Home > LoL News, Red Posts, Riot News > Ghostcrawler on Champion Diversity and Mobility Creep, Lyte on New Tribunal, Team Builder coming to Ranked Games, Minor Urgot Buffs Soon, DJ Sona F.A.Q. Tomorrow and More

Ghostcrawler on Champion Diversity and Mobility Creep, Lyte on New Tribunal, Team Builder coming to Ranked Games, Minor Urgot Buffs Soon, DJ Sona F.A.Q. Tomorrow and More

February 23rd, 2015

 

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Summary

On the board forums,Ghostcrawler and Sotere discussed in length the current balance issues with League – mobility creep, an overtuned jungle and a lack of champion diversity. Over on Reddit, Lyte commented on the new Tribunal and what features will carry on from the old one. Lastly, we have a confirmation that Team Builder will be available for Ranked Games, a minor buff to Urgot coming soon, a discussion on champions with ‘bad identity’ and an awesome community spotlight showing Katarina’s daggers forged in real life.

 

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How do you want or expect this season to play out

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe want more champ diversity. A lot of the preseason changes were made with the goal of having games play out differently. Overall we are happy with the changes made to towers, objectives and the jungle, but it hasn’t yet created the space for more champs. (I should add at least within one region – if you look world-wide, diversity is preety good, but that’s largely because different champs are getting played in different parts of the world.) We knew the changes would be disruptive, meaning it might take players a few patches to explore the best strategies to use in the new environment, but things are starting to settle in now and diversity isn’t where we want it to be.

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What do you mean by wanting strategic diversity

Ghostcrawler New PortraitStrategic diversity refers both to champs and to the game itself. If every game is won with a similar comp (even if the champs are different) or every games be becomes a 5 dragon stack, then the risk still exists that the third game you play feels exactly like the previous two. On the topic of champ diversity specifically, it’s not a reasonable expectation or a goal to have every champ played equally. Champs have different play styles and themes and that all factors in. But we can do better than we do today.

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How exactly do you plan on dealing with mobility creep

Ghostcrawler New PortraitMobility is fun and useful or we wouldnt’t keep adding it to kits. The problem is that too often it comes for free just to give a champ a little extra pizzazz. Roles that need a lot of mobility, like assassins, aren’t a huge problem, but roles that already bring a lot to the table, especially mages and ADCs, can be. Even with these it doesn’t need to be an ironclad rule that they can’t dash, but they do need to pay for it elsewhere in their power budget. For these champs, we are less likely to nerf their movement mechanic and more likely to reduce their damage, survivability or control to pay for the mechanic.

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Would you agree the jungle is currently overtuned

Sotere New PortraitWe are constantly following up on the state of the jungle. Turret shields also have changes on the docket for 5.05. Giving players time to figure out changes could be construed a number of ways. Should we not change the jungle, and leave Turret Shields exactly the way they are such that players innovate around those changes?

I frequently think about and ask others in the office: what would happen to the game if we (Riot) took our hands off the wheel for a year? Would it be a better or worse game? Undoubtedly, players would innovate and we’d see some very creative meta manifestations. Overall, though, I’m confident that we do more good than harm with our updates.

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Sotere New PortraitIt is fair criticism that we overly focus on the jungle and not on the champions. I would say (as someone who works more on the jungle/systems side) we believe that the jungle can be a place that caters more favorably to tanks and that is something we have not yet delivered on.

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How do you feel about people saying that towers are too weak

Sotere New PortraitI can understand why people feel this way: we have a lot of tools available in the game to destroy turrets quickly. Full tanks, which are pretty common, can also sit and tank a lot of turret shots. However, I’m fairly confident that turrets are just all around stronger than they were before the season swap. So much so that it might have deleterious effects on the game as a whole. This is actually the most troubling mismatch of perception to power for me in the game at the moment.

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How do you feel champion diversity relates to the LCS

Sotere New PortraitThe LCS (and pro play across the world) impacts player perception and thus play rate pretty dramatically. It is hard to imagine a world where pro play has little diversity but common play does. This makes it tricky, because pros have a lot of legitimate reasons to not add a ton of variety into their play. They often use picks to steal away high priority champions from the enemy team. Teams, imo, also get advantages by practicing with similar squads in repetition, so ‘surprise’ picks are less valuable.

