@Ezreal thread responses, including more on champion variety, scrapped champion ideas, what 2013 will hold, and much more!
Champ Archetypes and Variety
Let's kick things off with Ezreal talking about champion archetypes!
"We try to hit well known archetypes in ways that differentiate them from other games. We only have 100+ champs right now, there are still plenty more basic archetypes to hit. On that note, what other archetypes have we missed out on?"To elaborate on that last one, he responded to a few archetypes and ideas specifically:
He spoke to a "chaos" magic user:
"Well, chaos magic is indeed cool, but it has a fundamental flaw. Chaos magic is usually associated with 'randomness'. A champion who is based on randomness is flawed, as it is impossible to balance. Now you could make an argument for making the chaos mage a multi elemental mage who could cast a number of different spells. But that archetype is cleaner when associated with elementalists. So I do believe it would be cool, I just don't believe chaos magic is a good place to explore in LoL (well, other than maybe overwhelming amounts of evil magic)."He also mentioned using sand as an element:
"Sand is one of those core elements that we haven't really explored with mages yet. Heck, I would also love to see a shadow mage some day. "Magic elements weren't the only thing Ezreal talked about. One particularly manly summoner inquired about the dwarves and if we'd ever see them pop into Runeterra.
"Ultimately dwarves have too much overlap with Yordles to be their own race in LoL. That being said, I think we could take elements from dwarves and create a pretty awesome yordle that would take on these elements. After all, why be restricted to copying what has been done in the past when we can make a new unique version using our own world."
He also responded to the idea of a "mage knight" type of champion:
" We discussed how the 'main character' of many fantasy series is the classic mage knight (the hero who can both wield a sword and cast magic). We dig the idea, but can't find a way to differentiate it enough from Draven. Thoughts?"Scrapped or Potential character ideas
In the past, Ezreal showed some interest in the possibility of an "elemental" Hydra type champion and he shed a little light on why they didn't move forward with that:
"We ultimately decided to pass on this character early on. We simply couldn't find a good way of placing a personality on this champion. Take for example dragons and phoenixes. These are classically intelligent creatures who have both monstrous and human qualities. Hydras on the other hand have almost universally had just monstrous qualities (barring Tiamat, who is more of a 5 headed dragon than a hydra). This led us to believe that hydra's are more likely to be an epic boss creature than a LoL champion."The next scrapped idea he mentioned passing on was a yordle piloting a drill equipped tank!
"I think I've talked about a Yordle riding in a drill tank a few times, a character who we thought might be cool but ultimately decided to pass on. Imagine an ultimate that would drill a hole between two areas (knocking back enemies) and providing a one way exit for your allies. Imagine the Baron/Dragon assaults!"As for weapons Riot has yet to utilize, Ezreal shared his thoughts being a sling shot wielding champion:
" I could see a champion with a sling shot some day. Though there is always the problem with making the sling shot a 'powerful' weapon. We have toyed with the idea of making the sling shot fire alchemical globes of dangerous chemicals (think Molotov cocktails). It might be something cool to experiment with in the future, but we have no plans to make one right now."Dipping into the lore a little bit, he also entertained a question about the champion Ezreal's gloves and the possibility of seeing the other one.
"Haha, we have toyed with the idea of having Ezreal's glove come from a set, and passing on one or more of it to future champions. Again, very cool, but we don't want to overplay the 'powerful artifact' too many times. Each time we do it we risk diminishing the cool factor of older champions with the trope such as Ezreal."He also sort of shot down the idea of creating a dedicated poison based rogue champion in the near future.
"Well, we already have 3 poison champs (you forgot Cassiopeia who has 2 types of poisons). So while we do have space to explore the Rogue poison choosing archetype, it would probably be a while until we tried it out."Already released champions
When asked about the possibility of updating Nidalee's kit to allow her access to her ultimate at level one, Ezreal replied:
"We like the fact that Nidalee has a different feel to other transforming champions such as Jayce and Elise. We try to avoid core feel changes on champions whenever we look back at updating them. That and to be honest, Nidalee is still pretty dang fun. She mostly needs some bug fixes."Talking about the confused role of Sion, he shared that community reception can influence Riot's champ perspective.
"Well, Sion was designed to be an offensive tank, however he deviated from this when players focused on his AP build. Over time we have considered making him more focused on AD, but shied away from it since it goes counter to how the majority of the community enjoys playing him. Honestly, I am not sure if we should change him into a AD focused champion at this point."Lore
Since the cancellation of the Journal of Justice, many summoner's have been eagerly awaiting more lore related content. When asked if Riot has given up on lore, Ezreal responded:
"We absolutely have not given up on lore. We want to find new and better ways of integrating it into our game and giving it to our fans. Personally I think it adds a lot of flavor to our game, and I could deal with seeing more of it in the future."Champion interactions, such as the unique dialogues between Vi and Caitlyn or Nocturne and Graves, are one of the most recent and well received lore related features to pop up. Ezreal commented briefly on these, saying:
"Champion interactions is something that we truly love integrating into the game, but as it is a new feature, it is not that easy getting previous voice actors into the studio to help out for such a small number of interactions. New champions will have a much easier time getting VO interaction (so hopefully we can get a new champ who interacts with EZ)."Itemization
Regarding the surge of AD champions pushing out the traditional AP mid champs, Ezreal said:
"We are investigating this. We are looking into improving some core AP itemization, as well as nerfing AD champions who are out of line in the mid lane."Getting into specific items, he mentioned the two of the attack speed / ability power items:
"Nashor's Tooth has always been a painful item to buy due to it's stats composition. Few champions need AP, Atk Spd, AP, Mana Regen, and CDR. We hope to assuage this by removing the most painful, and restrictive stat: Mana Regen. After we do that we'll see how it does and adjust accordingly.Sort of on the same of Malady/Nashor's Tooth, Ezreal shared his thoughts on champions who benefit from both AP and attack speed.
As for Malady...I am actually surprised it is not being used more. With the recent buffs to penetration in season 3 it strikes me as a very powerful item. This is one that I would rather sit back and watch rather than potentially overbuff."
"We have rarely had success with ability power champions focusing on auto attacks (Kennen is one of the few). That being said, I do definitely think we could try out a full out AP auto attacker. It would certainly mess with the meta in the bottom lane...hmmm, saying that out loud reminds me that I really wanted to try that... I wonder what sort of thematic archetype would fit the role of AP auto attacker. Ideas?"What will 2013 hold?
In closing, Ezreal teased us about what the rest of this year will hold.
"2013 is going to have a pretty good balance between the two, but will also have a fair number of humanoids, creatures, and yordles!"