Last week Velocity announced that they’d shelved their entire roster, leaving a fillable slot for the LCS Relegations taking place in December. They’ve been using substitutes for the North American Challenger League, but nothing has been announced as permanent. Whatever team Velocity has in a month will play the theoretically strongest challenger team in a best of five to stay in the LCS. Now this is not a guaranteed slot in the LCS, but being able to cut through the qualifiers and be one step away is huge. This leads to important questions: How is Velocity going to fill that slot? Will Velocity even keep the slot, or will they sell it? Will they recruit a new team, or try to field their own players? What about going international? Will the next foreign team in North American wave the Velocity banner? Nothing is for sure until they make an announcement, but discussing the predictions can help give perspective on what may happen.
Pick Up a North American Team, or Sell to a North American Team.
This is most likely to happen because it is the simplest solution with the fewest amount of issues. However, it doesn’t give Velocity or whoever buys the spot a good chance at the LCS. As such, the spot is heavily devalued, and the result would be more of a filler team than a theoretically LCS bound team. There’s one major issue with this spot in regards to the current North American Challenger teams: Beating Complexity.
Whichever team Velocity picks up has to beat the number one challenger team. Most results point towards that team being Complexity, so any team that buys the spot would have to do so expecting to beat coL. The problem is most established challenger teams don’t beat Complexity with any consistency, despite Lautemortis recently leaving the team for familial issues. GGLA, Cognitive, Napkins in Disguise, TBD, etc. all lose more often than not versus coL. coL could purchase the spot themselves, but any other team is going into a best of five by a team that’s beaten them on multiple occasions. Money might stop coL from purchasing the spot, as it could be quite expensive and the organization is likely feeling confident in coL qualifying through the challenger pathway. There also may be a conflict with coL already being in the online qualifier, and the difficulty of finding a replacement team.
Napkins in Disguise - an Unsponsored Team.
NORTH AMERICAN SUPER TEAM
Now this is a fun possibility. There are quite a few good players that aren’t on a team at the moment that could be chosen for a North American super team. For a purely theoretical example: Patoy, DontMashMe, and Pobelter could constitute 3/5ths of a new North American super team . It would be a situation similar to Curse, where mechanically proficient players were blended together to make a strong team once they’d synergized and began communicating. However, Curse has had about a month to practice with this current roster, they had first pick and more money to attract players, and Velocity’s name has been tarnished from prior player statements.
Whatever team Velocity forms has less than a month of practice, and finding those top tier names could be difficult. Pobelter is a viable midlaner, but what jungler will work well with him? What about the AD Support combo? There could be two solid players that have different playstyles and don’t synergize at all. It’s a risky proposition, but just about anything is at this point. The advantage of the Velocity Super Team is that the results aren’t as predictable compared to picking up other challenger teams, and they could create a lot of hype by picking up popular names, particularly streamers. Available players are going to expand after the qualifiers for the live relegation event finish in December, but that would leave about a week for Velocity to secure and practice their full lineup. It would give them the most choices of suitable players, but leaves them almost no wiggle room with time.
Sell the Velocity Relegation Spot to a Foreign Organization
There’s a lot of behind the scenes paperwork and this could fall through, but it’s still very possible that a foreign organization may want to try and capture the hype of and exposure of having a North American LCS team. While the only foreign team to make their way to North America so far has been Quantic, there was a massive amount of talk and cryptic tweets that hinted more teams were coming. However, at the moment the only way to qualify for the LCS is via Velocity’s spot, as all other qualifiers have started and the date to enter has passed. A foreign team isn’t guaranteed admission into the LCS though. They still have to beat Complexity, and generally the teams that are available to switch regions had trouble qualifying in their own region e.g. Fnatic won’t go stateside, but an EU Challenger team could. As usual, there are outside issues that could hold teams back.
The Visa Issue
Any recruited team has to make it to the United States, which is why a region like Russia or China is less likely to get someone to Santa Monica by the time relegations start. There are paths to a visa once a team is in the LCS, but not for a one-off event like the relegation matches. With the time constraints and various requirements for a visa around the world, organizations in Korea and Europe are more likely going to have the means, structure, and money to get someone to the United States. Velocity could theoretically find players on their own and form a team, but a lot of the structure to help teams make it is lost in the process, and the team reaching the country becomes a whole lot less likely.
Why join the NA LCS?
The North American LCS develops a ridiculous amount of exposure for American and European audiences, but an organization has to have a reason to pay for that exposure. For example: many Korean companies primarily focus on advertising in Korea. Samsung is an electronics brand in the United States, but in Korea they have a much larger market of products, such as construction and fire insurance. The advertising is much more specific here, so Samsung would be sponsoring a team to advertise a specific product, similar to Qualcomm, TSM, and the Snapdragon processor. It’s all a bit more limited, and they may not want to invest for that reason. It is possible for Velocity to recruit a team or a Korean solo queue super team, but there’s more flaws with that. Teams are going to be under a contract, so they’d have to be released or bought out, and Velocity isn’t exactly rolling in dough. Individuals could be recruited, but there’s a language barrier, and without some sort of established foreign structure, it’s difficult to secure visas for the team.
In the end nothing is secure until Velocity announces it, and even then no one is sure who will make it to the Santa Monica studio until they actually arrive. Velocity having this spot may not seem like the biggest deal, but it is a step in the evolution of eSports. The buying and selling of spots and rosters has occurred in the past, but with such a direct correlation to the LCS and the fact that these purchase are likely to matter more in the future mean Velocity might be setting up a basis for the future. Or the team might flop and lose the games in an hour, no one knows for sure.
A continuation of yesterday’s news that Urgot is on the list for a future rework.
Meddler: Thanks for all the feedback and thoughts so far folks. Apologies for the lack responses to individual posts, between this thread and its counterparts on other forums there are a lot of posts to get through, so I’ve had to stick to just reading everything so far.
Based off this discussion, and our internal assessment of Urgot, I’ve got an initial plan for approaching changes to Urgot’s gameplay, as below. Please note that this work on Urgot will take a fair bit of time. We’ve got other projects that are currently higher priority (Preseason changes and follow up balancing in particular). As a result it’ll be quite a while before any changes actually get patched out (will update over the course of work though of course, particularly on how this direction is or isn’t panning out).
Urgot’s Core Theme/Fantasy:
Main battle tank (the sort with treads/a cannon, not the tank role). A heavy weapons platform that can both take a hit and hit back, hard, at range.
Monstrous and filled with hatred. No longer human.
Most Defining Elements of Urgot’s Gameplay:
E+Q homing combo.
Tanky playstyle and itemization, combined with the ability to deal damage from range. Does not play like an ADC.
Weaving of auto attacks and Q.
Biggest Gameplay Problems:
Insufficient counterplay on Q/E combo.
Lot of invisible power (to be shifted to visible power and/or given better feedback to improve visibility).
Unclear niche, resulting in some aspects of kit creating awkward moments of play.
Initial Direction to Explore:
Push Urgot into more of a ranged bruiser or tough, front line AD caster role (better thematic fit, more interesting than making him more of a standard AD ranged auto attacker).
Find a better way of offering homing Acid Hunters that give both more counterplay options for an enemy and more opportunity for skilled use by the Urgot player, in contrast to the current binary outcome (E+QQQ or nothing, with insufficient options for either player after the initial E shot).
Investigate fundamentally different options for passive and ult. Both do offer some good benefits, but also generate a lot of problems, power versus satisfaction (passive) and clash with core of kit (ult much of the time) in particular. Also potentially some missed opportunities r.e. abilities that offer more gameplay and capitalize better on Urgot’s theme.
Feedback on the above, and of course Urgot in general still, much appreciated!
Does this mean Urgot will be remade into a proper monster Champion?
Meddler: No longer human as in was once human and is now part machine/part zombie/has lost his humanity.
Any plans to rework his shield?
Meddler: Will certainly be considering opportunities for the shield, no firm plans yet though, particularly since it’s not a primary issue to address.
Will this update include a visual/texture rework?
Meddler: No immediate plans for a visual update or texture update. I expect we’ll do one for Urgot at some point, won’t be for a while though so taking the opportunity to look at his gameplay separately.
Will Urgot’s ult remain in the game?
Meddler: If we do decide to change Urgot’s ult significantly (not a certainty at this point) then yes, it, or something very similar, would be a good option for a different champion. It’s an interesting ability, there are potentially better options for Urgot specifically however.
Urgot in Season 4
Meddler: Some of the preseason changes will definitely have an affect on Urgot and we’ll need to assess that after the changes have been out for a while. The preseason changes will primarily affect power and performance though. Some other issues (like insufficient counterplay and kit cohesion) won’t be improved and those are the sort of problems/opportunities that initial work will be focused on.
A lot of Challengers got demoted to Diamond by newcomers just a few days before S3′s end. How does Riot plan to resolve this issue next season?
Socrates: Hey all,
As many of you noticed, players at the highest levels of ranked competitive play hit some problems with Challenger tier at the end of the season. While we’ve had a number of discussions about Challenger tier, it’s clear that we – and the systems running Challenger tier – weren’t as clear as anyone would’ve liked. We’ll be fixing it based on your feedback, but first we want to explain our original thinking behind the system and where we think it broke down:
Immunity is the chief culprit of some of the issues involving Challenger tier. The intent with immunity was to create a window where a player could reach Challenger but not feel immediately pressured to stay afloat. This was intended to give players enough time to build up a pool of LP so that the newest players weren’t always the ones being kicked by up-and-coming Diamond I players. Winning a series of five promotional games against the best players in the region, and then being told you also need to immediately start climbing the ladder in order to not be the first player kicked is a bit much. A complete lack of immunity would also give an unfair advantage to incumbent Challenger tier players.
During the regular season, Challenger immunity worked and most players even appreciated it for the breathing room it provided post-promotion. Unfortunately, the end of season deadline threw a wrench into things. It opened up the opportunity for players to game the system by hitting Challenger at the right time and relying on immunity to rest easy for the last few days. The first feat – hitting Challenger – is deserved by each and every player who accomplished it, but the second – using immunity to remain competitively stagnant during a period of intense competition isn’t the behavior we want to allow at the highest competitive tier.
Clamping in Diamond I can become ridiculous with LP gains of one or even zero per win. Behind the scenes, the player is always getting slightly closer to entering their Challenger promos but the opacity makes the experience unfulfilling and even discouraging. The reason it behaves in this way is that there are only 50 spots in Challenger. Those spots must accurately maintain the top 50 players. So if a player is almost as good at the top 50 players, but not quite there yet, a safety valve must exist to keep them from taking a challenger spot. The choice here was between clarity at the top of Diamond 1 and Challenger’s accurate depiction of the very top of the game. We chose accuracy for Challenger, but ultimately believe one without the other is flawed and will be working to change this in the coming season.
Perceived unfairness of Challenger
Promotions from Diamond I to Challenger trigger when a player hits a higher MMR rating than the lowest ranked, non-immune Challenger player. Once the lowest ranked Challenger is passed, the next Diamond I player to hit a promo series would need to pass the second-lowest ranked, non-immune Challenger player. During the end of the season, when competition is fierce, the floor constantly rises because of the cut-off date. We wanted to emphasize that players who’ve reached Challenger deserved it, because they surpassed their opponents, but the clarity of the system failed. Nobody knew when they were safe in Challenger, what had happened when they were kicked from Challenger, or how close they were to re-qualifying for Challenger. To us, this is a major shortcoming. The system being perceived as accurate is just as important as the system actually being accurate, and it’s something we’ll be improving on.
First, the core tenet of Challenger is that it should represent the absolute pinnacle of competitive play in every ranked queue. The system broke down at the end of the season, so we’re going to do this philosophy justice by also cross-checking MMR values. The 50 players/teams with the highest MMR in each ranked queue (regardless of League position) will be granted Challenger rewards. This is in addition to those who already have their rewards for ending the season in Challenger. This should end up dishing out rewards to about 10-20 additional players / teams.
Second, we’re going to take a long, hard look at immunity in Challenger tier. Clearly immunity is an issue when a deadline is introduced, but we still want some kind of grace period for players that reach Challenger. We’re hitting the drawing board on this now.
Third, we’re going to look at the core transparency of Challenger tier and player progression to and through it. At the highest level of play, competition comes down to the wire and the current system is incapable of reflecting players’ positions relative to their opponents. We have some ideas on this but they’re still in development.
Expect more thorough and transparent updates on these efforts down the line. In the meantime, expect some additional quality of life changes coming to Leagues, including the introduction of tier demotions, reductions in LP clamping outside of Diamond I, and a few other upgrades.
We’re actively investigating cases of deliberate abuse like win trading in low-population queues, team selling and deliberate game throwing to sabotage other’s promo efforts. We’ll act only in cases of irrefutable evidence, but you can bet that players (including high-visibility ones) who abused the system will see the shoe drop.
Why not just disable Challenger immunity for the final week of a season?
Pwyff: If you create a competitive environment with specific expectations for timelines and “how the system works,” but then message a drastic change in the last week to make it more fair, you do end up with a more competitive environment, but it sort of erodes the trust that the system will stay put.
Making changes to a super competitive system in the middle of the competition is like watching a game of hockey and thinking “THESE GOALIE PADS SHOULD BE SMALLER,” and then implementing that into the the Stanley Cup finals because it’ll make for a better game.
This also communicates to the difficulty of a system like leagues. It’s like… design a system, make it perfect, wind it up, then set it on its course for a year. At no point during the year should you really mess with the system (or risk creating an inconsistent player experience) so you have to make it perfect up front, which is… tough as you can imagine. Considering a million different possibilities and reacting before they happen can be tough. A fair amount of clairvoyancy should become a requirement for those who work on leagues, in my opinion.
