I want to place a disclaimer that this is more of a personal rant. If you like how the game is now, more power to you. I just hope future changes do not alienate you as it did for me. But if it does, know that I understand.
But even if I returned, it isn't the same game anymore. I left because the game I loved was gone, for good. Game makers never listen to their communities because it tends to be about the pro-scene and overseas sales to normies who are low in demands and high in cash. We have to beg, and plead for even small problems to get fixed like giraffe necks in art or a blatantly broken ability that is abused for months.
I remember a time when getting insta-gibbed in LoL meant you either had low HP or the enemy was insanely fed. Other than a few exploited mechanics or strong items(Looking at you DFG). Sure the game had it's own problems back then, but the solution was to fix those problems, not exchange them for even more.
I remember when the average game was 30ish minutes and typically wasn't over till it was over. There was always a chance to scale up and come back or a last minute save via backdoor. Losing a single team fight didn't lose the game. Pushing was slower, unless you were a champion that specifically excelled at that and just that.
I remember when almost any champion had multiple build options. Which was one of the most fun parts of the game in my opinion. Before talent overhauls and champion designs pigeonholed everyone into 1 or 1.5 builds. To use an example everyone hates. Teemo could be built bruiser, AP, AD, on hit attack speed, hybrid or movespeed and still be viable in normals without your team screaming... except when your shrooms steal their kills.
I could go on about missing the summoner lore or some of the archtypical, easy to follow character stories that left them simple and relatable for people just interested in playing a game that was cohesive with its lore. With more expanded lore in comics and the journals of justice for those who follow to add depth. But I'll try to stick to gameplay. As these are more personal to me.
But this isn't just rose tinted glasses. Yes, I do remember broken Kassadin, broken LeBlanc and broken Xin Zhao. DFG allowing Kat to one shot your ADC. Vayne was annoying. The funny thing is, these were the exception. That kind of damage was complained about because it was breaking the normal of a game where you had to take your time killing people or be late game scaled if you wanna one shot an ADC who likely took 1-2 defense items. You need a full build in order to shred a tank who was behind and it was still a good idea to target somebody else. Most tanks did low damage, which yes meant they had to typically jungle or support, but not every class needs to play every role. (I honestly think people wanting every class viable in every role helped push the game to where it is).
The game is all about snowballing now. I knew it was headed in this direction with item changes, things like dragon changes cemented it for me. What use to be a little gold/exp infusion for the team became something that the team who is ahead can use to be sure the team who is behind stands no chance.
The modern game's issue isn't just that it has broken champions, it always has. It is that they chased some dream of games being super short, decisive, and all about cool 'moments' for esports replays and montages. Rather than maintaining the more methodical feeling it had before. And that is just it, yes the old game had loads of issues, the new game does too. But people aren't wearing 'rose tinted goggles'. They just are fans of an entirely different game that use to exist, and no longer does. It isn't like Halo where if you don't like the new games you can just go play the old ones, this is the game now.
And we warned it was going this direction, years ago. With each new champion kit, each new rework of runes, masteries or items. Every small change we saw the creep in damage, in CC, in burst, in scaling. And the reduction of unique kit pieces and utilities. But it was ignored. A good example was Kassadin, who instead of lowering his excessive scaling so he didn't one shot late game, or lowering overall damage as people asked, or nerfing just his mobility, they removed the silence and changed his slow. Making him useless for anything except one shotting.
These days so many champions are guttered, and back then even guttered champions could work, it was more of a handicap. Not anymore, guttered champions are next to worthless in consistent use. Games are just a clash fest of who came roam more, get an early lead and win by 10 minutes with an additional 20 minute wait for it to actually end.
That is fine, perhaps League is for a different audience now. Very few games cater to the western market of nerds anymore anyway. But I just wanted to voice how I feel, and why I feel that way. There are so many more changes, so many issues I could address. But I tried to keep this general and inclusive, to not harp on my specific gripes too much. So I will end it here.
Sincerely, "old fart with nostalgia goggles". Probably a little resentful I spent over a thousand dollars and no longer play.