League of Legends Doombots Review
By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Behold! The True Face of Hell
Tomorrow ends the two weeks of the League of Legends “DoomBot” mode; anyone who follows me knows I am the MOBA Slave. Virtually anytime a Moba-related thing happens, I hear the whip crack and I head to see the new mode or feature! It is with this in mind that I played the DoomBot feature to give everyone my thoughts on it! Now, DoomBots are mean; terrifyingly mean. They do unfair, horrifying things that will probably give the casual player nightmares for weeks on end. There are three difficulties which become progressively harder and meaner the higher up you go (One doom, two dooms, and five dooms). You did not have to win to unlock the progressive difficulties; in fact, out of all of the many matches I played, I believe I only won one. Shackled to my desk, I struggled and fought, with every strange combination I could think of, desperate to even acquire one win.
Now, like all fun modes in League of Legends, this one is temporary, but I do believe it will come back in one format or another. One thing I noticed about this mode is that the AI bots are MUCH smarter. They ward, they use the jungle to move, they are smart about how they drop abilities; they laugh at you while they are winning, and prematurely say “GG” from time to time (disheartening, soul-crushing, but it’s very realistic). One very important thing I learned from these bots is as I said, they got smarter. I feel like this is Riot’s way to test smarter bot matches, so perhaps players will have more intelligent AI to battle against. Let’s face it: beginner and intermediate bots are kind of sad. You can hide in a bush and they stop chasing. They don’t ward, and they do not use their computer intelligence well. So it is with this in mind that I sincerely hope it was not only a fun mode, but a clever way to test a new system. I’d like to take the time to thank a few summoners who braved this mode with me.
Sarkhane: “What’s the B. stand for?”
Lady Foxen: “Oh no! I’m dead! I need to go to Junes!”
IronFoe: “I made a mistake!”
Vulkary Sol: “I’m gonna head – A Summoner Has Been Disconnected.”
The Goal Is Not To Win
The goal is to simply lose a little less each time you play; you aren’t trying to win, you are trying to steal a victory from a towering inferno of disappointment. There are three difficulties as stated previously, and each one is progressively more terrifying. Some of the combos are inefficient and useless, but there are some really maddening Doom Combos: For example, Lux’s ult fires in all directions around her. Ezrael’s ult shoots waves of his ult in all directions a few times, creating a gauntlet to avoid. I am convinced someone at Riot follows Street Fighter, because Blitz shoots three fists at the same time, much like E. Honda’s “Hundred Hand Slap” attack (so now he is B. Honda); I feel like someone out there loves Mike Ross, or at least believes in him. Champions can also have Nocturne’s ult on at all times so darkness is everywhere, decreasing your visual radius. Below is a brief descriptor of my adventures in each mode:
One Doom: One Doom is hard; each enemy unit has a ‘Doom.’ These dooms generally fit the character: Annie uses ignite on towers near her, and Tibbers is bigger than a max-stack Cho Gath. I was horrified that the enemy team used our jungle to sneak up behind us! Suddenly Ezrael was behind me and my lane partner, and killed us with his three-shot Q. There was no victory to be had. This is a pretty standard AI bot match not counting the hyper powerful champions. However, they are aggressive and actively push towers. I did not see wards in this mode; but I did see a lot of active pushing and smart decision making.
Two Dooms: The enemy champions, I learned are mostly casters. It is easier to play with the particle effects of casters, as opposed to melee; the only melee champions I think I’ve seen is Amumu and Wukong, but they have ranged attacks that make them viable for this type of mode. It was very disheartening to see Wukong ult and have six to eight of his clones also ulting outward. Veigar had a passive that would drop five of his Q’s around an enemy. And now minions began crying too. The pain was unreal. There was nothing but sorrow and tears (mostly mine). I think one of the most memorable things yelled over Skype was “THAT WAS GAREN! WHY IS GAREN HERE?! HE IS NOT EVEN IN THIS GAME!” because there is a “Garen Buff” that enemy bots can have. Anytime you enter a bush without wards, there is a chance that Garen could be there, and attack you! Speaking about vision, wards are also relevant. The enemy will chase you into the jungle, and ward your jungle so they have vision on your team as well as lane bushes. The bots also kill Dragon, and will Twisted Fate teleport to Dragon to try and steal it. It’s horrifying.
Five Dooms: Strangely enough, this is the one place our team managed to score a win. There are stranger things afoot in Five Dooms, and not for the faint of heart. Enemy champions appear to have Three Dooms, and they don’t always fit the character. Karthus can turn into Swain; he also can activate his passive while still alive. And move; IT MOVES! Amumu can stealth like Evelyn, and his ult takes up the entire lane’s width and double its normal length. Fiddlesticks’ ult is global now. He can be anywhere and destroy your team. Veigar had five puddles of slow that appeared around him, and he can use Akali’s stealth pool. There was no safety and no peace; only devastation. Lux and Morgana bottom lane meant pure chaos. Morgana’s puddle grows, and has two rotating Q snares around it that can catch you if you attempt to flee. Lux’s snare splits off in eight directions if it hits anything. The wards are better, the push is meaner and now at some point or another, the enemy champions swap Dooms! I do not know what the conditions are, but it happens; suddenly Galio randomly summons Hecarim ghosts that cause terrify and damage.
There is no justice, and no peace.
Fly, You Fools!
Now I am certain there are much much better players than me who won these a great deal; I won’t argue that, I’m not a fantastic player. I just really enjoy the game and at one point played it to distraction. Like all of the fun modes, they vanish much too soon; but as I stated earlier, I do think something good came of this. I’ll argue Doom Bots as a fun mode to play with friends but perhaps not so much fun to pug as the toxic nature of the community slips into the normally stoic co-op mode. But I played both ways, and had a blast with my friends, despite us losing four of five matches. In the rare moment that victory as achieved, it felt incredible. I felt amazing every time I got a kill or an assist!
All this mode truly lacks is a variety of champions for the bots to mix things up more between matches. The pool consisted of mostly casters or ranged champions, and you can see your opponents when the champion select screen appears. There is no surprise, and you can build to attempt to counter their endless amount of power. Hopefully in the future, Doom Bots will return with new friends packing their signature evil skins.
There are a few important things to learn or be aware of if this mode should come back: Just because the bots have double your kill count doesn’t mean the game is over. If you can manage to not have as many team deaths as there have been minutes in the game, you might be able to keep moral up long enough to make an epic comeback. Despite the improved AI, there are ways to be tricky and weasel your way into a win. One example is a Pantheon that builds attack speed and dives to towers with ult to push and backdoor. Split pushing and backdooring helps a fantastic amount in the higher levels where team fights are more often than not suicide. If you should push to an Inhibitor, the enemy bots will start focusing on defending that, allowing you to push other lanes. They might have cruelly fast reaction times and pack 10x the firepower of you, but they are still bots and you can still abuse their AI. The only other mode to strike me as this much fun was U.R.F. but that mode only taught us about ridiculous bullshit and not about getting better as a player. I honestly think DoomBots can teach players to get better, as the bots behave with a real killer instinct; it was exciting and horrifying all at the same time!
Want more? Make sure to check out our gallery of screenshots for this mode!
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