An International 4 Stream For People Like Me

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Posted by patrickklepek (4623 posts) -

The International 4, the world's largest annual DOTA 2 tournament, kicked off today. The main event portion doesn't happen until later this month in Seattle, though. Right now, the playoffs are underway.

You might be like me and feel a little left out, having little to no experience with DOTA 2. When a bunch of your friends are really into something, you want to be into that thing, too. It's natural. Even if, yes, it's a MOBA.

Fortunately, there's a video stream that I've been pulling up every few hours that's really worth recommending. It's International 4 commentary aimed directly at DOTA 2 newcomers. DOTA 2 lingo is still all over the place, but they do a good job of contextualizing what's happening, the benefits of certain heroes, etc. It's great.

This might not get me into DOTA 2, but at least it makes the madness a little more understandable.

If you need another reason to care, the prize pool for The International 4 is more than $10,000,000. Good lord.

Staff
#1 Posted by Anobix (29 posts) -

Very cool to see them implement this. I played a bit of DOTA2, but I have trouble following all of the high-level commentary that is in the main stream. Looking forward to watching again this year.

#2 Posted by Wuddel (2092 posts) -

Really smart that they provide that.

#3 Edited by ChrisTaran (1612 posts) -

Everyone I know likes sports, but I have zero interest in anything to do with them (sports = worse than DOTA), so can't quite understand Patrick's logic, but still may check out the stream later out of morbid curiosity.

Edit: Watched 10 minutes... not sure how that was newb friendly, they weren't really explaining anything. Just not for me I guess!

#4 Edited by AMyggen (3064 posts) -

A brilliant move by Valve.

#5 Edited by Anobix (29 posts) -

Everyone I know likes sports, but I have zero interest in anything to do with them (sports = worse than DOTA), so can't quite understand Patrick's logic, but still may check out the stream later out of morbid curiosity.

Edit: Watched 10 minutes... not sure how that was newb friendly, they weren't really explaining anything. Just not for me I guess!

They were really breaking down some of the basics of DOTA during the 10-15 that I just watched. Focusing on wards and their usefulness, item choices, farming, and pushing.

#7 Posted by Rotnac (770 posts) -

As much appreciation that I have for this being a thing, it still won't get me into DOTA 2. The community itself is far from being noob friendly. They need to do a lot more than this to get rid of the intolerant assholes.

#8 Posted by Rayeth (1043 posts) -

Even as a person who knows quite a bit about Dota, I like tuning into this every now and then. They have a really relaxed pace and are great for putting on in the background while I'm not focusing on the action. Good stuff.

#9 Posted by peachesrcool (77 posts) -

I have a pretty good understanding of the game and I'm watching this just cause I like listening to to purge

#10 Posted by xbob42 (514 posts) -

@rotnac said:

As much appreciation that I have for this being a thing, it still won't get me into DOTA 2. The community itself is far from being noob friendly. They need to do a lot more than this to get rid of the intolerant assholes.

I don't play Dota 2 either, but joining a moba on your own is never a good idea. Brad did it the right way -- he played with friends that showed him what was what and didn't get mad at him. Randoms on the internet will always be assholes, it's not exclusive to moba titles -- it just flares up more there because those randoms are relying on someone who has no idea what they're doing.

Whether that's a realistically fixable problem without bringing in friends, I dunno, but you kind of get a team going with these games anyway, queuing up solo even if you're experienced seems miserable.

#11 Edited by poser (415 posts) -

No!!! Patrick, stop inflicting so much pain upon yourself.

Dota has more in common with drug addiction than ANY kind of positive escapism.

#12 Posted by Vuud (1997 posts) -

Don't succumb to peer pressure Patrick.

#13 Edited by NmareBfly (64 posts) -

There are two casting teams for this stream in particular -- one with Blitz, Pyrion Flax, and Shane, then another one with Purge and SUNSfan. The first team was earlier in the morning today, and they didn't do quite as good a job of explaining concepts (though it was pretty funny.) Purge's run is the one you want -- he's been making videos explaining Dota in patient detail for years, and in fact his article 'Welcome to Dota, you suck' (google it) might sound sort of hostile but it's a one-stop new-to-dota shop and the first thing I recommend a new player read. If there are particular heroes you're interested in it's guaranteed he has a few games on youtube talking about decision making and skills.

I want a Purge / Pyrion stream for the finals, might make for a good straight man / funny man combo.

