League of Legends has changed so much, and so quickly, over the years that it's easy to lose sense of the game's rich history. Thankfully, there are always plenty of fans online to remind us that there was one a time when, say, Urgot wasn't the butt of quite so many cruel jokes. Poor Urgot.
Jeremy GamingCurios, who makes many informative and in-depth videos (mostly guides) about League of Legends on his YouTube channel, recently put together a great history lesson that popped off thanks to the game's massive subreddit. The video looks at what he calls the the top five "biggest nerfs of all time" in the game. Give it a look right here:
If you've been around for the long haul, you might disagree with his specific choices and rankings. Actually, what the hell am I saying. This is League of Legends we're talking about, of course you disagree!
Regardless of your level of experience with the game, though, Jeremy gives an entertaining look back at how one of the biggest video games like, ever, has changed over the course of many years and many, many software updates.
Here's a quick rundown of the information in the video for all the fans of text out there.
April 2014's patch (4.5, to be exact) totally reworked League's token giant fearsome cat character Rengar, so much so that he wasn't the king of the jungle anymore once the software update got through with him. His damage and durability as one of the game's best "tank"-class characters were so thoroughly undermined that Riot ended up re-buffing the feline's ability almost immediately following the nerf. After his win rate dropped significantly, Rengar crawled his way back to the top following that.
Many might remember the December 2012 18.104.22.168 patch fondly. But not Diana mains, that's for sure. Jeremy recalls that the patch "completely destroyed" all of her abilities, leading to "the biggest win-rate drop of all time" and rendering her one of the weakest characters in the game's history. Legend has it that during this dark period, it was even possible for two Dianas who'd been pit against each other to both lose, "leading to a negative win rate overall." The video says it wasn't actually that bad (her win rate dropped 12 per cent overall), but she's still never truly managed to recover. Damn, Diana.
Pretty much the laughing stock of the entire League of Legends community today, Urgot actually used to be a total powerhouse. Using him in the right way was an all but unbeatable strategy, according to pro players from the time. That all changed with the 22.214.171.124 patch, which did horrible things to his attack range, cooldown times, and damage ratios. And unlike the first two characters, the video says that Riot never really countered these nerfs with any real buffs for the guy. Two-and-a-half years later, this has left the once stellar champion a shell of his former self.
Jeremy's silver medalist is the poor viking/bezerker/general beard-having champ Olaf. His nerf was so bad, the video claims, that "you can literally pinpoint the exact time and day that Olaf mains installed Dota 2." Shit. While they looked small at first, his crowd-control abilities and cooldowns were hit so hard that the character didn't even manage to recover after being buffed by Riot in an ensuing patch. His fall-from-grace was so profound that League players now refer to excessive nerfs with the term "Olaffing."
Well, that's one way to be remembered! Poor guy.
Patch 126.96.36.199 is notable because it didn't just weaken Evelynn's character stats and abilities. It removed one of them entirely. Taking stun out of her toolset made her "the weakest character in the game by far," the video claims. She became so notorious that she "redefined what it meant to be a troll pick," with many players reporting ban attempts just for trying to play as her. It ended up taking Riot more than a year to get Evelynn back on her feet.
I'm a newcomer to League of Legends as a player (as in: I downloaded the client and first started playing this weekend), so I can't exactly relate to stories about age-old character nerfs and ensuing buffs. But I find them interesting for that very reason. In their own way, this disastrous character adjustments help explain why I've recently been drawn to League enough to finally give it a go. Kirk touched on something similar in his Destiny re-review when he talked about showing me the once-infamous "loot cave." There's a sense of history, shared experience, that you can only get by playing large multiplayer games and seeing them unfold with your own eyes. It's a big part of what makes them so special.
Watch more great League of Legends videos at the Jeremy GamingCurios YouTube channel.