@Tryndamere @Ryze @Morello Final Pre-season Feedback

1234511 ... 12
Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Eserine

Senior Member

11-17-2012

TL;DR: The three most broken aspects of the game have not been addressed at all in any of the Pre-season feedback discussion so far, which if left unanswered will create massive issues for Riot both in terms of money and popularity in the next season and beyond


Let's get right to it:

For Riot's continued success

1. Christina Norman (Kitae) must be removed as the head of the lore department

This drastic course is not something I would recommend lightly, however the lore as it originally existed is being replaced with lore that is highly disliked within the LoL community both in its lack of originality and poor composition/internal incoherence. Since the appointment of Kitae the lore team has refused to answer serious criticism of severe flaws in their artistic decisions by concerned players on the lore forums (and GD) after their new brand of storytelling has begun to become visible to the public, but beyond this what HAS been revealed of the new lore design philosophy (primarily from after-the-fact announcements and near-invisible conference coverage tailored to avoid player feedback) belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of game-lore, and indeed the process of writing or storytelling as a whole. Beyond being poorly hired or poorly managed by executive members of Riot (as I will discuss) the lore leadership has demonstrated what I and many other players feel to be irredeemable incompetence, unworthy of the fantastic efforts of the other departments in character creation or game advancement, and more directly putting the livelihood of their fellow designers at risk through their careless and ill-planned implementations (or plans at implementation) threatening to "suck up the game".

To begin with the Kotaku article:

Quote:
LoL isn't a narrative focused game, Norman offered. Story isn't what keeps the average player engaged for an average of 30 hours a week.
The action of LoL is focused through a narrative, to allow for the playing audience to have "suspension of disbelief". The human brain loves to spot patterns and explain what is happening around it, so a coherent story is very necessary for the initial adoption of the practice of play immersion into any game, which then naturally leads to playing 30 hours a week. Art and animation team members have widely discussed with players in the past trying to capture unique personality features or interactions between characters purely through non-written design decisions, and this all adds to a narrative that Kitae doesn't seem to be aware of existentially.

Have you ever watched an action movie with great actors or cinematography and found yourself still wishing to stop watching because the story is so bad? 10,000 B.C. comes to mind as a good example. Likewise adventure or action novels can have an interesting premise or promising characters and ruin the magic with terrible or unoriginal plot devices, poor pacing, or compositional issues relating to an unfamiliarity by the author with the English language (Tom Clancy, Tom Clancy, ghostwriters for Tom Clancy). LoL is galloping down this road, like a emotive Hecarim with misplaced trust in Mordekaiser, whose love of sunshine and beauty and his tragically lost family will redeem him at the critical moment to turn the tide of a clichéd Manichaean ultimate battle bore-fest zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Quote:
Norman identified four key issues that need to be addressed to help Riot firm up the foundation of their universe's fiction. The first was the notion that LoL was built as a "tournament IP". As with Mortal Kombat, the gameplay happens inside of a story framework that exists only to explain the players' battles.

The problem with that is that it restricts dramatic conflict. For example, with every dispute being solved by way of faction Champion skirmishes, you can't use a plot development like all-out war as a possibility.
The original story framework did much more than just explain player battles, it allowed one to explore and learn more about an interesting world, its history (including two previous "all-out wars" and several additional invasions and military actions), other planets and dimensions throughout the game universe (an unlimited number), and indeed disputes that were not solved through faction Champion skirmishes (Crystal Scar, Kassidin's daughter, etc.). The cited example, Mortal Kombat, had a number of full-length films, comics, and stories produced based on the lore, as did Street Fighter and several other properties within the "tournament IP". It takes a profound lack of creativity to state that "further conflict is impossible" in the gameworld, in fact any conflict is possible given that the story allows for some summoners at the Institute of War to continue practicing summoning magic. Here are some easy off-the-cuff examples of plot lines Kitae worryingly somehow can't mentally access:

I. Chastened by international anger over the mishandling and subsequent tragedies of the Crystal Scar, the League pledges to stay on the sidelines during a Bilgewater raiding campaign that leaves much of the coast burned and pillaged, many champions leave the Academy to fight or coordinate troops in response, but all summoners remain to further master the projections of heroes wrought by the past conjoining of life-essences upon the fields of Battle (just as Baron Nashoor is mentioned to be a non-present projection)

II. The Noxian Succession escalates horribly in the power vacuum created by the death of the King. Kieran Darkwill calls upon those dozens of candidates among his countrymen who would contest his birthright to fight "without hiding behind those feeble conjurors" as a full-scale civil war splits Noxia from the new city-states of Swainland and RoseBlack, even late attempts at mediation by the governing council of summoners find their powers mysteriously stymied from affect

III. A new world is touched upon by summoning magics with mages more powerful than those of Runeterra, which begins the wizard war with some summoners (non-players) dying or going insane on the battlefields, causing the pro-league heroes to quest for a hidden macguffin psychic-boosting spell or mind tech. to help overcome the onslaught and the anti-league heroes to impede them bloodily

IV. A new dangerous race of magical beings or mutants rise up and cause all champions and elder summoners to fight against a common enemy, leaving only the initiates (the players) to continue their training at the academy with summoning magics to grow their skill as quickly as possible

VI. The master summoners become divided by fierce argument and one leaves with followers proclaiming himself to be a god

VI. Ahri declares that she will marry the champion who is best at making pies. All characters proceed to have a tasty pie bakeoff

Unlimited, crazy potentialities exist for dramatic conflict without faction battles. Adherence to the constraints of the medium in consideration of the presence of these ongoing faction battles made the lore unique from bad fantasy lit. of the past though, and abandoning these benchmarks leaves the story unanchored from the game

There has been a despair-inducing 5-page conversation thread about this topic in the lore forum, I urge everyone to read through this announcement and the way Kitae talks about where she wants the lore to go, paying special attention what is written by the player Gixia


Quote:
Originally Posted by kitae View Post
That's a fact.

The bottom line is my focus is on getting out great stories to players, not on getting facts out. Facts are great (did I mention I like saying facts?) but they tend to result in a demand for more facts. It becomes a factpocalypse (I just invented a word). Your post shows this - you asked a bunch of great questions. I could respond to each point with an... answer .... but it would generally just spiral out into more questions.

Now I'm not saying we should never answer questions, of course we should, but my focus is more on building redicuawesome (I invented another word) stories. The Shadow Isles was step 1 in that direction. If you liked the specter VO in the TT map, or the Elise login lore, that is the start of where we are trying to take lore development.

I also do want to release more prose, maybe even novels one day.

Patience please, I know it's hard, but that's what we're working towards.
The head of the lore department of the most important video game in the world considers the authorship of the portmanteaus "factpocalypse" and "redicuawesome" to be highly original and amusing. Where good writers obsess over every word they produce, Kitae's post is garbled (note the first sentence), badly representing the lore department (much like the odd and repetitious word problems in Elise's login speech) . Beyond this, Kitae seeks to attempt a storytelling process without 'the hindrance' of facts! Worlds of written imagination are controlled explosions of fact, mysteries and hypotheses are formed then slowly resolved in tones of nuance and abruptness for the amusement of the audience. Mass Effect, for which Kitae was incorrectly hired for ostensibly, contained (both figuratively and literally) entire encyclopedias of information about the universe, and the agreement between all these ideas framed within plausible story arcs of independent agency garnered high acclaim from many critics and players (little of this earned by Kitae).

Once again note in the thread that Kitae mentions that AMA's will not consider logical or coherency problems with the story output because they do not "tell more about the character", and ending with writing "Criticism is welcome, but raging and toxicity doesn't help the conversation ever it kills conversation". Countless players have delivered criticism since the rewrites and new champion lores have begun after Babaganoush left and they go unanswered and unheeded. Indeed the lore writers have simply left official AMAs even after promising to come back later when there is outrage from the players, and that isn't "a conversation"- when one party is prepared to storm off and ignore another person or group at the first hint of incredulity or resistance to their ideas the exchange must properly called "regimented compliment fishing".

returning to Kotaku:

Quote:
Another tournament IP problem is the idea that the LoL universe's summoners control everything. With the super-powerful sorcerers steering fate, the Champions don't have any sense of agency. They're just fighting for reasons that someone else tells them.
The idea is that summoners are attempting to control international conflict, much like the U.N. attempts the same thing on Earth. If that is a problem, why not just kill the super-powerful sorcerers within the story instead of erasing the entire accepted history of multiple characters and the entire premise of the game? With no champion ever again to be described as joining the League of Legends, or any past champion revised to mention anything similar, and the Journal of Justice to be deleted, shall we just retitle this game "Legends Randomly Meeting to Fight In a Field"? The former map shopkeeper "Gonzo" wore a robe denoting possible allegiance to the academy, today it was announced that the new shopkeeper is to have a nomadic merchant wagon behind him complete with a "Yonkey", as though he were a traveling salesman from Bandle City, simply passing by with a giant load of incredible magical artifacts and weapons when a skirmish suddenly began (hundreds of thousands of times each month)!

