Feedback from a very low-level beginner!

MannersManners Member
edited May 20 in Feedback

Disclaimer and preface

I am the most casual of casuals. I've played a little bit of LoL, and played through the SC2 campaign. So I know what a MOBA and a RTS are, but not much more in terms of actually playing them. PvP-wise in SC2, I barely climbed into Silver league in season 1, kept failing to get any higher, and quit. Nowadays I play pretty casual games (most recent five PC games: Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Stardew Valley, Terraria, Pony Island, Armello; the most recent mobile game I've been into is Clash Royale). In other words, I feel like I'm coming into this somewhat out of my depth, and that my experience and feedback will be much more basic than most of these other feedback posts seem to be.

Onward to the feedback! This is my experience with my first five Intro Bot games.


Pretty straightforward, although it goes through a lot of concepts very quickly and I'm having a hard time understanding it all.

First two games

I feel overwhelmed by the customization in the beginning. Cards? What do these all do? After several minutes of fretting over what all these options and abilities and whatever do, I just decide to go with defaults and confirm to start the match.

I'm being given a bunch of tutorial alerts and I'm feeling overwhelmed. What are they telling me? One of the alerts is to press tilde to select army, I got that much. The rest, I'm not sure, I feel like I'm getting bombarded with tips, and while I'm reading one tip another comes up. Aaah!

I immediately feel bad about how suboptimal I am. Between the choices in the beginning, and needing to manage queues, and then actually play the game, I feel like I have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing.

I am very anxious that I am going to be a complete and utter drag on my teammates in any PvP matchmaking.

I'm having trouble with stock. How does it work? You get some on a regular basis but you can also make more?

I heard "upgrade complete," hit space to go to the building, and of course nothing happened.

Game 3

Rather than try to understand what's going on with all of that previous stuff, I'm going to pare down what I'm doing until I understand at least something. Specifically, I'm going to ignore the entire concept of advanced units and focus on keeping my army and queues full. Also, I'm going to stick with one hero (Grath).

Edit: I forgot to mention how this game actually felt. This was the last game where I was trying to understand everything at once. Toward the end, I was barely getting the idea of keeping my eye on the supply count. Basically, I learned that I should build units if I can.

Game 4

Keeping to basic units is giving me a little bit of grounding. Still too intimidated to play regular bots, and still feeling VERY afraid and unprepared for the upcoming PvP event. Also discovered that you can warp units into areas other than the starting area. Main thing that's not "clicking" so far: once I go back to the main base to research or upgrade, my brain just goes absolutely "WTF" for several seconds while I ponder each of the buildings, what it is I wanted to do, and then slowly go through each of the identical-looking buildings to remind myself of what each thing does, and then finally select what I wanted to do, and then get back to the action. The production tab is easy, though. Edit: I meant to expand on this. I meant to say that building units feels easy because that's in its own tab, but if I want to do anything else I have a moment of panic and then go through the above (apparently) brain-racking activity of clicking on a building and then clicking an upgrade.

I am still missing entirely how stock works. Do you just get some periodically in addition to whatever you produce in your core? I also don't know what these B0 A0 things are in the tabs.

Game 5

Can teammates steal dropped resources? Am I stealing from my teammates if I click on an egg after their color is on it? I learned that that the core auto-queues stock and capacity upgrades, or at least I think that's how it's working. I think my bot teammates took everything out without me actually attacking anything other than the occasional monster.


After about an hour and a half of play, I feel like I have a very tenuous grasp of the main gameplay loop. Make units, keep queues full, collect stuff, attack other stuff. I cannot put enough of an emphasis is on the word "tenuous," though. There's so much going on and it's hard to not to be constantly distracted because everything that's going on feels important. I feel like if I played in PvP my teammates would want to murder me!

I intend to play another 5 games tomorrow, and post more (probably shorter) feedback as a reply to this thread.


  • ArchibobArchibob Member, Administrator

    I just wanted to say that this was really great to read! thanks @Manners !

