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  1. #1
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    (Not so) easy questions

    Hi!

    I installed DOTA after seeing the launch post on the main site and have played the tutorial (now at 2 matches played against humans), read some guides on DOTA ,watched some videos and played a handful of games against bots.
    Yet, i still have lots of questions that seem basic to me, although they possibly don't have an easy answer.

    Heroes
    Where to start? I figured playing a support would be less desastrous for my team than picking a carry and went for Lich and Lion in my first to games.
    Lanes
    Where should i go? I usually go for one of the side lanes, as 2 on each side and a ranged hero Mid seems to be a common setup.
    When should i head back to base, when (if at all) should i get new regen/mana items?
    When I'm up against heroes with more range than me, am I still expected to go for last hits/denies? I seem to take a lot of damage when trying that.
    Runes
    Who is supposed to pick them up? Whoever gets there? Midlane? Sidelane? Bottles don't seem to be featured in many of the ingame builds for the limited selection heroes.
    Neutral Camps
    Should i bother with these as a beginning player? I don't seem to be able to kill them quickly enough for the gold to be worth the time/hp/mana in the early game. (Tutorial selection doesn't feature any of the heroes marked jungler on the wiki).
    Wards
    Again, should i bother as a beginner? I've seen this discouraged for beginners, but putting at least one up at the runespot(s) seems reasonable to me.
    If i buy wards, are they out of stock for everyone?
    Last hitting
    With two heroes on a single lane, who gets the last hits?
    The same question goes for towers; in the case of heroes i assume that a secured kill has priority.
    Should i use mana to last hit? (this is likely a terribly unspecific question)
    Is there a guideline on how many last hits at a given time i should reliably get in order to afford important items? (probybly a slightly less terrible question)
    I'm terrible at this. Also, I'm pretty sure that last one isn't a question.

    I'd appreciate it if someone would take the time to answer some of these question (or could provide links), even if it's only an "It's not an easy answer"

  2. #2
    Network Hub Stirbelwurm's Avatar
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    Hey there,

    yeah, it's all pretty basic stuff, so it's easy to answer (though the answer tend to be unspecific or rely on specific game situations), but the problem is, that there is so much basic stuff to learn ;)

    When reading your questions I can already see, that you are adressing the right points to improve your play, which tells me that your common sense will already get you quite far.

    But now for the questions:

    Heroes:
    Altough it also is quite hard to play a really good support, it's generally a better idea to start with those, that's right. Lich for example is pretty safe to play and nearly always a nice addition for your team. Playing carries is not that hard actually, as long as you are somewhat competent with your last hits.
    I find that playing gankers and initiators is harder than the other roles, since they always rely on crucial timing and if you miss it, a whole team fight might go down the drain.

    Lanes:
    As a support you usually go with your carry, which most of the time choses the safe lane (bottom for Radiant, up for Dire). But there is nothing wrong with also playing the hard lane (up for Radiant, etc). Mid is almost exclusively played solo, by heroes that are good gankers. That's the reason they are mid, because they can reach the other lanes easily.
    Also, try to avoid lane setups where two melee heroes go to the same lane, while two ranged one go to another. Try to mix them, since two melee heroes in a lane tend to have a hard time.

    You go to the base when you need exessive healing, obviously. You mostly do this, when you don't have sufficient hp and mana anymore to cast anything and stay safe in lane. After the initial healing items I mostly don't get any consumables anymore, but that's just me. It's ok to get a second set of healing items, but after that it tends to become a waste of money.

    Last hits are usually reserved for the carry in the lane. As support you last hit and harass the enemy heroes when possible (harassing is not often viable for the support, if you don't have the spells to do it). Take note that you draw creep aggro, when you attack enemy heroes. If you are in a bad position this often means, that you take more damage from the creeps, than the enemy from you, so you'll have to be careful.
    If you are in a situation where you can't safely farm any creeps, hang back and try to get at least the xp. When the creep wave is pushed under your tower, you should be able to get some last hits. If the lane is just too hard for you, ask for help, switch lanes with someone or go out for a gank, if your hero has fitting spells for that (usually slows or stuns).

    Runes:
    Runes usually go to the mid heroes, because they are mostly the ones with bottles. If there is no ally currently around to pick them up and you fear the enemy might get before an ally gets there, pick it up. Just because the bottle isn't meantioned in the suggested items, this doesn't mean you can't get them ;) Zeus is a prime example for a hero that goes mid and buys a bottle as fast as possible, no matter what the ingame guid says.

