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Published November 3, 2012

League of Legends has become one of the most popular free to play games in the world and the biggest name in modern e-sports. Much like World of Tanks, it’s a free game that has attracted the interest of many EVE players for the log-in-and-go gameplay so contrasting with the patience and preparation EVE itself demands. Yet hardcore it is with its own terminology, strategies, and meta game. Fortunately for EVE players interested in giving LoL a try, there are several concepts that directly translate from New Eden to the League. While the UI, pacing, and other aspects of LoL could not be more different than flying spaceships, recognizing that you already know how to think about these concepts will not only make the game more accessible to you, but in fact give you a leg up on the average noob.

PART ONE: PICKING YOUR SHIP

DPS comes in a lot of flavors

Planning a League of Legends match isn’t much different from planning a night of EVE PVP. First, you have to pick your ship. The LoL equivalent is picking a champion, and it’s the first decision you have to make before starting a match. While each champion is unique, they can generally be categorized into roles which loosely translate to EVE equivalents.

Carry (Damage Dealer): A “carry” is a champion that starts out weak, but by virtue of how its abilities develop and interact with items can dish out game-changing damage later in the match. In EVE terms, these champions are your core DPS output. Damage is dealt in two ways, AP and AD. Think of them as damage types in EVE, but there are two instead of four. AP stands for ability power, and is a stat that generally increases the damage coming from your abilities. AD stands for attack damage, and generally increases the amount your basic attacks do. I say generally because some champions have unique interactions with each attribute (exe: Orianna is an AP champion which adds part of her ability power to her basic attacks) and not every ability uses AP (exe: Riven is an AD champion who relies heavily on abilities which increase via her AD). While some are pretty tough, most carry champions cannot last long under concentrated fire and rely on positioning, overwhelming firepower, or protection from the supports and tanks on their own team.

Tank: High health champions with strong magic (AP) and armor (AD) resists, tanks are exactly what they are in EVE: big walls of EHP that bait fights and act as bullet sponges. Tanks will commonly initiate fights, charging in toward the enemy so that they are forced to respond or to isolate/tackle an enemy champion that can be picked off before the fight begins. Once in a fight tank champions usually have some way to make the enemy team attack them such as the ability Taunt, which forces the targeted enemy to attack you only for a short time, or ignore them at their own peril such as area of effect damage. The EVE equivilent would be strapping smartbombs, points, and neuts on a 200k EHP Abaddon. In fact some tank champions put out so much damage and force multiplication, they’re practically carries (exe: Ammumu, an AP-based tank which has two very strong stuns and an AoE ability which does a % of the enemy’s health as damage every second).

Support (Logi/EWAR): Proper support fleets can be excellent force multipliers. In LoL that role falls primarily onto the shoulders of a single player with a support champ. Support champs excel at providing friendly reps or improving your teams stats while also packing abilities that can disable, disorient, or disrupt the enemy team. The equivalent of EVE EWAR are crowd control abilities, which include slow (webs), immobilize (scram+Vindicator web), stun (scram+Vindicator web+jammed), blind (Tracking disrupted), and a few more. Many champions, particularly AP champions, have crowd control abilities and some crowd control can be purchased through items. However the combination of crowd control, friendly buffs, and friendly reps all in one make supports an alluring choice. Most support champs are thinly tanked without much offensive power of their own, but like most roles in LoL there are notable exceptions. For instance, Alistar is a considered an excellent support champ because he has an AoE heal and two crowd control abilities; however his ultimate ability grants him massive tank allowing him to double in that role as well. On the other hand, Sona has incredible range with her offensive ability combined with healing/damage/speed buffs and an AoE stun which make her a pretty good secondary AP carry.

Jungler (Heavy Tackle): The Jungler is a diverse and demanding role on a LoL team, but it’s one many champions can fill. Junglers are so named because they collect resources in the fog of war jungle between the turret lanes, allowing both the jungler and whoever he’d otherwise be paired up with to not split gold and experience. While this doesn't have an EVE equivilent, the main point of the jungler is to take advantage of being mobile to gank the shit out of people much like a HAC. Because he is not tied to a lane the jungler can take advantage of an overextended enemy potentially anywhere. This will not only get his team kills but create situations where your team is continuing to grind gold early in the game while the dead enemy is missing out, giving your team a big head start. On the other side of the coin, if one of your teammates is being heavily pressured you can buy them some time to heal by forcing the enemy to run from a 2-on-1 situation. Jungler champions tend to be tanky damage dealers with some kind of distance closing or crowd control ability which lets them survive the monsters in the jungle and land tackles on enemy champions. As the game progresses they fall into an assassination/secondary carry or initiation/secondary tank role you might expect of a Vagabond or Sacrilege. Examples of excellent jungle champions include Rammus (tank), Kha’zix (AD carry), and Evelyn (AP carry).

http://www.championselect.net/ is an excellent resource for getting more information about champion strengths and weaknesses.

Alekseyev Karrde
CEO of Noir., CSM alumni, and LoL noob.