Wednesday, 18 April 2012

League Of Legends: Review + Starting Guide (Free PC GAME)



LOL. That may not only stand for "Laughing Out Loud" anymore due to the popular pc game League of Legends. By 2011 Over 32 million accounts have been made. Some of those are due to users making multiple accounts, but even so the numbers are big especially considering the game was released in late 2009. Currently one of the LOL tournaments has a prize of $5,000,000. That's not a typo everyone. I myself have clocked in over 50 hours of playing. Warning: League Of Legends is addicting and time consuming. Strategy and reaction time and eye hand coordination are important. Each player is referred to as a SUMMONER. There are over 70 characters to choose from, referred to in the game as CHAMPIONS. As far as I can tell there is about one new champion each month. Each with their own unique set of abilities. Shoot freezing arrows, spit fire breaths, shoot fireballs, summon a giant bear that does massive damage, stun opponents in place, regenerate at ridiculous amounts per second, turn invisible, throw bombs, transform into a dragon, pull opponents towards you for punishing. Choose from doing high physical attacks, doing magic damage, having lots of health to take damage, or heal your partners. Slay dragons or monsters to earn extra money in that match that you may use to purchase equipment for that match. This should only be news to people who haven't been into PC games for a few years.

(source http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/news/community-grows-32-million-players)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Legends)
      

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Minimum
    2 GHz Processor
    1 GB RAM
    750 MB available hard drive space
    DirectX® 9.0 capable video card
    Keyboard and Mouse

Recommended  

    3 GHz Processor
    2 GB RAM
    750 MB available hard drive space
    GeForce 8800 or equivalent video card
    Keyboard and Mouse

(source:http://signup.leagueoflegends.com/en/overview/index)

 A lower end graphics card or better is recommended for smoother gameplay.  The developer RIOT GAMES, does a really good consistent job of updating new features into the game. Rule of PC gaming, if you find that your framerate or movement isnt smooth, try turning down the quality settings.


READ ON for how to play, but the official website does a pretty good job with the Starting Guide and Tutorials.

BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY
There are things you should do before a match starts. You have at least one Runes and one Masteries page. You can name each of these pages for easier selection later on. These pages may be accessed from the button next to the orange button under your summoner name . The SHOP is located towards the top right of the screen. Runes, Masteries, and Champions along with other things using real life money in exchange for summoner currencies (RP) or Riot Points may be bought here. You make make more than one Runes and one Masteries page. RP isn’t used in matches. Champion Lore and abilities may be reseached in the shop or in your SUMMONER PROFILE. However, here the information on abilities do not show up as detailed as the in-match description (hopefully this will get changed in the future). For example, how damage for each ability is calculated. In my opinion this will make easier to calculate strategies before battle and to help you decide whether or not you want to purchase a champion. People on your FRIENDS LIST and in the same chatting room as you may look at your summoner profile. This info includes your MATCH HISTORY (wins, losses, kills, deaths, and summary of your ending stats of your last 10 matches, rune pages, mastery pages).
      RUNE PAGES are where you equip purchased RUNES. There are four types of Runes, Marks, Glyphs, Seals, and Quintessences. Each of those first three types of runes gives a little more to certain stats than others. Players may refer to these by their colors. RED or r for Marks, Blue or b for Glyphs, and Yellow or y for Seals. Rune slots are locked at level one and one slot opens for each Summoner (account) level gained. Summoner Levels go up to 30.
   
     MASTERY PAGES has a list of masteries that you may equip. Like Rune slots, you get a Mastery point you may assign to desired boosts every time you level up. However, you do not need to purchase Masteries, just assign a point to a slot. In general the first set of choices are for offense, the second is for defense, and the third is for magic.

