We Just Played League of Legends: Dominion

It's chaos right out of the gate as we go hands-on with the new Dominion game mode for League of Legends.

There's a new game mode on the way for League of Legends. It's called Dominion, and we got the chance to play it last week at a Riot Games press event here in San Francisco. The mode is a capture-and-hold game type, similar in concept to Relic's Dawn of War II multiplayer mode but with all the chaos of a League of Legends game. During the announcement, Travis Geroge, lead producer at Riot, explained how Dominion is much faster than the game's standard mode, with matches clocking in at about 20 minutes. "And there are no hopeless moments in Dominion," he added, "only heroic ones."

When you start a game of Dominion, both five-player teams are given a set number of points. The goal is to decrease the other team's point total to zero by capturing and holding the control points. There are five control points total located along the outer rim of a large, circular map called The Crystal Scar. The control points are also towers, and they will fire on you if held by the enemy. An enemy turret will stop firing once you start capturing it; however, if you get hit by an enemy champion while doing so, you will be interrupted and won't be able to start capturing the point again for a few seconds.

At the center of The Crystal Scar lies a pair of powerful new buffs, one for your team and one for the enemy. Each buff is a storm shield, which can be picked up by one champion on either team, and which offers both defensive and offensive benefits. It will provide a boost to defensive stats for your champion, as well as periodically strike nearby enemies with a bolt of lighting. The storm shield will recharge if you're not being attacked, but once it inevitably wears out, the buff will reappear back at the center of the map. Unfortunately, you can't swipe the opposing team's buff. That means the only way you can keep it out of their hands is to kill off their champions before they can even get to it.

In between the outer rim and the center are health relics and speed shrines. Health relics are similar to health items in a first-person shooter and provide a small refill to your champion's health and mana/energy. Speed shrines are platforms your champion can walk across to receive a temporary boost in movement speed. While there are no neutral monster camps on The Crystal Scar, the minion waves have been improved. Now each minion wave includes one new minion that falls between the standard and super minion types. Minions can also help your team capture a tower, but they will kill themselves soon after successfully doing so.

When our turn finally came to try out Dominion, we snatched up Karthus--a spell-casting hero known for his debilitating magic-based powers--and hit the field. In our arsenal was the new garrison summoner spell, which replaces fortify, the spell that would shield turrets. When used on an ally turret, this spell would heal degradation it took from an enemy capture attempt and make it fire faster. When used on an enemy turret, it greatly reduced the amount of damage the turret dealt. We could have also taken the promote summoner spell. Making its return in Dominion, promote transforms one of the new minion types mentioned earlier into a much more powerful version of itself.

To help encourage quick conflict in Dominion, every champion starts at level three with 1,375 gold. Within the first five minutes of being let off the platform, both sides were already fighting over capture points and racking up kills. There was very little time to relax at any point during the match. As soon as we advanced on one turret, we'd have to turn around and recapture another. Even finding time to kill off the enemy's minion waves for gold and experience was though. Once we started getting a feel for the mode, we found it was often better to let a kill slip by to guard or recapture a control point. Too often we would see players chase an enemy across the map only to have that enemy's teammate roll up and snatch our point away.

Some times capturing a tower takes priority over getting a kill in Dominion.

Just as Riot said, it was a close game right up until the end. Once it was over, we felt a little drained but ready for more. The match itself was essentially 20 minutes of the most intense moments from Summoner's Rift--the location of the game's primary five-versus-five game mode. We can't wait to dive back into Dominion, but Riot wasn't ready to reveal a release date. Nonetheless, we'll keep you updated as we learn more about this new mode.

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Discussion

29 comments
CrusaderX7
CrusaderX7

I've been playing Summoner's Rift for a year and I was just starting to get really bored of it. Can't wait until this comes out.

Sythion
Sythion

15 million do not get displaced that easily. LoL is quickly becoming the WoW of the MOBA market, and like a black hole of juicy goodness (or evil, depending on your stance), its size alone attracts more players than any other aspect of the game.

khimeron13
khimeron13

@S3nd41 Dude, seriously? HoN is much more sluggish than LoL. Sure it has better graphics, but it was a total ripoff of LoL and the characters are not balanced as well. Also, it takes longer to find a match on it. LoL has 15 million playing it, HoN has 1 million at most. They'll both probably be left behind anyway when DotA 2 comes out. They were just more complex versions of the original DotA, so DotA 2 will definately show them how it's done.

okassar
okassar

FEEDERS BE F33DING MAN, TEHY MAKE ME RAGE SO HARD. On a serious note, I can't wait for this. I was waiting for magma chamber, but an alternate map and a new game mode are good enough for now.

megakick
megakick

HON is old... DOTA 2 Will put an end to HON.

Sythion
Sythion

Wow S3nd41. Sounds like you need a new computer bad. LoL should not be running slow or sluggish for you. As far as the "childish" look the game has, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Though I would be interesting in hearing you explain it more. I've never understood how anyone can put artistic design choices above the actual gameplay.

S3nd41
S3nd41

@Torrok01: Problem is... they could implement every game mode imaginable, conceive 1000 maps and add 9000 heroes but the game would still remain slow, sluggish and childish looking. Their only hope they have is trashing the whole thing and going straight back to the drawing board.

Torrok01
Torrok01

I would like to see HoN implement another game mode like this.. capture the flag or domination. I like the idea of forcing more player combat and less farmville... the 3v3 arena in HoN was fun but there is so much effort put into balancing heroes for a 5v5 match that changing the gameplay really screws with the heroes. They would need to rebalance the heroes for a new game mode so it would have the replay value the 5v5 matches already do. Clearly its not worth the time to take LoL seriously but this is an interesting twist of ideas for HoN or DOTA 2

Nibroc420
Nibroc420

@S3nd41 You mean why would anyone play HoN when there are superior games out there? Like LoL

S3nd41
S3nd41

@BigBlueBunny: Do they know HoN is F2P now? There's no reason to keep playing an inferior game anymore.

McBoogerballz
McBoogerballz

@S3nd41 too bad $2 doesn't know how to run business.DOTA 2 ftw

crazyboy2737
crazyboy2737

nice 1!!!!been looking forward for this...something like a gears of war mode...capture the flag or something,,,,,hehehehe but i like this,,,are all the characters unlockable??

BigBlueBunny
BigBlueBunny

@S3nd41 Yeah about 15 million more than HoN

S3nd41
S3nd41

Why are we still discussing LoL. You mean there's actually people still playing it instead of HoN?

blasterboy56
blasterboy56

Looks interesting. It'll make a nice change from the standard lane style game mode. Have to wait and see if it get's played more than the original game type!

vezon
vezon

@666NightsInHell. What part is all the time same and same. What is more same then the default map, or more same then counterstrike or callofduty or chess or football. What is more same?

timpysan
timpysan

Looking forward to this. Sounds like there will be more fighting and less time for your teammates to shout insults at each other. :)

Feelbest
Feelbest

its a pvp game what do u expect

666NightsInHell
666NightsInHell

Becomes boring after few times, all the time same and same stupid pvp,FAIL!

nord1c
nord1c

I am excited about this - Yay!

payne6705
payne6705

LoL is awesome I am so happy they are finally giving us a new mode. Yet I can tell I am going to rage ever harder in this mode.

Feryraiser
Feryraiser

Can't wait and lol they made a typo error "Even finding time to kill off the enemy's minion waves for gold and experience was though" pretty sure they mean tough :D