**[G] ~8% faster gas mining**
**UPDATES** Jan. 13 2014 **NEW** Added HotS maps. + Show Spoiler + Jan. 14 2013 Added Akilon Flats and Newkirk District images. Nov. 02 2012 Added Bel'shir Vestige and Metalopolis under Maps section. Added Other Sources section. Oct. 29 2012 Added 2 more tables for much easier [gas/min] comparison at "More supplemental tables" under Research Results section. Edited Imbalanced Entombed Valley section accordingly.
*Difference after mining for 10 minutes = 88 more gas mined*
**Introduction** Sorry guys, there is no drama involved in this thread… What? It’s not required? I thought “THOU SHALL INCLUDE DRAMA” has recently become the 11th TL.net Commandments. Glad to hear that I can still post game-relevant contents here. Now, most of you opened this thread probably because you wanted to know how to mine gas faster and expected this thread to be the gas version of Mineral boost trick. In short, this is not. There is no new “trick” involved. Good news is that you don’t need crazy micro to mine gas faster; bad news is that you cannot do it every game. Regardless, every little bit of gas helps, doesn’t it? How many times have you seen resource distribution like the image below in your games or even GSL games?
Unfortunately, this happens quite frequently even at pro level today. Limiting factor is obviously the vespene gas in these cases. Vespene gas is arguably the more important resource of the two with possible exception of bio Terran. Since mech Terran is about gas as well, I bet this thread benefits all races. Also, the better player you are, the more you would benefit from this because slight increase in gas doesn’t help bad macro players anyways. Welcome to the crazy research on gas mining. Brace yourself for the overwhelming depth of the content!!
**Gas Mining 101** + Show Spoiler + Let me first talk about obvious facts: 1. There are 2 vespene geysers per base. (Ignore a few exceptions for now.) 2. CC/Hatchery/Nexus cannot be placed too close to vespene geysers. 3. Relative locations of 2 vespene geysers to CC/Hatchery/Nexus depend on the resource layout of each base. 4. T/Z/P race requires Refinery/Extractor/Assimilator, respectively, built on top of a vespene geyser in order to mine gas from it. 5. Workers need to be assigned to mine gas from these facilities. 1 trip mines 4 gas. (For the sake of easier discussion in this thread, ignore high yield gas = 6 gas per trip.) 6. Generally speaking, assigning 3 workers per gas is the most efficient. 7. After total of 2500 gas is mined = 625 trips, a vespene geyser depletes. 8. Rate of mining is not dependent on the race played.
**Far Vespene Geysers** + Show Spoiler +So, how does one mine gas faster? It all boils down to this simple fact: **At some diagonal angles to CC/Hatchery/Nexus, the location of a vespene geyser is so far that 3 workers cannot mine as efficiently as at other non-diagonal closer vespene geyser locations.** At these diagonal angles, a worker emerges out of the gas mining facility *before* the next worker arrives at it, while maximum efficiency means that the next worker *waits* right next to the structure for the prior worker to emerge out. OK, some of you have been aware of this fact even from the days of Metalopolis like the picture above. As I said, there is no new “trick” that I show you here. Basically, you can mine gas faster simply by having a spawning location on a map without these far diagonal vespsne geysers. Question is, among a few hundred vespene geyser locations in the current map pool, which ones are far diagonal and which are not? Let's not jump to the conclusion. There are still some things you must learn to fully understand the map images 3 sections below.
**Definition of Terms and Locations** + Show Spoiler +Far, close, diagonal etc. are all vaguely defined terms. Therefore, in order to study further, locations must be defined in more scientific way with no ambiguity. Vespene geyser is a 3X3 neutral structure, so using the center grid to denote the location should make sense. Also, CC/Hatchery/Nexus must be at a certain distance away, yet as close as possible. My research has found that there are only 48 locations available for vespene geysers relative to CC/Hatchery/Nexus, all of which can be categorized into 7 different groups (A~G). Numbers in the image show the angles in degrees. Basic math knowledge is expected. Image above must be pretty much self-explanatory. Since everything is square-based and symmetric, categorizing everything within 45 degrees makes discussion much easier. Remember again, that A~G are just the center grid of the 3X3 vespene geysers. So, in reality, all 8 adjacent grids (just like King's movement in Chess) are also occupied. Apparently, there is no way 2 vespene geysers of a base can be, say, B and C right next to each other because 2 structures cannot occupy the same grid. Black 5X5 CC/Hatchery/Nexus is fully shown. **Naming Rule**A~E: use alphabet + range of degree [A,0-45] shows A within 0-45 degeres. [C,225-270] shows C within 225-270 degrees. F,G: use alphabet + exact degree. [G,90] shows G at 90 degrees. [F,315] shows F at 315 degrees. For example, [D,90-135] cannot coexist with [F,135] because their surrounding grids overlap. Example image: [B,180-225] and [E,45-90] at Cloud Kingdom bottom spawning location natural base.
