**TL:DR Version: Stop making us watch Bruam beat NPCs for 5 minutes every TFT game.**
I've been a core gamer since the age of three, Commodore 64, folks. I'm nearing 40 now, and I've spent the vast majority part of my leisure time gaming throughout the years, even at the expense of other activities in my life. It's highly likely that I will have a stroke somewhere in my sixties due to how often I sit. I am often asked by peers, typically in passive-aggressive disapproval, if I could not be doing something better with my days. I'm okay with my choice on this matter, at least okay enough to not make a major change because, ultimately, I. Love. Gaming. I want to spend my time doing it, and it's my time to spend.
As I age, I'm starting to get a better appreciation for designers that take into consideration that my time is precious to me. I'm irritated with Diablo 3 for making me click to pick up trade-skill items, as arthritis in my fingertip reminds me that I have limited clicks. Watching cut-scenes of my characters missing shots in XCom (even with zip-mode checked) reminds me I have a limited amount of action points not in that game, but in my life. This in mind, the quality, rather than the quantity, of my gaming time becomes more and more of an issue for me, and I become less tolerant of "designer narcissism".
"Designer narcissism". So what do I mean by that? Let me tell you a story.
I have a friend who is roughly 20 years older than me that plays in my D&D group. He was likely graduating from college in computer programming while I was playing Karateka, the first game in existence with a cutscene. As a computer programmer in the 80s, he, like many computer programmers, spent a few years in the soul-chewing and rapidly-evolving gaming scene (which he eventually fell out of because, those of your that are in it, it's highly volatile, inconsistent, and exploitative). But nevertheless, as a lifelong gamer, he too was extremely interested int he culture behind it, and as a programmer, he often had the wherewithal to talk with some of the icons of the time, from Gygax to Avallone.
He once asked one of the particularly infamous designers from Star Wars galaxies about his equally infamous design behind the notoriously convoluted unlocking of the jedi class. For a long time after release, players still had no idea how to do it. The designer had to drop clues in the game, and eventually someone figured it out. Through a huge task involving luck, grinding, and knowledge about a very finicky set of game triggers allowing you to follow the path, a player could unlock the jedi and become, essentially, crazy powerful in an unbalancing method.
Great MMO design, right guys? Because WoW Classic warriors are all a rage again. Totally balanced. Good for game culture! Fewer calories!
The question he ask was: "What inspired you to make the jedi class so illusive? Why did you think players were going to figure it out on their own?"
He said he'll never forget, word for word, what the answer was. I've heard him tell this story three times, his quote never changes.
Designers reply: "I believe my designs were so awe-inspiring and engaging that players would be eager to try all the class combinations."
Right, because grinding is the most engaging part of an MMO. THUS! Let's define our new term, shall we?
**Designer Narcissism: Design outcomes, intentional or not, where gameplay outcomes are prioritized higher than respect for the player's time.**
Designers walk a fine line in the game dev community. Everyone is a designer, but "Game Designers" have to have this unique challenge of having to mix architecture, anthropology, system design, economics, and storytelling, all while being a salesman at the same time. Being a demigod of a virtual world is a strange job, and nobody is going to build/fund your designs if you can't at least manipulate/convince them into thinking it's worth their time/money.
Julius Caesar had a slave who had a single job, to walk behind him and occasionally whisper into his ear "Momento Mori." literally translated: "You will die," but more synonymous with "Thou art mortal." He was a wise man for a grandiose narcissist, acutely aware of his own failings. Good designers remind themselves of this, because ultimately their designs and careers live and die on the buyer base. Believe it or not, us gamers, fickle as we are, aren't fickle about awesome design.
I don't give a fuck about the League engine limitations. When I'm stuck in a solo-queue game with one afk and 3 feeders, I don't want to spend the next 15 minutes watching them vote no in a forfeit out of sheer stubborness so I can avoid a ban. The only reason I didn't bail for Fortnight during the mass exodus is I'm not fond of first person shooters due to poor biological eye-tracking (my eyes are jumpy). Hearthstone doesn't punish me for forfeiting a game on my terms. League does.
So when I'm watching my first-picked champion pillow-fight at a snails pace with a lane minion for the first 3 rounds of TFT, I am acutely reminded of this story. Every. Single. Game. Momento Mori, Riot. at some point I'm going to get bored of it and stop playing. You could delay that point by doing what I said at the top of this post. There's no reason you can't, given you've put in overtime mechanics already.