Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Review: HotKeyIt StarCraft 2 Guide
The truth is that StarCraft 2 is a hard game, improving by yourself is tough and will take too long for most people to get truly good; luckily there are many aids available to help you train to be better. For those willing to pay a monthly subscription there is the starcraft 2 guide HotKeyIt. It's a testament to the game that there is such a passionate community built around StarCraft 2 and, whilst you do have to pay $4.95 a month for this service, I don't think it would be possible to have this level of content without some sort of fee. For your money you get access to an ever expanding library of videos created by high level Grandmaster coaches and access to forums.
Initially HotKeyIt seems to offer an overwhelming number of videos, but they are all well sorted by each of the match-ups, by lesson type or if they are part of a series they go into a separate place. There are multiple types of videos available ranging from simple macro mechanics tutorials to in depth strategies. The feature I was most impressed with was Leak Finder, where one of the coaches would take a replay from the community and analyse it. At first I was concerned that Grandmasters wouldn't be able to relate to silver league issues, but it turns out that problems are universal and the advise given was useful.
with new videos added every few days. Each race has one or two main coaches, who create videos on a regular basis, so over time the number of videos will only increase. As well as the main coaches there is a number of other coaches, including some very well known names like Spanishiwa and desRow, who have also produced some content.
I think that with a service like this it is important to have communication between the content developers and the community; sometimes answering what may seem like a stupid question can completely change how somebody thinks about the game and improve their play. HotKeyIt keeps up communication in a number of ways. Firstly, there is a forum where members can talk amongst themselves, ask questions of the content creators and where updates can be posted. Secondly, each video has a comments section where users can talk about the video or ask question of the video's creator. Lastly, there is the aforementioned Leak Finder, which gives direct feedback to a member of the community but is also useful for others.
Overall I think that the main draws of this website are it's breadth and the responsiveness of the content creators. It's intuitive interface allows you to easily choose videos to target the areas where you are weakest; I have seen people suggest what they would like future videos to be about and then the coach follow through and make it. If you are stuck in a rut or just know you could be better then HotKeyIt is definitely a useful tool to achieve this. The website's design may not be that great, but the content is worthy of attention; if you are willing to spend $4.95 a month I would absolutely recommend this service.
Posted by Athanasios Skarlatos at 00:30