League of Legends Gameplay Is Losing Clarity Over Time

I just wanted to bring attention to what I feel is causing frustration with League of Legends over the past few seasons. There are a lot of reasons that players give for the game feeling worse, but all of them basically come down to the same general concept, being able to "understand" and react to what is happening (clarity). Long ago in the first couple seasons of the game's existence, many of the mechanics that are present did not used to exist. Many champions utilized point and click abilities, and generally it was easy to understand what was dangerous and what was not quite as dangerous. For the first couple seasons, League had a type of 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' feeling to it which made the game feel much more satisfying than what it does now. Take for example, old Sion: https://leagueoflegends.fandom.com/wiki/Sion/History Before his re-work, Sion's biggest feature was that he was a single target stun bot with a shield. When facing him, it was clear what to expect. He did not have any dashes and there were no surprises when facing him. Granted, many players may not know what old Sion was like having been reworked nearly 5 years ago, but this is only to show how his old kit was much more simple than his new one. Compare this to the modern Sion. Modern Sion's ultimate allows him to charge half-way across the map, his passive revives him and allows him to heal to stay alive longer, his E throws your minions at you, and his Q is a charged skill that does not have a set cast time. He lost quite a lot of clarity being re-designed and his kit has become much more difficult to play around. In the past, you knew that he was going to stun you. If he had to re-call, you could reasonably predict how long it would take him to get back into lane or into a fight. When old Sion was dead, he was dead. As more and more champions are introduced and re-worked, they are going from simple and easy to understand kits, to that like re-worked Sion. New champions and re-works are losing the simple mechanics with clear strengths and weaknesses and instead gaining increased versatility with very few ways to counter play. This in turn is a big part of why League is becoming more and more frustrating to play. -- Since Season 7, this has now also began to apply to Keystones and Runes. Prior to Season 7, the only damage in-game came from Champions and Items. Going back to that 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' ideology, basically it wasn't very difficult to tell approximately how much damage an enemy was going to deal based on their level and items. Fast forward to Season 9 and this is no longer the case, as champions now are capable of dealing far more damage than they ever would have with the introduction of new Runes and Keystones. Despite all this, the train doesn't stop there. Several items also reduce the "clarity" of the game. I will list them out, because they're fairly easy to identify. {{item:3812}} {{item:3147}} {{item:3151}} {{item:3046}} {{item:3161}} {{item:3053}} Now, I'm not exactly saying to remove these items, but their effects are nearly impossible to account for when you are the enemy of someone who has them. This in turn makes playing against the enemy that built them extremely frustrating. With these 6 items, it's fairly clear what they're going to do, but it's not quite as obvious how to play around them (or in the case of Death's Dance / Liandry's, you can't). These 6 items might make the game more fun when you're winning, but they also make the game way less fun when you are losing. -- Subconsciously, what mostly everyone that started playing this game in the beginning enjoyed was feeling like they mattered. That was the appeal that League of Legends had, and even when losing it was clear that there were ways to play around fed enemies and make a come back. When Fizz or Master Yi got fed, it wasn't the end of the world back before Season 7. Tanks used to do their job without being overly oppressive because they had clear cut strengths and weaknesses. The simple aspects of League have been vanishing slowly since around Season 3 when Yasuo was introduced, and it's been continuing down this trail of fire, eradicating all of the things that make League enjoyable ever since. One of my old friends saw this coming a long time ago, and I never understood exactly what she meant back in the day. She told me "I don't like the new mechanics they're adding into the game" ... "League of Legends isn't DOTA 2". She told me that back when Yasuo was being released. These days looking back at what League of Legends has become and I finally understand what she meant. All of the "modernization" and "updating" Riot has done has changed the game, and not necessarily for the better.
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