Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

First Riot Post
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juzzthedude

Senior Member

06-12-2012

I miss the days, when the top game designers would actually answer with regards to the development and direction of the game.

When you saw a the Phreak, Zilean, Guinsoo and Morello post every other day, you KNEW you were gonna learn something new about LoL. Nowadays forums are just spammed with Reds of no importance making asinine jokes and posting utterly useless stuff.

I miss the real connection we had with the developers, not this new PR LEONA BIRD RIOTPLS DRAW PICTUREZ USELESS COMMENT JOKES that span across the forums. I mean it's nice and all, but this just shows how much of a shift Riot has taken from being the honest, direct and personal small company into a company that's PR dominated and rarely shows any transparency into actual development or gameplay.

I understand this shift, due to a few occasions where blunt and unpopular replies from a red would cause the entire forum to erupt into a frenzy. But in the end, wasn't Riot always right? From the Ryze remake, the creation of the new jungle, remake of Jax, to the removal of mana burn and dodge, these were all unpopular decisions that was lamblasted by the forums, but hasn't Riot proven almost every single time that their design philosophy was solid? The game is along cry from the time I joined back in 2010, where literally 1/4 of champions were just super broken and 1/4 of champions were just absolutely useless, yet nowadays almost every champion is viable with an exception of around 5-6 champions. Just take a look at Elementz tier list, it was treated almost universally in LoL as the guide to what champion you should play back then in 2010, in fact it was so important people flamed each other based on the opinions on that tier list alone, because the gap in power between the lower tiers and higher tier champions were so high, nowadays, you mention Elementz tier list in a random game chat, and most likely 2 in 5 person will know what you are talking about, BECAUSE so many more champions are actually viable and balanced that the need to have a guide on which champion to buy isn't needed, and it is reflected in the tier lists, in fact I would go so far to say that the current amount of champions in Tier 1 and Tier 2 is triple the amount of that in 2010.

I miss in-depth discussion on mechanics, design philosophies and development. I don't mind that in exchange we are sometimes given soontm comments, it is because of this transparency that made Riot special, and drawbacks such as pushed deadlines on projects are just one of the burdens one has to bear when attempting to be transparent with its customers.

Bring back these threads Riot. I miss the old you. I missed when the faces of the company were the designers themselves and not random interns, artists and PR people spouting LoL puns and useless asinine comments. I want Phreak slamming down an argument with the power of theorycraft behind him, I want Zileas to half troll half explain his design philosophy, I miss Guinbro's epic Karthus avatar everytime I read his replies.


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Katsuni

Senior Member

06-12-2012

@AlphaRegellus

Yes, I do agree that it's a painful loss, and I've found the discussions quite enlightening.

Even so, they probably have also received a lot of backlash over their reasoning, and there's also the problem that things have apparently been quite busy at Riot as of late, so they likely only really have enough time to make a few silly posts, rather than in depth discussions.

As for the question of whether Riot's always right? Of course they aren't. No one is. They have their regrets, same as anyone else. I know Evelynn, Sona, and a handful of others make them cringe, even now. It's the way of art and game design - no matter how awesome what you made was at the time you made it, and how proud you were, it's just macaroni glued to a plate a few months or years later, and looking back on it will make you wonder how you even got that job.

This... is why we get remakes in the first place. The very fact that we've even needed them in the first place is proof against your own statement, showing that Riot really wasn't always right.

They learn, they grow, and they adapt, and this is a large part of what makes them such a good company. They don't just mindlessly churn out more of the same, and accept the status quo. Instead, they've isolated the problem areas, tried to figure out what makes them problematic in the first place, and then attempted to fix such.

In some cases, this works better than others. The fixes to Evelynn have been an unending parade of upsets, where things that made perfectly logical sense instead were completely false assumptions.

Even so, they've learned from their mistakes and moved on with the new knowledge they've gained.

It's a bit sad that we've been mostly dropped out of the loop, and no longer get to share in this information and understanding, and personally, I feel it's truly harming the next generation of designers who will learn from the old pros and get the fires of inspiration and creativity kindled by their words.

Even so, as a company grows, and so does it's player base, other issues arrive to cause problems. The player base has grown very hostile, lately, and they step far out of line, going off the deep end on the tiniest imagined slight. Often, the fact that Zileas or Morello would step down and share some information with us on their reasoning, would be viewed as an excuse to attack them on sight, decrying them for daring to do anything to the game at all. How dare they nerf my champion! How dare they buff someone who my champion is weak against! How dare they remove something that was unbalanceable and breaking the game! HOW DARE THEY!

But that's how it goes. Once you hit mainstream, you're no longer looking at a tiny, niche audience of avid gamers. Now, they have a bunch of jerks running around who are just here because it's got the most people. While this is good from a sales perspective, it's caustic to an incredible degree in terms of communication with the public.

RiotAmes was kind enough to share with me, via Emails, a few things they were working on trying to get added for player interaction from Riot themselves. Unfortunately... most of the ideas are probably going to get shot down for various reasons, and most will never see the light of day. Due to the fact that the player base will go berserk if they're even vaguely hinted that something "may" happen, but is canceled, such as ripped information from patch code about a champion that didn't make the cut, that the average player shouldn't even be aware of, I agree with them wholeheartedly. I can't release any of the information that was entrusted to me, because I know full well exactly what would happen if it was leaked, and then the inevitable that some of it wouldn't pass various quality testing or community management hoops to jump through, would cause a horrible panic.

All I can say, is from the discussions I have had, they *ARE* going far out of their way to try to grant us more information, and get us some real in depth conversations with the design team on matters such as these, but that there's an awful lot of problems in the way which are slowing things down considerably.

That being said, I do miss Zileas and his chats with us. I'm pretty descent at game design myself, but he's the master, and his words have done a great deal to get me thinking down lanes I may never have thought to turn down otherwise. I've gotten better at what I do because of the various discussions with Riot employees, just as I had from reading through and listening to interviews with Bill Roper, or Romero. I think, however, that Zileas has provided the most useful information of all, and has really gotten me onto a more advanced level than I had been.

That same communication we now lament, is what spurred me on to create my insanely oversized guide in the champion concepts forum, to lend my own knowledge and expertise to the people there who could use such. It's also what led me to apply to Riot itself, yesterday, for an associate design position.

I don't know if I'll get it, by any means, but I do know it'd be an honour to work with the awesome team they've assembled, and it'd be nice to put all that I've learned to use, back into the place that taught me in the first place. I'd hate to have to concede defeat and turn away to other options, such as their competitors. DotA2 needs the help, of that there's no doubt, and I could probably turn their entire design department on it's head, turning it into actual valid competition to LoL... but to be blunt, I don't actually want to. A gig's a gig, true enough, and contracts are often quite short in the game industry, my last one only lasting 3 months. Money is... well, money. In the end though, there's a difference between doing a job because you need to survive, and doing a job because it's where you want to be.

In any case, I'm rambling now, so I apologize XD

The point is, you're right. The lack of interaction with the design team on a deeper level hurts us all, not just "us" right now, who are here this moment, but those who will go on to make the games of tomorrow that we all will play. Without that seed of inspiration to show that, you, too, could do what you love for a living, and become a great yourself, so many potentially awesome games are buried, when they are never fertilized and grown. It hurts everyone, but what can you do? They have their reasons to not communicate in this in depth manner as often any longer, and I can understand the reasoning.

It hurts, but it has to be done. Regardless, I've still got this post book marked, among many others, that I'll still continue to cherish, as a list of highly valuable information to better myself with. It's fond memories, if nothing else =3


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Titania69

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Member

06-25-2012

I remember when I was just starting playing PvP with a lv 30 friend, we played a 5v5 and I always got feared by a Nocturne. I think I didn't see the binding things connecting Noct and my champ, but I was creeped out by how I always got feared and killed without any warning. D:

A few games later I learn't to get away from the black lines! :B

As a side note, you guys made a great job with making Nocturne creepy (with his ghostly design and scary skills). The other two champs that scare me the most are Kass (BOOGIEMAN!) and Fiddlesticks... yeah.


