Where are the ADC’s at?
One of the critical characteristics that separate League of Legends from the rest. Can be perceived with role definition. There can only be one of each, and every single one requires to fill their essential aspects to win the game. The Support will never fill the role of one Jungler in their team. The Top Lane and Mid Lane players, even though are alone in one lane, have their distinct behavior in every match. But what happens if one of the critical roles starts to feel somewhat overwhelming? Due to recent patches from this new season in League of Legends, the once so-called “perfect role balance” is now chaos.
The player base starts to feel on the horns of a dilemma. Their impressive champion collection (which probably consist of those that fulfill that role), begins to look less appealing. They more than often try the other positions but somehow doesn’t feel the same as before. Even some people try to find other game alternatives out there. Wait a bit. League of Legends still has a lot of offer, and in this article, we’ll discuss why the League of Legends ADC feel “different.” How can a gaming patch once giveth, can taketh away?
What is an ADC champion?
Attack Damage Carry is (or were) the strongest champions that deal tremendous damage with their basic attacks. Theoretically, this means that to be effective in the late game, you need to buy a lot of items that boost your basic stats and critical damage. One of the prime characteristics that these champions have in common is that almost all of them have ranged attacks. They were able to deal a lot of damage from a distance to keep their enemies as far as possible. They also require to keep distance because of their lower hit points (HP) that can quickly melt away if you’re not careful enough.
The difference between the League of Legends ADC and APC (Ability Power Carry), which is the second variant of carries in League of Legends, is their type of damage. The APC relies more on their skills instead of “right clicks.” Making the buying experience a little different, because they require those items that boost the damage from their abilities. These champions can be “technical” sometimes, which means that they require more concentration and more attention to keep the cooldowns at bay.
Which one is better? It only depends on the match at hand. Sometimes you need to pick either of those damage dealers to counter the strategy that your enemy team tries to scheme. But recently this has changed a lot. That was the “way” before some patches restricted this choice even more. Now the APC seems more reliable than before.
Role in the Game
One of the primary goals that one League of Legends ADC always has is to equip themselves accordingly. It may look simple but must of the time; it isn’t. Since the beginning of the game, you’re fighting against the clock. At first, you need to stay in your lane as long as possible and get as many last hits as you can. Once you earned a little bit of gold, don’t hesitate and buy something as quick as possible. Besides killing minions, you need to be always ahead of the enemy’s ADC. To get higher chances of winning a game, you need to complete your equips before your enemy does. When you’re ready, everyone on the match will know, especially the other team. Without too much effort, you’ll be able to deal tons of damage and too many kills which create harmony within your teammates.
When a player doesn’t “cut” this role in the game, the impact appears between the mid to late game. If the ADC lacks “farm,” meaning that he/she wasn’t able to kill some minions. Or they were also slaughtered on the first minutes of the match. He/she wouldn’t have the chance to “carry” their team. Probably another player on your team may take the “rains,” but lots of times this doesn’t happen. Without a proper carry, your teammates won’t be able to deal with the enemy team.
Lane to Dominate
There’s no other place for one League of Legends ADC to be than the Bot Lane. This place is going to be your “second home” for the Early and Mid game of the match. But don’t worry, there will be a Support with the primary goal to protect you from any threats. With the aid of your teammate, you’ll be able to focus more on the minions and throw some damage to the enemy from time to time. If you’re capable in getting some kills in the early game, everything else may feel a lot easier for you. Just remember to keep an eye for the enemy Jungler that’ll try to get you in a bad position and give some advantages to his carry.
The Early game is where the Support shines. If you have a capable teammate, everything will go as planned. But if he doesn’t place wards or is too aggressive, things may go a lot more complicated later on. It’s always crucial that you keep excellent communication with your support to dominate the lane with ease. Some abilities from your Support may help a lot in the early stages of the game. For example, a couple of stuns may give some crowd control, or healing abilities can keep you for a prolonged time in the lane.
When the game reaches the Mid-stage, there may be the time to visit other parts of the map. You already may have some vital equipment, and it may be great to hunt enemy’s champions for more gold. The more damage you’re able to do to the other team, the better.
