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League of Achievements

 Nov 21, 2014  264  1

If you take a look at video games from ten years ago, and compare them to the video games of today, you will notice a major difference.  In the past, many games contained secrets in the form of passwords and hidden things locked inside the game.  Today, many games have adopted a system of achievements and often times reward the player for doing specific things in the game.  Perhaps it is a specific challenge, or maybe you must complete a certain routine task a number of times.  What started as an Xbox Achievement system has since shown up inside every game and every gaming system…except League of Legends.  Is it time for League to adopt an achievement system?

We can look towards other companies who integrate achievements into their games.  Perhaps the biggest company to look towards is Blizzard.  Ever since World of Warcraft, Blizzard has been integrating achievements into their games.  World of Warcraft features many different types of achievements that players can unlock.  Diablo 3 also features a ton of unlockableachievements that net you banners and sigil customization options for completing.  So why can’t we see these types of conventions adopted inside of League of Legends?

There is likely a very good reason we haven’t already seen an achievement system for League, and that is because Riot probably doesn’t want to spoil the competitive nature of the game.  If the achievements were unleashed onto League, you can bet everyone and their grandmother would be scrambling to get them completed.  Riot likely doesn’t want to spoil the competitive spirit of the game, particularly at higher levels of play.  To this concern, I have a solution.  Save the achievements for non-ranked play.  Have sets of achievements for normal, team builder, ARAM, and the various unique game types that pop up.  We have actually seen evidence of achievements from Riot in the Ascension game type a while back.  Gaining a “perfect ascension” was part of the requirements for receiving all of the rewards.  This can be expanded upon to make the game even more exciting.

So what kind of achievements should League have, and what should the rewards be?  There are many ideas for achievements, and they could range anywhere from routine tasks to special ones.  Perhaps doing “x” damage to a tower could give you one, winning “x” games, or killing “x” number of Champions.  Riot could also get creative with achievements like “clear the jungle in x amount of time.”  Or they could reward playing the game with certain Champions.  The possibilities are endless for such a system, which is the beauty of it.  As for rewards, I would keep it simple.  Have a special menu system to measure the achievements by, and reward milestones with borders and icons.  Perhaps if Riot really wanted to be awesome they could reward special skins very huge milestones.  That would truly get people involved in such a system in a big way.

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Champions Tiers vs. Counters

 Nov 19, 2014  545  1

There are so many times we are guilty of the following scenario.  Perhaps we have been out of the game for a week or more, and we want to check who the current top tier Champions are in League of Legends.  We go over to a website that ranks Champions, possibly by win rate or some other metrics, and before we know it we are only using Champions who are at the top tiers for that patch.  While doing so is not inherently dangerous, it can be the wrong mindset to have for a multitude of reasons.

The most important thing to remember is that just because a Champion is considered a very strong or safe Champion does not automatically make them the best choice for any given situation.  Half of the battle in League of Legends, at least in competitive play, comes in the drafting stages.  Players ban certain Champions and, for the most part, pick their roles based on the player pick order.  If players are doing it right, then they are picking Champions for their synergy and their countering abilities.  For example, while Amumu may be a very top pick for the Jungle in most situations, if your team is already stacked with Champions who use AP, then he probably isn’t the best choice and you might want to go with a Jungler who features AD.  There are so many matchups and synergies to keep in mind in League of Legends that will always trump the Champions who are the cream of the crop, which leads me to the next point…

No Champion is useless in League of Legends.  While it is certainly true that certain Champions are more useful in a given situation than others, always remember that a good player will find a way to make any Champion work.  So many times it is easy to get caught up in the competitive flavor of the month Champions, and of course like we have discussed, the highest rated Champions.  But using different Champions is arguably the most enjoyable part of League, and particularly in Normal Matches, no one should be belittling you for choosing an off-meta pick.  That being said, there is a time and a place for everything, and Champion Tiers can certainly help players in a huge way, particularly those who are not as experienced.  By using the best of the best, you can increase your chances of doing well if you have little experience in a role and your matchup counters just don’t mean as much in a game.  In addition, especially at the lower ELO brackets, using top tier Champions can help to get you out of ELO hell, especially if everything is else is failing.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when you are picking a Champion in League of Legends.  Champion tiers do exist for a reason, and they can be utilized to help you out of certain situations.  However, they are not a remedy for overall experience, and learning to play matchups and counters is really the best way to play the game and be successful.  Plus you will have more fun if you are constantly picking up on new Champions.

