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I've encountered several times now questions about DotA 2 which can be formulated as follow : "In this particulare scenario, How do I counter this character ?" or "How to counter this character ?". Exemple :

As an experienced player I can't help but to think of the many ways to do it and how much it depends on the situation. It depends on your level (in the game or as a player), on which version (patch) of the game you are talking about, on the heroes on the field, and many other things.

I always give a more "general" answer and I tend to give tips and advices more than actually answering for this particular situation.

Shouldn't the question "How to counter X ?" be concidered "too broad" ? But then, thinking of the many scenarios you can encounter in a MOBA, there would be as many infinite questions on "How to counter X ?" as there are of situations which I think would be way too specific and generate too much questions. I feel like I shouldn't ask 10 questions like :

  • "How to counter Batrider mid ?"

then

  • "How to counter Batrider in the offlane ?"

then

  • "How to counter a jungling Batrider ?"

and so on... for every characters in the game (Which are more than 100 in DotA and as many in League of Legends).

Can anyone enlighten me ? Thanks

  • 1
    I don't see them as too broad so much as comprehensive. But then, I don't play the game so I can't say for sure – Robotnik Jan 16 '14 at 8:30
  • I was sure someone had asking something similiar to this before, but I can't seem to find it. – Frank Jan 16 '14 at 15:57
  • i think asking for specific scenarios is to specific. broad questions like "how to counter batrider" are good in my opinion because an good answer is limited by design. your answers on those questions are quite perfect because they are general tips and that is exactly what people need. the question is not "teach me how to play against x" like you would coach him for every minute of the game but rather "give me an idea what gerneally works good against x". i just think WizLiz answers are nearly complete/enclosed and therefore perfect – Wandang Jan 17 '14 at 9:04
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I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, I agree with you in the idea that the core answer to these queries is "It depends on the gamestate and a whole lot of other factors". That said, I also feel that answers like yours (in the ES question) and Decency's (in the mid Bloodseeker question) are actually really good, and would be the correct way to handle a more proper query - something more like "What are some ways to cope with Earth Spirit?"

The problem, though, to play my own Devil's Advocate, is that "What are some ways to cope with/deal with Earth Spirit?" is really open-ended, and would probably be closed as too broad in and of itself. I also agree with you in regards to the worry of a deluge of every X hero, Y lane, Z situation if allowed.

It's a really rough thing to suss out. I know we hate subjective handling of questions here (nearly as much as we hate subjective questions!) but I almost feel like this is best handled with a case-by-case analysis of the 3Ks that look at it.

  • "What are some ways to cope with/deal with Earth Spirit?" is really open-ended /quote. Why? Of course you could go ahead and add screenshots of like 50 ingame situations and explain what to do in that situation but that does not really help. as explained in my comment to the question itself: i think those questions need a general answer/advice which then is a closed (not open-ended) answer. it is like you take the pro and contra from mobafire/playdota + a few specific heros and items that enhance those. For me it is not open-ended. – Wandang Jan 17 '14 at 9:12
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I'm going to look at this from a different perspective, because I can think of an additional game where it could apply, and I have a little more experience in that game.

In Team Fortress 2, there are hard counters to every class. Snipers counter Heavies, Pyros counter Spies, Demomen Counter Engineers, et cetera.

The TF2 Wiki lists the hard counters TO those classes, or rather, it lists how each class measures up against it, because "which class should I use against X" is a common question.

The breakdown of which class works/doesn't work on different classes takes up a fairly substantial length of page on that Wiki, especially against complex classes with different loadout options.

And there are only 9 of them in this game.

I would consider a question of "How do I counter X class" for TF2 to be too broad, because there is no way to know what type of class the ASKER wants to play against them, and their ability to counter it is directly dependent on which class they are playing.

I haven't played much (okay, ANY) Dota 2, but I imagine the situation would be the same - it depends on which class you play, there are many classes with many different builds and strategies that can be employed against X class, and there are a LOT of Dota 2 characters. The question is too broad to answer all at once, and any 'definitive' answer will wind up being based on effectiveness, which is essentially an opinion answer.

Now, there is a legitimacy to this type of question, because players will very often get frustrated at not being able to deal with a particular character in a particular situation that is giving them trouble. So, what can we do?

We can answer for that specific situation

If a person wants to ask how to deal with Dota 2 Character on Mid when you're playing, say, a Support Class that said character might target frequently, and want to know how to avoid dying constantly to such a character or better yet, characters LIKE that character, that's something that can be answered very specifically without basing it too much on opinion. It's narrow enough that a person can offer an effective strategy in a single post, and not worry about veering into opinion-based answer wars.

This is fairly effective in TF2 answers, where there are specific classes that do specific things that you need to know how to counter, such as the Spy's ability to disguise, and how to tell if a friendly player is really a disguised spy. Each class has different ways to do this, but it's a very specific thing that they do, and they each have fairly reliable responses for that specific situation.

  • i do not really play much tf2 but i am familiar with the classes (at least the basics of them). I can not imagine a long(too long) answer for the case of "how to counter spy" for example. there are a few weak spots that can be explained + 2 classes which excel at countering (i have no idea since i do not play it tbh). i do therefore not get your problem. answer a broad question with general/broad tips should be sufficient – Wandang Jan 17 '14 at 9:16
  • @Wandang The issue is that tips for how to counter spy that boil down to "be a different class" aren't very helpful when you don't want to play a different class. – Zibbobz Jan 17 '14 at 14:08
  • i guess tf2 and dota are just not comparable. be a different hero is pretty much what dota player need to pay to win. maybe tf2 is not complex enough - beeing an fps - to say "play more defensive, use item x to prepare, position yourself like y". there are many things of a playstyle that dota player can or need to do to counter heroes. Furthermore it does have a time component (leveling up) so behavior in early game is different from lategame. to me your comment sounds like tf2 is like rock paper scissors which dota is not – Wandang Jan 17 '14 at 15:12
  • @Wandang My answer that it is too complex to answer a question with a hard counter is why TF2 is less complex than Dota 2? I was answering this question with the impression that Dota 2 was MORE complex to answer such a question for, because of the volume of characters and builds you could make. In fact I expllicitly state that in my answer - that it's difficult enough with just 9 classes and some slight loadout changes to answer such a question. My point was that a broad answer like that can be very unhelpful for players who are actually looking for more specific answers. – Zibbobz Jan 17 '14 at 15:28
  • @Wandang That being said, I suppose technically "switch to Pyro" COULD be a complete answer for how to deal with spies. So I suppose the real issue here is that it is still, in fact, completely subjective, despite the different scenarios that might be imaginable. – Zibbobz Jan 17 '14 at 16:09

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