I've been playing PC games for about 25 years, starting with Zork (the Great Underground Empire). I've played mostly turn-based strategy games (Civ, Master of Orion, Dominions) and Role-playing games (Bard's Tale, Might and Magic, City of Heroes). My only experience with multi-player is playing with a small group of friends against the computer (I've never done competitive gaming against other players).
In any case, I wanted to try playing a different type of game, and so I pre-ordered this game knowing very little about DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) and absolutely nothing about MOBA (Multi-player Battle Arena). In my first evening of play, I got a LOT of useful information from those in the community who are helpful, and I wanted to collect that information in one place. Basically, if you're going to make a tutorial, or a guide for really clueless players (like me), then this is the kind of stuff it should contain.
Note: Corrections and Suggestions Welcomed!
Setting Up a Practice Game:
When you first boot League of Legends, you're presented with a PvP.net window. This screen allows you to join games, make friends, chat with other players, and manage your summoner. Making friends and joining games are probably the most important, so we'll cover those first.
To see your friends list, click the "person-like" icon in the far lower-left corner of your screen. To add a friend, click the "+" icon near the lower-right corner of your friends window. Note: If you browse the forums and see anyone posting with the title "emissary", that means that they are a really generous person who is willing to befriend and assist newbies who are learning the game. If you have an online friend, you can send them a message by right-clicking their name in the friends list (and then clicking "send message").
When you're experimenting with how the game works (and trying out different characters, called "champions") it is sometimes helpful to make a practice game to play against computer-controlled bots. To do this, click the "Play" button in the upper-left and then click "Practice Game" (Normal Games are 5v5 games against other human players.)
This brings up a list of existing practice games created with other players, but if you just want to experiment on your own, click "Create Game" near the bottom of the screen and then enter a name (doesn't matter what) and a password (to keep the game private). Click "Create Game" when you're done.
You should now see a game set-up screen that shows your name on Team 1 and no one on Team 2. To add a computer player to team 2, go to the "Difficulty/Champion" drop-down menu under Team 2 and select "Easy" difficult and any champion you like (doesn't really matter for a first practice game). Then click the small green "+" icon to add the player. After you've added as many players as you like, click the orange "Start Game" button.
This brings up a series of screens that allows you to select a "Champion", two "Summoner Spells" and a page of "Runes". The "Champion" is the Avatar that represents you in the game, in your first few games you should try out different Champions until you find one that you like. Personally, I think Annie is a pretty easy Champion to understand. The
"Summoner Spells" are additional activated abilities that are independent of what Champion you select. If this is your first game, you have only three spells available but you will gain access to more spells over time. Of your three spells, you can only have two that are usable in a given game. By default these are "Teleport" and "Exhaust" if you wanted to use "Heal" in this game instead of "Exhaust" you could drag the heal Icon from the main window and drop it on over the "Exhaust" icon on the bottom of your screen.
"Runes" provide additional bonuses (like more damage or higher defense) to your champion during a game. For your first game, you can ignore runes, but over time you can build up three pages of runes in your "Summoner Profile" (which is accessed from the main PvP.net screen) and select which of the three pages you want to be active during the coming game. (For example, you might have one page of runes that makes your character durable, and one page of runes that makes your character more deadly, and then you can decide for a given match whether you want to be more deadly or more durable.)
When you start the game, you are standing on a magical platform in your base. You will notice in the center bottom of your screen that your character has a green bar (Life) that goes down when he is attacked and a blue bar (Mana) that goes down when he uses abilities. Both of these bars will re-fill fairly quickly whenever your player is standing on the magic platform.
You will see that next to your player is a glowing dude in blue robes. He's the item store. Your character begins with a small amount of money and over the course of the game you gain money in three ways. First, you gain a very small amount of money every second you play. Second, you gain a larger amount of money if you are the one who deals the final damage that kills an enemy creature (this is called "Last hitting" the creature). Third, you gain gold if you are standing nearby when your team destroys an enemy building. You can shop at the store by clicking on the store, or by clicking on the glowing green money-bag icon in the lower-left portion of your screen. Note that you can only shop while you are standing near the store, or while you are dead. If this is your first game, don't worry about items right now, we'll cover them later.
In the lower-right is your mini-map, it shows the entire arena where the game takes place. The green dots on your map are computer controlled friendly creatures and the red dots are computer controlled enemy creatures. Note that you can only see the enemies on your map if they are nearby friendly creeps or champions. (Also note that computer-controlled creatures are often called "Creeps" or "Minions".)
