Do You Play League Of Legends? Speak!

By Jim Rossignol on July 27th, 2011 at 6:21 pm.

1.4 million summoners fighting, yesterday.
The League Of Legends noise machine has been loud this week, with a trailer for the new patch (below) which will nerf some of the more popular heroes, but also a big boasting stats release. Here’s what they said: “As of today, 15 million people have registered to become League of Legends players. Each month, over 4 million people log in to play. And on each day, 1.4 million summoners play League of Legends together.”

Four million! That’s even more people than read RPS each month. My startling powers of logic lead me to reason that this means that some of you lot must also play League Of Legends. You have one comment thread: explain its appeal to me.

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204 Comments »

  1. Phoenix says:

    Rarely. I play Heroes of Newerth instead. IMO it’s a better game.

    • 153351 says:

      HON is much more difficult and the community is much more unforgiving. And for those who care, it’s not as colorful and shiny as League of Legends.

    • Calneon says:

      LoL’s graphical style is awful, cartoony and childish.

    • Premium User Badge thristhart says:

      @Calneon why do you use “cartoony and childish” as if they’re pejoratives? see also: TF2

    • Cooper says:

      LoL’s graphic style is vibrant, distinctive and fun.

    • Wulf says:

      I’d say that I like LoL’s graphical style but it’s probably more that I just like Warwick. That said though, I do have memories of being pleased as to how they used their lighting. Now, when some people think of how colourful games are bad, they think of World of Warcraft before its recent changes, and they’d be right to think that WoW was completely shit. Even Torchlight currently still looks better than WoW, and a lot of that is for a few reasons.

      - WoW uses horribly low res textures for everything. (This has been remedied to a small degree.)
      - WoW uses absolutely no shaders. (This has been remedied to a much bigger degree.)
      - WoW has low poly models to the point where they could be out of the old SNES version of Star Fox. (They need to look at this. Trying to portray depth via textures alone when those textures have no normal maps just doesn’t work.)
      - WoW doesn’t make good use of light and shadow due to its old engine.

      The thing is is that an engine isn’t important, but an engine should be designed to bring out the best of your art style, which isn’t the case with WoW. They’re starting to finally fix it, but it’s too little too late. But if you look at Torchlight, or, as mentioned, TF2 then you’ll see this perfect harmony of engine and artistic aesthetics. And Torchlight isn’t demanding at all, yet it looks amazing due to its use of what it has.

      One thing I remembered being pleased about, as I said, is that the way LoL uses its light and shadow actually properly fits its artistic style, what this means is that they’ve properly married engine and artistic aesthetics to create a nice, clean, crisp, cartoony visual appearance. In that, they’ve created something that is much, much more Torchlight than it is WoW.

      I’m with Cooper in saying that the graphical style is grate, and they didn’t flub it either by either having a woefully inadequate engine, or simply not taking advantage of what their engine can do.

      I mean, if you want an example of an ancient game that marries limited technology to an artstyle for brilliant effect then look at Guild Wars: Prophecies. It looked far better than anything at the time and it still looks better than a lot of games today despite being colourful and despite being slightly cartoony (you might not realise it, but it is, it just looks more like a serious Ulysses 31 sort of cartoon rather than a more silly, exaggerated cartoon).

      So cartoony can be done incredibly well. Some people have done it badly, but this does not mean that all cartoony approaches are bad. Can we please stop saying that, now? LoL does look pretty good.

    • Premium User Badge El_MUERkO says:

      I play it, it’s fun, I used to play Demigod which was great but had a very small community.

    • IDtenT says:

      Wulf, do you EVER talk about anything other than WoW and how superior GW is? I don’t even know how this is even part of the discussion. Really, I’m lost.

    • Phoenix says:

      To each his own, but I find LoL’s graphics to be damn near ugly. I still would play it if the gameplay was good, but it’s very lacking compared to DotA/HoN.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Why must every DoTA thread turn into LOL IS CARTOONY HON IS BETTER

    • Ricotta says:

      I’ve played both, i play HoN regularly. If you’re into competitive gaming, HoN is the way to go. If you want to boot up once a week and play a game or two, LoL’s your game. HoN overall has a better progression for players, I tend to destroy LoL players in public games whereas HoN seems to be a bit more balanced.

      Always trade offs though

    • Abndak says:

      @Psychopomp: Cause it’s important for the hon players and there still are some out there. It’s kinda funny how pure lol threads have forgotten about hon completely where as hon threads bring lol up constantly.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Like how GW fans always bring up WoW.

      *runs*

    • Metonymy says:

      LoL vs HoN, FO3 vs NV, console1 vs console2, the people who start these conversations are aggressively trolling, or just got yelled at by mommy. A short timeout is the only appropriate response.

    • cheboboh says:

      I like League of Ledgends because of the strategic moments, large roster of champions(wich are each amazing), the great team moments. But i also do find that the graphics are nice, they have really put a feeling into this game. The fact that every patch shows new sings of improvement and carefully adjusting the champions makes me a happy gamer. I would highly recommend LoL

    • Thants says:

      “HoN overall has a better progression for players, I tend to destroy LoL players in public games whereas HoN seems to be a bit more balanced.”

      What does that even mean? There’s a matchmaking system, if you’re really that good you’ll just get matched with better players.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Dota used such a serious and realistic art style.

    • Farewell says:

      I’ve been “forced” to play a lot more HoN than I care for since all my friends play HoN and none of them play LoL. Out of the two I find that HoN has a more refined art style (it has utterly terrible animation though), but LoL has the better gameplay design. Since HoN is much more conservative in regards to DOTA (which both games are based on) it has a really rotten community.

    • Robert says:

      For the love of Winter-een-mas, I cannot see what the hell is going on in HoN. It genuinely tires my eyes. It is probably the biggest reason why I play LoL and not HoN. Most the other differences I could probably adjust and get used to, and then get biased one or the other way.

