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I'm just starting out with the multiplayer in Starcraft 2. Is it better to play against the AI or suck it up and start playing actual humans to learn how to play? I've watched vids and replays and played a few games against both AI and humans.

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Someone wrote a decent answer on how to learn SC2, maybe you could tell us what more you want from there? gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/2900/… –  tzenes Sep 7 '10 at 3:15
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+1 for 'suck it up and start playing actual humans', I tend to hesitate in this regard too, never could understand what the source of it was though, any psychology majors floating around? –  ioSamurai Sep 7 '10 at 4:31
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Not a psych major, but I'd guess it has to do with failing in public. If you lose to AI, it's okay. You might be disappointed, but you don't have to tell anyone that you just lost 10 games to a computer. (Also, computers are assumed to be smart, so losing to a machine is not so bad.) But if you lose spectacularly to a human, there's a chance it'll be some kid who'll add insult to injury by mocking you in chat. Or accuse you of being at fault for losing a team game, etc., etc. There's a high potential for an unpleasant experience. We all want to own, not be owned. :) –  Anna Lear Sep 7 '10 at 5:11
    
@tzenes: someone wrote a decent answer? :) –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 7 '10 at 14:19
    
@BlueRaja I work hard to provide good resources for the community. If they are insufficient I'd like to be the first to know. –  tzenes Sep 7 '10 at 14:57
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Regarding AI vs Real Humans, you'll never get better experience than playing against human beings. That being said, the AI can be used as a tool to gauge your Build Order, dealing with timing attacks and executing counters.

But your ability to shut-down the AI is not a good way to compare yourself to other players. So being able to defeat Very Hard doesn't mean you're about gold level play.

If I had to break my playing against AI vs against Players, I would say about 10% is AI and the rest is playing against real players. And the replays against humans are the ones I really pay attention too because those will teach you the most.

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Also try the "expert" level single-player challenges, if you haven't already; they are designed to teach you some skills that will be handy in multiplayer matches.

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+1 for mentioning the challenges, some of them are great for learning how to survive rushes, how to counter units, and how to micromanage units to best effect. –  Wikwocket Sep 7 '10 at 4:35
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Play against humans. It's not that the AI isn't good, but they're "good" in different ways.

They don't prepare you for defending against "cheese", and they usually just try to come in through the front (where your defenses usually are) instead of going around through drops or air attacks.

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Definitely play against humans. Personal learning style is a factor of course. I myself can't really be bothered to spend hours practicing the same surround or whatever over and over again until I get it exactly right. I'll just jump in and try it on a real player.

What I've learned most from, really, is getting owned by some player and then googling/youtubeing his strategy to see where I went wrong in my counter. Sometimes I'd find out I countered correctly but my macro was seriously lacking, etc.

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