A Plea to Elementz and the Community, Why your tier list is Slowly Corrupting Balance

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Kama Toki

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Senior Member

11-20-2010

Warning this a huge thread, may require multiple bathroom breaks and possibly even a cup of coffee. However i assure you after reading this you won't look the same at any QQ thread on the forums ever again.




While i'm glad that the rage against tier lists is so strong, I'm saddened by the realization that players are complaining about "Elementz Tier List" for one specific reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Average Elementz hate thread
I hate joining a game and choosing a tier 4 or 5 champion and being called a noob and then have my entire team verbally harass me the entire game and refuse to work with me at all. It's not fun at all ):
While this is a really good example of what the tier list does, it's not exactly what i've had a problem with, or what i started threads about way back when i implored the community to move his tier list to the "Guides and Strategy" section.

I also don't really feel that a Player's crappy behavior towards teammates can be blamed on Elementz at all, i can almost assure you that if you badmouth other players because of champion choices, you're just as likely to badmouth them even if someone doesn't feed you opinions. That's a lack of human respect, not an abundance of sheeping.





No, the reason i hate the Tier list is more because of its effect on Balance. I feel that in ways people don't realize, Elementz' Tier list is negatively influencing the entire champion balancing process, and in its own way shifting not only the public opinion on champions, but the actual power of the champions themselves.(To be perfectly clear, this would happen even if it wasn't elementz, this applies to all tier lists from popular community members)

To explain this i think the easiest way is to examine the forums as a whole, and the influence they have on the game.


Quote:
You can call this "The QQ cycle" or "The Sheep Cycle", but no matter the name it always ends up the same.

TLDR at end of quote



1).
A player gets mad for whatever reason he or she deems unfair, this could be anything from mechanics that don't work like they want them to, or easy abilities that were used against him/her.

This player must possess at least one of the following.
-A decent amount of intelligence and eloquence, to sway others in his favor.
-Reputation/Popularity
-A Colored Name
Note: if a player does not posses any of these attributes, they don't make much of an impact on the game or the players. However enough "______ IS OP" threads can manage to make quite the impact, look at Xin Zhao's Release.






2). That player creates a thread on the forums, General discussion being the most popular, although Champion Discussion can be about 20-25% as effective.

For this example, ill be using "So and so champion is Op and/or UP" Threads.

The content of the thread rarely matters, nor what is said. As long as it's agreeable with the forum (obtains upvotes) and sparks discussion (pages of responses) the thread will influence the community in the OP's Favor.

A good rough estimate (for visualization purposes) is that every Upvote on a "Corki is OP" thread results in 1 More player picking up Corki and using him more often in his average games.Plus for every page the thread has in responses you can add another flat 50 or so players picking up Corki or encouraging others to use Corki.

This is all multiplied substantially by the amount of time the thread remains bumped and the reputation/eloquence/namecolor of the original Poster. Note: In case of "Champion is UP" thread, this player count directly results in people choosing not to play this champion or encouraging others to not play him. This is not speculation, champions have commonly seen large influxes of players using them when they become a hot topic on the forums, look at pantheon for instance, where he went from being in 1/10 games, to 9/10 within a few days.




3). As champions become more played, people notice them around more often and get angry at them much easier. If you meet a corki every other game as compared to every 10 games, you're much more likely to get angry at what he does, and in turn find him as a more annoying champion..

These players also become more aware of what Corki does, and pay more attention to how powerful he is and why his abilities may be so great. Good corki players may also influence others to play Corki. As corki becomes more common, it's much easier to judge him and decide he's too powerful, which means his popularity directly influences the chances of him becoming "OP"and a hot topic to complain about.

As an interesting note here, Corki has remained near the same power and utility throughout most of the last three months, however due to lack of players, people considered Corki bad. I've actually been *****ed at for picking Corki before the patch, multiple times, which is quite entertaining to me.


