League of Legends (a.k.a. LoL) is one game that composes the Legacy of Defence of the Ancient game on Warcraft III.
You have one objective: kill the enemy nexus that represents their base core. From your own nexus spawns creeps, sent to fight the enemy team.
This free game takes place on a map with three lanes that the minions occupy during each wave. Towers (turrets) are placed in the lanes at regular intervals. Two nexus towers guard your heaven while three turrets occupy each lane.
Minion teams are composed of guards (melee fighters) and wizards (ranged fighters). Of course blue guys hate purple guys and initiate combat.
This little ecosystem would be calm and largely in rest, punctuated by some battles here and there. But of course you are here, with four allies to fight with you. You are called a summoner, provided with two summoner spells used to achieve world map domination.
Of course, you will not be teleported to the map itself. As a summoner you will … well … summon a hero. You can pick from a variety of melee fighters, ranged shooters, bruisers, and support characters. The list of heroes you can collect is limited by the free-to-play series of the week. The rotation happens once a week and enables you to test out each hero.
By achieving victories, you will earn experience and IP points that you can use to purchase heroes permanently, or upgrades when you reach future levels.
To help your hero, you can buy it items and skills. I’ll discuss items in the next section. As far as skills are concerned, each hero has one passive ability (it’s usually what differentiates an average player from a good player). There are also four active skills; three of them are common, but one is called the ultimate and is available only at the sixth level.
Skills are divided into multiples categories: support (healing, protection), attack, defence, and handicap (blind, stun, binding). They can be single target or multi-target. The good use of your skills, in combination with your partners, makes the game.
Players generally consider the game divided into three phases: early-game, mid-game, late-game. You might not notice it in your early games, but for each of these phases the game-play is totally different.
The game is preceded by a “warmup” phase. During this time, summoners can purchase one (or more) items for their hero with the initial gold stack they have. If you don’t know what to take, choose from the list of recommended items; they are good for beginners. Keep in mind that item can be upgraded; if you purchased the prerequisite for an item, you don’t need to pay that part of the new item (the cost is subtracted from the full cost of one item).
The first phase, also called laning phase, begins with two heroes in the top lane, one in the middle lane, and two in the bottom lane. This is the standard configuration and you shouldn’t try to change it unless you have good reasons. Having one person in the middle serves two purposes :
- That player gains more experience as he do not share it. (So choose a hero with the best useful ultimate skill)
- If he dies, two lanes can provide a backup player.
Some variants include a jungler who is not placed in a lane, but kills the neutral monsters to feed from a different source of experience, making the team accumulate more experience than the enemy team.
Death is important in the first phase, because for each death the killer gets money, which lets them buy more equipment. The better they are equipped, the less you’ll be able to fight them off.
The second phase is the mid-phase. It’s a transition; heroes are around level ten at this point. The teams begin to gather to push towers. In this phase, you want to know everything the enemy is doing. Use your summoner skills, or wards, to reveal their units and surprise them. It’s critical to avoid getting caught, as the time before revival increases. You need to push some lanes, but you can’t ignore defence.
By last phase, late-game, the team should be forged. If you’re not playing as a team, the other side will win. Even with less equipment or levels, a good team is generally better than five individuals. Revival time is about one minute at this point, so if the entire team gets wiped you’ll lose at least two towers.
Beware: some heroes are still good solo-ers. They can backdoor you to destroy towers or inhibitors to make super minions spawn. Once one has been broken, you should tighten your defence. If more than two get destroyed, it’s bad for you, and should the last be knocked out, it’s almost the end. Fortunately, if you are a good team, inhibitors re-spawn.
The summoner has a career too. First, you won’t always play the same hero, so get more. IP points can be used to purchase heroes in the shop. You can also convert money to Riot Points that will let you purchase heroes as well as skins. But remember: you can play this game for free. Money doesn’t buy you skill or talent, it only buys you time and comfort.
When you have acquired enough experience points you pass a level. For each level, you gain one mastery point and one rune slot. Masteries are used to reinforce your hero passively. They can be reset anytime before the game starts. So choose carefully, and test. Know which mastery increases your skill, or your summoner’s spells. And don’t forget to have a personalisation for each of your heroes.
Rune are bought in the shop for IP points. Some says that it’s useless to buy runes before level twenty. It’s your choice, but should you buy them before, know that you can exchange some low level runes for higher ones.
After reaching the thirtieth level, you are eligible for ranked games. In there you will be dragged to a new type of battle. Hero selection is restricted, the enemy team can deny you some heroes, and you will never find the same hero on both teams. Be prepared!
If you are going to play the game you should know some websites: