First things first, I'm really excited because I finally got the client to work on my Mac which doesn't lag nearly as badly as my old laptop does even though the Mac version is still in beta.
Okay, so now that I understand the gameplay and have a few favorite characters the next thing I'm trying to figure out are the little things I can actually customize which are Runes, Masteries, Spells, and Builds. The first three are always applied to any character in any game you play where as a Build is started over with each new game.
Runes are a way of beefing up your character that stay the same from game to game. They take the form of Marks, Seals, Glyphs, and Quintessences. You can unlock more room for each as you level up your summoner. Your summoner level grows with the more experience you gain by playing more games versus your champion level which restarts at 1 with each new game you enter. I hope that doesn't confuse you too much... If you look at the screenshot you can get an idea of how it's divided up. You may also notice that there are two pages for Runes so you can have two different customizations that you can pick from when you're selecting your champion. Runes are purchased from the store using IP and they affect different attributes like strength, armor, speed, etc. Like I said these are always in effect so no matter which character I pick if I have a seal that is +1 armor I will get that each new game I play.
Masteries act very similarly to Runes except that you earn mastery points the more play. Masteries are divided into Offense, Defense, and Utility. They affect a lot more then Runes too since they can apply to specific spells. For example one mastery is to add %5 to how much your Heal spell works (more on Spells in a second) or one might affect how fast your abilities cooldown. (A cooldown is how long it takes for an ability to be used again, to recharge so to speak.) Some Masteries have multiple levels before you can unlock the next one or before another one is available for purchase. You can clear your Masteries and shuffle them around at any time. Some people focus on filling one of the three areas before moving on to the others, but I just sort of choose the ones that seem to best apply to my playing style, for example going back to the Heal spell that's one I use in game fairly often so I chose to put points toward that. That's really it for Masteries. I always forget to see if I have points available and earning them is a slow process.
Spells are a little different. There are 13 spells that unlock as you level up to 12, but you can only choose 2 to use in game at a time. Spells have an extremely long cool down period but they can often save you in a pinch. Depending on the character you've chosen for your champion you may choose different Spells, but a lot of people just stick with the ones they find most useful no matter the character. For me I stick with Heal and Teleport right now. Heal does just that, it restores a portion of your heal based on your level and some health of the people on your team who are around you. Teleport allows you to jump to a minion or turret on your side which can be great when a teammate needs back-up fast. I've tried out a few other spells, but these are working best for me right now.
The last thing I wanted to clarify is a Build, which I mentioned briefly in our presentation. A Build consists of the items you purchase in game and you create a new build each time, changing it for the character. Gold is earned in game by killing the enemy, minions, turrets, champions, whatever, and then when you're on your home platform you can go to the shop and purchase things, or you can work on your build while you're dead. My screencap shows me working on it while I'm dead, I was having a bad game. There are recommended builds for each character but you aren't required to follow that. The other thing you can see is that items are built from other items, so you can either save up the gold and buy it all at once or you can buy each item as it becomes available. The only tough thing with that is balancing how many open slots you have since you can only have 6 items at a time and that includes what are called 'consumables' -items like potions that instantly restore health or mana (magic power). I haven't really explored building non-recommended items yet, but I'm looking to see what else is there that isn't on the rec list that could be beneficial to my character. Again, if you look at the screen it shows how I'm building a hammer that isn't on my recommended list and that I actually skipped one of the items that is recommended for the Champion I had selected at the time.
So, that's a little more on the customizable aspects of the game!