Xelnathshares his story on Reddit about how frustrating team chat can be.
Xelnath: I just had a frustrating game where my top laner set me off by asking me ‘Why’ in a game. It threw me on the defensive instead of letting me focus on looking for plays and opportunities.
Never ask ‘why’ in relation to another person’s decisions or builds during the match.
It implies too much negative sentiment about the result.
It demands a justification.
It presumes the other party had the same information as you.
It never results in fixing the problem mid-match.
It coveys distrust and emotional distress.
Instead, making statements is more powerful, focuses the feedback around your opinion and can be more easily framed as emotionally detached.
‘Why did you go for baron’
‘I feel that fighting the enemy team first would have been better there.’
‘Why did you build Twins Shadows, ur not a support!’
‘I think chalice would have helped you out more in lane.’
The basic psychology of humans is that when you question them the way that ‘why’ questions come off mid-game, they feel their safety has been violated. People whose safety is violated must then naturally attack or defend themselves.
Having your safety violated by an ally is the worst type of experience since what was ‘safe’ is now dangerous. This is why people naturally expect threats and shit-talking from their opponents and flip out over that less.
Finally, when you make statements, if you do it right, you put the ownership of those feelings and opinions on yourself – ‘i feel x, i believe y’ meaning that you are expressing your own thoughts and actions rather than busy dismantling your opponents.
These are my thoughts.
Xelnath: Here’s the deal – the whole process of asking and investigating mid-game is counter productive when there isn’t an effective relationship at work.
The mutually shared goal of winning the game is undermined by drawing attention to the issue, instead of on the plays, strategy and experience at hand. An old teacher of mine used to say: “Don’t ask why we’re passing mid-play, talk about it in the huddle afterwards”.
Even innocent questions are detrimental – the internet doesn’t give us the cues to communicate genuine curiousity from accusatory questioning.
Meddler: Counterwarding with pinks will be more difficult, you do have the option of having other players purchase a pink as well however, not just the support (e.g. jungler grabing one for dragon). The other key thing though is the new Sweeper trinket, which allows you to temporarily reveal nearby stealth wards and kill them (with a CD), making it a good choice for champions jungling or bot lane especially.
Bonus: Challenger I strategies
How to time your Red/Blue buffs
san4ez13: Without utility mastries and distortion boots the timer of flash is 5 minutes (same as jungle buffs). So, every time you take one of your buffs, just burn flash immedinently when you have killed last monster from this camp. Use it if you are lazy!
What is a sword without the man behind it? Teaching a swordsman to kill is simple. The true challenge lies in teaching him not to kill.
When I watched my young brother Yasuo begin training, he breathed life into the blade at first touch. One heard whispers in the halls comparing him to the sword masters of old. But as he grew and his skills increased, so did his ego. He was impetuous and boastful; he ignored our master’s lessons and knew nothing of patience.
Fearing my brother had strayed too far from the way, I went not to warn him, but to make an appeal to his honor. I gave him a maple seed, our school’s highest lesson in humility…one Yasuo seemed to have forgotten. A seed is just a seed, but given time one may come to know the beauty it holds within. Yasuo took my gift, and the following day he accepted a modest guard post. I had high hopes he would learn the patience and virtue required of a true swordsman.
It was not to be.
Today, Yasuo committed an act of treason by murdering the very person he was sworn to protect. He has betrayed his nation, his friends, and himself. Were it not for my actions, I wonder if he would have been swept down this dark path. But my task is not to question; I must bear the burden of my duty. At first light tomorrow, I set out to capture a sword without a sheath: my brother Yasuo.
Recently, a lot of discussion has kicked up about some recent item name changes that went out late last weekend. Specifically, a lot of people were concerned about the name changes to Shurelia’s Reverie, Philosopher’s Stone and Philosopher’s Pebble.
We really do care about how attached you guys are to the game, its items and the development team that got League this far.
Let me see if I clearly understand your concerns:
Concerns about the removal of Shurelia’s name and respecting her legacy
Unclear why the changes to the item names occurred
The new theme was inferred, but not clearly understood
Sad about the removal of the Harry Potter reference to the Philosopher’s Stone, (as well as the Medieval reference IRL)
Difficulty finding the new item in the shop
Is this correct? Please let me know if not.
Why do this?
Next, let’s talk about the changes and why. RiotRadioblur will be talking about the artistic direction, while I talk about the mechanics, theme and overall direction.
When I approached the task of adjusting the gold income streams for Season 4, I initially did my best to keep the old item names and themes. This was great – people jumping into the game easily figured out the relationships between the old items and the new ones. [e.g. Pebble -> Stone] However, some of them just didn’t make sense (Philosopher’s Stone -> Shurelia’s Reverie). My initial reaction was to accept that these kinds of strange things will happen when you change items and leave it alone.
Playtesting and feedback
Then we brought in a large group of players from a wide variety of skills and backgrounds to play the content for next season. These players would consistently give us the feedback: “Oh, why doesn’t Philosopher’s Stone still build into Y? You guys should just make new items, since they are completely independent build path.” After hearing this enough times, we decided it was the right call to go back and revisit the items and their icons.
About the same time, we decided it was the right call to make the gold income items exclusive (Madlife and H4ck3rv2 destroyed internal playtests by smartly stacking and optimizing the items). Combining these two concepts lead us in a clear direction:
Make each unique income stream item themed to a different faction.
Naturally, our first choice was to go through a long process of evaluating which factions were the best for each of the concepts. Leona and Pantheon are great representations of the dangerous, headlong risk-taking playstyle we wanted to encourage, so the ancient relic shield of Targon became the clear choice. Shard of True Ice’s new active was a perfect fit for a Freljord item. Finally, we came down to the passive gold generation item.
Initially, we kept the Philosopher’s Idea, but as we looked at the goals of picking an item name which matched the goals of:
Fit the mechanics
Fit into the story of league of legends
Be a clear story and path as the item evolves with you
We realized that telling the story of a Philosopher’s Stone was very subtle, hard to convey and harder to fit into the story of league. So we decided to explore a direction that helps expand upon the realm of Shurima. Recently, as we’ve gone back and worked on Nasus, Sivir and Xerath, we’ve realized the world of Shurima is far less well-understood than the other major regions of League of Legends. There are potentially a lot of awesome stories can tell here, but we haven’t done a great job of getting there.
So we wanted to help integrate the contribution of the fallen Shurima Empire into league better. Sunfire Cape (an awesome item on both Nasus and Renekton) has been rethemed to carry the logo of the fallen empire. Similarly, we thought the story of an ancient coin that turns out to be a part of an ancient religious icon was also a cool way at gently introducing lore with the preseason.
At no point did we intend or want to change this item to exclude or forget about Shurelia. However, when you see a name go out without the new icon and art, it’s easy to feel like it was made for some reason like that. However, while we love Shurelia, we do not want to imply that Shurelia is the sun god of Runeterra. (Besides, if you knew Shurelia, you know she much, much more preferred the Darkness. Clever girl.)
So, since we are taking that away, how do we intend to remember her legacy? Here’s what we propose: (New Icons weren’t ready when I made the screenshots, but RadioBlur will be posting them shortly!)
(Note: I didn’t get the new icons when I made these screenshots, and the exact quotes are subject to change)
The new items will be keeping their new names
We add a new character who discovered these items – Historian Shurelya
We’ll rename “Icon of the Sun Disk” to “Shurima’s Reverie”
We’ll make add ‘Shurelya’ shows up when you search for the item in the search box of the item shop
We want to ensure that our new items are clear, easy to understand and recognize all of the contributions made to get them into the game.
Tell us your thoughts.
Xelnath: After much discussion, considering the points in this thread, alongside the costs and benefits of our changes, we’re going forward with the item replacements, fully aware of your concerns.
We want to do the best to make the build paths make sense, show a clear progression and be cohesive. When the identity of an item changes, we need to be aware, communicate and adapt it to suit the our game in the long-run.
There is a group of players who are convinced this was done for malicious reasons. This is simply not true – feel free to engage with Shurelia on her Twitter.
There are other players who are upset that there isn’t more explanation or lore of the world and don’t feel there’s enough explanation of the universe to understand the context of these changes.
Finally, there are players who would prefer change not occur. Thank you, we recognize your pain, and recognize that you will continue to call the item Shurelya’s, even with a new set of stats, icon and build path. For you guys, we will be including the subname Shurelya’s in the search box, as well as keeping flavor text on the items, pending adjustments by the creative team.
Thank you for discussing all of this.
Item Name Progression
RiotRadioblur: Hello again!
As Xelnath has stated, there’s a lot of purpose that went into the change, and I feel he’s really captured the essence of what we’re trying to accomplish. Many of the points the community has made about the decision have been totally valid, but there are definitely some that could use more context before being set in stone. My hope is that I can provide that context to explain how these new objects fit into League, and how they serve to enhance both gameplay and the continued development of our world. So let’s take a look at the art, shall we?
The original Philosopher’s Stone is pretty mediocre, in that it is basically a rock with a swirl on it. It looks pretty bland, and the fidelity is super low. When we talked about reworking the icon originally before Preseason changes were even in our minds, we talked about what kind of people we would expect to have a Philosopher’s Stone, and the closest we could come in our minds was Zaun. The problem here is that the fit just isn’t clean enough. Zaun is into nasty chemistry, and the Philosopher’s Stone is some sort of magical item alchemists could use to change lead into gold. It’s not visceral or gross enough to be Zaun, who are by far a lot more practical and scientific in their approach than alchemy is. Still, we made an icon originally for this theme. The icon itself has good quality art by our measure, but the thematic sell just wasn’t coming through. The storytelling isn’t strong enough.
We might find a home for this item later, but I doubt it will make it in without some substantial tweaks and re-theming to make it really work with the world we’re building.
So as Xelnath was saying, Philosopher’s Stone saw some interesting shifts in the way it was built that ended up being confusing for players who expected the item to build the way it used to. In thinking how to resolve this, we toyed with various idea (including running with Philosopher’s Stone and finding a way to make it fit), but the best path we eventually decided was to make something new. We sat down with some writers and tried to suss out a cohesive story for these items and how they fit into our world. We noticed a few themes in Shurima were working really strong for this item.
The first step becomes a coin. We drew references from Chinese coins, which have a hole in the middle allowing them to be fitted on strings for carrying around. This gives a sense of showing off one’s wealth outwardly, as a string of coins could really push the opulence we’re striving for here. The long shape we’ve chosen is to highlight the radial motif, and the flares mimic many of the shapes seen in our Shuriman champions’ armor. The result is something simple, but unique. It really feels like it belongs in our world now, something we can tangibly expect to see our characters showing off.
The next step is an emblem. Nomad’s Medallion does not currently have art, but we are looking again to themes of gold and trade for this design. It will likely feature a subtle sun motif and will have some hint of the desert from which it comes. A good luck charm for merchants, it should reference and reinforce Shuriman cultural motifs.
Lastly comes a symbol with power. An icon, not in the sense of simply being representative, but in the sense of being of an almost religious importance. Something a person of great dedication to the sun might wear to invoke the favor of the kind of higher beings Shurima is home to—Nasus, Renekton, etc. But an icon carries so many connotations now, the phrase doesn’t have the same meaning to most people upon reading it. This is why it makes the most sense to add the “Reverie” back into it; a celebration of the sun, not simply an image of it. Ultimately I think this will be a really good direction to take the item, both in theme and name.
I can’t stress enough that we are still on good terms with Shurelya, by the way (actually, she recently emailed me to send me feedback on some other icons that are going out). This change is not meant to slight her in any way, but instead to build an item more into the storytelling of our universe. I understand the confusion, but I want to be clear that it was not part of our intentions at any point.
As for the art, I think we’re going to end up with something really clear and good for gameplay here. (Gold item gives you gold? Win in my book!) The initial confusion might be strenuous, but the long term payoffs should be beneficial based on what we’ve come to understand about the changes.
Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!
Why is Shurelya’s name misspelled in the original post?
Xelnath: As I understood it: She named the original and did not want her name spelled exactly the same way, to avoid the problem where other people poached her name in other games.
(This happened to Ezreal – his name is taken everywhere!)
Why was Youmuu’s Ghostblade’s icon changed?
RiotRadioblur: Going into the icon, neither of us were aware it was a reference to another franchise, but I’ll be honest in saying that shouldn’t be a limiting factor in our decision to rework the icon. If we are beholden to other games’ content, how can we expect to more fully flesh out our own? I think it’s an important question we’re trying to answer right now in sorting through much of the content that needs to be reworked. In this particular case, nobody understood the reference, but I’ll be straight with you and say that I’m kind of glad nobody did. I think the result is a weapon that really feels Ionian and has a unique style it wouldn’t have had if we limited ourselves to what Touhou had done.
That said, the feedback about it not being a katana is a bit of a stretch. When it was being redesigned, we never thought to make it *not* a katana. The only thing we sought to change was to give it an Ionian styling in line with some of our champs from the region we felt embodied the emotion a “ghostblade” should have, namely drawing from Zed, Syndra, and Varus for some of that styling. The curvature of a katana is not clearly visible from a crop-in of the hilt, which is where a lot of the confusion is coming from, as well as the blade edge being only slightly off-center which people have suggested makes it look like a broadsword. The blade isn’t pushed further toward the edge for a reason, though; when it was, the in-game read was only 1.5 pixels wide making it impossible to see the highlight on the edge and totally washing out the readability of the icon.
