Teambuilder, What is it? and Why should Dota adopt it.

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Picking up a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game can be a daunting endevour. In your first game you may be welcomed with a firm teaching hand, but most likely you will be bitch slapped by ragers for not playing how or what they want. The genre really takes a thick skin to survive the first few months of game play and dedication to be good.

I can recall my first few games of Defense of the Ancients. Not really knowing what to expect I jumped into the WarCraft 3 custom game known as Dota at a local LAN cafe. I played W3 quite a bit before jumping into Dota so i had a decent understanding of a few heroes and their spells. I was also lucky enough to have friends who were already invested in the game to teach me the basics, well as much as they could… With that being said I was still running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I made a lot of mistakes and my friends did not hesitate to let me know how bad I was with every one. None the less even with all the bitching I had a great experience and continued to play 8 more hours that day hehe.

6 years later and my enjoyment is there but starting to fade. My enjoyment is fading because 9/10 games are ruined when someone who does not get the position they want and rage everyone into oblivion. There needs to be a way for the majority of games to be enjoyable. A way that allows people to play the position they want before everything is said and done. A mode that is able to remove hate related to team composition, primarily the lack of supports, which from experience is one of the leading causes of a downward *team death spiral).

Team Death Spiral: When one ore more players on a team refuse to communicate or work with the majority resulting in yolo solo doto.

Good thing for us there is a mode that exist! Unfortunately it is not implemented in Dota. The game play mode is called Team Builder and it was first introduced in League of Legends a few months ago. Before I continue please no bashing on League of Legends, I enjoy both games and believe each one does there own thing great. Now back to Team Builder, what is it?

Team Builder is a mode where you select your hero, position and lane. Match Making will then attempt to place you in a lobby  with individuals who are looking to fill the remaining 4 spots. Once the team lobby is full, match making will then attempt to look for another group of 5 which was created via Team Builder. This mode works wonders. The game play experience was exactly what I expected, people playing the game as a team. Wards were bought, we had a carry who can carry and a support who could support, it was beautiful.

In all the Team Builder games that I played not one of them had a rager (well rage directed at the same team hehe). General queue time wasn’t even that long, only about 5 minutes, although keep in mind League has a larger player pool. Team Builder solves the constant struggle of finding a support by having them declared before the game even starts. I believe this in combination with the MMR system may create a richer game play experience.

For Dota there can be a similar system, but doesn’t have to be identical. The standard roles can be available

  1. Safelane Carry
  2. Mid
  3. Offlane
  4. Support
  5. Support or Jungler

The positions can be a settings like your Region.

One key difference that the Dota iteration can have is once your position is selected you will begin you queue just as normal. There probably may not need to be a Team Builder like lobby pre-game. Although it maybe difficult to complete group when a part of 2 or 3  are searching. Of course no need for 5 stacks. This allows for players to create hero synergy and is a big downfall I see in League’s Team Builder. The fact that once you find a group of players with their desired positions, but are unable to adjust your heroes to find proper synergy is a pretty big fail in my books.

I am no crazy programmer but I think I understand some of the logic that may need to go behind a system like this. The match making system may need to ensure that each game has one of the following to the current search.

  1.  1 carry – 1 Mid – 1 Offlane – 2 Support ( Supports can choose whether to run dual or tri lanes)
  2.  1 carry – 1 Mid – 1 Offlane – 1 Support – 1 Jungler

This should not be to hard to program. As previously mentioned positions can be added as a setting like your region. If you don”t care what you play then just select all. Once in game there can be and indicator underneath the player name stating what their position is. The position should only be visible to players on the same team to hide those carry support picks like Wraith King or Sven.

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There are a few factors to be concerned about,

  1. People who can not play the positions they requested. This will always be there though but at least this mode can find you a bad support rather than none =). 
  2. Long queue time for the extra search parameters.
  3. If no pregame lobby is created similar to league, mode may need to be limited to single queue only. 

My mission if you do so accept it, is to spread the word of a position setting added. Drop a message or suggestion, up vote on reddit do what you got to do to let our voices heard and this mode be implemented! Shit if you are a programmer make this one your projects, me love you long time =).

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