League of Legends

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League of Legends

Postby skeptical scientist » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:40 am UTC

Does anyone here play it? It's based on DotA, and a couple of people who were involved with DotA are also heavily involved in this project (Guinsoo and Pendragon). I've been playing the beta quite a bit over the last few weeks, and I have to say it's a really good game, and will probably be better than DotA. Also, they loosened the NDA today, so anyone is free to talk about the beta.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:16 pm UTC

Gave up trying to get my beta key after a couple of weeks and a few emails - it may be interesting, but it's not worth spending a couple of hours of time hunting threads and emailing/waiting for website to be fixed multiple times to get on. There seems to be a big fuss about Pendragon, although I was never quite able to pinpoint why, or what he did earlier - but there'll probably be stiff competition for the every player, especially because it seems like Icefrog has been doing more work with HoN/Eul than LoL - but who knows what's going on. There is a genre in the making!
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Re: League of Legends

Postby infernovia » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:04 pm UTC

The only thing I know about this is that there is a levelling system on a competitive game. Its about the most stupid move.

ALSO, levelling is pretty quick until 15 where you are supposed to spend 5 hours per level. That is ridiculous. Most of us do not have that kind of time to grind (meaning that the game is differently played at level 1 then at level 30). Would be worth a shot if they allowed you to buy max level and max options.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby skeptical scientist » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:57 am UTC

infernovia wrote:The only thing I know about this is that there is a levelling system on a competitive game. Its about the most stupid move.

ALSO, levelling is pretty quick until 15 where you are supposed to spend 5 hours per level. That is ridiculous. Most of us do not have that kind of time to grind (meaning that the game is differently played at level 1 then at level 30). Would be worth a shot if they allowed you to buy max level and max options.

In the current beta version, every game (including practice games) nets you a level (for a win) or half a level (for a lose), so after about 40 games you should be max level (30). If that system continued in the release version, that would mean most competitive players would be max level anyways, so people with more time to grind wouldn't have an advantage (which is as it should be). That said, I don't know what leveling will be like for the actual release. Where did you see that it's supposed to take 5 hours per level at level 15+?

Runes pose a similar problem, but there we have even less to go on because the way you obtain runes in the beta is purely a placeholder (there is a "get runes" button that gives you a bunch of random runes every time you press it).

I would like to see a purely nominal level/ranking system, where your level/rank has no in-game effects (other than some eye-candy, perhaps), but can be used to gauge a player's rough experience and skill.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby infernovia » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:00 pm UTC

IRC Interview.

<@TecumsehGOA> 12. How many games to get to the higher level??
<@ Tom Cadwell > It really depends on a lot of factors. Generally speaking we want you to reach level 15 very quickly, and then a solid play session of 5-6 hours will gain you a level in most cases.


I would like to see a purely nominal level/ranking system, where your level/rank has no in-game effects (other than some eye-candy, perhaps), but can be used to gauge a player's rough experience and skill.

Yeah, that would be preferred.

btw, I can't actually link any league of legends forums in xkcd lol.Kinda sorta. forums.lol-europe.com/showthread.php?t=633. It at least lets copy-paste work. -ST

edit: there is also a thread in the beta forums that deals with this issue called "how much is the game going to cost me?"
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Re: League of Legends

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:27 am UTC

infernovia wrote:btw, I can't actually link any league of legends forums in xkcd ¡This cheese is burning me!.

That is awesome! It still breaks them even if you use url tags. lоl indeed!
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Re: League of Legends

Postby infernovia » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:07 am UTC

So, league of legends just got the fix it needed to transform from beta to release state, and I think its late enough to say that their statement and implementation are not correlated.

a) 2000 games to get to max level (estimated).
b) All heroes not unlocked.
c) rune unlock

From the way these were implemented, we can assume that LoL is going to reward players based collection meaning the amount of time spent on the game. Also, not being able to play across ocean is going to hurt its viability a lot.

