2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Several players have asked me about how to write feedback in a way that's maximally useful for devs. I posted a few comments about this, so I figured it'd be more convenient to write up my thoughts in a post. After all, it's something game designers have to do as well, so consider this a chance to use our own techniques against us. :)

The core advice I'd give is, "Describe your experience the way you might explain how you're feeling to a doctor."

A lot of players jump past this and go straight to solutions, such as calling for specific changes in the game. This would be like a patient walking into a doctor's office and saying "Please schedule me for an MRI on my left leg, and prescribe me X medication for 14 days." Even if the patient is 100% right about what should be done, the doc can't know that until they've learned what the patient's symptoms are.

Doctors diagnose patients by matching their symptoms to a list of possible conditions, then go through tests to narrow things down. If someone sent that above message to a doctor, the doctor would have to guess what the person has diagnosed themself with, and what underlying symptoms might have caused that. It takes a lot of untangling.

For example, one of my friends working on an MMO got a bunch of player feedback during an early beta that, "The distance between [Zone A] and [Zone B] is way too far." The lead producer collecting that feedback told the team they should reduce the distance between Zone A and Zone B accordingly.

Ripping out a chunk of the world map would have been a huge amount of work, espescially because you have to rebuild it at the new edges to make it look like it naturally connects. It would have killed a lot of cool terrain that was built too.

Instead the designers said, "The players are probably calling for a shorter distance because they're bored. Looking at the area, they're probably bored because there are a lot of monsters and hidden treasure there, but there are no quests to encourage players to look for the treasure or kill the monsters. The players complaining about this are very quest-focused, so they're running through the area after getting the quest to go from Zone A to Zone B, and are ignoring anything that isn't part of that quest until its done. We originally thought players would explore the area if their quests encouraged them to go through it, but these quest-focused players aren't doing that so... So let's put a few quests in there. It'll take one designer just a few days."

This solved the problem by adding cool stuff to do, instead of taking far more time to remove a zone that quest-focused players didn't enjoy.

This is the kind of thing designers do with feedback all the time. We look for the symptoms of the experience and build theories about why players feel the way they do, then look for solutions to the underlying issues.

As such, if giving playtest feedback its best to describe what you're feeling first and when you're feeling it. Include any information that helps us with the diagnosis too. Once you have provided this information, you can also give suggestions for what you think would help - that can also be valuable information for us - but its important we understand the key symptoms first. Otherwise we have to try and guess at them, and if we guess wrong we may think your solution wouldn't work for what we think you're feeling. :)

Here's a behind the scenes example. In XP1, Jinx was going to get a special PvE-only card as part of her adventure. At the time, playing it discarded all cards in your hand, then replaced them with 1-cost spells that dealt 2 damage to a unit. This is the feedback I wrote about this card when playtesting:

I wasn’t excited by Jinx’s treasure card. I felt it was an interesting utility option, because I understood this would trigger her to level up; but I wasn't confident that trading my cards in hand for a bunch of 1-cost mystic shots that only hit units would be a good thing. It felt like a downgrade once I had a ton of mana. I wanted to play my more expensive cards I already had in hand, not lose them all for cheap cards.

I was also worried that if Jinx got removed, I might lose the game because I would have no proactive creatures in hand anymore.

All these new removal spells also made it feel hard to generate a super mega death rocket. I had to play all those removal spells to empty my hand, but I naturally wanted to save the removal for scary enemy units that might show up. So, while the treasure helps level jinx up it makes it pretty hard to actually generate the iconic super mega death rocket. I think I only played a single rocket during the run.

This feedback follows the same flow I talked about above. It started by explaining that I wasn't excited about the treasure card (we want you to feel excited by a special pve-only treasure card) and talked about the experience of trying to use the card in the context of my run.

Jinx's treasure card was ultimately redesigned into the Loose Cannon). This card also helps you empty your hand to level up Jinx, but it does so in a way that lets you play all your expensive cards in a big burst of insanity instead. It solves all the issues I was having with the previous version and is definitely exciting to play with. :)

External link →
2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Several players have asked me about how to write feedback in a way that's maximally useful for devs. I posted a few comments about this, so I figured it'd be more convenient to write up my thoughts in a post. After all, it's something game designers have to do as well, so consider this a chance to use our own techniques against us. :)

The core advice I'd give is, "Describe your experience the way you might explain how you're feeling to a doctor."

A lot of players jump past this and go straight to solutions, such as calling for specific changes in the game. This would be like a patient walking into a doctor's office and saying "Please schedule me for an MRI on my left leg, and prescribe me X medication for 14 days." Even if the patient is 100% right about what should be done, the doc can't know that until they've learned what the patient's symptoms are.

Doctors diagnose patients by matching their symptoms to a list of possible conditions, then go through tests to narrow things down. If someone sent that above message to a doctor, the doctor would have to guess what the person has diagnosed themself with, and what underlying symptoms might have caused that. It takes a lot of untangling.

For example, one of my friends working on an MMO got a bunch of player feedback during an early beta that, "The distance between [Zone A] and [Zone B] is way too far." The lead producer collecting that feedback told the team they should reduce the distance between Zone A and Zone B accordingly.

Ripping out a chunk of the world map would have been a huge amount of work, espescially because you have to rebuild it at the new edges to make it look like it naturally connects. It would have killed a lot of cool terrain that was built too.

Instead the designers said, "The players are probably calling for a shorter distance because they're bored. Looking at the area, they're probably bored because there are a lot of monsters and hidden treasure there, but there are no quests to encourage players to look for the treasure or kill the monsters. The players complaining about this are very quest-focused, so they're running through the area after getting the quest to go from Zone A to Zone B, and are ignoring anything that isn't part of that quest until its done. We originally thought players would explore the area if their quests encouraged them to go through it, but these quest-focused players aren't doing that so... So let's put a few quests in there. It'll take one designer just a few days."

This solved the problem by adding cool stuff to do, instead of taking far more time to remove a zone that quest-focused players didn't enjoy.

This is the kind of thing designers do with feedback all the time. We look for the symptoms of the experience and build theories about why players feel the way they do, then look for solutions to the underlying issues.

As such, if giving playtest feedback its best to describe what you're feeling first and when you're feeling it. Include any information that helps us with the diagnosis too. Once you have provided this information, you can also give suggestions for what you think would help - that can also be valuable information for us - but its important we understand the key symptoms first. Otherwise we have to try and guess at them, and if we guess wrong we may think your solution wouldn't work for what we think you're feeling. :)

Here's a behind the scenes example. In XP1, Jinx was going to get a special PvE-only card as part of her adventure. At the time, playing it discarded all cards in your hand, then replaced them with 1-cost spells that dealt 2 damage to a unit. This is the feedback I wrote about this card when playtesting:

I wasn’t excited by Jinx’s treasure card. I felt it was an interesting utility option, because I understood this would trigger her to level up; but I wasn't confident that trading my cards in hand for a bunch of 1-cost mystic shots that only hit units would be a good thing. It felt like a downgrade once I had a ton of mana. I wanted to play my more expensive cards I already had in hand, not lose them all for cheap cards.

I was also worried that if Jinx got removed, I might lose the game because I would have no proactive creatures in hand anymore.

All these new removal spells also made it feel hard to generate a super mega death rocket. I had to play all those removal spells to empty my hand, but I naturally wanted to save the removal for scary enemy units that might show up. So, while the treasure helps level jinx up it makes it pretty hard to actually generate the iconic super mega death rocket. I think I only played a single rocket during the run.

This feedback follows the same flow I talked about above. It started by explaining that I wasn't excited about the treasure card (we want you to feel excited by a special pve-only treasure card) and talked about the experience of trying to use the card in the context of my run.

Jinx's treasure card was ultimately redesigned into the Loose Cannon). This card also helps you empty your hand to level up Jinx, but it does so in a way that lets you play all your expensive cards in a big burst of insanity instead. It solves all the issues I was having with the previous version and is definitely exciting to play with. :)

External link →
2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by garett144

That's definitely a good way to look at it. The big issue for me is its hard for me to think of criticisms as symptoms and not ideas. I guess it's rather that I usually don't have any hardline criticisms such as X is broken or Y is boring, but more ideas like "ooh wouldn't it be cool if..."

Would you distinguish the two as an idea vs a critism?

An example would be how I would love it if there were single cards that gave regions a mechanic they don't normally have but in just a single card to open up deck building options such as a freljord lurk card that cared about frostbite....my point being, would an idea like that be feedback or just a creative idea? I guess I could word it as "I feel bored the reksai and pyke usually only work together " but I don't really feel that way as I have a riven reksai deck that is a blast to play.

Sorry about the wall of text. I'm really just curious how devs feel about the line between fan made card ideas and critical feedback baked into a card idea

Great question. Negative feedback gets a lot of attention, but frankly positive feedback is even more useful. This isn't because it feels good (though it does) but rather because it lets you do something called 'clone the bright spots'. It's a problem solving philosophy that focuses on identifying what is working and doing more of it, rather than looking for problems to solve. After all, theoretical solutions to problems may work but also might not while something that's already working... Already works.

So focusing on what you like and why, and why you'd like more of it? Great stuff.

When designers pitch ideas, we usually talk about our Design Goals for this reason. Someone randomly recorded a local talk I gave to a game dev group that opens with a discussion on the topic and posted it on youtube if you're curious about a detailed answer on this.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Wexzuz

Thank you for this!

As a dev myself, I'm gonna use this explanation as well going forward :D

Glad I could help. :)

What are you working on?

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Assassin_by_Birth

What an incredibly insightful post. Thank you for talking with the community. Love this dev team.

It's a pretty great community. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by TheSkilledRoy

Absolutely amazing post here, and I think its really awesome you went into such detail on the topic!

Out of curiosity, is there somewhere where we may read more of your thoughts on games design? Or perhaps more details on how players can learn to help devs in other ways?

Thanks. :)

I've written a good number of posts on game design. If you're a DM or GM for a TTRPG you might like my podcast "The GM's Guide" - it focuses a lot on exploring game design and narrative design through the lens of D&D and similar games. A lot of random stuff can be found on my website danfelder.net, though I only sporadically update it when I get an urge to post something. You might need to dig back a bit to find the juicy game design pieces.

There's also some people that recorded random talks I gave to colleges or local dev groups and posted them on their youtube channels.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by LlesorMan

Great write up, appreciated! And super useful to me as I'm in game design school, setting up feedback forms is pretty hard actually.

On a related topic, where can we give thought out feedback like you just described? Do we continue to do it on the subreddit? The Discord server used to have a great feedback channel but I can't find it anywhere (and I even got some replies from Rubin! I like to think I had a tiny bit of influence in the game lol).

I realize it's probably annoying because out of every like 10 feedbacks only 1 is really useful and the others turn into rants, but I really think it'd be of great value to both you guys and the community to have more of an open channel like this again!

I'm not sure if there's a more-official place, generally reddit is where I read the most. Other devs pay more attention to twitter or other places.

Great luck on your game design schoolin'. I'd suggest when looking for feedback, ask players what moments stood out as particularly exiciting, positive, feel-good in any way. It's very usefuly to build your game around the best parts and replicate success. Some people call this technique in game design 'follow the fun' but it's really a more specific version of a universally applicable technique called 'clone the bright spots'.

The excellent book "Switch" by chip heathe and dan heathe goes into some awesome examples of how to use that technique, with case studies ranging from solving child malnutrition to looking at weird sales data.

For example, I was reviewing a castle defense game for freelance work once and asked them when their game was the most fun. They said near the end of each level, when you had breaches in your castle and weren't just repelling invaders from beyond the moat - rather you were trying to patch holes in defenses and handle chaos of invaders. I asked them "Could you just start each level with a damaged castle then, if that's when it's the most fun?"

Turns out, the answer was yes. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by th3virtuos0

So do you really have a friend in an MMO dev team or is it just an arbitrary example?

Yep, this is a real example from their career. I've actually heard them give this exact scenario in design interviews to candidates too, as a case study, which is how I first heard the story (we were interviewing someone together).

They're not currently on an MMO team though, this was a story from a few jobs ago.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Vrail_Nightviper

Hey Dan! This is honestly a really helpful guide - as someone who's a non-dev myself, this is a great perspective on what helps (and what may be more difficult to interpret for feedback)
Wanna say, as a new folk to the community (joined about a month or so ago - you popped in on one of my posts in fact!) I love your participation in the community, and the interaction here. It's really refreshing coming from hearthstone, (communication was way less back some year or two ago in that group... and even then now it's different) and I super appreciate it - cheers!

That's great to hear. Welcome to the game. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by legoatoom

Is there a way to send feedback anonymously? Right know I only know of this subreddit as a method for 'ranting'.

Hmm, anonymously? I suppose you could always make a new account. Directly? You could tag a dev on twitter or send one a message here I suppose.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Wexzuz

Professionally I work at a company with around 1k employees where I work in a team creating and maintaining a custom made CMS.

I have a couple of ideas for games I want to make in Unity one day personally.

Sounds awesome. Good luck with your projects. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Pike_27

This is really helpful, thanks for sharing.

Players are far from designers, they generally don't offer meaningful insights, though when they express discontent, something might not be right.

Having a somewhat open communication here and in other places does help, and posts like this are important. This is something the majority of developers can't be bothered to do, so I do appreciate your write-up.

Thanks. Your comment also reminds me of the other end of what I tell designers, "Even if a player's proposed solution doesn't make sense, that doesn't mean there's no problem or opportunity here. If a patient tells their doctor, 'my stomach hurts, I think I need a heart transplant' their solution might be non-sensical but... Their stomach still hurts. That's real."

If a player tells you they're bored, then they're bored. You can't quote game design theory to tell them they're not bored.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Chronicle92

I'm a game designer and I 100% agree. My studio really values QA feedback during the iteration and development process and I really appreciate that our QA team does this exact thing without being prompted to.

I would like to add that I think suggested solutions can be very helpful still if they're given in the proposed context above and with the addition of a why you want to see that change. What are the gameplay feelings you want to see more of that this change would help facilitate.

To the end when feedback is like this:

"When I am playing X position, I feel Y when Z happens which I do not like.

I generally enjoy when B happens. I think it would be awesome if we did C so that we got more opportunities to feel B."

(I'm being as vague as humanly possible because we are unannounced and under strict NDA)

Absolutely. Proposed ideas can be very helpful once we know the core experience or design goal that's motivating them.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by LuvJonez

Alright lets give it a shot.

