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A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters: Survivor’s Game

A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters

by Oskar Thomas “The no-no Java” von Seckendorff

Survivor’s Game

PvP advice 

Not long ago I decided to sample game statistics. I picked up the “gold at 20” number and graphed it. Apparently the relationship is inversely proportional: gold and match length. For those who don’t like that kind of nomenclature, that’s basically saying that the higher the gold advantage a team has at minute 20, the length of the match decreased, and viceversa. Now, from where does that gold come? Mainly from minions and kills. Players with the same level of experience tend to earn pretty much the same amount of gold from minion kills (although there’s a mathematical detail here that I’d like to address later on), so the difference mainly rests on player kills. If you are starting out, there’s a good chance that the green and red numbers at the upper right corner of the screen decide who’s the winning team.

If you aren’t the killer of the team, then don’t be the feeder i.e. the player whose mission is to die over and over again. Just don’t. That’s why right now I’m going to describe the main ways to stay alive. New players tend to overlook the small details (or not so small) that help you interpret how your enemy is behaving. Yes, League of Legends is also about psychology. If you just concentrate on your own strategy your foe will begin to figure you out while you’ll be wondering how the hell he’s reading your movements so easily.

Without further ado I’ll list the key points that help you understand your opponent’s decisions.

  1. The health difference
  2. Your current energy/mana/rage/stack
  3. The level advantage
  4. The DPS difference

Added to these key points there are secondary, yet important, points to consider as you take on more experienced players.

  • Minions’ wave push percentage
  • Jungler presence
  • Ability cooldown tracking
  • Vision advantage
  • Opponent’s and self’s mechanics weaknesses

When you feel that taking these 9 basic first-hand parameters is too difficult, then keep a constant eye on the first 4. Actually for these 4 points I’ll give some insight.

  1. The health difference: Despite this sounds pretty straightforward, there are a couple of things that are noteworthy, yet not immediately apparent. Firstly, it’s not the same to have a 50 HP difference at 70% average health than to have a 50 HP advantage at 20% average health. The difficulty of managing a 50HP/20% situation is that the player with the better burst will probably get the kill, while a 50HP/70% situation will probably fare better for the champion with better sustained damage output. Secondly, if your opponent has a potential source of healing, then there’s a good chance that he’ll feel much more confident, so a 50HP/70% situation actually is something like a 100HP/72%. That’s not immediate, yet crucial.
  2. Your current mana: As you play more and more, you don’t just keep and eye on the HP indicator, but also at the energy/mana/rage/stack indicator. If your opponent has managed to drain your limiter, he knows that you lack burst, slow, snare, and/or escape. Keep that in mind: they know.
  3. The level advantage: There are 3 main points where level advantage is more important that it seems to be. These are level 2, 3 and 6, namely the levels that there is probably an ability advantage. This is something of utmost importance. As for the rest of the levels, the stat difference might not seem to be too much, but it is usually enough to decide how a trade will end.
  4. The DPS difference: While point 3 gives stat and potential advantage, DPS difference, in this context, refers to items. Item advantage is ridiculously important. Both players might have the same champion at the same in-game level with the same amount of kills, but if one decided to recall to base and the other one was forced to stay in lane, when the player that recalled returns to lane, the item advantage will make the difference.

You really want to keep this in mind. The other 5 points will come with time, but since day two you should try to track those 4 points. Some people are better multitaskers than others, but with practice even those of single-line-of-thought get to automatize the checking of variables in the game.

Remember that practice makes master. Talent is a jumpstart, practice is the engine. Keep going! Always aim higher, since conformism is the seed to sinking.

[As an end note, I mentioned that minion kills usually didn’t make that much of a difference. However, that is true for certain games. Above beginner level matches, CS (creep score or minions kills) will proportionally deal a heavy blow during the first 10 minutes or so. At this point keeping up with the CS might not be enough. Try to progressively improve your last hits so you outscore your opponent.]

