Sivir remakeô

First Riot Post
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IronStylus

Sr. Concept Artist

03-31-2013
28 of 55 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by davin View Post
To add Extra Science Context here (it's a proper noun, I guess), we're always increasing the amount of data and research we support these efforts with. That basically means providing the relaunch team with extra data to inform decisions and extra research to determine the potential reaction to their work. Relaunches are tricky territory, since players (that includes us!) have a bunch of emotions about all sorts of aspects of a character. Removing or changing isn't done blindly.

Of course, just because we do research during the process doesn't mean the feedback loop ends there. Post-reveal discussion and alteration remains an important thing (see: Sakura Karma)!
OH THANK GOD YOU CAME!

You and your delightful science helping to convince people I'm not talking completely out of my ass.


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Krimson62

Senior Member

03-31-2013

personally id love to see her get a "yuffie" style skin from FFVII. Was my favorite character in that game, would certainly buy her for a yuffie skin but i look forward to the cool stuff you guys have planned

signed
-someone who has played sivir twice ever... both in ARAM


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FalkorsRaiders

Senior Member

03-31-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
Here's the thing, and this is probably going to be essay length here, so, ya know, strap in.

The VU and Relaunch initiative will always be contentious, it will always be passionately debated and it will always leave some feeling disenfranchised. That, unfortunately, is the nature of content creation in League of Legends. This goes into base champion development, skin development, features, maps, balance, everything. Managing expectations is key, and we can only do so much to front load the process, mitigating feedback, selectively incorporating the actionable feedback, all wrapped up in shipping something on time, to millions of people.

To be blunt, we cannot practically crowd source the work that Relaunch has to do. We can collect a certain amount of data (Davin has a much better perspective on that than I do), we can take a look at community feedback, and we can trust our guts as developers and players ourselves. This will never be perfect, and yes, sometimes hearts will be broken. This is unavoidable, but there's necessity in upping quality, making cohesive themes, and adding to our universe where there's opportunity.

We realize certain champions are iconic and lovable but honestly, some of those iconic associations relate to sub-par execution. A character has gone awry and ended up to be not what was intended, and itís become so niche due to execution that itís creating problems with the development of the roster and the world as a whole.

Back in the day we didn't have as many resources as we do now. We were not able to take on the Herculean task of IP development. We have the opportunity now where we can make decisions in a non-one-off basis and instead on a much more holistic level, where we're treating each character as a part of a diverse and deep universe. Right now that's pretty easy with new content, but it leaves gaping holes in old content. Older content feels clunky, low fidelity, and not cohesive. That does need to be rectified if we hope to maintain and strengthen a universe that has depth, breadth, and contrast. We now can construct the framework we will abide by and execute going forward and retroactively. This is a big initiative, it can be a painful process, but its for the health of the organism as a whole.

Let's take for example Zac. He's a fantastic example of all the current guidelines in place. He has a cohesive backstory with grounding in a faction, a relationship with that faction, a relationship with his family in that faction, and a corresponding or reactionary personality in relation to that faction. Personality wise, he has a reason to be what he is. Mechanically, this strong foundational storytelling makes him feel exactly like th e product of his story, and the embodiment of his theme, gooey blob guy who's misunderstood and despite is icky outward appearance, due to his upbringing, has a heart of gold. This is concise, this is complete.

All three pillars of art, creative design, and game design are equally strengthened by a cohesive theme and fantasy. Those pillars are not necessarily in place with a lot of old content. That content needs those pillars if its to live up to the fidelity and thematic consistency that were trying to make standard. That process will inexorably rip out the guts of some of that content depending on if we feel there is a much stronger theme or enhancement we can embrace. However, Iím under no illusion that this might be a little troubling to people who feel their favorite characters are under assault. Often though, large scale changes are made only when we feel a character is a little flat. Itís not without really good reason that we do such changes.

That said, no assurances from our side will completely convince everyone, thatís just not possible. Change is difficult, and we understand that. We also however, as developers who are extremely in touch with the product we work on, feel as though weíre trustworthy enough to carry out major overhauls of character which we see opportunity in reforging. We make the game, we do have a little bit of knowledge on its workings. Indeed, weíll be accused of dismantling that which is charming or endearing, but thatís a particular perspective. One personís version of strengthening a character is anotherís version of diluting. We cannot please everyone, but we can indeed make the best effort to shore up the structural foundation of a character that needs love holistically, and possibly dramatically.

