Protoss: The Road To Diamond
Switching from Terran had me questioning my sanity. I mean, really? Give up on MMM? No more mech against Zerg? And, one that makes me cringe, no scans? All this to give Protoss a chance. My initial sentiment was that it was going to be terrible. The idea of having to use Observers and hallucinations to scout had me shaking my head. On a more cosmetic level, I truly despise lasers and that whole sci-fi business. I’ll leave that for the Trekkies. However, this last week was full of pleasant surprises courtesy of the sons of Aiur. Let me take you through week one of my journey into Protoss.
To start, I simply read some forums to get a feel for what the community had to say. I know what you’re probably thinking, but I stand by forums as a way of at least introducing you to what some people may be having trouble with (because let’s face it – you won’t hear much in way of positive feedback coming out of the forums). Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything new for me there. There were typical complaints about the 1-1-1 Terran build and Zerg being difficult to handle mid to late game, but that’s all that really stood out. I would still suggest that brand new players take the time to browse the official boards as an introduction. There are some really good sticky posts that offer some insight into Protoss that would benefit the budding newbie. Once you start hovering around gold/platinum leagues, go ahead and check out TeamLiquid for more analytical information (Team Liquid is one of the most well-known teams in the Pro Starcraft scene).
From here, I went to my favorite source for information – Youtube. I browsed some professional games from the last Dreamhack, but without knowing the little details of Protoss or how they felt to play, watching these replays gave me little more than entertainment. Fortunately for me, Team Dignitas’ Apollo had just posted a tutorial video on starting out with Protoss. It does drag on a little bit with just much of the same stuff, but at least the first half of the video is very useful. It takes you from point A to point B at a slightly accelerated pace, and shows you exactly what the various strategies might look like in a bronze league setting. He goes through one thoroughly safe opener against all three races, and also provides some insights on how control groups work.
As per the video’s intent, I went and tried some of this stuff out, but because I’m a total wimp (and because I’m currently in Platinum league with Terran…/cry), I opted to comp-stomp for an hour or so. I really didn’t think it would be that big a deal to get used to the new hotkeys and opening timings, but for some reason I just couldn’t get it down. I caught myself hitting S instead of E to make workers too often to admit, and getting used to the new unit-producing hotkeys wasn’t any easier. Chrono Boost did an even bigger number on my timings and early-game sense. I often found myself scouting around or building stuff, then hitting 4 (my control group for the Nexus) and realizing I hadn’t made a worker for a few seconds.