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What Makes a Jungler a Jungler to Riot?

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Scarizard

Live Balance Designer

12-31-2012

Quote:
Metalgolem:
Wow, this is the FIRST clear answer I got all day :P But one thing still remains unanswered, why have all the jungling champs been more fitted to play in top lane than in the jungle? Is there any primarily jungle champions in development currently? Not expecting any big spoilers mind you :P


I feel like T hit this one pretty well, but we don't just say 'Time for a jungler, guys!' Or 'We definitely want this person to go toplane!' We have things like 'fighter, mage, assassin' and all sorts of subtypes that influence the design, but other than 'AD Carry' i think they are all pretty open to lane assignments (Varus as well was playtested midlane quite a bit from what i hear).

It's usually more important to our champ designers to create an experience - get a cohesive kit down, then figure out where it fits into the grand scheme of things. Mages and supports (Mid and botlane) are often times interchangeable. Toplaners and junglers are as well, in a lot of cases. For Vi, i remember having lots of conversations with Gypsylord about her production and not really until the last month and a half did we sit down and say 'okay where do we 100% expect to see her?'

Sometimes we push boundaries, and sometimes we don't. Looking forward to the future, we have some really cool designs that, in a co-ordinated setting, could lend themselves to changing up lane assignments or working in different teamcomps, but i think we've always done that. The meta is the meta, and we don't really decide it. Xypherous i think did this really well with lulu and nautilus specifically, in that Naut is a tank/initiator and Lulu is a support/enabler no matter where they are played. Both champions can be played multiple builds and in multiple roles, but the kit defines what they do, not where they go.

Echoing CerT, having champions 'be good at one role' isn't always the best - Shyvana is my example. I wasn't around at the time, but that champion feels like she was designed to be a jungler through and through - which means her state of balance is binary. 'Is she good at jungling?' If yes, she's probably top-class due to her mechanics. If no, she has no place on a team.

We definitely have a lot of characters like this (usually one build/role) that can be balanced, it just means it's often times trickier than saying 'X mechanic/build is abusive, but at least they can still perform with Y build/in different role to compensate', similar to how Zyra players used her as support after the nerfs to midlane. She was still incredibly potent after the first round of nerfs, but the option for her to play bottom was still there as something alternative she can do if her pew pew gets nerfed.


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Gixia

Senior Member

12-31-2012

Quote:
Scarizard:
Echoing CerT, having champions 'be good at one role' isn't always the best - Shyvana is my example. I wasn't around at the time, but that champion feels like she was designed to be a jungler through and through - which means her state of balance is binary. 'Is she good at jungling?' If yes, she's probably top-class due to her mechanics. If no, she has no place on a team.

I think it's safe to say that the general consensus is that Shyvana belongs in the jungle, but at the same time, I still find this statement funny, just because in her champion spotlight, she was shown off as a top-lane champ. I used to see her top lane for a while after she came out too, certainly more than I saw her jungle, though I haven't seen her anywhere but the jungle now in a long time. Ironically, a lot of people I played with at the time who were better players than me insisted that she didn't have a good kit for jungling and that she'd never be good at it. It's just funny how things sometimes don't turn out the way you'd expect.


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Koechophe

Senior Member

12-31-2012

Sometimes, though, the way a champ is released makes them "marked" for a specific spot until people find out what the champ is best at. Take, well, take rengar, khazix and diana.
Rengar was mostly jungle for a while, until people figured out that he rocked top. Kha was mostly jungle, until people, well, still jungle him, but a lot of people go top (or even mid). Diana was jungle, until people figured out that she has a strong mid.

Heck, even elise is slated currently as a mid lane mage to most people. It's only a matter of time before they figure out she's best top.


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Fomorian27

Recruiter

12-31-2012

Quote:
Scarizard:


Sometimes we push boundaries, and sometimes we don't. Looking forward to the future, we have some really cool designs that, in a co-ordinated setting, could lend themselves to changing up lane assignments or working in different teamcomps, but i think we've always done that. The meta is the meta, and we don't really decide it. Xypherous i think did this really well with lulu and nautilus specifically, in that Naut is a tank/initiator and Lulu is a support/enabler no matter where they are played. Both champions can be played multiple builds and in multiple roles, but the kit defines what they do, not where they go.


I like the fact that lulu's w gives an ap bonus to her allied targets, making it functionally useless on most ad carries. I've always thought it was put there to try and get a mage+support lane going. The fact that it never materialized isn't for lack of trying on Riot's part I feel, but lack of innovation on the part of the playerbase.


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NegaStoat

Senior Member

12-31-2012

Quote:
CertainlyT:


As to a bunch of posts above -- keep in mind that my position is not that every champion needs to have extreme flexibility in the role they play, only that making inflexibility a goal is.... bad.


So. Let us all know when Leona is capable of doing something other than Kill Lane support. Yes, I realize that was a cheap shot. But you'd have to be a long time fan of Leona to really understand how bitter that feeling is that you can suggest she be capable of something else for months on end... and be completely ignored.


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CupcakeRaptorr

Recruiter

12-31-2012

aoe for clear, tankiness, and good cc.


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Scarizard

Live Balance Designer

12-31-2012

Quote:
Fomorian27:
I like the fact that lulu's w gives an ap bonus to her allied targets, making it functionally useless on most ad carries. I've always thought it was put there to try and get a mage+support lane going. The fact that it never materialized isn't for lack of trying on Riot's part I feel, but lack of innovation on the part of the playerbase.


It's also important to note though that supports aren't just made for the lanephase - a lot of AP carries absolutely love AP + Movement speed - Lulu's kind of got something for everyone, no matter what stage of the game or character class you are. Pix for Ad Carries, Ult for Initiators, Whimsy for Mages...and then of course the offensive cases.

I remember when she came out people were like OMG LULU EZ OR KOG CAUSE AP RATIOS and then everyone realized 'wait why am i not maxing glitterlance'.


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NJ Gamer

Member

12-31-2012

Amumu isn't listed as a jungler :x


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Adumu

Senior Member

12-31-2012

Quote:
Fomorian27:
I like the fact that lulu's w gives an ap bonus to her allied targets, making it functionally useless on most ad carries. I've always thought it was put there to try and get a mage+support lane going. The fact that it never materialized isn't for lack of trying on Riot's part I feel, but lack of innovation on the part of the playerbase.


Send Lulu and a farm dependent APcarry bot... a farm dependent AP Carry just so happens to be Veigar. XD


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KevinDelMarr

Senior Member

12-31-2012

Quote:
Scarizard:
It's also important to note though that supports aren't just made for the lanephase - a lot of AP carries absolutely love AP + Movement speed - Lulu's kind of got something for everyone, no matter what stage of the game or character class you are. Pix for Ad Carries, Ult for Initiators, Whimsy for Mages...and then of course the offensive cases.

I remember when she came out people were like OMG LULU EZ OR KOG CAUSE AP RATIOS and then everyone realized 'wait why am i not maxing glitterlance'.

Lulu is a great pairing with Urgot in my opinion. Adds bully potential and stickiness with glitterlance, gives shield, AP, and Speed boost to bolster his trades and aggression, and the extra health synergizes great after Urgot Ults and gains the huge Armor and MR buff. But Lulu's kit in general lends fairly well throughout the game, I hear from several pros she is one of the best Supports in general, in some cases too good in many aspects and scenarios.

Supports in general are nice because since they're not about piling huge amounts of damage, they make up for it in Utility for many situations, requiring a few items to be effective, especially when the rest of the team is strong