**Research Results** + Show Spoiler +Which ones are “far" vespene geysers? To find out, I just mined at all those 48 different locations with 3 workers each. Easy to say, but it took years to finish the work. I double/triple checked all numbers, so margin of error is 1-2 seconds maximum. Numbers in the following table shows how many seconds it takes for 3 workers to mine out 2500 gas: Coloring the earlier image according to the result above: (1291=most efficient=blue) Non-blue locations are so-called “far diagonal” locations where 3 workers mine inefficiently. 1291 seconds = blue locations = standard/efficient/optimal mining. 1291 is a useful number to keep in mind as I will keep calling blue locations “1291 (standard) gas” and other locations "inefficient gas" later in this thread. What surprised me was that the result was not symmetric. Prior to the research, my hypothesis was that locations with same alphabet have exactly the same mining time. However, after double, triple, quadruple checking, there is no denying that these numbers are true and each D,E,F location has different efficiency, ignoring the symmetry. I tried to come up with a mathematical model to explain this asymmetric nature, but I gave up due to too much randomness. Whatever reason there might be, the results are true anyways. Supplemental tables: + Show Spoiler +More supplemental tables: + Show Spoiler +Special thanks to archonOOid for suggestion. As you can see, [E,0-45], [E,180-225] and [E,225-270] are the most inefficient ones which take as much as 104 more seconds to mine out and mines as inefficiently as 92.5% compared to 1291 standard gas locations. Loss is 8.7 [gas/minute] in these cases.
**WoL Maps** + Show Spoiler +The results above are totally useless if you don’t know which vespene geyser on a map is categorized into which. In the following map images, **bold letters** inside spoilers mean that these locations are non-1291 inefficient gas. Refer to map and table to find out location/exact inefficiency if needed. **Akilon Flats**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main **[F,45]** and [D,180-225] Natural [A,90-135] and [A,225-270] 3rd next to natural **[F,45]** and [D,180-225] 3rd behind rock [A,0-45] and [A,135-180] Bottom-left high ground [C,135-180] and **[F,315]** Bottom-left mid ground [D,0-45] and **[F,225]**
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [D,0-45] and **[F,225]** Natural [A,45-90] and [A,270-315] 3rd/4th next to natural [D,0-45] and **[F,225]** 3rd/4th behind rock [A,180-225] and [A,315-360] Top-right high ground **[F,135]** and [C,315-360] Top-right mid ground **[F,45]** and [D,180-225]
**Newkirk District**+ Show Spoiler +
__Left spawning location__ Main [C,135-180] and **[E,270-315]** Natural [B,90-135] and [B,225-270] High ground 3rd [B,90-135] and [B,225-270] Low ground 3rd [C,135-180] and **[E,270-315]** Far top **[E,90-135]** and [C,315-360] Middle **[E,45-90]** and [C,180-225] Rocked [C,135-180] and **[E,270-315]**
__Right spawning location__ Main [C,0-45] and **[E,225-270]** Natural [B,45-90] and [B,270-315] High ground 3rd [B,45-90] and [B,270-315] Low ground 3rd [C,0-45] and **[E,225-270]** Far top **[E,45-90]** and [C,180-225] Middle **[E,90-135]** and [C,315-360] Rocked [C,0-45] and **[E,225-270]**
**Antiga Shipyard**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main [A,0-45] and [A,135-180] Natural [C,180-225] and **[E,225-270]** 3rd [B,90-135] and [B,225-270]
__Top-right spawning location__ Main [B,45-90] and [B,270-315] Natural [B,90-135] and **[F,135]** 3rd [A,0-45] and [A,135-180]
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [A,180-225] and [A,315-360] Natural [C,0-45] and **[E,45-90]** 3rd [B,45-90] and [B,270-315]
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main [B,90-135] and [B,225-270] Natural [B,270-315] and **[F,315]** 3rd [A,180-225] and [A,315-360]
