How to Review a Champion

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Gruntala

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Senior Member

02-19-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaykoboy View Post
IMO, though, there is one stage of character development in which stats do not need numbers, i.e. the early concept stage, where you lay out the basic ideas without having to give any stats. I've made a variety of 'Character Cards' with some basic champion concepts; graphics, ability styles, storyline, and basic stats. If you're just starting a champion, you work from there up. If you're improving a champion or moving to the next stage, you work from the stats up.
IMO, creating a champion really does involve numbers, as Prometheus pointed out. The numbers not only point out the role of the ability, but also it's relative power level, what the champion specificly focuses on doing (ex. some tanks can jungle, some can support, and some can solo top) as well as how that ability ties into that role.

Example:
A jump skill that damages and stuns the enemy
Tank: 70/110/150/190/230 and stuns 1.5 secs CD 15/14/13/12/11
DPS: 80/135/190/245/300 and stuns .75 secs CD 12/11/10/9/8
Here, the role defines the numbers. The tank uses his for intiation and single target lockup, while the DPS will use his for damage and chasing.

If I see a champion w/out ability numbers, my response is usually this.
Quote:
This is a great/horrible concept, but it needs numbers


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Katsuni

Senior Member

02-19-2012

Numbers don't mean anything other than a stand in for a concept.

As expressed above, gruntala, the difference *IS* in the numbers, but the numbers are really just a concept. "Tank, or DPS" is simply a matter of numbers sometimes. How an ability is useful is based off of them, but really, the only thing that changing a number does, is changes how the spell works indirectly.

If we dropped the damage to like 50 and stun to 2.5 seconds, it'd be an impressive, heavy hitting CC; if we dropped the stun to 0.05 and damage to 350 damage, it'd be a strong spamable ability probably, great for interrupting channeled abilities but unable to stun for real.

All of it comes down to numbers, yes, but the numbers have no meaning outside of whot yeu want an ability to do.

Simply stating "High damage, low cooldown, and a microstun" is all that's needed, so long as we know roughly where they should be in relative terms to the standard defaults for similar spells of its' kind.

Note that even a tiny tweak here and there can have massive effects; decrease the cooldown by 1 second, but don't change the mana cost... the champion, once pretty easy to handle with minimal regen gear, now finds themselves needing a meki pendant to even start the game with. The adjustment was small, but it increased the rate of mana consumption vs mana regeneration by a large value.

Tiny things like this aren't really understood without intensive play testing for weeks on end. The difference between OP and UP is really very, very small in many cases.

In short, most people on here can't even begin to grasp the rammifications of just how powerful their abilities really, truly are... and to be blunt, the people reviewing them don't know any more than the people writing them.

Adding numbers will not do any more than give yeu a ballpark figure. And honestly, "high damage" is exactly that... a ballpark figure. Except, in the hands of someone who doesn't know whot they're doing, we now know they actively INTEND for it to do "high" damage. The guy who just lists that it does 500 damage, may simply have no idea whot they're doing and thinks that's only medium or average.

As such, I'm not too picky on numbers, so much as I am interested in concepts. If it's FUN, then YAY! If it's unique, then it's even better! If it's unbalanced and needs number tweaks... well, whotever. It's very, very rare I even complain about numbers, unless they're blatantly senseless... like someone earlier who made a DPS with a "on next attack, resets swing timer" ability, with a 16 second cooldown, which goes against the purpose of an ability that does that since they're meant to work in tandem specifically with a trinity force.

Anyway, it's not that big a deal, but it shows they didn't understand the purpose of why those abilities work the way they do; if they'd said "long" cooldown, I'd have known just as well they were having problems with it.

But yeah, I digress. The whole point of this is that yes, numbers can be important, but they're honestly just a stand in for a concept. So long as yeu get the concept, the numbers themselves are irrelevant.


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RiotAmes

QA Analyst

02-19-2012
3 of 8 Riot Posts

My opinion is that numbers change a lot over the course of designing a champion, so save them for when you've solved your other design concerns. My usual approach to champion creation is:

1) Come up with a core thematic.
2) Develop a character(not champion) around that thematic.
3) Analyze whether that character makes sense in the world of League of Legends.
4) Determine what role in the game the character best fits. If there is no fit, re-analyze the character.
5) Search for or create art that creates a compelling visual for my character. Often, this entails multiple, different pieces of art that explain my idea.
5) Begin to flesh out the character as a champion.
6) Explore the new champion's Lore. Where is he/she from? Why do they want to join the league?
7) Analyze the results of 6. Are those compelling reasons? Would the League accept such a champion?
8) Begin to flesh out a kit. No numbers at this phase.
9) Try to do a mental play through of a game utilizing that kit. How does the champion lane or jungle? What do they contribute to team fights? Are they fun to play as? Play against? Mirror lane?
10) If the 'game' goes well, potentially attach some numbers to it to better explain how I expect the champion to perform. If it goes poorly, return to 8.
11) Shop the idea around to some friends or coworkers and get their feedback. Incorporate it where needed.
12) Polish, polish, polish.

