Morello Might be Right on Bruisers
I know that it is cool to hate on the developers at Riot about how they deal with imbalances in League of Legends. I certainly have my own issues with Riot's design team, but I really cannot seem to disagree with Morello on Bruisers. There was a lot of mental effort on my part to see if Riot was missing something about melee, but in the end I agree with Morello. Hopefully by the end, you can see why I ended up agreeing with him.
All of this thought process started with this series of posts by Morello.
Morello goes deeply into the history of melee in League of Legends. It was really interesting to hear it all from a design perspective. Basically, bruisers are a ball of stats and this is especially true with champions like Irelia.
Following Morello's posts, I started thinking about it. What did Irelia do? Well, she was a melee that struck fear into the enemy. She was a powerhouse that could realibly dive into the enemy team, kill the AD carry and then proceed to murder the rest of the team. Wasn't this the melee dream? Surely Irelia, a champion I really enjoy and think is cool is more than just a ball of stats?
Then I began to think about how I fondly remembered Irelia when she was strong. The fantastic sustain made it great to stay in the lane. Powerful disengage with her E allowed me to get away from aggression until I could win with my W in trades. Farming with Q was a lot of fun, dashing from place to place. Her ultimate was cool with the heavy sustain and ranged wave clear....
Wait, did all I really like about her was her stats? Surely there was something uniquely signature about Irelia, like Zed's shadows or Blitz's hook. Honestly? No, I enjoyed her power and how she played. The fact she had a floating blade and flung blades was largely unimportant to the raw strength she provided. Apart from the hilarity and cool looking Q farming, Irelia really did not have a defining ability.
Seriously, we are talking about an almost female Magneto with floating blades and all I can remember about her are her stats?
Irelia, you wish you could throw metal like me!
Damn, the bird was right. My memories of Irelia are not about her character but her numbers. No matter what happens to champions like Zed or Yasuo, they will have a unique identity that is really cool. Irelia is just...forgettable. She simply does not have the identity that suits a champion that has really cool abilities. She is, a ball of stats. Morello was right about Irelia. If Irelia was a strong pick, it would crowd everyone else out and finding a niche for such a straightforward champion is difficult to say the least.
This isn't just about Irelia either. Champions like Xin also suffer from it, but at least he has a cool knock-back!
The Future of Bruisers/Fighters
Morello has not shared too much insight on what the future holds but I think the answer is not that far away. Champions like Zed, Yasuo, Riven are all fun champions that people enjoy playing. Some of them can be highly toxic (*cough* Riven), but the basic idea of having strong mobility and abilities that can be used without mana really serve these champions well. What if all fighters worked like Garen, Shyvana and Riven? It is highly unlikely they will ever add mana back to those champions, so why not simply take away mana gating on fighters and just let the champions fight each other in lane? Shyvana might be a bully right now, but the constant fights with Renekton serve to make a fun lane experience as each champion beats each other up.
Managing just cool downs (or energy) is simply more fun on melee champions and they rarely have the ranged elements like Nidalee to really abuse it. I would argue that Shyvana's E actually is a good thing for champions like her to have so that she has some ranged element and can actually farm when behind.
Consider Irelia. What if her Ultimate was moved to being a normal ability so that she has a stronger ranged presence? Would that be a bad thing? Surely she would need to give something up, but we all know that has to happen anyway as she does everything right now with no real counter play.
So I ended up agreeing with Morello. I am sure I lose some league credit with random players but honestly, Riot does a really good job with managing their game. If that makes me a fanboy, I can live with that.
About the Author, Emeraldw:
- Loves psychology and philosophy. Then tries to apply it to even simple things like League of Legends.
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