How to Review a Champion

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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

01-06-2012

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Katsuni

Senior Member

01-07-2012

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Originally Posted by Jaykoboy View Post
Most likely, there is a Thread out there that explains this, as well. But I've been looking around recently, and many reviews I see are either
Most reviews are pretty fail, I will admit, and it really does need a bit of a list of stuff to cover. I don't agree with everything yeu have here by any means, but some of it does make sense.




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A) Not really reviews, as in people saying 'Wow, good idea!' or 'Dude, why is this so stupid?' Very common.
Sadly true. "I liked it" is not a review, it's a bump at best and a worthless ego boost to those who don't deserve it. If yeu were descent at making something worthy of recognition, yeu'd be irritated at "I liked it", because yeu'd be seeking to improve.

A review should really provide some information on how to improve the design, or at the very least, cover whot yeu liked and didn't like so that the creator can decide whot to do about fixing those flaws, or amplifying the good stuff to even greater levels.


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B) Badly written reviews, saying stuff like 'Yeah, this ability is stupid, and I don't like anything about it. Yes, this part is cool, but still scratch the whole thing.' Rude and a waste of time.
Rude doesn't necessarily mean a bad review. Sometimes, depending on the individual, yeu have to be blunt. I prefer to take the more pleasant, helpful approach, as I find crushing peoples morale does not tend to make them work better, but this is a rare thing in the industry, and most people won't do this if yeu get a real supervisor. It often involves yelling. Live with it.

In any case, if yeu're going to say something's bad though, make sure yeu explain why. If yeu have like 15 things off the top of yeur head which scream "BAD IDEA!", then yeu're justified in saying it's a bad idea.

Just make sure yeu explain why. Saying "lulz this sukz noob" doesn't help anyone improve.


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C) Well-written reviews. This is when you're lucky, and get someone who is willing to spend time on you and your champion, because honestly, it looks like this should turn out rather well.
Not necessarily. I've reviewed bad champions before, and have ended up saying "scrap everything", honestly, because there was very little to salvage except basic concepts, since they didn't think about whot they were doing. When every ability fights each other and the whole design can't work coherently as a design (like having 4 toggle spells of which none can be used at the same time and essentially yeu should only ever level 1 and ignore all the others... I don't mean udyr, I mean like 4 almost identical abilities; I've seen this sadly >.< ), there's not much that can be done to fix it.

A "well written review" does two things:
- It tells yeu whot yeu did right and should expand upon
- It tells yeu whot yeu did wrong and should fix, and explains why so yeu don't just break it again

"Being nice" and "being helpful" are quite, quite different things.



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Now, I know I'm no saint when it comes to nasty reviews. But I must admit, I'd been going through a breakup with my girlfriend then, so I was taking it out on the innocents of this forum. I'm posting a guide on exactly how to review a champion efficiently, well, and politely.
Keep personal and professional separate. Not always easy to do, I know... but still. Try not to yell at other people for yeur problems or shortcomings. If yeu're pissy about something, don't do a review.



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Preliminary Rule #1: Don't cuss. Some people (Me included) will ignore your entire post if you cuss them or the abilities out. So better safe than sorry.
Their loss. If it could have made their champion 100x better, and they got stuck up because of an arbitrary set of standards which don't really have any meaning or value? Well, this is not a useful rule.

Honestly, if yeu want the truth, a dedicated artist quickly learns that the "friendly" people rarely ever have anything of value to say. It's the ones who rip right into yeu to the core that often know whot they're doing and can tell yeu the most useful information.

Criticism doesn't have to be harsh to be constructive, but often, it is. I try to avoid that tone myself, but I have to confess, that the vast majority of the best criticism I've ever been given, has been given in a raised voice or in a scathing manner, and often with quite a few expletives involved.

Of course, I've actually worked in game design and studied it professionally as well, so I'm used to the "norm" for the industry. The rest of yeu are going to have to learn that being an artist often involves getting screamed at. It sucks, but the harshest criticisms are usually the most useful ones in terms of improving a design.

Ignoring them is only shooting yeurself in the foot so yeu can be blissfully ignorant.




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Preliminary Rule #2: Actually thuroughly read the abilities. If you don't know the exact mechanics of what you're working with, you're going to be ignored.
I do agree that yeu should read through carefully, however, also note that many abilities are poorly described as well, or completely lack key information that is required.

How many people post their characters' attack range? It pisses me off when I search through their champion trying to figure out if they're melee or ranged, and no wheres does it say, which completely changes how half their abilities work.

Read through it, but if it's not there, yeu're going to have to work with whot yeu have.




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Preliminary Rule #3: As mentioned below (Thank you, Dessim8) if the concept behind a champion is, let's say, death, and one of their abilities heals other champions, or maybe their concept is ice, and they shoot magma out of their hands, just point out that their basic layout isn't the same as their idea is. That should cinch it.
A theme can be bent, so long as it makes sense. Keep in mind that clerics, the healers of D&D, make for the best necromancers, because life and death are more or less just the same thing there.

Even so, try to be consistent, and yes, if someone didn't remain internally consistent within their own design, please tell them so they're aware of it.



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And these are the steps on how to review it.

Step #1: State ability/stat/passive you want to deal with. Just say something like 'Q: Impale,' or something like that. Or 'Passive: Necrotic Magnet.' For stats, just name the stat and give what it is, like 'Health: 455.' This is pretty simple, and most people are good about it.
Copy/paste works well here, I find. Makes it easier while writing to glance back up at it, and when the person's reading it, they'll see exactly whot yeu're referring to, without having to scroll back and forth endlessly.



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Step #2: Explain how you think the ability works. Don't just go out there and assume you're right. You're probably wrong. Some abilities are pretty complex. You don't want to get confused.
This should not be in here. Also, if yeu don't know how the ability works, they did a bad job explaining it and it's their fault. If yeu're confused, and the ability is that complex, it needs to be reworked, or reworded.

This is not the reviewers' problem. It is the person being reviewed who needs to deal with this. Omit this step entirely.



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Step #3: Ask any questions to clarify about how said ability works. That way, they understand why you didn't criticize (The official term, even if you're praising the ability) that section of the ability.
If an ability is not clear enough, state whot's missing and where yeu're confused on, and request they add it to the ability itself. If everyone who sees it has to ask the same question, it's a waste of everyone's time and the documentation is incomplete.

Until that time, review based off yeur best guess at whot they meant. If yeu misunderstand it, then they really, really, need to clean it up some then.

Make sure when writing yeur own champions to be as in depth as needed to explain stuff. If it's a complex ability, then give examples if yeu have to.

Once again, an issue that is not related to the reviewer in the first place, but the person being reviewed.


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Step #4: Say what you liked about the ability. Like, 'I like how it heals you instantly, that's a cool feature.' Tag on things like 'but I think the damage is too high; touch it down a bit' if you think that the good idea just needs a bit of reworking.
Actually, people tend to remember more strongly the last thing that was said, rather than the first thing. It's a psychology thing. Yeu're honestly better off saying the "like" at the end of it, rather than the start, because if yeu say "I liked it, but everything about it is broken", all they'll remember is that, when they finished reading it, yeu were grrr at them still. If yeu reverse it, then at least they'll have some hope, and be more likely to think about ways to fix their stuff, rather than giving up.




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Step #5: Say what you don't like about the ability. Such as, 'Although CC is good, I think Suppression is saved for the ults. Remove that, or rework the ability to replace it with something else.' Notice how I said Rework. That means, take a similar concept, but replace the original with a different one.
Overhaul is another good one involving completely tearing it down to the bare bones basics and rebuilding from the core concept. If yeu want "damage and CC", then pull out all the fluff and special stuff that makes it unique, and rip it down to the core component of just being "damage and CC" and build up from that.

Yeu're being overly sensitive and trying to avoid telling people when they've screwed up. This is fine for kindergarten, but in the art world, people honestly need to know where they screwed up if they're ever going to get better.

I try to be as soft about such as I can, but even so, being blunt and useful is far better than padding someones' ego without cause.

If it needs to be scrapped, because it doesn't work, then it needs to be scrapped. If one ability directly 100% interferes with another one, tell them flat out that one of these two has to go, or be completely changed in how they work together. Trying to pretend that it can simply be "reworked" when it may not be a good idea, shouldn't be done blindly.

The first step to solving any problem, is to recognize that there is a problem. The second step is to identify whot the problem is. The third is to understand why it's a problem. This is before yeu even go into trying to figure out how to fix it. Make sure that these first three steps to problem solving are taken care of, because that's yeur responsibility as the reviewer.


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Step #6: Sum up your entire review. Don't go into details, just say what you liked, what you didn't like, and what you didn't understand.
A quick summary generally helps, yes. I have no arguments here.


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Final Step: After you've reviewed all the individual pieces of a champion, review the champion as a whole: How well do they combo? Do they have no ability to combo? Do they combo far too well? (Possible. Check out the 'Chain Master.' It's quite obvious the order in which he gets his abilities.) Do they agree with the basic concept? Also, if you feel like it, review the art/story behind the character. This isn't always necessary, but sometimes, the story and appearance can explain their abilities. Which can make a difference. So try and get that into your overall review.
This is more or less included in the summary. Technically, if yeu're going to do this though, it should be expanded upon BEFORE the summary, so not the final step at all.

The summary is the key points broken down as "easy to remember" coles notes. Like "fix this, remove one of these two, this part's good but yeu can do more with it, and these numbers need looked at".


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And then move on. I can guarantee you, if you use this system while reviewing, if that person cares anything about that champ, they'll pay attention to your post, whether it's a good idea or not. Stay strong. Without good reviewers, this forum would crawl off and die.
Sadly, this is a guide on how to deal with people who can't take criticism of any kind, not a "how to provide anything of even remotely valuable insight".

Yes, they may listen if yeu pat their ego endlessly, but they aren't likely to recognize whot needs fixed either.