#14 Edited by dropkickpikachu (55 posts) -

As someone with 200 or so games under my belt, I didn't really think this stream was very helpful for someone just barely coming to the game or who has never watched it before. SUNSfan (among one or two other casters) was using character names from Dota 1, and still talking about things from a pretty high level. Maybe I missed it, but they didn't do a lot of explaining about what the safelane is, what it means, why pro dota players run trilanes and offlanes, etc. which is a concept that even after hundreds of games I still don't quite grasp.

Hopefully the stream improves as TI4 continues but, at least to myself as someone who has played enough dota to gain a passing familiarity with almost all the heroes and items, it seemed like it left a bit to be desired from an educational perspective.

It's hard to tell though, because I do know the basics at least. I hope to hear Patrick talk about what he takes away from this throughout the week.

#16 Posted by Irvandus (2879 posts) -

@rotnac: Yeah. I regret to inform you that even in the GB chat people were making fun of the fact that their was a noob stream.

#17 Edited by TarHeels2302 (18 posts) -
#18 Edited by NmareBfly (64 posts) -

@irvandus said:

@rotnac: Yeah. I regret to inform you that even in the GB chat people were making fun of the fact that their was a noob stream.

It's key to note that Dota makes it very, very easy to mute people. In Purge's guide that I mentioned, he literally tells you how to do this before explaining any gameplay elements.

Personally I think the communities volatility is exaggerated -- there's the occasional huge asshole that you're stuck in a room with for 45 minutes, but you just mute them and move along. Most people are actually pretty friendly.

Also anyone making fun of the noob stream is an idiot~ More people interested in the game is better.

#19 Posted by PlasmaMachine (248 posts) -

I learned DOTA by watching the Daily Dota. I didn't learn a damn thing except BLACK HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE.

#20 Posted by ChrisTaran (1612 posts) -

@anobix: I might have hit a bad time, they were just doing what to me seemed like normal commentary to me. May check it out again later then.

#21 Edited by Crono (2670 posts) -
@dropkickpikachu said:

Maybe I missed it, but they didn't do a lot of explaining about what the safelane is, what it means, why pro dota players run trilanes and offlanes, etc. which is a concept that even after hundreds of games I still don't quite grasp.

Trilanes are run to secure early farm for the hard carry. Off-lane heroes usually have the ability to either take a beating, heal themselves, some kind of mobility or escape ability - best if they can disjoint incoming single-target disables. Trilanes usually operate by having 2 in the lane while a third stacks and pulls the neutral creep camp. You have to stack the creep camp nearest your lane so that the 'neutrals' kill off your creep wave. If you don't stack first before pulling, you will end up with 2 waves of your creeps pushing up the lane. You can use this to your advantage if you intend to push the enemy tower, but generally you want to stack first and then pull. Stacking and pulling does 3 things in the trilane:

1) The most important thing is that it controls the flow of the lane. When the creeps are pulled, the incoming enemy creeps have no opposition and will push up the lane. So if your lane is pushed up to the enemy tower constantly, it makes it difficult to secure farm early game and also difficult to escape if they make a move; you're also more susceptible to getting ganked. But if you pull the creeps, you can then shift the action of the lane to a more favorable position, closer to your tower in case you need to escape, and also easier to farm because the enemy will not be able to come as close to you without risk.

2) It provides gold and experience for the player that is doing the pulling and keeps them out of the lane to allow the other two players to have better experience gain. That is to say that if all 3 were in the lane, the experience would need to be split 3-ways and this would put the players behind in terms of levels as the game progresses, whereas with a designated "puller" you can all get pretty standard experience gains all around.

3) It denies an entire creep wave from the enemy and they therefore miss out on crucial gold and experience.

#22 Posted by Mr_Creeper (912 posts) -

Brad got to him...

#23 Posted by President_Barackbar (3462 posts) -

I was watching the one with PyrionFlax and I thought that they did pretty bad when I watched it. They weren't entertaining or that informative imo (even though I know a little bit about Dota). I haven't heard Purge yet, but I really like his videos so I'm hoping to catch some of him commentating.

#24 Edited by HellknightLeon (467 posts) -

Dota... all of it...

Yeah this was dope of you Scoops.

#25 Posted by Silan (30 posts) -

As someone with 200 or so games under my belt, I didn't really think this stream was very helpful for someone just barely coming to the game or who has never watched it before. SUNSfan (among one or two other casters) was using character names from Dota 1, and still talking about things from a pretty high level. Maybe I missed it, but they didn't do a lot of explaining about what the safelane is, what it means, why pro dota players run trilanes and offlanes, etc. which is a concept that even after hundreds of games I still don't quite grasp.

