Thursday, 7 June 2012

A new addition to the blog - League of Legends and guides to improving

Hello, due to the request of some of my friends I have decided to expand this blog into a more of an overall gaming blog. There are countless of these on the Internet, but this just gives me the opportunity to keep my thoughts written down for reference. League of Legends, for those who don't know, is basically a DotA clone with a large emphasis on teamwork and decision making rather than mechanical ability. It's one of the most popular games in the world, and currently the most popular game in Korea (bigger than Starcraft). I won't go too much into it, because the best way to find out is to just play it yourself.

The following series of posts assumes that you understand how the game works, what all the champions do as well as the current metagame. It also assumes that you have a reasonable level of mechanical skill (and why wouldn't you, the game is easy) and are just looking to improve on aspects of play outside of your mechanical skill.

The first thing I wanted to talk about was analysing the game state. This is easier than it sounds because most players will already make decisions based on the state of the game without realising. Some of the core factors to consider when you analyse the game state follow:

  • Cooldowns (regular and summoner spells)
  • Timers (buffs, camps, wards)
  • Positioning (both in lane and overall)
  • MIAs (estimated location, ganking style, ganking ability)
  • Lane advantage (items, health, tower)
  • Vision (yours and the other team's)
There are more, but those are the basics. An example I taught Michael (NotJim) was a technique I like to call the MIA gambit. It works especially well when you're playing a mid laner with high dueling potential, such as Ahri, Cassiopeia and Ryze, but it works well with anyone who can kill a champion quickly. This play is executed when you have an advantage in lane and you know that you can 1v1 the opposing laner.

The play follows:
  • Ward any places that you are likely to be ganked from.
  • Push your wave to the enemy tower.
  • Go MIA, ensuring the enemy laner can see where you have disappeared into the fog from.
  • Find a brush and wait.
 At this point, the enemy laner has three decisions he can make:
  • Follow you into the fog to prevent a gank.
  • Stay in lane and use the reprieve to get some CS.
  • Recall to buy items or heal.
And, your reaction to these actions follows:
  • Ambush them in the fog and pick up an easy kill.
  • Run behind them in lane as they push forward and kill or force them out of lane.
  • Gank a lane, or take dragon.
As you can see, all three paths lead to a victory. This kind of play works exceptionally well against players who don't really understand lane mechanics too well, but it even works on higher level players. League of Legends, at its core, is a game about decision making and snowballing. An advantage turns into a bigger advantage unless you throw it away. How do you throw an advantage? The easiest and most common way is to die. Say you knew that the brush was warded and you camped it anyway. Say the enemy jungler is significantly stronger than yours. Say you weren't winning lane anyway. Any of these happen, and you're going to come out behind. The importance of analysing the game state when making a decision cannot be stressed more.

So, next time you have an advantage, take a moment to think about the game state. How can you turn an advantage into a snowball? If you're behind, how can you take advantage of the opponent's desire to snowball? If I saw that this MIA gambit was being used against me, (through a ward) I would tell my jungler to position himself near the roaming mid laner to sandwich him in a 2v1. I could also waste his time by appearing indecisive as to whether I should farm or roam. In the end though, every player is different. Some will outthink you. This is inevitable - it's only through practice that you can learn to win the game of wits that underlies League of Legends.

However, if your mechanics aren't up to par - say you lose lane every game and your CS sucks, you should just try to improve them. You need to learn how to run laps before you can run a marathon, or run in the Olympics. You need to understand and play Yu-Gi-Oh! at a comprehensive level before you attend a YCS. Mechanical skill is utterly important and will carry you further than metagaming or thinking will.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you look forward to more articles. I'm manisier on the NA server, and I'll be updating this as I give lessons to some players.

1 comment:

  1. If you compare them, I think Ahri because she's the strongest team player because of high mobility range and cc. Also her lane is strong due to spellvamp. Ahri is black. and Cassiopeia is snake.However both are sustained damage casters... what are key differences between them? Cassiopeia is an AP-Dps Champion, she deals a high ammount of damages on the time and can ripost easily versus some ad carrys. She have skills with low CD this do Cassiopeia build are Overpowered, she posseds a slow, a bonus movement speed and his ulti is like a stun.