  • NibNib Member

    Stock is generated from the big crystals after clearing camps (each crystal gives stock to every player) and through the generate stock button in the base and that will automate between stock and supply count if left unattended as you said. Units take up as much supply as they cost stock.

    When you place a gem on an allies node you split the resources from it so I guess you're more forcing them to share than stealing.

  • MannersManners Member
    edited May 20

    Oh, I wanted to mention one more thing, but I should stop editing my OP and just reply to keep my thoughts slightly less chaotic.

    Some time in the fourth game, I realized that the core queue can be longer than 2. Before that, I thought it was 2 max because that's all the production tab shows. I discovered it was larger by mistake by just clicking on supply more than I intended, and then clicking to dequeue, except I didn't see it actually dequeue. I thought it was a bug at first, but after it happened again I realized the queue was longer than it was actually showing graphically.

    Edit: that does clarify some things, @Nib. Thank you.

    Edit: also wanted to mention that the advice from @Day9 in chat to not worry and just pick something that looks cool and do it was important (and helpful!) in guiding my experience after game 2.

  • @Manners this was a great read and mirrored some of my experience

  • MannersManners Member

    Day two!

    With a night of being able to sleep on it, and a day to digest, I'm ready to start again. My goal is to win a game against Normal Bots by game 10.

    I'm going to stick with Grath and default units unless I say otherwise.

    This is mainly feedback in the form of my continued reactions to each game.

    Game 6 (Intro Bots):

    My brain can't decide if it wants to go to the production tab or if it wants to go to the main base.

    Generally speaking, the game went better than any of the games yesterday. I'm still sticking with basic units and one hero, but this game took 11:43, versus the 15-20 minutes per match the other ones were taking, so I feel like I'm actually affecting the game in some way. In fact, I will jump straight into a game with Normal Bots.

    Comfort status: feeling much better than yesterday, but still pretty tenuous.

    Game 7 (Normal Bots):

    [Unrelated to the game itself, I notice that I keep wanting to maximize the Game Client window by double-clicking , but it just moves the window to the top-left instead. I can only imagine there's some placeholder code for maximizing the game client window eventually.]

    This game took 28 minutes, but I won. I'm starting to understand the limitations of the bots already, because in the last moments, when it was 3-3, the opponents all moved together onto one of our towers, but then I summoned a titan and destroyed their unguarded nexus.

    Afterthought: does that blue lightning bolt next to some of the advanced units mean that they're tech tier 2? That makes sense, and if so, mystery solved!

    I thought the bots were going to be much harder, so since I already met my goal of winning, I am making a new goal to just minimize the time to win for the next 3 matches. How low can I go?

    Game 8 (Normal bots):

    26 minutes this time.

    I have an innate feeling of the concept of what I can only call "stock drain" from combat. I don't know the official terminology for it, but I mean simply that if you lose your army, you don't just lose the build time, you also need to have the stock to make a new army again, and if you're stock blocked after from a heavy loss (assuming the enemy didn't lose as much), it can be catastrophic.

    I undertand what those B0 A0 things on the tabs mean now.

    Game 9 (Normal bots):

    24 minutes. I see a pattern!

    I'm playing around with advanced units now, but I'm still on default cards.

    I'm starting to understand the basic "feel" of the game, like WHY it feels like a RTS and not just a MOBA with units and structures, if that makes sense. e.g., you want to preserve your units because your unit resource is limited both in time and in stock (which can be applied to making you stronger).

    I STILL have a great deal of confusion about the base structures. I can't tell them apart visually, so it's hard to remember what they all mean. "The core is in the middle and it's the one with the stock/supply upgrades. The one on the left is useless because you can produce units from your tab."

    Up to this point I also haven't touched items. Still too much stuff going on at once for my poor mind!

    Game 10 (Normal bots):

    15 minutes! The basics are coming together. I wish the difficulty of the bots could be turned up more so that I could be tested harder on just being able to play. I could probably learn to mix up items and advanced units and cards, and I don't feel "skilled" by any stretch of the imagination.


