Master Yi Getting 'Tuned', Lucian's Rework Delay, Comparing 'OP' Champions and Vayne, LoL's Game Design Process in Detail, Sale

Master Yi Getting 'Tuned'

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

We're looking at some Yi fixes currently and want to get them in for 3.11 - I'd like to have some direction locked by Monday.

Unfortunately, we did not meet one goal we'd hoped to - better in high-ranked games, and not as stompy in low-ranked ones. This is still occurring, which means Yi is in beast mode for a vast majority of players.
Bookmarking this thread for the next time someone tells me this game isn't balanced around GD
P.S. un-nerf leblanc ty
Bookmarking this for someone extrapolating their pre-conceived notions out of something that doesn't mean what they think it does. :P

We don't need to nerf Yi flat-out, but it's likely he needs more serious tuning to make it so he doesn't tear through people who can't deal with him, then allowing us to buff things that might be needed for stronger competitive play.

Though I know it's cool to call out how "all these noobs" ruin the game.

The Reasons Behind Lucian's Rework Delay

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Sorry for going dark on it, just getting on the forums a bit again;

I don't have a good ETA currently, but it's taking a bit longer than we'd hoped. There's some outstanding issues remaining we need to get cleaned up before we can turn him on, and some are hairier than others.
I'm curious Morello, but how exactly do you justify the current champion release schedule? We're getting nearly 1 champion every 2 months. You guys will be extremely lucky to get 9 champs out this year at the rate you're going, a very far cry from the 16 or so you said you'd be pumping out when you talked about the new release schedule.
So what exactly gives? You guys used to release 1 champ every 2 weeks, and while I understand that you're now trying to take more time to make sure new champs are better balance before release, the current "two month" time frame is pretty insane.
I couldn't agree more, tbh. We've had a really difficult time with champion release schedules this year, and while I do like the "focus on quality" part, something could definitely improve here.

We're not doing every 2 weeks anymore, but I'm of the opinion that the inconsistency is really tough on players.
I understand you're not doing two weeks anymore, but you said that you were hoping to get somewhere in the mid teens (14-17) or so champions out the door this year, but so far we're on a solid seven whilst rolling into august.
I understand the whole "quality of quantity" thing, and I very much agree it's a good direction to take. Especially after a string of mind-shatteringly powerful releases last season.
That said, I'm going to repeat myself. The "power" at which champs are released hasn't really changed much. Some are blatantly op, some are on the weak side, others are much harder to pin down only straying a little to one side. So nothing's really changed with regards to the state the champions are coming out at.. They're just coming -phenomenally- slowly. It's a little boggling.
Is there any particular reason for this? Anything you can put your thumb on? I'm pretty tentative to swallow "extra balancing" or "more complex kits" as a reason because, frankly, it just doesn't feel like that. There were complex champions released on the 2 week schedule, and as I've stated several times now the various power levels champs are released at is also unphased.
Nothing intentional - some of it is resource rebalancing (doing more reworks), but much of it is the increasing complexity of trying to do more (broadly, non-champion stuff) and not having more people in certain key areas that have always been bottlenecks. For example, Howling Abyss (a good addition) required some significant VFX work, and VFX artists are rarer than Dragon's Teeth. It's not about will/money to hire/etc, it's about finding talent. Some fields are easier to find people in than others.

That said, I think that context is of little solace to players. We do new champions because they're engaging - really engaging. Since we're looking to play the long game with League, risking big engagement points is something I'm fearful of.
i honestly prefer longer times between new champions. i prefer to see old champions being fixed into something workable instead of something new being added, hyped for a month, and thrown into the pile like a forgotten toy.
I do like that we can do more reworks - I think that's been a good benefit.

Morello on Comparing 'OP' Champions and Vayne

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

I don't think the cases are comparable in where problems exist. I need to talk to the team about their thoughts on Vayne's state more specifically, but Yi's much more snowbally than even Vayne (!). He has his own issues that have different causes and effects.

Resets do this - you guys called that out yourselves. We left that on Yi out of legacy, but I wonder if that was the right decision.
She's always been ridiculous. Yet when Yi reaches that potential it's somehow deemed as bad. And not one rioter will come forth and explain it. Not even a little.
The big question for riot.
Why is Master Yi, a Melee Carry not allowed to have the same damage potential as vayne (a far safer ADC who does her damage at RANGE rather than at melee distance?)
If Master Yi can't live up to that potential, what business does Vayne have, in having that potential she's currently at?
Explain this to me, all of us. We're waiting.
I don't know who said he can't have insane damage. That's what he has to have - I don't see myself or anyone saying otherwise. And right now, he does.

