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As my League of Legends 2 year anniversary passed about 3 weeks ago I want to make a small retrospective on how things were back then.
I will mostly talk about champions, meta, items, players and the game design itself. Consider this as a small history class of your favorite game. It will contain the things that I find very important and those gamechanging. Enjoy.
Many don't remmember old Jax. Many say that new Jax is more powerful, they are very, very wrong. Old Jax had different passive and different "Counter-strike" spell. His passive granted him health from bonus attack damage and ability power. He could go full AD and AP and still have around 3500 health, with trinity force and some masteries that usualy ended up at 4000 health. His E was very different. It granted him dodge which enabled him a chance to completely evade and auto attack and when he evades one he gains an ability to cast counter-strike to stun everyone around him for 1 second.
This was very powerful at the time since everything could trigger dodge, minion auto attack, champion and monster auto attack. Even if you try to blast him, he was very tanky, paired up with his ultimate which was the same except the fact that it gave magic resist when activated.
There was a joke that if you put Hextech gunblade on him it is GG. In most cases it was.
This was a stat that got removed from the game. As we all know, it allowed complete auto attack damage evasion. That enabled some champions like Xin Zhao and Jax to be very powerful since they could buy ninja tabi and equip dodge runes. Imagine fighting them with with Vi and then when she is about to strike a Denting blow, you completely dodge it. Hilarious.
Instead of current passive it gave 12% dodge. It was a must have Jax item. People still buy it for Jax for the new passive.
SWORD OF THE DIVINE
This item was removed once and readded. It used to give 60% attack speed, highest in the game and every third auto attack would deal 100 magic damage to the target. It had unique active which made your items undodgeable and gave you 40 armor penetration. It was esentially anti Jax item. Yes he was that powerful that RIOT had to make an item specially for him. People used it mostly on AD Twisted Fate and strangely, even on Jax since it stacked with his ultimate passive.
This champion once had global ultimate. And I am not talking about only Destiny, I am talking about Gate also. When you hit 6 you would teleport to base, then you would wait for someone to go low, lock gold card and then teleport right behind him and smack him with goldie. It was very powerful at that time, paired up with teleport Twisted Fate could go toe to toe with Yi in terms of split pushing. People played him AD most of the time thanks to his E which gave him attack speed and cooldown reduction. Also Sword of the Divine was core on him since it stacked with his E. W was there to suplement him with stopping power. When they nerfed his ultimate, people stopped playing him and then he resurfaced as AP nuker some time after.
People say: OP Spartan. He is now powerfull indeed. Back in the Season 1 and 2 he was weaker than Soraka. His Spears couldn't crit as they do now, his shield had waaaay longer cooldown and shorter stun duration. His Heart Seeker Strike was useless since it took 1.8 seconds to channel entire spell while stun on shield was .7/.9/1.1/1.3/1.5 seconds. People used to simple walk away from his spell. And the most gruesome spell was his ultimate. Imagine a big flashing circle and you have 3 seconds to escape from it. People used to say that Pantheon has free teleport spell since nobody could actually hit with that spell. His ultimate was once global and it was nerfed as Twisted Fate's ultimate.
Once they fixed him his winrate skyrocketed. Before that people begged RIOT support to refund him. He was that bad.
This annoying pirate used to be lane terror. Imagine a crit for about 1200 damage straight in your face. His every single spell used to be more powerful, pistol gave more gold, oranges gave more health and inspire gave more of everything. Masteries and runes gave more crit, yeah masteries gave crit chance once. With runes, masteries and brawlrel's glove, you could have about 30% crit chance from minute 1 of the game. Slow nerfs now turned him into a laughing stock. Yeah you can now crit with Statiik shiv but nothing beats good old 1200 crit to da face. Used to have an ugly skin.
This item was very strange, yet it was very common on AD Yi. It used to give Unique: Grants nearby allied champions 20% Life Steal, 20% Attack Speed, and 30 Health Regen per 5 seconds. Reduces the Armor of nearby enemy champions by 20. And to top all of that, it gave 20% attack speed to the wearer. It was renamed to Zeke's Herald once Tim Buckley from CTRL ALT DEL comics hit several thousands of referals. Then they reworked this item.
Many remmember this item. It used to give 15 health regen per 5. For a very hefty price and with some masteries, you could become regen machine. This item started to cause problems when Riven came out. She had 10.8 health per 5 regen at level 1, with this item she had 25.8, with runes and masteries she had crazy regen. You just couldn't move her out of the lane. Mundo and Garen were even more crazy. Luckily, this item was removed and stats nerfed.
People said: I used to be OP once. And it was like that indeed. She had an OP passive. It gave her attack damage based on her ability power and ability power based on her attack damage. Her Q was different and her skin was different. Then rework came, people now play her less and less.
OH MY GOD! This dude was the most powerful thing in the universe. Everyone used to have him and every game you could see either one Tryndamere, Jax or worse, both of them. Imagine his passive giving him stacks that give you critical strike damage. That is right, damage, not chance. You then crank up some runes and masteries, put some crit items and voila. Critamere. His Spin slash used to deal more damage and Q used to heal for 50 per stack (400 HP total) of bloodlust. His bloodlust used to be a passive buff that gave him more attack damage and bonus crit damage. Trynd gained stacks whenever he landed a crit or killed a unit and it stacked up to 8 times.
