5 things League of Legends should take from Dota 2
A veteran of either of these games should know how many differences they have. Here’s a list of five aspects of Dota that League needs to give a second look.
I know. Many of you are looking at the screen right now and saying to yourself, “apples to oranges,” but while League of Legends and Dota 2 may have many unique characteristics separating themselves, League of Legends would do well to adopt some suggestions from the other side.
Let’s take a look.
#1) Item variation
In League of Legends, stats are everything. 99% of the time, you buy an item simply to bulk up on damage, armor, MR, etc.
In Dota however, stats are only half of the equation when it comes to items. The player must consider things like teleport scrolls, a blink dagger which gives the same effect of Flash in League, Black King Bar to make you spell immune, an item which stuns the target as an on hit effect, and many more.
It would be nice to see some of these ideas pushed into the Rift in the coming seasons.
Obviously League at its core has more item limitations than Dota does (Black King Bar alone in League would be busted,) but some more variation on the shelves would be a healthy thing for League as currently the shop feels a bit stale, especially for specific roles.
Want lifesteal? Get Bloodthirster. Want damage? Infinity Edge. Want a little of both? Go for BORK. And that’s about it. You’ll never see much more variation than that when it comes to an ADC deciding how to build. There are one or two items to choose from for each purpose, and only one of them is the better choice 95% of the time.
It’s time things evolved, and a good place to start would be items that mess with champion placement. ADC’s would love the ability to distance themselves from their target as an active item ability (which is another feature of an item from Dota.) Or maybe an item for ADC’s to gain damage and have the ability to grapple to a nearby wall (a la Camille?) Something…anything, really.
In my opinion, League of Legends has hindered itself by creating a standard of very limited range for many of its champions. Whenever we see an ability with great range, it comes with some catch. Such as Jhin’s W, which has very low damage and only roots an enemy if they’ve been damaged recently. Or Jinx’s R, which doesn’t deal any damage up close, the same can be said for Ashe’s R as the stun duration is drastically reduced.
So what does Dota have in this regard that League doesn’t?
Items that increases the range of all your abilities, heros (champs) that come with insane kits, and basic attack ranges really push away the trade-offs of being a glass cannon ADC. Dota boasts this uniqueness proudly and should. To have a game with so many different mechanics which take courage to implement and improve is a feat on its own. But just because League doesn’t have the same style, doesn’t mean it can’t.
So how would I like to see range changes be implemented?
I’m going to refer to the ADC’s of League again, as they’ve felt pretty underpowered as of late and I think they would be a good place to start. Let’s begin with what I think is good already: Ezreal.
Ezreal has a global ultimate, attack speed buffs (and debuffs,) mobility, and a decently ranged q to poke with which make him difficult to master but extremely effective. This is the type of champion I would like to see remain untouched.
Moving to the “A bit worse but still good” column, we have Ashe. Now Ashe obviously isn’t doing too good on the Rift at the moment, but this isn’t about their current performance in the meta, its about the champion’s identity and whether their kit serves its purpose.
In my opinion, Riot’s standard on an adc’s range is one of the biggest reason’s for Ashe’s underperformance on the rift.
She can slow enemies, which sounds nice in theory, except that kiting is nearly impossible due to all the mobility options on the rift. If you slow an Irelia at 600 units, good job. Now she’s going to q you and you’re probably going to die. Unless you R her, that is. Then she’ll be stunned for half a second and then kill you.
If Riot were to alter Ashe’s attack range to somewhere around Caitlyn’s, Ashe would serve her purpose as a kiting queen much better.
And onto the worst of the worst in this case, we have Sivir.
A champ that relies on speed and getting up close who can’t survive anything up close isn’t really what a summoner is looking for when choosing who to play in the AD carry slot. And I haven’t included Sivir in these examples just to say “increase her auto range.” There’s more to the problem than that, and range doesn’t have to be the answer to save all sinking marksmen ships. There’s other ways.
Why not give her an armour and MR boost when blocking abilites? Or give her kit some stealth mechanic to get up close without being focused down?
There is a lot Riot could do here, and it’s a similar sad story for many other AD carries, but taking a page from Dota 2’s book could help turn things around, and matching the kit to the champion is always a recipe for success.
I think tweaking their stance on range is a nice place to start, and at least get the ball rolling in the right direction.
#3) Extra inventory
Have you ever been up against an Akali and thought to yourself, “I should really buy a pink ward for her.”?
If you’ve ever been up against an Akali, then you should have. But more to the point, I’m betting there was a time when you couldn’t buy a pink ward because you were full build already, wasn’t there?
If League were to implement some system whereby you could store items without gaining their stat bonuses for later use, warding would remain just as much a part of the game late on as it is early, instead of relying on your support (who might not have even gotten sightstone) to throw three wards down at baron.
It would be a small change, and wouldn’t even need to include non-consumables. Simply adding a pocket for potions or pink wards once a champ was full build would be a nice touch that I think Dota, with its extra non-beneficiary inventory slots, does nicely.
#4) Bounty runes (Or some variation of them)
Riot has done a good job in making sure the rift has multiple objectives to be mindful of at all times. The not so recent addition of Rift Herald shored up the top lane and made it a bit less boring, and I love the Scuttle and moonfruit being in the river as points of sustain for laners and junglers, which aren’t to be under-appreciated.
But I think the addition of a claimable bounty (an orb that grants gold and xp, for example) near some choke-points on the rift similar to how Dota 2 places their bounties on the bottom and topsides of the map near the river would go a long way in making the laning phase of the game a little more timing intensive as players try shove their lane just in time to go and grab a bounty as it spawns.
League players everywhere would probably scorn this idea, but I do think change is a good thing. And the early game might need some slight changes.
#5) Get rid of free wards, please
I understand that it might be helpful for new players to be able to see exactly what a ward is and always have one on hand if they need it, but giving everyone on the rift 2 free wards which refresh on a cooldown takes away the art that was once warding and made it a matter of timing windows.
Placing a ward down shouldn’t be something you do mindlessly because you see your number 4 has come off cooldown, it should be something you have to invest money and thought in.
I know it might seem petty of me to be annoyed with this, but I truly do think that the game of League is at its best when its played like a chess game of tactics. You shouldn’t see a gank coming because you and your support have infinite wards to throw at the bushes around you, you should see it coming because you decided to spend the money to buy a ward and place it somewhere you felt was important.
Timing, forethought, and experience are all important parts of warding, but giving them out at the start of the game throws all of that out of the window.
And if you want to know what I’m talking about, go play a game of Dota. The feeling of needing to buy the wards yourself and take up inventory space simply to gain vision on the map might sound tedious, but feels extremely rewarding when you help your team out in avoiding bad situations or create good ones.
But hey, they’re only wards, this is just an opinion, and I’m only human. Still, Riot are a collection of robots, and I expect more (thanks for the free game and all.)