What Happened To League of Legends? Part 1

So it’s been over 3 years since I posted my very first video on this channel, and the hardcore fans and maybe even people who occasionally watch my videos. You might’ve scrolled down to see what my oldest video was and thought, “why the hell is this a League of Legends game with friends and he’s playing as Urgot?” And funny thing about that, at the time, he was the universally accepted worst champion in the game. And the reason that was my first video is I originally wanted this channel to be based on League of Legends content.

But long story short: things changed. And if this isn’t your Cup of Tea Act Man video, totally fine, but just know that League of Legends was and still is, a HUGE passion of mine. I mean, I’ve gotten countless hours of entertainment out of a game I haven’t spent a dime on (except the 100’s of dollars I spent on skins *COUGH COUGH) And I want to preface this whole video by saying that I think Riot is a fantastic company for the most part. They’re not perfect but the way they interact with fans, the jokes they write into every patch, how they highlight community made content. The culture they’ve built around League of Legends is simply phenomenal, despite some of the negative aspects of it and the general toxicity surrounding MOBA games.

They communicate, they’re transparent. What I’m trying to say is I love Riot as a company and think most everyone working there is super talented and passionate about the game, and that they seem to be putting more work into it than ever before. Now, why do I bring this up? Well because there’s something that’s been bugging me about League of Legends *heavy coughing A game I’ve loved and played for 6 years. And don’t get me wrong, in this video it’s going to sound like I’m hating on the game and on Riot, but this is the truth right here: everything I’m going to say, I’m saying because I love the game and I need to be honest, alright? So What Happened to League of Legends?

Well there are many things that HAVE happened to the game since it’s full release back in 2009. Goddamn, that is a long time in video game years. And I’ll talk about the big changes in a bit.

But what happened to League of Legends, is something that was there all along, something I just didn’t notice until it became extremely obvious. One of the biggest reasons for League’s constant success, and one of my biggest problems with it is Riot’s philosophy on CHANGE. *Changes Ad Nauseum “With these changes we hope some of the biggest barriers to finding the fun in League will be fixed.” HAH! GAAAAAAaaaaayy!

Now I first started playing the game back in 2012 when Lulu came out because I remember seeing her on the login screen. After playing my first 20, 30, 40, 50 games I started to understand the basics of each champion, the items, masteries, etc. At the time, whenever things changed I imagined it was all a part of balancing, improving the game so eventually it would be the way Riot had always envisioned it. I thought, they probably didn’t expect the game to do as well as it did – to become so popular.

And thus, a lot of things were just unbalanced or poorly optimized, whatever. You know, I had played old school Dota back on Warcraft 3 a buttload, so this concept of continuous updates wasn’t new to me. I had the pre-conceived notion that Riot had an end point that they were trying to get to. Looking back, I was completely wrong.

There is no finish line. League of Legends is and always will be in a perpetual state of development. “There – you know, there’s risk to change too. There are bad things that we can do if we change the game too much.”

And we’re not talking minor adjustments to the weapons in a First Person Shooter, or balancing units in a real time strategy game, we’re talking pages upon pages of patch notes.

New champions, new items, tweaked numbers, updated runes, new masteries, remove this, remove that, bring back this, rework that. It is an endless cycle. And after 5 years of constantly staying up to date with everything because I was a competitive player, it just became such a huge investment of my time. And this is just to understand what the f*ck is in the game.

This endless cycle means that inevitably, there’s gonna be something new that’s added that breaks the game in some form or another. A busted combo here – a broken item there. So there’s almost never been a point where League has truly been balanced.

What’s worse, is the meta and what is considered viable, changes with every patch. Entire playstyles can become unviable or unplayable after a single update! Meaning players have to adapt. This is all a double-edged sword.

Because on the one hand, it keeps the game fresh but on the other, people have been playing certain ways for years! And so, you take that away from them. You know, when I started playing there was 96 different champions, each with 5 different abilities. And it takes a lot of time to learn what each one of them does. Now we’re at 134 and it’s like, at what point is there enough variety in champions? In their abilities?

At what point does it became too much for the casual player to WANT to know and understand the game? I’m not saying change is bad… (CHANGE IS GOOD) yes! Yes it is my squishy little assassin bug! It has kept me coming back, it has kept the game fresh. I’m just saying at some point in time, I wanted League Of Legends to settle down somewhere – find it’s place, you know? Here’s another thing to think about.

As the game evolved, I always had this thought in my mind: “hey this one thing is pretty broken/overpowered but they’re constantly updating the game so they’ll fix it in time!” And I kept saying that to myself… For 5 years. Nidalee spears, AP Master Yi, “PENTA KILL!” AP Rengar, Leblanc when she had a silence, Atmogs, black cleaver stacking, feral flare, stopwatch meta, the list is endless, and I’ve been through it ALL! League is not meant to be balanced, it is not ever meant to be finished, it is now a continuous stream of revenue which forces the company to create new champions and skins regardless of the consequences it has on the overall game.

Change for the sake of change… and money. “Now that’s not to say that every change we make is out there to solve a problem. We do add – make some changes that are just to add freshness.” You can see this in how they decide to release their skins. Yorick was notorious, because he had a 5 year span without a single new skin. From the time he launched up until his rework, he did not get a new skin. Same thing with Urgot.

Why? Because they weren’t popular champions. So now, new cosmetic content is made for champions that will guarantee a good return in dollars. These are what I call, Priority Skins & Champions.

It’s why Twisted Fate has 9 skins, it’s why Katarina has 10, because they’ve always been popular. And if it’s a popular champion, then the skin will sell. And we all understand it’s a business, you know, a free-to-play game has to make money somehow, I get that. And this is the point, Riot’s philosophy on constant change and new champions, means that inevitably, some just get left in the dust for years and years. I just think every champion should receive a somewhat equal amount of attention and love, regardless of how many people play them. So that nobody is left behind.

Overall, I think League of Legends is in a much better place then most of the time I had spent been playing it. They fixed Kassadin god-forsaken mobility, they fixed Nidalee’s ridiculous poke damage. And eventually, they created a champion with the exact same cancerous play style that old Nidalee had.

And in the wise words of Tyler 1: “Riot you’re such a SH*T company, dude! How can you get paid to f*cking balance the game when there’s champions like this? They get paid to f*cking balance the game.

That’s all these retards do is balance the f*cking game! THAT’S IT! HOW IS ZOE STILL THE SAME? !” The reason League of Legends has bothered me so much in the last two years especially, is because I’ve been waiting years to be able to consider it a balanced game. The more and more things they add, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage, to adjust the game around those elements, to memorize them as a player, to balance them and just have fun.