Thursday, January 16, 2014

League of Legends - Journey From Noob to Below Average - Season 4 is Here!


Entry 5?!? Holy balls people. To my own surprise I am still playing this soul sucking game, League of Legends. Now, when I say still play it, I mean I am playing daily PvP matches and watching streams on Twitch of others playing when I am not.

It's official. I have completely been overtaken by the game and it's community. I have even started to make a few gameplay videos on my YouTube channel and I have only streamed LoL on Twitch for the last month. Overall the videos are very basic and to be honest, don't really offer much other then "here is me playing this video game". The plan is to start putting out videos with some sort of information / commentary on them, but the ones I have up now are mostly me just fucking around. The strange thing is that people are actually watching them! Even the super basic, low production, being played by a complete noob, (yours truly) YT videos are being watched. If that doesn't tell you how popular and addicting this game is...then I don't know what will.

Season 4 is Live

LCS Season 4 started this week and you know what I did? I watched the whole F'n stream on Twitch. I was at work as well, so I wasn't able to watch every single moment...but it was on in the background just like if I was watching a a baseball game or any other TV show. Overall it was my first time watching a Professional LCS match live and I have to say I was pretty impressed. It is still very clear that I am a super noob. The announcers, the live crowd, and the TwitchTV chat all seemed like they were on another level and were watching a different game then I was.

I find it very difficult to follow a match when a team fight goes down. Between the announcers yelling and 10 champions health bars on the screen...its tough for me to follow. It all kinda looks like a large cluster fuck. I do realize that the announcers make a big difference and I shouldn't quite judge it yet...but I am not sure how  much a broadcaster change can really help me. All of the team fighting I saw during the EU LCS matches very fast paced and involved ALOT of target switching. It may just be the way it is and maybe once I stop "noob'n it up" I'll be able to follow along a pro game with more enjoyment.

Road to Level 30

It takes ALOT longer then I first realized. The majority of the games that I have played have been against AI opponents and I was well aware that this yields less XP. I thought to myself that if I had just played PvP matches instead of the 100+ AI games that I would already be level 30 and to be honest, I probably would. However, I have probably played close to 40-50 PvP games in the last month or so and I just feel like I will never ever get to level 30. It is a legit grind and begs the question...

How are some people so clueless on how to play when they are level 30? 

I am not trying to be a douche or anything, but from what I have seen from streams and read on various sites, Bronze and Silver leagues are literally filled with players that know less about the game then I currently do. I just don't see how that is possible considering how much of a grind it is to get to level 30. I guess they could have bought XP boosts, but they would still have to play a large amount of games even with the boosts!

Maybe this is just me being a noob and I just don't get it because I have yet to experience the ranked queue. Maybe it is the Internet talking out of their ass (that never happens right?) However, people treat bronze league players that they are COMPLETELY clueless on how even a MOBA game works.

I for one can't wait to get to level 30 so I can actually compare myself to the rest of the LoL community. I still think that I am pretty below average, but that is only MY opinion. The ranking system is in place so I don't have to rely on opinions of myself or others, it does that shit for you. Do you know what doesn't do a good job of matchmaking games for your skill level? Normal games. Some normal games I feel like I am on a COMPLETELY different level then my opponents and then other games I get rolled so hard I feel like I should go back to playing against the AI...

...I mean it is that big of a difference and frankly I am getting annoyed with it. I think overall I am doing a pretty good job of not raging on my teammates and just keeping my frustrating to myself. Sometimes I slip up, but its normally just a passive aggressive / troll comment for the "lulz". Usually when the frustration is pointed at my direction and others are raging on me...I normally just agree with them and tell them sorry. Even if I feel that they are completely off basis.

I am not trying to have an argument with a stranger the few hours a day I get to myself. Fuck that noise.

Review and Improve

There are several reasons why I enjoy watching other, more skilled, gamers play LoL. The biggest of them all is how much I end up learning. LoL is a complicate game to get better at. Due to this, visual evidence of watching others play has been the biggest reason on my play improving. 

As I mentioned before, I have been streaming on TwitchTV and uploading some of the more entertaining games to YT. I stated that I am mostly just fucking around, but it is nice watching your old games to see how much you improved. I watch my Veigar video yesterday and even though I ended up winning the game and had very good stats, I saw SOOO many opportunities to improve. Mostly that I was playing so passively that it almost brought me to rage lol.

It is nice to review games and recognize things that you can improve on that will start helping you NOW. Riot currently does not have a built-in, client integrated replay function but has been working on one...however, there is no ETA on when this function will go to live servers.

The website LoL Replays (third party vendor) is what most people currently use to save their replays. It is legit and has been approved by Riot themselves. It has it's pros and cons, but overall its a pretty good choice.

TwitchTV just makes it too easy for me since I already had everything setup.

Being a better player and in-progress goals

I just read a flipping awesome thread on the LoL forums titled "Tips to being a better player" by Jsp. What a fantastic read and I recommend all LoL players, regardless of skill, to take a look and read it. One of the best reads on the subject that I have come across.

Below are a few goals that I am really going to focus on for the time being.

  • If you actively try to improve every single game and set a goal to work towards, The ELO will come to you. Always focus on your own lane and try to improve even if your team is losing their's. You are training for the next possible game and this time it might just be YOU that is failing hard.
  • Top level players aim for 10 CS per minute. If my math doesn't fail me that is 100 CS at 10 minutes and 300 CS at 30 minutes. At this rate you do not need to kill any champions and still be just as powerful. I am setting my goal at 75 CS at 10 minutes consistently no matter what the situation is in the top and middle lanes. There are plenty of factors that can happen during a game that can throw this off, but if I can hit every game, I should have a pretty good edge on my opponents.
  • Use smart pings Abuse the smart ping system. Ignore the chat. Stop making that kid's tantrum lose the game for you. Why do you care what that 12 year old kid thinks?  The mute button / feature is there for a reason, use it and make sure it doesn't affect your game. If you really want, disable the /all chat. Your teammates can still smart ping.
  • Minimap awareness. I think this one has been on my goals list since the beginning. In soloqueue its pointless to assume that your team has your back. Train yourself into looking at the minimap every 30 seconds and after you have mastered that, take a peek every 15 seconds. After awhile you should take a quick peek at the minimap every 2 seconds to watch out for anything suspicious. Examples being empty lanes which weren't pinged or catching an enemy jungler walking towards you. Its always worth it to check the minimap.
HOORAH! We have reached the end and if you are reading this I want to thank you and hope you check out previous articles. Follow me on TwitchTV and Twitter if you so choose. Until next time people!

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