The sheer audacity of Riot has finally broken my spirit and faith in their abilities.
Update 8/2/2011: So, instead of actually addressing these issues that I've raised, Riot has decided to opt out for cowardice, brushing this thread into the Off-Topic Discussion part of the threads, where they hope this will die. Run as much as you like Riot, but these problems ARE on topic, and you CANNOT hide from them forever.
Update 7/25/2011: I just received word about a very interesting countdown timer. Perhaps others have heard of this before me, but I figured I'd come back here to share with those who are so inclined.
You have 27 days.
Like a great many people on the community forums, I am an individual who has made their complaints vocal enough to stir responses out of Riot employees in the past. The issues I've addressed span from everything to downtime, or to insanely unoriginal champion designs. So please bear with me, as I have had this building up for quite some time, and am just now being broken by Leona's release. Allow me to explain.
I joined this community quite some time ago, during the releases of Udyr, Nidalee, Poppy, and the rest of the non-40 starter champions that followed. Times then were pretty great, as I found myself quickly addicted to the game, loved that the company "Riot" had a tab for community suggestions (Although it was greyed out, and NEVER came to fruition) at the top of the website page, and I found myself in the loop for new and fresh info coming out that could be easily accessed via the "Closed" Private Test Realm forums. Everything about the game was exciting, even fresh, as far as free games were concerned.
Due to the fact that my bitterness towards the company has been subtly building, my memory probably won't recall each and every individual incident that has lead me to this point. However, I can say that the inciting incident for Riot's downhill slope was most certainly the closing of the test realm and its forums.
If you think about it, the best way to balance a game and to make it cleaner is to have more people assigned to it. This is the whole purpose behind alpha and beta testing. Get rid of all the gruesome bugs and horrific flaws to your game before release. Riot is constantly countering customer complaints with statements such as:
"Oh, we don't have enough people". I'm aware that I am greatly paraphrasing, but there is usually a link involved that goes directly to their career section, and they claim that they are always looking for the best of the best people.
Now, if one considers for a moment just how highly the Riot employees regard the community (Whether they talk to us with fake enthusiasm or genuine, the decision is yours), they why doesn't Riot employ the use of their greatest force - the players themselves. Not only do more people equate to more opinions and feedback for balance, but it also gives back that spark of excitement. The continuous refreshing of the TR forum to see "Oh hey, what's the new champion gonna be like?!" before an actual announcement is released.
Instead, we see several other incidents scattered across Riot's balancing system, whereby the testing pool is reduced to a handful of employees that decide to nerf things like mana regeneration runes. I don't suppose anybody would remember that little patch preview video that was closed thanks to a gratuitous amount of downvotes, and then reopened by Riot's false upvote system. Rest assured, they deploy this system for anything which they know the community will despise. Which rather begs the question; "Why release it then?"
As far as I can tell, absolutely none of my friends had a clue about why mana regeneration runes were being nerfed. I had asked strangers in games, spoken with some college buddies, and searched the forums. Nowhere did I see anybody screaming from the rooftops "Holy hell, mana regen is so OP! Do something about it!". Yet, it is wonderful business decisions like this on Riot's part that makes me wonder just what sort of rose-colored glasses these balancing employees don to make all their (if you pardon my french) ****tastic decisions smell like their spectacles. Mana regeneration is just a start. I'm sure if you were to look through the archive compiled on the League of Legends Wiki for release notes, you'd find a hell of a lot more things that don't add up. All you need do is scroll to the bottom, and look under the "Release History of League of Legends":
Now, balance is a pretty huge thing to deal with, but it most certainly is not the only thing that has been handled poorly in part of Riot (And please, don't leave some comment about how the game is far more balanced than it was a while ago. They've had over 2 years to work at this. I would sure as hell HOPE it's at least a bit more balanced).One of the most pressing contemporary problems with Riot would have to be the sheer unoriginality of champion design. I've sung this tune for quite some time, and it never gets any better. One of the main issues with Riot's new champions is that they shot themselves in the foot with a little thing known as Zileas' Anti-Fun laws.
In this, Zileas writes a manifesto of all the things ever done to champions in any other Moba game conceived, including DotA, and explains why they're all so bad for the game's inherent design and for the sake of new and wonderful players. This may all seem great and dandy from the perspective of Riot. I'm sure they probably even gave him a wonderful promotion for tranquillizing the community a little longer. Problem is, new players face tremendous complexity from this game ANYWAYS when they join.
You see, when I first joined, there were 41-42 champions in the game to pick from. For a little while, I had a bit of difficulty trying to determine the skills of each character. What could they do? How are they used? What are their names? Furthermore, what could I do to learn about them?
So, being the schmuck that I was, I decided to get the physical copy of the game for the first 20 champions, get the digital copy for the second set of 20 champions, and then I would just deal with the ones I didn't have when I came to them. From there, I spent a good long while taking each champion for a test drive in practice games, and learned about them from there.
But... what do today's new players do? I have been able to take the new champions at one bi-weekly dose at a time. The previews, teasers, and spotlights spell out the new champion abilities for even the simplest of simpletons to figure out when they're released. one. at. a. time.
For brand new players though? I tried to teach a few newcomers a while back, and found myself getting asked over and over "What does he do? What does SHE do? Who's that? Whadda they do? ANOTHER new guy?"
There are 79 champions currently within the game, with at least 2 more fleshed out and defined for future release, and no sign that Riot will stop there. With each new champion released, you don't make things any less daunting to new players, no matter how much you water and dumb down your new characters. Truth be told, this only makes things worse for the rest of us, the fans who have been around and knew that your game was worth paying for.
That's right. was worth paying for, as in past tense. The new champions have the same old abilities that we've seen before. There's no champion that can control gravity, or one who can destroy terrain, or one who can inverse another player's controls for a different type of CC.
No. It's always gotta be the same old slow / stun / silence. The same old spammable skill shot or Q. A basic shield. A neat little blink. Orianna was a nice step in a cool direction, but was far from being God's salvation to Riot's creative stagnation. It makes the game stale beyond belief, with really not much to show for it except "Instead of 57 dimensions of difficulty for new players, we decided to opt out of making champions cool and unique, so now they only have to deal with 54. Doesn't that just work out for EVERYBODY? =D"
In light of the new champions following the pattern of being uninteresting piles of "Meh", I figured there was perhaps something else Riot would release in terms of release, such as features, **** loads of items, new maps, or perhaps replays or the guild mode.
For those who care to remember, there was once a post long ago, that asked "Will League of Legends be getting replays here at some point?", to which Tryndamere, the president of Riot games, responded "Post-Launch, yes." This thread has since been deleted probably in part to it being necro'd a few months back, and Tryndamere receiving a smorgasbord of downvotes. Save face and what have you. Although the original post has been deleted, you can certainly search for it on Google, or perhaps that brand-sparkling-new search function that Riot took half a year to fix for their own website.
Yes yes. Riot has acquired Google technology. Flee for your lives.
Regardless, this is the sort of timeline that is given to the community. Any time the player base asks about something, Riot's Rolodex of Responses (The R.R.R., if you will) springs into action! You may have even heard a few of them! Things such as: "I can't give out details at this point in time" or the infamous "Soon".
Tryndamere stated that the replay function will be given "Post-Launch". While everything after Beta could be considered "Post-Launch", the reasonable Joe or Jane would interpret the president's remarks as "Oh, okay, so it'll be out within the first few months of going out of Beta stages."
So, if I were to ask an astronaut what time they would return from an expedition to Mars, they could technically tell me "After we've launched off the ground", and they would technically be right after I've been waiting around for a handful of years. Or, if the IRS were to ask me when I'll be paying my taxes, I could just say "After I get paid, silly!" and hang up with a smile on my face, knowing I'd told the truth, right?
Wrong. IRS shows up tomorrow to seize my assets. They don't like being strung along with B.S. answers. Why is that any different with customers?
Now, if it was just the ambiguous answers, I guess that would be fine, as there is great uncertainty with productions, and things are always always ALWAYS subject to change. However! Riot always prides themselves on being apparently transparent with their community. Why is it then, I ask you, that Leona's delay was posted on the General forums, and not the Announcements?
Why did I have to go to some second-hand website to find out through some low-budget interviewer / article that Magma Chamber has been postponed / shelved / cancelled / whatever the hell you want to call it? Something of this proportion wasn't put on the official website of the game becauuuusssseeee....?
Oh, I'm sorry. I may have crushed the spirits of some people by letting that giant cat out of the bag. Guess somebody had to do it, because Riot sure didn't put it anywhere on their official news page.
On a side note, you'll have to forgive me if some random employee tweeted about it, facebooked it, or put it on YouTube. When Riot blackmailed the community into subscribing to their channels just for the sole purpose of releasing a second "Blooper Reel" that was the epitome of anti-comedy, I just felt compelled to do nothing but JUST THE OPPOSITE.
While I may not have addressed every wrong thing that Riot has ever done in their career, I will not sweat the smaller stuff. Alas, once the small stuff becomes big stuff and I see the Riot corporation start to fail me yet again, I look forward to only one thing in the continuous cycle of condescension and critical server failures. That one thing being Champion releases.
I know, I know. I just got done ragging about how the champions are garbage and Riot should quit while their behind. However, when almost 2 years have passed and all that Riot can really show for it are...
Twisted Treeline (In my eyes, the biggest piece of truly different content that has been given to the game)
A new tutorial (Yay? No effect on actual gameplay. Just to get people started.)
A half-completed (At best) Co-Op Vs. AI mode.
A browser based justice system (Has no effect on actual gameplay. Still trolls everywhere you turn.)
New UI (Has no effect on actual gameplay)
If I missed anything else, let me know. That's pretty much all the visible changes made to the game though. So as I said, when all Riot has to show for is just that amount of content, the only thing you can really look forward to are champion releases. Unfortunately, Riot delayed Leona's release, and I found my interest in League of Legends greatly deteriorate. So, I went off to play another game for a few days until Leona was released. The game I played was called "Vindictus". (Warning, side story approaching, but it is relevant. I swear to you.)
