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How DS should be

Posted by The DS Prince on June 15th, 2009 |

While I’m thinking of a new post about Dota 6.60 proper, here’s a little bit about the title you just read.

I have a general style of writing for blogs. When I was still writing stuff in my own Dota blog, I made it a point not to be so detailed and rigid about the content.. In the DS blog, The Batrider and MeduScandal posts are two good examples of general writing. While reading the comments I saw that some readers preferred that I do some sort of mini-guide in the DS blog. It is certainly in my power to do so, and I can do it (the Tauren Chieftain post was one), but I don’t do it often, and I don’t like to do it.

Why?

It’s because I regard the act of doing guides in the blog as defeating the purpose of the Strategy Panel and the forum. I’m not here to usurp the position of strategy owners, nor am I here to dictate to you what sort of strategy and item build you should follow. If I want to make a strategy I go to the Strategy Panel, and I’m more than confident my guide will get approved. :P Ok maybe that’s a bit too much of a presumption, but in the future more guides will be made, more discussions, more brainstorming. In time to come Dota fanatics, pub and league, will be able to decide for themselves what works for them, even after I’ve long moved on and longer contribute here.

Royalty is not needed to dictate what the masses should think. You are not here to be a mindless copycatter, rather you’re here to think for yourself what works the best for you. Even reading my post, if and when you do not agree and you have your reasons, you can and you should, because you should find for yourself your own Dota truth. Not following what the masses or the leaguers do. What the masses do or don’t and what the leaguers do and don’t maybe correct, maybe damn wrong. It’s up to you to decide.

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To prove my case, let me just relate my personal perspective about Dota. I’m sure you know about the hero Queen of Pain right? If you lurk long enough you’ll know I’m an open admirer of QoP; I even have a hero strategy about her. How did I come to know about her? It was during the 6.43b map, when QoP was at the height of her popularity, that I got to try out this hero and found that she was damn awesome. If you wanted the sound system to scream Holy S**t often, back then you use QoP. Period.

Then she became the Queen not just of pain but also of the leaguers. And she occupied this position for a very long time before she was finally dislodged in 6.57b. But for me I noticed that in league replays there was nothing so powerful about QoP even granted, she was so frequently used and had a 75-second Sonic Wave (without Aghanim). She is pretty vulnerable. If you want to see Vigoss die in leagues, catch him using QoP and you’ll know what I mean. He doesn’t die one bit using Priestess of the Moon. :P

But for reasons only he knows, the frog finds the fact that QoP is so popular to be pretty disturbing, even with the other fact that she’s not very harmful in leagues. This is important given that the frog is so fixated about “league balance”. Thus you know the story – nerf upon nerf, until leaguers were not interested in QoP anymore. But that of course has not made the frog relent. In 6.60 you would notice that Aghanim’s Scepter only improves QoP’s Sonic Wave cooldown to 110 seconds. This is a 35-second or 47% nerf to QoP w.r.t. Aghanim (BTW notice the same thing happening to Aghanim Luna). I’m sorry if this offends anybody, but I sense a trepid fear on part of the frog that a pretty vulnerable hero would be a little bit more popular.

While I thank him for a good job on trying to improve league balance, I can’t help sometimes but feel what the h*ll is he thinking? For goodness sake the Queen of Pain is not even freaking painful anymore. Why such a terrible punishment just for the fact she was once the leaguers’ queen?

Then you glance away and look at other once-league-popular heroes like Spectre, Luna, Bristleback and Invoker and you find the same pattern. Only, some of them have been buffed a bit in 6.60. Woefully, the QoP remains punished for a crime that she did not commit.

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My point in relating some granddaddy story is what leaguers do (in this case) may be correct and may be wrong. They’re correct for making QoP more popular (or any other hero for that matter), but they may be strategically wrong for using such a painless hero (pun intended). The frog is right in trying to make Dota better (and thank him for that), but when he makes a hero pathetically weak and give it a name that suggests ownage, I regard that as plain wrong.

But things like this can invite a lot of criticism especially when people think you’re just raving like a mad man. I’m glad if you can see things from my point of view, but I don’t mind if you don’t. But it is when people resort to name-calling and force it down people’s throat that that becomes a problem. You may agree with me, you may not. But one thing we must agree on (at least in DS), and that is to agree to disagree.

And that’s why it’s so important that you don’t just follow the crowd mindlessly. Read if you must, study if you must, be a fan if you must, but never surrender your mental freedom to anybody else. This not only applies to real life, but also to Dota. DS is a platform to make Dota more interesting. Not more oppressive. This is how DS should be.

Now you know why I hate mental fascism? Why the hammerwacks on potential thought fascists? I rest my case.

15 Responses to “How DS should be”

  1. Banokles Says:

    [quote] And that’s why it’s so important that you don’t just follow the crowd mindlessly. [/quote]
    – Amen!

    Well said Caspian.

    Just to add, this way of thinking ruined WoW for many pro players, so please people, listen to Caspian here!

  2. MidnightCrush Says:

    Well said dude. Carry on with the commentary about heroes instead—I find it personally enlightening. :)

  3. KingV Says:

    You should be a lawyer!

  4. SNO0K1E Says:

    I agree.

  5. Ganksta Says:

    Hey Caspian, Another interesting Read, i agree, why punish luna, while give indirect buffs to PL, Rikimaru and PotM with the new diffusal. he has completely destroyed any chances of qop making it to a league game now, while making stupid hero’s like Blood seeker more viable for League match.. :\

    anywho keep going!

  6. Varun Says:

    Now this was more like a blog post that I can read and be entertained! I myself prefer to see the guides in the strategy section, and a blog read by millions should be more of this quality..

