Today I would like to introduce to you one of the most successful free to play – games: the double Golden Joystick – winner “League of Legends” by Riot Games!
League of Legends is a MOBA-Game (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), which is oriented towards the famous Warcraft 3 – Map “Defense of the Ancients”.
For those who never played DotA (are there any?) and who don’t know the game concept I will explain it in detail:
League of Legends doesn’t put high requirements on your PCs. You need at least:
– processor with 2 GHz – 1 GB RAM, – DirectX 9.0 capable video card, – 750 MB free hard disk space, – DSL or similar
Create an account either on the server EU West, EU Nordic/East or US, depending on where you live. You can also create an account on US while living in Europe but you will experience higher pings then. I give you a link to create an account in my author’s bio. Choose a name (always the hardest part) and a nice picture and off you go!
There are 2 teams 5 players (there are more riot games modes, but they are not important in the beginning because as a newbie you should start with 5vs5 to learn the gameplay). Before every match you all choose a “champion” who is the character you want to use in battle. Dependant on your personal preferendes it can be e.g. an undead mage, a giant granite golem, a little boy riding on a Yeti, a brave knight and many more.All in all there are more than 80 (!) different champions and every second week one is added.
Every champions has 4 different abilities (3 normal and one extra strong, the “Ultimate”) and a passive, which he has since the beginning. You learn the abilities by leveling up ingame and your max champion level is 18 which means that you have 5 points in every normal ability and 3 in your ultimate.
You receive experience for levelling up by:
1. Being near when enemy minions or neutral monsters are killed by your troops (it’s not necessary to kill them yourself!)
2. killing or assisting to kill enemy champions
In the beginning you generally play whatever you like, later it’s useful to communicate with your teammembers before the match begins so that you have a balanced setup and not 5 champions of the same kind.
The different kinds of champions are roughly:
1. Mages (“AP Carries”: AP means ability power, they mainly deal magical damage with their abilities)
2. Fighters (“AD Carries”: AD means Attack Damage, they mainly deal physical damage with their autoattacks)
3. Tanks (They are hard to kill and protect their own carries, for example by stunning or taunting the enemies)
4. Supports (They have either buffs or heals to support their carries and keep them alive)
5. Junglers (They don’t start in the lane but in the jungle and support their teammates by ganking and ambushing the enemies)
The interesting point is: Depending on the items you equip on your champions they are often able to fulfill different roles!
In the beginning you don’t have own champions, but every week there are 10 free ones which everyone can use. After some matches you can buy more champions with influence points (IP) in the shop. I will come to this later.
The map has 3 different lanes, which lead from your own to the enemy base. On these lanes there are several Towers which you must destroy before you can attack the base itself. As a support your main building (“Nexus”) spawns minion waves in short intervals which help you in fights. Between the lanes there is the “jungle”, where neutral monsters are located. If you kill those you receive gold and/or temporary buffs.
As soon as the match begins everyone has about a minute to spend his starting capital on items in the shop.
This doesn’t take long since you don’t have much gold in the beginning. There are different ways to earn gold in the game:
1. Everyone receives gold over time
2. Killing enemy minions or neutral monsters (here it is important to give them the final blow, the so called “lasthitting”)
3. Killing or assisting to kill enemy champions
4. Destroying enemy buildings (towers and inhibitors -> destroying them makes your minions stronger)
5. There are several items which grant you additional income (the so called gold/5 items -> they give you 1 gold every 5 seconds)
If you destroy the enemy main building (Nexus) your team wins. For being able to attack the Nexus, however, you have to destroy all 3 towers and the inhibitor on at least one lane and the two towers which protect the Nexus. So it’s not the best idea to hunt the enemy champions 24/7 if you don’t push the lanes at the same time. An average match takes 30-45 minutes, rarely more than an hour. As soon as the match reaches minute 20 it is also possible to surrender.
More game modes are a 3vs3 and a pretty new domination map (“Dominion”) where you have to capture and defend certain points. In addition there are ranked modes for players with summoner level 30 (explanation follows) in which you receive an Elo count depending on your wins and losses. For beginners I highly recommend the normal 5vs5 map!
League of Legends also has an RPG part. You do not only choose a name and a picture for yourself (you are a so called “summoner”, don’t mix it up with the “champions”) but you are also able to level up yourself and buy small buffs with Influence Points (IP).
Every match you receive Experience Points (XP) and Influence Points (IP), the amount is depending on how long the match lasted, if you won or lost and if you had an active IP/XP boost. As soon as you have enough XP you level up and receive a mastery point and an additional rune space. With IP you can buy new runes and champions in the shop.
You start at level 1, the maximum summoner level is 30. Every level up you receive a mastery point which is used for buffing your champion ingame (like additional attack damage or armor). Furthermore you can buy runes with IP which have a similar effect. In one match you can use up to 30 runes (at level 30) but you can also change the runes after the match if you want to play another champion.
The last way how you as summoner have influence on your champion are the 2 summoner spells everyone chooses before the match. Those are abilities which are not connected to the champion you play and can be used at any time, for example a teleport or a heal.