I sit here, keyboard at my fingertips, and I'm trying to find the words to describe my last 7 days in L.A. Surely, going from looking at a sun soaked valley, to an iced stained window has its saddening attributes.
"Of all the things that wisdom provides for living one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship." -Epicurus*. I cannot stress this idea more, finding people to truthfully call a friend is hard to come by. For me personally, I had never really experienced true friendship until now. Most of my past was filled with fizzled friendships which explains my inability to take something at face value. I hope this sheds some light on why I avoid people. I hope you didn't take it to heart, as my questioning as to what is implied in conversation drives me to insanity. Jerry was able to figure this out after asking me one single question,"Who do you consider to be your best friend?". I really didn't have an answer for this, I could not think of one person whom I've ever thought as a best friend. Before vVv gaming, I preferred a life of solitude as human interaction was as tedious for me as someone might feel when writing lines for bad behavior. Which explains why I always avoid petty conversation.
Small talk was probably the thing I hated the most. Due to its way of focusing on what people thought was socially right to say; rather than discussing about themselves or ideas. As a child, I tried creating conversations about ideas or about things learned. To my dismay, most kids and even parents thought I was a "know it all". I then understood that the discussion of ideas wasn't for everyone. So I spent most of my years in quiet solitude. Surprisingly, the small talk coming from people who are true to themselves is quite interesting.
What the vVv gaming HQ has shown me is that small talk between close friends is a way to find and explore more about each other. To laugh at each others quirks and help fix each others poor attributes. I believe vVv Gaming within itself is an extension of that.
Over the last week, my activity with the community has increased. I can say, I'm interested in how other people feel and interact. I enjoy helping others complete their goals and make something of nothing. What I didn't realize over the course of my lifetime is that I have a lot of empathy at my disposal. I'm able to sympathize with almost anyone, thinking of why they may feel this way or have done that. But as with my love for ideas, asking someone questions of why they are feeling a certain way and giving advice isn't within their best interest. So yes, most of my skills where for deeper human interaction then what was socially acceptable. The only way for me to actually use these abilities is when someone consciously comes to ask help from me.
The trip was definitely an enlightening one, not because of the hot California sun, but of Jerry's ability to really show who I really was. I hope, that by reading this you come to understand the impact that the people here at vVv gaming have on us. Take every opportunity vVv gaming gives you, it will be a rewarding journey for anyone brave enough to take the first step.
Good Luck in your vVv Gaming travels!
If ever you need to run an idea by someone, you know where to look.
* pg.73 in "The Essential Epicurius" by Eugene O'Conor
This whole blog, what I've been writing up until now is from experience. A lot of what i've been writting is about Antifragility which is what benefits from negative effects. An example I like to use is training. The human body is anifragile. As when you go lift weights, or run. Your body first becomes weaker, as you've just used your muscles in a intense way. Then during recovery you're body will build more muscle in order to overcompensate so that it can do more next time. And this is what antifragility is, there's an initial down side, but ends up having an upside. And that is what I've been trying to focus on with this blog, which leads to the closing and beginning of a new one. "Wakai's Musings" has had a great run, but I've found that the word "musings" doesn't get to what I want to say. While deep thinking is something I enjoy doing, it's deep thinking triggered from personal experience. I hate theory, I will always go by what works in the real world, opposed to what works in theory. I found that I developed my theory from what I've experienced. The new blog I'm beginning called "The antifragile gamer" will be a series that focuses on my climbing of the League of Legends ladder and what I've experienced that works.
A New Antifragile Beginning
This will not be a one two step to succeeding in League of Legends. Anyone who thinks that way is a complete idiot. There's no down-a-right-x-a-b cheat code that will teleport you to gold or whatever your goal is. The new blog will focus on how not to be a sucker. In other words, I'll be focusing on being antifragile. Showing how to have the least amount of down side and most upside. There always be a down side, always, but there are ways to mitigate how much down side you have. Which is what "The antifragile gamer" is all about.
Ready for a bumpy ride?
Fuck yeah! <----- Goes to my first entry in "The Antifragile Gamer"
No, I'll keep imagining the perfect road to success...
It's amazing how much this ideal can effect your life. I was living through this, I just didn't know how to explain it. Once I started reading Nassim Taleb's book Antifragile, many of my doubts where supported by this philosophers writings. Which Put into focus my past and present.
When I was growing up, my young childhood consisted of ridiculous relationships with girls, ones where it was all just for show. Of course, I was a stupid child back then and was bumbling my way through grades 5 and 6. What I later realized was that due to my obscene amount of useless relationships I caused damage to the other kids without really realizing it. Which is why I was pushed around by them.
Going on into high school I started toning things down, realizing that relationships can have meaning. But old habits die hard, and I soon started dating a friends ex which was one of those big no's no's that I just didn't understand. Luckily he was a great persom and the friendship was salvaged of which I'm still thankful of today. As it was the beginning of the end of the first extreme on the social spectrum. Once I changed high schools and went to boarding school. Relationships had lost there appeal.
During my time at BCS it was marked with some great memories and friendships. I realized by not getting involved in any relationships I avoided attention. It was awesome, I was like a hermit* for about half a year until I started naturally developing friends. I didn't try to make friends, I honestly didn't care about that. I just wanted to relax and not have to deal with this culture of gossip and ridiculous assumptions leading to half truths and a whole lot of luggage to carry around. I'm glad that on my way to BCS the plane crash left me with no social standing, neither positive or negative. What was left to my name was the wisdom from past experiences and the new determination of now finding my own way, in a more positive manner of course.
*I find the term hermit has a bad stigma around it,
but at its core, it's the choice to be alone.
On a camping trip we did some kayaking and found some clay. Rawr!
At this new high school many things changed, instead of being one of those hard core jocks, I quit football, and hockey of which I've been playing my whole life. These intense sports were replaced with cross country skiing, adventure training, tennis and gaming. I guess I was just going all out with the hermit life style. But luckily there were some great people there and friendships ensued. These where the best times I had so far, my somewhat nerdy friends and I didn't care about relationships. We just wanted to have fun and play some games! With our abused school laptops we managed to by-pass most of the admin restrictions and make mini lans in the dorm rooms. We played SC: broodwar, counter strike 1.6 and plant vs zombies. That second year of BCS was one I won't soon forget.
Next thing I know, I'm out of the dorm rooms and stripped of my smith house title. Due to my parents moving to Sherbrook. I became what was known as a day student, and was integrated into Ross house. But being a day student did have its perks which lead me to becoming even more hermit like. Now that I lived off campus it was harder to have those lans as I couldn't just walk to their house anymore. At least that's what I told myself. Truth be told I wanted to play starcraft 2. That's all I did other than school. Of course I still had my friendships from past years, but they weren't at the forefront of my goals. CS and Broodwar just lost that fun touch they once had.
My first fans, who were also conveniently my friends. Where all amazed that I had reached the rank of master in Starcraft 2. All we talked about during my last year at BCS was SC2. Which was just amazing. With my getting into masters another great thing happened, vVv gaming.
I still remember this moment where one of my sc2 practice partners that I was close to suggested that we join this supposedly great gaming community; RampD, thank you for showing me not a great community, but a life changing one. Before we get all emotional. I want to describe how I actually became a vVv member.
