@Morello & Riot: Balancing multiple game types

First Riot Post
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xTwine

Junior Member

08-09-2011

My biggest concern with Dominion (and probably one of Riot's biggest concerns..) has got to be the challenge of balancing the champions on both game types. There are 2 ways of approaching balance of a single champion across more than one game type:

1) Leave the champion unchanged across all types but balance the champion such that its power level is at a reasonable level on all types.

For example, the attributes that seem to be of utmost importance in Dominion are:

A) Small scale fighting abilities (1v1 & 2v2)
B) Mobility
C) Global ulti's like TF, Pantheon, and Shen will be very very strong. They allow an unpresedented amount of mobility.
D) Map control skills like teemos mushrooms or nidalee's traps will be incredibly useful as wards are disabled.


In summoners Rift, the most important attributes are:

1) 5v5 team fighting abilities
2) Lane sustain
3) Turret pushing power

The problem with point #1 is that it makes it incredibly difficult to balance the game. For example, look at Nidalee. She's very strong at pushing, small scale battles (1v1 & 2v2), lane sustain, and mobility. Although she lacks seriously in team fights, making her reasonably balanced on SR. This set of attributes works mostly fine on SR, but would be insanely OP on Dominion, as she has very high levels of the most important attributes.

2) Create a seperate version of each champion for both game types by adjusting base stats, skill power's/durations, and AP ratio's.

Many players would not like this solution and it would be confusing to new players (your champion is suddenly healing for 1/2 as much on a diffrent game type.. or is running significantly slower and doing more dmg, etc.)

I imagine this has been discussed quite a bit at Riot. What's the consensus? Do you find that these points are an issue from lots of play testing on Dominion?

What do you guys think? Is it even possible to balance both types (without making 2 versions of every champ) and have a reasonable amount of balance for it to be enjoyable? It's incredibly difficult to balance 60++ champions (with more being added every month) on a single game type, adding a second one sound's overwhelming. Will Riot simply balance for SR and just ignore Dominion? (like they do with TT currently..)


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Brackhar

Features Designer

08-09-2011
1 of 2 Riot Posts

Ultimately we felt it's important that all champions are viable in Dominion and that they behave mechanically the same as they do on SR. It's be a pretty poor experience if Soraka's Wish as an example had a 120 second cooldown on SR but a 40 second cooldown on Dominion but with different numbers; Soraka players would start to think they were fundamentally playing a different champion. We've mananged to accomplish this by adjusting the item shop and making various other tweaks, and overall we feel we've been quite successful in hitting the necessary bar.

Regarding your specific question, my personal belief is that if we can balance and adjust our champions so that they are viable in both Classic and Dominion we'll ultimately have a better and more fun game as a whole. Remember that SR isn't only made up of 5v5 team fights in the end game, but that there's also a lot of one on one, two on two, and general skirmishes that occur, especially in the beginning and middle of the game. We've seen historically that champions that only excel in the 5v5 scenario are frankly somewhat boring until the 20-25 minute mark is reached, and similarly champions that can not contribute to the team fights become less entertaining as the game goes on. So why not focus on trying to pull champions away from those extremes when possible? This will ultimately improve the experience for everyone both in Classic and in Dominion.

Finally, I'd not worry about a lack of support for Dominion. We learned a lot from our release of Twisted Treeline and we can apply a lot of those lessons to the Crystal Scar as well, including the amount of support a new map needs post launch.

(nicely written post by the way)


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Bottleorum

Senior Member

08-10-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brackhar View Post
Ultimately we felt it's important that all champions are viable in Dominion and that they behave mechanically the same as they do on SR. It's be a pretty poor experience if Soraka's Wish as an example had a 120 second cooldown on SR but a 40 second cooldown on Dominion but with different numbers; Soraka players would start to think they were fundamentally playing a different champion. We've mananged to accomplish this by adjusting the item shop and making various other tweaks, and overall we feel we've been quite successful in hitting the necessary bar.

