So, about that Karma leak...

First Riot Post
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Healurownbum

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian NA View Post
In a way I am happy about the leak forcing Riot to reveal the VO before revealing her remade kit. If I had to deal with both at once, I would probably have ended up in an institution >.< I really hope Riot has prepared a major, in depth explanation/diary. Selfish or no, I feel they at least owe us that.
Im sorry but that made me laugh. i feel the same way abt them having to release the VU earlier cause if both came quickly after eachother i might of ended up with a lill mental breakdown.

Im rly glad to see i aint the only one. I just hope her kit is still Karma like. Sure i heard its fun but that could mean anything o.o

*edit gosh i rly need to start reading names im quoting you alot! Kinda starting to feel like a stalker....


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Yago Xiten

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
Wait and see. (Hear?)

Yago - I think we have differing opinions of success? If a champion is thematically coherent, fun, and balanced are they not successful? I understand what you're getting at (your post was well-written and constructive), but think that we will continue to disagree. There's a lot of subtlety required to hit your type of success that most players will never grasp. That isn't inherently a bad thing, but it can be sometimes.

I'm off to bed, but will continue to keep up with the thread tomorrow.
Defining sucess depends upon what criteria you are judging on. Using my previous example of Brand, he certainly is thematically coherent, fun, and balanced. But I wouldn't say he's successful as a high quality designed character.

I often feel like many of the characters in LoL aren't designed so much looking for well developed characters, but looking for ones that will sell.

Potato chips aren't really a high quality product, but you can bet they'll sell better than an incredibly expensive chocolate cake--and of course they'd take less effort to make too. It makes sense from a business standpoint, of course.

And it's fine to have some champions who are obviously shallow. That said, there should also be some for those lore junkies like myself. Karma is one of those, and she currently appears to be being genericized.

Riot has the capacity to hit all different kinds of sucess, you guys have proven this several times through different means. But I still often feel as though Riot also has a habit of setting the bar low when it could be so much higher.

Anyways, I appreciate you taking the time to read through my wall of text and even more to respond, heh, you were my first response from a red.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestya View Post
Did...did you just say Karma is one of the "best" designed characters in gaming history? Are you KIDDING me? No, just no. She had a TON of problems which is why she's one of the LEAST popular characters in LoL. Visually and play wise, she has a ton of problems. I have no issue if you liked it, but do NOT kid yourself into that belief of being "one of the best" in gaming history.

Also I'm kind of insulted that you think Brand is poorly designed. He doesn't NEED to combo his abilities to work, but it does add the depth of play many champions lack. It's no different than say, Anivia. You don't have to be able to use wall to make someone run into Q and then E someone, but it certainly makes the character far more powerful once you learn to. Skill cap, kind of a good thing to have designed into a champion. Does every champ need combos though? No, I will say that straight up. But to say it's a "bad design choice" is highly erroneous.

You mention it being a good thing for items to be more toward the character's personal representation; what do the fans even represent for Karma? There's no attachment to them, they're just there. If we had some form of explanation outside of "these are her most precious items she took from her parents' shop", then maybe it'd be okay. It just ends up feeling forced to have them be her weapons. Having them part of her back animation would be good however.

tl;dr Look at the character for what it is, not from bias. Not a best of any game. Combos are fine, not all should have.

Karma has a relatively unused archetype as a matronly character with perfect composure, and a politician who joined the battlefield with no real combat experience for her people. Her design oozes her theme all over the place, and so does her gameplay. She feels cohesive and this is a bit of why she is well designed.

To re-phrase things. Brand isn't exactly an example of a design failure, he just isn't very high quality. He's generic, and his kit is riddled with forced synergy. What I meant by the comboing problem is that how you play him is explicitly laid out for you. He is also forced to utilize his abilities in certain ways/orders to attain certain effects, and this can be very bad if not handled properly. Brand does alright with it, though it's still not exactly stellar.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Keep in mind, that usually the less abstract themes are the most successful. Can abstract things like "vengeance" work as compliments to a main, concrete, easily-graspable and conveyable theme? Sure!

What's the "first impression" of a champion that a player will have, and what they'll base any assumptions about their gameplay off of? Their visual design.

