So uh...I tried to make my last blog friendly to people who don’t play DOTA. This one? Might be a little harder to understand. Sorry about that, you filthy non DOTA pleebs. I mean...uh...keep reading, like, comment, and subscribe?
Hey guys! A few weeks back I posted about my experience with getting into DOTA 2 after a week and a half. Well, as of today I am about 32 hours in the game. The overall impression of the game was positive, and I made a few key statements that were agreeable, but I also made a few statements that were less than agreeable, according to the community. I have been watching a bunch of Purge’s gameplay videos for different heroes, Inviationals, and Alienware cups, and it really seems like each player, at the very least, fills a role.
So recently, I decided to switch up my hero rotation and tried out Vengeful Spirit, who I liked a great deal, and then Centaur Warrunner, who I currently really love. I started playing him after reading up about him on the DOTA wiki, and it seems like he has a decent stun, two interesting abilities, and a toolkit of an ultimate. I played with my friend from the last blog some more, but this time on Hard difficulty, and hoo boy, that difficulty is intense. With heroes like Pudge and VS who rely on singling out someone, the computer gets to a point where they travel together all the time, and can teleport in right when it would suck the most. They can stack stuns in a criminally efficient way, and I was not pulling my weight, but I was learning. Specifically I learned a pro tip about denying: It's annoying as hell.
Medium games against bots...I definitely felt like a participant in this one
I eventually decided that medium wasn’t doing it for me anymore - it was too easy to farm up items, get kills, and basically I felt like I was constantly winning before the game would take off. So I bammed it up a noatch and went into Hard by myself. It wasn’t pretty. I had a top lane with a bounty hunter, and bought an observer ward instead of a sentry ward, because I am still an idiot at the game. He ganked me about three times before I realized what an idiot I was. However, in my two hard games as CW (now showing some crap show about tweens fighting some kind of mummy or something at 9 pm 8 eastern) I was able to get a pretty decent midgame going where I would get a Hood of Defiance and some kind of regen (tranquil boots at first, then I decided to just go without...they don’t feel like they did much) and I would go and jungle. So, CW’s ‘nuke’ is called double edge, and it deals massive damage to the target and CW. This seems really crappy if it weren’t for 3 things: 1. It is a lot of damage. 2. Hood prevents some of the damage to you and 3. It has an AoE. The AoE means that you can jungle like a madman once you have hood and regen, which I used both games to get a Heart of Tarrasque and then proceed to just eat towers like it ain’t no thang. So I finally conquered my fear, and beat AI on Hard. End of story, yeah? Nope!
First, there is a side story that made me laugh harder than it should have - I listen to last fm when playing with bots, and I have it on a mix station, and my mix station is messed up. It goes from Harvey Danger to Macklemore to Micheal Buble to Lady Gaga. Basically, I have no idea what it is serving up. So I am doing my thing, and a song comes up, and it is an acapella group. I don’t mind the style, so I let it roll for a bit, and it was your standard barbershop quartet song with wonderful harmonies singing about how you should look up when life has you down. Just remember...look at your enormous penis. And I just lost it. There was no other setting in the world where the song could have delivered that punchline as efficiency as it did there. I had no idea it was coming by song title, by a friend snickering, anything. I had to pause for five minutes while I died of laughter. I am not a mature man.
So what is the true point of this blog? I played a pub match tonight. It was effin scary. My knees were weak, my arms spaghetti. The first round I got into an all pick match (I did all pick or single draft), so I decided to grab CW because of course I would. I am writing off the hip here, but I will link to or post the videos to verify, but I recall our team was moderately balanced. I had a Jakiro who was playing support up top, we had a carry mid, and two other guys on bot. Truth time: I still suck at map awareness and team awareness. With our heroes and lanes selected, I announced that this was my first pub game, and immediately came the message “every time”. Yeah, I had a guy who was sick of playing with scrubs. To balance it out though, one guy was totally encouraging, and welcomed me to the match, so we will call that a net win for the community, yeah? One of the other mic’d players informed us that his friend was also new at the game, and was playing in the bot, so I’m sure the one guy was furious at this point. I did reassure him that I had 30 hours logged of bot practice, and I didn’t hear much from him after that. So I set up my usual build, and started to play.
Notes on playing with new people: Jakiro would not stop pushing the lane, and I am too polite to call him out on it, mostly because he could have in theory played more public games than I had. Every chance, he would nuke the creep wave, and I would secure the last hits. I was also able to deny some creeps at the start, which amused me. Remember what I said about it being really annoying? I’m sure it was. We were up against Tusk and Skywrath mage on top as the radiant, so I really didn’t like presenting myself like a stuffed pigs for ganks, but eh, it happens. A lot, actually. Tusk was able to nuke me quite a few times, much to my dismay, but similarly Jakiro was able to chain some great stuns, so I was happy enough with it. After about ten minutes I stopped visually shaking. Yes, really. I am sooooo nervous when representing my skills to a group of people in this format.
Eventually the Templar Assassin mid rotated top and we started getting some very good 3 on 2 kills. Now, I believe it is polite, so I tried to give the TA the kills as she was the carry, but I was also pretty tempted to get revenge on Tusk out of principle. Another very strange thing was the Windrunner: she would run into the middle of nowhere, in front of the creep line, and just sit there. So many free kills. Some looked like an initiation, just really, really poorly done.
