I think it's just bugs they're clearing out tbh, although at lower levels I'm not sure that T being able to put stim/mines/irradiate/siege/build important unit on the same hotkey will help with balance (obv pros have been using the defaults for years and don't care)
watching ASL live for the first time this season, the bisu/mini/light/jaehoon group
bisu/mini - watch if you have time
mini techs to reavers and just holds against bisu's 3 gate goon push, should be able to use the tech advantage to counteract a superior goon count after that, but had an AWFUL engagement where he lost two reaver shuttles for not much, bisu's then able to hold a better economy and get to storm a bit faster, mini tries a few things to rebuild but can't really
light/jaehoon - watch because it's quick
jaehoon proxy gates and despite not getting the gas steal, is able to deny a factory for long enough to get goons out before a vulture pops, light tries to send a couple of vultures to kill workers and counter the large amounts of damage the rush has done, but jaehoon has a gate at home to shut that down
winners match - don't bother
kind of mirrored builds, then jaehoon attacks and puts down his reaver in a really awful spot, losing it for nothing and bisu then counters and wins
light goes with a fake gasless expand into marine/scv all-in, does a fair bit of damage but not really enough to kill mini off, eventually it settles into a kind of standard game with mini reaver harassing, before heading to carriers which becomes a kind of low econ base race, mini doesn't know about one of light's expansions which costs him the game
So what do I do when Terran pushes my base at like 5 mins with 8 marines and 6 cyclones?
Pray to Tom Cruise that the precogs give me the foresight to research carapace with my second chunk of gas?
Perfect 2-angle Zergling surround with about 40 zerglings on his half of the map. Another 40 at home with Queen support, and he lost 8 of the marines, but then I was cooked. I managed to get some of the cyclones low, so there may be something to be said for better Queen target firing, but **** man, Cyclones are MEAN.
As I pass 4200 MMR, it's becoming more and more clear that I am just not good enough at this game for heavy Zergling play.
All the pros build roaches. I hate roaches. But at the end of the day, they're doing it for a reason, and my insistence on trying to play with mostly ling/bane is just costing me a lot of wins.
On the plus side, I was like 35 games under 500 at one point, and now I'm back slightly above even. I used to have a 65-70% winrate vs terran, but now I'm 42-46 against them, so my ZvZ and ZvP have really turned around.
So what do I do when Terran pushes my base at like 5 mins with 8 marines and 6 cyclones?
Terran has been pissing me off lately. I haven't played in about a week but the last time I did it was all two-base pushes - somehow mass hellion has made a comeback (???) which isn't so bad, but I saw a lot of variants of hellion-cyclone or marine-cyclone and cyclones are just absurd ****ing units so I usually just died. I started doing the Soo ravager rush and it made me feel a bit better.
This is like the least helpful advice ever because I can't even follow it, but I think you just need to scout, figure out what units they're making, and make the right counter. Which is pretty ****ing hard if you don't see what's coming straight out of the factory, because you want to do different things against widow mines than against cyclones but they both can come out of reactored factories if Terran is doing some cheesy ****. I've started trying to integrate OL speed earlier into my build (w/ next 100 gas after ling speed) to help.
I would imagine that lings are fine against cyclones if they're fighting cyclones, but if they're fighting something else while the cyclones are dealing damage then their damage output is just wayyyy too high.
I watched the replay of the Cyclone game. He rushed right to double factory for Cyclone production, and didn't make a CC at all. If I had held my front at the natural, I would've lost my third, but still probably been okay. He was following it up with a tech lab starport.
I guess it was just an all-in I wasn't prepared for.
Hell, even if I had pulled my drones at the natural, that might've been enough to hold, and I still would've been up on workers.
Lazy surprises everyone by going +1 speedlot rush into 2 gate sairs to gain air dominance, getting himself into a very good position, but ended up with some bad decision making and bad army composition, losing a bunch of templar/goons for not much as hero got to hive and two extra bases
Rain/sSak - ok, watch if you have time
Rain tries some sneaky stuff (early gas steal, hidden base) with an end tech choice of 3 gate carriers, but he can never get up enough carriers and suicided a bunch of his ground army to mines, allowing sSak to just walk into his natural and win
Winners match - weird one but not really worth watching even though it's very unorthodox
sSak went tech rush with 1 starport before CC and then straight into one wraith and a facility, while herO delayed a spire for the longest time as if he was going some sort of hydra/lunker bust, herO couldn't really get any damage done or work out any flanks, not really picking that it was actually bio with a few tanks and just lost
Losers match - watch because it's LOL and very short
Lazy goes proxy two gate zealot rush in the middle of the map. Rain scouts cross map, gg, not even an offensive shield battery can help
Final match - not worth watching
Rain doesn't opt to fast expand, goes one base sairs, which gets little done, herO's allowed to macro and harass quite freely, Rain eventually loses his reaver shuttle which he needed to have any chance against a mass hydra/ling force
Losira has set the Zerg race back at least two months by winning a game where he made swarm hosts and then somehow having sOs bungle his way into letting his immortal-archon-sentry army get wrecked by banelings which never ever should have happened
Also, what? Deadwing is back in the GSL map pool? Okay.
