This is a totally unprompted thread where I thought I could answer whatever questions about new champion or champion update designs. I’ll come back to the thread and post answers to a bunch of questions up into this OP.
Because this is the first time I’m trying this, let’s do a broad and obvious topic – Champ Design (including reworks). The type of question that would be fitting here is like “how do you determine which skills to keep when you rework a character?” or “what makes a good character passive in your opinion?”
Stay on topic (sorry I don’t work on URF so DONT ASK LOL) and I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can.
I’ll answer a few now and come back later for more (and probably throughout the weekend)
If a champion is relatively fine in a purely BALANCE perspective, do they ever have an opportunity to get reworked to be more like what they’re supposed to be? Or be made so that they aren’t such a wasted concept?
Yes! We most definitely do and will continue to use thematic delivery, fun, and satisfaction as a reason to revisit a character. We always set out the goals of a project when we start, so we know if it is more mechanics focused (something like soraka) or thematic/satisfaction focus (something like gangplank) or a lot of both (sion).
How do you prioritize updates?
Currently we prioritize updates by which are the most “in need” of the improvements (gameplay or visual). Each group (art, design, sound) will use their own analysis and player feedback to rank which champs are really needing the update. This led us to champs like soraka, sion, nidalee, poppy, karthus, etc. While going through this list we have some spare people to work on smaller less urgent projects like viktor, gragas, tristana to keep things coming as often as we can.
How much more mobility can we expect to see added to League of Legends in the coming season?
This is a timely question, with so many more mobile champs in recent releases than in the early days of LoL. We actually met with a large group of new champ and champup designers to talk about how much mobility we are giving to characters and at what cost. The general consensus is that we are probably going to both be a bit more selective with where we give mobility and give the characters appropriate costs to having mobility. For example, we think that by default a marksman doesn’t have burst mobility, so the question that we are asking ourselves is “what cost is a character like lucian, tristana, or corki paying for the powerful mobility tools that they have?”
Can you describe the factors in/process between deciding whether a skill is a skillshot or targeted ability?
You could have a great ability on both sides of this coin (skillshot or targeted). The real question that we are asking is what parts of a character’s overall kit are reliable and which are unreliable. Having a healthy mix of both is typically a recipe for success because it gives the character some baseline tools that they can count on mixed in with some important moments where hitting a skillshot, blocking a spell with a spellshield, or dodging a big burst of damage with your Zed ult can determine the outcome of a fight.
A few more answers
What is Riot’s current opinions on hybrid champions, either current or possibly new?
Hybrid champions aren’t problematic as a concept, we just try to factor in how being a hybrid character affects the game. A hybrid champ has both a harder time itemizing for penetration and makes it harder for their opponents to itemize defenses against them.
Ever considered an energy-based Support?
We haven’t put any serious work into an energy based on manaless support recently, but it isn’t an impossible design space. The key factor here is that we would want to preserve the important “attrition” element of bottom lane, so this character should probably not have strong health sustain or healing in combination with no mana.
How does Riot determine what to keep and what to revise on champion kits in need of a rework for “thematic” reasons?
The first step of a rework is often more about finding the right overall direction for a character. Take Sion for example, we first determined that this guy is best delivered as a tanky “undead juggernaut” that moves slowly but is a major disruptive force in the middle of a fight. It is a very high priority for us to find the right core concept for a character that matches the coolest and most important elements of the character before the rework. With the high level direction figured out, we can see what abilities on the old kit would still work with the new direction for the character.
Does how often a champion get played factor in to the decision to rework them? Or are you fine with niche picks, like Urgot?
We do consider a champ’s play rate when we are selecting reworks but we don’t bias one way or the other. A good mix of popular and unpopular champions is what we are aiming for currently so that we can sometimes update popular champs to create positive impact to a wide group of players and sometimes update niche champs to keep them relevant or give them new life.
How often do reworks get canned, and how far do they usually make it before they get canned?
Rework projects rarely get canned. Though in the past, maybe 1 in 5 that goes into early exploration is put on hold and picked up later. A project like Warwick that Zenon was working on but had to be put on hold for him to work on other projects will be picked up where he left off and finished. Even if entire kits are scrapped and restarted, the work is not a waste because we likely learned a lot about what didn’t work for that iteration and that leads us to things that usually work much better.
When it comes to new champion design and such, is the factor of said champion completely overshadowing another, older champ taken into account?
We very heavily consider this when working on new champions. We want a new champ to bring something new to the game rather than replace and overshadow something that champs already do. Sometimes if a champion is released in a too powerful state, it can give them strengths that they aren’t designed to have.
