does Riot hire foreigners, or do they prefer natives because of all the paperwork that Riot would otherwise have to deal with to hire a foreigner (visa, etc)?

We hire people from other countries all the time. By far the easiest situation is to hire someone from a non-US country to work in that same non-US country. But we do the harder task of procuring work visas for non-US workers to work in LA as well.

I'm not trying to turn this into a political discussion, but US policy can make it pretty challenging to get a visa. For example, the H1B (which is a nice visa to have) is on a random lottery system, and there is no way we can guarantee someone scoring one.

So TLDR is it presents some logistical hurdles, but we still interview and hire non-US citizens frequently.

Could you bring in your Blizzard buddies on to the next design stream with Scarizard, since it would be interesting seeing how a Blizzard dev might balance LoL despite having different design philosophies and vice versa as well

God, that would be so fun! I'm sure we'd get resistance from either the LoL team or the WoW team, but a man can dream!

So it took you 6 years to realize that assassins have no counterplay. Well done.

I kind of suspect the earliest designers on LoL deep down knew that they lacked counterplay as well. It's kind of the basis on which the popular definition of "assassin" exists. "I kill you before you even realize I'm there."

Do you play final fantasy? If so which is your favourite?

Yes. IMO 6 is the best. I also liked 9.

Edit: also liked X *and* X2!

At the risk of starting a war, I think 7 is overrated. I think it was just a lot of players' first FF. :)

' I think that's probably the most realistic target in our "always on" world. ' This depresses me...

Hmm. It doesn't depress me. I think it's cool that I can be so well-connected to friends and coworkers (and random players too).

When I saw a great play in the TSM-C9 game this weekend, I could share it with a bunch of people who weren't in the room with me.

Likewise, if I have a profound thought or a potential solution for a tricky design problem, I don't have to wait until Monday and hope I can remember it.

Yes, you can let your email rule your life. You can also let television, alcohol, your D&D obsession, and a lot of other things rule your life. I don't think the internet is inherently bad just because it facilitates communication whenever and wherever you want it.

What was your favorite raid in WoW?

I think there is a right and wrong answer here, and the right answer is Ulduar. :)

Hello! I was at LeagueFest (UK) yesterday. I only got a ticket for Friday 'cos I wasn't sure what to expect (but I wanted to see the dev talks for sure). What I really wasn't expecting was to meet Meddler and Keyserito.. they were just walking around making conversation with people! (1/3) Stephanos

I'll pass along the word to those guys. I'm glad it was a fun show.

What is your favourite Pokemon?


As a game designer that interacts with many people in the community on a near-daily basis, do you find it necessary to maintain a strict work/life divide? Would you suggest other game devs try and maintain such a divide if they are also community figures?

Overall, I fail at a strict/work life divide. I am pretty protective of my time away from the office and try to set a good example there. When my work day is done, I go home. When I was 25 I didn't do that, and maybe when you're 25 it's okay to spend more time at the office.

I do check email and especially social media and forums when I'm away from the office though.

I also have friends and hobbies and life outside of work though, so I don't feel like my life is work and sleep. I think that's probably the most realistic target in our "always on" world.

Now that they've been out for a couple of months, does Riot see ranked emblems as a success? Most of the public feedback seemed negative negative, but the recent surveys and Riot Pls wording suggest that the plan for next season is Emblems 2.0 (separate entry points and rankings for the same queue)

The point of the emblems was they were something we could add quickly in only a few days, vs. having to wait for the next season.

The latest blog was only talking about the current 2016 season. We haven't talked much about plans for 2017 yet, except that we want to try and address many of the lingering player concerns about 2016.

If you asked any player in any sport if they could play with their friends in games they would say yes but that does not mean the NFL or any other sports League will allow that so why did LoL allow it? I mean for normals sure but that was already in, Why add so many unnecessary variables? 2many alry

It's not really about playing with friends per se. It's about forming a team beforehand that lasts for more than one game. The NFL would be unrecognizable (though probably pretty amusing) if random dudes who didn't know each other and had never played together get thrown together for a team every game and had to figure out how to coordinate and communicate.

Rioters participate in an internal tournament with permanent teams. It's a pretty amazing experience for the people that join in. You practice with your team. They can help point out mistakes and even learn to correct for your weaknesses. You learn to read each other's tells and almost read each other's minds. Pros have that. Very few normal League players ever get to experience it. Dynamic Queue was trying to offer that experience to more players. It's just a different (and frequently better) game when you just know how that ADC is going to jump in or how your Jungler will gank without relearning it every time.

