LoL: Where’s the patch?

Ezreal wallpaper.It’s been three days since Riot officially confirmed the patch for this week – yes, I’m considering a sale on new content that ends this coming Sunday an official confirmation – and there’s still no word on when it will actually drop. Nothing. Nada. No post in the announcement forums, nothing in the server status forums. Not even an update to the sale announcement that pushes the dates back.

I’d like to say I’m not one to speculate but, frankly, I speculate often so here it goes. My guess is that there’s some trouble related to a widespread Twisted Treeline rollout. I still stand on the assumption that it’s coming in this patch. The matchmaking test on the Test Realm was so short that my guess is they got a quick confirmation that, yes, it will work. If it was a no, you can bet there would have been more testing to figure out why. It’s a pattern Riot has followed rigorously to this point. Hell, when it seems 80% of the population can’t connect or chronically crashes the servers are set to “busy” while the team attempts to sort things out.

It’s also safe to say that this is the biggest patch since launch, with the possible exception of the store. The Twisted Treeline update will change the game in a huge way, and will likely a whole new set of hardware. Add to it the major revamp the patch gave to Twisted Fate and the release of a new champ with completely new mechanic and you have the heaviest content patch we’ve seen.

I’m still convinced it won’t happen, though. Tomorrow’s Friday and there’s still no news.


LoL: The latest Test Realm patch has me scared

Twisted Fate.Patch notes are up on the Test Realm forum for the Ezreal rollout and I’ll say it, I’m scared. I was mostly excited for the last patch, but the XP system blew chunks and that queue dodge penalty is the worst thing to happen to the game since Nidalee. There are a few diamonds in the rough, though, and I’m hoping they will be enough to carry me through.

First, Shaco is getting a massive nerf. Deceive damage is down 10% at all levels, Jack in the Box damage scales more slowly and has its AP ratio decreased, and, the whopper, throwing Two-Shiv while stealthed breaks you out. It’s not clear whether that removes your crit damage bonus – my hope is that it doesn’t – but it’s possible. You might notice that none of this makes him any more viable for the late game, which is most players’ complaint.

Then there’s Nidalee. I’m personally of the opinion that she needs the kind of nerf Shaco received. Unfortunately, Riot didn’t contact me regarding the matter, so she’s getting a tiny nerf and a little buff. Primal Surge now has its mana cost increased by 5 per level instead of the flat 50. Can I just say that this is in no way a nerf. By the time you reach the max rank, most players have more than enough mana to cover the difference, particularly if they’re going AP build. Which reminds me, AP Nidalee just got a fat buff. Javelin Toss AP ratio is up to 55% from 40%. The other change is reducing her passive to 15% move speed from 25%. Really, though, that’s not the issue with Nidalee’s escapability. It’s the fact that you can spam Pounce, which, when coupled with the brush bonus, makes her extremely difficult to kill. They could take it down to 8% and she would still probably get out of most situations.

Twisted Fate got enough changes to make him a lot less frustrating to play against and probably more overall fun. His new passive, Loaded Dice, grants TF’s team an extra 2 gold per kill. It’s actually worse than Second Sight in my mind, but not such a problem. Gate is gone. In its place is Stacked Deck, which is basically a built in Sword of the Divine. Every fourth attack deals magic damage that scales by level, affected by ability power. It also increases his attack speed and reduces cooldowns. He’s another in the latest string of toons that will benefit in big ways from Guinsoo’s. The new skill is obviously severely overpowered, but a slight nerf should bring it in line. Gate is now built into Destiny, allowing you to teleport anywhere on the map though it no longer slows. Overall, I think it’s a good change, and will actually make him a lot more fun.

There are some other minor changes, including a slight buff to the XP system (50% of a level’s XP for same level champion kills instead of 40%) , but most of them shouldn’t change the game much. The XP system will still likely too heavily prioritize farming, but it just might be enough to discourage a lot of 5-man while encouraging some push. Honestly, though, ganking is what makes the game fun. Almost no amount of XP nerfing will make me want to stop.


LoL: Patch Day

Vandal Jax.It’s patch day again, bringing us a slew of changes to some of the less popular heroes, a much needed (though still lacking) TF nerf, and the new champ, Mordekaiser. The patch also gave us one highly undesirable feature: queue dodge penalties. Overall, though, I’d say I’m pretty happy about this patch.

My favorite part so far has been the Jax remake. I’ve played two games with him and he seems like he’s in a good spot. The extra HP makes a big difference and the Leap Strike change gives him a nice escapability buff. He’ll still struggle at times, as all melee DPS does, but the changes make a significant difference. Also, that Vandal skin is badass.

I’ll be taking a look at the Warwick changes later today. I had a Warwick in one game, but he was awful so I won’t say he’s a good judge of the situation. The mana changes alone should be a boon.

The TF nerf seems good, though it doesn’t address his real problem – map control. I played a game as Jax with Mundo, Ryze, Pantheon and TF in which our Ryze went AFK around level 9. We still stomped them, mostly because our TF held his port for the perfect moment in just about every situation. Sure, he does less damage, but when he’s stunning people consistently and turning even fights into landslides, I can’t help but think they nerfed him for the masses but he’s just as good for skilled players.

