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

First Riot Post
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Besteality

Senior Member

01-22-2013

While on the subject of lore and depth...

It can be argued that lore makes mechanics seem more unique. Furthermore, it makes that uniqueness seem more acceptable should it result in a unique weakness.

For example: I often read on these forums, "Why is X champion the ONLY champion that has to deal with Y???" Or "Why is X the only mage/bruiser/support/etc that doesn't have a Y????"

With the proper uniqueness in lore you can say, "Because that champion only has one leg!!! Duh!".

In other words, uniqueness in lore optimally not only explains a champion's abilities, but should also intuitively explain their weaknesses - and how they obtained their strengths to compensate.


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiBelgarath View Post
Two things: First off, the abilities are clearly unbalanced. I don't think that's quite the point they are making though. What they are trying to say is that it is completely possible to make LoL champions fit the theme they are given.
Correct.

Quote:
Second: I would just like to put out a thought: maybe LoL champions, in game, are too strong for reality? I mean, if they can do things in the real world like they do in games...I feel like Runeterra would be a lot more chaotic. I don't think Ahri literally throws a pink thing at people that charms them, if Malphite charged into a large group of people they wouldn't fly up, and Zilean doesn't revive people who just died. They also aren't enormously item or mana dependent, or I think we'd hear a lot more about people trying to sneak Deathcap or Infinity Edge out of the Institute. League is not a plausible alternative universe. I think the OP was just making it a little more reasonable- and as they point out in the blog, this isn't intended to be incorporated into League. This is for fun, and to demonstrate a point. Their modified League would make it into an entirely different game, much more focused on role play than the current version.

First of all, we aren't using realistic behaviour of things just for the sake of making stuff realistic, as it's still a game, but if it fits the theme of the champion we'll add fit, we won't be adding realistic stuff needlessly.

For example, Heimderdinger Redesign has a passive where he gets to collect his own scrap so he can build his inventions, this contributes to his theme and playstyle as inventor so it stays. We aren't adding the mechanic where Ashe has to pick up her own arrows when she has fired them, as it doesn't contribute to her theme or playstyle, it would be needlessly adding it and it would be immensely annoying.

For Ahri's charm: Ofcourse not, it's not entirely realistic, but it makes sense in context of it being a game and the fact that it's pinked and heart-shaped contributes to that readability aswell. It's fine.

Thirdly: This is not a joke or 'just for fun' - ItemsGuy has sent an application and has applied for an internship, he'll be going for this dude, seriously. Obviously it would take immense amounts of time and effort to be basically starting all over again, but it really would make League of Legends the best game it can be aswell as being the best Esport ever, as it would get even more readable for people who haven't played the game at all ('Hey the plant lady is migrating her plants, ofcourse she can do this !')


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Besteality View Post
While on the subject of lore and depth...

It can be argued that lore makes mechanics seem more unique. Furthermore, it makes that uniqueness seem more acceptable should it result in a unique weakness.

For example: I often read on these forums, "Why is X champion the ONLY champion that has to deal with Y???" Or "Why is X the only mage/bruiser/support/etc that doesn't have a Y????"

With the proper uniqueness in lore you can say, "Because that champion only has one leg!!! Duh!".

In other words, uniqueness in lore optimally not only explains a champion's abilities, but should also intuitively explain their weaknesses - and how they obtained their strengths to compensate.
Don't you think this is burden of knowledge - that people should read into lore before they get the abilities of a champion ? You are giving people homework.


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Besteality

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
Don't you think this is burden of knowledge - that people should read into lore before they get the abilities of a champion ? You are giving people homework.
No not really. The burden of knowledge is already there. That's not changing and it's inherent in any kit.

The lore is meant to explain the REASON for the weakness or move....not the weakness or move itself.

My point is that when lore does this...you have LESS homework, because the abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of a champion become more intuitive and easier to accept as unique because it all becomes part of a cohesive story.


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Zzznake Doctur

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Upvoted....but it's NEVER GONNA HAPPEN brother.

Riot Games is concerned with ONE THING: Profits.

For example the "Magnificent Twisted Fate" skin was famously retired instead of being reworked (after a thread with over 500 pages and many thousands of replies)

They don't want complex champions in the game. They want champions that any moron who downloads the free to play game can excel at.

They want champions that the largest possible % of their playerbase will purchase.

There's little time for complexity when you have to release at least 2 champions every month -- the simpler the champs they create, the more champs they can release, and thusly the more money they can make.

It's really that simple: money!


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Professor Maple

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Recruiter

01-22-2013

5 champion qualities I think are important

1. Champs need to be resonant with their play-style so that I feel immersed in their character when I'm playing the game.

2. I need a reason to play this champion even when they are balanced. If everyone likes a champion, but no one loves them, design has failed.

3. Each champion needs to have a strength and a weakness. Preferably this pair is unique and will make sure each champion has their own role, but as the league grows larger I understand this isn't possible.

4. Champions need to look simple on paper but end up being a lot deeper than they actually are.

5. Make sure you space out similar champion themes. I get tired when people start complaining about lack of variety just because you release jayce, darius, and draven all at once :P If you release two cc tanks (sejuani and nautilus) back to back, the worse one is going to get overshadowed.


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zzznake Doctur View Post
Upvoted....but it's NEVER GONNA HAPPEN brother.

Riot Games is concerned with ONE THING: Profits.

For example the "Magnificent Twisted Fate" skin was famously retired instead of being reworked (after a thread with over 500 pages and many thousands of replies)

They don't want complex champions in the game. They want champions that any moron who downloads the free to play game can excel at.

They want champions that the largest possible % of their playerbase will purchase.

There's little time for complexity when you have to release at least 2 champions every month -- the simpler the champs they create, the more champs they can release, and thusly the more money they can make.

It's really that simple: money!
ItemsGuy has sent his application for an internship, he is so entitled and dedicated to his work that he'll just might make his own moba if he doesn't get to convince the people working at Riot.

It's very ambitious my friend, that it is.

"Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where we are now - and it's because they sat there that they were able to do it."


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YamiBelgarath

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Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
Correct.




First of all, we aren't using realistic behaviour of things just for the sake of making stuff realistic, as it's still a game, but if it fits the theme of the champion we'll add fit, we won't be adding realistic stuff needlessly.

For example, Heimderdinger Redesign has a passive where he gets to collect his own scrap so he can build his inventions, this contributes to his theme and playstyle as inventor so it stays. We aren't adding the mechanic where Ashe has to pick up her own arrows when she has fired them, as it doesn't contribute to her theme or playstyle, it would be needlessly adding it and it would be immensely annoying.

For Ahri's charm: Ofcourse not, it's not entirely realistic, but it makes sense in context of it being a game and the fact that it's pinked and heart-shaped contributes to that readability aswell. It's fine.

Thirdly: This is not a joke or 'just for fun' - ItemsGuy has sent an application and has applied for an internship, he'll be going for this dude, seriously.
Well, my bad lol. I didn't mean to take what you were doing lightly. I'm also applying for an internship- though I think ItemsGuy is more going for Game Design since that's champion creation heavy whereas I'm into Creative Design and the narrative, lore etc. I would love to work with him- I think we share a common view on a lot of the design process, I haven't quite finished reading all of his/your designs since there are a lot of them and I have other stuff I have to be doing, but I like a lot of what he is doing more than a lot of the stuff I see coming from Riot, though as other people have pointed out, he seems to be better at creative design than game mechanics.

I guess I also used poor choice of words there- when I say realistic, I mean keeping things within the theme, since I'm assuming that theme is a functional one within the realm of League. Obviously, what you are doing isn't entirely realistic. It would be impossible, since our concept of realistic is hampered by our concept of reality. And I was certainly not calling it a joke- for me, I think game design is inherently fun. I did not realize that ItemsGuy was applying to Riot to actually try and apply this design theory, but I assure you that I consider your work as serious as any other game design project- but it's still all for fun, in the end, because that's the point of games. And I wish him the best of luck.


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Morello

Lead Designer

01-22-2013
6 of 22 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
Ryan aka ItemsGuy is currently working on a response of your first post - I really hope you'll be responding to that as I think the back and forth conversation/discussion would be very much interesting.

On a side-note: could you explain to me how Varus's design is readable, his theme ?
Looking at his splash art you are getting no more than 'dude with an atheletic body effected by some stuff.' Hence in the Varus Redesign ItemsGuy has made him an 'acrobat archer', being atheletic and agile and all.

