Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

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Amadi

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Senior Member

12-09-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skytorn View Post
One thing about unclear optimization pathways: how do you build Irelia??
Irelia is a double-false-choice. You can build AP, AD or AS, and only one of these is even remotedly relevant.


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Thrombo

Junior Member

12-09-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossa Auster View Post
TL;DR: Everyone who plays this game is r-tard with self esteem issues and they need to be made to feel good.

How about you put some more faith in the players and open up the option of slightly harder mechanics and gameplay? Maybe then you'd be able to balance champions out rather than nerf them to keep everything dumbed down. Have problems with too much ult-CC-aoe spam? Put in a diminishing returns system on how many ult-aoe's can be effective all at once. I promise you players can wrap their mind around such a thing.
Are you insulting yourself or do you read and post on the LoL forums without actually playing?

I think one of the problems with your proposition is that it proposes adding complications to the game with little benefit. This is a slippery slope of any design (not just for games). If you have a problem ("OP" ult-cc-aoe spam), and seek to rectify it by adding additional game elements (f.ex. dim. returns), you end up running into many of the anti-patterns Zil previously has mentioned.

Using the example of DR - as a hero with any kind of meaningful disable this is something else you would need to essentially keep track of for each enemy player to maximize your own efficacy, as well as keeping track of it on yourself. It would be undeniably unsatisfying to use a stun on a hero and have little-to-no effect.

By extension, being barred from using an ability because somebody else on your team is using their ultimate (for example preventing a Galio ult on the basis of a pending Morgana ult) is rather silly and doesn't buy much except for player frustration. By not knowing when and if your teammates will use their mutually exclusive ability, you are further introducing unreliability of sorts (you flash in with Galio and mash Idol - but alas, Morgana just used her shackles).

The goal should always be to have the simplest possible solution that works and is fun - ideally for both the winning and losing teams. Your ideas here represent 'harder' mechanics or gameplay when it comes to learning, but do not actually raise the skill cap of the game or add to the level of fun for anybody playing it. Would not using your ult or stun, for example, lead you to feel intense satisfaction because your teammate was able to land theirs? Doubtful.

In my opinion when these sort of new bandaid mechanics are required it represents a failing of the original design philosophy (or imho what should have been the original design philosophy).

The best example I can think of is dim. returns in WoW. In the early days a 1v1 between a frost mage and a warrior was contrived. Essentially either the warrior had enough burst damage to kill the mage in two or three hits (charge, hamstring intercept), or the mage killed the warrior with extensive kiting (level-1 frostbolt, anybody?) If you're the warrior with 'enough' damage, the fight is more than simple, it's simplistic. You go through the motions and there is no real difficulty. For the mage, there's no real way to win - anti-fun for him, and no emotional satisfaction from a close or difficult fight from the warrior. The same is true in the reverse. At this point WoW needs DRs because of the sheer number of abilities each individual character possesses, but I still don't believe this is, in general "good design".


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Thrombo

Junior Member

12-09-2010

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Originally Posted by Gigiwoo View Post
Have to agree actually. Zilean is the strongest support atm. Sona-nerfed to death. Janna-nerfed to death. Taric-nerfed to death. Zilean is about all that's left.

Gigiwoo.
I have to disagree here. Sona's auras running can make or break a teamfight much in the same way Aegis can. Taric's armor aura can make any AD carry's life hell through the midgame and force them to choose between damage and significant ArPen (bthirster/IE vs LW, for example), and that doesn't even touch his ult.

Janna is one of the only ways to break up an undesirable AOE team fight, and she's **** good at doing just that. A good Janna w/coordination will instantly turn the tide in your team's favor by forcing a momentary 1v5/2v5 after breaking the AOE engagement. She would be an effective hero if her ult didn't heal at all.


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YummyCheese

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Adjudicator

12-09-2010

A few things.

One other "anti-fun" thing I would include is hard counters. It's never fun for a player to be in a situation where they find themselves being "hard" countered - i.e. there's nothing they can do. SOFT counters are OK; spells or abilities that make other abilities less effective are OK. Spells or abilities that make other abilities COMPLETELY inneffective, or are incredibly powerful in certain situations, simply aren't.

Examples of what I'm talking about:

Diffusal Blade and Warlock: It's not cool that Diffusal Blade can one shot Infernals. It's a hard counter and no matter what the situation it's not fun if you're Warlock in that situation (to be fair though, this abilitiy was mostly used for the stun). I would argue this creates alot of "anti-fun".

Veigar and AP-Stackers: It's really uncool to be one-shotted by Veigar, when there isn't really a way to do anything about it. It may be alot of fun for the Veigar, but it's VERY unfun for the person on the receiving end.