Once you press PLAY: 
You may choose from different kinds of matches (Game Mode and Map and Game Type). Games modes are Classic and Dominion. Everyday you get 150IP bonus for your first match win. I'm unsure how the timer is reset. 5v5 games take place on the map Summors Rift.
- PVP : which is Peer Vs Peer (playing with human players against human players). You get the most IP and XP from these kinds of battles. 3v3 battles takes place on the map called Twisted Treeline. This map is smaller, has less lanes, and the jungle is on top of the lanes.
-Co-op Vs. AI : which means you team up with human players against AI (Articial Inteligence/nonhuman Champions). Nonhuman Champions are referred to as Bots by players. There are two levels of bots you may play against, Beginner and Intermediate. Beginner is highly recommended for beginners because you may not want to make your team lose in Intermediate level battles because you haven't gotten the hang of it.
-Custom : Customize which bots you go against and each of their level, invite friends, and decide which map. Bots were easier in this mode the last time I played. You get the least IP and XP from these kinds of matches.
-Tutorial : The games walks you through certain aspects of battle. Recommended before you play other matches.

After Choosing a Match, the game will search for a match for you. Almost all the time the searches will be completed within a few seconds.  You then have a time limit of 60 seconds to finish doing other things before a match starts. If time runs short, or when you are ready, you will be placed into the Pregame room.

PREGAME ROOM:
Screenshots and photos taken from official site w/o permission
Here you may Choose from your purchased champions, or the FREE CHAMPION roster of the week. This roster is rotated/changed every week on Thursday in the United States. Here you may chat with your teammates. Each team may not control more than one of the same champion. Once you choose your champion, LOCK IN your decision. Choose your SUMMONER SPELLS and Rune page and Mastery page that you wish to use. Summoner Spells may be important but you only unlock them when your summoner account reaches specific levels. One of the most useful one is Ignite, but that isn’t available until level 7.You may not edit your Runes Page in the pregame room, but you may still edit your Masteries by clicking on the edit button next to the mastery page selection. If you don’t choose a champion by the end of the timer, a random available champion will be chosen for you. Here you may also look at information on a Champion, but that is recommended when you are not in a match. Once the game starts, both teams champions are shown on a loading screen and their loading status. Can’t really do much here but wait for the game to load. You may also press ALT + TAB to manually minimize the program to do other things like check your Facebook. Just make sure you open up the game again before the match starts without you.


GAMEPLAY (Classic)
At the beginning of each match, all the champions start at level 1, level 18 is the maximum. You start at your Nexus (Base) located at either the bottom left or top right of the MAP (Playing field). Each team’s goal is to destroy the opponent’s Nexus. The camera starts off as free roaming, following your mouse when the mouse reaches a certain part of the screen, or locked on your character making your character the center of the camera the whole time. This camera mode may be changed with the right button on the bottom right corner of the screen.Unlike playing against AI, in PVP your team's nexus may be at the upper right corner. THIS MAKES IT HARDER TO SEE DOWN THE LANE(the direction you are attacking), WHILE THE OTHER TEAM CAN EASILY SEE UP LANES. THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM in my opinion and Riot should make it an option to flip the camera for you so you aren't at a disadvantage. There are three main LANES (paths) you may take to the enemies side of the field. It is customary to have two champions on the TOP and BOTTOM lanes while having only one champion take the MIDDLE LANE (referred to as MID). Before going into lane use your starting gold to purchase equipment at the merchant. You may access the in game shop by pressing p or clicking on the purple hooded figure next to the nexus.You move your character by right clicking a location. A complete set of equipment may be referred to as a BUILD. Press tab to see a current summary of the game. This summary shows the number all champion's kills, assists, deaths, their equipment, and their summoner spells.

 Minions, weak computer characters, will be summoned from both teams into the lanes about 30 seconds after everyone is summoned. There are 3 Turrents in each team's lane. 2 turrents are in front of each team’s Nexus. Pass the three turrents in each lane is one INHIBITOR. When a team's inhibitors are destroyed, the opposing teams minions in that lane becomes Super Minions.  Inhibitors respawn a few minutes after being destroyed. If Inhibitors, the Nexus, and the two turrents next to the Nexus are damaged but not destroyed, they will slowly recover health. Enemy turrents will attack your minions if the turrents sees the minions first, unless you start attacking an enemy Champion while in the range of the turrent. Turrents hit hard and to jump into turrent fire is called TURRENT DIVE. If you damaged an enemy and a turrent or minion kills that enemy soon after you damaged the opponent, the kill counts as yours.  If you damage an opponent and a teammate champion kills that opponent soon after you did the damage, you get an ASSIST. Destroying minions, monsters, turrents, and enemy champions will give you gold (listed from least to most).

The keyboard buttons for letters"q" "w" "e" "r" will be used for activating 4 of your 5 ABILITIES. You may also click on their icons at the bottom of the screen but I'm not sure you would want to do that. After you activate an ability, you Left Click to choose a location for your ability. When the game starts you get to choose one of the first three abilities to activate. You get to level up one ability per level. Each ability can go up to level 5. Abilities only become available if it is at level 1 or higher. Using each ability will make you have to wait to activate that ability again. That waiting period is referred to as COOLDOWN. In general, but not always, Abilities are least damaging from left to right (q to r). Cooldown is shorter for abilities from left to longer on the right. The r ability is referred to as your champion's ULTIMATE. Some ultimates may be activated onto a location on the minimap. Each champion also has one PASSIVE ability, not activated by a button, in addition to the four abilities. You could also run wild in the JUNGLE between fighting lanes and pop out unexpectedly to outnumber your opponents. This however takes skill and timing because you are leaving a partner in a side lane to fight two opponents when you jungle.

Use the keyboard button b to RECALL / go back to your Base. There is also a recall button you can click towards the bottom left of the screen. This won’t take you there instantly. While at your base you recover Health(red bar) and Mana(blue bar).  When your HP (health) goes down to zero you must wait to RESPAWN or REVIVE. The higher the champion’s level, the longer the wait to respawn. While on an opponents base a much stronger Turrent to attack you.
I added some labels to a gameplay screenshot from http://na.leagueoflegends.com/learn/new_user_guide
PINGING:
There are two kinds of pinging. The RED PING points out a TARGET to take out. If a champion is targeted, a target sign will show up on the character. The YELLOW PING points out a warning(to tell teammates to fall back or that ). Some players use only one type of pinging for both meanings. To ping, you click on either the yellow or red button on the minimap. And then you click the location on the minimap to place your ping. You and your teammates will see each others pings on their minimap and year a sound for each ping. More than one ping shows a prediction of the path that enemy champions are taking. Some champions have lower defense and are often targeted and attacked first before their teammates. TANKS have a lot of Health and should usually not be targeted or attacked with lots of abilities because a Tanks role is to absorb your attacks and abilities so that their teammates may rush in to attack you with their own attacks and abilities. Two main categories of champions are Attack Damage(AD) and Ability Power(AP). Attack Damage does more damage with regular attacks (and have abilities that get their power from the champions attack damage stat). AP Champion's abilities use the ability power stat.

BUFFS

There are a few types of monsters with bonuses if you defeat them. Each team has a monster on their side of the jungle that gives the killer a RED BUFF and one that gives a BLUE BUFF. A red buff does a burning effect on the opponent with your attacks while a blue buff restores mana. At the beginning of a match, the term "Leash Plz" may be used by teammates to request that a nearby partner from the top or bottom lane attack the blue buff monster first. The monster will slowly chase the it's first attacker, allowing the player who made the request to attack that monster and get the blue bluff. If you leash for someone, run away to your lane right after attacking.

The buffs do not last forever, they have a timer icon on top of your abilities on the bottom of the screen. If a champion possesses a buff and is killed by another champion, the killer champion receives that buff with a reset timer. It is possible to possess more than one buff. There is a DRAGON towards the bottom of the map, next to the river that runs from top left to the bottom right of the screen, that is bigger and stronger but gives 150 gold to each member of the team that defeats it. The biggest and strongest monster is on the opposite side of the dragon, towards the top of the map and next to the river. This monster is called the BARON. It usually requires a tank or strong fighter to absorb the some target damage from the Baron. Most of the time it is hard to solo the Baron unless your equipment is close to fully built. Attack Damage champions with life steal have an easier time with Baron. The Baron kill gives a PURPLE BUFF to the whole team that killed it. The purple buff regenerates both health and mana even quicker. This gives the whole team an edge that may be needed to overpower the other team and end the game.

Wards
At the merchant/shop you may purchase different kinds of wards. These items map be put on the field to reveal a small area on the minimap so that you may see enemy Champions(even invisible ones). This may save you from being ambushed or teamed up on by giving you time to make your retreat or move to a better attacking position.

AFTER THE GAME: REPORTING
You enter a lobby where you may chat with other players, including the other team if they are human and in the room. Players may report other players by right clicking the name. A tribune, group of level 30 players will review the report and look at available data to vote whether or not the ban the user account for a set amount of time. Players may be reported for playing horrible, harassing messages other players, leaving the match before the game is finished, and some other reasons.

DOMINION
 I don’t have much experience in this mode but I can still try to explain. Dominion matches are quicker than Classic matches. Gold is accumulated much faster. In this game mode you don’t attack the nexus directly. You must capture points on the three lanes. Once the points are captured they turn into turrents. Those turrents may still be captured from the opposing team. The goal of the game is to capture more points than the other team and bring the opponents Nexus to 0 health. Having more turrents than the enemy will take away health from the enemy’s nexus. These matches are shorter. In the middle of the maps are small bonuses like health, temporary faster movement, and temporary increased defense.

OTHER:
-Noob/Newbie
: refers to being or playing like a new player. People sometimes use it to put others down.
-Feeding: to give another champion, either partner or enemy, a lot of kills. Mostly refers to enemy.
To be Fed is have a lot of kills.
-KS: Kill Still or Kill Secure. Kill Still is when you finish off an enemy champion after your partner has done most of the damage and was about to kill the enemy. Kill secure is making sure the enemy champion doesn’t get away. Almost all the time KS refers to Kill Stilling.
-OP/Overpowering: being unstoppable or incredibly strong and killing other players easily.
-Farm:  to kill minions to get gold. Sometimes when under leveled Champions focus on farming instead of engaging enemy Champions unless necessary. 
-Heroes : Champions
-In my experience players are a lot more verbally aggressive and less forgiving for mistakes during PVP Matches compared to matches against AI.
-SURRENDER: Each team may surrender after 20mins. A player may start the vote by typing “/surrender”. Then voting begins. I believe more than one player needs to vote no/ not vote, for the vote to fail. After a vote fails, that team must wait a few minutes before they can vote again on surrendering.
-AFK: Away From Keyboard. Try to avoid doing this.
-NERF : refers to Riot Games making a champion less powerful, usually to balance out the game.
-Buff : May be used to mean the opposite of a Nerf.
/Joke or /j : your champion tells a joke
/dance or /d :  your champion dances
/taunt or /t :  your champions does a taunt
Matches may take 20 minutes to 1 hour to finish.
-In general the newer created champions tend to be more useful, but cost more to get.
-Skin: Change the appearance of your champion in the game by buying a skin for it. These costs points from using real world money and you must already have that champion unlocked. Occasionally may get these kinds of credit from Riot Games.
-Draft pick: each team chooses a few champions to ban from the match for the other team. Then the teams take turns picking champions until every player has picked. Battle is the same.
-DC/Disconnected: if you get disconnected while in a  match, you can reconnect by clicking on the reconnect button if that's available. You can also log in the game again to reconnect and continue the match. When you reconnect, it is likely that you may encounter some funny things on the screen and minimap. Fake Minions may appear to be fighting on the screen.  These will not do any damage or be damaged and will stay there for the remainder of the match.


A lot of writing so sorry for any errors. Some of the names may be wrong, especially for the dominion section. Again pictures were taken from the official League of Legends site without permission. Hopefully they don't mind and hopefully someone found this article useful. ENJOY.



Gametrender

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