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Gaming League of Legends Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Guest-16, 20 Nov 2009.

  1. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Condensed notes on free version: It's good, but still lacks the content, nice community and features which are critical to getting the most out of a game like this. Treat it like it's a beta, which it essentially is. Probably a 6/10 at the moment, as there are still better, free games in the same genre to play. Like the original DOTA, which is pretty much identical but with the benefit of a larger community and established, functional framework.

    We may well revisit this title in a few months.
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2009
  2. Blademrk

    Blademrk Why so serious?

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    Cheers Joe :)
     
  3. pendragon

    pendragon I pickle they

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    yes? heh.. hyberbole to be sure, but that's the idea .. just didn't get the impression that this would score so low from the review.
     
  4. Predicted

    Predicted New Member

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    This article should be removed from your site, and here is why.
    Minor complaint, but I will add it anyway; the genre is called MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) or AoS (Aeons of Strife). AoS is an old mod from WC III.

    This is so false it’s almost laughable, first of all, it is not made by the modDER who created DotA, riot hired Steven ‘Guinsoo’ Feak, who was the creator of one of many WC III-mods after the first creator left the modding schen, LoL is as much identical to DotA as CoD is to Counter Strike, League of Legends has replaced a lot of features that DotA had put in (by choice or because of the engine) that slowed down the game. And to add to all that, guinsoo is only part of the design team, Zilean(WC III and starcraft developer) is the lead designer.

    This is the general base of revenue in most MOBA-style games, calling it odd shows the reviewers little experience with the genre and inability to deem the game good or bad.

    This is often something that shows the difference in player skill, someone who is able to time their last hits correctly can accumulate huge amounts of gold very quickly and therefore gain an advantage over his enemies.

    This gives you one strong minion -ONE, it doesn’t give a definite advantage as the inhibitor respawn every 7 minutes, also the minions strength ensures that you are able to farm fairly easy in that lane, however in games that are already lopsided this is used to really put the losing team in a disadvantage.
    These are called summoner spells you have about 10 of them, you still have four unique spells and one passive available to your character.

    Again I must disagree, for a game that focuses solely on online gaming it has one of the easiest learning curves I have ever seen, you have for instance a noob island, so new players will get matched against other new players until they have proven they are too good for it (winning 3-4 games in a row).

    The entire point of the tutorial was to make people able to play the game, players do not want to be forced to sit through a 20 minute tutorial being unable to play the actual game, all those things are fairly easy to pick up and are not needed for a completely new player as they unlock the ability to use them over time.
    I agree the front-end system isn’t where it should be, I do not know who decided to go with adobe air (the reason is that it is easy to port information to a webformat) but whoever did it has cost the game more than it’s gained, a lot of features are not in yet largely because of adobe air (they are getting there) and the front-end is sometimes very laggy. The reason that the game loads for so long is that a lot of information is being transmitted through the server as that is where they store a lot of vital game files.
    Trough my extensive experience with the community I can promise you that a lot of features are coming before the actual competitive season with ranked games start in January, the mew year, the LoL team will freeze in game updates during the competitive season to ensure ranked matches are as even as possible, and will release a lot of content during preseason, while I agree the game was launched too soon it is has picked itself up recently and is still my game of the year.
    Store is open.
    Again this shows your lack of in depth knowledge of the game, players have several options as the game progresses, for instance in more organized play level one team fights and early ganks frequent.

    There are mainly two things that League of Legends will profit on, the skins (there are a lot coming “soon”) and the boosts, the boosts give you bonus influence points for each match which is the in game currency you can unlock heroes and runes.

    Again I have to disagree, first of all, there IS another map, and the point of this game is not to play trough to the end, or even having different strategic options in the map, it is team composition where champions play of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, being able to outplay the enemy trough your picks and team chemistry.
    Are you serious? LoL has innovated tons of mechanics, is a lot more fast paced overall, it puts a lot more incentive on teamplay and team objective, instead of farming for a while until you are able to wipe their entire team. Riot has created their own set of unique champions, as well as the pregame strategies are some of the points that make this game vastly different from DotA.
     
  5. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Thanks for the mega-post - though I'm confused as most of your points don't actually disagree at all (some explicitly agree), just provide more detailed information on the game or go into a deeper history. The extra info you add is all good stuff that we knew well about but bear in mind the review is supposed to be a review, not a rulebook.

