Locked Camera Discussion

  • Thanks to PanzerFaust for compiling all this! (Sorry I had to start a new thread, but it needed a better title)

    Since there are a lot of threads about camera views/playing with the locked camera and people were not finding the original thread I posted in I'm going to try to keep discussion focused in one new thread. My replies from another thread have been all put together here, please continue discussion here so people can get an idea of what's been talked about before and we don't rehash things continuously.

    Thanks for taking the time to post, we do read almost everything in this forum even if we don't have time to respond. Please try to keep discussion constructive, I promise you we're not ignoring feature requests for locked camera players because we have a secret hatred for you.


    1
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    personally, i agree, i think we do a disservice to new players by letting them use camera locked as a default. It hinders them greatly for many champion (i.e. Anyone with a skillshot and heavily so for long ranged ones).
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by kyzene View Post
    gotta say, that as someone who hasn't played any kind of rts before lol, that locked camera is a godsend for me. I cannot play with the camera unlocked, and trying to do so makes skill shots, last hitting, and just about everything else impossible. I don't feel that locked camera has effected my games in any kind of negative way, and generally do pretty well on most champs. I don't think i would have stuck with the game if i had to play unlocked, and it was actually one of the first questions i asked a friend who asked me to play. If i ever need to see further than the screen lets me, i just click+drag on the map, and that has worked just fine for me so far.
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    interesting, that is not what i would have expected. Mechanically if you're moving last hitting and skill shots should be more difficult to target because your view is moving and making them a moving target. My perception is that people don't use free camera because it is an extra thing to manage. I would prefer to help people overcome that.
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    let me be very clear and state that we are not looking at removing locked camera as an option.

    What i said was that we should not use it as a *default*. As i said in my follow up post: I would prefer to make non-camera locked play easier to learn for all players.

    There are many gameplay reasons why you don't want to lock the camera to your player. This is less of an issue on some champions, but even still you ideally want to be able to focus on the action in a team fight no matter what your positioning.

    As ui designers we want to help players become masters of the game. I believe that being able to comfortably use a free camera is part of that. I'm open to hearing arguments why that is not the case *if* free camera was very easy to use.
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    also, let me say we would definitely want to improve the experience for camera locked players, but it is also something that is used by a much smaller proportion of the players.

    We are always trying to make the experience better for *all* our players and we try to prioritize things that are high value and impact a lot of people. Color blind mode is an example of something i really want to do because it could improve the experience of almost 10% of our players by *so much*. We would do that before we improved locked camera mode. In the same vein, improving the camera management in free camera mode would make many, many of our players more able to excel at the game. Of course, we balance all of this with how difficult it is to do.

    Finally, many of the suggestions i see make the interaction with the camera more complicated and harder to discover, this is somewhat the opposite of what i would like to do as a general direction. But please keep the suggestions and constructive criticism coming!
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    here's the thing, people who use free camera are the vast majority of our players, not the elite. I've been having some people collect more detailed stats on locked camera usage and we'll evaluate again from there.

    We're unlikely to do really disruptive things like allow map mirroring and things like that. This would be technically risky and time consuming and potentially negatively impact player communication and gameplay because two people on the same team are seeing completely different things.

    I don't think changes to camera angle or fov are likely to pass muster either, we limit zoom out and control the view angle so players with the money to buy larger monitors/faster video cards/higher resolution don't have an advantage.

    We might consider some kind of camera position biasing, but it has the potential to be really janky. Mostly likely would be a small adjustment to account for the hud space at the bottom.

    Unfortunately with a fixed camera you're always going to have to sacrifice vision range in one part of the screen for another and you're regularly going to run into cases where the wrong part got sacrificed. I agree that on purple side this happens more often at the bottom of the screen, but if we corrected this we could seriously screw you if you loop around a teamfight from the bottom/blue side.

    I wish i saw an easy answer to this, but it seems like what people really want is some kind of view that follows their champion and also keeps the part of the action they're interested on screen as well. That's pretty hard to get right since we can't read your intentions.
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by saabi (in response to 5) View Post
    take the art out of the hud, and make the lifebar/manabar, the inventory, and minimap semi transparent, then remove the player portrait completely, and add a mini version at the top of the rest of ur teams portraits. Problem solved all around.
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    no... The vision differences are way more than they, they are related to the angle of the camera as well. The other way to work around this is to minimize your hud scale, but that doesn't fully solve the problem people are talking about.
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    7
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by snowstriker (in response to 5) View Post
    maybe an option that enables the camera to track the mouse cursor? Kind of like alien swam where the camera will kind of extend the direction of the mouse cursor. That way the player can influence the camera a bit but isn't as demanding as moving the cursor to the edge and stuff; maybe it's a happy medium between locked and unlocked? Of course this should only be an option, not mandatory. Just my 2cents.
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    interesting idea, but alien swarm is a dual stick shooter adapted to mouse controls, i don't think they do much direct targeting of things. I think this could work well if we controlled champion movement with cursor keys primarily and had line targeting for attacks, but moving the view based on your mouse distance from your champion would make exact targeting very difficult i think. Think last hitting minions if your camera view and what was under your cursor was shifting with your mouse moves.

    I could see us doing something like this if we ever ported the game to a console (not likely with the publisher agreements you see there though!).
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    re: Color blindess, i would say the effect is much more negative for almost all color blind players so the impact of the severity and the number of people it affects makes it an issue that i want to fix very much. It is also something that we provide no alternative solution for, it's not like they can just practice really hard and see red/green again! Not being able to see who's friendly and who's the enemy is really not fun.
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by arknova View Post
    i see the point you bring up, but find that many players would be too put off without the camera-lock. When i started this game i stuck to camera lock only, and thought i'd never change. Then, as you mentioned, i realized you really needed to unlock for many champions.

    I began to adjust, unlocking the camera for periods of time until i felt pressured to lock it again. Eventually i would stay unlocked for longer periods of time, and finally i play the game unlocked always now.

    I think maybe a small tutorial focused on camera control would be nice, and every 10 levels it could pop up and recommend you do the tutorial again. The tutorial would recommend unlocking the camera.
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    yes, i would prefer to ease new players into using unlocked camera in the tutorial. If you feel strongly that locked camera is your preference it will be there as an option, however i do feel it is important to steer new players to unlocked camera for the gameplay reasons zielmann outlines so articulately. You really do lose a lot of map awareness with a locked camera and as a ui/ux designer i want to help our players become really awesome at our game by helping them do things that make for better gameplay.
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    10
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by scram racecar (in response to 8) View Post
    so does this mean that a colorblind mode is currently in the works? I hope so..
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    yes, it's been talked about on the forum by another red so i can confirm that much. :d no release date yet, but we're working hard on it.
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    11
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by syl sgm (in response to the latter part of 5) View Post
    it's already the case. People with 16:9 monitor can see more stuff than people with 4:3.
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    correct, and that is unavoidable (similar with eyefinity). However my understanding is that the game designers want to minimize the advantage in other cases. Also 16:9/16:10 is a pretty common aspect ratio now.
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    12
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by cmdrdeadman (in response to 5) View Post
    i was reading this thread, and came across your message, and i realized i do have a solution to this that i have implemented before and it worked surprisingly well. It is very simple for an assisted mode, and while i would probably not use it since i like a free camera; it might actually be very good.

    The idea is to use a center of mass approach. My implementation involved keeping things in frame around objects in 3d space, so the camera was controllable, but the focus of the camera followed the action. Basically, attach the camera to the target champion. Now locate all the other champions which are also on the screen (or a certain distance from target champion if it is easier), and find the "center of mass" of those champions (just average out their positions), and this is the new location you want the camera to look at. As champions come in and out of frame, the result will jump, so you really want to use a spring of some sort so the target point can be jumpy, but the camera will be smooth.
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    interesting idea! Simple enough concept, but there are a lot of details to get right. This is much more complicated than other solutions even in basic execution though. All the edge cases of handling camera movement as things go in and out of range, especially in fluid team fights, would be very tough to get right. How do you strike the right balance between moving to keep the action in frame, without being too abrupt? I don't think it is as simple as a spring/damping on camera movement. I think we would get better bang for our buck looking at improved free camera controls.
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    13
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by aniello (in response to 11) View Post
    there is a thing called fog of war for a reason.

    Not letting u zooming more for your reason i find it... Meh...

    Then explain me why such difference here with camera zooming:

    http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=1086337
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    feel free to post in general or one of the design forums, the reasons behind this are outside my area of expertise, unfortunately.
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    champion or item feedback would have a better change of an answer. Or do an @morello in general.
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by get mad now View Post
    blc had a nice system of a "smart" lock; it followed your cursor and your champion, dragging your camera out away from your champion the farther your cursor was from it. This kept your champion close to the camera center, but also allowed you to look at the things you needed to that were off-camera.
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    this would be interesting to experiment with, could be really disorienting if done wrong and what would happen if you try to move outside the range of view? I guess maybe it just stops you... Like this better than the center of mass idea because it's more player controlled
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    16
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by dsamus View Post
    please don't remove the camera toggle completely, i have it bound to mouse3 to easily lock to myself for brief moments where camera panning would distract me. By all means introduce something else to help newer players avoid being dependent on it, but do not remove the lock toggle functionality altogether.
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    btw, there's a handy red post browsing function for forum threads (look at the top right of this post)! I addressed this early in the thread, let me be clear again: We would not remove locked camera toggle as an option.
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    17
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    @arcie, you might want to dial down the hyperbole a little bit. As a general rule, when threads aren't constructive or informative anymore i stop replying. I've stated more than once that i'd like to improve the locked camera experience, but there are higher value ui improvements that we're doing instead right now. We already have people gathering stats so we can see if we should raise the priority. I can't give you any more of a commitment than that, i don't just decide to do features in the game and have them happen!

    While i understand your frustration that we are not doing seemingly simple fixes for a problem that affects you greatly, we have an incredible number of things that we want to do to improve our player's experience. We are constantly evaluating how big an improvement any given feature is to our players overall vs. The amount of effort we put in and try to maximize the amount of improvement we release. Unfortunately our priorities and yours as an individual player will not always line up.
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    18
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by icelanis (in response to 2) View Post
    its not that its more things to manage (though admittedly it is) its that you can potentially miss an opportunity to even attempt a skill-shot, simply because you were repositioning the camera. Since the skill-shot will go where you cursor indicates, you physically can't move/skill-shot/camera pan without being locked-on. Since the camera will move with your champion.

    I also think you underestimate the severity the purple-team/locked angles creates. I know many people, that quit playing because of it. Not everyone has the dexterity to play free-camera, or the mental power to micro-manage it. But you know what, they would of spent money on your game if it wasn't such a night and day problem.

    I also know people that auto-leave when they get purple team, just because they don't want to deal with it personally, or have a team mate feed because they can't play free-camera well, or because they're locked and on the purple bottom lane.

    I just think it would be wise to avoid a mentality that some other companies have. Say square-enix with their first mmo, "this is how we intended you to do, so do it this way or don't play." that was a large part of that companies problems.
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    one of our designers rebinds the camera pan keys to wasd for similar reasons. If using the cursor to pan the camera is detrimental to positioning your cursor for skill shots/movement in your playstyle, you might consider this alternative control scheme with unlocked camera.
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    19
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
    i don't think you understand my point about team communication, if you mirror the map directions for up/down/left/right are no longer consistent for people in the same game. Also it causes the jungle and baron/dragon to mirror image itself. So your vocal/typed communication is based on two different views of the map.

    Once again, this does not really solve the problem of champions who have skillshots past the view of your screen and you'll still have the same fov problems if you come at a team fight from the top.

