26 Feb 2011

News update

So what's been happening this week at Riot?

They have finally announced the release of Jarvan IV, the long awaited Exemplar of Demacia. Xin Zhao is this guys bodyguard, so surely he's going to be overpowered. Here is the only picture that has been released of Jarvan, a long time ago. This is the only interesting news Riot have posted this week, apart from the various skin price reductions and summoner showcase.

He is allegedly a dps character, hence the giant spear. However, to me he looks like he could easily be implemented as another skin for Xin Zhao. Riot are going to have to be careful with his skills, or he could just end up as Xin mark II.

So what else happened this week? The european servers were horribly broken for the better part of the week, with countless chat and ingame errors. It seems to have cleared up now though, so congratulations EU players, it's a shame you had so much downtime.

I saw some freedom fighters on the EU forums who decided since their forums and client weren't working properly, they thought they could fix the problem by spamming the US servers until they broke down. This was pretty damn funny, because I can't see a grain of logic behind that inspired plan.


The free champions of the week have inspired a lot of QQ on the forums throughout the week, namely about Irelia. I don't have any problem with her balance whatsoever, but since the casuals do; Irelia players buckle down for the incoming nerf.

Other than that, this week has been incredibly baaawring for LoL, maybe they've decided to keep some cards up their sleeve instead of drooling them all over the table which seems to be the usual plan.

I personally am working for a couple more interviews, so hopefully you'll get to see those in the next couple of days. Until then, have a good weekend folks, or what's left of it.

24 Feb 2011

Interview #3

Greetings everyone, whether you are discontent because I missed yesterdays post or here to see my wonderful blog, I have now obtained the long awaited Heat n Serve interview you've all been eager to read (except one guy, he was all "Heat n Serve is overrated").

Heat n Serve is a well respected administrator at the Leaguecraft forums, which can be found here. He is known for his character and mathcrafting guides, which are popular due to his logical builds that are backed up with sound justification. Here is a list of all the guides he has published, incase you want to take a look:

How to Mathcraft: http://tinylc.com/g
Gangplank: http://tinylc.com/d
Mordekaiser 1: http://tinylc.com/e
Mordekaiser 2: http://tinylc.com/Gj
Galio: http://tinylc.com/f
Jungle Malphite: http://tinylc.com/h
Taric: http://tinylc.com/Tp

Before we continue onto the interview, I thought I'd mention this blog has now hit 10,000 views in just over a week! Woo go blog.

I will be using HnS as an abbreviation throughout the interview for Heat n Serve, if anyone has to read this to understand that, then I guess it was worth writing this bit after all.

Let's get onto the interview, shall we?
Me: So, how long have you been playing League of Legends?
HnS: I puchased the preorder in September 2009, which in turn got me an
invite to participate in the closed-beta. Prior to that, I had played
DoTA for about 3-4 years.

Me: What do you think of the game in general? Is Riot taking it in the
right direction?
HnS: I think they are doing a good job removing what they refer to as
"passive play" and other things that make the game less exciting. This
is good for me because I would categorize my play style as somewhat
reckless... lol. 

Me: Do you play with a clan? Or friends?
HnS: A couple college friends of mine play the game with me. I also play
with a handful of people I met through leaguecraft. I always wanted to
start/join a clan, but I really don't have a regular enough schedule to
commit to something like that right now. Fortunately, it doesn't seem
like I'm missing out on too many tournaments at the momemnt. :)

Me: There are a lot of complaints about the idiots and trolls in this
game, does this affect your gameplay too? What is your approach to the
common in-game flamer?
HnS: Absolutely. Instead of focusing on winning the game, I start to focus
on what the flamer will say next. I will act in ways to minimize the
chance I will have to listen to said flamer rage at me (even though
usually nothing will please them or make them shut up). Thus, I stop
making the best move, or hesitate enough that I miss my window of

I used to get baited into doing some flaming of my own, but more
recently I "/ignore"-ed someone who was flaming and it was a smart
decision. I regained my focus and played pretty well from there on out.
I highly recommend using the ignore feature; I know I will be using it
much more from now on.

Me: You are very popular on the Leaguecraft forums, a candidate for
member of the month. What would you attribute this to? Your winning
personality? Guides? Both?
HnS: More than anything, I try to be fair to everyone and be a just admin on
Leaguecraft. In my guides, people will argue against my builds and I
generally defend myself in a civil manner. I like to think people
appreciate the civil (if sometimes heated) discussion that takes place
after I publish a guide.