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Archander

Member

06-26-2012

thanks for the post it is very handy


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VejiTehDestroyer

Senior Member

07-07-2012

Zileas,

This was a good post, but in my opinion, its like Hitler writing a post on why its bad to eradicate any race that isn't blond hair, blue-eyed German.

Its nice that you posted all these downfalls of developers, but you fail to realize that Riot isn't any different. I can testify to this because Riot's methods of banning and creating champions ultimately opened my eyes to the fact everytime Riot brings out a new champion, they nerf the current best/mid grade champion for that role in order to force people to buy the new champion.

Hats off to you. You're making money, but what ultimately led me to leaving this game is realizing this pattern - this method Riot uses in order to make money at the expense of the player. In the business world, it business - i get that. But then you (as an employee of Riot) come here and post this? Are we supposed to forget all the terrible **** Riot does?

You may be able to fool all these other idiots, but not me. You will not be getting any more money from me.


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PodunkTheMighty

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Senior Member

07-07-2012

It's just a jump to the left

And then a step to the right...


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Nasdrovia499

Senior Member

07-07-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by VejiTehDestroyer View Post
Zileas,

This was a good post, but in my opinion, its like Hitler writing a post on why its bad to eradicate any race that isn't blond hair, blue-eyed German.

Its nice that you posted all these downfalls of developers, but you fail to realize that Riot isn't any different. I can testify to this because Riot's methods of banning and creating champions ultimately opened my eyes to the fact everytime Riot brings out a new champion, they nerf the current best/mid grade champion for that role in order to force people to buy the new champion.

Hats off to you. You're making money, but what ultimately led me to leaving this game is realizing this pattern - this method Riot uses in order to make money at the expense of the player. In the business world, it business - i get that. But then you (as an employee of Riot) come here and post this? Are we supposed to forget all the terrible **** Riot does?

You may be able to fool all these other idiots, but not me. You will not be getting any more money from me.
"other idiots" at least noticed the OP's date. You sir, fail.


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Nizu

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Senior Member

07-08-2012

Finally finished this thread. What a good read. Good stuff Zileas.


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Hazdoc

Senior Member

07-14-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by VejiTehDestroyer View Post
Zileas,

This was a good post, but in my opinion, its like Hitler writing a post on why its bad to eradicate any race that isn't blond hair, blue-eyed German.

Its nice that you posted all these downfalls of developers, but you fail to realize that Riot isn't any different. I can testify to this because Riot's methods of banning and creating champions ultimately opened my eyes to the fact everytime Riot brings out a new champion, they nerf the current best/mid grade champion for that role in order to force people to buy the new champion.

Hats off to you. You're making money, but what ultimately led me to leaving this game is realizing this pattern - this method Riot uses in order to make money at the expense of the player. In the business world, it business - i get that. But then you (as an employee of Riot) come here and post this? Are we supposed to forget all the terrible **** Riot does?

You may be able to fool all these other idiots, but not me. You will not be getting any more money from me.
its funny how people can seriously think that Riot is in the business of releasing OP champs when there are just as many super weak champs released too. Or has everyone so quickly forgot release Yorick, Skarner, and Sejuani? People aren't talking about Draven, Varus, or Xerath like they're OP, either. At least, nobody you can take seriously.

Keep on believing in your crazy conspiracies, though.


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Chorus

Senior Member

07-14-2012

http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...d.php?t=306689

I would love to point out Riot has closed this thread because their community failed to downvote it to oblivion, and their system didn't work for sliencing the outcries.

Not even a post explaining why; nothing. Just a closure, because they have nothing to say but their 180 turn on their own words.