Getting away from "normal" builds of heroes (Dota love/hate)

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#1 Posted by rempresent (150 posts) -

I really enjoy this game. I have only played a few solo PUG matches, some matches with the Giant Bomb community and very minimal "just my friends" matches. I was interested but kept it at an arms length because I have a family and a job that is pretty demanding. This past week was a little strange where I actively viewed The International and enjoyed almost all of the coverage. The matches had so many big plays and Dendi's fountain hook had me on my feet and cheering. I felt like I was a part of the Dota community, making predictions and watching my favorite players. But then I went to play a match yesterday and it was with a toxic group of people with their own agendas.

I had a PUG match last night because it was pretty late for anyone to be around. I was playing Tinker but ignoring the Boots Of Travel because I am not that skilled to jump around the map, re-arm and attack another lane. Apparently, this made one teammates strategy irrelevant and he began to make fun of everything I was doing. I was playing towards my strengths, trying to get ganks and push lanes, something that I am comfortable with. But this one person just infected the rest of our team because he couldn't restrategize. They then continued to put down other teammates for their performance as well. It was super disappointing. Such an odd place to go from the highest of highs this past weekend to the lowest, pitiful look at how people treat each other in just a random PUG match.

Why do people get so much criticism from other teammates when they choose not to do the "normal" build of a hero? How can you telegraph without too much effort that this is not the role you want in the team? Are these roles in a team just something that you learn over time (in which I just need to keep learning and playing to figure it out)?

I have decided just to do games with GB members and friends from here on out. I have had some really successful matches with GB guys and I love the teaching that happens organically when you get a really chatty group, it is very special. The stress of being with an individual that would love nothing more than to shove a nail through your foot for 50 minutes is too much for me.

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#2 Posted by AlKusanagi (1423 posts) -

I tend to use non-standard builds a bit, but I usually just do it in co-op bot matches so as to not piss people off.

Still, it's immensely satisfying when I manage to top the kills, assists, GPM and EPM lists with my hard carry Lina build.

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#3 Edited by AlexW00d (7473 posts) -

The whole boots of travel gank refresh fountain refresh thing is kind of what tinker is built for, so people expect you to do it. It's definitely super annoying when the actions of another player ruin your strategy/build etc, and i guess in the future you should probably let people know of you're going to use an unknown strategy.

That said, certain people will always be dicks, and there's kind of nothing you can do but mute and report. It's a sad reality really.

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#4 Posted by Nictel (2695 posts) -

Yeah playing with random strangers will do that. I had a game last night where someone playing Lifestealer was getting upset for us not helping him: He ran randomly pass the T1 tower to attack 3 enemy hero's under their T2 tower..

I have gotten yelled at as well for "not playing right". Usually it is a lack of skill from the other player(s). At least in your example it seems to be the case as well. If the team forces me in a role I do not like, I just warn them ahead. For instance I prefere save-lane Zeus over mid-Zeus. Yes you can put me mid but don't expect me to win the lane against a non-melee hero.

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#5 Edited by chainreaction01 (218 posts) -

I think in the scenario you described Tinker with Boots of Travel is just one of those things that go so hand in hand seeing as he benefits so much from them. Even if you don't split push like a mad man the ability to go to fountain and back again in seconds is so valuable especially when Tinker can burn through his mana so fast. However if you want to just try your own build with something you pretty much should feel free to do so at anytime so long as you have a general idea of what you are doing ahead of time and aren't stepping to too many toes by doing it. For example, if you have an Anti-Mage, Mirana, Rikki, and Morphling on your team team it probably isn't a good time to test out your carry Chen build.

Edit: Also, expect dicks in every game. Even if it turns out there isn't one you just have to be aware of the possibility so that when they do come around they don't ruin your fun. Giving people a quick heads up when the match starts on what you are doing tends to help too.

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#6 Posted by Cloudenvy (5892 posts) -

Just tell them what you're planning on doing? I've mostly been met with good laughs if I communicate that I'm going to try something non-standard, even if most of the time it's something hilariously stupid just to satisfy my own curiousity.

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#7 Edited by Christoffer (2325 posts) -

I'm also a low level player and I've just started to shrug those people off. You should consider well founded advice if it's in your grasp, but if he can't play when you're not following the highest rated guides in every single detail, that's his problem.