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What Does This Do?

 Nov 14, 2014  736  3

There are a lot of items in League of Legends, but there are a couple of them that seem to have fallen out of favor in popularity after recent patches or changes made to them. Taking away the Recurve Bow items I mentioned in a previous article, below is a list of items that are hardly purchased or rarely used anymore in the Fields of Justice.

Atma’sImpaler

+45 armor
+15% critical strike chance

Passive

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Champion Reveal: Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance

 Nov 13, 2014  459  3

Riot has revealed their 122nd champion, Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance. She is a specter that's risen from the Shadow Isles who might have a relationship with Thresh and Lucian(Senna perhaps?). From what they've released so far, she seems to be a very mobile champion that relies very heavily on teamwork, which is apparent in her exclusive item.

Below contains the information about Kalista and what I think about it.

The first thing I want to talk about is her item, The Black Spear.
"Active: Kalista offers a pact to an allied champion, should they agree, the item is consumed and the pair are Soul-Bound for the remainder of the game. When accepted, the binding enables Soul-Marked, a passive on Sentinel, and allows Kalista to use Fate’s Call when she unlocks it."


It appears that she's able to connect with a member of her team, a new mechanic completely unique to Kalista as of now. The only question now is what this connection does, other than grant the other passive and allow Kalista to use her ult. Does Kalista lose stats if the Soul-Bound champion is killed? How much does this item cost? What if Kalista never get this item? Can she make a pact with multiple people? There's still a lot of questions about what this item really does for her other than what's stated.

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What to Expect in Season 5

 Nov 12, 2014  814  1

With Season 4 soon to be behind us, there was a lot to look back fondly on from the past.  In a previous article, we took a retrospective look at the fundamental and key changes that Season 4 brought to us.  It looks like Riot has many things planned for Season 5, and while it still may be early, we can bank on at least a few things changing in League of Legends.  Of course, not speculations would be complete without rumors to mix it up with as well.

One of the biggest changes to come the Summoner’s Rift is the visual update.  By now, you have probably already seen what the visual update will look like if you are either a participant on the PBE or if you have been following any sort of League of Legends news in the past few months.  League has been in desperate need of a facelift to coincide with the tech of the times, and Riot has seemed to achieve a perfect harmony for enhanced visuals and performance for weaker machines.  At this stage in the in game, Riot is pretty sure of their visual update, and they will be slowly implementing it into the game starting with the Team Builder in the coming weeks after the end of Season 4.  To put it simply, the visual changes look awesome, and I am sure many of us can’t wait to be playing in a new Summoner’s Rift in Season 5.

Another big area of change for Season 5 to follow closely is the entire Jungle system.  For Junglers, it often seems that Riot has a love/hate relationship for the Jungle, as they are constantly doing things like buffing mobs and generally nerfing the Jungle overall.  I believe that they want to achieve a level of build diversity in the Jungle and prevent any one type of Jungler from completely dominating it.  From the looks of it, Riot wants to increase the number of objectives to take control of in the Jungle, with an overall goal of providing more global utility for the Jungle position.  They want to test a new mechanic where each camp gives a new reward by using Smite on it.  Overall, they want to make the Jungle a harder place to be in, probably to give heavy Sustain champs a role in the jungle as well as Gankers and speedy clearers.  Additionally, Riot plans to bring in new Jungle items to promote build diversity within the Jungle.  This fits in with their overall philosophy of making the Jungle a welcoming place to different play styles.

As for Champion releases, we already know about Kalista.  We have already seen her character reveal, and if we go off of Riot’s Champion release patterns, we should probably see the release of Kalista towards the end of November.  She looks like an awesome Champion, and I am sure she and any other new Champions will factor heavily into Season 5.  Of course, you might be wondering why in the world Riot hasn’t released a proper Jungle Champion in a very long time.  My guess is that they first want to test out their changes to the Jungle for Season 5 before they add in another Champion that they will have to fundamentally alter to fit in with their design philosophy.  My bet would be that we see a new Jungler by the time Season 5 comes around, and it will probably be a Champion with a lot of build diversity as a selling point.

