Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

First Riot Post
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Madman Reborn

Senior Member

02-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbito View Post
Dota 2 took a great step with BS by giving clear visual and audio effects as to when somebody has been ruptured.
Yeah, but it's still a pain in the butt knowing when you need to just run with it, when to just run a little, when to upright stand still, etc. it's a hard skill not only to counter but also to place. When do you need to put out some damage first, when to use it instant. True, this can be said about more spells but's it's really nasty with rupture.


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Saviour Star

Junior Member

02-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Generally when you start talking about repeated micro-stuns or 5+ seconds, you are probably in that territory.
I remember this territory. It looked something like:
1) Get caught out of position by a Troll Warlord stacking Bashers (way back when they used to stack).
2) Die.
Or...
1) Play against a Rhasta building sheepstick.
2) Be worrisome and sad.


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Doonhijoe V

Senior Member

02-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Any duration is anti-fun. But the abilities also create gameplay. For smaller stuns, the gameplay exceeds the anti-fun and thus is OK. At some point, the gameplay created by these abilities gets outweighed by the anti-fun of a long stun. I think it's a feel thing. Generally when you start talking about repeated micro-stuns or 5+ seconds, you are probably in that territory. Before that, it's more subjective.
Kennen? A champ that can chain CC a whole team by himself.

What are your opinions on this?


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NinetyNineTails

Member

02-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doonhijoe V View Post
Kennen? A champ that can chain CC a whole team by himself.

What are your opinions on this?
Kennen puts himself at great risk to perform this. His stun is also delayed a bit; you have a chance to respond before you are stunned. Finally, his stun is two seconds long and not repeated.

Compare to Faceless Void on all points.


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catapl3x

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Senior Member

02-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Hah, I go to the gym every morning to help manage my cardiovascular risk.
Zil works out


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Wendek

Senior Member

02-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Any duration is anti-fun. But the abilities also create gameplay. For smaller stuns, the gameplay exceeds the anti-fun and thus is OK. At some point, the gameplay created by these abilities gets outweighed by the anti-fun of a long stun. I think it's a feel thing. Generally when you start talking about repeated micro-stuns or 5+ seconds, you are probably in that territory. Before that, it's more subjective.
So I take it Malefice (Enigma's repeated stun) is anti-fun as well ?
I quite liked that skill : on one hand it's kinda frustrating to be stunned repeteadly (feels as if there was stutter in the game sometimes), but on the other hand it allows for more counter-play than a straight, longer stun (for instance you can blink/flash out in-between two stuns and thus have more chances of escaping) and because of it you can allow it to have a total duration that is longer than your average stun.

But does it go too far into "anti-fun" for you ?


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Salamander Joe

Senior Member

02-10-2012

Wow who brought this post back up? @.@


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Shosuko

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Senior Member

02-10-2012

Wow, I love this thread, glad to see it bumped again... Few things -

- one - Unclear Optimization - and - Conflicted Purpose - I feel this pattern matches many of the older champs who have a damage based ability that scales off of ap rather than ad. This made sense when ap was for abilities and ad for auto attacks and there was a clear line between them...

But now where champs are typically designed to be either ap or ad based, and having both their abilities and auto attacks based around this (ap scaling auto attack mods such as ziggs and rumble, or ad scaling moves such as... almost any ad tanky champ released recently) really throws these champs under the bus.

It's one thing on a champ like Shaco where his boxes, shiv, and clone explosion make sense as AP, while his clone's ability to copy his damage and his auto-crit passive really scale him off of AD, giving this champion two ways to build and both are effective, and different...

But it's another when we have a champ like Yi and Tristana, both designed to be ad champs, both given some ad steroids, but both given ap scaling on abilities that make sense as ad scaling abilities by today's standards... Both have ppl who champion their "ap build" as an alternate...

AP yi and trist "can work," but it's a troll build. It's not what they are supposed to do, and it's not what they are good at doing. Yi can use alpha strike to harass and to close a distance, but it's damage is based on ap. Is the ability useful when you build ad? Yes, for it's mechanical purposes of harass and distance closing, but with ap scaling it's damage does not scale through the game and it effectively turns into a non-damaging spell on an ad build.

Trist falls into the same category. Early game her abilities have damage, late game they don't. Using explosive shot is purely for it's anti-healing component. Very hard to tell when you're even doing damage with this ability, or how much you're doing. Late game it pretty much doesn't do any... Unless you build ap and then your auto attacks don't do any...

