Trying to improve at the game and im curious on what stands out in skill level from say a 1700 rated player compared to a 2k rated player. Which skills should I focus on and what should i pay attention to too improve.
What separates good players from great players
The #gameplay-and-training channel consensus seems to be that you can get to ~1.8k by just executing the basic strategy for each map very efficiently.
I.e. if you are just very good at spamming tanks on ladder or really efficient with your eco/build in defensive team games, you'll reach 1.8k in them.
Beyond that it seems to be a combination of a lot of things:
- Map awareness and gamesense allowing you to accurately know how the game is going and make the correct decision based on that.
- Adaptability seems to be a huge one, allowing you to not only choose the correct strategy based on the situation but also be able to execute it well.
- "APM", so that you can micro a bomber, sent a raid and macro on the back end, all pretty much perfectly. This also allows you to either deal a lot of damage with little mass investment, or trade your apm for your opponent's, which is a good trade because you presumably have more. Apm probably matters a lot more on 20x20 ladder, but as a certified Setoner(TM) I wouldn't know
- "Teamsense": being able to judge what your allies are good/bad at, adjusting your strategy accordingly.
- Being comfortable in unconventional situations: Ever got a 2nd or 3rd base in a fullshare game, didn't know what to do and suddenly had a full mass bar? Yeah, that shouldn't happen.
- Being even more efficient: While a 1.8k is decent at whatever they do, there are still huge improvements possible. The 2.5ks we have can talk to their stream, while also shitposting on the ingame chat and still have better eco and micro than I do in my tryhard sandbox games. Also even a couple percent improvement in whatever you do actually matters quite a lot due to the exponential nature of the game.
- Being even better prepared: Many of the "serious" BOs go to straight up absurd lengths of optimizations, e.g. delaying a single pgen by 10 seconds at min 5.
In short: It doesn't seem to be one big thing but many small things to improve from 1.8k onward.
Would be interesting to hear what our resident >2.2k players think though.
Near perfect eco-management for the first 5-10 minutes with proper scaling, using all of your mass and not wasting any/very little power
Using your unit advantage everywhere on the map. If you have more tanks in some area of the map you have to realize that as fast as possible and leverage that advantage
Being able to read the game without having a lot of information (you can tell what your opponent is doing without having to scout their base)
Having good map awareness, denying raids, and properly defending without investing much into defenses. This usually requires good use of air scouts and radars to have intel in adequate places
Being able to macro properly while re-expanding, managing your main army/ies, and raiding your opponent while defending his raids without taking much damage
Knowing what strategy to choose at a particular time in the game, when to make more units, go all-in, or tech up
1.8k in teamgames is just sitting there and having decent eco without dying
being better than that is recognizing when good macro isn’t enough to win the game and you need to actually have an impact on game state.
So in other words, 1.8k is reached by making better players on your team able to ignore you as a concern in the game state (playing smart), 1.8k+ is reached by impacting the game state positively (actually taking productive risks).
There literally never is a specific point or set of specific mistakes that hold someone back from reaching a given rating threshold. Thinking about games this way is holding you back. The actual answer is: The sum of what you do (and generally also basically any individual thing) at x rating is some % worse than what you do at x+300 rating. While playing, every second that passes during a game with a huge rating discrepancy, the lower rateds player win chance decreases. The only way for an upset is a huge mistake that cant be rectified quickly enough by the permanent being-better-at-everything advantage.
The more you use transports, the higher your rating gets. Whether it's for expanding faster, getting units to the front faster, or crushing with arty drops.
Constant small improvements. Watch replays and casts, if you think you have nothing to learn then you are planning to fail
Easiest way to sum it is efficiency overall.
Use resources for best returns, have better awareness what to do when and what fights to take, scale & balance your eco better, micro units better etc. The higher the overall efficiency of everything you do, the bigger your advantage, the more options you have and leeway for potential mistakes that could otherwise be game-ending.
My github repo with UI Mods