That might seem like a lofty directive, or significant taking of licence on our part, but we believe this is healthy. This very much can be viewed in terms of balance. We balance mechanically, now weíre balancing creatively and artistically. As the ďmetaĒ changes, which it is, we are accounting for that with upping the quality of the contentís visuals, and balancing out the lore and story where it needs to be adjusted. I realize thatís sort of a clinical way of approaching it, but this is essentially a formulaic explanation of a situation thatís very emotional and personal. We do have to do it however, for the health of our visual quality consistency and the cohesion of our IP.

Also, we have to look globally at this. Realize, that when any dev comes out here on the NA forums, we are addressing a miniscule fraction of the overall reaction to a particular piece of content. Not to diminish the voices that we hear, because every piece of positively framed feedback is sought and mulled over by us, but it represents a small fraction of the overall audience. We donít want to be guided specifically by the mass sway of the population at large, especially when dealing with niche character types, we do absolutely need to take a global approach, find out what is appealing, and adjust if we feel itís necessary. That adjustment however is not driven by numbers, or by particular cultural representation in our audience, itís driven solely by our internal creative vision and desire to balance out the visual and creative quality. We are not ignoring any passionate argument or feedback, we are carefully weighing all of it. We read all of it, and we selectively utilize what we can when itís actionable.

I realize that this stark analysis of the process can seem disenfranchising, thatís sort of a given in any situation that involves change. You are inherently disenfranchising a segment of the population that is accustomed to the status quo when you make the change, thatís just a fact. We have to mitigate the fallout from that unavoidable damage by creating contingencies such as traditional skins, or other aspect that we can retain in a character to properly give the respect to the existing player base that they deserve. We can try soften the blow to the players who are attached, but in the end, we are dealing with massive changes obviously. I completely understand and honor that feeling of disruption to something they are accustomed to. We are not trying to make unhappy players, we are trying to better the content to allow more people to enjoy that content, and broaden appeal, but not for the sake of broadening appeal.

Dealing with niche audiences is obviously also challenging. When we look at niches, we find that the players who very much enjoy the character are heavily entrenched. They are passionate, they have found charm in places where other players donít, they take thier love of a character to such a deep level that itís very painful for them to witness such changes. Thatís honestly why we go to the lengths we go to. We do a whole lot of analysis, internally, to consider those most passionate players above all.

It guides a lot of our decision making. We want to broaden appeal as Iíve stated, but we want to remain true in any way possible. Thatís extremely difficult. So, thats why we do traditional skins, thatís why we do messaging, thatís why guys like me, Grumpy Monkey and Morello get out here to try to explain process and reasoning. Itís not always going to soothe however, and we know that. Weíve prepared ourselves for the storm of feedback, with its share of negative feedback, and we willingly accept the responsibility. Some of us on Relaunch have specifically been chosen to work on the team for the specific reason that we can communicate on top of the ability to execute our craft. Weíre highly cognizant of community sentiment, we integrate what feedback we can, and weíre able to explain our motivations. Thatís why I say that Iím happy to tank. Iíll gladly shoulder burden and blame, and Iíl explain my reasoning, but Iíll also hold my ground where I feel weíre achieving proper goals.

In terms of player communication back to the team, thatís a very excellent question ask which I donít know the answer to. Iím not sure about what the right conduits back to the team from the public are. We do a heavy audit of the forums obviously, but maybe thatís not enough. We also do data analysis, we consult with Rioters who are close to particular champions, or who may have been there at their creation, and we meet a lot about goals and fulfilling those goals. Maybe we do need to find another way for players to communicate back, but I canít really speak to that. Itís something I can raise, but again, I donít think that there will be a panacea here. There will still be discontent wherever we have change. Our task is to mitigate the discontent and explain our reasoning.

I think a key component we need to rely on is messaging. Documenting and showing our development process. At least that shows that weíre not making these changes on a whim, or without consideration. That will address some of the baseís concerns, but again, will only go so far. My feeling though is that because of the passion surrounding relaunches we need to have a good messaging strategy and good explanations. Thatís part of our job.
Itís going to sound dumb, but people will have to at the end of the day trust us. Weíre not operating in a vacuum, divorced from player feedback, making decisions on numbers or other such assumptions. There needs to be a two way street of respect between players and developers. Just like we are trying to honor even the most niche slice of players, and make really sweeping judgements that are aligned with those slices, we need the trust of players to execute as craftsman. I know itís going to be difficult, I know there will be inherent disenfranchisement, but we do know what weíre doing.

