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Posts Tagged ‘void staff’

 

News Update July 23 Banner

 

Summary

Lead Game Designer Ghostcrawler took some time on the forums to discuss the overall direction of Riot’s balancing, the feedback from both the community and the competitive scene and how Melee vs Melee interaction should be improved. On Twitter, Morello continued the topic and added some tidbits about Riot’s current balance priorities as well as acknowledging the need to work on unpopular Champions. Balance Designer Statikk hosted a Q&A on the new Community beta and addressed specific Champions like Akali, Kha’Zix, Yasuo, Lucian, Lee Sin and Ezreal, Taric, Alistar, Quinn, Zilean as well as much larger topics like Spell Vamp, new Champions easily reaching the enemy backline and balance favoritism, or lack thereof. Finally, GPL icons are in store and clarity from CertainlyT on why Zyra’s W grants her “free’ Cooldown Reduction.

 

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PBE Update July 22 Banner

 

 

GPL Icons in Store Banner


 

The Garena Premier League (GPL) hosts South East Asia’s greatest League teams including Season 2 World Champions the Taipei Assassins. This season, we’re adding permanent summoner icons featuring the GPL team logos for 250 RP. If you’re a hardcore GPL fan, you can pick up all 12 icons for 2400 RP (20% off the regular price).

As before, you’re not just showing off your team allegiance with these icons – 20% of each purchase goes straight to the team, while we use the other 80% to directly support esports through prizing, streaming, events and more!

Rep your favorite GPL teams as they compete for the top spot of the Summer Season!

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Who does Riot balance for Banner


 

 

You seem to be terribly biased in balancing League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitHmm. I felt like Age of Empires 3 was pretty balanced. I did err on making skirmishers and dragoons cool. That was the last game I balanced myself, and it was over 10 years ago.

Now, I have hired a lot of designers whose job it was to balance other games, so I’m fine if you hold me accountable for the work they do, but it’s really not fair to the hundreds of developers who work on titles like WoW and LoL to attribute all the game design decisions to one guy, even if he does like to post on forums a lot.

If you have concerns about the high level direction of League, I’m happy to address those. If you want to talk about changes to individual champions, you’re better off addressing the developers who make those changes. I’ll point you to the recent Q&A with Statikk for instance.

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Is it true you want Champions with flashy plays to be LCS-viable

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe believe there are champions that are more fun to watch than others. That is absolutely not our sole balancing criterion or design direction though. I would say that over time we want to make more of the champions more exciting to play. The guys with fewer exciting moments and just several varieties of “hit that other dude,” are the kind we want to update.

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Do you not want Lee Sin changed before Worlds

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’m not sure if this was from me or Xelnath, but that wasn’t the message we intended to send. Rather we try to be careful as we approach the end of the competitive season not to make radical changes to the game. Preseason has been our traditional time to upset the apple cart. That doesn’t mean we won’t continue to try to balance champions going into worlds, and that includes Lee Sin.

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How are your plans to turn all Champions into OP frost mages going along

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s no fun if they are all frost mages. You need someone for them to dominate.

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What is the high level direction of League as far as Riot is concerned

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat’s a big question, and probably beyond the scope of a single forum post. But since I kind of asked for it, I will say that we want to improve champion diversity (both which champions get played and making sure they feel as different from each other as possible), we want you to play with friends (because that’s often a better experience), we want to explore strategic diversity, and we want to look at those areas of the game that are starting to feel a little stale (not just dated like SR, but stale mechanics as well).

I know that’s vague and arm wavy, but like I said above, preseason is a better time for larger changes, and we’d rather socialize these ideas to a lot of you guys in different regions to make sure we have plenty of feedback. It’s something we’ll start to talk about more. Stay tuned.

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TP’s short cooldown encouraged passive, melee-vs-melee top lanes

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYou touch on a couple of different issues that have a strong interaction. First, we agree that top melee vs. melee does get a little boring. Strategic movement (versus say just having short-term speed boosts) is a way to get those guys interacting a little more with the rest of the map, but we agree there are risks of passive play and having no consequences for bad play. Just increasing the cooldown might help with the second part but does nothing for the first part, and meanwhile means the summoner spell could just be dead. We don’t have any changes to announce but we recognize the problem.

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If you’re taking the flak for decisions, you should be getting the credit for them, too

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTotally, and I have no problem with that aspect of the internet. It’s the other half that bothers me. Imagine you’ve worked on say Braum for months, whether you were the designer or the writer or the artist making particle effects. Then the champion that has consumed so much of your life goes live… and some high level designer gets all the attention for it. That’s really unfair at almost any company and it’s particularly unfair at Riot. We really try to avoid the rock star thing.

I’m fine with you blaming me for anything (and most Rioters would feel the same way) because I also don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to pass the buck, but be aware there are a lot of people that work really hard on this or most games. Don’t boil down the company to just a few people whose names you might know.

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You shouldn’t balance the game around pro-players; they’ll adapt

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe don’t balance the game just for the pros. We do pay a lot of attention to how they are playing because A) they tend to influence what a lot of other players are playing, and B) their skill is such that they are very sensitive to small balance nuances that many other players might not notice.

 



As far as champion popularity, the issue isn’t that we are afraid of player wrath if we nerf popular champions. Sometimes the champion is popular just because they’re overpowered. But sometimes they are popular because they are fun or because others in the same role aren’t as much fun. We try to be very responsive to players, and that includes having a game that is balanced but also a game that is fun to play. If you keep slapping players across the wrists for playing fun champions it’s really easy to send the unintentional message that we don’t want them to have fun.

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Why does it seem like Riot is constantly understaffed

Ghostcrawler New PortraitRiot tends to have small teams, but it depends a lot on what that team is working on. The live team has more than 3-4 people, but that’s really not the whole story. A lot of Rioters contribute to balance, from playtesting, to live data analysis, to assimilating community feedback, to “Hey this experience happened to me last night, maybe we should look at it.”

 

There are also risks to having too many people working on a team — it’s hard to keep in tight communication and make sure two groups aren’t trying to solve the same problem in different ways. In any case, “design” is my team. I don’t tell the balance team what to do, except at a very high level. I talked a lot about WoW class balance, which led to this persistent myth that I did it all myself.

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Slower Champion release means less potential balance issues

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere are some solutions to having a huge champion roster. Yes, the game would probably be easier to balance at 100 champions or even 5, but that would be boring. One of the things that keeps League fresh (by which I mean it contributes but isn’t sufficient to solve the problem all by itself) is a constant stream of new champions (and some updated old ones as well).

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What purpose do you want Supports to serve on a team

Ghostcrawler New PortraitUtility is fun. We don’t want supports to just be warders, nor we want them to just be the dudes who don’t get any kills in order to funnel all the gold to their carries. We also don’t feel that we nailed the season 4 gold income, so it’s something we’re going to have to keep working on.