For example, Braum is intended to be a unique defensive support in how he can block projectiles for his team while staying mobile. When he released he was doing that just fine, but he was also a very strong aggressive pick support with Q slows, damage and follow up stuns. When we saw that he was overshadowing a lot of other supports in this way, Wreckz and the live balance team responded by lowering his aggressive play potential to focus his power in the ways that he is meant to have it.
How would you go about reworking Teemo?
Hehe, I can’t resist answering this one because TEEMO. So first off don’t take any of this as gospel because I’m just spitballing here.
First off is to try and understand the core of what Teemo is about and what his current problems are. The really unique and fun thing about teemo (IMO) is the way he can control an area of the map like top lane or baron pit with his mine field of shrooms. He also has a clear poke pattern in lane and high sustained damage in the late game. Some of the most obvious problems that he has are that there is no meaningful counterplay to his mushrooms and his poke pattern is also not interactive and just involves trading targeted damage against an often melee opponent.
So when it comes to solutions I would try a variety of mushroom version with possible counterplay and to compensate the teemo player, add or emphasize the awesome rewards he gets for catching his opponents in his traps. A crazy example would be that if he was stealthed (by standing still) and someone triggered a mushroom trap, he could keep his stealth and run quickly towards the triggered trap for an ambush. The other solutions around his poke lane would also need to be creative but would definitely move in the direction of his opponent having opportunities to avoid or counter his poke, and we could give teemo some new tools to compensate for the loss of reliability.
Where does the buck stop when it comes to big decisions on a champion rework?
There is no single individual that has the 100% say over any particular champion update, but many people get to have strong input. From a game design perspective the primary “owner” as we like to call it is the main designer that is spending most of their time working on the project. They receive a lot of input from the other designers on the Champion Update and Champion team and get really detailed and thorough feedback from the Lead Designers on their team and other teams (Scruffy, Meddler, Morello, Ezreal, etc). In the end, by the time any character goes out, many different people have reviewed the kit and, if something is good enough to ship, often most people on the team are very happy with it.
You gonna give talon some form of cc (a real cc, not a shitty quarter second slow) on his cut-throat (e) or maybe a decent form of utility so he can keep up with all the incredibly good kits other assassins have?
I think in the future we will shy away from hard CC on Talon because as we have seen in the past, the combination of hard CC and his burst damage led to very frustrating and non interactive situations where he can 100-0 an enemy while they are unable to react.
On the topic of how we would want to improve talon (no immediate plans yet just talking about direction), his current pattern of burst an enemy or be useless is pretty binary and honestly a bit boring. I would want to buff up some of his utility tools like his stealth or even give him new utility tools that are not hard CC (like dodge, spell shield or something like that) to allow him to not feel useless when he can’t immediately burst kill his enemies.
What are some themes you want to check out that haven’t been touched on yet?
These are just my personal – Mind Controller, Earth Mage, Group character (multiple yordles or something cool), Mountain Climber, Blacksmith, A bunch of animal type creature characters, Flying characters that interact differently with the map, and these are just off the top of my head.
Using Rek’Sai as an example, what makes you decide to use a non-mana resource on a champion? Is it a thematic decision, gameplay, or a mix of both? How do you feel about the state of mana in LoL?
I’ll answer your last question first, I feel like mana is still a very important element of LoL, especially for some types of characters. Mana as a resource creates a second strategic layer of attrition for a lot of characters that adds a “long game” strategy to champ vs champ combat. Mana allows more outcomes to fights or trades than just “I killed you” or “I took more health away.”
When it comes to when we give mana to champs (or not in Reksai’s case) it is more often a mechanical decision than a thematic one. With Reksai we were exploring some different resourse mechanics with the health return passive, where health is the resource she has to manage more than mana. By comparison a mana based jungler like Warwick or Elise should stay healthier than Reksai when they are usuing mana on their sustain tools but they will eventually run OOM and have to go back to the fountain.
I’m seeing a lot of questions about Yorick and Mordekaiser so lets talk about them
First thing, we’re not actively working on either of those two champs but in terms of what is next for us when we finish current projects, they are very very high up on the priority list.
So Yorick we actually have a decent starting point with Xelnath’s earlier work and it is pretty clear what this guy is about – Ghoul Minions and Melee fighting.
