When is the banning system going to change?

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DreamLeviathan

Senior Member

01-05-2013

Zileas has actually debated about this at length before. I could try to dig it up if you're interested.

Long story short, as I remember it, his views were that ban count doesn't really need to increase unless the number of "must-ban" champs is consistently higher than the system can account for. And I'm guessing they'd rather take the nerfing approach on that front. There was also some stuff about signature champions and team combos that I don't remember well. He also felt that they just didn't want to put more emphasis on the picks/bans phase of the game in general.

...I actually really liked his reasoning about the last bit, but every attempt I'm making at paraphrasing it sounds awful. Best shorthand is that he didn't want games "won" in champ select.


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Iner7ia

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Senior Member

01-06-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamLeviathan View Post
Best shorthand is that he didn't want games "won" in champ select.
Interesting, but I don't feel convinced. If Riot feels that they would rather nerf champions than ban more champions, then it seems to suggest that bans are only around to remove overpowered champions from the game. What I'M saying, is that there don't need to really be "must-ban" champions. I think that ideally, people would think about champions that counter their team, rather than just immediately knowing what 6 champions are probably going to be banned.

As far as the games being won in champions select, I don't think that should be an issue, at least not more than it is already. I think that as it is, counterpicking in League of Legends goes too far. It's kind of funny when you see Talon or Kassadin picked against the average AP mid, and it's all but an immediate lane loss. In higher levels of play, you would see lane switching to make up for this, but it still doesn't change the fact that these champions are almost unstoppable against AP mids as long as they know how to play. I think adding more bans would actually improve this, as you could prevent so many complete faceroll counters from existing in the game. If you think of it this way, it kind of improves the champion select that exists currently.

I can see how winning in champion select can occur in lower levels of play. However, this only makes sense as the captains won't really know how to react to bans and picks the same way that an experienced player would. In other words, picking and banning would become a somewhat more complicated process. It wouldn't be a matter of "Oh I'm banning? Shen, Malphite, Alistar, Blitzcrank, Amumu....." It would actually take teamwork and communication, which is why I didn't have non-competitive games in mind.

Here's another idea. What if, rather than making this method of banning the new "default" method, they could add this as a new type of game mode. As in, Ranked Solo/Duo, Ranked 5v5, and then whatever you would call this mode. Then, maybe if people began to prefer this mode, after trying it out, then Riot could think about whether or not it would become the new thing.

Edit: Also, I'll look into what Zileas said if you can find it. I'd prefer to see a more direct response from Riot to this thread, though.


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Terrog

Senior Member

01-06-2013

One more ban. Should happen soon eh?


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Iner7ia

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01-06-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrog View Post
One more ban. Should happen soon eh?
I really think it needs to. Six bans just isn't enough. There needs to be at least 8, but with Riot coming out with even more and more champions I'm not entirely sure 8 will be enough for long.

I'm kind of excited for Riot to stop making champions so that they can actually work on the game. Seriously, League of Legends has the most retarded client I've ever seen in my entire life. It's amazing that it's gone this long without getting fixed, it has so many issues.


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Iner7ia

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01-06-2013

bump


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Iner7ia

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01-07-2013

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Verxl

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Senior Member

01-07-2013

Riot's not going to look at your thread, they've already explained their thought process a few months ago. Here's the full quote from Zileas:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
We debate this one a lot internally.

In the short-term, I can say that we don't think that changing the format right before the final tournament makes a lot of sense.

That being said, in the long-run, we could go 6, or we could go 8. We lean 6 at present. That could change.

The reasoning here is pretty simple. Bans get used for 4 purposes in general, 3 of which have a meaningful impact on tournament play:

Reason 1: To remove champions that players perceive are 'must pick or ban' or 'S tier'
Reason 2: To ban your opponent's best player's signature champion (e.g. banning sivir vs doublelift in the NA regionals)
Reason 3: To eliminate backbone champions from strategies that they are poor at dealing with, or to eliminate counters to their niche strategy.
Reason 4: Because you hate playing vs a particular champion (e.g. Shaco) (NOT RELEVANT TO COMPETITIVE PLAY)

We think that #1 is important. We think that #3 CAN be helpful. We aren't a big fan of #2, though this somewhat becomes a debate between 'slightly more champion diversity' and 'wanting to see top players play their signature champion'.