Not everyone likes my guides, but I at least give a good effort and give
logical arguments for readers. They can then at least walk away and
make an informed decision on how they want to play the champion in
question. I try to provide math when I can, because the math keeps
everyone honest. Sadly, not everyone sticks to the basic principles
which make guides helpful, informative and easy to read. Good grammar,
formatting and organization concepts are in all of my guides. I give
the reader quality so they are more receptive to the arguments I am making.

Me: Recently, Riot have been bought by one of the most influential internet
companies in the world, Tencent. For an astounding $400 million! Would you
say this is a good thing?
HnS: Certainly. Riot has a lot of ideas on the table and right now just
doesn't seem to have the human capital to accomplish all of their goals.
I'd imagine when they get more people, they will be able to give
better support to customers, fix bugs, develop maps, create a forum that
doesn't suck, etc.

Me: Which type of champion is your favorite to play?
HnS: Tanks and Casters are my "go to" champion classes. I play supports
every now and again. I probably play physical dps champions the least;
They lack the complexity and depth of play that I look for in selecting
a champion.

I also tend to play champs everyone thinks are bad. I'm not sure if I'm
out to prove people wrong, or if I just gravitate to making bad
decisions in champ select. :(

Me: If you had to share a house with ANY champion in game, who would you choose 
and why?
HnS: Gragas. I did a little beer brewing of my own with some friends in
college and I wouldn't mind returning to that hobby. I bet Gragas makes
some tasty brews.

Me: And finally, is there anything you want to add?
HnS: /joke

And there you have it! Some enlightening words from Heat n Serve himself! I hope y'all learnt something from this, but if not; then maybe my next interview will be more interesting. If you have any suggestions as to who you want me to harass for some questions to or anything you want me to discuss, let me know in a comment.

Have a good week, and get back here in the next couple of days if you want more content.

20 Feb 2011

Another day another post.

For more comics, go to any of these links:
League comics
More League comics
And some more
Some League comics
Well, guess.

So, last night I had a pretty awesome dream.

Me and my team were losing a LoL game badly. We were killing dragon to catch up, and the enemy team found us when we'd barely started. All of my allies retreated, and I got caught with an exhaust. Now I can imagine at this point in the dream I was probably clawing my mattress, softly mumbling "Noooo....", because that's what I do when I get ganked when I'm awake.

Anyway, while I'm feebly trying escape this gank; I have an alarming epiphany. At this point I'm almost dead. However, I realise at the last moment: I'm Tryndamere.

With a mighty roar, I yell: "I'M TRYNDAMERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (In my dream, and in real life) And pentakill the entire enemy team. For some reason this awoke me from my slumber, to crawl out of bed and post to you today.

Before my sanity is brought into question, let me pose another one. Do you think Trynd is overpowered? Because there has been a surprising amount of QQ on the forums about it recently. I personally think he's a lacklustre damage class with his ultimate being his only utility. The slow is alright, but only late game when you have officially reached god mode status.

The comics are here because they went down so well last time. Enjoy.

EDIT: There seems to be a little misunderstanding about the comics, I have stated in a previous post I did not draw them, but I shall say it again. All credit goes to Omnibus, they are hilarious, and they are very well drawn.

19 Feb 2011

Keep on trollin' trollin' trollin'

So, I've just played a game where a first time Ezreal demanded middle lane from me as Teemo. Without wanting to cause a division in the team, I happily trot off to bottom lane with Mordekaiser. Sure, we have no synergy in the lane, but that's alright anyway, as long as the team hasn't fallen apart.

Sure enough, the game starts and Ezreal dies to Kassadin at level 3. How do you die to Kassadin at level 3? He doesn't even have his main spell, the only spell that Kass is useful for. Ezreal continues to feed, over and over. Until Kassadin is an unstoppable beast, who teleports around the map shutting down all of our lanes whilst spamming us with "Nice try lol!" "You suck."

At this point, nobody can stop him, because he's over levelled and over fed. We get snowballed into a loss. So the question I pose to you is this: Which person is more rageworthy, the Kassadin or the Ezreal?

I choose Ez, because I hate damn feeders.

If you feel like it, share your tales of horrible games that turned worse. This is a tame story compared to some of the games I've had, but it's the most recent. Regardless, I still raged.

Riot should keep the champions of the week as easy mode characters, like Xin Zhao and Ashe. Not that they take less skill to master, but you can pick them up and play without feeding... Too much.

