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; something that contrasts sharply with the patience and preparation of EVE itself. It still boasts a complex and at times frighteningly deep metagame, complete with its own builds, language and strategies. 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 from 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 TWO: FITS
After reading the previous article in this series, you should be able to navigate the champion selection process pretty well using equivalent ship concepts in EVE. But an Abaddon with no plates is hardly an Abaddon at all; once the game starts, what should you do?
The first thing you’ll want to do when the game starts up is click on the store and buy your opening items. Items are bought with gold you get from starting the game (425, though you can spend masteries for more), killing minions and monsters, and killing enemy champions. The store is organized by category depending on what the item’s role is, then further broken down into sub-categories depending on what stat it affects (example, Defense is one category, with Health as a sub-category). Combining items from these categories is not only very similar to building an EVE fit, but is also one of the keys to success in LoL. You’ll be looking to either min/max the strengths of your champion (ie triple plating a bait Abaddon), balance out some of your weaknesses, or react to the enemy team.
Some key terms:
- Attack Damage (AD): Increases the damage of your basic attacks. On some AD champions, it may also increase ability damage.
- Ability Power (AP): Increases the effectiveness/damage of your abilities. Depending on the champion, this may have additional effects.
- Attack Speed: Increase your basic attacks per second.
- Cooldown Reduction: This is a % reduction to the cooldown duration of your abilities. If you have a 3 second cooldown on an ability and get a 10% Cooldown Reduction item, you can now use that ability every 2.7 seconds.
- Lifesteal/Spell Vamp: Lifesteal heals you for a percentage of the damage done by your basic attacks. Spell Vamp heals you for a percentage of the damage done by your abilities. Spell Vamp works on damage-over-time abilities as well, although obviously the benefit is also realized over time. In the current meta, particularly with regard to Lifesteal, these stats are usually pumped up to local-tanking proportions on damage dealing champions.
- Movement: Mostly confined to boots but not always, this increases your champion’s top speed.
- Slow: Some items allow you to slow the opponent, either by attacking them, activating the item, or them attacking you. Think stasis webs.
- Health: Pretty self-explanatory, adds to your HP buffer.
- Health Regen: Increases the rate at which your champion recovers health. Much like passive shield tanking though, damage reduction through health regen is difficult to manage, so this is mostly to recover in between fights.
- Mana/Mana Regen: Mana is used by most, but not all, champions as the main way to activate abilities. The more you have and the faster it comes back, the more frequently you can use your abilities.
- Magic Resist/Armor: Magic Resistance lowers the damage you take from abilities. Armor gives you resistance to basic attacks, minions/monsters, and turrets. Has a stacking penalty, so going from 10-100 armor gives you more bonus than going from 100-200 armor.
- Magic/Armor Penetration: This stat reflects your ability to overcome the enemy resistances. It’s like if you were in a Drake and you could fit a module which lowered the Kinetic Resist of whatever you were shooting. It comes in two flavors: flat and percentage based. Flat armor penetration 20 on a target with 150 armor would do damage as if they had 130 armor. 20% armor penetration on the target would hit as if they had 120 armor.
- Unique Passive: Many of the most desirable items have a stat called Unique Passive. This bonus is automatically applied, but only once per exact effect. So for instance if you had an item with Unique Passive: 10% Cooldown Reduction, buying another 10% Cooldown Reduction item would not give you an additional bonus. However if you bought a 15% Cooldown Reduction item, you’d get both bonuses.
It’s important to note that not all items fit neatly into the above effect categories and may give you bonuses to several stats at once. For instance, the Sunfire Cape gives a bonus to Health and Armor, but also gives a passive ability which acts like a constantly-running smartbomb, making it a good option for melee-range tanks looking to do a little more damage.
Items range from super cheap (35 gold expendable health potions) to extremely expensive (2000-4000 gold items with awesome abilities). Usually, a cheap item can be used as a component of more expensive items; this allows you to “upgrade” from your early game items when you get fat on gold later. When you click an item, you are shown a bar near the top of the window indicating what item it builds into and a tree in the middle indicating what items it can build from. The end-tier items have powerful stat enhancements and unique abilities. Unlike EVE where you have varying numbers of slots between ships, every champion has the same six slots to fit. This makes it crucial to plan out your complete build early and spend gold wisely so you don’t lag behind the enemy team, who will also be buying items.
The following seems silly in hindsight, but I didn’t realize it when I first started playing so might as well say it here. It’s key to remember that though each item has a name and picture, it does not physically appear on your champion once you equip it, unlike guns in EVE or weapons in WoW. If your champion is an archer, like Ashe for instance, she still gets full use and benefit of an item like the “B.F. Sword,” which visually looks like a melee item. That isn't to say that all weapons are created equally when applied to different champions. While any champion can equip any item, items used in concert with champion strengths, abilities, and roles will have a much stronger effect; it’s the difference between a Hellcat Abaddon’s carefully balanced fit and rolling a battleship around in your hanger to see what sticks.
RUNES AND MASTERIES
Most champion guides will go through what Runes and Masteries to use for the champion in question. Runes and Masteries are essentially subsystems, easily swapped out depending on both the ship as well as its desired role. They also increase your stats (like items), but are more standardized and must be sorted out before your match; once the game starts you cannot alter them. For purposes of this guide all you need to know is the following:
- Don’t waste your IP on Runes till you hit level 20
- Always buy the “Tier 3” Runes (aka the highest bonus available for that stat)
- Once you hit 20, build a Rune page for your main champion ASAP
- Every level you get an extra point to put in Masteries, don’t forget to update your pages when you level up
- Effectively, you can have as many Mastery pages as you want. Go nuts with experimentation. You get three Rune pages for free and can buy more if you find you need the flexibility.
- Remember to name your pages and pick the right one for the champion you are using.
Don’t be afraid to deviate from Riot’s suggested item builds. Experiment with champions and items to see what works for you. If you have a specific champion you like and you want to know how to build items for them, check out websites like www.solomid.net for champion specific guides which will have tried and true fits for that character.