League of Legends ELO System

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by TheGodEmperor, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member


    I've been casually reading Sirlin articles since I learned about them back with the Starcraft Class at a university (I forget the name, I suck with names).

    Anyways, I was reading the GDC articles and you were talking about how you met a Riot employee and got into an argument about his ELO system. Now, sadly there wasn't much of an argument and I'm really kinda hoping you'd elaborate further (or point me to an article I quite possibly have missed) on the flaws of ELO system and how it could be improved.

    I'm personally curious because I do enjoy LoL, but I tend to stay from ranked mostly due to personal experiences with other players and I was wondering what your professional full analysis would be about it. I do definitely think it has flaws and I don't know much about Microsoft's system so I was also curious about how that might work in LoL to help determine skill better than what we have now.

    Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but it seemed to be Game Design related. Also, I hate mustard too :p
  2. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Sirlin didn't really name any flaw in the elo system.
    Riot guy uses the excuse of "they want to separate bad from the good players in the MM, so they don't play against each other. So in their world makes sense that one start with a level 1 account, so one doesn't fight a level 30 guy until he played 300 games. or something.

    LOL Elo system is fine.

    The true answer is that most Riot employees are pretty clueless about the reason behind the decisions of Riot. Riot though give their employees (and their players) some speeches that even then don't believe.
    Basically the whole system of levels and runes has nothing to do with improving gameplay, but 100% about maximizing the ways to make money. Which I wouldn't have a problem with it, except Riot claims otherwise.
    Remy77077 likes this.
  3. two_eyes

    two_eyes Active Member

    Elo should not be capitalized. Mustard is god-tier.

    Sirlin's problem with LoL is that they require the stupid grinding process to get to l30 and play the real game, which is stupid. You don't need to segregate players by experience. When I started playing Starcraft 2, I was playing the same game played by everyone from Bronze to Master, and it's my matchmaking rating that decides who I get paired against. I got put into Platinum league right away because I had decent macro and knew my way around a build order. Why the hell do you need me to grind for a zillion hours first?
  4. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    If it's the runes/masteries, I guess I might see that. Except the "competitive" scene doesn't really open up until level 30 which is when you can easily have a full set of runes/masteries. And if they did open up the ability to buy runes well that'd be buying power which is a huge issue in free to play games and something people do like about LoL. The only thing you can buy are cosmetic, heroes (which you can get with IP anyways or during free week), or boosts to exp/ip. So I don't know if I'd be ok with that going "buy to max it out" at least if it sticks with the F2p model.

    ELO system itself I don't think is fine. It doesn't really account for anything other than win/loss and that's not necessarily a good test of skill. And you can't really go with k/d/a numbers either. So it is kinda hard to judge it, I think, but at the same time it could at least account for leavers/feeders/trolls/etc. Sure it could be an abusable system, but if you try and create a system to help players figure their skill and then decide to not implement something that will, more often than not, help people and avoid it because it might be abused well that's bad. Err if that makes sense. Kinda tired so sorry.

    I don't really think the ELO system is all that fine. But I don't think it's absolutely terrible. And it would be nice to read what Sirlin has to say on LoL's ELO system or, hell, the entire model. Maybe he'll do a fun write up on it one day. I imagine it could be it's own little series of blogs since there's really a lot he could talk about.

    And ya, it's a fair point about the grinding for competitive play, but how would you do a free to play model? Do you think selling of just cosmetic stuff would be enough? It might be.

    But at the same time, the leveling system does something else. It beholds you to your account because you've put time into it. Now, that could be bad because it could be due purely for monetary reasons, but at the same time it could be good because there's a chance someone beholden to their account will be less likely to troll/feed/etc. Now, sure there's plenty of that in LoL, but there's no way to really tell (without changing the system entirely and comparing the time it was like the old system and new and I don't think they'll be doing that) if it really does work like that. While there are a lot of such people, there are a lot of people in LoL in general so the likelihood of encountering one does increase.

    Though I do think it would be fun to see what would happen if LoL or a LoL-type game had a system like that. No leveling/unlocking of heroes and runes and could possibly thrive via cosmetic sales only. I wonder if that'd even work.
  5. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    Wait, you think "buying power" is bad but "grinding power" for exactly the same things is perfectly fine? Gaining the same external advantage is ok if you spent time instead of money?

    If the rating system accounted for anything other than win/loss, everyone would be gaming the system. I played a ton of HoN and while the ratings only care about winning/losing (and work very well!), people in lower brackets still whore lasthits and bitch about killstealing just because they care that much about their stats. Now imagine if something like that also affected your rating. I challenge you to name another metric that would be meaningful for ratings, wouldn't differentiate between different roles, and wouldn't warp the gameplay around something other than winning.

    Most of your post is stuff we've heard many times from people who are casual players and LoL fans. I play HoN and Dota 2 and even I can admit that LoL is a well-made casual game. As a competitive game I think it's pretty bad in comparison even if you could play the real game from the get-go, but the grind makes it a joke. Imagine getting into the game as someone familiar with the genre, who knows how stuff works and wants to start playing with experienced people as fast as possible. Suddenly the grind period looks very different. Yes, the leveling up is nice as a casual experience and works as a kind of a tutorial, but if you try to look at LoL as a competitive game it's just terribad.
  6. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Well-Known Member

    You hit the hammer on the head and you didn't even realize - The entire problem is that the real game doesn't open up until level 30.

    edit: runes are part of the problem too, but I wanted to be a little dramatic
  7. FentonBailey

    FentonBailey Guest

    I really don't understand anyone, this thread and the horrible comments section of the GDC article, can defend the grind. Especially, as others have done, when we move the system to a game like chess or Street Fighter.