Items to buy
There are lots of items in the shop that can boost your primary stats. Depending on the champion that you pick and the flow of the game, the builds vary. Some things have in common though; the items aim to raise either your stats or critical damage. These factors are a must for all the League of Legends ADC players because their primary damage source is the basic attacks. Some of them have abilities that deal different causes of damages, but the “right click” seems (or was) the practical way of dealing damage.
The primary source to earn gold in the game starts with getting last hits from the minions in lane. The more efficient you become in this endeavor, the better for your champion. Remember that you’re in a race against the opposite ADC, which means that you’ll also need to keep him/her under control. With a good Support in the lane, the minion killing and harassment can be helpful in the late game.
Remember that you can only buy items when your champions are right beside the spawn point. Requiring efficiency between your presence in the lane and knowing when to retreat when you need the stuff to buy. Sometimes even dying can be productive, because it gives you time to think what to buy for the match, and gets you prepared for the rest of the game. Once the Mid game starts, do not hesitate and look for possible kills to gain more gold and punish your enemies at the same time.
Difference between Roles
· Mid Lane vs. ADC: Since you’re the carry for your team, your only concern is earning a vast amount of gold as soon as possible. The total focus remains in your lane and nothing else. This factor is the main difference between the carry and mid players. Mid players need to keep checking for the performance of their teammates and move between lanes if needed.
· Jungler vs. ADC: Even though having some kills may give you a lot of advantage in the game. The primary goal of one League of Legends ADC at first is to farm as much as possible in the lane. The Jungler though requires just a couple of simple items to harass different parts of the map. The primary goal for one Jungler is to “gank” separate lanes to make things easier for their teammates.
· Support vs. ADC: Instead of babysitting your teammates, the League of Legends ADC goal is to inflict pain. The primary purpose that a support player always has is to boost everyone else. He/She is also responsible for keeping the lane safe with enough vision to prevent any unwanted conflicts. Although a little bit easier role to fulfill, the Support always needs to sacrifice his/her life to keep the ADC safe all the time. You as a League of Legends ADC, need to focus only on yourself and the enemy’s health bars.
· Top Lane vs. ADC: Being “alone” almost all the time of the match, can reduce the pressure that these players may have when they play League of Legends. This type of gameplay is entirely different than being a carry. There’s always some teammates by your side. First, they want to keep you safe from any dangers; later they want some of the fun as well. There’s also the factor that ADC only focus on increasing damage, while the top lane player may opt for durability if needed.
“To Everything, there is a Season.”
Some of the ways to keep one game alive are the modification of “little” things from time to time. Sometimes little patches can save the season exciting and also aim to balance the roster. This effort isn’t a simple task to achieve though, because as you can tell, there is a pretty long list of different champions in the game. A little change in some calculations can backfire and break lots of things accidentally. With every new season, Riot always wants to change some core mechanics to keep League of Legends interesting. Must of the time, these changes may cause a backlash and be counterproductive for your existing player base. The affected players usually only focus on one role alone. They also try to unlock as many champions as possible that contain the desired characteristics.
Is this good or bad? For the player perspective, there are no “wrongs” in playing the way they want. Anyone is free to experience the game as they wish. On the Riot perspective though, this may cause a lot of problems. They can’t freely change important mechanics from the game that freely. Sometimes it requires a lot of research and thinking before any radical changes. Sacrificing some players in these process may be required to keep the game entertaining and “recruit” new gamers that may find the new stuff interesting.
What is a Nerf?
In video game terms, a Nerf means a reduction of advantages that some elements had in the game. For example, there may be one champion’s ability that compared to the norm, it does a lot more damage. This “advantage” makes that champion “over-powered” (OP) and creates controversy in every match that it appears. League of Legends players can easily relate to this when a new champion appears in the game. This new acquisition usually comes with revolutionary gaming mechanics that deal too much damage and makes it easier to dominate one lane. After a couple of weeks, this new champion usually gets some kind of “nerf.” Reducing its winning chances and placing it between the standard power level.
Sometimes though, the Nerf can be applied to a specific item, minion, or a single ability. These changes can be either a quick change like the reduction of numbers. Otherwise, some modifications can reduce the area of effect (AOE) of some abilities; others go to the extreme and even make a total change in a role.
