The other night, Morello made a post that is disturbing to anyone who, like myself, feel that League is in desperate need of more maps. He then went on to use an invalid argument as an example to why he feels the way he does.
First of all, I want to say, I have a ton of respect for Morello, I always love seeing his posts on Champion design, and even when I disagree with him, I have to admit he makes good points. That doesn't seem to apply to map design however. He seems to like level discussion, and doesn't really strike me as the type who would mind, or take it offensively that I'm calling him out on this, and I don't mean it that way, I'm simply addressing my concern.
Here is the post mentioned earlier.
Quote:New maps are tough - from a legitimate competitive standpoint (IE World Finals), I don't believe it's a good idea to release additional core 5v5 maps. CTF is a mess in any game except Tribes, TFC or Quake 3 which the whole game is about movement, so I'd be very against that. :P
I've talked about these issues in other threads and don't want to derail too much here, but I'll say this; competitive sports have "1 map" and it never gets boring (and in fact have "1 meta"). Maps can provide fun variety, but there's nothing that tells me that multiple maps make for a better spectator and player sport.
The manager may decide to alter the lineup in order to try and gain an advantage from some of the differences from field to field, switching a left handed hitter for a right handed hitter for example, or moving a power guy to a different spot due to playing in a hitter's park when they would normally play in a pitcher's park when playing at home.
These changes could also alter the type of pitch the battery decide to use, or shift the defense uses, or the part of the field the hitter attempts to hit to. If all of that doesn't reflect a change to the "meta" from field to field, I don't know what does. Looking at it this way, the MLB has a full 30 maps vs LoL's 4, all 30 in the MLB are considered competitive, where only 1 is in League.
Even in other sports where the dimensions are much more standardized, there still may be difference from field to field, or court to court. For instance, is it indoors, or outdoors Grass or turf? And at times other quirks may come into play, like the low hanging trons at the new Cowboys stadium. Even weather patterns must be considered to a certain extent.
For me personally, I like tuning in when my Atlanta Braves are on the road, to see how they change their strategy to not only counter the opposing team, but also the change in scenery.
I just think that League has way too much potential to just throw away by not introducing new maps. Runeterra has way too many interesting places like Icathia, and Bilgewater to just ignore within the game itself. So I ask, please don't ignore the world League of Legends is set in, expand the list of locations that can be visited in game.
Edit: Major thanks to Xypherous for sharing his insight.
Edit 2:Quote:My apologies if I haven't convinced you of my point or if you're confused about what I've been saying or if what I'm saying simply makes no sense to you. I will say that a lot of these thoughts are my personal thoughts and thus you have every right to disagree with them.
Edit 3: I just posted some thoughts on page 88, thought I'd quote them here.Quote:I understand the "more combinations" argument for making new champions and items to make SR deeper, I do, it makes perfect sense, but sadly with over 100 champions already in the game, and a very nice item selection as it is, this just doesn't seem significant enough in adding new depth anymore. I very seriously doubt they will ever change the physical layout of SR, and any stat changes to towers or jungle creeps that they have made in the past, at least at my elo, haven't ever seemed that interesting, and on the opposite side, the pros seem to take absolutely no time to adjust (maybe there is some odd place in the mid level elo range where it seems significant?). On top of that, reskins almost seem to break Xypherous' own argument of variety for the sake of variety, since they add 0 new gameplay depth whatsoever. I'm sorry, but the only solution I see is to introduce entirely new maps.
Edit 5: Morello's recent posts give the impression that he thinks this issue is resolved. IT ISN'T. I'd also like to point out that regardless of how things have played out thus far or will continue to play out, that I haven't and probably won't lose any respect I have for Morello, Xypherous, or any other Rioter.
Edit 6: With everyone suggesting reskins now, I felt the need to explain why it isn't quite a good enough solution.
Quote:I'm seeing this come up a lot now, and I'd first like to say that it is by no means a bad idea, it would add some variety beyond what does exist, but to steal a line from Xypherous, it really is only "variety for the sake of variety". Here are a couple reasons that they either aren't quite good enough, or have limitations.
1. They don't add new gameplay. This one is pretty big, because even with reskins, some people just wont be satisfied, they really add no new depth to gameplay, just aesthetic depth, which is something, but something that will wear off quickly.
2. Themes would be limited by lore. You couldn't have a lot of the suggestions people are making for new skins, because they don't make sense. Summoner's Rift is a location in Valoran in the lore, you can't have an exact copy of it in Shurima Desert or Bilgewater that works 100% the same mechanically within the game and not seem off. There would have to be some variance thus making them separate maps, sure you could find some way to explain them being similar enough that it doesn't effect the gameplay much, but things would have to change in a few areas, from jungle placement to what creeps are present, location of the bushes, etc.
That isn't to say that there aren't ways it can work. We all know how popular the holiday and seasonal versions of Summoner's Rift were, these work, and make sense in the lore. Xypherous also pointed out an alternative that could also be interesting. Well sorta, at least from what I read out of it
Lets say enough champs on a team were in some way affiliated with the same faction, say at least 3 or 4 of the 5, then that team's base could be decorated with flags and banners associated with that faction. Not sure if the effort would be worth it, but it could be interesting.
So again, map reskins wouldn't solve any problems, but they could add something.
Edit 7: Pinkie Pie wants to help us out.
Edits 8-9: The below quotes are in reply to some of Xypherous' posts.
Quote:For me, that part will not work. The only way that would work for me if it had a new set up, new routes, and a different jungle. Like I have said about my preference, I have seen the SR type map for many years and the whole near same set up is very stale. Compairing SR to Dotas map you can see how everything is near same in lanes, jungle, river, and bases. With a few things different, (like no jungle shop, or the dragon being in SR)
It seems if you went deeper into the SR map you would need to change more than just putting another skin on it that doesn't do much more than please the eye for at least the time being. However if you were talking about maybe increasing the overall size and growing the jungle out some, maybe a few more paths that would be a good start.
It is apparent that this style of gaming mostly revolves around 5v5. Either its 3 lanes, one lane, (some custom games two lanes.) or one big circle with various points to capture on it. 5v5 is the majority of the gaming. Even though I my self prefer the 3v3 slightly different game style than 5v5 its still old.
I will say I respect you at riot for creating and working on something that you love. Hell its even cooler the fact you want to play your own creation after logging many hours working on it. That means you are passionate about your form of artwork and it does show. A lot of people expect a bit too much in a short amount of time from you. I guess they don't realize how big the player base is compared to the staff at riot. So yes many questions on the forums are going to be left unanswered. I say Riot keep it up and keep creating as long as you love doing it.
Still it would be nice to have a bit of variety. And Since my creative bone usually involves trying to figure out the fastest way to complete work so I don't have to re do it and can enjoy either gaming or hanging out with my friends. I can't really show up with a Portfolio of amazing work.
Side note, what is your stance on allowing people to create custom mode maps? Something similar to the one WC3 allowed. (I know this isn't wc3 and I am glad at that, however the best thing about that game was the create your own map/game modes to me)Quote:There is a flaw in this line of logic which i believe has toxic repercussions, the problem is that is based entirely on the scale of the issue. Lets use the example of various size amounts of water to demonstrate what i mean. If you had the choice to play in 1000 gallons of water in a puddle one inch deep or a 1000 gallon swimming pool six feet deep i believe everyone would pick the pool. That is because as you said the variety of scenery is insufficient to compensate for the lack of depth. However if you are given the choice between a 100 square foot pool or a 1 foot by 1 foot square of ocean that leads to the bottom of Challenger deep i believe most would choose the pool since the vast majority of the depth is wasted. With League you face a similar problem if you focus on making SR extremely deep and nuanced you run the risk of boxing in the players and wasting effort, because no matter what statistical changes you have made the creep camps or the towers, or even how many champions you add after the thousandth time you have played a game on SR it is still the same map.
I have a question for any rioter, with the high demand that the player base has for new maps(as demonstrated by the near constant forum posts about it) and the extreme creativity that your fan base possesses(summoners showcase) why not issue a challenge to the players. Have them create their own maps and game types, present them to the community and developers, vote for their favorites and then have them implemented to supplement the existing maps. Everyone wins, the pro map people get more maps, the creative people get to create and be recognized for it, the developers some of the load taken off them, and riot gets great press for looking like it really wants to incorporate the fans into the development of the game.
Edit 12: Go vote on which you would like to see as a map. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=3445834 (Updated link)
If you want to understand where Morello is coming from - think about Guild Wars, a game that was literally torn apart because of the amount of undeveloped variety it had. No single map or mode had enough critical mass to actually sustain a group of players or develop depth of strategy.
In short, the game killed any competitive depth it had by offering shallow (or at the very least, undeveloped) breadth before crystallizing it's depth.
This serves to highlight the core point of Variety without Depth only satisfies novelty.
Novelty is a transient good, unfortunately. Depth is the more important of the two aspects.
In short, more maps is not as good as deep maps.
I.. I.. I dont even...
How can you compare a MOBA to a MMORPG....
Of course an MMO doesnt have a competative scene...I... I... Really dont know anymore.
This single statement has made me lose all interest in Further Riot development.
Grats you did what you came for.
Morello formerly worked on balance for Competitive PvP Arena in Guild Wars - which, actually at the time, was one of the most varied PvP settings with a huge amount of variance/playstyles/tactics. Guild Wars' PvE mode was a setup for Guild Wars. You didn't even have to level a character to max level. You could just start at max level.
If you want to understand where Morello is coming from - you need to understand what happened to PvP Arenas in Guild Wars - There was so many maps/modes that they sharded themselves into so many fractional queues that any semblance of depth was lost because there wasn't the critical mass to actually sustain a group of players and develop any consistent depth on any map.
Having been a hardcore GW's player from Prophecies release and on, I'm forced to agree with this man. The maps didn't help, but I don't think that was the initial cause.
Every single mode felt like they were horribly imbalanced because of the split focus on balance. Additionally, lack of a playerbase also tends to lead to the stagnation/desire to develop counter-strategies from the playerbase - so even if a strategy was balanced and waiting for the appropriate counter - you'd have to wait so long for the appropriate counter than play would suffer in the interim - which leads to even more imbalances as you attempt to patch those.
It's a incredibly negative spiral that's hard to stop once it begins. :x
Not entirely relevant to the discussion at hand, unfortunately. XD
Community: "Could you at least look into revamping Twisted Treeline?"
Riot: "Blasphemy! Can't you see that 3v3 is just not good for competition!?"Quote:
Couldn't it be possible to have LoL have multiple 5v5 maps but only one queue?
Support is key - and yes, admittedly, we've been completely lacking on this front. It's something that I've wanted to look at for a while - but in terms of priorities, I think making SR deeper and more compelling will do a lot to make the other maps easier to balance and compelling at the same time - especially in terms of itemization/summoner spell/mastery work.
Xypherous, whats your view on Treeline?
this is my personal question. after seeing people fail to come up with bright ideas to balance the map, I want to see what a pro thinks about this.
The map needs a lot of balancing "valves and levers" added to it for that to function though - but I think it could be done. I think you'd have to step in the realm of map-specific summoner spells / items / class auras and such to get it to a decent state.
You are saying that you cannot release more maps because balancing would be an issue
My point is that unnecessarily sharding people across multiple maps and modes ultimately damages the ability of the playerbase to discover the depth in the modes themselves. When Depth is compromised or players feel like the depth isn't worth discovering - the only value that the new map ultimately added is novelty.
Novelty is a transient good. Novelty for the sake of Novelty is not worth it. Proper execution of superior gameplay is always better than seeking novelty for the sake of novelty.
What I am unsure of is how you can make a comment about balancing and not acknowledge the fact that creating new items and editing existing items
but..isn't having new champions every two-weeks just for the sake of novelty ?
However, maps don't ensure more depth - it simply forces you to re-evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of things that already exist. The current existence/state of TT or Dominion hasn't added a whole ton of depth to the game - even if champions function very differently on it. They've added multiple iterations but that are ultimately shallower in terms of overall depth.
The ability for Jayce to take every lane except mid adds depth to flexibility and team composition and makes for a richer experience - The fact that Jayce exists makes SR richer, by comparison.