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HoN Blog will no longer be updated. We've moved to http://gamingpoint.org and we will no longer be writing about HoN

The new website: Gaming Point is a blog for game developers. We teach concepts rather than the technical things like coding so go have a look, because there's plenty of awesome guides there.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Common Mistakes and Misconceptions in HoN

Disclaimer: This is written purely from a Normal Mode 5v5 point of view

With the balance patch coming soon and big changes being in the air, a look at in game tactics is now quite redundant but for the memories of many games and to just rant about teammate's mistakes in numerous games, I find writing some whining and trash talk an educational guide a surprisingly good idea.

The atmosphere is tense. Both teams have lost their outer towers. All raxes (barracks) are still standing. After a significant lead early on, the situation is slowly becoming better for the other team due to their powerful lategame carry. As a teamfight begins and your enemies make minor mistakes and the situation starts looking good for you as you pick four of them off one by one without a single loss. With four people down your jungler heads back to the woods, your carry begins to static farm a lane and a support moves back to defend a base tower from three creeps while the final two members of the team are screaming to take Kongor.

Sounds familiar? Unless you have had strategically focused teammates constantly this is probably something that can happen at any rating below 1800, I admit that this is a pretty dramatic and exaggerated image but all of these happen constantly in games I play. As some people immediately noticed the correct course of action here would have been to move in and push down some raxes or force buybacks (taking Kongor is probably the second best option depending on a lot of variables though). Remember to try and focus down the melee rax first if you have the time and only when in a hurry go for the less armored ranged rax. A mistake like this can easily be heavily punished just by the game going on long enough for the other team's carry to take over the game or if the other team had been more midgame inclined they might have found a situation to push through your raxes and prevent your hard carry from reaching a peak in power in the lategame.

In case you disagree about pushing the raxes, hear me out on what's wrong with the other options. All of these can be valid options in some situation but I deliberately created a situation where I feel that these are all  worth less than pushing.

Back to the jungle: Here the main point about the jungler staying is to take the raxes but in general it's somewhat common for junglers to spend too much time in the jungle as it's often better take over an empty lane and possibly deny an enemy hero's chance of freefarming, just try not to push the lane and if someone who can't take neutral creeps comes to the lane you should let them take it and return to the jungle.

Static farming a lane: In this situation your carry could go farm but ensuring that the raxes go down, even if the enemy has a buyback or two, is the most important thing. A viable alternative is for the carry to go backdoor/creep skip/push another lane to get at least minor damage on a base tower or possibly soften it up for once the rest of the team is done with the other lane and ready to take it down.

Defending against three creeps: If you really thought that someone needs to go defend a tower against three creeps, you have a lot to learn, even if the tower is low health those little creeps won't take the raxes or force your team to buyback which is something a lot bigger that you should be doing to the other team. It can sometimes be okay to go back but remember that a tower can turn a lane's push the other way quickly and your job is to punish the other team when you have the chance so don't waste it.

Taking Kongor: The two people wanting to take Kongor are definitely onto something by realizing that you should capitalize on four enemies being down but in the example I gave the other team had the big scary lategame carry and would probably turtle the next seven minutes even without the threat of losing a teamfight against a token.

Seeing the same mistakes repeating themselves constantly has at times caused raged and annoyance for me and I feel relieved getting a chance to let this all out. I'm thankful to everyone who read this far and to make this something closer to a guide I'm going to add some general tips for different roles and behavior that will hopefully help make games more enjoyable.

This is lost cc: Seriously, there is always the possibility of a series of serious mistakes that causes the other team to lose. If your team won't pass that concede vote, no matter how difficult it may be try to remain positive and keep doing your best. I have had a game turn around from a situation where I just finished backdooring the first rax down from the enemy base when the other team took our final raxes before I could tp to defend.

Noob sw, never come with team: I've seen so many games that go wrong just because someone picks a carry and tries to be extremely aggressive before ten minutes. Carries are built to utilize farm and only the most flexible carries can go around that concept. A hero like Sand Wraith is close to useless before becoming a total beast after 25 to 30 minutes of farming and because of this reason they aren't to blame when you lose a teamfight 4v5. Even if someone makes the mistake of not being there for a teamfight when they should have, everyone that went into the fight without that noob has also done something wrong and sometimes you'll be able to handle the situation without them.

Empath: I was farming: Also a quite common mistake is farming on the wrong hero. I've seen an Empath taking jungle camps which is just wrong in so many ways unless they need a little ward money or are 50g away from finishing Astrolabe/Tablet of Command. It's completely fine to farm a little for your core items or to take some experience if you are close to a level that you need. It's also a smart idea to get what gold and experience you can from an empty lane if you aren't needed elsewhere, just try not to push it and let someone who can make better use of the farm take over. Stacking camps for your carrys is also usually worth the time when you don't have much else to do, stacking with the current creep leash times is done by pulling aggro at X:53-X:57, assuming you lead the creeps as far as possible.

Omg team, why didn't you go?: It's extremely important to assess the situation and decide when to go in as ten seconds could make a difference with cooldowns or an item brought by the courier. When you see the enemy team clustered together you may have a good chance for AoE combos, or if they are spread out you might be able to focus one or more heroes down to give you the advantage in the upcoming fight. It's important to be on the lookout for any situation where the other team is not ready but it's also possibly even more important to make sure that your team is ready before suiciding and being outmanned in a teamfight. If the other team is better suited for teamfights or you can't organize people to defend in time, it may be best to let a tower fall and have part of the team farming somewhere or trying to counter push a tower. This will force the other team to decide between pushing and defending/trying to pickoff the lone hero. In a situation like this it's usually extremely important to carry a tp.

All mid pls: Your team obviously has a limited amount of heroes and you can sometimes handle situations without everyone there. It's obvious that you won't need your whole team to gank a squishy support but you should also consider this for situations where you believe you can leave one or more people to farm. An example of this would be three of the other team's heroes pushing a lane with the other two too far to help if your team jumps on them with four while the fifth player is somewhere farming or as I mentioned earlier, your team might handle a fight while your carry was busy farming.

That's all for now, I will carefully assess all feedback I can and try to respond to it.


matt bryte said...

If there is one support u want farmed up its empath. Give her a SotM she can stay in u rest of game ... 5 more slots she has to hold things that would help the carry. Pred empath best team out there

SandyNeegus said...

It's incredibly rare for an Empath to get enough farm for that to be valid. Letting someone else get the farm for a 4,4k item is much better anyway when all Empath really needs is Lex Talionis and a Tablet of Command and the occasional Astrolabe or Plated Greaves if your team needs armor.

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We've Moved :(

HoN Blog will no longer be updated. We've moved to http://gamingpoint.org and we will no longer be writing about HoN

Gaming Point is a blog for game developers. We teach concepts rather than the technical things like coding, so go have a look at the site, because there's plenty of awesome guides there.