StarCraft® II

Protoss Hakuna Matata Project. Conclusion.

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Posts: 14,077
yes i am planning on doing terran and zerg also. terran is next in line, but i am not playing actively for a while so don't expect an update anytime soon

League lock is about to hit, so I'm going to wrap this up.
I originally called it "A-moving journey" but now in the interest of sounding less hostile, I'm calling it my "Hakuna Matata Project."

Playing protoss with No Worries.

Here is my original thread when I started, about a month ago.
http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/10716191936

Over the course of this experiment, I have made some abrasive and harsh comments concerning balance in multiple threads. I apologize. I'd prefer for you to read this with an open mind and come to your own conclusions about what it means about balance or race design.

I'm a former many time master league zerg player. I went inactive, then I lost all joy in playing SC2, because when I tried, I sucked compared to my own expectations, and felt overwhelmed by how much work I'd have to do to catch up. I didn't have the time or inclination to re-learn, nor did I get any enjoyment out of playing zerg and being bad. Having been good (in relative terms) at zerg in the past ruined being bad at zerg for me. But I do love SC2 and wanted to be able to play a few games here and there and still enjoy it.

So I switched to protoss. I have no qualms about being bad at protoss. Instead of investing energy into learning how to play properly and understanding all the ins-and-outs of this brilliant strategy game, I was going to just play a few games at a time with No Worries.

It turned into an experiment to see how far you can get playing with No Worries.

Here are my baseline guidelines for how I was going to play Protoss:
- Don't make this game harder than it needs to be.
- A-move. If units don't work well when a-moved, don't use those units.
- Taking a 3rd base isn't part of the gameplan, unless it can be done comfortably.
- Hakuna matata. It means No Worries.

and I'd find out where it takes me. My fingers and mind have macro'd in master league before, so presumably I'd catch up with that, but I wanted to leave my brain in gold league.

My MMR had reset, so I placed in gold league by default and I'd just play it out from there. The most important thing is "No Worries." Win/lose, big deal, I might as well be against the AI. I'm just making units and attacking and seeing what happens.

I played builds and styles that required the least thinking, least problem solving, and least battle micromangement.
PvP: 2 base immortal archon speed zealot
PvT: 2 base archon speed zealot (no storm)
PvZ: I couldn't really settle on a single unit composition that satisfied my requirements and could still win games. There was too much diversity for me to handle. I avoided storm, forcefields, blink and phoenix which are high skill units. That didn't leave much. Sometimes I did immortal archon speed zealot. Sometimes I did void ray colossus. Sometimes I tried basic robo ground army.

I did not execute sharply refined timing attacks. I massed units and attacked. Usually in the ballpark of 16 minutes. Most games were 19-21 minutes long.

My APM average stayed about 60 for the whole journey. I had big spikes for mass warp-ins, but it was not mechanically demanding in the slightest.

If I took a 3rd base, it was because I was floating minerals when I moved out with my army, so why not? Early 3rd bases were not in the plan, because they bring Too Many Worries. If you don't play well, you will spend more trying to hold it than you get out of it. I wasn't planning to learn enough to figure out how to hold an early 3rd. This caused problems in PvZ.

RESULTS:
I placed in gold, moved to plat, then moved to diamond league. I'm not in the very top of diamond league, and my winrate is finally sinking and stabilizing.

Games played: 203
Wins: 117
Losses: 86
Winrate: 58%

By Race:
PvP: 57
W: 36
L: 21
%: 63%

PvT: 68
W: 50
L: 18
%: 74%

PvZ: 78
W: 31
L: 47
%: 40%

Summary:
Overall 58%.
PvP 63%.
PvT 74%
PvZ 40%


Maps came out pretty even. Best map was Bel'shir at 64% and worst map was Yeonsu at 48%.

Here I am on sc2ranks:
http://www.sc2ranks.com/character/us/1113340/Oboeman/hots/1v1
sc2 ranks put me at 2441th out of 11,648 diamonds globally.
I did a little math and that put me at top 3.4% of the playerbase. It's not that close to master. It may have been enough when master league was at its most bloated (the era of "fake masters"), but shouldn't put me there now.

