Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

First Riot Post
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Naltharial

Senior Member

07-15-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Yeah, I still get calls now and then. I give up a lot of money not being in the modeling industry, but I find game design a lot more rewarding.
There's no lingerie skin that would display your entire manliness, but one can dream, right?
Also, do you and Tryndamere ever get into a model-off fight?


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Roga

Senior Member

07-15-2011

I'm glad you read your game designers handbook but what makes lol popular really has nothing to do with those elements of "actual" gameplay. I cringe when I hear designers use the word "fun". It leads me to believe they dont understand the 4 fundemental types of gamers and how each derives "fun" from defferent aspects of game design. "fun" is an overused word in design. You have to look at your core audience and determine what type ofgammer they are. Most people who would play dota or any arena type game are far different than those people you see playing guild wars and never pvping.

I have played dota for 8 years in all so I am pretty familiar with the genre.
That being said, befor I get flamed, I would like to say that I do like lol a lot. I do believe that lol is not as good as dota in many aspects. Here is my detailed view.

Pros and cons of league over dota:
1. A summoner lvling system and an outside of gameplay ownership system. This leads to customer loyalty and increased revenue.
2. A smoother interface and graphical design which decreases confusion and enhances interaction between players inside and outside the per-round environment.
3. A better matchmaking system. The ability to create premade teams is much easier and to find games.
4. A better item shopping experience. The addition of suggested items lowers the learning curve dramaticly increasing new player retainability.
5. A much shallower learning curve. This is probably the biggest cause for popularity in lol over dota. The "burden of knowledge". Dota is probably the hardest game to learn.
6. The usage of the same 4 keys for character skills vrs having to use different keys for each skill in dota depending on character.
7. Shorter round times vrs dota.

This all being said MOST of what makes lol well designed HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH GAMEPLAY.
THERE ARE 2 MAIN CONS IN LOL:

1. CHARACTER QUALITY IS FAR INFERIOR TO DOTA. characters of the same classes are not dissimilar enough. You have pretty much a cookie cutter for character building and the only real differences or unique skills are ideas you took from dota. Hmm lets see examples. melee dps.... Get some sort of flash type ability, some sort of aoe dmg skill, some sort of small burst dmg and some sort of buff or debuff.... Thats pretty much every melee dps. Yeah, they have a few skills mixed in that every nearsighted person could look to as a counter argument but it is a weak argument.

How about casters? Hmmm... We give em some sort of delayed aoe trickshot, yeah thats good! Makes it seem like its skill! then we give them some sort of crowd control for survivability, maybe throw in a d,buf. Maybe we throw in an aoe dbuff or turn them into a healer with an aoe heal or something. Finaly, we got to give them a big bad nuke... But this will be easy... No tricks or anything, that would make people have to think too much. Just a straight dmg nuke on every caster. Now I know what you are thinking "yeah but isnt that what a caster is?" Yes, but the skills are way to similar. Anyone who has played dota for a long time would see how creative casters can be. Example "invoker" from dota. Probably one of the most unique caster designs ever. Icefrog is da man anyways...

"ok ok, u got us on dps machiens and casters.... But our tanks and support are just plain FUN!" Not really. For tank u just add a stun, some sort of fist pump dmg to next attack, some sort of defensive buff and maybe some crowd control other than stun like a taunt... Tank..all done!

Yes yes, I know that is what a tank is.... But it is the quality of the skills which are not very diverse... Whats the difference between blitcranks fis pump and malphs or mordes doing aoe? Not much. Whats the difference between scions gaze and pantheons shield stun? Not much. "but how can you say that roga?!l because abilities that end in the same result are not different... Let that sink in.

Results are what matters. Effecting gameplay is what matters. In this instance lol characters are far from unique in gameplay as dotas characters. So much so, that the only "unique" ideas in lol are plucked from dota. Lol needs more champions that play very uniquely (if thats how it is spelled). Lol may have 80 champions, a total of 240 named skills, but if you crossrefrenced the lot you would probably find only about 40-50 actual unique abilities... Probably not even that.

Next...
2. Lol's item base is pathetic compaired to dota. Yes, it is easier to shop, easier to understand, but useable items and the rest have a very diminished effect on gameplay vrs dota. For example... Whens the last time you saw a tank running around with a mages septer that turned people into sheep? Never unless u played dota. Some may say this is a good thing, but dang is it funny watching a tank sheep people..lol

My point being, items in lol do effect gameplay but not much more than just general stat boosting. I know many games where purchased items really didnt effect the total outcome of a game. In dota items played a big factor and they drmaticaly effected things. I dont notice it as much in lol. The only time I notice it is when someone feeds a carry and they get a tier 3 item befor people are finished with thier tier 2s. Point being, the items are very bland.


Ok im done, thats my rant for now. In closing I will say. I DO LIKE LOL, hon missed the mark witj thier design engine and graphics being too busy. Oh, and rupture is an awesome skill... And it doesnt take long for people to learn what it does...lol...


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Madra

Senior Member

07-15-2011

I think the theory is failing either in practice or implementation. This game is getting so unenjoyable to play that I only really have fun when I get a five man premade, which is rare since I think I'm one of the last two of my group of RL friends to still play... everything else just feels like a mind numbing battle against the internet's LCD. DotA2 and an actually decent new MMORPG release is going to really hurt this game.


