So, about that Karma leak...

First Riot Post
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Severian NA

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Strangely, maybe because her fans and many of her abilities have no apparent connection, I never gave the fans the kind of weight that people are describing. They were a part of her character, but when she shielded someone, I took that as an expression of her will, I didn't even consider how her fans played into it. I mean, she clearly used them for channeling, but they didn't dominate her expression of power or character the way that I forgot her inner strength. Just the way she stood cooling herself with said fans in the middle of the battlefield said more about inner strength and peace than I believe possible with the new approach, to be honest. That is what I am missing, and the fans were an important part of that. An important part of what expressed Karma. If Riot somehow manages to express her calm, strength and wry humour with this new approach I will be awed. But the problem isn't primarily that the dress and fans go, but that I cannot fathom how the characterization I feel so strongly about can be retained. It seems to have been completely redone. Not even the vintage skin will let me get to keep it, and it was an exeptional character, T.T Again, just compare the new splash and the current chinese splash. It is the easiest way to express what I feel.

I am perfectly aware of all the reasons to redesign, to streamline, to make her more readable to people who won't bother to look at her without something to draw them in. I was like them, I dismissed her at a glance. I just ended up trying her out of boredom/curiousity. I just need to understand why Riot did this. She is a real gem, and they completely scrapped her. This is both personal, because I feel that they removed something exceptional, and I want reassurance that it wasn't just streamlining her to the general public. If it was, I would like them to own up to that, because I also understand that this is a company with several priorities. They will still be one of the gaming companies that sacrifice the least for commercial purposes/mass appeal. I can deal with it. I simply want to understand, and for them to understand, so we can shake hands and move on. I have no intention nor do I want to give them **** about the new Karma. I would be all over her, more excited than I have been for any character concept since I started playing, if not for the fact that she replaces my favourite character.

If you disagree on any and all counts, go right ahead. If you fail to understand what all the fuss is about, this is fine. If you love new Karma and hate the old Karma, as long as you express it with respect towards my feelings, I will return the courtesy. Lets just discuss this with courtesy and without dragging the other party's intentions into the mud. Question my intentions if you will, that is no problem, just do it nicely.

Just some thougths that came to mind. I don't know if this will be taken the wrong way, I hope not, but when I've considered my own reactions to this whole mess during the past week, this video kept rearing its head :P It is a good thing to be able to laugh at yourself, and it is also disturbingly accurate >.< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_Z3lmidmrY


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Galgus

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Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Blade Yago View Post
I've never seen a problem at all with Karma's fans, and I feel that you're looking at them in the wrong light. They're not a distraction, they're a compliment.

Take a look at Varus, for a moment. When you look at Varus' kit, and his abilities, does Varus feel like an archer archetype? Well, to a certain extent, of course he does, after all he uses a bow and he shoots things...But is that really his main theme, who he is, an archer? Not really. Varus's lore, kit, and play-style--everything about him screams vengeance.

Vengeance is his main theme, and the bow is his compliment to that. It could have been any other weapon but it was a bow that he ended up with.


This is how it is with Karma and her fans. Karma's fans and how she chose to use them is a part of Karma, and what developed her as a character. It compliments her theme and adds to her depth, it doesn't distract at all.

I've seen you guys talk about striving for good "readability" as a design concept (which from what I can tell refers to intuitively being able to identify what a character is capable of) and I can see why Karma goes against that. After all, it's pretty unapparent what she does immediately. I suppose this is one of the reasons you guys feel that she's poorly designed, and that her fans are a distraction.

But this just really isn't the case. Characters shouldn't be so readable that it removes the character from them. If you look at say, Anivia, or Cho'gath, they have abilities (Crystalize and Rupture) which fit within the characters' abilities. They aren't immediately apparent, but they make sense and fit well with them.

A lot of the time it feels like things are made readable to the point of feeling watered down and boring. This even carries over into the gameplay of some characters. A glaring example of this is Brand. All of his abilities are obvious and incredibly dull-generic fire abilities. His name is generic, he's got that typical anarchy "burn down the world" thing going on, there's nothing original there. There's nothing well developed there. And his kit has nothing great in it, either.

As far as gameplay goes, there's another mistake LoL makes a lot, and that's forced synergy. And that's another faux paus Brand commits. What I mean by forced synergy is forcing and pigeonholing a characters' abilities so that they are explicitly dependent upon each other, like Brand's passive combo mechanic.

One of the brillliant things about early DotA heroes and some of the early LoL champions is that their kit isn't forced to be synergetic with itself. When a kit is made like Brand's is, it feels forced, and like the player is being cheated out of a more developed character.