So I remember specifically reading that I couldn't be on another team If I wanted to be in vVv. Well, shit. With friends that I had made in another clan, it was hard leaving them and I felt torn. But I ended up talking to this guy. All the people in vVv that I've talked to so far said this man was very intimidating. Well, just like the knights who go and face off dragons, I was confident, how bad could he be? Well, I dropped the ball on that one, I ended up stuttering and slurring my words when speaking with Jerry. He first went through the showing off of vVv gaming, which to the humble nerd is honestly breath taking. Well, I was still processing the fact that the president of vVv gaming was willing to help me out on what he must have thought, a trivial affair. After his rant on why I should choose vVv over some half assed clan that where full of mindless retards. Well, at least he said something around that... Damn I wish I recorded it! With my doubts burnt to a crisp, I said good bye to that clan.
This was from an interview of the "
" promotional video.
From going to one extreme to the next of the social spectrum. I have come to learn that less is more. Given that you don't go to either of the extremes. I'm now living the best years of my life, with close friends in vVv and now in college as well. Maybe Jerry did see this in me, that first time he shit on my friends. That I'd be blogging and visiting him in L.A becoming some want-to be philosopher and socialist. While also aspiring to be an engineer. But I know for sure, that this is who I am, and who I want to be. A picky hermit aspiring to do great things.
Less is More
Before reading Antifragile by Taleb, I couldn't piece together how I really went about my life. I now see that I was experiencing the two extremes until finding a mid point to really be happy. While the saying "Less is more" can be something great in some contexts. But horrid in others. Let's take my life for example. I first started off with a more is more attitude, but what happened is that the more I got, the more problems I created, which then got to such incontrollable proportions that it was impossible for me to be happy. When I became more of a Hermit, people who cared about me began to surface. They weren't my friends because I had social standing, but because they enjoyed being in my company, and I theirs.
What we often see today with people of high social standing or economical standing, is that they have ridiculous trust issues. Who's to blame them? Everyone's jealous about their superior position, and will try to mooch off them in order to increase their own. If rejected they'll try to ruin your image or bring you crashing down with them. Jealousy can ignite the cruelest of human actions.
So how does a person remove such jealousy from someone's path? A minimalist lifestyle. The term "go big or go home" is such a ridiculous term. Most likely created by a football coach with one too many concussions. Living a comfortable life does not mean having the most expansive clothes, or the biggest house. It's about having the ease of mind that someone who you haven't talked to in 5 years isn't planning to bring your livelihood crumbling down. It's about finding that nice midpoint where people don't see you as a benefactor to their social standing or a celebrity flaunting their monetary value.
The biggest thing to get out of less is more. Is that if you meet someone in a ordinary place, in ordinary clothes. They'll benefit you so much more. Than showing up in a suit and tie attracting other individuals in suit and ties who are also worried about finances and upping there social status.
So, then what to do if you do have all the extra cash? As Nissam Taleb says, put it under your mattress(literally or metaphorically, either way works). This way with your minimalist lifestyle, you don't have to worry about dept, or losing your job. While getting the benefit of being surrounded by people who take you for your personality instead of the money in your wallet.
Where it fails.
Education is one of those nifty things that I experimented with. I was an alright student, I didn't take notes, I mostly just listened and asked why is that or why is this. Which got in the way of my "education". I was against this notion because I wanted to know how it worked before even knowing how to hammer a nail. This is why I wasn't getting high 80's like I am now. I just had to reverse the process at which I learned.
You can't build a house, without first knowing how to hammer a nail. And this was my problem. I had to first learn the techniques, without question. Through this I was able to answer a few of my own questions, as well as refine the ones I still needed answering. For those wondering why you need to learn algebra. You'll see that without it, calculus, chemistry and physics would be impossible to do without your perfected hammering skills. You'll save yourself so much trouble if you focus on perfecting it, as your house won't come toppling down due to a few poorly hammered beams. As does a calculus question that takes many variations of nail hammering to build up to the finish product that is your answer.
In education, Less is More cannot work as the more you know, the less trouble you have of finding the answer. We could also call this the inverse of less is more.
Now that you've seen what I've experienced and learned. I hope that you'll be able to take something from this and apply it to aspects of your life. I don't write this for money or for social status(well, ok, maybe a little). But because I just get such highs when writing. It also allows me to put in context my life and what I live by.
I'm sorry that this has nothing to do with gaming. But I have something churning in my head that might be similar to this, but entirely on gamers. Anyways, thanks for reading and I encourage you to comment on anything pertaining to this subject.
Good luck and most importantly have fun with life!
Eating your own cooking.
This is a pretty big problem today. There's just so many stupid people giving stupid advice, and they just so happen to a have a really loud voice. Which comes down to the question, have they eaten their own cooking? To take this literally, would someone ever trust a chef that claims his new pasta sauce is amazing, when he himself has never tasted it? Of course not.
The best way to gain reliable information is to directly go to the people who experience and have lived what they advise. The phrase "Eating you own Cooking" comes from Nassim Taleb's book Antifragile which has lead me to experience peoples advice in this new perspective. Which is honestly breath taking, as you begin to realize just how full of s*** some people can be.
This is why wisdom is often associated with old people. Because they've experienced what they've learned first hand.
Which is why job experience is so valuable to employers. Because they know that you've experienced it and lived it. So unfortunately we spend most of our childhood learning but not experiencing. Don't worry though, there's a solution to this and that's co-op schools. A good example is the University of Waterloo.
The best way to go about taking advice and giving it, is to trust the advice from people who've experienced it first hand. While being skeptical of the ones who haven't. The tricky thing about this, is finding out if the person really did live that experience.
Have fun finding the wise ones!
Perspective is having the capacity to encompass the entirety of the situation, subject, and world. This allows for a higher level of understanding to be reached. It ties in with awareness and how people reach a wall within gaming and life.
This ties in very closely with how most of us play League of Legends. We all fall in the trap off, "why did he feed" or "this player sucks".
If we where to take an amateur and a professional gamer. The amateur thinks of what to do next. While the professional thinks of the possibilities. As Rivington the 3rd said:
To better illustrate my point let's take a situation In a high diamond LoL match:
Here we have a draaaaven going in on a ezreal and nami. The circles represent the before and current positions while the arrows represent movement(excluding the red).
Draven is in a good position financially, making this move logical. But there is more at play then is apparent.
Let's now focus on the minimap. A big part of going from "ok" to "good" is map awareness. This is the first step in achieving perspective within the game. What follows is automatic. Pro's do this questioning and reasoning within miliseconds. When looking at the minimap some may come to the immediate conclusion that draven is overextended. But first we must look at the possibilities.
What is possible in this situation?
A gank from the jungle
A gank from top lane
Nobody is there
This may be the level of understanding that many of us have reached, general map awareness and knowing when to go in is good. But what separates the good from the great are finding the motives. This gives insight on what they are going to do next. Knowing a players motives will up your playing level considerably.
What are the possible motives?
This is a time when teams like to take dragon, as the global gold gives a team a considerable advantage. Which makes going in a time like this very dangerous. This makes the potential for a gank much higher.
Ezreal and Nami are struggling. They are down in farm and kills. Have they been asking for a gank?
Some exercises on gaining a better perspective are:
When ever you click on a minion for a last hit, look at the minimap. This is a perfect time to be looking. As you've already dedicated your movements into killing that minion. Giving you an opportunity to see whats going on. Eventually this will become muscle memory.
When going in a League of Legends match. Put yourself in the other teams shoes. Think of their motives and the possibilities that stem from these motives. Be ahead of them, aim to foil their evil plans!
During the death timer. Think of what the thoughts leading into that death where. Are all the possibility's accounted for? Was it the right chain of thought, If not, why?
All these exercises will allow for a bigger picture to be viewed. While reading Octavia Butlers Lilith's Brood a character spoke of a very real trait within humanity. It's the choice to be ignorant.