This is not a theory, this happens every free champion week, in which at-least one of the free champions is overplayed and seen every other game, Complaints on the forums come quickly after.
We watched quite an influx of corki players as he became a popular topic on the forums, it was quite noticeable, considering corki was before one of the least played champions in the game.




4). More Attention means more complaints, specially when people are specifically paying more attention to a champion because it's considered "OP". This isn't hard to understand, The entire process propagates itself and we end up with this endless cycle of more QQ threads and more people playing the champion to cause more people to rage and QQ more.

The funny part is, every time anyone has ever made a thread demanding you nerf a champion, you actually increase the population of that champion on servers. Essentially saying "Nerf Garen" means people are going to see your thread and decide to play Garen in the next match.





TL;DR: Player gets mad, player is smart/has a purple name, player says champion is op, more people play op champion, more people get frustrated fighting against said champion, more people decide champion is op, more people get mad.
Now this is fine, this is pretty much common on ever single forum about every single game ever. However in this case, two things make this a problem.


1). The General Forums are amazingly active on this game, most everyone who is anyone browses them (that's right, if you're not on these forums you suck) and you can be assured that most people you play against read the forums.
This increases the effect of these threads very much.Now once again this isn't really a problem, tons of games have really active communities. Until you look at #2


2). Riot balances the game based on community input.


This means in part riot is balancing the game around this "QQ Cycle". If people complain then usually something is done about it (unless it's buffing eve). Noticably riot only nerfs champions people complain about, buffs are very rare.






Now after you understand that, you can see why i hate Elementz tier list.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elementz' Tier list is currently the most popular QQ thread on the forums.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The top of the list tells you his opinion on which champions are OP or the best at the time (and therefore those champions are played more) and the bottom of the list tells you which champions are UP or the worst at the time (and those champions are played less). He's got thousands of people reading his list every week, hundreds of pages of responses and he's not only very popular but his name is very purple.

Because of the popularity it changes the champions played by a massive portion of the community and causes champions at the top to be played the most often. This single handedly changes the game more so than any other QQ threads on the forums.


Examples of this. (It's bad evidence, Psychological results of mob mentality from public opinion is immensely hard to quanitfy, take these as examples of where i see the QQ-Cycle most obvious, and not as complete proof that i'm correct)
Quote:
Ezreal- decided best carry in the game by Elementz, remained at the top of the tier list through 5 (Five) consecutive patch nerfs. He was very balanced around patch 3, however because Elementz didn't move him until after patch 5, he received far more community attention and people still decided he was the best.

Interestingly enough, the QQ about ezreal being overpowered didn't stop until Elementz removed him from Tier 1.

After those five consecutive nerfs, he was slowly moved down tier by tier each update of Elementz list until the "True" level he was nerfed to. Everyone agrees ezreal is terribly overnerfed now, even though the community at the time was clamoring for more ratio reductions.
Quote:
Miss Fortune - Really good? Yes. Nerf worthy? Yes. However they nerfed her three times in a row. Which is fine, however coincidentally (i think not!) she was also very high on Elementz list for the entire time.

After patch 2, most players felt she was pretty balanced, yet people still played her every single game because she was still tier 1. Yet another nerf happened recently that many players feel was an un-needed kick in the side while she's down. Yet Miss fortune remains top tier for Elementz, even though she is far more balanced than she originally was. I foresee further nerfs.
Quote:
Galio- Top tier on Elementz list after WCG, played commonly after WCG (before he was widely ignored) I do agree WCG did bring influence too, however Elementz did toss the icing on the cake.

Galio only became popular after WCG, only. The huge influx of players quickly sparked QQ about every ability nobody cared to notice before. Idol of Durand was considered Amumu ult 2.0 even though Galio is a much worse tank in many situations.

Galio has been nerfed consecutively for a few patches now, when he was only really strong because Amumu was banned (amumu was only strong because shen was banned, you guys are silly). I can't really tell where Galio is now, but he's definitely not a first pick tank anymore. He still remains tier 1 on Elementz List.
Quote:
Anivia
Anivia moved to tier 1 on Elementz List.
-Everyone plays anivia.
-Rumored Anivia nerfs.

