The issues of Flex Twisted Treeline

| |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| | |- || Hey everybody, I'm Nightwind or Naerlyn, and you may know me for being the Mordekaiser bug catcher, but since [Morde is rather decent in 3v3](, I've also been playing that mode a lot ever since we've been able to play it without a team, [and am currently Challenger on this map](, in EU West, currently [rank 40]( But over time, it became quite apparent that the 3v3 flex queue had its fair share of issues. Now, after having played 200 games on ranked 3v3 last season, and 50 this season, I wanted to talk about those, in order to raise some awareness around them. Oh yeah, and for once, "issues" is not related to bugs at all! The main focus of my post is to rain awareness on the issues. It may come off as kind of a rant (maybe it is, I couldn't tell), but has been written over the course of a dozen of days, so certainly not as a consequence of having tilted. Even though I'm just trying to show the issues, I've also suggested at the end of the post 22 things that could help improving the situation. Lastly, the problems are mostly about high elo... as in, anything above plat 1. The lower elos are sometimes affected by it, but rarely. If you wonder why I'm posting this on the Boards and not directly on Reddit... Oh well, you're probably used to it by now. I expected to write something short-ish, just a couple of pages. But it turns out that this "essay" is about 95k characters long, aka 52 pages, aka almost 2.5 times Reddit's character limit, aka half of the length of [my longest Mordekaiser buglist]( Oops. Anyway, if you're brave enough - here we go! --- --- --- #Introduction: How I got 6 LP in two hours. [Twisted Treeline is a really dark place, where even the worst jokes aren't punished.]( Let's begin with that part that will serve as a preview of the post. Last week, I tried queuing at 4 AM, with two challenger premades. It was pretty much my first time queuing up as three this season, if you don't count those times when my duo and I re-invite someone from the previous game. I wanted to try actual coordinated play, and to have a bit more fun. After 45 minutes of queue, we eventually find a game. One master, one high challenger, and the rank 1, as three premades, against... gold, platinum and diamond, solo queuing. They don't know the meta of that map, making the game a stomp in our favor, won in 15 minutes without being any kind of challenge due to the rank difference and to them doing the equivalent of... I don't know, playing without a jungler in 5v5. The game gives us 3 LP each. Rinse and repeat, 30 minutes of queue, same ranks for our opponents (but different people), same 15 minutes stomp, [+3 LP again]( Except for the rank 1, who only got [2 LP]( off of that win. So what's the aftermath of those two hours? - 1h15 spent in queue - 15 minutes spent in CS/loading screen - 30 minutes spent in game - The games were stomps because of level difference - 5 to 6 LP gained And now, let's break down all of the problems, because that was just a mere preview! --- --- --- #Table of contents **I) Consequences of the low population** **1)** Queue times. **2)** Matchmaking. **3)** LP gains. **II) Other issues** **4)** Premade restrictions. **5)** Lack of practice field. **6)** Decay in Master/Challenger. **7)** Lack of balance, QoL changes, and bug fixes. **8)** If you don't know and abuse one bug, you'll play with a disadvantage. **9)** Win trading, smurfing and scripting. --- --- --- #Issue 1: Queue times. **TL;DR:** Diamond and master players have queue times averaging 10 to 20 minutes, down to an average of 7 minutes during peak times. Challenger players can go up to hours-long queues. You've heard challengers complain about their queue times. You've heard even more people complain about that in the Dynamic Queue era. Ranked 3s is far beyond. [Here]( is a common, standard queue. [With another example for good measure.]( But it can get worse. First of all, it's obvious that when playing at night, these queues get longer, or same when playing with premades. But it can get a bit ridiculous. One night, I played three games in a row, and **for each of these games, the queue was longer than the game that followed.** *The queue in itself, not counting the champ select or the loading screen.* The games lasted for 23, 13 and 24 minutes respectively, and each queue was longer than the game that went with it. Now, the thing is, I'm clearly not the best Twisted Treeline player. I peaked at 80ish LP in master last season, in the top 100, and am currently top 73. So my case is still far better than that of the better players. Over the course of the season, challenger trios would **regularly** have queues that would go on for over an hour, sometimes **over 3 hours**, even. And last but not least, here are some of the highest queue times recorded, because that's pretty ironic at that point. - [9h30]( - [23h15]( Can I insist a bit on that second example? **23 hours and 15 minutes?** I will later go back on the fact that when you are master or challenger, you have to play 10 ranked games every 10 days, which is an average of one game a day. How are you supposed to play one game a day when that one game already takes you 24 hours to find? (Regarding the fact that the queue message was green, thus potentially meaning that the queue was bugged and would never find a game: I made that remark to the streamer who had put that picture, and he apparently did find a game on a supposedly-bugged queue. So it was purely because of the matchmaking, and not because of a bug.) --- --- --- #Issue 2: The matchmaking. **TL;DR:** The games are often vastly mismatched, bronzes sometimes landing with or against challengers, and golds being **commonly** matched with or against challengers. I've also seen challenger trios against platinums or lower... often. The matchmaking in 3v3 is... beyond bad. Remember those dynamic queue moments with SKT facing five randoms who were not even queuing together? That's the kind of stuff that's happening here as well. Ranked Twisted Treeline has a rather low population, and this means that the amount of people at one's level is not extremely high. But, [here]( are the consequences. Kind of a bad screenshot due to the software I was using to get those stats, but here's what's important to note: I was the Xin Zhao, diamond 3 in promos to diamond 2, and former master player - only talking in terms of 3v3 ranks there, and solo queuing. I faced a gold 2, a platinum 5 and a diamond 5. What was I with? A gold 2 and... a bronze 1 player. **Being mid-diamond, I ended up with a bronze teammate**. 18 divisions below me. This was far from an isolated case, and it wasn't even due to my MMR - all high elo players are regularly getting that. This screenshot was taken in January, but these issues have occurred ever since *last* January. In what ways is it a problem? - You get a game that is imbalanced, and in the end, not fun for anyone. The high elo players are just outclassing the ones below, the low elo players are being killed over and over, the ones in the middle are, well, in the middle. Duh. - The game is also certainly not guaranteed to be balanced between both teams. You can totally be one diamond with two silvers against two platinums and a diamond. [There]( are these issues summed up (and proved) in one image. - I was in my master promos, and got matched with a gold 3 and a plat 3. All solo queuing. - We ended up facing three challengers, ranked 1st, 6th and 18th. As a trio queue. - Normally, a game like this would cost me about 2-3 LP. Yes, you heard it here, it's not even worth dodging that. But I was in my series, so it was just a flat loss. - I'll just use that moment to mention the fact that Mordekaiser was banned. Imagine being on your first game of Twisted Treeline placements, and facing the rank 1 of the mode, who is queuing in trio with two other challengers. Does not really make that queue all that appealing to you anymore, does it? Well if this situation may seem a bit specific, it's because it's happened in my games. But I did not reach the main point of that issue yet. For this, I need to explain to you how the 3v3 meta works. Or more accurately: how the 3v3 meta**s** work. --- --- #Explaining the meta As the name cleverly explains, in 3v3, each team has three players put on two lanes and a jungle. ~~And that's all I had to say, bye~~ The jungle contains three camps (wolves, golems and wraiths, and yes, it means that there are no chickens or krugs here) and one "altar" on each side of the map, People are playing that mode in *four* different ways. **1) The "What is this map, it looks cool" way -** Two bot, one top, with more or less random champions. This is what people usually go for when they discover the 3v3. Or, that's at least how it used to be until 2014, I haven't really had the opportunity to know how things evolved since then. **2) The Jungle meta -** One top, one bot, one jungle. Mage bot lane, standard jungler in the jungle, bruiser/tank/ADC top. That thing is very frequently played, because it feels instinctive and there isn't really anything. According to an old-ish Riot post (I think 2015), even the high elos in North America were sticking to that meta, but this is apparently no longer the case, from what I've been told. **3) The Hypercarry meta -** One bot, one top laner with smite, and one support that follows the top laner. There, I'll be going for a detailed description, because I suspect that most of you don't play 3v3 thus have no idea of how this works. You can also consider this paragraph as a short 3v3 lesson. The bot lanes are mages, and this works pretty much like a mid lane match-up on 5v5, except that lane priority, push, pressure and roams are much, much more important and impactful here. Now when it comes to the top laner (named hypercarry) and support, the hyper will buy one jungler item and one laner item or Relic Shield, while the support will rush Targon. Both champions will stay together to clear the jungle, then the top lane wave(s), then the jungle, and so on. Pretty simple on paper. Except that you have opponents doing the same thing. So you're also gonna trade against them while you're in lane, with some added features: - Getting pushed in means letting the other duo invade and steal one of your camps, or more. - The bot lane is really close to the top lane, so a bot laner will try to roam after pushing, meaning that you constantly have to watch out for this if you don't want to end up in a 2v3 (hint: 2v3s usually don't go all so well when you're on the outnumbered part). - The bot lane is even closer to the jungle, so invading means watching out for a potentially immediate reaction of the enemy mage. The bot laner builds like a standard mage (with a tendency to go Frost Queen: Each player starts with 850g, and the mana regen passive on the Doran's Ring is unique, making Doran + Spellthief the better starter, while FQC is an extremely good item on this map), the hypercarry takes the jungle item (with a red smite 99% of the time) and a more or less normal build, and the support grabs as many shields and heals as he can. This meta is what everyone goes for in high elo. Because it very easily runs over any jungle comp at all stages of the game. **4) The Chaos meta -** Two junglers (Bard and Poppy) and a laner. I will not talk about this, because only three people run it, after having created it. Lots of other high elos tried to copy it, without any success, and explaining it would just be a waste of time. [It just looks like this.]