Lately I've been trying to be a good samaritan and help new players learn the game again. In doing so I have realized, again, just how hard it is to learn and how it doesn't hold your hand nearly at all. I think implementing some context sensitive helpers (i.e. message pop-ups that happen under certain situations) would be a really good idea. Obviously let them be disabled if the player wishes, maybe make them auto-turnoff after the player gets to a certain out-of-game level. Given the game already has the message pop-up code in it, I doubt this would be very hard to implement which is always a good thing as well (I'm sure the devs have already thought of / designed this anyway though ).
Hero selection: "The hero selection mode is Random Draft. Each player gets a turn to pick their hero. When it's your turn, the heroes will light up and you will be allowed to pick one."
Start of game: "Purchase Runes of the Blight or a Healing Potion [make them clickable links?] to heal yourself while out in the battlefield."
"Your hero main statistic is [strength/agility/intelligence]. Increasing this stat via items such as [stat-dependent item links] will make your attacks more damaging."
Player picks attribute points instead of skills (obviously not always a bad thing, but if he does it at level 1 or something): "Putting skill points in attribute bonus is best saved for later. Your hero skills will probably be more important!"
You're pushed into an enemy lane and are X units away from your nearest tower: "Warning! You've pushed pretty far into enemy territory. An enemy hero can easily attack you from behind as there is no tower for safety."
"Don't forget that if you're fighting enemy units, the enemy heroes can easily see you on the mini-map."
Hero just auto-attacking and hasn't gotten a creep kill in a while: "Score the killing blow on enemy units to get rewarded with gold. Time your attacks correctly to perform many killing blows."
Hero auto-attacking and doesn't try to deny or even a-click his low hp creeps: "By using the attack command (Shortcut: "A"), you can forcibly attack friendly units and structures that are low on health. Killing them denies the enemy of their gold and experience."
Someone says "mis" or "mia" etc.: "When someone calls 'missing' or 'MIA', it means the hero they are keeping an eye on has left their area and could be coming to help attack you or another lane."
A friendly hero near you says "b", "im b" or "back": "The hero near you wants to retreat. It's dangerous to go alone!"
Some implementation ideas:
-- 45-60 minimum seconds between each helper
-- Increase the rate of helpers while you're dead
-- Make a sound effect play to alert the player that a helper has popped up
-- The same helper can't be played more than once every 5-10 minutes or maybe just once per match for all of them
-- Tie the helper pop-up window into some kind of "next hint" system so if a player is dead he can browse helpers/hints
I, as a complete and utter noob (as anyone who's ever put up with me being on their team will tell you) think that is a wonderful idea. Until about mid-way through my 14th game I didn't even know how to pick up the items in the river. So having a handy-hints type thing would definitely help people like me, who although they're trying their hardest to help, have no idea how.
First off: great post. I would have killed for these tooltips when first starting out. Prior to playing HoN, I scoured DOTA forums reading beginner guides which helped me improve to mediocre status, instead of downright terrible. The situations should be straight-forward enough for the tooltip.
Other suggestions: "Congratulations, you've reached level 6, you can now begin leveling your utlimate skill, the fourth skill on your skillbar."
"Uh oh, the game has begun and you haven't left you base. Make sure each lane has someone occupying it, if so, consider helping a teammate in the northwest or southeast."
"You've found a rune spawn. Runes have a 50% chance of spawn in this location or in another location of the river every XX minutes."
"Oops, you died. Although we know you were being careful, dying gives the other team gold and experience which gives them an advantage over time."
"You've approached a creep in the jungle. These are available for you to kill and gain gold and experience. Be wary, however, enemy heroes can enter your jungle and vice versa."
"Uh oh, you're standing outside of the range to gain experience from creep kills."
"If you're minding a lane, be sure to alert your teammates if one of your opponents go missing."
"If you're low on health, consider buying items to restore your health or returning to base."
"You've approached an outpost. You can buy some items here, but be wary as you are defenceless."