View Full Version : Stuck in a rut.

08-13-2010, 10:13 PM
I'm not improving at the rate I was (and don't expect to forever) but I seem to have hit a solid wall lately and I'm not making any progression. Where's my biggest need for improvement?

08-14-2010, 12:18 AM
writing this as i watch replay.

-scout with your overlords to the nearest base, should've sent your first overlord to the bottom base (where he was at) and used it to look around and see what he was doing.

-your opening build is really weak and confusing. it seems like you are trying to do several things at the same time and the result is that everything is worse. decide what you want to do and then flesh your build out from there. (fast expansion and for good economy and many units later? don't get 2 gas early on as that slows you down ALOT, if you want fast mutalisk then that early expansion and roach upgrades are getting in the way, if you want fast roach upgrades and many roaches, don't double gas so early and focus on economic early on, or don't expand so you can save your minerals for roaches and upgrades.) trying to do all 3 at the same time will do nothing but hurt you and make you lose games.

-it is good you are scouting around the map to check for hidden stuff (this is very good) but you aren't scouting him to see what he is doing in his base. run a zergling up his ramp to see his army or fly an overlord closer in to see what tech structures he has then pull back. This will help you in your decisions on how and when to attack and defend, and what kind of army you need to build to beat him. if you sent an overlord in to see what buildings he had on the outskirts of his base you would see his robotics facility and could assume immortal collosus or warp prism at that point. running a zergling up his ramp to see what kind of army he has will work with this as well (more units = immortal attack, a few less than normal and no immortal may mean collosus attack, even less means warp prism for drop or backdoor warpins), sometimes, you just need to suicide an overlord into his base to see what he's doing, but knowing what he is doing allows you to counter it properly.

-13:50 mark is where you make a critical mistake. so here you managed to beat back his attack, and you have an expansion that he doesn't. this puts you at a big advantage, but you have to handle it properly which you didn't. so you beat back his army, there were 2 main options here for you at this point and you didn't take proper advantage. 1 is building an army with all of your larva (which you did) for a counterattack to run him over or cause major damage (which you didn't), or build a bunch of drones and make your economy much stronger to give you a longer term edge in the game. you decided to build an army here, but end up not using it for anything anytime soon, which ends up hurting you alot. imagine if those 14 larva were used for drones and sent to your natural instead; you would have 2 bases with many drones mining way sooner than you actually had it happen. you should've counterattacked, or used the first wave of larva on drones before continuing to produce an army.

-18:30 mark you beat his army back a second time and his base is ripe for the picking but you don't seem to be attacking. also, your natural expansion is still severly lacking in drones. also your larva have been idle (not building anything) for a long time at this point. i saw you got supply blocked which you kinda have to wait for but during and even for a while after the battle you weren't using your larva and weren't spawning any more larva either. instead of keeping your army idle you could at least go kill the rocks that are in the way of the gold expansion so you can expand there.

- So you didn't counterattack, your main base has run out of minerals, your expansion now has too many drones, and you have 2000 minerals in the bank. expand here, even 2 expansions wouldn't be a bad idea. should've happened sooner but all of those earlier issues have caused you difficulties at this point.

anything after this is not important.

I'm not sure what you were working on to improve before, but it looks like you need to focus more on your strategy and decision making skills. first step is better scouting (it wasn't bad bad but knowing what kind of army he has, what he is doing, or at least being able to make an educated guess is important).

additionally you should focus down your strategy more. having a basic idea of what you are trying to do, even if it only applies on getting up to lair tech, is better than doing too many things at the same time. as you practice and win and lose games you'll be able to hammer down on what you like and don't like, where you need adjustments, what gives you trouble ect.

for example my zvp I do early expansion except vs very aggressive 2 gate zealot pressure, upgrade speedlings for defense, scouting, and harassment purposes. from there i get lair tech and either hydralisk (if opponent is sitting on one base) or mutalisk (if he expanded early) and then proceed from there to expand some more (at least a 3rd base) and tech to ultralisks. finally to finish the game if i haven't done so already I add more expansions and tech to nydus worms to make my army mobile and allow me to be very aggressive and defensive in many positions.

while I may modify my strategy based on how the game is playing out, I have a good idea of what I want to do and it flows pretty well together. that is a 25 minute game basic strategy for zvp for me.

edit: attaching a replay. the replay shows you my zvp strategy (what I laid out above) in action. I can identify tons of mistakes in my own game here and see so much room for improvement its crazy, but you can identify my gameplan and can see how much stronger I am because of it. Also pay attention to my scouting of his base and how I have a good idea of what he is doing.

08-14-2010, 01:56 AM
Whenever you are thinking about ways to improve and watching replays, try to think along the lines of "everything must have a purpose, everything must have a reason". If you wanted to get ling speed, and then tech to lair did you really need that 2nd gas in your base that soon? Imagine the amount of minerals you would have from the 4 drones you had to use to make that extractor fully operational (1 from making it 3 from mining it). Why did you make a expansion and not use it for the longest time? Sure you built units it from it, but nothing mined from there at all for the longest time. Go ahead and transfer workers when your expos finish so they have some use.

The thing I would like to point out that I think the key to someone of your levels skill not being able to get better is your conversation at the end of the game. No I dont mean talking to your opponent is a bad thing, it was your comment of "I felt safe to expand". If you are waiting until you feel safe to do something, you are doing it wrong. This goes doubly for zerg expanding. If you ever feel "safe" as zerg to expand, expand twice instead. This is where the feeling of "oh no I almost just died I need to build more units now" comes into play. If you watch the replay you can see just how long after the attack at about 13 minutes in you build those roaches and zerglings while you were attacking with your mutas..and the roaches and zerglings just sat there. You had unbelievable map control by control both of the watch towers, so why not just use those units to take down the destructible rocks at gold and expand, and expand at one of the north expos as well. And then after the rocks are gone use that army to attack.

Passivity is where alot of lower level players go wrong and where you went wrong with this game. I dont mean you should just send wave after wave of stuff into their base to die, but instead just keep an eye on what they are doing and build accordingly. In my opinion there are 2 good ways to play zerg. First way is the harassment way. Either speedlings, mutas or any way to harass or the IdrA way by just heavy macro focus. Either way has it strengths or weaknesses it just depends on how you like to play. All in all make your units have a purpose and be more proactive with what you have, either by attacking or setting yourself up for your next move. Dont just think about what you are doing, think about what you want to do next. Always think of the next step and see how fast you can get there.

08-14-2010, 08:27 AM
Big thanks to both of you for your very helpful analysis, I'll definitely work on focusing and streamlining my builds and being more aggressive with scouting the enemy base from this point onwards. I have a tendency to overestimate my enemy's strength at times which leaves me hesitant to go for he throat when I should (I've seen this myself in my replays) so that's another area I need to focus on.

It's great to have a clear understanding of the weakest element of my play and I'd still be beating my head against a wall if you two hadn't taken the time to view my replay and analyze it for me.....


08-15-2010, 11:10 PM
I really enjoyed this win because I held off a two gate proxy early in the game which I didn't scout but saw coming because of what wasn't at his base, I went in for the early kill but my opponent laid down enough cannons to discourage me. He switched to void rays which I scouted just in time so he nearly had me twice. You'll see from my game play that I still have a long way to go but this game assures me that I'm improving.