Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Strategy Guide

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A good general rule of thumb for deciding upon the right number of Orbital Commands is to simply add one extra Orbital Command for every 5 minutes of the expected game length. If a mission will last between 10 and 15 minutes, build 3; if the mission will last between 15 and 20 minutes, build 4. If you will be using Vultures and their Spider Mines, add one more.

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If facing Terran or Zerg, you may also be advised to add an additional Orbital Command. One exception is Oblivion Express, on which is recommended. For mutations, add up to 4 more depending on the circumstances - easy mutations may only require one more than usual, while medium difficulty mutations or mutators such as We Move Unseen or Shortsighted may call for more than usual, and very difficult mutations may need 4 more than usual. Keep in mind that any Orbital Commands you decide to build must be built as soon as possible to maximize their effectiveness.

It is usually safe to build up to 4 before adding additional Barracks beyond the first, but anything beyond that will require you to wait until you find a breather between objectives and attack waves. Usually, one will use the 4CC opener, followed by going up to 3 Barracks to get a small bio force going. Exactly when to add additional Orbital Commands beyond the 4th will be heavily dependent upon the map and how you and your partner are faring and thus will have to be determined based on experience.

Now that you have the Orbital Commands, how many Barracks should you build to support the income?

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A good general rule is to build one Barracks per Orbital Command, and then add more after finishing worker production. Afterwards, you should alternate between Tech Lab and Reactor. If you intend to build Firebats, your first three Barracks should instead use Tech Lab, Tech Lab, and Reactor, after which you alternate.

Naturally, this assumes a certain level of macro skill, so if your macro is not optimal you may want to add additional Barracks as necessary. Practice this macro thoroughly.

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In conclusion, we have provided what we consider to be the optimal macro setup for Raynor, but it is important to consider your own limitations and adjust as necessary. However, no matter the skill level, we would not recommend building over 8 Orbitals in regular brutal missions, and no more than Barracks. Utilizing Calldowns Dusk Wings The Dusk Wings may seem fragile and not very useful past the early stages of the game - many players simply summon them into the middle of enemies, often without bio support, and completely forget about them; this results in the Dusk Wings quickly getting shot down.

Since Raynor has access to such a constant source of damage, it would be a shame to let that go to waste. To make full use of the Dusk Wings, one need merely follow a general rule that actually applies to all calldowns: always try to use them as soon as they are available if the situation allows.

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While it feels reassuring to have calldowns ready for emergency situations, one should also consider the opportunity cost of not using the calldowns. By using the calldowns right away, pushing a base could have been much easier or done much sooner, and perhaps using them earlier would have meant you could have fit one more use of the calldown into that game. This consideration is especially important for the Dusk Wings due to the sheer amount of time they can be on the field.

In a minute game, for example, you can fit 6 uses of the Dusk Wings — translating to 6 minutes of high damage air support for your forces. Try to familiarize yourself with the maps so that you can better coordinate your use of Dusk Wings and minimize any wasted downtime. Though the Dusk Wings have good damage output, they are also very fragile, unlike many other calldowns. If there is a large amount of anti-air, the Dusk Wings by themselves will be shot down long before their 1-minute duration is over.

Though they are uncontested in the early game, they may be more easily threatened by the enemy as the game progresses, you may want to summon them behind your primary forces even though this means wasting the 50 damage area of effect that occurs during the summoning animation.

If the Dusk Wings are too far forward, many anti-air units, especially air-to-air-only units, will focus on them and quickly destroy them, so it is much better to keep them slightly behind your front line while your ground forces target down enemies that are actively attacking the Dusk Wings. In general, the Dusk Wings will begin as targeted strikes on weak enemy groups and then transition into serving as damage support for your army. Instead of A-moving the Dusk Wings, you can hotkey them and use them to target fire dangerous enemy units.

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  • They can take out Colossi and other ground units that threaten your Marines very quickly. When sniping key enemies, it is worth noting that a lot of the enemy units with splash have long range, and you will have to bring the Dusk Wings forward to deal with them. You can either snipe them and dart back to safety with your Dusk Wings, or you can snipe and then stutter-step your army forward to provide cover.

    Against Hybrid Dominators, a Dusk Wing must be sacrificed as the Hybrid will prioritize using its Plasma Blast on one if it has not yet cast Psionic Storm - this actually makes for a great way to take out Hybrid Dominators without suffering significant losses, since the Hybrid cannot use Psionic Storm for a few moments after casting Plasma Blast, giving you a good opportunity to kill it before it can cast Psionic Storm on your Marines.

