Introducing Team Builder

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Lyte

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Lead Social Systems Designer

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10-15-2013
1 of 101 Riot Posts

Hello Summoners!

Lyte here, and in this post I’m excited to talk with you about Team Builder, a new feature coming to PBE in the near future where you can queue up for a specific role, champion and position and get connected with four teammates that also preselected their preferred role. The goal is to build a balanced team where everyone’s in agreement on where they’re going and what they’re playing, and in doing so help lay the foundation for good teamwork.

How often have you logged on to League of Legends and thought, “I just want to play Renekton today.” Or maybe you want to try a new strategy but can’t find four friends to premade with. We’re always asking how we can make the League of Legends experience better, and one thing that comes up a lot is how players want to feel like they’re in control of their pre-game experience.

Good teamwork doesn’t just start when the minions spawn or at the first big teamfight. It starts in champion select. Champion select sets the tone of the game and greatly impacts whether you feel like you’re going to have a fun match. So we asked ourselves: what’s the ideal champion select? And how can we improve this process so it happens more often?

An ideal champ select is one where all five players get their preferred role and feel like they’re all on the same page for the upcoming match. The current matchmaking does a good job of matching up players of similar overall skill levels, but doesn’t have any way to know what a player’s intentions for a given game are. Sometimes things work out perfectly and everyone gets the champion and role they wanted without a hitch. But if multiple players are looking to play the same role or lane, a consensus has to be built in a relatively short period of time. That’s time that could be used to get to know each other, agree on a strategy and build confidence that it’s going to be a fun match.

Team Builder is intended to bring players together that complement each other’s expectations and intentions from the moment they enter the lobby. When everyone’s aligned on who will be going where and playing what, the only thing left to figure out is how to dominate the opposition.

Once we had a model for how Team Builder would bring players together, we started looking at matchmaking and how we could evolve it to help further enable good games. One of the most important things for a team’s enjoyment is making sure that they’re matched against similarly skilled players.

With Team Builder we’ll also be rolling out a smarter matchmaking system that can dynamically account for your experience with a given role, position or champion. First time playing Ahri? Learning how to be a solid Marksman? Venturing into the jungle for the first time? Team Builder’s matchmaking will take all of these factors into account. .

Our goal for Team Builder is to bring players together and build better teams. Because good teams win more games, make bigger plays, and most importantly, have more fun.

To us, that’s exciting, and we’re looking forward to your feedback. See you in Team Builder,

Lyte


MrSc0tty

Senior Member

10-15-2013

Looks sweet. If I wanna play support I can now queue instantly.


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Lyte

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Lead Social Systems Designer

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10-15-2013
2 of 101 Riot Posts

I just want to take a moment to thank some of the Rioters who worked on this feature:

Robbypoo, RiotComplex, statuskwoh, RiotWorldPeace, RiotTantram, davin, btab, Miss Mecha Zero, RiotLobster, stopthief, Exekias, Amazoe, Scezumin, VonBurgermeister, Ryedan, RiotNeuroCat, RiotJayway, Taurendur, RiotLulu, Drevarius, RoamingNumeral, RiotSeb, DoctahWayne, D00m0.

If you see them around the forums or a future event, make sure to give them a fist-bump!

--

Update!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Won't this enforce the meta?


a) Here's an example of a crazy meta that was tried earlier in the day. Team Builder is all about introducing a new, cooperative Champion Select where players can agree to a strategy and team vision before entering a match. Players in Team Builder will be able to outline a strategy they are interested in playing, and the system will find teammates that share that vision. Feel like playing a double jungler strategy or want to send 5 players down the mid-lane? No problem. It might take longer to find 4 other players willing to try a crazy strategy but when you do, you'll know the entire team is bought in and you're going to have fun.

2) Will Team Builder replace other queues?
a) Team Builder is a complete re-design of Champion Select that was inspired by a lot of research on social dynamics and cooperation. Because we're going to iterate on it quite often with player feedback, we opted to create it as an independent queue first and not touch any of the existing queues. Depending on what we learn, we may adapt some or all of Team Builder into the existing queues.

3) Will I have long queue times if I want to play a popular role?
a) In our research, we were surprised that role preferences were pretty diverse. When we surveyed players and asked what their preferred role was, about 15% of players preferred playing Support, 14% of players preferred playing Jungle, and 5% of players were willing to fill any role.

We'll be keeping a very close eye on role popularity in Team Builder, but for now, it looks like there are players that are very happy to play the perceived least popular roles if there is a system like Team Builder in place to help create teams.

4) How can I play as a leader in Team Builder?
a) There are two flows in Team Builder. You can opt to be a leader of a group and define strategies for your team--this is usually the recommended path if you have a few premade friends and want to find a few strangers to fill out your team according to your desired composition.

You can also opt to be a solo player, choose a champion, role and position and ask the system to look for teams who are looking for your spec.

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Just Mid

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10-15-2013

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Gløry

Senior Member

10-15-2013

Wow. Enforcing the meta. Never thought I'd see the day.

Going to edit this post to include more questions I want answered from farther within the thread. Privileged to have this position on the first page, I might as well use it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gløry View Post
Still waiting to hear from Riot on the finer points of this system. While non-meta comps are certainly possible, they are highly unlikely to be attained via natural queueing up, since no one knows what the team leaders are actually looking for without a lobby, and thus no one would know what nonmeta class/position to queue up as, therefore 99.99% of the time this is just a tool to queue up according to the standard meta, thereby enforcing it indirectly.

Riot, you made this one sound really good on paper, but the enormous red flag for me was the, "it might take a little longer." Convince me that isn't PR talk for, "you're never getting a queue, because the chances of being a team leader looking for AP jungle, Assassin/support bot, ADC mid, and fighter top at the same as all of those individuals queueing....just arent feasible.

Does the matchmaking system fudge the numbers and start slotting people into various teams just to see if they'll stay? How else could you hope to form a nonmeta comp using this tool?

Not that I expect anyone to really try--I'm just trying to avoid systems which artificially enforce the meta just in case it needs to organically change one day, like it has in the past. If Riot wants to officially endorse a meta I recommend they do that at their own risk. I mean it works for baseball, but...
Serrot Ynot phrased this question another way:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serrot Ynot View Post
I know your not tying to enforce the meta with this system but essentially you are asking people to commit to longer queue times if they oppose the current meta. the more away from the meta your strategy is the longer you have to wait.

As I understand it now if my strategy is not the same as another I will not be matched with him. So if we both don't conform to the same strategy we will not be matched to each other. Then expanding to the global field, way out there strategies will never be matched to simply because no one is thinking of it.

I think if you want to allow crazy meta breaking teams a browse option needs to be available. This will players to see what crazy stuff is out there and choose to join it. Maybe in queue a 5 ADC mid lain team will never happen but on a list 4 random people browsing that list might think that would be fun game even if they never thought of it.

Another questions I myself have: Let's say I queue up as Mage/Mid as Zilean, and get slotted into a team. Does the leader see that I'm playing Zilean? Based on that picture it would seem he does. What if he doesn't like Zilean mid, is he free to just kick me? In this manner it would seem Riot is giving players the ability to enforce the meta -themselves,- by allowing them to prevent their fellow players from ever completing a game with a champion who is deemed undesirable. Care to comment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoZfan03 View Post
will I have the choice to be flexible when queueing up? perhaps I want to support but I don't care if I go bot or top/mid for a lane switch. in essence, can I choose something like Leona/Support/Anywhere? not everyone might agree, but I feel like that would allow me to end up finding groups that I didn't have in mind at first but would be fun to try. and people that want specific things (Leona/Support/Bot Lane) can still choose more specifically.

additionally, am I able to volunteer for multiple roles, ex Zyra/Mage or Support/Anywhere?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guttler View Post
@Lyte.

What if a player queues for a specific role with some champion, but when they get into champion select they end up picking a champion that is rather farfetched for the position.

Just as an example. Let's say someone queues for mid as Orianna preferred, but in champion select they say "I'm going jungle" and lock in as Revive and Clarity Garen.

Are there any plans to introduce a vote kick feature to champion select to allow us Regular Joe's to counter toxic players aside from playing out the match, losing horribly, and then reporting them at the postgame overview?


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432

Senior Member

10-15-2013

omg yes ty


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Turtle vs Beaver

Senior Member

10-15-2013

teamwork +5


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Nicholas1024

Senior Member

10-15-2013

Oh yeah. I know people have wanted this feature for so long, it's great to see Riot deliver.

That said, since I play support, this won't affect me as much... I get my role 90% of the time anyway. :P


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TinyHugeMonster

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10-15-2013

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DarkerNectron

Senior Member

10-15-2013

Looks great, hope this feature works out.

*tentatively* Might need to include a 'secondary' role depending on the number of players requesting a role.