    It's technically risky because we would have to add in a bunch of tech all over the place. Not the say it can't be done, but it's a pretty tough sell internally for the benefits since it's not really a full solution to the problem. Unfortunately, we're probably not releasing the source art for the maps for modding!

    I'd like to investigate some more elegant camera control options that bridge locked camera and free, but i don't think that map mirroring is as complete solution as i would like.

    Thanks for your feedback, even if we can't always accomodate all of your requests, we are interested and listening!
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    20
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by zarbiz View Post
    has there been thought given to the idea of locking your camera relative to your champion, rather than centered on him? Say you start a match unlocked, move the camera down so you can see 2/3 in front and 1/3 behind, then you lock the camera and it keeps that position on your champ for the match? You'd still be able to lock it centered on you with holding spacebar, so the players who want it locked on center could still have that.
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    yes, you can look back into my earlier red posts in this thread! :d

    tldr: This will completely bone you if you come at a team fight from bottom to top if you have your camera positioned for top to bottom movement and force you to manage your camera anyways.
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    21
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    Originally Posted by boourns View Post
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    Originally Posted by sanjio (in response to 19) View Post
    people can & would adapt. Mirrored camera view for purple team would actually solve alot of problems & make many many people very happy. The way it is currently in lol & every other moba is so prehistoric man. The 3/4 angle of the terrain makes sense playing from blue team but not from purple..its very uncomfortable & unnatural.

    Also you make it sound like people would be so confused if purple team had the same viewpoint as blue. Communication? Seriously? Thats just a cop out. Its pretty simple really...players would still refer to mid lane as mid lane but now instead of top/bot lane they'd likely be called baron side/lane & dragon side/lane. Of course i know this thread isn't really about mirrored camera views but i noticed it mentioned here so i figured i'd give my two cents.

    Edit: Now if riot is truly "interested & listening" how about some feedback for the camera change petition http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=1239123
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    communication is just one reason why i don't consider it a good solution. I list some other ones in the same reply that you quoted.

    Having seen the stats on locked camera usage it's a very small number of people. I would not consider impeding communication or making our *entire* community change how they refer to things in the game a good fix for this issue.

    I'll only be posting in this thread to keep information about this topic centralized in one place. I read the other threads, but i haven't seen any new information to comment on in them that i haven't addressed in this thread.

    If someone were to make a new thread compiling everything i've posted here, i would be very grateful! :d <hint> <hint></hint></hint>
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    Originally Posted by Sedgitize View Post
    I would like to add on to this.

    That poll is a poll of players on this website. We can generally hypothesize that players who go through the trouble of the forums for games are probably putting more time into the game than many others (I would imagine the statistics show that far more people play the game than actively use these forums). If these are people that put more time into the game, then they are also likely to be players who are generally better than the players who don't put as much effort into it.

    Now I obviously don't have the stats here but is this not a fair hypothesis? We can produce the theory that only about half of the players at this 'level' of the game are confident that purple is not at a major disadvantage. At lower average levels of skill, it is more likely that more people use locked camera all of the time because it is the default setting. As such we can hypothesize again that although the percentage may be roughly 50/50 for people on this website, it is likely that the issue is far more prevalent for players who put less time in.

    Yes, it's all theoretical, but does it not make sense?

    TL;DR: There are likely far more people that would vote for option one in the poll than option two, after we leave the setting of this website, as most users here are putting more time into the game than others.
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    I don't think I can disclose exact stats numbers, but I can tell you it is nowhere near 50/50 when we look at players who have the option for locked camera set on their computer. It's far, far less. A fraction of the size of our colorblind population in fact. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to lobby for changes which would change the experience for the vast majority of other players.

    Also, as an aside, this is why we generally can't use forum polls as data for decision making (other than to find out interesting ideas from our players). Only a small part of our players actively participate in the forum and they select themselves which adds bias. Further, the ones that participate in a poll are even more self-selected because they must be interested in the topic in some way to even get into the post. Finally, they are probably biased to agree with the post for the same reason if they vote unless it is a very contentious issue. People who don't care likely won't vote or even read the post. So, while the poll that you refer to about camera changes indicates that people want the idea, it is likely that it only represents a small group of people... people who play with locked camera and want changes to the camera system.
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    Originally Posted by ChaosBloodterfly View Post
    On #11, is faking an eyefinity setup/messing with screen resolutions bannable (no zoom hacks, just config edits)? You can set resolution in the config.ini file. If you have a 1920x 1080 monitor, you gain a significant amount of view by setting the resolution to something like 1920x 640.
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    No, we currently wouldn't ban you for that. Zoomhacks are bannable though of course.
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    Originally Posted by Nutcup View Post
    Wait, what? I don't see any option to have locked camera on by default. When I start a game, I have to hit 'Y' to enable it. So I'm slightly confused about your data when you're looking at people who have camera locked set by default.




    Yeah, that's what I'm saying. If they're collecting camera lock data by looking at who has it set to lock by default, I'd like to know how to do that myself, because I know I'm not showing up in the data as a camera lock user either.



    Lol I know, right?
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    If you have locked camera on when you exit the game it will still be on when you join your next one. I just tested again to make sure.
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    Originally Posted by Varitul View Post
    That doesn't seem right to me, but meh. I played locked consistently, yet I do have to lock pretty often at the start of a new game. I dont see why I would unlock at the end though. but if you say so, I'd take your work on it.
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    That's what I see when I do it on my machine. If you can reproduce this not happening I would very much like to know! That's a bug and would affect our stat collection.

    Specifically we look for LockCamera=1 in your game.cfg in the config/ directory of your install. I had QA check that this gets set correctly when we were pulling the stats for locked camera, but if you can find cases where this is broken please give us a set of steps to reproduce it.

    If for some reason you always switch off locked camera by pressing 'y' before exiting, we would not know you were using locked camera during the game. However that also suggests that you are successfully using an unlocked camera...
  • I am still not convinced that flipping the camera won't mess up communication and we're *definitely* not flipping the camera for everyone on purple team. We would not up-end the experience of the vast majority of players in that way. If the map were actually symmetrical across the river we could do it because it wouldn't matter which side you were on, but it's not and dragon/baron/jungle layout does matter. We would not, all of a sudden, mirror the map when you're on purple because that would be incredibly disorienting for players.
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    Originally Posted by Kalafai View Post

    Now to tackle the list of proposed solutions...

    Flipping the camera for purple team:

    Argument Against: Flips all important position of Barron Nasher and Dragon.

    My rebuttal to the argument: Unflips jungle. It's more important to me when I play an AD carry to grab the small golem camp before minion waves meet to be the first to level 2, than it is for me to worry about someone trying to solo dragon the moment it spawns. If I have lane supperiority by that point, I can temp mid while mr AP and Jungler and Bruiser tackle any attempted dragoning.

    Argument Against: Well, it does make front attacks and laning easier, but it makes purple teams have more trouble circling around behind towers to get into position for teamfights.

    My rebuttal: Wha?
    Expanded: What do I care?
    Expandeder: How often does this come into play for my entire team even if I'm winding through the jungle to pick off retreating champions.
    Expandederest: Why the hell am I zigzagging through the jungle with a slow AD carry with massively long skillshots when I could be attacking from the front where it is both safer, and I can get to in time even iff my team is circling.

    Argument Against: Causes people communication not able to tell which way is top or bottem.

    My rebuttal: Why are you communicating with blue team, the only people who aren't flipped as well?
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    I don't understand what you mean by unflip the jungle... it is fundamentally not symmetrical and both teams need to have the same geographic layout on the map so you are... you know... playing on the same map.

