League of Legends can be a bit of a tough nut to crack. When a player is new to the game it can be hard from them to break through against those who have more experience at battling minions, vacuuming up gold, putting together the most efficient builds for a Champion (the playable characters in the game) as well as staving off the effects of Carpal tunnel, naturally.

There are plenty of new players who might not even know what those words mean which is why the popular MOBA’s ‘Custom’ game mode – which allow players to face-off against AI controlled enemies – is so useful. Despite the use of Custom matches as a training exercise for new players and level 30 (the game’s highest level) players alike, players of all skill levels have criticized the AI controlled Champions for being more than a tad bit predictable so it’s these Leaguers who’ll appreciate it the most that Riot Games is now working on smarter, “more human” bots.

The decision from the game’s developer to feature more human-like bots in the game is a direct result of fan feedback with the League of Legends players calling for smarter bots far outweighing those simply asking for bots to be stronger i.e with more health and power from the get-go. Predictability of the bots is something that thwarts the immersion of the game as it’s plainly apparent that they’re more interested in killing you, a human controlled Champion, than they are in ‘last-hitting’ (dealing the final hit on a minion before they die which bags you both XP and gold) or defeating turrets, both of which are vital for levelling up the Champion and bringing their team close to victory. In a new blog post Riot announce that this is something that they will finally address.

The three areas that Riot is specifically improving are threat evaluation, dodging skill shots and builds. These inform a bot as to whether or not they can take the human controller player on, whether or not they’ll be able to survive a skill shot and which items they need to purchase to become harder, better, faster stronger and the like respectively. Explaining the new improvements, Riot has said the following,

“Our new systems try to deal with these scenarios by looking not only at health but also how many spells the bot and any nearby enemies have available. […] bots can now try to dodge skill shots in some cases. […] the updated bots now use much more contemporary combos and build more sensible items.”

While the improvements are welcome by the League of Legends community at large, Riot intentionally left out at least one human-like improvement, namely the bots’ ability to see walls or take on the jungle. The “jungle” (the section in the middle of the lanes which players can hide in and take on optional monsters for extra XP and gold) isn’t really something that a bot can take advantage of “without additional changes to our pathing and terrain systems,”Riot explains as it “boils down to one simple fact: bots don’t know where walls are or even what they are.” This may be a downside to sticking to AI-only matches but it does provide some incentive for players to go against other players to feel the full brunt of an opposing skill sets as well as being able to test your own because, as Riot’s blog post also stated, “League was built to be played by humans.”

The League of Legends bots update will go live soon, hopefully without any difficulties as Riot also add that they “did a great job optimizing our code so we could ship this update without affecting server load” so look out for the update in the game’s client soon.

Source: Official League of Legends Blog