I don't know, Riot seems to have dropped the ball on this one.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Phrozt » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:31 pm UTC

I just started playing a couple days ago. I really like it! My friend got me a beta key because he was apparently in a clan or something that got several, so we've been playing over skype. I was just introduced to HoN when the new LoL.patch hit. I was surprised how much they blatantly stole from HoN... and how much better HoN's site is. I'd be interested to play it to see if it's the same gameplay though. I really like what they've done w/LoL compared to DotA.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Zileas » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:So, league of legends just got the fix it needed to transform from beta to release state, and I think its late enough to say that their statement and implementation are not correlated.

a) 2000 games to get to max level (estimated).
b) All heroes not unlocked.
c) rune unlock

From the way these were implemented, we can assume that LoL is going to reward players based collection meaning the amount of time spent on the game. Also, not being able to play across ocean is going to hurt its viability a lot.

I don't know, Riot seems to have dropped the ball on this one.


I don't think you are characterizing this correctly, and your facts are wrong. The goal is to get everyone to a basic level of competitive equivalence, and then allow for a lot of accumulation of options afterwards. Because we balance runes and champions against each other, this doesnt correspond to "tactical choice power" inside a game, but options outside of games -- and thus higher enjoyment, but not higher win rate.

1) It does not take 2000 games to get to max level, that would be really silly. It actually takes, with the current XP tables, approximately 125 games for a CASUAL user who has purchased nothing from Riot (hardcore users go a bit slower because they get fewer first win of the day bonuses). This corresponds to 2-3 months -- and again, that's a casual user who isn't playing very much. A hardcore user who purchased the $30 collectors pack probably will be maxing out level within 2-3 weeks, and by hardcore, I mean 20-30 hrs a week, not 60+. Our intention is not to have a long level grind, just to have a motivating one.

2) 10 champions are always unlocked on a rotating basis, in addition to whatever is being tested on the test realm additonally for free. A lot of champions are unlockable with a very small number of games, others take a middling number. It's very easy for someone to get all the champions they care about without paying us a dime, and with some effort, we expect a lot of people will get full unlocks and pay us $0.

3) Rune unlock is pretty quick too. We've adjusted the prices from the previous ones seen, but the gist of it is that while it takes a long time to get yourself many sets of runes for different oddball builds, getting a basic set that will work near full power for most champions is very easy.

I would encourage the community here to check out league of legends -- it's in open beta, and you need not pay us anything ever as it really is a free game. The team who made this game is a bunch of hardcore gamers like you guys, and there's a good chance that you'd enjoy it, even if you didn't enjoy DOTA. It's more team oriented, less punishing to newbs, and has a lot of cool features that DOTA lacks like matchmaking, simplified store interface, character progression, etc.
Phrozt wrote:I just started playing a couple days ago. I really like it! My friend got me a beta key because he was apparently in a clan or something that got several, so we've been playing over skype. I was just introduced to HoN when the new LoL.patch hit. I was surprised how much they blatantly stole from HoN... and how much better HoN's site is. I'd be interested to play it to see if it's the same gameplay though. I really like what they've done w/LoL compared to DotA.


Glad you are enjoying Lol! But, I feel compelled to comment --historically, League of Legend's differentiation has always been about innovation and new ideas, and HoN's has primarily been about polish and replication of existing ideas, primarily from DOTA. Feature transfer has been from our game to theirs -- some of our better innovations were adopted by HoN several months later -- recommended items tab, partial premade matchmaking (prior plan did not involve this), etc. HoN is a great replication of DOTA, but to say that we are copying their ideas or that HoN is a highly innovative product doesn't really match up with the facts.
Last edited by Zileas on Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:58 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Ixtellor » Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:10 pm UTC

I was a pretty hard-core dota player for a while so I will be checking it out.

Coincidently, my wife tricked me into going to Target this morning, and while she was looking at scarves or something equally as boring, I went over to the game section and
there on the shelf was League of Legends for $29.99.

