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Reviews Comments: The definitive MOBA. League Of Legends game review by Arcane Azmadi

LoL may not be the first MOBA, but it (not Dota) is definitely the one that all others are measured against. Riot Games took the Dota formula (that they helped create, thanks to the development input of Guinsoo) and said "How can we make this better?" And they've never stopped asking that question. They don't always succeed; in fact a lot of the things they do make me Face Palm, but they've never stopped trying to improve the game.

Removing denial to encourage champion interaction within lane. Inventing ability scaling, runes, masteries and summoner spells and brush. Toning down raw skill power in exchange for lower costs and cooldowns. Removing almost all Random Number God elements from the game. Promoting "objective control" as the primary road to victory. Refining the vision game. Riot streamlined the game, keeping what worked and throwing out what didn't, making sure it was easy to learn but hard to master- watch a high level LoL pro play and TRY to claim it's a "no-skill game". They communicate with their players to explain the reasons for every change and nothing is sacred- the game is coming up on its 5th season and every season they practically reinvent the entire game, with new items, jungle changes, rune and mastery changes, summoner spell rotations and more. There are more (gameplay) differences between LoL in season 4 and the same game in season 1 than there are between Defense Of The Ancients All Stars and its own sequel.

LoL also features the BEST-designed heroes in the genre. While there isn't anything as radically insane as Meepo or Invoker, Riot are constantly coming up with new ideas. While a lot of MOBAs can't even grasp the concept of resources OTHER than mana, LoL champions are designed so that their kits work together to make a coherent whole, fitting the theme of their character. The ones who don't (the infamous Sion, for example) get remorselessly scrapped and remade until they do. Champions like Ahri, Kha'Zix, Nocturne, Leona, Diana, Aatrox, Cassiopeia, Yasuo, Trundle, Riven, Rumble and DRAAAAAAAAVEN are iconic and immortal.

The game is far from perfect, of course. The community sucks, that goes without saying. The metagame can sometimes be PAINFULLY stagnant, with up to half the roster being underpowered at a time. But Riot will never stop improving. Ever.

Comments

  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 19th Nov 14
As an addendum (400 words really ISN'T enough space) Riot have also put in an incredible effort to make LoL unquestionably THE leading esport in the world. The LCS system of sponsored official PROFESSIONAL teams mean that "professional gamer" is now a genuine and legitimate career choice even outside of South Korea and they've managed to make the game a completely valid (and exciting) spectator sport that even non-gamers can get some enjoyment out of.
  • Pannic
  • 22nd Nov 14
Removing denial to encourage champion interaction within lane.

Lessening player control over the lane encourages "interaction"?
  • McSomeguy
  • 22nd Nov 14
This reads like a great advertisement for League, less so like a review.
  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 23rd Nov 14
@Pannic: Sure does. You can't make the opponent miss CS by taking it from them, so you have to make them miss it by driving them back directly. I would have thought that would be obvious.

@Mc Someguy: Because god forbid someone with a positive opinion about a game should say anything positive about it in a review...
  • Pannic
  • 23rd Nov 14
Zoning/harassment? That's something that also exists in Dota. Not explaining how removing a feature adds to the game.
  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 24th Nov 14
It's removing a bad feature. Forget it. You don't play LoL, you wouldn't understand and you're not trying to.
  • Pannic
  • 26th Nov 14
How is denial a bad feature, and how does its removal improve things? Getting defensive does not answer my question.
  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 2nd Dec 14
I'm not having this debate with you. Even if I make any good points, you'll just disregard them. I know your type.
  • MFM
  • 2nd Dec 14
What is Pannic's "type", exactly? The type who wants a poorly-worded point to be elaborated upon?
  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 5th Dec 14
The type who wants me to answer his question, NOT because he's interested in knowing what the answer is, but because he wants to try and force me to admit that Dota 2 is better than LoL, because that's his agenda. I'm not dancing to his tune and I'm not explaining how removing denial makes the laning phase far more exciting and interactive just so he can say "you're wrong".
  • Pannic
  • 5th Dec 14
You got very defensive, very quickly. And very rude, I might add.
  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 10th Dec 14
Well tell me I'm wrong? Why do you want to know how removing denial improves the game? Is it because you're curious? Because you want me to enlighten you about things you don't know? Or is it because you're a Dota fanboy who wants to make me back down on any claim that LoL is the better game? Be honest now.
  • Pannic
  • 10th Dec 14
I'm a Dota 2 player and I find your claim dubious. I'm asking for your reasoning.