    I don't think you understand, when you play with locked camera the camera angle makes it so that you see more above you on the screen than below. So even as blue you are going to face the same viewing angle problems as purple if you approach as fight from top to bottom. For example, if you're taking baron or the purple jungle and a fight breaks out at your blue, you will be approaching the fight from purple side and still face visibility problems. This is another reason why I don't believe flipping the camera is a good solution. It just hides the problem most of the time.

    Also, as I said in my other post. We're almost certainly not flipping the camera for the entire teams just because someone may or may not be playing with locked camera on purple. That's making the experience more disorienting for everyone to help a small number of people == net negative player value.

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    Originally Posted by Kalafai View Post
    Make spacebar disable camera lock on hold for locked players like it enables camera lock on hold for unlocked players.

    Argument Against: Play unlocked NOOB

    Rebuttal: *close thread*

    Argument Against: Press Y, NOOB!

    Rebuttal: Already do, but holding and toggling are apparnatly different enough you don't do it yourself, and it seems a very easy change.

    Argument Against: Not as easy as holding spacebar the whole time!

    Rebuttal: Hold spacebar for 40 minutes, say it was easy, and I'll never argue with you again.
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    Making space toggle on and off depending on whether you have locked camera is something we can definitely do. Good idea.

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    Originally Posted by Kalafai View Post
    Change Camera angle closer to straight down on the map.

    Argument Against: You wouldn't be able to tell champions appart.

    Rebuttal: I'm pretty sure Chogoth's back is different from TF's hat.

    Argument Against: You wouldnt be able to stare at Sivir's legs while she runs.

    Rebuttal: I'll take overhead of her rack anyday anyways.

    But really, that's a joke entry.

    Argument Against: Your field of view has been precisely calculated and this would affect game balance.

    Rebuttal: Yeah right. Rather than play full screen at 16:10 resolution, I play windowed at 16:9, and can see 2 tank minions farther on either side. This has affected my combat, and the directions I pick to gank from. I really don't think you care that much.
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    All I can tell you is that's the direction I've gotten from the game designers. We have gameplay reasons for not allowing you to zoom out farther. To the extent that we will ban you if you try to hack around it with a 3rd party program. Search the general forums or try to catch Morello's attention if you want more details, that's outside my expertise, unfortunately.
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    Originally Posted by Dumyr View Post
    Just throwing this out there, but the ONLY reason I would (and have) considered using locked camera is because when the VFX start flying in a team fight, I often lose track of my champ. Locked camera would solve that for me.

    I don't use it because there are too many other associated problems with it, but I'll say this: if you gave me a big **** glowing arrow or beam of light pointing straight at MY champ all the time, I'd never even consider it ever again.

    And I mean a really, really, super obvious thing, here. Not something subtle like a different color on my health bar.
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    Yes, we would like to make your champion more visible in the chaos of a team fight! That's a different discussion though. Also... your mouse cursor
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    Originally Posted by MrWish View Post
    The purple side is definitely a problem and i disagree that its only for a small portion of LoL because i am a top elo of 2.1k and i use locked only because its just what im used to and i find it very unfair on purple side , obviously all sides of argument have to be considered but there is a significant portion that uses locked and there has to be a fix in some manner.
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    Uhhhhh... if you're 2.1k Elo and use locked camera exclusively... I'm not sure it's seriously affecting your play! You are in the elite level of players. You have roughly a 50% chance to be on purple and you still play at an exceptionally high level.
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    Originally Posted by Kalafai View Post
    Got it.

    Checked config.cfg, it started at LockCamera=0

    Did a custom game, locked camera and immediatly quit.

    Checked config.cfg, was now at LockCamera=1

    Wondered why it normally wouldn't be that.

    Started a new custom game, played all the way through to nexus death, locked camera all the way through.

    Confirmed config.cfg, LockCamera=0

    Thoughts:
    The camera refocusing on an exploding nexus disables camera lock.
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    Awesome! I will try to get someone to track that down. I was pretty surprised by the numbers I saw for locked camera usage but we couldn't find a scenario where the setting wasn't kept. However if it is something with the game end that could explain it.