If you’ve been considering picking up League of Legends as a new multiplayer game, or if you’re an old player that’s been thinking of coming back, now is the best possible time to do it. Why? Because the game is the best it’s ever been.
League’s been around since 2009, so saying it’s more enjoyable right now than ever before is a big statement, but we’re not making that statement without serious backing. Many older players claim Season Three was the best season to play. Some have even written off playing League completely, saying it will never be as fun as it was back then.
Season Three was a great season. There was a clear list of stronger champions and the game was ridiculously simple. There were less objectives, a single jungle path, and not as many champions to even pick from. You could get away with focusing on simply killing champions and taking towers, and that simplicity was a lot of fun.
Right now though, in 2017, the game is even better—pretty much for completely opposite reasons.
Diversity in everything
There are so many different ways to play the League now. You can play any champion and any type of champion you’d like (with some exceptions) and mostly get away with it. You can try out multiple builds per champion. You can choose new jungle routes, runes, and masteries depending on what helps you the most in any particular game. You can choose whether or not to pressure top lane to go for Rift Herald for a splitpush siege, or you can put your eggs in the bot lane basket to go for the first Dragon if it helps your team more. You can play assassins, control mages, and even tanks in the mid lane. You can play splitpushers, skirmishers, assassins, and tanks in the top lane. There’s both early game junglers and late game tanks in meta. You can play hyper carry ADCs, burst ADCs, and crowd control ADCs.
For almost anything you want to do, there’s a way to make it work.
For the first time in the history of League, you can literally play whatever sounds fun to you— unless it’s Urgot. He still sucks. That hasn’t changed since Season Three. But hey, he’s getting reworked soon, so even Urgot might be a viable option before you know it.
League is so incredibly complex, and there are so many paths to explore out of curiosity, that you can’t play one game that feels exactly the same as the last.
More importantly, all of this complexity isn’t just for complexity’s sake. It isn’t complicated—there’s just a lot of possibilities. Unfortunately, this complexity can make the game a bit difficult to pick up for newcomers, but the game is arguably more newcomer-friendly than it ever has been, too. With faster leveling, more options opening up at earlier levels, and honed game queues to weed out smurfs, it’s honestly in a decent place now. If the new honor system works out and toxicity is reduced in the long term, that would be great for new players as well.
The design team is on point this year
There’s a reason the game has become so beautifully diverse, and that’s because of Riot’s design teams. Changes have been rolling out en masse that make gameplay better in broken areas while simultaneously avoiding too much change so players don’t have to relearn everything again and again. Let’s be honest, the fifth and sixth season of League were rough. They were fraught with huge changes, and a lot of them didn’t even end up working out. This time around, though, the designers really seem to know what’s going on, and the game is better for it.
This year, they’ve also taken a more significant focus on fixing the game rather than adding new features. There have been some awesome new features, such as the new honor system, new champions, and more, but by fixing the back side of the game first, it makes those new features feel less clunky. When you don’t have to say things like, “That’s neat, by why is the Rift Herald still totally useless?” those new features tend to feel much cleaner and less bogged down by broken systems and champions surrounding them.
That’s not to say everything is fixed already. But at the speed Riot’s working at it, we’re closer to that point than we’ve ever been, and that’s a big accomplishment.
With major champion reworks, sensible new features for the new client, and kickass new champions still on the horizon for the end of 2017, it’s hard to be anything but excited for the future of League of Legends.