Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Dota 2 Guide: Picking the Right Position for Your Team.

For some reason, choosing the right title for a guide turned out to be much more complicated than I thought, but nevertheless welcome to my guide on picking the right position for your team.

Now a lot of people forget this, but Dota 2 is a team game. Oh you know this do you? well sadly even the people who do know this seem to ignore one crucial fact, when you play a team game, you have to fill in the weaknesses that your team has, not play however you want to every game.
So while a lot of times you'll be stuck with a group of people who seem like they have only used computers for 3 days, you still need to learn to play with that group of monkeys, and to do that means learning what position your allies will play so you don't conflict with any of them. 

Now what are positions to begin with?

Dota 2 is made of 5 man teams, which means there are 5 positions to play of course, the positions are based on how much farm the player will get compared to his team mates, this is how professional teams are split into, with positions from #1 ( most farm) to #5 ( you wont experience the feeling of actually getting gold).

Difference between position and role.

Too often people confuse a hero's Role with his Position. An example for this is someone like Earthshaker, who usually plays the team's initiator. No matter how much farm he gets or what items he has, its usually best if ES goes in first (with the help of a Blink Dagger) and casts all his spells while his team later comes in and cleans up.

No matter if ES is played as a #2 or a #5, that's his Role, which has no effect on his Position in the game ( although what your position is greatly affects how well you can perform you role).

So whether you play Dragon Knight as a tank, or a DPS (Damage Per Second) in both cases you will almost always want to be the #1 on the team.
Position #1 AKA The Hard Carry.

Commonly used heroes include:

The hard carry is the role most players want to play, why? because its simply the greediest role in the game, playing #1 means you will hoard every creep, hero kill and jungle camp you can, all for the sake of getting enough gold and Exp to win the game in the late stages for your team.

This position requires excellent last hitting skills, as well as knowing how to control the lane well, a Carry must also know which fights he can take and which one ones to avoid since dying in this position really punishes your farm and gold.

Carries will typically get most of their gold from creeps in the lane, they will rarely leave to assist their team in ganks and will mostly stay where they are for the duration of the game. After farming enough gold they become powerhouses later on.

Overall though, this is not a very hard role to play, it does place a lot of pressure on the player to perform very well, but with two people protecting you (the supports) its a fairly easy role to do.

Position #2 AKA The Mid Laner.

Commonly used heroes include:                

Ah yes, the #2 position, in my opinion this position requires the most skilled player on the team to play, mainly because the heroes used in this role will get the most amount of Exp and farm early game ( more so than the #1, since Carries share the lane Exp with their supports and sometimes cant last hit due to being harassed).

Playing #2 requires a player who is able to snowball the game for his team, a fed Queen of Pain early on can easily get a few kills on the enemy heroes, putting her team ahead and hurting the opposition. 

#2 will get most of their gold from both a combination of creeps from the laning phase and kills later on.

The reason I believe this position requires a lot of skill is because it depends almost entirely on the player, sure you have supports who will tell you where the rune spawns and which enemies are missing, but other than that, its you vs the enemy middle player and whoever wins can really snowball for his team.

Position #3 AKA The Offlaner.

Commonly used heroes include:

Arguably the hardest role to play, #3 requires a very specific type of player for it, and that's the very patient type. Playing the Off laner means that you probably will not get so much gold or exp, however you can still get decent farm because the heroes used for this role are able to farm from a distance, using some form of long range spells or summons to farm for them.

#3 players will usually get a little of their gold from creeps (since often they will face the enemy tri-lane and wont have much of an opportunity to last hit)  but will make up for their deficit by ganking a lot and securing kills for their team.

The hard lane ( top if you're radiant, bottom if you're dire) is called the hard lane for a reason, players here usually match up against the enemy carry +2 supports, meaning they cant go close to the creeps without risking almost assured death, forcing them to tower hug, this is why I believe this role is hard as players have to be patient and not take any risks that would hurt their team.

There are two types of hard lane heroes, one's that work as initiators ( beast master, clockwork) and the others who can become semi-carries late game if they get enough farm ( Weaver, Timbersaw), it's a good idea to see your line-up and decide what the team is lacking and try to make up for that by picking the appropriate offlane.

Position #4 AKA The Secondary Support.

Commonly used heroes include:

Ah yes, the first of the support positions needs quite a bit of farm actually, since most games consist of tri lanes which have a carry and two supports, one of these supports has got to be the backup in case the carry dies or has to return to the base to heal, during that time one of the two supports should be farming the lane and that is the #4 position.

Made of heroes who need 1 or 2 items to fully utilize their potential, a good example of this is Sand King, who has a very powerful ultimate that requires a long channeling time, players must be able to farm a blink dagger on him otherwise his ulti loses a lot of its effectiveness.

Another way to play the secondary support is by jungling, Chen with a Mekansm is a very potent and strong healer, Enigma is another good secondary support who can farm his Blink while in the forest and assist in ganks when he is needed, overall the secondary support usually only buys wards, dusts and such items when the primary support cant, in the mean time they try to get items that boost their overall team effectiveness like Meka, Pipe and Drums.

Position #5 AKA The Primary Support (AKA Ward Bitch).

Commonly used heroes include:

The role that gets the least praise in Dota 2, the #5 consists of heroes that have very strong abilities who don't need items to function for their team, sure items are nice on any hero but #5 can function quite well without them.

The reason this role is quite hated by the community is because it requires the player to sacrifice any personal glory for the sake of the team, #5 will not get kills, will not get creeps, will not get gold and will be focused in every team fight because the hero is usually under farmed and under leveled, but that's the price players have to pay to play this role, which while underrated is just as important as any other role, without someone who wards the map, protects the carry, calls missing enemies and generally keeps an eye on the game, the team cant function.

Pretty much the only way this role gets gold is by having assists in kills and maybe some kills themselves if no one else on his team can secure the kill. Other than that it will be very difficult to get gold as their role doesn't allow for much jungling or killing.

The hard part about this role is learning that what the team needs > whatever you want, if you have gold to buy boots but you see that the enemy brood mother is getting farmed, its better for you to buy a sentry and go stop her than buy boots and let her continue farming, sadly not all players can think this way and that is why this role is probably the most misunderstood in the game.

So whats the point of learning all this?

The reason I wrote this guide explaining the different roles is so that new players should see what their team is made of before picking whatever hero they want, if you see an ally is using Faceless void then forget about playing #1 in that game, its already taken, sometimes all positions will be taken except #3 or #4 so learn what your allies are picking and fill in whatever your team is lacking, this is a team game so sometimes its best to sacrifice what you want and win, than pick Troll warlord and lose.

Even if your carry plays like this.