How I’m doing at LoL and some other boring thoughts

Working on something about Xenophon and leadership for the dissertation. It’s going meh. It opens up the larger question of “How exactly does antiquity view democracy?” That’s too large a question, and I’m not really in the mood for testing my current opinion on it. The opinion, roughly: Strauss says repeatedly in his Symposium lectures that Plato was partial to aristocracy. I think he means something on the lines of Tocqueville’s critique of America, where Tocqueville serves as a critical friend. In the Symposium itself, I see the defense of pederasty that Socrates refutes in the other speakers as a defense of some perfect political order filled with “real men,” i.e. “real men don’t need women.” – Still, it was a democratic Athens that put Socrates to death. –

So I don’t know. Reading Plutarch’s “Life of Aristides” and hoping to have something on that for all of you. Aristides had the reputation of being a very just politician. Immediately in the text Plutarch asks whether he lived in poverty or not.

And then there’s League of Legends. There’s a lot to learn, and I’m getting better every time I play or watch a game. Still, there’s too much to learn, way too much. I’m realizing for myself that I might never get on anyone’s case about how badly they play, because it is not clear on how they’re supposed to learn everything and put it all together. It’s not even clear on how they’re supposed to even know what a trustworthy source is.

Here’s what happened my first day of Ranked of this season:

  • Got stuck playing Fiora top lane against a Poppy who knew what she was doing. Emphasis on “stuck.” I wanted to be support. Anyway, I didn’t do half bad. Fiora doesn’t have a ranged attack (she attacks with a sword) and Poppy can be a very powerful assassin. Fiora can lunge (yes, the fencing move) but Poppy has a charge that literally body slams you into a wall. Again, I did ok. I fell behind in minion kills but I avoided several ganks (2 on 1 situations). Our jungler was horrible; mid collapsed; bot lane collapsed. I was subpar and that snowballed into getting destroyed. I didn’t die until the entirety of other lanes started swamping me. Of course bot lane raged about how everyone else was awful and that just made worse the last 10 minutes of a bad game.
  • The second game I got the support role. I had developed some bad habits with Sona because I never bothered to watch tournament play with her. But those bad habits came in handy when I saved my partner’s life very early on (you’re not supposed to take heal first. If I hadn’t, he’d have been killed). My reward? He continues to jump into 2 on 1 with subpar health, gets killed, blames me for not tanking (!) and killing. The rest of team, which wasn’t any good, decides I’m a scapegoat and rages at me as we all get run over.
  • Third time’s the charm, right? Great team, personable, everyone helping everyone else out. I’m having a great game as Janna and doing stupid trash talk (Janna throws tornadoes, so “I’m gonna blow you away” is very lame). We’re definitely winning, the other team is writing “gg” in chat, and then our tank lags out. Without a tank, I can only delay with Janna. We get beat. I start Ranked 0-3 because of ragers and dc’s.

I’m not fluent in the mechanics of LoL and there are plenty of times I misread situations. But you’re not being deceived if you’re reading the above and going “that guy knows what he’s talking about.” The lower Elo players have mechanical skill but absolutely no idea how to work with others. They’re looking to rage, they’re definitely looking to troll. I need a group that wants to help others improve and make every moment in game count.

I’m going to get the mechanical skill with time. It’s really a matter of picking a strategy and knowing how to implement it. But wow – I can’t blame anyone for having a rough time with LoL. It is very difficult to learn the game. The primary obstacle is the players you start with, and their worst tendencies are manifest in some of the more skilled players. Mechanical skill is very overvalued as opposed to reading a situation, having map awareness, helping out bad teammates. The best players understand that the whole game pretty much boils down to the latter three. A noob with heal who uses it at the right time makes a skilled play and saves his team. Someone who yells at another person nonstop while suiciding in fights because he has a theory of what should happen is an idiot. Yet the emphasis on mechanical skill vastly overvalues the latter.  I think I’ve picked up on something about gaming generally which explains why certain communities are a problem.

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