Riot Talk Champions And Fortnightly Content

Riot Games have had a bumper year, with millions of people signing up to play their MOBA, League Of Legends. Part of the reason for this success, they believe, is that the team adds a new playable character to the game every two weeks. It’s a relentless stream of magic-flinging dudes that requires some steely focus by their designers, designers who I got to chat to earlier on the week. Fresh from the creation of Viktor (handsome fellow pictured above), the next champion scheduled to step up to the roster, were associate producer Paul Belleza and champion designer Joe Ziegler. Check out what they had to say, below.

RPS: So you guys have had a spectacular year. What has 2011 meant for Riot as a company?

Belleza: We feel very fortunate that the game has grown the way it has. We’re happily surprised and consequently keen to push the bar for quality up. As the audience grows the demand for new content goes up, so our bar has been set internally to deliver new content for our fans every two weeks, so that was always a crazy pipeline to go with, but it’s a great place to be. We’re humbled by our success, but we now just want to keep adding more.

RPS: What does that content consist in every two weeks?

Belleza: At the very least we always release new champions and new skins for champions, every two weeks, as well as ongoing balance changes. We balance characters and items and the wider metagame, and we also go back to older characters as the game updates, and rework them. We work to keep the game fresh and repackage all the time to make the game fun in the context of the game now.

RPS: When you guys look at what you are doing versus the other guys in the genre, what do you see LoL’s big assets being?

Belleza: I think quality and that level of feedback with our players. We want to make sure we are the most player-focused game company in the world. Doing that means having an ear to our players at all times, and responding to issues – not just responding to issues as they come up, like “oh there’s a bug”, but like “there’s a fun problem here, changes we made aren’t having the intended effect.” An example of that happening recently in the game is where we have the jungle where you can go and defeat minions and other heroes, and we did some changes about how XP and so on was earned. Some players liked that and others didn’t, so we looked at that closely and changed how it worked it within a week. That went over very well with the fans, because we were listening and we were ready to make rapid changes to make the game as fun as possible.

Ziegler: I think in general, though, what sets us apart from the other games in this emerging genre is that we release a new champion every two weeks, that stream of content, a quality stream of content. Viktor, our new champion, is really a great example of that.

RPS: Do you think that releasing content like that is sustainable long term? Can you just keep on creating new champions? Are you in danger of running out of possible variations?

Belleza: As long as we release quality champions and address the old ones as needed, it is sustainable. We will keep our ears to the ground and feel out our player base to see what the response is, and address it as a appropriate. We strongly believe that maintaining a steam of content like this is going to continue to drive engagement for our players.

Ziegler: I agree with Paul on that! Coming from the design side I would say that we haven’t explored all the design spaces that could potentially flesh out our portfolio of characters for the game. In general though we have the talent on our team that means we are functionally able to continue to produce these characters every two weeks and to meet quality bars and continue to develop our game and evolve it.

RPS: So tell us about the current champion you are working on.

Ziegler: Viktor is an interesting experiment both in the visual space and the design space that we’ve thrown him into. We have a fantasy visual trope called “HexTech” in our game, and it’s a mixture of magic and technology that exists just specifically in our game. For Viktor we’ve created a mage who represents the idea of of Hextech technology. Viktor has conformed his body to become this technological war machine, but a war machine of magic, if that makes sense.

RPS: So where does he sit in the spectrum of existing champions?

Ziegler: Functionally in design he’s a mid-range caster, who uses this technology to develop and control location-based gameplay. So he’s got a lot of control of the area around him. He doesn’t have a lot of range like other mages, but he has a lot of dominating power in the immediate vicinity.

RPS: So what’s the process that came up with Viktor? How do you decide on the characters and abilities? Is it just a case of filling in a blank space?

Belleza: It comes from a specific idea, and everyone in the company is encouraged to submit ideas for champions. Viktor came from Joe himself here, and the main pitch was what Joe was talking about, to create a mage that utilized the hexTech idea we have in our game. Basically Joe put together a document that suggested a design direction, a thematic direction, and some art inspirations that he’d collected. We review these submissions as a team every week. Viktor came with another batch of ideas we are really excited about, actually, and once we’d got through that approval Joe started to prototype the mechanics. We go through a series of of design checks and balances, a prototype stage, a concept stage, and we get together to review it and when we have something we’ve decided is fun we’ll slot it into official production and find a release date. From there it’s off to the races!

RPS: So once a champion goes live, how does the feedback process work?

Belleza: We go through lots and lots of play-testing. The first stages are design play-tests – so Joe created a prototype for Viktor, we started playing it. At this stage it is just the main mechanics, without any artwork. Joe you pretty much worked on his design for a couple of months right?

Ziegler: Sure.

Belleza: So when we’ve been doing that for a while we go into design lock, where we’re sure about the character’s abilities. These are subject to tweaks in a wider group’s playtesting, but once we’re at design lock we can lock in what we are going to create for art assets. Then it goes to the company playtest where everyone in the company plays a character. We do this every day for all our patches. Viktor goes in there and then we take feedback on a company-wide basis. We also work with the live team who are able to work with us to make sure that the character feels good at a high level within the competitive space of the game.

Ziegler: I think what’s interesting in our process is that what we really focus on is whether we are meeting or exceeding player expectations. What we want to do is make sure that when this character releases not only is he balanced but also is he delivering on what characters want? Is he what players want to play? Getting a character to a state like that, and the work we put into getting them to be like that, is, I think, a unique aspect of what we do here.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

Expect a much more wide ranging interview with the Riot team in the new year.

Viktor is out in the next patch. And here’s a video of him I pinched from the IGNs:


  1. MrWoks says:

    Could you please explain why there is so much coverage of this game on RPS recently? They are adding heroes and content just as often as other game in the similar vain such as HoN, BLC even ROI. I really struggle to find a reason why so much coverage is given to a game that follows extremely similar traipse, is given more footage than others. Is it because they ask you to put out footage and interviews as often as possible giving you little control over the bias of the journalism? Or is it because you personally like the game better?

    • Eamo says:

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here but I think perhaps the small matter of it being a PC only game with 32 million players makes it worth covering on a PC games site

    • Dave says:

      Because LoL is better than HoN obviously!

      Daft troll aside i think its because they are BIG and have the whole E-sports thing really going on. Thats not to say others in the genre aren’t doing similar things but the impression i get is that Riot are the leading brand at the mo’. Its like the Fairy Liquid of MOBA’s

    • DiamondDog says:

      My hands do feel noticeably softer.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Eh? I thought people were complaining that SC2 got too much coverage in the e-sporting section, and MOBAs not enough? When was the last time RPS posted a LoL article?

    • cyrenic says:

      It looks like the last time they posted on article on League of Legends was October 6th.

      So an article every two months about the biggest multiplayer PC game other than WoW? Yeah that’s *tons* of coverage.

    • Metriculated says:

      Starting to think that you have some sort of deal going on with Riot here guys, and no before people start throwing round paranoid talk, please point me to the last time they mentioned HoN on this website in either an e-sport or general PC game sense?

      Never mind that it has the more thriving and more competitive scene. Ignore the latest new patch that updated a whole host of things. Turn a blind eye to the fact that they released HoN TV recently. Oh and just skim over its DreamHack Winter event completely.

      Please explain how you can seriously claim to be champions of Indie developers and yet blatantly whore yourselves out to Riot and Valve whilst pussying out of supporting the minnow in the MOBA scene, who still to this date has the far better competitive, balanced and thriving competitive scene…

      Oh and fyi all repliers, I have played DotA, HoN and the abomination that is LoL to semi-comp level

    • DiamondDog says:

      “abomination that is LoL”

      I’m glad you could provide us with your balanced view.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      And here we go again with the MOBA fandom…

    • Metriculated says:

      Last time i checked the publish icon said “opinion away!’ . . . you would do well to understand that concept. Not going to be one of those oft satired people who say things like “well I can see how it could be construed as racist, but it is part of our history. . .” If you have an opinion have the conviction to state it.

