I hit level 12 late last night. This was exciting for me, because it opened the spell "Flash." It's a short teleport spell. From what I've seen, it's going to be incredibly useful. I had been running with the mana regen spell and Ignite (for a finisher). I'm going to keep Ignite.
I've also apparently graduated to the next level of LoL play. I say this based on my experience being matched with random teammates. I'm not sure if there are brackets, or how exactly the matchmaking works, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that there's roughly a 1-10 bracket.
Levels 1-10 are characterized with several unique things. First, there's not a lot of strategy. Sure, you get the occasional mouth smurf (a term a learned that seems to mean a high level summoner that has re-rolled an "alt" if you will). But in most cases, you're all newbs. People pick things up at different rates, and have different gaming backgrounds. You're just as likely to get a team that completely stinks, or blow the other team out of The Rift.
The 1-10 bracket is a bit more forgiving. It seems like a lot more folks are feeling out their champion. You can wander closer to the fire without getting burned. You can make mistakes and not always pay for them.
Sometime after 10, I noticed a distinct uptick in play. All of a sudden, people were calling "dibs" on lanes. Rough strategies were outlined. Terminology was used. You'd actually see someone "jungling." None of this is routine until you "graduate."
I'm typically pretty quiet when I play. I like to let my playing (or lack thereof) do the talking. Instead of typing things in, I'm more likely to ping the map. In this respect, I'll bet some folks have suspected me of not speaking English (Spanish speaking players seem to be decently common). I'm just an introvert. It happens.
As I've mentioned in the past, I'm most at home on a mage-type AP carry champion. Morgana is my favorite. I did pretty well on Brand this weekend. I stink up the house on anything melee.
I'm learning that my type of champion is generally assigned to "solo mid," which puts me in the middle lane, alone. It is also a highly sought-after spot. Whenever there are two AP mage-types, the other one is generally quick to "call" mid. And they get real touchy if you encroach on their territory.
There's a lot more intra-team bickering in this second level of play. People enjoy e-peening more. (Hence how I learned what a smurf is.) There are certain players that like to dictate when to do what. For the most part, I'm happy to oblige, but sometimes I suspect they wish to use me as a sacrificial lamb so that they can mop up the kills. That, generally, does not fly.
It's also somewhat humorous when one of these talkative types makes a mistake. It's obviously your fault for not bailing them out. I usually respond with a neutral: "What would you have had me do?" Generally, that is met with silence, or something super-constructive like "don't suck."
I found the "block" button this weekend. Bring up the scoreboard. It's on the right. Little crossed out chat window icon. Very useful.
I also reported a feeder this weekend. We had a player go off the deep-end into a nerd rage, frothing about how awful we were. He/she/it was playing on Ashe, and proceeded to spawn and run straight for the enemy base. Ashe did not veer, did not attack, and just died. Over, and over. And after every death, the summoner said "nice." Obviously, we lost, but I have a hunch a few more people learned about the block and report features, too. Even the other team got in on the reporting, because feeding is no fun for anyone.
It would be unethical reporting if I didn't point out that these asshats were the outliers. I played a good smattering of games, and each game generally with 9 other players. Out of the perhaps 100 or so players I played with this weekend, there were two that I blocked and one that I reported. That's not a bad rate for a PvP-centric game. Heck, that's not a bad rate for any game.
All in all, I've really been pleasantly surprised at the whole League of Legends community. Riot seems to understand their fans, and the fans appreciate the game as presented. People are generally helpful, which is always neat. So, if you notice that I'm on a LoL kick, here... that's why. It's a lot easier to play and write when you feel warm fuzzies about the game and community. This isn't to say the other games I play have deficiencies, just that I'm unabashedly enjoying my LoL time.
Which brings me to my final, newb-tastic question: What is "elo?" Can one of you vets explain it to me? If not, I'm sure Google can...
Unleashing the Warlock Within: Rho
5 hours ago