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When to stop playing bots and start playing...

Creator: c4master July 13, 2012 8:59am
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c4master
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As said in title, that's my question. Let me give some more info about my situation:

I'm not an experienced moba gamer. I tried a few practice matches DotA, but I didn't like it due to strong emphasys on lasthitting, which in DotA was very hard for beginners at a lower hero lvl (ingame lvl). I did play another moba (battletanks) for a while, but I couldn't find much games, so gave that up fairly quick.

I'm now a lvl 14 in LoL, and I think I could be called experienced in some areas (but also severely lacking in others). It's probably the same flaws a lot of ppl have after only encountering bots.

- In playing vs bots (especially beginner) there often is little to no teamwork. It sounds stupid, but to some extent if feels like playing with bots in your team as well. Although you do try to work together with lane mate and other teambased actions (pushing middle, helping if outnumbered, baron etc), it doesn't compare to some of the video's I've seen of (bits of) matches played. There's often chat bars filled with socializing and/or helpful chatter. In most bot games chat limits itself to ss, ks, gj and gg.
- A lot of playing situations I have zero to barely zero experience in due to lack of (need of) teamwork and bots not playing like real ppl: I'm not good at teamfights (I lose overview of what's going on fairly quickly), I don't have good map overview (what enemy is where and who's missing), I don't check brushes or have experience using wards, and there's probably ton of other differences between playing vs bots and playing vs players.

It's not all bad, I think I have some good points too. I'm fairly good at staying alive (according to art of war guide very important if you're starting out), I can farm/harrass decently during lane phase, I do pretty well vs bots, although I mostly play beginner bots. Intermed is annoying due to evil teamfights (intermed cpu has very good reflexes and teamwork) plus when trying out F2P champs you don't wanna try out at the strong bots ofc. Last I'd like to add I'm a polite person in chat (not flaming etc) and I'm making an effort to learn. I came here and read some guides and posted (so might be hope for me in the future eh :P)...

The reason I ask this question here instead of just trying out pvp, is that I'm scared of completely ruining the success of a team in pvp due to my incompetence. Due to this I've been postponing playing pvp for some time now. Right now I've decided to wait for lv 15 so I get my 5th seal slot, but in the back of my head I already know that by 15 I'll decide to wait till 20 because of access to tier 3 runes. But seeing how every lvlup takes longer, I might miss out on good gameplay (pvp does sound more fun than pve; pve can get repetitive due to bots often acting the same), plus I'd never learn pvp. So my question (as stated above): When to stop playing bots and start playing players
Luther3000
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Back in my day we didn't have bots at all. And damn it, we liked it.

c4master wrote:

The reason I ask this question here instead of just trying out pvp, is that I'm scared of completely ruining the success of a team in pvp due to my incompetence. Due to this I've been postponing playing pvp for some time now. Right now I've decided to wait for lv 15 so I get my 5th seal slot, but in the back of my head I already know that by 15 I'll decide to wait till 20 because of access to tier 3 runes.


This sounds like me and ranked games. :P
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My suggestion to you is to jump right into pvp. It will be hard, you will get flamed and raged at, and you will occasionally have some awesome games. I got into LoL through a group of friends that play and needed a 5th player. They were all 30 so I started playing against all 30s right off the bat, and I was terrible.
You will learn at a much more rapid pace in actual pvp than against bots because strategies against players will work that wont against bots because of the human factor. There are usually one or two players on each solo queue team that can give a couple helpful tips before/during the game to improve your general skills. I can assure you that you will not build the necessary team skills if you only play bot matches. There are too many players who do bot to either learn a new champ or to mess around (troll).

Reasons to PvP:
    Learn how to communicate with teammates
    Practice against smarter opponents
    Play against opponents who can make mistakes
    Discover how to ward by watching teammates ward
    Finding out the common ganking positions(both when ganking and while being ganked)
    Learning the importance of multitasking through map overview, key sounds/give-aways
    (Shaco's orange puff or Karthus Requiem ultimate)
Reasons to PvB(ot):
    Learn how to use the abilities of a champion you are new with
    Practice distances of your abilities so you don't have to rely on smartcast range indicators
    Try out new/different item builds, or if one you would like to try actually works
    Practice last-hitting minions
    Work on jungle routes(not useful until level 25-30, I do *NOT* recommend jungling in solo queue unless you are experienced)

I'm sure there are countless more reasons to do either PvP or PvB, but those are some main points for both. I am purposefully not giving a specific level or point in time that you should not play against bots and play against players because there isn't one. It is a good idea to play PvP when you at the very least know your champions abilities and the main role of the champion.
Fair warning: Insta-lockers may prevent you from playing the champion you wanted, so try to know the basics of two or three champions so you can be flexible when other players don't want to be.
A Chubby Baby
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personally, i think you should play bots to practice mechanics, real ppl to practice the meta game, and ranked when you feel you are ready to carry.
The Overmyynd
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Just go, bro. Everybody is new, and if you jump in now, EVERYONE will be new (unless some lvl 30 is on his smurf account, and he has no reason to ***** anyway because he PUT himself in that situation). What really helps out a ton is if you have someone with some more experience kind of showing you the ropes, sugggesting builds, offering tips on basic and advanced gameplay concepts, running matches with you, that sort of thing. In this, i would be happy to help you out. If you want, you can add me in game, my IGN is The Overmynd. I already mentor several people here on moba and just in game in general. You seem like a chill dood that can take advice and criticism well, i would be happy to lend a helping hand.

Edit: Oh, BTW, +rep to Vanity, excellent points all. I wouldn't disagree with a single thing in your post. GJ :D
Hey, if you liked any advice i gave, be sure to +rep me! Oh, and check out my Shaco and Maokail lorecraft in my Blog! I'm a starving artist in need of attention, so please feel free to read, respond, and critique me! Please? Anybody that leaves a comment (good or bad) will receive a +rep!
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Just go, bro. Everybody is new, and if you jump in now, EVERYONE will be new (unless some lvl 30 is on his smurf account, and he has no reason to ***** anyway because he PUT himself in that situation). What really helps out a ton is if you have someone with some more experience kind of showing you the ropes, sugggesting builds, offering tips on basic and advanced gameplay concepts, running matches with you, that sort of thing. In this, i would be happy to help you out. If you want, you can add me in game, my IGN is The Overmynd. I already mentor several people here on moba and just in game in general. You seem like a chill dood that can take advice and criticism well, i would be happy to lend a helping hand.

Edit: Oh, BTW, +rep to Vanity, excellent points all. I wouldn't disagree with a single thing in your post. GJ :D


I can vouch for this guy. He has taught me a lot about this game. I have been playing with him since i was a level 10 maybe earlier. Now Im a lvl 26 (near 27). Like he said though only way to get better to know how good you are is to jump in there. I am even willing to help you out some when he can or isnt around. My IGN is Ele25.
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”- Bruce Lee
iownedya
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Hey! Try to communicate with your team. Usually at higher levels, they would want you to talk. Pinging really helps. Oh yeah, don't buy runes till lvl 20 because that's when the best runes come out.
Thanks to Xiron and ProAsylum (Ignition) for the amazing signatures!
If I helped out with constructive criticsm, I would appreciate a +rep



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Luther3000 wrote:

Back in my day we didn't have bots at all. And damn it, we liked it.

Haha, I know right!
Personal habitual activites? Utilizing gargantuan idioms to fabricate intelligence.

"It's a colloquial shorthand that means the paradigm exists because of how the game works mechanically. Hence, "the Meta." Stop being a useless pedant." - PlayGooYa
c4master
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Ok, after reading all these comments, I decided to do the leap of faith thingy, start a pvp game and just tell team I'm new, and if I do poorly I'll just ask for their advice on how to proceed next. I gave my teamies a few options on which champions I can play, and went with Garen. Had a very weird game. My allies were very good. We won with 24/3 kills in 20 mins. With some help at times I managed to decently hold solo top lane and got score of 3/1/6. I realize this match was completely not what a normal match is due to our team being OP. Also I noticed we didn't really seem to communicate that much... Maybe didn't need to? Of course still more than coop game but was expecting more chat. Anyway, even though my teamies did most of the work, I'm still very happy I held my own, and was very excited afterwards. I had written a very long report of my pvp experience, but it got so big I decided to just put it all the way in the bottom of this post (it's after the sentence in red) so ppl who really don't care for an oversized match report can skip it more easily :) There's something that's really more important and should be said. Ready? Here goes:

Thanks to everyone who commented here! You helped me out with the info and by giving me a little boost in courage, which I really needed. Thanks a lot :D

Quoted:
iownedya wrote:
Oh yeah, don't buy runes till lvl 20 because that's when the best runes come out.

Well I read somewhere flat health was really important in runes, so I bought one tier 2 seal early on. Recently I discovered a lot of builds recommend flat armor, which is really cheap. So I bought 4 of those (I think 80 IP each) figuring I can transform them into random tier 3 rune should I not need the tier 2 runes anymore. I'm not buying any other runes till tier 3, but this seemed very handy for survival + CHEAP.

Quoted:
The Overmyynd wrote:
What really helps out a ton is if you have someone with some more experience kind of showing you the ropes, sugggesting builds, offering tips on basic and advanced gameplay concepts, running matches with you, that sort of thing. In this, i would be happy to help you out. If you want, you can add me in game, my IGN is The Overmynd. I already mentor several people here on moba and just in game in general. You seem like a chill dood that can take advice and criticism well, i would be happy to lend a helping hand.

Quoted:
ele25 wrote:
I can vouch for this guy. He has taught me a lot about this game. I have been playing with him since i was a level 10 maybe earlier. Now Im a lvl 26 (near 27). Like he said though only way to get better to know how good you are is to jump in there. I am even willing to help you out some when he can or isnt around. My IGN is Ele25.

Thanks a lot guys. It would be awesome to make some friends in the game and get help improving my game at the same time. For now I would like to try out a few more matches on my own to try and get the feel of the game be4 doing this kind of training, but I'll be sure to add you both on my friendlist and hopefully soon we can play a few matches :D



Ok, I promised a gigantic report didn't I :P Here it goes:

My first mistake (probably) was picking the pvp mode. Draft or blind... blind sounds like random. Last thing I want is random heroes, I can't play the majority, so would suck big time. Thus I picked draft. After about 7 minutes the game finally connects me to a game (thought maybe it took so long because of me not having done pvp, and cpu trying to pit me against other pvp noobs), and appearently draft mode lets every team ban a few champions be4 picks. I don't know what the system was thinking, but it made me team captain. I see a timer ticking away, so I shout WHO SHOULD I BAN! Replies:
DONT BAN KARTHUS!
KASSADAR
SHEN, LEE
A few other names also, not clearly stating whether they wanted them banned, or specifically DONT want them banned because they wanna play them.
I managed to ban shen, but couldn't find kassadar in the list, I thought I was going crazy. In the end only had 1 hero banned. Then when picking champions we got thrown back to the wait queue and tbh I was sorta confused.

