[Essay] Snowballing - Why DotA had it right and LoL is still learning

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Uthgar

Recruiter

02-15-2010

I sense a strong aura of logic emanating from this thread.

Unfortunately I have no time to contribute. Will revisit!


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Brokroma

Senior Member

02-15-2010

The only non-opinion (read: useful) piece of information I found in this topic was that Flash is getting nerfed again, which is interesting, and makes me wonder whether or not Riot should really be adding a rumored Silence summoner skill.

It seems like Flash is really powerful because it's a utility spell that is incorporated into several hero's movesets. Silence is the same sort of thing, a utility spell incorporated into other heroes. I know this is sort of off-topic, but I can imagine Silence being viewed in the same light as Flash if it is released in the foreseeable future.


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Aramil666

Junior Member

02-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZGBaddy View Post
Very well written article, but one question:

Why should we allow comebacks?

It's part of the game to be cautious during the first minutes. Chances are, if you got first blood and the rest of your team got some kills, your team is simply better and deserve to win.
Then of course we should allow a surrender option after 10 mins. Cause why bother playing on the losing side if there is no comeback option ?

Or better yet, let's make it a deathmatch game, the first team who gets 5 more kills than the other one wins.

After all it's more or less the state of the game now as far as I'm concerned. The comebacks (or the end of a balanced game) usually involve the other team making a stupid mistake/getting cocky and a big push during the far too long respawn time...


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vanin

Member

02-15-2010

Anyone else feel that the minions in LoL don't do as much damage as minions in DoTA?

Add the bushes and they do even less to a super aggro player.

Which leads to more early game dominations.


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Charmicarmicarmicat

Senior Member

02-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZGBaddy View Post
Very well written article, but one question:

Why should we allow comebacks?

It's part of the game to be cautious during the first minutes. Chances are, if you got first blood and the rest of your team got some kills, your team is simply better and deserve to win.
Thats a good question.

For me, the answer is simple - as a losing team, I find it highly unenjoyable to know that my odds of recovery are slim because of a few past mistakes.

So it's about enjoyment.

I guess for a competitive environment, you just make sure to be the team that doesn't make mistake i guess.


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L0CUST

The Council

02-15-2010

Just wanted to say that DotA/HoN games generally end a few minutes after a team does a "genocide" aka ace because one team's carry probably just get fed a ton of gold, and the other team's carries just lost a ton of gold.

Also, I am very glad to hear that Zileas <3

-L0CUST


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Charmicarmicarmicat

Senior Member

02-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramil666 View Post
Then of course we should allow a surrender option after 10 mins. Cause why bother playing on the losing side if there is no comeback option ?

Or better yet, let's make it a deathmatch game, the first team who gets 5 more kills than the other one wins.

After all it's more or less the state of the game now as far as I'm concerned. The comebacks (or the end of a balanced game) usually involve the other team making a stupid mistake/getting cocky and a big push during the far too long respawn time...
Surrendering at 10 minutes feels so hollow. If the enemy was in fact able to push to our nexus in 10 minutes I would accept defeat, but because of the strength of structures this is impossible, and instead the game turns into a drag until the winners have a reached a level where they can breach your defenses at 20-30 minutes.

Yawn imo.


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Cheesebeard

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Senior Member

02-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
We tried this, and it sucked in LoL. It actually causes TEAM snowballing, beacuse this anti-snowball mechanic generally gets distributed across your team. We felt that beacuse we didn't want team snowballing, we didn't want this mechanic. Plus its negative reinforcement, when we could just give a greater positive reinforcement should it be required.
I'll start by saying that I'm a grad student of educational psychology... so please don't take offense at my pedantic use of jargon (I'll try to keep it to a minimum, but some is, unfortunately, necessary).

With that said, I think the issues being discussed here are especially important to individual, as well as group, gameplay and game enjoyment, and that some appreciation for behavior modification theories is a good place to begin the evaluation of these dynamics.

As the concept has come up I'll spend some time on behavior modification (for purposes of clarity), and I will attempt to pick out some examples of how these behavior modification methods are implemented in LoL.