Take a good hard look at Karma. She doesn't fee "forced" like Brand does. Her kit doesn't immediately open itself up and lay down how you play her, like Jarvan's Demacian Standard does. You get to get a feel for the character in game because of this. You have options, and it feels like you're controlling a character, rather than having them specifically catered to you. If you could control someone in real life, chances are they'd have a variety of seemingly unrelated abilities, like playing soccer and playing LoL, that help to make them what they are. Karma's sort of like this. When you play her, you feel like you're actually in touch with the character. Her abilities and fighting with her fans might not seem to mesh at first, but it combines to make her what she is.

On the note of fans, if you had, say the ability to control fire, but you had to channel it through a conduit, would you necessarily choose something that's obviously readable, like a lighter? Probably not. You'd probably pick something of particular importance to you. It might not be immediately readable for everyone else, but it's a part of your character and what would add to your depth.




She's a politician who is fighting for her people every way she can, but that doesn't really make her a "fighter" anymore than Xin Zhao is a ballerina if you put him in a tutu. She goes to battle as she is, doing the best she can. A large part of what makes Karma, Karma, is her unbreakable composure. Her resolve cannot be broken. This is completely apparent throughout her kit and lore. While her fans and dress might seem flimsy and impractical they are a part of her, what makes her, her. I honestly get the feeling like Karma's unbreakable resolve would mean nothing if it weren't for her fans. She as a character could have chosen anything to be the conduit for her inner flame and mantra. But she chose her fans. She chose them because of the significance to her. I feel as though if she tried to force herself to channel her power through a more practical weapon it wouldn't work. It wouldn't be the same or have the same importance to her.


"Her fans aren't permanently removed from her story, but she no longer needs to channel her strength through them. She has sufficient self-control to do that on her own now."


"That girl can not only weather a storm, but calm it."

"Why do you want to join the League, Karma?” The voice was sad, resigned.

“Is this vision not enough?” Karma gestured all around them. The pain was suddenly gone. “This isn’t really over. These things never really end. All we can do is remain vigilant and try to protect those we love.”

“Always one for a speech.” Soraka smirked. “How does it feel, exposing your mind?”

“There is nothing on my mind that I wouldn’t happily share with you. How does it feel, knowing what we suffered, what you chose to ignore?”

The self-control to do that on her own? She never chose to utilize her fans as implements because of a lack of self-control! She chose them because of their significance to her. To Ionia. They are the outward expression of her inner will.





This feels like a used car salesman's line.

"Does this car still run?"

"Yes, it still runs"

And then he fails to mention how many problems it actually has.

New Karma might be fun, but Brand is fun. That doesn't mean Brand is particularly well designed or that this new Karma will be more fun than the old. Considering all the brilliance of the design f the old Karma, I feel as though even if New Karma is slightly more fun, it's trading one of the best created characters in video gaming history for a bit more popularity. You guys could have just as easily remade a new champion rather than essentially delete one.





Fans are already fine for her. You don't have to go all-in and massively commit to a specific archetype to create a good character. In fact, doing that usually backfires horribly. Darius is a pretty obvious archetype, and he's incredibly boring from a lore perspective. Same thing for Brand.

Karma wasn't the "I fight with fans" champion. She isn't designed as some fan wielder archetype. She's Karma, and the fans compliment her character. They are a part of her personality and her flavor. She's an actual character, with depth and importance and the fans are a huge part of it. She feels "right" as is. Karma feels like one of the best developed characters in League. Not a single part of her feels forced. Even the fact that she's an unrecognized weird out-of-meta-gem supports this.
I disagree with you on on the Fans and on Brand's game-play.

Karma's old look emphasized her position as a political leader and made her seem like a lady in the class sense.

The problem with it was that it did nothing to emphasize her core character trait: her incredible willpower.

If her core theme was her status as a lady/ politician, the old look would be more fitting.

If the fans could be re-imagined to represent this better than a barehanded mage style does, then I would welcome them back, but I don't see that happening.


I like Brand's game-play because it sets up a warning for enemies to not let Brand finish his combo, which I feel creates counter-play.

It also alows a risky no-stun combo to maximize AOE damage.


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Adige

Junior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAimes
I'm not the right guy to talk kit with you. You'll have to wait for the full reveal. (But I did mention that people who play Karma now still enjoy new Karma)
I appreciate the thought, but it doesn't comfort me. :'(

I enjoy playing Karma, but I also enjoy playing Lux, Teemo, Ashe, Caitlyn, Shen, and Cassiopeia. That doesn't necessarily mean they have similar playstyles or kits. I am holding out for hope, though, since I would wager anything that Karma's shield was probably the one thing she was most well known for, and when given examples of a champion type she plays like they all had shields (Orianna, Lux, Morganna,). Here's hoping!


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KyliaL

Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
That was well-written and well constructed, I like your opinion, I'd just disagree and I think Riot is with me on this one.

As a matter of fact, these are champions were dealing with. I could see the Karma you are describing as a cool character in a sidestory within League of Legends, but characters that make it to the Field of Justice have always meant to be able to wreck balls, meaning that the fans didn't really have any place over there.

