Problems with Respawn Comeback Mechanics

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Enceph

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Senior Recruiter

02-27-2013

A few weeks ago, RiotNome wrote that,

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotNome
The respawn mechanic could use some work, and does need to be looked at (when I have time), but you're silly if you don't think comeback mechanics aren't in Summoner's Rift.

"Why is this opponent I'm completely dominating worth as much as minion? Why am I worth six times as much? Why is my respawn timer higher because I've zoned him out so much he's 2 levels behind me?" It goes on and on.
This got me thinking about the differences between respawn timer comeback mechanics in Dominion and Summoner's Rift, because while Summoner's Rift respawn timer mechanics don't bother me at all, Dominion respawn timer mechanics are the reason I stopped playing the mode. My frustration with Dominon respawn timers comes from two major differences between Dominion and Summoner's Rift:

Difference 1: In Summoner's Rift, the team that's behind in levels has the respawn timer advantage, while in Dominion, the team that's behind in nexus life points has the respawn timer advantage. It hardly needs to be said that levels are a much more accurate and precise measure than nexus life points of which team is stronger. It's harder to kill higher level champions, but it isn't harder to kill champions from the team with more nexus life points. Also, if a team that's ahead in levels in SR starts losing team fights, the level advantage and respawn timer disadvantage quickly switches to the other team. If your team's ahead in nexus life points in Dominion but you start losing fights and capture points, there's an extremely frustrating period where you're weaker than the enemy team, you have fewer capture points, AND your respawn timers are longer, but all you can do is wait for the nexus life points to catch up to the reality of the game.

Difference 2: Respawn timer duration in Summoner's Rift is part of the reward for winning a fight/objective, while in Dominion, respawn timer duration helps you win the fight/objective itself. If you win a team fight in Summoner's Rift, enemy respawn timers determine how far you can push your advantage: how many towers you can take, or whether or not you can steal a buff or take dragon/baron. It seems fair that if a team with a level disadvantage somehow manages to win a team fight, they should be rewarded with more time to catch up; it's much more difficult for them to win the team fight in the first place. The most important point is that they still have to win the fight on their own merit, and if the team with the level disadvantage never kills the enemy team, then the comeback mechanic never comes into play.

On the other hand, in Dominion, when a capture point is being contested, it's common for champions on both sides to die, respawn, make their way back to the point and reenter the fight. Respawn timers in Dominion make a huge difference as to which team will be reinforced first and ultimately who will win the capture point. This makes being ahead in nexus life points (i.e. winning) in Dominion feel terrible because it hands free power to your enemies. But ultimately, it's not satisfying for either team because the outcome of fights is influenced by a rubberbanding game mechanic and is not exclusively determined by team skill and strategy.

Possible Changes: Base comeback mechanics in Dominion off of capture points instead of nexus life points. Holding more capture points is itself a power advantage and is a much better measure of which team is stronger. However, besides the other problems with respawn timers as a comeback mechanic in Dominion, Brackhar has said that basing respawn timers off of capture points "created too much unreliability in terms of respawn times." Instead, I'd suggest that comeback mechanics be focused in the quest system. For example, quests could be available only to the team that's behind in capture points or could yield greater rewards to that team. This would be similar to Summoner's Rift-style comeback mechanics, where losing teams still have to win the fight for the objective on their own merit, but experience a greater reward if they manage to do so.

TL;DR: Respawn timer comeback mechanics in Dominion feel bad because they sometimes go in favour of the wrong team and because they immediately affect the outcome of fights. My suggestion, instead of adjusting respawn timers based on nexus life points, is to allow comebacks to happen through an altered quest system based on the number of capture points held by each team.


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Rewenger

Senior Member

02-27-2013

You know, when one team has serious advantage like having 4 points and camping respawn gateways instakilling everyone who tries to come out. You WANT respawn timer to be lower to at least be able to reclaim 2 points and drive them off. This system works so the game won't end with the first lost teamfight of one team, i.e. if someone got caught and they won a teamfight 4 for like 1, they won't be able to sustain themselves enough with relics to hold 5 points for an extended period of time.

Meanwhile they are able to recall, replenish health and get new items, send 2+1 people to defend top and one to gank bot.


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SmashCapital

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02-28-2013

Rewenger, what happens if the team with fewer nexus points catches someone, wins the fight 4 for 1 and then 5 caps? Well, the team with fewer nexus points can easily win the game! I've been in a bunch of games where my team has built up a 300+ point lead and lost because we couldn't kill the enemy team fast enough to make a difference against their much lower respawn time. It's just as Enceph wrote: the team with fewer nexus points does not equate to the team with the least power.

Plus I don't think you need lower respawns to stop a winning team from spawn camping, just a little teamwork.


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Enceph

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03-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rewenger View Post
You know, when one team has serious advantage like having 4 points and camping respawn gateways instakilling everyone who tries to come out. You WANT respawn timer to be lower to at least be able to reclaim 2 points and drive them off. This system works so the game won't end with the first lost teamfight of one team, i.e. if someone got caught and they won a teamfight 4 for like 1, they won't be able to sustain themselves enough with relics to hold 5 points for an extended period of time.

Meanwhile they are able to recall, replenish health and get new items, send 2+1 people to defend top and one to gank bot.
One problem with the current respawn mechanics, as I point out in Difference 1 is that if the team that gets the 5-cap is behind in nexus life points, they'll have the respawn timer advantage, making life even more awful for the team being respawn camped.

I can understand how it feels bad to be 5-capped, but I think the only way a team should be able to comeback from such a massive disadvantage should be through outplaying their opponents. Simply brute force rushing them on respawn but eventually winning out because of a respawn timer advantage is not satisfying to either team.