Evan Burkey

My Addiction To The Legendary League

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Sometime in late 2004, maybe early 2005, I stumbled upon a Warcraft 3 mod named Defense of the Ancients. This mod had created a completely new type of game, like none I had ever seen. A 5 on 5 battle, where twitch skills and quick-fire strategy meant the difference between victory and defeat… and I was instantly addicted. Defense of the Ancients (or DotA) is arguably the most popular mod on Warcraft 3, with many people still playing it today. However, the mod shows its age, and Riot Games has stepped in and created a spiritual successor to DotA that has me utterly hooked on the fast paced mayhem all over again. I’m always looking for games where skill and strategy trumps all, and League of Legends has that in spades.

League of Legends is, at its core, a clone of DotA. 2 teams of either 3 or 5 players (depending on the map) attempt to push into each others base until one team takes down the others. To do so, champions must fight through waves of minions, powerful towers, and enemy players. The game is played in an isometric view, with controls similar to Warcraft 3 or any other real time strategy game. However, each player controls only one hero, or champion, instead of an army. RPG elements exist as well, as players choose skills to develop, earn gold by killing minons and players, and buy items to boost stats and gain special effects. Teamwork is not just emphasized, it is necessary in order to win a game. There is also a metagame outside of the matches,  in which players earn levels and IP, or Influence Points, that can be spent between matches to unlock new champions or runes, which give your champions small upgrades to base stats. There is also a talent system, similar to World of Warcraft, which allows even more customization of your champions. And if that doesn’t do it for you, it’s also free to play. The game makes money by selling “Riot Points”, which can be used to unlock new champions (though you can unlock all of them with earned IP), or unlock new skins for champions you have unlocked. I personally don’t find much point in purchasing skins, but I know a few people that go crazy for them, and I must admit that Gentleman Cho’Goth is pretty dang awesome.

I started playing League of Legends about a month ago, and I must admit that I play almost every day. The microtransaction system almost turned me off at first, but once I realized that it was completely optional, I was down. Getting a few friends together and playing a match or two has become a near nightly occurrence, and I hope you’ll give it a try. If you do, add me to your friends list (my account name is, as always, king3vbo), I’m always looking for new people to bash some skulls with.

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