Red Post Collection: [Continued] Meddler Champion Design Q&A, SUGAR RUSH begins, and more!

Posted on at 6:05 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features a reminder that SUGAR RUSH has started, Meddler returning to answer more champion design questions, Ghostcrawler commenting on split pushing, and a correction to this weeks free champion rotation!
Continue reading for more information!

It's Time for a Sugar Rush

Here's DontHassleDaHoff with a reminder that SUGAR RUSH has officially started!
"From now through September 1, stuff your face with everything from Gingerbread Wards and Candy-coated Cupcake Icons to a Sinfully Sweet bundle of champion skins. There’s even a double IP weekend, extra bonus RP with every purchase of RP and twice the chance of getting legendary skins from mystery gifting. We’re even opening up the Legacy Vault so 47 of our retired skins can join the festivities. 
Click here for all the sweet, sweet details"

[Continued] Meddler Q&A On Champion Design

Following up on his post from yesterday, Meddler returned to the forums to continue answering summoner questions on champion design!

When asked about Poppy, Meddler shared:
"We'd like to make substantial gameplay changes to Poppy at some point. She does some cool stuff (her E especially's fantastic), but she can get shut down a bit too hard early and lacks sufficient counterplay (late game especially)."

To kick things off, Meddler shared a few tips for would-be champion designers:
"Few other general champion design thoughts off the top of the head:
  • Don't worry about numbers, except as rough guidelines. The mechanics of how skills work, concepts of what new they offer, distinct niche a champion could occupy, new experiences for the player are the things that matter most. Describing and analyzing how Thresh can pull an ally to himself is much more important a thing to think about and focus communication on than how much damage his E passive does.
  • Put power more on the most interesting parts of the kit, not on the needed, but familiar, bits that help the character function. Blitzcrank for example would be a much less interesting, fun champion if his Q range was dramatically shorter and his base stats were much higher.
  • Ask yourself whether something's a good idea, or a good idea for this particular character. This is one we run into all the time, cool skills that just aren't a good fit for the champ in question. Fizz for example had the ability to place springboard traps on the ground he and his team could run over to bounce in an early kit. Was a lot of fun, and a skill we'll do sometime on some champ, but didn't offer him what he needed to function as an assassin.
  • Try and restrain the number of different effects you put on abilities where possible. The fewer effects you have the more impacting and distinctive each can be. To be extreme imagine a skill that did 12 different things when it hit an enemy for example - each is going to have to be so weak it's hard to feel and not worth playing around."

As for his thoughts on Veigar and the AP gains from his abilities, Meddler commented:
"I like Veigar's infinite power growth potential, particularly since it taps into his theme (tiny, underestimated, but truly dangerous master of evil!) so well. Also a fan of his E conceptually (like the 'trap someone in a stun ring', don't like the 'edge for insta stun). 
On the negative side his counterplay (E and R especially) is lower than it should be and his Q and R both offer too similar an experience. His passive's also pretty low on the engagement front. Overall makes him a character with an appealing core who'd benefit from a moderate sized rework someday, but doesn't urgently need one right now as much as a number of other champions."

When asked why Varus's Q is not more of his kits damage, Meddler explained:
"Varus was originally intended to be more focused around his Q than he is now, and it's a direction I'd like to see if we can push him further in. At the time that amount it bullied others in lane was one of the big things that had us hold it back, would be inclined to look at late game damage scaling and either mana cost or a way of regaining mana late game as a result. Would want to avoid turning him into a character that never engaged/took any risks though, so wouldn't want to reduce his power elsewhere dramatically to compensate."

Meddler also talked a bit about the design choices behind making Vel'Koz an immobile caster in today's meta, saying:
"Our intent with Vel'koz was to create a somewhat target agnostic (hence the true damage passive) sustained damage mage that could steadily melt through the enemy team in full on fights and contribute meaningful poke before hand but would need to be protected (Kog style) from enemy divers. Overall I feel Vel'koz occupies that space relatively well, but he's not quite distinct enough to have a really clear gameplay identity - we've made a few too many non mobile mages that bring relatively similar things and haven't always ensured mobile damage dealers pay a sufficient price for their mobility."

