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

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Zerglinator

Senior Member

01-22-2013

I, for one, prefer Fizz as being an agile trickster, thanks. His shark is the surprising trick he has up is sleeve. I like him the way he is, don't give me that "theme" nonsense because he already fits his theme.


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Ding an Sich

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post

Also, with these kind of arguments, I'm always tempted to bring the Tesla Factor into the argument but "I CAN FEEL GAME DESIGN WITH MY HANDS" isn't necessarily the most compelling or sane-sounding argument! And again, I don't just focus on theme, I focus on balance as well.
Let me try and explain this: I think the perception people are getting items is you are designing to fit the dress, but not to actually make the dress wearer happy. You are making a hypothetical person happy by instilling everything you think will make it so based on your experience, but they are no more hypothetically happy as they are hypothetically unhappy as I am making.

Now this is not to say i cast judgement saying "yes you are defiantly doing this" (I inclined to ask if it is a worry of yours since it doesn't seem to be, but you may have everything under control/may be completely right). I just think this is the impression you are giving off given the circumstances and how your buzz word reflect around seemingly aesthetic words (even tough if the OP is read you clearly state and define what those words mean to you given your opinion of them).

I would say it is being asked for a discussion in numbers instead of ideals. You made a similar comment about something being OP/UP in which you can tweak the scale to its weaknesses/strengths and through mindful understanding arrive at a perfect point. Some veteran players might remember Jax however, and see something different. Now that can be argued to be an overly toxic design and thus no matter how you tweaked the strengths/weaknesses it wouldnt matter, but I'd digress even more than I have then.


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Kvar

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Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by Morello View Post
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.
Buy some Vampiric Scepters, they'll give you some impact with their last change


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Cha0sniper

Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post

You seem to be using the "numbers are power!" approach and are forgetting that League of Legends is a game played by humans. God forbid I include psychological aspects into play! And even then, by taking that advantage element of surprise, you're also boosting your offensive capabilities as well! That moment of apprehension of a player going "wait is that Rammus or LeBlanc? (It's LeBlanc)" is the only opportunity your Rammus needs to come completely out of left field while LeBlanc pops an enhanced spell from her Deceive and spells the enemy's fate. If you want strict numerical advantages, LeBlanc wouldn't be the champ for you--but if you thrive off of mind games, there's no better pick!

She also isn't a competitive pick anyway, because she falls off immediately after laning phase because she only has one instance of single-target burst and then she's useless for 30 seconds.
I didn't say competitive pick, i said viable pick (ie on the level of picking heimer atm in my opinion), but nevermind that. If LeBlanc isn't at all threatening on her own, then the psychological presence you're trying to create is destroyed. In order for her illusions to create fear and paranoia in her opponents, she first has to prove to them that she's an actual threat, and I honestly can't see how she could be in your rework. Sorry :/

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Playing redesign LeBlanc like current LeBlanc is a recipe for disaster. Is she a little more teamwork/coordination-reliant? Of course--how else are you going to pull off convincing Deceives? But it doesn't cripple her power by any means. She gives up a bit of damage output for lots of utility, and grants her team a psychological advantage that no other champion can provide.
See above. She doesn't actually gain any utility beyond an AoE blind if she can't make her opponents fear her, and she can only do that if she's a threat.

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Of course--if you played the Deceiver in a way the Deceiver wouldn't be played, you would be "boned!" The trick with LeBlanc is to avoid that sort of head-to-head confrontation. Your enemy can't go "all in" if you have incredible escaping power with your clone, and avoiding that damage is how you gain access to yours! That's how the Deceiver works, man, you're not Rambo. Be underhanded!
Just exactly how much AP are you expecting her to gain from her passive? On that note, a %damage increase on all abilities rather than a flat AP increase would probably work better for an AP carry, since it would incentivize building damage better.

