Here’s an odd thought: does LoL have TOO many heroes?

Riot is famous for pushing out new champions. In the past month or so we got Syndra (very sexy), Kha’Zix (who I can play but not fully understand), and they’re already working on the Spider Queen. This is not a post against these new champions. Neither am I claiming champion similarities – Riot knows well enough to differentiate their champions from one another. Any MOBA is eventually bound to run into skill similarities (after all, there’s so many meelee/ranged combos you can think of) and thus far they’ve been doing an excellent job of mixing, mashing and coming up with new stuff.

My question goes back to Pokemon, which had a massive effect on my early years. You might know what happened. Back then there were 150 Pokemon, each with different abilities, and every Pokemon fan had at least one creature he or she could relate to. And all was happy. with 150 to the power 6 squad combinations, that was ….wow. ENOUGH. It made for good competitive play. One player could be expected to know the Pokemon in his opponent’s squad.

But Nintendo didn’t stop there: they kept on adding, and adding, and adding, until there were just TOO MANY. It makes for good movies but rotten competition. As a Pokemon card collector, I simply gave up. It’s literally bloody difficult to select a decent set of Pokemon for a deck.

While Pokemon suffers only a bit because of this (they implemented different regions, and the game is not PvP-oriented), the League would take a pretty bad hit from this scenario. Imagine a Champion shop stocked with 400+ heroes. Buying one, for IP or RP, would be a nightmare. You wouldn’t even know half of them, because the pool is too large and most players pick from an established, tried-and-tested “stable” set of heroes. (This happens. Ashe, Wariwick, Teemo and Yi, for instance, are very common PvP champions. Rengar and Syndra made good inroads. Contrast that with the almost-forgotten Nasus).

Worse, at some point you plain run out of new stuff to do and new moves and abilities start looking disturbingly familiar.

Too much player choice is just as bad as too little.

Like Pokemon, the #toomuchsyndrome won’t cripple the League (hell, it’s rated as the most played PC game of all time now).  Riot has a lot of terribly good things going for LoL that I just love. The game’s not too bitterly competitive and strategies aren’t set in stone – as an ex-DOTA player, I can honestly say I enjoy playing LoL while I prefer watching DOTA matches.  What I don’t want to see is 400+ heroes to chose from. 

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