    100 games with only your king and pawns, then you unlock bishops, then knights, etc. Also, I've never played LoL, so correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like there are super important elements that money can't buy? So like, even if you could drop £10 on all the chess pieces, you'd still need to grind 500 games to get the queen?

    It’s almost as if if that game were to come out tomorrow, people would defend it saying "Yeah, it gives me a chance to learn all the pieces" and "it stops people paying money just to be good at the game."

    I seriously don't understand how anyone could defend this system.
  8. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Well-Known Member

    Yeah, runes are completely unbuyable by money (although you can buy a thing that lets you grind for runes faster), and they give bonuses like +x hp, mana, damage, etc.
  9. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    You can pay money to grind runes 3 times faster, but you can't buy them outright.
  10. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    This is a message to Sirlin that someone can direct. I think he should do a big big post about all this anti grind stuff, almost like a big FAQ or QA. Because It becomes tiresome as, it happend in the GDC3 comments, to repeat oneself again and again. So it would be awesome to have a big post or article where someone comes with one of the usual bullshit arguments of why it's ok the grinding , like in LOL its good because it helps player learn the game (false, is makes learning harder), and you can just go like post link, read that.
    I could do it , but I don't think I have the eloquence to make a piece that everybody and anybody would be proud to link to, in any forum or to anyone.
    Remy77077, Kadir, CWheezy and 2 others like this.
  11. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    Hey guys,

    So I'm not necessarily defending the grind system, but I think if I had to choose two I'd be more ok with a grind than a pay to play model (that is pay consistently, if it was a one time thing that's fine by me, would be nice if there was that option to "buy the full game" which opens up all heroes and runes to you and all future heroes, but no special skins, gotta buy those separate, but considering the cash they must make on new hero releases, that's prolly not likely going to happen sadly).

    However, what would you say the counter argument is to someone who is new to the game (entirely new) and that it's possibly a good thing they can learn the gameplay for several games and not have it be highly competitive (as in they can't do ranked, which I really wish was the competitive scene it could be, but I have my own issues with that)? I mean, when it comes to game design I do hate the idea of having to force anyone to do something and the leveling system as it stands does seem to force people to play enough before they can really get in the competitive scene, but if I look at this as a "this world doesn't revolve around a single person" kinda thing, it would seem better that you do have new players be forced to learn the game's basic mechanics and get more experience before throwing them into the competitive scene.

    I think there's a huge problem with most western gamers (more so America, but it is in our culture) to believe that they should always have everything they want when they want it or they deserve everything open to them instead of having to work for it. This is what tends to happen when you have an instant gratification society that focuses on the "me" over the "we." I'm not saying LoL's grind system is the best for the idea of making sure new players are sufficiently practiced/learned of the game's mechanics before they can even enter competitive play. Hell, anyone who has played the game will know there are PLENTY of level 30 players who don't know much when it comes to the gameplay or the various aspects of heroes (and thus complain heroes who are actually balanced are OP just because they never learn to play against them).

    But, my question still remains. Is it really so bad to have your game be open up to play for people fine, but you don't give them so easy an entrance into the competitive scene? Is it a bad thing to expect your players to know something about the game before they play competitively? I mean, the reason SC2 and Chess and such can do that fine is because they are 1v1 in the competitive scene. There's no one to blame but yourself if you win or lose. However, a game like LoL it is a team based game. And while I know there are team based competitive games they are far different genres (like Sirlin's article points out shooters) which, let's be honest, tend to not have as much detail about them as an AoS style game has. And, even then, those are team systems. Where as you find your team and can only really do the competitive scene once you have a team.

    LoL on the other hand has a team system which I do think could stand to be more the focus on balance and play and should probably be improved so you don't have to grind to do it (as in have "team servers" where you have to be in a team to play, but you get everything opened up perhaps except skins, as in this server has no bot mod, no solo queue mode, etc, just team option), but it also has the solo queue option. And since you don't know who you'll be teamed up with in solo queue (at most you have your own duo queue friend, which I have a problem with actually that the system allows solo/duo, but that's another topic) it really seems selfish for a player to expect to go right into the "competitive mode" in solo queue when they don't have a significant understanding of the game. Because they're not just dicking over themselves, they're dicking over at least 4 other people (their teammates) as well as 5 others should the enemy team likes a REAL challenge, which tbh I do. I hate games that are so one sided stomps. They are so bland to me, but real back and forth games where things are even? I freaking love those.

    So ya, what of that argument? Sirlin never really did address it, just kinda went "nope, it's wrong" in the article and never explained why. And, tbh, I think in that aspect, for solo queue, he is wrong. I do think everyone in solo queue should only play once they have a firm understanding of the different roles and the various mechanics of the game. And while I'll agree LoL's system fails in assuring that, I don't think I'm against having a player to work to be in the competitive mode like that. Cause, let's be honest, the "competitive mode" (i.e. ranked, which is what it's supposed to be) in LoL is not exactly like competitive play in other games he used as counter examples. They aren't strictly 1v1 matches and, in solo queue, they aren't a set team of people you know and are experienced with vs a team of similar sort.

    Err, let's see if I can sum up this long bit in a tl;dr version:

    - Is it bad to have a competitive mode where you are teamed up with people you don't know require a barrier of entry so it tries to make sure those in the solo queue ranked mode know at least the basic mechanics of the game? If so why?
    - I wish there was a "Team Server" for LoL that had no levels, gave all the runes/pages and all the champs (but none of the skins) to play on, but can only play with a premade team you set up (i.e. no solo queue, no duo queue, no bots, no custom games)
    - I think many of those who are against the "have to work to play competitively" are a result of our western society that has focused way too heavily on instant gratification as well as "me" mindset that the society fosters and ignore that there are 9 other people in the game whose game could be ruined purely because of 1 selfish person's actions.

