Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

First Riot Post
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Frödo Swaggins

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Fine. Let's go a little deeper.

I am not suggesting that DotA is better than LoL, first of all. LoL has a lot of game depth in the realm of teamfighting, and late game team composition. DotA was completely based around getting your carry farmed while your mages slowly turned into single target CC bots. However, a lot of that individual skill was fun. While denying and that was nuanced, it separated the men from the boys. It gave something to gauge your lane strength by. Instead of just backlaning people, you could just out-deny them. There is no greater feeling than getting every creep kill in the lane. It makes it an intense battle of wills between two players - personalizing it almost. Even with that, I understand why you removed it. It was unintuitive, and it lengthened the laning phase. My biggest problem with LoL will always be the brush and lack of options in lane. In DotA lane changing was easy. You grab a teleport scroll, you move across the map. You help out your team. If you're having an issue keeping yourself from pushing, you creep pull. If you're having an issue due to harassing, you just hang back and deny. If the enemy tower dove you, you could juke. That gets into brush and whatnot. The brush is honestly the stupidest mechanic the game. I hate it. It makes no sense. Why can't we have a regular line of sight along with a - even if slightly complicated - juking system? It adds a learning curve. It adds depth to the chase. It does so much cool stuff, and champions and items and whatnot aside, it makes the game fun. There is nothing more thrilling than escaping two people because of a good juke.

Okay, juking having been mentioned, let's move onto something like hero skills. There are plenty of examples of more complicated spells adding a lot to the game. Pudge Meathook. Awesome skill. Leads to high fun/skill-reward ****. It gives epic kills, AND epic saves. Why can't Blitz grab his own teammates? Ez-mode depth, right there. Why can't there be a good micro champion with a pet? Malz comes close, but his pet is borderline ******ed. So are Heimer turrets. Why can't we have things like maledict? Why do you have to take something cool and deep and make it a boring amplify damage?

Why do dedicated healers exist? They, by definition, detract from the fun of a game. What's the point of even playing, if this stupid little goat biotch will come and fix all your opponents boo-boos?

Why does Teemo have a movespeed buff and a passive based on him being stationary?

Why does Eve have an ultimate relying on a champion death when she isn't able to kill anyone? Why is her ultimate reliant on a kill, when her job is to kill loners? Shouldn't she have a good ultimate?

Why does Kassadin have a passive that increases his auto attack capabilities when he is completely reliant on spells?

These questions, they just get to me. I can understand some of it, but a lot of it seems blatantly contradictory.

Care to enlighten me?


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WaterD103

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Senior Member

10-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
I see you still have your pulpit over at sirlin.net...

Anyway, we are going to adjust healing a good amount soon because it has a number of problems. But I am not going to hardcoreize the game at the expense of broad appeal. that would be dumb. We want millions of people to continue playing this, not a niche crowd. You need not over-complexify.... Maybe you haven't noticed, but LoL DOES have competitive play, and a lot of it.
Hi, thanks for the answer. Really I dont want to be negative, but I answer because of the competitive play part.

It seems to me you are not aware of its status. But dont take my word, since in your eyes, I may be a hater. Ask your council members that were involved in WCG. Ask the winning of team of the wcg.

I read about them, listen to them and talk to them.

I know ZERO of them that said they think the current competitive status of LoL is strong or there is a strong competitive scene. Quite the contrary I hear and listen complains about its status. Calling it , poor, weak, dead, and many other names that all reflect the real current status of LoL competitive status right now.

As i said, do not listen to me only, go and ask them personally, you will find they dont share your optimism about the current status of lol competitive scene.

Some have an optimistic view on where its heading, but certainly not on what its right now.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
51 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osirris View Post
And WoWs class development was amazing simply because of its trees. And riot made sure to gobble up that idea. In response to which I say Kudos. The first step to success is realizing people love customizing their characters. It lets them build a bond with the character.

As far as the way this rune-keeper sounds it wouldn't fit in WoW or it would be subpar at doing all those things. WoWs golden rule was balance (not teh doomkinz!). If you could bring a character that can dps and heal in a raid why bring deepsers or healers? I'd just stack my raid with rune-keepers and a tank. But WoW didn't let you do that and instead you had to compete for a spot in your niche role in a raid group.
Actually... I did the initial design of the tree structure w/ WoW (5 ranks per, gold medal talents with amortized investment, three trees). The mechanics lead of the time who is still there (I think his forum handle is ogre but I dont remember) improved it a lot, especially on the packaging side, and then he designed 7/9 of the class trees at the start, which aside from specific issues, were exceptionally good (and improved over time as people learned more about the classes). I did most of the initial priest trees (especially shadow -- mind flay, shadow form, etc, though the mechancis lead did vamp embrace) and I did I think a lot of frost mage, though he gave oversight on that. But to say I gobbled it up? I guess, but I don't feel guilty about it under the circumstances...


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
52 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterD103 View Post
Hi, thanks for the answer. Really I dont want to be negative, but I answer because of the competitive play part.

It seems to me you are not aware of its status. But dont take my word, since in your eyes, I may be a hater. Ask your council members that were involved in WCG. Ask the winning of team of the wcg.

I read about them, listen to them and talk to them.

I know ZERO of them that said they think the current competitive status of LoL is strong or there is a strong competitive scene. Quite the contrary I hear and listen complains about its status. Calling it , poor, weak, dead, and many other names that all reflect the real current status of LoL competitive status right now.

