Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

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IS186afbf367d955

Senior Member

12-08-2010

Removing or toning down RNG on gangplank is the best thing he as ever dreamed of IMO. I'm glad you're doing that.


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Gigiwoo

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Senior Member

12-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Unclear Optimization
Sivir - Improved!

A great example of how fixing unclear optimization makes a huge difference is Sivir. Recently, there was a buff to her Blade improves with Attack Dmg. This greatly clarified her optimization path. There are still tons of player options, but the general path is much better. Kudos!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Fun Fails to Exceed Anti-Fun
Early Interaction - Penalty from Death

The design mechanics strongly discourage early game interaction because the penalty/risk for dying early is amazingly harsh. Therefore, instead of romping around the map, trying to find opponents and have some early interaction (fun), players tend to hug towers or protect junglers, hoping nothing happens (not fun). Why? Because the anti-fun from dying MASSIVELY outweighs the fun you get from the successful early gank.

This problem extends into the early laning phase as well. Players focus on last hits and harassment (not fun) instead of fighting each other (fun) because the anti-fun of dying is SOOO harsh.

Suggestion: Reduce the penalty/risk of early deaths. The penalties include way more than just the kill gold. It's the loss of gold/xp from laning plus the opponent getting free gold/xp while your gone. It's like a 5x whammy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Fun Fails to Exceed Anti-Fun
Jungling as a required mechanic.

I will state this as fact: experienced players know that a jungler is pretty much required due to the xp/map/gold advantage. Although jungling is a neat option (fun), it does not exceed the anti-fun of requiring each team to ALWAYS have a jungler. This is made worse when last picks feel they MUST pick a jungler (not fun), even when they stink at it, so the team does poorly (not fun) or rage quit (not fun).

Why are junglers required? Because the turrets are exceedingly strong in the early game. If your team chooses not to have a jungler, you will be stuck with 2 champs that can't really hurt the opposing single champ hiding under the turret (not fun). The player hiding under the turret has some fun, but is generally just trying to get minion kills and biding his time (not fun). Eventually, the single champ may out level the 2 and can actually push them back (fun). However, the 2 champs are now frustrated (not fun). Jungling in itself is an interesting mechanic (fun), but not nearly as awesome as engaging champions (FUN). Obviously, ganks can be fun, but being ganked and playing really conservatively, constantly worrying about a jungler popping out is VERY not fun.

Net result - Lots of anti-fun, a small amount of fun.

PS - I am only referring to jungling as a REQUIREMENT, not as a strategic team option. Do not nerf junglers, just look at how a 2v1 lane is always a bad choice.

Gigiwoo.


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Amadi

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Senior Member

12-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
I dont agree on feast, because it gives reliable effects in certain situations that you can detect.
I lol'd. I have seen games where ChoGath feasted someone on low health, got a feast stack but didn't get the kill. (An ally got it.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigiwoo View Post
Early Interaction - Penalty from Death
Before creepspawns, people do not fight each other because there is nothing to be gained from fighting each other. Even if the penalty from dying got reduced, people would not fight, as the benefit for killing opponents would also be reduced. Only situation where people go at it is when it's clear that their team has level1 advantage - and trust me, at least in 1500 elo, people frequently go at it when this is the case.

During laning, people play passive because there is nothing to lose for playing passive. Towers are so strong that no one in their right of mind would ever try to aggressively push it, so there is actually nothing to lose when staying at your tower. In fact, since pushing makes you more open to ganks, you can only lose from pushing. Not only this, but without denies, Zoning just isn't as effective as it should be, so you don't even get horribly screwed from just sitting at tower.

Reducing/Increasing penalties does nothing. It's a risk-reward system. If you reduce penalties, you decrease both the risk andthe reward, yielding a zero-sum change. If anything, increasing the penalty for death might lead to more action when players would be suiciding to kill the enemy carry, knowing that they can take the huge penalty better than the carry can.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-08-2010
172 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonk View Post
Zileas your the head of the design team so I know you know the answer to this. Why hasn't Blind Monk been released, whats the general problem with his kit? Is he generally too powerful to be released? Is he lacking in some way? Honestly now, it would be a great thing to give everyone a little bit of insight about. He was obviously a part of your original designs, it certainly seems you were ready to add him to the game.
The secret cannot get out, sorry. Your satisfaction is not worth my job to me.


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Shreder

Senior Member

12-08-2010

I'd love to hear thoughts on Teemo's ult. I generally don't get pissed off at the game no matter what happens, but I swear to god when I step on one of those mushrooms in the middle of no where, with no enemies around, I want to punch my monitor.


