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Exit, Pursued By a Volibear’s year-end review

What were the best and worst takes from this year?

2017 feels like a long year. In some ways, I’m not sure I will ever recover from the lack of sleep that the world has put all of us through. 2018 will be a year for rising up, but as the holidays pass and the cold, final days of this year roll by, we’re given a brief moment to focus on the past before trudging into the future.

While 2017 brought some bad things, it also brought a lot of good stuff too. First and foremost, Rift Herald was taken over by Polygon. Extremely far away from that, but also good, my column (the one you’re reading now) launched.

Have you ever seen a “Clip episode” from Seinfeld or Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? You know, the ones everyone hates that just re-hash scenes from your favorite episodes? Well, we’re gonna do that this week for Exit. But instead, we’re gonna talk about my three worst takes this year and the three that actually managed to hold up.

The good

Why you need to stop banning new champs in Normals

I think this idea still holds up pretty well in the grand scheme of this year, but it’s also gotten better. Zoe was really powerful when she released, yet there were a lot of games where she was able to make it through. Even as it became clear that she was pretty powerful, she was so dang fun that she was being left up anyway.

I still believe this, and I hope that people don’t ban new champs next year too.

Silence is the key to victory in League

I just read the entirety of this piece again and it was like reading a letter I wrote to myself. As the patch-less nightmare that has been the preseason continues to roll by, everyone’s tempers are high. That certainly doesn't exclude me, as much as I wish it did. I have caught myself anger typing more than I care to admit over the past few weeks.

Please, if you don’t ever take any of the advice I have given this year, just try and take this one. When you play League, shut up.

Darkin Kayn is too powerful

This one is actually just confounding to me. I wrote this on Oct. 20, which was a few weeks before everyone in the world started playing Shadow Assassin Kayn. I felt silly, and like this piece would surely end up in the bad take pile. The problem was, on the rare instances that someone would still pick Darkin, he would smash. He was still too powerful! Then, only a few weeks ago in Patch 7.24b, Darkin Kayn got buffed. I don’t understand how any of this happened and I’m still mad about it.

It’s the most horrible thing in the world. Kayn is such a cool champion that still has never been in a good spot balance wise. Here’s hoping that we can figure out how to make him not broken next year.

Riot Games

The bad

Zoe is the most fun champion in any match she’s in

Let’s start with a new one. This is a bad take, and it isn’t even because I hate Zoe. In fact, I love Zoe. My opinion that she is an awesome and super fun champion holds true. However, I no longer believe that she is fun to play against. Maybe it’s the preseason drought making me cranky again, but playing against Zoe is a nightmare and I hate it. Sleepy Trouble Bubble is one of the most frustrating abilities to deal with in the game and I hope it gets nerfed more.

Zoe is awesome and so, so fun and I am thrilled that shes in the game. But she is absolutely, positively not perfect. It’s just unfortunate that her imperfections only seem to shine through when she’s on the enemy team.

Report liberally in League and save others from dealing with toxic players

This isn’t my worst take, certainly, but it’s worth making an addendum to. League is a game that we all play to win. It’s why we get so mad about it. But that doesn’t mean people should be jerks to you. Nobody will ever be able to convince me that there is a reason for treating someone else like garbage for playing badly.

However, I think that there is room for forgiveness. Maybe it’s the holiday spirit or all of the talk about if Tyler1 should be unbanned, but no player deserves eternal punishment. People can be horrible jerks, and if they use any kind of degrading language, I will certainly report them. But over the past few months, my tolerance for nonsense has gotten higher. Did someone hurt my feelings? That sucks, but I’m not gonna report them for it. Ignore them, mute them, sure. Try and get them banned? It’s not worth it.

Save your reports for the real monsters, not the AD Carry that accidentally stole your blue and didn’t apologize for it (looking at you every Draven player).

Saying goodbye to a favorite champion

This one is kinda a toughy. On one hand, I’m really proud of this piece and still believe in it with all my heart. On the other, Riot has done such an incredible job with respecting old players that it feels unnecessary. Warwick was one of my favorite champions before his rework. Now, he still feels the same, just more useful.

Looking at this piece, I still feel for those Urgot mains who didn’t like the rework. But at the same time, champions like Cho’Gath and Eve got changes while keeping almost everything about them familiar. It’s such a bizarre thing to look at and criticize, but Riot has somehow found this balance for old champs and turned them into something new that’s still recognizable. That’s really special.

Riot Games