The Wednesday WTF.

Late, again. Anyway. The subject of this week’s WTF is the Skill Shot. The skill shot is a fairly common mechanic in LoL, given its name because it requires you to aim your attack at an enemy instead of just clicking on them, which theoretically requires some skill. The targeting looks something like this (image is not mine):

The projectile travels down its path until it (hopefully) hits your target. A particular type of player (usually one that has never played a champion with a skill shot) will take any miss on the part of a player with said shot as a sign that they are hopelessly terrible at the game. While it is true that the shot takes a bit to get used to, and thus it is possible that someone missed because they are bad, having a bad day, or too busy eating pizza, but far more likely one of the following occurred:

  • It wasn’t supposed to hit. Skill Shots, because of the difficulty of landing them usually have a fairly nasty effect when they do. Even letting one off you know will miss can cause enemies to retreat to safety. You can even use this to force them to go where you want them to.
  • You were using it as a deterrent. A shot launched to where an enemy will be if they continue with their present course of action is quite effective at convincing them they should go do something else. Especially useful for saving allies in danger.
  • Mind games. This is by far the most likely reason. Once you have mastered the basics of “aim thinger at other guy, fire”, and your opponents have mastered “dodge bad thinger”, most skill shot scenarios become a game of who can out-guess who. You can’t aim straight for a target because they will move out of the way. At the same time, your target can’t wait to see where it’s going: they have to move immediately. So, did you pick the right direction to aim it? Did they? There are plenty of ways you can improve your aim beyond the 50/50, but even so there’s a fair element of luck involved.

Skill Shots do in fact require skill, and not all of that skill is hitting something. There are plenty of other factors to consider, and even the best LoL players aren’t going to land every shot.

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