Look, I like the idea and I like your opinion, in fact I have always loved those type of characters that fight in an elegant, peaceful way, intellectuals that rather not fight than fight but somehow still have to do so because they are forced to fight, now that's an incredibly and cool personality for a character, which I think is still an archetype or personality a future champion could be all about, but fans as weapons wouldn't be the right execution for the champion, for readability's sake.
Thank you, I appreciate your response. Diplomats and leaders often had fans attached to what they were wearing in eastern history. (this was also noted by someone earlier in the forums.)


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HarryOrunitia

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
Because it's less of what her new theme is, which is 'spiritualist', please note that with default skins Riot tries to capture the very nature of the champion, all of the additional skins are pretty much a new flavor or color added to the champion as a skin.

Her new default fits her new theme and character better, hence the traditional skin was all about to honor and thank the people for liking current Karma and the skin stands out sort of as a tribute to the well known 'Karma, who?' meme - somehow, with this skin she won't be forgotten.
I'm sorry, but you're giving me the exact same kind of replies we've been getting from Riot employees already. "They didn't go with the traditional skin as the default one because the new one is better". It's better HOW? How does the new purple mantle thing scream "spiritualist!!!" any louder or any better than the yin/yang based design in the traditional skin? Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't see it, but I don't see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
Not sure what to say here - are you suggesting it's better to cancel this entire launch because some people might need to take a bit of time to recoqnize Karma has been reworked?
No? It's again a traditional skin vs new default issue. I wasn't talking about the rework as a whole, and I don't know how you got that. I was simply pointing out that the traditional skin is a lot more recognizable as the old Karma, while also fixing lots of the issues you guys seemed to have (it still gets rid of the fans you deem unreadable as weapons or the long dress you say isn't "spiritual" enough).

Making that the default skin really seems like a viable solution that would make everybody happy and avoid some confusion for the more casual players and the people who don't really follow what goes on "behind the scenes". Ames himself said it was actually considered a few times, but he never explained why it was eventually decided against it, and I would like to know.

EDIT: I don't usually care about downvotes, especially in this thread, but everyone who's downvoting this post supposedly has a valid explanation or an answer to the question I'm asking here. Go ahead, then. Make a post and give me an answer.


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Ask Tyrant Swain

Member

03-11-2013

I'm just posting to help this get to 5000 posts.


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Amadi

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Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
We want to advance the story, the gameplay and the look.
You mean, make her look about ten years younger and put her in more revealing clothes?

This really isn't helping Riot's case about having forced *** appeal on female characters. Not one bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I don't actually understand this. Did you expect the model to remain low-res? Is this a fan/no-fan thing? I want to understand, but this is really confusing that this is a feeling someone has on this.
We didn't want her to look like she was the Mary Sue from a fanfic written by a 14-year old. She didn't need to be the special snowflake she was made to be.

In a setting where seemingly everyone has blades flying around them, a sword the size of a mountain, or more explosives to blow up said mountain, you do not differentiate yourself by having your eyes glow brighter.

You do it by showing confidence. Showing that you need none of those things.

----------

I am not saying I do not look the new skin, or the classic one. They look great, but I like them for much different reasons than why I liked the original. Neither am I claiming that the original Karma was a prime example of a well-designed "strong and mature" woman archetype, but I do feel that this is a downgrade overall.

Part of it is no doubt the fact that this makes the female cast of LoL even more uniform, where female archetype variety is one of the more common areas of complaint to begin with.


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MrTharne

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amadi View Post
You mean, make her look about ten years younger and put her in more revealing clothes?
I don't know what age you give her before and after the rework, but we ain't seeing the same thing.


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by HexedCat View Post
I agree that I never really got the Spiritual vibe with her to begin with. She was like a diplomat with fans who somehow did magic stuff, and only one of her abilities actually had anything to do with the fans.

While they did look nice aesthetically to some degree, their removal, in my opinion, ultimately opened more room design wise. Her spirituality is much more expressed now, and definitely takes on a more Eastern feel (at least as far as I can tell)
Which is exactly my point and that you've just acknowledged that yourself and posted this and shared that with us makes me cry tears of joy.

It's EXACTLY what Karma used to be, some weird chick in a dress that throws around magical fans. It's not readable and it's not a central theme people can relate to or grasp onto, I feel that is the main reason no one really bought into her in the first place except for an underwhelming minority.

Like the example I've given earlier, the fans on her design were pretty much deadweights, they were holding Karma back from being Karma, it's like giving Brand a sword - if you give Brand a sword he can't splash around fire as much as he can as a fire mage as you'd also have to take into account the buddy is actually also wielding a sword.

Similar like old Karma, she wasn't be able to be that spiritualist Riot intended her to be as much as she could be if those fans were present on her design.

