Be King: League of Legends Dominion

Some day I will play this. Some day.

Any day where I have an excuse to make a large number of people watch a Sisters of Mercy video is a good day. You’ll find Andrew Eldritch waiting for you below. While the cane-wielding 80s poison-king has an apparent fondness for text adventures, what we’re nominally here to talk about is the new mode for free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena stalwart League of Legends.

Yesterday saw the much-ballyhooed launch of Dominion, a capture and hold mode which offers a new map and supaquick rounds of about 20 minutes. It’s all described in detail for you by Captain Explanation below.

With DOTA 2 looming close, it’s surely war. It’s war! Though Valve claim otherwise.

There’s an interactive map of the new stage here, and of course LoL is as always free to play should you be willing to point your cursor here.

Now here’s what we’re really here for: take it away, you baritone young anarcho-syndicalist, you:


  1. Thants says:

    It’s a lot of fun so far. A bit chaotic, as no one really knows what they’re doing yet.

    • Dragatus says:

      The first games I played were complete chaos, but it’s already gotten much more orderly. It still depends a lot on who you get paired with though and I have the impression that 80% of players still fail to grasp the concept of defending your points.

  2. Dawngreeter says:

    Oh. My. God.

    When I am 70, I will still drool over Patricia Morrison. Gods I love her. And I will never see her on stage :'(

  3. Munken says:

    I thought ‘ron was the Goth?

    Cheers though, made my morning, off to listen to Vision Thing now.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I converted Alec with the help of kid-with-knife’s army surplus land rover and the city of Vancouver.


    • Kryopsis says:

      The Dominion/Mother Russia track was always my favourite from the Floodlands album. While The Sisters of Mercy had a number of great songs, there’s nothing like this one. Thank you for making my day as well.

  4. Gnoupi says:

    How is the community going on this one?

    Curious about trying it, but quite afraid of the “others”, that you meet on the DOTA type of game. Since the game is designed around the fact that a failure from a teammate is giving an advantage to the other team, it usually means a flow of insults for any single mistake…

    So how is it, now that the game is mature?

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      Good thing about Dominion is that they’ll have no time to insult you.

      But yes, community on lower levels tends to be quite childish.

    • Thants says:

      The smaller time investment with Dominion also seems to reduce people’s dickishness.

    • Baka says:

      Well, the underlying problem of the match being decided in the first 5 minutes through two avoidable deaths, always resulting in complains and insults until the 20 minute surrender mark is gone here. You can switch the game around up to the last 50 points.
      The community is still the same (age) though, it’s always “noob team”, as soon as you lose. But who cares about that single line in a 20 minute game of frenzied fun? I really enjoy this mode, don’t know if and when I’ll return to SR with its laning phase.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      @Baka I don’t get it. I’ve won and lost countless classic LOL games in last 10-15 minutes even while being on losing-winning side in a first part of a game. While classic LOL is more predictable then Dominion, in no way 2 early deaths can decide who wins.

    • MrMud says:

      I hear just as much profanity during a Dominion game as during a Summoners Rift game.

    • Tei says:

      I remember winning a game of classic lol in the last 10-15 minutes. What happened, is that my team played horrible / had bad luck. So we did a lot of feeding. The other team was eating us alive. Then somehow, we coordinated a attack in center lane, destroy one turret, start attacking the Inhibitor… bang, the other team surrender. What I think happened was some infight in the other team, with lack of confidence. A single attack did a big blown to the defense of the enemy team, but we still where the inferior and easy to defeat team.

    • Dragatus says:

      In Dominion everybody is getting killed all the time so you get accused of feeding much less than in Classic. Another thing is that with the constant flow of gold and experience kills have a much lesser impact and you almost never fall hopelessly behind the enemy team in terms of power and equipment.

      But you still hear plenty of n-words whenever something goes wrong.

    • Baka says:

      @ Sergey: Yes, I absolutely exaggerated, and I’ve also been able to turn the game around in the last teamfights. But in my opinion the main reason for the aggressive community in DotA+Clones is the fact that you’re forced to play an already lost match to the end, often fighting an uphill battle despite you being on top of the game yourself.

