From New to Pro Players,
Comprehensive Guide to DotA Gameplay
This is me presenting my knowledge to you.
Comprehensive Guide to DotA Gameplay
This is me presenting my knowledge to you.
Written by Niss3
I would like to start out with a shoutout to FrozenStorm, dcandal and muthafacka for their enormous contributions to this guide. With huge and impressive work they have made incredible translations of this guide into Brazilian (dcandal), Russian (muthafacka) and English (FrozenStorm)! Thousand thanks!
Feel free to pm me if you have ideas for improvement or requests for specific sections - Thanks!
Hi all readers! I'm still improving the guide here and there with finds and ideas that comes with time, knowledge and your great feedbacks!
I'm considering to add three more topics bringing up some important notes about strategies, furhter explanation of lane control and advanced resourses.
You also might have heard that this guide is in progress of translation, so watch out!
Great thanks to PA.Love (Vietnamese), zwierzu (Polish), Tayo (Spanish) and STKutsie (Italian). I really hope I will be able to link to your translations so everyone will be able to read this guide in different languages!
If you would like to translate my guide into your langauage it would be an honor! Just send a private message and let me know!
A Quick Note
This guide intends to point out a lot of useful techniques and metagame facts to aid the game of both the beginner players and the experienced players out there. If you want to learn as much as possible I recommend that you read the "Learn the game" section here at PlayDota. It brings up lots of useful things that even a "DotA Pro" might have never discovered! When you've read PD's Learn section, you can also reinforce your knowledge of the game's inner workings by reading about the Mechanics of Dota. If you read these two sections of PD in addition to this guide, your knowledge will shine on the battlefields of the Ancients. Good luck and keep on gaming!
All feedback is appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Guidemap « (This sign will bring you back to the guidemap)
Step One 1# - Understanding DotA
Basics (How to Win)
The primary objective of DotA is to destroy the main structure (World Tree for the Sentinel, Frozen Throne for the Scourge) of the enemy team. To achieve this, you and your teammates must coordinate with each other to take control of the map, gain experience points to your Hero, and earn enough gold to buy appropriate items.Economics (The Power)
You progress towards your ultimate goal in DotA by destroying the defensive towers in each of the three lanes of the map, eventually knocking down 2 barracks in each lane. If you destroy a barracks structure in a lane, your armies spawning from that lane will grow stronger and much more difficult for your opponent to deal with.
The reason the other team grows stronger is based on their income or their economics. The economics can be separated into two big categories, Gold and Experience.Understanding (The Consistency)
Gold is gathered in multiple ways in DotA. Primarily, it's gathered from enemy creeps (short for creatures), hero units, and buildings you deliver the killing blow to. Gold is also given out to all players on your team for taking down enemy towers, as well as for taking down the neutral "boss" called Roshan. Lastly, gold is handed out as an "allowance" in very small increments over time (1 gold is given to every player every 0.875 seconds).
Experience (abbreviated xp, or exp) is gained from staying close (within a range of 1000) to a dying enemy creep, hero or neutral creep. One of the best ways of gaining gold and experience faster than your opponent is to harass him outside this range with use of your attacks and spells, making him unable to get the last hit (the killing blow) on your allied creeps at the same time!
Hint 1: If you're unaware of the range units used in DotA, check this spoiler out:
Hint 2: When an allied creep is approaching low hp (hitpoints, below 50%), you'll be able to attack it yourself. If you manage to get the killing blow on an allied unit, you'll "deny" your opponent that possibillity. This is aptly referred to as "denying". When a creep is denied, your opponent won't be able to gain any gold for that creep! What's more, they'll gain less experience for that creep's death than if their team had killed it!
This also applies to towers and heroes, but with slightly different rules. To be able to deny towers, they have to be under 10 % of their max hp. Heroes on the other hand have to be under 25% of their maximum hp, and be affected by some posion that could be able to kill them.
When you gain experience you will eventually level up with your hero. You will then not only gain another skill point to put into one of your skills, you will also gain the attribute bonuses your hero naturally gains from leveling up. That means you'll get more hitpoints (hp), mana, regeneneration of both mana and hp, armor, attackspeed and more damage.Step two 2# - Learning How to Play DotA
Once you've gathered enough gold you can buy yourself items to improve your hero's stats or grant him/her special abilities. Your hero is either intelligence, agillity or strength based. If you buy items that provide their main attribute they will not only gain the item benefits, but they will also receive extra attack power. Each point at their main attribute provides you with extra attack power.
As the game progresses, your economy will grow and become more powerful. Together with your allies you will be able to push further into enemy territory and eventually engage in a final battle to destroy the World Tree or Frozen Throne. The team with best economics is usually the one to prevail, but overall performance, skill and luck also have big influence.
Heroes & Items
(The importance of understanding instead of learning routines)
DotA can be a very intimidating to learn due to the sheer number of options available to a player in his first games. There are a lot of unique heroes in DotA. This makes it extremely difficult to learn even the basics of each hero, not to mention the more intricate points!
However, to truly learn the game of DotA, it is imperative that you have at least some understanding of what each hero's general role in a game is, and what that hero is able to do. Personally, I believe the best way of learning all of the heroes is to attempt to play each one in at least one game per hero. This may seem like a daunting task, but such is learning the game of DotA.
You will learn as you play, and learning while playing is also one part of what makes DotA so fun!
Hint 3: If you would like to try out heroes faster, or practise something in particular, there is a great mode available in DotA. You just have to start dota in singleplayer, or write -test before you enter gamemode (additional commands will appear on screen).
After trying many of the heroes out, you'll likely find several heroes that suit your personal playstyle. At this point, you should focus on playing with these heroes exclusively, learning their finer points and quirkly little idiosyncrasies.
Playing many games while mastering the multitude ways of your favourite heroes will grow your knowledge of how to work together, with as well as against, many of the other heroes of DotA. Here and then you will encounter situations where you will know when you can either get a kill, save a life, or narrowly excape an enemy's spell or attack. This will grant you confidence, and together with the knowledge you've gathered and the experiences you've felt, it becomes the key factor of your success!
- While learning the many skills on the heroes of DotA is already plenty complex, it is unfortunately only half the battle. The next step on your path to understanding the game will now be learning the many purchaseable items of DotA. As if learning all hero units and each of their skills wasn't enough, there are a great amount of items as well!
These items grant hero units many various bonus attributes as well as some special active and passive abilities. I strongly recommended you to learn the various item effects and attributes. If you learn this you'll know when, how and why you would benefit and perform better with them. This will give you a better understanding of the game as a whole and also help you anticipate the item choices of your opponent.