      I have played most of the so-called MOBAs (never dipped too deep into BLC) so I feel that I am in a position that I can cast a well-judged opinion on LoL. The only thing that it has going for it IMO is the casual nature of its gameplay attracts more users, and the fact that it was the first to truly implement the free-to-play model successfully and not out of desperation to keep its player-base.

      My gripe is still a valid one, RPS has offered no coverage of HoN in forever and it baffles me given their mantra . . .Even seeming to avoid covering the game, and I would like to know if it is part of an agreement with Riot or personal preference of the writers?

      Oh and @Raiyan, you are on a MOBA article brightspark – pot, kettle, black?

    • mickygor says:

      I’m pretty sure a deal with riot would have a plethora more content than they do have. This blog is almost devoid of MOBA content (every other time I’ve read about it, I’m pretty sure it’s usually got some kind of ‘I don’t get this genre’ disclaimer attached to it), despite it being the fastest growing and one of the most popular genres of PC gaming. So LoL gets a post every 2 months, if you scale that for the player base then HoN is represented more than LoL is.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Yes, and when your opinion contains a ludicrous accusation I am free to mock you.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “Could you please explain why there is so much coverage of this game on RPS recently?”

      I certainly can: it’s because of your perception. LoL, like any other MOBA, barely gets any coverage at all on RPS. Compare, if you will, the tags for Deus Ex: Human Revolution or Skyrim. *Those* are games that get a lot of coverage.

      “Is it because they ask you to put out footage and interviews as often as possible giving you little control over the bias of the journalism? Or is it because you personally like the game better?”

      I don’t understand what this means.

    • Metriculated says:

      Again you seem to be missing the crux of my complaint: HoN has had major tournaments occur in the past that have received no coverage at all (to name a few: DHW 2011, launch of the HoN tour, NASL Season 2, DHS 2011 all with larger prize pools than the other games covered) and I would simply like to know why it is looked over.

      We get coverage of the competitive scene of Quake Online, an article whenever a Riot Dev farts, and coverage of every Tom, Dick and Harry’s IT GCSE project game released, and yet nothing regarding one of the only true Indie titles to be a success both as an esport and as a casual game.

      Just strikes me as odd, I would’ve thought HoN was right up their alley as it seemingly ticks all the boxes: Weekly patch, esport, recognised shoutcaster and teams, indie developer, free game. . .

      Posted, before your comment JR

    • AiglosCelt says:


      maybe they’d cover hon if people actually played it.


    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Metriculated: There’s no particularly reason for not covering HoN aside from the only person who has played it was me, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it after the first couple of weeks. Consequently I’ve not gone out of my way to find out much more about it. It’s worth noting, actually, that we never hear anything from S2, either. Most developers get in touch regularly to tell us what they are up to.

      We get this complaint all the time for various games, and the truth is four men and a couple of freelancers cannot cover all of PC gaming in serious depth. We have to pick and choose the games we want to write about. We do what we can but the MOBA genre by and large gets neglected. We do need to address that.

      “We get coverage of the competitive scene of Quake Online”

      I missed that, actually, can you point me to it?

    • Metriculated says:

      Thanks JR for the response, and yes saying that does put into perspective the awesome amount of work you 4 do! When I mentioned Quake “Online” read Live and it was the article entitled Hacking Dreams, that article actually encapsulates my feelings regarding the lack of HoN coverage: every game that had a major tournament was listed, with placings and a suitable commentary paragraph, except HoN.

      Kudos to you for answering and for stating that you didn’t like the game. However, I will stand by the point that its competitive scene is one of the best out there at the moment, and deserves some mention on here when other e-sports get a shoutout. . .Especially when you consider the NASL and DHW tournies that just took place.

