Is Riot going to fix damage creep in League of Legends?

By Nicholas James

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Jan 17, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

League of Legends’ damage creep is an topic often discussed by fans, and it pertains to the steady addition of more sources of damage into the game through new items, runes, and other even new champion abilities.

Developer Riot Games has discussed addressing League’s current level of damage in a developer post detailing plans for League of Legends in 2022 and beyond. But is League of Legends’ excess damage really its biggest problem, or is it being overblown by fans?

What is damage creep?

Damage creep refers to the long-term effect of regularly introducing new mechanics and systems that bring more potential damage into the game. From buffs to epic monsters to items, a lot of things can add up to a game where suddenly it’s too easy to disappear under a pile of numbers laid on by the enemy team.

Between the introduction of Runes Reforged a few years ago and 2021’s item rework, a lot of new ways to deal damage have been introduced to the game. With activated items like Goredrinker, Prowler’s Claw, or even Everfrost, champions are in a better position to deal damage more often than in previous patches. Combined with runes like Conqueror, Electrocute, and most of the other keystones, games in League of Legends feature far more tools to kill enemies than before.

Do pro players think Riot should decrease damage?

The current state of the game has even the best players in the world divided on what to do about damage. In a recent interview with members of Excel’s LEC roster, the team’s players were split on whether or not they thought Riot should go through with some proposed changes to damage.

The main worry is that a holistic reduction to both damage and healing would result in laning phases where individual skill plays less of a role, and the potential return of the infamous tank meta. Watching Maokai and Sion clash ineffectually for half a minute while marksmen do their best to tickle the tanks through Plated Steelcaps and Thornmail isn’t most people’s dream version of League of Legends.

Former Fnatic mid laner and Gen.G streamer Tim “Nemsis” Lipovšek recently contrasted a clip of Cloud9 LCS coach VeigarV2 from previous seasons with current-day League of Legends. There are top-level players on both sides of the debate, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer as to what Riot should do.

Overdoing the damage rollback could make the game stale and difficult to build effective leads in, while not doing anything about damage creep could lead to a high level of dissatisfaction as small mistakes become overly punishing and damage-dealing champions become more oppressive. It’s a nuanced issue, but Riot is already looking into solutions with internal tests. Whichever way it goes, some portion of the fanbase is likely to be unhappy with the change.

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