It’s been a minute, now time for Dota 2!

Well, it’s been way too long since I’ve updated, and with good reason! I’ve been busy as hell with my new job…I’m now a full time web designer. In my free time I’ve been playing Starcraft II and a little DotA, but refused to move onto HoN and LoL, knowing Dota 2 is right around the corner. I’ve already signed up for beta, and public beta is coming in the Fall. Check out coverage of the International Dota 2 tournament that happened a little while ago. It was pretty exciting seeing the game and top players in action. Can’t wait to dig in!Dota 2 Logo

Newbie Corner: Last Hitting & Denying

This week I’d like to explain the importance of “last hitting” and “denying” creeps, which is a core skill in being a successful at DotA. Newer players tend to simply auto attack the creeps, causing you to push the lane too early and put yourself and lane mate at risk by being close to the opposing tower too often.

How to last hit

Last hitting and denying refers to timing your attack to hit a creep that has a red life bar and laying the killing blow to gain gold(if you last hit an opposing creep) or deny experience and gold(if you deny an allied creep). By default, life bars aren’t displayed, but you can change it in game by changing it in the game play options.

How to deny

Randomsauce: New logo idea for Apple iPod

For educational purposes only

This is my take on what a new “Web 2.0 style”  Apple iPod logo might look like, and was done for my GFX 08-09 class at Specs Howard School of Media Arts. Now that everything internet is about social networking and tagging, this logo encapsulates a lot of what you see in current design online.

Rant: Pick the Right Hero for your team!

I hopped on bnet earlier tonight with the hopes of having a few good games, which I did, but some of the games were completely underwhelming. What I ended up noticing was that in every -ap(all pick) game, the match ended up turning out one sided, because all the players just picked whatever heroes they felt like picking. The teams were unbalanced and our team, or the other were completely crushed, and this was largely due to individuals NOT picking appropriate heroes for the team. It doesn’t matter as much with how good you are individually, but more if you have good communication with your team mates, and that includes picking a hero that fits one of the core roles to win the game.

Here are the basic roles that each team needs to fill:

Tank

The Tank is meant to be the center of attention in team clashes, and is usually a Strength(STR) Hero. You need to be beefy, and not just a little beefy…you need to have enough HP to live through a lot of damage per second(DPS). Some excellent Hero choices for being the tank are Centaur, Dragon Knight, or Tidehunter.

Support

Playing support if often deemed as the most boring role to play in DotA, but is often the most fun to play in my opinion. Literally, if a team decided to play without any support, they would not outlast the opposing team. As the support, you are usually an Intelligence(INT) Hero, and usually have skills that heal allies, disable or apply a negative buff an opponent. Some good Support Hero choices are Dazzle, Necrolite, and Omni Knight.

Carry

The Carry is often the role that everyone wants to fill, because the Carry packs a lot of firepower and crushes opponents easily. This role is actually one of the hardest to play, as you are very fragile with a low HP. Carrys are usually Agility(AGI) Heroes and are vulnerable the most at the early stages of the game and need to focus on farming a lot of experience(EXP) and gold so they can put out lots of damage late game for the team. Some excellent carry choices are Phantom Lancer, Spectre and Rikimaru.

The next time you play a game on bnet or with your friends, be sure to delegate who is playing which role and cover them all! A good format to follow is 2 tanks 2 support and 1 carry, but the important thing to remember is making sure all the roles are at least covered, and tweak the team as needed.

League Talk: Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasom

Dota on the competitive level always amazes me, because of  amount of skill and focus that it takes to really be at the top of your game.  Kuroky has been a pro in the DotA Leage games for years and has  played on the legendary ks.int, a well known team among competetive DotA players.  This fan made video shows some of the more exciting moments taken from replays of his games. The high level of game play shown here consists of knowing all of the nuances of the character you are playing, and out smarting your opponent.

While there are many examples of  replays from league matches out there, the ones with a player called Kuroky have been the most compelling to me.

Rant: Battle.net’s shortcomings

With DotA, Battle.net(bnet) is an excellent place for casual players or the novice, but by no means is it grounds for ranked or ladder games. Sadly, Battle.net’s support for a player matching system in custom games is non existent, even with the mass appeal of DotA. Every time you play on bnet, odds are  that you’ll be playing with someone that is inexperienced, cocky, rude, ignorant or all of the above; thus, foiling any chance for a full, worthwhile game…but it is only that way on the surface thanks to services like ThroneIt[THR], which offers an external ranking system that couples with the player’s skill level, and the ability to ban players for leaving or game ruining. On ThroneIt’s website, players can make or join teams and clans, to raise their skill level and ensure no one leaves.

Another issue with bnet is with “leavers”, or people that disconnect from a game for whatever reason and end up throwing off the balance of the match. If you’ve played a game on bnet, than you have most likely had the misfortune of encountering one of these people. They usually talk enough trash to bury the world with their shit, then leaves the game in an uncontrollable nerd-rage after getting first blooded.  This hilarious video illustrates what goes through the mind of someone that is at their wit’s end from leavers:

Even though Battle.net isn’t perfect, with the right direction, you can still have an enjoyable time if you play with the right people.

Accelerate your game: Strategy Guides

Burst HP With Armlet

For those of you who are just getting started into  DotA, or are having a hard time with good strategies or item builds should check some popular dota communities for strategy guides. The pictures you see here are referenced from DotaStrategy’s guide section*. They release a new strategy guide around once a month, and they have a database of many strategy guides on all the different heroes. While some of these guides are very good, others are outdated and do not reflect the latest version of the game.

The basic idea behind a strategy guide is to tell you what are the tried and tested methods for effectively using any given hero. It usually follows the following format:

  1. Introduction
  2. Stats
  3. Skills
  4. Item Build
  5. Skill Build
  6. Early Game
  7. Middle Game
  8. Late Game
  9. Conclusion
  10. Comments

What worked best for me when I was first starting out was trying a new strategy on the AI maps(you’ll have to make a free account there). After I was able to execute the strategy well enough against the AI, I tried it on bnet. Join “noobs only” or “newb friendly games” at first, and then try it with more advanced level matches, sometimes labeled as “Pros only” “[THR]“. Most of all, have fun, find a hero that you like and feel comfortable with.

*Special thanks to android_245 for letting me use images from his strategy guide: “By Ebb and Flow, A Slardar Guide” on DotaStrategy.com.

So I’m the DotAguy…

DotA load screen

And I like to play Defense of the Ancients(DotA for short), both casually and competitively, and I also enjoy the universe surrounding it. Throughout my blog, I’ll be posting coverage along with my thoughts on the latest DotA related finds, including:

  • strategy guides
  • interviews
  • professional play
  • personal experiences
  • replays
  • and more.

Whether you’re new to DotA,  a seasoned veteran, or just want to learn what it’s all about, check back soon, as I’ll have content that explains various aspects of the game, and helpful tools.

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