LoL: The Twisted Treeline dilemma

Twisted Treeline.Since the launch of Twisted Treeline I’ve gone back and forth about playing on the map. For a while, I was in love with it. While people were still learning the faster playstyle, it was easy to pick up some quick wins. After a bad losing streak, I swore off TT, though it was hard for me pinpoint exactly why.

I’ve since gotten back into TT and been mostly successful, but it hasn’t been without frustration. I think I finally have a bead on the design behind TT that makes a loss there so much more frustrating than on Summoner’s Rift. The problem behind TT, or more appropriately, the design dilemma, is that the map has to encourage more fighting to produce a quicker game. It isn’t enough that the lanes are shorter, the towers less durable, and the gold generation quicker. The map has to produce confrontation, and the way Riot chose to do that was by heavily prioritizing the two major jungle creeps, Grez and the dragon.

This is actually why TT is so frustrating in comparison to Summoner’s Rift. On SR the buffs are definitely important, but the map is much larger, so sacrificing position in order to acquire buffs can mean the difference between defeat and victory. Teams that ignore buffs can still win the game if the opponent focuses too much on the buffs without thinking about positioning.

Twisted Treeline, on the other hand, is small enough that you can get the buffs without stepping out of position, especially since many of the stronger heroes on TT have ways to get over the walls. The big problem, then, is that players play TT just like they play SR – getting buffs when its convenient but not prioritizing them. This puts the team at a huge disadvantage, so big, in fact, that I’d say you don’t have a chance of winning if you lose those buffs three times in a row. The buffs not only increase your team damage output, they provide enough experience and gold to set your team way ahead, in both level and itemization.

The problem, at least in my mind, is that the importance of the buffs is discreet. Everyone knows that buffs are good, but most players don’t know how good. One way to fix this would be through some sort of spotlight on map basics. Another potential balance change would be to offer bonus gold for killing the wearer of the buff. It wouldn’t have to be the full amount, but something to help a team that either doesn’t know how important the buffs are or hasn’t been able to properly control the map catch back up. It would significantly slow the snowballing effect that is such a problem on TT.

Have you guys seen the same trouble on TT or is something else typically the cause for your loss?


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