LoL: How long can we keep this up?

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Not sure how much this applies or how exactly you meant it but I'd consider Jayce to be a ranged/melee hybrid, filling the Ranged champs with melee category a bit. Great read otherwise, Thanks!
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Sion's ult cover's the auto-attacks that heal teammates, too.
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I don't actually play LoL at all, but I can't help but wonder how this would apply to ships in Eve. It seems to me like they're running out of 'design space' with ships, there's a lot of overlap.
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As a casual LoL player I consider there is ALREADY way too much characters.
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people would have to actually play Sion for me to have remembered this ;) After playing for almost five months, I played with my first Sion the other night actually...
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There are also tons of debuffs... Reduced damage, reduced armor/magic resist, reduced healing, silences and probably more that I can't think of
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i meant that there isn't really a "debuff" champ... at least not like other games... you're right thought that I probably overstated that one...
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RAIDEN55 IS CLEARLY A FILTHY CASUAL
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As a veteran player of 3 years with on-off gaming (on-off for up to months at a time) I know almost every hero and their skill names/effects/passives off the top of my head and it's relatively easy to grasp, personally it's not the amount of heroes that LoL has but more or less the amount of learning curve for lower levels, the low level games are so full of toxic smurfs it's unreal.
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Slows, attack speed slows, attack damage and ability power reducers, armor and magic resist reducers, stuns/fears/suppression/knockup/taunts, blinds, Healing Reduction, Silence, Graves has a thing that makes it so you can't see outside a circle, nocturne has the ability to make you unable to see your ally vision, being revealed by truesight, and then position displacement.Thing is, I can't actually think of another kind of debuff beyond maybe something that makes your champion move in wacky directions and your mouse to behave weirdly.EDIT: Oh and snares.
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Jayce has melee abilites and can be ranges as well.
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Collidable object creation (Anivia)Range as a resource (Tristana)Health as a resource (Vlad, Mordekaiser)CDR as a resource (Zilean)Stealth champs (Evelynn)Speed as a resource (Hecarim)Ranged champs with melee abilities (none?) Jayce/elise/nidaleeAuto-attacks that heal/buff teammates (none?) shen's q kinda can be considered to do this?Debuffs (there are surprisingly few outside of flavors of slow) slows/reduce armor/reduce MR/silence/exhaust/blind
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I actually like many champs, it leaves hope that if you like one champion, at some point it would rarely be picked, or banned, even thou it's kinda broken
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Well, time for LOL 2 then.
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Auto-attacks that heal/buff teammates. How about sions ult?
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"Ranged champs with melee abilities (none?)"I believe Thresh falls in this category.
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You forgot trundle under collidable objects. Like everyone else...
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Shaco and Fiddlesticks
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I'm sure only top tier players and top tier aspergers know all relations between all characters. Most people get by just by learning how to counter Flavor Of The Month plus a few classics.
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Or shen?
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Trundle could fall in that category : Q reduces damages/E reduces speed/R reduces armor and MR
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So does Jayce.
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I think you're right... I overstated the case for a lack of debuffs. In my mind, as I was typing, it seemed like anyone and everyone has a flavor of slow while there aren't a lot of decent length other debuffs (most of the other ones are very short)... But there are certainly more.I think a champ with longer term buffs and debuffs would be neat (right now, everything is very short... a weaker, longer term buff/debuff would be interesting).
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OMG a hardcore, I need to hide in the bushes quickly!
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The issues don't necessarily arise only from casual players trying to understand the game, there is also balance issues when you have so many heroes. Simply put, when you keep releasing heroes left and right, some of the older heroes get neglected. For instance, heroes like J4 or Nidalee top (who TPA Stanley agrees are too weak in the current patch) end up being less favored for very long periods of time because other heroes do their job better.Another good example is how long Eve was a totally useless hero before they decided to fix her.
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if someone thinks that J4 and Nidalee are too weak, they should inform the pros who are heavily using them right now.Through 12 games, Nidalee has been banned 3 times, picked 4 times and won 3 times.Jarvan has been picked 3 times and won 3 times (no bans). Those are very high pick rates for champions that are "too weak".
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I consider Jayce a ranged champion and a melee champion with a switch... what I was thinking was more similar to Thresh (although I'd hardly consider his lantern throw, ult or chain-pull "melee" ranged... But if he had 2-3 abilities similar to his short range pull/push then I'd agree.
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Add denies, screw this "you get to have all the CS you can take" bullshitThat, or start exploring champs that dont have auto-attacks and rely purely on abilities to do damage. This is a concept I've put together before, but everyone can't seem to get their brains around.DOTA 2 and HoN have a slaugher of mechanics that entirely untouched by LoL, usually for reasons like "it stagnates the game" or "makes defensive play too strong."Not like flask didnt do that.Not like thats how the majority of lanes are played nowadays ANYWAYS.LoL will die to a lack of innovation in their standard play and a loss of complexity for simplicity. That or it will turn into a money-steam roller because tools will continue to buy their assembly-line champions.Then no one cares about gameplay, it all just becomes FOTM and tournaments become a test for simply "who can abuse FOTM the hardest."Suffice to say, I have little to no faith in Riot and hope LoL to die. No, I'm not a DOTA 2 whore, I'm a guy that's been playing since the beginning of closed beta, and I seriously lament the loss of fun gameplay that disappeared when Riot got their hands on tolerable amounts of money.The game has lost its way, I do not await it's return.
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After 3 years you lament that LoL is not DOTA? :laffo:

Mark Rosewater may not be a name that's familiar to the rank-and-file LoL or EVE player. He's been the driving force behind Magic: The Gathering for over 10 years and he knows a thing or two about creating new content for a highly complex game. The success of Magic is all the more impressive when one rewinds the clock back to 1997. Mirage, the fifteenth Magic set, had just been released and there was a general feeling that, while still a great game, there was a limit to the amount of innovation that could be done in Magic given only a few key fundamentals to the game (cards, life, mana). Fast forward to today and you see a game that is just as healthy and robust as it was 10 years ago. The pro scene for the game is still going well with money behind it comparable to any other top-tier nerd hobby.