On another note, Heat n Serve has gone on vacation for a week. When he returns, he will be answering my interview questions! So look forward to that! In the meantime, if anyone has a specific person they'd like me to talk to or a specific question you'd like me to ask Heat n Serve, let me know!

And finally, a couple of LoL comics to make you laugh:

18 Feb 2011

Interview #3 CANCELLED

It appears Heat n Serve wasn't able to complete the questions I sent him, which is a shame because I was looking forward to reading it. Anyway, I've been trying to think of some eligible content to publish today.

I thought I'd cover a couple of things, starting with my favorite, Riots inadequacy:

Yesterday, many of you logged in to play League of Legends only to experience bugged IP rewards. As this is not the level of service that we strive to maintain, we wanted to offer all those players affected by these issues something to compensate for their negative experience.
If you logged in and played a game yesterday, your account will automatically be credited with a 10 Win IP Boost. Distribution of the boosts may take up to five days, so if you don’t get yours right away, don’t panic! We haven’t forgotten about you, it just takes some time to credit that many boosts! We apologize for the inconvenience, and for any disruptions to your regular gameplay schedule.
Thank for your patience and for your continued support for League of Legends!

When the new IP system came out, it was flawed and didn't work. Which didn't surprise nor annoy me; I play for fun not for the points. So then Riot announce we get a free boost. And once again, they didn't work. So this post on the news section is their attempt to apologise I guess, because third time is the charm. Amusing as always Riot, when will you get things right. <3

So, moving on. We've all seen the new UI, it's a little more complicated but it looks nice I guess. Vladmir escaped the heavy nerf that we were all expecting, probably by blood pooling out of it. The overpowered bastard.

I'd also like to reveal a few pieces of LoL art that have caught my eye today, League art is always so impressive.
Mhhhm Katarina. Dunno what the background is about, but looks good nonetheless. I'm actually half sure Riot are implementing this as a skin ingame. I'd buy it.
 I thought this was very nice actually, all the League art is so much better than what we see by Blizzard, and that's saying something. Ashe is one of my favorite characters, although she's a little easy to play, except for her ulti.
Now this one just looks like an attempt to remake the DotA loading screen. Fail. No wonder it's not in the game.

That's all I have for you today guys, I'll make sure I get something extraspecial for you tomorrow. For now, just eat your cookie and take a nap.

17 Feb 2011

Maokai spotlight

All past grievances aside, I bring to you today the Maokai spotlight. I've already played a few games laning with him, as my friend tests him out. So far, he seems incredibly useful. Not only does he have uses in the lane with his stun and harassing; his ulti can really benefit you in a team fight too. Take a look at the spotlight if you want to understand more about him.

It's a good idea to watch it, even if it's only so you can understand how to fight against him.

Bear in mind every spotlight makes champions look overpowered, so don't start complaining until you've played him. All I can say so far, is he seems to have excellent synergy with Xin Zhao. Me and my friend have managed to carry several pub games to victory, probably because nobody understands how to fight him yet.

I dislike the fact he has a heal for lane staying power, because it's hard to send him back. 

Anyway, I know this post is a little filler, it's because I'm waiting for the recipient of my next interview. Should be back to normal tomorrow guys, so this is until then.

16 Feb 2011

Interview #2

Hello everyone, it's been two days since my last post, because I've been playing the heroes of the week.  I prefer to test them out when they are released, so I can cut down on my feeding. The thing I hate most about the new heroes, is the abundance of people picking them in normal games and either:

1 - Saying they've never played the character before; and they have no idea how to play it.
2 - Or skipping the whole part where they mention they are a virgin to the champion they have picked entirely, only to feed relentlessly.

Still, it's a good oppurtunity for players to try out all the characters without spending Riot points or IP.

Anyway, today I have another interview for everyone. A forum troll on the official League forums came up with the initial idea to change my perspective from the famous top five ranked players, to the less popular top 15 underdogs. His reasoning was: "Everyone already knows the top five, teach us about the others". I think he was right to some extent, we all know Elementz and Reginald, who here can honestly say they know Samsterlicious?

Samster is currently in the top 20 players for solo ranked, which is quite an achievement. Especially when solo queue is more based on who has the most failers on their side. I managed to get a brief interview with Samster, take a look and see what you think:

1: So, how long have you been playing League of Legends?
Been playing since beta. So basically too long. I was playing Singed before the war
on terrorism.

2: What do you think of the game in general? Is Riot taking it in the
right direction?

