League of Legends is the most popular online game and by the looks of things, that’s not going to change any time soon. I myself have been playing for almost four years now. But what keeps me coming back to it? what keeps it from getting stale? I decided to take a step back and think about what exactly it is that makes me come back to play League of Legends.
I think the easiest place to start is with the actual champions themselves. There are currently a total of 134 champions in League of Legends. I have played for nearly four years and I own only about half of them. Crazy right? However to me this is actually a good thing, as it always gives me an incentive to play. I always feel like I am working towards something, whether it be improving my skills and mechanics on a champion I already own, or to earn IP (Influence points – League of Legends in game currency) so I can try a new champion altogether. League of Legends has so much depth, you could spend hundreds of hours on a champion and still feel like you have yet to master it.
Which brings me on to my second point which is competitive play. Each year brings a brand new season, which means end of season rewards. There are a total of 7 divisions in League of Legends ranging from Bronze to Challenger, if you manage to climb to at least
Gold V (24.2% of top players) you earn a “Victorious” champion skin which gets announced at the end of the season. Why is this special? well because these skins in particular can NOT be obtained any other way, which gives them bragging rights potential. However here’s where I personally found things interesting, last season I was able to reach Gold V for the first time and I had the end of season rewards in the bag. However I still wasn’t completely content with my division as I started to feel myself improve even more,
I had a better understanding of the game and my in-game mechanics had also improved. So to this day I am still playing to try and improve and climb even further up the ranks,
so I can measure my own playing abilities compared to the best.
I understand competitive play isn’t for everyone, a lot of people just want to play for fun. So how else is League supposed to be able to keep players engaged? Well lucky for us the guys at Riot Games LOVE changing their game (for better or for worse) and they update it every 2-3 weeks. These patches contain small changes such as a slight tweak to specific champion ability or maybe a particular stat for an item may be raised. There’s also the mid season updates, end of season/start of season updates and between these, Riot consistently try to keep the game fresh by updating certain champion classes, such as the most recent Assassin update. Here they updated and changed how Assassins are played, changed a few items, added new ones and even reworked a few champions. I can see how all this may seem overwhelming and I can also understand many of the new or returning players concerns when it comes to a game that’s constantly changing because well, how are are you supposed keep up? Luckily Riot has a tab for the patch notes within the client so you can always see the most recent changes they have made. Other than the major mid or end of season updates however, the game itself doesn’t change too much. What does change however is what champions are considered to be strong or in meta.
Which leads me on to the final reason why I keep coming back to play League of Legends. It’s exciting when a champion you like is in or out of meta. When you first pick up League of Legends you’ll of course find your favorite few champions who’s play style fits exactly how you personally like to play. For me personally my favorite champion to play is Jinx. She’s crazy aggressive, a glass cannon and ranged character who if she gets ahead can really snowball a match. But she’s also extremely vulnerable which makes her easy to shut down if she misplays or steps out of position. Now as the game keeps changing every few weeks, a champion can go from being considered a must pick to… barely played at all. Jinx as an example hasn’t really been considered a top tier pick for a while now, a good indicator of this is by comparing which champions are getting picked up by the pros, or you can just simply check the champion win rates online. However Jinx not being a top tier pick is still exciting because when you have played a champion enough, it matters more about your individual playing ability rather than how good the champion itself is at the moment. This leads to you getting a certain amount of satisfaction knowing you’re skilled enough mechanically with a champion, that you can still do well without it being a top tier pick in the current meta.
League of Legends goes through many changes over time and whether these changes are good or bad is definitely up for debate. However it does allow players like myself to keep coming back and one thing I feel we can all agree on, is that if Riot Games continue their close relationship with the player base and they keep listening to feedback and updating the game on a regular basis, enhancing the game play and keeping it fresh. Then League of Legends is here to stay and I am excited to see what the future holds for Riot Games.