Vindictus is not a Moba. It is a dungeon crawler. Akin to... shall we say, Diablo. I found Vindictus to be a very well done game in general, in part to its deep storyline as well as the quite entrancing graphics. You play one of a handful of different character classes. Following a series of NPC quests, you fight your way through a series of dungeons. Each chapter of the game is assigned what is essentially a campaign, or a collection if you will, of anywhere from 10-20 dungeons. Each dungeon has different scripted boss battles in it, has a destructible environment that you can interact with, and normally has 3-7 areas you can explore before it takes you to the boss of the dungeon. Essentially, there is a lot of varying things you can do, as far as RPG dungeon crawlers are concerned. I've had a blast with it.
While playing this game for the past week and a few days, Vindictus went down three times. The first time was for scheduled maintenance, the second time was for an unscheduled problem, and the final time was for a patch. Now if you'll indulge me, I want to lay something out for you. A little compare and contrast, if you would.
This is what got me really thinking. Once I saw everything that was added, I said to myself: "So wait. Vindictus is down 3 times, and League of Legends is down once. Even though Vindictus is down for about 1/4th of the time that League is, Vindictus added about 100x more content to their game than I've ever seen Riot add in one patch. Period."
The other thing that I think you guys will find just oh so rich, is that all of the stuff Vindictus has in their patch pertaining to the new shop and real money items? It's all at the very bottom of the page, where it's the very last thing you notice. Where does Riot always put their new skin and champion info? At the very tip top of each patch page.
After I had played Vindictus for a good while, I decided to see whether or not Leona had finally been released. Riot said early next week. Today is actually the middle of the week, but I digress. I went to to check the game, and behold! A new patch. I figured surely, this champion is going to be 3150 at the most. Why? Well, for one, Riot always held the policy of difficult champions that were based on skill to be higher in price. Thus Corki, Ezreal, Anivia, Karthus, etc. The higher price is to deter lower level players from purchasing them, screwing up, and raging about the game. Price was once based on difficulty, and Riot seemed to have abandoned that policy in recent days.
Regardless of price by difficulty, I was sure that Leona would be cheaper simply because of the fact that Riot delayed her for such a long period of time. As a way of them saying sorry to the community, they would be the kind and generous company that they are and they might practically give her away.
No. I got on to see that disgusting 4 digit number AGAIN. 18.104.22.168. It would be nice to note that I've been lenient in purchasing the past new champions on their release date with hard earned points, but not this one.
I don't know where Riot gets the audacity to continuously slap their community members in the face day in and day out. While there are other companies that are out in the world producing real results and proof of their work, Riot continues to string along the community with their upbeat tone and wonderfully joyous posts that seem to ooze gummy bears, rainbows, and glitter. They string us along with recycled champion abilities put into a different champion body and the community just dances like a big marionette.
I simply cannot take the lies and stalls any longer. I have no trepidations in saying that Riot is an abomination in terms of service. They work under the guise of productivity, yet produce nothing week in and week out. "Trust me" and "Soon" works a lot like credit to the IRS. You can only go so far before you max out your credit cards and the government gets sick of your bull ****.
I just joined an MMORPG that is far more graphic intensive and expansive than your game. And yet... they were able to impress me more in the first patch I've witnessed than you have in your last 20 patches combined. Keep in mind that this MMORPG is only PARTIALLY sponsored and produced by Valve. They're not even fully involved in its production.
So... this just makes me wonder how soul crushingly powerful a game they DO fully sponsor will turn out. Just some food for thought. You have held my attention for a considerable amount of time with your game, but I expected a fireworks show when you released your "Expect the unexpected" video.
Little did I know all this time you have been working on nothing.
Now I shall head off to a company that actually delivers something that is fresh, as opposed to scamming (Yes. You heard me correctly. SCAMMING) customers out of their time and money with hopes and promises, only to continue masquerading as a company that truly cares about the community, and purposefully destroying their own integrity and reputation.
I look forward to glancing back at the end of the year, and watching this cash cow still producing nothing but noxious gas and manure.
Edit: Apparently I was wrong. The art of reading, as well as the message is lost to this generation. Keep doing what you do Riot. I guess I should have dumbed down my post for the downvoting sheep herd like you do for all your champions.
Double Edit: Added an addendum post that I made a while back in address to Zileas' Anti Champion laws, since somebody said I didn't go into enough depth with it. It's directly below his place holder. Feel free to read if you wish, although it is probably not AS contemporary as it was back then.
Triple Edit: Well isn't this magnificent. It appears the half-patch day that began a couple weeks ago is starting to become a trend. Hello 6,300 IP (Delayed) Monkey King. Aren't you branded as easy in your very own in-game profile, and don't you have tons of recycled skills from two 3150 IP cost Champions? Thought so. Guess I need to look no further than the clenched fist emblem to figure out why your price tag is so high. After all, it's the same fist that Riot uses to punch me repeatedly every time a patch rears its ugly head.
**** that was long
why waste your time posting anything longer than a paragraph on these forums...
All that effort.....and the thread's gonna get closed.
I laugh at you, sir.
And no, I didn't read it. It'd be a major waste of my time.
i'm not going to read through the entire thing.
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