Note: I understand that there are a lot of threads dealing the the new map. A lot of them are filled with both trolls and constructive users. It is difficult to know where to air my grievances so I will simply post a new thread with my concerns. The point behind this thread is to constructively outline issues people have with the new winter map.
Summary of issues:
2. FPS issues
3. Hard to see spells
4. Can't see chat
Alright so I have been reading this forum for map posts due to my own concerns with the new map. One of the biggest problems I see is FPS drops for certain users. Personally I do not have this problem. My fps stays steady. I have, however, been effected by this problem. People in my games have been seriously impaired by FPS problems. This results in a lower quality of game play all around. I understand that there should be some minimum threshold of technical specifications people who play this game should be expected to meet. That said, this could be a problem with various graphics drivers, cards, etc that cripples even above average gaming machines.
LoL, at least in my opinion, should be an open community of like minded gamers who accept people from all kinds of demographics. I don't mind if someone is playing on lower settings and doesn't spend $1200 on a machine. For a lot of people that is more than 2 months rent. While, again, there are minimum restraints, we should be trying to help people with less access to better hardware rather than telling them their computers are made of Styrofoam.
So what am I trying to get at? Simple. The map decreases FPS and causes large scale problem with many devoted users in this community. That alone should be reason to consider taking it down and either revising it or scrapping it all together.
Forgetting the technical issues, I would like to discuss some of the gameplay issues brought up by the map. The first issue is the inability to see the chat. If I am in mid lane I have a lot of trouble seeing the white text against the white snow. I could easily miss some of the essential communications that my team is trying to send me. Because this is a team game heavily reliant on teamwork communication becomes essential. The limiting of said communication results in a degradation of the game for everyone involved.
Another important issue with the game play aspects of this map is the inability to see certain spells. For example: It is near impossible to see Cassiopeia's poison pool. I have also had difficulty determining where karthus's AOE damage range is. This gives certain champions an advantage and can cause unfortunate levels of confusion among both teams. It is difficult to enjoy games when you have no clue what is going on.
Finally there is the issue of brightness. The map is really bright. Obnoxiously bright. After 2 games on the map I have trouble looking at it. People's solution to this seems to be to tell people to turn down their monitor brightness. This is not how backlit LCD monitors work. by turning down the brightness you simply turn down the LED that lights up the LCD. You are not actually changing the contrast of the bright map to the normal everything else. If anything, you are making it more difficult to see the map and thus hurting your eyes more. That said you could change the contrast. The issue with this is that a lot of hardware and software required a reset to do this. This makes such a change impossible as you do not know the map you are going to get until you are in game. While you may want the normal contrast for the normal map, you do not want it for the new map. The same can be said for the new map and an adjusted contrast. This makes such an adjustment impossible. The last thing you want to do as a game developer is make a game that your users find physically taxing to play (unless you are wii fit).
I understand that riot put a lot of time into the map. I think it is terrific. I love the nutcrackers and presents. The whole thing is incredibly festive and I would love to be a large, gift throwing, holiday maokai in this cheery wonderland. That said the map is causing problems for a lot of users that is unfair, uncomfortable, and undesirable. While I would love to see a perfected winter map (or even the option of whether or not to play on it) I don't think this one works as it is.
I am probably going to get a good number of "tl;dr".