( --- **What does this all mean?** Despite Twisted Treeline only having three players per team, there are five different roles. Bot laner, top laner, jungler, hypercarry and support. All of those roles are very different - the closest two are bot laner and top laner, which are as close as mid laner and top laner are on the Rift. I am a hypercarry main, and like many other hyper or support mains at my elo, I am rather bad at the other roles. I can hold my own as a bot laner or as a support, but don't ask me to play the other two roles, because I can't even practice them anyway - they aren't played at my normal level. But a whole lot of people from the low elos **don't even know the word hypercarry.** Imagine being in a challenger solo queue, and having your jungler not know the word jungler (let alone what he's supposed to do). So when I (I take myself as an example of any hyper or support main) get matched with two gold people (even quite a few plats don't know what a hyper is): - I will be forced to play a role that I don't know how to play well, because the role does not even exist at my elo. - I won't get any practice, because I'll be playing a role that does not exist in my standard games. - My chances of winning won't even be as high as the level difference should make it, due to that off-role aspect. These things add up to the other points from before. And will add up to what I'll follow up with. --- --- --- #Issue 3: The LP gains. I'll split that in four parts, because it seems like the LP gains have been reworked around October, making them much more positive than in the last season... for the most part. Here's the main idea, though: Due to the low playerbase in high elo 3v3, your LP gains do not go up as your MMR does. You may have the highest possible MMR, if the only people queuing up at the same time as you are platinum, your challenger MMR will not matter in any way. Having a higher MMR means that you'll face better opponents, opponents with a higher MMR than your rank. So if you win, you'll have taken down people better than you rank, and as such, be rewarded with higher LP gains. If you lose, it's alright, because the enemies were stronger, so you won't lose as many LP there either. Why am I talking about this? Because the LP gains are an indirect consequence of the MMR, and not a direct one. High MMR > Stronger enemies > High LP gains. The amount of LPs you gain actually only depends on the level of the people you face (compared to yours), level which does depend on your MMR. But when there aren't enough people, the second part is invalidated. So if you have a high MMR but face platinums as a challenger, your gains will be the same as that of a challenger with a platinum MMR. And in the end, the MMR does **not** matter when you're high elo in 3v3. --- **1) The LP in 2018 - Challenger version** **TL;DR:** High challengers have very little LP gains compared to what they lose, even against opponents of similar level. The top of the ladder has some pretty ridiculously low LP gains whatever they would face. Especially for those who want to play as premades - Ranked 3v3 used to be only playable by teams, after all. On average, a challenger of the upper half only gets 10 to 12 LP per win, **even for winning against a trio of challengers**. Or +8 for winning against two higher ranked challengers. All of that sounds nice, but there's worse. Try to trio queue as three challengers at night. Just try. Due to the lack of players, you'll end up facing low elo opponents. What do I mean by low elo? Silver? Nah, not even that. Usually, one gold, one platinum and one diamond opponent. That kind of "low" elo. Guess what you gain for these games? For a win, +2 to +3 LP. For a loss? -37 to -40. It takes you **20 wins** to compensate for a single loss. **Even on a 95% win rate, you are going to lose LP**, with an average of -0.1 LP per win. According to the meaning of the elo ranking, it could make sense. Considering that the Leagues are based on something that used to be an elo system, we can know that the difference between two consecutive leagues is 300 elo. Being 300 elo above your opponent means that your odds of winning are of 85%, going up to 95% at a difference of 470 (which should be the difference between masters and mid-platinums). It could make sense... in theory. Because in practice, what happens is that you can spend the entire day grinding games, playing ten games, winning them all for a total of +20 LP, to eventually face one trio challenger team, that you will lose against, [making you drop 27 LP]( That game, right there, was a trio of two challengers and a diamond 1 (ranks 1/6/120ish), facing against another trio of two challengers and a master (ranks 15/16/55). So let's sum that all up. You're gonna play 10 games against lower-ish opponents, gaining a total of 20 LP for winning them all, and then you'll face a trio of people on average higher ranked than you, having roughly a 50% chance of winning. If you win, you add 11 LP to that amount, and if you lose, it's a -27. Now let's say that you win 20 of these "easy" games, before going 1/2 in three of these fair games. 2 x 20 + 1 x 11 - 2 x 27 = -3. So, you come out losing out of that 21/2 record. --- **2) The LP in 2017** **TL;DR:** In 2017, **all** diamond+ players would get really bad LP rewards. In 2017, in diamond or above, an even game would give you 20 to 25 LP, with a loss being around the same kind, but the issue lies in the imbalanced games. Not the games when you're three diamonds against three golds, no, that would be too easy. Let me give you three examples of games that I had, and that all had the same LP gains/losses. (I was master back then, between 0 and 80 LP) - **Game 1:** My team: Silver 3 / Silver 1 **//** Enemy team: Diamond 4 / Diamond 5 / Platinum 3. - **Game 2:** My team: Platinum 1 / Diamond 5 **//** Enemy team: Silver 3 / Silver 3 / Gold 5. - **Game 3:** My team: Platinum 2 / Gold 5 **//**Enemy team: Gold 5 / Gold 2 / Platinum 4. As you can see there, the third game was favoring me, the second one was completely in my favor, and the first one... not at all. In the case of the first game, we fall back in the worst of the issues that I mentioned in the previous part: My team has no clue of what the actual meta is, I'm forced into an offrole, and I'm playing against three people who are almost at my level and far above that of my teammates. For **any** of these games, I would get +5 to +7 LP for a win, and -25 to -35 for a loss. All treated equally, while I am in a serious disadvantage in the first case. Why am I mentioning this while it's about 2017? Because it was "changed" only recently, and because I have no clue of what was actually changed, because there hasn't been a single announcement about it, as far as I'm aware. Because I haven't gotten to play with two silvers against three diamonds in 2018 yet, as I've switched to mostly playing in duos now, and as the early season means that more diamonds and challengers are playing even during the night, meaning that the worst part of that issue could still be there. And because if something was changed sneakily without any mention of it, it could eventually come back for any unknown reason. Or as I'll explain later, it might just be a consequence of the early season. So how was it for Challengers in 2017? Well that's pretty simple. Same as right now, but even worse. **Challengers could earn no LP after a won game.** [One example here](, or another one [here]( Remember season 3, when you were around 95-99 LP in the first division of your league? Yep, that's it. You could win a game without being rewarded with any LP. But at least, back then, a loss would only cost you 1 to 5 LP at best, in those situations. **Here, it was +0 -30**, or worse, up to **+0 -50.** High risk, no reward. --- **3) The LP in 2018** **TL;DR:** People below challenger currently gain really high amounts of LP. **This might change over the course of the season.** And now it's vastly different. And in some ways - it's the opposite! Making it too easy to climb by just... playing a lot. I've always been sorta scared of rankeds, because when I lose, I regret having played that ranked - being able to improve out of my normal games pretty efficiently, surprisingly to some. But not here. I just think that I'll have an decent win rate, and that considering this and the LP gains, I just have to get as many games played as possible in order to climb. Most of my LP gains were around 250% to almost 300% of my losses, all opponents' levels put together. That ends up stopping as your rank goes high enough (and by that, I mean somewhere in Challenger). **Important note:** I have not lost a game this season against low level opponents, nor have I been in a game with silvers and against diamonds as a master, so I don't know how those cases go. Thus my knowledge of the LP gained and lost in 2018 below Challenger is not perfect. Wins against premades of higher elo are really valuable. They give you about 37 LP, if you're somewhere in diamond-master. On the other hand, I have never won against [that trio of challengers]( Losing to them has always only cost me 1 to 3 LP, never more, so it wouldn't even be all that surprising to get over 40 LP for beating them, as a diamond/master player. **However!** That thing might change back to the 2017 version over the course of the season. The current level in 3v3 is lower than how it was last season, due to the season just having started. Most challengers of last season haven't started playing, which moves the good and less good MMRs around a bit. When everything will go back to normal, with the former kings and rulers claiming their throne back, the LP gains might go back to their 2017 states. --- **4) The case of promotions** **TL;DR:** Promotions mostly depends on what kinds of teams you'll be facing. So, let's recap all that I said before, if you're in a place where you might still have promos. For example, let's say you're diamond 3 and in promos. - You can face golds and challengers equally. Solos or trios equally, too. - You can be put with golds and challengers equally. Both teams are certainly not guaranteed to be balanced. - This is "compensated" in terms of LPs by gaining high amounts of LPs for winning against challengers, lower ones for winning against golds, losing (very) low amounts of LPs for losing against challengers, higher ones for losing against golds. - As an example, if you face that trio of high elo challengers who all have 80 to 87% win rate, you are almost guaranteed to lose but will only lose 1 to 3 LP. - Playing with two high elo premades will make you earn less LP, but will significantly increase your chances of winning, especially because it will prevent any low elos from being in your team, thus increasing the chances of making the game highly skewed in your favor. **However!** You're in your promotions, so you don't care about your LP! So instead of having your chances of winning be inversely proportional to the LPs you gain and proportional to the LPs you lose, you're entirely going to depend on what you'll be facing, because all that will count is getting that W no matter its meaning. So playing your promos is all about avoiding the challengers trio queuing, instead of going into games, hoping for them to go well, and working towards making them go well. --- #Warning: There is a potential way to abuse this LP system to climb much faster in Challenger. I had that idea just yesterday, as I was almost done writing the entire post. Currently, if you're a challenger, you'll earn much less LP by duoing or trioing with other challengers, because your opponents will likely be of a lower level than yours. But if you duo/trio with the same challenger(s)... but while having them play on diamond 5 smurfs, you'll gain much more LP by making your team weaker on paper, without reducing your odds of winning. At the same time, your opponents will lose more LP. This simply works because unlike in solo queue, and unlike in lower elos, duoing with someone of a lower rank/MMR will not make you face people of a lower rank, but will tank the level of your team. So if you have a buddy willing to help you with that, you can buy accounts, make them reach diamond 5, and then duo with your challenger friend who'll play on those diamond 5 accounts while you'll stay on your challenger account. And this, is paying to climb. And it's possible. --- --- --- #Summary of the first three parts. Sorry, but don't expect a TL;DR for that one. Or maybe, try this on: **TL;DR:** All these things together suck. These first three parts are the most import ones, and it's by being combined that they are the big problem that this queue's players face. Queue times, matchmaking, LP gains. And metas. High queue times are meant to allow the matchmaking to find fair games, extending the search when no ideal game can be found. But it means that we end up getting the worst of both worlds: Not only do we have extremely long queue times, but all that wait is for nothing, because the game is by no means balanced afterwards. So then, two things depending on your rank. **1) If you're high ranked:** *a) And you're playing as a duo/trio:* You're most likely going to win the game. In a stomp, without gaining all that much experience from it, and getting only a handful of LP. *b) And you're playing alone, but all the other players have similar ranks among themselves:*You're once again quite likely to win. However, you (probably) won't be able to play the normal meta, meaning that you'll be on a role you can't practice, and without being able to practice the roles you're supposed to play, either. Same here, you won't gain a lot of LP. But if you lose, it'll be a rather harsh loss. *c) And you're playing alone, with the enemies being higher ranked than your teammates:* Ugh. Same as right above, but you're not in any kind of advantage anymore, even usually at a disadvantage, especially when considering the offrole part. You might have to spend a while teaching them some basics of the 3v3 (being master and matched with silvers can lead to pretty odd things), if they're willing to listen - I'll go back on that in a moment. That's the worst case. You get a long queue, you get bad teammates (which is normal, they're just not *supposed* to be in the same game as you), you don't have good odds of winning, you can't play a role you're normally playing, you can't practice for your balanced games, **and** you'll have very low LP gains compared to what you risk losing. Those games in particular are the biggest part of what made me quit playing 3v3 from July 2017 to the end of the season, with the exception of only a couple of games. --- **2) If you're low ranked:** *a) And the enemies are of your rank while you get the high ranked player in your team:* Welp, enjoy getting carried, I guess. Long queue, partly interesting game, but at least it's a win. I recently played a game with a challenger duo, playing hypercarry and support, and we noticed after winning the game, as the bot laner said that we played the game without him, that he was right, and that he hadn't gotten an occasion to partake in the game in any way. A win's a win, though, so, depends on what you're looking for. *b) And the enemies are of a higher rank while you get the high ranked player in your team:* Ew. That's not going to be a fun one. You still get the obvious downside of having waited 20ish minutes for that game, but then you're gonna have a very tough time against people better than you, with one person in your team who's not so unlikely to flame you for being much worse than what he'd expect to have in his team. A long wait for a boring game with a bad atmosphere, to ultimately get an L. *c) And you're facing the high ranked player:* Not really going to be fun either. At least you might avoid the flame part, but that's about it. The only plus side is that you probably won't lose all that many LPs. *d) And you're facing the high ranked player, but hey you're in promos:* Exactly the same as above... but without the advantage of the low LP loss! Because you need wins and not LPs, to get those promos completed. I'm showing all of these issues from the point of view of someone who's high elo, currently challenger after having spent a good part of the 2017 season hardstuck in low master (because I became bad, blame's fully on me for that). But for the low elos, it really feels bad to get involved in those games too. The consequences are not the same, but can you imagine? Do you remember that story of the guy with a diamond MMR because of someone boosting his account, but without having the diamond level, and desperate to just fall back to his normal level one way or another? That's exactly this. You're surrounded by people better than you, if not much better, while you don't want it and you've never asked for it. And as a high elo player, it's sometimes kinda hard not to want to blame your teammates for being objectively much worse than you. But no. You just can't blame for anything, that wouldn't be fair. They're at the rank that they deserve, you just shouldn't be at the same level as them - or the other way around. I know I'm myself very calm, and I'm not giving into getting angry at those people. But that certainly does not mean that the other high elos behave the same way. Spoiler - lots of them don't, and aren't very patient. But that's just a lose-lose, a bad situation for everyone, that neither the high elos nor the low elos want to get in. Best you can do as an experienced player is to teach your teammates bits about how to play the gamemode better, but you're not necessarily having the time to do that during the game, nor are these people guaranteed to be willing to listen to you. Sure, they should if they want to win and if they want to improve (if your purpose is actually to give advice and not to - lowkey or not - put the blame on them), but what if they just want to play without having to listen to someone telling them all the things to do. Honestly - nobody can be blamed for that, either (as long as it's not to too big an extent), especially at a low elo. --- Guess what? I'm not entirely done with this part yet! In 3v3, the high elo players have a good part of the other high elos in their friends list. And when you see that at 1 AM, the rank 1 is queuing in trio with two other Challengers, if you're alone, you can just not queue. You have to wait for them to find a game. Or else, you'll be matched with two low elos, as a Challenger (or around), against a trio of high Challengers. Sure, you won't lose all that many LPs, but it'd be a miracle if you'd manage to win. So what's the point in even playing? You won't be fighting on even terms at all. And that just contributes to the problem of the queue times. If you make the people at your elo not play by just going in a queue, of course you're not gonna find a so-called balanced game (at least when it comes to levels, because being in voice chat is still a huge advantage for you over solo challengers). Just a vicious circle. And because of this, the people who are waiting have to wait even longer, because of the trio's long queue time. After that, you have the target bans. When you know what you'll be up against by checking who's in queue in your friends list, that's a good way to throw target bans. And 3v3 has quite a few OTPs: a bot lane Fiddle OTP, a support Shaco OTP (from last season, I haven't seen him yet), a Vayne+Shyvana two-trick, a Morgana OTP, a Riven OTP, a bot lane Morde OTP... Hey, that one's not even me. Speaking of that Mordekaiser OTPs, [here's what happens when you know that only one person can pick Morde in one game]( Yes, because we're actually three Morde mains in challenger! --- --- --- #Issue 4: Premade restrictions **TL;DR:** The duo/trio restrictions prevent you from playing with people who are gonna end up in your game anyway. A few seasons ago, Riot has removed the possibility to duo in ranked with someone regardless of their rank. The goal of this was to make games more balanced: how do you make a game fair when one team in solo queue will have a challenger and a low platinum player? For that reason, [you can only queue with someone who is in the tier below or above yours]( (there are no further restrictions in flex). It's a fair restriction for solo queue and for 5v5 flex. But in 3v3, your games aren't going to be balanced anyway. It really sucks to be matched with someone who's platinum because he just finished his placements, to then not be able to queue up with him right after, because you're master. But **he's gonna be in your next game anyway!** So what's the point in forbidding a duo? Worse even. It's happened to me several times to not be allowed to duo with someone, to then end up facing him while being with people **with whom my level difference was even bigger.** That restriction is supposed to make teams not have too big level disparities among their members. Here, in fact, it does the opposite! --- --- --- #Issue 5: We cannot practice for this mode. **TL;DR:** You can't practice in normal games, and trying champions in ranked is too great a risk for your LP. Normally, if you want to practice champions you aren't particularly comfortable with, you have two options: Either you play them in normal games, or you don't care and you first time in ranked, to be "that teammate in my promos". But here's where it doesn't work. **Option 1: Normal games.** In normal games, people don't really tryhard all that much, and most people find the jungle meta funnier than the hypercarry meta. Except, I guess, support and hyper players - which includes me. So you can grab a duo, go in a normal game, pick whichever hypercarry you want to practice and have your premade support you. That's nice, you are playing a hyper! ... But your opponents aren't. So you're nearly guaranteed to win that game anyway, and you can't see how your hypercarry pick would face off against another hyper, which is what will happen in a ranked. So, the option of normal games doesn't work. **Option 2: Ranked games.