LoL – No, not the txt, League of Legends!

by cunningstuff

The look on the little guys face is about the same as mine as I play.

I have been a gamer since I was a child. I was born in 1968, and I bought my first real game in 1978, Dungeons and Dragons, and began a life long passion for difficult, time consuming games. I find it very hard to get people together to play such exciting, fun and social games anymore, and I followed the path most of us oldies have fought and bitched about ever since. MUD’s which morphed into Evercrack, which morphed into WoW, which… has not morphed, but put a capstone that is hard to build higher than. I played Minecraft alpha, and still own it and fart around, who doesn’t enjoy the odd scare of a creeper now and again? I try indie games, but most are to fast for my liking, but I did find a fast paced hard game that really satisfies my game tooth, League of Legends.

Now, before you gear up and go and download it and then come back and yell at me, let me say one thing, LoL is hard. I know a lot of the younger people out there are like oh come on, Starcraft II is twice as hard, you don’t have as much to do, you don’t blah blah blah. I am not hearing it. Grasping the concepts that make LoL a great game are not easy to come by, the community is basically made of the worst behavior I have ever seen in a gaming community, and absolutely you must put time into it to make it a great game. I play chess, and I grasped the basics of chess far faster than the basics of LoL. I am a long time gamer, and the most fun I ever have is player versus player, also known as PVP. In LoL, PVP is made up of two teams of five people, and every one of them hates you. Your team hates you, the other team hates you, and if you do bottom lane support like I do, your partner really hates you. That is a lot of hate, and it is not for everyone, but… I am reminded of fishing with my grandpa.

“I am not going to bait your hook, Glen. You have to get your hand dirty and grab the shrimp and do it. Look at him cap’n, he thinks we are gonna help him. (uproarious laughter of two old men.)”

I ended up being one of the best fisherman I ever met, and though the company was harsh, they would tell me how to do things right, and let me learn my own mistakes as well. With about ten dozen well-meaning insults that never stung, only pushed me to grow and become better, to earn my compliments. I get the same thing from… oh you get the idea. Let’s discuss the game and it’s basics.

First of all, it has been years since I wanted to learn about a game. The basics are interesting, and watching pro players on their streams is just as fascinating. Tons of guides are all about, and it is a confusing bundle to approach empty-handed. There are tanks, mages, melee, support, and junglers for the most part. Some are hybrids, some are horrible unless used by the right person, and some are right-click divas, or just to easy. I like this part the best, some are just damned difficult to learn and the strategy to use them fluctuates with every game. Another fascinating part is that you do not have to invest ridiculous amounts of time into it, 10 to 20 hours of the month, and you can grasp and gain all you need to have an honest good time. For free… There are an amazing amount of champions to choose from, and 100 guides for each one. Guides are tricky too, some are great, mostly by the pro players, and some are down right troll fodder. After a full year of playing, I have become just a basic player, but every game gets my blood pumping, as I help my team blow up the other team to bits, or get blown up to bits.

Secondly, yes, I already said it, it is free. I played one other game that was as good, and you had to pay for it, the strategies in Eve Online can be just as complex, but you have to sink years of time into the game to get into the better fights, and that is when they decide to happen. Pro players in other games rarely have time to play anything else, but one thing is certain, even with pro LoL players, everyone seems to have enough time to enjoy anything else they want to do. Being free on top of everything else, the game is a bargain, worth every penny of 60 US that I would blow on another game I might not even like once I started. The whole thing is sponsored by the sale of skins for champions, and once you get a certain champion down pat and play them well, it is almost guaranteed you will support Riot with a skin purchase. You never have to purchase anything however, so even cash strapped players can do as well as the most wealthy player in the game. There is no other game I have ever seen do this so well.

LoL is not for everyone, but if you are looking for a hard-core game that puts your strategy and mental clarity to a test, you could do far worse than investing some time into learning the damned thing. I know there is a love/hate relationship going on here, but I do love the game, for every bit that I hate, I love it more. I would like to see some more hospitality to new players, and from regular players as well, but aside from its harshness, it is a game you can fall in love with. A game that inspires people to write songs, make puppets, and cosplay. A game for gamers, and the harder the gamer, the better the love, I think.