Going in depth with how laning works in detail is way too advanced for a stream like this. Sunsfan is more the comedian while purge is your more serious teacher. And the hour or so I watched, he did nothing but explain hero abilities and other core concepts. I was really impressed.

To be fair i'm not a newbie, so my point of view is not as relevant.

#26 Posted by EternalHaV0C (68 posts) -

Thanks for giving this a shot Patrick.

#27 Posted by GuardianKnux (254 posts) -

And I'll be honest here, the newcomer stream has been better than the main stage stream. It's been a lot more playful and fun to watch. The other guys have been doing great too, but even for an experienced veteran, the newcomer stream is where it's been at so far.

#28 Posted by slyspider (1233 posts) -

Maybe someday we can get a league article on the front page of the site. Maybe

#29 Posted by RareMonkey (106 posts) -

@slyspider: doubt it since the only moba person in brad and he thinks league is worthless even though he never tried it. which is a terrible way to figure out if a game is good or not

#30 Posted by darkest4 (416 posts) -

Classy Patrick trying to understand all games instead of just the ones he knows he'll like.

#31 Posted by mooncake (157 posts) -

@darkest4: That's what I love about Patrick, and why I think he's so invaluable to Giant Bomb and our community!

#32 Edited by megalowho (969 posts) -

As a casual Dota fan, newbie stream was fun today. Only watched a little but at one point they broke away from the action completely to show what wards look like, what different wards to, where to put them in pubs vs what pros do, etc. The in game spectating tools are great for this, lets the casters draw all over the screen as they explain. There was still a fair amount of Dotaspeak that might confuse newcomers but it felt like the right place for me.

#33 Posted by drugged (44 posts) -

Trying to explain the game to newcomers is a difficult thing to do and I think game-by-game the casters got better at it. I'm glad they're trying it even if it isn't always completely successful.

Some things you just cannot explain in that much detail - the time it would take would mean you would miss everything that is going on in the game. I think Valve would've been smart to make a ~5 minute brief video explaining the very basics (stuff like what a lane, tower, barracks etc is) that they could put on the official site or run as a bumper/trailer before the start of every game.

I got into Dota at TI3 and didn't find it that hard even though there was no newcomer stream. Really it depends on how much you are interested and how much free time you have. I was pretty happy to sit and watch an hour long game and just pick things up through context etc. All it took for me was one exciting game because the crowd noise and caster hype was infectious even though I didn't know what was happening. That made it easy for me to persevere and learn. Like any sport it also helps if you choose a team to root for.

For people that are watching this just out of a sense of 'obligation' to eSports or gaming in general, or people that don't have a lot of free time I can see why even this 'newbie' stream might be too dense for them. At the end of the day, Dota is an incredibly complex game - on some level you have to have a desire to want to learn or enjoy it. This type of stream is a good thing but they can only do so much.

#34 Edited by paulunga (2020 posts) -

I don't feel like getting to understand DOTA 2 is that hard. I started watching Daily Dota and crispy's stream last year and by the time The International 3 rolled around I had a solid enough grasp to get the commentary and what was generally going on. Sure, I don't know all the match-ups and I spent some time looking up specific heroes, skills and items on the wiki, but it's not that hard to follow for a spectator. I haven't played a single match of DOTA 2, mind you.

#35 Posted by Debigulator (40 posts) -

Purge and sunsfan is the combo you want for explaining whats going on. The pyrion/shane/blitz group will probably be the most entertaining, if you're ok with some conversation going over your head. Never know though, it's only day one and they will most likely take the criticism to heart.

#36 Posted by EXTomar (4738 posts) -

It should be noted that the "New To Dota 2" stream is available in the in game replay system. Fire up the client, download one of The International 4 games and you can hear and hear that stream with additional controls.

#37 Posted by jschlic (12 posts) -

@dropkickpikachu: the stream was helpful to me, explaining some of the nuances of buying back that i've never dealt with, and a bunch of other stuff, but the chat attached to the stream on twitch is the real hero. THE NICEST twitch chat I've ever encountered and way open to answering super noob questions like what's bkb or Mec or what Roshan's drop does when the casters skipped their own explanation.

I find it helpful since there is stuff that Brad and his crew just never encounter playing since they NEVER reach the point where they are constructing 5th items and hitting roshan for the 4th or 5th time or any of the pro level technique.

Their one problem is they expect people to keep watching their stream, so they won't repeat themselves with hero abilities and technique if they've seen the hero in a previous round, that sucks for people jumping in in the middle.