However, we got some feedback last week about the grip being wrong, as we had totally overlooked the distinct wrapping a katana has on the grip. We also got some great feedback about the glow in the background killing the readability. I addressed these changes but they might not have been picked up on PBE yet. At any rate, you can see it below here just in case you haven’t seen it yet:
I’m not sure how set we are in protecting content that so heavily leverages from another IP going forward, and I don’t want to speak to that. But what I can say is that I feel like the new icon is a net positive change for the game in terms of story-telling, readability, and quality of art. I hope that’s worth something.
Urgot’s a champion we haven’t talked much about recently and one who’s fallen out of sight after we reduced his power a while back. That’s something we’d like to look at – reanimated undead monstrosity with powerful, heavy weapons and a mighty hatred’s a cool concept that we’re not doing justice at the moment.
As a result we’ll be doing some work on Urgot’s kit next year, experimenting to find out what we need to do to preserve (or enhance) the cool aspects about him, while fixing the problems that lead us to nerfing him heavily in the past. That’ll take a while, as a starting point though I thought it’d be great to get a bunch of thoughts from people on Urgot, both what he currently is and what he’s got the potential to be.
If you play Urgot, what is it that appeals to you about him, both in terms of theme and gameplay? Which of his abilities define what it’s like to play Urgot for you? If you don’t play Urgot, are there particular reasons you’re not interested in doing so?
When playing as Urgot are there things that feel unnecessarily difficult to do or ineffective? When playing against Urgot are there things that feel unfair?
General thoughts/comments also extremely welcome. One disclaimer though – at the moment at least we’re only looking to work on Urgot’s gameplay, not do a full overhaul of him, so while we’ll assummedly give Urgot a visual upgrade at some point it’ll be a separate, later project.
Recently some of the big names in American sports have been under fire for using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). From A-rod to Armstrong, PEDs are starting to look so common that many argue that to compete without them sets one at a disadvantage. Yet in eSports, the issue is almost never mentioned. And while the idea of taking steroids to enhance your video game playing performance seems pretty pointless (do you even lift?), I want to make the argument in this article that there are PEDs that ought to be discussed, if not regulated, in eSports.
I’ve divided this article into three parts: First, I want to look at PED policies and regulations in the Physical Pro Sports to provide some context. Second, I will argue that there are some PEDs that may impact the performance of Professional Gamers. Finally, I’ll tie it all up by applying the analysis of the physical Pro Sports PED policies to the context of eSports, and exploring what solutions might work better than others.
Before beginning I want to quickly point out that I’ve limited the scope of this article to performance enhancing drugs as opposed to recreational drugs. While there’s obviously a lot of overlap, the analysis tends to be pretty different and would warrant its own article.
PED’s in Physical Sports – Regulating ‘Roids.
Historically, of the four major American physical Pro Sports, Major League Baseball has had the most issues dealing with performance enhancing drugs. Just after the mid-90s MLB player strikes, there was a significant boost in anabolic steroid use (that strangely correlated with a number of record-breaking streaks).
But despite baseball having the most association with steroids historically, all of these sports have dealt and continue to deal with PEDs. In fact, the issue was gaining so much attention that Congress threatened to start regulating PED testing themselves, as well as reevaluate the antitrust exceptions sports franchises have so liberally enjoyed. Why are PEDs such a big deal, one might ask. Amongst many safety and image concerns, the driving motivation behind PED bans is: to preserve the spirit and integrity of the game.
In response to the threats from Congress, different leagues instated different policies. In the NFL (arguably the least-restricted league), all players are tested at least once a year, never during a game, and almost always in the off-season. In the NBA (arguably the most-restricted league), players are often tested frequently during the season, and sometimes even in the locker room right after a game. The MLB and the NHL are somewhere in between.
Penalties for PEDs are very league-dependent, ranging from a slap on the wrist “name and shame” to years of unpaid suspension. The type of PED and the number of prior offenses all weigh into the penalties given. Unfortunately, these policies may not be as effective as the leagues would hope. MLB’s “Mitchell Report” indicated that most PED use is going undetected. Most recently, sports leagues have been going after the producers and suppliers of PEDs for tortious interference with the player-contracts.
Steroids in particular are extremely difficult to combat. Teams and coaches have every incentive to “look the other way” because of the benefits the drugs bring. Anabolic steroid chemists are staying ahead of regulations, with a huge demand to change the drug enough to avoid detection, but not enough to lose its effects. Finally, the leniencies of league policies allow many drug tests to be duped or avoided completely.
From Physical Sports to Virtual Sports – Are PED’s an issue?
While steroids aren’t exactly an issue for eSports, they are not the only performance enhancing drug on the market. For example, in 2012, almost half of the NFL’s PED-related suspensions were due not to steroids, but to Adderall (that’s right, PED-related, not recreational related). Many prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin are banned by most sports leagues (the notable exception being the NHL), although leagues do hand out exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
Adderall is considered a performance enhancing drug for many reasons – the effects combat fatigue, allowing players to train longer and harder. The mental stimulant allows for heightened awareness both during competition and during practice. The enhanced focus enables play-learning and other strategic aspects to be more easily retained. In fact, the amphetamine class was specifically tailored by the US military during World War II for these very reasons – fighter pilots in particular showed great benefits from amphetamines during combat. And ask 1 out of any 3 college students, and you’re sure to get a similar response.
But Adderall is not the only issue. Several over-the-counter energy drinks (albeit requiring an over-18 or over-21 ID, depending on the state) are prohibited by many major sports leagues. Dozens upon dozens of prescription medicine, from stimulants to painkillers, are heavily regulated in sports. Anything that gives a player an unfair advantage is an issue – and many of these drugs have serious potential for eSports, where mental acuity and stamina are some of the most important skills a Pro Gamer can have.
Here’s my point: as eSports progresses and professionalizes, as it has been doing in great leaps and bounds over the last decade alone, should league officials start to be concerned with performance enhancing drugs? I think they should. When players are able to gain significant advantageous over each other for non-medically related substances (or abuse of those substances), we start facing threats to the spirit and integrity not only of the game, but of the industry.
Crossing Over – What can eSports learn from its physical companions?
The first lesson is clear: don’t wait until it’s too late. By the late 90s, players associations had such control over drug testing and had so many privacy policies in place, it has been an uphill battle for leagues to get control over PED usage. While having enhanced performance certainly attracts more viewers, it does so at a very high cost – the integrity of the game.
Of course, how regulation should occur is difficult to say. What should or should not be regulated? Illegal drugs? Prescription drugs? Over-the-counter PEDs? And Should teams agree to urine tests periodically during worlds? Or is once a season enough? These are all questions that will need to be dealt with, and there are no easy answers.
The penalties are easy enough to cross over from the physical sporting world – suspensions are already the prime form of punishment in eSports, and would likely be the preferred sanction for PEDs as well.
Fortunately, the amount of control eSports leagues in general have over the players and teams is high enough that any problems with PEDs can be easily squashed – important, no doubt, to maintain a certain image for eSports. But as eSports grows, and as the money involved starts piling higher and higher, how much more incentive will players have to use PEDs to gain that competitive edge? In physical sports, regulation is very difficult. It does not have to be that way with eSports – if eSports leagues can get policies in place and cooperate with sponsors, team owners and venues from the get-go, detection, punishment and prevention should never be an issue.
Like the article? Add me on Twitter @VCDragoon for updates!
FeralPony: Hey folks! This is FeralPony wanting to give you guys a quick heads up on the Mastery Changes coming to PBE so there aren’t any surprises when it happens! It’s very possible that changes will come to these masteries as we move forward with the Pre-Pre Season as it chills on PBE for a bit. So everything is of course subject to change! Though as usual feedback is welcome and appreciated. Also apologies in advance if I messed up the format I’m getting used to this new forum just like you guys
So without further delay!
Feast (1 Rank) – Each time you kill a unit restore 2 health and 1 mana
Fury (4 Ranks) – Gain 1.25/2.5/3.75/5% increased Attack Speed
Sorcery (4 Ranks) – Gain 1.25/2.5/3.75/5% Cooldown Reduction
Butcher (1 Rank) – Deal 2 additional damage versus minions with basic attacks and single target spells (does not included Damage over time effects or Area of Effect spells)
Doubled Edge Sword (1 Rank) – Melee: Deal an additional 2% damage and receive 1% additional damage. Ranged: Deal and recieve an additional 1.5% damage
Brute Force (3 Ranks) – +4/8/12 Attack Damage at level 18 (+0.22/0.44/0.66 per level)
Mental Force (3 Ranks) – +6/12/18 Ability Power at level 18 (+.33/.66/.99 per level)
Spell Weaving (1 Rank) – Damaging an enemy champion with an auto attack increases your spell damage by 1% stacking up to 3 times. (Max 3% damage increase)
Arcane Mastery (1 Rank) (Req Mental Force)- +8 Ability Power
Executioner (3 Ranks) – Increases damage dealt to champions below 20/35/50% health by 5%
Blade Weaving (1 Rank)(Req Spell Weaving) – Damaging an enemy champion with a spell increases your basic attack damage by 1% stacking up to 3 times. (Max 3% damage increase) This cannot be trigger more than once per second
Warlord (3 Ranks) -Increases Bonus Attack Damage by 2/3.5/5%
Archmage (3 Ranks) – Increases Ability Power by 2/3.5/5%
Dangerous Game (1 Rank) (Req Executioner)- Killing a champion restores 5% of your missing health and mana
Frenzy (1 Rank) – Critical hits increases your attack speed by 5% for 3 seconds (stacks up to 3 times)
Devastating Strikes (3 Ranks) – +2/4/6% Armor and Magic penetration
Arcane Blade (1 Rank) – Your basic attacks also deal bonus magic damage equal to 5% of your Ability Power
Havoc (1 Rank) – 3% Increased Damage
Block (2 Ranks) – Reduce incoming damage from champion basic attacks by 1/2
Recovery (2 Ranks) – +1 health per 5 seconds
Enchanted Armor (2 Ranks) – Increase your bonus Armor and Magic Resistance by 2.5/5%
Tough Skin (2 Ranks) – Reduce damage taken from neutral monsters by 1/2, This does not effect lane minions
Unyielding (1 Rank)(Req Block) – Melee – Reduce all incoming damage from champions by 2 Ranged – Reduce all incoming damage from champions by 1
Veteran Scars (3 Ranks) – +12/24/36 Health
Bladed Armor (1 Rank) – Enemy monsters that attack you bleed dealing damage equal to 1% of their current health each second.\nThis does not work against lane minions.
Oppression (1 Rank) – Reduces damage taken by 3% from enemies that have impaired movement (Slows, snares, taunts, stuns, etc)
Juggernaut (1 Rank)(Req Veteran Scars) – +3% Maximum Health
Hardiness (3 Ranks) – +2/3.5/5 Armor
Resistance (3 Ranks) – +2/3.5/5 Magic Resistance
Perseverance (3 Ranks) – +1/2/3% of your missing health every 5 seconds
Swiftness (1 Rank) – Reduce the effectiveness of slows by 10%
Reinforced Armor (1 Rank)(Req Hardiness) – Reduces damage taken by critical strikes by 10%
Evasive (1 Rank)(Req Resistance) – Reduces damage taken by 4% from Area of Effect magic damage
Second Wind (1 Rank)(Req Perseverance) – Increase all sources of incoming healing by 10% when below 25% health
Legendary Guardian (4 Ranks) – +1/2/3/4 Armor and 0.5/1/1.5/2 Magic Resistance for each nearby enemy champion
Runic Shield (1 Rank) – Start the game with a 50 health shield. This shield regenerates each time you respawn
Tenacious (1 Rank) – Reduces the duration of crowd control effects by 15%
Phasewalker (1 Rank) – Reduces the casting time of Recall by 1 second
Fleet of Foot (3 Ranks) – +0.5/1/1.5% movement speed
Meditation (3 Ranks) – +1/2/3 mana regen per 5
Scout (1 Rank) – Increases the cast range of wards and trinket items by 10%
Conjuror (1 Rank) – Summoned units, traps, and clones have 10% increased duration. This does not work on wards
Summoner’s Insight (3 Ranks) – Reduces the cooldown of Summoner Spells by 4/7/10%
Strength of Spirit (1 Rank)(Req Meditation) – Gain Health Regeneration equal to 10% of your Mana Regeneration
Alchemist (1 Rank) – Increases the duration of your potions and elixirs by 10%
Greed (3 Ranks) – +.5/1/1.5 gold every 10 seconds
Runic Affinity (1 Rank) – Increases the duration of shrine, relic, quest, and neutral monster buffs by 20%
Vampirism (3 Ranks) – +1/2/3% lifesteal and spellvamp
Culinary Master (1 Rank)(Req Alchemist) – Your health potions are upgraded into Biscuits that restore an additional 20 health and 10 mana instantly upon consumption
Wealth (1 Rank) (Req Greed)- +40 Starting Gold
Bandit (1 Rank) – Melee: Grants an additional 15 Gold on Champion kill or assist Ranged: You gain 3 gold each time you attack an enemy champion. This cannot trigger on the same champion more than once every 5 seconds
Expanded Mind (3 Ranks) – +2/3.5/5% increased maximum mana
Inspiration (2 Ranks) – +5 experience every 10 seconds while near a higher level allied champion
Scavenger (1 Rank) (Req Bandit)- +1 Gold each time an ally kills a nearby lane minion
Intelligence (3 Rank) – +2/3.5/5% Cooldown Reduction and reduces the cooldown of Activated Items by 4/7/10%
Wanderer (1 Rank) – Gain 5% increased movement speed out of combat
We’re making some changes to the League system. While we received a lot of positive feedback regarding leagues, there are a few key areas we felt could use improvement.