But yeah, I'm mostly sticking with GB people these days. But mostly because the lack of communication in solo queue. By the time everyone have picked a hero and hits the lane it's already on the second creep spawn. And we have four supports but no courier or wards. So much easier and smoother if people just write a few simple words.

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#8 Posted by Huey2k2 (527 posts) -

Here's the thing, although I agree with his sentiment that it is silly that you would not get boots of travel, simply because it is the perfect fit for Tinker, I also think he was being a gigantic douche about it for no real reason.

As far as I am concerned, if my team-mate is contributing in a positive way, and is helping us win the game, I don't really care what they buy or how they build their character. But if someone is doing some sort of strange build and it is obviously negatively effecting the team, then I am rightfully going to be upset.

All that said, I would never bitch at someone for being a hindrance to the team, I do politely give suggestions or ask them to do certain things, in the hopes that they will learn from their mistakes. But generally speaking, being an asshole and yelling at your team does nothing of value, and generally makes the people you are yelling at play even worse than they were before.

The common builds exist for a reason, but if you can go with something else and make it work just as well, then more power to you!

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#9 Posted by Hunkulese (3921 posts) -

If you ever want to enjoy a moba you need to learn how to ignore the chat.

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#10 Posted by TobbRobb (6047 posts) -

I play almost exclusively with friends, and they mostly approve of silly or weird ideas I might have. So I do it a lot!

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#11 Posted by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

If someone is taking the time to look and critique the items and points you are spending then they are missing a ton of exp and gold. How is that helping you let alone the team?

That said, there are certain "patterns" people expect one to play with and your teammates take that into consideration in their selection especially in draft and that can be annoying because it feels like "someone has gone rogue" because someone is ignoring the strengths built into a hero to goof around.

I would personally make the best of it and focus on getting my hero played correct and do the best I can. Yelling at someone I don't know or will probably meet up again is a waste of time and energy.

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#12 Posted by Huey2k2 (527 posts) -

@extomar said:

If someone is taking the time to look and critique the items and points you are spending then they are missing a ton of exp and gold. How is that helping you let alone the team?

It takes literally two seconds to click on a player and see what they have...

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#13 Posted by CornBREDX (7186 posts) -

Careful, even in GB groups there are some people who will complain if you don't play a certain way that fits their mold of how DOTA should be played according to them.

But ya, for the most part the Giantbomb chat is safe. Really if people are bothering you just put them on mute. It's a video game, and we aren't playing pro. There's no reason for people to be dicks other than the fact that they have nothing better to do.

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#14 Posted by ajamafalous (13361 posts) -

Standard builds exist for a reason, but are always flexible based on both team's comps and the way the game is going.

Ignoring Boots of Travel on Tinker, however, is a huge mistake; it would be like if Furion never leveled Teleport. Tinker's entire thing is that he can rush BoTs and then use Rearm to be anywhere and push all the lanes/help with ganks. If you want to play a roaming ganker, there are probably at least 20 heroes that fit that role better than Tinker because they're built for that.

To answer your original question, just tell them in the draft what you're doing before they pick their heroes. My favorite Omni build is semi-carry speed Omni (drums/bots/s&y), but I only pick it when it makes sense in the team. I obviously can't do it when my team is something like QoP/AM/PA/Centaur or something, because without a traditional support that team is dead at the draft. Silly builds are a fun change of pace sometimes, but you also need to recognize that if you don't have a great start, your 'wacky' builds aren't going to work, and you should transition into something safer (i.e. if I'm playing a farming Omni but my lane has been going poorly for the first 5-7 minutes, I'll just transition into Mek and Arcanes). The game is all about adapting to what's happening; stubborn Dota is, more often than not, the recipe for a loss.

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#15 Edited by Crysack (546 posts) -

To be fair, NOT building boots of travel on Tinker is tantamount to crippling the character. Tinker's strength is as a split pusher..

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#16 Edited by DoctorWelch (2817 posts) -

After about 200 matches I've learned that you MUST play this game with a 5 man team if you want to have anything resembling fun. When you first start out you can learn the game well enough by yourself, but once you get to the point where you know how to play a bunch of heroes and are actually decent at the game you simply won't have fun playing with 4 random strangers.

