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Dealing with the barrier to entry

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  • Dealing with the barrier to entry

    Tonight completely by accident, I played dota on my 2nd steam account. I just recently made this account for other reasons and decided to play some dota without realizing that I wasn't on my main steam account. So of course I was put into an extremely low MMR bracket, probably less than 1k.

    The quality of players in those two games was flabbergasting. Everyone was yelling at each other because they all wanted to "carry" the game or play mid, but they didn't really understand what that entails. Of course then you get 2 mids and some guy playing offlane PA and even that one guy who sits in the jungle all game with his lone druid/lycan and kills about one camp every 10 minutes because he has to go back to base every 20 secs etc. In the first game, you could really tell how little the players understood of their heroes because no one was willing to engage anyone and when I would engage my team would rarely step up to support me (it was a strange feeling compared to what I'm used to). Even our team which had 50+ kills by the end (I played roaming Nightstalker and carried the game) vs their team's 10 kills wouldn't attack the T3 towers because they were too timid. I had to literally yell at them to get them to do anything. As an aside, I especially loved the Lone druid player who farmed up a radiance then sat in the fountain with his hero and ran his bear around with the radiance and no boots while trying to tell me it was a good build and I was a newb (he wasn't a new player, I think he had some 2-300 games played on his account).

    In 99% of games I play on my main mmr (4.5k-4.7K i took a bit of a break not long ago and lost some points), I do not encounter trolling or bad behavior of any kind unless we are just getting completely destroyed which doesn’t happen often enough for it to be a big deal (yes people get salty but they also understand that you can win from virtually any game no matter the score if you play well enough). Also, the players tend to have more knowledge of the game which makes it much easier for you to rely on them to do things that are common sense for a dota player such as playing support correctly, buying wards, upgrading the courier (or even buying one), knowing when to engage and how far they can push their hero before it becomes dangerous, knowing how to control the lane, basic skill and item builds, team compositions, timings to roam, stacking and pulling, which heroes should go in which lanes etc etc.

    In these 2 games I played, people were bickering from the outset and didn’t stop until the end of the game even in the case where I was carrying them heavily. The problem wasn't the other team trash talking my team, it’s the general attitude of the players on my side. This has been proved time and time again in many competitive games including dota that the attitude and general mood of the players in a game will actually make the players play better (and have a better experience). There was a guy who climbed all the way to 6k mmr playing only KoTL support and he did it by basically complementing his allies and playing competently (was on reddit like a year ago).

    There have been so many times where I have heard league of legends players talk about how they disliked dota mostly because of the community, yet the dota community is much less toxic then the League of legends community, in particular at the higher levels of play (I used to play LoL and was a Diamond level player; people were awful to each other in that game even at that level of play mostly because of the stagnant meta). As another aside, the LoL community is so bad that riot was considering adding voice chat but people told them that it would make things worse so they didn't. (Imagine, people actually opting out of something that would make their experience playing easier; its insanity).

    I know dota is a very unforgiving, complex and sometimes frustrating game at its core and that is actually the reason I have been playing it for years now. I’ve been playing on the same map in the same mode with the same roster of heroes (well mostly) for about 8-9 years and am still learning things about the game all the time. It’s a shame that anyone who wants to get into it will have such a difficult time doing so because of idiots like the ones I played with and because valve hasn’t fleshed out their tutorial system like they said they would. I mean, even something as simple as adding an official easy mode back into the unranked queue would do wonders for new players as far having a less competitive environment to learn the heroes and the core of the game. Back when I played dota 1, I played mostly easy mode games in the beginning and then eventually branched out into the normal modes. My outlook on what the game was supposed to be was drastically different at that time because of this (and because I viewed it as a party mod, not a competitive game).

    Much of the knowledge I have acquired as a player has come from playing the game with only a few learned skills coming from reading or watching other people play. In that sense, it is better to have the people play the game for them to learn it, but if they are always playing in a very tense environment they will learn nothing unless they have some kind of encouragement (which your average player will not). This is the problem I’ve encountered when I’ve tried to talk friends who have never played dota into playing the game with me. They get matched up with people who don’t know what they are doing, who get frustrated and start trash talking, and because of the inherent competitive nature of the game my friends end up walking away with an extremely negative view of the community and the game itself. None of them are able to view the game as a fun but challenging game because the feeling of competition is way too strong even in those early games.

    As a person who loves dota and has such a long history with the game, I feel that it is my duty to try to help these players get into a frame of mind where they will be able to enjoy the game enough to want to keep playing it and keep improving. I know many others in the community who are in the higher MMRs also feel the same, otherwise we wouldn't have youtube channels like Purgegamers or Slahserdota who detail builds and strategies to others trying to impart wisdom on them. As the game stands right now, its very unapproachable and that probably accounts for why it doesn't have a high player retention rate like some of the other titles that are competing with it.

    Valve, please look into this, I think its a very important and undervalued part of the game.
    Last edited by abeltensor; 11-04-2015, 02:06 AM.

  • #2
    Wonderful. Somebody that is not new to this game that realize how it is in the newcomers bracket most of the time. In the some hundred games I have played it is below 10% of the games that people actually try to play as a team and not spam rubbish rude, sit and sulk in fountain, ignore to push and other obvious throw strategies. Not to mention the obvious cheaters that feed some account on the other team.

    Hope somebody listens to you, most of the time people seems to think we who play in the low bracket are complaining about the toxic atmosphere in the game to say "hey I am not a bad player I don't belong here, my skills are better". Most rubbish argumentes IN GAME is about blaming player X for how the game plays out. But we who try to bring attention to it here are not in it to get better MMR. I don't care one bit if my MMR is 3500 or 500 as long as everybody in my team try to play a team game and act decently. But as it is the game is infested with rude blaming players that play solo and don't care.

    Would love to get you in my team some day dude.