And that's pretty much it. Many people start from the 'what makes a cool champion' part, but fail to work backwards. I think that you need to have a good character before you can have a successful champion. Think about it: How hard is it to take an existing character and turn it into a champion? Imagine your favorite character from another game, comic, or movie. Could you make a kit for them? Would that be a compelling champion in LoL? Making a great character is probably the real challenge. Not to say that a good kit isn't hard either- just that you can attach an amazing kit to a boring character and still fail. An amazing character with a boring kit will probably still get played and talked about, though.

But that's just me.


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Katsuni

Senior Member

02-19-2012

Bloody hell I wanted to sleep... bah...

Well, one quick thing here, is that the core thematic (or theme, or inspiration source) is a great way to start. Another way I personally find sometimes works, is a random ability or mechanic which was neat, that yeu can build a concept around.

Either way works, but honestly, it tends to mean going back and forth over both repeatedly anyway. A good design requires backtracking, adjusting, making revisions, and fixing things that, though they may be neat, may simply just not be as interesting as yeu first thought, or may just flat out not work.

Whether yeu start with a theme (water champion!) or a mechanic (manaless support champion!), either way, yeu'll be bouncing back and forth between the two anyway.

I'll come back and cover this more int he morning, but for now, just wanted to mention that before I passed out. Please say there's no more stuff to look at XD


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RiotAmes

QA Analyst

02-19-2012
4 of 8 Riot Posts

I'm posting again, only to taunt you.

That is all.

edit:

Can't help myself. I think a neat mechanic can also be a sufficient core thematic. If you had the idea for throwing bombs that bounce, you could build a character around that. It's also safe to say that you could develop a cool champion, and then build a cool character around it. I just find it easier to work the way I outlined.


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

02-19-2012

I agree with you entirely...although I'm too tired to go into a long paragraph about why.

Unfortunately, though, the forums aren't very fond (or at least don't pay attention to) 'prototype' champions, as I call them. I give them the core abilities, maybe a bit of lore, etc. But, because I don't give them numbers, they tend to be just like 'whatever, I can't review a champ that doesn't exist.'

Of course, it's always nice to see the entire design process IMO!


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Opreich

Senior Member

02-19-2012

Ames you have been really active on this forum, have you been practising your Champion Concepting skills since your tentacle mage got shot down?


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RiotAmes

QA Analyst

02-20-2012
5 of 8 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opreich View Post
Ames you have been really active on this forum, have you been practising your Champion Concepting skills since your tentacle mage got shot down?
Well, Nautilus is loosely based off of a concept of mine (he was a tad more whimsical in my idea), and there's been some inspiration drawn from either kits or concepts here and there, so I'm told. A few other ideas have been accepted, so we'll see what happens with those in the long run. Even accepted ideas don't always make it to the game. Ultimately, I'm just happy to contribute. I've gotten a better understanding of what makes up a good champion along the way as a bonus.

As for numbers vs no numbers, that's something I did notice when I was browsing. I don't really mind much one way or the other, but I do understand that most people here are looking for something more fully fleshed out- there's talk of jokes, taunts, etc, which is something I don't even usually put too much thought into. Not that they're a bad thing! They help define personality, which is definitely important.


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exe3

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Senior Member

02-20-2012

For the concepts I feel that numbers are really only relevant for skills, doing base stats is way overboard imo unless there's something defining about it (like having 300 or 330 base movement speed to indicate if they're naturally slow or fast) as all that is really dependent on balancing and something you just simply can't theorycraft imo. Numbers on skills however give a good idea on how the skill will be used and its role.

Everything else like jokes and stuff are more for fun to me.


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Munchlord

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Senior Member

02-20-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
My opinion is that numbers change a lot over the course of designing a champion, so save them for when you've solved your other design concerns. My usual approach to champion creation is:

1) Come up with a core thematic.
2) Develop a character(not champion) around that thematic.
3) Analyze whether that character makes sense in the world of League of Legends.
4) Determine what role in the game the character best fits. If there is no fit, re-analyze the character.
5) Search for or create art that creates a compelling visual for my character. Often, this entails multiple, different pieces of art that explain my idea.
5) Begin to flesh out the character as a champion.
6) Explore the new champion's Lore. Where is he/she from? Why do they want to join the league?
7) Analyze the results of 6. Are those compelling reasons? Would the League accept such a champion?
8) Begin to flesh out a kit. No numbers at this phase.
9) Try to do a mental play through of a game utilizing that kit. How does the champion lane or jungle? What do they contribute to team fights? Are they fun to play as? Play against? Mirror lane?
10) If the 'game' goes well, potentially attach some numbers to it to better explain how I expect the champion to perform. If it goes poorly, return to 8.
11) Shop the idea around to some friends or coworkers and get their feedback. Incorporate it where needed.
12) Polish, polish, polish.

And that's pretty much it. Many people start from the 'what makes a cool champion' part, but fail to work backwards. I think that you need to have a good character before you can have a successful champion. Think about it: How hard is it to take an existing character and turn it into a champion? Imagine your favorite character from another game, comic, or movie. Could you make a kit for them? Would that be a compelling champion in LoL? Making a great character is probably the real challenge. Not to say that a good kit isn't hard either- just that you can attach an amazing kit to a boring character and still fail. An amazing character with a boring kit will probably still get played and talked about, though.

But that's just me.
For me, posting it here is #11 on your list . Though I often skip 5, which I should probably get better at not doing.