I'm envisioning her playing somewhat like live AP nidalee, as I sort-of mentioned earlier, in that her poke and harass are deadly, and she has the tools to get away if chased, but in a straight-up fight kind of falls over because her sustained damage is ****. But then her ult just doesn't seem to have a place with the rest of her kit, as it seems more fitting on a jungle hero than one that lives in a lane (you don't have the speed to reach another lane before your opponent calls you out as missing). It may fit thematically, but the kit just doesn't seem to hang together well to me.

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
I think you've got a misconception here--champions aren't designed to be fun to play against, they're designed to be fun to play as, and fun to counter-play. The fun to playing against Shaco is foiling his plans with strong map awareness and the occasional truesight (or sticking close to your allies), that's the incentive to beat him. Likewise with Vi (if I were to redesign her, I'd change her ult and innate)--the fun of counter-playing her would be to dodge her blows (again, why I'd change her ult), as if she winds up that Vault Breaker and you whiff out of the way, she doesn't really have much to keep you in place! It's the same feeling as dodging an extremely heavy punch--now that they've put all their weight behind it, that's where you keep on using that momentum to give them a tap and push them over the edge.
You're completely ignoring the fact that Shaco is incredibly unfun to play against for the majority of the playerbase, and this fact has been the root of almost every Shaco nerf since the start of the game. Riot themselves have admitted that Shaco is a tricky problem because he's just as fun to play as he is unfun to play against.

I have no comment on the subject of Vi, other than to say that as a character she wants to punch her enemies as much as she can, and her innate facilitates that by allowing her to live longer so she can keep punching.

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Again, I have never claimed to prize thematics over gameplay! I design with both, hand-in-hand. Themes are useful because they're already there--if they're defined, they give way to defined playstyles and defined counterplay. Themes are helpful and great when tying stuff together, but I'm not just throwing things around to JUST be thematic! If you're looking at something and going "no, this wouldn't work"--chances are that you are just unfamiliar with such a concept within the narrow frame that is LoL's current champ design. Like with the LeBlanc example--her power isn't with "just numbers"--it's through sewing confusion and doubt in the enemy team. Is it thematic? Yes. Is it hard-coded into the game? No--it's something that affect players, which play the game. Same deal with Fiddlesticks--he grants a psychological advantage.
I never said that it was your intention to weight thematics higher than gameplay, but I think you may still be doing it unintentionally through tunnel-visioning too hard on the themes you've selected. I am of the opinion that while it's a bad thing if a kit or gameplay element runs directly contrary to a champion theme, it is NOT a bad thing if it doesn't directly stem from it, if it is necessary to provide good gameplay. A prime example of this would actually be Vi's passive shield that we just mentioned. No, it doesn't flow from her "punch stuff" theme, but it supports her overarching character of being a rough-and-tumble brawler, and beyond that it just helps her durability in fights. This is still important.

On the subject of Fiddlesticks though, his was one of the kits of yours that I REALLY like, and I think does the whole psychological terror bit far better than LeBlanc's does. It still doesn't synergize quite as well as I think it could, but it's a really cool concept. Probably horribly overpowered though, being able to crowstorm effectively anywhere on the map just by having a scarecrow in a nearby bush xD

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Another example--Twisted Fate isn't good in teamfights, so you'd automatically think "ehhh, this guy isn't good like those other mages that are good at teamfights," but then why is he picked so consistently in high-leveled play? He gives his team the psychological leverage of being able to show up just about anywhere, at any time. A well-played TF would keep fights as unfair as possible--opting for ganks and ambushes over teamfights or siege-based play. Number-wise, his abilities aren't very impressive (he doesn't even have a damage-dealing ult, and his innate only gives his team gold!), but it's that huge amount of utility and psychological advantage that he gives his team. Same applies to the redesign LeBlanc!
No, the same doesn't apply to the redesigned LeBlanc. TF has incredible map presence from his ult, and powerful ganks with the 2 second stun from gold card, along with really good poke from his Q. These factors make up for his lacklustre damage compared to most mages, he snowballs his team rather than himself with destiny ganks. LeBlanc has neither hard CC, nor the same level of mobility as TF.

However, the redesigned Fiddlesticks would be comparable to live TF (in fact, I have a feeling with this kit fiddle might require a damage nerf on his ult. Might be too strong with that kind of mobility).


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YamiBelgarath

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Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by Ding an Sich View Post
Let me try and explain this: I think the perception people are getting items is you are designing to fit the dress, but not to actually make the dress wearer happy. You are making a hypothetical person happy by instilling everything you think will make it so based on your experience, but they are no more hypothetically happy as they are hypothetically unhappy as I am making.
Well, I think theoretically that a better designed game is defined by a game that more people enjoy playing (or, if the design is being upgraded, perhaps the game that people now enjoy playing more), since the point of a game is to be enjoyed. So the question would be: would people like these changes?

I think that divides into multiple parts: the first question is, mechanically are these characters at least as good as the characters they are updating from. And the answer to that is: you are trying to compare apples and oranges. It says very specifically on his (or her) blog that:

"None of the changes in these (theoretical) redesigns are intended for LoL as it currently stands, and are purely examples of what champions could've been if their kits had stayed true to their theming 100%, creating playstyles that better reflect the nature of the champions they belong to. If anything, they would be more fit for a sequel game--a LoL 2 of sorts--allowing fans of the old champions to stick with kits they're familiar with, while giving Riot the opportunity to start anew and create stronger designs with the experience they've accumulated over the years."

As such I derive the idea that these changes aren't actually intended to be balanced with the current system, which is the system we are all accustomed to. Players who've been playing these champions, some for several years, would have to get used to these changes- and many probably wouldn't feel comfortable with that change. Therefore, I'm not sure the champions are entirely comparable. I think a better question is: are the themes well represented, and if a system consisting of these modified champions were to be created, would that system then be reasonably balanced. Given that I had never seen these champions before today, and don't have much experience analyzing balance, I am certainly not in a position to make a decision on that front. I would trust Morello or IronStylus, though.

A second part would be: are these actually fun? Disregarding the changes, and looking solely at these champions, would people enjoy playing them? I would guess the answer to that question is yes, looking over them. Generally speaking, being able to execute epic combos and get those crazy kills that require an epic combination of skill and luck, that is considered fun. And I think these kits promote that, because they are designed to work well together. That's arguably the biggest beauty of a thematic kit- your skills work well in tandem. See his Yorick ability kit for a pretty fantastic example of skills working together to create awesomeness. So at least for the player, I am thinking yes these would be fun. Are all of them going to be amazingly fun? Probably not. But in real LoL, that is the case too. With 100+ champions (or in this case, ~75), the odds are that at least one or two champions aren't quite thoroughly thought through (that was really fun to type). Maybe he was tired, maybe he just doesn't play the champ often enough to have a good sense for their feel...but that is definitely a minority of the ones I have seen. Additionally, without the numbers for the abilities, it is impossible to have an accurate prediction.

My last indicator of "fun" is whether or not you are fun to fight against. I have personal opinions about this, since I don't like certain LoL mechanics. But ignoring that- I don't really see any enormous problems and I haven't seen any brought to the table so far.

Overall, I just don't see the evidence that the dress will be uncomfortable or in any way worse for the wear, and no reason why the wearer wouldn't want to wear it. As someone mentioned before, people don't like change in general, and change for the sake of change isn't necessarily a good thing. But I don't see this as change for the sake of change- I think it makes the champions better fit the roles they are supposed to play, which is good. And most importantly, it addresses the enormous, crisis-level problem Riot has where you can divide over 100 champions into maybe 5-6 categories and every.single.champion fits comfortably- and given that means there are 10+ champions in each of those categories, inevitably some of them become copy cats or better replacements which is not really a good thing. Thematic mechanics go a long way towards repairing that problem.


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SuperJavelin

Senior Member

01-22-2013

@ItemsGuy

I read through a lot of your champ remakes. Not all, but enough to where I've found several that I like, some that I don't really care either way, and some I disagree with.

I feel that your Sion remake is just spot on. If anyone should have Anivia's passive, it's Sion. If I had to use one word to sum up what I think Sion needs to be all about I think it would be "inexorable," much like Nautilus (who pulls inexorable off with aplomb), but less of an "I can't get away, I'm being dragged down to the depths, noooooooo" inexorable and more of a "Oh no, it's gonna get me, I can't kill it, IT WONT DIE AAAAHHHH" flavor. Everything in the kit makes this happen. The axes fall over and over, growing in strength, and the more he kills, the bigger he gets - he just slowly becomes this (thematically, not practically) unstoppable force that shrugs off CC, heals off damage, and spits in the face of death. What has Sion to fear from death? He's already dead. Nigh-perfect in my humble opinion, with the slight concern of the impact of loss/gain of resistances in passive form on game balance.

Many of the champions I glossed over a bit because I recognized a nostalgia factor in my knee-jerk "No way. Are you kidding?" reactions and resigned myself to the fact that I probably couldn't view it with an unbiased eye. Over time, certain champs become ingrained in peoples' minds as a cohesive character, no matter how off-the-wall their abilities might seem. Nobody in the league has a poison trail but Singed. That's his thing. For me, poison trail and Singed are peas and carrots, so to speak, and I can't think of him as anything but the spewing bottle dude that you don't chase. Therefore I distanced myself from those.

With Swain (my favorite champ, and as I myself have mused over possible alterations to him, I figured my nostalgia factor would not factor as much here), I can appreciate the thematic direction in which you took him, but I don't feel that alterations are currently needed (unlike Sion's situation).

(Also I do realize that these were intended for an entirely new game a la "LoL2." So yeah, I see nothing wrong with that, if the purpose is to make each champion kit differently from scratch using only their themes as a starting point.)

What you proposed is certainly a cohesive, synergistic "Tactician" theme, but I feel that there are multiple of these. Your kit is but a single strain, and I think Swain's current kit elaborates another. There are some base qualities that I think are necessary to rightly convey a trope - in the instance of "Tactician," cunning and foresight among others. I think your Swain goes more toward the idea of an aloof tactician who wins the war of attrition, never committing, wearing down the enemy health until they can no longer justify continuing to fight. The consummate laner. That is certainly one way of looking at it.

However, the current Swain I believe perfectly fulfills the qualities of "Tactician" as well. What may have turned you off (I don't know, just guessing) was the whole "giant flamboyant bird monster" aspect of current Swain. At face value, it certainly seems like a giant healing hard-to-kill monster who sits comfortably in the middle of teamfights would not be caught dead wearing a tactician title. That's a tank that I just described. There's so much more to Swain than his ultimate, though. I believe Swain truly is at his core an old hobbling guy with an air of unknown consequence. By that I mean that from his pre-6 abilities, a lane opponent who didn't know Swain could get the feeling while dodging Nevermove and taking E's and Q's that there's something terrible he's holding back, not wanting to commit until the opponent has fallen into his trap. Nevermove is a great AoE snare, but why is it holding you in place? For Swain to hobble up and toss a ball and lazer bird you? Course not, he can do that whenever. Decrepify and Torment are both great DoTs that give that same "war of attrition" feeling of being constantly whittled down, but the crippled old dude still doesn't follow up. Swain is a tactician, so yes, he can whittle opponents, yes he can single out people to die (Torment's damage steroid), YES he can zone and position and trap people. But why? Because if you slip up or he outplays you, and the opportunity arises, he drops his cool, collected, logical mask and goes balls deep ravenmode on your ass. Swain is a dyed in the wool Noxian, and personal might and glory are still very important characteristics to even the normally reserved tacticians of Noxus.

I think your kit would be perfect to fit some sort of Ionian or Shadow Isles version of Swain, or ex-Ionian like Varus, where the idea of either "emotionless attrition until you leave this lane" or "never-ending itching annoying torture" seem to mesh better thematically. Also I'm pretty sure I'm not confusing theme with lore here (might be), though I named specific places, but you get the idea. Current Swain is meant to be ominous, which I think the current kit pulls off well. You can't be ominous if there's no terrible secret hiding in the shadows. But once again I reiterate - even if you weren't going for ominous, the kit is still a great "tactician" set, just thematically a bit different in my opinion.

