@Riot: I will give any red $50 that can justify this.

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Morinav

Senior Member

02-09-2011

The lock-in button in ranked solo queue champion select.

I cannot think of a bigger disaster than this one, single button.

The game starts at matchmaking, not when you hit summoner's rift. In fact, this is one of the most important parts of the game. It is where a huge amount of strategy is front-loaded in LoL.

During the few minutes of champion select you have a few phases.

Pre-ban/Pick Phase.

1) Identify who wants to play what. Players have their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own desires as to which role/champ they want to play. Communication during this preliminary phase will let you rough out a team comp that is both adequate and gives everyone a champ they can comfortably play.

2) Identify which champions to ban. Everyone has champions they hate playing against or do poorly against. It might be in your team's interests to throw out some bans based on this.

The Ban Phase:

1) Counter-banning: After the first ban is made, counter-banning begins. During this sub-phase, you will pick bans to counter/compliment the enemy team's bans. This is particularly important when considering which team has first pick. If the enemy has first pick, for instance, banning all of the very strong tanks but 1 is a bad idea. They'll just grab the amazing tank and you'll be left with scraps.

2) Preemptive banning: You will consult with your team again and adjust your comp based on the current bans. You will reevaluate and decide if you need to preemptively ban a champion that will counter a member of your team.

First Pick Phase

1) Both teams will be competing for top picks, strong foundation champions that a team may be built around. What is picked is going to depend on what's available and the current state of balance of the game. Communication about swapping picks is absolutely key for this stage.
2) Counter-picking can occur here to secure a counter to the enemy's first pick. This is particularly poignant if the counter is also a top pick.

Remaining Picks

1) Fleshing out the team's suite of roles comes into play here. As with all phases of the game, you'll be attempting to secure powerful and/or well-played champions for your team.
2) Compliment picking will occur here as well. You might decide to run a heavy lane dominance combo like Sion + Taric.
3) Counter-picking is most pronounced here. At every stage, each team should be jockying for superior champion lineup. The further down the pick order, the more pronounced counter-picking becomes.

See that? That's some nuanced **** right there! You've designed your game with a tremendous amount of strategic front loading. Those first few minutes before a match starts are perhaps the single most pivotal moments in a game, barring the deciding late-game team fight (if there is one). Matches can literally be decided before you hit the loading screen.

Building a proper team requires a great deal of communication and deliberation amongst its members. And still there's the freaking lock in button! This completely shuts down any possibility of discussion for that picking phase. It gives one player tremendous power over the team's decision with absolutely no tangible gain! All it does is harm the game and make it more frustrating for everyone.

Every time someone insta-locks jungle Tryndamere as their team's first pick, you have failed your players. It's like handing someone who's never seen a gun before one with the safety off. Worse yet, the gun has a jolly, friendly button that says "PUSH ME" in place of the trigger.

A better system would be to introduce a ready check for each picking phase. Every player on the team must press "ready" for each pick phase to end it early and lock that selection in. Keep the timer the same, but make the decision to lock in prematurely rest with the team, not with the individual. This allows even a single player to stop a potentially disastrous situation from forming and at least be able to present their argument to a teammate. Maintaining the limited amount of time would prevent a troll from having any serious impact on the game, and would allow the final choice of who to play to rest with the individual player (as it should). In effect, all it would do is give a voice to the majority by preventing abuse from the minority.

Edit: Two alternative system could be implemented to make the system a bit more streamlined. The first is a second button that explicitly flags you as "not ready". This would be used to show that you are present at your computer, but not ready for the next phase of picking to begin. If you make no choice at all, the game will assume you're afk and automatically flag you as "ready" for the remainder of the picks since you obviously won't be participating in discussion. This is meant largely to address people who have gone AFK after picking their champ to grab a drink, or are temporarily AFK, not to handle people who are completely AFK and will be for the game itself. That would be an entirely different system.

The second possible feature would be to right click on the "ready" button and toggle it permanently to on. This way if you're particularly impatient, don't care, or would rather muse over masteries you won't hold things up or be bogged down with tedious clicking.

Think in terms of affordances and constraints. The current system affords poor play by directly encouraging people to lock in instantly. It does nothing to constrain the player into making the proper choice, it does not guide them down the right path. It is a door with no doorknob, a teapot with a backwards handle. It is a clunky, unusable artifact.

There's nothing to encourage discussion, that burden lies entirely with the player having the presence of mind and experience to realize how important champion select is. Rather than waiting for them to stumble upon this nugget of knowledge, ruining the play experience for several other people in the process, a small UI change could solve the problem. This would also disseminate knowledge about the importance of discussion, teamwork, and proper picking throughout the game rapidly as people are forcibly exposed to it, which would improve the quality of the player base overall.

If any Riot employee can justify it's existence to me over a reasonable alternative, I will mail you $50. This is dead serious. Provide me a reasonable, satisfactory answer and I will personally mail you a crisp 50 dollar bill.

Rules:

Providing an argument of some form or fashion will not earn you $50. It must be a reasonable argument that justifies its existence. If there is heavy dispute over this, we will put it to a vote by the Democratic Republic of Trolls (aka the forums).

The following justifications I have deemed unacceptable up front.

1) "Bluh bluh technical limitations bluh bluh!": I call shenanigans. You already have some way to notify other clients that a lock-in has occurred and the next phase of picking should start. Plus, you have a chat-relay system that could be wrangled into sending specialized command strings that ping the other clients to determine if they're ready yet.

2) "This doesn't impact the game at all!": Yes, it does.

3) "We didn't think this would be a problem.": I totally and wholeheartedly expect this is the reason it exists in the first place. You guys have a different perspective on the game and actually understand how it works/is meant to be played. The common player does not.

4) "We don't want people to waste time at champ select": Yes, I agree. This is particularly true for arranged 5v5 when you know your teammates and likely have already communicated a great deal on who's going to pick what. In solo queue you have to get to know a player in a very short amount of time, thus there's very rarely a glut of free time. In the cases where there are, the ready check will fulfill the same role with considerably less danger.

5) "Someone could troll and never hit ready.": Oh boohoo! So the match is delayed by a minute or two. I'll take that any day over insta-lock mid Teemo.

6) "People will use this to browbeat others into playing a champion they don't want to play.": And this doesn't happen already? This system would enable no such thing, especially because the final choice lies with the person picking. All it would do is give someone the opportunity to provide input to their teammate should they feel the need to.

If you can justify this, hooray! Money! If you can't, holy **** change it!

tl;dr: Remove the lock-in button, replace with a team-wide ready check for each picking phase. If you work for Riot and can justify the current system over the new one, I'll give you $50.

Edit:

So there have been some criticisms that this isn't necessary or wouldn't solve any problems. The big argument against it is.

"You can't change the minds of people who are going to insta-lock Teemo. They're bad and won't change their mind. If they were open to suggestion, then they wouldn't lock in at all."

I don't agree for several reasons.

1) You can't really say with 100% certainty that person won't change their mind upon being prodded by their team. Some people just don't think about this sort of stuff on a strategic level yet, but are willing to be directed. It's one of those, "Gee, I never thought about it but you're right, maybe Teemo isn't a good idea.' moments.
2) People learn and get better. People learn through being taught, observing proper behavior, or deriving their own conclusions. Of these, observing and being taught are considerably more efficient. This would provide an environment that forcibly exposes players to discussion with their teammates and increases the odds of them learning something. Today's Feedmo might be tomorrow's team leader.
3) First pick is a valuable spot that is being squandered every time someone insta-locks a weak pick for it. You may not be able to stop someone from playing Teemo (that's fine, Teemo might be a very good choice for the team), but the ready system at least lets me request that I can swap with them. Even someone who is completely, 100% dead set on playing that Teemo should agree to swap unless they're a complete jerk, providing the champions line up. I cannot stress how important this is. First pick is of massive strategic importance to your team. You can play a game with the exact same team comp against the exact same opponent players and win one game while losing another simply based on the order your champions are selected. It's not just the team that you end up with, how you get there will impact the course of the game.


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Dracozero

Senior Member

02-09-2011

Insta-lock in random

LIKE A BOSS.

EDIT: Where mah monies?


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Sunraw

Senior Member

02-09-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracozero View Post
Insta-lock in random

LIKE A BOSS.
Do you troll every thread on the forums every day? =_="{'


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Dracozero

Senior Member

02-09-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunraw View Post
Do you troll every thread on the forums every day? =_="{'
Evil never sleeps.


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MoreVespeneGas

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Recruiter

02-09-2011

tl;dr


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Zwig

Senior Member

02-09-2011

Oh boy, fifty whole dollars!

Your house must be made of gold!!


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TakeTheBang

Senior Member

02-09-2011

I get though all the **** early and go tank when I'm first to pick.


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Tiny Angry Crab

Senior Member

02-09-2011

Quote:
Insta-lock in Teemo

LIKE A BOSS.
Fixed that for you


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Thoroughly

Senior Member

02-09-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracozero View Post
Insta-lock in random

LIKE A BOSS.
EVERY DAY
AREG ****A ArEG
AUTOLOCK RANDOM EVERY GAME
EVEN IN RANKED
D-D-D-DEAL WITH IT


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Grunghole

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Senior Member

02-09-2011

If there was no instalock button, do you think people who instalock mid Teemo would change their minds?



Does the lack of a lock-in button somehow change an idiot's mentality?


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