Top 17 Ways to Survive As A League of Legends Noob
Readers: you and I both know that when people go online, they turn into monsters. Once the masses have sipped from that rich, inviting concoction of anonymity and competition mixed, they are no longer mild-mannered Dr. Jekylls, but hideous, drooling Mr. Hydes. The Hydes are legion: a sordid mass belching fetid text, trawling the net for their next undeserved prey.
But fear not – to this day my ego is intact, in spite of my ‘skillz’ reportedly being poor, and my sex, alas, being female. Take heart traveller: the trolls shall not take us!
1. Practise offline League of Legends first. Do all the training parts. Extensive game knowledge is the worst enemy of the internet gamer douchebag. If you know the quirks of the game like Rab Florence knows boardgames, your seeming tactical noobishness might not be quite so obvious and you might leave with your family jewels intact, if inevitably bruised.
2. Know your heroes. Choose a few heroes to get to know that you like or that you think seem interesting and just learn gradually more and more about them before you start online play.
3. Know the items that your favourite heroes would really benefit from and how to navigate the menu. Time spent shopping is time not spent on the battlefield – something I tell myself every Saturday whilst trying to distract myself from buying boxsets in HMV.
4. Slowly get to grips with the hotkeys if you can. Every hero’s abilities are mapped to Q, W, E and R, so there is no excuse not to use them. You don’t have to be great with the other, more obscure hotkeys in in the beginning but they can really help in a tight spot.
5. Lady parts will be strongly protested. Choose a unisex name that does not denote your womb possession if you do not wish your supposed ineptitude to be also attributed to 3.46 billion other unassuming ladies in the world. If, like me, the fact that other ladies may be implicated does not bother you, or if, indeed, you are a guy who wants to initiate fun jerkchat for giggles, call yourself ‘Boudicca’ and commence calling all other players ‘puny male trash’.
6. Team up with at least one other person you know and like who plays PC games online. Beg them, bribe them, give them a full-on frenchie if you will, to persuade them to accompany you on your difficult first choo choo train into Jerksville.
7. Better: if you can, get a friend who can already play ‘LoL’ extremely well (and doesn’t mind a few terrible games against their name) to team up with you. Some of my best games have been those where I’ve assisted my better-skilled friends’ assassinations by distracting or kiting the enemy into a trap. Buy said friend a pint next time you see them, as their perfect score will be totalled by your turd-sandwich-like play.
8. Best: get a group of friends who can play LoL to be on your team. Not only will they have a great time laughing at your ineptitude in a way that won’t entirely obliterate your fragile gamer ego, you’ll probably learn a lot more from discussing tactics with them and asking for advice than you would any other way. Team play as much as you can with them. Cue pub post-mortems afterwards where you drink as many pints as you had deaths in the game.
9. Get Mumble, Teamspeak, or some other voicechat programme set up so that you can communicate with any decent friends who are going shoulder to shoulder with you into the fray – not only can you tell them when you’re getting hounded, but you can also coordinate attacks and tactical retreats, and all of it is much quicker than if you’d had to type it. Remember: text chat is the weapon of the grammatically-retarded pleb, Mumble the weapon of the savvy gentleman officer who can’t be bothered typing ‘LOL look whut that noob did’. Unless it is a tactical psyche-out, in which case type away, my little Padawan.
10. If you can, choose a ranged hero. You’ll be glad that you don’t have to get up close and personal with enemy heroes in the beginning, and you can just throw spam from the background like a pissed-off vegetarian until they lose their temper and do something stupid.
11. Be overly cautious. Play like a timid but highly-armed military gerbil by sticking well behind your creeps, just forward enough to kill enemy creeps for money. Run well back if the other enemy player in your lane tries to go for you. Even if you feel like an impotent little rat, bide your time like a good rodent. Your time will come. In the beginning just try to damage control a death count that will invite a verbal noob-spanking.
12. Kill as many of the enemies’ little foot soldiers as you can without putting yourself in danger. Farm baby, farm. Raise that cash until you can pimp that ass. Once you’ve got that cash, please consult the knowledge raised in #3 and Xzibit up your hero until he/she could kill with a piercing look.
13. Assist your teammates when it seems prudent to do so. If it looks like running in might get you killed faster than a terrorist at Jack Bauer’s birthday party, stay well away. It’s not worth it unless a lone enemy has strayed like a lost fawn into your view with a health bar on 1%: in which case dive in like Scrooge McDuck. You get less tongue-lashed for genuine e-sportmanship.
14. Don’t rise to noob-baiting. However much they type that you suck in ungrammatical, barely legible lolspeak, if you respond with something other than a) having less deaths than them or b) being on the pwning team you are pretty much inviting them to ‘gank’ (own) the crap out of you for the rest of the match. This will not ingratiate you with the rest of your team and will probably lead to you destroying your own keyboard in frustration.
15. Do not destroy your own keyboard in frustration, it makes matches much harder to win.
16. Whatever you do, don’t gloat over a kill: it invites revenge served colder than a stare from JC Van Damme Esq.
17. If all else fails, feign a foreign noob personality to deflect derisive remarks. Keep a Romanian phrasebook on hand and quote at will from it, at seeming lulls in the game, selecting the most bizarre phrases and ending them with several exclamation points; sometimes a smiley face for good measure. They will think you don’t speak English, or perhaps even that you’re a bit nuts: and everyone knows you can’t heckle either of those personas with any measure of success: the whole point is that you understand that you are a noob – and if the noob-troller hasn’t got that, they’ll probably start crying into their Thomas the Tank Engine pajamas, wondering why they have spent so much time perfecting their trolling skills when they could have been doing that Open University degree in Leisure Management.
Good luck. And remember: many heroes have died to give you this information.