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League of Legends Review

League of Legends is a quickly growing MOBA style game and is rivaling WoW for most popular PC game. The game is a hit and miss with many people and the best comparison one could make is that it is very similar to DOTA. Because this is a multiplayer only game, please understand that everyone will have different experiences. This is just one person’s experience with the game but you should try it out to see if it tickles your fancy.

Gameplay: League of Legends is a MOBA style game with an extremely steep learning curve that takes months to fully understand and master. The game is entirely PvP based and requires a constant internet connection to play. Upon logging in for the first time, you are prompted to choose your summoner name and your experience with MOBA style games. Depending on what you choose as your experience (i.e. Veteran, Expert, etc.), you have a higher chance of being matched up with teammates and opponents of similar skill level. There are 3 maps to choose from, each with a single game type. The map Summoners rift is for classic gameplay and is a 5v5 map, Twisted Treeline is a 3v3 map and The Crystal Scar is a 5v5 Capturing and Defending style game. Every summoner starts at level, and you are matched with people of similar level. Summoner Level 30 is the highest and reaching it gives you access to a full rune page and 30 mastery points (you gain 1 per level). Reaching level 30 takes close to 1 month to accomplish. At level 30, you have access to ranked matchmaking. Summoner’s rift offers a solo queue, duo queue, and a full 5v5 team queue. 3v3 only offers full team queue and Dominion has yet to experience ranked matchmaking. The roster of characters to choose from is over 100 and constantly expanding with new champs released almost every 2 weeks along with brand new skins and changes to gameplay. Each week there is a brand new rotation of champs to choose from which are free. In order to buy champ you must play the game and acquire Influence Points (IP) or pay real money to acquire RP. Skins do not cost IP and may only be bought with RP and runes may only be bought with IP. It is recommended that you buy maybe 1 or 2 champs and save the rest of your IP to buy tier 3 runes, only available after level 20. Champions are classified as AD (attack damage), AP (Ability Power), support and solo, each of these play different roles on each map. In character select you are allowed to change your masteries and select a rune page. There are also 2 summoner spells available that give you various effects such as teleporting to a minion or healing.

5v5: Summoner’s rift is the most important map and 5v5 is the most played game type. In Summoner’s rift, there are 3 lanes which are top, mid and bottom, and a jungle. In jungle and lanes there are patches and lines of tall grass (brush). When you are inside the brush enemies cannot see you unless they are inside as well. The lanes connect from base to base, and the jungle is split in half by a river which does not affect you in any way. The river itself contains 2 important elements to the game. In the top river, there is Baron Nashor who spawns after 15 minutes. Defeating him offers your team a game changing buff and 300gold to each of your teammates. The dragon resides in the bottom river. He spawns after minutes and 30 seconds. Defeating the dragon rewards you and your team 190 gold each. The jungle contains 2 large camps and 3 small camps. The large camps include the Blue Buff camp and the Red Buff camp. Defeating these camps awards you with the buff and some gold. The Blue buff gives you faster mana/energy regen and cooldown reduction, and the Red Buff gives you a dot damaging auto attack that slows and deals true damage based on your AD. The smaller camps award you with less gold and experience but heal you and award you with mana by defeating the leader. Baron has a 7 minute respawn time, Dragon has a 6 minute respawn time, Blue/Red has a 5 minute respawn time and the smaller camps have a 1 minute respawn time.

The way laning works is, you have a champ that is good at soloing/dueling 1v1 go top, your AP champ goes mid for easy access to Blue Buff, you have a ranged AD carry and support go bottom, and your jungler in jungle. This is not required but it is recommended to follow the meta. In the lanes, there are 3 towers each, for both teams, 1 inhibitor per lane and in your base there is the nexus and 2 nexus turrets. The turrets target minions over your character, but if an enemy is near their tower and you deal any form of damage to them, the tower will instantly focus you and deal a lot of damage per hit. The goal of Summoner’s rift is to destroy all enemy towers in any lane, kill the inhibitor, nexus turrets, and finally the nexus. Turrets once destroyed stay destroyed but inhibitor’s respawn after about 3 minutes. Killing the inhibitor spawns power siege minions in that lane. Destroying the nexus ultimately wins you the game. Game take on average 30 to 45 minutes to complete and you are allowed to surrender at 20 minutes. At 1 and a half minutes, minions (creeps) will spawn. The most important element in this game is creep score (CS). This is the amount of kills your champ has on minions. Each minion kill awards you with gold. Although kills award you with much more gold, overall CS amounts to so much more. In the laning phase of the game, you are expected to stand still using the “S” key or click around constantly to avoid your character from auto attacking. What you are supposed to do it wait for your minions to weaken the enemy minions and last hit the minion to obtain the gold. In bottom lane, the AD carries last hits, and the support heals the carry and harasses the enemy team.

The jungler during the laning phases of the game, gank lanes and farm the jungle. The reasoning behind this current meta is experience and gold. Having a solo top and mid amasses more overall gold and experience for those champs. The reasoning behind an AD carry and support bottom is that the AD carry is basically baby sat while he or she farms gold. Your character in game will level up a total of 17 times to 18. Each level allows you to raise a skills level up. Each champion with a couple of exceptions has 4 skills bound to q, w, e, and r. Your summoner spells are bound to d, and f (these may not be leveled). Your R skill, a.k.a. your ultimate, may only be level at levels 6, 11 and 16. You can hold a total of 6 items which boost stats for your characters. The shop also contains consumables such as hp, and mana pots and it also has ward which give your vision of the map depending on where you place them. Summoner’s rift is without a doubt the most popular map in League of Legends and is the most played.  When you first play LoL, this is where you’re most likely to start and honestly the other maps are barely even mentionable, and Summoner’s rift is the only ma that experiences tournament play such as Dreamhack and MLG. Since League of Legend’s release, I believe it’s the only map to experience changes and updates.

3v3: Twisted Treeline is a much smaller map than Summoner’s Rift. It contains 2 lanes and 2 jungle segments. There are 2 towers in each lane and 1 inhibitor and the nexus only has one turret. The jungle on top contains 2 small camps and 2 large camps. The gray buff awards you with a large amount of bonus move speed and the green buff awards you with a huge attack speed buff. The dragon is located in the middle of the jungle and awards you with a % extra damage buff. The jungle in the bottom (between top and bottom) has 2 small camps and a Red Buff camp that applies the same effects ad Red from Summoner’s rift. The goal on this map is the same as Summoner’s rift and games generally take 20 – 30 minutes with surrender vote available at 15 minutes. Twisted Treeline is barely even mentionable. It is generally only played if you are really bored and want to kill time or you just want some quick IP to buy a champ or some runes. It’s not recommended to play solo as it is pretty boring. The map doesn’t experience any professional play and is never used in tournaments.

Dominion: The Crystal Scar is the newest game type to League of Legends. Instead of being entirely PvP based, it is domination based. In teams of 5 you go around the circular map capturing beacons to accumulate points. In the centre of the map, there is a buff for each team that gives you a shield and applies a chain lightning effect to auto attacks. The item shop has a few items replaced to balance gameplay. CS is not important in this game type, and champion kills go a much further. It is much faster than Summoner’s rift and Twisted Treeline and game generally take 15 to 20 minutes. Dominion at first seems fun. With fast paced gameplay it’s definitely refreshing. After about 4 or 5 games it really loses its touch. The most time you’ll ever hear about this map being used is for custom games.

Graphics:  The graphics in League of Legends are well done. More than 90% of the walking animations are fluid. The graphics on high are very smooth and are nice to look at. Everything in the maps is detailed except for the small bits you can see past the boundaries.  The animations that sparkle look excellent and aftereffects from certain abilities are well done. Some animations for champions are outdated but still look decent.  If you zoom in, some fo the character models look a bit weird or poorly done because they are meant to be looked at from afar, but the newer champs tend to have a much better, more detailed look to them.

The Community: The only place where League of Legends really fails is the online community. League of Legends probably has one of the worst, if not the worst online communities to this day. Newer players are criticized to great extent and most players tend to cry about feeding and have another player falsely reported for playing poorly. Most of the time, new players are reported for intentional feeding when in fact they are just new to the game. What they do not understand is that it is not a banable offense. In your games you are bound to get trolls who do in fact feed the enemy team kills, leave game and make the teams’ unbalanced, and just assist the enemy team in winning. Racial comments are common to find and there are bound to be people that you will not get along with. Although the community might be the worst PC gaming has to offer, there are a few nice individuals and certain people who hold tournaments and give gifts.

League of Legends is a game for those who enjoy multiplayer competitive games. The learning curve is quite large and you will lose a few games in the beginning. There are a lot of champions and other things to unlock while playing the game so you can keep the game feeling fresh and different.  It should be noted this game is not for everyone. Overall the game is a solid 7.5/10.

1 Comment

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  1. Ritz says
    September 25, 2012, 8:13 PM

    http://www.twitch.tv/ranger1414 is a great video feed were you can ask question about anything in LoL


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