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Empty Ladders, Empty Queues: The Dearth of Premade Play

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MathMage

Senior Member

07-12-2011

The biggest problem with League of Legends isn't the lack of Leona. It isn't "Soon." It isn't the price of runes, the patch day downtimes, or even the troll-happy playerbase.

No, the problem is this: League of Legends is a competition between teams of five...where the primary mode of play is solo queue.

Solo queue forces the system to estimate your individual skill from the result of a team game. It creates opportunities for trolls to inflict themselves on others, and provides sparks aplenty to kindle ragers' ire. It marginalizes team strategy and rewards the most rudimentary low-risk high-reward tactics, because anything more sophisticated is too difficult to coordinate with four random teammates. It's a stagnant system with too much luck, too little team play, and rampant frustration.

The premade ladders obviously do not suffer from these problems; they are a superior way to play LoL. So what's holding them back? Answer: there simply aren't enough people queuing up. Those ladders haven't reached the critical mass necessary to sustain themselves. Queue times for top players can be hours, so they don't queue; but then the second-tier players become the top players in the ladder, and face hour-long queue times, so they desert.

Premade play is much more common on the EU server--we know it can work. It's no coincidence that Europe's metagame is often leaps and bounds ahead of ours (split push, tankless comps, dual-burst, Tele-ganks, AD-support bot lane)--it's not that the Europeans are inherently better at LoL, but rather that they have a popular teamplay environment where strategies are developed and refined.

So how can we reinvigorate premade play on the NA server? I have a few suggestions.
-IP bonuses for premade queues. Simple, clean, effective. Put greed to use! If people earn 4/3rds the IP for finding 4 friends and queuing for 5's Ranked, they'll do it. Heck--right now, it's only fair that they earn more considering that they're waiting an extra 15-30 minutes in queue.
-Open challenges from top teams. Ask a favor from CLG or TSM or EG, or from other popular streamers with high-Elo friends. See if the Runeterra In-House League will lend a hand. Heck, get some top Rioters together--Eski, Phreak, Classick, Pendragon, etc. Get people to issue open challenges on the premade ladder, and stream matches from 5's queue. The failure of the premade ladders was a trickle-down problem--so let's trickle down success.
-Clans clans clans. Okay, this one's obvious. Get people to group up, and they'll queue together. One of those Beta promises that fell through, and I think it's the most important one. Independently organized clan platforms will never have the momentum of a Riot-supported clan system. It doesn't even have to be clans, specifically--any general networking tool to get teammates together will do. Friend lists and chat rooms are not enough.
-Hard reset on the premade ladder. Solo queue should be soft-reset to avoid the chaos that reigned at the beginning of Season 1--sure, I get that. But the premade ladders were a failure this season. They need the reboot. Cut queue times with a reset and you make an opportunity for people to get back into 5's.
-Rate teams, not players. Solo queue forces you to rank the individual because the individual is the one who queues--but here we're dealing with teams. Individual skill ratings have no meaning at all in this setting, and cobbling five such to compose a team rating has even less. This will be tricky to implement, but absolutely worth the effort. I remember when red posters downplayed the importance of clans because it was more important to have permanent teams--well, why don't we have permanent teams, then? Make it so players get together and register a team name for Ranked, with those players individually registered for that team (allow more than 5 so people can sub in). The ladder should be comprised of those team names, rather than summoner names.

Solo queue is a pathetic shadow of how League of Legends is meant to be played. In order to bring strategic depth to the general population, combat the effects of leavers/griefers, and expand the competitive scene, it is absolutely critical that we make the premade ladders into a real option for competitive play.

Think I'm full of ****? Tell me why! Got suggestions? Leave 'em here, I'll put the best ones up for all to see. Gonna tell me that solo queue is actually the better option? I...don't think I'll actually have to deal with that one. Come one come all, and let's see if we can't get a little red action in here.

Other ideas below.

