Learning by comparison - LoL vs DOTA2: Week 2

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#51 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -
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#52 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (1275 posts) -

@jazz: Glad I could help. :3

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#53 Posted by Dacnomaniac (493 posts) -

He's like a shittier Naga Siren.

Depends on your bracket though, you could just brute force your way in because of the amount of illusions you get if you solo push a lane.

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#54 Posted by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

And yeah, just to speak to your League experience a little bit, runes+masteries are one of the (many) reasons I can't stand League. I hate that it gives new players an even sharper disadvantage (as if the lack of experience relative to veterans wasn't disadvantage enough)

That's generally not the case because level 7s are usually matched with level 7s. Jazz happened to be queueing with two level 30s so was matched against some level 30s, one of which was unfortunately in the opposing end of his lane.

But, yeah, runes and masteries suck. Just not for that reason.

What is to stop "smurfing"? I could make an entirely new Steam account and run roughshod over a new Dota 2 player who the match making system would consider to be an excellent fit. And besides, a team with high level players and lowbie players may not be desirable but is still a valid match making team.

This is one of things of LoL I just don't "get". If it is a mechanism to speed up the early game there are other ways to do it that would be fair to both sides regardless if they are a novice or expert.

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#55 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (1275 posts) -

@dacnomaniac: If the other team allows PL to get to this point, then they deserve what's coming. Naga is hands down better because of amazing farming and team fight utility. All you get from a Cancer Lancer is mass split push once he comes online late game. Even then it doesn't always work out because he needs a lot of support. Might as well pick NP because treants and teleport are amazing spells.

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#56 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

The whole Lee Sin balancing issue that you touched upon is a small part of a much larger problem in League of Legends, which is a story of weird balance and lack of communication.

Riot does, and has, nerf champs into the ground. Olaf got nerfed so hard after the Season 2 World Championship matches that his win rate briefly became the lowest in LoL history. That's why it became a verb - to be "Olaf'ed." The thing is, they're wildly inconsistent about it.

Sometimes a champ is nerfed hard because their play style doesn't really fit the enforced meta (like Poppy or Sion), but other times a champ will be nerfed that sees some competitive play and is somewhat popular. This is what happened in Olaf's case. The champ had a sub 50% winrate before going into Worlds, and although a popular top pick, he wasn't a popular first pick or ban. They took a long time to explain why they chose to nerf him into the ground, and even then the explanation didn't really explain the overreaction on Riot's part. Even now (2 years later) Olaf has the second lowest winrate in the game.

Every once in a while they'll do this to other champs without much explanation and it will cause confusion in the community. Usually this is due to nerfing a key item of a champ and the champ themselves at the same time.

On the other hand, you'll also get champs that are so good at their role, that they're often be a first pick or ban for entire seasons. Kassadin was broken beyond belief for a long time, forcing the red team to ban him every game to prevent the blue team from first picking him. The very existence of the character put red side at a ban disadvantage. They finally got around to nerfing him after a long time, he was then somewhat played for a bit, and then they recently buffed him again to the point where he is almost always banned at top level play by the red team.

The Lee Sin situation isn't as bad, but he is the most played jungler in LoL by a large margin, and has been for a very long time. (You can find articles from 2012-2013 asking if Lee Sin is still king of the jungle.) At the moment he's so good at the role, along with a handful of other junglers, that it has become unusual for people to pick junglers outside of the top 3. This has basically been the situation since the start of the season around January.

The bot lane ADCs and supports were in a similar situation until a couple weeks ago, with only a handful of very powerful characters seeing top level play, and one go-to champ in the ADC role. I won't waste your time trying to explain that or the huge monkey wrench they recently threw into that situation. I'm trying and failing to be succinct.

So, the perception held by a lot of the fans is that Riot favors certain champs, and heavily punishes others whenever they get slightly popular. This is most likely not the case, but it's an opinion held by a large part of the community.

Most of this doesn't really affect Bronze to Gold play, as at those levels almost every champ is viable. Except Urgot. Oh, Urgot... But for those of us that play at the higher levels, or even the fans that like to watch the League Championship Series, the situation has become very frustrating.

At any rate, I'm glad to see any sort of League talk on Giant Bomb. This community can get pretty insular and stuck on certain games. Keep up the good work.

Sorry for the lecture. I really enjoy reading about your adventure playing both games. I originally got into LoL because I wanted to practice before I got into the DotA 2 beta, and it ended up getting it's hooks in me quickly. They really have that leveling / grinding treadmill for runes, levels, and champs perfected. It's only now that I have all champs and have played a bunch that I'm considering giving DotA 2 another chance.

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#57 Edited by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

I do find it interesting how LoL chatter seems to indicate some heroes are broken which rarely happens with Dota 2. Nerfs and buffs do happen in Dota 2 as well but it is rarely in the context of any particular meta but more general issues like Pudge fountain yanks. I fully expect something to happen with the way Naga's Mirror Image interact with other illusions because of what was demonstrated in The International but that isn't Valve saying "We want the meta game to go this way instead".

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#58 Posted by TobbRobb (6568 posts) -

@extomar: Yeah that's a clear issue. Dota had some hero balance issues during previous tournaments, but TI4 has an amazing breadth of picks. I'm really quite impressed with it.

How Riot keeps trying to appopriate their characters to whatever is in vogue at the moment is just ridiculous though... There will never be a bigger than 30~ champ pool in pro play if they don't start to try and balance for versatile strategy instead of current meta. I kind of wish they could show off some understanding that you can give variation in the game with bigger strategic changes instead of just creating arbitrary goals like "how do we beat current OP hero X" and then create a new monster to beat once that one is figured out.

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#59 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@viking_funeral: Thanks for stopping in and laying it out like that. I find the mechanics of this stuff just as interesting as the gameplay itself to be honest - and it currently beats the hell out of wondering when PSN is going to start working so I can download that Destiny Beta.

oh..wait no it was up for a second and then went away again. Bravo Sony...Bravo.

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#60 Posted by ajamafalous (13812 posts) -

@tobbrobb said:

@extomar: Yeah that's a clear issue. Dota had some hero balance issues during previous tournaments, but TI4 has an amazing breadth of picks. I'm really quite impressed with it.

How Riot keeps trying to appopriate their characters to whatever is in vogue at the moment is just ridiculous though... There will never be a bigger than 30~ champ pool in pro play if they don't start to try and balance for versatile strategy instead of current meta. I kind of wish they could show off some understanding that you can give variation in the game with bigger strategic changes instead of just creating arbitrary goals like "how do we beat current OP hero X" and then create a new monster to beat once that one is figured out.

One of the interesting things about the Dota meta is that it shifts nearly every month, while there's usually only a balance patch every 8 months or so. It's due to the way Icefrog has the game balanced: heroes are all unique and viable in a very specific niche, and heroes have multiple hard counters to each other, as opposed to League where heroes are just balanced around being viable in a role (AP, ADC, Jungle, Support, etc.), seemingly due to the way they've structured their pay model. In Dota, a hero gets popular and everybody starts picking him, then people figure out what hard-counters that hero, so they start picking that, then eventually people start picking that hero a bunch, so people move to what hard-counters that, etc. The versatility of what hero lanes where, heroes being able to fill multiple roles, and heroes hard-countering other heroes is what makes the Dota draft so important and interesting.

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#61 Posted by ajamafalous (13812 posts) -

@tobbrobb: @thesoutherndandy: @gunslingerpanda: We'll agree to disagree I suppose. To me, once you've picked your runes and masteries pre-game you're committed to that role, because why wouldn't you want to be as efficient and optimized as possible? Sure, you could build ADC with a page full of AP runes, just like you could buy damage items on a support. That doesn't make it a great decision, just one that you can sometimes get away with. I just prefer the Dota model where the only choice you make before you're in-game is what hero you're going to play, and maybe where you plan to start the laning phase.

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#62 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4136 posts) -

@cheappoison It's not really that laughable. I'm talking about the average amount of time someone has to put into a video game, it's gonna take you way longer to get good with a champion or a roll if you're jumping around then if you're focusing on a few. I don't really see how that's up for debate, it's a question of how much time you have to devote to something. More focus = you progress faster.

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#63 Posted by TobbRobb (6568 posts) -

@thesoutherndandy: I mean, I see where you are coming from, and I agree that on a high level, you do need to practice specific heroes and matchups in league.

But generally, I think learning the entire roster and what they do from their point of view is a lot more beneficial than just practicing the same few characters. Knowledge is the most powerful tool in the games, so I think that's the first thing you want to develop aside from basic mechanics. Only after you know the core of every character do I think it's worth specializing. And besides, anything you would get out of practicing a hero is null and void if you meet a counter you didn't even know existed, or don't understand the mechanics of what is happening in other lanes.

But then again, I'm one of those people who press random every game or just fill up what is needed after the rest of the team has picked. So perhaps the learning process just differs.

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#64 Posted by NmareBfly (171 posts) -

Maining a specific hero -- by which I mean playing them almost exclusively -- isn't nearly as much of a thing in Dota as it seems to be in League.

Personally I've been playing Dota for about a year and have not one single time chosen All Pick mode -- that's the only one where you just get an open field and choose whatever hero you want when the game starts. It's pretty well regarded as being a boring mode where you mostly see flavor of the month heroes and people trying way too hard to copy pro strats. I play Random Draft, Single Draft, All Random, and occasionally Captain's Draft -- these are all game modes that give you a limited selection of heroes to decide on based on particular criteria. If you don't play All Pick, it's basically impossible to play the same hero all the time unless you have improbable luck. Sure, I have a few that I'm well practiced with and tend to lean towards, but at this point I'm at least moderately comfortable with every hero in the game (besides Meepo) so I'm perfectly content queuing up for All Random and just rolling with the punches.

hat variety, to me, is a big part of the fun of Dota. Sticking with the same suite of five or so heroes game in and game out would drive me insane.

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#65 Posted by TobbRobb (6568 posts) -

@ajamafalous: So you mean specifically cases where a hybrid capable hero would be locked into a playstyle because of it's runes. I guess you do have a point there. There is an argument for AD runes AP Ezreal, but not so much for the other way around. Though I haven't really viewed that as a problem because generally when picking Ezreal you would know during the drafting/picking if burst/magic or sustained/physical is what your team needed. I don't see many instance where you would go with a support and farm with your AD runes and then suddenly go "I WISH I WAS SOLO AP RIGHT NOW, TOO BAD I RUNED MYSELF INTO A CORNER".

Basically I get what you are saying but don't see how it's a real issue in any way.

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#66 Posted by chiablo (1046 posts) -

@tobbrobb said:

@thesoutherndandy: I mean, I see where you are coming from, and I agree that on a high level, you do need to practice specific heroes and matchups in league.

But generally, I think learning the entire roster and what they do from their point of view is a lot more beneficial than just practicing the same few characters. Knowledge is the most powerful tool in the games, so I think that's the first thing you want to develop aside from basic mechanics. Only after you know the core of every character do I think it's worth specializing. And besides, anything you would get out of practicing a hero is null and void if you meet a counter you didn't even know existed, or don't understand the mechanics of what is happening in other lanes.

But then again, I'm one of those people who press random every game or just fill up what is needed after the rest of the team has picked. So perhaps the learning process just differs.

There is a reason the A-Z challenge is so popular. By forcing yourself to learn how each hero plays, you also learn how to counter them and know what works against them. Being exceptional at one hero or role is nice on a professional level, but it's so much more fun being able to fit in anywhere as needed.

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#67 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4136 posts) -

@chiablo said:

@tobbrobb said:

@thesoutherndandy: I mean, I see where you are coming from, and I agree that on a high level, you do need to practice specific heroes and matchups in league.

But generally, I think learning the entire roster and what they do from their point of view is a lot more beneficial than just practicing the same few characters. Knowledge is the most powerful tool in the games, so I think that's the first thing you want to develop aside from basic mechanics. Only after you know the core of every character do I think it's worth specializing. And besides, anything you would get out of practicing a hero is null and void if you meet a counter you didn't even know existed, or don't understand the mechanics of what is happening in other lanes.

But then again, I'm one of those people who press random every game or just fill up what is needed after the rest of the team has picked. So perhaps the learning process just differs.

There is a reason the A-Z challenge is so popular. By forcing yourself to learn how each hero plays, you also learn how to counter them and know what works against them. Being exceptional at one hero or role is nice on a professional level, but it's so much more fun being able to fit in anywhere as needed.

Definitely agree with both of you, it's a huge benefit to be able to play multiple rolls and understand what as many characters do as possible. It's easier to know what your opponent is gonna hit you with and it also makes draft pick easier if you don't get your preferred roll. And yeah it can totally be more fun if that's what you like. My point stands though that if you focus most of your time on playing a Marksman, you're gonna get better at that roll faster then switching every game. That applies to any game really, if two people play Street Fighter 4 for the same amount of time, one mains Ryu and gets all his combos and matchups down while the other player spreads his time out on every character, the Ryu player is gonna win the majority of those matches. I'm not saying one style is better then the other, if you have more fun playing everyone that's awesome. My original point was mainly that for a player who's brand new to mobas, it's probably better for them to focus on a few champs they like then play everybody.

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#68 Posted by ajamafalous (13812 posts) -

@tobbrobb said:

@ajamafalous: So you mean specifically cases where a hybrid capable hero would be locked into a playstyle because of it's runes. I guess you do have a point there. There is an argument for AD runes AP Ezreal, but not so much for the other way around. Though I haven't really viewed that as a problem because generally when picking Ezreal you would know during the drafting/picking if burst/magic or sustained/physical is what your team needed. I don't see many instance where you would go with a support and farm with your AD runes and then suddenly go "I WISH I WAS SOLO AP RIGHT NOW, TOO BAD I RUNED MYSELF INTO A CORNER".

Basically I get what you are saying but don't see how it's a real issue in any way.

Yeah, it's less the second thing you said and more the first thing. In Dota, many heroes are versatile and can fill multiple roles based on how the game is progressing and how the rest of your team is doing individually, such as Slardar in the example I gave Jazz. Slardar really only needs one item (Blink Dagger) to become a viable teamfight initiator, but if his team's semicarry is struggling with gold/kills/farm/whatever and he has been dominating with a good early game, he can easily transition into a semicarry role himself by buying a few different items. It's this versatility and adaptability which makes Dota heroes more interesting and unique in my eyes, and it's something that would be hindered if you had to make an irreversible decision of which role you were going to play before the game even started.

Also, in Dota, picking someone based on sustained/physical or burst/magic damage isn't really a thing, because those don't really exist. You pick heroes based on the unique niche they fill, putting together heroes that mesh and synergize well together while simultaneously trying to counter whatever the other team's heroes and strat seem to be. It isn't as simple as "bruiser top, ap mid, jungle, adc/support bot," and that's what makes each draft unique and exciting for me.This also kinda ties into the other conversation going on in this thread (concerning @thesoutherndandy, @nmarebfly, maybe @viking_funeral): maining heroes is not really a thing in Dota. There are certainly heroes that you will gravitate towards and play when you get a chance because you like how they work, but it isn't as simple as "I'm just going to play Slark every game," due to the way hero hard-counters work in Dota. If you pick a hero into the wrong lineup you're going to get destroyed 9 times out of 10. Here's my dotabuff, for example. My most often played hero is Dirge, at 10% of my games; my next most common pick is Doombringer, at 4%. That's seemingly unheard of in League (from both things I've read on forums and anecdotally talking to friends who play it). To quote chiablo from another thread last week:

The League stats in that link have now been updated to 53 matches played, 48 champions picked. Because heroes are unique and fill niches in team strategies instead of just slotting into general team roles, nearly all of them see high-level play. Being able to play a hero well in Dota is obviously important, but just as important (if not more important) is being competent at playing many heroes so that you can properly counterpick and play hard counters. Being the best Riki/Slark/Clinkz in the world doesn't matter if the other team just instapicks Slardar/Gondar/Bloodseeker every time. Dota is as much a game about breadth of knowledge as it is about depth of knowledge.
But yes, if we're talking about an ultra-beginner player who doesn't know anything at all, I'd recommend they stick with one or two easy to play heroes (I played Ogre Magi almost exclusively when I first started playing WC3 DotA). It seems like Jazz might already be past that point, though.

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#69 Posted by HS21 (2731 posts) -

I'm a good tinker Jazz. Did you know? I'll show you Saturday.

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#70 Edited by Irvandus (3170 posts) -

Hey duder not sure if you'll see this because this has like a billion comments already but you may want to check out Dawngate. It's really not my cup of tea but it seems to fit what you like in the combat of LoL. I think the game is pretty weak all around sans character design and music but I would be interested in hearing what you think about it.

@nmarebfly Yeah I recently got into Dota 2 and was talking to a good friend of mine who is way deep into LoL. He said he basically plays 3 heroes but mains one of them. Which strikes me as kind of nuts from my standpoint because it feels like to be good in Dota 2 you have to be able to play a pretty large roster of heroes that you build up skill with over time. I get the appeal of having a main but it just strikes me as kind of alien.

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#71 Posted by CheapPoison (1125 posts) -

@thesoutherndandy: I won't argue that. My stance is that the games are really not that hard to a certain point. You just need key concepts and game flow/positioning. Once you get your general knowledge and skill up there i feel they can be transfered pretty easily to others.
There is something to be said for it but i feel you can do pretty decent with almost everything if you know the game and understand the roll/ place in the team.

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#72 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -
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#73 Posted by TobbRobb (6568 posts) -

@ajamafalous: I play both games with my finger on the random button or as a fill, so while what you are saying doesn't apply to me personally, It is generally an accurate representation I'd say. Though I still don't think this is the fault of runes as much as it's just how the game has been designed in layers and layers of mechanics and balance. The champion pool just doesn't have the same kind of harsh strengths and weaknesses as the hero pool. Runes or not. And I still stand by that an initiator can transition into a carry.Tank runes Renekton might have intended to be a tank, but snowballed early good enough that he decided to get damage instead. His rune choice doesn't invalidate that choice in the least, if anything the extra tank will help him on his journey to carrydom, making the glass cannon items a little more lenient on his survivability.

Basically, I just think League has been created in a way where they want you to decide before hand what your goal is, and then the game i execution. In many ways, that's how it works on a strategic level as well. League has it's splitpush comps, sieging comps, ambush comps, combo comps, whatever. But in general you can't stray too far off from what the team is set up to do. You just have to execute well. It's a different kind of skill.

I personally prefer dota way a lot of the time, because I'm not the fastest mechanical player, but I know my way around the thinking man's game a lot better. In many ways that makes me think League is the harder game to be good at for me personally. Like a fighting game, a great player can stomp his lane every time when he is on top of his game. And since there are no hard counters to draft I can only try and "git gud" and/or cry to my jungler. While in dota I would have several more options to outsmart an opponent who is mechanically better than me.

Well I should probably stop arguing semantics at some point, we seem to mostly be on the same page anyways. I just like talking about this stuff.

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#74 Posted by Y2Ken (2930 posts) -

I'm really enjoying reading this. It definitely seems as though you are enjoying League more so far; I'd expect this, neither game is friendly to newcomers because of the complexity but League certainly is a little simpler in terms of the amount you have to think about at any one time. Dota 2 is a much slower burn, which is perhaps why it seems to grab people so hard when it does finally "click".

I'll re-iterate my point that (as you seem to have encountered) there's a much fairer balance in Dota for new players because you don't have to deal with a small character pool or weaker runes + masteries. But by that same token, you can always step into it at any point and you'll be in that situation. So if you are enjoying League more right now, then that might be the better option to start off with.

Oh, and don't let anyone make you feel like you shouldn't play a character you enjoy. I love PL, he's not as strong as he used to be but he's a lot of fun. Your initial assessment was pretty accurate though - he really doesn't do a lot in the early game, just has to farm away and avoid getting into fights as much as possible. That's probably a good proportion of why people hate him, combined with the fact that he's an excellent split-pusher. It definitely feels as though the majority of players see MOBAs as games oriented around fights, which is why they often look down on the slower farming styles and the split-pushing "rat Dota", because they tend to avoid fights in favour of objectives. You can see similar themes in League too, where people used to hate Shen (and later TF) because as one of the few characters with a global teleport ability he was able to safely split-push a lane and then return to a fight on a whim, which not many characters in that game can do easily. I actually really love the more objective-focused play myself, both in terms of playing and watching.

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#75 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

@y2ken: Yeah that's the view I take as well..the playstyle of League is much easy to understand as a new player and it's also much more 'instant gratification' type of play seems to be more fun to play - however I also agree that it has problems with balance and a lack of depth until you hit 30 and have most of the champions.

Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

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#76 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4136 posts) -

@thesoutherndandy: I won't argue that. My stance is that the games are really not that hard to a certain point. You just need key concepts and game flow/positioning. Once you get your general knowledge and skill up there i feel they can be transfered pretty easily to others.

There is something to be said for it but i feel you can do pretty decent with almost everything if you know the game and understand the roll/ place in the team.

You can do decently yeah but you're not gonna excel. You're probably gonna hover around high silver or gold for a while. Again if a person has the most fun that way they should totally keep it up, I'd put enjoyment over rank any day. Maybe we're just coming at this from two different viewpoints.

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#77 Posted by Jazz (2365 posts) -

Sorry for the delay all - electricity took a hit over the weekend during the storms we had in the UK and I was just lazy yesterday.

Week 3 is here - link

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