If we do screw up, which we will, we are as I say all the time, iterative. We can in fact try again. We, in the end, are doing this for our players, 100%. These initiatives need to feel valuable, that weíre adding as much love to our old content as we do to our content going forward. If this is deemed unsuccessful, then we have to admit it as such. So far, weíve seen extremely positive reception to relaunches and VUís. We see that players feel that weíre investing in content they know and love when weíre not obligated to do, we see interest in those champions rise, we see people theorycrafting with renewed vigor, and we see engagement. Depending on the severity of the VU/relaunch however, we know that there will be touchy aspects. Just like everything, weíre going to analyze how weíve done in these extreme cases and gague how effective weíve been, and how the players have reacted. Weíre going to act, weíre going to analyse and weíre going to iterate, as weíve done before and will do again.

We feel this will indeed be valuable, but the players will be the judge.
I read this, and it speaks a lot about how you take into account the ideas of the players.

I have two questions from this, after reading it several times: What are the elements that Riot believes represents Trundle? If the rework doesn't flesh out the way it is meant to, will the character be able to be changed back, or closer to the original?


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Pulsefire Ahri

Senior Member

03-31-2013

Quote:
OH THANK GOD YOU CAME!
That's what Leona sai-

Never mind.


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Rauron

Senior Member

03-31-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
Here's the thing, and this is probably going to be essay length here, so, ya know, strap in.
OH GOD OKAY STRAPPING IN
*shwip*
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
The VU and Relaunch initiative will always be contentious, it will always be passionately debated and it will always leave some feeling disenfranchised. That, unfortunately, is the nature of content creation in League of Legends. This goes into base champion development, skin development, features, maps, balance, everything. Managing expectations is key, and we can only do so much to front load the process, mitigating feedback, selectively incorporating the actionable feedback, all wrapped up in shipping something on time, to millions of people.
Right, understood.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
To be blunt, we cannot practically crowd source the work that Relaunch has to do. We can collect a certain amount of data (Davin has a much better perspective on that than I do), we can take a look at community feedback, and we can trust our guts as developers and players ourselves.
Okay, but often that player perspective and feedback seems outright ignored. You, yourself, talked about Karma's poise and elegance and modesty, which she has lost. (Not that she's completely ****-mode, but her dress is more "I'm a monk" than "I'm royalty".) I'm also quite unsure where y'all got the idea that lovable runt Trundle needed the badass buff dude treatment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
This will never be perfect, and yes, sometimes hearts will be broken. This is unavoidable, but there's necessity in upping quality, making cohesive themes, and adding to our universe where there's opportunity.
Okay, but why does this involve theme removal? It feels excessive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
We realize certain champions are iconic and lovable but honestly, some of those iconic associations relate to sub-par execution. A character has gone awry and ended up to be not what was intended, and it’s become so niche due to execution that it’s creating problems with the development of the roster and the world as a whole.
So, is the problem the niche appeal, or the harm to future IP development? Those are not mutually inclusive, and I'd be surprised if one wasn't more important than the other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
Back in the day we didn't have as many resources as we do now. We were not able to take on the Herculean task of IP development.
JoJ was honestly really cool, as were other forms of lore. Not as "woah!" as the new stuff, but definitely developing. If anything, the IP has gotten more scattered lately. There's Skarner's people underground, Elise doing who knows what, Zyra who was a plant but then a mage but now doesn't wear clothes and joined the league and I'unno, etc. Zed was good, but why make Kha'Zix to fill a role for which Cho'Gath already seemed made?
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
We have the opportunity now where we can make decisions in a non-one-off basis and instead on a much more holistic level, where we're treating each character as a part of a diverse and deep universe. Right now that's pretty easy with new content, but it leaves gaping holes in old content.
I completely disagree. Old content has the relationships between Warwick and Soraka and Singed, the potential for Kassadin and his daughter, how J4 and LB and that whole political mess interacted. Graves fit in really nicely, but what is Naut doing? Vi makes sense, but did we really gain anything from Nami?
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
Older content feels clunky, low fidelity, and not cohesive. That does need to be rectified if we hope to maintain and strengthen a universe that has depth, breadth, and contrast. We now can construct the framework we will abide by and execute going forward and retroactively. This is a big initiative, it can be a painful process, but its for the health of the organism as a whole.