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Where’s the Bruiser rework promised for Season 4

Ghostcrawler New PortraitPromising anything is dangerous, because it implies we should ship changes that we aren’t happy with just because we said we would. The game still needs a fighter / bruiser rework. Some of that is itemization changes. Some of it is just giving melee champions some interesting ways to interact with other champions beyond just smashing someone with an axe or be kited endlessly.

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Who does does Riot want to balance League of Legends for

Ghostcrawler New PortraitUltimately, we try to balance for the players who are playing the game, which means all of them. I know that’s a tall order, but we wouldn’t be happy with a model that was to only balance for the best players or to neglect them. We do want LCS to be fun to watch, but we also want League to be fun to play for the Bronze player who is still finding their way. Sometimes those directions are contradictory, say for a champion that is only good in organized team play but not solo queue, and in those cases, balance gets super tricky.

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Why are most Champions forced into a single role and lane

Ghostcrawler New PortraitAll things being equal, champions that can fill multiple roles are cool. There are two big footnotes to this. First, we haven’t always been great at supporting novel use of champions. In the past, if an AD Marksman started to get played as an AP, we’d sometimes stomp it out quickly because it was unintended without really establishing if the play pattern was healthy (e.g. did it have sufficient team play and counterplay) and if players would be able to come up with strategies to counter that play.

We are trying to be less reactionary to those opportunities. Second however, game health still is a thing we have for which we have to be mindful. Jungle Alistar tends to be pretty frustrating for the other team, so it’s not something we’re likely to support without some fundamental changes to his abilities. Support Annie, Mid Lulu, AP Ez are champion roles we have no fundamental issue with, as long as they don’t eclipse the champion’s performance in all other roles.

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Is your design goal to make sweeping changes to keep League fresh

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt isn’t our philosophy to constantly reinvent the game. We think the core games is pretty compelling. There is a risk that League can get stale though. New champions and alternate game modes can help offset that, but you do see players who just get bored if they think the meta is too rigid or each game just feels too similar to the last. So in that sense, we do think it’s healthy for the game to evolve.

I think I am reacting most to the subtext of the accusation (which I realize isn’t yours per se) that the changes are sweeping, arbitrary or thoughtless. There is a happy medium between the extremes of ossification and the wild, wild west.

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Is there truly no room for melee DPS

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere is room for melee DPS, but we’re not there yet. It’s harder to give melee skill shots. It’s harder to give melee a reason to go in, do damage, then break off the attack, since they are designed to do damage in a small window (when they are in melee) and spend the rest of the time gap closing / being kited. It’s harder to keep the distinction between fighters and tanks, since fighters have to be fairly survivable to even get to melee.

We think we can address all of those issues, but they will take time, and sadly longer than we originally thought. Some of these changes are champion updates to give them more to do than just whack at an opponent. Some of these changes are more systemic, such as making sure fighters and tanks build items differently.

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How are we to speak with developers when they rarely respond

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe are trying to get back to that. There was a time when more Rioters were all over the boards and Reddit. For a variety of reasons, that has eroded somewhat, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I personally always loved that about Riot, and it’s something I am passionate about trying to get back to.

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It seems Riot underrates small tweaks made to Champions

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll be totally frank here. I think it’s playtesting. The logic the designers use to make every change is typically pretty sound and we have a culture of beating up ideas. By that I mean, nobody is changing anything without getting a lot of input. We also try to leave room to react to player feedback when you guys see the patch notes or even our initial thoughts on potential changes.

We also do have some very strong players who work here (i.e. Challenger tier) and we rely a lot on them and a whole bunch of other Rioters to put these changes through their paces. But even if we played 200 games with every balance tweak, that is far, far fewer than the bazillions of games that get played when a patch goes live. Yes, there are plenty of unintended consequences that we really should have caught, but there are others that we just never realistically could have predicted until some smart player tried out something wacky and a bunch of other players adopted it.

One idea is to try and leverage the PBE better. Most participants just mess around to get a feel for any patch changes, but aren’t really trying to exploit a change the way they will once it goes live. We have some other ideas as well.

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What exactly does the Design team do

Ghostcrawler New PortraitDesign is a discipline. The “big three” disciplines in game development are design, programming and art, though there are others as well (production, sound, QA, etc.) At Riot, teams are multidisciplinary, meaning that the champion team for instance has a lot of people on it that are not designers.

 

Not every team needs a designer on it. Some are focused on say engine refinements. Others have someone with enough design skill that they can fill in for not having a dedicated designer. Most teams that touch the game directly do have designers though. There are designers on the Live team who do balance the game. (It’s more accurate to say that they are accountable for short-term patch-to-patch changes that can’t wait for a larger update or rework, but that’s a Riot technicality, not something you need to understand to have an opinion on LoL.)

Fortunately, while your question sounds like you’re just curious, it isn’t necessary to understand how Riot (or any game developer) is structured in order to give feedback on the game. In fact, I often say that if your post is focusing a lot on the people making the game and not the game itself, that’s a good hint that your post probably isn’t super helpful in terms of providing us feedback. “I don’t think Jax is competitive in this situation,” is what we call actionable feedback. That’s the kind of feedback we can discuss. “Ghostcrawler nerfed Jax,” doesn’t provide us much actual information. Maybe it helps you feel better by venting, but as I pointed out, since you don’t really know how we structure our teams internally, your statement is likely to not even be correct.

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Why do Rioters respond to trolls but not to reasonable threads

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat’s a reasonable concern. My personal experience from a decade and a half of trying to communicate to players is that if you step into a good discussion, you risk derailing it. Devs can still read and appreciate the discussion, and we do, but if we try to “reward” the thread with our appearance, it ends up attracting a lot of folks who want to make “Rito where” posts or troll or whatever. Troll threads are in essence already ruined, so a dev jumping in can’t make it much worse. 

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Have you ever thought that some top laners liked Melee vs

Ghostcrawler New PortraitOf course. That’s why I asked the question. A lot of the answers are “Because then a ranged champ doesn’t shut him down,” which is a reasonable concern, but doesn’t really get at the issue of how to make melee banging away on another melee interesting. In team fights, we think there is more for melee to do, whether they’re trying to block the front lines or dive past them to hit the softer nukers in the back. But slow, top lane duels feel like they need some help.

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Riot doesn’t hate melee top laners, they just can’t balance them

Ghostcrawler New PortraitExactly. We are trying to formalize (for want of a better word) what strengths melee should have to help them offset the huge advantages that ranged champions have. The traditional solutions have been that melee are hard to kill, or they really mess you up if you fail to kite them. Both of those cause a lot of balance problems though. The first means melee slap fights are boring. The second means that melee vs. ranged encounters can be binary — either the melee zeroes the mage, or the latter escapes.

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Is it true you don’t know where the “Renekton” balance bar lies

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe Renekton “bar” came about, IIRC, because we were just nerfing whoever the dominant melee was at the time and the next melee would come take his or her place. We realized this was because many melee were just ball of stats without interesting interactions (I exaggerate, which I often do, but you get the point). We decided that Renekton actually had some interesting gameplay going on, so rather than nerf him, we’d make him the bar for how melee should act. That doesn’t mean just giving his abilities to all the other melee and it doesn’t mean buffing the stats for Mundo or whoever else to help them pass Renekton.

It means trying to find unique ability and item hooks for those melee below the bar. (Also to be clear, the bar doesn’t mean we nerf all other melee to have worse win rates than Renekton. It’s just a target for power and kit.) Unfortunately, that does take some time and exploration which is why we haven’t delivered on it yet. I hate that we haven’t delivered on it yet, but that’s the story for how it happened.

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QA on Balance Design Banner


 

 

State of Kha’Zix and Hecarim and popular Champions not being nerfed

Statikk New PortraitYou have made a ton of comments, and I’ll try my best to address them all.

1) Kha’Zix

Firstly, I actually think Kha’zix isn’t far off from being balanced. In fact, we have seen him get spot-picked in Korean pro games even in his arguably currently “underpowered” state (I believe they are actually evolving E first).

The changes to Q and its evolution path were actually largely motivated by Game Health concerns with the Isolation mechanic. Essentially, Isolation is a mechanic that works super well later on in the game when you are more heavily grouping up since you have allies to play around, but early on in the game (especially pre-6) avoiding Isolation is not really an option for some roles (ex: the opposing jungler). We think it’s appropriate that Kha’Zix has to invest in his Q to apply this kind of pressure to the enemy team that Isolation brings, and it’s clear that at least some evolutions such as E are still competing with it.

I think Volty (Kha’Zix’s original designer) kind of nailed it on the head when we released Kha’Zix. He claimed that Kha’Zix is a champion we have to normally re-visit in order to re-balance his evolutions to be competitive with one another, and I honestly agree with that. The game and our understanding of the game changes so much even on a daily basis. I suspect we’ll have to revisit his evolutions in the future, but for now we want to monitor how the Q buffs in 4.12 have affected him.

2) Hecarim

Agreed 100% that we went overboard with the Q Mana cost tuning the last time we changed him. This is something we’re looking to change with the next upcoming patch. His Q Mana cost will now be in the middle ground between where it was before and where it is now.

3) Balance “Favoritism”

I think it’s a bit unfair to jump to conclusions about why we are hesitant to nerf X champion versus Y champion. Firstly, there’s always going to be variance in the power of champions after we change them. Getting them right 100% out of the game is honestly unrealistic, as it takes time for everyone to understand how to optimize champions after we change them.

Lucian was a case where we were more concerned with ensuring that he was still functional post Attack Range changes. Yes, we went overboard on our first shot, but this is something that can be and will be corrected in the upcoming patches (everybody deserves a second shot amirite?).

Lee Sin is a different beast altogether. Firstly, we didn’t go through with our first initial larger changelist months ago due to a legitimate concern that players brought to us which was that we were fundamentally altering his gameplay identity with our changes. This made us go rethink our approach to Lee Sin and instead of normalizing him into a champion we know fits the game, we are trying to fit his unique identity (early game gambit, late game falloff) into the game. This is something we will be pursuing fairly aggressively with Lee Sin.

In addition, we always have to assess what each champion brings to the game and how that can affect our analysis of the situation. Let’s be honest, Lee Sin is one of the most fun and exciting champions in our game, it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone why he is so popular. We’ll continue to adjust his power as we always have (and if you don’t think we’ve changed him a ton…go look at his patch history), but Lee Sin is a champion that as a design team we feel brings a lot of positives to the game.

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Melee Carries, Assassins, Access to Team Backline, Stealth & More

Statikk New PortraitHey Sayath, always a pleasure to read your posts. I’ll answer the questions in your Summary as best as I can:

1) State of Akali

Akali currently looks to be in a decent spot, and as I hear she is starting to gain more popularity recently especially in solo queue. I also think she will be benefiting from the changes we are making to the overall game to make it less anti-Assassin. As far as Game Health goes, I still believe she is a champion with a lot of flaws. When she gets ahead, there is usually very little individuals can do to overcome the situation due to her simplistic mechanics (tons of just “I click you and hope you die” abilities) and when she’s behind she has very little power to come back since she doesn’t have any strong “fallback” patterns and the her primary defensive ability (W) is still tied to our primitive and hard counter-y stealth system.

2) Squishy Melee

We are still exploring what it means to be a squishy melee in the game. Yasuo was obviously an experiment in this field. I see 2 possible positions for them:

1. Enemy backline (Assassin): I think everyone is familiar with this pattern. In my mind there are 2 inherent steps in this pattern – 1. The Infiltration to get to the right target and 2. The Execution when they arrive at the target to take them out. Assassins should be champions who rely on flanking and other creative ways of infiltrating towards the enemy’s high-priority targets. I think a large part missing in a lot of our Assassins is an interesting Execution phase, where they still need to make a play once they reach the target to finish them (maybe Zed after the more recent changes meets the bar now).

2. Ally backline (Melee Carry): This is a term we’ve thrown around a ton but have never truly delivered upon. A lot of the supposed Melee Carries we’ve put into the game are honestly very Assassin-like in their pattern since we often give them the tool to access the enemy backline. The idea behind this character would be similar to that of a Ranged Carry mindset – start with whatever targets present themselves, usually the enemy frontline and eventually make their way through the team to clean up the enemy’s backline.

Yasuo was a champion I believe had a lot of potential of fulfilling this role due to mechanics such as Wind Wall which keeps him safe from the enemy backline while he deals with the enemy frontline, but once again we ended up giving him a way to easily access the backling via his ult which I think really undermines this role’s purpose and essentially turned him into an Assassin. To me it feels like a somewhat lost opportunity.

3) Spell Vamp

Spell Vamp is honestly another old system that we probably need to revisit and re-set the goals around its purpose in the game. I would say in its current state, Spell Vamp being any more prominent would probably just lead to abuse cases. One of the largest problems with Spell Vamp is how much it favors resourceless champions vs. Mana champions. This is something we’d have have to take a hard look at if we wanted to adjust it, but I don’t think there are any immediate plans.

4) Stealth

I don’t just think it would be beneificial, I think it is integral to the health of all stealth champions that we figure out a better system for them to work under. The current binary / hard-counter system is one that provides little gameplay and disallows these champions to scale with player skill effectively. It’s something I’m very personally interested in investigating but have never found the time to.

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Who do you think are the top 5 Champions in need of Rework

  1. Statikk New PortraitUrgot
  2. Poppy
  3. Mordekaiser
  4. Yorick
  5. ??? – can’t decide =/

Once again, my personal opinion. I think the above 4 have incomplete/confused identities/roles within the game and have flawed play patterns that offer very little counterplay.

