Starcraft 2 - New Replay Features and Uses

A new scene has developed over the last 10 years in the RTS community.  It's a scene that focuses around pointing out the mistakes, errors in judgement, a

A new
scene has developed over the last 10
years in the RTS community.  It's a scene that focuses around
pointing out
the mistakes, errors in judgement, and high points of matches and
players.  The replay scene can help you improve your game
almost as much
as actually playing the game.  In Starcraft II, this is even
more apparent
as the replay system is even more detailed than ever before. 
You'll be
amazed at what you can do now!

Speeds and Jumping

A replay can be viewed at about 40% speed, 80% speed, normal, triple,
and six
times the speed of the game.  It can be paused at any time to
check out
any part of the map to see how each player is building as well as
fighting.  It's important to point out that as of Beta Patch
6, the
in-game references and tool tips to game time are inaccurate. 
The game
tips are shown as of the Fast speed, and the standard multiplayer game
played at Faster.  So if a Marine takes 25 seconds to build,
it actually
comes out in about 20.  You can also move around to any point
in the
replay at any

time style="">, forward
OR backward.  Going backward will briefly give you a black
screen while it
resynchronizes to that point of the game.  If you're trying to
record a
cool video and you miss the timing of it, you can now step back a
couple seconds
rather than starting from 0:00 once more.

lang="RU"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 480px; height: 270px;" alt=""

lang="RU">You'll want to watch devastating nukes over and
over again, trust me!

lang="RU"> lang="RU">The Resources and Income

These are important for showing how fast the players are receiving and
income.  Mineral and Gas amounts on hand are clearly visible,
and in
addition the Harvesters column gives you an idea of how many SCVs,
Probes, or
Drones are in the field for each player.  You can also view
the average
rate of income for each player to see who is actually harvesting
whether it be due to expansions, Terran MULEs, or simply more
Since this game is often won and lost with the successful expansion of
or successful raiding of enemy workers, keeping track of these will
help you
see who is winning the hidden war of income at any given
time.  It can
also track how well each player is spending their money.  If
you watch a
video of yourself and see you ever breaking 1,000 minerals without a
darn good
reason (3 Starports ready to produce Battlecruisers and your Fusion
Core just
finished, for instance) you'll need to work on your ability to
macromanage.  This can mean you're either not constantly
producing units
or spending money on viable upgrades, or even that you simply don't
have enough
production facilities.  If for instance, a Zerg player falls
behind on Injecting
Larvae into their hatcheries, they can suddenly find that their income
is well
beyond what they can create simply because they don't have enough
spawned to create it!  Each player's current supply, control,
or psi count
is readily available to show just how massive their army is from a

The Spending Tab

If you're confused how someone got ahead of you in the tech tree so
fast, or
how they have far more Zealots than you did, this is a good place to
At any given time you can see the total sum spent on three things;
Technology, and Army.  Economy refers to primarily workers for
each side,
but it can also mean expansions.  Technology is anything put
down to
access new units from a structure or to upgrade various units or
structures.  Lastly, Army is well.... anything that shoots,
slashes, or otherwise kills the enemy.  The Army statistic can
be a little
shaky due to involving units such as Queens as combat units when
typically they
never leave the radius of the Hatchery.  If you lost due to
out-teched or rushed, you can find where you and your opponent's
weakness was
by watching this tab closely.  You'll find that you were
vulnerable when
you went for upgrades when he produced units with those minerals and
gas, or
that you could've broken through his Terran wall of Supply Depots and
before he got to air units because he only had a handful of Marines the

The Units and Units Lost Tabs

This is where you can balance the current game out and
generally say who
can kill who.  It shows the unit counts of each side for every
type of
unit they have in the field, including workers.  Keep in mind
though that
if you compare army strength this way, that assumes all of these units
engaging at the same time, which usually isn't the case
style="">. What
you can do though,
is check to see who has the best counters, or any counters to certain
units.  For instance, you could see if Banshees would be a
viable option
in that game if the Zerg enemy had no Overseers to detect them in the
field.  The Units Lost tab is a rather depressing tab that
shows you the
total casualty counts and the amount
resources spent on the
slain.  This can
show you that even with an economical advantage, if you're squandering
it with
piecemeal attacks that can't destroy any strategic buildings, workers,
otherwise gain an advantage, they're just dead units added to the

The Army Tab

Here's where you can really crunch some numbers and determine who is
doing the
most, with the least.  It shows the cost and supply totals of
person's combat army in the field.  Reading this carefully can
help you
determine when that player's strategy was most vulnerable to attack, or
you thought you had an advantage that you truly did not!  The
costs shown
here are different from the Spending Tab because the  Spending
Tab is
culminative over the course of the game where as the Army Tab is the
military force you can throw around.  It does refer to some
strange units
as Army however, such as Planetary Fortresses for Terran when they
can't even
move.  Keep this in mind.

The Production Tab

This is where you can analyze, in conjunction with the Resources Tab,
how well
you react to your opponent and spend money.  Anything that is
in the
process of building or upgrading is shown in the top left for each
player, and
can help you realize points where you were too focused on your army in
field and forgot to keep your factories at home pumping out additional
units.  Cases like that are why people are traditionally so
vulnerable to
counterattacks as they over-focus on the combat in the field and when
lost the engagement, have nothing at base to keep you from being
immediately!  Paying attention here can help you improve your
Macromanagement game and make you a better player.

The APM Tab

APM, or Actions-Per-Minute, is a term that basically describes how fast
often you click or press buttons over the course of the game. 
Every time
you press a hotkey, set a rally point, or click the mouse, you're
APM.  It's a general measurement of how much you're managing
your army and
base, and is a statistic that is both overvalued and yet cannot be
lightly since you have to keep producing units, expanding your economy,
killing your opponent all at the same time. 

track your APM for the entire game up
until that point, and your 'burst' APM of the moment as a hectic battle
out and you control your army with Micromanagement or you quickly queue
up additional
units, structures, and produce from your Macromanagement. 
Ideally you
want to be able to do both of those things at the same time, without
focus or control of your units and using them to the best of your
ability even
when they're not designed to counter them.  For instance, one
of the
typical Terran openings consists of going for 2 or 3 fast Reapers, the
jetpack infantry, and going for your opponent's economy while doubling
scouts.  Tracking your APM here can help you note how much
controlling these fragile units, but it can also help you realize
points where
you're focusing too much on the Reapers and letting resources pile up
at your
base, and production comes to a halt. 

able to win on the
battlefield and produce at home is all a part of the APM
statistic.  Don't
worry about it too much, but if you see a point where your APM dips
low, think
of what you could have done then to give you an advantage. 
Could you have
researched some upgrades?  Produced some
counter-units?  Teched to
something that your opponent wasn't expecting?  These are all
key factors
in improving your game as well as your APM.

So why am I watching these?

Watching replays is a key part of making yourself a better
player in
Starcraft II.  If you don't know how your opponent got those
Dark Templar
in your base and you don't watch that replay, you'll never see that he
had them
waiting outside your base and was waiting for you to lower your supply
and let your army out, and the Dark Templar in 
More importantly, you may fall for the same tactics over and over again
if you
don't understand how you lost.  Understanding why you lost is
far more
important than understanding why you won.  Losing repeatedly
to a strategy
can be highly demoralizing and make you want to uninstall the game at
times.  Watching replays of those better than you and the
can help you out with key strategies and tactics to use yourself when
you play
next time.  So next time your mouse hand is tired and your
hands ache,
kick back and watch a replay of yourself.  You'll be amazed
what you can
find and improve on!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Game Page.

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