(this is an old post from 7/12/17, this article does not reflect the current changes to the game)
If you look through this blog you will find plenty of posts about video games, a hobby and interest I have had for as long as I can remember. It started with the NES and developed into Genesis and then on and on after that. All of that being said, I have a tendency to get into games, as of late mainly pc games. One of those games being a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), League of Legends. This post has little to do with the game design, mechanics etc. but more to do with the environment and community.
As with any online games, you’re not alone in this world, you share it with other human beings. With this variable, you will more than likely clash with some personality’s and get along just fine with others. But one of the things about competitive games, is an attraction from ego’s and hot heads, a short number this game has not.
When I first started playing League of Legends, I would only play “bot games” (a game where you and human players fight against computer players), this nearly eliminated the verbal diarrhea, although in this it was mostly people complaining about “kill steals”. Overall a semi-peaceful environment. After a 100 or more bot games, you begin to develop a learning curve and these games get boring to play. At the time I never really started playing against many human players, I found the experience to be a little overwhelming and just quit playing the game completely. I cannot say for sure the date when I started playing and when I had a hiatus, but it’s been several years, no doubt.
pointless history pt. 2
It wasn’t until late last year that I installed the game again, and jumped head first into what I call “human games”. I had a group of friends I grew up with who play as well, and we would play regularly after work during the week. It was a lot of fun, but I was far from having any idea of what I was doing. But it was a helluva good time. Of course throughout this experience I started to see more and more angry and hostile players bitching about other people. I am the type of person who knows and understands that I suck at the game, I have no idea what I am doing for the most part. But I know the only way to get better is through practice and playing. That being said, I would take a lot of what these other players would say to heart. I did consider quitting playing the game all together. But like I said, I knew I was relatively new and I wouldn’t get anywhere without practice.
learning the game
Let’s fast forward to present day, and I have now easily over 1000’s of matches and have only ranked as high as bronze 2 in this game (this game has a ranking system, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond and challenger), it’s pitiful but I am slowly learning the nature and behavior of how this all plays out in the game itself. To me this game has many different aspects to take into consideration while trying to get wins and be a better overall player. The first and most crucial and elementary thing to learn is a champion. Learn its skills, its weaknesses, what equipment is good, runes and masteries, the list goes on and on. The next thing is learning objectives, taking out towers, “farming” (killing minions), and finally killing the bosses in the map (dragon and baron/rift herald). Throughout the playing process you will no doubt learn the layout of the map and that is also a crucial part of playing. Once I got my head around this, and started exclusively playing one champion I started to feel like I was getting a little better. Though I am a below average player.
assholes and idiots
Learning the game was probably the easiest part of the whole process of getting into this. The hardest and most difficult area to deal with, is the player base. Getting into a game and seeing yourself doing ok, and then out of nowhere somebody will spout out of their mouth something like, “you fucking idiot! what are you doing?!”. This will instantly tilt me a little, and then again it will reverberate and echo throughout the match. The next thing I know, I cannot focus on playing but instead am focused on this person talking about god knows what. And I see this countless times over. We will being doing well in the game, and then somebody has to complain about somebody else on the team, and then like clockwork we start losing towers or we will start getting pecked off left and right.
the mute button
This is where I learned the utopia of this game, a kind of holy grail. That being the mute button, yes you have the option to mute particular players, or mute everyone all together. Though this will not guarantee victory, it will at least give you an opportunity to focus on the game better. This does come with a kind of blindfold from players who are genuinely trying to see your team succeed, but the game does have pings (An indicator to be in a specific spot, or to let teammates know an enemy is out of position and could be wandering to potential attack, there also indications of assistance and danger to stay back), you can mute these as well. All very helpful, but when used simply to attract attention, they become useless and more of an annoyance than anything else.
kills killing and killing yourself
One thing about egos and competitive play, is that you get people who get into these games and there one priority and goal is to get kills. They could literally care less about anything else other than kills. This is great and probably one of the most crucial parts about a victory screen. But when you get more concerned about kills, you begin to make mistakes and die a lot yourself. A good strategy is to play it safe and focus on objectives. Through this process you will no doubt get yourself some kills, but will also help yourself and team actually win.
I still suck
Some things I am still trying to learn and develop is CS (creep score, more or less killing the minions that group into your lane), utilizing active skills within items, faster item buying and overall layout of shop, wards and warding in general, faster reaction and screen movement (especially during combat), skills and auto attacking, what I might call combos. There is an endless amount of things that I cannot even begin to process in my brain. The pros all have the ability to move around and perform quickly without flinching. I am not one of those players.
I still, still suck
Overall the game is fun, and it does give me the enjoyment I got from playing games like Starcraft, Age of Empires, Quake 3 Arena and Counter Strike. It has a certain attractive simplicity about it, but also a hugely complexity. To me not quite as complex as a game like Starcraft or as fast paced and daunting as Quake 3 Arena, but it incorporates aspects over many different genres of games.
Well I hope this was semi helpful to new players, and might encourage you to keep playing. My only goal out of this game is to maybe get silver, and then gold and so on. Right now I feel like I am placed well. That’s the beauty of this game, you will always play with people in your own skill level. Although a whole other can of worms, is smurf accounts, and the detriment that have to your games.