League of Legends

ARAM needs some quality of life changes

So, last year, Riot decided to remove Oracle's Extract from the Howling Abyss map, replacing it with a similar effect carried by cannon minions, which wasn't a very popular change among ARAM players. Now, whether that should be reverted or not isn't what I'm going to discuss here, my problem is: how the hell did Riot think that change was what this mode needed? ARAM has some things that are either annoying or, in one case, actually problematic to the gameplay. Here are the things I thought about:

Delayed sound effect from the health relic

This is the one that causes gameplay issues and I had expected it to be fixed with the VFX update that happened recently. When a health relic is touched by a champion away from your "hearing range", the VFX will happen as usual, but once you're close enough to it that you're supposed to hear it, the sound effect will not start from a point that is aligned with the animation, but instead, will start from the beginning, and will not match the heal's animation, meaning that the heal will happen and the sound effect will continue afterwards.

That is very problematic, because the sound effect is usually what leads you to pay attention to those relics if you have your eyes elsewhere, what if you need that extra health and mana and need to change position to, maybe, a less favorable one, taking a risk to get the recovery and fight back. Well, if the heal already happened, you just moved into danger and didn't get it, you're now screwed, since you're out of position. I'm pretty sure this has happened ever since the health relic has been a thing, so it baffles me how it wasn't fixed yet.

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Pathfinding leading players through health relics

To those who don't know, pathfinding is basically what leads you from one place to another when you click on the map, and it has to be coded in a way that will not have the character stuck in stupid places, that is how, when you click on another lane you don't get stuck in a jungle wall. Why then, in ARAM, does pathfinding lead me straight through health relics?

Here is a common scenario, it happened to me and I've seen happening to a lot of people: you respawn in your base, there is a fight far away from you, you click in it so you can go to it. You were paying attention to your allies in action instead of looking at yourself walking, but it turns out you walked through all the health relics in your team's side of the map… while at full health, because you were watching the action and pathfinding led you though health relics at full health.

Relic icons on map without relics being available

This is very basic and it also has been a thing ever since health relics were implemented: you look at the map, it shows there is a relic there, but when you go to it, its not there, and the map still shows it there, even though you have vision of it and maybe had it for quite a while.

Disconnects at the beginning of the match

Now, this seems like a normal problem, sometimes people just disconnect, right? Not in the way it happens in Howling Abyss. It always happens early in the match, there is someone disconnected and ends up reconnecting around 3 to 5 minutes later, it happened to me a few times, got kicked out of the loading screen for no reason and had to reconnect. Happens way too much, almost every match. I don't think I need to tell people why disconnects are an issue, so lets move on.

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Outdated champion selection

Do tell me, why do we need to start with a champion, then re-roll them if we don't want it or if we want to give an ally another option? I've seen people suggest that we should have a few seconds to get a champion back when we roll a champion, so we give an option to an ally without risking giving up our own, but here is a better idea: start the selection already with one additional option per player, so we know exactly what is there and don't even have to give up? Why click a re-roll button, just add 5 champions to that upper bar from the start, that way we can keep the ones we start with if we want and people will have more choices.

ARAM buffs/nerfs not mentioned in champion select

So, basically, every champion has some extra changes in ARAM: they can deal or take more or less damage or their damage to minions is reduced (don't remember if there are more changes), but you only find out what changes in your champion once you picked them. Why? This is a really important detail for players to know when deciding which champion to pick, if they should re-roll or get another from the already rolled ones. It should be disclosed at the select screen.

In conclusion…

I have no idea why Riot decided to mess with the non-issue that was Oracle's Extract, but somehow missed those glaring issues and neglected to add quality of life changes. Like, I understand them not bothering to change champion select (its stupid, but I can see why they wouldn't bother), but the health relics stuff has been around for ages and it hasn't been fixed yet, and the disconnects are still a thing. A VFX update was nice, I know the team who did it apparently did it as a passion project, so its great to see those things updated, but some of them are still not functioning right, and others could be modernized. If Riot is gonna give attention to Howling Abyss, do it right, for fuck's sake.

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