Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League…

…to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-dan armada.

So, I decided to give League of Legends a try despite my dislike for PvP and RTS PvP in particular. I was shocked by some things. Lets talk things.

First, for those who know no LoL; a primer. (If you already know LoL, skip this paragraph) LoL is the spiritual successor to Defense of the Ancients. DOTA was a community made game mode/map for WarCraft 3, where the player takes the role of a single hero to do battle against opposing player’s heroes.

My preconceived notions were twofold: I thought LoL was strictly PvP, that it stripped away all the other elements of the RTS and was just a duel between lone characters. I also thought that each hero had one life, that the game was a glorified deathmatch mode for an RTS.

WRONG: The game is more of a base defense strategy game than a PvP game. You have a central structure you need to protect, and three lanes into your base that have two turret structures each (there are a couple more structures in the base, and more turrets, but I am keeping this explanation simple.) Strings of minions spawn from your base and march down each lane at regular intervals. Left on their own, the minions from each side will just negate each other outright.

That is where the strat comes in. Your champion can turn the tide of any of these lanes, squashing the opposing minions and destroying turrets to clear the way for your force to penetrate the enemies base. Of course, you have to contend with your opponents’ champions, and work with your allies for control and defense of these lanes.

WRONG AGAIN: Also, if your champion dies you aren’t out… at least not permanently. You respawn after a hefty timer, leaving your lanes weakened. You definitely need to be on the better side of a K/D ratio to succeed at LoL. Also, there is an RPG element to the game, where you level, gains skill points, and accrue gold which can be used to buy equipment at your base.

LoL is still, at it’s core, a competitive game. I have only played co-op vs bots, and I think I will stick with that formula. I have heard that live players are brutal and unforgiving to the newb, and I just don’t have the time or dedication to put forth on mastering it. The beginner AI is still a challenge for me.

The game has two big things going for it. One: It’s free. Almost everything you can purchase with the real money currency can also be bought with a game accrued currency (but at a much more expensive price). I actually wouldn’t even mind throwing some money their way, they made a great game and I already have put about as much time into it as I would have for most 60 dollar Triple A FPS console games. Two: It has an amazingly complete tutorial. From your first login, it will hold your hand through the basic controls, then into a simulated match with AI allies and opponents, and after that it points you to the co-op matchmaking vs AI.

If you are already on LoL, or decide to give it a go, friend me up.

tl;dr: LoL is a surpisingly fun strategy RPG RTS, as long as you stick to facing bots.

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