Ever since the establishment of roles in the League of Legends meta, balancing them out has been incredibly difficult, especially with the different champions with different gameplay styles played within them.
Still, currently, Riot have found that the roles have a similar fate in all brackets of play, including regular SoloQ all the way to Pro Play. So, what does Riot plan on dong about the role balance in the future?
Riot Balance Plan - Nerf Jungle and Bot while Buffing Top
Riot describe the interaction between the bot lane and the top lane as one of a seesaw, where one is feeling strong and the other feeling weak. At the moment, for players at all levels of play, these two roles are equal in power and agency, according to Riot.
However, the bot lane pulls ahead in the higher levels of play, as more skilled players can communicate with their teammates more effectively, and make better use of incremental advantages, such as outplaying and surviving ganks.
Unfortunately, while this makes the bot lane close to the desired level of power, in higher levels of play the top lane is on the lower end of that spectrum. This is due to agency, as it's still the optimal way to play around the bot lane.
"Jungle is currently still overpowered and we believe is a significant contributor to feelings of lack of agency from top and bot especially. We’re going to further adjust the jungle to get to a sweet spot where the role is still fun, lanes feel like they can control their own destiny, and ganks are still effective and keep certain strategies (like perma pushing) from getting out of hand.", is what Riot had to say as their planned solution.
After all, having agency manifest itself as being reactive to play other roles, jungle especially, but also support and mid, make is not how most players see as their version of a fun game.
In essence, Riot are currently experimenting with balancing the top lane so that the direct buffs don't result in the emergence of fighters in the mid lane, while also reducing the impact of top laners leaving their lanes to create plays elsewhere, creating a balance of roles where one is not better than the other.
Will this be the promised top lane balancing that Riot have been teasing us about for the past few seasons?
And, does that mean that the bot lane role will be left to the fate of matchmaking, where other roles will still decide if bot laners will be able to utilize the power of their lane that Riot claims is at the desired power level?