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Is the Invoker Champion the pinnacle of 'Anti-Fun'?

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Bipedial

Recruiter

01-20-2012

INVOKER WAS NOT CREATED BY GUINSOO IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM (Most of the Good Heroes Guinsoo takes credit for in creation can actually be traced to Nichus/Eul):
http://www.gosugamers.net/dota/thread/802775/reply_with_quote/802778

So unsure of why he's taking credit for him, or Morello is claiming he had created him.

Quote:
Xypherous:
No, I'm not working on this type of champion - you crazy theorists. XD

I mean, there's two things that are cool about the Invoker:

1) I have like 8 spells on shared cooldowns.

2) I mix things.

I am working on a character who does more of #1, but the #2 is still tricky. Note how, in every example I gave, there were redundant spells in the mixing?

That and making a character concept around mixing that bloody makes sense is still up in the air - You can't really just go 'It's magic!' I have thought a lot about the problem in general though - it's just not something I'm working on now. I think a major blocker for this is visual communication in general with this type of magic. Usually things that are easily visually communicated don't really give me the right symbols to create cool mixes.

However, I *am* working on a few things, which is why I've been busy. One simple, one almost stupidly complicated.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

I'm sure many of you know of the Invoker champion from Dota, who was recently ported to Dota 2 and whose preview for those not in the know can be seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCcsA4P3dUM&feature=related.

The basics of Invoker is that his Q W and E ability each give passive bonus upon activation, where you can have 3 charges active at any given time. So you could have either 1 Quas, 1 Wex, 1 Exort or just have the same 3 of the charge on yourself.

Now this is reasonable, this sort of mechanic is pretty similar to what you find in the league, where on Reneketon whenever he would have his stun charged and ready he will start having a red glow with sound effects playing just to warn the enemy player "Hey, if I hit you you'll get stunned!".

Now his ultimate is where things get nasty.

Invoke will use whatever current three charges he has, from building up the Q W E casts, to allow him to cast a spell, a brand new spell that's independent of the normal list of abilities other champions have.

In total Invoker can, by having the proper selection of charges up, up to 10 completely different spells. Which allows invoker to be the most versatile hero of any game (He used to have like 50, but lets not delve into that).

Now this style of play means that people who are exceptionally good at Invoker (Lets ignore the macro abuse, he wasn't intended to be used with macros) can become great versatile player. If there was such a champion in League, then well known players of invoker would get banned specifically for that player.

For my actual question of TL;DR: does the fact that Invoker can cast 10 unique spells put too much burden of knowledge on players? Since there isn't typically anything to display that Invoker is prepared to use cold snap over say sunbeam, like Reneketon with his stun having a passive glow on his person.

If Invoker has too much burden of knowledge, then what keeps champions like Lee Sin and Nidalee and Leblanc and such ok? They all have dual-jointed spells that are not immediatly recognizable, or what of the champions being released every 2 weeks (or 3 with Sejuani)? That's a growing list of champions that have to have moves memorized in order to understand what's going on in a game.


So here's the question, at what point does unique sets that allow multiple levels of difficulty (like spells with dual effects) go from being acceptable to being anti-fun? What is the tipping point before it's too much to be acceptable into the game?


Quote:
Morello:
This is correct. Invoker is the pure extraction of Burden of Knowledge. Obviously, all champions require some knowledge to be interesting, but this is a great example of going way too far. Ask Guinsoo about his thoughts on Invoker sometime - he designed him originally.


Guinsoo did not create Invoker, most of the good heroes Guinsoo takes credit for were created by mainly Nichus/Eul or other not as well known players of this game. But assuming that Morello infact believes this to be the truth, where's the disconnect for Guinsoo from going from Invoker with 50 spells to Karthus with 3 abilities and a toggle?


Update:
I noticed that someone posted this thread on Reddit for me whose comment section can be found here:
http://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/oqb4k/morello_goes_in_depth_in_explaining_the_burden_of/

Most entertaining is the most recent response:

Quote:
Phakez]Every time I read a post from Riot employee I feel like they have an in depth knowledge of champion design. A week later I get Sejuani, who is a rehashed, boring champion that brings nothing new to the game.[/QUOTE]


[QUOTE=schemo
:
First off, this post is really long. I apologize; apparently brevity is not my strong suit. I want to explain what position I'm in though. I played Dota 1 for a while, then moved to League and enjoyed myself. I played League a lot, and have now all-but-quit the game in favor of playing Dota 2. My post is an attempt to be constructive and to quantify why I am doing that, because I would like to give constructive feedback. There's no reason for me to fanboy either way, and I'm hoping that my feedback can help make the game better for everyone. Perhaps we just disagree too much on game design and League simply is not the game for me. It's obviously the game for a lot of people, so what you're doing must be working. I digress, however.

I find your line of reasoning to be contradictory. Your view of what constitutes fun at the expense of others seems to change with every thread I've read, and you seem to simultaneously hold the idea that players should have "fun" but "not at the expense of others." In a game where you compete against others, it seems like it's virtually impossible for you to have fun without it being at the expense of others.

You removed dodge (which I agree with) because it's no fun to have kills "stolen" from you because RNG made them completely negate an attack. That's "anti-fun." Ok, fair enough. The problem then exists because you leave crit in (specifically, the 4% crit mastery) because of the idea that it's "fun" to see crits. Is it fun for others to be at the receiving end of back to back 4% crits? Is it fun when you lose to a player who you had dead-to-rights because he gets that miraculous streak of crits, and now suddenly you can not win the lane at all? Because I can tell you this, and I'm sure you know it, but dying once in Dota/Dota 2 does not mean you pretty much can't win your lane afterward.

Mana is an infinitely more available resource in LoL than Dota, and the reasoning we were given is that it's "fun" to use abilities rather than to just sit there last hitting. However, is it fun for others to be on the receiving end of that? Is it fun for players to suffer near-endless Q spam from Gangplank? Is it fun for players to be harassed from long range by Xerath, knowing that if they try to fight him that creep damage will skew the fight in his favor further? Is it fun to deal with champions who have, effectively, no mana cost? Is it fun to deal with Nidalee constantly harassing you and then pouncing away if anyone comes to try to stop her? Is it fun to be constantly Q spammed by Vladimir?

The issue here is that your philosophy on game design seems, to me, to be contradictory: you want players to have fun, but at the same time you want players to not have to be on the receiving end of that fun. I would posit that these two things are one and the same: if both players are designed to be able to "have fun," then who cares if they're both "unfairly" on the receiving end of said fun? It's the Diablo theory: everything is overpowered. When you try to be all things to everyone (such as is your philosophy regarding the push and pull in League), you just end up miss-stepping. A lot.

You're a smart guy. There is no doubt to that, however I think that you're fundamentally misunderstanding a problem that League has always had.The problem is this: you can not release new champions every two weeks and keep every single possible match-up balanced if you're constantly trying to measure the fun one champion can have against every single other champion in the entire game. Trying to do this is what has led League to having a static (and what most have seemed to call "boring&quot meta, match-ups where one champion is virtually incapable of winning, and very passive play at later Elos because a single death can mean that you can not win back your lane.

I would posit that these design choices have had the exact counter-effect to what you've intended: rather than reaching a near-balance where match-ups are fun, you have limited options and reduced creativity (which leads to players being more frustrated than they would otherwise be). Turret diving is far too painful in League for true roaming to happen. Deaths are far too punishing (since everyone scales with items and levels) and that leads to virtually every lane passively farming for 15-20 minutes (whereas the action in Dota/HoN starts much earlier), because any sort of aggressive play will be simply met with a Flash and you potentially dying. The strat for top and bottom lane is "just farm, don't risk dying since you'll lose your lane." Top streamers who get aggressive early on and die constantly make comments like "I don't know why I played aggressive, I should have just kept farming." I feel like there's a serious problem when even top players feel that the ultimate strategy at almost any given time is "just kill creeps." Jungling has been reduced to a state where the only ganks you should go for are virtually guaranteed kills, and otherwise it's almost always better to clear your jungle. The top junglers have turned into AOE farming junglers, and Skarner rose to the top of the pack because he can do that while having Batrider's pull. Even if your team is far ahead, a single misstep by one player can lose you the game. Your jungler wrongly smiting Baron can lose you a game even if your team is far ahead. A player in bottom lane making a mistake and dying can snowball into you losing the game, because they just can not catch up. You can't react to bottom snowballing by ganking him with 4-5 people because you will lose your lane, since you do not have the utility to town portal scroll back up to your lane. You do not have as many choices in dealing with situations.

Every single role has become extremely static. There are a few top laners which are considered far ahead of the pack. There are a few mid laners which are considered far ahead of the pack. There are a few bottom laners which are considered to be the top choices. The rest have your teammates groaning if you pick them. I don't notice this happening in Dota 1/2, because people don't seem to care. In pub games the "meta" is virtually irrelevant - you can tri lane top and have two solo lanes, or have a jungler and two solo lanes, or have bot and top duo lane and mid solo. Five carries can work (though it's clearly not optimal). You can have an entire pushing team designed at winning early. You can have a team based around delaying to late game and protecting one super-farmed carry.

