30 Jan 2013

Season 3 ranked changes

My current ranked stats.

As you may know ladies and gentlemen, the ranked matchmaking system is about to undergo a huge overhaul. And yes, it's actually mostly for the better. I've been trying to find a reference to quote with the specific changes, but I can't seem to find one sadly. Essentially, elo is going out the window. Instead, a ladder system is being put into place. Each division will be divided into Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Platinum. The key change here is that when you move up a bracket; then you cannot move back down.

I've played a lot of normals.

Lots of people I know are excited about this new change, as am I. However, since you can only move up or down within your bracket- instead of dropping down from Gold to Silver, for example; I think that might make it a little too easy for some bad players to climb to the higher ranks with a lot of luck. I mean, what if a horrible player gets carried by his teammates all the way up to platinum, and then becomes a liability for every team thereafter? Besides that little concern however, I think this is a welcome change to ranked that's been much needed for some time now.

Take a look at this handy image if you're still curious about the changes, it's very enlightening:

Middle mouse button or shift click if you can't read it.

I also like to think this new system will bring Riot one step closer to becoming a real E-sport. It will certainly make solo queue less frustrating. Hopefully people will stop raving on about elo hell too. What do you all think? Post a comment and let us know!

27 Jan 2013

Champions that will make you better at LoL

Since all champions are specialized to do a particular job and have completely different skillsets, it stands to reason that mastering certain champs will improve your overall skill at the game exponentially more than others. Therefore to get better at LoL, you might want to prioritize learning to play some characters over others.

In truth, it's a good idea to play everyone at least a couple of times. Once you have played a character in several games you understand how they tick, what situations they can perform well in and their limitations. Perfecting your play on any champion will undoubtedly make you a better overall player. But if you're looking to bring up your game then try some of these guys, because they either have a high skill cap or require you to master mechanics that will help you whenever you play.

Bear in mind, I'm not saying you won't pick these skills up elsewhere or just naturally. I'm just suggesting characters that will utilize a wider variety of tactics or knowledge and generally help you in future matches.

Trueshot Barrage is a free kill at level 6 under the right conditions.

Ezreal- Getting good at Ezreal will accomplish a few things. First, learning to land his ultimate at any distance helps with any global ultimates. It's good to know when to use them, and when the enemy might send one your way. Secondly, Ezreal has two major skillshots that need to consistently be fired accurately to win a trade with any opponent. Skillshots are self explanatory. Many champions use them, so learn to land them or expect to lose. You will also learn positioning and how to escape. A good Ezreal knows when to teleport over a wall, and since it's on a fairly short cooldown it will teach you the limitations of flash when to use it. I've pulled off many effective retreats using flash because I've personally tested them using Ezreal in prior games. Positioning is vital to playing any champion and can dictate whether you get jumped by 4 players or manage to auto-attack them all to death without being touched. Lastly, kiting is a vital skill in any LoL players toolbox. As Ezreal you will mostly be more concerned about taking damage over dealing damage. Even the enemy support can strip chunks off your health if you let them get too close. Ultimately, Ezreal is just a brilliant champion for improving your game play. To master him you need to be doing everything right.

Crescendo is one of the best ults in the game for teamfights.

Sona- I can guess you think Sona has no place on this list. She does. Sona is an easy character to learn, and very easy to succeed on. This is exactly why she's the best support to learn how to support on. While playing Sona you can focus on warding and watching the map without being too concerned about your lane. Map observation is an important skill in every game. If you were watching mid when that Veigar burned his flash then you know he's an easy gank. When I play Sona, I usually ping an enemy coming in to gank other lanes before the lane even notices. There are several AOE stuns in the game, Sona has one of them. If you use them at the incorrect time, your team will not be able to seize the advantage. So learn to utilize her Crescendo when your team is in a position to deal lots of damage. She's also very squishy, one mistake and somebody will probably kill you. That will teach you not to facecheck or be stupid in general.

I love Shyvana.

Shyvana- Shyv has a brilliant clear speed. Which means you have more time for ganking and counterjungling. Both of which are vital skills. Learning to counter people in the jungle is useful for laning too. If you're at bottom lane and you know the enemy Udyr is currently doing blue, you can easily run up and disrupt him. Pulling off a successful lane gank is an even more useful tool- you need to know when to jump in and turn the fight. Shyvana also has the ability to pull off a successful tower dive from level 6 onwards. I see so many opportunities for people to dive and snatch some kills but they pass it up because they are afraid of dying. Check out this Shyvana guide, see if it helps.

Acceleration gate is like a free Shurelya's.

Jayce- I like practicing Jayce because you have to manage a wider set of abilities efficiently. Last hitting can be difficult for him early game if you choose not to waste mana on creeps. Using acceleration gate defensively and offensively can help your team immeasurably. You also need to know when it's the right time to switch into melee and start hammertime. Choosing to switch at the wrong opportunity might net you a kill but you will die in the process. Mastering Jayce means you need to know many nuances about ranged and melee champs, because your range drastically affects your playstyle. Jayce uses both, and therefore you need to know the limitations of melee and ranged. Finally, his knockback is useful for interrupting dangerous opponents. Using it on that Katarina instead of Ashe might save your entire team, so use it wisely.

I hope you understand the merit of learning these champions and the skills they require. If you can think of any other characters that will drastically help you get better at league in general, post a comment and let us know! And vice versa, if you think some of my suggestions are bad; let us know! Hopefully this article helps people, if it does I might post some more useful champions to learn. Good luck improving ladies and gentlemen, it's nice to see players actively looking to perform better every match.

Riot games are getting better by the day

After the brief server complications today I thought to myself; when was the last time Riot really fucked up? I honestly can't remember when they last took the servers down for more than a few hours. Yet a year or so ago it was common for the servers to be crippled for a day or more. Sometimes new champions would be so imbalanced on release I'd stop playing until they were fixed. In short, Riot has overcome no small amount of hurdles to reach the level they are at today.

As a League player since shortly after beta when some champions could get pentakills in their sleep, I have to say Riot games have really come a long way in a short time. It took Blizzard twice as long to get this awesome, and they still fuck up stuff on a regular basis. Although I do not appreciate everything Riot does, for example; Thresh has gotten to the stage where I hate playing against him.

Whilst I've always been quick to hate on Riot games, especially when it suits me- but I admire how much they've developed. I don't believe I've written an article yet about how much I truly love playing League of Legends, and how much time I've spent enjoying Riot's work. Thank you Riot, please continue your great job and don't fuck it up.

Please share a comment with us if you feel the same as me.

25 Jan 2013

7800 IP for a new champion

Doesn't he look like Hecarim a little bit?

So now if you want a champion on release- it's going to cost you 1500 more influence points. For the first week, purchasing a new character is now a ridiculous 7800 IP. I say ridiculous because it takes a hell of a long time to farm 6300- adding over a thousand onto that is just plain overkill. It's a good way to encourage people to buy RP, which I assume is why they changed it. The price drops back down to normal after a week, so patience is your friend here.

7800. Thanks, Riot.

Thresh is the debut champion to show this new change. He looks hella fun too. Everyone is playing him as support, but he sure doesn't look like a fucking support to me. Top or jungle would be my guess. But then again, last game I got hooked and dragged into the tower by him so I can't complain about it being a bad idea.

Anyway, Thresh is a damn good pick- he has insane damage output and armor, and with a little co-ordination his lantern is an incredibly useful tool. I'm not sure how he'll stand up in ranked though. I kinda want to play him, but I'm not paying for it.

What do you guys think of him? Leave a comment, I'd like to see how he's affected your games.

24 Jan 2013

Sleigh Belle Katarina

I wonder who she's beating down.

Well I must say Katarina looks very enticing in this skin. The blades don't look very lethal though! You wouldn't think of our lovely assassin to be filled with Christmas spirit, would you? Kat is very intimidating, even seeing her in such bright dress and blonde hair- she's still pretty scary. Her recall animation also sees her slicing up candy canes.

What's with all the new skins having custom recall animations?

Katarina has always been a favorite champion of mine. If the enemy team forgot to pack enough hard CC- you can really wreak havoc. After the rework she's got a really good farming kit too. Moreover, with the new Liandry's torment she's even more frightening.

I gave that Ashe a Death Lotus, bitches love Death Lotus.

Ingame the skin does look different- but I haven't had the chance to test it out much. I never get to play Kat anymore. I even had to go top to take these screenshots. 

23 Jan 2013

What is with all the complaining about Darius?

So I've seen a bunch of threads and people singing their hearts out about how Darius needs a rework or a nerf over the past few days. There's even a dedicated thread that the reds are avidly posting on with their opinions! My reaction is: what the fuck? Darius is not overpowered. If he were to get a rework it should make him more competitive- not less.

Did I steal my friends wraiths? I'm Darius.

Hell, I've already posted about this once already. I'm a little upset after months of Darius we're suddenly devolving back to this. Darius is a pubstomper. Instead of hitting you for a chunk of damage when you make a big mistake, he will probably kill you. Because he punishes people for being stupid and then snowballs them to death just like he did on release- he's suddenly not fair anymore. Right.

If you're against Darius at top, you don't even have to counterpick him. All you have to do is play safe, farm, and buy armor. If he overextends just a little bit, it's an easy gank for your jungler. If you rush an armor or health item, he can't even burst you down.

Did I just kill someone? Maybe I just couldn't find a good screenshot.

I'd even go so far as to say I like playing against Darius top on most champions. I do what every average player can do with relative ease. I don't feed him. He has little sustain lacks health in the laning phase. Sure, he can be trouble- but if you stay on the ball and concentrate you can always prevail. Starve him from kills and he won't become the wrecking machine we all fear.

For clarification I'm not saying Darius should stay the same. The wiser comments on these QQ threads are correct: Darius needs a little more universal counterplay. Something basic, like changing his bleed to physical damage. But in return, he also needs a very minor buff to mitigate the fact that stacking armor will be even more effective against him. That's what I would call reasonable.

Darius vs Tryndamere ends badly for the one who isn't Darius.

Darius can be very lethal in blind pick matches, but you're playing a game of numbers in that arena. Just because he is strong against most conventional tops that you see in a blind game doesn't mean you won't get countered out of your ass in ranked. Even if you last pick him, in ranked your opponent is just going to turtle his lane. Sometimes it's even possible to swap mid and top, because most mid champions can deal with Darius admirably. In fact, just this week I took Ahri top and told Riven to go mid- Darius got equal farm to me; except for the little bit where I killed him 3 times.

I'd like to call out anyone who thinks that our slam dunking champion is imbalanced. Go play 10 ranked matches in a row as Darius. Post your match history here. Prove me wrong. If you do, I will happily concede- I promise you. It will be embarrassing, but I'm very confident about this.

22 Jan 2013

Bad Santa Veigar

Katarina gets to say hello to some nice Christmas spirit!

Out of all the Christmas skins, Bad Santa Veigar is certainly my favorite hands down. The recall animation alone wins it the victory. I mean come on, jumping into a chimney is just genius. Good job Riot. It would be cool as fuck for him to ride around on a sleigh, but I said that about the skin where he's riding a gryphon too. Why doesn't he ride a gryphon Riot? Why?

Worship the chimney. WORSHIP IT.

The trees around the stun ring are very pretty too, this skin has given me the much needed kick to start playing Veigar again. With the new Deathfire Grasp, he's a terrifying champion too. When I play him in ranked I always get camped, because Veigar is such an easy kill early game. That, and nobody wants to fight against a fed one. In normal, it's like punching a 5 year old child in the face. It's easy, satisfying, but gets boring after a while.

I just can't get enough of dunking people as Santa.

Any Veigar players up in here? Post a comment, let my miniscule audience know how awesome he is! And stop laughing, he is evil.

I promise you Nautilus wasn't being cocky for long.

21 Jan 2013

Dark candy Fiddlesticks

Is that an ice ice baby? I meant pick.

 I've been incredibly busy over Christmas, but it didn't stop me from going a little crazy and buying over 10,000 Riot points. So naturally, I have all the Christmas skins- and a bunch of legacy ones to boot. I didn't get the new Nocturne skin, purely because it costs a stupid amount of RP to buy.

Yes, I did just dive.

So I thought my next few posts should feature a couple of images dedicated to the skins if you haven't seen them already. I'll start with dark candy Fiddlesticks- cause we all know Fiddle is awesome.

Riot have really stepped up their skins recently, in comparison to the old recolors they used to produce. Probably because it's their main source of money. Regardless, I like having skins on the champions I'm good at. Although it does give me extra pressure to play well- if you feed with a skin then you're bad mmkay!

This image was taken prior to me shoving my ice ice pick up her ass.

I like dark candy Fiddle, but I probably should of gotten the surprise party Fiddlesticks instead- just because it fits in with his skill set more. It's still nice, any skin with new textures appeals to me. Now that I think about it, I never even fucking play Fiddle. Ever. Money wasted? I think not.

Good day gentlemen, if you have or want this skin then post a comment on how much you hate me for having and not using it.

Did I ult for the purpose of this screenshot because I'm a noob? Or did Lux flash away? YOU DECIDE!

20 Jan 2013

Finally, a new matchmaking system!

So I've mentioned the issues with the matchmaking a bunch of times in prior posts, so I am here today to proudly let you know (if you didn't already); some smart adjustments have been made to the current process in finding you a game of LoL. You may have noticed an extra minute or two on your queue times. This is because the system now tries to put you against opponents with a similar amount of wins, as well as factoring in the usual stuff, like elo.

I am very happy with this change, although I don't think it should be applied to every game mode. Some players have already commented with their concerns on this; because playing 3v3 or dominion queues can already take some time. However, the change is welcomed by me and most of the people I play with. We all have over 1000 wins, and some of us are nearing 3000. Therefore it's rather dull to be matched against people with less than 500. It's not pleasant for the other team, and it deteriorates our skill levels to play against people who don't challenge us.

Here is the official post on the forums:

"In the latest game update, we rolled out a second beta test of a new matchmaking change that is live in all territories. This change will increase your average queue time by about 30 seconds, but we hope the benefits are worthwhile.

The matchmaker will now take into account the Number of Wins a player has in every matchmade queue (Normal SR, Normal TT, Ranked Solo/Duo, etc).

This means that for the first few minutes, the matchmaker will attempt to find teammates and opponents that have a relatively similar Number of Wins as you in addition to trying to find teammates and opponents that also have a similar skill rating. However, this does not mean it's impossible to get matched into a game with a large difference in Number of Wins--it's just more rare.

We need your help! Please give us feedback on the changes.

PS - RiotKiddington was the dev that did most of the work."
There are also numerous other red posts in the thread (found here), which reveal a little bit more about the fixes. Apparently, the matchmaking ideally will average out the wins between both teams the best it can. For example, if everyone on your team combined reaches a total of 3000 wins, the enemy team should have a similar total.

As Lyte said, they still appear to be beta testing with matchmaking. Hopefully we'll see some other nifty additions in the near future to balance matches. As a closing statement, I must say Riot are just getting better by the week. I still want some new champions though, it's been a while. Riot pls.

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