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Season Recap – The Best and Worst of Season 4

 Nov 11, 2014  3006  6

As Season 4 comes to a close, we can look back on all of the events that made this Season one of the most memorable in League of Legends history.  League has come a very long way since the game was first released, and Riot continues to tweak, balance, and perfect the game to make sure it remains at the top of the MOBA genre.  They are also no stranger to providing content for their players, as I am sure we are all aware by now.  That being said, let’s take a retrospective look at the biggest events of Season 4, starting with the beginning of the Season and moving towards the present day.

Riot kicked off Season 4 with the Game Type Hexakill.  Hexakill basically took the same concept as a normal game, and added a sixth Champion to each side.  It was different, to say the least.  Following that, Riot slowly began rolling out one of their biggest matchmaking alterations in a very long time.  This new gameplay mode was dubbed the Team Builder, and it finally allowed people to queue up for a game by first choosing the role, Champion, and position ahead of time.  It has been a very good attempt to help curb the rampant toxicity that has dominated League since its inception.  Team Builder continues to be used and tweaked to this day, and it looks like it will remain for the long haul.

The first Champion release of Season 4 was Vel’Koz, the Eye of the Void.  A very cool looking mage Champion, he uses void energy to rip his foes apart.  After the release of Vel’Koz Riot introduced a very spectacular skin for Rumble with the Super Galaxy Rumble skin.  In much the same way that Spirit Guard Udyr fundamentally altered the animations of Udyr, Super Galaxy Rumble did the same thing for Rumble.

The next big event to grace League was the release of Braum.  Braum was a very powerful support out of the gate, capable of dealing extreme damage for a support, offering great defensive capabilities for the ADC, and came complete with great CC.  Many people banned him in every ranked match, and Riot had to put him through a few stress tests and patches in order to get him in a place where they want him.  He continues to be a top Support to this day.

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Benefits of Smite Teleport

 Nov 09, 2014  2266  3

A while ago we talked about Madstonejungling, something commonly seen on Trick2g is running Smite Teleport for his Summoner Spells. This is unique to the more commonly used Smite Flash combo because after Summoner Level 12, most if not all players run Flash as one of their summoner spells. By not running a spell like Flash, Ghost, or Exhaust a Jungler will find it hard to gank someone with escape spells.

Smite Teleport is a tactic normally run on Junglers who specialize more in farming and picking kills. This is most commonly seen on Master Yi and Udyr, who can rush a Feral Flare and farm the jungle for their stacks. The Teleport can be used in multiple ways.

Way early in the game it lets the Jungler go back to the jungle straight from base if they don’t want to waste time at base. By doing this they can get to the jungle camps and get Feral Flare stacks faster through that. They can also use it to gank a lane, similar to how a top laner or a mid laner with Teleport would use it. These ganks can be very potent if you Teleport to a wave that the enemy don’t see. Late game the Teleport can be used to backdoor the enemy turrets or nexus. This is why Master Yi and Udyr are the Junglers more known for using this tactic. This tactic of “opening the gates” can give your team map control through turret or inhibitor kills.

Compared to Madstone, this is one tactic from Trick2g that doesn’t incur a whole lot of risks. While you won’t have Flash as an escape spell, you should only worry about that if the enemy jungler plans on camping you in the jungle. Good vision control can assist you there, since the only advantage he will have is chase potential. Your teammates should be able to assist you if that happens, so there isn’t a lot of risk that comes with carrying Teleport. If that doesn’t happen you essentially get to swiftly clear the jungle and gank lanes that may need help with Teleport. You bring in a global presence by having Teleport.

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Using Pings and Understanding Them.

 Nov 08, 2014  1387  5

Pings are a feature in League of Legends that are used as a sort of signal/marker for your team. When someone pings a target or an area, it means that the player is trying to give the team notice of that area. If it is a target ping, that means the target is of interest to your team and that some action should be taken on that target. If it is an area ping, it generally means that the area is of interest. There could be an enemy hiding there, or there is a ward, or the jungle buff is being contested. Whatever your reason for pings is, pinging is a good way to quickly get your message to your team.

There are two types of pings, the Hotkey Pings and the Smart Pings. The Hotkey Pings are the two standard pings, Alert and Retreat, which can be easily accessed with the "G" or "V" keys, respectively. There are also buttons on the top left of your minimap that allow for clickable access to the pings if you need to.

Whenever you ping, three things will definitely happen. The first is that the minimap will have a symbol appear where the ping was placed. The second is that your team will hear an alert sound. This is important because a lot of people don't look at the minimap, so having a sound will be an auditory notification. The last thing that happens is that a symbol will appear on the field where the ping was placed. If you are close enough you will see the symbol, otherwise you'll see it on the minimap.

