Riot will NEVER respond to any thread of importance (and here's why)

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Tryndamere

President / Co-Founder

Follow MarcMerrill on Twitter

08-06-2012
37 of 92 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armorgen View Post
@Tryn

Have you guys thought of putting a server in Australia?

There is a thread in gd that is rather big. No red has posted in it yet tho.
Yah, we've thought about it - but have concerns about separating you guys down under from the greater English speaking community.

What are your thoughts on that?


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Critkeeper

Senior Member

08-06-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryndamere View Post
Thanks for the detailed initial post. I understand and can relate to your frustration, because for years, I sat on your guys side of the fence as a passionate gamer who really wanted to help the game that I loved be even better. I would sit for hours writing up detailed posts, I would discuss with my friends and I would wrack my brain on figuring out how to "get through" to the company that could make decisions that impacted this thing that I cared about so greatly.

It is thus a strange twist of fate that I now sit where I sit and have the ability to either cause great frustration in you all, or, to alleviate this frustration and ideally channel your passionate energy into something constructive for our game and community.

Let me attempt to do so (in a small way) by responding to this post, but hopefully by the end of reading this, I will help reassure some of you that each and every day, 24 hours a day, these are precisely the things that we spend all of our time thinking about - because we want the same things you do.



Agreed. Allow me to apologize officially on behalf of Riot for our poor handling of many situations. If it is any consolation, I would like you (and whomever else reads this), that we do very thorough and formalized "retrospectives" of all of these events - and many others - to help us do better in the future and not make the same mistakes, or, to react to current situations that we haven't adequately addressed. Many of the topics you have listed are situations that various teams at the company are actively working on.

Now, what does "actively working on" mean? This is one thing that you cite that is frustrating. Sure we "say" that we are "actively working on" something, but words are wind - as we all know.

That's one of the reason we created the League of Legends timeline, http://timeline.leagueoflegends.com/ - we wanted to remind everyone about how significantly the game has evolved and will continue to evolve because we are constantly "actively working" on many things.

But the underlying reason for a lot of the issues you have cited with concern is that Riot has grown a lot in order to expand our capabilities to support tens of millions of users around the world, and ensuring that all of the multitude of things that we do on a daily basis are always awesome and fully aligned with our goal of delighting you all with awesome, is simply put, difficult. The good news is that we are a company that learns very quickly and has amazing people at all levels of the company who care deeply about this mission. We WANT to deliver awesome with everything that we do. When we don't, we take it very seriously.

I can say with confidence, that this is one thing that separates us from many other companies - from top to bottom, the thing that matters most to us is delighting our players and that's what drives our decisions. When we do something that deviates from that, it is likely due to sub-optimal execution, or misalignment internally, rather than any deliberate attempt to be not awesome. It's hard to demonstrate this, but I think the players who have come to events and met us or visited the office can vouch for these things, but ideally we'll have more ways to communicate and reinforce these ideals in a more scaleable way in the future (we are actively working on that =p).



The real reason we don't address some of these things head on, is because often times we don't have great answers and/or are working on great long term solutions that aren't ready for daylight yet.

We have learned over time (from community feedback) that saying we are working on something really isn't a great answer, because time is a very important factor that has a different perception depending on who is looking at the situation and whose perspective we are looking at it from. Example: if a character is slightly OP, say has a 2% higher win rate than our average, (by tending to win too many matchups, or be too versatile, etc), the severity of the issue can be different depending on who is looking at the situation. Competitive players may think it is a major issue due it this character impacting the meta (picks, bans, lane allocations, etc), while many other players may not care at all. Or, our design team may think that a noob stompy champion (say, Tryndamere!!1) who is not frequently used at high level play, is a much more important issue to address because it impacts a large % of players, but the competitive tier doesn't really have this come up on their radar, etc.

The key is that things are relative based on the viewers perspective (any physics or philosophy majors out there?).

Now, that's a design example, but we may have a similar situation re: priorities that hit other issues, like pricing, development priorities, etc. Sometimes we "stop gap" until we have a better long term solution.

A great example is pricing. We haven't been fully happy with our pricing communication, approach and execution because believe it or not, pricing is not something that receives much attention from most senior people at the company. We're focused on creating awesome - like developing E-sports, building game features, improving our content or intellectual property, building the organization, launching internationally, etc.

Pricing, aside from us saying "let's have the game be free forever and never sell power" has largely been an after thought because our view is that if we create awesome, then our players will reward us. That has held true.