Here is a pile of replays with statistics: http://ggtracker.com/players/13503/Oboeman#?race=protoss&page=1
It's not every game, but it is a bunch of them, mostly from platinum and up. I wasn't cherrypicking wins or losses, I just did a few big batches. I think most games in there would be good representation of how I played.

Here are example replays, one of each match-up, that I think exemplify how things felt:
PvP: http://ggtracker.com/matches/4516211
PvZ: http://ggtracker.com/matches/4534319
PvT: http://ggtracker.com/matches/4486170
Not every game was exactly like those, but many felt like that.
Edited by Oboeman on 3/4/2014 10:31 AM PST
Posts: 14,077
OK, now what you're really interested in. What do I think after this?
I'm a little disappointed. Part of me was hoping for easy masters so I could claim "look how easy toss is, I can play like an idiot and get back to masters!" That part of me was disappointed.
Part of me was hoping I'd get the door slammed in my face and get stranded in gold league, maybe platinum, and discover that playing like an idiot wasn't going to get me very far.
That part of me was also disappointed.

I played with No Worries. Every game was relaxed and enjoyable, there was close to zero stress. This is an extreme contrast to my experience as a master zerg, which was very stressful, and most of the enjoyment comes from rising to the challenge and overcoming adversity. I expect this to be a big contrast to playing in master league as any race, protoss included.

I did a safe opener, I scouted once with a zealot, I made my army, and I attacked. I tried to macro as competently as I could on two bases, and apart from that there was as close to zero activity from me as possible. A little bit like an AI, I suppose.

The most striking observation for me was the differences between the match-ups. My Hakuna Matata style flourished in PvP and PvT, and floundered horribly in PvZ.
The more I played, it became more and more apparent that I would have to learn something besides probes and pylons to succeed in PvZ.
It also became more and more apparent that I would not need to learn anything besides probes and pylons to succeed in PvT.
PvP was somewhere between the two, but I had much more success than PvZ. There were some clear ways for my opponent to handle the situation, but not all of them did it well.

It was difficult to avoid early game Worries in PvP. The zealot+probe scout revealed many things, but there's no all-inclusive safe way to play. You can't really escape from having to micro a bit. but not toooo much.

In PvZ, I frequently faced Too Many Worries, distracting me from spending and I couldn't keep my macro together. I was unable to simplify the match-up enough to succeed in it at this level.

I do think that a big part of this has to do with staying on 2 bases. If I could take 3 bases with No Worries, I would, but I could not. Playing on 3 bases as protoss was a challenge and required significantly more thinking, problem-solving, planning and understanding than playing on 2 bases. I respect toss players who do it well.
This applies particularly strongly to PvZ, where playing with No Worries gives you some very severe disadvantages. I think if the other two match-ups required protoss to take an earlier 3rd, my No Worries style would falter quite significantly, just as it did in PvZ. Since staying on two bases for a comfortable length of time is viable in PvP and PvT, I had success in these match-ups.

It's common for master league players to emphasize the importance of macro. We tend to say "With good macro, you will have enough units to a-move and beat everybody, right back into master league." Macro at least carried me to diamond.

However; the "master level" mechanics I showcase in this project consists of playing at an average of 60 apm and having No Worries. It's not complicated. Are your fingers too slow? I doubt it. Is multi-tasking too much of a strain? I didn't have to think about anything besides my macro. It's all I did. No Worries.

Additionally, my mechanics were not good enough to make up for lack of thinking in the PvZ match up. I don't think you can a-move to masters in PvZ. I would have had better success doing a raw coinflip build every single game, but that would not be in the spirit of Hakuna Matata.

