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Riot's Design Philosophy on Monster Champions Makes Me Sad

So since Lillia’s release, there’s been a sentiment expressed by Riot Reav3 in regards to Riot’s design philosophies regarding monster champions. Mainly this post specifically he made:
https://www.reddit.com/leagueoflegends/comments/idi08y/champion_design_is_going_in_a_direction_i_dont/
*“VGUs totally count when we look at our year roadmap. We still want to make monsters and creatures we just make less of them since they are more niche and when we look at the years roadmap we include VGUs. That being said we have made it a goal to have at least one non-human new champ a year, and we might do more then 1 in a year where we didnt also do VGUs on monster champs. Yuumi was the non-human for 2019 and Lillia is the non-human for 2020. For 2020 though we already knew we were going to ship both Volibear and Fiddle so there wasnt that much room for more monstecreature champs, though we still made Lillia. One of the reasons we chose to make Lillia a whimsical/cute creature was to contrast Voli and Fiddle since we were doing 3 creatures/monster champs in a row. If Shyvana had won the VGU poll, for example, we might have done a new monster champ this year. TL:DR we still want to make creature/monster champs but less since they are niche, and VGUs count towards the amount we make”
This really irks me for numerous reasons. Not so much that I’m mad about it, but so much that I’m sad about it. I’d like to discuss these things in broad strokes, to express why I’m sad about it, and also just issues I have with other things Riot does in regards to this.
Also for the sake of discussion, since Reav3 calls these champs “creatures” rather than “monsters”, I’m just gonna call them creatures too. It’s easier that way.
Problem One: Riot’s creature design philosophies are based on, imo, flawed data
What do I mean by this?
Basically Riot is saying creatures are generally more niche than humans, so they’ll make less.
However, Riot’s own design philosophies have ended up making this happen just as much as player engagement has.
Here’s a question for you dear reader: Do you know how many Skirmisher champions there are in League (The class that includes Yasuo, Jax and Fiora)? And how many of them are creatures?
The answer is 9 (arguably 10), and only 1 of them is a creature: Lillia.
It took Riot 10 years to make a creature skirmisher, and she’s arguably the most niche in terms of gameplay design of all of them.
Similarly, if you look at the assassin roster, there are 17 champions, of which only 3 are creatures: Fizz, Rengar and Kha’Zix. One could argue Shaco and Nocturne also fit in to this category, and while I can agree on Noc I can’t on Shaco.
What about marksmen? 23 champions, 5 creatures: Tristana, Kog’Maw, Kindred, Corki and Twitch. One could argue a case for Kalista here, but either way you’re looking at around a quarter to a fifth of marksmen being creatures.
Enchanters? 3 out of 10 are creatures: Nami, Lulu and Yuumi. A third so not too bad all things considered.
Mages? Not as bad either. You’re looking at about 9 champions out of around 33. Bit under a third.
Then you get in to the area of tanks and fighters, where creatures are way more common. Out of the 14 Vanguard tanks, 10 are expressly creature champions, and 1 extra in Nunu & Willump; well over half of them. Among the 6 Warden tanks it’s an even split. For Divers it’s roughly half and half too, while for Juggernauts it’s in creature favour.
The thing to note here is that the largest proportions of creature champions exist either in inherently niche roles such as tank, or specialist, or are the most niche version of other roles such as marksmen and assassins. This in itself leads to skewed data; if Riot’s creature roster is largely niche by it’s very design, the player base will inherently follow this and be playing more of the human roster, who by and large tend to be more broad in scope and role. The tl;dr here is that Riot’s own gameplay design for their creature roster can be considered a factor in why League’s creatures are, by and large, less popular than the humans.
But there’s also a third element here, in that Riot has created successful, popular creature champions multiple times. And...they seemingly just don’t care to factor in to their data for some reason?
Warwick, Malphite, Yuumi, Volibear and Thresh are all prime examples of creatures that endure as popular champions throughout League’s history, and there are other standouts such as Rengar, Hecarim, Kha’Zix and Aatrox. Instead of looking at these champions to see what they succeed at and how they can try and expand on those concepts while making creature champions, Riot just...ignores them. I really don’t know why.