Thus, if we botch the retirement of skins, or don't have enough sales, it is really due to organizational momentum and the lack of real leadership driving a directional change based on your guys feedback. The good news is, for those who care about pricing and those types of things, is that we have real, dedicated leadership here now who can focus on doing a better job of ensuring your needs are better met from that perspective.

Now, that doesn't mean that all skins will now cost 0 IP, or something equally drastic, but what it DOES mean is that there will be a lot more careful consideration, focus and communication with you all about what we're doing there.

With pretty much anything that sucks that we do, the upstream "cause" can be traced to that - the lack of sufficient mindshare because we probably think something else is more important - until we find the right person or grow the organization in such a way as to enable us to do all that we need to do in parallel.

There's no conspiracy where we're sitting around twisting our mustaches, if anything, the only mustache twisting we do is in regards to "creating more awesome" and figuring out how to delight you. Ask any Rioter, and they will tell you the same thing. Pretty much all of our focus internally is on that.



That's really just not the case. The problem simply relates to more "noise" and more things to do. We now are the largest online game in the world and serve (literally) tens of millions of gamers. Scale is hard, but we think we're up to the challenge and we appreciate your support.

You holding faith that we WILL do better is important to us, and don't be afraid to call us out when we're not as awesome as we usually are - because it is critical for us to keep our execution bar as high (or even higher) than it has always been.

The cool thing is, in all seriousness, we do have tons of awesome in store and our capabilities are stronger than ever. The Season 3 teaser from today is a sneak peak in this direction, but we have a lot more awesome coming that I don't want to spoil with a message board post (because the announcements or the releases will be 100000000x cooler).

Hopefully this was helpful and thanks for all of your patience while we keep trying to do an even better job for you guys.

On a personal note, my ELO has dropped from about 1650 to 1400 because I'm focusing so much more on trying to build our organizational capabilities than I am at keeping my LOL skills sharp - another tragedy that I look forward to remedying (so trust me when I say I'm motivated)!
You have organized your company to focus on pleasing your customers as much as possible, creating the most awesome game you can. But is it sustainable?

Roughly every two weeks a new champion is created and added to an already massive roster of champions. Three years ago the premise of becoming familiar with all the champions that existed in league of legends wasn't as daunting as it is now, as the number of champions has tripled. In order to manage the growing complexity, it is important that new champions not be deliberately complicated. However, if new champions are deliberately boring, the devoted portion of the player base, which is familiar with all the champs thus far, will assault the new champion for not adding anything new or interesting to the game.

Given that, I suppose that you value simple to understand but unique champion concepts, like Tryndamere's ult just for example. But again, moderation is the ultimate creed, and if all champions are deliberately and absolutely unique, in all or even most aspects, then the rate of increase of complexity of this game will eventually make the task of learning all champions in the game too daunting to undertake.

The number of seasoned lol players at a given moment is equal to the number that already existed, minus those that have left to play other games, plus those that have graduated from playing casually by becoming intimately familiar with every champ.

As new champions are created, assuming they each bring something unique to the game, the task of becoming familiar with every champion increases in difficulty and therefore the number of players graduating from casual play to seasoned play, per month, decreases.

The number one reason seasoned players leave to play other games is because they lose interest in the game, i.e. it is not engaging, complex, or interesting enough. You have organized your company to retain player interest by primarily by releasing new champions. The problem is that this will only entertain most, not all of the seasoned champs, therefore some of them will still leave.

The number of seasoned lol players now = N
The number of seasoned lol players a month ago = M
The number of seasoned lol players that have left to play other games = L
The number of casual players that graduated to seasoned play = S
N = M - L + S

See the problem? N = M after every iteration, and your the number of seasoned players in your player base is stable, as long as L = S, but if you keep creating new champions, L will overtake S.

I really don't believe every game has to die. Chess didn't. Basketball didn't. What you have done is created a market for the "awesome" that you love to share with the community that you have organized. That doesn't mean that "awesome" has to be exclusively new champions. Introducing new maps, like dominion and twisted tree line, extend the longevity of your game, because it attracts new players and satisfies existing ones without markedly increasing complexity. Skins are good for the longevity of this game for the same reason. New champions every two weeks isn't.

Are you interested exclusively in making the most awesome game you can, right now?
OR
Are you interested in making a game that is a tad less awesome but will survive for years and years, maybe even a decade, and then transcend time? A game that will have a truly fanatic fan base of people who have seen it grow and change with their children, a game which values balance and honing that balance to a razor's edge over years and years of meticulous tweaks, patches, and revisions. Not just a passing entertainment, but a sport, a work of art.

