The DODA-inspired League of Legends has taken the world by storm with over 15 million accounts worldwide and a huge fanbase in Europe, with plans to release the title in East Asia soon. But those plans pale in comparison to the upcoming expansion patch League of Legends: Dominion (which I guess can be abbreviated LOLD...), revealed on Tuesday in San Francisco.
The more than half-million fans have clamored for a new map, and Dominion will bring the Crystal Scar, a mining town that becomes a battleground for champions, all of which are transferable from the standard game, to duke it out in 5-on-5 PvP matches. Unlike other maps, however, the Crystal Scar has five towers situated along a circle in the middle of the field, all in preparation for the new mode that Dominion will introduce to its unprepared masses.
In what can be described as an extension of the Domination mode from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Dominion will challenge two teams to capture and hold as many towers as possible. Each team begins with 500 points, which ticks down every two seconds if the opposing team has more capture points. The larger the differential, the faster your team's points decrease, and if it reaches zero, it's over. Otherwise, the gameplay is exactly as you would expect from League of Legends, with perhaps more strategy in terms of holding positions and sneak attacks. A vigorous, last-stand defense against multiple foes is worth much more in Dominion.
Most matches will last a little more than 20 minutes, though a tight match between two evenly matched teams will not only make the battle more intense but noticeably longer. And it rarely matters whether a team is in the lead by 100 points; within the two hours of live play (and the sushi and drinks as seen above) at the event, the underdogs were twice able to come back to win in the final minutes of the match. The elongated sounds of "Oooohhhhh" are still echoing in my ears.
Best of all, Dominion is completely free, despite not having a release date yet, and will be playable hands-on at Gamescon as well as PAX.