Are Champions As Awesome As They Could Be? @Morello @Feralpony @IronStylus @Xypherous

First Riot Post
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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Also, guys, keep in mind the distinction between "lore" and "theming"! Lore exists to support theming, but theming is the central idea that a champion is supposed to convey!

(Peri, if you could put this in the OP, that would be grand.)


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DoozleDorf

Senior Member

01-22-2013

@ Morello- I would really love to hear your response to one of the major points in the 'Summary of the Summary Summary' section: that is the question of "Saturation".

I first started playing LoL at the Varus patch-- he was my first champion, and still one of my favorites. At the time, I had that 'first time to the big city' wide-eyed and a bit overwhelmed feeling of the largesse of the champion pool. It took many deep breaths to understand that I didn't need to know every champion, ability, matchup and passive to be able to play and enjoy the game.

However, as I played more and more, frustrations definitely emerged because of facing opponents I had no clue about-- didn't know their passive or abilities, and certainly therefor, had no idea how to counter them. With some champions the learning curve was severe (a good thing in this case) such as the example of Vayne ("If I get three rings on me, it hurts. Don't let that happen"). The ability, and its effect on me were obvious and easy to read/respond to. It has taken hundreds of hours of homework to even begin to learn all there is to know about the current roster. For me personally, I have to do to really retain. I now own 81 champions and practice them relentlessly to try to commit them to memory.

A curious thing happened as I added to my own roster of champions though.... I fell in love over and over and over again. This creates a totally new problem as a player. There isn't enough hours in the day/days in the week/weeks in the year to actually be able to play the 75-76/81 champions that I thoroughly enjoy playing ( I know, a seemingly ludicrous thing to actually complain about, but it is what it is).

Another point that begs questions about saturation is the business model. Can a free-to-play game, with new shiny champion every 3-4 weeks actually survive without them, and as the author duly noted, will the player base remain if the shinies stop coming?

It seems, from a "I'm just a player, so what do I know?" standpoint, that there must be a point of saturation: a point at which entry is blocked by overwhelming new players, or perhaps a point at which too many champions mirror each other too closely, or one in which too many champions sit crying in the corner because v2.0 has since been released, or finally, a point at which there are too many champions for anyone to actually be able to play the ones they enjoy playing.

So in your current assessment of the state of LoL right now, what do you feel like is the terminal point? When does "enough is enough" or "enough is now too much" become reality in terms of numbers of champions upon the Fields of Justice?

Thanks in advance for any insights/ responses you may wish to leave.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBilbo View Post
Last comment, I swear it, lol.

I really want to point out here: No, not at all, take a look at the Yorick Redesign (pretty much his entire kit), Zyra Redesign (especially her ult being extremely unique and awesome), or his original champion blogspot (Hawkins being a favourite of mine) - they have extremely unique and interesting mechanics.

You can have both, you can fit interesting mechanics on characters if they thematically fit.

Fiora ult ? Extremely cool ! Just not very much fitting for the ultimate duelist as the ability is most effective when used on multiple targets.

So to be fair, not at all, if anything we like unique stuff, less generic and stale stuff while it all fits theme (enhancing readability) and providing counterplay - heck, everything Yorick does provides obvious and readable counterplay.
This! This this this!

It sounds like a lot of what's being said is "theming is good but you gotta have interesting mechanics"--but the fact of the matter, I incorporate both and use each one to inform and develop the other, falling together in perfect harmony! I'm not making choices or favoring one over the other, I'm designing champions as a whole.


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rusoX 666

Senior Member

01-22-2013

What about Zyra? Her lore says that she used to devorate or eat everything that is near to her, but her gameplay doesnt show that. You could make her ultimate a huge plant that eats a target, dissabling and damaging them or her plants that are in the actual ultimate to eat a target, dissabling them while the ulti is on.
Btw, when you are going to fix the bugs that her Wildfire skin has. Its a pretty awesome skin and i cant use it because her plants are bugged.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoozleDorf View Post
@ Morello- I would really love to hear your response to one of the major points in the 'Summary of the Summary Summary' section: that is the question of "Saturation".

I first started playing LoL at the Varus patch-- he was my first champion, and still one of my favorites. At the time, I had that 'first time to the big city' wide-eyed and a bit overwhelmed feeling of the largesse of the champion pool. It took many deep breaths to understand that I didn't need to know every champion, ability, matchup and passive to be able to play and enjoy the game.

However, as I played more and more, frustrations definitely emerged because of facing opponents I had no clue about-- didn't know their passive or abilities, and certainly therefor, had no idea how to counter them. With some champions the learning curve was severe (a good thing in this case) such as the example of Vayne ("If I get three rings on me, it hurts. Don't let that happen"). The ability, and its effect on me were obvious and easy to read/respond to. It has taken hundreds of hours of homework to even begin to learn all there is to know about the current roster. For me personally, I have to do to really retain. I now own 81 champions and practice them relentlessly to try to commit them to memory.

A curious thing happened as I added to my own roster of champions though.... I fell in love over and over and over again. This creates a totally new problem as a player. There isn't enough hours in the day/days in the week/weeks in the year to actually be able to play the 75-76/81 champions that I thoroughly enjoy playing ( I know, a seemingly ludicrous thing to actually complain about, but it is what it is).

Another point that begs questions about saturation is the business model. Can a free-to-play, new shiny champion every 3-4 weeks actually survive without them, and as the author duly noted, will the player base remain if they stop coming?

It seems, from a "I'm just a player, so what do I know?" standpoint, that there must be a point of saturation: a point at which entry is blocked by overwhelming new players, or perhaps a point at which too many champions mirror each other too closely, or one in which too many champions sit crying in the corner because v2.0 has since been released, or finally, a point at which there are too many champions for anyone to actually be able to play the ones they enjoy playing.

So in your current assessment of the state of LoL right now, what do you feel like is the terminal point? When does "enough is enough" or "enough is now too much" become reality in terms of numbers of champions upon the Fields of Justice?

Thanks in advance for any insights/ reponses you may wish to leave.
A perfect example--and this is where readability comes into play!

Doozle, do you think you would've had an easier time getting to know the game, do you think you would've faced less frustration if you could just look at a champion and immediately know what to expect from them? Say, the plant mage focusing on growing and controlling her plants, or the wispy nightmare seeking you out on your own? Would it be easier to grasp new champions if, say, the Mad Chemist were all about spreading his fumes and drenching enemies with his concoctions (instead of flipping people and then running around them), or if the grumpy, animated tree were all about sinking their roots into the ground and becoming an impassable zone of bad attitude?

The important thing that must be realized here, is that LoL is a competitive game! What has done DotA in, for the most part, is that it's extremely hard to pick up--meaning new players are discouraged from doing so, by the game itself. If a game is both easy to grasp but difficult to master, it keeps a constant flow of new blood in the system--keeping LoL as a game alive and ever-growing!

With the changes I propose (and will fight and/or die for), LoL will not only become that much more accessible through its newfound readability, but much more interesting to watch for those that don't even play! LoL (2), the first ever globally-celebrated Spectator eSport? It's got the potential, man--and it's my duty to help Riot capitalize on that.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by rusoX 666 View Post
What about Zyra? Her lore says that she used to devorate or eat everything that is near to her, but her gameplay doesnt show that. You could make her ultimate a huge plant that eats a target, dissabling and damaging them or her plants that are in the actual ultimate to eat a target, dissabling them while the ulti is on.
Btw, when you are going to fix the bugs that her Wildfire skin has. Its a pretty awesome skin and i cant use it because her plants are bugged.
Again, there is a distinction between "lore" and "theming!"

Just like with a kit or visual design--if something doesn't live up to the theming, it is changed or scrapped.


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Ding an Sich

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
This! This this this!

It sounds like a lot of what's being said is "theming is good but you gotta have interesting mechanics"--but the fact of the matter, I incorporate both and use each one to inform and develop the other, falling together in perfect harmony! I'm not making choices or favoring one over the other, I'm designing champions as a whole.

But isn't this design in theory? What happens if something that seemed perfect doesn't work out for the game in itself? I'm not saying the idea is bad, I'm seeing this more as past champion concepts that have been scrapped. Omen or the duo move speed champion that med worked on at one point.

Have you given any thought to the chance that the what ifs you make aren't in favor of the actually game play? Now this is discussion so all most of this is is, what ifs. But I'm just curious since you seem so stalwart over this.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiBelgarath View Post
No, no- that's not what I'm saying. The game shouldn't be OVER in champ select- but it creates strategy of it's own. I maintain my examples- look at the tournaments, especially the season 2 finals. Teams were constantly target banning- because you don't want to just hand people the win by letting them play champions you don't feel comfortable going against.

I guess I disagree that Zyra, in the redesign, would be as over powered if not counter picked as you claim. I think that maybe you'll have someone who specializes in Zyra so she gets banned, or she'll need slight re-turning, whether in design or AP ratio, in which case she'll also get banned. But honestly, looking at her kit, I don't see it being bad. Honestly, the main difference is her ult (which is a reasonable redesign regarding balance, especially since the old one was so strong in team fights). Honestly, I would expect that she's going to need reasonably high AP ratios to be viable.

Also, it's worth bearing in mind that he uses X everywhere instead of numbers- simply manipulating the numbers will play a huge part in the balance. It's impossible for many redesigns to figure how viable they will be. The point of the redesign was to address design flaws, not crunch numbers (correct me if I'm wrong author people).

Overall, I think games are at least as defined in champ select now as they would be with these changes. If you watch streams or even just play the game regardless, there are a fair number of games defined at champ select. It's not a majority, and I'm not accusing Riot of poor balance. I'm just saying- with 100+ champions, inevitable some team comps are going to be much stronger than others, and Riot has no power to determine who takes what champions and how much cooperation there is.
With every champion, I provide readily accessible and easily understood counterplay that is not only built into the kit, but defined to extremes. If you're having trouble with Zyra? Mow down her plants, she's weak without them! Having trouble against Brand? If you catch on fire, try not to stay on fire--stay away from anything that is, and if you're burning down, you can minimalize his damage by stepping away from the flames to cool off, before he burns through all of your MR! Cait gettin' you down? Fish her out, mess her up now that she no longer has the advantage of range (it's her only defense)!

There are no hard-counters. One example of this that's already in-game is Teemo vs. Darius top--while on paper, it might look like Teemo hard-counters Darius if you look at his strengths alone. However, while Darius will be in a losing position if Teemo can keep his range, Teemo will be in a losing position if Darius can find a way to close the gap! How that all happens is where the fun comes in.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ding an Sich View Post
But isn't this design in theory? What happens if something that seemed perfect doesn't work out for the game in itself? I'm not saying the idea is bad, I'm seeing this more as past champion concepts that have been scrapped. Omen or the duo move speed champion that med worked on at one point.

Have you given any thought to the chance that the what ifs you make aren't in favor of the actually game play? Now this is discussion so all most of this is is, what ifs. But I'm just curious since you seem so stalwart over this.
Of course, I'll never know how these turn out until they're actually programmed into the game--be it LoL or LoL 2--but with defined strengths and weaknesses, you can't really go wrong.

Omen got scrapped because he didn't have a central theme and wasn't readably a ranged carry (he looked more like an assassin), and the duo move speed champions sounds more like imbalance in design. I try to avoid both like the plague, so I don't see any problems here!


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YamiBelgarath

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Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ding an Sich View Post
I think this is the common symptom of a creature that no one likes to look at especially in games; reality.

Now point 1: Reality in this context would mean that if riot made a complete pacifist champion (a support I'd wager), then it would be completely for the character to never harm anyone at all. So they could't AA, use ignite, etc. But even though for the thing in itself the character would benefit from this honesty at heart, in this game it would suffer because this isn't the purpose. Now would riot ever make such a directly cognitively split champion for the user to play ON PURPOSE? I don't believe so, but this is just an example of point 1 of what I mean by reality.

Point 2: What makes people play this game? Any game? what makes them like characters superficially or for their depth? Even though alot of countries that have a high number of gamers who play a variety of games, don't explicitly (now there are good exceptions) yell for **** or lolipop chainsaw. They do nontheless continue to show **** or edgy gore or superficial traits. Why? Regardless of how much we like to ignore more baseless things (sometimes. Some games are for the sake of enjoyment so TF2/MW/etc ) it still attracts us and sometimes is the only thing that makes up pick up the game. Now that's not to say a gross exaggeration of Akali having DD's with them at least 30% showing is good for the game past a very short point.. but still.

Point 3: Is there a much better compromise? Situation? Design? If we are optimist we will hope and believe so and give ideas for such. However there is a limited number of resources, people, and minutes in the day. And even when you have crazy rioters who probably breath Lol, that sill isn't enough in any dimension. So it might be worth 5 points to the entire player base to fix all of those character issues NOWZ! But while that piece of lol is fixed, what hasn't been touched or upkept probably produces more suffering and displeasure for the LoL community than having syndra wear BDSM when i feel she is into role playing.

By the way I'm not disagreeing with you, there are things that need to be looked at, I just feel based on all the responses in the past 2+years have incurred thanks to the huge growth of LoL this has been a sticky answer that can usually be said without much disagreement.
I would say in my list of things that are important to making League better, well themed mechanics that make for good gameplay > comprehensive lore that holds current champs well and makes good space for new ones > visual appearance of characters in game > splash art. Of course, that's a personal thing- I have virtually no artistic taste to speak of, and the only two model remakes I've actually like have been Nidalee (which was insanely gorgeous) and TF, which was at least decent. Splash art we literally see for a couple of minutes max and then into game we go, so I don't see why people care all that much. Models I understand, since we spend hours using them, but I still think they are less key to good role play and general enjoyment of the character than the story, and of course mechanics are the most important because without mechanics, there isn't much of a game.

I think that actually skins tend to degrade from the character- by giving them all these different personalities (take MF, who has a Secret Agent, Cowgirl, French Revolution among others skins), we lose sight on their original goal. Like GP's Special Forces skin where he rounds around, well looking like Special Forces, talking about how Jolly his Roger is and such like...it just takes even more away from trying to make a thematic mechanics set, because even when you succeed, people just play a different, preferred skin, and suddenly you are as far away from making the moves suit the character as you ever were. Last I checked, Special Forces have a slightly different way of handling situations than Pirate Captains do.

I do think that it is time to bring back some kind of Journal of Justice or similar- Runeterra desperately needs things to happen. We need events to occur...I think that the Shadow Isles enhancement to the Twisted Treeline could have been much better if there had been events leading up to it, instead of essentially being a gigantic Halloween celebration. Remember with Dominion, when we had leading hostilities in Kalamanda and an explanation as to why it became the Crystal Scar? Reveal that the ruling class (or whatever leaders Zaun has) are doing deals with the Shadow Isles in exchange for something, sponsoring Hecarim and Thresh and whatnot in the League in exchange for unmentionable services. You then can make the leader of that group have been a part of the secret society LeBlanc was in, add him as a champion, and make some bio-chemistry genius guy who trained Mundo. Or create Xin's predecessor- a some psycho who abandoned (or was kicked out of) Demacia and went to Noxus to join the Crimson Elite, which is why Jarvan was in Noxus looking for his Seneschal in the first place- and why Xin stuck out to him.

You have created so much interesting stuff- a whole world to play with. It just frustrates me and makes me sad when it seems like you don't capitalize on it. Vi and Zed were interesting- but you just keep pouring ones out over and over that don't seem relevant.

Also, random thing about Zed: since he slaughtered everyone in the temple, what is the Kinkou doing about it? Surely they aren't just going to let that kind of thing slide? There must be a balance to Zed...who counters him? That's the kind of thing a journal should report on, even if just to say "The Kinkou are fully aware of the pain that Zed has caused and do not embrace his message, but are choosing not to act at this time. All we could get was a single quote 'The balance will be restored in time. In impatience are the seeds of failure.'"