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I tend to have a hard time deciding how aggressive to be, mostly in-lane, in MOBA-style (based on DotA) public games. (Private games are not an option for me)

Sometimes, I will go in for a easy first blood and my lane partner will just sit farming creeps. Other times they tower dive every other minute.

How should I judge, based on the actions of my teammates and enemies, how aggressively to play in lane?

Note for clarification: I'm not looking for specific game mechanics here; I'm looking for general advice. I put this in a non-specific category not to induce ambiguity, but rather to serve a wider audience in the future, as I suspect the answer would hold across multiple games.

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closed as not a real question by StrixVaria, FAE, Wipqozn, Frank, fredley Aug 10 '12 at 13:41

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I think the answer to this kind of question is going to vary based on the specific game you're playing. Try to narrow down your question a bit. –  StrixVaria Aug 10 '12 at 12:04
    
@StrixVaria The intent of the question was to be genre-specific as opposed to game-specific, as the former would be of servie to more readers. General principles of team interaction should hold across MOBAs, as they all have the same team structure and basic elements (laning, ganking, items, etc.). I've clarified the question to make that clearer. –  BinaryMage Aug 10 '12 at 18:42
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That's specifically why it's too broad. Each game is going to have it's own quirks, and will have a different answer. Any answer that attempts to encompass an entire genre is going to be too general to provide a concise, concrete answer. –  Frank Aug 10 '12 at 18:51
    
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you; I'll state this again: This question is not about low-level game mechanics. Game quirks, different graphics, and the like are irrelevant. I'm asking how to respond to input conditions (the behavior of teammates and enemies) and very general, non-game-centric characteristics (ranged, melee, crowd control, etcetera) with the appropriate level of aggressiveness. That advice certainly encompasses the genre, as all of those characteristics are shared. –  BinaryMage Aug 10 '12 at 18:57
    
And again, that's exactly why it's too broad. Any question that's asking for very general information is not a good question to provide a concrete answer for. Take a look at the other questions that use the moba tag. One asks for specifics on a short list of class types. The other asks how to deal with a specific situation. In each case, the question is narrow enough to provide an answer. As a rule of thumb, if your question is looking for general advice, it's probably too broad. –  Frank Aug 10 '12 at 19:50
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is based on the League of Legends gameplay, as I'm not familiar with the others. Since you specifically mention a lane partner, you're going 2v2 in the lane (unless other mobas have 3v3 or other matchup).

Things to Consider

Ranged vs Melee: Unless the enemy melee has a good gap closer skill at low levels (to forcibly fight you at close range), you can be more aggressive as you stay further away and its easier to retreat.

Engaging same target: If you engage an enemy and your ally goes around fighting the other enemy champion or creeps - don't be aggressive, and try to focus on assisting him instead to focus down a single hero (even if its the lower damage tanky one)

Crowd Control (Enemy): Opponents have lots of useful CC to keep your side snared in tower range or in the middle of a damaging spell? Defense first, unless you have counters to deal with it.

Crowd Control (Ally): Does your partner time his snares right to catch fleeing heroes and/or set them up for your skill shots? He's probably more experienced in coordinating well and can support an aggressive playstyle.

Pushing the lane: A partner who unnecessarily pushes the lane with the enemy around, where they get into tower coverage, may be overly aggressive - unfortunately, you should prioritize your wellbeing and be prepared to see them die due to overextending.

Tower dive: Its not necessarily bad to try and kill the tower on each opportunity. A partner wanting to tower dive after forcing enemies to leave lane or make it a 2v1 is good, one who just charges ahead without strategy is doomed to fail.

Aggression Level

Be more aggressive if ...

  • Enemies are very unskilled
  • Partner cooperates well with you
  • You're familiar with ally's hero (this directly affects how well you coordinate with him)
  • Hero choices favor you in lane

Be more defensive if ...

  • Partner has low health (you may need to defend lane while he goes back to heal)
  • Enemies have high burst damage (esp. if both heroes working together can get you from 100-0, and they haven't shown a total lack of skill so far)
  • Partner charges ahead without considering the situation: You may need to let them die in a 1v2, sacrificing yourself as well is a bad idea
  • You don't get along with the lane partner

Dynamically adjusting to the circumstances is hard, and unfortunately needs a lot of experience and trial & error. Unfortunately, even at a simplistic level there is no single 'middle ground' to follow just like there is no 'average usable build' of items for all classes. So its better to put in the effort so you can recognize different playstyles & skill levels, and adjust for them accordingly.

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This answer applies to public games only, one's strategy should adjust accordingly when playing with friends.

Frankly, public games are wild cards. You never know what you're going to get in enemy team compositions or skill, or friendly qualities of the same. For this reason I would advise you to ASSUME your teammates aren’t going to help you the way you want them to, and count them out from the start. If they DO help you in an effective manner, then all the better, but this way if and when they do not you're not taken by surprise at the lack of assistance.

The best way to judge how aggressive you should or can be comes from two sources.

  • What is the hero match-up? Does your hero counter theirs in any way? A good example would be if you were top lane as Rumble versus a Pantheon. Rumble is a hard-direct-counter to Pantheon because the vast majority of Rumble's damage comes from abilities, and Pantheon is built to withstand basic attacks, therefore his defense is all but useless versus Rumble. In this matchup if you're Rumble you would want to play MORE aggressive to take advantage of the matchup, or LESS aggressively if you're the Pantheon.

  • What is your opponent doing? If your opponent is showing a blatant lack of skill, then I would play more aggressively to take advantage of it. Perfect example is mid lane Ezreal versus Master Yi, if every single time Master Yi moves in to last hit a minion you manage to poke him with your Mystic Shot and/or Essence Flux without retaliation and he continues to repeat this pattern, chances are he isn't fully aware that you're in control of the lane. This would be a good time to get aggressive, as you're getting constant free harass on him, and you will very likely be able to bring him down low enough for a quick burst finish.

    On the contrary, if your opponent seems to be easily dodging all of your skill shots, while still last hitting minions very well, and manages to harass you at the same time, chances are he knows what he is doing and this would be a good time to play more defensively as you wait/hope he makes a mistake to take advantage of.

I should mention in closing that communication is absolute key. Good communication can bridge any gap between play styles between players. If your mates know what you're going to do, and how you want them to help you, you're much more likely to receive the help/support you need/want. And remember this goes both ways, if you're supporting then ask how you can help your mates.

Hope this helps!

Note: I've used for my examples Champions from League of Legends, which is obviously only one of several MobAs, however the concepts behind the examples still hold true for any MobA.

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@MrSmooth thanks –  Ender Aug 10 '12 at 10:55
    
@yiJiang wow there is actually proper grammer rules about what slash you use? I never knew. –  Ender Aug 10 '12 at 20:57
    
The slash is mostly used to substitute 'or'. The backslash is used in some programming languages as an escape character and doesn't actually see much usage in everyday life. –  Private Pansy Aug 10 '12 at 21:14
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For public games, your level of aggressiveness should be based on the hero line-up.

Magebane(HoN) vs two stunners, obviously you should not play aggressive.

Poor team player on your lane -> don't play aggressive.

Team is confident and they are handling it pretty well -> go for it! Take out the rage-box, open the lid and push that win button.

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