How to be Mad at Riot.

So I'd like to discuss how we express frustration on the boards, and I'd like to start with a little story about me. I promise this is going somewhere. In 2015, I went to LA for my first interview at Riot games. It was a pretty terrifying experience, as it's a big company and I had no professional experience in the area to which I applied. Riot put a level of attention and care into the process that I haven't seen elsewhere to this day, and every person I talked to was understanding, gave me time to collect my nerves, and then asked a series of deep questions that really honed in on my ability to do analytical game design. It was a mentally stimulating several hours, with a group of people who made it fun whenever possible. I went back in 2016, and again in late 2016. I have quite a few Rioters on my friend list. I talk to them fairly frequently in Discord. There are three things I can definitively say from my interaction with them: * They are, on the whole, some of the brightest and friendliest people I've met. * They are, on the whole, incredibly passionate about *League* and incredibly concerned with whether or not players are enjoying the game. * They, like most people, have feelings. This latter point is important. Whether you like their decisions and their design direction or not, the people I know all put a *ton* of effort and a ton of passion into their jobs, and the reactions that we as a community often throw back at them are demoralizing, especially when we accuse them of not caring, or of simply not putting in the effort. It drives a wedge between the boards and Rioters, and makes getting our feedback an upsetting experience rather than a productive one. ##Now, I want to clarify this again: I am NOT asking you to only say good things. It's important to be able to give negative feedback. I'm simply asking that, when you offer critique or criticism -- or when you vent your frustration -- that you consider the people behind the product, and that all of them -- whether you believe it or not -- want to make the best game they can, and want us to enjoy it. If we *want* Riot to engage with us on the issues that matter to us then it's important for us to be willing to accept that well-intentioned people may not always agree with us, or may make choices for reasons we don't have the full picture of, or may make choices that -- yes -- may not be the best choices. These occurrences aren’t a time to attack them or accuse them of simply not putting in the effort or accuse them of money-grabbing -- it's a time to ask questions, to try to see what they might have seen that caused them to make those decisions, and to voice our thoughts through respectful discourse. I promise you that every design decision has a strong reason behind it -- even if it's not one that the community thinks is appropriate -- and I further promise you that trying to find and understand that reason and then politely presenting your counterargument is more likely to see response and/or action than cursing out "those idiots at Riot." In short, Rioters *want* to talk to us, and when they don't it's usually because they don't have a solid direction to offer us (and the community hasn't been especially forgiving when they have to reverse course), or they don't have the time, or they simply can't get to every issue raised by every community member. We should be making it *easier* for them to do so, not putting up walls of accusations and frustrations and then magnifying those characteristics when Rioters choose -- understandably -- not to put themselves in the line of attack. So let's all take a moment the next time we have concerns or complaints or critique, and look at how we're sending that message...and maybe, just maybe, consider adding some positive things to the conversation as well, because that both helps morale *and* helps give Riot some good feedback on what we think *is* working. If we want to offer our thoughts towards making the game better, we need to do so in a way that *encourages* interaction, not makes it an experience to be avoided. ##TL:DR -- It's fine to be angry, but if you want that anger to have the possibility to affect change then you must discuss your anger with Rioters with respect and civility, not take it out on them.
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