LoL: Phreak Slams Community About Not Reacting To Patches | RiftFeed
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LoL: Phreak Slams Community About Not Reacting To Patches

Patch Notes 24-08-2023 16:40
Phreak vs Community
Phreak Engages in a Debate with the Community |©Riot Games

The intricacies of League of Legends patch news often pose challenges for seasoned players, and this is a familiar reality. It's not uncommon for specific alterations to take time to assimilate within the community, a phenomenon observed not only in LoL but also in many regularly updated games.

Distinguished Riot employee and prominent LoL esports figure David "Phreak" Turley has garnered attention for his commentary on community reactions to patch note videos and LoL patch notes in general. Over the years, he has engaged in multiple exchanges with community members. Recently, a brief statement within one of his patch note preview videos triggered a contentious discussion.

LoL: Phreak Sparks Controversy With Comment About The Community

Phreak's LoL videos have acquired a legendary status within the League of Legends community. They offer insights into the game, discussing changes and the underlying concepts behind balance decisions. Simultaneously, his occasionally provocative comments about the community itself have contributed to his fame.

In his recent preview video addressing Patch 13.17, Phreak was elaborating on planned adjustments for Hecarim and the item Spear of Shojin. In the midst of this discussion, he couldn't resist sharing a historical anecdote.

[...] My actual expectation is Hecarim's resting win rate, assuming players actually move over, will raise between patch 13.16 to patch 13.17. I think he will gain win rate, assuming players actually shift biulds. Now we saw Zeri, that on day one more than half of all Zero players built Trinity Force as first item, so we know players don't read

Unsurprisingly, the latter part of his comment did not have the warmest reception by the community. In fact, shortly after Phreak's comments, Reddit user "Lunariz" initiated a discussion on the LoL Subreddit, inquiring about the reasons behind the slow adoption of Zeri's item build.

After outlining Phreak's comments, the user prompted the community with this question,

I wonder how much of this effect comes from the item recommendation system. Since recommendations are always delayed by an entire patch, items that are now "bad" will still be recommended as top tier. Should players be reading patch notes more carefully, or is there something Riot could do to let players adopt new builds more quickly?

Clearly, this question suggests that the players might not be entirely at fault in this situation. And to be honest, this assertion holds merit. Even players who thoroughly study patch notes might hesitate if the recommendation system insists that Triforce remains the optimal item for Zeri.

Zeri's Controversial Nature |©Riot Games

It's also hard to expect most players to read through all the patch notes as though it was their thesis – and let's be real some of these patch notes are long like a thesis. Players also need deep knowledge to understand some of the niche interactions between champions and items, hence why many casual players will choose the recommended items when playing, which could be an issue for the 'slow' adaptation by players.

Many community responses reflect this sentiment. The user "Shin_mmi," whose comment has garnered the most upvotes so far, noted that,

Despite reading patch or not, when I asked Zeri players why they were building Tri Force after patch was because the recommended items page in the shop had it listed there still.

Or, echoing the sentiment in perfect League of Legends fashion was user "zamantukendi" who stated,

BECAUSE YOUR RECOMMENDED ITEMS SHOP AFTER F***** 5 MONTH STILL RECOMMENDS TRINITY. Obviously low elo players buy it if it is recommended by game shop. Holy

User "fuckspez3" explained the circumstances prevalent among the majority of LoL players, which may explain the gradual adjustment of item builds in the game.

This statement is an insult to the casual playerbase, which feeds him.Most of the people are casual players that play from time to time and when they have time they jump straight to the game, ignoring a wall of text that is hidden. If people are building it wrong it is because the recommended items arent getting properly updated.

Others also pointed out that other than the download when opening the client, there are no other signs that a new patch has been added to the game. And let's be real not everyone knows the patch schedule by heart – unlike me... I have to know for work. Some players also don't follow the official Reddit or any social media of League. 

Moreover, Zeri and Trinity Force might could just be a unique case in themselves, as both have undergone multiple changes over the past months. It's highly plausible that many players were left perplexed.

The user "Celext" illustrated this point vividly,

Riot makes niche changes on specific item interactions on champions expecting everyone to read patch after patch. Then makes condescending statements "WOW these zeri players are so dumb they didnt notice we changed two sentences on her 9 paragraph tool tip!"Chronobreak energy.

It will be interesting to observe whether Riot will reconsider item recommendations or its general patch note approach. Given that patch notes have a niche audience, videos discussing these notes are even more niche. Phreak might find solace in the fact that the majority of the community might never encounter his comments in this regard.

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Henning Paul

Henning studied Journalism, having worked for multiple media outlets before finding his way to Riftfeed and EarlyGame where he let his passion for League of Legends esports take hold. He's been playing League of Legends, as well as other games...