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I've logged a little bit over 700 hours in Dota 2. Mostly playing with friends. I started out with watching videos from Purge and other and this really helped me improve. I also follow the streams from a few competitions, most notably the international right now. Though I have the feeling I learn less from that (probably because the live-commentators do not always have time explain the reasons behind choices pro players make, and because pro games techniques are not really applicable to normal games)

Though I really enjoy the game I have the feeling that for the last six months I am no longer improving. While I have no intentions of becoming a competitive player and I do not care about my exact MMR I do wish to be able to keep up with my friends who continue to improve. I have the feeling that I've really hit a ceiling and I do not know what I should do to overcome it.

A little about how I play.

I can play most heroes ok, though I almost never play hard-carries (except Sniper) as I am unable to farm gold fast enough to be effective and tend to die a few times in the beginning. So I usually play a support role, I love Windranger, Keeper of the Light and Earthshaker. I think one of my strengths as a player is how I use Force Staff. In most games I see my play drastically improve when I get it and I'm usually able to both save myself and my carries from bad situations with it. However I do tend do die too much and have problems especially against very aggressive heroes and physical carries. I also have a hard time deciding what to do when nothing is really going on. As a support I do not want to be ganked and its hard jungling so in games where the enemy is mostly farming I tend to lag behind on gold.

I think my biggest problems are: not being effective when nothing is going on. Unable to farm gold fast enough. Dying too much early game (maybe I want to harass too much) and not contributing enough to team fights in which the enemy team uses scary heroes (physical carries, Silencer, Doom).

What resources are available to help me overcome these problems? Are there pro-players that sit down and explain advanced mechanics, or maybe explain how games went (preferably not live commentary). There seems to be a lot of info for newbies and some info for pros but in between its a bit barren.

  • As with any game/task, its difficult to become better at something without challenging yourself. Play against harder opponents, play things you are uncomfortable with, focus on your low-points and improving them. With time and practice you will become better. The most important thing is to identify and learn from your mistakes. – eyeofthehawks Jul 21 '14 at 17:21
  • Of course practice practice practice :). But being reliant on 4 teammates makes it hard to focus on just yourself or just one aspect. For example I play basketball and when I feel I'm bad at free-throws I just find a court and start shooting. With Dota I don't really see how. Purge's videos really helped me low, low-mid level to understand things I didn't figure out automatically. – Roy T. Jul 21 '14 at 17:38
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    The problems you outlined in your example are things that don't rely on your teammates in order to identify and improve. Reading/watching others play is not a replacement for actually playing yourself. Die too much? Play safer. Missing last hits? Practice last hitting. Trouble playing against specific heroes? Play them yourselves and learn their weaknesses. – eyeofthehawks Jul 21 '14 at 17:44
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    The problem you are having are actualling too broad to be answered in a satisfaying manner (at least in a unique question on arqade, those type of of open question doesnt really fit the Q&A format). As for the ressource, As for the ressource, if you are watching purge, that's a first step. If you are familiar with twitch, try to catch either Wagamama, Merlini or Draskyl. Those players are really experirnced and usually explain their decision making while streaming. A very good way to learn. – WizLiz Jul 21 '14 at 18:31
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    1) It struck me when you wrote "[...] tend to die a few times in the beginning [...]". If that is in the early game then you definitely should work on that. It is as easy as "don't be there". If you do not know where most enemies are, do not walk into regions covered by fog of war (without some teammates of your own). 2) Learn to jungle/farm with your heros. Windranger and KOTL can kite melee creeps in jungle, so try mid or large camp. ES should be able to jungle at level 5-8 with totem. You can always stack a the pull camp and pull creeps to kill it. Get the last hits on those creeps! – Konsta Jul 22 '14 at 20:14
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Personally I found that a great way to improve at the game is to constantly learn new heroes. This gives you a great insight into how different heroes play at different stages of the game, and with different items, along with how they lane in different situations, and who they partner up well with; as well as keeping the game fresh and interesting (variety is the spice of life!)

For example - I kept getting beaten by Axe, so played a few games with him, did ok, and then watched the 'Purge coaches' video where he helped someone on Axe, which improved a) how I play Axe and b) how I play against Axe.

And this is something I now regularly do: get beaten by a hero/watch them played in a pro game, so I play one or more bot games depending on complexity of said hero (i.e. lion/lich - one game. Meepo/brewmaster - 3 or 4 games), watch a Purge video, and then dive into a real game. If I like the hero, I keep playing them, but if I don't, at the very least I've understood that hero's mechanics and playstyle, and over time, this will help you build a strong knowledge of the heroes, their builds, and item use.

If interested, my dotabuff ID is 98862191 "Cjeesebar" - you'll see I'm learning PA just now :) having just finished learning Bristle, LC before him, and WK before him; bit of Brew mixed in there too. Happy to take any questions on this approach.

  • That sounds like a good idea, its also in-line with what was in most of the helpful comments :). I hate playing against Ursa, might make a list and start working through them, thanks! – Roy T. Jul 23 '14 at 12:51
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I'm not a great player either, but here are some things you should think of when there is nothing to do:

  1. stack camps (is it close to :53 ?)

  2. pull creeps

  3. ward/deward, esp. if you can ward close to your next objective. eg. taking tier 1 tower on the safe lane, try to setup a ward behind the tower to check for people coming in etc.

  4. deny creeps (for equilibrium or to deny xp+gold)

  5. gank (smoke up and gank or jsut go gank a lane)

  6. farm, an empty lane is wasted gold & xp, take a camp that is just standing there

  7. help defend a tower/teammate

  8. help push a tower etc.

I hope this helps a bit.

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