@ Morello, can you Justify your Balance philosophy, do you have a clue?

First Riot Post
Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Morello

Lead Designer

04-06-2011
5 of 7 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by samuria View Post
I appreciate the response, but I really can't find in your post any solid justification for arbitrary shifts in metas other than 'it's interesting and fun to shake things up'.

Of course, nerfing things that need nerfing is not the issue, it's over-nerfing for the sake of nerfing that is debilitating this game. No one is going to accuse you of doing a poor job if you loosen the reins a little and let players evolve the game.

It's far more interesting to allow strategies to evolve and dissipate naturally than beat players into submission with arbitrary nerfs to the point where they simply have to say 'ok its useless now, I guess ill try something different.'

The fact that these massive shakeups just aren't effective is another point. They stem QQ because unhappy players read 'X was nerfed, Y was buffed' in the patch notes and stop complaining, but their actual effect on the gameplay is just to frustrate those who play the nerfed champ, or to have no effect at all. eg. iIrelia, notice how the QQ has stopped simply because you said she was nerfed, even though her playability and effectiveness is exactly the same. In fact I'd be willing to bet that if you released fake patch notes containing tanky dps nerfs(or any other nerfs to an aspect of the game that has been coping flak from the community,) all QQ would stop and most players would be satisfied, even though their play experience hadn't actually been altered. It all comes back to the perceived value of champions and strats that are taking precedent over the actual value]( proof see Eve, Irelia, Urgot, Alistair, Teemo.)

There is hope, there are undiscovered gems lying in wait to be discovered, amazing strats not yet utilised, but they will never be brought to fruition under your current balancing strategy, and if they ARE eventually put to use they will probably be nerfed.

Revisiting the point that these shakeups aren't achieving anything, the proof lies in the fact that the same core pool of champions with 2-3 exceptions have been competitive staples for months. You have to look back on your balance decisions and say "what have we achieved?" Ashe is still a must pick, anivia must pick, shen must pick, zil/janna/taric in every game. And yet the minute you see an irelia/renekton it's time to roll out an overhaul to the entire 'bruiser' class. Can you answer the above question with anything other than "We made X strat not viable anymore." ?

You've definitely made certain things less viable, whether you've made the game more champs/strats viable and the game more balanced is another question all together, and I think only you are prepared to answer that. To me it seems you've simply shifted things from one strat to the next with no tangible effect on balance other than the change itself.

Change for the sake of change is a poor design principle and doesn't make the game more fresh or appealing, it just stagnates it and forces shifts from fotm strat to fotm based purely on the nerf cycle: Ad carrys(nerfed)> tanky dps(nerfed)> Ad carrys(nerfed)> Assassins(nerfed)>Tanky dps. It's a never ending cycle that inherently achieves nothing; you'll still see ashe/corki/zil/taric/ww/shen/amumu/janna in every competitive game and you'll in no way have achieved anything other than shifted perceived/actual value of certain champs and strats and promoted a new one to take its place and inevitably be removed.

If you're content with that cycle, and think the playerbase will be too, than best of luck, but surely you want the game to achieve some level of balance and/or competitive merit.

Again, thanks for the response, Riot is the only company I'd bother writing so much for because I know you take the time to read and respond.
I think the disconnect is it reads as "change for the sake of change," which I agree is not a strong design philosophy. I think change has value, but it has to have goals.

The goal from a balance standpoint is to make the widest range of things actually worthwhile. For most levels of play (including some of the recent tournament matches), stacking 5 tanky characters is very effective, and countering it takes 5x the effort using it does. This is even a bit of a problem at high-level play, but is a very big problem in mid and low elo play. I think these types of problems are what we should be fixing. Some changes are things that chip at bad gameplay like lane passivity.

Essentially, if there's not options to dealing with things like stacking all AOE disables, or stacking defense, it needs to be fixed. We can add counters in some cases (we're trying an item-based one right now for bruisers, but success has been limited), but in cases where it's not numbers or some statistic, we have to disincentive this. In many cases, it's former mistakes biting us in the ass - like not having a set of standards in which to balance AOE and then seeing how wildly out of balance they were. So, yeah, I want to make some strats invalid in order to make more team compositions more valid.

The other portion is this; League of Legends isn't the game it needs to be yet, though we have have different ideas as to why. We have too little action in the early game for expert players, where mistakes are fewer. We encourage passive gameplay with farming being too meaningful in comparison to killing. Our game doesn't have the right carry balance in terms of feeling like you can carry the game vs hyper-carrying like DotA. We use less complex mechanics and have a different toolset to work with in which to accomplish our goals.

