Friday, January 14, 2011

I Uttimo na Tinigong Zealots Siha

My brother often tells me that the AI is harder than humans. For a long time I wasn’t convinced of this, since most of the games I watch people play in Starcraft 2 are high level, professional mampos kapas players, who are able to play the game at a level I will never reach. But I always need to remind myself that the majority of people who play SC2 are nowhere near that level and might be just as good as I am.
Recently it seems like the computer has gotten harder when I play against it. They mix up their strategies and are making units they never did before. This seems especially true with Terran, which I detest playing against on VH or Insane. I’ve learned the hard way recently that Blink Stalkers is not a good choice for early strategy against Terran since Marauders seem to have an uncanny ability to take out all their pent up frustrations (perhaps over Don’t ask Don’t Tell) on my delicate units. Stalkers look pretty cool, until they get hit by Marauders and then you realize they are made out of glowing origami paper or something and not as high tech and awesome as they seem.
One thing which the computer has started to do recently is build ravens, which irritates the hell out of me. I’ve never had a human use a raven against me and I have certainly never had a human use a Point Defense Drone against me and so I was blown away the other day when I found my attempts attacks muffled by two PDD thrown on the ground. When I had a computer use Seeker Missiles against me, that was the moment I knew that the apocalypse was here. Makpo’ i tano’, na’listo hao sa’ esta mamagi Si Yu’us ta’lo.
Last week I tried a FFA match against 3 insane computers. Whenever I try FFA games against a diverse number of races Terran tends to emerge as the last man standing of the computers. I don’t know why this is the case, but usually in these matches which in one instance stretched for 2 hours, it is usually me barely clinging to life trying to take down an incredibly OP Terran goliath. There were two zergs, me a Protoss and one Terran. One zerg was taken down in 10 mins. The second zerg was almost taken out by the Terran and by me who killed his expansions, but was able to sneak a hatchery into the base of the dead zerg without any of us seeing it. That left me and Terran, who sent army after army of Marines, Marauders and Medivacs against my ramp. My canons and colossai held them off very well while I expanded onto both islands on the map. While I was distracted and building up my expansions, Terran hit me again and overran my defenses. I quickly sent a prism to his main and warped in some zealots to try to distract. It worked for a minute before they returned again to my main. I decided to sacrifice my main and work on fortifying my islands. With one island almost mined out by that point, I wasn’t quite sure what to do.
I had been fighting with a land army, but by now Terran had made six BC which were part of the reason why they had been able to take out my main. I built a few air units to try and snipe the BC, but they had Vikings with them and I wasn’t able to do much damage. By now I sent my observers around and saw that Terran had five expansions including one gold. Thankfully, the zerg had regained some strength and computers never lose hope and so they constantly rebuild expansions hoping to come back. Terran was somewhat distracted with zerg and so I could use that to my advantage to weaken Terran. Knowing that my resources were limited I decided to use a daring kamikaze strategy of warp prisms and charge zealots all over the map. I warped in units at two places at once and followed around the Terran main army with my observers and phoenixes to make sure I had the breathing room to have my zealots do some damage before the main army came back.
One by one, with great patience I took out all of Terrans expansions and whenever their main force would find me, my zealots would slowly whittle down their ground army. Eventually their air forces which were still five BC, attacked my island with all my leftover tech and buildings. They slowly took out my canons but gave me the chance to warp in six stalkers who slowly but surely (with the help of the remaining brave canons) took out their BC. With no Terran resistance left I started sending out my zealot army after zerg, who had by now expanding to three bases, but still have pretty weak units. In all the game lasted about an hour (in-game). It is interesting, because against P and Z I have strategies that usually work, but against Terran, unless I can kill them early with a rush or distract them effectively with VR, the only way I can win is by that last desperate charging of the zealot brigade.

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