A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters: Day One

A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters

by Oskar Thomas “The no-no Java” von Seckendorff

Day One

I figured that a good way to go back in time is to make a new account. Back to level 1. I’m evidently assuming that you know how to get your way around the bureaucracy of account names. And by the way, when you choose an account name, I would strongly advise to choose a half decent summoner name. Players tend to look down on players with childish or disrespectful titles. If you aren’t into inventing witty names, then just look around your desk and do something along the lines of the following:

The [item on your desk] Man

If this feels not epic enough, then you might go for:

Professor [item on your desk]

That will hardly end up being an insult. If that doesn’t fit your tastes, however, then use your common sense and that’s the end of it.

After this, you are offered a tutorial game session. Don’t. Just, don’t. I’ll take over. Make a match, a Co-op vs. AI and choose Intro. Here’s what’s going to happen:

  1. You’ll be on queue from some seconds.
  2. A message will pop-up to confirm that you’re not AFK.
  3. The champion select window will appear.

Here’s the deal: each players picks a champion. At first sight, they seem to be the same, except for the colors, their sex, and names. You pick one and you play the match with the champion. After the match is over, you aren’t bound to play with this champion again. Every match is a new start. A new dawn. I’ll give you the rough outline of the characters now. Usually this is the un-friendliest part of starting out. Spelling it out for you:

  • Ashe: is a marksman i.e. she shoots arrows i.e. she is a ranged champion. Without getting into much detail, she, along with some other champs, is responsible for dealing tons of damage to the opponents. (bot lane)
  • Garen: is a fighter. Let’s say that he likes to be almost always in the front line. I’m not a big fan of him, but he’s a good option if you want to try close combat. (top lane)
  • Jinx: is part of the group to which Ashe belongs. She’s an attack-from-behind. (bot lane)
  • Kha’Zix: is not a he or a she. It’s an it. Like a massive bug. It classifies as an assassin, which means that he deals tons of damage in small bursts. It in particular covers a role called jungler. For the time being, he’s just a close contact champ that deals burst damage. (jungle)
  • Lissandra: is a mage. She deals ranged damage, but not with the same purpose of Ashe or Jinx; her purpose is to do burst damage along with utility damage. For example, she can root an enemy. (mid lane)
  • Lux: is so cute. If she were a real person, then I’d definitely go for her. Preferences aside, she’s a mage too. Her role is to deal burst damage as well as to provide some utility. She can shield allies and root as well as slow opponents. (mid lane/support)
  • Ryze: is a well-rounded champion. If you play him, then you really want to extend the match, from your individual point-of-view, since the longer the game lasts, the more powerful he becomes. He is a mage, but with an interesting kind of burst, since his burst is more like a continuous burst. (mid lane/top lane)
  • Shyvana: is a fighter. She used to be played as a jungler, but she’s now played as a top champion. Her style an aggressive, yet paced, play. At level 6 she gets the ability to turn into a dragon with enhanced abilities and increased resistances. (top lane)
  • Varus: is part of Ashe’s and Jinx’s family. Not my type. If you want to try him out, then do, but keep in mind that he’s hard to use. (bot lane)
  • Wukong: is a king monkey. To be honest, I haven’t played with him. I know he’s a good choice if you can get a hold on his play style. His role is of a fighter, but can go very tanky, so he is relatively versatile. (top lane/jungle)

Who’s best for you? Your call.

After you’re thrown into the Summoner’s Rift, you find that you’re in some kind of terrace. That’s your base. Basically the point of the game is to defend your base and take over the opponents’ base. Let’s look at the simplified map.

Simple Map

By parts:

  1. base: it has 5 turrets and 3 inhibitors. The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy nexus.
  2. mid lane: it is usually played solo, and by a mage. Mid requires champions that can react to situations effectively.
  3. top lane: this lane is played solo. The champs here are almost always champs that deal damage through contact
  4. bot lane: played duo. The characters used here are called the ADC and the support. ADC for bottom lane is always played by a ranged champion. The support champion doesn’t have a fixed description. We’ll describe the roles later.

As you might have noticed, the distribution for roles is somewhat arbitrary. In my opinion this is a very interesting phenomenon, since it is the result of millions of matches that create what we call the meta. The meta is what dictates the unofficial rules of the game. Players usually adopt the meta until level 5 or so, when normal games jump into the scene. Eventually everyone is forced into the system. If you feel like playing freely since day one, go ahead. Just be advised that if you don’t stick to the current meta, your teammates will reject you.

So, what are the famous roles that I’ve been mentioning? Here they are:

  1. The ADC: this is the abbreviation for “attack damage carry/carrier”. This champions have default stats and abilities that enhance their damage output. Their physical damage output. The ADCs by excellence are the ranged-bottom-lane champions.
  2. The APC: which is the abbreviation for “ability power carry/carrier”. These champions usually play mid lane. Their role is to amass AP (ability power). If a team gets good combination of AD (attack damage) and magic damage (from AP), the mixed damage puts the enemy team in a difficult position.
  3. The support: sadly the most underrated role in the game. Supports have at least two missions in a match: keeping the ADC alive and providing utility to the team. Depending on the support, the percentage of importance of the missions vary. However, supports are not meant to do damage. That’s why they support.
  4. The tank: is the champion responsible for absorbing the damage output of the other team. The usual way to build a tank is to get armor or magic resistance, depending on the early game conditions, and then get some extra health. Tanks aren’t really meant to do that much damage. They, once again, just drink up the enemy damage.
  5. The jungler: apparently a mysterious role for newcomers. The jungler is the person responsible for roaming. Junglers need champions with abilities that allow them to quickly engage enemies and to kill in a couple of seconds. Junglers don’t lane. They kill the NPC distributed through the jungle section of the map. The point of having this player? Two actually. This meta maximizes (apparently) the gold output of the map. This means that the jungle may be seen as an exotic lane. Secondly, a jungle players excel at ambushing, called ganking by the community. Doing ganks increases the chance of getting kills as well as of destroying towers.

This is a very rough description of the roles, especially for the jungle roles. However I think this is enough to get an idea of the current meta. As you get more acquainted with the game, you’ll begin to get a hold of the smaller details of the meta. I hope I cover as much as possible, while keeping this a starter guide, evidently.

“But what about the mechanics?” That’s actually a good question. Basically right click on terrain to move to that point. Right click over an enemy/enemy building to auto-attack. Before playing a new champion, read the description of its abilities (Q, W, E, R) and learn what each one does. The rest is up to practice.

This might be enough to make you able to survive your first day on League of Legends. In the next section I’ll go deeper into item builds, the roles themselves, and some overall advice for PvP matches.

A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters: First Steps

A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters

by Oskar Thomas “The no-no Java” von Seckendorff

First steps

Wait just a moment before we actually get into League of Legends. Remember that we are here for fun. If you don’t enjoy what you do, then you’re probably in the wrong place (or have bad luck). Keep this in mind. It’s about the entertainment. Sometimes we just get carried away and begin to curse all over the place and blame Riot for having a broken champion, but that blows the purpose again. From my point of view, if you’re not making a living out of LoL, then there is no real reason to blame the universe for a bad flash. Get over it. Match’s over. Join a new queue. Clean slate.

I do mean it: if you don’t play for fun but don’t aim for something bigger, then why bother? Not just yourself but your teammates too. Your first step should be to accept that even if you tried to carry the game, in the end, it is just a game, and you should not spread the hate. Maybe if I get some of the new players to get this straight, the currently hostile community will become a little bit friendlier. After all, that’s what we all want, right? Many players even come to play LoL to escape from reality at least for a while, and sometimes we just make those escape minutes become frustration minutes. Just, don’t. If you can’t handle the pressure, which shouldn’t really be that strong, then go punch a pillow.

Don’t spread the hate. It’s just a game.

