Holy **** please nerf purple caster minion.

First Riot Post
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Spen

Senior Member

02-05-2010

I wonder which poor intern he made type that up for him, or if it was him, holy **** that must have taken a good 20-40 minutes.


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Ozie

Senior Member

02-05-2010

You're right Spen, he should'v used that time to design Armored Bears, or finishing the job of nerfing Kat.

Is this what you do in your spare time RIOT!?

I want PCM REMOVED from all that is LoL.

Clearly OP.


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shemp

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Senior Member

02-05-2010

ownd


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WasabiCannon

Senior Member

02-05-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinsoo View Post
SlyGoat, while I appreciate you writing up this post, I offer a different opinion on a number of points.

The purple caster minion is a very noob-friendly character, because (as your screenshot illustrates) under the right circumstances, the purple caster minion can kill anyone. But he usually doesn't kill anyone; he usually just dies instead. As anyone who played Super Smash Brothers Melee knows, for a game to truly reach both the casual and hardcore, you need to have mechanics in place where new players can sometimes succeed against experienced players. But the experienced player should still win most of the time.

I believe the purple caster minion clearly serves this purpose. New players after seeing this screenshot might want to play him, but no skilled/experienced player would pick him because of his sporadic champion kill rate and how easy he is to counter by experienced players. I believe the stats support this - NO player with an Elo score about 1500 has ever selected the purple caster minion. It's difficult for a new player like you to play against the purple caster minion because his abilities are so difficult to understand, and your actions are generally completely random. While you often times accidentally thwart the purple caster minion's gank attempts, sometimes you do not, and allow them to get a kill. Also, the purple caster minion's natural passive is reduced turret damage, so he's a natural turret diver. I suspect what happened here is you ran in circles around your turret hoping it would destroy him, and the purple caster minion was able to burst you down before the turret killed you. That's often a mistake newer players make, especially against the purple caster minion.

Also, each ability the purple caster minion uses is augmented by the random number generator. When he uses an ability, he has a small chance to deal large amounts of damage. Expert players are not interested in champions that occasionally do very well, but consistently do poorly. However those characters are often very attractive to new players, because they allow you to beat experienced players sometimes, but you're somewhat expecting to lose anyhow. Even if you're not expecting to lose, the new player will tend to attribute his successes to his skill at the game, and his more bountiful failures to either a lack of knowledge or randomness. This creates great moments for new players, like when he's able to destroy a turret and an inhibitor successively, or even more rarely, when he gets to kill a champion.

Secondly, I believe this is a sophistication of counter issue. Many champions have obvious weaknesses that can be exploited. For example if you are facing a healer champion, you can buy Executioner's Calling. If you are facing a tank team, you can buy Madred's Bloodrazor or Deathfire Grasp. On the other hand, there is no easily available counter to the purple caster minion. The reason we have not made a great counter to this champion type is because they are created a bit underpowered overall (as I detailed above, so I won't delve back into it). In the future, we could consider adding summoner spells that shielded you from Purple Caster Minion damage, or that deals 50,000 damage to purple caster minions. However, there are multiple reasons why we haven't done this.

First, only more experienced players will use summoner spells to counter the purple caster minion, because new players will not know that they need to counter the purple caster minion. As I explained above, experienced players do not need to counter the purple caster minion because they will usually win. The only exception I can think of here is if you are playing, say, Twisted Fate, and your friend is playing the purple caster minion, you might want to take the spell that deals 50000 damage to a purple caster minion, because you're not going to lose anyway... might as well make sure you never give your friend that one cheap kill. So for these reasons, I don't think adding a counter to purple caster minion through summoner spells is a good solution.

"Well, what about other solutions to the purple caster minion crisis, Guinsoo?" You say. Well, we could try adding some anti-purple-caster-minion in-game items. There are several problems with this. First, most of the time the anti-purple-caster-minion mechanic would not be affecting the game in any way. To compensate for this, we'd have to make the anti-purple-caster-minion mechanic very strong. This creates very frustrating moments for players that choose to play the purple caster minion. In general, they're already not very strong. They can occasionally do very good things, but usually they don't have too much of an effect on the game. Sometimes you can backdoor an inhibitor with him, but that's usually the best you can hope for within the game. Adding this mechanic would completely remove the carrot on the stick for the player that plays the purple caster minion. He completely loses the ability to impact the game, so that champion is no longer fun for him, or maybe he quits entirely. The other answer would be to design a mechanic that has some utility all the time, with a slight extra boost against the purple caster minions. The difficulty in designing in this way is the reactive nature of the purple caster minions. Often, you don't know that they are going to be a threat until late in the game. By that point, it's very difficult to simply switch your item build. Do we make the item very cheap? If so, you potentially invalidate the purple caster minion strategy entirely, and if it has other utility, it might be good in its own right anyway.

