LOL and Dota 2
The problem with LoL post-Dota 2 is that LoL’s more fair to new players. You don’t lose money from dying, almost everyone hits level 18, and the towers are good defenses, but the problem is the game becomes 50 minutes of pure frustration as a clearly winning team is held back or decimated at the end. League of Legends fails to reward players for early gains and extends what would be a shut out match into a prolonged noob fest that never ends. Dota 2 has rage quitters, games are often one sided or even worse a single hero can carry a team to victory, but if a dota game lasts more than 30 minutes it’s due to the performance of the team. Hence a skilled Dota team ends a game quickly and while quitters quit, ragers only have a few precious minutes to gripe, and trolls can only get in so many jabs. Hence LoL traps lesser players in prolonged games with their betters building up a community of gripes, trolls with epic spiels, and other less enjoyable elements. It’s like cabin fever only in troll form. What’s worse is that LoL has spent the last few years silently mimicking Dota. LoL’s play field now resembles Dota’s, Lulu is basically a stand info for Lion, Fiona is Juggernaut, etc. The once mighty split between the games and their designs has come down to a low reintegration of Dota’s designs into LoL’s game space.
Part of the point of LoL was to make a game more equitable than Dota, this meant sharing experience from creep kills, better protection for new players, and parrying down Dota’s lethal and complicated assortment of equipment. In some cases innovation is good, I would rather play Janna than against Invoker with the item that sends out twister, in other cases LoL produces a hegemony far worse than Dota’s sometimes cheaper mechanisms. LoL’s rune system and mastery points inherently enable higher level players in ways Dota’s champs never will be. What this has meant for LoL is that mages have typically been unviable because most people go all magic resist with their runes. On the other hand dying in Dota keeps you from getting gold, this allows for a strategy of targeting carries to keep them from ever building up the reservoirs necessary to get essential items, cheap, but true. In LoL gold simply accumulates and doesn’t dissipate when you die making saving up for items much easier. I prefer LoL’s items and gold system, but find the runes and masteries to be to enabling to older players, not only does a more experienced champ have… Well more experience, but they also enter the game with better armor, hp, magic resist, and other things, creating a play environment that simply makes low level games a pain and even high level where everyone is 30 are annoying too. Dota’s equalizing of the play field makes early kills easier and it’s weaker torrents make defense of them less of a priority. Well that’s my spiel on league of legends. In a nutshell, games like this are inherently frustrating, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but the thing is Dota makes loses short and overwhelming, league of legends makes them 50 minutes exercises in the worst parts of human nature. I still like LoL’s women more than Dota’s primarily male cast, but over all Dota 2 has a lot going for it, and LoL increasingly looks like its cheap clone. One additional note, LoL does have really creative modes like Dominion that Dota lacks, but even the design language of Dota shows more forethought, Dota champs are easily recognizable, LoL group fights are confusing. Dota 2 is what riot games will have to face up against. Taken the age of LoL’s engine, it could use a new coat of paint and a few lessons from its ancients.