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CogitoErgo

Senior Member

12-08-2010

You want anit-fun

Tryn's Ulti.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-08-2010
173 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rydog View Post
Eh, I know I have fun decimating people with a well-placed Spray and Pray, but boy, this is the anti-fun for the three people that just got murdered with almost no way to effectively retaliate. I'd say Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab can be a case of this, too. I also think that probably falls under Burden of Knowledge; until you learn the very specific mechanics of his grab (and realize he can grab through walls), it's one of the most infuriating, overpowered-seeming skills in the game.
I don't mind blitzcrank hook because you learn very quickly what it does. It's unpleasant and WTF once, then a pretty engaging skill. It can be frustrating in some situations though with how it is used, i give you that.

Super overpowered stuff in general will always be more anti-fun than fun. I just dont feel spray and pray is specifically very anti-fun -- it's just OP, which makes it anti-fun.

Quote:
You can turn and fight (and probably get critted to death), or run and still get critted to death. It's kind of a Sophie's choice. Or it would be, if Tryndamere was any good.
I don't think that's really true as characters have a variety of tools to deal with this situation. It depends upon the scenario. If your spells are on cooldown and you are at 30% HP and annie has her spells available, you could make the same argument.

Quote:
On second thought, yeah, this probably applies to stuff like, say, Zilean chain-slowing. Snowball items basically embody this too, although I suppose that's the losing team's fault (getting one-shotted by Veigar or Annie sure sucks either way). Twitch's Spray and Pray used to be this when games went long, but not quite as much anymore.
sure, specific situations occur that feel this way, and we have responsibility as designers to end the game as quickly as possible in these scenarios. We want people to enjoy having the 20 stack soulstealer, we also want them to end the game ASAP. We likely could do a better job of this. But that is also why the surrender function is in -- so we can have both, and have less player screw. Plus, 'f the player' is more about arbitrary situations where you just lose, not bad situations you 'earn' into.

Quote:
Thank god on Gangplank. Is that happening next patch? I want so desperately for him to be worth playing.
Probably a month or two, no one is working on him presently, but it will get done eventually. I despise him in his current form. Except for remove scurvy. Which is hilarious. And my joke, so of course I like it.

Quote:
Random but possibly relevant question (similar to a question that an earlier commenter asked): Do you guys have specific "balance points" for each champion category? Like, is Annie the mage you balance other mages around, with regard to rough overall power level? What about tanks? Ranged carries? Support? Junglers?
Generally so, though we also like to line up characters against 'nearby' characters and make sure the advantages and disadvantages at least exist on a theoretical basis. That makes tuning a lot easier. so if we make a caster, we want other casters to all have pros and cons next to them, we don't want a situation where other characters are strictly better or strictly worse. I think a good example of this is LeBlanc. She has some very unique capabilities that other casters don't have, but some really strong drawbacks too. Annie is a stronger character, but there are situations and team comps where LeBlanc is better.


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Amadi

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Senior Member

12-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
The secret cannot get out, sorry. Your satisfaction is not worth my job to me.
But as a design director, isn't it your job to make sure we are satisfied?

Oh wait. Design director. Just force an underling to tell us, then fire him for doing so. Problem solved.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-08-2010
174 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJSV View Post
I still dont like these anti-patterns... -.-
Cause of this many skills, like faceless voids ulti, wont be used in this game cause ppl need to learn how to use them, or rupture cause ppl need some knowledge about the game to understand this. This "we are focusing casual players" thing is making LoL more and more boring and unchallenging.
I, as an old dota player, can more or less master every champ really easily, and you can see while you are in game who played dota before LoL just by watching them play. But, this game is so beginner friendly, cause of all these anti-patterns, that even though I AM a better player than some ppl, they get to advance into higher ELO. Seeing how even though someone who doesnt deserve a win, but is playing some easy OP champ, wins a game, is anti-fun.

AND cause you are restricted by anti-patterns all champions have recycled abilities. And recycling wont balance this game. Sooner or later you will get some skill combo that will just be OP and you wont be able to fix it just by changing some number and than what will you do? Remake champion? Delete champion? Stop releasing champions? Its just stupid and im against this.
Of course, if you place constraints, you have less options. The question should be -- can we make a game as fun at it's best as (insert unconstrained game here) while being more accessible and less stressful?

In general, I think we can. Design is about optimization -- making better choices...


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-08-2010
175 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJSV View Post
Even though i played Dota for 5 or 6 years, with every new hero that was released came burden of knowledge, but i never had problem with it. It was logical to NOT KNOW how things work when you first start playing the game.

And you compare Anivia and Garen? How about LeBlanc and Garen? Or LeBlanc and Anivia? There isnt a single situation in which LeBlanc would be a better pick.
LeBlanc is really good at chasing and finishing, and she's also better against a tanky melee team. She's not as good at reliable sustained dps and she' cant AE stun.