Hi! Reina "Riot Reinboom" Sweet here bringing you an update about tooltips.
Tooltips in League are both one of the most important features in the game as well as, somehow, one of the least updated. They have gone from the time before season 1 to now with nary a change beyond some color changes and a couple lines added to keep things separated.
That lack of change wasn’t without reason. Each attempt at them was met with the scary overbearing cloud of “Wow, that’s a lot of champions. And a lot of languages to translate those changes into. Oh no.”
Well, we’ve decided to finally take that plunge into updating them, and trying to solve one of the bigger problems the LoL tooltips face.
This dev corner covers the problems we’re trying to solve, the current progress, and some future looking things. And to call out that for those future looking things, ***this is all very much a work in progress*** we would love your feedback on. :)
#The Big Problem
For League, tooltips serve two major use cases:
**In the moment** - “What’s the main thing that happens if I press this button?” With a bit more familiarity this becomes more nuanced like “what’s my cooldown?” or “what’s my highest damage skill?”
**All the details** - “How do I maximize this ability’s potential and use it most effectively?” There’s a lot of parts to League, from items to which position you’re in, and understanding how those parts hook together requires a lot more detailed information.
By trying to serve both cases the current tooltips manage to serve neither very well.
Perhaps the clearest example of this are scaling values (aka ratios). Let's look at Ezreal's Mystic Shot:
Pretty simple tooltip, but there’s some problems. “dealing 15 (+79)(+0) physical damage” lets us math out that it deals 104 damage (before mitigation) pretty easily, sure, but doing the math can still take up time when every moment counts. Worse though is if you want to know what you should buy. To arrive at that Mystic Shot has 1.1x Attack Damage ratio requires an annoying bit of division and you entirely don’t get to know what the Ability Power ratio is until you buy an item.
So, here we're off the mark with "**In the moment**" and completely missed with "**All the details**". If we try to fill the tooltip to the brim with information to solve for “**All the details**” we will end up a cluttered mess unless we sacrifice showing your current damage that “**In the moment**” asks for. Either way, we lose the “**In the moment**” case needed for faster decision making. This problem isn’t exclusive to how abilities scale, either. Many tooltips tread the line between the two worlds poorly even when describing the non-numerical parts of how a spell functions.
We think we can tackle these issues by presenting two options; one option to show the "RIGHT NOW" and another option to deep dive further.
Enter "Press [Shift] for more info"
We just give each ability two tooltips serving each need.
There’s a preview of this feature with the Aatrox update:
This type of feature isn't new to other games. But, it's still new to League and we really need your feedback on where to take it for the sake of LoL specifically. Consider Aatrox more like the "first flare for feedback" rather than a declaration of where all tooltips will go.
With each champion update and new champion we will take another attempt at landing in a better spot about what the correct mix of information is, and potentially other small new features. All the more feedback on these you can provide, the better we will get them.
One clear example of feedback we’ll be acting on is the demand for “let me just always see more info!”. Look forward to the option for exactly that in an upcoming patch.
##Future Future Looking
Unfortunately, there’s some parts of the tooltips we simply can’t upgrade due to constraints imposed by how we originally built them... ***for now***.
We’re in the middle of tearing apart the pieces of every tooltip in the game and reconstructing them in a very VERY new way behind the scenes. Some new things (like “Press [Shift] for more info”) we can release individually, but many new features we cannot. Once everything is over to the new system though (tentative sometime during preseason) you can look forward to some larger scale changes!
And to really hit that idea, here’s a look at Ezreal's Mystic Shot we're testing internally (VERY WORK-IN-PROGRESS):
("**In the Moment**" version)
("**All the details**" version. Note: The "+1.1" and "+0.4" are ratios and not totals).
And that's where the tooltip update project is at right now! Let us know your thoughts, and what use cases you want tooltips to serve!