Why is this required continuously in games like League of Legends? To maintain relevance in the gaming world, by changing the gameplay from time to time. Sometimes by doing this, one calculation may create unwanted advantages within the game. To correct this “mistake” gaming developers try to change the anomaly for the better. After the correction though, some people may feel “betrayed” and complain. Risks like this are always present when Nerfs become too severe.
Pros and Cons of any Nerf
· They keep the game interesting: By changing a thing from here and there, nerfs aim to give something new to the game. Sometimes when the “meta” remains active for a couple of months, Riot may change things to establish a new one. This new perspective can make things interesting to the players, and make another champion relevant.
· Aim for balance: Between patches, there may be some combos or abilities that somehow got overpowered in the game; before the winning probability of a single champion skies up to 99%. Riot fixes the problem with some nerfs to keep everything in balance.
· Create awareness for possible future changes: Some nerf may be necessary between patches, and when they happened, the development team obtains proper data for the future. Reducing the probability of mistakes that may create polemic between the player base.
· Produce disapproval within the affected players: We get it, sometimes one of your favorite champions becomes overpowered and helps you climb a bit in the ranked matches. But, out of nowhere, Riot decides that it was too much and nerfs the champion to ground. No one is a fan of this kind of changes.
· Tend to complicate things even further: Sometimes Riot doesn’t seem to find the “right formula” to the game. Between patches, there may be too many changes that can create even more confusion. Sadly, there’s no turning back. Once the season patch hits the community, there is no other option but to keep things as clean as possible.
· Reduce the trust towards the development team: After the constant nerfs bombs the meta away. Little by little, there may be some uncertainty arising between the confused community. With every new “fix,” the problems may get more complicated, and the players may find a lack of safety.
Enter Season 8
When the new season started this year, it created lots of controversy due to the radical changes that came up with it. Besides the usual increase in the champion’s roster, there were additional modifications in some key elements that are always present in the game. One of those so-called adjustments were visible when the role of the League of Legends ADC was drastically unimproved. Many of the players tried to give a reasonable excuse for what was Riot doing to their beloved video game. But nothing was concrete, and like all the time, no communication could clean things up. People that loved the carry role were forced to change into the “APC” format. Some people were able to adapt, others weren’t so lucky and began to complain.
During the rest of the year, Riot was able to replace some of the damage made. Little by little the development team was able to change some calculations to buff some champions that were considered “trash” due to their winning probability. But things are still the same in these days, “Magicians” have more dominance in the game instead of the usual “Ranged” carry. To some extent, this change created an excellent challenge for hardcore gamers; because it required more practice in different champions that weren’t that popular due to the ADC dominance.
So what were those changes that reduced the efficiency of the predetermined role? Well, pretty much everything that made the League of Legends ADC powerful was nerfed to the ground. To some players, it felt like Riot wanted to remove it from the game. It may look overdramatic, but to the veterans in this role, felt that way. These changes, modified vital elements of the ADC, such as:
Base Stats: Remember why the ADC was so good in the first place? Well in this season their primary stats went too low. The numbers were so close to the ground that it took hard work in making last hits. The normal calculated damage from the experts of this role was modified. They now had to wait a bit longer to kill the minions. To create tension in the lane and harass the enemy; there was no other option but to waste mana for a couple of abilities.
There lots of changes in this part of the game that reduce the effectiveness of the League of Legends ADC. First, the items weren’t able to provide enough base stats to keep a carry somehow relevant from the late game. Since these heroes are well known to do damage with their ranged attacks, this felt like a kick in the groin. But wait, there’s more. You already know that there is an alternative for a different build that is acceptable to the ADCs. Critical damage can give you that normal damage to win some team fights. This time though, Riot kicked again and nerfed the “crit” damage as well.
Players that were too familiar with this role in the game felt that they had no other option. They weren’t able to make a proper build that could make a difference in the late game. In other words, being a League of Legend ADC meant that you had to farm as twice as much to be somehow relevant. But the regular time that it takes to finish a match gave them fewer choices. If they were against an APC in their bot lane, it was over since the beginning. The APC required fewer items to start with the “damage train” while the ADC were half ready in comparison.
Even though there weren’t too many changes in this factor, the spells for the League of Legends ADC weren’t practical, at all. If Riot were able to give some buffs between here and there. May create some unnecessary changes. For example, by making the abilities from the ADC more viable, these champions could be considered APC instead. Ranged characters that try to find the items to boost their spells weren’t that much convenient as their magician counterparts.