      Thanks all the same for your measured response.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I’m not even sure why Jim’s bothering in responding. When someone’s first line is the factually nonsense “Could you please explain why there is so much coverage of this game on RPS recently?” when they haven’t posted about it for two months, I’d just roll my eyes.


    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      “Oh and @Raiyan, you are on a MOBA article brightspark – pot, kettle, black?”

      No, i don’t play any MOBA games, but I read plenty of articles of games I don’t play. But even without playing DOTA/LOL/HON … let’s just say the fanbase’s reputation precedes them.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Metriculated, do you think you deserve a measured response when your question was phrased like this:

      “blatantly whore yourselves out to Riot and Valve whilst pussying out of supporting the minnow in the MOBA scene”

      He never would, but I think Jim should have just told you to get fucked.

    • Metriculated says:

      To get a response, you sometimes have to draw one out. Who’s to say that JR would’ve responded had I not shoved my rather crude foot in the door? It’s a shameful practice I’ll admit but successful, for further reading see Tube Strikes this Boxing Day. Ta

    • Crispy says:

      “Never mind that it has the more thriving and more competitive scene. Ignore the latest new patch that updated a whole host of things. Turn a blind eye to the fact that they released HoN TV recently. Oh and just skim over its DreamHack Winter event completely.”

      A more competitive scene is not a bigger competitive scene. Compare
      link to and
      link to

      LoL has 7 2011 events and HoN has 4. That does not sound like HoN has a more thriving competitive scene. Not to mention S2Games themselves don’t seem to have mentioned Dreamhack in their own Tournaments page. If the devs aren’t talking about it, why would you expect a journalist to want to talk about it?

      The latest LoL tournament event, WCG Seoul, is not covered on RPS. So that debunks that theory.

      If they covered LoL’s every new patch it would mean a news post every few days, so we know that’s just an unreasonable request.

      Not to mention LoL has way more players and is far more successful, so it merits a greater proportion of coverage.

    • MrWoks says:

      “I’m gonna go out on a limb here but I think perhaps the small matter of it being a PC only game with 32 million players makes it worth covering on a PC games site”
      Wow if that is true, shame on them. Surely promoting games that people don’t know so much about is better than promoting millionaires such as Riot to boost there player base.
      It is unfortunate if producers do not get in touch with the media as the journalists from this site say. If adding a new hero is justification for a whole article. then S2 and Funcom have a lot of catching up to do with their numerous updates released each fortnight (adding in game live broadcasts, characters, maps, game types, ui etc..).
      “when they haven’t posted about it for two months”
      Made me laugh on that one :D yep 2 months is a long time… considering the last proper article on HoN was a year ago and BLC hasn’t popped up again since launch. I’m sure there are alot of other games of the genre out there as well it just seems strange that a game with SO many players is getting this amount of coverage over little more than a hero addition.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Dear. Freakin’. Lord.

      It’s sad, really. You guys spend your lives arguing vehemently with each other about which is better, Lol, HoN, or DotA. And when these four overworked journos fail to cover one of them because the devs never contacted them or they were too busy or they plain don’t care, it’s all conspiracy theories about selling out to the big bad corporations. One coverage in 2 months is seen as too much. The world doesn’t really revolve around your conflicts in life, y’know?


    • Dragon Master says:

      Speaking of BLC, I think it could really do with a post similar to Stellar Impact’s one that Jim wrote. It’s one of those great little games that needs more players.

    • Falcon says:

      I’m honestly not a fanboy, but I don’t see HoN’s competitive scene lasting long once Dota 2 gets rolling. Valve simply have more resources to create a better competitive experience than S2 does. Not that I don’t think S2 hasn’t done well, but the games are just too similar, not to mention all of the people that still play the original Dota will probably move to 2 instead of HoN. I’m sure a small, dedicated following will still play, but the majority will be in LoL and Dota 2. (Granted, this also depends on the pricing model Dota 2 uses. If it’s not F2P then that might change a lot)

      RPS doesn’t post about MOBAs very often, and I certainly don’t think their coverage has been biased. LoL has the biggest playerbase so it kind of makes sense that it would get the most (even if limited) coverage. I know you’re passionate about HoN, but that’s not the way to go about it. Nobody likes rabid fanboyism.

