MOBA games (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) have become one of the most played genres of games lately. Why wouldn’t they be, these games are extremely competitive, highly engaging and requires certain skill sets from its players. League of Legends (or LOL as the players and fans abbreviate it) is one of such MOBA games, one of the most popular ones.
The game was developed and published by Riot Games. It was inspired by World of Warcraft 3’s mod Defence of The Ancients (DOTA). The characters with which the players play are called ‘Champions’. But unlike DOTA and many other MOBA it doesn’t give access to all its characters right away. Instead every 15 days, LOL gives its players a set of 8 random characters to play with. Players who play MOBA usually get attached to certain characters and sometimes prefer certain characters that suit their playing style. So sometimes this system of random champions in LOL irritates its players. But the devs have kind of given a solution to this also; players can buy their favourite characters using the in-game currency that they earn by playing matches and getting ‘kills’.
One of the best things about LOL is that all characters in the game are very different from each other and hence forces players to adapt to different playing styles according to the champions they select. These playing styles depend on the kind of skills the champion has and the items crafted by the player to support these skills. Based on these skills and the possible styles of using the champions they are divided into 5 main classes.
Support class : They don’t usually have very high attack stats but they are suitable for supporting other characters who can deal high damage. They can affect the stats of allies’ enemies or even themselves.
AD type Carry : They can deal high physical/attack damage (AD) to the enemy but in the initial phase of each game they are usually weak.
Tank class : They have high hit taking ability (high HP) and are kind of the defensive units.
AP type Carry : They can deal high magical damage (AP)
Bruiser class : They a much similar to the tank class but they also come with decent level of offensive stats.
Visually the game is the similar to Heroes of Newerth. The main map of LOL, ‘Summoner’s Rift’ is almost identical to the map of DOTA/DOTA 2 (also one of the leading MOBA games). It has 3 lanes (top, mid and bot) and forests between the lanes where you can usually find neutral ‘jungle creeps’.
Besides junglings, there are also 2 Ancient creeps namely Baron Nashor (most powerful neutral creep) and The Dragon (second most powerful creep). Both are very difficult to kill by a single champion (except some Champions) and often require all 5 members of the team to take anyone of them down. When killed both of grant exp to all champions of that team and killing Baron even grants gold while each time someone kills the dragon they receive a buff. Unlike dragon, when Baron is killed it gives “Hand of Baron” aura to all champions of that team. Hand of Barron increases attack damage and ability power and also reduces channel time so time knowing when to kill Barron is very important.
Unlike other MOBA games, LOL has 4 different maps Summoner’s rift, The Twisted treeline, howling Abyss and The Crystal Scar. Each map is made for a different game mode all together. The Twisted Treeline and howling Abyss is made for search and destroy. Where as the Crystal Scar has been made for all-out war. Here LOL has an edge over other MOBA games including DOTA, since it offers more than one modes of the game and also allows 1v1 matches. According to players who have played both LOL and DOTA 2 the learning curve in terms of playing the game is much steeper in case of DOTA, so LOL is much easier to adapt to and anyone can start playing the game with relative ease within a few days.
For ex- in DOTA 2 player can deny(denying here means stopping the enemy from receiving the benefit of their kill by killing your own creeps before they do) creeps and towers, hence, denying enemy players farm (farm here means the experience and the gold gained) . This gives a huge strategic element to DOTA which LOL doesn’t have. Compared to other MOBA games LOL mainly requires skill shots which need proper timing and judgement. LOL is said to be heavily items based, so players have to farm a lot more than any other MOBA game.
LOL has one of the biggest fan following and it also is one of the most money making games till date. As of January 2014, 67 million people play LOL per month. If that doesn’t show you how popular the game is, we don’t know what will. Are you one of these 67 million people? It might be time to join them if not!