League of Legends: Dominion

Also known as League of Legends: Arathi Basin. It is live, a map with 5 capture points instead of three lanes. The overview has information about the new mode. I haven’t tried it myself, but the games should be shorter (~20 minutes).

Of course, quite a few League of Legends games are decided at the 20-minute point, because that is when a team can forfeit, but that’s another story.

Update, having tried it: Wow, that is a MUCH faster game. Team battles start within 90 seconds. I have been ahead 200 (of 500) and lost and behind 200 and won. The map is much smaller, the minions are fewer, and everything just feels very INTENSE NOW GO GO POWER! versus the stately pace of the League of Legends early game with its laning and harassing.

: Zubon

5 thoughts on “League of Legends: Dominion”

  1. I managed to play 8 or 10 games while they were bringing it live over the past week or so, and I would say the Arathi Basin comparison is a bit unfair. It’s like saying chess is checkers, only black-and-white.

    While I really enjoyed it, I did feel a bit like this wasn’t just a new game mode, but a new game. I imagine that most people will feel the same, but everyone is going to interpret that feeling differently. Personally, I find it is a great addition, though I’m not ready to give up the old school laning game.

  2. I’m curious to see how this turns out. On one hand, it’ll be nice to have an option in LoL that will never suck out 75 minutes or more of my life – usually a miserable hour where you know you have no chance of winning.

    On the other hand, I have horrible memories of AB, and I almost universally dislike similar capture-point/point-drain modes. These tend to discourage fighting in favor of playing musical chairs from point to point – which might be strategic for an organized group, but in casual play rarely results in exciting and interesting matches.

    I don’t understand why more games don’t copy the attack/defend and tug-of-war style CP maps used in TF2. That game routinely features the most dramatic, exciting, and generally rewarding play I’ve experienced in memory, while still rewarding team play, flanking, and other sophisticated tactics.

    NOTE: To expound a bit, I’d argue that these game modes often fail because they divorce the seizure of objectives and the fighting from the actual objective, which is merely accruing points. I give SW:ToR props in this regard, since with their point-drain map there is at least a fluffy connection between the objective and the gameplay to create some sort of narrative.

    But in Arathi Basin, you might completely dominate the other team and win (for all intents and purposes, the gameplay is really done at this point) within the first couple minutes, but the game then lingers on, dragging along until the point drain finishes. In contrast, in TF2 the seizure of the last point and the dramatic high of winning the match are bound together by definition – if you are defending/attacking that point, you will always be sure to be involved in the game-deciding action.

    Nothing enraged me more in AB than standing by an uncontested point for 15 minutes without ever seeing combat, only to have our team lose the match by gross incompetence that I’m never even close enough to see. Or to pull off a dramatic cap, only to lose anyway seconds later because the enemy still has one point that’s slowly ticking away.

    I dunno, I certainly can understand the theoretical advantages of these modes, but overall I really don’t understand their overwhelming popularity.

    1. That’s why the AB comparison is not really accurate, you won’t have a game of Dominion and not see combat. (Among a ton of other pretty major differences)

    2. Agree with Syncaine. To whit:
      1. Your nexus loses health based on the difference between the opponents’ total captured points and yours. So if you pull off a dramatic cap with 1 tick left on the old doom clock, your team will stay alive for as long as you can hold the lead.
      2. You don’t have to babysit a capture point to keep it. If you turn a point green it stays green until an enemy unit shows up and successfully neutralizes it. Also, neutralizing and then capturing a point a.) alerts all players that the point has been neutralized, and b.) takes long enough that enemy champions have time to run over and chase you off — usually before you’ve even finished neutralizing.

      1. I do agree with point 1 – Riot made a good design choice here, and it results in a lot of close games. I only hope Arena Net uses this model for their capture point system; it’s far superior to WoW’s Arathi Basin or GW2’s current conquest systems.

        Point two is fair as well, due to the extremely small map size.

        In short, comparison’s to AB aren’t really accurate for Dominion. It’s a fair cop. Doesn’t mean I like it though:

        My larger issue with the mode, having played more of it, is that I never get a sense of my choices and achievements having long term impact. If you get a kill on summoner’s rift, it could mean taking a tower, gaining a level advantage in lane, or gaining map control for a short period (leading to dragon or Baron), as well as the gold and XP benefit. In Dominion everything feels so fleeting – you get a kill, and it means you can take a CP, but then they just zerg over and take it back. You could back cap a point while the enemy isn’t looking, but again, they just take it back.

        It doesn’t feel like it has any of the grand strategy or rising drama/narrative that standard LoL has. It’s just a single undifferentiated burst of skirmishing and running around the map with no larger structure.

        I also dislike the frantic pace of leveling up and gaining gold, but that’s subjective, and is likely a positive for many people. I can’t fault it that.

        Ah well, Dominion is clearly not designed with me in mind, so I’ll just avoid playing it. No harm done, and I’m sure a huge number of people will get a ton of enjoyment out of it.

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