Does LoL need an ‘easy mode?’

Easy Button.

I have a couple good friends that I frequently join up with to play Twisted Treeline. It’s not a perfect experience by any means, but it allows us to play a draft mode together and the games are relatively short. The best part about TT is definitely game length, but the map leaves an awful lot to be desired in terms of balance.

The time issue actually carries over to Summoner’s Rift for me. I rarely queue for 5v5 unless I know I have an hour to spend and even 3s can take 40 minutes if the game goes long. That’s a pretty long chunk of time to commit to a game, especially if it ends up being a loss. I’m sure we’ve all had games that are going so poorly that there’s no hope of victory but teammates hang on and refuse to surrender. Those types of games make me long for a quicker experience.

DotA had an “easy mode” toggle that could be used with each gametype, granting bonus gold per second and I believe extra gold for towers. It increased the pace of the game by allowing players to passively reach a level of farm more quickly, similar to the way Twisted Treeline generates per-second gold faster than Summoner’s Rift. I actually think it would be cool to have an “easy mode” playlist in League of Legends, a mode in which the XP and gold rewards were tuned so that 30 minutes looked like 70 minutes does now.

That mode wouldn’t work very well on Twisted Treeline. The 3v3 map just snowballs out of hand far too quickly. Games would likely be decided by the first fight (and in some cases, they still are). For Summoner’s Rift, though, I think it would give casual players more opportunity to fire up a game while the baby’s napping, in between classes, or just before heading to bed. Speaking of which…

Is there another LoL client update in the works?

Cooperative mode

Riot recently announced that summoners will soon be able to play co-op games against computer controlled champions for IP. It sounds like a cool system, at least for getting back into the mix if you’ve been away for a while or want to test a new champion. More interesting to me, though, is the screenshot that’s in the current client for the service.

As you can see above, the picture shows what appears to be an updated client with some new features. For starters, there is a ‘Game Mode’ field. This could mean very good things for players who, like myself, enjoy a little variety. I would love to see all-random deathmatch implemented, and it would be interested to have an All Random All Mid option as well. The bad news is that the field is blank other than ‘Classic.’ Granted, Riot probably doesn’t want to leak anything, but that could also be an indication of just how far off these new game modes might be.

It’s hard to see much else. The new format is much more conducive to multiple maps in a list format, instead of the current grid button system the client uses to select game types. Any guesses as to how far away this client is? I’ll say six months.

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