  7. folechno Says:

    If her name were Akasha, Queen of the Unicorns and Rainbows, she would be picked even less (and should then be on Sent rather than Scourge as that wouldn’t be evil)

    Yes, her ult with Aghs did get a nerf, but that is because Ags became much cheaper, if she retained her old ult bonus then she would see so much play the Frog would punish her with the nerf stick again (well she liked it the first time XD)

    As for the crime she ‘didn’t’ commit, when a hero is either picked or banned in almost every match is a given metagame, that says something about a hero, sure versions have changed and it isn’t back then, but that still doesn’t change the fact that she dominated leagues in her era, the same can be said of CM in the more recent ganking metagame, either banned or FPed (in most cases), that’s why she got her aura nerfed

    @Gank the Frog is trying to make it so that all heroes would be league pickable, so making BS more viable in a league match fits in with his goal, that’s also why he remade Storm and Razor

    “And that’s why it’s so important that you don’t just follow the crowd mindlessly”
    And yet the strategies here on DS are exactly that to new players who are looking for an intro to playing the hero

  8. reiva00 Says:

    @fole

    I get where you’re coming from, but I think what’s happening to DotA now is that the balances are not “balanced”. Nerf one, Buff one… All that really happened was a switch in roles and importance.

    Regarding the remakes of Storm and Razor, their remakes made them crazily strong that almost every game they were in would usually determine the winner. Storm was slightly nerfed (i think) but did not lose his popularity due to the “balance” given to him. Hopefully the same thing will happen to Razor now.

    My point here, which I think is what The Prince is trying to say regarding QoP, is that balance is not really balanced at all.

    “And that’s why it’s so important that you don’t just follow the crowd mindlessly”
    And yet the strategies here on DS are exactly that to new players who are looking for an intro to playing the hero

    I don’t agree here. If you read the older guides, they are what you are describing. The newer, better guides now leave options for situations. Flodian, KingV and a few others (can’t keep up with them all) are examples of such guide makers.

  9. folechno Says:

    @reiva00
    I would have to agree that 6.60 introduced some very unbalanced things, however if a few versions, imba things will get nerfs and be balanced, however the fact is that the heroes the Frog changed did see league play, and even after their nerfs, are still league pickable and so the Frog was successful in that regard because the new, balanced heroes saw more play than their old counterparts and introduced variation into the league environment

    as for newer guides, that is one thing I don’t like about them, sure it is nice to have 234876375683475678 different builds and it is situational, but a good author will talk about each situation and recommend a good build for the circumstances, taking into account things like ability to farm and cost effectiveness (ie not all em builds or giving non-carries superfarming builds), and then the reader will most likely follow the build

    and what really annoys me is when guide makers will make up ridiculous builds for ridiculous circumstances (sorry KV but I remember yours the best), when would you ever, ever, ever want to go Caustic Sandstorm on SK? why? you wouldn’t and that build shouldn’t even be in the guide

    and oddly enough, all the guides that I would honestly give 10 stars aren’t the ones you mention, CF[X], Caspian and I are a rare breed where we justify why a certain build works the best, basing it on both league play and on personal experience, consider cost effectiveness, and especially role on the team (and while you might disagree with me being on the list that was what I was going for in my Lina guide, the extra builds were for all the nubs who screamed about going dps on Lina and crazy crap like that, and that is what I will be going for on my CM guide and any guides after that)

  10. rambol Says:

    Long live the prince!

  11. caspian Says:

    You can see folechno is really passionate about this just as he’s passionate about his sudoku :D

  12. reiva00 Says:

    Points taken Fole… I’m just saying give the guide makers the benefit of the doubt. It’s hard to please the different groups of DotA players (pros, leaguers, noobs, etc) in one guide, and yes, due to the recent boom of “newbs/noobs” coming into this site it seems the recent guides cater to them more than they do the seasoned players.

    On a personal note, I don’t read the guides fully. I look for certain things that shud be included and judge the presentation. If anything extra is included I don’t really take notice of it. As long as my expectations were met I’m fine with them.

    But as caspian said, to agree is to disagree, but only on some points. Other points are subject to argument.

    Regarding the league picked heroes, I’m not exactly seeing it that way. Judging from what I see in league games, whatever the Trend is, the people shall follow. If you watch Asian replays, they have different picks from Euro replays, as well as US replays. It’s a trend thing that’s happening. The strats now seem minor compared to back during the 6.48 – 6.54 days. If a good player from a good team picks and owns with a certain hero, the people will surely try it out in their next games. Just an observation.

  13. Unkn0wn Says:

    Caspy, what course did you take in college?? anyways, excellent message…QoP was punished in a crime she didn’t commit…

  14. rOcKy5694 Says:

    you have a good point there caspian.. and they are very well said..

  15. folechno Says:

    @reiva well you can read guides your way, and I will read them my way and (then due to my incredibly high standards) recommend 3298574 things that can be improved, and I would disagree with a guide not being able to cater to each of those groups, a guide can take a league build, justify it, then present it in a way that would make it easy for a new player to understand, sure it might be hard if it involves complicated items (ie Armlet) but practice will help, as will playing and experimenting with AI

    and yes, I am aware that different regions play with different strategies, and yes if someone wtfpwns the other team using an unusual hero or team strat, then the masses will also try it, but I still believe that the new changes cause the remade heroes to see more play, for example, the new Raijiin has been around for a few versions, having been tweaked for balance issues, before his remake he was pretty much a carry, but wasn’t chosen in leagues since other carries had skills with more team synergy or dps capabilities, but the new Raijin is more a ganker now and has seen more competitive play, sure he isn’t an autopick or autoban, meaning the Frog changed him so that league players would consider him as a decent hero and not totally imba

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