I’ve never had a huge understanding of League of Legends, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. I remember being at a gamer pub in London (Meltdown), where they hosted what I presume would have been the World Championship at the time. It was all new to me, so I didn’t pay it too much mind, except for the fact that people were genuinely fascinated by it… And I found there were lots of quirks that made it a lot of fun to watch. Naturally, this has led to me trying a number of games, but… I’m a big scaredy cat and like my safety.
Yeah, I said it, I like safety in my games. I can handle a bit of competition, ala Tekken, but there’s no chance for people to just be trash talking me behind an internet connection. The truth is, as a new player, the idea of playing a game and being paired with someone with a much higher account level, that scares me a bit. You pick up an MMO and you play with people of your level or you play with a friend who knows it. You pick up Tekken and you’re paired with people at the same rank as you.
In League, you’re sort of thrown into the deep end – Or so I thought. I had never really considered the benefits of playing a “Bot Game”, where it’s you vs some AI. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to spend this whole article telling you that Bot Games are the real League, because I know it’s not. However as someone who’s a bit nervous going into a game of League, it’s a great way to learn how to play the game from a more passive approach.
I started off thinking I’d play as Kayle and that didn’t go well, as she had changed since the last time I played her. So then I thought okay, I’ll try a new character and I got myself Tristana – Who was a fantastic ranged character; but it turns out I’m not particularly good at staying too far back (apparently, minions like to hit me due to my lack of knowledge of placement, who knew?) I even tried a character like Nunu out, who was also closer to my playstyle, but still not close enough. So then I was at a bit of a crossroads…
… That’s when Jake introduced me to Cho’Gath, a character who fit my playstyle to a tee. You have an ultimate that makes you get bigger and bigger. The third ability is a set of spikes that are launched, allowing you to keep some distance. The second is a big conal attack that does some ridiculous damage, whereas the first ability is a nasty knock-up that does a good bit of damage.
Jake taught me that Cho’Gath has two typical ways to be built; either Ability Power (AP) or Health (HP). He then told me that it was fun going down pure AP and so, I thought I’d give it a try. A lot of my complaints of my previous choices were that they were too slow, but that was purely because of my lack of understanding. In a short space of time with Cho’Gath in Bot Games, I went from not really understanding the character, to understanding some of the nuances.
The nuances I learned weren’t just about the character, but about the game itself. I learned about standing behind minions, instead of standing in front of them. To an experienced League of Legends player, I bet that sounds like a complete no-brainer… But to someone new to a MOBA like League of Legends, or one where a champion is a fair bit stronger vs the minions, it was truly a weird experience. Other things included last hitting minions and even how to use my ultimate effectively.
The game went from a terrifying prospect to a genuinely enjoyable experience. If you’ve been thinking of trying League of Legends out yourself, I’d highly recommend downloading the game and playing a couple of Bot Games. You can grab a couple of friends to join you, or you can join with other players. People aren’t there to cause you grief, because you’re playing a Bot Game just for a bit of fun typically – and it’s definitely just that.
I wonder how much more I’ll do on League? Time will tell. In the meantime, let me know if you’re a League of Legends player. Who do you main? As ever, leave a comment below, or on our Facebook and Twitter channels.
P.S: The below video was really good for my understanding of the game. It’s broken down really nicely.