davesf's League of Legends (PC) review

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best hardcore ranked PvP game, hands down

League of Legends (5v5 Summoner's Rift) is hands down the best hardcore ranked PvP game out there.

By hardcore, I mean, if you are going to play at least 15-30 hours a week while you are active. If you are going to play 2 hours a week, Ranked Summoner's Rift may just frustrate you (and others). If you want to casually play a few hours here and there, I recommend playing ARAM, or unranked (normal) games of 3v3 Twisted Treeline or 5v5 Summoner's Rift.

By best, I mean that it has the highest skill ceiling, the lowest amount of cheating **, the most playstyle variety the most competitive ladder, largest player base, and it's been doing it for over 10 years now.

The MOBA / DOTA game design is amazing in itself, because of the way players are always under PvP pressure, but not necessarily to always kill their opponent. Laning against an opponent, trying to earn gold, while under the pressure of a human player, is an amazing and fun dance of skill and wits. At higher levels of play, where everyone knows what champions are capble of what and who "wins" in any given situation, it truly becomes about mind-games. It's amazing.

..and yet the champions themselves are relatively simple. Most champions have just 4 skills and a passive. So it doesn't take a long time to get the basic gist of a new one. So when someone trounces you with a champion, there is no reason to get frustrated. Just learn that champion too, so you can do the same... and so you can learn it's weaknesses. Because every champion has weaknesses.

Which brings me to balance. League of Legends is incredibly well balanced, but I wouldn't say it's "evenly" balanced. It's a type of constantly moving rock-paper-scissors balance. The game and game balance constantly changes, every champion has strengths and weaknesses, and each one can be fielded by only one player. If you think a champion is too strong at the moment, you either need to ban it, or you need to play it!


The complaints people lodge against League all stem from the same source -- the feeling that one "can't climb because of teammates". This is a myth. While teammates certainly affect game outcomes... everyone has the same matchmaker RNG, and yet some people climb and some people don't. 30% of your games well be "free" wins, 30% of your games will be unrecoverable losses, the question is, what do you do with the other 40%?

First off, one of the reason teammate kill is all over the map, is new players ranked too high. Typically, when a new casual player jumps into ranked league too fast, they get a provisional rank in silver or gold, because it's not that hard to get placed there initially. Then they proceed to cause losses in 60-70% of their games until they get demoted to bronze or iron, all the while flaming their teammates for being terrible, thinking they belonged back up in Gold. When in fact, they did not. If you play ranked alot, and you look up player match histories, you will see this pattern alot. I know I do. Moreso, most new players start out as "that guy", thinking they are better than they are. I know I did.

It's essential to realize, the only person you can control in a game is yourself, so blaming the matchmaker, or the other players, or afk, or whatever -- is just a way to avoid looking deep and accepting that "your just not that good at the game (yet)".

When you get good, you can climb. If you get stuck, don't waste energy blaming people, get better. Rethink. Change your strategy. Learn more champions. Play more normals and try random stuff out. And for the love of League, please learn to consistently get at least 10cs per min. If you can't, you have no right to say anything. Your low gold is the reason you are losing.

Most importantly, don't play a game you are not in. Look at the game you are in realistically. As yourself "what can I do right now to increase my chance of winning this game?" Play to your strengths not your weaknesses. Look at the scoreboard and don't try to duel the fed enemy Akali. And if you have died twice early, maybe pull back a little, concede some farm, but keep yourself in lane for XP and for the farm you can get.

The complaints people lodge against League include, chat toxcity, bad/afk/troll players, elo hell (aka, that you get stuck in low ELO, because "other" players are bad in low elo, not because of you).

Chat toxicity is real. People get downright angry at other players when they do things that seem bad for the team. Even when people are trying to say helpful things, it often comes off critical when a player feels bad about a mistake they made. Fortunately, you can now turn off both all and allied chat, and have a completely toxcitity free experience. There is a robust ping and emote system, which is sufficient for 90% of what you need, at least at low ELO. If you want to leave chat on, the best strategy is to just not say anything about plays in the past, afterall, unless you have a time machine, chatting isn't going to fix them. If you want to give a suggestion, make it gentle, and about the future. "We should try to get the next dragon."

Players do AFK from time to time... which is unfortunate, because when one player AFKs in a 5v5 game, it affects 4 other players negatively. You can win games where people AFK, so try your best. Make this one of the 40% of games you can affect. But don't get too bent. Over time, you will see as many AFK players on the enemy team as on your team. Just make sure you tryhard to win the games with enemy AFKs - because you can lose those if you are not careful.

** There are some bot fun (PUBG/APEX) And compettive (CS:GO) FPS games out there, but the public ladders are filled with cheaters, aimbots, ESP etc.

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