We keep hearing how "X champ is not fun to play against" or "Y champ has no counter play", I was wondering, what even is "fun to play", "healthy counter play" or "healthy out play", and I for one just can't find an answer.
A few situation I had in-game looked like this: (when I pick up a champ, I mostly play that champ for a bunch of games in a row, hence while Yasuo, Zed and Yi are super common picks, hence why I had so many different experiences against them)
Ahri vs Zed - game 1
I get low while trading with Zed, and I know that if I can land a Charm on him while under tower, I can kill him, but if I stay under tower, he won't even try to ult me, so I go out, bait his ult by using mine, as soon as he ults, I dash back under tower, Charm him and I get my solo kill. He praised me for the smart out play as he didn't expect me to do that and even added me after the game and said it was a fun lane to play.
So in this example, Zed saw it as fair, I did something he didn't expect me to do. It was fair and clean.
Ahri vs Zed - game 2
I'm low, Zed puts his W under my tower and ults for the triple Q YouTube montage, fails because I charm him under the tower and kite him away with the Glacial Augment while he dies because he has no escape. He played himself, he fucked up hard, but he didn't see it like that, what he did was cry how my Charm is unfair and that there was no out play there, just a broken ability with no counter play to it.
So in this example, Zed didn't consider that out play fair nor healthy, after all, you don't call an ability you consider healthy as "broken".
Although both examples are the exact same situation, with the minor difference being that I didn't had to force the Zed to dive me with ult, he did it himself, each Zed saw the situation differently, one considers it fair and an actual out play, while the other calls it broken and without counter play.
Kayn vs Yasuo - game 1
My laner backs, so I'm moving up to cover mid from Yasuo and we start dancing, each one of us dashing around to dodge each other's abilities, I use my E to dodge a Tornado, but after a few more seconds, we both die, I kill him with my ult and Q, but his Ignite takes me down with him. All that dancing took a nice 10-12 seconds, and after we died, he said that it was fun, and to which I agree, it was fun because the first mistake in all that dancing would've died, and I still died in the end as he was 3-0. For him, all that dashing and dodging was fair, neither did something unfair or toxic.
Kayn vs Yasuo - game 2
On the bot lane, Yasuo's split pushing, so I go down there to kill him as Rhaast. Just like with the other one, we start dancing, we both get hit by a knock up so he doesn't have the chance to ult, I dodge one more Tornado with my E and kill him. He starts complaining how Rhaast is OP, as he can't ult me because I dash too much (ok?) along my knock ups. For him, it wasn't fair, he couldn't play as he wanted, I didn't let him do his plan, so it wasn't fun nor fair.
Again, another example of perception, although the situations are almost exactly the same, what one player sees fair, another sees as unfair.
Evelynn vs Yi
This one was simple, as I use W when I see him and wait for him to Q then break the Charm and kill him multiple times during the match, he couldn't do anything about it because of my timing, he kept crying how the combo has no counter play, which let's be honest, it kinda doesn't, but that's for another time. But when our Mundo and Nautilus were calling him OP and without counter play as he was melting either of them in a 1v1, he told them that Yi is actually weak and that he only kills them because he's the better player.
For this one, it shows that for some players, counter play, fairness and healthy kits are only when they do it. We all know that once a Yi is fed, there's no stopping him unless he either fucks up hard or gets hard focused and CC'd. "Just CC him" is the only counter play you hear here for Yi.
In my opinion, in the end, fun and healthy counter/out plays are based too much on player perspective, so you can't balance against that no matter how hard you try. Some will say to "balance for the majority", but then comes the problem, who's the majority that should be balanced for?
- By elo? If that's the case, then why isn't it fair or unhealthy? Is it something that requires co-op between players or a certain amount of game knowledge? If yes, like it was the case with Yorik, should we actually kill the champ so bad players can feel good about themselves instead of trying to teach them how to play better?
- By ban rate? Why is the champion banned in the first place? So many use ban rate as an example of "toxic kit", but, why is the champion actually banned? Too strong? Unfun to play against? Both? Other reasons? Why is it exactly banned? I permaban Shaco because I just don't like playing against him. I tried him, he's just a dumb design, but for others, Shaco is fine and don't have problems with him. We also see bans because they don't want the champion in their team, trolling (people banning Kai'sa so I don't get to play her in the jungle in unranked games), angry bans (I can't tell you how many times my Taliyah got banned because I didn't want to let the guy autofilled go mid), and other cases. In the end, many can't reach an actual and unanimous conclusion for why a champ is banned, so how would you actually balance it around ban rate when the champion although banned, is banned by different people for different reasons?
A vast majority of players don't have fun when they lose, so no matter what they lose against, it's unfun (prepare to see the comment section filled with "but I have fun losing against X, just how from the 3 actual Aatrox mains, when he got reworks, you got the boards filled with "Aatrox" mains who found the new one too complex for them while the old one being S tier right before the rework so they wanted their easy wins back). Many just want to win, they don't want fair and fun games, the games are already fun and fair when they win, but not when they lose. Those people don't want balance, they want a fake balance where they win by doing the same thing every single game. Thinking? Who does that? Sheesh, just ask Rakan. (not saying Rakan is brain dead, calm down and put the pitchforks aside)
A good while ago, there was a player on the boards saying that Akali needs to have enough counter play that she loses lane against any champion if the other player is good enough, but a few comments later said that Zed needs the ability to come ahead regardless of lane and match-up because he is designed to snowball and win like that and if he can't he's useless. Basically counter play in his opinion is based on who he hates playing against and who he plays, he mains Zed? As little counter play as possible. He hates Akali? Needs to die as soon as she enters the lane.
But I want to ask, since many on the boards keep asking for "fair and healthy counter play", what is that actually? Can you give examples?