Once upon a time, there was a boy named Kappy. A rather peculiar soul, he seemed to influence a certain kind of hellish laughter upon many by ending all of his sentences with the acronym ‘LOL’. LOL. After years of of LOL’ing amongst his friends and acquaintances, a certain air for trolling and being-well, bad, to put it bluntly-began to swirl and hover about his person. OK, so this isn’t really about Kappy. It’s about what he thought about a certain LoL-that is, League of Legends. You see, boys and girls, Kappy thought LoL was a bad game. He hadn’t really played the game, but he had seen it being played and thought it was ridiculous that so many in the Smash community hopped on as time went by and played it competitively.
OK, it’s not really about him thinking it was bad. It’s about him being convinced to download it last fall when school started and not touching it until two weeks later and finding out that it’s actually pretty damn fun. That’s right, after months of bashing League of Legends, I picked it up a couple weeks ago, and now that I’ve gotten to play it a little more, I’m starting to really enjoy it.
It’s not even that I enjoy it as a game. I think the teamwork aspect and playing amongst my friends is really what’s fun to me. I had heard so much about the horrible community it had, and since I’m not really a fan of elitist pricks (which is what I heard many were), so even after downloading the game, I didn’t touch it.
Finally, I spent a night talking to two of my friends and they helped me explain the game, and I said, “Hell, why not?” I had already finished my work for the day, so I made an account quick-like, sat down, and began playing.
Honestly, it’s fun. Really fun. But it’s definitely NOT fun unless I’m playing with my friends, and I think that’s important to note. A lot of my feedback came from people playing pick-me-up style games with random teammates. There was no synergy, and if you didn’t follow someone’s specific style you weren’t received warmly by them.
But when I started playing against real people with my friends, there was an air of knowing what was going on. Lots of talking back and forth without a lot of silence, like a real team would during a match of Halo at MLG. I’m not saying the games stack up competitively, but I think the similarity of constant talking is what’s important, here. Most newcomers (like myself) look at a game like LoL and think, “how can this be fun? It’s long, it looks boring, and it looks really confusing.”
I remember specifically myself watching a game and asking, “what are you doing?” My friend said he was farming for gold, and I replied with, “farming? How can you enjoy this game? Why don’t you go kill someone?”
He told me that people farmed before they went and attacked, and that that can take around 10 minutes. Really? Talk about slow-paced.
Then I played a real game, and I died within the first minute. Yes, I was stomped on and my friends LOL’d at me, and I asked, “isn’t there an unwritten rule for farming?” They explained that it depends on the characters and what lane you’re in, and I began to really understand how the game worked on a social level. THere’s a lot that goes into when you should push or fall back.
As I got better (which isn’t that much, by the way LOL), I got to the point where I did farm, and here’s where I became hooked. If you’re with a teammate you’re constantly talking to them (and your other teammates) about what’s going on. Who needs help, when you’re going back and buying an item, what items to buy, when you get your ult and have it; really, there’s a lot to talk about, and I think that’s why I find this game so attractive. There’s a real sense of team that I never saw until I had a chance to play it myself.
There’s a little lesson to be learned here. While word of mouth and watching can be two excellent methods of computing content within a game and deciding whether or not you, personally, want to play it, it’s a good idea to get a little hands-on with it in different ways, especially if it’s multiplayer.
I’ll always advise offline multiplayer first over online (unless it’s a fighting game, but that’s for another blog entry) because playing with your friends is generally a better experience (unless you’re playing with a friend online LOL).
Just sayin’ LOL