Learning How to Practice

I’ve been pondering how to get better at SC2. There are a lot of opinions on this, watch soandso’s videos, use one generic build for everyone that teaches the basics, don’t care about mirco or winning and learn to macro, etc. I have been having trouble deciding between these and/or how to mix and match them so I feel like I am improving.

The first thing that comes to mind for improving myself is just playing more. I need to get to the point where I am getting several matches in on several days a week. I think of this as akin to eating better or going to the gym. What you do at the gym for those first couple weeks while you get used to going regularly is less important than building up the habit of doing it.

My next plan for improving is to play more on my stream and just listen to advice of people who are watching. I’ve not been good at this and in fact I rebel against their advice. While I can’t implement everything people suggest, I can work toward what they suggest and take it under advisement. My predisposition against certain units that are more micro heavy or I’ve had a hard time incorporating is no reason to just reject what a viewer suggests.

In that vein of thinking, it was noted on my stream that I don’t generally micro. In the interest of becoming more comfortable with microing I’ve started playing Darglein’s Micro Trainer. Playing though all the levels a couple times then focusing on Blink Stalkers, SCV Train, and Multiple Ability Control. Partially because I don’t even know how to do this effectively and partially because I need to teach my hands to do this. With the game timer, I figure if I do an hour of concentrated practice a day, my micro and mouse control will improve and I’ll feel more confident in using my unit’s spells.

Finally, there is TheStaircase, which is a very interesting way to learn to play. Unfortunately, because I play HotS, I am forced to make a best guess at my income rate so I can calculate SQ. This will be this way until GGTracker supports HotS which I hope will be in the near future. I am in the process of building a site that will be able to harness GGTracker’s automatic gathering of SQ for people (both the collective averages by league and for the individual player) so that you can see if you are passing or not. That said, because I am playing in the AHGL I can’t purely use this as I need to have my build orders refined for real play.

This is the start of my thoughts on training. I am going to go back and re-read The Art of Learning and see what thoughts and ideas come from that and adjust accordingly.

Switching to Pelican

So, I haven’t been blogging lately because I’ve been meaning to scrap my Blogger setup and move to using Pelican. Part of the battle was getting a theme that made me happy, the other part of the battle was sitting down to actually make things happen.

First off, let me just say that Pelican is a pretty great platform. And I am not saying that because I have the pleasure of working with Alexis, but because it lets me use reST to write my entries and I can heavily customize everything about its display.

One of the things I knew I wanted was the ability to use bootstrap themes. Luckily someone else had already made that possible, two someones in fact! I found both of them in the pelican-themes repo which houses a number of themes for Pelican. themes/bootstrap and themes/bootstrap2 are the two that are included in this aggregation and I found I liked the layout of themes/bootstrap a bit more.

Unfortunately, I found that themes/bootstrap was built for a much older version of bootstrap and that I’d have to modify things to make it work. Also, I found a couple stylistic nits with it (especially when I changed to a darker theme) that needed addressing as well. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t very hard to update it to the newest bootstrap and I’ll be sending a pull request to pelican-themes with the fixes needed once I am pretty sure I have ironed everything out.

Tracking my Progress

This will be my blog for tracking my progress in StarCraft 2. I find myself
wanting more direction in what I am working on. In turn the goal of this blog
will be for me to talk about what I am going to focus on in the next
week. There will be other topics like build orders I am using, tools I’ve
built, games I am particularly proud of or highlight mistakes I’ve made, and
other SC2 and eSports related things.

To chronicle the start of this journey, I am Wraithan. I have fully switched to
playing Heart of the Swarm beta (HotS) as I am the Captain of Mozilla’s After
Hours Gaming League (AHGL) team, which is taking place in the beta. I am
currently in Bronze league and look forward to rising up over time as I
improve.