Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hero Expertise

There was a period and a time when I used to think I was hot shit with Shadow Fiend.  Mind you, I know I am terrible with that hero, and this was very long time ago when I used to think like that.  The problem is that I suck ass with razes.  So my solution was to avoid getting into spots I would have to raze to be effective, and instead, I'd try to get six-slotted as fast as possible with its ridiculous farming capabilities and bypass that whole stage of the game where I rely on razes for damage.  My every day pubs were horrible enough that I'd get away with my shenanigans and I'd live in my world of ignorance where I thought my SF was hot shit.

Yes, I won games by taking advantage of buttload of space that I was freely given, but that did not save me from being a terrible SF.  It was a way to win a game, but not a solution to getting better at the hero.  If I wanted to get better at the hero, and ultimately at the game, I should have actively tried to get into spots where I must use razes to prevail, not avoid it, thus building my expertise with the hero. 

Getting into spots.  This is something that I feel like a lot of the players do not respect enough.  The revelation came to me in observing the difference in thought process of a winning poker player and me.  This player I watched would actively try to get in spots with a weaker players as more hands and more streets with the fish meant more chances for him to outplay his opponent, thus more money.  While I was the type of player who would avoid the hassle (razes) and find other ways (farm) to address the problem (winning the game).  He would fearlessly tackle these spots because he is experienced and knew the solution to win more.  And it wasn't like he didn't have the other option (to farm) either, he could do both, which would give him more channels to win at the game than me.  

A lot of players will fool themselves into believing that they're excellent at a hero just as much as anyone else.  It's not easy knowing how to win at the game in every scenario possible.  This means that they have an incredible amount of experience with the hero, and they have played it when they're behind, ahead, with and against various heroes and have critically thought about the builds.  

A good example would be Arteezy and Shadow Fiend.  I guess when you are as good as Arteezy, you get ran at with Bane and OD mid.  To address this, he innovated a build where he goes bottlerush with lvl1 raze.  He would shamelessly raze every single cs save one (to which he got with autoattack, weee), which secured him of his bottle and early game.  He would then go on to raze & bottlecrow restlessly for the rest of the laning phase to his victory.

Who the fuck goes lvl1 raze to secure the first wave?  I mean, that's literally all it mattered for, but that was all it needed to mater for when you consider all the opponents' effort to thwart his farm fail with that single move.  dear god he outlamed the bane+od... 

Hero expertise is important.  If you fearlessly put yourself in difficult spots, you will build meaningful experience on that hero so that in the future, you may prevail where you have failed before.  

This seems a simple and perhaps an obvious thought, but in practice it may be a lot harder to execute.  Every time you fearlessly run into a spot, you risk looking like an absolute clown due to misplays, feed, and even possibly end up being completely useless if it's a hero that relies heavily on snowballing.  This shit was a lot easier for me when I was younger and more reckless too.  Now I'm fucking old and think too much and shit, real ass i tell ya.  And yet, to become a stronger player, you must challenge yourself and put yourself in tricky spots.  You can't always take the safe, and obvious routes of correct decision because that just may not be enough to win the game.  There may be a more correct decision required to win the game, but you must be able to see that route first.  

No one can play optimally all the time, but we try to.  And experience is everything.  There's an interesting word in the world of fighting games; Abare (pronounced aba-reh).  It means to maximize damage on random hits or trades.  To properly maximize damage off of a random hit in fighting games is really hard, and it requires a shitload of games to master.  

The core concept of abare applies to dota too, since it's just really about making best of every situation.  A lot of players like my older self would rather avoid the trouble and attempt to seek for a more "sure" thing.  The thing is, when all you are going to get is 55:45, you can't just sit around and wait for 80:20.  You need to be able to convert a 55:45 into 80:20.  And maybe you start to see that a 55:45 isn't so 55:45, and that's your edge.

Experiment and try new things and feed along the way who cares.  

p.s - heen is up 9-1 against me on SF mirror.  I fuckin give up fuck that hero fausodifuasdoifja;slf

1 comment:

  1. Probably one of the best blog posts I've ever read, especially because of all the analogies this post has to real life. When we're young and reckless, we think we're hot shit without realizing that we are taking a lot of things for granted -- it isn't until you're forced into tough situations and realize how much fight you really have inside of you.

    "Experiment and try new things and feed along the way who cares." -- Pete Lee 2014