Why I stopped playing LoL in favor of DotA2

Of these two games, I would not say that the gameplay of either is superior to the other. Each play with their own style and have things I like/dislike about each. As far as the actual game goes for either, I’m Switzerland. Neutral. Gray like Gandalf. I’m pH7 you might say. However, I stopped playing LoL on a regular basis months ago in favor of DotA2. It wasn’t some concrete decision, where I had a moment of choice that I can point to and say, “There, that is why I no longer play”. It was just a gradual subduing of my time spent in game. This weekend, after watching a YouTube video from Riot about the history of their champions, I decided to go give the game a whirl again. All I got was one game before the stark contrast between the total experience of the two games slapped me in the face and reminded me why I never went back – the community.

It started off badly. Within seconds (literally), my 4 teammates were bitching at each other. Calling each other noobs, criticizing choices on champion, spell selection, calling what lane they are going to take, and then being yelled at for going there. Within the champion select, before everyone was locked in, someone even threw out the “GG”. It wasn’t friendly banter; it wasn’t joking humor; it was bitter, vitriolic condemnation of their own teammates and fellow human beings. Did I mention this wasn’t even a ranked game? Just a standard match for fun. The attitude didn’t improve during the length of the game. Not surprisingly, the match didn’t go well. I lasted 12 minutes in game, reading condemnation, proclamations of superiority, and demands of subservience from half of my teammates, before I finally ignored them. That’s a two-edged sword sadly, because once ignored, communication is gone, and a game that relies on teamwork is basically lost. The game finally ended at about the 30 minute mark (the surrender was no-voted). I left the game, closed LoL, and doubt I will return any time soon.

I’m not saying that the community of DotA2 is the gold standard. I wouldn’t even call it the bronze standard. However, it’s not complete shit, and the average interaction is light-years beyond my experience yesterday. Not every game in LoL occurs like mine did, but it’s an indicative example of the aggregate. I talked about it on the forums at Inquisition, and one of the leaders commented something along the lines of “This is the norm in hyper-popular games.”.  The norm is not acceptable, and if it’s bad enough to drive away a veteran of online gaming like me, chances are, it will do the same to others.

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It’s hard being bad

As an FYI, for those of you who play League of Legends, the default screen-capture key is F12. Not print-screen, like every other program invented to man, ever. I missed out on the AWESOME chat of my team calling me bad, and telling me I’m bad, and in general being a bunch of dick-wads and trying to tell me how to play. Would have been paired nicely with the below image. But them’s the breaks. God, being bad makes me sad.

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Worlds Colide

I have a lot of hobbies. Gaming is just one of the many endeavors I enjoy pursuing, and easily in the top five of all my favorite activities. Also high up on the list of things I am interested in, is politics. So, it may not surprise you that I’ve been keeping an ear out about this whole SOPA (official) /PIPA (official) thing. As much as my two hobbies may thrill me on their own (I’ve listened to every GOP debate, half streaming while I killed dragons in Skyrim), I had an amazing laugh at the awesome combination of the two today.

Apparently, one of our U.S. congressmen (by the name of Jared Polis) plays League of Legends, and after seeing the “Help us Stop SOPA” thread on the forums, he decided to respond. Beyond it being a great moment of helpful reinforcements from those behind the lines, he agreed to continue checking in on the thread. Which then lead to this AMAZING troll FROM the representative TO a player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bieberfever123 View Post
WHY DOES HE GET AN AVATAR AND l DONT???

u would just use Justin Beiber as your avatar anyway

I almost laughed my balls off. If the nerds of Colorado don’t get together to reelect this man, they are doing themselves a disservice.

As a last message, go here, to help stop these bills from passing.

 

Demacian Protege

I had a good time with her last night. Others may play her more aggresively, but I can’t help but feel like those 21 assists were appreciated. May be she’s the next champion I buy, and the good news is, I’ve already got all the reds, yellows, and blues I need for her rune build!

Panorama

There’s a lot going on out there in the circles of the gaming world I put interest into. Everyone seems to be doing something, getting ready to exit out of that summer slump that seems to hit every year. Interestingly enough though, very little of it is really revving my engines. For the LoL players, we have Dominion. For WAR we have the 1.4.4 patch (and 1.4.5 after). MMO players in general are in a tizzy over the SWTOR preorder. Prime:BFD is running on all cylinders finishing up development. Lastly, I recently joined up with fellow-blogger Rer’s corporation in EVE.

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Changing Play

Yesterday was patch day for League of Legends. The big ticket items were the rework for Kayle and the introduction of another new 6300 IP champion, Wukong the Monkey King. Having been a previous enthusiast for Kayle, I was eager to see what changes she had coming her way, as I felt she was a bit on the weaker side of things. She had a great passive, but wasn’t able to really fulfill either of her roles as a support/carry very well. Of course, when the video was released, I was a bit saddened. I had just finished up all of her rune page a few days back, and the change meant buying 18 new runes and 3 new quintessence if Phreak’s predicted build would be more suitable. So, after I put the daughter to bed last night, I jumped into a few games to play with her to get a feel for the revamp.

I’ll be blunt, I’m not super happy with the Kayle rework so far. It’s not bad per-se, but it has definitely taken her far away from what she was before. Where before she was a good support/carry blend, that could be nasty super-late game, she’s now more of a pure carry. The hit to her heal spell, Diving Blessing, is a real kick in the nuts to any aspirations of support play. Nidalee’s heal was a far superior support tool before this change, as it has a better cooldown and a vastly greater power ratio, and after the change, it’s not even a comparison worth making. It’s as if the functions of Kayle’s heal have been swapped, making it more of a speed boost than a heal now.

