You may recall that, some time ago, I published a series of articles related to my efforts to become a better League of Legends player (and through that, a better person). I’m happy to report that I’m still steadily improving while I probably won’t be making it to challenger any time soon, I’m definitely no slouch when it comes to knowing the game
Today, I’d like to revisit some of the advice I’ve offered in previous articles, and expand it beyond the frontiers of Riot’s darling. League’s not the only MOBA in existence after all, and the skills that can be gained from it can most definitely be applied
Learn To Farm
One trap I’ve noticed a lot of novice players falling into is the belief that landing kills on enemy champions/heroes is the most important objective of all. These same players, once their opponent has gotten a bit of a lead in kills, often tend to give up, claiming their lane to be a lost cause. The thing is, unless you’re playing against a team of complete and utter scrubs, champion/hero kills will not be your primary source of gold, at least as far as early game is concerned.
Know what will be’ Creeps. Y’know, those little, single-minded munchkins who ceaselessly bum-rush your enemies’ The ability to last-hit these NPCs (which nets you resources) is one of the most vital skills in any MOBA players’ arsenal. I’ve lost count of the number of arries who lost their lane in spite of leading in kills simply because their opponent was better at farming.
Develop Map Awareness
Map awareness ‘knowing where your opponents and allies are in relation to you’ is incredibly important in League of Legends, but in games like Dota 2 (which punishes you for dying), it’s downright critical. If you’re unaware of where your enemies are, you’re probably going to end up dead. Wards are only part of the solution here ‘ you need to look at the minimap every now and then to ensure you aren’t about to be hit with an extremely unpleasant surprise.
In other words’don’t rely on your teammates to call MIAs. Pay attention to what’s going on elsewhere in the game; no lane is completely isolated.
Learn Roles Aside From Your ‘Best’
If you’ve found a role that works well for you, that’s great’but don’t become a one-trick pony. There’s not always a guarantee you’ll be able to play your chosen spot, and you end up shunted into a different position with which you’ve no experience, you’re probably in for a terrible game. My advice to you is to practice. Experiment with and explore roles other than your ‘main’ at the very least, learn the basics.
While I don’t think it’s fair to expect most people to be capable of playing every role in the game, it’s fair to expect that everyone at least has a backup or two in the wings.
Work on Resource Management
In most MOBAs, you have three primary resources you’re going to have to manage: health, mana/energy, and gold. Each of these three resources needs to be used in a very specific way to be most effective. Admittedly, some are more difficult than others.
Gold (or whatever stand-in your particular MOBA uses) is probably the easiest to manage, since you don’t really need to do much with it while in-lane. You just need to be certain you spend it intelligently. Don’t waste more money on wards and potions than you have to, and make sure you’re buying items that build towards something your hero can actually use.
Health is a bit tougher, because a lot of people don’t necessarily look at it as a resource in the first place. Thing is it’s actually even more important than gold, in a lot of ways. If you end up taking needless harass, you’re either due for an early death or you’re going to get forced out of lane, missing out on both gold and experience. Avoid taking needless hits from minions, towers, and champions. When in doubt, play it safe. It’s better than trying to go for a kill and ending up dead.
Lastly, there’s your ‘abilities’ resource (usually mana). This one is probably the toughest to manage, because you need to learn how to judge when you should harass and when you should simply farm; when to conserve it and when to use it.
Of course, there are some characters who are only limited by cool-downs which are equally as important to properly manage. Failure to save your abilities for the moments that they’re actually necessary will inevitably lead to defeat.
In this case, knowing what you’re up against is extremely important. If your opponent has an incredibly high amount of sustain, it’s probably worth it to just save your mana.
This is probably one of the hardest skills to learn: the ability to stay positive, even in the face of an overwhelming and crushing defeat. I’m still trying to master this one myself, it’s hard to keep on being cheerful when your every instinct is telling you to be miserable. At the same time, though, If you maintain a positive outlook, you’re going to find yourself playing better, noticing and tackling your weaknesses more often, and generally just enjoying the game more.
Becoming a more positive player won’t be easy, of course. If you find yourself getting incredibly upset and frustrated’finish your game, then step back and take a break. Go pet a kitten or go for a run. Just do something to cool off before diving into another game otherwise, you’re going to end up like this guy.