Pros and Cons of the Upcoming Practice Tool – Is it really useful?

Pros and Cons of the Upcoming Practice Tool – Is it really useful?

Like any other game, League of Legends requires you to spend time learning the gameplay and the overall ins and outs. The amount of time depends on your ability to cram everything in your little head and how often you actually practice. However, practicing is more complicated in League of Legends because there is no traditional single-player mode. If you want to hone your skills, you would have to do it on-the-fly against real players.

Yes, you could create your own custom game with nine AI-controlled bots flanking you. But the AI is terrible in the game. You’ll likely spend more time laughing at the stupid things the bots do than actually enhancing your game skills. On a more positive note, playing with bots could help in dealing with absolute newbie teammates in future real matches. You know, when one of your teammates is so useless that the entire team is forced to fight handicapped. But other than that, though, there is no other reason to play around with bots. So, what now?

SAY HELLO TO THE PRACTICE TOOL

Well, the good news is, Riot Games has just announced that the long-requested “Practice Tool” is on the way. The bad news is, we don’t know yet when it will be available. The official announcement at the League of Legends website only said, “The doors to the Practice Tool training gym will be open soon.” If you want to be ready when the “doors” open, you can preemptively buy a high-level League of Legends account. Simply put, the Practice Tool is a sandbox mode where you can practice all the basics to your heart’s content. But it also has a few disadvantages. Let’s weigh down the pros and cons of the Practice Tool.

THE GOOD STUFF

  • The Practice Tool is single-player, meaning no one can interrupt you in the middle of an intense practice session. Except maybe your mom screaming at you to take the garbage out. Unlike in real matches, no one will be there to point out tactlessly what you should do and shouldn’t do. This removes the toxicity that usually comes with playing alongside real players.

  • You can set your own pace and practice on areas which you deem as more important. This means you’re free to spend the entire day focusing on just one particular gameplay aspect. Like last-hitting minions, which you can do endlessly in Practice Tool. Obviously, you can’t do this in a real match, and in a custom game, your AI-controlled bot allies would get in the way.

  • A number of game manipulation commands are under your command to make things easier and quicker. Want to practice clearing out neutral jungle monsters in the most efficient and least time-consuming way possible? You can respawn the jungle monsters any time. No need to wait for real-time to do its magic. Want to practice using a specific Champion ability repeatedly? No problem. Simply use a command that refreshes cooldowns.

  • Map familiarization is way easier using the Practice Tool. You can just roam around the map and memorize the ward hotspots and escape routes. Incredibly useful if you want to main as top-lane, which is the most isolated of the five roles in the current meta-game.

  • In Practice Tool, you can roll with all the “experimental” item builds you’ve been dying to try out in the game, but feared real players would scold you for. Unorthodox and unusual item builds normally raises eyebrows. Your teammates would probably tell you that now’s not the time to practice odd builds, not when their pride and ego and dignity are on the line. Although Practice Tool doesn’t exactly allow you to see the effectiveness of your experimental builds in a real match, you can monitor their damage per second (DPS).

THE BAD STUFF

  • Okay, onto the negative things about Practice Tool. And it starts with the same thing as the good stuff: single-player. It’s nice being able to practice without interruptions. However, the lack of any real players deprives you of practicing with human behavior taken into account. For example, you can’t practice escaping under pressure when two or more Champions gank your ass. Escaping with someone on your heels is a different breed than simply running back to base.

  • Last-hitting in a real match is more than just timing your clicks right to slip in the killing blow on minions. Again, there’s human behavior included in the real thing. Player-controlled enemy Champions aggressively try to prevent you from getting last-hits, depriving you of additional gold. This is particularly important in the bottom lane if you’re the Attack Damage Carry (ADC) – you have the enemy ADC and Support to also watch out for.

  • Practice Tool allows you to practice Champion-specific combos. However, you can’t practice executing team combos. Because, well, there are no player-controlled Champions around to hook up with during team clashes. Remember, Practice Tool is for solo practicing only. If you want to practice with your teammates, you all have to do it in a real match against real players that are itching to beat you to a pulp. And speaking of teammates…

  • You can’t practice in-game communication in Practice Tool. Good Communication between teammates is crucial in a real match, even if you’re simply using an unranked Smurf League of Legends account. Ranked or unranked, it doesn’t matter. Good communication can mean the difference between victory and defeat, especially during team clashes. And no, speaking to yourself while in Practice Tool doesn’t count. Your mom would creep you out, for one.

  • And lastly, Practice Tool doesn’t prepare you for the toxicity in League of Legends. The game is no place for thin-skinned players who easily get offended and rage-quit at the first sign of frustration. Although Riot Games is one of the best video game companies to work for, the game itself is another story. There’s no way around to getting acquainted with the unforgiving League of Legends community. You need to experience it up-close and personal, so to speak, which is something Practice Tool can’t provide.

What do you say? Do you think the pros outweigh the cons? Or do you think practicing on-the-fly is still the better way to practice instead of using the Practice Tool? If you prefer the real deal, buy yourself a League of Legends account now and start practicing!

February 4, 2017 admin

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