Critical Ranked Solo Queue Analysis
There is next to little point in playing Ranked Solo Queue in League of Legends. There are a couple of glaring issues that make it undesirable. The following is my analysis of the system:
I've been playing since Season 1 and have attempted to take my play to new levels of difficulty and strategy by joining the ranked circuit off and on throughout the season as I got good with certain champions. My experience is consistently as follows:
I play a ton of normal 5's games (draft, once that was released) playing one champion in one lane until I've gotten really good at that role. I go to play a ranked game to put my skills to the test. From here, with some variations in between and even some of my own faults, there are three ways the game ends up going.
~35% of the time: Someone on the team is completely oblivious to simple teamwork and/or game mechanics and should not be playing ranked level play. Sometimes these are just, as they are often known, "trolls." For example, I'm currently taking the time off of LoL to write this because I just had to queue dodge a team that locked all AP mids after my initial first pick mid. The game before that, our bot went 1-7 in the first 15 minutes and didn't know that Ezrael could teleport and kept swearing that he was Flash hacking. I could go on, and I know the people reading this have their own horror stories.
Another ~35% of the time: Nobody on my team is in the wrong, the other team had "that guy(s)" on their team. We get a free win. No challenge. Why am I playing ranked again?
~15% of the time: Both teams are serious, we simply lose because they are better. This is where I am often finding my own faults and getting an honest challenge. I enjoy these losses greatly.
The last ~15% of the time: Both teams are serious, we outplay the other team and it's a blast. We have a rewarding victory and all that hard work paid off.
This makes the game about ~30% enjoyable, and half of that I go down in elo increasing the odds of getting the first two scenarios (~70%) happening.
I've written in the past and done some reading on the forums and a lot of the time people say "never solo Queue," or "if you were really at the elo level you feel you should be at, you'd be there." Both of these statements are bogus, and here's why:
The first one: If you can't enjoy the game solo queued, don't have a solo queue function. 3's play doesn't. I often play at weird hours when my IRL friends who play are not on, and pick-up strangers are just as big of a wild card as solo queuing to begin with. If you're lucky you can find a stranger to become friends with and duo queue and is actually on your level. But only if.
The second one: I honestly believed there might be some merit to it, so I ditched Season 2 after hitting elo hell and worked my ass off to master Nidalee. I just watched the Fnatic game around when Season 3 started where one of the players pretty much carried their whole game with his amazing spear throws and got inspired to play out Season 3 just like that. I fire up my first ranked game. Trolls/oblivious (see above). Second game, same thing. Third game, same thing. Mind you, I am usually only one with positive KDRs at the end of this game, I constantly have the map warded (I play Mid) even when the support does not, call my MIA's, and am always there tossing spears and heals in every direction for team fights. I've played 10 games as Nid this season in ranked. I am 4-6 W/L and have a score average of 6.3/2.4/5.3. I put that there just for the raw data.
So what can be done? Something I've seen suggested is the elo starting at zero so that people who are playing the role of oblivious/troll can stay down while the rest of us don't have to keep sinking when we put up with it. I'm in favor of this change, and have supported it on the thread that it appeared in.
The conclusion I can reluctantly come to is that at this point this game is designed so that only entirely premade teams can get enjoyment out of high-end game play. While I'm fine with the unavoidable fact that entirely premade team games will be the most competitive by nature (voice communications, power plays, premeditated team comps, etc) it isn't necessary for the system to punish Solo Queue players.
Another glaring problem is the "calling" versus "first pick" role system. While people like me believe that first pick gets priority by nature, you get a bunch of people arguing about who gets what position and it turns into a war about "who called" versus "who picks first," etc. Some people reading may go "well obviously, it should always be X who gets it." But I would put money on there not being an agreement between the people reading this, either, which it is in the end.
A proposal for this, and I'm sure it's been brought up though I haven't a specific post to mention is a system like certain other MMO's have in regards to party dungeons, instances, raids, etc. where you pick which roles you wish to play and the system takes that into consideration before forming you with a team. It wouldn't be hard to implement and would save a lot of grief in the long run if the system assigned roles (people could always switch out once they've had a chance to talk about it).
Lastly, I will give credit where credit is due: The ability to trade champions and the long champion select times, while not specifically for Solo Queue play as this post is about, are very good ways of helping people get the right champions picked and locked so that countering tactics can be had.
Thank you for reading. If you like what I've had to say, please bump my post. If you want to complain about it or insult me, and I know someone will, go right ahead there, too (it'll just bump me anyway).
Edit: The post I mentioned earlier regarding elo starting at zero can be found here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2079694
'itll just bump me anyway' what a selfish newb, you are why there is an elo hell. stay in normals if you arent charismatic enough to bring teams together.
the role picking idea has been posted before, in fact, none of your ideas are original and would create a static boring gameplay which real players and Riot want to avoid.
dont bump your own thread. no one is going to read all your jarbble and if they liked it they would upvote or post, which they havent. try your 5 seconds of fame somewhere else.
First off - if you are only winning 50% of your '30% of real games' ... then you are -exactly- in the Elo you are supposed to be. That's not to say you like it there, but it is what it is.
Second - if you are going into ranked only knowing one role (and focusing on only one champion in that role) - that is also a problem. Not all champions are created equal. And if you have first pick, and no one wants to trade with you, and you pick Nid and get countered, It's -your- fault as much as the rest of the team.
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