Clarity surrounding LP gains (why am I getting so little LP per win?)
Players having less motivation to win games when they hit division V and becoming more toxic (due to immunity from ever falling from a tier)
Challenger currently represents too small of a group of players in solo duo.
These changes are hitting the PBE now and will be live next week after the end of Season 3:
Clarity of progression is a major point of feedback we wanted to act on, so we’re removing clamping completely for anyone below Diamond I
Players should no longer see tiny LP gains except in extreme edge cases or at the top of Diamond I. The small LP gains are necessary in Diamond I to ensure Challenger represents only the very best players and is highly accurate.
Tier demotion & shielding have been added
When we investigated player performance over the season we found that a small but not insubstantial group of players would reach division V of a tier and then consistently become more toxic and start to lose more frequently. Though tier immunity was originally intended to combat ladder anxiety we feel that complete immunity creates poor incentives and leads to abuse of the system. This makes ranked play a worse experience for everyone and isn’t what a division V placement should represent. When you enter division V you’ll have a set number of games where you are invulnerable to dropping a tier, currently this is 10 but it is subject to change. After this if you fall more than a full tier below your placement in terms of MMR, a warning will appear in your profile. So for example, a Gold V player playing at a Silver V skill level would see this warning. Continuing to lose games at 0 LP would result in their demotion to division I of the next lowest tier, or Silver I in this case.
Challenger tier size increased to 200 in solo / duo
The skill gap between players at 0 LP and 100 LP in Diamond I is simply too wide and there is a logjam of extremely skilled players vying for Challenger at the top of Diamond 1. We want to ease some of that pressure recognize more players by increasing the number of spots in that tier.
Upcoming visual rework for the sniper of the League!
What would be the focus of her VU?
IronStylus: She’s not slated anytime soon, but my personal wishlist goes something as follows:
- Jayce-ify her just a bit, so that she feels somewhere in line between Vi and Jayce himself. Example, higher fashion. Cait is classy, I think she can fill the high-fashion niche a little better.
- Make her look the part of “Sherlock” to Vi’s “Watson”. I’d like her to feel juxtaposed, not just accidentally different. Meaning that Caitlyn should be put together, snazzy, fashionable, precise, while Vi is obviously punky and more eclectic.
- Not necesarilly tone down the hat, but give it some flair or maybe a bit of function. Piltover high-fashion rather than Willy Wonka.
Again, personally, this is just me, but I’d like to see a bit of this injected into her:
So yeah. Again, not any time soon, and just personal feels, but I think she could use some tightening. Plus.. her walk cycle is a bit goofy and she has noodle arms
Does that mean you’ll incorporate Hextech in her appearance?
IronStylus: We sorta need to solidify what hextech is actually. Right now it’s.. somethingsomethingbluemagicsomethingsomething. I think we need to find away to make it actually make sense mechanically. Piltover and Zaun obviously use it in different ways. It’d be fun to see how it manifests in each and powers their respective technology.
Will she keep the miniskirt outfit?
IronStylus: Legit question.. keep miniskirt or change into possibly sexy pants? Maybe some of both..
IronStylus: How about transitioning it into sort of a half-coat type thing? I like to think Piltover is more clever than just a miniskirt. Hence me curious about how to fashion her up in potentially unconventional ways.
Why not release several concepts and let the community decide?
IronStylus: It’s something I can float, though we do have to be careful about setting expectations. Maybe it’s something we could try with a champion. I’ll have to find a good candidate.
IronStylus: One big problem however is how to logistically get this rolled out in all territories. We’re talking about forums from NA, to EU to Brazil.. Garena, Korea and Australia.. that’s not even counting China. That’s a lot of infrastructure, monitoring and localization to get rolling. I’m not sure how feasible it’d be. I feel it’d be a mistake to just create a simple poll on NA GD and call that it. That’s ignoring a huge pile of players from other territories.
Won’t too much armor and clothing ruin her image?
IronStylus: I’m fine with skin showing. I like that piece of fan art with the reverse open V at the bust line. I think that’s very high fashion and something that Caitlyn would choose to wear. Sort of like how Motoko from Ghost in the Shell has weird outfit combinations but.. ya know.. reasons..
What do you think of her rifle?
IronStylus: Great question. What comes to mind for me is actually a very, very fancy rifle version of a Graves type shotgun. I actually designed Graves’ gun waaaay back in the day and I’d probably apply similar principles. A magical component as some sort of accelerator, with some clockwork-type movement, rather than powder based shells.
Suggestion: Make Cait’s rifle change shape when firing her different spells
IronStylus: We’ve talked about that idea a bit, and I’m 100% for it. That’s honestly not as difficult to do as.. let’s say.. cloth.
What about a Reverse Caitlyn skin where she’s an outlaw?
RiotOpti: Yeah, something like a Vigilante Cait meets Young Indiana Jones. Cait when she was too young to be sheriff, but too old to tolerate injustice, forcing her to take matters into her own hands. Yeah… *strokes non-existant beard*
Has the Donger become the ELO-farming machine for Season 4? And why are his turrets still killed by a sudden wind blow?
Do you think players using the R+W combo the most is a sign of imbalance?
20thCenturyFaux: People gravitate toward the RW both for playing as and playing against Heimer, it’s just really sexy and overt about what it does. I think over time turret centric strategy will become more common as people get used to the rest of the kit.
Balance is about more than winrate, but that said I’m also pretty happy about where his winrate is right now. It’ll take time for strategies to emerge for how to play and counter Heimer, and it remains to be seen which side will win that arms race. So far I haven’t seen a good reason to change his power level, I’m just having fun watching the live server and seeing youtubes ^^
Why are Heimer’s turrets so fragile?
20thCenturyFaux: Turret tankiness is definitely balanced on a razor’s edge, but I feel good about where they are now.
Specifically for AE in teamfights, the main thing to watch is if they can hit turrets + other stuff in an AE. If they have to choose between hitting the turrets or hitting your team, you’ve done a good job. If multiple turrets are dying to the same AE, they’ve successfully outplayed the turrets. As a general rule, the turrets come out and hit hard; they sort of “become CC” if they get attacked, since spells and bullets spent on turrets (ideally) aren’t hitting champions.
As an aside, by the teamfight phase Heimer is able to deploy 3 turrets ahead of time; he’s at his strongest when he’s fighting in a full turret nest and he has 3 kits still on his person. That’s not easy to do, but in those fights he’s terrifying because he’ll just replace the turrets as they die and turrets spawn with 2/3 of a beam charge.
How does the League’s Viking perform after Patch 3.13?
SmashGizmo: It seems he’s seeing some picks and bans in the NACL and ALCS, mostly centered around using him as a counter to Jax, and his pick rate and win rate in all queues both seem to have gotten markedly better with this last patch. It’s early to say anything definitive about his current balance state, but all the early data from this patch is leaving me optimistic that he’s somewhat close to a good spot.
From my personal experiences in solo queue, I’m finding that I have trouble being effective vs. Jarvan, Nidalee and Vayne and that’s frustrating me due to their popularity in my games, but I feel very powerful when those characters aren’t present.
I think his jungle is hurting a little bit right now, but I do think it’s playable and I think the upcoming pre-season changes will help him out in the jungle considerably. Right now he’s just having trouble hitting the level of farm he needs out of the jungle.
Are you happy with Olaf’s itemization currently?
SmashGizmo: Yea, I’m fairly happy with how he’s able to build in practice. I think Hydra’s the optimal first offensive item on him in terms of potential, but I find myself building BotRK because it gives you reliable sticking power and a very potent turn around heal when used when low HP with W (and it still syngergizes well with high AS).
I do think he does enough damage on 1 offensive item right now and it largely feels like a toss up between the reliability of BotRK vs. the crazy high-end potential on Hydra. I also think Maw of Malmortius is pretty crazy on the guy, but I rarely feel like I can build it except vs. double AP teams since Spirit Visage is usually enough MR to keep you covered and he benefits so greatly from everything on visage.
How is his win ratio post-patch?
SmashGizmo: Now that the buffs have been out for a week, he’s moved up to ~46-47% (13th lowest right now, but that data is constantly fluctuating) and that’s still likely to move around some more as people get used to playing as/against Olaf again. It’s also worth noting that we don’t balance strictly around winrate because winrate doesn’t tell the whole story of a champion’s power, i.e. Olaf was sub 50% overall and still a giant problem in competitive when he was originally nerfed.
Now has a 0.1 AP per second ratio on the charge duration
Bonus damage for charging decreased from 20/30/40/50/60to 14/20/25/30/35
Movement speed % passive now has a 0.04 AP Ratio
AP ratio reduced from 0.6 to 0.5
Movement speed % slow now has a 0.12 AP ratio
Eye of the Storm (E)
Now grants additional AD to allies its cast on (0.33 AP)
Summary:Janna’s global passive has been converted to a localized area (equivalent to sight range). Howling Gale’s AP ratio has been significantly lowered but gains a scaling AP ratio per second it is charged. Zephyr’s self-haste and slow amount on the active cast now scale with AP although the base slow has been lowered. Eye of the Storm’s bonus AD given to allies now scales with AP. Monsoon remains unchanged.
Context:We’ve been saying for a while that we wanted to change all global passives that provide a lot of “hidden” power, like Twisted Fate’s old passive, and were finally able to tackle Janna’s Tailwind passive with her new utility scaling. The Howling Gale change looks like a significant nerf to Janna’s AP ratio, but the additional AP scaling per second means that Janna will need to fully charge her Howling Gale in order to do high damage at end game with her additional Ability Power.
Eclipse ( W )
Armor and magic resist bonus reduced from 30/40/50/60/70 to 25/35/45/55/65
Grants additional Armor and Magic Resist, equal to 0.2 of Leona’s bonus resists, respectively
The Culling ( R )
Damage increased from 40/50/60 per shot to 50/55/60
Cooldown increased from 100/75/50 seconds to 110/85/60
Pix, Faerie Companion ( Passive )
Now has a 0.15 AP ratio
Base damage reduced from 9/21/33/45/57/69/81/93/105 to 9/18/27/36/45/54/63/72/81
Glitterlance ( Q )
Slow % towards the end of the duration now has a 0.075 AP ratio
Whimsy ( W )
Movement speed boost on allies decreased from 35 to 30
No longer grants AP boost
Added a 0.1 AP ratio to the % MS increase
Help, Pix! ( E )
Shield AP ratio increased from 0.6 to 0.7
AP Ratio on damage reduced from 0.6 to 0.5
Wild Growth ( R )
Health bonus lowered from 300/450/600 to 250/375/500
Surging Tides ( Passive )
Now grants an additional % MS increase, equal to 0.01 of Nami’s AP
Aqua Prison (Q)
AP ratio reduced from 0.65 to 0.5
Ebb and Flow (W)
Diminishing effect % on bounces can now be decreased with AP (from 15% to 0% at 200 AP). More than 200 AP makes bounces have a greater effect
Tidecaller’s Blessing ( E )
Slow % now has a 0.05 AP ratio
Tidal Wave ( R )
AP ratio reduced from 0.7 to 0.6
Summary:Nami’s passive now scales in higher movement speed with the more Ability Power she gets. Ebb and Flow’s heal / damage bounces now scale with Ability Power, meaning with enough Ability Power, Nami can heal / deal more damage per additional bounce rather than having it fall off. The slow on Tidecaller’s Blessing now scales with Ability Power.
Power Chord ( Passive )
Now has a 0.2 AP Scaling
Damage reduced from (13/20/27/35/43/52/62/72/82/92/102/112/122/132/147/162/177/192)
Hymn of Valor ( Q )
AP ratio reduced from 0.7 to 0.5
Aria of Perseverence ( W )
Base heal reduced from 40/60/80/100/120 to 40/55/70/85/100
Song of Celerity ( E )
Base movespeed increase lowered from 6/8/10/12/14 to 4/6/8/10/12
Now grants additional % MS equal to 0.02 of Sona’s AP. This percentage applies to the slow from Power Chord
Crescendo ( R )
AP ratio reduced from 0.8 to 0.4
Base health increased from 375 to 405
Health Per Level increased from 71 to 76
Base Armor increased from 7.4 to 9.4
Salvation ( Passive )
Reworked: Soraka’s health and mana restoring abilities are 1% more powerful for each 2% health or mana the target is missing.
Starcall ( Q )
Damage increased from 65/85/110/135/160 to 60/95/130/165/200 .
Magic reduction changed from 8/9/10/11/12 to 6 (+ 0.15 AP)
If Starcall hits at least one enemy champion, Astral Blessing’s cooldown is reduced by 5/6.25/7.5/8.75/10%
Mana cost changed from 20/35/50/65/80 to 30/40/50/60/70
Astral Blessing ( W )
Heal reduced from 70/140/210/280/350 (+0.45 AP) to 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.35 AP)
Base armor bonus changed from 25/45/65/85/105 to 50/65/80/95/100 (+0.15 AP)
Armor buff duration reduced from 3 seconds to 2
Mana cost decreased from 80/110/140/170/200 to 80/100/120/140/160
Infuse ( E )
Mana restore changed from 40/80/120/160/200 to 20/40/60/80/100 plus 5% of Soraka’s maximum mana
Mana cost when cast on ally changed to 5% of Soraka’s maximum mana
Damage on enemies changed from 50/100/150/200/250 ( + 0.6 AP ) to 40/70/100/130/160 ( +0.4 AP ) plus 5% of Soraka’s maximum mana
Wish ( R )
Heal reduced from 200/320/440 ( 0.7 AP ) to 150/250/350 ( 0.55 AP )
Summary:Soraka’s health and mana restoring abilities are more effective the more the targeted unit is missing health / mana. Astral Blessing’s armor granted now scales with ability power. Starcall’s magic resistance reduction scales with AP and each time Soraka hits at least one enemy champion with Starcall she reduces the cooldown of Astral Blessing by a base percentage. Infuse now partially donates a portion of Soraka’s maximum mana to the targeted ally and its damage also scales with her maximum mana (in addition to an ability power ratio). Wish now affects untargetable allies and with Soraka’s new passive is more effective on targets below 40% health but less effective on targets above 40% health.