I will probably hold off until I get burned out on Modern Warfare 2, but after that look forward to giving it a go. I still love dota even though I don't really play that often anymore.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Zileas » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:57 pm UTC

cool. Well, League of Legends is free to play, but the collectors pack is a super efficient way to get a ton of champion unlocks quickly. You can earn anything in the game without paying, though, if you have a job and dont like to play 10 hour a week consistently, you'll be well served by laying out for the collectors pack or buying a few champions you really like. I'm Zileas inside the game, just add me if you wanta game and I'm on.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:00 pm UTC

Don't know if anyone is still following this.. but here's a guide I just wrote up for gang:
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.p ... stcount=60

I hit lvl 30 on my summoner a few days ago and now I'm just finishing out my runes. I think I'm something like 157/136 ish in terms of wins/losses. Still having tons of fun w/it :).
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Re: League of Legends

Postby BoomFrog » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:18 am UTC

I just started playing. I loved DOTA and I love this too. I'm really impressed with how well it runs on my crappy four year old laptop using a hotels wireless connection. I've lagged once (for a half second) in eight games.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Phrozt » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:08 pm UTC

Add my two chars:
Phrozt
Techno Tranny

Phrozt is my maxed lvl 30 char, so that's the one I'm usually on, but if you want to play, I'd switch to Techno so you aren't fighting other maxed out level 30s.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Phen » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:46 pm UTC

How is the levelling system? I had some friends play it, but they didn't seem to like it that much as they said it imbalanced the games so a newbie would be at a severe disadvantage. I've only tried the competitor HoN, so I don't know how it is...
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Re: League of Legends

Postby cmd » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:09 am UTC

Heya, just got into this and totally hooked. I've never played DoTA or HoN though, so I'm not very good. If anyone would mind giving me a hand in practice games or something, add me - CARAM is my name. I can get ventrilo or something.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Xalerwons » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:38 pm UTC

From level 1-30 would take approximately 270 games, with the average game for me lasting approximately 28 minutes (so about 126 hours or aka 5 days of play time.)

Really not bad at all. Just long enough that there's some sense of progression until you hit 30, in which the only progression you feel is a skill increase via team coordination, and not so much of individual hero skill increases.

I probably accrued about 40,000 IP without using boosts through the games I've played in the past 3 1/2 months. (40,000 IP being enough to purchase about 80% of the heroes.)

You can unlock half of the heroes for ~$25 US.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby BoomFrog » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:26 pm UTC

Phen wrote:How is the levelling system? I had some friends play it, but they didn't seem to like it that much as they said it imbalanced the games so a newbie would be at a severe disadvantage. I've only tried the competitor HoN, so I don't know how it is...


When your low level you play other low level people (mostly). Your only in trouble if you team up with someone higher level.

There's a matchmaking system that puts you up against other new players. Unfortunately it also puts you up against experienced players with a new account. But theres a hidden elo adjustment so each loss will cause it to put you with other truly new players. Play practice game with a lot of bots so you can learn things at a reasonable pace.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:51 pm UTC

I finally got around to playing this last night. It's pretty fun and my team won!
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League of Legends

Postby meatyochre » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:59 pm UTC

There was an old topic about LoL but I didn't want to necro it. Plus, it's been several months since then and I imagine things have changed. Ergo, new topic.

I just installed the game last night and played around with the training mode. I did one actual game before I had to leave for work today. I've heard the game is not nub-friendly. I am definitely an RTS nub, though I've been playing WoW for years now. I like the controls and it seems not too difficult to understand, but it seems like I'm severely underpowered compared to any enemies I face. Should I be killing minions in 5v5 matches? Because I was going for enemy players. But maybe that was a bad idea.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby ArchangelShrike » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:36 pm UTC

Minions, or "creeps" first, they give you gold and exp. To compare it to WoW(some thing I've only observed, not played):
-Everyone is shit at level one. Gotta level up first, get some gear.
-At level 6 it's time to party, be prepared for enemy players ganging up on you in formerly safe space (the tower/lane).
-Have enough cash to buy a top tier item/items, lets go out and deliver some pain.
-End game, let's siege the enemy base and take it once and for all.

