Everything that is currently wrong with: Fear

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ZanryuEU

Senior Member

07-13-2013

Hey folks,

I'm Zanryu and from time to time I'll write some decent moretheless short summaries on what I think is currently wrong with a specific topic. Obviously I'll talk today about Fear but you'll see that fear involves more than just a simple mechanic.

Fiddlesticks, Shaco and Nocturne have one thing that is utterly something to avoid in any competetive game. Ironically it's not fear, it is luck. And surely they are not the only offenders in that case. Many chain lightning like abilities like Katarina's 'Bouncing Blades' or Ryze's 'Spell Flux' do have a priority system but aren't useful against single targets. Champion abilties like these are the only situation where someone really can yell "Luck" against his opponent because it really is.
In Dota heroes uses random values as auto-attacks because Warcraft 3 had it the same way. Because humans are creatures of habit they took over the concept of random values because the players who should play it were already used to it. The reason why they did that is understandable. What is not understandable is that they copy absolutly everything that was, from the point of view in terms of competetive game designing, wrong with Dota1 and copy that to Dota2. However this is not a Dota vs LoL thread. It should be an example and is nothing more.

Random values are frustating in all competetive games. And fear, as the mechanic we know from LoL, is the peak of that frustation. Too many times I saw enemies walking out of 3 AP Shaco Boxes that would easily kill them if they had walked into them instead of run away. But that is how fear works. It is random and not dependable. But LoL is with its huge community and giant money prizes in no situations where luck should determine the winner of multiple tons of dollars. Ironically luck is the way how AD carries work.

Crit is that same thing. In 1975 a PnPRPG (Pen-and-Paper Role-play game) named "Empire of the Petal Throne" invented the 'Critical Hit' to reward players for luck. On this basis many PnPRPGs work this way, and if not, even all of them. The mere feeling to achieve something that is fairly rare to the common player is something that worked 30 years ago. Nowadays the 'Critical Hit' is just a mechanic to let the player deal more damage in a random matter. Strangely enough a critical hit can easily be replaced by additional on-hit damage.

But why doesn't Riot want that?
First: The players wouldn't allow it. As mentioned earlier the human is a creature of habit and if Riot would replace 20% Critical Strike Chance (+100% Damage) by 20% AD on-hit damage the players doesn't feel the same way. When I play crit-Draven (I start with Brawler Gloves and a total of +8% Crit runes) it is amazing how devasating his axes become. The start with 16% crit can easily lead to an easy advantage if you coordinate with your team mate. I think that it could work why Caitlyn and Lucian, too, but I would need to test it first. Back to the topic: If Draven wouldn't crit anymore with his axes the crit runes would become +%AD on-hit damage. And aside of the removal of a cap for crit the feeling would gone away, too. In terms of competetive game design each removal of luck would be the best choice if you can bring the luck values to its intersection. However the possible feeling of the player is what comes first in the game design in general. As long as the player feels the right thing when they critkill someone in the last second everything should be right. Sure it is okay to say that the feelings of the player matters but the someone who died against that luck is also a human being who maybe calculated the most possible chance to deal the most possible damage out of his money in terms of damage per second in a long fight. It is just frustating for everyone to die because the enemy had lucky crits.

Second: comes later, I promise, you'll see it when it appears. But for now I go back to fears.
With the release of Hecarim Riot showed us a new type of crowd control: Anti-Charm. Why do I call it anti-charm? Because fear is still a total different thing. Even when Riot called it fear, which makes somewhat sense because of Hecarim's lore, the mechanics and the stategic choices which comes from that are a complete different topic to study. Surely Riot could give Fiddlesticks, Shaco and Nocturne that fear but it would never work. Both Fiddlesticks and Shacos fear exist because both of them need to do other things in the mean time. And even if it doesn't appear right in front of you: dealing damage from the behind is quite hard if the target walks randomly and if you want to deal the maximum amount of damage. But there is a more elegant way to fix that issue. No, it's not a charm.^^ (wouldn't suit them, anyway) And it's not a stun either. Even if it would be the best way to deal with randomness, it would kill it completely because randomness is still needed.
(Hint: second answer) A random element is something that can shake the platform where the superior team stand on. Some lucky decent critical strikes can lead the weaker team to victory even if it would be statistical nearly impossible. This creates an illusion of hope for the weaker team at all times. Surely strategy games doesn't work that work because not everything depends on numbers (even when we express everything with numbers). The biggest factor a game designer cannot calculate is the player.
Even if it sounds like a contradiction to something I said earlier, it still is true. The possible numbers of actions somebody can do in a situation is nearly endless and calculating everything would just be a waste of time because everything has to happen and be decided within a split second.

What do we learn from all those things?
Luck is good and bad and players don't want it to disappear because it can release hope in a subconscious manner.

How can we fix those things without destroying it?
Fixing fear could be quite easy. Instead of walking randomly, the target can randomly walk on a circular line around the caster with the range difference in the cast sequence as the radius with the source as the center. That would preserve everything that is loved about fear and remove the most critical random value: distance. Over all this solution will only have a small impact but it will make fear more dependable in terms of prediction.
The greater problem which can occur is with bouncing abilities. A good priority list would be the only solution bu from that a certain ability can become too reliable and maybe overpowered. Surely a limit of maximum times per target can also deal with the problem. Overall there are too many variables to think of at 5 am.^^ But most of the important things about that should be mentioned already.


I hope I could encourage some people to think of such topics in a more objective way than before.

Zanryu

If you liked it feel free to support my thread.


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CerealBoxOfDoom

Senior Member

07-13-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZanryuEU View Post
Hey folks,

I'm Zanryu and from time to time I'll write some decent moretheless short summaries on what I think is currently wrong with a specific topic. Obviously I'll talk today about Fear but you'll see that fear involves more than just a simple mechanic.

Fiddlesticks, Shaco and Nocturne have one thing that is utterly something to avoid in any competetive game. Ironically it's not fear, it is luck. And surely they are not the only offenders in that case. Many chain lightning like abilities like Katarina's 'Bouncing Blades' or Ryze's 'Spell Flux' do have a priority system but aren't useful against single targets. Champion abilties like these are the only situation where someone really can yell "Luck" against his opponent because it really is.
In Dota heroes uses random values as auto-attacks because Warcraft 3 had it the same way. Because humans are creatures of habit they took over the concept of random values because the players who should play it were already used to it. The reason why they did that is understandable. What is not understandable is that they copy absolutly everything that was, from the point of view in terms of competetive game designing, wrong with Dota1 and copy that to Dota2. However this is not a Dota vs LoL thread. It should be an example and is nothing more.
Random values are frustating in all competetive games. And fear, as the mechanic we know from LoL, is the peak of that frustation. Too many times I saw enemies walking out of 3 AP Shaco Boxes that would easily kill them if they had walked into them instead of run away. But that is how fear works. It is random and not dependable. But LoL is with its huge community and giant money prizes in no situations where luck should determine the winner of multiple tons of dollars. Ironically luck is the way how AD carries work.
Crit is that same thing. In 1975 a PnPRPG (Pen-and-Paper Role-play game) named "Empire of the Petal Throne" invented the 'Critical Hit' to reward players for luck. On this basis many PnPRPGs work this way, and if not, even all of them. The mere feeling to achieve something that is fairly rare to the common player is something that worked 30 years ago. Nowadays the 'Critical Hit' is just a mechanic to let the player deal more damage in a random matter. Strangely enough a critical hit can easily be replaced by additional on-hit damage.
But why doesn't Riot want that?
First: The players wouldn't allow it. As mentioned earlier the human is a creature of habit and if Riot would replace 20% Critical Strike Chance (+100% Damage) by 20% AD on-hit damage the players doesn't feel the same way. When I play crit-Draven (I start with Brawler Gloves and a total of +8% Crit runes) it is amazing how devasating his axes become. The start with 16% crit can easily lead to an easy advantage if you coordinate with your team mate. I think that it could work why Caitlyn and Lucian, too, but I would need to test it first. Back to the topic: If Draven wouldn't crit anymore with his axes the crit runes would become +%AD on-hit damage. And aside of the removal of a cap for crit the feeling would gone away, too. In terms of competetive game design each removal of luck would be the best choice if you can bring the luck values to its intersection. However the possible feeling of the player is what comes first in the game design in general. As long as the player feels the right thing when they critkill someone in the last second everything should be right. Sure it is okay to say that the feelings of the player matters but the someone who died against that luck is also a human being who maybe calculated the most possible chance to deal the most possible damage out of his money in terms of damage per second in a long fight. It is just frustating for everyone to die because the enemy had lucky crits.
Second: comes later, I promise, you'll see it when it appears. But for now I go back to fears.
With the release of Hecarim Riot showed us a new type of crowd control: Anti-Charm. Why do I call it anti-charm? Because fear is still a total different thing. Even when Riot called it fear, which makes somewhat sense because of Hecarim's lore, the mechanics and the stategic choices which comes from that are a complete different topic to study. Surely Riot could give Fiddlesticks, Shaco and Nocturne that fear but it would never work. Both Fiddlesticks and Shacos fear exist because both of them need to do other things in the mean time. And even if it doesn't appear right in front of you: dealing damage from the behind is quite hard if the target walks randomly and if you want to deal the maximum amount of damage. But there is a more elegant way to fix that issue. No, it's not a charm.^^ (wouldn't suit them, anyway) And it's not a stun either. Even if it would be the best way to deal with randomness, it would kill it completely because randomness is still needed.
(Hint: second answer) A random element is something that can shake the platform where the superior team stand on. Some lucky decent critical strikes can lead the weaker team to victory even if it would be statistical nearly impossible. This creates an illusion of hope for the weaker team at all times. Surely strategy games doesn't work that work because not everything depends on numbers (even when we express everything with numbers). The biggest factor a game designer cannot calculate is the player.
Even if it sounds like a contradiction to something I said earlier, it still is true. The possible numbers of actions somebody can do in a situation is nearly endless and calculating everything would just be a waste of time because everything has to happen and be decided within a split second.