Many players motives, particularly in a solo q match. Is to get fed and carry. While getting a kill is one of the possibilities . It's not the possibility. We have to remind ourselves that there is more at play then we tend to admit. And that in the end it's up to us to remove that blind ignorance and see what is in plain sight.
This was the hardest post I've done so far. I had trouble piecing all of this together. I hope that you've learned as much as I have on this complex topic.
The best way to show your appreciation is to share using the buttons below
Thank you for all your support.
Ignorance is a choice!
Good Luck and Have Fun in achieving a higher level of perspective!
Having been raised in a very health conscious household, I was lucky to have learned many things about eating habits and exercise. Since
i've been living alone, the extra freedom has driven me to become lazy. Although I still keep a good diet, I stopped exercising. Now, the principal
where you only need 1 of the two to be considered "healthy" is complete garbage.
Throughout the last month I've been going through some depression issues, of which I had no idea why. I was excited about learning from
Mishio Kaku on youtube and my life has been changing for the better. But yet nothing seemed satisfying. Even gaming, a crutch for when I was down
low, did not help. Of course I thought it was just a phase I was going through, some sort of high and low. But really the culprit was no exercise.
So then, why does not exercising have the ability to cause depression? To put it simply, exercising has many more benefits than just physical
appearance. It helps nourish the brain so that it can become stronger. As said in the NY times How could Exercising Lead to a Better Brain "Fresh
cells were especially prevalent in the hippocampus, indicating that neurogenesis — or the creation of new brain cells — was primarily occurring
there. Even more heartening, scientists found that exercise jump-starts neurogenesis. Mice and rats that ran for a few weeks generally had about
twice as many new neurons in their hippocampus as sedentary animals. Their brains, like other muscles, were bulking up." Also, not exercising brings
the opposite effect, where the hippocampus shrinks. In the end exercising does a lot more for a gamer than just changing physically, it can actually
make us play much better. Another interesting part of this article talks about how neurons "float" around in the head until one of 3 things happen.
They can continue floating around and die, they can be stimulated when doing a cognitive skill but it limits the neuron to that certain task. Or
exercising allows the neuron to become more flexible, which increases the power of learning something new and finding solutions. Although this is still
somewhat hypothetical scientists have been able to do tests with humans that show positive results in proving the theory.
Now that we know exercising helps the brain develop. Why not exercise for the sake of feeling good? The problem with our society is that
there's many "get buff and become superman" type of ads that cause ideas that we want these ridiculous changes physically. They suggest doing
long workouts that are in the most part unsuccessful because people lose the drive to continue because the goal can take a very long time to reach.
In order to exercise positively we need the right mindset. Instead of focusing on the end product focus on the immediate benefits. Exercising gives us
pleasure when done for the fun of it. Don't go into technicalities when exercising, focus on good form and doing what makes you feel good. Don't
follow a certain set, but just to feel the burn in your muscles, push yourself! And feel your body come to life. Keep your exercises simple and focus on
doing exercises in order to feel good. The physical changes will come as long as you're exercising. Exercising doesn't need to be a chore, It can be
viewed as a way of feeling good about yourself and getting more energy and bounce in your day.
Start with simple exercises such as pushups, situps and squats. Once you start getting bored of those, you can upgrade to jumping squats,
and planking. Once you get bored with that go and do some burpys. What I find to be really awesome is the exercise balls, that can add a lot of
variation to your workouts, here's a list of fun ones to do.
Exercising is about making it pleasurable instead of a chore. Focus on making it fun, and keep in mind any exercise is good exercise. Do what
you think you'll enjoy most and you'll definitely improve and feel better afterwards.
Now on to nutrition, this is a very touchy subject as there's all these weight loss diets and crap that is very concerning when I see them.
Basically, you'll lose weight if you focus on eating things that are closest to nature as possible. A big part of the body retaining fat is due to
overeating and the chemicals in the food. Now overeating is caused by eating the processed foods, these foods are what I call empty calories. They
don't fill you up, and they're packed with calories. Ever have a big bag of chips and not feel satisfied at all? Yeah I know the feeling, it sucks. All
these ads on "reduced fat" and 0 calories is all a marketing gimmick. Calories need to be viewed as fuel instead of a dangerous substance. Calories
are fine as long as they're coming from foods that are closest to nature. When I say closest to nature I mean the stuff that has been changed the
least by humans. There are plenty of great tasting sweet variables to empty calorie food. Such as, grapes, oranges, apples, blueberries, bell
peppers and strawberries. Next time you go to the grocery store just stroll around in the vegetable and fruit section and see what there is and explore
different snacks. The only 2 specific things I will suggest to avoid is unnatural peanut butter and cereal. You'll know the peanut butter is natural when
the oil separates from the peanut butter(make sure you mix it before using!). The reason for this is because modified peanut butter often has sugar
and cream added to it, which really doesn't add to the taste at all. For the cereal just avoid the sugary stuff... No, I beg you to avoid it! It may taste
good but the amount sugar in those things is off the charts.
Ok now that empty calories are fewer and far between. Withdrawal comes. This i've experienced with MacDonald's after 1 meal. Your craving
for that food will rise dramatically over the next week. As long as you stay clear from it that craving will go away. Now i'm not saying avoid it
completely, but use it as a treat for something that you haven't had in awhile.
Also, cholesterol is not your enemy, fatty foods such as butter, avocados and salt do not cause heart disease. But what actually causes it is
sugar and trans fats, these 2 things are found in empty calorie food. Like CBN's article called Cholesterol Myth: What Really Causes Heart
Disease? said was that these 2 culprits caused inflammation while cholesterol was used by the body to protect it. Which is why physicians confused it
with being bad because it looked like the cholesterol was causing the inflammation. "You know cholesterol is found at the scene of the crime for heart
disease, but it's not the perpetrator,". This means that those fatty foods that are close to nature are fine and great for consumption.
By focusing on the pleasure side of health, the rest will come. The specifics don't need to be known. But what the most two important ideas
are that exercise is a means of feeling happy and good about yourself. Viewing it as a chore is caused by looking at the end result. But by looking at
the immediate benefits exercise can be viewed as a fun way to start or end your day. The other idea is that eating well means staying as close to
nature as possible. As long as you do this you'll avoid all the harmful diseases that associate with empty calorie food. Focus on the positives and
you'll be feeling AWESOME and you'll be able to pwn even more noobs!
Play at your max!
Happy and healthy gaming!
Follow me on twitter @vVv_WaKai for updates on future posts!
Some food suggestions for those who are interested:
Tea- please try it out, it has so many great tasting varieties and it's such a beneficial and energy giving beverage!
Honey- For those sweet tooth's, honey is your go to substitute. Experiment with it and don't use too much as it's pretty concentrated stuff!
Snacks- My favorite is natural peanut butter and banana, it's so good! Cut it up and add some peanut butter on it and you've got a great tasting energy giving snack!
Cereal- Kashi is a really good cereal brand with a lot of variety.
Salad- Be creative, add different cheeses such as Boccioni or Feta, as well as mix it up with different things such as tomatoes, avocados , nuts, berries, etc salads are only limited by your imagination! Or you can look up some recipes on the internet...
For pasta lovers- try gluten free rice based pasta, it's much better and it tastes really good!
Rice- Get your Asian on and do stir frys or meals based around rice, there are so many great combinations that go well with this healthy grain!
Bell Peppers- Great snack as well, just prep it and eat either in strips or in halves... its surprisingly sweet!
An illusion we all face as gamers is that we're the best. But it's quite the opposite. The only reason you won that game was because you sucked less than the other team. The best way to suck less is to master the basics, as a strong foundation leads to advantages that far out weight any theory crafting and meta.
"Suck" versus" Best"
"Best" implies that there is no room for improvement and is a reincarnation of "SHOULD"! Whilst the ideals of sucking imply that you accept that you need work and want to improve. In the end everyone sucks, as LoL is a game with to many variables for a "perfect" game to exist.
Streams are a great resource for collecting ways to improve your game. But the problem with watching streams for more than ten minutes is that you can only work on 1 skill at a time. The longer you watch a stream the more the details get skewed and holes start getting filled by schema's ( "A structured cluster of preconceived ideas"( Google define)).
The most efficient way to learn is to look at 1 specific way the streamer uses an ability. When I watch tournaments of Rapidstar, I look at specific ways he uses lux. The first thing I noticed is that he uses his ult to gank instead of physically being there, this reminded me of a tf ult without the teleport. I recognized that after he does this, the effected lane rarely engages into long battles. This is especially important because top and bot take longer to trade. This means I'm able to put pressure without ever losing any creeps! After realizing this, I went right into league and focused on landing the tip of my ult so that I minimize the walk distance. After 5-6 lux games I was able to hit my target without even flinching.
The reason you want to practice that 1 skill right after you learn it, is that it's in your short term memory. In order to put ideas into long and procedural memory ("Procedural memory is our memory for how to do things"(Google define)) you must repeat and experience the idea. This is why you want to que up a game right after you learn a new skill!
Idea's to get you started:
Aim for 100 farm by the 10 minute mark. You'll realize how much you need work on the most important skill in LoL! Best way to learn farm is to practice and experiment(attacking earlier or later), try using the stop command to time your last hits.
Warding/ Map Awareness
Get your favorite music with earphones and a blind fold. Now, navigate around your room. That's what it means to not use wards. Every guide has a warding section, use it! Also, aim at leaving base with at least a ward or two whenever you back.
Wards are useless without map awareness. The best way to learn to look at the minimap is... repetition! A general rule of thumb is peak at the minimap every time you hit a creep and when you leave lane. Eventually what will happen is that you'll be looking at the minimap without knowing it and you'll have achieved map awareness!
Now that you have the tools, go forth and suck less!
GL with sucking less!
When Jerry first invited me to his home, he said he would show me what passion is all about. This was a understatement. He showed me much more and has really helped me grow as a person. I found a second family and i'm already starting to feel home sick.
"do or do not there is no should"
Jerry is a mentor for all us. He's been there for me when I have my gaming crisis and his 1 paragraph responses have always put me in line. At the vVv gaming house he gave me more than problem solving. He helped me get my priorities straight, organize my time, and teach me life lessons, one of them being the blog post I wrote on "should". He also taught me to listen instead of responding, his persistent and annoying nagging asking me "what did you learn " in the middle of conversations really helped me communicate and learn better. Thank you for being there Jerry <3
Although the step brothers is a bit extreme, Doom and Robz where a lot of fun. Doom helping me keep my objectives in focus when playing and Rob for being a merry troll. They where a blast to be around and we've had many a laugh! I hope you've leveled up your utensil skills Rob . Doom, newt really enjoys your mini guitar play .
I'm not much of a tourist but the riot tour was soo awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ. Robz gave me a tour of venice beach, although sketchy, venice beach is a really nice walk! We also got to witness swain in real life! (no rick roll this time, i promise)
I'm looking forward to my next visit, and I'm glad to have been able to meet such awesome people! Continue educating, dominating and entertaining!
disclaimer: usually my posts have a more serious note and i'm going back into serious mode... now!..LOL... sorry I make myself laugh to much. serious mode.
Everyone is trying to win, but they try to win their lane, not the game. The problem with this mentality is that it's unproductive and relates to the ideals of "should". The most common advice given to a player struggling is "farm under turret", but that's easier said than done.
The big picture is your team winning, the reason you don't want to give kills and loose more farm; Is that you're only effecting yourself by reducing your gold income. When you give a kill to your opponent, your teammates have a harder time carrying you. By not giving your opponent more kills, you effectively shut down the opportunity for your opponent to carry, further increasing your chances of getting a win!
When you start losing in lane, such as them getting the first kill; your goals must change, the most important one being, I will not give a kill, and the other, I will gain as much gold as possible. Ways to not give a kill are rarely engaging with the other player, putting down wards, buying more pots or defensive items. Ways to farm safely could be using abilities, last hitting, and staying under tower . Whenever you start losing a lane, remind yourself of the big picture and take the necessary actions in order to secure a win!
Once your turret is down, you have two options, the first is farming further back or helping your teammates. Farming further back allows you to catch up in gold and become even with the other players. Helping your teammates means setting up ganks, pushing down towers and killing dragon. Keep in mind that helping your teammates to push down towers will give your team global gold and give you more map control. You use option 1 when you can't do option 2 and remember that kills feed champions, but killing turrets win games.
When your behind, it's about doing as much as possible without giving kills to your opponent. By changing your focus you increase your chances of winning and enjoying the game much more.
Help me out by going to this reddit post
During my time at the vVv gaming house, vVv LordJerith and vVv Doomhammer taught me many important lessons which have made me grow so much more as a person. One of the lessons is LJ telling me that “should” is the word of peasants, slaves and the poor. What he was hinting at is that “should” breeds blame and ignorance.
In the article written by vVv Doomhammer “Competing Positions Soldier vs Warrior” He mentions that “what should be” doesn’t focus on anything important. That the past doesn’t matter, only what we can do to get back in the game and ultimately win. He later goes on to say that “should be” is a unreal world, “should be” represents a perfect world where things should be perfect. But the world isn’t like that and it becomes unproductive to linger on “should” when you can focus on searching for the cause of the problem. By doing this you eliminate many of the frustrating moments that “should” creates. By focusing on what to do and “what is” you will become much more productive in your endeavors.
The next day after Jerry’s mini rant on “should”, I focused on what I was taught. It’s amazing that once you know what to look for, mistakes magically pop up. A good example would be when I gave first blood to a mid lee sin. Instead of focusing on why I got caught, I focused on how I will get back in to the game. This focus contained 2 goals, the most important being not giving lee a kill at all costs, while my second goal was to get as much gold as possible. By the ten minute mark I had scored a kill on lee from a gank and became even in farm.
“Should” also encourages the thought of change in an area that is out of your control. In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D13VEvZIqZ4, he says that all we have control over is us not losing. This means not giving your opponent any chance of capitalizing on situations. A good place to start getting better is to concentrate on not doing any mistakes, this means not missing creeps, dodging/ landing skills and not getting caught. When playing to not die you focus on capitalizing on your opponents mistakes. Once you can rare make mistakes, start focusing on how to make your opponent mess up and capitalizing on it. By focusing on making as few mistakes as possible you close opportunities for your opponent to gain an advantage, while giving you the best chances of success.
Knowing yourself means knowing your limits so that you don’t do mistakes. Without knowing yourself you create that situation where you’re using “should” instead of “to do”. Knowing the enemy consists of knowing their favorite moves, strategy’s, style, weaknesses and strengths. By knowing your opponent you avoid the word “how” as you are prepared for everything they can throw at you. Ways to learn more about your opponent could be looking at their match history or looking at past replays for specifics. Knowing is key.
Remember, whenever you catch yourself saying “should, could, how, did, this and that” stop yourself and think of what you can do to avoid the same mistake from happening and what you’re going to do to get back into the game.
