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

First Riot Post
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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by arbiter reborn View Post
Varus I feel is actually great fun to play, i like the way his poke works and blight stacks up, its a nice mechanic and strong in lane.
"Nice mechanics" or not (and I don't disagree with you)--the blight stacks (and pretty much everything that isn't Q) don't really contribute to "what Varus is," and even that wasn't very defined! His Q mechanic, I find, is the most satisfying thing about him. That's why I kept it in the game!

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his Q however should be what defines him, but any varus player knows you max e first and then either w or q. With varus i feel like things dont look dramatic enough, you ult and you can barley see it, you burst your blight stacks and nothing visual really happens. Still he is one of my favorite ADC's just slightly underpowered atm mostly due to cooldowns i think.
Like I said--really loving that almost palpable bowstring-tension of his Q. A really satisfying friction--but moved and placed on Ashe because I felt it enriched her more as a sort of "focus" archer; Varus was originally on the chopping block because there wasn't really any way I could find to define him and make him still relevant as a character, but then somebody showed me a video of this "archer acrobat"-type character and said "I'd really like to play a champ like this," and it all clicked!

I feel his redesigned kit plays a bit more into his visual appearance and his character as well. He looks very limber and athletic and I can easily imagine him performing the abilities in his redesigned kit with his own unique style and flair, and it provides him with a sort of playstyle that he alone specialized in (so he doesn't have to fight a spotlight--either becoming FotM or underpowered and underplayed)!

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Redisigning his q or making it more integral to his kit rather than just another way to proc blight might be nice. The way he seems to be pulling back so hard on the bow and how large the arrow is you might think there could be some knockback or pin mechanic too it.
This mechanic was handled in the Ashe redesign in very much the same way--but with options, so that "not charging it all the way" and "charging it all the way" are both viable options depending on the circumstances! Want a wider cone? Pull back a little, and let them fly! Want a longer, bulls-eye shot? Pull 'er back all the way! I feel it lives up to Morello's sort of "decision making density" as well, which lends itself to more engaging play. : )

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so with Varus essentially i think its more of a overall look thing with his Q being a bit rubbish and his cooldowns too high

I tend to dislike the idea of ADC's with too much escape potential Being vulnerable is part of playing adc's and should be and i think its a big part of way there are so many bad ezreals out there
I'd say the problem with Ezreal is that he currently doesn't have any "give" in terms of defined weaknesses, to counterbalance the "take" of his high mobility, sustained damage, utility, and poking/siege power. With the Varus redesign, his escape potential is balanced out by the fact that he won't be doing optimal damage unless he's being daring and using them instead to dance in and out of range to proc his Innate (high risk/high reward, much like Draven).

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Im not sure ashe borrowing from varus's kit is nessisary, i always thought that her q should be her passive and should only apply to abilities and her q should be a small steroid that applies frost so you wouldnt loose much from being an ashe player. her ult defiantly needs a higher cast time and should pobably have a larger aoe. but this is still probably the first carry most people pick up and its a 450ip char im not sure she needs lots of skillshots to make her feel like an archer.
Like I said, this mechanic was removed from Varus and placed on Ashe to enrich her from a design and play standpoint, and this tension was made the focus of her kit.

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if there was to be an added skillshot it would be nice to have a straight line shot coming from her E replacing the original perhaps make it like zigg's q where if you walk under where it was cast too the shot simply passes over your head forcing ashe to have to aim it at you or compensate for movement.
I'm a bit confused here--Ziggs's Q is a circle-AoE skillshot, not a line skillshot.

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I like the way kogmaw feels atm I love the way he vomits slowing puke on the floor, his q is a bit meh and should perhaps be a flat steroid, but that would hurt AP kog and i wouldnt want that he is pretty rare already. some sort of damage over time effect on his q and r would be nice but i would only transfer the damage and not give it extra damage. the other thing is although he is similar to tristana late he always feels more vulnerable and vulnerable adc's feel very different to play as you are that bit more concerened with not getting cought
Hmm, perhaps you could look at the redesigns of Tristana and Kog'Maw and give me your thoughts? I feel like you're talking to me more about champions as they currently are, which is taking things a bit out of context if you also want to talk about the Ashe redesign. :y


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A Moist Crevice

Senior Member

01-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I think this is an interesting topic overall, because we have the best of intentions with this, but it turns out game development is hard!

In 2009-2010, we had a giant canvas to paint with - most skills would be unique, so you could throw things like Amumu ult and Morgana Q at kits to make them distinct. Basically, the more pressing problems is "how will League of Legends, as a game, work out?" There's some cool champions in the original 40-60, but it was pretty inconsistent and balance tended to be pretty scattered (Launch TF and Xin come to mind). It was good at the time because of the craziness and discovery, and some of those designs are still core characters today.

2011, in my mind, had a number of problems and was our toughest year in champion design. This is where you actually have really rushed characters - Yorick, Volibear, Sejuani, Karma, etc. The big issue here, I think, is we got so worried about balance we dialed back interesting hooks, gimmicks or patterns to be flat. Graves is a great example of a bold opportunity that we flattened too much. I think the players were really feeling the squeeze here.

2012 is a year I was much happier with - even though there's lots of room to grow still. We started looking for more uniqueness and being bolder - interesting mechanics and patterns (Ziggs, Varus, Draven, Zyra, Syndra's orbs, Kha'Zix's evolves, etc) were again the order of the day - and have primed us to explore further in 2013.

So, I don't think champion numbers is the problem, there were fundamental issues of patching frequently overall and us not agreeing on "what next"? for champions at several points. I'm really proud of the champion team's ability to level up and make more interesting kits, and with characters like Vi, Tresh and other ones I can't mention yet, I think we can keep cranking distinctiveness this year.

If you think design opportunities fell short, why not just go back and edit one or two skills


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Valexi

Senior Member

01-24-2013

I too have a spent a lot of time considering how I would go about addressing older champions that now seem mismatched or dull in terms of theme. Being a concept artist my solution is to leave mechanics (that are currently balanced) alone, but develop stronger visual themes for characters that give you cues for their play style. What Mark Rosewater calls Resonance: when the champions do what you expect.

For example Sion, being the obvious choice lately, could still be an undead menace but I would change a number of physical features to match his kit. I'd make him less fat and solid - more of a traditional magical zombie as he isn't a physical fighter. Probably reduce the size and menace of his axe as well (like Fiddles weapon you barely notice). I'd give him a big frankensteinien battery/electric coil on his back - a magical battery charging up then overloading and exploding would be perfect for his shield. Then with more of a 'Reanimated' theme the energy could power one large baleful eye in place of his current face. Referencing the Eye of Sauron or a malevolent Searchlight would allow the stun to make perfect sense; what do you do when the searchlight hits you?

I'm glad this extensive post has opened a forum for discussion, but I disagree that every character needs to have a theme that permeates their entire kit. Having Brand's 'theme' only mechanically expressed in 3 out of 5 abilities is, in my opinion, enough. I also believe some characters should have simple kits or play that is based around Taric-stuns and Fiddle-fears. As for the burden of knowledge it is somewhat balanced by the rewards of learning. I remember really enjoying the feeling of perpetual discovery as I encountered new opponents on the field of battle. The first time Akali threw down her shroud, Trydamere ran onto our fountain and killed us as we spawned (old Tryn) or Leblanc teleported over a wall, instantly killed me under my tower, then disappeared were terrifying but incredibly cool! Mordekaiser's R+Ignite much less so and I feel that is the issue that is being addressed here.


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Orivar

Senior Member

01-24-2013

"Ult: Rammus randomly walks while the earth is shaking/crumbling around him - like nothing is really happening. We don't know why, what or how Rammus is doing this. "

Being a newer player to this game, I've actually wondered what his ult was all about. Looks cool but never made any sense. Like the idea for Skarner's E too, very unique and fits.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valexi View Post
I too have a spent a lot of time considering how I would go about addressing older champions that now seem mismatched or dull in terms of theme. Being a concept artist my solution is to leave mechanics (that are currently balanced) alone, but develop stronger visual themes for characters that give you cues for their play style. What Mark Rosewater calls Resonance: when the champions do what you expect.

For example Sion, being the obvious choice lately, could still be an undead menace but I would change a number of physical features to match his kit. I'd make him less fat and solid - more of a traditional magical zombie as he isn't a physical fighter. Probably reduce the size of and menace his axe as well. I'd give him a big frankensteinien battery/electric coil on his back - a magical battery charging up then overloading and exploding would be perfect for his shield. Then with more of a 'Reanimated' theme the energy could power one large baleful eye in place of his current face. Referencing the Eye of Sauron or a malevolent Searchlight would allow the stun to make perfect sense; what do you do when the searchlight hits you?

I'm glad this extensive post has opened a forum for discussion, but I disagree that every character needs to have a theme that permeates their entire kit. Having Brand's theme only expressed in 3 out of 5 abilities is, in my opinion, often enough. I also believe some characters should have simple kits or play that is based around Taric-stuns and Fiddle-fears. As for the burden of knowledge it is somewhat balanced by the rewards of learning. I remember really enjoying the feeling of perpetual discovery as I encountered new opponents on the field of battle. The first time Akali threw down her shroud, Trydamere ran onto our fountain and killed us as we spawned (old Tryn) or Leblanc teleported over a wall instantly killed me under my tower then disappeared were terrifying but incredibly cool! Mordekaiser's R+Ignite much less so, and I feel that is the issue that is being addressed here.
I'd have to disagree with you on multiple fronts here, but primarily in the case of more-or-less trying to bend over backwards to make Sion's abilities make slightly more sense with his visual design (regardless of particle effects tying abilities to champions, it doesn't make them any more readable and still betrays expectations because it isn't fitting in terms of function, not just form). Not only are you just saying "well, it's okay, we can fix all of this if we make excuses and take the easy way out"--you're still preventing positive growth in terms of kits as a whole. You could change Sion's visual appearance and kit particles all you want, but that still doesn't make him more unified as a champion. You can make his abilities look less out of place on him, but that doesn't mean they still won't fit on him as a champion. If you read the Sion redesign, not only have I created a kit that finds unity within the fact that all of his abilities work towards the same, clear goal ("make this dude a bulky badass that just won't go down, and shakes off crowd control like it's nothing"), but also within the fact that the goal in question resonates with his theming--"resilient, slow, terrifying, and persistent" are elements that are both characteristic of his kit and how it makes him function as a champion, as well as easily connected to his "undead warrior" theming.

This is what I aim for here--complete and total cohesion and unity, that not only allows champions to be readable at a glance (which is important, again, considering that LoL is a fast-paced competitive game with over 100 playable characters), but creates a champion that plays unlike any other in the process.

Also, I'd have to strongly disagree with you on the "well, burden of knowledge is okay" statement--giving the player homework is never okay, especially as a competitive game, because not knowing what a champion is capable of will leave a player at a distinct disadvantage. Making the player connect 500+ blocks of text and numbers to 500+ particle effects, organizing those into 5-9 text/particle groups, and then associating those groups with the appearances of different champions is homework--not only is it unnecessary (as I've exemplified with my redesigns and as Riot has exemplified with their most recent champions--particularly Vi and Thresh), it's a roadblock between "the player" and "fun" (with "fun" here being "not being inhibited on a competitive level due to a lack of understanding regarding the basic functions of the game"), which isn't really something you want when your aim is to create good game design and the best experience possible for players.

In short? Kit unity is important to create champions with strong foundations and satisfactory play, and helps remove some burden of knowledge. Using recognizable themes (ie. stuff that exists outside of LoL) to resonate with that unified kit and tie it together to create even greater unity can almost eliminate that burden of knowledge altogether. Not having readable kits only gives the player homework, and homework gets in the way of fun so it's a problem factor and must be eliminated with extreme prejudice.

EDIT:

Also, on your point regarding Taric stuns and Fiddle fears--I'm typically not in favor of "click for instant crowd control without any real drawbacks" mechanics on champions, as they don't really leave much room for counterplay which is where all of the fun of playing against other people comes from. Also, regarding "I don't think champions need to have a resonating theme that permeates their entire kit"--allow me to redirect you to the Champion Retrospective and Riot's ideals for champion design.


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

01-24-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orivar View Post
"Ult: Rammus randomly walks while the earth is shaking/crumbling around him - like nothing is really happening. We don't know why, what or how Rammus is doing this. "

Being a newer player to this game, I've actually wondered what his ult was all about. Looks cool but never made any sense. Like the idea for Skarner's E too, very unique and fits.
Skarner's E? Wait, you mean the random blue magic square he shoots that marks targets so that he heals himself when he attacks them, and isn't ranked up until the game gives you no choice but to do so because it doesn't help Skarner do what Skarner does whatsoever, and the reason why Skarner is widely considered to be a champion that really only has 3 abilities (4 if you count the Innate)?

It's not particularly that unique or special a mechanic anyway, and the fact that Skarner has that ranged element to his kit means that he can never be as satisfying up-close as he could be (see: Malphite, Sejuani).