As you watch, you will see friendly creeps spawn periodically in your base and run down three separate paths (called "Lanes") towards the opposite corner of the map (where lies the enemy base). The creeps then reach a river in the middle of the map where they meet up with some enemy creeps and fight a more or less continual battle.
Your job in the early game is to pick one lane and help your friendly creeps kill enemy creeps. To do this, you'll want to learn a special ability. You will see three "+1" icons in the lower-left portion of your screen. Mouse over an icon to see the ability that it corresponds to and click on the "+1" corresponding to the ability that you want to learn. (If you are playing Annie, the left-most "+1" is a pretty simple fire-ball attack, that is easy to use.) Once you click to learn an ability, the other two "+1" icons go away (don't worry, they'll come back when you gain enough experience to level-up).
Now you'll want to run to the fight in middle of one of the lanes. You can move your character either by right-clicking on the ground, or else right-clicking on your mini-map (to cause your character to run to that point on the mini-map). By default your character is always in the center of your screen. It was recommended to me that I press "Y" to allow me to push the mouse off the side of the screen to scroll my point of view and see what is happening elsewhere on the map.
Once you arrive at the fight, you can right-click an enemy to attack with your basic attack, or you can activate your special ability. The special abilities are tied to the buttons "Q" "W" "E" and "R" on your keyboard. For example, to activate Annie's fireball you would press "Q" and then click on the enemy you want to attack.
You gain experience by being nearby when an enemy dies. So over time fighting in a lane will give you enough experience to go from Level 1 to Level 2. When you reach Level 2 you will be able to choose a new special ability by clicking on the corresponding "+1" symbol. Sometimes when you level up you will get a "+1" symbol corresponding to an ability you have already learned. Clicking a "+1" on an ability you've already learned will increase the power (e.g. damage) of that ability. When you reach Level 6 you get the option of learning a fourth ability (tied to the "R") key which is sometimes referred to as an "Ultimate" ability. (For Annie, this ability involves summoning a big bear to fight beside her for a limited period of time.)
The "A" and "S" keys are tied to the two Summoner Spells that you selected at the start of the game. Unlike other abilities, using these spells does not cost your character Mana (blue bar). However, these spells have a very long "Cool Down" meaning that after casting a spell you will have to wait several minutes before you can cast it again. To use the Teleport spell, press the appropriate key and then click on a friendly creature champion ... your character will then after a brief delay teleport to the friendly creature or champion. To use the Heal spell, just press the appropriate key and your character will be healed. The Exhaust spell can only be used on other Champions. To use the Exhaust spell, press the appropriate key and then click on an enemy Champion, the enemy Champion will be slowed down allowing you to run away. (Note: That you will only be able to use the two spells that you selected at the beginning of the game.)
Fighting and gaining experience makes your character more powerful, but eventually you will run low on Health or Mana. (Note that if you run out of Health you die, and if you run out of Mana you can no longer use your special abilities.) To "Recall" yourself back to the Starting Platform in your base, press the "B" key. However, you can't Recall while you are in the middle of a fight because it takes several seconds to Recall and if you are attacked while trying to Recall, the Recall will be aborted.
Winning the Game:
To win the game, your team needs to destroy a special building in the heart of your opponent's base. (This building is the first thing you see as you head North-East from the Starting Platform in your base.)
To do so, you need to push forward in at least one of the lanes. If you head across the river in the center of the map, you will quickly find an enemy tower. Beware, this tower does a lot of damage and can easily kill your Champion. However, the tower will always kill your friendly creatures before it kills you.
Therefore, to push forward in a lane, you need to kill enemy creatures to enable your friendly creatures to run further before they die. When your friendly creatures get to the enemy tower
Notice that as you kill enemy creatures, your friendly creatures are able to advance further before dieing. If you follow your friendly creatures to the tower, you can attack the tower while it is killing your creatures. If (or When) all your friendly creatures are dead, you should run away and repeat the process.
In the fashion you can eventually kill all 3 of the towers that stand between you and the enemy base. In each lane on the edge of the enemy base, you will find a special building that looks like it is shooting a beam of light up into the sky. This is called an "Inhibitor". When you destroy the Inhibitor, your team will start spawning a more powerful friendly minion in each wave (he's the funny looking guy with the big mechanical arms). This makes it harder for the enemy team to defend their base. Note: That eventually the Inhibitor will re-appear and you'll lose your advantage, so make the most of it while it lasts. Additionally, I've been told that if you can ever get all three Inhibitors down simultaneously that your team receives some additional bonus (but I can't remember what).
Behind the Inhibitors there are two final towers that are guarding the final building at the heart of the enemy base. Take down the final two towers, destroy the building they are guarding and you win! (Of course in a real game you'll have a whole team of human controlled Champions trying to stop you, which makes things harder, but more on that later.)
The Basics of Items:
There seem to be two types of items in the games, Consumable items that you expend to give you a short-term bonus, and permanent items that give you a bonus for the remainder of the game.
Consumables are easier to understand. You click on the store, click on "Consumables" and you'll see a small set of potions and such that you can buy (you can mouse-over them to see what they do). The two that seemed most useful were the Red Healing Potion and the Blue Mana Potion. To buy a Healing Potion, you click on the potion in the right-side of the store interface, and then you click the "Buy" button on the left side of the store interface.
You should now see the potion in the lower-left portion of your screen down by your abilities. You can use the potion either by clicking on it's picture, or by using the number keys on your keyboard ("1" corresponds to the left-most item and "6" corresponds to the right-most item). Note that you can only have 6 types of item at a time. However, if you buy multiple copies of the same potion they will "Stack" and only take up one of your six slots. (You can tell how many potions you have in a slot by looking at the little number below and to the left of the potion icon.)
Permanent items are a bit more complex (and in particular, there are a lot of them!). I'm sure there is a lot of strategy involved in choosing the right permanent items in the right battle, but for starters there is a handy row of recommended items in the upper-right portion of the store interface. You can't go wrong by buying these items from left to right. To buy the left-most recommended item, click on the item and then click the "Buy" button (the same one you clicked to buy a potion).
Some powerful permanent items are made up by combining less powerful items into a composite item. (For example, if you click on the right most recommended item, it's probably made up of composite parts.) What this means is that instead of buying the whole expensive item at once, you can get a lesser benefit by buying some of it's pieces.
When you click on a composite item, a tree appears on the right side of the store interface. The stuff at the bottom of the tree is the weaker items and the single item at the top is the powerful item you highlighted. You will also see two cost numbers in the upper-left portion of the right-half of the store interface. The larger of these numbers is the cost to buy the powerful item outright, the lower number is the cost to produce the powerful item if you already have all the weaker items in the tree.
To buy the powerful item out-right, you click the buy button just like you did with the potion and you pay the higher price. If you instead want to buy one of the weaker items (for example, because you can't afford the big powerful item) then click on any of the component items in the tree and click the buy button. Note: If you buy one of the component items and then come back to store and look at the powerful item, you should see that it's total cost has gone down, although the cost-of-production should be the same. (If you have all of the sub-components, then the cost of buying the powerful item should be equal to the cost-of-production.)
Additional Random Information that didn't Fit Anywhere Else
If you look at your mini-map you will see a bunch of skull and cross-bone icons that are not in any of the lanes (they are kind of off to the side between the lanes). These represent neutral creatures that live in the "Jungle". Instead of gaining experience by killing enemy minions in one of the three lanes, you can also gain experience by killing these neutral creatures. Note that some of the neutral creatures are tougher than others, and it seems to take practice to figure out how strong you need to be to kill and given camp.
Additionally, there are several neutral creeps that provide a temporary bonus to your entire team when they are killed. These are the large Lizard-man, and the Golem. (I don't remember where these creatures are on the map or what the bonus is ... but if you see people on the forums or in-game chat talking about the Golem buff, that's what they mean.)
Several minutes into the game, you'll see a new camp of neutral creatures (represented by a larger skull) appear near the river. This camp contains a single powerful neutral creature named Baron Nashtor. (I've heard that he generally requires 3-5 players to kill, but I've never tried killing him. When killed I've been told he gives a VERY powerful buff to your entire team.)
Near the top and bottom paths on the map, there are patches of very tall grass (or "Brush"). If you are standing on top of the tall grass, you can't be seen by enemy creatures or Champions unless you attack. Additionally, if you are standing behind the Brush, you can't be seen by opponents on the far side of the Brush. This Brush can be used to ambush enemy champions by hiding from sight as they run by and then jumping out at an appropriate moment.
On the main PvP.net window, in the upper-right there is a button that reads "View Summoner Profile". This window allows you to see information about your record and the spells and Champions that you have access to. Note that it is quite informative to go to the Champions tab, and click on random Champion picture, then click the little scroll-icon for information about the Champion. (This brings up a window that allows you to see a basic overview of the Champion and read about his abilities .... also, take careful note of the difficulty bar on the information screen and avoid playing as difficult champions until you have much more practice with the game.)
Note that each Champion has 4 special abilities (including one "Ultimate" ability) as well as one passive benefit that is active all the time without needing to be learned or activated. (For example, Annie has a small chance to stun an enemy whenever she hits them with one of her spells.) Note that in addition to browsing the Champion information in your Summoner Profile, that you can also see detailed information about your Champion in-game by pressing "C".
The summoner profile also lets you manage your "Runes" and your "Mastery Paths". I won't say anything more about runes because an excellent explanation of Runes can be found at: http://mail.m.leagueoflegends.com/tmp/Runes.pdf. Mastery Paths are a way for you to spend Mastery Points to customize your character. You gain Mastery Points as you go up "Summoner Levels" (you also gain access to more Summoner Spells as you go up Summoner Levels). You go gain Summoner Levels from the Summoner Experience that you receive from winning and losing games. (Naturally, you get more Experience from winning games than from losing games but even if you always lose you will eventually get the maximum summoner level.)
You can mouse-over the various Mastery Abilities in the Masteries tab of your Summoner Profile to see what they do. Note that there are three types of Mastery Abilities (Offensive, Defensive and Support) and each is in a separate panel. You need to take the top Mastery Abilities within a type in order to gain access to the lower-down abilities in that same type. It was recommended to me that I spend my first few Mastery points on the Support ability "Good Hands" to reduce the time I spend waiting around after I die.
Final Note: Does anyone else find it odd that when you're building a powerful item, you use the stuff at the bottom of the tree to build up to the stuff at the top of the tree? And yet for Summoner Masteries, you need to take the stuff at the top of the tree to build up to the stuff at the bottom of the tree ... it seems like that's inconsistent.
Standard 5-on-5 Games and Very Basic Strategy:
To join a standard 5-on-5 Game, press the "Play" button on the PvP.net window and then select "Solo" under the heading of "Normal Game". The next screen shows a Team Size of 5 and a Game-Type of "Blind Pick" ... those are the normal settings, just click the "Continue" button near the bottom of the window.
This places you into a queue for a new 5-on-5 game. The system will try to put you in a game that is as fair as possible with respect to your record and your summoner level (which is related to the number of games that you have played). You may have to wait several minutes for an appropriate game, but once a good match-up has been found you'll be taken to a screen for selecting Champion/Spells/Runes just like in the practice game.
My understanding of strategy is still very, very poor so this next part is going to be pretty sketchy:
--- In general, in a 5-on-5 game it's good to have 2 people each in two lanes and then one person in the third lane. Note: If you're new to the game, you don't want to be in a lane all by yourself.
--- Practice how to time your attacks to land the killing blow (Last Hit) creatures and gain gold.
--- Play VERY conservatively. Only get involved in fights that you know you can win ... if you're not sure whether or not you can survive a skirmish, stay out of the fray. Dieing early in a game is bad (costs you a lot of experience) and running away is your friend. (You would perfer not to fight right next to a tower because the tower will still Last-Hits from you ... but hiding near a tower is much better than dieing.)
--- Until you know what you're doing, buying the recommended items in the store from left to right works pretty well.
--- Send "Alerts" to your team when you're in trouble (e.g., the enemy is pushing hard in your lane). You can do this by pressing the "G" key and then clicking on either the mini-map or anything in the world. This will send an audible alert noise to your team and also show a flashing mark on their mini-map.
--- As a new player, consider playing a Champion that can buff friendly Champions. That way, even if you are somewhat clue-less you can still contribute to fights in your lane. (My first victory was playing as Kayle.)
Links that I Found Helpful:
A useful video for beginners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLw4AsIF8Tw
An excellent guide to Runes: http://mail.m.leagueoflegends.com/tmp/Runes.pdf
Once you've played a few games understand how the game works, this guide has some great tips for becoming a better player: http://beta.leagueoflegends.com/boar...ead.php?t=2642
The Ventrillo program allows you to chat with (or even just listen to) other League of Legends players: http://www.ventrilo.com/
I wanted to thank everyone in the community who provided assistance to a complete newbie like myself. Especially, I'd like to thank SilverSoultaker, Mjollnir, 2xHero, Elandroth, Mulomedic, Mr Tibbers, johnnyt305, Adrenicide and Claous for their encouragement and assistance.
You should upload it in .doc or .pdf with some screenshots included imo, itīs a great text, but the meme "Wall of text crits you for over 9000 damage" comes to mind.
More formatting and reduce the amount of text a little, itīs just too much if itīs intended for complete noobs, a lot of them will rather play a few games and learn through playing than spend their time reading this.
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