While this may not affect you very much as a more experienced player with all the time in the world to learn about each and every new champion, newer players (and spectators!) need to have a good idea of how each champion should work just by looking at them--usually, that split judgment is all the opportunity they'd have. This is why lore must always, always act as a compliment to a visual design (and all prevalent visual elements therein), rather than the reasoning behind a kit.

Designing from lore instead of kit, more often than not, creates a situation wherein the player must read the lore to understand the champion--in other words, they must do something that isn't gameplay-related to understand the game. Visual elements must not act as a compliment to lore-based elements. "Why does Karma have these fans? She isn't really doing anything fan-like with them aside from that conal nuke/heal!" "Well, just read her lore, if you want to have a good idea of what she's supposed to do." Imagine the confusion generated from that, as opposed to "Who is this chick with the huge gauntlets and what does she do?" "Oh, that's Vi, and she punches stuff really hard." Of course!

When you can tell what a champion is all about at a glance, you give the player that much more time to play the game and get better at it, instead of having to memorize 5-9 bits of text, tie those bits of text to particle effects, and tie those particle effects to 100+ champions. That's about the equivalent of studying for college finals--and that's not the kind of homework you want to thrust onto new players right off the bat. And of course, this isn't necessarily an area where every champion excels, but Riot's getting better!
I'm well aware that more concrete themes are more successful, but sucess doesn't necessarily equate to high quality.

I'm well aware of the importance of visual design. And while the visual design may be what most people look at, others go for the whole package, or the gameplay, or the lore.

When you make assertions, ItemsGuy, I have discovered you use absolutes an awful lot.


For example "Visual elements must". That's a matter that is circumstantial. It is by no means always true.

I find it amusing that you talk about the confusion of Karma's fans, but no mention of Lee Sin. Lee Sin was talked about by Riot themselves as a well designed champion, despite the fact that he is riddled with much more and much worse confusing visual cues. Why does he fire a Sonic Wave? It loosely makes sense, I suppose, especially if you're familiar with Marvel's Daredevil...

There's nothing necessarily wrong with having a large volume of content to learn before playing a game. Certain gaming audiences have no problem with this. Many RPG games would not sell if no one was interested in that large volume of learning.

Also linking your reworks was a pretty low move, and to be blunt, many of them are poorly designed, and your general attitude as "correcting Riot's mistakes" tends to come off as incredibly pretentious and condescending, especially considering that Riot's the one with the sucess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
It's not impossible to keep the fans while also keeping her a ranged mage, but keeping the fans while adhering to Karma's immediate central theme (karma/taijitu) is a bit of an unnecessary stretch and a sub-optimal design decision. They don't convey what Karma's about in her current iteration (duality), so if they're keeping with that, I'd understand why they'd get the axe.

They're not bad, they just don't convey what needs to be conveyed. In a fast-paced competitive game with over 100 playable characters, conveyance ("readability") is paramount.



Unnecessary confusion, misleading design elements, visual dead weight, etc.--especially if they act as a defining feature of the champion! "Oh, what does that chick with the fans do?" "Very little that has to do with fans."

A strong design is one whose parts cohere to a unified whole. There's nothing about Rengar that distracts from "this dude's a grizzly-ass wild hunter." There's nothing about Darius that distracts from "this dude's gonna chop you in half." There's nothing about Olaf that distracts from "this dude is going to charge into the fray and not care particularly much about his own wellbeing because he is too busy making sure no skull is left uncracked."

Elements that add personality is good, but that personality must go hand-in-hand with the leading concept. Nothing can be out-of-line, because that results in a weaker design. This is a basic design principle--it exists in every design field, and game design is no exception. Gears of War would be a weaker game if it occasionally paused and you had to beat a level of Snake to continue. "This has nothing to do with what I wanted to play this game for! This does not involve me blasting through ugly aliens as an oatmeal-skinned roid-raging space marine!"
There's also nothing particularly well designed about Rengar, Darius, or Olaf. Balance and design wise, they're riddled with problems.

Trying to focus too hard on the leading concept to the degree that you are trying can often yield generic flavorless creations that no one particularly wants.

