Would anyone mind running me up to speed with DOTA 2?

#1 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

Alright so I love strategy games, RTS games in general. I'm also good at MOBA games that are not in an RTS framework, like DOTA or LoL, but I've never been good DOTA. I played it years ago, put a lot of time into it and never got good then. I also look at the current DOTA 2 roster and all item combinations and it's rather daunting. What's the best way for me to run up to speed? Anyone mind playing some matches with me and running through some of the basics. I haven't played DOTA in years, I really have no idea what to do. Team composition...item composition...roles. Where do I start?

#2 Posted by mooncake (155 posts) -
#3 Edited by Stradivari (24 posts) -

I just started playing myself and I think a really important thing to note is that the first level is extremely difficult to play. My friends who are level 35s made smurf accounts to play level one games with me and to teach me how to play. The early levels are full of people just starting out and don't know what's going on but it's also full of people who are really, really good and are either on smurf accounts themselves, or are on new accounts in order to start an account with a better win/loss ratio. So unfortunately, the earlier levels are harder than say level 15. I've won a lot of games in the 15-20 levels but have lost most of my games in the earlier levels. This is just a heads up. Don't get discouraged when you start playing and you get completely destroyed by a team who are obviously not beginners.

I also found the items extremely daunting. It's not too awful though. Dota maps out which items you need as you progress through the game. The only real decision making you need to do is towards the end and I can't help you much there because I'm still learning that stuff, lol. A tip though, always get your boots first (edit: I mean when you start a new tier of items, get the boots first). And if you're a support, buy the couriers and observer wards.

I hope that's helpful. If you want nice people to play with let me know! It's nice having a full party so you don't have to worry about getting jerks on your team.

#4 Posted by Chibithor (574 posts) -

'Welcome to Dota, you suck' is a good guide, if you're somewhat familiar with Dota reading it should allow you to enter matchmaking with little problems using something like http://www.dota2alttab.com/ on the side to help you out.

@Stradivari said:

A tip though, always get your boots first. And if you're a support, buy the couriers and observer wards.

Should be clarified here that you should never buy boots with your starting money but as your first item after spending the initial gold (usually on branches, regen and stuff)

#5 Posted by TAFAE (150 posts) -

@Stradivari: I'm about 99% sure that the levels you gain on your profile are only there as a sense of progression and as milestones for awarding cosmetic items. Who you're matched with depends on some kind of hidden stat like an Elo rating, though since all new players start with roughly the same rating, making a new account would yield the desired result, even if it was for a different reason.

#6 Posted by dragonwizard (28 posts) -

It's an extremely tough game to become competent at as you probably know but I find the game to be incredibly rewarding once you know what to do.

http://www.youtube.com/user/PurgeGamers This guy Purge is really helpful when he casts his games because he tells you why he's doing the things he's doing. I'd say when starting choose one hero you want to learn and just play it til you learn it. You'll also start to pick up on what other heroes are from the people you play with and against. Also if you don't already have a beta invite I'd be happy to send one your way, I have plenty extra.

#7 Edited by Mr_Skeleton (5137 posts) -

@Stradivari said:

A tip though, always get your boots first.

This is a big no, stats and regen items at low levels will almost always be better. Also the levels mean nothing aside from the fact you get an item each time you level up.

#8 Posted by Stradivari (24 posts) -

@Chibithor: Oh yes, thank you for clarifying that. I did not mean buy them first thing. Always start with the starter items.

#9 Posted by Rowr (5479 posts) -

Bleh, there's too much research needed as far as i am concerned. Wait for a MOBA that isn't so confusing with a massive list of items and characters to work out.

It's not that hard to make, it's just that everyone seems to be terrified of deviating from the original formula.

#10 Edited by Mr_Skeleton (5137 posts) -

@Rowr: Valve will release a proper tutorial for Dota soon.

#11 Posted by Rowr (5479 posts) -

@Mr_Skeleton said:

@Rowr: Valve will release a proper tutorial for Dota soon.

I've been playing games for 27 years and RTS since dune, a tutorial would of told me everything i worked out in the first 10 minutes.

Now days i'm of the opinion that if i didn't learn a game over the course of it's development from mildly accessible to complicated, i'm not going to invest more that 10 minutes working out what the fuck is going on especially when it comes to memorising shit.

Ok that's not strictly true, but there is a point where i feel i shouldn't be learning a game like i'm at fucking school. That sort of shit is for teenagers and people who have enough time in their life that for them to waste it on something so immemorable, it makes me lose respect for them.

I've played enough dota 2 to know what's going on and it was kind of fun, there's definitely potential for the genre. But messing around working out and trying to memorise buying progression of like 200 items in a game that relies on you being engaged and competitive is fucking ridiculous. Those two things work exactly against each other.

There's something here amongst the way this game works that is compelling - mainly the competitive RTS elements, but it doesn't need to be so absurdly arranged in my view.

#12 Posted by IndieFinch (242 posts) -

@Rowr: There is already one that deviated and made it simple, its called League of Legends. Yes the game is incredible deep and difficult, but that shouldn't hinder your fun. You wont be competing in tournaments or playing competitively. Just utilize the vast amount of threads out there (I made one on here a ton of people contributed info to) and learn the basics. All you really need to know is the roles of heros, basic team compositions, then learn a few heros you enjoy. Then just have a good time.

If you don't like the idea of a game that requires you concentrate, then maybe this isn't the genre for you. No sense to bash it, personally I only play games like SC2 / Dota 2...if they made it easy and can figure it out in 10 min, I probably wouldn't play it.

#13 Posted by Rowr (5479 posts) -

@IndieFinch said:

@Rowr: There is already one that deviated and made it simple, its called League of Legends. Yes the game is incredible deep and difficult, but that shouldn't hinder your fun. You wont be competing in tournaments or playing competitively. Just utilize the vast amount of threads out there (I made one on here a ton of people contributed info to) and learn the basics. All you really need to know is the roles of heros, basic team compositions, then learn a few heros you enjoy. Then just have a good time.

If you don't like the idea of a game that requires you concentrate, then maybe this isn't the genre for you. No sense to bash it, personally I only play games like SC2 / Dota 2...if they made it easy and can figure it out in 10 min, I probably wouldn't play it.

LoL and Dota are essentially the same as i can see. It's not really any simpler, it's just kind of more famvillish somehow, out of the two i far prefer dota 2 but really they are the same game reskinned.

I'm not really bashing it, i'm just suggesting the OP wait's until the genre evolves past some seemingly strange design choices to the genre that feel left in for the sake of not changing the formula from the suprisingly popular original idea.

I learnt the basics. I know how to play the games, i understand how they work, i'm not half bad at them. Where i give up is having to invest hours upon hours of gameplay OR study so someone who knows the right combination of bullshit to buy doesn't have an advantage over me. I've got shit to do, and other games to play. There's a lot of fat that can be cut here to make a game which is essentially the same enjoyment with more of a skill focus not a play for a 100 hours and learn 100 characters and read an encyclopedia focus.

#14 Posted by IndieFinch (242 posts) -

@Rowr: Well LoL and Dota are completely different games. LoL takes the basics of Dota, then distills them down to a simplier formula. Pendragon and Guisnoo were two of the main Dota developers, both work for Riot now (Eul and Icefrog were also Dota developers, both work for Valve now). Basically LoL removed a lot of the tough aspects of Dota, things such as Denying, losing gold when dying, purchasing teleportation scrolls..etc. Then they built a very specific meta game in which 95% of the players understand. (something like you put your AD carry and support bot to be close to dragon). These changes all fall right into line with their overall business model, one specific hero cannot hard counter another...there are basic cookie cutter shapes that supports, ad carry, ap carry..etc all fit within. I am not bashing LoL or anything, I have at least 800 games played of LoL, its just that the set out to make a simpler version of Dota and it is wildly successful. Valve and Icefrog are just trying to recreate Dota 1, but on its own platform with proper skill matchmaking. Changing anything from Dota 1 is a massive mistake, there is a reason the game has been so popular as a mod for a decade. I can guarantee that anything what feels like "fat" is actually put in the game for a specific reason. For example, you cannot see enemies mana bars. Some people say this is a bad thing, however it rewards players who take the time to check the enemies mana. Say I am fighting Earthshaker, normally he can use his stun and kill me...but since I did a quick mana check I can see he will not have a stun, therefore he will not be able to kill me. A less experienced player will not do a mana check, will run away from him when they could have picked up an easy kill.

As far as investing the time, the matchmaking should be good enough to match you with people equal to your skill. I have 1100 hours in Dota 2, I should never be placed against someone who is new to the game...because just based on time invested I would crush them in the laning phase. It is just a weird disagreement to have...I play mostly Dota and Starcraft, though I enjoy fighting games quite a bit. However when I play Street Fighter, Persona 4 Arena, Skullgirls...etc online I just get demolished. It isn't the games fault, its because I am not sinking the same amount of time as other people.

#15 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@dragonwizard said:

It's an extremely tough game to become competent at as you probably know but I find the game to be incredibly rewarding once you know what to do.

http://www.youtube.com/user/PurgeGamers This guy Purge is really helpful when he casts his games because he tells you why he's doing the things he's doing. I'd say when starting choose one hero you want to learn and just play it til you learn it. You'll also start to pick up on what other heroes are from the people you play with and against. Also if you don't already have a beta invite I'd be happy to send one your way, I have plenty extra.

The biggest hurdle for me is items and roles. I've played RTS games, microing isn't easy but it's an acquired skill. I just look at that huge item screen and I laugh. I haven't even played one match yet because I don't want to go into a pub game knowing nothing. I really think this is one of those games I'll need a group of vent buddies holding my hand through it.

#16 Posted by IndieFinch (242 posts) -

@thabigred: Stick with the suggested items until you begin to learn things. As far as the roles, look on Purge's guide and start with the suggested heros. Also join the GiantBomb chat channel in game to try and find people. If you don't see people there, come over to the DotaInsight chat channel and find me. DotaInsight is the dota podcast I do and most of the people apart of our community are generally nice / will be willing to assist new players. You will figure it out, I promise! Just try to have fun, find a few easy heros you enjoy, and just focus on trying to become a better player yourself.

#17 Posted by Th3irdEye (252 posts) -

Use http://www.dota2alttab.com/. Seriously, it's an amazing tool to fake like you know what you are doing while you are playing. All the character guides are short enough that you can glance them over in the character select screen after you have picked and it gives you a pretty decent item build and skill purchase order to work with. Pull it up in the steam browser and Shift+Tab to it when you have to get a new skill or item (always hit Shift first then tab or the website will scroll on you). It works wonders.

Of course none of that matters if you have absolutely no clue how to play. But as long as you have the vaguest idea, you'll do alright against most of the people you get matched up with and/or bots.

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