This past week’s patch fueled a surprising outburst of rage, mostly centered on the IP system remake. Of course, any time Riot makes an unpopular decision, the forums explode with demands for Magma Chamber and general unrest. Phreak responded with a fairly lengthy post, covering most of the features Riot has yet to release. It’s not really news, but he did reiterate the fact that Magma Chamber is being delayed until the graphical update, which Riot calls “Shiny,” is released.
In short, that’s a huge bummer. I know that Shiny is meant to improve the graphical experience on both the low and the high end, but it means very little for veteran players. Newcomers might be slightly more impressed, but what we really want is features. I read an article in a digital media class in college about the intersection of graphics and gameplay. Though I can’t find the article, a simple search for “graphics vs gameplay” brings up scads of blog posts, articles, and forum threads dedicated to the discussion, most of which lean in favor of gameplay. That’s no surprise – I think almost everyone could agree that gameplay makes the game. It’s interesting to see developers then go for graphics in many instances.
Now, I don’t really think that’s what Riot is doing. Riot’s growth has been something of an anomaly in the development community, so as a company, they have to focus on the total package experience and getting that total package to as many players as possible. That includes the people playing at the low end of the hardware spectrum. It just sucks that veteran players are still waiting for a compelling feature release, and the thing that’s holding it up is a graphical overhaul.