How League of Legends Has Changed Through Its Successes

The ever changing landscape of Riot's massive success with League of Legends
Screen shot from the very first season of League of Legends before its now standard visuals were in place.

Entering Summnoner’s Rift for the Very First Time

I can still remember the first time I came across League of Legends while rummaging through the PC games section at a Fry’s Electronics back in late 2010. An avid gamer since the early 90’s and someone who had spent most of their time playing RPGs and MMOs, I was curious at the growing scene of MOBAs. Looking over the physical box I held in my hand, both the screen shots and visuals had me hooked right away. I sent a text to my gamer friends and downloaded the free version when I got home. For the next 2 years, with on-again, off-again returns, League of Legends became our go-to-game. Often nights were spent until the early morning hours, tearing through opponents in Summoner’s Rift, or finally losing after a painstaking hour long match. Multiple skins were purchased (including the ever-famous “Brolaf” Olaf skin), levels earned and battles waged. It had not been since vanilla and Burning Crusade WoW had I and my friends had this much fun playing a game. Multiple new friends from all over the world were made and new meta-lane combos tested. It was a great time to play League. 

Updates and Changes Through Familiar Territory

Having sunk multiple hours into League of Legends, one thing I saw evolve over the game’s seasons was the community. With the first match me and two friends ever played against the AI and us having absolutely no knowledge of the meta, lane pushing or general objectives, it was surprising to find how many people were in the same boat. While Warcraft and DOTA had been around since this time, League really took more drastic steps forward in both development and popularity to create and maintain the formula for success with MOBAs. Often other players we met in competitive matches were helpful and communicative. As time went on, the player base grew and more of those players became more adept with the game’s core mechanics and meta. 

The updated visuals in Summoner’s Rift were a great new addition that made the game feel supported and more enjoyable to experience

This is when the toxicity began to also rise.

We experienced multiple matches with players that when struggling in their lanes or against the enemy players immediately started trolling or just up and left the game completely. This often resulted in a loss and forced us to drag our feet until the 20-minute mark in which we could finally vote to surrender. Communication was a thing of the past, the players were often rude or hostile to one another on levels I have never seen before in a MMO environment. Characters often went through drastic changes that caused once beloved mechanics to completely disappear from their kits and change what some players had come to love in each of them. When sitting out a season or for months at a time, League has become one of the hardest to jump back into -from the changes it constantly goes through to the lack of community within it for new and returning players alike. While still one of the most successful and profitable games of all time, where it is now is a shell of what it used to be.

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Beard-clad, pirate-at-heart storyteller from the Pacific Northwest.
Currently Playing: Overwatch, Zelda: Breath of the Wind, Planet Coaster, Astroneer, SMITE, World of Warcraft (Private Server)
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fable: The Lost Chapters, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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