League of Legends

URF would be a funner, more fair game mode if all players started at level 3

LeagueofLegends10 - URF would be a funner, more fair game mode if all players started at level 3
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I think starting URF at level 3 would make for a less snowball-y, less frustrating player experience.

 

Right now, the overwhelming meta seems to be 5v5 battle royale top lane, then 2-1-2 lane assignments when minions spawn. I like the idea of dueling with incomplete tools, the kind of "fight with what you have" way normal SR invades feel, but it also lives in a completely different balance area. Some characters like Qiyana are overwhelmingly useless at level 1, while others like Blitzcrank and Nidalee are oppressive. URF already has its own discrete meta, and URF level one power level meta is completely separate from the main URF balancing which places a couple degrees more of a knowledge burden on players for a rotating game mode.

 

The issue is: invades in SR are optional, with teams deciding when and how based on their assumed strength. When you decide to go for it, they're carried out in this little tactical guerilla units squirreling around corridors, leaving traps, retreating when things go sideways. EVERY game I've played of URF has started with this massive dogpile top lane, full collision regardless of the power differential. There's not a ton of space to try to debate the strengths or caution people off, and anyway URF completely distorts our perception of relative power levels. I end up repeating this scenario where, even if my character would be better off turret hugging, it's still a better outcome for me if I join the fight they've already started.

 

Immediately after, there this awkward transition from Battle Royale top to lane where we're stuck with whatever we leveled up first for 2-3 minutes. Sometimes, you're left deciding between two bad decisions. Sona M4A W is lifechanging in a level 1 teamfight, but then you're stuck in a lane with an even less interactive version of herself. Skilling Q is more fun and lets you play around with threat ranges while you try to poke, but it might end up hurting your team and snowballing the entire game away.

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URF already snowballs incredibly quickly, and having 3 abilities available off the bat would make pre-three minute kill stats skyrocket, but you'd also be left with tools to cope with the new game state and have more choices to make. I just played a Lillia game where my lane partner was a Malphite and the enemy laners were a Swain and Sona with 5 kills between them. I'd started Swirlseed for the top lane nonsense, which normally would have let me stay back and farm safely, but Swain started E and there was no room to maneuver. Without Q, I couldn't leave lane to farm jungle camps, or try to force an all-in before their healing became out of control.

 

I think players should still be able to scrap it out top lane, and should still be able to snowball a winning first few minutes into a victory. I still want to preserve that power fantasy of walking into lane with 3 kills and 10 assists. But there need to be more tools to help the losers cope with that state. "Unfair" doesn't have to mean "frustrating", as long as players are empowered to make their own decisions. I don't mind losing, but I prefer to lose in my own way.

 

I love URF as much for the newness as the power fantasy. There's a shelf life on how long a game with cheat codes unlocked can be fun, but URF gives you space to test out characters in a new dimension, and try to find your own, individualized optimizations and solutions. Even though it's an intentionally dysfunctional fun game mode, I think there's still space to improve and iterate.

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