Hey everyone. This is the first in what I hope will be a semi regular series of blog posts on how to get good at Dota 2, aswell as how to have the most fun with it. These posts are intended for noobs to the series but more advanced players may get something out of this too!
Firstly, this will not be a mechanical guide, for one of those look no further than Welcome to dota, you suck by purge
These posts will cover more meta concepts in detail such as: roles, drafting, team composition etc etc.
I myself am a player in the Very high bracket, currently smurfing around with GB people on the account #DaveDota, i may have played with a few of you!
So let's begin!
So you've seen Brad doing his daily dota thing and want to get into the game, but where do you start? Dota is a complex game, you will not be good on your first go. You will fail. You will feed. You will mess up. Don't let this discourage you! You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, so get stuck in!
Some people advocate playing bot games before joining regular people matchmaking, I discourage this for a variety of reasons:
- Bots will crush you
- Bots are too easy
- Bots don't make mistakes
- Bots don't reflect an average game of dota
- You will probably come out of the experience with little improvement.
So what do you do? Your first step is join the Giantbomb chat channel. Its a small community (typically 200 ish people online, compared to reddit channel that regularly fills) but this has its advantages! Small communities allow you to establish regular playing partners and this is great for improvement! Check out the channel and find someone offering mm (match making) (there may be a number attatched eg mm+4 in the channel, this means the person needs 4 more for a full party) and have them invite you. Explain you are noob. To my experience there are no particularly experienced players in the GB chat channel (and those that are will help anyway) so don't be nervous. Now you're in a party. Dota is a team game, so consider your team composition! I recommend checking a build for a hero before you play them. This is done by clicking the book at the top left of the screen.
Some good starter heros (filtered by role they played) are as follow:
1. Carry (farm farm farm)
- Life Stealer (aka Naix)
These heros are advantageous for newer players for the simple reason they can fight on limited farm but still scale well with money. As newer players won't be last hitting machines, this means you can contribute.
2. The solo middle (Your role is to set the pace of the game)
- Queen of Pain (Qop)
These heros are heavy nukers and high impact, which means they can do damage with little player experience but become deadly in experienced hands (eg, plenty of room to improve!). Nukes tear through pubs, so have at them!
An authors note on mid, sniper and drow both suck there. They have no nukes (save for snipers ult), 0 lane presence, pitiful harass, are easy to kill and can't gank easily. So be warned, go there as either of these heros and i'll kill a puppy...or something.
3. Supports. In a typical pub 2-1-2 pub lane composition there will be one farmer and one support per lane. As you get to higher levels this will change but for now that will set up will suffice
The message is clear, stuns, burst, slows and big ultimates. These things win games, particular at a low level where no one buys a bkb.
- Furion (natures prophet)
- Naix (I disapprove of this but it's possible)
If worst comes to worst and you feel you need to enter the jungle at game beginning to farm, these two are your best bet. I do not recommend these until you have some game sense under your belt however.
5. Gankers. Gankers kill other heros efficiently. Common at low levels include
- Night stalker
As a new player, I recommend you don't touch any of them (except for Nyx when you play him as a support)
I will go into more detail on roles in the coming weeks, but for now stick to these, You typically will want 1 solo middle hero, 2 support, 1 carry (2 MAX) and a ganker, pick the ones from my list. If your team has 4 carry heros, don't pick another. If you role with 5 duders you can easily coordinate a decent team composition - you just have to win it after that!
Now you're playing dota, people are saying words in chat that may as well be in swahili. Luckily, DaveDota is here to translate for you!
ss, miss, mia: One(or more) of the heros from the lane the person is calling from has disappeared. This could be innocent and they're going back to fountain, or they could be coming to kill you! You don't know so it's wise to play a bit more cautious.
Bot: Bot lane, bottom right of screen
Roshan: big monster near dire (top team) middle and bot towers, killing him confers 200 gold per person on the team, plus an extra bounty for the hero who struck the last blow, plus the aegis of the immortal which will resurrect you.
For a full list see here http://www.playdota.com/learn/commonterms
Any words of abuse directed at you: open score screen and mute them. It's not worth it. Don't argue back just mute.
To round this introductory installment off: some common mistakes
Boots first build. Don't do this. It gives you no regen so you can be forced off of the lane easily, very little in terms of a tangible advantage as very few chases happen early game, no stats so you won't last hit for toffee and finally it is just the biggest lightning rod for flame their is.
A good all purpose starting item build is
2 x Tangos
3 x branches (GG branches, they will give you the good game)
1 x salve
This will cost you 180 + 159 + 100 = 439 gold. Enough left for a courier! Every team needs a courier. And a flying courier by 4 minutes.
Bloodseeker being allowed to snowball
Everyone knows bloodseeker. He has an annoying ult. However it is only as deadly as you let it be. In a dual lane its only a semi strong nuke and after that he only has right clicks. the ult inflicts damage based on movement so stay still. Press h (hold position) and ride it out. He won't be able to kill two of you, especially seeing as he has no stuns. If he gets aggressive you and your laning partner should be able to ride out the duration.
Carry a tp scroll. After laning phase is done make sure at all times you have a tp scroll (a good general point and should be done anyway to be honest). He ults you? Double click your tp scroll and off to base you go, safe from harm. He has nothing to stop you
Spamming auto attacks on lane
A simple point, just don't do it. Only attack to take the kill (if you're a farmer) or deny (by a clicking a low hp friendly creep) if you're the support. Don't spam attacks as this pushes the lane and makes it easier for you to be ganked (killed)
Huskar being allowed to snowball
Huskar is really not that hard a hero to counter, with the supports i've suggested you'll have more than enough stuns and burst to make him regret going rambo on you. If you cut off his first few kills he is a really, really ineffective hero.
Sniper and Drow going middle lane
Just don't, they suck.
Finally, have fun! Dota is probably the most fun game I've played in a long while! That's the end of the introductory segment, any feedback welcome. The next blog (probably will write over weekend) will be on a successful dual lane: the dynamics and the hero choices.
Thanks for reading!