I get a rare kill versus the Dire’s Dark Seer during the early game. This is the swamped bridge in the map’s center lane. (Also, I snapped this screenshot while watching the replay – you can see the playback controls near the top right.)
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trying to learn the intricacies of Dota 2, the upcoming “multiplayer online battle arena” game from Valve Software. To say the learning curve on this game is “steep” is kind of like saying that giant mutant badgers with rabies are “grumpy,” but I’ve been giving it my best shot anyway.
I’ve mostly been playing as a popular newbie support hero called Crystal Maiden, whose major contributions to a team are meant to be in the form of helping teammates “farm” by using her area-of-effect slowing spell, and by increasing the mana regeneration of all teammates with another upgradeable passive ability. She also has a freezing spell that can be directed at a specific enemy player, and an “ultimate” ability that calls down a damaging ice storm that radiates out from her position.
She’s ranged, which means I can stand back from the actual fray and launch her little glowing blue missiles at enemies without being right in the fray, and as a support, it’s not as big a deal if she dies (especially if in so doing she prevents a “carry” from being killed).
My girl, the Crystal Maiden.
I’ve read the guides, watched tutorials on YouTube, and practiced with her for hours. I still suck. After an early run of luck (I went 3-0 with her when I first started out), my teams have lost every match since.
So what do I have to do to get better? Well, for one thing, I need to learn the role of Dota 2’s items. There are tons of them, and while the shop screen does give you some suggestions for early game, core, and situational items for each specific character, I’m still fuzzy on what a lot of the items actually do. For preference, I try to focus on items with passive boosts — which means I can buy them, have them, and not think about them. I also have to figure out where to find each item and component piece of the advanced items — almost all of the really great, end-game items are created by combining other items, and not all of these are available in the shop near a team’s starting position. Instead, there are two secret and side shops on the map, and it’s helpful to know how to get to each of these and when the ideal time to do so is.