      PS: one of the reasons HoN players are usually feeling superior is that the matchmaking in HoN is horrible compared to LoL’s. (or at least was). Rise up the ELO ladder and they have more trouble. Besides, it’s silly to generalize whole player bases.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      I played it quite a bit last year, and have been considering getting back into it with some friends from work. I found it to be pretty acessible and fun.
      I have heard so much about how forbidding the communities are for other DotA-like games that I will probably never try them.

  2. lightstriker says:

    It contains the “fun”

  3. KauhuK says:

    Used to play sometimes with friends but not anymore. It’s a frustrating game full of whiners and other human scum. It’s no fun.

    • fudgem says:

      While i can’t disagree with this fact i can say that i used to play the HoN beta, when it was f2p, and I the ammount of whiners there was just overwhelming, As well the haters in lol are mostly concentrated to mid-level unranked games.
      It’s still a fun game tho.

    • Premium User Badge thristhart says:

      The game’s great fun if you play with a full team of friends. Otherwise it’s usually a mixed bag, a coin-toss as to whether you’ll enjoy yourself.

      EDIT: as to the appeal of it, in the beginning it’s fun for the challenge of mastering it, and when you’re better at it it’s about trying out new things. There’s a lot of combinations of champion selection, item build and team composition to try.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      I play the game because of the human scum. It’s fun, look at them go! I just can’t be angry at them, even when they call the enemy champions op and their own team noobs.

      I also only ever play pure support champions so nobody can ever complain about my play. Maybe that’s the trick.

    • BeamSplashX says:

      You misspelled winners.

    • Xocrates says:

      @Malawi: I once had someone complain about my K/D as Soraka (as in: I didn’t have kills), so no, that’s not the trick

    • Twirrim says:

      @Xocrates Heh, people complain about my kill ratio with Leona. I’m a tank, it’s rare for me to get kills, but I can really rack up those assists. I tend to just laugh at those who whinge about 2/4/20. I can guarantee most of those 20 are because I locked the opponents down.

  4. skyturnedred says:

    I like it. It’s hard for new players (epsecially with the hostility towards noobs), but once you get into it more and start playing together with some friends, it becomes even more fun. Shame there are only two maps, though, which is odd considering they release new champions every week, despite the community begging for more maps constantly.

    • skyturnedred says:

      Also, I love the fact that there’s no “deny”! (killing your own minions so the enemy doesn’t get gold from them)

    • paintbox says:

      Interesting, lack of ‘denying’ is what turns me away from LoL and back to DotA, but I guess you’ve heard that a lot of times…

    • DrGonzo says:

      I also much prefer it without denying. HoN and Dota are so slow and plodding in comparison. I prefer the more aggressive and fast LoL.

      I haven’t played in months mind you, the community is really crappy and has put me off a lot.

    • anonymousity says:

      I used to be a denying mechanic first 3 waves denied every time etc when I played dota, but I’ve turned into a casual player who plays like 3 games of lol a week and I like the more dynamic style as that kind of player. However if I was still playing 12 games a night I would probably be frustrated by it and still play dota.

    • StenL says:

      @DrGonzo

      That is just wrong. Riot staff have stated repeatedly that the relatively passive, overly long laning phase compared to DotA and HoN is one of the biggest problems with LoL and is the main reason for the upcoming jungle changes. HoN and DotA are far, far more aggressive in the laning phase due to the trilane metagame, as seen by the fact that there are pro LoL games where the first blood is given as late as fifteen minutes, while in HoN especially, first bloods tend to happen in only a minute or two after start.

    • Quote Unquote says:

      @StenL: Riot also claims that creating an aggressive game was a primary reason for removing denying:

  5. Mudkipz says:

    It’s free and easy to get into (but hard to master). I find it a good mixture of skill, strategy and teamwork.
    Started playing during the Easter holidays (as a game to play with my girlfriend) and have been enjoying it since (only ever play with at least one friend on my team).

    • Melmoth says:

      That’s similar to how I got started. And at least one friend in the team is a must. Yesterday I met the first random teammate who wasn’t an asshole. My guess is, it’s the fault of the matchmaking system. You’re unlikely to ever meet one of these people again, so they don’t care what you might think of them.

  6. Captchist says:

    Heroes of Newerth instead. League Of Legends graphical style puts me off.

    Should add – What is it about the HoN/LoL/Dota style of games which makes their communities so aggresive and vindictive? It’s not just online gamers, Starcraft is much better, but LoL etc have by far the nastiest communities I’ve come across.
    Any explanations?

    • Jockie says:

      Partly because it’s so team focused, you can be having the best game of your life, but be doomed by a silly move from a team-mate, partly because it’s F2P (with LoL at least), meaning you get a lot of younger people who think it’s perfectly acceptable to spout horrible racism at any/everyone. Partly just because they’re intensely competitive games ( as is SC obviously)

    • Azradesh says:

      Because someone sucking on your team can give the other team a massive advantage through feeding. And because people take winning far too seriously.

    • Xocrates says:

      It’s a team game (emphasis on team) where one person can send the entire thing crumbling down. This means it’s very easy to blame other people for your losses (regardless of whether or not you were at fault) and it’s very hard for new players to get to grips with the game without harming their team.

      Ultimately this means that the “competitive” jerks tend to hang around while everyone else goes to play with friends or other games.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Maybe bad games tend to attract dumb players who act dumb. I certainly had a similar negative experience with Demigod.

      Honestly I’ve got a big rant in my somewhere about how the gameplay of the Dota-like genre (if it can be called a genre) is just fundamentally not very good or interesting. (Ironically in the last Dota2 post on RPS I had a comment below the article asking people to explain the appeal to me.)

