League of Legends is a multi-player online battle arena game similar to Demigod and Heroes of Newerth developed by Riot Games. Players take the role of a customizable Summoner, who is the avatar for the player. This Summoner is off the battlefield, controlling their upgradable Champions. Both Summoners and Champions grow as they gain experience, gold, and items in multi-player, online combat. A player's summoner persists between games, whereas the chosen Champion will only persist for a singular game. There are also side areas where creatures can be fought for experience, including legendary monsters that will yield powerful bonuses upon their defeat.
The Summoner is the player's representation in League of Legends and is the only aspect that is constant between battles. Summoners call forth champions for each match to fight for them. Summoners are not static entities, but gain experience and influence from each battle fought. Experience is used by the Summoner to become more powerful and unlock certain features, while influence allows the summoner to sway individual Champions to fight for them and purchase additional Runes.
Summoners have a maximum level of thirty. Riot has said that they expect it to take approximately eight weeks of consistent casual play in order to reach level thirty, and hardcore players will be able to reach the level cap much faster.
As the Summoner earns experience, they will gain access to Summoner Abilities which will aid the Champion in the Field of Justice. Up to two spells may be selected per battle. The spells do not use the Champion's mana pool, but are instead on a cooldown. Some spells can only be used in certain game modes. The list of Summoner Spells is currently:
Exhaust - Reduces attack damage dealt by 70%, ability/item damage dealt by 35% and movement speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds. Mastery reduces armor and magic resist by 10. Available at Summoner level 1.
|Ghost - Increases movement speed by 27% and allows your champion to ignore unit collision for 10 seconds. Mastery increases move speed increase to 35% . Available at Summoner level 1.|
|Heal - Restores 75 + (25 x level) health to your Champion based on your current level and 50% of that amount to nearby allies. Mastery increases health restored by 10%. Available at Summoner level 1.|
Revive - Instantly respawns your Champion at the spawning pool, with a health increase buff lasting 2 minutes. 540 second cooldown. Mastery grants a massive speed boost for a short time. Available at Summoner level 1.
|Smite - Deals 420 + (level x 25) damage to a target minion or pet. Mastery makes it give 10 gold on use. Available at Summoner level 1.|
|Barrier - Shields your champion for 100 + (25 × level) for 4 seconds. Summoner's Resolve mastery reduces the cooldown by 20 seconds. Available at Summoner level 1.|
|Cleanse - Removes all stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, silences, blinds and immobilizers from your Champion , and reduces the duration of all subsequent crowd control by 65% for 3 seconds. Mastery increases duration by 1 second. Available at Summoner level 2.|
|Clarity - Restores 160 + (30 x level) mana to your Champion and 50% of that amount to nearby allies. Mastery increases mana restored by 20%. Available at Summoner level 6.|
|Ignite - Deals 50 + (20 x level) true damage to a targeted enemy Champion over 5 seconds. Also reduces healing and regeneration by 50%. Mastery increases Ability Power by 10 while it is on cooldown. Available at Summoner level 7.|
|Flash - Teleports your Champion to a very close location instantly. Has a very long cooldown and is often used for ganking as well as running away. Casts as soon as it is used, moving to or in the direction of your mouse cursor. Cannot be used while stunned or silenced. Mastery decreases cooldown by 15 seconds. Available at Summoner level 12.|
Runes are items that can be purchased by the Summoner using influence points and are used to enhance the Champion's statistics. Each rune has three tiers, with higher tiers becoming available at higher levels. There are four types of runes; glyphs (blue), marks (red), seals (yellow), and quintessences (brown/purple). Glyphs, marks, and seals each have a type of statistic that they improve to a greater extent than the other two. For example, glyphs enhance magical ability, marks enhance offensive prowess, and seals enhance defense. Quintessences are larger runes that have stronger effects than their smaller counterparts.
Each Summoner has no maximum capacity for the amount of runes they can possess, but to have them take effect in battle, they must be placed in a rune page and selected after their champion is chosen. Each rune page can hold nine glyphs, nine marks, nine seals, and three quintessences. Each summoner has access to two rune pages to change as they see fit. One rune slot is unlocked every time your Summoner levels up.
Runes can also be combined. 2 runes can be combined to create a rune of the same value, while 5 runes can be combined to create a rune of a higher value. There are no distinct formulas for rune combinations and the outcome of combining runes is random.
The last and most important impact that Summoners have on the battle is through the mastery system. As the Summoner gains levels, they also gain mastery points that can be assigned to an enhancement in a skill tree. There are three trees, offensive, defensive, and utility, each adding a bonuses to the champion the summoner chooses. Most of these talents do add a slight advantage to each hero as it can be used to boost strong points of a hero or strengthen the weakness of champions much like the rune system. Some talents also improve your summoner's abilities, such as Improved Ignite, which activates when Ignite is on cooldown, giving the champion 10 more ability power until the cooldown is up. These points can be re-allocated at any time between matches and multiple mastery profiles may be saved and selected in the lobby of each game, allowing the Summoner to shift focus between types of Champions.
