Saturday, October 12, 2013

League Of Legends - My Journey from Noob to Below Average - Entry 1

Thats right! I stated that I was going to document my journey on learning this game and I am actually doing it...quite shocking really. If you haven't checked out my first post about the game, go read that first and come back. Then my journey will begin!



LoL is considered a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and  is a sub-genre of the real-time strategy (RTS) genre, in which often two teams of players compete with each other in discrete games, with each player controlling a single character through an RTS-style interface.

Full wiki breakdown on the game here.

There was some pretty basic things that I was confused about...

Now, I know the basic concepts of the game and at its core, it is very simple. However, it can get complicated and complex fast. I started playing it a few years ago, but I only played against AI controlled opponents. Even then, it was clear that I wasn't even the best player on my team and after a few weeks I lost interest. This time around I told myself that I was going to make a much bigger effort and really dive into this game.


1. WTF do I do once mid and late game begin? Do I still focus on my lane and minions or do I try and work with my team and focus more on getting champion kills?

2. You are on a 5 man team and in order to succeed you need to communicate. I didn't know how to alert my team members and ping the map in at the same time. I knew how to chat with my team and ping the map separately, but in the heat of the battle sometimes you just don't have the time to type it out.

Example - "player 1 has targeted the inner turret"
Example - "player 3 alerts his team to retreat"
Example - "player 4 alerts his team to be careful"

3. What is up with the item tree and how does it work? If I buy an item that apart of a bigger recipe, does the main item get discounted?

4. I knew I had to last hit minions and that it was a big part of your individual income. However, when I would look on how many minion kills I had compared to my team, I was normally 4th or 5th by ALOT. WTF am I doing wrong?

5. The jungle and neutral monsters. I knew that they gave you buffs and gold and that the current "meta-game" is to have one champion on jungle duty the whole game. Sounds pretty easy I thought. I gave it a try and lets just say I was pretty lost and didn't realize what I was doing.

6. Terminology - Like the awesome noob that I am, I have no clue what terms people were using like "cs", "leash", and a "carry".

Dem Resources...

Over the course of a few days I have played 4-5 games all with very specific goals of answering these above questions and getting better. Normally I would read a few online articles and then I would search for a video of someone showing / explaining it. I think the combination of reading about it and then seeing someone do it is a winning formula. I tried to focus on 1 or 2 things at a time and then move on once I got a good understanding of what I should do.

One of the best resource sites that I have found for noobs and pros alike is MOBAFIRE. They have a huge LoL community and tons of guides. One of the guides that I like the most is a basic general guide to the game. It is not too often that I spend time reading through a whole guide, but it was so well put together and helpful for a noob like me, I just had to read it from start to finish.

Here is it in all its glory - The General Guide to League of Legends

I am happy to report that all of my questions on the above list I have been able to answer. I have started the process of practicing and can already tell a big difference in my game play. Don't get me wrong, I am still very much a noob, but now I at least have a good idea of how the game should go.

I played a game last night against the intermittent AI difficulty and two of my teammates seemed like me before I started reading up on how to play the game. They were doing a pretty terrible job of killing minions and they kept on dying. I think one of them ended up with 21 deaths or something like that. It was the first game that I thought we were going to lose and if the AI controlled champions wanted to end it, they could have easily. However, a few of us just kept on grinding away and to be honest, I have no idea how we ended up winning. It took over 100 minutes and it was the first game that I really learned the importance of the jungle and mini bosses buffs.

Notes / Take Aways / Tips

1. Pick one champion and stick with them.

That doesn't mean you cant play around with a bunch of champions, but I think the best way to learn the game and get good at it, is to stick with one champion that you like and master them. I am still messing around with a few, but I think I am going to roll with Malzahar exclusively. What can I say, I like dark magic characters and I like dots.../evil

2. Learn how to last hit and execute it EVERYTIME.

I didn't realize how important this concept was but after reading up and watching others play online...I couldn't of been more wrong. It is one of the easiest ways to improve your game.

3. Communicate with your team and recognize the transition from "laning" to team battles.

This was one of the most confusing things to me. I had no idea what to do in the mid game and didn't understand what my other teammates were doing. What really helped me recognize this is just watching other people play. I think one of the videos I watched actually stated that mid / late game was all about team battles first and farming minions second.

I am still trying to get used to pinging the map and emoting correctly. However, now that I know how, its only a matter of practicing.

Upcoming goals for entry 2...

1. Play against actual people. Even if I only do it a few times and get rolled. I need to start playing people to get a better understanding of the game and its fun factor.
2. Get better at last hitting.
3. Pay attention to the map more and work on my communicate emotes

Copy and Paste like a Pro

Here are some of the more helpful videos I watched. They cover quite alot and helped a noob like myself A TON.

Beginner Guides - I really enjoyed both of these and highly recommend the terminology video. 

Replay Analysts

Ranked Match in the Middle Lane - I loved watching this guy play and found his thought process very interesting

Until next time people, I'm WTFout!

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