** If you want to try a new hypercarry in a ranked (this also affects the other roles, I'm using hyper as an example for one particular reason that I'll explain later), I shouldn't need to really expand too much on how that's a problem, you know that by yourselves already. First timing a champion is never the safest thing, especially when you don't even know whether that champion will be viable. [It can work](, meaning that Mordekaiser support might have a 100% win rate in 3v3, but it's not safe. However, there's that LP issue that I mentioned in challenger. If you're high enough in the ranking, remember that your gains will drop, and that if you face teams of lower ranks, the LPs you drop for a loss are huge. And you don't know what you'll end up against while you're in champ select. Getting a -40 just for wanting to try something new? Yeah, no thanks. **Conclusion:** The only reasonable way to try out some new stuff is by playing on a smurf, and that is not healthy for the game. It reduces the amount of high elo players who play, it forces you to level up an account (or to buy one, which is not something that Riot can recommend), and once your smurf reaches challenger (... if it does), it "steals" one of the 50 challenger spots. Yeah, I don't know if I mentioned it, but 3v3 only has 50 spots in challenger instead of 200. But here's the thing. We **have** to try new things, otherwise the meta won't ever change. Otherwise the meta wouldn't have shifted last year. In 5v5, people just check what professionals are doing, or what challengers do, and then blindly copy it. But when **you** are those challengers, you're supposed to be the ones finding these new picks. Last year, at the very beginning of the season and before (so, since December, when we started being able to play Flex in 3v3), people were exclusively playing tank supports. Tanks and nothing else. Taric, Poppy, Nautilus, Leona, Braum - you name them. And then I saw one person go for Lulu. Once. In February. From that game on, she was picked or banned in every game I've seen. Then, march 8th added Stoneborn Pact. Every tank ran it, and for one reason: They had to follow the Lulu trend, aka match her first item Ardent Censer. Yes, Ardent Censer has been a must buy / must rush item in 3v3 ever since March, while it only started terrorizing 5v5 in July. Point being, the meta tends to shift only because someone discovers one pick, that was previously an actual hidden OP. Right now, the meta is back to solely having tank supports, 75% bruiser 25% ADC hypercarries, and mages bot lane (except some people who play ADCs or other AD champs bot lane when they're with me, because I play an AP hypercarry - Mordekaiser). But there are so many champions that I would like to try as hypercarries. Rumble looks promising. Wukong surely isn't bad against squishier targets. Corki could make sense. [Even offtank attackspeed hybrid carry Cho'Gath]( looks fun. And Yorick. Jarvan. Camille. Fiora. Why not even Taric while we're at it, with how surprisingly hard solo lane Taric can hurt. And I would also like to get some practice on the other common or formerly common hypercarries: Graves, Riven, Yasuo, Illaoi (gotta see how to adapt to the passive while deciding when to invade and when not to), Lucian... **We** are supposed to define the meta, and we can't do that, because we lack a place to experiment. --- --- --- #Issue 6: The decay in Master and Challenger. **TL;DR:** Masters and challengers are forced to play 10 games every 10 days, which is bad with the other issues. For those who don't know it, here's how the inactivity system works: - Bronze/Silver/Gold: No inactivity. - Platinum/Diamond: -30/-50 LP per week of not playing, starting 28 days after your last ranked. - Master/Challenger: You enter Master with 10 "stacks" and can have a maximum of 10 at all times. Playing a game gives you one stack, and you lose one of these stacks every 24 hours. If you can't lose a stack because you already have 0, you'll lose 250 LP instead. So when you're master/challenger, you have to play 10 games per 10 days, for an average of one game a day (Two years of math studies btw). After I raised some of the previous points, with the queue times and the matchmaking, perhaps you could simply answer me "Well then why don't you stick to playing at peak times instead of complaining!" Except that aside from the fact that this will just further cement that problem, as everybody doing so would simply end up removing *all* of the people playing at late hours, which is no different from straight up removing the mode at those hours; aside from that fact, it also isn't possible because you're forced to play at some point or another. Last season, there was a good portion of the year when I could only play 3v3s during the night and at no other point. I know playing at night is not particularly enjoyable, especially without having a duo, but I had no choice - I had to play these nighty games. One per day. That inactivity rule has been put there to reduce the queue times of challenger players, and to prevent them from just playing on smurfs while only getting one game on their main account every ten days. But here, it doesn't prevent the queue times from being long, the games from being imbalanced, and the experience from being suboptimal, to say the very least. It just forces you to endure it daily. Lastly, just playing one game can be a very significant time commitment. Sure, one game is only 20ish minutes long, but what when you have to go through a 3h long queue to reach this game in the first place? And even funnier - [how are you supposed to play one game a day when the queue lasts for one full day itself?]( --- --- --- #Issue 7: Opportunities wasted, and a mode forgotten by balance, QoL and bug fixes. **TL;DR:** Riot refuses to balance this mode, but also to apply some of the basic QoL changes. There used to be some map-specific balance changes for Twisted Treeline and Dominion. Needless to say that the latter are no longer all that relevant, but the former were all removed over time. And according to this Riot statement in [patch 7.1](, they're not going to do 3v3 specific changes anymore, either. > Moving forward, we’ll continue to evaluate changes in this vein as champs are added and updated, but the days of map-specific balancing for strength alone are behind us. I'll go back on one thing that is addressed in the full paragraph. > We expect champions to be stronger or weaker from one map to the next. I've seen Kayle be nearly constantly banned my games ever since I've started playing 3v3 in late 2016. Poppy has also been a top tier pick since the very beginning, and dozens of champions are unplayable - and unplayed. I may not be recalling correctly, but I don't think I've **ever** seen Twisted Fate, Aurelion Sol, Sona or Blitzcrank at any point since the beginning of 2017, while others are consistently at the top. Want to have an example? Let's see Taric's case. I've looked up every single of his win rates since 7.2, which was one year ago. His win rate was just slightly above 55% on 7.7 and 7.11. Aside from these two patches, his WR was above 57.5% at all patches, and **went over 62% win rate in 10 out of 26 patches**, and over 65% in 4 of them. [Source Meta SRC.]( Another example of how hilarious the win rates can be - [on 8.1, 7 different champions had a 58 to 64% win rate]( simultaneously (only counting the champions with more than 2% play rate). And that's a norm rather than an exception. Let that sink in a moment. The last time **one** champion had a 65% win rate in solo queue, [Reddit went completely insane over it]( Or, [there]( Here, you can consider it a rare thing when only one champion has over 65% win rate at a given time. Also... I mentioned this in part 6, but I need to stress it again here. On 5v5, Ardent Censer became popular in Summer 2017, around July. I think it's been pretty widely hated by the entire community, maybe with the exception of the ADC players. But even them didn't all like that item, or it being that dominant. It was nerfed two months after. But in 3v3, we have had to suffer from that item for **over 6 months**, and it completely redefined the meta by itself. Pushed all bruisers out of the meta except for those who were based on attack speed (aka removing Illaoi, Mordekaiser, Darius, Garen, Jarvan, Riven, Rengar, Renekton and that's just what I can recall from the top of my head), made enchanter support bot laners (Lulu, Karma, Morgana back then) a thing, and forced all supports to run Stoneborn Pact. --- Now, balance was one thing, but do you want to have a proof that Riot really doesn't care about this gamemode? On the **28th of January, 2016**, Riot changed trinkets so that [they would no longer break channels](, namely Recall. > Activating a trinket will no longer break channels - except in the case of Jhin and Xerath, which we will fix as soon as we can. At this point, you can guess what I'll be saying, right? Yeah, probably. The Twisted Treeline trinket cancels your Recall. This can totally be considered a bug - contrary to what the patch note says, this trinket **still** cancels your channels. **It has been over two years. Two years!** Just to make Arcane Sweeper coded the same way 5v5 trinkets are. That's not the only bug that trinket has, though. Remember Veigar's cage being invisible when its center was in a wall? Well the trinket has the same issue. I've happened to die because of it, because I couldn't see that a trinket was used until someone threw a targeted spell at me from what would have otherwise been fog of war. - Date of fix for Veigar: 24th of August, 2016. - Current date without it being fixed on the trinket: 12th of February, 2018. A year and a half later. --- I'll just mention one last bug for this part before moving on to other things. In 3v3, you can use your Smite on the big jungle monsters, which is normal, [but also on the small golem]( And no other monster. I don't see how that would make sense. But there's one more thing: Normally, hovering Smite over something that it can't be used on (such as a turret, or *a small jungle monster on which you couldn't use it, perhaps*) will read that [an invalid target was selected]( For the small jungle monsters, [it doesn't]( --- And final point for this part! Remember that thing I quoted at the beginning of the current part? The patch 7.1 changes. Let's read them again, but we'll focus on another part. > That may sound odd, considering we ended the year by giving Shyvana a Treeline-specific way to stack her passive by killing Vilemaw. **The difference: Shyvana’s passive was literally un-stackable on a map without Elemental Drakes.** We expect champions to be stronger or weaker from one map to the next - hence the two changes below - **but we don’t want abilities to be crippled entirely outside of Summoner’s Rift.** Moving forward, **we’ll continue to evaluate changes in this vein** as champs are added and updated, but the days of map-specific balancing for strength alone are behind us. I ask you, and I also specifically ask Riot - isn't there another champion in the game that has a passive that only functions with drakes? Isn't there one? [No?]