Conclusion:
Hakuna Matata Protoss excels in PvT right up to diamond league.
Hakuna Matata Protoss functions in PvP right up to diamond league.
Hakuna Matata Protoss stinks in PvZ above platinum league.
Edited by Oboeman on 12/28/2013 11:12 AM PST
Posts: 14,077
Takeaways:
Zerg players, please respect Protoss players. I know how frustrating it can be. But you can be pretty sure they aren't actually making a sandwich while playing PvZ. They have Worries in this match-up, just like you do. If you want to cause the most Worries, swarm hosts or mutalisks are the units that do that, because they are the units that really make a two base protoss suffer.

Terran players, I feel for you. I don't want to call Protoss Imba on these grounds alone. Instead, is there a playstyle that will excel against a Hakuna Matata Protoss. Something that lets you show your skill and separate the good from the bad? The current shape of TvP is perfectly comfortable for Hakuna Matata Protoss. Primarily, there is no pressure for Protoss to take an early 3rd, because his two base army is good against everything. A protoss with a 3rd base has Worries. Think about that, a little bit. I don't have an immediate solution, but I do have some little tips.
Mech did not cause many more Worries than bio. Although mass hellbats are good against blindly massed zealots, it didn't make me Worry.

Protoss players, if you are below diamond, and you are playing with Worries, and struggling against Terran, simply try not worrying. Look at my PvT replays and give it some good thought. There shouldn't have to be any struggle. Do not overcomplicate the match-up, and keep your focus on your fundamentals. They will deliver. I have newfound respect for most protoss players in PvZ. It's not as easy as it looks. I hope you can reciprocate the feelings.

It's not over. I want to do this with other races as well. How far can I get with ~60 apm and No Worries? How different will each of the match-ups be?
It might be difficult for me to accurately assess what "No Worries" zerg should feel like. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
I encourage others to try this as well to broaden their perspective and understanding of what goes on.

Happy Holidays.
Posts: 10,950
I love you.

actually responding to your thread now
12/26/2013 09:17 PMPosted by Oboeman
It might be difficult for me to accurately assess what "No Worries" zerg should feel like. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
What do you think about roach hydra? It's pretty a-movey and simple to do like immortal archon but cheaper and weaker :P

I suggest if you do this as terran you play mech and not bio because you will get crushed in all 3 matchups against tanks banelings and storm/colossus with a move marines
Edited by Burnthesky on 12/26/2013 9:31 PM PST
Posts: 2,983
I kept reading that as hanna montana...

Neat observation and very true, mix in a healthy amount of deception with your hanna montana and you could probably take it a bit further, for PvZ just proxy 2 gate and convert your macro into micro. Most zerg can't hack it.
Posts: 2,676
Great thread. Great content. I really appreciate the volume of experience you've put on here (totally has nothing to do with demonstrating the ease of Protoss).

I'm genuinely interested in seeing what you've got in store for the other two races. I'd like to think that Terran would pose some difficulty but in reality I think that it may even be easiest given the power of mech at some levels.

I make frequent and rather large mistakes as a mech player. Given that I do not properly hot key my army and don't generally have high APM (I generally cap upward to 140 at best) I think that mech really allows me to excel. It just poses different types of difficulties as opposed to the raw mechanics needed for bio.
Posts: 6,425
12/26/2013 09:30 PMPosted by Omnipotent
I'm genuinely interested in seeing what you've got in store for the other two races.


Same here!

Very good and informative read.
Posts: 8,360
Very nice thread.
Posts: 4,611
Jambo,

I enjoyed this thread. Good read. Keep up the good work.

Until next time,

lala salama
Posts: 1,192
Hey Oboeman,

I remember you for doing an excellent Zerg guide early on in WoL. Possibly more than one. I remember you talking a lot about how you focused on your zergling play and actually got to masters (correct me if I'm wrong) on pure ling for the most part.

When you spoke about your difficulties in PvZ, it made me wonder if you've tried to play around with Zealot pokes very much. I notice that at the correct timing, even just six Zealots can kill a Zerg 3rd. Given your previous inclination to get the most you could out of Zerglings, it made me wonder if you could get similar returns by focusing on an aggressive Zealot heavy style in PvZ. I suppose that perhaps aggression isn't really in sync with what your goal for this play session but I'm just curious at how your Protoss play might be tweaked to be in line with your goals while being more effective.