As far as Karma's fans, the problem wasn't in that fans were a distraction, but that the fans were poorly incooperated. This could easily be fixed with a VU, rather than a completely overhaul, and is one of the complaints I've seen numerous times here on this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
While black and white was a bit closer to the taijitu, the monochrome it effected muddied her visual design--this isn't really good for readability, as it sort of "greys" her out. Having a champion "pop" visually is important, due to the highly visual nature of video games!

Also, the Crest isn't that far from the taijitu--two things swirling around in that sort of dual teardrop shape can be readily related back to it, especially in the context of anything even vaguely mystical.
Karma pops out by being white and black in a field of rainbows and unicorns.


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Gooberp

Junior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
Wait and see. (Hear?)

Yago - I think we have differing opinions of success? If a champion is thematically coherent, fun, and balanced are they not successful? I understand what you're getting at (your post was well-written and constructive), but think that we will continue to disagree. There's a lot of subtlety required to hit your type of success that most players will never grasp. That isn't inherently a bad thing, but it can be sometimes.

I'm off to bed, but will continue to keep up with the thread tomorrow.
While I understand that readability is important to your redesign, I personally think that the subtleties you're referring to are mandatory for a champion like Karma. This may be a flaw with her original concept, but her entire reason for being a character revolves around the lore of the League, and her position as a "paragon of Ionia" is only relevant if you know what Ionia is. To this end, the Ionian standard fails to improve readability, because to a new player it's just a big swirly thing through which she focuses her abilities, exactly the same as her old fans were. They may be more inclined to check out the lore to explain what exactly it is, but it doesn't provide anything visually to show what kind of character she is, and in my personal opinion it actually DETRACTS visually from her concept: Some new players may get the idea that her power does in fact originate from her standard, in the same way that Irelia's abilities draw from her mastery over her floating swords. This directly contradicts the idea that Karma's strength is internal, brought out to bear on her allies and enemies.

This is not to say that I don't like the idea of a battlecaster with a standard: it's an interesting concept but it doesn't feel like Karma to me. Old Karma to me evoked an "Enlightened One", in the sense of a Taoist monk who has achieved inner peace and total mastery of the self, and the peculiar undefinability of how she manifested that into abilities was part of the draw and mystique. I fear the standard raises more questions than do the fans. Why does she use an elaborate construct to focus her energy, rather than a staff like any generic mage? (e.g. Janna, Karthus) Is the physical standard itself important? (not really, just what it represents, but this isn't readily apparent at first glance) It appears to have been made for the "rule of cool" that also happens to be a nod to her lore, but if the issue is readability then the standard, while awesome, makes no more sense than the fans.

"Why fans?" people have said. Why not fans? Fans have precedent as an indicator of high class and sophistication, especially among the Eastern cultures from which Ionia and Karma are derived. Fans and other small handheld objects were common in feudal China and Japan as part of a general's or strategist's uniform; they don't actually do anything, (except maybe cool off the wielder) but are symbols of leadership used for issuing commands and are akin to a conductor's baton: objects through which the holder directs their will. For Karma this just happens to be more literal. The fans aren't essential to her design, but carry flavorful connotations independent of Karma's or Ionian lore, something that the standard does not.



Now let me contradict everything I've just said by saying that I like the direction you've taken with Karma. The evolution of her character makes sense, as noted elsewhere. My personal prediction for the direction of her lore is toward taking a much more active role in the leadership and representation of Ionia, as you yourself hinted, and perhaps some catastrophic event causes her to shift her resolve from merely serving Ionia to "taking up the banner", so to speak, and serving more directly as a representative of her people. This is what New Karma reflects to me, in light of her existing lore: Karma using her bond with her people as the new 'focus' for her abilities, represented and incarnated by her Ionian standard. I like this concept of a battlemage as a conduit for the will of her people, but this is a drastic departure from the role filled by Old Karma. She shifts from being a paragon of Ionian ideals who fights because it is right and just to a more literal champion OF Ionia, thoroughly representing the will of the Ionian people but losing the sense of her enlightened individuality.

