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Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 3 – Summoner’s Rift

Summoners_rift_platform

Learn a bit more about the Summoner’s Rift so you can apply strategies for your games!

Knowing a bit about the maps is helpful for positioning and tactics for games. I will however focus on Summoner’s Rift as it is the only one used so far for League of Legends competitive play (where the pro scene is concerned). If there’s a request to review another map, I’ll take the time to make it as part of the extras of this overall guide.

For this map guide, I’ll be highlighting the lanes, ward placement and buffs in the jungle. Note that Summoner’s Rift is a mirrored map from the top right corner to the bottom left with the river as the dividing line. Each section will have an image highlighting the important stuff on Summoner’s Rift with a detailed explanation following and they’re all color-coded so let’s dive right in.

The Lanes

summoner's rift -lanes

As in most MOBAs, Summoner’s Rift has 3 lanes: Top, Bottom (Bot) and Middle (Mid) lanes. The meta game as it currently stands is the Caster (AP Carry) or Assassin in mid lane, Marksman (Attack Damage Carry) and Support in bot lane, a Fighter or Bruiser in top lane and a Bruiser or Tank as the jungler. Sometimes you’ll see odd champions in lanes that work in order to counter play the enemy such as the Marksman and Support in Top lane versus the single enemy top laner. The following parts for this guide in the coming weeks cover these roles but right now let’s first look at the inanimate objects in the lanes and base that make up the map.

Nexus (Red)

The main objective of the game to destroy. A team wins a match when the enemy Nexus is destroyed. Each team’s Nexus is located deep in base.

Inhibitors (Yellow)

The mini-Nexuses in the base. There is one for each respectable lane in each base. When destroyed, the enemy Nexus will spawn super minions in the lane where the inhibitor is destroyed. These super minions stop spawning when the inhibitor respawns. Inhibitors are the only objective objects in the game that respawn after time.

The Turrets (Orange)

The objects that protect the lane and other important objects. Each turret gives 125 gold to each team member and an 150 gold split among involved players when an outer turret is destroyed, 100 gold split for inner turret. There are technically 4 types of turrets:

  1. Outer and Inner Turrets – These turrets are structures that help defend a laner while they are farming. These are the two furthest turrets from each team’s base (outer being the farthest)
  2. Inhibitor Turrets – Turrets that defend the inhibitors
  3. Nexus Turrets – The last line of turret defense, these turrets defend the Nexus and have more health than the other turrets
  4. Fountain Turrets – Not really recognized much but it is the turret located at the Summoner’s platform in the base (where players load into the match). These are super turrets because they are indestructible and attack any enemies that walk onto a team’s platform. These turrets literally melt an enemy’s health if within range for 1 to 5 seconds.

Base Gates (Blue)

They’re not in this picture but I placed where they’re located. These gates allow teams to enter and exit their base easily as an alternative route from the lane exits. A team cannot walk pass another team base gate.

The Buffs and Camps

summoner's rift - camps

Here I’ll be highlighting all the buffs and camps on Summoner’s Rift. Usually the jungler is the one farming the camps and protecting the buffs in the early game. All camps gives the killer of a monster some gold, experience and a bit of health which scales up during a match. In Season 5, most of the camps are different but have similar names and each smaller camp provides a buff when you smite the camp’s larger creature. Here is a list of all the buffs and camps on Summoner’s Rift:

small-camps

Wolves (White)

The Wolf camp (leftmost image above) consists of 3 murk wolves, 2 small ones and one large one. Smiting the larger one will spawn a nature spirit that grants vision for 95 seconds at the 4 way intersection near the blue buff. This spirit chases any enemy champions it sees until the champion leaves the area.

Raptors (Orange)

The Crimson Raptor camp (middle left image above) consists of a Raptor and 3 razorbeaks. Smiting the Raptor grants a buff that grants you true sight (aka allows you to see invisible things) for 10 seconds when you are near an enemy ward.

Krugs (Black)

The Krug camp (middle right image above) consists of 2 krugs, one small one and one large one. Smiting the larger one grants you a stun on every 5th basic auto attack.