If you've watched replays of professional games and seen pro player's go for certain item builds for your favorite heroes, it's usually fine to imitate those builds. But I urge you to keep one important thing in your mind! That player you watched built these items to best suit the hero matchups and his particular playstyle in that game! If you would imitate his build without knowing the reasons and benefits you wouldn't be able to bring out the potential you could have.
- Thus you shouldn't simply accept that there exists one "best build" for a particular hero, just because you've seen someone cause havoc and get triple kills, ultra kills or rampages with it. There is all to many players who will blindly waste all of their money on items that don't suit the particular situation they find themselves in, just because that player simply doesn't understand the reasons to purchase one item over another.
You want to adapt and react to the situation at hand. DotA is a highly complex game, and there is almost never only one "best" way to arm yourself to handle EVERY possible scenario. It is highly recommended that you always be asking yourself questions like "What are my team's strengths and weaknesses?", "What are my opponent's strengths and weaknesses?" and most importantly "What skill and item build will most effectively increase my team's strengths, minimize our weaknesses, negate the opposing team's strengths, and exploit my enemy's weaknesses?"
Asking yourself these questions every game and taking a little time to contemplate will always result in you learning more about how to play the game, and will also maximize your chances to succeed.
- In summary, learning and understanding the many skills and items of DotA, as well as the functions and benefits of each of them, will maximize the potentional of your favorite hero's impact on each and every game you play. So, be sure to invest the time up front arming yourself with as much knowledge as you can.
Microing and Macroing (Controling your units)
Micromanagement (micro) is the term that describes your abillity to control your units in DotA. Micro is important to becoming an effective DotA player because you need to be able to work with your mouse and keyboard to utilize the many active abilites, be it from items or spells, to manage and react to the situation at hand.Awareness (Gathering Information and Scouting)
One of the most important aspects of effectively microing your unit(s) in DotA is to learn the many Hotkeys available to you. Each skill, item and action in DotA is mapped to a specific hotkey. I know this is a lot to learn. But it is really important as your speed of play will increase dramatically, and you'll always be in control of your unit(s) in the fights!
Hint 4: In warcraft your hero (heroes) can be selected with the F1-4 keys. Another way is to bind your hero (or units) to a command group. This is done by selecting your hero/units and pressing CTRL + (Any of the Number keys). You can then quickly select your hero by simply pressing that number key. To center the screen at your hero just double-tap!
Macromanagement (macro) is a common term to describe your ability to manage your game strategy in a more global, all encompassing sense, rather than on the level of individual units. There isn't a lot of macroing to be done in DotA, as you never control more than a few units (usually only one). The only aspect of DotA that may be considered to fall under the category of macro might be when you buy items and cart them out to your hero with a courier.
When you do this your attention must split away from controlling your individual units of battle to manage your "economy" (buying items). If you're having a hard time in your lane it's important not spend too much time concentrated on this kind of macro, as you might lose valuable experience and gold, or perhaps even die to your aggresive enemies.
Hint 5: To speed up your macro you can bind your courier to a control group like CTRL + 2. You can also bind your circle of power to CTRL + 3. This way you can easily double tap either your 2 or 3 key to shop for items and then snap back to your hero. How to bind is your choise, this is only one example!
(An alternative method to double tapping is to hold ALT key while pressing the group hotkey, then you'll only have to press the hotkey once)
As the game progresses, you'll encounter many situations where you have to micro more than one unit at a time. You might play a hero who uses a skill to gain more units, or use a rune that gives you more units, or use a item that summons more units for you. You might even get yourself in a situation where you got everything at the same time and you was just about to deliver items with your chicken!
Total chaos is bound to occur from time to time, and the only way to practice such situations is to keep playing and wait for them to happen. Don't be overwhelmed! Take it easy, and start out by giving the commands slowly.
Hint 6: If you bind a group of multiple units to one key, or just select a couple of unit by dragging a box around them with your mouse, you can use the TAB key to quickly slide which unit's abilities you want to use.
While you are playing a game of DotA you need to be constantly on the lookout for new information about your enemies' build strategies, their positions, and their current action agenda.
Some things can be gleaned just by looking at, other things require closer inspection and some also requires you to listen. Here are a few examples of the various methods for gathering information on the enemy and your allies:
- The minimap is an extremely powerful tool, and utilizing it could be an entire art in and of itself. It can be very difficult to learn how to keep a constant eye on the puny little window in the corner whilst maintaining your focus on the "big screen" where all the action occurs. Still, that "puny little window" will in most situations give you so much more useful information than your general field of view will! (Unless you're in the middle of a heated teamfight)
If you keep an eye on the minimap, you'll be able to keep constant tabs on what your team and their team is up to. With enough experience scouting with the minimap, you'll be able to predict ganks and plan counter ganks or escapes accordingly (Ganking refers to ambushes).
The allied colors can be turned on and off with a button next to the minimap. There is also a hotkey for this function: ALT + A. You can either use one color per hero, or one color for the whole teams. Whichever you choose is mostly a matter of personal preference, however there are unique advantages and disadvantages for both of these options.
The team color choice is easy to see and watch to gain a general idea of allied and enemy position, but you can't determine who's who and sometimes the big blobs can be difficult to discern the number of heroes in a particular place (but that's my personal opinion).
The individual color choice takes a little more getting used to in order to properly gather information. It does come with the benefit of gathering more detailed information of who exactly is where exactly (this isn't always necessary, but it is often important to know when the most dangerous heroes might be coming for you).You and your allies can also use the minimap to send ping signals to draw attention to urgent events. This can either be done by clicking the ping button next to the minimap, and then on the minimap or big screen, by using the hotkey for this action, which is ALT+G, or you could use the faster version which is holding ALT key and just left clicking on screen or minimap.
Once someone pings the map you'll see the ping signal on the minimap and hear a sound. If you press the SPACE BAR your field of view will be instantly transported to the pinged area, allowing you to quickly discover what your allies wish to call attention to.
As a courtesy to your teammates, it is very important that you do not abuse this ping function. If you spam signals or consistently ping situations of low importance, you'll make it harder for your allies to see the minimap, you'll discourage your allies from taking your pings seriously, and you will make everyone very irritated with the constant stream of loud sounds a ping makes.
- Your enemies' and allies' items, hitpoints and mana can be discovered by selecting their unit with your mouse. From this information you can determine what items they've bought or might be buying in the future, as well as whether you and your teammates are able to injure and kill your enemy or if they have the mana and health to take action in response.
It is not always necessary to click an ally or enemy to learn these things. Some items are easy to recognize on an enemy without even looking at their hero, just by watching that hero's actions. One example of this is Boots of Speed. You don't need to select a hero to see that they've suddenly started moving around faster.
