A plasma production method using the irradiation of an array of small spots has been investigated from the point of view of soft X-ray laser generation in the recombining plasma scheme pumped by a pulse-train laser. The expansion geometry of highly ionized ions produced by the micro-dot array irradiation method has been measured and compared with that by a simple line irradiation. Spatial distribution of gain coefficients of the Li-like Al ion transition lines have also been measured for both irradiation methods. Highly ionized ions were observed to spread wider in the micro-dot array irradiation method. It is expected that rapid expansion and efficient cooling are achieved in plasmas produced by the micro-dot array irradiation method, which is consistent with the experimental results on the spatial structure of the X-ray laser gain region.