Activision Blizzard CFO, Spencer Neumann Terminated

Activision Blizzard CFO, Spencer Neumann Terminated

What does this mean for Blizzard’s falling numbers?

On December 31, 2018, Activision Blizzard announced that Chief Financial Officer, Spencer Neumann had been placed on paid leave and intended to terminate his contract if he could not demonstrate why he should keep his job. Although Activision Blizzard says Neumann’s termination had nothing to do with falling declining share value, he was replaced with Activision Blizzard veteran Dennis Durkin.

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10 Ways Video Game Developers Can Better Represent Black People

They gave us representation, but we can freak it.

I’ve been playing video games since 1999 and there’s many of my friends and Black people in general who have the same exposure to video games and have seen a lot of change in our 20 something years of living. We’re doing well so far in terms of visibility, but we can afford to make larger leaps. The following is a list of ways developers, writers, and the like can build upon Black representation.

Sheva from Resident Evil 5

Sheva from Resident Evil 5

1. Different kinds of Black people.

I’ve seen a Black Japanese person in Yakuza and it made me wonder where the French Black people are or the Hispanic Black people, and all of that. Then it made me also wonder, where are the LGBTQ+ Black people? We have such a diverse community, but a large part of Black representation only focuses on people being solely Black. I wish that identities included more. We learn so much from video games that it could help people better understand those different from them or even cultural exchange between different Black people.

2. Varying archetypes.

Hood folk exist. Sassy Black women exist. Even if it’s our cliché in media, I don’t feel like there should be less of these presentations. Alternatively, I think it’d be more beneficial to show more Black people being softer, gentler, shy, insecure, etc. We have more to our personalities than just outer toughness.

We learn so much from video games that it could help people better understand those different from them or even cultural exchange between different Black people.

3. More than one Black person.

In my honest opinion, it’s a stretch that fantasy worlds or even fictional versions of our real world always have a token Black person living in areas with not one other Black person. Sounds bitter, but due to the more realistic and cynical settings of life, I find it hard to believe that a Black person wouldn’t venture out to find another so that they can feel safe in unknown territories or areas where they’re 1% of the population. Solidarity has been a method of inadvertent survival, so I think this is important even if such worlds never portray racism or discrimination.

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4. Different types of hair.

There are different types of afros than spherical 4C hair. If “4C” threw you for a loop, that’s also evidence enough that there need to be more Black hair types in video games. I have an afro myself. It’s not a perfect circle. I don’t have fro sideburns. I do afro puffs, a unicorn puff, part my afro to the side, Bantu knot my hair, and do hairstyles that probably don’t have a name. People put their dreads in buns. Some people have Sephiroth length dreads. Where’s the edge-ups? Where’s the flat tops? Box braids? It’s suffering seeing the same damn shapeless fro, short dreads, cornrows, or short haircut. It keeps me up at night. Sims 4 mods for Black people do everything I wish developers had.

5. More dialects.

I’d love to see a Black person with a Southern accent or sound like they don’t have their customer service voice on the whole game, but that code-switch voice lock setting is probably because we need Number 3 to happen first. Proper is great, but characters, as well as Black people in general, shouldn’t have to perform all the time just to be accepted.

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6. A better understanding of skin coloration.

It’s bothersome when video games like Monster Hunter World have such diverse skin color options, accompanied with different test lighting in the character creator, just for the skin color to somehow be off when you’re actually walking around in the game. It’s happened to me more than once in more than just that game where I try to make my character a medium brown with a neutral undertone and they come out lighter or darker than what I anticipated. It’s even worse when changing those settings on the characters isn’t free. It’d also help immensely if lip color was our typical same-color-as-face or darker to pink.

7. Variety of names.

Laquisha. Keshawn. Marquis. Aaliyah. Where are they?

8. More body types.

Another cliché is having Black people be tall, muscular, and/or curvy. It’s great, I’m here for it always and whenever, but more representation means having some variety. Not everybody has the six-pack or a donk, and that’s okay.