With experience you'll be able to tell lots of items without actually seeing them, but many are good to know that they're about to get so you can be prepared for it. A good example is Lothars Edge (an item that enables you to become invisible). If you see that an enemy is purchasing the parts to this item, you can deduce that they're likely building it, and you can then take counter measures (such as buying Dust of Appearance or Sentry Wards to reveal that unit during invisability).
Hint 7: You can also enable "Show Health Bars" on the gameplay options menu of Warcraft 3, or press and hold ALT key, to have constant information on every unit's health floating above their unit model.
Selecting a hero to find out information applies to your allies as well as your enemies. Doing so will give you a handle on what they're equipped with, how injured they are, and if they have enough mana to aid you with their spells (or if oom, which means they are out of mana). This information is invaluable to your teamwork, letting you know whether you can work together to act with an ally or not.
- The enemies actions and responses to your actions can also be important to keep track of. If they seem scared and play defensively for a while, but suddenly start charging against you, you can almost be sure that a gank (another enemy) is incoming to ambush you.
- Team communication is one of your most effective tools to gain information. Teammates can inform eachother of pressing enemy actions, large pushes or ganks, attempting to coordinate responses with you, or just generally informing about something to watch out for. Any information provided amongst your team through communicating brings power in return, as information is power..
Some examples of communication:
- Sounds can tell you a lot about what's happening on a DotA map. Many hero skills are accompanied by unique sound clips that allow you to know a spell was cast without even seeing it!
One excellent example of this technique is the sound clip that accompanies WindWalk, making an enemy hero invisible. You might not see Nerubian Assasin go invisible nearby you, just outside your field of vision, but you might hear the WindWalk soundclip play. This tells you that, even though you can't see him, NA might be coming for you immediately.
Many other chaotic situations will pop up during your DotA play, and while you might not be able to see everything that goes on amidst the myriad of spells being cast, you might hear specific things happen that will be key for you to react to (allies or enemies dying, certain powerful spells being cast, etc.)
Being fully aware of the whole game around you usually isn't a practical goal to have, as you need to focus a lot of your attention on the hero you control to be successful in DotA. It will probably take a long time and many many games of learning and experiencing to acheive even a good enough awareness to properly coordinate with your allies. But all this multitasking and split focus is also a large part of what makes DotA so fun. When you've gotten skilled enough to even begin to do everything well at the same time, you'll feel like a very powerful person indeed!
In my personal opinion, it's okay to shift your focus away from last hitting and denying when you're trying to improve your awareness skills, and just let set your hero autoshoot or to hold position near the creep waves. Remember, information and knowledge are power in life, and DotA is no exception, even when at the expense of few creepkills lost you would've had if you were micromanaging your hero unit.
Hint 8: An alternative method you could try is the shift-queueing commands. If you hold the SHIFT key, your commands will be queued up to execute one after another. Using this technique, you can tell your hero to move around a bit and perhaps cast a spell while you'll dedicate a few seconds to looking around the map, checking out your enemies and allies situations and improving your overall map awareness.
Step three 3# - Improving your game
Mindset of Improving (How do I begin)
Improving at DotA is all about furthering your knowledge and understanding of the game. If you know how things work and why, you can spend less time wondering about mechanics and more time theorizing about the best possible strategies. Without a good amount of knowledge and understanding, games of DotA will be aimless wanderings for you, as you try over and over again without proper goals or aims for improvement. You'll walk around in blindness and achieve nothing.Playstyle and roles (The Core of the Game)
Understanding the game means attempting to grasp why you win and why you lose, considering all factors of each individual game. With a proper understanding, you will be better equipped to prevent those undesirable situations and instead attain what you aim and wish for.
One really important thing to come to terms with in understanding the game as a whole is the economy of the game, and the roof upon it. There only are 3 lanes of creeps in the game of DotA, and there are 5 heroes. Everyone won't have access to infinite gold.
This is something fairly close to what's referred to in the academic field of "Game Theory" as a "Zero Sum Game", which basically states that whatever I take, you lose, and the sum of my positive gain and your negative loss will always be roughly zero, no matter what the amounts of the gains and losses. In DotA, this roughly equates to "The experience I gain, you lose, and the gold I earn, you don't" in relation to your teammates more so than your enemies, as the gold/experience available to your enemy is separate from that available to your team.
DotA isn't quite a Zero Sum game, as there are many contributing factors of optimization and opportunity that don't always result in one team member losing out from another team members gain. Dota is close enough to a Zero Sum for the model to be very helpful, and I recommend to keep it in back of your mind while playing, to improve your and better the understanding of the game.
With this understanding of the game's structure, it's easy to see that in order to win, a team must focus on making the most use of the limited amount of gold and experience they can collectively obtain. One hero on your team might be in a position to better benefit from a larger portion of the available resources than you are; you simply need to be willing to let them have it instead of yourself.
The ability to let others take a bigger part of the economy while you leave yourself away from it will allow your team to operate at maximum efficiency. This is one of the biggest steps to improving your gameplay and understanding of DotA's teamplay structure; understanding your hero's role and the roles of others' heroes in the game.
In DotA, many terms have been developed to refer to the roles each hero plays in the game. The following is a summary of the knowledge of these roles I've obtained through my many years of play.Synchronisation (Combos and things that work good together)
The three main categories of heroes in DotA are Carries, Gankers and Supporters.
Roughly put, these are the definitions of the three major roles in DotA:
The Carry on a team is the one hero who stands to benefit the team the most from the largest share of the team's available resources. With this abundance of gold and experience, the carry's responsibility lies in transforming his hero into a damage dealing monster that should be able to finish off at least 2 enemy heroes single-handedly. A carry is aptly named for his role of "Carrying the team to victory".
The Ganker is the hero whose focus lies in preventing the enemy team's heroes from effectively evolving into a monster. A typical ganker aims to surprise attack the enemy, roaming from lane to lane and killing any heroes caught weakened and out of position. This will cause the enemy to both lose experience, gold and time spent alive and helping their team.
Optimally, gankers want to focus on killing the enemy team's carry, as this will prevent the enemy's most powerful hero from gaining the gold and experience they need to dominate the game, safeguarding your team from the beast that the enemy carry may become.
The Supporter is a hero dedicated to improving the abilities and performance of all allied heroes in a game. Much like the ganker their primary objective is to provide whatever is necessary to keep their team economy as high as possible. The supporter accomplishes this by keeping the teammates safe from enemy ganks, as well as partly assisting in keeping the enemies down.
To further divide up these three main categories the community has identified a lot of sub-categories to help further consider certain specialties. These sub-categories include:
Semi Carry, Tank, Roamer, Jungler, Babysitter, Pusher, Initiator and a few others you may hear, depending on who you talk to.
