Decision making comes from understanding. The difference between being trash and good isn't the ability to make good decisions in HoN it's the ability to make good decisions almost instantly. After a certain point this only comes from experience and not your ability to analyse. When you have to perform decision making processes consciously the whole game it will be slow and exhausting work, and you'll miss factors.
Action "without thinking" is the only type of action that will warrant merit in a competitive game.
This is the best strategy article/guide I have seen in this forum so far.
We could really need more of these. I kind of miss a part about learning and practicing the different stages.
What I also missed was the transition from an individual making decisions and a team making decisions (with a differentiation between publics and a team) and their loops interacting with each other. The fact, that your loop gets influenced by your teammates as well, often as much as by the enemies, is, as far as I can recall, not mentioned at all.
However, since I deal a lot with such things myself I can see how consistent this is with other theories applying to similar things.
I hope you create some more guides of that kind.
So.. good work, keep it up =)
Last edited by Aswan; 09-22-2010 at 11:10 AM.
Huh...that match looks familiar. :3
Good read at any rate. Wish there were some more interesting strategies in HoN. Everyone just seems to jump on the bandwagon and do the same thing
turtle heavy --> push heavy --> gank heavy --> trilanes x.x
still was an interesting read. I just feel its mostly semantics as superior playing will beat superior strategy except at the extremely high levels of play. Though I do hope this article would encourage some more unorthodox but working strategies...
Last edited by dman4412; 09-22-2010 at 04:12 AM.
It's not as though I consciously step through the process every time I make a decision - no one decent does. Occasionally I do step back and take the time to conduct a thorough appreciation of what's happening, particularly if it isn't going my way.
Last edited by PzKw; 09-22-2010 at 05:14 AM.
Fantastic read, good job on adapting the OODA Loop to HoN, good insight into the more subtle aspects of gaming besides just hurr hurr I farm more.
Reminds me of how Chinese DoTA teams play with the tri carry lineup. Divide and conquer with at least one or two of their carries getting freefarm while they force engagements with roaming/ganking at isolated points.
Pity its boiled down to the trilaning metagame atm.
Hrm would be good if you could add DoTA replays of how Asian DoTA teams play (AEON is the only recent team that comes to mind for this kind of style) and contrast it with euro teams (I don't think HoN has enough team strat diversity since trilanes have taken over) to demonstrate more effectively since not all HoN players are ex DoTA.
Just my two cents
Let me spell it out plain for you
Angry people complain about the things I do
I'm not changing direction, I'm stepping my game up
Maintaining my name, the same way I came up.
Truth is, I thought it mattered
I thought that music mattered.
But does it? Bollocks!
Not compared to how people matter.
Good players will watch replays (expecially of games they lost) and analyze their decision making process after the game, to see where the mistakes were made and how to correct them.
I.E. i know i ran down the river to get to that top tower to help my team push, but had there been a ward up there i would have seen devourer standing near the river and taken a longer route. or maybe i should have just ported...but i didn't have a scroll, maybe i should have gotten a scroll earlier in the game and pushed my <insert item> back a little bit.
obviously that logic is too long and exhausting in game as PzKw said. Thus, any decent player will make mistakes, just how costly those mistakes are. Newer players who use internalized OODA loops aren't of good quality yet, and they make more costly mistakes as a result.
That is why newer players need to play at a bit of a slower pace to gain an understanding of their actions. They don't realize the consequences of their actions, such that a support feeding a support isn't as big of a deal as a support/carry feeding a carry. These are things that good players take into account on weather or not to be aggressive/defensive.
Also reading guides (to internalize game knowledge) improves the internal ability to make decisions and as a side effect, reactions times are improved. Instead of consciously thinking, knowing roles and game concepts really well improves internal decision making cycles.
I.E. a good player will make decisions such as this almost instantly:
OK im balphagore with hammerstorm against slither and swiftblade. Obviously a double agi lane, with low hp. I'll be aggressive to the point where i can still escape a slow/spin combo. If they mess up, and i know i will survive the slow spin, i will retreat back to my teammate, and as soon as the spin is up, we will stun and i will try and trap with minions.
a new player would likely make decisions like this:
OK im with balphagore with hammerstorm against slither and swiftblade. we are both tanks and the other two are both carries. we have more hp, i will be aggressive and try get an early kill.
