This week, we’re analyzing:
Upgrades - How do you decide when to build the structures you need to acquire upgrades, and when do you purchase them? Are there upgrades you feel are essential? Are there upgrades that you avoid?
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Art of War Rules:
As all 3 races, I like to get double evo/ebay/forge and start making the upgrades as soon as possible. Getting to 3/3 increases the effectiveness of every unit, and for some units makes them exceptionally better (level 2 attack tanks 1-shot banelings, 3/3 marines with medivacs are amazing for drop harass and general DPS, etc)
As zerg usually my first building after a spawning pool is an evo chamber and instantly get it upgraded.
ALL ZERG UPGRADES ARE NEEDED TO WIN :D except ovie speed and drops lol. That is totally in my own opinion but zerg units suck unless they are upgraded.
Well, in PvP, i tend to avoid thermal lance in favor of more colos early on.
PvZ: weapons prioritized (in order to 2 shot lings vs 3 shot)
PvT: armor/shields prioritized
(+weapons is kinda useless in this matchup, as a +3wep zeal still 3 shots a +0 armor marine...)
PvP: whatever lol
My first pushes are usually upgradeless apart from zerg speed or marine combat shields. If that push does enough damage I begin double upgrades.
As Protoss, chrono is almost always <25 due to constant upgrading. Though I find that shield upgrades are normally the very last thing I even consider, unless going for a zlot archon mix.
As zerg +1 melee is a high priority if going speed bane. The added damage to the banes makes them amazingly powerful.
As terran I prefer to get combat shields up before stim. Its I believe a shorter upgrade time, plus it helps with early pushes and defense. Stim isn't worth having until your closer to medivacs.
I usually get combat shields before stim because until Medivacs are out Stim leaves my marines at risk. After CS comes Weapons 1 so that my troops in bunkers can benefit and then stim. Siege tech starts as soon as the factory TL finishes and if I'm doing my mass raven build then as soon as I finish my sixth starport I get all three raven upgrades.
While playing Protoss I get +1 weapons ASAP because Immortals and DTs already do immense damage and a few immortals in a drop can wreak havoc on important buildings and workers. This is followed by the shield upgrade which is generally useful by way of enhancing every single Protoss unit ever.
I suck at Zerg and rarely play but if I decide to do so just for fun then I will actually just get ranged attacks upgrade and of course ling+bling speed upgrades. If I get to Ultralisks I will get Chitinous Plating but my Zerg games rarely last long enough to reach that level of tech.
Armor - EMP drains shields anyway, and the cost of the shield upgrade vs the armor upgrade means you have more resource (especially that crucial gas) to make a stronger army or more sentries to defend.
Definitely armor. While sentries and stalkers have equal amounts of armor and shields, zealots have 100 health vs 50 shields.
But in PvT in general, you'd want 3armor/3shields anyways (as opposed to weapons).
How do you decide when to build the structures you need to acquire upgrades
There are different types of upgrades to that matter. For instance, units that mostly require the ugrades (siege tank, zealot) and units with the upgrade helps, but not that much (like Moebius Reactor). Usually, as soon as I intend training an unit, I'll just go right to the upgrade if it's crucial.
If it's not, I'm likely not to upgrade the unit at all.
Most players are actually like that. Despite some upgrades are really under-appreciated, like the observer's speed boost, which helps chasing down some slightly faster enemy units.
Interesting - you opt for shields before weapons? I've never even heard of anyone doing that.
TvZ I will often opt for combat shields before stim, TvP always conc. shell before stim.
Edited by Fate on 5/11/12 9:32 PM (PDT)
As a Zerg, upgrade are extremely important. The timings and which upgrades you get, though, depend heavily on the matchup.
Essential upgrades off the top of my head and when you should get them...
Vs Terran: most Zergs use zergling/infestor in the matchup. Because of this you should have plenty of extra gas early on and want to start upgrading melee attack and carapace as soon as possible. You want 3/3 zerglings as soon as possible. Putting down two evo chambers on 2 base before going lair is a good way to do it. If you can stay ahead of the terran in upgrades it will help a lot in the early and mid game. If you fall behind in upgrades it will cost you the game... 3/3 marines are insanely powerful with medivac support.
Vs Zerg: all upgrades are good, but it seems like getting +1 ranged attack on roaches is one of the most important upgrades in the matchup. +1 allows roaches to 2 shot lings, which is incredibly important. If you know you are going to transition into roaches, I would drop an evo during or even before your roach warren is finished and start researching it right away. Also, in the mid/late game when you have a roach based army with infestor support, it is important to have two evo chambers and to get your roaches to at LEAST 2/2 as soon as you can.
Vs Protoss: the upgrades can vary. Some players like to get + melee attack as quickly as possible and to get to +3 melee attack +3 carapace as fast as possible. This is good because although lings aren't the greatest vs protoss (Zealots, forcefields, collosus) they allow you to tech up to broodlord/infestor very quickly since you are saving up gas. The upgrades also benefit broodlings, which makes broodlords that much more effective. Getting + ranged attack quickly for roach/speedling 3 base compositions can be good as well, as the extra roach dps makes holding up early mid game pressure (blink stalkers, 6 gates, or immortal timing attacks) that much easier.
Edited by ninjakitten on 5/11/12 9:35 PM (PDT)
Zerg: Get every upgrade to be on par with the other races.
Terran: Get some upgrades, too many of em anyway. Attack upgrades make your units unbeatable.
Protoss: Extended Thermal Lance
Upgrades that I avoid:
neosteel -bunker, CC and PF additional capacity.: I don't find bunker useful enough by the time I am mining gas to use it on bunkers as I am not building any more bunkers by that point. Delaying the engineering bay from being used on its other upgrades is also undesirable.
reaper speed: I don't use reapers. If I used them it would be good.
250mm strike cannon: money is better spent on +1 vehicle weapons upgrades.
+25 medivac energy: makes no noticeable difference.
+25 raven energy: ravens still won' be able to use PDD immediately with this. Its not very cost effective, its better to plan ahead and build a raven earlier and use the money for a second raven.
durable materials: outside of PDD I don't find raven spells useful. PDD is only good as long as its energy lasts.
Seeker Missile: 125 energy avoidable, and only good damage if opponent stacks air units. I like to chance fate as a random, but even I consider that too chancy.
+25 Bc energy.
grooved spines: its good if you use hydras, but I build hydras infrequently at best.
graviton catapult: it only affects the first volley. Even when I use carriers in PvZ I don't get this.
Upgrades that I find situational:
yammato cannon: its good, its solid, but where are the bcs again?
Hi-sec: only vs mutas and banshees
Annion pulse: only vs mutas
nueral parasite: good vs thor, bcs, carriers and mothership. Good luck seeing the last three, or getting it off on the last one. Reducing to 7 range really reduced its potential.
Good, but not amazing enough to go out of my way
warp prism speed
adrenal glands: the hive requirement makes it out of he way
Terran: concussive shell
+25 ghost energy
+25 infestor energy
burrow move for roaches
True, I often get Conc. shells in TvP. Works great against Stalkers and allows for easier kiting of Zealots. I almost always get CS first though.