For those of you who grow bored of ďnormal gaming,Ē or are in need of a good online co-op game to play with your friends then allow me to introduce yíall to a game called League of Legends. Whatís that you say? Youíve never heard of it? Yeah, neither had IÖ but I will never again be the same after having experienced it.
What is it?
League of Legends is an online multi-player RTS game. The graphics look very reminiscent of Warcraft III (WC3). In fact, the game reminds me of a custom map I played back in the day from WC3 called Aeon of Heroes for those of you who may have somehow been lucky enough to have played it.
(Side note: Why is it that every time I mention Warcraft that the first thing people think of is WoW?)
Itís less complicated than normal RTS games in that you only control a single character. I kind of see it as taking control of a single Ďheroí unit from WC3. Each hero has their own unique abilities, stats, etc. You have your tanks, fighters, mages, etc. Each character is fully customizable as well. You can build your mages more like tanks or tanks into fighters Ė though it might not always turn out so well Ė but the point is that there is an endless amount of tweaking you can do to your characters depending on the opponents youíre facing off against.
How do you play?
Well, the game itself seems to be more of an open Beta so far as I can tell. Theyíre still making updates to it, adding new characters and such but for the most part Iíll explain from the vantage point of where they are at right now. Basically you pair up in teams of 5v5 on a big map. Each side has their own base and the game is won by taking out the enemyís main building (The Nexus) in the center of their base.
Sounds easy right?
Actually, it is easy to learn but hard to master. Each sideís Nexus creates minions that travel in predetermined lines to the opponentís base in waves that help to stem the tide of battle. During each battle you can purchase items and weapons from the shop by accumulating gold. You become more powerful during your match by gaining experience and gold by killing enemies and purchasing items. (No, you donít get to keep these items after the match is over. Every game is its own instance and all the items you acquire as well as character level are only for that one match.)
The game has a big emphasis on teamwork. If you try to go rogue, then chances are you may find yourself on the anal side of rape when the enemy team comes charging at you late game and your teammates are nowhere to be found.
The game is still beta-ish so there may be issues encountered. The server does seem to go down occasionally, especially the chat client. Sometimes the game client lends itself to issues that youíll likely find out about yourself.
The notorious trolls in games. Yes, every online game out there cannot be complete without their own trolls. Those immature bastards that love to piss other people off be it their annoyingness, spammy talk or just the plain fact that they were born. Their goal is to make everyone as pissed off with their lives as they are. Fortunately, you still feel the sense of accomplishment when you do defeat enemy teams that have them.
Matchmaking system really needs a fine-tuning. If you play in premade groups with friends then prepare to be dismayed every so often as it pits you against high-level players. They have a way their system matches up teams but it seems broken half the time as I began the game with a friend and got matched up against teams with Lv 30 summoners on their team. (Lv 30 is the max level, fyi.)
The game is addicting. I just canít seem to get enough of this game. I have to play it at least once a day.
Thereís so much variation. You have over 40 characters you can try out and so many ways to play them that I canít see the game getting old for quite a while to me. And Iím a notorious person for getting bored with games fast. :P
Yes, Iím a bit of a complainer, hence why thereís more cons than pros but donít let that deter you from giving this game a try. Who knows, you may enjoy it and itís a heck of a lot cheaper of a game to play than WoW. Oh, and did I mention that the game is FREE! Let me repeat, League of Legends is a FREE to play online game. Yes, you can spend money to unlock lots of content but anything that will have any impact on actually playing the game can still be purchased via IP points that you can earn through playing the game. It just might take a whole lot longer to unlock all the content going the free way.
Heck, if you really like the game and want to get off to a good start then Iíd recommend throwing out $20 and buying the Collectorís Pack either online at amazon.com or at your local Walmart, Target, etc. (Donít ask me why a beta-ish game sells things like this.) Thatíll get you started with 20 champions and a few other niceties to get you tidied over til Starcraft II comes out Ė hopefully this year.
I enjoy playing video games. Even though I donít tend to play as much as some of my friends who I know to put in 20+ hours of gameplay in a weekend or more, I still get enjoyment out of them. I tend to like most genres with the exception of sports, but thatís another topic for another day. I also tend to play in short spurts of an hour or less typically, which is likewise another topic for another day. That being said, I do enjoy my games with platforming and RPGís the most prominent more often than not.
To get to the topic of this blog letís share a story. Not to bash on my roommate who is not the center of this blog - though he may think he is Ė we both recently acquired the new Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia game for the DS. Me playing in my short spurts have only so far managed to put in about 6 hours since itís come out while my roommate has already beaten it a few times. Now, about a week ago, before my roommate had beaten the game, he was at Dracula. He has yet to beat the game since he has yet to beat the last boss. He takes it upon himself to go look up Gamefaqs.com to find all the secrets of the game before taking on Dracula.