Regarding your specific question, my personal belief is that if we can balance and adjust our champions so that they are viable in both Classic and Dominion we'll ultimately have a better and more fun game as a whole. Remember that SR isn't only made up of 5v5 team fights in the end game, but that there's also a lot of one on one, two on two, and general skirmishes that occur, especially in the beginning and middle of the game. We've seen historically that champions that only excel in the 5v5 scenario are frankly somewhat boring until the 20-25 minute mark is reached, and similarly champions that can not contribute to the team fights become less entertaining as the game goes on. So why not focus on trying to pull champions away from those extremes when possible? This will ultimately improve the experience for everyone both in Classic and in Dominion.

Finally, I'd not worry about a lack of support for Dominion. We learned a lot from our release of Twisted Treeline and we can apply a lot of those lessons to the Crystal Scar as well, including the amount of support a new map needs post launch.

(nicely written post by the way)
I'm quite glad you went with the item route. Rushing focus towards balancing dominion would definitely ruin the competitive scene of this game. I'm glad you guys thought this one through, and it makes me somewhat excited to have battlegrounds in this game.


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USnip

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Member

08-10-2011

Personally, I would like to see changes like the ones that were made for dominion - different items, summoner spells, etc - added to Twisted Treeline. The map could be good, but I think you guys know as well as we do it's neglect makes it a pretty messed up experience.


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Brackhar

Features Designer

08-10-2011
2 of 2 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by USnip View Post
Personally, I would like to see changes like the ones that were made for dominion - different items, summoner spells, etc - added to Twisted Treeline. The map could be good, but I think you guys know as well as we do it's neglect makes it a pretty messed up experience.
It'd be a pretty good approach to fixing the balance issues that exist on TT, honestly. That being said, I also think that TT may be fixable with some other approaches as well (turret/minion rebalances, shifts to base layout, etc.)


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rumples

Senior Member

08-10-2011

new items make me giddy like a schoolgirl


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Confusion567

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Senior Member

08-10-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brackhar View Post
Ultimately we felt it's important that all champions are viable in Dominion and that they behave mechanically the same as they do on SR. It's be a pretty poor experience if Soraka's Wish as an example had a 120 second cooldown on SR but a 40 second cooldown on Dominion but with different numbers; Soraka players would start to think they were fundamentally playing a different champion. We've mananged to accomplish this by adjusting the item shop and making various other tweaks, and overall we feel we've been quite successful in hitting the necessary bar.

Regarding your specific question, my personal belief is that if we can balance and adjust our champions so that they are viable in both Classic and Dominion we'll ultimately have a better and more fun game as a whole. Remember that SR isn't only made up of 5v5 team fights in the end game, but that there's also a lot of one on one, two on two, and general skirmishes that occur, especially in the beginning and middle of the game. We've seen historically that champions that only excel in the 5v5 scenario are frankly somewhat boring until the 20-25 minute mark is reached, and similarly champions that can not contribute to the team fights become less entertaining as the game goes on. So why not focus on trying to pull champions away from those extremes when possible? This will ultimately improve the experience for everyone both in Classic and in Dominion.

Finally, I'd not worry about a lack of support for Dominion. We learned a lot from our release of Twisted Treeline and we can apply a lot of those lessons to the Crystal Scar as well, including the amount of support a new map needs post launch.

(nicely written post by the way)
I'm really glad to hear this. Actually, it seems like that might even have the bonus effect of improving TT balance; if characters are smoothed out to be effective in groups of 1-3 as well as 4-5, then that'll be great for matches that are 3v3 only.


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Carnifico

Member

08-10-2011

I'am actually pretty worried on how many champions are going to go with boots of mobility early for speed capping.


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Šneeks

Senior Member

08-10-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnifico View Post
I'am actually pretty worried on how many champions are going to go with boots of mobility early for speed capping.
If they choose to speed cap, they are sacraficing a significant amount of damage/defense in it's place.


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Zeful

Senior Member

08-10-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brackhar View Post
Ultimately we felt it's important that all champions are viable in Dominion and that they behave mechanically the same as they do on SR. It's be a pretty poor experience if Soraka's Wish as an example had a 120 second cooldown on SR but a 40 second cooldown on Dominion but with different numbers; Soraka players would start to think they were fundamentally playing a different champion. We've mananged to accomplish this by adjusting the item shop and making various other tweaks, and overall we feel we've been quite successful in hitting the necessary bar.
You could make it work by having map specific global passives that provide the specific changes required for balance. It gives the player a clear figure to explain where the champion's power goes.


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