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Thread: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

  1. #1

    Default Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    Recent discussions have got me thinking, and I sometimes think geysers in SC2 contain too little gas. Then again, you'll almost never exhaust a geyser before a mineral patch. And if you can expand properly, you can harvest a lot of gas. Yet I always seem to never have enough gas when I need it, even with 3+ bases harvesting at once. I've mentioned a few of my builds, and this may be part of my problem.

    The question/discussion is simple. Is there an optimal way or ways to spend gas, and does it vary at all between races? Is there an optimum number of geysers to harvest simultaneously? Let's hear your thoughts, folks.

    My thoughts are 3 bases is a solid flow, but can be insufficient in crunch time, especially if you are macroing, upgrading and researching with regularity. Furthermore, holding a 3rd expo after your main runs dry can be a pain in the hindquarters. But after a battle, I almost always feel wanting in the gas department as I rebuild my army. The exception is as Terran. I always wind up with a vault of 3-4k mins to pump marines while I wait for gas to build up enough. I get the same stored mins with Zerg and toss, but I'm less comnfortable because lings and Zealots can't hit air.


    Note to mods: wasn't entirely sure if this was better in General Discussion or Strategy. Feel free to move if necessary.
    I am a master tactician. It is my execution that keeps getting me killed.

  2. #2
    ooZer0's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    It's different from race to race in the early game, but in the mid to late game it tends to become the same thing:

    Throw Down both geysers at your expo so that they are complete at the same time as your expo.

    Protoss are the most gas intensive in the early game. Unless your 2Gating, or fast expo-ing, most Toss get their gas at 14 and then the second one at 18-20. Terran are slightly slower with a run of the mill build, taking their gas at 13 and then the second one between 20 -22. Zerg seem to be the least gas intensive, usually taking a gas on 14 (sometimes pulling them entirely out of gas once they get speedling) and then the second one somewhere around 25-30.

    Obviously it changes between race to race and build to build, but for "standard" play this seems to be the trend. Once it hits the mid-late game though, everybody just puts down both gas right off the bat, because of the high gas cost of units at those tiers.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    Well i think there are a couple possible reasons why you can get gas starved.
    1. You focus too much on gas heavy units in your compositions that you can't really support with your current gas income (Crota did a video for each race with a spreadsheet showing how many you could produce at once on one base gas. Since it's all numbers it's easy enough to extend it to multiple bases.)
    2. Teching/upgrading a bit too fast. Need to plan ahead for a fast tech and get early gas to bank enough for later on.
    3. Forgetting guys on gas. Whether it be a drop or banshees or mutalisks or even making the geyser and forgetting about it. You wanted the gas but it just wasn't harvesting optimally for some time.

    Just play around a bit and find the right times to get gas when you need it for your playstyle. Like personally as Protoss I don't really use many sentries early on so I delay my second gas from the usual or just warp in the assimilator to prevent gas steal but don't harvest from it immediately.

    I find toss has it a bit ambigious whether they're mining too much or too little gas because of the sentry. As toss....low on minerals high on gas let's make a sentry. I had a game once where i didn't really notice i was mining way too much gas until i realised i had 8-10 sentries as the majority of my army. So for Toss I would say pick the unit mix you want to go for and decide how much gas and when you need it. Don't let gateway warped in units sort of trick you into making the units to use up your resources without realising whether you have too much or too little gas.

    Zerg has it a whole lot harder in terms of gas. Because of larva they have to bank what they need. They have to find the right time to bank enough minerals and gas to make the units they want. Especially once the building (like spire or ultralisk cavern or roach warren) completes. Too late on gas and the larva sits there a while. Too early and not enough minerals then same problem.

    Basically flak try playing around a bit with your gas timings for each build you do. And see if your build is a bit too gas intensive. On a side note...terrans....especially those doing infantry builds....they just have TONS of gas. Infantry based terrans should just mass upgrades and have offensive planetary fortresses with like range and armor ups for the PF.:P And like mass ravens or something. Ridiculous how much gas they end up with at the end of a game. Even pros end up with like 2-3k gas.

    Edit: This was just general discussion about gas. But flak specifically for you if you're talking about stalker/voidray/colossus build then that's a late game army. So obviously you need to be thinking 3-4bases to get that army. Stalker/voidray or stalker/colossus is doable on 2 bases.
    Last edited by JackhammerIV; 12-15-2010 at 08:07 PM.

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    I tend to look at it backwards from how you and others approach this subject. I simply identify this. A gas geyser makes ABOUT 100 gas a minute (in game time). From there, you can take this information, identify what you want to build for a build rotation, and suddenly by taking this in a term of income to output you will find that you won't neccessarily be gas starved.

    This theory that I approach it involves a basic thought of "Build rotations" which is a term that I use to explain this theory. For example, 16 workers on minerals produce about 625 minerals a minute. Take into effect that you have 6 workers on gas, you will suddenly see a basic "budget" per minute.

    Take a look at your stalkers and how long it takes them to build, as well as how much they cost. When you identify how much you can afford in a minute, you can calculate how much supply that will cost, and build pylons as part of a rotation. For example, this can support a 4 stalker, 1 pylon rotation with a slight amount of income to spare... for, let's say, probes.

    There's other ways to approach it, but this is very much the same conversation and style that I had with Crota, the only difference is our way of describing it. In beta we talked about this a LOT. And the majority of the strats that I try out that may be outside of the metagame typically involve a build rotation, such as my DGAAE build. (Biomix)

    I typically hit this up on my sc2 nights of the Legacy Observer when I get in a fully chatty/explanatory mood.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    Thanks guys. My first 2 gases usually, as Toss or Terran, at 18 (16 on mins, 2 workers), and as Zerg at 8-10, as I have been using the 6 pool -> speedling start. My 2v2 partner has me trying one gas at least as my first rax/gateway goes down around 10-14. I put both down anyway. I don't have an early gas problem unless my opponent goes something I need a gas unit to counter. Examples would be fast muta, banshee or voids.

