With League of Legends: Wild Rift releasing in North America recently, I decided to try playing good ol' LoL after years of putting down Summoner's Rift on PC.
Jumping back in, it was great fun! I quickly fell back into the groove of farming cs, team fighting, the tense dance you and your lane-opponent do around each other to try and get kills off each other. All so much fun.
A lot of my issues that I had with LoL when I dropped it the first time were fixed pretty well too. The pace of the game was faster, leveling was quicker, games were shorter, and less of a drag overall.
However, maybe because of all these fixes and changes and coming back to it with a new perspective, I realized what my one big gripe about League of Legends is that ruins the fun for me every time it happens.
And that is when someone gets fed.
Getting fed (if y'all don't know, meaning getting a lot of kills and becoming much stronger than everyone else in the current match) can be great fun. Feels good to pop health bars and wipe out the enemy team with less and less effort over time. Being in a game with someone who's fed though, not so much. And I mean when anyone gets fed, even your own teammates.
Let me explain the two situations that kill the fun for me:
- An enemy gets fed. The game now becomes a slog against an overpowered opponent. You will get exploded every time they show up near you, and the only way to counter this is to play very defensively, i.e. farming minions, avoiding combat, and generally playing the game in a less fun way.
- An ally gets fed. Now, the game becomes all about that ally. They charge forward (heh) and deal the majority of the damage the team needs for every encounter and fight. They go off on their own to kill enemies without needing support from you or anyone else, and it's a huge risk to take major objectives without them in the group as well. You could take on any task without them, and lose in a 4v5. Or have them with you, and win any encounter with the enemy, even when it's a 3v5, or sometimes less.
In the first case, you're fighting a slow battle that either involves a lot of death, or a lot of slow, farm-y, boring play. In the second, your ally is the main character of the game, and you might not even get a chance to try and fight, play, or feel like you contributed at all to the match, making the whole ~20 mins feel like you killing minions while your overpowered friend does all the work.
The main argument I can see against this gripe is the fact that League is a competitive game about skill. You're supposed to win if you're more skilled at the game. If that's not your cup of tea, then League isn't the game for you.
I think I agree with this notion, to an extent. In League, you don't get fed if you are skilled, you get fed if you are more skilled than your opponent. This can mean having a large skill difference with your lane opponent, one team having a significantly stronger jungler, or even fighting against players who are just trying new strategies or champions for fun. A lot of people (i.e. me) are using Riot's matchmaking system to find games, teammates, and opponents for the majority of their games. Players who get fed are either very lucky early on in the game, or are simply much better than the opponent they are matched with during the game. The chances of finding 10 random people to play with who are all evenly matched in skill is very low, meaning the majority of games will have a skill gap and a fed champion running around ruining the fun. Even with Riot's matchmaking, a fair, competitive matchup, while extremely fun, is just so very rare.
What kind of eats me the most is that the system could be changed and concept of being fed could be removed from League very easily, but it never would because it's such a strong part of the identity of the game. Imagine doing something like Heroes of the Storm, where XP is shared and items don't exist so that one player can't gain a big snowballing power lead easily. So many players are incredibly attached to those systems, and will be upset if they have to share XP with their teammates, or lose all the work they put into making their optimal item builds for every champion and matchup.
Meanwhile, no other MOBA really does its gameplay for me like League does. DOTA is too floaty and complicated for me, HOTS is fine, but feels slower and more cluttered, etc. etc. (Also, none of them are on phone, which is a huge selling point for me right now.) League for me is great, and the game would be just amazing if not for this one little thing that has nagged away my love of the game for years.
I've played League for a few years, but I always bounce off of it really hard, because the moment-to-moment gameplay hits me exactly in the sweetspot I need for speed, feel, and variety, but I can't stand the way the rules of the game can make everything unfun for me. It's like loving kicking a ball around, but hating the slow pace of an actual soccer match.
I'll likely be playing Wild Rift for a few more weeks before dropping off of League again for the 101st time. I love the game, but she just hurts me so.
What about y'all? Have any of you guys tried out Wild Rift? How do you find it compared to Summoner's on PC? Do you enjoy League more than other MOBAs? What makes League work/not work for you?
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