Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

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Raptamei

Senior Member

10-18-2010

Actually only the burden of knowledge and anti-fun rules are retаrd friendly. Not implementing contradictory abilities, fake choices that exist only to screw the player and abilities that aren't fun to use is just good game design. I don't think the game would be less "retаrd friendly" if killing baron had a 10% chance to produce a poison nova that kills everyone fighting him.









Why not just make Flash require a 2 second channel but double its range?


This would make it unusable as an escape, but still equally effective as an initiate (from the fow or over a wall).


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Rajik

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Senior Member

10-18-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptamei View Post


Why not just make Flash require a 2 second channel but double its range?


This would make it unusable as an escape, but still equally effective as an initiate (from the fow or over a wall).
Two seconds is pretty severe, but I like the concept. Even half a second would be sufficient and increase its range slightly. This would make it easy to interrupt and yet still effective as an initiator.


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Covenant

Senior Member

10-18-2010

This list makes me sad because it reminds me of all the stuff about Kassadin I wish they'd rework:

Power Without Gameplay
Kassadin's Passive is like an aura--it's a passive, invisible power and it doesn't do anything noticeable most of the time. Most people say it's worthless even though mechanically it should be considered at least somewhat powerful. But as Attackspeed passives go it's weak, and the minor bit of damage mitigation is also invisible. Since you can't control when it does something or predict when it'll be valuable you can't really get use out of it. This makes it an un-fun passive to play and is hard to build with in mind.

Unclear Optimization
So many examples. Do I use my Nullsphere to disrupt a channel, or silence as I approach? Is it a nuke, or a party asset disable? It has shortish range so I can't reliably use it as an initiation. Do I fire off my Force Pulse early, or wait as a slow? Do I target one squishy with my burst, or try to hit the whole squad? Larger issues too--he's a melee attacker, but needs AP. Do I attack with my blade? Do I use my W to boost my attacks, or is it useless and a trick? Nothing about him is clear. Kayle has a clear hybridization path that makes her effective. Kassadin just feels confusing and nothing is clear.

Use Pattern Mis-matches Surrounding Gameplay
"I won't go into too much detail on this, but the simple example is giving a melee DPS ability to a ranged DPS character -- the use pattern on that is to force move to melee, then use."
Kassadin defines this anti-pattern. He's a squishy glass caster with two burst nukes, a mobility move, and an armor reducer move that only works on his melee-range autoattack? None of his other moves boost his attacks. None of his other moves benefit from autoattack itemization. His passive is hard pin down the current effects of and impossible to plan for. This means he's a caster with one medium range slow-moving nuke, a point-blank burst, and a melee attack, and an ult that can land you in melee range if you want to damage with it, and none of his abilities benefit from hybrid AD+AP, it's just one or the other. Ugh.

Conflicted Purpose
Do I fire my Force Pulse now early to damage, and hope I get enough spell charges to shoot again? It's an AoE Slow but also your biggest nuke, but the slow has no real function if you're just using it to autoattack the guy. Plus it requires spellcharges to prep so in a chase scenario it's not valuable, since your enemy is running, not spellcasting. Nullsphere silences, but is also a nuke, and it's slow. I can't use it to silence someone before I dash in because the nullsphere and range mean they'll have cast before silence, so is it a nuke with a silence afterthought or a questionable silence that nuke as an afterthought? Biggest of all, Riftwalk--do I use it to attack? Do I stack it and keep jumping on the guy to do damage, because it IS costing me more and ramping the damage, so it seems to imply I want to. But if I do that I'll run out of mana, do basically no real damage, and probably die since I can't afford to stay in melee.

Anti-Combo
"- With old warrior talent trees in WoW, revenge would give you a stun -- but stunned enemies cannot hit you and cause rage gain... So this talent actually reduced your tanking capability a lot in some sense! Anti-combo!"
Kassadin is a melee attacker with a massive armor-reducing power and the second highest base attack in the game, to let him hit with autoattacks really hard. Furthermore, he takes reduced ability damage and turns that into attack speed, making him land autoattacks more quickly. However, his Q silences enemies, making them unable to cast spells on him, thus making him take less ability damage! Anti-Combo!

Furthermore, Kassadin's E is his best nuke and his only reliable source of damage and it is a critically important slow to allow him to keep on a target. But it only can be used after people have fired off enough spells to charge it, meaning that a silenced or last-hitting target is generating less charges for him to use, making him a worse nuker AND chaser. Combined with his Q this is an Anti-Combo!

False Choice -- Ineffective Choice
The damage output from his Riftwalk is incredibly unrewarding and small. Stacking the mana required to make it actually do damage requires you to either abuse a silly bit of game mechanics by stacking them in fountain and then Teleporting in or settling with blowing nearly a thousand mana on an attack with the same range and damage as a DPS carry's autoattacks.

