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Zileas of Riot Games talks about the DBG genre

The post mentioned below does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the NinjaSpartans blog.

Zileas of Riot Games talks about the top 2 competitors in the DotA Based Games genre.

LoL is really about innovation and driving the genre forward while retaining its competitive spirit – we’ve done a lot of completely new champions, gameplay and item designs to make the basic experience more fun, and to add new elements of strategy and gameplay. We hope to simplify the barrier to entry, while retaining the same depth, and making it all more fun at the same time. Your post does not mention anything about this, and it is the #1 differentiating point of LoL. To use an analogy, if DOTA is Everquest, we’d like to be WoW.

HoN on the other hand is focused on being a big upgrade in user interface, graphics and back-end features to the basic dota experience to make it a lot better, but is not about innovation. I believe 1/8th or so of their heroes are unique to HoN, the rest being reskins or minor touchups of original DOTA heroes. For some type of gamers this will be a much better experience than LoL, while for those wanting something newer, they’ll typically prefer LoL. Using another game analogy, if DOTA is Counterstrike, HoN is CS: Source plus a little bit.
That basically summed up his views on the differences between HON and LOL.

Zileas adds this insider stuff about League of Legends:

I’d also like to mention that competitive play is EXTREMELY important to us at Riot. Half of the design staff has been top tier competitive (world or regional champions at respected products like CS, DOTA, Starcraft, SSBM, WoW Arena) which is unlike any other game design team I’ve been on, and we regularly consult pro dota players in the play balance and design of our game. I’ve been in charge of play balance on two competitive RTS products (war3 expansion, strifeshadow). Our overall strength in this area is in contrast to HoN, but works fine for them – because they are staying very close to DOTA, they can in effect borrow Icefrog’s expertise on these matters since they are taking fewer innovative risks. But because we intend to innovate a lot and as our primary means of advancing the genre, we’ve invested heavily in having staff that understand play balance and competitive gameplay on a really deep level.

There you have it! Straight from the Director of Systems Design for League of Legends.


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