    I think that's all. Sorry for the long post :) I really do love more insight on such and people's opinions and I do hope Sirlin will write up a nice full article on it. I look forward to being pointed out new things I didn't consider that might change my mindset!
  12. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    I think next time Sirlin should participate in the rant session. I imagine he could do a hell of rant on stuff that harms competitive gaming.

    Also I agree instead of dropping comments on how bad it is every now there should be a place dedicated to this topic. There are a lot of nuances to describe and understand here. e.g. MtG has collection and is super expensive but at least you can go to a collectors shop and buy the cards you need; LoL is less expensive in money if you invest time but to some people time is much more valuable than money and RIOT can't pay their employees with the time spend grinding anyway.
  13. two_eyes

    two_eyes Active Member

    Starcraft 2 has random-matching teamplay ladders with no barrier to entry and it is fine.

    I'm just going to leave this here.

    Again: If you're new to/bad at the game, THAT IS WHAT YOUR MATCHMAKING RATING IS FOR. SC2 gives you five placement matches and then puts you in the league where it's determined you belong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the system deciding "Yup, you're terrible" when you're new and putting you in the safety scissors league. You get paired against other rounded-corners players, whether those be other new players or players who are experienced and just suck, so the matches are still even. As you learn the game, you grow in ranking, but you're still playing the same game.

    I do not think the system should be trying to make judgments about my understanding of the game. Let me jump into the pool; if I sink, fine, put me in the shallow end until I prove I can kick the ass of everyone else in the shallow end (it's not a perfect metaphor). But there is no reason why the "game minus" modes should even exist.
    Remy77077 likes this.
  14. Fenrir

    Fenrir Well-Known Member

    Yep, you can't buy runes for money. At all. So, ok, give the game the benefit of the doubt. Treat level 1-30 as an extended tutorial. A VERY extended tutorial. You're just learning to play. Fine. I like to be eased into games too.

    You still have the problem that you get to level thirty and in all likely hood haven't managed to grind NEARLY enough I.P. for two complete rune pages. And to play reasonably on the ranked ladder you need at least five complete rune pages.

    Ok, so once you've ground your way up to the point of having enough runes you can finally play the serious competitive game side of LoL. But even then, you've never REALLY got all of the options that you might potentially want for the game. Maybe you want to experiment with a Sorakka gold/10 build. That will cost you 10000 points.

    You might argue that every serious player has easily maxed out their rune pages and has every rune they could possibly want. But that's an advantage they have as a result of grinding, not skill.

    Not that the LoL player base seems to notice - or care. They're happy to have new players walled off into a separate area of the game because new players are generally shit and it's very frustrating to play with someone shit on your team. Plus they like the feeling of unlocking stuff, gives them a feeling that they're getting something for playing. Even if it's something that never should've been locked at all.

    Match making is fine, Elo is fine, it's not the best system for this kind of game (I remember being really happy with TrueSkill back when I played alot of DoW2) but it's good enough.
  15. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Well-Known Member

    Maybe if Sirlin is too busy or whatever to do this, the community could collaborative on one and we can put together something to be proud of!
  16. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Even In world where LOL is the first AOS game, every person have their own speed to learning things. First the current level system SLOWS learning, as you can't try out stuff whenever you want, and the first 29 level, the dynamic of the game is different than at level 30. Also when level 20 accounts get beated in lane against a level 30 account, is harder to know if you did something wrong or the lack of runes affected you (Yes despite all theory, its very commmon to be level 20 and play against level 30 people). The whole dynamic of the game change (both in dominion and SR) at different levels. That is outside of the outrageous examples that you don't get FLASH until level 15 or something.
    So not only not every player is new, but you are slowing the whole learning process of players.

    yes It's really bad.

    And the solution is to force by a grinding process even experienced gamers and slowing the learning process of all the new players?
    It's good that people learn the game faster, but I know a way that doesn't solve anything, and is this.

    On the later points.
    AOS games have more detail but the barrier of knowledge is lower than most shooters, where learning to aim properly is a very hard to get skill that needs lots of training. But i don't know what it has to do with anything.

    You say, you don't think players that are clueless should be allowed in competitive gaming. Here is the problem, if you don't let players play "The game as played in competitive mode" They are always going to be clueless as how to play in competitive mode. The only way to learn, is to get there, get your ass handed to you. There is no way around it.

    If you want to differentiate bad players from good players, the ELO system works and it works faster than 32o games of grinding. (which by the way it doesnt work as the amount of games or levels says barely nothing about a player skill in the game)

    And yes Sirlin adressed the argument "you have elo for that" is all you need, It works in hon, and hey its working on lol.

    Do you really think Riot added grinding and all that for all the reasons you mentioned? Because that's not the reason.
  17. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    Yes it is this bad. Lets see:

    Players that want to join the competitive scene usually have experience in the genre already. I have played between 1000 and 2000 games of dota in solo-queue-like laddersites and I consider myself not really competitive. Now there is this game that requires me to play 300 non-fun shit games before I can try out if I want to switch from dota to LoL.
    No those games are not fun. Maybe the first three are but after that it is just shit. I know I'm better than my opponents because they can't lasthit and are out of position a lot. But then they are 10 levels higher and have runes/masteries strong enough so that I can't kill them.
    Now if there was an option to buy a full unlock for everything apart from cosmetics/skins the game would turn from super bad to I'd like to try it out, maybe it is fun. Additionally this wouldn't harm anyone as matchmaking is determined by elo anyway and there are tons of lvl 30 that just flatout suck - at least I believe I'm not worse than every single lvl 30 in the community.
  18. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    Except, let's be honest, SC2 is NOT balanced around team play. The competitive scene and focus is and always will be 1v1 match ups. That's just how the game and esports has evovled. Blizzard does what it can for team play, but it doesn't focus on it.