We could certainly make an anti-purple-caster-minion champion. My main concern here is similar to the above with items. Without draft mode, it's very difficult to design a champion that counters purple caster minions just enough, but is also fairly feasible against other champions. Once we have draft mode, if you see your opponents select the purple caster minion, you will be able to switch to a more suitable champion choice. I would recommend a tank that can absorb lots of damage, like Alistar. As it took the purple caster minion only 900 damage to kill you (and let's face it, at that piddly damage total, he probably cast 1 spell TOPS, maybe less), so I'd recommend you consider investing in more armor and health.

At this point in the discussion, there are three more paths available (take that, Robert Frost). We could either nerf the purple caster minion, remove him, or do nothing. To decide at that point which direction to go, we must consider the game purpose of the purple caster minion, of which I started earlier by talking about him being a noob-friendly champion. Next, he's definitely meant as a champion that limits game length. Some champions are best at stalling the game to build up power, and some champions are best at rushing the game to end it before too much power is accumulated. The purple caster minion clearly tries to end the game quickly, as:
1) His crit chance is total garbage
2) His health growth is slower than most champions
3) His abilities do not scale well into the late game
4) He's mostly an auto-attack champion, but has no steroid skills. He cannot gain as much effect out of items as many other "carry-type" champions.
In general we want to limit game length for the most part, as it reduces unforseen/unexpected/extreme circumstances, allows players to experiment with more champions and strategies (in this case, to find a technique to defeat the purple caster minion), and allows players to get out of un-fun situations faster (in this example, getting owned by the purple caster minion is the un-fun situation). Plus as I mentioned earlier, he's a champion that is great for new players but unused by experienced players, and champions like so I feel like removing the purple caster minion is undesirable.

So the last thing to consider is whether or not we should nerf the purple caster minion, or leave him alone. The three major sources of information to consider when deciding whether or not to nerf something are personal experience, community opinion, and stats, in that order. My personal experience tells me that the purple caster minions are not as overpowered as they seem to some players. They can be very devastating under the right circumstances, like when isolated with a permanently disabled champion in the river. However I think that most ranged champions and most tanks have a fairly easy time with the purple caster minion. Also, he cannot stop you from healing in any way, so effects that heal you work wonders against him. Potions, Heal, life steal all are great choices.

Of course, as far as considering community feedback, that's exactly what I'm doing here, reading and responding to your post. So for the purposes of this exact "balance change" you're suggesting, I would gather more community feedback. In this case, 97.8% of players surveyed agreed that the purple caster minion was not overpowered, so in general I feel that the general playerbase is in agreement that purple caster minions are not overpowered. However, most of the time the community is far less certain - most issues have little agreement. As both anecdotal evidence and player opinion agree, I would not consult stats on this issue, and would move on. My biggest recommendation for you would be to practice against the purple caster minion. Focus on using champions that work well against him like tanks and ranged DPSers. Try to learn to avoid his powerful turret dive, by using a nearby friendly minion to soak up part of the damage. If all fails, I'd recommend you give the purple caster minion a try. You will not experience a lot of overarching success (unsure if that's any different from now), but you can certainly expect to occasionally get a cheap kill against players that are better than you and to raze some turrets and inhibitors. I think it might be more to your playing style and ability.

Lastly, I'll conclude with an interesting conversation I participated in about superheroes today. We came to the conclusion that Superman is poorly designed, because he beats everything except his arch-nemesis, who happens to have no powers except being extremely rich and having Kryptonite (a hard counter to Superman but is utterly useless other than that). In game design terms, think about if we made one champion that was invulnerable all the time, and we gave 1 other champion an ability that killed the invulnerable champion, but did nothing else. Is this balanced? Probably. Is it good game design? No. Easy to learn, impossible to master or differentiate yourself.

On the other hand, Batman is a very well-designed superhero from a game design perspective. He has no god-mode superpowers, no arbitrarily added counters, and if Batman were a player, his success would directly reflect his skill differentiation, but has plenty of awesome tools to ease new players in slowly at their own pace. Easy to learn, hard to master.

EDIT: I'm not being facetious with the superhero musings. I do think Batman is a much better-designed and more balanced cha, er, superhero.

Guin

You could have coded 20 new champions in the amount of time to type this up.
Lol made me laugh alot. (Read it all)


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Guinsoo

Game Designer

02-05-2010
4 of 7 Riot Posts

Only took about 10 minutes to write :P


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MegaZero

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Senior Member

02-05-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinsoo View Post
Only took about 10 minutes to write :P
Hacks? It takes like 10 minutes to read!


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SlyGoat

Member

02-05-2010

Guinsoo is superman. You'd know that if you read the whole thing.


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Romdeau

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Senior Member

02-05-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinsoo View Post
Only took about 10 minutes to write :P
Think Imma have to call BS here.


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iNsAyNe

Senior Member

02-05-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by guinsoo View Post
also, the purple caster minion's natural passive is reduced turret damage, so he's a natural turret diver
lol


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sealTERROR

Senior Member

02-05-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyGoat View Post
Guinsoo is superman. You'd know that if you read the whole thing.
He is clearly "batman" his favorite cha.. er.. superhero.