The AD Carry role in League of Legends is currently causing frustration for some players. Parts of the LoL community and several LoL pros find the champions that fit the role too weak despite recent buffs.
Being an AD Carry (ADC) is not always easy in League of Legends. The position is usually occupied by the champions with the lowest defensive stats, who also have little to offer in the early stages of the game. Many ADC players have been complaining about the state of the role for about half a year, and Publisher Riot Games responded last Wednesday with buffs for many bot lane champions.
In the community, however, the adjustments were partly criticized. Were the buffs actually ineffective in the end?
Sneaky, Deft and Co.: Experienced professionals express concerns
Numerous Reddit posts and Twitter comments dealt with the topic in the past days and weeks. Even among professionals, the state of the ADC role sometimes causes frustration. For example, the South Korean Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, who is considered one of the best AD-Carrys ever, spoke about his gaming experience in a Reddit AMA a little more than two weeks ago: “The Bot-Lane has become a hunting ground for other players”.
The problem is that AD-Carries are easy to kill and have too little influence in the early game. Ex-pro and streamer Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana summarized it in his stream about two weeks ago: “I literally work my nine-to-five shift here while the others are partying and just having fun.”
Of course, the comparison is probably rather ironic, but she describes the game experience as AD-Carry quite well in many cases: At the beginning of the game you have to hold back and farm in order to get your items in later phases and become a carry for your team with high damage values. The way into the so called late-game is often a stony one, because AD-Carries are an easy target at the beginning.
Riot Games worked against this in patch 10.11 with buffs for most ADC champions: The life points of many of these champions were increased and a higher movement speed bonus was added to the items that can be built from Zeal.
However, on Sunday, US AD Carry veteran and ex-Cloud9 pro Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi complained in a YouTube video that the buffs didn’t really fix the problems. At the end of the video, he analyses a scene in which he fights Kassadin as Jhin and, although he is miles ahead of him in terms of gold and items, only narrowly wins the duel.
“If the circumstances had been reversed, do you know how dead I would be? How clearly the fight would have gone? I might have done five points of damage to him and he would have killed me instantly.”
Which measures could help?
Certainly, in view of the statistical victory rate of many ADC champions, Riots adjustments were quite successful. But it’s also a question of the feeling of play that you have on the bot lane.
The fact that there could be too much damage in the game overall is a criticism that comes up again and again, especially on platforms like Reddit. Too many champions are able to take opponents out of the game in a very short time. Originally this ability was reserved for Assassins, but it is no longer tied to this class.
A general damage reduction could make League of Legends more enjoyable for many players, but it would also mean longer matches. This is a tough choice for Riot Games, who want to keep the LoL sport fast and fun for their audience.
Another possible approach would be to take away some of the damage that makes the AD Carries so strong in late play. In return, you could increase their early game stats further and give them more options. However, this would probably lead to more mages and tanks on the bot lane again, instead of classic AD carrys like Caitlyn, Ashe, or Jhin. The late-game power is the main reason for many ADC picks.
So the balancing is difficult for Riot Games. Every measure has consequences for the whole game and has to be taken with care. If the players’ complaints persist, the LoL developer would probably have to react again. But caution before making serious decisions is definitely out of the question