Are Champions As Awesome As They Could Be? @Morello @Feralpony @IronStylus @Xypherous

First Riot Post
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Slarg232

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fomorian27 View Post
I definitely think there's more depth and counterplay in lol than in dota. karthus ult vs is zeus is the perfect example. There are so many ways to counter karthus ult: stun or silence him during channel, buy zonyas or any mr item, pick a champ that has an untargetable spell (fizz, shaco, vlad, elise), sorakas wish, any heal or lifesteal, and even chugging a red pot. Of these, basically the only one that would work against zeus is healing or lifestealing up once you get low. zeus has no channel time, so stunning or silencing him isn't a counter. It's instantaneous, so a clutch invuln or magic immunity isn't a counter.
Magic Immunity, Magic Resistance, Pipe of Insight, going Invisible, any of the various spell Disjointers (Alot of spells give you a .1-.3 second time where you can actually completely dodge a spell by using your Transformation), healing, outworld Devourer/Shadow Demon, Health.

Lots of counters to Zeus.....


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Morello

Lead Designer

01-22-2013
2 of 22 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiBelgarath View Post
Its a familiar problem with the Runeterra framework, one we've seen before. The squality of your characters consistently depends on how good the story is of the character- the better you shape your character, the more clearly a theme emerges, and the better the mechanics are. Draaaaaaven is a perfect example of this- great story, built into great mechanics, created a fun character. Syndra had a pretty dismal story, her mechanics are even fairly interesting but have no real substance. You don't play Syndra and feel like...Syndra, you feel like just another mage. Your design process has a clear role playing aspect, which is good- it differentiates it, makes it interesting.

A lot of champions I think have this problem of insufficient clarity of character- Void champions are a great place to look. For example, Cho'gath and Kog'maw, where I half feel like you had the vague idea "let's make a void monster that eats things" and didn't feel like you got it right the first time, so you tried again. But since Void monsters are all mysterious with little clear purpose and such, the abilities are similarly unclear- why is Cho'gath randomly manipulating physics to knock people into the air, and why does Kog not actually eat people, given that his lore specifically talks about him consuming whole villages. Instead he just spits at everything.

In general, I think that the design process would go more smoothly if theme was more clearly discussed- create a set of characteristics and behaviorism for the creature without worrying about the actual QWER abilities, and then once you have created a functional and interesting being, then translate the most significant of those traits into the abilities.
We actually usually do as you describe many times - making the abilities fit the character. Some are different, depending on the source material, but even someone I think is good (like Varus) was the Q gameplay first. I think it's a simple problem, but the solution is very nuanced and complex. I think one problem is that we had a hard time getting a "vision" of the character to be clean and clear, and when we mess up, it's because we try to do a bunch of things in a sub-par way instead of 1 or 2 in a very clean way.


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YamiBelgarath

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Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
Thank you, this is entirely what we have been trying to say, especially in our third thread concerning the topic of 'champions over-all' (the OP here is just a summary of all of our threads/points)

In our opinion, Riot should've come up with thematic elements of a theme converting them into abilities, whereas right now a lot of champions's behaviour/abilities have little relevance to their theme/appearance, Anivia would be a good example of that.

Her abilities aren't really bird or phoenix like, except for her passive, the rest of her abilities: you wouldn't expect a bird to be doing this, if anything these abilities would fit better on a random wizard specialized in the arts of ice/frost magic. (Random ice plopping out of the blue).

That's not a themetic unified champion, in our opinion (and pretty much approved of riot now by morello as he says he'll be really focusing on that this year) something that waters down the expierence of the ultimate 'ice bird' champion, as she's nothing really like that, except her appearance as an ice bird.
As I've worked on my own independent characters, that's really the most fun part of it (at least for me). The number crunching, the perfect balancing- that's all exhausting and doesn't reliably end up well no matter how much effort you put in. But creating an interesting character, with mechanics that honest feel like the character, that is truly fun.

One of the interesting things about Riot is how inconsistent they are in incorporating lore into mechanics. I mean, look at Jarvan's judgement, the Swain turning into a flock crows thing was quite cool. And then the kind of spin-to-win pair, Garen and Kat, having their own little relationship. But when they try to incorporate that into the game, they tend to mess up. I mean, why on earth would Graves have that interaction when he gets Nocturne in the smoke cloud...I don't see any reason why a demi-god nightmare thing would interact with the Runeterran equivalent of John Wayne. Instead, why not make some TF-Graves interactions. They could really enhance the feeling of roleplay, which I think gets lost in all the chaos of the game, by creating more interesting interactions. It would be so much more fun if Graves even just said something like "Here he goes again..." when TF ults...or Teemo had a "Psychopath Yordle" thing like the ninja's have a "I'm a flippin ninja" thing that went away when he got near Tristana. Easy things like that would make the characters so much more personable.


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kchaosrei View Post
read through the OP. alot of his what stated is personal opinion and cherry picked comments over months/years of the forums.

The prefect example is the darus section. I don't agree with anything said there and CertainT is not going to say his champion is broken. I know for a fact that several Pro teams think/said he is broken used the CORRECT way.

While "NEW" champion creation will eventually die out. But who is to say what the champ limit is with creative people. It could be 500 champs its up to riot to find the creative people and the programmers to make this a possibility

Again this OP is personal opinion and while it may be shared or or convinced others, this doesn't mean he is right.
People have been saying this before, let me take you back to an old ItemsGuy quote, responding on what you are saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy

The difference here is that I actually know what I'm talking about, and have spent years developing my own game design philosophy by looking critically at video games and analyzing the science of play--and more recently, acquiring education from (working) professionals in that field. I have the advantage of knowledge on the subject matter as well as the capacity to think critically about it that comes from years and years of dedication. I'm not being subjective about this at all--which tends to happen when you break things down to a science (as I have done with champion design).

The fact of a matter here is that a well-designed champion is all about the ideals expressed in the OP. Staying true to theming creates greater readability and also tends to lend itself to defined playstyles, with prominent strengths and weaknesses. The more prominent the strengths and weaknesses, the greater variety of champions that can be "viable," the more dynamic the game becomes, and the more involved interaction between players becomes--and this last point is at the very core of competition of any sort, this dance of sorts between opponents. "Play" is something that has existed long before humans were around to define it. It's a science, not a matter of opinion. It's like coming to a nuclear physicist and just saying that the data his research provides is wrong because you "just don't think it's right.
If you red through the 'Counterplay' section, you'd also have noticed how Morello has his own perspective on changing Darius and that in fact the OP aka ItemsGuy actually liked this idea as his pushes his theme and strengths and weaknesses, being less toxic as he provides more counterplay.

ItemsGuy has broken this into a science - abilities lacking counterplay in league or champions not fitting their theme (while they need lore to justify these flaws) is a fact.


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiBelgarath View Post
As I've worked on my own independent characters, that's really the most fun part of it (at least for me). The number crunching, the perfect balancing- that's all exhausting and doesn't reliably end up well no matter how much effort you put in. But creating an interesting character, with mechanics that honest feel like the character, that is truly fun.

One of the interesting things about Riot is how inconsistent they are in incorporating lore into mechanics. I mean, look at Jarvan's judgement, the Swain turning into a flock crows thing was quite cool. And then the kind of spin-to-win pair, Garen and Kat, having their own little relationship. But when they try to incorporate that into the game, they tend to mess up. I mean, why on earth would Graves have that interaction when he gets Nocturne in the smoke cloud...I don't see any reason why a demi-god nightmare thing would interact with the Runeterran equivalent of John Wayne. Instead, why not make some TF-Graves interactions. They could really enhance the feeling of roleplay, which I think gets lost in all the chaos of the game, by creating more interesting interactions. It would be so much more fun if Graves even just said something like "Here he goes again..." when TF ults...or Teemo had a "Psychopath Yordle" thing like the ninja's have a "I'm a flippin ninja" thing that went away when he got near Tristana. Easy things like that would make the characters so much more personable.
:)

Originally, ItemsGuy left out Yorick for the possible 'LoL 2' dream we have, I figured I really wanted a champion in there playing like a Necromancer, I came up with the Yorick Redesign myself, I was so glad ItemsGuy liked it and immediately added him.

Notice how every ability fits the theme and therefore is readable while providing obvious counterplay.

And yeah - heck, ItemsGuy even plans on giving Karthus songs he sings when he is not using abilities, all of these little things push theming so much they enhance your expierence playing this or that character.


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Morphine

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
I realize I will be stepping on peoples toes when saying this, but I feel entitled to do so: Kha'Zix evolutions - yeah. Is it any relevant to his appearance ? Not at all, it's needlessly added. People looking at his splash art or recoqnizing the 'alien' inspiration will not he'll be having these evolution mechanics.

Sure it's all stated in his lore that he's pretty much all about adapting and evolution yet that would require people to read the lore of these champions first before they understand the reasoning behind the mechanics, wich would be Burden of Knowledge as you are giving people homework before they can enjoy themselves.
Sorry, but this argument strikes me as more than a little ridiculous, and I feel like these buzzwords ("toxic", "burden of knowledge", etc.) are getting way out of hand. People can enjoy a mechanic without knowing its relevance in lore - lore enhances relevance, it doesn't define it.

Bloodseeker ult? Chaos Knight? Invoker? Sure. Burden of Knowledge. Kha'zix? No way.


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Morello

Lead Designer

01-22-2013
3 of 22 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labcown View Post
I certainly believe that a certain level of complexity is needed to keep a champion interesting, this is where Fiddlesticks, Annie (Even though I love the heck out of her), and several of the older champions fall short.

Certainly you can have too much complexity, but Riot has done a great job of avoiding adding arbitrary mechanics to their champions, and thus there is no real example of the opposite extreme as it is. The closet example I can think of would be champions like Lee Sin, Cassiopeia, and Thresh. In all of those examples, their added complexity/depth brings out greater potential and thus actually makes that champion more rewarding for the added difficulty.
Sure - for some characters that's true. The thing is, both have depth, but where it comes from is different - and where players draw their satisfaction from is also. I think the problematic fighters are the exception in my mind, but some players like more complex champions. Our job is to make some of those also, but I don't think it's a problem with the game as a whole if there's different levels for different people.

My thought is that no champion is for everyone, but every champion is for someone. Those of us who like higher-complexity champions should have outlets for that, but they shouldn't be every option.


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Morello

Lead Designer

01-22-2013
4 of 22 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savagry View Post
Morello just wondering do you ever give feedback on concept designs in the player concept forums?
I don't mostly due to my time constraints. It takes a long time, there's a lot of them, and if I just did one or two, there's a lot of "playing favorites" perception. I just can't sustain that.


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Slarg232

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Hey Morello, not exactly the thread for this, but have you guys ever thought of doing a "Fairy Dragon Event" like what happened with DotA? You guys make a champ's model and stuff, then release him/her to the forums to see what kind of skill set you get back that you can tweak/change as needed?


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Ithrowrocksatchi

Senior Member

01-22-2013

I was thinking, why build someone's story first and THEN build their skillset? I think thats what gets a character like Kogmaw into the "lore pit" where his story is about him eating things but his abilities is of him spitting out stuff. I think if RIOT just created a new character and their movesets first and after molded and shaped their lore from their design and gameplay, we would get a lot more consistent characters, but thats just my opinion.