Originally Posted by Morello
Hey Samurai, thanks for the even-handed and detailed post - as such, I wanted to take some time to comment here.
I'd also like to thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to respond to the thread. I think you brought up some legitimate points that I failed to address in the original post. Just to note though, I don't "blame" you for the direction you took the game. I completely understand why you did and I think you were justified given the unique position that balancing LoL puts you in.
You want a "deep, not wide" experience with champions - you want to have tons of options contained within a single character. Our way to combat this natural skill increase and lack of discovery is new champions - it's one of our most effective tools in keeping the game fresh over a period of time. For you, unfortunately, this has little-to-no appeal, so that method just doesn't add much value to the game for players like yourself.
I think that this point exactly sums up my feelings towards the changes over time. You're absolutely right that the "wide" experience is one that is totally lost on me personally, and that I'm looking for a "deep" experience instead. But what does it mean for LoL to be "deep?" My friend (the jungle Annie friend) and I have spent hours discussing balance philosophy in MOBAs and the biggest conclusion that we came to is that "depth" for a single character is more than just the difficulty of playing them or effects their abilities have. It comes down to builds.
You mentioned in your post that you can still play play some characters in multiple ways, and you're right, but that's not the depth from builds that I'm actually talking about. I failed to make this point in my first post, but I'm referring to depth WITHIN builds as well as the total number of them. The ability to take different paths in order to achieve various roles adds far more depth to the game than just having a gimmick or two. You made the point that over time the optimal build for any given role is discovered quickly as a game grows older, and I don't fully agree. I think your focus on "wide, not deep" balance pushed the game towards simple and obvious builds. But you could have (and still can) add more options into the game by including more unique items so that the "best" build can potentially be challenged by creativity.
How many tier 3 items have you added to the game since you started? How many items with unusual passives have you made? The approach that I've noticed you take towards items is that they are just numbers that can be added or subtracted to the champions rather than tools that can change your approach altogether. It seems like when you create a new item you look more to "what niche can this fill?" instead of "what new options could this item bring to the table?" Items with unique abilities, like Lich Bane converting AP to AD or Locket converting spell casts to heals, breathe life into champions old and new.
Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. Before Locket was removed, I was experimenting with a new oddball build for Gangplank that used the item in a unique way for him. I grabbed a Spirit Visage, Locket, and CDR boots with CDR masteries/runes then built pure AD after that. Essentially what I built was a heavy farm, heavy deny, constantly-ulting late game carry AD Gangplank +/- teleport to make me the perfect anti-pusher to allow my team to wander. It was far from perfect, but it was a really fun and interesting build that utilized several unique properties of my champion and the items themselves to create something totally new. Is it the optimal build for a Carryplank? No way. But then again I wasn't trying to make a normal late game carry, and I ended up with something completely original.
I really believe that it would be possible to keep up the feeling of discovery in this game without creating the noob traps you mentioned. You just need to allow the players to decide what builds are optimal by giving them plenty of options to work from instead of telling them what items/builds they should or shouldn't use on their characters.
There is only 1 ranged AD carry build, 1 mage build, etc. You can literally copy/paste the same builds for any champs that fill that role, and you'd immediately have 90% of the optimal final build. Release a new burst AP champ? Got you covered. A new support? Got that too. So literally the ONLY difference between champions has become numbers and a few unique abilities. Its just become tiresome and repetitive for a lot of players that have been playing most of the game's lifespan.