Rosewater's Wisdom

Mark Rosewater writes a weekly article on the Magic website about game design. While he has a tendency to harken back unnecessarily to his days as a writer on Roseanne, it's still a generally enjoyable read, providing a fascinating insight into, what many of us would consider, our dream job. One of his big topics is around "design space". His thoughts have gone through three distinct stages:

  1. Early on, he considered the design space to be effectively unlimited.
  2. Later, he began to worry that there, in fact, was a limited design space.
  3. Presently, he thinks that mechanics are limited, but that still leads to an effectively infinite design space for cards.

So how does that all pertain to LoL? Riot recently announced that they were going to be ratcheting down the production schedule of new champions from one per two weeks to about one per three weeks. The reasons why they are slowing down are myriad. First of all, they already have 110 champions. There's a point at which even a pro's head explodes from the information needed to understand the game. Even if you could design 25 champions per year forever, would you want to be sitting here in 2020 with 300 champions to choose from on your loading screen? 

Secondly, they want to spend more time on the lore, flavor, graphics and skins that they create. Riot has created a remarkably well fleshed out world considering their first champions were a pretty big hodgepodge of genres. It wouldn't shock me if, at some point, you began to see League of Legends novels in your bookstore (every other major IP in the market has a series of novels). From one point of view, there are 110 books ready to be written and revenue to be realized. Additionally, with the release of Pulsefire Ezreal, they've realized the value of making really fantastic skins. Not just recolorings of existing skins, but actual changes in graphics and sounds. Bad Santa Veigar dropping an Event Horizon with candy canes and Christmas lights strung around it is a really cool and impressive thing. Human history has taught us that art is a bottomless well from which we can invent new things. Focusing on skins as a big revenue source makes a ton of sense.

Lastly, and the reason I wanted to write this, is the concern that Riot can't make more champions while keeping the game simple and accessible. One of the beautiful things about League is that the game is incredibly deep without being overwhelmingly complicated. We have 110 champions, 56 masteries, 92 runes, 100+ items, and a map that's got some really nuanced and subtle things going on. Once you start a game, many of those complexities fade away, leaving you 10 champions with four abilities and six pieces of equipment. You have one goal to accomplish: take down the enemy nexus before yours gets destroyed.

Keeping it complex

The concern around complexity is natural. It's largely been created by this year's crop of champions who are fairly complex. Lulu, Zed and Jayce are not exactly "beginner friendly" champs. However, look at Darius, Diana, and Vi, and you can see how successful more straightforward champs can be. Darius is as subtle as a sledgehammer; yet, based on the number of times he shows up in game, he appears to have been a commercial success.

One of the really neat things about LoL is that you won't find yourself thinking, "Oh, this is just X champion with Y tweak and a different skin." In other games you get that all the time. Even with the new destroyers in EVE, how many people went, "Oh, the new Amarr destroyer is a mini-Curse"? And EVE is a game that is tremendously more complex than LoL.

Having said that, there are a number of barely touched mechanics that could be further fleshed out. This is exactly what Magic did, which was when Mark Rosewater began to stop worrying about design space. Cycling, for example, was a new mechanic that was very straightforward: it allowed you to replace the cycled card with a new card. As a card, it came and went. When they brought it back, they really explored the design space it opened up. Those second-generation cards are sufficiently different from their ancestors yet they all owe their start to that cycling mechanic.

Similarly, LoL has barely touched on: 

  • Collidable object creation (Anivia)
  • Range as a resource (Tristana)
  • Health as a resource (Vlad, Mordekaiser)
  • CDR as a resource (Zilean)
  • Stealth champs (Evelynn)
  • Speed as a resource (Hecarim)
  • Ranged champs with melee abilities (none?)
  • Auto-attacks that heal/buff teammates (none?)
  • Debuffs (there are surprisingly few outside of flavors of slow)

That's by no means an exhaustive list. Those all have the potential to spawn a number of other champions, each distinct in both flavor and mechanics enough that no one feels like they just bought a slightly fancy Anivia skin.

How many is too many?

However, we're still left with one concern: what number of champions is "too many"? I said earlier that if we're here in 2020 with 300+ champs, that might be too much. So what's the answer? Answering that question is the major challenge for Riot. They really only have two options: figure out a way to continue to grow the champion pool without creating overwhelming complexity or figure out a way to make their business model work with significantly curtailed champion releases. Their decision will likely determine much of the future of the game.

I enjoy the intellectual / theorycrafting side of his games and write about what I enjoy. Follow me for mostly LoL rated tweets @econocentric and join the in game chat room "themittani.com" in LoL. You can also email me at seminole.sun7@gmail.com