While I love how Kai'sa has been adapted to the game thematically I feel as if she's very oppressive to the point where most games I see her in my opponents deck I feel like I only have 7 rounds to win or lose.

Most meta decks are like this but what makes Kai'sa decks different is the feeling of impending doom I cant prevent through my play. Once Kai'sa drops I have one action to nullify the problem or else from experience she will often have the right conditions to attack twice and bomb my board state while also being protected by easy access to spell shield.

While I LOVE this feeling when piloting her I feel as if I've been cheated out of my time when going against this. Ive been playing card games for a long time and OTKs are nothing new but one of the biggest draws in LoR for me has been the action to action reactive element to it and Kai'sa decks feel as if they take that element out and the match simply becomes a race to see who can build up their win condition the fastest.

Thanks, this is a great description of your experience. I think the comparison of playing against Kai'Sa feeling similar to you to playing against OTK decks is particularly evocative and useful.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by DMaster86

I'll give it a try.

Issue: relics feels hard to acquire.

Symptoms: i have a ton of relics to collect and the pace is way too slow considering you normally only get 1 reliquiary per week once you finish the base champion quests, those relics enable interesting ways to build various champions so missing on the them feels extremely frustrating.

Potential solutions: duplicate protection and option to buy them directly for shards would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the feedback. Noted.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by GG35bw

I'm sorry but I can't say I agree with your example. If players said it takes too long to get from A to B then they mean it. Guessing and assuming they complain about the length because they're bored on their way is simply dumb. If that was the issue, they would state so. That leads to wasting resources on something that wasn't asked for and even if turns out great, will be ultimately unappreciated and overshadowed by not solving the initial issue (because the road is still long). I wish devs (in general) would stop with that attitude of "we know better what our players want" because, surprise surprise, in most cases they don't. Of course you can't please everyone, that's IMPOSSIBLE (and IMO, devs should stop trying to achieve that too) but offering a distraction for the knee pain instead of solving the cause is a no-no.

Again, I'm sorry if it sounds harsh but that's how I feel about the general state of gaming / dev-community communication nowadays.

This is actually an example from a real game. The devs made the change described and the players no longer said it took too long to travel between the interesting areas, because there was now interesting stuff to do in the middle area. It worked.

There are a lot of examples like this, but my favorite is probably when players called for a nerf in Wolfenstein because a gun was more powerful than the opposing faction’s version of the gun, but the two guns were actually numerically identical - they had all the same stats. It was just the sound it made that convinced people it was stronger. So they had to nerf the sound.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by EdumBot

Mind if I highjack this to voice some of my grievances and concerns? I promise to write it as best as you just described. Right now, I'm feeling...bad? about voice work, content / purchaseable items, the game's image and champions.

First, voice work. Frankly, the vast majority of dialogue is just amazingly done. So it stings, when there are outliers. For me, these are Taliyah, Jhin and now Kai'Sa. In case of Taliyah, it f**king sucks that you hired someone else. You had Erica in the studio for Zoe and she f**king nailed it, as always. So how come you didn't bring her back for Taliyah? Not to mention that Zehra makes Taliyah just sound like desert Lux. When you have established characters and you suddenly change big parts of them, in this case voice actors, you create this cognitive dissonance. "To remain as true to her character and heritage as possible" is flat out wrong. And I could keep trying to come up with smart words and explanations, when I'm just trying to say - it sucks! Zehra is great at being Kayle but not Taliyah. In Jhin's case, I want to say that Brian does his work well. It's not bad! But he just cannot hold a candle to Quinton's perfection. And I feel it's an absolute asshole move that you decided to distance yourselves from him because of these rumors that have been proven false. Now, Kai'Sa. Holy shit. This is just bad. The delivery is atrocious and the lines themselves are bad. She sounds so horribly bored and lifeless in the middle of the Belveth invasion. And...what are these level-up and Second Skin lines? The accent is also terrible. This is another case of different voice actors creating f**ky wuckies.

Second, content. I want more champion boards and skins. Renekton, Azir, A.Sol, Jhin,... I'm frankly a bit jealous that only a handful of champs got their own boards so far. And I don't play them much. I also want boards to cover the whole screen. They all look so much better when they cover both sides. But I only purchase them when I'm at least somewhat satisfied with how they look, when the top is Summoner's Rift. Speaking of boards, can you please let us obtain lab boards? I'm specifically refering to the galaxy board you used in the Diana/Leona lab. And possible the Heimer board for most others. Hell, either tag them with a coin tag or make them a shard dump. I'd gladly put in 100k or 200k shards to get that galaxy board! Skins - maybe it's time for follower skins now? Could you also look into making champion skins change their associated cards? For example, when you have Pulsefire Akshan, you get the option to change all Sandstone Chargers generated by cards to look like...Pulsefire Chargers. PoC - Please let me pay for additional updates, as long as they come with the same level of quality as the mode's relaunch start. Meaning stories, star powers going above level 3, regions, maybe harder modes, etc. I want to support you guys, but you make it hard for me to do so, in parts because of the above. This leads to...

Third, the game. I'm afraid that LoR is already standing on crippled legs. Devs being pulled away to other projects all the time, does not invoke faith in me. The game just doesn't feel like it's being treated as respectful anymore. I'm just trying to voice my concerns here.

Lastly, champions. Don't you think it's time for LoR originals? This way you can also EASILY support older archetypes and decks. Poro King! Runeterran champion, whose origin allows you to toy around with any poro card. Setaka! Or any Ascended, really. Deep and Lurk support? Let's create new champions for them! And I think characters we've grown to love a lot deserve their own champ cards. Those being Cithria, Von Yipp, Corina, Arda and her rider... you get the idea.

I can’t endorse this level of hijacking but wow am I impressed with your attention to detail. I’ve never had so much fun reading a list of grievances.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by janeer127

I would love to hear your podcast I'm totally into ttrpgs

It's on itunes and similar places. :)

I think the one on dungeon design is a pretty good standalone if you'd like a sample. There's also some recent ones on designing your own rpg system if you want to hear some game design focused stuff.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Sw1ft-fan04

I’d just like to suggest a confirm option on burst and focus spells, and maybe when playing units as well, especially with all the QoL changes the team has been making.

There have been a lot of times I’ve mis clicked on my phone, and there was no way to undo or confirm the action, and the fact that you can’t use Oracle’s eye with burst and focus spells feels bad when you can use it with other spell speeds. Some interactions can also be a little confusing and can mess you up at burst speeds. Just today I was playing a shen deck, and I made a misplay which was hard to understand which stopped me winning that turn. Shen was on 4/5 barriers, and I had an overwhelm sacred protector on board. So, using Stand United, giving sacred protector the barrier and +3 power would have won the game, so I selected another unit first, thinking that would level Shen, then I selected protector thinking it would get the buff because I selected it last. Unfortunately it was the other way around and there was no way to check this without knowing about that slightly counterintuitive interaction beforehand.

This could always be an optional change so the players who are confident and don’t want to click more buttons don’t need it, but would be very helpful for those who want to make sure they’re optimizing their plays and avoiding accidental mis clicks. Anyway thanks for this post as it’s always nice to see the devs actively improve their relationship with the player base and gain access to direct feedback from them.

That's a really interesting point, and thanks for breaking out specific examples - that's always helpful. I think the fact burst spells resolve instantly is helpful for players to understand that there's no window for the opponent to respond to them, but the fact you can't use the (semi)recently added oracle's eye with them is a bit sad. Minimizing a chance for misclicks is always a worthy cause too.

