Volatility and League: Why does playing league feel like a coinflip?

Hi all, The purpose of this post is to make an observation, but first, story time! {{sticker:slayer-pantheon-rainbows}} Once, long long ago in a land tinted by the merry, potentially biased and rose-tinted glasses with which one views "The good old days", many remember enjoying this game much, much more. Each game, win or lose, felt meaningful and enjoyable. A spark of delight, now greatly dimmed (but still alive), existed at the thought of devoting another hour to a game of League. Now however, many of us feel frustrated, angry, powerless. Often victory and defeat feel as if they were predetermined rather than earned. Personally, I sometimes look at my KDA, see a number like 11/2/8, and wonder: **When did that get there!? Did I even do anything to earn this?** Equally, some games upon glancing at the screen, a few crucial things can be seen: **1. Am I colorblind? The screen is always gray for some reason.** **2. Move over Red Cross, apparently I am an expert at feeding the hungry.** **3. The minions are building infinity edges.** **4. Is my \*Insert team member here* a bag of rocks stapled to a chair? How _has_ he died so much?** This feeling is certainly frustrating, and I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this lack of agency, but what is causing it? Is the sudden sense of powerlessness simple burnout? Has the meta simply shifted away from my particular preferences? Are myself and many others simply not remembering the frustrations of yesteryear? The world may never know. **Alright, storytime is over, if you have not yet fallen asleep, I get to the point below.** {{sticker:slayer-pantheon-thumbs}} Like 95% of the band of merry masochists that is the league community in general, I am not terribly good at this game. I am an off-meta lover and jungle player who peaked at low plat and never had the drive nor the inclination to strive for more. (I was an old Kayle main... Lol... They killed my baby! All two jungle Kayle players on this fine earth are outraged! All two of us! Reeee!) But I have played quite a lot. Enough to hazard a guess as to why league isn't _quite_ scratching the same itch anymore for some. **The reason that I feel the game may be more frustrating is rather simple. Even lanes seem fairly rare nowadays.** Once, in earlier seasons, excepting cases in which a great mismatch of skill or an impressive jungler tent were involved, a lot of lanes went fairly even. Both participants in said lane were able to be useful to their teams later on. If I were to hazard some numbers, on average I observed that, given equal jungler presence/performance: 1. 60% The lanes went even. Niether lane opponent gained a conclusive advantage in either farm, kills, or pressure. Mistakes and plays were made in equal measure. 2. 20% Hard win. This lane is now unaccountably huge, and will be a major factor in determining victory. This laner is BIG. 3. 20% Hard lose. Ya might as well stack tear on Garen. This is essentially a caster minion with a larger health bar. **Now even lanes seem to happen far less often. Spectacular wins and losses make each game feel as if God is flipping a coin during matchmaking.** My frustration with league is not specific champions, although quite a few feel irritating to fight against. {{champion:142}} {{champion:84}} {{champion:555}} My frustration with league is not the high amount of power afforded the runes reforged system, even if I DID prefer the game when they didnt exist. My frustration with league is not its developers, who have done their best attempting to balance an absolute frankensteinish mess of interconnecting variables that make pleasing everyone impossible. At the moment. My issue with league is that mistakes are punished far too harshly. Games are so volatile, so edge of knife that players do not have room to learn or demonstrate skill before the game is already decided. A skilled player is praised the most not for the incredible plays he is capable of demonstrating, but the **_consistency_** with which he/she can pull those plays off. League at its best is more than capable of rewarding consistent application of skill _**without**_ consigning the first man to make a mistake to involuntarily becoming their opponent's heavy bag. I dare not pinpoint everything that might need to change to help fix this issue for fear that this discussion will simply devolve into people arguing about what they think needs nerfing. I suspect that gentling the curve of burst damage would go a long way. Strategically tuning damage numbers might help also. But, in any case, allowing players just slightly more breathing room would go a long way toward making gameplay feel meaningful, and not merely the natural conclusion of runaway snowballing. Thank you for your time. This ended up a lot longer than I intended to write, but if you have not already lapsed into a coma from the long read, I hope you at least derived some amusement from the reading. {{sticker:vlad-salute}} **TL:DR: League is a coinflip because the line between absolute victory and crippling defeat, is now paper thin. This makes each game more frustrating.**
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