What Went Wrong in Season 3, Part 2

I know I said that this would be ‘tomorrow,’ and it’s turned into ‘a week later.’  But, better late than never.  Besides, when you have enough material for two posts, it’s probably best not to blow it all at one anyway.

Game 13 loss as Brightwing on Cursed Hollow: I’ve probably said this before, but has your team ever given up?  And when they did, did you end up making a comeback that just barely fell short?  So in other words, giving up prematurely might have cost you the game?

Imagine that defeatism, coupled with boss obsession, could get together and have a child–a hideous, Diablo-crossed-with-Murky looking child.  Maybe throw some Nazeebo and Azmodan DNA in there, whatever.  That’s probably possible when Murky’s around.  That’s what this game was like.

From the very beginning, Raynor insists that we are going to get slaughtered because we don’t have a tank.  This wasn’t technically true; we did have Artanis, who, while not a great solo tank, could be very effective with blind against Falstad, Tracer, and Thrall (rounded out by ETC/Malfurion).

I do like their draft a lot better–in addition to Artanis/Brightwing/Raynor, we had Nazeebo and Chromie–but that’s no reason to throw in the towel in a gold league game.  They’re going to make mistakes.

But Raynor decided to forget all that, and started giving up once we lost the third tribute, making it 1-2.  Ever since I saw Grubby’s team lose the first six tributes on a team and still win, I don’t even flinch until we lose the first seven in a row, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

Anyway, Chromie responds to this by saying Raynor will never get promoted at anything in life, so easily does he give up.  I don’t know if this is true, but I now hope that it is.  What’s it to me?

One thing that stands out in these losses is that my team drafts poorly, but I don’t.  Sure, drafting supports is the easiest part of the draft because the only relevant questions are 1) Do we already have one? and 2) What’s the best support left?  But hey, if nobody else wants to play support, I won’t apologize for making the easy pick.

So back to the game and our defeatist Raynor.  The enemy makes an obvious move to get their boss while we’re some distance away, down 13-11 in levels.  The obvious move is to get our own boss rather than challenge them, and hopefully make up a bit of the level gap in the process.

I don’t need to tell you what happened next.  Well, I take that back, because it wasn’t Raynor’s fault: it was Nazeebo who tried to contest the enemy boss, and got killed.  The late-arriving Chromie was then rekt trying to do the same thing.

I don’t remember whether we got our own boss in compensation, but since I didn’t write it down, I doubt it.

Afterwards, we somehow got a tribute even though levels were 14-16, and even had a 1-0 lead in destroyed keeps, despite a 1-6 Raynor, 3-8 Nazeebo, 0-4 Artanis, and 4-5 Chromie.  So despite Raynor’s fears that a tankless Chromie would get rekt by a team full of divers, she actually did the best out of anyone.

So maybe by now you’re thinking ‘if you’re so good, how would you have drafted instead?’

I’m glad you asked.  I can’t remember who was banned, but I think our Artanis and Brightwing picks were great and it was the other three that were the problem.  I would’ve banned Tychus (maybe we did, I don’t know) and gone for another tank (Diablo, Tyrael, or even Anub’arak) and then replaced the other two assassins with Valla, Gul’dan, Ragnaros, or even Sylvanas.  Ragnaros was probably banned, but there’s no way they all were.

Game 14 loss as Malfurion on Towers of Doom: It’s incredible that we got as close as we did in this game.  It was Malfurion/Illidan/Artanis/Gul’dan/Muradin against Nazeebo/Chromie/Brightwing/Johanna/Samuro.  Nazeebo/Chromie are the kind of people that Artanis should just annihilate, but nonetheless our assassins are absolutely horrible and we start the game 0-8 on kills.

The enemy took a big lead on towers, but we battled back to make it 11-16, and here’s a key moment where boss lust did us in.  They’ve taken control of our bot tower, and the cooldown has passed and it’s available for destruction.  We’re all right there.  Instead of just getting it back, Illidan insists on getting the boss, even though one of them will be resurrecting in 15 seconds (they had two dead at this point).

You know my rule by now: at least two enemies have to be dead for the next 20 seconds when you start the boss, or you’re going to get jacked.  It’s even worse when you might be facing Emerald Wind.  In the end, we got neither tower nor boss, but at least it could’ve been worse.  We could’ve wiped there.

We eventually got it to 11-4, but then we all wiped trying to take down the middle tower and lost 4-0.

Maybe that everyone’s collective fault (even though I didn’t die there), but the assassins’ damage output tells the story.  Theirs?  83k, 81k, 81k.  Ours had 44k and 36k, both of which were outdamaged by our tanks, 62k for Artanis and 45k for Muradin.  Kills were 16-26.

Game 15 loss as Tychus on Blackheart’s Bay: The most frustrating game I have ever played.  Possibly the worst case of boss lust I have ever seen.  And without the magic of replay, I thought I just might have been responsible for our eventual defeat, though now I blame everyone else for reasons that will become clear.

So it’s Tychus (me)/Li Ming/Thrall/Malfurion/Diablo vs Li Li/Samuro/Dehaka/Zarya/Falstad.  So already I’m feeling pretty good about my hero choice here.

Ten minutes in, and they’re dominating us on coins: 22 handed in, with another 21 in hand vs 10/9 for us.

