Two years have passed since the release of the game titled, "League of Legends". It was developed by Riot Games Incorporated, a company based in the United States.
League of Legends is a MOBA (multi-player online battle arena) game, and some of its developers have come from the development team of Defense of the Ancients, commonly known as DotA. As such, people who know DotA can see similarities, as well as the differences between the two.
The current modes of gameplay available take place on what the game calls as "Fields of Justice", and are the classic 5v5 Summoner's Rift, which resembles the original map of DotA; a 3v3 Twisted Treeline that promotes faster matches; and the newly implemented 5v5 Dominion, which is a variant of "King of the Hill" type of games.
The battles between players take the form of controlling "champions". The battle begins when the automatic matchmaking system have chosen the opposing parties. During this time, blind pick prevents each side from seeing what champions the other side picks, and allows both teams to have the same champions. Draft pick is different, and functions a lot like the "captain's mode" of DotA, where each side has to ban champions and have to pick champions in a certain order. Also, in draft mode, each champion can only be played by one player.
On the battlefield, each champion has five skills, one passive skill, and four other skills that can be upgraded depending on the player's choice. These correspond to the QWER keys of the keyboard. In addition, each player also has to choose "summoner spells" before the game, and corresponds usually to D and F.
The setup of Summoner's Rift has three lanes and a jungle for neutral creeps. Each lane has two defensive turrets, while the base-houses one turret at each lane direction. Each lane also has an inhibitor, which, upon its destruction, enables the opposing team to spawn powerful minions. An inhibitor only becomes vulnerable upon the destruction of all turrets in a lane, and it also recovers health if not completely destroyed. Inhibitors also respawn after a set amount of time. Each base also has a nexus, which become vulnerable after the two turrets near it are destroyed. Once destroyed, the opposing team wins. The Twisted Treeline has the same gameplay as Summoner's Rift, except that there are less towers in each lane, and only two lanes are available.
These two gameplay modes are nicely balanced, with the balance of Summoner's Rift better than Twisted Treeline, as it has almost the same format as the classic DotA map. Twisted Treeline sees more champions that are designed to have more hp and can function independently. Summoner's Rift matches usually last for 30 minutes to 40 minutes on average, while Twisted Treeline lasts half of that.
Dominion is the new map for League of Legends, which take place on a circular map, with five capture points. The goal of the map is for a team to capture different points on the map. Once a team holds an advantage in the number of held capture points, the opposing team's nexus slowly gets destroyed. Once the health of a nexus drops to zero, the team with the lost nexus loses. Dying in battle also results in a decrease of nexus health. Each match in Dominion usually lasts for 15 to 20 minutes.
The problems with the current dominion is that the radical change in gameplay from the standard Summoner's Rift and Twisted Treeline promotes small skirmishes and the inevitability of confrontations have resulted in the superiority of champions are devastating in one-on-one, champions that lay traps, and those that have a high degree of map mobility.
Another great difference of League of Legends with other MOBA games is that it uses a "Summoner System" wherein the player gains experience and levels. For each summoner level, the player gains a mastery point that may be allotted in the "Masteries", which offer various benefits. Aside from the mastery point, the player also gains a Rune slot, which can be occupied by runes bought at the in-game store using "Influence Points" that are gained after matches. These runes also give various benefits depending on the rune that is being used. These things allow a player to be different from another even if they used the same champion in the battlefield.
Regarding the visuals of the game, it is on the side of being light-hearted, enabling League of Legends to cater towards all ages. The minions can almost be regarded as cute because of their super-deformed look.
They don't cut back on the special effects, as each champion has different abilities that can be spectacular to behold. A champion can fire a laser of light while another can fire a blast of shotgun shells that explode behind its target. Each ability will be memorable and the degree of visual information is just right so that one can still see what is going on in the battlefield.
Like other MOBA games, once one gets hooked, one will probably play as long as updates come. And League of Legends is a game with a lot of these. Riot Games release new champions every two weeks, and with the release of Dominion, it has made the experience more fulfilling.
Another strong point of League of Legends is that every match is a brand new experience. This may be the largest fun factor of the game. Each match most likely results in different champions for one's allies and enemies, thus demanding different playing styles and strategies to outplay one's opponents. If the enemy has many champions that deal magic damage, then magic resistance is the key to survival. This is just one of the many strategies that exist in the League of Legends.
Aside from the battlefields, the League of Legends also has its own story. Set in the world of Runeterra, the League of Legends was a system created in order for the different nations to settle their differences without resorting to warfare. And such a system has attracted various beings. Thus, each champion has his or her own story on why and how he or she has entered the league. Some did so for loyalty to country, others were bound to serve, while others became champions for nefarious purposes. These stories, or Lore, as the League likes to put it, has added flavor to the already rich experience that is League of Legends.
Wrapping things up, League of Legends is a continuously evolving game, and is already a part of several international tournaments. With graphics that caters to all ages, as well as gameplay that is dynamic and unique. Many things can hope to improve, such as balances among champions and gameplay in different maps, but such things are to be expected in a young online game. Nevertheless, playing League of Legends is worth the while.