    Mid game I do switch to more gas intensive units, and all of your suggestions will be helpful. As for the upgrades, I strive to lead the weapons/armor race, though often fail, mostly because of opponents who pressure well or I notice are massing units at a rate faster than mine. Part of this is because I am late to my first expo at around the 10-12 minute mark (real minutes). I have had some luck in getting my first expo as early as the 7 minute mark (again, real minutes), depending on my ability to defend it and my opponent's aggression level.

    @Jackhammer: I've been playing with my builds a lot lately trying to find answers armies with 8-12 colossi and 8-12 voids mid game. Against Terran, I'm trying to counter mass Thor+marine w/ some medis. I have few problems against Zerg unless I forget to scout , unless I happen to be Zerg as well. Then I have to not get out-macro'd. This is where I run into the real gas problems because the counters are equally gas intensive and my expos, being late, do not often allow the gas stockpile I should have.

    @Gifted: This approach favors me. My profile shows accounting as my profession, and my undergrad degree is in Math, so this should help more than anything. I'll be in the replay room a bit. And I figured you gjuys talked about it before, but I couldn't find any threads on the topic. Have to admit I only did a few basic searches though.

    Going to work on the proverbial "hitches in my giddyup" now...
    Last edited by flak4321; 12-16-2010 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Fixed name of person I'm talking to at one point :p
    I am a master tactician. It is my execution that keeps getting me killed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by flak4321 View Post
    [...]
    @Todie: [...]
    i didnt actually reply to this thread yet, though i thought about it yesterday. maybe tongiht... i guess it relates to the offtopic discussion we had in the wishlist thread though. or are you confusing member names?
    I am an enthusiast of good strategy games, sc2Esports and rollplay, although i dont really play anything atm.
    I work an internship at a government agency this fall, and have a good time at it.
    I'm being more social, active and honest lately. in all forums.

    Hi.

  7. #7
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    Crota wrote a short article about this: http://sclegacy.com/editorials/105-s...basic-gas-econ

    Basically, you need to find out how many buildings you can produce from consistently on however many bases you are, either by calculating or it just from experience. Be advised though, if you calculate it, that only pro-gamers can get 100% productivity from a building, if even then.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by Todie View Post
    i didnt actually reply to this thread yet, though i thought about it yesterday. maybe tongiht... i guess it relates to the offtopic discussion we had in the wishlist thread though. or are you confusing member names?
    Lolz. And D'oh! I was considering an edit in the wishlist thread at the same time I wrote that and did get your name switched up w/ Jackhammer's. I have fixed it. Not the first time I did that either. About a month and a half to 2 mon ths ago I got switched up between Gifted and Gradius. Sometimes the hands are faster than the brain, lol. Either way you both have been very helpful with your responses and got some rep pylons from me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Crota wrote a short article about this: http://sclegacy.com/editorials/105-s...basic-gas-econ

    Basically, you need to find out how many buildings you can produce from consistently on however many bases you are, either by calculating or it just from experience. Be advised though, if you calculate it, that only pro-gamers can get 100% productivity from a building, if even then.
    Thanks! Gifted mentioned he and Crota had a good discussion during the beta on this topic. My motivation for asking stemmed from Todie's and Jackhammer's responses in other threads to various balance suggestions and army comps I had mentioned. Made me think about what I was doing in game, which brought up the question "Is there a better way?"

    To all: I employed a couple of Tweaks in some 2v2 and 3v3 madness last night with some success, most notably getting my initial gas a little earlier and that first expansion a bit sooner. Both helped me stock a little going into mid game. Late game was just a bit too frenetic to really keep an eye on it.

    Silly question: Can someone tell me what "metagame" means? I'm guessing it's a description of the vast decision-making element of the game, but I would like to be sure. Thx.
    Last edited by flak4321; 12-16-2010 at 11:40 AM.
    I am a master tactician. It is my execution that keeps getting me killed.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    The term metagame literally means 'beyond the game' and refers to any planning, preparation, or maneuvering that a player does outside of actual gameplay to gain an advantage. The metagame has three major branches, which contain some overlap:

    1. Preparation done before a match to exploit current trends in Starcraft.
    2. Preparation done specifically to exploit an opponent's or map's style of play.
    3. Strategic decisions designed specifically to exploit a player's reaction or weakened mental state in the future. These are also known as 'mind games' or 'psychological warfare'.
    source: http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/Meta_game

    i think i would have worded it differently, but in broad strokes, my definition of the term is similar; metagame is how the game actually plays out. if you percieve it enough and udnerstand it well enough, you can have great benefit of this while making decisions.
    I am an enthusiast of good strategy games, sc2Esports and rollplay, although i dont really play anything atm.
    I work an internship at a government agency this fall, and have a good time at it.
    I'm being more social, active and honest lately. in all forums.

    Hi.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Responsible Usage of Vespene Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by flak4321 View Post
    Late game was just a bit too frenetic to really keep an eye on it.
    Thanks for the rep. If it's really getting crazy going into late game and you're wanting gas from that 3rd or 4th. Just make that assimilator, refinery or extractor and send 3 harvesters to it. Like select those harvesters and right click onto the vespene gas building that's under construction. When it completes they'll all automatically start harvesting from it. Only advisable to do if you're a bit high on minerals so don't mind the minerals lost by those 3 harvesters waiting on the gas to complete.:P

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