Who says games don't change your perspective, how you think, and doing the most bizarre things to get the job done even better? I have to admit: LoL is the first game where I seriously got involved in PvP. Unless you count friendly SSB matches. But man oh man, it definitely has its own chapter in my own life now, unlike some previous games such as Gunbound.
Why am I writing this? Because I want to write down some of my memories before I forget them, and it also helps me analyze myself and the game.
The beginningsThe StoryMy brother called me on my cellphone one day to tell me about a game that he and friends all got involved in. Seeing how we all kinda drifted apart and are going on with our lives, an MMO that we all can love and like is a great boon. However, I couldn't really sit down and talk to him about it because I was still having gaming withdrawal from MapleStory at the time, but more importantly I was in the middle of my shift on delivering newspapers.
The next day, I sat down at my laptop and went to the game he mentioned. I tend to be hard to impress, and I don't easily get into something. League of Legends was it? I've seen it on website ads before, and it didn't look particularly impressive. Annie the dark child throwing a fireball at some dude, sure, whatever. From the creators of DotA Allstars, a game I've never even played. Still, I decided to give it a chance, and decided to read up on the game from the official website. Yes, the official website. Let's face it, where else am I going to start? Some fansite (that I would have to actually put effort into finding) that I don't even know is good or not?
I started with the basics, such as "destroy the Nexus to win the game." Sounded simple enough. But when I took a look at all the items and champions, it pretty much overwhelmed me. So I just went back to reading more on what LoL is all about, and wtp DotA Allstars was. Turns out DotA was a game that some people at an internet cafe were addicted to but couldn't even tell me what it was. Go figure.
The game finished downloading and installing at that point, so I figured there was nothing else to do but to go ahead and try it out! Following the advice given on the website, I started with the plain old tutorial (Battle Tutorial didn't exist back then). Fog of War? Yeah I know that stuff. Command and Conquer, Age of Empires, stuff like that. Ashe the Frost Archer sounded pretty cool, but only because I had nothing to compare her too. Then again, I have a partial bias for bow users xD I still didn't entirely understand what everything did when I read the tooltips on her skills, so I just kinda rolled with it as the announcer lady spewed stuff at me. Sure, Volley the minions and pew pew.
When it came time to actually fight the fight, I saw Nunu dying to the turret. (I didn't do it at the time, but if you check out his death timer... ROFL!) I had faith that the announcer lady wouldn't leave me completely in the dark, or tell me to effectively suicide, so I still followed her instructions. What did Thornmail do? I didn't know, didn't care enough. She told me to destroy an enemy turret and to stay behind my minions. True to her words, the turret was destroyed OHGODITSMASTERYI AND HE'S TWO LEVELS HIGHER THAN ME FK FK FK FK FK
Oh gawd I lived!? I'm superwoman, fk yeah! Destroy the nexus, faceroll Master Yi again, win the tutorial!
Wait a minute, what happened to all the other stuff I saw in the beginning? Am I going to get to kill dragons? Cannon minions? Stuff like that? I hope it's not just those generic minion mobs o.O
Lessons LearnedNone at the time.
In hindsight, I learned that the tutorial is basically a sham. Thornmail on Ashe was retarded, Master Yi didn't actually fight you with all of his skills, and it gave the false sense of power, as you were perpetually level 2 killing a level 4 bot twice, without ever having to base. You also don't fight dragons in lane, ever.
I expressed outrage over this in the forums at the appropriate areas, since I didn't like being duped, and I'm a reality type of guy. I dunno what Riot Games was thinking at the time, but I've said my opinion. Even the great SlyGoat at the time agreed with me, and others gave me +1s.
Love at first sightThe StoryFresh out of the tutorial, I was told to start up a game against bots. It didn't set up a game for me or anything, but I wasn't stupid either unlike most people I knew in MapleStory. So I set up a game against a single "new player" difficulty Sivir Bot (the other option being "easy"), and hit "start game".
I didn't really think about what champions and summoner spells to pick, but I guess I should have thought about that, because almost instantly I was presented with 10 champions and ... whatever spells you got as a level 1 summoner. To my dismay, Ashe the Frost Archer was not among the champions I could select! To make things worse, I only had 90 seconds to read up on what all the champions did and choose one. Oh boy -_-; No time to figure out what "free week" meant.
Anivia caught my eye, because she's a bird. Yup. Everything else was a human. I figured that Anivia could fly and stuff, plus she had icy powers which I actually understood. None of that crying shyt that somehow does damage to anyone next to you, wth?
SO... after waiting 5 minutes for the game to load on my crappy lappy (not literally), I took the first item in the recommended items list because I didn't know what any of that stuff did, and went immediately to mid lane. Took a quick look at the skills, took Q first, because I knew that E wouldn't work really well by itself, and W seemed useless as hell. Sure enough, Sivir Bot showed up there, and we started fighting.
I learned that Q stunned and did extra damage if it went up to the range limit, and I tried really hard to hit Sivir at that sweet spot. But it was proving to be very difficult. I went with it anyways. The reasoning at the time was that if a skill was really difficult to pull off, it must also be very rewarding. Not to mention Anivia has a difficulty rating of maximum. Gotta show her what I'm made of!
