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Nick R P Green's Top 3 League of Legends Updates of 2015


Good day internet community! I’m Nick R P Green and this is the second blog of my Gaming’s Highs and Lows of 2015. This time, let’s look at my favourite updates from my favourite video game: League of Legends!

As you may have seen before, what follows is a transcript my Top 3 League of Legends Updates YouTube video, for those people who prefer to read articles than watch videos. If you'd rather watch this is video form instead follow this link.

Number 3

For number three, we go all the way back to January 28th and patch 5.2. 5.2 brought us the Warring Kingdoms skins for Nidalee and Katarina, Vel’Koz’s Arclight skin and Jinx’s awesome Firecracker skin. We also bid farewell to good old Deathfire Grasp, which in all honesty, it wasn’t good old DFG, it’s removal was a good thing. But the most noteworthy update of 5.2 was the relaunch of League’s oldest Yordle (well joint with Teemo), it’s Tristana the Yordle Gunner.

With the release of champions like Gnar, Riot really started to tap into and understand what a Yordle actually is and they did a fantastic job of bringing Trist into that fantasy and develop it much much further. Old Trist had the odd problem of being an AD carry with complete AP scalings that had some clue of it’s identity, but hadn’t been fully realised. The rework of Tristana’s E ability into Explosive Charge showcased her fantasy as a demoman style character as well as creating new ways to let her abilities compliment and interact with one another, raising her skill ceiling and allowing players who enjoy her to really tap into the her new found potential. Trist went from a tiny blue girl who stood at the back and auto attacked people at long range, to a feisty animated Yordle, who fires sticky bombs onto her foes, charges up her cannon and blows them to kingdom come! Oh, and a fantastic new voice over, great job by Elspeth Eastman.

Number 2

Number 2 takes us to a rather quiet patch actually. June 24th and patch 5.12 saw under the surface, the rewrite of the skillshot coding, fixing several bugs that had been present for years and making skillshots in general vastly more responsive. On the surface however, not much really happened. A few champion skins got some particles updates, a new set of chroma packs got released and, being summer, we got a new set of 5 pool party skins. Draven, Dr Mundo, Lulu and Rek’Sai all joined in the summer fun, and the community just missed out on everyone getting Mundo’s for free. So the number two update? That would be champion number 5, Pool Party Zac!

So why this for number 2? Because Zac got a freakin skin! Zac was released on the 29th of March 2013 and we waited a whole 2 years and 3 months before he finally got given a new skin. Pool Party specifically had been a fan request for some time and Riot delivered with a great skin. Wonderful water effects, a really cute recall animation that even include Urf and they even threw in three chromas for his base, the most ideal champion to be creating chromas for. The problem with Zac is the way he transforms his shape during his abilities makes it very difficult for him to be anything other than a blob. Clothes won’t really stretch and something non-liquidy won’t really alter easily, people have suggested metal but it just wouldn’t work, not without essentially remaking the entire framework for him. The time and resources for such a task just isn’t worth it when there are so many other champions that are in need of looking at (alas poor Yorick). But nevertheless, it was refreshing to finally get a Zac skin this year. Now Riot, where’s that DragonMaster Swain?

Number 1

Now when talking about Zac, I mentioned that there were other champions who needed the attention that a completely original Zac skin would need and for number 1, I’ve picked one of the champions that did indeed receive that attention. Trundle and Sejuani were good, Gangplank and Tristana were brilliant and until recently Sion was easily my favourite. But the last patch of the year 5.24, brought us the absolutely fantastic relaunch of Poppy, Keeper of the Hammer.

Ok look at image 1. This used to be Poppy. This is what Poppy looked like just over 1 month ago. It’s only been a month since Poppy looked like complete garbage. Now take a look at image 2. LOOK AT IT! DOESN’T IT BURN YOUR RETINAS JUST BY A MERE GLANCE. Ok, now let’s look at image 3, Lollipoppy’s new splash. The difference between these two splashes just defines Poppy’s relaunch, she’s still Poppy, there’s still some nods to some of the subtler mechanics in her old kit (and to some of her older splash arts) but she’s actually a champion that looks and feels appealing.

