Firstly, some players set their hatcheries to the low keys (1,2,3) and their units to the higher keys (4,5,6 etc) Other players do the opposite and use their low number keys for units and the higher keys for hatcheries. I AM NOT COMPARING that difference in setups. What you choose to place on the low or high keys is not the subject of this post.
I am comparing two methods of grouping hatcheries as zerg here. I'm not interested in any other aspects of setting up your control groups.
The first, and most common method among top players, is to group all of your hatcheries into one control group. I'm going to refer to this as the "1 group method" from now on.
The second and much less common method that I've seen used involves setting each hotkey to an individual control group, often this requires the use of 3 or more groups in each game as players expand. This method will be refered to as the "separated groups method".
I personally been using the separated groups method for quite a while because by my logic it seems to be the more effective method. That being said, the vast majority of top zerg players still use the 1 group method which has led me to question whether what i'm doing really is most effective.
Let me compare the two methods here.
1. Can control the output of each individual hatchery much more easily. Meaning if you need drones at your expo but want lings at your main, producing the desired unit from the hatchery you want is much easier. This basically saves minerals by reducing the number of drones that have to switch between hatcheries.
2. Can specify the rally point of each hatchery separately more easily.
3. Can easily get vision of each individual hatch by double tapping the key (this makes using spawn larva quite easy, I don't have to control group my queens at all and can spawn larva very effeciently).
1. Puts more demand on macro and can cause fingers to stretch if you have small hands like me.
2. Takes more time to set up rally points as each hatch has to be rallied individually
The 1 group method:
1. Easier to macro
2. Easier to set all rally points to one spot so you dont lose track of certain units.
3. You can create units slightly faster.
1. more difficult to rally each hatchery individually, this leads to workers spawning far from their rally point and having to move between hatcheries, which leads to lost mining time.
2. Harder to produce the units you want where you want them. If you want drones at your expo you either have to select that hatchery or risk the drones building at your main and having to transfer. The same is true of military units that may spawn at your expo where you wanted drones.
In my opinion the separated groups method is more challenging, but once you're comfortable with it I think it allows for much more control and specificity. I was surprised to find more pros using the 1 group method, as I would think pros would use the more effective method as they would have the necessary multi tasking skills to master it quite easily.
Personalyl I dont have much trouble using the separated groups method at all and I find it quite effective. I only struggle when I have 4 bases because reaching the 8 key is a big stretch for my small hands, so I typically combine my 4th and 3rd expos to the 7 key.
How do you feel about the two methods, which do you prefer and why? Why do you think pros choose the single group method despite the fact that they could master the separated groups method more easily than inexperienced players?