New Mechanics: Don't Be Afraid, Riot.

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tvburk

Senior Member

11-21-2010

hire this man, he will replace your whole hero design team.


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Morello

Lead Designer

11-21-2010
1 of 19 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribbones View Post
So I was sitting there, wondering which Champion to possibly buy next. I looked at a few of the recent heroes; Irelia, Lux, Swain, MF, Sona. It seems that all new heroes are mechanically confused in some way or another. Each of these have been exciting in their own way. They are presented as Mobile RDPS, or Tanky Caster, or Tanky Assassin MDPS, or any number of predictable combinations, and to an extent they fill this role. The itty bitty issue here, is that once it's been decided upon which role they're designed for, this fact usually skips the mind of whoever's creating the abilities.
Who here could consider Irelia a Tanky Assassin? Or Swain a Tanky Caster? or Lux the Support/DPS she was presented as? They are very close though. The only thing holding them back is the hesitation of adding strange new mechanics to the game, to prevent 'anti-fun' as it was called.

Over the last few years, I've been quite involved in the teambased PVP games. From WC3 mods, to BLC, HoN, WOW PVP and onto LOL, which is by far my favorite. The only thing these other games have over LOL, is ability mechanics. And by this, I mean originality, interactivity and synergy. I believe that as ability designers, Riot are hesitant to introduce abilities that are difficult to grasp. I also believe that they underestimate the adaptability of the LOL playerbase. This game is entirely about adaptation and improvisation. Some spells like Swains original Torment were not too complicated too comprehend, and LOL didn't need another conventional DOT ability.

A lot of abilities are recycled and changed slightly from other heroes. Every now and then, a fantastic ability is released, but it isn't always suited to the design that was envisioned for the Champion.
Irelia is tanky? She doesn't have amazing base health. She doesn't have a taunt, or a shield, or a way to protect allies. She does, however, have lifestealing blades as an ultimate. Right there, that is the issue. Lifesteal doesn't make one tanky, it's counterintuitive. What would have changed this? If her ultimate generated a temporary shield instead of lifestealing. Fire it into a group of enemies, the more you strike, the larger your shield becomes, and the tankier you get. This synergizes well with her passive; making her tougher as more enemies are around. It would open up a whole new field of viability with her if this were the case. Fire your ultimate into a creep wave? There's a shield, now go hit the tower 2 or 3 times and run away. Repeat and she's a guerilla pusher. In teamfights, it creates a pseudo-initiation, applying pressure. The enemy team should initiate before Irelia can build up her shield, becoming even more of a problem in the imminent fight.

I digress slightly. What I'm trying to say is, please don't be afraid of new combinations of effects, Riot. When you're brainstorming or whatever you do, please don't be all "Lifesteal? Fantastic!" Think outside the box. "Lifesteal? Alright. A Stun? A Shield? A Silence? A Taunt? A Snare? A Debuff? Which of those would work better?"

How fantastic would a ranged taunt be. If Gragas hurled his cask into a crowd and for the next 2 seconds they all chased madly after him. What if Swains Nevermove grew in size and were activated? If the hotkey were struck in quick succession, it would be a small AOE, but with a longer duration and higher damage. If a gap were left, the AOE would grow larger, but less damage would be dealt, and the snare would be shorter. What if Lux could hurl her baton at her Prismatic area, causing it to increase in size and damage as the baton passed through it? What if Morgana could place her shield on an enemy, increasing the magic damage they took from abilities instead of blocking it?
I'm getting entirely sidetracked.

I just don't want to see heroes being released that either render older heroes entirely obsolete (Sona), are cast aside and rarely used (Swain, Urgot), or dominate many niches of the game, taking the best many other heroes have to offer, and combining them in a tough new package (MF). I guess this is a good way for Riot to make money, and maybe that's what it's all about. I'm sure there would be a greater response to new heroes released if they weren't merely overpowered recycles of older heroes and instead had some intriguing new abilities that would create fantastic new possibilities in team compositions.