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Roga

Senior Member

07-15-2011

Oh I did want to add one other thing.

Balance is a bad word. One fun thing in dota that added depth that is not in lol as frequent is character balancing. Ie. One character balancing an opposing character. In dota there were certain characters that if your team did not pick properly to counter u would lose. Now, I know this is too much info for you to expect your users to be familiar with in lol, and yes there is a bit of this in lol. It is not as prevelant. The only kind of balancing there realy is is class balancing. This usually is only to have the appropriate number of carries to be able to hold the late game. The only trouble is, you carries are too strong late game and scale at an inflated rate compaired to the other classes. Therefore the longer a game runs the more imbalanced your current "class balancing" system becomes. This may sound like a bunch of jargon... But as a game designer im sure you can get my point.

Let me put it another way. The only way to balance a runaway carry is with...another runaway carry. It is not as if a certain sect of casters allways has an advantage vrs a certain sect of carries. This kinda ruins the game many times because u get in que and you have 4 people trying to play carry because they want to "get a lot of kills". If your carries are going to scale away from all the other classes without any class being able to counter it than we should all play carries. In dota rarely would u see 2 carries, let alone 4! That would be a disaster.

U need to look at your class scaling and balancing, not just how strong are these particular skills vrs the rest of the field... A carry should be designed so that within the first 10 lvls a caster would demolish them and they would never be able to kill a tank... Look at it this way. As hard as it is for a lvl 18 mage to kill a lvl 18 carry is how hard a lvl 1 carry should have to try to kill a mage.... This is without towers involved... As in the late game phase carries have the benefit of not having to worry about towers but in the early game the mage or tank has to. My 2 cents


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Wraithbane

Adjudicator

07-15-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Yeah, I still get calls now and then. I give up a lot of money not being in the modeling industry, but I find game design a lot more rewarding.
... and the women wept.


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Mr Mozzie

Member

07-15-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
;p
i found this just for you. wonder where you put this in your analogy there


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DogPsychologist

Senior Member

07-15-2011

After reading the "Power Without Gameplay" paragraph I realized, "Wow, they are as dumb as I suspected".


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2BarrelShotgun

Junior Member

07-15-2011

Wow Zileas, this post has become huge. You need to get one of your programmers to make a proper way to search this thing. There is so much information here.

I posted here once a long while back. I think I commented on taric's skin and the way the females were represented or something like that. Anyways aside from needing a way to search it this is a pretty cool thread. Anyways I was thinking about the balance and was wondering if Riot was planning on doing anything with the new tenacity items. (well sort of new anyways). Is League of Legends making a gradual change that these started or did you just feel they needed better variety in tenacity items?

And I wanted to thank you again for all of your work on this post. We appreciate that you are reading our comments and responding to us. As a programmer for practice I've begun to make a game that's sort of similar to League of Legends. It's a 2d platformer though and there's no creeps. Farming has been replaced by control points that generate gold. The Nexus has been replaced by capture the flag. Each character has 8 moves, but no auto attack. As of now there are no passive abilities. Right now I'm trying to get asynchronous connections to work. I only have 1 character built and 2 items, but my engine is mostly complete. I just need to get my server client model up so that two people can connect and play together. i was wondering if you had any advice for me or tips on how to work connections. I'm using C# by the way. But mostly I was curious about advice for balancing it. Thanks!


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Jielhar

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Member

07-18-2011

"you have a ton of knowledge burden abilities already in game.

akali mark of assassin"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Does not create significant response. It's fine.
This is just not true. Consider this combo:

Laning phase, level 3, top lane. Akali casts Mark of the Assassin on you, then hides in the brush. A few seconds later, she comes at you with the intention of a damage trade; you humor her and unload all your damage on her. In turn, she hits you, detonating MotA, then casts MotA on you again, hits you and detonates the second mark, and casts Crescent Slash. With offensive runes and masteries (flat AP, magic pen, 21 offense), you take:

* 112 physical damage from 2 autoattacks
* 217 magic damage from the 3 instances of MotA in the combo
* 65 damage from Crescent Slash

Add ignite (which is quite popular on Akali), and the total damage you just took in a level 3 "damage trade" (after armor & MRes) is 112+217+65+130 = 524, or just under 90% of the max health of a squishy level 3 champion. Whether you died or not, suddenly you are now way behind.

The fact that MotA has about as much duration as it has cooldown makes this combo available for only a short timing window, when your first MotA is about to expire and the cooldown on the skill is about to come up. If you don't know about this, then Akali will kick your ass in the laning phase (she's already a formidable laner even if her opponent DOES know of this combo), and you will either feed her or get zoned horribly (neither of which is particularly fun to deal with).

As to creating significant response, YES. Trading damage with Akali when MotA is about to expire is suicide, and if you know about the combo, you'll do everything possible to avoid it.

"But you have a giant Kama over your head! It's obvious!"

Yeah, and Shen leaves a big sword over my head, but I never seem to explode when that happens.

As someone who got crushed by this before I knew about it, I believe Akali's Q is THE most serious instance of a burden of knowledge anti-pattern in LoL right now- it makes laning against her feel very unfair.


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Centuros

Senior Member

07-25-2011

About the Burden of Knowledge thing: what if (Rupture, for example) gave a debuff, that tells you RIGHT THERE exactly what it does? (also, it should tell you on death screen, too)

Would this not fix the problem of not knowing what the heck an ability does?