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Are you OK with the same champions being played most of the time

Sotere New PortraitI definitely want to see more diversity. I think even if we get champion diversity to a state where it’s “okay” in our view, we’ll still see some repetition in picks. I think balance issues are the primary culprit, though there have been some cases where professional play stubbornly would not adopt certain champions and held onto others too long.

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Do you think mobility like that of Kalista and Yasuo is good for the game

Sotere New PortraitJust wanted to touch on one point here: while they are ‘free’ in the sense that they don’t cost a resource most of the time, they are much more conditional than Kassadin. He has freedom to move any direction he wants. Yasuo can only dash into enemy targets, Kalista needs something to hit to access most of her extra mobility. To that end, they’re probably more healthy.

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If Kalistas mobility becomes a problem would you nerf her free jump from Q

ISotere New Portrait probably wouldn’t be the one to give insight to CertainlyT for her future balancing. I don’t have particularly great insights into her play. That said, Pierce is one of the things I would be least excited to see changed.

When he was in ideation he got me into a conversation about her. He asked, (paraphrasing of course) “shadow isles evil-ish marksman, what weapon do they use?” I said spear. He said he’d already settled on that but was just making sure it made sense. Then he was like, “when you think of a spear thrower, what excites you about what they do?” My response was that I really liked in movies when the character launches the spear after throwing their whole body (jumping) into it. The extra momentum really sells the use of the weapon for me. I think Pierce sells that fantasy the most for me.

In her development she also would do more damage when moving forward with her passive, which I thought made a lot of thematic sense.

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I miss doing Tribunal work

Lyte Final PortraitEvery once in awhile, I see a thread like this and it’s a 🙁 day.

Tribunal’s been down for 9 months, and we know that’s a long time. However, player behavior in League has been at record bests due to a few different systems that were implemented while Tribunal is being re-worked.

1) The new LeaverBuster has been out for 2 months now, and has pushed leavers/AFKs to a record low in the history of League. I’m hoping to share more data around this when we wrap up analyses.

2) The machine learning system has been extremely aggressive at combating racism, homophobia, sexism and death threats. Right now, these types of behaviors show up in approximately 2% of games globally. An interesting “test” is to think about your last few games, and think about the last time you actually saw someone use the “n” word, or c*nt, or similar obscene phrases.

3) There is a new intentional feeder detection system that has been banning out intentional feeders outright. We have a record low in number of players who are actually intentionally feeding (the old days of 0-20 and 5 Zeals are gone).

But, this is not an excuse for the Tribunal’s delay. It just turns out that re-working the Tribunal required re-working several foundational pieces of League, such as the Report System’s backend, how chat logs are generated on the platform, and how websites/front-ends are created across every server. When players think of “just” re-working the Tribunal, they don’t think about all these other pieces which are each complex systems.

In addition to the above, the new Tribunal will have the ability for players to review positive behaviors and reward players with in-game bonuses, and some algorithmic upgrades to improve efficiency of the system, accuracy in detecting troll voters, and improves overall system accuracy.

I’m happy to answer some questions for a bit tonight, but apologize for the delay in the system coming back.

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Being personally involved in cases feels rewarding

Lyte Final PortraitWe completely agree, there’s huge value in the ability for players to directly contribute to the community standards, whether it’s rewards or punishments.

Part of the re-work is actually re-working the Justice Review (the place players can visit to see their contributions to the community overall). What are some stats that players would like to see on the Justice Review?

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The Justice Rating made me feel bettering the community was worth it

Lyte Final PortraitThanks for the feedback. You’ll be happy to hear that we agree with a lot of it, and # of cases judged correctly, total number of cases, and toxic days prevented are staying.

In addition, we’re adding number of positive players you influenced (after all, it’s pretty awesome to know you made someone’s day!). We’re currently back and forth about what to do with the Justice Rating and Longest Streaks and whether we just need to change the definition of those things to motivate players to always make the best decision instead of what they think will increase these numbers.

