Discourse on the Disadvantages of Purple Side and Possible Solutions Regarding Them
Now, I know that this issue has arisen many times before, but I feel that it is an issue that is still—mostly—unresolved. I’m talking about, of course, playing purple side in games on Summoner’s Rift. Before any of you post, writing, “Well, you should just unlock your camera!” or inquire, “Have you tried shrinking down your UI?” I can assure you that I—and most likely everyone here—have tried those options and found them to be inadequate.
Many will argue that purple side has a great advantage when it comes to fighting Dragon because they do not need to walk around the cave as blue side does. This setup is “balanced” by providing blue side with an advantageous opening to Baron Nashor. Now, while I agree that Dragon is fought far more often, I don’t feel that this (small) advantage is enough to counterbalance all of the woes of purple side. Additionally, for the purple side (as pointed out by a friend) ganking is more easily accessible for junglers who like to go in on the single person at top right after getting red buff. Though, some will argue that they like blue side’s gank runs more.
Following are my responses regarding the current solutions to the Purple Side Problem, and reasoning regarding why I believe they are insufficient in providing players with adequate vision of the other team. After, I will address two possible solutions to the problem: a harder one and an easier one (in regards to work required to achieve by Riot staff).
I hope all of you agree with me—or can at least see the reason that I write this appeal.
Current Solution #1: Reducing the UI size
As you all know, Purple has the disadvantage of the camera angle. However, the angle of the camera is entirely necessary to have the game be playable, but it is a great hindrance to those who end up on the north side of the map. By reducing the game’s UI, you have improved vision of the occurrences at the bottom of the screen. However, this slight difference does not make up for the advantage that blue side gets. On any instance of the lanes running north-south, ranged champions on the blue side have an extreme advantage over anyone on purple. Many of the times that I play on purple side, I find myself being harassed by players that I cannot even see on my own screen (especially in the case of laning against Caitlyn). Even a reduced UI will not remedy this fact.
Now, many of you are probably looking at your screens, shaking your head saying, “This kid is a fool. He’s playing with a locked camera! That’s why he can’t see Caitlyn!” However, I actually initially liked having an unlocked camera:
Current Solution #2: Unlocking the Camera
“Woe is me! Woe is me!” cry the newest additions to the League, “This camera control is so hard!”
I, personally, have never had trouble controlling the camera when it is unlocked in League. Having played several RTS games over the years, I am familiar with the concept of ramming your mouse into the far corners of the pad just to see what plots and deceptions my opponents are planning as my sentries navigate their base.
Now, when I started playing League (not terribly long ago, I’ll admit). I was deeply disturbed when I tried to pan my camera over by hovering my mouse on the edge of the screen, and nothing happened! The camera was locked in place. Novel. It took me a bit to find the unlock button, and I was convinced that I would probably never lock the camera again. Yet… default settings make the camera locked on when a game starts, so I found (or maybe it’s just some weird glitch on my computer). This led to me just leaving it on a few times. It became comfortable as I played those 5vAI games to get into the mix. It felt right.
Now, I won’t down-talk the goodness of having an unlocked camera, but (and you may think this strange) I greatly prefer playing League with my camera securely locked onto my Champion.
I found that clicking and holding portions of the map that I wanted to see wasn’t all that inconvenient, and having it snap back into place when I let go was a godsend. Yes, the spacebar is a wonderful trick, and I use it when I play unlocked on purple side, but having the camera automatically re-center is so much more convenient.
I don’t have to worry about getting my camera angle right as I launch off a narrow skill-shot. I don’t have to worry about constant managing both my skills and my camera when the game is afoot and the chase is on. I don’t have to worry about not being able to see both my enemies and all available ganking routes. One might even argue that the split-second advantage you receive for not having to do these things gives you a prime advantage.
Now, that last one might have some people’s blood boiling. “You don’t have the awareness to watch ganking routes and know about MIAs!? You’re terrible! You nooooob!” they might shout. Yeah, I’ll admit that I am no pro. I wouldn’t go so far to call it “noobishness,” but I do know that real noobs are greatly afflicted by these woes. I’m sure, statically, that in lower level games, blue side wins a (perhaps great) majority of the time.
While unlocking the camera is a great solution for some, it’s just too much for those who don’t have the skill or the time to learn how to play well with it.
Still with me? Good. Next up are my solutions to this problem.
Proposed Solution #1 (Hard-mode): Giving a flipped screen for purple side.
Yes, I do know that this solution has been offered time and time again, but in order for my solutions to be thorough, this must still be mentioned. Flipping the map around for the purple team would make it so there is no vision advantage for either side. Now, the only advantages would be those inherent to the design of the map itself (i.e. Dragon and Baron placement, jungle creep placement relative to which lane, etc.) Those advantages are unsolvable without uprooting the entire base of the game.
I’m sure that I do not need to go into great detail about why this idea is a great idea to implement because I am certain all of you can see the effect this change would create. However, I’m certain that you all want to know why I list this as the hard-mode choice.
First, it’ll be a bit of programming wizardry to get all the mapping sorted out correctly. Getting maps to match up with movements on separate interfaces between teams is a challenge that I—personally—wouldn’t like to be associated with.
Furthermore, all of the artwork would have to be redone for the Field. The map would have to be redone, the trees would have to lean the other way, the brush would have to be reworked. All of that adds up quickly. Not only that, but all of these changes would have to align with the mechanics and setup on the blue side’s mapping. Talk about a pain.
While it might seem like a simple process at first glance, the project would be extremely extensive. For this reason, I list this solution as “Hard-mode” and categorize it as a Long-term Solution to be worked on over much time.
Proposed Solution #2 (Easy-mode): Allow Further Zooming.