  2. markcocjin says:

    You forgot to ask them why their game looks like it runs on an iPhone.

    • Koozer says:

      It is the ugliest game in the world in screenshots, but looks bloody good in action.

    • DK says:

      Because one thing it has over other MOBAs is that LoL is extremely readable. Spell effects, models and everything are clearly defined, and stylized, so even in motion with a ton going on, it’s easy to tell what does what.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Exactly what DK said. You can instantly identify effects, elements, in LoL.

      In a way, it’s like deathmatch FPS. To me, the ideal visibility was with Quake 3. Since then, they added fluff, realistic graphics, it’s only making everything look samey, and makes it difficult to actually spot the elements. Compare with UT3, typically, it’s just noise. TF2 is a good comeback to simple graphics. You can instantly identify what you have on screen.

      For games requiring fast reactions, I don’t think that it should add much more details.

    • Dragon Master says:

      In this regard, Dota 2 does a wonderful job as well.

    • Falcon says:

      Agreed, Dragon Master. Dota 2 is extremely readable and has (in my opinion) the best art direction out of any of the MOBAs. It’s simply gorgeous, the animations are wonderful, and Valve have done a great job (as usual) of making the hero silhouettes stand out and immediately recognizable.

      LoL is readable as well. It’s certainly not as pretty as Dota 2, but the graphics are serviceable and they don’t look bad, just not wonderful. I like the graphical style, especially with the heroes, but some of their map elements just don’t feel cohesive.

      On that note, HoN is a muddy, blurry mess. The game engine may have more graphical horsepower than LoL but the readability is comparatively awful.

  3. Sensai says:

    I think the best decision I’ve made in recent times is to stop playing League. A terrible unbalanced mess that was.

    • ZyloMarkIII says:

      I’ve stopped playing League of Legends because it demands too much time from me that I would rather spend elsewhere. To be competetive on some level, you have to know what kind of heroes the enemy team is fielding and a new hero every two weeks means investing some time into learning the hero’s abilities as well as what kind of synergy they have with the rest of the cast. I, as a player, can’t keep up with their release schedule.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I just lost interest because I played too much. Eventually I was in a place where the game was won by metagame as much as actual gameplay, and I hate that. I hate, hate, hate metagaming. Combine that with a string of boring new champions to fight against (vayne, that burny guy, maoki, kung fu guy, monkey king), and the fact that I bought (through IP and a retail copy) all the champions 3200 and under, and there was nothing left for me. I played well over 500 games and spent $20 on a retail copy, so I definitely got my money’s worth.

  4. Juan Carlo says:

    LOL Devs: Coming from the design side I would say that we haven’t explored all the design spaces that could potentially flesh out our portfolio of characters for the game. For example, this week’s champion has a scorpion tail type thing that shoots a laser from it, where as the champion introduced 2 weeks ago had a gun which shot lasers. Two entirely different things, you see.

    The design possibilities are endless: A champion who shoots lasers from his eyes, a champion with two slightly less powerful laser guns, a champion who shoots a laser from his hand, a champion with a laser sword, a champion who shoots a blue laser (rather than a yellow one)…..we have a ton of brilliant ideas for upcoming characters and can seriously keep this shit going until 2018 at least.

    RPS: Brilliant! Thank you for your time.

    • markcocjin says:

      And don’t forget a top hat. And popping breasts. All League of Legends designs come with a magician’s top hat and popping breasts.

      Sometimes, I feel that their artists are just big fans of certain genres. There is no sign of a desire to break new ground visually or even gameplay-wise. They already built their name from Dota and they have bajillions of free-2-players. Why not break free and try something new?

