If you've seen me around the boards, you might know that I usually defend Riot and their decisions - because I think they do a good job and don't get enough credit.
However, ever since last mid-season I've been slowly playing less and less, and having less fun watching competitive. I mean I remember first half of last season I'd grind SoloQ in my free-time, and wake up 4 AM on SKT or KT days to watch LCK. Now I'll just watch highlights, and I can digest Bo1s in the background. I barely play ranked anymore (just placements this season)
I think that Riot has made the game less **fun** over the years. I will not say the game is "less balanced" because I honestly don't think so. Maybe the game has evolved into something different, but I think the game is just a lot less fun. But it wasn't until very recently (mid season 7) and now season 8 where it started going drastically downhill.
It would be REALLY easy for me to jump on the ADC hate train and be like "OP for 7 seezons Rito nerf plz" but I don't think that's the problem - the game was VERY fun for me season 5/6/half of 7 and we still had ADCs there. It'd be easy for me to say "tunk meta rito nerf" let's not kid ourselves, tanks are always gonna be a good pick and LS explained why "tank metas" will never end - but that's not what makes it unfun (tanks should be a good, safe pick - but not top tier). It's something _untangible_, like I can't put it into words exactly - but I will try.
**Disclaimer:** I'm not saying it was _perfect_ before, but I **enjoyed it** a hell of a lot more.
The best series I ever watched? ROX vs SKT worlds 2016. Actually I liked Worlds 2016 a hell of a lot more than Worlds 2017.
Faker smashing other mids and creating pressure to solo-carry games. Smeb or Cuvee insta-deleting teams with their great positioning of Kennen. Peanut rolling over teams with his Olaf. PraY calculating damage/cooldowns and flashing into a 1v3 to secure the ace.
Notice why it was so great? Because individual players shined so much. It's so much fun to see your favorite player making the big game-winning plays. I'd say this was true even before MSI season 7. You still saw Smeb's Fiora taking over games. Huni getting 90K damage on rumble with nutty ults. Faker 1v3ing with his Katarina.
Now? It feels like either a) It's too risky to try to do ANYTHING because it'll get snowballed b) Fuckfest where teams ram their heads at each other in coin-flip teamfights, just taking 5 barons because its gone by the time they can contest.
It just isn't fun to watch... it doesn't feel like the better team is winning - it just feels like whoever won a coinflip even teamfight won the game (not ALL the time - but a lot more than before)
**Damage is too high**
Tanks don't feel tanky anymore. Carries feel EVEN squishier.
I think that this is a **root** problem for what's to come (I will talk about it later), but in itself it also makes the game less fun to play.
It makes the game a _kill or be killed situation_ - which is fun for no one. Now I'm not a Jax/Darius/Renekton player, but I did play my share of Hecarim/Volibear/Udyr. You can INSTANTLY tell the difference in playstyles from early season 7 to now.
In early season 7 I would go in as Hecarim, chunk someone, try to get a good ulti off, and pump out a few 3-5 man Qs to soften up the enemy team. Or with Udyr, I'd run in with my shield, drop a flame on their team, and go out before they broke my shield (if you played Udyr well, you DIDN'T even need health items because you'd in/out with your shield and be tanky).
Now? If I go in as Hecarim, I try to chunk/1-shot an important carry, and then I have to either ult their carries or more often ULT OUT. Seriously. even with ghost AND E I will not cover enough units before I die, building ALMOST FULL TANK (besides triforce); I SHOULD be able to eat 1 sec CC without dying. Or with Udyr, I NEED to build health because even if I try to drop a flame on their **frontline**, I will get insta-chunked for half my health - god forbid I get CC'd. So now its just better to build Tiger and try to 1-shot people point & click. Fun & interactive gameplay.
To feel tanky now, you NEED some bullshit % damage reduction OR an item that **doubles your god damn health**. Seriously.
In terms of competitive - it makes it FAR FAR too risky to siege like you did before. I mean before if you had a 10K gold lead the game was pretty much over. Now? At least in a competitive environment they simply can't siege. 30 seconds into the siege, both teams hit each other for 80% health in like 1 second (even on tanks). Suddenly both teams have to base - but the defending team has base advantage so the siege epicly fails. Creating a 90min fuckfest.
P.S.: Nerfing crit isnt' the solution. Top tier ADCs are still Varus/Kog (rageblade/bork/wits end, if runnans is too expensive they'll skip it too). Jhin/MF and other lethality users will take Trist/Twitch's place.