Another thought occurs to me regarding your experiences. I feel that you may have denied yourself several highly effective strategies in PvZ by restricting your choice of units as you did. Phoenix's and Sentries are both units that are highly effective in the match up, yet given your goals they're probably both units that you wouldn't use much. I don't think anyone reasonable would disagree that Protoss is at a disadvantage if they are only using A+Move friendly units. I think a lot of the Protoss strength comes from mixing in relatively easy to manage caster units or other units that require some micro. Sentries, Templar, Phoenixes, and Oracles all have a lot of potential to dramatically influence a match, but if you deny yourself the use of those units because they aren't A+Move friendly enough then you're making life harder than it has to be and creating an unrealistic picture of what Gold-Diamond Protoss actually face. I think that if you did allow yourself the use of slightly more aggressive or micro intensive builds then I'm sure you'd see your PvZ higher than 40%.

Anyway, that was an interesting experiment, but I'm not so sure how I feel about your PvZ data given the self-imposed restrictions you made. I feel that Protoss needs as least some micro to contend with the other races for the most part and by focusing on a Hakuna Matata Protoss style you're cutting off a lot of the Protoss potential.
Posts: 1,098
Here is my terran hakuna matata game. Pretty funny game too might want to play it at 2x speed since its pretty long.

http://drop.sc/369015
Posts: 5,774
Interesting results, good test.

Just by chance, did the Terrans you face generally have Marauder-heavy compositions? Normally those are good against early splash damage like so many Protosses do, but Chargelot/Archon tends to wreck it. Marine-heavy compositions are surprisingly better, and I'm not sure exactly why, but I think it has to do with damage output being better than more HP in this case (since Chargelot/Archon is basically pure meat).

I don't know what Mech could do against it, I haven't ever seen Chargelot/Archon vs Mech. If you could get a lot of Widow Mines with a handful of Hellbats, you might be able to take out the Zealots somewhat easily, leaving the Archons exposed to whatever else (maybe more Widow Mines with a few Tanks?). Really the biggest weakness of Widow Mines is stuff that outranges them, but that issue isn't there with Chargelot/Archon. All theoretical, though.
Edited by NinjaDuckBob on 12/26/2013 11:17 PM PST
Posts: 10,950
12/26/2013 11:14 PMPosted by NinjaDuckBob
I don't know what Mech could do against it, I haven't ever seen Chargelot/Archon vs Mech
hellbat thor
Posts: 1,569
I wish I could play Hakuna Matata SC2. Back in WoL, I had the same problem of pressing a button to search and my initial anxiety was very high but eventually it would decrease with each following game played.But as the anxiety decreased, frustration would increase if that day of laddering offered nothing but a losing streak.

I played maybe 5 ladder games per day at first until I got platinum. Up to that point everything was fine. I didn't care that much about my league and my placement. But then I wanted a diamond badge so I upped my efforts to at least 10-15 games per day. Once I got diamond I started playing even more but somewhere around that diamond-master level this game becomes so frustrating to play at times so I completely understand how you felt.

The diamond-master is probably hardest boundary to cross in terms of mental fortitude. People who are high masters and close to GM probably have even bigger skill gap to cover but they obviously get something more than frustration from the game.

1v1 can be very scary sometimes so I envy you that you made this Hakuna Matata work for the most part.
Posts: 14,077
BurnTheSky:
What do you think about roach hydra? It's pretty a-movey and simple to do like immortal archon but cheaper and weaker :P

My concern about zerg is mainly that I already know so much about it, where do I draw the line?
For Protoss I knew nothing. I could ignore subtleties because I was completely oblivious to their existence.