__Middle bases__ Top [B,180-225] and [C,315-360] Bottom [B,0-45] and [C,135-180]
**Cloud Kingdom**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top spawning location__ Main [B,135-180] and[B,180-225] Natural [C,0-45] and [D,225-270] 3rd [B,90-135] and [D,315-360] 4th near 3rd [C,45-90] and [D,180-225] Far left base **[D,45-90]** and [C,180-225] Just below natural **[F, 135]** and [A,315-360]
__Bottom spawning location__ Main [B,0-45] and [B,315-360] Natural **[E,45-90]** and [B,180-225] 3rd [D,135-180] and [B,270-315] 4th near 3rd [D,0-45] and [C,225-270] Far right base [C,0-45] and [D,225-270] Just above natural [A,315-180] and **[F,315]**
**Condemned Ridge**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main [B,0-45] and **[F,45]** Natural [C,180-225] and [D,225-270] 3rd [C,180-225] and **[E,225-270]**
__Top-right spawning location__ Main **[F,135]** and [B,135-180] Natural [D,270-315] and [C,315-360] 3rd **[E,270-315]** and [C,315-360]
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [B,180-225] and **[F,225]** Natural [C,0-45] and **[D,45-90]** 3rd [C,0-45] and **[E,45-90]**
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main **[F,315]** and [B,315-360] Natural **[D,90-135]** and [C,135-180] 3rd **[E,90-135]** and [C,135-180]
__Middle bases (potential 4th)__ Top [A,0-45] and [A,135-180] Bottom [A,180-225] and [A,315-360] Left **[D,90-135]** and [C,135-180] Right [D,270-315] and [C,315-360]
**Daybreak**+ Show Spoiler +
__Left spawning location__ Main [B,180-225] and [A,315-360] Natural [C,90-135] and **[E,135-180]** 3rd [C,90-135] and [B,225-270] 4th/5th above 3rd [B,45-90] and [D,180-225] Middle base **[D,90-135]** and [A,225-270] ([C,135-180] for single high yield gas version) 6th next to opponent’s main [B,90-135] and [D,315-360]
__Right spawning location__ Main [B,0-45] and [A,135-180] Natural [C,270-315] and **[E,315-360]** 3rd [B,45-90] and [C,270-315] 4th/5th below 3rd [D,0-45] and [B,225-270] Middle base [A,45-90] and [D,270-315] ([C,315-360] for single high yield gas version) 6th next to opponent’s main [D,135-180] and [B,270-315]
**Entombed Valley**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main **[E,45-90]** and [C,180-225] Natural [C,180-225] and **[E,225-270]** 3rd **[D,90-135]** and [C,135-180]
__Top-right spawning location__ Main **[E,90-135]** and [C,315-360] Natural **[E,270-315]** and [C,315-360] 3rd [C,0-45] and **[D,45-90]**
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [C,0-45] and **[E,225-270]** Natural [C,0-45] and **[E,45-90]** 3rd [D,270-315] and [C,315-360]
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main [C,135-180] and **[E,270-315]** Natural **[E,90-135]** and [C,135-180] 3rd [C,180-225] and [D,225-270]
__Middle bases__ 4th for top [A,0-45] and [A,135-180] 4th for bottom [A,180-225] and [A,315-360] Right behind rocks [B,45-90] and [B,270-315] Left behind rocks [B,90-135] and [B,225-270]
**Ohana**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top spawning location__ Main [C,45-90] and [C,180-225] Natural [D,0-45] and **[D,45-90]** 3rd [B,90-135] and [D,315-360] 4th near 3rd [B,90-135] and [D,315-360] Just below main [C,45-90] and [C,180-225]
__Bottom spawining location__ Main [C,0-45] and [C,225-270] Natural [D,180-225] and [D,225-270] 3rd [C,135-180] and [C,270-315] 4th near 3rd [D,135-180] and [C,270-315] Just above main [C,0-45] and [D,225-270]
**Shakuras Plateau **+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main [B,0-45] and [A,135-180] Natural **[F,225]** and [B,225-270] 3rd near watch tower [C,45-90] and [C,180-225]
__Top-right spawning location__ Main [A,0-45] and [B,135-180] Natural [B,270-315] and **[F,315]** 3rd near watch tower [B,90-135] and [C,315-360]
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [B,180-225] and [A,315-360] Natural **[F,45]** and [B,45-90] 3rd near watch tower [C,0-45] and [C,225-270]
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main [A,180-225] and [B,315-360] Natural [B,90-315] and **[F,315]** 3rd near watch tower [C,315-180] and [B,270-315]
