Even Legendier: Twisted Treelines Revealed

You try anything, and you're going to end up in Ikea.

As League of Legends actually inches towards an open Beta – a matter of days or even hours, according to our sources – they unveiled a new map. It’s The Twisted Treeline map. It looks like a spooky forest to me. What do they say it’s like?

“The Field of Justice known as the Twisted Treeline is one of the League’s newest arenas, and as such, still quite the mystery to most of the League’s competitors. The arena itself is located north of the Ironspike Mountains in a large expanse of forest nestled between the city-state of Zaun and one of the major passes that connect Noxus with the northern reaches of Valoran. It is one of the few remaining forests near Zaun that has not been exploited for natural resources; a mere cursory glance at the geography of the arena quickly explains why. The misuse of magic – mainly from Zaun but also from the numerous battles fought here during the various Rune Wars – has warped the verdant environs of the Twisted Treeline into terrain with a bizarre, alien-like visage. The two nexuses that power the Twisted Treeline do more to try and maintain the physical stability of the region more than any other function they would normally perform.”

“Twisted Treeline map features faster paced 3v3 action due to its two lanes/ two forests layout. One lane is curvy, and the other is straight. The map also features several neutral monster camps, and plenty of opportunities for team fights due to the two large forests located on the map. The top forest is accessible only from the top lane, has high reward monsters, and is structured to increase random forest encounters. The lower forest narrows in the middle, allowing for increased ganking opportunities. Other features of Twisted Treeline include new Sigil monsters, in addition to a new monster whose buff reveals the bottom forest for a short period of time.”

And what does it look like? Why, this, you mad fools. This:

We’ve covered this before, but we should actually get around to doing a Q&A with the developers, I think. Anything particularly the readers of RPS would wish to know?


  1. Senethro says:

    “You try anything and you’re going to end up in ikea” – The page didn’t load properly for me and I saw this in place of an image. Are there many of these invisible image names in RPS?

    I’d like asked what they’re doing to make the DotA format more accessible to newcomers.

    • Xocrates says:

      Actually, the NDA is loose enough that I can answer a lot of those as a tester.

      The biggest ones: No money loss on death, recommended items list, Tutorial, bots, Gameplay tips for each hero, no stat boost skill.

      The game right now is probably more noob friendly than Demigod.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Sen: Yeah. I do ’em most, but Walker and Alec do ’em occasionally. You can get a firefox plugin which makes ALT text display on hover if you like to trace the gags.


    • bookwormat says:

      One thing that makes LoL a lot easier to pick up is that if you want to buy items/upgrades from the gold you earn during the game, the game recommends certain build paths to you. So a new player does not have to learn about character development and what to buy in which order, but instead can simply buy the next recommended items in the recommended order, and end up with good equiment.

      Also, bots seem to be much smarter than in Demigod. I found LoL to be a good single player game.

      Compared to Demigod (which I also liked a lot), another difference is that the computer controlled armies are much stronger. So your character is still a beast compared to them, but you cannot just stand there and ignore them as you can in Demigod for most of the time. It feels more like you are a (a-hell-of-a-bad-ass-) piece in a war and not like you fight NvsN matches in a arena.

      [Disclaimer: I work for the company that does the payment stuff for LoL.]

  2. Pani says:

    What are they doing for single player and with that in mind, is there going to be a campaign? I was quite disappointed with the single player tournament in Demigod.

    I understand that these types of games are mostly for the multi player. I myself have no idea how they could incorporate an interesting single player into a DoTA style game but hopefully these guys do.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      They’re doing pretty much nothing for single player because this is, and I say this most empathically, not a single player game. There are bots, but they are useless once you grasp the basics. Actually, bots only come in two difficulty settings: noob and easy. There would really absolutely be no point to playing this type of game in single player. All the interesting gamey stuff arises out of human interaction here: how teams work together, how you react to the enemy, how quickly you can think and prioritize targets, how the enemy reacts to THAT and so on. The “progress” element that you encounter during a single play session (i.e. gold and xp earned, skills unlocked) is absolutely minimal; it’s only there to make the game more interesting against other people, to open up more axes for your strategy. Against the AI, this element would become boring so very soon because there would be one obvious optimal path to follow. Against humans who react to your decisions smartly, not so much.

      So again: do not, I repeat do not get this game expecting any kind of meaningful single player content. There will be none. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. That is very much by design, and just as it has to be.

  3. Sam Bigos says:

    It’s a shame Heroes Of Newerth is so much better.

    • JonFitt says:

      Hard to compete with free though.

    • Kurt Lennon says:

      In your opinion.

      S2 seems to have spent their entire budget on an impressive graphic engine which just slows down performance and load times, while doing nothing to improve on DotA’s gameplay.

      Riot have evolved DotA and added a ton of new features.

