These "anti snowball" changes are really stupid.

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FarmedAndFamous

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Please read our thoughts on the jungle and think about what we are saying because we junglers are seriously pissed off:
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...4067160&page=3


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Cowlistar

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Zileas, I think the problem that people are having is that right now, in solo queue setting, there is no incentive to play a champion that falls off later in the game.

Champions such as Nasus, or Singed, or anyone with a relatively weak laning phase was hyper buffed by this patch because snowballing was nerfed. Snowballing was nerfed to the point that turtling has become not just viable, but preferred. All you have to do is hold out until the 30 minute mark, and because gold farm will be increased to a ridiculous level anyway, all you have to do is get to that team fight phase.

How am I supposed to effectively snowball the game as Lee Sin if the enemy can just afk and still maintain gold income? Champions that don't have waveclear basically take a back seat to champions who do, because unless you are taking an inhibitor at 20 minutes, you aren't snowballing hard enough.

I think a lot of this has to do with passive gold farm, and decreased emphasis on kills. What are your approaches to help early game champions? All the early game champion nerfs: decreased first blood gold, stronger jungle, increased passive farm... how are you compensating them?


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

11-24-2013
8 of 9 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowlistar View Post
Zileas, I think the problem that people are having is that right now, in solo queue setting, there is no incentive to play a champion that falls off later in the game.

Champions such as Nasus, or Singed, or anyone with a relatively weak laning phase was hyper buffed by this patch because snowballing was nerfed. Snowballing was nerfed to the point that turtling has become not just viable, but preferred. All you have to do is hold out until the 30 minute mark, and because gold farm will be increased to a ridiculous level anyway, all you have to do is get to that team fight phase.

How am I supposed to effectively snowball the game as Lee Sin if the enemy can just afk and still maintain gold income? Champions that don't have waveclear basically take a back seat to champions who do, because unless you are taking an inhibitor at 20 minutes, you aren't snowballing hard enough.

I think a lot of this has to do with passive gold farm, and decreased emphasis on kills. What are your approaches to help early game champions? All the early game champion nerfs: decreased first blood gold, stronger jungle, increased passive farm... how are you compensating them?

If that's the case, it will show up loud and clear between feedback trends & win rates of champions involved. We will definitely look at this issue.

And we aren't done making changes. Lots to do still to work out the various kinks.


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Cyklown

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Snowballing is a term that's maaaybe getting thrown around too readily. It should be used to entail a pkint where growth begets growth exponentially.

Team snowballing, as it's being used, just means being able to leverage one player's advantage to benefit one's team. Ren does well and pushes his tower, boosting that mid who's been forced to play passive, or roaming.

The game needs leverage. Teamwork isn't just the tactics of a teamfight, it's focusing on earlygame champs to try to crush early or taking an early Cait to keep that Vayne locked down long enough for your ap mid to be.relevant.


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Vsin

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Also, by making the game tend to reward consistent actions over a period of time, we will tend to favor the more skillful player.
...Zileas, I could totally side with this argument if we were talking about a game that gave everybody a completely static power value. Team based FPS, MMO PvP or the like. Problem is, "rewarding consistent actions" is nearly equivalent to "certain income", which in turn unfortunately makes late game options extremely powerful due to the certainty that after X time you will always have at least Y resources.

This issue alone isn't particularly bad, but the other problem is that resource denial is rather scarce...without some form of gold advantage involved. Counter jungling the small camps is ultimately pointless due to their quantity and spawn frequency. Counter jungling the buff camps is more dependent on your enemy's reactions than your team's co-ordination. Zoning the minion wave does almost nothing when the wave is snowballing towards your enemy, and even when it's frozen the enemy laner can just poach the convenient nearby jungle.

If I were a more cynical person, I'd actually flip your logic around: this isn't rewarding skilled players, but rather is punishing players who are not skilled at specific aspects of the game and underpowered picks. Due to less global snowballing the ability to get last hits is more certain, but if I suck at last hitting then I've automatically lost the lane. If my champion pick falls off like a cliff with time, then all my opponent has to do is not die until I hit my brick wall.

Why did I specifically mention specific aspects of the game? Because last hitting isn't everything. As a Support/Jungle main, my specialties lie in gauging engage potential, figuring out which objectives to take at this moment, map control, etc. Before your global nerfing, I could use these skills alone to overcome my last hitting deficiencies, and claw myself a gold lead as a result. Now? My ability to keep parity with my opponent is more heavily dependent on a very specific skill in a much larger pool, and emphasizes that one skill over practically everything else. Knowing when to fight doesn't matter if you're never capable of fighting on reasonably even terms. Sure you can wait for low hanging fruit, but in a case of equal skill level you're either not skilled enough to pick that fruit or your opponent will never give you an opening to try.

This is why the OP brings up game stagnation. Without significant skill differences between teams, the reduced team snowball effect means that it's considerably harder for a winning team to close out a game, which simultaneously means that it's also far easier to defend. The improved ease of defense then puts a heavier emphasis on the later game because it's far more likely that the late game will be reached. The higher certainty that the late game will be reached means that later game picks (read: weak early) are going to be prioritized. Later game picks means stagnation due to a lack of early game power to accomplish objectives. Stagnation means longer games.


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Cowlistar

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
If that's the case, it will show up loud and clear between feedback trends & win rates of champions involved. We will definitely look at this issue.

And we aren't done making changes. Lots to do still to work out the various kinks.
Thanks for the response. As someone who mains Lee/Leona jungle, I have a lot of concerns about maintaining the viability of champions who rely on swift, powerful ganks in order to propel his team into late game FASTER than the other team.

