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

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Linna Excel

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Let me ask you this: are you guys generally fans of complexity as a mechanic (definitely a player archetype I fall into)? Do you think there's a possibility you might be confusing depth and gameplay distinction/strategic diversity? I think League actually has a good amount of depth overall, though I don't feel all of our characters are, as you said, as awesome as they could be - you're correct in bringing up the Darius example here as representative of this issue.
If you mean this kind of complexity, then no. That kind of complexity is bad. Take chess. You have 8 different kinds of pieces and aside from a few odd rules like "en passent" they are all relatively simple individually. As a whole however, chess is extremely deep despite of its simplicity. Same with Go. Very simple play, tons of depth.

Take Syndra, managing her balls is one of the more complex things to do in game. As such, she's not commonly picked despite her power. Zyra? She's pretty much based around planting those stupid seeds which means you need to know zoning, AI, which plant to use in the situation, etc. Karma? She's complex to use right in a dual lane.


Take what this guy has to say on complexity: it's okay, but it has to be uncommon or rare. While he talks about a different game, I think he hits on meta ideas, a lot of which apply to many games.

I think those two things sum up my feelings of complexity, a little bit is good, but the simpler and more options you have with simplicity, the better.


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YamiBelgarath

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Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
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.
Don't yell at me D= I'm not disagreeing with you lol
I was responding to someone who was saying that Zyra was either going to trash her opponents or get trashed by saying no, I don't think that would happen.


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DoozleDorf

Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
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.
Yes, it absolutely would have made entry into the game easier, and more enjoyable. I mean, the first time Nasus covered me in locusts and it impaired my ability to move, I got it. Not much confusion in what was happening to me, why it was happening, how that fit in to his theme, or how I could avoid it (it actually made me buy him!). My main concerns as a player and a truly dedicated and addicted player, is the question of (over)saturation: what it means for the future (expanded player base) of LoL. New champions releases simply cannot go on forever: new players, casual and infrequent players, severely addicted players that want to play lots of cool champions, and even the business model itself all seem to go against any idea that it can go on forever without detracting from, gimping, or even causing the premature demise of the game we all love so much.

I really hope Morello shares his thoughts about this with us here. And thank you for the thread btw!


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Cha0sniper

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
I could disagree with this, or I could re-phrase it--"not forgoing any aspect that's paramount to good game design is important." I have the feeling that, whenever I talk about theming here, you see it as something that's more superficial--something like particle effects. However, like I've explained before, it's this theming that ties a "well-designed champion" together--it's like saying a canteen isn't important in comparison to the water within it, because you can't drink a canteen (but without that canteen, it would be difficult--if not impossible--to drink that water!). There's nothing invalid about me saying that the water and canteen are both important, and should not be handled individually! Like my example in parenthesis before, it's like trying to take two trips through the desert--if you bring the canteen on the first trip but leave the water behind, then the canteen is useless, but trying to bring the water on the first trip will only create a mess. Bring both at the same time--in fact, carry the water within the canteen! Allow them act as a unit, inseparable! You don't have to prioritize either aspect if you recognize them as a single entity.

Likewise, I don't sacrifice gameplay for thematic unity, and I don't sacrifice thematic unity for gameplay--rather, I use each to inform the other, and create something truly "complete" in the process. Without the central theme to inform what sort of mechanics would be implied, I'd end up with mechanics all over my shirt, and without mechanics to bring these central themes to life, I'd be parched!
What happens when you have a champion concept and kit that is awesome thematically, but doesn't work in practice due to being over/underpowered, or just completely useless in the context of League?

I'm going to use one of your champion redesigns as an example to make my point. You do a great job of turning LeBlanc into someone who truly deserves the Deceiver title, at the cost of completely gutting her as a viable pick. She has two spells that do nothing but fuel her "Deceiver" theme, without actually providing useful gameplay. Beyond that, the spell enhancement on her R and the nature of her passive scream that you still want her to be a mage-assassin, but the fact that she only has two damage-dealing spells utterly cripples that, in the same way that live LeBlanc is crippled once she can no longer use her dash to deal damage or hang around long enough to trigger the root on her E. She simply will NOT do enough damage to be viable unless her spells have short cooldowns on the level of Vlad's Q and E, and attaching a silence and a blind to them pretty much nips that possibility in the bud.

Sure, I can blink around and harass while using my clone to confuse and avoid damage, but that's all I have. If my opponent gets tired of it and decides to all-in me, i'm completely boned. It's like AP nidalee if she didn't have cougar form to finish off opponents after poking them down, and it's not like AP nidalee is that great in team fights as it is (great split pusher, great at cleaning up almost-dead enemies, horrible at fighting straight up).

Or, to give a more recent example, Vi's ult at one point (I'm honestly not sure if this was only on the PBE or if it made it to live, I could have sworn it did but I don't remember reading a patch note that removed it) applied a stack of Denting Blows. This was removed because it made her burst too silly by allowing her to double-proc W with a simple R-auto-E-Q-E-auto basically unavoidable combo. Even though it was incredibly thematic for her most powerful punch to apply Denting Blows, it was removed for balance reasons. This is the point on which I think we disagree, that balance (and good gameplay, as just because a champion is fun for the person playing it doesn't mean it's fun for their opponent; see Shaco) must always take priority over thematic appropriateness.

I guess what I'm saying is, building a champion to fit a theme is great, and should be striven for as much as possible. But when the chips come down, you need to have a cohesive, readable, useful kit and unfortunately, chaining yourself to thematics and refusing to bend (I think this is the bit I have the most problem with, how inflexible you are on this point) is only going to hurt your design in the end.


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Rivini

Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by BombingLegend View Post
can we get a TL;DR version of the above
Can we enroll BombingLegend in a reading class?