      Honestly I think that people will obsess over anything if you frame it as “competitive”. Even if what you’re competing over isn’t particularly interesting.

    • Xocrates says:

      @Steven: “the gameplay of the Dota-like genre (if it can be called a genre) is just fundamentally not very good or interesting”

      The problem is not that it isn’t “good or interesting” (you could argue that for any genre you don’t like) the problem is that it is very unforgiving with a very high entry point. I would love to see a game within the genre that’s a lot more accessible, although I suspect that would remove the main draw for most of its current players.

    • Jockie says:

      The “it’s not very interesting” arguement suggest either it’s not for you, or you don’t really get it.

      Moba games are intensely team oriented games, that require a lot of individual skill and co-ordination to get right.

      The way the huge roster of champions and their abilities interact with each other, mean you’ll rarely play the same team make-up twice, every game is unique, and you constantly have to adapt and come up with effective combinations within your team to outwit or outplay the opposition.
      Couple that with twitch based skill-shots that require oh so precise timing, support characters whose purpose is to buff their teammates and tanks who throw around deadly cc and you have a very complex stategic game, that can be won or lost in a moment brilliance or madness.

      The way I view them is if MMO PvP wasn’t awful and the silly number of abilities were boiled down to a much tighter, more focused experience, but with 90 different character classes to choose from.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Never solo queue. Ever.

      For your own sanity.

    • anonymousity says:

      Do as psychopomp says and never solo queue or just be chilled out and zen and carry water off a ducks back mentality realising it’s just a game.

    • TomA says:

      Although I can understand people saying over and over that it’s a team game, having played both LoL and HoN, I’ve not had a single piece of advice or help from any team mates whatsoever, I’ve been all over forums for both games trying to get to grips with the items and abilities. I dabbled with DoTA but never played it to any serious degree, and I really like both games but I’ve not played either for a long time because well, I’m not very good and theres no room for me to improve because all I get is a torrent of abuse for being shit.

      I can understand people being frustrated in losing a match because of my poor skill but the least someone could do is lend a helping hand and a bit of guidence to a fellow player and maybe so many cock ups wouldn’t happen. Like I said I’m willing to learn but theres just no place for someone doing that in either community, the bottom line seems to be you either played DoTA or you’re shite and get out.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Hence why you should never solo queue. What server do you play on? I’m sure there’s a few RPS-ites who have some smurfs laying around that they can use to play with you.

  7. skinlo says:

    Nope, never have, probs never will. Not really interested in this style of game. I’ll see what Valve can do with DoTA2 if they release a demo or its FTP.

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      This.

      I watched TotalBiscuit’s WTF to see What The Fuss is all about, but it looks very tedious to me.

  8. jbalooshie says:

    Its difficult to get in to, but the developers have done a lot to make the curve less intimidating than DOTA’s. The game tries its best to match players up by relative skill level, and the game does have a few (very basic) tutorials. Learning the game and its heroes is difficult, but it does become fun and rewarding when you do.
    Its best to try to drag a few friends to play with along with you, so at least you personally know the players insulting your skill.

  9. Jockie says:

    It’s great fun, it’s appeal lies in tight team-play, with enough room for individual skill to really shine and colourful character design.

    As ever with this kind of game there are balance issues, partly caused by the insane number of champions you can choose from, but played with friends and using vo-ip it can be hugely tense and andrenaline fuelled experience.

    The community is horrible however.

  10. Xocrates says:

    Used to play a fair bit, but due to being a more casual player of it and not having friends to play with, now I only tend to dip back for some bot stomping just to mess around with my favourite champions.

    As for its appeal? It’s a more accessible, but about as deep, version of dota. Of course, not liking the genre means you won’t like the game.

    It’s also one of the few games that does the F2P model rather well.

  11. CaspianRoach says:

    Whole game centers around bullying other people. Thanks, I’d rather not.

    • Thants says:

      Stay away from FPS games then. I hear they centre around actually killing other people with guns!

    • Kent says:

      Bah, piss off. You never kill any players with guns, you kill the characters they represent. When you bully someone you’re usually doing it far more personally, otherwise you’re doing it wrong.

    • Thants says:

      In that case I await an explanation of how the game centers around bullying actual people.

    • JackShandy says:

      Because you are playing against real people. Obviously.

    • johnadreams says:

      Caspian was referring to the culture that has developed around Dota-like games that basically says its okay to jump on everyone and constantly bully them for any actual or perceived mistake they make. He was making a joke about how horrible the community is and not actually saying that the game is about bullying people. (I think?).

    • Dusk777 says:

      Have you actually played it?
      Yeah you get some dicks, but tbh 90% of the gaming community are dicks!
      There are pockets of lovely people here and there on EVERY game, but in general people are idiots. Prime example when TF2 went free to play, loads of people were all “Valve are bastards, i paid for this game, where’s my free stuff” instead of being ” well done valve, you’ve made one of the best FPS’ ever made available to everyone in the world, Yay, we can spread the love of this game and gaming in general to everyone”
      Gamers are elitist idiots for the most part and views like this do not help that fact. If you didn’t do things because someone might disagree or dislike what you’re doing then nobody would do anything!
      There are parts of the LoL community that are great I point you towards this:
      http://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/j1hdi/hi_im_doublelift_and_ill_be_streaming_for_your/
      and this:
      http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/articles/The_Summoners_Code

      Now i’m not trying to have a go but LoL and MOBA games in general have a really bad rep when it comes to stuff like this and while some of it is justified for sure, the whole which game is better gets very tedious, (I play both but personally prefer LoL) we need to make an effort in the gaming community the not be elitist or have a go at things we have no first hand experience of.

  12. rargphlam says:

    We’re all masochists.

    Also a part of the joy of these types of games is playing with friends, and not only pub-stomping, but pub-stomping with gimmick builds. Carry Janna, stacking AD Blitzcrank, tank Teemo, all of these and so many more.