The trick with options though is that the vast majority of players will always stick to the defaults in most cases unless the feature is a common option on many games and affects basic experience in little ways (which is why most games have volume sliders), so it's often hard to prioritize adding a subtle option like this over doing other things for the game that improve the player experience for everyone. Game dev is largely about looking at a huge pile of great ideas and figuring out which is currently the most valuable way to spend your team's time and effort. Just the other week I learned about a cool idea a designer originally pitched for LoR in 2014. The stars may finally be aligning to get it prioritized.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Admiralpanther

In the spirit of being the mod who's always incredibly productive and on task, would you recommend your friend's mmo?

But seriously I absolutely adore LoR's loot system. The one kind-of interesting issue I run into (as a greedy little loot gremlin) is that at the top end the loot actually feels 'too free'. With any given battle pass (which I'm happy to buy btw, but they are a little long, I still have a day job y'dig?) I can complete any given xpac without even making a dent in my gringots-esqe draconic hoard of wildcards and goop (shards- me and the waifu call any given crafting mcguffin goop, just roll with it). Now I'm not a doctor but I think a 'goop sink' at the top end would be a good way to keep greedy loot-gamers like me more engaged. Kindof like league's essence emporium. The extremely dedicated and/or loot driven populations do have a reason to keep coming back and be excited because that loot system is specifically targeting players at the top end with some of the loot

(Unnecessary context) I am an extremely loot-driven gamer. I've gotten all the cheevos for dark souls 1-3, and bloodbourne (the loot for fromsoft games is the story in addition to the usual mcguffins and goop). Lor was incredible for me because I feel like I can enjoy the loot (cards) without taking out a second mortgage. I've played more borderlands and diablo than I care to admit and I've been watering at the mouth for nearly 15 years to get into an mmo.

Edit: had to go to work, didn't finish the unnecessary context. Maybe I'll make a standalone post

I'd definitely be interested in seeing this as a full post. Also, the "unnecessary" context is actually extremely helpful for feedback, because it helps us understand more about what kind of stuff you usually enjoy and what your motivations for playing might be. I mentioned in the MMO example that it was quest-focused players that had the issue, becuase players that ignored quests and just went exploring didn't. Knowing the people complaining were laser-focused on completing quests was useful in figuring out that they needed to add more quests to the area to get those players interested in it.

Based on what you've said I think you might love a game called Warframe if you haven't checked it out already, potentially Path of Exile too. Both are awesome looters that work in very different ways. They're also both initially complex but I think they're well, well worth the effort to get into. Warframe in particular has this 'click' moment where you suddenly feel like a game-breaking space ninja and it happens many hours into the game (particularly because the movement system is so powerful and the game's earliest content is some of its weakest as the devs have kept adding and adding to the game as they went).

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by YourLocalArsonist

This is as good a place as any to post my little grievence:

I dont like that certain champs "punish" you for drawing multiple copies. This has been mulling around in my brain ever since the proposed Vi changes https://twitter.com/DeadboltDoris/status/1519040230023565313

The main champs that come to my mind with this are Katarina, Zed, Vi, and Zilean. I dont think every champ needs a good champ spell, and champs with "bad" spells for their champs spell can still sync up with there game plan (Taric's Blessing of Targon, Nautilus' Riptide, Shyvana's Confront). This spells are kinda trash, but let the champion progress their level up condition when on the board.

But Kat, Zed, and Zilean are uniquely bad. They are so bad that players will rarely run 3 copies of these champs in decks not specifically built around them (Kat is a staple x1 now, Zed used to only be a x2 in his aggro decks with Poppy and Lulu). And Zilean has the unique problem of decks sacking their Zilean just to play another one (even Rite of Passaging him into another one in his solo deck), so a bad, expensive spell to save him is very meh (although this is amore a lack of timebombs issue, maybe if we get more timebomb cards his champ spell might turn out ok). Their champ spells have almost no synergy with the game plan, or even work against the game plan (why would I shadowshift Zed when I can just replay him since it resets level up progress anyway) so it feels like running 3 copies is just bricking my draws, since I almost never want to behold more than 1 copy at a time.

And Vi is barely ever ran as more than a x2 in good decks (Bard-Vi from Am seasonals is the exception), because she doesnt track together, drawing a second Vi when she is unleveled (which she almost always is) her spell doesnt do that much, and since she is used as a really good removal tool for big threat, she usually dies, and that second Vi comes down so weak its often a waste of 5 unit mana. Again, Bard/Vi is the exception, since it stacks chimes on Vi, so her seing cards played isnt so important.

I fully recognise that changing champ spells and how these champs interact is a huge balance change, and their stats would need to be changed as compensation (although Zilean could probably get a decent champ spell without any stat changes). But from a "fun-to-play" standpoint, letting me run x3 copies of some of my favourite champs without feeling like I'm griefing myself would be amazing.

Lulu, Maokai, Ziggs, Tahm, and Udyr are some other champs I feel have really bad/low synergy champ spell. But I left them out of the main paragraphs, because their champ spells are a few buffs/tweaks away from being servicable/good, where as the Kat, Zed, Zilean, and Vi are the real offenders (although Lulu almost made the cut, whimspy does close to nothing for her)

Sorry this ended up so long :)

Lots of great examples here. The rebalancing existing champions is always time consuming and can be disruptive for people as you mention, but either way its something I'll think about going forward. When I first got into LoR as a player I was actually surprised that the champ spells were collectible, because I assumed they would be the champion's unique 'special move' to me.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Taervon

I'd also like to point out that one of the main emotional factors in OTK decks, and why people complain so heavily about them, is the feeling of helplessness.

In a game like LoR where being able to react to basically everything is so monumentally important, anything that makes the player feel helpless should probably warrant a deeper look.

You guys are usually pretty good with that, making creative cards with interesting interactions, but I've stopped playing LoR because it feels like every deck is just assembling a combination of things I can't do anything about to Voltron me to death unless I have counterspells for days or hard removal pouring out my ears. Or play an aggro deck and just go face before they can assemble gigazord and punch me in the dick.

Spellshield is a big offender in that regard, it feels horrible to play against spellshield. Removal is already at a premium in LoR, Spellshield forcing out multiple spells from my hand makes the battle feel hopeless since I'm always trading down with spells, and big followers with challenger aren't cheap and are usually too slow since Spellshield tends to herald either a super important value unit or an OTK, and neither are fun to play against. Spellshield encourages that feeling of frustration and helplessness, and that's bad.

This is very clear and well-written feedback.

I also agree that OTKs often become issues in card games because you feel helpless to stop them - so you rarely feel 'safe'. You often don't feel like there's a way to protect yourself, or enough warning before the danger. At their most problematic, it can feel like a boss battle in dark souls that doesn't have a clear telegraph for a one-shot attack.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Snoo14937

Dear Dev, I might develop Bard syndrome, I might go crazy if I play or play against one more bard

Lots of Dungeonmasters sympathize. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by nokknokkcanicomein

i like howling abyss so here’s my thoughts.

