Bertboxer's Study of Perception

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RIP Bankplank

Senior Member

11-26-2012

Hello everyone! I'm Bertboxer and I'll be doing this little series in the champion feedback forum. I'll be looking more in depth at some of the things that League of Legends design does well (and other aspects that aren't quite up to snuff). I have my eye on the associate gameplay analyst position at Riot and I'm hoping some of these prove beneficial. If this is your thing, pull up a chair and enjoy!

This week I’ll be examining players’ perception of power and how that has an effect on the game as a whole.

There was a time several years ago that having a team of five tanks was actually pretty viable. Rammus, Amumu, Shen, Malphite, and Singed could stack Sunfire Capes and simply grind you down over time. People often complained that games devolved into who had the most tanks. While this may have been the case, all of these champions were nerfed over time until they were pretty far out of the standard rotation. Amumu has always been decent but the others were considered troll picks for quite some time. Eventually, Riot started cleaning up these champions and most have firmly asserted themselves as dominant forces in solo queue games.

A cursory glance at lolking statistics shows that the three most common bans this month across all elos are Shen, Blitzcrank, and Malphite. Shen, in particular, is banned in an astonishing 85% of all ranked games. This is pretty telling of how frightened players tend to be around these tanks. Interestingly, the highest win rate page is a completely different story. None of those three common bans are even in the top 10 with the only tanks being Amumu and Singed. Shen, Blitz, and Malphite are all actually below 50% in their win rates. Does this mean that the entire playerbase is wrong about these champions and that they’re underpowered? No. This does, however, mean that a player’s perception of what is strong is heavily influenced by other factors.

New players constantly complain about pub-stomp champions like Tryndamere and Darius. They don’t know how to deal with these moderately powerful champions and thus attribute their losses to the champions being overpowered. Over time, most players learn the basic counters to how these champs work and are no longer intimidated. They still lose but they lose with dignity. They (usually) place blame elsewhere rather than calling the victor overpowered. This progression has a profound effect on the playerbase as a whole. When that Dunkmaster Yi is tearing the new players apart, they are afraid because of the huge effect they see in the game. They aren’t thinking about the 20 minutes that Yi couldn’t do anything or the times they could have turned around and bursted him to death. When they leave the game, they remember the fed Yi chopping them up and winning the game. That is what sticks. Until they see anything to the contrary, that is what their opinion is made of.

So what does all of this have to do with the tank scenario I was talking about? Think about it like this. Those top three bans that I was talking about all have big memorable effects on a game. The Blitzcrank grabbed you at level one to get their carry first blood and it all snowballed from there. The Malphite charged in and stunned your whole team while their caster blew you all to hell. Shen kept splitpushing and saved his carries from across the map several times. These are all very obvious and memorable. We distinctly remember the highlights of our losses but can’t seem to recall all of the other factors in the game. This makes us, in turn, fear the champion that caused such a situation. As a knee-jerk reaction we ban the offender next game so as to avoid a similar situation. Other people see this ban and then do the same. If a champion is banned almost every game, it must be really strong and I should ban it too. We are creatures of mimicry, are we not? This is how someone like Shen gets an 85% ban rate despite his win rate being mediocre. This is also why someone like Taric, with one of the highest win rates in the game, is never banned. His overall contribution isn’t particularly memorable so we always forget.

So the moral of the story is thus: every time you see a popular champion going to work on your team, take a moment to consider every possible factor before just attributing it to the champion. We may be able to avoid unnecessary nerfs if people paid more attention.

That’s it for this week, criticism and suggestions are always welcome!

Week one: Personality http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2603027

Week two: Trundle http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2613613

Week three: Nunu http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2626315

Week four: Sion http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...1#post29977821

Week five: Melee Carries http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...6#post30170026

Week six: Gangplank http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2739639

Week seven: Difficulty http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2762015

Week eight: Elise http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...ight=bertboxer


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RIP Bankplank

Senior Member

11-26-2012

bump


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JohntheMage

Senior Member

11-26-2012

Interesting.


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goremote

Senior Member

11-26-2012

bump.

Bertboxer, I love your posts.


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CerealBoxOfDoom

Senior Member

11-26-2012

I have a supposition to consider.

Lets say there is a tank called OPtank

OPtank is OP but requires some skill to play (remember that this is a game of strategy not just skill)
Only people with a typing speed in the top 15 percentile can play him effectively but if you are amongst this group you automatically win the game no matter how bad you are at this game.

OPtank will be seen at toplevel play and never lose.
OPtank will be chosen by less skilled or less talented players with a dream. Thousands, maybe millions of them.
Naturally he will also be banned alot
OPtank's winrate will be lowered and not truely represent his full potential.
OPtank's banrate will rise arbritrarily as well because of that guy who says in que "omg did you see OPtank in that tournament? Ban him!!!"

OPtank is banned alot and doesn't win often now.

A similar thing happened with Ezreal in the world finals. Beforehand he was chosen alot and won over 55% of his games. During the tournament he was chosen and banned alot but only won 45%.

TLDR

I think it's necessary to further filter the results of a champions potential after figuring out what their winrate is.


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DestroyerBR

Member

11-26-2012

??


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RIP Bankplank

Senior Member

11-26-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by CerealBoxOfDoom View Post
I have a supposition to consider.

Lets say there is a tank called OPtank

OPtank is OP but requires some skill to play (remember that this is a game of strategy not just skill)
Only people with a typing speed in the top 15 percentile can play him effectively but if you are amongst this group you automatically win the game no matter how bad you are at this game.

OPtank will be seen at toplevel play and never lose.
OPtank will be chosen by less skilled or less talented players with a dream. Thousands, maybe millions of them.
Naturally he will also be banned alot
OPtank's winrate will be lowered and not truely represent his full potential.
OPtank's banrate will rise arbritrarily as well because of that guy who says in que "omg did you see OPtank in that tournament? Ban him!!!"

OPtank is banned alot and doesn't win often now.
ok then, a fair point. i would say that there is a strong correlation between typing speed and high level mechanical skill and that just about everyone in platinum rankings would fit your top 15 percentile figure. we don't have the ban statistics by ranking on lolking but we can still filter the winrates thusly. over the last month, none of the champions i listed is even in the top 10. i know you have a hypothetical point but i just want to show that we have the resources to judge it accurately or not.
Quote:
A similar thing happened with Ezreal in the world finals. Beforehand he was chosen alot and won over 55% of his games. During the tournament he was chosen and banned alot but only won 45%.
well that's just a matter of sample size. the world finals was only so many games as opposed to the 55% statistic across thousands and thousands of games. If ezreal had won just one or two more games in the finals, his winrate would have been comparable to what it normally was


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Absolute 42

Senior Member

11-26-2012

Hi bertboxer, love your stuff. Do you think you'll ever post these on GD? I would love to see you get flagged by a red, and GD could give you a heck of a lot more traffic. I don't even know if reds look at this forum, sadly


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RIP Bankplank

Senior Member

11-27-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute 42 View Post
Hi bertboxer, love your stuff. Do you think you'll ever post these on GD? I would love to see you get flagged by a red, and GD could give you a heck of a lot more traffic. I don't even know if reds look at this forum, sadly
i did originally but the environment over there is much more hostile and the boards move so fast that nobody gets a chance to read my stuff

as much as i would love some red feedback, i'm pretty content to remain here in a better community


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RIP Bankplank

Senior Member

11-27-2012

bumpity


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