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Lane choosing?

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  • Lane choosing?

    Bots really do need to improve when choosing lanes. Often it seems the teams end up quite balanced, but when the lanes are being chosen they hardly make sense at all. Playing two consecutive games of Spectre and Anti-mage I was both times forced to go top lane as Radiant with another carry (Razor and Sven) while Windrunner and Crystal Maiden or Earthshaker went to the safer bot lane. The third time I picked Kunkka and went bot despite Razor and Crystal Maiden already going there expecting me to go top with Tide. This time I went bot, hoping that Razor would realize he should probably run top to get supported by Tide, but instead Rylai ran top which ended me up trying to steal the farm from Razor.

    The conclusion is: try to improve on the lane picking, especially through letting the bots determine who is the hardest carry, thus deserving to get the safelane along with the hardest support. Another thing is how hard it is to get someone to realize that you want the mid lane.

  • #2
    Bots adjust themselves to the players choice. They'll automatically fill in the lanes in order of safe lane -> mid -> long lane, however the moment a player enters any of those lanes they'll make room for them, so you're not "forced" to go into the long lane.
    Bots do need some improvement on lane balancing hero-wise though, as half the time it feels like they decide the support hero should leave the lane, leaving you with 2 carry's or 2 melee in a lane or some such.
    Last edited by Arxos; 02-05-2012, 10:38 AM.


    • #3
      Lane balancing is really complicated -- who wants farm, who can jungle, who needs support, balancing ranged and melee, etc. It's on the todo list but there's a decent amount of stuff ahead of it. Suggestions for general rules of thumb to follow are always welcome, though!


      • #4
        Is there any logic to which bot leaves a lane if a human player comes to it? Because right now it seems a little random. I just tested this out, where there's a Venge mid, Lina top, and Zeus+Tiny bot. I went bot as a Bloodseeker, and the Zeus left to join Lina top. This results in a hellish lane against Sniper+CM, while there's a Juggernaut+Kunkka top for the enemy team. Regardless of the heroes abilities, I think it's important to maintain a melee+range balance, and not have a double melee/double ranged. It would probably be best to prioritize that a human player's lane would be ideal, if there's a conflict between the lanes.


        • #5
          Currently each bot has a score for how much they want to be in top/mid/bot, and they don't factor in lane-mates. Obviously they need to do that, but like I said they actually need to take into account a lot more than that too.


          • #6
            That makes sense for something like solo mid. Obviously, you'd rather have a Lina who could gank or get use from the levels mid rather than a Tidehunter. However, at the level of play the bots are currently at, the difference between the hard and easy/long and short/pull and no pull/etc. lanes is fairly negligible. It's usually something to consider at high levels of play, when you're trying to pick a certain lineup for certain lanes, and you're trying to eek out every little advantage you can get. When everyone randoms, though, it doesn't really matter! Windrunner's strength to her team, in that she can do well in the hard lane, is completely nullified if it means that you have two melee heroes that are going to be completely destroyed at the beginning of the game. The easy lane or whatever you'd like to call it does not provide that much of an advantage.

            And yeah, the perfect lane composition is a very difficult beast to understand, with things like harassing power, area of influence, the need for item dependent/independent combos, gank escaping, and so on. However, I feel that the balance between melee and range heroes in the dual lanes is one of the most fundamental things when deciding who goes where. When all things are equal, and you've got two melee and two ranged heroes, or three melee and one ranged hero, having that score can help get the most out of that situation. Keeping that balance, though, should have the final say in telling bots where to go. Otherwise, you'll end up with very volatile lanes that can throw the game off completely, when just a simple reassignment based on melee or ranged could make it so much better.


            • #7
              Really good feedback, thanks!


              • #8
                Not sure how useful this is, but I was bored and decided to write it up since you asked for some "rules of thumb".

                These rules assume the bots will not do trilanes/dual mid/sidelane solo or anything unusual you don't see in matchmaking games.

                Rules of thumb:
                • Never put two melee heroes together unless it involves gimping your carry hero or mid lane by not doing it.
                • NEVER put two heroes that require farm together.
                • The mid hero will generally be someone who requires the solo experience and gold to either carry mid-late game (Shadowfiend, Morphling, etc) or gank early-mid game to gain momentum (Queen of Pain, Night Stalker, Batrider, Zeus, etc).
                • The hard lane (Radiant top, Dire bot) hero(es) will generally be someone who has an escape mechanism such as Windrunner (Windrun) or Mirana (Leap) to avoid getting killed. You may also put a very strong lane (such as two stunners) in this lane to pit them against the other team's carry and go for kills. You will almost never want to put a hard carry such as Spectre or Faceless Void in the hard lane, as this will hinder their farm and put them at risk.
                • The easy lane (Radiant bot, Dire top) hero(es) should almost always be a carry babysat by a RANGED support hero (if the carry is a ranged hero, such as Viper it's OK to put him with someone like Earthshaker). There is no point putting 2 support heroes or 2 ganking heroes in the easy lane when you have a carry that can go there instead.

