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League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?
League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?
Date: 03-07-13
Topic: Reviews & Previews
Author: ChironX

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League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

League of Legends Review : Best MOBA ever?

Last year, Activision/Treyarch's blockbuster Call of Duty : Black Ops 2 created a record when it sold for $500 million+ in the opening 24 hours of its launch, setting a new benchmark for entertainment in terms of sales. It went on to become the most successful video game ever, selling more than 10 million units.

Yet, in the days of these blockbuster AAA titles and ever evolving MMORPGs like Rift and Guild Wars 2, the most popular game in the world is neither a FPS or an RPG. It's something different.

Welcome to the world of MOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, and welcome to League of Legends. The phenomenon that started with Defense Of The Ancients (DOTA), a simple World of Warcraft mod, has found its crowing glory in a game which has over 21 million subscribers, with over 5 million active players logging in per day to participate and test their mettle.

When Riot Games introduced League of Legends in early 2008, people had not expected it to become the global phenomenon that it is today. So do you really need to give it a chance? Let's find out.

What is League of Legends Anyway?




To understand the whole League of Legends scenario, we need to look back at the game mod which started it all - Defense of the Ancients, or DoTA, a Warcraft III : The Frozen Throne custom map in which two enemy teams competed against each other to take down the turrets and eventually the enemy base. It became wildly popular and paved the way for what we call MoBA today.

Riot Games was co-founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill. They partnered with Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, the previous designer of the Defense of the Ancients, and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, the administrator of the former official support base for the map to develop League Of Legends.



In League of Legends, you have a team of 5 or a team of 3 (Based on the maps) taking on each other, and depending on the game type, complete certain checkpoints to win. We will discuss what the game types are when we delve in deeper.

System Requirements for playing the game are fairly light, ensuring a wide range of computers playability. This has attributed to the huge player base for the game.

Minimum:

CPU Speed: 2 GHz processor
RAM: 1 GB RAM (Windows Vista and 7 users will want 2 GB of RAM or more)
OS: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1, or Windows 7
Video Card: DirectX 9.0 capable video card support Shader 2.0
Free Disk Space: 8 GB

Recommended:

CPU Speed: 3 GHz processor
RAM: 2 GB of RAM (Windows Vista and 7 users should use 4 GB of RAM or more.)
OS: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1, or Windows 7
Video Card: GeForce 8800 or equivalent video card (Dedicated GPU with 512MB+ Video Memory(VRAM))
Free Disk Space: 12 GB

Background, Lore, Fields of Justice

Just because it is a PVP game does not mean it doesn't have a story. League of Legends has a huge lore behind it all, expanding accross mythical world of Valoran. Demacia and Noxia are two representative states of Light and Darkness, and it comes as no surprise that they are at war. But there are other fascinating locations in the lore, from the plague-infested jungles of Runeterra, to the techological marvel of Ionia, to the dark and mysterious Shadow Isles, and even frost-laden barrens of Frejlord. If you have the patience, read through the lore of every champion. I personally found it fascinating.

League of Legends serves as a battle arena for all the champions hailing from these territories to fight it out and show their mettle.

Maps in the League are called 'Fields of Justice'. At present they have 4 maps:



1. The Summoner's Rift (For Classic/Ranked matches)
2. The Twisted Treeline (For Classic/Ranked)
3. The Howling Abyss (For ARAM or All Random All Mid)
4. The Crystal Scar (For Dominion)

But news is that Riot is also working on introducing a brand new Lava map. More on that when it comes out.

Game Types, Champions, Store



League of Legends has predominantly three types of games:

1. Classic/Ranked - The most common type of game, where depending upon the map two groups (3/5 players each) take on each other. The goal is to destroy the turrets of the enemy team to reach their inhibitors and in the end destroy the Nexus/base. Minions are generated every 30 seconds on each lane to help with the push. Farming is done by killing minions and neutral jungle monsters. Some jungle monsters also give you a periodic buff, for example a blue buff usually gives you greater mana regenration, cooldown reduction etc. while a red buff gives you greater attack damage and a chance to add burn damage with each attack for a certain duration.

Ranked games are iterations of the classic game with a ladder ranking system.

2. Dominion - Introduced last year, Dominion is the MoBA's take on Capture and Hold type maps of Unreal Tournament/Quake (one of my personal favorites). In games which last barely 15-20 minutes, two teams frantically try to assume control of 5 points. Both teams start wit 500 points and with each extra point you hold over your enemies, your enemy team loses 1 point (like in case of a 3-2, enemy team loses 1 point per second, but for a 3-0 they will lose 3 points per sec). It is incredibly fun and often brings out the best from players.

3. ARAM - Originally a game played with the custom rule 'All Random All Mid' . Riot gave this increasingly popular game type a map of its own with Howling Abyss this year. Here you get a random champion to play with, and all 10 players right it out in a single lane to destroy the enemy base. Another frolicking fun game type.

Apart from these, you can train yourself in the 'Proving Grounds', as well as create custom games against bots of entry-level as well as moderate difficulty.

In a player's profile, information is in plethoras. To help you not feel lost, League of Legends divides the info into tabs - so the first tab is for your general information, player level, wins, minion kills, assists etc. The next one is reserved to Leagues or ranked ladders where you can see where you're at, most played champions (in ranked games), champion specific win/loss, KDA ratio etc. For the last ten odd match results, head over to the next tab. The last few tabs are critical in terms of giving your champ some additional base stats. Rune pages and Skill Trees.



Players, called in the game as 'Summoners', gain experience points and "Influence Points" (in-game currency) for each battle they participate in. They level up by getting enough experience. The Summoner can also choose two summoner spells. These spells significantly impact gameplay, and have a high cooldown while costing no mana.



