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Long read ahead, no TL;DR, sorry.
I am not a pro at LoL by any means, never was. But my Elo shouldn't make my opinions any less valid, I actually played vs Morello in ranked once, and hes the head design, Anyways, while I found LoL fun for the few years I played it, it does have some very large problems it needs to deal with if it wants to keep growing or even hold onto its playerbase.
-Fair enough... continue...
League of Legends is a very imbalanced game. 90% of champions are heavily nerfed or buffed in the first patch since they come out, with some even having to be hotfixed. However, champion balance is not the only imbalance in this game. Let's start with...
-I can use your % based figure to describe most GAMES that come out. It should be of no surprise to anyone, considering once that Champion hits a couple MILLION PLAYERS, instead of a FEW HUNDRED, more things are going to become more noticeable. The expectation of something to come out that isn't broken or doesn't need tweaks or anything is just outright ridiculous. At most you would consider this a minor annoyance. Especially with League's large champion pool.
Most games are patched for BUGS on release, not blatant balance issues. Nice try.
Map & Tower Design
Summoners Rift is basically a scaled down version of DoTA's map, around 20-30% smaller -----nto the game. This makes the game incredibly boring to watch or play seriously, which was one of the reasons I quit. By pushing back the towers or nerfing their damage, League could make a much more interesting laning phase, farming with close to no kills for the first 20-30 minutes of the game is the epitome of "anti-fun" in my mind.!!!!
- I have a problem with what you said here for a few reasons. Firstly, the "boring laning phase" as you call it is all based on the Team's choice in their game. A choice which I've seen change vastly between my own matches, Spectating the ranked matches, and watching the Tournaments. Also, think of it like this. The object is to kill, and not die, correct? Lots of things to go into that kinda play making. By yourself, and by your team. I've personally watched both games of DotA2 and LoL played, and I enjoyed them both entirely. It really depends on the players playing, not the game itself. Based on your.. "Experience" with the matter at hand which is less than a handful of total kills before the 30 minute mark, I've only seen a handful of games that achieved that. Also, Towers should not be nerfed. Or this game will end up like Smite, where they exist as a annoyance, rather than a thread. Which would be just stupid. (Also, towers lead to clutch plays including surviving a gank while picking up a tower assisted kill, and defending yourself, and in some cases possibly weakening an enemy enough to pick up the kill on them.
"Professional" LoL games have a long, passive, boring, lane phase. Don't try to deny it. And if the most exciting thing in your game is a champ autoattacking someone and letting the tower kill him... maybe your game isn't that exciting after all.
Counters and Active items
In DoTA, any hero could be countered. In tournaments, they pick Tide, you pick Pugna, they pick someone to counter Pugna. (1)There were no "mains". If you wanted to play ----- vastly depending on who you were playing against. Each of these items almost felt like a move on their own, such as Force Staff, Blink Dagger, BKB, and Sheepstick. This kept the game feeling fresh and every game felt different.
(3)Anyways, getting off topic. By offering a counter to every hero, DoTA pretty much balanced itsself. The meta never stayed the same for more than a couple weeks. Say Invoker is becoming a popular pick, stomping you? You start playing Doom Bringer, boom, 13 second Silence. FOTM Invokers get tired of getting stomped? They start picking someone that counters Doom Bringer. The popular heroes are shifting constantly, with "weak" heroes becoming "op" and then dropping out of popularity again. Even if a hero was stronger than average or was played more than average, you just counterpicked them more than average, and their overpowered hero is pushed down into mediocrity until your counterpick started getting counterpicked. Counterpicks remove imbalance and keep the meta fresh. LoL has removed all hard counters, and even soft counters are rare now. This is the reason balance is such a huge issue in this game.
- I had to section this off to make 3 points that I feel counter your logic on this.
1) In LoL, playing one character only is still bad professionally. And you'll notice if you ever watch a tournament, that's that the 6 champion bans are for. If your champion gets banned are you ****ed? If the answer is yes, you're probably not a professional player.
Most LoL "professionals" have a role that they play, and 3 or so champs inside this role. But champion design is so stagnant, they might as well be playing 3 copies of the same champ.
2) In LoL you got your 4 moves, 2 Summoner Spells, and 1 Passive. In essence, thats' a total of 7 factors in a fight. You don't have to spend one penny on. On top of that, you may purchase a variety of items with active effects. The champion is your choice, the Summoner Spells are your choice. The items are your choice. And believe it or not, not every summoner goes instant Flash, even though it's quite popular. It's all about a mix between synergy, and skill. I've seen a Bottom Lane carry both had Heal, the AD had Flash, and the Support had Exhaust. I believe it was Vayne and Nunu. They crushed the lane against and Ez and Sona. Even the Meta is player choice. The only reason the Meta becomes adopted is because players become lazy, or aren't easily able to come up with strategies to **** with it. It's partly Riot's fault as well, but the players will usually end up defining how they play Riot's game.
