How to play Teamfight Tactics, Auto Chess by Riot Games if you don’t know anything about the League of Legends eSport universe. Auto Chess is this year’s battle royale. The modern history of the genre began with the custom in Dota 2 and ended with a whole race of developers. How do you get through here?
Own “Checkers” – General Rules
When Dota Auto Chess reached its peak of popularity, I watched with interest the streams of players in Hearthstone, LoL, or Fortnite who decided to succumb to the trend. Incredible tension was written on their faces, and sorting through the figures took a suspiciously long time. Initial bewilderment was replaced by understanding: this is for me on the Lone Druid screen. And for them – an unfamiliar figure, which, well, has nothing to do with Druids, much less with bears. And I even wanted to understand what it’s like to learn the game from scratch.
Unfortunately, Auto Chess Mobile did not fulfill my desire. The game is a complete clone of the custom game, where Batrider does not pour fire on enemies, but snow. But TeamFight Tactics more than plunged into the abyss of suspense and panicked button presses.
The first test for beta testers was getting on the server itself. It seems that the developers did not expect that so many players would rush to try a new custom. The queue for authorization crept up to 9 thousand users. The declared waiting time of a couple of minutes could stretch for all 15. But on the other hand, the search time for the game itself, even during the test, is a matter of seconds.
The general concept of Auto Chess has not changed. Each player has his small army, which is located in the rear half of the field. It includes heroes (sorry, champions) – figures belonging to different classes and races. The combination of characters of the same category gives additional bonuses. And three figures of the same level are pumped to the next star.
Each round is the usual one-on-one battle with one of the opponents. But if in Dota Underlords and Auto Chess Mobile each field-island has its battle, then in TFT the opponents see the same battle. The player is either the attacker or the attacker. In the event of an attack, your heroes jump into the portal and fly to the enemy field.
The reward system is also not too different from similar games. +5 coins will go to everyone, a percentage of the accumulated gold and an additional reward for a series of victories and defeats. Between battles with people, players are waiting for battles against neutrals who bring items. And many of them look suspiciously like DAC creeps. However, this is where the fundamental similarity between “Doter” and “Lawler” drafts ends.
Island Of Luck
I suspected that it would be difficult to get used to the new universe. But I did not suspect that problems would arise from the first round. So, the game does not start at all with a friendly open store. And from a small island, on which a bunch of heroes move. Seven of them are rival couriers. Ten are champions strolling peacefully in a round dance. The player must choose the figure he needs and have time to run up to it until the opponents drag it away. Newcomers to the world of LoL will just have to poke at the first character they come across and hope for the best. It is unlikely that you will be able to distinguish them in the first few games – most of them are dark, thin, and with some kind of weapon in their hands.
The hero you caught will appear on the “bench” and will be suitable for the fight with the first wave of creeps. Then a store will open at the bottom of the screen, where another surprise awaits non-lawlers. If in Dota Underlords and Auto Chess there are figures in the shop, then here are champion arts with labeled classes and origins. And not all of them are ideally similar to the model that stands on the field. Therefore, it is easier to focus on the categories and remember the names of the characters that are already on the field and in the reserve. To find out the name of the purchased champion, you need to right-click on it. There you can read information about his ability.
At first glance, the most simple task. Read the names, buy the same heroes. How difficult this is, my statistics of buying RekSaev instead of Kha’Zix could tell. Or mixed up Morgan and Elise. Logically, many champions of the same origin look quite similar. So at first, the “click on similar” strategy works perfectly.
At the stage of purchase, you begin to mentally thank Valve for the shop interface in Dota Underlords. Here you have a highlight of the hero that can be pumped, synergy icons, and information about whether you have other similar figures on the bench. All this is not in TFT. You will have to memorize, teach and monitor the class counter on the left side of the screen. Or draw parallels by calling Kassadin Anti-Mage (simply because he burns mana).