Basically? I can pick whatever champion I want to play, not whatever fits into the current stagnant meta. It will work if my team works together and understands what we can and can't get away with. I really do not think that this is possible in LoL. I'm not trying to flame your game here (as I played it for a long time), but I find myself alienated by your design process because all I see is that you guys play it safe in every aspect. Every new release champion seems to follow the same ideology: mid laners have a stun, bruisers have a gap closer and on-next-hit attack, AD carries have a steroid, no CC, and some kind of AOE attack.

I understand that making heroes/champions that are too complex and have the "burden of knowledge" can alienate newcomers, but I completely disagree that it's "anti-fun" for anyone. Invoker is an extremely fun hero. Nobody that I know of has been whining because he exists, because the majority of people who try him are simply not good enough to be that effective. However, like Puck, an Invoker player who has spent his time and really learned the hero is capable of doing so many things that he can really force you to respect him. When you give a wider variety of options in design, you allow players to fill in gaps and make things work for THEM.

When you constantly reduce options then you stagnate gameplay and make it so all players are stuck using one or two static item builds, lest they choose a worse one and become virtually useless all game. You make people play safe rather than encourage them to innovate and create new ways to do things. We see this in games like World of WarCraft, where every spec uses the exact same talent tree and every spec wants the exact same items. The things which have kept people playing these types of games are not that it has innovative gameplay which lets you do fun and new things, but the "carrot-on-a-stick" philosophy which essentially reduces players to putting in more time for a predictable reward. It turns the game into a job rather than fun.

The reason that I am moving over to a game like Dota 2 is because I see none of the carrot-on-a-stick gameplay. I see design which encourages you to experiment and try new things. I see heroes which would pretty much all be considered "overpowered" using your design philosophy, but somehow seem to work perfectly fine in the game. I see a system that doesn't force you to farm IP or purchase RP in order to play the latest and greatest champion - you just get in the game and play it (I fully well know that Riot wouldn't make any money if they did this). I see choice. I see games which are constantly markedly different from the last because they don't follow a rigid meta. I have more fun, and I feel like less it's a job which I have to perform to have any level of fun.

I think that safe gameplay design is going to leave many of your players wanting more. You'd be surprised at how innovative the community can be if you give them the option to do so, and how much fun they'll have with that ability.


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Bipedial

Recruiter

01-20-2012

Oh yeah TL;DR: Whats the tipping point on Anti fun?


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Bipedial

Recruiter

01-20-2012

bump


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SkttLes

Senior Member

01-20-2012

I don't think it becomes anti fun at any point. Things that are based entirely on RNG (dodge, miss % chance, chance for bonus damage, etc) are, among other things, what I would call anti fun - something which just takes knowledge and skill can never be a bad thing in my eyes.


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Suien Reizo

Senior Member

01-20-2012

It becomes burden of knowledge, not necessarily anti-fun.

Edit: Hit enter too soon.

The examples given of Nidalee and Lee Sin are nowhere near the burden of knowledge that Invoker happens to be. Invoker could perform such a wide variety of different spells that the limitations of what he could do was up to the person playing him. If they were terrible, you were golden. If they knew what they were doing, you were boned. It wasn't because you were bad that you could lose to him, you could be aware of every combination he had and your only safety net was they didn't know how to utilize his kit in a team fight.


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Rebonack

Senior Member

01-20-2012

No.

He's the master of terrible user interfaces.


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BlargCow

Senior Member

01-20-2012

Riot doesn't like him because they believe he is difficult for the sake of being difficult, basically


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I Sunk Ships

Member

01-20-2012

Because Leblanc and Lee Sin is so much easier compared to Invoker

You can learn how to play and master Lee Sin and LeBlanc in 20 - 40 games

But Invoker you have to play a 50 - 60 games to learn and another 50 - 60 games to master

so yah it is a Big burden but not anti-fun if your having fun with the champion


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WelcomeToTarget

Senior Member

01-20-2012

It's the burden of knowledge because you have no idea what the **** he's going to use next because unlike in DotA you can't see skills


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ChrisCTX

Senior Member

01-20-2012

The whole burden of knowledge argument is pointless, the champion roster is quickly approaching 100, so learning around 400 spells or 406 (if we had a champion with 10 spells instead of 4) has very little difference.

On the other hand, giving a single champ so much versatility isn't that good of an idea, either he becomes top pick for it (see how Jarvan, Irelia an Nocture where for their really versatile kits), or he gets banned every game, or his stats get nerfed to the ground to "balance" him.