I say this because at a certain point, everyone having different strategies and expectations of what is going to happen in the game won't work. Dota is such a team game that over half the skill in it involves carefully planed team compositions and adjustments to unexpected setbacks. This is almost never done in random matches with people. It's not impossible to get with a group of sane humans that talk and have a decent time coordinating, but those games are so rare it's not worth putting up with the hours of shit.

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#17 Edited by rempresent (150 posts) -

This is all really great advice, thank you everyone for being open and honest. I have been reading through the responses and been thinking about another kind of Dota fan.

Do you think there are just Dota fans that are exclusive to watching the game and not participating? Like 95% of basetball fans.

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#18 Posted by FirePrince (1793 posts) -

I think I have watched more Dota than I have played, or at least as much.

I do it because I don't always have people to play with, so might as well watch a match and not lose one.

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#19 Posted by ajamafalous (13361 posts) -

@rempresent said:

This is all really great advice, thank you everyone for being open and honest. I have been reading through the responses and been thinking about another kind of Dota fan.

Do you think there are just Dota fans that are exclusive to watching the game and not participating? Like 95% of basetball fans.

Yeah, absolutely. I'll go long stretches where I continue to watch and/or get way into watching every game of an entire tournament, and during that stretch I might not play any Dota at all.

I mean, even now: by my match history I've only played about 10 games in the last month, but I still watched some of TI3. Hell, I've probably casted four or five times the number of games that I've played since the GB Community Tournament started.

I'm sure this doesn't apply to just Dota; any big ESports game (Starcraft, Dota, most fighting games, etc.) probably have tons of fans that don't play the game or only play it very casually/in passing. The only fighting games I've owned in the past ~decade are MK9, SFIV and Smash/Melee, but I still enjoy watching all of EVO. Speedruns are kinda the same way, but you obviously gain a much greater appreciation for them when they're games you've played.

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#20 Posted by Rowr (5861 posts) -

If watching the international taught me anything, it's that you should probably be playing with at least a few friends.

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#21 Edited by Cloudenvy (5892 posts) -

@cornbredx said:

Careful, even in GB groups there are some people who will complain if you don't play a certain way that fits their mold of how DOTA should be played according to them.

Yupp, I've played one game with people in the GB chat and it soured me so much that I don't care to try again. I believe I was told "No idle talk or you're getting muted". Good times.

@tobbrobb said:

I play almost exclusively with friends, and they mostly approve of silly or weird ideas I might have. So I do it a lot!

I'm telling you, Armlet into MoM into MKB is the only true Dragon Knight build!

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#22 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

This is the reason I will never get myself in to playing Dota .... I like making my mistakes and learn the game as I fucking please , and this mindset does not bode well with how this game is played so why bother?

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#23 Posted by TobbRobb (6047 posts) -

@aetheldod: Play with nice people. It's basically the only way to learn the game without going insane.

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#24 Posted by danmcn12 (87 posts) -

It is expected you follow the meta in dota but just mute the guy bitching. As long as you play well it doesn't matter the build or how outdated it is.

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#25 Posted by StaticFalconar (4918 posts) -

thing is, for some characters, some builds are like the only way for them to be reasonably good, or only reason why they are considered useful or helpful at all. I can understand some deviation if you can actually back that up with some logic like, I'm not going to go bkb but instead some kind of big armour item because most of the enemies are physical damage type.

But if your usual play style is to say get a lot of ganks and be a carry. Except this game you picked a support character because it was what the team needed, then you are kinda expected to play like a support and not try to steal the kills, being a carry just because that is what you are used to doing.

To answer the original question; tinker's best build does involve boots of travel. Sure, all the other items may be up to debate based on whats happening, and who everybody else is; unless you can justify why your item choice is better than the norm, or at least an alternative, you are better off sticking to the norm.

Don't get me wrong, there have been times when I face palmed at the screen telling myself we are going to lose, but just didn't say it over the chat (because I didn't want to be an asshole) but when that weird build that i thought sucked starts winning battles or contributing to the team like I didn't expect (cause I ain't no expert in the game either). Looks like I was wrong and so glad I didn't say that stuff outloud, lols.

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