Ive been playing this game since season 3, ive seen it change drastically many times. Its plain to see, for anyone who's been paying attention, that damage creep has been happening for years. But seriously, its gone way to far and needs to be dialed back.
Damage creep negatively impacts the game in several ways
- LEARNING THE GAME becomes much more difficult when damage is high. Naturally, when a player is new to a champ, role or the game in general, they are going to make mistakes. a lot. in a high damage game state, that slip up means the player lost a lot of health. most trades will leave the losing champion either dead, at 10% hp, or one trade away from dying. While taking that much damage definitely indicates you made a mistake, its often so punishing that you arent even sure what the mistake is if you are new. Learning requires a trial and error process that is incredibly costly.
- STRATEGY IS LOST when trades are so easily deadly. I remember a time when in order to kill a lane opponent without a gank, you needed to spend time in the lane phase poking your enemy down over a period of time before an opportunity to get the kill could present itself. When simple skirmishes are consistently leaving champions at dangerously low health, the name of the game is "win 1-2 skirmishes" instead of a strategies built around whittling your laner down 10% at a time. There is very little strategy to winning constant skirmishes. It is just do better at fighting your enemy in a 5-10 second window of time the moment one of you engages. And its frustrating when you are engaged on the moment you arrive to lane, and die in less than 4 seconds of passing your outer turret
- FAST KILLS AND DEATHS ARE LESS FUN. Ive played (and succeeded) at every role for a time in my league career. Ive been the undying tank, ive been the hyper carry ADC, the burst mage, the support. Ive been killed quickly, and ive deleted enemies before they knew i was there. Yeah, burst enemies was fun. But the glorious feelings of 100-0ing in less than 2 seconds go away when it happens numerous times each and every game. And on the other side of it, it feels awful when you get bursted faster than you can process seeing the enemy emerge from the bush you were about to ward. There is no counter play to dying in .63 seconds. its incredibly frustrating to play in a game where the moment you are spotted, the enemy is able to burst you down with just few basic abilities and their electrocute.
- TEAM FIGHTS ARE FAR MORE ONE SIDED than they used to be. Often times in a team fight, if someone gets caught out just a little bit, they are killed immediately, except for tanks (sometimes). It used to be that in a team fight, getting caught wouldnt always mean death. While you could definitely be bursted for a miss-step, the enemy usually had to spend a valuable cooldown to secure the kill. But there was also a decent chance you would walk out with 30% hp. Then you were left with a decision, do i stay and see if my team evens the score enough that i can help out the fight again, or do i recall and regroup? being at 30%, even for a squishy character, meant you could weather 2 more hits before dying. It was a much more interactive situation than the slaughter fests we see in the current meta now that everyone is an assassin.
What should riot do about it? its hard to say specifically. I dont know the best way to reduce damage in league without messing with other aspects to much. It'd be nice to say "oh yeah just give everyone +9 armor and magic resist at level 1 and go from there" but that may open the jungle to the wrong champs, and it doesnt help tanks who practically stop getting value from resistance once they reach ~70% reduction.
It's going to require a large update on damage, either all at once in a big overhaul, or overtime in a long series of "every damage value is reduced!" I think granting more resistances and nerfing rune damage values are a good place to start, but its definitely a problem that lacks an easy fix. I just want to play an interactive game again.
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