Waiting For Cooldowns: Issue 2: Server Issues, the Harrowing and League of Fighters
If you missed episode 1, you can grab it here.
Hey guys! Martin Hutch the Clutch Hutchison here, welcoming you all back to Waiting For Cooldowns! Today, I’d like to talk about the huge solutions getting rolled out to combat the issues recently plaguing the EU West servers, some of the cool things happening on the Public Beta Environment, and take a look at an upcoming fan game from the world of League of Legends. But first, let’s get rolling with my ABCs of LoL! Today’s letter; A!
A is for Assassin a champion who’s abilities allow them to specialize in quick movement and rapid execution of a single target. Some of the best Assassins in the League include Katarina, who excels at chaining skills together to wipe out an entire enemy team, LeBlanc, a highly mobile witch who can link skill after skill to burst down any target, and Evelynn, whose stealth means you won’t know she’s about to take you down until it’s too late.
Let’s start by talking about an issue that will hit home for a lot of you guys; the recent issues with the Europe-West servers. We’ve had everything from impossibly long log in queues to the chat service breaking to disconection from Ranked matches and everything in between. I’ve been affected by this too, but I’m one of those who have been following Riot’s progress throughout the past few weeks as they fight to reinstate stability to our beloved EU West. It seems to have been a tricky journey – After all, EUW is the most populated League server in the World.
But recently, Errigal, the Managing Director of Riot’s EU West division, seems to have been at the spearhead of a breakthrough. There’s the construction of a new Server Centre in Amsterdam to consider, as well as the dedicated EU West ‘Strike Team’, working tirelessly to fix any tears in the Service being provided before they become too noticeable. There’s also new performance monitoring tools being built into the client itself, and they’re taking a step up in the Communication department. For many players, the lack of communication from Riot has been as hurtful as the poor service itself. I spent many an hour recently flicking through the Forums, and been able to pick out the posts from Riot employees amongst the crowd, but I can’t say their performance has been flawless. I’m looking forward to all of these fixes coming together to make the League run as good as new as we head into Season Four.
Anyway, let’s move on to cheerier business!
As I mentioned last time, I’m a part of the Public Beta Environment, or PBE. I didn’t actually explain what that was, though. If you already know, feel free to allow your mind to wander for a few moments while I let everybody else know.
The PBE was implemented by Riot to allow them to use the best and broadest selection of play testers in the world: Us. Before an item, update or champion can appear on the live servers and be experience by the millions of Summoner’s awaiting it, it needs to be thoroughly tested; for balance, to ensure there’s no game breaking issues (I’m looking at you, Viktor!) and to make sure that, most importantly, it’s fun. It was on the PBE I first fell in love with Jinx. Some ideas spend weeks on the PBE, others are in and out quickly.
Currently on the PBE, you’ll find some brand spankin’ new skins for Vi, Renekton, Zyra, Gangplank and Elise. The Elise skin, Victorious Elise, will be permanently unlocked for all players who attain Gold in Ranked Play during Season Three, whereas Zyra and Vi’s new skins, Haunted Zyra and Officer Vi, are only going to be available during the Harrowing.
Ah, the Harrowing. League of Legends’ epic Halloween event. The Harrowing gives players the chance to pick up new, spooky-themed skins for their Champions and Wards. I was crazy excited to find out that Underworld Twisted Fate and Headmistress Fiora would be available during this year’s Harrowing! Also coming to the League during this great event is the Mystery Gift. No, not like Pokemon. Mystery Gift is a fun little feature that will be running through the Harrowing, but I would expect it to make a return for Snowdown Showdown, during the Winter. You buy a Mystery Gift for 490 Riot Points(Or RP), and give it to one of your Friends. The Gift then unlocks a random skin for a random champion that player owns. It can be any skin, which is really exciting; Rugged Garen or Frejlord Ashe have just as high a chance of appearing as Pulsefire Ezreal and Spirit Guard Udyr!
Another new feature currently working it’s way through development is Team Builder. If this feature works, even just in normals, it’ll be awesome. What Team Builder will let you do is pick a champion and/or role, and look for a team that fits around you. You get the opportunity to queue as a Team Leader, and pick the exact set up you want for your team. If you want to play with three Assassins in the Mid Lane, and a Tank in the Top and Bottom Lanes, then you can search for a team that agrees with that composition…I wouldn’t recommend it, though. A lot of people think it’s quite unusual for Riot to be releasing a feature that works like this because, at a glance, it supports the current Pro Meta, and they’ve never officially supported any Meta for the game. But, that’s really up to the players. Like I said, you can build any composition using Team Builder, and there might just be players out there crazy enough to join you.
Let’s talk about something a little bit different now. I assume because you’re reading this, you’re probably a fan of League of Legends, right? Well, what if I told that there was a 2D Fighting game(Think Street Fighter, King of Fighters or Marvel vs Capcom) in development right now, that featured your favourite champions from League of Legends? You’d say “Whoa, are you for serious?” or perhaps “That sounds amazing! Tell me more!” Or maybe even “Oh, you mean League of Fighters?”
It’s not exactly a secret or a breaking headline, but League of Fighters is a game in development by Instaburst, a company that seems to have been founded for the express purpose of making this dream a reality. The development team is filled with really talented voice actors, musicians and technical geniuses, all of whom are dedicated to making League of Fighters look, sound and feel as good and true to LoL as possible. And I must say, it seems like they’re doing an amazing job!
The trailer shows Annie knocking the stuffing out of…another Annie, but it does a great job of showing how true-to-form each character and Summoner Spell will be. Something that’s not shown in the trailer is the Call for Gank! System, which works like the assists from other fighting games. The basic idea is that you’ll have a button tied to the command, and when you press that button, the Champion you chose as your Call for Gank! Champion will appear, and help you out. I don’t know exact details yet, but considering the range of champions already announced as ready to be Called (Ranging from Sona and Taric to Jinx), we can expect to see a good range of assists.
I think the best thing about League of Fighters is it’s cool, animé art style, which brings a unique twist to the appearance of the Champions we’re all so familiar with while still keeping them instantly recognisable. I’m one of the many who can’t wait for the finished product from Instaburst!
I’d like to apologize for an error I made last week; I recently changed my Summoner name on League of Legends from O62Skyshard to Hutch The Clutch, and gave the wrong one to you all! So, from now on, feel free to add me on League (Hutch The Clutch) or follow me on Twitter @Hu7chTh3Clu7ch
Thanks again for reading! Your continued support really does mean the world to me. If you enjoy reading Waiting For Cooldowns, tell a friend about it. By next week, I’ll have a Twitter account just for WfC up and running, and I may look to start doing Skin, Champion or RP Give-aways.
Join me next week when I’ll be talking about why pre-season 4 will be a poorly balanced mess, my recent attempts to hit Gold before the end of the season, and looking at some of the stats and figures to have come out of Season 3. See ya!