The decent player scenario will most often work better, because the decent player realizes that if they get below a certain health range, the spin/slow combo is going to kill them. a new player might not realize that combo and even if they did, his/her reactions would probably be too slow to make the correct maneuavers to stay alive. also notice that the new players lacks decent knowledge to make proper assestments, intially, which leads to bad decision making.
@PzKw - you can always save the images to a compatable file type and store them on a free imageshack account or something.
Very well thought out, i now realise why some people are better than others it is not only exp but it is their decision making time which makes all the diff.
is there a way that you can make your loop more effective (reduce your decision making time)
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
You will improve your OODA loop slightly when learning new concepts, but once you've mastered them, you will find yourself making the best use of time and in game strategy.
For instance, it is impossible to make the fastest and best decision in the laning phase if you have no concept of Hero Roles and Map Awareness.
EX: Last hit or harass? Last hit or harass? nuke or harass? last hit or deny? deny or harass? lane or heal?health pot or mana pot?
you can't decide Effectively, or with any sense of Quality, on those types of questions during the laning phase if you think you are a carry, and you really are a support.
Here are some major high level game concepts that you can gain knowledge and understanding on to improve your OODA:
-Fog of War
-Field of Vision
-Map Awareness (this encompasses A TON of high level game concepts)
-Game Phases (Laning, Early, Mid, Late)
-Team Lineups (what heroes you and your enemy team picks)
-Team Strategies (what the end strategy is for you and your enemy team lineups)
--Gank Strat (Currently the most favored strat in the meta)
-Item Builds (for EVERY hero)
--Don't touch items
-Skill Builds (for EVERY hero)
--Skill Mana Cost
--Chain Casting or Chain CC (ive heard both used for the same topic)
-Game Mechanics (this helps you utilize in game bugs/fixes that can make or break a kill, one of which right now is the Unstuck feature mentioned in my sig)
the list goes on, I am definitely missing some let me know if i should add to it.
I enjoyed this read immensely. For maneuver-based strategies, are you saying it should be a good thought to focus on map-awareness and maneuverability teams with good versatility?
I tried to build a lineup that could work with this, I'm thinking a lineup like (Incredible mobilty all game) (Highly mobile, gives vision, offers hard carry) (information control, giving your team more information with eyes and depriving it from them with camoflague) (Highly mobile, gives vision, ultimate) (Provides flexibility for teamfights, pushes, etc.).
Or am I completely missing it?
I think one good way to approach a maneuverability based team is to go for heroes with extreme map presence and mobility. GLOBAL STRAT!
Good options are . They can all influence a teamfight globally (valk, tdl, vindi, tb, sw) or from extreme ranges (pharaoh, andro, bubbles, glacius to some extent). I don't think heroes with basic blinks or MS increases are enough to make this work since you need to cover large spaces from anywhere instead of having to run to them. The advantage you can have in ganking and counterganking is probably enough to overcome any hero's individual weaknesses since they can all assist one another at basically any point in time.
I think map awareness and manaeuverability are a must in the current meta. The meta as is highly gank oriented and global/gank strats are reigning supreme as a result. That is why highly mobile characters are so effective, because the items and lineups that are picked up promote effective, quality ganking.
To do ganking you need manaueverability. Thus the two serve eachother quite well.
The post before mine mention some heroes that are all highly mobile characters that can be effective almost anywhere on the map. Note that it's not always good to have a lineup of pure global madness, as you may find yourselves too spaced out isolated.
IMO, really the best is to incorporate global strat as a substrat of a highly gank oriented lineup. This is why devourer fits well into so many lineups right now. You can effectively take down one or two opponents in minimal time and proceed to push or defend on a more global scale.
The idea behind mobility, is that it serves you and the meta.
Lovely article. Made my brain turn and was very cool at the same time. :thumbsup:
I believe, with all real life warfare too, HoN relies on both attrition and manoeuvre based warfare.
Forcing the enemy to attack when they aren't ready via methods of luring and ganking is all manoeuvre based. This could be happening whilst one of your team is free-farming or pushing another lane. This again, could be seen as manoeuvre (striking where the enemy is not). But the end goal cannot be anything other than "out move them so we can destroy their base".
Whist the majority of your planning / execution is manoeuvre based you still have the element of attrition (making sure you always out number your enemy, making your creeps push the lane by killing two enemy creep waves before engaging the enemy in another location).