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Immobile Mid-lane Mages, Athene’s, Deathcap and Void Staff

Statikk New PortraitThis is definitely an issue that we have struggled with a lot internally. We call this class of characters the “Immobile Mid-Lane Mages” and I 100% agree with your identification and breakdown of the problem.

I’m definitely on the same page with you when you say Mobility Creep is one of the largest contributors to this. As we’ve added more and more mobility to the champions in our game (for good reasons – mobile champions are really fun to play, create a lot of “outplay” moments, etc.), the Immobile Mid Mages have fallen off especially in the competitive scene.

The bottom line is that we have done a poor job of valuing Mobility as it relates to the amount of power it gives to a champion’s kit. Champions with high mobility need to be paying a larger cost for having that strength, and this is obvious with examples like Kassadin, LeBlanc, or Lee Sin. Mobility is actually a tool that scales extremely well with player skill, pros are able to exploit both the strategic map mobility and tactical in-combat mobility to its fullest extent.

As far as itemization goes, I know the Systems team is looking into different the lesser used items such as Rylai’s. The lack of Mana Regen in the Rylai’s + Liandry’s combo is interesting (I believe most stack a few Doran’s Rings to try to get around this), but overall I think it might be pointing out a larger issue in our game which is our ever-growing pool of Resourceless champions and how we have maybe warped the game to allow Mana users to compete with the resourceless guys over time. A big example of this is how strong Athene’s is at the moment. When you look at the item objectively, Athene’s is pretty insane in terms of gold-efficiency, but this leads to a scenario where the only mages that are viable are the ones who can leverage Athene’s effectively. This is something I’ll definitely bring up to the other guys on the team to see if this is another avenue we can help attack the problem.

Overall, I don’t think there’s an easy fix to this problem. I think we’ll have to do a lot of systematic changes to the game in order to get Immobile Mid Lane Mages back into the game in a healthy way, but it’s something definitely on our radar (just not right at this moment since we are prepping for Worlds).

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 Lucian feels like a better Ezreal right now

Statikk New PortraitFirstly, I’ll start with new Lucian. Flat out, he’s just currently overtuned and that will be corrected soon. This means that Lucian’s current state is not really a useful grounds of comparison when it comes to power level.

To address Ezreal, we honestly feel Ezreal is still fitting the vision we set for him. He’s a long-range, mobile, poke ADC and he fits that pretty well. In fact, Ezreal is still being valued in the Korean competitive scene.

I don’t think it can be easily assumed that Ezreal is “weak” at the moment. He has things that Lucian doesn’t have (long range) and Lucian has things that Ezreal doesn’t have (hyper mobility). That’s a great place to be in when they can be valued for different reasons. I think something to clarify is that Ezreal should probably not be the most mobile ADC in the game given that he has such high range. He can be mobile sure (and he is because of his E), but being the most mobile is probably not ideal given his other strengths. I think it’s easy to forget, once a champion has not been dominant for a while, the times they actually were dominant and how small of a change it takes for us to revert back to those times.

Purely using Win Rates averaged over all skill levels is a dangerous way to approach game balance. In fact, I think this kind of mentality has heavily contributed to the Mobility Creep that continues to grow in our game. Some things simply scale extremely well with player skill level – it turns out that Mobility is one of these things. The fact that a lot of our more mobile champions do have “lower” win rates is not an accident or mistake. It takes a ton of mastery and skill to leverage Mobility to its maximum potential.

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What’s your opinion on underplayed Supports like Zilean, Alistar and Taric

Statikk New Portrait1) Taric

Similar to Garen, I think Taric is at a place where we have to weigh simplicity vs. mastery. If we were to change Taric, I doubt we would put more emphasis on Auras as they are biggest examples of “Power without Gameplay.” Stat-based Auras typically have to be fairly game-warping before they are noticeable and satisfying, which is why we usually avoid them.

Overall, I think we need to find a more interesting core gameplay pattern than “stand near an enemy and press all your buttons” for Taric. I don’t want to get your guys’ hopes up, but we actually do have some experimental Taric changes that are pretty different from his current kit. No guarantees on if it will ever release or when, but he is someone who the Reworks team is looking at potentially changing.

2) Zilean

Zilean’s kit unfortunately has very little counterplay, and it’s the large reason why it’s hard for us to find a place for him in the game. Currently when he’s powerful, he creates an extremely frustrating experience for the enemy laner. He is also one of the champions that is higher up on the Reworks priority list, but because we would have to change his kit so drastically to make him healthy for the game, it will definitely be a while until we can release changes.

3) Alistar

The W+Q combo is something that we never intended to exist, but it’s something that Alistar players have gotten used to and is honestly integral to his current balance and gameplay. If we were to revisit him in a Reworks style approach, I think there’s a high likelihood that we would remove the combo and instead give him more ways to create situations where he can W enemies into walls to setup a follow-up Q. This is probably a healthier version of his combo, but it’s not something we’d do unless we supplemented the kit with ways to function and succeed without the combo.

I agree the heal is also something that doesn’t necessarily mesh well with his kit – both from a game health perspective and a thematic perspective. Functionally it is honestly just a bunch of sustain in lane (arguably not a “bunch” anymore now that we’ve tuned it down over time) and then falls off in usefulness once it gets to late game. It creates a fairly un-interactive lane pattern that is diametrically opposed to his all-in initiation combo style. It’s something I think we’d have no qualms of removing if we found something better to replace it with.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Are there any plans to rework Garen

Statikk New PortraitThe difficulty of a champion like Garen is that we see him as a great beginner champion. He’s easy to pick up and easy to understand, so he does bring a lot of positive to the game even when he isn’t necessarily a strong champion at the competitive level.

If we wanted to make him more healthy for competitive play we would have to start weighing the costs of adding complexity to his kit via new mechanics and probably adding more points of mastery in his gameplay which probably means making him overall more demanding to play.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned working on this game is that it is rare for any decision to be completely free of costs or tradeoffs. Almost every change we make that has a benefit also has a cost and we always have to weigh them against each other.

In Garen’s case we would have to understand the costs we would have to pay in his simplicity in order to make him a healthier competitive champion. I can say right now, that there are no immediate plans for work on Garen, but you’re definitely on the mark when you say that if we do go and change Garen we would need to try our best to preserve his low skill floor while still increasing skill ceiling (which is extremely difficult to do).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What's your view on Quinn

Statikk New PortraitIn terms of balance, we think Quinn is actually pretty strong.

