For reasons I shall keep to myself, I've been diving headfirst into League of Legends of late. Now, it's not like I haven't played the game before: In fact I was playing it before it launched, and I have to tell you it felt amazing to pwn a bunch of male gaming journalists dropping Tibbers on their unsuspecting heads in the middle of a GDC play session.
My first experience with LoL was actually about six months older than my Annie triumph. I have fond memories of crowding into a cubicle at Gamepro with Arturis and Riot CEO Marc Merrill, leaning eagerly over a laptop as Marc talked about this new genre they were inventing, and what the Summoner system would look like. But the aggressive nature of the community -- or at least those I encountered -- coupled with, well life, combined to force me off the Fields of Justice for several years, enough time for my account to get wiped and my Summoner name to vanish into antiquity.
All this meant that I had to start over when I decide to head back to Valoran. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because even though I lost all my (eight, count 'em) epic levels and all the champions (six I believe) I had unlocked, I was now able to approach the game with more gaming experience under my belt and a greater sense of purpose. It was time to level my first Summoner, and to choose a Champion who would guide me through the first levels of the game. As it turned out, that Champion ended up being a seldom-used starchild named Soraka.
The first Champion I selected wasn't Soraka, actually. I picked Sona, because I greatly miss healing, and she and I had fun together for the first couple of games. I then switched to try out some of the DPS characters available during the Free period, but found them rather limited in the face of so many smurfs. By that time I had built up enough Influence Points that I could dip further down into the available characters and find someone who was closer to my play style. It was then that my love of The Last Unicorn led me to pick up Soraka.
Raka and I were a match made in heaven. Not only is she a decent healer, she does sufficient damage to allow me to help the battles, and her ultimate ability Wish is simply amazing for keeping a team up and running. The few guides I've been able to sort through were divided on her play style -- most of them build her out as a pure support class, but my favorite is actually a guide that sets up Soraka for tanking/dps. Being able to silence opponents reminds me of my brief time as a Shadow Priest in WoW (before I thankfully came to my senses and went back to Discipline). Now instead of running from enemies, as is my wont with healers, I run toward them, careful to keep on the edge of their zones.
Am I 'Raka master? Hardly. I am still learning the game, and the learning curve is incredibly steep since you have to absorb all the possible opponent combos and pairings in order to succeed. But I am enjoying a game I never thought I would -- because I hate PvP. And I think that has a lot to do with the little unicorn girl, her Starfall and Infuse, and the wonderful way we work together. We're getting better, and soon we'll be able to hunt down dps with the best of them. We're coming for you Warwick.
So Summoners, who is your favorite Champion, and how did you two meet?
[image via xCristal@deviantart]