In light of recent events, I want to pep up our spirits with this paper I wrote:
Gaming has been thought of as an addiction or waste of time. But experts have started to see the factors that make gaming attractive as a pass-time, could be applied to the working environment of large company’s and businesses and to the real world. Such examples can be a leveling system or questing to achieve new objectives. Chore wars is an online game where the people in a apartment compete for real world privileges over their roommate(s) by collecting points. It has become so intense that one would hide the toilet brush so that the other(s) couldn't wash the bathroom because it was worth so many points! Work ethic can be increased dramatically if we successfully implement a gaming like strategy to the workforce and the world.
The article touches on a very real potential for increased productivity to education and the workforce. Role playing games focus on solving riddles and or puzzles by completing mazes with varying difficulty. When the maze is completed the player gets a prize such as currency or items with attractive statistical and visual properties. This represents the need for achievement social motive. The drive to excel is to solve problems with a better than average solution . The obstacles can vary from human opponents to completing objectives for a reward.
According to Atkinson’s theory of Achievement, striving for a goal depends on three factors: your willingness to achieve, your assessment on success and the value of the activity in success and failure. The game must be difficult, but not so much that the assessment of success is low which discourages the player. It can’t be too easy either or else the assessment of success will be too low and the game will become boring. They achieve harmony by incrementally increasing the difficulty of each challenge as the player becomes more experienced.
The article states that school should implement a experience system where they implement short and long term goals for the students to achieve, and get rewarded. I slightly agree with this but how do teachers measure how much experience a student gets? The fact that most classes implement large quizzes and tests decays the feeling a student gets when succeeding or failing at a certain activity because it’s so far away the student requires substantially more will power and focus to achieve that goal of doing well on the quiz/exam.
If we look at single player games, the maze or riddle is completed within 30 minutes to 1 hour. There for teachers should aim to have many small quizzes, and make a compilation of marks. When doing small quizzes teachers can reward the students who understand the topic with free time, such as not having to go to class the next day. This is a win-win situation, as now the teacher will be able to focus on the students that are struggling and not have distractions. While giving a incentive for students to work hard and pay attention so that they can have more free time. The article was on the right track but implementing it would be too difficult and costly. By keeping it simple, the implementation would be much more successful. This greatly resembles operant conditioning, as the stimulus is the teacher teaching, the response is the student listening, taking notes and working. The positive reinforcer is the extra free time and the negative reinforcer is that the student must come to class as usual.
The article brings up a very key point.Nicole Lazzaro, the president of XEODesign did a experiment with gamers. She recorded their faces while they were playing games and did interviews with them. She found that gamers where having true fun, like dice and card games did a long time ago. But gaming has a advantage, they were always stimulating because it interacted with the player on a much deeper level than a dice game ever could. The reason video games are so engaging is because there is constant positive reinforcement. This is why games are learned quickly and continue to be played because it is more satisfying than the real world. This is why we have such a large movement from the real world, to the gaming universe. The reason this is possible is because computers can continuously encourage players which raises their morale.
In a ted talk, Jane McGonigal brings up four key characteristics that gamers have. The first is urgent optimism, gamers want to respond instantly to the problem combined with a reasonable hope of achievement. The second is social fabric, gamers create strong social relationships when playing because there's a lot of trust accompanied with it, they trust that the other player will abide by the same rules and stay till the end. The third is blissful productivity where gamers feel good when doing hard work instead of being relaxed, this is why they can play hours on end. The fourth is epic meaning, gamers feel that they are part of something meaningful and are making a difference. The article attempts to show us that if we can implement at least one of these 4 gamer characteristics into the work force, we would have enormous benefits.
The most relevant and beneficial to a working environment is blissful productivity. Imagine a work place where all the employees are 100% into their work, laboring away without any perception of time. Blissful productivity is present in high intensity jobs such as employees at a restaurant or a production line worker. But what about the low intensity desk jobs? According to Yerkes- Dodson law, low intensity simple jobs require a higher level of arousal in order to keep the employee interested. This represents a problem as when arousal is too low employees will seek it, such as playing games or using the internet for personal use. If we can find a way to implement blissful productivity to the work force, so much more could be accomplished within the same amount of time.
The article represents a very real potential of much higher productivity. By implementing gaming characteristics that are ultimately psychological theory's, companies production would sky rocket. The only problem is finding a efficient system to implement these concepts to the real world.
McGonigal, J. (Director). (2010). Gaming Can Make a Better World [Motion Picture].
Tierney, J. (2010). On a Hunt for What Makes gamers Keep on Gaming.
Wood, E., Wood, S., Wood, E., & Desmarais, S. (2008). The World of Psychology . Toronto: Pearson Education.
Not all media is bad, the article I mention in this paper was very well written and put gaming in a very good light. As well as the TED talks, they too support gaming. It just depends where you look!
Happy Gaming and Holidays!
This started off as a tips & tricks for mid, but I had more to say then just mids, so this will be a elongated version! yay!
Everyone should know of these tips and tricks as they're what win, or loose you the lane. These tricks are not match up specific, you should be able put them in memory fairly quickly if you constantly remind yourself of them.
Let's get started with mids:
1)A big problem with annivia is landing your e when using your ult as it's hard to coordinate while on the move as well as using a lot of mana.
A fun and extremely mana effective way to land your e in coordination with your ult is to lead with your e, when your e goes off, hit your ult, the opposing champion will get slightly caught by it. There for your e does double the damage and you've saved mana.
2) You can increase the damage of your q by letting it fly over the target then shattering, this will include the movement damage + the shatter damage. Useful for clearing minions and a good practice when playing against champions
1) You can get fairly early kills with tf, if you land enough wild cards and the enemy mid has 2-3 bars of health you can kill them. Make sure your e is active for the extra damage, pick a stun card, flash, ignite, q. No other champion can survive this burst neither trade with it. This makes it crucial for you to be landing your q's in lane, as you want to be snow balling early when playing tf!
2)Before team fights, try poking the enemy and stay back. When the initiation happens, ult, wait for everyone to blow their ability's, ult behind the squishys, creating a sandwitch between you and the bruiser. Basically you should be using the second stage of your ult .5 seconds after initiation.
3) Its good practice to pick a blue card first then q as you can either blue and q a minion or champ. Just a more reliable way to combo.
1)Her shield does damage as well, you should aim behind the champion if you're going to trade as it gives you extra damage
2) I call it the archon toilet. When a champion such as malphite or amumu initiates, shield them. When they get in range of your enemy, ult. This causes 3 things: entertainment, brings the tanks back, while moving the carries forward, and you're at a safe distance. The second is the most important as now the carry's and tanks are out of position and it's basically a team figth won. Of course this is a best case scenario, but is a reliant way to use your ult.
Ahri: Arguably my most favorite champion! charmed much?
1) At level 2 of your q, you can clear the caster minions in 2 swipes, so if you're playing against a champ with no early aoe, focus on pushing!
2) general rule of thumb, whenever you use your q e combo, always move backwards(unless chasing). This removes the ability of the enemy to trade with you and the muscle memory helps when kiting.
3)Ahri's ult has to many scenarios to explain and comes down to personal preference. But the best advice I can give you is to be creative and be on the edge. Finding the sweet spot for your ult makes Ahri devastating as being just out of range of a turret but still dishing out your damage can make the difference between a kill or a death.
Mid in General
1) You can force the other player into the opposing bush, by circling around them by the left or right side so that your jungler has a easier time ganking. (only do this if the jungle is waiting in the bush for the gank)
1) if you don't use smart cast, you'll automatically do poorly as ryze, so make sure you learn how. (smart cast can be found in the key bindings section of the ingame menu.)
