Sunday, 8 May 2011

Your keyboard shall be burning

~Table Of Contents
1. Story
2. Introduction
3. Pros and Cons
4. Usage of Flame
5. Balanced Flaming
6. Walkthrough
7. Hero Choice
8. How to deal with moderation
9. How to deal with other flamers
10. Replays
11. Closing Words
12. Credits
1. The Story of Flaming
The phenomena of flaming is as old as the internet itself, maybe even older. There always have been people who felt the urgent need to get their balls out when it comes to talking over the screen. This simply derives from the fact that they would have been kicked in the crotch asap irl. But behind the screen one is nearly invulnerable. It is like firing sheep with lazors. Of course there have been things invented to reduce too rude behaviour, but its's no where near eliminated.
2. Introduction
Of course you guys will ask yourself now, why this faggot does publish a guide about flaming in the strategies forum.
Let me explain it: Besides the immense fun of flaming it also has many strategical purposes reaching from motivating your allies to do their fucking best to lowering your enemies' APM.
The next obligatory question is, what is hard about flaming? Everyone can flame, eh? Yes. Everyone can play DotA, too. The point of guides is to improve the gameplay. And this guide will teach you how to flame effectively, when to flame and how to avoid bans and such.
3. Pros and Cons
[+] Bonus motivation to your team
[+] Effective way to control your allies
[+] Demotivation to your enemies
[+] Even Icefrog can't nerf [Allchat]

[-] Lowering your own APM
[-] Players could leave the game
[-] Risk of getting penalties
[-] Likely there will be Haters

4. Usage of Flame
Noob, Idiot, Faggot, Son of a Bitch, Fucking Whore, Asshole, Useless Piece of Shit, Douchebag, Motherfucker, Cunt, Dickhead, Bloody Sucker

An insult is the most basic and simple form of flaming. It usually consists of a random combination of negative words directed at a certain player or team. There are stronger and weaker insults, yet the effect of them is not always proportional to their meaning.

Insults should never be used without a specific intention, as the aggression created could easily backfire without a proposed target. If you want to improve your ally's gameplay, combine them with some sort of advice, like 'back u noob'.
If you want to distract your enemies, you have to bait them into answering. Best way of doing so is with unprecise and random insults, like 'lol EPIC FAIL brown'(note: don't use this if your enemy HAS actually failed). Insults are easy targets for reports and stuff, therefore use them wisely in case there is any form of moderation in your games.

Rhethorical Questions
where are your items PA?, why no wards maiden?, why did you buy a clarity in min 30?, why did you buy RoH instead of 2 RoR for hood?, why do you still safe for rad in min 40?

Rhethorical Questions are way more effective than insults and also indepentent from other types of flame. Just ask something regarding a mistake of an ally of yours.

Rhethorical questions should rarely be used against enemies as it actually could mean, that they realise their mistake. And the latter is the whole point of this kind of flame: making people realise their mistakes and using the caused aggression to improve themselves.
A variation of this are the Cpt. Obvious questions. In contrast to the former flame this doesn't make people realise a mistake, as it is that obvious they have probably got it themselves. In this case they are similar to insults, just much safer if there is some sort of moderarion.

[Allchat]This PA is so bad, [Allchat]ur void is feeding us on purpose?, [Allchat]l2p naps, u will never kill me, [Allchat] HAHA so OWNED,
[Allchat] lolololol
[All]Don't worry this PA sucks anyway.

[All]Sorry, I accidently allchat on.

[Allies]trollface.jpg ( >.> )

by Phthalocyanine

Even just talking in allchat can be considered as flaming. It is annoying as it is counter-productive to strategic teamchat and hurts some players' concentration. Talking to enemies is rarely of any use ever, so you're basically wasting their time. Additionally you can change your enemies' gameplay towards your likings.