    I can now win against bots easily and with some certainty of what I'm doing with just basic units and ignoring most other things, and I only have a little over three hours total played. I could try to get faster and faster still at beating the bots, but I feel like that would be optimizing for the wrong thing.

    Anyway, I don't feel like the bots have taught me all the lessons that I need to succeed in PvP, but I feel like I've learned some basic skills. I'm still somewhat nervous that I'm going to be terrible in PvP, I'm just hoping that people don't take the matches too seriously. Like, at all. Because otherwise I'm afraid that I'm going to have problems. But I'm also looking forward to it more than I was yesterday. So... hurry up and get here before I change my mind, PvP Weekend!

  • staticostatico Member, Administrator

    @Manners this is wonderful. Thank you!

  • MannersManners Member
    edited May 22


    I wasn't intending on doing this, but since a couple of admins have shown interest, I thought they might also be interested in my feelings as I transitioned from bots to PvP. You might have thought I wouldn't actually follow up and do PvP, or that I'd do one or two matches and decide I was done, and half the time you'd have been right! I'd have ladder anxiety for sure. But the fact that I knew that there were a lot of other people out there just like me who were very new and very anxious let me start my initial game, and I was able to keep going after that.

    PvP Match 1 (loss, 25:16):

    I feel very uncertain of what I should be doing. Mostly my teammates and I are waiting around our side of the map for something to happen, but nothing did, until the opponents rolled up and destroyed us.

    I was confused that my base was not the upper-left base for the first 20 minutes of the match, so I could only make basic units.

    PvP Match 2 (loss, 21:18):

    I never want to move forward and attack, and apparently neither do my teammates. We're doing a LOT of waiting around, nobody's sure of what to do exactly. What I do know is that we were steamrolled again.

    PvP Match 3 (loss, 20:14):
    Starting to feel a little bad for my teammates. One of them is trying really hard.

    Am I getting worse? The losses are coming in faster.

    Not that I'll let a couple losses stop me. It took me playing bots for 20 matches to feel even an iota of confidence that I knew how to click on things sometimes. So I'll do this: I will try to squeeze in a total of 20 matches this weekend, and see how I feel afterwards. I can't possibly lose 20 matches... right?


    The first match is disconnected because someone dropped, and then after the requeue I don't get into matchmaking and have to requeue again.

    PvP Match 4 (loss, 15:00):

    Yes, the losses are definitely happening faster. I feel like others are understanding the game much faster than I am. Starting to feel discouraged, but I'm going to work through it.

    Edit: It looks like one of my teammates (the one who wasn't @Nib) was idle this game, which might help explain why the loss was so fast.

    @Nib was on my team for matches 4-6, and he helped me feel better with his overconfidence ("get ready to be 1-3" lol)

    PvP Match 5 (loss, 35:20)

    We took out a shield generator this time! So... progress? Also was matched against an admin, @excal. I feel like he was holding back.

    I'm starting to feel like I'm fundamentally missing how to play.

    PvP Match 6 (win, 13:08)

    Victory! Well, sort of. It felt like someone was idle on the other team, or something else basic went wrong, because I doubt a legit match would last less than 15 minutes. But I had a TON more resources this game. I think someone who knew what they were doing was playing this game.

    I feel helpless in combat. I feel like I engage, and then everything I have dies, and everything the opponent has lives.

    It occurs to me that I'm not going to be able to actually play 20 matches due to time constraints. I'll try to do as many as I can though.

    PvP Match 7 (Win, 25:48)

    I think I'm beginning to understand the idea of resource gathering. Like, don't wait for an invitation for the monsters that you can drag into your healing areas to start attacking you, just go for it. I get that now. It's the difference between having scrap and not having scrap.

    PvP Match 8 (Loss, 22:24)

    Overwhelmed by a far better team. One of the guys on our team seemed pretty experienced, but he severely overestimated his teammates' skills based on the tasks he apparently thought we could do. It was unfortunate because I wanted to take things slow and practice gathering resources. I didn't mind, and he didn't get upset, so everything's cool. I feel better and a little more comfortable than I did at the beginning, but I'm still intimidated by everything the game has in it.

