The open beta for Wild Rift has been released in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and South Korea. This is a review of the beta, discussing the accomplishments alongside the plights of Riot’s game.
[Related: click here to watch the video version of this review]
Wild rift functions very similarly to League of Legends but has some key differences. The lanes are mirrored, so no matter which side the player is on, the allied base will be at the bottom left. This change is very welcomed, as it makes playing more uniform.
Riot has done quite well with the auto-targeting systems. Auto attacks and abilities prioritize low health champions, but there are many well-implemented commands to designate specific targets.
This system makes certain champions easier than others. On champions like Ezreal, by simply clicking the skill, it will automatically target enemy champions nearby. Of course, this does not mean that it will hit, but definitely makes aiming during fast pace moments easier.
Champions like Vayne, who require strong positioning and a strong command of auto attacking, are very difficult, but not impossible, to play. These types of champions require a strong understanding of the targeting system and its nuances.
The meta is very worth noting. Champions with skill shots or large area of effect damage seem to play the best right now. As the map itself is smaller than Summoner’s rift, chances are the players will be more clumped.
This makes landing skill shots and hitting area of effect abilities easier. The skills function very well in the game, mirroring those of League of Legends very well. But the movement and positioning are a little off-putting.
There is something about the movement in Wild Rift, the walking, that feels less precise than League of Legends. Wild Rift definitely has a high skill cap, but during key moments, it feels like the skills were given too much priority.
The hit marks and ranges seem disproportionate to the map and character sizes, most skills being too large. This makes the nuances of movements not as important and prioritizes the use of abilities. Of course, it is still possible to dodge skill shots. But it is simply more difficult to when the skill is a bigger portion of the lane, especially while using an analog stick.
In Wild Rift, Ezreal’s ultimate takes up nearly half the entire lane. In League of Legends, on the other hand, the ultimate takes up a little over a quarter of the lane.
Though the four champions are about to get destroyed in the League of Legends example, it is much easier to dodge the skill shots in the PC version than it is in Wild Rift.
Another very notable differences are the builds and items in Wild Rift. As Wild Rift is more fast-paced, Riot handled the item system quite interestingly.
All boots have active abilities and after two upgrades build into entire items, such as Zhonyas or QSS. Doran items no longer exist, and minions give a small portion of gold even if the player does not last hit it.
Support gold items do not exist in Wild Rift, therefore supports rely heavily on the small portion from not-last hitting minions.
Wild Rift’s camera system is difficult to manage. In a game where map awareness is essential, the camera is, at most times, locked into place with the champion in the middle. This is essentially like playing League of Legends on a locked screen.
Of course, Riot made the camera moveable, but the controls for doing so are a little janky. By holding down on a blank space on the right side of the screen, the player has control of the camera, but the camera is too sensitive.
Moving it a bit to the right yanks it about a lux ultimate distance away. Even after adjusting the camera sensitivity in the settings, the camera does not handle well and becomes a nuisance.
Another way to look around the map is by clicking on the minimap. This works wonderfully, except that the minimap is on the left, and the joystick to move is also on the left. This makes using the minimap and moving quite difficult.
The camera functions best when the player is dead, during which the camera functions smoothly.
One thing that Riot successfully did is implement a self-move system, where the player can click on the minimap to designate the champion’s target location. The champion will then auto path to the spot.
The only problem with this is that the setting must be turned on, and is not set from the beginning.
Another big function that Riot added was the Semi-Lock Camera. This allows the player to play with the camera center. Once again, this function must be turned on in the settings menu, but is very beneficial in viewing the relevant map.
Some champions have a better camera system built into their kit. Jinx, for example, when aiming her ultimate, the player can see a bigger and more directed view of the map. This makes using certain champions easier to observe the map, which is a strange advantage to have built into a champion’s kit.
Overall, the camera work definitely needs improvement. But Riot definitely outdid themselves with how much functionality the camera has, and simply needs to tweak it before the official release.
Ranked is a fiesta in Wild Rift. It begins with a draft in champion select, mirroring League of Legends. The key difference is that there are no bans, and there are no role calls.
This makes it very uneasy, as there may still be a debate on who goes where. Often times, there will be two AD Carries in the duo lane because of such arguments. Sometimes there are two jungles.
Besides that, the system seems good and rewarding for victories. Unlocked at level 10, most players in Ranked have experienced enough of the game to synergize with teammates.
The ranked system goes from Iron to Challenger, with a new division called Emerald which is between Platinum and Diamond.
Expect similar ranked experiences as League of Legends, but with less typing.
No longer having to rely on Mobile Legends to satisfy the League of Legends craves on the go, Wild Rift gives a very engaging version of League of Legends on mobile. But Wild Rift’s open beta is exactly as it sounds, a beta, and still has room for improvements.
Knowing Riot, they will fix many technical issues, and release Wild Rift globally in a more polished state.
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