Patience key to learning League of Legends PC game

Patience key to learning League of Legends PC game

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

One of the hottest games on the market these days is League of Legends, or LoL, which garnered as many as 8 million people played in 2019 alone.

The eSports game, which first appeared in 2009, is categorized as an MOBA, or multi-player online-battle-arena. Each player picks a “champion” and forms a group for 5-on-5 battle in a squared field. The goal is to destroy opponents’ “Nexus,” or stronghold, while navigating the lanes of the playing field and “jungle.”

Picking my team

I recently decided to try my hand at this popular game as it seemed that stay-at-home orders were making people turn to this 10-year-old game for entertainment. I started my journey into this new world with “Darius” as my lead champion. Darius is a tough-looking character with a huge Thor-like axe as his weapon. The game randomly grouped me with other players. LoL also has a chat function so you can communicate with your team during the battles. My teammates included a kung-fu master with a pigtail, a girl wizard in a scanty costume, a blue frog, and a chubby robot. My team’s odd faces were a mix looking like part Guardians of the Galaxy, part Wizard of Oz.

Let the battle begin

Soon the battle was underway, and Darius advanced through the top lane of the playing field towards the opponent’s “minions,” which are foot soldiers taken into battle along with the five champions. Fighting the small guys seemed to be an easy job, but next thing I knew, my champion was lying on the ground, ambushed by a sword-wielding enemy that approached via the surrounding jungle.

Despite Darius’ tough exterior, he was the first one to go down. Soon, my champion regenerated back at the stronghold to continue the game. In this initial attempt, as I grew accustomed to the game, my champion suffered around 5 to 10 kills, despite efforts to readjust my strategy every time. The enemies, who outnumbered my team, approached and gained my stronghold with ease.

Adjusting strategy

I played several times, and although I managed to kill several minions and score some points, the results were more or less the same every time. From my attempts, I figured out the three factors making the game difficult to play.

First, following and tracking one’s champion on the screen is difficult, even on my large desktop PC screen. This is especially more complicated when the battlefield is crowded with other players. It was hard to even locate my champion before he was taken down.

Maneuvering a character or champion was another challenge as it didn’t come naturally to me. Unlike a console game with a controller, gamers control LoL characters movements with the mouse and right-click button. Using the mouse was difficult when trying to get my champion to move quickly and to make small adjustments. More often than not, I led my champion into the center of enemies or other bad spots. The Q, W, E, R, D and F keys on the keyboard are also used for special attacks and moves.

Using both the keys on one hand and the mouse in the other was awkward and I mistook one key for another, choosing wrong moves or wasting character energy.

The game terminology was also something I needed to get accustomed to. Furthermore, players can earn money by killing enemies for purchasing new weapons and items. There were so many items in the store to choose from and I wasn’t sure which would help my champion in battle.

For an old Nintendo gamer like me, LoL was not effortlessly fun like the video games I played growing up. It would require patience, a lot of thinking and a steep learning curve before I’d win a battle in LoL. Here, any impatience or aggressive movement was immediately punished, and I’d have to start again.

After my initial tries, I did some homework and learned that I am not the only one who struggles at the beginning. Some articles and reviews note it takes some players a few months of play to start enjoying it.

I continue to try my hand at LoL despite my struggles. This game has millions of players and yet I still can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s stubbornness or a desire in me to be like Darius and slay LoL. Whatever it is, I’ll keep trying and someday I might be an League of Legends fan, too.

 

League of Legends

Website: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/

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