Play solo ranked matches, jump in a lane with a partner (one of the sides), and watch how people play first their heroes first. After that, good luck.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Krong » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:52 pm UTC

To add to that, here's some more general advice that especially applies early in the game (hint: play conservatively):

* Don't get hit if you don't have to. Let the minions in your lane take the damage from towers and the other minions; you can attack once the minions/tower is already engaged. Towers really do a lot of damage, so don't let yourself get hit at all without a good reason for it. Minions don't do much damage, but even a little bit puts you in more danger from the enemy champions; avoid going 1v1 against a minion unless you can finish it off in a second or two.

This also means that you should stay out of range of enemy champions if you're not actually attacking them. If you're a melee champion, this might mean that you can't actually attack minions without getting harassed by a ranged champion. That's OK, though; stay back, stand around, and let your minions do the fighting while you gain exp.

* Don't cross the river if you can't swim the tide. Unless you're sure that you have an advantage, crossing into enemy territory makes you much more likely to get ganked (killed in a surprise attack by a couple of their champions). Don't hang out near bushes or other blind spots if you haven't checked them out first, and be careful when you do check them out.

* Always look for chances to last hit minions. You earn gold by being the unit that finishes off an enemy, no matter how much damage you did before that. Get a good feel for how much damage you can do in a hit and how long it takes you to hit, so you can swoop in and earn some money from units your minions were fighting.

* Stay near the front line as long as you safely can, but no longer. Stick around so you can win the experience race, but don't make yourself an easy kill. In the early game, buy items / learn abilities that let you regenerate health and mana so you don't have to waste time going back to base.

* Be hyper-aware of where the enemy is. If things seem quiet and peaceful on the map, but all the enemy champions are alive, don't be too proud to head back to safety before they appear. If a single enemy left themselves exposed, help your teammates to gank.

* Learn how to use your champion in fights with the enemy. When you get far enough along, the way you fight enemy champions will depend heavily on what champion you are. Use stuns and slows on escaping enemies or dangerous enemies, and don't waste them. Other than that, it's just a matter of learning who can do what.

* Don't be a hero. If a teammate is surrounded by 3 enemies, don't even get close unless you have an awesome slowing/stunning/protection ability. Even then, use the ability and get out. On the other side of things, if an opponent is dominating you, stay out of their way unless you've got help. Revenge is a dish best served to an unfed enemy.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby BurningLed » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:21 pm UTC

I play both this and HoN. Everybody compares them, but I don't see why.

They're ridiculously different -- HoN is a DotA clone with better polish and a couple of new heroes. It's slower-paced, and primarily based on technical skill, phased gameplay (laning->ganking->pushing) and is a commercial enterprise.

LoL is an entirely different game of the AoS genre, based on metagame progression, fast-paced ganking throughout the game, and is a free enterprise (Which has paid options that get you through progression 10 times faster.)

In other words, HoN to LoL might be analogized to marathons versus sprints -- Sure, they're both running, but they're really barely alike at all. I love them both anyways, though. Image

Anyways, feel free to add me on either:
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Re: League of Legends

Postby meatyochre » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:07 am UTC

Here's another dumb question. I played a 2v2 player-made skirmish type game for newbies today. How do you chat with the people you're playing with? is that possible? I didn't see a chat window or box like I'm used to having in a game.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:52 am UTC

... wait, chatboxes are normal? I'm use to hitting enter or tab and just typing. Huh.

Check the keybindings. The "Open Chat Interface" is probably spelled out there.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby ArchangelShrike » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:30 am UTC

BurningLed wrote:I play both this and HoN. Everybody compares them, but I don't see why.

They're ridiculously different -- HoN is a DotA clone with better polish and a couple of new heroes. It's slower-paced, and primarily based on technical skill, phased gameplay (laning->ganking->pushing) and is a commercial enterprise.