      I’m guessing its their new Chinese masters. Bad for business and all trying to be different.

    • alexheretic says:

      It is true; the hugeness of breast, and scantness of cladding do mar with the team focus of the game. After all it is almost impossible to win single-handed!

    • Lyndon says:

      Honestly what I find so strange about the artwork is that the breasts are all so spherical. I mean have these people seen boobs before?

    • Josh04 says:

      I was going to ask why RPS didn’t ask about Riot’s dubious character design, but a quick re-read gave me:

      “RPS: When you guys look at what you are doing versus the other guys in the genre, what do you see LoL’s big assets being?”


  5. db1331 says:

    How many fortnights are in a one-month?

  6. Koozer says:

    I do love League of Legends so, but I just have the feeling that introducing a new champion every 2 weeks will cause them to reach a point where balance is just impossible. It’s not exactly perfect as it is.

  7. El_MUERkO says:

    I stopped playing a while ago, I’d like to see new maps more than new characters, a map a month and I’d play it a lot more.

  8. Smashbox says:

    What an incredibly silly man. Why does he have a scorpion-tail hand shooting fire? You’d think he’d opt for something more utilitarian. Form before function, etc.

    • mickygor says:

      The hand’s actually attached to the shoulder – see that cog on his left pauldron? The hand rotates around that. Bit more functionality. God knows why he chose a hand, but then almost every champion in the game has their abilities come out of a hand.

    • Eversor says:

      Obviously the man never had enough helping hands around.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      His desig is a reference to both Dr. Octopus of Spiderman fame, Dr. Doom, and an Adeptus Mechanicus Enginseer with their spina maniple.

  9. elfbarf says:

    I recently stopped playing LoL, I honestly was never too fond of it (though quite a few of my friends are, unfortunately).

    I don’t like how Riot is claiming that they’re a player-focused company when there are several gigantic (we’re talking 60+ page) threads that have been on their forums for months yet haven’t been answered by a Riot staff member. Sure, they may reply to some less serious threads, but it seems as if they’re trying their hardest to avoid answering other things. The main one in particular is about how since being bought out by Tencent in February, every new champion (aside from 2 of them) has cost 6300 IP. At release, Riot stated that champions were going to be in certain pricing tiers based on how complicated they were. They stayed true to their word until February, and that policy was silently put to rest. At this point 2 new champions were 4800 IP before switching to the seemingly permanent 6300 IP per champion.

    Most of these new champions (that are released every 2 weeks) lack their own defined role, at this point they’re mostly mishmashes of other champions’ abilities which generally results in them overshadowing an older character (who was designed to have a coherent set of skills with a more defined role). There are some exceptions to this (see Orianna), but most of their champion designers are either not concerned or not aware that their creation isn’t very unique.

    Now we’re seeing new characters basically guaranteed every 2 weeks along with several skins and a lack of necessary balance changes. The current meta-game in LoL calls for very similar item builds on most characters, cookie-cutter team comps, and hardly any use of most items. There are champions that are widely known as being mediocre, yet despite having been that way for quite a while, nothing is done about it. Practically every melee champion builds the same items yet they don’t seem too concerned, instead they remove stats from the game which leads to even less variety.

    • cyrenic says:

      Riot did address the champion pricing actually. They essentially confirmed all new champs will be 6300IP going forward. At the same time they announced they’ll be lowering the IP price of older champs.

      Really don’t know what you’re talking about regarding items. There’s only a handful of items that don’t see any play at competitive levels. And mediocre/old champs are routinely buffed or remade. Yeah there’s some they haven’t fixed yet, but the character roster is pretty huge so there will always be a few mediocre champs at any given time.

    • Keymonk says:

      To be fair, size of threads do not determine smartness of suggestions, nor does everything a player says have to be followed.

      Player-focused does not mean having to do everything players say.