I do notice that players that take just the right amount of stress are the ones who perform best. Evidently a nonchalant play-style don’t take a summoner very far, but over-stressing is definitely not the answer.  Some stress helps you to stay focused, but if you overdo the stress issue, then you fall into a vicious circle full of insults and mistakes. Imagine you are trying to balance a broom with your hand. If you relax too much, then you lose control of the movements, and the broom takes over control. Eventually, the broom falls. On the opposite hand, you take a very firm stance with respect to the broom. Your hand is so tense that you don’t have enough time to react. In fact, you are so tense that your whole arm gives in and the broom falls. That’s why for The International Broom Balancing Competition, competitors aren’t either too skinny or ridiculously bulked up. Being fit is just right. The rest is up to practice.

This doesn’t only apply to broom balancing. Soccer, taekwondo, tennis, swimming, running also require the right amount of stress. Furthermore, Physics, Math, Chemistry, and friends pose a challenge too and need enough tension to keep the student focused, but enough relaxation to avoid brain clotting. So the second of the first steps is too find the focus point. Some players enjoy (literally) laid-back playing and perform well like that. Others simply can’t avoid the hand cramps. Find your style, and I bet you’ll get a whole lot more from League of Legends.

Stress keeps you focused. Find the right amount for you.

I’m not sure why we usually state three steps for almost everything. I once, or thrice, heard that our brains actually like number three, hence three steps here. I figured that the third step is probably to understand how you play, not regarding ability, but personality. Some players in the community keep clashing with others because they really want to impose their ideas upon others, and sometimes a soft player is forced to have the front for himself. It’s like placing the soft player in charge of the decisive team fight and keeping the rough player as a healing support. Avoid kidding yourself into being a type of player you are not. Much like #WraithCamp. So this is relatively simple:

Don’t get caught up where you don’t want to be.

That’s how I see it. This is the meta of the meta. Enjoy it or leave it. Take this into account. Give it some thought and come back if you still feel like getting bashed on by the senior players. Hopefully you won’t follow their steps. Could you be part of the batch of players who actually enjoyed playing despite being between the high Elo players and the newcomers?

I believe that this is enough introduction for a game. Still, I don’t think it is right to just jump in to giving indications without knowing what’s the philosophy behind the author’s text. If you don’t identify yourself with my ideas or think that they are outright refutable, then don’t spread the hate. This is not a religious text and no one is in any way forced to accept this. I’m doing this is the best intentions, considering how complicated it gets to begin to play League of Legends without getting stuck at bot games. Now, if there are no objections, let’s move on to greater topics.

Don’t spread the hate. It’s just a game.

Stress keeps you focused. Find the right amount for you.

Don’t get caught up where you don’t want to be.

A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters: Introduction

A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters

by Oskar Thomas “The no-no Java” von Seckendorff


Welcome to Summoner’s Rift.

Just kidding. Not yet. Before anything about LoL itself is mentioned (dammit!), we must understand why playing online is such a hit. For MMORPG, according to a 2011 study, there are 3 factors that make this gaming style so attractive: ludic, narrative, and interactive¹. Basically they are the fun, story, and social factors. It seems to me that the MOBA genre has these three attributes, with the narrative factor a little below average. However, the interactive aspect takes a whole different conception. Whereas in an MMORPG cooperation is optional, in a MOBA game cooperation is the key. You need to be ready to communicate and work together to win the match.  Now we ask ourselves: are we really looking for a game like this? Most players would fit better in other kinds of games; they simply don’t work with MOBAs.

We are basically hooked in an alternate world where the field is reset after every match. We get another chance with new players. We might even be playing with friends and are ready to give it another shot. Deep inside we really are into teamwork. Teamwork emphasizes your strengths and covers your weaknesses. Coordination simply makes it feel right.

I believe that we are all looking for success, but not just success as luck. We demand effort and reward. The closer the match was, the better we feel at the end, since we had to give it all in. It’s not just about the win, it’s about the effort. All the process, from the match making to the end cam, it’s all part of what we enjoy.