The only one I really felt I disagreed with was Karthus. It seemed that you went for a completely different theme, to the point where I would expect a different model, backstory, etc. In short, an entirely new champion that has little to do with Karthus. I understand your frustration with the current Karthus being an R on a stick, but to me it seems his current theme is something along the lines of "undead lich who chants in horrific eldritch tongues to effect harmful voodooesque change on his enemies, namely their death.

I mean, if you want to make the whole dancy ghoul control thing a champ, that's great, and I'm not complaining about what you "did to" Karthus (which would be silly). My main point here is that if X champion has a backstory/theme that you expect them to fulfill, and they currently don't, then there is already a wealth of thematic material for you to build on kitwise, seeing as their kits do not satisfy it. So why create the new theme if your goal is to remake champs based on the theme you currently have?

Just some thoughts from a random non-game-designer dude who plays the game.

Also I love the discussion by the way. :3


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YamiBelgarath

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Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by SuperJavelin View Post
@ItemsGuy
The only one I really felt I disagreed with was Karthus. It seemed that you went for a completely different theme, to the point where I would expect a different model, backstory, etc. In short, an entirely new champion that has little to do with Karthus. I understand your frustration with the current Karthus being an R on a stick, but to me it seems his current theme is something along the lines of "undead lich who chants in horrific eldritch tongues to effect harmful voodooesque change on his enemies, namely their death.

I mean, if you want to make the whole dancy ghoul control thing a champ, that's great, and I'm not complaining about what you "did to" Karthus (which would be silly). My main point here is that if X champion has a backstory/theme that you expect them to fulfill, and they currently don't, then there is already a wealth of thematic material for you to build on kitwise, seeing as their kits do not satisfy it. So why create the new theme if your goal is to remake champs based on the theme you currently have?

Just some thoughts from a random non-game-designer dude who plays the game.

Also I love the discussion by the way. :3
I agree with this. I think that if skins could have their own mechanics (which is not possible and sounds ridiculous, I realize), you could have a Broadway Karthus skin which would feature these things. I would more imagine abilities using Latin (like Lux's ult back in the good old days, but sounding more grim). But as I said before, Broadway Karthus made me laugh, which is good enough for me lol


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Ding an Sich

Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by YamiBelgarath View Post
Well, I think theoretically that a better designed game is defined by a game that more people enjoy playing (or, if the design is being upgraded, perhaps the game that people now enjoy playing more), since the point of a game is to be enjoyed. So the question would be: would people like these changes?

I think that divides into multiple parts: the first question is, mechanically are these characters at least as good as the characters they are updating from. And the answer to that is: you are trying to compare apples and oranges. It says very specifically on his (or her) blog that:

"None of the changes in these (theoretical) redesigns are intended for LoL as it currently stands, and are purely examples of what champions could've been if their kits had stayed true to their theming 100%, creating playstyles that better reflect the nature of the champions they belong to. If anything, they would be more fit for a sequel game--a LoL 2 of sorts--allowing fans of the old champions to stick with kits they're familiar with, while giving Riot the opportunity to start anew and create stronger designs with the experience they've accumulated over the years."

As such I derive the idea that these changes aren't actually intended to be balanced with the current system, which is the system we are all accustomed to. Players who've been playing these champions, some for several years, would have to get used to these changes- and many probably wouldn't feel comfortable with that change. Therefore, I'm not sure the champions are entirely comparable. I think a better question is: are the themes well represented, and if a system consisting of these modified champions were to be created, would that system then be reasonably balanced. Given that I had never seen these champions before today, and don't have much experience analyzing balance, I am certainly not in a position to make a decision on that front. I would trust Morello or IronStylus, though.