As I've already said, talking to enemies is useless. Therefore you will have a hard time to get your enemies answering to your chat.
One way of catching their attention is complaining about bad teammates. They most likely either agree or disagree with your flame. This is barely manipulative and often just as effective as an insult.
The second one would be discrediting a specific player of the enemy team. This not only causes several attempts of shutting your mouth, but also when used at right moment causes massive damage to teamplay of the opposing team.
The 3rd way is jaunting at all your enemies. This works similar to the ladder skill, but is way more effective. If you cause enough aggression your enemies will become careless and super aggressive. Super long tower dives may occur. Of course you should only use this if you can deal with the focus fire.
A special mention deserves the next mindgame: as you maybe have experiencend yourself (if not, read the comments on this guide) flamers are considered silly noobs who can't play and blame their fails on others.
I have to admit it is the truth in many cases but not in everyone and I just assume here that you can play decently. If that's the case you can use this prejudgement against them. Blame each and every of your mistakes on something else (e.g. 'OMG ANTIVIR UPDATE' or 'the mofo telephone rang'). The enemies now classify you as the typical noob and underestimate you. This might give you chances to make an easy kill. 


Again, if you have to deal with moderation this increases your chances of receiving penalties and is in many leagues a reason for increased penalties.

5. Balanced Flaming
When flaming, you have to take several factors into consideration.
For one, keep track on your own gameplay. If you spend all your time on flaming and are more or less afk the advantages of your flame will be heavily outweighed.
The second factor to consider is the psyche of the players in the game. Do they have the balls to take the flame? Are they above the age of 12? If playmates' feelings are hurt too much they will most likely be leaving which drastically reduces your fun in the game.
Finally you got to know when you crossed the line. If another player decides to report you, you didn't lose the game but your reputation and maybe even your account. Flaming is like gambling: High Risk, High Reward.
A special case is when your enemies want to RQ anyways. Then your flame might hurt their little pride and cause them to stay, trying to fight for their honour. Try this if you got nothing to lose anymore.

6. Walkthrough
Early Game

In early game reduce your flaming to a minimum. DON'T CAUSE AN ARGUMENT WITH YOUR ALLIES NOW! You should be busy with lasthitting and stuff, your APM shouldn't be extremely high but constant. Experienced flamers might pull off a flame right now with the enemies' carry which could inflict serious damage to his performance. Still, don't risk too much as it won't pay off. Early game most players are not willing to fight back.
An exception is constant harrassment (gameplay-wise) and death-time. If you have to tower hug or are dead flame as much as you can. There is nothing you can lose.

Concentrate on the game 
Don't distract your teammates 
Confident? Distract the opposed carry

Mid Game

Midgame is the time of ganks. You can flame quite effectively now. Your team is planning to gank someone? Flame that bastard. While he is busy with fighting back your pack can approach and take him down. Creates funny 'OMG I WAS WRITING'- moments.
Note that this strategy, if executed well, can even render wards useless as the enemy less likely notices the dots on his minimap while writing.
Then again: Keep the balance! If you flame too much and too obvious it might backfire and have the opposite effect. Also don't forget to play the game or you are ganked yourself.

Flame targets of ganks 
Don't be too obvious 
Keep the balance

Late Game

Lategame means Pushes and Teamfights. Translated in APM: Low standard with high peaks.
Flame before teamfights so that your enemies answer in those. Try to wreak havoc over their clever focus priorities. Through excessive flaming you might make a player totally losing the track on the game. Especially when you play a hero that is less useful lategame focus on flaming. Similar to Venge's Nether Swap you make a good deal when you take an important player with you.
You shouldn't hurt the atmosphere in your teamchat too much now as you need teamplay to finish the game. And a Huskar in Emo-Farm-Mode isn't that useful.

Flame right before teamfights 
Nether Swap Flame
Keep a good atmosphere in teamchat
7. Flamer's Hero Choice
There are heroes that have more advantages from flaming than others. Therefore you might consider one of the following suggestions when choosing your lineup.

AFK-Farmers like troll warlord spend much time in the woods, having an overall much lower APM than other heroes. Instead of 'wasting' this time better use it on flaming to help your allies on the lane.

Hardcore gankers like Vengeful Spirit suffer much from good map awareness and wards. Flame your enemies right before a gank so that they less likely recognize missing heroes.

Lategame carries like Mortred are popular targets of ganks. Constantly flame the opposed gankers. This decreases their APM and is a radar for ganks if they stop fighting back.