LoL is an entirely different game of the AoS genre,

I'm glad someone else besides me uses the term AoS. That said, there's nothing else really on the market for this subgenre, the developers come out of the same tree, sooo.... You're more or less a expert in this genre, and can see why they're different. Most people aren't, and so compares them to each other because there's nothing else to compare them to in this little cranny here. At least until Valve comes out and puts the hurting on everyone else with Icefrog.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Ixtellor » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:45 pm UTC

1) What is HoL?

2) I am giong to start playing one of these, which one is more like dota<---Im pro!,
3) Which one is more fun?
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Re: League of Legends

Postby ArchangelShrike » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:02 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:1) What is HoL?

2) I am giong to start playing one of these, which one is more like dota<---Im pro!,
3) Which one is more fun?

1.) HoL doesn't exist - it's either HoN (Heroes of Newerth) or LoL.
2.) HoN is part 1:1 of DotA, part new heroes/maps, LoL is a new take on the genre. Or HoN is DotA HD with more characters, new maps, LoL keeps the mechanics and tries to rebuild from the ground up.
3.) Only you can decide that. Ideas have filtered upstream to DotA, though, with the items introduced last patch being similar to LoL items. But as BurningLed said, LoL aims for a faster, friendlier pace than DotA - but there's a new version for DotA out! Must not be dragged in...
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Aardvarki » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:15 pm UTC

I've been playing LoL since late beta - level 30 and mid-high ELO. I played all three games (LoL, DotA, HoN) and LoL is my favorite of the three, though I frequently get annoyed with the significantly lower skill-requirements and poor matchmaking in LoL that make it much easier for me to get paired with people who have only barely played the game or simply don't know what they're doing, and one feeder really can ruin a game. This is not nearly as much of a problem in HoN, where the higher skill requirements, the globally visible rating/KDA and the ability to kick bad players (as well as host games with requirements such as 1600+ rating only) lead to games with only high-skill players.

LoL is by far the easiest to play out of the three, and in my opinion has the better hero diversity (though the skill diversity/complexity in HoN is superior) due to the more defined roles each hero plays (in LoL, the majority of the "tanks" are "tanks" and are considerably worse at dishing out damage than the damage dealers - whereas in HoN just about anyone can dish out pretty considerable damage, the lines are more blurred)

LoL has two maps, one 5v5 and one 3v3 - afaik HoN only has the one, and it is a direct clone of the DotA map (with updated graphics).

Currently, both games are "free to play", however LoL you have to pay real money for character skins (make your hero look special), and only 10 heroes are unlocked at any given time (you can spend points (IP) you earn from playing games or real money on new heroes, on average it takes about 30 games or $4 to unlock one hero, there are two packs that will unlock the initial 40 heroes for a total of about $50). Eventually, HoN will cost $30 to play (at all - but once you pay that, EVERYTHING is unlocked, whereas with LoL it is possible to spend hundreds of dollars and still not have everything).

LoL has a static "Mastery/Rune" system that lets you take bonuses into each game with you based on your summoner level (you gain exp from playing games, it takes about 300 games to reach level 30, the cap), mastery trees look identical to WoW talent trees. The runes, you can ONLY spend IP on runes - thus you cannot give yourself a significant advantage by forking out cash (you can however pay cash to get IP/XP "boosts" which double your gains for a certain time). I have played over 500 games and put $30 into LoL and still do not have all the heroes unlocked or all the runes that I want - and probably won't until I play another 500 games. HoN has none of this. People who play HoN like that because "at the start of a game, everyone is equal". This is true, but I like the added customization I can apply to my characters.

All in all, I like LoL better. It's more fun for me. If anyone good is looking for someone to play with, feel free to add me (I'm Aardvarki) - I play frequently and run my own vent server. I can be a little bit (understatement) of an elitist prick when I play, it is my extreme competitive nature and it gets the better of me - so i would prefer that you know how to play well if you're going to friend me. I generally play Ezreal (zomg skill shots <3), but I'm very solid with Morgana, Shen, Zilean, Mundo, Pantheon, Tristana, and a few others but that's really all I play anymore.

