update: BIGGER, better and now also uploaded on EU!
Salt is a training tool which enables saving and loading the game in multiplayer matches with practice partners! It is designed to help people test out the timing and execution of all aspects of their play and I have recieved positive responses from Bronze players, pro players/casters (Qxc and Husky) and many people from all levels in between.
To use the tool a player simply types "save" or "load" into chat and they can jump to whatever point in the game they want. For a simple look at how this works and how it can be used you can watch the episode of HuskyStarcraft where he did a review/tutorial on it as part of a new series.
(note, near the end of the clip his opponent clicks on the "restart" button hence the confussion)
He does a good job of outlining some uses for this which are holding timing attacks and practicing micro in real world engagements. It is also useful to develop build orders to test out what a build order is weak against, different variations on a build order and which paths work best when transitioning, as well as practicing games where spawn location plays a role as it lets you chose which starting location each player begins at.
To use simply enter the custom maps section of Battlenet and search for "SALT" and there should be a number of the maps in the list.
LADDER / TOURNAMENT: SALT Antiga Shipyard SALT Entombed Valley SALT Cloud Kingdom SALT Metalopolis SALT Shakuras Plateau SALT Shattered Temple SALT Tal'Darim Altar
TOURNAMENT: SALT Dual Sight SALT Crevasse SALT Daybreak SALT Terminus
NOT IN COMPETITIVE USE: SALT Xel'naga Caverns SALT Bel'shir swamp (one of my own maps, not balance tested)
MORE MAPS: coming soon
If you use custom hotkeys for control groups then you will need to edit the file SALTkeybindings.SC2Banks which will be found in your banks file.+ Show Spoiler +
Start the game and it will create a default file for you, if you do not know where it is located do a search of you SC2 folder and you should find it. To change the hotkey for control group 1 to the letter 'q' find the line that says <Value string="1"/> and change it to <Value string="q"/>. all letters, numbers and F1-F12 keys are allowed.
In the future I will be looking into being able to save the game as a file so that it can be shared with others, distributed to help people become better gamers, included in help requests (eg. "Help. What should I do in this situation?") and used in tournaments in the case of a player who gets disconnected.
I sincerely hope that you all find this to be a useful tool.
I am the 4% http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewpost.php?post_id=17208214 ||| Currently attempting to get on another funday monday~ ||| http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=367420 <-- My map portfolio!
turtles Australia. December 24 2011 06:04. Posts 157
No. Either player can save or load when they like, otherwise whoever is winning would not consent to letting the loser have a do-over. It doesn't make sense to have that functionality for the purpose of training as both participants are agreeing to work together on something instead of being in direct competition. For someone who is using this tool so they can go back and relive battles during the game then they should be able to. Not have someone have their ability to veto that decision.
althaz Australia. December 24 2011 21:45. Posts 747
There is a bug where you can have full vision of the map if you hit Restart and then you load a saved slot.
There is algo a bug where Protoss units will retain they´re upgrades through different games (restart button), so far I saw Forge Upgrades, Charge and Warpgate. (I was PvZing and Zerg didnt retain any)
This is by far the most useful map ever. I imagine this will be used by everyone very soon. The uses of this modification are endless.
I've played Salt Antiga on the US a few times and I have some questions/concerns When I accidentally loaded a save that was not filled my cursor was removed and had to f10->Q out Are observers possible?
I would really like to see these maps refined and expanded. I know I will be playing them a lot and am willing to help with testing. Wyvern.136
Last edit: 2011-12-27 08:35:41
Feel the Wyvern's Sting
turtles Australia. December 27 2011 14:26. Posts 157
Thankyou everyone! I have been unable to work on the map due to eating too much turkey (and other such Christmas related activities).
Starting Thursday I will be diving straight back into it :D. All the problems with reloading the game should be easy to fix so I'll have them patched up soon.
I was worried I would run out of steam and this would be yet another half finished project of mine. Thankyou for your support, I'm glad people besides myself would be interested to see this project seen through to the end.
Suggestions: -A way for people in regular BNET games to hit a 'save' button, and then they can later reload the scenario within SALT. Alternatively, could people hit 'save' during a regular Bnet REPLAY, and then go load a game from there? Ideally you could load a replay, scroll 5 minutes in to some specific point, and then hit 'PLAY' from that point, and you would begin a SALT game with a replica of the demo's conditions.
-A way to create a scenario from an interface, and load up that scenario? For example: I click '10 workers' for player 1, '12 workers' for player 2, '20 marines' for playe 1, etc until I have a desired tech/unit/econmy scenario, which I could then load up into SALT. Sort of like a unit tester except you're testing whole in-game scenarios rather than specific unit battles.
-A way to externally export and import scenarios like in YABOT or similar. So that scenarios could be easily posted around such as on these forums.
-A method to define an end point for a scenario. Such as, 'the scenario will end in 5 minutes', after which a mini-score screen might pop up (units left, units killed, econ position, etc). Other end points could be specified such as, for example if you were playtesting a strong worker harass scenario, 'the scenario will end after player X's worker count drops below 15 or exceeds 30' (for a loss or win condition, respectively).
-A King of the Hill mode. Multiple players are in a server spectating 2 other players playing, and when a scenario 'ends', the winner stays and the loser is replaced with the next player in line. The scenario is repeated until KOTH players decide to vote on a new scenario/map.
Things these suggestions would enable:
-When someone has a strategic question about a game they lost, they could scroll their demo to the point where they felt confused, hit the 'save' button and then either replay that scenario with a friend, or post the scenario to TL and a more experienced player might physically show the replay-poster how they would deal with the situation.
-Sort of a competition atmosphere for specific scenarios. A scenario could be like 'hold off a bunker rush with X units'. People could competitively play eachother and determine who was best at holding bunker rushes. Another exmaple would be 'who can pull the best harassment with given X units'? Ideally a ranking system of some sort would exist.
-Even dismissing a competitive aspect, people could just post really fun and challenging scenarios. Maybe like 'bust thru a super tank contain' or 'survive an 8 base zerg onslaught', etc. Almost like a campaign game, except your opponent is human and is also trying to win.
-People could more easily speculate and discuss what an optimal response might be for a given situations (theorycrafting). This could possibly even extend to pro-replays (what would have happened if some player did Y instead of X?)
-A 'replay from this point' function, for when competitive games are dropped due to lag etc. A game would be saved say every 30 seconds (or possibly more), and if the game ever dropped due to lag, players could restart right before the drop point. I imagine this would be big with competitive gamers/groups.
turtles Australia. December 29 2011 12:28. Posts 157
I would love it if you could have pro players playing on something like this and you could relive their battles or see if they could have actually won if you think they threw a game where they lost an advantage (for example people claiming Idra leaves "won" games too early could actually test it for themselves).
There is a problem though, at the moment all of this data is stored in memory so it is lost when you close the game. Tod do all that you would need to be able to save it as a file.
Blizzard has provided a method to allow map makers to store files onto a users computer which could be used in this way. However, there is a very tight size limit to the file you are allowed to create, which I guess is reasonable from their perspective but sucks for me .
I haven't fully looked into the restrictions on saving files but after a few very rough calculations on the amount of data I will need to be saving it looks like I will be just about at the limit of what is allowed and what is not allowed. So fingers crossed, but don't get hopes too high yet about the ability to transfer games around in a file and have them read/write properly.
(If anyone knows of any definitive links about file size restrictions and details about the various data types and how they are represented that would be awesome)
turtles Australia. December 29 2011 16:08. Posts 157
what about 'saving' games from a replay, as a way of recalling lost data?
It's an interesting possibility, one I've had a quick look at. There are people working on how to read replay files using C++/php but much is still unknown about what the data in the files represents. Even after/if that all gets sorted out you would need a way to be able to read it into the SC2 engine to be able to recreate a moment in a game.
Unless Blizzard suddenly decides to open the source code to their replay viewer I don't see it happening any time in the foreseeable future.
Sportnlife United States. December 31 2011 00:58. Posts 7