The talented fighters selected to join the elite Institute of War, Champions are the instruments of destruction in a Summoner's hand on the Valorian Field of Justice. Each battle a Champion starts off at level 1 with only the blessings bestowed by the Summoner's Runes and Masteries. 40 Champions were playable at release. Riot has continued to release new champions at a rate of approximately one every 2-3 weeks.
Each week there are ten champions available to play for free. Additionally as a player completes matches, they earn Influence Points which can be used to permanently unlock new champions. If a player purchases the collector's pack, they get a selection of twenty champions to use permanently in addition to the ten weekly champions.
During the selection screen, the champions are broadly classified into Assassins, Fighters, Tanks, Mages and Support. However, quite a few of them can serve multiple purposes depending on the kind of equipment, Runes, Summoner Spells, and Masteries the summoner picks.
The champions of League of Legends are cataloged on the associated characters page.
In addition to a steady stream of new champions, Riot also puts out a steady stream of unique champion skins for many of the heroes. From simple variations to more "meta" skins such as the Vancouver Olympics bobsled for Corki, players can purchase with Riot Points (in-game currency that cost real earth dollars) to use in matches with their favorite champions. Many older skins are simply a palette swap of the original model with no other distinguishing characteristics. Most newer skins feature original models, many with custom voice acting, sound or particle effects. Some champions have a "Legendary" skin available to them which gives the character a completely new model, sound effects, and/or particle effects and are priced at twice the cost of standard skins. This "legendary" treatment has gradually become the standard practice for all new champion skins, with the "legendary" term and price point being rarely used.
From examining art assets and descriptions that were left in the beta installer some information about a few Champions could be gleaned. Riot developers eventually revealed that these Champions were canceled.
There are currently three Fields of Justice (also known as maps), of which two are playable in multiplayer. Riot had previously confirmed they were working working on a "larger" map to release called the "Magma Chambers," but that map was canceled to focus on the Crystal Scar for the Dominion game mode.
There are a few common features that most Fields of Justice have in common:
League of Legends: Dominion is a new mode that was added to the game. It is played on a new map called The Crystal Scar and its gameplay is quite different from the Classic maps like Summoner's Rift and Twisted Treeline.
Instead of focusing on taking down turrets to reach enemy's Nexus in order to win, in Dominion players will compete in a Capture-and-hold style gameplay. There are five Control Points on The Crystal Scar, each with its own distinct appearance (The Windmill, The Drill, The Boneyard, The Quarry and The Refinery), along with The Seal, which contains powerful buffs. The Crystal Scar also has Health Relics placed at some points on the map, as well as some Speed Shrines.
Dominion is designed for quick and dynamic matches, which is why players start at higher level and more gold than in regular matches. Players also constantly receive gold and experience to eliminate the need for farming and to ensure the quick flow of the game. It also features new items specific for this mode (And some of the other items were made unavailable).
The goal in Dominion is same as in classic games, but it is achieved differently. To win, one team still has to bring down the enemy team's Nexus health to zero. Nexus cannot be harmed directly, but it is slowly damaged if one team controls more points than the other team. The rate at which Nexus is being destroyed depends on how many points one team controls over the other. If the number of controlled capture points is the same, neither enemy team's Nexus will receive any damage. Enemy Nexus can also lose health when an enemy is killed (Though that effect no longer exists once the Nexus' health drops below 100), and by completing newly introduced Dynamic Quests.
Instead of the normal scores, Dominion features a new "Personal Score". Players increase their Personal Score by completing Quests, defending Control Points, capturing enemy Control Points, killing enemies, assisting allies, etc.
League of Legends is free-to-play, with a premium edition for those who wish to pay. People wishing to pay can purchase Riot Points using real currency. Riot Points cannot be used to purchase anything that would give one player a advantage over another such as Runes. Instead, only Champions, Champion Skins, Rune Pages, and Boosts can be purchased Riot Points. 'Boosts' give players greater rewards after finishing a match, such as extra points to spend on Runes, or more experience points for their Summoner.
There are two ways that a player may create their account. Either they can create a free-to-play account or purchase the Collector's Edition. Those who purchase the Collector's Edition have 20 Champions unlocked from the start with a bonus skin and 10$ in Riot Points, while free-to-play accounts only start with access to ten heroes who are on a weekly rotation.
Every player gains Influence Points every time they play a match. These points can be used on extra Champions, or new runes. Champions cost from 450 to 6300 influence points, and their prices are usually scaled based on difficulty to play. Runes increase in price as they increase in power.
In November 2009, Riot introduced a way to buy Riot Points via SMS and Playsafecards.
League of Legends is often updated for special events and holidays. During these special events, unique skins for champions are offered for a limited time. Special "mid tier" runes are also offered. Some previous events include:
League of Legends operates on a season-based schedule similar to battle.net ladder seasons. Current known seasons are: