Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

First Riot Post
Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Soulrin10

Senior Member

08-30-2011

great post, will read again.

thank you for sharing.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Ragnaros

Senior Member

08-30-2011

Zileas, IMHO the problem you have is one that I face when dealing with the software I write: How do you write your software in such a way that you can cater to users of differing skill levels?

See the problem is that if you cater too much to the expert user then the novice has no idea what is going on, but if you cater too much to the novice then the expert user gets frustrated because the software is not optimized for their workflow. In LoLs case it isn't a matter of optimization a workflow but rather optimizing the excitement and fun.

You are always going to get some excitement and fun out of simply playing a multiplayer game, to an extent. However if you make all of your champions so dumbed down so as to cater to the novice user then the experts will start to wonder why every new champion is a rehash of something you already did.

I love LoL, I really do, but I have been playing some HoN lately and I have to say that in general it seems like their heroes are more diversified. The game may have other problems that go against your design principles but when it comes to the types of abilities and what each hero can do it feels more unique. One thing that stood out to me immediately was the fact that heroes on HoN (like DotA before it) had passives. I couldn't think of one LoL hero that had a passive ability (only passive) other than their inherit passive ability. The beauty of some of this was that if a hero had a passive then some other abilities could be more complex because the key that would be mapped to the passive skill was instead a subskill of a different skill.

To sum it up, I really hope you guys can come up with some new stuff soon. The new champs have some stuff that is OK but in general it seems like stuff that has already been done (Orianna was about the last champ I can think of that made me go "Wow, this is unique").

tldr: Balanced thinking outside the box > catering to novices


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

LazySpoon

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

Senior Member

08-30-2011

Amazing post. I have a deeper appreciation for the game design in LoL.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Leirkov

Senior Member

08-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtFunShinebear View Post
On Alistar with his CC heavy skill set its clearly a problem. I don't see why its a problem on a new champ though.
Kassadin.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

IS1d6d3ffc5d25bf1bdf6f0

Senior Member

08-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Basically, you expect your enemies to mess with you. You don't expect your teammates to. If an enemy yanks you to your death, you deal with it. If an ally yanks you to your death or prevents you from getting a kill, you get angry.

We have gone out of our way to avoid situations where we create team hate because we think that having positive experiences with your teammates is a big part of what makes this genre fun.
Someone who wants to grief you will grief you regardless of whether or not they have the ability to reposition you or something with another skill. Besides, as far as I can tell you don't seem to have a particular problem with things like Anivia's wall, Janna's ult, etc.

The concept of these skills though seem to mesh perfectly with the constant complaint I hear from Riot over having difficulty making supports nice without either making them AP carries or giving them broken heals that screw up the laning phase.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
That's why we've migrated supports to be a little closer to mages and be able to kill people better (at the expense of some support capability).
I think you guys should try a bit more at the support angle. In a game with 80+ champions, having certain characters only have niche appeal doesn't seem like THAT big of an issue. I'm pretty sure there's lots of ways you could amp up the utility without needing to press that +damage button.

There will be people who want to play that team assisting champion and I'm not sure you're doing the game any favors in the long run by turning supports into supportive/defensive utility providing damage dealers.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

ProfCattington

Member

08-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnaros View Post
Zileas, IMHO the problem you have is one that I face when dealing with the software I write: How do you write your software in such a way that you can cater to users of differing skill levels?

See the problem is that if you cater too much to the expert user then the novice has no idea what is going on, but if you cater too much to the novice then the expert user gets frustrated because the software is not optimized for their workflow. In LoLs case it isn't a matter of optimization a workflow but rather optimizing the excitement and fun.

You are always going to get some excitement and fun out of simply playing a multiplayer game, to an extent. However if you make all of your champions so dumbed down so as to cater to the novice user then the experts will start to wonder why every new champion is a rehash of something you already did.

I love LoL, I really do, but I have been playing some HoN lately and I have to say that in general it seems like their heroes are more diversified. The game may have other problems that go against your design principles but when it comes to the types of abilities and what each hero can do it feels more unique. One thing that stood out to me immediately was the fact that heroes on HoN (like DotA before it) had passives. I couldn't think of one LoL hero that had a passive ability (only passive) other than their inherit passive ability. The beauty of some of this was that if a hero had a passive then some other abilities could be more complex because the key that would be mapped to the passive skill was instead a subskill of a different skill.

To sum it up, I really hope you guys can come up with some new stuff soon. The new champs have some stuff that is OK but in general it seems like stuff that has already been done (Orianna was about the last champ I can think of that made me go "Wow, this is unique").

tldr: Balanced thinking outside the box > catering to novices
The bigger problem is that people think you can only cater to one demographic or another. There is plenty of room for both the hardcore and entry level players if you are willing to put in the effort.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Blind Trooper

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

Recruiter

08-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnaros View Post
I love LoL, I really do, but I have been playing some HoN lately and I have to say that in general it seems like their heroes are more diversified. The game may have other problems that go against your design principles but when it comes to the types of abilities and what each hero can do it feels more unique. One thing that stood out to me immediately was the fact that heroes on HoN (like DotA before it) had passives. I couldn't think of one LoL hero that had a passive ability (only passive) other than their inherit passive ability. The beauty of some of this was that if a hero had a passive then some other abilities could be more complex because the key that would be mapped to the passive skill was instead a subskill of a different skill.
TF and Teemo are the two biggest I can think of. Cho's E practically falls under this because I dont know when anyone would turn that off.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

8EqualsCapital D

Senior Member

08-30-2011

Make a Champ based on Nevermore from DotA. He's my favorite champ from the game and is super fun to play once you get around the learning curve.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Fiveofswords

Senior Member

08-30-2011

brilliant stuff. I never really considered how much thought has to go into game deisgn


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

IS1d6d3ffc5d25bf1bdf6f0

Senior Member

08-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Anyway, I'm pretty sure we are bringing a lot of unique and innovating things to the genre, between champion designs, dominion, etc.
Read your own OP again. You go out of your way to almost explicitly state that you don't want unique, innovative, or complex champion designs.

On Wukong, it was even said that he originally had a complex, high skill design and the design team scrapped the skill kit to intentionally dumb him down to the lowest common denominator.

Don't BS anyone with unique and innovative champions when your own design philosophies insist you avoid such a thing. Because, after all, if something is unique it might confuse the playerbase you appear to have such contempt for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
We don't like to create situations where typical players are going to be hating on their teammates.
You should probably remove the ability to play games with other people then.




Quote:
One thing that stood out to me immediately was the fact that heroes on HoN (like DotA before it) had passives. I couldn't think of one LoL hero that had a passive ability (only passive) other than their inherit passive ability.
That's the whole point though. They implement the innate passive concept in order to be able to give champions more buttons to press, which is almost always a good thing.

Quote:
The beauty of some of this was that if a hero had a passive then some other abilities could be more complex because the key that would be mapped to the passive skill was instead a subskill of a different skill.
That's nice on occasion, but most of the time the subset is just a targeting aid, or a replacement for a fourth skill by bottling two skills together.