It’s that time of the year again, it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s the time to think of your significant other, to appreciate them. For many couples, gaming is a large part of their relationship. It’s a common passion and some have even gotten to know each other through gaming.
Some however, enjoy this gaming passion alone, though often think about sharing it with their significant other. If the significant other is not into gaming at all, some console games and light co-op games are usually a good way to get them into it--Portal 2 is often referred to in these scenarios.
When that step was successful, some think about introducing their SO’s to more in-depth games, potentially even Dota2. Is that such a good idea?
Ah yes, the infamous steep learning curve. Every gamer that has attempted or even thought about learning to play Dota has been warned about this. Over 100 heroes, over 400 spells, various mechanics and interactions make it difficult to really understand Dota in its intricacies. Even if one has experience from other MOBA/ARTS games, they’ll still find themselves troubled over the complexity that is Dota 2.
As great as it may be to have all that knowledge already, it is straight up painful to try and pass that knowledge onto somebody else. Imagine climbing a mountain, only to try and get somebody at the foot of the mountain up to you--someone who doesn’t have any climbing experience. That’s what teaching someone Dota 2 is like.
There are some fundamental pieces of information that, unless you’re an experienced beginner’s coach, seem so basic that you won’t immediately think of them when trying to guide someone through a game.
Now, yes, teaching someone Dota is difficult, but not impossible--so why not try? Plenty of reasons really.
Dota is, while mechanically challenging, also a mentally challenging one. Perseverance and patience go a long way in surviving in Dota and even if you can look past all the difficulties, the set-backs, the elitist community, can your SO?
Every bit of frustration that you feel and express is likely going to hurt the experience of gaming together, which is what it should be all about.
Even if you have successfully taught your SO Dota, odds are they’ll be considerably worse than you for the longest time, unless they’re the next SumaiL. There are certain things that you can only pick up through time, something that players were dearly reminded of during the recent overhaul of the UI and shop interface when everything changed and veterans had to adapt again.
Think back to the moment you were frustrated with Valve’s choice to change everything. The pesky shop and its unnatural and unintuitive design, the lack of CS at the bottom right. Imagine this very frustration and struggle over and over again. That’s what learning Dota feels like, roughly.
If they however understand the game at a basic level, it might be best for them to make their own friends in the game, make their own experiences.
Just looking at the professional scene, it becomes obvious that in Dota, or competitive gaming in general, people often need other people with a similar mindset and attitude for the game to be successful. Can you really enjoy Dota with somebody that thinks you should build Phase Boots on TA when you are determined that it should be Treads?
Even the best friends or the closest soulmates will have their different opinions regarding the game, and when the discrepancy in skill is big enough, those opinions can be vastly different as well.
It is when those opinions clash that the worst side of a person’s personality shines through. Who here, reading this blog, has never flamed a teammate? They shall throw the first Mango.
Dota can and will likely bring out the worst side of people. Are you ready to experience the worst side of your SO during something that should be a shared passion between the two of you?
At the end of the day, there is no general rule here. You, and probably only you, should know best if it’s a good idea to teach your significant other how to play Dota. You should also be open about the difficulties of trying to learn the game. Teach your SO everything you wish people had told you when you started the game. Like how recipes are recipes because they need the ingredients to be complete…..
Dota is still supposed to be fun, be it for you or for your SO. If both of you are having fun playing it, then that is awesome. But if one of you realizes that it isn’t as much fun anymore, don’t be afraid to voice that concern.
If, despite reading all of this, you still wish to teach your SO about Dota, then maybe this can help. Good luck, have fun!