League of Legends dev on LoL vs. Dota 2: "we wanted to find ways to evolve that genre"
Owen's had an interesting chat with League of Legends lead champion designer Ryann Scott about Riot's character design philosophy, the reason their entire hero roster isn't free, and the differences between League of Legends and Dota 2. "Dota 2 is really true to Dota 1, that’s a lot of the appeal. But we started from day one to say that’s not what we want to be, he said "we don’t want to be just like our predecessors, we wanted to find ways to evolve that genre."
Scott described how the design team wanted to improve on the Defence of the Ancients formula. "This is a cool game but we think there are certain improvements that make the gameplay not only more interesting to read on the screen, but also make it actually more interesting when you fight other people," he said. "More action, more back and forth moments instead of the fight being determined by the first person out of position and everything being very deterministic."
Valve's take on Dota remains faithful to the original WarCraft 3 mod, and Dota Allstars developer IceFrog is a leading member of the Dota 2 team. The entire hero roster from the Defence of the Ancients mod is being gradually recreated in the Source Engine. Riot have gone in a different direction with an entirely new collection of champions dreamed up by their designers and artists.
"We feel our approach is a way to take what was cool and take it to the next stage of it," Scott added. "And I think there are far more evolutions out there that hopefully we’ll get to explore a lot of with League of Legends, but I think there’s a lot of room for growth in this genre."
Riot's approach has worked rather well. In fact, according to a DFC report noted by Forbes, it's the most played PC game in the world. It also has a thriving e-sports scene, which Riot are seeking to encourage with the addition of a new Championship Series league, to launch next season, which will provide a prize pool of millions of dollars for the world's best teams to scrap over.