DOMINION

Zozor! Hello Tumblr! I’m the creator of the languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance, the CW’s The 100 and many others, and I’ll be getting up early to answer your questions for #AnswerTime Wednesday, September 30th, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 12 noon Eastern.

My ask box is here! Feel free to ask me questions about my work on the various shows I’ve worked on, my new book The Art of Language Invention (out yesterday!), language in general, or the best time to eat ice cream (answer: every time is the best time).

NOTE: This contest has concluded. Thanks to those who participated!

Hey, it’s winter! That means it’s as good a time as any to do another giveaway for The Art of Language Invention! (Not for the baby. She’s just there because I like taking pictures of her. :) Also at the bottom you can see a scrap of the blanket, made by my mother-in-law, which has panels from The Tawny Scrawny Lion. It’s amazing.)

The general idea behind the giveaway is to get the word out to folks who participate in a winter gift-giving tradition, e.g. Snow Swap; Solstice Sharing; Homey Hearth Exchange; Flurry Fasting; the Feast of the Cradled Fawn; Moontagen; the Hibernatoriad; Fountain Fest; the unrelated Fountain Feast; Carol Crossing; Packaging Week; Open Rations; Middle-Morn; Kick-and-Crowd; Coupon Cozies; Heliotrope; Berry Separating; the Saunterdown; Mash and Fickle; the Measurements; Sledge Week; the Nights of Silver Twine; Light Wishings; Bottles; the Trail of Open Doors; Overtide; or any other denominational or non-denominational observation you or others may or may not observe. Whether you open one up in your Fountain Fest clam or enjoy it with your traditional Overtide apricots, The Art of Language Invention makes a welcome addition to a cold and joyous winter night.

For THREE (3) of those who reblog or otherwise share this post, I will ship you a signed and personalized copy of The Art of Language Invention. For details, see below!

DETAILS

In order to qualify, you must do one of the following by 11:00 a.m. on December 21st, 2015:

  • Reblog this post (favorites are appreciated, but they do not count for this).
  • Retweet the tweet associated with this post (likes are appreciated, but they do not count for this).
  • Share this post on Facebook* (likes are appreciated but they do not count for this; also see CAVEATS below).
  • Share/reshare this post on Google+ (+1′s are appreciated but do not count for this; see CAVEATS below).
  • Compose your own post on Tumblr or your own tweet on Twitter that links to this post (but you MUST tag me or mention me on Twitter—@Dedalvs—otherwise I won’t know about it!).

Doing each of the items above will give you one opportunity to have your name or handle (or friend’s or loved one’s name, if you so choose) made into a word in one of the above-listed languages. This means each person can have up to four chances (but no more than four). Despite having multiple chances, each person can be chosen only once.

CAVEATS

I’ll edit this post when all three copies have been given away. Please note that I will contact you using Tumblr’s messenger thing. Please respond within 24 hours or I will select another winner.

If you make a post on Facebook, I have to be able to find out about it in some way. Facebook has a lot of privacy settings built in, so if you can’t show me your post, I can’t count it.

If you make a post on Google+, tag me in it. You can find me here.

* * * * *

Thanks for reading, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

UPDATE: All copies have been claimed. Thank you to those who participated!

Retiring Dominion

Retiring Dominion

We launched Dominion more than four years ago as an alternative game mode designed to challenge players with fast-paced skirmishes, capture-and-hold gameplay, and different skills to master. Back then, we truly believed the mode would introduce new players to League of Legends and provide current players with an experience as captivating as Summoner’s Rift. As League continues to evolve, our vision for the core game becomes more and more refined, and, after years of learning, it’s clear today that alternative game modes work better in short cycles rather than as standalone queues.

We want to support game modes delivering consistently engaging and competitive experiences. Fewer than 0.5% of players actively play Dominion and we’re aware some number of even that small population is still bots. We haven’t been supporting Dominion, and we’ve trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle where the queue isn’t large enough to warrant major attention, but falls prey to bugs and periods of imbalance from the introduction of new champs and items (which then drives down the size of the queue, and so on).

In the absence of our attention, matchmaking and game quality in Dominion varies wildly based on daily engagement. Because of how matchmaking works, the longer someone looking to play Dominion waits in queue, the wider the pool of potential foes the matchmaker can pull from – with such a small population, Dominion games can match up widely divergent skill levels after long enough queue times. Unhealthy queues that force players to endure long waits with fluctuating match quality ultimately creates an overall poor experience – one we take responsibility for.

We might have been able to break out of that downward spiral with more dedicated resources, but we chose Summoner’s Rift as the core League of Legends experience with its depth of gameplay, match pacing, and path to mastery. When it comes to the resources required to keep Dominion permanentand solve the inherent design problems and give it ongoing live balance support, we’ve consistently devoted them to Summoner’s Rift and related features because we felt they’d improve the overall League experience more.

For players who’ve made the Crystal Scar their home over the last four years, we’ll be taking a snapshot of the queue today just before this post goes live. Then we’ll give out an exclusive, never-to-be-reproduced Summoner Icon to anyone with over 100 wins in matchmade Dominion games (not including Co-op vs AI). You can expect the icon to land in your account within two weeks of this announcement! We know this doesn’t ease the sting of losing the mode you’ve spent thousands of hours in. But if you want to stick around and join us on the Rift, we feel you deserve a way to show off your domination.

We’ve learned a lot from Dominion and the costs associated with maintaining a fully separate game mode with balance changes, bugfixes, and item updates. We’re considering other ways to use the Dominion map (as a featured game mode, for example) but nothing is set in stone. We’re retiring Dominion to focus on our vision for League moving forward: we’ll concentrate on the core League game while supporting alternative experiences which deliver consistent, competitive gameplay with healthy queues and appropriate matchmaking (ARAM and featured game modes are good examples of this). We’re permanently disabling Dominion and removing the Crystal Scar from custom games on Monday, February 22..