Many heroes are a hybrid mix of two or more of these sub-categories, and will complicate things to get a bit confusing, but never fret! It is more important to understand the roles themselves rather than placing each hero into one neat little bucket! That's one of the fun and interesting things about DotA: understanding the roles means playing heroes in the role that best suits the situation, making you successful no matter the circumstances!
A Semi carry could also be called the backup carry. It's a hero who could become pretty beastly, given enough farm (farming, gathering gold), but still functions in a supporting or ganking role through the early parts of the game. This is a sub category to playing carry.
Tank is a term used for a hero who takes damage to lighten damage made to allies. Tanks wants to force the enemy to focus on killing them, as they are safest from the focus of the enemy, or can deliver more damage while focused. Since the tank wants to be focused by the other team, it's very important for the tank be a significant threat to the lives of the enemy. If a tank doesn't deal any damage or heavily disable the enemy team, they will simply ignore killing him all together.
Any hero can become a reasonable tank, but it's most common for heroes that have naturally high hitpoints, armor, and skills that increase their damage output and/or others survivability while focused to choose this role.
Roamer is an extreme specialization of the ganking role. A hero who roams does not stay in the lane to last hit or deny much (if at all) during the early stages of the game; the roamer does nothing but "roam" the map constantly, scouting around and surprise attacking anywhere on the map, causing trouble for the enemy team in unpredictable patterns.
A hero who roams needs to be effective with fairly low levels and almost no items, as a roamer won't be in a lane long to gain large amounts of experience, and will be giving priority to the carry of the lane he ganks to get the hero kill gold.
Junglers are heroes who use the neutral spawns in the "jungle" (or forest) as a fourth lane of sorts, to boost the amount of available experience and gold not only for themselves, but for their team as well.
One important thing jungling heroes should keep in mind is that their team will be 4v5 while they aren't helping out in the lanes. This means they will be hurting their team as long as they stay inactive, and thus should consider making occasional appearances.
Babysitters are the heroes who "babysit" their team's carries. They stick to the carry like glue, doing whatever it takes (even if it means sacrificing themselves) to keep the carry safe from any harm and assist them in farming to ensure they become godlike as soon as possible.
A typical babysitter accomplishes this by harassing the enemy in the lane while denying allied creeps, making it safe for the carry to get all last hits on enemy creeps and, thus, all the gold. Another effective babysitting style is to have a healing spell or provide with healing potions to keep the carry near full health, making sure the carry never has to leave the lane to go heal and miss out on valuable experience.
Later into the game, when the carry is able to manage on their own, feeding on the enemy heroes, the babysitter often develops into supportive playstyle, assisting all allies in teamfights. A great ability for a harassing babysitter is an attack-modifying orb skill that allows orb walking. I will mention more about orbwalking under step 4.
"Pusher" describes a hero who can quickly and repeatedly clear out waves of enemy creeps to destroy enemy towers and buildings fast, early and with ease. A pusher commonly leans towards the supportive play when the game begins to evolve, but can also fill a ganking role early to mid game so as to kill the heroes in a lane and use their absence to push the lane hard.
Initiators are the ones who start team fights. When your team is about to engage a huge battle with up to 10 heroes fighting, the initiator is the first one into the fray leaving the enemy team vulnerable to the onslaught your team can provide. It is really important to be the first one to act and take the lead.
Typically an initiator needs to instantly be able to surprise the enemy, catching them off guard. It is for this reason that it's favorable for initiators to have some kind of blink or wind walk, but it's also possible to initiate in many other ways. Generally it's about gaining an advantage of numbers by taking one or more heroes out before the fight starts.
We define synergy in DotA as two or more heroes that, when using their skills in tandem, dominate the enemy team. It is highly advised that you pick your hero with synergy in mind, as DotA is very heavily a team game, and the team that has the best synchronisations almost always dominate their lane, giving huge advantages.Farming (A Short Explanation)
It's important to gain an early advantage in DotA, as the advantage you have early on in the game makes it easier for you to dominate your opponent for the rest of the game, giving you an even greater advantage!
If for some reason you are unable to pick heroes that complement the synergy of your allies, you can always pick something to break up and counter your opponent's synergy. This is commonly referred to as "Counter-picking" or "Antisynch". While picking allied heroes that mesh well together isn't typically very difficult, counter-picking can be a lot trickier and requires a good deal of experience with what makes other things difficult in DotA.
If you want to learn more about counter-picking, I recommend that you check out this guide over on Dota-Allstars.com: Chammers Guide to Counter Strategies.
Farming in DotA might as well be considered an art. Each 30 second interval of a DotA game, a creep wave spawns for each team, following the set path of each of the three lanes. Between these intervals, it's up to you how many of the creeps you can kill and how much damage you can get on the enemy hero while keeping your awarness. With really good last-hitting and denying skills, and some anticipation of enemy strategy, you might be able to achieve a steady equilibrium of these two, semi-opposing goals.Ganking (The Essentials)
This goal of equilibrium is somewhat similar to the Yin and the Yang. By only dealing the damage necessary to kill enemy creeps while balancing this damage with damage dealt to your own creeps, you can keep the meeting point of the two creep waves perfectly still (so the wave clashes appear in same spot each time), or even push your lane backwards! Doing so will help you keep lane control, map domination and your farming rate.
Remember that if you're trying to farm fast money, it's not about killing waves faster at all. It's about ensuring that you get all the last-hits on the creeps, as well as killing some neutrals. Killing the waves faster only leads to you pushing the lane.
Pushing lanes can help you destroy towers faster, which does boost your economy a considerable amount. However, pushing the creep waves away from your towers will greatly affect your lane-control and map-control. If you destroy an enemy tower, you've removed an impediment to the advancement of your creep wave, pushing further and further into enemy territory, putting yourself in grave danger. If the tower is alive, it will push your creep wave backwards, and you'll be able to keep on farming with the safety of your own turf.
This isn't to say that pushing towers has a purely negative effect on your map control; quite to the contrary, you've removed a safezone from your enemies, making the area the tower once occupied safe for you to move to and gank, given that you have enough allied support.
Moral of the story is that there are pros and cons to pushing, and you should wait for the moment in which your team is ready to take advantage of the newly conquered territory on the map before blindly pushing a lane down.
(This is under reconstruction) I've written a more in-depth explanation of farming; click here to learn more: GIEF GOLD! The Farmers Point of View.
The ability to effectively Gank is another subtle art of DotA that takes a lot of experience and time spent playing to perfect. Timing is the essence for a ganker: runes spawn at certain times, the waves clash at certain points, and spells cooldown after so many seconds.Supporting (Is there something I should have in my mind?)