So far, I've had far better success by simply being very in depth and giving reasoning for my reviews. I'm not overly and needlessly harsh in the manner that echoing is, but I tend to be blunt when it's required.

Yeur entire "guide" here essentially can be boiled down to "don't say anything that may sound even vaguely or remotely negative, because yeu may hurt their feelings and they will plug their ears and go LALALALALALA I CANT HEAR YEU".

This may be true, but honestly, if yeu have to take this approach to things, they aren't looking to improve in the first place, and aren't going to listen anyway. If yeu want to get better, yeu need to know whot's wrong, more than anything else. And to be blunt, yeu need to go into great depth on whot's wrong, why it's wrong, and give alternative options on ways to go about possibly fixing it.

Also, since it wasn't listed here... keep in mind that REVIEWERS CAN BE WRONG! Yeu don't know everything! Even zileas doesn't know everything, nor does morello or guinsoo or even me. We make mistakes. We miss things. We have biased opinions. People screw up.

Don't state yeur opinions as fact; simply provide yeur reasoning behind why yeu believe whot yeu do. It's up to the person being reviewed to decide whether they agree with yeu or not.

The best people who get reviewed, respond back, and will actively argue the points. If this happens... GOOD! Make sure to check back up on a post yeu reviewed, and discuss it with them if they bring up points to discuss with yeu. It means they actually want to improve and may believe yeu don't fully understand something. More information is almost always preferable (unless it's a TMI related dealie...), so please, do a check up shortly after of ideas yeu liked before.




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IMPORTANT NOTE: Although you should be friendly, you are not there to be their friend. If it needs to be utterly scrapped, because it's anti-fun, has over-complicated abilities, etc, etc, then don't be afraid to say 'you know what, I don't think this guy is going to work. At all.' It's part of your job as a reviewer. Even though most champions are redeemable, if their abilities are too scrappy, say they are. I know from experience; one of my guys was utterly broken, in terms of his ultimate. It was overpowered, anti-fun for both teams, and had no real drawbacks. I scrapped it entirely.
THANK YEU.

Being friendly gets them to listen, but it rarely provides useful information. If yeu want something to be made better, yeu need to know whot's wrong. Inflating their ego with false compliments just goes to their head and then they don't listen to whot needs to be fixed generally.

If someone has shown the capacity for creativity, but hasn't done as much as yeu suspect they're capable of... call them on it. "Yeu're better than this, and I know if yeu spent more time on it, yeu could make this better than it is" is a great way to encourage someone to do better, while still pointing out they have a lot of work ahead of them still, but giving them the strength to get up and do it.

Don't use that exact line though, and don't use it if it's not true. The point is, however, to encourage them through pointing out they CAN do better, and giving them the tools they need to accomplish such.



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Thanks to everyone, from Aetherspawn, Promethius, Echoing, FelixKam, and onwards, who gave this thread support and gave me suggestions as to how to make it better!

-Jaykoboy-
Buts not me, because I am /wrists *dies*


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Lugubrious

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Member

01-07-2012

Reading through this thread was extremely helpful, thanks for posting it!


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

01-07-2012

Sorry, Katsuni. That post was really nice of you! I get that this may not work for everyone, including you, but it seems to have helped a lot of people. I can make a few changes.

BTW, something you don't seem to have understand entirely well; Step 6 is for the ability or stat you are reviewing, while final step is for the entire champion. I'm sorry for the misconception.


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Katsuni

Senior Member

01-07-2012

Ah, whoops, yeah, this's whot I mean about making sure stuff is clear. It's tricky to do, and this is why we have revisions.

It's pretty much impossible to get it 100% right on the first try without adjustments; all yeu can do is try to get it as close as possible. After that, yeu're stuck relying on the help of others to catch the things yeu missed. Hence, supervisors and peer review =3

Anyway, I'm glad yeu put up a review list at least; I don't agree with all of it, but anything's better than nothing, which is whot we've had until now. Even so, doesn't hurt to give my take on it as well, even if it's a lil more harsh than some.

I prefer to try to keep people encouraged and their morale high; if they get depressed, they can't be bothered to improve. That being said, false modesty, unearned compliments, and platitudes don't help get yeu better either. Yeu still need to point out the flaws, since they themselves probably don't know they're there, or they'd have fixed them themselves already (except me with my Nemhain character... because I'm too lazy to fix her *coughcough* >.>; Well, I know whot's wrong and need to do some number tweaks, just don't feel like doing it is all XD)


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

01-07-2012

Yeah, this is meant mostly for people who are new, or people who just don't really understand how to go around reviewing a champion. It's not like a 'crunch every number, punch out every dent' review, it's a 'figure out what they're going for, and try to help them that way.'


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

01-08-2012

Bump.


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riceraptor13

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Junior Member

01-08-2012

sorry if im posting on the wrong thread..BUT i read some of your reviews, and I like your criticism. Could you please review my friend and I's champion concept? sorry if its on the wrong thread -_-

Altran, the Phantom Boxer
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1683831


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

01-08-2012

No problem, any bump for this thread is a good bump. I'll see it later.


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

01-09-2012

Bump.