Heroes with difficult to set up spells like Invoker are more effective against less aware enemies. Flame targets before casting and take advantage of those extra seconds to land the spell.

Special Mention: Pudge
Pudge's killing potential heavily relies on successfully executed hooks. Any competent opponent will start walking up and down in lane to reduce the chance of getting hooked. If you still want to hook a not moving target flame the prey right before your hook. In most cases he will stop moving for a few seconds trying to flame back: Your chance to hook

Special Mention: PotM
Similar to Pudge a successful arrow is quite important for Mirana's ganking potential. To land the perfect 5 second arrow start a little shitchat while shooting/running. Again a great way to increase your effectiveness with little effort.

8. How to deal with moderation
As mentioned before, flaming has a bad reputation among players. It's called 'rude behaviour', 'bad manners' and such. Total nonsense in my opinion!  Yet most platforms of organized games have invented rules and penalties against flaming, more or less executed by some sort of moderation. Those guys deal with multiple support tickets sent to them by whining kiddies who feel hurt by those bad flamers.
There is not much you can do against this kind of people. Still I'm trying to give you some tips on how to avoid often and hard punishment.

Insist on your free opinion
Small words like 'IMO' or 'I think' express, that you're just stating your opinion. And as you are a free person you are allowed to speak it out loudly.
Technically that is not the truth but that doesn't matter as long as you make your enemies/the mods believe it.

Use a disclaimer
Yes it sounds weird. It is weird indeed. But like the disclaimer at the beginning of the guide safes me from infractions a small sentence placed at the beginning of the game can be used as a reference of yours when you are being reported. It is unlikely you won't receive any penalty
but in some cases it can reduce it.
Simply lay a shortcut on your keyboard through a banlist or something similar and it isn't much of an effort.

Yes, simply as that. At the end of the game apologize to players you flamed. Don't make it too cheesy though, as it could have the contrary effect then.

"Berserker's Call"-Style
If you are flamed back it is unlikely that the other players will report you as they could receive penalties in the process aswell. If flamed players don't respond your flame is ineffective anyways so better stop by then
9. How to deal with other flamers
Ok, to make the guide somehow 'complete' I've added this section.
You already learned from this guide that flaming can be used as a kind of mindgame. Therefore NEVER NEVER EVER respond if you are being flamed and you didn't start it/can't use it yourself.
You aren't totally helpless though. If a player constantly flames you, just use the following commands:

-hhn (this removes the hero names from the account names)
/squelch playername (this blocks any chat messages of the squelched player. You can read his messages under f12 though)

If you play in a game with moderation, use the report function. If a player fails to flame good enough he deserves the penalties.

10. Replays
It is hard to find competitive replays using my tactics therefore I can only provide this public replay brought to me by Redleader134 (thanks mate).

Quite typical pubgame featuring start leavers, rage pluggers and, for us most interesting, flame. Most often it is used here to demoralize the oppoents and sometimes to reduce the team spirit. Pay attention on the gangs of Lina in mid stopping after one failed action because the opponents flamed.

11. Closing Words
I hope this guide could improve the friendly atmosphere within your games and cause the world piece. We are all hippies and live a happy life altogether. Now let's sing the title song of the gay parade!
I hope this guide could increase your success rate in DotA and help you to understand the full potential of the Ingame Chat.
Also I want to point out here that I'm not responsible for any harm caused by this guide.
Another thing this guide should teach you, is that you shouldn't take flaming seriously. This guide only focuses on the MINDGAME part of flaming. You should deal with it, just like with juking. There's no reason to take any insult from some random people on the interwebz seriously. Internet is no serious business. And DotA, a simple video game, is neither. So keep a cool head and enjoy the game!

12. Credits
I want to thank some people at this point:
  • A friend of mine who inspired me to write this guide
  • Ranomar for his awesome guide template (Without it I probably wouldn't have written this guide, so blame him^^)
  • Redleader134 for sending me a replay
  • Phthalocyanine for giving some very nice example flame
  • Everyone who responded and helped me to improve the guide
  • Icefrog for creating such an awesome game
  • Tim Berners-Lee for giving birth to the WWW