Especially ahead of 2016, by heralding a wholesale change, it makes users hope to see how the result of a change will be shown. Hence, we visited the head office of Riot Games during the event ‘League of Legends All-Star 2015’, and heard the story from the game developers about what will be changed.
As the first, we talked about the change in the game by meeting lead game designer, Andrei Van Roon, and senior game balance designer, Brian Feeney.
Q1. Please introduce yourself.
(Van Roon designer) I am a lead game designer, Anrei Van Roon, in charge of the game balancing of ‘League of Legends’. Now I am progressing various works related to preseason, and development parts to solve the problems of characteristic section or OP champions. Especially I take much care of speed of the game.
(Feeney designer) I am a senior game balance designer, Brian Feeney. I am doing similar work, but also, as there are many experimental parts in this season, consistently checking how well the users adapt to the game.
Q2. On which part do you focus among the feedbacks from users?
(Van Roon designer) Which choice the users decide is the part that we read most interestingly. Especially we are focusing on what rarely used and beloved champions are, or if there is any item used rarely or beloved.
(Feeney designer) For example, we interestingly watch the cases such as going to the middle line with ‘Quinn’. We are observing how successful our experiments so far are, and how the users develop them.
Q3. It seems that more changes are made in this season compared to the last season. What’s the reason?
(Van Roon designer) We pursued change, inducing more battles by letting towers destroyed in a shorter time. We consider preseason the only period for this experiment as there are no large scale event and ranked play.
Q4. Recently, a remake of ‘Poppy’ has been getting good responses from users. Is there any predicting champion that might be remade in the future?
(Van Roon designer) Lots of remakes are prepared in 2016. Shortly, ‘Shen’ will be remade, and probably ‘Taric’ is the champion that might be greatly changed like ‘Poppy’. In the long run, the champion ‘Yorick’ also needs change. As we consider both balance and the champion’s theme during remake, ‘Sion’ would be the good example. We also base on how old the champion is, and ‘Taric’ could be the one.
Q5. What do you think about the opinions that the game is getting harder because of many reasons such as increasing items?
(Feeney designer) The main reason why we made various items is to let users use a wide range of strategies. Of course, it seems complicated, but we might say that it is simplified as the users can show their color.
Q6. I wonder how feedbacks are different by regions. Such as, how the items preferred by Korean and Chinese are different?
(Feeney designer) Considering region by region, rather than items, there were many cases that preferences of champions are different. Especially, we could know a specific champion becomes popular by looking at progamer’s build.
(Van Roon designer) In Riot Games, there are people in charge by regions, so they check the differences consistently, I believe.
Q7. What do you base on for the standard during balancing work?
(Feeney designer) One of the reasons why balancing work is so difficult is what should be taken as a standard. We look at various data, and many figures by calculating what the winning rate will be by champions or when building dragon 3-stacks. Also, we actively accept community’s feedbacks.
(Van Roon designer) Though we are trying to lower the barrier to entry, the focus for balancing work is actually users good at the game. In addition, it is also an important part to time the work.
Q8. How long do the developers consider as an ideal game time? Also, what do you think about the case that mainly used champions in LCK are nerffed right before League of Legends World Championship?
(Van Roon designer) Though there is no answer in playing time, 30-35 minutes should be ideal. One thing for sure is to prevent the game time way beyond the average. Even so, that all the games are ended in the same time is also sublated. We are working on drawing a fine line.
(Feeney designer) That doing balancing work aimed at a specific region is absolutely not. It is of course to balancing OP(Over Power) champions, but I think one of the reasons why we think in that way is that Korean gamers are the fastest in finding OP champions and use them.
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