    • Arkaniani says:

      Rarely see any raging/banter in LoL. Maybe it’s because I play on the European servers. Language barriers and stuff.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Stop playing with MOBA with pubbies :(

  5. Sergey Galyonkin says:

    Dominion is really fun, feels like a Q2 or UT with magick and in top-down view. Fast, interesting and with spawn-camping.

    But it is a little bit too buggy.

  6. El_MUERkO says:

    I like it.

  7. Shar_ds says:

    Oh FGS, Red and Green bases??? Colour blind nerf in this release then….

  8. Atic Atac says:

    It’s pretty great actually. Too fast, short and hectic for anyone to shout at your noobiness and can make some great moments.

    Only problem is that some champions are just a little to dominating (hur hur) on that map. Namely: Rammus and Xin Zhao

    • MrMud says:

      Dont forget Akali… Jax is also stupidly good.
      Overall it seems bruisers and some assasins rule supreme.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      Rammus is not dominating or OP, it is just people pay too much attention to him. He is fast, yes, but if you use speeding bonuses of a map, even Malphite is quite a runner in Dominion.

      I’ve compared my results with Rammus, Malph and Alistar and Malph seems to be the best in Dominion games (at least for me). Rammus good at drawing whole enemy team attention, while his teammates do the actual capturing and winning thing :)

    • Atic Atac says:

      So far Karthus is my choice for the map. I’ve dominated all games I’ve played with him because he can defend a turret easily against 3 other champs and at worst take 2 of them out if they turret dive.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Like I said in my other post I think with Rammus it’s not just the movement, but he is very effective against most AD champs and some AP ones. Any fighters, really. So far I’ve found that after I get a few items I can take on people like Xin, Akali, Jax, Master Yi and Tryn with no problems. The taunt and shield combo means you force them into a fight and then their high attack speed effectively kills them for you. It’s hard to just ignore him when he can most likely outrun you, then taunt and wait for you to kill yourself.

      I’ve still had my arse kicked a few times, but more often than not Rammus is just a rolling pain in the arse for the other team.

    • aethereal says:

      Favorites so far: Jax for pure gankyness, Alistar and Morde for being tanky and yet being able to 2v1, especially under a turret. Also Shaco, for being slippery and hard to kill, but able to tear through someone at a moment’s notice.
      Support characters are definitely weaker, in large part due to the decrease in healing effectiveness, and in part due to their lessened ganking ability.

  9. jeriwen says:

    I think you want to say “Any day where I have an excuse to make a large number of people watch a Sisters of Mercy video is a good video day”
    also 1st screen is from 3v3 map, not the dominion’s one.

    anyway, dominion is quite fun indeed, i hope it wont take too much players from the 5v5 ranked :)

  10. DiamondDog says:

    Reading the other comments it looks like I’m alone then. It’s fine, but a little boring to me. It has some plus points, the shorter game time being the main one. You still get the same abuse though. It’s the same community.

    My problem is it’s just all a bit random. At the moment team fights are non existent because wandering around as a group of 5 will just let the other team cap all your points. So now the right-click, no skillshot AD champ is king, because chances are any fight could be 1v1 or maybe 2v2. I feel sorry for anyone that’s spent time mastering a support champ because they’re pretty much useless here (from what I’ve seen).

    I suppose I got lucky in that Rammus is one champ I’ve played loads and he currently seems to be one of the few that can decide a match. That’s mainly because everyone picks attack damage based champs and Rammus can destroy them. It is quite hilarious when you have thornmail plus sunfire cape and watch the enemy effectively kill themselves for you.

    There is a lot to hate about the standard game. You can end up having a shit time with no way out. But at least there’s something to it, a bit of skill involved. With dominion it’s all just running around like headless chickens. It’s obviously about personal preference though, it’s good that there is another option now. I’ve never used champs like Tryndamere or Katarina because their skills are just boring to me, but in dominion they seem like the champs it was designed for. I can certainly see why the last batch of new champs they released were all fighters rather than support or healing types.