    And Mundo. Throwing cleavers into bushes never gets old. Ever.

  13. MaXimillion says:

    I don’t, I play HoN due to it having better features and gameplay.

    • Thants says:

      Such as?

    • MaXimillion says:

      On the technical side, HoN doesn’t have any Adobe Air bullshit that LoL does with it’s launcher, and has mac and linux support.

      HoN has features that LoL lacks or implements poorly such as replays, spectating and pauses that enhance both the normal play and especially the competitive scene.

      On the gameplay side, HoN has a much higher skillcap, due to a lot of things including denying, abilities being stronger but costing more mana and thus being far less spammable, and all players at all skill levels being expected to know every hero since they’re all accessible to them and don’t require any preparation of proper masteries or runes to play.

      Competitive HoN games are also far more interesting to watch due to the prevalence of trilane/roaming tactics, as well as lack of unlimited wards and the aforementioned stronger skills making the average match contain more kills and action than an average competitive LoL match.

      Of course, if you prefer LoL that’s your choice, and have fun with it. I simply think HoN is a better game, and enjoy it more.

  14. Mayjori says:

    HoN is for Pro’s, LoL is for the rest.

    • Jockie says:

      HoN is for people who accidently spent money on HoN, then felt pretty silly when a superior F2P version of the same game came out.

    • LukeAllstar says:

      Felt silly for buying HoN? It was the other way around. I converted 4 or 5 of my friends from LoL to HoN, and we all felt silly for playing LoL for such a long time and even spending money on it
      It’s not a price tag, its quality assurance

    • Psychopomp says:

      Seriously, every thread.

  15. garlandgreen says:

    Got boring fast.

    If you were a stats geek on wow you will love it though.

    • Thants says:

      Nope, not following an image link on a domain called 4fuckr.

    • Buzko says:

      No kidding. “upload your shit | this site is a fan of Porn & Bitte poppen! Deutsche Pornos gibt es hier.”

      As it turned out, all I saw was the back top third of a young woman. However, I’ve got AdBlock and NoScript running so I may be missing something.

      The actual linked image was ~150 results screens dating from February this year, with about equal wins and losses. Lots of Urgot.

  16. Slade says:

    This game never interested me. By the look on the forums, it seems ridiculously complicated at some points where a special dictionary would be required.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      That was a mistake. First rule of LoL is to never ever read the forums.

  17. teh_boy says:

    This game owned me for a solid half a year before Starcraft 2 came out. IMO it is the best of its kind, and while the community still has its fair share of whiners I found it to be much more friendly than HON. LoL is a game that rewards teamwork and dedication. The leveling system differentiates LoL from its competitors, and it is a little gimmicky but also effective because it encourages you to specialize in just a few types of character early on and rewards you the more you play, both of which you need to do in order to excel at the game. I think it also has great art direction, and a lot of really fun to play characters, some of which the most unique in the genre. I would recommend it for anyone who loves intricate but well-balanced games that favor teamwork over individual play.

  18. Namos says:

    Well, bot stomping is a great way to relieve stress. It’s like a mini Diablo 2 – with the bots being minibosses.

    For me, it’s the allure of always having that new champion to try out or maybe tinkering with a build. It scratches that RPG character buildup itch rather well.

  19. Gassalasca says:

    I play it every day. It’s teh drugs.

  20. seventil says:

    Jim,

    Playing League of Legends is like dating a porn star. You’d think the sex was great, but she’s usually just worn out from ‘work’.

    Actually, that made no sense.

    I play LoL, but it really is some sort of love/hate relationship. It has a good hook factor (no pun), a simple-yet-complex playstyle and a changing meta game that makes the way a normal game go be somewhat random. You get attached to your favorite champions, and strive to do well with them – perfecting your builds, your playstyle, and getting custom skins for them that say ‘I like playing this guy, or at least this cool skin was on sale”.

    The main frustration for most players is relying on strangers to, franky, not be complete douchebags. This is especially true in ranked games, where you have people leaving, raging, letting their cat play, or whatever. Riot’s rating system “ELO” is inherently flawed, yet it’s all we have to show your pr0ness to other LoLers. The majority of my ranked playing time has been getting out of what’s called “ELO Hell” – that is, once you drop to a certain rating (about 900-1000 or so), the players you play with are mostly idiots, including yourself. To get out of this, you have to have someone help you out, or practice and get really good. My advice: play with friends. Having 5 people in a team that you know and can hold accountable for their actions makes playing so much more fun. Recruit people into this circle if you meet nice, normal and mature people while playing solo.

    It’s this challenge that appeals to a lot of people.

    The community is slightly more mature and welcoming than HoN, which last I played, wept for humanity at the inane drivel and outright hostilty in the game. It’s really just a crapshoot and luck of the draw when it comes to what sort of people you’ll play with and against. I actually liked HoN better as a game, as it felt more Dota-ish, but the community drove me (like many others) away. LoL has evolved and grown a lot since then.

    So, in a nutshell, it’s appeal is the same as DOTA, but it’s got an active community, a real publisher, and there’s tons of ways to strategize and win a game (and, more often, lose one). It’s fun to play with friends and rewards good teamplay. It’s not perfect, by any means, but it’s basically the best we’ve got at the moment until DOTA-2 Valve thing threatens it.

    • paterah says:

      EDIT: Oops reply fail.

    • LukeAllstar says:

      I’m allways curious about the HoN/LoL community comparison
      In my experience, both communities are equaly bad, just slightly different
      while there are a lot more kids in LoL (because it’s f2p and kids dont want to spend money), there are a lot more trolls in HoN
      but the rage is almost the same
      I normaly play HoN, but i played 2 games of LoL a week ago, and in both games i read “plz report ***”, for either beeing afk or flaming or feeding or whatever, but the reaction was to ask for a report on that player
      so i don’t think that the LoL community is better or worse

  21. Daniel Klein says:

    So I kinda have to speak up here, I guess ;) Long-time RPS fan and commenter, also have worked for Riot for over a year now.