Feels like Kindred and Aurelion Sol had something to do with this; like how they as champions received huge positive reception for their themes, characterization and the like, but then more or less flopped in the popularity department, and Riot took it hard enough they don’t believe a non-human can be successful regardless of what they do. That’s just me being suspicious though.
Problem Two: Riot bundles all creatures together, implying that all creatures are the same.
The first thing to discuss here is that Riot seemingly believes that all of these champions are something that can be bundled together under the broad label of “creature”.
Going by this logic, this means that the following champions are, in essence, within the same niche:
  • Aatrox
  • Teemo
  • Lillia
  • Vel’Koz
  • Fiddlesticks
  • Rengar
  • Blitzcrank
  • Hecarim
Looking at those champions, I think we’d all agree that they’re so disparate from one another that calling them all “creature”, while technically true, is also a gross simplification. Yes they’re not human, but to think that these things fundamentally are the same and thus exist within the same niche is, in my opinion, harmful from a design perspective.
Creature champions can cover as wide a variety of niches as humans champions, and then do more, considering that, even within the same kind of creature theme, champions can be made substantially more varied than that.
If we look at cute creatures, we can boil it down to being Lillia, Yuumi, Nunu & Willump and yordles, however not only do Lillia and Yuumi provide this theme while also being drastically different champions in terms of aesthetic design, gameplay and silhouette, but every single yordle that is classified as cute does to. The kind of cute that Teemo gives off when compared to Lulu is notably distinct, as Lulu is more about frantic, crazy whimsy, whereas Teemo is more about youthful wonder and enthusiasm, which in itself is closer to what Nunu & Willump go for, but with extra flavour in their overarching theme of true friendship and their icy thematic.
If we look at monster champions similarly, we can boil things down to Aurelion Sol, Fiddlesticks, Skarner and the Voidborn as League’s “pure monsters”. Within this, Fiddlesticks represents demonic, eldritch horror, Aurelion Sol represents the grandiose, majesty, but also impossible might and scope of cosmic power, while the Voidborn are all more about inhuman, alien horror. Within that too, the Voidborn present different themes as well, considering the cuteness of Kog’Maw contrasts with the cold cruelty of Vel’Koz and the primal, animalistic themes of Rek’Sai.
This isn’t to say that recent creature champions being more cute is in itself a bad thing; they’re something that’s been sorely needed in League for a while. Lillia’s quickly become a favourite of mine, so I can see the value they have personally. But they aren’t in the same thematic ballpark as the more monstrous or humanoid creatures, and it’s what players like myself are really craving.
By condensing these things all in to the label of “creature”, it dilutes what makes each of them unique, as if being a creature/non-human is something that can be expressed as a singular, intrinsic value, which is wholly inaccurate.
This segways in to the second issue I have:
Problem Three: The above means that creature champions have to compete for space with each other in the roster.
When it comes to design variance, it makes sense to spread out champions that’re edgy, cute, serious, masculine, feminine, horrific, funny, or any other themes, as too much of the same thing can be boring for players and designers alike.
The problem here comes from the fact that, given Reav3’s comments, seemingly the idea of being a creature is also included in that, when in my opinion it shouldn’t.
The reason is simple: by making “creature” what amounts to a theme for a champion rather than a design element, it means those individual creature thematics have to compete for space in the roster. This is especially noteworthy since Reav3 has said they aim to have at least 1 creature champion a year at minimum, and since VGUs are counted against having more than 1, it means that the following will be competing for space not just with the five yearly humans, but also with eachother for a single champion slot per year:
  • Darkin
  • Voidborn
  • Celestial Beings
  • Yordles
  • Undead
  • Demons
  • Spirits
  • Ascended
  • Non-Human Races
  • Animals
  • Robots
  • Anything wholly new Riot wants to add
With the Mundo VGU having been said to be putting Mundo in to the creature space in terms of aesthetic and silhouette (this in itself is theoretically good for Mundo btw), this means that 2021 looks to be a year with one new creature and that’s it, especially since we have no idea what the other VGU Riot’s currently doing is.
Now in some cases this is perfectly understandable. This year in fact, Riot only releasing one new creature, especially coming hot off of the heels of two creature VGUs, makes sense. Three creatures is a lot to roll out at once, and each one was distinct from each other and provided something new to the roster, so that’s not an issue.
However there’s also cases like 2019, with one new creature in Yuumi, one VGU that could be argued to be a creature in Morde, and 7 other champion releases: 4 new ones, 3 VGUs, that were all human.
And also 2018, where there were no new creatures, only creature VGUs, of which there were 1 and 1/2.
We already have seen the effects of this in practice:
  • It’s been 9 years since the last female yordle
  • It’s been 6 years since the last Voidborn, Ascended or Shadow Isles monster
  • It’s been 5 years since the last demon
  • It’s been 4 years since the last yordle or celestial being
  • It’s been 3 years since the last animal-humanoid
This is factoring in only new releases, but there’s a strong argument to be made that VGUs don’t hit the same as new releases, not just for Riot’s bottom line, but also for player engagement. There’s a difference between updates to an already existing champion, and an entirely new one, when it comes to player engagement.
So does this mean it’s gonna be 2024 before we see a new celestial being? 2026 before we see a new yordle lass? 2030 before we have a new darkin?
While perhaps a bit hyperbolic on my part it’s also a legitimate concern I have as a fan of non-humans.
Problem Four: If creature champions are supposed to be the “niche champions”, then what about niche human champions?
This isn’t as big a concern for me personally just because with so many more human releases it feels like it won’t be an issue, but it’s something that still bothers me.
If creature champions are expected by Riot to fill in the more niche roles within gameplay archetypes and classes, then the chances of seeing a new Taric, Swain, Zyra, Illaoi or Urgot go down drastically, which in my opinion dilutes the human roster in and of itself, as if it’s all made to be broadly appealing it’ll very quickly start getting stale.
I’m personally not much of a human-champion player, as you might’ve guessed, but I still try them and stick with some. Sona, Morgana, Irelia and Taric are among some of my favourites. In respect to that though, y’know what’s gonna tank my interest in human champions super hard? If it’s just all Yasuo’s, Setts and Kai’Sa’s from here onwards. There’s only so many edgelords, beef cakes and super models I can take before I just say “I literally can’t care less about you please go away” .
Hell, that’s been me for the last few years anyway. Before Lillia, the last champion that really stuck with me was Ornn, released 3 years prior. The exception is Neeko, but her gameplay doesn’t stick with me, just her personality and lore. And also her fantastic Star Guardian skin.
As I said, I don’t think this will be as big of an issue because of the frequency at which Riot pumps out humans. It’ll be hard to not make some of them niche, even if it’s ultimately accidental. Even then though, it is still a concern.
Problem Five: People keep saying it’s all China’s fault, but if that’s the case where are all the god damn new dragon champions
That title may be a bit weird, but lemme explain.
I see this talked about a lot, and it mostly comes from that one tweet about the top aesthetically pleasing champions between NA/EU and China, where in the former category it’s more broad between humans and creatures, while in China it’s all bad arse lads and sexy lasses.
The thing is not only does that tweet not tell the entire story, as it ignores two main things:
  • China’s playerbase ADORES Malphite
  • China’s culture ADORES dragons
The argument of “China only wants sexy humans so we won’t get creatures” comes across to me as shortsighted and not looking deep enough, because it ignores the fact that some creature champions do succeed in China; we know of Malphite, but that’s just one case, and there are likely a good few more that’re successful. It also doesn’t account for the fact that China fucking loves dragons, and if Riot really wanted to nail the Chinese audience, we’d have seen a 4th dragon themed champion by now.
We have 3 dragon themed champions: a mage, a juggernaut and a diver. Where’s the support dragon? The marksman dragon? The tank dragon? The assassin dragon?
This one’s more of a bug bear I have with the community than a problem with Riot’s design philosophies, but I’m including it specifically cuz I know ya’ll’ll bring it up so I’m bringing it up myself, and if you bring it up yourselves without addressing the point I’ve made here I’ll have an excuse to laugh at your expense for not reading fully (hehehehe).
Ok Sharjo we get it, but really, who cares? It’s not like Riot’s doing anything wrong are they? Why is this important?
In broad strokes, it’s not really important.
Riot can design champions as they want to, and if they believe it’s best for the game that’s on them. There isn’t anything wrong with it at all, functionally speaking. But that’s not why I made this post.
I made this post because I’m sad.
Sad because it feels like Reav3’s saying Riot won’t make champions I’ll really care about for a long time.
Sad because it feels like he’s saying that the things I value in champion design, from an aesthetic and lore point of view, don’t matter at all.
Sad because it’s completely sapped all the joy and anticipation I’ve had from new champion releases, knowing this.
Sad because it’s killed any motivation I had to see new champions at all, because they’ll all be humans with broadly appealing, generic themes that I won’t care about anyway.
Sad because it’s as if Riot’s saying they want to make the game less magical, less expansive, less impactful, less awe inspiring, while we have the stories of Universe and the cards of Legends of Runeterra exploring concepts and ideas that the current champion roster doesn’t even scratch the surface of.
Creatures, to me, represent some fundamentally important things within the realm of fantasy. They’re where the creative muscles can really be flexed, the limits of imagination stretched, and can explore specific themes that human characters can struggle with, while also still being approachable within human-centric themes as well. They help diversify and enhance the roster of the game, ensuring that not every game is just humans, humans and more humans. They help to express the more fundamentally unique and mystical elements of the world, and can be both insanely human in some ways, and widely alien in others, allowing for some truly unique experiences.
Runeterra has troll women that’re as savage and powerful as the troll men. It has edible vegetable people, living constellations, cyclopian ice beasts, star unicorns, an entire 1920’s styled pirate underground of spiritual animal creature things I still don’t fully understand other than they’re all amazing, and seemingly very little of that will ever find it’s way in to League of Legends.
The new champion; the support, should be my jam considering support is one of my preferred roles, but given Riot’s words on the matter of creatures, all I’m expecting is a grizzled Noxian that I’ll pick up and put down within a few weeks. I want to be wrong. League’s a game that’s given me champions that’ve captivated and inspired me immensely.
But the three years of wait between Ornn and Lillia, with no new champions between that I’ve really engaged with outside of VGUs, and the shift to those same generic, broadly appealing humans popping up everywhere and getting all the attention, while many of the champions I love get left in the dust, has gradually worn away at me.
It’s the same feeling I’ve had about skins. It’s not just the pain of seeing other champions get skins on the regular, it’s cases like Lux, where she gets an ultimate, two legendaries, a prestige and like three epic skins in the time it takes Skarner, a champion I love, to get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Every skin for Miss Fortune, Ezreal and Lucian gives me similar feelings, it’s not exclusive to just her. Tbh I feel like Ezreal skins hurt most because he’s a champion I actively despise.
Even writing this post makes me sad, cuz it reminds me of why every new champion release is a mire of disappointment for me, and reminds me of a time where I was super stoked for every new face to the roster, regardless of who or what they were.
I don’t wanna feel this way, but it feels like this is the lot I’ve been given for liking creature champions over human champions.
Got a TL;DR? This is kinda long
Sure.
  • I’m a big fan of monsters, creatures, and anything that can be considered a non-human
  • I think Riot’s design philosophies towards creature champions are inherently flawed
  • They seemingly ignore the fact they have historically designed creatures to be more niche in general, skewing player perceptions and the data they can get from said champions
  • They seemingly ignore the successful, popular creatures and ordain to learn nothing from them to help make new creatures
  • They bundle all creatures together as if they’re all the same, which I think is wrong
  • They’re committed to one new creature a year at minimum, great, but that creates concern about what will make it in and what won’t, especially since VGUs affect this, and Mundo counts as a creature for next year
  • That one slot has every possible creature design fighting for a chance to occupy it, so for every darkin we get, we potentially miss out on getting a yordle, demon, celestial or something else
  • People are too quick to blame China for aspects of champion design philosophy. If Riot really wanted to stan China as hard as we say they do we’d have seen way more dragons in the roster by now
  • All of the above makes me really, really sad
And that’s it.
Sorry if this post seems a bit down and out, especially towards the end, but it's been a long last 3 years. There are only so many jojo memes, 200 years and people constantly putting down some of your favourite champs because of they're "creatures" that a lad can take before he's worn out.
Thanks for reading!
submitted by Sharjo to leagueoflegends

Comparing League of Legends and DotA 2

.Introduction
I first played DotA 2 back in 2012, when it was released
Ever since, I've been playing the game. For 4 years I played it very casually with friends and with long gaps between matches. By 2016 I started playing ranked games, solo game and bought every Battle Pass (major or ti) ever since
This year I first created an League of Legends account after I felt dissapointed by DotA in general, I was frustrated about competitive matches, about the battle pass, about casual play and toxicity. So, I haven't played DotA now for 3 months
I've been playing League for 4 months now on my own account, but played with friends before in their old acc because it had more heroes
- Goal
My goal here is to make a detailed comparisson between DotA and League, they're purely my impressions and I'll bring some details and facts about them. Be free to agree or disagree, it's not supposed to be a diss on any game. I'll highlight whatever I think is important.

  • 1 - Hardware
1.1. Size and Content
- DotA 2
DotA 2 is a pretty heavy game (16gb according to google, but it takes up to 25gb once installed) considering it's online. Once you download it, you notice it'll take up to 25gb from your hardware. It includes only the base game and what you need to play it.
- League of Legends
League is a pretty light game (8.2gb) even if we consider it's online. You take a lot less time to download and install it, and it includes Teamfight Tactics, which is the Riot version of DotA Chess
1.2. General Hardware Section
- DotA 2
Although DotA is a heavier game, it is also a very good looking game. If you have a mid-end computer it'll be enough to play with ultra graphics, and you feel rewarded because the game gives you more graphicwise than you'd expect for an online game, making it's size an understandable and necessary part of the game
It's important to say that low end computers can run DotA 2, but it feels like a whole different game
- League of Legends
League is way lighter than DotA, but it can be a decent looking game from time to time. A low-end computer is more than enough to run the game, and a mid-end computer is sure to run it at it's best. More recent aspects of the game can be very good looking and the animations are great, but, sometimes, the game feels like a punishment for everyone who has a decent hardware.
League is very limited graphic-wise, but it brings some fun aspects that make up to it. Playing either on your best graphic option or lowest graphic option isn't really that much of a change for mid-end/high-end hardware owners.
1.3. Hardware Section - Bugs, Glitches and Lag
- DotA 2
I experienced way more hardware problems with DotA 2 than with League of Legends, but it may be because I player DotA 2 for way longer than I've played League. I'm talking about black screen, random freezes, stuttering and crashes. I played it with low-end, mid-end and high-end hardware, and what I have to say is, DotA 2 punishes hard low-end hardwares who can only reach it's minimun requisitions, and rewards only high-end hardwares. To achieve a playable game in low-end hardwares, you have to give up a lot.
My impression is, DotA is a very heavy game without SSD, you can't really keep it opened without it being a suffering to start a game without it lagging or giving black screen for players. But, Valve seems very aware of that aspect and brings some comeback funtionalities, like the pause system which is very helpful in case your game crashes.
It's important to say thou that every fix I found it was because of foruns like reddit, not because Valve had a group to deal with it. You can try it via Steam, but you'll receive mostly random automatic messages.
- League of Legends
I experience a few hardware problems with League, which is frustrating considering it's not ok to face hardware problems in a light game if you have a high-end hardware like I do. I had black screen, the game not loading properly and loading during the matches. It is very playable thou, and I heard very little complaints from other players.
Riot thou gives you an option to talk to them, and, unlikely Valve, they give you a decent response. Riot tries their best to solve your hardware problem and won't cease communication unless they feel like something is done, which is, at least, the experience I had. Once I fixed the game, I didn't face any other problem.
  • 2 - Gameplay
2.1. Aspects shared between both games
Since we're talking about 2 MobA's, naturally they have similar gameplay. But, for me, DotA and League gameplay can only be trully measured between their differences, mostly because they're insanely huge
Both games features an Arena with 2 bases, each base configuring a team, each team with 5 players who can choose between a wide pool of heroes. Each player have to choose between 1 of 3 lanes, bot, mid and top, and can also play in the jungle, featuring neutral units. Both games features big objectives around the river that splits the map, and both game are heavily team-based.
