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Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

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Miles Long

Senior Member

12-09-2010

Quote:
Zileas:
This is not an anti-fun thing, because laning is fun too, but it is an incentives problem. I actually think that casual lane kills would happen a lot more if early game escape and survival wasn't so easy.


I'm glad you think so.

Edit: You do know that Terrorblade can only steal a specific percentage of Health right? Not to mention that he has to be **** near dead for it to be effective (Hello, burst damage and CC!). A simple Linken's Sphere or Hood of Defiance will spit all over that piss poor one-trick-pony strategy. A good Terrorblade builds an Eye of Skadi, Butterfly and some sort of damage multiplication. Burize, MKB, Stygian, whatever.

It's pretty funny how you can solo push a vacant lane with one Terrorblade image and be somewhere else entirely being helpful with your main guy. Or you can monster push a lane with two images and never worry about the mana cost because of the Eye of Skadi. Sheepstick is probably a good item to have as well for some CC.

I'm thinking there are other good reasons why you guys aren't implementing image generating champions.


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Tapp

Senior Member

12-09-2010

Zileas, this is pretty off-topic, but what's the status on Blind Monk and Armored Bear? I'm not asking for any spoilers about skills or anything like that. I just want to know if they're indefinitely scrapped. Personally, I think Armored Bear is a fun idea for another non-humanoid and Blind Monk has become borderline legendary and is becoming unavoidable.
Thoughts?


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-09-2010

Quote:
Miles Long:
I'm glad you think so.

Edit: You do know that Terrorblade can only steal a specific percentage of Health right? Not to mention that he has to be **** near dead for it to be effective (Hello, burst damage and CC!). A simple Linken's Sphere or Hood of Defiance will spit all over that piss poor one-trick-pony strategy. A good Terrorblade builds an Eye of Skadi, Butterfly and some sort of damage multiplication. Burize, MKB, Stygian, whatever.

Yes, I'm aware, but when it happens with dagon, it is an instant gib on an otherwise healthy target. I think that is a bad thing.

Quote:

It's pretty funny how you can solo push a vacant lane with one Terrorblade image and be somewhere else entirely being helpful with your main guy. Or you can monster push a lane with two images and never worry about the mana cost because of the Eye of Skadi. Sheepstick is probably a good item to have as well for some CC.

I'm thinking there are other good reasons why you guys aren't implementing image generating champions.


Sheepstick is ALWAYS a good item to a significant extent, which is a problem ;p

yeah, i know, you dont want to put it on some characters beacuse you'd rather have something else, but I really dislike the sharp binary play of CC in dota late game -- Use BKB so that this stuff can't wreck you. No BKB, get chain stunned/snared, etc.


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EasymodeX

Senior Member

12-09-2010

Quote:
Yes, I'm aware, but when it happens with dagon, it is an instant gib on an otherwise healthy target. I think that is a bad thing.


It's predictable, preventable, high-risk, counterable. It's also monstrously hilarious when it works. Not to mention a huge investment for the player to go with a Dagon instead of a Skadi.

I don't like getting instagibbed by Parrrley, but it is preventable, counterable. I don't like getting hit by frostbite at double damage because Anivia's ult can be used with almost zero game restriction at all. I don't like that Poppy is immune to both damage AND CC AND able to target any champ during her ult.

I don't like a lot of things that kill me. So what? The real question is how easy those things are to achieve, how preventable they are, how easy they are to deal with.

For Terrorblade's instagib, a lot of preparation needs to go into pathing and predicting (or warding) to see where the enemy will go, or else you are taking massive risks with fog of war and getting rickrolled -- you are running around the map with 20% hp after all. The gimmick strat itself is hard-countered by a dozen heroes by their very existence (Zeus, Spectre, Bloodseeker, N'aix, others ... any champ with ranged CC, soft countered by any stealth champ).

But specific example aside, this is the fundamental game design philosophy I disagree with and find anemic for a PvP game.

At a broad level, what is fun for one person in PvP is going to be correspondingly unfun for the receiving end, no matter what the ability is.

I think that bad game design is degrees -- when something that is very strong can be done *very easily*, and takes an inordinate amount of capability to counter. Then THAT is imbalance / bad design. But that is an equation of skill, abilities, capabilities, and effort. Not an equation of fun.

Quote:
I really dislike the sharp binary play of CC in dota late game


On the other hand, I really like it.

DotA gameplay was sharp because things that you did were very important. In LoL, that newbie safety-net surrounds every ability and champion, and stagnates the entertainment, IMO.

Exactly as you say, things like true hard CC (Rhasta or Lion as a classic example ... a Rhasta with Sheepstick and Eul's for 30s of almost continuous hard CC?) versus pure immunity (BKB). Big cards and gold investments against other big cards and gold investments. IWIN buttons versus IWIN buttons.

