@Riot - Letting LoL Mature

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Mayan Snipe Jock

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Senior Member

09-04-2012

Long post incoming, no TLDR.

Every time I have seen a new strategy get picked up, specifically in competitive play, it gets nerfed within around 2-3 patches. To give some examples, many of you may remember back when some competitive teams started to use roaming as a role on their team, Alistar, Janna, Taric all could function as both roamers and supports. This didn't last long because of some nerfs they received.

A while after this (quite a long while actually) WOTA was buffed and double AP became popular, riot said double WOTA was too strong a tactic, and it was nerfed to being worse than it was before as an item.

At (might be wrong about the tourney) IPL 3/4 Dignitas ran a triple support composition, they didn't lose a game with it and it ended up being banned out against them multiple times after the other teams saw how good it was. Soraka, and Lulu received large nerfs following this, and the strategy became impractical to use.

Following this a slew of pro-players started running AP Kog-Maw and poke comps came into fashion again, you guessed it - nerfed to the ground.

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So where am I going with this?

Well basically I don't really understand this sort of design philosophy, and I also don't understand what data it is that you guys at Riot are using to make these balance decision based on strategies that, in some cases, are not even played in the non-competitive scene. Dignitas' triple support strategy was incredibly good, but you wouldn't have seen it being used in 1400 ELO between 5 un-coordinated players. Why not let the pros take a bash at figuring out how to beat it? How can you suggest it's too strong when it was literally nerfed before the next tournament even happens?

It fells to me like you guys have not been allowing time for players to naturally discover ways of dealing with these strategies. Double wota was around for a 'long' time in comparison to these other tactics, and that was only 4 months or so. Dignitas's triple support strategy was, to me, really interesting as it completely broke apart the current meta and utilized support champions in new ways. I feel like Riot's stance on nerfing these emerging strategies is just making the game stagnate.

There is only one time I recall something completely new being created and it not being immediately nerfed, that was at the season 1 finale where the so called 'european meta' was introduced to the rest of the world. The current meta is complained about constantly yet these tactics like roaming, triple support, poke comps get 4 weeks of time to exist before being removed.

I want to make two comparisons to other competitive games really quick, to help readers understand what happens when the game's creators leave the players to work stuff out.

Firstly, Starcraft 2. One of the most popular E-Sports of all time, and one that League of Legends has only recently overtaken. If you look at the patch history for it, you see stuff doesn't get changed very often. Does that mean that people are not complaining about the strategies and build orders people are discovering? No. Every time a game breaking build has come out you look 2 months down the line and some pro-player has worked out a way to deal with it. Look at the prevalence of the 4-Gate rush in Protoss v Protoss' infancy and recall how much the community struggled to deal with it. Now you have 3 gate blink stalkers, 3 gate robo, etc etc. These weren't all completely independant of Blizzard's intervention, production speeds were changed once I believe to some units, but the point is they didn't say, 4 gate is too strong, best nerf it. Instead they said, let's see how the players deal with it and maybe give a little nudge.

Another recent and great example is in Dota 2. Nature's Prophet is banned or picked in ~100% of competitive games. By League standards he would have been nerfed to the verge of unviability, but instead he has remained unchanged for a very very long time. This past weekend at the International 2, in the grand finals, Team IG ran a Disruptor pick against Na'vis Nature's Prophet and it completely shut down his ability to exert early pressure with his teleport. This is a great example players just working out a way to deal with something many if not all of pro-players deemed too strong to risk the other team getting.

One relevant point of interest here is that these other games don't have content patches every 2 weeks. That definitely gives things a bit more time to grow.

I want to see stuff like this in League of Legends, I want to see players finding some crazily ingenious way of dealing with triple support! I want to see how smart the pro-teams really are, not just how much better they are mechanically.

It will be interesting to see how long this 1v2 top and bot strategy exists, as you've talked about your desire to weaken most top lane picks (bruisers primarily) and if they become weaker, I can't see 1v2s being as viable as they are now (already a risk).

To me, League of Legends is really becoming not only dull to play, but dull to spectate as well. I've been wanting to work at Riot for a while now, I love league to death (it should be evident when you look at how much I've played, and how much I've spent on it) but honestly I'm losing faith in the game. Maybe Season 3 will revitalize the game, I don't know. But regardless of that I really would like to see a red post about this topic.