    • Falcon says:

      I do wish that Riot would spend a bit more time on some other issues that have been prevalent for a very long time (e.g. spectator mode which was absent for a ridiculously long time and is just now finally getting to a workable state; first-party replay system; etc.) instead of pumping out the champions every 2 weeks.

      And you’re right, a lot of new champion designs are overshadowing some of the original champions. The stealth rework has taken way too long, so Evelynn has been left out in the cold. Just about every tank has more survivability and long-term threat than Shen (who basically has to pick either/or). Things like that are more important to me than a new hero every 2 weeks, but the new heroes are what bring in the dollar bills, so I understand why that’s their priority, I just don’t like it.

      However, there’s no way community managers can respond to every thread, even if they take in player feedback. Forums tend to host the vocal minority anyway. While it’s definitely good to listen to player feedback and take it into account and make decisions based on that, it’s only worthwhile when you have statistical feedback to back it up and tell you what the majority is saying with their actions instead of just what’s being said on the forums. Community managers interact with the community, and a lot of times they simply don’t have good answers for some of the more difficult questions. Being involved in the just for fun threads is good for the community, and you see that with any game with massive communities such as WoW. I don’t envy their job at all, and I think you’re being a bit unfair.

    • InternetBatman says:

      As much as I agree with your champion criticisms, I understand why the devs don’t read the forums. The forums are poison. They distill the ugliness inherent in the genre. If a player (not me, I’ve never registered and honestly am not that good at LoL), suggests anything within five posts someone will invariably call them a noob, say their percentage is too low, and say they’re stupid. The constant calls for nerfing and buffing (frequently for the same character) would drive even the sanest devs mad.

      I would like to see another well written 3v3 tier list though.

    • Xerian says:

      @Falcon “instead of pumping out the champions every 2 weeks.”…
      Theres no instead when its different teams working on these things ;>…

  10. Devan says:

    Jim, I may have missed it in the article, but do you know the handles of Belleza and Ziegler? I’ve probably heard of them before but don’t know them by their real names.

    • Malkara says:

      They seem to not have forum handles. link to This is Belleza, and Ziegler apparently goes by Ziegler on the forums? He was the designer for Talon.

  11. Arathain says:

    I should personally like a report in the state of Singed. I haven’t played in ages and ages and ages, and when I did I mostly did it so I could run about in an annoying fashion gassing folk and tossing them into the rest of my team, then hitting Cleanse and getting away scott free.

    Have there been any major Singed related changes?

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      A good Singed is basically invulnerable right now.

    • cyrenic says:

      He’s still really, really strong. Good SInged players make me hate him because he’s such an elusive champion.

    • Arathain says:

      Good to hear. I love the character design. Everything he does is so darned irritating, and he’s so hard to take down it makes the opposition desperate to just kill him for once. I’ve killed many a melee carry when I ran from them at low health, hit Insanity Potion and my gas trail, and watched as my health goes up and theirs goes down, suddenly turning at just the right moment, and as they get flung they realise they’re seconds from death and there’s not a thing they can do.

      Good times.

    • Falcon says:

      There are some better Singed counters in the game now (such as Vayne – true damage ftw, or Kog as long as you get pen) but he’s still pretty hard to take down, and generally it’s best to just ignore him in the fight or control him until everyone else is dead. The best counter is to make sure he can’t farm super well if he’s solo top so he can’t get a high gear level, so champs with good sustainability in lane (for instance, Riven) can give him trouble and make it easier for your team late game.

  12. The Sombrero Kid says:

    It’s not the new characters that keep people playing, balance is everything!

  13. Riotpoll says:

    LoL is fun no doubt, however it is horrifically unbalanced, and most of the “new” heroes seem like rehashed versions of older ones who’ve injected a few steroids.