Thanks. Also if I've got the design process entirely wrong, please tell me, Riot. I enjoy this game immensely, and I don't want it to run out of steam for whatever reason.

TL;DR - Newer heroes are having less and less intriguing and interesting abilities. I encourage Riot to think outside the box with champion abilities, and not to be afraid of slightly more complicated mechanics. The playerbase can handle it. Some examples were provided.
This is probably one of the more cohesive feedback threads on the originality issue. As such, I'll reply to it!

First off, I'll say we can do better here, on that I agree. Let me go into the discussion more completely though.

There's a couple issues at play with the uniqueness factor:

* Saturation of champions means we have to roll some risky things back when they don't work. Swain's Torment is an example I think is misused a lot - because Maledict -seems- unique, but really isn't because it doesn't create any new gameplay. This is something I think I fundamentally disagree with the community on a bit, because this sort of unique is somewhat masturbatory in that it's trying to be different for its own sake, and frankly, I don't really care about that. What I do care about is different gameplay decisions and different experiences, which we can provide more of going forward.

* Tech limitations. League of Legends was built in a specific way, and working within the existing framework presents a lot of challenges. You know who would be cool? A guy who swaps weapons out for different skillsets! But we can't do that, and a laundry list of other bleh situations that limit some things. I don't think this is a good excuse by any means, but it is what it is right now.

* Lack of design oversight. Essentially, this is one of the things I will be making sure we're doing better going forward, and we have some new champions in the lineup that do a better job of this. Since our release schedule is aggressive, we're far ahead so it's been slow to react to feedback. Obviously, we don' ship, say, LeBlanc, and then get to react to feedback before Irelia comes out. It's muuuuuuch longer than that, so these things will start to materialize soon.

Some examples of champions I feel are unique in a correct way:

* Mordekaiser: Shield system defines the character completely and is satisfying.
* Kennen: Between Energy and Mark of the Storm, his play is very different even though his individual skills are not (this is -key-)
* Udyr: Completely differing spell paradigm.
* Anivia: Skills that different interactions between the player and the game itself (Flash Frost's detonate, Glacial Storms "maintain" system)
* LeBlanc: "Oh?!" you may say, but Mimic is a simple skill that glues a whole kit together. I'm a giant fan of this stuff because it's all player-driven complexity. The skill is super easy to understand, but done correctly, can create a complicated decision tree more often. The reason this isn't 100% on LeBlanc is because there's too few reasons to mimic W and E.


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Lulwy

Senior Member

11-21-2010

My concern with all the originality complaining is that everyone seems to be coming in and *****ing "WTF RIOT WHEN I HIT SOMEONE WITH THIS SKILL THEY TAKE DAMAGE SO UNORIGINAL", then compare it to the skill of choice in that field and describe it as "Kassadin's Q with X".

Not everything needs to be revolutionary and groundbreaking, positively dripping with originality, especially if its going to mess with balance by making the character mandatory/useless because noone else has anything close to a similar kit.


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Catloaf

Senior Member

11-21-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post

* Tech limitations. League of Legends was built in a specific way, and working within the existing framework presents a lot of challenges. You know who would be cool? A guy who swaps weapons out for different skillsets!
Isn't that kind of how nidalee works when she switches into cougar form? Model change and a new skillset? I guess you could do it so the guy only has 2 different weapons, I'm not sure how having more than 2 would work though.


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Garion

Senior Member

11-21-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catloaf View Post
Isn't that kind of how nidalee works when she switches into cougar form? Model change and a new skillset? I guess you could do it so the guy only has 2 different weapons, I'm not sure how having more than 2 would work though.
this might work...

Q W E weapon

R cancel

each Q W E has different Q W E

but then... lvling up would be a problem


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Eliza

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

Senior Member

11-21-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
This is probably one of the more cohesive feedback threads on the originality issue. As such, I'll reply to it!

First off, I'll say we can do better here, on that I agree. Let me go into the discussion more completely though.

