- Red Post Collection: GPL Summoner Icons, Morello & Ghostcrawler on Design, Zyra W
- 7/23 PBE Update: Debonair Ezreal and Debonair Vi updates, new Sona ability icons
Doom Bots Q&A RecapAs announced, the Doom Bots team invaded the boards to answer summoner questions about the latest game mode, featured game modes in general, and DOOM.
L4T3NCY kicked off the Q&A with:
"Heya everyone ^_^/
Our latest Featured Game Mode, the "Doom Bots of Doom", was just released, and the Play team wanted to field any suggestions or questions you guys might have! We take care of all the Featured Game Modes, so feel free to ask us anything about the Doom Bots (or previous Featured Game Modes). We also want to hear your tales of DOOM! Which bots are the hardest? Which Bonus Doom combinations are the coolest (most OP?)?
We'll be online from now for 2 hours from 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM PST. Come and say "Hi!".
EDIT: Thanks for stopping by to chat with us everyone, but we need to get back to making the next FGM! Some great questions here that I'm glad we could finally provide answers to.
See you on the Rift. :)"
When asked why Featured Gameplay modes are only temporary modes, L4T3NCY explained:
"Featured Game Modes are designed from the ground up as short-term engagement experiences. This short-term window affords us the creative wiggle room to try new things and see what works, listen to your feedback, then pull back and iterate before re-releasing. Trying to build a long-term sustainable game mode would actually constrain us from doing things like Doom Bots, URF, etc. Featured Game Modes have also been shown to taper off in popularity sharply after a short period of time. Riot Brackhar actually made a great post on this topic late last year titled, "Behind the Scenes on Featured Gameplay Modes", explaining many similar points with some cool graphs.
We're keen to re-release and bring back popular modes. When we do, they should be better experiences than the original version, with everyone's help. ^_^o"As for a rotating cycle of featured gameplay modes, L4T3NCY noted:
Do you have any plans to create a rotating cycle of game modes that switch out each week? Eg. Champion Free Week but with game modes instead.This is something we've been considering. If there's a healthy way to do this, we'd like to give it a try!"
Riot Case also commented on the origins of DOOM BOTS, saying:
"Where did Doom Bots come from? From a collaboration between our AI and the Featured Game Mode teams :) Once we shipped our updated AI, we wanted to explore a collaboration and see what was possible in a PvE space for League.
For the record, Doom Bots get one (2 bomb) or two (5 bomb) random Bonus Doom (randomized every time they spawn). Killing them never grants them more power; as designers, we don't want to put you in a position where not killing bots was a valid strategy."
When asked why there is a level restriction on the Doom bots of Doom mode, BuffMePlz noted:
"We generally add these restrictions because game modes are alternate ways of exploring League of Legends in the context of League of Legends. We don't want a new player's first experience in League of Legends to be in an alternate game mode, where the rules don't make sense if you aren't familiar with League of Legends.
That said, we should empower players to make those decisions, and your situation is likely not an uncommon one. We will likely revisit our stance on queue restrictions for future modes."
L4T3NCY also commented on a players feedback regarding the mode being a "failure" as most players try to avoid the bots instead of fighting them:
"FGM's aim to let you guys discover new and unique ways to engage with your favourite champions. Whether that's encouraging interesting play patterns, new meta styles, or skill mastery, we're certainly not bound to any particular ruleset that might preclude everyone having a heap of fun. If Doom Bots were able to stir feelings of triumph in the midst of seemingly overwhelming odds, and make players feel like a badass on their champion of choice.. I'd call that a positive. ^_^o If this can be fulfilled without PvP, then I'd challenge that as a necessity of FGM's.
As with all game modes, it's still too early for us to know the full impact of Doom Bots, until the mode has run its course and we've had time to analyse it. Current anecdotal evidence though would suggest that many player's faces were melted and they laughed while it happened. :D There was much laughter and melting.
We might do another dev blog as a post-mortem on the Doom Bots of Doom, but only if it turns out there's super cool stuff worth it for you guys to check out."RoboLions also chimed in on these strats of avoiding bots in Bomb 5, saying:
"We are well aware that bots have a weakness to split push and that players in the know could capitalize on this to secure a win. That is why we took care to design 5 Bombs to be quite difficult but doable without cheese tactics. What is enjoyable and engaging is learning the patterns of the bots and overcoming them. The fallacy is believing that the only way to win is split push with your best most OP champ.
Another thing we do with all game modes is collect and crunch a ton of data around how players are engaging with the mode. This lets us compare the success of modes so that we can say with certainty whether players are enjoying the game and coming back or just trying it out and responding with a, "meh." So do not fear, it may be that this mode didn't scratch an itch for everyone, but we're confident it hasn't fallen flat either."
When asked about some sort of zany future mode where players can use the Doom bot level abilities, L4T3NCY noted:
"The Doom Bot's skills were designed specifically with bots in mind, and that's key to why they work at all. The bots do not optimise their behaviour in any way to take real advantage of the skills. This constant 'predictable' logic is what creates the clear counterplay patterns for Doomed abilites (Lux's laser pattern. Fiddle's ghost ulti's). This would not be the case if controlled by humans in their current shape.
There's still the seed of an idea there though, where players get crazy / warped abilities, but that's a different game mode (and would need to be balanced accordingly)."
Riot Case also jumped in to share what was done to the coding of the bots other than the buffed/mutated abilities:
"We wanted to keep AI changes to a minimum, for sanity's sake, but I ended up tweaking some of their sieging behaviors slightly for this mode.
A lot of the "new" behavior I noticed players commenting on were part of the pretty significant overhaul of our regular bots a few months ago (it included warding behaviors, flashing, skill shot dodging, etc).
For Doom Bots, we made sure they were taking full advantage of those new toys."
As for why it goes 1 bomb, 2 bomb, then 5 bomb for difficulty, BuffMePlz explained:
"Because counting is hard. =(
It's because we wanted to more accurately portray the jump between difficulty levels to better set expectations. The gap between 1 bomb and 2 bombs was objectively smaller than the gap between 2 bombs and 5 bombs. Also 5 seemed like a pretty good number."
When asked what the one of the craziest bots they cooked up was, BuffMePlz noted they had tried a Doom Malphite:
"We had a version of Malphite Bot who would basically use a version of Unstoppable Force with a global cast range as a substitute for Teleport.
...His cross-map ganks were INSANE."L4T3NCY also chimed in:
"It was pretty cool, but also broken in many places. Like he could use it to just bail from a team fight he was losing.
One time Doom Malphite was 1v4'ing us, even killed a few but was starting to lose... so when things looked bad, he just used his ult to peace-out back to his base.... as far as Doom Malphite was concerned, he was "ganking his own fountain".. :/"
BuffMePlz mentioned this Malphite bot again later when sharing a few other scrapped bot ideas:
"We had a couple bots that didn't make the cut. There was a Malphite Bot who used a global version of Unstoppable Force as a Teleport substitute, a Sivir Bot who had an enormous Boomerang Blade and perma-old-school-Ricochet, and a couple of other exploratory bots that ended being leveraged for Bonus Doom abilities (e.g. Warwick, whose Blood Scent is now a bonus doom - the original Warwick Bot version had permanent Blood Scent on the bot team and IT SUCKED)."
BuffMePlz also commented on early ideas for a Doom Nunu bot:
"Haha yeah that was a bit of a missed opportunity. We did a bit of early exploration with Nunu Bot (including a hypothetical version where he would periodically freeze the river) but decided against it because a lot of his kit didn't lead to interesting gameplay patterns with the skill paradigm we had generally adopted in favor of skill shots and/or telegraphed sidegrades."