( I'm not saying Mordekaiser needs a buff - he doesn't. Just saying that this wording is very hypocritical. It reads that Riot doesn't want an ability to be crippled because one of a requirement not being present in Twisted Treeline (you can thank me for writing it down, it feels very useful after having linked it once and quoted it twice already). Yet that is exactly what they are doing. --- **Conclusion of this part:** No specific balance while the game mode is more imbalanced than 5v5 in its worst patches, leaving bugs that are two years old, and being inconsistent in their statements regarding their approach to that mode. --- --- --- #Issue 8: The mode contains one bug that everyone is forced to abuse. **TL;DR:** Smiting before 1:27 gives you one additional Smite charge. You know me. You also read that I said that this post wasn't related to bugs. I mean I know that only 5% of the people who come across this post - at best - will read it, but if you made it this far, you probably have read the first lines. But you couldn't expect that to be entirely true. You couldn't expect me to **not** dedicate an entire part of my post to bugs - or rather, to one bug. So for you, bug lovers (I'm gonna pretend they exist, aside from me), this is that part. On Twisted Treeline, if you use your first Smite at any point after 1:27, it will go on its full cooldown of 90 seconds, because you don't start the game with two Smite charges. But it you use it anytime before, it will only have a 15s cooldown, as if you used it while having two charges. So of course, every hyper (and jungler) is going to smite the first or second camp, making sure to use the spell before 1:27, to abuse the bug, simply because you have no choice! Not doing so would put you behind for absolutely no reason. I've gone months and months (an entire season, actually) without being aware about that, so starting behind in every game in which my opponents were aware of this bug - and thus, abusing it. --- --- --- #Issue 9: The late season smurfing and win trading. **TL;DR:** The top of the 3v3 ladder is really messy at the end of the season, because of smurfing and win trading. **First part: Win trading.** 3v3 and 5v5 ranked team have always been infamous for having some pretty spicy win trading at the end of every season. [Season 6]( (Woah, had no clue I commented there) has a thread there, for example. How does it work? By abusing the low population. It's even doable in solo queue, but 3v3 is much easier because you're almost guaranteed to make the right people be in the right teams, and more importantly, in the right game. You queue as a team of three players, and at the same time, you queue with a smurf that is not too far apart from your level. Your smurf ends up against you, and then you make that smurf either afk, or worse, so that your main will win the game. Rinse and repeat until you reach the rank you want. That ruins games, and that makes some people have a higher rank than what they deserve. I know that some players did that last season, I even have video evidence about them. I'm just not sure whether that evidence is enough, so I won't reveal anything openly, at least yet, to avoid witch hunting. However, should a Rioter want this, I can totally send those videos. --- **Second part: Smurfing.** Smurfing poses three problems in 3v3. **1) The Challenger spots.** At the end of the season, some challenger players are trying to put their smurfs in challenger, and they generally succeed, because, well, if they've had the level to reach high Challenger spots, they probably still have the level to do it a second time. The same thing happens in 5v5 and it's no big deal. However, in 3v3, there are only 50 spots in the Challenger ladder. So, in the end, because of how few spots are available in total and because of those smurfs, not many actual people can get those Challenger spots. **2) The LP losses.** Oh boy. Let's go back to the issues 2 and 3. Let's say you're master, and you face some platinum 1 players, trio queuing while you're alone. You hope you'll win, because those games cost a lot of LP if you lose, regardless of the three plat 1s being a trio. But what happens when it appears that those three people are actually the smurfs of one of the best 3v3 players and his premades? I wasn't good enough to win against them - because I'm taking that from my experience of last year. But instead of only losing 2-3 LP like I usually would lose against those people, I lost 37. For getting beaten by people who - then - were no match for me. I improved since then, but that's not what solves the general issue. **3) The LP gains for the premades.** This is what I addressed at the end of issue 3. If you create a smurf, make it reach diamond 5, and then have it duo or trio with challengers, these challengers get increased LP gains for no fair reason. Again, that's a 3v3-only issue. --- **Third part: Scripting.** This point, here, is no different from what can happen in 5v5. It might actually have less of an impact. But I am nearly certain that certain people in challenger are scripting, and other people share that belief about the same people. I am very specifically thinking about one person, about whom that feeling is shared by other challengers, but not having any clear enough evidence, I will not further speak about this. Maybe that guy just had two very good games without having done anything wrong, I can't exclude that option yet. But the people who were playing in challenger at the end of the season also opened up to me about the scripting issue, so that definitely is something. But in 3v3, the only scripter I can currently think of is high ranked enough for the losses against him to not cost a lot of LP. Which is why I think it's not as impactful as it may be in 5v5. --- --- --- #Irrelevant bonus: My red ribbon used to lose me games. Back at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, before we lost the legacy client (you know, that client with which you could see the status of your friends while being ingame, because the updated client freezes your friends list while you're playing or spectating, and one year later, still no signs of a fix for what is supposed to be a basic function of the client). So, back to the topic after this quick rant - before we lost the legacy client, in champion selection, you could see the honor ribbons in champion selection. The yellow, blue and green ribbon could be seen by your teammates, but the red one could be seen by all of the game's players. I had a red ribbon. I got it in November 2012 and have never lost it - until they removed Honor, of course. But because of this, as the people started to remember me more and more, that red ribbon drew Mordekaiser bans onto me. And Mordekaiser was my best pick back then. So the fact that I have a consistently good behavior cost me some games. Ironic. I could prevent others from losing, but not myself. --- --- --- #Conclusion: How it all adds up NO TL;DR FOR THAT PART, OKAY? I could deeply breathe in and then read everything out in a rap god manner, but I feel like even though the breathing part shouldn't be too hard, I could struggle a bit more with the reading one. (... You should take the time to look at these screenshots, you won't regret it. Or, I hope. No bamboozle insurance.) So, that's what we've got. You start by [waiting a long time to find a game](, to then have in your game [people of a rank more random than Zoe's summoner spell drops](, playing compositions [weirder than my top lane champion pool]( (yes, those are my main top lane champions) because they don't know how the meta works. As a challenger, you then get so little LP compared to your losses that [you would not even climb with a 95% win rate](, [if you even earn any LP at all for a win]( )and there are certain moments when you can't even queue because [you'd have a guaranteed loss]( But you have to play games like this, because not playing one game a day basically means getting kicked out of the higher ranks, all the while only being able to go for a few different champions because you have no way to practice other ones. And in the end, the games you play are all about the draft because every patch contains at least one monster that is like [the combination of 4.20 Weedwick and Release Juggernaut Skarner]( [Or its mega-evolution]( With bugs as well. --- --- --- --- So, that should give you an idea of the things that are wrong with the mode. As you've probably understood, most of the issues come from the queue having too low a playerbase. Others, though, are unrelated to this, and could be fixed if Riot would just care a bit more. Or maybe the "more" is irrelevant, in that sentence. I don't want Twisted Treeline to be another mode to go down the way Dominion did. Enough has been wasted with the Crystal Scar's removal. And a big part of the reasons of that removal was, here as well, Riot not being willing to address any of the mode's issues. One of the biggest plus of Dominion was its [insanely good music]( - that was playing when the game was in its later stages, about to end, but with both teams being really close, both being equally able to win and to lose. Between early 2015 and 2016 (... Dominion's removal, the bug was never fixed), that music would kind of loop itself after a minute, and play twice, as a canon, the "second" beat being about one second late compared to the first one (one bar behind, actually, if my memories are correct). I'll spare you the hassle of trying - no, that music isn't made to be a canon. Once again, back to the point: Twisted Treeline is also a mode full of potential. Its music is great, really - I couldn't count the amount of times I've listened to the [defeat music]( Good thing my games make me hear it a lot :\^) The environment is cool too. It's Shadow Isles, which is a nice theme, and the map is much darker than Summoner's Rift, Howling Abyss, Crystal Scar or Bilgewater thingy, which perfectly embodies the Shadow Isles' theme. Shadow Isles also have a great lore, and the map has some leftovers of the old Twisted Treeline! With Ebonmaw's corpse lying somewhere near Vilemaw. Besides... Removing this map would be disrespectful, *very* disrespectful towards the people who play it competitively. Dominion's removal already felt that way, but this mode actually has a ranked queue. An official competitive aspect, rather than fan-based tournaments. People have a reason to want to get better at it, to invest time into it, a reason that is reflected in the client and on our profile. How would 5v5 challengers feel if they suddenly lost Summoner's Rift? Betrayed, I imagine, to say the very least. Removing Twisted Treeline would be as much of a betrayal, a betrayal towards the trust that people put in Riot by investing time towards improving their skills on 3v3. I don't want this mode to be removed as well. So that's why I'm going to suggest some potential ideas I've quickly thought about, in order to make that queue more healthy. Most of them are directed at Riot, some of them are changes that would need to be made by the playerbase. For obvious reasons, this is only directed at Riot and at the 3v3 players - why would I suggest something that would involve, for example, pro players? Making 3v3 a better place is none of their business, because they wouldn't care about such a thing. A good part of the suggested ideas are about making Twisted Treeline - and thus Ranked Twisted Treeline - more popular. Anyway (don't worry, that part is certainly not as long - I've already written enough so far I think), here we go! --- --- --- #Solution 1: Add exclusive rewards to 3v3 games. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** I got that suggestion directly from a member of the support, and thought it was indeed a good idea. The concept of exclusive rewards has been used often for events, ever since the introduction of the Loot, and makes rewards different than just "either IP (rip), or free skins/RP stuff" - even though in the end, the things you gain out of those special rewards are generally still skin shards. This is something that could be re-used for 3v3. Exploit the theme of the Shadow Isles! Every 3v3 game would yield you something like "Tokens of the Mist" or however that would be called as well as the normal experience gains, and those tokens could be used for various things. - Unlock champions, restricted to Shadow Isles champions. - Unlock a mystery champion among the Shadow Isles champions. - Unlock skins, restricted to Shadow Isles skins, or ward skins, or summoner icons. - Unlock a mystery skin among the Shadow Isles skins. - Combining both ideas, making those tokens give you Shadow Isles chests, or give you keys, or give you Shadow Isles chests as well as keys. - Another idea that could be interesting: Create new exclusive Shadow Isles stuff, be it skins, icons, ward skins, or even something to put on the profile or loading screen, and make them unlockable with only a high amount of games played (think about 200ish games, just like the Dominion icon required 100 Dominion wins). Those were just the ideas I had, there could be more things to suggest! The goal there is to make Twisted Treeline more popular, because as stated, it's the lack of playerbase that is the origin of most issues. Having special rewards on the mode would make it more attractive. **Downsides:** Riot might not want to give more RP-related stuff by simply playing. --- --- #Solution 2: Increase the rewards of 3v3 **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** Still on the same branch here, the goal here is to make it more attractive. 3v3 yield lower experience gains because the games are shorter. The issue is that when you take the queue times in account, that are on average much longer than that of 5v5, it makes the experience gained per hour (for example) lower than what you'd get in 5v5. Because you've played less, but at the same time, you've committed as much time into that. **Downsides:** Riot might not want to give more things this time either. --- --- #Solution 3: Allow people to earn level 6/7 mastery tokens by playing 3v3. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** That goes with the previous point. Twisted Treeline is less rewarding that Summoner's Rift games, which certainly does not give more incentive to play on that mode. Allowing players to earn champion mastery points in 3v3 was already a very great step in the right direction, and it would definitely have been my first suggestion otherwise. But, what point is there in locking level 6/7 tokens in 3v3? Levels 6/7 are supposed to be one further step in showing your mastery on a champion. Supposed to, emphasis on this - it's at least the purpose of that thing. As a consequence of this, it is perfectly normal not to earn tokens in featured game modes or in ARAM anymore - those games aren't competitive, they're not *meant* to be competitive, and they're played out so vastly differently than 5v5 that the skill on a certain champion on these modes cannot really transfer to normal 5v5. For example, I got 30k mastery points on Syndra and raised her to level 6 exclusively by playing her in URF (back then, mastery tokens could still be earned in featured game modes). However, I straight up suck at her in normal games, despite having had my fair share of fearsome moments in URF. That's for the ARAM/RGM lock. But Twisted Treeline is a competitive game mode as well, and no argument can be made against that as it has hosted a ranked queue for years and years - on the bigger servers, that is. Besides, the mechanical skills do transfer from one mode to another, and the modes share a great many similarities, much more than ARAM or any RGM would. Except Nemesis Draft, perhaps. **Downsides:** None I can think of. --- --- #Solution 4: Make Shadow Isles events. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** Shadow Isles can be awesome. We saw that in late 2015, with all of that Black Mist thingy. Lots of SI champions received a new lore, we got an entire narrative for the second time (if I'm not mistaken), first time being a couple months before, with Bilgewater. That second story was actually following the first one, actually showing that dethroning a tyrant could have some severe unexpected downsides. Here, for those who wouldn't have read the lore (aka most of you I suppose), Gangplank was efficiently repelling the onslaught of the Black Mist, and Miss Fortune harshly struggled with it, especially as Bilgewater was much less "united" than during the Gangplank era. This lore also features Lucian and Olaf, and more importantly, Illaoi! Yes, that lore was her initial tease, as she was not even announced for PBE back then. For the funny note... With how she was described in the lore, I was somehow picturing her as an old lady, grandma-looking with a walking stick, kind of similar to the elder lady in How to train your Dragon. I'm proud of that reference, but not really proud of that misjudgment. So, I do think that the Shadow Isles theme is awesome. Want a couple of examples of why? [Kalista's login theme](, [Kalista - The Pledge](, [Tales of the Black Mist](, [the 2015 Harrowing lore]( with its great color scheme, creepy, haunting and beautiful at once, and once again, [the Twisted Treeline music.]( A Shadow Isles event as of today would be able to use that special currency idea that I put on suggestion 1. And much easier: if it's an event currency, then it can be used for much better things. Riot commonly gives skin shards as final rewards of event currencies, so that could be re-used here. And the event would have to somewhat play around Twisted Treeline, because that is the map of the Shadow Isles. Why not even create a new game mode on it? Twisted Treeline Hexakill is one already, but they could come up with another creative one, creative and unique just like the Invasion and Dark Star: Singularity excelled at being. What's the goal there? To make people play the mode. But, an event is only temporary, right? Yeah. It's kind of a bet. Make people play 3v3 for a couple of games to try it out. And hope that at least some of them will like it and come back to it at some point later. That's betting on the mode being good enough for that, but just underplayed as a **consequence** of it being not popular. Vicious cycle. As most people don't play on it, it's seen as more of a joke mode. Not as in "a mode that shouldn't be played in a serious way", but rather in a "it's 3v3, why would you even play it" way. **Downsides:** - There has already been a Shadow Isles event two and a half years ago. - An even takes a very long time to build, especially if it includes new musics, lore, or even mode. --- --- #Solution 5: Make occasional Clash games in 3v3. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** Clash is heavily seen as an incredibly great and fun mode to play. Competitive? Check. Fun? Check. Rewarding? Check. Its goal was to express the true purpose of Ranked Teams and of Flex games. To put something both more competitive and more fun than Solo Queue. To be able to play as teams against teams, without all the issues that Ranked Teams had (Queue times and matchmaking, mostly - sounds familiar?), without all the issues that Ranked Flex has (Queue times, individual rankings, not even close to everyone playing as five), and with added bonuses (Stalking opponents facilitated, and very good rewards). Why not try that on Twisted Treeline every now and then? 3v3 also had Ranked Teams and it also has Ranked Flex. Clash would work the same way as it has in 5v5, and would definitely be a great way to showcase the mode and to make people try it out. In a competitive way. And of course, winning make people enjoy things more, so a lot of people would be likely to give more chances to the mode following Clash games. **Downsides:** - If you don't know how to play on 3v3, you would be smashed by the people who are experimented on that map. This is especially bad at mid-MMRs, where some people will know how to play hypercarry while their opponents won't. 3v3 has few resources available to learn and improve on it, so there is a big skill difference between the people who know how to play it and those who discover it. From experience, a trio of solo queue challengers with no 3v3 games gets smashed by three solo people who are diamond in 3v3 and in solo queue. - Once again, it is a big time investment that Riot might not be willing to make. - Most people would definitely prefer all Clash rounds to run on Summoner's Rift. Having a 5v5 Clash tournament run at the same time as a 3v3 one would be severely counterproductive, and running a 3v3 Clash during the week would also be counterproductive. --- --- #Solution 6: Run a short, one-time "official" 3v3 tournament, cast by LCS casters or just hosted on the Riot channels. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** This is definitely the most ballsy and risky idea in there, but I had to throw it as a suggestion. First of all, let me describe the idea in more details, before you consider it to be straight up garbage. I am not talking about something over weeks or months such as the LCS - no, all the opposite. It would be similar to the classic unofficial tournaments, over one day, one week-end, or at most two or three week-ends. The shorter the tournament, the better it seems. And out of that entire tournament, the semifinals and finals would be the only one to be cast and broadcasted. Or better: that tournament would only be open to players having a certain minimum rank, such as Diamond, or above, allowing it to actually certainly run on a single day. Of course, it would be an online tournament, not offline, even at the final stages. Afterwards, the semifinals and finals would be broadcasted on the Riot channels, and cast by one of the followings: - Official LCS casters - Twisted Treeline casters - Official LCS casters joined by pro players, like the Lounge streams. Aaaand now let's go onto the downsides. And there's gonna be a lot of those. I did mean it, saying that it was a wild, crazy, risky and potentially bad idea. **Downsides:** - Hey, that tournament could just make people see Twisted Treeline as boring, having the complete opposite effect of what we want. - If we want the tournament to be cast by Riot casters, they have to learn how 3v3 works first. - Riot probably wouldn't let outsider casters cast on their channel on their own, that would be much too risky. - Besides, I don't even know if there still are actual 3v3 casters. [Dominion had its good casters]( so I would suppose so, but we never know. - Nearly certain pro players wouldn't be interested in doing that, but can't say for sure. Broxah was a 3v3 Challenger in pre-season or early season 2017. - I think that this mode is quite boring to watch, frankly. --- --- #Solution 7: Feature Twisted Treeline in other ways, give it some sort of spotlight. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** Riot features videos and such on the client's front page every now and then. [They even featured a random /r/summonerschool's post one week ago]( and quite often showcase things such as Falconshield's This is War, or other community creations. It could be possible to put some 3v3 thing there one day or another. **Downsides:** It requires to either find or come up with a great enough creation to have it be worth featuring directly on the client. --- --- #Solution 8: Add the old Twisted Treeline as a featured game mode. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** Old Twisted Treeline was... a vastly different mode. For some of you, for some of *us*, thinking about that mode brings us nostalgia. No, it doesn't? Really? Then dare repeating that to me while [listening to its music]( For some of us, it's a source of nostalgia. For many others, it would be a beautiful discovery. This mode, removed over five years ago, was also a gem in its own way. So much different - ever heard of the green buff? Of the gray buff? Being able to replay it as a rotating game mode would be really fun. And I think it would also give more attention to the current 3v3. **Downsides:** - I'm not sure that this is even doable. - That mode would also probably need to be re-polished to fit the current League standards. Season 1/2 graphics aren't the same as today's. They *really* aren't. --- --- #Solution 9: To Riot: Actually show that you care a bit about the game mode. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III), but also balance (VII) and bug fixes (VIII)** Finally that "Target" line can be more than a mere copypasta. Sure, this is worded in a pretty blunt way. Which is fine, because that's totally my goal. Riot does not care about this game mode. I've shown the balance issues, I've shown the ever-lasting bugs. But it keeps going with things such as the missions. At the beginning of the season, one mission was requiring you to do your placement matches in either Solo Queue or Flex 5v5. Yep, only those. Three ranked queues, but only two choices. Why exactly wasn't Twisted Treeline added too among the choices? I have no clue. But it wasn't. So many things could be done. So many things needs to be done. But Riot doesn't seem to want to do it. And that needs to be changed. **Downsides:** - About the balance: Riot doesn't seem to want map-specific balance changes anymore. Even though they are still needed. - About the balance: That would require some Riot members to play Twisted Treeline. - About the other parts: None. --- --- #Solution 10: Fix the bugs. **Target: Balance (VII) and bug fixes (VIII)** Kinda repeating the previous suggestion there, but with a different focus. I mentioned the Smite targeting bugs. I mentioned the Smite cooldown bug. I mentioned the Arcane Sweeper bugs. No need to expand on that - they must be dealt with. **Downsides:** Riot is obviously too busy fixing the Mordekaiser bugs and thus has no time to invest into those current bugs. --- --- #Solution 11: Add those challenger recalls that were talked about 8 months ago. **Target: Mode's popularity, thus Queue times (I), Matchmaking (II) and LP gains (III)** Remember Challenger recalls? Really, you do? Good job, because it was only talked about [8 months ago without any update since then.]( > The Challenger Recall appears anytime the normal blue Recall would play, but does not override Baron-buffed Recalls, nor the blue effect on the minimap, to preserve gameplay readability. This will be going live in a future patch, but we wanted to give you a quick preview. When I saw that announcement, I was really hyped to try and reach Challenger in Twisted Treeline, because that seemed to be the easiest/fastest way for me to get to chall in any queue (yeah, I shouldn't say that as a Reddit user, but well, at least now I am Challenger, I guess). Eventually, I ended up being hardstuck in master, but that's not the point. Just actually activating that recall thingy would give more incentive for people to reach Challenger in any queue. Thus would make the title of 3v3 Challenger more interesting as well. **Downsides:** None. Riot has been supposed to push that to live for a while now. --- --- #Solution 12: Make inactivity for master/challenger players only kick every 48 hours instead of 24. **Target: Master/Challenger decay (VI)** I've expanded on this enough in the part of the sixth issue. The decay is much too oppressive for a mode with that many issues already. So my suggestion is to make one lose a banked game every 48 hours instead of 24. The maximum amount of games banked could either remain 10 games (20 days) or 5 games (to remain at 10 days, but only requiring 5 games instead of 10). **Downsides:** - Would also end up reducing the amount of games played. But not even certainly: That decay also makes people **quit** 3v3, thus not play anymore at all, because of how it forces you to play bad games. So this current decay might even reduce the amount of games played, in the end, compared to what an 48h countdown would do. - Makes it easier to have a smurf as a Master/Challenger player. I'll go back on this later. --- --- #Solution 13: Get rid of the duo restrictions, or push them back to two leagues instead of one. **Target: Premade restrictions (IV), but also Queue times (I) and Matchmaking (II)** Allow people to queue up with players regardless of their skill level (in 3v3 only, of course). Or if you don't want a bronze to play with a challenger, push the limit to a difference of two leagues instead of one. Allow golds to play with diamonds, silvers with platinums, bronzes with golds, and platinums with challengers. I've been in this spot on both sides. I've been master and wanting to play with a platinum, without being allowed to, to instead end up facing that player. And worse, the other way around: I've been platinum and couldn't play with a master, and instead I would end up against that master, alongside two other masters/challengers, and with plats/diamonds. And that is incredibly stupid. How does it fix the other two aspects? Because of the second example I mentioned. When allowing people far away to duo actually makes a game more balanced, that's for the matchmaking part. And the queue times, because a wider range in duos means that some people will play when they otherwise wouldn't have. **Downsides:** If anyone can duo with anyone, we might get these challenger + bronze duos that really make the matchmaking weird - I mean weirder. I see no downsides to the "limited" solution of putting the restrictions to two leagues instead of one in 3v3. --- --- #Solution 14: Allow all players to queue with anyone if they have played together recently. **Target: Premade restrictions (IV), Queue times (I) and Matchmaking (II)** Here's the suggested idea - allow two people to queue together if either of these is respected: - They have been matched together over the past 2 weeks / 10 ranked 3v3 games. - They have queued up together over the past 2 weeks / 10 ranked 3v3 games. Numbers are up to change, of course. The idea there is to make it so that you can play again with the person who was just with you in the game before. So why "2 weeks or 10 games" instead of "the last game"? Because that way you can play a few games alone or with someone else without that preventing you from duoing with that person you've met until you play with/against them again. So here's how (or rather, where) it would work: - You're diamond. You just won a game with a gold player, whom you found pretty good. You invite them for another game, and are able to queue up with them. - You're diamond. You just won a game with a platinum player, and want to invite them again, while your master duo just came back. The idea would allow you to trio despite one of your premades being platinum and the other one being master. - Your premade is plat 3, and you're diamond 1. Three solo games later, you're now master and he's still plat 3. You'd still be able to duo with them. This suggestion is just a toned down version of the previous one. It would make sure that the people who are queuing together are actually of a relatively even level, while still loosening the duo restrictions from their current version that makes no sense in 3v3. So what is the point behind putting a limit in the time during which the people can duo? People's MMR change with time, as they play more and more games. Let's say you and your premade are both silvers, but then you stop playing together and after two months, you've become challenger - don't ask me how, or maybe it was just your premade holding you back, who knows. Then, the two of you don't exactly share the same MMR anymore. Supposedly. **Downsides:** The only downside I'd see to that is in case you do play with someone who's bronze, as a master or challenger player. I **know** that this can happen. I've seen it happen. This change would allow them to queue together afterwards, and it's a big level difference. To prevent that, it would also be possible to limit it to "the people you've met as long as the difference isn't over two leagues". --- --- #Solution 15: Get rid of promotions, make divisions have 125 LP, and slightly increase LP gains for people with high MMR under platinum 1. **Target: LP gains (III)** This has to be done as an answer to the matchmaking issues. I mentioned before that you only have 10% chances to win certain games, but those games will usually give you +40 -4 LP, while some other games are around 80% odds of winning, but with low LP gains to compensate. So, the LP rewards are supposed to make up for the way the game is imbalanced. But when you're in your promos, there are no LP gains. So the only consolation prize you get for getting 0-3'd in promos by three teams of challengers while you're platinum, is that you are still between 85 and 90 LP after said promos, but that is not a solution. So this is why I suggest to get rid of promotions on this mode. They are a valuable thing to "regulate" climbing, and to not make it so that climbing a division would be too easy compared to how hard it is to get demoted from it. But on the other hand, lots of people don't like that system already, because it gives those games too much importance. The part of luck in promotions is greater than in regular ranked games because as their impact is greater than classic games, and as they're rarer, luck won't just balance itself over the long run. In 3v3, it's even worse. The luck that can be found in solo queue promotions, and that is dreaded in these promotions, is even bigger a factor in 3v3, because the random factor isn't "which of the other players will have a better game", but actually "which of the other players is better". The other way around, it's quite frustrating to get a win over the mode's best players, a win that would usually result in a +40ish LP, while being in promotions. The goal of that change would be to replace promotions with something that would take the LP gains in account. Aka, to remove promotions with just an additional LP requirement. Here are two possible versions of this change: **1)** Keep dividing the division between <100 and ≥100, so that one can't just go from 90 to 125 