Are you going to answer my question or not?
  • Nabirius
  • 11th Dec 14
Fine, I will answer your question. Creep denial has some serious problems in my mind, one of the most obvious being that it causes a lot of pub-stomps given that having even a little more skill in CS-ing can create an insurmountable lead against the weaker player. This rewards skill in a big way, true. But it also tends to be really bad for the community as a lot of new players will quit due to frustration before picking up on all the game's strong points. Two, it creates and even bigger ranged/melee discrepancy than already exists in league. Now as a player of DOTA 2 you obviously know that many melee units have gone in and out of top tier, but in my experience it can make that discrepancy really hard to balance for. Three, it offers a low-risk strategy with good rewards. By denying creeps, you also force the wave toward your side of the field, making it safer for you to farm and requiring an opponent to overextend to even get compete (especially if they are melee), while good teamwork can recify this in solo queue this can be a nightmare. Four, effective denial in League requires more skill than in DOTA 2. This is probably the most controvesial thing I will claim. But basically you can deny decently well with about the same amount of skill that it takes to farm decently well, in order to deny at all in league you have to really know your match-up, when to attack, when to retreat, when you are safe versus overextended. There is no way to deny that doesn't involve interacting with your opponent directly (which what I think AA meant by 'encouraging interaction'). Also denial is typically a much more risky tactic in Lo L, because it typically forces you to push beyond the enemy's minion line, thus exposing you more to ganks. Also, crucially since you are still attacking and you opponent likely is not, the minions will start to push toward your opponent, meaning that they will get a little bit of safe farming near their turret, that will be much harder to deny, preventing a total lock-out. Five, in my experience there is very little counter-play to creep denial. I freely admit that I just may not be good enough to see it, but in my time in DOTA 2, the only real way to play against creep denial was to be better last hitting than the opponent, which I felt put way to much emphasis on one of the most boring parts of the game. Six, heavy denial can really draw out a game to a pretty extreme length. This may not be a fair criticism, but I want games to be like 30-40 minutes I just don't have time for a game to fairly frequently be like an hour long. Seven, and this will be the most subjective criticism by far. I hate it. Its just weird. I'm storming an enemy base alongside my army, and then I turn on them and start cutting them down? So that my opponent doesn't get the chance? That feels wrong on so many levels.

In conclusion creep denial is a game mechanic that I feel detracts from the fun of the game, is intensely newbie unfriendly to the detriment of the community as a whole, and is freakin' strange.
  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 14th Dec 14
Well, that was a bit more in-depth than I would have gone, but basically yeah. The short version as I consider it: do DOTA players thing that, since LoL doesn't have denial, the laning phase is just a matter of people sitting back and letting each other farm unmolested? Of course not! Since LoL champions can actually use their lower cost shorter cooldown abilities in lane without going out of mana in 2 or 3 casts (hell, LoL actually has champions that don't use mana, fancy that!) the laning phase is a constant battle between champions over the minions, with players regularly being forced out of lane by heavy harassment or baited into a jungler gank that kills them. To put it simply, to prevent your opponent from farming in LoL, you need to stay within range of him. To do it in DOTA, you only need to stay within range of your own creeps. I know what's more exciting.

Also, you started your line of questioning by asking about "lessening player control over the lane". Do you know what lane freezing is, or hard pushing? Because towers are so much stronger in LoL than in DOTA a lot of champions can "deny" their opponents CS by forcing their minion wave into the enemy turret so they have to struggle to weave last hits in between turret shots, often having to use their abilities to do so. Lane control is a PIVOTAL skill in high level LoL, it just relies on different mechanics than in DOTA. It's FAR more active and exciting than DOTA laning.

And addressing your reason for asking- I honestly don't much care whether you find my claims dubious. DOTA players doubt everything about LoL. I'm going to be completely honest here- I just don't like DOTA players and I've given up on arguing the varying merits of LoL vs DOTA with them because they make it an unpleasant experience, so you shouldn't be surprised that I'm reluctant to engage with you.
  • MFM
  • 14th Dec 14
Pannic shouldn't be surprised you're reluctant to engage with them because of your own personal dislikes that they would have had no way of knowing about beforehand?
  • ArcaneAzmadi
  • 15th Dec 14
I would have thought my personal opinions would have been clear enough before I just spelled them out...
  • Nabirius
  • 15th Dec 14
Just a rule of thumb. Your personal beliefs are never really clear before you spell them out, and its not really fair to expect people to get them or to dismiss them when they don't. I get that the dueling fandoms of League and DOTA 2 can make things get rather hostile in an unwarrented way, and everybody at some point has likely had some bad experiences with particularly toxic members of the opposing fandom (I remember one guy who continually implied that I liked league was because I wasn't smart enough for DOTA 2, and this was in person so GIFT doesn't even apply). While its understandable that you might want to spare yourself the aggravation of engaging with yet another troll more interested in belittling you and telling you that you are wrong than discussing, that isn't what the rest of us necessarily see because we have not necessarily had those experiences (Not to imply that Pannic is a troll).
  • ZorrerTheZmith
  • 25th Jul 17
Yeah, Trundle is iconic and immortal, thatīs why he got remade. Wait...

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