As i said, do not listen to me only, go and ask them personally, you will find they dont share your optimism about the current status of lol competitive scene.

Some have an optimistic view on where its heading, but certainly not on what its right now.
Hey, there are lots of things we need to improve, and we will improve them... But LoL was the highest attended, most watched game at the WCG, which I think says that it does in fact have an active competitive scene.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
53 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicTheHedgedawg View Post
I wonder. Does this mean that a Bleed DoT ISN'T inherently bad design, but that rupture itself is bad design?

i.e.
Riot MAY in the future release a champion with a bleed DoT, but it'll have particles and be obvious when you are hemmorhaging?
bleed dots, if they arent too long, are fine. when too long, you get a lot of non-escapes - we like the drama of narrow escapes, and dots tend to prevent them. Additionally, players under-value DOTs, so we often have to overpower them to make them fun...


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Faintblade

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Still wondering about IP barriers in relation to champion complexity.. or has it been answered before? (my post is on p. 30)


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
54 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faintblade View Post
Zileas; First of all I love that you put reasoning behind the thinking that some would call madness; I really enjoyed reading your post. I agree with alot of your decisions (albeit being somewhat disappointed nearly all of them removed lots of unique design ideas, potentially, but I'm 16 so I dont exactly consider my own ideas infallible as some of the other members of the community do)
That's unusual. I was designing insane stuff when I was 16 that should never be put in a game ever. and I thought it was really good at the time, but it so isn't....

Quote:
but wondered for a moment about the question of complexity of champions; isn't that what the IP cost is there for? No noob, really, is going to be playing a 6300 champ, except when they're free, which is only 1-2 champions per week in that bracket. And in that case they'll be playing against (if MM works the way its supposed to, which I have faith in personally) people with the same experience and confusions of champions that they have. For this to be a solution, I guess you would have to somehow fix scrub accounts in low brackets.

Anyways I feel that potentially the IP cost of 6300 is enough to justify some of the more complex design plans. Most new players dont immediately shoot for a 6300 character, I know i didnt. This gives them 10-20 levels to learn the basics of the game, and some of the more simple characters before having to learn more complex champions. I feel like you're already doing this, but with recent people like Xin (who is very easy to learn, imo) and Sona as 6300 and 3150 champions respectively, I feel like this barrier is getting a little blurred.

Keep in mind, I'm not at all critisizing champion prices, but more seeking insight to why making a 6300 IP character and having only one or two of these champions available free each week(which I think is how many are free these days) and possibly giving a warning to people under level 10 when they select a 6300 champion in character select isn't enough to ward off the problem with learning curves.

Thanks, -Faintblade
IP costs are a variety of things -- ease of use, complexity, how well executed we think the character is. We tend to charge more if we think we did a really good job, etc.


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Faytheless

Senior Member

10-15-2010

@ Raynos

I think you are thinking from 2 different perspectives. Let me try to clarify some things.

Teemo is a scout and thus he is relatively mobile while also being able to stealth to provide surprise encounters. (I believe he is getting some attention next patch, not entirely sure.)

Eve has a remake down the pipe but her ult right now only seems to come in handy during lane phase while she can tower dive.

Kassadin can still be played very much like an auto attacker (even hybrid), but most people tend to focus on his spell side.

Now to talk about your huge wall of text. Denying kind of plays into Zil's fun vs anti-fun statement. Which in my opinion is just looking at the same thing but from either a positive or a negative perspective. You are farming for yourself (positive) while also trying to prevent your enemy from farming (negative), but you didn't take into account the very large difference in cool downs between LoL and DotA. Harassment (using abilities to pick at an enemy) is more prevalent in LoL than in DotA because in DotA the abilities don't really start to fly until level 3 or even 5.

I understand what you are saying about the LoL brush vs. DotA trees and all I can really say is maybe LoL will add a tree map just for you. (I wish they added a towerless map just for me).

I hope I helped some how.


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ZenonTheStoic

Champion Designer

10-15-2010
55 of 282 Riot Posts

(Sorry if this has been mentioned, didn't read all posts)

One more anti-pattern (maybe too small to count as a pattern by itself) that I remember you mentioning, Tom, is randomness (and I have a BIG beef with randomness). I think you compared Gangplank to a slot machine (or maybe that was Morello). Pull the lever: Crit! You're awesome! Pull lever: no crit. You suck! Not very fun.

The only mod I ever saw through to a playable stage was a Civilization 4 mod that removed randomness from battle outcomes (almost completely). I really dislike when I did everything right but the enemy gets four lucky dodges in a row or I attack 20 times and my 25% crit never procs once. The counter-argument tends to be the argument of large numbers: you may be frustrated by the RNG (the random number god) x times, but in the long run that'll balance out by the Y times he'll make you happy. I'm not sure I buy that.

Edit for clarity: I was trying to say, I'm not sure if it was Zileas or Morello who compared Gangplank to a slot machine. Not that I wasn't sure if Zileas compared Morello or Gangplank to a slot machine. Clearly Morello is a slot machine.


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IMLOwl

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Just to make sure I understand the concept, is picking an x/21/x mastery build as Shen an example of an anti-combo? For instance, his ki strike procs on getting hit. This suggests that taking dodge runes/masteries is not an efficient use of the defensive tree. However, since he also isn't a mana user, there aren't 21 points worth using and dodge seals are the most efficient defensive use of runes, sort of shoehorning him into specing more dodge.