Friday, 4 April 2014

LoL: Team Builder

Recently Riot introduced a team builder to League of Legends. The idea behind it is that people prefer to play specific champions or specific lanes. Whichever you want to say. In any case, this is just another attempt at trying to enforce the metagame. I cannot really say if something is wrong with that. I remember times in LoL when going to bottom lane with Garen and Soraka was something normal, and nothing out of the ordinary. But these days, meta does not shift any more.

Roles became something very specific in League of Legends. I am not complaining. I do love familiarity. Fighters and Tanks will go to top lane, Mages to middle, Ranged attack damage champions will go to bottom lane and will be assisted by a Support champion. And then one remaining will go to jungle, most often a jungler is a fighter or tank, it can vary though.

While I welcome the initiative from Riot in introducing new game modes and features, I do wish they brought back One-for-All. It was really great experience and I do hope to see it again one day. The problem we are currently facing with the Team Builder is the long wait-time. I think I lost about 10 minutes just jumping in and out of the queue as a support left, or ADC left, or we waited for a jungler. It seems that the current version of Team Builder lacks smoothness of a normal queue. The second time when I queued with a friend was much worse. Half an hour after which we simply gave up.

The games still last as long as ever. So if you are like me, and do not like surrendering, this means the average game is between 45 and 55 minutes. In general Team Builder works as intended. It tries to put together a team of players that compliment each other. It really enforces the laning metagame. With the current results, I can say it does a good job. I played a few games, won two out of three.

What is even more surprising is the fact that the amount of raging has significantly decreased. There are no statements from the players like: "mid or feed." I guess it is because before you even join the queue you decide for yourself which champion you will play, on which lane, what runes you will use, and what masteries you will have. It really tries to discourage as much of negativity from the player as possible.

But after all is said and done, it is still a normal map we are all used to now. I must admit that after seeing relative amount of footage from Heroes of the Storm, I am hoping that it would be my new MOBA of choice, or Hero Brawler as Blizzard calls it. Heroes of the Storm appears to be much more casual and objective orientated which is all to my liking. I am the one who is pushing the towers while the rest of my team usually wants to just fight in the middle. I am the one who kills the unsuspecting champion lost in the jungle.

I love objectives and the "PvE" aspect of them. In my opinion, we play to win the game, to destroy the nexus of the enemy team, not to score as much kills as possible. I like winning, and I like following the carrot. If the fastest way to victory is objectives, then I will focus on objectives. If I wanted to win by having the most kills, I would play Call of Duty deathmatch or some such.

In any case, as I see I am derailing myself, Team Builder works, but it can work better. And while we are at it, let us hope beta invites for Heroes of the Storm come out sooner that later. Competition is good, it breeds innovation, and MOBAs, beside MMOs are the genre in need of innovation the most.

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