    As for the history of the game it's a pedantic, moot point. I've been a games journalist for coming up to five years now and I've been a PC gamer all my life, but I've never heard of MOBA as a genre or of AOS. I'm familiar with DOTA though and calling this game a DOTA-alike is an easy way for many gamers to get their head around it. Likewise, it may be technically correct to call a shooter a Wolf3D clone because that came first - but Doom Clone is the more accepted and recognisable comparison to those who don't know Wolf3D.

    As for the fact that features are coming and that there's another (beta) map available - that doesn't change anything for people who buy the game before then, does it? All you've bought is a promise from people you don't know, essentially. When you buy a game (regardless of being able to get it for free) then you expect advertised features to be there straight away, not to have them delivered at some later date.

    The map is obviously a contentious point for LOL fans, but I still think it needs variation and just saying "There are deep tactics involved" doesn't dismiss that. There can be quite a lot of tactics involved in an FPS (different genre, I know, but the point still stands) but they still come with a selection of maps to try out. They let people find favourites and have a little variation. The maps in LOL may allow for deep tactics, but structurally they are NOT complicated and could easily be revitalised to allow MORE deeper gameplay. It seems strange that fans of the game would so vociferously claim that they don't want or need any new levels. Sooner or later you'll want to play a map that looks a bit different, opens up new ideas or blocks off common exploits - but LOL doesn't even have a final release of a single new map as the content is almost carbon copied from DOTA.

    I'm glad to hear the Store is finally open - but it wasn't when we reviewed it and that had to be reflected in the review. Bear in mind that you're approaching our review a good four or five weeks after it was first published (and that the game has been on sale in other territories for a fair ol' while).

    As for pointing out that LOL will make most profit from skins etc...yes, I know, but that doesn't mean it's good. It's still retail release of an entirely free game (which is exploitative enough) and to bulk it out with microtransactions before all the advertised features are even up and running is shocking. When we played it there was still no real matchmaking, horribly slow load times and no options for tweaking what matches you wanted to join etc.

    As for the DOTA 2.0 comment, I think you need to look at LOL from a wider perspective rather than the insular viewpoint of an obvious long-time fan of it and all games like it. It brings a few new things to the table, but really it's functionally very similar. That comment also stands to warn gamers who might be expecting something new, rather than as a condemnation. To use another Doom comparison; I'd say that Serious Sam is in many ways derived or evolved from Doom because of the focus on old-school action, the fast and fierce combat, the lack of more modern features (such as reloading, inventory, recoil) and the fact that it's very much "Enter room, kill baddies, find key, enter room". That's not to slag off SS though (which I actually prefer to Doom), just to provide an easy reference point for readers who might have certain criteria. If you're looking for a game closer to BioShock then Serious Sam just won't satisfy, so it's easy to compare it to Doom and dispel all that, despite the fact that SS does have plenty of new ideas and mechanics of it's own, such as wide open areas, flying enemies and gauntlet events.

    Bear in mind that LOL suffers horribly from one simple problem in this review; it's a retail release of a game which is available for free (and the retail release comes with no real worthwhile content, despite what they may insist). That is quite clearly A Bad Thing.
     
  6. Predicted

    Predicted New Member

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    After having done a project about reviews (different genres) I must say you are the first reviewer I have come across who focused on the price, yes there are still several features missing, but you are reviewing the game, not the marketing department, you could make it a cliffnote, but reviewing a game based off promised features and if it's worth buying retail or not is in my opinion not your job, but that's one blokes opinion in a see of opinions, I guess i'm in the vocal minority of people who read reviews to help me figure out if the game is fun or not (which is why i have found a few reviewers i ten to agree with), not make decisions on what to buy, I feel you should tell them, is this game fun or not?

    I feel you where unfairly harsh on the game, if the maps was a key point I guess that's your petpeeve.
    The matchmaking is incredibly robust compared to other competitive games, but as you cant just leave a bad matchup due to it being impossible to predict all the small things that decides if you win or lose the matchmakign might have some incredibly bad results.
     
  7. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Normally, I'd agree that we shouldn't focus on the price - but then most games have a fairly conventional pricing system of Pay = Get What You Paid For. LOL doesn't and that has to be taken into account when reviewing it. Otherwise we'd get readers buying the game off our recommendation and then complaining and being upset that they could have saved £30 by downloading the game for free, then being peeved that they have to buy content.

    It's worth noting that plenty of reviews do mention price though - they just couch it in the terms of value and replayability, talking about how you can get 60 hours of gameplay out of Dragon Age or how you can get five or ten replays out of Deus Ex. That's part of the same argument - just that for LOL it's not the replayability that decides the value so much as the price itself. Again; why pay for something you get for free?