We're not saying he's OP, we're saying he's not terribly usable in high elo and really wrecks at low elo. Resets do -that- to an extent

LoL's Game Design Process in Detail

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Poppy's wall slam is like Alistars old Headbutt or Vaynes Condemn.
Zac's jump is just a channeled gapcloser like Vi's
Thresh lantern is unique
Nami's heal is nothing special whatsoever
Counterstrike comes from DOTA
Lulu's polymorph is just a silence, the visual effect has nothing to do with it.
Overall your examples are pretty garbage. The worst part is that you missed the point. I'm complaining that Morello claims that only the unique aspects of a champion are toxic. He's shown through his conversations that he would remove the unique aspects of a champion through a rework.
Design tank incoming! This is a long post, and probablt about 1/50th the explanation of these ideals that I'd like to deliver.

(In actuality, it's funny because I'm one of the design voices that needs to be "toned down" when it comes to crazy stuff. There's nuance to this, but I'd be more likely to break than fix if I made the decisions personally. The better critique about my style is that I'm willing to sacrifice experiences that have low counter-play, even if they're fun to use).

I think there's a real discussion here, and I'm ignoring any of the unproductive stuff to engage in that conversation - so unreasonable haters to the left.

Essentially, there are two extreme ideals that are both incorrect:

* Anything that's new/novel/unqiue is good because it's different - and that difference makes it a positive addition.


* Anything that might disrupt perfect balance is a problem to be fixed, and anything that compromises that must be aggressively addressed.

Both of these ideas are bad for League of Legends (and I feel game design in general). While I think some games can use these philosophies, they give you different results.

One of our tenets is that there's important things that fundamentally differentiate and attract people to League. In fact, several games do try to offer similar gamestyles to MOBAs (whether League or DotA), but there's not always a good understanding of what types of experiences they offer - and importantly, how and why they differ.

So, then, what do we care about, and what drives our decisions? I'm word-smithing some of this for greater digestion, but this should capture the idea.

1) League is a game that's more about interaction with enemies than planning before you interact.

One of the biggest and continuous arguments that exists is what skill is valid, and how things are countered. This is not a binary set of design such as "is/isn't counterable" or "all planning is bad" - it's a series of cost/benefit analysis.

Basically, some decisions being about planning and strategy is good. But when those planning decisions come at the cost of good in-fight, interactive experiences, that's where tough calls need to get made. Let's talk about why 2v1 (as a basic, core strategy instead of a gambit strategy) is a problem in League, or why tri-lanes have never been supported; this will show an example of our game design values.

2v1, as a core strategy, is a clever discovery of capitalizing on using global gold to snowball into a fast midgame. On its own, that's fine an interesting - it's a strategy that causes some different and interesting setups to occur. So far, no problem.

However, 2v1 as a primary method to be optimally efficient, basically skips the laning phase of that game. The laning phase is one of the biggest focal points of personal action, dueling and personal agency that players can feel. This is important to why League is different, and one of the big things that makes it uniquely fun. The laning phase focuses on tons of small, incremental advantages that result in someone beating their opponent, sometimes with help and sometimes without it. Something that entirely removes the laning phase violates something that actually does make League of Legends special.

In lane, this is your time to dominate an opponent. This is emotionally, mechanically and strategically very important. That's not an opinion, that's much of why League of Legends isn't a DotA clone. People might not even recognize it consciously, but it exists - and if we weren't different, then why the Hell would we even be a game?

Now, that doesn't mean things can't effect the laning phase - some characters have worse matchups, junglers change the dynamic of the lane, starting items, etc. Those things are not only acceptable, but if done smartly, make the laning phase more varied and interesting - but not without removing your ability to participate in it meaningfully. This is a key distinction in League.

This value is why we disallow hard-counters and "wins at champion select." Tactical skill and mechanical skill is more important than being the best at hatching a plan. This doesn't mean League has no strategy or that we dislike it (or that other MOBA don't have execution and in-fight gameplay), but it shows which one weighs more on design.

2) Counter-play within the game is a core value, and it's more important than many other values within "fun."

We've talked a lot about counter-play. The things I actually rail on are things that violate counter-play, or have shallow decision trees.

Let's talk about the "better nerf Irelia" meme (without this derailing into the state of fighters - valid, but different discussion).

Irelia's design represents both a shallow decision tree and low counter-play. It's not that we actually hate the character, or think people don't have fun with her, or she's imbalanced (in fact, I think having low counter-play is MORE fun for the person playing it in the moment because ****ting on PEOPLE IS FUN! ), it's that "what decisions outside of normal League of Legends skills, do you need when doing this?" When those answers are few (and this was the problem with Darius too), then there's probably an issue with skill differential and counter-play.