After about a minute of waiting (still draft pick) I get put in another game, luckily this time I'm not the captain. Our new captain managed to actually ban 3 champs, although he commented he couldn't find Kassadar either. Someone replied champs don't appear in the list if no one has them available (me thinks: gotta remember that!). When we get to picking, team starts discussing roles, someone asks me if I want top. I tell them: I will do whatever you want me to do. I have experience playing with bots with the champions Fiddlesticks, Garen and Nunu! (actually I have played Sivir a number of times against beginner bots too, and I like playing her, but I don't want her now. She's very squishy, and picking her would be like painting a big bullseye on my back. The last thing I want is getting all of enemy team coming after me for ganks... I was hoping my team would tell me to pick Fiddles cause he has range, instead they tell me Garen is a solid choice for top. Garen isn't killed easily, so I'm happy (although the melee thing sorta has me worried). For masteries I go with the ones I always pick: heal and flash. Game starts. Line-up:

Our team (blue): Garen (me), Ashe, Nocturne, Malzahar, Rammus
The evil team that has to be crushed: Galio, Fiddlesticks (Fiddles how could you betray me), Shen, Twisted Fate, Jax

Loading screen. The first thing I notice is about half of players use skins. Although this in itself shouldn't give benefits (besides looking cool), I think it also means they're serious players (or players with too much money, but I'm nervous, I expect the worst... these guys must be good).

After loading, some of our team vanished in jungle, some went bot. I bought my doran blade and went north, to the turret. Maybe at that time I should've checked brush for enemy champs, in coop games players often go sit in brush (I don't really know why, cpubots only come out after minions spawned, and I've never seen a lvl 1 champ come out of brush and slay the cpubot with minion agro on him - I can see it being useful against players - for ganking be4 minions spawn). Anyway, I stand next to the turret (*hug hug*) and tell my team once again I'm new but I'll do my best. No reply, was kinda hoping for some last minute advice or words of encouragement, but didn't specifically ask for it I suppose, so it's ok. Let's just do my best.

Minions spawn. When minions collide Shen comes out of brush. I'm not sure if I would've been in danger if I had checked brush with Shen in it. Many ppl say Demecia champs are very powerful earlygame, so probably not. I was mostly worried about brushchecking since I was solo. Having read several guides and forum topics, I don't make the rookie mistake; when fighting bots, players start pushing minion waves from the start, leaving the river behind them, open for attack. Facing bots this is acceptable, but not in pvp, so I just let Garen run between creeps, waiting for one low enough to give it that final whack to the head by my big sword. Shen seems to do the same. It looks really stupid, 2 champs running laps in the middle of minions clashing. I also know, while tempting, not to harrass Shen. Whatever damage I might do, the enemy's minions will agro me, and do worse dmg to me. So just continue the running laps and farming neardead minions. I actually seem to be doing better than my enemy, cause the waves are slowly being pulled towards my turret. Knowing that I can't get sneaked up from the river easily, and the fact Garen would probably be able to beat Shen in 1v1 combat, makes me grow confident. I'm being pushed back further and now turret sometimes fires away at enemy minions coming too slow. At first annoying, but if you pay attention it's perfect for getting last hits easy. When I see Shen close to turret (outside range, he's wary of it's strong blasts) I decide to take a shot and try to kill him. I first do an autoattack, then q for a no cd 2nd attack. This is where cpubots start running so I turn on my e. I was too fast with that, Shen doesn't run at first, instead he starts using abilities on me (I don't know Shens moves, but they did decent damge), but after 1.5-2 secs Shen decides it would be better to run. I didn't see it before, but allied Nocturne comes up the river and starts damaging Shen as well. Shen flashes away, I flash after him and keep hitting him twice with autoatk. I think about 2 secs later Shen falls (Nocturne gets kill, for me the assist) and I'm pretty freaking happy. Not only wasn't I the victim of first blood, I actually helped in bringing in the honor of FB for our team. So I thank Noct for his help in chat, and as a way of thanking him, I use my heal spell since we're both down to about half/two third of health. Go us!

