What kind of game is League of Legends and how do you play it?

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Answered by: Erich, An Expert in the Strategy and RPGs Category
League of Legends is a game that utilizes a unique and innovative play system. It is based off of a player-made mod of the popular Warcraft III strategy game called Defense of the Ancients (commonly known as DotA). One of the creators of this mod joined the gaming company Riot and League of Legends was born. It was released in October of 2009 and just two years later, League of Legends has amassed an imposing 15 million subscribers. This number rivals Blizzard's brainchild, World of Warcarft, in player count. However, unlike World of Warcraft, League of Legends is a free to play game. Riot only makes money from League of Legends through Riot Points. Riot Points are a kind of in-game currency used to buy Champions or Skins (remakes of the character models) for your account.

The thing that makes League of Legends such a popular and fun game is the fast-paced and intense play style. It is a game of teamwork and skill that requires immense knowledge of the game mechanics as well as a sharp focus. If League of Legends was given a genre, it would probably be somewhere between action, strategy, and RPG.

The game is played with two teams of five players (there is a mode that is 3v3 as well but the 5v5 system is significantly more popular). The goal of the competition is to destroy the other team's nexus which is a sort of base located at opposite ends of the map. Protecting the nexuses are a series of towers in three separate lanes. The lanes are the focal point of the map and where the main action of the game occurs. Generally, each team sends two players to the outside lanes and one player in middle lane. By destroying the towers and pushing the lanes to the other team's base, you can reach the nexus and destroy it.

On the basic level, the game works like an RPG. Each player chooses a completely unique "champion" with abilities exclusive to that champion. As the game progresses, these champions will level up by defeating creeps called "minions". Each team has their own set of minions that spawn regularly and immediately rush the opposing team's towers in each lane. If a champion kills a minion, they will receive experience and gold. Gold allows the champion to buy items that make their character stronger. The most experience and gold is won, however, by defeating an opposing champion. It is in this mechanic -- fighting other champions controlled by other players -- where the game gains its rich and complex style that is so addicting.

Despite requiring the base that DotA laid down, League of Legends has built and expanded in many ways. For instance, Riot releases a new champion every two weeks (there is a total of 81 champions and climbing) . In addition, they re-work and change old champions almost every week. These introductions and changes constantly shift the meta-game and make each week new and exciting. Riot also introduced a ranking system based on the player's record. This allows for a ladder system that extols the best players in the league and tournaments that are played for money.

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