||07-15-2012 11:59 PM
"Simple" and "Easy" aren't the same thing
Reddit (I didn't make this): http://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflege...ar_not_simple/
70,000 views, 300 upvotes. <3
I always hear DotA players calling LoL "easy". Whenever I hear this, I cringe. Compared to DotA, LoL is a pretty simple game, and that was one of Riot's goals. The game is easier to pick up, there is less burden of knowledge (Invoker op), and many game mechanics are simplified, clarified, or just outright removed (denying).
However, that does not mean LoL is easy. LoL is simple. In difficulty, LoL is one of the hardest games out there - it's a competitive, team game against five others who will all take the game very seriously. To be very good at this game is hard. It's not like some random DotA player can waltz in to LoL and get instant platinum because it's an easy game.
LoL is simple to pick up, but hard to master. Take it as a lesson, DotA supremacists - it's the marking of a great game. Just making your game harder to pick up doesn't make it better.
Can you guys please refrain from flaming? Discussion is great, but try to keep away from insulting others. Thanks.
Originally Posted by Morello
This thread has really devolved into blaming and name-calling. Booo.
A wild Morello has appeared...
Originally Posted by Morello
In this type of discussion, I think "simple" is the wrong paradigm to use (since simplicity isn't a goal in and of itself), but instead we think a lot about clarity. And you're right that clarity and "easy" aren't actually associated.
Let me go into detail about this - this is something that I think about a lot, and something I think is really misdiagnosed by a lot of the games industry currently.
What is clarity in regards to game design?
Clarity is a design paradigm in which you try to make gameplay-relevant information readable and understandable at a glance. From artistic direction to game design, from abilities to VFX, clarity (or the lack of it) effects every aspect of a game, top to bottom.
You said understandable at a glance! That is noobish/casual/etc
This is the broad misconception that couches this entire debate. Actually, most good competitive games have good to great clarity, and every single professional sport and highly-watched eSport has it too. The secret is, almost none of these games are simple or easy.
What are some examples of deep, clear games and sports?
My favorite go-to is Counter Strike. While this is somewhat a byproduct of 2000-era gaming technology, Counter Strike is extremely clean and easy-to-read. There's no clutter, foliage or camolague in regards to players and textures. Maps are generally well-lit. Weapons act in an understandable and predictable fashion, things happen in ways you intuitively expect, and when big pro plays happen, everyone from a first-time spectator to a top player understands it happened - and more importantly why it's fun, cool and exciting.
On top of this, its also very competitive, has a hardcore rule set (high lethality, weapon money snowballing, round-based permadeath) and has been a dominant competitive force for a about a decade. Clear, but deep, skillful and fun. I could name a laundry list of less competitive games that are also equally less clear.
Other examples are American football, Chess (to an extent) and the original Starcraft. Oh, and League of Legends.
Hi Morello, I'm a hardcore, competitive gamer and will overcome any obstacle or learning curve. Why the Hell do I care about clarity?
While I fit into this camp too (Fighting games have you learning how many frames moves are, Natural Selection, etc), clarity is important because legitimacy as a real competitive game relies on two associated values: high "watchability" and fresh competitive blood to enhance the scene and replace teams and players who leave, which is inevitable at some rate. Basically, will it be a spectacle for all levels of players to watch and get excited about, and is there a sensible path from highly skilled to amateur competitor to pro player.
Also, it makes it easier to explain complex mechanics because you can more clearly show what's happening on a basic level and get people started, whether just to your friends or teammates, or to mentor less sophisticated players.
Anything that makes a game harder makes it more competitive, and therefore, better.
This is the other Red Herring argument - it's not only false, but difficulty isn't a goal in its own right. What is important is ways to make skillful plays meaningful, let that be deep, interesting and fun, and to let the best players consistently win because they are better at the game. Depth is the goal which infers some minimum amount of "difficulty to master," which is good when done well.
Go add resource micromanagement to Counter-Strike. Add skillshot aiming to Starcraft. Add "builds" to chess, and you end up with three very inferior games and inferior competitive titles. More is not always better, but instead, making smart specific choices adds depth and costs little in the way of clarity. Doing it wrong detracts from what is interesting, exciting or skillful about the game in the first place.
To anyone who says League of Legends is an easy game...you're ****ing high. MOBA's core ruleset is incredibly complex and takes a lot of skill and coordination just to navigate at a base level. Being good at it takes tons of time, dedication, tribal knowledge, understanding a shifting metagame, and being able to do this seamlessly in a real-time environment where a single mistake can cost an entire game. It's simply not dumb, easy or overly simple, and I personally feel it's really snobby to think it even could be.
tl;dr: Clarity is the most important thing on this front, and when done right, makes a game more deep and make more sense. These are not competing goals, but instead, complimentary ones.
A post I really enjoyed (Page 16):
Originally Posted by inno By
Morello described perfectly the difference between simplicity and the high level, action oriented decision making that exists in LoL. I would however, add something to his comments, more of a shot at DoTA hardcore groupies than any real meaningful contribution to the discussion.
DoTA is a game who's "skill" comes from straight up 2D knowledge of the game. DoTA is all about hard countering, and not so much about soft counters. LoL (props to the lol team for this) has many many more soft counters, or skill based counters than DoTA. Take Fiora vs Teemo top for example. Teemo is a dominant anti tanky DPS up top. He's got good mobility free wards and packs a nice harass mechanism. Fiora being a squishy melee AD carry should technically be at a disadvantage at top, this is by far not the case.
Fiora's Parry shuts down a Teemo entirely, but you can't "preparry" or you'll just get hurt, the best possible timing of a Fiora parry is when Teemo's blindshot projectile is in the air. This isn't simple, it takes timing patience and awareness, it's trading without putting yourself at risk, and by mid game you can almost kill teemo with just parry unless he takes to straight farming, which makes him useless at his position top.
Originally Posted by Panzerfaust
I find that LoL has a shallower learning curve, partially because it doesn't have as many mundane mechanical 'skills' to master before you can even be considered a weak player.
That doesn't make it an 'easier' game though, merely that it's easier to get into. The free rotation also helps, because it means you don't need to worry about 50-100 champions/heroes at once, you only need to poke around at up 10 new champions each week (less as you play more), with the occasional random champ someone bought (again, it happens less to start off when people have less IP).
Rather than DotA/HoN being a 'hotter fire' and thus forging stronger players, I see it as LoL being more beginner friendly, and thus having a larger pool of 'weaker' players that feel comfortable playing the game.
The ruthlessness of the DotA environment... isn't one that makes players stronger, merely kicks out those who can't pick it up quickly enough. When you're kicking the new kids in the shin to make them go home, of course only the old kids will be left.
(My quick thoughts, let me know what you think.)