Quote:
Analu:
I'd like to add another fix: premade friday nights. If the community can agree to play ranked premades on Friday night (or whenever, but we have to decide a time), then there will actually be enough good matches at that time to get more people to play.

Quote:
Goltoth:
What if Riot implemented some sort of "LFG" functionality, a la MMOs? If you can only get 4 of your friends on, you could request a carry player, or a support player or whatever and somebody could hop in the Support Player LFG queue. It's still somewhat like solo queuing but with less randomness.

Quote:
Captain Bryan:
If possible, I'd also like a way for premades to decide the pick order in draft(like all 5, not just first pick)...I know this isn't a problem for people who own most of the champions but my group of friends don't own that many which makes trading very difficult for us

Quote:
AzaronChisane:
PS: Another idea: move duo queue to premades. Basically, if you queue with ANYONE besides yourself, you get added into the premade ladder - this would decrease waiting times and stop coattail-riding in solo queue that many people qq about. Also opens the triple queue option as well, since a triple and a double would make a team (still no quadra queue sadly)

Quote:
meson8:
While I don't think riot needs to give each team you compete with a rating, a team making feature would be nice.

An example of how this feature could be implemented would be the following. You can be part of 3 teams at any one time. Each team may consist of no more than (a number between 10-30). Once created the team will be shown in your friends list and whenever enough players from it are on you may play a premade ranked q. The team as a whole is rated and both individual statistics as well as team statistics are kept and visible to teammates.

Really premade q feels like a joke unless everyone changes their name to a team identifier such that in the premade rankings everyone can tell your a team.

Quote:
Zirun:
Arranged 5s is fine for mid- and low-level teams, but there's literally no reason for a good team to play it. As it is, arranged 5s doesn't work for these teams.

A better way to implement it would let teams challenge each other instead of putting everybody in a queue, and I hope they're doing this for S2.

Quote:
MathMage:
Hm. Thread below posted by lvxlol made most of the same points a couple months back. Worth supporting.
http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=752846


ChaoX's VLog about the "abomination" (his word) that is solo queue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzGLuDUEfRg

Preliminary Red Response:
Quote:
0pherion:
In response to the thread about the dearth of premades, I have forwarded that along to the appropriate Rioterz for review and also to get some additional context myself on what could be done to alleviate this situation. Perhaps if there were a plethora of premade ranked matches, Oddiz would not have to attempt this build with unknown teammates who are unsure of his strategy.


More of a pre-response, really. Still, it's great to be able to reach the company through these forums.

Season 2 Changes
Quote:
RiotMarcou:
Pre-made Queues: If you’re active in pre-made Queue play, you’ve noticed individual Elo tracking and Ladders aren’t the best way to track how a pre-made group ranks against other groups. In Season Two, we’re going to dramatically improve the way we display and track this information. As such, we’re going to be resetting pre-made Elo at the start of Season Two to make way for some changes!


This is...this is good. Very good. Looking forward to it.


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Unholyrath

Senior Member

07-12-2011

I keep saying we need more of a focus on premade teams. Makes 0 sense to have the primary ladder by solo...

Maybe removing Duo Queue would help towards it, as well..


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Levnik Moore

Recruiter

07-12-2011

I uh... wow I actually agree with this all O.o


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replayssoon

Member

07-12-2011

Quote:
MathMage:
The biggest problem with League of Legends isn't the lack of Leona. It isn't "Soon." It isn't the price of runes, the patch day downtimes, or even the troll-happy playerbase.

No, the problem is this: League of Legends is a competition between teams of 5...where the primary mode of play is solo queue.

Solo queue forces the system to estimate your individual skill from the result of a team game. It creates opportunities for trolls to inflict themselves on others, and provides sparks aplenty to kindle ragers' ire. It marginalizes team strategy and rewards the most rudimentary low-risk high-reward tactics, because anything more sophisticated is too difficult to coordinate with four random teammates. It's a stagnant system with too much luck, too little team play, and rampant frustration.