Context:We wanted to provide a link between Soraka’s primary offensive ability and her core niche identity as a defensive support. Additionally, we took this opportunity to introduce more gameplay into Soraka’s kit so that she will be rewarded more heavily for successful plays.
Gemcraft ( Passive )
Reworked: After casting a spell, Taric’s next basic attack deals bonus magic damage based on his 40% of his Armor and reduces his cooldowns.
Imbue ( Q )
Cooldown lowered from 20/19/18/17/16 to 18/17/16/15/14
Heal AP ratio reduced from 0.6 to 0.3
Now additionally heals for 5% of Taric’s bonus health
Mana cost reduced from 80/95/110/125/140 to 60/80/100/120/140
Basic attacks no longer reduce the cooldown of the ability
Shatter ( W )
Damage lowered from 50/90/130/170/210 to 40/80/120/160/200
AP Ratio removed
Armor Ratio increased from 0.2 to 0.5
Dazzle ( E )
AP ratio reduced from 0.4. – 0.8 to 0.2 – 0.4
Cooldown increased from 14/13/12/11/10 to 18/17/16/15/14
Radiance ( R )
Cooldown increased from 60 at all ranks to 75
Damage AP ratio lowered from 0.7 to 0.5
Summary:Taric’s passive now gives him a buff that deals 40% of his armor as bonus magic damage after casting a spell – each empowered auto attack landed also reduces all of Taric’s cooldowns by 2 seconds. Imbue now scales with 5% of Taric’s bonus health, although the AP ratio has been lowered. Shatter now solely scales with Taric’s armor and not Ability Power. Dazzle has had its AP ratio reduced. Radiance has had its AP ratio lowered and cooldown increased.
Context:Our core goals with Taric were to make his passive a more interesting and involving ability while also opening up more build opportunities. Instead of giving Taric high AP ratios for huge burst, we want to push him to build more tanky with his new gold income to further cement his role as a tanky front-line support with strong burst / aura capabilities.*
Unique Passive – Execute: Basic attacks execute minions below 200 Health if an allied champion is nearby. This effect can occur up to twice per minute
Unique Passive – Soul Tithe: Minions killed by Execute restore 2% of your maximum HP to the nearest allied champion and grant them gold equal to the kill plus 5.
Reaper’s Emblem (New Item)
Grants 175 Health and 12 HP/5
Retains the Execute and Soul Tithe Passives, although executing minions now grants 10 gold, up from 5
Builds out of Executioner’s Emblem
Builds out of Executioner’s Emblem and Ruby Crystal
Grants 400 Health and 25 HP/5
Retains the Soul Tithe Passive from Reaper’s Emblem
Unique Active – Healthbomb: Consumes 20% of your current Health to shield target ally for 10% of your maximum Health for 4 seconds. After 4 seconds, the target explodes, dealing 10% of your maximum Health as magic damage in an area.
Kage’s Pick ( New Item )
Cost: 365 Gold
+ 3 Mana Regen per 10
+ 2 Gold per 10
Unique Passive – Pickpocket: Basic attacks against champions grant 4 gold, up to once every 10 seconds per enemy. Killing a minion disables this passive for 10 seconds.
Kage’s Lucky Pick ( Reworked )
Now builds out of Kage’s Pick
Grants 20 Ability Power
+ 7 MP/10
+ 4 GP/10
Unique Passive – Spellthief: Spells and basic attacks against champions grant 8 gold, up to once every 10 seconds per enemy. Killing a minion disables this passive for 10 seconds.
Philospher’s Pebble ( New Item )
Cost: 365 gold
+ 5 Health Regen per 5 seconds
+ 3 Mana Regen per 5 seconds
Unique Passive – Harvest: Grants 2 Gold each time a nearby minion dies that you didn’t kill.
Now builds out of Philosopher’s Pebble
HP/5 increased from 7 to 8
GP/10 reduced from 5 to 2
New Unique Passive – Harvest: Grants 4 Gold each tiem a nearby minions dies that you didn’t kill.
Cost increased from 700 to 850
Shard of True Ice
Builds from Kage’s Lucky Pick + Amplifying Tome
Added the Spellthief Passive from Kage’s Lucky Pick
Unique Active Reworked – Frost Nova: Slows target enemy and all nearby enemies’ Movement Speed by 50% for 2 seconds (60 sec CD)
Ability Power reduced from 50 to 45
Mana Warp passive removed
Now grants 10 MP/5 and 4 GP/10
Now builds out of Philosopher’s Stone and a Faerie Charm
Cost decreased from 2200 to 2000
Added the Unique passive of Philosopher’s Stone
Cooldown reduction increased from 10% to 20%
MP/5 increased from 10 to 15
Now additionally grants 2 GP/10
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Health reduced from 500 to 350
New Unique Passive – Conservation: Upon killing a large or epic monster, grants up to 30 bonus gold, based on the last time Conservation was triggered (works similarly to Thresh’s auto-attack
Spirit of the Elder Lizard
Attack damage lowered from 30 to 25
Passive true damage increased from 7-40 to 16-50
Passive now procs on physical damage
New Passive – Bounty Hunter: Champion kills, assists, and epic monsters grant 30 bonus gold and large monsters grant 10 bonus gold.
Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
Now Builds from Spirit Stone + Fiendish Codex
Ability power increased from 40 to 50
Now grants 14 HP/5
MP/5 lowered from 10 to 7
No longer reduces the cooldown of Smite
Added the Bounty Hunter Passive from Elder Lizard
5% of Spell damage dealt to monsters is restored as health and mana
Now builds out of Madred’s Razer + Dagger + Dagger
Total cost reduced from 2000 gold to 1800
No longer grants Life steal and Attack Damage
Armor reduced from 25 to 20
Now grants 25% Attack speed
Basic attacks against monsters heal for 10
NewPassive: Gain 40% increased gold from Monsters
Summary: With this preseason we want to diffuse the responsibility of vision from being a single player burden to a team-wide job. Additionally, we want to infuse more gameplay into the vision game with additional functionality and the addition of trinkets.
Added a 7th Item slot, which can only contain a vision trinket
Warding Totem - places an stealth ward for 60 sec. (120 sec cooldown)
Scrying Orb - reveals a location within 1100 range for 1 sec. (150 sec cd)
Sweeping Lens - disables and reveals any nearby hidden wards, traps or devices for 4 seconds (180 sec cd)
Free but limited to 1 trinket
Reveals a location within 1100 range for 1 sec (150 sec CD)
Free upgrade of Scrying Orb at level 9
Cast range increased from 1100 to 2000
475 gold + Greater Orb
Cast Range increased from 2000 to 2500 (120 second CD)
Free but limited to 1 trinket
Disables and reveals any nearby hidden wards, traps or devices for 4 seconds (180 sec CD)
Free upgrade of Sweeping Lens at level 9
AoE increased by 100% (150 sec CD)
475 Gold + Greater Lens
Grants the user True Sight for 10 seconds after activation (90 sec CD)
Free but limited to 1 trinket
Places an stealth ward for 60 seconds (120 sec CD)
Free upgrade of Warding Totem at level 9
Stealth ward duration increased to 120 seconds
Greater Vision Totem
475 Gold + Greater Totem
Places a vision ward (180 second CD)
Greater Stealth Totem
475 Gold + Greater Totem
Places a stealth ward for 180 sec (180 second CD)
Support players were expected to shoulder the majority of the warding burden on the map. Because they could place as many ward as they could afford, this meant all of the support income was best spent on warding. We want all players on the team to participate in warding and providing vision to their team.
We’re removing Oracle’s Elixir as it has traditionally been a major drain on support and jungler item builds, and has also traditionally been far too binary in controlling early game vision.
Renamed to Stealth Wards
Limited to 3 per player
Cost reduced from 100 to 75
Limited to 1 on map
Now have 5 health up from 3
No longer have a duration
No longer invisible
Vision Wards being superior in every respect to Sight Wards has created some weird escalation cases where there is simply an unending cycle of ‘Pink’ Ward destruction. By positioning Vision Wards as having different strengths and trade-offs – we hope to create a better defined role for both Sight and Vision Wards.
Aegis of the Legion
Cost increased from 1900 to 1950 gold
Now reads “Limited to 1 Gold Income Item”
Banner of Command
Cost increased from 2340 to 2400
Cooldown reduction increased from 10% to 20%
AP increased from 40 to 80
No longer grants HP/5 or Armor
Cost reduced from 475 to 440
Attack damage lowered from 10 to 8
Passive now grants 3 health per hit for ranged and 5 health per hit for melee from 5 health per hit for anyone.
No longer reduces the cooldowns of Summoner Spells
Cost decreased to 3475 from 3500
Locket of the Iron Solari
Cost increased to 2550 from 2500
Cost decreased to 360 from 400
Armor reduced from 25 to 20
Cost lowered from 2500 to 1600
No longer grants HP/5
MP/5 reduced from 18 to 12
Cost decreased from 2835 to 2000
No longer grants 15 HP/5 and 15 MP/5
Cost decreased from 1350 to 1325
The Black Cleaver
Cost decreased from 3000 to 2920
Cost decreased from 3200 to 3000
Cost decreased from 3728 to 3703
Price increased from 1900 to 2000
AP increased from 40 to 50
Will of the Ancients
Cost reduced from 2550 to 2000
Now grants 10% CD
Now grants 10 MP/5
Cost decreased from 2650 to 2450
The gold income for a primary jungler wasn’t scaling appropriately for dedicated jungle farmers. Similarly, the jungle difficulty was out of line with what we thought was appropriate. Now the jungle difficulty is shown by monster level and the difficulty/rewards are linked to the monster level.
Jungle monsters now have levels
Jungle monster level is based on the average level of the champions in the game when they spawn (equal to average of all champion levels, rounded up)
Jungle monster level determines their HP/Damage and XP/Gold value
Jungle monsters grant 50% bonus XP per level to lower-level champions, up to a cap
Added an extra camp (the Wight) near the Blue Golem and Wolves
Crest of the Ancient Golem (“Blue Buff”) Crest of the Ancient Golem is too powerful at the moment, especially with such a wealth of cooldown reduction options available.
Cooldown Reduction reduced to 10% from 20%
Jungle Monster Statistics All jungle monsters have been retuned to better fit the new items being introduced as well as the new flow of the game Ancient Golem
Health increased to 1500 from 1400
Gold reduced to 60 from 66
Health increased to 1500 from 1400
Gold reduced to 60 from 66
Attack Damage reduced to 10 from 11
Experience reduced to 20 from 50
Gold increased to 7 from 5
Attack Damage increased to 40 from 35
Experience reduced to 110 from 170
Gold reduced to 40 from 55
Attack Damage increased to 14 from 8
Experience increased to 25 from 10
Gold increased to 8 from 4
Attack Damage increased to 55 from 54
Experience reduced to 140 from 160
Health increased to 450 from 300
Attack Damage reduced to 25 from 30
Experience increased to 40 from 38
Experience reduced to 90 from 103
Gold increased to 35 from 30
Health increased to 250 from 150
Attack Damage increased to 12 from 10
Experience increased to 20 from 4
Gold increased to 4 from 3
Wight (New Camp)
75 Attack Damage
Summoner Spell Changes
Summary: We want to increase diversity with summoner spell choices in League of Legends. Additionally, we’ve done our annual overhaul of masteries and you can check them out in-game.
Certain summoner spells have become firmly entrenched within the League of Legends metagame while others have stagnated. We are tweaking summoner spells to make picking non-standard summoner spells a reasonable choice.
Cooldown rescaled to 180/160/140/120 from 180
Now grants 15% Multiplicative Movement Speed from 27% Additive Movement Speed
Grants 75% Multiplicative Movement Speed in the first second
Now immediately updates your pathing on cast
Ghost cannot be cast if you are immobilized
Damage rescaled based on game time
Now also reveals the target for the duration.
Attack Speed reduction reduced to 30% from 50%
Movement Speed reduction rescaled to 30/35/40/45% from 30%.
Now a targeted spell, casting this on yourself will target you and the closest nearby ally
Cast Range increased to 900 from 600
Cooldown reduced to 180 seconds from 300 seconds
Grants 30% movespeed to both targets for 1 second
Cooldown reduced to 180 seconds when targetting an allied building
Cooldown increased to 300 seconds when cancelled or interrupted
Successfully cleansing an effect that prevents you from moving creates a shockwave that knocks nearby enemy’s back slightly.
Cooldown lowered to 40 sec.
Damage reduced at early character levels, same damage at level 18.
Now only available on Howling Abyss
Now only available on Dominion
Masteries Masteries that amplified summoner spells have been removed, as they unfairly penalized players who adapted to the enemy strategy by selecting summoner spells outside their preferred tree.
Masteries have been updated.”
Game Flow Changes
Summary: It’ll be a little difficult to summarize our core game flow changes here, but we’re basically looking to clarify the benefits of each individual objective throughout the game. Additionally we want to tackle snowballing with our changes to alleviate some snowballing cases in the early and late game.Turrets The player experience for last hitting under turrets was inconsistent between high Attack Damage champions and supports/mages. We’ve adjusted base turret damage and damage against minions to make last hitting under turrets more consistent across all roles
Base damage adjusted to match minion health growth
Base damage against minions increased to make last-hitting under turrets consistent
Turrets gave equal amounts of global gold for each turret, despite outer turrets being a lane objective. While some of this is beneficial, we don’t believe a lane should lose simply because some other lane lost a turret too early.
Outer turrets now grant 100 global gold per player and 150 gold split among the players who kill the turret
Inner turrets now grant 125 global gold per player and 100 gold split among the players who kill the turret
Inhibitor turrets now grant 175 global gold per player
Taking outer turrets should be a team objective, but global experience on the outer turrets have some weird edge cases in lane, such as levelling up other lanes accidentally. We’re shifting this global experience to a phase of the game in which it’ll be more appreciated and less likely to cause odd level ups and snowball advantages.
Outer towers no longer give 30 global experience when destroyed
Inhibitor towers now give 100 global experience when destroyed from 70
Defending against a split pusher is extremely taxing, but ultimately unrewarding. We’ve added very small amounts of HP regen to inhibitor turrets to make extended split push defense grant the defending team some breathing room.
Inhibitor Turrets gained 15 hp / 5 seconds
Dragon To reduce the early snowball effect of Dragon and to give it a ‘mid-game comeback’ value, it now gives global gold and local experience based on its level. Dragon also gives additional bonus experience for Champions who are far behind in level. The Dragon level updates constantly, unlike other jungle monsters.
Dragon level minimum 6, maximum 15
Dragon local experience: 150 to 510 based on Dragon’s level, divided between nearby allied Champions
Dragon global Gold: 125 to 260 based on Dragon’s level given to all allied Champions
If killing team is lower average level than their opponents, bonus experience is gained at +25% per average level difference
Bonus experience is sharply increased for the lowest level members of the team, +15% per number of levels behind Dragon squared (max total +200% extra)
Inhibitor death timers reduced to 4 minutes from 5 minutes
Inhibitors no longer grant a global buff to all minions when destroyed
Inhibitors now grant a stronger damage and durability buff to minions in their specific lane
Minion Experience The fact that minions become worth more experience over time creates a severe discrepancy between champions who can farm or split push late game versus champions who are forced to siege or participate in objective control. We’re removing this as this causes champion levels to spike unnecessarily. While this has the potential to create some snowballing consequences, we’ll address that with future tuning over other systems
Lane Minions now have a level, which is equal to the average level of champions in the game.
Currently this has no effect on the game but will be expanded upon in the future.
Lane Minions are no longer worth more experience based on game time.
Minions will still become worth more gold and gain more statistics over time.
Bounty Changes Along with our game flow adjustments, we’ve also adjusted gold income across the game to better fit what income patterns make sense in that phase. Level 1 team fights could swing the game too much, essentially ending a game before it began. Now the kill reward for very early game deaths is reduced.
Kills are worth 60% of the base reward at 2 mins, scaling to 100% at 4 mins
Players who are present for a large number of assists aren’t rewarded appropriately for their contribution to team fights
Assists are worth 50% of the kill value at 20 mins, increasing to 80% at 35 mins
If players have 2 more assists than kills they get 30g additional gold per assist
Additional assists increase this bonus by 15 gold, capping at 60 gold
Creep Score Reducing Death Sprees Proxy Farming is a fairly destructive method of playing the game, mostly due to the fact that your value as a champion isn’t being accurately updated to account for your actual value (due to farming minions).
Now every 1000 gold earned from minions/monsters reduces your Death Spree by 1
Death Timers Early death timers were a little too punishing, given the importance of the early game. We’ve shaved a few seconds from this to help reduce early lane snowballing.
Early Game death timers have been reduced
Timers now start at 7.5 seconds instead of 12 and scale to the same values over the course of the game”
Runes and Masteries in Season 4
ricklessabandon: Hey all,
As each season comes to an end, we like to look through our out-of-game strategy systems – runes and masteries – to prepare for the new season. While we’re making some updates to masteries, we’re taking an especially thorough pass at runes as we feel they need more polish to better reflect their intended use. We’ll start with ricklessabandon and runes:
What are you actually doing for the preseason?
For now, we’re not actually going to be rolling out rune changes with the first preseason patch. Our current plan is to leave rune changes on PBE for an extended stay while we do additional focus testing.
That said, we did want to set certain expectations when it comes to our overarching philosophies and where runes will be in the new season.
What is the goal for runes?
The primary goal for runes is to tie marks, seals and glyphs to the specific wants and needs of various champion roles in League – similar to how masteries are used. Going forward, this creates a stronger association between marks and offense, seals and defense, and glyphs and utility. Fully supporting these divisions allows for stronger individual identities among different rune types – with more utility-focused glyphs (like movement speed or gold generation) or more defensively focused seals like hybrid mitigation (armor and magic resistance). This makes it easier to both balance current runes and create new runes in their specific roles.
How are runes today?
The first thing that stands out with live rune balance is that runes with the clearest power also happen to be among the strongest (flat AD, flat MR, flat armor, etc). Because of how infrequently runes are tuned, players tend to accept that certain runes provide a core set of base stats that are ‘best in slot’ and shy away from customization.
What should runes be like?
Ideally, runes should be used as tools to supplement your play style for a given champion. Whether it’s boosting your dueling power in the laning phase or setting up for an epic late-game build, runes should help define the framework of your unique play style. We’re giving runes clear strategic value and purpose in the new season to reinforce this point while making it easier for you to understand what to expect from your rune selection.
So the first thing we want to do is tone down the oppressively strong runes. There are currently a small handful of runes that provide more than their fair share of base stats while crowding out most other options. We might snipe off a few of the larger suspects before more comprehensive changes go out, but we’re definitely keeping an eye on the strongest outliers.
Another item on our to-do list for the new season is to establish a more consistent point where flat runes get beaten by runes that scale per level. Some of the existing crossover points don’t make sense in the framework of a typical game, so we want to clean these numbers up to clarify their strengths and weaknesses. Currently we’re looking at something like level 6 as the sweet spot where flat runes and scaling per level runes meet up. Up to level 6, flat runes will be better, while at level 6 and beyond, scaling runes become more and more powerful.
Ultimately, there are a lot of changes we’ve got planned for runes in the new season, but we’ll be taking a little more time to test them on the PBE (and to see how they fit into the regular flow of a game) before getting them out. Properly dividing runes into their three major categories (offense, defense, and utility) is something we have as a long-term vision for this new season, so keep that in mind as more changes come down the line. We’ll keep you updated as we go!
Now on to masteries with FeralPony:
As for masteries, we aren’t making too many significant changes this season. Instead we’re targeting smaller goals and focusing on a few core philosophies with our annual mastery overhaul.
No more improved summoner spells
While specialized summoner spell masteries offer an impactful single-point option to enhance and improve playstyles, we think you’ll have even more mastery freedom if we remove these options entirely. This way, you aren’t obliged to invest mastery points specific to the summoner spells you take, summoner spells are the same regardless of your spec and you’ll have more opportunities to refine your masteries to match your playstyle.
9 mastery points define your early game. 21 points define your role.
We’re changing the function of the mastery trees in the preseason so that players who invest in the lower ranks of a tree gain specific early-game advantages, while those who commit to the more advanced masteries devote themselves to that role for the entire game. We really want you to feel like you’re committing to a playstyle when you invest heavily in a specific tree, so we’re adding advanced masteries that scale as the game goes on.
New shiny masteries
A few existing masteries have been reworked or replaced. For example, instead of granting one large attack speed boost after landing a critical strike, Frenzy now grants a slightly smaller but stackable attack speed buff. We’re also changing the Biscuiteer mastery so instead of granting a single-use biscuit, it now upgrades health potions into Rejuvenation Biscuits that also grant a little mana regen. I won’t dwell too much on the revamped masteries we have planned, as this is something you’ll discover when we roll them out (you’ve already heard of some of the support masteries!), but I just wanted to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming.
We’ll also be posting this on reddit where we may pass through to clarify some questions. At the start of next week we’ll be doing a global recap to follow up with the most up-to-date information from questions around the world!
Summary:Blood Well’s passive attack speed bonus now scales with character level (lower at earlier levels, higher at max level). Blades of Torment’s damage has been reduced (equal at lower levels, lower at max levels).
Context:Any champion can be frustrating to play against when they’re capable of building very tanky while still outputting considerable DPS, so we’re lowering some of Aatrox’s innate damage. With this change, Aatrox must build items for damage and won’t be able to simultaneously tank and smash face as easily.
Blood Well ( Passive )
Passive Attack Speed changed from 50% flat to 30/35/40/45/50/55% (upgrades every 3 champion levels)
Blades of Torment ( E )
Damage reduced from 75/120/165/210/255 to 75/110/145/180/215
Summary:Charm has had its mana cost changed to a flat amount at all levels but now increases the magic damage Ahri deals to a Charmed target. Essence Theft now heals her for a specific amount based on the number of enemies she hits with her passive-enhanced spell, as opposed to getting straight spell vamp. Fox Fire now deals less damage when multiple wisps hit the same target. Spirit Rush’s base damage and AP ratios have been slightly reduced.
Context:Ahri is a champion with a lot of strengths and few weaknesses, given her high versatility and reliability, so she can consistently apply a lot of pressure on her opponents from relative safety. Ahri’s strengths should be better defined than they currently are. These changes give Ahri players (and her opponents) clear areas of mastery that differentiate the good Ahris from the great Ahris. Our core focuses are:
Make Ahri’s default lane patterns more clear, so both Ahri and her opponents can make plays around them
Make Ahri’s “all-in” gameplay more closely tied with landing Charm to establish Charm as Ahri’s “kiss of death” that needs to be avoided, as well as lower her threat/presence while Charm is on cooldown
Keep Ahri’s core gameplay intact while trimming away strength from the low-gameplay patterns that don’t feel rewarding
Essence Theft ( Passive )
Now heals Ahri for 2 (+1 per champion level) (+0.09 Ability Power) each time her passive-enhanced spells hit an enemy, changed from 35% Spell Vamp flat
Fox-Fire ( W )
Mana cost reduced from 60 at all ranks to 50
Diminishing returns effect on same-target hits increased (means less damage) to 70% (from 50%) (best case is now 100% + 30% + 30%)
This reduces the same-target damage to 64/104/144/184/224 (+0.64 Ability Power) (from 80/130/180/230/280 (+0.8 Ability Power))
Fixed a bug that caused Fox-Fire to sometimes deal reduced damage to a target that should receive the standard damage amount
Charm ( E )
Now increases the magic damage Ahri deals to the target by 20% for 6 seconds
Mana cost changed from 50/65/80/95/110 to 85 at all ranks
Spirit Rush ( R )
Base damage reduced from 85/125/165 (+0.35 Ability Power) to 70/110/150 (+0.3 Ability Power)
This reduces the max damage per target from 255/375/495 (+1.05 Ability Power) to 210/330/450 (+0.9 Ability Power)
Summary:Corki’s base attack speed has been reduced. Missile Barrage’s base damage has been reduced at earlier ranks and the cooldown between missile shots has been increased. Additionally, the cooldown between missile shots can no longer be reduced by cooldown reduction, but CDR will still affect how quickly you can gain missile ammo.
Context:Overall, we like the direction we pushed Corki toward with Trinity Force, but currently he’s too overwhelming to play against. Here we’re reducing excess power in a few areas to put him more in line with other similar spell-based ADCs. Ultimately, Missile Barrage should function as a powerful sustained damage tool rather than a source of burst damage.
Base Attack Speed reduced from 0.658 to 0.625
Missile Barrage ( R )
Base damage reduced from 120/190/260 to 100/180/260
Cooldown between missile shots increased from 1.2 to 2 seconds
Cooldown between missile shots can no longer be reduced by Cooldown Reduction (Cooldown Reduction still affects how quickly you gain missile ammo)
Summary:The active ability power ratio of Seastone Trident has been reduced significantly.
Context:We’re aiming to reduce some of Fizz’s late game damage so that he has to rely more on successfully landing his ultimate or finding a way to stall until his next set of cooldowns come up in order to successfully assassinate targets in late game fights.
Seastone Trident ( W )
Active Ability Power ratio reduced from 0.35 to 0.15
Playful / Trickster ( E )
Fixed a bug where Fizz became targetable while still descending from Playful (he now only becomes targetable after landing, just like Trickster)
Summary:Heimerdinger’s kit has been significantly reworked this patch. Techmaturgical Repair Bots no longer works on friendly turrets. H-28G Evolution Turrets now fire a beam every twelve seconds in a projected line shot in addition to their regular attacks. Additionally, H-28G Evolution Turret will now shut down after a period of time if Heimerdinger leaves the area. Hextech Micro-Rockets have been reworked to unleash a barrage of rockets that converge at your cursor before fanning out. Enemies hit by more than one rocket take reduced magic damage from additional rockets. CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade now travels in an arc.
UPGRADE!!! makes Heimerdinger’s next spell free while also applying bonus effects. Upgrading H-28G Evolution Turret transforms it into a giant H-28Q Apex Turret that deals higher damage with a lower cooldown beam. Upgrading Hextech Micro-Rockets transforms it into Hextech Rocket Swarm, where Heimerdinger fires out four waves of rockets that deal damage on impact. Finally, upgrading the CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade transforms it into a CH-3X Lightning Grenade that bounces three times (dealing damage on impact and applying the base ability’s CC).
Context:Heimerdinger’s got some new toys! Our core goal was to give Heimerdinger the tools to differentiate himself in ability use and build optimization. In particular, we focused on diversifying the Heimerdinger experience so that each of Heimer’s abilities comes with its own form of gameplay and interaction – players will need to think carefully about how to use each in an optimal way. Raise your turrets!