Gromp Camp (Grey)

The Gromp Camp (rightmost image above) consist of one large Gromp. Smiting it grants you a poison shroud that poisons any one that attacks you for magic damage over 3 seconds.

buff-camps

Blue Sentinel (Blue Buff)

The Blue Sentinel Camp (left image above) consists of the large Sentinel and two smaller sentinels. Killing the larger one grants you the Crest of the Ancient Golem aka blue buff or blue. This buff gives the user cooldown reduction and mana regen over time. This buff lasts 2 minutes but lasts 2 minutes and 24 seconds with the Runic Affinity mastery. The Ancient Golem respawns every 5 minutes upon death of all the monsters in the camp.

Red Brambleback (Red Buff)

The Red Brambleback Camp (middle image above) consists of the large Brambleback and two smaller bramblebacks. Killing the larger one grants you the Blessing of the Lizard Elder aka red buff or red. This buff gives the user the ability to slow & does damage over time that resets with each basic attack on an enemy champion. This buff lasts 2 minutes but lasts 2 minutes and 24 seconds with the Runic Affinity mastery. The Elder Lizard Camp respawns every 5 minutes upon death of all the monsters in the camp.

Rift Scuttlers (Green)

Not on the map but there are 2 Rift Scuttlers (right image above)  is a green crab that traverse the river. One crab traverses the river from top lane to mid lane. The other crab traverses the river from mid lane to bot lane. When killed, the scuttler crab acts as a ward and a speed shrine in front of the major monster objectives (bottom river crab = Dragon, top river crab = Baron).

major-objectives

Dragon (Yellow)

The Dragon (left image above) is a monster in the bottom half of the river that attacks the closet champion when attacked gives the player who kills it 25 gold and a team wide buff that depend on the number of times your team has killed the Dragon:

  • 1st Dragon kill: +6% attack damage and ability power
  • 2nd Dragon kill: +15% damage to towers and buildings
  • 3rd Dragon kill: +5% movement speed
  • 4th Dragon kill: +15% damage to minions and monsters
  • 5th+ Dragon kill(s): Aspect of the Dragon buff which doubles all bonuses listed previously and attacks burn for 150 true damage over 5 seconds. Lasts for 3 minutes or until death.

Dragon first spawns at 2:30 and respawns every 6 minutes upon death.

Baron Nashor (Purple)

Baron Nashor (right image above) aka Baron is a monster in the top half of the river that gives the player that killed it 25 extra gold. The player’s team gets 300 gold each and the buff Hand of Baron to each team member alive when Baron dies for 3 minutes. This buff gives the user additional attack damage, magic damage, faster recall and an aura that promotes minions into stronger ones. Baron first spawns at 20 minutes respawns every 7 minutes upon death.

Ideal Ward Placement

summoner's rift - wards

As I’ve said in the first post of this guide: Wards Wins Games. I know it may be weird at first to know where to ward so the image above shows some ideal areas to ward starting out. I went a little nuts with the image above on where to place wards. You don’t have to learn all these spots in one go but it shows that wards do win games. Basically wards in brushes and river are ideal.

The goal of wards is to see where the enemy is in order to make an informed decision of what to do next. You’ll figure out all these areas of warding as you play more matches. Do note that wards in a brush gives vision of the area including things in the brush (of course invisible units don’t count unless you use a Vision Ward). This also give you a general idea of where to use your sweeper trinket or pink wards in order to clear wards. Another thing to note is that Vision wards are visible to the enemy but have 5 hit points. You have time to catch or scare away an enemy champion if they try to kill your ward.

  • Invasion Wards (Orange) – These wards prevent level one invasions, jungle invasions and ganks from your side of the jungle. At the very least, vision of those invasions so lanes can know where people are in order to have good information to take action.
  • Laning Wards (Black) – These wards are ones you can place in brushes while you’re laning to prevent surprise attacks.
  • River/Defense Wards (Red) – These wards ensures safe lane phases from ganks and invasions. If each lane and the jungler wards to the river top to bottom in order see most of it, you will have decent coverage of the river which is ideal.
  • Post Turret Wards (Blue) – When your tower goes down, you lose vision of that area so you can replace it with a ward. This is mostly done in middle lane as it is the easiest lane to push and is the fastest connection to major objectives.
  • Ninja Wards (Purple) – These wards are what I like to call ninja wards because these are brushes that are least walked in early game so they’re ideal for Vision Wards. If never spotted, this will help you see where an enemy jungler is for a long period of the game.
  • Buff Wards (Green) – These wards ensure the safety and vision of the red and blue buffs in case of invasions.
  • Dragon / Baron Wards (White) – These wards give vision of the Baron and Dragon in order to protect these monsters from going down by the enemy team. Usually a Vision Ward, which reveals invisible units are used here in order to clear out any enemy wards.
  • Dive / Skill Shot Wards (Yellow)  – When your team is sieging a base it’s quite useful to ward on the other side of the base in order to throw some skill shots off to wear down the enemy team or prep for a dive.

At the start of each game, each player can get one of three free trinkets to choose from:

  • Warding Totem (Yellow Trinket) : Free ward for short duration, can upgrade to have a free sight ward or a vision ward
  • Sweeping Lens (Red Trinket): Area true sight (to see invisible units; including wards) and disables invisible traps and wards, can upgrade to include having the ability to see invisible units for a duration
  • Scrying Orb (Blue Trinket): Short distance area reveal, can upgrade to increase the orb casting range

That concludes the guide on Summoner’s Rift. Hope it was helpful!

Second Heart of Thorns Closed Beta Stream Today!

It’s beta time again for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns! No NDA once again so I’ll be streaming it! There will be more to explore and the day/night cycle has been added so we’ll see how scary the jungle is at night! Of course I’ll be trying to break things again because that’s what beta is all about! The beta will be live at the following times:

  • 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)
  • 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)
  • 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 9:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)

If you’re interested in checking it out live, you can catch me on twitch.tv/agenightroad at the times above! Like last time, I will make highlights again in case you guys would like to check it out later.

Heart of Thorns Closed Beta Testing On May 26!

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ArenaNet is having a PvE closed beta test on May 26th! That’s next Tuesday! Anyone who got a Portal to the Heart of Maguuma from Dry Top or The Silverwastes are in the beta; however ArenaNet will also grab people who signed up for the Heart of Thorns newsletter as well (so sign up if you want in!). This test is for checking the stability of their new PvE outpost-event content structure! There will also be a day/night cycle meta-event experience in Verdant Brink.

The beta will be available at the following 3 instances of 2 hour block times:

  • 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)
  • 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)
  • 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 9:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)

This beta is not under an NDA so for those of you not in the beta, I shall be streaming it on my Twitch channel! I’ll definitely stream at the first time slot (11:30 am Pacific) and will stream more if possible. Hope to see you there!

Guardian Specialization Thoughts: Support And Dragonhunter

GW2HoT-Paragon

Dragonhunter is the elite specialization for Guardians. Who would have thought it eh? While I’m sad that it’s not Paragon, seriously those wings are misleading, the Dragonhunter is a pretty cool specialization. I’ll go over the Dragonhunter’s Virtue active changes as well as the longbow abilities. First let’s take a look at the core specialization that Guardians have.

Guardian Core Specialization

Zeal‘s line focuses on Symbols and damage. Symbolic Power offers a chance for symbol to burn enemies. Zealous Blade offers the Greatsword bonuses. Kindled Zeal grants condition damage based on power which is great for increased burning damage. Expeditious Spirit is the spirit weapon trait that burns foes and reduces recharge. If a player doesn’t use spirit weapons, Shattered Aegis might be a better pick as it does damage to nearby foes when aegis is removed from you. There’s also the option of Symbolic Avenger that lets you do more damage to enemies standing in your symbol.

Radiance is the critical hit line. Radiant Power as a minor trait alone seem pretty useful as it grants increased crit chance when attacking foes on fire. Wrath of Justice I can see being useful as it immobilizes a target when you hit with Virtue of Justice active. Radiant Fire look so good as you gain Zealot’s Flame AoE fire around you when you crit, you gain more burning duration AND your torch skills recharge faster. So you can combo the trait with the actual Zealot’s Flame skill of constant AoE fire damage around you or your target. Combine this with the Grandmaster trait Amplifed Wrath for an increase in burning damage (and burn enemies who block you) and it’s scary to think about. Perfect Inscriptions is useful for Signet builds as it’s the signet traits rolled into one.

