League of Legends is a MOBA about as old as time, in modern terms. Having released way back in 2009. (which is basically ancient history now), it’s a game that’s stood the test of time and has remained exceptionally popular. However, some players have become disheartened with how the game has been going on, especially in terms of fun.
This article is here to go over whether or not League of Legends is still a fun game. Fun is subjective, and we’re aware of that fact, so we’ll go over general aspects that the community has been bringing up through the past few Seasons. There’s a lot to go through, and this might be a long one – so strap on.
Before we begin, I’d like to repeat my emphasis on the subjectivity of this article. No two persons can have the same amount of fun with a game, especially one this old. I’ve been playing since 2012., and my recent experience with the game may drastically differ from yours. I will try to keep it objective but do let us know what your thoughts are below. Also, since League is so popular, there are many influencers who like to record their gameplay, here are some of the best League of Legends YouTubers
So, let’s begin!
The Formula and Gameplay
The League of Legends formula comes from before League was even conceived. At the closure of the 20th century and at the turn of the new millennium, things were always innovative and new in gaming. Multiplayer gaming was rarely seen as something more than LAN, with Online Multiplayer just being on the rise.
In Blizzard’s stellar RTS, Starcraft, one player would use the custom map editor to create what is today known as the MOBA genre. Though popular, it wouldn’t be before 2003. And the Warcraft 3 custom maps that would grant official life to the genre in the form of DOTA. Riot’s founders were early developers of DOTA and its alternate version ALL-STARS.
They saw the chance of making DOTA into a standalone game, freeing themselves of the limitations that Warcraft 3’s old engine imposed. Thus, they created League of Legends that immediately took the world by storm. Marketing itself as the successor to DOTA and as the ultimate DOTA experience, League would become the greatest multiplayer hit of all time – as we know it today.
This formula is old. For 25 years, the MOBA genre has existed in some form, with League alone being 13 years old now. People have gotten used to, and likely tired of, the MOBA formula. While it is insanely popular, especially in the Chinese and Korean regions, it’s severely lost on quality through the ages. The modern gaming world always gives us something new, fresh and exciting to play, with some games like Dark Souls revolutionizing and creating entire genres.
The MOBA genre has become stale and not as enjoyable as ever before. In a world full of competitors like DOTA 2, League of Legends is slowly losing its ability to live off old fame. Riot has done tremendous work to keep the gameplay as new and refreshing as possible, always striving to introduce new mechanics to spice things up.
However, I do believe that they need to do much more to keep their core player base. New players will always come and stick to the game, as they haven’t experienced it before. Old ones, I’m afraid, are losing their patience, especially with how Riot has been handling new Champion releases, which I will address in the next section.
Though I still find it fun, the MOBA formula has become something of yesterday’s story. I played through and loved so many new genres throughout these years that playing MOBAs feels like I’m wasting time. Compared with what is on the market today, Riot needs to revamp its game to make it enjoyable for the old players and ever more exciting for the new ones.
Time will only tell what they’ll do.
This is likely the biggest grudge I hold against Riot Games, and I have addressed this issue numerous times. Riot Games does not know how to release new Champions, and it is making every player, old and new, disheartened. With how much money they have and the talent they hire, I actually think that they are purposely doing this for one reason.
That reason is, of course, money. Riot has prioritized making money over doing anything else in the past few Seasons. Skins are their primary source of revenue, and there is no better way of getting skins to sell than making an OP Champion artificially popular. By directly meddling in the meta, Riot is designing Champions as overtuned, broken, and OP so they can sell skins as much as possible.
After each Champion is released, this profit motivation that overshadows gameplay considerations makes the game objectively worse. And considering how many Champions they’re releasing recently, the game breaks on a tri-weekly basis. I’m all for adding new Champions that keep the game new and exciting. But overflowing the game with endless OP Champion releases makes the old ones entirely obsolete and in need of a remake.
While remakes before were seen as good updates for old Champions to feel fresh, now it’s a brutal necessity created by Riot’s incessant cash chase. You cannot tell me that a game is healthy when there’s Blitzcrank, whose W slows him, and Akshan coexisting. Half of the Champion roster has been made obsolete and unusable against the infinite onslaught of purposefully overtuned releases made for money and skins and nothing more.
It makes me incredibly frustrated to keep playing the game in this environment. The game balance team isn’t even to blame anymore. They did make mistakes in the past, honest mistakes they always sought to fix. Now, the corporate higher-ups keep them silent and cannot do anything. Instead, they force them to create these stupid Champions that make no sense and then go in front of the public to lie about them.
It’s dumb, incredibly disheartening, and I hope Riot changes for the better. Recently, some good things have been coming from the developers, and I welcome them listening to the community. Everyone has been screaming at them for so long, and all our complaints often fell on deaf ears, with Riot even justifying their actions.
If this was the only notion I had to judge the game on, I’d call it the worst. But there are so many other good things about it that I will savor my toxicity for now.
New Game Modes
This one is both a positive and a negative. Riot Games has introduced many game modes over the years, with some being hits and others miss. I loved most of the released ones and cannot even remember any bad ones. For most of my time with the game, the extra game modes never interested me too much.
I was bummed about Riot’s decision to remove modes like Dominion and later Twisted Treeline. These two were so fun for me, and Riot removing them made me extremely sad, and I saw it as a genuinely lousy move that hurt the hardcore players the most. Maybe it was the nostalgia factor or something else, but it made me sad.
