Well, League of “Sucky Download Speeds, Horrible Client Frontend and Beta Status” I guess 😉
Basically this was recommended by Idle Thumbs, and the gameplay, once you get to actually playing a game, is pretty fun. It all comes down to if you like controlling a single unit in RTS style, in a standard non-dynamic battlefield, working with random people, and destroying an enemy base. This is Defence of the Ancients, one of a few games out now or coming out soon that mimic the gameplay. I will probably try the other two soon.
Let’s get one thing straight though. The League of Legends team has this not going for it: it’s hopelessly confusing getting the damn thing installed.
Now, should a what-might-be-kinda-a-review point this out? YES! Because I am now, while writing this, spending an hour re-downloading the European version of the game from lol-europe.com, whereas I previously slowly downloaded the American client at leagueoflegends.com. Just so I can play with the single person I have on Steam who also has it. Oh, did I mention this uses bittorrent to simply mean I can’t get it reasonably fast? The download is 750MB in size, and only available though the crappy “download clients” which are hopelessly slow (50 minutes and counting, fluctuating between 50KB/s and 200KB/s).
I also need to make a brand new account. Gee, thanks for wasting my time. Oh, not that it is easy to find on the main page. Nope, it’s either some random popup (which I closed assuming I didn’t need another account and because I just wanted to browse the site!) or buried at the bottom of the FAQ page, pointing here. Also, for some reason the “Summoner” name can’t be the same as the “Username” despite them being the same thing. I don’t understand this at all. I am sure the main League of Legends site doesn’t have this requirement.
Finally, once it’s downloaded, wait! No, don’t play just yet, you need to download the ton o’ updates first! Oh, why oh why isn’t the installer updated to take these updates into account? Don’t ask me!
No, Riot, I’m also not going to make it easier to use your crappy download tools (which don’t allow direct downloads, it appears) by opening my firewall. Although you seem to use my upload speed regardless This is not how you get me to enjoy your game. Beta or not, this is entirely the opposite of fun. Gah!
The American version (since I don’t have the seemingly entirely incompatible European version installed yet) the front end is more a flash web app (yes, it installs a flash toolkit to run, so it is a flash web app). It’s pretty poor to navigate, sluggish, help is non-existent, parts of it are incomplete (obviously, it’s in beta) or seemingly not functioning.
(Jumped up to 56 minutes left now!). The actual thing isn’t terrible once you can find a game you can join (no filters, so tough luck getting rid of the locked likely bot-only games), although it takes a fair amount of time just to start the game – choosing a character and the spells (the only two choices you need to do) is fine to give you some time to do, but it had waited the whole 1:30 when I played with bots. I honestly can’t remember if it also did this when I played with humans, who knows…
Then it finally gets to loading the actual game.
(51 minutes left). The game is pretty much a Warcraft III-looking thing. The GUI is certainly streamlined to doing the one thing you can, that is, controlling your one character. The actual graphics are fine, functional even if a little confusing at times – effects stack up in weird ways, making you unsure of what bad effect you’re under at times unless a popup says specifically “slowed!”.
The game is all about destroying some towers, getting to the enemy base, and destroying it. They do the same – it’s a mirror map (sadly – since I’d love to see some unbalanced maps – attack, defend, different allies etc.). You also have some additional neutral creatures to kill for money if you like. It’s nothing much more then the original mod it was taken from, although I prefer the shop being in one place, the second 2 lane map is fun too.
(Jumped to 1 hour! 574MB left…). You do get a vast choice of heroes – and it is certainly more fun having a large amount of things to choose from. Be prepared to die a lot, of course, since the whole point is to kill the strong enemies heroes first, before you can get anywhere near the enemy base. I also really really like having suggested gear to buy – simply put the interface is pretty terrible for quickly finding something suitable to buy with your cash. No options for “more damage rather then health” or something, but it’s a good feature to have.
You can practice against bots. They’re pretty boring, likely because of their beta status – only playing a few types of heroes, at 2 easy difficulty levels. A shame really, especially since they could take over people who have disconnected in the main game if they were done right.
Oh, I don’t have any screenshots in-game for some reason. Can’t get any from the American version since I uninstalled it due to thinking the European version would be quick to download (hah!).
Give it a shot while it’s free. Choose the right damn one first though, don’t ask me, I’m still confused why they can’t be the same service since there are barely any beta players as it is, and I got reasonable ping times (since RTS games don’t need amazing ones) in any case! I think many people I played with were the same too – the totally inexcusable complexity of it all is mind-numbing to me. For this reason I think I’ll be put off
buying playing it it (edit: I got told it is free, well, Microtransaction free – wait to see how much is pay-to-unlock, hmm, and being free doesn’t get it off the hook), and certainly need to look at the alternatives first.
(It’s gone up to over an hour now! Time to upload some pictures…).
THE DOWNLOAD CLIENT JUST CRASHED SINCE I WANTED TO STOP THE STUPID UPLOADING SO I COULD UPLOAD PICTURES FOR THIS POST. I manage to restart it and it decides there is ONE HOUR AND A HALF LEFT. It is utterly raping my upload speed, tons of connections and it can’t get more then 100Kb/s.
Upload this crap to fileshack or something! ANYTHING IS BETTER THEN THIS. EVEN STEAM WORKS BETTER THEN THIS!
I give up. I’ve played the American version and only getting the EU one to play with someone I know. It won’t change the gameplay, which is a shame it’s wrapped up so badly. I just hope for their sake they get it together and offer basic ways to get the game without this rubbish first. This seems to be gold-release Beta stage for them, and likely is what it will be at release. I am sad at this. Very sad.
Says 2 hours 30 now…