Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Playing 6 hours without a single "i play 4 fun lol"

After being surprised what kind of games got into the various financial toplists (scrolling adventure and mobile crap, really?), I picked the one that is on top of most games: League of Legends. I wasn't completely against this game, I played it 3 years ago, but I had serious reservations. It's above all a short-match action game. Memorize zillion champions and item abilities and use skill combos.

However it also provides a challenging environment: as I'm clearly disadvantaged at clickfest, I have to work harder to compensate it with strategy. There is clear competition with ratings that are somewhat obfuscated by various leagues. If I manage to figure out something to climb to the top 10% without clicking like crazy, I definitely proved something. I won't be #1 here in 2 months like in BDO. Of course I'm far from it, I'm merely learning basic movement and trying to not accidently fire my ultimate instead of "E".

But I already encountered something very positive, something I hated in WoW, EVE, BDO: "i play 4 fun lol" as excuse for playing badly. I played like 6 hours in Sunday and not a single player said that. Each and every one of them clearly tried to win. Sure, some of them fed horribly, but they din't ignore the game like the "play 4 fun" idiots. If I'll have results, I'll have people who listen because they want to win. In previous games I struggled with those who were not only horrible but outspoken about being horrible is the right way. At least LoL is clear from this plague.

Granted, in their stead there are hostile players who always have a reason why someone else is at fault for their feeding. They also have a comment on the champion, spell and item selection of other players. The /mute playername helps a lot. Still, they are clearly interested in winning. There are also "gg i go AFK lol" idiots after the enemy team gets first kill (sometimes on them). Yet, they also don't fool around, merely don't want to help if the battle is not totally one sided for us.

I don't know if I achieve anything I am aiming for here. I'm not sure if there is such thing as "strategy" in LoL or if it won't be nerfed next patch if I find it. But trying is definitely better than kicking the dead horse of EVE.

There is a weird connection error that appears sometimes. If I alt-tab, I can refresh a webpage, so it's clearly not my ISP. Usually it happens in the most inconvenient moments:

And of course the morons are out in full force. The worst quality of LoL is that the team is as strong as the dumbest feeder. But hey, the point is to find a strategy that survives the moron fest:


Anonymous said...

The only "strategy" is "join clan and follow guides until your rank stops climbing." After that, it's the clickfest that determines the winner. Save yourself the time of grinding up to that inevitable roadblock and choose a different game.

Anonymous said...

Did you consider other mobas or did you just default to LoL for it being the most popular one? I think DotA2 would have offered more depth and chance for strategy. Regardless nice to see you trying out different games to blog about instead of giving up the blogging.

Anonymous said...

That's the only strategy others have found. Maybe there is something else to be found, only visible for the eyes of Gevlon ;)

Anonymous said...

The problem with this experiment is that sooner or later you will run out of gain in ranks. There are enough smart people playing that game who knows strategy (and thinks outside the box) that at some point you will end up at the same level as them, and then it will be determined by who is best at the "clickfest".

Would love for you to prove me wrong however!


Caldazar said...

I really wonder what you will write about with LoL.
No economy, no character evolution, and character strategy guides seems not very goblin.

Gevlon said...

LoL is not only the most popular. It's the only where laning phase is serious enough. DOTA2 is almost instantly teamfights (= clickfest)

No doubt I will reach the point where strategy is optimized and only clickfest matters. However I believe it will be only after I'm in top 10%, which proves the point.

Cathfaern said...

Did you considered Heroes of the Storm? It should be slower (less clickfest) than LoL and more strategy (Blizz said the aim was to make it more like a battleground in WoW).

Anonymous said...

Well, no one is going to be "playing 4 fun" in a strictly PvP game.

Skeddar said...

Since I am actually a League of Legends player and not an Eve player I am happy you give that game another try. I am curious what kind of strategy you'll find to climb the ladder. Since you're a data guy, optimising item builds or jungle paths should happen rather quickly.

As you noticed the win percentage of a team is very dependant on the worst member, so if you start playing ranked games, you might want to try a dodge approach. Basically in the pick/ban lobby (not sure if you already know about draft mode which is different from blind pick) you see your teammember's names. You can look up these names on various sites like and check on their winrates overall and with certain champs. If you find an underperformer (like someone with a 20% wr on his chosen champ) dodging the game (closing the client before the drafting is over) can be a valid strategy. You get punished with LP loss and a short ban from the queue (5-30 minutes), but since your intern mmr rating doesn't suffer it can help a lot to boost your hidden mmr which will result in higher LP gains.
It's some kind of meta gaming I suppose.

More info here:

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear from goblin, what LoL have done well on both gameplay and non-gameplay(leveling, gearing, ladders etc). And dont miss on bad parts too, its more important to know what is wrong.

Personally, i think LoL is very well written competive game. Its even nice to watch.

1)4 different spells per character, you quickly understand what character capabilities. WoW with 10+ spells per character is way harder to understand.
2)Its competive, so everything must be equal on starting a new match, income, items, exept champions, thats the only different. Even all the maps are mirrored from middle on.
3)Champions make difference, so more champions you have available, more different stategies you can make.
4)Unlocking specific champion is relatively cheap, unlocking all of them is costly, both time and money wise.
5)Skins actually make difference. You notice some colors better then others, good example is anivia default skin vs any other one. Other then that, customizing you champ dont give any other benefits.
6)Time managmaent is extremly good. Match is 20-60 min in length. Personally thats ideal lenght of game to be focused, after that you need break. Usually, matchmaking on competive levels takes 5-10 minutes, whats ideal breaktime to be ready for another round.
7)Entry is done with leveling, gradually giving more power and variance. What means newbies are with same power level newbies and skilled players with same power skilled players.