    Runes are most crucial in the first 10 min or so. After that it not that important who gets them.

    Neutral Camps:
    If you are not a jungler, there are only two cases when you bother with those camps:
    First - creep pulling. The support on the Radiant bottom lane or Dire upper lane is usually expected on pulling there. To keep this post short(ish), I won't explain it right now, if you want to know more about it, just ask.
    Second - carries or other farm dependent heroes occasionally farm in the jungle when the lanes are not safe enough or they just happen to walk by. They usually need some levels and items until they are able to do so safely. Depending on the hero this may vary, when they can do that.

    Wards:
    Wards are always useful, I don't see any reason why you should skip them in the beginning. There are a lot of advanced strategies involving ward placing and such, but just doing the basic rune warding may already help your team a lot. It not only ensures safer laning, it also improves rune control etc. So definately yes, do it.
    Also yes, the cooldown affects everyone.

    Last hitting:
    Arguably one of the most basic and important skills you'll have to learn in Dota (another one being map and danger awareness). Last hits go to the carry, not exclusively, but it's usually better not to mess with his farming, when you are support. Go for the kills the carry can't get and you are set. Since supports are less focussed on farming, they usually deny more.
    I'm not quite sure about the towers right now, I believe the last patch changed it in a way, that everybody gets the same gold. Don't worry too much about it, just attack it until it goes down.

    As you have guessed, using mana to farm solely depends on the hero and his skills you are using. In the beginning, you usually do that, when you see that two or more creeps are about to die at the same time and you can't get them all, so you use your skill to do that. While still in the laning phase you'll usually don't want to use your skills to farm (too often), since it pushes your lane, which is somewhat disadvantageous for you, when you are not in the position to push and destroy the enemy tower. However, if you are also able to hit enemy heroes with it, then it's ok (mid lane is also an exception, since the room between the two towers is so short).

    As a support it might happen, that you don't get any last hits for a while (I just played a game where I had one creep kill after the first five minutes or so). When you are actively trying to farm, then you should at least get two times the elapsed game time minutes in creeps. This rule holds up for the first 15 minutes or so, after that you should either get more creeps or hero kills.
    Getting about 50 creep kills in the first 10 minutes is considered really good (which means you'll probably won't be able to do it, I have to know, I can't either lol).



    Sooo, this should cover most of your questions. Feel free to ask even more! I'd suggest playing some games together to teach you more ingame, but as it turns out, this is a bad idea when playing against humans ;) (that' because there is a very real chance that you'll be matched against opponents at my level, which won't be fun I'd guess, already had that happen with two friends of mine).

    There are also quite a lot of tutorials around, but right now I felt like typing it out. Hope it helped :)
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  3. #3
    Network Hub Stirbelwurm's Avatar
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    Ah whatever, here are some basic videos, which might help you:
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE8BF94DE8B878FF0

    Generally I'd recommend watching Purge videos. Not because he is an amazing player or anything, but because he always explains what he is doing, why he is doing it and where his mistakes are. You can learn quite a lot from it, if you want. Just search for a video about a hero you are interested in and watch.
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  4. #4
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    That is quite an impressive write up and is indeed covering the things i wanted to know, thank you very much.
    The Purge videos also seem to be quite helpful and I'll have a look around their channel. As for matches, I'll stick with bots and limited selection training until I feel more confident in the basics.
    I'll add further questions, should they pop up.

  5. #5
    Network Hub grasskit's Avatar
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    heres more recent tutorial vids, going through all the basics step by step. i think they are more concise and less meandering than those purge ones. but do watch purge playing specific heroes though

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...a03GyXuiCTzhkR
    Last edited by grasskit; 13-07-2013 at 09:52 AM.

  6. #6
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    http://www.purgegamers.com/welcome-t...k#.UZT2Tco1Gxg

    Without doubt the best beginners guide out there. Take your time, read it all, digest it then read it again

    Have fun, the game is really good when you know what your doing (and remember, you learn alot more from watching videos about what to do and not do and the reasoning behind that than you ever do from constantly hammering out games).