__Middle bases__ Top [A,0-45] and [A,135-180] Bottom [A,180-225] and [A,315-360]
**Tal’darim Altar**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main **[D,45-90]** and [D,180-225] Natural [G,90] and **[F,315]** 3rd **[D,45-90]** and [D,180-225] 4th closer to 3rd [B,90-135] and [B,225-270]
__Top-right spawning location__ Main **[D,90-135]** and [D,315-360] Natural [A,0-45] and **[F,225]** 3rd **[D,90-135]** and [D,315-360] 4th closer to 3rd [B,0-45] and [B,135-180]
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [D,0-45] and [D,225-270] Natural **[F,135]** and [G,270] 3rd **[E,0-45]** and [D,225-270] 4th closer to 3rd [B,45-90] and [B,270-315]
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main [D,135-180] and [D,270-315] Natural **[F,45]** and [A,180-225] 3rd [D,135-180] and [D,270-315] 4th closer to 3rd [B,180-225] and [B,315-360]
**Whirlwind**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main **[D,45-90]** and [C,180-225] Natural **[D,90-135]** and [C,315-360] 3rd/4th near map boundary **[D,90-135]** and [B,315-360] 3rd/4th in front of main **[D,45-90]** and [C,180-225]
__Top-right spawning location__ Main **[D,90-135]** and [C,315-360] Natural [C,0-45] and [D,225-270] 3rd/4th near map boundary [D,0-45] and [A,225-270] 3rd/4th in front of main **[D,90-135]** and [C,315-360]
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [C,0-45] and [D,225-270] Natural [C,135-180] and [D,270-315] 3rd/4th near map boundary [B,135-180] and [D,270-315] 3rd/4th in front of main [C,0-45] and [D,225-270]
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main [C,135-180] and [D,270-315] Natural **[D,45-90]** and [C,180-225] 3rd/4th near map boundary [A,45-90] and [D,180-225] 3rd/4th in front of main [C,135-180] and [D,270-315]
**Abyssal City**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top spawning location__ Main [D,0-45] and **[D,45-90]** Natural **[D,90-135]** and [C,315-360] 3rd [A,90-135] and [D,270-315] 4th [B,0-45] and [A,135-180] 5th near opponent’s main **[D,45-90]** and [D,180-225] Middle base [C,270-315] (single non-high yield gas)
__Bottom spawning location__ Main [D,180-225] and [D,225-270] Natural [C,135-180] and [D,270-315] 3rd **[D,90-135]** and [A,270-315] 4th [B,180-225] and [A,315-360] 5th near opponent’s main [D,0-45] and [D,225-270] Middle base [C,90-135] (single non-high yield gas)
**Bel'shir Vestige**Bel'shir Vestige research is done with the map currently available on battlenet. Image originaly released by GOMTV has different gas locations. ~~I'm not 100% sure which verstion is played at GSL~~, but I assume that they modified gas locations after the image release, and the one released on battlenet is the newer correct version. (Edit: yes, this is the case. GSL gas locations are the same as my coloring.) Because of this, I completely ignored the gas locations in the image and colored sololy based on my research. + Show Spoiler +
__Top spawning location__ Main **[D,45-90]** and [D,180-225] Natural [D,0-45] and**[D,45-90]** 3rd **[D,90-135]** and [D,135-180] 4th near 3rd [B,45-90] and [A,270-315] Middle [A,0-45] (NOT high yield gas) Just below main [D,180-225] and [D,225-270]
__Bottom spawining location__ Main [D,0-45] and [D,225-270] Natural [D,180-225] and [D,225-270] 3rd [D,270-315] and [D,315-360] 4th near 3rd [A,90-135] and [B,225-270] Middle [A,180-225] (NOT high yield gas) Just above main [D,0-45] and **[D,45-90]**
As you can see, majority of gas locations are 1291 standard gas which can be mined optimally with 3 workers. However, all maps have inefficient gas locations as well: minimum = 1 on Ohana, maximum = 11 on Condemned Ridge, and maximum among tournament maps = 10 on Entombed Valley. Just for reference, good old Metalopolis had 10 as well when it had 4 less bases = 8 less gas locations than Entombed Valley. Having 10 / 24 gas in total on Metalopolis = 41.7% “far” vespene geysers is probably the reason why Metalopolis gas imbalance was easier to notice. Look how colorful Metalopolis is. **Metalopolis**+ Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main [B,0-45] and **[F,45]** Natural [B,90-135] and **[F,135]**