Passive: Techmaturgical Repair Bots ( Passive )
Heimerdinger gives nearby allied champions and H-28G Evolution Turrets 10/15/20/25/30 bonus Health Regen
H-28G Evolution Turret ( Q )
Places a Turret at target location. Turret attacks prioritize Heimerdinger’s targets and enemies attacking Heimerdinger
Heimerdinger generates a Turret Kit every 24/23/22/21/20 seconds (modified by Cooldown Reduction), and he can hold up to 1/1/2/2/3 Kits at once
Attack – Beam: 50/75/100/125/150 (+0.5 Ability Power) magic damage in a line, 12 second cooldown
Maximum Turrets: 3
Hextech Micro-Rockets ( W )
Unleashes a barrage of 5 rockets that converge towards your cursor and fan out past it. Each rocket deals 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.45 Ability Power) magic damage
Enemies that are hit by more than one rocket take 20% magic damage for each additional rocket (max damage 108/162/216/270/324). Minions take 60% instead
Targeting the ability closer to Heimerdinger increases projectile spread
Cost: 70/80/90/100/110 Mana
CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade ( E )
Hurls a grenade that deals 60/100/140/180/220 (+0.6 Ability Power) magic damage to enemy units and slows their Movement Speed by 35% for 2 seconds
Enemies in the center of the blast are also stunned for 1.25 seconds
Cost: 85 Mana
UPGRADE!!! ( R )
Heimerdinger’s next basic spell is free and has bonus effects
H-28Q Apex Turret: ( R+Q )
Places a Turret that deals 90/110/130 (+0.33 Ability Power) magic damage with its cannon and 225/300/375 (+0.8 Ability Power) magic damage with its beam for 8 seconds
Hextech Rocket Swarm ( R+W )
Fires 4 waves that deal 135/180/225 (+0.45 Ability Power) magic damage each. Champions and monsters hit by multiple rockets take reduced damage (max 550/690/865 (+1.83 Ability Power))
CH-3X Lightning Grenade ( R+E )
Throws a grenade that discharges three times, dealing 150/200/250 (+0.6 Ability Power) magic damage each time. Both the stun and slow areas are larger, and the slow is improved to 80%
Cost: 100 Mana
Summary: Switcheroo!’s Minigun attack speed bonus has been reduced at early ranks. Zap!’s base damage has been reduced at early ranks and its mana cost has been slightly increased. Zap! also no longer reveals stealthed units.
Context:We feel that while Jinx’s kit has a lot of built-in weakness in the mid and late game, her early lane dominance is so overwhelming that it distorts her overall power across the entire game. The goal here is to address Jinx’s early damage potential while trying to minimize effects on her late game.
Switcheroo! – Minigun ( Q )
Total Attack Speed bonus reduced from 50/70/90/110/130% to 30/55/80/105/130%
Zap! ( W )
Base damage reduced from 30/75/120/165/210 to 10/60/110/160/210
Mana cost increased from 45/55/65/75/85 to 50/60/70/80/90
No longer reveals stealthed units
Summary:Null Sphere has had its mana cost and damage reduced at later levels. The silence duration of Null Sphere has been increased at lower levels but very slightly lowered at max level. Riftwalk’s base damage and bonus damage per stack has been increased in addition to having a small AP ratio added per stack. Additionally, Riftwalk now refunds 50% of the total mana cost when it damages an enemy champion. Finally, Kassadin no longer gains magic resistance per level.
Context:Currently we feel like Kassadin’s play beyond the laning phase is too safe, especially when he gets ahead. He can deal consistently high damage at range with Null Sphere and Force Pulse while holding on to Riftwalk for a safe escape. These changes are focused on forcing Kassadin to use Riftwalk as a significant part of his damage output, which also gives opponents opportunities to capitalize on his mistakes.
Magic Resist per level reduced from 1.25 to 0
Null Sphere ( Q )
Base damage reduced from 80/130/180/230/280 to 80/115/150/185/220
Silence duration changed from 1/1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6 to 1.5/1.75/2.0/2.25/2.5 seconds
Mana Cost reduced from 70/80/90/100/110 to 70/75/80/85/90
Riftwalk ( R )
Base damage increased from 60/70/80 to 80/100/120
Base damage per Riftwalk stack reduced to 50/55/60 (from 60/70/80)
Added 0.1 Ability Power ratio per stack
Now refunds 50% of the total mana cost when Riftwalk damages an enemy champion
Summary:Morgana’s attack range, base attack speed, and basic attack animation have been improved across the board. Tormented Soil no longer reduces magic resistance per tick, instead it deals additional damage based on an enemy’s missing health. Morgana should deal roughly the same amount of overall damage, although there’ll be some variation due to how the new Tormented Soil works.
Context:This change is more of a modernization of Morgana and her Tormented Soil by rewarding her for being continuously aggressive with landing her Dark Bindings. Specifically, we wanted to reinforce Morgana’s standard damage combo of Dark Binding to Tormented Soil, rather than the “ideal” combo of using Tormented Soil’s magic resistance reduction to make Dark Binding deal more damage.
Attack Range increased from 425 to 450
Base Attack Speed increased from 0.579 to 0.625
Improved basic attack responsiveness
Tormented Soil ( W )
Damage per second changed from 25/40/55/70/85 (+0.2 Ability Power) to 24/38/52/66/80 (+0.22 Ability Power)
Tormented Soil’s damage now increases by up to 50% based on the enemy’s missing Health
Damage now ticks every 0.5 seconds, instead of every 1 second
No longer applies a Magic Resist reduction debuff
Summary:Undertow’s slow duration has been increased and its mana cost changed to a flat cost. Vicious Strikes grants more attack speed at lower levels. Reckless Swing deals slightly less self-damage to Olaf on use.
Context:We were overly cautious with our initial rework changes for Olaf, which left him undertuned, but not Old and Busted. However, now that we’ve addressed some of his old core issues, we feel like we can be more aggressive with tweaking his kit balance. These changes are focused on allowing Olaf to better stick to his opponents when he’s landing his skillshots properly, which will, in turn, allow him to better melt face when he’s in the zone.
Undertow ( Q )
Slow duration increased from 1.0 to 2.0 to 1.5 – 2.5 seconds
Mana cost changed from 55/60/65/70/75 to 60 at all ranks
Vicious Strikes ( W )
Attack Speed increased from 20/35/50/65/80% to 40/50/60/70/80%
Reckless Swing ( E )
Self-damage reduced to 30% damage dealt (from 40% damage dealt)
Summary:Sivir has received a visual upgrade! Sivir’s Ricochet will now be active for the next three attacks after casting and each attack bounces infinitely, provided it can find new targets to bounce to (it will never hit the same target twice). Additionally, targets hit by a bounce will take a flat percentage amount of damage. Spell Shield no longer costs mana to cast. On The Hunt no longer has a cast time but doesn’t provide a flat bonus attack speed aura. On The Hunt now provides a large movement speed boost that wears off to a smaller, longer lasting movement speed buff. On The Hunt also provides a passive attack speed bonus when Sivir activates Ricochet. Finally, Sivir no longer runs in slow motion (her movement speed remains unaffected).
Context:When we approached reworking Sivir, we shied away from homogenizing her as another generic Marksman. Instead we took a route where we wanted to highlight Sivir’s unique traits, like her ability to deal high area-of-effect damage with Ricochet and her large team-wide mobility boost in On the Hunt. Our focus here is to ensure that dedicated Sivir players will still be able to enjoy the core gameplay mechanics they’ve come to appreciate while also bringing Sivir up to our modern gameplay standards and aesthetics. General
Sivir has received a visual update!
Attack Speed per level reduced from 3.28 to 1.6
Ricochet ( W ) – Reworked
Now when activated, Sivir’s next 3 basic attacks will Ricochet
No longer has a maximum number of bounces (each Ricochet can still only strike a target once)
Now bounces to the closest target (instead of a random target within the bounce radius)
Deals 50/55/60/65/70% damage to all secondary targets
No longer has a base damage
Cooldown increased to 9/8/7/6/5 seconds (from 7/6/5/4/3)
Spell Shield ( E )
Mana cost removed
Mana return reduced from 150 to 60/75/90/105/120
On The Hunt ( R ) – Reworked
No longer has a cast time
Active no longer grants Attack Speed
Now grants Sivir a new Passive: Sivir gains 40/60/80% bonus Attack Speed while Ricochet is active
Movement Speed bonus now begins at 60%, then reduces to 20% after 4 seconds
Cooldown changed from 100/90/80 to 120/90/60 seconds
Summary:Living Shadow and Death Mark have had their cast wind-up time increased. Death Mark now spawns the shadow at Zed’s starting position rather than behind the target. Death Mark’s shadow will stay around longer and Zed can switch places with it at any range.
Context:Zed’s been a balance pain point for a while, especially at the competitive level. In particular, Zed’s current play patterns – while satisfying for the player – can be executed so quickly that they offer little to no reaction time for his opponents. In its current iteration, Death Mark sets up Zed’s gameplay for free with little execution needed beforehand. Because Zed’s intended gameplay focuses so heavily on manipulating his shadows, we want to force him to actively think about how he’ll use his tools to assassinate his targets.
Living Shadow ( W )
Significantly increased the time it takes for the Living Shadow to reach its destination (missile travel speed reduced to 1500 from 2500)
Death Mark ( R )
Now spawns the Living Shadow at Zed’s starting position rather than behind the target
Increased the time Zed remains untargetable before dashing to the target to from 0.35 seconds to 0.75
Death Mark shadow duration increased from 4 seconds to 6
Increased the range at which Zed can switch places with his Death Mark shadow to 2000 (from 1100)
Summary:We’ve slightly increased the damage on Short Fuse. Bouncing Bomb can now be cast at targets outside of max range but will only travel the set distance. Satchel Charge’s radius has been increased. Hexplosive Minefield and Mega Inferno Bomb are both more effective against minions, with minions no longer taking reduced damage from multiple hits of Minefield and Mega Inferno Bomb dealing double damage to minions.
Context:We’ve improved Ziggs in terms of general utility while also trying to more effectively carve out his niche as a pushing /counter-pushing champion. Bombs away!
Short Fuse ( Passive )
Max damage increased from 139 to 150 (now scales non-linearly)
Bouncing Bomb ( Q )
Bouncing Bomb will now cast when targeted outside of its maximum range (will fire to the maximum range in the targeted direction)
Satchel Charge ( W )
Radius increased from 275 to 325
Hexplosive Minefield ( E )
No longer deals reduced damage on multiple hits to minions
Damage radius per mine increased from 135 to 150
Mega Inferno Bomb ( R )
Now deals double damage to minions
Summary:Deadly Bloom’s damage has been reduced overall but her AP ratio has been increased. Rampant Growth’s passive cooldown reduction has decreased. The plants spawned from Rampant Growth have had their base damage reduced at lower levels, but increased later on. We’ve also improved Zyra’s overall feel by making seed transformation/enraging plants more intuitive.
Context:Our overall strategy here is to tone down Zyra’s early level poke damage and, while we are reducing some of her overall power, we also want to improve her ability to fluidly combo cast with seeds. Additionally, reducing the base damage of her spells while increasing the AP ratios is aimed at reducing her power as a support without hurting her capabilities as a mage.
Deadly Bloom ( Q )
Range reduced from 825 to 800
Damage changed from 75/115/155/195/235 (+0.6 Ability Power) to 70/105/140/175/210 (+0.65 Ability Power)
Rampant Growth ( W )
Passive Cooldown Reduction reduced from 4/8/12/16/20% to 2/4/6/8/10%
Plant base damage changed from 26 (+6 per champion level) to 23 (+6.5 per champion level)
Reduced the delay before seeds can be stepped on by enemies from 3 seconds to 1.5
Range increased from 800 to 825
Fixed a bug where spells would rarely not turn seeds into plants
Stranglethorns ( R )
Stun no longer persists after the knockup ends
Now properly enrages plants created within the bramble zone after Stranglethorns has been cast
Minor Changes and Bug Fixes
Context:This change forces Jarvan to be more accurate with his Demacian Standard / Dragon Strike combo while giving opponents some breathing room when trying to dodge it.
Dragon Strike / Demacian Standard ( E+Q )
Jarvan’s knockup collision radius reduced from 260 to 180
Void Spike – Evolved Spike Racks ( R+W )
Slow increased from 20% to 30%
Context:Our original reasons for having Meditate’s mana cost scale so high no longer exist, as we were primarily concerned with AP Yi bullying lanes or Meditate refreshing multiple times in a fight.
Alpha Strike ( Q )
Master Yi will no longer be hit by targeted spells during Alpha Strike
Meditate ( W )
Mana cost reduced from 50/65/80/95/110 to 50 at all ranks
Siphoning Strike ( Q )
Fixed a bug where Siphoning Strike ignored Spell Shields
Context:Rengar’s leap out of stealth has insufficient warning for his target, so we changed him to de-stealth at the beginning of his leap instead of mid-leap in order to give his target a fighting chance.
Thrill of the Hunt ( R )
Rengar now de-stealths at the beginning of his leap when attacking a target from out of stealth
Context:Shadow Dash had a fairly large start and end radius to make the spell more forgiving to land. We no longer believe this is necessary.
Shadow Dash ( E )
Collision radius has been reduced at the start and end points of the dash
Context:We saw Carrion Renewal as a place to add strength without significantly impacting the phases of the game where Swain already excels.