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    I have to agree, both the Dota for Dummies and the Purgegamers guide are a good introduction, although i believe the Purgegamers guide shouldn't skip creep staking and warding that much.
    I happened to play Viper mid in two games (badly, but from my understanding not the worst choice I could have made for that position) and not seeing anything in the river is really annoying.
    Creep stacking also seems comparativly basic (at least if you stay with the one camp for each team) in both theory and practice, so i think newer players should at least know about this in case their lane is completely pushed out in the early game. (I might or might not have killed a friendly tower by pulling to often and/or early).

    As for questions:
    Matchmaking
    I'll be finished with the 10 limited selection matches in training soonand would like to transition to the full hero selection both because it feels a little unfair to stay in that mode longer than the recommended 10 games and because I'd like to see some other heroes for a change. Any particular gamemode i should avoid? (I'd guess All Pick would allow me to pick heroes i know at least a bit about)
    How does Rock, Paper, Stun now! organize itself? Should i just ask in the ingame guildchannels, hang around in the invite me
    pls Mumble channel or do you have specific dates for playing together.
    How does queuing as a team work out? (Especially since Stirbelworm already mentioned possible problems with this)
    Adding to the above, is there a way to see if any player on a team would be up against far better opponents/bored to death.

    Also, since I'm being quite verbose again (and I'm not going to buy a compendium anytime near), if anyone in this thread wants Playercard Akke(Alliance) or FATA(mousesports) for his collection, feel free to message me on steam under the same screenname.
    Last edited by StaticNoob; 15-07-2013 at 07:33 PM.

  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    I'd say you should try to avoid Single Draft and All Random. While they can be useful to learn new heroes (as in, forcing you to play them) they can lead to less-than-stellar team compositions and can hurt you in many other ways. AP and Random Draft are solid choices. Or if you like, Least Played is a good choice too.

  9. #9
    Network Hub Stirbelwurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StaticNoob View Post
    Creep stacking also seems comparativly basic (at least if you stay with the one camp for each team) in both theory and practice, so i think newer players should at least know about this in case their lane is completely pushed out in the early game. (I might or might not have killed a friendly tower by pulling to often and/or early).
    I don't really think that it's possible to do too often, maybe just not at the right time. A bigger problem might be, that newer players completely lack lane control. An experienced player can hold the creeps at the same spot in the lane for minutes, when he is farming alone, just doing the right amount of last hits and simple right clicks on the creeps.


    Quote Originally Posted by StaticNoob View Post
    How does queuing as a team work out? (Especially since Stirbelworm already mentioned possible problems with this)
    Adding to the above, is there a way to see if any player on a team would be up against far better opponents/bored to death.
    Maybe I should explain my example in more detail. I played with both of them at the same time. Both were completely new players and had played 2 or 3 games on their own. When I first played with them, I could see that in our first two games together, that we were playing on their skill level. But after that you could clearly see, that the enemy players started to be way more experienced and both of my friends had no chance competing in those games.
    So I don't really know if the algorithm takes some form of mean value or just takes the rank of the lowest player as a mark to determine the other players. Valve does not say much about the mm algorithm.

    There is also no way to see in which skill bracket a player is playing in or what rank he has. There is a loose classification based on normal, high and very high, but it seems it is kinda arbitrary. (the only form of actually seeing where someone is playing in those classifications is on that site: http://iforez.olf.sgsnet.se/dotastats/40416215/ based on my example).
    The dota level might tell you something about the experience a player has at playing the game, but not about his skill. But it even fails at that, so there is no real way to tell how good a player is.
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  10. #10
    Network Hub deadly.by.design's Avatar
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    I feel you on the creep stacking. I've been playing for nearly half a year and still have a hard time remembering / positioning to be doing it consistently.

  11. #11
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    On Radiant pull the medium camp to lane at x:15/x:45 to draw lane creeps aggro. You can go into more advanced pulling here. Cutting a tree and keeping the lane creeps agrroed with the second medium camp is doable as well.

    On Dire, the same medium camp to lane at x:15/x:45. But advanced jungling is significantly harder than on the Radiant side.

    The below pic is from Liquidpedia so should be fairly up to date if we're talking pulling virtually all the camps to lane.

    http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2/ima...Pull_times.jpg - the white lines in the Radiant jungle are what i'm talking about above.

    Another thing most pulling guides neglect to mention is that if you kill the camp before x:37 (Or x:35, someone confirm please), the bodies vanish before the next respawn point allowing you to come back and kill another camp immediately.

    Alternatively, if you pull a camp around x:53/54 (ish) and ensure you kill/fight the neutrals a decent distance away from their camp, it won't stop the next respawn from happening so you can pile on stacks this way as well. Just make sure they don't go back into their camp or you won't get the next respawn.

    As for stacking camps, that's the easiest bit. Pull around x:53/54 and keep them out of the camp till the next respawn. Just grab any puppey/notail vods when playing Chen. Once you master stacking one camp, its easier to move on to stacking two or more camps at once as that requires anything between cutting down trees, certain spells (Like Beastmaster axes), lane creeps aggro etc.

    /was there when Merlini literally blew away the whole dota world when jungling with Rexxar in 2007 and stacking and farming multiple camps all at once.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AKbYAdRCQo - pretty much invented jungling tbh
    Last edited by khaz; 16-07-2013 at 08:10 AM.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Stirbelwurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khaz View Post
    Another thing most pulling guides neglect to mention is that if you kill the camp before x:37 (Or x:35, someone confirm please), the bodies vanish before the next respawn point allowing you to come back and kill another camp immediately.
    They don't mention it, because it is no longer true. Dead creeps don't block the spawn anymore.
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  13. #13
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    My bad. D:

    Something I did out of habit so never really noticed.

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    Well its interesting the topic of game mode for beginners...

    If your playing with more than a 3 player stack try searching for Least Picked Mode, while your new and won't have anything banned out on your least picks (leaving you a free pool) any enemies with experience will be pushed onto a hero they're not SUPER comfortable on, it won't balance it up cos their general game knowledge will be better but it'll give you a fighting chance.

    Once you have a couple of heroes under your belt you can try Random Draft, its rare you won't find any hero you know in there and on the occasions your forced to play something new then at least your not getting stuck with one hero. I know a guy that played 1 hero right through low skill bracket til it matched him out of it, hes super good with that hero... but in medium tier people started countering him and he had no hero to fall back on so after about 8 losses in a row it balanced him back down til he learnt a few more.

    The skill matching system seems quite complex and yet simple, theres no concrete info on it but what is thought currently is that it gives each player an individual score based on their performances on a number of heroes and that it adds them scores up and does some maths with it for a team and matches groups based on that. Theres no concrete info though. However I can definately say with almost certainty there are more match making brackets than the "medium" "high" "very high" it shows in game.... The reason I know this is because I have alot of gaming groups in DotA and while I know that 2 of these groups both always get put in the medium bracket there is definately a skill difference between the 2. I.e. when I queue with group 1 I will get a fairly competant medium tier game, people will know not to autoattack lane creeps, they'll stack and pull, they will do other basic "good" things where as anytime I queue with the other team of friends I basically get to dominate a lane for free cos the enemy are clearly all very new.

    I get the feeling as well that if you take some time to practise a hero in a practise lobby for just one match so you understand what their spells do, in the lower bracket you'll be in a good place vs most opponents.

    Some tid bits of info I've gleened playing with new players (friends I'd invited into the beta mainly):


    • Don't be put off by losing even when you play well, it happens in all brackets to the best of us.



    • Once your more comfortable in the games your playing around your tier don't be afraid to try out a character with a high skill ceiling, you won't know unless you try it. I have a friend who carried himself out of low tier using Meepo... and hes damn good with Meepo (although in high tier he still finds it difficult on him I think but thats more a problem with Meepo than him), examples of high skill ceilings are: Invoker, Meepo, Chen, Timbersaw, Templar Assassain, Puck (this isnt to say they are all hard to play, but that they scale proportionally more with a good player, TA is good in most peoples hands, but give her a really good TA player and she becomes god like).



    • If you make a mistake don't panic, panic'ing only leads to other mistakes which isn't going to fix anything.



    • People will rage, when they inevitably rage try telling them your fairly new and constructive feedback is appreciated ( a - don't tell them your new before hand or I guarentee everything is your fault - b - don't expect them to listen to this), if it continues just report them for flaming, I will all but guarentee with-in the next 3 days you'll get a note from Valve saying thanks for making the community nicer.



    • Learn the niche's of your role, by this I don't mean that supports buy wards etc.. I mean that supports live in fights based on how much they can be at the fringe and still influence things; supports that get caught in the middle of a fight rarely live even if the enemy dies, also note "trading" and by that I mean if your playing Vengeful Spirit and you die but your team gets the enemies Anti-Mage in return... that is a very good trade.



    • Once you think your better than the average low tier new player (it'll happen, you might be right, you might be wrong) get yourself out of the low tier by playing aggressive characters, something that can kill things and take advantage of over aggressive enemies, something that can snowball a bit, Witch Doc is a good support for low tier for instance, get that Maladict on them and pump out some quick dmg (get your lane mate to save his nuke til you maladict).

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    Help! Everything i was told about MOBAs was a lie! Everyone is friendly and helpful!

    On a slightly more serious note, Liquipedia does not seem to like hotlinks, so I'll just leave this here: http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2/Pulling

  16. #16
    Network Hub deadly.by.design's Avatar
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    All of this is why I occasionally have a love / hate relationship with dota. While it's great to have so many gameplay mechanics and heroes to figure out (as opposed to hand-holding), I can't help but feel that I'll never play enough to be great at it. It's my competitive side that wants to do really well in what I play, and yet my rational adult side says that investing the necessary time in dota is more time than it's worth. (haven't played many other games where you need a solid, uninterrupted 30-60 minutes per session) First world problems, I guess.

    I wouldn't mind a game mode with less time commitment, but I won't hold my breath.

    Anyway, it's great to see so many resources for new players.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DenieD View Post
    a - don't tell them your new before hand or I guarentee everything is your fault - b - don't expect them to listen to this


    • Learn the niche's of your role, by this I don't mean that supports buy wards etc.. I mean that supports live in fights based on how much they can be at the fringe and still influence things; supports that get caught in the middle of a fight rarely live even if the enemy dies, also note "trading" and by that I mean if your playing Vengeful Spirit and you die but your team gets the enemies Anti-Mage in return... that is a very good trade.



    • Once you think your better than the average low tier new player (it'll happen, you might be right, you might be wrong) get yourself out of the low tier by playing aggressive characters, something that can kill things and take advantage of over aggressive enemies, something that can snowball a bit, Witch Doc is a good support for low tier for instance, get that Maladict on them and pump out some quick dmg (get your lane mate to save his nuke til you maladict).
    at the first point.

    But the latter two are good points. Trading is oh so important. And I would wager that Lion is a better option than Witch Doctor. The Doc has certain intricacies that new players might not get. Lion is a much more straightforward hero and can fill various roles and lanes. Its a better and more rounded pickup to learn the game with. Lion also makes an excellent solo hero in the long or mid lane once you're confident enough to try that. Not to mention he plays well both defensively and offensively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khaz View Post
    at the first point.

    But the latter two are good points. Trading is oh so important. And I would wager that Lion is a better option than Witch Doctor. The Doc has certain intricacies that new players might not get. Lion is a much more straightforward hero and can fill various roles and lanes. Its a better and more rounded pickup to learn the game with. Lion also makes an excellent solo hero in the long or mid lane once you're confident enough to try that. Not to mention he plays well both defensively and offensively.
    Too true too true, now I think about it I believe I teethed on Lion many a year a go... my first ever game was sniper (don't do it, it was painful, my friend suggested him as he has very little buttons to press... it didn't go well lol).

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    Quote Originally Posted by deadly.by.design View Post
    All of this is why I occasionally have a love / hate relationship with dota. While it's great to have so many gameplay mechanics and heroes to figure out (as opposed to hand-holding), I can't help but feel that I'll never play enough to be great at it. It's my competitive side that wants to do really well in what I play, and yet my rational adult side says that investing the necessary time in dota is more time than it's worth. (haven't played many other games where you need a solid, uninterrupted 30-60 minutes per session) First world problems, I guess.

    I wouldn't mind a game mode with less time commitment, but I won't hold my breath.

    Anyway, it's great to see so many resources for new players.

    All mid, death match and easy mode will be around soon I'm sure (you can access some of them from a 3rd party site already).

    All Mid games typically take about 20 minutes and are more action packed / mayhem'y.
    Easy mode is not what it seems, it isn't easier although it should be: games take about 25 - 30 mins, you lose no gold on death, you gain more xp and more gold per second... its not easier cos carries get ridiculous fast :P
    Death Match Mode - Forces you to a new hero everytime you die.

  20. #20
    Network Hub deadly.by.design's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DenieD View Post
    Death Match Mode - Forces you to a new hero everytime you die.
    Would you have to whittle down the enemy's entire/selected hero pool to win? Or would it be ticket-based or have a score cap instead?

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