Friday, February 17, 2012

The Dilemma

Right now, we have this culture that supports make the ultimate sacrifice to allow carries to grow.  I'm not sure if that's the correct approach to playing this game correctly.  I think it's more complex than "we pull farm to our carry because he's our carry".  It's about making the best use of the gold through all three phases of the game from early, mid to late so you can win the game. 

It is arguable that during the early-mid game phase, gold efficiency is just as, if not higher on supports than it is on a carry. 

Imagine mana boots on Tidehunter, Venomancer, or for any support that gets them for that matter.  Versus a power treads on carry.  What's more efficient?  Obviously, it would be the mana boots.  It not only increases the wielder's mana pool, but the entire team's as well.  Considering that treads and mana boots are basically the same price of 1500g, it is puzzling why a carry is in absolute need of farming that treads before mana boots on support.  There's also mekansm and blink dagger to consider, which are both game changing items.  These are all items that are better and better the earlier you get them.  Even just normal boots alone on supports have more value than on carries in the early game phase as supports roam more, thus making more use of the movement speed on boots. 

I do understand the importance of carry's early game however, as a good early game often translates into a good late game for the carry.  And that's obviously very important.  In certain cases, some heroes must have a good early game, or it's difficult for them to grow in later parts of the game (such as Antimage or Void).  Nobody wants to see an Antimage with treads and ring of health at 25min into the game.  It is truly a grim sight.  But one cannot refute the usefulness of the early mana boots and mekansm. 

The sick thing about Dota is that the supports have a lot of pressure on them in the first 6 minutes of the game.  As soon as the game begins, it is their responsibility to buy vision, counter vision, smoke, courier, and upgrade courier.  By 6min, the wards are about to expire, so it is on them to buy yet another set.  All the while being starved of gold.  Sometimes, it's hard enough to even buy boots as a support.   

So, where is the balance?

It's not an easy problem to solve, that's for sure.  With heroes like AM and Void, you want battlefury as quickly as possible.  Because it just means you are going to hit that critical mass faster (where it's most effective the faster you hit it).  In the same sense, you want mana boots, mekansm, and blink dagger as fast as possible also because they're most effective the earlier you get.

There is probably a sweetspot where a team can grow strong as a collective unit.  I haven't really figured it out yet, hence the title.  But it's probably much simpler than what I imagine it to be, as many great things are.  It's something to think about anyway.

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