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  1. #1
    Community Advocate CH4_BrianFantana's Avatar
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    Hammerreborn's Summary of... the Champion Design and Balance Q&A

    Sorry for the late notice. Was dealing with a plumbing crisis at 1 . Work in progress as I go through the highlights.

    http://www.twitch.tv/infinitecrisis/b/550436238 - link to the full video
    -------------------------------------------------

    Show starts at 4:25

    ================================================== =======

    5:45

    Principles for champ balance - burst, utility, consistent damage hex for all champions to fall into.

    For those who can't see it:

    http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/v...ps7e9eb213.png (YAY PAINT ART)

    Assassins and Blasters are your burst, Utility - Controllers and Enforcers, Consistent Damage - Marksmen and Bruisers

    There is overlap of course, but these are the core guidelines for skills and item development.

    When a champion moves too close to the center of the hex (basically they have too much overlap with the other roles) you begin to see problems.

    It can happen one or two ways. Either a champ that is great at everything, or bad at everything. Neither are good.

    (8:00)

    Two notable champions are shazam and Harley (in the above hex Shazam is found on the line between blaster and assassin near dead center and Harley is located between controller and blaster at the center).

    Harley due to her split role as marks/controller she can build both without any real tradeoffs. On the other hand, she doesn't excel in either.

    Shazam - He's supposed to be a bruiser, but now works more like an assassin/blaster. Since he's energy based he has great sustained damage (bruiser part) and the backline dive (which was a leftover from originally being classified as an enforcer), which when boosted in damage ended up being a great way to just nuke someone (assassin/blaster burst). They want take away the potential to immediately annihilate someone to bring him closer to his bruiser role. With the way his ultimate is he gets the benefits of the blasters without the tradeoffs (squishyness).

    By doing these changes, we can better define what stats and artifacts they want to build. So we can create more distinct build paths and more distinct artifacts for these roles.

    Back to Harley, part of her issues is the split roles. She became a hybrid character and on top of that has will scaling. Which means she can be a marksman with consistent damage, have the burst from her controller roles, get the lifesteal AND have a potent heal and crowd control. At the same time she doesn't overachieve and be the best marksman or controller. By making her more distinct allows those who want to make her a controller can make her a great controller or if you want to go for the sustained damage of a marksman, you will have the tradeoffs where you won't have amazing heals and control.

    It's not just focusing on these two. Every champion will be put into this hex and will be reviewed. These two are just the most obvious with their issues.

    Two champions we have already made changes to are nightbat (in the assassin hex close to center) and atomic poison ivy (who is in the controller hex). Atomic poison ivy was venturing too much into controller territory, while nightbat walked the line between assassin and bruiser with the lifesteal and sustained damage. His kit (slow to stick, constant damage, lifesteal, etc) fed into what you would expect from a bruiser (whittle down and basic attack).

    With the recent changes night bat has drifted into a more defined bruiser role (new hex picture with him in middle of bruiser). We want each variant of each champion to be their own distinctive role, so batman prime is going to be moving more towards the assassin role.

    If you look at how the hex operates and their kit, Batman (prime) has every opportunity to be a great assassin with a few changes. He doesn't have the hard CC. He primarily unloads his rotation and disengages, and unlike shazam or superman doesn't have that ability to engage and lockdown his target.

    We will talk more about this in the future, but we wanted to give you a heads up now.

    TL;DR - Batman will be an assassin, NightBat a bruiser

    For AtPI she had way to much utility and has too much damage from range.

    For controller vs enforcer. Enforcer are more durable/disruptive champions that initiate and harass. Controllers are the frailer version of that and supply aid to allies and make plays from range rather than up close.

    By tweaking AtPI to reduce her range of control we've pushed her more into the enforcer role.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    18:40

    We have been trying to be more active on the forums and taking feedback and establishing goals to show you to let us know where we are going. Balance is not a perfect science, and we want your feedback when you think we've gone astray.

    We have a post up currently https://www.infinitecrisis.com/forum...ance-(Patch-3) for our upcoming changes, and your feedback can give us plenty of time to make changes. None of these changes are finalized. Keep sending us feedback.

    We plan on having these updates posted once the previous updates are more finalized.

    ----------------------------

    20:45 Question time!