9. More interactions between Black people.

Again, this could be done if Number 3 is achieved. I keep drawing blanks and having to fall back on GTA for games that satisfy this condition and so we could obviously do more. And I’d love for it to extend past just having a Black family in a game; that’s the easiest way to do it. I want to see strangers dap each other or say, “What’s up, Big Dawg,” or a “Hey, gorgeous!” I love seeing that kind of interaction and I’m sure other Black people like to see that as well.

10.  Include Black writers, voice actors, etcetera.

I didn’t number these by any criteria of importance, but I do believe that one of the best ways to achieve everything on this list is to employ more Black people. Have more Black voice actors and writers to work together to create better, more believable characters. Including Black people also ensures that whatever attempts at inclusion don’t accidentally roll over into some offensive territory. And don’t stop at one or two; this ensures that there’s a lot more discourse going into the decision making and Black people from different backgrounds can collaborate to make sure accents are on point, situations are realistic, and that there’s diversity within the diversity of including Black people in the cast of characters.

 
 

There’s been so many video game characters in the past five years that have made my heart so happy. In 2018, Black people have so much more representation than we’ve ever had. We have Twintelle from ARMS (I know people don’t play it, but hell, it’s still something)! We have Marina from Splatoon 2! We are thriving! Even so, I don’t want that kind of progress to stop because the world is changing: the media should also reflect that change. When one community receives, so do others. It makes the world more beautiful, and it makes our experiences richer. We should always strive for that.

Artists Beware: Creative Exploitation in the Game Industry

Because video game development isn’t excluded from being a shady business

Many would regard video game development as one of the most fun industries a person could work in; a team of artists collaborate to create wondrous, fictional worlds people fondly use to take a break from the world we all know. This escapism is part of why some don’t consider what goes into making video games. As a kid, it’s not much of a thought. As adults, when we’re finishing academic papers at 3 am, juggling two jobs, working 40+ hour weeks, getting the kids to bed, it’s reasonable. Why insert that element of realism into a hobby you enjoy after a long day? It’s a reality that sadly ends up overshadowing that artists are getting screwed out of hard earned money.

As early as 2004, there was a lawsuit filed with EA to sue over unpaid overtime. Crytek’s former FX artist Ludwig Lindqvist had also chosen to crowdfund for a lawyer to take legal action for unpaid wages in 2016—some employees had still not been paid the following year. With this kind of disregard from even notable companies, a person could only imagine the unprecedented amount of misconduct that goes on in the industry. This brings to question how Ubisoft intends to handle their recent announcement of involving fan support.

Ubisoft’s E3 conference this year introduced Beyond Good & Evil 2. The trailer detailed to illustrate a futuristic space setting that the team impressed would draw various cultural inclusions and Ubisoft called for creators to join the efforts to create assets for the game.  The call entails that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord would be in partnership with Ubisoft to bring creators into the project. Rightfully, their partnership received criticism because of the details of how these artists would be compensated for their work. Right under the partnership video, a user questions the ethical nature of HitRecord and suggests that the artists won’t get paid.

What often happens with artists vs. the public is that people believe that exposure is interchangeable with pay; YouTube user Lucas Gore writes, “They’re doing you a favour by showcasing your art in a game that will be played by hundreds of thousands, possibly millions. They don’t owe you any money.”

This is harmful because realistically, there’s a fraction of online users that will simply like an artist’s work, a smaller fraction that shares the work and correctly attributes it back to the artist, and an even smaller fraction that decide to contract your work for pay. YouTube user TotallyCarbon’s response to the simple “it’s exposure” are questions that I often ask myself in the face of opportunities: How well are they going to credit? Why would this stand out on my portfolio? What form of payment will be given? HitRecord has an alleged $50,000 budget specifically for creators whose music, art, writing, and etcetera get approved. This begs the question, how much work will be approved and how will it be divided between the collective of people? It raises concern whenever a client can’t define the when, how, and what of these interactions and that uncertainty is what freelancers look for when contracting work.

These types of articles spotlighting lack of pay in video game projects aren’t uncommon and seeing as my research also brought up job postings for unpaid artist labor, this kind of exploitation will produce more to come. It’s an unfortunate fact that comes with the freelance territory. “For exposure” is such a common thing in the art industry that there’s satirical art, Twitter accounts, and pages outing clients who have the gall to ask to work for free. For those who are also creating content, here are a few things you can do to avoid any unsavory interactions with clients.

  1. Write a contract. Include what work you’re willing to do, the usage rights if they should want to continue working with you, guidelines of what you expect and what your client should expect, and what will happen in the event that the client decides to cancel their commissioned work.
  2. Research your client. If they’re a company, there should be information on how interactions with freelancers went. If it’s an individual, ask if they’ve had a history commissioning work from other artists—if there is no such information, continue at your own risk.
  3. Get verbal agreements in writing. If there isn’t something included in your contract that they’re offering, make sure to get it in writing. Don’t only take people’s word for it.

It’s the least you can do to protect yourself if you want to make money doing what you love that extends beyond the video game industry. Exploitation happens often and it can go unnoticed when we’re out living our lives and are the recipients of such beauty and blood. We should be mindful of what it took to bring one of our favorite past times into our homes. Awareness and education can go a long way to protecting the people behind the magic and protecting ourselves. It should be common sense that nobody wants to work for free, right?

Are you an artist or writer who has experienced this? Share your story in the comments.

Yakuza: Tension Between Chinese Immigrants and Japanese Citizens

This article contains spoilers for Yakuza 6: Song of Life and Yakuza 0

The Yakuza series is unique in the way it draws much of its fictional world from famous movies, actors, comedians, adult entertainers, and even allusions to historical events (Majima causing Japan’s Bubble Economy to burst is the kind of game content that keeps giving). But with all these references to real life, one particularly stood out to me: the overt presence of Chinese immigration.

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Heihaizi—they are the children who are born outside of the One Child policy in China and left in the darkness. They have no government identification and that’s relative to the amount of rights they have. Without proper paperwork and no family money to pay the fine for disregarding the policy, these kids have no access to education, public transport, medical treatment, or jobs.  Because of this, they are at risk for human trafficking and turn to crime for their survival. In Yakuza 6, this is an integral part of the main story. Why is this important?

Even in 2018, there are many Western people who couldn’t imagine that there’s bitterness amongst East Asians. Factor in America’s lack of focus on foreign politics in primary education and Japan’s quietness about their socioeconomic culture in their localized games, it’s a shock to see how Chinese and Japanese people interact within the game. Even Korean characters have their prodding at the Japanese. One of the earliest introductions to tension between the Chinese and Japanese is within the first hour where protagonist Kiryu Kazuma encounters two Triad members closing off an alley. When let through, he finds a Yakuza man surrounded by Triads. Two discreetly communicate in Mandarin that they’re going to kill him too. Upon rescue, the man relays to him that they’re not only after family men, but they’re going after civilians too.

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The tension between the Chinese and Japanese didn’t have to be as straightforward as a sword to the neck either; the language barrier is also used as a symbol of tension. Triad officer Ed offers in his first appearance that his superior has an answer to the ultimatum given to their group, but his “Japanese isn’t great.” Citizens on the street warn others about roaming Triads. Even in earlier games such as Yakuza 0, Kiryu couldn’t even get close to Little Asia, the Chinese’s small ghetto in Kamurocho. That the sixth installment goes a step further and integrates human trafficking is also a lot to take in during some fictional downtime.

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            As a newcomer to the series, I never know what to expect with Yakuza. I didn’t think it would ever brush with reality so intimately. I’ve struggled to find many other games that showcase it so thoroughly, if at all. Something as critical as the heihaizi struggle and showing this tension is a big step on Japan’s part because it’s also admitting that Japan is not always a wonderland of progression and hospitality. Although there is a Japanese-favoring rhetoric used in a lot of these interactions (it’s a Japanese game, go figure), being able to offer these kind of visuals helps players grasp a broader understanding of Japan, China, and realities of socioeconomic climate between them.

#ICYMI Walmart Canada Leaked Possible #E3 Game Titles

Are these titles going to be announced at E3?

Newsweek reported that Walmart Canada played with gamers' emotions all across the globe when they accidentally released unannounced games to the public on their New Video Games Release page. The page has since been deleted.

The leak included popular game titles that are highly anticipated to be announced at E3 2018, such as a Splinter Cell reboot, Gears of War 5, Borderlands 3Rage 2, , Forza Horizon 5Just Cause 4 and Assassins Creed (yes, that's right. Assassins--no apostrophe). Could Assassins Creed be deliberate, about a group of assassins and not just the one? We'll probably have to wait until E3.

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Bethesda's Rage Twitter account gave a hilarious response to the Rage 2 leak.

It's not unusual for stores to create placeholders for anticipated games. While some of these games have been hinted at for a while, many of the titles have not been officially confirmed by their studios. But it sure as hell fun to speculate and get excited. Rage 2 was most definitely confirmed after the leak, with Rage 2 giving sneak peaks at the game and then finally releasing a games trailer on May 15.

Source: Bethesda

Source: Bethesda

Which game titles are you looking forward to seeing at E3? Is there a game on the leaked list that you didn't expect to see? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter.

Still no Half Life 3, though. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Valve already said there won't be one, but a girl can dream! *stares off far into the distance* A girl can dream.

Funcom Updates, Adds New Content to Secret World Legends

On April 4, Funcom released the first new content to its unique MMO, Secret World Legends, since retooling and relaunching the game last year.

Dawn of the Morninglight brings players to South Africa to infiltrate the Morninglight stronghold and continue the quest for Morninglight’s leader, Philip Marquard. With the new content and new location, players will be introduced to new stories and monsters inspired by real-life South African folklore. Additionally, the content will reintroduce players to old favorites, introduce new characters, and provide the in-depth and fully voice-acted missions and cutscenes the game has come to be known for. 

Initially launched in 2012 as subscription-based The Secret World, the MMO is set in a modern world under attack by occult forces. As they develop their powers, players get to choose to work for one of three world-controlling secret societies: the Illuminati, Dragon or Templar (based in NYC, Seoul and London, respectively). 

The settings are unique and extremely well fleshed out with impressive detail, as are the quests. While you’re fighting Lovecraftian nasties in New England, you can’t help but feel completely immersed in the world (and maybe even find yourself craving a nice lobster roll to enjoy... while fighting Draug and solving serial murders and mysteries from years gone by).  

Source:  Secret World of Legends  via Wikia

Source: Secret World of Legends via Wikia

Despite the high praise on its initial release, its investigative missions and lore, The Secret World saw declining populations over the years. Funcom used this opportunity to reinvent the game last summer as Secret World Legends, a free-to-play format. They made changes to the game, improving on some of its initial shortcomings (vertical leveling vs. a now-level based scale) and breathed a new life into a world that is well worth exploring.

If you’re looking for an enthralling horror/supernatural MMO, check out Secret World of Legends.

Norwegian video game developer, Funcom Oslo AS, is home to Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, the Longest Journey series. Their newest title, Conan Exiles, will be released May 8, 2018.
 

Popular CS:GO Commentator, Sadokist Suspended From Twitch For Toxic Behavior

In unsurprising news, another streamer thought it was cool to call someone the N-word and tell another person to kill himself. 

Matthew "Sadokist" Trivett was suspended from Twitch for calling someone the N-word (yes, the "er" could be heard) as he raged during his live birthday PUBG stream.

Later in the stream he told another player, Don Haci, to go kill himself. "Go fuck yourself, ban yourself from the CS:GO community. Maybe--maybe put a belt around your neck and jump off a cliff with the belt still attached. That would be better for everyone." 

And like clockwork, people came to his defense, calling Sadokist a "nice guy" and telling Don Haci to stop whining. Some even went on to tell Don Haci that Sadokist was right. 

Twitch took action later that day, as they have been cracking down on people exhibiting toxic behavior while using their platform. More companies are finally beginning to take toxicity in the gaming and geek communities seriously by suspending and banning people who prove to be detrimental to the overall health of the community. Unfortunately, they may be too late. Casual racism is heavily embedded in the gaming community. 

Do you think Sadokist should have been suspended, banned or left along? Take our poll and tell us what you think.

Give Fortnite a Hand for Overtaking Overwatch as the Most Searched Title on Pornhub

Fortnite overtakes Overwatch as the most searched for game porn on Pornhub.

It was bound to happen. Fortnite overtook PUBG as the top battle royale-type game. And why? Penny really is THICC (title from one of the many Fortnite videos). Overwatch does remain the second most searched for game title on Pornhub, though.

Ever since video games became mainstream and, therefore, not just for kids, female characters have been illustrated to turn on adolescent boys, teens and men. Big, perky breasts with round, thick booties and virtually no waistline has been the go-to formula for creating sexy female characters for decades. Of course people are going to want to watch them in sexual encounters.

Pornhub Insights said that "the most popular Fortnite related searches include “hentai”, “battle royale”, “animation” and “strip”. And when responding to Polygon's inquiry about Fortnite's possible influence on Pornhub searches, Porhub had this to say:

Our statisticians found that while Fortnite had a slow start on Pornhub, it has steadily gained ground over the last several months to become of of our top video game related search terms.

They also shared a no-brainer " male visitors are 136% more likely to search for Fortnite compared to women." But one thing that's pretty telling, since Fortnite went mobile, more Apple iOS users search for Fortnite than Android users. Hmmm.

And of course Drake's epic Fortnite stream on March 14 helped increase the searches on Pornhub. 

And you already know the memes are coming. Actually, they're already here! The internet is lightning fast--much like the kids on Pornhub searching for Fortnite hentai.

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Make sure you follow us on Facebook for more updates on this gripping story.

10 Gifs That Accurately Describe a Fortnite Battle Royale Match

When your squad is about to drop in Salty Springs and 5 other teams show up.

When the queue is longer than expected.

When you're doing random squads and the voice chat is full of "preschoolers."

One word. Snipers...

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TRYING TO OUT RUN THE STORM!!!! But you hear a chest nearby...

Duos with the bestie and killing it!

The squad member that never lands with the squad

When the circle is so small and everyone is crafting and bullets are flying all around you

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10 people left. Time to hide.

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VICTORY!!!

Do you play Fortnite? Join the conversation on Facebook with a gif in the comments

League of Legends for Dummies - A Guide: Part 1

LoL: An Introduction

So you want to play League of Legends. You’ll find countless guides on forums, websites and videos breaking down complex parts of the game, but there are very few guides covering the basics of the game. 

What the heck is MIA? What is a nexus, and why do I need to blow it up? That’s where Ge’NeL comes in. We’re giving you all the basic information you need to know to have a great first game of LoL, and everything we wish we’d known in our first game. 

What is League of Legends? LoL is a free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (F2P MOBA). What does that mean? In most MOBAs, you get to pick from a huge list of characters, and LoL is no exception. With 139 champions available on the current roster, there is something out there for everyone (and we’ve got skins if you want to be pretty, or scary). 

The whole idea is that you’re constantly fighting the enemy team in an all-out brawl to blow up their shiny crystal before they can blow up yours. There are little girls dealing big damage, tons of swords and guns, killing dragons, blowing stuff up and saving teammates from walking into certain death. If any of that sounds interesting, stay with us. There’s a lot to learn, but you’ll be causing carnage on the Fields of Justice before you know it!

Getting Started

You’ll need to download and install the game before we can do anything. Head over to the League of Legends site  to create your account and download the game. Get through set-up and install, then patch. It might take a while — remember, more than 130 champions — but it’s worth it.

While you patch, think of your summoner name. This is the name that is going to be seen by everyone you play with and against. You can change it, but name changes don’t come cheap, so pick one you really like up front. Once you’ve chosen, there goes that “ding!” you will come to know and love.

Now you’re probably looking at something like this:

 
 

The tutorial has some great moments. You’ll play as Ashe, a long-standing marksman on the League of Legends roster. The game shows you how to level up an ability, what minions are, what all the structures are and other key features.

However, the tutorial has its issues as well. In the screenshot below, you can see I am barely missing any health, but the game will force you to use the summoner spell “Heal” to advance. Heal, and most other summoner spells, are there to save you from death as opposed to just topping your health off. Summoner spells have long cooldowns and are always important, so make sure you are only using them when you really need them.

 
 

The other cringe-worthy aspect of the tutorial is the set of items the game has you build for Ashe. All champions in the game have abilities, and different factors contribute to those abilities’ power. Ashe is an Attack Damage Carry (ADC) which means she scales off of Attack Damage, or AD. The tutorial has you build a tank item called Thornmail, which is an item you would almost never actually use on Ashe. 

Despite its flaws, the tutorial is worth playing and will help clarify and reinforce some of the points listed in this guide.

I recommend everyone new to League of Legends play through battle training. It starts you off in champion select, which is where you begin every game of League of Legends. This is where you pick your champion, skins, summoner spells (as you unlock them) and runes (once you reach Level 8). 

Once you’re done looking around champion select, you can load into the game. There, it shows you the map, reminds you to buy items, reminds you not to just walk up to turrets and a host of other valuable tips. Sure, as a veteran player who knows the limits of their champion, the constant pop-ups and game pauses can get annoying, but I know how helpful this version of the tutorial would have been when I started playing.

 
 

Now, pick your favorite pretty picture and let’s really get started!

Terms to Know:

  • MOBA - Multiplayer online battle arena

  • META - The commonly accepted play style / team composition at the time

  • MIA - Missing in action / missing

  • ARAM- All Random All Middle

  • Ult - Ultimate ability (Default R)

  • CC - Crowd control; stuns, silences, slows

  • Soft CC - Crowd controls that do not completely stop control from their player (slows, roots, silences)

  • Hard CC - Crowd controls that completely stop player control (stuns, fears, suppression)

  • Hard Despawn - When a minion or monster despawns or goes away despite being in combat

  • DoT - Damage Over Time

  • TP/Tele - Teleport

  • OP - Overpowered

  • Jg - Jungle or Jungler

  • APC - Ability Power Carry

  • ADC - Attack Damage Carry

  • FF - Surrender (Forfeit)

  • B - Base or basing (ex. “I’m b” or “They’re b”)

  • KS - Kill steal; most often used when a support gets a kill instead of a carry

  • Rep - Report; done in post game screen

  • Feed/Feeding - To die a lot to the enemy team, intentionally or otherwise (ex. “Stop feeding!”)

  • Int/Inting - Intentional feeding; intentionally dying to the enemy team to make them stronger

  • Tilt/Tilting - Getting mad or upset and allowing it to affect your gameplay negatively (ex. “Don’t Tilt!”)

  • Clown Fiesta - A term used when a game has completely gone off the rails and crazy things are happening. Usually one team is significantly ahead of the other or both teams are making a large number of mistakes.

  • GL HF - Good luck, have fun!

  • GG WP - Good game, well played!

Out of Game

 
 

As you level up your account, you’ll unlock new game modes and maps. 

The majority of LoL is played on Summoner’s Rift. It’s the lovely 5v5 map you were on during Battle Training. Summoner’s Rift is the map that professional LoL is played on as well, so if you’ve got dreams of playing on the big stage, you’re going to be seeing a lot of green, and this guide will help you manage it. 

There are four modes for Summoner’s Rift. Blind Pick is where you do not know what the enemy team will be playing and you might be playing against people playing the same champions as you. Draft Pick is what a lot of people use to practice for ranked play. You will be able to pick champions you do not want to play against in the “Banning” phase. Then the selection of champions alternates back and forth between the two teams. You know what you’re playing against, so you have more time to plan and pick champions that counter the enemy team. Ranked Solo/Duo is the next level up of competition that you unlock at Level 30.

You gain league points (LP) based on winning and losing, and you can play with one other person. Ranked Flex is just like Ranked Solo/Duo except that you can queue up with as many people as you would like.

ARAM is on the Howling Abyss map and only has a single lane. It is centered around fighting and pushing the enemy structures. You can not pick your champion in ARAM, but it’s a great way to test out new champions and see if you enjoy them!

Twisted Treeline is a 3v3 map. The game is similar to that on Summoner’s Rift but there are less structures and the map is scaled down. There is ranked play for Twisted Treeline, as well.

Out of Game; Into Game

Runes are selected out of game but provide you in-game effects. 

There are five rune trees: Inspiration, Sorcery, Precision, Domination, and Resolve. Until you reach Level 8, you won’t be able to change your runes or personally select your pages. The game will select the best rune page for you based on your champion. After Level 8, you’ll be able to personalize your runes to your champion and playstyle. I recommend looking at op.gg for specific champion rune pages.

Summoner Spells are also selected out of game, but give you two in-game abilities. There are nine summoner spells available in Summoner’s Rift:  Ghost, Heal, Barrier (unlocked at Level 4), Exhaust (4), Flash (7), Teleport (7), Ignite (9), Smite (9), and Cleanse (9).

 
 

Stay in Your Lane. Literally!

There are 139 champions as of Jan. 1. Inevitably, there will be someone in that huge and ever-growing roster you will enjoy playing. There are five roles in League of Legends that, for the most part, need to be filled every game. These are Support, Marksman (MM), Top, Middle (Mid) and Jungle (JG). These roles take different types of champions, and despite the fact that each and every champion in League of Legends is different, they each fit into some categories. 

There are three lanes in LoL: Top, Middle, and Bottom. The lanes each have turrets running down them and are where the players will spend the majority of their game. Marksman and support both go bottom lane, while middle and top lane each have one person. Minions spawn and run down each lane, clashing with each other as they meet.

These categories include Utility, Marksmen, Tanks, Mages, Assassins and Bruisers. A lot of champions have two categories they fall into, such as a utility tank or a utility mage. Utility speaks to the ability a champion has to help their team through means other than damage. This can be done with shielding, healing or crowd control. Utility champions are often played in the support role. Marksmen’s main source of damage is usually auto-attacking and attack damage. They are generally played in the Marksman role, but can be used in other roles depending on skill and team composition. Tanks’ main goal in the game is to soak up as much damage as they can for their team. Tanks often have a lot of crowd control, but their main stats are health and their resistances. They can be played in any role aside from marksman. Mages are probably what you think of when you think of a witch or wizard, and you’re right! They usually gain power from ability power, and do their main damage through spells. They are often played middle or support. Assassins lurk around, waiting for their moment to strike. There are both AD and AP assassins, and they can be played top, middle or jungle. Bruisers are tankier damage dealers. Their strength comes in having more resistance and damage combined than their enemies. Bruisers are often played top and jungle. 

Gimme, Gimme

There are two types of currency in LoL: Blue Essence (BE) and Riot Points (RP). Blue Essence is earned by leveling up, disenchanting champion shards you don’t want and completing missions. BE is what you buy champions with, because you don’t start the game with any. Riot Points are acquired with real money. They can be used to buy champions if you just can’t wait to grind out the BE, or they can be used on in-game cosmetics. Keep in mind, buying an experience boost with RP will only boost the leveling of your account, not your leveling in-game. 

In our next installment, we will talk strategy and in-game play. Stay tuned!

Was this guide helpful? Did we miss something? Let us know on our Ge'NeL fan page or by tweeting us at @genelmag!