Nerdsworth Academy

Starcraft 2: FFA Woes

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Hey all,

Once again, I’m sorry for the slowness of the updates.  I finally finished up my schooling so I should be able to post several times a week once again.  Now, on to the topic at hand:

Starcraft 2: Free-for-Alls (4 player):

Okay, I know that FFA is for newbs.  But I am a newb.  In any case, they do provide a fun test-bed for new builds and just general wackiness.  Part of this is due to the length of the games: they tend to run in the 30-60 minute range rather than in the 10-20 minute range as 1v1s do.  Another part of this is the fact that sometimes you have just enough time to do something wacky. 

I hate Protoss in FFAs.  While you may think that this is because they are my weakest matchup in 1v1; it isn’t.  Oh no, it’s because, no offense Protoss players, but 90% of Protoss players in FFAs mass void rays.  And I don’t think that is much of an exaggeration.  

I can hear you all so clearly now, "But Sunhawk, why don’t you just kill them before they get a critical mass of void rays?" That is always the plan, trust me!  Typically, I can smell when a Toss is going for void rays and will proceed with some zergling harassment right about the time they try to put up their natural.  Usually this is pretty effective: if I can’t outright kill the player then (or make them rage quit, which I never understood in FFAs), then I can weaken them severely. But you know what they die to most of the time? Some other Protoss massing void rays!

I don’t think that void rays are overpowered, at least not in 1v1.  The slow-paced nature of FFAs makes them very nasty though.  They can harass very well alone or in small numbers and in large numbers they are nigh unstoppable against everything but huge swarms of AA air units.  And I don’t like that Zerg has no solid ground counter to large numbers of voids.  Even mass hydras with infestor backup has failed me (either that or my micro isn’t up to snuff when it comes to fighting them).

But it’s not even that void rays destroy me that miffs me; I could care less about that as FFAs aren’t ranked or even recorded.  It’s that it is so predictable and, in my most humble opinion, boring.  I’m not saying that void rays are overpowered. I’m not saying that players that mass void rays to win in FFAs aren’t skilled.  I have seen some great void ray micro in the last couple of weeks. A well balanced Protoss army completely wipes the floor with my zerglings.

I guess I feel like holding back against everyone and then bringing out an "I win" fleet of 40 void rays is boring and generally against the spirit of FFAs.  It is more exciting for me as a player to constantly feel like I’m making progress to victory: harassing expansions of multiple players.  Scouting and dropping random nydus worms.  Using overlords to drop banelings into worker lines. 

Basically, I try to be a terrorist in FFAs… and it has been a blast.

So FFA Players: please mass something other than void rays! Try massing zealots, or coloxen, or phoenixes.  I have seen some sick stalker micro too.  Try massing zerglings, or hydras, or roaches, or ultras or infestors.  Or build a balanced army.  I also met a player with a very unique baneling / infestor build.  Whatever.  Just please, for the sake of my sanity, ease off on the void ray spam!

TLDNR: QQ. void rays. QQ.

I apologize for the ranty-ness of this post.  I’ll post some more happy beta stories this coming weekend.  One of them happens to be an epicly long FFA which ended with me having a single hatch, a dozen queens, and one Ultralisk with 230 kills.

Until then, be sure to get enough protein in your diet!




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