The art of the tower-dive is a noble one. Exposing yourself to mortal danger in the hope of gaining a little gold and experience -- it's like sleeping with Lindsay Lohan.
Tower diving is the process of running under one of the opponents' towers to try and kill an enemy on low health before they get away. It's one of the situations where new players, and even some experienced players, die because they don't understand the risks involved.
When tower-diving, the odds are stacked massively against you for three reasons. The first is that you're taking a lot more damage than normal from the magical projectiles being fired at you. The second is that towers have 'true sight', meaning they can see through any invisibility skills. The third is that there's a big stack of enemy creeps heading your way, with none of your own creeps to distract them.
More often than not, you'll end up dead even if you're able the grab the kill.
But there are a bunch of situations when it's perfectly justified to tower-dive. The key is weighing up the risks against the rewards.
Ask yourself a few questions - QUICKLY, BECAUSE THEY'RE GETTING AWAY! Do you have the advantage in terms of numbers or levels? Do you have the ability to tank the hits from the tower? Do you have a getaway plan in case things go wrong? Is your life unimportant? (I'm not being metaphysical here, with great carry comes great responsibility.)
If the answer to all of those is yes, then the risks on your side are small. But what about your opponent? Do they have crowd control that could keep you under the tower's fire for longer than you planned? Do they have backup coming in? Do they have a getaway plan of their own?
Unless the answers to all of those questions are a pretty firm "no", then you're better off letting them get away and taking the unopposed gold and experience while they're out of lane healing up again.(opens in new tab)
While we're talking towers, did you know that there are some handy visual indicators as to where the towers' firing range is? It's true - check on the ground around towers and you'll see bits of debris - generally bones on the Dire side, and bushes on the Radiant.
These act as great markers for a hero that wants to get close to a tower whether getting inside its range. Stay behind them and you're safe, go past and you'll be taking a fireball to the face. How do you know which are the right ones? A bit of practice, and a glimpse at these images: [ Radiant , Dire ], will help.(opens in new tab)
One final tip on towers. When you've taken down the third tier and you're staring down the enemy's barracks, always kill the right hand one first. That's the melee barracks. In a creep wave, there are far more melee than ranged creeps, so you'll be getting much more bang for your boom if you take that out and leave the ranged one.
Got any more tips for dealing with towers or buildings in Dota 2? Leave them in the comments below.