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.

From Chaos

Chaos Knight is ridiculous. Anti-Mage isn’t too bad either I guess.

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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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!

WoH: What I want to know

Just a list of questions I’d love to get some answers to.

  1. What is the projected length of each match?
  2. What is the projected length of combat interactions?
    1. I.E. in LoL, a fight between two people can last seconds to a minute or so with feints, baits, etc.. Group fights can also be similarly diverse.
  3. With multiple maps, will the objective of each be the same?
    1. If no, what are the different game-types?
  4.  How many maps are there planned to be?
  5. Will there be leveling within a match?
    1. If so, what will leveling provide?
    2. Will all five powers (skills, abilities, w/e) be available from the start?
  6. Will there be any “neutral” mobs, or “creeps” similar to other MOBAs?
  7.  Any plans to include a match-only item shop as seen in other MOBAs?
  8. It was stated there are 40 levels to each account, what comes along with this advancement?
  9. With six possible team members, are you planning on adhering to typical MMO archetypes?
    1. Are you planning on sticking with WAR’s archetypes?
  10. WoH appears to be using the same engine as WAR, can we expect similar control schema?

That was enlightening

Gamescon is going on, and a lot of the people I follow on Twitter over at Mythic were reminding me of the EA segment that was going on today. I figured that something interesting may be coming, but more importantly, I wanted to see the new info on Battlefield 3, which I had also been getting pelted with tweets about. So, I happily followed the link, and watched the proceeding panel on my palm-sized phone screen while a software install of Revit processed on my work computer. Good timing!

The small community I’m injected into, and spend the most time with, is probably those who play(ed) WAR, and who still keep tabs on it pretty heavily. So, it’s no surprise that the announcement of Wrath of Heroes is the one being most talked about amongst them. There’s rote reporting, excitement, justification, ambivalence, cautious non-committal speculation, and further disappointment. Suffice to say, the emotional gamut is being run. My thoughts on it are probably not as emotionally swayed as some others at this point, having stopped playing the game with any enthusiasm months ago, and only returning on the rare occasion when I get an itch. My last days in WAR were primarily spent in scenarios, and that craving is almost entirely satiated by LoL. So, while I may agree a bit in part with Rancid’s above-linked post on the de-evolution of ORvR, I also keep in mind, that way-back-when, probably before most of you remember this, WAR was a PvP game of SCs. Keeps, fortresses, and all that wonderful “openness” was not in the picture. The franchise has come full circle, sort-of. Lum said it right when he wrote The engine was just sitting there.

What I’m seeing of WoH, is that Mythic (BioWare, EA, whatever) is trying to dive into the MOBA market. Only in a different way. They seem to be blending TF2 style play with MOBAs. Pre-designed heroes, with a small set of powers, and an account-leveling system that any LoL fanatic will find just like home. Only, apparently you can swap out heroes in mid-match. Which means there’s not likely to be an in-game leveling system (Edit: According to Werit, in his comments section, there is leveling in each match), which means your skills are what they are from start to end. This also means there’s not likely to be any creeps, or item buying that helps make the MOBA style of game work. So, perhaps this is going to be just a fantasy version of TF2, with 3 sides. The three sides thing isn’t to be discounted though, as that is something pretty new to the genre of gaming, and sadly, still rare in PvP MMOs.

I’m curious to see how it will all turn out, but there is no fire lit under me to jump onto the game. I literally know next to nothing about it. It may just be WAR with a bunch of three-team scenarios. In which case, for players like Rancid, it symbolizes a disturbing trend. Players like Mykiel, it just gives them more areas to potentially play around in. For players like myself, WAR became antiquated with one announcement, as all of the notes WoH seems to be trying to sing at first blush, are being pleasantly rung elsewhere in my world.