Let's take for example Zac. He's a fantastic example of all the current guidelines in place. He has a cohesive backstory with grounding in a faction, a relationship with that faction, a relationship with his family in that faction, and a corresponding or reactionary personality in relation to that faction. Personality wise, he has a reason to be what he is. Mechanically, this strong foundational storytelling makes him feel exactly like th e product of his story, and the embodiment of his theme, gooey blob guy who's misunderstood and despite is icky outward appearance, due to his upbringing, has a heart of gold. This is concise, this is complete.
This worked with Vi, too! Also Draven, and some others. Lux also feels super coherent, and MF is dripping with character, both of whom are older examples. I don't think much has -actually- changed on this front.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
All three pillars of art, creative design, and game design are equally strengthened by a cohesive theme and fantasy. Those pillars are not necessarily in place with a lot of old content. That content needs those pillars if its to live up to the fidelity and thematic consistency that were trying to make standard. That process will inexorably rip out the guts of some of that content depending on if we feel there is a much stronger theme or enhancement we can embrace. However, I’m under no illusion that this might be a little troubling to people who feel their favorite characters are under assault. Often though, large scale changes are made only when we feel a character is a little flat. It’s not without really good reason that we do such changes.
Well, no, but now Karma, who had her name exemplified in her passive and strategic power in her pseudo-ult, has become a fairly generic mage with a broken-spine splash. Maybe more popular, but how did this help?
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
That said, no assurances from our side will completely convince everyone, that’s just not possible. Change is difficult, and we understand that.
Sure, but that's no excuse for relative silence being what we get right after a rework, about which we had nearly no information, is pushed through despite feedback.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
We also however, as developers who are extremely in touch with the product we work on, feel as though we’re trustworthy enough to carry out major overhauls of character which we see opportunity in reforging. We make the game, we do have a little bit of knowledge on its workings.
Then tell us things! We're not always awful; I just hate being left in the dark then smacked across the face by WOAH WHAT. Even when I -don't- like stuff, dialogue is helpful. Fiddlesticks was my favorite from day 1 of this game, back in early season 1, and he's seen a lot of changes. You know what made me keep hanging onto him? Morello coming onto the forums and chatting honestly and clearly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
Indeed, we’ll be accused of dismantling that which is charming or endearing, but that’s a particular perspective. One person’s version of strengthening a character is another’s version of diluting. We cannot please everyone, but we can indeed make the best effort to shore up the structural foundation of a character that needs love holistically, and possibly dramatically.

That might seem like a lofty directive, or significant taking of licence on our part, but we believe this is healthy.
We know you do. You're doing it. But why can't we be kept in the loop at all? We were once, and look at how this game has grown!
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
This very much can be viewed in terms of balance. We balance mechanically, now we’re balancing creatively and artistically. As the “meta” changes, which it is, we are accounting for that with upping the quality of the content’s visuals, and balancing out the lore and story where it needs to be adjusted. I realize that’s sort of a clinical way of approaching it, but this is essentially a formulaic explanation of a situation that’s very emotional and personal. We do have to do it however, for the health of our visual quality consistency and the cohesion of our IP.

Also, we have to look globally at this. Realize, that when any dev comes out here on the NA forums, we are addressing a miniscule fraction of the overall reaction to a particular piece of content. Not to diminish the voices that we hear, because every piece of positively framed feedback is sought and mulled over by us, but it represents a small fraction of the overall audience. We don’t want to be guided specifically by the mass sway of the population at large, especially when dealing with niche character types, we do absolutely need to take a global approach, find out what is appealing, and adjust if we feel it’s necessary.
Then let us know your reasoning. Telling us "don't worry, we know things" doesn't actually bring any sort of reassurance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
That adjustment however is not driven by numbers, or by particular cultural representation in our audience, it’s driven solely by our internal creative vision and desire to balance out the visual and creative quality. We are not ignoring any passionate argument or feedback, we are carefully weighing all of it. We read all of it, and we selectively utilize what we can when it’s actionable.

I realize that this stark analysis of the process can seem disenfranchising, that’s sort of a given in any situation that involves change. You are inherently disenfranchising a segment of the population that is accustomed to the status quo when you make the change, that’s just a fact. We have to mitigate the fallout from that unavoidable damage by creating contingencies such as traditional skins, or other aspect that we can retain in a character to properly give the respect to the existing player base that they deserve.
Or, y'know, by avoiding radio silence. Or worse, the "don't worry, you'll like it" language we've been getting consistently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
We can try soften the blow to the players who are attached, but in the end, we are dealing with massive changes obviously. I completely understand and honor that feeling of disruption to something they are accustomed to. We are not trying to make unhappy players, we are trying to better the content to allow more people to enjoy that content, and broaden appeal, but not for the sake of broadening appeal.