Also - what's your opinion on stuff like Brand's Q and W - having W not contributing to his theme in terms of his E and R do (R spreading fire, E burns and enhances both with his passive, E spreads when targets are ablaze aswell as R seeking targets that are ablaze)

Brand's W is no more than a AoE nuke with fire particles, aswell as Q is a lined skillshot with fire particles, they don't really contribute to his theme or 'theming playstyle' except from adding the passive aswell, yet E and R contribute to his theme as individual skills, in combination with adding his passive.

Seems like you gave brand 'a stun for the sake of a stun' - wich also goes on conflict with readability. In my opinion this really waters the experience of playing the ultimate fire mage, as Brand is more about bursting rather than literally burning people alive as that's how fire acts as source material. The ultimate 'Fire Mage' with the 'Fire spreads and burns' playstyle is in my opinion barely present, especially since W is like his bread and butter normal ability, you aren't truly a master of fire.

PS: That's it for me, I hope Ryan will be done soon with his response - I'm going to bed, I'm from EUW. Thanks Morello, hope this discussion will last.
I think this is important to understanding some common language and other expected tropes. Varus could be an agile archer, but with the oversized bow, we were going much more for the sniper styling. Additionally, we wanted the "tortured" good guy, our literal reference material being The Crow. I think he actually selivers on that quite well, especially with the "Soul Edge" bow he has. Now, an agile archer is still an available archetype, even if it's not Varus.

Brand, I think we might be using different source material, but I think both directions have validity. For the fire fantasy, I feel the E, R and passive are on the nose (and seems we agree there), but I also think the W is fantastic - a massive area-effect pillar of fire is very "burn burn burn."

Q's passive interaction is taking a page from our shared language in video games, Fire has been stunning (WoW, Annie) more often than not these days, plus it was a mechanical need. A choice of +damage vs +AOE vs +CC also creates an incomparable decision - something you don't need to always numerically compare to get when you should use what, and instead is dictated by opportunity and situational conditions - something we generally hold as desirable. Brand is likely a disagreement point because I feel he does do a fantastic job of delivering on a fire mage without being myopic in what he can do.

And I think this type of disagreement is normal when creating - we certainly have plenty of these in the normal course of the workday! I feel the more valid critiques are things like Sion (wtf?), Nocturne (he's not an assassin!) and Shen - clear mismatches in one or more major factors. And, I also agree a few of our champions this year (Zyra, Syndra, Darius) have a cool source material area that's executed unsatisfactorily - another reason it's something I want to make sure we focus on.

It also may be that our respective ideas for the "vision" of League characters is just different. There's no one way to create appropriately, and we may just have some different ideas on what League should be, or what's important to characters. This is not to say we don't have a lot of room to improve, but some of these disagreements are difference in design preference - something I find generally healthy


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Besteality View Post
No not really. The burden of knowledge is already there. That's not changing and it's inherent in any kit.

The lore is meant to explain the REASON for the weakness or move....not the weakness or move itself.

My point is that when lore does this...you have LESS homework, because the abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of a champion become more intuitive and easier to accept as unique because it all becomes part of a cohesive story.
Check-out the Redesign my friend, all of these abilities would be very much 'guess-able' or predictable when just looking at the splash art of the champion. Why ? Because it makes sense to their theming, it makes sense to their appearance.

Graves's smokescreen ? Not by a long shot. I'd have to check out his lore and read the single sentence where it states 'Graves has a special gun modified for him' justifying the fact that he has this illogical flaw/ability in his kit.

Burden of Knowledge is there currently ? Yes. Fact. This can be easily removed and replaced with abilities that fit theme therefore enriching the player's expierence of playing the character ? Yes. Fact.

Now let's compare the homework, you look at the splash art and in-game everything makes sense, being more readable and more memorable, nothing you need to read into, compared to: looking at the splash art, thinking you have a good idea of what this champion is going to do, you're misleaded and forced to read lore.

EDIT: Considering the 3 downvotes here I guess I have stepped on some toes here. There's nothing more to explain, if you don't understand or realize that the single sentence in graves's lore - the part where they mention he specifically has a shotgun made for him - is a sentence to justify the flaw in his kit, than I'm afraid there is nothing I can explain to convince you otherwise guys. You either get it, or you don't.

Note: I'm not saying lore is irrelevant and is useless, in fact I agree, a good story does enhance the feeling of playing that character, though it's bad you need to read the lore to get this feeling because it feels weird/unlogical in the first place.

Good example would be Ezreal, everything this guy does makes sense and fits with his story, same for Kassadin, that's awesome. (without stuff making no sense)