A Situation Involving Mana

#1Thalandor46Posted 4/20/2013 11:17:00 AM
I don't particularly want to dance around this fact, so I'll just come out and say it now. I'm a LoL player. I'll certainly try not to be condescending or judgmental about DotA in this post, but I apologize in advance if I come off that way. I have some friends who play DotA, so when they ask if I want to play with them, I'm happy to join up. While I personally prefer the nuances and design mentality behind LoL, I want to try to understand DotA so that I can be a fun person to play with, and also even have fun with it myself. This is a situation in DotA that I don't understand.

In an all random game, I get Anti-Mage. I look through his abilities to find some mechanics based on my opponents mana pool. Sure, that makes sense. So I go to my lane and I'm up against Ursa. I've never played Ursa, but I notice something curious about him, something I've never noticed before. Conversation goes like this.

"Does Ursa have mana?"
"Of course Ursa has mana"
"Then why can't I see his mana bar?"
"You can never see the other teams mana bars"
"Huh..."

So now I find myself in a quandary. I have 2 abilities that are based on my opponents mana pool, but I don't know what that mana pool is. The game goes on, and eventually Lina joins Ursa in lane. I find myself with a good opportunity to make use of my ult. Because Ursa is closer, I target him, and my ult proceeds to do an unimpressive amount of damage. Conversation with my lane partner goes like this.

"No dude, Lina had less mana"
"She did? How was I supposed to know that?"
"Click on her"
"...WHAT!?"

Allow me to explain my outburst here. In LoL, where you can see the constantly changing mana bars of your opponents, the situation would have called for the following steps.

-Look at my opponents
-Assess which opponent has the lowest mana
-Press R
-Target aforementioned opponent.

All in all, the process would take me roughly half a second. However, the steps in my Anti-Mage scenario look more like this.

-Look at my opponents
-Click an opponent
-Draw my attention to the bottom of the screen
-Note the first target's mana
-Draw my attention back to the game screen
-Relocate and click on the other opponent
-Draw my attention to the bottom of the screen
-Note the second target's mana
-Assess which opponent has the lowest mana
-Draw my attention back to the game screen
-Locate and click myself
-Press R
-Target aforementioned opponent.

Now I don't claim to be particularly good at MOBAs, so I can't imagine this whole process taking me any less than 3 seconds. But a difference of 2.5 seconds is the difference between life and death in a MOBA.

When I raised this point to my friends, they didn't do a very good job of countering it. So now I ask you, internet. What am I doing wrong here? What can I do to improve the efficiency of these steps?

Sorry for the long post. Hope that all makes sense. Thanks! :)
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#2The_PwnisherPosted 4/20/2013 11:20:21 AM
You can hit F1 to go back to your hero. Also if they have 0 mana they won't be effected by mana break (obviously) so when you notice you are not burning their mana you cast Mana Void.
#3ShaphrionPosted 4/20/2013 11:31:07 AM
Learn to tell how much mana they have by how many spells they have used. Also mana void will almost always be a waste on Ursa. His mana pool is too small for a big ult.
#4LookANinjaPosted 4/20/2013 11:31:15 AM
You generally want to target heroes with a high POOL because they take more damage that way. Ursa is a low mana pool hero. Lina has a high mana pool and low CD spells so she burns a lot of mana making her a prime target for AM ult.

Also good teammates usually call out if someone has low mana so people can know if they can fight/chase them or not.
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#5YoungAdultLinkPosted 4/20/2013 11:40:32 AM
I kinda had a similar situation playing as KotL yesterday. In the end I just always ended up casting Mana Leak on whomever was running away, assuming that they'd get stunned. Worked on everyone but riki.
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#6funkyfritterPosted 4/20/2013 11:58:19 AM
Experience is the easy answer. Over time you'll get a sense for how quickly mana regenerates and how much spells cost, allowing you to estimate when someone's running out if you're laning against them. As you play heroes like antimage who drain it you may start keeping track of how many hits you get, which will provide a rough estimate of the mana they're missing even if you don't know how much they've been casting. Most importantly in this case, as you use the interface more you'll be able to check things faster, that 2.5 second pause could be less than .1 with practice.

Obviously solutions that come with experience won't help you in the short term. Sometimes you'll want to maximize your damage by checking everyone's mana before using your ult, other times it's more important to throw it out quickly. Making those split-second decisions is a big part of what makes dota compelling, fights are more frantic and unpredictable than in games like league and there's always little things you can do to improve your game.
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#7PhoenixNinePosted 4/20/2013 12:04:41 PM
Back when I played Dota 1 (and I was pretty damn good) I mentally kept track of everyone's mana all the time (most good players did this).

If someone has 400 mana and casts a 150 mana spell you'll know they're down to 150, then take into account their regen...

LoL is easier to play than Dota, simple as that.
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#8Ultima_Weapon33Posted 4/20/2013 12:10:15 PM
AM is a harder hero to play which is why Swaglock shouldn't pick him.
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#9iTz_SLammiPosted 4/20/2013 12:11:00 PM
Ultima_Weapon33 posted...
AM is a harder hero to play which is why Swaglock shouldn't pick him.

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#10Alternative_1Posted 4/20/2013 12:11:40 PM
Oh no, the game expects you to do something to check a valuable piece of information rather than just give you it for free. How terrible.
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