The Roshan Toss #8 – Killsteals and You (Part 1: An Introduction)

Posted: July 8, 2011 by kingofgob in General

I made a comment last article stating, “There is no such thing as a killsteal.”  This is one of the major corners by which I play games.  This may rub a lot of people the wrong way as I know a TON of people in your average game will complain about killsteals all the time.  Now there are a few caveats that have to be understood with this philosophy so don’t think I’m in favor of all out kill poaching all the time, but as a general rule don’t ever be afraid of someone accusing you of a ks.

So what is killstealing?  Killstealing, in its most general form, is getting the killing blow on an enemy unit (yes you can ks creeps too) that an ally was preparing to kill.  This takes the gold away from that ally and takes it for yourself.  I will focus on ksing heroes in this article because ksing creeps is a completely different topic to be covered later (me thinks that’s more of an atenthirtyone topic anyway).  For hero kills, it also gives you the +1 in the kill column that your ally feels like he should have.  I think this status symbol has caused the biggest aversion to kill stealing.

In this Halo, COD, Gear gaming generation we live in people have been bred to not care about wins and losses as much as the almighty K/D ratio.  In the early days of DotA the score board would only tally kills and deaths.  This indoctrinated the DotA players with the idea that Kills and Deaths mattered and many people took this to mean the more kills you had, and to a much lesser extent the fewer deaths, the better you were as a player regardless of game outcome.   Players were very self conscience about these number and would protect these numbers even at the expense of wins and losses.  Refuse to defend a tower or base was common for players with a high ratio late in games.  It also meant that players would take kills any way they could get them, whether it meant diving into a 5v1 to try and pick off a low health player, or pop and ult to last hit a hero and ally was killing.

Let’s face it everyone likes to get a lot of kills and getting a good K/D ratio is a good confidence booster.  These things are not bad in it of itself but the object in DotA or LoL or HoN or all games in general is to win.  Kills often times do lead to wins but the object of a kill is not to see the enemy has been slain pop up with your picture.  Kills lead to resource advantage (both gold and xp) and as in all games resource advantage leads to wins.  It does not matter if you get the kill or your buddy gets the kill the, kill leads to resources which lead to wins.  It is always better to ensure the kill then to allow something you didn’t plan on to ruin the day.  Everyone has done it at one point or another.  You’ve had that thought “Oh, he’s got this one I don’t want to take it from him.”  Only to watch them get flash away or worse watch them die to a tower when you could have helped get the kill far before they ever got under tower.

It comes down to this: a kill is a kill.  Your team is now up on resources, take advantage.  Now there is some etiquette and common sense that needs to be involved with this thinking which is will go into more in depth next week when I talk about when is a killsteal really a killsteal.  Until then what do you think?  What is a “killsteal” to you and do “killsteals” bother you?

  1. damndirtycat says:

    Killsteals bother me a lot, personally. You won’t hear me talk about it much because I don’t usually care who gets the kill, but the only times killsteals tend to happen is when someone on your team is in the wrong place in the wrong time. Don’t get me wrong; securing a kill can be important. However, even if I can’t secure a kill myself, I’ve still pushed them out of lane or position. Instead of chasing for another twenty seconds, the killstealer could have been stealing jungle creeps, pushing the lane, ganking somewhere else, or generally being in a better position.

    Do I mind if Olaf throws his axe and last hits Sona? No. Could he have been doing something more useful in the time it took us to chase her back to base? Absolutely.

    • jisho23 says:

      Man, this is a fairly complicated topic. Firstly, depending on who it is (does the person have a streak? are they a potential carry? Are they currently using a consumable) sometimes burning an ult or just trying to last hit them is viable.

      More so, this idea that “if my kills are better than my deaths, I must be doing well!” is a myth that should be abolished. I think most players with a brain would much rather go 4/0 than 15/9. You may have more kills if you are 15/9, but you fed the team 9 kills. In many ways you are better off denying the enemy team kills than actually getting kills. Hell, if you last hit and get enough dragons you can gain a money advantage much more safely.

  2. I agree with Jisho here. 3/0 is much better than 10/7 or even 10/5. Playing a solid game where you give up no kills is much better than having a kill party for both teams. On the matter of killsteals I feel that as long as you get the kill it’s fine, except for when getting the kill uses valuable time for other things, as cat said earlier.

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