    We do everything we can to make LoL the least daunting game of its type. I see comments like “HoN is for Pro’s [sic], LoL is for the rest”, and I think, alright, I’m okay with that. That’s a perception that doesn’t suck (wrong as though it is on the pro side). We DO want to be the game that you can easily get into. Play our tutorials, play a few games against bots with your friends, graduate to intermediate bots, graduate to normal games from there, and if you feel like it when you’re level 30, play Ranked games.

    The big thing for me is that all of us here at Riot try every day to be different from other games companies, closer to our players, more receptive for complaints and suggestions. I believe that has a lot to do with our success.

    But it’s also a really fun game. I’ve not stopped playing it since I started in ~June 2009 in closed beta. I still play an average of 2-3 games a day, and even when I’m not playing, chances are I’ve got a livestream going (own3d.tv is basically the “LoL livestreams” page).

    It probably doesn’t hurt either that we do not sell power (no exceptions; even if you did spend over 9000 dollars in our game, we’ll ban you as quickly as we would the guy who never spends a dime) and that we somehow managed to create a free to play game that doesn’t feel cheap. The amount of man-hours we’ve sunk into development at this point is staggering, and the plan is to keep going for a long, long time.

    So that’s why I play. I may not be representative of a wider demographic though ;)

    • seventil says:

      @Daniel Klein: Comments like that are exactly why League of Legends has grown exponentially in the past 2 years. Quite frankly, when HoN / LoL came out (roughly at the same time), HoN was a far better game in terms of polish, client, heroes, etc. I tried them both and, like many people I know, actually enjoyed it better. The HoN community, however, was (for lack of a better word) – vile. It might be better now, I don’t really know or care. Not that the League isn’t without its jackasses and tomfoolery (and I find it fascinating that a game like this can bring out such rage, myself included) – but there was almost an exodus of DOTA players like myself who made the move to LoL after finding HoN just downright bad.

      However, even after making this swap, the fact that LoL was free-to-play kept most of us there and playing, albeit casually, as Riot sorted their game out. After release, there was no matchmaking, balance was downright bad (fellow Ezreal players will know what I mean), tons of bugs, etc. It took time, and the growing pains are still there – but it’s what we have now. The free thing really is a great selling point, because you can test the game and play it just like everyone else for no monetary investment. With HoN, you throw down 30$ and hope that it’s ok. For LoL, if you like it, you end up buying custom skins, which look cool but don’t help you perform better (few slight exceptions, like the terrifying Cottontail-Teemo).

      Glad to see a Rioter that reads RPS! :)

    • Premium User Badge Devan says:

      League of Legends was the first and only MOBA I’ve played. I had heard of DOTA and the like, but for some reason never felt compelled to try any of them until a friend recommended LoL. I’ve been hooked ever since; it just pushes all the right buttons with its tactical, competitive, easy-to-pick-up-but-hard-to-master gameplay.
      It feels cool to be on the early edge of a popularity explosion of this genre, and I am excited to see what will happen in the e-Sports side of things if this continues.

      By the way, Daniel, what name to you stream under on own3d.tv?

    • Daniel Klein says:

      So I’m ZenonTheStoic over in the Riot world. You may have seen me streaming with my better half Rivington from Dreamhack. I don’t (yet) stream regularly from own3d.tv, but I’m going to. Just got my shiny laptop, setting it up, and then it’s all a question of will I find enough tournament games to observe (because you do NOT want to watch me solo queue. I’m a 1400 ELO noob, even after two years of playing the game ;P)

      And I just love RPS. I don’t read any other games publication anymore. The style, the eclectic selection of awesome crap they write about, the commenters–it’s without a question the best video games journalism thingamajig on the innerwebs. So I want RPS to love LoL too, so we can all love each other :)

    • pakoito says:

      If only you had spent less money on the looks and ads and more on game design all MOBA people will be fine with it, not only the OMGITSFREE ones :(

    • Premium User Badge Devan says:

      Wow, Zenon you’re like my favourite commentator at Riot. I like the insight you give and the humour you often inject (I always call it the “Best Friend Sword” myself now). No wonder your tastes prefer RPS ;)

      I guess you’ll have a much easier time finding matches to commentate when the replay system is rolled out eh? It’s so much better when the commentator has spectator mode with all its features and camera control. Looking forward to it!

    • Jockie says:

      Since there’s a Rioter here, it would be remiss of me not to insert a token “Where’s Magma chamber?!?!!!” cry.

    • 1wheel says:

      Great job casting at dream hack

  22. WMain00 says:

    Used to play, but quickly stopped. The community is unforgiving, trollish and downright nasty. There’s only a few people out there that are polite and nice enough to help newbies or explain tactics. The rest growl like angry dogs.

    It’s more fun with friends, but solo it’s nothing more than a time-waster, and rarely a fun one.

    • Psychopomp says:

      As far as it being a waste of time solo, you are more right than you can ever imagine. It doesn’t matter what level, or what ELO, if you’re not doing premades, you’re going to have to deal with idiots everywhere. The same goes with every multiplayer game ever, but DoTalikes are so team focused that there’s no just dealing with it.

      With a good team, ti’s easily one of the best game around today, IMO

  23. Bob Moron says:

    I’v been playing LoL for a little more than year and a half, I guess I’ve played something like 1500 games. The vast majority of them were with two or three friends. It’s so much better to face the whining and the raging and the xenophobia and the homophobia of such a community when you’re not alone.

    One of the things I like about it is the fairly steep yet very motivating learning curve (as far as I’m concerned — I had never played a MOBA before I got into LoL). As for the reason why MOBA communities are so awful, I’d say that’s partly because teamplay is so very central to every game of LoL/HoN/DotA. Even better/worse: one person can completely fuck up and ruin the entire game on their own. Not necessarily because they’re griefers, but also because they might not be as skilled as the other players on their team. And obviously some people can’t deal with that. And that’s when the Angry Internet Men reveal themselves and call you a feeding gay douche nigger something something.

    • jbalooshie says:

      On the flip side, it’s also difficult for a single player to single handedly win the game. There are heroes that can “carry” a team, but they need a good group supporting them early on so they can dominate late.

    • Bob Moron says:

      Exactly. And I do happen to like a game that rewards good teamplay and encourages you to learn from your mistakes.

      Strangely, I usually find myself repulsed by the competitive side of video games, but somehow it’s not a problem in LoL.

  24. enfin says:

    I gave it a go and just found the community too unpleasant to continue spending my time with.

  25. Kid_A says:

    I play both LoL and HoN, but it frankly depresses me that the HoN crowd have come here straight away to bash LoL. It’s not something you see half as much in the LoL community about HoN, and the majority of it is centred around the idea that free and popular is somehow bad. Oh, and denying. Never mind how counter-intuitive or not that mechanic is, god forbid you take any side of the debate other than “eh, each their own”, because you will either be chewed out as an elitist or a noob who needs to l2p a “real” game. And as for the comments about the community – frankly, it’s the same as any other online game: the only guarantee of a good experience is with people you know. People just have more invested in a 30-40 minute game that will permanently affect their ELO/PSR negatively if you lose, than a 10-15 minute round of, say, Bad Company 2, where your K/D might go down a touch (if you worry about such things), but you’ll still get some kind of progression upwards. Not that that excuses some of the community’s reactions, but still.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I get that denying is an important part of the metagame, I played Dota before LoL, but it absolutely does not make sense from the game perspective. Killing your own units does not make sense. That said, I wish they had kept Gangplank’s deny in the game, it’s a neat feature when one character can do it.

  26. Pedanticjase says:

    I enjoy it because it’s a game that rewards skillful play. It also has a great back and forth to it, with a average match both teams will have periods of attack and defence. It’s also free (although I bought it on steam) so getting your friends in is a bit easier

  27. Snuffy the Evil says:

    I’ve played a few games with friends, but it’s and it’s not a game I’d play without them, mostly because it seems a good bit of the fan base treats it as a very beginner-unfriendly religion.

  28. paterah says:

    Absolutely. I have been playing for 1 year now and also haven’t spent any money on it yet. It’s a great game to play with friends. There were also 1-2 of them that used to play HoN until me and the rest convinced them that LoL is simply the better game with a much bigger competitive scene.

  29. Atic Atac says:

    I have around 400 hours under my belt and often, especially with friends, it is the best PVP experience around. It’s a great and polished game.

    However it becomes apparent after so much play that it is also deeply flawed in one way which makes me not play it as much as I would anymore: Games are to long! Those that aren’t crazy one sided are on average maybe 40 minutes and that is just way too long. The first 20 minutes are most of the time uninteresting grinding and build up (with small fun exceptions) and these 20 minutes should be cut down to 10 and the game would be much better for it.

  30. Mr Bismarck says:

    If you play five-person pre-mades with four friends on Vent or Mumble and type /ignore enemy at the start it’s mostly a delightful experience, with endless onion-skin layers of strategy around champion selection, skill order and item purchasing, modified by your teammates choices, modified by your opponents and their choices.

    And you’ll have to spend up to (and sometimes over) an hour with the mouse clicking enough to attract dolphins.

    Plus LoL has the least spiteful community of the popular DotAlikes. Engaging with it is roughly akin to being shot in the leg, instead of being shot in the face.

    So there’s that.

    • Bob Moron says:

      Thank you, kind sir, for this delightful analogy. You win an Internet.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      This quote has just been sent round to the Riot Games community team. Thanks for your kind words and sorry about the leg.

    • Mr Bismarck says:

      I look forward to my royalty payments – I’ll accept the creation of a good skin for Alistar or some rune pages in lieu of my massive cheque.

  31. Premium User Badge TheTourist314 says:

    It’s free and I have friends who are really good, so if I ever feel like it, I can play and feel good about myself but not due to any skill I possess.

  32. Jolly Teaparty says:

    It’s got the twitchy repetitiveness of Counter Strike and the neverending nerdcrafting of Magic: The Gathering. It’s also simultaneously very easy to get into and extremely difficult to be the best at. For me the only downside is that MOBAs attract the worst parental basement trolls the internet has to offer.

  33. Berzee says:

    I like LoL :) I like the progression, and the new free characters each week, keeps things interesting. The actual gameplay I enjoy because it is tense and gives you lots of opportunities to be sneaky and momentarily unfair, and generally try to do unexpected things. And because you get to feel tremendously important (because everyone is in an a LoL match, as opposed to say TF2 or something). But I think these are just fun things about the genre — it’s just LoL is the only one I’ve played because it’s free and shiny and quite enjoyable. :)

    On the other hand, I haven’t played in months because I tend not to have hour-long chunks of time where I can be completely focused on a game. I am usually kinda busy and therefore alt-tabbing and stuff, and LoL isn’t what you want to be playing in that mindset.

  34. Flappybat says:

    Played for six months. The game flips so much between fun and frustrating it will make your head spin but the high skill ceiling keeps us playing.
    The lack of some big ticket items, replays, spectator mode and filtering abusive players out of the player base make it a bit of a hard sell to my friends. Then add the crazy server problems EU had on top to annoy the few people who actually play it!

    Other comments are right about the game going on too long, it’s either 20 minutes or 45+ and the first ten minutes can be very dull if your opposition is strong or defensive.