I feel these are different then shaco where he has the tools and logic to build either way, but on Yi and Trist (there are others as well) where this out-dated logic is used in their kits still it creates a situation where you don't know which way to build... If you build ad your abilities fall off hard and quick, if you build ap you're losing all of your abilities to auto attack... This used to be okay, but with today's champion designs it creates an unclear build path where you have no where to go "optimally."


two - Or We Could **** the Player!!1111oneoneone - I believe this is where Mundo has fallen, as well as a few others. Mundo has the chance to do pretty well for himself, but he has to go through everything at a loss to get there, and when he does get there is still no better than any other champ.

Mundo does enough damage to himself early game that using abilities pushes himself out of lane. Health cost champs that are (were) successful are like Vlad, Tryndamere, and Mordekeiser. What do these have that Mundo lacks? The ability to make up their costs.

Vlad q's to ONLY heal, it costs no health, and now another of his abilities is health free to cast too. It also bursts his heal so if he is low health he can instantly bring up his bar with each cast. His biggest health cost ability is his pool, which in exchange for 20 % of his health immediately takes him out of the field so he cannot be bursted further.

Trynd doesn't even cost health any more, but when he did you still had a q heal you could use from level 1. You used to require some stacks from crits or kills but that wasn't too tough to do in a lane. You'd use some health to shout, or spin, then crit a few times and bring it back up.

Morde has a shield that instantly rewards him for successfully losing some health. The shield is pretty effective giving him a trade off for damage to himself and damage to an opponent as it blocks the extra damage his opponent could stack on top of his costs.

Both Mord and Vlad also pretty much become cost free once they aquire a revolver as they'll heal up their health costs, and with shield and transfusion they end up very well sustained in lane.


Then there is Mundo. He has a health cost to all 4 of his abilities. His passive is based off his max health which early game is pretty low (note they also nerfed this some time ago), leaving him burning health for everything he does with no way to make it up in a hurry.

His health costs for q are only made up for by half when he lands it, meaning even landing these hurts you. If you get caught at low health putting up any sort of a fight, even if you are out playing your opponent, can reward you with enough damage to net a quick death.

The w health cost was recently reduced, but it's still not mathematically sound imo. He gains some tenacity from keeping this active which makes it a 1 point wonder skill for decreasing cc, but the damage you take from having this active almost makes up for the damage you dodge in cc reduction. Worse imo is the damage from it. Late game it does 100 base damage per second (with a 0.2 ap ratio) and does 30 health to mundo per second to put it out. The damage dealt with this ability has to go through mitigation, while the 30 mundo receives is practically true damage...

e gives you a pretty good attack steroid, and I guess this is the way they want to push Mundo (ad tanky dps) except that it doesn't add up... 3 abilities and we still have no sustain or way to stay in front of ppl and fight them, they buffed his attack speed which pretty much focuses jumping in to attack ppl on a champ that is already losing the fight just by using his abilities...

r finally gives mundo some sustain, but it's at a cost. 20% of your current health and it only gives 50% of your max health at rank 1. Worse this is entirely heal over time, so it cannot be used in a satisfying "clutch" manner but instead has to be used early or you'll just be bursted through it. Meanwhile the health cost IS burst so again, even though Mundo "sustains" with this, it actually is anti-sustain.

So here we have a champion who's sustain is not just sub par, but actually contradicts his existence with his ability use... His cleavers can deal good damage, but the fact that landing them still leaves you hurting leads to not just feeling like you're ruining yourself by using your ability, but also mechanically leaves you pretty fked over too.

All this and his damage isn't even that great any more. An ap mage can burst as much as mundo's cleaver with a few ap items and some pen, meanwhile mundo either builds pen at the expense of wasted gold in useless ap (0.2 ratio on burning agony, and nothing else) or loses pretty much all damage through enemy resistance.

Now I really enjoy playing Mundo. He is such an awesome concept for a character that I WANT to play him. But knowning how he works compared to other champs just leaves me moving off to someone else...



So long post lol but here are my suggestions:
For the AD / AP trist and yi situation, these champs just need to be updated. They need to be streamlined into their designed build as their options are not actually options, but just 2 halves to 1 build... Other champs which fall into this category could use this qol update as well.

For Mundo
- Have a cleaver heal for the FULL amount of it lands, or at least heal the full amount if it kills (last hitting minions) so there is a way for Mundo to use this effectively at under 1/2 health, biding his time for his health regen passive to bring him back up.

- Make burning agony's health cost 10 at all ranks so it stops hurting mid game rather than late game.

- Take away the health cost from his ult, and give him 10% of his max health as an initial "burst" heal with the rest healing over time.


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Darkwahn

Member

02-10-2012

I just played Rise of the Immortals tonight, it had a **** ton of these anti fun patterns, and it sucked. :P


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fck w da mixtape

Senior Member

02-11-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
2much2quote.
.

I feel like the reason that people were flaming the burden of knowledge policy was because the point you make isn't blatantly stated, and trolls can easily take what you said out of context.

I never played DotA (yeeee i'm one of those), but while the example you used was definitely a flaw in the design of the ability, I'm not entirely sure it really fits into any of your categories. If anything, I think it was more of a combination of "Ineffective choices" and really just "F da player"

It's ineffective in the sense that, for the player he casts it on, even if he knows he cant move it doesn't want to take damage, his choices are basically A) Don't move and die to his other abilities and auto attack, or B) Move and take massive damage, and likely die anyway. The only way the person really wins in this is that by not moving, they show they know what the ability does, so they just die, as opposed to triggering the dot, still dying, and looking "bad." It's seemingly not counterable by practical means, and more the only way to counter it is to use a gimmick method, which are (at least to me and most people I know) lame.

Abilities that are all or nothing are bad design in general I think. If you make something that only has one counter, but the counter completely negates the ability, it's unsatisfying for both people. The person that countered it knows that anyone who knows how the ability works would have done the same thing, so it's not like they did something really special or noteworthy, and the person that used the ability just wasted whatever resource it cost as well as the CD of the ability for no gain.

I think some good examples of burden of knowledge could be drawn from FFXI. Though the game wasn't really mainstream so they might not hold as much weight, but the examples are valid nonetheless.

It could be argued that pretty much everything in that game could fit into burden of knowledge to some degree, but here are the worst offenders I could remember:

From level 1-10 you can (and are generally expected) to solo for the most part. Killing "Even" mobs is very easy, and "Challenge" mobs are relatively manageable as well.

You get a quest that sends you to Tahrongi Canyon, and you see a little bunny, check it, and it says "Even Challenge," and based on your experience in the previous zone you assume that you will be able to solo it easily. When you attack it, however, you barely get it below 50% before dying, and you're left thinking wtf.

It's just assumed that you will know that even monsters difficulty increases exponentially when you move from the starting zone to the only available zone you have access to beyond it.

As to an actual combat mechanic that is burden of knowledge, skill chains are a great example.

The only description in game is "If you use a weapon skill, and your friend uses one within a short period of time, his will do extra damage!"

They give one example of a skill chain, burning blade + shining strike? I think. Whatever liquefaction is, and that's all it tells you.

It's such a complicated system that even if you do know what you're doing you can get confused.

For those of you that never played the game, here is a very commonly referenced skill chain chart for the game:

http://images.wikia.com/ffxi/images/0/0f/WSCHART1-8.png

tl;dr

1) While burden of knowledge is a common mistake to make for hardcore new game designers, I think there is a (false) belief that the majority of abilities that fit this category are common occurrence in "hardcore" games. I have no proof to back this, however any ability that blatantly filled this anti policy would presumably not be implemented into most credible games.

2) Inconvenience and ambiguity don't make things more hardcore and challenging. If anything it does the opposite. If you have "dumbed down" mechanics as you claim this game does, then the game would revolve around player skill being the deciding factor in fights as opposed to hoping/relying that they don't know a mechanic and being able to win because they don't know what to do. This is even more true in team games such as this. While one person (generally) can't carry four bad people, one bad person can in many cases lose a game for four average to good players depending on who it is they fed.

3) There is for the most part no benefit to over-complicating something just for the sake of over-complicating it, other than to give elitists something to be elitist about.

4) Last point I'll make because this tl;dr is almost as long as the original ;x. I looked up about 40-50 profiles while reading through Zileas 228 posts (f u insomnia) of those that were *****ing about how this game is easy mode and not hardcore etc etc. There were maybe 8 of you that were silver or higher. The rest of you were bronze or unranked. And all but around 4 of the profiles I looked up (it was mostly profiles on pages where zileas posted for reference) had one and usually multiple games played within the last week or two.