So. Nemesis Draft.
This is a featured mode I've been expecting for a long time. I'm not surprised it came about. Its an interesting area of design-space to explore for a game mode, and I think its one Riot needed to get to for several reasons. But I don't like it. I never expected to. And I'll summarize why.
1. It's just normal league, but you're playing Champions you don't really want to.
This is my biggest problem with this mode. There's nothing really special about the play or the game, other then you're playing with the champions the enemy team deemed the worst concoction they could find. Its like playing Chess where the other team only gives you pawns. All the interesting magic happens in champ select, and then you're just left with a pile of champions that you have to scrabble a teamcomp together with. If I wanted to play these champions, I'd pick them. Or I'd go play ARAM where I have a chance to reroll or the games are fast. The appeal of this mode is short and sweet. Champ select is rather fun, I will say, but after that its just, well, eh.
2. This mode encourages (perhaps unintentionally) dodging.
Relating to point one, I play league to have fun. As do a lot of people. So when I get handed the "worst of the worst" by the other team, It feels like it defeats the point. Thus, when many people who aren't the best of sports (and the League community has their fair share) get something they feel is just a waste of time (and no real chance to get a 'fun' and 'interesting' or 'good' champ), they're not going to waste 30-50 minutes just playing something thats not fun. Like it or not, some champions are better then others at any given time, and playing the sucky ones doesn't give the same kind of satisfaction. Thus, people are just going to dodge.
3. It's a waste of Design Space.
As I said, I think the idea of picking the opponents is an interesting design for a mode/game and could have real advantages. But, this isn't it. And since its not the kind of interesting I was dreaming for, it just feels like a waste. A waste of the design, and a waste of the featured game-mode.
4. Lastly, it feels like a cop-out.
At least to me. I expect great, fun, epic things from the Featured game modes. Perhaps its URF syndrome, but even Hexakill was a lot of fun with crazy intense battles. This is just a clash of people commanding the most feeble of battlers. And so, at least for me, I kinda feel like you guys (The great Riot Overlords) just didn't have any ideas or real interesting Design Space for this, and just stuck this one out there so you could say you released one.
This isn't meant to offend, and is my intention to deliver hopefully constructive feedback, however harsh it may seem. I'd love to discuss anything.