Now when you ping and select a target with that ping, one additional thing will happen. An alert message will appear on chat, with your name and the target's name clear for your team to see. Additionally, the symbol that usually appears on the ground when you ping instead will go above the target that you pinged.

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The strategy of Split Pushing

 Nov 07, 2014  730  1

While being a rat is not a very honorable way of victory, there have been many instances in which a backdoor became one of the most entertaining ways for a game to end. Additionally, if you’re getting turrets off of your teams’ distracting, then at the end of the day it’s just another strategy that leads you to victory.

In a short summary, split pushing is where one champion constantly pushes one of the side lanes, not grouping with his team and tries to take the first available turret or go for the nexus. If you choose to split push there’s a chance that your team will get caught 4 v 5 and your team may lose a major teamfight. However, you also have a chance to take free turrets and get global gold to your team. Outweighing your risks and rewards before split pushing is important to making that decision.

Split pushing is powerful in two ways. The first is that if your champion is an exceptionally strong split pusher, then the enemy team is forced to sacrifice one to three people to try to kill you. The second is that even if you don’t get a turret out of it, the split pusher does get a decent amount of farm, so as long as your team didn’t fight a 4 v 5, your team would’ve gotten more trying to split push. 

To start this is not a guide to making a backdooring team. When you actively choose to split push it either means your team is weaker in teamfights and you don’t want to fight 5 versus 5, or your team is behind and you need to grab easy objectives to get back into the game. You never really account for your team to be strong at split pushing, but rather it’s the realization that you should be rotating well for this split to work that makes it so strong.

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The Master’s Club – The Hardest Champion’s to Use in Summoner’s Rift

 Nov 06, 2014  3048  9

You might remember when we recently talked about the learning curve associated with League of Legends.  We talked about how so much of the game depends on the Champion you choose to play, and with such a deep and robust roster, how some Champions are easier to use than others.  Like we talked about before, easy to use Champions have to bonus of being friendly to newcomers, and are easy to master and use effectively at all levels of play.  Hard to use Champions, by contrast, are usually extremely difficult for newcomers to pick up and play, but if you manage to learn them, they usually come with a high reward level.  So let’s take a look at some of the hardest Champions to use and master in League of Legends.

         When we think of hard to use Champions, we probably most commonly think of Champions who have many different skillshots to land, or who have complex skill rotations that require very precise mechanics.  For ADC, it doesn’t get much more difficult than Draven.  Draven is a Marksmen like nearly every ADC, but in order to use him effectively, you have to master the art of catching his axes.  Catching his axes builds up Fame, and also translates into increased damage.  Although the axes fall in a predictable way depending on how you are attacking, this means a keen opponent knows exactly where you strike to cut you off and harass you.  Adding to the equation that a death from Draven means your Fame stacks are going to be wiped out, this means it is imperative for Draven players to stay alive, especially in the beginning of a match.  As you can see, Draven is a perfect example of a Champion who is very hard to use, but when used properly is one of the most deadly ADC’s in the game.  Honorable mention in the ADC category for hardest Champion to use is Vayne.  Although she is extremely powerful, she is heavily dependent on a skilled player knowing how to tumble and trade with autoattacks properly.  While a fed Vayne is an absolute monster in the Rift, an underdeveloped Vayne is pitiful to say the least.

         Mage type Champions can be very difficult to play properly.  Of all of the Mages, perhaps the most difficult Champion to play with is Anivia.  For a bird, Anivia is incredibly slow, and although her ult gives her another lease on life, it can be bursted down and also has a long cooldown.  To make using her even harder, her farming game is almost nonexistent until after she hits level 6.  Her skillshots are also slow and hard to land, and her wall ability is usually a liability unless it is used with expert care.  Anivia definitely has one of the steepest learning curves around, and is a serious contender for hardest Champion to use properly.  As for Support Champions, Janna is a difficult Champion to use to the maximum efficiency.  The delay on her knock-ups, and the choices that players have to make when making use of her ult are all very difficult decisions to make.  AN honorable mention for hard Champion to use goes to Orianna.  Her ball is pretty difficult to control, especially if you are just jumping into the Champion with no prior experience. 

         There you have a look at some of the hardest Champions to play.  Who do you think is most deserving of the title, and who do you have difficulty using to their full potential?

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