You know those days when there's something that has gotten you hooked so bad, that it becomes such a grand time killer? You are fully conscious that you could be doing something more productive, yet you can't help but feel that you are being drawn to it that you simply can't resist it. This latest game I have been wasting hours upon hours on has done exactly that. And as much as I can acknowledge that there is clearly many other stuff, such as spending more time on school work, I find myself coming back for more.

And what is the source of such madness, you might ask? A free-to-play game called League of Legends.

What exactly is this game about? Simply explained, it's a PVP  mix up of StarCraft and World of Warcraft. You get to choose a warrior from ever-expanding roster of characters, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and unique ability sets. You then select between a 3-player or 5-player team match, and you are placed in a map that is designed for the separate team sizes. Each team has a Nexus or command center, inhibitors (which I will explain further as to their purposes), a shop and healing platform, and defense turrets that are placed along the paths leading to each team's bases.

The main purpose of each match is to destroy the enemy's Nexus while defending their own. This is done by destroying the outer turrets until you reached behind the enemy fortress and attack inhibitors. When the turrets guarding the nexus and least one inhibitor are destroyed, the Nexus is vulnerable to attack. Throughout the game, the nexus of both teams will automatically spawn minions in small attack squadrons that march along a path and automatically target the nearest enemy, destroy it, and proceed until they are killed off by champions (player characters), turrets, or enemy minions. By destroying enemy inhibitors, your own nexus will spawn much stronger and durable minions for that specific pathway.

Meanwhile, as champions, you and your team go out to support your minions, all the while kill any enemy champions that cross your path. All players start at the initial level (Level 1), and become stronger as they gain levels by slaying enemy minions, champions, and neutral monsters that spawn in set positions around the map. The level cap for every player ends at Level 18. Each minion, champion, and monster kill awards you experience to level up in addition to gold, which you can spend for weapons, gear, and items to boost your damage output, defense, etc. Also, killing certain monsters grant temporary buffs like slowing an enemy down when attacking to mana generation to increased damage output.

As mentioned before, the game offers a wide variety of characters to choose from, although not all characters are immediately accessible when you start. The developers weekly rotate characters that are free to use, while you can unlock any character with IP that you earn through participating in battles, or RP which you can purchase with real currency from cards offered to various video game or convenient stores. Each character has their own pros and cons, although (ideally), none of the characters are significantly stronger than the others - although some characters are more challenging to master or some than others. All the characters can be characterized by their assigned class such as mage, fighter, ranged, support, and tanks. Choosing which character to play in your team plays a crucial role in your team's success, since a balanced team can often turn the tides to a battles where a team mainly composed of mages may find a major disadvantage, especially if the opposing team can counter the damage done to spells and finish them quickly due to mage's weak HP build-up.

Akali, a fighter ninja character, is only one of the current 56 characters you can choose from in League of Legends.

Adding even more strategy to the mix is the use of runes and masteries. As you gain player level's, which are different from the character levels you gain inside a match, you receive a single mastery point for each level (the player level cap being 30), in which you can spend on talent trees, like the ones shown in the first example below, which can help build your characters' offensive, defensive, or general skills - according to your liking. The rune book, as seen in the second image, works the same way, in which you are given a rune slot for each player level achieved. Unlike masteries, runes have to be purchased with IP gained from participating in matches. The cost of IP per rune varies on each rune and what the rune adds to your stats, and the runes are separated by four categories: glyphs, marks, seals, and quintessentials.

That pretty much sums up the premise behind League of Legends. While getting used to the game's character building systems can be daunting at first, building a great setup is easy once you establish you play style and get familiar with the characters. And the gameplay inside a match can really get exciting to the point where you'll whoop at the top of your lungs when you know victory is nigh, or cursing profoundly when losing.

However, there are some cons about the game. Since the gameplay is PVP-oriented, all the gameplay is done online - although you can enter practice matches with bots to sharpen your skills if needed. The match-making system the game uses does a good job trying to match up players with the same player level, like any online game, sometimes you'll find yourself in annoyingly one-sided matches. And like any other online game in the market, you should expect to at times find yourselves in the company of the scum and villainy of the internet. The servers also seem to be subject to constant maintenance and at times, servers can get so crowded that servers will not allow you to enter, in periods as longs as hours, even.

But overall, if there is a bottom line, the game is a blast to play, and if you are a fan of WoW style of PVP and have a group of friends that are fans as well, I recommend giving the game a try. Not to mention, it is free to play, and you don't need to enter credit card information unless you decide to purchase RP points directly from the store.