The game is really great for a free game. It's fun and addictive. Riot
releasing champs every 2 weeks is a great step in the right direction. If
that direction was money over balance.

3: Do you play with a clan? Or friends? You are currently in the top 15
for solo queue, what's it like playing at such a high rating? Enjoyable?

I'm lonewolf all up in this game. I play with friends. Sadly Riot hasn't
implemented a clan system. Being high rating is cool, it allows people
to think I am better than I actually am. The respect is nice but the
long queue times are not.

4: There are a lot of complaints about the idiots and trolls in this
game, does this affect your gameplay too? What is your approach to the
common in-game flamer?

The idiots and trolls are all up in solo queue. I think solo queue has
turned into who has the least amount of trolls. It's the opposite of lord
of the rings. If someone is flaming a lot in game I usually flame back.

5: Who would you consider to be the best LoL players? Other than yourself
of course!

Bigfatlp and Chauster are the best players by far. Honorable mention goes
to Saintvicious when he isn't randoming in ranked.

6: Recently, Riot have been bought by one of the most influential
internet companies in the world, Tencent. For an astounding $400
million! Would you say this is a good thing?

More money more problems. The only good that can come from this is if they
use that money to hire more people for the alleged "replay team".

7: There are rumors that Riot will use their new money to create a new
game, probably an MMORPG. What do you think about this?

If it's a free MMO that would be a great idea, but I don't think Riot
could put out a good MMO. They can't even put out a good urgot skin.

8: If you had to share a house with ANY champion in game, who would you
choose and why?

I really have no clue. It would be cool to live with a robot so Blitzcrank
would be up there on my list.

9: And finally, is there anything you want to add?
Xpecial is not good at this game.

So there you have it. Beware of Xpecial, he is not good at this game. Anyway, I know the interview today was a short affair, I personally would prefer more information but it depends on how much the player wants to talk, and not on how much content I need.

I have another interview currently in progress with Heat n Serve from the Leaguecraft forums, which should be up very soon, and I know there's a few of you eager to see it. So check back in the next couple of days if you want to read it.

13 Feb 2011

League of Legends interview #1

Hey everyone, today I have something special, opposed to the usual trash I post. This is the first in a series of interviews with some of the most influential and skilled League of Legends players to roam the earth. If you know any players thinking they are worthy of an interview, please comment or email me.

Here it is, presenting an interview with Caddy, a master moderator of the Solomid community, and a great player. Solomid.net features an active playerbase, and plenty of information about League of Legends; including tournaments. There is an interesting upcoming 1v1 tourney, so take a look sometime!

Me: So, how long have you been playing League of Legends?

Caddy: Around the time it came out of beta, I started playing after their first champion Nidalee was released. So close to an entire year.

Me: Wow, so you have more experience than most then. What do you think of the game in general? Is Riot taking it in the right direction?

Caddy: I love the game play, I have always been a fan of RTS and MMO's and this is the best of both worlds, working together as a group to complete a global goal. And I have been playing for a long time and have seen tournaments, I have hung out with the best of the best and even had long talks with people at Riot about what is wrong with champions and all those good things. And I do not think Riot is taking the right path with their game. They began at competitive play, then they started making the patches for the generic gamer, and then they started to over nerf champions and make them to weak - then too strong. They were going for competitive, which I was fine with, now they are going for just user friendly. But they cannot have both - which they are trying to do.

Me: I agree with entirely on this, just today they announced new competitive tournaments, after nerfing Vladmir, Rammus, and Anivia - All of which I believe were unjustified except for Anivia.
Anyways, moving on. A little more about yourself. A lot of people on the Solomid.net forums look up to you, do you mainly play with a clan? Or just friends?

Caddy: Mostly friends - I use to, and still do play with people I usually met while playing. Instead of going out and finding people, who I don't know are good; when I could friend them after I know they do well. I have tried to play with multiple clans, but they are just uninteresting, they think of themselves too highly. And now I am playing with people on Solomid.net. So that they can see what people at higher levels of play are doing to help them become more skilled at the game and have more fun!

Me: Are you not a fan of Hotshot and Elementz then? There are a lot of complaints about the idiots and trolls in this game, does this affect your gameplay too? What is your approach to the common in-game flamer?