-Anivia has been buffed multiple times in the last handful of patches, mostly because riot associated nobody playing her , to she's bad. Anivia has always been and still is the hardest bursting mage in the game, even passing pre-nerf leblanc. My ongoing joke was "Hey riot, i'm the best mage in the game but nobody plays me, could you buff me to remind everyone i'm here?" that tier list seems pretty good at reminding people.
Quote:
Pantheon
-Not Tier list related, however a Purple name brought an insane amount of attention to this champion, which resulted in a change of pantheon from situationally powerful, to underpowered, to amazon-spear-thrower.

Pantheon wouldn't be much different if his HSS was still glitched.
Quote:
Heimer/Shaco
-Nerfed until no longer Tier 1. Both multiple times across multiple patches where they seemingly Didn't move down from top tier.
Quote:
Corki
Generally the same strength for months and always a "Strong pick". However due to elementz placement on his tier list, the community disagrees. IT's not uncommon for players to tell you you're bad for picking corki.

Corki gets buffed, adding a few needed fixes and a ratio add to his ultimate and suddenly he's tier 1 on the list. Players who never used corki before tell everyone "oh he was always good" and suddenly corki is this monster people are complaining about. Corki very popular in games at this point.

Riot nerfs Corki , Corki is still tier 1, despite nerfs.
Quote:
Twitch
Tier 4
Bug Fix
Tier 1
QQ on Forums
50% attack speed nerf.
Quote:
Soraka
-
Ezreal treatment, considered good until overnerfed, now terrible
IT doesn't matter if the champion actually is OP or really needs nerfs, it just matters that people think it does. Which quickly results in problems like Ezreal or Shaco or Heimerdinger, who are all nerfed very harshly because of the community attention garnered by Elementz Tier List.


Additionally riot isn't at fault no matter how much you want to blame them. If they want to listen to the community then they are going to listen to the community and asses champions accordingly. If they don't want to listen to the community then they become a generic game developer.No matter what, Public opinion will trickle to riot, they can't prevent it from influencing the development process unless they completely close themselves off from the community, which we don't want mmkay?



Elementz Tier list is bad because it's a QQ thread of Epic proportions with an immense following. Not even Phreak's spotlights change the way people play the game as much as Elementz does. Sometimes i think elementz doesn't even realize this himself
(calling himself "Scapegoat" as if it wasn't his fault).

But then again we can't ask for censorship because that's idiotic in itself, for those of you wondering what the point of this thread is, it's simply to make everyone aware of what is happening, not to hate Elementz, not censor Elementz, but to point out what effects the opinions of a high-reputation player have on the game.
Quote:

Some Generic responses to the first 50 pages of comments.


#1
, i don't want to censor elementz, maybe somewhere deep down i hoped he would read this thread and understand what he was doing to the community and be much more careful about it, possibly even removing the list altogether.

#2, Anyone using pyschology as an argument against me holds about just as much merit as you claim my thread lacks. It's very hard to provide substantial proof about the popularity changes and all i can really offer is my personal observations and the observations of others on the subject, we don't possess the tools to measure champion popularity in comparison to attention given to said champion. However in some areas of the game, the correlation between the two is near irrefutable.

#3, Anyone saying it would happen even if Elementz didn't exist is right, however that skips around my point. I pointed out this already, and i pointed out that the reason it's bad is because Elementz has substantially more effect on the community than would be present without him creating a tier list. The community sheeps itself no matter what, but having someone to rally behind far amplifies the effect.

#4. Anyone saying" it's just his opinion" is ****ing stupid, go read the thread again, thats the entire ****ing point.

#5, Yes Elementz tier list is a reflection of popular strategies at high-elo, so yes champions at the top may be the most efficient at what they do. However instead of this information trickling down to the general public, Elementz opens the flood gates and says Malphite is tier 1 now, causing thousands of players to use him and thousands of players to QQ about him. Riot has to pay attention this, and Malphite gets nerfed due to a popular fluctuation in playstyles.

