Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pressure: Illustrated by MATH!


Coming off a real crappy day today. Arena Junkies is down, I pinched a nerve in my neck doing pull-ups earlier, and apparently the blizzard of the century swept through Michigan and shut down everything, and I don't have any food to eat until the roads are clear.

What better way to distract me than some MATH? 

Edit: By the way, this is from the PTR on a 2800 resilience druid. Get pumped for the new patch, fellow hunters. Its about to get nutty.

I received a couple questions regarding my other post about pressure. I think the easiest way to illustrate it is by running through a scenario and making a graph. College is already paying itself off! My mother would be so proud.

Lets run through a scenario, then I'll explain it. So, you're fighting a pretty decent Shaman/Lock/DK team, and everything is going according to plan. You may have missed a trap or two, but your team is way ahead in mana and you're getting ready to start a CC train up and push for victory. BUT THEN! All of the sudden, you're screwed! You dont know exactly what changed, but suddenly you're having to blow all your cooldowns just to survive, and are screaming for heals on vent. Then, bam, you're dead.

Who hasn't been in this situation? You feel like you're playing it perfect, everything is going according to plan, you've forced some defensive cooldowns, then in the span of 15 seconds, you've lost the game. How could this be? The answer is that they were able to swing the pressure in their favor fast enough and you couldn't recover.

Lets look at how this is possible using MATH!

First, I'll create a system of tracking the changes in apparent pressure that various actions cause.
  • 10% of a person's life in damage is 1 point
  • 1 second of a successful CC on their healer is 1 point
  • 1 second of a successful interrupt on their healer 1 point
There are two sides to every coin, so here are things that enemies can do to you to subtract from the pressure you are applying:
  • 10% of a person's life healed is -1 point
  • 10% damage dealt to one of your teammates is -1 point
  • 1 second of CC on any of your teammates or you is -1 point
  • 1 second of interrupt on any of your teammates is -1 point
Remember, the three corners of the pressure pyramid are damage, interrupts, and CC.

Now, lets take a look at a pressure log of what happened during the theoretical situation up above:

1:00) 30% damage dealt to the DK (+3)
1:04) 20% heal to DK (-2)
1:04) Warlock casts fear on your healer, he trinkets after 2 seconds (-2)
1:05-1:09) 30% damage to you (-3)
1:08) 30% damage to DK (+3)
1:10) Warlock fears your healer, half duration no break (-5)
1:10-1:15) 30% damage to you (-3)
1:18) DK silences your healer, full duration glyphed (-8)

Theres no reason to continue. Already, in this example, you're screwed. If you don't deterrence, you're likely dead, at the very least you'll have to blow something to stay alive. As a rule of thumb, once pressure hits around -10, someone on your team is about to die, and you need to start using defensive CDs to stay alive. The opposite is also true, if your pressure level is around 10, you're on the verge of winning.

I hope this helps explain pressure a little more. But you may be thinking to yourself, "thats all well and great, but how does this help me?" 

After you've lost or won a match and you're looking for an explanation of how it happened, this is it. Keep in mind that pressure is impossible to track during a match, its all post-game analysis. Don't freak out about keeping track of your pressure after games (unless that's your thing), instead, just keep this thought in the back of your mind:

The team that puts out the most pressure will win every time.

Figure out ways to increase your pressure, and you will be successful.

Until next time,
Happy hunting


  1. It's clear you're a language major, not a math major. haha.

  2. Damn... Maybe you'll be able to kill shammys now :P

  3. nice post, hope ur neck gets better!

  4. man hunters were already good lol

  5. It made sense to me without the graph! :D
    Thanks, though

  6. i've been playing dota for quite some time, and it may not always be like you say...

    but then again, dota aint wow