Welcome to the Rift (Pt.1)

Illuminating —  08/03/2013 — Leave a comment

aka, as I Like to Call It, ‘Welcome to the League of Draaaven’

An In-depth Look into League of Legends Gameplay

 Champs

In my first article, I talked about League of Legends and my experiences and just a bit of the gameplay. This week’s and next week’s articles, I intend to give in-depth look into gameplay as well as some basic strategies.  To most, this game can be overwhelming when you have little to no idea on how to play.  To those who have played DOTA or even, as I commit blasphemy to say StarCraft or WarCraft III games, it can seem similar.  The reason I say that because this game is a simple “Destroy the enemy’s base” goal; you have champions and the expendables (aka minions or creeps) that push through the lines of defense.  In 5v5, there are 3 paths or lanes into the base, each with 3 towers and one inhibitor; the goal is to push through all of one lane and destroy the inhibitor to allow you to destroy the last line of defense and then the Nexus (or command).  The Nexus is what spawns the minions and once you destroy an inhibitor, it will spawn super minions that do a lot more damage than the normal ones. The game can be divide up into periods like a hockey game called early game, mid game and late game.

Upper left is Top Lane, Middle lane is the one right down the middle of the map and lower right is Bottom Lane

Early game is dedicated to laning phases which has each player staying mostly in their respective lanes, trying to kill each other and the minions to get gold to buy items.  Getting the last hit which will kill a minion will grant you gold and the more you kill, the more gold you will gain.  I remember when our team was trying to teach our jungler how to last hit the minions, way before he became a jungler. He said to us ‘There is no way I’m making 1.5k gold to buy this sword 10 minutes into the game, let alone 3 of them’ and we told him he could if he last hit the minions.  Well, now he’s buying them and several other more expensive items; just took a hell of a lot of practice.  Don’t get down if you can’t last hit over 150 in a game when you first start, keep practicing and getting a feel for the attack animation. Eventually, you’ll be hitting over 200-300.

Aside from last hitting minions, you want to attack and harass your lane opponent. You want to make sure they don’t last hit and are forced to either die or go back to their base to heal. Once you get them out of lane, you can go back yourself, attack their turret or go an ambush another lane.  The main goal of early game is to take the first turret of your lane and make sure the other side to not get kills and lots of minions.  Once the first and/or the second turrets go down, you start to head into mid game.  Mid game is where things start to pick up and this is where team fights start to happen more often.  You are in charge of still cleaning your lane of minions to avoid losing your tower as well as being there for fights.  It’s not always about winning about the fights; you can lose the team fights but as long as you are taking objectives, it won’t be too bad to lose a couple as long as you are ahead.  Just don’t try to get aced, where you all die.

Recently, I played a game where we had lost the early game by feeding kills to the enemy team as well not killing as many minions.  We had a lost a lot of our team fights but we were taking down their turrets and defending well when they tried to take ours.  Even if you lose lane, don’t give up.  Keep trying to take turrets and inhibitors while defending your own.  You have to keep gaining objectives; as long as you are taking them, you still stand a chance. You may not have the advantage in team fights but you can still win as long as you focus on objectives rather than getting kills to overcome the enemy team.  This is probably one of the most important things you need to learn about league: Objectives > Kills.  Objectives give global gold to everyone rather than kill gold and everyone else gets assist gold. This is a straight 150g to all as well as experience.  The same can be said about Dragon and Baron Nashor, both present global gold and experience; killing these and not allowing the enemy will help with gold for everyone as well experience. You want to deny the enemy team from killing them and killing them yourself.

From mid game, you go into late game where team fights and objectives are the biggest moments. It is here controlling who kills Baron Nashor is the most important. Baron aside from giving gold (300g) and experience, he grants a buff to everyone. This buff increase damage, mana and health regeneration; it last for 4 minutes and most people desire you to take something rather than let it go to waste. Whether it is pushing to the lanes to win or just pushing down towers; don’t let it go to waste even if you took it to deny the enemy team. If you can help it, use it to your advantage.

The main difference between late and mid game is the amount of items and damage that you have; by late game you should be fully built with the items that would help your character (champion). If you are getting to late game and are the winning team, you want to push to end as soon as you can. Time will allow the enemy team to catch up if you allow it to happen. If you are the team that is behind, you can use this to your advantage. Look for slip ups in their team fights and turn them around in your favour. Play cautiously and take what you can; sometimes the longer you can draw out, the more chance you can have.

Each lane has a player or two, and each are in those lanes for a reason. They each have a job and how they work in a strategy is how well you can play them.  Both top and middle lane each have one player in the standard set up and two players in bottom lane; leaving one person as the jungler to roam the map (jungle) to set up ambushes and control early and mid game dragons.  The bottom lane will have two people, share the experience and gold.  In most cases, you will have one of the players playing a support character who doesn’t take the gold from the kills or the minions.  They have their own ways in getting money.  The experience is shared between the two though.  In this article, I’m going to talk about top mostly since they play a large part in all the periods of League

Irelia

Irelia with Nightblade Skin

In the top lane, you have the bruiser or tank like champion. Their purpose, depending on if the support or jungler are playing tanks, is to initiate fights and soak up all the damage as a tank should.  If you have a tank as a support and another bruiser jungler, it’s okay to go either tank or brusier.  Don’t be scared to take one or the other. If neither are playing tank or bruiser, you should definitely think about taking a very tanky champion to soak up the damage.  Sometimes having a team without a tank is an okay strategy, but most of the time, you run the risk of having no initiation for team fights.  I know I throw the terms tank and bruiser out like it’s nothing but you should know what you have do.  Tanks are the ones who dive in first, taking as much damage so their teammates don’t and chasing down those who are doing damage.  Brusiers are the ones who can also soak up damage but they want to chase and kill those who are causing the damage or make sure other bruisers aren’t hurting their team.

I’ve been on both sides of being a bruiser or having one chasing me down. Either way, it’s not pretty.  Being on the receiving end, my team sometimes get really focused on getting the enemy’s damage dealers and we play using Ventrilo or Skype allowing us to call out who we should be concentrating our attacks on, or if people are missing. About mid and late game, one would mostly hear me yell, ‘guys…. GUYS… He’s after meeeeeeeeeee. Save meeeeee.’  Some of the players are really determined to kill the AD or AP carry; I’ve had them chase me all the way to the base with my team trying to kill that person behind. It’s a bad conga line when you think about it.

Playing a bruiser has definitely different feel even though you gain kills, you want make sure your team survives the enemy team and the kills go on your carries.  A lot of the time, you can get narrow minded in the fight and not notice what is happening to your own team.  One of the earliest games I’ve played on the EUW server, I had played Irelia top lane and ended up making sure our damage dealers weren’t hurt. The game had a surrender at 20 minutes vote and by the end of the game, I had not died because I focused and made sure those who were hurting my team were dying causing them to run or die to us.  That game because of how well we focused on objectives and our tanks protecting carries, we had a limited amount of deaths and many turrets destroyed.  It can be overwhelming if you are on the receiving end of that, believe me, some days with the guys I play with, it’s almost every day we have games where we are on that end.  You don’t have to give up; as I said before, don’t give up until it’s the end. Put up the best fight you can, rather than having not done the best you could have. Do your best, at least you will be proud and enjoy the game.

There are another four positions to go over but I’ll save them for next week’s article.  It’s like an information overload; unlike the game, which just give a couple pieces of advice before you are diving bare foot into a pit of lava.  It honestly take someone you know to explain the game to you or the pleasure of finding out the hard way by feeding the enemy team or having teammates rage at you. I want to help people avoid the ragers and the awful comments because I’ve been there and I’ve seen others in the same situations.   To be honest, the best way to dealing with them, is ignore their comments and don’t uninstall no matter what people say. Learn what you did wrong and try to improve.  Don’t panic or give up, or you just let them win; it’s a game, win or lose, enjoy it.

Join me next week with middle lane’s AP and AD carries, jungler and bottom lane’s support and AD carries.  Until then, good luck.

Illuminating

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Writer for NERD SYNQ, Gamer of League of Legends, Lover of Retro Games, Artist... Jack of All Trades, Master of None Twitter:@IlluminatingIce

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