Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 15

Morning folks, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Usual Disclaimers** These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get put delayed or even stopped. If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Game length and snowball** Something we watch closely especially around pre-season is how game time and snowball rates are changing. That's been particularly important to watch this year given a few changes that have the potentially to create more snowbally and/or shorter games. Those are things like a reduction in catch up XP, Legend/Bounty Hunter runes that are being taken a lot right now, people running very aggressive feast or famine team comps without much of a front line etc. After the patch went out last week we saw average game times in ranked SR drop by about a minute, which is meaningful. Looking into it we realized patch 7.22 had also introduced a bug into match making where higher MMR players were being stacked on one team inappropriately. We fixed that a couple of days after the patch and then looked at game times again. That showed average game times down 30s versus 7.21, of which 10s comes from minions/monsters spawning quicker (quicker game start). So, game time hasn't changed too much on average. Having said that though, that's just one facet of things and lack of much average game time doesn't mean other things might not have changed significantly. We're currently looking at a range of other measurements including things like: * How snowbally a game is (on average how far through is the game decided?) * Whether both early game and late game champions are performing appropriately * How much variation in game length there is (are more games around the average length, or are we seeing more really short and really long games?) * How game time, snowball etc changes by different skill levels and regions * Etc More thoughts on stuff like that, and pacing in general, to follow. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Transcendence** Transcendence seems to be getting a lot of conversation at the moment and we've been looking at a range of item builds suggested using it. Some seem good, but not out of line, some seem interesting but probably not effective choices. A few look really strong, especially in certain situations (looking at you Malphite), things should have contexts in which they're really strong sometimes though. Doesn't seem like the Rune's inappropriately tuned at present overall, keeping a close eye on it though in case any of the edge cases become really abusive. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Health Bar update now in 7.24** We're still working on the health bar update. Based off the number of things we still want to polish and some really useful feedback we're going to move that back to patch 7.24, rather than 7.23 as we were originally thinking, to get a bit more time to work on it. If you've got any further thoughts about how the new bars are looking, particularly after the recent polish to them while they've been on PBE, that would be much appreciated. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Non LoL: Level Design in Breath of the Wild** Occasionally I figure it's good to post some general game design stuff for people interested in that side of things, even if it's not LoL related. One thing I was reading recently that I thought was quite insightful was an account of one of the principles the Breath of the Wild team used to build their outdoor world. Link to a summary of that below, courtesy of Robert Yang summarizing Matt Walker's twitter rundown of a presentation by some of the Breath of the Wild team: http://www.blog.radiator.debacle.us/2017/10/open-world-level-design-spatial.html
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