In terms of design, I think we all feel Quinn is somewhat of a missed opportunity. Here’s a list of things I think we are not exactly content with:

  1. She’s a sub-par bot lane ADC
  2. She’s overly reliant on snowballing / doesn’t have a great fallback pattern
  3. Her ult specifically is great when she’s ahead (potentially makes her feel overbearing when ahead due to the amount of burst it adds) and feels almost useless when behind or even

Overall, I think Quinn is a fun champion with a lot of potential, but we’re simply not there yet.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do you think Spell Vamp is in a good place right now

Statikk New PortraitUnfortunately, I actually don’t have a ton of insight into Spell Vamp and how it should function in our game (probably more appropriate for one of our Systems guys like Xypherous), but I will say that although a “Spell Vamp ratio” on each spell would make Spell Vamp healthier and more functional in our game, it would be an extremely inelegant solution. For example, how would players know whether they had good Spell Vamp ratios or not?

We would probably have to display it in the tooltips somewhere and that has its own complexity and costs as well. I think you are getting at the heart of the problem though, which is that Spell Vamp is a lot weaker on champions who have to expend resources (Mana) to get returns out of it. Personally not sure what the answer would be here still.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

The Direction of LoL Balance

Morello was up on Twitter yesterday, tackling balance questions one at a time. The first 5 are sequential, after which come a small set of replies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will you address unpopular Champions like, say Viktor

 

Will you address Diana’s currently poor state

 

Don’t you feel that you’ve overnerfed Kha’Zix

 

How long does it take to rework or update a Champion

 

Which takes more time - new Champions or new updates

 

Will we see a solution to the ball of stats fighters

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Why does Zyra’s Passive on W give CDR and not, say, Magic Pen

CertainlyT New PortraitHi there. Zyra’s W gives CDR for two reasons:   First, Seeds have relatively little inherent value. We wanted to ensure that Zyra could cast more spells as she began to replenish her seeds faster, because as you put more points into W, you are expressing a desire to have more plants.   Second, because we wanted Zyra to be able to buy non-CDR items. We wanted players to be able to buy the items that made sense for them in their particular game from the entire line of mage oriented items, such as Zhonya’s or Abyssal Scepter, not be restricted to the (at the time) small pool of CDR items.

A bit of context: We struggled during her development to balance 0% CDR Zyra builds against 40% CDR Zyra builds. The latter could put so many seeds out that certain enemy team compositions felt completely stifled. When W’s cooldown was at a healthy level assuming 40% CDR builds, all other item paths felt terrible. Giving Zyra “free” CDR (20% on release) was accompanied by raising the cooldown of her W to compensate, meaning that Zyra’s effective CDR cap for Rampant Growth was 20%.   Today, it’s unlikely we would make the same decision, as CDR is a much more accessible stat. This is the reason that I lowered Zyra’s passive CDR on W from 20% at max rank to 10%. In a game now filled with CDR choices, the “free” 20% was actually stifling her ability to purchase items. Hopefully getting to 40% these days involves a good amount of choice and compromise without leaving the player feeling like they are struggling to get to cap if they so desire or going way over if they do opt for CDR items.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Can we have an update on Dunkmaster Darius

Baconhawk New PortraitThe answers to these and all your other questions will be answered in time, friend.

(He looks kind of amazing. Graceful, even).   [ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

WoadKing Darius Banner

 

PBE Update

News

Red Post Collection

Bonus – Yorick, the Crazy Cat Lady

 

 

PBE Update

 

experimental changes

 

 

Champion Balance


 

KatarinaSquare

  Katarina

Death_LotusDeath Lotus ( R )

  • Total damage increased from 400/500/700 to 400/575/750 (second buff on PBE)

 

 

OlafSquare

     Olaf

  • Base mana decreased from 200 to 190
  • Mana-per-level increased from 35 to 45

 

UndertowUndertow ( Q )

  • Damage increased from 65/110/155/200/245 to 70/115/160/205/250

 

Vicious_StrikesVicious Strikes ( W )

  • Lifesteal increased from 8/10.5/13/15.55/18% to 9/12/15/18/21% (same as live)
  • Mana cost lowered from 35 at all ranks to 30

 

Reckless_SwingReckless Swing ( E )

  • Damage decreased from 100/145/190/235/280 to 70/115/160/205/250
  • Now scales with 40% of Total Attack Damage
  • Now refunds the health cost if it kills the target.

 

 

RyzeSquare

      Ryze

  • Base health decreased from 400 to 360 (same as live)
  • Base armor decreased from 15 to 11 (same as live)

 

 

Items


 

Moonflair_Spellblade_itemMoonflair Spellblade
  • Can now be used by melee

 

 

 

New Splash Arts


 

Olaf New Splash JPG

Olaf New Splash

Xerath New Splash JPG

Xerath New Splash

 

 

Championship Thresh


 

 

 

News

 

Official Announcements

 

 

Teamwork OP


 

Riot have released an animated video showcasing the benefits of working together in a match. Beware of bad language.

 

 

 

Red Post Collection

 

Riot logo decoration

 

Nerfing Last Whisper and Void Staff

Fixing the Ward issue

Matchmaking FAQ

Calculating League Points

Discussing RP+ and scamming

Fixing Blue side XP Bug

Xerath’s New Art

How to become a Creative Designer

3D Character Art

 

 

Nerfing Last Whisper and Void Staff


 

 

Shouldn’t these two items be effective only versus high resist targets?

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: I agree, actually. Will look into timeline on a fix.

This will require a little change to some penetration math to make this work as intended, Void Staff’s the most egregious, but LW isn’t much better.

 

 

 

Follow-up

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: The problem is mostly based around that Void Staff and LW are just simply solid damage items as opposed to situational buys to deal with heavy resist stacks. BC’s flat pen doesn’t apply to this because flat pen is actually more effective against lower resistances (due to diminishing returns on the effect of resists). BC is a damage item that helps physical damage teammates.

 

 

Suggestion: Apply the Unique Passive penetration only for Bonus Armor and Magic Resist (ignoring base)

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: We’re actually looking at this direction right now. Some of the risks there are how to communicate “bonus” so you can make smart item choices, but it’s definitely a possibility.

 

 

 

 

Fixing the Ward issue


 

Xelnath explains the design decisions that went into the ward mechanic. This is a continuation of a recent thread noted in my last article.

 

 

Community’s Opinion

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: Still reading through this. Between US and EU, this is a 200 page + thread.

Trends I am noticing:

* People feel the gold burden of supporting is too high
* People feel like others should participate in the vision game to some level
* People want items that better support playing in the vision game
* Some people are concerned about what happens to supports with a solid gold income
* Many support players feel they don’t need a huge swing in incomes – just a reduction in non-permanent expenditures

 

 

Some wild ideas

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: Okay, a number of people have floated this idea, so I’m going to pose it with a little tweak:

Add a unique slot that can only contain special vision items. In this slot, you can buy:

  • A) A re-usable ward (1 hp, 90 sec cd) [Upgrades into dropping real wards]
  • B) An item that is basically a mini CV (90 sec cd) [Upgrades into longer range/radius]
  • C) A scanner that lets you reveal hidden wards (90 sec cd) [Upgrades into shorter cooldown/limited oracles effect]

However, you can only have one of those items. Would you buy one? Assume 150g gold cost.