The game in TFT consists of stages. The first is a battle with three waves of creeps. Subsequent – a combination of three types of rounds. First, the player will have to play three times against human opponents. Then everyone will be sent back to the starting island with the champions leading the round dance. Only now this stage is needed not only to replenish the collection of figurines but also as a comeback system. Players with the least amount of health get the choice first. Leaders will be content with leftovers.
After choosing a champion on the island, players will have one more round against real opponents, and then a stage with neutrals. The battle against creeps brings artifacts – they are displayed as cubes on the pedestal on the left. Don’t expect a wide variety of loot – there are only 8 items. But all of them are combined in pairs with each other and create a variety of items and effects.
There are simple combinations. Sword and Bow will allow dealing critical damage, Bow and Mail – on the contrary, the ability to avoid critical damage. Identical items also add up to stronger versions. For example, two Tears restore 20 mana after each spell used. If LoL players stacked items in a meaningful way, then I had to use random combinations in the name of science. Not all of them were successful. To avoid unpleasant surprises, hold the mouse with the item on the hero you are going to invest it in. The game will tell you which artifact will turn out in the end.
The important thing which drops from neutrals is the Shovel. By itself, it does not give anything, but in combination with other items, it helps to improve existing synergies. The Spatula together with Tear make eSport a Demon. And two Spatulas will make it possible to put an additional figure on the field.
A life hack from the life of a doter: in the first few games rounds with round dances were practically meaningless for me. Recognizable champions quickly disappeared from the circle due to popularity. So closer to the late stage, I chose a different tactic. Each hero in the circle has an item that can be seen under the health bar. I grabbed what I had in the inventory of the desired artifact. The champions themselves can be sold, and two Spades are very useful. Especially considering that in TFT you need more experience to level up. For example, in this game, I caught the Shovel at the last moment and was able to put another Dragon on the field.
Leaving Dota Underlords!
Teamfight Tactics will find its audience. Players in League of Legends are sure to start putting together figurines with as much interest as dotters a few months ago. It already has 50 characters, 13 origins, and 10 classes, and in this regard, League of Legends has a lot to roam. Stages, artifacts, an island with heroes – all this is cool, interesting, and most importantly thought out. However, is it comfortable to play it for a person unfamiliar with the universe? Not at all.
The game lacks something that Valve prudently took care of – clarity. Of the information, only synergies are available to the player. There was no place for damage tables to show how effective a champion is. Art only confuses beginners, because at first glance they do not always look like a hero. And pumped figures differ from weaker ones only in size. And the most inconvenient thing is the lack of an encyclopedia in a prominent place on the game screen. When collecting Changelings in the first match, I had no idea when I should expect the last character of this Origin. Maybe the League of Legends players immediately realized that it would be a powerful Gnar – I only found out about this in the next game. When this cute animal smashed half of my army.
The result is a game for those who know what Auto Chess and League of Legends are. For example, my complete lack of knowledge of the league was compensated for by my extensive experience in DAC checkerboarding. As practice has shown, it is not at all necessary to know what exactly Aurelion Sol does to put him on the field when you just need a Wizard. But absolute beginners will like the game only if they are ready to spend a few days studying, and not abandon it after the first failure.
And the stability of TFT still leaves much to be desired. Several times at startup, the client gave a critical error. The test server showed that Riot is not too ready for the popularity of their custom. And the game itself is not without bugs. For example, this champion on JJ’s stream just decided to rest during the fight.
However, it is not so difficult to make another hit out of this game. A couple of touches for the interface, highlighting the necessary figures in the store (at least in non-rated games, if someone considers it casual) and a guide – and you will want to stay longer in this game. If only because the Doter “checkers” are starting to fill the teeth with repetitive combinations.
To play Teamfight Tactics, you need to access the LoL test client. True, even now the queue can stretch for an hour or even more. However, customization will be available to all players very soon. And then it remains to wait for the version of Auto Chess in the Epic Games store – and then the real battle will begin.
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