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In StarCraft, you always want to be at 0 minerals and 0 gas because that means you are maximizing your investment into buildings and units. People make fun of you if you don't have the skill to optimize for this.



Google is clearly ultra late game zerg. They are floating minerals, gas, and larvae to remax on a tech switch. This analogy is holding up surprisingly well.


Apple is about to drop their mineral line


That's a general rule, but there can be scenarios in which it isn't true, they're just far away from the "current meta" ie the way you'll usually see the game played.

There are strategies that play through late-game. Because resources are finite in StarCraft, after a certain point your income is always zero. At that point if one player has "money in the bank" they're actually ahead not behind, because they can build more units in response to their opponent's current composition which can't be countered.

Ordinarily for example if you're crushing a Protoss and they build a Dark Shrine as a last ditch, no problem get detection and shut DTs down before they cause trouble. But if you have no income and nothing left in the bank then you may just never be able to detect those DTs with what you have, and no way to build a detector. Now you're in a race - win before the DTs kill you.

There are some crazier corner cases, if you lose all workers and can't afford to build more then spending everything also becomes a bad idea for a similar reason and spending down to zero actually increases your risk of not being able to buy workers if somehow you lose them all.


I mean yeah because sc has a supply cap for units. If you go full Elon in real life there's a whole bunch more you could be spending that money on.

I'm not against goog, appl, ect building warchests, but the analogy does break down.


The game is a little bit different because you don't just win by crushing your opponent like you do in a 1v1 RTS. This game goes on.

I'd say the situation is more akin to a Free-for-All situation in a game like Age of Empires 2, where the winning strategy is generally to take control of key resources and suck them dry while fighting as little as possible. And then when you need to fight someone during a tech switch, you bury them with your accumulated bank.


Yeah well the discussion moves into the value of money in trying to win a tech race.

Elon's Starlink broadband provider via very-near-earth satellites could be leveraged to provide a real-world advantage against google's internet dominance.

If that conflict happened google would have to dump money into blue origin and would that be enough to counteract the advantage Starlink would have in dumping it's profits into getting more advantage?

Idk, but just making the point


Google's internet dominance isn't in telecommunications, SpaceX will be competing with the likes of ATT.


For sure, just making an example to show the pattern


This comment said the same thing as the 4-paragraph comment about corporate finance. Yet somehow so much easier to understand.


The difference is cost of failure. If you lose a game you play another, so tolerance for risk taking is high. If Google or APPL screws in an economic downturn up they go bankrupt and don't get a second chance.

Cost of failure is a huge decider of optimal behavior.


Very interesting way to look at the topic. However, if I adopt that perspective, I come to the opposite conclusion.

Corporations are limited liability. It is expected that shareholders have distributed ownership in many companies.

For Starcraft rankings, the possibilities are -1 or +1. For investing, it's more like -1 to infinity. It's a distribution within those bounds. Increasing the likelihood of hitting that -1 roll of the dice is completely acceptable if it is counter-balanced by a greater average benefit at the long end of the tail.

Starcraft is different. Because there are only 2 outcomes (excepting draws), an increase in the chance of the -1 outcome necessarily comes with a decrease in the change of the +1 outcome. It would be more like a public company if they gave ranking bonuses for overkill of the opponent.


You also want to survive rushes by the skin of your teeth because it indicates you min maxed your defense perfectly, investing as much as possible into your growth.

I wonder if Facebook is following that approach. Ie, maximizing growth and planning to just barely survive legal scrutiny


What if you suddenly unlock a unit (or maybe a shop comes selling units) that costs 1000 resources, which would take you 5m to get up to. Especially if when said unit becomes available isn't predictable, it may be a huge advantage to have some resources in reserve.

Furthermore, if you're already at the unit cap, and all your building are already working at peak efficiency, there may be no good way of spending those resources without wasting them.


In BotW, it's best to have all meals posible prepared already because if you get hit and ran out of meals, you'd be getting half the replenishment fro the raw ingredients.


Yeah, but what if you collected interest on your minerals and your game performance was based on return on investment in terms of minerals?


Until a tax holiday happens and suddenly your enemy has 50% more resources than you.


Are you a StarCraft economist?




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