My only real complaint about the Karma rework is the loss of the role filled by Old Karma. As I've said to my friends before, "I like the new champion coming out, but I hear they're deleting Karma." Old Karma's lore fit with her old kit: a bastion of strength for her team who supports them from the frontline, calmly waddli- er, wading through combat, directing its flow, strategically withholding her full power except for when necessary. Unfortunately it doesn't fit the meta for a myriad of reasons, the greatest being that a primary support sub-class mage isn't half as good in the current game meta as a primary mage with support capacity. (coincidentally, Orianna very much fits the bill of directing combat using her abilities, but she does it from a distance and isn't capable of being a protector figure)

It's been hinted that New Karma will fill a similar role of frontline battlemage, but that's not what the draw of Old Karma was. Karma's meek appearance as a matronly duchess in an evening gown who fights against and alongside fantastical champions served to draw further attention to her stoicism and superhuman calm. Karma stood idle next to the destructive monstrosities that are Cho'gath or Kog'maw, or even her greatest enemies, Warwick and Singed, and she simply fanned herself. The draw of Old Karma was this absurd poise juxtaposed with her apparent powerlessness, that untouchable enlightened essence. Visually, to look at New Karma, she appears more defiant (see the standing poses leaked) and lacking this inner peace. This could be totally understandable, if not lauded, depending on the direction her lore goes, but now there's a hole in the roster of archetypes filled in the League of Legends.



In summation: I, and apparently many other Karma fans disagree that the new design captures the holistic essence of what we liked about the old Karma, and it's frustrating to see drastic changes to her character made in the name of readability, when that is not only essentially impossible to achieve with the concept of Karma as a character, but is also not adequately filled by the new design.
I like the new champion you've designed, but please don't remove the collected, womanly, (but unsexualized) fan-toting beacon of idealism that I also liked.

At least not without giving us another one :c


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Severian NA

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Regarding the kit remake, from what I gather, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As I said, a Karma fan who has access to the rework said "I'll miss her". That can't be good

T.T


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PyramidSwim

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Thanks guys. You seem to have suffered criticism for your hard work, which is fine, but it must be hard to take when you worked so hard and the criticism comes from some of the people you've been working so hard for. Just know you did a good job and it's appreciated, however I understand how some can be upset.


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Faari

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryOrunitia View Post
I'm pretty sure that means "no shield", then?
Nooo? i'm pretty sure that means he cant tell you but is attempting to imply that you will like her no matter what.. But I do really hope they havent changed her E at all.. except buffing it


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KyliaL

Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooberp View Post
While I understand that readability is important to your redesign, I personally think that the subtleties you're referring to are mandatory for a champion like Karma. This may be a flaw with her original concept, but her entire reason for being a character revolves around the lore of the League, and her position as a "paragon of Ionia" is only relevant if you know what Ionia is. To this end, the Ionian standard fails to improve readability, because to a new player it's just a big swirly thing through which she focuses her abilities, exactly the same as her old fans were. They may be more inclined to check out the lore to explain what exactly it is, but it doesn't provide anything visually to show what kind of character she is, and in my personal opinion it actually DETRACTS visually from her concept: Some new players may get the idea that her power does in fact originate from her standard, in the same way that Irelia's abilities draw from her mastery over her floating swords. This directly contradicts the idea that Karma's strength is internal, brought out to bear on her allies and enemies.

This is not to say that I don't like the idea of a battlecaster with a standard: it's an interesting concept but it doesn't feel like Karma to me. Old Karma to me evoked an "Enlightened One", in the sense of a Taoist monk who has achieved inner peace and total mastery of the self, and the peculiar undefinability of how she manifested that into abilities was part of the draw and mystique. I fear the standard raises more questions than do the fans. Why does she use an elaborate construct to focus her energy, rather than a staff like any generic mage? (e.g. Janna, Karthus) Is the physical standard itself important? (not really, just what it represents, but this isn't readily apparent at first glance) It appears to have been made for the "rule of cool" that also happens to be a nod to her lore, but if the issue is readability then the standard, while awesome, makes no more sense than the fans.

"Why fans?" people have said. Why not fans? Fans have precedent as an indicator of high class and sophistication, especially among the Eastern cultures from which Ionia and Karma are derived. Fans and other small handheld objects were common in feudal China and Japan as part of a general's or strategist's uniform; they don't actually do anything, (except maybe cool off the wielder) but are symbols of leadership used for issuing commands and are akin to a conductor's baton: objects through which the holder directs their will. For Karma this just happens to be more literal. The fans aren't essential to her design, but carry flavorful connotations independent of Karma's or Ionian lore, something that the standard does not.



