I'm honestly not sure where to put this. So I'll throw this here. It's... a bit of a rant, I suppose, but one trapped up in the vestments of an honest discussion/letterpiece.
Today, I saw that Normal Draft is being removed from most servers. Luckily, my server (NA), is not affected, yet, but I have no doubt with the statement "In an ideal world we'd like to retire Normal Draft in all regions." that eventually, Normal Draft will come to an end. And with the removal of Team Builder, and no discussion about replacing Normal Draft, this most likely means that our non-ranked options would then be custom games, alternative maps, vs AI, or blind pick, none of which have ever appealed to me.
I play this game a lot with friends. Many of my friends are nervous about or dislike ranked for some reason or another, but want to retain the trappings of competitivity with draft mode. Many (myself included) hate mirror matchups, the "First come first serve" mentality of blind pick role calling, and the less competitive playerbase. Many of these players are also people that I would not necessarily want to play ranked with for various reasons (Some are ranked enough lower or higher than me that duo queueing with them would be impossible. Some are more laid back and dislike ranked. Some I mostly or only play with with a group of other people, and while I like doing that in an unranked environment, I very much dislike doing that in a ranked environment where it often feels like taking a gamble with your mmr/lp unless all of you have practiced.)
This, in addition to recent jungle changes, which, from what I've seen and heard, do not appeal to me (I feel like it's not a good sign when my attitude has become "How can I minimize and survive these changes" rather than "Oh boy, these changes look awesome!") in the slightest, both camp changes, respawn changes, removal of smite buffs, and of course, plants.
These recent Riot decisions have led me to stumble upon a probable realization. I'm most likely just not your target audience or playerbase. Maybe I never was. I understand that I am probably in the minority on a lot of these issues. And I'm reasonable enough to realize that maybe I'll love all of these things. And who knows, maybe I misinterpreted the part on Normal Draft, or Riot has some sort of super duper special awesome draft planned that'll be 10x better. But with the facts I have right now, I don't think it's too unfair that I've come to the conclusion that this game really just isn't for me anymore. Maybe I've changed. I know it has. And it sucks, honestly, seeing a game you love change in ways that you just don't find fun anymore, or take out bits of itself that you enjoyed above all else. I'm sure that a lot of reworked champion mains get me there.
I'll be playing for a while more. I still have some climbing I want to do, I still have some goals this coming season that I'd like to at least try for, but I'm starting to get the feeling that it might be close to time for me to move on from this game.
I dunno. I feel like this is just a big whine post, but I felt like putting it out there. I guess with all the complaining and people being up in arms recently over changes. I feel you. It sucks. But I guess at some point maybe it's just time to sit back, try it out, realize there's nothing we can really do to change it, and then, if those changes really aren't okay, maybe it's time to realize that we may not be the target audience, and move on to something that suits us better. That's my plan.