2.2. DotA 2 gameplay
First things first, even thou the games share similarities, DotA 2 is way more richier and complex than League. I'm talking here about basics aspects needed to play a decent game (farming mechanism, itens usage, objectives, position, etc) not complex ones (micro, abilities, retreat mechanisms, roshan steal. etc)
I think it's important to give emphasis to the rich part, because, even you DotA is complex, it's complexity adds to the game, making it more fun and impressive. A lot of people blame DotA's fail for it's complexity, I think that's where DotA is succesful.
DotA has a way less objectives than League thou. The most important thing is to destroy enemies base, the second one is to kill Roshan. That's about it, the rest is up to your team to work around to make these objectives possible.
Some of the exclusive DotA 2 mechanics are: avoiding skills and ranged attacks with blink, complex micro skills, creep deny, body block, complex fog usage, high ground/low ground mechanics, and many others that I think you guys can point better than me.
DotA also features voice chat, which is a very important aspect of the gameplay and makes the teamplay very interesting
This is something that I'd like to elaborate on more later, but I think it's important to say that every gameplay aspect is free, but some live gameplay tips aspects are available through paid content (dota plus and battle pass)
2.3. League of Legends gameplay
League mechanism is based less on complexity and more on instant results. I'm note sure how can I explain it, but League gameplay is way faster and immediate than DotA's. Using skills, hitting, fighting, everything hits instantly, making it a fast paced game that requires constant attention because a lot can go on in a second
Here I'll try to demistify that LoL is a basic game. Actually, it feels very full of information because heroes appears out of nowhere, they can jump long distances and there's no animation time for most of the skills. Also, the map is way smaller than DotA's map, so heroes can move from one lane to another in a matter of seconds. Plus, the jungle position is a fixed position in League, so every lane can be ganked and the game features a bunch of objectives. From minute 1 you can steal enemies Blue/Red buffs, from minute 3 you can kill these crabs that gives you vision, from minute 4 you can fight for Dragon buffs, from minute 6 you can fight Harold, later on you can fight Baron and the drags keep respawning and changing.
League doesn't feature many of the complex mechanics from dota, but the game requires a big understanding of the heroes, since you can easily be punished for not knowing the enemy potential, your own hero potential or your teammates potential. It's hard to work around things you don't understand yet, but you can easily understand your own hero since the game hardly features any really hard mechanic, except for few heroes like Aphelios.
It's important to say that League values the animations (no heroes animation, like DotA have. What I mean here is the beauty and graphics of the skills) a lot, so even if a skill is basic, it features a lot of explosions, light, text and lots of stuff to make it interesting.
3. Conclusions about gampelay
What I can say, as a player, is that DotA 2 gameplay values rewarding you for patience, skill and knowledge, and League gameplay values rewarding you for instant results, fast-paced mechanics and beautiful animations.
By that I don't mean that one aspect can't be seem on the other game, it's just a general impression of how things work

  • 3 - Additional Content (Game enhancements and cosmetics)
- DotA 2
DotA 2 main additional features are heroes cosmetics, map cosmetics, sound effects, voice lines and DotA plus. Each year for 4 months it also features the battle pass, with a bunch of new cosmetics. DotA 2 cosmetics are very pricy and they have a big range of quality - from extremely ugly to extremely beautiful. Mostly cheap cosmetics make little difference or even make the hero worse, but it can be balanced because you can mix cosmetics.
Mostly, these cosmectics are random and have no theme at all, except for the Battle Pass cosmetics that will bring specific themes, but they're not necessarily followed. Arcana's are considered the most important hero cosmetic, but it doesn't make them necessarily beautiful (Lina's Arcana, for an example)
DotA 2 content can be acquired by real money in Steam, and can also be sold and bought by players.
Cosmeticwise, DotA can bring a lot of joy with beautiful voice lines, beautiful animations and graphics. It may require thou a lot of money to reach this quality, since a full equiped hero with their prettiest itens can cost more than $1000. Also, by buying cosmetics you can support the competitive scenario, which feels great since DotA is a pretty competitive game.
But you can acquire decent cosmetics for $10 or so, there's no real lore connection or something, you can just make it to your own personal taste.
Game enhancements are available mostly trough DotA Plus, a paid content that needs to be renewed monthly. Even thou it's price, it brings very fun content for hero upgrade. It doesn't feature a lot of new content thou, it feels very static and is bad if you consider it a long term investiment.
