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

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phatcat09

Senior Member

01-23-2013

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Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Definition and vision. "What's the difference between finding the book you wanted to read and browsing aimlessly through the library?"

You typically want to have some level of control over your designs.
I'd liken it more to giving someone a Notebook that says "Math" with some references material in a back (times table/ruler/etc), and giving them another book that says Diary.

They're both blank and nothings stopping you from using either, but you'd be inclined to use the notebook for math anyway.

You could use it for your Diary, but it'd be less helpful.

Then again you can also use it for Science, and even though it says Math, you might be successful with it for science.

Guaranteed one option while still making others available.

At least my preference for Champion design is to make a hero that succeeds in Many roles, excels in one, and fails a few.

"Why not pick the one they excel in alone"

Well in the ideal environment too many who excel might negatively impact other areas of your team composition.


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Pianowire

Member

01-23-2013

Disagree with you about importance, Morello. You guys could (especially with your new slower release schedule KUDOS ON THAT BY THE WAY) afford to give some lore guys veto over abilities that don't mesh. Go back to the drawing board on them with better ideas of the character, iterate. You're not running out of mechanical design ideas (and the ones you do put in first, like on Varus or Diana, I feel look pretty forced).

It's true that when I queue up for ranked I'm probably playing Graves, Taric, or Jarvan IV. These are are immensely 1-dimensional and story-wise, uncreative characters (although I feel their abilities do fit their themes decently well, for what it's worth). However, when I get a friend to play their first game of League, it's the Annies and the Kog'Maws of the world I'm showing them. Not because their mechanics are simple or anything (as you say, for that just point them at random generic bruisers); just because they are cool and fun. They are the reasons I like saying "I play League" to the rest of the world. You could aim for more of these, whether mechanically they have it easy, or not.


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Dues Pater

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Senior Member

01-23-2013

bump


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LightningAcorns

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01-23-2013

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Originally Posted by Dues Pater View Post
bump
Bumping a stickied thread? For shame, my good sir.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-23-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcat09 View Post
I'd liken it more to giving someone a Notebook that says "Math" with some references material in a back (times table/ruler/etc), and giving them another book that says Diary.

They're both blank and nothings stopping you from using either, but you'd be inclined to use the notebook for math anyway.

You could use it for your Diary, but it'd be less helpful.

Then again you can also use it for Science, and even though it says Math, you might be successful with it for science.

Guaranteed one option while still making others available.

At least my preference for Champion design is to make a hero that succeeds in Many roles, excels in one, and fails a few.

"Why not pick the one they excel in alone"

Well in the ideal environment too many who excel might negatively impact other areas of your team composition.
This brings up the "well if you wanted to play a mage, then play a mage" argument I give for people that like to defend champs like Trist having AP ratios even after the introduction of AD ratios.

It's not like I'm not providing you with all the options you'd need with these redesigns--if you want to do X, play Y champion--so there's not really any "need" for champions that incidentally succeed at other roles as well.

That's not saying that every champion I design is designed for one static role--but when I do design for versatility, I design the champion all around that versatility (see Vlad and Viktor).

The reason I don't needlessly add this kind of shoehorned diversity (which isn't even so much as that--it's not like you can play AP and AD Trist in the same game, and the existence of one means the other will never be as satisfying as it can be) is that--aside from the fact I've already stated of there "being mages if you want to play a mage"--is the fact that simply playing the champion should be satisfying. Ideally, you'd be able to remove all external factors--lanes, gold, items, etc.--and a champion would still be enjoyable to just mess around with. That currently isn't the case, because for the most part, champions are simply defined for a role--not designed with a playstyle or experience in mind, which then lends itself 100% to a role.

If a champion is designed and you played it and went, "you know, I'd enjoy this champion more if I could do crazy stuff with different items/stats on them" then it is a failure of a design, as it failed to be satisfying without external applications of "fun."

This very same principle is present in Bloodline Champions, another MOBA (by definition--Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) that doesn't have items, bought/customizable stats, lanes, etc.--just champions and kits. Each kit lends itself to a defined role: Healer (Support), Ranged (Carry, Mage), Tank (self-explanatory), and Melee (Bruiser, Assassin), and each "bloodline" has something to bring to its role that only it has up to offer.

Designing by role isn't problematic, and it works very much like with theming: when you know the role you're designing for, you can easily distinguish between what stays and what goes. The end product, like with theme, should be a kit that's unified in the fact that every single iota of it works together in order to fulfill that role.


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phatcat09

Senior Member

01-23-2013

Quote:
if you want to do X, play Y champion
Well to me that's boring, but that's a personal opinion so I disagree with your design philosophy here invariably.

Which means my time in this thread is done since we're both about entirely different approaches to game design.

I prefer characters who fit all roles, but based on their team and the enemy teams composition decide what role they'll be most successful at for the match rather than just making them succesful at a role.

Sure your way sounds more straight forward on paper, but in practice I don't think my preference any different from the justice league.

I wouldn't want batman to run reconnaissance in the Artic any more than I'd want super man to run reconnaissance in Gotham over Batman.

Batman is inherently better at it when in the right situation, but superman has to be able to fill in when batman would be unable too and vice versa.

And to me there is a simple way to implement this.

In my ideal game if the enemy team has a character who frequently stops your usual support from being able to contribute effectively I want another character to take on that role where they will now succeed and have the current support change their strategy to make up for it in a different capacity where than can equitably succeed even if they aren't excelling and are forcibly faltering.

Likewise for other roles.

Again it's a personal preference of mine that I want to see in game design, I'm not willing to argue about it being good or bad really.

It's not about "it'd be cool to do crazy stuff" it's "yes me picking this particular hero is right given the potential situation-s"

Battle modes come to mind.


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phatcat09

Senior Member

01-23-2013

Ultimately a number of things would have to change about Champion Interaction for my wish to be met.

It wouldn't just be "This AP person" vs "This tanky person"

It'd be "This particular AP person" vs "This particular tanky person" even at equally geared stats might give that particular AP person a problem.

Galio might have it easy against every AP, but some of them would be able to use a different strategy to circumvent his usual prowess over them - rather than just simply being outmatched and having to rely on others to take him down.

Likewise if Galio's abilities would be necessary to successfully gank bottom because your current jungler is being denied gank after gank and falling behind, I'd have a mechanism set-up for him to run as a jungler in his place and the jungler run mid so that neither fall to far behind. Generally speaking the jungler would normally not have an issue unless they ran into the unfortunate situation that the enemy team just so happens to have the two champions that when together lock out standard junglers well.

You might want to call it diluted I call it unique interaction.


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Teemo AMA

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Junior Member

01-23-2013

I don't like the idea of league of legends 2. If you resorted to that you kill the first effectively. I also don't think that current players would be too upset about updating older champions. If you stay with the percieved theme of the champion and do your best to make him or her fun you have succeeded. I play Teemo, not because he is the best champ (he is), not because he's the only champion that can tank/support/adc/top/mid/jungle/bruiser/shred (he is) I play teemo because I love the design and execution of the character. I would define a successful champion as one I could load into a custom game against all bots and still have fun. that being said I can't do that with TOO terribly many atm. singed darius teemo so on and so on. Generally they are the ones that have the best themes and stuck to the theme. If you rework ashe to make her more fun to play more people will play her. If you delete annie noone would care.

TL;DR reworking old champions to make them better, like most of the new champs, is a GREAT THING not one that will make people mad.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-23-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcat09 View Post
Well to me that's boring, but that's a personal opinion so I disagree with your design philosophy here invariably.