When playing Hakuna Matata zerg, what do I do about things like creep spread and overlord placement? They aren't necessarily mechanically demanding, but how much detail do I let sneak back into the game before it starts counting as a Worry?
In the past, I had memorized overlord scout patterns for the first 5-6 overlords on each ladder map. And yes I did occasionally win or lose games based on the location of one of those overlords. I don't think that would fit. I could accept first two overlords. For creep, I'm not sure. For zergling scouting, I'm not sure. I'll figure it out later. I'm going to do Terran before zerg, I think.

BabelFish:
for PvZ just proxy 2 gate and convert your macro into micro. Most zerg can't hack it.
Not interested in that, but if you do a Hannah Montana project, that could be the build to use.

Omnipotent:
I'd like to think that Terran would pose some difficulty but in reality I think that it may even be easiest given the power of mech at some levels.
I don't know yet what I'll do, and I am also curious. I expect Mech Hakuna Matata would go better than bio, but I'm not ruling out the possibility of trying bio. If I want to minimize micro and stress, I wouldn't be able to take engagements in the traditional bio way. I'll be giving it some thought.

Prome:
I remember you for doing an excellent Zerg guide early on in WoL. Possibly more than one. I remember you talking a lot about how you focused on your zergling play and actually got to masters (correct me if I'm wrong) on pure ling for the most part.

When you spoke about your difficulties in PvZ, it made me wonder if you've tried to play around with Zealot pokes very much. I notice that at the correct timing, even just six Zealots can kill a Zerg 3rd. Given your previous inclination to get the most you could out of Zerglings, it made me wonder if you could get similar returns by focusing on an aggressive Zealot heavy style in PvZ. I suppose that perhaps aggression isn't really in sync with what your goal for this play session but I'm just curious at how your Protoss play might be tweaked to be in line with your goals while being more effective.

Thanks, and yes that was me with mass zergling in Wings of Liberty. I was in master league, not with pure pure ling, but with playstyles that revolved almost exclusively around zerglings. Playing like that is the exact polar opposite of what I'm doing right now.
How you describe zealot based PvZ is how I've dreamed of playing if I were to formally devote myself to learning and playing protoss as a good player; however, it didn't fit the bill for something like this.

Prome:
Another thought occurs to me regarding your experiences. I feel that you may have denied yourself several highly effective strategies in PvZ by restricting your choice of units as you did.
I did. You are correct. Opening up forcefields alone would have had a very big impact, I'm sure. I did experiment with a bit of non a-moving. I did some 2-2-2, some immortal all-in, some stargate openings. I have been forced into phoenix against muta, and that got into Too Many Worries territory.

What I found with each variation that I'd consider is that it uncovered a whole new dimension in the game that I didn't know anything at all about. I'd have to learn it, and that goes right back to my initial mission of playing a race without facing the burden of truly learning it in any detail or depth.
I considered putting some work into PvZ to try to make something good happen, but then I thought "I'm not putting any work into PvP or PvT." The comparison was already made. PvZ needs more Worries than PvP and PvT.

Prome:
I feel that Protoss needs as least some micro to contend with the other races for the most part and by focusing on a Hakuna Matata Protoss style you're cutting off a lot of the Protoss potential.
Not against terran, and hardly against Protoss. Only against Zerg.
You are right that I am cutting off Protoss potential.
Now just imagine Terran or Zerg. Will I have to stretch or bend these rules? I hope not. We'll see how it goes.

NinjaDuckBob:
Just by chance, did the Terrans you face generally have Marauder-heavy compositions?
I can't answer truthfully, because I didn't really look or pay attention to what they had. It was bio. Some had ghosts, some didn't. Some had hellbats. There were probably marauder heavy comps, and there were probably marine heavy comps, and it didn't make a bit of difference to me. The terrans who did well were guys who landed blanket EMPs and made me fight through chokes and simcity, in addition to expandinng early, adding ample production along with bases 3 and 4, and dealing damage with harass without giving up many units, and successfully stalling to keep my army from getting into his production. One of the above wasn't enough, it had to be all. I didn't use storm.

