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League of Legends Intro
10/19/2012 by
Junk, , , ,

I started playing this around end of August this year for one reason only.

It was free.

My expectations were that this game would suck like all of Zynga games and most other “free” games out there.  I was pleasantly surprised that it’s actually quite fun for a casual gamer such as myself.  It also is the #1 e-sports game out right now.  You know how there’s the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc? Well, there’s also League of Legends.  Recently there was an official tournament that literally ate 5% of the US bandwidth because of all the people streaming coverage of it.  With 2 million dollars in prize money, it was a competitive and enjoyable atmosphere to just watch how these gaming nerds practice day and night to compete professionally.

If you haven’t heard of League of Legends, it’s very similar to Defense of the Ancients (or DOTA for short).  You take a team of 5 and pit against another team of 5 hero units on a 3/4 isometric battlefield.  As you level up, you can go back to the store to purchase items.  Mobs (enemy non player characters) spawn from your base and travel and fight down a particular lane towards the opponent’s base.  The goal is to simply desecrate the enemy’s base before they do.  So simple.

What I found particularly enjoyable was that as a defunct hardcore to now casual, I can hop on and play 1 or 2 games, and be fully satisfied.  The interface is very simple and clean, and it’s not a complete resource hog for your computer.  The graphics are very enjoyable as are the various portraits for each hero.  Where League makes its money is on portraits and trinkets.  It adopts the free-to-play business model where it’s free to play the game, but if you wanted to purchase various widgets or cosmetically enhanced trinkets for your character, it would cost money.  It’s the most profitable business model for online gaming communities right now since subscription based games are rapidly declining.

With so many heroes to play, the experience is very much limitless for a casual gamer.  And for the hardcore gamer who is competitive, you can also compete in ranked games and join or try for professional squads that compete regionally in various cash tournaments.

The one caveat that people have vocally expressed is the amount of trolling in chat while in game.  This is where people slander and verbally abuse other people for their own satisfaction.  There’s no shortage of racial slurs, childish trash talking, or fake death threats.  The developers (Riot Games) do have a report feature for these, but don’t let this deter you from playing.  Words are just words, and in the gaming scene, you really should never take any comment seriously.

With all this said and if you can get past the trash talking, League of Legends is probably the game to play for right now if you are strapped for cash or need something to play that doesn’t cost money.