If these things are "choice" why do people follow the same build with the same summoners every game? Why do people use guides? Why do "pros" use the same builds every game? And if the meta could change at any moment, why hasn't it? It's been a year, I'm waiting.
3) Where to begin... firstly. Being able to Counter pick doesn't mean a game is balanced. It means that the game relies less on skill than it does class composition. The more Hard Counters there are to a Champion/Hero, the more reason not to play it. While I do see what you are stretching for, the very thought makes me sick. It's too Rock-Paper-Scissors with not enough wiggle room for the players themselves. A "weak" hero doesn't just suddenly become OP overnight. Unless the developers are messing with it. You're making it sound like the players are doing this all on their own. Besides, even if the game is "balanced" as you say, that honestly sounds boring to me. There's no flavor. Everything has a hard counter. Unless there's something you're not explaining here as to how League would benefit to having Champions that 100% dominate other champions no matter what. Now, if THAT was the case, then you would DEFINITELY have a Stagnant Meta Game. And 100+ Champions would boil down to 10. Because there wouldn't be any need for anything else, aside from different skins.
This hurts to read, because you've obviously never played DoTA. Try being 4th pick, picking a hero that works with your own team comp, isn't countered by the existing enemy team comp, won't be countered by the same heroes that counter the other heroes on your team, and is in a role that your team needs. Pick that out of 100 or so heroes. You need to know how to play all of those heroes, because you might need to end up picking one of them. Compare that to LoL pros that pick Caitlyn when Corki is banned or something like that. Counterpicks are a huge part of DoTA, but you obviously don't understand that and just sound ignorant.
Suicide Lane & Jungle
In DoTA, the solo lane (not necessarily top) was called the suicide lane, and it was called this for a reason. If you wanted to Trilane or Jungle, you were expected to pay for it. In a 2v1 lane, a carry could easily lasthit every creep while a support could deny most of them, the two heroes could zone completely, or the enemy could even go around behind your first tower and pull the creepwave through the forest and into neutral creeps (jungle camps). It was a major risk to send someone solo, but also could give you a huge advantage.
In LoL, jungling is forced 100%. If you want to play competitively, you have a jungle. It's not optional. By removing denying, the enemy cannot freeze your lane and even if you are zoned completely the lane will still eventually push towards you and you can farm under your tower. Even if you decided to 2v1 and try to get some kills on the solo lane, you would most likely end up being ganked by a jungler that is a higher level than you (just like the guy you're laning against). Again, this is mostly due to the removal of denying which I know Riot will never put back into the game. The only way to balance this would be through the jungle.
Jungling in LoL is disgustingly overpowered. It was already broken BEFORE the remake. As of right now, any champ can jungle, and the ones that could jungle before can head in, s-----ames highly repetitive, and allows very little variance. I personally don't have fun doing the same thing every game, and towards the end I know I was getting reported for playing the "wrong" champions using the "wrong" builds in the "wrong" lanes. Bad game balance is making the game stagnant.
- Firstly, I would like to say that you must not have been playing the game recently. The only way for the Jungler to outlevel/outfarm ANY of the lanes, is for them to successfully gank EVERY LANE, AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY, AND NEVER LOSE. Or at least something along those lines. Their success rate has to be CRAZY high for them to achieve the results of outlaning/leveling/farming everyone else on the map. Also... you claim Counter-Jungling is no longer viable. That's just straight BS. If Jungling is as grossly OP as you state it is, Counter-Jungling with be the MOST viable solution to a jungler. Hahaha... I really think you need to read what you type out man, because you're contradicting yourself.
I have played since the jungle rework and it has not been reworked since then, so don't try to pull that. And you've never played clearcentric champs like Shyv and Mundo. And if counterjungling is so good, why do no pros do it, at all?
- ALSO. That little bit at the end that I highlighted? Yeah, I'm calling your Bull**** out on you now. Big time. because of this. And I'm quoting you here. "In DoTA, any hero could be countered. In tournaments, they pick Tide, you pick Pugna, they pick someone to counter Pugna." What happens in DotA when you pick a wrong a champion that doesn't Hard Counter someone on the enemy team? Do they sing you songs and give you a medal? You're contradicting yourself once more. Don't let the bunch of Try-hard Pro-sniffers out there make you think that champion select begins and ends the game. While sometimes it might give you a distinct advantage (Based on variables such experience against the champion you're laning against, etc, and with some exceptions to the few hard counters in LoL) Individual Skill, and Team Skill will still be a huge Factor. There are very few instances where you can be completely 100% defeated from the outright. One of things I love about this game, is that I can play the champions I like, and am good with, against a wide variety of other champions without a HUGE fear of just being 100% ****ed from the get-go.
Again, you don't understand counterpicking at all. Go play some DoTA and come back.
Another huge problem with the game. There is no better alternative to these supports as of right now, and therefore no one is going to play without them competitively. This means if you want to play ranked, you are expected to either force yourself or one of your teammates into playing a role they dont even enjoy, or put yourself at a distinct disadvantage. Can't count the number of times me or one of my teammates lost a game/queue dodged and lost elo because no one wanted to support. I'd say less than 5% of people actually enjoy playing it, yet it is still forced into every single game. In DoTA, supports could deny, clutch heal, set up kills, ect. Supports like Blitzcrank and Alistar do this to a point, but most support is "spam heal button for 20 mins". While DoTA also had healers and supports, they had to conserve their mana and heals were used for clutch saves (fun) rather than sustain (boring).
Honestly I don't know what to do about this. I was never a support main.
- While... your position on this seems very... well biased and opinionated, I do agree with it somewhat. The whole... 5% thing yeah... not so much. If that was true in this game as it is in MMO's (Where the "Support" class has a LOT more HealingPunch) then those games wouldn't get off the ground at all. Only 2 pure Support classes I know of have a heal, and the "best" one of those two does some pretty decent damage and her CC almost guarantees your death. And it will DEFINITELY **** up your team fight.
If supports are so fun, why does NO ONE want to play them? I have about 10 friends who still play LoL. Guess what role none of them like playing?
Champion Design & Forced Roles
Another reason LoL is becoming stagnant. There are five roles, and every new champ is designed to fit into one of these roles. Inside these roles, there is some variation but not a ton. Some of these champs can fit into multiple roles, but there simply are no new roles being made. In DoTA, almost every hero had a different role. There was Storm Spirit, who was your initiator as well as your carry, Sven, who supported early game and transitioned into carrying lategame, Natures Prophet, who carried while ganking from the jungle with his global tele, heroes like Brood and Lycan who excelled at pushing but lacked in teamfights, and Chen, a micro who supported from the jungle. Each hero had their own role or mix of roles that they played each game and could be switched up according to build or skill order, and each felt vastly different to play. In LoL, one game you play Blitzcrank bot and the next game you play Nautilus. One game is Annie, the next is Ahri. Having only 5 roles severely restricts the lasting appeal of the game, especially when the new champions designed into these roles are not majorly different than already existing champions, with many having no new skills whatsoever.
- Once again, I feel you're being overly biased. Especially with the highlighted example. What exactly was that supposed to prove!? Do... people who play DotA not play different champions in different matches? Is that it? Or are you trying to say that every champion needs to be able to do different roles? Does the number of roles differ in DotA? Do you have something more than a Carry, Jungler, Initiator, Jungler, Bruiser? If so... enlighten us. At this point it's getting harder and harder for me to determine whether you're giving feedback.. or just trying to talk more about DotA than LoL.... Also, there's only so many different ways you can do things within the design of the game itself, for one thing. And all in all I honestly have never felt that one champion is just the same thing as another champion. I can't compare Darius, Vlad, Rengar, Katarina, Ahri, Syndra, Teemo, or Kayle to another champion who pretty much is the same toon with a different color. I just think you're being biased again, honestly. To the point where what your stating has no weight. The only thing I'll concede to you... is that Invoker is the single most unique class I've seen in any game in my personal experience.
Pretty much, the way LoL is balanced right now you are putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage by breaking away from the meta. CLG vs LGN were some of the most exciting games - but vs. an better or even a team of the same skill level they would have been crushed. The meta has not changed for a long while and will not change until Riot changes something dramatically. Get it together.
-Luckily for you're they're working on that on Season 3. And it mostly revolves around the jungle. And like I said before, this partly revolves around the players. If the Meta was so dominate, I probably wouldn't be seeing a lot of 2-1-2 lane set ups in normals. And I'm sure it's just as viable in ranked. But.. player choice.
Hopefully it goes better than the last jungle rework.
