Archive

Posts Tagged ‘pet champion’

 

News Update July 14 Banner

 

Summary

 Lead Game Designer Ghostcrawler shares the thought process behind possible nerfs for Lee Sin and why his dominance has largely been left unaddressed for so long. Lots of arguments for where Lee Sin stands, why him warping the meta game by his own is an issue and unlocking weaknesses in his kit without ruining what’s fun about him. Moving on, Lead Champion Designer Meddler hosted a Q&A session where he answered a lot of questions about the design of some of League’s Champions and even teased the New Champion’s role – top laner. You can find a full breakdown of the AMA below.

Lastly, Q&A analyst Baconhawk explains the design motivations behind Headhunter Caitlyn’s new looks and why her original space-suit concept was scrapped in favor of her current looks. And some clarifications on why Yasuo’s ultimate triggers off any displacement, not just knock-ups.

 

Recent News

Doom-Bots-Banner

Hazmat-Heimerdinger-Banner

Community-Beta-Changes-Banner

 

 

 

Nerfing Lee Sin Banner

 

 

What’s so hard about nerfing Lee Sin before Worlds

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll address this at a philosophical level, because someone in the trenches of the live team would be better to mention specific tactics.

Champions are coolest, in our opinion, when they have distinct strengths and weaknesses. (This is why we describe champs that are just balls of stats as a bad thing and try to update them.) Moreover, when balancing champs, we achieve the best results when we buff things a champ is good at and nerf things a champ is weak at. This opens up opportunities for cool moments when a champ leverages their strengths, but still leaves clear opportunities for counterplay.

The problem with Lee Sin is that while he has some really cool things he does well, he doesn’t have obvious weaknesses that we can enhance in order to open up windows to try and shut him down. This means we have to invent a weakness, which is a dicey prospect, because it means having to redefine a champion’s role. “Oh, you only thought Lee was great at mobility and that’s why you played him, but we just decided that should be something he’s bad at instead. So sorry.” (Just an example obviously.) That doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility to balance him, but it means it takes more exploration than just nerfing his Q or whatever.

I’ll even expand on the philosophical discussion and say that improving champion diversity is something we need to deliver. By champion diversity I mean three things: more champions actually played, more distinction among champions, and sometimes actually getting to play the champion you like instead of him or her getting pick/banned all the time. These are long term goals and not something we’re going to quickly accomplish in a patch or two, but they are long term goals, and I have no problem if you hold me accountable for making sure we drive in that direction.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up

Xelnath New PortraitHey buds, 

Look, I get it. You’re upset, you’re frustrated. You feel like the diversity of champions that should exist is being crushed by Lee Sin. You are sick of seeing the same thing over and over again. It sucks. 

I hate when I want to jungle it up and see yet-another-lee-sin-invade steal my buffs and being unable to punish the **** out of him for it. (Cuz he just ward hops away, woo hoo!)

At the same time – look at what happened last year when we got close to worlds and made some tweaks to Tri-Force. The result was that it distorted the entire competitive scene for worlds, potentially invalidating months of build-up and expertise. 

Now, I am not saying there aren’t tweaks to Lee Sin that would push him out of Worlds. The perfect solution might even be in this thread. What I am saying is that to find, evaluate and iterate on that solution takes time and causes ripple effects on the rest of the game. 

Lee Sin has become a jungle-defining staple because he has no weaknesses. This is why the long-term solution Ghostcrawler described is the right one – and will probably cause some pain along the way. Once Lee’s out of the way, who are the next three champs to surge to the front? They could make the game just as bad, if not worse. 

When we hit a champ like Lee, we want to do our jobs and do our jobs right. Thank you for holding us to that standard. We’d also be doing you a disservice if we didn’t tell you that the right solution isn’t easy.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

So you admit that Lee Sin has been inhibiting other jungle picks

Xelnath New PortraitYou know, it’s a fair criticism that he’s been strong a long time. 