Davidkimchi:

I wish I could play Hakuna Matata SC2
You can! For me it wasn't about anxiety, it was about time. I broke the SC2 "spell", got more things going on in real life, and no longer had time or interest to maintain my skill level at its peak. If I tried to play a few games on a weekend, I just didn't enjoy it. It was all or nothing. Either dedicate the time to really master it, or don't bother. This is how I found my inbetween, by openly acknowledging to myself that I don't want to master it.

Thanks guys.

I'll be thinking about how I want to approach Terran and Zerg in this vein.
The principle behind Hakuna Matata is that I shouldn't have to be worrying about managing many things or juggling tasks. As few decisions as possible. As simple execution as possible. I'd like to stay close to the 60 apm bar set by Protoss, but I accept that there will be leeway.
I shouldn't have to learn a big long decision tree based on scouting and reacting. No fancy builds or surprise gimmicks. Maybe a bit of micro will be unavoidable, but certainly nothing that pits my battle micro against my opponents in a match of skill. Nor am I engaging in a battle of wits or minds.
For toss, 2 base let me play with No Worries, and I'm not sure what the limits will be for Terran or Zerg. It'll take a bit of exploring. Holding expansions with those races is easier, so it might be ok, but as Zerg I'm still used to Many Worries every single game when opening with 3 bases.
Edited by Oboeman on 12/27/2013 12:56 AM PST
Posts: 8,359
I would be interested in your terran play.
Posts: 10,950
I think for zerg you should just use the 2 overlords. As for ling scouting, hold watchtowers and put 1 in their 3rd bases. Creep spread: make it simple and just use your creep spread from your 3rd queen before your 3rd is finished(assuming you want to stay on 2 bases for a bit). That way you will only have a few tumors. Maybe try some 2 base swarmhost or something? You could make an extra queen for it and only spread creep with the 1 queen. I don't know lol

I'd like to try this, but like you and zerg, I have enough experience with protoss and terran that I'll feel bad skipping doing things on purpose. Obviously I am not as good with each race, but I still understand somewhat what I wouldn't be doing. Like if I played mech vs zerg, I wouldn't really scout except a few scans and I know for sure I would be praying in the back of my mind that they dont switch to broodlords (since I wont preemptively make vikings)
Posts: 5,774
12/27/2013 12:47 AMPosted by Oboeman
I can't answer truthfully, because I didn't really look or pay attention to what they had. It was bio. Some had ghosts, some didn't. Some had hellbats. There were probably marauder heavy comps, and there were probably marine heavy comps, and it didn't make a bit of difference to me. The terrans who did well were guys who landed blanket EMPs and made me fight through chokes and simcity, in addition to expandinng early, adding ample production along with bases 3 and 4, and dealing damage with harass without giving up many units, and successfully stalling to keep my army from getting into his production. One of the above wasn't enough, it had to be all. I didn't use storm.

Okay, thanks. Yeah I was assuming you were all-inning before Ghosts came out, my bad :-)
How did stutterstep do against it?

If you're going to do this in ZvT as Zerg, might I suggest going for Ling/Bling/Hydra with a handful of Roaches (10-12 in front of Hydras)? Mutas require quite a bit of micro and rely on Ling/Bling to deal real damage to the Bio force itself while the Mutas kill small groups and Medivacs. Hydras with their range and speed upgrades can focus-fire in-combat Medivacs *somewhat* decently, but "A-Moved" they provide good DPS support to make what Medivacs there are not quite as effective. You probably won't have as much drop defense, though, so more Static D can be helpful. In the lategame, Hydras and Ultras seem to have a pretty good synergy as well. Upgrades are incredibly important, though. It seems like in the early game, it's best to start out spending gas on Banelings before Hydras, though.

As Terran, if you really want an "A-Moving" composition, I'd go for Hellbat/Thor.

Just my 2-cents :-)
Edited by NinjaDuckBob on 12/27/2013 10:07 AM PST
Posts: 11,987
12/26/2013 09:14 PMPosted by Oboeman
- A-move. If units don't work well when a-moved, don't use those units.


LOLOLOL I bet you didn't have stop using many units.
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