On top of all this, it REDUCES the amount of choices players make. Soft counters make good choices: "Hmm, Malphite has alot of armor. Should I buy Black Cleaver, or IE? IE is more cost effective for overall DPS, but Cleaver will let me take down Malphite easier." Bad choices are this: "Their team has a Yi and a Trynd, we have to take exhaust." This isn't so much a choice as it is a neccessity; exhausts hard counter those two heroes. (This DOES create interesting choices on Yi and Trynd's part, as they have to balance getting more DPS and buying Quicksilvers, but that's against the point; it's not fun on either end.)


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-09-2010
190 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragura View Post
I would say laning against a good Mordekaiser is the epitome of anti-fun :P No matter what you throw at him, you won't succeed at harassing him because they all start with some sort of health regen to regen that 10% health he might have lost because he was sloppy. Saying you just wait until his shield is at a lower point is ridiculous, a good Morde doesn't let it drop under 80% of max value in a lane where there's minions everywhere.

In theory, his shield is breakable and he's killable. But, it doesn't work out that way in real matches. I can't count the times THREE people couldn't bring him down and he killed two in the meanwhile. Not even Xin Zhao could do that when he was super OP. You keep nerfing healers, but self healing is even worse in the game at this point. Mordekaiser's 600+ heal on a 3 second CD and Vlad's heal/nuke on a 3 sec CD are the biggest offenders here and also the reason laning against these two makes players consider suicide >_<
Yes, his tuning is off. We will resolve this next patch so that he is not unstoppable early game. But this is a difference between an anti-pattern and a balance problem. An anti-pattern is when the mechanic more or less has those properties no matter what you do with it, and certainly at reasonable values. Mord's shield is a totally legit mechanic to have in the game (strong harassment incentive), but it's just OP at levels 1-8 on the generation side.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-09-2010
191 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CooLTanG View Post
Totally agree on the WoW part about Warriors with rage generation, but they decided to buff the dmg of protection aka tank build to the extreme that the build is best warrior dps build in the game, which is also a kick in the teeth to 2 hander less survivability builds.

Which in retrospect, LoL developers did the same. Best way to do the most dps in this game is TANK build, so saying HEY squishy ur useless, go find another character to play.
That's actually not true, however, the *combat effectiveness* of tanks (dps X survival) is higher than any other class to such a degree that 3 and 4 tank teams are viable right now.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-09-2010
192 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossa Auster View Post
TL;DR: Everyone who plays this game is r-tard with self esteem issues and they need to be made to feel good.

How about you put some more faith in the players and open up the option of slightly harder mechanics and gameplay? Maybe then you'd be able to balance champions out rather than nerf them to keep everything dumbed down. Have problems with too much ult-CC-aoe spam? Put in a diminishing returns system on how many ult-aoe's can be effective all at once. I promise you players can wrap their mind around such a thing.
I'm going to go back on what Morello said recently. If your argument boils down to "this game is for newbs", I'm just not going to respond because having a constructive argument with you is not possible.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-09-2010
193 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArminTamzarian View Post
You're forgetting something, Rossa! If a player has to use their BRAIN, they aren't having fun. It's better to just pat them on the head and coo gentle reassurances rather than present them with an easily avoidable challenge. After all, they might learn something otherwise, and it's better to just press r to win. Get as many flashy, glowing, throbbing, dancing lights on the screen as possible at once, and not only do players win, but they also have a mental orgasm at the same time? What could go wrong. I mean, the people who are LOSING are still having fun at the same time, right? Right? Yes, because that is the kind of sound logic that a master game designer can bring to the table.
Actually, the goal with this stuff is to get people into a point where they are getting strategic engagement instead of basic learning, which we feel is more interesting and fun, and allows them to key into the team aspect of the game more successfully... which makes the game fun.

If you have no idea WTF is going on, it's very difficult to be strategically engaged.


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IICrows ZeroII

Senior Member

12-09-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
I'm going to go back on what Morello said recently. If your argument boils down to "this game is for newbs", I'm just not going to respond because having a constructive argument with you is not possible.
Is there anyway you can create hard champion mechanics without breaking your so called "Anti-Pattern"?
Oh and by the way... Tryndamere violates a lot of those Anti P rules you dictated. Any answer to this?


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-09-2010
194 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrosed View Post
On "nerfing jungle": Wouldn't nerfing solo lanes XP aggravate the problem of passivity? People would need more levels to confortably get out of their lanes to gank or to attack your enemy laner - if anything comes to mind about XP, shouldn't your guys buff XP when you have two characters to avoid the Level 7 Duo - Level 11 Mid?
And since you aren't nerfing the jungle XP, wouldn't that make a jungler extremely out-level other lanes? If you just buff side lanes' experience, that wouldn't be much of a problem (and would probably solve some issues with early game passivity).
I think buffing hero-killing experience would help too.
No, the jungler right now is roughly on par with the duo lane. The solo will still be ahead. We are talking about an 8% nerf to solo xp, removal of global XP from dragon (gold reward increase), and a reduction of turret global XP (gold reward increase).

- Zileas