This title is somewhat of a misnomer but I'll go in to why I titled it like that later. Basically we're all no longer playing league to play league, we are all playing league in order to abuse the latest most OP trend until it gets fixed. Late Season 2 had huge issues with imba-as-fuck champions, and Season 3 has that issue + item issues. Lulu, Jayce, Rengar, Elise, etc. BC, Warmogs, BotRK, etc. We're in an age right now where our balance isn't about finding a champion you're good at and playing them to win, it's about finding the most OP thing and abusing it until its nerfed. Of course after its nerfed Riot will have put in a newer even more OP thing to deal with.
Video helps! But I still suck at this whole "speaking thing." Video goes on and I forget what is do englisch.
We aren't playing to win anymore, we're playing to get as far as we can until things are patched and we have to deal with the next issue.
It has gotten worse. Notably. Yes we always had balance issues but it's never was really so bad as it was now. The only time I can think of that it was nearly as bad as it is now is when the tanky damage bruiser Season 1 meta was around. And that was caused both by buffs to and new tank items, nerfs to AD items, and tons of new OP bruisers to abuse. There's really no excuse for this terrible balance 2-3 years later when we already know all these issues. I mean lets go in to detail.
BC with a day of testing should have revealed it was WTF level. Is Riot even testing anymore? I have no idea. I don't test for Riot, I just look at their results. And their results lately blow. Hard. BC comes out despite the fact that any sane person could have found out it was OP in 5 seconds of testing. I can't put enough emphasis on this. We the players can only speculate on items, we can only say "well based on these stats that I see..." it's up to Riot to PLAY with it and say "holy motherfucker, did you see this shit?" But they didn't, because apparently they didn't test it or simply didn't care.
But okay, one screw up is fine, it slipped through.
But then how do you explain the tank items? Sunfire went DOWN in cost losing no stats despite being one of the more picked and powerful items in Season 2. Sunfire had nowhere to go but down, and they moved it up in power? But you know, two mistakes so whatever. Then how do you explain warmogs? Warmogs got more scaling, lost the creep farming part, and went down in cost by 330. (I should note new Warmogs is less efficient than old Warmogs and is actually on its way out, since Riot saw fit to overnerf it, but that's for later.) Locket of the Iron Solari is insanity and bought on practically everyone but riot refuses to touch it?
Just how far behind is Riot's balance team?
Riot has the time to overnerf Warmogs, but not the item that is replacing Warmogs? How far behind are they? Warmogs was being replaced by Solari WEEKS before they nerfed it. This to me spells out precisely the problem: They aren't keeping up anymore. Where as in the past Riot would stall out nerfing something (perhaps for too long) just to see if it REALLY was OP in Season 3 Riot is rapid firing nerfs at anything that moves. The worst part is that most of their nerfs seem to be aimed at incredibly low ELO problems. Darius? Garen? Warmogs? These were a non issue for real balance and yet they're getting attention before the actual issues are being addressed.
And really a lot of these things they're nerfing and changing never even had time to properly be adjusted for. Warmogs was actually factually on its way out. Solari + sunfire was way better, and Warmogs was turning in to more of a late game item. Tristana and BotRK were being bought together because they worked so well. HP stacking really wasn't an issue for anyone that built properly, and again Warmogs was on its way out already.
That's where a lot of these issues are coming from, nerf/buff first let trickle later.
Warmogs was being replaced after the first nerf, it was still a decent item but it was no longer a first buy or must buy. It was going to trickle down to the lower ranks but Riot decided to slash away at it before seeing that. BotRK was a good niche item that people were starting to pick up on on champions it was good for. Riot massively overbuffed it to god tier before even most high ELO could pick up on it. Then we've got buffs to Tristana, buffs to Vayne, champions that are already being picked and used who are now buffed. Da fuq?
Now it's not all bad, sometimes it works.
Obviously the fallout from the hasty decisions is nastier than the good parts, but the good parts still exist. Volibear is playable now, Nasus is playable now, more items are viable now, etc. It's just that this could all be accomplished without dart board style balancing. That's really not the point though. Balancing a game played by millions shouldn't be a "well sometimes it works" process. Additionally, with a million players there is going to be enough experimenting and stat collecting that stuff will change drastically over time. Lets say it wasn't high ELO that find out XYZ is OP, lets say it was low ELO. When Jax +flat AD runes got really popular it was actually from mid ELO and it tricked UP that time.
But I really have to say that that's really all it feels like lately. Someone finds something "OP", it quickly gets nerfed, and nothing is ever learned on how to beat it.
We're abusing OP things with no attempt to learn to beat them.
That's what this really comes down to. We're nerfing and buffing so fast that things that appear to be OP we are just accepting as OP and abusing them till they get nerfed. It's a two part problem. A. Things are so OP that we can just abuse them on a patch-by-patch basis, and B. We never learn to properly combat said OP things and so it tends to get overnerfed because even when balanced we're just saying to ourselves "clearly OP, can't beat, wait till the nerf."
With that in mind we're also buffing things way too quickly because nobody is bothering to learn them either. My biggest example is still Tristana, but others exist as well. Sunfire rushing was gaining a HUGE amount of popularity at the end of Season 2 yet wasn't trickling down fast enough, so it got buffed in Season 3. BT was starting to become rushed on everyone and their mother at the end of Season 2, yet no trickling so buffy buffy (And later nerfy nerfy.) We're moving far too quickly for anyone to adjust, and as a result nothing is really changing, we're just OP chasers.
So I guess that's the end result here.
The point of the article, the end result, it's right there. Riot is strangling players like a playground bully going "you'll use my items on the champions I want you to use them on, and you'll use the champions I want god damnit!" Someone is like "so I wanted to play Jax top-" and Riot chokeslams them and says "YOU'LL PLAY ELISE GOD DAMNIT, AND YOU'LL USE LIANDRY'S!" It's really damaging the game. It's not good for anyone for Riot to be this much of a control freak right now. So, yeah. I don't know what can be done to stop it since Riot chokeslams anyone who moves outside their system since they'll be up against such OP odds. "I think I'll play Yi top since-" "NEVER, BOTRK IS NOT INSANELY OP AND XIN IS GOING TO FULL HP COMBO YOU!"
So please Riot, settle down. Get a grip. People are going to adjust to things if you let them, you just need to let them. You can't do such a drastic system revision as Season 3 was then turn around and glare at anyone not playing the game the way you want it to be played. What if I DIDN'T want to play the counter the counter minigame? What if I just wanted to stack AD or AP normally? You tackle me to the ground rand you say "but we made Liandry's and BotRK so OP, you basically HAVE to use them!" It's just boring now OP chasing.
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