That’s not to say that all the changes were bad, but Kayle is clearly no longer the champion I once played and enjoyed. She is being put almost wholly into the carry slot than the support slot. That shift is a new way of thinking when playing as her and how to approach building her. Once I’m able to get past this paradigm shift, I think I’ll have a strong hold on Kayle, but I’m not entirely sure if I want to. Playing a pure carry can be fun, but in LoL, I really enjoy more diverse and complex champions. Nidalee may take over as my primary champion after this patch.

As for Wukong, shocker, he seems pretty strong on the power curve. He’s also 6300 IP. I’d really like to see some more low and mid-range champions released, Oriana was the only one in recent history who came in under 6300 point. Relatedly, I’d enjoy a more frequent IP push-down for older champions. The push-down doesn’t have to happen as frequent as new releases, but doing a price cut of 1 old champion for every 2 new ones that gets released shouldn’t be something that will cause a revenue loss, and would go a fair way to pleasing customers.

Gaming Goal

Get off LoL and finish BioShock, InFamous, and Uncharted.

The crack is hard to kick man.

Smooth Sailing

This past weekend, AT&T came out to my house on both Friday and Sunday. Friday, they were able to actually do something (changed physical ports), but problems seemed to persist, and Sunday the tech did nothing other than check the signal, but problems have ceased. I’m not declaring the problem solved, but the last two days I have had zero interruptions of service, and that makes me a very happy man. So, yesterday I gleefully played a bit of EVE – with voice comms, and then a fair chunk of LoL.

My hour or so in EVE actually was rather dull, I got a few people together to try to do some hunting in Oblayu, but only two souls passed through the system in the hour we sat there, and the rest of the group was, reticent to go explore more potentially fruitful systems. I’m seriously considering dropping the corp completely, dropping to low/null sec to live the life of a PvP’er/Pirate and pick up a second account to fund my illicit activities. I think I could convince my wife that $30/month is not too expensive compared to some of her monthly recurring fees.

LoL on the other hand, was crazy fun. I’ve been tinkering around with one of the first champions I bought – Kayle, and had a really good time with her. She’s an  interesting mix of support and physical/magical DPS, intertwined with a strange hybrid of ranged/melee. She’s a complicated hero, with intricacies I’ve only seen matched in my other staple – Nidalee. Kayle has a “bubble” reminiscent of a paladin’s in WoW, a heal/speed boost, and a snare/damage boost, to be capped off with a spell that makes her melee attacks ranged AND splash. Her passive increases her ability damage as you up your physical damage, and vice versa. Early on, she’s good for helping play a bit of support and some CC/nuking, mid-game she tends to be a bit week, as she’s VERY gear dependent and hasn’t caught up to the power creep, and late game she can be a powerhouse.

I played two games with her last night, and both went longer than most (over an hour), with one being the longest I’ve ever partaken of. I did pretty well in the later, and absolutely dominated in the former. In the shorter game, I was getting wedding proposals from players whose asses I saved with my intervention, and in the second comments along the lines of, “I thought Kayle was supposed to suck.”. It was pretty uplifting for me as a player, and I know I don’t have the most optimum of builds for her since all my runs are +crit chance and +crit damage.

Follow the jump for screens of the two games.

Edit: Actually, now that I’m looking at the images, the games must have been on two different days.

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Options are good

Yes, that's a vegetable gun.

I’ve said it more times than I care to think here. For me, when it comes to gaming, options are good. Options provide choice, and making a choice is intriguing. Being able to decide how to do things on your own and complete them in the manner of your choosing is the essence of freedom. As I see it, the more this philosophy is carried out, the more interesting the gameplay.

For example, I’ve only played* the VERY early portions of the original BioShock so far, and this levels are very limited on what you can use as far as powers, buffs, and enhancements. You can unlock more slots for each of these things as you progress through the game, but there is an upper cap at which point, you need to make a judgement call on what you are going to use. This has been a lot of fun for me so far. When going against a Big Daddy, I had to decide if it was more useful to take my electric power, my charm power, or my telekinesis power (to throw his grenades back him) – I got to pick two. That’s a meaningful decision with a host of options dependent on how I wanted to play.

So, with that said, when I read a post yesterday on Gordon’s blog, I was floored by just how much I absolutely disagree with his stance on one area.

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An incessant droning

During my prolonged exposure to something that could have only been the Plague, I did relatively little gaming. Preferring instead the comfort of bed and, more importantly, the close proximity of the facilities. I did however, catch up on a lot of my Netflix instant queue. I finally polished off the final season of 24 that I lost during the great DVR transition of 2010, main-lining the last 10 episodes in a single day of half-lucidity. My wife, who was never a particular fan of the show, watched the final one from behind the glow of her iPhone, and expressed extreme incredulity at the ending. On top of that, I killed the last 8 episodes of Farscape, season 2, and the first five of season 3. Still, my addiction to gaming never let go of its grasp on my attention, and a part of my mind is constantly leaning in that direction. So, when I did get to gaming, I had to choose between my current three choices. League of Legends, EVE, and Rift, and that’s the order of attention I gave them, from most to least.

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