2) To poke with him in lane is q-w-q
3) During team fights the combo should be, q-ult-q-w-q-e-q-q-w-q-e... etc
4) If you`re being chased, always be kiting, so, click-ability-click-ability etc...
1) you can ward the enemy's blue and ult steal
2) When doing your q-e combo, make sure you get a auto attack in between them. This basically comes down to : q-e(not triggered yet)-auto attack-trigger e- auto attack.
Good ganking times are:
1)After you kill the opposing mid
2)Pushed to their tower
3) You don't need your ult to gank! Usually just the cc is enough for the kill!
When the other Mid goes to gank:
1)Push there tower and destroy it IF you know you can
2) follow the mid
3) gank another lane
1)You can pull leona into turrets. Wait for her to leash her sword on you, during the animation use your escape(preferably a ability like trist or ez). This can be a fun and effective way to gain a kill
1)Keep in mind that you can head butt people over walls, in some cases it benefits your team to do that, either getting the tank or carry out of position. For example: The ledge between blue and water, bump them over the wall into your adc and support or bump them over the wall to get them away from you.
2) When ganking, never come from water, use the enemy jungle to get behind then so that you can head butt them into your allys and remove any possibility of escape.
1) when warding, your cursor goes green if it's floating over a bush.
2) when in mid lane, you can ward over both walls, you have to be right next to the high wall in order to reach.
1) If there are minions blocking your bandage toss, you can flash ult on to them and use your bandage toss to clean up.
Jungling in General
1) When looking for ganks, be patient, wait in the bush for a opportunity to present itself or coordinate with your teammate to force the opponent to over extend.
2) With fast clearing junglers like udyr or skarner, you can take your blue without smite with the extra help of your teammates.(tell them what you`re doing so that they help you more). Then rush over to there red. You should be able to get it in time even if the opposing jungler does not gank.
I'm going to be making this into a compilation thread in the LoL forums as well, so that I can collect other things people have found.
Every little thing counts!
Follow me @vVv_WaKai!
Like anything else, SC2 evolves. Specifically the tvt and tvz match up. I used to be a bio player but was forced to mech as small mistakes ended up being HUGE ones. It still has its place in bo3's when you know your opponent as bio can be extremly effective when the zerg doesn't know it's coming as they usually prepare for mech.
Why I'll always love my marines
Bio has effectively increased my micro, apm and multitasking. Forcing me to always pay attention to the map while macroing and marine splitting is a fine art that requires speed and precision. If terrans want to get better on these things i suggest you do bio centric plays as they force you to be on the map and teach you to always look at the minimap as well as increasing your mouse precision immensely. You'll know your precision is good when you can consistently leave 1 marine behind every time you split in the unit tester(something to work towards, start off slow than increase the speed). I'll continue to add in bio into my plays for those BO3's and BO5's. The marine micro challenge!!
Why, hello mech
It didn't take me long to get used to mech, although the first few games i was attacking a little to much. Damn bio habits... When I was watching the GSL season 4 finals I finally decided to change to mech, as now I had no more excuses not to play it. It took me maybe 15 games? To get all the timings and get used to the mech logic. I suggest any terrans going into mech or struggle with it's understanding check out Apollo's video on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOW5ygukH94.
When I was playing bio I had this type of ego where bio was the way to go and mech was just a get out of jail free card. Although that does ring true, Bio was difficult to ladder with as I had to adapt to my opponent in game. Which made it coin flippy. My win rate has been steadily increasing and I finally have positive win ratio in tvt and don't mind it as much anymore. To clarify why I say mech is a get out of jail free card, it's basically more forgiving than Bio and more reliable. Although I still think it's not a good learning tool for terrans, as it doesn't force you to be more active. Although mech does have it's requirements for speed. Hellions and banshees have to be ALWAYS active in order to keep up with the zerg.This is probably the best advice I can give about mech: Hellions and banshees should always be DOING something! This should be your goal if meching, as it forces you to multitask and not get caught in the bad habbit of staying in your base.
Patience is a Pain And so is Baiting
Number one thing I learned when playing mech was patience. Which was probably why I lost my first few mech games due to those bio habits... This rings true all the way to when zerg is on that ridiculous broodlord infestor. The key to is too sit your vikings on top of your thors/tanks and have hellions running around denying expos and roasting drones. If you have to many tanks, (you only need ~5 as they only need to snipe the infestors if they try to fungal your vikings) take the left over tanks and have them follow your hellions to kill expos and force the zerg out of position. So that he HAS to attack into you.
Welcome to the mech side vVvWaKai, we got cookies!
My Blog on reddit
A RTS can be broken down into 3 building blocks:
Pro’s have learned that SC2 bends the rules of RTS, BW followed these rules and that is why it survived for as long as it did. What separates us from the pros is the acknowledgment that the game is exploitable in certain situations and unavoidable in others. They’ve learned that when they’re at an advantage from a design standpoint. They can exploit 1 of the 3 RTS building blocks when the advantage arises: Offense or Economy/production. They can choose offense and exploit their advantage by doing damage to their opponent. Or they can improve their economy/production by cutting Offensive power. This comes from the game exclusively, it is not greed.
In BW players created the situations, not the game. This allowed for diversity. Instead of saying: I can produce and improve my economy right now because I have a racial advantage that puts me ahead of my opponent and vice versa. That is why every SC2 game looks almost identical. For example, Protoss has a early game advantage over Terran. But then Terran has the advantage in the midgame. This is “balanced’ but flawed as it pigeon holes the players.
It’s funny, SC2 basically did the opposite of BW, instead of making certain units in every race op, SC2 made each race’s macro mechanic op. By doing this it stagnates play as macro can be perfected and is unaffected by your opponent unlike micro. Spectators don’t care about macro, they care about those scary units having the potential to change the outcome of the battle.
Protoss and warp gate with chrono on the side:
Chronoboost allows for toss to get units out faster in the early game, which gives them a strong early game presence and increases their production to a certain extent. This mechanic is actually pretty good as it allows the player to create timings.
The warp gate mechanic is where Protoss goes straight into the gutter. By not only forwarding production but making it completely mobile presents many problems. This mechanic should never be in a rts game as it demolishes 2 blocks, defense and macro/production. Part of the defense block is travel distance. Travel distance gives the defender an advantage as the units do not have to travel as long a distance in order to pay for themselves. By taking this away Protoss’s units are already paying for themselves because they had no distance to travel. The production/macro block was also destroyed as in a rts you invest in a unit, it builds then it goes and pays for itself. By forwarding the production Protoss no longer makes an investment but a purchase. This in turn makes toss op. So they had to be changed in another way which was to make Protoss units weaker.
This brings a whole new problem to the table. Protoss has trouble defending as their WG units are weaker. This means they now rely on units who are stronger but have a investment like the other races. The sentry and High Templar are investments as in order for them to be effective they require energy. The colossus needs no explanation.
Terran and the cute mule
Terrans have their own type of WG mechanic but instead of getting a bigger boost of units faster it’s getting a bigger boost of minerals. This makes it so that terran get more units out quicker because their economy is stronger. Like the chrono boost mechanic mules lose their effectiveness in the late game as the main and nat mine out more quickly. In order to compensate for the higher amount of production from the terran, the units had to be weaker than their BW counter parts.
