Review by Reikenvoorzege
"Part of the Riot Cult since Beta, a tale of dissapointment."
Wow, I can't even remember when I first started playing League of Legends. There were very few champions compared to today, the UI scheme was completely different, and there were a lot of things to do with the champions themselves which were different then that are improved upon now. When I got to go into beta testing for this game I was hyped up, I had been an avid DotA fan and to play the game that would succeed it in beta was a dream come true. Little did I know that this was a dream that would get stale, crusty, fall apart a little bit, and leave you with an aftertaste that made you feel like you wasted your time.
I remember coming home and immediately running to my computer to log on to League of Legends and play my new favorite game. Riot told us to inform them of bugs/broken mechanics in the game, as well as things that were imbalanced, and things that we felt Riot could use to improve the game. I remember making a thread about there being an issue with the bushes, there was a spot in one of the bushes that if you would sit in it, you'd be revealed if an enemy walked by the bush. Essentially a hole in the bush, I didn't know that there were several other spots just like this when I made the thread, but the point is that I had pointed this flaw out in Beta testing.
So when did it get fixed? Probably right after right? Give them a few weeks, it'll be done! But no, a mere three weeks ago was when they finally fixed the bug in the bush. Yes you heard me right, years and years after that thread was made, Riot finally reopened it and decided to fix one of the more important bugs in the game. Actually there were a lot of bugs in beta that were never fixed, even ones that riot responded to on the forums. You see, Riot wanted to release the game as soon as possible because the demand from fans was so great to get it out there.
Note to Riot: Never listen to your playerbase. This is a reoccurring issue that Riot does what the playerbase (did I say playerbase? I meant people on the forums) want to do with inconsistency. Now first let me say that it wasn't overly difficult to get a beta key to play League of Legends after a while. Devs were handing them out if you knew where to look and who to ask, so if someone really wanted to play the game I'd bet that they could get in and play. Heck, the game went into open beta and then you really could have anyone playing. So why did Riot launch the game before it was ready, which would inevitably burden them with many more responsibilities that they couldn't handle? Well because there was demand from the forums, and we all know how good companies always listen to their forums right? Well no, actually a good company knows what it wants and while it might look to the playerbase for some advice on what would be fun/good, they don't turn their business plan upside down. "But how can you know that they turned it upside down? Maybe they were planning to release the game?". No, there's no chance this was the original plan because there were so many issues when the game came out, and there were promises that had been made for Season 1, and the ladder could only wait so long, and the game would explode so fast, that they couldn't have been ready for it. And they weren't, and that is what queued their downfall.
Riot Games is a small studio, even now. They aren't equipped to handle a game this large, but that isn't an excuse to those who have hung around since beta, as we have known the direction things were going, and so did Riot Games. It was more than obvious what would happen upon launching the game, yet they didn't stop. It was obvious what would happen when you went into Season 1 yet you didn't stop. These are very foreseeable issues is the point I'm trying to make and Riot should have waited till they were ready.
Champions. Oh champions... what was once the highlight of my week when they were released has become the bane of game experience. Early on it was good to release champions, the game was young and there wasn't enough champion variety in each role. Now that game is a few years old and every role can be filled by several champions at least, I think it is time to stop. We have over 75 champions in our sights and Riot is going to continue to pound them down our throat even after the ideas are getting boring. Skarner (the newest champion as of his review) has an interesting ult at least where he drags someone along with him and it has very strong range (in before nerf) which is a cool mechanic. But no other champions recently have anything like that. Yorick had 3 nukes and a rehashed morde/zilean ult. Leonna had stuns stuns and no damage whatsoever. Vayne is just another AD carry with on hit effects. It is like getting a different flavor of ice cream every time but in reality it is all just vanilla painted to look like something special. Finally they make balancing very hard, I think Riot would have an easier time balancing if they just stopped creating champions and focused on what they already have.
This brings me to content releases. Magma Chamber, Graphics Overhaul, both off the table now. Magma chambers' reason was (and we learned this something like 6 months after it was announced to be shelved, oh and when I say announced I mean I had to dig around through third party sites to find where they shelved it. Yeah, that means that people who only check Riots forums, or [like most of the playerbase] only check announcements, there was no way to know that magma chamber wasn't coming) that it would create a situation where we have the pro 5v5 map and the noob 5v5 map. So instead they announced Dominion. Now what we are going to have is the underplayed noob mode, and the overplayed pro mode (I think it is easy to guess which is which). Overplayed being a rough term, I play this game for the 5v5 action, I don't care about Twisted Treeline, I don't care about Dominion, I like playing 5 on 5 on a rough outline of the DotA map. That is why Magma Chamber was so cool for me because it was another take on the DotA map style gameplay with still keeping the same basic 5 on 5 premise. This is the opinion of many others as well, and this is also why I was disappointed when Coop vs. AI was released as it was a mode that no one really wanted, and would only get limited use from noobs and a few people who decided to stick to the mode. The AI is still bad (but better) than the custom bots of old but I don't think it is worth throwing it down on the same old Summoners' Rift. So to me Dominion falls into the Coop vs. AI category of "cool, but I don't really want it and I'd prefer to have what you talked about years ago".
Finally, the last big issues of League of Legends (and one that isn't often talked about) is that the entire fanbase is disconnected from each other. Think about how in WoW on the forums you have tags to your character and gear and guild, and things are just a little bit more personal. In League of Legends you have a meaningless summoner name with no profile attached, a "?" avatar like everybody else, and some story behind your thread that no one takes with credibility because the only people that anyone knows are the high profile tournament players. This game needs guilds(or clans, whatever you care to call them), it needs forum tags to a profile on site where you can view wins and losses, times in tribunal (for being reported), and what guild/clan they're in. It also needs avatars on the forums to personalize it a little more. Finally we need something within the client that makes it easier to communicate with everyone. Standard chat rooms are too primitive, I'm not sure what you would put in exactly (I don't get paid to) but something that brings an entire guild together and allows for a better style of keeping the community together. In WoW everyone knew that guy who made silly jokes in trade chat all day, in League of Legends the only people we know is CLG, TSM, RS, and EG plus a few other people, and the over-feeling of anonymity makes it easy to troll, be excessively rude, and impersonal.
That is my rant/two cents on the matter. If you started and went "ugh, he's whining about Riot bug fixes again" read the last paragraph as it is at least a different issue than more point out. The only fun I have now is when I'm messing around with a friend being derpy and going AP trundle while he goes Tenacity Annie.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 08/15/11
Game Release: League of Legends (US, 10/27/09)
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