League of Legends can be brutal to the newcomer. Quite apart from having your team screaming deaththreats at you down the headphones after every small mistake, there's so many little mechanical quirks and odd rules that it's not surprising a lot of people find the MOBA genre impenetrable.
Riot Games think they have a solution for getting new players involved. In a newthe team discusses their 'Intro Bots', a new tier of co-op vs. AI matches that aims to teach key foundational skills.
"League is a game best played with your friends," writes Riot's Kacee “Iniquitee” Granke, "and too many times we bring in friends from other games only to see them become frustrated and quit."
"Intro Bots is a new tier of Co-Op vs. AI, and features more than just new bot AI. The mode includes a number of systems that aim to let new players learn in a more guided and forgiving setting, so they can grow wings before jumping out of the nest."
The first thing Riot want to do is make learning fun, and not some attritional nightmare.
"By tuning damage dealt and bot behavior we can give new players more time to react to new and dangerous situations," explains Granke, "and by reducing death timers we can make mistakes less punishing while still allowing failure as a learning experience. The end result should be more learning through experimenting, and hopefully, more fun."
Then, the team hope Intro Bots will provide a more focused and less imprecise tutorial experience, with specific goals and tips on how to achieve them. Beyond that, they want clear and concise player information on each new feature introduced, and repetition of key points.
"Doing something a single time doesn’t mean it will stick,"
"Doing something a single time doesn’t mean it will stick,"says Granke, "so we want to make sure players repeat actions until they have them down. For example, the current tutorial asks players to right-click to attack once, and to cast a single spell. Mapping a control scheme to muscle memory doesn’t always happen that quickly, and we often see new players fail to use the mouse and hotkeys correctly in their first few games. "
Ultimately, as Granke explains, the goal is to create a mode that isn't a cakewalk that will leave players unprepared for the high-stress (seriously) reality of a proper LOL game, but by the same token doesn't fump them straight in the deep end. To drown. Embarrassingly.
"With Intro Bots, we’re aiming for a more approachable difficulty that gives all new players a manageable first experience. At the same time, we’ve designed many features to be dynamic based on a player’s performance so the mode isn’t a pushover - players quickly performing appropriate actions and behaving like an advanced player will see fewer helpful features and lightly amped-up difficulty. Novice players should be able to enjoy several games of Intro Bots and steadily learn the basics, while more advanced ones will quickly grasp the essentials and move on to greater challenges in other modes."
You can read the full blog post on the League of Legends . Intro Bots will be rolling out on the public test server soon, with a full launch to follow.