30 Jun 2012

Spectator mode is for spying on your friends.

I spy you my feeder friend.

I love abusing spectator mode to drop in on a friend playing a League of Legends match. It's even more entertaining when they aren't doing particularly well. If you haven't used the spectator system to spy on your friends when you have nothing better to do, you should try it right now. You can even turn on a chat box in the bottom left corner of the UI- making it possible to insult your friends whilst watching them feed.

Note the extra UI addition.

You may observe anyone who is playing and on your friends list. Riot also have a spotlight for dropping into ranked or normal games so you can always find someone to watch even if your friends list is foreveralone. It is possible to fast forward and skip through the boring bits, but you may not progress more than 3 minutes behind the live match. Why? To stop people cheating, of course.

Very useful for spotting new tactics to use.

As many veteran players will probably know, the spectating feature has been 'in production' for a long time by the Riot developers. An immense amount of QQ and demands have been made over the past year by the public on the forums. Since spectator mode is such a basic mechanic to implement, a lot of upset has arisen over the long wait. However, I would say Riot did a good job. It's incredibly easy to monitor both teams, and even easier to follow the flow of the match with the aesthetic scoreboard.

25 Jun 2012

So I just bought Brand.

When I play a new champion, I usually get a fairly modest score. Sometimes, I even end up feeding. Brand however, is a different story altogether.

My first few games on Brand.
So the games went rather well. I always thought Brand was stupid overpowered. Now I know.  I am quite proud of my recent kill ratio, which is why I present them to you.

What I enjoy about our fire throwing friend is how easy it is to land his spells. Whilst laning in mid your opponent really has to work to avoid your circle, allowing for you to last hit without any issues.

He's pretty viable in terms of ranked as well, bringing a lot of ability power to the table- with some area damage and a stun. But I feel Brand has his best moments early game. He can dominate his lane against a lot of champions and his ganking utility is unbelievable. Spam a couple of spells on the sidelane and toss in an ultimate and you've probably got a double kill on your hands.

I would suggest Brand as a new champion for anyone to buy, if you have the 6300 IP it requires. He's fairly noob friendly and a good player will absolutely devastate the enemy team. Boy, melting faces never gets old.

12 Jun 2012

Ezreal underpowered? What?

So recently I've seen a string of threads and people complaining Ezreal is weak on the forums. I'm a little shocked. Sure, baddies can't play him successfully- but doesn't that ring true for all the champions except Darius?

Rush the bush!
The only legitimate point I've seen made against Ezreal is he does end up being less forgiving than other carries. With a small margin for error and a ticking clock to get fed before mid game, the cons can sometimes outweigh the pros. 

He's a great champion. Although the newer AD range like Graves or Varus do seem to perform better than him generally, that doesn't negate the fact a good Ezreal is an asset to the team. If I play him in middle, the majority of mid characters that play against me die before level 6 or get denied a lot of exp. He's certainly viable in bottom lane with a support too- so I don't understand where this consensus has come from.

His recent buff is a little lackluster, but he didn't even need it anyway:
  • Essence Flux Mana cost reduced to 50/60/70/80/90 from 60/70/80/90/100
  • Trueshot Barrage Mana cost reduced to 100 from 150
Reduced mana costs are better than nothing eh? It's not possible to increase his damage early game, he hits hard enough as it is.

I prefer Ez mid.
AD Ezreal excels at performing high damage on a single target if you land a couple of skillshots. As AP he can spread that damage out a little more across multiple targets. My favorite part of him is he is often underestimated, and you can often take out squishier champions like Ashe before they can react.

His built in flash is his only escape, so positioning is absolutely vital. When used correctly however, he's a slippery little bastard to catch. It can also be doubled over as a damage tool early game, because it does a fair bit of damage.

You can assassinate targets in a teamfight.
Trueshot Barrage is brilliant for sniping kills, and very accurate and efficient once you've practiced it a little. Sometimes you aim for one person and end up killing two or three, the new champions can't do that can they?

All in all, Ezreal requires you to think a little more than just sitting on your fed AD champion farming last hits and auto attacking in teamfights. His damage more than makes up for the lack of CC or survivability- provided you have the right team to utilize him to his full efficiency.

10 Jun 2012

What happens when you bring ARAM to a normal game.

A lot of players never even venture into the custom matches feature on League of Legends. Which is a shame, because there are a few games in there with very entertaining rules.

All Random All Middle (ARAM) is one of these crazy methods of mixing up a League match and having some fun. For those of you who aren't familiar with the obvious nature of the title, ARAM forces you all to choose random, and then all five players on both teams fight the match out entirely in middle. Most of the time another general rule placed on the game dictates nobody may return to base unless they die. As you can imagine, fighting in mid with your entire team at low level is very hectic- and largely dictated on which champions you and your team get. It's unbelievably fun to play when you're sick of ranked or normal- and if you play with friends someone on your team is bound to rage down the microphone.

Recently, a few of my friends and I decided to force an ARAM in a normal blind pick match. Kudos to those of you who recognize any of them from youtube.

We never expected to win, and for those of you who love the underdog victories- you will be disappointed. As we brought our very tanky setup to the fields, someone had the brilliant idea to convert it into a surprise ARAM battle (brilliant idea because it was mine, yes).

Lying in wait for stupid Brand and his stupid face.
We all chose tanky builds, threw Darius into middle as bait, despite the fact anyone who'd chase Darius is stupid since he'll eat your face. As the creep wave landed, a wild Brand appeared. After a few tenuous moments of furtively testing the lane, Brand overextended.

After rushing the first blood and all spamming ARAM in the chat, the enemy team actually joined in. Within a minute everyone was in middle lane, and we were having a battle of the ages. Which is strange because this is League of Legends. They are usually all complete wankbags on the enemy team, amrite?

Hurr durr zerg the tower.
Ultimately, we got beaten down- maybe because the enemy team had ranged champions. League of Legends is a casual game, and anyone genuinely attempting to take it seriously should probably go play DotA2, which has a higher skill cap. However, we regret nothing and hopefully this will inspire some new people to give ARAM a go. Just go to custom games, and you shall probably encounter one in seconds.

Remember it can be unbelievably imbalanced due to the random factor, but oftentimes you can turn that around later on in the match. Good luck.

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