The following Champions will be free-to-play until April 15th:
The following Champions will be free-to-play until April 15th:
With Patch 4.5 being a large patch, I’ve decided to take a look at some of the components that will affect everybody.
Runes (View Changes Here, too many to list)
Note: I will only be looking at tier 3 runes for this analysis.
While flat armor seals themselves haven’t been made unviable, when laning against an opponent that doesn’t deal a lot of physical damage means you won’t need that armor during the laning phase. Instead, opt for health or scaling armor depending on how much AD the enemy team has. If you only have the two included rune pages, then flat health is likely the best option as it’ll be helpful throughout the whole game. (Note: Riot has made supplementary changes to give an extra 4 armor as almost everyone took armor seals anyway)
The standard Glyphs to take before 4.5 were either scaling MR, flat MR, or ability power depending on your role. Scaling CDR Glyphs will be quite good for those that need CDR but don’t want to itemize for it. Champions such as Ryze can grab these runes and not worry about trying to hit 40% CDR with items. Scaling MR has beeen buffed which is useful when laning as an AD champion against someone who doesn’t deal any/a lot of magic damage early such as Nidalee while AP Runes will work in similar situations, unless the enemy team has a significant amount of magic damage. Flat MR however will still be very vital for champions who have trouble surviving against lane bullies such as Syndra.
CDR Quints are going to be a niche pick, as almost all champions would benefit more from flat AD or flat AP. Marksmen or sustain heavy champions like trundle will likely opt for 2 Lifesteal and 1 AD Quintessence. With the nerf to Lifesteal Quints it may be better to take flat AD Quints for last hitting so long as you have a support that can sustain you in lane. Junglers/Supports can usually opt for a multitude of different Quints, and I won’t go too detailed into that right now. For the most part Health Quints are going to be very strong on supports in the current meta, as aggressive supports such as Leona or Thresh will benefit strongly from the health.
Feast heals 3 health on killing a unit, rather than two now. This is to compensate for the Lifesteal quintessence nerf, and still leaves LS Quints still fairly viable.
While it’s expected that ignite will still remain popular due to supports being so aggressive in the current meta, exhaust has become a very useful tool against champions that deal a lot of damage in bursts. When your team needs to prevent assassins from doing their job or a champion such as Katarina from tearing everybody apart with her ultimate, exhaust will remain the optimal choice. It may not be as effective on AutoAttacking champions anymore, but those big bursty-type champions can be shut down when it counts.
Heal has been buffed significantly, even though the removal of Grevious Wounds applies after the heal. This allows any heals used after the summoner spells to have full effect, unless Grevious Wounds is applied again. The cooldown and heal value changes are hugely beneficial, and provide a strong alternative to Barrier that scales into the late game. Heal will be a strong pick in the bottom lane for supports protecting their carry, or carries that would rather not opt for barrier which blocks less but is on a shorter cooldown.
Red Post Collection
Single Posts – Stale Balance, Skarner, Support Gragas
Awesome news – Guinsoo is back and he’s ready to deliver on the fantasy of dueling Champions with a French fencer lady!
Guinsoo: Hi guys. I’d just like to weigh in on what some of the Fiora goals are. The main problems we see with Fiora’s current kit are that thematically, she doesn’t deliver on the fantasy of being a skilled duelist/fencer, and mechanically, her game presence / play pattern / role doesn’t line up with being a skilled duelist/fencer.
As far as the duelist fantasy goes, at least when I think of Fiora, I expect her to be extremely mobile but not just going in, she needs to be good at dancing in, out of, around and about combat. She should be about finding weaknesses in the opponent’s play and finding the proper occasion to go on the attack. She shouldn’t be about running in and bursting enemies down, she should be dealing high, steady DPS over time that is relatively target agnostic.
Mechanically speaking, I’d expect a duelist type champion to be mechanically intense. I expect opportunities to use my abilities at optimal times to counter out the enemy’s champion. I want to have a lot to keep track of, but with clear success cases when I do well.
At the end of the day, live Fiora is a ball of stats with some untargetability thrown in; she pushes her buttons pretty much as fast as she can without a second thought, and she’s also extremely snowballey. In short, she’s bland with no cool opportunities to exchange gameplay between her and her lane opponent.
Some of the current goals including switching Fiora from an assassin to a melee DPS, and moving her lane from top to mid/jungle, and adding tons of ‘outplay’ functionality on her kit, as well as more mobility especially in terms of being able to disengage and re-engage at optimal times.
I can’t share too much of exactly what the plans are for her kit, as I’m sure it’s going to change tons during development, but I’ll leave this here to hopefully stir up some excitement for our favorite rapier wielder. Also bear in mind this is an early, experimental Blade Waltz, and could certainly change drastically between now and remake launch time.
I also understand it’s hard to understand exactly what this sample Blade Waltz does, given the lack of context on her basic spells… but rest assured, there are significant tweaks (or more) to all 4 of the other abilities, so hopefully your imaginations run wild
If one assumes that Lunge is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s jump around and hit things function, and that Riposte is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s untargetability, is it hard to envision a scenario where you don’t get the current functionality of Blade Waltz if you’re allowed to rapidly cast your basic spells? But with options around when each individual jump and spell block comes from, as well as considering how many jumps to use vs spell blocks vs disengages, when, how many auto attacks to weave in, when to focus more DPS vs more survivability vs more mobility, etc.
The goal behind the current ult was to sometimes emulate the behavior of the old one, but make it more timing and decision based, add more options, and add more counterplay for the opponents. I feel like the new ultimate offers far more opportunities than the old one, if one assumes that R/Q emulates the feel of her live Blade Waltz.
Guinsoo: Right now to me the ‘natural’ top laners are people like Renekton, Shyvana, etc. I feel like in order to make a melee ADC (ala Yasuo) compete with those types of champions in the top lane, we’d have to make other sacrifices to her core design (e.g. putting life regeneration on her kit, I really don’t like her current passive but I worry that without it she’d really struggle top lane).
Guinsoo: OK, I feel like I used the wrong terminology when I said “poke enemies down.” I edited my first post to “deal steady, high DPS that is relatively target agnostic.” While I mostly agree with you that fencing is all about scoring OHKOs, well obviously that type of gameplay isn’t great for any type of PvP game.
The way we’re choosing to handle this is to give her strong, steady DPS, but have it come in bigger chunks that one might anticipate from a steady DPS champion. For example her Riposte has heavily negative implications on her outgoing DPS… unless she blocks a significant spell or attack, at which point she can respond with a very hard hitting Thrust.
In general we want her to feel good (and be greatly rewarded) for using her abilities properly. While that can’t be in the form of OHKOs, I think the next best thing is “big chunks of damage.”
Guinsoo: Truth be told, 6 years of intense video game development got to me and I really needed to take some time to destress. I spent about a year traveling and relaxing and now I’m locked and loaded and ready to pump out some sweet content.
Guinsoo: Here are 3 reasons off the top of my head to pick her over Yasuo. Please note I’m talking about her new kit with new abilities, not her old kit with a new ultimate. I just spoiled the ultimate for funsies
1) Kayle ult with a few catches on a normal slot
2) Weaker engage, but much stickier than Yasuo
3) Built in disengage
Guinsoo: I doubt it. I’m not a great fan of tower diving. I think her kit still leaves her much better positioned to tower dive than the average champion even without being untargetable/immune to turrets. I’m not completely opposed to her having some turret mitigation capabilities. But I’d rather avoid it, and so far my instinct tells me she’ll do okay with out it just due to the sheer mobility on the kit.
Guinsoo: That’s kind of what I’m driving at – the passive feels lame, it’s especially lame in tense moments like battles with other champions, and its only real use is allowing her access to a lane that I don’t really feel she belongs in in the first place. It’s power without gameplay, and plus it feels useless too. It’s effective, but totally lameballs. That’s pretty much the opposite of where I’d like her passive design space to lie.
Guinsoo: Originally I was debating how to primarily balance this implementation of Blade Waltz. There are two obvious limiting levers, duration and number of casts. The version of which I posted a screenshot is clearly more duration limited. In this iteration I was counting on the various “drawbacks” / nuances of the abilities to limit the ultimate – e.g. travel times, delays, parry times, etc.
In the end with the directions we took for some of the other , and the more recent version is more moderate 8 second duration, with a limit of 4 / 6 / 8 casts (still needs tons of tuning). Also note that right now Blade Waltz doesn’t provide any bonuses to how hard the skills hit, to emphasize mobility and tactics over brute force during the ultimate (obviously when casting that many spells in succession, it’s going to be doing a certain amount of brute force work).
You’re partially right that an ultimate that uses stronger versions of your basic skills requires a sharp tuning knife to make it feel good with and without. But in this case, I think there are some “under the hood” things that we can do to make the ultimate feel like a thing of its own. For example right now when you activate it, it resets all your cooldowns so you can start your comboing or dancing immediately, you get X number of casts chosen pretty much any way you like, and afterward it puts the cooldowns back where they were. I think this really helps make the ultimate feel like a spell all of its own. Additionally, the more potent the “spell modifications” that Blade Waltz offers, the more it feels like the ultimate is a collection of different spells. I think the W captures that well right now, the E to some degree, and the Q not nearly enough.
She definitely pulls a lot of weight with all her spells. In fact, she’s decidedly spell based and mostly weaves autos between them, but still plays a lot like a melee ADC because she can cast so many spells within her windows and (conditionally) deal steady spikes of damage. As far as the actual itemization, that is yet to be determined. Right now, she does have an attack speed steroid elsewhere on her kit (originally it was on the ult, but that doesn’t fit for obvious reason), but it’s not clear to me yet if that will or should stick. That is one of the balancing levers for her that partially determines if she’s more assassin or melee ADC; in an ideal world I’d like her to play exactly like a melee ADC without any basic attack steroids, but that’s a lofty goal that’s probably not possible. I also don’t want her to rely exclusively on her auto attacks like for example Tryndamere, I think it should be somewhere int he middle.
And I don’t really have any thoughts on jungle Fiora at the moment. I’m really not sure if that’s a reasonable expectation or not. It has not yet been tested, and it’s definitely not the primary focus/intended role for her.
Guinsoo: I think there are levers you can tune to allow a character to be very mobile while not being completely out of hand. It’s definitely a hard goal, and melee DPS seem to be one of the hardest classes to get right. I certainly would like to try.
Guinsoo: It’s something we’ve considered; ultimately I don’t think it fits the fencing fantasy well so I’d rather try to go other routes to get the mobility we like. But we’re not opposed to it if other methods fail.
Guinsoo: People don’t like change. It’s in our nature; if we like something we don’t want it to change. But that doesn’t mean it’s not for the better. I’m confident we can deliver a new Fiora kit that delivers most of the same mechanics that the old one has (including the important ones like the Blade Waltz experience) but creates new gameplay and makes her actually feel like a duelist.
I prefer to focus my responses toward posts that are more constructive.
Warwick will soon be getting a full balance rework, complete with a visual update. More from Zenon.
ZenonTheStoic: We have a full relaunch slated for Warwick, but the question is indeed when. Currently our highest priority in terms of full relaunches is Sion; as for visual only stuff we’re excited to bring you Twitch very very soon.
I’d love to say Warwick will happen at some point this year, but who knows. The landscape of what needs work most is ever-shifting. For what it’s worth, I have a kit I fully believe in ready for further work.
ZenonTheStoic: That’s a very good question! I do want special animations for all skins when he goes into Blood Scent, but I like that Hyena gets something special. Maybe the other skins will get somewhat more vanilla wolf running animations? That’s a conversation I will need to have with my animator once the pod comes online (once we start working on the art).
ZenonTheStoic: We had the discussion on whether or not we can ship WW without art, but some of the things we’re doing would just look very, very derpy without new art, so I’d rather wait. WW is at least a niche pick right now, unlike Heimer who was simply unpicked before the remake.
ZenonTheStoic: Absolutely! If anything he’ll be more of a drain tank. He currently gains self-heal with bonus health, so if you want to drain tank you no longer build AP on him. He has a passive that stacks up on himself when he attacks stuff and his self-heal also increases with those stacks, so he needs to be in combat for a while before his drain tanking really comes online. It creates some pretty tense “can I live through the first 10 seconds of this and then become IMMORTAL DOG” situations.
RiotScruffy: My biggest like about the warwick gameplay changes in progress are that they give him many more important decisions and high moments. He will actually be able to make “big plays,” which is really great.
After extensive research, it turned out Nidalee is anti – fun. Rioters are on the case to bring Nidalee a shift in balance, along with some welcome QoL changes to her Cougar form.
RiotRepertoir: Hi guys! As has already been mentioned here, I’ve been doing work on Nidalee for some time now, and I definitely think things are headed in the right direction with her. I can’t really share specific details of the kit changes just yet, but I can share some of the primary (there may be others, but these are the forefront ones) problems that we’ve identified and are working to solve.
-The way Nidalee utilizes both forms to succeed is out of whack. She very regularly doesn’t have to use Cougar form as part of her killing pattern. This is not only unfair to enemy players, but also just a bit lame as a shapeshifting character.
-Nidalee doesn’t put herself at enough risk of death when she succeeds. I personally think it’s okay if Nidalee averages a high number of kills every game, but the number of deaths she accrues needs to be a bit higher to reflect that.
-Nidalee is pretty hard to control in Cougar form, and she just feels clunky much of the time. Even in pro games we see people Pouncing/Swiping in the wrong direction while farming or faceplanting into walls they meant to hop over.
As for Javelin Toss, I know this doesn’t provide a definitive answer on that subject, and once we have more definitive details on a direction, I’ll be happy to talk about them. At this rate, I wouldn’t expect Javelin Toss to undergo fundamental changes to its mechanics. It will almost assuredly remain a “deals more damage at greater range” ability, and it will hurt to get hit by. Furthermore, it probably won’t have cooldown reducing mechanics or ramping mana gates or something like that on it. None of that really matters if the Javelin that does hit you or your carry drops them from 100% health down to 40% at the beginning of the fight, because you’re still just forced to leave. In that case, we’ve just condensed the window of frustration rather that targeting the frustration itself.
Looking forward to sharing more details with you guys once we’ve something a bit more well-defined to talk about!
RiotRepertoir: Basically, I think we can put Javelin Toss in a good state that leaves it satisfying without added intricacies to the reasons or timing of casting the spell. With a kit to support this, of course.
ZenonTheStoic: Piggy-backing on this: we do have a kit in testing, designed by RiotRepertoire. That kit mostly tones down Javelin Toss’s mid range damage and creates a follow-up opportunity to encourage more time spent in cougar form (which is currently the wave-pushing and teamfight clean up form) (plus strategic map movement I guess).
However, to set expectations appropriately: just because we’re testing changes doesn’t mean those changes necessarily see the light of day. We test a LOT of kits, sometimes with crazy experimental changes (a Brand kit from last year comes to mind where Pyroclasm slowed down after each bounce but could bounce INDEFINITELY so long as the enemy team stayed together), and often the answer is “probably not worth doing”.
This is a strength of our design process. We’re highly iterative and we realize that there’s only so much value to be gained from theory-crafting it all out in your head. There’s a time and a place for spreadsheet design, and IMO that’s in the very beginning of a design idea, when you just want to get a rough read for the power level. After that there’s no substitute for “just put it in a playtest and see how it goes”.
My personal feeling is that while everything Repertoire’s changing about Nidalee is a positive change compared to live (a couple of GREAT QoL changes like pounce and swipe going toward mouse cursor), we’re not addressing the truly grating aspect of live Nidalee, which is random spears chunking you down to 50% health. In theory, Nidalee is mana gated and can’t just throw out spears all day. In practice, blue buff exists and Athene’s is a gold-efficient pickup even without the mana on it, so yeah. May not be a Nidalee problem. May be a problem of how we’re failing to do mana gating in modern League.
But the kit is still in testing and it’s way too early to tell where it’s going. Definitely don’t expect it to hit live any time soon; these things take time.
After the big changes to Rengar in Patch 4.5, it’s time to sit back and not get one-hit from stealth. What’s the community’s take on the rework?
RiotScruffy: To be clear about Rengar’s role in a team, we wanted to leave this mostly unchanged. He is still the guy that hunts the enemy squishies and can stalk around choosing his prey at will. His damage is lowered some, but we still want him to be a strong damage threat.
He is unique from some of the other assassins like zed or khazix because he has much more versatility with his ferocity skills (CC, Damage, Heals, many options here). On the other hand, some other assassins have escapes, where he does not. Considering he doesn’t have a reliable escape once he has engaged, we gave him some more tools like durability and speed so that once he is in, he has a means of contributing.
As far as items, we’re not designing towards any “right” way to build Rengar. He scales well with both offensive and defensive items and that is something that is cool about him as a character.
Keep in mind, we’re not going to leave Rengar out to dry if he has problems/needs changes. We already have a bunch of changes planned for the next patch like speeding up the Q attack animations significantly, and some ult warning changes that we have been talking about in this thread. We should have a bunch more data soon, which will help inform us if he needs more changes, and where.
I appreciate all of the feedback, and I know that change can be frustrating on a character that you know and love so well. Don’t fear for Rengar, he’s not going away anytime soon.
RiotScruffy: We have an ult change coming in the next patch that will not alert enemies if you wouldn’t be visible to them outside of stealth. This is really big for when he is ganking or approaching his targets from a brush or near walls. It was pretty silly to alert the enemy when Rengar wouldn’t have been visible out of stealth anyway, you guys were totally right on this one.
Also, the Q and Empowered Q attack animations are getting significantly sped up. This will fix a lot of the “my Q didn’t go off” cases, and it’s a non trivial buff in his dps output over time.
This isn’t the end, but it’s what I can say is coming with certainty right now.
RiotScruffy: Things like damage numbers are never set in stone. We will make adjustments to his damage if we overdid the changes. Real data will give us lots of information about how the changes turned out: Is his early game too weak? Is his late game too strong? etc.. Depending on what we find, adjustments will be made. It’s unfortunate that we cant play millions of test games with any changes before they release, but the least we can do is respond to the real data once the changes are live.
Ghostcrawler: Flattening unique and powerful abilities was something WoW had to embrace to some extent or else players would just stack classes with the most valuable unique mechanics and neglect the others. In Sunwell, you needed one shaman per melee party for Windfury, and in Throne of Thunder, you wanted several warlocks for Demonic Gateways and perhaps even Healthstones.
This is largely a function of the noble desire for boss encounters to have different mechanics, though it does exist in WoW PvP to a lesser extent. The sweet spot is having classes feel different without actually being dramatically different. Too many differences leads to lack of diversity, because your group composition becomes inflexible. You are forced to play Tetris to min max the class mechanics you need.
League is a different kind of game. Champs have fewer abilities than WoW classes, but the fights are also less predictable, so you don’t know that you will need a certain ability to solve the puzzle. Blitz’s grab or Sona’s auras are useful, but hardly mandatory, and you’re giving up something else to bring them. The game rules also don’t allow you to stack champs, One For All not withstanding. In this case, it’s important for champions to be as different from each other as possible. If two champs have similar mechanics, it’s easy to evaluate which one is the best choice, usually just based on higher damage or stats. In this case, not having enough differences can lead to lack of diversity. While it’s advisable to build teams with some synergy, there’s a ton more flexibility and much less of the Tetris feeling.
TLDR, champ similarity isn’t a League value.
Morello: Right now, the balance team is looking into Rumble buffs for an upcoming patch. With All-Stars, we’re unsure if that will be 4.6 or 4.7 (or later…), but there’s a few top laners we’d like to bring up – Rumble is one of them.
We can keep a lot of the gameplay gains (versatility, windows of power/weakness) and add a bit more stickiness/cc control that people liked about the old kit. I’ve been in ongoing discussions about these changes with a lot of the team, and I should get down to implementing them sometime next week. When we have a more final changelist, I’ll let you know what we intend to do.
Riot Zephyreal: When I first saw his kit on the community beta thread I immediately thought support Gragas. He now has 3 forms of CC at 6, his knockback on E is either tied or slightly further back than Thresh flay, and his Q slow is pretty heavy if there is any sort of charge up time (which you can set up with combos with his E or even more impressively his R).
His passive is also pretty sweet since he has to go kind of close with his body slam for trades, so that extra heal is nice if he can manage the passive timer well. But also given the fact that the E knocks back and stuns, he pretty safe to begin with if he wants to do an E+Q combo for harass. I’m literally chunking people for 35-40% HP (depending on Q charge) and walking away without a care in the world.
The one downside is that you’re not flanking much in laning phase as support Gragas to maximize the displacement on body slam, but again if you can combo a Q through an E (super easy with practice), it should be easy for your lane partner to follow up.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.
Red Post Collection
With the recent rework of Gragas in Patch 4.5, what’s the community’s opinion of the booze-loving fatty?
Solcrushed: This is the thread I hope to consolidate the feedback on the new Gragas. While we won’t be making significant balance changes before we have some data, feel free to suggest improvements, builds and lanes!
Some changes I will be making for the next patch regardless of his balance.
I would think once the issue with the Autoattack after E is fixed, E would more or less guarantee a W anyway.
We would expect that his new strengths and weakness suit him better in non-mid lanes but if he is still proven to be a good mid we would be fine with it, provided that the pattern change holds.
Also His mana costs were reduced quite a bit to reflect that he no longer has W mana restore and he will be building less mana items. Maybe they are not enough, we will see.
Rengar is back from Patch 4.5 with a fully reworked kit! But is he still the fierce assassin he used to be?
RiotScruffy: The Rengar update is live and we’re playing and monitoring his performance a ton on our end. Let’s use this thread for constructive feedback. Once we have more data we will definitely be adjusting his power levels up or down if he needs it.
I’ve already seen a suggestion that I like: his alert to enemies during the ult only appears if they would be able to see him out of stealth, we’re already talking about this a lot internally. This seems like a good way for Rengar to optimize a bit more by taking clever paths on ganks and approaches.
Riot Jag: I’m pretty interested in the builds that people try out on him. In playtest a lot of our experienced Rengar players thought Blade of the Ruined King was really strong on him. I think some people will make the classic Trinity/Sunfire/Spirit Visage build still work though.
Riot Jag: Since this version of Q doesn’t give you AS it does feel a little slower at first, but we made some small changes to the spell to ensure it feels good. There may be an adjustment period but if it still feels clunky we’ll keep an eye on it.
Riot Jag: We have definitely shifted the time-to-kill window for Rengar’s assassinations more into the fighter end of the spectrum (closer to Jax than Zed, for example). He’s not going to kill someone in 1-2 seconds, yes, but his damage over 4-5 seconds should be comparable to or better than the previous version while also having stronger tank stats and better stickiness.
Riot Jag: It’s true that his early lane has more weaknesses than his previous iteration. We shifted some of his power away from his Level 2 cheese and spammy E-harass, but added some back in sustained trades, healing when he’s behind in lane, and assistance for jungle ganks. One thing I’m curious on here is what is an assassin’s idea of winning lane, especially in the top lane. When we see assassin’s top lane they’re generally more than happy to be able to farm against bruisers.
Riot Jag: If you feel like his pushing power is excessively weak I think that may be a fair criticism. We’d like to keep an eye on his overall power level since he has a lot of other really strong tools to aid in tower pushing (e.g. using an Empowered Q on a nearby minion for a strong AS bonus, the ult giving a good escape, etc.)
RiotScruffy: There are a few people suggesting that the warning from his ult should be global. We thought about this idea actually but it was actually too punishing for Rengar because it gave his opponents too much time to react, and essentially removed all of his ganking power. Enemies would all just back up to their tower before he could engage, so we went with a much shorter warning time frame.
I’m much more keen on the idea that if he wouldn’t be visible, the warning will not appear. This rewards clever paths and approaches when ulting.
After the brief info we got from Ghostcrawler yesterday, here’s more of his thoughts on Riot, game design and more!
Ghostcrawler: That’s a huge challenge of talking to players. If you want to be really honest, which we generally try to do, then that means talking about plans (even pretty solid plans) that have a chance of not working out. The alternative is not to talk about anything that isn’t 100% ready to ship. I prefer the former, but I understand it can be frustrating.
Ghostcrawler: I love Morello too. We should hang out. The thing you have to remember as a developer when you’re talking to players is that some of them are going to be angry or even nasty, but you can’t let it get you down. At the end of the day, they are usually speaking out of passion just trying to improve a game they love (unless they are true trolls who just want to sow discord, but in my experience those dudes are pretty rare). Having passionate players is awesome. Every game developer very much wants passionate players!
Ghostcrawler: I love this about Riot, and I love that a bunch of the Rioters posting are from disciplines other than design. It helps reinforce that these are real people (who love their job!) and not just PR bots spouting some approved company line. I think it also helps reinforce that it takes so many people from different disciplines collaborating to create a game.
Ghostcrawler: Okay, here is an example where I’m going to attempt to prove that I don’t mind leveling with you guys. But you have to not beat us up about it. We’ve talked about this a lot, and we agree that Riot used to do a better job of providing context, debating design changes, and following up on things we said we’d follow up on. When I was on the outside looking in, I was super impressed with how well Rioters communicated with you guys, and I think it’s fair that it has fallen off some this season or so.
It’s a priority to get back there. We probably burned a little bit of trust with you guys and it’s time to try to get it back. Please hold us to that, and let us know when we go astray.
Ghostcrawler: We do. He still plays. As you might imagine, designers love to sit around and dissect design decisions in other games. I think a bunch of the guys have enjoyed asking how I really felt about various aspects of WoW.
Ghostcrawler: That’s how I got my big break. Some players like the “That’s what happens when you let a marine biologist balance your game” narrative, but I worked on Age of Empires for 10 years before I ever went to Blizzard. I started on Rise of Rome and worked on every title up until Halo Wars, which is around when I left. Ensemble Studios (who made AoE) was a great place to work and I still keep in touch with a lot of friends-for-life that I made there. It’s interesting to me that RTS games have kind of died off lately, save for Starcraft.
I’d like to shed some light and clarify the above statement as it is not entirely correct:
If a champion or skin had a graphical or kit (play style) rework after your purchase, you do indeed have the option to refund them without spending any refund tokens. However, this refund is for FULL reworks only. Buffed and nerfed champions do not count as full reworks and, as a result, are not eligible for a refund. Also, in order to be eligible for this refund, you must request a refund on a visual/design rework within 90 days after the rework. We will not be able to give you a refund beyond the initial 90 days.
For more info, you can check out our content refund guidelines are available on the player support website at the following location: https://support.leagueoflegends.com/…ent-Refund-FAQ
Hope this helps
ricklessabandon: Going to bring this thread back from the dead now that I’ve had some time to read everyone’s responses and think about them a bit. My plans for the immediate future are to: watch Miss Fortune on 4.5 and make balance changes as necessary, and then make adjustments for AP-scaling Miss Fortune. I should be able to get something in time for the 4.6 patch—we’ll see how things test over the next week.
Based on where she’s at now I don’t think it’ll take much, but wanted to give you all a heads up that i’m still working on her all the same.
GUINSOO is working on a Fiora overhaul as a “light fighter.” We’re still in very early prototying, but we agree Fiora is one of the worst characters upon delivering on her fantasy – a skilled, deft fencer.
I think much of her kit will change, but for the better.
Link to Comic
I thought that was awesomely adorable, enjoy reading! And don’t forget to check out the artist if you like her work!
Red Post Collection
Why is Riot intent on toning down Lulu mid? Will this harm support Lulu? Why can’t we turn our enemies into gummy bears?
Firstly, unfortunately I am not Xelnath.
Secondly, I’d like to say that we really appreciate the calm and constructive way you made this thread. Awesome.
I want to take some time to clarify our perspectives on Lulu, why we’re doing what we’re doing now, and what we plan to do moving forward.
We are genuinely happy (and excited) that Lulu can be a mid lane Support champion who brings different strengths than other popular mid laners – especially in terms of potential team compositions.
When Lulu can be brought mid lane to help build a team composition around say protecting an allied Vayne, that’s super cool. In fact, this type of champion and team composition diversity is something we’d like to see a lot more of.
One of the most common criticisms is that due to the Support utility scaling we added in the new season, mid lane Lulu makes herself and her teammates super fast, and that that is a bad / annoying thing. We actually think it makes the game more interesting and gives players different reasons to pick and play different champions. Not every champion should need to bring a ton of damage and blow everything up. Some champions bring other strengths to the table.
We don’t just hate any and all Supports that are played in mid lane.
In Lulu’s case, we are not happy with the primary reason for her being picked in mid lane being that she is a safe, reliable laner who bullies a large majority of other mid lane champions. This is true of any champion in any role. When a champion’s job in the game is to make sure other champions don’t get a chance to participate in the game, there’s a problem.
Another common historical case people bring up is mid lane Janna, which is perfectly reasonable. The primary issue with Janna at the time was that she created a very un-interactive laning phase by continuously charging up her Q to just wave clear and force enemies under their turret which drastically reduced the potential viable picks in that lane.
At the end of the day, we’d prefer if Support mid laners were being brought for their unique Supportive strengths such as protecting /enhancing their allies. It’s really awesome when these type of picks increase champion diversity rather than stifle it.
These nerfs were directed at reigning in some of Lulu’s more abusive lane harass patterns – especially when she snowballs ahead.
Although her laning harass patterns have risk and interactivity in the duo lane, the same rules don’t always apply in solo lanes. In fact, against many other champion in the solo lane, Lulu can freely harass them with little to no repercussions at higher range while they have no way to interact with her.
Once again, it’s an unfortunate truth, but many gameplay patterns that work well in a certain lane can be toxic for game health when brought to other lanes. This is something we always actively design around.
We agree we failed to ensure that she was still equally as viable in her traditional role as a bottom lane Support for this patch.
Normally we would either A) understand we significantly affected her bot lane viability and make compensatory buffs or B) confirm that we did not hurt her viability in her traditional role.
We simply ran out of the normal amount of analysis time and data gathering we would need to accurately execute on this.
To be clear, this does not mean that she is not viable as a bot lane Support currently. It simply means that we failed to ensure that her bot lane power was still up to par with this release. It still might be, but either way it’s something we need to look into and work on if needed.
We will be following up by doing internal analysis on her status as a bot lane Support and take action in an upcoming patch if necessary.
This is something that is currently ongoing. Lulu’s current viability as a bot lane Support is something we’re taking a hard look at to make sure we didn’t mess anything up here. If she is no longer viable in her intended role, you can expect we’ll be making changes until she is.
Anyway, I know it was long, but I really wanted to address everything I’ve been reading / hearing. Once again, thanks a ton for the constructive posts.
Sometimes we will have to outright push a champion out of an off-role because of the game health problems they present and the costs / tradeoffs we would have to make to their primary role to make the off-role healhty. We’re definitely going to try much harder to find room for these off builds to work, but I can’t promise that we will always be able to deliver on that.
Statikk: That’s a pretty good point. Our main thought process around nerfing E damage was that it was the most un-interactive part of her kit (click a dude, deal damage to dude) and that ultimately we would like to move power from there to other parts of her kit that have more interesting gameplay.
We also largely believed that nerfing her Q base damage would cripple her viability as a Support, but we may be wrong on that?
Statikk: When we say overly “reliable,” we really just mean we think the champion is too good against too many things. Mid lane Lulu wins the majority of her lane matchups and outright crushes many of them.
That is a lot different than being reliable as a protector or source of CC for her teammates, we’re fine with that. We just don’t like her being able to have such a huge advantage in lane against almost any champion.
I guess our take is that mid lane Lulu should be taken as a way to give a ton of Movement Speed to an ally and a way to protect a high priority target on her team (or synergize with an initiator for a wombo combo).
The problem isn’t that Lulu doesn’t die in the lane, it’s that she consistently harasses out her opponents and forces them to back or risk dying while maintaining her relatively high safety.
Statikk: Yeah I figured this would be coming up, because it’s a legit argument. I don’t want to derail too much because this is a thread about Lulu, but Renekton is definitely an issue and as you can see in the latest patch notes we are trying to off load some of his early lane dominance elsewhere.
Don’t want to go too in-depth here, but we basically feel if we nerf Renetkon, a new bully will just rise up in his place that is potentially even more unhealthy for the game due to our generic fighter designs. Our current approach in one of the upcoming patches is to take a look at some of the top lane champions we think would make top lane more interesting and give them buffs so they can better compete with champions like Renekton.
A more holistic approach to fully solve the “Fighter” issue is to make our fighters have more defined strengths and weaknesses both in lane matchups and in overall team / game strategy, but that’s a project that would take a long time to finish.
We recently got the announcement that Twitch would be getting a visual update, but what about his voice? Good news, the stinky rat gets to keep his awesome accent!
Riot Entropy: It is indeed the same gentleman. We brought him back to expand Twitch’s script from the original nine lines to 80+ interactions. The actor has a lot of range, so we were able to capture more depth of character this time around. The lines you heard in the showcase are on the manic “high-strung” end of the spectrum you’d expect from him in the middle of a deadly game of cat-and-mouse… or rat-and-splat?
Riot Entropy: There are some subtle notes of Rattigan. He’s more trying to be refined and sophisticated by denying what he is though. Twitch loves who he is, it’s just that Twitch’s idea of what’s good is very different from ours.
Riot’s Lead Game Designer steps into the forums to answer some burning questions LoL and WoW fans. No Lissandra buffs announced (yet).
(Well, that isn’t at all what the Summoner was “asking”, but it’s the most civil interpretation I could come up with.)
But maybe where I can contribute is helping make sure you guys understand our overall philosophy for why we make the changes we do (or those that we don’t!). I want to do what I can personally to get you all bought into our design direction and also make sure we understand your point of view when we disagree.
I love that Riot aspires to be so player focused. Any of you who have known me for a long time can understand why I’d want to be a part of that.
Ghostcrawler: I understand where you’re coming from, but again, this is an example of conflating the direction of a team with the influence of one person. The direction of League comes from Riot and it comes from you guys. The same was true of WoW during my tenure there, and I can’t imagine it could have changed that quickly since I left.
That said, when you attribute the work of so many to so few or even one guy, it’s really not fair to the literally hundreds of people who work together to make a game like WoW or LoL. It’s really not possible in a game of this size in an environment this collaborative for any one person to have that much of an in influence.
Ghostcrawler: We’re not big on titles here, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Morello works closely with the champion and core teams and he has been a point of contact on that stuff for you guys forever so I would keep using him. We’re friends and we work closely together. Anything you say to either of us will get to the other dude.
Ghostcrawler: I think this is a fair criticism. At the time, we were trying to solve a problem where certain classes were stacked and others just didn’t get to participate at all. But homogenization is absolutely a design risk, especially in a game like League with so many champions.
For the record, I think homogenization stinks, and I invite you guys to absolutely call us on it when it happens.
Ghostcrawler: In many industries, including this one, experience counts for a lot. At the end of the day, you need to ship a product (as lame as that makes it sound), and there are things you learn about how to get that done. I’m not in charge of the direction of League — nobody is really. I do have sixteen years of experience in building teams, improving communication, building consensus, helping to level up junior designers, and hiring talented new ones. Those are all important components of leadership and ultimately that’s what Riot said they liked.
I’ve said this before as well, but one of the secrets of this business is that good ideas are cheap. Knowing how to ship a good game is what is really valuable.
Ghostcrawler: Are you sure you aren’t confusing me with someone else? I take player opinions very seriously, even when I disagree with them. It’s harder on Twitter, where the limitations of the medium make it hard to say things like “You have a point, but…” or “Our goals are the same, and we just disagree on whether a proposed change will accomplish those goals.”
Now, some players might say “You didn’t make this change I wanted, so how can you really call yourself responsive to player concerns?” It’s not really possible to make everyone happy all the time, and when you try, you can end up with mistakes… like homogenization!
It’s mid season! That doesn’t mean we’ll be making dramatic changes a la the 2014 preseason, but it does mean we can make some larger systemic changes in areas where we could. You’ll see this in places like the support item recipe cleanup and the addition of two foundational support items. While we’re not planning to completely change the landscape, this does mean that supports will be able to keep pace when purchasing ability power items and, in the future we’ll be able to build out more support itemization paths for those who want it.
Also included in this patch are two gameplay updates (that’s what we’re calling ‘em): Rengar and Gragas. Rengar’s got some new tools to actually contribute to an ongoing team fight, while Gragas has traded some of his long-range barrel-sniping power for scrappy in-your-face brawlin’ strength. Our overarching philosophy behind these two changes was mostly due to their binary gameplay, where both had clear success cases (usually involving the absolute destruction of a single target before they knew it) but, when they weren’t succeeding, they were rarely allowed to contribute in meaningful ways. You can find out more details by reading below, but our goals were to provide more tools and, generally speaking, more cool things to do in a fight. Like belly slams.
You can check out the official announcement here!
“The rumors have substance. Zaun’s toxic sewers, already responsible for creating the great Plague Rat known as Twitch, have mutated him further still. He’s been spotted – smelled, rather – cackling and scuttling towards PBE, giving horrified onlookers a first glimpse at contemporary pestilence.
We’ve had our sights set on a Twitch update for years now. While some older champions in our game had (and in some cases, still have) the famous pizza feet, old Twitch barely had feet at all. In fact, because he was mostly hidden beneath his huge cloak, his animation rig (the skeleton we add joints to so we can create animations and emotes) was extremely limiting, making it hard to create new or different skins for the champion. So instead of fudging our way through and doing our best with old Twitch, we figured it’d be best to start from scratch and create a completely new Plague Rat.
Now, champion updates are always going to be a sensitive topic: there are 118 champions in League of Legends right now, and every one is near and dear to someone’s heart. So, in order to satisfy existing Twitch players while potentially opening up the champ to new players, we needed to identify what made him lovable in the eyes of the players that love him. After surveys (both internal and external), here are the key pillars we set out for Twitch’s update:
We loved Twitch’s character, and took active steps not just to preserve it in the rework, but give it avenues to really shine. Now, his models, animations and voice over reinforce the same slightly manic and silly-but-he’s-still-killing-me-ow-my-face persona. Check the video above to hear a couple of his lines.
Twitch was initially released way back in 2009, so we had five years’ worth of tech and vision improvements to implement in his update. We’re adding some ground-breaking features in here byrigging the lower half of his body (imagine that!), and showcasing his character through flavorful animations that flow through his entire body, including his tail. Of course, we’ve also included a bunch of small touches we now deem standard, such as different run animations depending on movement speed, extra VO lines and a suitably odious new splash (coming soon!).
Not all of Twitch’s changes need to blow your minds. While we were working on the new models, we added in a few nice QoL tweaks that should help out both Twitch and his enemies:
THE SEWER MEN
“Yeah, we’d all tell Twitch stories down there, but he weren’t the only bogeyman we’d talk about. Twitch, the Screamers, Hunch, the Wilton twins… all fings we’d chinwag over to keep our spirits fair while we’re knee-deep in slop. But this… this was ‘im! Knew me, it did. Knew me name, whispered it from the shadows. I all but messed me pants, but then Jimmy shows up an’ the whisperin’ stops. Must be me ‘ead, I says, so I carry on workin’, only then it ‘appens again. See, few minutes later, Jimmy an’ me ‘ave made our way down to the drain we’ve come to unclog, an’ I’m there, elbows in, when I sees it proper.
Came at me, it did, hissed at me, told me to leave ‘is fings alone, only I was jus’ uncloggin’ this soddin’ drain. Woulda killed me if I’d stayed, sure of it, but soon as I saw it dartin’ after me, I was out of there fast as a flash. Ran quick as me legs would carry, but Jimmy weren’t nearly as nippy, not wiv the bag of rot ov’r his shoulder. Told ‘im to drop it, but ‘e weren’t listenin’. Face as pale as the moon, was Jimmy’s, so I turned and ran faster still. Heard the monster chasin’, heard it scratching the walls, heard Jimmy screamin’ for me… but I ran.”
“An’ that’s how you escaped?”
“Yeah. Tore straight up through the closest shaft and near shattered the sewer cover, so eager was I to unfasten the fing. Only went down later that evenin’ to find Jimmy. Took three sec-men with me. Armed to the teeth, we was.”
“An’ you found him.”
“Aye. Dead as a doornail. Lyin’ in a pool of grime an’ with a round of bolts buried in his back. Funny thing was though, Jimmy’s stuff was all on ‘im still. Still ‘ad his gear, still ‘ad his clothes, still ‘ad his rations. All Twitch took was the bag o’ rot. Don’t understand it. Don’t understand it one bit.””
Disclaimer: This is completely legitimate news. Confirmed on Saint’s stream.
RiotPwyff: Summoners! In preparation for the future of League, aka Ultra Rapid Fire mode, we’re releasing Patch 4.5 to fix the existing balance issues and make some new ones. The focus of this patch is reworks and player fun, so the new Champion, Helmet Bro, will have to wait. Enjoy reading!
Context: A while ago someone leaked our April Fools patch notes for Lee Sin. This left us with nothing cool to show off for Lee Sin on April 1st, so we’re just posting his actual rework.
Damage reduced from 200 / 400 / 600 (+200% bonus AD) to 50 / 100 / 150 (+100% bonus AD)
Context: We never pushed Yasuo’s concept, because we were afraid we’d have to release a broken Champion with too many mechanics. We decided to play it safe so we removed cooldowns, gave him three passives, infinite gap-closing, 50% Armor Penetration, hard CC and a spell that counters 95% of the game. Logically, he proved far too weak to survive in the meta. With this rework we’re bringing back a lot of the “crazy” mechanics we scrapped during development. Hopefully, this will lift Yasuo’s miserable 80% win-rate.
Context: Since Ahri’s rework, we had a lot of Diamond smurfs (with suspicious Bronze icons) tell us she’s ruined and that they’re moving to DotA because it’s a better company. We’re excited to see Ahri on the pro-scene again and we hope we can fulfill your fantasy of Shiphtur commanding an army of LCS players. Yes, she can still be your waifu.
Context: A recent complaint on Reddit was that Alistar’s level 5 Q and W cost more than his ultimate. We realize this is confusing for players who still pick Alistar in Ranked, so we’ve fixed it. Next patch we plan to rework his Headbutt so it always sends enemies towards your ADC for free kills.
Context: We recently found an issue where Anivia would revive after dying. I think we can all agree that revive passives are broken-as-fudge toxic gameplay, but we still want Anivia players to have that experience of being completely helpless for several seconds.
Context: We had a report on NA servers that a melee Champion actually managed to lane versus Heimerdinger and trade kills. This is unacceptable and ruins the status of Heimer as the Overlord who Bathes in your Tears. These spawned turrets do not count towards Heimer’s maximum turret count and are simply there so you can die quicker when you decide to 1v1 him.
Context: Irelia is just far too overwhelming on top lane. Having infinite sustain and free harass combo on top of being able to 2v1 the enemy top and jungle on level 6 with Dominus is making a lot of top laners obsolete currently. Wait, what’s an Irelia?
Context: No context.
Context: We realize Lulu is a big problem in mid lane, so we nerfed Rabadon’s Deathcap (see below) and focused on the fun aspects of Polymorph.
Context: In the office, we like to imagine that most Nidalee mains are sociopaths who throw rocks at people on the street. We understand they derive their fun experience from chugging half of someone’s health bar with invisible spears every 3 seconds, so we decided to focus on that aspect of Nidalee. We also made new Splash art for her, check below!
Context: We’re kind of pushing the limits here, but we want Skarner to be a viable pick. The extra 10 hit points will let Skarner tank an additional fifth of an auto attack, giving him complete dominance in the early game. To compensate, we’re reducing the amount of power he has when his ult is up and the enemy is reconnecting.
Context: We realized Blade Walts only works for people who understand how often it doesn’t work. Since pro-players now know she has 4 spells, she’ll probably become a contested LCS pick unless we act. We’re fixing this along with quality of life changes to her Flash.
Context: Two years ago we did a visual update for Nidalee, but financial constraints prevented us from making new splash arts for her skins. Well, that’s no longer the case! Here’s one of her new Splash arts:
Map Vision Bugs
Context: We’ve read tons of letters from fans who told us how fond they were of the countless vision bugs and so we brought them back. From now on, bugs in patches will be referred to as “features”.
Context: This change will hopefully reduce Lulu’s dominance in mid lane.
Note: Rengo and Grasshopper are unavailable in Save the Poros!