Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has moved from Blizzard Entertaiment to Riot Games. The former World of Warcraft lead systems designer will now help Riot in shaping their MOBA League of Legends.
Street stirs up mixed emotions among WoW players. On the one hand, he was a transparent designer who publicly discussed his team's decisions with fans. On the other hand, he was the guy in charge of balancing classes. If your favorite class got nerfed or the dungeons were too easy, he was the one you blamed. Some players went so far as to accuse him of having personal vendettas against certain character classes:
He announced his departure from Blizzard last month. I speculated at the time that another MMO developer had snagged him. Riot Games seems like a good fit, though. League of Legends isn't an MMO but, like WoW, it's a huge online game with fierce player-versus-player competition.
Street's official title at Riot Games is "lead game designer." LoL players noted that he has the same title as Ryan "Morello" Scott. Scott says he isn't being replaced, though.
"League's a huge game and there's a lot to do," Scott said on the official LoL forums. "[Ghostcrawler's] actually some MUCH-needed help on the leadership side - it's just too much for any one person to handle and make the progress I'd like to see. We'll be dividing up some of the effort on leading it, but other than making sure more things have support, the teams are pretty unchanged from who's doing want (Statikk and friends are still doing Game Health, Meddler still heads champ development, we just have more expertise to draw on now)."
Added Scott: "A lot of the things we want to focus on with game health this year (and preseason is a kick-off to this effort) is primarily around fixing a lot of the old problems. After finishing up support (IE the gold item particulars + Annie problem), we want to focus on adding choice and depth by taking a HARD look at 'ball of stats' stuff so we can actually introduce interesting stuff with trade-offs."
In other words, Street will still be working with game balance. Riot wants to make the game's champions more balanced so that players have more options. Scott said that they want to ensure that Attack Damage Carries aren't a must for victories.
League of Legends' fourth season of competitive play kicks off today in Cologne, Germany. The top teams throughout Europe will play 16 matches over the next three days. North American teams will do the same from Friday to Sunday.