Riot, It's Time for You to Take Action. Now, Not Later

Because I want to write this as calm and as rhetorically as I can, I've waited a few days to type this out. Riot. Make no mistake, you cannot hold back on this. You will lose a vast amount of potential customers if you do not step up and take action on one of the biggest problems around. This is the elephant in the room. The thing discussed rarely, but mostly shoved under the covers. The thing we like to pretend just doesn't exist much, when it does. You know, people like to believe that the game is too toxic for new players to join. But that's simply not true. Some of my old High School friends (we're all in our early twenties now) have come to play this game. They aren't very good-- at least, a couple of them. One of them did manage to learn well and it was impressive. But these are the types of players that would be targeted most and harassed. The "noobs." The ones who are "just bad." I grew up with these people; they aren't just faces behind a computer screen but rather friends I've had for a long long time. Genuine people who are going to school, who are working jobs, who are enjoying life. They aren't in their mother's basement; they have money, money that they would like to spend on things that make them happy. And of course, video games make us happy, don't they? But this game isn't too toxic for new players to join, because I actually haven't heard that complaint too much from them. They want to get better and improve, and while I'm sure they've had their fair share of toxicity in their games, they haven't told me much about it, so I can tell that they're more than happy to play this game regardless of that. They only want to learn, they just want to get better. And there lies the issue. While _they_ can get better, anyone I currently talk to about joining this game cannot. You know, there's this weird notion that new players don't exist in League. But that's simply not true. It's not just smurfs and old players; new people do join and do come to love this game. And Riot, they would love to spend money on their game. You know, I learned in an economics class a long while back that the funny thing about economics is this-- who benefits from transactions? All parties do. If something's too expensive, it's not paid for. If somethingt's too cheap, the seller just raises the price. When you get to the proper point, you get the equilibrium price. What does this fancy jargon mean? It means that when someone pays for something, the seller (in this case Riot Games) and the buyer (in this case the player) are both happy. These players are happy with your game and are enjoying it. But in order to enjoy it, they have to learn how to play it. I'm not talking about a high level of play like Diamond, think lower. I'm not talking about entry level Ranked play, think lower. I'm not talking about pre-30 Normals matches, think lower. I'm talking about the bare fundamentals. The games where you learn how to auto attack. The games where you learn to use your abilities. The games where you learn why Bloodthirster isn't a good buy on Ryze, and why Ashe really doesn't need that Luden's Echo (because, despite your dreams, AP Ashe isn't actually a thing.) The games where you start this very game in, where you learn how to start your journey in the League of Legends, on Summoner's Rift. And these players cannot because of one big massive problem. Bots. I've been smurfing a lot lately, trying to get my level 23 account to level 30. I want an account where I can relax in Ranked and, while I will definitely be trying, I can feel more at ease since it won't be my main. And I've noticed something... Bots have become a big problem. These aren't Riot's bots, they aren't at a basic skill level. They're far below. They wander aimlessly, they do virtually nothing, and they feed Riot's bots quite a lot. And, they aren't rare. I recently had a game where I had to carry four bots, and it was honestly one of the harder matches I've ever had. I'm a Platinum level player, and while I'm certainly not the best player around, I have about 10,000 games under my belt (yes really) and I certainly understand proper game mechanics. I struggled to carry that game and nearly lost. Riot's Annie Bot was fed a massive amount of kills, to the point she was very high leveled, so Riot's algorithm decided that she should have a lot of items as well. Let me tell you, if you take an Ashe Ult to the face, it doesn't matter if you're versus a bot-- that Annie is going to kill you. I did later build a Maw of Malmortius, but I could hardly rush it as I needed other combat stats and pushing power to hold off everything else. If a Platinum level player struggled to carry that match, how do you expect a new player to win that? And, even cope with it? I can't imagine what it would be like for a new player to realize that he or she was all alone to figure things out, to realize that they suddenly had much higher expectations than normal very early on. That has to be painful. Of course, I would never share that without a proper picture for proof. Balancing keeping an inhibitor protected, taking their own, ending the game, and fending off Super Minions on your own is an impossible task to ask of a new player. But that was hardly the only game I had this in; I had this pop up repeatedly. And the sad part is, these bots intentionally act like new players. They say the same key phrases at very random times. "Lag." "Frozen." "GJ." "Push." 