Major changes to Dominion in the works

Posted on at 2:16 AM by Moobeat

Here is feedback on the direction that Dominion is headed. It's been just over a month since Dominion went live and it seems Riot has been able to gauge just how it is progressing and what needs to be done to help it stay healthy and fun.
Hey folks,

With Dominion having been out for awhile, and people now getting pretty used to it, we've had a chance to see how it's played out with thousands and thousands of players. We're happy with a lot of aspects with Dominion, but we think we can do some pretty major work to make significant improvements as well. 

Our diagnosis currently is that there are three major hinderences that make Dominion less fun or interesting than it could be. First off;

* Players don't get enough "moments of glory", and don't easily see how their success can effect the game.

Progression and personal success are hallmarks of MOBA in general. In our effort to make a balanced experience strategically, we really lowered the ability for that one in twenty matches players get to experience "running away with the game" and feel like they achieved epic status. We feel this is creating some disconnect between the high highs classic can provide, and the more constant but metered pace of Dominion. We will be focusing systems that allow more (gold, specifically) power differential between players. 

Next up;

* Comeback mechanics remove interesting team-level decision-making.

Our internal testing created some situations we felt this was mandatory. In practice, we think either an extremely toned-down version of this system or a removal of these systems needs to take place. This means games will be more representative of a team's skill, but you'll also experience more blow-out games. Our assertion is, generally, you can't achieve a decisive victory if you can't have extreme losses either, and that's needed to make a more memorable and deep experience.


* A few champions are way too good on Dominion

This is actually the most surface-level thing, and is fixed when we adjust with the other aforementioned systems. To summarize, this is caused by the certainty of progression, where hyper-scaling champions can reach a late game, farmed state with certainty. Addressing that will address most of the specific egregious champion issues.

Dominion is something we think is really fun, and are proud to have put out, and that's all the more reason for us to ensure it receives continued support and major changes where needed. We feel OK being very disruptive to Dominion in the pre-season phase, and will likely be more conservative when Ranked is turned on. This is our (developers and players!) best opportunity to improve Dominion on some fundamental levels, and we're not going to miss it.

- Morello
- Morello, Lead Champion Designer, via the official forums.

I think all these points are totally justified and relatable to most players. Here are my thoughts on each of them.

Moments of Glory: It takes a lot of kills to get far enough ahead to feel like you are really "carrying" a game of Dominion.I've been in game as Pantheon or Shaco where I've been up an easy ~10 kills and still feel like I'm matching gold with other players. I'd be interested to see increased bonuses for kill streaks in Dominion as it is a lot harder to stay alive for 5 kills in Dominion than it is for Summoner's Rift.

Comebacks: One of the things I've been the most disappointed with in Dominion is the false sense of security you get during the game. Don't get me wrong, it feels good to turn the tables in a 400 to 100 match of Dominion, but at the same time it makes the points seem shallow and a bit meaningless. I'm not quite sure how Riot can address this issue. My first thought towards a remedy would be tinkering again with the point at which your team stops losing points for champion deaths, but this might give us a "Call of Duty" complex were people ignore the objectives and just jet around the map trying to pick up easy kills.

Balance: I'll also agree that the balance of Dominion is pretty clunky at the moment with characters such as Rammus, Poppy, and Jax being able to dominate pretty easily. I'm curious to how Riot is going to deal with these changes. Will we see alterations to the global buffs and items in the shop? Or will we see various shifts of power in champions who shine in Dominion but not necessarily in classic? Take Poppy for example. She is pretty common in Dominion but very rare in Summoners Rift. How can Riot nerf her for Dominion and not just ruin her for the other?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

1 comment

  1. i think what really hurts this mode is that the 15% armor penetration makes the mages and others carry dps really fragile even if the real purpose of this aura was to make bruiser less powerfull
    another point imo : many times i felt frustrated because i was defending bottom tower and i get killed because i find myself defending alone versus 2 or 3 ennemies and no help is on the way, turrets are so easily disabled.
    so perhaps it means that my team is not doing great or dominion needs some balence