League of Legends Test: Do We Have a Champion within? Find Out in Our Test!

09/21/2012 01:21 am by Kyle Hayth in TestsBrowser GamesFantasy

With MOBA titles starting to become all the rage nowadays, we figured we would try out the sensation known as League of Legends and put it to the test. We wanted to know what made this game so popular and why it has had such a meteoric rise. In our test, we try out a number of champions, various game modes and even learn a trick or two.

What Is League of Legends?

A few years back, there was a big hit on the gaming scene – Defense of the Ancients, or DotA for short. It was a mod that was made for the real-time strategy game Warcraft III and it quickly had a massive following. Since then, there have been a number of new titles that have appeared featuring gameplay that was specific to this one mod. Now, League of Legends has brought MOBA-style gaming (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) to the masses in a free-to-play format.

Getting Started and Setup

Creating an account of League of Legends was relatively easy – simply choose a username, password and an email address that is bound to the account. The main menu is simple and the layout makes everything fairly clear – we could see our account name, level, access to the shop, access to our various champion attributes and even a chat/friends system.
In fact, a couple of us in the office decided to test League of Legends together because, let’s be honest; it is definitely more fun when playing with your friends and that is why we found the friends feature to be useful. It allows you to invite friends to a game you created and even has a pop-up chat window similar to Facebook chat.

The Nitty-Gritty Match

Now it was time to get down to business… getting into our first match and getting our hands dirty in some action-packed combat. That meant choosing a champion and learning the basics. Since we really did not have a good idea on how to play, we decided to team up with our colleagues and take on bots in a cooperative match. This is a great way to practice as we could choose either “beginner” or “intermediate” levels of bots.

The champion choice was not so easy for us. Every week, publishers Riot Games make 10 champions free to play. That means, we could use these champions without having to purchase any of them. These 10 get changed every week, giving players the opportunity to try out a number of champions and if there is a champion that they are particularly fond of, players can purchase it.

After choosing to partake in a co-op battle against beginner bots, we landed on the champion choice screen. Looking over the various ones available that week, we chose Xerath – a monstrosity that has mastered the ancient magic of times past. In addition to our champion’s four basic abilities, we could also choose an additional 2 to use in the match – these are nice little bonuses that can allow players to teleport, heal and more.
So there we were: the match had begun. There were five of us total, with two of us hailing from the mighty team!  There were three “lanes” on the map – top, middle and bottom. To win the match, players must fight past the opposing minions, champions and towers to destroy the enemy team’s Nexus (their base if you will), while of course preventing the enemy team from accomplishing the same objective. Minions spawn at a constant rate and travel down each lane, giving players support, cover and –the enemy minions – a source of experience and gold. In addition to the three lanes, each side of the map has its own “jungle” where there are 5 neutral monster camps in total, which like minions, turrets and enemy champions, award experience and gold when defeated. However, two of these monster camps are significantly stronger than the other three and provide powerful buffs for the player who kills them. The “Red” buff gives champions damage over time and slow effects, which are applied on basic attacks and provide a sizeable advantage when going up against opposing champions. The “Blue” buff gives the champion increased resource regeneration (mana, energy, fury, etc.) and a 20% reduction on the cooldowns of all champion abilities.

Separating each team’s jungle is the river, which has two neutral monsters of its own. Since the river is directly in the center of the map, both teams generally try to control this area to gain an advantage in terms map control and the gold and buffs which the two additional monsters offer. Each of these monsters is considered a boss and as such is far more powerful than any minions or other neutral monsters. The dragon is the weaker of the two and spawns on the lower right hand side of the river and awards 300 gold to each player on the team that defeats it. Baron Nashor is the more powerful of the two and in addition to the 300 gold for each player, he also awards the team that defeats him with a buff that massively increases health, damage and resource regeneration for each champion.
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