Archive for December 2013

Scaling of Skills

By : z3lover
This is NOT the typical post about cosmetic items or anything related to mods. I'm just in a mood to write and I got no other place to go. So I think I'll just use this blog for my personal opinions and stuff like that. If you want to get the updates of ONLY the cosmetic posts, then I suggest you subscribe to the facebook page because I will ONLY post cosmetics related links there that will link you to the appropriate post. Feel free to ignore any other posts.

                                         I recently got the idea to write about dota related tips/tricks/mechanics needed to become a better dota player or in general to improve your skill. First of all, I would like to start with my personal info. I started dota back about 4-5 years ago. I was a die-hard fan from the beginning. I was an ACCA student and had ALOT of free times (we used to have 4 holidays each weeks) so I played like 12 hrs per day. Needless to say I became quite good at it, I spent most of my spare time surfing the forums and mechanics related stuff, so I became good at theory crafting too. So in this (and future) post, I will write about stuff that I feel every dota player should know in order to improve.

                                          Today's topic is Scaling of skills. In DOTA, certain skills have a scaling factor, to make them relevant in lategame. Take Lina's Dragon Slave skill, its a standard 280 dmg skill. It may be strong early game when heroes have low hp but it will keep getting weaker and weaker untill its neglible. Lategame when enemy has 3,000 hp with bkb and lifesteal, 280 dmg doesnt even matter. This is an example of non-scaling skill.
                                         So what is a scaling skill you might ask. Most of the skills with percentage element attached to them. Consider a few of them,
  • Spectre's "dispersion" - More hp you have, the more dmg you will disperse.
  • Drow's "Aura" - More agility you get more dmg you get. (same with Riki's backstab)
  • Centaur "Return" - More STR you get, more dmg is reflected to anyone who attacks you and more dmg they take from your ultimate.

Do you notice the pattern? See spectre has pathetic hp in start, same with drow and centaur with very low agi and STR respectively. Taking PRECIOUS skill points early game in these scaling skills is useless ( drow gets like 10 dmg from lvl 4 aura early lvl 7 spectre has roughly 700 hp. Lvl4 dispersion will block and deal 150 dmg to enemies when you die. (and thats dealt to melee enemies, ranged enemies get zero dmg)
                                                 The point is, ALMOST every hero got some kind of scaling or some logic behind its skill build, enabling you to prioritize 2 skills and while taking one point in the 3rd skill (take ulti whenever you want). Most of these scaling spells are either one point wonders or not relevant in early game.

The main reason this is important is the popularity of wrong skill builds. Taking earlier points in proper skills can help you play the hero at maximum efficiency. I think an example would be more appropiate to make it clear. Lets take Storm spirit.
                                          At level 9, there are 2 popular builds.
  • 4 points in remnant, 3 in vortex, 1 in overload and 1 in ball lighting
  • 3 point in remnant,   4 in vortex, 1 in overload and 1 in ball lighting.
Does any of these builds ensure maximum efficiency? The answer is NO. The correct skill build is this.
  • 1 point in remnant, 3 points in vortex, 4 in overload and 1 in ball lighting.
Why 3 points in vortex? Besides being a normal disable, vortex has a purpose. SS uses a remnant, now this remnant takes time to become active and enemies usually run from it to avoid it, thats where the vortex comes in play. Its purpose is to pull the enemy in order to hit it with remnant. 3 skill points give 2 seconds of pull that is more than enough to hit them with it. The extra 0.5 second disable IS NOT  WORTH A SKILL POINT early game. Remember exp is very precious, so you need to spend every skill point carefully.

Why 1 point in remnant? Thats where most people get confused. You see the scaling is horrible on remnant. There is ONLY 40 dmg increase per level and its pathetic. The cd remains the same, while mana cost get significant. Storm already have ALOT of mana problem during start and higher level remnant mana cost cripples him badly. Inshort, its a 1 point wonder skill, You get all the benefits from lvl 1 remnant without maxing it to lvl 4.

Why 4 points in overload? Now this is the main source of SS's damage output. You gave up 120 dmg by leaving Remnant at lvl 1, thats a 80% dmg output of remnant usage. But by taking 4 points in Overload, you increase your dmg output from overload by 300%. You see, the 220% difference is huuuge. And wanna know whats the most important part? This damage costs you ZERO mana. As you know overload is just free dmg whenever you use other skills, Use your low mana cost level 1 remnant, get free 90 dmg, use your slightly low mana cost vortex, gets 90dmg, use ulti, 90 dmg, use ulti again 90 dmg.. I think you get the point.

In short, this skill build will get you MAXIMUM dmg at the cost of MINIMUM mana cost.

The purpose of this post was that every single hero has a certain logic to how you are supposed to build him with limited amount of skill points. Getting that EFFICIENCY and maximum DMG OUTPUT is the key factor for dominating early game fights. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, or want to discuss any skill build for your favourite hero.

Wraith Night Items

By : z3lover

Sorry for disappearing like that, but considering the fact that NO ONE responded to my call of help regarding running this blog and facebook. I really expected someone to step up and take charge of this, but anyways, I will keep running with my own slow/lazy pace. I have also started making workshop items for dota2 so I will showcase them here and make them available for download without them having to appear in workshop. (the chance is really slim though)
                     I have also thought about writing some general gameplay guides on certain heroes who are misplayed in typical pub games, I have one such guide on Its pretty unfinished but I intend to finish it in near future. So expect a lot of random NON-COSMETIC related blog posts in future, just ignore them if you are not interested.


Guide : Couriers with particle effects.

By : z3lover
Okay, I promised a detaailed guide for making particle effects on courier but then I realized if you had read and uderstood the previous guides, there's not much new stuff to do here. So I will just list concise steps of the procedure and I'm sure you wont run into problems. (meh who am I kidding? You will run into ALOT of problems, but fixing those problems is part of the fun)

Okay lets get started.
The basic flow is like this. Decompile the courier model you wish to put particles on > Edit .qc file > Recompile model > Done. (lets take baby rosh for example).
1: Decompile using studio compiler. Place all decompiled files in a folder.
2: Using the "Notepad+" open the file "mdldecompiler.qc".
3: Search for "$keyvalues" . The box infront will be empty. You insert the commands for particle effect here.
4: Recompile the model using studio compiler. And rename the files to default donkey model and place them in props_gameplay folder.
5: Repeat the process for flying version.

1: Now the first problem you will run into will be an error during decompiling. Just rename the file "babyroshan.dx90.vtx" into "babyroshan.dx80.vtx" and it decompile just fine.

2: Here is the command for applying the particle effect that you will paste into $keyvalues box.

$keyvalues  { particles
        "name"            "courier_trail_fungal"
        "attachment_type"    "follow_attachment"
        "attachment_point"    "attach_hitloc"

} }

Preview: How it should look like
*name=  the name of the particle effect you want to apply. (You can preview the courier particles using the previous guide)

If you face any more problems, do let me know, I will add them to the guide.

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