Greedy Goblin

Friday, October 14, 2016

Ghostcrawler riding the EVE marketing

I've just read the most disgusting piece of game marketing. It reminds me to my early EVE days, when I realized that EVE is not the dark unforgiving place, but a place where you can get rich on Jita and idiots lol around in frigates.

Ghostcrawler spews out the worst of EVE propaganda: "When you have a complex game with a lot of depth (e.g. League), there is an inherent risk that the game itself will be overwhelming to learn, and I think most of us agree that League falls into that category." "One of the initial theses of League (and this was all way before my time at Riot) was that it wasn’t going to sacrifice depth for accessibility." "we say that League is a game for core gamers.", "We don’t want to try to grow the League audience by making the game easy to understand and pick up".

It was a lie about EVE. But telling it about literally the most popular game is grotesque. What do you need to win a LoL game: the "skill" of pressing QWER in some random order while clicking on something red. Sure, you won't climb to Platinum with that but most players can't care less. Most don't even play ranked and the invisible MMR makes it sure that they win half the games at any level. I don't see why would LoL be any more "hardcore" than Arathi Basin. Sure, there is a small elite that plays on a higher level, but so there is a tiny competitive ranked BG community playing Arathi.

Is the game full of complexity? Yes. But for an average player, it's just bad complexity. I purposefully only play with Warwick and Nunu to prevent myself from advancing via better game mechanics knowledge and hand-eye skills, so all my advancement is credited to my understanding of socials and strategies. For me the various champions are just flavors I don't really care about. The rules of "2 v 1 wins" and "higher level and items win" serve me perfectly. With this abysmal "skills" I'm already above the median of ranked players.

"Niche, core, challenging" have numbers behind them. Only one in a hundred million men are astronauts. Only one in a hundred has PHD. Only one in a hundred can complete a Marathon running in 5 hours (and where is that from competitive?!). Playing League of Legends needs nothing but a pulse. Since you are facing similar opponents, any level of competence is unnecessary. Since ranked queue was down today, I played a normal to test a small rune/mastery tweak: the teammates were unironically chatting how cool skins they have and how many games they must play to get the next, even more cool skin. The hard core of gamers they were.

To make thing worse, he has the nerve to advocate dynamic queues as a hardcore feature, while it mostly allowed to friends to fool around together, spawning lot of hate from the community because of games spoiled by platinum dude and his bronze friend. Just days before his post I wrote how I want to prove that teamplay is the opposite of hardcore in practical matches.

Finally he defends the dragon patch which merely added randomness to the game instead of depth. Solution to the "dragon felt either mandatory or irrelevant, depending on the exact stats of the dragon and baron buff at that moment in League’s lifecycle" by "dragon is sometimes mandatory and sometimes irrelevant by chance" is being lazy. Note: I've found a solution to my dragon problem: if the first dragon is Mountain/Ocean, I go normal ganking jungler and kill it only after succesful ganks.

Don't get me wrong, I don't disown LoL. His rant makes no changes to the game. It's just damn annoying to hear the same old marketing crap: "play our game and you'll be a hardcore op gamer just for having a pulse".

You can get the dev out of WoW, but you can't get the WoW out of the dev - I guess.


Unknown said...

Gevlon, consider that this devblog would be readed only by vivid players, not by casuals You mention so... Its win-win for them. They have nothing to lose (casuals wont read/care about it) while players that are involved and interested in league would feel better knowing that devs wants to focus on them and not casuals (we are speaking emotions here ofc., not what Riot will do).

I dont know, why You are so annoyed by it. I mean, if You had a company like Riot, You would do the same kind of marketing. Cause its rationaly and pragmaticaly correct (Its gets You better PR -> Money). To hell with socials or truth, if they are stupid to believe in it.

Provi Miner said...

Depends on what you want to do. And how you measure it. So say you want to pro solo eve.... now that shit is complex (please note I did not say just "solo"). if you want kills gank miners. you want kills solo pvp do duals these are easy. but lets say you go hunting some cats with impressive solo kills now you are challenged that is not easy. If you want isk meh easy. The point to eve being hard and it being the truth is not in what you can do to "pwn" people that's easy I have read your guides :). Its finding that hard part of eve, not elite super cap shit (that's even easier than ganks). I am talking about small roams and solo pvp in hard places with hard people to challenge you. Eve is like a 100 meter dash, you win if you are the only one running, you win agains most mericans your age. You can create endless ways for you to nearly always win the race, but when you decide to run against people as good or slightly better your "winning" starts to be hard. That's eve its easy as long as you set your bar low (note I said "your") but how you measure victory can make eve either really hard or moronically easy.

Gevlon said...

@Marek: I'm a strongly pro business thinker. I believe that marketing should be about focusing on ones strengths and not outright lying.

@Provi Miner:

Anonymous said...

So in essence your point is that sc2/lol/dota/rocket league/... are not hard, beeing good at them is!

Anonymous said...

In WoW there was the drive to make things more accessible and increase the number of people taking part at higher levels. This statement is just another of a regular stream from GC to remind people that Riot do not intend to do something similar with LoL.
Core-gamers referring only to the traditional moba player and not elite or hard-core gamers. What you see as bad complexity, most of them see as interesting variety. The non-elite casual core gamers that play LoL are grinding out skins. Facing the same champions performing the same actions the same way wouldn't mitigate the boredom. They value the complexity because it creates some variety for their grinding.

Anonymous said...

