League of Legends. RIOT. (2009). PC

League_of_Legends

I’ll be honest with you, this isn’t retro. You know it, I know it, but I played this game pretty solidly for a year. I really liked bot matches, and had some fun playing non ranked. I like the tactical nature of the genre, I liked the concept of teamwork, and people playing to their strengths, but for the vast VAST majority of players, it is an unfun flameathon.

Background

League of Legends MapLeague of Legends is a lane defense/battle arena game. I don’t know how else to describe it, it is 5v5, you all pick a hero, with various strengths and weaknesses. The game is unbelievably well balanced and diverse, and the developers Riot deserve a lot of credit.

Before you can play in ranked matches, you need to reach level 30, to do this you GRIND. Firstly, vs easy bot, then intermediate bots, then vs non ranked players, and finally non ranked players in a “draft mode”.

The draft mode is a good idea, and it is how ranked matches are played. It forces each team into an order, so players must COMMUNICATE their role and decide between them, and sadly very open to abuse. . The first person is the captain, and bans some players, this can be tactical (ban your counter) or this can be same 6 bans every match (Bronze League). This feature forces you to learn more than one player, as your pick can be banned, or picked before you get to your choice.

Each game typically lasts 40-50 minutes, so unless you’re that way inclined, more than 2-3 matches in a day becomes a chore.

Once you reach 30, you take part in qualifier rounds, which in theory will place you in a league with people of a similar skill. You will then compete for promotions and relegation, in the hope of moving onwards and upwards to the promised land of the pro leagues (or at least not Bronze).

Now depending on how much you play, it’ll take you a while. You can grind it much quicker if you have the time/patience, but it took me 4-5 months to get to level 30, and start playing Ranked.

The game is free to play, but does support a micro transaction system. However, this is well balanced, you can buy characters outright, or you earn points for playing. So on the whole people can’t pay to win.

You can buy more rune books though, and this is a MASSIVE advantage.

Gameplay

League of legends heroesThere is almost infinite variety to this game, there are about 130 unique champions, and a fair few can be played in a variety of roles/positions. The positions are roughly:

  • Top lane, this is typically a tanklike character.
  • Mid lame, usually a caster with ridiculously high burst damage.
  • 2 bottom lane, this should always be a ranged DPS hero with a support hero to help out.
  • Junglar, a guy who roams about the jungle and is supposed to help the other lanes gain an advantage.

So, if everyone does there job you’ll have a good time.

Problem is… The game is full of FUCKING ARSEHOLES. Seriously, this is the least friendly or welcoming game you’ll ever play. The community is disgusting, and is ultimately why I left.

My record

Now I actually had a fairly good record in the game, I had a win percentage of 70% for a long time (ended around 48%), but I was never able to get out of Bronze division. For example, in my qualification matches I won 8 out 10.

Now , you might think, “hey, that’s pretty good. They put you in a decent league?”

No, no they didn’t. I was put in Bronze 5. The lowest league… Seriously, I couldn’t have done any better, and I get put in bottom league.

So anyway, I thought I’ll be competitive. I was, I would win, mostly. The problem is, there will always be a pissy little shit on your team flaming everyone. I mentioned earlier, that heroes have strengths and weaknesses. Well, different heroes counter other ones. So if you choose “x” hero, there is a “y” that will basically one shot you. In these instances, there is little you can do. You need your team mates to help out, and cover you for the early pain you’ll suffer.

Unfortunately, in the lower leagues, almost everyone is out for themselves. They all seem to think the key to victory is one person carries, and that can happen, and it does. But mostly what happens is, they neglect the other lanes. So while they are over powered, the other 4 on your team are not, and as a result on the enemy team, there will be 4 over powered enemies and one normal player.

This leads to the next big issue. Rage quits/disconnects, once your team isn’t totally in the lead, someone will quit, i guarantee it, this means you’re fucked. There is NOTHING you can do. Except hope the enemy team are either, totally incompetent, or vaguely good so you loose quickly.

There is a running joke in the community that if you get into a promotion series, your next 3 games will be with people who quit. It was amazing, this happened to me about 10 times. You win 4/6 matches, get into a promotion series, and then 2 loses in a row. In one instance, I went from the promotion series of Bronze 1 all the way down to Bronze 4, because I had a 30 match run where I won maybe 5 or so matches, due to people quitting or trolling.

League of legends rage quit

Overall

The “professionals” are actually good to watch, and friendly (countless tutorials, help guides), but getting there is next to impossible. There are too many 12 year old kids threatening to rape. Too many junglars, who don’t “gank“, too many supports that don’t support, too many troll picks, or troll builds.

There is a rule that you can’t surrender before the 20 minute mark. Well, that is a pain in itself. I lost count of the amount of games where someone would instaleave, and you’d have to just sit there for 20 minutes waiting for the surrender option to appear, which… for some reason, people refuse to surrender.

There is so much here that makes this type of game good. Sadly the community let’s it down, and getting to a stage of playing decent welcoming people is next to impossible.

So while Riot have made a very good, well balanced, tactically sound game, that is perfect at what it does. The game is just un-fun.

The majority people you will come across are, on the whole total tossers.

If you have 4 mates who want to play it, do it, play as a team, work to your strengths and you’ll have a great time. Play with random people on the internet and you will find no fun here.

Pros: well balanced, brilliant tactical play, great variety

Cons: the people who play it, micro transactions

30%

If I was able to play the game with decent, nice people I would put this around 90%. The problems is, the community are nasty, horrible little shits that ruin any possible fun you’d have.

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