All hail the zerg Queen
Categorized as the all in 1 defensive unit, it statistically is op. But the zerg race isn’t. Have you ever looked in the units lost tab and looked at how much better you where trading with the zerg? That’s because zerg units suck. So in order for zerg to win a match they need to abuse this unit. As it basically gives the units a speed buff, dramatically increased production and a heal, all for 150 minerals with no larva cost. In order for zerg to win they need to get to the late game as that is when that wicked production capability kicks in because they can make so many t3 units in very little time. In the end a characteristic of all z games is the opponent trying to kill or damage the zerg before they get out of hand.
Why is that bad?
By increasing the production and macro capabilities of each race, aggressive strategies aren’t as deadly. Because expansions pay for themselves much sooner, there is no risk/reward, it’s just the norm. Because each race gets a burst of units at different times, each unit had to be nerfed in order to compensate for that advantage. We all know SC2 is notorious for having big battles that only last 3 seconds. This is because the units health pool was reduced in order to compensate for their strength at certain points in the game. Also, macro mechanics are like a fast forward button in the early game. As the races can power more, and pay everything else faster while making units. Since economy is just so strong in the early game. I good example of a fix would be the 6 mineral maps. But that was more of a short term fix. As the macro capabilities still kicked in and boosted the economy.
Now that we know how SC2 is flawed, we can know go into looking at exploiting and preparing for these flaws within the game.
In tvp Protoss has the early game advantage as they can get more expansive units out faster because of chronoboost and warp gate. This means as Terran i have 2 decisions, either expand and prepare for this flaw by building bunker or do a 1 base play that gives me the advantage, given that 1 base play is much weaker , I’m going to expand. Knowing that at the climax of the early game toss is the strongest (first warp in of units) I should prepare for this if I expand. This means i need to make an extra bunker and might need to pull scv’s if the Protoss commits to the push.
Once this phase is over, Terran gains the advantage as know medivacs are out, stim is finished and I have the potential to do drops. Given the warp gate mechanic, it would be better for me to constantly trade with the protoss than to wait and max out to 200. Once the mid game is finished, i should have done some sort of damage through dropping or a straight up push.
In the late game I should be continuing to drop until the defense is to adequate. I should also try to trade with the protoss army when their t3 units are out of position. I good way to fight the protoss would be to engage their army kill some units, then back off. By doing this I get to abuse my medivacs as well as get my reinforcements to even the field. Rinse repeat until the toss cannot keep up. Obviously this is easier said than done because of forcefeilds but can be accomplished. A good example would be Byun vs Puzzle . Byun would engage the toss army, even though he was behind in army, then back off heal and re engage. By doing this he gained a advantage and basically bypassed the warp gate advantage.
In tvz terran have the early game advantage, given the zergs economy increases exponentially and the terran’s is linear with spikes(mules). Because larva inject and queens are not on the field yet gives the terran a edge. Basically the macro mechanic of zerg is a double edged sword. If there is too much damage done, it will be hard for them to get back in the game( that is why zerg all ins are coin flipy). I’ve learned that by doing a early game pressure without sacrificing my economy I can force some units and do indirect damage to the zerg’s economy. Every t player is going to kill me for saying this but, hellions are not as good as marines for applying pressure and map control. The creep spread is unaffected because queens are just so powerful. Marines work very well as they output more damage to queens and clear creep much, much faster. In a 1 rax expand instead of building the bunker at your nat, you build out of range of the queens, just far enough so that they have to run off creep to get there but also so that your marines can pressure. The bunker helps create a staging point for the marines given their lack of mobility compared to hellions. This means you can force 10 lings instead of the usually 2-4 which is 3 drones. Might not seem like much but remember. The more damage you do the earlier the larger the effect in a exponential economy.
In the midgame I need to still apply pressure. The best style to do so is full bio, as the mobility and damage potential is very strong. Also, the best way to clear creep is with a medivac and 8 marines. Marines can kill queens rather quickly which is the main source of the problem with creep spread. Just killing the tumours is not enough, which marines are very good at as well.
In the late game is when infestors come out. I’ve started to add ghosts into my play once infestors get to large of a number. But I’ve also created a type of slow push like the tanks but with bio. If I can keep my bio constantly split, aoe is poor. The basic idea is to pre split your army, then a move, once the units start to clump split again, then decrease the delay once you spot the infestors and basically move across the map doing so. It’s much faster and safer than the tank slow push, but it is much harder to do. The reason I get ghosts is that once the game gets in to the late, late game and i have enough resources I can start nuking zerg hatches, not only with this cause the zerg to do a mistake but it’s to kill larva so that the zerg cannot keep up with my production.
Thank you for reading and I hope you guys learned as much as I did! I will be releasing a short blog post detailing the bio a move split in order to keep your army split constantly while pushing across the map.
Abuse those flaws!
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Screw the meta
Too me, meta doesn't exist. Only builds that work. Like doing research for an assignment you must find reliable sources or many less reliable sources that agree with each other. In sc2 the later would be described as the "meta", and it's a waste of time. You'll usually find this type of information in streams and daily tournaments. The only time this type of research would work is when you're just learning the game and need to get a feel with how things work before going in to more complicated builds.
The strength of reliable sources
Reliable sources are a god send. I've been watching the GSL recently and have completely changed my play style in every mu. These sources are powerful because they force the players to do their best and bring everything to the table. This saves you time because you know this build has been practiced countless times and is a guarantee it works! You're also staying up to date with different play styles and this will give you an edge. These builds also force you to speed up your play and push you out of your comfort zone. This is how you learn and improve, as well as gather a larger understanding of how the game works.
Come on, not more notes!
Yes, we require more notes. Like taking notes in class, we need them in sc2. As this game is just way too complicated for you to be going with what "feels" right. Remember that sticky note software I mentioned in my last blog post? Well that's our way of copying builds. At first in school, we were completely oblivious to how to take notes, same in SC2.
The first few times will be hard and you'll have to rewind a bit. But that's ok as you'll get more efficient at reading the production tab and supply while inscribing it on your trusty notepad! After doing this for a while you'll be able to take notes and pay attention to all the skirmishes. It's not like you're missing much anyways. The first 50 supply of the game is the players powering(building up economy and production). Once you get past that mark it's better to pay attention how said player use their units. Remember my first blog post? About how every single click the player does has a reason behind it. It's your job to figure out why. Because just saying, oh he did that in this situation, won't help with the 20 billion other ones. Knowing why he did said move will help you understand and use this move in different circumstances.
Why so angry?
Ever feel so frustrated you broke your spacebar? yeah I know how it feels.
But this was when I was a lost child clinging onto that "meta". The funny thing you'll see when doing your new super awesome builds is that you don't get mad anymore! As you have that feeling of not doing the build right. When you have the build order in front of you, you'll recognize mistakes and if you do loose, you'll want to view the replay so that you can tweak your build and fix that leaky pipe. This is when SC2 becomes fun as you're finally learning from your mistakes and understanding the game. These notes help you stay on track. It's like driving to your aunt Lily's and vaguely remembering the directions and just going with it. You'll probably get lost along the way and start getting frustrated with every single little thing. Well if you got the directions from google maps or a gps, you'll see where you're going and know if you did a mistake or not. Same with SC2, you need the directions and without them you'll get lost and frustrated!
