March 17, 2011

The 5 Golden Rules of Macro: How to Macro Effectively

Often I see people complain on forums that they keep losing games and they don't understand why. Sometimes I download one of their replays and notice that they were sitting on a 2k mineral trust fund -- for half the game.

Most players in the Platinum leagues and below have a tough time managing their resources. It can sometimes be difficult for some players to get a solid grasp of the Starcraft 2 macro game. Sure, everyone understands that you have to spend your minerals, but the Macro game is made up of several components that go beyond resource spending. It is an absolutely essential part of the game that you must master if you want to compete at a higher level.

The General Macro Theory

There are 5 general rules of Macro that any player at the Platinum league or below should master if they want to improve. Here are my tips.

1. Resource collection saturation
2. Sufficient production structures
3. Constant unit production
4. Sufficient supply
5. Keep your next expansion in mind.

In depth discussion and exceptions after the jump.

March 6, 2011

Custom Maps That Help You Improve: YABOT Build Order Tester

I recently ran into the Yet Another Build Order Tester (YABOT) custom map series while browsing through the custom maps online. As the name suggests, this particular custom map series is geared towards players that want to train by testing build orders. However, aside from testing build orders, YABOT also proves to be an effective way for players to simply train their build order knowledge without the prerequisite of inputting your own build orders. I have found the series useful for this particular reason.


When you first fire up the map you come across a menu that gives you four options: Basic, Standard, Advanced, and Demo. The first two options are essentially simple build order testers. The first option lets you test out your order without an opponent and the second gives you an opponent as well as a "steps list" for a particular build order you wish to follow. The fourth option allows you to select a build order for an AI to execute while you watch.

The real draw of the YABOT series is the third, "Advanced", option. The general idea of this option is that YABOT will display a "steps list" on the left side of the screen that essentially acts like a real time check list for the build order you selected. This allows the user to focus on executing the build order and glance over at the list when you need to know the next step. You can also choose a build order for your AI opponent and the length or end trigger for the match. For example, you can set the match to end anywhere from 1 to 30 minutes or have it finish upon executing the final step of your build order.

Advanced option overview and download links after the jump.