Quote:
Depth is the goal, said Norman. Adding layers to characters can only help when it comes time to craft stories that are more engaging. Take undead knight Mordekaiser. He can rip a player's soul out of its body and have it kill their friends. That's bad-ass but not terribly deep
Why is that ability not "terribly deep"? Talented writers can make such things incredibly meaningful and stirring, as indeed they already do by describing that exact ability hundreds of times over in contemporary short horror stories (While in written publications one will be separated from such content by a paywall, horror podcasts such as Drabblecast or PsuedoPod abound with free examples within their online archives). Here's a story from Nov. 2nd about Mordekaiser living in modern California near Riot headquarters- within the space of a few lines serious meaning and depth is conveyed to the audience, just as in hundred-word story blogs all across the internet

Quote:
"We want to create characters like Don Draper or Tony Soprano," Norman said.
Do you notice that Kitae doesn't cite BOOK CHARACTERS when discussing LoL? For me, together with how she writes on the forums, this holds a deep and unsettling significance. Matthew Weiner (the creator of these two shows) is noted by critics to utilize shallow s.ex and violence as a vehicle for the protagonist's ultimate self-realization, punctuated regularly by ambiguous scenes of interpretive emotionality like staring into a duck pond where viewers can then superimpose their own emotional inputs ("A Wonder Years knockoff where the character is forced to change while the country changes around him"). I have never seen either of these programs but I recognize the elements of 'transformative defining-moment character-building', as Kitae proposes it, just as much in the lackluster Katarina and Warwick lore rewrites, cheap, wooden titillation over substance or meaningful storybuilding

Quote:
To that end, Riot instituted a new process based on TV writers rooms so that different divisions all are in sync.
Herein lies a managerial problem which Kitae failed to meet. In the creative collectivist philosophy of President Tryndamere there is a flaw. Where he cites the collaborative problem-solving teamwork of playing Dungeons and Dragons, the GM for his party was likely building the dungeons for the players as an individual, because effective storytelling often by necessity is an endeavor of intense solitude. As this book discusses (noting also Harvard Business School), "forced collaboration" can be extremely disruptive to the creative process and introduce "design by committee" and "groupthink" mechanics in certain situations, as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been criticized by Marc Andreessen recently in saying that she should fire 10,000 employees because each meeting, even upon trivial matters, now has devolved into "25 people sitting around a table, each having their say". When players noted that in the new Soraka and Warwick lore being prepared that it was claimed that Warwick simply needed Soraka's blood (easily available on the fields of justice from any gank), the response from Kitae was not that a quick e-mail was going to be shot off with a correction, she announced that in a few days there would be A MEETING, after which instead of addressing concerns they came back with an equally poor solution, Warwick now needed Soraka's heart to stabilize his transformation. "Why wouldn't Warwick be able to rip her heart out when she dies on the battlefield"? players asked. The non-forthcoming answer seems to be "Oops, factpocalypse, let's implement it anyway".

Quote:
Norman also said that she and other Rioters look to the way that narratives happen in the NFL and in pro wrestling. Where the weeks-long season of pro football is an emergent narrative, what happens in the WWE is authored
If you employ an author who holds up the WWE as an example of worthy narrative emulation in any aspect, you should fire that author immediately.

I have used my Twitter account to inform Kitae of this thread if she wishes to defend her decisions to this point.

/-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------/

2. Riot does not understand racism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lnfinitys End View Post
Bloodthirsty community. Are you black? Did I offend you? Did i mentally scar you for life?


What?


I didn't?


Then get the hell out and stop building up a useless outrage.
I think the primary issue is he's juvenile and super trolley. I feel like racial epithets in internet games are more often used as a proxy for "I want attention and want to try to make someone angry", rather than a genuine dislike of the group in question.