Stealth is also imperative to a successful gank, as the objective is to catch an opponent off guard and out of position to kill him with ease. If you're seen coming to outnumber and gank an enemy with any brain, they will be able to make themselves much safer and make your gank much more complicated, if not straight up unsuccessful. Thus, you should move in the shadows and time the moment to run in and destroy the enemy swiftly.
Once you've ganked people a couple times, they will become very afraid of you. You'll spread fear whenever you vanish from the enemy minimap. When they learn of your absence, your enemies will most likely play more defensively, which allows your team to dominate the lanes with ease. Abuse this fear! Toy with your opponent by going to kill the neutral creeps from time to time, to see if they run and hide from the possibility of you taking them out. If they don't, you need to spread more fear!
A common mistake many gankers are guilty of is "wasting" spells on creep waves or staying in a lane for too long, focusing on last-hitting and denying. Of course getting as much gold as possible isn't a bad idea, especially if a ganker needs some extra cash. But just because you can farm a creep wave doesn't mean that you should. Gankers gain money and experience from killing heroes, or they gain their team an advantage by helping a carry get kills, gold and experience.
The only time a ganker should be farming a lane is if there are no ganking targets to pick off at all (e.g. when all lanes are pushed), in which case its probably better for you to join up with allied heroes and prepare a big gank/push, rather than go farm by your lonesome.
Remember that you want to have as much map control as possible, and you only want to push creeps waves when you stand to accomplish something by it (e.g. taking down a tower or barrack).
Compare a wave clashing in your territory to a wave clashing in the enemies territory. It would be okay for you to gank in their territory, and then if you have extra mana you could use it to clear a creepwave that's on a pushed lane. Your team wouldn't be affected because you push the lane a little more when it's already in enemy territory. But if you "waste" spells on a creepwaves in your territory, on a backpushed lane that is much more safer than enemy territory, you will affect your teams economy and almost give away cash and experience to the opposite team.
So think carefully when considering spamming a spell on a creep wave whether someone else on your team could benefit more if you kept your mana!
(This is under reconstruction) If you would like to look further into the art of ganking you could read one of my other guides, FEAR ME! A Tribute to Ganking.
Many might argue that it's really the Supporting Heroes that make or break the game, even though the Carry and Ganker gets the majority of the kills. As I've explained earlier the zero sum game nature of DotA doesn't allow everyone to farm crazy items and completely dominate. Therefore some players have to make sacrifices in the name of their team, and they are the Support heroes.Big teamfights (Finding Order in the Chaos)
Supportive styles aim to make sure that their team's performance is at it's peak. They use their spells to improve their allies potential and worsen their opponents.
If they do get enough money to build some items, they should prioritize items that complement their allies' builds, enhance their performance or increase their survivability. A Support hero almost never purchases items that do not in some way aid their allies in taking all the kills, unless its to increase their own survivability, to better accomplish their tasks before dying.
If a situation occurs where you have the choice to sacrifice yourself to save an ally, you shouldn't have to think about it as a Support hero. It doesn't matter if you die as a supporter, as you fulfill your role fairly independent of gold and experience. Preventing the death of a carry is very important, and you should value this above all else.
If you're having a hard time to figure out the art of supportive play, this part of the learn how to play dota guide here at playdota.com will be a good read.
At the point in the game where you get all ten heroes fighting at once, the screen gets kinda chaotic. Fights can turn in your favor or against you in an instant. We want the former, not the latter, so it's important to know what choices to make when to best increase your team's chances of coming out ahead of the epic clashes.Reading Guides and watching replays
The easiest way to conquer this problem is to discuss a plan with your teammates and stick to it as best as you can. You want to decide who should initiate, when would be best to cast your spells, who your team will attempt to kill first, and how you will respond to enemy complications. With an outline of a battle plan, you will have some kind of order to fall back on, no matter what kind of hectic frenzy ensues.
Keep in mind that it's almost always more important to stay in the fight at it's origin than to run off alone to chase a fleeing enemy. Helping your allies stay safe and finish off the heroes they are all focusing on is almost always a better idea than running away hunting low hp heroes, as it keeps your team collectively stronger and safer, as well as doing the same for yourself.
Bottom line is have a plan and stick together. Teamwork is key in DotA, especially in the big fights!
(Considering the Thoughts of Others)
One of the best ways to improve at DotA is to critically analyze and review your own knowledge and playstyle by comparing them to the playstyle of others. This can easily be done by either reading guides or watching replays. I would highly recommend discussing them with other people, giving your thoughts and getting other's takes on them, so as to gain a more balanced, wider view of the game.Step four 4# - Advanced Techniques
Here's a link to a list of other really usefull miscellaneous guides at dota-allstars.com.
I get most of my replays from Gosugamers.net. Get there by following this link.
FrozenStorm also recommends Gamestah.com for watching competitive DotA games in a web browser.
Predicting (Deduct and Anticipate)
Anticipation and predicting are two of the most useful skills in all of DotA. If you can foresee what your enemies are about to do, you'll be able to counter and gain huge advantages. Getting inside your enemy's head gives you the control in DotA, and the game will end as you see fit.Juking (The war with fog)
However, experience is the only route to this foresight ability, and it takes quite a bit of experience to develop it. You'll need to gather all the information about what happens and what everyone does in a game to be able to form patterns and routines that most players can't hide about their playstyle. If you can uncover these playstyles, you've won a battle in and of itself without having done anything; you've won the battle of knowledge, and it's quite the important battle to win.
Many players who have trouble grasping this anticipation ability might accuse others of using a "map hack" program to see where they are. These players simply fail to realize that their play is simple and predictable, and you're just using a little intuition to be mostly confident in knowing where they are and what they'd be doing there, just by observing what they do. You build up a "map hack" within your mind to see things on the map without *actually* seeing them.
Juking is a term that describes blinding an enemy's vision and running in unexpected directions. Line of sight in DotA is limited by a certain range and also blocked by certain terrain obstacles, like trees, cliffs, and ramps (Standard is 1800/800, day/night. Check exceptions here). If you're being chased by an enemy player, you should always think what your enemy can and can't see, and how you might be able to obstruct his vision of you to take an unexpected action, either to safety or belligerence.Mindcontrol (The art of Influencing your Foe's Actions)
One great way to gain a few steps on a chasing enemy is to double back on him unexpectedly. If you run up a hill while being chased, the enemy will momentarily lose vision of you at your elevated position. You can exploit this by stopping just at the top of that hill, then turn back the right as your would-be follower reaches the top.
Chances are, that he would have been preparing to cast some type of spell where you'd been if you'd continued your speed and direction over the hill, not back down it, and you could put some ground between the two of you by exploiting his slow reaction time in realizing that you changed direction. This is easy to perform with ciffs, but also possible around corners and around trees. It's just harder, especially during day.
