In the next episode of Ask Riot, we talk about Low Priority Queue, Lee Sina vs. Teemo, and Mechs vs. Minions.
Why doesn’t Riot match negative players with other negative players? What’s wrong with the “prison island” concept?
First, let’s define the concept of “prison island” for those unfamiliar with the concept. The solution to the prison island is that all players violating the rules of sportsmanship should be separated from the wide range of players and put into a separate queue where they play only among themselves. On the face of it, this is emotionally satisfying, as it simply transports the morons to an isolated island and theoretically makes the game better for everyone else as a result – but it goes against our belief in the effectiveness of giving opportunities for improvement.
The prison island design does not work in League of Legends for two important reasons.
Reason one: we believe in giving unsportsmanlike players a chance to improve
We know that most negative behavior in games is the result of bad random decisions, not deliberately breaking the game for others. This fact is the fundamental reason why improvement is a central aspect of many of our design intent. So as long as the ability to improve is a core value for us (hint: it will always be a core value for us), we can’t throw (even briefly) 10 unsportsmanlike players into even more unsportsmanlike games and expect them to learn something and get back on track way.
Instead, we owe these players an honest opinion about their unsportsmanlike behavior and a chance to grow more aware of their place in the game and mature as players who are part of the community. This is where our current immediate response system falls short. Based on the information we receive in the reports, we send penalized players an improvement card that explains why other players think they should be penalized. However, it does not suggest any idea how to change and mature. We have to fill this gap.
We understand that our approach may seem a bit naive. That’s why we keep the banhammer ready for players who simply aren’t interested in relatively decent behavior and playing the game fairly. The prison island system, on the other hand, is designed to leave such players alone, so we cannot use it as a solution to unsportsmanlike conduct.
Reason Two: Prison Island Is a Truly Nightmare for “Prisoners” for Many Reasons
If we send unsportsmanlike players to their own queue, they will face a series of issues that will automatically make League of Legends a crappy game. Of course, there would be a lot more negative behavior in that queue – but a smaller player pool would also mean tragically long wait times and unfair matchmaking. Emotionally, you’d like to say that they deserved it, but this is in direct contradiction to our assumptions that the most important value is the good experience of players during the game.
Also, setting up and running Prison Island would mean taking Riot staff and resources away from what we consider really effective, such as improving the instant response system, detecting intentional dying, and reworking classic systems like the honor system.
– Riot Gromp, Community Good Spirit, Player Behavior Team and Simurgh, Game Designer, Player Behavior Team
Why does Teemo’s Blinding Dart work on Lee Sin?
For those who can see, Teemo’s darts are blinding. Their prey sinks into the depths of instant night. However, a little-known fact is that for those who cannot see, his arrows work in exactly the opposite way! As the dart pierces his skin, a world of colors, shapes and distances begins to spin before Lee Sin’s eyes. Everything Lee Sin could imagine – the myriad shades of autumn leaves, the hidden shadow of a smile on his lips, the stars twinkling high in their gentle dance – all come together in perfect harmony. And then… everything disappears. His pupils are covered with black emptiness again and the joy of seeing is taken away from him again.
As we know, Teemo is the devil. And only the devil could restore sight to a blind man for a moment, and then take it away again.
– Riot Tiger Lily, Editor, Builders team
Will you release Mechs vs. Minions in languages other than English?
We would love to release MvM in other languages. From the beginning, we wanted our game to reach as many audiences as possible and we are still determined to make it happen.
Here’s some new information and some context on the challenges we’re facing:
At the time of publication, we released MvM in two languages: Simplified Chinese and English. But during development, we’ve been working on translating MvM into all Riot-supported languages - there seem to be 19 in total. To be clear, the amount of text in this board game is gigantic compared to the amount of words translated for a patch for League or a blog developers. While we constantly make adjustments to the English rules based on player feedback, our team continues to improve the text in other languages, which allows us to prepare new language versions in a relatively short time.
And so we come to our biggest problem: it takes a long time to prepare a physical product (for a product of the size and scale of MvM, it takes about six months). Of course, when you’re creating a physical product, you have to consider things like determining demand and circulation, things we don’t worry about with skins or icons. That’s why we need to determine how many games each region can accept, otherwise we risk having a ton of games left in stock that can’t be sold anywhere else; people in Italy don’t need the Korean version – this one can only really be sold in Korea.
That said, we plan to bring MvM to the German market this summer and this week we are working with our Merch department to release the game in the following languages in the fall (if successful): French, Italian, Korean, Czech and Spanish (European Spanish, not American Spanish Latin, which differs from it). These regions were selected based on a number of factors, including active board game communities and the local strength of our brand. However, I sincerely hope that – someday – we will be able to bring MvM to every region that is interested in it. Let us know if you have any thoughts, questions, or feedback about this.
– Kades, Product Manager, Mechs vs. Minions