League of Legends: Dominion - First Thoughts

In case you're a League of Legends player and you somehow are living under a rock, or didn't play League yesterday, you won't know that for the majority of yesterday we were able to play Dominion. It was an open beta, but still. Here are some of my first thoughts on Dominion.

Firstly, it's really fun. Dominion is essentially a king of the hill, but with multiple points. Territory KotH, if you will. As your team captures points and holds them the enemy team's nexus health goes down. It also goes down if you kill enemy champions, but not anywhere close to as quickly.

From what I saw, Riot hit the nail on the head with Dominion. It's tons of fun, and it's a lot faster paced that normal League. I think the average time I spent in a game was probably 17-20 minutes, but it didn't feel like that long at all. It's fast paced action almost all the time. You start out at level 3 with around 1,300 gold. You get 3 gold per second, instead of 1. Because of this, you buy items much faster, so the game is overall shorter. You also get gold for capturing or defending points.

If your team controls a point, it acts like a friendly turret, attacking enemy creeps and champions that come in range. But, if an enemy brings down your teams' control on the turret, it turns to neutral (all points start at neutral) and doesn't attack anyone. Then, if a team captures it again, it acts like a friendly turret to their team.

Riot has also changed the minions. There are only three of them per wave, and they hit much harder and give more gold. But you won't be very worried about killing minions, because the 'laning' phase is over almost immediately. Pretty much, as soon as you capture your first two or three points, you are either defending or attacking.

Now, it does seem as though support champions aren't anywhere close to as useful in Dominion. What really matters in Dominion is either fast movement speed--to capture points--insane damage--to kill champions so you can capture points--or tanky-ness--so your teammates can kill champions and capture points.

Dominion is much more team-focused than normal League. Your personal KDR isn't displayed in the upper right, only your points. You gain points by capturing and defending your points. You do get some points for killing enemy champions, but not anywhere close to as many. You can have a terrible KDR, but still be on top of the team in points.

They've also revamped the 'jungle' as it were. Now, on the outside of the map where the points are, everyone always has vision. But inside the jungle, you don't. There are movement speed increases that you can run over and pick up, along with respawnable health packs that you can pick up as well. There are also two spots in the center of the map where you do have vision. They are two 'pillars' of sorts. If you grab these, your champion gets a shield, lots of extra damage, and they actually get bigger. (I want to see a 6-stack Cho'Gath with that buff.)

Overall, Dominion is really awesome. Riot did a great job with what I saw. I'm sure they'll continue to balance and tweak things before it really launches, but I'll look forward to it being released for good soon.


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