Valor is the defense line. Might of the Protector grant you might when you block attacks. This minor trait alone will be great for high skill cap players who know when to block in order to gain a lot of might stacks. Strength of the Fallen I can see a lot of players taking as you lose a condition at a set interval plus you degen less health while in down state. Altruistic Healing is a trait that heals you when you apply a boon to allies. This would work really well in shout builds. Monk’s Focus is really good for Meditation builds as it rolls all the meditation skills into one.

Honor seems like the boon line. Honorable Staff reduces staff skill recharge and increases boon duration. Pure of Voice is the trait to have when running a Shout build as it reduces recharge on shouts and converts conditions to boons. Pure of Voice can be contested with Writ of Persistence as it’s the symbol trait that makes symbols larger, last longer and heals.

Virtues mainly is for Virtue F1-F3 skills. The main thing that changed in this line is Master of Consecrations reduces recharge and increases the duration on Consecration skills. Consecrations are automatically ground targeted.

In summary, the Guardian core specializations feel like you know where you want to go if you want to go damage oriented or support/bunker oriented. Some lines combine really well with others. For example, Valor with Radiance alone makes for a great blocking burn build. For Support you don’t have to pour into all defense and have a bit of offense as well which is nice. I alos like that there are more “Support” options to have a balance of offense and defense rather than choosing one. DPS builds I feel will go into Zeal and Radiance for sure. Valor, Honor and Virtues are the go-to options for Support and Bunker builds.

Dragonhunter Elite Specialization

Game Designer Karl McLain who work on the Guardian, Elementalist and Thief specializations wrote the article about the Dragonhunter which is the elite specialization for Guardians. Note that this specialization will be available if you get Heart of Thorns. This specialization offers new active Combat Virtues with similar effects, access to the longbow, some trait features, and new trap skill along with their elite trap: Dragon’s Maw.

So, when Dragonhunter is chosen as a specialization, a Guardian’s virtues have more of a combat aspect when activate while retaining the same type of passive effects. Here’s how the active for Virtues will change:

  • Spear of Justice – Virtue of Justice’s active changes into a spear, that sounds like a skill shot, as it pierces through enemies in it’s path tethering them. The tethered enemies then get hit with pulses that cause burning.
  • Wings of Resolve – Virtue of Resolve’s active changes into a leap (hence the angel wings) where allies are healed wherever the Dragonhunter lands. This Virtue can be traited to additionally do damage to foes.
  • Shield of Courage – Virtue of Courage’s active changes into a shield that is placed in front of you that blocks attacks. Since this says attacks and not just projectiles, I assume any not projectiles like a Thief’s Cluster Bomb can be blocked as well.

The longbow shoots fast, light based projectiles. The longbow offers Guardians a better, viable range option but allows for support as well. For example, the longbow for Dragonhunters has the longbow skill Symbol of Energy which grants vigor to allies. There’s also Deflecting Shot which is an arrow that can block enemy projectiles.

Finally, Dragonhunters will have the “hunter” part of their name have meaning (exclusing the longbow) with light based trap skills. Traps offer a small heal when placed and can be traited to cripple and bleed. One trap described in the article is the elite skill: Dragon’s Maw. This trap does damage and blinds enemies when triggered by an enemy. Allies in the area get healed by a large amount.

This elite specialization is great for Guardians. First off it grants them a really good long range option for Guardians (Scepter and Staff weren’t cutting it). It also combines well with a Damage oriented Guardian or a Support oriented Guardian. The longbow and Virtues also offers a low and high skill cap where a more well placed Spear of Justice or Deflecting Shot will offers better results.

The Dragonhunter can be seen in action on Ready Up tomorrow on May 8th at noon Pacific. As usual, it will be on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel!

Mesmer Specialization Thoughts: Illusions & Chronomancer

gw2-chronomancer

Time to show off my thoughts on the Mesmer specializations along with their Elite specialization: Chronomancer! Just a heads up to everyone, rather than having a huge post on core specialization or 16 posts covering each profession and their elite specializations afterwards, I decided to do 8 posts: each post will cover a profession and their elite specialization once announced. If Revenant specializations show up down the road, then there will be a post on that as well. So, let’s get started!