Now let me contradict everything I've just said by saying that I like the direction you've taken with Karma. The evolution of her character makes sense, as noted elsewhere. My personal prediction for the direction of her lore is toward taking a much more active role in the leadership and representation of Ionia, as you yourself hinted, and perhaps some catastrophic event causes her to shift her resolve from merely serving Ionia to "taking up the banner", so to speak, and serving more directly as a representative of her people. This is what New Karma reflects to me, in light of her existing lore: Karma using her bond with her people as the new 'focus' for her abilities, represented and incarnated by her Ionian standard. I like this concept of a battlemage as a conduit for the will of her people, but this is a drastic departure from the role filled by Old Karma. She shifts from being a paragon of Ionian ideals who fights because it is right and just to a more literal champion OF Ionia, thoroughly representing the will of the Ionian people but losing the sense of her enlightened individuality.

My only real complaint about the Karma rework is the loss of the role filled by Old Karma. As I've said to my friends before, "I like the new champion coming out, but I hear they're deleting Karma." Old Karma's lore fit with her old kit: a bastion of strength for her team who supports them from the frontline, calmly waddli- er, wading through combat, directing its flow, strategically withholding her full power except for when necessary. Unfortunately it doesn't fit the meta for a myriad of reasons, the greatest being that a primary support sub-class mage isn't half as good in the current game meta as a primary mage with support capacity. (coincidentally, Orianna very much fits the bill of directing combat using her abilities, but she does it from a distance and isn't capable of being a protector figure)

It's been hinted that New Karma will fill a similar role of frontline battlemage, but that's not what the draw of Old Karma was. Karma's meek appearance as a matronly duchess in an evening gown who fights against and alongside fantastical champions served to draw further attention to her stoicism and superhuman calm. Karma stood idle next to the destructive monstrosities that are Cho'gath or Kog'maw, or even her greatest enemies, Warwick and Singed, and she simply fanned herself. The draw of Old Karma was this absurd poise juxtaposed with her apparent powerlessness, that untouchable enlightened essence. Visually, to look at New Karma, she appears more defiant (see the standing poses leaked) and lacking this inner peace. This could be totally understandable, if not lauded, depending on the direction her lore goes, but now there's a hole in the roster of archetypes filled in the League of Legends.



In summation: I, and apparently many other Karma fans disagree that the new design captures the holistic essence of what we liked about the old Karma, and it's frustrating to see drastic changes to her character made in the name of readability, when that is not only essentially impossible to achieve with the concept of Karma as a character, but is also not adequately filled by the new design.
I like the new champion you've designed, but please don't remove the collected, womanly, (but unsexualized) fan-toting beacon of idealism that I also liked.

At least not without giving us another one :c
I agree with this so much. This is exactly what I would want to say if I could put it into words. As a huge fan who mainly plays this game for fun and karma, this is what I stand behind. Very well put.


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Veelivar

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Recruiter

03-11-2013

My thanks to the fellow Karma players here who have been able to put my concerns and disappointment so much eloquently than I would have been able to. <3


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Cuix

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Man, now I feel bad getting the spot right under Ames, when mere moments later came posts from much more articulate, calm, and insightful people. For what it's worth, y'all are really cool~

Edit: Wow, what a weirdly specific sentiment to have ninja'd. Odd.


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HarryOrunitia

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faari View Post
Nooo? i'm pretty sure that means he cant tell you but is attempting to imply that you will like her no matter what.. But I do really hope they havent changed her E at all.. except buffing it
Why can't he tell us? It's a simple "yes" or "no" answer. I don't understand the need to be so damn secretive and vague at this point, honestly. And how does he know that I will like her? If the kit rework is anything like the visual rework, I seriously doubt it.

We're already getting answers that are basically just a bunch variations of:
"We did this because it's better"
"We had our reasons to do this"
"We are sure we made the right decisions"
"We understand your concerns but you're going to like it"
"Your feedback is nice but it's too late now"

I get it. They refuse to elaborate on pretty much any question that would require actual explanations and thought processes. Fine. But at least simple yes/no questions, could they at least answer those? It's not like there's a chance the rework isn't going to happen at this point. I really don't understand the caution.