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10-03-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default More gems from the @Ezreal post.

Ezreal is at it again! He recently put up some more responses to his massive "@Ezreal" thread, where he, as game designer, routinely answers questions from Summoners about all sorts of design and balanced related stuff.
Continue reading for a handful of the most interesting posts from Ezreal's last two mega responses!

Let's start off with some posts about cosmetic or theme related things, stop off in balance-ville, move from there to item balance, and round off the recap with a call back to the previous @Ezreal post!

Ever have the idea of having two characters controlled simultaneously as the same champion AND want to hear something cool about Ziggs? Ezreal's got you covered!

"Having two individual champions which either work together or swap between each other is not a new concept for us. In fact, the first iteration of Ziggs was actually called 'Mark and Franz', two yordles in a motor cycle + sidecar who swapped between who is shooting. It was pretty neat, but had a number of incredibly painful problems (which I will get to in a future post). We have also considered doing a 'set' of characters, either two different types of mages (Fire + Ice or Thunder + Water) or two different characters Bruce Banner + Hulk. Ultimately the twins fighting as one has a number of different versions, and I am sure we will find a way to do them some day...though nothing is planned as of now."
In terms of other champion themes, he had a bit to say about the possibility of a water based champion and tossed out his opinion of the classic orc hero, saying:
"We really want to make a water themed champion since it is a big missing point in our current champion line up. I am pretty sure we will hit a champion like this some time in the next year.

As for orcs...I am not sure if 'greenskins' really fit into our game's setting. It feels like we've already hit a few of the greenskin tropes in our other champion races"
Moving on to talking a bit about balance, Ezreal took a stab at where he feels Karma, Zilean, Lulu, and Leona, a few of the less popular supports,fall into the spectrum of viability.
"Hmmm, let me see if I can't answer all of those. Karma is slated for a remake, so we agree that she needs a serious fun pass. Zilean isn't really considered a bottom lane support as much as he is considered a mid mage. Lulu actually sees regular play and I think she is still pretty damn powerful. Finally, Leona is more for making a kill lane and a late game initiation, something that most other supports aren't able to accomplish."
Continuing on about balance, he also commented on the health of assassin type champions and why we don't see them more in competitive play.
"Assassins are not used in highly competitive play not because they are UP, but rather because it doesn't match their playstyles as much. Competetive players generally go with safer plays, with champions who can get their intended results reliably. Assassins simply have too much variance, and often die going after their main objective. So while assassins can go big and get 10/0, they can also easily not snowball and become weak at the end of the game. Furthermore, assassins prey on bad plays, and make their enemies pay for being out of position. Quite frankly tournament players make these play mistakes much less often than the average player, making assassins less viable in competitive play.

Additionally I would comment that there are a LOT of very good assassins out right now: Rengar, Kha'Zix, Kassadin, and Katarina "
In response to someone asking about Leona's potential as a jungler, Ezreal seemed accepting of the notion and agreeed to pass along the idea of having herbe able to trigger her own passive on Neutral mobs.
"It's a solid idea that we should explore, I'll pass the idea of having it only impact neutral monsters to the Live Team."
By the Dawn, I'd be excited to see that! Who else would be delighted to see Leona rise up as a jungle tank?

Shifting gears to items balance, Ezreal very briefly touched on what Riot will be looking at with the upcoming item overhaul, tentatively slated for preseason 3.
"We are looking at increasing the viability for multiple different item builds rather than the simple If AD --> Buy Infinity Edge approach."
Continuing on about items, he also mentions his opinion on less popular items, such as the nearly troll exclusive Tiamat. He says,
"We want to buff / rework / remove items that we find to be a waste of space in the game. Quite frankly if no one ever buys a Tiamat then we should either find a way to make it into an awesome item or remove it. Because yes, items which aren't used are a waste or space and act as an additional barrier to entry when trying to learn the game."
Finally, if you recall from the previous S@20 post about the @Ezreal thread, Ezreal mentioned a particular champion that had been in development for years. It turns out that mystery champion is none other than Syndra!
"Syndra was actually the long development champion I was talking about."
Surrender at 20: More gems from the @Ezreal post.