From practical commands to all chat hero lines that can tilt the enemy team, the chat wheel has been a crucial communication tool for Dota. Here are some of the most useful lines to improve your game.
Before the chat wheel, your options were to either type or use the voice chat—both avenues where people were more liable to express their frustrations than provide constructive commands. The chat wheel, with its preset lines, redirects your pain points into more actionable goals. Rather than venting about the lack of vision on the map, a chat wheel line can politely nudge teammates to “Deward please.”
But the chat wheel is more than just a tool to tell your teammates your lane opponent is missing from the lane. It can manage team morale, tilt your enemies, and bring some levity in a very stressful game.
While positioning lines can be pretty straightforward, you don’t need many of them. “Go!” is perhaps the most you’ll need, and self-explanatory enough where more specific lines such as “Stun now!”, “Initiate!”, and “Attack now!” are wasted slots. Most of the lines under positioning are simple and explicit. The difficulty rises with chat lines that are open for interpretation.
“Get back!” means get back, but “I’m retreating” suggests that your team should consider going back, since you’re now out of the fight. This could lead to your team acting out of unison, which is far worse than just moving together, even if you disagree with the command.
There are useful, implicit lines. “Get ready” prompts your team to fall in line, and it’s particularly useful if you’re either anticipating a gank or initiating one yourself. Too often a teamfight unfolds incorrectly because teammates are out of position—a few steps behind cast range or a few seconds behind a TP response.
No team plays perfectly, and the flavor lines in the chat wheel is a great way to acknowledge faults without bringing your team down. “Game is hard” is both agreeable and true. “Space created” can be used when you’ve fed, regardless if actual space was created. “I immediately regret my decision” is a lighthearted way to express regret.
What matters is these lines brings your team back on the same page, rather than let the moment linger. When playing with four other strangers, team cohesion is in a tenuous place of balance, and the smallest thing can set off a downward spiral of finger pointing.
Alt-clicking the clock puts the current time into your team chat. It’s convenient to remind your team of Roshan death times, creep pulls, or tracking ultimate cooldowns. But it’s most useful before every 5 minutes, as a way to alert your team that they should prep to grab the bounty runes. With the new significance of bounty runes and how they can sway a game, it’s surprising that pub players often lose their diligence in picking them up. Experienced players will expend TPs just to grab the bounties across the map.
The chat wheel can be as much of a boon to your team chemistry as it is a weapon against your opponents. Usual bad manners like all-chatting "ez mid," "Good Game, Well Played," or spamming "?" can be effective, but they've become too common to have the same impact. Plus, spam it enough and your opponent might just respond with a mute.
The introduction of all chat hero lines has provided a cheekier way to tilt your enemies. TI winner OG.Ceb said he spammed certain heroes because he needed their all chat lines for the tournament, like Enchantress' "Don't be mad" line. These lines double as both a taunt and a victory lap after a won fight. You have Necrophos' "That was costly." and Windranger's "I don't think so." that can punctuate your enemies' errors. They also broadcast to your teammates on other parts of the map that you're doing well, even if their lane might not be the best.
The overall level of Dota players have evolved to a point where you can no longer climb MMR by muting everyone and just playing your game. Players need to acknowledge with each other. The chat wheel is a valuable tool, and though it can be restrictive, its limitations also ensures that your team is communicating effectively.