Howling Abyss is exciting. I want to play Howling Abyss, to drop it and get a bunch of flipped champions that normally would never be together, but playing Howling Abyss feels like garbage. It sucks a lot to have to either be already winning, and so Abyss is just a win more card and not your actual wincon, or have to take a massive hit to tempo just to play it. It feels even worse when you’ve worked super hard to get yourself to a place you can even play it, only for your opponent to piltovan tellstones it and you just wasted 6 mana to their 4. It’s a similar feeling to playing Feel The Rush or Warmother’s Call into Ionia, where playing your wincon, the point of your deck, feels like garbage because your opponent benefits from you playing it. There’s no feeling worse than getting your 12 cost spell denied and your opponent just gets 8 free mana. The only time Abyss feels like it’s awesome, the best card ever is when both you and your opponent are out of cards and relying on top decks, which doesn’t happen very often. It sucks when playing your wincon feels like garbage, and winning with your wincon feels like it barely helped in most scenarios. If i’m playing most other control decks with actual wincons, this isn’t the case. It feels good to play a leveled jayce, or a Heimerdinger, or an ASol you know is gonna be leveled.

tldr: please buff aram or give us a lab mode that’s basically just both players have aram so I can outluck outplay my opponent.

Thanks for the breakdown, this is very specific and useful. I'm also a big fan of Howling Abyss, if I see it in a Path of Champ's adventure - espescially with an item that restores health on it equal to cost or lets me get it out faster, I'm always picking it for the fun. Both items on it help with the tempo issue too.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Hitman3256

This is exactly the type of community involvement I like to see in devs.

Thank you

My pleausure. Some communities can feel like you're constantly under fire when engaging, so its been great to see so many appreciative and supportive people here too. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Garretz

That was a great read, thanks for this! I always enjoy reading your posts, I'm happy we have a dev that is more active on reddit (Rubin, Walrus, plinq etc are more present on twitter).

Wanted to give a try with 1 specific card, which always bothered me: Tail-Cloak Matriarch.

I've always wanted to make decks with her because I love her effect of getting extra value from recalling units with summon effects; her art and voicelines are great too!

But she is too hard to cast and get value of. 5 mana is a lot for a card with no immediate board impact or immediate value generation.

Her winrate reflects that, her stats have always been super low, among the worst cards in Ionia (which is a region with a large amount of weak cards).

I believe what's holding her back from being buffed is how she can summon ephemeral copies of enemy followers. This means that Will of Ionia/Windsinger with a Tail-Cloak Matriarch is a nasty tempo swing: you are getting a big attacker/blocker while simultaneously removing one from your opponent, which frequently won't have the mana to replay it.

You can also get a permanent copy of that follower when paired with Ahri, as she can bounce it to your hand and remove ephemeral.

This 'thief' aspect is funny, but too clumsy to execute. Even in recall dedicated decks, Homecoming is a more popular spell than Will of Ionia. And even when you run WoI, you very frequently want to use it on enemy champions.

From what I gathered from other players, most (and I include myself here) don't want to use Matriarch for the stealing effect, but rather to recall their own units and repeat their summon effects. Best example in region is obviously Sai'nen, but there's some funny stuff like Fallen Feline, Chump Whump and Avarosan Hearthguard.

So my suggestion is to remove Matriarch's effect from summoning copies of enemy followers and making her 4 mana, with proper adjustment to her stats. Could even make her work with champions, so she would have synergy with Kennen and Irelia.

There are some other cards I have some hopes for (Shark Trainer, Encroaching Shadows, Reaver's Row etc), but I already wrote a lot about a single card, so I'll stop here. 😅

taking notes

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by asurabutt

I'll have a go:

I'm having trouble dealing with recently released spellshield cards, namely Kai'Sa, Overcharge and Second Skin. I have interaction tools, but I just don't have enough of them, or enough mana to use them all, or enough turns to get them all out, compared to how easily she becomes immune to anything I can do.

A Kai'Sa player can give spellshield (and overwhelm, but that's a different complaint) to a unit, and then also give it to their Kai'Sa, and I don't have a window to respond to this because it happens at burst/focus speed. This only costs them 3 mana and one card, since Second Skin is generated for free and costs 0 mana. The result is that I need to use multiple cards and significantly more mana if I want to interact with my opponent's units, since I have to deal with the spellshields first, and if they immediately attack I also become restricted by what speeds I can respond at.

This is frustrating because my opponent will still have most of their mana and combat tricks, while I have to use a lot of mine. They don't invest much to do this, and I can't react before they attack. I don't like being unable to interact with my opponent.

Thanks. This is a good breakdown of the moment to moment gameplay and why you feel frustratd when playing against Kai'Sa but might not be against other champions.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Solunare

Hey Dan,

Really insightful post, thank you for sharing! I appreciate it's a bit off topic, but do you have any tips to someone looking to get into a game design position? Thanks!

My pleasure. I have a ton of tips. The main ones are:

  1. Look at job postings for the dream job you want in 10 years - maybe a senior/lead designer position or something similar at a top studio. Look at what the jobs for that, posted on linkedin or the company's own websites (not all companies use Linkedin postings) are requiring right now for applicants. Figure out what requirements you don't have yet and make getting them your quest log for the next 10 years. Take jobs that advance your quest log, work on side projects, etc.

  2. The "be a designer on a shipped game" hurdle is the big one for most people, but it's now far easier to check that box off. It doesn't really matter how complex the game is, just that you are a designer that shipped a real game to a real app store (apple, android, steam, etc). Just make a "hyper-casual" game from start to finish by yourself with dirt-simple shapes-for-art or similar and get it onto the store. You'll learn SO much making a game from start to finish and you'll instantly be ahead of a lot of the competition. No one has to give you your shot to do this, you're totally in control of your own destiny. The game doesn't have to be amazing, you just have to prove you can make stuff and ship stuff to let hiring managers check off the "have they shipped a game as a designer?" requirement on a lot of lower lever jobs.

  3. Level up your craft by watching GDC talks on youtube ("how I got my mom to play through plants vs. zombies" is god tier, considered one of the best game design talks ever and only recently taken out from behind a paywall) and reading books on applied cognitive science. Celia Hodent's "The Gamer's Brain" is full of incredible tools. If that's too textbooky for you, the books Switch and Decisive by chip heathe and dan heathe are phenomenal and have fun audiobooks.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by VeteranVirtuoso

I love that you used the classic Mark Rosewater analogy

Well spotted. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by EdumBot

Sorry, I won't do it again. Now that I look at it again, I feel like I could've given some more thorough explanations...

But hey, let me praise you on something now to apologize, I guess? In general, voice actors are absolute epic. They breath a lot of life into their characters and make them feel, well, alive. Music is really f**king awesome! I actually bought a handful of boards just for the music alone. For example, Pulsefire, Worldbreaker and the underwater one. Equally great is the attention to vfx for characters. But the one thing I think you improved the most on is level-up animations. When you started with Aphelios and Shurima, I thought most of those were good but their transition from the card/board to scene and back was jarring and rough. Cards just coming out of swirly portals with little pazzaz was...meh. But you improved a lot on that. One example being Annie. Her card burning up, going to her cinematic with times and coming out of fire is really good! Leblanc's card coming out of her crystal or Tristana coming out of the explosion are also great stuff. What I'm trying to say is...less swirly portals, more dynamic and organic transitions? Wait, this isn't supposed to sound negative. Ehmm. You're doing much better with level-up animations, is what I'm trying to say.

