League of Legends: Dominion Preview

By   /   Aug 6, 2011


The immensely popular multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends will soon be getting one of its largest updates, which will integrate the all-new Dominion mode into the game.

The free-to-play team strategy game has grown in many ways, and from time to time its developers Riot have offered something new, whether it’s been in the form of fresh awesome characters or rebuffed/nerfed characters or other interesting tid-bits.

But what few expected was Riot to incorporate an entirely new gameplay mode, forget largest content update.

Dominion mode will bring lots of new changes, and by seeing it in action, it can be easily conceived that both veterans and partly new to the experience will have to slightly change their approach to get success in the action-packed, fast-paced arena of Dominion.

For those who don’t know, Dominion mode’s concept is similar to the OnSlaught mode of the later Unreal Tournament games (except of course LoL isn’t a first-person shooter), and somewhat similar to World of Warcraft’s Arathi Basin battleground.

Two 5-champion teams battle against each other to control a group of nodes across a circular-shaped map called the Crystal Scar; the more nodes your team owns, the slower your resource counter ticks down, meaning whichever team hits zero first loses the match.

The result is an ultra fast-paced strategic battle that doesn’t last for as long as those in Summoner’s Rift. So what factors can enhance the possibility of positive results in Dominion? Well, continue reading and you will find out the answer.

Firstly, seeing that Crystal Scar isn’t as large as Summoner’s Rift, and the fact that you start at level 3 with 1,350 gold already in your pocket, it’s probably wise to choose DPS characters or heavy melees (tanks perhaps) such as Xin Zhao, Garen, Mordekaiser, Singed etcetera. That doesn’t mean mages or ranged characters will fail – it’s just that their squishy nature might prevent one from staying alive for too long.

Speaking of staying alive, the not-so-fun experience of dying is something you’ll have to get used to in Dominion, since there is little time and loads of nodes to capture, hold, and recapture. This will result in ridiculously awesome intense team fights, and perhaps the tanking role will be even more essential than it already is in Summoner’s Rift.

This will also mean that there will be a lot of shifts of battlefield dominance, making it hard to predict the outcome of the match until the very end. In Summoner’s Rift you can often tell which team will win within the first 15 minutes for most matches, making the ‘surrender system’ your best friend at times, but seeing the unpredictable nature of Dominion, it wouldn’t surprise me if the option of surrendering is removed entirely for the mode.

Another important change (or should I say omission?) is the lack of fog of war in Dominion, meaning you’ll be aware of the enemy champions’ positions at all times, unless they are hiding in brush or are stealth characters like Twitch and Evelynn. That also means that site wards are more or less useless, and it may also mean that ultimates such as those of Pantheon, Shen and Amumu will have a lot of impact.

The items will also be slightly changed, as there will be new inclusions and some omissions to keep balance. Stacking items such as Mejal’s Soulstealer and Leviathan have been omitted, as dying and killing will be a frequent habit in Dominion, and such items make you stronger with every kill.

High magic resistance items such as Banshee’s Veil will also be omitted; as such a powerful anti-magic item will nullify mages in such intense and fast paced combat, particularly early on. The long-lost Promote summoner spell may also see a return, which buff’s one of your team’s minions and grants you gold for every enemy minion it slays.

There are still lots of unveiled features of Dominion that will be seen at the release. According to Riot, the update will be available shortly after it is showcased at GamesCom, which means soon. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if people stopped playing Summoner’s Rift altogether and shifted to Dominion as it seems to offer a more competitive, more action-packed, and more unpredictable experience.

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