 

 

Why do wards cost gold?

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: Gold is a limiter. You use it when you want to make the decision to down a particular path meaningful. You should weigh your decisions wisely, adapt them to suit the battlefield and not simply be a pre-defined choice.

Furthermore, it gives us the ability to tune effects. Let’s pretend that the CV item is too powerful. We can increase its cost until it has the appropriate trade-off. If we don’t do that, we create another scenario like summoner spells – where Flash currently trumps all of the other spells and there’s not a lot of room left to tune it.

 

 

Aren’t CDs and limit of wards bought per minute appropriate limiters?

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: No, that’s missing an axis of tuning. Consider this:

In the A/B/C model, A creates gold on the map. B is neutral, C consumes the gold created.

Due to the nature of this reward structure alone, gold is necessary to compensate for the fact that these items modify your income stream. In theory, we could make killing wards not grant gold, but… why? That’s just unsatisfying.

 

 

Matchmaking FAQ


 

Exekias Button Rioter Exekias: Hello Summoners!

Recently the Player Behavior team has been seeing a lot of questions about matchmaking. In the future, we’d like to do more regular updates on how matchmaking is working and share some of the results behind our matchmaking systems. But for now, we’d like to start with a FAQ that answers some of the more common questions we see about matchmaking. Lyte, Glacest, and I will be happy to answer any questions and will add to the FAQ as needed.

Q1: Does ELO Hell exist?

Based on our data and analysis, the answer is no. However, that does not mean that the pain many of our players feel is invalid. Many players feel that, through no fault of their own, they are stuck in a situation where they can no longer progress. And there are several key factors that can heavily contribute to this feeling. The first of these is that when we take a look across all games, some players actually require a pretty high number of games to reach their true matchmaking rating. For these players, what feels like an unsurpassable wall may end up being just a small road bump.

The two major psychological factors which contribute to the sense of ELO Hell are the Dunning-Kruger Effect andnegativity bias. The Dunning-Kruger effect refers to the phenomenon where people tend to rate their own abilities as much higher than average, regardless of reality. For League of Legends, this translates into most players rating their matchmaking rating at about 150 points higher than their actual matchmaking rating. Negativity bias refers to the cognitive trend where people negative experiences tend to be more mentally “sticky” than positive experiences. In other words, negative experiences, such as playing with a leaver or a troll, will have a larger impact on your memory.

Q2: How does matchmaking work right now?

Currently the matchmaker attempts to match players with similar matchmaking rating (referred to as MMR from here on out) and number of wins for that particular queue. Players have a separate MMR for each queue, each of which evolves independently from the others. This means that your wins and losses in Dominion won’t impact your MMR for Summoner’s Rift. The one exception to this rule is that in some special cases, we’ll look at your performance in other queues to help kick off your MMR. For example, when starting a ranked team, the team’s initial MMR is impacted by the past performances of the members in ranked solo queue. After the team is made, the individual solo queue experience of the members will stop impacting the team’s MMR.

Q3: If that’s the case, how do I keep ending up in games with players whose skill level differs greatly from my own?

There are a few factors that can make a match feel more imbalanced than it actually is. A teammate may have just had a bad game and performed worse than they usually do. Alternatively, as we’ve seen in LCS, snowballing can still occur despite the two teams being very evenly matched. Snowballing can then lead to the very reasonable perception that a mismatch occurred. Finally, both Dunning-Kruger and negativity bias also play a role here in shaping players’ impressions of their matchmaking experiences overall.

For the matchmaker itself, the conditions often cited for mismatch are low concurrent users (CCU) or having a very high MMR. But when we take a deeper look at this pool of games, the impact on the quality of matches ends up being very very low. Instead, the matchmaker is much more likely to increase the queue time as can be seen in the longer queue times seen in the Challenger Tier.

That is not to say that our matchmaker is absolutely perfect. But we are also constantly monitoring our matchmaker and making any necessary tweaks to help reduce the chance that players of vastly different skill levels are matched together.

Q3.5: But according to their ranked borders and third party website X, their MMR is way higher or lower than mine! Why does this happen? 

There are two different issues to consider here. For borders, the main consideration is that they only represent the skill level of the player at the end of last season. Since the last season ended in November of 2012, this represents a skill evaluation that is ten months old and very likely inaccurate. In terms of third party websites, their estimation of players’ ELO is based off of incomplete information and thus can be fairly inaccurate.

Q4. Is the matchmaker punishing me for my winning streaks? I’ve heard that it tries to force everyone into having a 50% win chance. How is this fair!?

This is false. While the matchmaker tries to create games in which the teams are balanced and have an even chance of winning, this is not always possible. As a result, the ultimate goal of the matchmaker is to be as accurate as possible in predicting the winner of the game, thus allowing their matchmaking rating to be adjusted appropriately. In some cases (particularly for players new to that queue) win streaks can lead to a rapid increase in your MMR, which will cause you to face tougher and tougher opponents. Naturally, this will eventually end your win streak, but you’ll find yourself landing at a new level of more challenging competition.

Q5. Why don’t we just put toxic players into a different queue?

This concept, also known as Prisoner’s Island, has been proposed multiple times and considered by the Player Behavior team. However, we ultimately determined that this model was not a good fit for League of Legends. Not only does it go against our goal of reforming toxic players, but it also feels extremely negative in the rare case someone is incorrectly sent there. Finally, since League of Legends is a free to play game, prisoners may opt to just abandon their account and transfer their toxicity to our newest players.

Q6: Why is duo queuing allowed?

While duo queuing can sometimes create less than ideal situations in matchmaking, the vast majority of our players actually prefer to play with their friends. While we have to be cognizant of this fact, we are also monitoring the solo queuer experience.

Q7: How does Riot feel about smurfs?

Riot does not officially condemn or condone smurfing. We understand the cases where players make new accounts in order to help teach new players the game, but are working on newer systems to provide a similar experience in a more positive way. Creating smurfs simply to beat lower level players is heavily frowned upon. Permanently banned players who make smurfs are quickly banned again. A permanent ban means that unfortunately, we feel that there is no place for you in our game.

 

 

What if toxic players changed their behavior?

 

ExekiasButton Rioter Exekias: Long ago, toxic players who genuinely wanted to reform and could demonstrate their honesty were offered a second chance. I don’t remember the specific details, but it had an extremely high failure rate (~95%) and we discontinued it.

 

 

 

Why are Season reward borders visible during Loading Screen?

 

ExekiasButton Rioter Exekias: We actually ran a few studies on how having a border impacted toxicity. To quote Lyte: “Players with ‘lower’ border colors did not receive any additional harassment or reports compared to the players with higher border colors in the same game.”

