Getting Good at Wild Rift: Embracing the Differences

Posted by George Wong on March 5, 2021

This article is part of a weekly blog series by our eGG-steemed writers, to share our progress playing your favourite games not only for fun, but also to level up our mastery and understand your love for the game.

As a longtime Dota 2 player, with some experience in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, I figured it would only be natural for me to pick up the latest MOBA in town, Wild Rift.

A Complete Noob

I'll admit it, I'm still getting my feet wet in Wild Rift. I haven't played the game long enough to unlock ranked matches yet, but I'm getting there. Despite having experience in other similar games, Wild Rift was a very different beast. Sure, the common 3-lane game mechanics are present, but when it came to heroes, spells and items, I had a lot to learn. Fortunately, the game's recommended items feature is there to help me out with tough decisions. Eventually, I'll be good enough to create my own item builds but for now I'm sticking with what's provided.

One thing I have to applaud Riot for is the new player experience. The in-game tutorials, while extremely basic, provide the fundamental knowledge for anyone to start playing a game of Wild Rift. It was nicely broken down into small sections which made the game's mechanics easy to digest. However, it's still not a game that you'll be able to fully comprehend with a mere few hours of playtime.

What's Different?

Having to return to base to buy items slows the game down a bit (compared to MLBB where you can shop on the battlefield, and Dota 2 where you have couriers to ferry them to you). I'm still unsure of the correct timing for going back to shop. When I'm ahead in the lane, it doesn't seem like the right move to abandon it just to go home to get some items - it gives a chance for the enemy to recover. If the enemy leaves the lane, and I return then, I give up the opportunity to push an undefended lane. At the moment, I do most of my shopping when I'm dead but I'm sure that's not the best move.

One thing I've learned from Dota 2 that carried over here is the mentality to never give up - there's no surrender option in that game. Last night, I was in a match where we were down two lanes (my poor performance didn't help), but our enemies made a mistake which gave our team an opening to comeback from the huge deficit. The main takeaway? Your enemies are just as bad as you. Don't give up until your Nexus is destroyed because games can be won as easily as they can be lost.

I Main Ahri

When I first started playing Wild Rift, I randomly picked Ahri to begin with and she reminded me of Nana from MLBB - a fragile spellcaster with many team fight abilities. Since I was familiar with playing Nana, I stuck with Ahri and have been playing her for most of my matches. A lot of the time I've been assigned the mid lane, which isn't a lane I normally play, but since my opponents are as bad as me, I haven't been struggling. Then again, there's no deny mechanic in this game, so it's not really hard to keep up or play the mid lane here.

But during the mid and late game is where I'm still learning to use this hero effectively. Like Nana, you're susceptible to being burst down but you don't have a free get-out-of-jail card (Molina's Gift). Positioning is paramount. If you want to get off all your spells effectively, you have to take note of where you are in a team fight. Your 3rd spell, Charm, is extremely disruptive during team fights and is good for saving your allies who are being attacked. It is also the best spell for initiating a fight since it sets them up for your Orb of Deception and Fox-Fire nukes.

The ultimate, Spirit Rush, is your mobility spell - use it to initiate, getaway, or chase down a feeling enemy. It has a long cooldown, so it should be used carefully. I usually equip Flash (who can say no to a free blink dagger) and Heal for my summoner spells, but I'll experiment with other choices in the future.

My Struggles

I'm still unfamiliar with timings in this game. In Dota 2, there's a clear laning phase - once you've got your core items as a support (my main role), you should start moving around the map to make plays. But not in Wild Rift - maybe it's the skill level I'm playing yet, where people are just as lost as me. I don't know when to start rotating to make plays yet. There's also the whole aspect of team buffs that is similar to MLBB - however, in LoL they seem more important - there are many more neutral creeps to take that will buff your whole team. In MLBB, there's only the Turtle and Lord.

I'm not fully accustomed to the layout of the battlefield in Wild Rift. I keep running into trees and walls that I have to walk around when trying to get somewhere. The map feels bigger than the one in MLBB - it's either that or the characters are moving slower. Pushing turrets down is similar to MLBB - when you at least 2 people attacking a turret at the same time it'll go down much quicker, compared to Dota 2 where it will take a long time to take a tower down if you're a hero with low attack damage. I finished the tutorial yesterday and learned about the Drake buffs. Baron seems like a good objective to take when you're ahead, though there's no aegis, it'll make your minions stronger when pushing.

Due to how many champions there are in the game, it's taking me a while to recognize who I'm up against or allied with. I don't know all the skills and limits of each hero, but I believe that will come in time. I think I'll try using the mic a lot more, the pinging system is pretty good in the game but it can be slow to use during intense moments.

My next goal? To get my account to a high enough level to start playing ranked, and then try to climb up the ladder. In the meantime, I'll be consuming some video content and guides to learn the game more.

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