So, to start this off I just had this one thought. When a new players starts playing starcraft the most common advice i see is usually "Learn a build" "Practice a build" "Start using build orders"
Makes sense right? For many players this is a great approach to learning the game and getting better. You can start off with a 1 base build to learn how to properly macro off of 1 base & then move over into more complex builds as you get better at the game. In other means, most people seem to agree that following & using build orders is essential to becoming "Good" at starcraft.
When I started playing starcraft in 2011, I too started off with a very simeral approach. I watched day9, and found a build. Wrote it on a piece of paper and started practicing it against bots.
Then i got bored, and I thought to myself "Why is this neccesary?" I shouldn't have to play in a particular way to get better just because someone said this is how you get good at this game... I was bronze at the time so I could play as bad as I wanted without having any kind of performance anxiety. I didn't have to use a particular build, so I played whatever strategy/style I wanted. Without using any builds.
That was 7 years ago. I still don't use any kind of builds. I'm currently a diamond Protoss sitting at 4370mmr (4996 peak back when I was zerg main)
So what do I do instead of using builds? I use ideas, pure and simple.
I only use ideas when I play ladder. For example. I might get into a PvZ on ladder and say I wanna kill this guy on 2 bases with chargelot/immortal. The route & execution of that style is different in every game I play, because I deliberately alter how I accomplish the route to this strategy/idea by observing how my opponent plays. In other words my "Chargelot/Immortal allin" is never done in the same way. If the zerg is overly aggressive, I'll wait until I have a certain amount of units and then go for the kill. Should he play greedy, however, I might skip the miscellanious units (for example a second immortal) and go a little earlier. Not to mention that I literally change my playstyle a little bit for each loss i get. I lost to a nydus the other day while pushing due to my ignorance of my enemies overlord placements, solution ended up being me making 2 stalkers & putting them in a warp prism and traveling around eliminating everything I found from the matches from there on out.
Or I'll get into a PvT and say hey, well... This game I want a ground-based style focused around collosuss. Once again, execution & path towards this unit composition is never the same. Occasionaly I'll deviate from what I want to play if I scout or get the feeling that something's coming.
A few days ago I had a pretty bad day on ladder, where I lost a lot of points. Then I got into a match and decided I wanted to do a troll game, I went for proxy natural into mass carriers against a terran. A completely ridiculous strategy that should never work, but it did. I beat him convincingly. This to me was just further evidence that at my level of play, builds & even just compositions don't matter much. It's the genuine understanding & gamesense that matters. Not to mention that this wasn't the first time for me. that mass carriers on 2 base had worked.
but now I must get to the point and stop talking about myself. my POINT is only, that when I started playing I felt like build orders was a must have to get anywhere in RTS, but I strongly feel that that's not true unless you are going for high masters/GM & above.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to me, is how different all starcraft players are. People have different goals & different ways to accomplish what they want. Nobody's approach to competitiveness is the same.
The real question I want to ask all of you is what is your approach to build orders? Do you have a list of specific build orders that you follow from others? Do you create your own builds? or do you rely solely on intuition. Or perhaps you keep up with & follow the pro-meta?
Additionaly, did you utilize specific builds from others when you were new?
I hope I get som answers, I want to know how you guys play starcraft :D
+++ I did not check for grammar errors. Sorry if something is difficult to read due to poor structure or wrong use of words.