Some of the players changed their roles instead of using the different carry approach. There can be some similitudes in some positions. The Jungler, for example, shares the same characteristics when it comes in trying to hunt enemy players. The backside though is that the Jungler tends to fall in the late game. Something which can be the total opposite of the well-known carry in the game.
Even though all these changes, the League of Legends ADC tend to appear in different matches; from time to time, some players enjoy playing the champions that they have in their collection. And even after all those changes that we previously addressed, there’s always a chance to win a match. The problem now is that you rely even more on the performance of your support. Which mean that if you try to play solo queue, there may be a troublesome road if you decide to pick one ADC this time around.
One of the strengths that League of Legends offers to their player base is how well structured is every role in the game. This though can become a weakness when massive changes in the “Meta” take place. As we can see here from the changes of this season, there can only be one ADC in every team, and he/she can go in the bot lane. Doing some alterations in the formula may not be that much useful, and your teammates probably won’t be too happy about it.
All Hail Patch 8.24b
Here is what Riot wants to change in the following patch:
- Changes for specific marksmen and improving performance into other ADC. These “specific” champions are currently Corki, Xayah, Ashe, Vayne, Tristana, Jinx.
- To address the problems with the League of Legends ADC, Riot wants to generate a “revolutionary” tactic; which consists in giving more starting MR, reducing their vulnerability to harass in lane and magic damage based burst early/mid game. This new approach is still on the works; they’re still not sure about what sort of mixture of just more MR overall versus pulling per level MR forwards into starting MR that will be.
- Changes for Xayah may be whether she and Rakan are too dependent on each other power wise. Certainly, Riot wants them to be active together and feel a bit special. There may be some concerns about their low effectiveness when they are both apart.
Even though these new changes aren’t enough, this is a good start for all those League of Legend ADCs. After the improvement of some champions, there will be less work to deal in the future. We know that the roster is a little bit too extensive, but we may get there when the next season arrives. That new “tactic” seems promising as well, with more damage resistance to the ranged carry, there may be more opportunities to return that suffering to the enemy team. Lastly, that change with Xayah can help those solo queue players that like this champion. If her counterpart is not in the game, she still can be reliable and create great winning chances.
9.1 and beyond
Besides the arriving patch, Riot shares what changes may come in the next year with the new season:
- They’ll look at crit items. There may be more details as soon as they arrive. Some of the possible changes can be to make crit items feel more satisfying to most users, given satisfaction has been a long-running issue regardless of balance state.
- Deal with the marksman offense versus defense. Potential approaches include making partial defensive buys decent choices earlier on (e.g., an early BT or Hexdrinker as a suitable choice, rather than too often a trap). Might also involve further adjustments to base defensive stats.
- There’s also the possibility of looking at power curves on some marksmen, in particular, whether some champs who’d be better off if they lost a bit of power late game, which they don’t always get to access, in exchange for a better early and mid game.
Thanks to the possible changes in the Critical items, League of Legends ADC players will have some buying options; which means that all the last hits that a player was able to achieve in the early game now are more satisfying. That defensive approach seems to be the way. Riot is dealing with the last nerfs — this kind of looks interesting that instead of buffing the offense (which is the prime element of any carry), they are betting on their survivability. Maybe we’ll see more Caitlyn in the future.
These changes make the carry a little less relevant, but it can also mean that the teammates won’t rely on their winning chances to a single player. The last note aims to tell us that there may be some balance changes in different champions; some may have a good early game but will fall later on; likewise, if they have slow beginnings, they’ll probably shine in the late part of the match.
We are uncertain about what new things may come in the future. Like this recent season, we may get a surprise of how the game can be suddenly modified. This year, the League of Legends ADC role got the nerf hammer out of nowhere. Which in turn, made a lot of discomfort among the player base. Not only the usual carries were affected, but also all the other roles that somehow felt that a critical element to their team got suddenly missing.
But now, there seems to be a light in what it felt like an endless dark tunnel. With the recent patches and the next season, we can surely say that things are looking better. There may still be a little “resistance” in the first months, especially to this “defensive” approach that Riot wants to implement in the game. But either the case, we can’t deny that League of Legends is still fun, and there can be no other option but to improve the gameplay as the time pass by.