Pretty sure the season ends today. Or maybe it was yesterday. Whatever the date is, I’ve wound up in Platinum 2 with a ranked record of (I think 9-6). I tried to make a last minute push for Diamond yesterday, even though that would have taken about half a dozen straight wins, but after long queue times and two straight disconnects by other players I threw in the towel and half-heartedly watched the Redskins lose to the Steelers. Maybe it was better this way. In the lobby, one guy was saying “you sure talk a lot for a Platinum 2” (talking to someone else), which is a great start for any team. But, if you get matched with Platinum 2s, you’re not exactly MLG level, as the other guy pointed out.
Next season, I fully expect to get Diamond. Anything less would be a total failure. And now, a few assorted thoughts on how I’m going to do that.
- Tell people what to do.
Yeah I know, this sounds like a terrible idea. You could easily wind up with a fight ã la those two in the draft lobby above. But if you know what you’re doing, that’s the only way to really influence the team. For example, I played a game yesterday where our Sylvanas decided to go for mercs on the enemy side of the map on Infernal Shrines. I think they only had one living hero, but three of them were coming back in ten seconds. I immediately said “really risky,” but as Morales I felt obligated to help. It’s a running joke that I always say I should leave more people for dead but rarely do, and that caught up to me again. Predictably, they showed up and killed both of us, which led to them winning the shrine, after which we lost even more people trying to stop the punisher, and all told that decision cost us three forts. And for what? One merc camp. At least someone else on the team pointed out this fact. “But you didn’t say run, you said risky :)” said Sylvanas. We did end up winning though.
- Better team fights.
I had another game on Blackheart’s Bay as Falstad where I dealt the second-lowest damage on the team. The reason? They had Chromie and Hammer and I was playing scared. What I need to do in the future is identify windows during which I can execute my combo (in this case lightning strikes and hammer + boomerang) and then move back out of range when they’re not available. Also, in retrospect their team was extremely vulnerable to being split by mighty gust; blow Chromie, Hammer and possibly their support back and kill whoever’s left. Doing this sort of planning at the loading screen could really have improved my game, and instead we lost that one due to what in my opinion was an overly aggressive Muradin who loved the boss way too much. That said, I wasn’t aggressive enough, but at least I dropped no coins.
- Better merc strategy.
Hopefully I didn’t mention this already, but I used to try to time mercs so that they would be captured right when the map event was announced. Eventually I abandoned this because A) I don’t use bribe on any of the heroes I play and B) it assumes that everyone else on the map will be passive. If there’s a big team fight or one team starts pushing hard for whatever reason, that takes priority. It’s better to just take mercs, or push a lane, or whatever whenever you can. Take what’s nearby and put pressure on the other team. Unless you’re that Sylvanas I talked about.
After making all these changes, and seeing how I got placed in Platinum 1 with just 12 ranked games all time, I’m really confident of Diamond next season. Anything less is a total failure.