Do you, Riot, feel like you are holding players hands too much by not letting there be several months of struggle to work out how to deal with new tactics?
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Or do you feel like you are able to predict that there is simply no counter to these strategies and nerfing them is the best route to take.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this, and sorry for any typos etc in advance, it's 5am over here. And one last thing, regardless of my feelings about the strategies being nerfed I love your game, and I hope I don't come across as aggressive or like I know better. You guys have made and amazing game, I'm just curious about this =)


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p0tat0pancakes

Senior Member

09-04-2012

I agree with much being said. Riot needs to stop being so timid, and should let players actually use their heads before deciding how and where to apply nerfs.

This has been brought up before, but it's well worth repeating.


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Mayan Snipe Jock

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Senior Member

09-04-2012

You read that fast O.o, thanks for the reply though =D


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Jaigar

Senior Member

09-04-2012

I have to agree with you.

I've gotten so sick of Ez/Corki/Graves that I want to just turn off the streams and go do something else. The recent LoL games have been boring to me. Theres nothing new, and there is no reason to try anything new. The way the game is designed discourages innovation and risks seem to outweigh the rewards most of the time.

For your SC2 example, you say it took about 2 months for players to adjust. Thats 1v1s where games last anywhere between 10-30 minutes normally. LoL games are 5v5 and last way longer than that (and tack an additional 5 minutes on for the draft phase). Its going to adjust much more slowly.

There was a lot of things I heard mentioned about changes in Season 3, such as adding more items and ways to build champions. I also heard them say that they need to slow down their nerfing process. They know its an issue.


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Mayan Snipe Jock

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Senior Member

09-04-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaigar View Post
I have to agree with you.
For your SC2 example, you say it took about 2 months for players to adjust. Thats 1v1s where games last anywhere between 10-30 minutes normally. LoL games are 5v5 and last way longer than that (and tack an additional 5 minutes on for the draft phase). Its going to adjust much more slowly.
That's a good point that I hadn't thought of. Thanks for adding it =)


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Mayan Snipe Jock

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Senior Member

09-04-2012

Bump =)


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Kaelzoroden

Senior Member

09-04-2012

Well thought out and well worded. You have my support.

...wait, how many other people support this thread? Having this many supporters might not be viable!


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Mayan Snipe Jock

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Senior Member

09-04-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaelzoroden View Post
Well thought out and well worded. You have my support.

...wait, how many other people support this thread? Having this many supporters might not be viable!
Have an internet for that joke =D


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FrostRevenant

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Senior Member

09-04-2012

oh this old hazy line again?
hello hazy line!

Its a two sided sword. Essentially while you want to go promote new strategies here is the underlying problem as related to competitive players

A) Competitive players play to win
A1) If A is true then that means these players will choose the best heroes and use the best strategies to ensure their wins
B) Overpowered strategies/heroes have a greater chance of winning due to their OP nature
C) Since Competitive players want to win and use the strategies that will best guarantee them victories they use more frequently overpowered champs and overpowered strategies as they have the best chances of creating that win.
Keep in mind I specifically avoided the word always. This is not always the case that teams are built around only THE best, but the point stands.

And the hazy line. What constitutes OP heroes/strategies versus legitimate balanced characters/strategies? I cant say myself. I think dont Riot wants to ruin any new metas or strategies but they do have to ensure that abusive/OP strategies are balanced out.

This is the two sided sword


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Mayan Snipe Jock

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Senior Member

09-04-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrostRevenant View Post
oh this old hazy line again?
hello hazy line!

Its a two sided sword. Essentially while you want to go promote new strategies here is the underlying problem as related to competitive players

A) Competitive players play to win
A1) If A is true then that means these players will choose the best heroes and use the best strategies to ensure their wins
B) Overpowered strategies/heroes have a greater chance of winning due to their OP nature
C) Since Competitive players want to win and use the strategies that will best guarantee them victories they use more frequently overpowered champs and overpowered strategies as they have the best chances of creating that win.
Keep in mind I specifically avoided the word always. This is not always the case that teams are built around only THE best, but the point stands.

And the hazy line. What constitutes OP heroes/strategies versus legitimate balanced characters/strategies? I cant say myself. I think dont Riot wants to ruin any new metas or strategies but they do have to ensure that abusive/OP strategies are balanced out.

This is the two sided sword
I don't really understand how this is relevant to what I'm talking about. What I'm saying is that when pro teams DO make these new strategies they just get nerfed, not that balance is such that there isn't the possibility for new strategies to be made. Examples like the triple support prove that these strategies do get made, the problem is the reaction to them.


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