The game is still in pre-season and the multiple forums I lurk (mostly Reddit) have been abuzz with talk about what improvements could be made to the game. There are plenty of major "improvements" that players have suggested while the smaller ones have gone unseen or otherwise have been mentioned enough times they are no longer noticed. I feel there are a few small upgrades and improvements that could be made to the game that do not concern or affect balance yet improve the player experience and generally quality of the game. I have discussed it with several people and asked my fans on facebook and twitter to give me some ideas. These ideas have been presented in some forum at some point or another and I do feel they are at least worth Riot's consideration.
A Pause Feature
I chose to start with this one because it seems to be a feature already implemented in one game mode yet somehow kept out of regular games which makes this arguably a small improvement as the workload would not be that major. Other MOBA games give the general population use of the pause feature and trust them not to be jerks with it. It seems to work so far and hardly that abused. At the very least it can be given a test run for a short time just like the small events like all-for-one were given.
Having a pause feature would greatly help pad the problem with disconnects in game. It would simply freeze the game and stop any form of disadvantage a team could get due to having a player disconnect. It is understood that this could make games take longer and that it could be abused during team fights or for non-issues like a person not being responsible enough to plan their games accordingly.
The common criticism to this is that there will be some jackasses who will use the pause feature to stop the game so they can go take a dump or some who need to have dinner or do something they should have taken care of prior. Riot can take steps to hamper this such as making pauses last only a short time if there are no disconnects, the same player cannot pause the game over and over and that teams only have a limited amount of times they can pause the game. Even if a player dcs and forces his team to pause the game in order to give himself a longer time to be away, I am sure that Riot could track people who constantly leave and rejoin games thus eventually tracking jackasses down.
The disconnect issue cannot be fixed so easily but at least this is a small improvement that could be made to pad the issue. Dota 2 has a system where you can just leave if a person is disconnected in your team but that could be abused to no end in Ranked mode.
Offline Feature and Message Restriction
I have a friend's list full of people on multiple accounts. I enjoy being able to talk to people but sometimes I rather not be chatting with people or just flat out not be bothered while in games. It has been done by people with third party programs and by altering the game files. Appearing offline would simply be something comforting from people who would rather only be speaking to a few people or no one at all. It would be really nice to have the option to not make others feel bad when you do not want to talk to them.
I stream. I have friends who also stream. We have fans that we interact with while we stream and we enjoy that. However, we have a few friends (or fans in our friend's list) who enjoy bothering the stream or doing weird things in the chat while we play. Sometimes it bothers the viewers of the stream or just bothers me. Even when I am not streaming, this can be very bothersome as it screws with the chat and becomes very distracting. It would be very nice to have the option to make it impossible for people to message you while you are in game. The messages are usually open in a chat box after the game is over.
There could be multiple switches at play here that would allow players to customize their chatting experience. Total offline mode would make it so they cannot receive messages from players as long as they are in this mode. Visibly offline would put them in the state of offline mode but they can receive messages at any point. An option to even force people to come out of offline mode could even be implemented, as in only allowing people not in offline mode to be able to message you. Simply put, this is a feature I know plenty of people have been clamoring about and I am sure it is not too difficult.
*I could not find an image or video that fit this portion so I just used something that has to do with annoying chat.
Riot's skin and art team have vastly improved their game and the general quality of the skins that they release have been excellent - most of the time. With that said, cheaper skin releases have basically become non-existent. I am not certain about the amount of resources vs gains this would take but I would like to think of this as a small improvement at the very least.
I mean look at Zac, if there was a champion who could benefit from changing colors it would be him. Paint him blue and now he's water Zac. Paint him white and now he's Civil War Veteran Zac. Paint him pink and now he's pepto bismo Zac. Hell I am sure that color swaps between lore champions would work out such as Nasus colors for Renekton, Morgana and Kayle or Darius and Garen. I'm certain those would sell well though I would understand concerns with making certain champions a little too confusing.
The obvious negative here is that some vocal players may accuse Riot of being lazy and releasing crappy skins and it would make players not want to purchase the higher end skins as they are satisfied with what their simple recolor. On the plus side, if they implemented this and it worked out, they could later include recolor options to different skins in the game and thus encourage players to buy champion skins in order to be able to recolor them.
Youtuber Sivhd has suggested a radical idea on his stream and in the youtuber chat a few times. Imagine if Riot simply sold you a copy of the base champion skin but gave you the option to turn a few knobs to change the color of the champion. This would enable you to customize the champion's colors in any way you would like and it could allow artistic players to create some awesome looking combinations...or allow players to make their champions look like clowns.
Remove Pointless Runes
I will cut to the chase on this one. Just flat out remove all tier 2 runes from the game as they are far more worthless than tier 1 (price to gain wise) and flat out a noob trap. Tier 1 runes are useless too but at least they are cheap so they are not as painful to dump ip into. That said, they are still relatively not purchased and it would be awesome if all players were simply given access to all tier 1 runes. They are not even big IP dumps and they can at least fill some gaps that players need while they farm the stronger runes.
TLDR: Give tier 1 runes for free and remove tier 2 runes entirely.
One more thing, why the hell does the rune combiner still exist? It has always been relatively worthless but I am sad to admit that I used it when I was a newer player. It would be better to remove it just in case newer players haven't been told it is worthless.
Change Game Settings Outside of Game
Why the hell can't we change our game settings? I know it is silly that I use that language in a serious article but this has been asked for since beta. I do not know what it would take to get these options enabled outside of games but it would be a great feature to have. It is sometimes pretty damn hard/annoying to fix all of your keys while in game. It becomes worse that some patches reset your keybindings for some reason including missile display and smart casting.
I strongly wish we could change sound settings while in champion select. Randomly does the volume setting reset and you get a loud BAAAAAM when you enter the game. After that you are tormented for five minutes as you listen ridiculously loud champion select music. Yes you can go to the mixer of your computer and lower the sound and you can manually turn down the volume of your speakers/headset but it is inconvenient. It is just a nice convenience to the player that I, my lazy, non-programming non-developer self, feel would not be too much trouble to enable.
More small improvements/fixes
- Make the shop unclickable through the UI. Blue side is the worst offender of this as you end up clicking the damn shop if you are trying to rearrange items while in base.
- Don't eject the player from the store when a queue breaks. At least give the player some time to finish up whatever they are doing
- Better indicators as to which champions your opponents own during the ban phase. God help me when I realize they do not even own the champion I am trying to ban yet I wasted so much time looking that I do not have time to choose another ban.
- More information available in match history. It would be nice to see gold-per-minute, game scores so you can analyze your contribution to the team, and simply just more data.
- Allow you to see which champions your teammate own. It can be such a waste to even try to communicate with your teammates sometimes and they respond too late to your trade offer.
- Queue up your item purchases while dead so you immediately buy them once you respawn but it prevents your opponents from seeing what you purchased.
- Make biscuits count as potions so you can click on them and quickly purchase more options in the store
Additional Suggestions from Reddit
- Range Indicators on more abilities
- Let us see which skins we own
- Let us reject champion gifts. It would prevent people from gifting champions you do not want.
- Allow us to reorganize mastery pages
Thanks to all the youtubers and fans who helped me come up with some and to all the people in the several forums I lurk for giving me ideas. I do not know who drew that Vi + Jinx artwork but thank you whoever you are - image search did not work on google. Heimer fan art from this link. The game settings menu as lazily retrieved from this page.
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