    Keep in mind that the Plasma Blast deals some splash damage, so you should separate your Dusk Wings when you see the Plasma Shot being charged. Additionally, you should not expect the Dusk Wings to be smart about which units they automatically attack, since they will prioritize units with anti-air attacks, meaning you may for example find them attacking a single Photon Cannon while a Colossus destroys your Marines.

    Also, refrain from stutterstepping your Dusk Wings together with your Marines as their attacks do not sync well. With proper management of Dusk Wings, they can add quite a punch to your army, giving them a lot more pushing power than you might expect. We recommend that you dedicate a large portion of your APM to the Hyperion whenever it is available, even if it means that your macro may slip a little. You want to make sure to use the Yamato Cannon as soon as the cooldown is ready, and you want to spend every single Point Defense Drone.

    When using the Hyperion, look out for units that its PDD cannot negate. This includes Marines, Void Rays, and even Thors to an extent due to their multiple projectiles.

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    Marines are particularly dangerous due to their high numbers and DPS - you should be cautious when moving the Hyperion over a location fortified by Bunkers. Finally, when you deploy PDD, try to deploy them a short distance away from enemies, as they may draw fire from any non-projectile attackers and be destroyed as a result. The Hyperion is very useful for punching holes into fortified areas.

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    • It can clear an area entirely on its own, or severely weaken multiple areas, allowing you to clear them out much easier with Dusk Wings or your bio. If you plan to later call down the Dusk Wings, your main goal with the Hyperion will be to get rid of as much enemy anti-air as possible, particularly air units that the Dusk Wings cannot fight against, and leave a PDD behind to provide vision for summoning the Dusk Wings.

      If you plan to clean up with bio forces, then you want to target splash-dealing units such as Colossi, Siege Tanks and casters. With Hyperjump, the Hyperion can weaken multiple enemy locations, and it may therefore be wise to plan out your intended pattern of attack to make full use of its duration. Later Hyperion usages will include handling attack waves while bio forces push forward, since later attack waves tend to get more dangerous for your bio.

      The Hyperion can then Hyperjump to join the rest of the army as support as you push into enemy territory. Unlike the Dusk Wings, the Hyperion should be placed in front of your army in order to draw enemy fire. The Hyperion can act as a tank by blocking enemy fire with the PDD and boosting the damage of your Marines with its Advanced Targeting Systems aura, giving you tremendous pushing power. Using Vultures and Spider Mines Spidermines can be mass-produced at a small cost - you typically want around 8 to Through their Spider Mines, they are capable of wiping out entire ground attack waves, no matter how large they may be.

      However, due to the extremely low health of each Spider Mine and the fact that the enemy can attack them if they have detection, you may find that their use is a little trickier towards the end of the mission when the enemy comes with plenty of splash or raw firepower from the sheer number of units. This huge weakness makes laying Spider Mines in the path of attack waves more and more impractical as the enemy wave size increases.

      Early on, this is perfectly manageable, which is good as you have no other options at that stage, but later on, the number of Spider Mines needed to take out each wave grows impractical, even when using rapidfire and lots of Vultures. This problem is made worse by late-game waves that include splash damage.

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      For other late-game ground compositions, you will have to resort to laying Spider Mines at enemy spawn points in order to continue using them effectively. Enemy forces have a short delay when they are spawned, and with Spider Mines covering the enemy landing zone, they have very little ground to cover before activation, leading to total annihilation of enemy forces before they can respond. The only problem is that enemy spawn points tend to be defended by enemy encampments and thus require a fighting force to secure those spawn points. With enough map knowledge and planning, one can secure spawn points before the attack waves reach a size that is problematic for Spider Mines when used normally.

      Some spawn points are extremely easy to secure, such as with Void Launch and Malwarfare. Others such as Temple of the Past and Oblivion Express are a bit more challenging. The provided replays and VODs show how spawn points are secured and used for maps where they are applicable, particularly defensive maps. On offense-oriented maps, you will probably not need to secure spawn points since Raynor can end those maps before late-game waves become problematic, but it is still useful to practice doing so every once in a while in case the game drags on.

      That being said, spawn camping will not solve all of your late-game ground wave scenarios. Maps like Chain of Ascension have spawn points reinforcements that are constantly pushed back as you progress, and you may have to mine the attack paths until you can secure the newly-designated spawn point.