In LoL it feels so tepid. It feels like the choices are small optimizations rather than major strategic plays. Any strong strategic play is made on the character select screen with your summoner abilities, which of course are available as safety nets at level 1, instead of a strategic investment during the game, based on your opponent capabilities and your own priorities.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

12-09-2010

Quote:
EasymodeX:


I don't like getting instagibbed by Parrrley, but it is preventable, counterable. I don't like getting hit by frostbite at double damage because Anivia's ult can be used with almost zero game restriction at all. I don't like that Poppy is immune to both damage AND CC AND able to target any champ during her ult.

You have to get hit by MULTIPLES of those to kill you. Several flash frost/frostbites... Many tics of glacial storm... Or two or three parrrleys with cannon barrage. That's the difference. Terrorblade combo can kill you immediately in under a second, so fast that you may not even understand what happened. No LoL champion can do that in reasonable situations (the exception would be super late game olaf or tryndamere that is very farmed going against an 0-10 caster or something).

Quote:

I don't like a lot of things that kill me. So what? The real question is how easy those things are to achieve, how preventable they are, how easy they are to deal with.

Being killed is fine. Being killed in a situation where you cannot make a response is really frustrating. LOL does create these situations, but generally only with chain CC from several characters, or in absurd late game farm scenarios where the game should've ended 15 minutes before anyway and you, as the victim, are extremely weak.

Quote:

For Terrorblade's instagib, a lot of preparation needs to go into pathing and predicting (or warding) to see where the enemy will go, or else you are taking massive risks with fog of war and getting rickrolled -- you are running around the map with 20% hp after all. The gimmick strat itself is hard-countered by a dozen heroes by their very existence (Zeus, Spectre, Bloodseeker, N'aix, others ... any champ with ranged CC, soft countered by any stealth champ).

Irrelevant. You are still going from 100% hp as a super tank to 0 HP in under a second. That's just lame -- you are taking a players entire gameplay experience away arbitrarily.

Quote:

Exactly as you say, things like true hard CC (Rhasta or Lion as a classic example ... a Rhasta with Sheepstick and Eul's for 30s of almost continuous hard CC?) versus pure immunity (BKB). Big cards and gold investments against other big cards and gold investments. IWIN buttons versus IWIN buttons.

DOTA's counter model is to a much larger extent than LoL based around a strong carry either demolishing your team or not, and the counters around that often end up CC vs magic immunity, and whether or not these are timed correctly. What offends me about BKB is that you get to press a button and with your strong carry, have a team wipe opportunity. It also offends me that BKB nullifies the core role of numerous characters druing it's effect, and is a routine addition to the game. Compare this to Black Shield, which you can at least beat through. Sure, LoL has a little of this, and I do get offended when Twitch gets invuln from Kayle also during red rune + spray and pray, but that's pretty rare compared to the routine experience of a BKB carry in DOTA.

Quote:

In LoL it feels so tepid. It feels like the choices are small optimizations rather than major strategic plays. Any strong strategic play is made on the character select screen with your summoner abilities, which of course are available as safety nets at level 1, instead of a strategic investment during the game, based on your opponent capabilities and your own priorities.

LOL's counters are more continuous. They are less all or nothing. DOTA creates far more situations that are straight rock/paper/sciscors (moderated by timing and so forth, but still, hard counter situations), and a lot more situations that deny people from playing the game. It's possible to have everyone play their abilities and game, and one party win or lose. DOTA is oriented around shutting out individual players ability to do whatever their combos and approaches are, rather than simply making them lose.... CCing and killing the carry, or mana burning someone to 0, or running BKB and mowing down the casters are all examples of this where one person gets to play, and the other doesnt. LoL has far less of this, and that's why it has broader appeal in terms of types of gamers that will play it.


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Miles Long

Senior Member

12-09-2010

You can't sell me on the notion that "it is an instant gib on an otherwise healthy target." Sorry. I've mentioned enough already to drive that strategy into utter submission. But I will agree with you in that it is probably a bad thing when it does happen to work.

Personally, I don't care if you add image champions or not, but I'll tell you right now that they would be no fun and very clunky in your game since you can't select off your champion. It's the main reason why I like Shaco's concept but won't play him because I hate his ult. Maybe it is more expedient to hold down a hotkey and issue commands to one image, but honestly I'd rather select off my champion and onto the image to direct him, or click drag a box and know I'm doing both at once. That's just how I operate though, the style I've developed due to years of DotA play.

And yeah, Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse is a notoriously powerful item for what it does. I once used it in conjunction with Tinker's level 3 Rearm to completely disable a fed Mortred and basically hyper carry my team to victory in what should have otherwise been a loss. That player wasn't very happy with me for doing that, but for me it was a clear cut case of do I want to win or do I want her to win?

Thankfully, I ended that game quickly enough so that BKB wasn't an option, but I reject the assertion that DotA end game has to involve a BKB or that BKB in and of itself can't be countered. Its avatar has a very short duration and an even longer cooldown. What's more, there are certain type of CC it can't even account for, such as Furion's Sprout. That's almost like how Kayle's Divine intervention won't stop stuns.

Speaking of stuns, I've been chain stunned in your game as well Zileas. It is no more fun here than it is there. And yet I'm guessing you'll tell me what I've been telling you, that there are items in play to mitigate that problem.

Not really so different, these two games.


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Gigiwoo

Senior Member

12-09-2010

Quote:
Zileas:
This is not an anti-fun thing, because laning is fun too, but it is an incentives problem. I actually think that casual lane kills would happen a lot more if early game escape and survival wasn't so easy.

- Zileas


You may be right, but you may be wrong. There is a significant change that once Flash, and other early game escape options are gone, players will be less likely to early game engage because of the increased risks of dying. It may take time, but the penalty of early death is SO severe as to make it almost unthinkable. Ever died early and run back to the lane to find your opponent is level 3 or 4 and you are still level 1? He's got 500 gold and you have ... 50? ACK! Once a player dies a few times without flash, et al, they will be much less likely to early-game engage.

Time will tell...

Gigiwoo.

PS - I'm not voicing opinion on Flash either way. I'm just saying it might not improve early game interaction because the penalty (anti-fun) overwhelms the opportunity for reward (fun).


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Morinav

Senior Member

12-09-2010

Have you ever considered remaking Gangplank's ult? I've played him extensively in the past, just picked him back up for a few games yesterday.

I'm always struck by how frustrating that ult is to use, for both sides of the fight. As Gangplank, there are plenty of clutch moments where his ult does nothing. Very sad to see a champion walk through the entire thing with 2 HP and never get hit. Likewise, I get bull**** kills with it, such as decimating the enemy team during a fight while I'm off at dragon or something.

If these were very rare occurrences, it wouldn't bother me, but I often get a few moments like this per game. I'd say maybe 1/4 of the time, Gangplank's ult is frustrating to someone.


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EasymodeX

Senior Member

12-09-2010

Quote:
You have to get hit by MULTIPLES of those to kill you. thats the difference.


I agree that the TB example is an extreme one -- an example should be extreme for illustrative purposes.

I agree that that is the difference -- getting crit by Tryndamere for 1/3rd of your HP at level 1 is less immediate and lame than getting instagibbed by TB in midgame.

Both examples can be prevented by basic gameplay. Why do you have 450 hp at level 1 in LoL? Why don't you have any basic warding in DotA? Why don't you have any CC on your team to gib the 20% hp Terrorblade?

In DotA, the plays were simply bigger, the penalties and rewards more severe. In DotA, if you positioned poorly or prepared poorly, with no map awareness, then BAM, instagibbed. Or, whoops you were touched by pre-revision N'aix, you-have-no-chance-to-survive-make-your-time.

Quote:
No LoL champion can do that in reasonable situations


I argue that the success of Terrorblade's gimmick is an unreasonable situation, the failure of which was highly punitive on the Terrorblade player, for the purpose of whether or not the existed of TB-Dagon was balanced or not, or fair or not.

Quote:
Being killed is fine. Being killed in a situation where you cannot make a response is really frustrating.


"Pre". The problem I have with many games and attempts to balance is that it seems balancing is taken to the "reaction", and ability to "react to" things.

You are trying to assess the fun or balance the theory of Terrorblade Dagon with the target "reacting" to a 20% hp TB running up to them out of FOW.

What about wards, pre-acting, prediction, logical deduction of where TB will be? What about the balance of the TB sacrificing most / all lategame viability (Skadi x Bfly et al)?

A Brolaf pops out of a bush with Red Buff. What do you do with no preparation? You die.

Fundamentally I think all the things above are balanced. In DotA, the balancing was more by extremes. In LoL, it is more by minor degrees.

I think we're mostly saying the same thing here, and I guess my goal was to accurately ascertain that you had the same perspective that I think you do: that rewards and penalties are more "fun" if they result in minor degrees, rather than severe ones.

Quote:
Irrelevant. You are still going from 100% hp as a super tank to 0 HP in under a second. That's just ******ed.


Despite my general closure statement above, I have to call this one out.

You are saying the entire concept of map control and battlefield awareness and teamwork is irrelevant . That makes me sadface.


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Buckshot

Recruiter

12-09-2010

Quote:
Zileas:
In general yes, but I won't please ONE player at the expense of my job. Now, if EVERYONE in the community wanted blind monk, maybe it would be a different story.


i see, but the question here is do you want the blind monk as an (assumed) gamer.

post on the BMA wall if your serious (if you dont want your facebook profile to be public make a fake one like hohums did)

your move

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=132649886759501&ref=mf