The last thing I'd like to mention is that DotA features some graphic improvements content, like Vulkan.
In general, DotA is a very expensive game for cosmetics, but when the game is at it's peak, you feel ok and even good about it. For such a complex game, it's very unfriendly for new players to feature gameplay enhancements for money. Also, new additional content is very unpredictable, you're never really sure when it's coming .
- League of Legends
League main additional content features mostly heroes, battle pass, blitz and skins. Unlike DotA, League heroes are not free, you need to buy them with Blue Shards, which is given to you by playing the game or you can buy it. League skins cannot be mixed between each other, so one skin present you with a full hero change. League has no real cheap content like DotA, but it also doesn't feature any really expensive content. Even the ugliest and oldest skins requires a bunch of money that doesn't make it worth, but the most beautiful cosmetics are very accesible.
League coins are called RP, and they're required to get any paid content in the game, which can only be sold by Riot. You can't buy it with straight real money.
League also features way more cosmectics than DotA for a more accesible price, but it's graphics limitation can make it less impressive too. Still, even the most casual player will feel okay spending money in the game, cause for a few bucks you can acquire a very nice reward.
League's Dota Plus, which is blitz, is a game enhancer platform that is free and features way more content than Dota Plus. Blitz will tell you win rate, will chance your spell, recommend runes and specific builds that can be change straight at your draft with little to no delay. It feels like a well thought software that make the new player experience extremely pleasant.
League heroes are not free. Actually, League heroes are very expensive/hard to get if you're not willing to pay for it. Heroes can be bought with blue shard, acquired through playing the game, opening chests, watching the competitive or battle pass. Heroes can also be bought with the paid
League is also very active on social media. They have big events, big announcements and a very well organized agenda, unlikely DotA, featuring even a girl band from the game with huge artists.
Battle Pass is featured almost monthly, they're not as polished as Valve's BP, but they reward you with really rare content
In general, League doesn't feature any expensive content, except for heroes. DotA has content with lower price, but League is not even close to reach the most expensive contents for DotA. The game brings additional content almost everyday.

  • 4 - Player Experience (toxicity, trolls, company involvement, updates, communication, etc)
Here I'll talk mostly about how the game is handled and how the player feels playing the game.
I'll start with this: Riot is a company that cares way more about players than Valve. Riot also cares a lot about making the game alive, while Valve cares mostly about a very specific feud that are Tier 1 competitive players.
- DotA 2
In general, DotA player experience is very frustrating. The game features a huge number of smurfs, booster, toxic and problematic players that can easily go unpunished with being literally a piece of trash. DotA features a limited report system that doesn't really work. It punishes mostly for number of reports and not for wrong actions.
Every year the game loses players, making the player experience even more frustrating because you end up playing with the same players every match, long queues, and an avoid list that is paid. So, having a fun game can be very hard sometimes, playing for fun or not knowing yet how to play as a high skilled player is punished way harder than for being toxic or wrong.
Matchmaking can also be very frustrating. Acquiring tickets to play make it even more frustrating, it makes you play lanes and functions you don't really want/know to and be punished hard by it.
Also, DotA has little updates to every aspect. Small gameplay patches come every 2-3 months and balances little to nothing, and big gameplay patches come twice a year and will hardly change until the next big update. Battle Pass only come once a year, and only the competitive scenario have fixed dates for what's about to happen, which has been changed due to Covid, making even the competitive scenario an unstable enviroment.
Also, Valve cares little to nothing about it's player base. They work mostly around tier 1 players, with long gaps between updates and updates that only values few players. Also, Valve has no communication with players, making it a very unreliable game. They don't really announce when new content will be released, they'll, at best, give you a gap between more than a month for it to be released, and it's not sure that they'll respect this release date.
New player experience is even worse. Valve started to release some new content for new player experience, but it seemed more focused on identifying smurfs and sending them to higher ranks than really introducing players.
- League of Legends
In general, League player experience is ok. But content and communication is where League really shines. The game features a lot of content that is applied constantly, and punishes hard toxic and problematic players. League has, thou, a similar problem with smurfs and boosters.
League punishes problematic players, has an unlimited report system and an insanely huge player base.
League features a lot of updates in every aspect. At least once a month a patch is launched, there's new heroes every now and then and thematic battle pass release.
