What is the Riot Games’ 200 years experience and Aphelios philosophy?
Riot Games have been throwing their 200+ years of collective game-designing experience left and right recently. It seems like every time a fan criticizes League of Legends, the developers always fire back with the same statement. And at this point, the whole situation has turned into sort of a meme, and the joke never gets old. But why do LoL players tease Riot Games about their 200+ professional experience? And why is Aphelios at the forefront of the prank?
It all started on the good old Twitter, when a Wukong OTP player from NA, called HaRAMbe, had a 1v1 duel with the game developer Riot Lutz publicly. In short, the HaRAMbe complained about the lack of damage in his champion’s kit. But Riot Lutz completely demolished all of HaRAMbe’s suggestions by saying the now-famous quote, “Being good at playing a certain character in a video game is valuable, but I think I’ll take the 200+ collective years of professional game design experience “.
Being good at playing a certain character in a video game is valuable, but I think I'll take the 200+ collective years of professional game design experience.— Nathan Lutz (@RiotLutzburg) January 8, 2020
As you can imagine, this spread quicker than Malazhar’s E. And soon, the whole League of Legends fan base began to joke about Riot’s inability to fix the numerous issues with the game, despite having their 200+ years of combined and professional experience with game-development! Reddit posts, forum pages, and YouTube videos beamed with memes about every bug and imbalance in LoL, all shaming Lutz and the whole of Riot Games for the comment. And if we think about it, the players aren’t wrong!
League of Legends has never been a truly balanced game. This has been a problem for the developers since the start of LoL, really. Yet somehow, that has never been more apparent than now. The whole meme of 200+ years of experience hit only a month after Aphelios, the Weapon of the Faithful, was released on Summoner’s Rift. And I doubt that anyone can forget what followed – the biggest drama that League of Legends has ever seen!
What is the Problem with Aphelios and the 200+ Years of Experience in his Champion Design?
Aphelios was released as the most broken champion in League of Legends up to date. When Riot Games first announced a character with a total of 22 abilities in his kit, everyone was alert at once. We all thought that the number was too high because the rest of the champions have an average of 4 active abilities. And our concerns were proven correct when Aphelios players started getting pentakills only days after his official release.
In the months that followed, Aphelios took over the meta completely. He destroyed the ranked solo queue in every elo of the ladder, one-shotting people and healing from 1% to 100% HP in a split-second. But the situation was far worse in the professional scene. Aphelios was such a strong pick competitively that he nearly had a 100% pick and ban rate in the first half of season 10. It felt like no matter how hard Aphelios wins or falls behind, he was still able to kill everyone and win the game!
But why was this the case? What does Aphelios possess that breaks the game?
Well, everything that we mentioned so far, but much more too. Let’s analyze a bit.
Aphelios has access to 5 unique weapons, 2 of which he holds in his main hand and off-hand at all times. Each weapon provides him with an active and a passive ability. We won’t go to all details about each and every one of these abilities, but in short, here is how it goes: Calibrum is a long-range poke rifle, Severum heals Aphelios significantly with each auto-attack, Gravitum provides him slow and root effect, Infernum does a massive AOE damage, Crescendum gives Aphelios a free turret that will fight for him!
Suppose you’re asking yourself why wasn’t Aphelios split into 5 different champions. In that case, you’re on the right track with everyone else because these are essentially 5 unique playstyles, built within one champion, able to do everything and be anyone at all times!
Now, the whole problem with Aphelios and the 200+ years meme could not have been avoided even if Riot Games actually released him with damage numbers significantly lower than any other champion in the game (which they didn’t). Why? Because the problem with Aphelios was never with his numbers in-game but in the very idea of Aphelios – his internal and game-breaking champion design. For that, you have to blame CertainlyT and the rest of Riot Games!
Here is an example that would clear things up. Let’s say I play a champion that has a total of 2 damaging abilities, each doing flat damage of 100. And if you play a champion that has 5 damaging abilities, each bringing 70 damage to the table, you’re still going to do more damage than me! It’s pretty simple – Aphelios has a broken kit that isn’t fair to the rest of the champions in League of Legends. And that’s why people sarcastically praise Riot for their 200+ years of collective experience in designing champions broken and unbalanced champions for LoL!
Where Will Riot Games go with Aphelios and their 200+ Years of Experience in Game Development?
As many times before, League players just cooled off for the time being. Season 11 kicked in, and the new mythic items broke the game even further. Yet, it seems like after the whole Aphelios and 200+ years meme, everyone kind of expected that! There are current champions and builds that can one-shot you from invisibility, while Amumu and the tanks do the most amounts of damage!
As s side-joke, fans have suggested many times that Riot Games should turn themselves into a music/movie studio. This is because their cinematics, music videos, and promotions are so perfectly done that most people are wondering where Riot is putting their workforce really? In fixing the bugs and balancing the game? Or in K-pop music songs like KDA – More?
Regardless of the truth behind all of this, League of Legends still remains a game with many issues. New champions are hitting the Rift every month, with new mechanics and ways to send us on the inting train. But who knows, maybe League was never meant to be truly balanced. And maybe one day we would wake up and enjoy the ideal version of the game where everyone will be happy and satisfied. But until then, we may as well laugh at the 200+ years meme!