I think it is hard to define the two as both are needed to win. However a war of attrition (where you both get bogged down and can't out manoeuvre your opponent) is the worst situation for anyone to get into. In real life that means more cost (of life and cash) in HoN it matters less as each game is on its own and with infinite number of creeps / respawns.
I'm just rambling but I just wanted to show I've been reading and liked it
good article--would like to hear more of your thoughts on lineups that are suitable to maneuverability based strategies.
The result is called tactical dilemma; where the enemy ceases to have good options and starts picking between bad ones or outright fails to make decisions completely or just on time.
One of the heroes I'm somewhat fond of is Scout. Scout presents a serious tactical dilemma - you really want to gank him, but he's permenently invisible, never stays in one place for more than about 15 seconds, and essentially has haste all the time. Attempts to gank Scout are basically wastes of time, gold and opportunity unless he actually makes a mistake or seriously ****s his map awareness. Conversely attempts to outfarm a Scout after he gets an RA are usually going to fail, so your options are to push early and hope you can overpower his team either faster than he can push lanes, farm or ambush you, or go on merry goose chases around the map chasing him.
The fact that this hero can comfortably dump a Deadwood ult in an AOE every 5 seconds late game says something about his utility late, while his middle game is strong enough that if you don't try and build him to do something he's not designed for, he can dictate play. His early game is among the better of hardcarries, with a reliable AOE silence, decent burst and an excellent KSing nuke.
Unless the other team has a serious nil to kill ganker like Deadwood and/or you're crap at placing eyes, Scout can be a serious headache so long as you remain congniscent of his strengths and avoid his weaknesses.
1) Well-written, in-depth, and thank you.
2) One comment I would make is that with an OODA cycle, observation becomes the key; observation is the easiest to learn and the hardest to master. Orienting requires experience, Decisions come from habits, Actions are seen through the filter of your actual game play, but Observation is the key to the following three.
Observation wins and loses games. Being behind the curve was addressed in the original post, but I think one very important concept is getting behind the curve.
Observation is important in several situations:
a) Missing heroes, taking it to the next level. Mid-solos that have rune control need to be watched very carefully. Some mid players are horrible about rune control, whether or not they have wards. Some mid players are very good about rune control; and they must be watched. This obviously is even more important in the case of mid power houses like Devo, Hag, WS, etc. During the course of any one game, try to observe your opposite hero, try to observe mid hero, and to a much lesser extent, the other heroes in other lanes. Watch when they leave the lane, work on a general aggressiveness feel for all of them, try not to be caught off-guard.
b) Hero-positioning. In a recent SMR, I played against Dran (http://thisisnewerth.com/m/16627432) who played a mid-solo Flint Beastwood to 32/6 against a mediocre mid-lane. Although he was by far the best player on either team 1846psr vs 1500ish competition; one thing he consistently did was keep correct positioning. He used sight to his advantage, pathing to stay alive as a squishy carry, etc. Our swiftblade continually jumped in, killed an under-leveled, useless voodoo jester and got DPS'd to nothing; and continued in failing to observe Flint's normal positioning.
c) Aggressive/Passive lanes - By far the easiest thing to learn, but difficult to master. I don't know how many times I've correctly acted in getting out of a lane when a lane's aggressiveness shifts. Many lanes are weak in certain areas and strong in other areas. A combination like Glacius/Swiftblade is very dependent on glacius slow landing into a swiftblade spin. 2 on 2, Glacius/Swiftblade are strong, and very predictable. 3 on 2, Glacius/Swiftblade are very easy to deal with. When fighting against a glacius/swiftblade, or similar lane, observer their tactics; note when they like to attack, when they don't, etc. Use this to your advantage. If you see a strong gank-lane like this on bottom, and you're an MIA solo-middle, a gank situation is almost always at hand. With a simple melee-bait, a solo-mid can easily kill glacius and swiftblade if they initiate on another hero. Similarly, watch for swinging aggressiveness in your lane enemies. If you suddenly see a soft lane pushing hard for a full-hp tower, expect that the mia-mid is coming your way. People do not change, only circumstances.
An excellent post full of observations that took me about five years to learn.
Blitzkrieg is more like backdooring imo. Dear OP, great article.
Last edited by lion_in_zion; 11-24-2010 at 05:20 PM.