Well, that was role design, now let's move onto Champion Design. This is a hard one to do, because the original 40 were all actually pretty cool designs. Fiddlesticks, Anivia, Dr. Mundo, Teemo, these all felt unique and were well designed. Now it's generic bruiser after generic bruiser. These champs have no personality and are made up of rehashed moves from old champs. The only reason people play half of them is because 3/4 of them are disgustingly overpowered on release, while the other 1/4 are worse than useless. One thing I have seen recently is better interaction, such as Voli and Zilean and Graves/Nocturne. This was one of my favorite little aspects in DoTA and I'm glad to see LoL has picked it up. Another thing I'm glad to see is there are both easy and hard champions, a new player can start with Yorick or Garen and move up to much harder champions - I would like the option of harder champions however.
- What I didn't highlight in that paragraph was the little nuances and special things that happen in game. Which I agree with, and are awesome. What I did highlight... what the hell? Generic Bruiser after Generic Bruiser? No personality? Rehashed moves? You really need to be more specific. Because broad strokes like this just make you sound... well very unintelligent. You sound like you're vomiting up something someone else told you right now. I can't even truly understand what you're saying. You see more... melee champs? Not enough mages? What!?
I've played both games. You seem to have not. I'm not the one sounding unintelligent here, you clearly don't know what you're talking about.
Gap closers. These are all the rage right now, with every champ and their cat having at least one. These make for aggressive teamfights, but also a passive, boring laning phase. A bit of a tradeoff, i personally would like to see them as more of a special move, not just something thrown on every new champ released.
- Once again, the fights you see, or experience, are all based on player choice, experience, and skill. I personally am not going to go balls out if I think that the other player might be able to pull something out of their ass, get myself killed, and put myself behind in my lane. I also fail to see how a gap closer is causing your laning phase to become boring. It's not like those things are on a super short CD (Especially Flash).
Gap closers cause lane phase to be boring because they give you a get away free card when you do something stupid, when you should be punished for it. And yes. Yes they are on low cooldowns. Many gap closers are on a sub 10 second cooldown. Even less than 5 for some, Nidalee pounce anyone?
Community & Teamwork
I will get in a ton of trouble for this, but the LoL community is absolute ****. This is written solely from my personal experiences, and may not be the same as everyones. This stems from the lack of hard carries - relying on teammates who may or may not have an extra chromosome is infuriating. In DoTA, a hard carry can 1v5 and win with enough skill. An example, a couple games ago I played sniper. Things were looking grim for us, we had everything but our Ancient (nexus) and one side tower gone... I ended the game with over double the kills of the rest of my team combined - and won. If that had been a LoL game, we would have surrendered at 20 minutes and I would have been pissed at my team for the next three days. You simply Don't have the same mentality in DoTA. It's not that it's not a team game - a team with good teamwork will always triumph - but if you lose, it's because YOU didn't do good enough, not your team. It's your job to win, your teammates can help you with that but you don't rely on them. The reason? No matter how fed you get or how skilled you are, it is incredibly hard to ace an entire team in LoL. Five champs will always do more damage and more cc than one. In DoTA? Definately not the case. This is mainly due to skill rewards rather than kill rewards - in LoL you can pit someone with another player who's up 5 kills and 50 far, and the person with the most items will win 90% of the time, even if they are a little less skilled. This lets your team have control over the game - if one of them decides to feed, its game over. In DoTA, there is far less scaling and far more strategy and skill to winning a fight. In LoL, you right click on an enemy and spam your abilities, they do the same, whoever has the most gold and the best positioning will generally win. In DoTA, you manage high ground, mana, many active items (which also cost mana), any creeps under your control, sometimes up to fourteen moves, all while paying attention to your opponent doing the same thing. Even if you are behind a few levels or a thousand gold, you can easily beat someone if you micro all of these things better than them. I'm not saying either of these systems are better, but DoTA definitely gives your team less of a chance to screw up your game, even if they leave or feed, in fact I've seen good players win 2v5 very easily.
Anyways, from what I've seen, this makes the community a lot less likely to be dicks - if they call you out on feeding, you can call them out on not carrying, and they look like an idiot. A good player knows that they have the power to win the game. Even with in client voice chat I see rage maybe once in 20 games, while in LoL I remember maybe one in twenty where someone DIDN'T trash talk or threaten to report me or one of my teammates. Again, this is from personal experience, other people may have not had such a warm welcome to DoTA or DoTA 2 (I count these as the same game by the way - after release they will be identical aside from client and graphics. And please don't call it a ripoff, DoTA wasn't even a 10 year old game, it was a 10 year old mod. About time it got a sequel/standalone.)
- Everything about what you said is royally ****ed up. You know what other game you can carry your team to victory with just you being extremely skilled? Call of Duty. I'm gonna say a couple of things. If it's a game that has a team, but doesn't require Teamwork to triumph, then it's stupid. Coming out on top of a 1v5 is indeed impressive. But that **** should be Haley's Comet rare. And should NOT be cited, at all. But even the fact that you're stating this as a good thing, just blows my mind. And the fact that you state it like it's absolute truth. In League, if you start getting farmed hard, you play defensively. You farm very passively, safely, and you stay close. You catch back up. In a 5v5 game one person SHOULD make a huge difference on your impact. It's not an army. If someone leaves your match in either League or DotA, yeah, MAYBE you could win, if your team is willing to put forth the effort. But that's not something the game should be balanced around. The game was made with this in mind. 5 against 5. Not 3v5. And one person shouldn't be able to carry a team to victory... unless the enemy team is REALLY bad and ragequits.
Alright, so first of all, being dragged down by 4 bad teammates makes a game GOOD? News to me. Now you're talking about farming and playing defensively... just after you said how the game was not boring and passive... and just after you called me out on contradicting myself. Irony? And as for 5 on 5, ganks are 2 on 1, should the game not be balanced around that too?
Forced Competitive Scene
This was a bad idea from day one. This game was meant to be a fun, casual, relaxed game. It was not designed for competitive play. It is not balanced for competitive play. With DoTA being a 10 year old mod and HoN dying, I could see why Riot would force it, but at this point it's just best to quit while you're ahead. LoL is designed to reward passive play, and pros will always bank on this. Watching other players farm is never fun to watch - this is why steams are always so much more fun than tourneys - top players who have nothing to lose trolling and breaking away from the meta, spawn Karthus, stuff like that. Even the teams getting paid for playing are losing interest. DoTA will never take your place as a casual, accessible, easy to pick up game; Dark Souls will never make as much money or have as many players as Angry Birds. Stop trying to take their place a competitive one, it's not going to work no matter how much money you pump into it. Hate to say it, but flipping coins into a cup is only interesting for so long. (I use this to refer to the competitive scene only - I find normal games vastly different than ranked and actually quite a bit of mindless fun).
- I would expected ranked to be taken a little bit more tightly than a casual game. However, as stated before. Super Smash Bros wasn't designed for competitive play either. Yet... there it is. I could probably say the same of Golf. Also, not to disprove you wrong or anything about how DotA will always be more competitive than LoL. That's simply bias, once again. And as you've been typing this, it's showing more and more. Just on twitch.tv alone, during the Season 2 Wold Championship, more than 250k viewers. Just there. Not including the people at the live event. Not including the other streaming sites. Some of Riot's bad choices aside, has DotA matched the numbers that League has with just that? Not including the various Regional Tournements? If you can provide numbers, please do.
DoTA has far move viewers and players than LoL, the reason the stream numbers are lower is because we can spectate through our client, even able to pick our shoutcaster while watching, as well as having a spectator mode to watch it later, so no streaming is required to watch the game.
Honestly, there are a few infamous problems with LoL, such as Adobe Air, lack of features, ect. but 90% of the problems stem from poor champion design, poor balance, and overall laziness. I'm not saying you guys should fire Morello and Steve "60 second silence at level 1" Feak, but at this point nothing fresh is being implemented into the game, some new faces could be the answer to that problem. This game is going nowhere if you don't take it there, releasing nothing but rehashed champions for $10 each is the easiest way to bore your players. If you want this game to thrive, put some effort into keeping it alive instead of sitting back on your stacks of cash and copypasting moves onto "new" champions. A shakeup needs to happen soon, a game can die more easily than you'd think.
- This is once again just bias personal opinion backed up with little to no fact. I haven't read any articles, statements, statistics, or any other form of hard evidence that shows that League is declining in anyway. The easiest way to bore players, is for players to get bored. It's all based on personal preference. And it took World of Warcraft, the juggernaut of gaming how many years before things started to go down? Exactly. Also, "laziness" isn't fair to say, considering the things that the development team has to consider when making content. Especially for a game with this much content, and variables weighing down on every single decision they make, for a game that you can play until you get to the Professional level without having to spend a single CENT on. The only thing I will concede on is that the Meta needs to change, in some way shape or form. Either that, or it's playerbase needs to grow a spine and work a little bit harder on breaking it themselves.
This game has nothing in the way of descisions, play DoTA and get back to me. If you don't need to spend a cent to get to professional level, then why did that milk guy back a couple years ago get EVERY SKIN AND CHAMPION from riot when he said he'd top the ladders in a month? Also, the Meta hasn't changed for a year, it isn't about to.
I don't want to be the one to focus on the negative, but criticism brings problems to the light. There are many things this game has done right, but focusing on those won't improve the game. I had a good run with this game, and hope everyone else does too, I hope that this can give some insight into ways to break up the meta and keep the game fresh.
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