New player experience is decent, but not great. The game makes you play a very boring tutorial, which is ok I guess if you're a REAL new player, but it informs little to nothing about some of the basic mechanism. Still, it tells a bunch to get you ready to play the game.
League has a fixed matchmaking and you can find matches really fast, except for high rank players, which suffer from the same problem DotA does: long queues.
Riot communication skill is great. They have release dates for contents that'll not come until next year, they pre-release patches and heroes, their tickets work and they'll answer them in most of the cases. Following Riot social media is great, they'll share player content/art, inform important things and share lore content.
  • Competitive Scenario / Ranked System
- DotA 2
Competitive Scenario is where DotA really shines. DotA competitive scene is amazing, it features a huge amount of content and is highly expected by the community. It's the biggest competitive scenario for a game and for a reason, watching it feels great and I don't think I need to make a huge case about it.
The Internatiol is the best single game event. Period. Since this a DotA group, I won't make a case about it, ya'll know how it works.
Whoever follow DotA, knows that from the beggining it's a great game to watch. Professional teams make it a whole new experience
DotA Ranked system, thou, isn't as perfect as it's professional scenario. It features a bunch of problems, feels unbalanced, has long queues, toxicity, smurfs and boosters. It has been recently updated and improved, but still, doesn't feel next to great. Considering DotA was released back on 2012, I can assume that Valve had more than enough that to manage things, but seems like they're not that interested. it also features a huge number of smurfs and boosters.
Medal system was a huge update, but not enough. DotA is a game that needs to value their ranked system because it's based around it's competitive scenario. Withou a decent ranked system, people tend to leave the game.
One last thing to be said is that DotA is way more balanced than most online games in general. Still, the amount of time between updates make it frustrating because you can't unveil much after some time, and some broken features will be abused.
- League of Legends
League competitive scenario is decent, but feels flat in comparison to DotA. Here is where I can't make a case for League. Honestly, watching League competitive scenario feels boring and low on emotion. I can't really make what's wrong with it, maybe I'm used to DotA's competitive scenario, but the connection with the competitive isn't as important for players in League
League values their competitive players way more than DotA, thou. I say this because they don't value only tier 1-2 teams, they have a huge competitive scene even for begginers and tier 5-3 teams. Still, I guess it's easier to value a competitive scenario that isn't as rich as Dota's scenario.
League ranked system is good to great. It can be frustrating sometimes, but I think it's part of playing ranked. The most controversial feature is about to be removed, which is the Best of 3, so I guess there's little to say about it. What can make the Ranked poor is the amount of smurfs and booster, specially for Flex Ranked.
League is insanely unbalanced, but it adds fun to the game. Maybe rankeds don't feel that bad for League because the game itself doesn't want to be balanced, it features a lot of broken heroes with instant kill mechanics, impossible match ups and broken heroes. It still more rotative than DotA thou, since the meta changes a lot.
  • Final Considerations
Basically, what I have to say is: DotA is the better game, but League is way more fun.
I have no doubt that at it's peak, DotA 2 beats LoL in almost every aspect. Right now thou, League features a more friendly player experience, which matters a lot.
The difference between how Valve works and how Riot works it insane, following and playing LoL, casual or competitive, feels way more right, less stressful and more dynamic than DotA.
DotA feels like a great game that was just released and needs a day one patch to fix some fundamental stuff, while LoL goal is just to be fun.
League success is most result of Riot's work, while DotA decline is most result of Valve's work
It saddens me because DotA has the potential, it even reached the top once, but it feels like a dying game with no player experience that is worth. Battle pass was expensive, it featured some busted mechanics like Crystal Maiden wheel shitty 10 cents set, a gap of content between levels, a huge gap between the release of contents. League pass is way cheaper. It it also less complex, but it also rewards you a lot, it's like that year when we had Siltbreaker and could sell our treasures for a high price.
These considerations are about right now. They don't represent the past DotA or past LoL. I welcome everyone to correct me where I'm wrong and add your perception too. This is not about dashing or flaming every other game
So, last but not least: I'm not a native english speaker and I'm not going over it all to correct stuff. So, if you can, point me mistakes so I can correct them.
Thank you :)
submitted by teteus_ to DotA2