    So for me it’s a choice of less abuse but less fun in dominion, or gamble on having to lane with hell spawn in a normal game. Well, all I’ll say is I’ve had some fun, but I’m glad BF3 is coming out soon.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      You have a point, sir. But Dominion is in no way replacement for classic game. For me is more like a way to still play one of my favorite games while I don’t have much time for a full session.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Oh I know it’s not a replacement. I’m glad there’s another option now, never hurts to try something different. Just doesn’t appeal to me currently. You never know how they might develop it further.

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      I am currently of the same opinion. For me it’s nothing more than an extra option. I tend to play a lot of support so yeah, not much fun to be had in the Dominion map. I’ve also found lux to be particular useful on Dominion.

    • MrBeats says:

      I think the main problem so far is that strategy has not been determined yet. Because it is so new, teams don’t know exactly how to work together to achieve objectives, so it boils down to a couple of players ruling a map. But once enough people have played, strategies will develop and it will become more team oriented and less chaotic.

  11. Tei says:

    I played one game of Dominion with Sivir. Dominion seems different enough that a lot of big chunks of LoL are not really balanced for it. Is like adding a chess piece with chess rules to a Go game.

    Maybe the next gamemode will be better, this one is a good try, but not a replacement for the base game.

    A gamemode so strongly decided by who is faster is dominated by heroes with natural speed enhancing power and these with lots of CC powers (to slowdown the others). “Tank” type of characters may do very littel. “assasins” may not do much. Great heros can do great, and make a lot of kills, and still lose the game, because dominion is not about kills.

    • MrMud says:

      Akali is probably the best dominion character right now and that is a straight up assasin.

    • Tei says:

      The things that may make Akali good for dominion could be the ult (speed) and magic resist (anti-CC), ..his “Twilight Shroud” skills seems a CC. So you have a hero that have speed, anti-CC, CC and can buy some nice boots to be even faster, and still be a killing machine, yes.

    • Eversor says:

      Actually, Dominion largely favours high damage characters in a one-on-one scenario because of the passive armor/magic pen bonus and healing reductions. If something tanky sits on a point though, it’s much harder to peel them off, but even then there are champs that can do it. Namely, Jax, who is an absolute beast in Dominion.

  12. KillahMate says:

    Speaking as someone who was always interested in LoL, but never took a chance on a 40-minute match with a bunch of good players who will get angry with me once my noob self inevitably makes them lose, Dominion looks like a splendid way into the game. Less pressure, less time investment, but I still learn the gameplay and the heroes.

    • DiamondDog says:

      You’re right in that it’s a good way to get a feel for the game but you’ll still miss out on learning about a lot of what goes on in a normal game. There are a lot of things associated with laning and team fights that you won’t see in dominion.

      Not that it isn’t worth your time. It’s definitely a better starting point than just playing in boring bot matches, but after playing dominion you’ll still have to learn a lot.

      Also, I should make a point about good players getting angry with noobs. To be honest once you get good at the game you’ll still have to put up with abuse from idiots. If anything it’s gotten worse the higher level I’ve gotten. So learning things in dominion won’t really help you with that. You just have to decide if you can put up with it or not.

    • Dragatus says:

      If you’re afraid of abuse by other players, they introduced a PvE game mode in spring where 5 players fight against bots. It’s a lot more relaxed and people tend to be much nicer than in PvP games.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      I’m afraid the only thing you can do is to ignore flamers. Dominion is a nice addition, but it at this point people playing it don’t really know what they’re doing. I’m guessing this will change over time and once some basic strategies have been worked out, those not following them will be flamed.

      I would also advise against playing versus bots. People levelling on normal games will steadily progress and improve more or less on par with other people of the same level. If you hit level 30 having only played against bots, you’ll have difficult opponents and habits that, although useful against bots, will get you killed in a heartbeat when facing a human player.

      Just find a build on something like Mobafire, read the entire guide and keep practising until you get better. And again, don’t worry about flamers. Everyone has a bad game once in a while and you can be sure as hell that some douchebag will use that opportunity to flame.

      tl;dr: Don’t worry so much about what “good players” are say.

  13. BodyByCake says:

    If anyone wants to play a couple friendly games vs bots to learn the ropes message me. I’m no expert but I know the basics and would be happy to show some people the beginner stuff.

    • aethereal says:

      I’d also love to help along those lines, if anyone wants it.