Published on September 26th, 2011 | by Bob1
>League of Legends: Dominion – first impressions from the community
>Having just begun to sip the League of Legends Kool-Aid myself, I didn’t feel qualified to write on it extensively. Luckily for me, one of our community bros, Jason (@Bizznichw) was kind enough to do an extensive write-up on his first impressions of League of Legends: Dominion for us.
Prior to it being published here (my bad!), Riot Games had announced (just this morning in fact) that Dominion is now live.
Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, announced last week that they were going to be running the new Dominion open beta. On Wednesday, I saw a tweet from one of the devs that it has dropped! They were only going to run the beta “off-peak” hours for testing. Sad to say, I had to work all day and did not get to try out the new game style. As the week went on, they left the beta open for longer periods of time. Hearing that it was still up on Thursday as I was getting home from work, I rushed in the house and was glad that I had purchased that SSD! Dominion is in its last stretch of beta before complete launch.
After playing roughly 25 games throughout the weekend, I’m starting to learn the different strategies of this new game style. Dominion is being played on a new map “The Crystal Scar”. It is set on two teams of five players that fight to capture five different tower points. It is capture-and-hold style, so both offense and defense are essential. You can capture a tower/point by right-clicking your mouse when your champion is at the tower. Solo capture takes roughly 8-12 seconds, and the more teammates capturing, the faster it completes. The more towers your team controls, the more damage the enemies’ Nexus (home base) takes. Teams start off with 500 points each and count down to zero. If you are hit at any point during capture, it will stop and you will need to restart the sequence. Upon re-taking the tower, it will start off where you left. As towers take damage, they become neutral where no team gets damage points from it.
Many things are different in Dominion games. Your champion starts out with 1375 gold, as compared to 475 in Summoner’s Rift. You also get 3 level abilities for a faster-paced game play. All champions rank up and acquire gold quicker. This enables you to still “stay in the game” without having to “farm” minions or worry about dying as much. Overall games average around 20 minutes and can be as quick as 5-7 minutes. I myself was in a game that ended in seven minutes because we could not capture and hold any towers and got pushed back into our base. I was trying out a new champion and the other team just straight up dominated us.
With the new game style being so much shorter compared to Summoner’s Rift games, you’re no longer locked down to a single game for such a long period. You can jump in a game quickly if you’re on a time constraint. They have also added some new items to the in-game store to complement these fast paced games. Some items like wards and Banshee’s Veil have been disabled for Dominion. They have added new “buffs” that are placed around the map like speed boosts, health, and greater relics. The relics located in the middle of the map give you a shield that damages enemies in combat. All these buffs re-spawn after being acquired. During the game, there will be also be “quests” that your team can complete. Certain towers will have to be taken before the team can capture theirs. Upon completing this quest, it will do a straight 20 damage to the enemies’ Nexus. Two new spells are available for selection. The first is Garrison, which grants massive regeneration and attack speed for 8 seconds of allied turrets and reduces damage by 80% for 8 seconds of enemy turrets (cooldown is 210 seconds). Promote is the other new spell, which promotes the nearest allied super minion to an anti-turret cannon, healing it, granting bonus stats, and causing it to grant the caster gold for its kills (cooldown is 180 seconds). I myself have not used either spells and rely more on just playing the game tactically and smart.
Towers will try to defend themselves with the main turret so you still have to worry about damage while fighting around enemy points. As soon as you start to neutralize the point, the main turret will stop attacking. This can be essential in team fights to prevent that extra turret damage in favor of the enemy. Have your team’s fighters/pushers take out the enemy and defend as you capture the tower. Normally in most cases, the objective is to hold 3 out of the 5 points and play the game out. If you are still doing very well, go for a fourth point. Many games are very close and if winning, do not take for granted as it can turn around on you very fast.
So is Dominion good for that newcomer joining up with the LoL group? Many people think that it is easier for someone new to play. I am not sure of the correct answer. With a capture-and-hold style game, the objective is stated very clearly. Since it is so fast-paced, having that second nature of what to do in certain situations may push people away. When to defend or capture, who to focus and slay, and when to make that move. My overall experience with Dominion was very negative at first. I played this with the mindset of champions that did poorly early game in Summoner’s Rift were easy targets. Normally, champions that do not excel at farming minions to acquire gold for better items early, can now do great in Dominion. This changes the whole play style of your champion/team setup. With leveling up faster and the increase in gold received, I felt that it was a huge flaw in the game. After playing many games, my opinion has changed. Although you still use the same mechanics and talent of Summoner’s Rift, it is a completely different game and should be played that way. One of the many ways to help you build your Champion is through a MOBO site. They have build guides and help/tip information. I have not found one that supports Dominion yet, but I’m sure they will be popping up very shortly due to the high demand of LoL players.
Be sure to watch the League of Legends: Dominion preview video for a visual representation of how intense this can be. The game is completely free, and it doesn’t hurt to give it a chance. If you are just getting started and would like some help, feel free to contact one of the KBMOD bros or pop in the KBMOD Ventrilo server. You can usually find at least one of us playing in the evenings.