No worries, I was mostly impressed by your passionate attention to detail. I almost never hear players calling voice actors by name when talking about interactions. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by TCuestaMan

MMO ALREADY HAD BETA TESTING? YO.

I was talking about a situation from years ago at another company. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by GA_Deathstalker

Do you have any avenues, sites, communities where one can learn more about gamedesign? I so far used mostly boardgame related ressources and the Game Maker's Tool Kit on YT

GDC talks on youtube are pretty great if you're just getting started. Best one in my opinion is "How I got my mom to play through plants vs zombies". Extra Credits also did a short series called "Design Club" that has some great breakdowns, including one of Mario 1-1 and another of Summoner's Rift.

The best book I know is "The Gamer's Brain" by Celia Hodent. It's about UX but the lessons all apply to game design.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by M-Architect

Just wanted to say that Remaking Magic was the podcast that really got me into ccgs and it's really cool to see you still taking time to give out information like this to aspiring devs and players alike.

That's awesome. Reuben and I had a lot of fun doing that podcast. He's guested on some of my GM's guide ones too. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Particular_Nebula462

Thank you for your work.

My pleasure. We love making this game. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by SameAsGrybe

First off, I love this post and taking this direction, I’d like to voice myself. Seeing new champions, particularly Kai’sa, but to an extent Gwen and even Bard, is a great feeling. Putting together a deck that feels strong to play and creates these strong moments is why I love to deck build. But the feelings of what I’d call overwhelming power from a champion like Kai’sa feels almost polar opposite to a champion like Viktor. Building Kai’sa to be this giant keyword threat that gives this overwhelming feeling of doom is the exact motivation I have to playing Viktor and putting my time into making his decks.

And the difference doesn’t feel day and night but almost like Christmas Day vs The First Day of School. Viktor feels almost embarrassing to play at times, I have to either hope and pray for the right keywords and feel bad because I got Fearsome/Fated or I just run away with the game because I got Elusive/Spellshield. In a nutshell, Viktor feels too fair. Like my opponent has multiple chances and opprotunities to take an opening and completely reset my progress and vice versa. Playing as or against Kai’sa gives much less or even no such windows.

And I don’t want to make any suggestions but I don’t want to close on a feeling of sourness, so I’ll try to brighten it up. Viktor feels great when it works. I’m huge, my board is huge I am the ultimate machine death god. It’s a long process but it pays off. I want to have that stay no matter what. I just want to do it a little more efficiently.

*taking notes*

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Dr_Chekhov

Thanks for doing this, it's very helpful. I'd like to try.

There are things I like about Bard. The thing I love about the fantasy of Bard is drawing a bunch of chimes in the late game, especially with leveled Bard on the field. I recently built a decent version of Bard/Leblanc. In that deck Trifarian Assessor feels so good to play. I have to set up my board to have 5-attack units (and carefully tailor my hand so that assessor herself got chimed up to 5 attack), but that means when I draw chimes I feel like I got rewarded for my good play, which is an amazing feeling.

But one really bad feeling, one that makes me so unexcited for the game to come, is Bard randomly hitting a bunch of chimes early, say on turn 1 or 2. Although it can be exciting, when I hit chimes early I immediately feel like I'm getting an advantage I haven't earned. And playing against Bard it's even worse -- if your opponent hits 3 chimes turn 2 suddenly none of your decisions in the game matter very much. Because of this randomness, Bard feels simultaneously too strong when playing against him and annoyingly inconsistent when playing AS him.

This is great feedback, super specific and shows the contrasts between when it's fun and when it isn't. Very useful. Thanks :)

Its also a good example of how win rate % isn't the whole story. Just because something might be fair on average doesn't mean it feels right in any given game.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by plassaur

No, you just said "we are all complaining about it so it has to be right", and I presented an example of when thats not right.

Also, it wasn't pro play feedback going against community, lol.

Another great example: When the Sound of a gun had to be nerfed. Players were convinced one gun was stronger when it was identical in every way to the opposing faction’s gun, but it sounded stronger when it was fired. I’ve run into situations like that a lot myself too. Players can absolutely slice a game wide open with perfect analysis sometimes, and there are also a lot of examples like this. Game design is wild, and an endlessly fun puzzle. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by tothelmac

You've inspired me here and given that it's a vaguely new thread I suppose I'll throw my thought right here:

I've always really liked the back and forth of LoR and I think it swamps Hearthstone in it's interactively which is great.

One thing I've always felt was missing though was exciting, rule bending cards that really push the envelope. Like feeling wise: there aren't very many cards in the game that give me the same excitement as dropping a Malygos or Incarnation of Selemene (Artifact). I think generally there also there isn't very much of that awesome feeling of a combo coming together. It feels like there aren't a lot of cards that "break the rules", and the most powerful cards are always "this card hits the board and is really strong" as opposed to a card like "Open the Way Gate" which made me feel the thrill of kind of bringing a plan together and constructing a strategy, both in game and in deck building. There aren't a lot of cards in LoR that give that fantasy and it feels like every deck lies on a sort of midrange spectrum where it's about winning board then winning the game. One of my favorite decks feels like the only exception, Tahm/Raka, but the deck hasn't gotten much support since it was released and it's the exception.

I don't know if this is the right format or forum, but it's a thought I've been sitting on for a while. I love this game for the really not exploitative way it does monetization and it's something that's kept me around for a long time, even as i wasn't enjoying the gameplay as much.

I think this is worth digging into more. Very interesting feedback.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by W1zard80y

I feel the same way. I stopped playing Hearthstone years ago and I play LoR daily but the feeling cards like Deathreaper Anduin gave me when playing cannot be replicated in LoR. For the people who don't play HS, it pretty much is a 'Destroy all minions with more than 5 attack', but also 'for the rest of the game, get a fleetic mystic shot after you play a card'. This single card completely transformed the game plan of both players, but for me especially as the Deathreaper player, I went from a control player Suddenly to a burn player. The game wasn't over 2 turns after, it just changed completely. And in 8 turns, I might have won or lost afterwards.

The closest thing to Deathreaper Anduin might be Lux, which funnily enough I play a lot combined with Aphelios. There have been games against Ramp Freljord which felt amazing, I kept creating weapons and Light bolts (I forgot Lux' spell name, but it's the 0 mana deal 4) and I kept blasting them for 8 turns to whatever the other player gave me, since he had multiple big units on the board. I kept stunning them with Aph, and removed them with Lux. And after like 20 minutes I finally got through all units. That felt great.

But it never really goes like that in LoR. Most of the time, when I drop Lux, 2 things can happen. Either he destroys my Lux instantly or I destroy his board 2 turns after, leading to a surrendered opponenet. For me it feels like the game ended before it got fun. I didn't love Shadowreaper Anduin because it was strong, but because it was a different way to play for the next 10 minutes. Lux here feels close but she can be destroyed immediately (which I think is not that big of an issue) but she destroys my opponent before I get all the joy out of her.

I think people hate Kai'sa for the same reason. With her as well, when she levels she pretty much wins the game 2 turns after. This is frustrating for the opponent of course, but the opponent also won the game before he really used the fun of Kai'sa pretty much. I don't think there are many games where you can really drop a level Kai'sa multiple times on the board, hoping to finally break through. It just, ends.