 

 


Does Ranked Team queue take each person’s MMR into consideration or just the team’s MMR?

 

ExekiasButton Rioter Exekias: The answer is actually somewhere between. While the MMRs exist independently, ranked teams are one example of where there is a little bit of crossover. When a team is first made, the MMRs of the members impact the starting MMR of the team. Once that’s established, the team’s MMR exists independently from each of the member’s solo queue MMR.

 

 

Will the client match a player unevenly in a case where queuing takes too long?

 

ExekiasButton Rioter Exekias: It actually prefers to extend queue times over sacrificing accuracy in those cases. That’s why challenger players can face much longer queue times than the average player.

 

 

 

 

Calculating League Points


 

Zydion iterates on why climbing through Diamond ranks can be an intimidating task with the current method of handling MMR.

 

 

Zydion Button Rioter Zydion: The problem, in my opinion, is that Leagues simply propel you too fast.

To give you guys some perspective, when I reached Plat 1 80LP, my MMR was only ~1900 (which would have only been a plat 4 or 5 level in the old days since 1850 was plat cutoff). Not surprisingly, I got clamped pretty hard. I played twice as many games going from 80LP to Diamond 5 than I did from Plat 5 to Plat 1. Even when I reached diamond 5, my MMR was only around 2k, which was far from the diamond cutoff from the previous season. In short, Leagues makes is easier to reach new tiers since LP grows so much faster than MMR but due the way clamping works right now it feels very bad when you get clamped. Hope that helped clear it up a bit.

 

 

Follow-up

 

ZydionButton Rioter Zydion: Believe me when I say that even when I knew my MMR, the clamping did not feel any better for me. I can definitely understand how it is incredibly frustrating to feel like you are so close when you are actually not. In the end, all you can really do is just keep playing and winning. I can’t say for sure as I’m not part of the Leagues team but I do think they are trying to make the system much better for s4.

 

 

How can we calculate our MMR with the current League system?

 

ZydionButton Rioter Zydion: The only real way to approximate MMR right now is to see what League you are at and how much LP you are winning/losing. Unfortunately, even then it is a pretty rough estimate as Leagues seems more lenient than hard MMR cut-offs in season 2 for example. Although part of it can be due to increasingly growing player base, so top 0.5% player from this year will include a lot more players than top 0.5% last year. To make it easier though, I would just go off the league you achieved as your achievement since that is what you really earned this season.

 

 

Discussing RP+ and scamming


 

VeshButton Rioter Vesh: Hey guys,

As you might have seen, we teamed up with American Express Serve so that they could offer a full service reloadable prepaid account that offers RP rewards for loading/spending money. We’ve heard some rumors going around about some of the features of the RP+ card as well as questions about what the card actually is.

(If you want to know all the details on how the card works, check out our FAQ and announcement here:https://support.leagueoflegends.com/…s-Serve-RP-FAQ)

 

Is RP+ a scam?

No, it’s not a scam! This is an official partnership, but make sure when you’re on the signup page where you enter your login information that the top level domain of the site is either auth.pvp.net or riotgames.com. Currently it’shttps://auth.pvp.net/clients/amex/login.jsp .

 

Will I pay fees for using my American Express Serve Card?

American Express Serve does not currently charge fees for using your Card for everyday spending, sending/receiving money, or linking a bank account, credit card, or debit card.

 

What if I want to withdraw money from an ATM?

There are no ATM fees if you use your American Express Serve Card at an ATM in the MoneyPass ATM network. American Express Serve charges a $2 ATM fee for ATM withdrawals outside of the MoneyPass ATM network. In addition, ATM owner fees may apply. Transaction limits apply. Subject to account privileges/permissions.

 

Can I overdraft with this card? Will I be charged anything if I overdraft?

No, if you do not have a backup funding source designated, you can only spend the money that you have added to your account.

 

Why do they need my social security number?

To verify identity. Everyone who signs up with needs to provide a SSN. They want to make sure you are who you say you are!

 

Why are they asking for a photocopy/fax of my social security card and/or photo ID? My friend didn’t have to do this!

Every player is different, and sometimes additional proof of identity may be needed. Especially for the younger players!

 

How exactly do I meet the “Direct Deposit” requirement? 

Set up Direct Deposit with your employer! This is different from transferring money into your Serve account from another personal account or check/cash deposit.

 

Will this affect my credit score?

Nope. This is not a credit card and will not affect your credit score at all.

 

My card isn’t here yet! Halp!

It’ll usually take 5-7 business days to get your card, so hang tight and if you still don’t receive it, contact American Express’ support department at 1-800-954-0559.

 

How can I tell when the RP is credited to my LoL account?

Your transaction history in the store should have entries like the ones seen below:

 

RP History

 

I didn’t get any RP yet!

In most cases, you will receive your RP instantly. However, please allow up to 6 days for RP to appear in your League of Legends game account once you sign up for RP+, after your funds transfer is complete, or once your eligible Card purchase settles.

Once the sign-up process has been completed, your Serve account enters a “Pended” state. This means that your account is being reviewed for authenticity. It can take up to 6 days to verify your email address with Serve.
To check the current state of your account, log in to Serve. If it says “Your Account is being reviewed” at the top of the page after you log in, your account is currently “Pended”.

The RP will be credited to your account after it has unpended.

 

Can I get this card if I live outside the US?

We’re sorry, but RP+ from American Express Serve is only available to U.S. residents at this time. Consequently, only the NA accounts are eligible for registration and RP rewards.

If you have any other questions that aren’t addressed here or in our official FAQ, we’ll be reading and responding to comments in this thread throughout the week!

 

 

Fixing Blue side XP Bug


 

A hotfix for the recent bug where blue minions started giving 2 XP more than purple ones will soon be deployed on live servers.

RiotRival Button Rioter RiotRival: Hey Summoners,

We wanted to let you know we’re fully aware of the blue side EXP bug where blue minions are giving 2 more EXP than purple minions. We currently have a hotfix ready to go on Monday.

We understand that this problem is a potentially significant issue. When we attempted a solution on Wednesday, additional complications arose. Currently we have a confirmed fix for the bug, but given that server stability is of high importance to us, deploying it over the weekend just isn’t viable. We will be getting this out as soon as possible on Monday.

The tournament servers have already been hotfixed for the World Championship Group Stage games being played this Sunday.

Thank you for your patience, summoners, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

 

 

Update

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: We will be increasing the XP of blue minions so that purple team gains the missing xp per melee minion.

 

 

 

 

Xerath’s New Art


 

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: I’ve seen a number of new threads about Xerath’s new splash art cropping up in various forums. To talk about this directly:

This splash art is actually based on the new VFX for the Xerath rework by Bitsplosion. Xerath was slated to begin PBE testing this patch, with an expected release date sometime in the future. However, after some discussion, we feel the new splash art is supremely badass and will be releasing it early with 3.12.

Xerath’s new VFX (including his new ultimate pictured in the background) will be released alongside the Xerath rework once PBE and competitive testing have concluded.

Hope this answers your questions, and thank you for your incredible patience as we finish up his rework.

 

 

Will Scorched Earth Xerath have amazing new animations to match?

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: I don’t know. Bitsplosion is doing some work to improve Battlecast and Runeborn Xerath, but I haven’t seen Scorched Earth’s updates yet.

 

 

 

 

How to become a Creative Designer


 

Rioter Entropy shares his experience on how he got the inspiration and the opportunity to work in the field.

 

 

Riot Entropy Button Rioter Entropy: Heh, people usually raise an eyebrow at the term “creative designer” (I can’t blame them). It’s deliberately catch-all, but to such a degree that it almost loses all meaning. Narrative designer is more common throughout the games industry, as is writer, but in some ways they don’t really cover all the parts of my role here at Riot. The gist of it is that I’m a storyteller and if I’m doing my job right you should feel like our champions are more than a sack of stats with some slick graphics.

How I got into the field? I’ve always loved video games. I’ve been playing them since I was kid and they influenced my development in interesting ways. Fun fact: I learned to read because my mom got tired of having to drop what she was doing to come tell me what was in the text bubbles of the Legend of Zelda. (It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this: Hooked on Phonics Acquired!) From video games I branched out into all manner of gaming hobbies, but it was my interest in pen-and-paper RPGs that lead me into writing.

Long story short, online role-playing on bulletin board systems is a lot like writing a novel collectively. Eventually, I started putting the words to the page without the need for other players. So that pretty much clued me in to the fact that I actually liked writing as a thing independent of games. After getting my fill of dead end jobs after high school, I decided I’d go to college as a first step in the pursuit a writing career. I hadn’t really thought to consider my options in the games industry until I was job hunting in preparation for graduation. I’d have been hard pressed to have succeeded at it, too, if the stars hadn’t been aligned just so.

Right when I was in the thick of job hunting and feeling pretty concerned about my prospects, I caught wind of a golden opportunity. BioWare was in need of writers for their new Austin office and despite the fact that I was not remotely qualified on paper I applied anyway. They liked my submission module, so I spent the next six months iterating on more materials as they screened their candidates. Eventually they invited me out for an interview and offered me a position. That’s more or less how I got my foot in the door.

 

 

How can I get a job working as a writer in gaming?

 

Riot Entropy Button Rioter Entropy: “How can I get a job in the industry” is a pretty common question. It was the single most asked question I got at PAX. I don’t think that it’s that game devs are secretive about it so much as they are afraid of opening the flood gates to becoming a career counselor. Part of it might be that game development tends to be a career that’s highly romanticized by gamers: I love games, therefore I would also love making them.

It’s a dream job to us, which is why so many fly by night online universities try to lure in starry eyed kids with the promise of getting one. Maybe more devs would offer advice if they felt like there weren’t so many people who aren’t “really serious” about being a game developer. Then again, the misconceptions wouldn’t exist if there were clearer avenues for getting into the industry. Vicious cycle that could use breaking.

What I pursued was a degree in English. I wanted improve my writing skills through practice and studying those who came before me. I’d recommend reading a lot of good books. They have things to teach you even if you aren’t looking for the lessons. Some universities offer dedicated creative writing tracks, though that’s a degree you might have a hard time shopping around outside of the arts should you find the writing career not to be your cup of tea.

This will sound flippant, but the best advice I can give would be: Keep writing. Like any skill. You will suck at it when you start and you will get better as you continue to practice. You’d be surprised how many people say they’d love to write, but never actually do it. After that, get honest criticism. Take your writing to people who will tell you the truth. That doesn’t mean you need to suffer abuse, just that getting a lot of pats on the back won’t necessarily help you improve. They are good though, you’re going to need the pats on the back, because I think the single most important trait you can have is tenacity. Stock up on Mercury Treads, because being a professional writer means a lot of rejection. Odds are rare that your first draft will also be your last draft. You need to be able to take criticism well, learn when to apply it or ignore it, and iterate on your ideas over and over and over again until you’ve got the version that everyone is happy to see go out the door.

Beyond that, put together a solid professional resume, write a good cover letter, submit a well-crafted portfolio, and start applying to any job you can find. It will be an uphill battle, but if you stick with it and you have the skills to do the job you should eventually get your break-in opportunity. Networking is also a really good skill to learn. It’s a surprisingly small industry, so a lot of jobs are filled by people reaching out to people they know.

 

 

3D Character Art


 

Sam Yang (cgsammu) shares some wonderful 3D meshes of his work for Riot!

 

 

cgsammu Button Rioter cgsammu: Hey everyone!!

Thought I share the stuff I worked on at Riot with you guys, these are final renderings of some of our champs!!

Along with some of my personal art =)

Hope you guys like it!

-Sam

woadkingdarius1

Woad King Darius

poolpartygraves

Pool Party Graves

lucian_ingame

Lucian

classic_sejuani

Sejuani

arcade_hec

Arcade Hecarim

zac

Zac

tpa_ezreal

TPA Ezreal

lucian_sculpt1

Lucian Sculpt

baseball_trundle

Baseball Trundle

Syndra

Syndra

 

 

Yorick, the Crazy Cat Lady


 

I tried projecting all my currency towards the monitor but achieved no result.

Yorick the Crazy Cat Lady

Best Art NA

Art is done by Summoner slowgun9.

 

 

Missed any recent updates? Check here!

 

PBE: Massive Changes to Olaf, New Ward Skins & Champion Trading || News: Pool Party Skins on Sale! || Reds: Fighters, Supports & Warding in Season 4, Zac to get future nerfs, Shaping Player Behavior & Concept Art of the New Sivir!

Riot teases New Champion, an Elemental Dragon! PBE Update: Visual & Balance changes to Garen, Better Menus, Creator Viktor and Minion VFX || Rioters discuss Garen’s number tweaks and New Design and Scarizard talks glass-cannon Rengar and Sustain Necklace

Visual update for Garen || Patch 3.11 Notes – Changes to Draven, Galio and Zac, 3v3 and Dominion Balance & New Spectator Mode Features || New Minion Effects, News on Rengar, Nika leaves Riot, Cosplay Pictures from PAX, tweaks to Season 3′s Rewards and the latest Sale!

Double AMA for Lucian: get all your questions answered! Rengar returns to stealthing, rollback on W and the latest Sale!

Patch 3.10A – Riven jumps over walls, Nerfs to BotRK, Phage Reworked; PBE Update: Balance & New Turret UI; Dunkmaster Darius teased at Gamescom, New Skins & Lucian in Store, Scruffy explains Skarner changes & the latest Sale!

 

 

 

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