So, about that Karma leak...

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dayMdel

Junior Member

03-10-2013

I looove her rework, and I can't wait to see the way she moves now, cause she looked so silly before, even thought I like her fans, a rework was indeed very needed.


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Yago Xiten

Senior Member

03-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
This is going to be a long post, so stay with me.

Why Relaunch?

Relaunch team has a few different types of content we create- you're most familiar with the Visual Upgrades we've been doing. For the most part, there have been subtle changes- TF picked up a coat, Nid's waist is bigger than a pencil, etc.

What, then, is a Relaunch? A relaunch is when we take a champion back to the drawing board because we feel like we didn't get it right the first time and just improving the champion's visuals won't be sufficient. This isn't a decision we make lightly and it involves considerably more work than a VU does. For context, all of the VUs starting with Soraka have been released after we started work on Karma.

Ask yourself how you think someone with fans fights. Is it a shield? A tether? Is the most powerful manifestation of this person who fights with fans the ability to improve their other abilities?

We didn't feel that was the case. The fans were a distraction from what she was supposed to be, then. (a note: yes, we could have spent time forcing the fans to work, but that didn't work out the first time) Instead, we looked at her Inner Flame and Mantra - this spoke of an inner strength, uncompromising in the face of adversity. That strength was also a source of power for her. This made sense, this wasn't 'in the way'. Digging deeper, we decided that it was this strength and her devotion to her country that we felt made her powerful and memorable. More than a politician who happened to fight, but a legend in her own right.

That leads to the Karma you see now. Her fans aren't permanently removed from her story, but she no longer needs to channel her strength through them. She has sufficient self-control to do that on her own now. She is still the voice of her people. And while we aren't against retcons, Karma's story is a progression, not a replacement.

I've read every page of this thread. You aren't unheard- good and bad. Getting Karma ready for release is taking a lot of the team's time. There's been comments that we went into this uninformed or didn't ask people who played Karma what they thought - this isn't the case. While we didn't put it to a forum poll (and likely never will), many Karma players were asked for their thoughts about old Karma and new Karma alike. We've had a lot of good feedback. We went into this knowing that not everyone would be happy with the changes, but are confident that we've made the right decision.

The other running set of comments were that we haven't talked enough about why we made the changes we have. To that end, I'm going to stick around for a bit and talk Karma. It's my night off, but anyone who reads my posts knows that I care enough about the community to put the time in.
I've never seen a problem at all with Karma's fans, and I feel that you're looking at them in the wrong light. They're not a distraction, they're a compliment.

Take a look at Varus, for a moment. When you look at Varus' kit, and his abilities, does Varus feel like an archer archetype? Well, to a certain extent, of course he does, after all he uses a bow and he shoots things...But is that really his main theme, who he is, an archer? Not really. Varus's lore, kit, and play-style--everything about him screams vengeance.

Vengeance is his main theme, and the bow is his compliment to that. It could have been any other weapon but it was a bow that he ended up with.


This is how it is with Karma and her fans. Karma's fans and how she chose to use them is a part of Karma, and what developed her as a character. It compliments her theme and adds to her depth, it doesn't distract at all.

I've seen you guys talk about striving for good "readability" as a design concept (which from what I can tell refers to intuitively being able to identify what a character is capable of) and I can see why Karma goes against that. After all, it's pretty unapparent what she does immediately. I suppose this is one of the reasons you guys feel that she's poorly designed, and that her fans are a distraction.

But this just really isn't the case. Characters shouldn't be so readable that it removes the character from them. If you look at say, Anivia, or Cho'gath, they have abilities (Crystalize and Rupture) which fit within the characters' abilities. They aren't immediately apparent, but they make sense and fit well with them.

A lot of the time it feels like things are made readable to the point of feeling watered down and boring. This even carries over into the gameplay of some characters. A glaring example of this is Brand. All of his abilities are obvious and incredibly dull-generic fire abilities. His name is generic, he's got that typical anarchy "burn down the world" thing going on, there's nothing original there. There's nothing well developed there. And his kit has nothing great in it, either.

As far as gameplay goes, there's another mistake LoL makes a lot, and that's forced synergy. And that's another faux paus Brand commits. What I mean by forced synergy is forcing and pigeonholing a characters' abilities so that they are explicitly dependent upon each other, like Brand's passive combo mechanic.

One of the brillliant things about early DotA heroes and some of the early LoL champions is that their kit isn't forced to be synergetic with itself. When a kit is made like Brand's is, it feels forced, and like the player is being cheated out of a more developed character.