Some characters (Ashe, Anivia, Zilean, etc) will always be good, yes. That's because they have abilities that are core to the kits that are very strong. Changing the thing that's strong about these will ruin characters who have, generally, interesting play.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

GeneralZhukov

Senior Member

04-06-2011

While NMST is here... I believe the topic of the upcoming Teemo nerfs needs to be addressed? Any hints on what they are and why the heck they are happening?

http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...d.php?t=634310


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Morello

Lead Designer

04-06-2011
6 of 7 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoTferret View Post
New Champs are not Content sorry.. not even going to fully argument this because some people will see a new champ as new content and others won't. only because a new map.. is > then a new champ.
That's like me saying that oranges aren't actually orange, and then believing it because I said so.

Champions are new content, by definition. You can choose to not get excited about that, but they are new content.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

threelite

Senior Member

04-06-2011

I kind of like the way the game shifts, though. I understand your frustrations, but I also like that I can look back on this game and go, "Woah, it's so much different than it was" just because of the shifts in powerful strategies/champions.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Beatus

Member

04-06-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
League of Legends is fun. A lot of people think so.

/thread
I completely agree with you, for a change. However, Riot Games is one of the most unprofessional gaming companies ever. A lot of people think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Part of being a designer is making a game for the audience instead of yourself - I can't make my ultimate game, it would largely be awesome for like 500 people and everyone else would hate it.
Then why the hell do you keep nerfing healers because you don't like them?

Actually, IMO(read again - IMO - , not the universal truth), "balance" in LoL seems to be based in what reds like/dislike more than anything else. Once again, that's just my opinion.

Although I usually disagree with what you and most of the reds say, I'd like to thank you for giving a response that is not a troll post. Seriously, thank you.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
That's like me saying that oranges aren't actually orange, and then believing it because I said so.

Champions are new content, by definition. You can choose to not get excited about that, but they are new content.
Champions are, indeed, new content. However, adding new champions every two weeks to a game that already has balance issues is, to say the least, unwise. Also, although champion design teams have nothing to do with Magma Chamber or replays(as far as I'm concerned you can stop working on this one , since we already have replays), it doesn't look good when you release new champions all the time but keep all those features that were promised Ĉons ago on the Soon™ list.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Dracorya

Senior Member

04-06-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatus View Post
I completely agree with you, for a change. However, Riot Games is one of the most unprofessional gaming companies ever. A lot of people think so.



Then why the hell do you keep nerfing healers because you don't like them?

Actually, IMO(read again - IMO - , not the universal truth), "balance" in LoL seems to be based in what reds like/dislike more than anything else. Once again, that's just my opinion.

Although I usually disagree with what you and most of the reds say, I'd like to thank you for giving a response that is not a troll post. Seriously, thank you.
So...a company that takes time to connect with its player base and joke around a bit is super unprofessional and nobody wants that?

Hmmmmmmm


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

CarryMeEz

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

Member

04-06-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracorya View Post
So...a company that takes time to connect with its player base and joke around a bit is super unprofessional and nobody wants that?

Hmmmmmmm
Yeah, Riot needs to step it up and learn from EA.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Morello

Lead Designer

04-06-2011
7 of 7 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatus View Post
I completely agree with you, for a change. However, Riot Games is one of the most unprofessional gaming companies ever. A lot of people think so.



Then why the hell do you keep nerfing healers because you don't like them?

Actually, IMO(read again - IMO - , not the universal truth), "balance" in LoL seems to be based in what reds like/dislike more than anything else. Once again, that's just my opinion.

Although I usually disagree with what you and most of the reds say, I'd like to thank you for giving a response that is not a troll post. Seriously, thank you.
I dunno - someone else could comment on professionalism goals - but if professionalism is what we see with ivory-tower style developer/player relations in other companies, then good. I don't want us to be like that. I want to come on the forums and be real with people. I really can't fathom how that's a bad thing.

I have a challenge for you; can you name any team game with a dedicated healer that isn't required or worthless? Can you name a game that has powerful sustained healing that isn't either over-reliant on burst damage or doesn't have other resources to attack?

I hate dedicated healing as a designer more than a player. It leads you into really bad gameplay.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Hotarukin

Senior Member

04-06-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by B3ER View Post
Fun != balance.
/ thread to you, sir.
Let's play a game. I'll take a penny, then you'll take a penny. We'll keep going until there are no more pennies, then we'll put them all back in the middle, and continue taking turns taking pennies. The one who loses is the one who's bored enough to quit.

Balance != Game everyone wants to play.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

AychAychAych

Senior Member

04-06-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
We have too little action in the early game for expert players, where mistakes are fewer. We encourage passive gameplay with farming being too meaningful in comparison to killing.
These two are pretty much connected. Because you built the game around the fact that roaming is ineffective, people tend to be stuck in lanes. Roaming in LoL is quite bad since the paths are all one dimensional and easily warded. Mid can usually only gank the right-side lane from where they stand, because the left side lane is so well defended by the tower. Also there is no TP scrolls to counter-gank or counter-push and all this stuff. It is easy and effective to play just super defensively early game and then at some point break for team roaming/pushing/whatever.

Then again TP scrolls can't exist because Recall exists. And lot of other things.