I often use heroes skills, tangos or quelling blade to make my own juking more effective and unpredictable. Taking out a tree to make your own routes will cause your mobility to become more effective and unpredictable. You might even run past some enemy heroes without them even noticing!
When you're playing DotA, always keep in mind that you're playing against a human being, a person that responds in certain ways to certain situations. You can exploit this fact by tricking your opponent, presenting a false situation to that opponent to influence him into acting in a predictable manner that puts him at an extreme disadvantage to the true situation you've set up. This tactic is usually referred to as mindgames. Many times you can make your opponent belive things that actually aren't true to turn the situation to your advantage.Aggravation (How the DotA AI behaves)
If you appear to be someone you're not, and then drastically change your style. You will scare your opponent and leave him in questions. Many times you can make your opponent belive things that actually aren't true to turn the situation to your advantage. Think of how you act, and always be prepared for the unthinkable.
Mindgames are a very deeply complex aspect of DotA, with many subtle pieces coming together to construct them. If you want to look further into the many mindgames played in Dota, I highly recommend you take a look at the following guide by totallnewbie.
The Art of Mindgames - Thinking Outside the Box
The creatures and towers in DotA have "rules" that govern what enemy units they attack, which we commonly call "aggro" (stemming from a World of Warcraft term describe which enemy most "aggrevates" the Computer, or AI). As long as you have an ally that has a higher "aggro" priority than yourself, you will not be the target of any computer controlled enemies. It is important that you exploit this fact to your greatest advantage.
Both creatures and towers got invidual programming for how they're supposed change their target based on other units actions.They cycle through it's programming to find new targets.
- AI units will target you if you issue an attack command against a enemy hero when you're in their aggro range, ALWAYS.
- Spells doesn't aggravate at all. (Manually cast orb spells counts as spells. Autocasted orb spells counts as normal attacks)
- Creatures aggro obtained through issuing an attack command on an enemy hero lasts two seconds. (This means that if an enemy attacks you with a normal attack and aggravate your creeps. The enemy creeps will all be aggroing your creeps for 2 secounds. In this short time you can issue attack commands without getting aggro)
- Creatures aggro range is 500 AoE. (If you're in this range and order an attack command across the map, to a hero on a different line for example, you still get aggroed.)
- The AI's choice of target also is based on current hitpoints of available targets. You will be a very high priority target if you're at low HP, and a low priority target if you have very high HP.
Animation canceling (Advanced Micro for Time Optimization)
Hint 9: If you're targeted by a tower, you can force the tower to cycle and target someone else by performing an attack against an ally, even if that ally has almost full hp (Click the "show" button to view a video of this trick).
Follow this link to learn more about how towers work with their targeting cycle. (All about Towers, by YOUR)
Also here is a link to a quote from 3DM@ark on how to clear creature aggro.
Most spells in DotA have some kind of casting animation for visual flourish. Some come before the spell actually is cast, some come after, and many have pieces of the animation both before and after. While nothing can be done to optimize the animation BEFORE casting the spell, we can cancel the animation AFTER the spell has been cast by issuing a move order.Orb walking (Combining to Harass)
For Example: Crystal Maiden has an obscenely long cast animation after the cast point of her two first spells, Nova and Frostbite. If you cast Frostbite and simply do nothing else, CM (Crystal Maiden) will stand around doing nothing but looking pretty, wasting time that could be spent dealing extra damage to the incapacitate foe.
However, if the CM player right clicks next to the frostbitten enemy, ordering her to move next to that foe, that cast animation is canceled, allowing CM to quickly issue an attack command on the enemy in the icy prison and deal extra damage.
Note that animation canceling can also apply to heroes with a long "backswing" animation to their normal attack. If you issue a move order after the damage point of your attack, you can issue another attack immediately in the time you would otherwise be waiting for the backswing animation to finish!
This canceling applies to many other heroes and really optimizes the damage output of your hero, so you should look for any and every opportunity to exploit it. Just remember, however, that channeling spells work differently. Channeling spells require that you stand still and NOT issue any other commands, because if you do, you'll just stop the spell and waste its power!
While channeling animations that come before the castpoint of a spell cannot be canceled to optimize an actual cast of the spell, casting time can be canceled to avoid wasting the spell if you cancel the spell before the cast point!
This technique is referred to as "Stop Canceling", and can be used to play nasty mindgames with an enemy! With any spell that got casting time you got the choise to cancel it, tricking your opponent to belive you're about to cast the spell when you're actually not.
If this was hard to understand or you would like to learn a little more, I really recommend you read this part of the "Learn" section here at playdota.com. It explains Animation Canceling quite thoroughly!
Orb walking is a term used to describe animation canceling one's attack through the use of attack-modifying orb spells. These spells enchant your normal attack with an orb effect, and can either be manually casted or set to autocast on every attack.
If using autocast, an orb attack is considered like a normal attack, and affects creep aggro as such. On contrary, if you use it manually, the attack is considered a spell, something with a cast animation and negated by creep aggro. This means that we can use orb spells to quickly harass an enemy hero without fear of retaliation by the enemy creeps or towers, provided allied creeps are around!
If you cast an orb skill manually while animation canceling the back end of the spell, you'll be able to move a short distance towards your enemy before casting the orb again. Through an intense micro, then, you can chase an enemy while hitting them hard with your orb skill in a fairly safe manner! This is orb walking.
Timing (Feeling the essence and importance)
Timing, arguably, wins and loses every game of DotA. It determines who is involved in a fight when, where it takes place, and what the consequences become. Your choices of where and when to move, when you cast your spells, and how these actions synch up with the rest of your team, make up the difference between domination and utter failure.Pressure (Keeping your Opponents on their Heels)
Getting a feel of when to do things and where takes a lot of games' experience, but with enough practice, feel confident that you'll be in the right place at the right time, when push comes to shove.
First off, it's important that you don't use your spells without reason, e.g. spamming them on creeps. You want to keep your spells off cooldown and maintain a high enough pool of mana to be ready to harass, gank, and kill your enemies when the proper moment arrives.
Similarly, its also a good idea not to move your hero from lane to lane mindlessly. While you do want to gank other lanes, you should always move with a purpose, communicating with your team to ensure they are on the same page as you. Even if you move with a purpose, it won't be well timed without the coordination of your allies.
Mobility is also important when considering timing. If you increase your movement speed and carry town portal scrolls, you will decrease the time you need to be able to move into the position you need.
Keeping pressure is a really important aspect of DotA. A weaker team can defeat a more powerful team simply by keeping skilled players on the defensive and off their typical strategy. Taking advantage of pressure by performing pushes and making good use of map-control forces your enemy to react to your actions, giving you control over the game.Step five 5# - Miscellaneous/Other
Pressure can be produced in many ways, but the easiest and most common way to apply pressure is to push multiple lanes simultaneously. If you're pushing aggressivly your enemies will be forced to answer your many pushes, which is difficult to handle quickly and effeciently.
