League of Legends VP of game design explains mastery26 Jul 2014
Why do we play certain genres and League of Legends? Because of “mastery” apparently.
RIOT’s Vice President of Game Design, Tom “Zileas” Cadwell decided a new developer blog was in order to try and explain what RIOT want to achieve with League of Legends. According to Tom, players should be pursuing “mastery”, the ability to “grow and become a better player”.
To truly become a master at anything it’s going to take hours and hours of hard practice because in a game such as League of Legends, and in fact most games, learning to be brilliant is not easy. This ideas of “mastery” is key to League of Legends design philosophy and they’re trying to make a player’s “journey endlessly rich and fulfilling”.
Tom breaks down this concept of mastery into key areas, personal expertise, teamwork, and adaptability, but I don’t think any of these are particularly unique to League of Legends. If you’re playing a shooter you won’t succeed of you can’t work as a team, if you don’t master the tactics and abilities in an RTS you will lose. So how does this concept apply specifically to League of Legends?
In the blog update you can read about the challenges RIOT face when it comes to creating paths for Champions, how they encourage players with team incentives, the reason for constant balance changes and more. It sheds some more light on why aspects of the game are constantly being tweaked.