Why I Suck at League of Legends

Love It or Leave It - LOL

Love It or Leave It – LOL

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.

How to improve? I’ve taken a look at some beginner’s guides. This here on TopTierTactics was quite good. Also, the subreddit r/summonerschool has some great information.

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.

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About recalcitrant041

Andrew Babcock has manifest destiny on his mind. The road west is paved with basketball, psychic dreams, passable egg-toast, Dungeons & Dragons, and haiku.

6 responses to “Why I Suck at League of Legends”

  1. theyoungking45 says :

    This kind of meat-grinder learning curve is precisely why I have never had any interest in games of the “DoTA” flavor. In any game with a multiplayer component, I’ve always taken the time to learn basic compotency with the game in single player, then took my licks in multi until I could discern what tricks, exploits, and meta-game structures were at play.

    With games like LOL I don’t even have a chance to read the stat descriptions before I’m being lambasted for brining my team down. I’m told it does a good job of providing you opportunities to actually learn the game in a relatively abuse free environment, which is a big step up from the DoTA days; but this genre of game just never found purchase in my heart.

    I come to games to enjoy the rush of being part of a finely oiled machine: a ruthless team who’s spent so much time together that they can act as one hice-mind organism. I’m sure SOME guys play the game that way, but it seems like the time invested to get better at the game (or learn it at all) is just not worth the aggravation.

    • recalcitrant041 says :

      I see exactly that in nearly all FPS shooters since Counterstrike. I just can’t grok the non-n00b strategies.

      There’s a unique issue here. Gamers nearly all self-identify as geeks and nerds and outsiders of society, yet within competitive games such as LOL and CoD, there’s such blatant anonymous hatred aimed at n00bs and anyone else who’s in your way. The Internet dickwad theory is on full display and in effect for the majority of games played online. I find that I don’t like gamers. Too many have succumbed to the vicious cycle of high school clique abuse and are spreading the hate.

      This phenomena is something I found really problematic and also hilarious with the PS4 announcement. They want to intertwine gaming and social media in a way that’s going to feed the anonymous assholes of the internet. I just want to play single player games now an d only venture into multiplayer if I know expressly who I’m playing with.

      The reverse seems to be true of tabletop and RPGs since you have to be at the table and in person. I’ll play a game with any neck beard at a convention since the awkward personality issues are real and there with little chance of dickwad behavior.

  2. recalcitrant041 says :

    Haha, a week later and Penny Arcade does this: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/02/25 😀

  3. Aram Hassan says :

    I just deleted LoL, because everyone’s better than me. :c

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Understanding Competition | Mere Mortal - March 4, 2013
  2. Why I Suck at LOL after 2 weeks | Neo Life - December 16, 2013

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