Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

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Senior Member

10-15-2010

What Zileas means by "Burden of Knowledge" extends beyond just "I don't know what that ability was".

You have to consider that much of what "Burden of Knowledge" entails is also about something that Zileas didn't cover, but in my mind is a corollary Anti-Pattern to "Burden of Knowledge":

Lack of Communication

Communication is a vital part of video games. Without it, video games become frustrating and inaccessible. So what's considered communication? It can vary, and normally does, based what needs to be communicated. Take for instance Master Yi's Highlander ability. You're playing against Master Yi. Suddenly, you see him burst toward you. You hear a particular sound effect associated with his accelerated movement and see different particle effects surrounding him. Intuitively, you understand that he's used an ability. You may not know just by seeing it what all of the effects are, but you know it increases his movement speed.

As Yi comes into range and starts attacking you, you notice that he's striking far faster than he was when he was hitting the creeps in your lane just a moment ago. Noticing that your health is running low, you cast Exhaust on him and begin to retreat to your turret. But wait, you see something on screen: "Cannot Be Slowed!" in red text. As Exhaust wears off, Master Yi lands a killing blow on you and retreats.

Within this small example, you've seen about six or seven pieces of well-communicated information. Though frustrating to die, the effects of the ability were communicated well enough that you could understand many of the mechanics without having to be in a similar situation multiple times to learn how the ability works. That's good communication. Good communication also gives you incentive to counter-play, because good communication lets people understand what parts of an ability you can counter in a particular fashion and which parts of an ability cannot be countered in certain ways.

It also introduces challenges. By removing some - but not all - of the guesswork, it challenges players to come up with ways of countering abilities, while not punishing them too harshly for being wrong. In some ways, communication helps players reach their potential. Lack of Communication squelches potential fun by making the barrier of entry seem insurmountable.




tl;dr Wall of design theory text crits of 9000.

Patch notes 10/15/2010

Wall of design theory text now crits for 9001.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
17 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osirris View Post
Let me just stop you here. You can hardly claim anything about this category. There are TONS of abilities in LoL that aren't obvious what they do off the bat. I think its extremely unfair to say you wouldn't put rupture in the game because of its "subtlety". Whereas in reality Rupture was very noticeable. Extremely.

This is like you saying we won't make an orange because its orange, but that orange is ok because its not orange enough. Your falling into the realm of personal bias anytime you touch down on this.
It's a matter of degree. Every single ability in a PVP game has some burden of knowledge. But... it's only a serious issue when you have frustration if the opponent doesnt know combined with a difficulty of learning it.


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Knote

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Tryndamere's shout seems very similar to Rupture.

Face him and lose a fight against him, or run and get snared anyway.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
18 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by L0CUST View Post
Does wanting to kill a player, and setting up a nice gank.. only to have that player constantly flash/ ghost away fit in one of these categories?
Yes, which is why we are likely going to nerf these soon.


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ThanksALatte

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord GiantR View Post
In DotA there were stuff like 5 second stuns. And auto attacks hurt like hell (cept techies).
And Huskar.
In DotA there was also a purchasable item called BKB that would negate such things as these "5 second stuns" for a period of time. And Huskar was based around getting stronger as he got lower life (sound like Olaf?)

I don't know, sure did blow to get instagibed by lion, but it was OH so satisfying to dagon his fragile butt back. Especially when done with a crow. And a crow with a dragon would be fine in this game, noobs would just think it was a laser bird everyone could buy


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
19 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knote View Post
Is that true?

My god, the heroes in WC3 were SOOO boring lol.

Well... except for Shadow Hunter and Bloodmage. =p

Wards and chain heal = super fun.

And flamestrike = awsomeness.
No. Rob Pardo was the design lead. he went on to do some awesome things, like being lead designer on a game called WoW. Maybe you played it.

I was the play balance guy on TFT. The only heroes I designed on TFT were goblin tinker, goblin alchemist and firelord. I also more or less designed the mountain giant.


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durpado

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Yes, which is why we are likely going to nerf these soon.
Just wondering, are there new summoner spells in the works? I would love to have more selection here so that almost every champion doesn't run a combo with ghost/flash in it.


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Lord GiantR

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Senior Member

10-15-2010

Zil let me ask you one thing. Which is your favorite spell in DotA?

In terms of being fun or unfun and overall balanced. And if that spell is going to be put in LoL(if it wasn't already).


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Knote

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
No. Rob Pardo was the design lead. he went on to do some awesome things, like being lead designer on a game called WoW. Maybe you played it.

I was the play balance guy on TFT. The only heroes I designed on TFT were goblin tinker, goblin alchemist and firelord. I also more or less designed the mountain giant.
Aww nice job on those guys. Lava spawns were my favorite.


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Lord GiantR

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10-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThanksALatte View Post
In DotA there was also a purchasable item called BKB that would negate such things as these "5 second stuns" for a period of time. And Huskar was based around getting stronger as he got lower life (sound like Olaf?)

I was just joking around with Husk He was my favorite that's why I play Olaf now.

BKB was terribly expensive and didn't block ults. Black HOLE FTW.