27 Jan 2012

Dominion, a worthy addition to the League of Legends franchise?

Dominion has been around for a long time now, and everyone has had their fill of the new map. Some players have even taken to playing it exclusively; which somewhat attests to the success of Riot's new conquest in MOBA gaming. That, and the fact the League forums haven't erupted into rage and QQ.

Dominion consists of five capturable bases/towers, each of which will spawn creep waves to attack the opposing side. Pickups are dotted around the map that grant a small increase to health and mana, reinforced with a stormshield buff for each team in the middle. Each player sports a collective healthbar for their team, which drains when you have less bases or get killed. This setup basically ensues an emphasis on champion fights, which is absolutely fine by me.

The fast paced style gameplay and short duration are a refreshing change to the snowball based lanefest of Summoners Rift. Dominion also seems to have a larger margin for failure; making a comeback when your team is low on health is entirely possible with good teamwork.

I must admit- when I ask my friends for a game, it is taken for granted it will be 5v5 on Summoners Rift. It's almost as if Dominion was never released to our small little community. We did play it obsessively during the first week of induction, until we got frustrated with the questionable viability of some of our favorite Champions. Ultimately, Dominion seems like the ideal solution when you can't afford to play for long.

I can no longer bring myself to play Dominion repeatedly. Instead, it's somewhat reserved as a back up map. With the laning phase being practically none-existent, it removes a core aspect of the game. I personally like the laning part of the game, good players can get ahead by maximising their grinding and ganking. They can use minions to win a fight against an enemy champion when victory is otherwise impossible. Although Dominion is the same to a lesser extent, it can also be won by just mindlessly rushing bases.

Pinpointing the weakness in your enemies defenses and then exploiting it to gain more bases is quite easy with a co-ordinated team; and there are a fair few strategies to force your enemy to do more than just sit and hold three points all game.

Essentially there are four character roles in dominion:
- Attacker (Rumble, Pantheon, Graves)
- Catcher (Singed, Rammus, Lee Sin)
- Defender (Heimerdinger, Teemo, Poppy)
- Hunter (Irelia, Shaco, Talon)

There are plenty of champions that can cover several of these roles, making them excellent picks and in my opinion more desirable overall.

As for balance, a large chunk of characters are invalidated because of how the map works. Ability power casters usually get the crappy end of the stick. But on the other hand, you can prepare for the enemy line up because they always pick the same champions. Hello Shaco, Rammus, Heimerdinger, Akali and Teemo!

I must concur the meta does have potential, and we'll see how it develops as the map ages. There are a lot of ways to approach Dominion so it could get very competitive if a real ranked mode was introduced. If you love Dominion and really want to play it in a ranked mode, check this thread out.

The League of Legends forums have a handy Dominion section for those of you who can't get enough of the delicious carrytastic goodness. It's a must for anyone who wants to take the map seriously; so take a look sometime.

What do you think about Dominion? I've added a poll on the top right, pick your choice and I'll reveal the results when there are enough votes. Feel free to comment aswell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts