Who is more likely to win in a fight, a warrior or a soldier?
Legend, narrative, society and our own ideas, all influence our answer, but why is it relevant? Let's phrase it another way. Who is more likely to win the prize money at a championship event? That's an important question for any gamer looking to compete. We'll examine the question logically and in detail, but first, we'll define our terms. What do we mean by soldier and what do we mean by warrior?
A warrior is one who lives his life according to an ideal, a concept, or a philosophy. The narrative of their life and the way they live are very important to the warrior. An example would be the Samurai of feudal Japan, who were supremely focused on living by the tenets of "Bushido," their warrior way of life. The warrior lives by his strength in arms, by his prowess and skill in combat and by whatever self-defined system of judgment is intrinsic to his way of life. He walks the path of self-sufficiency and the narrative he tells himself and the world is about being strong and powerful. He is defined by his perceived external value in his role in the world, and by the narratives he presents to the world and to himself. To the warrior, warfare is his way of life.
A soldier is one for whom warfare is a job, an occupation, something to accomplish. It is not a way of life, but rather a means to an end. Think of the soldiers of the Roman Empire, who were in the military for monetary gain and for the glory of the Roman Empire. The soldier shows up, does what needs to be done, gets the job finished, and goes home. There is no narrative involved in the soldier, or if there is it's one of what he does, not who he is.
So, who would win the fight?
A first response could easily be the warrior. Legends tell us of glorious individuals who could stand before any foe. The narrative of the warrior is one of success and fame. Society lauds the warrior as one who walks a path of struggle and perseveres over adversity. The warrior has the history of combat, he has the training and practice to defeat an opponent, and he lives the warrior's life! The soldier is no more than a mercenary who is there for the battle and then goes home to another life. So it makes sense that one on one the warrior would win, right?
Possibly, but it could be argued both ways, and essentially it comes down to skill at arms: who is the better fighter. And in all honesty, either one could have the experience, the skill, the energy, and the luck of the moment, to win. But, where the soldier far exceeds the warrior is that he doesn't fight one on one, he fights in a team.
A soldier's accomplishments mean little outside the overall success of the army, team, battalion, squad or unit. A warrior is concerned with personal glory, his own strength at arms. Even when working with other warriors, it is still his own capabilities that will determine, in his eyes, how well he does. A soldier trains with comrades. A soldier is only concerned with the success of his team. He practices with his allies and much of what he does is dependent upon being a part of the team. To a soldier, his own accomplishments are only useful in that they help the team achieve the desired goal.
A group of warriors fighting together will always lose to the same number of soldiers fighting together, because soldiers are fighting with one another, while warriors are merely fighting alongside one another. Part of the reason the warrior is held in such high regard over the soldier is that it is a path of personal glory: an individual accomplishing great things. And it's easier to remember an individual standing alone than it is to remember an individual within a team, or even the team itself. This is why the warrior is such an appealing model, and such an easy one to emulate.
The amateur player is a warrior
He plays for himself. His perspective is centered on himself and his own accomplishments. Even when playing on a team, he's not as concerned with how the team succeeds as he is in how he compares to the opponents and to the rest of the team. Or if he is concerned with the team's success, it is merely because he's concerned with how they make him look and how far he can go with them. He plays for his own glory, his own skill, and the admiration and adulation of those watching and judging. He plays to be the best at the game. His narrative in his mind and that he presents to the world is one of superiority and success. And he can be incredibly skilled at the game.
Where he fails is that "the best" that he's playing to be is an ideal. It can't ever be attained. It's not possible to be the best at any given game because the term is abstract. How does one define "best?" The concept is an illusion the player has created for himself, and he can't ever fully realize his own idea. This is a problem because the amateur's desire to be the best negatively affects his team.
The pro player is a soldier
He's not playing to be the best, he's playing to win. Winning may require him to be the best, but only in context. He doesn't have to be "the best," he only has to be better than the competition. So he shows up and he does what he needs to do to get the job done (being better), and he wins. And then he goes home.
Amateur gets a bad reputation. We associate it with unskilled, or less worthwhile, but really it derives from Latin amator: lover. An amateur is one who plays for love of the game. The professional may take satisfaction in his work, and in a job well done, and maybe even in his own superiority, but he's not playing because he loves the game. He's playing to win.
A pro player doesn't play on a team just because the team is full of other skilled players, but because the potential for a team to win is infinitely higher than any group of individuals. What's necessary for that to work is the mindset, the player's perspective. The player must have skill, and must be capable of accomplishing great things, but the things he accomplishes must work towards the team's accomplishments. The player must be aware of what he is doing with the team and for the team. He must understand that his individual successes and failures are immaterial when compared to the resulting achievement for the team.
Amateurs have a self-centered perspective
Many amateurs have problems with this. They spend time worrying about how well they're performing compared to the team, how skilled they are in relation to their teammates, or whether or not the world will recognize their individual merits as a player. Anytime the team fails, the player tries either to focus blame on someone else, or else justify his own actions. He doesn't understand that regardless of blame, fault, or responsibility, the team still failed. He's thinking about what just happened rather than what needs to happen next.
Because of this, he focuses on what "should be" instead of what "is."
"I shot him so many times!"
"I totally had him."
"I should have won that shotgun fight."
None of that matters. What's important is what is necessary to improve.
"I need to work on my aim and lead him more."
"I need to strafe better."
"I shouldn't rush in alone."
What "should be," is the way things were supposed to work out according to the player. What "is," actually happened. When things turn out different than what they "should be," the amateur player spends time figuring out what the difference was and why.