The Tribunal’s tuning was always on the conservative side; toxic players might not agree and once in awhile you used to see these players complain on Reddit, but the system was always tuned such that we’d rather err on the cautious side and make sure no innocent players received a penalty instead of trying to target all known negative behaviors. Perhaps in the future we can allow top Tribunal voters (in terms of accuracy + engagement) be able to flag cases for our Player Support if the verdicts were wrong. We’ll see.

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Leaverbuster doesnt work leavers should be handled by the Tribunal

Lyte Final PortraitWe agree, there will always be some amount of emergency AFKs/Leavers.

However, before LeaverBuster, there were a lot of intentional leavers as well; surprisingly, a lot of players came from FPS/MMOs/etc where leaving really had no penalty, so they just Alt-F4’d or left in League thinking there were no penalties for MOBAs either.

We had to tackle that problem first, then it becomes a question of what should we do when there is the rare 4v5 match. We have some solutions in mind already, but want to see how LeaverBuster shakes out, and what the remaining issues are with leavers/AFKs.

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Upcoming minor buff to Urgot

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re going to try a small mana ratio on his shield in testing soon. That was something that showed some promise when tried briefly last time we were testing possible changes for Urgot. Didn’t proceed with it at the time due to a desire to focus on other things first and see what impact those had. The last set of changes certainly didn’t overbuff him though, so we’re going to look at it again.

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Do you think a champion can have a bad identity that can only be reworked

Meddler Final PortraitI’d argue it’s definitely possible to have a champion with a core identity that isn’t worth keeping. This will be a bit hyperbolic, but imagine a champion that was built around the core idea of ‘complete randomness’, expressed through things like a passive that reads ‘When attacking champions you have a 50% change to kill yourself per auto attack and a 50% chance to kill your target’. There’s a really distinct identity there, but it’s not one that’s going to result in good gameplay.

That’s a pretty extreme example though of course, and one that assumes something went really, really wrong during a champ’s development. Being more realistic, what we tend to see are problems with how an identity is executed on, more than problems with core identity. Old Soraka was a strong example of this. Soraka’s identity has always been as the healerest healer in LoL (even if she hasn’t necessarily always putting out the most actual healing). Her old, old kit however, that allowed her to spend mana to heal an ally and then top up her own mana for free, resulted in some lanes where nothing really happened. In some match ups Soraka’s lane couldn’t kill you, but damage dealt to her or her ADC didn’t stick, resulting in low action farm fests. Our conclusion there, eventually, was that ‘dedicated healer’ was a solid identity it was appropriate to include, but that it needed to be done in a way that didn’t nullify past action as strongly. As a result Soraka’s recent rework allowed her to put out significantly more healing per second, but at the expense of her own health, avoiding stagnant lanes. Same foundational concept, pretty different execution on it basically.

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 Why are Veigars changes locked for Patch 5 4

Meddler Final PortraitIn case it’s unclear the changes aren’t necessarily ‘permanent’ but they are what’s going into patch 5.4. Locked in this context means we’ve reached the patch deadline and can no longer make changes to content going out in it. We’re confident enough in this direction for Veigar that we think it’s appropriate to put the changes out, assess how he performs and then adjust as appropriate in following patches.

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Team Builder coming to Ranked Games

Lyte Final PortraitWe’re working on a Team Builder version of Ranked that is just selecting positions. That system in particular should help address problems like the one you noted.

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Follow Up

Can you explain how the system will work for Ranked

Lyte Final PortraitWe are locking down the final designs of Ranked Team Builder, so it’s still too early to talk about it!

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DJ Sona QA on February 24

DJ Sona’s tech crew steps out from behind the curtain for a question and answer session at 12:00 PSTon February 24. If you’re looking to go backstage with DJ Sona and the rest of the skins team, swing by with your questions!

If you missed DJ Sona’s opening set, get all the details on League’s premier disc jockey here.

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How to make Katarinas Daggers

Here’s some amazing blacksmith skills brought to the world of League:

 

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]