Furthermore, his W is a deceptive choice as well, because itemizing to make use of the +50 armor penetration or the magic regen on his requires you to do things that are bad for the rest of your build, and provide very tiny returns compared to the same amount of effort on a character properly designed for it.

Non-Reliability
Kassadin's Passive is not reliable, since you have no good way of telling what it's doing, when it's doing it, or being able to capitalize on it when it happens. It's like if Kayle's Ult had a 5% chance of going off whenever an ally was hit, rather than an active button-push. Many people's passives are quite invisible. Olaf has an "attack speed from damage" passive as well, but his is very visible (just check your HP bar) and has an understandable mechanic you can plan for.

Lichbane does not solve all these problems either. Let's add an anti-pattern:

Itemization Taxation
This is where something about a character is poorly designed and requires an item to require it. In tabletop gaming this is visible as a "Feat Tax," where a feat or trait or special optional asset must be spent on a band-aid to keep the character functioning at an expected power level, and on games like this is comes up when something like overly large amounts of Crowd Control forces every melee player to take an item like Mercury Treads just to survive. Instead of being an optional choice the choice is already made for you. Instead of releasing items to fix balance problems, balance problems should be addressed correctly.

Kassadin suffers from this in the Lichbane catagory. Without Lichbane he's not going to have the AP/Physical synergy he needs to get the most use out of his strange anti-combo conflicted purpose attacks because there's almost no items that grant AD and AP in a usable pile that still allows him to itemize for HP properly. Many of the other choices (Nastor's Tooth, Guinsoo's Rageblade) are attack-speed boosters more than AD, but Kass already has his passive as an AS booster, so now you're ineffectally stacking AS. Furthermore, armor reducers do the same thing. Getting some Hybrid and Anti-Armor stuff might see you end up with Nastor's Tooth and Stark's Fervor, which is way too much attackspeed for a guy who isn't getting any benefit from AD.

Halp.

Like any player I have my own suggestions, but I wanted to point out some of the anti-patterns in his design. I'd like to have a reasoned discussion about fixing him up. After seeing how well Riot did on reworking Lux I'd love to see similar treatment for the Voidwalker.


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Cuchulainn

Senior Member

10-18-2010

So it's all about common sense and balance, as expected.
Still, it's nice to see how the cogs spin under the hood. +1.


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Mylon

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Senior Member

10-18-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrald Grimnod View Post
Good point, man! Whenever I encouraged my friends to play I always had trouble with teaching them to lasthit.
Yeah, I have a tough time explaining why last hitting is so important. Even worse is there are a variety of items/mechanics that encourage just attacking away. Doran's blade, Vampiric Scepter, Nasus's passive lifesteal, WW's lifesteal (if some newbie decides to lane with him), Xin's passive, etc.

What am I supposed to say? "Don't totally destroy the enemy's minions! We want them to be on top of our tower!" I mean, that's exactly what only lasthitting is, but it seems counter intuitive.


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Saffire

Senior Member

10-18-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptamei View Post
Why not just make Flash require a 2 second channel but double its range?[/B]

This would make it unusable as an escape, but still equally effective as an initiate (from the fow or over a wall).
They said they tried that once internally, and it sucked.


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Kevinblaze

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Senior Member

10-18-2010

Good read, I just got into game designing as a hobby within the past few years and I love being able to gobble up some insight from people who do it professionally.


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unreal999

Senior Member

10-18-2010

Some of your points are not really valid but amazing read! Thanks for posting it


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Holy Valkyrie

Senior Member

10-18-2010

Zil whats your stance on Invisibility, seems to be a bit of an unwanted skill with it being either too op or just real **** , i like invis but i dont like the delay, seems that it also goes against the Anti-Patterns but what dosent is it not fun to sneak up and attack some one but then feel like its cheap if it happens to you, i guess you could also say that for any sort of dmg at all or any ability for that matter, wile you like doing it it sucks to have it done to you. < which seems like it can be the reverse argument to nearly any thing in this game and in real life but as we all know life aint fair

but mainly i wanted to know about invis , was it kind of a mistake to include it( seems like a skill with out that can do so much more and not really be called out on being op) idk if this makes sense but oh well.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-18-2010
94 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Valkyrie View Post
Zil whats your stance on Invisibility, seems to be a bit of an unwanted skill with it being either too op or just real **** , i like invis but i dont like the delay, seems that it also goes against the Anti-Patterns but what dosent is it not fun to sneak up and attack some one but then feel like its cheap if it happens to you, i guess you could also say that for any sort of dmg at all or any ability for that matter, wile you like doing it it sucks to have it done to you. < which seems like it can be the reverse argument to nearly any thing in this game and in real life but as we all know life aint fair

but mainly i wanted to know about invis , was it kind of a mistake to include it( seems like a skill with out that can do so much more and not really be called out on being op) idk if this makes sense but oh well.
I don't think I'd miss invis if it was taken out of the game entirely. That's why new invis characters tend to have tactical invisibility, which is more like avoidance than actual invisibility.