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DagonTreant

Member

01-24-2013

I'm a bit confused here--Ziggs's Q is a circle-AoE skillshot, not a line skillshot.

I believe what he was getting at, is that since ziggs Q bounces and can miss targets on its straight trajectory, you could do the same thing with Ashe's Volley to make it rely on angle as well as depth. If you were actually shooting a volley of arrows you wouldn't hit stuff too close or too far away.


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Daemon

Senior Member

01-24-2013

I did a bit of an analysis on Varus, because he happens to be my favorite ADC. All suggestions are welcome, and feel free to follow me at: loldaemon.tumblr.com!

Analysis of Varus: What could be better?


Varus is one of my favorite champions. The idea of a broken, corrupted man sacrificing himself for the greater good is probably one of my favorite character archetypes. The idea of giving up everything to the darkness is a very strong theme and I applaud Riot for this concept. However, how I interpreted him and how the designers interpreted him ended up being two completely different things.

As mentioned on the forums, a lot of people thought he was the “acrobatic archer” type. Apparently he is not. Varus is undeniably very handsome, yet very broken. The “acrobatic archer” archetype fits in very well with this. An example you all may or may not know is Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender: very handsome, very broken, and very acrobatic when firebending. He is a great character and is a lot like Varus. While the “athletic archer” idea is fine, I think if he had been more lithe and they had pushed out the hidden, charming side of Varus (you can see a bit of it when he does a waltz with his bow), it would have made for a more cohesive character.

On to his actual abilities. Varus is an archer of Ionia, willingly corrupted by darkness. His W and his ultimate represent the spread of the corruption he has to deal with. I believe his ult is fine, his W lackluster. Visually, his ultimate needs to be more drastic, more flashy. On to his Q. Varus charges his bow, is slowed in the process and has a long-range poke. It is probably one of my favorite abilities in the game, but I feel it also needs some more darkness involved, visually. It also shows his true power: a giant arrow that makes even Ezreal fear for his life. Now to his E. It is a small, AoE slow/instant damage. Since he is corrupting the land, I think that in addition to instant damage, there should be a DoT. The initial hit would have to be nerfed a bit, but the DoT of it would definitely push the idea of corruption forward. Also, it would serve as a sort of punishment to the opposing enemy ADC when farming. It would still trigger his Blight stacks, but it would give him more of a presence in lane while not having to wait for his extraordinarily long cooldowns. As for his passive, well, it doesn’t make too much sense. It is obvious it was created so he could keep in line with other ADCs who build attack speed. I’m not too sure what can be done here. It does help him CS. As for his W, here is a suggestion that could be used to aid him in his lack of gap-closer. Active: After causing 10 targets to be affected with Blight, Varus can activate this ability. The next target hit will cause Varus to be knocked back 300 units and the target will receive three stacks of Blight.

Ten targets means ten different targets, not each stack of blight. The active is kind of like Caitlyn’s E. This would also encourage combos. When at 9 targets, shoot enemy champion to get the 10th target stack. Get three stacks on them, E them to slow, then use the active on W to get three more stacks, then Q.


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MastaSuker

Member

01-24-2013

First of all good read.

Now if you make the nibble on Trundle for instance it will make him very much like Warwick. And trolls do actually steal Of course there might be a better animation and whatnot to help with that.

As for Burden of knowlege I think that the loading screen can be used more as an announcer type thing than what it is now. For instance the loading screen usually takes over 30 seconds so you can show major points about the champions you will be fighting against.

As far as depth of character goes I completely disagree. Champs such as Annie were important for me when I first started playing. This is a fireball, this is a firefield, and this is a teddy bear that kills people. I still play Annie from time to time but she is actually a very hard champion once you get to the point where people know to just go away when she laughs. Point is Lee Sin and Orianna are just not for everyone.


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

01-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItemsGuy View Post
Skarner's E? Wait, you mean the random blue magic square he shoots that marks targets so that he heals himself when he attacks them, and isn't ranked up until the game gives you no choice but to do so because it doesn't help Skarner do what Skarner does whatsoever, and the reason why Skarner is widely considered to be a champion that really only has 3 abilities (4 if you count the Innate)?

It's not particularly that unique or special a mechanic anyway, and the fact that Skarner has that ranged element to his kit means that he can never be as satisfying up-close as he could be (see: Malphite, Sejuani).
I think he was talking about the new E of Skarner Redesign, dude.