Monday, July 9, 2012

Now Playing: League of Legends

I've sort of been stuck in a gaming miasma. I think I mentioned it a bit on here. I haven't really felt like diving back into any of the MMOs I'm still carrying on subscription. Just something about the MMO playstyle is unappealing right now. It is also summer, and there's not a lot of new content in my games of choice. It's easy to feel bogged down and unmotivated.

While my gaming woes have caused me a bit of angst, it is not something I'm completely unaccustomed to. Generally speaking, I've always been a broad gamer. I enjoy multiple game styles, everything from FPS to RPG. I'd been subsisting on the meager manna that is Facebook gaming (and by meager, I mean addictive, loaded with content, and somewhat red-district-like). But I haven't really been happy. Don't get me wrong, the social games I play are fun, and great ways to kill time. There's just something about the never-ending energy bar refill waiting gameplay that irks me. I feel the constant need to stop in and use energy (or I'll lose it, since the bar is maxed out). I suspect this feeling is by design.

The problem with the energy bar mechanic is that it sets a pretty hard limit on the amount you can accomplish. Couple that with needing to beg for items and the shiny "use $$ to skip" features, and you have a game that leaves you pretty unfulfilled on any given sitting. Sometimes, you want to eat your fill, and not feel like you have to trudge back to the water hole in a couple hours to do it again.

It is, if you will, the darker side of Facebook gaming. The games do a lot of things well, but they are what they are. They can't help but be a bit whorish.

So I'd been looking for alternative gaming outlets. I didn't want to spend a lot of money. In fact, I was gravitating toward "free to play" or at least "free to try." I find myself a bit unwilling to plunk down cash blindly these days. Not that I don't have the cash, just that I'm wary of the wide world of gaming. Even great development houses have been known to lay stinkers.

Saturday night, we had a couple friends over for some tabletop gaming. Play some random bargain bin games and a D&D based game called Castle Ravenloft. As gamers are wont to do, we discussed what else we were playing. It was our friend and resident DM who mentioned two highly recommended options (after a bit of ranting on my part). Day Z and League of Legends were his ideas.

Now, Day Z is pretty badass if you ask me. I encourage anyone interested in zombie settings and survival with guns to check it out. Very intriguing concept. I wouldn't be surprised to see a standalone game come out soon. For now, Day Z requires purchase of ArmA II. You see, it's a mod. A crazy, all-encompassing mod, but a mod. You need a version of the game (CO), and that'll run you $30 on Steam. Since I play with my wife in pretty much all the things, that's $60 for me (since it's an online game, for single player games we're more than happy to share a copy). I just wasn't quite that willing to plunk down the cash. Day Z will be something I keep my eye on, but the "free to play" League of Legends won the Logical Choice debate.

Now, I used to do a lot of RTS back in the day. Starcraft, Warcraft I-III... I've done them all. I remember the mods that League of Legends sprung up from. I enjoyed the hell out of those. I guess I missed where they'd developed a standalone, free to play game. Pretty awesome. So wife and I jumped right in and are having a blast. You can find me on there as Fulguralis if you'd like. We're still pretty newbish, but I've rocked the leaderboards so far on every AI game. I need to learn more before I feel comfortable going up against live opponents.

To me, LoL is what happened when WoW had a random one-night-stand with a FPS. That's the best I can explain it (and be brief). It's a lot of fun, and you'll probably see me writing more on that in the upcoming weeks. How many of you, dear readers, have tried LoL?


  1. Get outta my brain, warlock. Your fel magicks have no power here!

    But seriously, I'm typing up almost exactly the same post right now. I love playing TOR, but the effort of logging in just isn't there at the moment. I've branched out and played some of my backlog instead ... it's not that I don't love TOR (I obviously still do), I guess my brain just needs a vacation.

  2. Ha. Yeah. Likely it's a summer thing. I don't want to get in too deep so that if out-doorsy activities call, I can be there. With the recent heat wave in the midwest (and pretty much everywhere in the US, it seemed), I've been more or less stuck indoors. Hence feeling like I should be playing something, but not really in "playing mode."

    At least, that's the best I can figure of the feeling. A short game like LoL is just want the Dr. ordered, since matches run less than an hour and they're quick to set up.

  3. I play LoL also. I just hit level 30 around summer and have just been building up my runes and champion selection. The best part about the game is that it is so easy to pick up and play after a bit of a break, just be careful because QWER are very close to WoW's normal set up of 1234 ;). I normally try to hop on once a day for the 150 ip(even if it's just a beginner bot match). Hope you enjoy the game and feel free to add me if you have any questions about it or if you want to play together! -Diablokls

  4. Cool. It definitely seems to lend itself well to casual playing. It also seems to be blowing up right now (numbers wise), which is crazy considering it's been out since 2009. Perhaps a lot of folks like me are just now finding out about it.

    Feel free to look me up as well. Fulguralis was thankfully free for the taking :-). (Nothing worse than signing up for a new game and finding your moniker already in use.)