Hereís where I have a problem. If someone has yet to beat a game and they use online references to beat the game then that would be cheatingÖ right? Anyways, he goes and gets all the glyphs heís missed out on in the game and some of the good items as well and then proceeds to beat Dracula. I tell him itís an empty victory since he didnít beat Dracula using his own skills. His response is that once heís beat a game that heís unlikely to play it again since he will lack the initial drive he once had I suppose once one has Ďcompletedí a game. Well, so much for that argument seeing as he then proceeded to beat the other modes, including beating it on Max. Level 1. Anyways, the point is, would you consider him using Gamefaqs before beating the game to be construed as cheating?
First, letís take a look at the definition of cheating. Dictionary.com says this:
1. To act dishonestly; practice fraud.
2. To violate rules deliberately, as in a game: was accused of cheating at cards.
3. Informal To be sexually unfaithful: cheat on a spouse.
4. Baseball To position oneself closer to a certain area than is normal or expected: The shortstop cheated toward second base.
Now, Iím going to focus on that #2 right there. To violate rules deliberately, as in a game. Does it violate the rules that the game developer put forth and built into this game? Well, letís give another example I suppose.
Iíll use my roommate as an example yet again. (Donít hate me, youíre just a good target.) A while back when it first came out, my roommate got Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core for the PSP. He worked very diligently to complete most of the quests and make it to the final boss. I have yet to play the game myself, but he gives me a few going-ons about it as he goes through. I find out he made it to the final boss (and I canít remember if he actually beat him first or not, but Iím going to assume he skipped him for the time being) and decided to go do this special quest instead. This special quest led him to the gameís secret boss upon which my roommate was decimated. I believe he tried for maybe a few tries but the point is he spent less than an hour trying to beat this boss. He then goes onto Gamefaqs to find out how heís supposed to beat this boss. He uses the supposed Ďoptimal equipment settingsí and beats this secret boss.
I have yet again the same problem. He did not use his own skills to beat tackle this problem. I mean, the game developers obviously put this boss in there to pose a challenge to the gamers but what use is it when you can just go to Gamefaqs and just find some cheap strategy or the optimal items to just beat him easy? Granted, I would like to think there is at least a tiny bit of work needed to still beat that last boss, but thatís besides the point. Is using Gamefaqs to beat a game considered cheating?
How about we look at a different genre of games: puzzles. If I were to go out and buy the game Eccochrome and immediately use Gamefaqs to get through the whole game then would that be cheating? The whole purpose of a puzzle game is to force the player to think for themselves, not to let someone else do the thinking for them just so they can beat the game themselves.
Letís say someone is playing a game they truly enjoy and yet they get stuck in a particular spot? If that player doesnít even put forth any effort in trying to become unstuck and immediately references Gamefaqs, is that cheating? How about if that person tries for 30 minutes to an hour to get unstuck before going to Gamefaqs? A day? A week? At what point does it become necessary for that person to quit using his own mind and rely on the genius of others in order to complete the tasks before him?
I, myself, am ill-prone to ever using Gamefaqs to get myself out of a bind in any game. Then again it also tends to lead for me to quit playing a game altogether when I get stuck and am still stuck a week later. Prime example being me stuck in Zelda: Master Quest. Iíve been stuck for at least a year now but quit playing it a long time ago because I got stuck. So now I begin to wonder, should I resort to Gamefaqs so I can continue to enjoy the game that I own?
So I suppose one might argue to me that using Gamefaqs to overcome a hurdle in a game they may be stuck on will help them to continue to enjoy a well-made game. I might be inclined to agree. On the other hand, what about using Gamefaqs to finish some alternative path in a game thatís only point is to be overbearingly hard for no apparent reason or for some grand hidden power that will help overpower the game? I might be inclined to disagree.
No matter the case it seems that using Gamefaqs hast this negative connotation as being cheating to me. Granted, I may use it without remorse to reference something, be informed (i.e. my game has no instruction book or the booklet is severely lacking) or just to figure out how to do Scorpionís cool fatality. I am also much a stickler myself and am prone to not asking for help via online references, yet I tend to think that getting help from a friend isnít considered cheating as much.
So this leads one to wonderÖ is the continued use of an online guide considered cheating? How about a playerís guide? Maybe a friendís advice? I suppose that itís all subjective to the person. So Iím going to stick to my guns and probably never finish Master Quest but at least I still have my integrity.
P.S. Donít even get me started on game-save files. >:(