Side Note: I prefer (and members of the LoL dev teams do too) the acronym "MOBA" for games like this (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) rather than AoS.

Edit: Changed the note, only LoL devs prefer the name MOBA
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Re: League of Legends

Postby BurningLed » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:22 am UTC

Aardvarki wrote:Side Note: I prefer (and I believe members of the HoN and LoL dev teams do too) the acronym "MOBA" for games like this (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) rather than AoS.

I wouldn't understand why, Aeon of Strife is the great-granddaddy of DotA, who is the daddy of HoN/LoL. I played that starcraft (then warcraft) map all the time, 'till DotA came out. DotA's elitist cult following kind of turned me off for a while, but when HoN and LoL were released, i jumped right back into it. But AoS deserves it's place in history for giving birth to DotA, in my opinion.

I can see where you're coming from with a more sensible name for it, but it doesn't seem to totally work out -- MOBA follows a lot of games: first person shooters are technically MOBA's, as are online fighting games. Hell, even some racing games could be considered MOBA's if they involve destruction of other vehicles.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:10 am UTC

Using AoS might open up some legal/licensing issues, which is why the dev teams probably call it MOBA. After spending time on forums and hearing kids say they played a really cool map on this old game Starcraft called "Aoen of Strife" and wondering if Guinsoo/IceFrog could implement it in DotA or make it their next project... History time, folks.

MOBA feels unwieldy to me, I don't think I could ever naturalize it. It feels like a marketing term, not something that would roll off the tongue. There's probably a better term than AoS (which I prefer over MOBA), but I don't know if I'd ever use it.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Aardvarki » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

My reasoning for liking MOBA over AoS is that "AoS" or "Aeon of Strife" doesn't describe (in any way, whatsoever) the game. Sure, MOBA doesn't do a great job of describing it either - but at least when you tell someone they're about to play a "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" game, they know the game is going to be an online combat-based game - which says a lot more than "Aeon of Strife" to anyone who hasn't played AoS.

Perhaps more descriptive of a name would be "Team-based Online Battle Arena", which I think gives you a good bit more information than just calling it Multiplayer, but I didn't come up with MOBA - the people who make LoL did (I was incorrect in saying both LoL and HoN devs support the name MOBA, it's just LoL - my friend who plays HoN adopted it as well, so I assumed it was also linked with HoN)

Besides, if we were calling game genres by the names of the first game in the genre, we'd be playing MWGs (MazeWars Games) rather than FPS's. I simply can't support naming a genre after the first game in the genre.

... and "Adventure" games don't count! That was a fluke! They'd be called "adventure" games even if CCA and Adventure never existed.



P.S. I also do not think "roguelike" really counts as a real genre, it's simply a subset of RPGs with certain similarities -- on this note, I'm fine with people calling these games AoS-like or DotA-like (as more people know what DotA is than AoS and I would argue that DotA did more to inspire the creation of a genre than AoS did, even if DotA was based on AoS), but I wouldn't really call AoS-like or DotA-like a "genre" as much as it simply says "this game is similar to another older game", but now I'm just nitpicking on terminology. My point is that I think names for game genres should say something concrete about the game, other than "this game is similar to another game".

P.P.S. Why is MOBA unwieldy? I pronounce it "Mo-Ba", and thus it is quicker and easier to say than "RPG", "FPS", and "RTS" (or "AoS" for that matter!)
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Re: League of Legends

Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:32 pm UTC

Since there seems to be no relevant discussion to the actual topic, and no one seems to be bothered by this, let's have a go:

I prefer AoS because it tells me exactly what I want to know, at the cost of limiting the audience of people that'll understand instantly - it's a small team based game where players control only one unit out of a respectable number of choices from a 2.5D(3/4 persepective) camera view and face off against another team of players. The players job is to defend their base, which constantly pumps out weaker allied units while trying to destroy the enemy base, there's a dual/triple track of powering up through experience gained, gold to buy items, and sometimes hero customization in terms of skills (innate abilities, passives, actives, ultimates, whatever you want to call them). AoS is as pronounceable as "xkcd" to everyone I've met, that is unpronounceable unless you spell out the term, and sticks out in my memory more than MOBA.