Morde is a bit trickier because he is really straddling the line between what is a mage and what is a fighter. I bet when we start working on him and are trying to discover his core, we will find that both elements are very important to why Morde is Morde. The tough question will be answering what unique stuff a fighter mage can bring to the game (maybe play up his “ghost enemy” stuff).
What is Riot’s opinion on champions with more then one way to be built?
Personally I love it when champions have multiple build paths. The things that we have to watch out for are when one of the builds creates toxic or low interest gameplay. As an example if AD Varus played like he does now but the off build AP Varus (I know this isn’t really a thing) could one shot enemies with his Q and do not much else we probably would want to change the way AP varus worked so that it had a more healthy play pattern.
What is the maximum amount of crowd control you think you could and would load onto a kit without going overboard? How long would the target be disabled in some way?
The way that we think about this is more about the ratio of damage a character can deal vs the amount of CC they have. A character can have crazy amounts of CC (see nautilus) if they do low sustained damage, but another character could be problematic with even 1 second of CC if they deal high burst damage. The goal here is that the enemy receiving the CC will always have some window of time where they are not CCed and not dead so that they can react.
Have you ever considered having non-ultimate global abilities that deal no damage, but instead support champions in other lanes? Something on the line of care packages.
Yes, we have considered a bunch of stuff like this. Nothing has made it into a champion but I think there is room for some pretty cool mechanics in this vein. For example, a “scouting” focused character could do all kinds of global vision plays or even give allies an oracle buff from across the map. Another example is a “global push pressure” champ that could make minion waves on the opposite side of the map much stronger to create global push pressure for their team.
I think this is all of the questions for this week. I’ll try to rope in some other designers next week and maybe we can pick another topic. Was this useful/fun for you all?
Many of you have seen your friends receive their Mystery Skins with you left wondering where your Mystery Skin is, or whether you even qualified for one. Never fear!
Mystery Skins are still being sent out!
We are sending them out in waves every single day, and it may take the next couple of weeks (until the end of January) before they are all distributed. We’ll update this thread once the last wave has been sent!
As a reminder, here are the qualifications:
All Riot Regions qualify – NA, EUW, EUNE, LAS, LAN, BR, OCE, RU, TR, and Korea
You need to be level 5 (reached level 5 in 2014)
You need to have played and completed at least one game of any mode (including Custom Games) in 2014.
You did not receive a 14-day suspension
You did not receive a ranked restriction (a single game ranked restriction will disqualify you)
You did not receive a chat restriction (a single game of chat restriction will disqualify you)
If you received a Leaver Buster Penalty, you still qualify for the Mystery Skin
If your account was compromised and suspended by Riot until it was recovered, we will double-check our list to make sure you receive one
If you have under the 10 skin minimum for Mystery Skins, we will check the list again and make sure anyone who did not receive one, but met all other qualifications, gets one!
If you recently transferred to another Riot Region, you will still get a Mystery Skin, as long as you meet the previous qualifications
^ this. In fact she will most likely be a comprehensive gameplay and visual update (VGU). She’s listed as a high-value target but currently there is no prioritization for her for 2015, but that could change. We’re trying to get ahead on a number of front’s so we’ll see. I have a concept for her but it’s definitely not final. She’ll need a probably semi-large scope effort because of thematic issues. What is she exactly? Ionian metal-manipulating general? That’s cool, but could she be more? We shall see!
For Eve, we saw an opportunity to create a skin for her before an update that wouldn’t interfere too much with any then-current plans with her. This does not mean every potential champion update is in the same state and can be treated in the same way. The team felt it would be a win to create a skin at the chance we got, so we took it instead of passing it up. It may not have coincided with what was said in the past about skin plans, but I think it’s much better to try and take things on a case-by-case basis rather than let a statement be the end all be all for the rest of eternity
*disclaimer – Zac skins are a hot topic and we are not able to answer any questions about -when- a skin is coming out or is in the works (or any other skins). I’m here to perhaps shed a little light and let you guys know Zac is not forgotten!*
Definitely don’t think you’re being rude! What I can tell you is that Zac’s champ and stretchy tech is very difficult to work with, and that alone increases work time on him a lot. So using a popular community skin suggestion for him, Gentleman Zac – his clothes especially around his arms would have some crazy weighting and stretching issues. And it would also be really weird to see cloth stretching and turning into globs of goo haha I’d love to hear any suggestions on workarounds you may have to mitigate this!
I know “easy” recolored skins have been suggested for Mr. Blob, but then it would seem unfair if say we released a 750RP Bubblegum Zac and have him wait a while for another skin instead of taking the time to make sure we make a super awesome blow-your-mind quality skin for him.