Ever thought of updating what patch is used in competitive every 5 patches or X patches so that the issue of random kinks will not show up in pro play? Why not just make a "Competitive Patch" every 5 patches to be used in pro play to allow for better practice and probably better for competitive? Lee Scoggins

We think it's really important to keep the pro game and the non-pro game in sync as tightly as we can. When someone wants to learn a new position or champion, it's often the pros who they look to. It's weird to watch a video, and then go try out a champ and discover their abilities no longer work that way.

If you've ever watched an exciting pro game with friends, often one of the first things people want to do after a game is go play League. We see that at the office all the time. We want that game you run off to play to be the same one you just saw in the pro match.

2/2 then those players who love opting in to vision at the expense of combat stats can do so from more roles, and in exchange we can give supports other cool things. Spitballing: reduce SS to 2 charges. More stuff builds from ss. Supp item "give up active for wards" paradigm: choice feels meaningful Hyrum Graff

[Responding to this just to get your part 2 out there with the part 1.]

Re: "being Mr warder" There are definitely supports who love vision. I proposed removing Ss In a boards thread a while back and people were up in arms. That said, what if we gave out less/same free vision in trinkets and created more ways for others to opt in to vision (like tracker's knife)? 1/2 Hyrum Graff

Yeah, I concede that removing warding from support may be really hard or impossible. But maybe there are ways to have alternatives to support = ward master.

why are do u always go to jggernauts , when i say fighters when i'm meaning real aa fighters like ( aatrox , tryndamere ,ww etc ) . juggernauts are in a good spot ( darius , illaoi ) but thos who rely on AA more than spells have always had less than 5% pickrate

I think the three you mention need updates for sure.

Don't you think that nowadays people are offended by anything? I feel like people became crybabies and stupidly soft and weak-hearted.

I found your question to be very offensive.

"It's a really weird world where players are asking for something more polished and corporate-y instead of something authentic and transparent." I think you really misunderstood the situation. Tryndamere just proved he doesn't understand the workings of his own company.

I wasn't commenting on the situation though. The question wasn't "What are your thought on the whole deal?" It was specifically "Do you guys need more PR policing of your comms." I probably wouldn't have answered the first question, because I'm not sure I have might insight I can add, but the actual one is very relevant to me personally since I do shit like this a lot.

What are your feelings regarding the following statment: Removing Sightstone and appropriately adjusting trinkets would increase support build diversity and add more player agency to the role.

Here is a topic upon which I would love to see more discussion from you guys (and probably isn't the best place for a real discussion).

I worry that tying Support too heavily to vision isn't great for the Support role. I don't know that players gravitate to Support because they want to be rewarded for being a whiz at warding. While it does some good things for the game, I worry that the vision game for LoL isn't all that interesting, and tying an entire position to vision scares me. At a time when we could really use more players playing Support in order to make role-based matchmaking smoother, I'm not sure "Master Warder" is the right direction.

But maybe I'm totally off on this. Thoughts?

I know you answer a lot of question about how to become a game designer, this is a bit more specific. For a filmmaking graduate what would be a good entry level job in the video game industry. I know you have mentioned that it is possible to work in video games despite your major.

In your case, I think there are two different routes. Riot does employ filmmakers. We release videos all the time, whether as lowly as Patch Rundown, or as noble as the Live/Play documentary.

As an alternative, you could try to find a gig doing something that leveraged your experience in a more general fashion, such as game design. In that case, there is a little more burden on you to prove (in the absence of a long resume relevant to the role) that you really have something to contribute to a studio.

This isn't intended to sound patronizing. But remember that any employer isn't trying to be mean if they don't give you a shot. They just need some indication that you could out perform all of the other people that they are interviewing for a particular role. That is often hard to do when the company receives so many applicants that all you have to go on is a potentially wispy resume and a cover letter. Believe me, I lived through all that. I'm also proof that it can work out. Here is the boards post about ugly champs.

Yeah, so I wasn't involved in writing any of that text, and I don't want it to appear that I am throwing a colleague under the bus, but I personally would not have chosen the word "ugly." I think Trundle is awesome and I also think Trundle is pretty ugly.

The way I would have said it is that League champions should be aspirational. You've probably heard that at Riot we do this new employee orientation called Denewbification. As part of it, there is a workshop where we group up and quickly design a champion. My group came up with an apprentice necromancer who was still learning the ropes.

Ezreal (the Rioter, not the champ) was still involved in champ ideation at the time. He said that to make that character into a League champ, we'd need to make a change or two. For example, it's fine for the necromancer to be a student, but he could still be the most powerful necromancer the world had ever seen, and his personal struggle was to come to terms with power he could barely control.

That lesson stuck with me. I think the problem with a gravedigger is that it's not aspirational. RPG games typically have character archtetypes like brave fighter, sneaky rogue, or determined mage. If you're awesome at character design or a super-dedicated roleplayer, maybe you could make "noble gravedigger" intriguing. But the team was worried that gravedigger would never be as exciting or have the resonance as all the various kings and queens and "best in the world" champions in the game.

I also totally understand if you disagree with that direction. This shit is subjective.

From your point of view why did fighters die in the last couple of seasons ? are you concidering making them more valuable at least in the next season ?

Being totally honest, I think a big reason is that we updated Marksmen and Mages and those updates were more successful and affected more champs than our Juggernaut changes.

I can't tell you yet (because I don't know the answer) who we will look at after Assassins.

To the person who loved dragon age origins but think their opinion on DA2 is unfairly skewed by other people: it's not. DA2 is an objectively worse game than Dragon Age Origins. If you play it expecting to be as good or a real sequel to Origins then you will be disappointed.

I'll post your reply just so he or she can see it, but I disagree that any game can ever be "objectively worse." It can objectively have less content or buggier content or fewer players or something like that. To be objective, it has to be quantitatively measurable.

I'm not defending DA2. I just want to point that whether or not someone likes a game is intensely SUBJECTIVE, as it should be. I'm sure there are players for whom DA2 is the best game in the series. (I disagree, but that's the point.) It does have Isabela. :)

I think that the majority of players love that Tryndamere tries to be an active part of the community. The problem is that his words carry more weight than anyone else's (except maybe Ryze). He just needs to be more careful not to say something stupid and to let comments sit before he posts them.

I think he knows that deep down. Sometimes he still views himself as the scrappy leader of an underdog startup and temporarily forgets that it's hard to view League as an underdog anymore. He's a super passionate guy, and that passion is really inspiring for me and other Rioters, and I hope that passion always comes out in his communication.

He said some things that came out wrong and later clarified. We need to try to keep a balance between being passionate and authentic and also being clear and inspiring confidence in players.

It's not unlike the way we patch League. We want to update the game constantly, so we make changes sometimes quicker or sloppier than we need to. In those cases, we try to react quickly. Yes it would be better not to make those mistakes in the first place, but we also don't want to be sooo cautious and slow that we end up not updating the game but a few times a year.

what's the difference between fighters / bruisers and divers ...if there's any ( talking about this season not in general )

Fighter is the original term (which we still generally use today while we're evolving the newer terminology). It generally means a slower melee champ with more passive defensive staying-power than most ranged champs. Think infantry.

In essence, Juggernauts and Divers are subclasses of Fighters. (We use the term Juggernaut internally more than Bruiser these days.)

A Juggernaut exerts pressure through durability and melee sustained damage. A Juggernaut is less tanky than a tank, but does more damage. Think Nasus.

A Diver has less durability than a Juggernaut, but more mobility. Think Vi.

There's more detail in this blog from Statikk:

Please justify why flash still exists to me.

It creates a lot of interesting decisions for players. The relatively long cooldown means you can use it to catch up with someone running away or run away yourself, but you can't do that every fight and need to make hard (but quick!) decisions about whether now is the time to burn Flash.

A secondary consideration, that ties into the first, is that Flash has a ton of situational uses that become more and more exposed the more games you play. For example, using Flash to get over a wall is something that is easy to screw up, but pretty sweet when you do it correctly. We want mastery of League to be something that takes a life time, and correct use of Flash is one of those things that you nearly always learn some new trick in how you use it.


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About Greg Street:

Design Director, League of Legends @ Riot Games Before that: Lead Systems Designer, World of Warcraft.
Before that: Lead Designer, Age of Empires.
Before that I was an oceanographer.

Los Angeles, CA