For most people, their three top categories for resolutions are career, relationships, and health. Why not add Dota to that list?
KawaiiSocks and I were talking about our New Years resolutions for 2015, and it went beyond just “getting better at Dota” but how to go about it. I wanted to take games less seriously and focus on other issues on my play. However, kawaiisocks felt the opposite—he was getting jaded from games and didn’t try much at all. We’ve put together our thoughts in this post.
eggs: I have to admit I rarely play with the notion of getting better at Dota (it’s the other 4 players that need to get better, of course). Face it: humility is an underrated trait of many successful people. I am certainly not the best player on every team.
How my games go is I queue for a match, pick the hero I feel like playing regardless of the other picks, and fumble around to a victory or loss. And usually I’m fine with that, and so are my friends. But winning is so much more satisfying.
kawaiisocks: This year was a lot less intense in terms of Dota 2. Constant moving from place to place and ultimate disbanding of our team led to me playing Dota more casually than I was used to and both my skill and MMR have been floating around the 4.3k mark without any major improvements. Given that I feel like I am getting too old for constant training and I have a multitude of other duties to attend to on a daily basis, it is somewhat justified that I have been playing worse and less, however, I do really miss the awesome feeling of playing well.
eggs: I think I go about my pub games in such an automatic way that I often forget what I’m trying to do. I know what you mean when you just feel like you’re floating around without improving. It’s common to say “I want to gain 500 MMR” but how do you go about it? I’ve started to write specific aspects down that I want to improve.
eggs: Fluff recently had a great guide on common warding and counter warding spots. No one buys sentries in pubs unless there’s an offlaner with invisibility, and even then it’s a long shot. Pubs are very predictable in their 0 min wards, and often you can catch the offlaner putting it down right in front of you because they spent 45seconds buying items and waiting to get a ward from the support.
kawaiisocks: I really need to get into the habit of tread-switching. I do it when I regenerate with consumables, but I rarely switch to intelligence when I am about to case a spell as Luna. These tiny things matter, especially on the heroes who have a very limited mana pool.
eggs: Sometimes I’ll stare at a creep for 15 seconds, waiting for it to get within last hit range. After watching some pro player perspective and twitch streams, I’ve noticed this is a waste of time. That creep isn’t going anywhere. They use any idle time, whether it’s last hitting, healing at fountain, or walking to the next creep camp, to habitually check the items of heroes on the map. It’s like checking your rear view mirror. Nothing may have happened between now and 30 seconds ago, but you do it anyway, because something might have happened. A support could’ve picked up the next set of wards or a smoke, or a core player is one piece away from that Orchid.
eggs: There’s either that one guy who does it for you or else no one knows when the hell Roshan died. It’s actually quite easy to do with an alt click on the timer at the top, but knowledge in Dota is often underrated in pubs. This is another habitual tick I see from some pros. In Bone7’s stream, he’ll add 150seconds to the current time like it’s second nature. That’s when the next Ravage is up.
kawaiisocks: I really feel like I need to stop raging. I was never an emotional type and I never actively flamed any member of my team - they are usually doing their best. What I do though, is get angry and shout at my screen, without turning on the mic. It is a very recent habit I have acquired attending local LANs and it can be very aggravating to the people living with me. Additionally, I am pretty sure these emotions actually tamper with my ability to play well.
One of the things I would really like to change about myself is harsh judgement, be it heroes or item builds. I will not lie - Battlefury Juggernaut still makes me cringe every time I see it, but it might work in certain cases. Same goes for heroes like Pudge, whom I have been bashing in my blog posts every now and then. The way he has been buffed, he actually became a very decent addition to certain lineups and against certain heroes.
eggs: The last thing I'll say about this is that I need to play more Dota and do less Dota-related activities because of any possible ladder anxiety that I might lose my next game. Sometimes I'll queue for a match, then decide to go watch a stream instead after 3-4 minutes of queue. I enjoy both activities, but in these times I'm hindering myself. It's only a game, right?