Saturday, 11 October 2014

LoL: Coming Back Only to Go Away

I have been a long time LoL player. It was MOBA of my choice, fairly easy, and quite entertaining. Of course, as all these games go, they are far more entertaining when you play with friends, than when you play with complete strangers. The constant race to call your position in the game preparation window, the defeatist attitude of my fellow players, perpetual bad attitude of my teammates, constant stream of insults, bad language and stupidity, combined with the fact that Heroes of the Storm entered the Alpha finally drove me away.

But then, couple of weeks ago I read the patch notes and saw Garen was getting buffed. I thought that was unneeded, as Garen was always competent champion if you know how to play to his strengths, but I am not the on to look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially, when the horse being given is my favourite, and apparently even stronger than I remember. It was enough incentive to pull me back into the game, and give it another try after more than half a year of hiatus.

I thought this was a perfect opportunity to test the implementation of Team Builder. The last time I tried it, it was a mess. Long waiting, shitty team composition, and the same defeatist attitude that plagued the game otherwise. I really hate defeatist. If you are willing to give up on game after a couple of minutes, you are not wasting your time, you are wasting mine. And when you waste my time, I really ought to smack you about, but cannot reach through the screen. Man the fuck up. Play to win, or don't play at all.

The first couple of games was the closest I will probably ever see when playing a MOBA game to the actual Utopia. Perfect team, friendly people, all decided to win, splendid teamwork, not giving up even when strongly behind, and playing to their best ability to the last second. And of course, we won 9 of 10 such games. After the tenth game I earned my fighter and tank badges, and all changed for the worse.

It seems that while you are still "new" to the role, new meaning you haven't played for so long, that you weren't part of the system, the game adjusts with whom you play. And I would really like to know why I was paired with all those nice people as a "new" player, but ended up with total cretins once I was "veteran" once again. I would just really love to know the parameters, in order to avoid these people in any future matchmaking. I carried some of those games, I was decent in the rest. I was always polite, if not silent for the whole game. I actively used the markers, but in reasonable matter, I warded my part of the map on regular occasion. I didn't spam the map with pings, but made use of them when needed. This might be subjective, but in all those games I acted as what I would deem a good player. So I am genuinely confused when after ten games I am thrown in a group with people, who seem to hate themselves, everyone else, and the game itself.

Garen is really great to play with, and I am really happy that I don't have to fight for position at top any more. What I noticed about the game though, is the much faster pace. It is considered "normal" these days to know the outcome of the game at the 20th minute. You probably wrap up the game by 35th. Unless you're me, then all your games go beyond 40 minutes, and probably end up somewhere after 55th. What can I say, I play to win, and if I am going to lose, I play to waste my enemies time.

Another observation is that meta is even stricter. In Team Builder we all know which champion can do what. With that in mind, as soon as people notice someone outside of the norm, they leave the group, or if this outsider is the last to join, demand they find a replacement. That said, some of these outsiders just try to abuse the system, queueing under the rolls they do not fit simply to shorten the queues. In those cases it is without a shadow of a doubt the right call to kick them before they ruin the game for the rest of the team.

All in all, I think I will continue to wait for Heroes of the Storm. A friend is trying to get me into Smite, and as far as I have seen, Tyr looks very much like Garen so I might give it a try.

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