Caddy: Hotshot and Elementz are good players and I respect them, and the work they do for the community. Though they may not realize it. Hotshot gets thousands of viewers a day while playing, inspiring people to play themselves and recently Elementz started up his own site for people to go and spend some spare time. And I also respect his Tier list, it gives you generality on where champions belong. But I think people take it too seriously and think if you are not a tier one champion you are 100% bad and should go double check Elementz tier list. Because I am a fan of Gangplank and I have never seen him high, but I know when put into my hands he becomes a very deadly champion - so you cannot always rely on general placements of heroes. And for the flamers, normally I just ignore them - more so as of lately I don't encounter them to much since I am always running 5 man premades. Otherwise I usually ignore them because if you egg them on it only becomes worse.

Me: That's an excellent piece of advice folks, you should try it sometime. So in the high skilled matches of the game, who would you consider to be the best LoL players; other than yourself of course!

Caddy: Well the ladder used to be pretty accurate, but as of recently it's just people climbing the ladder because large amounts of wins and you get more + Rating when you win than when you lose. But the greats that I look up to and are still around are; Reginald, Bigfatjiji, Chauster, Dan Dihn, ManyReason, Laoching, grandjudge, ScarletDoom, and Lilac. Of course, they all have something I don't! And that for now will have to remain a secret.

Me: Awww, well at a guess I'd say their secret was hacks. So recently, Riot have been bought by one of the most influential internet companies in the world, Tencent. For an astounding $400 million! Would you say this is a good thing?

Caddy: Well sadly I never had heard of them up until now. I guess it's a good thing Riot will actually make some money outside of small sponsors their store and their merchandise, and now they can take the time to give us better things like servers, and a non crashing client and a non lagging browser!
But I do not like the fact they already sold their game - I mean they could of waited it out and rolled the dice, and hoped their company got bigger and sold it for even more, because this game is FREE! So making 400mil. Isn’t bad at all, so glad for them, but I hope they don't let it ruin their game, or they give up because they made big money. I just hope they flip the money the right way!

Me: I'm surprised it was worth $400 million as it stands, they must be making a killing off merchandise and skins. There are rumors that Riot will use their new money to create a new game, probably an MMORPG. What do you think about this? Do you think it could be true?

Caddy: It will more or likely be true, you always want to keep on pace, and release new games to keep people happy and earn money. Especially after a large company picks them up - they just want to make money. Nonetheless what they do with it is fine with me. I enjoy this game and I am not going anywhere for a while. Though I hope it doesn't take of too much of what they are currently doing to ruin what I am already enjoying! But if they do release something I would be more than glad to try it out and see what they have store; I can only imagine tons of hot girls with big cans!

Me: Haha, lets hope so. They are gonna have to be pretty big cans to take on Blizzard in their own dominion. Okay, instead of keeping you all night here's one last question: If you had to share a house with ANY champion in game, who would you choose and why?

Caddy: Well.. I think my girlfriend would be upset if I picked one of the girl champions. So my first choice would be Shaco no doubt. Though he would most likely spend his time trying to kill me I think it would be more than entertaining. I feel like I share of some of what he is. He is the enigma of the shadows and that is something I have always been enthralled with - I spent one summer back in high school writing a 130 page short story about a boy who just lives in the shadows, and doesn't know what is going on with his life and is something he does not understand. Nonetheless, though the lore is short and a bit sketchy I really enjoy what Shaco is about, I would love to hold a conversation with someone so detached with reality they find humor in everything. I always enjoy a good laugh and find humor in everything, and I could only imagine with a psychotic killer clown in my house to crack a few jokes with, there would be non stop humor!

Me: Wonderful choice. I think Shaco spent too much time on 4chan, that would explain his attitude. Caddy, thank you very much for giving me your time and such detailed answers. Is there anything final you'd like to say to the audience out there?

Caddy: Yes! I'd like to thank you for choosing me for a candidate for your internet blog. I would also encourage people to stop by Solomid.net sign up and check out our streams, and feel free to add me in game or message me on Skype if you ever need anything. I also want to give a shout out to my boys - PyronicEX, icsmurfs, and Quiet for carrying my heavy head sometimes for free wins!

So there you have it everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading and come back for the next interview.

If you are interested in signing up for the 1v1 tournament, here is the link: Click me

Riot introduce paid tournaments! Finally!