Game 1 - at ~8:00 Losira has 56 army supply to sOs' 46, but 30 of Losira's 56 army supply is in...swarm hosts, and they have a pretty long cooldown now. Rather than press this advantage after Losira uses the swarm hosts to cancel sOs' 3rd - so, Losira is a minute away from having an actual army advantage again - sOs sits back and remakes his third only for it to promptly be killed 90 seconds later with a follow-up attack with more locusts. wtf dude?
Game 3 - this is the final attack:
This is not a fight Zerg should ever win, but it looks like sOs' downfall was filling in that gap in his FF wall with a forcefield that was instantly wiped out by his own archon, allowing banes to spill in and hit everything. Also, he had storm in this game but for some reason didn't bother to have any templars w/ energy along for this attack (I hear they're pretty good against banes), he just made them all into archons I guess.
I have spent some time watching Avilo of all people lately. Only when he's playing Zerg, though. I'm still new to the stream, so his shrill lisp and irritating demeanor hasn't completely ruined it for me yet, but he's surprisingly adept at crushing souls with Zerg for a Terran player. He makes odd decisions, but solid mechanics.
He throws games in the exact same way I do sometimes (do a ton of early damage, essentially force your opponent to attack you out of desperation, and lose because you just built 20 drones instead of units to hold the attack you just provoked) but his unit control is really good. He likes Mutas as much as I do, but probably a little TOO much. I've watched him throw 9 base vs 4 base games by throwing away 200 mutas and literally running the entire map out of Vespene. There was also an 80 minute Swarm Host vs Raven game that he threw (draw) by building an absolutely OBSCENE amount of Nydus Worms, and not having enough gas left for even a single corruptor to kill the Terran buildings floated into a corner.
I've decided I'm going to make Master league happen. I flirted with it in HOTS, but never actually got the promotion. I'm going to go look up proper timings and maybe a build order or two, instead of just winging it and trying to win with ling/bane every game. Might even build a roach. Baby steps.
I've been thinking about doing the same recently, though I was comfortably Masters back in WoL/start of HotS. Realistically all you need to do is practice your mechanics and just build whatever comps you want. Judging from my experiences in unranked vs people with Diamond borders (my MMR never gets that high because I don't play ZvZs or randoms), solid macro will still be more than enough to get to Masters. The overall level of play on the ladder feels much lower compared to other expansions, which is kinda weird since you'd think only hardcore players would be left by now, thereby raising the level.
You're definitely right, and I'm certain there are people who can get masters with mass Queen or something. My mechanics aren't good enough. It's not JUST about macro though.
I think I can say with 100% certainty that my biggest mechanical shortcoming is the ability to deal with drops and split harass.
I am a filthy all-army hotkey abuser. I do use subgroup hotkeys, too, but I still find myself getting torn apart by drops or not having the necessary hit squad in place to deal with things. I tried unbinding all-army completely and forcing myself to get better and it was an absolutely unmitigated disaster.
It's one of those things that I pay attention to when watching pro streams, and very few of them don't use it at ALL, but I am definitely in the "abuse" category of users.
If I'm going to move up, I also need to watch more of my own replays.
If we were talking about getting to GM or going pro, I'd agree that it isn't JUST about macro. But below those levels, it definitely is. Simply being able to make more units than your opponent is worth so many more wins than any other skill in the game.
As for drops, the best defense is vision. The sooner you see them, the longer you have to react. You don't really need to leave units behind, but it's not a bad idea to start out on if you're bad at looking at the minimap (I know I am). Spores and spines also. Multi-pronged harass is much harder to play against than it is to play as, which is why its so good.
I would recommend trying to kick your F2 habit though lol. Shift-clicking eggs into control groups is pretty strictly superior to F2 IMO. I don't use it at all, personally, though it's because I have F2 bound to a camera hotkey (which I also don't use anymore lol) and never bothered to rebind it. It's been like that since before select-all-army was even a thing.
Camera hotkeys are something I only recently adopted, and they're GLORIOUS. I highly recommend.
My all-army is bound to tilde. I use F1-5 for camera locations.
I only say it's not 100% macro because I can't tell you how many games I've lost with superior economy/army, but I lose all my tech and 25 drones to 3 dropships filled with marines while I'm pushing into a defensive Terran.
I think I'm pretty good about building lots of **** and staying on top of my injects and whatnot, but those drops though!
Or I'll lose 30 drones and my spire to DTs split between my main and my third, right as P marches his zealot archon army to my side of the map. If that spire were alive, I would've been able to have than enough mutas ready to deal with it by the time he arrived, but I lost it to DTs because I'm a F2(tilde) scrub without any static defenses and poor unit management skills.
I think I've mentioned earlier in this thread that I often end games by simply showing up with 150 banelings to the last engagement. You don't usually find yourself in that position unless you're way ahead.
If I didn't think I'd immediately lose 40 games in a row, I'd try to unbind all army again.