So I’ve noticed a lot of people asking for help on how to be better at this game so I thought I would make a multiple part series explaining so fundamentals. I’ve been playing the Alpha for about a month but have extensive experience in the genre. For the first part I thought I would start with simple things that give you a better understanding of the game at large and information.
- The tab key– The first thing you should do after loading a map is to see what the enemy team is comprised of. This will inform you whether it is safe to roam away from towers or hide like a child. For example if I hit tab and notice that the enemy team has any stealth champs (Zeratul, Nova) I always inform my team to watch out for them. Stiches is another champ that I warn my team about, his hook will ruin your day if he pulls you into a four man team. So in this case don’t wonder off by yourself into the bush you always see people sit in. This leads to my second point.
- Be unpredictable– In all video games we as humans follow similar predictable routes or places we like to go first. You know what I’m talking about, if you are bottom lane you run to the bushes and play hide the monkey. Remember however that the enemy who is smart will use this to their advantage. Always expect that Kerrigan sitting in the bush with a stiches that will stomp you hard level 1. This is especially true if you have a hero that has no or a weak escape.
- The watchtowers are not your friends– Akin to the previous tip, you always have to assume that the enemy team will roll in full force to the watchtower for hide the monkey shenanigans. If by chance your team does the smart thing and sends a person to start laning, then don’t go for the tower. Let people know you are not going to the tower and stick to your guns. This is vital in Blackhearts Bay as the watchtower is contestable for both teams early. If you want to play hide the monkey and you are the ranged assassin that isn’t nova don’t face check the bush, let the tank get in there. But if you see that one or your teammates is going bot to start laning than DON’T assume the other team will do the same thing, and expect a 5 man group in a bush that will take a dump on you.
- Laning experience– Being near minions that die is the heart of this game. Because of team experience you need to be either guaranteeing kills (discussed in the next point) or sitting in lane in order to keep up with the enemy team. This is where the strategy of this games becomes very excellent, and is hard to explain in further detail here. But essentially if you are not in lane getting experience than you better be doing something equally important, like objectives, killing mercs, or setting up ganks.
- Ganking– Ganking is a term used to describe when champs from a team group up to surprise the other team and kill them. This tactic is essential for some champs, like zeratul or nova, hence always being aware of them when you face them (back to point 1). You always have to assume that the stealthy is there waiting for you to go a little too far and BAM in your face. If everyone on the other team in accounted for, i.e. looking at portraits on the mini map then you are free to push and poke the enemy champ. But awareness of people who are missing should lead you to back off. Again assume that when the enemy seems easy to kill, they have backup and are waiting to bait you in. On the flip side, if you are going to gank the other team let your teammates know by pinging the enemy you wish to kill using the G key. That way they can position themselves to help out. ANY champ can gank, from supports to brawlers, most champs have the ability to slow or stun or crush people, however some do it better. Speaking in general terms champs that either have good burst damage or a strong crowd control ability are the best because of how quickly enemy champs can retreat. Enemy positioning is vital for knowing if a gank can be successful. For example let’s say the enemy champ has pushed his wave all the way to your doorstep then ganking would be an excellent call. However if they are pushed or sitting close to their towers then forget about it and look for other targets. On a side note however, if you want to roam then let your team know so they can cover the lanes and be ready for gank city. It is however important to understand that first blood gives a team ¼ of an experience bar, however don’t let an enemy get free experience without anyone in lane.
- Objectives– Ah yes the great and powerful objectives. There are so many different objectives that require certain techniques and advice that I will discuss in a later post. Until then, play the objectives and know a couple simple things about roles and team fights.
- Team fights– The heart of this game and will be its own post, but essentially this is how team fights work in very simple terms so don’t get all aggravated with me. When the game progresses into the late game, after the 10 minute mark it is time to start keeping track of the other team and stay together when getting objectives. The thing that kill players at this time in the game is when a player goes to push a lane and has little awareness of their surroundings so they die. Because the death timers increase as the game goes on when you put your team, or vice versa you put the enemy team into a 4v5 position it is very difficult to contest objectives and win those fights. If you are at a man advantage use it by pushing, getting mercs, getting objectives.
Tank– Start the fights and go for enemy carries to remove them from the fight
Melee Assassin– Jack the supports or burst the tank down, generally just crush people. Try and enter fight after cc has been used on tank because you will die quickly.
Ranged Assassin– The hardest role, and thus requires the most amount of tactical skill, unless you’re NOVA. Your role is to stay alive as long as you can and do as much damage as you can. If the enemy tank is coming for you then burst him down quickly and move on. DO NOT go balls deep and go for their carries regardless of what your team says and yells WHY ARE YOU TARGETING THE TANK? Ignore them they don’t understand the roll. If you go for their carries you will die and thus be of no use to your team. Trust me, this is not WOW you can never assume people will peel for you.
Support– PEEEEEELLLLLLL for the carry/your team damage. That’s it. Use your CC to slow the people going for your carry, blow heals on champs that need it but save it for the carries. The most unselfish role in all of video games and one that requires you to react very quickly to a situation.
Ranged specialist– Know when to enter fights and stay in the back line. Ranged supports generally can be used to drop AOE on large groups or burst the enemy assassin down quickly who is attacking your carry.
- The I can save you effect– This is one of those strange traits from al MOBAS, the even though you are getting chased by the whole enemy team and u are at half health I can help you………by honestly just dying along with you. For some reason in this game when people begin to be picked off by the other team or are being chased and about to die, people always literally line up one at a time to go in and die for no reason. The best way to describe this is with an example. So let’s say one of your teammates goes off to check your enemies Bruiser camp when its 5v5 and you have no vision because somehow they think they can get the camp and carry the day. But surprise, all 5 of your enemy is there and your teammate is surrounded and they get chased or die. But your team thinks OMG I can save them, or I know its 4v5 now because they were dumb, F that I’m going balls deep and….they die too. But wait there’s another person probably like teen feet behind them in game terms who has the same thought process and goes balls deep and….. they die. Etc. etc. etc. So what should have been a bad misjudgment by your team mate that results in a 4v5 in which you really just wait till they come back and stabilize the lanes until then, turns into a catastrophic four man wipe that accomplishes nothing and now if its past 15 minutes will probably be the game.
- Trust your gut– Guys if you think that a fight is unwinnable, or there is no reason to hang around, hit that V key and stick to your guns and bug out. You may get bitched at by the teammate that died, but guess what you are alive to contest or push lanes and they are not.
- The late game– With the way death timers are in this game, past fifteen minutes or so, don’t go off alone when you have no vision try and stay together as a team. This is difficult because you are a five headed monster and sometimes people value certain things over others. Just ping ask for help and hopefully they will follow. If they don’t then shrug it off and move on. The key to turning any game around is by getting picks on the other team and catching them in bad spots or alone. This instantly, as alluded to in point 8 leaves them at a massive disadvantage, but the enemy will often still come at you one by one.