With Shen dead I start pushing the lane forward. It seems like the logical thing to do with no enemy champion. Noct sticks around short time for some minion kills, then goes off to I dunno where, all I know is he left lol. I push all the way to the tower, and when I'm hitting it I realize I'm in a pretty vulnerable. But then I think; I'm Garen, he is pretty tanky and I have my W and Flash (big mistake: I'm used to using Flash defensively, and stupid as I am I forgot I already used flash in offense to secure kill on Shen). After a bit of towerbashing Jax comes running in to kill minions close to enemy turret. I instinctively run away, going closer to my own turret for defensive purpose, but then realize I'll miss out on valuable exp. So I run to frontline again, but behind minions (still close to enemy turret). Jax lets me stay there for short while, then jumps on me and does some sort of cc on me (silence maybe?). I run back again, but seeing as I still have good health left and I have my flash I foolishly decide to try and take Jax. After having him silenced and one or two autoatks, I realize I'm losing health faster than him, so go back to my original idea of running. About this time a 2nd char (I think Shen) comes from the river and I'm like FKKKKK, and try to flash out. Damn, no flash? Can Jax do a move to put my summoner spell on cd? Both champs are on me now. I think I was CC'd again be4 dying, but the main thing is, I died. I started to think I should've known better. I should've paid more attention to where champs are, even when I (helped) kill Shen, I didn't know Noct was where he was till last second, it could've been an enemy too.

Luckily I got good gold from farming creeps so I can buy items (boots + doran blade again). I go top lane again. At this point I don't remember all I've done. I do remember there not being much resistance at times, allowing me to push, push, push (I hated having to go further and further in enemy territory). I got a few more assists when at one time Noct and another time Malzahar showed up. I even got two kills :D At one time, and I don't quite understand this, the wave was at enemy's 2nd turret. Shen killed enemies around turret, but as enemy minion waves advanced away from the turret, Shen stayed. At the time I was sorta south of him in Jungle, and Malzahar came to join me, so it could be because he knew he didn't want to get ganked, but to keep standing still near turret seems really stupid to me. Eventually Malz and I just picked him off when he was standing next to tower (had only half health bar). After that 2nd turret down and actually advanced to the turret guarding the inhibitor. I sorta got cold feet, I felt a gank coming up, so I decided to rtb, spend the cash, and run mid since 2 more allies were there. It's stupid, but the enemies engaged us with inferior numbers (1 or 2 at a time) so we easily won the fights in middle lane, and as I was attacking the enemy turret guarding the mid inhibitor, we won. Just like that. I was very suprised, I didn't even know we were that far into enemy base in any of our lanes. Looking back in statistics I see we didn't finish off a single inhibitor, so most likely someone just went in the back of the base and started banging at the nexus or something. The sad thing is, I wanted to say thanks to them, but due to me not seeing we won, I couldn't say it. (if anyone here reading this remembers being in that game: THANKS SO MUCH!) Back at aftermatch overview everyone left immediately, so I never got to thank my teamies > <. In the end I had 3/1/6, which I'm very happy about. I am aware though, that my success was caused by my teammates helping me out a lot. Not only by helping me hold the line and ganking, but also by making the enemy weak. We had a team score of 24/3/22, so my teamies really made the enemy champs out of commission most of the team, making them underfed in exp and gold.

This was a very atypical game in a lot of ways. Ofcourse the very onesided teamscore isn't common. The fact game ended very soon (20 mins) probably has a lot to do with that score also. What I am sort of proud of is I did ok even though being the lowest lvl. I am 14, the enemy Fiddles was 17, apart from that there was a lvl 26 (enemy) and a lvl 29 (ours), and the rest were all lv 30. I know higher lvl doesn't mean a better player, but it does mean 2 things: having played more games (thus more game experience) and slightly better bonuses (maybe a lot when you look at accumulated full tier 3 rune set). So I kinda feel proud after managing to hold my own ^_^
Luther3000
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The difference between blind and draft is the fact that you can ban champions, see what the enemy team is picking, and everyone takes turns to pick. In blind it works just like in co-op.

Usually people playing draft are more experienced and will try harder with actual team comps instead of just instantly picking whatever they want.
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