This week we’ll see the release of Shyvana, which also means a patch with some balance changes. The change lists on recent patches have been fairly light, which surprises me. For a while there it seemed like we would see significant changes to a wide range of champions. Lately, though, we’ve had tweaks to very few champions at a time. The most obvious reason would be that Riot is settling into what they feel is a balanced state of the game. It could also be that Riot saw that they were adding too many changes to the game along with frequent champion releases and wanted to scale back the effect of each patch. I’m betting on the first, though, at least for the time being.
I’m a little bummed out that the solution to current balance issues is an increase in HP and scaling for the underpowered characters. The health creep in League of Legends is a phenomenon I don’t really understand. It used to be unusual to see characters with 4000 HP but I see that all the time now, often more than once per game. I’m tired of Trinity Force. I’m tired of Warmog’s + Atma’s. I do think we have some hope, though, even if it’s a long shot.
For now, I’m hoping that once all of the melee looks the same, Riot will come through with a nice new kit of items or some serious mechanic change that makes the current bruiser build slightly less attractive. I would also like to see some more viable strategies come forward in the near future. One of the things I first liked about League was that it was less push-oriented than DotA. In DotA a lot of my games would come down to the team with the better push comp. In LoL, at least at this point, push comps don’t really exist. In fact, I haven’t seen a comp other than the standard objective-taking rig in a long time. The game has slowly morphed into a giant farm calculator, which was fun for a while but could really use a tune-up.
Summoner’s Rift needs new life – new strategies, new playstyles, new champions with interesting, game-changing mechanics. Even if the game could be perfectly balanced as it currently is, I would still be writing this post. I didn’t fall in love with MOBAs because they’re perfectly balanced tests of skill. I fell in love with this genre because it was all about adaptability. The game was about using one skillset against another, very different skillset and attempting to be successful, whether that meant pushing or teamfighting or controlling the map. I think LoL has lost some of that magic. Here’s hoping Riot can bring it back.