Back in the days of regular duoQ, you could indeed find yourself in a game with "a platinum dude and his bronze friend".
Dynamic Queue didn't allow this; a platinum player could only queue up with either diamond or gold players, and having, say, both diamond and gold on the same premade was impossible.
You could still see a bronze player in a gold game via the magic of hidden MMR, but that's another issue entirely.
Just something that caught my attention. Agreed with your point in general, though I think you overestimate the amount of effort that people are willing to spend on games.

League is hardcore when compared to, say, mobile games in that you have to keep playing for tens of minutes at a time, and it is overwhelming in that you can't learn the game in minutes (unless you've played videogames before).
That's what they really mean by "core gamers": people who have played videogames before.
Literally all of us fall under this category. As long as you know what WASD is, you are considered "a gamer".

Andru said...


That definition is so lax it might as well be a lie. WoW requires you to keep playing tens of minutes at a time, and sure as hell you can't learn it in any arbitrarily short time.

Personally, MOBAs aren't my cup of tea, I find them super-boring, twitchy gameplay that out-dances the dancing in WoW. But this kind of marketing irks me to no end. "Everyone is a goddamn hardcore core gamer hero!" Is no different from "Everyone is a hero, commander, now gather 25 other random heroes and stomp on Archimonde's face in LFR."

@Gevlon I think you're fighting the windmills though. All multiplayer games have to necessarily be socially corrupted, because that is the nature of the beast. If you want to play games whose devs use their best judgement instead of listening to people ("core gamers" or "somebody's grandma"s) then you either have to pick a game whose developers are all dead (chess or Go or something like that), or you have to play single player games.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gevlon, would you mind share your thoughts when you were choosing game for your next project ? i.e. why LoL over HotS, DOTA ?

Anonymous said...

devs wo want to make money say everything to get it.

core games died back in the arcade time. games needed to be hard and addictive so people throw money for ingame lives or another round. that's why early console games where so retarded awesomely hard. the population that liked and played these games where small. too small in a multi million daily connections world today.

You simply can't make games ridiculously hard in todays market. obviously every title is build upon multiplatform engines so any gamedesign decision has to be made with the weakest link in the platform list.

once you inhale and exhale base skill you can apply it everywhere.
"pvp is all about %". It took me one Eye opening 1v1 encounter in Aion to really burn this into my head. Until that point I only played quake some star wars galaxies. and sure movement and speed where of the utmost importance in quake and swg I wasn't to bothered. but when in Aion I killed a (then) max level templar (tank) nearly fully geared with my low 42 templar deced only in max % blues and some yellow, I barely had enough acc and crit to hit him and fortunately for me, he wasn't fully max enchanted so he couldn't out heal me but he also couldn't just stomp me. at that point I only lived because of % and my ability to use it, to keep out of his dangerzone and fully take opportunity from my CCs.
Until then I didn't understand the motto. sure I read it here and there but it never hit home and I never understood it until that very moment.

The latest game Ark survival evolved I play, the same thing! they say it's hard. it isn't! I don't have much ark-knowledge but pve is already so boring that I enrolled pvp in the hope to get some challenge. but by just keeping to some basic pvp knowledge I do just fine.

Anonymous said...

LoL has something what EVE miss completely, and WOW barely got. Competive play. All those changes are tested on there. You need to know history a bit, to understand the changes. You need to compare duoQ system with DynamicQ to see the difference, and statistically, you get more equal teams out of the DynamicQ.

If you have not watched competive play recent years, then you probably dont understand dragon problem. Play around dragon was getting pretty simple. If you get dragon, we got tower. Objective trade, neither side gets power from it. Then they added non random stackable buff. Problem was, different teamcomps benefit more from dragon buffs and stacking mechanic makes it very hard to aquire before the game ends. 1 dragon steal was enough to make dragon non relevant object. Random dragon buff gives you exactly that buff right now, instead of waiting until n-th dragon is killed. And elder dragon is benefictial even if you dont got dragon salyer stacks. If you look Worlds finals right now, teams dont want to trade towers to dragons, but still want to get it if its safe. Different buffs give different benefits to abuse, cloud for roaming, infernal to lategame, mountain to fast tower pushing, ocean for long sieging. Yes, on gold level of play you dont use them at max, but its more used on the limit in worlds. It makes game harder, not easier.

runes moment are not relevant. Change on them is barely noticeable even for top players. And for me, champ pick system is not influencing game enough. If you look competive play, pretty much same teamcomps get picked very often and you see same type od matches again and again. There is too many champions and just not enough of them to ban.

Smokeman said...


Welcome to every game ever made.

The VAST MAJORITY of people playing any game ever made do not play them very well. Is every chess player a Grand Master? How many people played Doom on Nightmare mode? And actually won?

A game like Chess will make a shitty online game, because the rules are well known and fair. That the average person sucks and sucks cosmically will be readily apparent almost immediately, at which point they will stop playing and find a game that lies to them and promotes the delusion that they are better than they are.

The human race! We're not an enlightened species.

Foo said...

It isnt an mmo, but Diplomacy has my current attention, especially around the (and android equivalent).

7 player pvp but each turn takes up to a day (no twitch skill). Competitive ranking. The primary variant on droiddippy is anonymous players. 7 handed prisoners dilemma with an unknown number of iterations.

A significant history of reading material going back to the 70's with mailing archive. Your first couple of games are a little annoying as randoms drop out and skew the game significantly.