Dota 2 is a difficult game to get into for Dota 2 players. The game’s player base must endeavor to make their community a welcoming place. Especially for players who are returning or have never played the game before.
While this is a challenge for any game community, the case for the Dota 2 community is an interesting one. With a player base full of veterans, the likelihood of the game reaching a stage of “purgatory” is definite. This phenomenon is most likely due to three reasons:
The first reason why Dota 2 is difficult is human nature. When it comes down to it, there is an invisible standard that is pressed onto every player in a game. In the likely chance that this standard is not met, other players tend to be very unruly and toxic.
This widespread problem of toxic language and behavior affects all skill brackets in the game. Despite Valve’s best efforts, little can be done with curtailing the issue of toxicity, but toxicity isn’t the only thing that plagues this game, which also gives Valve a difficult time.
What About Successful New Dota 2 Players?
Linking back to human nature is the desire to be better and to be flawless. Naturally, when one wishes to improve, there must always be an equal chance of succeeding or failing. This balanced occurrence happens more in Dota 2 than in other games, especially in version 7.32c.
But to have a perfect win rate consistently is impossible unless you are smurfing. The act of smurfing refers to anyone who plays below their usual skill level. It also describes a player who uses multiple accounts.
Dota 2 smurfs have accounts that have high win rates. This shows fewer lifetime games, which can be seen by hovering over a profile’s level. Similar to toxic players, smurf accounts are also present at every skill bracket in the game.
Despite implementations of the Overwatch feature, the problem is unfixable. It is also present in Valve’s FPS game CS: GO due to the root cause being human behavior.
Ultimately, these two issues are prevalent in a game due to the competitive nature of multiplayer video games. Someone familiar with playing with good teammates will be disappointed when things are not going well. Whereas professional players run ranked games on low MMR accounts to practice. This is due to queue times on their main accounts taking too long.
It is all a give-and-take cycle that allows the game to thrive. However, if left unchecked, it will irreversibly cause departures from the game forever.
What Do New Dota 2 Players Do?
Dota 2’s inherent game design is a culture shock for most players entering the game. Having a hundred hours of League of Legends allows me to empathize with them. Longtime League players say that Dota’s movement is janky, and I agree.
The concept of turn rate is something that was carried over from Warcraft 3 and is fundamental to Dota 2. It adds a layer of nuance to a player’s actions and reactions in the game.
This means a player can sneak behind an enemy and the enemy hero will always take a few moments to turn around before acting, rewarding good positioning. Heroes have different turn rates, but the range is between .106 and .157 seconds, with most heroes having the slowest value.
But perhaps the greatest skill slope and expression in Dota 2 is the depth of game knowledge needed to be consistently good. Mechanics like damage manipulation and regen manipulation are two mechanics that recently enabled WEU competitors Tundra Esports to win TI11 in Singapore back in October.
Understanding the meta and creating a creative solution was crucial to their success, which manifested in both team and individual play. Tundra’s 33 and his Mage Slayer purchase on top of Wraith Pact against the meta hero Leshrac was proof that at that moment, Tundra was ahead of the competition in cracking the code.
What Can We Do as Veterans?
Is it truly okay for any Dota 2 player to look at this game and say it is hard for new players? Yes, it is justified. Some gloat at players from other MOBAs because of Dota 2’s superior complexity.
I was one of those players until I realized that gloating and jeering do not achieve the result that established community members want: more new players. As a player of Dota 2, its difficulty won’t change. The most that we can do now is to cushion the landing for new players by being decent human beings in a video game.
The greatest advice any player from this game can take is the one at the start of a game:
“Please remember to be understanding and patient with newer players.”
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