Review: League of Legends

How MOBAs work:
MOBA means Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. It is a genre of game that has grown in popularity over the last few years, though it started way back with the original DotA (Defence of the Ancients). DotA is a custom map for Warcraft 3, and it has recently spawned a number of clones.

The main game mode in MOBA’s involves defending your base, normally on a team of 5. There are two teams, each with their own base to protect. There are three ‘lanes’ which are connected to both bases. Along the lanes are towers. On one half of the map, the towers are yours. On the other half, the towers belong to your enemy, and will try and kill you as you progress down the lane. Each team also spawns minions, which move toward’s their enemy’s base attack enemies along the way.

MOBA’s are at the forefront of competitive gaming, and it’s easy to see why. The game is all about competition, and makes it easy for skilled players to do well.

Why you should play League of Legends

If you like the idea of playing a MOBA, but haven’t yet tried any, there are plenty of reasons to make League of Legends your choice. While the game isn’t what you’d call accessible, it’s easy to get started by learning a character’s build and playing with bots.You could get started by playing with other real people. But the punishment for mistakes in League of Legends are severe. Every time an enemy kills you, they will recieve a large experience and gold bonus. You’ll also face a painfully long wait, in which you’ll gain no xp, and all you can do is watch your opponents inch ever closer to your base. It’s easy to see why MOBA players are an elitist bunch, but they rarely provide the help and advice that newcomers so desperately need.

League of Legends developers Riot have realised this issue with their game, and have started to take steps towards making MOBA players better people. They have recently introduced a system where you can give your opponents and team mates upvotes/downvotes depending on how they play. For instance, if one of your team mates offered you some advice, you can mark them as ‘helpful’. If a teammate risked themselves to stun an opponent so that you could deliver the deathblow, you can mark them up for good teamwork. This system does something to incentivise good play and teamwork, and hopefully it’ll make the community in League of Legends better for everyone.

It’s small touches like this which separate League of Legends from its competition. The MOBA games on offer at the moment are all remarkably similar; their main game mode is virtually identical, and the range of characters, skills, and items available mean that everyone can find something they enjoy. There’s no reason not to choose League of Legends if you’re looking for a MOBA. It’s balanced, fast paced, and fun. Almost all the time. There is a steep learning curve, but you can get past it with a small amount of research and a fair amount of practice. Learn the shortcuts, the build order, and the best ways not to die. League of Legends is a game that makes learning fun.

TL:DR: League of Legends is an elitist game. It punishes anyone that tries to play it without doing the proper research. Interactions with other players are normally negative, and your teammates will sooner berate you for minor mistakes than support you while you learn. But if you’re willing to put in the time and learn how to play the game, you realise why it’s so tough. It’s the difficulty and learning curve of the game that make it competitive. It’s possible to be significantly better than someone through a variety of skills and strategy, and when you start scoring champion kills, you see why it’s a game worth researching.

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