few months, I revisited it and examined how both sides had been adapting and countering each other (part 3).
The build orders clearly play a big part in the analyses. In the discussion at the end of part 3, where I was comparing seemingly similar builds, I concluded that Maru’s build against MyuNgSiK was in fact a reaction to move from one Widow Mine drop variation to another. This shows the value of critically thinking beyond one specific build order, and connecting the dots to provide a coherent analysis. I am not saying my analyses are correct, but I always provide educated arguments to support them.
I strongly believe that such findings are much more meaningful than just writing down the notation of build orders from vods and analyse them. With that being said, I am thankful that some people have been linking me vods about certain interesting builds, because I do not have much time to be comprehensive with all the available vods.
So, I explained why I prefer not to post independent build orders often. This expectation leads to a serious challenge, which is post frequency. It is difficult to post well thought out analytical pieces frequently when I have other more important commitments (I am working and studying full time). Through out the four years, I ensure I average a post a week as much as I can. When you put these together, it requires me to think of topics that are worth writing, and this takes a lot of time and effort to research and digest the contents. In fact, coming up with interesting and worth doing topics and ideas is the biggest weakness of my academic research ability.
I got to give myself a pat on the back for the perseverance to be consistent for such a long period of time.
Even when I write a shit post, I ensure it is decent and well researched.
People misunderstood what I write at times.
At the basic level, some do not have the ability to comprehend it. Here is a good example on reddit, whereby my post on what good balance argument is not is discussed. There are many comments that got me shaking my head as I read through them. Some simply show they cannot understand the content, while some (for example) quote something I did not write then correct that argument with basically what I have actually written (see below quote). This is entertaining and frustrating at the same time.
Which is why I don’t buy arguments like “Looking at tournament winners is bad because what if Life wins everything on his own”… Yeah, obviously then the data is not conclusive. But when it’s 10 different Protoss winning everything then there might be something wrong. (i.e. during the blink era)
At a deeper level, some do not understand the intention and boundary of the posts. Here is an example on reddit about my post on scouting basics, which is meant to cover only the general basic concept of scouting that is not tailored to a specific race, match up or opening. The quote below shows that some have difficulties to grasp the boundary of an article, or perhaps I am at fault for not stating it right at the beginning of the post.
The proxy part of your discussion is missing the #1 misused part of TvP. The reaper, you need to scout the Protoss with an scv in order to see early timings AND because your reaper should do nothing but look for probes and proxies for the first 6ish minutes of the game.
I usually put forward arguments in a diplomatic way, in which I word in an allusive manner. Thus, I avoid stating “if you see X then it must be Y”, and I usually state my point like “if you see X then Y is a plausible outcome”. Let me quote what I have actually written in the scouting basics post,
For instance, you move a Scv to Protoss’ natural at 7:00 and you see no units. Then Protoss may probably have the units at your side of the map and is warping in offensively.
I merely state a plausible outcome, which the statement itself is not wrong. But again, some misunderstood the statement, and I quote from the same reddit comment,
Protoss not taking their gas at the natural by 7 minutes is perfectly normal for macro play. A lot of Protoss players take their gas way, way, way too early and end up just banking it. I wouldn’t read anything into natural gas timings in TvP. Partially because a lot of Protoss take their gas too soon, and partially because there are some attacks you can do off 2 gas. (Immortal timings for example)
This comment also is an example of people misunderstanding what was written and then reinforcing their argument with what I had actually suggested.
Sometimes it makes me wonder if some have a cynical hat on by default at all time, or it is my writing that is poor. Perhaps both.
I have changed the domain and design of the blog earlier this year, and this has been positive so far. I wish I can change some of the minor design features, but it is going to cost me $100 a year though. So it will not happen.
Also, I have not played the game for a long long time, because of internet issues. This upsets me. =(
The featured image at the top of this post is the one that Blizzard had when Starcraft II had its fourth anniversary, and I have been waiting for the day Terrancraft turns four to use it.
I should end an anniversary post on a positive note.
Although I showed some not-so-nice examples above, the overall feedback has been very positive. Thank you.