For the first match, I watched over the replay to give some KPI (Key performance indicators - look, I do business, k?) MY CS at 10 minutes was 25/6, which I think isn’t too bad. At 12:00 I had a hood (among boots, wand, etc), which again I think is respectable. At around the 24 minute mark I started jungling, and began to out CS the carry, although I was still 3rd in Net Worth next to our carry and theirs (Viper - snake monster sill OP, clearly). At 22:00 minutes my CS was at 57/7, so I clearly didn’t care about denies anymore. At 27 I got a Vanguard, and while everyone was in the enemies base, I tp’d to bot because the announcer was annoying me with the constant tower attacks. My first game ended with a Radiant victory (my team), with my at 2/4/11. I was ok with this.
A rocky start, but a solid win overall
I quickly started up Skyrim, and shook off the feeling of a great win. It is painfully apparent that we outclassed our opponents, and despite my first time jitters, I think I did alright. I mostly used my ulti just to escape, but hopefully my teammates were able to use it to some effect. It is very strange coming off bots to a real match because almost no one called out an mia. Not to say it mattered all that much as there were very few rotations with the exception of our TA. Still, coordination with humans is an entirely different beast.
I decided to go to round two, feeling high off the power. Again, all pick, again CW. I introduced myself as a scrub and another player gave me the ‘welcome aboard’ speech, so it was fairly inviting from a community perspective. This time I took top with Pudge against a Lifeseeker and an Anti Mage. The Lifeseeker had no idea what he was doing as far as CS went, so I was able to deny and get some good items through hit attempts. His open wounds was mitigated by my Ulti once I got it, which was nice.
The weird thing about this match? No one bought a courrier. I forget that someone has to do that in a non bot game. I wound up buying one while in the lane, then discovering I had to go back to base to pick it up. I also made it the flying courier early on in the match. I don’t know if this is drama king territory, but should a CW be buying a courrier? I really feel like someone else could have picked that up, but whatever. This set my CS back, along with my exp to the point where I was always a level or two behind AM and LS in the early game, but they had a hard time getting ganks off on me, so it was fine.
So again, the KPI: at 10 minutes, I was at 18/5. Ive seen better, (and worse...they had a bounty hunter who had something like 15/0 at the 25 minute mark...ouch), but again I did have to buy a courier and a flying courier. OH! Also! Someone had the Bastion voice package, and oh my god that is the best thing ever. I may cave and buy that. At 15:00 minutes I was 33/6 with a Hood, so I was feeling pretty good. I picked up a Vanguard at 21, and then at 22 I started jungling. It was pretty funny looking at the difference in gold chart at this point, because there was an enormous spike when I started to jungle. At the 27 minute mark I was at 130/7, and at 30 I completed my heart. It was here that I started soloing towers. Heart + return = gooooooood times.
At the end of the match I was trying to complete boots of travel, and wound up going 5/1/and 6, with a CS at the 35:00 minute mark (the end of the game) of 166/7. Difference in gold earned? 30k. Difference in exp? 30k. It was an absolute mess for the other team.
Line graphs? What am I playing, EVE?
My support Pudge was a total bro, and landed some incredibly sexy hooks. There were a few times where he was outclassed, but I was able to clean up. One encounter he got away with naught but a single health. Finally, one of our teammates was Brewmaster, and that just seemed like grade A smurfing - he had some good micro, and was doing incredibly well, and fulfilled he carry role quite well. I was also super amused at myself in the late game, as the enemies had a Nightstalker. At one point, he was chasing me out of their base, and I was running because I was at half life - 1400/3300 total, and he was at full health....1100....I probably could have taken him. But I suppose my ultra conservative play style is better than feeding the enemy teams.
So overall? This game is fun as dicks. After 30 hours of bot fights, playing against humans is a piece of cake. A lot of the players don’t know the basics of pushing, last hits, denies, and all that, so I am able to have a really good time. After I level up a bit I’m sure I will look back at these days with a certain fondness, and my opponents will only get better from here. This may just have to do with events transpiring in my personal life (unironically, my life is actually getting awesome, which is pretty great), but this game has been a ton of fun. I feel like I have the technical aspects down.
So where can I grow from here? I watched my matches, and the first match I died in a very sloppy manner several times. I need to work on that. My map awareness is absolutely terrible. so I can improve there substantially. I saw in a video someone saying that they would look at the minimap whenever they killed a creep, but...I have problems with that. I like to game to unwind, and to play this game properly is work. I see a skill ceiling in my future! Building on that, when a teamfight is breaking down, I need to know it is going on, and when we are wrecking a base, I should be there. I went to bot just because the announcer was annoying me, and while pushing bot might be good, I should have helped to secure the ancient. My last hitting skills are still not ideal, and I was using a quelling blade the entire time, so I still have a ways to go. I am curious to see how a single draft match would go with me, but I feel like I would be competent with about ⅓ of the player pool, and could fake another ⅓. I am terrible at micromanagement, so some heroes are well out my reach, but I think I could make it up. I almost feel confident enough to be a solo mid carry against the current skill level.
As for the community....I kind of like it right now. They were pretty inviting to me (having done my due diligence), and a lot of fun to play with. Going back to Starcraft in the early naughts, everyone opened with a gl hf, which amused me to no end. I found myself joking throughout the matches as we took towers. A solo mid was able to take the T1 and T2 towers back to back with no help, and I used the old “what is the best pickup line at a gay bar”...It was met with a blank response of “...” and a discernable air of discomfort on the microphones. “May I push in your stool?” followed by an uproar of laughter considering how bad we were pushing their shit in that game. I had a TON of fun complementing Pudge’s hooks, congratulating double kills, and just wrecking the other team. In forty minutes, we formed a pretty amusing bond over a team based game online, and that is totally worth the price of....