Mesmer Core Specialization

Domination has some vulnerability and interrupt changes which I like. There’s also the Mental Torment trait that promotes shattering phantasms instead of keeping them out. Overall, I feel the line is a decent one to choose.

Dueling is going to be very interesting. Mesmers now have to actually shattering clones/phantasms for confusion from Confusing Combatants rather than pulling out new clones and the older ones shatter automatically or let enemies kill your illusions for confusion. Evasive Mirror looks like a really good trait to get to reflect projectiles after successfully dodging (those pesky Rapid Fire rangers). Harmonious Mantras promotes actually using Mantras by giving you an activation damage boost that stacks. What I really like in this line is Mistrust; this allows you to apply confusion in an area when you interrupt someone. Combining this with the Domination line could be quite fun.

Chaos is more defensive in nature. Master of Manipulation allows you to reflect projectiles for a short period when you use a Manipulation skill and can work well with Evasive Mirror. Chaos Dampening will be really good for getting frequent Chaos armor. Prismatic Understanding is the key trait in this line as it increases the duration of stealth. This trait brings Mass Invisibility elite skill on par with a Thief’s Shadow Refuge skill.

Inspiration bring about buffs to Phantasms. I like Phantasmal Healing as it promotes having the max amount of illusions out and not just Phantasms. There are some traits for speed buffs by using shatters and glamour skills as well.

Illusions helps promote shattering Phantasms with the Persistance of Memory trait. Sum of All Fears seems like a decent trait to have as it applies Torment when you apply 5 stacks of confusion. The Grandmasters in this line helps with shatters and Blinding Befuddlement helps apply longer durations of confusion.

To summarize the core specialization for Mesmer, I feel Mesmers have a bit of a higher skill cap with some trait changes and removal of a lot of Retaliation traits. However, there are quite a few options for Mantra and Phantasm builds. Confusion and Interrupt builds seem to be really potent for a majority of play. I also like the speed traits in the Inspriation line. Domination, Dueling and Illusions will probably be the lines mostly chosen with Chaos and Inspiration being good line choices for WvW.

Chronomancer Elite Specialization

Game Designer Robert Gee who work on the Mesmer and Necromancer specializations wrote the article about the Chronomancer which is the elite specialization for Mesmers. Note that this specialization will be available if you get Heart of Thorns. So what does this specialization offer? Well there are three core things I want to cover about this specialization: Offhand Shield, the Alacrity effect and the skills, specifically the F5 skill called “Continuum Split/Shift”.

For those who don’t know, Chronomancer is essentially a Time Mage and the Mesmer can do just that: time magic! In fact, Memsers are the only profession that can access the new alacrity effect which speeds up the recharge of skills (aka opposite of chill). In some situations, Memsers can share alacrity with allies!

Now, onto the shield. The shield has “time skills” that allows players to use them frequently if used correctly. One such skill is Tides of Time that sends a wave of energy forward and back to the caster. This wave can block projectiles and grants quickness to allies and stuns foes if it hits them. This effect can be applied again to allies and foes when the wave returns to the caster. If the caster gets hit with the wave, they gain some reduced recharge on the skill so it can be used again sooner!

It seems a majority of the Chronomancer skills will be wells with clock-like themes. The clock on the well actually has a tick animation which signals when the well will activate a burst effect. These wells do the regular pulse damage/effect and are either defensive or offensive in nature. Now for the Chronomancer’s F5 skill. This is called Continuum Split and the followup skill is called Continuum Shift. Basically, the Split activation shatters all illusions giving the Chronomancer a window to perform actions. The window time is increased depending on the number of illusions shattered. When the time ends or if Shift is activated, the Chronomancer returns to their starting position with the health, endurance and cooldowns they had when they activated Continuum Split. In other words, Continuum Split/Shift acts as a reset button.

These abilities alone can really make Mesmers amazing. Combining the time skills and alacrity with illusions promotes shatter skills and Mantra use. This in turn increases damage output and for one-on-one scenarios, Memsers could probably burst their opponents down fairly well.

We’ll find out more about the Chronomancer on Points of Interest tomorrow on May 1st at noon Pacific. As usual, it will be on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel!