LoL: Calm before the Garen patch storm

Eye of the hurricane.Sorry for the late post here today, readers. Between a couple new work projects and the iPhone 4G leak I was crazy busy today. Also, there hasn’t been much happening, but sometimes even that can be worth talking about.

I do feel like the community has settled into a pre-patch lull over the past week or so. New champions have been coming in such a flurry that it’s nice to hit that break in between patches where there just isn’t a whole lot going on. It seems to be a result of a few things.

First, Kennen appears to actually be in a good spot as I have suggested here and on the forums. Without many changes to the new hero people seem content to either ignore him or play him – kind of a perfect scenario. Second, Garen isn’t all that interesting. There was a lot of hype surrounding the other heroes and Garen just doesn’t have the same pizazz. I’m going to purchase him on launch and play him, mostly for my own curiosity and testing (and the fact that I have more than 10,000 IP banked and nothing to spend it on), but I doubt he’ll get a lot of playtime in my regular games. In my mind he’s a lot like Mordekaiser, with just a hair more utility from that silence. You know, I never realized how similar the two are until I wrote that (another post for the morning so be sure to check back).

Above all, I think the calm before the inevitable storm comes from the game’s maturation. From what I’ve seen the servers have been a bit more stable over the past week or so, and I’ve actually seen my ping improve by quite a bit in some cases. I hate to make the call too early, but I think Riot may have finally hit its stride. That’s not to say the game wasn’t succeeding – it absolutely was – it’s just that the success was outpacing development for a while there and we might finally be approaching equilibrium.


LoL: Gragas hasn’t made a comeback

Gragas tossing some barrels.In my post about today’s patch I neglected to mention the big changes made to Gragas. The barrel-tossing brute hasn’t been in many of my games since his release. The ones in which he’s appeared have typically resulted in a loss for his summoner’s record. He simply doesn’t cut it. Today, Riot tried to rectify that situation.

Gragas got a round of buffs and bug fixes to help him get his groove back. He now attacks faster, scales better, moves faster in Body Slam, his barrels roll faster, and his ultimate casts farther and hits a larger radius than before. Granted, it was just patch day, but I have yet to see him once.

I’ll admit, I’ve never played Gragas. I’m willing to bet, though, that his unpopularity comes from his feel. His spells aren’t very interesting, and for thick casters you can do a lot better. I’ll keep an eye out for Gragas sightings over the next few days but I’m willing to bet the buffs weren’t enough.


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