...& some thoughts on toxicity
I almost got happy that I made it and posted in August to keep my not-100%-failure blogging streak going, but then I noticed I failed in June so what-kitten-ever :C
Sorry if I'm not sounding too coherent today. It is not a good brain day for me.
Several days ago there was some mini skin promo in LoL for which you needed IP (points you get for playing) so I logged in to see if I had enough points left over and, since I didn't have them, I went to play a game with bots. It didn't give me nearly enough points to bother over the next few days with the first-win-of-the-day bonus, but it made me realize that I am, indeed, most likely done with LoL. And if nothing special happens - like a sudden burst of nostalgia or a massive return of all the old friends for a few games of derpfest, it will probably stay this way.
It's a small end of a small era for me, I've been playing the game for a long time, I still watch the pro games, but the finish line kind of snuck up on me. As it always is. I've played two other MMOs in my life. Long LONG time ago it was Tibia, when it was all the rage. Then, it was WoW. Twice - first time on a private server, then, few years later on the retail. I don't think I knew the end was coming either time. When those things last, to me, they always seem so permanent. Until one day I log off and just don't log back in. No dramatic proclamation, no rage quit, no decision.
I just logged onto the LoL client to see when my last ranked game was - May 3rd. Warwick Jungle.
How... unfitting :P Well, at least it looks like I carried that one. That's something.
And on the 9th of August was the game vs. bots which could turn out to be my final goodbye.
But I also want to write about why I quit the game. Even though it wasn't a precise quit and just a distance that grew to become permanent, I do know why I am not coming back. And that is the in-game toxicity.
I often go to LoL's reddit and many times opinions on the topic are divided. Some agree that it has to be combated, but many say that those, who speak against it are, simply put, whining. If that's so, then so be it, but the truth is, I am not the only one of my friends who eventually gave up on the game because of that. And not the only one who won't come back for this reason.
Because, contrary to what some people seem to think, the game should be played for fun. And once I stopped playing LoL and went back to my single player games I remembered how it felt to play a game and actually enjoy every second of it. I didn't have to listen what some basement troll thinks, read flame from a pre-pubescent twelve year old offending the entire team with most vile insults his little head could come up with, or deal with angry teenagers believing themselves to be the gods' gift to the team. It was liberating. It IS liberating, because after years of LoL the memories are of course still fresh.
I was never the one to cry after being flamed, but unfair blaming did rile me up and piss me off. My friend - she was crying. And she dropped the game much sooner. Another had had his mood brought down daily by people like that. He kept coming back, because he liked the game, but eventually it was too much for him as well. And eventually it was too much for me too.
Believe it or not, that one bot game I went for a week ago was filled with flame as well. A BOT GAME. One player kept crying at others for "kill stealing" and "leaving him alone" alternating between the two. Was he a troll? I don't know. And honestly, I don't care. What difference does it make if the end result is the same?
Riot speaks a lot about combating toxicity, but it really doesn't do much, because there's such high social acceptance for it. Those "stop whining" reddit responses to many people complaining about the constant stream of insults are just the proof in the pudding (is that how you say this? :D). If someone got slapped with increasing bans for abusing their teammates the outrage would not end. Too harsh, too rough, all he did was flame, punish the trolls. Well shit, if it was up to me, I'd punish BOTH kinds.
There are many kids playing this game, many of them younger, going through harsh times in their lives, often LoL is their only escape from bullying in real life. If this was my game, I'd never put the good of the flamers above those nice players who just want to enjoy the game. Got butthurt about the deserved ban? Thinking it's too much? Cry me a river. It's not hard to not abuse your team, it really isn't unless someone has certified anger issues, in which case they should probably be doing something else than playing LoL. For example, working on dealing with those. Or add a self-mute button you tick before the game and can't untick inside it to help them keep their tongues (fingers) in check. If they don't use it and flame, ban them and move on. Tribunal was a great thing, it's a shame it's gone now.
Why Riot is still so lenient despite all of their incessant anti-toxicity talk? Probably because actually fighting it in a tough and really effective manner (that means, in a way that would give people certainty that trolling/flaming WILL get them banned and sooner rather than later) would be a bad business decision. I can see no other real reason.
Or maybe they agree that wishing some kid a painful death to him and his entire family, because he's having a bad game and died to his opponent is okay, because it's just talk. And the flamer has a bad day. And he ought to abuse at least 20 other kids in 20 other games before it's confirmed that he deserves a slap on the wrist.
Maybe the majority of the playerbase actually prefers things to be this way, because they occassionally abuse others too and don't want to be afraid to drop a juicy bunch of insults as long as they don't do it daily. Maybe I'm just whining. So be it.
But I remember how I was when I was starting to play the game - I liked to talk to other players, help them out, joke around, defend anyone that was attacked by some idiot. I used to talk to people post-game and add them to my friend-list. In the last months I wouldn't say a word during games and would leave the post-game lobby as soon as I could to avoid any potential annoying interactions. Sometimes my friend and I would stay and just read through the post-game chat pretending we're afk and shaking our heads looking at how angry and stupid some players could be flaming each other for up to 10 minutes after the game was over.
I never once flamed another person during those 3 or 4 years that I've been playing the game. But honestly, during my last LoL year, I often really wanted to. And I'm someone who DESPISES conflict and arguments of any sort.
Someone less mellow than me? Well.
Long story short - my days are simply more pleasant LoL-free. Even though I loved the game very much, I'm better off without it.