As far as gaming companies go, I love the fact that you can interact with Rioters and not just the CM people. I love that they admit their mistakes (sometimes) and like to interact with their players. I love that they are willing to fix things and create things that the community wants, even if it takes them until halfway until the next Ice Age. Those are huge pluses compared to some other companies.
That said, as someone who works in software development, they are just so subpar in a lot of ways that it makes me cringe as a professional.
1) Non-champion features are painfully slow to be introduced. Multiple mastery, "smart" rune-buying, and rune pages took quite a while, spectator mode has had a full year to iterate on, there's no talk of a pause feature being any where close to being done. "Soon" doesn't cut it any more.
2) Their balance team's playtests seem to be ineffective/inadequate. Pendulum balance is infrequent but obnoxious (see: Gangplank, Yorick). More troubling is the fact that Riot has no problems nerfing champs to the ground, saying "NO THEY ARE FINE" to the community and then realizing the error of their ways 3-6 months later. Whatever the testing process is, it's clearly inadequate. While the game is more balanced than it used to be, some of the stuff that comes out of there makes me wonder if Riot actually tests their game before patching. (Yorick ult bug, release Leblanc, release Nocturne, release Cassiopeia). I'll say it until I'm blue in the face, either hire more testers/QA or fix the blasted PTR so it's actually useful. Longer iteration times would be nice too, but I suspect Riot's business model doesn't support it and good luck from a content-creator's perspective getting any sway over Accounting and Marketing.
3) The champion design team hasn't learned their lessons from last year. Last year, they made a whole bunch of champs with AoE damage/CC ults (Xin Zhao, Vladimir, Galio, Miss Fortune, Sona) all right in a row. It took them awhile to figure out that was a bad design trend. This year, they just shifted to stuffing everything possible in champion kits and calling it good (Irelia, Jarvan IV, Nocturne, Rumble). Everyone had to have a shield, a haste/gap closer, CC, tankiness, high base stats, sustainability, oh, and more CC. Only NOW does Morello say "Ya that was a bad idea." I've been wondering what Riot was thinking when they made Jarvan since they announced his full kit and then was flabbergasted when they seemed shocked that ZOMG THIS GUY IS OP. Um . . . surprise? Moreover, champion designs are increasingly homogenized, Orianna excepted.
4) Server stability being permanent would be nice, but it's an unrealistic target. Not a network specialist so I can't judge too harshly here.
5) Patch notes don't include all the changes. Sometimes they include changes that weren't meant to be included (cough Kayle cough).
6) These are without a doubt, functionality-wise, one of the worst forums I've ever been on. No way to track your own posts. No way to "follow" or "watch" threads. Interface is bland and dull. Search function meh at best. No way to highlight multiple red posts in a thread.
7) Transparency from Riot is meh. Sure, the Reds post a lot, but are they actually SAYING anything? We get Morello, Xypherous, Classick, Guinsoo, Shurelia, etc. to talk every now and again about major balance shifts and that is heavily appreciated, but it could be done better, especially since not everyone stalks DevTracker.. Really, it'd be nice if the patch notes came with a more detailed blog post. The patch review videos are cute, but unless the champ is being remade, a waste of effort. People who really care about the patches would rather have a full written explanation than fancy graphics showing off the new Teemo skins and partial explanations. Tryndamere said awhile back that the numbers for LoL's growth justified their approach and explained why they were having all these growing pains. What numbers? Zileas said that his numbers supported the fact that IP gains have improved on average. What numbers? It's also been said that the Tribunal has lowered leaving and griefing on LoL by some percentage. None of those numbers would give away a competitive advantage AFAIK, and would help shed some light on how effective Riot is actually being. While I don't expect Tryndamere to give a PowerPoint on the company's finances, it'd be great to see some real hard numbers on stuff like number of players, % decrease in leaves, IP trends over time.
Note that most of those (1, 2, 5, 6, 7) are things that in order to be truly embraced, Management has to change its approach. And so it's great that the Riot foot-soldiers identify strongly with the community on a lot of these issues that people have brought up, but until the seemingly-more aloof management focuses on fixing, they'll never get changed.
P.S. Still think Riot is a great company and LoL is a great game, but if my boss came to me and said "What are we doing wrong and how can we do it better," I'd probably send him something similar in concept to this, just dressed up in more formal terms since he authorizes my vacation time.
TL;DR: Read the bolded parts.Voted somewhat dissatisfied.