I'm a platinum level Protoss player, and I am having trouble adjusting to the many(!) new possibilities for early aggression and pressure that HotS brings to the table. I usually prefer a defensive playstyle with a focus on long term macro.For the purposes of this thread I'm going to use PvT as an example, but the issue has parallels in all my matchups.In Wings of Liberty I could scout a Terran's base and see early gas and conclude that he probably wasn't going for a fast expansion, and that I should get some defense up against an early marine/marauder push. If I did not see fast gas, and didn't see a shittonne of barracks for a marine rush, I could reasonably assume that he was going to fast expand and then do a ~10 minute MMM push, to which I could respond by getting zealot/sentry/archon up for that timing. It was pretty solid -- I could scout and react to the scouting with reasonable safety.
In Heart of the Swarm, however, I feel like this has changed a lot, due to the variety of options available to each race at the early game. In a lot of ways it feels like I'm down to guessing what play my opponent is opening with and die if I guess wrong, with no real way of 1) drawing conclusions from my scouting information and 2) adapting to a change in my opponent's play.
This is especially frustrating when the meta on platinum EU ladder currently seems to be: Win within 7 minutes or die.
The reason for this is that now I rarely ever see a Terran that doesn't go fast gas -- and at this point I cannot be sure whether there is a reaper coming my way, or if he is doing the fast marine/marauder push. If he opens reaper he is usually expanding behind it, in which case I just need a stalker or two to defend while I expand myself, but if he is going/following that up with marine/marauder I will need a whole lot more to defend against it -- but I cannot scout this before it's too late, because he walls in and usually kills any probe that hangs out by the ramp to detect an expansion (which is usually made on the highground anyway) with an early marine, making a 2nd scout impossible. All this meaning that I have no way of knowing if he has 1 barracks and is building a commandcenter, or 3 barracks and is building an army -- until the army just suddenly leaves his base and I have ~30 seconds to cancel my expansion, get more gateways and four times my unit count = I lose.
And it doesn't stop there. Because of the problem with being unable to scout his base he could be going for a fast factory and push with his marine/marauder army + 1 widow mine. The presence of that single widow mine is much more significant than you would think. I have been playing around in the unit tester trying various permutations of this, and the widow mine makes all the difference in the world. Even if I absorb the shot with one unit before bringing my rest to defend, that is still one unit less I can defend with as I am already under pressure. By the time I can have a hallucinated phoenix or observer to scout his base, it is usually too late to macro out an army sizable enough to defeat a rushed push.So far my only option seems to be to blindly assume that I will be rushed with a full force, and build a large force myself, completely forfeiting economy while playing blind. This feels very wrong, especially since bunker + autorepair + a widow mine makes pushing with my army in the event that I don't get rushed, very difficult.
Í am on my 10th loss in a row at the moment, and I honestly have no idea how to adjust to the HotS early game. It seems that my scouting options are insufficient in comparison to the rushing options my opponent has in any matchup, and as such it feels like I'm forced to assume the worst case scenario, which will lose me the game in case I'm not rushed, or the rush composition is different from what I've guessed.Could anyone clue me in to the secret of the HotS early game as Protoss?
EDIT: This isn't a thread about cheese or whine about Terran balance. This is a thread wherein I ask for constructive ideas for improving/changing my scout patterns and decisionmaking from such scouting, as well as any ideas for reliable Protoss openings in HotS.