Right now, there are between 1 and 6 'S Tier' Champions depending on who you watch play -- At the NA regionals, it appeared to be some combination of Yorick(Yeah, he has some challenges), Alistar, Shen, Karthus, Malphite and Morgana (I would say that's in roughly descending order from highest to lowest priority). So today, most of the time, teams are banning maybe 2 champions to knock out S tier picks, with 1 ban going to signature champion denial or strategy denial.

If we go to 8 bans instead of 6, we increase the amount of 'denial' bans by 100%. I'm not really sure we are better off with more denial bans. I for one want to see Froggen play Anivia and Voyboy play Olaf, and honestly, you would see that significantly less with 8 bans.

Additionally, when the live design team succeeds in getting these 'must ban or plays' down more, which they regularly do, you will see more bans go to denial bans, which again, I think is dangerous. I don't feel that most of our current 'must bans' are truly 'must bans', but supposing we shifted that perception, at 8 bans and only 1 "must ban" per team, you'd see each team banning 3 characters for specific advantage -- so you could shut down all of their signature champions. Additionally, 8 bans raises the potential for some weird edge cases around banning a bunch of one role (such as support, jungle, etc).

That's why we are waiting this out. As the perceived "S tier" champs oscillate between low numbers and average numbers, we will get a better feel for how much denial banning hurts the game vs enhances the game, and can make better long-term decisions. Right now, the benefits of going to 8 are somewhat hazy, so we are being conservative.

Questions asked:
Zileas, as you add champions, you must have more bans, right?
We don't really agree with this -- we feel the minimum bans are related to the number of S tier champions, which can come from new releases, but honestly, is something we are getting better at managing with time. It's very conceivable we could have 50% more champions but have half the S tier champions.

I disagree with your S tier list / You are acknowledging that those champs are OP / etc
I based this off of what happened at the NA regionals generally. I am judging this based on what the pros do and how it impacts picks and people getting their signature champions -- ultimately that's more 'true' for setting bans than my general opinions on play balance. For the record, the only champion on there I'm 100% confident needs some work is Yorrick. The rest will of course be evaluated like we always do on this stuff, and touched when we need to.

Zileas, are you saying the game is primarily balanced for eSports?
LoL is a competitive game, and we spend a lot of effort to optimize to make for good high-level play. We also spend effort to make mid-tier play good, but it's a different standard. We will always nerf something if it is destroying ANYONE's experience (e.g. if Twitch was running 75% win rate among 80% of our players, we'd definitely nerf him), but we make detailed, careful, precise nerfs and buffs to optimize for top-level play. That's a pretty standard balance approach that I feel like is used in all competitive games, and has served us well thus far.

If you guys think this, why do you have bans at all?
Things often become fine in moderation. There's some definite benefit on diversity we are getting, and the negatives are not coming through that much. And, by eliminating perceived S-tier, we remove a lot of downsides around people feeling the tournament was hosed because of [insert OP champion here]. I doubt we'd ever go below 6 bans, but I guess if there was a long period of no 'must pick or ban' perception, we might.

Why don't you heave interwoven bans (e.g. pick pick ban ban pick pick)
This is a fairly complex topic. There are two short answers. First, we always want more gameplay, but we value gameplay in the game more than gameplay in champion select. If the most important decisions are loaded more in champ select than the game, the game starts to become rock-paper-scissors. The second answer is that if you add second step bans, those bans will 95% go to denial bans (blocking signature champions and strategy counter champions). The interleaving just magnifies the power of denial bans.

The more nuanced answer is that League is opposed to 'rock paper scissors' style design. That's why we don't have hard immunities in large amounts, and why we don't have a ton of true hard counter champion picks. However, as you add more denial bans, you can start to create situations where this starts to become the case, especially if you can do it later in the pick phase and isolate around a specific role. If you are in a situation where you are very unlikely to be able to apply skill to prevail against a 'similar skill' opponent before the game started, the game just stopped being skill-based. So, we seek to avoid those situations as much as we can.

I'm sure a common response to this will be --'Even if you don't need them/they have some side effects, doesn't it make champion select more strategic?'. I think it does to a tiny extent (It's a single pick in time), and has the potential to introduce more rock-paper-scissors picks. This is all fairly relative though -- there WILL be times where you can ban the counters and enable something, I am just making the argument that in aggregate, doing this will make the game more rock-paper-scissors in champion select, and in aggregate, will reduce the # of team-level strategies.