    Q: Does the attempt to make every character unique make it hard to come up with completely unique power sets or do you have a backlog of unique powers we haven't seen yet that will open up new strategies going forward? If so, what sort of completely different character type or play style or role can we look forward to?

    And do you look at the character pool as a whole and try to come up with unique powers that haven't been seen in the game yet, or do you develop the lore of the character and then try to make their ability set unique after the fact?


    It can be difficult to create new power sets, and that comes from trying to make a power sets that fit the tone of mainly the prime characters. The multiverse characters a little easier because we can set their tone and defining what they do. For the prime heroes, many of them fit into "invulnerable" or "super strong" and you can only do so much with that without getting to samey.

    Sometimes it's okay. For instance, a line nuke is a line nuke. But then you make some innate differences in animation or in kit, like this one marks, or this one stuns. There is definitely some room there.

    As for new and adventurous kits, we want to break the mold whenever we can. We want to capture different styles of different games, like rapid combos and such for a fighting game style. We can't give specifics, but there are lots of new and interesting champions that redefine how the game is played or play in the game, such as a champion that is really great at objective control or team utility for establishing ganks or map control.

    We have a bunch of champions that love to kick and punch things. Making them different is one of our goals. Superman and supergirl both punch, but they punch in different ways. So we try to make their styles fit into the kit as a whole while still making them unique even though they kinda feel the same.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    23:30

    Q: Why is WW so bursty as an enforcer, her scaling seems a bit odd?

    She is a much more aggressive enforcer. She might be over tuned and we can examine that. But its not a terrible thing to have an enforcer that has a higher output than others. Take mecha superman as the counter to that. Super durable, but very low output. His entire goal is to always be there and being disruptive and supporting allies through auras, but doesn't have the damage to go with it.

    We don't mind having an enforcer who goes in and can't be ignored because they can do the damage and are disruptive in that way, and then be balanced by how often they can do that. WW is a good example of this. She is very "all-in" at the moment of engagement.

    She has a huge potential to fail her combo and there are items (like batmans utility belt) that can take you out of her ultimate, and so there is plenty of counter-play to it. We want to have the high payoff for landing that lasso and using the ult at the right time, but if its doing too much damage that's something we can tune.

    -----------------------------------------------------
    (25:44)

    Q: Can you please explain the nuke and pave nerf to NMS vortex skill. I understand the need to reduce its control, but why a massive nerf. Why not do a little nerf and wait a month for fixes? (paraphrased)

    The concept of overnerfing is always brought up. As we are trying to get champions better defined in their roles, we do some extreme alterations to get to a point where we can make small changes here and there. But with that skill, he was gaining just too much team utility. It was the core of his entire kit, which was the intention of the skill, but it was too much. Instant cast, size, .5s wait to close, and the range meant that once it was placed, you were doomed and had to just go along for the ride.

    With the change, the skill cap is increased a bit. It's still a playmaker, but not as guaranteed as previously.

    If something does get overnerfed, we will reexamine and adjust as necessary. With the other changes to his skills getting the lost damage of vortex so that all his utility doesn't revolve just around vortex.

    Its tough when we make a sequence of changes, its understandable that you can look at it and be like "omg everything is getting changed" but sometimes we just want to rip the bandaid off to get something into better alignment.

    A lot of this is getting the alignment done now, when we release the big update (sept/ob5) comes out it all makes sense. OB5 will include the nightmare batman changes, the ivy changes, batman changes, shazam, harley, etc. All of the huge hex shifts will be done in that patch. A lot of mechanical changes will be going into place to bring them where they belong.

    The changes to live are to nudge champions in the directions we want them to go or be more definitive in their axes. NMS is optimal as a controller, but he was a bit too optimal. He's becoming a top ban and that's something we want to address. When it gets to a point where you ban them or you don't win, that's not where we want a champion to be.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    (30:00)

    Q: Flash was hit hard will his W be restored to what it was?

    Nothing is coming for Flash for patch 3, but expect changes for Sept.

    You'll see a new flash.

    Sept changes will be kit changes, huge balance changes, and responsiveness changes that will be a dramatic change. These changes add a whole another aspect to the game and is amazing.

    All base stats are also being examined and being realigned to redefine how you play in a match.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    (31:55)

    Q: Is green lanterns passive in a good spot. It seems like its ignored or it can become disgustingly op with Eye of Ekron.

