Lessons to be learned.
Although World of Warcraft and League of Legends stem from Warcraft, these two games grew to be giants in two separate genresMMORPG and MOBA. If we disregard the fact they have a common predecessor, there really arent many similarities left between them. But no matter their differences, both are examples of prime design and maintenance and could benefit from exchanging a couple of key features to improve themselves.
The biggest weakness WoW has, especially in the competitive environment, is a lack of communication. Players are forced to hang out on Discord or their entire communication will be reduced simply to typing in party chat. But this communication isn’t as fast and as efficient and has a strong potential to end in a disaster. Another major problem you encounter in both WoW and League is toxicity as it goes hand in hand with competitiveness.
With Blizzard Entertainment struggling to find the solution to these problems, the ideal approach here would be to take inspiration from Riot Games and reuse the best features of League to make Azeroth a better place for everyone. In fact, implementing League features into WoW could only improve the game and make up for a whole different experience, far more enjoyable and fun for everyone.
When you jump into a match of League, youll notice players are mainly using pings to communicate what theyre looking to accomplish at that specific moment or to warn you of potential danger lurking nearby. Normally opened by using the CTRL or Alt key with a left mouse click, pings are best described as visual alerts that can be used at any point in the game and anywhere on the map. The biggest reason pings work in League is they allow quick and efficient communication even during the most heated moments on Summoners Rift.
WoW, however, only has markers and chat to help players communicate during Arena matches and Mythic+ runs. The game also offers a voice chat option, but it’s rarely used. By giving players the ability to ping in a competitive environment, they could more efficiently execute their plans. Picture this scenario: Youre in a Shadowmoon Burial Grounds run and one of your teammates accidentally pulls an Exhumed Spirit, a mob that casts lethal Death Blast and one-shots their target. Your group, however, isnt seeing this mob and you just dont have the mobility to reach it. With pings, you could easily warn your group and a party member closer to that mob could easily deal with this mechanic.
Over time, Riot has introduced more and more punishments for players who either leave during champion selection or during a match. The main punishment, however, is the loss of precious LP. On the other hand, leaving an Arena match or a Mythic+ run in WoW would have no consequences on your rating.
Related: Is World of Warcraft toxic?
With stakes being minimal in WoW, players will nonchalantly leave runs because they know there’s no punishment. But if Blizzard introduced rating loss to the game for every leave and increased rating losses for every next leave, players would think twice before leaving a Mythic+ dungeon after an unfortunate pull.
Currently, the only way to watch the game from somebody elses perspective is to ask them to stream it via the Discord streaming option or Twitch. But if you want to learn a new rotation, youll just need to rely on guides and videos.
In League, you can spectate all your friends when they’re in a match, but with a three-minute delay. No matter if you just want a sneak peek into high-Elo games or youre bored and just waiting for your friend, spectate mode is a great tool and players have found more than a handful of ways to use it.
WoW could really use this feature as a means to watch high-end players, see their rotation, and learn while you watch. On top of that, this could be used when youre waiting for your friend to wrap up a dungeon run.
Skins in League are cosmetic appearances used to make your champion feel fresh and exciting. Generally, skins dont have any special advantage in the game and are completely optional. WoW, similarly, has transmog options that allow you to customize every piece of gear according to your vision.
But if Blizzard took Leagues idea of skins and reworked it a bit to give players full appearance customizations for specific classes and specs, class and spec fantasy could go much deeper. Blizzard has already started to implement this in the game in the form of Dark Ranger customizations for Hunters and Night Warrior customizations for Warlocks, but, unfortunately, only a handful of classes were lucky enough to get these customizations.
Blizzard, however, could level up this a notch and we could have additional appearances for almost all classes in the game. Warlocks, for instance, could have a Necromancer customization, Shamans could get a Primalist look, and Warriors could fully embrace their inner wilderness and become Blademasters.
This, of course, would and should be unlocked by completing special lore quests that will stay etched in your memory since your class and spec fantasy has only made the game more fun.
In the end, Blizzard and Riot dont have to be just competitors in the gaming market. Instead, these two companies can further grow and learn from each other to provide the best gaming experience for players as there are always features that could use improvements.