With the jungle changes, my ganks are later, my clears slower, and my overall gameplay riskier. Remember, though the jungle gives more gold, for those of us who aren't exactly burning through it, it's actually a significant nerf.

I know you guys are trying your best, and I'm sure by the end of the preseason we will have everything we need fixed and ready to go. Personally, I think making the first clear of the jungle easier is the most effective way to do this.


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prozak82

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowlistar View Post
Zileas, I think the problem that people are having is that right now, in solo queue setting, there is no incentive to play a champion that falls off later in the game.

Champions such as Nasus, or Singed, or anyone with a relatively weak laning phase was hyper buffed by this patch because snowballing was nerfed. Snowballing was nerfed to the point that turtling has become not just viable, but preferred. All you have to do is hold out until the 30 minute mark, and because gold farm will be increased to a ridiculous level anyway, all you have to do is get to that team fight phase.

How am I supposed to effectively snowball the game as Lee Sin if the enemy can just afk and still maintain gold income? Champions that don't have waveclear basically take a back seat to champions who do, because unless you are taking an inhibitor at 20 minutes, you aren't snowballing hard enough.

I think a lot of this has to do with passive gold farm, and decreased emphasis on kills. What are your approaches to help early game champions? All the early game champion nerfs: decreased first blood gold, stronger jungle, increased passive farm... how are you compensating them?
passive gold was only buffed for supports though right?


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Double Chex

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
This is a pretty theoretical game design argument, but bear with me.

The game result of 'win or lose' comes from some set of things. They have to add up to a 100% control of the outcome. Lots of things go in -- team chemistry, counter-picks at champion select, mastery and rune choices, whether or not a champion is currently strong (or not), individual skill, good calls on team objectives, and so forth.

This is true but it is still theoretical

We believed that in season 3, early game kills snowballed the game but were not really super 'skillful' compared to other factors in the game. We also thought that a few good early plays on towers could sometimes secure the game -- and a few actions in isolation will be more random than consistent play.

This is also true, a small mistake early can cost you the lane, but the game has always been about making less mistakes than your opponent. Those early kills/deaths that helped you snowball a lane did not come from pure luck or randomness. The players actually have to understand their champion limits, and matchups. If you understand your matchups and limits it's really easy to snowball the game with riven but it still takes champion mastery to achieve this. Can I go all in level 2 as riven vs tryn? If my jungler comes can how can I kill this champ and what if his jungler counter ganks? Should I retreat until we're stronger?

So, we decided to reduce the importance of certain early game actions that will tend to snowball teams (Tower kills, dragons, first bloods in the jungle fed to a 'snowballey' lane -- which is honestly a somewhat random, not as much skill-oriented result). From this, we expect that the importance of everything else to go up... because it has to add up to 100%, and we just subtracted something out.


So, by reducing team snowball early game, you must be increasing the importance of individual skill (along with other stuff).

What exactly defines skill in league of legends and what separates the best players from the average? Of course that would be making fewer mistakes and understanding champion limits. A good player will always have a much higher understanding of what a champion can do against another champion.
Reducing team snowball early game did not increase individual skill, rather it just focused the game more on late game team comp and stalling out the early game champions. Before if you won top lane and took the early tower, that individual skill you had to win you the lane, also increased your chances to win the game so it was easier to carry on an individual level. Quite the opposite of what you're saying


Additionally, the gold changes we made should make it more possible for a support or jungle player to be the star player of their team.

As a jungle main, I feel like the star of the team if I can help snowball a lane early and make a direct impact early on in the game. I do not want to be idly farming jungle more, i want to be ganking, playing against other players not the creep ai. It almost feels like I'm playing a secondary support as a jungler now

An analogy I'd make is -- would the game have more or less skill if we flipped a coin at the beginning of the game and gave 500 gp to the winning team? Obviously, that would still be 'balanced' but would be a less skillful game. By cleaning out stuff that over-rewarded relative to the difficulty of doing it, we improve the relative rewards afforded to the things we all agree are important. Also, by making the game tend to reward consistent actions over a period of time, we will tend to favor the more skillful player.

Again I want to know how you define skill. Some people are good in lane, bad at decision making. Others are bad at laning and feed but good at mid/game decision making. Some people gank really well, others farm and push really well. How exactly do you define skill. In the current meta skill is more like knowing which comp scales better and then stalling till late game when the enemy shaco or pantheon is useless in team fights.

- Zileas
I posted my thoughts in bold above


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GnomeDigest

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Senior Member

11-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
And we aren't done making changes. Lots to do still to work out the various kinks.
This is the kinda thing that worries me. The fact that you consider the issues right now mere "kinks" suggests you dont get just how messed up many of the new systems are. For example did Riot stop to consider what happens as the game goes on in regards to 6-item builds vs vision control? Is whether or not players are willing to sacrifice an entire late game item just to have room for wards because the support can no longer carry the load a "tactical" decision you are comfortable forcing on players? If not, doesn't that suggest there are more fundamental design flaws that just flipping around a few numbers won't solve? And if so, how on earth do you expect that to work out well in a solo que environment?

I have a hard time believing Riot is going to make radical changes to the direction they have begun in the pre-season. Sounds like they will just tinker around the edges ironing out "kinks". There are quite a few problems more serious than kinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Making the game reward individual skill was actually the point of these changes.
Sorta like how the support changes were to help in part traditional supports but actually has marginalized them even further.

Its like perpetual opposite day at Riot design HQ.


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BanVaynePlease

Senior Member

11-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
If that's the case, it will show up loud and clear between feedback trends & win rates of champions involved. We will definitely look at this issue.

And we aren't done making changes. Lots to do still to work out the various kinks.
Zileas who can I talk to to report champion bugs? No one reads the game bug forums.