In a MOBA you can really feel the effort after every match. The rewarding experience is not to max level the in-game character, but to know you did well. You want your team to thank you and the opposing team to respect you. For some players it comes down to pride. The details are up to each individual, but overall, that’s what we want. Just find out what you want. Maybe you just want to be an honorable player. Perhaps you are looking to become a highly ranked user. In the end, that’s up to you. Just consider that the core of the MOBA is the teamwork. Once again: teamwork. And again: teamwork. That’s the psychology, from what I’ve seen, that makes the game worthwhile. Think about it. Cooperation is valued over most of the other aspects.




1. Crawford, Garry.
Online gaming in context : the social and cultural significance of online games/ edited by Garry Crawford, Victoria K. Gosling and Ben Light.
p. cm.—(Routledge advances in sociology)
ISBN 978–0–415–55619–4 (hardback)
1. Internet games—Social aspects. I. Gosling, Victoria K. II. Light, Ben. III. Title. GV1469.15.C73 2011

Recalling the Good Times

Trying to remember how you learned something is not thats simple. I’d say that is because you somehow overlap your knowledge in a way that you forget what it felt like before knowing. Take this as an example: could you describe how you learned Mathematics? You may simply say that you grab a textbook and read the chapters; that is enough to find your way around it. Sadly that leaves me just where I started. That’s why even though I’ll try my best at getting down some kind of League of Legends manual: A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters, I might miss some details. Anyway. Hopefully this will a recurrent series, so expect periodic, but maybe sporadic, posts.

The structure I’ll use will be the following: I don’t know what structure to use.

I guess I’ll just let the ideas flow in an orderly manner, just as my programmer brains craves to do. Maybe this League of Legends beginner guide will start with the psychology behind gaming as a team. That would be basic enough to from there. After all, how many players get stuck in gold for not knowing how to play with more than just mechanics. Philosophers say that if we were immortals, everyone would eventually master everything. Everything but LoL teamwork.

I think I’ll start from there. Next up: Chapter 1


Get ready,

The no-no Java

Part III: How I Started Out

Somehow I really got into the game. I’ve asked around, and most of my friends feel that this game was boring in the beginning. Maybe it’s because you usually start playing alone, so considering the vast amount of trolls and sour people behind the keyboards, it is not that simple to pick up.

When you get a tutor or something like that, everything makes much more sense. At least someone in your team knows your name. Maybe. In my opinion, friendship might be the most important part of the game. I do enjoy playing on my own, but honestly I prefer to play with someone I know even though they see me give the other team the “penta”. There are personal goals and all of that, but what’s the point if you don’t have someone to criticize and mock you in the meantime? Seriously, that’s what makes it fun. Plus you get to bash on the others too, as long as you don’t go full crazy.

So go on and find someone who can play with you. Just as the real world sports, with which I am well acquainted, teamwork and friendship make the effort worth the time spent clicking. I’m considering making some kind of lolmatcher so that solo players can get along with others!




Cheer up!

The no-no Java

Part II: How I Started Out

But really, since the game has no many variables, you get better, pretty much, just through empirical gathering of data. Indeed it is like a physical sport: there is knowledge you can’t explain. The first time I walked into the football field I realized that I had no idea of what I was doing. The most experienced player in the team just kept shouting in desperation. I felt like a newborn.

But as I accumulated matches, I began to see holes in the opponent team’s formation. Little by little I developed an eye to foresee where the men on the field were going to go. Too bad my condition wasn’t on par with most of the other players’. Anyway, that’s another issue.

In LoL you begin to notice things. Sometimes you just go crazy over a teammates mistake, but you can’t completely explain why what he (Or she. She’s also play this.) did wrong. However you do know it was wrong. Sometimes it comes down to prediction.

So for me, starting out was more like “play your ass off and try to listen to Arnor.” Really, let the seasoned player spread the wisdom.



The no-no Java