Which means my time in this thread is done since we're both about entirely different approaches to game design.
And I'm going to have to say that yours isn't really up to snuff, considering that the game in question here is League of Legends--with a vast roster, you don't need to indulge in schizophrenic design, you can let them devote themselves entirely and have something that no other character can capture, instead of a bunch of dudes that are just watered down versions of what they could be.

Again, you don't need this shoehorned flexibility when you can just make another champion that does that thing in its own way, with an entire kit that resonates and coheres, works towards that goal. A unified design.

I'd say the difference here is that you're talking about what kind of stuff you like--you're not talking good design, you're talking about personal preferences. I'm not talking preferences, I'm talking concrete standards that can't really be argued due to how grounded they are.

Quote:
I prefer characters who fit all roles, but based on their team and the enemy teams composition decide what role they'll be most successful at for the match rather than just making them succesful at a role.
Again, there's the "X champion for Y" argument. Hell, even if you wanted a champ that could attain that flexibility, play a champ that's designed around it. In terms of redesigns, play Shyvana (bruiser or assassin), Heimer (mage or support), Kog'Maw (AP, AD, or mixed damage), Viktor (mage, magic bruiser, support), Vlad (mage, magic bruiser, support), or Swain (mage, support). Just because you like a certain style of play, doesn't mean that all champions should be designed around that--quite the contrary on my end, I've tried to find a different way to perform each role, so, to quote Morello, "But what we really want to do - is create a good variety of champions, so that every player has a few to several champions that they are absolutely stoked about - instead of having like a whole slew of champions that people are not interested in and don't really buy into."


And I've done exactly that--I've created a good variety of champions, so that you can find a few champions you're crazy about, and be endlessly satisfied with those. To quote again (Jeff Jew, this time): "As a group of creative people, we look at it and think: What can we do with this, if we can make this the most awesome it could be without any constraints, what would that be?" That means pushing things to extremes, running with them, and not looking back. We don't want "just another mage champion," or "just another AD champion with inexplicable AP ratios on his kit, meaning that you'll never get full use out of their entire kit"--we want players to have access to "the ultimates": "the ultimate Inventor champion," "the ultimate Undead Warrior champion," and so on.


Quote:
Sure your way sounds more straight forward on paper, but in practice I don't think my preference any different from the justice league.
Not only does my way sound more straightforward (and functional) on paper--it's built from the ideals of Riot Games Inc. themselves. Peri and I have more or less taken the entire Champion Retrospective video and used it to prove just about every point we've made. It's not just from us--it's from the people at Riot, too.

Quote:
I wouldn't want batman to run reconnaissance in the Artic any more than I'd want super man to run reconnaissance in Gotham over Batman.

Batman is inherently better at it when in the right situation, but superman has to be able to fill in when batman would be unable too and vice versa.
The thing about Batman is that he's designed to be Batman--everything about him is Batman, and he's never diluted to be more like The Flash, or Captain Planet. Everything about Batman works towards this ideal of being "the ultimate superpower-less vigilante"--you'll never see Batman using laser vision to solve his problems, and it would more than raise a few eyebrows if he did.

Quote:
And to me there is a simple way to implement this.

In my ideal game if the enemy team has a character who frequently stops your usual support from being able to contribute effectively I want another character to take on that role where they will now succeed and have the current support change their strategy to make up for it in a different capacity where than can equitably succeed even if they aren't excelling and are forcibly faltering.
You're catching on to the "acting and reacting" play I focus so heavily on (beyond mere technical goodies, which is where Morello sees depth), but are forgetting one thing: with all of these redesigns, there is defined play, and defined counterplay. That means, if the enemy is making your support less effective, they are performing proper counterplay, and it should be rewarded. If your support could get the ball back in their court, so to speak--redesign!Morgana getting her allies to stick together, redesign!Mundo being able to go where he pleases, redesign!Teemo regaining control of the map--then they have successfully "reacted" to the enemy and thus should be rewarded for that.

If two champions have to switch roles just because one is doing poorly, that's poor design. That means that players aren't encouraged to keep count of their own defined strengths and weaknesses and play accordingly, and in general, that works against enriching the game. Anyone, when knocked down, should be able to get back up on their feet by recognizing their situation and acting accordingly--and it's their opponent's job to figure a way to knock them back down again. That's what makes competition fun, this dance of sorts between players (allies and enemies--as your allies can help you get the ball back in your court as well*).

*I think I may be misusing this metaphor, I know very little about basketball.

Quote:
Likewise for other roles.

Again it's a personal preference of mine that I want to see in game design, I'm not willing to argue about it being good or bad really.

It's not about "it'd be cool to do crazy stuff" it's "yes me picking this particular hero is right given the potential situation-s"

Battle modes come to mind.
What you say can apply to team composition 100%--you're forgetting that this is a team game, and you can easily coordinate with your allies to either help cover your weaknesses, emphasize your strengths, or deal with situations that you don't excel at (taking redesign!Nami as your support if your team can't do much about Control-based play, or redesign!Maokai if your team doesn't have a way to deal with initiation). While I have designed champions specifically around being able to adapt, the rest can easily be covered by your team.

Again, I think the thing you don't understand here is the distinction between "personal preference" and "good, well-grounded design philosophy." I don't make these decisions based on some narrow criteria of what I would like to play (which isn't the case--I'm a flexible player, as long as the design is good; I enjoy such extreme opposites as Olaf, Shaco, and Kog'Maw equally; Kog'Maw a bit less due to his Innate, the innefectiveness of his Q's active, and that wonky Void Ooze, but nonetheless), but based on what would be solid from a design standpoint.

I know full well that different players enjoy different kinds of play, and I allow them to indulge in whatever that would be, to the fullest. Whether you like turtling it out as redesign!Heimer, wading into battle and butchering the opposition as Darius, or picking off enemies afar from strategic locations as redesign!Caitlyn, I've got the champion for you. You get to take these experiences and live them out to the fullest--nothing diluted or sacrificed for the sake of (needless) flexibility; and I say "needless" there because for champs like Viktor or Nidalee, that flexibility is very much needed as it's a defining part of their kit.

My kits are unified, whether that means in focus or flexibility. If you have any evidence to the contrary, I'd love to hear it.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-23-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcat09 View Post
Ultimately a number of things would have to change about Champion Interaction for my wish to be met.

It wouldn't just be "This AP person" vs "This tanky person"

It'd be "This particular AP person" vs "This particular tanky person" even at equally geared stats might give that particular AP person a problem.

Galio might have it easy against every AP, but some of them would be able to use a different strategy to circumvent his usual prowess over them - rather than just simply being outmatched and having to rely on others to take him down.

Likewise if Galio's abilities would be necessary to successfully gank bottom because your current jungler is being denied gank after gank and falling behind, I'd have a mechanism set-up for him to run as a jungler in his place and the jungler run mid so that neither fall to far behind. Generally speaking the jungler would normally not have an issue unless they ran into the unfortunate situation that the enemy team just so happens to have the two champions that when together lock out standard junglers well.

You might want to call it diluted I call it unique interaction.
Again, I call it "there's already a champion for this." If you want a champion that can help his entire team on a global scale, you'd pick redesign!Galio. If you wanted a champion that could instead chessmode mastermind the entire map from mid, you'd want redesign!Zyra. If you wanted a champion that could do well to keep their opponent from leaving lane to gank, you'd want redesign!Swain or redesign!Ziggs.

I call it diluted because it is diluted. There's no reason to implement what you're talking about, because, like I said, there is a champion for that. This sort of design could feasibly work in a game with far, far fewer playable characters, but the fact of the matter is that there isn't. What would give LoL the capability of having as many champs as it has and more is definition--as it cuts down on the confusion considerably. If we had 110 champions and they all were designed to your specifications, there wouldn't be that much variety. And for what? The global removal of rewarding counterplay?

Think on that, please.