    On the flipside, LoL is about team play in their competitive scene, yet they seem to do a lot of balance based on solo queue (my poor Evelynn and Xin, not counting release Xin).

    The point is, team play IS the focus and the only option in LoL yet you are randomly joined up with people who might not know crap and a great deal of the community will put so much emphasis on solo queue Elo (even Riot does at times, or so their red posts occasionally come off). The thing about Sc2 is that it is NOT balanced or focused on teamplay and so if someone joins a random game and they don't know, ya that sucks, but it's not like it's balanced around team play anyways.

    And your post does point out exactly something I've said. Our western society has a very selfish mindset. You don't mind screwing over other people's game for your own learning. That's a bit rude imo.
  19. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    No the simple truth is - as WaterD pointed out already - you cannot learn what you don't experience. If you you play 100 or 1000 games before your first competitive game is a minimal difference in your performance in this first competitive game. You can only learn by experience not by beating bots or trolling around in normal games until you get to lvl 30. (btw beating bots is the fastest way to grind).
  20. Froh

    Froh New Member

    Indeed, there are a lot of hateful people in the LoL community. But if they don't talk about grind (with runes and stuff) it's because it's not a real problem.
    I posted my opinion in the GDC even if "it's shit" and "worthless" because I saw Sirlin explain again & again that he hates LoL so much etc.. So here are my "bullshit" arguments if you want the big post (yeah because it's easy to say it's shit or totally wrong giving up on the discussion at the same time) :

    After that there's a debate between Sirlin being harsh and the usual "You're wrong, I'm right" between some people & sirlin, which does not improve the debate since no one wants to move from their position (Sirlin or the others). Ended by the "You're wrong, I'm right, and now I'm done" thanks to Sirlin. Seeing "you're arguments are shit" doesn't really help the debate (if you really want a debate here indeed).

    I would like to add that in LoL especially, it's the first of his genre. I mean, I played a lot Dota & HoN & LoL. There's a HUGE difference between LoL and Dota/HoN (which are pretty similar). The difference can't really be understood within a few games, and I don't really care about the hate between the two communities (the ones who tell "HoN is a lot more hardcore", it's not, it's just different.)
    Being the "first", it can't really be compared to the whole fighting game genre. With Street Fighter IV being played with the same "feel" than Street Fighter 2 etc... (yeah I know that they're different too, but you don't need to train your "inputs" because you already know how to fireball and that ryu will have one and a shoryuken etc)

    In LoL, being new means you're really new, you didn't play that before. Maybe you played Dota, but it's NOT the same. You didn't play on another account because you only needs to have one and you can't play with another person on a same account. (so it's not like fighting game where you can train a lot at the arcade or at a friend's house).
    I really don't know how it's "not a good train" because you just need to play a lot and that naturally (faster or not) teach you the game.
    I don't find that "hardcore" and "competitive" should be linked in a game to be "loved" by gamers.

    [Note : The difference between ranked & normal mode is not really huge, at least, in West Europe]
  21. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member


    I never really defended the leveling system. I think it's flawed too. Personally I don't mind it on my own play cause I'm not trying to focus on ranked so much (I don't have time and I don't really enjoy the experience I've had with it as well as the fact I play with two other people so that's three of us and I hate twisted treeline so lacking 2 more to do at least 5v5 ranked) so I didn't mind the "grind" (cause to me it was just a casual play) and I only really cared about optimizing stuff when I was at level 30 after I learned proper last hitting, mechanics of different heroes (different types of skillshots, cooldowns, builds, etc), and other aspects of the game. But I don't think for a second the system is good as is and I don't deny they probably created it to encourage more money being spent for income.

    However, I do wonder why it's so bad in this case where the game isn't simply 1v1 and isn't necessarily going to be a game where it's you and 4 other friends to require someone to know to play before they get into ranked. Realize I don't think that necessarily for any 1v1 game or a team game where you have to have the team first because that means the burden is on the player and ONLY the player to have a good game or not (making sure they are with the right people, making sure they know their own stuff, etc). The problem with the way solo queue is now is that, in my opinion, it's too easy to just enter it even after the "grind" and many don't know what they are doing. The burden isn't solely on you, but on the system and the luck of the draw of sorts. That kinda thing pisses me off.

    Maybe it'd be better to not even have solo queue ranked tbh. As I really think it leaves way too much to chance that you have no control over. And not in a good way. Aka you can't control your opponents actions and that's fine. But when you can't control your teammates and get a feed or troll or new player to the game that just makes it unfun for anyone who is going to play competitively and actually play to win.

    Now when I'm just playing for fun in a normal game or even a bot game trying a new build I don't care if a player does bad or good or trolls and if they are spamming chat being douchebags I can ignore easy enough. Winning at that point doesn't matter. But if it's supposed to be the competitive mode, winning does matter than and that's when I have a huge problem with the solo queue system and the fact people who don't know more than one hero play it and when they can't play that hero they feed. That kinda thing.

    You can try to compare LoL to SC2 or Chess or any other game, but, let's be honest, that in itself is a bit of a fallacy because there is quite a lot different between them.

    You assume normal games can't be as competitive or rich in gameplay/skill as ranked and I think that's a fallacy. You can play a lot of normals and yes many won't take it as serious, but draft mode of normals a lot do take very seriously it seems. I think that's a bit silly, but they definitely seem to use draft mode normal as kinda of more a "training for ranked without the risk of losing ELO" and then blind pick/bots is more for just dicking around. Of course there's the troll/jackass in those games too, but they are everywhere. So I think you can learn quite a lot in normal queue just fine. At least normal draft mode. I'd say if you're just starting you might learn more there than ranked especially because in normal draft mode I at least see people more willing to forgive and give advice than I do in ranked.

