September 29, 2015

Experiences of a new player

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Good morning! :)

Since I've been making enough threads recently and am still left with plenty of small things I'd like to talk about / address, I figured I'd write a blog and talk a little bit about my early experiences playing this game after only having played League of Legends for over 4 years. Hopefully, some of you will find this interesting/fun to read about, otherwise this is going to be a waste of a good 30 minutes :D --> Edit: while I was initially referring to the time it took me to write this, it's now probably closer to how long it'll take you to read :^) So yeah, enjoy.

As a heads up, the topics I'll be talking about aren't exactly related so I'll just be randomly jumping from one to the other. Just so you know. k, cool.

Learning all God abilities
This has been and still is the biggest obstacle I'm facing (since there's a lot more to learn here than for items/actives, which I feel like I've mostly picked up on by now). I might have to study some of the God kits in between games to speed up the process for this one, but I fear that may get tedious very fast. On the other hand, there are also a decent amount of Gods I've never even seen once so far ( Kumbhakarna, Ne Zha, Odin, Osiris, Rama, Ravana, Sobek, Vamana, Zeus and Zhong Kui), so studying kits might be the only way to get to know those for now.

Luckily, knowing what my own God does and how I'm supposed to combo my abilities seems to be enough to do well in lane once I'm playing, but in teamfights I'm still not always sure what the biggest threat is that I should be looking out for. This doesn't exactly get any easier when taking into account the next point (hey, what do you know, this isn't a random transition at all):

Getting used to Smite's camera angle
Obviously, I knew this was going to be a little different from League, and it's what separates this game from other MOBAs. I'm not complaining, I find it a refreshing change, but I'd lie if I said I've never been hit by a skillshot I never saw because I had my back towards it. Now, while in some cases this isn't a huge problem, I've also died to it a few times while trying to escape from a fight (to abilities such as Ra's Searing Pain or Kukulkan's Spirit of the Nine Winds). I'm guessing that's just part of the deal though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Establishing a roster of Gods to work on
Naturally, I want to make sure I'm ready to play any role if forced to once I enter ranked (provided I keep playing this game long enough to reach that point), so I've tried out some different roles to find Gods that I liked in every one of them.

Here's my "roster" so far (still need work on some of them), in order of roles I've had the most success on (top) to ones I've struggled with the most (bottom):

Solo: Bellona, Sun Wukong
Mid: Eset, Janus
Jungle: Hun Batz (looking into Thor)
Support: Khepri (looking into Sylvanus)
ADC: None (looking into Artemis, Medusa)

To illustrate:

Best/Worst God Performance
God Games Wins Losses Win Rate Avg. K Avg. D Avg. A

Now, in League of Legends, I am a solo top main, so it's no surprise that the solo lane games have worked out well for me in Smite as well. However, whereas the order for other roles in League looks something like this: ADC > Support > Mid > Jungle, the "bot lane" roles just aren't working out for me in Smite.

As far as ADCs are concerned, it might just be Anhur (the only Hunter I've played several times so far), because Artemis (who I played a couple of times last night) felt a bit better. Still, there are a couple of things I'm not good at / unsure about when it comes to playing the role:

- Use of actives: I know which ones to buy, my concern is simply that I'm not good enough at activating beads fast enough. I feel like part of this issue is that my fingers are always on/between the keys to move and use or level up abilities, and moving my thumb or index finger from there to F just isn't as fast as it should be (let's not even get into G, that one's even worse). Should I change the keybinding to attach it to one of my mouse sidebuttons, maybe?
- Farming: Farming is one of the things I feel I'm very good at in League (if I may so myself), but it's so weird in Smite. Hell, I'm not even sure it's a thing. Is it a thing? Are ADCs supposed to be able to tell which minion is getting focused and adjust their positioning in a way that allows them to hit that one? Or does everyone just rely on the gold/xp you get for being in range when a minion dies? Also, how do tower shots interact with minions, how many can each type of minion take before dying? I don't feel like these issues are relevant in the solo lanes since I usually waveclear with AoE abilities quite well, but for Hunters it seems a bit more of a problem, especially when also trying to keep an eye on your lane opponents / your support initiating a fight.
- Positioning in teamfights: this one's a bit more straightforward and is mostly related to not knowing which abilities all Gods have yet. Being out of position is a bit more punishing as a squishy Hunter (or mid) than when playing some of the tankier warriors, so it's no real surprise I don't always get that right atm. Should improve over time.

Wait, didn't you say both bot lane roles weren't working out well for you? Yes, yes, hang on, I'm getting there. The reason I'm making a new section to talk about my struggles as a support is because it's tied heavily to this subject: experience.

I'm not sure whether this should even out once I stop playing with/against players who are new to this game, but holy moly the difference in experience is so huge in most games it's unreal. How is it even possible for one player to be level 20 when another is level 12? o_o

For me, this usually means I'm:
- ahead of the average when solo laning ("top" or mid)
- on the average when jungling or playing ADC
- behind when playing support, especially when my team's not doing well

I guess my main question here is: what are my main responsibilities as a support and how do I make sure to execute those without falling behind? Right now, I tend to lose the most experience when walking around the map warding or when trying to set up a gank in another lane (which I feel Khepri is quite decent at) without managing to do so in the end. I suppose it's normal for that last scenario to set me behind, but it's the ridiculous amount I fall behind which bothers me. Is this normal? Do I counter by staying in lane for a bit, or is it more important to keep up the vision for my team?

Speaking of vision, where exactly am I supposed to place wards? On this image (which is supposed to represent how ward placement changes over the course of a game), the left map shows exactly where I place my wards now (+ GF & FG once they become relevant). Is that correct?

Game modes
Before I forget, I should probably ask whether it's a good idea to play other game modes than Conquest (which is all I've been playing so far). For the record, I'm not asking whether the other game modes are fun (I'm sure I'll try to them see if they are at some point anyway), but more whether there are specific skills you can train in those modes which aren't as easy to work on in "standard" Conquest games.

Top 5 Gods
This final section is one I added just for fun. I know I'm not exactly in a position to judge yet considering there are plenty of Gods I haven't even seen (more than once) yet, but it might get some discussion going.

In no particular order, I'd say the top 5 Gods are Athena, Serqet, Sun Wukong, Xing Tian and Janus. Do you agree?

Alright eeh, I think that's enough for now :P