      I’ve played both and IMO LoL is the better game by a huge margin. It’s just way more fun to play.

    • Xocrates says:

      Personally I hated the little time I spent on HoN beta. Although I’ve heard it’s better now.

      But yeah, it’s going to be hard to compete with free.

    • Lafinass says:

      Disagree entirely. HoN didn’t do enough to make a new game in my opinion. It was basically just a port of DotA to a shinier engine, complete with some of the exact same heroes given different names. At that point, why would I stop playing DotA proper- it’s graphics aren’t exactly ugly.

      League of Legends however, really is a new game in every sense of the word. Built on a lot of the same principles and design concepts, but they changed a LOT- for the better IMO.

    • Evernight says:

      (Somewhere at the Heroes of Newearth offices – about a year ago)
      Guy A: You know I really like DOTA and there are a TON of ppl playing it still.
      Guy B: Yeah… wouldn’t it be cool if we designed a game just like DOTA?
      A: Genius! There is no copyright on DOTA because its just a MOD so all we need to do is develop a shiny new engine and then copy and paste all the characters, skills, items, and map layout from the DOTA mod!
      B: Gee… that sounds a little underhanded… won’t people see through it and think we are assholes?
      A: Hell no man… all the die hard DOTA vets. will come to our game because, lets face it, these guys are all about graphics and will easily shell out cash for a game they already get for free just for the facelift!
      B: I don’t know man, Warcaft 3 has the whole RTS and other custom games too… like Tower Defense and such… what else are we going to offer?
      A: Screw all that – DOTA is keeping WC3 alive man! That is all we need to do…. maybe we introduce new characters too…. you know… when Icefrog makes and balances them for us….. (devious laughter)
      B: Actually, WC3, the RTS, is still played quite a bit in professional tourn –
      A: Naysayer! This is going to work! The cash cow has arrived!!! Get your Copy and Paste buttons warmed up – ripping this off is going to take a lot of hard work.

    • mejobloggs says:

      @ Kurt Lennon. I found Newerth had FAR better load times than LoL

  4. OMGPwnYouGGNoob says:

    It’s a shame Heroes of Newerth has the crappy Battle.net kiddie community as well.

  5. Freudian Trip says:

    Why would you want a singleplayer campaign for a DOTA clone? Did you enjoy CounterStrike Condition Zero as well?

  6. PleasingFungus says:

    Senethro: oh, absolutely. Mostly it’s Kieron who does it, but occasionally Alec chips a few in as well. (His aren’t as funny, though. I SAID IT)

    Also: wow, is that first paragraph ever a raw, undigested lump of setting! Sheesh.

  7. BobJustBob says:

    Wait, this is free right? Supported by cosmetic microtransactions? And it lets you play singleplayer against bots?

    That’s the best thing I ever heard.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      It’s free, yeah. Let me break down what that’s going to look like.

      At launch there will be around 40 heroes to choose from. Only 10 or so will be freely selectable at any time. Want to play one of the others? Gotta unlock them. To do that, you either use Influence Points or Riot Points. Influence Points you get by simply playing the game (even if you lose all the time; as long as you don’t leave, you always get some IP). Riot Points are the micro-transaction currency. We still don’t know what the pricing is going to look like, but you’ll probably need to play something like 5-6 games at the very least to unlock a new hero.

      And yes, you will be able to play against bots, and you will even gain IP and XP (to level your metacharacter) from those games, but it won’t be much fun. Bots are an extended tutorial, nothing more.

  8. amishmonster says:

    I’d like to know if they’re going to improve the bots at all, because at the moment they’re just laughable. Probably good for teaching a new player, but they’re useless once you have any idea what you’re doing.

    I also want to know how long the open beta will last and how much of the remaining time will be devoted to fixing balance, as I’d say that’s the game’s weak point at the moment.

    Those criticisms aside, I do like LoL and am looking forward to further developments!

    • Daniel Klein says:

      The bots will not be improved much, at least definitely not in the short term. Riot have said so multiple times on their forums, and the reasoning is quite simple: this is a multiplayer game. The bots are there for a first time player, as a sort of extended tutorial if you don’t wanna jump into the pool with all the sharks right away. They’d never been meant to deliver a meaningful single player experience.

      So don’t expect changes to bots.

      The open beta begins some time this week and runs until… uh… next week Monday. Unless Riot change their release date again, the 27th is still the beginning of the “pre-season”; meaning everything will be reset and the shop will be opened. Remember, again, that this technically isn’t a huge difference at all. Both during the open beta and after release you can freely create accounts and play the game entirely for free. It’s called “pre-season” because Season 1 will only begin some time in January; that’s when we’ll have ranked games, a ladder, tournaments, clans, all that good stuff.