    Granted, this is personal experience and nothing to state it's fact, but it is a bit silly to assume that all normal games are akin to bots or so and can't have the skill level of a ranked game.
  22. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I don't see a problem with solo queue. And if there were, I dont see how all this grinding help a lot. The only way to become good at solo queue ranked, is to play a lot of solo queue ranked.
  23. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    You should compare LoL to hon, blc, dota, dota2 and teamgames like CS.

    Not saying normals are like bot games, but bot games advance you really fast towards lvl 30. This fact alone discredits all arguments about a intended relation between the level and skill.

    Now I don't know how much competitive games differ from normal games as I never got far enough to try. This is not because I didn't like the gameplay in general, it is because every game I get the feeling of:
    - this is entirely unfair, they have more runes and champs I can't play
    - if I was their level I'd crush them easily

    Now maybe this is not true but it is the experience it creates for me and completely overcomes every fun moment in the game. Maybe in truth I totally suck and play like shit - guess what? I never was able to watch my replays to see for myself.
    Remy77077 and Waterd103 like this.
  24. Froh

    Froh New Member


    I played from lvl 10 to lvl 30 facing lvl 30 (because I was playing with lvl 30 friends), the runes and the masteries weren't really needed except for the jungler role (and even that changed a few monhs ago)
  25. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    They are not needed to play, they are needed to be on an even field, even more so when you play to win and end facing people as skilled as you.
  26. Froh

    Froh New Member

    Yeah I understood the point of the "even field", but I already copied my arguments here. LoL started as a F2P and they needed a way to sell something that was not power. You know that they don't ONLY sell skins. And you know WHY HoN and BC had to become F2P. The fact is that this is a game which have a community. The not-so-a-fact, but my opinion is this is acceptable grinding.
  27. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    If you don't see a problem with solo queue, I think you're missing something tbh. And I don't necessarily agree with the leveling system, I've said that. But I do like the idea of (in terms of solo queue) a system that restricts users who have only proven to know the mechanics to get into it. If there was a mode that was 1 hero vs 1 hero I wouldn't care about such a restriction nor do I care for such for a 3v3 game on twisted treeline or a team queue in 5v5. But because of the way the game is and the other aspects I've listed in solo queue where it's 5v5 but you don't know necessarily who you're being queued with, I'd like some better assurance that people I'll be playing with at least know the basics. And, I wholely agree, the leveling system does not do this well.

    I just mostly asked what others think about a system that WOULD ensure that should a player be matched with another player if they were required to prove their knowledge of the game is so bad. In this case. Not in all cases, mind you. But in a case where you can solo queue with people you don't know in a mode that's supposed to be competitive.

    I have been told that it's selfish of me to expect people to know what they are doing, but I think it's not unfair to expect people in a competitive/serious mode to know how to play when you have to rely on them for your own rating. That is my big gripe with solo queue more than anything. And I think it's entirely too selfish of people to join a game when they haven't come to understand the basics (knowing say top, mid, bot lanes and jungle aspects as well as warding and last hitting and zoning/harassing and other such things of LoL that are really needed for serious play)of the game. That's why I didn't even do ranked at all for maybe a year and half or so after I started playing. I was still learning a lot. I think I've learned quite a lot and I do have all the basics down and this point it's refinement more than anything and more my own decision making I need to improve which are things that will come from playing more games of a serious caliber. But I can't find that in ranked atm :\

    Ya, I really wish there was a replay system. Riot has claimed to been working on one for a few years now :\ amusing a fan makes one in considerably less time. Wonder why they don't try and integrate it. Bah. But as someone pointed out LoL wasn't actually intended for esports as heavily early on and it grew because the number of people.

    As for the leveling system, I'm not defending it, I know it's flawed. I do wish there was a "pay 40-60 bucks to unlock the full game and any new hero released" option and then you could pay additionally for skins, but there isn't. And then they could easily have people matched only up with those who have the full game if they are worried about "buying power" so that those who "bought runes" (by buying the full game) are only matched with each other or those who have already obtained all rune pages and say 50%+ of the heroes through IP or whatever means. Actually, my idea still prolly could use improvements and changes to their system in other ways. But the point being there are definitely improvements I see with the leveling system and it sucks it's not intended to teach new players things and more used for other reasons (monetary mostly).

    I always wished Riot would invest development resources into a mode like SC2's challenges or whatever. Something to help players learn more specifics about the game. There is the very very simple tutorial, but that doesn't teach nearly enough. It doesn't teach the importance of warding, jungling, last hitting, etc and I think a system like the SC2 challenges where someone had to do them could be good. Hell, it could give them more areas to put achievements if they ever actually build that system into their client as there is (or was, I haven't checked that tab in a long time) an achievement page lol.
  28. Froh

    Froh New Member

    Already posted this a few posts ago but you CAN actually use LOLReplay to have replays in LoL (and it works pretty well).
  29. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    Yes, but LoL Replay isn't a system built into LoL :p it's not a Riot creation. It was fan made. It's a bit of an annoyance to have to use a third party system for replays. It is something that really should have been built in sooner. I mean, case in point? The recent patch has caused many of LoLReplay's users to have crashes in game. If it was a feature in game it's likely Riot would be assuring that the game wasn't crashing due to it before they issue out the patch. Granted it still can happen, but it's less likely. Oh well.
  30. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    well the problem is that they should sell power..... you should be able to buy right from the bat a level 30 account with all the champions and all the runes.
  31. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    All you really need to do is compare HoN's model to LoL's.

    HoN's far outshines LoL's in every imaginable way (except income, but that's not fair because DotA2 is cutting into HoN way more than LoL), the only missing thing is that you should be able to buy legacy accounts for $50-$60 or something and maybe some prices should be tweaked a bit.

    The key points are...
    1. Everyone is equal in game except for their hero pick beforehand, but heroes are presumably balanced. It's not the ideal of complete equality, but it's a hell of a lot closer and only really breaks down at the extreme top end of skill.
    2. Everyone can buy tokens to enable themselves to play with a full hero roster for a game or game(s).
    3. Legacy accounts have full game access (almost).
    3a. Early access means revenue for S2 while ensuring the future integrity of the game by making heroes widely available. This also has the added benefit of being a way to test heroes (from S2's end) before they're widely available and reduces their incentive to make new heroes overpowered.
    4. Plenty of cosmetic options built in: taunts, voice packs, skins, account icons, account flags, courier skins.

    The one thing HoN could benefit from it doesn't have (besides a bigger player base) is TF2's community design system where people can make their own skins, get them approved, then sell them with S2 and the creator sharing the profits. But that might be difficult because a large # of skins would seriously reduce character recognition.

    Free to Play + (Pay || Grind) to unlock is ok. Free to Play + Grind to Unlock is not.

    The secondary problem is in the guidelines the dev sets for themselves. Unlocking characters isn't bad, but you need to make a system that doesn't encourage you to push out an endless stream of heroes or cause you to make newer heroes more 'interesting' (which often means more powerful).

    The game also needs to eventually set a point and consider itself content complete (stuff besides balancing and new cosmetic items). LoL has generated enough content and enough revenue to be complete and the tournament scene ensures it can continue to be profitable (provided they're charging licensing fees to major tournaments). But rather than 'complete' their game they show no sign of slowing down or stopping at all.
  32. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    Yes these are the lone 2 points that shift lol from possibly decent to horrible for me, Sirlin and many others. Leveling has proven to not work well as a tutorial. Grinding has proven to be a barrier with no way around it.

    There is an easy way to make bad players play bad players (well tuned true skill). Also it is easy to make a system that helps players that are willing to learn become better instead of having a system that slows learning.
    As you already mentioned SC2 challenges are decent for beginners. Dota2 live spectating of high tier games is decent. Replays are helpful for learning. Finally a good matchmaking that lets you play opponents of similar skill is the most important tool for learning. If you start as a beginner and play vs beginners in an elo-environment right from the start you won't ruin the game for some high skill players because they got a very different elo.

    I suggest you and you friends try out dota2 as soon as it goes to open beta. The concept is very different and so much more rewarding. I have a friend that never played any kind of action-rts/moba style game and taught him for 100 games. Now we can steamroll most pubs. No need to learn slowly if you are capable of learning fast.
    Remy77077 likes this.
  33. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    Selling power leads to a problem though when it comes to free to play games. As not everyone is at an equal level. Which is why if they do sell power then only those who buy power should be matched up with others who buy power. Then the system is fine. But matching people up who buy a level 30 account with all champions/runes and letting them play with level 30s who don't have all those things is just as big of a problem as the problem you have with level 30s being matched with people in the 20-29 range.
  34. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I don't know if it's relevant, but many people like me play LoL, NOT Because their business model, but DESPITE its business model, instead of dota or HON. (I want to make that clear because I don't agree that Hon, or dota2 in the future, is/will be better than LOL outside of the business model. (specially now with dominion which just walks over everthing i ever saw, sadly riot is letting it die)

    No, A) its not as big of a problem, not even close B) If I don't have the "power" to play even with other players, because I didn't pay for it, then it's a not problem, because I can pay If I want to play the game and be on even ground.
  35. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    I will admit, I do like HoN's system for the most part. The only thing I don't really like is the actual gameplay :p I never was a fan of DoTA (I was a bigger Tides of Blood player actually). I never liked the idea of really long cc or hypercarries or the idea of denying (which I have written up elsewhere my whole problem with it in its current incarnation, I can post that if people are interested), and I didn't like how most abilities were just simple click to use abilities (I like skillshots, feels more rewarding and does take more skill to use right). But ya, it was a shame HoN (and now DoTA2 I imagine, but I'll give it a shot when it's opened up) are continuing how the tradition of such things I didn't like in DoTA.
  36. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Yeah that's fair enough, I don't mean to compare HoN and LoL's gameplay, I think each game does some things right and some things wrong personally*, but really I just wanted to contrast business models.

    *The major thing that kills Lol for me honestly is more fundamental mechanics than the gameplay. The uh.. kinesthetics of Lol champions and projectiles is far inferior to HoN/DotA imo.
  37. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    Ya, I do wish they'd put better systems in to help new players :\ it's something I've actually been pushing for on the forums. And I've also been pushing for more systems to reward positively instead of punishing negatively. That is, I'm hoping for a system where you can praise people in game for good gameplay or leadership (and limit it to maybe 10 praises a day) sorta akin to the report option, but this would be more towards praising good players instead of punishing bad players. Should leave the punishing mechanic, but having a praising mechanic that rewards good players who are consistently good (i.e. they are helpful, kinda, know how to play their roles, etc) with say RP/IP in LoL terms would be more beneficial to the community as a whole.

    As for DoTA2, if it's going to be another DoTA copy (or like HoN) I'm prolly not going to enjoy it purely for the gameplay mechanics I can't really agree with or I just don't find challenging/fun.

    I like comparing and contrasting LoL/HoN gameplay at times too. It's fun and good for enhancing your own design. Just so long as you don't go so silly as to say that one game sucks or whatnot because, yes, both have their good points and both have their bads :) for me, personally, LoL's mechanics match more what I enjoy.

    Off topic-ish: I really wish a new AOS style game would come out that had something ToB and EoTA: Twilight (I believe actually Demigod had this, shame that was a flop) had and no other AoS had. A second resource system. That is, instead of JUST gold, there's also another resource, but this resource is ONLY acquired from PVP (aka assists and kills). I think that'd help a TON with the passive problem people have in the game at times.
  38. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    I don't see a problem with HoN solo queue, which is based on an Elo rating system. My personal experience has been that you'll fluctuate maybe 50 points away from your "true rating", and at +/- 100 points it's really hard to win/lose games, respectively. When I last played actively I was around 1750, and when I started a smurf account for kicks I just couldn't keep it under 1600 despite whatever stupid shit I was doing, as long as I wasn't throwing on purpose (which I never did). Note that HoN has 0 grind - new accounts do have to unlock heroes, but the ones they do get are perfectly equal to the ones picked in competitive play with no mastery bullshit involved.

    What I did see was a ton of threads about the rating system on the forum. Essentially, there were two kinds: scrubs whining about how they are much better than their rating but can't get up because of idiot teammates, and solid players demonstrating how they brought up a new account's rating to their real level with minimal losses. Your arguments remind me of those threads of the first kind.
    Waterd103 and Leartes like this.
  39. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Yeah I agree with this. SC2, HoN, etc. all these games you see swings of +/- 100ish point.

    Think about it, if every game has a 50% win rate and you play 3 games then you have a 12.5% chance of losing all 3 games which will put you down ~60-100 points in most ELO systems. Sure as your rating drops your win rate increases but even if you have a win % of 50-55-60 for the 3 match-ups you'd still lose 3 games in a row 9% of the time.

    Though overall this is why some systems use an extra bit on top of ELO to cement your rating more. So you may have a displayed rating that fluctuates +/- 50 points, but the rating it uses to find a match is slower to move so it doesn't start going crazy if you go on a losing or winning streak.


    Yet to be fair, while scrubs and such won't affect your rating long term, then do affect your games in the short term. I only play like 10-15 games of HoN a week so my rating tends to stay near a slightly positive ELO (My rating used to be much higher, but I don't have good last hitting skills because I'm not playing enough). This means that a fair # of those 10-15 games suck more than it should because of newbies on one team or the other. So no, it's not my teammates fault that my ELO is where it is, but it does ruin the quality of the games I play by a bit. In games like HoN there's a lot of ways where people can be bad. There's a big difference in my crappy last hitting vs someone who's only able to play well if given a good lane and a team that won't require them to play well off the bat vs someone who's rating won't lower because they can last hit and the only play hard carries that faceroll anyone lower skilled players.

    I may be kind of an exception though because I have good RTS skills + good experience in DotA-likes, but don't play frequently and even when I do play I queue with friends so my rating is influenced by the skill level of my friends.

    But with MM there's no way to determine the difference of the 3, it's one of the big flaws of DotA games that they don't properly encourage learning the actual game and instead offer many ways to reach local maximums.
  40. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    Maybe you should actually play LoL then. HoN has things DoTA had which can lead to one player carrying games (aka hypercarries) that can carry a game. I'm not saying HoN isn't as team based, but a hyper carry can carry a game pretty damn hard. LoL doesn't have that and requires a little more emphasis on your team. For example, I've had several games where I've been fed/farmed to hell as heroes who generally can carry well, but because my teammates would get caught out of position or did really poorly (due to trying new things or just being plain new or bad, whatever) and I couldn't carry the team to victory.

    Sure I've had games where I, as Morde, have carried the team to victory, but that was more because the other team was throwing the game hard more than my own skill because no matter how ahead I was, by a point in the game I can't beat an enemy team by myself. Not even as morde (not if they have CC and know what they are doing). I'd need my team to definitely play their part as well and if they are getting caught or not farming enough or building wrong then there really is nothing I can do. It's just the way of LoL. And, tbh, I do like that more. It's why I loved Tides of Blood. You couldn't do crap to beat an enemy team without having your town team working together. You needed your full team and good teamwork to win the game.

    But, because of that reliance on other teams you can see a vast swing. I've seen pro gamers drop 300 ELO points because they had a string of one bad game after another and they played very well, but others in their team weren't playing as well or they had the misfortune of playing with the occasional troll. There is a problem with LoL's ELO system atm. It's not like it's entirely garbage, but there are definitely problems.
  41. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    That's all entirely false...

    WaterD himself on these forums did the whole "purposely trash my rating, carry myself back up" test. It took him like a week or two, and he had a 95% win rate until he got back to around his normal rating.

    You can carry *just as hard* in LoL if you really are that good. You're right that the skills are a bit different. In Dota/HoN it can be effective to just go farm solo, and then win the game. In LoL, players use jungle, and use effective gank timing to save their teammates from their bad decisions. But beyond slightly different optimal play, it works basically completely the same.
  42. Fenrir

    Fenrir Well-Known Member

    Yeah, this was pretty much me until about a week ago. I played Dota2 and liked it just fine (eventually) but I ultimately much preferred playing LoL. Honestly though, I don't think any of the current crop of these games is really the one for me. I have way to many games of LoL that are just incredibly frustrating. Especially that games where you're 15 kills behind at 22 minutes and your team mates refuse to surrender. I cannot express in words how much anguish I feel in that situation. It is torture.

    I hate having to drag out a game for another 20 minutes when it's an utterly foregone conclusion. I'd like to see Riot makes surrendering easier but REALLY I'd like to see them make surrendering less attractive.
  43. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    Play primarily as a support. Now go carry yourself to high rating. Challenge issued.

    See, I'd rather they remove surrender, at least for ranked. I've had plenty of fun games where we had epic turn arounds by people starting to actually play smarter
  44. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Well-Known Member

    How is that a reasonable thing at all?

    You were talking about carries and so is Claytus. Now you are talking about some other hero type that is unrelated to the initial thing you said?
  45. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    No I'm saying that there are examples in LoL where you can't carry your team. And yes, there are carries, but if you are the only one playing well (I'm not saying that's the standard for me mind you, I'm just saying it's not as uncommon as you people claim) you can't carry the other 4 where as DoTA/HoN there are hypercarries who CAN 1v5. That's part why I don't like DoTA/HoN.

    And I'm saying that if you're a player who enjoys support more than other roles you're even more at the mercy of your teammates' skills because of how support is in LoL.
  46. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Well-Known Member

    well sure, but you aren't going to easily carry your team in dota or hon with a support either, so the point is kind of moot.
  47. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    Lol what. If this is your argument maybe you should actually play Dota/HoN. The "hypercarries" are shit earlygame and actually the best strat I found for getting my smurf's rating go down was to pick the hardest carry in game and play for real, because it just doesn't work out with random pubs for several reasons. If you want to minimize your chances of losing to a fluke, you pick a midgame hero and make a difference early.

    For the last paragraph of your post, maybe LoL's Elo system is indeed broken, I don't know, but I can't see how you could use that as an argument for grinding if the same thing works in another game.

    I don't know about LoL but this has been done in HoN.

    This is a completely different issue from anything else in this thread, but I'd like to note that both options suck in their own way. For me Dota 2 games where the winner was clearly decided and I was wishing for the damn surrender option have easily been more common than HoN games where the game was conceded prematurely.
  48. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    No surrender is a nightmare. My time is valuable (to me at least). I don't want to play for 20 minutes to finish out a forgone game (on either side). If I'm only playing 2 games in a night then that's potentially like 1/3rd of my play time locked up in a lame duck situation.

    I'd just like to see a slightly more elaborate surrender rule basically. Basically something like keep a count of the # of times a majority voted to surrender and if that # reaches a certain threshold subtract 1 from the # of votes required to surrender. So if the team votes 3/5 surrender 4 times then the # of votes to surrender would go from 5->4 (or 4->3 depending on the time of the game).

    It's just frustrating when 4/5 people keep voting to surrender, but that last guy is holding out (or at 45 mins into a game 2 guys are holding out). Even if he's right and you could come back your team wants to be doing something else and its unfair to tie them up for 1 person. In this system he has some time to prove his case, but eventually the majority would get their way.


    And yeah the best heroes for HoN solo imo are the self sufficient semi-carries or potentially semi-carry (Sven/Hammer Storm, Death Prophet/Defiler, Puck/Bubbles, Emerald Warden, Corrupted Disciple/Razor). Some of the melee carries are good (Anti-mage & Chronos), but they suffer from being melee and relying on a good lane partner.

    You can also just go ganker like QoP/Hag and dominate that way.

    Basically anyone who can dish out a lot of damage early-ish and has mobility or survivability.

    Also can't anyone somewhat carry in LoL? If you are playing support and your team sucks, why wouldn't you just buy carry items and do it yourself. Sure that may be tough for Soraka, but then uh skip playing those like 3-4 heroes that can't deal much damage regardless of items.
  49. TheGodEmperor

    TheGodEmperor Member

    In LoL at most you'll get to maybe 1600 with a support being your primary role (at least so my experience). It's not bad, but it's not going to get you to the "high ratings" people will really "respect."

    And yes, even pros will go down 300+ ratings and then slowly work their way back up. If you watch Guardsman Bob (not sure if I'd call him a pro gamer, even he won't, but he's certainly a good gamer and he is high rating consistently) you can see him getting trolled or getting just poor players (or that is players who make poor decision in his games) and has dropped several times back down to 1800 or even 1700 only to have to carry himself back up to 2100. The thing is, he's playing almost every day for a good 8-12 hours straight (it varies) and he'll do this and it takes him a few weeks to get back up.

    The way ELO works is that as long as you win more than you lose you'll go up, or, hell, even if it's even you'll still go up. You can grind your way to high ELO just by playing a lot if you have the time tbh far more than showing an accurate representation of your own personal skill. It ONLY accounts for wins/losses and I think that's a bit shortsighted. I think that's shortsighted for any game in all honesty.

    As for the surrender bit, there's only ever been once or twice I wanted to surrender and that's because it was not likely we were gonna win (still a very low chance), but more I had to go somewhere anyways and wanted to just leave to do something else. If I don't have plans or don't feel like doing something else, even if there's a slim chance I like to keep fighting and trying.

    And maybe it's because I never play a game unless I know I don't have something to do for awhile after. Probably because I like long games. Hell, as I said, I loved ToB in War 3. I think it was the best custom map to date (and it was better balanced more often than DoTA and was out before DoTA :| it just had a community of players who did NOT ever accept any new players and it wasn't as newb friendly). But those games were, on average, about an hour and half long :p but man, the epic back and forth battles. Helped I was a teenager at the time so less responsibility and more free time.
  50. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    It is a commun misconception that players lose if the best player does not pick carry. I played so many games of dota where the players that were ranked highest picked supports or ganker and totally won me the game. Sometimes it shows in their K/D but sometimes they just win the game with their leadership skills.

    If you your win/lose turns worse on supports than on carries the only reason is that you are a worse support than a carry. I'd be interesting to compute different elo for different main heroes but sadly that is not possible.
    On the other hand your win/loss shows pretty well how good you are on a hero if you play a large amount of games on a similar level. I for example played over a hundred games as lion on the dotalicious platform and it turned out that my winrate with lion was about 45%. In the same time I played a similar amount of games as tidehunter and got a winrate of nearly 60%. My rating bounced around in the same area during the whole time. I can see from this that my lion play just sucks. I like the hero but I suck with him. It is not my teammates that are the problem it is MY play that is the problem.

    ELO does not work that way! Maybe LoL elo is tuned badly but the concept of elo is mathematically proven to be the only feasible option.
    Also considering everything else apart win/loss is not possible in a truthful system.

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