Cards like Kindred might come close to what I like. They get killed pretty much instantly, but if not, They are a card both players have to take in account for both players. I suddenly don't mind bad trades if I still kill another unit of his, while all of my opponent' units become precious to him. But while Kindred mostly wins the game if she gets out of control, it doesn't happen in a single turn. It could take multiple turns before I finally got through all the units of the opponent, and at any time my opponent could swing back if he draws a Venguenge. But Kindred completely transforms the game for both players. The game isn't lost immediately after I got her on board, but she is something both players have to think about.

Coming back to Shadowreaper Anduin in Hearthstone. I didnt play him because he was strong (He was, but I didn't play him because of it). It allowed me to have a completely different game without Immediately winning the game 2 turns after. Most of the time I was behind when I dropped him. But then the opponent suddenly started rushing me down, since now both players are suddenly on a timer. I use all my 'mystic shots' to stabilise the board while slowly burning the opponent. At any point the opponent might drop his 'Hero card (gives permanent new effect)', creating again a new playing field. Dropping Anduin feels like a 'Okay now we are playing MY game'. Dropping Lux feels like a 'Kill here or you lose 2 turns later'.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk, love ya Den the 4 mana 3/6 dragon, if you have a dragon silence a minion

Edit: sorry my bookwyrm it was Shadowreaper Anduin, not Deathreaper

This was an awesome Ted talk. Hearing about things you like from other games and why is always super useful. A lot of great ideas come from replicating and reinventing the successful ideas in other contexts.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Zancibar

Kay, I'll try. It got longer than I wanted.

One thing I've noticed in recent releases is the lack of feeling I earned the win or my opponent did, newer cards like Bard and Kai'Sa being by far the biggest offender, but also Annie and Gwen to a lesser extent, are cards that encourage you to play normally like a midrange deck but then come with what feels like a free advantage.

I compare Bard Kai'Sa to my favorite decks (Dragons and Warmothers) and they have a feeling of actually fighting, I have a warmothers deck that struggles not to be overrun by turn 7, but then with the ramp I can get a Warmothers off and start turning the tide though it's still not a free win because if my opponent played well I'll be 3-4 Nexus Hp, Kai'Sa plays already good cards early and drops herself turn 5 or Abomination turn 8 without even the slightest setup other than "playing already good units with already good keywords". The saddest part about Kai'Sa is that outside of her demacia pairing she herself feels impossible to level up. I tried her with Eve and I tried her with Freljord but no luck. Dragons has a similar feeling, I play Chow or Herald to get my dragons early, and my dragons can outstat anything but they need kills to grow and are still normally expensive and vulnerable to removal, compare that to bard who just plays Byrd into Esmus and you've got a guaranteed +2/2 in hand, not to mention those lucky chimes which admittedly feel good but also make the game feel like I threw the dice, got a nat 20 and now I can skip the fight. And I play Bard-Braum, Bard-Illaoi takes this to 11 because Illaoi has Overwhelm and Spawn has better removal.

This was already happening with Paperdragon and Fated to a degree, decks that feel like they just draw the perfect hand every game, but at least for those you could always try to freeze, or kill, or damage them, or out-swarm them, not to mention they required at least two turns to build. That wouldn't stop them, but it bought you time to get rolling, to see what you can do. Kai'Sa though, she has spellshield, overwhelm and even has cheap units to play late who also got a stat buff. She genuinely feels like you're playing by yourself in her decks, to the point you lose chances to win if you try to run cards like Hate Spike or Void Seeker.

taking notes

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by archivisty

Very nice read, probably super clarifying for a lot of people. With enough recognition, this could really re-shape how most vocalize their views on the game so the team gets more productive and resourceful feedback.

Loving your activity, Dan. Keep it up.

Thanks. It’s been great to see such a positive response. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by MRIT03

Let’s try this for Evelynn.

I absolutely love playing Evelynn, not because of her power, not because of the decks, just because of the thematics. Playing demons and devouring the victims is just beyond satisfying to play. Unlike what people said when she was revealed I feel like the best thing about Evelynn is her thematic.

With that said I don’t like how restricted she is, which was a bummer since her being a Runeterra champion excited me the most. Building a deck with eve feels like creating a cheesy strategy with not much synergy in between cards. The reason it feels so cheesy is because in any given region there’s at most 2 cards that interact partially well with husks and it’s usually some card that buffs them (taskmaster or voice of the risen). And for a viable deck to work I think it would need more synergy. Also I fee like even if I found some deck to build, my favorites cards in the package, allure and solitude, feel a bit on the weak side to include. So with eve I feel like trading power for fun, and I just hate the feeling of trying to make something cheesy work knowing I could climb way faster if I used any other deck.

So all in all, while I love playing Evelynn because of her gameplay, I just wish for more variety, synergy and power in her decks. Other than that I would like to thank you for doing my favorite LOL champion justice when it comes down to thematics.

taking notes

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by realnomdeguerre

Haha, "desert lux", i can't unhear it now!

This is a great excuse to talk about an interaction I had somehow never heard before - when a certain unit sees Fizz they shout “nobody likes Soggy Teemo!” Made me laugh so hard I disrupted a meeting at work.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by HuntedWolf

Something I’d like to add on, is that many people don’t understand what balance changes are meant to do. Balance the game is obvious, but the real driving force is to increase player engagement.

That means people playing, talking or streaming the game. Because engaged players are more likely to spend money. New sets, new cosmetics and balance changes are all meant to do this.

So when looking at balance changes, this is why how something feels to a player is much much more useful feedback to designers than suggestions, as the post explains. The designers want you to feel good, and have fun while playing the game. If something possibly unbalanced is causing you to not want to play, it doesn’t matter if it’s actually balanced or not, it needs to be changed. Similarly, if something is slightly unbalanced but has a good perception, it’s much less likely to be changed. It still might, but it’s a lower priority.

Very true - an example I like to give when talking about balance is if a card said “start of game: flip a coin, heads you win and tails you lose” it would be the most balanced win rate deck ever created and by far the worst for the game, because it utterly destroys the gameplay.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by shutupreddit2

I'm grateful for the tip and all but it just doesn't work. I went to my doctor with an open mind trying to explain the Kai'sa symptoms and he had no idea what was I talking about.

Sounds like you need a new doctor. Mine is super into LoR so they totally get it. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Powder_Keg

I'll try too (though it might be a little all over the place)

I didn't like the Bandle City expansion because I felt like most cards were just different ways to get to the same endings - 1. either very strong statted individual units or 2. strong statted board swarms (like Yordles and Fae kind of just do the same thing). However these strategies were very strong and I felt like I needed to play similar decks to keep up. I felt like this all was too oppressive for strategies that wanted to go into the late game, that really kicked in with other types of game winning effects around turns 8 and beyond. In fact, I felt like control decks were already getting pushed out of viability since the last few Shurima sets.

In my mind it seems like most gameplans released recently have had the goal of ending the game around turns 5-8. I like decks that control the board early game and start to slowly overpower the opponent starting from turn 8, but I haven't had a good way of stopping all the decks that end the game sooner. It feels like, they either successfully pull off their gameplan and I lose, or they fail due to their own bad draw or misplays (and not anything I really did, I just limply survive it all), and the game is over before I can have any fun.

