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July 27th is when… Star… Craft… I… I... launches…?
Consider this: A sequel to StarCraft II will arrive this Tuesday. The simple notion, the simple idea of a sequel to StarCraft is quite simply, utterly insane, but here we are. It’s finally on the cusp of release and considering what gave Blizzard’s original StarCraft its lasting legacy, its multiplayer, there’s the understandable fear of being completely trounced once you enter the online arena. So, I’m here to help with some basic steps that apply to every race in the game. I was once like you; scared, helpless and so intimidated by the multiplayer space that I almost didn’t try out the beta, but here I am, placed in the silver league before the beta closed down just two days ago. If I can do it, so can you. Remember, this is basic, foundation-type stuff. This article only really helps the utterly helpless and/or/and probably/and absolutely retarded.
1. Learn your hotkeys.
This is a critical and fortunately, a very easy step. It’s important that you know what key is bound to what action, as it’ll keep you constantly on the ready. Spells, abilities, units, buildings – know what keys are assigned to all your actions and you will be a faster player, because in StarCraft II, you better be thinking and…
2. … doing stuff all the time
If you have more than a thousand minerals and vespene gas, something is wrong, unless you’re saving up for something remarkable, like a mass fleet of sweet Battlecruisers. You should constantly be spending, building and teching to better armor and weapons, but before even that, you should…
3. … get a solid build order
A build order is simply a quick list of what you should build when you have reached so-and-so supply. StarCraft II functions on supply – if you run out, you simply can’t build anymore units. Terrans rely on Supply Depots, Protoss rely on Pylons and Zerg rely on Overlords to keep up with your demand. Supply is always represented by a number, so an example of a build order would be:
10 Supply Depot
14 Supply Depot
So, what the hell does this mean? Well, by the time you reached 10 supply, you should be building your first Supply Depot. Build orders only really matter during the early game and so build orders are all about speed and effectiveness. There are plenty of videos and guides online. Talking about videos…
4. … YouTube will be your tomb of StarCraft II Knowledge
And they’re fun to watch. Players like day9 and HuskyStarCraft have their own YouTube channels with plenty of fun and knowledgeable videos on how to play less-sucky in StarCraft II. True, some of the strategies applied are so above a lot of us to really put into practice, but watching better players play always helps. I don’t have much a transition point here, so…
5. Oh yeah, the game is pretty damn fun.
Remember, despite these few guidelines sounding awfully work-esque, practicing and getting builds right is a lot of fun. Once you start putting all your Eye of the Tiger Montage Training into practice, winning is satisfying, because let me share a little visual story to take with you:
Yeah, I won. And yeah, it felt pretty good. See you on Battle.net.