Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Full Mug of Mead, Tip #3: Five Behaviors that Will Get You Yelled at in Solo Queue

Entering the random PvP matches in League of Legends can be a daunting experience for a beginning player. Even bot game queues, where you engage a team of AI opponents to better learn the basics of the game, can be intimidating when you are just starting out.

But WTMCF has you covered. Avoid doing these five things and you should come out of every game with four new friends. At least, you won't have four random strangers yelling harsher insults than you would expect to hear on the mildest Real Housewives episode.

"R******* noob idiot."
1) Don't Feed -- This seems obvious as soon as you have played a few games, but stressing the importance of not dying is never a bad thing. A fed enemy champion snowballs very quickly into a major problem, at which point it isn't just you who has to contend with the overpowered demon creature that is constantly demolishing you in lane, your entire team is going to start being picked off.

Erring on the side of caution does not hurt in LoL, especially in solo lanes like Top, Mid, or Jungle.

2) Don't Chase -- It is remarkably easy to get tunnel vision when pursuing an enemy Champion that you've already spent time weakening. Even good players will suddenly start ignoring minions, other allies, and loud multiple pings in order to doggedly hunt down an opponent with low health.

Just remember that the goal of the game is to win, not rack up tons of kills. Forcing your opponent out of lane is nearly as good as killing them because they miss out on gold and experience. When you chase, you open yourself up to being caught out--trapped on your own with no teammates in sight.

So, unless you are 100% certain that you can secure the kill and escape afterwards, then be content to farm and win the long game. (If every other enemy is on the other side of the map from where you are, and none of them have teleport, and you won't get stuck chasing your opponent around a turret, then maybe you can consider chasing.)

3) Don't KS -- This one is almost as hard for me to type as it would be for me to pass a kidney stone. With a competent team it will never be an issue, but while solo queuing, Do not steal kills. For whatever reason, players get inordinately angry if you come in on a fight and end up with the kill if you weren't there in the beginning. With some people, you will be verbally assaulted on a level that will leave you wondering if somehow you strangled their dog, kicked their little brother, and slept with their parents in the seven seconds of combat where you just tried to help them.

Only jump in if your ally is getting beat. Of course, if you are too late engaging, they will equally be upset, so it is kind've a losing situation. It is frustrating and makes absolutely no sense from a game theory perspective, but it is the law of the land. Nothing will turn an ally into a complaining mess faster than a couple of stolen kills.

Except, perhaps, watching this film.
4) Know Your Role -- As I said before, we will be getting into each lane and strategy later on, but to go over the basics again quickly:

Solo Top: Farm, farm, farm. Your job is to make tons of money and become extremely scary in the mid and late game.

AP Mid: Very similar, but if you are winning your lane, be prepared to steal the opposing team's Wraiths or head to the bottom lane to turn an aggressive 2v2 into a 3v2 rout.

Support: Keep your carry alive and harass the enemy carry whenever possible. Don't kill the minions the carry needs to farm in order to build his or her items, and don't let your lane get surprised by ganks. Buy and set up wards frequently and communicate with the team. Later, you'll be expected to pick up an Oracle's Elixir (an item that allows you to see invisible wards, or stealth Champions like Evelynn or Teemo) and make it impossible for the enemy to see.

ADC (Attack Damage Carry): Like the Top and Mid lanes, you need to farm. Kill the minions using Last Hits (see tomorrow's Tip #5) and don't get too aggressive unless your support gives you the green light. Focus on building items that increase your damage and practice targeting the right champions during Team Fights.

Jungler: Going back to why playing in the Jungle is so difficult, the Jungler has the most responsibilities on the team. You'll be expected to be everywhere at once, helping with ganks and initiating fights over map objectives like the Neutral Minion camps and most especially Baron/Dragon. You must be able to prioritize properly and keep in mind that, of everything you'll be asked to do, you have to keep up with the enemy Jungler. Clear the Neutral Minion camps on your side and poach from the other side whenever you can. Second most important, however, is ganking. Scare the enemy team with your presence, and make them nervous about cross the river.

These are, again, just the basics. Knowing your role and performing it means that your team will do better, and will greatly improve your chances of winning the game.

5) Don't Disconnect -- Not only does disconnecting open you up to punishment from the Tribunal (more information later) but even leaving for five minutes can make it impossible for your team to win the game.

Do you have a spotty internet connection? Wait until it gets better or find a new place to play.

Are there crying babies in your house? Make sure someone is there who can take care of them for the next hour.

Homework to finish? Get it done before you start.

The list goes on and on, but it comes down to this: if you start a game, do it with the knowledge that the next hour of your life has been blocked off by the kind of critically important appointment you hear bosses on television always saying they can't miss.

Do you think Don Draper leaves a game before it's finished?
Only if he is.
As a bonus, remember to not act like an asshole either. It's a game, and if someone messes up, give them the benefit of the doubt. They probably aren't purposefully trying to ruin your life. If one person starts in on a player that is having a difficult time, pretty soon the whole team will be yelling at them for feeding and being worthless. Unless they are actually feeding (trust me, you'll know the difference), just smile and remember the  first time you tried to hit a baseball. That's them, flailing away like a newborn calf, looking more adorable than deplorable. Of course, after thirty levels, if they still can't hit a baseball, feel free to butcher them and pack the meat off to China or wherever it is beef ends up going nowadays.

Until next time, may all your ultimates end in kills, and all your games with "Victory".

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