For instance I found the following unfair: I made a deck with Katarina, Darius, and all other random Noxus Overwhelm cards, and I threw in 3 Harrowing. I mindlessly attacked (i.e. played all units possible and attacked with all) at every opportunity, and my opponent managed to finally kill off all my stuff while only going down to 11 hp. I then cast Harrowing which summoned a levelled Kat, which made me rally. I then swung, levelling Darius partway through, and winning the game. It didn't feel deserved; it felt really unfair.

Another thing I disliked: The change of play/cast and how it effected Heimerdinger. It was an objective buff to him, but I found him much less fun to play because of it. This is because before the change, getting a slow or fast speed spell off and getting value from him felt like a cool accomplishment, an outplay. Now it feels inevitable. I actually liked it being weaker and overcoming the opponent's efforts to kill Heimerdinger before I got value off of him. I also felt like the change reflected the game's trend towards faster games (and, though I'm sure it's not an intentional design decision, less interaction), and I disliked that.

Edit: Perhaps the dislike of the "game ending on turn 8" aspect is due also in part to the notion that these gameplans play out more like: constant pressure in the early turns + big finisher for seemingly the deck cost of "you had to do stuff which already put on a lot of pressure to get this big finisher," at least for some of them.

Edit 2: Also, the title post is "How I writes game feedback" xD

taking notes

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by MRIT03

Meanwhile I have you, do you have any advice/resources for game design? I’m a beginner in programming and interested in many fields, game development being one of them. I’m not just interested in coding games but also designing them and I find the field pretty interesting. Any advice from an expert in the field would be beyond appreciated <3

Sure thing - the book “the gamer’s brain’ by Celia Hodent is about ux but it’s god tier game design cognitive science principles. It’s incredible as a resource.

Study the principles in that and test out the ideas in modding projects or boardgame projects if you want to get good at game design fast. I still to this day do constant side projects, I’m planning on doing a weekend jam on a boardgame with some friends from work soon..

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Tagodano

I'm also a game designer and also have some games. While I'm not as good as riot games, I will try to post dome issues I have with the game and try to address them as you say:

-Elusives feel unfair many times. In an game that was sold as an interaction game, having a "can't interact" keyword that only counters with itself seems wrong. Mechanics that counter with themselves usually I do t like and many people also agree. I FEEL like the keywork should have a mini rework so players can have more resources for it, other than using also elusives or printing a ton of elusive counter cards. Make elusives non buffable/last one turn/units with 3 or less attack than elusive can block it. Whatever you consider, they just need a rework -Maximum of 2 attacks per turn; I don't like to get 3 enemy attacks when they don't even have the attack token, seems unfair and that I don't have resources to keep up. No one likes demacia perma rallies and no one likes azir Irelia.

Remove rite of negation from shurima. That region doesn't need a deny, it has too many resources already and protection for their champions, like zhonya spell shield, stats buffs..., and the "negative cost" is never relevant. Even with that you still gain tempo. You can deny multiple effects with 4 mana! I feel cheated when enemy uses that card. I don't feel the same with jonia's deny I feel like some cards are broken with 3 copies but with less copies would be ok. I don't know why you don't do cards limits with balancing, lots of cards games but I feel it would help the meta and deck creation. Make some cards limited to 1-2 copies. That allows for better balance and can make more variable decks I think. I don't like prefabricated decks that have no combination. I love pyke as a champion but I hate reksai and I'm forced to use them together. I like veigar I don't like senna. I don't like nautilus and maokai together. Yet I have practically no options for deck building. I get having prefabricated decks are easier to manage but I FEEL it affects interactions and seems like regions stop being regions and more like "forced packages" I don't like "clone" cards, and usually in the same region, like will of jonia- gruesome theater-defiant dance-homecoming/deny-nopefy-rite of negation-memory clock/relentless pursuit-golden aegis/riposte-prismatic barrier-spirits refuge-moral support. They even usually cost the same. It feels like "can I copy your work bro? Yeah but make it so isn't obvious", and here Runeterra doesn't have the printer cards limitations. There are tons of effects that can be done but feels like you go the easy way to be honest.

I know you don't like people telling you what you should change, but these things listed are an issue for me and a lot of people that she'd the game for days and days. It's a good game with lots of potential, please don't let it fall into powercreep like many card games.

Thanks for the write up. I want to clarify, I am absolutely happy to have people share ideas for solutions - I just also want to get an understanding of what they’re feeling as well. I also give suggestions when I write game feedback if I have some in mind, I just I make my goals and experience that motivate those suggestions clear first.

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by HuntedWolf

Ah that’s even better than the example I use. Mine was for Hearthstone originally but the card was a 1 mana 1/1 with Battlecry: deal 30 damage.

Almost every class would go to 50% win rate because it’s just a matter of who goes first, or who gets the card in the mulligan, with a minor meta developing around 0-1 mana armor gain or draw cards.

Exactly. I like the thanos example because it’s actually even worse for the game environment than a 0 mana “you win” card. Undermining the core fun of the game experience is what breaks the experience, power level is just one aspect (like how a power surge can fry a computer but not the only way to break it) :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Frogdg

Have you designed or published any of your own RPG systems? I love reading other systems to get inspiration for my own designs.

Nope but that may change soonish :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by RareMajority

Hey just wanted to tell you that I love the game you guys are working so hard on. Design is hard, and you'll almost never get it perfect, but as long as the LoR team is willing to take feedback from its players and always strive to improve, this will continue to be an amazing game! Thanks for all you guys do 🙏

Thanks. :)

2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by thanatopsian

Great post- i'm going to steal your explanation of how to provide feedback :P

It's interesting that other developers have this issue too regardless of how different the user base is. (I write software for professionals). I also struggle with feed back that is "I need {X} feature." and not what their problem is.

Another aspect of the OP's main point (to tell us what you're experiencing) is that users often report different symptoms of an underlying issue. Lets suppose the main feedback in their example was "The distance between {A} and {B} is too long", with other minor feedback of "There's nothing to do in the new zone, please add more mobs." and "There needs to be a clearly-designated area for me to level, i don't know where to go". The OP's final solution solves all three of the top player issues (and notably doesn't employ any of their proposed solutions) because the underlying issue was a lack of user-direction (provided by a robust quest system).

Nicely said. :)

about 2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Kindulas

Very cool post, Dan.

Kinda funny how stuff we talked about in the college game lab is on reddit now, lol.

about 2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Far_Letterhead537

If you haven’t played it yet, I highly recommend the boardgame Dice Throne. Been playing boardgames for many years and this one hits so many sweet spots. After showing it to my coworkers, we now play together nearly every lunch and each of them have bought their own copies. Also, thanks again for your post and especially for your attention to the community that loves your game.

I got to try dice throne at pax. It’s a really cool Game. If you haven’t already, you should totally check out Dicey Dungeons too. It’s a lot like a dice throne roguelike. :)

about 2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Far_Letterhead537

I appreciate you leaving the mystery here for us to hunt for this treasure of an interaction. Thank you.

Hint - if you’re searching for it, dig Deep :)

about 2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by YourLocalArsonist

I'm just imagining you reading my comment laughing your ass off knowing that Zilean change was coming down the line in 2 weeks.

I really like the change tho, my boy has an actual champ spell now :)

:)

about 2 months ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

Originally posted by Solunare

Hey! Apologies for such a late reply, I was on a trip for the last two weeks and only just got back. This all looks like fantastic advice, I'll be sure to follow all of this. Thank you so much!

Glad to hear it. Maybe we’ll work together some day. :)