That’s a good example! Besides the addition of the swim trunks, it’s technically just about a fancy blue recolor though.
The fanart done of pool party Zac include some cute arm floaties – which I like, but that would again cause problems with his stretchy arms! > n <
Summer is coming up for the Northern Hemisphere kinda sorta soonish (brr, that 50 degree California winter weather!). I can definitely make an extra poke about a skin like this!
^This is not a promise that this skin is going to be made! ; u ;
Welcome to Fantasy LCS, where you build your dream team of LCS pros and compete against your friends for bragging rights and season glory! Beginning this week, we’ll be opening up the 2015 Spring Split Fantasy draft window.
Fantasy LCS is getting a face-lift for 2015, thanks to the feedback you gave us in the 2014 Beta. Here’s what’s new:
NA and EU are now on separate roster locks that correspond to the first day of matches for each league.
Each league now features a message board where you can coordinate draft times and discuss strategy.
We added chat functionality during draft
Scoring has been slightly tweaked: we added a fast win bonus of 2 points for teams that win in less than 30 minutes. Stay tuned for an article that dives into the rationale behind this scoring addition.
We added a few administrative tools:
If you are a league creator, you can delete your league if you haven’t drafted yet.
You can also leave a league if you haven’t drafted yet.
You can now rename your team.
Your league home page, roster page, and match-ups page are now shareable publicly. Show off your dream team, those close wins, and your standings to your friends!
Never played fantasy? Don’t worry — it’s easy! Join together with up to seven friends or fellow League players, then build your dream team, one draft pick at a time. Every player from the NA and EU LCS is up for grabs, and what they do on the Rift each week matters. You’re awarded points based on their performance, so when your pros do well, you do too! Fantasy LCS also adds a new layer of fun to watching matches each week, as fantasy stats updates will be piped in at real-time.
We’ve got a bunch of resources to help get you ready for your draft. Learn how to play and about draft strategy at fantasy.lolesports.com.
Stay tuned for more details on when you can get drafting! In the meantime, feel free to discuss strategy below. Who are your top picks?
EDIT: Just wanted to update the El Tigre Braum thread about his price. He was always intended to be 1350 RP but we mistakenly listed him at 975 RP (sorry!). It’s his custom respawn animation specifically that pushes him into the 1350 price tier. Like all 1350s though, he’ll be on sale for the first week after his release so you can get him for 975 RP during that time. Sorry for the mistake and we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again!
Damage increased from 20/40/60/80/100 to 20/45/70/95/120 ( reverted to live values )
Death Lotus ( R )
Damage increasedfrom400/500/600 ( +3.0 AD ) (+2.0 AP) over 2 seconds to 400/550/700 ( +3.75 AD ) ( +2.5 AP ) over 2.5 seconds
Cooldown reduced from 60/55/50 to 60/52.5/45 seconds
Base damage decreased from 57.6to 57.2
Base damage decreased from +3.5 to +3.1 per level
Base mana decreased from 270to 235
Mana decreased from +45 to +35 per level
Undertow ( Q )
Damage reduced from 80/125/170/215/260 to65/110/155/200/245
Slow increased from 24/28/32/36/40% to 35/40/45/50/55%
Slow duration decreased from 2.5 to 2 seconds
Vicious Strikes ( W )
No longer grants bonus Attack Damage
Now grants 30/45/60/75/90% bonus Attack Speed
Bonus Lifesteal reduced from 9/12/15/18/21% to 8/10.5/13/15.5/18%
Reckless Swing ( E )
Damage reduced from 100/160/220/280/340 to 100/145/190/235/280
Cooldown increased from 9/8/7/6/5 to 12/11/10/9/8 seconds
Ragnarok ( R )
Now grants 10/25/40 Bonus Armor and Magic Resist passively
Activation no longer grants bonus Resists and Armor Penetration
Activation now grants 40/60/80 bonus Attack Damage
Cooldown changed from 100 seconds 120/100/80 seconds
Base Health increased from 360 to 400
Base Movement speed increased from 335 to 340
Base armor increased from 11 to 15
Desperate Power ( R )
Bonus movement speed increased from 60/70/80 to 80 at all ranks
Burnout ( W )
Damage reduced from 25/40/55/75/85 to 20/32/44/56/68
Bonus movement speed decreased from 30/35/40/45/50% to 25/31.3/37.5/43.8/50%
CLARIFICATION ON SHYVANA CHANGES
CertainlyT: We aren’t making imminent changes to Shyvana’s Burnout. This datamine was another piece of Season 4 fighter testing bits of which I incorrectly promoted to the PBE (as seen with Garen). The plan was to pair it with some sexy changes to her dragon form.