Mordekaiser actually looks to be a lot of fun. The fact that you can cast his shield on creeps makes him a bit like Dark Seer from Dota, though it’s only allies. That would be an interesting change if they feel he isn’t laning well. He does seem to harass decently enough, and his ult is pretty cool. I’m not going to spend the RP on him and all my IP has gone into runes recently, so I’ll have to wait for a free week to give a real analysis.

Lastly, the queue dodging penalty. This thing is so stupid I hate to even write about it. Every time you leave during champion select you get a leaver mark on your account. The first leave gives you a three minute queue penalty. The second brings it up to 10 minutes, though that timer does reset 8 hours after your first leave. I can’t understand why they would implement this when there are so many legitimate reasons to leave at champion select and no options to deal with those issues. AFK summoners are just part of the problem. There are also team composition problems, and the fact that matchmaking will still pair you with people on your ignore list. Add to all of this the fact that people are still dodging like mad and it’s pretty clear that a dodge penalty is about the worst solution Riot could have come up with.

You can find complete patch notes in the announcements forum.


LoL: Is top 500 play worth it?

Anivia.I found an interesting post last night that asked what it takes to be a top-tier player. The consensus is that somewhere around 50 games over .500 you’ll start to see names from the top 500 player list, provided you’ve played a couple hundred games. I’m not quite to that 50+ mark, but I know from the way my losses go that I could get there if I was willing to play someone like TF or Twitch repeatedly to carry teams over the edge. For me, though, it’s just not worth it.

A big part of the reason I play LoL is for the competition. After graduating college it has only gotten harder to put together a competitive game of basketball or volleyball. Most of the time pickup games degenerate into friendly matches among less-than-fit friends. It’s not a bad thing, but it doesn’t fulfill that competitive desire. There are rare occasions, though, when a friend brings a friend and suddenly we have a really solid game going.

LoL is the same way for me. When I have those 70-80 minute games I have a blast, but they are the exception. Most of the time I’m watching teammates feed 1-5 and leave (happened to me like 25 minutes ago) or try an AP Gangplank build because a friend said the ults were lolrape. So much of the competition in this game is out of my hands that I’m content to be happy with the good games and just try to play well for myself in the bad ones.

There is one thing that could change my mind: matchmaking. I know everyone is always bitching about it in the forums, but this is really the thing that keeps me from caring about top 500 play. In the past week I’ve been paired with players under level 15 on multiple occasions. I’ve been level 30 for at least a month now with more than 400 games under my belt. These aren’t smurf accounts either, where players have boosted ELO by trashing new players. These are players who, like the aforementioned, try building Ashe for AP (not kidding, this has happened to me) or spend 15 minutes building a Heimer turret nest in a remote patch of brush and then luring the overleveled opponent and promptly dying (again, actually happened). As long as I’m getting paired with this type of player there is no incentive to get to higher play. The landslide will likely be that much worse, if only because higher tier players are better at exploiting the unskilled.

I’m also put off by the method for achieving the ELO necessary for top tier play. When I first started, I played a lot of TF. He was fun, felt strong, and helped me win a lot of games. I’ve since stopped, mostly because it just isn’t enjoyable for me to exploit a broken toon for gain. I really do like a challenge, and nothing about his playstyle feels challenging to me. The same can be said for Twitch, who can easily roll over a team with very little farm. For me, it’s not a fun way to play (okay, every now and again it’s pretty fun), and if the end result is bad matchmaking of a higher order, I’m going to stick to playing toons I enjoy.


LoL Guide: Twisted Fate

Twisted Fate: The Cardmaster.This week’s free rotation includes Twisted Fate, a character I cut my teeth on, so it seemed appropriate to throw together a quick guide for anyone interested in giving him a shot. Fate has one of the best skill sets in the game and is capable of completely dominating a lane and eventually a team. In the right hands, he can easily swing a game himself.

There are a lot of different ways you can go with this. I would recommend CD reduction and mana regen or CD reduction and ability power. With 9% CD reduction from masteries, a mere 6% in your runes means you have capped CD reduction with golem buff. It is very easy to get golem with TF, so I don’t rune for more than 6%. I would avoid spell penetration if only because it’s so easy to break people down without the extra help. Having more mana is never a bad thing, though.

Twisted Fate’s strength comes in his ability to instantly outnumber the opponent. His third skill, Gate, when cast with his ultimate, Destiny, becomes a 1.5 second teleport to any location on the map. Your focus at every stage of the game should be unbalancing the other team, creating highly undesirable situations from what would normally have been an even fight.

If you haven’t yet mastered the Pick a Card skill, create a practice game, sit at fountain and practice. You should be able to hit a Gold Card 100% of the time during practice, which will greatly increase your chances in the middle of a fight. By the end of the game, a crit Gold Card can hit for as much as 50% of your opponent’s life, so get used to picking it. Read the rest of this entry »


Related Posts