I started playing League of Legends again recently and decided that I should write a review on it. I played DotA years ago on Warcraft 3, but have not touched it in a long time. I only started playing League of Legends because some of my friends play. Almost all of my games are Co-op vs AI, only a few of them are actually PvP.
N/A - The website says its an excuse for summoners (the player) to choose a champion to represent them in an arena style fight rather than screw over the world with destructive magic, but no one really cares.
The graphics are not that impressive. Many of the champions still look like something out of the Warcraft 3 era. The artwork that represent each of the characters on the menus in the game is excellent though. The thing I have to applaud them for is their diversity of champions. Many of them look extremely different from one another with the exception of themed skins which purposely makes a few of them look alike. The skill effects are fairly well done in comparison.
The game is set up to be a 5 vs 5, but there is a smaller map that I have not gotten around to. It is supposed to be 3 vs 3. Each map has a series of lanes where each base will spawn minions and they will move down that lane. The goal is to fight your way into the enemy base and destroy their nexus building. The other game mode is called Dominion where each team is supposed to focus on capturing key points on the map. In doing so, you reduce the HP of the enemy nexus. The same idea is at work here and you are attempting to destroy the nexus. Against AI, the average game will probably last 30 minutes unless someone on your team disconnects or everyone is a terrible player. Against other players, a game is very unpredictable.
The game plays like a RTS game where you control only 1 character, but you have a degree of customization to them. Think of it like playing an RTS game with only the hero. You have to cooperate with others in order to win a fight. More often than not, people will be at each other's throats when they are losing. Matchmaking is nonexistant and you basically rely on luck if you do not have a team to play with. Sometimes, matchups are so poor that games are over in as little as 20 minutes, but sometimes it can drag on for an hour.
Each week there are 10 champions that are rotated for players to use. If they want to use other ones, they have to unlock them first. Each player has their own champion with 4 different abilities and a passive ability. No 2 players on the same side can choose the same champion so you should learn to use a few. Each level, you gain 1 skill point to invest into your 4 skills. The 4th ability cannot be learned until the champion reaches level 6 in the current game. It is considered to be their "ultimate". They can also hold up to 6 items that boost their stats or healing items. Each champion has a set of recommended items, but it is often best to custom tailor each champion to what suits your playing style more. Beginners can just stick to the recommend items for each champion.
Champions are divided into various categories such as melee, ranged, magic, jungler, support, etc. I consider the 2 main categories to just be ranged and melee. These are the two with something that distinctly separates how they play. Ranged and magic are quite similar most of the times and their skills are what separates them, but sometimes you could even see how their skills are similar. I find ranged champions much easier to play and melee ones require a lot more gold and items, but are better at killing other champions in the long run.
Each player can also choose to bring 2 spells into each game. There are about a dozen type of spells with different effects. The cooldown on them are huge, but they have a big effect on the outcome of a fight if used properly. The basic ones include healing and increasing damage output for a short period of time. Later on, you unlock other abilities like teleportation. They are helpful if you know how to use them, but most of the time, players just use them to slow enemies down so they cannot escape.
At the end of each game, the player gains summoner exp and IP (influence points/money) based on whether they won or lost and how much time they spent in game. IP can be used to permanently unlock champions or buy runes to power up your champions. When you collect enough summoner exp, you level up and gain a mastery point and unlock a rune slot. Until level 10, you get a boost to IP gains. At level 10, you lose that boost unless you buy another one for real money. You also get penalized for playing against beginner AI. Runes and masteries allow you a small degree of customization by boosting specific stats. This way, you can boost certain things to make champions more suited to your style.
One problem with the game is the lack of maps. There are only 2 normal maps and 1 dominion map at the moment. 1 of the normal maps is also only restricted to PvP. Get used to seeing the same stage over and over again. If there were more maps, the game could be more interesting because different maps have different layouts and would require different strategies.
The second problem I have with the game is that IP becomes harder and harder to get as you level up. At level 10, you are penalized for playing against beginner bots, at level 15 you are penalized for playing against intermediate bots. On top of that, you can only receive about 3 hour's worth of IP from bots on any given day. You will basically be relying on your "daily win" to obtain IP. To me, it is the same as fatigue in other games and it is just an annoying feature to have. It makes it harder to unlock new champions.
You can form a ranked team with other players and this is basically your guild. Ranked teams that compete in PvP have their records appear on websites and if they perform well enough, they can enter into the championship with real life prizes.
If you like the DotA style games, then League of Legends is what you expect. The problem here is a lack of maps and that they basically have a fatigue system in place to prevent grinding. Ironically, you need to grind to unlock stuff so it kind of sucks that this is in since it makes it much harder to unlock anything. While there are not many maps to choose from, the number of champions actually makes games quite interesting.
6/10 - Fatigue sucks. Needs more maps and the IP limit vs bots needs to be removed.