Editorials & Opinion / PC Gaming

Do You Wish to Continue: League of Legends

League of Legend’s popularity as a major competitive game has skyrocketed since I first picked up the game over a year ago.  Even with my interest in playing the game continually dwindling to increasingly rare occurrences of reinstalling, I do find myself drawn to read up on patch notes, new heroes, and tournament results.  However, after a recent return to the game for a few weeks, I think I am ready to sign the divorce papers.

Before I say way, let me mention first why not.  One of the major problems brought up about playing League and getting into it is the horrible community.  Well, after several months of being away, I would like to praise what I did see of Riot’s game.  I only ever play in the lowest of low, solo queue unranked, so I am used to taking verbal abuse for simple mistakes.

Riot has done a fantastic job cleaning up a lot of the vitriol first with their Tribunal system, and now with the addition of up-ranking positive teammates and opponents.  Additionally, defaulting /all chat to be off really helped keep me from getting into verbal arguments with idiots just looking to act like they were absolutely more awesome than me in every way. Promoting your allies especially felt rewarding, as my typical cool and friendly demeanor often got rewarded whether I played poorly or not with the virtual equivalent of a high five or handshake.  In the past, the typical mentality of the average League player and the resulting stupidity evident in almost nearly every match I played was often the prime reason for me walking away from the game.  Even though that wasn’t entirely fixed this last playthrough, it still felt a lot more tolerable than ever before.

No, my issue is more with the fact that League, as it currently stands and has stood for at least two seasons now, is utterly boring.

When I first started playing League, I remember not worrying if the Support never got any minion kills or fighting over solo top or having to jungle because two people up top was fine.  These might not have been optimal, even then, but they were at least acceptable for many players.

Now, almost every fight and every bit of hate mongering I witness in LoL extends from the fact that most people want the solo lanes or the AD bottom before they want to deal with being Jungle or Support. Over half of my games started with some rather inane argument about who called what first, usually resulting in someone quitting or dedicating the game to trolling.  How absurd is it that the fun of my game is more often than not determined in the first minute of joining a game rather than any single minute of the actual gameplay?

League has become static and boring for me.  Even at the lowest levels of the game where semi-serious and casual players like myself should dwell, the way people who play at the very top most level is held up as the only standard for everyone else.  The variety is limited to narrowly set archetypes which prevent many of the game’s characters from being truly effective.

League is nothing more than a constant chain of QUEUE – ARGUE FOR MID OR TOP – QUIT, WAIT FIVE MINUTES – REPEAT, unless of course I want to babysit bottom and play Support or chance having my entire team yell at me constantly for playing a poor Jungle.  Of course, I usually do just give in and play Support since a game should involve something more than just queuing and staring at chat logs all day. Thankfully, I am tired of queuing.

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5 thoughts on “Do You Wish to Continue: League of Legends

  1. I know exactly how you feel.

    I, too, miss the days of crazy things like Janna mid, and dual-lanes. On the one hand, I know it’s natural for games like this to find a meta and stick with it. They’re growing up, just like anything else, and that brings with it changes. People want to emulate the guys at the top, because they’re the best. And honestly, I enjoy having a more defined role when I play support. (Which is my favored role.) I like having more clearly defined objectives and rules.

    But, I strongly suspect that I only like these things because I generally play League with friends.

    I have seen more than one ranked or even just normal draft pick games quickly go awry because two people call for top or mid, or someone just honestly cannot let go of that Jungler role. They refuse to change their minds or try to work with the team. It’s so frustrating. I honestly don’t know how League manages to attract new players these days. There was so much crazy stuff I used to do while I was leveling to 30, stuff I could *never* even come close to getting away with these days. It’s a bit sad. And the pace at which its changed has been phenomenally fast. It worries me, sometimes, because it seems like what Riot is focused on these days is less about being welcoming to new players, and more about worshiping the “pro” ones.

