For the second time in as many days, Riot had a hard time keeping League of Legends stable. The servers were set to busy sometime this afternoon after recovering from a critical error. Players were none to pleased, as you might imagine. The forums exploded just before servers ground to a halt with posts like “Stability Issues 7/19 – reserving this for Riot” and “Want to know how many times VALVE Servers have crashed?”
I can understand the frustration. Last night’s FG LoL Monday was cut short due to service issues. Two days of problems are somewhat rare for Riot, but certainly still annoying when they happen. When coupled with the extended Leona release window and the downtime around her launch, Riot has a woeful lack of positive buzz around League of Legends. I’m sure the game will bounce back, but it would be very cool for the company to do some things to drive a little positive interest in the League.
This isn’t some “Riot doesn’t do anything” post – just today they’re bringing down the EU servers to split them into two regions to improve stability. It’s a good move, but it’s almost invisible to the player (except for the downside of not being able to play with friends across the EU servers). Riot could do some little things to help keep League of Legends players happy during the lull between Season One and Season Two.
The easiest suggestion would be an IP-boost weekend. Those seemed to happen fairly often in the game’s first year, but I haven’t seen one in a long time. Why not give double IP for a weekend here and there leading up to the Season Two launch? It could easily drive sales for other IP boosts – 4x IP rocks – and encourage people to spend some extra time online over the weekend.
What about a skin giveaway? Hell, they could even tie it in with a livestreamed tournament or event. Just make a reusable code for the store that’s shown on-screen at the end of a tourney stream and make it available for 24 hours after the tourney. People love exclusivity with skins and it would be a great way to drive traffic for a specific tournament. Riot could even use the stream they’ve been promoting during server downtime as a stage for this.
In short, Riot needs to meet the concerns of the player base head on. Show the people crowing about HoN or DotA 2 something that says, ‘hey, we hear your concerns, we know you could be playing other games, thanks for sticking with us.’ I love LoL, but Riot has to do more than say that they’re the most player-focused company in the industry. It’s time show it.