Why I Suck at League of Legends
This all depends on how well you know your memes, but on any given day Riot Games’ League of Legends can either be Good Guy Greg or a Scumbag Steve.
The free to play online battle game is both good and bad because of what it is: free and an online game. Its so simple that kids play it while actually in high school, but complex enough it has a pro circuit. Sounds exactly like Magic: the Gathering, but free. Who could ever be so cleverly evil as to mix those two concepts?
This all started because my brother in law took pity on a n00b (me) and invited me to play some sessions with him and his friends. They were good, I was not. My “brolaw” usually carried the team to victory, while I fed the other team’s more opportunist players. I chose a handful of champions and got to be passable in those games, but became wore out by being a constant drag on the team. So, I stopped playing for a long while.
The itch came back recently. The itch to farm a lane, the itch to take on the ravenous hordes of internet trolls and LOL junkies, the itch to take anonymous digital abuse. This phenomenon was just explored by a Penny Arcade comic.
I’ve returned to the game, fixed a few things, and got wise to some previous trends that made me suck before: I no longer tower-dive, I know how to last-hit now, and I’ve even upped my ganking skills (skizillz, to the unitiated).
But I still suck.
My chief problem is this: I believed the game had two specific modes: fun mode(Co-op vs. AI) and sodomy mode(PvP). The developers at Riot have created and designed their AI to be competitive and challenging without being ruthless and unrelenting (like human players). I can often pull out a line of 5 kills/5 deaths/15 assists in a game of Co-op. I’d compare that to my most recent foray into PvP which came out as a 1/8/4.
I’ve come to some conclusions: I’m playing alone and losing out on the communication aspect that allows teams of players to coordinate their ganks and help. My bro-in-law and his teammates are in constant chatter when they play about where to go and what enemy is where. Communication is a key tool and I’m not using it.
I’m also not a tremendously competitive person, clearly not in the way that the other LOL’ers are. If I lose astronomically with a final line of 0/9/6, I’d much rather find a Co-op game where I can have some fun and get some bot kills than return to the PvP to try to correct any mistakes I had. That sort of scenario is hard, again, since a LOL game’s makeup is random and I’m taking a luck of the draw team that usually won’t provide constructive feedback, just harsh criticism. If I want to really improve, it’ll take some resolve and time to suck it up and play. It’s a Sun Tzu thing, “Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time.” I’ll have to keep sucking to learn my mistakes before improvement begins.
I do want to emphasize that toxic players and rage-trolls that hate on players in the game are usually bringing their team down, most every article I’ve read has said that, too. The game is a game and no one gets where and what they want through belittling another player. Make sure you use the honor system Riot has in place as well as the Tribunal to report abusive jerks. They probably need some more structure in their lives, after all, give them some.
If I want to improve my LOL game, I’ll also need team mates. I’m more heavily invested in a number of games already, so I won’t be soliciting for teachers and advice just yet. I just broke level 17. I’ll keep going casually for fun, but I’m keeping track of mistakes and trying to learn from them. It’s something that most gamers should do if they want to play better, regardless of their chosen format.
Overall, I still suck, but I’m having fun.