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A Revision of a Critique of the League of Legends

Typhron January 15, 2013 User blog:Typhron

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(WIP)

Here again, no longer wrought with rage like I was before but still rather disappointed in what the game has become and who's getting the most enjoyment out of it. I even decided to play a couple bot games, only to have the people in it act like that goddamn kid nobody wants to invite to parties. My patience with this game is still in decline despite me loving it so much. But there there is so much that needs to be fixed.

So continuing/clarifying from my last post, keeping my childish outbursts to myself...

Loss Forgiveness (Or the lack thereof)

Losses happen. Everyone screws up now and then, and many people are mature enough to know that. As it stands in LoL, however, it's far too easy to lose a game before it even begins, and the systems in place that rate summoners do nothing to differentiate good games from bad ones in every sense. This is why loss forgiveness is such a great thing.

A player disconnects? A player forcefeeds the enemy team? A player gives up and goes AFK in the fountain because their team wants to fight it out? None of these things are punished and, as a result, are common throughout League of Legends and similar games (Dota, HoN, Awesomenauts), and it's venomous to everyone involved. And to that end, something needs to be done.

What can be done to fix it

Loss Forgiveness is a system that takes into consideration the 'human' factor and how things can be disrupted. Without bogging down the game with many useless systems this one particular type of thing is simple.

  • Players can have 'disruptive losses' shown on their profile at their choice, choosing to erase or hide it when someone else is clearly the problem. In Ranked Play players don't lose or gain ELO, or have their ELO changed at a tiny increment (say, 1/10th normal ELO shifts). IP changes don't change, as it's not the team's fault that their oppenent's have a leaver.
  • Players that spectate a match can vote on if a game was disruptive or not, and are able to report and send players who do so to the Tribunal. Their tribunal contributions, though, don't have as much sway as those within the game, if at all. But do and can be added on as evidence and testimonials, such as showing the chat log).

Better Team Support

Insta-lockers and those that will randomly yell their roll at the champion select screen. They've gone from a mild joke to accepted reality to abhorrent plague over the 3 years LoL has been released, and need to be quelled. Outside of the obvious there's a lot of players getting shafted by glitches in the system, and are spending more time fighting against those glitches instead of enemy champions.

And there's so much room to grow in this regard.

What can be done to fix it

  • In Ranked, or in a version of ranked and normal games (like Blind Pick and Draft pic) allow people to sign up for whatever roles and/or champions they wish to play for solo Q.
  • A vote-kick or vote-disband lobby function for Ranked and Draft games, so players who are uncooperative aren't allowed in the full game without anyone losing any rating. To combat abuse of this feature, give people only a certain amount of kicks/disbands for that hour/day/until they make it into a game, and have them shared among those not getting kicked, while making it 3/5 at least to kick a party member.
    • In addition, give a 20-10 second grace period for players after everyone has locked in or is forced to lock in (as opposed to a 5 second one), to give players a chance to vote-kick those being disruptive before the game starts.
  • People vote at the end of the game on whether or not someone who's disconnected deserves to be punished or not, this being to tell the difference between players with bad connections and players who are chicken shit leavers
  • People are reminded when they've been reported for bad awful behavior, like when they've been good.
  • Allow people to que up for a specific role? This idea isn't quite thought out and is only added as an addendum.

Learning the game and other assorted stuff

What can be done to fix it

  • Replace, disable easy-to-build snowball items from bot games exclusively Sword of the Occult] and Mejai's Soulstealer, not Bloodthirster), or take them out entirely. From a competetive standpoint they seem like items that give too big a bonus early game and too little a bonus late game, balanced around already being fed and giving nothing but damage stats. And aside from Choball Snow'gath builds these items and the people who build them can hardly be taken seriously. Due to how easy it is to kill bots all these items do is just artificially inflate a player's kill score while keeping others who don't from getting anywhere.
  • A coaching mode for practice mode, or a normal game type where spectators can talk to players to teach/encourage them whilst earning IP (if the player finds that they've been helpful). Even have it so that a coach!player can play alongside them with the same champion if necessary.
  • A way to see stats and builds compared to others in game, for people to see how certain pieces of gear affect a champion's stats or ability.

Balance Issues and Antifun

Goes without saying. This game isn't balanced as it should be. This/these complaints have more to do with there being many useless champions and concepts that often go to waste, but are still around/are used due to negligence (unusable champions not disable, ala Captain's Mode) or outdated/outmoded systems that need to be carebeared (mfin' Flash).

What can be done to fix it

  • DON'T change champions who have slightly gimmicky mechanics and nothing else into watered down versions of other champions (Sivir, Jax, Kayle) or destroy mechanics that 'work too well' (the old MP5 rune nerf and the healer scaling nerf could've been handled better). This makes older, funner champions a hell of a lot less fun when that unique touch is taken away.
  • Don't 'Jax' Champions (that is, nerf them into unplayable oblivion and leave them there for a year or two before giving them love) so people don't get disenfranchised with the said champions or the game due to said character's unplayability (Heimerdinger, Twitch, Evelynn). If they need to be fixed for one reason or another, utilize the PBE as you have been doing or just disable the champions so they don't get abused further.
  • Support unorthodox builds that don't outright break the game. The Black Cleaver change sort of worked (the item not being unique and working with all damage types, as opposed to just physical damage from abilities made it too good an item in general, though) for AD casters, but there are many other champion types and builds that couldn't hurt from this kind of thing (for instance, unorthodox junglers).
  • Stop. Balancing. Around. Flash. Just nerf it Revive levels of 'usefulness', change it to an item, tweak it so that it can't be used in combat for easy escapes/so that it counters itself or get rid of it. It's such a staple for every champion even with a 5 minute cooldown it's ridonk, and it leads to Power Creep in the form of distance and movement speed.

General Complaints

What can be done to fix it

  • Allow players to keep track of the lore if need be, just don't treat the entire thing as an excuse to produce more champions. Neat little things like Taric of the 5th Age (I say as an ex-pally player begrudgingly), Dragon Fist and Muay Thai Lee Sin and Bunny Suit Riven are perfectly fine.

Things that are done right that should not change

  • Stay transparent with the community. Let them know what's going on and take criticism (good criticism, not like these) to heart. As long as the game improves because the people playing it have a say then the playerbase and size are deserved, after playing many a game over the years where the developers are not as dedicated to what they like.
    • On that note, not caving in to player outcry for fotm balance changes. That is one of the better things about the entire genre in comparison to some pay-to-win or generally unfun practices from other companies.
  • For all it's flaws, ELO itself isn't bad. The current sorting system that is attached to ELO and how it punishes players that play well due it's overly binary nature is, however. I'd say that this needs to be tweaked all around.
  • The Tribunal System and the Honor System, while still buggy and needing a tweak here and there that don't overall change the systems, are also amazing additions to the genre. It's still a tough fight to fight, though, all things considered.

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