In riot's recent 'ask riot' (which can be found here: https://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/2017/12/ask-riot-urf/ ) they explained why normal urf isn't coming back.
If you want a shortened explanation scroll to the bottom.
Apparently it causes players to leave the game when the mode is gone, for which they do not know the reason although they guess the reasons are:
- A hangover effect (binge playing into a burnout)
- seeing the same champions every time
- The normal game feeling too slow after URF
- Feeling like you're playing a cheat mode, after which normal games feel boring
There are some issues with this way of thinking though as the bingeplaying stays, the feeling of slow/boring games stays and even seeing the same champs isn't fully foxed as they limit champ pools/give rerolls.
Riot also openly admitted that they did not find the perfect solutions yet, but that they will keep on trying to find a 'perfect recipe' for URF.
My issue with this line of thinking however is that the source of people leaving remains that URF is just generally more fun (if you can read between the lines the given reasons really imply that).
So how is it a bad thing? Some people don't play URF mode to play op stuff, but just to have fun with champions they like. Some don't even care about winning or losing as long as they have their fun.
I honestly believe that RIOT should run a test period in which they give us normal URF for an extended duration (like a month), if the mode is really that unhealthy for player activity it either will start dropping players during the month as well, as it would eventually have to get boring to play urf.
If that is not the case then not giving us URF is a mistake altogether, if people keep playing URF that would mean normal URF is the perfect recipe and it should be in rotation more often, as it makes people want to play.
Dropping the playerbase after the rotation is a nasty side effect for them, but it can be put on hold by giving people a reason to return.
Yes, i know riot said that the playerbase does not grow back to what it was before URF, but is that really an URF issue? If you cannot get your playerbase to stagnate doesn't that just mean that people move on? I mean you can blame a sudden loss of numbers on URF, but if the playerbase continually decreases (what is implied by the way the 'ask riot' answer is said, as they litteraly state the active base does not grow back to what it was before) then that is just a natural effect of people moving on because of less reasons to play.
Another important factor to the decrease of players is the fact that a huge part of your playerbase at the start were teens, they are growing up, getting jobs and families, of course they would play less.
Long story short: RIOT says their playerbase decreases after URF and does not grow back to what it was before, but is that an URF effect? As implying the community does not 'grow back' cannot be explained by a single mode, it is more of a natural cycle of games, where people come and go. Blaming this on URF will not change that.
I would like more opinions, so please post what you think.