  35. Sensai says:

    I used to play it a while ago, quite a bit, actually. Was fairly good as were some of my friends (one of them, actually, now works at Riot).

    The game is fun if you’re playing with friends. And I’m not talking about playing with just one other friend; I’m talking a full on full team. Then, you have a team filled with considerate people who understand team roles.

    Not to say that playing with random people isn’t fun, it’s just that random people are usually bad (something that has never particularly bothered me really) and/or total jerks. They don’t understand that Shen, a tanky character, is not going to be able to deal damage. The concept of sticking together is alien to them, just as foreign as wards are.

    Oh, and no matter how good you are, you cannot carry a team in this game. The character I played most was Kassadin, a burst-mage type, and despite going 25/1 countless times, there is no way to fully carry an incompetent team. Couple this with the fact that each match, on average, lasts more than 25 minutes and you have yourself a rage inducing game.

    This comment has gone on long enough. The TL;DR version of my point would be that with friends, it’s fun but not fun enough to continue playing. Without friends, it can be fun…but generally it’s just aggravating. Regardless, though, you’ll never be able to carry a bad team to victory. I don’t dislike bad people (everyone is bad at one point or another), but to be stuck in a game you know you’re going to lose for no fault of your own is heartbreaking.

  36. Fumarole says:

    I played it and could not get into it, though I have many friends who keep trying to convert me. I just don’t think this style of game is for me.

  37. Wulf says:

    I play it against bots with friends just to have some funsies with Warwick. But I will never play it any other way. A recent Penny Arcade comic explains why (if you’ve seen it).

    • Vinraith says:

      LoL has bots? I’ve no interest in playing something like this competitively, but a (free) co-op comp stomp has some actual appeal, thanks for the heads-up.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Sadly you still have to play with other people on your team to get to the more challenging bots.

    • Antsy says:

      Actually as of this morning you can create custom matches and populate your own team with bots too.

  38. Retro42 says:

    Play LoL quite a bit. Almost 1000 games played now. Spent more than I’d care to think about.

    • pakoito says:

      Like most LoLers, they’ll never assume they either play the game casually (which is ok and great cause of LoLs mass success, “casualness” of picking it up and leaving it whenever) or they smack hundreds of dollars to keep up with everyone else (what HoN people points, the field is equal for everyone).

      You will not see much TF2 comp gaming yet it is widely acclaimed, where CS:S is a paid game with worldwide renown players and tournaments. That’s the critic.

    • Retro42 says:

      Think you misunderstand my dropping money on it. I am a “casual” in every sense in lol. No ranked games. Mostly play with friends for fun. Try fun builds. Aram. Etc.

      LoL keeps getting my money because I budget $ a week to entertainment. Me putting down money for rp almost biweekly is simply to get champs/runes/skins without the grind. Sure I “could” just buy HoN and skip all this but that community is just so tryhardish that my kind of casual play isn’t welcome.

    • Evilpigeon says:

      Pak, you don’t have to pay a penny to play at a competitive level, if you’re playing the game enough that being able to fine tune your rune pages beyond the 3 complementary ones or you need to have all the champions then you’re playing enough to be able to afford it without spending. Well either that or it’s an excuse for doing badly when you start out at lol, despite being good at dota, this is a common occurance because people forget that the genre is all about game knowledge and you’re bound to fuck up a lot when you don’t have that understanding.

    • pakoito says:

      Have you guys ever heard or “team won because they overpicked the other”? Well, I hate losing because my ELO mates paired by matchmaking all have to play either the same 10 heroes or the couple carries they bought. I know they dumbed it down so a lot of heroes can carry and get endgame but still…I cannot pick my great strategy good sinergy team because my mate or I didn’t pay/grind enough to buy a good team composition.

      Yes you can play casual and jillyjolly your way to lose the match and then make a new account and suck even more but I mean…what’s the point? you’re just getting worse with even less heros.

    • Retro42 says:

      @Pako:

      Even normal games have a “hidden” elo rating. After you get enough games on an account you will tend to get matched with people having similiar win/loss ratios. At my current matchmaking level I tend to get a matched with alot of people like me. Either play fun champs or trying something that just won’t fly in ranked.

      I mess around alot in games and generally play just for fun. BUT, I still have managed to keep a ~45% win/loss ratio. That’s not even factoring ARAM into the mix where it’s probably closer to 50%.

      Guess the point I’m trying to make is that LoL is at it’s heart a F2P GAME instead of a F2P competition. More often than not people just wanna enjoy a game in LoL.

    • pakoito says:

      I can understand as far as IT’S FREE (kinda: http://i.imgur.com/KXTMd.jpg) and IT’S CASUAL FUN. But poke me with “it’s a better game and evolved dota” and I’ll jump and bite.

    • PFlute says:

      Umm, Pako, I hate to burst your bubble here, but most of that money is on skins. People buy skins. Because they like their characters and they like the game. I know folks who have been playing the game almost daily for over a year now, and almost every dime they’ve spent has been on skins. And they justify every purchase with the fact that the game endlessly entertains them, meaning they want to give Riot that money. Just because people dare to spend money on the game doesn’t mean they’re engaged in some kind of cash-fueld race to the top.

  39. Premium User Badge dartt says:

    I played it a fair bit before I started getting some nasty networking issues that made it unplayable but I think I’ll dip back in to it soon.

    It’s initial appeal to me was:

    - That it was free.
    - The fun contrast of vibrant and silly characters with the super-cool. Nothing more fun than beating something that looks like a bat crossed with a cruise missile using a little girl and her pet bear.

    What kept me playing was:
    - That I enjoyed the rotating roster of free-to-play characters, it encouraged me to try something new regularly rather than getting too comfortable with a single style.
    - The ebb and flow of battle as one team would surge forward before becoming overconfident and be ambushed by defenders who would then use stunning or slowing spells to halt their rout and run them down.
    - The moment-to-moment micromanagement of position and range and attacks was great for someone like me who is just incapable of applying that kind of attention to more than a single unit in other strategy games.

  40. Antares says:

    Tried it a few months back. Even being completely new I could see some glimpses of how deep and competitive this game can get, but it would take a lot more than that to get me to bear with the “community” that has gathered around it.

    AFKing, ragequitting, raging, namecalling (often directed at teammates, too), you name it, I saw more of it in two days than I did in a year’s worth of TF2 playtime. I’m old enough to not let these petty attitudes get to me, but it makes the game no fun to play and gives me no drive to cooperate with these people.

  41. Evernight says:

    I play LoL. Have since closed beta – still not bored with it.

  42. mpk says:

    Played it quite a it with some former EVE-corpies and would definitely say that it’s worth a go. It’s a free game, after all. All you’re losing is the download time.

    I’d definitely second the notion that playing with a pre-made 5 makes the game better, as at least you’re going to be on comms with your team-mates and can co-ordinate attacks and defence. PuG games tend to veer towards the bloody awful and the only community I’ve experienced similar bile from is the World of Tanks lot.

    Easy to pick up, hard to master, lots of stats and theorycrafting. You can have one game where you’re the ultimate badass and then spend the next game repeatedly picking your teeth out of the ashtray – without any noticeable change in character build or play style.

  43. lunarplasma says:

    I played it and couldn’t get into it. A few months later I tried again, and then really enjoyed it this time.

    Sites like Mobafire help because they have some good competitive builds there. While I don’t like cookie-cutter builds myself, I still find it a useful resource in terms of figuring out what direction I should take.

  44. JonClaw says:

    Nope. The community is hostile towards newbies i’ve heard. I’d rather not become someone’s target for undue aggression.

  45. GeorgeB says:

    People who complain about the other player’s attitude might have a point, but they are missing out.

    First of all, just ignore these whiners… lead by example instead of letting them get you down.

    Secondly, if you are losing the team match, then just dial back your focus and have fun with your own game. Try and get a ton of last hits, minimize your unnecessary deaths, /laugh at dead whiners.

  46. Riotpoll says:

    Only game that makes you more angry than a DotA-like is Mario Kart. I’ve played quite a lot of LoL, only jump on for a bit of bot stomping now and then at the moment though.

  47. Blain says:

    I’m not surprised their daily numbers are good. You get a hefty bonus for your first win of the day (and co-op against beginner bots counts).

    I concur that the quality of the experience is largely determined by the quality of people, but the game provides a decent platform.

    My problem was the reward structure. Learning all the terminology and roles and timing and item builds and hero specific stuff felt like more effort than it was worth. Combat lacks the punch and sparkle of Titan Quest, so the base experience went stale pretty fast. And the long term goal seemed to be getting into ranked competition, which I don’t care about.

  48. pakoito says:

    Why I like HoN better than LoL? Imagine for one second playing Quake Live/Counter Strike where you can only play this week’s gun (Shotgun!) but your opponent paid to level up faster and get access to the Rocket Launcher/AWM. Maybe once you get to top level the field equals, EXCEPT every two weeks a new overpowered gun is released costing 10$ or ~3 weeks of grinding. HoN/CSS: Pay once, get everything, play the same game competitive players do.

    Or you play TF2 for fun instead.

    • Falcon says:

      That’s a terrible analogy. You can’t say it’s like an overpowered gun coming out. It’s a hero-based game. The closest thing you could say is it would be like starting TF2 but not being able to play medic until you played so many games, but even then that analogy fails because Riot has a free champion rotation that generally covers all the bases. (Also, the new champs coming out tend to be pretty well-balanced, especially the last 4 releases or so.) I have no problem buying the new heroes as they come out with IP (the free stuff you earn by playing the game), no grinding necessary. You simply can’t compare the model to a game like CS:S, because in CS:S guns are power, and like they said, they don’t sell power (and they really don’t).

    • pakoito says:

      Another terrible analogy: you’re forced to play Marvel vs Capcom but only 4 characters are available every week, and your opponent who smacked 50$ has 10 chars (Dante between them, who has never been free), +1000 initial HP, starts with one EX bar and regenerates EX twice as fast.
      Chars -> Heros
      Stats -> Runes
      “OMSFJGM pakoito, but you cannot buy runes.” No, but you can buy a boost to earn the ingame cash to pay for them at twice the rate.

    • Thants says:

      Well, it’s more like +100 health and regenerate EX 5% faster. And you get additional champions that aren’t free and runes just by playing.

    • Psychopomp says:

      And the slots are unlocked as you go. You get enough IP to always have all your rune slots filled up for your main.

      Plus, their effects are completely negligible until 20+

    • InternetBatman says:

      That’s not quite fair. If you play just one game a day, it takes an average 3 weeks to get a champion. Most people stick within the same role and only have a few favorites anyways. I have well over half the characters unlocked and only really use four or five of them.

      Runes are quite easy to afford you have to save up for maybe three levels out of the twenty it takes to unlock the final ones, and they’re not critical until you’ve unlocked the third tier. I personally dislike the rune system, but I’ve found it more of a minor annoyance than a game changer.

      Experience is easy to get, but honestly it’s less of an advantage than you might think. Sure you have some token character improvements, but the increase in player skill and required strategy far outpaces the small bonuses you get. Buying potions, warding areas, getting buffs, avoiding overexposure, tower awareness, doubling back while escaping, and eventually counter-building are things that low level players don’t do and later level players learn to. Also the level cap isn’t very hard to hit, so exp boosts aren’t that useful in the long run.

  49. wererogue says:

    explain its appeal to me

    Uh… isn’t that your job?
    :cheekygrin: