League of Legends Adding Battle Training Tutorial Mode; Hands-on Preview

By Brian Leahy, Oct 29, 2010 5:30pm PDT Riot Games is adding an advanced tutorial to its DotA-alike game League of Legends. While the game has a basic tutorial that explains the very basics of the game in a non-game scenario, the Battle Training mode takes place on the game's 5-versus-5 Summoner's Rift map.

Players can also earn experience and influence points--albeit at a reduced rate--in this mode, which adds some replayability. The tutorial covers everything from the character selection screen through the post-game report.

Set on the popular 5 vs 5 Summoner's Rift map, Battle Training pairs a player up with 4 AI-controlled teammates against 5 AI-controlled opponents. Battle Training's coached game experience begins by walking the player through choosing one of three, easy to learn but powerful champions.

Through a series of in-game mini-quests (which include map and UI highlights to help players), players are guided through the key objectives of a typical game.

While working on these mini-quests, players are also presented with dynamic tips designed by experienced League of Legends players to help them compete more effectively. The tips also contain screenshots and explanations of tactics used in League of Legends. When the game has been completed, the tutorial gives an overview of the statistics provided in the end-of-game screen.

I had a chance to play an early build of Battle Training and it should definitely help new players, but I'm not sure it will take players from complete newbies to feeling comfortable about jumping into a real game. It does offer a lot of helpful direction, tips, and and concepts, but the depth quickly runs out.

For example, players will be prompted to buy an item, pick a lane, push towers, score last hits on creeps, and even hit the jungles for extra gold and experience, but Battle Training does little to explain more complex mechanics or team tactics. I'm not saying it won't be immensely helpful for new players--an interactive tutorial is far better than some FAQ or wall of text--but there's still a missing link that will need to be filled by real game experience.

I just wish it would go into detail about coordinating with teammates, stuns and other crowd control, and how to build out specific characters. The mode will pop-up context based tips, however, when you do things like walk into brush, which hides you from enemies. There are just so many other things in League of Legends that go unsaid in this advanced tutorial. You can't have it all, though.

League of Legends remains one of the easiest DotA-like games to get into and it's free-to-play unless you want to start plunking down real money on microtransactions.

Battle Training will be released in November and the team is shooting to release it next Wednesday, though this date is not final.

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