All spells can be improved by masteries, which are developed in a
skill tree.Masteries are perks that affect gameplay, structured in a skill tree. All of the masteries are passive effects, although some augment summoner spells, which can be activated. They are grouped into Offensive, Defensive, and Utility categories. Masteries can be re-distributed at will between battles.



In the Champions tab, you can see the list of all champions, the ones you have at the moment, and the weekly free-to-play champions. Unlike DoTA, all the champions are not unlocked. You need to spend Influence Points earned in each game to unlock champions, or if you want you can buy Riot Points by spending real-world money to unlock them faster. Champions have custom skins available as well, which can be bought only by Riot Points (thus giving a nice incentive to paid players).



Clicking a champion opens further details about him/her, displaying the abilities in mini videos, explaining each ability, in addition to skin lists, lore/ backgrounds about that champion as well as playing tips.

From the store, you can buy Champions as well as different runes to beef up your champions stats. Store also provides bonus IP boost packs, skins for wards, and more.

Gameplay, learning curve



The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but the strategies required to tackle every game varies since the enemy team composition varies greatly with each match. Here comes the minute gameplay mechanics that make this game so addictive. You are pitted against people of varied skill and champions of such variety that no two game feels the same. One might feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of backup plans he/she needs to have in a match. I remember picking up the champions I hated the most as a starter, and then mastering them. Being a hybrid champion (Attack Damage as well as Ability Power based), Jax serves as my main whereas champions like Volibear, Gangplank, Garen, Yorick, Pantheon serve as my other AP/Tank/AD choices.



In a 5v5 match, the general rule is to have the tank or primary damage dealer head on the top lane, the AP caster in the mid lane, and the AD carry (or ranged champion) with a support champ gets to go bottom lane. The remaining champion assumes the role of a jungler/ganker, farming on the neutral monsters and ganking all three lanes. The game gets particularly interesting when the teams are evenly matched. I have been lucky enough to be in games which have lasted for more than 1.5 hours (normal games take sometime between 30-45 minutes to finish), and the tension gets pretty intense.

The learning curve is moderate in this game. Don't expect joining and playing like a pro. It takes quite some time to get used to and finding a niche for yourself.

Conclusion



Love it or hate it, you can't ignore the fact that League of Legends have become an overnight sensation. With low to moderate levels of system requirements, a wide range of players are able to jump into this frantic PVP experience.

I have been with the game since its inception, and have seen this game go through insane amount of changes to become what it is today. The best thing about it is that you can play it without spending a single penny (except the broadband/electricity bills). It grows on you everyday, and the magic of MoBA over MMORPGs is that you don't need to complete quests, farm like crazy to level up, or recycle through the same area over and over again. The graphics aren't top-notch, but they have been given a sort of cartoony makeover (Blizzard Style), and are aesthetically pleasant.

Like any popular game, League is not complete without its share of trolls and other nonsensical people who try to ruin the game experience. But the good points overshadow the bad ones. Is this the best MoBA ever? By a long shot.

So if you think that you're tired with online FPSs, and MMOs aren't your cup of tea, maybe the world of Valoran is what you need

League of Legends is free to play, and can be downloaded from here - League of Legends - Free Online Game | LoL - League of Legends

Rating - 9/10

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  #1  
By kartikoli 17-07-13
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

good review but not my type
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  #2  
By bharat14101991 17-07-13
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

nice review... but mmorpg's are not my cup of tea... i have so much backlog in games that it will take years for me to complete offline games only.. right now completing assassin's creed series

+rep for the review
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  #3  
By ChironX ♦ 17-07-13
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

^ Thanks man, but these ain't mmorpgs..this is markedly different from them..hence the term MoBA..
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  #4  
By bharat14101991 17-07-13
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

by MMORPGs i meant any online thingy..
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  #5  
By ChironX ♦ 17-07-13
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

Ah got it
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  #6  
By realandR3cys 17-07-13
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

LOL is awesome. No doubt in that!
But i prefer Dota 2.
Has an insanely great community, with Dota 2 market and with Steam Workshop.

Not to mention the backing up of Valve.
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  #7  
By Kaneunderground 30-07-13
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

Cant beat dota 2 can it ?
not a big fan of LOL either but well written .. Good job.
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  #8  
By Amitfuriousgam 15-09-14
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

LoL indeed a awesome game but u start hating it but u love playing it after a while. When u hit level 30 and start playing ranked for the first time u'll eventually end up in bronze and there comes all Rage quitters, afk, trolls, feeders and all. Bronze is known as elo hell. My opinion- dont try to play ranked just after hitting level 30. play normal games a lot and when u think u r ready for ranked just go and try to win at least 8 out of 10 provisional games and you'll directly promoted to silver or maybe gold based on ur performance throughout the provisional.
World Championship is coming watch the road to worlds here.
Road To Worlds | LoL Esports
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  #9  
By rajan1311 22-09-14
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

Sorry for bumping this, but Dota is a Warcraft 3 mod, not a WoW mod.

Good review though, might install this, but way too hooked to dota.
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  #10  
By Penny 26-04-15
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

LOL is the first to go globally accepted and go online MOBA. They have huge fanbase.

But i still prefer Dota 2. Dota 2 in 2015 slowly gaining momentum to top even with new players like Heroes of the Storm (tagged as a more casual gameplay moba).
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  #11  
By Remind1990 14-05-15
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

a pretty good read.
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  #12  
By Penny 21-05-15
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

Good read.
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  #13  
By Kymy414 03-07-15
Re: League of Legends Review : Best MOBA Ever?

Interesting review
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