|League of Legends, from Riot Games, is an online strategy game released in 2009 but continues to have a strong player base. While the game is based on the Defense of the Ancients (DotA) map for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne the setup is completely unique.
The concept of League of Legends is that you play as a Summoner, who can select a Champion to battle against other Champions utilizing minions, turrets and other obstacles on the map. The focus of the game is on competitive play, although they do have co-op maps and a very competent AI.
Of the plethora of Champions available, only a handful can be selected, and the availability changes each week, which introduces the micro-transaction based portion of the game; if you like a specific Champion, you can purchase them to keep them playable all of the time.
During the course of the game you’ll earn “Influence Points” which can be used to purchase in game items and characters. While dropping a few bucks on Riot Points will get you these items faster, simply being patient and participating in games will eventually earn you enough Influence Points to purchase your favorite Champion.
In addition, the game also includes Masteries, which are skill trees that your Summoner can apply to any selected Champion. As you play you’ll gain one skill point at each Summoner level on your way to the max Summoner level of thirty. Runes, which are only available by purchase, offer additional customization and increased abilities for your Summoner to use for your Champions.
My first step into LoL (League of Legends) game me mixed feelings. The tutorial was very helpful, and I followed this with an AI driven Battle Tutorial to get a feel for the game mechanics and try out several of the characters. After a couple games with different Champions I decided to try a game with real people and selected the co-op option. This is where things went downhill fast.
I initially picked Blitzcrank, a fighter, melee Champion and of the two complimentary spells I had chosen Heal (which from the many games I’ve now played is pretty much a standard for everyone to grab) and Smite, a ranged attack. As soon as I selected my character and his spells I was greeted by a fellow player with the phrase “Why the fbomb would you pick smite you fbombing noob?” I responded by stating that this was my first game and asked what I should have picked. The player then called me an “fbomb dumb donkey” and disconnected from the match.
Once in game, and before the start, I asked the remaining group where I should go and what I should focus on. Instead of an answer, the response was about my teammate’s sexually transmitted disease that was causing pain during urination followed by an ever devolving conversation amongst himself mostly.
While I have a high tolerance for silliness in online games I would suggest that any players, who don’t have a thick skin, shouldn’t be playing this game. Even though Riot has tried to encourage positive game play with their Summoner’s Code and allow for the typical player reports and complaints to be made, chances are if you’re looking for a friendly strategy game you’ve come to the wrong place.
For me, I’ve found I really enjoy the game, regardless of the questionable player base, and the support Champions such as Morgana and Janna offer me very unique and interesting play styles. The melee characters are still a bit confusing to me, mostly as they seem to require you to go against the standard rule of “Stay behind your Minions”. Fortunately, for me, the support characters I have had the opportunity to try out have all been ranged.
As you progress in the game other players will expect you to have gone through and learned the various strategies available. Riot’s LoL website provides an extensive player manual and, like any popular game, numerous wiki fan sites litter the internet with informative information. Of course you can still have fun playing the Tutorial Battles for as long as you like if you really just want to solo.
However, if you love the challenge of competitive play and don’t mind the trash talking and demoralizing of your fellow teammates when they do something stupid, then you’re more than likely going to find League of Legends a great game and a lot of fun.