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Linna Excel

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
We've talked about it briefly, but I think it has some of the same problems as the Champion Submission thing. I think the potential to feel left out, or not like the changes we make is higher than the amount of good we'd get out of it.

Not saying we never would, but currently I'm not really for it.
What about a designer search from the fans? You have an entry form which asks specific questions you guys face regularly, then you pick some promising people and give them more and more focused challenges. For example, we just released the champs with the following abilities and it looks like we need to release a support champ that either helps these champs or allows older champs to answer these guys better, or rework Darius so he's less snowbally and offers more counterplay.


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innervation

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Sorry, but I'm not that impressed with the OP. I wanted to post my thoughts now, having read it all, but without reading any responses. Will edit after I read through the rest of the thread.

First: Champion themes - You're right, the more depth and breadth there is to character theme, the more fun the experience. But this is a competitive game. Balance needs to be the top priority, or everything else turns to mush. No professional circuit. No million dollar prizes. No multimillion user player base.

Rammus shouldn't have a taunt because armadillos don't taunt people in real life? Or because mechanically and physically it doesn't make sense for anything to taunt you via making surface contact with their skin? Tough beans! I want my champions designed holistically. Both what is it fun to play as (theme) and what is it fun to do (mechanics/combat effectiveness).

I'm sure it's great to take an 'ivory tower' approach and try to apply it to League - and it does apply, but I don't think that you're thinking through all of the implications that would entail...

which segues nicely into my next issue with the OP: 'counterplay'. Again, I get what you're saying and agree with you on the surface - you're not lying. Panth spear and Taric stun have no counterplay other than -stay out of their range, or, -flash when they flash, (which is really the same thing). But this is true of every skill. Every skill has a cast range. And while other skills have much more complex counterplay, the simplest, most effective play is to stay out of range while contributing - anything else will cost you a cooldown or damage taken.

Not every ability in the game needs to have super in depth counterplay; if every ability were remade like the way you described trundle ult being remade it (and this will sound familiar) will severely impact balance. Imagine: Oh, the enemy team has a Malzahar...I think I'll get QSS to...oh wait, I need it for Trundle ult too. and <insert 4 other reworked skills here that now have cleanse-based counterplay>.

Again I'm not saying you're wrong, but I think you're making this out to be a bigger problem than it is, and I don't think you've thoroughly thought through the implications of what these changes would entail on LoL as a whole. It would be a HUGE allotment of Riot's resources to gain a benefit that is, in my eyes, quite small, and possibly more trouble than it's worth.

Edit: I see that I've pretty much said what Morello said in his 9th post. Yet here come the down votes. Facts is facts though - PvP games need to be balanced mechanically. And like Morello said earlier - pretty much everyone would like to have both A+ theme and mechanics - but I wouldn't go so far as to ask them to heavily rework past champions just so they have stronger, more cohesive themes.


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rusoX 666

Senior Member

01-22-2013

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
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.
Sorry but, shouldn't theming be followed up by lore? Then why a champion like Zyra has such distinction. Why Riot makes such lore and doesnt implement it in the gameplay. Yeah, it would make her OP at some point, but you can balance the game if you know how to do it.
There shouldnt be a distinction between a champions lore and theming. They make a lore for something, and right now its just to entertain people by making them believe that an X champion has a past, but when they play that champion they find out that their gameplay is most of the times different to what the lore says.


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Ding an Sich

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
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!
But is there no apprehension? let me put it this way: You and Prief have done some great work arguably out of pure passion (which is a trait to be admired/hated by many), however I can't help worry with "eggs all in the basket approach" is really good for you. You talk about a median, a balance a design, but you seem so geared towards your layed out, well put, and designed attributes that must be acknowledged/worked on/etc. I'd be afraid with your passion that if you hit a wall, that you may in fact either lose all interest in the league, or be blinded and be unable to progress.

With this being said I'd only leave my final remarks on your final remakes for my post, while the finished (or half finished in this case) projects that were those two champions stemmed from an out of box after the fact mistep. But they were created in the subjective and often rule dominated sector that champion design has become (Beginning Lol having no clear concept of anti-fun, versus now which they label as a public enemy to champion design). I guess what i'm trying to say is, all good intentions and belief in your system aside; have you tried to consider any flaws that may have occurred?

I'm not anywhere near an artist or overly creative in many tradition or even non-traditional sense. And generally you seemingly being the type of person you are, would make out to me to excel at what they are passionate for. Which generally leads to almost natural upkeep and caring over what it is they aim at, but often times it seems when the most unlikely mistake does come up, it almost becomes apparent the flaw was an ideal that was thought to be untouchable and true. And thus leaves the sticky situation is the idea salvageable in some way? or Must it be let go for the greater good of the passion?


I'm not sure when or if this gets the attention deserved for whats been put into it, or which reds will respond, but it will be a fun read and deserves something (hopefully/optimistic). Also sorry if I'm not necessarily a forum poster you'd want receiving questions fromXD I'd only imagine your excitement must lie in reds as you seemed to explode with morello.


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Linna Excel

Senior Member

01-22-2013

Morello, how much does existing itemization come into play when making a champ? Do you guys look at the item options and say "these things would be a good group on a champ" or say "hmm, this champ really needs build X to be awesome but the items aren't really there for him or the build order is going to be a pain"?

Take my favorite champ Ahri, she needs to build glass cannon but she's also pretty mana hungry. I tried getting archangel's staff on her once, but that didn't work out so well. There aren't many other "heroic" options for AP and Mana, it's death this (no one recommends it) or unholy that (not a core build on most).

Supports really have this problem. Take leona, she needs to build AP for her skills. People expect her to only build auras because she's a support champ. She's melee and there isn't much for AP melee. IE, no hydra, ghostblade, or black cleaver for her.