So, I hesitate to call them racist because it's a pale shadow of the actual racism that occurs in real life and involves actively hating a group. I do think they are banworthy though because this is likely a pattern of behavior, and is certainly a breach of the summoner's code. More generally, the individuals engaging in this stuff are not looking to be positive contributors to the community.
When you profess to enjoy trolling the forums as a hobby it is easy just to see everyone annoying or reactive as potentially attempting to troll, but this viewpoint is deeply incorrect, racial epithets in internet games frequently DO signify a genuine dislike of the group in question, the people writing ARE frequently racist, and their thoughts are a pale shadow of nothing, this is the true regard with which they hold the world's people, both anonymously and non-anonymously, and the internet is a real medium upon which racism can really occur

Quote:
While it is no longer acceptable to call a black person the N-word publicly, people do it all the time in social media, video games and in the comment sections of online news stories, said Nsenga Burton, a writer for The Root, an online news site with an African-American perspective.

Much of this racism is aimed at Obama, she says. Among examples, he’s been called "tar baby" and "the ultimate Affirmative Action N******" and depicted as a chimp. People are not shocked anymore by overt displays of racism, she says.

Burton said in a Root essay entitled, "It's a Great Time to be a Racist," that Obama's presidency didn't inaugurate a post-racial era. "Try post-Reconstruction," she said, "because the harmful slurs and images being tossed around the public space hark back more to a racist past than to a racially ambiguous future.
The permissive attitude of the forum moderators in allowing virulent hatespeech against any non-Caucasian leaves this forum (for years now) a cesspool of racial intolerance, which can indeed alter the minds of impressionable readers and lead to real-life consequences, including in the behaviors of players within the game when they are called upon to be teammates with people signifying either by their title or writing-style that they belong to a different demographic group.

How can I be so sure that LoL users need to be included within this trend? Because when pressed many readily admit to actually being racist.

The 46 people involved in bringing forward the watermelon and chicken joke in the link above should be banned from the game, not simply ignored as "harmless".

Michael Lee, author of the book "How to Be an Expert Persuader in 20 Days or Less", notes the persuasive power of joking:

Quote:
If you want to be more persuasive, work on your sense of humor," says Lee. And so does British comedian John Cleese of Monty Python fame, who once said: "If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And, if I can persuade you to laugh at a particular point that I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge it as true." Classic comedian mentality, but he's also right: People generally laugh at things when, for one reason or another, they identify with them, explains Lee.
Thus writing "TACO TACO TACO TACO" to all Spanish-speaking players in gamechat is not simply a crime of text-spamming (as Griftrix might think it) , it is a direct form of RACIAL ANTAGONISM

Why would Rioters not see this sort of activity as offensive or deserving of punishment? I feel that the collective problem-solving capabilities praised in President Tryndamere's previous post contain systematic self-selection errors that blind the company to serious issues, like most players they never visit the lore forum or perform a GD forum search on the word "lore" to read what players are saying about Kitae's department, their non-diverse background psychologically blinds them to what they hope not to see in terms of xenophobia (I wrote last January on the forums about the human psychological tendency toward blindness to unfair situations as measured by a wide body of scientific literature):

Quote:
... apocalyptic descriptions of global warming's possible consequences might threaten people's natural tendency to believe that the world is a fundamentally fair and stable place(1). Undermining that belief has been shown to increase the likelihood that people will ignore reality and allow events to unfold around them without intervening(2).

(1): Feinberg, M. & Willer, R. Psychol. Sci. doi:10.1177/0956797610391911 (2010).
(2): Lerner, M. The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion (Plenum Press, 1980).

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/1101....2011.701.html

I have used my Twitter account to inform Zileas and Griftrix of this thread if they wish to defend their decisions to this point (not finding them on Twitter I have attempted to include their names in the thread title).

/-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------/

3. Runeterra is a Neo-Nazi paradise

Perhaps most importantly of all, beyond housing the forums like a festering spleen of spilling bile and prejudice, systematic errors create bad design patterns within the actual gameworld

These five shorter posts 1 2 3 4 5 encapsulate much of the problem, together, in linked discussion, with possible solutions

If you missed the dozens of instances of post-election punditry upon "America's Transformed Electorate" you might surmise the parallel many players have drawn to this game being stuck 50 years in the past. Obama's entire electoral acceptance speech may not hold any further historical importance than his framing of this shift, but in speaking he could have been talking about LoL. Harper Reed and Narwhal touched upon people LoL had already made customers.

