Friday, July 20, 2012

LoL - Ebb and Flow

In every game that I've ever played (that has a PvP component), there is an obvious ebb and flow to player skill. Likely, I"m not the only one to notice this. In WoW, I generally knew that weekends were easier in BG's than weekdays. Tuesday nights were rough in arenas, but they calmed down by the time Monday rolled around. Certain holidays threw the normal cycles right out the window. The regular PvP player notices things like this.

A lot was dependent on the type of server you played on. SWTOR was my first experience on an advertised West Coast server. That meant that toward the later end of my own Midwestern playtime was when the masses would start showing up. PvP before that was a bit slower, more relaxed. Also, the queues took longer.

League of Legends is no different. It doesn't have a "reset" day like WoW or TOR. At least, not in terms of dungeons (since, you know, there aren't any). There is a bit of a weekly cycle when you consider the free to play champion offerings for the week. They change on Mondays. Also, I don't really know what sort of server I'm on. It's all one big server, I believe. I think it plops me in the North America region, but I've also seen folks from Brazil in my games. I wonder if East Coast vs West Coast is taken into consideration.

Not that it needs to be. Queue times are quick. And there aren't any capital cities to observe a crowd or lack thereof. I'm just observing things here.

Now, keep in mind that I'm only a level 10 summoner .(Prolly will ding 11 tonight. Go me.) I'm sure things shift a little as you level up, and my opinions are perhaps ill-formed in the first place. Still, I wanted to share what I've observed so far. (For reference, I'm in the Eastern time zone. Also, I'm primarily playing Summoner's Rift, Blind Pick.)
  • Later than 10PM, I'm generally paired with better teammates. Competition seems better as well. "Real" players play late?
  • Along with that, the folks after 10 are more likely to flame you for poor play.
  • Early in the week (Monday being the start of LoL's game week), you're more likely to see characters that summoners own/are comfortable playing.
  • Later in the week is when people are more likely to bust out the freebies. Not always the case (some people jump on the new guys right away), but seems to hold.
  • Along with that, you're more likely to see other skins for champions early in the week. My guess is that people grow bolder as the week goes on, both in terms of the champion they play and the foes they're going to be facing.
  • The few 3v3 matches we're tried have been feast or famine, not sure how it correlates to time, but we either hit very good teams, or very poor teams... nothing in between. Perhaps that's just a function of the smaller game (more emphasis on individual skill, thus just seems starker).
  • Despite the different times, the approximate queue time for me has almost always been under a minute. I think I can count the number of times it's estimated longer on one hand. Actual wait time is always longer, but not by a crazy amount.
  • Not matter what time you play, there is always exactly one (1) player with a crappy connection/computer. Everyone else has finished the pre-game sync and he/she/it is at 9%.
  • As soon as Nikasaur begins talking in a Summoner Showcase, your queue will pop. Doesn't matter if you were just waiting on your buddy to snag a glass of water or were contemplating checking your SimCity Social setup or even if you've actually queued. Seriously, the little video taunts me in the corner. It's all "Watch me, wtf else you gon' do? Facebook? Again? Pschaw!"  And I'm like, "Whatevs. I'll check out some art. It's cultural and junk." BAM. "Wanna finish what you're doing?" "Nah, can't risk it. Someone may choose my champion." (Seriously, the one time I clicked wait, someone snagged Morgana. Though she was free at the time so I shouldn't have been surprised. But they were AWFUL at her. The whole match was like a personal affront to me.) I've made it through the July patch update like seven times. I swear.
Okay, so those last two may have degenerated a bit. I don't really think they have anything to do with, well, anything. But there you have it. Anyone notice any other trends?


  1. About servers, LoL have 4 for different regions, at least as far as I know (NA - North America, EUW - West Europe, EUNE - East Europe and KR - Korean). Fortunatly you can play on each of them but without any option to swap characters (except EUW and EUNE as they splitted).

    As for 3v3, from what I know it's map demanding specific characters/set ups. Never liked it, prefer Dominion myself.

    And there actually is "reset" day in LoL. Or more precisly patch day. No idea about NA but in Eu it's on Thursday (unless someting happens).