FWIW our internal testing on all the changes currently shows the W you saw to be a bit too weak.
As to our overall view of Shyvana, I think she’s balanced but her Dragon Form doeesn’t feel sufficienly epic. I want Shyvana to be a bully, but a more moderate one early, in exchange for a lvl 16 dragon form where she becomes a literal raid boss, turning the enemy backline into a pile of charred corpses. Rez and run back.
Any news on Shyvana’s update?
CertainlyT: Testing a bunch of stuff. Nothing has proven perfect just yet. Shyvana will stay damage focused, but I think that she needs a) greater reach and b) a better best cast scenario in post-35 minute team fights.
Death Setence ( Q )
Cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds if Death Sentence strikes an enemy
Cooldown increased from18/16.5/15/13.5/12 to 20/18/16/14/12 seconds
RiotWenceslaus: You’ve seen them during the holidays, but many of you have been asking to spruce up your ward supply on non-seasonal occasions. We’ve heard you and we’re pleased to officially unveil the League’s first permanent ward skins for 640 RP, now on PBE.
This first run of wards is themed after some of your favorite League champions, so even if you get edged out in the draft, you can still show your champion pride wherever you’re laning. The next time you want to scout an inconveniently-placed patch of brush in style (or if you just can’t wait for another chance to check out Draven’s majestic moustache), now you can.
We’re rolling out a revamped Trades system that I’d like you all to hammer on. It’s a more robust system that we believe will serve your trade requests better.
The pain points we addressed were largely around the system’s reliability.
We addressed issues caused by several players attempting to trade simultaneously. Our new system will handle multiple users’ actions, both with a new Trades structure, and more clear messaging where there wasn’t any before.
While we were fixing some of the pain, we included some new features to make the experience a bit better.
-Greyed out and unclickable Trade buttons when the requester or the recipient doesn’t own either champion.
-New Error Messaging to communicate what is happening. [Not yet in]
1. is busy trading. Try again when their trade is complete.
2. has declined your trade request.
3. canceled the trade.
4. no longer has the champion you wanted. Try again.
-Accurate display of who your friend is playing on the Friends List after they make a trade.
-A trade is canceled when someone rerolls during their trading process, so people aren’t stuck with something they don’t expect.
All these changes aside, what we fundamentally wanted to accomplish was a reinstatement of player trust in making a Trade. Our engineers took the old system, cleaned it up, smoothed it out, gave it a mani-pedi, and got it in shape by way of 1980’s work-out montage. No player should ever fear trading champions again.
Please test the hell out of this thing, and send us your feedback on the forums. We’ll be watching and fixing based on your findings.
Thanks for your help, everyone!
Suggestion: Trading switches players’ select position rather than their Champions
That’s a really interesting idea. Though, that wouldn’t solve the issues of Trades not working well for ARAMs, and our intention was to make an already known system more reliable.
Will this new system allows us to trade again after an unsuccessful attempt?
With the new trade system, you WILL be able to request trades again to someone who declined you if you or that person’s champion has changed. So even if your champion didn’t change, if the person who declined you rerolled, you’d be able to trade him again.
If I own the Champion I wish to receive but the other person does not own mine, is the button grayed out for me as well?
RiotBrokenSword: Yes, it is. In order to trade, both players must own each champion. Works the same as before, but now we just save you the step of finding out you can’t trade before you make the request.
Graves finally found a squirt gun worthy of an outlaw: all new particle effects look like water, but sting worse than Singed’s “homemade” chlorine. His recall shows off one of four impressive dives on his way back to base. Apparently Smoke Screen also obscures hidden talents!
Lee Sin’s got a breezy new summer style and strange knack for conjuring fruity coconut drinks out of nowhere. Just don’t challenge him to a game of Marco Polo—he doesn’t realize casting Sonic Wave is cheating.
Morello: Mobility Creep has occurred, but I think this is spoken about as the problem as opposed to a symptom. The problem, in this case, is where we had champions not giving up anything when they contained mobility. This was especially rampant in 2011, but the problem is rarely the mobility itself and more the underlying design problems that lead to problematic mobility.
One example is how Vi’s ultimate was talked about a lot as “mobility creep.” I think the real problems occur there when there’s no meaningful recourse to that move, her being able to move far is fine – provided than when she does, you have actions that make sense to deal with her. Some of this is the CC immunity, some of this is her raw brawling power when she gets there. If some cost is paid, actually or strategically, then the skill can avoid this pitfall.
So, I think Mobility Creep isn’t a major issue – mobility tends to create interesting and dynamic fights and is fun to use – but the issue, like true damage, % HP damage and other mechanics we’ve done this with, is in how and where it is used.
I edited my post, but in the initial barrage of “there’s Morello – get him!” from me returning to the forums, I read yours too quickly. I did say melee ADC would be -better- this season, and they are, but I also claimed I didn’t think Season 3 would fully solve the problem. I think that’s been pretty accurate overall.
Now, let’s put this thread on a good note; let me tell you two must-haves for Season 4 to ship successfully in my mind;
We’re going to significantly improve, and ultimately fix, jungle and support gold flow. I feel this is one of the most painful areas of League, and one that can be fixed. A lot of the satisfaction in League is growing in power over time, getting items, and transitioning from early to late game with items. It’s definitely a problem that 2/5 of players don’t get to do this.
Season 4 changes will address this problem, and very likely throw balance into a tailspin for preseason. Eggs, omelettes, etc. We’ll work hard to get that fleshed out and tuned before S4 starts properly.
Wards and the map vision system need to be overhauled. This is part-and-parcel with the above as Support gold largely suffers due to ward gold burden, but there are a multitude of other problems like snowballing, few real interesting ward decision-making opportunities, and few people involved with the vision game. Details have to wait, but the new system will address these issues.
What are your plans for the Fighter class in Season 4?
Morello: Not ready to share details on this since things are really in flux, but to solve some of the meta-golemy nature of some fighters, and give them distinct places in a teamfight (ie; a team role if one is not present other than “be strong”).
Follow-up: So every Fighter will have a distinct purpose, i.e soak, DPS and so on?
Morello: Some of that, yes, but also like “Vi should be tuned around a dive fighter” where “Udyr is a powerful mid-line fighter.”
Opinion on Kassadin, Zed, Ahri, Galio, Taric and Ziggs
Morello: Kassadin: Too strong, but because he’s so feast/famine. Needs some big work, but I’m at a loss on this one.
Zed: A bit too strong, but want to see longer term effects of previous nerfs. Not against more.
Ahri: Solid – pretty close, but popular right now.
Galio: Tough to make room for in a team, but doesn’t have enough levers to balance. Needs light rework.
Taric: Same as above.
Ziggs: I think great in lane, does ??? late game in teamfights.
Why are some champions nerfed to the point where they’re no longer picked?
Morello: It is when we can’t simply buff them to be good or make small changes. Fighters (and why CertainlyT is focused on them!) are the biggest culprits of this, and tend to make this list more than others. Much of this is based around the schizophrenic goals and role fulfillment on fighters (which typically comes with low counter-play) and them deriving value from nothing but raw power. Not only aware, but one of our biggest open sores that’s very hard to solve without a LOT of disruption.
Do you feel DoT (Damage-over-time) Champions are in a good spot?
Morello: I’m not sure, actually – it’s something I should talk more with the team about. I’m a bit surprised with how far this type of champion has fallen out of flavor and want to get word from guys with boots on the ground here.
What’s your opinion on Miss Fortune?
Morello: MF falls in and out of flavor as different champions and comps trend up and down. I like this pattern overall and think MF is OK as-is.
Why isn’t Ahri as mobile as the currently dominant picks? ( Zac, Kha’Zix, Zed )
Morello: I think it’s a cost-benefit thing. If Ahri does what they do, and is mobile, then there’s no contest. If Ahri is highly mobile but has some cost associated it that allow Annie and Brand to compete, then that’s great. Udyr is the Fighter example of where this works.
Annie’s actually in a good spot, but agreed Brand is in a bit of a lull due to this.
These two systems have been the major project that Xypherous and I have been working on for the last 3-4 months. This has been a huge effort, in terms of collecting data, experimenting and generally playing mad scientist while attempting to preserve the core of what makes Summoner’s Rift fun.
There’s four huge topics here:
Jungle gold income
Support gold income
Support expenditures on warding
The effects of using wards to gain vision
Trying to hit all 4 cohesively in one point is madness, however, they are all HIGHLY interconnected. So while this thread is about the overlap between all four, expect to see breakout threads from myself or other designers discussing each topic individually to gather focused feedback.
For this post, I want to talk about the relationship between support income, warding and the problems these two systems are causing with each other:
What are the issues?
Supports are expected to not last hit, thus gaining no income
Supports are expected to shoulder most of the gold burden for purchasing wards
Supports are expected to roam the map and ward
Supports are expected to buy expensive activated items
Supports are expected to be effective without gold revenue
Supports are often tied to the Marksman carry
Supports never get to achieve an endgame fantasy due to losing all of their income to vision expenditures
Wards are necessary to protect the sanctity of laneing from persistent Jungler aggression
Wards are necessary to observe important locations and objective
Wards cost gold, from the character least equipped to afford them
Wards are the only option for revealing a specific area to move forward safely
Wards used in the previously mentioned way linger for a long time (3 minutes!!)
Wards are so important, players feel entitled to having the map warded without contributing
Wow! This is a lot!!
No kidding. This is not a small set of problems. So to kick off this discussion, help me out:
What do you think are the problems with support income?
How much gold do you think supports need over the course of a 50 minute game (hint: I know the answer, but tell me what you think…)
If we were to give more gold to supports, in what kind of situations would you expect to be getting more gold?
How do we get other players to recognize the power of wards and the vision they provide?
Are all wards too powerful? Are just pink wards too powerful?
Should the lowest income character shoulder the highest consumable expenditures in the game?
Are the expectations on a support player too high?
Summary on Community Feedback
Xelnath: So to summarize:
You guys generally agree its unfair that supports both earn less and spend more
Think it might be fair if they earned equal amounts as laners but spent more on wards (relative to laners)
Are concerned that even if income was fixed, supports would still spend 100% of gold on wards
Feel that there’s not enough interactions in the warding system right now
Believe we should look into ways to let non-supports get some vision in a way that doesn’t restrict their item builds
Why do Custom games no longer grant IP? Read below to find out!
Brackhar: Hey All,
I wanted to provide a bit of context for these changes. Before I begin though, let me reiterate the current restriction:
IP/XP for Custom Games are no longer rewarded unless there are half as many human players as the map was designed for (5 for SR, CS, and HA; 3 for TT)
It’s still possible to play custom games any number of players (as long as it’s not been restricted for load reasons)
The reason we did this was, as some of you had suspected, a reaction to players using bots to farm games for IP/XP. While in an ideal world we’d just ban the accounts and move on, the problem wasn’t that people were using these bots on their main accounts to accrue ip/xp. Instead they were exploiting the refer a friend program by creating new bot accounts, leveling them up as referrals, and then giving another account the IP/RP rewards (which in turn they’d launder via other means). This made targeted bans not an effective solution, so instead we had to tackle the problem at its source. This wasn’t a limited issue either; check out this report showing the distribution of game end times in NA for the month of July: http://imgur.com/wLFwRBq
Note that we were seeing over 40% of our games end at 6 minutes, and those games were almost completely one player bot games. Those bot accounts would immediately queue up after completing a game and repeat the cycle, which in addition to the rewards issues was also putting a good bit of load on our system.
It’s unfortunate that this change ended up hitting players who were playing legitimate games, but our hope was that the affected player size would be very small and primarily only impact people doing things like testing out new champions. This thread and others have brought some light to a legitimate play pattern that we didn’t anticipate would be a main form of engagement, and that’ll cause some conversations on our end about what the next step forward here should be. It was our intention to evaluate the success of the changes later this week anyway, so once we have that data we’ll be able to make an informed decision on if we can be more lax on the restriction.
Isn’t the main issue the Refer-a-Friend system?
Brackhar: Yeah, RAF needs to be reviewed and possibly reworked, I agree.
Adjusted passive chunk drops to be more contestable by enemies
If an enemy champion is within 1000 units of Zac, his chunks will spawn in a contestable zone between him and his opponent (this isn’t a change, but is listed for clarification)
Increased the range at which champions cause chunks to be contestable (fly away from Zac) to 1000 (from 700)
Slightly increased the distance contestable chunks travel from Zac
Chunks are now credited to whoever is closest to them in the event that both Zac and an enemy champion are present (rather than automatically going to Zac)
Reduced chunk invulnerability time to 0.25 seconds (from 0.75)
Chunk invulnerability now applies to both Zac and enemies (previously only applied to enemies – Zac now has to wait 0.25 seconds before he can absorb his chunks)
Zac now has an increased chunk pickup range and bypasses the chunk invulnerability delay timer during Let’s Bounce
Morello: These nerfs are conservative as to not obliterate Zac in what will be the final patch for World Finals. We did want to nerf his power, not overdo it and remove a big staple in a number of team lineups (instead, we want to allow more variety in options).
We likely could have gone a little harder on Zac nerfs, but for the worlds patch, we didn’t want to risk of overdoing it. If, after worlds, Zac’s still pushing out other options, then we’ll hit him again.
Helping Players improve rather than punishing them
Lyte: We’re currently working on a new solution for Champion Select problems, but are doing research on Honor and where we want to take it in the future. We agree that usage has gone down, although there’s still a very healthy amount of Honors handed out in Normal Blind Pick, Co-op vs Bots and Howling Abyss; however, there’s less Honor being handed out in Ranked Teams and Ranked (partially because premade teams don’t often give each other Honor). We’re not ready to talk about the future of Honor yet, but we’ll start once we finish working on Champion Select.
I don’t agree that discussing the origin of toxic behavior is an excuse. I agree that damage has been done whether a player is having a bad day or whether they are consistently toxic; however, understanding the origin of the toxic behavior allows us to better address the behavior. For example, does a player who is the most awesome, positive player in the community for 9999 games and happens to have 1 bad game, should they be permabanned? This is an extreme example, but illustrates why understanding the origin of the toxic behavior can help us address it in an appropriate way.
We have considered different types of ‘punishments’ for players such as limiting queues or limiting IP, but right now we’re focusing on Champion Select. We’ve also taken a pretty drastic shift in our approach to player behavior over the last year, and we’d prefer rewards and incentives rather than punishments. As an example, let’s say we had a game where players could share cookies, or be selfish and eat all the cookies themselves. We’d prefer players to share cookies, but instead of punishing players for being selfish and eating all the cookies, we could reward players with an additional half cookie if they shared the cookie with others. We truly believe that if you make it easy for players to be good and do the right thing, they do.
We’re not resistant to simply implementing solutions, especially with Leaver/AFK. There’s just a lot of data and experience from other games that solutions like a Vote-Kick are extremely abused and often considered grave mistakes when the studios tried them. I generally prefer to go with the data, and not make the same mistakes over and over again
Don’t you already ban people who abuse the report function?
Lyte: You’re right, there are bans for report-abusers; however, how many negative behaviors have we created in players? After this feature goes live, some percentage of players will now abuse the report system to try to get some returns and end up being banned. Is this a new demographic that wouldn’t have been banned otherwise, or were they toxic in some other way to begin with? If it’s a brand new demographic that is now being banned, that’s a significant cost to the feature.
Suggestion: Receive notification when you’re being “muted” in-game
Lyte: A player recently mentioned this idea to me, and I thought it was pretty interesting; however, what is the intended goal of such a feature? Theoretically, the hope is that if a toxic player is verbally abusive or harassing someone that the pop-up or feedback that others in the game have muted them would curb or stem the behavior; however, is there a chance that the pop-up or feedback itself would frustrate and piss the player off even more? Maybe the player will vent even harder at other players that haven’t muted him yet.
Consider the current alternative: Right now, players can mute someone without sending them a pop-up or notification. A toxic player might continue venting or ranting and realize that they aren’t getting a response, so they stop and move on–there’s a chance they may learn that venting or ranting really doesn’t do anything valuable for the team. But if you give them feedback and notification that they are getting through and annoying someone, maybe the pop-up or feedback even encourages them to keep acting this way and treat the pop-up as a “victory” of sorts that they irritated someone so much they actually muted them.
Now consider an alternative scenario: What if you’re a positive player, trying to hold your team together with some sportsmanlike chat. Then this player gets a pop-up from a toxic player saying that they muted him–what does that player experience feel like?
Following the not-so-recent discussion on Sivir’s visual rework, we now have an actual concept art to admit love to… in a completely Platonic way, of course.
IronStylus: Yup. Here ya go. This is the final concept we worked from when building her model. This is also what people saw when we did the Relaunch panel, with a little bit of cleanup and a better background added in.
I know a lot of people saw a picture of an image on screen. Hopefully this gives you something a little bit easier to read! Pretty messy in a lot of places however. A couple things have changed since we did this concept though, and more might when we get additional feedback. But since this image is out there publicly, I thought it’d be nice for others to see.
IronStylus: Indeed it was. I was warned many times that it was razor sharp and shouldn’t dare touch the blade itself. Also, the spikes coming from the circle were deadly.
Tony was telling me that this was the most complicated design they ever made. It was also extremely dangerous due to all the points! I apologized profusely for being a pain in the ass for designing it with a giant hold in the middle of it.