Joe Sparrow / Illustrator - Animator - Designer / 07758224292 /

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

league of league of league of league of legends

So now that my interest in playing SC2 beyond something like a gold level has waned like the tide (although recently piqued by the new announced units/features for the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion) the game I have been mostly playing is League of Legends, or LoL for short (a weird acronym at first, but you get used to it). I just wanted to mention it because it's developed quite a following in several online communities I frequent.

The distinctive MOBA-style map used in LoL (get used to the acronyms, gentlemen)

I actually don't think LoL is much to write home about gameplay-wise. Starcraft I can pretty honestly describe to non-videogamey friends as "fast-paced chess" because at competitive levels it's as much about using your brain as your hands, and there's a lot of theory. It has a rich metagame which has evolved over a long time, and I think this separates it from a lot of other games.

LoL also has an established metagame, but the incredibly long game length (20 minutes is considered a short game) means that for a lot of the time it's just "push-button-recieve-pleasure" gameplay as you sit there "farming" (an actual game term) vast swathes of enemy minions, who explode with a satisfying chink of coins as they die. I have less respect for this kind of game than I do for, say Starcraft, or something more immediately cerebral like Portal - it's a style of play that's knowingly addictive and the reason World of Warcraft still imprisons millions daily.

But it is fun, so I play it with friends most days. It's also free, and a quick google will let you download it should you be the proud owner of a windows-running computer. What I have more of a gripe with is the artwork of the game; literally every single character is a second-rate knockoff of an established fantasy/scifi icon (or if you're unfamiliar with the originals, they're just painfully uninspiring and often revoltingly coloured). The worst possible one, though (which almost makes me want to hit up is this demon called Cho'Gath:

I mean, this is probably only a personal thing, but when I was twelve I used to really like Spawn, and this thing just looks like the fucking Violator:

And look at this artwork of one of Cho'Gath's alt costumes! Have you no shame, Riot Games designers?!

That's bullshit. Anyway, to end this tirade, this character is actually really fun to play and has a neat mechanic where he can literally eat other player characters and grows bigger and bigger every time he does so. He also has a bunch of spike-related abilities, none of which are reflected in his design at all. So lazy! I wanted to try out some digital painting (partially inspired by a recent acquaintance who is very good at that sort of thing) so I thought I'd do some more fanart:

the "shiny" flesh is pretty simple to render and it doesn't have too many colours/layers, but one must start somewhere. Also the composition is a bit rubbish. Oh well at least i did something fuck you.

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