BuffMePlz also shared the number of lasers Doom Lux Bot shoots off on 5 bomb difficulty:
"Level 5 Lux Bot shoots 20 laser beams when she casts Final Spark. The Light Binding would chain up to 5 times - we originally had it chaining indefinitely, but it was kind of too ridiculous. =P"As for why the Doom Bots are ability power based champions, BuffMePlz explained:
You only made AP champs as Doom bots, right? Why not make ADC champs with extra doomy items, like for example give them a ranged version build of Ravenous Hydra, and combo that with Ruinaan's Hurricane... Are items so much more difficult to modify than champions?
Suggestion: since they are doom bots, you should have given them vision of the jungle. In the games I played, it seemed that just moving between lanes a lot confused the bots (even 5 bomb bots) to the point that pushing to the nexus was easy and then the challenge was only to push the last two towers down.
Items aren't difficult to modify, but they generally lack the identity that champion abilities have. Part of what made Doom Bots entertaining was seeing the champions that you were familiar with doing things that were still distinctly reminiscent of that champion, even if what they were doing was ridiculously over-the-top. Giant Tibbers is a good example of this - it needs no explanation, and you would never fail to make the connection between it and Annie.
For this first iteration, we concentrated more on giving the bots unique identities via ability modifications. Creating new items would definitely add power and difficulty, but a lot of the uniqueness that made the bots immediately identifiable would be lost.
That's not to say that this kind of thing won't happen in the future. You guys have proven that you want something even harder, and Doom Bot-specific items is definitely a way to achieve this. =)"
When asked why the IP reward for defeating 5 bomb Doom Bots was so low, RoboLions noted:
"Our goal is to make fun experiences for people that are rewarding in their own right (yes it is about the journey). Our hope is that replayability will come from players being excited to try new champions and challenge themselves to beat the bots in interesting ways.
If we do decide to focus on rewards for participating in game modes it is unlikely that they will be IP based, we could certainly come up with some systems to celebrate game mode related achievements. That said, we could have done a better job of tuning the IP as compared to other COOP vs AI queues, we'll try to be more mindful of that going forward."on the same topic, Robolions noted:
"I don't think that they need to be particularly rewarding. But when the IP gain is SO abysmal, you are actually giving something up in order to play.
That's - you know - the opposite of a reward.
You are effectively PAYING IP to play the game mode, because if you didn't play it, you'd be earning more IP no matter what you did.
If the game mode at least gave the same IP as playing vs Intermediate Bots, it wouldn't feel like a total kick-in-the-nuts, but would still be less IP-favorable than playing normal games.We agree the economics of it were a fail on our part. In the end we hope the mode was fun enough to be worth some of your time. Going forward we will make sure IP rewards are in line with what you guys would expect."
He continued, mentioning the desire for more, non IP rewards:
"We would definitely like to do more rewards, and have experimented with it for events like Showdown. More experiments are coming :)"
As for why Doom Annie doesn't use a skin but the other doom bots do, BuffMePlz commented:
"Because Annie Bot is already doom incarnate! We tossed around the idea of giving a skin to Annie, but ultimately felt that having giant Tibbers be the Tibbers that we all know and love (and fear) was the best way to deliver on the terror that Mega-Tibbers brings to the Rift."
BUT WHAT ABOUT U.R.F MODE
One question that is always hot on everyone's mind and brough up several times during this Q&A is " WHEN IS U.R.F MODE COMING BACK!?"!
"We've been overwhelmed by the awesome response from everyone on URF mode. We're glad everyone had a blast, so did we! As we've shown with One For All: Mirror Mode, popular game modes are destined to be re-released at some point. Before we do this though, we need to improve on modes for a better player experience that equals more fun for everyone.