Unfortunately, I ran out of mana really fast, while she still had hers, and for some reason I was losing health really fast. But Anivia is the Cryophoenix, and she revives, so it's okay. (Her egg at the time gave massive amounts of armor and MR, so you were kinda unkillable while reviving early game) Feggot Sivir wouldn't stop pushing though, so I resorted to staying in the lane more and fighting. I didn't die, but I wasn't quite winning either.
I soon got to level 6, and then I saw that I could level up the ultimate ability for the first time. I was trembling with excitement, as ultimate abilities were said to have the power to completely change the tide of battle. So I put a skill point into it, selected it, and put it on Sivir.
Words could not describe how disappointed I was. Sivir took some damage, and she was slowed a little bit, but she just walked out of it, and now the storm was just sitting there looking pretty. Furthermore, it managed to drain my mana like no tomorrow, so I had to back out of the lane super fast compared to before. Really fking awful. So I figured, what happens if I tried to chain my abilities together to keep her in the storm longer? I managed to land a super difficult stun on her, threw down ult, walled (awkwardly I might add), and threw an icicle for kicks. It was a lot better, but she still didn't die. And I ran out of mana again, fk! Such a useless spell! It was at this point that Sivir scored first blood on me, and I wasn't happy.
During that fight however, I did notice that the storm was excellent at destroying minions. So I just grinded Sivir's minions down until towers were falling. It's okay, but still, I kinda wished it didn't drain my mana constantly when I didn't need it.
I noticed that my gold was piling up, so I decided to take a look at some of the items I could buy. I took a couple of recommended item suggestions of course, but I decided to be a rebel and buy stuff of my own choosing too. My choice of items? Madred's Razor. Holy shyt, 15% chance to do 500 bonus damage? OP! Must kill Sivir nao! It took me a while to realize that it only worked on minions. Maybe I could try reading better, but it's an RTS, and I have no time for reading. Sivir bot just keeps pushing D=
It was also at this time that I noticed that Glacial Storm's skill icon kept on having a swirl around it, and didn't go on cooldown like my other skills did. It reminded me of some of the skills in Warcraft 3, so I figured I could do some experimentation. HOLY SHYT I CAN TURN OFF THAT FKING MANA BLACKHOLE SO AWESOME! EAT ICICLES SIVIR FK U! E+R ALL DAY! Owait I'm out of mana again =( But at least I killed her!
Further experimentation and observation taught me that you could press Q again after casting it to detonate it prematurely, which actually made the skill so much easier to use. Just fling it at Sivir, pop it when it touches her. Stunned! Also, icicle. BAM, she dead she dead!
I was kinda drained from that experience, both excited, and frustrated at the same time. How could I hope to play League of Legends if I can't even reliably beat a new player bot? I decided to quit for the day and reflect on my experiences. There was so much I could do with Anivia, I could do so much better than that dumb bot! I can definitely do awesome things versus real players, how hard could it be? Gonna kick some ass tomorrow!
Tomorrow came, and Anivia disappeared mysteriously. Where'd you go birdy!? =( Gawddamn not this shyt again, gotta pick someone fast and learn how to play that champion all over again...
Lessons LearnedIt was the first step of a thousand mile journey of might, magic, and intrigue. It didn't seem much different than playing an RTS at the time. The big difference was that you only have to manage your own champion and there's multiple players playing their own champions. It may seem inefficient to have 5 guys controlled by 5 players, and that one player could do well with 5 champions. But I knew the reality of games like these, and having read on military strategies and whatnot, I knew that 5 players of high skill and caliber can do MUCH better than 1 player running the team.
Question is, what does it take to become a highly skilled player that can function as a team with randoms?
In hindsight, I'm SOOOOOOO glad that the free week rotation happened right there and then, when I decided to play an actual PvP match. That was basically setting me up for embarrassment and frustration to start with a complicated champion like Anivia, who basically demands lots of mana management, has abysmal last-hitting ability with her auto-attack (it's better now, but still not at an acceptable level), and I didn't fully explore all of her capabilities. I was under the impression that she was a bird, and thus could go anywhere. Over the trees, spying on ur dudes! Nope, doesn't do that. She's a walking jogging champion that can be frozen, burned, electrocuted, stabbed, and eaten like any other champion for all intents and purposes.
Ashe on the other hand was nice and simple. I think she was in the second free week rotation I played, and she taught me a lot of the basic skills that I needed to know, such as positioning and last-hitting. Good start!
(Ashe's Hawkshot is actually a remade skill of what it was back then. It used to be called Plentiful Bounty or something, having only the passive component of Hawkshot, and it had Teemo's ult icon for some reason.)
Can you handle this? Rocking with RyzeThe Story.
Evil fun with VeigarThe Story.
Welcome back, old love!The Story.
Level 30 and beyond: Good guy RiotThe Story.
Introducing ranked game modes: An ugly truthThe Story.
End of Season 1: Redefining my perspectivesThe Story.
LoL University: Revisiting my pastThe Story.
I'm not done with this yet. Will keep updating in the future. The real transformation happens when I start failing, somewhere at the "Level 30 and beyond" part of the story.
Working on: Welcome back, old love!