Where to, DotA? #2

Posted by Q "qinen" N at 24 August 2011 12:11
In the second installment of 'Where to, DotA?', we revisit an article that was published on DotaCommentaries back in April, '10 Steps to Having a Good Game of DotA' by HonourGuard.

Setting the tone with simple and concise English to sustain the readers' attention while organizing his thoughts into ten distinct points that exhibit a strong first-person perspective hardened by valuable experience, HonourGuard's article resonates with the advice the persona sought to give to his son in the poem, 'If' by Rudyard Kipling.

Additionally, to give the reader some context, I have asked HonourGuard to give us some insight as to why he wrote '10 Steps', here is what he has to say:
I wrote "Ten Steps" because I was always trying to get people to play better and more politely in my games. Since most of these games included pubs, I didn't get very far. It was frustrating really, to meet racists, flamers and the like in my games.

So I decided to write "Ten Steps". It never occured to me to actually write an article about this, but as my previous guide "How to Improve in DotA" received some good feedback and respect, I thought that I could do the same thing with "Ten Steps".

It was meant to change the very atmosphere of every DotA game. I wanted pleasant games where people could just play and have fun without being flamed for doing something wrong. After the game I also wanted to convey a sense of achievement to the person playing through positive comments and praise. I wanted to do away with the elitist attitude and the "noob" calling.

Obviously, it didn't work out that well. The first comment on it assumed I was trolling. The second comment ridiculed the article and suggested 10 "pub" steps of its own. The general consensus was: "I can't do this, you're being too optimistic". When challenged why, they could not answer, and I don't blame them, because many players have the noob-elitist mindset engraved so deeply in their minds already.

But some, like yourself, agreed to the article and I even managed to influence some people (hopefully it stayed) and really, if just one person manages to up their gameplay because of my guide, it's a success.

The article is reproduced below.

Welcome all to my first article here on DC, titled 10 Steps to Having a Good Game of DotA. I’m HonorGuard and these are my steps to having a good game of DotA. My purpose for this article is to make the experience of DotA fun and friendly to newer players, while making the game more pleasant for everyone to play. Some of the steps described in this article you may already do, some are obvious, but it is often the obvious that escapes our attention. I believe that if the entire DotA community followed these steps, every game of DotA will be a fun experience to everybody, from newbies to the pros.

Step 1: Have Patience
Maxima omnium virtutum est patientia
Patience is the greatest of all virtues, having it is good in every situation, and DotA is no exception. When someone asks for a pause, maybe because of AFK or technical problems, allow the pause. Wait. If you can’t sit there looking at a paused screen, maybe talk to someone in the game, go for a drink. Too often I see people raging or spamming during these pauses, but what good does it do to you?

Step 2: Keep Your Temper
It’s always hard to keep your temper in check; even I have problems with this. However, it is important that you do so. Seeing your teammates fail sometimes with a move that would be easy to you can sometimes tick you off. However, it is important that you do not become angry with them, because it messes with your thinking, and your gameplay will be affected by this. Keep cool, play calmly.

Step 3: Be Resilient
Have a never give up attitude. No game is impossible to save, with a combination of new strategies and on-the-fly thinking, you can outsmart your opponent. Some games are harder than others, and this is when you have to keep trying. Pick at your opponent’s mistakes. For example, a lone hero farming in a lane while you see the rest pushing at another? Get some mates, buy some TP’s, gank the hero and then return quickly to defend. Punish them for their mistakes and try to make less of them.

Step 4: Be Polite
It doesn’t hurt to be polite to your team mates, in fact, it helps. Being polite to your team mates encourages communication and brings the entire team together. If you have nothing good to say, don’t say it. Never call anyone a noob, never insult anyone and you will find that the response from others will be amazing. You will start to work cohesively and build trust amongst your team, something incredibly powerful in the realm of DotA.

Step 5: Drop that Elitist Attitude
There’s always someone that’s better than you. Always strive to be a better player, but refrain from thinking you are better than others. Give advice, but give it kindly. Again, do not insult anyone from their mistakes. Being an elitist ostracizes you from the rest of your team, hindering communication and teamwork, both of which are vital to the success of your team. Remember, DotA is a team game, you’re not the only player there.

Step 6: Encourage Yourself and Your Team
Always seek to give praise or approval to your team mates. Everybody likes a compliment; it boosts their ego and makes them more confident in their play. Saying “gw” or “gj” after the certain execution of a move will make that person’s confidence rise sky high (probably). Encourage yourself as well. A mind that thinks that they can kill an enemy hero with 70 hp left will usually succeed, to Lumi’s baller status.

Step 7: Trust Your Team
You’ve got no-one else to help you, so why not trust your team’s capability to play their own hero. To take risks and benefit from those risks, you need to believe in yourself AND your teammates. It isn’t that hard. Not trusting your team will result in a boring, all farming game in which people just go around doing their own thing. No teamwork AT ALL, just solo play. I find these games boring to play and watch. So if you want to pull off incredible moves or turn-arounds, trust your teammates to do the right thing.

Step 8: Language, Language
This is something I don’t understand. Many DotA players and indeed the majority of adolescents use language such as “F**k” or “S**t” or “Noob”. Ok that last one isn’t that bad, but it does have an effect on the game. Express yourself, but in a different way. Talking with that many expletives in one sentence is bad for your health. Seriously. Some people think that talking like that makes them manlier, it makes them feel better about themselves.
To those people, could you think of what your words do to others? I mean, if you use them in a joking manner, it’s not so bad. However, if you further humiliate someone who’s already feeling bad because they let their team down, what do you think will happen to their gameplay? Will it become better or worse?

Step 9: Respect Everyone, Yes, I do mean Everyone
Have respect for others. Ever heard the saying: Respect is like return mail, you only get it if you give it? Probably not, as I just made that up. Seriously though, beyond the semi pro – pro scenes you see here at DC, there is so much lack of respect. I began playing DotA from pubs and there is a serious lack of respect in the major DotA community. Treat others as you would treat yourself and I tell you, your games will become more pleasant.

Step 10: Have Fun
A tad obvious, I admit, but it’s important nonetheless. Take DotA seriously, but enjoy it. It’s a game that is meant to be played with others and against others. In the end, it’s just a game. A wonderful, glorious game (Thank you so much IceFrog), so enjoy it. Play well and play hard.

The End
So we’ve come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Don’t take offence to any of the things noted here, but do take them into consideration. Integrate them into your play style, and I believe that DotA will be enjoyed by everyone, from newcomers to pros.

Where to, DotA? #1



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