League of Legends Review 2018

By | October 24th, 2018 | Categories: League of Legends

For many fans, this is the most exciting time of the year for League of Legends. Early October marks the World Championship, and with it brings a large amount of enthusiasm and expectations for the teams attending. The end of the season typically follows the conclusion of the event, and with that time quickly approaching, it is the opportune moment to take a look back at the season as a whole and perform a League of Legends Review. Season 8 bore witness to a wide variety of changes that changed the game in significant ways at various points and these changes paved the way for meaningful discussion. Taken into account cumulatively, Season 8 was arguably the most hectic season thus far in the history of League of Legends.

What does this League of Legends Review entail?

  • A look back at impactful gameplay changes
  • Runes Reforged
  • Complete marksmen overhaul halfway through the season

For better or worse, League of Legends has changed season to season. While this is certainly frustrating for many players, it does keep the game fresh and exciting on an annual basis. Season 8 has been no stranger to changes, and in fact, it has been an anomaly in introducing significant changes during its course compared to after its conclusion as done with seasons past. This translates into a very vocal player base willingly to express its concern over Riot changing the game in significant ways while the season is ongoing. While there was difficulty adjusting to both the jungle and ADC changes enacted this season, players ultimately adapted which speaks about the longevity of the title as a whole.

During last year’s preseason, Riot Games announced a system that would replace its, at the time, current one, a new system which came to be known as Runes Reforged. It was touted as a means to bridge the gap between experienced and inexperienced players while at the same time doing away with the pressure to spend money in order to have the most optimal setup available. While many players were skeptical at the time, this past season has shown that Runes Reforged has been a welcomed success.

Perhaps the single biggest factor contributing to its success is the accessibility and ease the new system provides for players. Attention no longer has to be paid to keeping track of multiple rune pages. With Runes Reforged, any single page can be changed very quickly during champion select and it is this ease that provides so much comfort for so many players. The old system reeked of the cash grab stench, and while Riot is ever increasingly concerned about money, the changes show that player comfortability is in on some level a priority for the company.

A short while after the Mid-Season Invitational ended, Riot rolled out a patch that gimped ADCs across the board. For arguably the first time since League of Legend’s inception, the champions typically played in the ADC role started to vanish. This adaptation was arguably the single most controversial change in the history of the game. It highlights the overall context in which season 8 should ultimately be viewed: change.

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How did the ADC changes come about in the first place?

  • Public sentiment
  • Patch 8.11
  • Item nerfs
  • Decreased attack damage

During the beginning of season 8, there was a growing sentiment in the community that ADCs overall were becoming too strong. With their dominance, other positions, such as top lane tank players, were becoming more and more diminished. With so much strength available to marksmen, tanks no longer posed the same threat to ADCs that they did in seasons past. While concern for marksmen did not singlehandedly stem from the weakness of tanks, it certainly proved to be a contributing factor in the discussion.

With this growing concern, the changes made to ADCs make a lot more sense in retrospect. Often times, it can provide difficult to see the reasoning behind a decision when it is actually happening. In giving a League of Legends review, assessing patch 8.11 is a vital tool.

At the end of May of this year, Riot rolled out patch 8.11, which aimed at hurting ADCs across the board. It did so by attacking their items. For a long time, critical strike was arguably the most important stat for a marksmen. Patch 8.11 brought critical strike items down a notch and a result, the champions relying on said items became a whole lot weaker.

Items were not the sole reason behind the eventual disappearance of this class of champions. During the same patch, the base attack damage of ADCs was lowered by 4, which Riot argued was done in order to provide more urgency for aggressive champions that relied on making proactive plays to get ahead. This was seen as a move to push professional teams away from the safe play and encourage more risky decisions to be made. What happened instead was the almost complete disappearance of ADCs when the summer season started in professional play.

Never before had so many different champions appeared in bot lane, giving the spotlight to not only mages but bruisers as well. With marksmen being so weak, the answer was not picking ADC lane bullies and being aggressive but instead finding a replacement altogether. In response, many different professional teams struggled immensely to adapt to the changes, so much so that some ADC players were swapped out for players more accustomed to mages and bruisers, as was the case with Fnatic. Interestingly enough, while the League of Legends community was in outrage about the unintended overhaul, it became increasingly embraced by more well-known members of the community and while the ADCs have since returned to the bot lane, it will be the defining point of season 8 when past seasons are looked backed on in the future.

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Final Thoughts

As is the case with any artistic medium, changes are an important lens through which one can critically assess. A League of Legends review of the 2018 season shows just how important changes are to the game. Not only did the seeds of Runes Reforged sowed by the 2017 preseason finally bear fruit, an entire class completely disappeared for a portion of the season. In the absence of marksmen, many different champions appeared in the bot lane which gave players a chance to see how professional teams would adapt and at the same time be able to experiment in their own games. Overall, season 8 will be an important stepping stone if League of Legends is to continue to survive in the face of popular titles such as Fortnite in the years to come.

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