Design Talk: Part 2, The problem with the tanky dps

Posted: September 29, 2011 by thewoebringer in General

So last week I wanted to post cool Dominion videos but as most of No Elo knows now I am the worst at remembering to turn on my recorder. So that went by the wayside. But I’m back and with renewed vigor I’m here to talk about something that has Mr. Cat all up in a tizzy.

The true problem riot has with tanky dps is the fact they have offered almost no incentives to not go for it. Champs that have naturally high hp want to min/max and as such build the items that allow them to do this. Champions who have low hp either decide to be a glass cannon or see one or more of these items as a way to become more sustainable. Certain items have such strong passives with hp attached to them that players would be remiss not to build them (Rylai’s and Frozen Mallet). This is compounded by Atma’s, since there is no equivalent for casters we are safe there for now.

So what can riot do? The first thing is to build new heroes that either have anti hp abilities, similar to Kog’maw and Vayne as well as abilities that make you not want to stack hp yourself. Easier said then done but  right now Riot barely even tries to design heroes who don’t want to stack hp. Secondarily I believe riot needs to introduce a higher variety of items in order to incentivize diversified builds. By designing items with actives and passives that are useful you reduce the amount of min/maxing that people are willing to do. For example, items that grant you a consumable only slot, items that grant useful stats and a unique active, and high end consumables aka GP Oranges you could buy from the store. A perfect example of this is Odyn’s Veil, a new dominion item. It has defensive stats, absorbs damage and can use that as an active, a great item. I think that offering alternative items will help improve the state of the meta.

I can talk about this in more detail, with specifics on diversifying item choice in the mid game and offering new comparable items in the late game, but I think you understand where I’m coming from. What do you think? Would it be too hard to balance these new items or would it help? Comments away. As always you can email me at

  1. Capac Amaru says:

    I think it would be hard to balance, but I would be happy to have a new items with new and interesting abilities. I always try to craft unique builds, but their arent enough items to cater for it.

    For example, how many unique mana stacking builds can you come up with?

  2. […] mean that everything is peaches and cream though.  I suggest you read TheWoeBringer’s article for this week about how champ design may be be flawed. As always questions, comments and hate mail […]

  3. Capac Amaru says:

    I just had a game vs Cho’Gath, Lee Sin, Yorick, Xerath and Maokai… we had me (Skarner) Jarvan, Kayle, Kat and Janna. Janna got Deathfire grasp, and me, jarvan and kayle got madreds. Still their team was near invincible. Yorick could 3v1 with no worries, and got real fed. We were on the backfoot the whole game, behind on kills all the way. All towers were down (mostly thanks to us happening on Lee Sin trying to solo baron at the exact right moment), super creeps evrawar, I told my team there was only one way to win, suicide dive the nexus. Yorick was pushing alone while the rest of his team guarded the base after we got the nexus down to half. Jarvan managed to fight through and lay in a few hits, then I rushed in and claimed the victory. But it was hollow knowing that we could not have won in a straight up fight, they did too much damage and handily absorbed everything we could throw at them.

    I don’t know what else we could have done to level the field..

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