The camera zoom ranges from Too Close to So-Close-I-Can-Taste-Singed’s-Poison Close. While zooming in has gone just about as far is as I could ever want it to be, I find that the maximum zoom distance is much too little, and while this is a previously suggested comment, I don’t know if it’s ever been addressed in this context.
If you are on the purple side, being hit by a champion in your lane that you cannot see, the ability to simply let your mouse-wheel fly is entirely too easy of a choice. Yes, it might create an advantage by allowing people to catch that oncoming gank, but, with proper communication and warding, the gank would have been caught anyways. Plus, both sides would get the zoom-out advantage.
I’m not suggesting increasing each champion’s visibility and reducing fog of war. I’m just asking to be able to zoom out further. Yes, 60% of what will be added to the screen will be fog of war, but that other glorious 40% will let you see your minion wave, their minion wave, you, your laning partner, your laning enemies, and ganking routes. Talk about a large gain for a small amount of work. Sure, Riot may have to program in some black area around the border of the map to accommodate this, but—really—how hard that that be?
I feel that this solution is a great “right-now” fix. It can probably be accomplished in one patch, and there is little-to-no downside to stopping the map-fiddling and, instead, giving everyone a better chance to manage what really matters: your Champion.
I hope that this little summary on the purple side disadvantage has changed some of those in opposition to see that this “problem”, while minute, affects many players who aren’t nearly as pro as you lot can be. While fixes are challenging, I and many others feel that this is a problem worth the time. I’m not suggesting getting the entire Riot staff to participate in the Hard-mode solution, but I would love to see the Easy-mode solution implemented—provided it isn’t too troublesome.
I fully believe that Riot should not waste time if they feel that this is an unnecessary fix—despite player response—because I know that they are already swamped making new champions, tweaking old champions, and running their business, and I would never want this small problem to interfere with anything big and awesome as something we all want: whole new maps! However, I still wanted my voice to be heard, and hope that—if it is worthy—this needlessly large problem can be fixed!
Before you reply:
I love the freedom to express one’s opinion (look, I’m doing it now!), but I shudder at the thought of anyone being flamed for their inadequacies at playing League. LoL is as much for casual players as it is for hardcore players, and just because some people—myself included—are less adept at managing certain mechanics or side-of-the-map than you are, I don’t feel that’s a reason to taunt or belittle them. Past that, all questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome!
tl;dr: The camera is poor, and unlocked camera / reduced UI is not sufficient. I suggest we flip the map or allow zooming out further.
I fully agree, especially in light of your suggestion to simply increase zoom distance. I can't believe I didn't think of that! Thanks for sharing, and let's hope Riot sees your idea.
I agree purple laning phase is a nightmare as an ad carry in bot lane especially.
I agree, +1. Increase the zoom distance.
As for the other solution, the flipped map. Hmm. I think that's well beyond more effort than it's worth. I think a better solution would be rotating the map into a more diamond shape. This would make the middle lane, rather than a diagonal, a straight left-to-right lane, with the top lane taking a shape like this: ^ and bottom lane taking a v shape.
It'd be a lot of work, but less work than the flipped camera angle shenanigans people suggest. And it'd balance things. Just think of the way Twisted Treeline works. Heck, if there were a third lane and it allowed 5v5, TT would be the most popular map and no one would ever play SR ever again. Twisted Treeline is left-to-right. No one is up looking down with UI getting in the way. No team anyway. If you're in that situation, it's simply a situation you've put yourself in, and better tactics could have avoided it perhaps. Better tactics can't make your team spawn in blue base rather than purple on SR...
I agree with the zoom distance increase. I play primarily on locked camera and isn't a problem for me in the slightest as I do not tunnel vision with it and do unlock to view certain parts of the maps. Locked camera isn't a problem on the purple side for me at all because of the view range of top and mid. Bottom lane is a different story. If for whatever reason I'm found pushed to my tower and I have the camera locked I have the worst time as my view is minimal.
While the easy solution would be to unlock the camera at all times it is just way too uncomfortable for me as it isn't second nature in the slightest especially when a wrong mouse movement can screw your vision up. I get no vision of my lane and find myself getting harassed too easily on the contrary of the blue side. I find an increase on zooming out would help tremendously as a little more vision on a part of a lane you'd be able to see anyway except for the fact that you're playing on locked camera would make things substantially better.
Though this might not happen and I usually don't play AD carry so the chances of me being purple side carry is lessened I will practicing playing unlocked camera if this doesn't pan out. The problem is going to be controlling my mouse movements.
I don't see why we can't just have a linear playing ground. Why does it have to be at a diagonal in the first place?
You mentioned the spacebar is a nice trick. Just making sure you know what if you hold it down it acts just like a locked camera. That is what made it work for me.
I now prefer to have my camera slightly "ahead" of my champion in a lane. I feel like it gives me a better vantage point on the action and helps me anticipate movements better. But there are lots of times when I'll rest my thumb on the spacebar and hold it down for extended periods of time to get the behavior of the locked camera.
I agree. Been playing a lot of ADC lately and I grimace in pain each time the game loads and I spawn in purple side. The zooming out trick may or may not be an easy fix for Riot, but I also believe that it is worth the effort.
I think It would be cool if the map were to be tilted slightly, so the map was the same, just on its side in a diamond, with the bases on the left and right, like Twisted Treeline. The gameplay would be the same, and you wouldn't have the confusion of having the "top" and "bot" lanes being inverted while in the purple team if you flip the map.
I really liked your zooming solution, as someone else stated, I can't believe that i didn't think of it. When I first began playing I've always had trouble on the purple side. I did however, get into unlocking my camera, although it took many games and losses to finally become non-suckish with it; I I still prefer playing with my camera locked ( i'm sure plenty of people do as well) and I hope that riot will make changes to the purple side camera issues.
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