  2. On NA, patch day is Tuesdays.

    Your assessment of 10 PM is accurate. It's when most of the kids go to bed and you'll generally end up with a better spread of player skill. You'll also get some foreign players logging into NA servers (from Korea, for example).

    For LoL sites, visit

  3. Me and a buddy generally play 3s and it's the same for us, we either win or lose by a landslide. To me it seems completely dependant on if we get the bottom gank done quickly and how many deaths in the process. Team composition is really important for 3s as there is less of a spread. Normally I choose a tanky type like alistar/sejuani/nautilus where I can also add some ap and do decent damage.

    For the champion selections throughout the week it seems most people log into the charaters they own first because of any changes they made(or they bought the new champ). Later in the week I am generally tired of playing the same champs repeatedly so I start trying out the free ones and seeing how well I can do.

  4. @Anon - So the champs change Monday but SW patching happens Thurs? Interesting. So far, patching seems to be pretty stable, so I guess I've not really noticed it.

    1. Yeah. From what I observed it's because patches don't happens each and every week (and there can always be one with some hotfixes).

  5. Lately in WoW, the BG PvP times have gotten all screwy. It has been almost entirely hit and miss. The only difference is that I win more when I go with guildies but that is not anything new. Having 4 or 5 people, on vent, fighting together, makes for a good advantage. It is just more pronounced now. I'm seeing very few organized horde groups.
    My guess is that a good number of hard core PvPers have hung it up till the expansion.

  6. @Matt - That site is pretty solid. I poked around for a bit this weekend. Good info.

    @Diablokls - I think our general make-up was: Morgana, Tristana, Sion. When it worked, it worked. Perhaps the most embarrassing part was after several wins, when we were feeling pretty high on ourselves, we ran up against "the Jonas Brothers." It was an obvious pre-made with each summoner taking on a Jonas Brother's name. They roflstomped us. Nothing like getting beat by the Jonas Brothers. lol

  7. Heh! I see your 'Jonas Brothers' and raise you 'Fuzzy Kittens of Doom' which was the name of my old arena 2s team.

  8. @TKC - The one major complaint I have against WoW (and perhaps TOR as well) is that the PvP is highly gear dependent. The nice thing about my little vacation into LoL is that, yes there's gear, but you're really starting from "scratch" each round. At the beginning, I'm not going to run into someone that I simply cannot kill.

    In WoW, if you get behind on gear, you may find yourself in a BG where you literally are helpless. Everyone overgears you. You hit them and they think it's a fly.

    There's something to be said about a game designed around PvP compared with a game designed around a whole bunch of everything (PvP is just one minor aspect).

    That isn't to say it's "bad" or anything. Just that I find myself a bit weary of the constant gear grind in those games. One of the reasons I've randomly enjoyed jumping into an FPS for a bit is that, once you got the hang of the targeting, you could be useful. Now, FPS games these days employ a whole bunch of different leveling systems, so you may be just as likely to experience the same phenomenon there. That wasn't always the case. Spending gobs of time with a game wasn't always rewarded with game-changing rewards.

  9. I know the feeling. Back when I first did arena we had no PvP gear. So we just went in with 'street clothes' on and danced in the middle of the arena. Some people would just destroy us outright but others would come dance with us. We'd take our 10 losses and get our points. When we finally got some gear we disbanded the team and re-made it to get back to the starting team level.
    Blizz says they're trying to address this with PvP power being a base stat that you'll have but I'll have to wait and see if it works. As it is right now, if you're going up against someone with 4k resilience and you have little to none then you're going to get destroyed until you get the gear.
    Also, I pretty much leveled my rogue in BGs with a near full set of heirlooms on. If I ran into someone without the gear then they were pretty much toast as I could 1 shot them. That had to be disheartening to the people I ganked. There was simply no chance for them to fight back. Blizz has to address that one too.

  10. Yeah, perhaps the most fun I had in PvP prior to LoL was in TOR. Specifically, in the "under max level" bracket. Prior to capping, TOR does a great job at leveling the playing field while you're leveling and PvP remains competitive. At max level, gear does come a lot more into play, like WoW.

    Maybe it's as simple as adding a "basic gear" PvP mode. Sell it as "based entirely on skill." Have the normal mode too, but a base gear mode would let newbies jump in at any time and not be rolled.