    My other teammate was someone who's a little too into it, as in I felt like he wanted to start RPing or something, and I feel somewhat embarrassed for him. Still made me smile, at least.


    The worst I felt was in matches 4 through 6. I mean, I wasn't really expecting to win a lot, but my first four matches being four losses in a row feels kind of like harsh criticism: you know it's true that you're not great and you have a long way to go, it's just hard to swallow when the numbers themselves feel like they're judging you.

    I intend to keep practicing gathering resources, but I'm not going to post about those since I'm reasonably confident against bots. I'm going to start trying other heroes as well.

    I may post tomorrow, but if I had to guess I think I'd follow a similar curve to the bot matches, where I'm still a little shaky, but also somewhat confident in the basics, even if my 2-6 record isn't improved much by the end.

    Edit: I'd like to add that I still struggle with building selection. I still can't wrap my head around which identical-looking building does what.

    Edit 2: I would also like to add: when I say I felt worst in matches 4 through 6, I mean it. A naive reader might say, "don't you mean 4 and 5? If winning is supposed to make you feel good, shouldn't you feel less bad at 6?" well, no, for two reasons. One: the victory was after 15 minutes, which makes me very suspicious that their whole team wasn't there and therefore the victory was hollow. Two: there's still a LOT of carry-over feels from the fact that the first 80 minutes of gameplay was losing repeatedly in increasingly rapid succession. As a casual, I'm not toooooo invested in whether I'm winning or losing a particular match, but I do notice streaks, and more than an hour straight of losing being my very first experience just felt bad enough that I just felt kind of numb by the time the first win happened.

    Let me make the analogy to my experience with Hearthstone. I have struggled very much to get to rank 20 to get the perks, and I can't do it because my overall lose rate is just soul-crushing. I am aware that it is literally impossible NOT to get to rank 20 if you just keep playing, but I just lose so much that I feel terrible overall while I'm playing the game.

  • UnagiUnagi Member

    Thank you for posting this @Manners. I echo your thoughts as a new player and have enjoyed hearing I'm not alone with my sentiments.

  • MannersManners Member
    edited May 22

    I only had time for three games today, but I feel like I have a basic understanding of how to play now. My actions are somewhat purposeful, although I'm somewhat still lost at times. I have an idea of the how, when and why of farming, titan collection, fighting, even some of the abilities and different heroes.

    I still lose most individual fights, probably because the opponent is better coordinated. In a 1v1 scenario, I feel like I'd be somewhat evenly matched against the other beginners. What feels awesome is when the opponent is just 1A (I guess ~A) attacking, and I gain the advantage by focus firing on each unit sequentially, maybe throwing an ability in there. Or circling around the opponent and trapping them from behind. I'm no APM king, but knowing that I'm winning a particular battle because I'm executing better tactics than my opponent is very rewarding.

    I learned to just use control groups instead of trying to figure out which building is which, and that helped immensely.

    If I played any more, it would be because I want to understand how to prioritize the different upgrades, when to build what 2nd and 3rd tier units, and other basic strategy and tactics.

    There's definitely a much higher learning curve than on casual PvP games. There's a lot to know and there's a sense of urgency that you need to know it NOW. The community here is cool, though. For the other lurkers out there: at least in my experience, nobody gives you a hard time if you have absolutely no idea what's going on, and that's great.

    I also wish I had a mic. I feel like map pings just don't cut it sometimes, I need to talk with the other players to hear what they actually want to do. Also, I'm afraid to ping the map, and I get the feeling I'm not alone. Asking in voice chat would be psychologically easier.

    I'm not sure if there's anything else to add. Thanks for the fun weekend, everyone! Hopefully I'll see y'all next time.

  • TreiskTreisk Member, Administrator

    Holy cow this post is incredible. Awesome, awesome, awesome, AWESOME! Thanks so much for these!

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