In the psych field, there's a distinction between reinforcement and punishment, with reinforcement being something that increases the incidence of a behavior, and punishment being something that reduces the incidence of a behavior. On top of that split, there is another split between presenting something, or taking it away. This leaves us with a 2x2 matrix that looks like this:

__________Decrease Behavior__|__Increase Behavior

Presented|_ positive punishment__| __positive reinforcement
Removed|_ negative punishment__|__ negative reinforcement

Positive punishment presents something bad in order to decrease behavior -- think irritating tones, physical abuse, scolding.
LoL: Defeat Screen, announcements regarding your deaths, opponent gains exp/gold upon your death, supercreeps when an inhibitor is smashed, increase opponent's score upon your death, increase your death score upon death, Loss mark from a lost game, Leaver mark for leavers, lack of safety/defense when an allied tower is smashed,...

Negative punishment takes away something good in order to decrease behavior -- think speeding tickets, and being grounded as a kid.
LoL: Lose charges on items upon death, lose playtime upon death, lose map control upon death/retreat, lose playtime upon returning to base, loss of lizard/golem/baron buffs upon death, loss of oracle upon death,...

Positive reinforcement presents something good in order to increase behavior -- think praise, monetary rewards, trophies...
LoL:Gold/exp upon killing enemy, extra gold upon breaking a killing spree (or greater), experience/gold from tower kills, supercreeps from smashing an opponent inhibitor, Victory screen, announcements of your kills and sprees, gain map control from opponent kills or retreats, gain opponent's lizard/golem buffs upon kill, gold gained from assisting kills, increase your score upon kill/assist, Win mark from a victory,...

Negative reinforcement removes something bad in order to increase behavior -- think not having to take an exam on account of good prior grades, removal of scolding when behaving properly, etc.
LoL: Removes playtime (and exp/gold gain) from opponents upon your killing them, removes opponent map control upon killing them/making them retreat, removes opponent buffs upon killing them (but not non-oracle elixirs -- these are just put to no use), removal of supercreeps upon enduring base defense (inhibitors respawn), lack of enemy safety/defense when an opponent's tower is smashed,...

This is by no means an exhaustive list, as the game is very complex and dynamic, and every click and interaction has a means of interacting with this behavior modification model. It's not even my preferred model of establishing an optimally enjoyable system of interaction... but it's a good way to look at things under the right circumstances.

Using this model, we can look at how we want to sculpt the player's experience.

If the player is doing something "bad," and you want to decrease the incidence of that behavior, then you should implement some form of punishment to get them to stop doing it -- either by presenting something bad, or taking away something good.

If, on the other hand, the player is doing something "good," and you want to increase the incidence of that behavior, then you should implement some form of reinforcement in order to get them to do it again -- either by presenting something good, or by taking away something bad.

A lot of the things I listed in my examples are more complicated than fitting nicely into one of the designated boxes, and the implementation of these behavior modification techniques needs to be executed with knowledge of how humans learn (this is where my educational psych comes in).

The first thing that we need to establish is: What is the end goal of our behavior modification (or game design)? Do we want to reward good players? Do we want to punish bad players? Do we want better players? Do we want a more enjoyable gaming experience?

The question above is an important one. I think it's a good place to start because, based upon the answer, it will determine the most effective method of intervention (read as: game design).


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L0CUST

The Council

02-15-2010

Please don't lower early kill bounty. The risk reward early game has to be high or players will just sit back and farm all day.. though please increase gold gain from creep kills, and denies would be a major plus =/


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Charmicarmicarmicat

Senior Member

02-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by L0CUST View Post
Please don't lower early kill bounty. The risk reward early game has to be high or players will just sit back and farm all day.. though please increase gold gain from creep kills, and denies would be a major plus =/
Hmm. You sure thats a good idea? It would help the team that's not getting any kills - but if they die, they are leaving even more gold to the enemy. Thus that would be a double edged sword.

No, I think the best sollution would be to lower gold bonus. Remember - not only the reward is lowered, the risk is too if for example TP scrolls were introduced.