The premade ladders obviously do not suffer from these problems; they are a superior way to play LoL. So what's holding them back? Answer: there simply aren't enough people queuing up. Those ladders haven't reached the critical mass necessary to sustain themselves. Queue times for top players can be hours, so they don't queue; but then the second-tier players become the top players in the ladder, and face hour-long queue times, so they desert.

Premade play is much more common on the EU server--we know it can work. It's no coincidence that Europe's metagame is often leaps and bounds ahead of ours (split push, tankless comps, dual-burst, Tele-ganks, AD-support bot lane)--it's not that the Europeans are inherently better at LoL, but rather that they have a popular teamplay environment where strategies are developed and refined.

So how can we reinvigorate premade play on the NA server? I have a few suggestions.
-IP bonuses for premade queues. Simple, clean, effective. Put greed to use! If people earn 4/3rds the IP for finding 4 friends and queuing for 5's Ranked, they'll do it. Heck--right now, it's only fair that they earn more considering that they're waiting an extra 15-30 minutes in queue.
-Open challenges from top teams. Ask a favor from CLG or TSM or EG, or from other popular streamers with high-Elo friends. See if the Runeterra In-House League will lend a hand. Heck, get some top Rioters together--Eski, Phreak, Classick, Pendragon, etc. Get people to issue open challenges on the premade ladder, and stream matches from 5's queue. The failure of the premade ladders was a trickle-down problem--so let's trickle down success.
-Clans clans clans. Okay, this one's obvious. Get people to group up, and they'll queue together. One of those Beta promises that fell through, and I think it's the most important one. Independently organized clan platforms will never have the momentum of a Riot-supported clan system.
-Hard reset on the premade ladder. Solo queue should be soft-reset to avoid the chaos that reigned at the beginning of Season 1--sure, I get that. But the premade ladders were a failure this season. They need the reboot. Cut queue times with a reset and you make an opportunity for people to get back into 5's.

As a systematic aside, it's my opinion that the premade ladders should rate teams, not players. Solo queue forces you to rank the individual because the individual is the one who queues--but here we're dealing with teams. This will be rather tricky to implement properly, however, and I'm fine with leaving it aside for now. The important thing is to get people playing in teams--rating them can wait.

Solo queue is a pathetic shadow of how League of Legends is meant to be played. In order to bring strategic depth to the general population, combat the effects of leavers/griefers, and expand the competitive scene, it is absolutely critical that we make the premade ladders into a real option for competitive play.

Think I'm full of ****? Tell me why! Got suggestions? Leave 'em here, I'll put the best ones up for all to see. Gonna tell me that solo queue is actually the better option? I...don't think I'll actually have to deal with that one. Come one come all, and let's see if we can't get a little red action in here.


I agree with you 100%. I think you are missing one of the easiest ways to encourage more 5's play. A decent social networking system. An example of this would be clans. This would give players somewhere to practice, get mentoring, find easily accessible 5's games. It doesn't have to be clans, just something to jump start this aspect of the game.


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MathMage

Senior Member

07-12-2011

Quote:
replayssoon:
I agree with you 100%. I think you are missing one of the easiest ways to encourage more 5's play. A decent social networking system. An example of this would be clans. This would give players somewhere to practice, get mentoring, find easily accessible 5's games. It doesn't have to be clans, just something to jump start this aspect of the game.


ctrl-f "clans clans clans"

But I see your more general point. It's not just clans, there are no good networking tools to get potential premade teammates together. I'll make an edit to that effect.


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MathMage

Senior Member

07-12-2011

Bump. This place drowns new threads quickly. =/


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Uribo

Recruiter

07-12-2011

I agree wholeheartedly with this.


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Gaspump

Senior Member

07-12-2011

A well written, well thought out post. I agree totally with all your points. Let's hope we can get a red to see this ;D


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Johnny Knuckles

Senior Member

07-12-2011

+1'd

This thread is now diamonds.


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rickOz

Senior Member

07-12-2011

+1, good stuff 100% true.