"I died last round, and here's why."
It doesn't matter why. It never matters. The player shouldn't spend time figuring out why they got in that situation. It's a waste of time and effort, and stunts self-improvement. Instead of the player figuring out why it happened, he should redirect his focus onto how it happened. All that matters is how the player caused it or allowed it to happen, and how they'll avoid the same problem in the future.
"You rushed too fast."
"Yeah, lemme tell you why."
"Nobody cares. I don't, and the opponents certainly don't. Instead, tell me how you're going to avoid it in the future."
Amateurs should never make the excuse, only the adjustment. The reason, the excuse, the explanation, the description of the sequence of events, whatever you call it or however you justify it to yourself, it just doesn't matter. All that matters is what you'll do next time to avoid, overcome or supersede the negative result.
"I rushed in alone. I won't do it again." The right answer
"I ran forward to shotgun this guy, but I got hit with a stun grenade." The wrong answer. Or commonly phrased in the gaming community: "Kill yourself."
In the player's mind there's a perfect sequence of events in which they are masters of the game. Everything they do will work and the end result will be perfection. Whenever this is derailed, instead of adjusting their own game play, they try and figure out why their actions didn't work. The amateur player feels they've dealt with the problem by discerning the reason. This analysis is short sighted. It is important to identify what happened, but the next step is figuring out how to avoid the situation. Knowing is half the battle. The other half is taking action to preempt the problem.
Part of the problem is that once players "know" something, they stop thinking. They've accomplished the goal, and now they can relax. This may very well have something to do with the way games are designed. Once you've beaten the game or unlocked the achievement, you never really have to do it again.
In competitive play, the exact opposite is true. Accomplishing something once is useless. It must be done perfectly, over and over again, and when the opponents have discovered a way to counter it, it must be adapted to counter their counter. When you know the right time to switch weapons, you must put in the effort to do it, time and again, at the proper moment. When they start advancing faster, the timing must change. Keeping these details current is key to beating the opponent. The difference between the pro player and the amateur player is not a question of skill, but rather of perspective. The pro player is concerned with the team's improvement. The amateur player is focused on self improvement.
Once they see themselves at the top of their game in a competitive sense players will get complacent.
"I know I'm better than my opponent, so I don't need to bother with the small details to defeat him."
It must be understood that it is the details that make you better than your opponent, and as soon as you give them up you are no longer better than him.
In addition, being aware of a problem and working to fix a problem are two different things
Saying to yourself, "I need to focus fire more with my teammates," is not the same thing as taking the time to aim at the more difficult target in game, in practice, in training, because that's who your teammates are shooting.
Saying, "I'm gonna help my team more," is pointless if you never, in-game, think about what the team is doing and how you can help.
Saying the right thing is useless compared to doing the right thing, which requires that you think of the right thing and then actively change to accomplish it. Keep in mind; you cannot talk your way into behavior.
Warriors want to be known. Soldiers want to take home money. Amateurs want to be known. Pros want to take home money. It's a desire to be in the tiny community of best players that gives rise to a limited perspective. Within your game you can seek to be the best. And everyone can all agree you are the best, or even among the best. Congratulations. The rest of the world only cares about results. To be the best does not mean you have a good team. If you are the best player, but there's a team that works more effectively than you, then what worth is your skill? If you have the highest score online, but then come to a lan and take 9th, how are you the best? You don't need to be the best to win. You only need to be better and more effective than the competition. What does it mean to be more effective? In the next article we'll discuss exactly that, and how you can improve your personal effectiveness and that of your team.
Written by Jordan, "Doomhammer" Kahn and Co-Authored by, Jerry "LordJerith" Prochazka. Presented by vVv Gaming.
I never played DotA before I got in the beta, I was a LoL player. I even had an app in the LoL division. I just played a bit, and watched alot of matches, alot of professional / tournament play. Practice vs bots until I felt comfortable to solo queue.
Coming from LoL, DotA was intimidating, but it really isn't as difficult as I thought it would be, you just have to give it a chance, like everything in life.
I do believe that LoL has elements of a strategy game. Controlling the resources (baron, dragon, buffs) are essential in order to win the game. You can choose to build gp10 items in favor of late game resources or use your resources towards immediate benefit,
I disagree with the statement that some people don't need a teacher. If you play mostly normal games or are in low elo, you can win games without necessarily playing well. There is no need to develop these habits to win in such circumstances and players may never move on to a level where these skills are needed to win. If you want to step up your game and you are in such circumstances, a coach might be a valuable recourse.
It's difficult to put certain champions on a tier list because of substantial differences in player ability. Blitz for example relies on players to step out from the protection of their creeps. You primarily capitalize on other players' mistakes more than your own ability. This makes Blitz a stronger support at lower elo ranges, but he really falls off as you compete against more skilful players. Other champions are really fragile and require team support in order to maximize their dps. You simply can't carry on these champions if you don't have a well coordinated team. This makes them much better in the high elo than low. Tier lists can be a valuable resource to new players especially and depict a fairly accurate image of comparable champions. However, you always have to make your champion selections in the context of each individual game.
Go go Trowa! Well, he prefers being called Vag. I mean Vagrance. Chyes chyes! I am +1 to his application like a baws. He's got a great attitude, despite living in Canada , and he can hold his own in LoL. I feel that he's making more forward progress to improve his LoL play than any other community member (currently) and is only slowed down by his stubborn want of a favorite character (so stop it). If he can keep his activity up to par like Asylum stated, then he will be a great addition.