Take a good hard look at Karma. She doesn't fee "forced" like Brand does. Her kit doesn't immediately open itself up and lay down how you play her, like Jarvan's Demacian Standard does. You get to get a feel for the character in game because of this. You have options, and it feels like you're controlling a character, rather than having them specifically catered to you. If you could control someone in real life, chances are they'd have a variety of seemingly unrelated abilities, like playing soccer and playing LoL, that help to make them what they are. Karma's sort of like this. When you play her, you feel like you're actually in touch with the character. Her abilities and fighting with her fans might not seem to mesh at first, but it combines to make her what she is.

On the note of fans, if you had, say the ability to control fire, but you had to channel it through a conduit, would you necessarily choose something that's obviously readable, like a lighter? Probably not. You'd probably pick something of particular importance to you. It might not be immediately readable for everyone else, but it's a part of your character and what would add to your depth.




She's a politician who is fighting for her people every way she can, but that doesn't really make her a "fighter" anymore than Xin Zhao is a ballerina if you put him in a tutu. She goes to battle as she is, doing the best she can. A large part of what makes Karma, Karma, is her unbreakable composure. Her resolve cannot be broken. This is completely apparent throughout her kit and lore. While her fans and dress might seem flimsy and impractical they are a part of her, what makes her, her. I honestly get the feeling like Karma's unbreakable resolve would mean nothing if it weren't for her fans. She as a character could have chosen anything to be the conduit for her inner flame and mantra. But she chose her fans. She chose them because of the significance to her. I feel as though if she tried to force herself to channel her power through a more practical weapon it wouldn't work. It wouldn't be the same or have the same importance to her.


"Her fans aren't permanently removed from her story, but she no longer needs to channel her strength through them. She has sufficient self-control to do that on her own now."


"That girl can not only weather a storm, but calm it."

"Why do you want to join the League, Karma?” The voice was sad, resigned.

“Is this vision not enough?” Karma gestured all around them. The pain was suddenly gone. “This isn’t really over. These things never really end. All we can do is remain vigilant and try to protect those we love.”

“Always one for a speech.” Soraka smirked. “How does it feel, exposing your mind?”

“There is nothing on my mind that I wouldn’t happily share with you. How does it feel, knowing what we suffered, what you chose to ignore?”

The self-control to do that on her own? She never chose to utilize her fans as implements because of a lack of self-control! She chose them because of their significance to her. To Ionia. They are the outward expression of her inner will.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
The designer/s paid attention to how Karma is currently played. Players who are familiar with Karma still enjoy playing her. I asked the team the other day, "Is Karma fun?" the answer was "Yes". You and others will be the judge of their success in the end.
This feels like a used car salesman's line.

"Does this car still run?"

"Yes, it still runs"

And then he fails to mention how many problems it actually has.

New Karma might be fun, but Brand is fun. That doesn't mean Brand is particularly well designed or that this new Karma will be more fun than the old. Considering all the brilliance of the design f the old Karma, I feel as though even if New Karma is slightly more fun, it's trading one of the best created characters in video gaming history for a bit more popularity. You guys could have just as easily remade a new champion rather than essentially delete one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
This has been covered elsewhere a bit, so I'll be brief:

Fans can be a cool weapon, but you need to commit to them for it to be successful. With Karma, we would have to change a lot about what she does and how she does it for the fans to feel 'right'. ( look at Anji Moto or other video game fan-wielders for some examples ) That wasn't the right choice for this particular champion, even though we understand the cost of player attachment.


Fans are already fine for her. You don't have to go all-in and massively commit to a specific archetype to create a good character. In fact, doing that usually backfires horribly. Darius is a pretty obvious archetype, and he's incredibly boring from a lore perspective. Same thing for Brand.

Karma wasn't the "I fight with fans" champion. She isn't designed as some fan wielder archetype. She's Karma, and the fans compliment her character. They are a part of her personality and her flavor. She's an actual character, with depth and importance and the fans are a huge part of it. She feels "right" as is. Karma feels like one of the best developed characters in League. Not a single part of her feels forced. Even the fact that she's an unrecognized weird out-of-meta-gem supports this.


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Rivini

Senior Member

03-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
We've retained lines that make sense.
So, like I asked way back in this thread (click here) but was ignored by the Rioters as usual ( ), is she keeping her Mantra verses or was that taken out/changed?


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anu mara

Senior Member

03-10-2013

As long as she's a support that still scales with tankiness I'll be happy.

Bonus if W is still an amazing skill for moving between lanes.


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RiotAmes

QA Analyst

03-10-2013
34 of 43 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivini View Post
So, like I asked way back in this thread (click here) but was ignored by the Rioters as usual ( ), is she keeping her Mantra verses or was that taken out/changed?
Wait and see. (Hear?)