      I think it’s time for full disclosure mode again: I work for GOA, the company that’s distributing and operating LoL in Europe. I’m personally a huge fan of the game, I play it whenever I get a chance–between my EU and US accounts I have something like 400 matches, easily. I just want to get that out of the way because every time I post here on the subject I feel a little dirty, like I’m just advertising something because it happens to be the thing that puts food on my table. I’m not. I genuinely love the game.

  9. Inanimotioon says:

    On release will the world be complete?
    If you’ve been in beta you can see that there is a LARGE world map, and the current testing map(s) only cover a very small portion of it.

    So how will the rest of the world be unlocked to players, and when will it be complete?

  10. Shaquil says:

    Never before have I felt as estranged from writing as I do after reading this. This is a genuinely poorly written article. That said, this twisted treeline thingamahoozit looks like a cool map. So many colors…

  11. Gromit says:

    I ask this from personal experience having tried the beta and still prefering to play DotA (normally every time I turn on my PC to play games for the past year).
    Why should someone change from DotA to LoL? Do they think a better graphics engine and lobby system as well as decent key binds is enough? DotA players already know the heroes, it’s balanced and constantly improving.
    Or are they mostly trying to get new players that weren’t familiar with the DotA-like genre?

    At least from Counterstrike and CS:Source physics and game changing lighting was introduced.
    I really want to like this game but it’s so unfamiliar and game play wise it doesn’t feel to me like an improvement. I’m sure they don’t have technical limitations for hero skills like there are in Dota due to using the now old WC3 engine but from the beta I didn’t find the freedom they have all that refreshing.
    I almost wish I never played DotA in the first place so I could enjoy this game (or HoN) with fresh eyes. This genre is fantastic if you like team-play games and doesn’t require “as” much coordination (I’m thinking voice chat) as FPSs due to the isometric perspective and ultra fast reflexes. Or even micromanagement like a standard RTS.
    Yes, lots of people playing are excited little kids (or sound like one), but then they aren’t much different from other online FPSs; they just have more time to write while playing.

    • Lafinass says:

      I’d ask that question of Heroes of Newhatever. Actually, I did and went back to DotA. But League of Legends isn’t a DotA clone any more than TF2 is a CS clone. It’s the same genre, yes. Many of the same principles and ideas, yes. But it has a lot of improvements and changes. Frankly, I haven’t read the current copy of the NDA closely enough to give any fine details- but in a general feeling it handles better and provides for a more enjoyable gaming experience. I’ve been an on-again, off-again DotA player for something like 5 years and just recently I uninstalled WC3 because LoL has effectively replaced it for me.

      Even if it does have an acronym that makes it hard to use seriously in conversation, give it a try before you question it. I had very much the same skepticism going into it as you have expressed and have been completely won over.

    • Gromit says:

      Yes, I will probably give it another try. DotA took a while to get used to too. But the lazy gamer in me…

  12. Sobric says:

    I’m a new player to the DotA style game, but I’m hugely enjoying the LoL beta atm. What I’d like to know is how Riot & GoA will handle EU & US integration. I’ll try to explain more.

    I realise that Riot have lifted the IP restrictions on players (allowing them to play in servers wherever they like), but what interests me more is the patching process. Basically, I’m put off getting an EU version of LoL (but doubt I can get hold of a US version) because I’m worried that the EU version will be so behind on the patching process (due to translation) the IP restrictions wont matter, as Euros will be a patch behind their US compatriots.

    I realise Daniel Klein may be able to answer this better than an RPS Q&A can, but this is really my only gripe/query. (To Daniel: sorry to seemingly mar the rep of your employers here, but I had a really bad experience with GOA in their DaoC years; I have very little faith in this company to handle this game well).

  13. Tupimus says:

    Kurt, have you even TRIED HoN lately? Just asking, if you’re so keen on bashing it…

  14. Garreett says:

    HoN is brilliance; better than DotA itself, and all the DotA clones.

  15. Alex says:

    Ask the developers why the include a hero category called “Tank”. Biggest misnomer ever!

    • Spacegirl says:

      How is that a misnomer? In RPG-type lands a Tank is a dude who can soak up a ton of damage. The tanks in LoL can soak up a ton of damage.

  16. Goa says:

    As a long time Dota player, and after 2 months of LoL beta, I have to say HoN looks awesome. I had no clue it even existed before this thread and so I thought LoL would be the way to go and that made me sad. It’s not bad but it’s a long way from the almost perfect Dota.

  17. Jon.J says:

    I’ve been part of the open beta for HoN for a while but only properly starting playing recently, HoN now has the recommended items in the shop for all heroes as well. I find it to be a really fun game, I will admit that it does have some bad apples in the player community but then what online game doesn’t?

  18. Torguemada says:

    HON is a really good game, being playing it a lot lately. But i am looking forward to get to test LOL too before i buy anything.