Also, spinning slash and mocking shout would cost Tryndamere health whenever he used them. His ultimate had a 8 second duration as well. Early game Trynd could sustain himself while farming minions for gold and could jungle needing only a scepter or crit item. Late game is an entirely different story, as a fed Tryndamere would have 1.2K auto-attacks with full stacks of bloodlust. Infinity Edge was the only item you really had to get on him to start rolling faces. Once the rework hit the servers, it was over for him, he lived a little bit and then faded.
This chick used to be 10 times scarier than her current version. Her W allowed her to stealth up for 10/20/30/40/50 seconds. Once she hits someone with spell or auto attack she will stun him for 1 second. Her passive reduced damage from minions by 50%, with armor she could become immune to minion damage. Her E was the same, her Q hits 2 targets with spikes, it was less cooler than current one, and her ultimate gave her attack speed and movement speed, when she kills a target cooldown refreshes and she heals for I think 200 health.
This allowed her to stalk someone, and when that someone is least expecting her, she would use Q to stun him and then nuke him with E. By the time he realized what is happening she would ult and hack him to death. Rince and repeat.
People used to hate her more than Twitch and Shaco combined. Morello did his magic and her stun turned to slow. That single change broke her in half. She just couldn't execute her combo since everyone would retaliate for that 1 second.
He was anti Yi and Tryndamere. His shield could be generated much quicker with his E and his shield pool was greater. Minor nerfs to Q. Once you put hextech gunblade, warmogs armor and force of nature, you could go rambo style. Nerfed and forgotten since then, but resurfaced once near the end of season 2.
Terror from the jungle. His boxes used to last up to 2 minutes. His Q had bigger range and his E could apply blind to champions. Then nerfs came. His ratios were turned from total to bonus. He managed to be good but after AP Shaco kicked the bucket with box nerf and some minor shiv nerfs, Shaco is now very hard to play.
His favorite item, phantom dancer, his favorite thing, running fast, his favorite occupation, killing people, his recreation, pushing towers at the speed of 500 Teemos.
Equip teleport, 2 phantom dancers and infinity edge that gave 80 attack damage and put Stark's Fervor for lolz. Pushing machine. People realized how to fight him and everybody abandoned playing him as AD. Annie was a specialist at killing him. Somewhere near the middle of season 2 people started to talk about AP Yi, it got viral and now nobody plays him as AD.
Strangely enough, everything about him is the same, no numbers were changed since season 1 except some minor tweaks, then that big meditate nerf came recently. He is now moderate.
EUROPE SERVER SPLIT
European server once was one big server. However people used to wait from 10 minutes to 3 hours just to log in. It was very crowded and people had connection problems. RIOT split the servers and gave everyone RIOT points and some IP boosts. That was in Season 1, around August or September, I don't remmember correctly. Since then people refer Nordic and east as hell and west as heaven. In reality, it is the same thing with different package.
Tribunal wasn't there, somewhere in Season 1 RIOT implemented tribunal as a measure to prevent toxic players from being toxic. At first people were rarely using it but now everyone takes a report as an argument to give themselves power. It empowers the wicked in the same manner as the harrased ones. It works perfect from the technical side, it does not work great from human side.
At first we all thought it was Magma Chamber, a new 5 v 5 map. Then we were presented with Dominion. People were hyped and it was good on launch. However it lost its primary popularity due to not having ranked queue and not having a soling meta game. People play it now for recreation.
It existed in a very basic form. On mid people would usually put AD carries or AP carries. On top and bot lane people would go with 2 champions, one must deal magic damage, one must deal physical damage, one must have range and one must be mele. So champion duos like Tryndamere and Malzahar, or Ashe and AP Sion or Caitlyn and Mordekaiser. Junglers weren't that present. Then people slowly started to go solo top with varius champions to allow better jungle. You could see Urgot, Mordekaiser, Nasus or Corki on top. It lasted up until pro players created current meta game around the end of Season when all those tournaments ended and people started to copy pro players.
FORGOTTEN SUMMONER SPELLS
This includes Clairvoyance, Rally, Surge, Promote, Fortify.
People used to pick Clairvoyance with supports, now nobody uses it.
Rally used to be a spell that placed a ward that gave attack damage and ablity power to allies. Nobody ever used it, for 2 years of my game experience I've never seen Rally used even once.
Surge was a Season 2 spell that gave your attack speed, ability power and increased the model size. It was removed.
Promote was a spell that transformed minions into super minions. People used to turn entire waves of minions into super minions and do uber pushes. Was removed and then brought up again. RIOT removed it for the second time and reworked it into an item.
Fortify was the most powerful spell in the good hands. It made all your turrets invincible for several seconds, made their attack speed greater and gave them splash damage. People would sometime pick 5 Fortifies and prevent any turret pushing for the entire match. Was removed for that reason.
It was very different. Summoner's Rift was facelifted once in Season 2. Before that the map used to have Spring, Autum and Winter skin. Autumn or Harrowing skin used to have Halloween themed items everywhere, potions turned to candy and minions wore funny masks. Jungle was filled with candles and coffins. Winter map was encased in ice and the music was also different. After facelift those maps dissapeared.
REFER A FRIEND 2.0
Referal system was not the same as today. It used to give IP boost for every player and it gave some skins and RIOT points once you hit 10-50-100 and more referals. People used to massively refer smurfs which was sanctioned by RIOT.
Sejuani could break Jarvan's ultimate and Anivia's wall. After rework it is not possible to do that anymore.