I haven't blogged in a while. This is mostly because, well, I tend to lose track of things. Even though everything I fill my day with is kind of trivial to the average person, I see it all as priority. I would also like to note here that all artwork in this blog belongs to the creators. I do not own any of this, and do not claim rights to it. I am simply using it to beautify the walls of text.
One of the things that has been eating away at my precious time, is League of Legends. If you aren't familiar with the game, It is becoming (kind of already is) the most popular game this side of the internet. I began playing late July, and truly got into it when I got a new laptop in early August. I've learned much about the gameplay styles, as well as the company behind that. And while I don't expect many to turn their heads, I feel as if I should talk about it.
Despite my short time in the Fields of Justice, I feel I have become very knowledgeable on many different aspects of this incredible work of art. As an AD carry main, I intend to try and help others understand the role that I fill, as well as several of the others. I also want to talk about the company itself, and I think I will do that first. If you want to skip the company talk, scroll down to the picture of Ashe (the girl with the bow) and read from there.
(For those that are annoyed by them, I apologize for the large pictures. I felt that it brightened up the blog a bit. If you have any suggestions on how to make them look better, feel free to submit them to me.)
The company behind the phenomenon is known as Riot Games Inc. While I could spend the next few hours talking about the history of the company I am going to hit a few key points that perked my interest.
The very first thing that got me interested in the company itself started when I decided to become an active forum member. While I was browsing around, I noticed that several of community-posted threads had "redposts," which are posts made by rioters themselves. This amazed me, as most companies don't give their fanbase the light of day. It makes it even more impressive when you consider the fact that they have a 32 million+ player game on their shoulders. As I continued reading and commenting on several threads, I noticed how honest the rioters could be, and have started to want to become one, myself. As a person who will be trying to follow the path required of a professional psychologist, you cannot imagine my joy when I discovered that riot hired 3 seperate psychological professionals on board, each with their own specialty. The idea of mixing my two favorite things in the world is just the cherry on top of the world that I am envisioning for my future.
My personal opinions aside, it is amazing to see the lengths that Riot will go to to keep their players happy and playing. I will probably try to talk more about the company itself in a seperate post; but for now, let's get on to the gameplay.
League of Legends is an MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) centered around destroying the enemy teams nexus, which is located on the opposite side of the map from yours inside their base. Their base is defended by several towers inhabiting 3 seperate lanes (in the classic map, Summoner's Rift. Their are other maps and game modes, but I will be talking about this one, as it is the most popular.) that the players are to defend/attack at their will. There are several roles to fill, and it will be difficult to talk about each. I will give basics on the others, and then give an in-depth description of what I do as the Attack Damage Carry.
(A map to help understand for those who have not yet played LoL)
There are 5 roles to fill, each with it's own set of champions that are more suited to this role than others. The top lane is typically inhabited by a bruiser, who utilizes melee attacks and relies on armor and special abilities to out-perform their opponents. This lane is sometimes referred to as a farm-fest, as they spend a large amount of time killing the minions that march down the lanes at specified intervals, and are often cut-off from the team for a large portion of the early game.
In between the lanes is an area inhabited by several neutral minion camps, with a river going down the middle. Some of these minions provide special buffs, while the rest are weaker but good to farm money off of. With the inclusion of this feature, the Jungler role was born. The jungler spends his time trying to farm minion camps within the jungle, and occasionally "ganking" the lanes to surprise the opposition to try and land some easy kills. They are usually tanky/bruiser champions, though sometimes people will play a more assassin-y role to provide more proficient ganking potential. It is their job to keep an eye on the camps located on the banks of the river, with the Baron Nashor inhabiting the area between top and middle lane, and the Dragon between middle and bottom. These neutral monsters provide large buffs in the form of damage and regeneration (Baron) and large sums of gold (Dragon) to the team that manages to kill them.
The next position I will talk about is located in the middle lane, which happens to be the shortest of the three. Due to the shortness of this lane, it is usually occupied by an Ability Power Carry, who utilizes the power of their abilities to strike down their foe. They typically have short cooldowns, and use items that boost the strength of these attacks instead of the basic auto-attacks that AD carries focus on. These champions usually have some form of light or heavy CC (crowd control) that is used to slow, stun, snare, or in any way inhibit the enemy from moving/attacking. This is usually their own form of escape and it must be used wisely, as it can also be used to snag a kill.
The final lane is usually home to two people; the support/tank for the team, and the glass-cannon Attack Damage Carry. The reasoning for this is that the ADC usually needs some form of support in the early game to bring the power they provide in the early game. This is usually done by farming as much as possible, and trying to kill the opposing laners, just as the other lanes do. The support typically does not kill minions, and instead relies on items that increase their gold generation. This will be the lane I will go in-depth on if you're still interested at this point. Before I do this, I would like to explain exactly why these champions lane here, instead of elsewhere.
Imagine, if you will, trying to kill a large dragon at a low level by yourself. This is simply not doable. It is for this, and a few other smaller reasons that the support/ADC go on the bottom lane. If they can manage a double kill, the middle lane and jungler will often group up with them at the dragon camp to kill him and earn a nice extra boost in gold.
The middle lane is usually dominated by APC as it is the shortest lane, and therefore the least threatened by ganking junglers. AP Carries are typically not equipped with the best of escapes and require the shorter lane in order to stay safe and get away from any potential threats.
I have already explained the jungler and the top lane's purpose in nice summaries, so I will refrain from repeating myself in order to keep you interested. It is now time to move on to the in-depth AD carry guide.
I will use Ashe as my example, as I play her more often than any other AD carry.
Ashe is an Attack Damage Carry. This means that she uses basic attacks as well several abilities that scale with physical damage to try and deal, well, damage. Her first ability is a toggle slow that consumes mana in order to infuse my arrows with frost. Her second ability fires 5 arrows in an outward cone that also applies frost and decent damage to any enemies hit (including minions) by one. Her 3rd ability gives her passive gold bonus for any kills she obtains on minions or champions; and has an active that fires a frost hawk to try and spot any enemy lurking nearby. Her ultimate ability fires a large arrow across the map. If it hits someone, It applies a stun to the target hit, a large amount of damage, and half of that damage as well as a slow to any enemies nearby.
In order to carry properly, she will need to buy items that boost her attack speed, attack damage, critical hit chance, and often life-steal in order to stay potent in battle. I prefer to lane with a support who has a healing ability such as Alistar, Taric, Soraka, or Sona. This match-up allows me to stay in lane as long as I can while I try to out farm the enemy carry. The early game usually consists of just this, as well as some poking and prodding and the occasional fight between the contesting teams. While some see this as boring, I often see it as art when one can master last-hitting minions to obtain the gold required to scale and bring that amazing damage that all AD carries bring in the late game.
As stated before, if I can manage a double kill with my support, I will often try to attract the attention of my jungler and mid-lane so we can score an early dragon for a nice boost in profit. If they are incapacitated and I believe I can handle it I will go with my support (who most likely has heal) and try to score the kill myself assuming the heals can keep me alive (or if the support can tank the dragon that works out even better) to return to my lane and continue farming/defending my tower.
I usually try to hold lane until I can destroy the enemy teams tower in order to give my team an advantage. Afterwards, I will join up wherever it is seen fit, and try to keep my farm up to make sure I can get the expensive items that yield the higher damage bonus.
In team fights, I can either initiate with my ultimate, or wait for another teammate to initiate. I will usually try to stay back and shoot any enemy that falls into my range, as they will be targeting me due to my low health/high damage output. An extensive knowledge of what an enemy champion can do is required to play a champion like Ashe. This is because unlike some other AD carries, Ashe does not have an escape. She has a slow, but this is only useful if you can stop them before they get too close. With the rising popularity of bruisers with gap-closers, this is becoming more and more difficult, though not impossible. Another very strong aspect of AD carries is their ability to quickly kill towers in the late game. They have very high DPS, and this is not wasted on a tower. While you cannot critical hit or life steal a tower, it is still very easy for any AD carry to crumble a tower in a matter of seconds.
All-in-all, most of the information I have obtained about my position is from gameplay. While you can learn a lot from guides, it is important to note that player skill plays a larger role than what champion you are, or what items you have. This is why I did not include an item build, as you can usually build one for yourself that fits into your playstyle. If you happen upon this and found it a good read, and maybe want a video guide, I would be happy to post one.
Until next time, happy summoning!