in a single game. Instead, you'd stop at 100, and then would have to win the amount of games it takes you to go from 100 to 125. However, once you have reached that 100 mark, losses can make you go below 100, yet without requiring you to stop at 100 again, until you lose a total of 30 LP, not counting the LP you gain. Let me explain with an example. - I have 90 LP and win a game. That makes me go to 100 LP, yay. - I lose the next game, but only lose 3 LP. - I lose one game again, and lose 7 LP this time. I'm back at 90 LP. - I win the next game for a +23. But the 100 LP barrier isn't there anymore, so I jump straight to 113. - I lose one more game, costing me 12 LP. I now have 101 LP and have lost 22 LP during my "promotion period". - I lose a fourth game, for a -10. That makes me fall down to 91 LP. I've now lost over 30 LP during my promotion period, which causes it to end and puts the 100 LP barrier back in place. - I win a game now. It should give me over 9 LP, so I reach 100 again. - I win one more game against high level opponents. That would have awarded me more than 25 LP, so I complete my promotions and reach the higher tier. The idea there is to still have something similar to what series and promotions are, but it would account skewed games as such. **2)** Let everything between 0 and 125 LP be the same. That thing shouldn't require an explanation. You just have to win more. Once again, 125 is but an indicative number. It could be 135, it could be higher or lower, LP gains and drops could be tweaked over 100 LP, and that number would also be different for League promotions instead of Division series - 150 instead of 125, perhaps. Now what do I mean by "slightly increase LP gains for low elos with high MMR"? It's because of the ability to normally skip promotions. At all elos until plat 1, if your MMR is high enough, you'll be directly promoted upon reaching 100 LP. As removing promotions would remove that pass, two options: either further increasing the LPs of the people with high MMR (for the elos at which it applies, so under plat 1), or promote them on 100 LP only instead of 125/150/whatever number it would be. **Downsides:** - Could facilitate the climb. - Requires to find an appropriate number to replace what currently is "You need to win 2 (or 3) games but are still allowed to lose 1 (or 2) without it having any consequences". --- --- #Solution 16: Add partial losses for promotions. **Target: LP gains (III)** Keeping the same idea as above, while also keeping promotions. First, take how many LP a totally balanced win would award someone of your elo, averaged from all of the people having the same-ish elo as yours, and do the same with losses. Each win you'll have during your promotions will reward you with a "win score" that would be equal to the amount of LP your win would have given you outside promotions, divided the amount of LP of the average win calculated just before. Each loss you'll have during your promotions will do the same for your "loss score", adding to your loss score an amount equal to the amount of LP you'd have lost out of promotions, divided by the average LP lost calculated just before. The first of your two scores to reach 2 (or 3 for league promotions) determines whether you succeeded or failed in completing your promos. **Downsides:** - Might unfairly facilitate the climb of people in diamond. - Will make the system more complicated. **Note:** I don't think those are major downsides. --- --- #Solution 17: Reduce the LP losses suffered by high challengers. **Target: LP gains (III)** It's not really normal to not be able to climb even on a 95% win rate. Sure, that happens when only facing lower elo opponents, but when you need one hour for a game and twenty games for 40 LP, **assuming you'd win them all**, that's still a 40h investment. Losing all of that because a single loss against lower ranked players costs you 40 LP is brutal and, in my opinion, not fair by any means. Worse - losing most of that because a single loss **against challengers of the same rank** can already cost you 27 LP makes no sense. So instead of increasing the LP gains, I think reducing the amount of LP lost could be a step in the right direction. It wouldn't make the climb faster, but it would remove one really frustrating aspect of the mode. **Downsides:** I don't think there's any to that, except that it would force to change the algorithm. --- --- #Solution 18: Investigate a bit on the late season win trading. **Target: Popularity of the mode, as well as late season issues (IX)** That part is... a bit hypocritical. Win trading is not something Riot can detect by themselves, and especially not in 3v3. For that, they'd need to witness it, which can't really occur. So, the players have to witness it (innocent players), and then make the effort to gather evidences, before forwarding that to anyone who can have a say about it. As known as Rioters. This means that this suggestion is not destined at Riot, but at the 3v3 players. It appears that in November 2017, someone did witness some win trading. And did record some proofs of it. And sent all of that to me... for me to make a post about it. Post that I ended up never *finding* the time for. Either way - getting that win trading solved would make the late season cleaner, and would let in challenger more people who would deserve a spot in there. Or in the race for rank 1. And both those things are important sources of motivation for some. **Downsides:** None. --- --- #Solution 19: Maybe do something against Challenger smurfs. **Target: Popularity of the mode, as well as late season issues (IX)** Okay, so first of all, some people **did** tell me that they didn't really feel like trying to reach Challenger this season because of the smurfs in Challenger, so the "popularity of the mode" part in the Target line is legit. Now, the problem is that I don't know what could be done about it. One option would be to restrict the *physical* Challenger rewards to only one per person and not one per account, but... **1)** Either you also apply that change in 5v5 while it's not necessary there, or you make both maps follow different rules, which is not optimal either. They already do, though (50 challengers against 200), so maybe it could still be an option. **2)** Good luck finding out whether an account is a smurf. Another option would be to extend the Challenger league to 200 people in 3v3, but that wouldn't make sense with its playerbase. Especially because even in July, there are barely 200 masters. I happened to be in the top 100 by simply having 80 LP. **Downsides:** In theory, doing something against Challenger smurfs shouldn't have a downside, aside from the fact that using a smurf is the best way to practice, when it comes to 3v3. In practice, the downside is that I have no clue of what can realistically be done against smurfs in this environment. Especially because it's not about punishing the people who use smurfs (it's authorized), but just about making them not be a problem. --- --- #Solution 20: To high elo players, play scrims. **Target: No way to practice in 3v3 (IV)** High elo players could just build teams and scrim themselves to be able to practice team comps or characters without risking anything. The idea is rather simple, so most of the writing will go in the downsides. **Downsides:** - That requires a good organization. - That requires people to be willing to put time into games that are not worth any LP, that are not worth anything concrete, "only" bringing skill and experience. - I don't trust the high elo 3v3 players to be mature enough for that. Scrimming requires to be respectful, especially if it implies having a schedule, and there are lots of people that I wouldn't trust when it comes to that (Don't take that personally, NA players, I only know the ones from EUW and apparently our server has a toxic reputation). - Each person playing a custom game is one fewer person in ranked, and the mode needs more, not fewer players. --- --- #Solution 21: To high elo players, play with hypercarries in normal games. **Target: No way to practice in 3v3 (IV)** The goal there would be to make the meta shift towards hypercarries in normal games, to have it mirror the ranked meta. It's a sort of ultimatum: You'll face a hypercarry, so either you play hyper too, or you stick to the jungle meta but you'll lose. **Downsides:** - That's an issue for the people who find the hyper meta unfun. - That requires the high elo players to go in normal games. - This also means that each person in a normal game is one fewer person in a ranked game. - The hyper meta is much harder to learn and much less instinctive than the jungle one, which is bad for the people who'd try to get into the mode or to discover it. --- --- #Solution 22: Increase the number of clubs one can be in. **Target: Popularity of the mode** That might definitely sound weird. How would that make the mode more popular, you say? By giving more incentive to challengers to play it. Let me explain. In 3v3, there are two big clubs full of high elo 3v3 players. They have the tags "3v3" and "Int?". These clubs are exclusively 3v3 clubs, actually. It's pretty fun to be a part of one of those clubs. Without looking anyone up, you can tell that someone is either a master/challenger or a former master/challenger simply if they have one of those tags. But even better, it'd be funnier to have club rivalries. Back in 2016, in EUW, there was this "high MMR normal game" community. Basically, I'd know almost everyone in all of my normal games, and there are some people I've played with or against *dozens* of times without being their premade. It was really fun - even though it did have its downsides; for example, you get the same toxic people over and over again (looking at you, mr. Aatrox, if you're still reading my posts). Point is, among all these people, three clubs were heavily represented. The FKQ, the Baka™ and the HF GL - my club. It was rare for me to play a game without finding anyone of any of these three clubs, and that had its own charm. It did feel like a fun rivalry. At least that's how me and some of my friends took it. 3v3 could be fun with the same thing. So why *increasing* the number of clubs a player can join? Because I don't think I'm a special snowflake when I say I've already got three important clubs and can't leave them. **Downsides:** That change in itself has no downside, many people have been asking for it almost ever since clubs came out. But about the high elo 3v3 clubs - this part has two issues. - Some clubs can get a really bad reputation, making that reputation affect all of its players even when they don't deserve it. I mean... I guess having your tag be "Int?" can sometimes not make you look all so positive. - Being in a club means that the other people of the club know when you're online, and in green or in blue, which makes you more likely to get target banned, or to get "avoided" (people not queuing because they know you're in queue). --- --- --- --- --- Welp, that's it. As I said, I certainly did not expect to write that much. Thanks for your attention for the two of you who read everything, and good job anyway for scrolling all that much, for the others. **TL;DR:**
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