MOBA sounds like a marketing term for a box rather than an actual genre, and doesn't explain much other than it's online, and it's multiplayer. So what? A lot games are online and multiplayer. If I was trying to sell the game to friends and told them it was a MOBA, I'd still have to explain the whole type to them, or explain it's not a FPS, a RTS, an action game before explaining what it is. For those that know what AoS is but not MOBA, I'd tell them it's AoS/DotA-like so I could get a funny look and be asked why I didn't just say that. For those that know MOBA, they probably know AoS, know MOBA and not AoS I could do my little spiel on the history of the game. It might be crafted to latch on to "MMO" for the unsuspecting consumer that has no idea about the type - which if they try it will probably end up in a lot of tears and flames without some handholding, which still doesn't have a proper tutorial yet. MOBA could refer to Team Fortress 2, or Mount & Blade: Warband, or Dawn of War II - these games are all multiplayer, online, do battle, and take place in an arena of sorts. MOBA doesn't have much mindshare yet, and AoS isn't quite corrupted in public image (DotA has it's stereotypical players) or broken, so why fix it?

And if we're naming things by first game, Maze Wars is a horrible name anyway. It's not as interesting as Aeon of Strife. But Aeon of Strife is a completely fan-made thing and seems to me to give a little credit to the fact that modders created it. It's similar to Tower Defense - Tower Defense existed as an idea and a game earlier, but you could argue it became popular in Blizzard games, and it was there that the term "Tower Defense" took root. Of course, this could mean both of us are eventually ignored as DotA still has the largest number of people that have played it and relates as the first concept in their mind. The key difference between Tower Defense and AoS/DotA/MOBA is that the former can be distilled into a couple of words, the latter cannot. If not, why not use something interesting rather than generic?

Side note: For those future readers, the original idea was loosely sketched out in a the manual for Starcraft, and one player decided to expand on it with a simple map that's generally been credited as the beginning of the type, placing players against a never-ending horde that spawns from buildings, where the game is won by destroying the buildings that produce the units. The type eventually evolved into a co-operative and competitive version, the competitive version first really making a mark as DotA. Due to different servers and their populations other AoS-types eventually got pushed out and DotA became the king of the roost, even if the other maps were aimed at different niches of the market, think RTS vs TBS vs simulation wargaming. Other AoS types are probably still in development (haven't touched Warcraft III in a few months) and have attempted to push the edge of what's possible in this type of games for a while now, and if these games catch on we'll probably see prior work being done for at least 5-10 years as they cover old ground.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Aardvarki » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:23 pm UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:For those that know MOBA, they probably know AoS, know MOBA and not AoS I could do my little spiel on the history of the game.


To be completely honest, this is probably why I don't like the AoS name - I never played it and actually had to look up the acronym, though as soon as I saw "Aeon of Strife" it hit me what you guys meant. I agree with showing respect to our 'elders', as it were, but it feels to me like by calling it "AoS-like" rather than calling it "DotA-like" you're alienating a HUGE number of players (It would surprise me if 10% of people who play games in the genre knew what AoS meant or what it was - but I bet 95%+ know what DotA is).

I mean considering that right now the "genre" consists of a grand total of four games, it's pretty fair that it doesn't have a real name yet and I guess it's going to remain pretty amorphously named for a good while. We might as well just agree to disagree until someone big and official comes out with a big and official name on it, or until the internet comes to a consensus.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:32 pm UTC

Aardvarki wrote:
ArchangelShrike wrote:For those that know MOBA, they probably know AoS, know MOBA and not AoS I could do my little spiel on the history of the game.


