I think lol item pricing paradigm should change.

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zlefin

Senior Member

03-11-2013

I dislike the current paradigm on item costing that riot is using.

Key points of the current pricing system:

1. bigger items are more cost-efficient in general; bigger versions of an item are always superior (80ap for 1600 to 20ap for 435; ratios of 20 and 21.75)

2. You get a cost-efficiency bonus when items are completed (as opposed to basic components like cloth armor). This bonus is often quite sizeable as well; especially if you compare to the prices set by the basic small items (other than dorans); while a 10% net discount is nice; there are some items which have a considerably higher discount when completed, a 20-30% discount, which is huge; these discounts would tend to mean either the items are undercosted; or that some of the base items are overcosted considerably.

Athene's, to make via small items would be 1305g for the ap; 720g for the mr; 900 for the 15/5 mana regen; around 700g for the cdr; plus however much the special passive bonuses are worth. That's 3625g without considering the passives compared to a list price of 2600; that's .72x the price; a 30% discount.


My primary basis of comparison is dota; in dota point 2 applies, but point 1 does not; in dota small items are more cost-efficient, but they are less slot efficient.

I believe this trade-off of slot efficiency vs cost efficiency makes for an interesting tension for gameplay; as there's more choice in mixing what you buy when.

In LoL, due to the superiority of large items combined with the bonuses for completing a recipe; this means that it's almost always best to complete your large items one at a time; rather than having multiple recipes ongoing at the moment. This makes slot efficiency a non-issue until late game unless you have multiple types of wards/pots.
Now there is some gameplay tension; the choice is to buy an item now when you're in town, or to wait until you have enough to buy a larger item. However this tension does not occur much in practice; again due to the high bonuses of completion for items, buying anything smaller that doesn't help build the large item you're currently working on tends to be inferior to just waiting to finish your big item; it's better to just use hp pots and such to supplement for the most part.

Another general issue is that of how the combine bonus varies depending on component cost; the smaller the costs of each component, the easier it is to always have something to buy to work towards it;
If you have two items with equal stats; but the first is only made via 2 expensive items; whereas the second is made via several combinations of small items; you have to consider what their costs should be relative to each other. If slot-efficiency is a serious issue; that would tend to make the first item better, as it occupies few slots while under construction; however in all cases the second item has the advantage that you can always buy something to improve it, meaning at any given time you tend to have less unspent gold; these advantages should be accounted for in the costing of items. As lol is a game where slot-efficiency is less of an issue; in LoL the first item shuld be cheaper than the second item. In practice, I do not believe this is the case, and due to providing bonuses at each combination; items with complex build paths of many small items are more likely to end up at low costs; and that's what I see as I look through the items in the game on average.

These effects are part of the inherent problem with doran item balance. As LoL has fewer slot efficiency issues; doran items tend to be spammed if they're sufficiently strong, which limits early build diversity. So doran items must be less cost-efficient than large completed items; but without surpassing the low-cost items (which are the least cost-efficient items in teh game) by so much that they also become inevitable early purchases. However this makes purchase of doran's items also delay the completion of the most efficient items: the large ones. The large gap between small items and large, completed ones; makes it extremely difficult for doran's items to fill the space in between without being too strong at the start, or too weak by slowing down yoru acquisition of large items.


tldr and in conclusion, I feel that LoL's paradigm of significant discounts for high end items doesnt' make for as good gameplay and long term balance; and making slot efficiency in to more of a consideration would be better. Making the discounts smaller would also help the problem.


PS. reposted as the thread on GD gets buried so fast i don't know if riot got to see it; traffic in here should be much slower, and it should have really been here in the first place.


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Tyr Ahn Nee

Senior Member

03-12-2013

Totally agree, with the title: "LoL item pricing paradigm should change"

However, if, like me, you analyze more and more items, you discover that the "paradigm" which we assume Riot is using, they aren't really using at all. Unless of course Riot's item pricing paradigm is; "Oh, whatever, just give it a number."


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IamDuddits

Senior Member

03-12-2013

I agree with what you are saying. Another thing to point out too is that the bigger items (BFS/NLR/Giants Belt vs LS/Tome/Ruby Crystal) tend to have much more desirable build paths than the lower one's. This further amplifies this problem because it gives more incentive to horde gold and build the bigger item than build smaller tier items with lesser effects.

Also, you are wasting your time posting here. The only responses I got when I posted about this was fanboys that think they understand game balance. Be prepare for Riot infused rhetoric.


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Dark Kuno

Senior Member

03-15-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by zlefin View Post
My primary basis of comparison is dota; in dota point 2 applies, but point 1 does not; in dota small items are more cost-efficient, but they are less slot efficient.

I believe this trade-off of slot efficiency vs cost efficiency makes for an interesting tension for gameplay; as there's more choice in mixing what you buy when.
You can't really compare LoL to DotA/DotA2 in terms of item pricing because the gold and item slot mechanics are completely different.

Champions do not lose gold when they die in LoL the way they do in DotA

DotA offers a Stash for items to store them beyond your base 6 slots. LoL is purely on champ item slot locked.

There is a vastly larger number of Items with a vastly more build paths in DotA than there are in LoL.

I agree with the basic concepts presented here but just wanted to point out that the LoL to DotA comparison doesn't really work in terms of item cost discussion.