But, we'd rather have people lose from playing poorly (or the other team playing awesome), than we would have them lose at champion select, and I feel like that potential is higher as we add bans. So, in summary, I'd rather keep the gameplay in the game than at champion select. You make dozens of choices in execution and prioritizing around your comp once in the game, and only do it once in champ select.

Doesn't having interwoven bans increase the # of viable team-level strategies?
It's hard to know 100%, but I think the evidence points to it being likely to reduce our team-level strategies. A lot of our powerful but slightly less common strategies (e.g. variants of sustain/poke with double trap, or double invade, and so forth) are pushed into relevance by a smaller number of characters than 'primary' strategies. If you can do this, primary strategies that can draw on a LOT of different characters will be the ones that survive. Being able to 'counter' those with an intermittent ban will tend to either result in people not trying them, or getting blown up in champion select and having a match of rock-paper-scissors play out.

We have several goals with play balance right now, but one which is steadily producing better and better results, is the idea that we need to push more variants of team-level strategy into viability. This is not the '1:1:2:jungle" thing, as that encapsulates about 10% of the meta, it's more about making sure there are multiple flavors of early, mid, late game strategy, different approaches to valuing types of plays, and different comps to accomplish the same things, and that all of these comps play out in an interesting way against each other. The meta is healthiest ultimately when players can throw a bunch of different things at each other -- AND have them be interesting, balanced games. Banning at champion select effectively to them produce a situation where your niche strategy is pushed into viability via a rock-paper-scissors effect is just not good gameplay in our view.

Bottom line -- I think the mind games possible in a more elaborate ban phase are really interesting, but it comes at a cost in the actual game potentially. It's really a question of where do you want the gameplay occurring? In champ select, or in the game.
(For reference, this was just before the Season 2 Championships)


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Good Vi

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Senior Member

01-07-2013

Personally, I love Dota's ban and pick system. I think it is vastly superior to LoL's because, as you stated, it gives you a peek into the enemy's team comp, so you can ban out the champs that they need or might want. They picked a squishy mid, top, and have a Graves as their carry? You could ban out Taric or another hard cc aggressive support and then take the option that is left to make their bot lane less bursty and more manageable. They picked Diana, Kha and Noc? You can ban out other champs that dive or synergize well with them.

Plus the majority of their bans occur after the first three picks per team, instead of all of them at the beginning.


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Iife

Member

01-07-2013

I agree. In my experience, the current ban system only truly gives opportunity for 3 bans. Currently i am in the 1300's ELO wise, where teams have a difficult time dealing with tanks like amumu, shen, blitzcrank, or malphite. If I want to have a decent chance at a victory, I have to ban those champions. My opponent understands the same idea, so we end up with those four bans nearly every game, and alistar is generally next in line. This leaves us with 1 or 2 real bans in solo queue. I usually ban whoever is being abused the most at the time (kat, eve, Talon during league of cleavers).

The problem is the number of bans, honestly. I like the DotA system, and I would love for Riot to implement that as soon as possible.

TL;DR More bans with the DotA system is probably one of the best solutions to the stagnation of solo queue.


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Verxl

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Senior Member

01-07-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by E7 Evil Vi II View Post
Personally, I love Dota's ban and pick system. I think it is vastly superior to LoL's because, as you stated, it gives you a peek into the enemy's team comp, so you can ban out the champs that they need or might want. They picked a squishy mid, top, and have a Graves as their carry? You could ban out Taric or another hard cc aggressive support and then take the option that is left to make their bot lane less bursty and more manageable. They picked Diana, Kha and Noc? You can ban out other champs that dive or synergize well with them.

Plus the majority of their bans occur after the first three picks per team, instead of all of them at the beginning.
It works better with DotA where the game is more about hard countering the other team whenever possible. Most of the decisions that give you an advantage aren't gameplay decisions, they're champ pick/ban or itemization decisions. It ends up boiling down to that rock-paper-scissors agreement, and the actual "game" has nothing to do with the gameplay unless mechanical skills are vastly different.

This is something they don't want with League. That's why there are so few absolute hard counters in this game, and why they don't want to introduce weaving bans.


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