#1 Posted by Asmo917 (415 posts) -

I've really enjoyed Brad's coverage of DOTA 2 - his talking about it and this week's regular streaming. I've tried playing a few bot matches and am TERRIBLE. Some of my problem I know is mechanical, and I just need to keep playing and practicing to get better. I'm also a little intimidated by the depth of the game and the things I don't know and haven't been able to find answers for. I'm going to post some questions here in hopes of finding answers or links to good resources and hoping others with the same kinds of questions follow suit.

I think most of these questions deal with how to get into the game and handle the learning curve, i.e. how do new players pick up some of the knowledge that is second nature to more experienced players?

What I (think I) Know

Feeding is bad. Try not to get killed. I understand the concept of laning, or staying in one of the three lanes, mostly behind creeps, accumulating XP and getting last hits to accumulate gold. I know your towers are your friend and you shouldn't take on enemy towers without creep and player backup. I know your item build/loadout is important, and I know there's a courier to bring you items. I know there are roles like Carry, Support, Jungler. Heroes are delimited not only by type, but by their main attribute.

What I Know I Don't Know

How do you effectively play a role other than Carry? How do you know when to do something other than laning without hurting the team? What is there even to do besides laning that helps your team? How do I know what items to buy or types of items to buy without just following a guide? How do I avoid making terrible purchases and hurting the team while learning how to play a hero? Do I need to do anything special to keep from getting the courier killed? Do I just click on it and order it to me or try to make sure I'm in a safe space first? What about TPs? Can I use them to get anywhere? How do I know what lane to take with my chosen hero? When leveling, I assume I should get my Ult as soon as possible, but how do I know if a skill is preferable to an attribute increase?

Thanks to the community - hope to see some of you in game as soon as I figure out how to not embarrass myself in a bot match.

#2 Edited by BabyChooChoo (4643 posts) -
#3 Edited by MAGZine (438 posts) -

@asmo917 said:

I've really enjoyed Brad's coverage of DOTA 2 - his talking about it and this week's regular streaming. I've tried playing a few bot matches and am TERRIBLE. Some of my problem I know is mechanical, and I just need to keep playing and practicing to get better. I'm also a little intimidated by the depth of the game and the things I don't know and haven't been able to find answers for. I'm going to post some questions here in hopes of finding answers or links to good resources and hoping others with the same kinds of questions follow suit.

I think most of these questions deal with how to get into the game and handle the learning curve, i.e. how do new players pick up some of the knowledge that is second nature to more experienced players?

What I (think I) Know

Feeding is bad. Try not to get killed. I understand the concept of laning, or staying in one of the three lanes, mostly behind creeps, accumulating XP and getting last hits to accumulate gold. I know your towers are your friend and you shouldn't take on enemy towers without creep and player backup. I know your item build/loadout is important, and I know there's a courier to bring you items. I know there are roles like Carry, Support, Jungler. Heroes are delimited not only by type, but by their main attribute.

What I Know I Don't Know

How do you effectively play a role other than Carry? How do you know when to do something other than laning without hurting the team? What is there even to do besides laning that helps your team? How do I know what items to buy or types of items to buy without just following a guide? How do I avoid making terrible purchases and hurting the team while learning how to play a hero? Do I need to do anything special to keep from getting the courier killed? Do I just click on it and order it to me or try to make sure I'm in a safe space first? What about TPs? Can I use them to get anywhere? How do I know what lane to take with my chosen hero? When leveling, I assume I should get my Ult as soon as possible, but how do I know if a skill is preferable to an attribute increase?

Thanks to the community - hope to see some of you in game as soon as I figure out how to not embarrass myself in a bot match.

  • How do you effectively play a role other than Carry?

In the flat definition of carry--it's a hero that begins weak and grows to be strong to carry the team. As you listed about, Carry, Support are roles. Jungler is not a role. Other roles are (principally) ganker (e.g. bounty hunter, night stalker: heroes who have mechanisms that allow them to effectively kill heroes, especially early/middle game.), and initiator, which sometimes overlaps with "teamfigher" (e.g. enigma, treant, are teamfights+initators, wisp is more just teamfight).

How you play these roles is moving the focus less away from JUST your hero and what YOU'RE doing, and expanding your focus to encompass the entire map, and the whole team... and what you can do to help them. Sure, a hex on a lina might be a great thing to have--the extra mana regen+stats+stun is amazing. but, does it mean that you should focus on farming the 5k gold required to afford it instead of buying wards the entire game? no. Often being support or teamfight means stickign with your team and backing them up when you need to. This is a huge question, so ask more question if you need more detail.

  • How do you know when to do something other than laning without hurting the team?

If you team is looking to push or take towers, you should probably be there with them. Grouping up is important. If another lane needs a gank, you can actually hurt your team MORE by sitting in lane farming (depending on the situation). It's really a matter of thinking "what is the best use of my time right now," and then doing that.

  • What is there even to do besides laning that helps your team?

Laning helps you, not your team. Pushing towers, warding, ganking, scouting are equally as important parts of the game depending on the hero you're playing.

  • How do I know what items to buy or types of items to buy without just following a guide?

Practice, essentially. Paying attention to what items will synergize with what the hero already has. This is one of the deepest parts of the game. Because new builds are always being discovered, metagame constantly shifts. Guides are a good place to start.

  • How do I avoid making terrible purchases and hurting the team while learning how to play a hero?

Follow a guide and ask. People will rarely get upset if you're asking for a bit of help. Also, let your team know that you're new with the hero. It MIGHT infuse them with some patience, or maybe they'll even give you some pointers on how to play that hero better.

  • Do I need to do anything special to keep from getting the courier killed?

If you're going into battle, the courier shouldn't be following you. Use only the commands on the courier until you've got better micromanagement. Bind your courier to one key and your hero to the other (say, 1 and 2)

  • What about TPs? Can I use them to get anywhere?

You can use Teleport scrolls to teleport to any friendly building. Each successive TP to a friendly building increases the cast time for a teleport, so keep that in mind if everyone is trying to teleport to save a tower with 200 hp. ALWAYS CARRY A TP. They offer amazing mobility, and can save your life or a tower. 135g is nothing.

  • When leveling, I assume I should get my Ult as soon as possible, but how do I know if a skill is preferable to an attribute increase?

Not always, Guides and playing the game will help you to know when to take your Ult. GENERALLY, you'll always take your ult. But, for example on Night stalker, it's best not to take your ult immediately because he's weak/long CD at level one, and night rolls around the time that you hit level 6. At that moment, the points are better spent into leveling up fear or, more importantly, your night-time passive buff.

Skills are almost always preferable to stat increases--very few exceptions. Knowing which skills to take is sort of like item builds, but much less deep. Generally, you'll immediately want to put one point into an excape mech skill (stun, blink, hold, speed increase, etc) when you start off, and then take the most beneficial skill for you at that time. By way of example, some heroes of lifesteal or crit auras. These are all fine and dandy, but things like crit really show their strength in the later game when you have significant damage to back it up. Something that will deal more damage or be otherwise beneficial to you might be a better thing to take in the meantime.

#4 Edited by HaroldoNVU (591 posts) -

I found this particular playlist of videos very helpful when I started as it covers most of the basics. Purge's Welcome to Dota, You Suck might be the most popular one but I think it's a bit too long winded, lacks a bit more visuals and covers some stuff I don't think beginners should even be concerned about like animation cancelling. Purge's guide is excelent, in my opinion, to go back to every 10 or so matches and re-read so you'll have more context to capture some of the more advanced tips there.

#5 Posted by djou (877 posts) -

These answers are helpful, along the same lines does anyone have advice for practicing last hits with both a range or melee characters?

I understand its important keep last hits going through the match, but if I'm playing a lane with another character who should get priority? The support or carry? I obviously don't have the timing down and I feel like I weighing down the gold in take with my numerous missed hits.

#6 Posted by mosdl (3229 posts) -

Play in co-op vs bots games, best way to learn really.

#7 Edited by EXTomar (4849 posts) -

Support should allow Carry to get last hits on creeps as much as possible to accelerate their growth. I have found that playing Support that it is beneficial to focus on creep Denies over Last Hits help out Carries better than other stances stuff like interference.

#8 Posted by ajamafalous (12040 posts) -

@djou said:

These answers are helpful, along the same lines does anyone have advice for practicing last hits with both a range or melee characters?

I understand its important keep last hits going through the match, but if I'm playing a lane with another character who should get priority? The support or carry? I obviously don't have the timing down and I feel like I weighing down the gold in take with my numerous missed hits.

The only time a support should ever be last hitting is if the carry in the lane is not going to get the last hit (e.g. they're simultaneously getting a last hit on another creep, they're running to the sideshop to buy an item, etc.). Your team's carry has number one farm priority over everyone else.

#9 Posted by KarlHungus01 (53 posts) -

Playing a good support is deceptively harder than playing a carry. If you're a carry, and you are able to last hit, that's mostly what you do for a large bulk of the match.

A support needs to have more map awareness. Always carry a TP scroll. You can TP to any structure on your side of the map, including towers. If your team is pushing, be there. If your teammate is getting dove under his tower (meaning 1 or 2 enemy heroes have run past your tower in search of a kill on your teammate), TP in and stun them under your tower for a free kill. Be as active on the map as you can while ensuring your carry is protected and able to farm. To do this, wards and TP scrolls are of the utmost importance. Seriously, these items win games.

The other advice I would lend is learn how to stack and pull the neutral camps in the jungle. There are many videos on youtube that show this but essentially it involves going to the jungle camp nearest to your "easy" lane (Top lane for Dire, Bottom lane for Radiant) and hitting the creeps at the :53 minute mark and then running away from the camp. This causes the creeps to follow you, which empties the camp temporarily so when the minute mark hits, a new camp spawns. Now you have 2 sets of creeps at that one camp. As your lane pushes to the opponent's tower, your carry becomes less safe, so you can now attack this double-stacked camp at :15 or :45 mark and "pull" them into your lane, which causes your lane creeps to attack them. This is advantageous for many reasons:

  • Your creep wave gets killed by the neutral camp, denying the exp and gold from the other team.
  • Their creep wave pushes toward your tower, allowing your carry to farm safely back at his tower.
  • You, as the support, can focus on last hitting these neutral camps while your creep wave tanks. This is how you get more money for TP scrolls, wards, and your basic Boots.

A very common question for new players is "what should I be doing right now?" and it's a hard one to answer because it depends upon many game factors. Just playing the game, you will slowly start to figure out this type of thing. For a support, the most common things you should be finding yourself doing at any given point includes:

  • During the lane phase, stacking and pulling the neutral camp nearest to your lane.
  • Warding rune spots and jungle entrances so your carry can farm safely.
  • Stacking ancient creep camps for your carry to farm later.
  • Pushing with your team.
  • Either TP'ing to a lane or using Smoke of Deceit to set up ganks for your team (supports normally have a stun to lead off with and secure kills for your damage dealers) when an opponent is too far away from safety.
  • Defending towers, particularly if you've got an AOE ability like Windrunner or Keeper of the Light.
  • Buying TP scrolls. Seriously, nothing is more annoying than losing a tower for nothing because you didn't have a TP. I try to carry 2 at any given time.
#10 Posted by djou (877 posts) -

@karlhungus01: Wow, this is extremely interesting and helpful. I never thought about using jungle creeps to deny. I'm in this strange space where I can spectate a match and enjoy the metagame but when I actually try to play the game I'm terrrible!

#11 Edited by MelficeVKM (160 posts) -

@karlhungus01: Great advice! As a newcomer to these games I've only recently began realising how awesome TP scrolls are (other than for TP'ing back into lane upon death). Being able to TP to another lane is extremely helpful when defending a tower or teammate.

If you're caught with your pants down by an enemy or 2, and they have no way of interrupting your teleport through a stun or minibash (or have just used them on you and their spells are now on cooldown), using a TP scroll to go back to base is awesome. This has saved me so many times and has stopped me feeding as much when making mistakes