Posts Tagged ‘League of Legends’

Riot In The Street: Lead WoW Dev Becomes Lead LoL Dev

By Nathan Grayson on January 15th, 2014.

And so it all comes full circle. Blizzard’s games may have been the MOBA genre’s none-too-pretty spawning pit, but League of Legends, DOTA 2, and the like took the torch – whether Blizzard wanted to pass it or not. So it’s not entirely surprising to see people like Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, former lead systems designer on World of Warcraft, at Riot. Sure, Heroes of the Storm is a thing, but it’s still nascent, larval. For better or worse, LoL is an empire, and now, it seems, a destination. Street enters as lead game designer on LoL, so he will likely be calling quite a few shots as time goes on.

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Riot Changes Mind On Pro LoL Streams, But Issues Persist

By Nathan Grayson on December 9th, 2013.

The witch is dead, League of Legends pros can once again stream whatever they want, and eSports is saved! OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I really didn’t like the potential implications of Riot’s decision to contractually forbid its pros from streaming Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of Tanks, and tens of other extremely popular games. Fortunately, after copious uproarious outcry, Riot decided to rethink its portentously controlling decision. Now pros are able to stream whatever strikes their fancy or tickles their murder bones, though certain sponsorships/promotional angles are still off-limits. This is admittedly much better, but I’m still concerned about Riot’s position near the top of the eSports food chain. Allow me to explain why.

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Why Riot Really Needs To Rethink Pro Stream Restrictions

By Nathan Grayson on December 5th, 2013.

When I wrote my Homeric epic about attending League of Legends’ Championship Series, one of my biggest fears was that Riot’s stranglehold on its own game’s eSports scene could eventually suffocate pros and the scene itself. A game creator, after all, will inevitably have different priorities than a dyed-in-the-wool sports organization – especially compared to the way eSports leagues currently operate. And yet, here we are. LCS season 4 contracts are now in the hands of pros, and they contain some sticky stipulations. The most worrisome among them? The one that forbids all contracted pros from streaming DOTA 2, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Heroes of Newerth, World of Tanks, and many more for the duration of the season.

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RE: That Heroes Of The Storm Interview

By Nathan Grayson on November 22nd, 2013.

Well, my Heroes of the Storm interview ended on a strange note, didn’t it? You don’t know the half of it, either. You weren’t actually there. As I attempted to explain why designing female characters that look as empowered as their male counterparts is absolutely not about political correctness for political correctness’ sake, the room’s atmosphere seemed to me to become extremely curt. Browder seemed highly resistant to engaging on the topic, and sounded particularly severe when saying “We’re not running for President.” Because clearly, that’s the only scenario in which this sort of thing really matters. When you’re trying to make kissy faces at the camera and win hearts by pretending to care about The Real Issues.

Now, I don’t know if Browder meant for it to come across that way, and he could well have misinterpreted the bottom line of my questioning. If so, that’s fair and understandable, and I apologize for using him as an example. Also, I very much appreciate that he said he’d at least take the feedback to mind. But the attitude he seemed to express is an incredibly prevalent one both within the industry and among its closest followers, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss it in detail.
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Blizzard On Heroes Of The Storm, Female Designs In MOBAs

By Nathan Grayson on November 22nd, 2013.

Papa Blizzard, Papa Blizzard! Why are Aunt Kerrigan and Uncle Diablo fighting? No, seriously, why? I didn’t even know they were from the same side of the family. Or the same dimension. And yet, for all the “because why not”-ness of the game’s premise, Heroes of the Storm plays quite nicely, taking MOBA mechanics and sanding down the rough edges to a point of real intuitiveness – sculpting a svelte ice swan from a figurative iceberg. I discussed the surprise hit of BlizzCon with game director Dustin Browder, and we touched on everything from business models to plans for a map editor to whether or not Heroes counts as a “casual” MOBA. That was all delightful. Unfortunately, Browder’s perspective on the MOBA genre’s epidemic of absurd, hypersexualized female characters turned out significantly less so. 

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League Of Legends Pre-Season Rubdown

By John Walker on November 18th, 2013.

League Of Legends, eh? Yeah! Got to love all those leagues it has. And the way the men do the… that thing with the… guns? Are there guns? Oh God, look, okay, I haven’t the faintest idea about League Of Legends. Yes, I co-own the world’s greatest PC gaming website, and it’s been my job to write about PC games for the last fifteen years, but that imperfect storm of strategy-meets-multiplayer-meets-e-sports propels it so far out of my understanding that it may as well be, I don’t know, foot-to-ball. I understand that there are some rules, and the men with the complicated haircuts have to kick and not throw the ball into the other side’s net, but beyond that it’s like the physical manifestation of a language I don’t speak. Theretoalso, League Of Legends. Fortunately, there’s a handy video below to explain what’s coming up this season.

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Impressions: Heroes Of The Storm Steals BlizzCon

By Nathan Grayson on November 10th, 2013.

After Blizzard’s own community invented what is now considered the MOBA genre, the lumbering blue giant finally has one of its own. Again. Heroes of the Storm was originally conceived as a StarCraft II map editor showcase, then reinvented as a slightly more robust standalone, then renamed, then consigned to more than a year of worrisomely silent obscurity. But now, at last, it’s slowly but surely trundling down the danger-laden lane to completion. And it’s good. Really, really good. Heroes strips the MOBA genre – or “hero brawler” according to Blizzard’s sweaty, desperate attempts at renaming the genre – down to its basest essentials, and they just… make sense. Matches are quick, convolution is minimal, and there are even some fairly unique heroes mixed in with a handful of DOTA/LoL re-skins. Read all about it below.

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League of Legends Season Four To Tweak League System

By Graham Smith on November 7th, 2013.

Tom Cruise.

I once played a game that’s very similar to League of Legends for seven hours, and that makes me Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s resident lane-pushing expert. So when news comes along that changes are coming to that game’s League system, which is presumably very important because it’s in the name, then it only makes sense that I be the one to tell you about it.

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An Outsider’s Critique Of LoL Esports’ Biggest Stage

By Nathan Grayson on October 17th, 2013.

I came, I saw, someone else conquered. Last weekend, I attended League of Legends’ Championship Series finals, which – in an undeniably historic moment for eSports – were held in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, a venue that’s played host to thousands upon thousands of fans through countless professional basketball games, boxing matches, and hockey games. Also, er, WWE Summerslams. League has, in other words, entered The Big Leagues. Even the US government recognizes it as a sport, and it is a body literally incapable of agreeing on anything else. But, as Korea’s SK Telecom T1 absolutely shut out China’s Royal Club, I bore witness to both glorious, beautiful triumphs and worrisome failings. I’m no League of Legends eSports expert, but perhaps that enables me even more to say this much: the sport still has a lot of important growing to do. Here’s what I saw.

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LoL Adding Smart Team Builder For Pickup Matches

By Nathan Grayson on October 17th, 2013.

A bad League of Legends pickup match can be like showing up to a party wearing the exact same outfit as someone else. It’s super awkward, and you almost immediately start arguing over who gets to slaughter your mutual enemies and their pets while everyone else keeps one of you from keeling over. “I owned this dress first! And I’m a way better AP Carry than you,” says my mixed metaphor born of sleep deprivation, immediately conjuring up images of LoL players of all ages, codes, and creeds duking it out in ostentatious party gowns. Fortunately, Riot might just have a solution (for the role selection issue; not my sleep deprivation or intrusive party gown fantasies): a smart team builder that matches players based on which roles they feel like playing.

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Harleague Of Legends Quinn: Jinx Is Latest LoL Champion

By Nathan Grayson on September 28th, 2013.

She certainly has a nice shark gun, but it's still nothing compared to Armed and Dangerous' Land Shark Gun.

Now, the secret to that painfully convoluted subhead is to say “Harleague of Legends” as though it’s one word. Then Quinn. Get it? DO YOU? DO YOU, HUH? HUH? YOU WEASELY LITTLE- sorry. Got a little worked up. Must be leftover fury from the League of Legends pickup game I just played. Point is, LoL’s new champion Jinx is kind of like Harley Quinn from Batman. Similar voice and personality, a penchant for crime, and an unavoidable attraction to “loose-cannon” antics. She also has a rocket launcher that she’s quite find of, which adds a double-meaning to the whole loose-cannon thing. I have now explained two jokes in the same post. I should probably stop now. After all, it’s like they say: three strikes and you’re dead. I very much like my life, so scurry on to get some fresh, hot details below.

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Even EVE’s Lead Designer Has Left For LoL

By Nathan Grayson on September 7th, 2013.

Riots have a way of enveloping, possessing, and changing even the most unlikely of passersby, and so too does Riot Games. The League of Legends developer has expanded its more-than-a-thousand-deep talent pool to the point of near-ludicrousness, hungrily slurping up the best and brightest from games and other media alike. The latest? Why, none other than EVE Online lead designer Kristoffer Touborg, that most Borgiest of Tous. Strikes me as a bit of an odd fit, but anyone who can build a universe for EVE’s endlessly intrigue-starved legions must know a thing or two about making good online games. So off he goes.

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And This Week’s Hacking Victim Is… League Of Legends

By Nathan Grayson on August 21st, 2013.

OK everyone, ready? Now breathe deep – fill your lungs with the thick, muggy air of anger surrounding your person – and siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Another week, another popular game got hacked. This time, it’s MOBA-kinda’s favorite largely benevolent emperor, League of Legends. You know the drill: change your various passwords and pay very close attention to your credit cards. The latter goes double here, because Riot’s confirmed that the hackers managed to make off with some old, thankfully encrypted credit card info. Better safe than sorry.

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