A second part would be: are these actually fun? Disregarding the changes, and looking solely at these champions, would people enjoy playing them? I would guess the answer to that question is yes, looking over them. Generally speaking, being able to execute epic combos and get those crazy kills that require an epic combination of skill and luck, that is considered fun. And I think these kits promote that, because they are designed to work well together. That's arguably the biggest beauty of a thematic kit- your skills work well in tandem. See his Yorick ability kit for a pretty fantastic example of skills working together to create awesomeness. So at least for the player, I am thinking yes these would be fun. Are all of them going to be amazingly fun? Probably not. But in real LoL, that is the case too. With 100+ champions (or in this case, ~75), the odds are that at least one or two champions aren't quite thoroughly thought through (that was really fun to type). Maybe he was tired, maybe he just doesn't play the champ often enough to have a good sense for their feel...but that is definitely a minority of the ones I have seen. Additionally, without the numbers for the abilities, it is impossible to have an accurate prediction.

My last indicator of "fun" is whether or not you are fun to fight against. I have personal opinions about this, since I don't like certain LoL mechanics. But ignoring that- I don't really see any enormous problems and I haven't seen any brought to the table so far.

Overall, I just don't see the evidence that the dress will be uncomfortable or in any way worse for the wear, and no reason why the wearer wouldn't want to wear it. As someone mentioned before, people don't like change in general, and change for the sake of change isn't necessarily a good thing. But I don't see this as change for the sake of change- I think it makes the champions better fit the roles they are supposed to play, which is good. And most importantly, it addresses the enormous, crisis-level problem Riot has where you can divide over 100 champions into maybe 5-6 categories and every.single.champion fits comfortably- and given that means there are 10+ champions in each of those categories, inevitably some of them become copy cats or better replacements which is not really a good thing. Thematic mechanics go a long way towards repairing that problem.

Let me say this: most of what appears to be criticism isn't in a vain hope I think I'm saying a great criticism, I'm merely just trying to find that which might be a problem for the idea to work at all. However if its been noticed I take little stock in hoping to say I understand anyone from morello to Items, and with that being said I just wish to give warnings that may otherwise seem like a show stopper.

While to you and me, and maybe even the Reds themselves these seem like fun/testable things. But we have seen that even with good intentions and alot of rationality (and rule set in place from things like experience or good standards), some things are not as receptive or positive when thrown into being after the fact. That's all my alluding dress example was for. There are things Items and his cohorts said that either make sense, deserve a debate/rebuttle/test, and so on, but what does this mean for the other millions of players out there?

As riot has suggested a great deal (if not the 'majority') of players will never go to these forums, or actively look at posts or information that better helps stress or deliver a point. And what if for them these changes mean the world or amount to the biggest waste of time in their eyes? What if a perfect thematic kit for a single champion makes said champion the most popular champion ever, or the worst to play champion ever?

It may make sense that individualizing and making each individual champion great would hopefully carry over into the game as a whole, but its hard to know whether this would be a net benefit or mistake. Given the large amount of variability in how the player base acts, and the synergy between the chess pieces and the chess board (if you'll excuse the simple metaphor). So much assumption of ideals that either reside in their own realm of thought, or try to exclude reality from setting in.

But that's the glory of discourse and testing!


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IronStylus

Sr. Concept Artist

01-22-2013
10 of 22 Riot Posts

Glad this thread got some traction =D

And look! A sticky!


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ShadowStormLOL

Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Wouldn't even think of putting any of these redesigns in LoL as it is--it's like adding water to oil. It just wouldn't mix! But imagine, a glass full of pristine water--no oil involved!
I guess the real problem I have then is just.... what is this pristine water? In theory, these champs can work, given the right game framework. And I can totally see it! Give me that Riven kit in a Dynasty Warriors-esque game, and I'm sold. But I don't see all of them fitting in the same game type as one another, and I don't see many of them fitting into LoL.

So I'm curious. As a player, as a member of your target audience trying to judge these kits... what is the GAME like?

Without knowing that, there's not much discussion to be had here on any specific kits. We can't accurately judge the kits from a gameplay perspective because we have no context on the game we'd play with them!