__Top-right spawning location__ Main **[E,0-45]** and [C,45-90] Natural **[E,270-315]** and [C,315-360]
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [B,180-225] and **[F,225]** Natural [C,270-315] and **[E,315-360]**
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main **[E,180-225]** and [C,225-270] Natural **[E,90-135]** and [C,135-180]
__Middle bases__ Left 3rd **[E,45-90]** and [D,180-225] Right 3rd [D,0-45] and **[E,225-270]** Left gold [B,0-45] and [B,225-270] Right gold [B,45-90] and [B,180-225]
**NEW** **HotS maps** (same gas imbalance still exists in HotS) + Show Spoiler [2014 Season 1 ladder maps] +**Daedalus Point****Habitation Station****Heavy Rain****Polar Night****Yeonsu****Alterzim Stronghold****Frost**
+ Show Spoiler [old ladder maps (2013 S5~)] +**Star Station TE****Derelict Watcher****Bel'Shir Vestige****Akilon Wastes****Whirlwind**
+ Show Spoiler [non-ladder maps] +**Outboxer****Sejong Research Station**
**Imbalanced Entombed Valley** + Show Spoiler +Nope. This is not about Protoss imba on Entombed, or any X race imba vs Y race for that matter. To avoid race vs race balance discussion for the moment, let’s just limit discussion to PvP. Why not ZvZ or TvT? Because larvae always spawn on the south side of a hatchery = asymmetry/imbalance in ZvZ or add-ons always have to be on the right side = asymmetry/imbalance in TvT. There is no such thing in PvP, so it is the fairest match-up so to say, although following gas imbalance argument also applies to non-PvP match-ups to a slightly lesser degree due to other imbalance factors. Now, of course this is about gas mining. Take a look at the Entombed Valley again. + Show Spoiler +
__Top-left spawning location__ Main **[E,45-90]** and [C,180-225] Natural [C,180-225] and **[E,225-270]** 3rd **[D,90-135]** and [C,135-180]
__Top-right spawning location__ Main **[E,90-135]** and [C,315-360] Natural **[E,270-315]** and [C,315-360] 3rd [C,0-45] and **[D,45-90]**
__Bottom-right spawning location__ Main [C,0-45] and **[E,225-270]** Natural [C,0-45] and **[E,45-90]** 3rd [D,270-315] and [C,315-360]
__Bottom-left spawning location__ Main [C,315-180] and **[E,270-315]** Natural **[E,90-135]** and [C,135-180] 3rd [C,180-225] and [D,225-270]
__Middle bases__ 4th for top [A,0-45] and [A,135-180] 4th for bottom [A,180-225] and [A,315-360] Right behind rocks [B,45-90] and [B,270-315] Left behind rocks [B,90-135] and [B,225-270]
Entombed Valley is so imbalanced in terms of gas mining in that 1. all main bases have one inefficient gas with varying degrees of efficiency. 2. all natural bases have one inefficient gas with varying degrees of efficiency. 3. only two 3rd bases out of four have one inefficient gas. Therefore, all of 1base vs 1base, 2base vs 2base, 3base vs 3base… have different rates of gas mining between players. That is, 2 players can never be equal even in the fairest PvP where they execute exactly the same build without even a 0.00000001 second timing/positional difference. If cloned 2 players with perfectly same skill were to play PvP on Entombed Valley, the one who got a favorable spawning location always wins just because of the gas imbalance. Here are the examples: 1base vs 1base (1gas vs 1gas) + Show Spoiler + 4gate vs 4gate etc. with 1 gas only, just make sure to mine from the 1291 gas you have in your main wherever you spawn at. If one player takes inefficient gas, then that player is behind. Worst case scenario, Bottom-right spawning location left side gas = 107.5 [gas/min] 1291 gas location anywhere = 116.2 [gas/min] Therefore, optimal rate / worst rate = 116.2/107.5 = 108.1%, which means that one player mines 8.1% faster than the other who takes the wrong gas. This is the biggest discrepancy due to no other gas to “mitigate” the imbalance in 1gas vs 1gas battle. At the same time, this scenario is the only preventable one just by taking the correct gas (=1291 gas) in your main.