There's a couple issues at play with the uniqueness factor:

* Saturation of champions means we have to roll some risky things back when they don't work. Swain's Torment is an example I think is misused a lot - because Maledict -seems- unique, but really isn't because it doesn't create any new gameplay. This is something I think I fundamentally disagree with the community on a bit, because this sort of unique is somewhat masturbatory in that it's trying to be different for its own sake, and frankly, I don't really care about that. What I do care about is different gameplay decisions and different experiences, which we can provide more of going forward.

* Tech limitations. League of Legends was built in a specific way, and working within the existing framework presents a lot of challenges. You know who would be cool? A guy who swaps weapons out for different skillsets!known as Nidalee But we can't do that, and a laundry list of other bleh situations that limit some things. I don't think this is a good excuse by any means, but it is what it is right now.

* Lack of design oversight. Essentially, this is one of the things I will be making sure we're doing better going forward, and we have some new champions in the lineup that do a better job of this. Since our release schedule is aggressive, we're far ahead so it's been slow to react to feedback. Obviously, we don' ship, say, LeBlanc, and then get to react to feedback before Irelia comes out. It's muuuuuuch longer than that, so these things will start to materialize soon.

Some examples of champions I feel are unique in a correct way:

* Mordekaiser: Shield system defines the character completely and is satisfying.
* Kennen: Between Energy and Mark of the Storm, his play is very different even though his individual skills are not (this is -key-)
* Udyr: Completely differing spell paradigm.
* Anivia: Skills that different interactions between the player and the game itself (Flash Frost's detonate, Glacial Storms "maintain" system)
* LeBlanc: "Oh?!" you may say, but Mimic is a simple skill that glues a whole kit together. I'm a giant fan of this stuff because it's all player-driven complexity. The skill is super easy to understand, but done correctly, can create a complicated decision tree more often. The reason this isn't 100% on LeBlanc is because there's too few reasons to mimic W and E.

<3


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Lulwy

Senior Member

11-21-2010

Somehow I don't think he was talking about Nidalee.

Urf.


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Ishmanian

Senior Member

11-21-2010

RIOT, HIRE THIS MAN.

+1'd.


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Dragonk

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

Senior Member

11-21-2010

I think Urgot is an example of a champion that is entirely unique and interesting yet his kit really makes very little sense... All his abilities are somewhat original but he has always felt incredibly rushed. Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser was such a great idea but was horribly executed.... It always make absolutely no sense with the rest of his kit (All ranged abilities..... why would I want to switch with someone in a team fight again? Also the one second surpression doesn't make sense to me) I know he's seen as a failure in many peoples eye but he really was a fantastic design, but it was bad execution and your decision to give him horrible scaling? (His real vice is that his scaling is abysmal at best).

Anyway I rather an Urgot then the champions you have been coming up with lately... I thought we were at least going in an interesting direction with LeBlanc and Swain. They might not be totally unique but hey they play differently then any other champ, this is great! I want new mechanics! You can recycle the same moves and change them slightly this way or that way. But its not bold... its not interesting... hell its boring!

League of Legends is a women with wants and needs, you have to be man enough to satisfy her.


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Pent

Adjudicator

11-21-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Saturation of champions means we have to roll some risky things back when they don't work. Swain's Torment is an example I think is misused a lot - because Maledict -seems- unique, but really isn't because it doesn't create any new gameplay. This is something I think I fundamentally disagree with the community on a bit, because this sort of unique is somewhat masturbatory in that it's trying to be different for its own sake, and frankly, I don't really care about that. What I do care about is different gameplay decisions and different experiences, which we can provide more of going forward.
Nice post but this isn't really correct. Currently Torment is frontloaded in the sense that the opposing champion will realize that he has either lost/won the fight and will act accordingly. Maldeict's damage isn't immediately reconized, so your opponent may not realize where the fight is heading. This adds a powerful psychological impact on the enemy, he may overcommit only to realize that Maledict has now taken a ton of his HP off and it's too late to run, or he may fear Maledict's incoming damage and abandon a fight he may have easily won.

The damage may be the same in calculations, but to say that the gameplay and reactions towards the spell remain the same is untrue.


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