Tryndamere, i strongly urge you to think for a long time about what i've said here, and decide what kind of game you want for this community.
How can you change your business model to make it sustainable? People want to pay for sustainability, because that is by far the best kind of "awesome" in the long run. Give us a chance to do that.

Here is an example model that is sustainable:

Reduce the number of new champions you produce each month, and increase the number of exclusive, limited edition skins, like a Veigar skin for which he is stumbling around in his pajamas, but there are only 1000 released. Other players can exchange limited edition skins, like swapping trading cards, but the transaction costs a very small fee (like 100 RP). The important thing is to release a large number of limited edition skins, so that it is nearly impossible for a single person to memorize all of them. You can offload the labor required to create those skins by creating a application that would allow the community to easily create their own, and submit them to riot for review, where people vote on whether they want that skin to become an official limited edition skin, to be purchased by players and eventually traded around. The more skins there are to trade, the better, because it both satisfies existing devoted lol players and doesn't add any complexity to the game for new players.

I'm not saying that this is the only way to make your business sustainable, but please, for all of us out there who have really fallen in love with league of legends, adopt a sustainable business model.

That would be truly, truly awesome.


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Zwuack

Senior Member

08-06-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jortalus View Post
6300 in a week is easily doable. A big part of getting the most out of your IP is patience; wait 2 weeks for that shiny new champ, try it for its free week, and then decide if you want to buy it or not. If not, keep that IP saved. I have almost 14k IP saved, and I just bought Jayce not long ago after trying him on the PBE. I knew he would be worth it.

Patience is key if you want to get the most out of the free system of this game. It might be difficult, but if the temptation is so great for people to spend money on RP...Why not spend money on RP? You obviously think it's something worth your time and money, so why not send a few dollars to Riot for their efforts? Don't think of it as paying for something; think of it as offering money to the people who've made such a wonderful game to play, while also getting a little something for yourself in return. That's how I always see it.
Eh..If you think of getting IP as a grind, then yeah it'll be painful lol. I just play and enjoy the game..the IP I get is pretty much a byproduct of me doing so.


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Makhiavelli

Senior Member

08-06-2012

I think Riot's biggest problem is they announce things that end up getting repeatedly delayed and are QUICK to say "I'll get back to you"...but never ever get back to us. Though they have gotten better with both of these I must say.


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Epicn00b

Senior Member

08-06-2012

I still think this is the way Riot determines IP prices. Boy would I like to see a new 4800 champ.....


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Ueber

Senior Member

08-06-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Champions and Rune Pages are available for IP, which costs exactly zero USD. So...yes. They are free.
Just because something costs IP doesn't mean it is free. It takes a considerable amount of time invested in this game to accumulate IP, particularily the 6300 IP needed to buy a new champion. And there's a considerable opportunity cost to spending that IP on a champion, because doing so restricts your ability to buy power (runes, rune pages) and makes spending money on champions an attractive option. It's a really clever buisness model you guys have.

Now, this is my problem and I don't know how much it reflects on other players. If I like a champion, I am inclined to buy them a skin at some point. However, I have accumulated probably around 40 champions so far. New champions that come out compete with champions that I already own for a given role. With a 6300 price tag plus the learning curve, I cannot afford to buys them all and it's a huge risk that I may not even enjoy them so I rarely pick up new champions. Because I'm not getting new champions, I'm not buying skins and not experiencing all of the content I can. I'm sure it's not feasable, but I would love if all the champions were truly free, with more customization options.


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Zerglinator

Senior Member

08-06-2012

OK, I'm wondering...

If ALL new champs since that long time ago were 4800, and there never was such thing as a 6300 Champ...

Would people really not be complaining?


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Tryndamere

President / Co-Founder

Follow MarcMerrill on Twitter

08-06-2012
38 of 92 Riot Posts

Lots of people curious about pricing reductions - will need to get back to you guys on that when I check with the team (it's late).


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EFG

Senior Member

08-06-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryndamere View Post
Yah, we've thought about it - but have concerns about separating you guys down under from the greater English speaking community.

What are your thoughts on that?
Mixed feelings personally. I would not transfer my main account over (though if there was ever a copy / paste type service offered I would have to seriously consider it) but I would level a second account on an australasian server just to play ranked without the latency.


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Ob1Kn00b

Member

08-06-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryndamere View Post
We ARE you guys, that's the funny thing. So we know exactly what it's like to be in your shoes.
You're us with unlimited IP and RP so that you never actually need to spend the time to farm up 6300 IP.

Consider that for a bit.