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What's Wrong With League Of Legends?

2016-11-08  VR     Source: 未知  
League of Legends is a beast. An unassailable success that every other games developer or publisher is trying to figure out. Based on hours of play, it's the most played video game, notching upwards of 1 billion hours logged every month. Mi

League of Legends is a beast. An unassailable success that every other games developer or publisher is trying to figure out. Based on hours of play, it's the most played video game, notching upwards of 1 billion hours logged every month. Millions of people jump on line every day to battle it out in Riot Games' hit multiplayer title. And League of Legends' annual tournament doled out a cool million in cash this summer, after a championship round that eight million viewers tuned in for.

With momentum like that at its back and a rabid fanbase, it sure seems like League of Legends represents a very likely future for video games.

But, according to one high-powered creator at Riot, they've still got a lot to fix.

Last weekend, Christina Norman, Lead Designer at Riot Games, spoke at New York University's Practice conference, which gathers together game designers from various different disciplines to talk about techniques and craft. Norman's been at Riot for about 18 months after working on Mass Effect at Bioware. Among other things, she overhauled the combat and RPG elements in Mass Effect 2 & Mass Effect 3, and helped implement multiplayer for the latter game. Norman's Practice talk — titled Building a Legendary World: Creative Development at League of Legends — outlined areas where League of Legends needs to improve.

People show up to fight each other in League of Legends. They pick a Champion, team up with others and work to figure out strategies that let them kick arse. LoL isn't a narrative focused game, Norman offered. Story isn't what keeps the average player engaged for an average of 30 hours a week. But LoL fans do love the universe. "If your characters in your video game are really appealing, people are going to dress up as them," Norman said about the LoL cosplay that you see at conventions and fan gatherings. "Players form deep relationships with Champions. They're not just chess pieces moving around a board to them."

Players love great stories, she continued. And they want LoL stories but the game's lore needs fixing. Norman identified four key issues that need to be addressed to help Riot firm up the foundation of their universe's fiction. The first was the notion that LoL was built as a "tournament IP". As with Mortal Kombat, the gameplay happens inside of a story framework that exists only to explain the players' battles.

The problem with that is that it restricts dramatic conflict. For example, with every dispute being solved by way of faction Champion skirmishes, you can't use a plot development like all-out war as a possibility. Another tournament IP problem is the idea that the LoL universe's summoners control everything. With the super-powerful sorcerers steering fate, the Champions don't have any sense of agency. They're just fighting for reasons that someone else tells them.

Norman says that Riot wants to shift to being an "awesome IP", one that "respects what players already love about our world." The developer will revise existing lore when necessary and tell stories outside the League to create depth.

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