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More advanced strategies for Sins of a Dark Age are described in detail below.

How to Play - Intermediate

Heroes

Not all Heroes are created equal—in fact, many excel at different tasks. Attempting to play your Hero in a way that does not complement their core role can put you at a disadvantage. Sample Hero roles include:

  • Assassin

  • Bruiser

  • Carry

  • Jungler

  • Mage

  • Support

  • Tank

Well-balanced teams that cover most if not all of these roles are better able to face a broad variety of challenges. When selecting your Hero, consider what role your team might be lacking.

Controls

There are a variety of control schemes that govern abilities, and determine not only how the ability is triggered but also whether it successfully hits.

  • Unit targeted abilities trigger upon selecting the ability, then left-clicking the target unit, either an ally, an enemy, or the Hero itself. As long as the target is clicked, the ability triggers successfully.

  • Self targeted abilities automatically apply an effect to the Hero casting the ability, usually strengthening them in some way.

  • Skill shot abilities must be selected and then aimed by moving the mouse; they fire when the player left-clicks. Skill shots can travel in a straight line or even a curve depending on the template. Unlike unit targeted abilities, skill shot abilities can often miss.

  • Area of Effect abilities trigger in a specific area, usually a circle or a cone. After selecting the ability, players can move this area with the mouse, then left click to cast. Alternatively, some area of effect abilities trigger automatically in a radius around the player.

  • Toggle abilities boast an effect that can be turned on or off each time the ability is activated.

Lanes

Matches can be won or lost based on the distribution of heroes across the lanes. Players looking for an advantage should keep the following details in mind.

  • Each minion, monster, or enemy Hero killed is worth a set amount of experience points. These experience points are divided equally among all Heroes within range. As a result, the more Heroes there are in a lane, the slower said heroes level up.

  • Over the course of a match this can make a big difference. It might seem like outnumbering the enemy five-to-one in a lane is a good idea, but when that one enemy is five levels higher than the Heroes trying to kill him, it won't be pretty.

  • This is part of what makes Junglers a viable strategy. By earning their own experience points in the jungle, they ensure that at least one of their teammates gains levels at an accelerated rate, increasing the likelihood that he will be able to earn a kill on an enemy Hero. The trade-off is that this teammate can be overwhelmed if outnumbered, and is more vulnerable to ganks.

Last-Hitting

Another subtle element of Sins of a Dark Age is something called last-hitting.

  • While all minions and monsters award experience points upon death, players will only earn gold if they “last-hit” the enemy, killing the enemy with an ability or basic attack.
  • The player who earns the last-hit is awarded a set bounty of gold. Allied Heroes in the vicinity earn a fraction of the amount. The more allied Heroes, the smaller the reward.

  • While it may be tempting for Support players to try to earn gold through last-hits, Carries are called Carries for a reason. Given enough gold they will become killing machines, strong enough to carry their teams to victory. Support players should only try to last-hit if there is no Carry in the vicinity, or if the Carry is unable to do so themselves.

  • Along the same lines, placing two damage dealers (Carries, Assassins, Bruisers) in the same lane risks slowing down the item progression of both players. Be aware of this and if you aren’t a Carry consider ceding last hits to the other player, buying gold per second items or jungling for your gold instead.

Shop

Items provide powerful stat bonuses and in many cases what amounts to an extra ability with Active or Passive effects. But which item should you buy and when? Here are a few tips.

  • Conscript items are meant to provide an early-game boost to a Hero’s fighting power, improving a broad variety of stats. In the later stages of a game they are less useful, and you should consider selling your Conscript item back to the shop. This will provide a small boost in gold, and open up a slot for a more powerful item.

  • If it looks like you won’t be earning many last-hits due to your role or the specifics of your lane, consider buying a gold per second item. These items increase the amount of gold you passively earn each second, and over time can prove a wise investment. The earlier you can buy one, the better.

  • Look at your Hero’s abilities, and the type of damage they deal/the stats they increase. More often than not, you should buy items that support the stats that your abilities draw from. Mages usually focus on Special Power, and Carries Attack Power, while Tanks can improve their effectiveness buying Armor, Health, or Magic Resistance.

  • Look at the enemy team’s abilities. What kind of damage do they deal? If you are getting outclassed in the early game, it may be worth forgoing an offensive item to buy a defensive item instead. With any luck this will increase your survivability, and you will be able to make it to the later stages of the game without dying too frequently or feeding the enemy team.

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