/-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------/

4. Conclusion

EDIT NOTE:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eserine View Post
Issue four: Riot now reserves the ability to sell your information to 3rd parties who can then target you in or out of game with marketing based on how popular or easy-to-identify you are:
EDIT NOTE:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eserine View Post
Lastly there is the managerial issue of sweatshop labor in The Philippines, which I intend to write a second thread about.
This issue has been addressed! http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...age=5#33336125

EDIT NOTE:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eserine View Post
I have written an examination of internal Referred Candidacy for Employment positions within Riot:

http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...4#post34078154

I feel that this strongly correlates with shallow storytelling or design aspects, the sensitivity to bigotry issue, and also the game's racial representation, which I began this thread with as the primary points of pre-season problems.
/-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------/

According to President Merrill

Quote:
The power of ideology at the macro level and how this shapes values (and thus drives behavior)
...
Great leaders authentically represent a particular idea and inspire people (oftentimes, even extremely diverse populations) to act in accordance with the goal that the leader wants to accomplish by relating the goal to the population's values and getting them to contextualize the goal within their personal frame of reference.
According to the popular press the industry calls players who spend lots of money on freeware games "Whales". Whales, lured by AWESOME content (or krill) constitute a large portion of PROFIT for freeware companies, barfing up the sweet ambergris of financial solvency. If you do not follow the suggestions I have laid out in this thread I worry that the game will very probably be less AWESOME, and thus generate less PROFIT, preventing the development of further AWESOME content to further PROFIT from. I hope I framed this clearly enough. Thank you for your time.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

The Stormchaser

Senior Member

11-17-2012

I'll be honest, why should anyone care about that block of text? I read all of it and i'm honestly wondering.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

JabaRune

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

11-17-2012

tl;dr

.... i've never typed that before


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Sharpasglass

Senior Member

11-17-2012

Wow..


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

KatuXiK

Senior Member

11-18-2012

This thread was honestly uninteresting.

Lore is probably only important to a small percentage of players, and while I can agree it's been somewhat bland at times, it has never been a factor in whether or not I purchase/play/enjoy a champion. In fact, most of the time I don't read a champions lore until after I purchase or play them, I'm far more interested in their gameplay than their story. Personally I think most of the lore is fine as it is.

Racism is a stupid one to tack on there, just as some people are racist, and thats all there is to it. If you think Riot should censor the things people are allowed to say, you should go hop on Obama's train (see what I did there?). Really though, I understand that some people are ridiculous and will spam things like "****ing ****ers" or "****ing ******s" in chat when they're pissed off, and that should be looked at, but if someone simply expresses that they don't like a particular group, that should be within their rights.

Neo-Nazi's... Lol. I hope you mean twelve year olds that will spam anything offensive just to get under someone's skin, clearly they've gotten under yours.

Lastly, it's pretty clear that you are probably not a "WHALE", and you probably don't think this game is "AWESOME", so what do you care? If you're so concerned about how flawed this game is, maybe you should just take a break and play something else for a change. Might I suggest Blacklight: Retribution, Dust 514, EVE Online, or possibly WoW?


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Sirtommygunn

Senior Member

11-18-2012

Not a bad read, but you should have split this up into multiple threads: one for each of the topics you discussed here.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Henry Plainview

Senior Member

11-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatuXiK View Post
but if someone simply expresses that they don't like a particular group, that should be within their rights.
In America, sure, but not on League of Legends.

I read the whole post because I hate myself, and all I have to say is: it astonishes me there are people who care about the lore that has always been terrible, although I'm surprised kitae worked on Mass Effect; yes there is lack of variety in character designs, get in line; yes these forums are terrible, get in line; no you are not going to get a response from any of those people because you put @ in the title.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Buckledsafe

Senior Member

11-18-2012

Quote:
To begin with the Kotaku article:
Stopped reading after that.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

AlphariusRising

Member

11-18-2012

tl;shr (too long; shouldn't have read)

look at all these ****s that nobody gives, OP.

They're everywhere. And nobody gives any of them.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

sandollor

Senior Member

11-18-2012

You've put into words how many of us have felt, but either lack the ability to write so eloquently or in my case lack of faith in the community for caring. So far it looks like my fear was correct. Generally people don't see things that happen in the context of online video games or sometimes even just online as holding any real signification until someone commits suicide over cyber bullying or someone is murdered because of what they said about a certain Prophet, but even then I will assume most in this community will just say good riddance or lol or what have you.

The very fact that something like TL;DR even exists is a sad reminder of our culture, predominately our youth today and I am sorry that for all your effort few may read your post.

We await a red response; I also will guess that the red response will be a quip filled post to as to relieve some tension and win over some hearts and minds.


1234511 ... 12