Dealing with niche audiences is obviously also challenging. When we look at niches, we find that the players who very much enjoy the character are heavily entrenched. They are passionate, they have found charm in places where other players don’t, they take thier love of a character to such a deep level that it’s very painful for them to witness such changes. That’s honestly why we go to the lengths we go to. We do a whole lot of analysis, internally, to consider those most passionate players above all.
Then why make guesses instead of talking to us? Why not explain what's going on instead of doing apparent 180s on things like visual theme and character expression?
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
It guides a lot of our decision making. We want to broaden appeal as I’ve stated, but we want to remain true in any way possible. That’s extremely difficult. So, thats why we do traditional skins, that’s why we do messaging, that’s why guys like me, Grumpy Monkey and Morello get out here to try to explain process and reasoning.
But we don't hear reasoning. We hear and read "trust us, it's fine" with no actual meat to the dialogue. I keep coming back to this, because I'm not sure you or any of the others are really understanding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
In terms of player communication back to the team, that’s a very excellent question ask which I don’t know the answer to. I’m not sure about what the right conduits back to the team from the public are. We do a heavy audit of the forums obviously, but maybe that’s not enough. We also do data analysis, we consult with Rioters who are close to particular champions, or who may have been there at their creation, and we meet a lot about goals and fulfilling those goals. Maybe we do need to find another way for players to communicate back, but I can’t really speak to that. It’s something I can raise, but again, I don’t think that there will be a panacea here. There will still be discontent wherever we have change. Our task is to mitigate the discontent and explain our reasoning.

I think a key component we need to rely on is messaging. Documenting and showing our development process. At least that shows that we’re not making these changes on a whim, or without consideration. That will address some of the base’s concerns, but again, will only go so far. My feeling though is that because of the passion surrounding relaunches we need to have a good messaging strategy and good explanations.
Any strategy is better than the current "but it's healthy and fine, really" language we're getting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
That’s part of our job.
It’s going to sound dumb, but people will have to at the end of the day trust us.
This. This exactly. I cannot trust you if all I'm getting is "trust me". That's not substantive. Please, give us substance!

EDIT: One last thing! THANK YOU for consistently trying! I don't know how much you can say, want to say but can't, or simply won't say, but in the end you often chat a lot and that's super nice! There should be more people working for Riot who, like you, have insight and are willing to share some.


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WDTPhantom

Member

03-31-2013

Give her toggle back!!!!!!


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davin

Senior User Researcher

03-31-2013
29 of 55 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rauron View Post
Okay, but often that player perspective and feedback seems outright ignored.
If it seems ignored, that is a failure on our part. I can assure you that feedback doesn't just flow into some black hole--whether it's forum posts, lab research, surveys, focus groups, etc., that's all feedback that we hunger for. Heck, I only have a job because there's tremendous value in understanding that feedback (both implicit and explicit).

However, there is a difference between ignoring feedback and deciding that a piece of feedback is not something to act on. The latter is inherent to any decision-making.


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Anymeese

Senior Member

03-31-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
It's not a cure all, it's just an example of a thematic landmark. Characters don't need to march lockstep with a philosophy of a faction, but their look and personality will be influenced by their place of origin.
So what about Trundle? He's isolated in his origin/lore which lines up with his characteristic and personality. His lore also explains his unique disgusting archetype (or whatever its called) pretty well. I hate to be "that guy" and I love Riot and all the work yall do, but I'm just really really upset y'all are throwing my favorite champion out the window. Not tweaks. An entirely new champion. Entirely different look, entirely unrelated lore, entirely new archetype... Why not release a new champion instead? And I mean this as a legitimate question, with only a minimal amount of QQ behind it.

Rather than change Trundle so very much, why not just make a new "Troll King" champion who would have some loose tie with Trundle so they both line up as trolls, but thats it?

Once again, I understand yall only want the best, and that I havent seen the whole rework yet but please also try to see where we Trundle fanguys are coming from :/
And thank you for taking the time to answer this if you do decide to make my evening.

PS can you please confirm/deny that there will be a new Trundle skin (not "traditional" but a new one) around the time of his remake? Even if that's all you answer.. please make my day Parrot Lord..


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Ququroon

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QA Analyst

03-31-2013
30 of 55 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronStylus View Post
in which IronStylus writes an essay
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love working on the Relaunch team as much as I do. We have a wonderful set of people that are extremely diligent at improving, iterating, and responding to feedback.

Far more than myself, Grumpy Monkey, IronStylus, and Morello read the forums. Each member is excited to see and adapt to the feedback. We each play the champion, meet about what makes that champion iconic (or not!), review fan content (fanart is amazing for isolating what people see in a champion), and of course, run through the Extra Science-y stuff with Davin. I don't feel like we're required to go through all these steps, but as a team, we do feel that it's necessary.

To speak on the people asking about kit changes- we do work pretty heavily with the Live Design bros. We don't pretend that game balance is our forte, because it isn't. We trust them to make the calls in that department, so they'd be the ones deciding if/when/how Sivir needs some balance love.


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jujitsu788

Senior Member

03-31-2013

@IronStylus,

You've given me hope :")