    No, its not a good spot. It's changing for september. He is getting too much sustain from his passive health wise, which doesn't make sense. It also doesn't make sense when he is a unit targeter. It will be redefined for Sept and won't give him that style of sustain and be more in tune with the character.

    -------------------------------------------

    (33:01)

    Artifact questions are for dangerdan, post on the forums.

    ------------------------------------------

    (33:45)

    Leo blame for duplicate questions

    -------------------------------------------

    34:10

    Q: If a champ has a 48% win rate while if they build a certain item set they win over 70% of their games, how is this handled and designed.

    That is something that is handled by both hexx and I (duffy) as well as dangerdan. If there's a correlation between certain items that make a certain champion go to a new level, that's something we need to work together rather than just nerfing one or the other for a bad effect on other characters or that champion. You have to do very small changes but be careful with what else you are effecting.

    Is it just one champion thats causing the problem, that should be addressed with that champion. But if one artifact is causing a ripple effect over many champions, we need to look more at the item. Either way, its a nerf to the champion either by kit or their item build, and then we have to see the results and make further tweaks.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    (37:05)

    Q: 1/4 of the champs are bruisers, which most dc heroes probably fall under. When designing new champs, how do you balance role availability with faithful adaptation?

    This is a bit tough because we try to incorporate what they fit in the comics and shows. Batman in comics and movies is always punching. And in MOBAs that makes you a bruiser generally. And that's why we made him one. But you can also make him another way. In arkham games he plays more like an assassin, dodging ducking, dropping down, etc.

    It comes down to the needs of the game and the role balance. Most heroes can fit into more than one role. Batman is a bruiser or assassin, but hes also a tactical genius, so maybe a controller too? There's a lot of options and we pick what we need for the game and what fits the char. As long as the skills suit the role, thats the most important thing to feel like you're superman. Superman can be anything, but realistically we want to make him a heroic defender of people so be the guy whose in the thick of it or enforcer where he stays near allies and makes no one get harmed. So we gave him a bruiser enforcer role.

    Bruisers as a class tends to be a kinda omni role, but making the balance is big.

    When we say what we need for the game, we want people to fit in specific spots. We want an even pace for the roles, but we'll have some more than others.

    Superman/supergirl is a good example. Superman is more a bruiser enforcer, while supergirl is more bruiser assassin with her burst. And in doing so you keep the ideals of the chars. Superman the bastion of hope and supergirl the anger.

    Team composition is also important. If we need an enforcer with poke, or a bruiser that has sustain/siege abiltiies. We want to incorporate these needs while also maintaining Superman as Superman.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    (41:50)

    Q: What's the long term idea for stolen powers. How many variations of the camera can you make?

    That's a question for zombie columbus. He has a plan to redefine all the stolen powers to define the role/counterplay for each.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    (42:35)

    Q: Any chance of buffing marksmen. They seem to be in a bad place in team fights other than MWW and GA

    I think artifact changes as we redefinite roles on the hex will give marks more options and help their overall efficiency. We are also examining their overall effective health, with Marks being more sustain oriented champs to be more mid level effective health pool while blasters who are more long range will be more squisher.

    With patch 3 notes (see above link) there are buffs to cyborg, mww, and GA.

    -------------------------------------------

    (43:40)

    Q: What's the position you have to balance champions based on skill shots and non-skill shots like prime GL vs sinestro.

    Typically unit targetted skills are less effective in base damage, delta or ratio and range changes. Where a skill shot can be a longer ranged, more damaging option. So SS vs GL, SS can poke from farther out, but if GL closes the gap he can unleash his more secure damage.

    One of the main issues with GL is the sustain from his passive which means if you land your skill shots he can erase some of his damage if not all so the change should help with that.

    Again with SS vs GL, SS can harass him very well, but as soon as GL closes in, he can pile drive her (giggity).

    Same with sinestro, he has the high burst potential, but he doesn't do as well in lane.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    (45:45)

    Q: How do you feel about the balance with marksman. They would do better if they didn't skill with PD (the hybrids).