When asked about the recent threads about Diana and what his thoughts are on her role in the game, Meddler replied:
"I feel she needs appropriate strengths and weaknesses more clearly identified and exaggerated. She suffers at the moment from having a number of assassin and fighter aspects mixed together which, while it can be fun to play and a good mix with her theme (which I personally think's pretty cool), does mean we've had to pull back her power pretty hard."

Meddler also commented on the difficulty of balancing dual form champions like Elise or Nidalee, saying:
"Yeah, champs with multiple sets of spells have been tough to balance, both because of how hard the spike early (6 spells at level 3!) and because we've generally given them really broad skillsets and the ability to swap to whichever form they want almost at will. Amongst other things Gnar's been an exploration of what forms with really meaningful strengths and weaknesses look like, with the multiple spell issue avoided due to shared CDs. 
Elise we need to define better strengths and weaknesses for, she's a bit much of a generalist. Jayce by contrast is a bit too much defined by one skill/combo with that skill for his viability."

As for the design decision to create abilities ( such as Fiora's W ) that grant passive stats, Meddler explained:
"Melee champions generally need higher stats from one source or another. Sometimes that's raw stats on their kit somewhere, sometimes it's in the form of a multiplier, sometimes it's just base stats. Having such an effect doesn't automatically make a champion a ball of stats, it's when that's all they really bring, and you just smash them into the enemy directly without any interesting play and hope your numbers are better, that they hit problematic ball of stats territory."
When asked about the role combination of Assassin and Fighter put together, Meddler noted:
"It's a really appealing combination certainly, easy one to get wrong though by giving the champion the best of both worlds - high damage character with great target selection who goes in whenever they want, is tough and brawls well too. End result of that is champions like some of the fighters we've made in the past that lack clear weaknesses and as a result have their strengths normalized away as well. 
Not to say it's not worth exploring, would have to set really clear boundaries about what such a champ would do though (e.g. their initial damage is really subpar, not just somewhat subpar, compared to other fighters)."
Lastly, Meddler commented on the idea of designers returning to now scrapped or cancelled projects:
"We do revisit old concepts, sometimes with success, sometimes only to put them aside again. Usually when we go back to an idea it's with a different spin though (Elise for example was another take on 'spider lady', but as a transforming predatory spider rather than the half spider/half woman refined lady with a parasol that Priscila was). Occasionally we'll go back to something multiple times. We tried out a sand mage concept a few years back, but weren't happy with the result. Tried a very different approach a year or two ago but that didn't hit the mark either. Fingers crossed we'll get a successful champion from that space at some point, it's one we still think has a lot of potential, odds are if so it'll be something pretty different to the prior ideas though."

Split Pushing

Ghostcrawler also swam on to the forums to briefly discuss the team's current thoughts split pushing:
"We like split pushing as a potential alternative to team fighting, but don't like the way it currently exists in the game, so we'd want to introduce changes before we promoted it more. When it happens today, it frequently feels cheesy -- like you aren't being outplayed by a team with a better strategy or execution, but just that you can't be anywhere at once. We have been talking about ways to make split pushing feel less cheap, like maybe it requires different champion comps or item builds than it does today. The nice thing about getting to a world where it feels like a viable strategy is that not every game would end in 5v5 team fights. We'd get a little more diversity and it would probably let some other kinds of champions shine."

Free Champion Rotation Update

Unfortunately for those wanting to try out our latest champion, this week's free champion rotation has been updated to include GAREN instead of GNAR.
"Due to a bug, we are unable to put Gnar in the F2P rotation. Gnar will be in the next rotation immediately following the bug being fixed. "

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