Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
True Damage is ruining League of Legends. It has become far too widespread with Riot adding true damage abilities to many reworked champions lately. The entire concept behind true damage is lazy game design and completely breaks the established mechanics of the game. True damage skirts any and all defensive items people may buy thus effectively punishing players for even buying them at all because they are reduced to zero effectiveness.
There is already a gameplay mechanic that bypasses defensive builds called armor and magic penetration. Why isn't the penetration mechanic enough? Defensive items already aren’t that great after being nerfed time and time again. Why do they need to have champions who deal true damage and completely bypass them?
When it comes to armor and magic penetration, those aren’t an issue because people need to buy items specifically for them (for the most part – some champions and abilities have some as well). It therefore became a race between someone building armor and someone else building armor pen and/or someone building magic pen and someone else building magic resist. Not to mention even when someone had a ton of armor/magic penetration, your stat still at least did SOMETHING.
True damage on the other hand isn’t purchased through items. Most if not all of the true damage dealt in the game is built right into specific champions which gives them an advantage right off the bat over champions without true damage capabilities. For these champions, it then simply becomes a matter of how to best exploit it, rather than trying to race you. It wasn't game breaking back when only a handful of champions had true damage and the true damage itself wasn't necessarily game changing. But now more and more champions are inflicting it and the true damage ratios are getting higher and higher. Now I'm seeing 1,000+ true damage on my death recaps from champs like Fiora. It's ridiculous. Remember when seeing 600 true damage from a Darius ult was something everybody complained about?
How did we get here?!
Players should not be punished by having their defensive items completely negated. Building armor against a Fiora or a Master Yi for example doesn't help you even though it should. So what should a tank build? Health? I have heard that health is supposedly the defensive counter to true damage so you should build health items. But wait a second. Fiora's Duelist's Dance deals a percentage of your maximum health in true damage. So the more health you have, the more damage it deals. Vayne’s Silver Bolts does a percent as well. So much for building up your health being the counter!
True damage needs to be reined way, way back or done away with altogether. Champions should be dealing an extra couple hundred damage in true damage per battle and that's it. It should be something that supplements abilities, not something that is the main focus of them. As I said at the beginning of this article, it's lazy game design. Riot wants to make sure that certain abilities are the key component of a champion’s kit and so in order to ensure they are strong abilities they slap some true damage on it because trying to balance its ratios with armor and/or magic resist is a lot more difficult and time consuming. I get that. But in the long run this only hurts the health of the game and has a snowballing effect on other champions that get released or reworked. We've already seen it snowball to the point of being out of control. Just look at how many champions have true damage:
Nunu (only to minions & monsters – but still counts)
Syndra (new true damage bonus currently being tested in PBE)
If Syndra’s newfound true damage bonuses make it out of the Public Beta Environment (PBE) she’ll be the 18th champion with true damage. That is a little absurd and when you consider the fact there are 10 players in every match, it mathematically averages out to seeing at least one true damage dealing champion every game.
When an opponent kills you with massive amounts of true damage, it doesn’t feel like it was an earned kill. It feels like there was no skill involved and there was nothing you could have done – probably because there isn’t and there wasn’t. That’s not fun, Riot. Fix it.