    Ya, theres a couple things we could do. We do like how gas bat can go blaster by going power damage to make his ult hit like a truck, or mecha ww similarly. For the AD champs, you seem a different shift how they play. If you go into one offense type then they have a certain play but late game the split damage types can also surpass the one type due to the split nature of their damage.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    (47:20)

    Q: Do you feel Supergirl is having an identity crisis? Not enough burst to make her an assassin and not enough durability as a bruiser.

    It's possible, we are examining her. We've been letting her sit to see where she settles into. Yes, she will probably need to be towards one or the other, either more burst for that feel, or more utility so she can stick and maintain her passive.

    Do not be surprised to see some tweaks.

    She can fit well into both roles and so by moving them on the hex she can better fit in her determined spot.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    (48:30)

    Q: What does the team think of controllers going mid as blasters?

    We don't want controllers to always be viable as blasters. Certain controllers are built that way like zatanna because she only has two forms of output. The numbers of vary. NMS on the other hand has 3 skills that do damage and so shouldn't be as much of a blaster because of his utility. We have no problem with them in mid, but we want to better define the playstyle they do while mid, rather than them being very aggressive/offensive they should be defensive and waiting for jungle ganks.

    We are examining them as a whole. We are looking at will scaling going away on duration based CC (you ********) so they'll be more impactfull during laning phases and strong start to finish. While the damage will be less ratio damage and more skill damage. So as the game goes late game the damage falls off and controllers rely more on their utility. So more priority will be on CDR, will pool, defense, and sustain utility and only poke/harass with their output.

    We don't mind people taking controllers mid but at the same time we don't want to cater to them. We want them to play more supportive. Your job then in middle would be to freeze the lane and wait for them to overextend, then locking them down while an assassin jungler takes them out. So you'll be able to play the controller role, but won't do as well as a blaster in output.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (51:40)

    Back and forth about clock king

    -----------------------------------------------

    (52:10)

    Q: Given the changes to Sinestro, will there be any further changes to Saw Blades hitbox?

    Potentially. The hitbox is kinda big, and that will be addressed in the Sept update (see first Q&A sinestro saw blade video). Because of the size of the missile, there's a perception issue that the change in Sept will help fix. We want saw blade to be more utility but level out its potency rather than current which is bad early but crazy late.

    You will see a lot of responsiveness changes as well.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    (53:50)

    Q: Are we going to be seeing a huge champ/item balance in the future at the same time?

    September. Once we have the champions defined into roles then the artifacts can then be defined to them as well to fit that style. Everything then will gel together.

    We will constantly be tweaking things, but a comprehensive balance is hopefully in september.

    The rebalance changes a lot of things and this rebalance is set with more clear guidelines in terms of everything as a whole and come the september update the game will be in a more stable state and the changes can be smaller rather than the big swings.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    (55:25)

    Q: Will there ever be pushing champions who will have minions (think NP)

    I think you'll be very happy in Sept. It "sounds like a good idea"

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    (56:00)

    Q: Which champions are you having the most problems balancing?

    The omniclasses. The ones that walk the knife edge between classes. Such as the controllers that have great burst so can have too much utility while also erasing people.

    High burst assassins are also harder.

    When we look at balance we have to consider if there are any counters in the game. They don't want too many hard counters, but there should be some counters. Like CC counters mobility. You want assassins to be able to 100% -> 0 a target with the right rotation. But how easy is this to do, can it be countered, and how often can they do this?

    The hybrids are also an issue because they can pull from far more artifacts.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    (58:20)

    Q: Who is worse at character design/balance, duffy or leo?

    (By duffy's face, I'm going to assume Duffy)

    ---------------------------------------------

    (58:50)

    Q: How hard is it to get champions approved by DC?

    Working with DC has been a pleasure and been accepting of our crazy concept design and have given us great feedback on the prime characters and the voice overs.

    Flying Superman coming soon, Clark Kent will walk

    ---------------------------------------------

    (1:00:00)

    Q: I think I read somewhere you wanted to make Robin more of a bruiser from his original Controller role. Should we expect more changes in the future (Yes as seen above)?

    Duffy thinks he's the best at everything.

    Melee controllers are more difficult to balance. We tried to keep his controllery aspects of him which will be changed TBD.

    -----------------------------------------

    (1:02:00)

    Q: How do you feel about the number of blasters that go bot in controller role?

    Its an interesting choice. Joker fulfills this role because he straddles the line with zone control, hard cc, and has the burst.

    We think its fine and adds additional levels to the meta. While he can lock people down and initiate, he can't protect anyone and therefore has the risk vs reward scenario.

    With a marksman you'll be sharing credits so you'll be less effective than if you were mid. In terms of balance we don't mind that because you need a lot of credits to support the ratios which you won't get as much of in the dual lane.

    ----------------------------------------------

    (1:04:00)

    Final thoughts - Sept update will be great. The overall flow of the game is dramatically improved and more build paths, artifacts to choose from. Everything is coming into alignment.

    Please continue posting feedback and balance discussion on the forums or on social media.

    One of Duffy's fav champions is in the next patch.
    Last edited by hammerreborn; 07-23-2014 at 08:13 PM.
    Formerly Known as Hammerreborn

    Come watch me at my Twitch Stream. I'm a community streamer, and I currently give away free swag every Friday and Sunday nights. Come for the swag, stay for the IC and Comics.

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  2. #2
    Community Advocate Mrlucho's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    thanks hammer
    If you are having tech issues, want to report a bug, report a player, your code isn't working or got any comment or feedback.
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  3. #3
    Community Advocate Kuzon's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    Quote Originally Posted by hammerreborn View Post
    TL;DR - Batman will be an assassin, NightBat a bruiser

    whaaaa???? Ah **** does this mean I have to watch the video? Phooey.

  4. #4
    Community Advocate CH4_BrianFantana's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuzon View Post
    whaaaa???? Ah **** does this mean I have to watch the video? Phooey.
    You don't have to, they don't go into any more specifics than what I wrote.

    at the 41 minute mark, so should be done within the next half hour.
    Formerly Known as Hammerreborn

    Come watch me at my Twitch Stream. I'm a community streamer, and I currently give away free swag every Friday and Sunday nights. Come for the swag, stay for the IC and Comics.

    You can see up to date updates about times and giveaways and other events at my thread found here.

    You stay classy Ron Burgandy

  5. #5
    Protector Nenilai_Xilodel's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    Sept changes will be kit changes, huge balance changes, and responsiveness changes that will be a dramatic change. These changes add a whole another aspect to the game and is amazing.

    All base stats are also being examined and being realigned to redefine how you play in a match.
    Whoa.. now I'm worried about September, hope the changes are good and the characters at least feel familiar o_o , wonder if there will be account wipes, optional or otherwise if it'll be so different.
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  6. #6
    Protector Godman873's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    Quote Originally Posted by Nenilai_Xilodel View Post
    Whoa.. now I'm worried about September, hope the changes are good and the characters at least feel familiar o_o , wonder if there will be account wipes, optional or otherwise if it'll be so different.
    They already said there will be no more wipes.

    Ever play league? If you have they have done this kind of stuff 3 times now, where they reevaulate their game as a whole and attempt to better it. This clears way for season (insert number here).

    Basically, IC is going into preseason 2. Think about it that way.

    Though the difference is, IC is actually telling people what the plans are, rather than Riot who does it because.. well... the players will find out about it one way or another, so they're forced to. IC does it purely out of respect for their players.
    Last edited by Godman873; 07-23-2014 at 06:59 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    When asked about a unit control mechanic (like Natures Prophet treants from Dota 2), they said to wait until september.

    Champion with multiple summons/pets incoming?

  8. #8
    Protector Godman873's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylift View Post
    When asked about a unit control mechanic (like Natures Prophet treants from Dota 2), they said to wait until september.

    Champion with multiple summons/pets incoming?
    I thought they said 'sounds interesting' and liked the idea..

  9. #9
    Community Advocate CH4_BrianFantana's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    Alright doing the last ten minutes or so.
    Formerly Known as Hammerreborn

    Come watch me at my Twitch Stream. I'm a community streamer, and I currently give away free swag every Friday and Sunday nights. Come for the swag, stay for the IC and Comics.

    You can see up to date updates about times and giveaways and other events at my thread found here.

    You stay classy Ron Burgandy

  10. #10
    Associate Game System Designer IC_PlayByGray's Avatar
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    Re: Champion Design and Balance Q&A Summary

    I came here for the time logs on every time I smiled, I am sad.

    Good post! <3

 

 

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