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Starcraft 2 - Modding the Basics

Musing about making a mod to teach the basics of SC2 mutliplay to noobs like me

So I was watching this Day[9] video the other day (as linked off Shacknews) and it got me thinking.

In the video Day[9] talking about getting the "basics" down in Starcraft 2 multiplay - something which, as a noob myself I will openly admit is not easy.  He says that the basics are all about developing what is essentially a script or schema for your play - and then learning the timing of when to implement this script.  In particular he puts emphasis on keeping minerals low, watching supply, making workers, using abilities, and building units/buildings.

To elaborate, he essentially suggests that you spend your time doing these things:

 - Check resource levels - if they get above 50 then check other things

- Check worker production - if no workers are being produced, build one worker (don't queue) 

- Check supply - if supply is approaching max (say within 3 or 4) then build Supply Depot/Pylon/Overlord

- Check energy/cool down on Orbital Command/Queen/Nexus - if high enough/cool down over then mule/spawn larva/chrono boost

- Check building and unit production - this should be prompted by a) having unspent minerals  b) having a worker already in production and c) having enough supply

This is in my opinion a great little series of checks, and wonderful advice.  In games like Starcraft 2, multiplay it is very much about training yourself to be automatic about actions, I mean everyone knows about learning the hotkeys right? (I know about it, but do I do it?  hmmm… sadly no...)  But as Day [9] rightly points out even if you are a clicker, if you have your script set up with timings then you will do ok.

Once you get these basics down of course you move off into learning additional scripts about build orders, and counters and such.  

Now, lets get on to my thinking.  In Starcraft 2 Blizzard has made an attempt to prepare new players for the reaming that is ladder multiplay through the use of challenges.  Interesting to me however is that these challenges seem to have skipped right over the what Day[9] calls the basics and right to things like countering, learning hotkeys, and microing units.  

So, what do do about this?  Well Starcraft 2 comes with a great modding tool right there in the install disk, the SC2 Editor.  So why not build a mod which would help learn this stuff?

Nothing fancy, just a simple mod that during practice vs the AI would say "build workers" in a little text box (or something) when the game knows you have 50+ minerals and no workers being build.  Or a "supply getting close to max" text pop up when you are 3 or 4 away from supply blocking yourself.  Or a "cool down up" message for the Orbital Command/Queen/Nexus - just like you would have in WoW.

If this was there, it would perhaps then, after practicing with it, become an ingrained thing to check these things.  Perhaps even make a game out of it - have a report come up with scoring in terms of number of times you supply blocked yourself, or number of times you had to be reminded to chrono boost/build a worker?

Of course perhaps the alternative would happen, and people would rely on it as a crutch and not learn anything… that would be bad.

All of this seems possible from within the SC2 Editor - and maybe I will give it a go (I will be sure to post more if I do - rusty programing skills and all.)  Maybe someone has done it already?.  But yeah, those are my thoughts on the matter, what are yours?

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