But do you remember when we had some pretty severe changes to him on PBE? Lots of you guys got pretty upset, saying we over-shot so we scaled back the changes. (E.g. His ult doing damage based on the number of enemies hit)

Maybe we should have pushed forward harder to hit competitive. However, we already saw Lee Sin’s success rate plunge while players continue to play him a ton.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

You’ve yet to address Lee Sin because he makes flashy plays at pro level

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYep, that’s a totally fair criticism, but you can also see the challenge in trying to navigate those two extremes: removing what is cool vs. tinkering around with changes that don’t really solve the problem.

A few of you have mentioned that I didn’t respond with a specific list of changes for Lee. That’s true and I tried to address that up front. What I was attempting to provide is some insight into how we think about these things. If you are only interested in specific patch notes, the patch forecasts or notes themselves are better for that sort of thing. I appreciate not everyone is interested in our conceptual framework for how we solve problems, but my experience has been that some players are.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Lee Sin has no weaknesses, that’s why he’s problematic

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTo be clear, he does need counterplay. We have to engineer some versus just nerfing something he is already bad at, because he’s not really bad at anything. Our intention is to do that, and when we have a direction, we’ll let you know.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

If you want to hit Lee Sin, why not nerf his energy costs

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat would nerf him, and something we can consider, but does it really open up coubterplay? Maybe if you survive his attack, you have a chance to counter….

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

You overnerf some Champions to remove them from the scene and leave others imbalanced

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTotally agree. We understand how frustrating the inconsistency can be. If we were consistent, at least you could predict what you were likely to see in a patch or two. We also understand that actions speak louder than words here and you won’t take our word on improving consistency. We have to earn that trust.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why not rework Poppy, Urgot and Olaf first before moving onto Lee Sin

Ghostcrawler New PortraitSo the difference here is these champions need reworks to some degree. We have several champions, many of which were designed before we really solidified what made a good champion, who don’t have a lot of counterplay or don’t do much interesting to the game overall. We do keep them weak so that they may get some play but aren’t really competitive at higher levels. This isn’t ideal by any stretch but it’s better than having the game dominated by these guys. Our apologies if you play League for Poppy and we will get her straightened out at some point.

Lee Sin isn’t in that category. He does interesting things to the game. He requires skill to play and you can make mistakes. He doesn’t need an update or rework by the team that does that for champions. However, he is very dominant. We don’t think he just needs a simple number tweak. He does need a weakness that skilled players can exploit. Does that distinction make sense?

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Meddler QA Banner

 

Meddler’s Q&A Breakdown

 

 

 

General New Champions

 

Is it true that Champion designers can’t look at the player creations forum

Meddler New Portrait Not to the best of my knowledge, I’m not aware of anyone on the champion design team that frequents them though. Good starting ideas aren’t usually the issue we run into, it’s how you refine, implement, iterate, balance etc that’s the bigger challenge.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What makes a Champion Kit or Lore

Meddler New Portrait Gameplay, lore and art are the pillars of how we approach making a champion. The initial idea can be any of the above – someone’s got an image they’d like to draw, a story they’d like to tell or an ability they’d like to play with. Working from that starting point we then explore what the rest of the champion might look like and what opportunities there are to offer something new. Braum for example started off as a female Piltover engineer, with a giant mechanical shield.

We tested a kit for that initial idea in game and hit on some abilities we really liked (similar to Braum’s current passive and E), the art and personality weren’t coming together however. We consequently took another look at who such a kit could fit on and, after a fair bit of exploration of different possible personalities and origin factions hit on Braum.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How many Champion concepts never make it to development

Meddler New PortraitMost suggested champions never get made. A lot of ideas stop in their early stages when they’re no more than a sketch or some discussion about abilities that might be interesting. Some do end up getting put aside later in the process though, either because the character’s not working out or because we’ve got something we feel’s better. A number of those ideas do later get revisited and often work out the second or third time though (Lucian and Vi are good examples of that). Finally champions do occasionally get cancelled late in the process, that’s pretty rare though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Which lane is Riot looking to design the next Champion for

Meddler New PortraitNext champ’s a top laner. Balancing a lane or the meta’s not something we try to do with a single release though, the roster’s too big and the game too complex for that to be a viable approach.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

