Saturday, January 30, 2010

League of Legends

So recently I’ve been playing Guinsoo’s (the 3rd guy to patch the DotA Map for Warcraft, also the one who did a lot and made DotA what it is today before handing it over to IceFrog) new project, League of Legends. League of Legends is a game in the vein of DotA, 5v5, 3 lanes, 40 heroes, last hitting, ganking and team pushes. However, the game has a lot of differences as well. Off the top of my head the differences are: only one mode for now, as well as no denying, no blocking creeps and pulling creeps is much, much harder. Also, runes have been messed with. They are much less used now I’d say because you don’t have a bottle-like item.

However, I think the differences are good. One of DotA’s problems is the game has such a crazy learning curve. I’ve played games with newbies in both DotA and League of Legends and its not fun. People, seriously, just move up the lane, never falling back, and let the towers hit them. League of Legend’s TUTORIAL says not to get hit by the tower. *sigh*

Anyways, comparing the game directly to DotA, League of Legends is awesome. It’s a microtransation based game, so its free to download and free to play, but certain special items require you to pay money. The game has 40 heroes, but you need to buy them in order to play them. Every week about 10-12 heroes are made available for free, and the game rotates these heroes so new players can try all the different heroes.

The game has heroes in the vein of DotA: Support, Tank, Mage, Assassin, etc. Each hero has 4 spells and a passive. Some of the spells have a passive element. The game also has some other elements unique to it. Every game you play your account gain’s experience and Influence Points (IPs). As your account level’s up, you can unlock “Masteries” which give your heroes small bonuses, as well as “summoner spells” (semi-powerful spells with large cooldowns, that, when used correctly, will change the game quite a bit) and “runes”. Runes are small upgrades you purchase with IPs that effect your hero. Stuff like 5 extra HP or .30 chance for critical strike. It’s not a lot, but get 7-8 runes and you can improve your character a decent bit.

The heroes themselves are well thought out. I haven’t found a very imba hero in this week’s batch of heroes, and I’ve played against/with all of them. I think the coolest heroes are probably Twisted Fate (Ganker/Carry) and Master Yi (Melee DPS/Carry). The fun thing about the heroes is, like DotA, the developers have a sense of humor in hero names. Heroes like Master Yi have jokes built into them. For instance, Master Yi is a Martial-Artist skilled in “wuju,” wuju being a combination of two of the game developers’ names.

I think the game has promise. It only has 40 heroes right now, but if they can make all the heroes interesting and useful (let’s be honest, who actually plays Sylabear? And troll doesn’t get much action nowadays either, sadly) then they should only need 60ish heroes, not the 90+ that DotA boasts.

Of course, there is a learning curve, even for DotA players like me. I still haven’t figured out how to Jungle properly in this game (I was just figuring it out… kinda… in DotA) and of course there are about 100ish items and I don’t know them all.

Then again, I appear to know more about the game than some people I’ve played with. I’ve gotten some mixed groups. I think one of the problems is the matchmaking system isn’t perfect. It has limited information so it will make mistakes. For instance, if the game looked at my account, right now, it would see I’m a newbie who knows a little bit of what I’m doing. However, actually I have played DotA for a long time and while the heroes and items of League of Legends are new, I myself am very familiar with the tactics involved: ganking, farming, last hitting, lane control. I know it all. So the result is I’ve played with noobs who don’t know the first thing about the tactics, and people who, like me, understand how to properly gank and push.

I’m just hoping as I level up and my wins increase and my kills increase I’ll get placed with better players and avoid the “hero gets killed by creeps” syndrome. Actually, funny story, I started a game and I’m bot with another player as Master Yi. Master Yi attacks the enemy hero before the creeps come, but chases the enemy PAST THE TOWER and dies. *headdesk* one of my allies types, “oh, its another one of those games.”

We did win that game, however. But wow, Master Yi did not understand the game. After we had cleared all the towers and gotten super creeps in one lane he responds with “are we winning?” I wanted to say, “No duH?! Please… learn to play properly!” But I was nice to him. Actually, being mean to noobs isn’t something that I’d ever do, because it’s not very… nice… still, it’s frustrating when you charge the enemy and realize no one followed you and you’re now dead.

No comments: