I’ve started playing DOTA 2. A long time ago, m’colleague @Kesomir sent me a DOTA2 beta invite, and I’m ashamed to say I ignored it… Steam really didn’t say very much about it, there was no “buzz” I was party to, and at the time I didn’t have time or money to spend on something new (HA! It was and still is F2P… Shows how stupid I can be, huh?)
Now I have started playing it, I have to say I’m absolutely loving it, but as @PurgeGamers points out in his excellent “Learn DotA” guide for n00bs – [ Welcome to DotA, You Suck ], the learning curve for DotA2 is pretty steep (*cough*Everest!!!*cough*). The devs have thought of this and you can make bot games, where you worry about you, and the computer controls pretty-much everyone else (unless you open the game up to friends)… only there’s a problem. If your hero goes too far into a lane that a bot is in before the fight starts, the bot will leave the lane for you to solo. This would be great if you wanted to learn carry (you need farm/cs as a carry: solo is best way to get that), but I want to learn support (esp. lane support): I should be leeching XP and gold from the carry kills and helping to deny enemy cs. This basically forces a tri-lane (which newbs should avoid – totally agree with @PurgeGamers on this score) and leaves one lane totally unmanned, and that’s bad for two reasons – the uncontested lane gives one enemy hero completely free farm, and the tri-lane suffers from reduced farm for the two carries (see, I’m picking up the lingo pretty good, and I am getting better at spotting heros and items…)
I know full well I suck at last hitting (which is the biggest reason I want to support), and I’m terrible for giving feed at the moment (hero placement is a big issue for me), so I need to be playing more, but this AI shortcoming is making that difficult. The only solution to this that I can see is to have private bot+friend matches, then I can lane support with someone that won’t run away when I join lane to support. I know I’ll be sucking, but in the company of people who’ll tell me once and be done with it. Anyone want to volunteer?
UPDATE: Well now, I’ve found a workaround to the bots abandoning lane problem. On the off-chance it helped, I stayed in the spawn until the game had actually started and the creeps were heading to the river before I made my way to mid where Razor had stationed himself. By the time I got to the river tower, Razor was farming CS and didn’t pay all that much attention to me (supporting from the tower), and it stayed that way until well into the game. So there we are, don’t be in too much of a hurry pre-game and the bots will behave “naturally”.