IMO crit should be **removed** from the game and ADC itemization reworked - its no fun for anyone. It pigeonholes ADCs into full glass-cannon builds which makes it so team reliant and stressful to play, and to play against. You can't diversify your build without giving up SO much damage - so its not worth it to let's say... build Randuins if you're having a lot of trouble. e.g.: if you take Merc over BT even, thats 15 AD, aka 15 * 2.5 (crit) * 2.5 (atk speed) = 93.75 damage PER SECOND (or ***500*** DPS if you built randuins intead). Instead if ADCs scaled linearly, it would simply be 15 damage (or 80).
**Splitpushing is no longer a viable strategy - in turn makes bruisers/assassins weak**
I see a lot of posts talking about _why_ assassins and bruisers are weak. I'm sure they have their itemization problems etc, but honestly triforce has... always been this expensive. Assassin builds are fairly cheap.
There's a reason assassin winrates/play rates as well as bruiser win rates/play rates drop as you get _higher elo_ - because the higher elo you go (as we all know) the less effective split push gets.
Riot has been moving away from splitpush for ages now, but right now its worse than ever. Bruisers/Assassins were NEVER good in teamfights (at least compared to tanks) - and when they were, they were overtuned as shit. But assassins/bruisers biggest strategy was to splitpush and draw valuable teamfight target to a side lane - and potentially 1v1 them (or escape a 1v2). Like at what point was zed considered good at teamfighting? Never. He just sat in a sidelane and maybe? flanked but mostly tried taking turrets. Same with the likes of Jax/Fiora/Renekton.
The problem lies with
a) Damage being too high - as I stated before. Even with TP if your team gets engaged on properly - its often too late for you to make any meaningful difference, they're already dead.
It's not that splitpushing is COMPLETELY gone, you still see it. But often its more of like a "semi-splitpusher" which pretty much gets lane priority but its only useful to get deep vision/pressure around baron - its not like they invest a lot into the splitpush itself (getting tier2 is unlikely, inhib tower is suicide).
a-b) Turrets being weak - I will go over this later, but I will explain that it has nothing to do with turrets being weak, but rather also caused by damage being too high. It makes it too easy to dive your team 4v5/they have to give up the turret. This is more SoloQ than competitive (where waveclear is broken and people are deterred by the fact that teamfights are so coinflippy with the damage and your carries being instagibbed is a possibility).
PS: I do not think bruisers don't need any _other_ help. It's not about them being good/bad - its about their playstyles being stripped from them and making them unfun to play - whether they are good or bad doesn't mater.
**Turrets are too weak**
This has nothing to do with turrets being too weak - please do not buff turrets!!!
It is caused by damage being too high. Let's be honest, turrets under 2+ man sieges, especially after early game, have ALWAYS fallen pretty quickly. Also turrets have **never** done _that_ much damage. Seriously. They also _still_ do a fair bit of damage. The problem isn't the turrets tankiness/damage - its HOW EASY it is to dive them/poke you out of them.
So what do I mean here? Well when damage was lower - the enemy would take 3-4 tower shots trying to kill you because they couldn't apply their damage fast enough. Or maybe a late-game 5v5 dive a tank might have to tank an actual 15+ shots which is quite a lot. Now? You get insta-gibbed while the tower only has time to dish out 1, maybe 2 shots. Of course it doesn't "do damage" when its only dishing out 1-2 shots. The solution IS NOT to increase tower damage, it is to _lower champion damage_.
Let's not even fucking begin to talk about all the tower rest mechanics that have been introduced **recently**. Just to name a few:
Kled passive, Camille ult, Reksai ult, Eve ult, Kayn ult, Ekko ult, TK eat. Also stopwatch. Fun.
**TL;DR:** Solo skill expression has been taken out of the game and made into a team reliant game. Sadly Bruisers/Assassins do not fit into this picture properly, and of course ADCs will be the centre of attention because they are the most consistent form of reliable damage (and always have been, but it didn't matter before because you weren't FORCED to teamfight and had different macro strategies).
**This is not a post about balance, I won't claim that the game is less balanced now than before - but it is less fun**
_I might've missed something or maybe even misinformed you, and please feel free to correct me. These are just my thoughts as an invested league player_
There is so much more I'd want to talk about, but I don't have the time right now. Thanks for reading.