    On a completely different note, though, I am delighted to hear about how much the Tribunal has helped clear up the hatred at lower levels. So many people insist that the Tribunal is broken and ineffective. It makes me glad to hear evidence that it is not. :)

    • I definitely enjoy more defined roles. My issue is more with the fact that we now have absolutely defined roles and an absolutely defined meta on top of it, which lead to alienating a larger cast of heroes and help to narrow future hero design.

      For example, hybrid characters. As they currently stand, some are viable because they can build toward one specific role reasonably well. But others, such as Karma, suffer immensely because they can’t support AND get any farm whatsoever (since as a Support you are expected to handle all warding costs and relinquish any rights over any minion kills you might think you have, otherwise you risk being ridiculed).

      I don’t mind defined roles. I just want a few more of them so that we don’t get bogged down into the static way the game is played now.

      • You make an excellent point! The roles are pretty rigid right now, and you’re totally right about Karma getting the shaft. My only critique would be that higher level play, or with friends, it is expected that *everyone* buys wards, not just the support. I know that might not be reflected at lower level play, but it does get better–assuming you find a group, or stick with the game long enough to get to higher tier ranked play. (And even then it’s a bit of a crapshoot.)

        So yeah, if you can carve out a special niche for yourself–League is a great game. If you’re just playing with the randoms…maybe not so much. An interesting observation, one which I probably never would have been able to make since I’m too busy being a snooty level 30 with lots of friends. XD

      • Well, perhaps it wasn’t as obvious in my post. I have played with friends at the max level for a LONG time now. While I have never aspired to do any ranked play, I am also not a fresh new face.

        I typically play Support, so I own most of them. I actually love babysitting, warding, and all of that. However, it is so hard to break out of specialization to one side, specifically when that one side is the least played in your typical random match. Without a dedicated group, it is very hard for me to get consistent play time in any other role without abandoning matches and waiting out my five minutes.

        At the same time, the specialization into Support helps me see the limits of the game a lot better from at least one perspective. It bothers me that the idea of Supporting is limited to either bottom lane babysitting or to some extent jungling. Why can’t we have supports that DO require farm but make up for that lack of damage significantly? Janna for example could scale well enough that having her solo mid or split bottom would balance out against damage that might’ve been lost.

        Historically, I think Jungle is one of the best roles all around. While I hate that you HAVE to have a jungler, I do very much appreciate that Jungles can come in some very distinct flavors. You’ve got invasion junglers, gank junglers, junglers who just get assists with CC, etc. Support in contrast doesn’t feel as varied in style since being CC heavy like Alistar, shield heavy like Janna, or steroid heavy like Nunu still leave you in the bottom lane taking no minion kills and spending all of your gp5 on wards.

        Maybe I should’ve written a longer post. Your mining a lot more thoughts out of me, haha.

      • Oh, whoops! Yeah, your post kind of makes it seem like you’ve had an off-again, on-again relationship with the game, and as such hadn’t really made it to Level 30 or higher-tier play. Either that, or I just missed it. ^_^:; Derp.

        I also typically play support, because I love healing and supporting my team. But I’ve noticed since the meta emerged that I get bored a lot now. It’s mind-numbing, sometimes, just sitting there in a bush and waiting for something to happen. And I don’t like being attached to my ADC for the rest of the game. In my mind, I support the *whole* team, not just them. But I’ve often been criticized by randoms for leaving bot lane, even if it’s just to ward or to support my team when the enemies are making a push at mid. It can be frustrating.

        I have never jungled, not once. It has always scared me. So I honestly know nothing about it. I do miss having two duo-lanes, though. Now you have to have a jungler, whether anyone there is good at jungling or not. Sometimes that can lead to very dissatisfying games, since you’ve got someone in the jungle who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing, or doesn’t understand the role very well. And, if something goes wrong, everyone always blames the jungler. But I like your thoughts on the issue so far. You make a lot of really good points, including that Riot really needs to come up with more support champs that can do more diverse things, instead of just…CC…shield…heal…CC…shield…heal.

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