-Without Elementz list, the information would trickle down much more slowly to everyone else, which would allow us to adapt to malphite for a week or two and actually assess his strengths.

#6, @Correlation does not imply causation. I feel Carine sums up a very effective response.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carine View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbis View Post
correlation does not imply causation.

Basically, every single one of your examples was "Champion was OP, and this was reflected by the tier list. then that champion was nerfed, and that was also reflected in the tier list." you even seem to agree with the examples, so what is the problem here? I dont see any proof at all that riot balances based on the elements tier list.

All I see is that the community is generally well informed about who is OP or UP(regardless of whether or not they actually know why) and riot is on top of balancing out the extreme cases of these champions.

you will notice that the community also constantly complains about how shaco and ezreal were over nerfed, but riot isn't rushing to balance out them.

I agree with you. from what i can tell, riot will nerf champs based on one thing, community input. When Xin Zhao came out, everyone called him OP, and therefore he was nerfed, really badly. When MF came out, some, but less than Xin haters, called her OP. She was nerfed, but less than Xin Zhao.
obviously, Riot tests champs before putting them out to the community, and apparently they worked in testing. but when they hit the community, people calls some op, and riot nerfs them.

the problem occurs when strong champs come into top tiers when very few players played that champ. They might come into top tiers because of careful observation by top players, but once those players rate them highly and the champ goes into top tier, much more of the community, who didn't play said champ, will play him/her. and then when that champ starts dominating in many games, the community goes "OP champ, nerf"

This is essentially why tier lists corrupt balance, imo. While the champ is not TOO OP, but still strong at the time, tier lists bring that champ into attention and then the cycle starts.

as for calling for shaco and ez buffs, i completely agree. i never see shaco and ez anymore. riot really does need to stop nerfing and start buffing UP champs. instead of following OP threads, they need to look for UP threads and buff those champs.






Elementz did respond on his own thread
You can read it here.
But it's not a reasoned response, it's a personal attack.







Tldr: You should maybe read the thread, because you're going to get far more out of it than any silly TLDR i can make up. But if you really want to skip to the end, just go here and downvote like everyone else. http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...357622&page=24


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exoup

Senior Member

11-20-2010

****ing kitten haters.


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Crimson Rose

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Senior Member

11-20-2010

Posting in a Kamatoki thread.


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Groxo

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Senior Member

11-20-2010

Agree. i also forsee Corki, MF, and Twitch reaching Ezreal status, or at least one of them will.

Edit: i dont think Ezreal is balanced like Phreak trys to claim. the'll reach Ezreal status in that the'll be UP, not balanced.


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Turbo Moses

Senior Member

11-20-2010

I can't believe how much of the thread I read before I realized the poster.


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Plugout

Senior Member

11-20-2010

I completely agree. I used to play ez but there's something missing now. Even though it really bugged me that shaco and heimer was in that state but it was fine because that's what they were built for. Shaco is an assassin so he should be a good assassin. Heimer could push like no other. I didn't like playing against him but even he didn't deserve to be nerfed like that because now he cannot do anything.


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Kama Toki

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Senior Member

11-20-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Moses View Post
I can't believe how much of the thread I read before I realized the poster.
And yet, something tells me you agreed with it far more than an average troll post would allow you to.


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Urobolus

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11-20-2010

The one time I actually feel the urge to upvote you.


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Felorien

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Senior Member

11-20-2010

Yeah, I agree 100% with what you're saying. The community is so intent-sensitive. If I tell you something you didn't know, you'd find it more and more because you're conscious of it. If a red/purple/reputed poster posts something unusual, or just not at the top of people's minds, it becomes so much more noticeable and Riot wants to opiate the masses.

EDIT: Downvote because I'm lying?


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Curlyfry

Senior Member

11-20-2010

This thread is truth. Psychology is crazy.