1base vs 1base (2gas vs 2gas) + Show Spoiler + All the scenarios from here on talks about top-left spawn (11 o’clock) vs bottom-left spawn (7 o’clock). 11 o’clock = 116.2+108.9 = 225.1 [gas/min] 7 o’clock = 116.2+113.6 = 229.8 [gas/min] Therefore, 7 o’clock rate / 11 o’clock rate = 229.8/225.1 = 102.1% 7 o’clock has 2.1% better gas mining for free in any 1base vs 1base 2gas each push like blink stalkers etc. 11 o’clock player is always the first one who is forced to warp-in zealots instead of stalkers/sentries because of the gas shortage.
2base vs 2base (4gas vs 4gas) + Show Spoiler + 11 o’clock = main + natural = 225.1+(116.2+107.5) = 225.1+223.7 = 448.8 [gas/min] 7 o’clock = main + natural = 229.8+(116.2+109.4) = 229.8+225.6 = 455.4 [gas/min] Therefore, 7 o’clock rate / 11 o’clock rate = 455.4/448.8 = 101.5% 7 o’clock still has 1.5% better gas mining in 2base vs 2base situation even though I personally feel that 2base vs 2base stage is often skipped in PvP. Note that including more gas in the calculation mitigated the discrepancy by 0.6% from 2.1% in 1base vs 1base scenario.
3base vs 3base (6gas vs 6gas) + Show Spoiler + 11 o’clock = main + natural + 3rd = 225.1+223.7+(116.2+115.0) = 225.1+223.7+231.2 = 680.0 [gas/min] 7 o’clock = main + natural + 3rd = 229.8+225.6+(116.2+116.2) = 229.8+225.6+232.4 = 687.8 [gas/min] Therefore, 7 o’clock rate / 11 o’clock rate = 687.8/680.0 = 101.1% 7 o’clock again maintains the lead in gas mining by 1.1%, down 0.4% from 1.5% by mitigation. Faster gas all the way to 3 base = earlier upgrade, earlier colossus, earlier immortal, earlier everything just by spawning location luck for 7 o’clock player against his/her own clone at 11 o’clock.
7 o’clock spawning location is OP no matter what race you or your opponent play. 2.1% - 1.5% - 1.1% lead all the way to 3 bases is a huge deal, especially when we talk about mirror match-ups. I would love to know win rate not just by map, but by spawning locations. Statistically speaking, 11 o’clock vs 7 o’clock mirror match-ups on Entombed Valley has to favor 7 o’clock player. At least for PvP for the reasons I mentioned above, 7 o’clock has no disadvantage vs 11 o’clock or even vs 1 or 5 o’clock actually. Find your opponent at 7 o’clock into QQ is the new PvP metagame. (make it happen ) Other maps have gas imbalance as well, but Entombed Valley looks the worst at the moment unless anyone is still playing unpopular Condemned Ridege.
**Adding 4th Worker** + Show Spoiler +Maybe this resource distribution is not enough to convince you, but once you have like 2000+ mineral & almost 0 gas, I think it is time to think about sending 4th worker to all those inefficient non-1291 gas locations you have to mine gas faster. At this point, loss of some mineral mining is insignificant compared to the gain by having slightly better gas mining rate overall. Remember that sending 4th worker to those blue 1291 standard gas locations does absolutely nothing. They are already fully saturated with 3 workers. Refer to (or just remember if you are taking this game seriously like a pro) the map images so that you know which gas locations actually benefit from the 4th mining worker. Benefit varies from 1.0%~8.1% each location, but mitigation by several other 1291 gas you have means that the benefit to overall economy is usually less than 1%, which still is better than accumulating another millions of minerals. Always deal with the limiting resource of your build just like chemists do with their “limiting reagent.” What’s abundant is never an issue in both cases. Don't buy oxygen tank to grill meat. Oxygen is already plenty in the air. Buy more meat.
**Dear Pros** + Show Spoiler + Please stop taking inefficient gas in your main, notably on Entombed, as your first gas because at least one of the two is always 1291 gas for all bases we have today. It’s OK that you’ve done it up until now, but it is inexcusable from now on. There is no drawback in taking 1291 gas. No additional micro whatsoever is required to do so. 8.1% potential mining loss is by no means a small thing when playing at pro level. From what I’ve seen, some pros are already aware of the obvious far gases and actively avoiding them, but there are other pros who aren’t yet. Please step it up.
In ZvP, many Zerg players today take 2 gases around 6:00 at natural instead of main not to disturb optimal 16 mining drones in main mineral line. I understand the logic, but is it always worth it? In fairly recent games, I saw Losira and DRG did this on Entombed 11 o’clock and Antiga 8 o’clock, respectively. Both natural bases include relatively highly inefficient red colored gases. Had they taken two 1291 gases by taking 1 in main and another in natural, they would have mined gas about 4% more efficiently. I’m not so sure how important not disturbing the mineral line is, but it seems that 4% for gas is significant enough to consider when pros like them have enough APM to handle early game task like this. I'm not talking about something like 1% gain at 15min mark when you can never have enough APM, but it’s about 4% at 6~7min mark when things are calm with 200APM. I can’t handle 6min mark myself T_T, but pros should be able to. I would love to see top pros actively avoid inefficient gas. Zerg has 3base = 6 gas locations to choose from at that point.
Or, just generally for any match-ups, please learn which ones are safe blue ones. Then, prioritize taking these before non-blue ones whenever possible. I know that there are tons of other important things to do in game, but it’s never a bad thing to learn a way to increase your income with no additional micro whatsoever. At the very least, GSL/OSL level players need to learn this as they are competing for tens of thousands of dollars. You can never take the game serious enough then. Please don’t disappoint me by taking gas randomly in GSL/OSL finals. It should never happen again.
**Dear Blizzard/Mapmakers** + Show Spoiler +All I can say for Blizzard is, “fix it.” At the very least, the symmetry among the same alphabet locations needs to be kept in my opinion, but I know it’s not going to happen in any foreseeable future. I posted a glitch 7 months ago in Larva disappearing Glitch (not about 20th larva), but nothing has happened yet. When there are bigger issues like HotS, LAN, name change(???) etc., I don’t think they would ever work on this relatively minor issue that some players didn’t even know before opening this thread. Take your time, Blizzard. I love this game so much anyways that I have spent months doing multiple researches linked at the end of this post. Since gas mining inconsistency will stay without Blizzard’s intervention, I would like mapmakers to avoid using E and F gas locations when designing a base. As Ohana has shown, it is possible to design a good base layout without E or F. Ohana has one inefficient [D,45-90], but symmetry of the map force one 1291 D on the other side of the map to be one of inefficient [D,45-90] or [D,90-135]. Not having these would be nice as well, but you can’t help it sometimes. Also, it would be nice to at least keep symmetry of the gas locations. For example, Cloud Kingdom natural bases have different alphabets for top and bottom. Top natural [C,0-45] and [D,225-270] Bottom natural [B,180-225] and [E,45-90] In order to keep the symmetry of the map, I feel that bottom natural should have been [C,180-225] and [D,45-90] = exactly 180 degrees rotation from top natural. Ohana and some other maps also have rotationally asymmetric gas layout like this for some reason.
**Miscellaneous** + Show Spoiler +**Footprint**+ Show Spoiler +When I was messing around with Map Editor, I found that footprint used by Refinery/Extractor/Assimilator looked like this: while most or quite possibly all other 3X3 structures use this: This asymmetry must be one of the reasons why each E or F has different efficiency. However, this footprint alone doesn’t explain everything as this is still symmetric left to right. I wonder what other factors are playing a role in determining the mining efficiency. **Less than 3 in gas**+ Show Spoiler + Sometimes, players assign 1 or 2 workers per gas. Even among 1291 gas group, each has different distance so that 1 or 2 workers actually mine at different rates. It’s not simply 1/3 or 2/3 of the full mining with 3 workers. For 1291 gas group, it is always better than 1/3 or 2/3 due to no *waiting* time for the prior worker. For non-1291 gas group, it is exactly 1/3 or 2/3. I was just too lazy to experiment all 48 locations for 1 worker and 2 workers = 96 more experiments that would take significantly longer time than those with 3 workers. However, it’s natural to think that D probably takes longer to mine out than , say, A or B. Even without experiments, I would say F=E,D,C,B,A,G in order of mining efficiency (inefficient to efficient) with 1 or 2 workers in general.
**2 gas 4 workers**+ Show Spoiler + Protoss players sometimes take 2 gases and assign 2 workers each in early game = 4 gas workers in total. Recently, By.Rain did it vs IMMvp on Abyssal City in GSL Ro4., for example. Depending on the gas locations of the base, I think 1 worker at one gas and 3 workers at another gas is more efficient overall than 2 each. The only way to determine when this is the case is to research mining efficiency for 1 worker mentioned just above. In my hypothesis, when closer gas is relatively far like one of the 1291 D instead of A or B, and farther gas is very far like E or F, 3 workers at closer gas and 1 worker at farther one would probably be more efficient. When (waiting time for the 3rd worker) < (additional travel time for farther gas), it should be the case. I have this entire hypothesis in my head, but experiments for this sounds too torturous. By.Rain’s Abyssal City right spawning location looks borderline case where 3 workers at blue [D,0-45] and 1 worker at yellow [D,45-90] could have been slightly better choice, but I’m not 100% sure. It’s all theorycraft for now. When you are not sure, 2 each is probably the safer bet anyways.
**Worker Sync**+ Show Spoiler + As I mentioned, I did double check all gas mining time. Sometimes, I checked more than 10 times. In doing this, I found that from time to time for unknown reasons, 3 workers seem to work in harmony better than other times. When this sync happens, they save 1 to 3 trips during the entire 22min or so mining. Because of this, 1395 gas is not always mined out in 1395sec. For example, [E,225-270] have like 30%(?) chance they mine out in 1388sec instead of 1395sec. This is not an error. For all results, I took the most frequent number. By the way, difference between [E,45-90] and [E,90-135] by 6sec is not a mistake. [E,90-135] consistently mined out faster by about 6sec even considering this worker sync.
**Mineral Boost Trick on Gas**+ Show Spoiler + In the introduction that you read hours ago, I linked the Mineral boost trick thread. It seems that the acceleration trick works for gas as well. For 1291 gas with 3 workers, apparently there is no margin of improvement. However for far gas like [E,225-270] = 1395 gas, accelerating each worker actually improves the mining rate. This is not practical in game at all as you are already busy enough at that point of the game. It’s just something fun I found. (or somebody might have already mentioned in that thread, I don’t know.)
Edit: **Other Sources** + Show Spoiler +The Gas Issue, second editionThis is a similar research on this gas issue done by spinesheath during beta days(!) in 2010. Unfortunately I didn't know about this research until people posted the link in this thread. Although this research lacks some accuracy supposedly to save time, it is remarkable in that spinesheath did it at very early stage of SC2 and that it includes 2 worker mining research that I skipped. I wish I knew about this research. It would have saved me a lot of time following spinesheath's lead instead of doing everything all on my own.
**Final Thoughts** + Show Spoiler +Wow, I wish writing for my real life responsibility were as fun as this one. I guess some of you remember me, Orek, from various other research posts. I posted 10 other guides/articles before, but this was by far the toughest one. Both research and writing took a long time. With my poor English vocabulary, I might have repeated the same word too many times, but I believe most things are clear enough in this thread. Was the title misleading? Well, I tried to make it as attractive as possible while avoiding being downright lie. At this point, you are probably thinking, “well, this thread was not exactly what I was expecting to read from the title.” I did my best to satisfy those who I intentionally mislead by the title I know that the topic here is not the biggest deal in the whole world, but most of my topics aren’t if you know my previous posts. However, at least among my posts, I consider this gas mining research the best contribution to the community I have made so far, or possibly 2nd best to [G] Zerg Sim City for Spire protection in ZvP for fellow Zerg players. OSL final spoiler inside + Show Spoiler + DRG lost greater spire twice in the series. In LR, I and some others talked how DRG should have read the spire protection thread above. I don't care even if first pro who does it gets all the credit. Please do it for the sake of better gameplay.
Similarly, I hope top pros pay some attention to this gas mining research work. I don't think translation of entire thread is necessary. With a little help in understanding the overall concept, images must be self-explanatory just like the spire protection thread. I'm the one who did all this research, but sadly, I am too scrubby of a player to benefit from small gas gain myself Top pros are the ones who benefit the most from this. I forgot to include 2 strong ~~retard~~ viewer magnets: race balance discussion and dramacraft, but I hope this thread gets enough attention of people who actually care about the SC2 gameplay itself. Any feedback/correction/verification is much appreciated. After all, no one else has confirmed any of the facts I presented here yet as of writing. Thank you for reading.
**Orek's Articles/Guides** + Show Spoiler [Article etc.] +
+ Show Spoiler [Guide] +Last edit: 2014-01-12 21:10:41 |