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League of Legends - A Newbie's Viewpoint
League of Legends is one of the pioneers in the young MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre. In League of Legends, you pick one of 100+ champions to battle it out against your foes. Each champion is unique, although they all fall into one of several distinct playstyles, such as tank or carry (I'll explain what these terms mean later on).
I decided to write this article to let those of you who haven't played it get a taste for why this game is so popular, from the eyes of someone who essentially plays Co-Op vs AI.
There are a variety of roles that Champions in League of Legends fit into, but here are the main ones:
- Carry - As their name implies, Carry Champions lead their team to victory in the late game, after having gotten the items they need to fulfill said role adequately. They require lots of gold during the course of the game and are usually weaker until they get their core item build setup.
- Tank - Tank Champions are those that deal subpar to average damage, but have amazing armor and magic resist values. While most tanks are not able to dish out long, sustained bouts of damage, they have the ability to withstand the pain if they are correctly set up.
- Support - Support Champions do as their name implies; they support. Usually they fulfill their role by healing their allies, increasing the abilities of their team or reducing the abilities of the opposing team.
- Jungler - Jungler Champions do most of their experience grinding in the jungles of the arena. Their job is to defeat the various neutral monsters living in the jungle and to "gank" (surprise kill) enemies that overextend themselves in any of the three lanes.
How Do I Play?
Well, the premise of League of Legends is deceptively simple. Each team has a nexus, guarded by a pair of turrets and a trio of inhibitors. The objective is to destroy the enemy nexus. However, getting to the nexus itself is quite the mission. To the right is the Summoner's Rift map. You may have noticed that there are three routes connecting both corners of the map. They are called lanes and are named for their position on the map. So, you have a top lane, a middle lane, and a bottom lane.
After 90 seconds of the game having started, the nexus starts spawning minions and sending them off in each of the three lanes. Your champions must aid the minions in taking down each of the turrets that protect each lane, so you can eventually push into the area surrounding the nexus and secure a win. Different champions work better in different lanes. In addition, the area in between the lanes is called the jungle, and a sub-tier of champions is particularly effective at playing in that area.
Each champion has a passive ability (these don't require player input; in other words, they are always on) and four active abilities. The active abilities are unlocked and, subsequently, leveled up as your champion gains levels. Each champion has a different set of abilities (also called a kit),
You have to discover on your own what kind of champions you play best with, and then determine what role you should fulfill on your team. Good teamwork can win you games even if your individual skill level is below average compared to that of the opposing team members.
Learning how to play is easy. Mastering how to play and dominating the arena is another thing altogether...
Read the sidebar to the right to see the main roles Champions fulfill in League of Legends.
Why is LoL so fun?
Well, I think it has to do with the low amount of player input required to be competent and the high amount of practice that it requires to be really good with a variety of champions. Basically, it plays to our human nature of being rewarded for our efforts. There's nothing quite so satisfying as finally figuring out that one little detail of a certain champion that you just couldn't understand, and that it now allows you to play him/her/it with greater skill.
Another thing that makes League of Legends so fun is the fact that it appeals to a wide audience of people. Don't like to play Player Vs Player? Okay, we have bots (AI) for you to play against instead. You can play alone, or play with friends, or play with strangers, in both PvP and Player vs Bot modes. For the most hardcore of players, ranked games are available once you reach the level cap of 30 on your account.
Now, for those of you reading who prefer a more visual approach as opposed to my text, here's a video tutorial for League of Legends that was created by another player.
I sincerely hope that this brief article has whet your appetite for League of Legends. I believe it is a great game, and would love for everyone to try it out at least once. If you don't like it, all you have to do is uninstall it, as it is free to play. You can pay real money for alternate champion costumes and some other things, but they don't affect the game balance in the grand scheme of things, as you can also acquire Influence Points through game-play and get goodies (except for costumes, but those are cosmetic changes anyway) without paying a single dime.
Of course, the decision is up to you and I won't mind if you choose not to join the game using my link. You reading this article is more than good enough for me.
Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)
P.S: Feel free to talk about the game in the comments section. I'm particularly interested in hearing what are the favorite champions of those people who read my video game articles. :)