Eventually, you will have the opponents backed up into their own base, where you threaten to take barracks down should your enemy be caught out of position. You'll be in total control over the entire map, making it easy to coordinate devastating attacks and finish off your opponents with authority.
The opposite way of pressuring lanes is to keep the creep waves as close to your territory as possible. The key is to control the lanes, pushing backwards or keeping the creep clashes at the same spot. This way you will force your enemy to react and this pressures them. If they don't do anything they will lose because of economical differences.
Another common way to pressure is to combine these two opposites. If you keep one of your heroes constantly farming in your territory while the rest of your team pressures the enemy team with ganks, pushes and battles in high pace. The enemies faces two dangers. The danger of the push and the evolution of a furious carry. They will, again, be forced to choose how to react.
Hint 10: There's also the mental form of pressure to influence your opponent. The worries of not knowing produces pressure with fear!
Warding (Reasons, Pros and Cons)
Information is power in the game of DotA, and one of the best ways to keep a superior level of information is effective use of the Observer and Sentry wards. These wards allow you vision of areas of interest on the map for a low cost, and are essential to planning and avoiding ganks.
Placement of wards determines their usefulness, as some areas of the map can become differently important to watch than others. There are three general classifications of positions: either offensive, defensive or passive.
- A offensive ward is placed to enable your team to make offensive moves to kill heroes or push and claim territory.
- A defensive ward is placed to protect one or more heroes on your team from certain deaths.
- A passive ward is one you place in neither defensive nor offensive purposes. It is placed to gather information about anything that could be to your use.
- Wards are often placed to watch the runes spawn, for prompt and effective rune usage in ganking.
- Wards can be placed to block neutral creeps from spawning by placing a ward in their spawn area (neutral creeps will not respawn when a "unit" is in their area at the spawn time, every minute. Wards qualify as a unit, and thus can prevent neutral spawns).
- Wards can remove the fog of war up hills and through the jungles, allowing you to use certain spells and abilities that require vision without having to wait to regain line of sight on the enemy.
- Lastly, Sentry Wards can be used to see enemy invisible units or wards.
- Counter warding basically means that you remove your opponents wards to give your team strategical advantages in knowledge. This can be done in several ways (Necronomicon, Sentry wards, Hero skills, Gem). Mainly you just make their wards visible so that you can destroy them. To do this requires the knowledge that their team has put up wards and some clue about the wards locations.
- Ward Bitch is another term that describes someone in your team that dedicates himself to pay for and normaly put up all the wards. Dedicating a specific hero to buy wards for your team has both benefits and consequences. You'll ease the gold burden from your farming allies, but heavily damage one of your own. A common style to become wardbitches are the supporters. It suits their style really well.
Wards do cost money, but the relatively low cost is more than made up for by the information gained. In one way, wards are an investment in making MORE gold.
Once again, understanding is key to improvement here. Remember to not just learn which places are good to place wards, learn *why* you ward at those places. If you understand how you benefit from the information the ward gives, your conceptual knowledge of the game and its many intricacies increases. Don't just put up wards for sake of warding; put up wards that will become advantageous for your team and understand why they benefit you.
If you still would like advices and hints about where to place wards, I recommend you to check this guide out: "The warding basics", by Eumellein.
Glyph of Fortification (Defending and Denying Towers)
Each team in DotA has a "temporary structure invulnerability" spell available to them on a long cooldown, called the Glyph of Fortification (5 minutes cd, 4 secound duration). Each player is able to use the Glyph at their Circle of Power, but it activates the cooldown for EVERY player.Couriers (The Art of Shopping)
This ability can be used to temporarily stop an enemy push, giving you time to teleport to that tower and either defend it or deny the last hit to the enemy team, limiting the amount of gold that team receives. It is very important, then that you do not waste this ability and leave your team without it at a critical time!
Keep in mind that some circumstances spell a lost cause for an allied tower. If the enemy has multiple heroes and many creeps pushing a tower and you cannot get multiple allies to support you in defending or denying it, you would be unwise to activate the Glyph.
Typically, it benefits every player on your team to stay in the lane as much as possible, gaining experience and gold rather than running back to the base to shop or heal. Most teams, then, usually will buy an animal courier to cart early game items and healing consumables to their players rather than to have them waste time making the trip back and fourth to base. This can be especially important for some heroes who absolutely need to farm their key items up as quickly as possible to get going.Runes (The Bottle's Best Friend)
The animal courier (aka chicken) can also be upgraded to a flying courier (aka crow) which increases the mobility of the courier with a great deal. It also gives the courier considerability more hp, the ability to travel over cliffs and trees, and two active spells: a temporary speed "burst" and a temporary invulnerability spell. This allows items to come quickly to all your heroes in the mid game safely.
The crow can also be utilized in the mid to late game to scout specific areas on the map (runes/roshan/cliffs). It's important to keep the crow safe by making use of its temporary invulnerability and speed burst. This requries a lot of microing and should be recognized as a really advanced skill, but if you can pull it off while still keeping good control of your own hero, by all means go for it!
Characteristic for a support hero, who doesn't need to conserve their gold for huge items, is to buy the team a chicken at the start of the game, and anyone could later upgrade that chicken into a flying courier as soon as they have spare gold.
Hint 11: It's a good idea to bind your courier to a hotkey, allowsing you to easily doubletap that group key to jump to the courier location. This way, you'll be able to swiftly determine if the crow is free and usable (so you can quickly shop on it), or if someone else is grabbing things off it, in which case you should politely wait your turn to use it.
If you're the real owner of the courier, you can also (as of 6.61b) use the -courier command to gain the idle worker icon as courier (with the hotkey F8).
DotA has several different power ups (referred to as "Runes") that will grant your hero special abilities for a period of 30 seconds. The runes spawn at every even minute marker of the game (i.e. 0:00, 2:00, 4:00 etc) provided that one is not currently available on the map. There are five different available runes: Haste, Double Damage (aka DD), Illusion, Regeneration (aka Regen) and Invisibility (aka Invis).GamePhases (Earlygame, Midgame and Lategame)
In general, you should take advantage of each of these runes primarily in an offensive tactic, such as a push or gank. A few situations (such as when you are desperately fleeing an enemy) call for a defensive use of these runes, but usually you should use them to press an offensive advantage.
One other very important fact to know about the runes is that the Empty Bottle item can be used to store a rune. If you left click the bottle in your inventory, then left click on the rune, you will have immediate access to that rune at a later time (within the next two minutes). Furthermore, once you use the rune, your bottle will be full again!