We talked about the fantasy of being a Yordle in Tristana’s relaunch, Poppy is no different. She’s no longer a short fat blue pig like woman, she’s now, despite her size, a huge presence in the game, a plucky young Yordle with a real sense of identity. I like that they’ve made her more of a tank than whatever the hell she was before, some sort of anti-carry thing and her kit complements her new character really well. She’s not the hero, or least she doesn’t think she is, but she’s an enabler and a protector, getting all up in her enemies’ faces and off of her carries. I would argue that when used correctly, her new ultimate is one of the most powerful in the game, able to turn around any fight in an instant by completely removing a member or members of the enemy team for a significant amount of time.

The new kit is a lot of fun and she’s very quickly become my favourite champion to play right now. Plus, she’s now viable in the jungle, which is my main role, so it was hard not to like her. I do believe she’s probably a bit too strong at the moment, her damage output when building full tank seems a tad high, so I imagine the damage on her Q might get nerfed slightly, but that’s probably all that’s required. It’s difficult to decide whether her or Sion is the best relaunch ever, Sion’s was pretty damn good too. Gangplank’s had the best launch in terms of what they did with his release and the whole Burning Tides event, but for me Poppy is definitely the best update of the year. And it’s least nice that Lollipoppy’s splash doesn’t make me slowly die inside anymore.

Special Mentions - Worst Update

Ok, so as with my previous blog, we’ve got two special mentions and we’ll start with the worst update of 2015. This one’s a sad one because this one was a champion I really wanted to see do well this year and his initial update looked interesting, albeit very odd and slightly disturbing. I am of course talking about Mordekaiser.

Poor poor Morde. What did they do to you? I remember reading the fighter update and watching the example videos thinking ok, this is interesting, they want him to replace the AD carry, can than work? Well he’s been given the tools for it and HOLY CRAP HE’S GOT A DRAGON! As we then discovered, like the other three fighters, Morde was released way too strong and went through the World Championships being pretty much perma-banned. That’s right, Mordekaiser had to be banned at Worlds. A year ago you’d have been called a troll for saying something like that. The problems escalated further when they tried to back out of some of the mechanics in order to make Morde viable again in solo lanes, like being able to use his W on just himself and not having to have a team mate near him; whilst making not as oppressive in duo lanes. What we’ve been left with is exactly back where we started, just with new mechanics and WHY DOES HE HAVE A FREAKIN’ DRAGON? WHY? It’s cool, but why does he have a dragon! It doesn’t make any sense! Morde is now just as weak as before and currently over the last month, has the fifth lowest winrate in solo queue. Poor Morde.

Special Mentions - Most Anticipated Update

For my second special mention, this one is going to my most anticipated update of 2016, well at least we’re expecting it in 2016. There has been some information come out recently about it. It is yet another champion relaunch and I think this one is a fabulous choice and to not include it would be totally outrageous. Sorry, yeah my most anticipated is the Taric rework.

Despite being one of League’s most beloved champion thanks to his camp demeanor, Taric is actually one of the least developed champions, released in August of 2009, he only has 16 lines of dialogue. Compare this to someone like Karthus who after his visual update was given over 200 lines of dialogue, it’s clear to see that there is plenty of room to develop Taric’s character. From a gameplay perspective, Taric has always been rather tricky to balance due to his armor scaling abilities and usually ends up being far too powerful or, like his current state, too underpowered and not worth taking over someone like Braum or Tahm Kench. As I said, being so beloved means Riot will have to work very hard to make sure that whatever he becomes, he is still Taric as the community knows and loves him but at the same time, becomes a champion that is actually viable and worth taking. Looking forward to seeing him become even more fabulous than he already is. Oh, and that Armor of the Fifth Age Taric is still his best skin. Who am I kidding, he’s pink, nothing can beat that.

That’s the second of my Gaming Highs and Lows of 2015 now over. I’m looking forward to another great year of League of Legends, and with any luck, this’ll be the year I finally reach Plat… yeah. Thank you very much for reading. As I said at the start, if you haven’t read my previous blog on my best game of 2015, click on the link here to check that one out. I’ve got two more of these planned, with the next one being my most anticipated game of 2016 and my final one will include a giveaway! Upvote and check out the original video if you like what you’ve read and I will see you next time. See you on the rift!

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About Nick R P Greenone of us since 4:03 PM on 01.03.2012

So, I haven't edited my bio in four years. Time for an update.

I'm Nick R P Green; English; Theatre Graduate; Amateur Video Maker and Games Journalist; Former President of the Lancaster University Gaming Society. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

I've been playing video games since my parents bought a NES second hand from a friend, which I would guess is about 19 years ago (I'm now 26), and I've grown up with them ever since. Shortly after the NES came a second hand Megadrive, then quite a few years later, a borrowed PS1 and then finally, a brand new PS2, quickly confirming Metal Gear Solid as my favourite game franchise ever made. After starting college in Chesterfield, Derbyshire (I lived in Sheffield, South Yorkshire with my parents) and starting work at a Thorntons store in Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre, my first ever Xmas pay came in which resulted in my first ever console purchase (rather than my parents buying one), my PlayStation 3. Finally, after one year of University, I bought my brother's Xbox 360 off him as he was upgrading to an 360 S, and 2 and half years of being around and living with hardcore PC gamers, my first proper gaming PC. I'm now on gaming PC number 2, my first self-build too. Me and Shagohod (said I was an MGS fan) have been going places lately.

So as you can see, my gaming history is quite open, I've had a lot of experience, with lots of devices and with that has come a lot of fun and particularly at University, a lot of friendship. Joining the University's gaming society was probably the second best thing I ever did at University (the first being making out with the cute girl from the other corridor in a night club, resulting in what has now been a five and a half year fun, loving relationship. She even plays League of Legends as well!). If I could give one piece of advice to anyone going to university, particularly one like Lancaster where it is campus based with a college system, is to get involved with societies and your college. It's the best way to make friends and find people who enjoy doing things that you do, gaming in particular. I met my closest friends through LUGS, and I wouldn't trade them in for the world.

My interests in gaming are very broad, as you can probably tell by my collection of hardware. I'm a Gold League of Legends player, I've dabbled with several MMOs, I've recently got back into Team Fortress 2, and MGSV took my breath away. And with an interest in so many areas, I've grown a great interest in the gaming world and gaming journalism. My first regular viewing was the fantastically worded Zero Punctuation by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, who teaches us that even the greatest game in the world has its flaws, and talking about it really really fast is the funniest way to tell the world. Escapist also allowed me fall in love with such shows as Doomsday Arcade and There Will Be Brawl, which made me laugh, cry, reminisce and drink (drinking games, with friends, on gaming videos, is hilarious fun!). Regular viewing now consists of Jim Sterling's Jimquisition, Rooster Teeth, cjszero01, and MovieBob.

I decided a few years ago I wanted to start getting into games journalism, as I realised it was something I was very much interested in. As a Theatre Graduate, and a hopeful actor, I've always enjoyed working with live performance, and video editing has been a past hobby, editing compilations, home movies as well as camera, writing and editing work as part of my university course. So it seemed natural to follow in the footsteps of my inspirations. I've made a lot of progress in the past four years, with new hardware and editing software making my videos look and sound better than they've ever been. My regularity usually peaks during points of low employment, I worked for The Entertainer Toy Shop for over two years and saw video releases drop immensely. I'm working very low hours right now in my current job, so productivity has risen once again. Hopefully it won't dip too much when my career finds its feet.

So that pretty much all I can say about me and gaming. If you haven't managed to catch any of my videos yet, check out my YouTube channel amongst the links below, or just have a look at my blog posts for links and scripted versions. And please comment on them! I'm always on the look out for some useful constructive criticism. In my opinion, practice and criticism are the two best ways of learning!

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time!

Nick R P Green

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