First Look Into League of Legends: Wild Rift Alpha

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League of Legends Wild Rift

League of Legends developer, Riot Games, started sending invites for League of Legends: Wild Rift Alpha to pre-registered players in Brazil on June 5 & in the Philippines on June 6, 2020.

Being a League of Legends fan since 2015, I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting to get my hands on the game. Luckily, I got early access to Wild Rift’s Alpha test and so I’ll take this chance to share with our readers my experience playing the game.

What is League of Legends: Wild Rift?

To those of you who haven’t played its PC version yet, League of Legends (popularly known as LoL) is one of the most successful MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) on Earth as of this writing.

League of Legends is a team-based strategy game where two teams, composed of 5 players each, take part on a faceoff in the Rift making epic plays, capturing objectives & securing kills as you battle your way to victory.

It’s developer, Riot Games, is bringing the experience to mobile and console launching its adaptation, League of Legends: Wild Rift.

Join Riot’s executive producer, Michael Chow, as he reveals the gameplay on this video.

Gameplay & The Rift

Playing a game on League of Legends (excluding special game modes) can last quite a while. Riot Games made sure this isn’t the case with Wild Rift. The mobile & console counterpart have a faster-paced gameplay lasting from 15 to 25 minutes.

For Riot to accomplish that, they made some nice touches to Wild Rift.

  • Minions are spawned as soon as the champions can leave the Nexus Obelisk (Fountain Laser).
  • Achieve max level faster with the adjusted level cap (from 18 to 15).
  • Build your champions faster by earning gold on nearby minion deaths. Of course, last hitting minions would yield more gold.
  • Push faster with no inhibitor to protect the Nexus and with turrets having no plates.

Other than the pace of the game, I’m also surprised how they have adapted the unique elements of League of Legends plus some new features to its non-PC counterpart.

  • Controlling map vision continues to be an important part of the game. Every player has access to 2 yellow trinket wards which you can replace with an oracle lens.
  • All players have the same bottom-top perspective to make it more straightforward for new players.
  • The Nexus now fires turret shots to protect itself.
  • There are new healing plants on the opposite side of the first turret of every lane.
  • The red brambleback & the blue sentinel now evolves late in the game giving improved bonuses.
  • The elder dragon is now an evolved version of a drake type giving out improved bonuses similar to its non-evolved counterpart.

Lastly, the Rift has some noticeable changes as well. There’s a missing blast cone below the red brambleback buff and some changes in the terrain which I think was the result of Riot making the map shorter for faster gameplay.

Champions & Skills

League of Legends have a pool of 145 unique champions, however, Riot decided to start with 40 champions including some popular ones, like Annie, Yasuo, Lux, Ashe, Jinx, Master Yi & more!

Changing the basic controls to a new system, some of League’s champion abilities looked hard to utilize on mobile & console. Props to Riot’s dev team for touching up some champion skills like Miss Fortune’s double-tap or Annie’s disintegrate being changed from a point-and-click ability to a skill shot. Riot personalized the experience of playing on mobile, and so far, I have no complaints at all.

Riot’s dev team has spiced the experience further by overhauling some passive & active abilities like Lux’s ultimate now being global, Shyvana now receives buffs based on what type of drake she kills, and you can now control the direction of Ashe’s ultimate enchanted crystal arrow. There are more exciting changes like these on Wild Rift, and with the Alpha test happening in the Philippines & Brazil, I’m sure there’s a lot more to come!

Items & Runes

The rune system has changed quite a bit to fit with the new gameplay that accommodates the transition to mobile and console. New runes are added which are completely unique to League of Legends: Wild Rift like the Champion rune giving you 10% extra damage against champions, but losing 5% each time you die, or the rune Loyalty, giving your closest ally champion extra AR & MR.

On the other hand, while the majority of League’s items will still be available on Wild Rift, I’ve noticed some changes and new items being added to the game to make the gameplay faster. The biggest change that I have noticed so far is that now, you can only carry 1 active item in your build, and it works like an enchantment to your boots.

How about Riot’s reputation on balancing champions?

As soon as I started playing the game, it’s hard not to notice how Master Yi pawns every one in the Rift. He has truly mastered the power of the Wuju style. Along with Master Yi, Vayne tumbles her way to victory scaling her damage too fast in the game.

We have to remember, Riot’s success on balancing champions in League had something to do with the community’s efforts on providing feedback. And that seems to be the same case in Wild Rift. Riot has heard the cries of summoners in the Alpha test and addressed these on their very first patch.

Final Thoughts

One of the things I expected to experience was playing with a team full of ADCs, and worry not, because yes, it did happen. MORE THAN ONCE! To be fair though it was only on normal mode. Expect these things to happen every now and then, for the foreseeable future.

While there’s no such thing as perfect, League of Legends: Wild Rift is how I expected it to be and even better! There’s a learning curve on moving away from mouse and keyboard, but so far the layout of the controls in Wild Rift is not difficult to get comfortable with.

Pre-register on Wild Rift today and get a chance for early access.
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