  14. Burning Man says:

    I clicked through to the LoL page and noticed that Riot was hiring. En masse. Being curious, I clicked through a couple of links to end up here: link to

    Holy ****. I always thought the educational barrier for entry into a large gaming corp was low, what with devs telling people to stop thinking a Bachelors degree is not necessary. Then there are these guys. Let’s look at where these guys have been: Kellogg, MIT, USC, UW Madison, Cornell, UCLA, Stanford, LSE… not to mention some really elite company names like Bain, Merrill and Lynch, and the Disney Imagineers. Did something happen and no-one tell me, or are they unique in this? There’s no EA or Blizzard where I live, so I have no first hand knowledge.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Educational barriers are rapidly growing high, as the gaming industry is making more and more money, investors want to “secure their assets”, especially in “large gaming corp”.

      The “self-made devs” are rapidly becoming a very rare exception, you really need good diplomas, portfolio and experiences now. If you don’t have such things, you need to slowly climb the ladder by working for smaller companies first.

  15. OpT1mUs says:

    Is it actually acceptable now to use term “MOBA”? Whyyyy RPS whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  16. katzen kratzen says:

    As good of a game LoL is and their policy of releasing new heroes, I found after a year of play to be incredibly stale for one sole reason. It is very expensive. Yes, they can introduce new variety of heroes here and there, but if you are not investing money into this game, you will be able to play one or two classes of heroes. Runes, while claimed to be a tool to customise playstyle of your hero, actually are required for certain roles and certain heroes to operate at viable level. And runes cost a lot and can be bought only with in-game currency which is very scarce. All the new heroes cost 6300 and that’s why you’ll have to buy them with real money. Rune page is as expensive as a hero, you can buy a bundle of them but they are also expensive.

    I dumped over 300$ in this game but it still wasn’t enough to secure varying gameplay possibilities. The game’s skill for sucking out money is ridiculous. That’s probably why I am waiting for Dota 2 to be released. Dota 2 will give access to all heroes and will not have all this unnecessary infrastructure to suck out player money. It’ll also feature replay functionality which is STILL after two years of development lacking in LoL.

    • mickygor says:

      Wow, not sure what you’re on about. I’ve spent £50 on LoL, and aside from pre-ordering the game all that money’s gone on skins. I’ve got over 50 champions, all primary runes and most of the secondary runes. If you’re struggling to earn IP, that’s your issue. LoL’s definitely not an expensive game to keep up with.

    • katzen kratzen says:

      that’s probably because you play inhuman amount of it. Like have over 2k games played. Normal games give you about 80 average IP and last about 45 minutes. Count how much time you need to invest to get a champion or a rune page. And without a good rune page you won’t be able to play champions to their full potential especially in ranked where every advantage counts. Good rune page is worth like 2k gold of stats. So yeah, basically if you have a lot of time to invest in LoL then you can get away with buying all champions and runes for IP. If you are playing 2-3 hours a day then you’ll need to spend money to save or gain IP.

      And it’s not like 300$ is a huge amount to dump on LoL. Some of my friends spent more than a thousand dollars on that game. Granted they bought a lot of skins, but they were buying champions and rune pages as well.

    • thatman says:

      You are meant to invest lots of time playing LoL because it’s very hard to master, so a naturally progressing player will get a decent amount of champions owned plus some good runes after playing an amount of games which gets them to an average skill level if they aren’t particularly skilled. The complaints about IP gain never fail to amuse me because I have never found myself desperate to buy a champion or runes in a year and a half of playing League. I also believe runes only make a real difference at high levels of play i.e. top 20% of the playerbase, although that’s just my opinion.

      I have so much fun playing this game, with friends or constantly losing ranked games because of awful teammates, and I have only spent money on skins for some champions that I’ve particularly enjoyed playing like Lux or Lee Sin and I’m still quite a bad player, so there’s still a lot for me in this game after more than 2000 games played.

  17. SuperNashwan says:

    Amongst all the normal MOBA rubbish comments I just wanted to say thanks and I appreciate seeing LoL getting some coverage, Riot are doing some interesting things and definitely deserve some attention with the recent growth they’ve seen. If you can corner some of their chaps to talk about the development and future of The Tribunal system for policing the community I think that’d make for a good article too.