Publisher: Riot Games
Developer: Riot Games
Players: 2-10 online
Classification: T for Teen
League of Legends, where do I start? I suppose I should start with explaining that League of Legends or “LoL” as I may refer to it in the remainder of the article, was and is still one of the biggest MOBA games of today, “MOBA” meaning “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena” and also “Action Real Time Strategy” (ARTS) it was the game to coin the genre but wasn’t the first of its kind as I will now explain. The gameplay from League of Legends is generally known to have been taken from Defence of the Ancients or “DOTA” which was a custom-made map for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and the Frozen Throne however this is only partially true. Aeon of Strife was a Starcraft custom map which in part inspired the creation of DOTA and the whole MOBA scene. League Legends is currently one of the top Esports games being played along with Starcraft II and Warcraft III in the RTS category and the Counter-strike series in the FPS category.
A very informative video series on the history of the MOBA genre.
I for one did like the idea of playing as a single unit in an RTS game, so much so that I did various experiments utilizing the addition of heroes to the Blizzard RTS series in Warcraft 3 such as editing multiplayer maps with the Warcraft 3 map editor so I (and my brother sometimes) could play a map as a single hero unit aligned with an ally cpu character, which was fun but hard to manage and sometimes annoying when you have to work with the cpu players constant attacking and retreating as it does in that game also it because hard to strive to the finish when you had to have buildings available for you to respawn with. I had a good time doing the same thing in Company of Heroes where I created a 2v2 or 3v3 cpu player fight and tacked myself onto one of the teams but played only as a single tank or sniper while the cpu players fought.
|DOTA Company of Heroes style|
I never really played the Aeon of Strife Starcraft map, but I did play a bit of DOTA back when it first started, because DOTA was basically just a custom map and did not have much in the way of instruction and support for newcomers, which although this did improve it has now become a common theme that MOBA games have a very steep learning curve. DOTA was a MOBA at its most basic, the classic square map with the map split diagonally down the middle with two enemy factions controlling each side at the bottom left and top right corners the three “lanes” which are defended by enemy towers and small “creep” units that move down the lanes to attack the enemy with each faction have a “home” structure which needs to be defeated to achieve victory.
|The basic MOBA map layout|
|The pioneering DOTA|
|Pushing a lane with a ranged character|
Controlling your champion is pretty simple if you have played any kind of RTS game before though when moving the camera is focused on your champion, you click on the minimap or main map to move or attack and use the QWERTY keys to activate your champion and summoner abilities though these are just the basic keys there are many more to use as your skills increase as with all games really. The game interface is relatively simple, you have your character portrait, level, stats, gold and items on the left hand corner, your Champion and Summoner abilities, Health and Mana in the middle and your minimap and menu buttons on the right. You also have things like your teammates portraits, health and mana, kill and assist info and target portraits around the main screen. The graphics as with most MOBA games are fairly cartoony with a cel-shading aspect that marvellously accentuates the heroes from the creep and other units, you’d come to expect the cartooniness and this definitely doesn’t distract from the main game as it looks great, especially the lighting with all the glowing and how it adapts to the environmental dark and light places.
|The screen interface at the starting area of the twisted treeline.|
When starting a normal game of LoL against random opponents you first have to join the queue of your chosen game type, once you have done this and you are matched with a team you then you then need to do four things The first of which is to pick a Champion, these “champions” have many different traits inc different stats, spells and abilities but can be roughly classified under 6 types:
- Assassin: Champions who excel at sneaking around and burst-damage for quick kill
- Fighter: All-round melee champion who could have both tank and assassin traits.
- Mage: Champions who cast spells and have most of their power in their abilities
- Tank: Champions who have lots of health and abilities that draw enemies to attack them instead of allies.
- Support: Champions that have abilities that heal, strengthen or protect allies.
- Marksman: Are non-magical ranged champions
|The store where you can purchase champions for IP or RP|
|Runes and Quintessences page|
|The recommended items screen makes things much easier to pick your items when in the heat of the match and having only 20 seconds to decide when respawning|
You learn lots of things fast playing League of Legends for the first time, you learn not to rush in recklessly and get killed many times, you learn to use the bushes to hide and you learn that continuously “pushing” your lane isn’t always the best idea and venture into the jungle and appear behind the enemy for a bit of stealth killing which is what’s known as “jungling”. When playing your champion you must remember their strengths and weaknesses and play appropriately to the type of champion you have selected i.e you wouldn’t charge forward with a ranged character as they are often weaker and you wouldn’t pick an assassin-style champion for basic lane-pushing and they are more suited for jungling.
|'Jungling' with Udyr who is preferable champion to use for this style of play|
|Whether it's been a well-fought game or an imbalanced drubbing, seeing this is still incredibly satisfying.|
A thrilling match between two world-class LoL teams, in this video you can see how big LoL has become in esports.