First off, I have to agree with Geoff Hunt on the fact that any game with acronym "LoL" must work double
hard to make a good game or face ridicule for the rest of their careers. But will Riot Games' hybrid-RTS-PvP creation live up to standards of being LoL
-worthy or become a LoL
-boat of fail? [I'm sorry.]
Since I never played DotA, League of Legends was a very new and interesting experience for me when I
first started the game. Booting up the tutorial I was given a well-developed tutorial on how to play LoL
, this is what I learned: You have a pre-selected champion, which are about almost 40 characters strong, and that character is Level 1 at the start of the match. No matter what your Summoner Rank is, which is leveled up on how you do in your match, your champion will be level 1. In order to level up your champion you must kill opposing minions, destroy enemies turrets, or kill enemy champions, until you reach your MAX level of 18. While leveling up, you gain access to abilities and your Ultimate moves, which can be upgraded when you level up. Leveling up also gains you Gold, which you can gain by performing any task mentioned above and by just standing around, which you can buy items for the match. These items range in the hundreds and can make your character more Tank-equipped or can make your character perform ridiculous Damage per Second. There's a whole well-load of depth in this game because no two games are the same, they managed to keep the possibilities near endless with the amount of customization among all the characters in the game. It's definitely worth your while to try them all.
The problem is if you're new to this game and didn't make it in for the Closed and/or Open Beta, most of
the champions are locked from play, and are only unlocked via influence points or IP, which you receive for winning or losing matches, or by buying the collector's edition box set for $30. But this is a small price to pay since the game is free to play. Yes, the entire
game is free to play. So in order to give players the opportunity to try characters before they either buy the box or save up their IP is Riot Games unlocks about 6-8 Champions for you to play for about a week or two, they balance out the chosen characters well so each Champion has a weakness unlocked to counter-balance. This statement can also be said for the entire game, it's balanced very well. There are times where the game will feel incredibly unbalanced and one team will be wrecking another, but the importance of leveling and what items you pick really differentiate the style of play of one character to another. If the opposing Champion is killing you multiple times with Magic-based attacks, you can stack Magic Resistance and render the attacks near useless. Is a stealth character keep sneaking up behind you and killing you? Grab a vision ward and see stealthed Champions and items. There's a counter to everything in this game, and it can really make and break matches depending on your loadout.
Along side the importance of items and levels is the importance of teamwork. You may be trying to level
yourself up to 18 as fast as possible, but it is important you make sure your teammates make it there as well; since if one or two teammates lag behind, it could spell defeat for your team. Which also brings up the problem with quitters and the matchmaking system, both make me want to rip hair out. Countless times you'll get that one guy who's obviously not on the level of the other nine people in the game, and he ends up feeding the other team and curb-stomping your chances of victory. Or you'll get the people who would rather leave that lose, and exit out of the game, leaving your team one character short and eventually out of the realm of winning. This happens waaay too much, and the game does not punish this except for losing the IP and XP you gain from losing or winning. Since you only get about 50 IP/XP for losing, the quitters would rather try their chances in another game, screwing you over. What makes these quitters much more of a hassle is that most League of Legend
games range from about 25-75 minutes to complete, depending on how even the players are. So playing a 45-minute game only to have 1-2 players leave to try their luck somewhere else makes you want to invest your time in a different game.
But all is not lost in the LoL world, as Riot Games has promised new content regularly, which includes:
new Champions, new maps, and a Ladder system for the Hardcore players. I'm all up for new characters since they have one of the their four projected new characters out already, but the maps and Ladder system is content that should've already been in the game already. Right now, League of Legends
has only two maps, one for 5v5 matches, and one for 3v3. This is really disappointing for the fact you have to play the exact same map every single time you play those two team sizes. Plus, there are projected Seasons that have not been shown yet, but again: this should've been a part of the game that needed to be done in order to give League of Legends
more to bargain with than just the PvP, since all you will be playing is the PvP. Don't get me wrong, there is PvE, but it's a joke in terms of difficulty. The bots in League of Legends
have only two difficulties: Noob and Easy. Both are equally dumb and don't show any glimpse of what PvP difficulty can be. PvE is only good to test out builds, hone your skills if you're just starting, or try out new characters. Other than that, I see no other purpose in PvE. Where's the Medium? Hard? Insane? Again, another part of the game just not out yet. And it really kills the replay value of LoL
since PvP is its only mode right now that has a reason to play repeatedly.
I've been playing League of Legends for quite awhile now [over 60+ matches, not including the PvE
matches], and I'm very pleased with how the game's core functions and gameplay will win over players for months to come, but League of Legends
is just not finished in terms of its extra functions and more importantly, other gameplay types. Riot Games have dug themselves a hole that has bound League of Legends
to be a one-trick pony, although the one trick is mighty impressive.
- + Absolutely Free!
- + Wide Selection of Champions
- + Well-Balanced PvP
- - ...But Horrible PvE
- - Only Two Maps so Far
- - Lacking Major Features
- - Shoddy Matchmaking
- - Quitters, I Hate You