Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Recent Pain & Pleasure of LoL

Since Friday of last week, I am one of the many League of Legends players who have been having problems connecting to the game past the character select screen. When the game loads, there is only a black screen before an error pops up notifying me that the game is unable to connect to the server, supposedly due to my firewall blocking it. That is of course not the case and the problem is on Riot Games' side.  This does mean that I have not been playing the game at all and since the issue is still being investigated, I am not even sure when I will be able to play it again. The game does connect sometimes - as I have tested using custom games with bots - but to join the queue with other players is a dangerous proposition because most often than not, I wouldn't be able to get to the game and I would be the one left with the dreaded leaver status. I really hope that this issue will be resolved soon as a Riot staff is actively working with the community to assist with the issue via this forum post because I do miss LoL dearly. I did however get to join one "Team Builder" match earlier this week despite the connection problem and it is easily the best feature ever implemented in a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game. This new mode is still in the works and was available for a 48-hour beta session. It looked ready so an official roll-out should not be delayed any longer. Basically, with "Team Builder", you get to choose and lock on to a champion and the role that you want to play in a match, thus eliminating the common toxicity that occurs during champion select when playing with random strangers. This is downright brilliant. It is even more brilliant the fact that you are not locked on to a team when you are matched with other players and their chosen roles if you don't like the overall team composition, as long as you don't abuse this freedom by being too choosy. When this mode finally goes live - that is if the "firewall" error ever gets fixed - I will be playing less on the Howling Abyss because the reason why I prefer that "All Random All Mid" map these days is to get away from the nastiness that often occurs during champion select for the other maps. This "Team Builder" sets a new standard for MOBA games and the rest in the genre should implement it ASAP.

With this mode, you can pick both your champion and role in peace.

Everyone has a choice whether to find another group or be happy with what is there.

 Update Note: 3:43pm - The "Firewall error" doesn't occur anymore when I played the game consecutively today so the issue seems to have been addressed. Now if Riot can just release that Team Builder mode...

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