Yago - I think we have differing opinions of success? If a champion is thematically coherent, fun, and balanced are they not successful? I understand what you're getting at (your post was well-written and constructive), but think that we will continue to disagree. There's a lot of subtlety required to hit your type of success that most players will never grasp. That isn't inherently a bad thing, but it can be sometimes.

I'm off to bed, but will continue to keep up with the thread tomorrow.


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Rivini

Senior Member

03-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
Wait and see. (Hear?)
You're such a tease, but appreciate the response all the same.


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GG Crono

Senior Member

03-10-2013

There was a post of mine waaaay back on this page here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...197509&page=39 (second from the bottom) about her new look. It's something I'd really like somebody to comment on, if that's alright. As a long-time Karma fan who's not quite sold on this, it would mean a lot to me.


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Celestya

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Senior Member

03-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Blade Yago View Post
snip.
Did...did you just say Karma is one of the "best" designed characters in gaming history? Are you KIDDING me? No, just no. She had a TON of problems which is why she's one of the LEAST popular characters in LoL. Visually and play wise, she has a ton of problems. I have no issue if you liked it, but do NOT kid yourself into that belief of being "one of the best" in gaming history.

Also I'm kind of insulted that you think Brand is poorly designed. He doesn't NEED to combo his abilities to work, but it does add the depth of play many champions lack. It's no different than say, Anivia. You don't have to be able to use wall to make someone run into Q and then E someone, but it certainly makes the character far more powerful once you learn to. Skill cap, kind of a good thing to have designed into a champion. Does every champ need combos though? No, I will say that straight up. But to say it's a "bad design choice" is highly erroneous.

You mention it being a good thing for items to be more toward the character's personal representation; what do the fans even represent for Karma? There's no attachment to them, they're just there. If we had some form of explanation outside of "these are her most precious items she took from her parents' shop", then maybe it'd be okay. It just ends up feeling forced to have them be her weapons. Having them part of her back animation would be good however.

tl;dr Look at the character for what it is, not from bias. Not a best of any game. Combos are fine, not all should have.


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HarryOrunitia

Senior Member

03-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
Wait and see. (Hear?)

Yago - I think we have differing opinions of success? If a champion is thematically coherent, fun, and balanced are they not successful? I understand what you're getting at (your post was well-written and constructive), but think that we will continue to disagree. There's a lot of subtlety required to hit your type of success that most players will never grasp. That isn't inherently a bad thing, but it can be sometimes.

I'm off to bed, but will continue to keep up with the thread tomorrow.
I don't understand why when you have 110 champions, every single one of them has to appeal to the biggest possible pool of players. You can have one or two champions who aren't incredibly "successful", especially because no matter how hard you try you will always have champions that are incredibly popular, and champions who come in and out of the shadows.

Now, you could say that Karma's popularity wasn't just low, but basically inexistent. And that is true, but it wasn't because of her design, it was because of her kit, and the stupid meme she was a victim of, which made her even less desirable in the eyes of the community. Her problem was with her kit, and everyone in the past two years, Karma fan or not, asked for that: a kit rework (or actually, in my case, small buffs and tweaks). You were not asked or expected to deliver a completely new personality, design and lore for her. Even the people who really hated her, I don't think they expected the rework to be like this, a complete overhaul.

You can have at least 1 champion out of 110 with that "type of success" and all the required subtleties. With Karma, you already had the basis for it, you just had to bring it out: with a kit rework and a simple VU like the Annie one, her popularity would still have increased. I feel like you underestimate your community: eventually they would've known or realized that Karma was reworked and more viable, even if you didn't completely change her to catch their eyes.

And again, even if you hated her original design and you thought it wasn't readable, you could've tried to improve on its strengths, its concept and its original elements. Reinforce instead of replace.


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phatcat09

Senior Member

03-10-2013

I give Riot Ames the gold star for effective public representation and management. Now let's see if he can make it to platinum.

Compliments aside I'm often times irked that this game stops being a game and starts being a science experiment at times. It's like a slap in the face of decades of a creative art form that was once blips and beeps on monitor. I would actually pay money (cause I don't) to have Riot stop dropping their narrative with every update to the game. It's like you try to have some semblance of game, but frequently drop any form of storytelling for some reason while constantly dropping pocket hints of "flavor text" that really don't do much to engross you into the complexity that is Runeterra and it's sad and quite frankly infuriating to people like me who particularly enjoy a story, and I'd be so brazen to say unfair in a sense to the community fans of writers. Despite having a "Lore team" I believe Riot far to easily dismisses the impact of contingent narrative that speaks for games changes, game events, character updates specifically, and how it allows for a degree of experimentation in a way that can only be justified by integrating it as part of the story.

P.S I was playing Karma last night. I really am going to miss that cocky waddle of hers as you're knocking on the enemies nexus.