2 will have bots (with what sounds like interesting A.I.). OK, I’m on board.
This update also enables the practice bots. While they’re still a work in progress, they’re a great low-pressure tool for trying out new heroes and item builds. While practicing with them, note that you can ping the minimap to send commands to your allied bots – ping an enemy tower to tell them to push a lane, an enemy hero to ask for assistance in a gank, and so on. At the moment they only know how to play a subset of the current heroes, but they do know how to use all of Dota 2′s many items.
They’ll also use text chat to indicate their plans, so you can join in. For example, they’ll:
- Let you know when they’re coming to your lane for a gank.
- Communicate when they’re fleeing or losing a fight.
- Indicate their high priority targets in upcoming team fights.
- Expose their thinking about whether they should push or defend their lanes.
- Call for assistance versus Roshan if they think the timing is right.
If you’re interested, here are a few features we’ll be adding to them next:
- User specified difficulty levels, so you can tune them to your skill level.
- Deeper control over your allied bots, so you can “command” your team at a high level. For instance, you might want your team’s carry to not join a fight, and instead keep farming their lane. Note that they do a good job of making these kinds of decisions themselves, but if you really want to be hands-on, you can.
- Support for several more heroes.
The one simple thing that has shown to be a determining factor in my enjoyment and attachment of a MOBA game is the ability to quickly and easily practice abilities, champions/heroes, builds, and other variables. The easiest and most enjoyable way to do this? Bot matches. Sure, one can argue that the best way to learn is to play against quality opponents, and I agree with that completely, but when you’re just trying to get a quick handle of how a hero’s abilities synergize together, a bot match is a perfect way to execute this without potentially dragging your team down in a “ranked” match.