What do we learn from all those things?
Luck is good and bad and players don't want it to disappear because it can release hope in a subconscious manner.

How can we fix those things without destroying it?
Fixing fear could be quite easy. Instead of walking randomly, the target can randomly walk on a circular line around the caster with the range difference in the cast sequence as the radius with the source as the center. That would preserve everything that is loved about fear and remove the most critical random value: distance. Over all this solution will only have a small impact but it will make fear more dependable in terms of prediction.
The greater problem which can occur is with bouncing abilities. A good priority list would be the only solution bu from that a certain ability can become too reliable and maybe overpowered. Surely a limit of maximum times per target can also deal with the problem. Overall there are too many variables to think of at 5 am.^^ But most of the important things about that should be mentioned already.


I hope I could encourage some people to think of such topics in a more objective way than before.

Zanryu

If you liked it feel free to support my thread.
fix that formatting..

ಠ_ಠ RIGHT NOW


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JustMyBassCannon

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

07-13-2013

Sorry for being lazy, but I'd like a TL;DR or at least separate paragraph summaries so I can get the gist of what you're saying without submitting to reading a lot of text about a single odd mechanic in League of Legends.


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aFutureSelf

Senior Member

07-13-2013

Yeah a TL;DR would be nice.

But i don't see anything wrong with the fears in this game. The fears in this game are fairly short but powerful CC and the target doesn't wander off very far.


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CS3Narutoi

Senior Member

07-14-2013

Tl;dr (hope I'm reading it right)
Fear is random(luckiness), which is bad.
Example. 3 Shaco boxes, fears but runs away instead of into the box. If ran into the box would of resulted in a kill.
Fix = walk in a circle around the caster.
"Fixing fear could be quite easy. Instead of walking randomly, the target can randomly walk on a circular line around the caster with the range difference in the cast sequence as the radius with the source as the center."

I agree with you, I don't like how fear is random.
I have another solution:
Runs around in a small circle from where they are.
It's like what you mentioned, except that they start running in a small circle from where they are standing when feared.
I think it kinda makes sense also, cause you can see people running around screaming in circles when terrified.


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Thubgar

Senior Member

07-14-2013

fear is a problem, crits are fine.

the basic issue is the rule of large numbers. given enough samples, any random event will trend towards its probability. fear spells are so few and far between that their random outcomes are devastating. basic attacks are so frequent that crits are unsurprising and fit the damage curve rather well.


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CerealBoxOfDoom

Senior Member

07-14-2013

hecarim doesn't have a fear. True story. fiddle and shaco have a fear but fear is broken in the giant crack in the glass sense

Quote:
units in the area that Hecarim stops suffer a "terrified" fear effect for 1 second
I don't even think it has an official name. But you run away from hecarim. You run towards fiddlesticks


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CS3Narutoi

Senior Member

07-14-2013

In you run towards Fiddle... then... Fiddle charms enemies? o___O