Dominion was never replaced, and the map was repurposed for some other modes that weren’t nearly as fun. The Twisted Treeline was given new life in a new mode, Nexus Blitz, which I absolutely loved to play with friends. It was a great thing to play as a break from the Summoner’s Rift, though far from perfect. You can guess what Riot did with it.
Every new mode seems to be constantly met with the executioner’s ax after a short while. Today, all we have left are ARAM, URF, and One for All. At least, these three are almost always there, with the latter two being on rotation. ARAM is the only permanent secondary mode to the usual SR gameplay. It’s enough to break the boredom but gets pretty stale after playing it for so much and on the regular.
The game modes are in dire need of revamping and freshness. We all love playing the Summoner’s Rift the most, and that’s an undisputed fact. However, we sometimes want to play something else while still experiencing the core League of Legends mechanics. I dread the loss of the Dominion and TR game modes, as they were so much fun to play with friends.
Whenever I look back to the days of primitive League in 2012., I seem to see a better game overall. It had many game modes, with new ones being added in the following years. Riot wasn’t hell-bent on deleting stuff, even though they showed early signs in the pre-Season 3. So much is gone from the old days, so much of the good stuff. If it were at least replaced with some new good stuff, I’d be happy.
However, Riot seems only to delete the good stuff, never bring it back or replace it. Even if they do, it is often worse than it initially was. An unfortunate state of the game in this regard, but not one that is critical to the fun factor as it primarily lies in Summoner’s Rift anyway.
The League of Legends ranked system is excellent, and there’s nothing much I can say about it in general. It places people relatively fairly, is very well designed, and serves its purpose as much as possible. Though I’m not a fan of a division system, Riot has implemented it as well as they could, but I would prefer an MMR system over anything else.
I hold a grudge about the climbing experience and how Riot treats its players. Once upon a time, people were respected and held in high regard, both by Riot and the players. Those who achieved the highest ranks were rewarded with actual, physical gifts from Riot. This only kept a strong connection between the players and the developers, which would eventually be severed with Riot’s cessation of communicating in any way, shape, or form.
They can pretentiously waltz around the forum and Reddit posts; their lack of community respect is evident in how the game is today.
The climbing experience is dreadful for any player. Eventually, it turns into an unfair, uphill battle that keeps you below your deserved rank. While it places you fairly initially, the climbing experience and matchmaking seek to keep you down for as much as possible. Climbing fast and efficiently relies solely on luck, and every time you press play, you flip a coin and have a 50% chance of winning.
Trolls and toxic players aren’t appropriately addressed. Instead of preventing such behavior, Riot’s draconic algorithm only creates more toxic and bitter players that plague the game. They have no idea how to approach problems of the MMR system, making people gain 10 LP while losing 20 for no reason.
Everything is so secretive and unknown and basically makes you pull your hair out with frustration. You know your division, of course, but your MMR is what determines how much you win and lose. Some time ago, you could check your MMR online, but Riot has disabled that API, keeping you in the unknown forever. They want you not to know how the system works, so you are perpetually stuck within it.
Figuring out how to play doesn’t serve its purpose – to keep you hooked and playing. At least not in the broadest sense; winning at the game is never the idea. Letting you win now and then keeps you going, and they prefer that over letting you soar up the ranks by knowing how to approach the system.
It’s frustrating and infuriating. Its fairness is counterbalanced and almost disrupted by an unfair and secret MMR system that holds its grip on the ranked experience. It needs a severe change in the background, as the system on paper is well implemented and works well when it does. The problem is that it often doesn’t, which needs fixing ASAP.
Is It Just Old?
Maybe the game is just too old. Maybe we’ve all grown too old for the game to keep us warm and cozy as much as it did so many years ago. The mechanics, the gameplay, everything is bog-standard MOBA gameplay that’s been the same for over 13 years. It is fun, don’t get me wrong, but the game’s age heavily influences the scope of the fun and the amount of frustration.
And not just the game’s, but ours. The core players who’ve participated in creating the game, its success, and most incredible heights. We’ve grown old, and the game alongside us and our inability to let go of it impacts how much fun we’re having. This is why I would love for Riot to change, to be fresh and innovative like they were ages ago.
Everything they introduce we’ve seen a dozen times so far. Mixing and matching Champions you’ve already released and calling it new isn’t new. It’s a lie built by Riot to keep us playing for no reason other than making them more money. I’m tired, and I think the game is in its worst state yet. What’s more frustrating is that, in its current state, it keeps getting new players through expensive marketing in the form of Arcane and similar stuff.
I will keep playing for now and writing articles. I want to help players experience the game in the best ways possible to keep them at an advantage over their foes. To help anyone win is the best feeling in the world, and it maintains my fun factor in the game. How long this will last, I don’t know. Hopefully, it does for a long time.
To put it bluntly – yes, the game is fun. Unfortunately, the story isn’t black and white. The game is insanely plagued by many problems that Riot refuses to address and fix. Their chase for money has severely decreased the fun factor. Every new release, patch, and change feels like another piece of League’s heart being chipped away and burned. It makes me sad, but I remain hopeful to see what Riot brings to the table next. There’s so much potential that wasting it would be a crime against humanity. We’ll have to wait and see. I hope you’ve found this article informative and fun to read, and I wish you the best on the Summoner’s Rift!