A new post on the League of Legends website:

You asked for organized weekly tournaments and we’re here to deliver!
We saw how the ESL Go4LoL & Master Series provided an awesome experience for our European competitors, so now we want to bring all of you the same experience on this side of the pond.
The ESL will be running two competitions for North Americans:
  1. The Go4LoL Tournament Series starts with weekly $100 one day tournaments that culminate in $1,000 finals for the teams that earn the most placement points during the month.
  2. The National ESL Premier League will be an invite division where the best of North Amerca compete for $5,000. The top teams will be invited to compete against their European counter-parts in the ESL Major Series. Stay tuned for more details on this division.
All of these events will also be a part of the Season One Circuit, which means that the top eight teams in each event will earn Circuit Points that advance them ever so closer to being invited to the $100,000 tournament at the end of Season One. You can find the North American standings here.
The first qualifiers start this weekend, so what are you waiting for? Sign up a team today and start practicing.

The first thing I will say is, AWESOME. There's been a lot of posts on the Riot forums regarding competitive play recently, and this is the first step in the right direction. This is a wonderful way to encourage players to practice and play to win. I am behind Riot on this one all the way.

Whilst I will not enter myself, I hope plenty of people sign up for this. I will be watching all the live streams though, so I can put on my coolface when someone makes a mistake and brag to my friends about how I'm so much better.

It appears the massive success of the Go4LoL tournaments have finally gotten Riot's attention. This could be a new beginning to the League of Legends, because as of now, the game is considered "casual". When I hear this, it really pisses me off, despite the fact it's true. LoL is a game orientated for casual players, even in ELO. Of course a common player couldn't reach the top rankings, but average players can meet a fair amount of success in ranked matches. I play the game to win, and I'd like to play competitively, when I've had a few hundred more games of practice.

I really hope these tournaments bring a new era of play to LoL, because I know there's a lot of us out there that want there to be a more reliable and skilled playerbase.

Good job Riot, you managed to announce a change that most people will find favorable. The only downside I can see is a drastic influx of elitist players. Actually.... That's not good. Really not good. Oh dear.

12 Feb 2011

Patch Preview #4

So, the new preview is out, with a lack of video this time. Not that anyone really cares about that, nobody likes to hear the Riot devs talking crap anyway. Oh and a reminder to those that think I'm hating on Riot. I enjoy League of Legends, it's an excellent game that I've spent plenty of hours on.

But you can't consistently praise them, they aren't anyway near perfect, and there's plenty of pitfalls within the game that need to be changed. Besides, who reads a blog that thinks the sun shines out of Riot's arses anyway?

So, moving on. Let us take a look at what they have mentioned in this preview:

Survivability and Items

For this patch, we’re taking a look at survivability items that provide a ton of cooldown reduction. Due to the higher base damages of bruiser-style characters, this combination of CDR and damage mitigation was particularly powerful. We ultimately found that many items had excessively inexpensive CDR. With this in mind, we took a swipe at Spirit Visage, Frozen Heart, Glacial Shroud and Soul Shroud to bring these values more in line. This isn’t the only change to tanky DPS that we have in mind, and you can expect more comprehensive adjustments for a future patch.

Well, this doesn't seem like a very logical change to me. If the bruisers damage is too much with cooldown reduction, why not just reduce the bruisers damage at higher levels? What if a "none-bruiser" wants to stack CDR? It won't be as viable. I think instead of confronting the issue indirectly through the items, they should just nip the problem in the bud.

It's that time again. What's next? NERFS!

Champions Changes

Vladimir remains a problematic champion who -- while not explicitly overpowered -- nullifies a lot of meaningful interactions between players and tends to snowball more heavily than others due to the gold value multiplier of his passive. We reduced this value, along with making Sanguine Pool a little less of a “get-out-of-gank-free” card, while retaining its anti-focus-fire mechanic. This included some long-awaited bug-fixes to Sanguine Pool, which should affect his pre-level 6 tower diving.

The only change I see as justified here, is the sanguine pool nerf. Vlad can get out of anything with it, which isn't exactly fair, since if he plays cautious he's positively ungankable. The rest of the nerfs just seem a little overkill to me.Well, not overkill, it's the haters on the forums ruining a pretty balanced class. Vlad has been steadily nerfed since his release, and the only reason is he has this "get out of jail free card" on such a short cooldown.

Also, while we’d done some smaller nerfs to Rammus over the last couple patches, we decided to hit the speed on powerball by 15% in order to make his chase/CC combination a little bit less of a sure thing. We’ll be keeping an eye on this change over the course of the patch, and evaluating it to see if this has the intended impact.

Rammus has steadily been nerfed into the ground for the last month. To be honest, I hate that damn powerball, so I'm happy with this. Even so, a little overkill again. They should have done this earlier instead of the other nerfs. Rammus will still be banned in ranked, but I think that will be due to the past fear of him, instead of the present.

Anivia’s lane harass was proving too easy to pull off for too high of a reward. To address this, we increased the mana cost of pulsing (quickly activating and deactivating) Glacial Storm and lessening the slow duration. This will reward leaving it down longer a little more, but make her R-to-E lane harassment less of a free-be.

This change is very good, Bird, as I like to call her, is damn overpowered and needs a slap. I think she'll be recieving more than this over the next month, if only because of the forum QQ. What I dislike about Anivia, isn't the pulsing, it's more the incredible burst that she can pull off at low level. However, I don't think it should be changed, I believe Anivia is in a good stage right now, it's the other champs that need bringing up to her level. 

So, what's last but most definetly not least on Riot's preview?

Ryze: A Legend Reborn

Finally, we took time to give Ryze a needed overhaul, updating his design to make his gameplay more unique.
Ryze has always had a ton of burst damage potential, along with a repeatable, single-target. However even with a very powerful ultimate and a substantial amount of AoE damage he wasn’t reliable enough as a champion. Players didn’t have an incentive to select Ryze when alternatives such as Annie have a stronger upfront burst.
With Ryze we decided to attempt a new type of champion design: a ranged, caster-carry. We worked to turn him into a champion that dished out sustained DPS and has a powercurve similar to a standard ranged physical carry. In essence, Ryze would become the Ashe of magic.
In order to achieve this, we started by dropping the base damage of Ryze’s spells across the board. To compensate, we added scaling along a stat that increases with each level (in this case mana), since champions don’t gain ability power with level. Next, we reduced his cooldowns significantly, turning him into a sort of spell machine gun. Finally, we increased the range on his abilities in order to give him better options for kiting strategy.
Ultimately, we wanted to create a character that would thrill those players looking for a high skill-cap champion with an active, fast-paced play style.

When I read this, I raged. Why, you ask? BECAUSE RYZE IS ALREADY OFF HIS BOX! I hope this is a troll, I really do. Have you seen Ryze hit the enemy team with his ulti up? It practically kills the lot of them! I sense a disturbance in the force, because Ryze is the new jedi in town, and he's five Luke Skywalkers rolled into one. I wouldn't say he's unbalanced, he's one of the only mages without a skillshot though, which makes him very easy to play compared to the other mages.

I'm glad to see Riot kicking it up a notch and finally doing a revamp. They should be doing this more frequently!

So everyone, thoughts?

11 Feb 2011

Riot vs Bots

As you guys may have noticed, Riot have recently done a live test game against their new AI to show off the programming. I must say they have improved, although I just don't see how they could be programmed to compete with players. Too many variables.

And I really hope Riot are better players than this, and they tanked the loss to show off the bots.

LoL comics and funny images

 I stumbled across a few of these on the Leaguecraft forums the comics are made by Omnibus, credit goes to him. If I find more I'll be sure to post them. The animation with Ezreal and Garen is what made me laugh. Out of all the characters Garen stomps, ezreal has teleport so he will usually escape?

So, Maokai.

This is my first post on this blog, and I must say Riot have given me ample topics to discuss. But a quick introduction is in order. Hi, welcome to my League of Legends blog, I will be posting frequent comments on the game and it's many great points and possibly even greater mistakes. Feel free to comment with whatever you want, be it flame or compliment.

Anyway, moving on. Today i'm going to talk about Riots choice in new content.

The new champion has been announced. Maokai, the twisted treant is set to be released next tuesday, keeping in with the bi-weekly deadline Riot uses to introduce new heroes. Despite this system being incredibly flawed, it's a refreshing way to keep players entertained by giving them a consistent guarantee of new content.

What stands out about Maokai, is the clear fact that he has been stolen from HoN, the other competitor to DotA and League of Legends. If you are a Riot obsessed lover, which you really shouldn't be because of their abysmal customer service, stick this in your pipe and smoke it.

Deadwood - Heroes of Newerth
Maokai - League of Legends

I mean, come on - this can't be coincidence. Whilst they look remarkably similar, the real question is: did Riot intentionally steal this design?

At a guess, I would say yes. One thing League of Legends has always retained is it's creativity, but with this new attempt at copying one of the two treant characters in HoN; makes me think they stole all their other ideas too. Now I'm not going to preach about originality in games, that's just incredibly stupid. I mean, look at World of Warcraft or Call of Duty for God's sake. They are the world's most popular games and they stink of copied and recycled concepts.

However, what I will preach about, is an obvious theft from the only rival competitor in the so-called "MOBA" game genre. Did Riot fall behind on their schedule and just take the easy way out? We'll have to wait and see. I think the skills of this new champion will reveal the answer. If they are similar to HoN, we'll know.

For those of you who never played HoN, here are the skills of Keeper of the Forest and Deadwood (from what I can remember):

-AOE snare with a delay
-Ability to run through the trees in the terrain and gain speed/damage
-A punch attack that arcs out in a cone shape, stunning and dealing massive damage
-Picks up a tree, can be used for more attack damage or to be thrown at the enemy

Keeper of the Forest
-A shield that can be placed on allies, granting health regeneration and armour
-Placeable ward that can be used on trees for map control
-AOE disable that can lock down the enemy team
-Invisibility that can be cast whilst next to trees

So summoners, make sure you watch out for skills that are closely related to these, because that means Riot are being lazy with their new investment money from Tencent. Well, more lazy than usual anyway.

Even though HoN has transferred characters over from DotA, they managed to tell the community their intentions prior to making the character. What annoys me about LoL, is it looks like they've tried to hide the fact they are using one of HoN's heroes as a template for their own. Either that or the forum mod team failed harder than usual.

If you managed to get this far, well done. The last thing I shall say is, despite my little rant about Maokai, I do think a lot of characters in LoL are original and fairly well executed, if not balanced. So good on you Riot, take it with a grain of salt, you bastards.

I have also found a list of beta skills that Maokai might use, sourced from PC gamer:

  • Q: Maokai’s arms resemble Hellboy’s: one average sized, one large enough to knock out an elephant. Maokai’s Q makes him slam his trunk-arm into the ground, sending a shockwave rippling through the earth towards the enemy. The shockwave acts as a line nuke, similar to Ezreal’s Essence Flux (W) ability. Originally, the wave resembled Kassadin’s Force Pulse (E) and granted Maokai bonus armor, but the result was a messy spell that just didn’t fit.
  • W: His bread-and-butter initiating move. Maokai explodes into a multitude of arcane splinters, phasing out of existence for a brief moment in order to reform at the feet of an enemy champon, growing out of the ground underneath them to damage and root them in place for a few seconds. This ability is single-target (imagine if Master Yi’s Alpha Strike (Q) stunned a champion instead of jumping between enemies) and is not channeled, as Maokai ceases to exist during the spell, similar to Alpha Strike.
  • E: Like the Vulture’s spider mines from Starcraft. Maokai plants an acorn into the ground, which lies in wait for a unfriendly passerby. Once it’s found a target, the acorn will pop out of the ground and run to the enemy champion, exploding for light AoE damage when it gets there. This is great for traps, keeping an eye on enemy movements in the jungle and useful in team fights due to its small AoE damage. It can also be used as a scouting tool, similar to Teemo’s Noxious Trap (R), but Maokai will be much more limited in the number that he can place.
  • R (ultimate): Maokai’s ultimate ability fits right into the current meta-game, where teamfights often decide who wins or loses a match. Think of it as the defensive version of Anivia’s Ultimate. Maokai creates a placeable AoE that drains mana per second while active. Allied champions standing in the area will receive more and more Magic Resist as the spell absorbs damage. It can be maintained as long as Maokai has enough mana, but it’s costly, so we never had it on for more than 6 or so seconds. When the ability is toggled off, Maokai’s cooldowns will be reduced according to how much damage was absorbed during the spell. If you soak up enough spell damage, you can reach a threshold that will, in essence, allow you to double-cast your other abilities as magic flows back into Maokai.
  • Passive: Maokai’s passive gives him some decent staying power early on in the laning phase, when champions are casting spells to ensure last-hits and harassment. He gains increased health regeneration when champions near him (enemy or ally) cast spells.
Well, if Riot sticks to these then Maokai should be a fairly unique champion. He has a stun, a ward, and his ultimate may or may not be gamebreaking. We'll have to wait for the spotlight and see!

EDIT: Just to clarify for the fools out there: I know HoN weren't the first people to imagine a living tree. I don't know how you can summarise that from this article, because I never said such a thing. A simple explanation would be - Riot used the idea directly from HoN, regardless of whether the treant archetype came from lord of the rings or an old mythology.

How could anyone think that one of their devs stumbled across a musty tome with ancient talking tree lore and then decided it would be a good idea for their game. Of course they didn't jackasses, they stole it from HoN.

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