Since there's already a Heroes of Newerth thread up on this forum, I think it would make sense to put up a League of Legends thread up, for the sole purpose of discussing and hopefully gaining new players into the game.
Classic 5v5's Summoner's Rift
Dominion's The Crystal Scar
So as people might already know (for those who don't, don't worry just keep reading) that there are currently two competitors for dominance over the MOBA (Massively Online Battle Arena) genre, both derive from the popular game of DotA (Defense of the Ancients from Warcraft 3) and its predecessor AoS (Aeon of Strife from original StarCraft), League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth.
In-game UI (user-interface)
In-Game Ability Cast without UI
Capturing a Tower/Node in Dominion
League of Legends was developed and published by the company of Riot Games who were founded by previous DotA creators/developers which include Guinsoo and Pendragon. The game holds true to its core development ideology, that is to make a completely different game separate from DotA but still retaining the core gaming aspects/features which make it a MOBA game. This is unlike HoN whose purpose was to make a 'DotA 2.0' by expanding on the original DotA and make it better.
Harassment is the primary core aspect designed in LoL. Players must harass the enemy opponent else the game will end in a GG (good game/ending of the match). With the features of Summoner Spells, Brush, and No Denying, the game puts major emphasis into harassment which is a good thing for it drives the game toward more hero-fights, tactics, and base pushes making the game fun and exciting rather than a grind.
-No Man's Game
No Man's Game (I made this term up, shutup) is the unique aspect of LoL where the game can always and has the potential to flip the itself around derived from enough teamwork. A team of players pushing into the enemy base can find themselves in less that 4 minutes flipped around and being harassed at their own base. This aspect of the game is very fun indeed for the only time one can call a GG is when there is absolutely no turrets (towers) around and even then the opposing team still has the potential to flip the game around.
Whereas in DotA a good creeping hero can practically live off creeps, this is not the case in LoL. In LoL one must gank heros, it's the only way to gain substantial income. There is still the automatic income and creep-kill benefits but this pales in comparison with actual ganking. This makes the game more competitive and more emphasis on hero-battles rather than hero-battles-integrated-with-units.
A mini-aspect in LoL but still unique in its own regards. Customization in LoL derives from mainly on Runes and Masteries and Champion unlocking. This aspect give the player a good range of customization for him/herself, and even though it the balances are still being worked around, it is not that much of a imbalance, and it makes the game fun and enjoyable knowing that you have control on how you play.
In LoL, summoners are the players and the heroes they choose are champions. In every pre-game (the game lobbby) a player can select 2 out of 13 spells from a list of spells to take with them into the game, adding 2 extra spells to the preset spells of 4 that a champion has, making a total of 6 spells in-game. These extra spells can be used for harassment, damage, defense, regeneration, and escape. To ensure that there is no abuse of these spells, their cooldowns range from 2-5 minutes (depending on the spell [Teleport (a blink-spell) for instance has a CD of 5 minutes whereas Heal has a CD of 2 minutes]).
Unlike any other game in the MOBA genre, LoL threw away the concept of denying. Denying is the tactic to deny an opponent from receiving the reward gained from killing an enemy unit/structure/etc. by killing that unit/structure/etc., in short, killing your own units. With the absence of denying, lane control is much difficult making it a crucial element into winning a game and also allows more emphasis on hero harassment rather than macro management on your units.
A unique feature of LoL, brush is an area of tall grass where a hero can enter and remain invisible to all enemy units/heroes outside of the brush. Brush can be used for both ganking (hero-killing) and escaping and is widely used in those regards, further adding into the aspect of harassment.
Another unique feature is the system of Runes. Runes are items that gives buffs to your champion and can be inserted in a rune page. In pre-game the player can select a specific rune page (there is more than one) and use that specific page to apply to the the hero they so desire to play. This adds a unique aspect of customization to a hero and the ability to swap rune pages enable flexibility on playing different heroes.
In addition the customization with runes there is also masteries. With each game won or lost, the player gains experience to his/her summoner enabling summoner levels. In leveling up enables more rune sockets, summoner spells, and mastery points. The masteries tree is very similar to a basic talent tree (shown in many RPGs like Diablo and WoW) and works exactly like it, though it is not as extensive. There a three categories of the masteries tree which is Offense, Defense, and Utility. Offense for Offense, Defense for Defense, and Utility for upgrades to spells (reduced CD, more effect, etc.).
This is the original game mode shipped with the release of League of Legends. It is your standard AoS (or MOBA/Action RTS) game mode which is similar to other games of the genre such as DotA, HoN, and upcoming games such as Dota 2 and Blizzard Dota.
How does the game mode work? Both teams consist of 5 players and spawn at their base. The goal for each team is to guard their nexus while at the same time push and destroy the enemy nexus.
The map for classic 5v5 is known as Summoner's Rift and possesses 3 main lanes where minions spawn from each base and is also dotted by equal number of turrets for each team and each lane. A river/stream traverses diagonally top-left to bottom-right where major creeps such dubbed "The Dragon" and "Baron" (by the players of course) can be found.
Baron is a giant worm and can be found at the top left section of the river, the reward for killing Baron is a universal buff to the team which effects are usually used to win/end games. The Dragon is of course a Dragon and can be found at the bottom right section of the river giving a unviersal substantial gold and exp reward to the team.
The last area in Summoner's Rift is known as the jungle which encompasses the empty spaces between the lanes and the 2 streams. The jungle is dotted with many creeps which can give buffs, gold, and/or exp to the specific player. The buffs in the jungle are known as "Red/Lizard" and "Blue/Golem" and 2 of each can be found in each team's respective jungle (divided by the river) likewise the creeps they come from are 2 of each.
The first and most recent game mode added into League of Legends. Dominion is meant to be a fast, intense, action-packed game mode. While Riot names this a "Capture-and-Hold" gameplay mode, it can also be referred to as "Conquest."
So what is Capture-and-Hold/Conquest? If you played WoW, its works exactly like the Arathi Basin battleground. If you haven't here's the explanation:
In Dominion the map played on is named "The Crystal Scar" and the pathways shaped liked a circle with a jungle in the middle. Along this circle are 5 nodes or towers, one at the top and 2 on the sides/bottom of the circle, all spread out evenly. The pathways are visible and always can be seen even with enemy units/champions are traversing in it, however the jungle is hidden possessing the "fog of war" meaning if you want to go in the jungle you're blind.
Going back to the nodes, the objective of Dominion is to capture and hold the nodes. If the team has the higher number of nodes then the enemy team will start to lose their nexus health (more nodes means more and faster damage).
The unique features about Dominion is that your passive gold income is faster and everyone start out as level 3 to encourage faster gameplay. What's also unique is the feature of quests.
Quests are mini-objectives that pop up and the player/team can either choose to complete it or ignore it. However it is encouraged to complete the quests as at completion the team who completed it will either receive a universal buff, damage to enemy nexus, or both.
Arguments against League of Legends
LoL being noob friendly is very subjective. Whereas one may call it noob friendly, I call it user-friendly. Aside from the actual UI, in LoL I enjoy seeing the range of the abilities I cast (when highlighted a transparent circle appears around your hero, the circumference showing the maximum range of that ability), this is unlike DotA which is notorious for leaving players in the dark (wtf does 1000 range mean?). With a more user-friendly system this enables a smooth flow of knowing your abilities and using them rather than the infamous bashing of DotA and HoN for not knowing your abilities/builds by heart and mind.
Update: Said argument of less competition is now mute as LoL has officially entered the e-sports scene whereas HoN and DotA have yet to.
-Graphics are too Cartoony
This is the weakest argument by far against LoL. DotA's graphics are limited by the amateur 3D system of Warcraft 3 and HoN's graphics are weak even though separate from the Warcraft 3 engine. Really this argument shouldn't exist as shown by some classic examples:
"I play Sacred 2 because it has better graphics that Diablo 2, this makes the game undeniably better"
"I play Dawn of War because it has better graphics that StarCraft, this make the game undeniably better"
"I play Super Meatboy because it has better graphics that the orginal Super Mario Bros., this makes the game undeniably better"
"I play with Megablocks because it has better graphics than Lego pieces, this makes the brand undeniably better"
It is true that LoL has a more colourful and flashy appearance, but what are you going to concentrate more on? Killing heroes and winning or raging over the fact that there's fucking flowers growing out of the ground?
Like what you see/read? Go give League of Legends a try (it is free after all) and see if you like it. My personal preference is League of Legends over Heroes of Newerth, but hey, it is not impossible to try/play both at the same time now is it?
So give League of Legends a spin, you might even get into it, it is really a fun game with a great community.
I'm getting this as soon as it comes out on Mac (which should've been a while ago). If both HoN and LoL had a cost, then I'd probably get HoN, but the free charge, coupled with the fact that I'm not a huge DotA fan, but still really enjoy it, makes it so that LoL seems like the way to go for me. I also like the fact that LoL has RPG aspects whereas HoN doesn't have anything of the sort past your personal rating.
God I hate having a Mac. Got it from my dad though, and didn't have to pay for it, so I guess I can only complain so much. Next computer will definitely be a PC though, seeing as I'll be buying it myself.
I recently (like a week ago) started playing this game and I'm really hooked up. Don't have much more to add to your review, except that items are really important both in DotA and LoL, and were a pain in the ass in DotA if you were a noob. In LoL, however, you have a "recommended items" list for each champion, which make's it much more noob friendly in that aspect. Still, that's as far as it goes in noobfriendliness, you will most certainly die a lot if you don't know what you're doing.
The thing I don't like, and wasn't an issue in DotA, is summoner lvl. Each user has a lvl, so if you've been playing for long, you have an advantage (apart from skill and experience) over a new user. It's not very significant, but it's still there.
A couple of corrections, discussions and opinions. From top to bottom It is a long post, because I am a LoL fanboy xD
Clash of Fates is removed from the name, there is a new logo now.
You can change the UI by removing the "wall" between the champion UI, skill UI and the map. I find this to be both comfortable and it adds a lot of visibility.
The graphics often looks completely different when you turn down quality, so screenshots is not necessarily an accurate reflection of how it will look on your system. I for example have extremely reduced quality of the units, which results in the removal of the outline around the units, which makes a massive difference in unit appearance.
I would say that harassment varies from case to case. Some champions are great at harassing, and will fail if they don't harass well enough, while the case is the opposite for some. A melee champion can for example have big problems harassing a ranged champion, and will only lose hp if he tries to, so in that case it is better to stay back and let the ranged push until the melee gets an opportunity (or a gank). There are also two different types of harassment. There is damage harassment, which means to keep the enemies hp low so they are unable to act, thereby giving you lane control. The other type is fear harassment, which is more dangerous. The principle behind using fear is that your enemy knows or thinks that you are very powerful, and is therefore unwilling to go near you. Use that fear correctly and you can push your enemy away from the minions, thereby cutting off the experience and gold supply. This is more dangerous because you no longer have the minions to protect you (essential when facing enemies like Blitzcrank), but you won't be wasting health or mana on trying to deal damage to your opponent.
One more thing I would like to add to that is map control. If you control more than half the map, you will automatically gain more gold because you will get access to Baron and Dragon, two great sources of gold, and in some cases the enemies monsters/buffs as well. This control is not gained through regular harassing, but through being extremely aggressive and pushing the minion waves forward. Each time you back away you give your enemies more control of the map. If your team keeps a strong lane control, then your enemies will be forced to defend out of fear of getting ganked.
"-No Man's Game" also varies slightly. Generally it is possible to turn the game around if your team is not too far behind in total gold (total kills + assists + turrets + minion kills + dragon/baron kills = total gold). In low ELO it is possible to turn the game around even when the enemies are much more powerful, but that is mostly because people tend to take more risks when they are near the enemy base. There are also certain champions that are much better when the enemy is pushing instead of your own team, because of turret proximity and gank possibilities. And of course there are champions that are much stronger in the end-game than others, and a team with a lot of those will often autowin if the game goes on for too long. So analyze your team and you might find that defending a seemingly hopeless game can often be worth it.
Actually I think you are completely wrong about income from champion kills. Minion kills gives both more experience and more gold if you do it right. A Fiddlesticks can kill the Dragon very early, earning your team gold equal to over 2 champion kills, and again in around level 11 from Baron. You also won't get a bounty on your head like a ganking Twitch often gets. If a team can avoid getting ganked, then minion farming will lead to a win. Fail enough ganks and you will get underleveled and have worse gear than everyone else, making future ganks harder. I don't know the exact numbers, but I think 4 minion waves equals about one champion kill, excluding bounty bonuses and assists. Again what you choose to do depends a lot on your champion. Amumu is great at minion farming, and so is Mordekaiser, they both will fail if they focus on ganking and champion killing.
I want to point out that LoL isn't designed to be completely balanced. Twitch and Evelynn for example are completely useless if your enemies knows what a ward is, but they still exist because they are fun to play and useful in low-ELO. There are also champions designed to be good on 3v3, which means that they are worse in 5v5, or the other way around.
Teleport is not a blink spell, that is Flash Teleport is a long range mobility skill used to move long distances in a matter of seconds.
Actually Gangplank can deny
A little opinion when it comes to brushes. I recommend that everyone turns on Movement Prediction in the settings menu. This will cause your champion to guess where your enemies are when they enter brush or move around a wall. Turning it off will cause your champion to become immobile more often because it loses track of the opponent.
Regarding runes. You access more rune slots as you level up, and the max level is 30, which is why Ranked games are restricted until you reach that level. The right runes on the right champion can make a huge difference. You can for example get +20% critical chance, or almost +50% attack speed. This is why Ranked games are off limits below level 30, otherwise higher level players will have a significant advantage.
Offense upgrades spells as well, at least the first 3 tiers. The mastery tree also contains upgrades to summoner spells.
On top of high turret damage, there are actually champions centered around defending turrets. Janna can place a shield on turrets, Shen and Rammus can taunt people which will cause the turret to attack them, and so on. Turrets are key locations in LoL, instead of annoying blocks between you and the enemy base.
You also forgot to mention Recalling, which is a key element of LoL. It is a button that allows you to stand immobile for 8 seconds and then teleport to your base, if you don't get damaged while doing it. It takes away the time it takes to move from field to base, and it adds an extra tactical element since you can escape chasing enemies by running towards their base, then hide in a bush and recall.
LoL graphics are cartoony because cartoony graphics are cheap and requires low resources. Even low-end notebooks can play LoL, which is great, and something that is not possible in more demanding games like HoN. The only part that requires a lot of resources is the PVP.net client, which is based on Adobe AIR xD Anyway, I don't think it looks bad at all, and gameplay is what I pay attention to anyway. The bright colors also adds a great deal of visibility.
To sum this up, I strongly recommend watching this video if you want to get introduced to the game. It explains a lot of elements, and it is made by TotalBiscuit!
He plays a very short game though (this is low-mid ELO). They usually range between 25 minutes to 50 minutes, but I have played games that lasts almost 2 hours.
There is also an update coming for LoL that will add better graphics and a new huge map (Magma Chamber) and who knows what else. No one knows when it is coming though, but we have this little trailer that might mean something...
Ahh yes thank you for clearing up some things I failed to mention in the OP :sorcerer:
However on the 'No Man's Game' in adding to your view it requires circumstances, most of these are common. Usually in the LoL games I played there's an 'eye-for-an-eye' strategy where one team charges one lane and the other a different lane, usually requiring one hero to defend against the opponent team. A risky (and sort of silly) tactic to be sure of but these are one of the instances where 'No Man's Game' can apply to.
And on Income from killing champions, you do indeed get more for one champion than a minion wave (this also increases if the opponent champion has a killstreak). I'm not sure on the xp-gain but when I mean income I mean a steady stream of gold coming in, obviously dragon and baron don't apply since you can't kill them repeatedly.
I actually like the cartoony graphics, it gives a unique feeling while playing, separating itself from DotA and HoN. Anyways what do you mean Gangplank can deny? Is it a certain spell? Because I don't play Gangplank or seen him deny so far.
First i played DoTa.. Then i played the HoN beta until it ended. A little later i started playing LoL for some time but then i quit it and 2 weeks ago i bought HoN along with my friends when i started a lan party (which is still ongoing).
I enjoyed playing LoL when i did but to me HoN (=Dota) is a superior game. Not necessarily in terms of fun (for me it is though) but rather in terms of balance and ultimately game-play.
I'm not going to write a lengthy post explaining why i think it is so.. It's just something that you have to find out for yourself if you have invested a lot of time in both games.
Of course it may just be me though but all of my friends agree with me.
Scamming the game by letting 5 people level up 10 accounts to level 5 with me as the referrer. That way i get 40-win ip boost and a tier 3 champion (6300 ip). It takes about one day and me and the 4 others are doing it for 5 accounts. Really worth it, and fun actually.
The annoying thing is that pretty much every 5 man premade in low level are also doing the same thing, especially when your match history is 100% wins, so the matches aren't as easy as you expect ^^