When are we going to see Ao Shin , the Storm Dragon

Meddler New PortraitNot for a long time. We do still plan to make Ao Shin, but we ran into a number of issues with how we were approaching him. As a result we basically took his concept back to the really early stages – would rather go for slow, but good, than quick but disappointing.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How do you like these new forums

Meddler New PortraitLiking the flexibility of these RE ‘pick your own layout’. Bit dark for me though, going to pass on some thoughts to the folks working on them, find out if color scheme modification’s something on their mind.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Is the Role of a new Champion pre-determined or is it a result of development

Meddler New PortraitWe do have a rough layout of what roles we want to release over the course of the year. As a result if we’re trying to come up with an idea for a particular release slot then yes, we do tend to target a particular role. Having said that if, during the exploration of a champion, we find out that a different role’s a better fit for the character we’re creating we’ll embrace that new role and then usually change which slot we’re planning to release said champion in.

The other thing though is that not all champion ideas are targeted at a particular release slot. Some are instead explorations of what might be cool, with no fixed timeframe in mind. Those by contrast are pretty open, with the goals (gameplay, art and story) eventually deciding what role’s a good fit.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Champion Skin Design Banner


 

What were the team’s ideas about Syndra’s kit

Meddler New PortraitTried a lot of different versions of sphere manipulation, some of which consumed the spheres on use. Also tried some other stuff that didn’t work out at all, like a giant nova effect, slow moving extremely powerful skillshot (think a line of Veigar meteors) and an ultimate that let you throw enemy champions (suspect we’ll go back to a variant on that for someone someday, Syndra wasn’t the right fit for it though).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why did you make Vel’koz’s first skin of the Battlecast series

Meddler New PortraitWe did look at Deep Sea and Jurassic as options, the visual mockup for the Battlecast skin however was a clear winner for the team though, in terms of personality fit and visual opportunities.

We went for a ram with Braum since it was a great fit with the sort of character we wanted to convey – tough, at home on a mountain, headstrong, forceful but kinda fluffy etc.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Were any other shapes or blast patterns tried for Vel'koz's Q

Meddler New PortraitSubninja, who did the gameplay design on Vel’koz, did try out a 45 degree split instead of a 90 degree one. Was generally both less useful and harder to land, so didn’t show much promise.

The ult was driven by a desire to make a real disintegration ray, something that gave the player the feeling of melting a target under a blowtorch if they could keep the flame on it.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What’s your favorite mechanical idea that didn’t make it to live

Meddler New PortraitXypherous played around with a champion that could attach themselves to an ally, soaking damage for them and casting spells as the ally moved around. Would love to try that again sometime on a tank or support.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up

It wouldn’t make sense for that Champion to be humanoid, right

Meddler New PortraitYeah, creature or shapeshifter seems likely. I believe (before my time at Riot) the original concept was for a swarm of insects for example. It’s an idea we’ve tested a couple of times since but haven’t found the right fit for.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Was Jinx different during her concept stage

Meddler New PortraitWe did have another concept that was competing for the same space as Jinx at one point, a heavy hextech chaingunner. There were some cool bits and pieces to the idea, it never really got off the ground though and if we were to revisit it we’d want to do something pretty different – Jinx does the chaingun space well.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Any updates on your earlier comments regarding Lissandra's passive

Meddler New PortraitStill planning to test out a defensive effect after CCing enemies, probably with a greater effect against ranged attacks than melee, given Lissandra struggles in some ranged match ups . Hoping to put some time into that after getting some Urgot tweaks out.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up

What are you tweaking on Urgot

Meddler New PortraitBunch of discussion in this thread:

http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=42998910

The tweaks I mention are described in a couple of my most recent posts, short version is making bigger changes is going to require art support for a proper rework, so we’re looking to give him some help (quality of life changes, smallish buffs) in the meantime).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Was Braum’s concept inspired by Alex Armsrong from Fullmetal Alchemist

Meddler New PortraitArmstrong’s a good example of the archetype we wanted to tap into with Braum, and was one of around half a dozen reference points we had for the sort of character we wanted to make. He wasn’t the initial inspiration though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

What were some of the biggest challenges while designing Ziggs

Meddler New PortraitI just started on a Ziggs dev blog the other day actually, which should give a bunch of details about how his development went. That’s probably quite a way off though, we’ve got other dev blogs we’d like to get out first, so the short answer is that nailing down his initial personality and appearance was one of the hardest things for the team (Ziggs actually started off as a human in a bomb disposal suit for example, not a manic Yordle).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What’s currently the biggest unexplored piece of design space

Meddler New PortraitWe went through a period where we avoided doing creatures much at all and that’s something we’re looking to remedy now, so less human/humanoid would be my answer on the visual side. Gameplay wise I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff to be done with clickable objects (like Thresh’s lantern) and we’re playtesting a few things at the moment I’m hoping see release sometime this year (no promises, but fingers crossed).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Player Suggestions Banner

 

Will we see a different female Piltover engineer

Meddler New PortraitIt’s a possibility, though we’d want to do something other than a shield now of course. No firm plans, but it’s a concept we have talked about occasionally since.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

Could you make a projectile that blocks other projectiles

Meddler New Portrait Spells that interact with other missiles in flight is something we’ll likely visit again at some point, certainly. No plans to do so in the near to moderate future at least though, that’s gameplay space we’ve tapped into enough for now. Would definitely see a variant on that sort of spell someday though that’s all about a single, brief cast, rather than an extended effect in the world, would have noticeably different use cases.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will you ever create a true pet Champion

Meddler New PortraitYeah, we’d like to explore a champion with a more permanent and significant pet at some point. Would definitely want engineering support to do that properly, the current system works well enough for straightforward pets like Tibbers but wouldn’t support a pet that was around constantly, with a bigger skillset, well. Can’t make any promises on timeframe though, besides not for a while at the very least.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will we see more Champions with a vacuum mechanic, like Diana’s  E

Meddler New PortraitWe’ve talked about vacuums a lot. They’re extremely powerful however, in terms of how they amplify other abilities’ effectiveness, to the degree that a champion with an accessible ranged vacuum is going to have to be balanced around their best case scenario to a degree that will leave them feeling pretty mediocre otherwise. As a result we’ve opted to limit vacuum like effects in other ways instead, whether that’s with a melee requirement and short range (Diana’s E) or movement compensation (Orianna’s ult, which is as much a flip as a vacuum much of the time).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Why is Headhunter Caitlyn’s different from the skin’s original concept

Baconhawk New PortraitThis has been answered before but I am happy to answer it again. That was exactly what you said it was: concept art. If you look closely, it doesn’t bear much resemblance to Caitlyn. In order to fit within our guides for readability and clarity within the game, it had to be adjusted. Otherwise it would definitely not have worked. (You are comparing that artist’s hand-done paintover to an ingame model on the PBE, which we are still working on!).

It’s easy to say “amagad that look so much bettar rito y u do dis” but in all honesty, a lot of our concepts look totally different (for better or worse!) than the final product, but it’s all about readability and gameplay clarity as well as looking totally badass/sexy/amazing/baller/Teemo.

I hope this answers your question.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why does Yasuo’s ultimate trigger from every form of displacement

Meddler New PortraitYeah, knocked up’s a misleading shorthand here, I should be saying displaced. We opted to have Yasuo’s ult trigger off any displacement because it both clarifies which allied skills are relevant (if it moves an enemy then you can) and because it opened up the pool of champions Yasuo works with more. Our intent was to make Yasuo stronger with some allies than others, but we did want to keep that set of champs he synergizes with moderately broad.

As to why the ult went out that strong? That was our best estimate on appropriate balance for Yasuo. For the first few weeks players really struggled with him, and we thought for a while we might have undertuned him and buffed him a bit as a result. Those buffs, combined with his learning curve and some quality of life changes (consistent targeting indicators, better visual feedback etc) however brought us to the conclusion he was too strong once mastered so we took some power off him. He’s currently played with some success in both competitive play and normal play. Some discussion internally on whether he may be too strong late game, last I heard we hadn’t come to a definite conclusion on that yet though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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