This is a big distinction - few games focus on this, and no other MOBA does. The cost of poor counterplay is punishing (not hard - hard is fine- see for a complete conversation on this difference) gameplay, lack of clarity (which LIMITS how much depth you can add) and the game making enemy skill invisible. Zileas has mentioned a lot about how Dark Binding is a good skill because it adds fun to both the user and the victim in how the spell works. That often is a result of good counterplay, and we care about that enough to focus on it. TF2's combat actually focus on this much more than other FPS's, for example (rockets/jumping vs hitscan and high lethality. Arcade shooters are more counter-play focused than tac shooters, which are more strategically-focused).

3) We agree improvement can be made on unique abilities.

This, however, is error as opposed to intent. My conversation during Aatrox's release should paint the picture clearly in design mishaps. Thresh is a great counter-example - the work we want to do on updates to Darius also shows this. And again, it's not binary. Just because we don't think that Meepo is a character we're likely to do in LoL doesn't mean we don't value the kind of presence and weight a really distinct character brings to the game. We do need to do better on new releases with this, at least from a consistency standpoint.

What I really think is that we make some missteps, and there's a valid and real desire to have more Thresh-style characters, or more Lee-Sin style emergence. We agree here.

What I do resist is that everything is good, and variety is the highest value. No. We value specific game design fundamentals that define League, and that those elements purposefully and specifically differ from that in other MOBAs. Just like I feel like DotA does (and should) embrace it's more planning-weighted focus and making characters have insane stuff that feels good, we embrace our focus on a good, interactive experience that result in-combat decisions mattering more. That should result in a game we want to be fair and balanced, but balance is a result of that, not a goal to avoid things.

This is not our complete thoughts on these subjects, but they are what I can muster at 4:30am. I'll try to follow up on this, but it's bedtime for now.
I'm worried about the fact that by making every champion 'fun' and balanced by removing special aspects of their kit you turn every champion into a homogenuous mass of moderate fun.
An example would be resets. I know its pretty lame to be on the receiving end of but being on the winning side occasionaly makes up for it.
Sometimes I would like nothing better than to remove Leesin's kicks, kb and dash because i hate that mofo getting away with no counterplay. But then i want Leblancs burst lowered, Singed's speed lowered and Rammus's tankiness, Ashe's slow reduced and so on... Then i realise that would make LoL a extremely boring game.
By removing the 'downs' in Lol you also removed the 'ups' as well...
I remember when Lol started Ashe's Q arrows had much longer range than today but she wasnt brokenly OP because everyone else had an extremely special+unique trick up their sleeve. Now we just have champions with less identity and lots of gap closers.
TLDR: Y u no balance game by making everything OP? I wouldn't mind facing champs with little counterplay if i also have some 0 counterplay torture fun to punish my opponents with.
TTLLDDRR: Share the pain for more fun.
We actually agree that's the wrong direction. Maybe my Yi post (which isn't the idea we're on right now, to be clear) freaked people out a bunch, but this pattern of balance hasn't existed since 2011 - which we moved away from when we saw that type of result.

Now, I ask you guys to also be objective with what actually provides identity. To use an example from a couple weeks ago, Janna's passive is not her identity. It doesn't ****ing matter to the fun and distinction of the character - and it's intellectually dishonest to say it is. However, if we instead made it so Draven's Axes were nerfed and he auto-caught them, then we'd be destroying the character's unique identity and emotional satisfaction.

This is messier with some characters, who don't get to interact - they just act. Many auto-train characters are this way, and leave you with no decisions in which to do anything. That's the place in where you do go fix things.

I don't mind if things are frustrating sometimes - but you should go "I could have done X better..." and be able to understand what it was and learn from it.
I agree with the reasoning behind changing Draven's passive. It dosen't make him special in any way and was probably the least painful way to touch him with the old nerfbat.
But the new passive is even worse. You removed a bad passive but you gave him NOTHING at all.
And btw i do feel that Janna's passive is part of her identity, not because its been there forever and tradition blah blah but because as a teammate the bonus movespeed CAN be felt and makes the game THAT much more fun. Maybe i'm just imagining it but everytime i barely outrun a Singed i always thank god Janna is on my team.
But then that comes into my point 1) about why that's a bad place to have power.

Champion Skin Sale: 8.09 - 8.12

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

Give your champions a new look with these skins, on sale for a limited time:



  • Commando Lux 260 RP


Add these champions to your roster, on sale for a limited time:





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