'WTF." It's very clear that they are bots, because every time, they do the same things. They "type" those phrases, but ignore anything you say. They act rather erratically, but in a way it's very evident that they are not human. They buy the same predictable item builds as always. Notice how one built nothing, another built Boots and a Dagger, another built several Forbidden Idols, and the final built the makings of a Sunfire Cape. That's intentionally scripted by the bot to make them appear new. I have had plenty of Bot matches under my belt. I've seen new players again and again. Ones who build poorly, ones who die to towers, ones who clearly do not understand this game. And they still do not act the same way these bots do, ever. These bots used to exist in one place and one place only. Dominion. The Crystal Scar, the map that was never played. To quote Skarner, "The Crystal Scar is weeping." Of course it was, a large portion of the player base wasn't players at all. But it was easy to make that the elephant in the room. The thing that no one had to talk about. After all, why was it necessary? I mean, no one played that silly mode anyways. But now there's nowhere to sweep this to. There are no more rugs to hide this away in; it's out in the open for all to see. Summoner's Rift, Riot Game's favorite child. At least, if maps were children. And, these bots are right where everyone can see them. But, worst of all? They're right where new players can see them. Riot, you claim that this is the most popular video game in the entire world. You claim to be the best, one of the top companies in professionalism. But I have a hard time believing those claims where a new player would struggle to join your game. Where a new buyer would be sadly turned away. Where they couldn't practice new Champions, where they couldn't learn about this magnificent world of Runeterra, where they couldn't start their journey. Everyone discusses things that they think will make league of Legends die. "Overwatch will kill League of Legends." "Scripting will kill League of Legends." "Smite is free to play and will kill League of Legends." "Chroma Packs and greedy pricing will kill League of Legends." But none of those will because they don't hit Riot Games significantly hard enough. Killing off the new player experience will. And, the bleeding has already started. The wound is only going to grow. It's going to get bigger. This isn't something you can put a Band-Aid over, Riot. Not anymore. The bleeding is too strong. It's time you clean the wound, disinfect it, and make sure that it goes away entirely. You need to end the bot problem once and for all. And you need to do it now, before it becomes too late. > [{quoted}](name=Rivini,realm=NA,application-id=3ErqAdtq,discussion-id=QAhwmGWy,comment-id=001a,timestamp=2016-05-27T02:58:09.423+0000) > > I've encountered the same influx of bots recently on SR, and I also knew right away it was because of Dominion being no more. It really is such a bother. > > I would think there could be some kind of "human check" before getting into a queue. Some sites do this with their logins, such as having the person check a certain box to prove they are human, or selecting the correct answer to a random question given, etc. > > Captcha is the most common and probably the most effective, but is often the most annoying. I don't know how botting actually works in games (never done it myself), but if it got rid of the bot problem, I would accept entering a Captcha before every match. I think Riot would be capable of making it visually appealing and fun enough, or at least not a chore, by giving it hextech flair with the inclusion of the new client, just so it's not something plain and boring like everywhere else. Just thinking out loud here. > > **I strongly encourage everyone who encounters bots to report them on the end-game screen.** I use the "cheating" option and mention in the comment box the player is botting. It's the least we can do to help minimize the problem until Riot actively does something about it. > [{quoted}](name=Mounting Dread,realm=NA,application-id=3ErqAdtq,discussion-id=QAhwmGWy,comment-id=001a0000,timestamp=2016-05-27T03:01:56.066+0000) > > I'm going to put this in the OP, I agree whole-heartedly. Edit: We got a Red Post!
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