Checking in on League of Legends

League of Legends is probably my most played game of all time. If it isn’t, it’s a close second to EverQuest 2, but I imagine that I have spent more time playing LoL due to the fact that I started playing the game way back in 2011, and only took a couple of breaks here and there for short amounts of time outside of my most recent break from the game. Whereas with EQ2, my only regular play time was from about 2006-2008, and then it was very sporadic and for only a couple of months at a time. My most recent trek back to Norrath was through the end of last year into early this year and only lasted for that short amount of time. With LoL I played nearly every day for years, and then when I didn’t play for like a month I’d be sucked back in by some new champion or event.

If you take a look at my match history, you’ll see that the last game I had played was in August of 2016, until the other day when I played, a full two years and a couple of months later. I honestly don’t know where that time went, outside of the fact that I know what changes occurred in my life around that time. I met my girlfriend earlier in 2016, but we were officially “an item” by August, and from then on I spent less time gaming and more time with her. That’s not to say that gaming has fallen by the wayside, as clearly I have been plugging away at my backlog along with trying new things since then. It’s just at that point I sort of put LoL on the back burner after having played pretty seriously for years prior. And somehow or another, despite thinking about firing it up on multiple occasions, it took me til now to actual do so. But hey, my backlog thanks me for the break, I suppose.

Boy, things have changed. They redesigned the launcher at some point, and apparently I did log in sometime in 2017, as my launcher was already updated there were just the normal game patches to get through. I also earned a few icons that were applied to my account last year so I know I had to have logged in, but I didn’t play as my match history has shown. Now you can see your “collection” of champions, skins, icons, ward skins and more in a handy interface that is less convoluted than it was before. It’s also neat to learn how you earned said skins/icons and when that occurred, something that was missing from the prior version of the launcher. There’s now a season pass sort of option as well, something that we’ve seen in games like SMITE and other lobby games where you pay an upfront fee to access new cosmetic items and participate in a limited-time event. Speaking of limited events, there are also still those good ol’ rotating game modes, but the most recent that I participated in was a 5 player co-op map where you kill a bunch of NPC enemies and that was interesting! I’ve never played co-op in LoL before, and in this instance I feel like you could make a skill based isometric RPG/MMO in this vein and it would be a ton of fun! But that’s a thought for another day.

Another big change is how runes and masteries work. This was a big thing for me, I spent a lot of time trying to dial in rune and mastery pages for the champions I played regularly, and I also gave general advice for building these pages here on the blog. It seems now that runes and masteries are gone as we knew them, instead of being separate pages they are now consolidated into one. This also means that there are a ton of build paths, but you basically pick a major tree, which gives you a four sets of three choices to make, and then a secondary tree that you can pick two passives from. As such, I have made a few builds to test out, each representing the different types of characters you’ll play in the game. It appears that I did not get my tank build uploaded and I’m not at home so I’ll have to add that in later, but above you’ll see ADC, Assassin, Mage and Support builds. I know I built a tank page as well but I guess it’s not all that important. These are first draft builds, so your mileage may vary.

So far I’ve played a few nights now, but I’ve only played ARAM and the co-op mode because I felt like I would be super rusty. It turns out it is a bit like riding a bike, I still have the muscle memory to handle the controls and thus far I’ve performed okay, but as you know in ARAM you get a random character, so some I’ve done better with than others. There are probably a dozen new champions that were added to the game since I last played, along with several re-worked characters, though I am familiar with most of them due to watching pro esports despite not actually playing myself. I’m actually rather pleased with the experience and intend to play more in the coming weeks. I have another post in the works discussing my backlog and play time, and I’ll cover more of why I have time to play LoL again during that time.

League Updates

There’s been a bunch of cool stuff coming down the pipeline in League. Much of this is old news if you regularly visit the official website, but I’ve had a busy week and hadn’t gotten around to commenting on any of this until now. I have actually been delving more deeply into games in my PS3 backlog, though more additions via the IGC and sales are keeping that an arduous task. I have another post in the works regarding that gaming, look for that soon.

Riot has been trending towards infographics, and though I can’t explain why exactly, I have always enjoyed these. The first is a rather large one, highlighting various facts about the League of Legends community. Here’s a snippet:

infographic

These are features that we all take for granted (well, maybe not so much the colorblind mode, I don’t personally know anyone with that problem) and use all of the time. I particularly enjoy smart ping, and have used it in every single game since it’s inclusion. Check out the full infographic here.

That post popped up about a week ago. Today another infographic of sorts was posted, this time highlighting the benefits of being a team player. Instead of a static image, this one was made into a video, and is definitely worth keeping in mind. People that are toxic ruin games for everyone, not just themselves. Check out the video:

Next up, there’s some champion re-works in progress. These aren’t mechanics re-works, rather they are visual upgrades. These kinds of updates have been going on for some time, and have already happened for Annie, Ashe, Master Yi, and others. The oldest champions sometimes become dated looking upon newer champion releases, so in an effort to make everything look on par, Riot has done a good job of updating the look and feel of some of the classic champs. Garen has been officially announced recently, and I think that he looks a lot more imposing than he once did, though he’s not on my list of played champions, unless I get him in an ARAM. Check it out:

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On a more unofficial note, Sivir is also rumored to be getting a visual upgrade, but nothing has been announced by Riot just yet. I found this concept art via LeagueCraft:

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She definitely looks better than she used to, but I’m interested in seeing how it affects her skins and her combat animations/effects. Since her mechanic re-work a while back she seems plenty viable, so the visual update at least will make her feel like a new champion again.

Lastly, there are some new skins and some sales that are worth checking out. A while back, “Pool Party Ziggs” was released, and apparently got the community clamoring for more summer-esque skins for other champions. I don’t know how they end up picking which champions get this sort of treatment, but it feels like the champions that I love the most don’t get the love that other champions do. Ziggs is a character I love, but I don’t really play any of the other champs that are in the pool party package. I’m not really into these skins at all, though I have seen other thematic skin packages that would have been cool, were there different champions included. Anyway, all my bitching aside, check out the Pool Party skins here.

I had some RP sitting around, so I decided to take advantage of some of the recent sales. The newest champion and skin sale saw me picking up Hecarim for 487 RP. Hecarim is one of the champions that released quite some time ago, but that I never really played. I never even really gave him much thought because I don’t jungle all that often. He only seems fit to be a jungler, so outside of trying him once or twice, he was overlooked. Until I played with my friend who is a Gold tier ranked player. Seeing him play Hecarim made me want to play Hecarim. I need to get some practice, but I’d like to think I could pull of some similar things. There’s also a sale on Boosts (IP & RP), 50% off until the 16th. I still had 300 and some RP left after my first purchase, so I figured why not? I grabbed up a 10 win IP boost and that should get me to where I can purchase another new champion fairly quickly.

I feel better being caught up. Hopefully this doesn’t all reach you as old news.