Finding your sc2nality
Like a personality, you have a sc2nality. This can be described as a style but screw the norm. Your sc2nality will start to develop after trying build upon build. I know for fact a that I hate siege tanks in tvz but love them in tvp. Bio is the way to go in tvz for me. So when I see a new build I want to try out, I can tweak it to my preferences. By doing this it gives you an edge on ladder as when your opponent sees you doing hellions into banshee harass. They'll expect mech. Then you just waltz over their roaches with your bio medivac. Instead of looking at every build as a picture, look at it like it's a puzzle. That double armory can be double e-bay with 1 less gas and 2 extra baracks. That techlab starport and reactored factory can become a reactored starport and a add on building, building, for your rax you're adding on. I'm not saying, go do some crazy switch. Like in math x=x, not 3000x=x. Same with sc2 and builds. Remember to keep your build equation true and bullet proof.
Go take notes, screw the meta!
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When i decided to take the plunge to start working at getting back into sc2, I knew I had to take a different approach than last time. I needed a plan.
A plan needs the objectives, time frames, variables, and tasks. But what a plan really is, is a gateway to a whole new level, it is a great factor in how you play and achieve the unimaginable.
How to make a plan?
A plan should be able to be summed up in 1 sentence. One you can easily remember. You want to set yourself up for success, by putting many but important objectives along the way, so that you can materialize your dream. Think of it this way, the plan is the big picture, the objective is your pixel and the task is your colour. You cannot make a picture with just one colour or pixel, alone they’re worth very little, but together they display your clear and colourful future. Your objectives should be tasks that you can work at in order to reach it. The tasks are the description, how you get there. Another good example is a gps. You want to get from a to b, you can’t just teleport there ( I wish), you need directions, and at the end of every direction is your objective. A left turn for a gps is you learning how to marine split.
Making a plan
I find using Microsoft excel is the best way to make your plans and objectives. In the picture below we see that 1 week is an objective. Objectives can change, because as things are changing all the time and what once was good is now bad, so you don’t want to be wasting your time learning something you won’t use in the near future. Take for example week 2, if the meta in tvz changed that bio is much stronger than going tank bio, then I should change my end of week goal to stim marines back and marauders forward by having them on different hotkeys. This means I also have to change my aim and objective for week three to, making a marauder wall in front of my marines so that the marauders absorb most of the damage.Aims are abbreviated objectives so that you don’t have to read the full sentence every time you check. Your end of week objective can be your task as long as that one sentence covers everything you want to do!
The time frame is very important to respect, I suggest you do your objectives in weeks and plan every month the week before the start of the new month. As once we start messing up with the times we start to procrastinate much like your big mean boss screaming at you for being 5 minutes late. DO NOT BE LATE. Your making this yourself, make it so that you can put in the time required. Note that the less time you have to play the longer each objective should take or make your objectives even smaller. Instead of learning to use all three control groups for your army that week, just learn 1. You should be flexible with your schedule WHILE making it, not after. What I suggest you do after making your plan is to make it a picture (literally, not figuratively this time!) so that you cannot change it.
My plan for example
My plan is to reach at least semi pro by the release of HOTS.
I want my tasks to be micro and control group oriented, as well as finding and creating new builds. There we go now I have my foundation for my objectives. Make sure you define what you want to accomplish, like a math problem when you’re trying to solve through one of those 2 hour long questions.
A Game Plan
In sc2 we always have build orders to follow and when learning them we sometimes struggle keeping up with the build order because we have to alt tab look then go back. I found this sticky note that fixes that problem. Stickes
If ever your starting to lose a match up it's sometimes because you're starting to do the build differently, go check your build order again and you would be surprised out how much you've changed it or how much the timings are off and can save you the time looking for a new build or disregarding it!
Something to note about stickies is that the saving feature is reallyodd. When you want to save a sticky go: right click / store / <make a file>. Do not save as, because it doesn't work. When you want to retrieve your stickies go : right click stickies icon in system tray/ manage stickies / send to desktop. When you're done make sure to do step 1 again! As it does not save itself. Test it first before making your build with it.
What's your plan?
Make it happen!
He who shall not bend, will break. - vVv SugarBear
The Breaking point in sc2 is extremely low. This counts for almost every race. Every time i watch MKP, the more i realize the little things that separate a good player from a champion. In my first blog i talked about how every click meant something to him and that every single one did something productive. Last night when i was watching a tvz, MKP was going for cloak banshee aggression off 2 base. When the overseer scouted the starport, he immediately switched the factory to the tech lab and vice versa, changing his army composition almost instantly into mmm-t ! This was brilliant play! Than this revolutionized how i look at the game. The build order does not matter, neither the unit composition, but what buildings you have are the most important.
Play against the player, not the game - vVv LordJerith
This ties in with my first point, think of every building as an option for a unit composition, not what buildings do i need for this composition. Take my tvz match last night, i'll bet an extreme example... I was on 2 base on shakuras plato, the zerg went very ling heavy and was taking the whole side of his map. Now it's 2 base vs 5 base. The zerg goes for zergling baneling infestor, delaying his infestors for a stronger map presence.Tthe zerg did a run by after he sniped my hellions with overwhelming amounts of speedlings and killed many a scv. Knowing that i was behind, i needed some way to get back into this game. I knew I had to make a push soon to secure my 3rd and deny his 4th and 5th. Instead of continuing with my game plan, mmm-t. I decided to go for blue flame hellions. I opened with a hellion fe, by the midgame you have 2 factorys, instead of building the second techlab, i made reactor. This was to exploit the fact that the zerg went mass baneling zergling. With my 13 blue flame comebackions, i whittled down the zerg force enough to make a strong push taking the map back and gaining a strong map presence, allowing me to take out his expo's and gaining the upper hand.
In the end it's about reacting to what your opponent is doing and to play them, not the game.
Why so powerful?
I'm not talking about Quebec's awesome hydro network which sells electricity to the U.S... But about the power that it has over our body's. We're made of around 60% water, that's 108 pounds of a 180 pound person!
Everyone knows that water hydrates, but what else does it do?
- It helps with that hunger feeling almost everyone gets, by drinking water you help reduce it and the main cause of snacking is your body's sign that it needs more water, not food! As we absorb liquids through everything we eat. If your trying to shave a couple pounds are want to keep your eating down, just drink water!
- Drinking lots of water when you're sick also helps "flush" out your body, by keeping your digestive track clean and running smoothly.
- Water increases your alertness and productivity. Being hydrated keeps your brain running smoothly!
- Water is pure, you get what you drink, drinking soft drinks and sweetened drinks do not benefit you at all or very little. As they most often come with a high and then the dramatically low... Same goes with energy drinks, it's better to have a cup of coffee or tea for the caffeine. But drinking water should be able to keep you up for quite a while!
My personal suggestions
I find that 1 jug of water a day is a great balance, if you're trying to eat less, try a jug and half. Beware, don't drink water like it's a chugging contest. Drink it slowly and in intervals.
There's my plug for my good friend water!
MarineKing is the god of micro and he never fails to impress. His insane marine splits and making even the most dire situations turn into his favor. In CSS we see players get headshots from across the map before you've even recognized what's going on.
When i was taking a look at how MKP splits his marines it became apparent to me that it's much simpler than previously seen. I made a rough picture by picture analysis and it was a pattern that he repeated every time he split his units.
He did that same pattern every time, with some variation which the second step, moving your marines left or right. (away from the threat)
This lead me to trying it out in the unit tester than darglein's micro trainer. I was astonished at how well I was microing. It's like i became god over night and man did it feel good. When I watch him micro, everything was relaxed, as if he was processing the best move to do next. Each click meant something than just increasing your apm, focusing the yellow bared probes with the hellions. Even In SC2 you need to take your time in micro. It's not as rushed as people believe it to be. I'm not perfect either, sometimes I'm going full throttle screaming AHHHHHHHHH all the while my army gets obliterated from 4 miss micros.
Take your time, process, micro like a god!