As you might guess, designing an entirely new mode for any game is not easy. Doing so for a playerbase who's only ever known one gametype is even more of an undertaking. League of Legends' lead producer Travis George gave a heartfelt talk at a GDC post-mortem panel yesterday, where he delved into the complex processes that produced LoL's biggest update since launch. Magma Chamber, Project Shiny, the Crystal Scar, and everything in between were illuminated, and in the process, so were many of Riot Games' core philosophies and design strategies. But Dominion's capture-point gameplay was also one of the toughest hurdles that Riot's faced yet, and the path to making it was hardly perfect.
League of Legends fans know the cycle well: every two weeks, a new champion is released, kicking off a complex chain of events filled with various personalities. Most people are usually fairly excited (try to think back to the last time the servers weren't totally slammed on patch day—pretty much never). You've got the diehards, who make sure that they save up 6300 IP every 14 days to ensure that they can afford the new champ the exact second that they're released. You've also got the theorycrafters, who are already trying to figure out how overpowered the next champ can be and the best item/rune combinations to use with them.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, of course, you've got the haters. These are the guys that feel the need to troll every thread everytime a new champion is released, complaining that they want to play new maps. Or how they think the new champ will be OP. Or that not enough, or too many, female champions get released. Or that balance suffers as Riot adds more champions. Whatever camp you fall into, champion release days can be quite the polarizing experience. But what about the devs at Riot Games? What's their take on the champions that they've consistently released twice a month? We asked them, and they had some very interesting answers.
Riot Games have announced a new 5v5 map for League of Legends: Magma Chamber. It's set inside a dormant volcano, with teleport platforms, magma for days, and a host of new minions that give mega buffs when you drop them. Here's a massive piece of concept art: