Friday, 5 August 2011

postheadericon Ranked is the new Normal

My Ranked Game Adventure

     When I started playing Ranked, things were different. People could start at level 20, everyone started at the same point, the rates of how much rank points you get and lose were still very flawed. Some of the players that you see at the top 100 of ranked cheated their way there, the controversy over rank cheating was big, but died out quick when Riot fixed it.

     The smartest thing to do was to wait until everyone found their point on the ranked scale and then join the race, I didn't. I was one of the first people to get over 100 games in ranked, I played a lot even though I lost and won at proximately the same rate. It didn't matter at the time.

     I gave up on ranked a long time ago, I would have the odd game once in a while, but didn't commit once. Now, I want to give it another go, I've improved on my micro a lot and I want to put it to the test. I don't believe in ELO hell, no more than I believe that ranked is accurate display of how good a player is. If you're a good player it's more likely your team will succeed and you'll win, if you're bad you'll drag your team down. You don't chose your teammates though, therefore accuracy is low, yet it does measure how many times you can make an impact enough for your team to triumph.

So what now?

     I'm going to play ranked from now on and leave weekly updates here of how I get on. The outcome of each game and what rank I am at that moment.

     As of now, my rank is 1197. Just 3 points below 1200 which is the starting point. I think this could be interesting for more people than myself.

     Also, I'm making a Blitzcrank video, just for fun, hope to leave it here in a week or so. Wish me good luck :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

postheadericon Micromanagment versus Macromanagment

mi·cro/ˈmīkrō/   - Small-scale
mac·ro/ˈmakrō/ - Large-scale


     The terminology has been applied to League of Legends before by a few Starcraft enthusiasts on the League of Legends forums, but the discussion has always been about macro and micro of tower management, map control, team composition etc. basically trying to apply RTS terminology to a MOBA game. Very loose application and as such is only for entertainment purposes. I feel that this needs to be rectified and let me attempt exactly that.


      In descending order of importance
  • Masteries - A single set of masteries will not fit all champions, recognizing every mastery by its thumbnail is essential, even with the multiple mastery pages, you can't set it up for every single champion.  
  • Runes - There are good runes and there are useless ones, overrated and underrated ones. Knowing different combinations for the wide range of champions is a very important skill to learn.
  • Farming - High creep kill count can turn a feeder around. You can be the best player there is, without farming you will be crushed, even trash can wipe teams if farmed well.
  • Build - Getting AD for an AD carry is not enough, it's not as easy as that. Looking up builds on mobafire and solomid is an option, but a poor one. They should only give you a small insight into the champion. Your builds should reflect your runes and your masteries, even more importantly knowing what items counter which champions and items the enemy is buying.


      In no particular order
  •  Summoner abilities - Although mostly a personal preference, some champions just simply do not benefit from certain summoner abilities.
  • Jungling - Everyone should learn to jungle with at least a couple of champions, not only to jungle yourself, but to learn how to counter a jungler. 
  • Skill advancement - Focusing on two abilities with every champion shrieks fail. There is a correct way of doing this. There are plenty of guides on mobafire, research.
  • Skill shots - A lot of players avoid champions with skill shots rather than practice and learn how to do it. Some of the best champions mechanic's revolve around skill shots. Nuff' said. 
  • Wards & Map awareness/control - All three are large factors in winning games, again I have to point to mobafire, they have it all. Calling MIA is not mandatory, but it does help. If someone blames you for their death because you didn't call MIA, disregard them. 
  •  Champion choice - Choosing the right champion to fit in with the rest of the teams composition can be what determines the outcome of the game. 
  • Champion role - You have to know your role in the game. Each and every champion has a role, you are not in control of this. The tank cannot take the role of assassin and waste all of his abilities on a fleeing champion, that is a bad tank.
  • Positioning/Evaluation - You have to know where you are supposed to be in a team fight and have to know when to back off or go for it, evaluating the situation. Some champions such as tryndamere rely on this extremely. 


     The learning curve in League of Legends can seem overwhelming for a new player, but learning isn't hard. There are so many resources and helpful people, websites dedicated to teaching, learning and debate. The golden rule 'practice makes perfect' applies as always. Regarding anything I pointed out from either macro or micro as 'just detail' is restraining yourself from potential. Every player has the chance of becoming the best. While not everyone is good at MOBA games, or games in general I have to note that it's 90% work and 10% talent. If you're missing talent, you can still achieve the 90% and that's more than most summoners have.

Personal input:

     I excel at macro. Plain and simple, I can pick up any champion, look at their abilities and passive and have five builds in my mind already. I know all the game mechanics and what each of the stats do. I play every single champion, I know how to play them all. There are many like me, it's very interesting to do some maths behind how big crits can be when achieving 300% critical damage from runes and masteries and Infinity Edge.

     Having said that, I'm constantly improving on my micro through practice, practice and more practice. I ward religiously, am aware of my role and positioning. I love skill shots, my favorite champion if I had to name one would be Blitzcrank, I probably play the golem too much. However, I see players that are much better than me all the time. I learn from them, I observe what they do and how they do it, the skill rotations and so forth. Sometimes they make completely stupid build choices and when I ask them what runes they have, the answer gives me a headache (last one: HP, Armor, Att. Speed on Gangplank). Even so, they do good and do better than I do. All I can do is learn, and learning is virtue.


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I've been playing League of Legends since September 4 of 2009. Still have nostalgic memories of closed beta. I'm from Ireland and play on the NA servers. I love writing and League of Legends is a topic I don't get to talk about much in real life, so I put my views, thoughts and ideas on *ehm* paper here.
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