HexedCat, kudos to you!


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Yago Xiten

Senior Member

03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Cite examples.



If somebody makes claims and doesn't back them up, I tend to ignore them. Everyone has opinions, and I don't have time to address all of them. You made claims, and you didn't back them up, so I cannot accept them as valid. Sorry, but that's kind of how arguments work. (Take my work for example--I'm not just saying RIOT YOUR CHAMPIONS AREN'T AS UP TO YOUR STANDARDS AS THEY COULD BE, I'm taking their standards, laying them out, and giving examples of how they could be met)

Also, I advertised a Karma rework in a thread regarding a rework of Karma, to illustrate a possible solution to her current problem (ie. not fitting Riot's criteria as well as she could). RiotAmes doesn't seem to think that such a response is inappropriate, as he mentioned that I should like my blogs, or at least mention that they exist.

Keep in mind, that this is also work that interested Rioters enough to justify a week-long sticky and 20+ posts from Morello. Doesn't seem to be without merit.



I have never said that I am a better designer than the dudes at Riot (for example, I don't know how to implement any of my designs yet because I've never worked with anything beyond documentation), but I can take every redesign I've done, line it up with their criteria for successful champion design, and illustrate how it is an improvement in multiple areas compared to that champion's current iteration. My redesigns are, by Riot's definition, more successful than their current iterations. Take it from Morello:





If you want to critique my designs, take it here.

If you only wish to state that my designs are flawed but not make any effort to justify this claim, then don't expect me to make any effort to refute your claims. I've dealt with a handful of people like you in the past--people that think they're right because they're capable of forming opinions, and tout said opinions as facts (or hell, even valid critique) without so much as trying to support themselves.

If you try to punch me in the chest but refuse to follow through, don't expect me to fly backwards for you. ; P

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
as dark blade yago said earlier, ITEMSGUY YOUR DESIGNS ARE BAD!!!
Citation provided.


You blatantly ignored the legitimate discussion of the task at hand in my post to focus upon a single sentence of that post which criticized you and your reworks. And even if I did not support my claim of your reworks being poor, there were other conversation pieces in that post that were actually significant to the topic at hand, mind you, which were ignored because of it.

"are purely examples of what champions could've been if their kits had stayed true to their theming 100%"..."giving Riot the opportunity to start anew and create stronger designs with the experience they've accumulated over the years."

That's a proper quote from your redesigns.

You explicitly say that those redesigns are better than their current iterations. If you are creating better designs, then you would be the better designer. I'm fairly certain that counts as you saying you're a better designer.

The level of arrogance you exude truly astounds me.

I've dealt with a handful of people like you in the past. People who think they're right because they're pretentious and even if they were to be disproved would refuse to acknowledge it. I could cite your blatant disregard for relevant conversation because you disliked my criticism. Even if I did not support that particular (and unrelated) claim, it does not make the other claims throughout false.

I might have considered a more thorough and proper criticism of your works in the past (the only reason I didn't earlier was because, you know, I actually try to remain on the topic at hand), but considering your reactions here I can tell it'd fall on deaf ears, and I hardly feel like wasting my time with the likes of you for as long as that would require.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Galgus View Post
I disagree with you on on the Fans and on Brand's game-play.

Karma's old look emphasized her position as a political leader and made her seem like a lady in the class sense.

The problem with it was that it did nothing to emphasize her core character trait: her incredible willpower.

If her core theme was her status as a lady/ politician, the old look would be more fitting.

If the fans could be re-imagined to represent this better than a barehanded mage style does, then I would welcome them back, but I don't see that happening.


I like Brand's game-play because it sets up a warning for enemies to not let Brand finish his combo, which I feel creates counter-play.

It also alows a risky no-stun combo to maximize AOE damage.

The thing with Brand's gameplay is that it forces interaction between his abilities that could have been simplified without that interaction.




Brand is almost too readable, to the point where it limits your capacity to outplay your opponents because of forced interaction between his spells. It limits player choices. He must utilize his spells in a particular way. Even if he has a few different options, his combo is immediately laid out and dependent upon itself. It sets a high skill floor low skill ceiling, which greatly reduces the depth of the character's play.

Consider his combo to, say LeBlanc's. LeBlanc has much more freedom with how she uses her abilities, and can accomplish the same results through different means.

The problem with her old design was partially, yes, as you said, it did not emphasize her core character trait. But this is not to say that the fans or the dress had to be scrapped for this to exist. Many of the aspects of her core character trait were there, though you had to do things like read her lore and play her to figure it out. She did display some of this, though it was more subtle and less explicitly stated. It was a matter of the execution, not so much the concept. I'm not denying that it could have been better, but she's being completely remade because of problems of execution, and it feels as though rather than fix her issues and reinforce the character, she's being scrapped.