Join me as I learn to play League of Legends, going from scrub to champion during the month of December.
Entry 2: Luck Be a Lady
When starting to play a game with any kind of online, co-op, or PVP element to it, I have found that there are a few absolute truths in regard to what you will encounter from the community that you are about to invest in.
1. Opinions of all sorts telling you what you should play, followed by a campaign to tempt you to take their advice.
2. People telling you you're doing it wrong. The "it" factor will vary from game to game, but it is no less exacerbating as a new player to be repeatedly reminded of your inadequacies.
3. Homework. Video games have had dogma since the "hardcore" was forged. Institutions in the forms of wikis can be found in abundance, and the amount of information in what one could consider to be a Pandora's box filled with fact, fiction, and speculation is nothing short of overstimulating to the new player.
In my first encounter with playing League of Legends via the tutorial, I played the robust caster Champion Rayze. Something about the blue hue of his skin was overly appealing at the time. The second time I went out into the Rift, I played Twisted Fate; however, that was the result of a misclick. It was an awkward experience to say the least. Not to say I disliked the card-flinging Casanova, or the blue beefcake for that matter, but there was something about them that just didn't mesh well with me.
After doing a bit more homework, I decided that I would attempt to find a single champion and stick with it. My first "dedicated" champion was Irelia the Will of Blades. Why did I choose Irelia? She came highly recommended by several community members, commenters, and personal friends, and she also had a very robust amount of data for me to pull from--most everything about her seemed to be relatively straightforward, and I wanted to hit the ground running.
I spent several sessions with Irelia, and I was very pleased with my progress despite not winning very many matches. She was exactly what I had expected her to be. However, there was still a part of me that was not satisfied with that style of champion.
My next champion was a bit more befitting of my play style--a support character named Nami. While I run the risk of stereotyping myself as a carebear gamer, I have to confess that I love to play support, and Nami simply seemed to be up my alley. Why did I choose to play Nami? I would like to give some profound answer that makes me sound like some highly tactical aspiring pro gamer, but honestly, I got her because I thought she looked fun.
Something magical was happening: I was winning?!? Not me specifically, mind you--there is no "me" in League of Legends--but I seemed to be doing much better playing the role of support. This quickly became addictive, and I started to understand what it was about this game that has drawn so many people to it.
I greatly enjoyed my experiences playing Irelia and Nami, but my journey was not all sunshine and rainbows. While there was a wealth of information about Irelia, there was also a lot of contradictory advice, which, as a new player, made it difficult to commit to one insight or another. This ultimately caused me to again fall back into that deep, dark, overwhelming feeling that I had when I first started to play. That same feeling of "Oh god, oh god, I'm in over my head." The downside to playing Nami for me was that there was a severe lack of consistent information, and yet still an abundance of being told "You're doing it wrong. Do X instead!"--even more so than with Irelia. Even if they were ridiculously fun to play, the insecurity that I had from Nami still being such a newer champion to the roster and Irelia being so beloved caused me to feel hesitant to continue playing them.
I decided that perhaps now would be a good time to change my champion. Though I had a good time as a support class and felt I had grown as a player, change is a good thing. I did a little more research and took some suggestions from my fellow Summoners and community members, and eventually I decided on two champions, Sona and Soraka.
I've played a few short games with Sona against bots, and I think that soon it will be time to give Soraka that same chance. To sum things up, after a short analysis of my play style and experiences with the game thus far, I've discovered that as a new player it is important to proceed with caution in regard to information on how to play your champion. Also consider sticking to a small pool of resources rather than the vast ocean of insight that currently exists. I've started to adapt to the "variety is the spice of life" mentality with League of Legends. I've learned that with over 100 champions to choose from, assuming that there is only one champion or play style that I will be good at playing or, more importantly, that I will enjoy playing, is a foolish notion to say the least.
Keep it up, Synthia. Btw, I wrote a little blog elaborating on a few starting tips, if you'd like a more in-depth explanation for why certain things are important. Might do some more in the future (especially warding, which even long-time players often neglect)
@Synthia@BenderUnit22 Sigh, it's such a waste, guys. I tried out LOL just a day or so ago (after Synthia & Jody's 2nd stream encouraged me to do so). If only I'd read your blog/article then (both of you,Bender & Synthia). Your introductory paragraph was so true. The first thing that hit me goin in was the toxicity of LOL's community. I mean, look, I'm a long-time FPS/TPS, RTS, ORPG, etc. veteran. In fact, the only subgenre I'm not into is MOBA. Being a bit of a "graphics aficionado" (ya,I know I'm vain,LOL), the one visual thing that caught me was LOL's painterly art. Almost like the covers or splash pages for comic books.
So rest assured that this isn't exactly my first outing with hostile trash-talkin "pat-trolling" players, but jeez, the amount of snooty self-important players here is almost amazing! And to think that, the worst offender of them all... wasn't even a guy! No, seriously. I'm actually considering reporting her (DK how though,LOL). Finding a queen B* in-game is an absolute personal first for me! I mean, if she looks down so much on just-learning players, then what the hell was she doin in a beginner co-op game in the first place, right?! Preying on younger players just so you can feel great about yourself? Pathetic much. I guess it's true what they say, men don't have a monopoly on d-bagness.
PS: BTW, about the "S" key, I actually discovered that function by accident, LOL. With my tactical shooter background, I panicked and tried to backpedal my character, hahah!
@JodyR@Synthia@BenderUnit22 Yeah... I guess you're right, Jody. It IS better with people you know, or strangers who are nice. Okay then, I'll give it another shot with you good folks later. I'll add ya and see ya guys in-game. IGN's "CaL4m17y".