If you are not carrying a bottle, make sure no one on your team needs to fill their bottle before taking it, as you may be depriving them of regen they desperately need!
Here are some more details about each of the five the runes:
Remember that DotA is a team game, and that your allies may need a rune worse than you do. If you discover a rune you can't make a great immediate use of, hang out by it for a second and ask your team if anyone else can make better use of the rune. You can also consider waiting until a bit until a situation develops that would greatly benefit from that rune, in which case you can return to it and grab it then!
- Haste maxes out your movespeed (max value is 522), allowing you to travel anywhere on the map in no time. You can come in for a surprise gank on the opposite side of your last appearance on the map, catching an opponent who thought he was safe totally off guard.
It also allows you to effectively chase and finish off any irritating escape artists, who always seem to escape with low health. This will most likely severely interrupt their farm, as these heroes feel safe in saving money for big items, and will likely have a lot of gold to lose when you kill them.
One secondary use of note for Haste is using the speed to quickly run back to base and heal up/regen your mana. You'll then be able to quickly regen the fray at full strength, often times deciding the outcome of a teamfight!
- Double Damage, in my opinion, is the best rune available. As you might've guessed, it doubles your normal damage output. It's kind of like having two heroes worth of damage-dealing!
This rune enables you to quickly gank and kill almost any hero earlygame, put extreme pressure on your opponent midgame, and turn the tide of team fights in the lategame as little other available items allow.
Either use this rune to harass an enemy hero out of the fight and back to base, kill them outright, or make like a wrecking ball and knock down some buildings. You could use this rune to help you farm the creep waves easier (and if you don't have something better to do, you should), but it would most likely be better if you used it against your opponents instead. After all, you still get money from killing them / their buildings, and those victories gain you a greater advantage than simply killing creeps!
Also keep in mind, if you come across the DD rune but an allied damage dealer is nearby, you should always let the highest damage dealer get the rune. They will benefit the most from it!
- Illusion will create two "exact" copies of your hero unit, meaning they will look the same as you on screen and on the minimap, but will take increased damage, deal decreased damage, and be unable to cast spells.
These "mirror images" of yourself give you some interesting opportunities to play mind games, as well as a reasonable boost to your pushing power. They can also be used for offensive scouting, as they have the same vision as you.
One of the best mind games to play with an opponent is the ones that allows you to kill them, e.g. by luring them into hideous traps. With illusions you could place a weakened image in a lane all alone, and many enemies will get giddy with excitement. Use their recklessness to get them!
Even if you're unsuccessfull with killing your enemies, you can usually get the enemy to waste one or more of their spells on your illusions at the very least, leaving them lower on mana and sometimes with their ultis on cooldown. This might give you the advantage you need to turn the tide and leave them in the dust. So exploit the illutions in any situation you can come up with!
- Regeneration could be considered something of a mobile fountain visit, without the trip back to base! Your entire hp and mana stores will fill within a matter of seconds with this rune, provided you aren't damaged as it runs its course.
Abuse the fact that this rune will recharge your mana for thirty seconds by spamming your spells, but also keep in mind that if you get hit or let the storages get filled, you'll lose the regen!
- Invisibillity gives you the greatest element of surprise of all the runes, and thus is perfect for ganking! As the name suggests, this rune will make you invisible for 30 seconds OR until you cast a spell / attack a unit. Use this rune to scout around areas like the forest, as well as to creep up behind enemies and assist an ally in the lane with a swift gank!
Hint 12: Even if you're carrying an empty bottle, don't assume you'll make the best use of bottling the rune. Consider that someone else on your team may also have an empty bottle, and that you could share your bottle and let your ally use the rune to fill your bottle, or just better use of the rune's effects in general. You can always choose to go back to the fountain and heal yourself and fill your bottle instead.
Always consider what the best utility a rune is to the team, and whether it's practical for someone else to use it instead of yourself.
A single game of DotA is commonly agreed by the competitive community to be divisible into an early, middle, and late game stage, which generally consist of similar play elements from game to game. These phases occur moreso when the game flows in a new direction rather than at any specific time, and there are no concrete rules that dictate when the stage of the game has changed.Short and long lanes (What are they and the Importance of Each)
Earlygame is the phase where you first clash in battles for the domination of the economy. Once the earlygame is over both the sides will have their territory and their economy and know what they have to work with to progresses and retailiate or advance. When most of the territory has been claimed by either team and your heroes start reaching the third level of their ultimate skills you're entering the lategame phase.
Reference to the phases exists purely to give you an idea of what goals your focus should be on, as well as giving you a general idea of what you should have accomplished by certain points in the game. Don't use them as perfect rules, but rather as base guidelines to follow should you get confused or feel lost.
The dota map actually isn't a square, it's rectangular. That means that two lanes are longer than the other. The long lanes are the sentinel bottom and the scourge top lane. The long lanes side with the jungle areas and got a little further to the fountain than the short lanes does.Abbreviations and Dota (Oom, mid miss, b b b!)
This can be important to take into consideration when you've decided what kind of style you wish to play and how you would benefit from playing on a short lane versus a long lane.
While playing Dota you'll encounter lots of commonly used abbreviations used as shorthand communication. Many of these abbreviations are simple and easily inferred, but others can be a little odd and tricky to understand at first. I've already brought up many of them along the way of this guide, but many others weren't mentioned. Here's a list of those you've already seen in this guide as well as some I've yet to introduce:Thank you very much for reading my guide, I hope it helps you in your future DotA games! Best of luck everyone!
It's commonplace for DotA players to use abbreviations, you don't need to know all of them; simply ask another player when you don't recognize or understand what they said, and hopefully they will be kind and help you out.
The hardest ones for a new player to learn are typically those that refer to heroes and items in the game, as it takes a long time to even learn what all of them are! To aid your own learning you can type -ma (-matchup) to see all the hero names currently in the game. From this information, you can often times discover that you're ally was referring to Chaos Knight when he said "CK inc bot", or that Nerubian Assassain was missing when he said "NA miss care all".
In heated batlle situations, you'll see ppl spam "b b b" because they want to inform you quickly that you need to get back. You'll see other single letter spams for other pressing matters, such as use of Global Ultimates. A Zeus or Chen on your team, for example, might ask that you spam "z z z" or "h h h" to help let them know when they should use Zeus's ulti, or use Chen's global Heal.
Keep in mind that there are very lazy ppl out there, who may abbreviate abbreviations even further (ex. they just write "ss" instead of "miss"). This can get really confusing, but remember to just ask people when you don't know what they're talking about, and hopefully they will help you out.
If you want to improve your DotA abbreviation knowledge you could take a look at the "Learn" page right here at PlayDota!