Saturday, 6 July 2013

League of Legends: A Game of Blame

"Reported"~ Every League of Legends player ever.

If you've played the hit online multiplier battle arena game before, then you can probably relate to the typical scenario of a loss. Even if you were outperforming your team or doing everything by the book, inevitable trolls or just lack of skill in the other positions on your team ultimately end in your 'DEFEAT' at the end of the match. 

But that is online gaming. That is the risk of playing with strangers who are according to the ranking system, in your skill set. It isn't like League of Legends is alone in this known issue. In fact, Microsoft are trying to combat this problem with their release of the Xbox One using a reputation system for each player..

Xbox One's Reputation System
- but unfortunately, I really can't see a system like in place doing much. This is because it's within our human nature to blame others for when things go wrong, and crave appreciation when things go right. Only the near altruistic can accept a loss gracefully even if they performed their best. 

Which brings us back to League of Legends. As an avid gamer, I can safely say that League of Legends is by far, one of the most stressful experiences within gaming that I have ever encountered. It has many problems that can contribute to arguments; it's almost as if summoners log in preparing for a fight. For example, if players aren't arguing for any role but the support position, then they are arguing for an already filled position. The graceful player would accept this and choose another role, but the typical player ultimately sulks, and chooses to be difficult by not choosing what the team needs. 

And if it's not that? The classic excuses."Lack of wards", "lack of ganks", "feeding", etc. Unfortunately, all valid excuses, but as mentioned previously, it's the risk of playing with strangers.

As most can relate, the arguments can get pretty sexist, racist, ageist.. anything with 'ist' on the end. It goes with the whole 'online anonymity' state of mind users get; feeling more confident in their insults and saying things they would never even think of in real life. Riot's one major attempt of player punishment with the tribunal which allows players to judge others was a respectable solution, but alas, has only scratched the surface. Most recently, a player was sentenced to jail for a threatening comment on League of Legends. It's this sort of mentality that causes problems.

So why do people keep coming back? Personally, I have no idea. The game play mechanics seem dated and its essentially the same game every single match. I think that I can assume its because of the feeling of victory. In a game of LoL, victory has to be earned, either through skill against the opposing team, or through skill in connecting and making your team work together. It becomes a game of hoping for a good team, and if not, blaming others. Someone once told me that you have to be good enough to carry your team even when they are bad, and with my experience with League of Legends, that cannot be further from the truth.

Goodbye Teemo
I feel that in it's current state, the game has no return; at least in the solo queue. It becomes a game of hope; hope for a good team even before the game starts. I am certainly not professional, but I can definitely attribute most of my losses to a bad team. My experience has been far too inconsistent and I now feel that I am wasting my time. Maybe I will try again when the next season starts. Maybe then, the community would have established itself, but that sounds too good to be true. Perhaps if Microsoft's reputation system works, Riot Games can attempt their own version, rather than just pairing players up in the same ranks. Otherwise, I feel that the only way to properly succeed in this game is with trusted players that you know. Maybe one day Team 5v5.

Maybe one day.

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