To be completely honest, this is probably why I don't like the AoS name - I never played it and actually had to look up the acronym, though as soon as I saw "Aeon of Strife" it hit me what you guys meant. I agree with showing respect to our 'elders', as it were, but it feels to me like by calling it "AoS-like" rather than calling it "DotA-like" you're alienating a HUGE number of players (It would surprise me if 10% of people who play games in the genre knew what AoS meant or what it was - but I bet 95%+ know what DotA is).

I mean considering that right now the "genre" consists of a grand total of four games, it's pretty fair that it doesn't have a real name yet and I guess it's going to remain pretty amorphously named for a good while. We might as well just agree to disagree until someone big and official comes out with a big and official name on it, or until the internet comes to a consensus.
Pretty much that. I've played the original AoS, and while it's nothing too special in execution compared to today, it was a little different back then - a little camaraderie with a group of strangers for a hour or so. No one tried to screw things up for others, partially due to how the game was played, and it's a big difference from playing Ladder or Helm's Deep where people would join simply to troll the game.

As to official name, it's "DotA-like" right now. (See Demigod - "inspired by DotA" or some such, LoL/HoN "with developers from DotA") For the people that have played it (something around 5 million unique IPs on one iteration the official forums lifetime) it's something special, for the rest of the internet it's known as the cesspool of the games, because it was a.) cheap/ubiquitous, b.) rewarded competition/improvement, c.) challenging, d.) team-based. Point A brings along a large number of bored kids with time to waste (especially over summers) spending time to become better and better, grouping together with other kids that don't have a decent sense of internet manners that end up flaming anyone that can't play like them. "Like them", not decently, they'll flame you for any reason, really. Others can see some of the uniqueness of the game, but the whole community corrupts the term "DotA" for those that could never get into the game or heard it in passing. The public, the people companies are trying to rope in most likely have a negative view on DotA as a whole - hell, most players hate the community of DotA, but it's the game they keep on coming back to.

As to what term will be used - assuming Valve doesn't take too long and IceFrog continues developing these types of games for Valve, that'll probably be the kicker. LoL and HoN don't have the marketing muscle of Valve+Steam, and IceFrog maintains the DotA today, and into the near future - it has the greatest chance of toppling the term "DotA-like" and placing a "proper" genre name on it.

I reserve my right to be crotchety/nitpicky and use AoS, however, and you can use whatever you want. And being crotchety/nitpicky there's at least 10 other AoS/DotA-like WC3 maps out there that put shame to everything else on the market, but nobody plays them. Who knows if the maps are available today...
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Krong » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:24 pm UTC

It's also interesting seeing the developers try to figure out what exactly belongs in this genre, speaking as someone who's played DotA and LoL. There are already pretty significant differences between those games when it comes to:
  • persistent stats
  • usefulness of "micro" skill
  • usefulness of aiming/prediction skill
  • item management
etc.

I kind of miss the ability to build a Dagon crow for the fun of it, but that's not very essential to the game play and ends up being fluff. A much better question is whether the absence of a character like Meepo is a good thing or bad thing for the genre.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Mo0man » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:59 pm UTC

I don't really like MOBA, cause really, that's a terrible name. But eventually we'll find a good one. I mean, look at how games used to be called "GTA-clones", and now they've become "sandbox games"
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Re: League of Legends

Postby BoomFrog » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:37 am UTC

Maybe we can call it a Hero-centric RTS or HRTS? It has the benefit of being pronounceable.
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Re: League of Legends

Postby Krong » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:18 am UTC

Does "lane-based strategy game" work for all of these? LBS?

If not, I vote "trickle battle."
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Re: League of Legends

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:36 am UTC

A hero-centric RTS should mean something like Warcraft 3. LoL and similar games are nothing like the games that are conventionally referred to as RTSes, so any name that modifies RTS would be terribly misleading.

Also, I think "tactics" fits better than "strategy", since tactics are more important than strategy for this type of game.
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