What i miss on lol
1) You wont make a difference. You can win a game singlehandley, but after that victory, you are still the same. No benefits, no disadvantages.
2) No evolution, leveling is teaching tool, not evolution tool. But its competive, so it must be so
3) You dont lose anything ever. Well, only time playing game. Competive game requirement agains.
4) No preparation. No resources to consume, nothing to fix, repair, build. That is needed to be Competive game
5) Mostly reaction based. If you can dodge Malphite ult consistently, you will look champion pool differently. If you dont have good reaction, its different game.

Gro said...

Playing to win pushes one to take advantage of cheese and borderline exploits. In EVE, it pushed people to metagame the hell out of it. In the end, you only get people not playing a game, but gaming a game to play people.
It also breaks immersion and destroys "play pretend", and it needs no explaining.

It's really not hard to understand but sociopathic retards have a tendency to not get it :^)

Zyrus said...

Based on you'll hit top 10% once you get to platinum, which sounds about right, that's the point where the game becomes very mechanical intensive.

Anonymous said...

If you aren't playing to win, you aren't playing at all (or maybe playing a different game)
Do not blame people for metagaming and exploits. Blame the developers for setting up bad game rules and/or not enforcing them properly.

Eve for example has N+1 mechanics, with the consequence that wars are won or lost on reddit. Don't blame Mittani for spinning, blame CCP for making it profitable.


Anonymous said...

Smite also has a pretty serious laning phase. You could maybe check that out. I haven't played LoL or DotA2 but I've heard that Smite relies much more on "skill shots" than them.

maxim said...

Why not HotS (Heroes of the Storm)?

Gevlon said...

I didn't see HotS and Smite on the toplists. Simply not enough players.

Hanura H'arasch said...

"I didn't see HotS and Smite on the toplists. Simply not enough players."

A shame given the fact that HotS lacks both overly toxic players (which are silenced, and thus banned from ranked play) as well as having to memorize item/champion combinations (as talents don't require you to keep a full-blown simulator nearby to determine the numerically most efficient build). Having objectives naturally also provide more meaningful decisions (i.e. do we fight the enemy team at a level disadvantage at the objective or do we soak lanes instead?).

Though, all of this comes to the expense of the "WTF LOOL WTH!!!" moments of LoL when someone randomly wins a 1v5 fight, which players seem to enjoy so much.

Samus said...


That's top 10% of ranked players. I am guessing Gevlon means top 10% of all players. At least half the players don't play ranked. Accounting for that, it would mean Gold IV is his goal, which seems pretty reasonable to me. Gold V is where Silver level players top out at when they play enough games to get there eventually (note that Gold V is one of the biggest divisions), Gold IV is a more accurate start of the "next tier" of players.

Gevlon, you should know that the "season" will end some time in early November. All Ranking will be reset in January. I don't know if you have enough time to find a strategy, perfect it, and then play enough games to get the kind of ranking you are looking for. (Another analysis showed it takes an average of 400 ranked games to reach your correct ranking based on your skill.)

Cathfaern said...

Did you see EvE on any toplist? Or why toplists matter now?

Riful said...

The madian of ranked players is currently around Silver5.

Gevlon said...

@Riful, Samus: any link with reliable info of player distribution?

@Cathfaern: toplists matter among games of the same type, since more readers can be reached. EVE is of its own genre.

Samus said...


Again, that is of ranked players, not ALL players. Most players don't play ranked.


The last time Riot released detailed numbers was in 2014, when it was 67 million players per month, 27 million logging in every single day.

They are now simply saying "100+ million play every month."

There are currently just under 3 million ranked players in EUW:

According to this, EUW is 23.56% of all players:

So if we say 23 million players in EUW, and 3 million of them are ranked, you are already in the top 10% just being in Silver V. Silver I puts you in the top 5%, Gold IV in the top 3%, and Plat IV puts you in the top 1%.

You might be in the EUNE region, but the percentages are very close to the same in all regions.

Gro said...

"If you aren't playing to win, you aren't playing at all (or maybe playing a different game)
Do not blame people for metagaming and exploits. Blame the developers for setting up bad game rules and/or not enforcing them properly"

A lot of people play for immersion, and love play pretend. They don't care much about winning or losing, as they'd rather take part in an imaginary and subconscious storytelling -even if it's a 20 mn turret defense game with very little storytelling substance-, rather than winning 0.5 points of whatever to include in an immersion-breaking cheese-heavy minmax build. They play for -gasp- fun, I know it's a taboo word for people who tend to confuse their RL endeavors with their gaming ones.

I agree tho, play-to-win and play-for-fun don't play the same game. Play-to-win types play against other people to best them in ever unbalanced and exploitable settings (all MMOs and MOBAs, as opposed to most FPS that rely on pure skill), they want to feel good about winning, while play-for-fun types play WITH people, and don't care much about pvp outcomes, they want immersion and a multiplayer experience that somehow tries to preserve the 4th wall.

There's only one way to prevent cheese and borderline exploits in a MMO: to allow only one class to players, give them all the same available gear, and flatten all settings.

Play-to-win and griefer types actively force devs to limit freedom in games, since those players cheese and minmax.
Think Ultima Online: server was full pvp FFA, then griefers had fun, then UO was sharded and trammelized, therefore limiting freedom for all because of a subgroup of players.