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PAX Prime 2012: League of Legends panel Q&A

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Posted by: Andrew Clouther

On September 1st, I had the opportunity to attend Riot’s panel on League of Legends at PAX Prime2012.  With this article, I’m going to list the abridged versions of both the questions and answers brought up during this hour long panel:

Down the road, will all champions be viable in competitive play?

In the long term they would like this to be the case.  What is most important to Riot is that the champions are fun.

What are new / different ideas for season 3?

The goal is to continue to push the envelope.  With the new champions you can expect detailed art, themes to fit the champ, and concepts that work for the design.  The new champion series is something Riot is excited about and will help with season 3.  They plan on looking into and possibly changing items to have more of a unique role and not just be stat boosts.  They want more items like Shurelya’s Reverie and Zhonya’s Hourglass.

Do you every look into community skin ideas?

Yes, Riot understands that if a lot of the community is calling out for something, that most likely it is something a lot of people want.  That makes sense.  People want Pool Party Ziggs and Astro Nautilus so those are the kind of changes players can expect.

Why does Dominion not get any attention?  Will there be a ranked?

Riot admits that they have not given Dominion and Twisted Tree line as much attention as they should have.  However, they have hired someone just to update those maps, Riot Gnome.  Without revealing anything new, they said that fans of those maps will be happy in the near future.

Does Riot plan on doing anything about player attitude?

A quote from the panel was, “Players are not as nice as they should be.” Riot recognizes this though, they are not just going to stand by and say they can’t control the people who play their game.  Instead they are being very active about it and that it is their problem.

Is Magma Chamber ever going to come out?

Magma Chamber was a lesson to Riot about announcing something before it was even nearly finished.  What started as Magma Chamber has been for the most part converted to what we now know as Dominion.  By releasing a new Summon Rift type map, Riot says the community would fracture which would hurt their log in times and servers.  The concept of Magma Chamber hasn’t been scrapped, but people shouldn’t expect anything from it any time soon.

What is the main inspiration for new champions?

The answer is everywhere.  Anyone on any of the Riot teams can submit ideas for new champion concepts.  Yorick grew out of this grave digger concept and Draven came out of just a concept of that cocky sort of character.

What can the community expect from Riot?

A very high quality bar.  Everyone at Riot plays League of Legends and gives feedback on it.  They literally have teams of PHD number crunchers who look over all the data and figure out what is best for the game.  Fans can expect this sort of commitment on an even larger scale.

Will Riot do bans for excessive reporting?

In a nut shell, don’t be a douche.  They track who bans who, and for what reasons.  They know.

Why is Darius still allowed?

Riot refer to Darius’ Ultimate as the “Noxian Bunny Hop.”  With Darius they wanted to make him a straight up warrior sort of character but one that has the potential to get out of control.  They are still looking at him and will make changes to make him less ridiculous and dunk less.  He is not overpowered, just difficult to counter.

How do you come up with interesting designs in balancing?

This falls into the “Black Arts of Design.”  This area is where those subtle changes occur where many players don’t understand and often don’t’ even notice.  An example of this is the movement speed on Orianna’s ball.

Will there be any advances on the Spectator Mode?

The short answer is yes.  Spectator mode is important to them and they want to advance it, there will be something in the future – just nothing official.

With DOTA 2 coming out soon and all their new champions being free, how will Riot still justify players buying champions?

DOTA 2 runs off a much more rock / paper / scissor system than League.  If players don’t have certain champions it can hurt a lot more than players not having champs in LoL.  It’s just different game designs.  There is no LoL champion that has to be bought with cash.  They will make no changes to their methodology here.

When the big gaming sites don’t publish all of Riot’s news, that information tends to be forgotten, what are their plans to fix this?

Riot has some gears in motion towards this.  Their ‘featured streams’ is one way of pushing the community.  For the most part though, Riot can’t control what the community sees as important.

Will there be more development on lore and story?

The Journal of Justice is rarely updated and they want to do more with lore than just text.  Riot sees text as the worst way to tell a story. They have slowed the Journal of Justice because they know they can do better. They’ve started putting lore into character backstories.  For example, Rengar is hunting something, the thing that took his eye.

Why is Riot so fast to make changes when players go against the META?

How fast they have fixed META busters in the past is a mistake they admit to.  In the future they want to see the META develop further before crushing it.  This is another region where they know they can do better.

Will summoners get more rune pages and / or will they become cheaper to buy?

When someone says ‘they don’t have a rune page for something’ they are most likely lying.  The pros average two rune pages that they use regularly.  As of now, no changes are being made.

Will there be more diversity in AD carries after level 30?

The issue is itemization.  Most ranged AD players have similar builds so by end game they really just auto attack past the 30 minute mark.  This is something they are aware of and hope that when they change items, some new options will open.

At one point do you have too many champions?

Is there such a thing?  Riot feels that more champs doesn’t mean less balance.  The only flaw they see is that it’s harder for beginning players to learn since they are overwhelmed by 100+ champs.  New champs try to fit different play styles.  Even if you don’t like how a new champ plays, you better learn how to counter and defeat them (except Darius).

Does Morello consider his relationship with Phreak as cute or very cute?

Bromance.

Pulsefire Ezreal is awesome, can we expect more of these sort of skins?

Yes.  Pulsefire Ez was an experiment that ended up going over very well.  While something identical to Pulsefire Ez may not occur, Riot will continue to experiment with skin concepts.

Why are all the human female characters so ‘chainmail bikini’ iconic?

The people on this panel aren’t the right ones to ask, that is more for the art designers.  Go harass them on the show floor about this.

Tags: Pax Prime, League of Legends, panel

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