League Of Legends
League Of Legends Overview
League of Legends was one of the first stand-alone commercial ‘Aeon of Strife’ / ‘Defense of the Ancients’ – style multiplayer games to be released. Designed as a successor to the popular DotA player-created map, the core gameplay features two teams battling against each other on linear maps in ’rounds’. League of Legends is largely a team-oriented game, so try to get along with teammates, as the game is much more enjoyable when a team mates have good synergy.
The game features over 100 champions in six major roles: Assassin, Fighter, Mage, Support, Tank, and Marksman. All champions can be purchased for permanent use; however, each week a rotating set of champions is made available for free use. Meanwhile players are known as ‘Summoners,’ and each Summoner gains permanent progression which unlocks bonuses including spells, runes, and masteries.
There are four available maps in two game modes. Classic game mode, using the maps Summoner’s Rift, Twisted Treeline, and Howling Abyss, requires you to destroy the enemy’s nexus while defending your own. Dominion, taking place on the Crystal Scar, requires players to hold the majority of capture points on the map in order to damage the enemy nexus.
League Of Legends Screenshots
League Of Legends Featured Video
League of Legends Showdown Showcase
League of Legends Season 4 Review
By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Things We Already Know
League of Legends is the MOBA everyone knows, and loves. Or perhaps just knows. I myself have been playing since the beginning of Season 2, and I have played enough to know that I am still horrible at the game. Be that as it may, everyone else on the team decided to haze the new guy, pitting me on a weekend bender of MOBA games. So, here I am! League of Legends is on its fourth season of competitive play, and at current has well over a hundred champions, each with its own style of gameplay. Many things changed between seasons 3 and 4, but the gameplay is still very consistent, offering the same three lanes, and for the most part, the same jungle. There have been changes, but not for changes’ sake, but for the betterment of the game. The same game modes exist, with 3v3 (a reworked version of the Twisted Treeline I knew in season 2), 5v5 (Summoners Rift, Dominion, ARAM), though as of this writing, two game modes have come and gone, which will be given a bit more detail later.
In League of Legends, as in any MOBA, the goal is to use teamwork and skill to go from your side of the field to the enemies, knocking over towers, completing other objectives, and ultimately, destroying their base. This has not changed. How one gets there however, certainly has. Several important changes have occurred in the game, outside of character balance. I will be skipping things like that since one can simply read patch notes or LoL dedicated sites to get caught up on them. Instead, I will be focusing on the main brunt of changes that have occurred between the seasons.
I would also like to take this time to thank Lady Mowgli, for taking the time to play with a baddie like myself. It was a pleasure, because I do not play many ARAMs, but they were a ball, even when I was horrid, because she reminds me that it’s all in fun. There are many who would do well to remember that. I’d also like to take this time to shamelessly plug her amazing cosplay, on Facebook at “Nox Going Wolf.” She’ll be at PAX East this year (and I will be jealous, and not!) with a variety of cosplays on display, such as Nasus! See? It’s even topical.
Lost, But Not Forgotten
There are several game modes that have stuck around throughout the lifespan of League of Legends. The standard 3v3/5v5 are still around, though the Twisted Treeline 3v3 got a much needed overhaul in season 3. There were several things added, which I do believe I alluded to in a previous article, such as the spirit wells that provide buffs to the entire party, which adds another layer of strategy to the team-based game. 5v5 has also received some minor quality of life improvements, though only the dedicated players will probably even notice the advantages they offer. There are however, a few modes that are no longer around, which I find to be both fortunate and unfortunate.
All For One: This short-lived mode was probably the most entertaining extra mode I have had the pleasure to play in. In “All For One,” players on each team had three bans, as in draft mode. Then everyone voted on a champ that they felt the entire team should play. Certain champs were autobanned, like Karthus, and Teemo. I personally do not see why. I mean, Five Karthus is totally fair, right? The highest vote wins, and in the case of a tie, I believe it is randomly selected between the two. I think the craziest thing I saw was my friends and I teaming up as five Soraka versus five Karma, and dominating them the entire game. It was pure chaos. The map was the normal Fields, 5v5, and the goal is the same: Get to the Nexus. It provided some very entertaining times, and I for one, was sad to see it go.
Hexakill: This was a mode I sadly did not get an opportunity to play. I was much too busy to enjoy this mode, as I was in the process of learning to hate ranked mode all over again. From what I understand, there were lots of problems with the matchmaking process, and lots of disconnects midmatch, leaving many people (me) frustrated. Regardless! Hexakill was another mode on the Fields of Justice, where six players on each side did battle, with the same goal as always. It was a really lovely idea, and from what I’ve seen of it, it was even more chaotic than all for one while providing junglers the new challenge of trying to gank lanes with three people in them. This mode did not appear to last long at all. I blinked, and it was gone! Such a shame.
A Vision of The Future
One of the most controversial changes has to be vision. In Season 3, players could (but did not) carry up to five green wards (which offer standard vision in hidden areas) and five pink wards (which offered visibility to units that were invisible; same vision turrets have). This was an interesting idea, but it often did not work out. More often than not, the only person warding was the support, and maybe the jungler, and it was an incredible burden to try and build a set of gear, while spending all their money on wards, or Sightstones. The money offered to support players was low, and it was overall a horrible system that was in dire need of a change. In Season 4, more gold was given to support players…
The old gold-per-five items were done away with, and new ones, with a variety of utilities were born. The swiftly-nerfed Targon’s Brace, the Ancient Coin which implements the now defunct Shurelya’s Reverie (Speed Boost), and Spellthief’s Edge, the answer to AP Supports who wanted a little gold in their diet. In addition, support streaks, awarded to players who had more assists than kills also helped this. But that is not the brunt of where the change lies. In Season 4 players can only use three green wards, and one purple ward at one time. Period. Purple ward prices dropped, but are not invisible, and have infinite duration (or until broken). Now, this, in theory is a terrific idea. It can provide teamwork, and force players who normally did not ward to consider doing so. It makes it so the entire map is no longer lit up, allowing for more strategy.
At least, this is the theory. In high-level gameplay, this is more likely. But, at the lower levels/casual gameplay, people still expect the support to do all the warding, and become frustrated when there are not a ton of wards across the map. Perhaps people don’t read patch notes. Now, there is a trinket (a new slot, that does not take up the normal six) that allows you to place wards every x amount of minutes. Lots of people buy it, but most do not bother to use the ward that is there! So, in theory, I love this. In practice, not quite so much. I realize this is can be a slanted opinion, but from personal experience, this happens a lot more than I’d care to admit.
Who Needs A Map?
There were a variety of changes to the map and to the jungle in this season. Now, I’m not much of a jungler, but I do it on occasion. The changes to the map can be considered good for lane members, and in theory, can be very bad for ganking from the jungle. Now the mobs in the jungle have a level and increase in strength as the game progresses. Weaker junglers may have a hard time getting started, but if they fall behind, the increased exp is a great boon on their behalf. Also in the jungle is a new enemy, a large Wraith that sits near the wall, away from the camps. It can be tagged over walls quite easily, allowing for some pretty interesting counter-ganks, or pulling it away from a jungler to deny them exp.
Also on the map are shorter bushes. It looks to me like the lawnkeepers got tired of the scraggly, long bushes and decided to tend the Fields of Justice a little better. I like this, personally, because it forces people to think about what their goal in a particular lane is. Gone are the days of super long bushes, where one ward will not accurately offer illumination, or when two players could wander the same bush and not see each other to initiate combat or offer assistance. That was one of the most absurd things to me, and now that it is cleared and fixed up, it makes life a lot more interesting in battle.
Everyone’s got a Price
And everyone’s got to pay. Money, as stated above, has changed quite a bit in League of Legends. It is still the same manner, in that you kill creeps, use items, and runes to allow a heavier flow of currency, but a few things have changed about it that players should be aware of. One of the big things that turn the early tide of a game are kill streaks, bounties, and assists. In the early parts of the game, the extra gold gained from these can really make the game feel insurmountable, with one side getting lots of kill streaks, offering them impressive items that allow them quite a bit of room for error to prevent their enemies from breaking the streak to gain a bounty bonus. With this in mind, Riot made these starter items a little less overwhelming, keeping things fair at least in the very early stages of a match. I am of two minds on this: when on the winning side, I hate it! I’m only human, after all. But when on the losing side, the lesser effects are gratifying. It allows for a little hope.
Controlling Dragon kills can be a steady way to get the game back in your favor as well, or secure your lead into a quick victory for the winning side. However, the Dragon offers differing values of gold and experience now, depending on how long the game has gone on. Local experience is also granted to those who participate. Those who are at a lower level get a little more exp too, offering a chance that they can catch up and recovery from a rough start. The global gold is pretty fantastic, to boot. Speaking of global gold, the global gold gained from turrets and inhibitors could sway early to mid-game, and the devs realized this after early push tactics began dominating the e-sports scene. To counter it, the global gold was reduced a bit, to prevent some lanes from getting out of control when they did no work. However, the local gold for the people who actually pushed the tower/inhib went up! Overall, gold is a little easier to get for many roles in Season 4, which I highly appreciate/approve of.
And since I could not think of another place to put it, I will make another mention here of an important change to early-game League matches. Death Timers in the early going have been lowered, to help players get right back to the fight, and stop the super early tower push, offering a bit more help to players who are getting bullied under their tower straight away.
Ragachak And The Magical Adventures of Cardboard 27
There have been a few changes to Ranked play as well. I do not have much concrete information on Ranked this season, since after my personal experiences, I decided a break was necessary. Towards the beginning of the season, we learned that no longer can you gain immunity from dropping from one league to another. This can be good and bad, again. There are almost always two sides to this. No longer can people troll Silver V and expect to never get booted back to Bronze where they perhaps belong. However, my personal experience has been that in the beginning of the season, it was not a good idea to play ranked. The matchmaking seemed very off, with players who did not belong in your ELO carrying teams with unbelievable skill and awareness. Combined with plenty of people ragequiting and server instability causing disconnects, it made for a very sour ranked experience.
I will be the first to say I am not a great player. I’m average, or less, at best. But I play games because I enjoy them. When I could no longer enjoy ranked play, I went back to playing normal, and ARAMs, because, thanks to a few good people, I remembered the reason I played League in the first place: To have fun. If you do not have fun in a mode, do not do it! It is ill-advised to make ranked a hassle for others by trolling and afking on purpose, just so others cannot have fun. No matter how bad things get, there’s always something to look forward to. It is an unfortunate aspect of League of Legends community, that it is incredibly toxic. There are a plethora of good people, and I have had the pleasure of knowing many of them. But for every one good person, there are three ready to name-call and harass. Again: Play the modes you have fun with. There is no reason to ruin someone else’s fun because of your hangups. That’s enough of me sitting on my pulpit. . . it is however, one of the most harrying things about MOBA games in general.
Score – Great
The graphics engine of League of Legends has come a long way since its inception. With each passing patch, new ideas for character designs come about, and slowly but surely, a lot of those old champions are getting visual overhauls to update the graphics. Not all of them have been done, but the ones that are upgraded are always fantastic. The folks at Riot do deliver a pretty to look at product that can still be enjoyed by virtually all levels of PC power.
Pretty standard MOBA controls, but they to me are generally very tight. You can adjust mouse sensitivity in game, and even smart-casting (casting wherever the mouse is pointed instead of hitting the button, then clicking) is strong, except in a few instances, such as Thresh’s flay. Not perfect by any stretch, but strong nonetheless. The dial for Missing/On The Way/etc is a little wonky if you aren’t used to it, but it grows on you and becomes a steady part of your gameplay.
While I laud Riot for making cool features and game modes like ARAM (All Random), the other cool modes often vanish as swiftly as they appear. I did not even get to enjoy Hexakill, and All For One disappeared just as fast. The downside of playing MOBAs is that there is not a lot of variety in game modes; you log in, and you play the same maps you play every time. This can become incredibly tiring, no matter how much you love the gameplay.
While I do feel the music for the loading screens is fantastic, each champion/patch having its own unique, flavored music that fits their character (See Jinx as one of the best examples), the ingame music I tend to turn down, as well as some of the other sound effects. Not because I think they are bad, but because they distract me from the game at hand. Listening to the same music for hundreds of matches can grate on anyone’s nerves. I am no exception to this. So while I do think they’re pretty great to hear, after a while, I just want to tune them out.
League of Legends – Season 3 Review
By Harry Ka-yan Cheung
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena – MOBA – ran by Riot Games and is one of the most popular amongst them. League of Legends is known world-wide and is very popular amongst gamers. Due to its popularity, it has also developed into a competitive e-sport as well. Every month, Riot Games adds one or more champions to League of Legends and releases at least one skin with every champion releases. Every month also holds at least one update or patch to the game and players can often look forward to seeing a new addition added. These changes will often be based on the community and players rather than just certain changes that need to be made. The game content and the community have made League of Legends the most popular MOBA-style game on the market right now.
Gameplay & In-game shop
If individuals have played other MOBA-style games, they’ll be familiar with League of Legend’s play style. The differences between MOBA-style games comes with champions but most of them will use a system where certain champions have abilities to help them survive on a battle field and to fight other champions. Players have to work together in a fast-paced gameplay that involves certain strategic planning and engagements to come out victorious in every match.
As matches start up and progress, players will receive gold. Gold can also be obtained by killing minions, jungle creeps, towers, and other champions. This gold is used to buy items to increase a champion’s stats and abilities. When matches run for a long period of time, champions will become very strong and every team fight will end in multiple champion deaths and certain objectives will be accomplished.
Teamfight breaking out and players dying
For League of Legends, every graphic is well done. Certain champions need a graphical touch up, but those champions receive their updates when patches are added into the game and when all prior testing has been done on the public beta environment. The maps look great and I personally think that the only thing that needs improvement is Summoner’s Rift, the 5v5 map. If certain details look outdated, Riot Games will often look into the situation for the community and decide what needs to be fixed. The Shadow Isle map was once Twisted Treeline, but Riot Games did a complete overhaul of Twisted Treeline and made it a very sinister looking map. My favorite map, due to its graphics, is the Howling Abyss map.
Howling Abyss – ARAM Map
Champions & Skins
Playing the game is one thing, knowing the champions is another. It is helpful to know what skills certain champions have in the case that players are faced against them. League of Legends is not as simple as pressing keys and hoping things die. Every champion has a different skill set that plays particular to that champion and works well in conjunction with certain other champions. To allow players to test out different champions, there is a weekly free champion rotation. Other than that, players must buy their selected champions with riot points or influence points to keep them permanently.
In addition, every champion is released with skin(s) and certain champions will receive or have received multiple skins due to special occasions or Riot Games decisions to make skins for a certain champions. Often times, the skins will have special particle effects that go along with the designated skins. However, most skins will cost Riot Points (requires real money). Riot Games will occasionally provide a chance for players to obtain skins for free at certain gatherings, special events, or online events.
• Summoner’s Rift
-Summoner’s Rift is the oldest 5v5 map for League of legends. This is the main mode that is played in tournaments and is also the most played map for League of Legends. Most of the strategies and tactics will be seen on this map. The matches held in Summoner’s Rift will often be the longest matches compared to the other maps. Teams usually consist of two single champion lanes, one duo lane, and a jungler.
• Shadow Isle
- Shadow Isle is a map designated for a team of three to face off against another team of three. This map is much smaller than the Summoner’s Rift and the map has certain mechanics that other maps do not. I personally do not play this map very much, but this map often consists of a two single champion lanes and a single jungler.
• Crystal Scar
- This is a dominion-type map that has players capture certain points. When one team has claimed more capture points than the other team, the team that has less capture points will begin to lose life points off their Nexus. As the match progresses and the life points become lower, the music will change as well. For this map, players don’t really have designated lanes or roles. If anything, teams will often send a single player to the bottom capture point and the rest would head for the top capture point.
• Howling Abyss
- The Howling Abyss holds an ARAM mode (All Random All Mid) that was created by the community. Players don’t get to choose their champions and the map is a single lane. The game mode was first played on Summoner’s Rift where all the players would send their champion down mid lane and no other lanes would be used. In this mode, everyone basically beats on each others’ faces.
Game Mode Selection Screen
- Most of the time, tanks will be hold the same idea as tanks from other games. Their role is to jump into the thicket of things to get things started and to get the attention of opponent champions. Not all initiators are tanks but the idea behind this role is to start a team fight or to start an engagement with the enemy team.
• Jungler/Main Ganker
- Most games will have a jungler in them. A jungler’s role is to clear their team’s jungle for experience and to gank whenever an opportunity presents itself. The jungler will be the main ganker for most games because of the constant surprise of the jungler not presenting himself/herself to the opposing team. Basically, this role allows players to be an unwelcomed guest.
- Most games, there are two much defined roles. These are the ability power (AP) carry and the attack damage (AD) carry. These carries are often the champions that have the least defenses. The sole purpose of these roles is to deal raw damage to the enemy team. It’s important for these players to stay alive the most as they are needed completely for every late game engagement. For this to happen, most carries need the other players on their team to help keep them alive to do their carrying duty.
- The role of a support is to keep their allies buffed, healthy, and ready. Supports are often the players that need to keep a look on everything. It’s important for supports to constantly be on alert to avoid being caught and constantly be on the lookout for an opportunity to attack. Basically, a support’s job is to hold a player’s hand and lead them to the toilet at night.
Normal vs Ranked
Shadow Isle and Summoner’s Rift have have both normal and ranked matches as opposed to the normal matches. Ranked matches allow players to play seriously against other players to place themselves higher on rankings which do not existent in normal matches. Some players will see these matches as the same as normal matches and will see it as a way of self improvement and nothing more. To others, these ranked matches are to generally the bragging rights bestowed upon those who care.
Runes & Masteries
In League of Legends, there are runes and masteries that allow players to give small advantages to their champion. These small advantages could be just the things that players need for their champions. Masteries are free buy more mastery points are earned as players gain levels. Runes are obtained only by the use of influence points and may take quite a while to collect if a player is new. A player is given two rune pages for free; to obtain more, players must purchase them. Players may have up to twenty pages of masteries and runes. Although certain masteries and runes are recommended in certain situations, they’re a matter of a individual’s personal choice.
A display of the different runes(left) and masteries(right)
RP & IP
RP is the abbreviation of “Riot Points.” Riot Points are only obtainable through using real money. RP allows a player to purchase champions and champion skins. It also allows players to purchase more rune pages, boosts, bundles, and ward skins (during special occasions). However, the RP cannot be used to obtained runes. Players are also allowed to purchase or use RP to gift other players.
IP is the abbreviation of Influence Points.” These points are earned after every match and are used for champions, ward skins (during special occasions), and runes only. To provide a sense of equality, players may only purchase runes with IP to avoid any in-game advantages.
Dollar to RP ratio
Tournaments & Championships
Due to League of Legend’s popularity, it has become one of the most played and most well-known competitive e-sports to date. Championships allow professional players to compete for a cash pool up to millions of dollars. There are small tournaments that are held by the community and by well known companies, like Alienware, to allow casual player to participate in a chance to win some prize money as well. These tournaments also help expand interest and player base by getting the name out to the public.
Championship Series – Season 3
Graphics – 5/5 – The graphics are up-to-date. If certain champions are in need of a graphical update, it will be worked on. I personally think this is the strongest point of the game because of the constant attention to detail and graphics.
Gameplay – 4.5/5 – The only reason I would not give this a perfect ratings is because of the lack of unique gameplay features compared to other MOBA style games. The main difference comes from the increase in skill effects due to items.
Community – 3.5/5 – The community gives a lot of feedback and participates in a lot of events. There are a lot of people and constant suggestions and helpful information. The only issue is that due to the nature of competitive games, the negative attitudes of players gets brought out. This brings out a lot of terrible things being said and it adds a lot of complaining about “unbalanced” subjects.
Content – 5/5 – There’s at least an update every month and sometimes there are two big content additions. Players always have something to look forward to.
Support – 5/5 – Riot Games is fast to respond to the community about urgent issues. They are quick to e-mails and quick to act on any changes that can be made for their needy player base. Even if their maintenance do not go as planned, players are given constant updates.
Overall – 4.6/5 – League of Legends is in great hands and has a great community (when they want to be great) and I personally choose this as my favorite MOBA-type game. It’s easy to understand and still difficult even after playing for a while. As well as it is nice to see players pick up different strategies and adapt to new strategies.
League Of Legends Videos
League of Legends First Look (2010)
League of Legends Gameplay Video 1
League of Legends Gameplay Video 2
League of Legends Video
League Of Legends Links
League of Legends New User Guide [Great Resource!]
League of Legends Wikia [Great Resource!]
League Of Legends System Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Pentium 4 2 GHz / AMD XP 2500+ or better
RAM: 512 MB or more
HDD: 8 GB Free
Graphics Card: Any DirectX 9.0 capable VGA Card
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Pentium 4 3 GHz
RAM: 1024 MB (1GB)
HDD: 8 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce 8800 or equivalent
League Of Legends Articles
- ESL brings esports to San Jose’s SAP Center with Intel Extreme Masters - Posted on September 17, 2014
The world’s best gamers in League of Legends® and StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm® to compete in NHL Sharks’ home arena
- League of Legends Ascension Mode Review - Posted on September 15, 2014
Riot Games is presently making an effort to redo their already convoluted and tired lore; this is not particularly a bad thing. In the meantime we are given something to tide us over while we wait on relevant and interesting champions/reworks. Ascension Mode is one of those.
- PAX Prime 2014 Day 2 Recap - Posted on September 3, 2014
Day 2 of the show saw some of worst weather I've encountered in five years of working PAX. Cosplayers were tramping each other running for cover to protect their flimsier props from deteriorating as the convention center broke every fire ordinance imaginable
- League of Legends Reveals Champion Azir - Posted on August 28, 2014
League of Legends has revealed its newest champion today: Azir, the Emperor of the Sands.
- League of Legends Reveals End of Season Rewards and New Master Tier - Posted on August 25, 2014
Riot Games today revealed the rewards for the end of the 2014 Season in League of Legends, along with a new Master Tier.
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