For the past couple of years, I’ve been enjoying a game called League of Legends by a “small Indie Studio” called Riot Games. The reason why I’d stick so long to one game was that it was challenging and had a high skill ceiling based on the champion, that the meta was changing, and that you could get to meet new friends through it and play with a lot of different people. I even met one of my best friends through the game, which is amazing. Riot kept the game relatively fresh with new enhancements and changes each season like the Rune/Mastery changes, item reworks and new additions to the map but as of late, I just feel overwhelmed with how fast new content is added to the game while old content seems to fall behind and not be used as much anymore.
Part of me wants to play those fun game modes again like Nemesis Draft (I know that everyone hated that, but I enjoyed it a lot) or Blackmarket Brawlers (I know that everyone loved that, and I did, too) but those just don’t make it into the game’s rotation anymore. Instead, we only have ARAM available to us as well as the Summoner’s Rift maps in Normal, Solo/Duo, and Flex Queue with some occasional modes added here and there for a temporary amount of time, like ARURF or Nexus Blitz. I don’t get why old modes or why the story modes that Riot developed don’t make it back into the rotation anymore but it’s something I like to see more that would keep the game fresh. Be it Blackmarket Brawlers, Nemesis Draft, Nexus Siege, Dominion, or even Hexakills, there’d be a lot of opportunities for Riot to even cash in on these modes with custom flares, map effects or other cosmetics that would only work in those modes and that would allow players to use their Riot Points to fatten Riot’s pockets.
But while part of me wishes for that variety, part of me also wants Riot to stop doing what they’re doing right now. Recently, they claimed that due to Covid (or other reasons), they slowed down their VGU (Visual Game Update) team considerably and want to release fewer reworks during the upcoming year while still doing their best to release six champions per year. You heard me right: SIX champions. This may not sound like a lot but the game already has way too many different characters in the game and adding more is not going to help the player reduce the load of information that you have to get through to understand some of them.
A lot of the older champions can’t be played as much anymore like Udyr who is receiving an update next year (after a successful vote this year?) or Dr Mundo who’s getting updated this year. These champions have issues with their kit where they are too basic and also don’t look the part too well, making them unpopular and bad in a way. Udyr is kind of in the meta right now but that’s mostly because of one specific playstyle and certain items. If those items get nerfed, he’ll be weak again. It’s not him being strong, it’s items being strong. Mundo is alright right now but again, he doesn’t have gap closers or dashes and he shouldn’t have those since he’s a tank… but without those, he’ll probably be not as popular as other characters and won’t see much play.
Right now the game features 154 released champions with the latest one being Viego: The Ruined King. There was a time where there would be only weeks between champion releases but the champion pool at the time was limited to a lot less than the current champion pool. But during the past few months, Riot Games has been cranking out champions on a nearly monthly basis, resulting in me still not quite getting what Aphelios does while also having champions like Lilia not see any play really while Rell didn’t get any love or play until she got picked up in the Pro-Scene… and even now she doesn’t quite get played that much… and then there’s Yone who also got released rather recently who does things at times that I don’t quite get and Seraphine who is rather strong right now besides being quite basic… and then there’s Samira who is a bit overloaded and the Ruined King who is quite overloaded as well in a way… and when you get this many champions as new additions to the game, it just feels weird for me.
You hardly understand what Rell does and suddenly the Ruined King comes to the game and it just feels bad because you didn’t quite get to understand how to play against Rell and you now have to also deal with Viego… and then there’s Samira and Seraphine and Sett to deal with as well…
And you can only ban five champions per team. There are too many champions that already are too strong and you can’t ban all of them. On my must-ban list, there’s Twitch, for instance, whose AP-Build does way too much damage and just one-shots me with no counterplay at all unless I play a CC champion. Even with tanky CC supports like Leona or Nautilus, he’s going to poke me into oblivion and shred me because daddy Riot doesn’t allow Tank supports to get tanky with the current item situation. Alas, I need to ban Twitch. There are also Draven, Kai’Sa, Fizz, Katarina and Yasuo for potential bans here but my team has their own nemeses, so I can’t rely on them banning my worst nightmares, especially since I wanna ban Yasuo to prevent my own team from playing that champion. No silver Yasuo should be allowed to play that champions as it ruins more games than it ever wins.
I mean, they even fucking brought back Yone who’s basically just a better Yasuo but people still play Yasuo into the worst matchups with no experience on the champion and without a clue about the game… Why do Yasuo players not just play Yone? Idk.
Because you don’t see the enemy bans, you could in theory only end up banning five champions instead of ten, especially when people skip bans, resulting in the game potentially featuring annoying champions with little to no counterplay or champions that are broken beyond belief or champions that were already super strong (like AP Shyvana) that offer some counterplay but just got buffed to increase their strong points even more although their play and winrate hasn’t lessened.
Sometimes I feel like Riot Games isn’t playing their own game. Maybe they’re actually playing a different one and dishing out changes and nerfs and updates to the game without the player in mind. I feel like Riot Games is trying their hardest to keep the game fresh and interesting right now but their focus is bad.
Instead of dishing out six fucking champions every year, they should focus on making old champions that are not viable or fun anymore fun again. They should try to update their champions, bring them up to today’s standard and make them fun again. Nowadays, every fucking new champion has a thousand different ways to one-shot me on top of being super mobile, having a lot of sustain and either stealing my ultimate or my summoners or my base abilities or they have an execute or they are super tanky and still deal a ton of damage or they just suck.
Riot Games should make boring or outdated champions fun again. Volibear started seeing play again but then his update came and people thought he was weak… but then people noticed how to play him and his win rate skyrocketed… But since Riot Games doesn’t play their own game, they decided to buff him and ended up buffing him beyond belief, so I swapped from Support to Jungle because it’s easier to carry my team through the game as Volibear than to carry my silver ADC through the laning phase. Riot Games has sometimes no clue about their champion. Did they buff AD Katarina because… it wasn’t broken enough already? They buffed AP Shyvana because nobody plays AD right now… I don’t get why they’re doing this. Fizz, an old champion that sees no nerfs these days, has damage over time in a hidden passive basically that you don’t expect at all, has two dashes, one of them makes him invulnerable, and he has high burst and great wave clear. On top of that, if that wasn’t enough, he gains a two-digit percentage damage reduction because he is “slippery”. Doesn’t make sense but fuck it, Riot Games.
Instead of nerfing a champion like Fizz that is unhealthy for the game and that is able to one-shot even tanks in late-game… in a meta that doesn’t allow people to customize their builds well against AP champions… Riot Games buffed it recently if I remember correctly. Riot buffed Fizz and items that Fizz uses and didn’t touch him in ages because: Why the fuck not? We’re here at Riot Games.
And I love the game. I do a lot. I enjoy playing it a lot recently… but I may not enjoy it anymore if they continue to give ADCs a dash when they are balanced to be immobile and if they continue to break the game by buffing stupid champions and releasing overloaded characters into the game. And I feel like other players will also stop playing.
Alas, do we need more champions? No, please. Don’t add more champions before you haven’t fixed your game.
Instead of adding more champions, I feel like Riot Games need to check out what Bungie is doing and release an expansion that vaults content and removes champions temporarily based on their win rate. That’d be fun, right? No, it wouldn’t but it would reduce the things I’d have to ban each game to maybe one or two.
What do you think about this? Let me know!