Given URF's popularity, we want to bring it back, and even better than it was the first time around. We wanna play it too!! >o</"
In a different thread, Robolions also noted :
"It could happen! The problem with game modes is that we do some specific one-off stuff in code, scripts, and other things to enable the alternative rules that are so fun. For example, to make Syndra work for OFA we had to work hard to make sure the game understood what to do with so many Sydras and balls that previously were considered to "belong" to other Syndras, etc. This works great inside a given patch but as things progress, are changed, balanced, etc, they have to be done such that it doesn't break any of our game modes. So in a world with permanent game modes there is a serious commitment to maintaining those modes patch over patch.
For now, we are focusing on making new fun game modes to keep things fresh, and iterating on older game modes to attempt to improve them when we bring them back. Eventually we may have a mode that is so well polished and popular that it's time to make it permanent, we're open to that possibility, but we aren't there yet."
Player Behavior ExperimentsIn a thread where he publicly shared a punished players chat log to demonstrate examples of not ok behavior, Lyte commented on a few of the recent behavior systems and mentioned they have considered taking away the ability to queue for Ranked from toxic players.
"Actually, we find that many players never chat at all and only use smart pings and perform pretty well. For a large number of players, chat restrictions actually increases their win rates, because being verbally abusive to teammates tends to make the team's performance spiral negatively.
We have considered restricting players from playing Ranked if they currently have a penalty, RiotSocrates should have more information about this in the future."
As for claims that intentional feeding reports can land you with chat restrictions, Lyte noted:
"Intentional Feeding is going to be handled by a different system that was built just to detect intentional feeding.
Right now, sometimes Intentional Feeding gets hit with a Chat Restriction because they also were verbally abusive, but the overlap makes it confusing. We'll make it more clear in the future why you got a specific ban, and what behavior it was for."
As for players still seeing extremely toxic players running around despite the new experiment, he noted:
"Systems are tuned to minimize false positives. This means that most of the players that are punished probably deserve it; however, there are players that deserve punishments but aren't punished yet.
As we improve the accuracy of systems, we can increase the thresholds so that the systems start aggressively searching for wider nets of players, but, we always want to ensure low false positive rates so that neutral or positive players are never affected by these systems."
So Lyte... your goal right now is not to get systems in place that will ensure people get punished without a person ever looking at the file in stead of just trying to improve the efficiency of the system?No, we're testing these systems today and manually reviewing them. When the new Tribunal launches, we can use these lessons with players reviewing them instead."
If you are interested in direct examples of summoner's reporting they didn't deserve punishments and reds proving they did, check out this thread by Lyte and this thread by WookieeCookie, the later of which exposes a player attempting to rile up the community with false reports of being banned and using an old support email he edited as evidence.
Summoner's Rift Update ProgressWhen asked why is the Summoner's Rift update taking so long, Riot JxE commented:
"Because we're far from done, what you see on pbe right now still has a lot of work left on it. There is also a lot of work left to be done on performance and optimization. We're trying to do everything we can so that it causes no problems for people when it releases."Riot Jxe continued, noting some of the performance / optimization goals of the update:
Surprised me that reds read this part of the forums sometimes haha. But anyways, could you give us a bit of insight on this performance/optimization? The thought of slightly higher fps is a thought to relish tbh.Sure, on the art side biggest thing we've done is reduce the polygon count on the map dramatically. Because we're hand painting in all of our lighting, we don't need as many polygons to pick up programmatic lighting. In the case of the Wolf Camp(http://riot-web-static.s3.amazonaws....SRDB/srdb1.jpg) we reduced the number of polygons by over 80%.
On the code side we've optimized our renderer and cleaned up the code to simplify everything and we also have a team doing a pass through our engine trying to optimize performance across the board. Our goal with the SR VU is that everyone has equal or better fps compared to what's on live now."
Leona and DianaOn the lighter side of things, IronStylus also shared a picture of Leona
"Here, have a Leona painting I never finished!"and when asked for one of Diana:
"Here ya go. This got slightly less not-finished due to the help of RiotTeaTime helping me with it, though I think I'll pick it back up at some point and finish it. "