Monday, October 28, 2013

Solo Queue: Trolls vs Motivation and Rewards

There are actually two opinions: a) ELO HELL does not exist, and b) ELO HELL is everywhere. I tend to a agree with both and no one of them. Actually depends on the amount of trolling in each division. But, why there is so much trolling?
Welcome to ELO HELL

I would say that people troll because they are bored, they want to revenge a previous troll, it is more fun and in general because there is not enough motivation to try hard and enjoy the game through wining. This is where Riot has failed in Solo Q. There is not enough motivation for trying hard, and that is mostly due to the balance between rewards for trying and penalties for trolling.

A simple example. You believe you are a Platinum player and you will be pleased with yourself if you reach Platinum by the end of Season 3 (That is your personal goal as a summoner). You try hard, you pick your best heroes and TA-TA you are Platinum.
TA-TA Platinum. Congratulations!
 Congratulations! From that point on, you have reached your goals and you do not try hard anymore. You pick champions that you have never played before, you do not care that much if you will win or not and you are even sometimes trolling with a couple of friends. Why? Because you achieved your personal goals and there is not motivation for you any more. In addition, the price for losing a game because you did not play well is -10 League points. Who cares...

In the first place Riot should care. Some of the few words that come in mind when you listen about League of Legends is: competitive and eSports. But how you give summoners motivation to keep the game competitive? Rewards!

Getting a Ribbon
I believe that the current reward system in solo Q fails to give motivation to summoners. The rewards  announced for the end of the season are great, but that is once a year. Ribbons were a nice idea, but the way they work did not bring the expected result. I am sure you can name several perfect games without a single ribbon or even a good word from your team.  So there are two things to keep motivation: a)rewards and b) their frequency.

The frequency should be a reasonable amount of time where summoners could reach some mini goals, so lets say a week or even two. The rewards can get a little more complicated. They should answer the question "What motivates people to play League of Legends?". The most obvious answer is fun, but fun has a broad meaning. Each and everyone has a different perception of fun. For someone can be skins or more champions or recognition or ways to show off etc. As HotshotGG said World of Warcraft has a nice reward system with weekly awarding of points that you can spend on items, but I do not necessarily agree with a system that gives good players even more advantage over worst ones (snowballing through item rewards). However, I do believe that some kind of achievement system could work for League of Legends. Easily or hardly achievable achievements with rewards such as skins or ward skins or fan art or even summoner titles could assist in solving the motivation problem in solo Q.

What I have seen through my experience in games there are two kind of players: the casual and the hardcore. Casual players play with their friends for a few hours a week to have fun, and I think they are players that mostly play normal games. Hardcore players on the other hand, play competitively and in my opinion the number one thing they want is to show off how good they are. So maybe giving them something to be proud of could reduce the amount of trolling due to lack of motivation.

Feel free to share your thoughts and leave a comment

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