    As for the marketing department, it's a critical part of any review to assess whether a game meets expectations or exceeds them. In this case the expectation based on what the publishers say about the game is that it should have more maps and more, better features. It doesn't. Readers should be made aware of that.

    Sticking with the Doom comparisons, if Doom came out and presented itself as an RTS and claimed to have a strong story-driven campaign with lots of micromanagement and different units and huge battles then that would be misleading compared to the actual product. People read reviews to be informed and entertained, so if there's a disconnect there then it needs to be discussed. Granted, this doesn't explicitly affect the score so much - Doom would still get a great score even if it claimed to be an RTS because even though it isn't an RTS it's still a great FPS - but that wasn't LOL's problem. The problem was that the marketing claims certain things about the game which aren't actually there (maybe just not yet, maybe ever - that's irrelevant) AND the lack of those claimed features not only puts the quality of the game below expectations but also negatively impacts on the value of the game and the quality of the experience.

    As a reviewer it's not our jobs to limit ourselves to specific areas of a game - it's our job to explore all areas of a product which we believe will be relevant to our demographic. I normally wouldn't comment on the netcode of a game, for example because I'd expect it to be like I see in most other games. For Modern Warfare 2 though the changes to the netcode fundamentally affect the product value and the experience you'd get from the product, so I'd definitely mention that. For LOL the marketing and price are an important part and therefore merit discussion regardless of whether other sites would do it or not.
     
  8. Predicted

    Predicted New Member

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    I didn't mean you should dissregard price, but stricktly mentioning it being free would have been enough, again, it's just my opinion.

    And for features, i would like to know which proclaimed features where missing when you reviewed it, I agree with your conclution, but seemingly basing your score off the prize shouldn't be the end goal, not even for a game that is free and has a boxed version with a couple of bonuses.

    LoL doesnt promise to be an epic RTS or FPS, so I don't see where you picked up on the gross missinformation you are referring to.
    But again, I feel you wasnt familiar enough with the genre to give LoL a fair review, I say you measure someone or in this case thing by it peers.

    And as a final point the MOBA genre was a marketing stunt by riot (the developer of LoL), but it is starting to get picked up (www.mobagamers.com www.mobafire.com im also pretty sure that the s2 devs have called their game a MOBA game)
     
  9. Predicted

    Predicted New Member

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    Also wanted to add that LoL has a score of 80 on metacritic.
     
  10. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    The Epic RTS and FPS stuff was a metaphor. I thought that was clear?

    As for getting peers to review it, I'm familiar enough with RTS games to review them and definitely did confer with everyone else on BT and CPC, some of whom are dedicated DOTA and RTS fans. Then again, what's wrong with a fresh perspective and unbiased opinion? Personally, I'm secure enough in my opinion not to have to check what other sites say. If they don't discuss the price and lacking features then that's fine for them - I like to think that it's this attention to detail which gives BT a unique selling point and helps make our reviews of all products so strong.

    Promised features which didn't materialise included the online store (at the time of the review), more maps, stable matchmaking and the fact that retail customers would get exclusive content (at the time of the review all players had the same stuff, IIRC). If I could find the box then I'd post more, but I think it may have been binned.
     
  11. Predicted

    Predicted New Member

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    :O HERRASY

    Seriously though, there is nothing wrong with a new perspective, but then you shouln't write like it's coming from someone who's followed the genre, you should ofcourse not check other sites before you make a review, me referencing metacritic was just a comment on that post and the question you quoted.

    Also the metaphor was clear, i just wasnt sure what exactly you where referencing when you made it, if anything it was a grossly exagerrated metaphor, but i still did not understand what you was talking about.

    I don't think that just because the game has roughly the same camera angeling and may look like an rts, it is most definetively not.

    Im sad you did not like the game, I have enjoyed it since the first days of the beta and still enjoy it, I still don't agree with your opinion, or that you had enough experience within this fairly new genre.
    But I guess I can't change your opinion of the game.

    However if anyone wants to be introduced to the game by someone who knows most tricks just add me ingame, im on the european server and go by the name iPredicted, since the game is free and all you can form your own opinion (with me shouting into your headset mine) of the game.
     
  12. Djayness

    Djayness phwupupupup

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    I think in all fairness that this game needs a re-review now that its out of beta and is actually quite polished and alot of fun.

    There is still no point in buying the game outright but people do purchase "riot" points to get content and I wouldnt think twice about supporting them either, the game is really quite good.
     
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