#38 Posted by jschlic (12 posts) -

@patrickklepek definitely jump on the direct twitch stream, they have the nicest chat I've seen on twitch and a bunch of mods who are open to answering really basic questions like what Items do and going over stuff that the casters miss.

Most of the time you don't have to ask, someone else asks your question before you!

#39 Edited by GaspoweR (3043 posts) -

@extomar said:

It should be noted that the "New To Dota 2" stream is available in the in game replay system. Fire up the client, download one of The International 4 games and you can hear and hear that stream with additional controls.

cc @patrickklepek

#40 Edited by GaspoweR (3043 posts) -

@anobix said:

@christaran said:

Everyone I know likes sports, but I have zero interest in anything to do with them (sports = worse than DOTA), so can't quite understand Patrick's logic, but still may check out the stream later out of morbid curiosity.

Edit: Watched 10 minutes... not sure how that was newb friendly, they weren't really explaining anything. Just not for me I guess!

They were really breaking down some of the basics of DOTA during the 10-15 that I just watched. Focusing on wards and their usefulness, item choices, farming, and pushing.

If its hard for someone to grasp or be able to appreciate the rules and mechanics in regular sports, it'd be even harder to grasp it in a competitive video game like LoL or DOTA wherein there are even more variables added due to all characters being unique from one another.

The best solution would be to really have some sense of what people do in matches using incredibly basic descriptions and then have someone else watch the matches and talk you through them. It's really hard to do that even in a greenhorn-friendly live stream with thousands of people watching and with varying levels of understanding. They can't be too specific with each and every action and yet they can't go ham with the jargon without explaining, either.

#41 Edited by Hour_Glass (9 posts) -

There is no way for them to go over every mechanic in every match. If you stick with it for a couple matches they will go over how lanes work, magic immunity, hex, experience, gold, buyback, towers, barracks, roshan, cheese, chain stuns, smokes, haste, bottle, runes, refresher, etc in one of the games. They have to cycle through the explanations or even people new to dota will get tired of it when they miss kills to explain wards for the 3rd time in the 3 game series. Especially when something happens like an Invoker pick and they have to try and explain how he has 10 skills. There just isn't enough time.

Also yes they are going to use dota terms. You are watching dota. They are also going to use nicknames sometimes because that is often what those heros/items/abilities are called by dota players/casters. How else are you supposed to learn those names?

#42 Posted by subsalicylate (41 posts) -

There are two casting teams for this stream in particular -- one with Blitz, Pyrion Flax, and Shane, then another one with Purge and SUNSfan. The first team was earlier in the morning today, and they didn't do quite as good a job of explaining concepts (though it was pretty funny.) Purge's run is the one you want -- he's been making videos explaining Dota in patient detail for years, and in fact his article 'Welcome to Dota, you suck' (google it) might sound sort of hostile but it's a one-stop new-to-dota shop and the first thing I recommend a new player read. If there are particular heroes you're interested in it's guaranteed he has a few games on youtube talking about decision making and skills.

I want a Purge / Pyrion stream for the finals, might make for a good straight man / funny man combo.

Thanks for this. I was looking last week for something exactly like Purge's videos and articles.

#43 Edited by subsalicylate (41 posts) -
#44 Posted by White (1357 posts) -

Important thing to note when watching any game with Enigma.

BLACK HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE

#45 Posted by NDN_Shadow (117 posts) -

I'm gonna be curious to know if they continue to explain things throughout the week. The early Purge and SUNSfan noob stream was really good in explaining the game, but as I tuned in later on it just felt like they were casting the game primarily with the beginner stuff just being sprinkled in every few minutes.

#46 Edited by rmanthorp (3950 posts) -

NOTA

Moderator
#47 Posted by kubqo (31 posts) -

Not only they are doing perfectly good job contextualizing what is happening, but also those 2 guys are extremely likable characters.

#48 Posted by SneakyPickle (40 posts) -

@christaran: 10 minutes wont get you anywhere, watch a few games though and youll pick it up.

#49 Posted by Crysack (317 posts) -

The Purge and Sunsfan part of the stream was actually pretty damn good. Obviously, it's pretty difficult to understand more complicated concepts like damage types (pure, hp removal, magic etc) without playing the game for a while, but they were doing a decent job of keeping it simple and explaining hero roles etc.

#50 Posted by AndrewB (7621 posts) -

John Madden needs to come out of retirement and start commentating DOTA2

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