                I recently started a bot game and the lanes the bots chose were off by a lot. Here's what they were and what I suggest them to be:

                Top: Zeus, Batrider (me)
                Mid: Earthshaker
                Bot: Tidehunter, Kunkka

                Top: Lina, Vengeful spirit
                Mid: Razor
                Bot: Tiny, Sven

                Top: Earthshaker, Batrider
                Mid: Zeus
                Bot: Tidehunter, Kunkka
                Why: Between both Zeus and Batrider, Zeus needs mid lane more by far due to his terrible range which will make him vulnerable in the hard lane. Batrider on the other hand is actually not that bad in the hard lane and can handle himself solo when Earthshaker goes to gank. Earthshaker does not need mid, he only needs level 1 for his fissure which is all he needs to gank and get kills. Unfortunately for the bot lane nothing can be done to avoid having two melee.

                Top: Lina, Sven
                Mid: Tiny
                Bot: Vengeful Spirit, Razor
                Why: Sven can be built as an initiator and not a carry, but let's assume he's being built as a carry. This team has two "semi-carries" (Sven and Razor) and thus the best option would be to put the melee carry in the easy lane and the ranged carry in the hard lane to ensure both decent farm. The melee carry is paired with the hero with longer range to harass better while the ranged carry is paired with the lower ranged hero. Tiny is put mid because he needs solo experience to level up both his first and second skill to demolish the other team.

                Once again, not sure how useful this is to you but I can start a few more bot games and point out laning mistakes if it helps.
                Last edited by Panic; 02-07-2012, 02:57 AM.


                • #9
                  Really helpful, thanks!


                  • #10
                    I don't know much about choosing good lanes, but I feel like some simple tricks could make the human interaction less painful.

                    Most importantly, wait for human players! Make the bots hang out near the base towers before the match starts (rather than at the tier 1 towers) so when I screw up their arrangements they don't have to run across the whole map to switch to another lane.

                    If there's 2 human players make the bots start with a 1-1-1 distribution. That way if the humans dual lane, only one bot needs to switch and there won't be an empty lane while he's running around.


                    • #11
                      I'm of the belief there should be some kind of bot management menu in the top bar adjacent to main menu, battle log, and scoreboard buttons that will allow human players to tweak bot strategies on the fly. For instance, becoming the team captain in a sense, deciding who is in what lanes and general strategies.

                      Lane selection: Each Bot Hero is listed next to a drop down with top, bot, mid, jungle options.
                      General strategy: "Defend", "Push", "Farm", "Roam".
                      Exploration meter: 0 conservative - 100 aggressive.
                      Ability usage meter: 0 conservative - 100 aggressive.
                      Initiator option: Drop down to decided who your team should follow into a fight.

                      I think this kind of management could help prevent the bots from going off on their own at inopportune times, but I mainly see this being more useful when the bots replace leavers. Edit: Might also be useful for pre-game gank teams and setting up 1-1-3 lane strategies so you can practice solo against two heroes in a lane.
                      Last edited by squinte; 02-10-2012, 04:23 PM.
                      This ain't ova.


                      • #12
                        Good feedback. When we get closer to implementing that kind of thing, I'll probably start a thread here and gather more feedback like this. Good to see what everyone wants to be able to do with the bots. Thanks!


                        • #13
                          I'd also like to shamelessly advertise this thread where a great solution for this problem exists:

                          This way at least the human player's team wont have any trouble with laning properly.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ChrisC View Post
                            Lane balancing is really complicated -- who wants farm, who can jungle, who needs support, balancing ranged and melee, etc. It's on the todo list but there's a decent amount of stuff ahead of it. Suggestions for general rules of thumb to follow are always welcome, though!
                            A great idea should be implementing both captain's mode and in-game "command mode", or similar.

                            Instead of the DotA 1 AI text mode commands, I'd say a "command button" should be great, or a "command wheel" when clicking on in-game specific targets (allied bots, enemy bots, allied or enemy structures, Roshan ...)

                            For example, simple changes to bots, so you can configure them at your leisure:

                            * Force in-game lanes: <command-mode key> + click on bot portraits on top of the screen > Lane > Lane Selection > top/mid/bottom/jungle, so bots know where to go.

                            * Change bot lane behavior: <command-mode key> + click on bot portraits on top of the screen > Lane > Lane behavior > farmer/support/babysitter/ganker. If a farmer bot and a support bot find themselves on the same lane, the support one will leave most of the cs to the farmer, while concentrating itself on harass and denying)

                            * Change bot general behavior: <command-mode key> + click on bot portraits on top of the screen > AI > Behavior: carry/support/pusher/ganker/initiator. You may activate up to two behaviors (for example support+ganker) per bot, and may even change your own hero behavior so bots "know" what you are (for example, you activate ganker+initiator on yourself so on teamfights bots actually "wait" for you to initiate - and then follow you right after you initiate, ofc -)

                            ... and the like. The more evolved the bots AI gets, the more commands that can be added.
                            "+1. This is no WC3 DotA. Evolve or return to your cave."