Malfurion keeps telling us we’re all idiots, while Li Ming is utterly obsessed with the boss even though it’s obvious that neither side can get it.  Even if we did, Falstad would just laugh, zip to the boss area, and expel a mighty gust to collect the boss at his leisure.

I keep reading that the average age of a gamer is now 35, but I wonder at the mental age of my teammates sometimes.  They go crazy for anything big, and the boss is the biggest thing around.

Soon after, Li Ming and Diablo are dicking around near the boss and we lose Malfurion in a 3v5 fight that I didn’t want because of it.  Diablo dies as well soon afterwards, probably due to trying to do too much, AKA a hero complex.  That’s been one of my biggest problems; we’ve all done it.  But unless you’re a support or you have a great disengage, it’s best just to let people die.  Diablo in particular isn’t cut out for this role, particularly with his healer out of action.

Fortunately for us, we can beat this team in a fight; we had a better draft for once.  Once we finally get the team together and do that, we win.

After they resurrect, we can’t find them; in a clear case of projection Thrall says they’re bossing, but it turns out they’re not even close.

There’s another team fight, and we wind up killing their entire team but Li Li.  The fight takes so long, though, that by the time it’s over everyone is back except for Falstad.  Guess how we want to take advantage of it?  The boss.

We fight for no reason instead of turning in and lose 8 coins.

Later on, the enemy Falstad has gotten himself killed trying to stop us taking the bottom mercs, and yet again this team wants to go for the boss!  We won’t even be able to get to it in the 23 seconds before Falstad resurrects because we’re all on the bottom lane, and besides, mercs will destroy our keep if we don’t do anything about them.

Here’s where we lost, and surprisingly the boss isn’t in play: we need only turn in one coin to please the pirate again, and we have two.  Instead, we decide to go straight at the core even though only Zarya is dead for the next forty seconds and there are mercs in our base.

I decide to go back to defend, and nobody objects.  Everyone else wipes going for the core, and we end up losing.

This is why I blame everyone else: on what planet is a 5 on 4 in the enemy base for 20 seconds (which is how long Zarya will have by the time we get there, I think) a guaranteed win?  Why not just give the pirate what he wants, shoot off the cannon again, destroy their last keep, and go from there?

I think the answer is that it’s not a guaranteed win, I might have saved keeps or even the game by killing the mercs in our base, and that they’re all morons.  As a 9/0 Tychus with the second most damage in the game, I deny all responsibility.

For the record I think we should’ve treated the core like the boss: they’d better have at least two dead for 20 seconds when we start on it in order to win, even if we’re past 20.

Ugh.  Even when the boss isn’t involved, he’s still in the picture.

Game 16 loss: Muradin/Malfurion/Tychus/Jaina/Gazlowe vs Sylvanas/Kharazim/Zarya/Samuro/Chromie.  I was Muradin in this one.

Jaina supposedly gets the blue screen of death and dies.  Yay!  The last time I was on Sky Temple I got a first pick Murky on my team.  Now I’m thinking the sky gods don’t care for me very much.

We lose two guys while they’re getting mercs.  They proceed to take the boss; we get top tower.

Later there’s a fight middle in which we lose three guys while I’m trying to kill Chromie.  I escape.

Trying to come back, Tychus tries to split push the bottom keep during shrines, but he winds up dead, and Malfurion gets killed trying to save him.  This fulfills my two dead for 20 seconds rule for the enemy, and we lose.

Game 18 loss as Malfurion with Sylvanas/Li Ming/Muradin/Zarya on Shrines vs Jaina/Azmodan/Auriel/ETC/Kerrigan.

Their team was just better here.  Forget that Li Ming’s just not as good as she once was; on Shrines her weaknesses really stand out because all her pokes hit minions instead of heroes during the map event.  Even though Azmodan is split pushing for them during the first shrine, they still win it, and suddenly we’re down two forts.

Later, Ring of Frost and Mosh Pit gets three of us.

After that, Sylvanas gets to the shrine first.  Even though it’s 2v5, she apparently thinks she can get the Punisher before the enemy shows up.  Wrong, especially since I (Malfurion) am the only other friendly hero on the map, i.e., not someone who’s going to burn through minions quickly.

I succumb to trying-to-do-too-much-itis and we both die.  We were only down a keep at that point, but even after that, the game wasn’t lost.  No, that happened when we idiotically fight 3v5 them just outside our gate with the Punisher approaching.  Why not just stay near our keep and defend?  What made us think we could win?  Even if we do, what’s to be gained?

At least Sylvanas and I had the good sense to run when outnumbered 5-2, and at least there was a worthwhile objective still on the table, impossible to reach though it was.

Game 19 loss as Thrall on Braxis Holdout: Thrall (me)/Azmodan/Jaina/Muradin/Auriel vs Li Ming/Falstad/Malfurion/Diablo/Nazeebo.  I was probably just deflated by the last game, and I have to say their Nazeebo was amazing at getting me stuck in zombies.  It seemed like we could do nothing right against this team.  I had a pretty mediocre game: 3-5 and 6th place in hero damage.  Not sure if 1-7 Muradin or 2-5 Jaina were more to blame, but either way, nobody was particularly good, including me.

So there you have it: my terrible season 3.  If I had to do it all over again (and I will…) I’d pick support heroes only when I absolutely had to.  Since they’re obvious picks, I should leave them to teammates who may or may not know what they’re doing.  If I’m not the one to blame for losses, I should pick a tank or preferably an assassin, and go out and win it for us.

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