Carrion Renewal ( Passive )
Now additionally restores 9% of maximum Mana on champion kill/assist
Summary:Syndra received a number of usability improvements to her abilities. Scatter the Weak now indicates where a Dark Sphere will travel and Unleashed Power indicates how many Dark Spheres will be fired.
Scatter the Weak ( E )
Range increased from 650 to 700
Dark Spheres now have arrow indicators to show the direction they will travel if hit by Scatter the Weak
Unleashed Power ( R )
Now displays a counter over the spell icon that tracks the number of Dark Spheres that will be fired
Noxious Trap ( R )
Fixed a bug where mushrooms gave experience
Attack Speed per level increased from 1% to 3%
Thresh’s basic attack wind up is reduced by 0.25% per 1% attack speed, rather than the standard 1%
Context:We’re trying to reduce the overall map mobility of Tryndamere so it’s harder to safely split push all day, but to do it without hurting his mobility in team fights.
Spinning Slash ( E )
Cooldown refund upon critically striking minions/monsters reduced to 1 second from 2 (refund upon striking champions unchanged)
Hemoplague ( R )
Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented casting of Transfusion and Tides of Blood for longer than the spell’s 0.5 second cast animation
PvP.net Service / Client
We made some changes that allow us to dynamically provide “Loss Forgiven” to servers experiencing hardware or connection issues. Players should see this more often if their game servers are having issues
We can now disable in-game items and features on the fly, so if there are new bugs or exploits, we’ll disable things on a more sophisticated level rather than turning off all ranked games
Improved Champ Select Timer accuracy and reliability (to be turned on at a later date).
The client will now actively sync its timer with the server during every phase. If your original timer is behind, you may see a jump as it syncs up with the server (e.g. jumping from 60 to 50 if you are 10 seconds behind). But you will no longer run into situations like having seconds left on your timer but having your selection window end prematurely.
We’ve also reintroduced the numbers 89 to the beginning timer, and 9 into the post Lock-In timer (did you realize they were missing?).
Fixed an issue which would cause the screen to briefly flicker black when selecting a skin in Champ Select
Temporary summoner icons for the Season 3 World Championship teams have been removed from the client
Fixed an issue where purchased champions or skins would disappear in rare circumstances
Added redundancies to fix corrupted friends lists commonly caused by 3rd party chat clients
This will fix the following:
Online friends appearing offline
Opening the wrong friend when clicking on another
Friends appearing to be another friend
Fixed an issue where a player with a pending friend request would appear online after sending them a game invite
Group Chat Panels received a visual update to match the new updated friends list
Fixed a bug where some options, such as move camera on respawn, would not save
Players who receive messages while scrolling through chat history will no longer have their chat jump to the bottom
Attack Speed slows
Summary:Attack speed slows (IE: Nasus’ Wither) were immune to cleanse or other forms of debuff removal unless attached to a movement impairing effect. Now all attack speed slows can be cleansed and are treated like movement speed slows.
Context: We’re updating attack speed slows in order to have more consistent counterplay related to debuff removal. Essentially, we’re looking to treat all slows the same, whether they’re movement or attack speed based.
Attack Speed slows can now be cleansed as if they were movement-impairing crowd control effects
Affected champion abilities and items:
Gragas’ Barrel Roll
Malphite’s Ground Slam
Champions with dashes tied to their ultimates
Summary:The following champions will now be affected by snaring or stunning crowd control abilities after they complete their dashes. Their spells will still be unstoppable, but most forms of crowd control landed while the champion’s using the ability will be applied after the spell completes. CC duration will tick down while a champion is mid-dash.
Context:We’re adding more counterplay for champions who have long-range dashes tied to their ultimates by making them susceptible to certain forms of crowd control after they complete a dash – like snares or stuns. Now if a teammate lands a snare in the middle of a champion’s dash, the ulting champion will complete their ability, but be snared at the end.
Crowd control effects can now be received during “unstoppable” movement ultimates (they previously discarded all crowd control effects), but those ultimates will still finish their movement regardless (crowd control effects can persist after the cast finishes)
Jarvan IV’s Cataclysm
Vi’s Assault and Battery
Malphite’s Unstoppable Force
Hecarim’s Onslaught of Shadows
Stealthing now causes a self-only screen tint visual effect.
Mana Cost reduction on Ultimates
Context:Reiterating our stance on high mana cost ultimates, we want ultimate abilities determined more by cooldown than mana cost. Rather than doing an individual context paragraph for each ultimate (which is what we did originally until someone pointed out how stupid that was), we gave them their own section.
Enchanted Crystal Arrow ( R )
Mana cost reduced from 150 to 100
Solar Flare ( R )
Mana cost reduced from 100/150/200 to 100
Wish ( R )
Mana cost reduced from 100/175/250 to 100
Chain of Corruption ( R )
Mana cost reduced from 120 to 100
Chaos Storm ( R )
Mana cost reduced from 125/175/225 to 100
Alternate Map Balance
Twisted Treeline out of beta
Context:With the competitive season almost done, Twisted Treeline is finally ready to emerge from beta! This doesn’t mean design iteration will stop – we’ll continue with champion balancing, system tweaks, and maybe even a new item or two!
The following changes are for the Crystal Scar only
Context:Dominion has evolved in such a way that this healing restriction no longer serves its original intent of preventing turtling. Instead, it’s only hurting champions that rely on regen or healing to be effective, so we’ve removed it.
Context:The previous version of speed shrine buff allowed for people ganking bot lane to come in at basically Ghost movement speeds, with the gankee having very little reaction time on a wardless map. This change is meant to alleviate some of the pressure to bot lane while making teams invest more if they want to continually pressure the lane.
Speed shrine buff now decays over its duration
Fixed a bug where his Move Quick passive Movement Speed was not being removed by Dominion turrets
Crystal Scar, Howling Abyss, and Twisted Treeline
The following changes are for Crystal Scar, Howling Abyss, and Twisted Treeline only
Grez’s Spectral Lantern
Summary:Grez’s Spectral Lantern’s combine cost has gone up and the damage has been reduced slightly. The active’s vision duration, cast range, and how long enemy champions stay revealed after exiting the dust have all been reduced significantly.
Context:This item was too cost effective for what it offered and these changes are to bring it more in line with other vision items in terms of cost and utility.
Combine cost increased to 350 Gold (from 150)
Total cost increased to 1450 Gold (from 1250)
Damage reduced to 15 (from 20)
Vision dust duration decreased to 5 seconds (from 10)
Lingering reveal reduced to 3 seconds (from 6)
Cast range decreased to 800 (from 1200)
Summary:The Lightbringer’s cost is being increased (partially due to Grez’s Spectral Lantern’s cost increase), and it is gaining additional defensive stats (health / armor / lifesteal) in exchange for a damage reduction. The active’s vision duration, cast range, and how long enemy champions stay revealed after exiting the dust have all been reduced significantly.
Context:Lightbringer is a niche item and will still be a niche item, but this build change will open it up to more champions.
Combine cost increased to 575 Gold (from 300)
Total cost increased to 2500 Gold (from 2425)
Now builds from Ruby Crystal instead of Pickaxe
Now grants +200 Health
Damage reduced to 20 (from 50)
Armor increased to 25 (from 20)
Lifesteal increased to 15% (from 12%)
Vision dust duration decreased to 5 seconds (from 10)
Lingering reveal reduced to 3 seconds (from 6)
Cast range reduced to 800 (from 1200)
Summary:Hextech Sweeper now builds out of a Kindlegem and Fiendish Codex. The overall cost has gone up and most stats have been reduced (health / AP). The movement speed bonus has been removed and the cooldown reduction has been increased. The active’s vision duration, cast range, and how long enemy champions stay revealed after exiting the dust have all been reduced significantly.
Context:Hextech Sweeper is a staple item on Twisted Treeline / Dominion and we don’t want to change that, but we’re making it a little less universally appealing by reducing the stats and removing the movement speed bonus. We’re also giving it a cooldown reduction boost to help out with some AP itemization issues.
Combine cost increased to 530 Gold (from 200)
Total cost increased to 2300 Gold (from 1920)
Now builds from Fiendish Codex (from two Amplifying Tomes)
Health reduced to 250 (from 300)
Ability Power reduced to 40 (from 50)
No longer grants Movement Speed
Cooldown Reduction increased to 20% (from 10%)
Cooldown Reduction is no longer UNIQUE
Vision dust duration reduced to 5 seconds (from 10)
Lingering reveal reduced to 3 seconds (from 6)
Cast range decreased to 800 (from 1200)
Context:At 50 AD, this item was too cost efficient for what it offered. We’ve reduced some of the stats and raised the cost in order to bring this item more in line.
Combine cost increased to 600 Gold (from 500)
Total cost increased to 2275 Gold (from 2175)
Attack Damage reduced to 40 (from 50)
Jack in the Box
Fixed a bug where Shaco boxes were not properly revealed by the passive on Hextech Sweeper and The Lightbringer
Twisted Treeline and Crystal Scar
The following changes are for Twisted Treeline and Crystal Scar only
Turrets now have inventory items that describe turret mechanics
Summary:Blackfire Torch has gained bonus movement speed in exchange for a higher overall cost and a shorter duration on the magic damage amplification active.
Context:Blackfire Torch is gaining the movement speed bonus that Hextech Sweeper had because while not everyone who uses AP should get an easily-accessed movement speed item, we do feel that AP casters should have one in smaller maps like Twisted Treeline and Crystal Scar.
Combine cost increased to 970 Gold (from 720)
Total cost increased to 2650 Gold (from 2400)
Now grants +10% Movement Speed
Magic damage amplification decreased to 4 seconds (from 6)
Summary:Twin Shadows’ overall cost has been reduced and the cooldown on the active has been reduced significantly, however the bonus ability power and magic resistance is being lowered.
Context:Twin Shadows is a great item on wardless maps, but the cooldown was too long to really make use of it. It’s been made cheaper to increase accessibility, while the stats have been reduced to reflect the new cost.
Combine cost reduced to 535 Gold (from 735)
Total cost reduced to 1700 Gold (from 1900)
Ability Power reduced to 30 (from 40)
Magic Resist reduced to 30 (from 40)
Cooldown on active reduced to 60 seconds (from 120)
Wraiths are now affected by speed shrines
Tutorial, Co-op vs. AI, Custom Games with bots
The following changes are for bot game modes only
Turrets in bot game modes (Tutorial, Co-op vs. AI and custom games with bots) now display an indicator of their attack range and their current attack state. You can disable this feature in the Game menu
Players who earned silver in Season 2 will now have silver profile borders until the end of the season
Limited Edition Skins and two brand new ones are available in the store!
Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks - 520 RP
Bewitching Nidalee - 975 RP
Nosferatu Vladimir - 975 RP
Officer Vi – 975 RP
Haunting Nocturne – 520 RP
Zombie Brand – 1820 RP
Haunting Zyra – 1350 at launch, 975 after
Other skins also on sale:
Kitty Cat Katarina -975 RP
Zombie Ryze - 975 RP
FrankenTibbers Annie - 975 RP
Definitely Not Blitzcrank - 520 RP
Pirate Ryze -975 RP
Headmistress Fiora - 975 RP
Haunted Maokai - 975 RP
Underworld Twisted Fate -975 RP
Headless Hercarim - 975 RP
Mundo Mundo - 975 RP
Lolipoppy - 975 RP… I mean 1820… I mean 6500! Don’t buy it!
Awaken the Ancient- Virtual Update for Nasus
AFK Farming has never looked so glorious!
Ququroon: Nasus is shaking off years of rough abrasion from the sands and returning to the battlefield with a complete visual update. Armored with refined plate and a higher fidelity look for his signature halberd, Nasus’s new model reflects his unbounded intellect and immense power.
Beyond the new model, all of Nasus’s abilities, animations and particles have been updated. His ultimate, Fury of the Sands, summons the ferocity of the desert tempest, and Spirit Fire burns with arcane etching upon the ground. Along with his model and visual changes, the Curator of the Sand’s sound effects and voiceover have been updated and expanded, exposing more of the vast archive in Nasus’s mind.
Preseason: Jungle Changes
A preview of what we can expect for junglers in Season 4!
Solcrushed: We’ve got some big things coming for the jungle this preseason. The overarching philosophy for our jungle update is to create more options and possibilities for junglers of all kinds. This moves us closer to the larger goal of ensuring that all roles and positions within League of Legends can feel strong throughout and make a big impact on the endgame. Let’s take a look at some of the changes:
The Season 3 jungle
Junglers are very strong early, but many are pushed into more of a supporting role by mid-game
Junglers frequently run out of camps to farm due to laning teammates ‘poaching’ jungle monsters
Junglers who can gank early are favored over any other type of jungler
Junglers who fall behind early have a very difficult time getting back into the game
Why do these things happen?
Jungle monsters don’t scale well
Jungle monsters grant more experience and gold (relative to minions) early in the game but don’t scale as well as minions. Therefore, ‘carry’ junglers can’t carry by farming the jungle – they must take lane farm or have multiple successful ganks if they want to achieve the same amount of gold and experience as laners.
The tradeoff between ganking and farming is not optimal
Farming the jungle does not provide enough reward compared to the potential pay-off of early ganks. Additionally, it’s easier for some champions to keep the jungle cleared while maintaining gank pressure.
It is better to concentrate gold onto a Marksman or Mage
In the Season 3 meta, gold was nearly always more efficient on a Marksman or Mage, regardless of position. This leads to rampant poaching of the jungle and junglers often find themselves at a clear gold disadvantage as compared to Marksmen or Mages.
Our new season jungling goals:
Flexibility in the jungle
We really want more playstyles to be viable in the jungle. Junglers will have more flexibility in choosing jungle routes, and the optimal jungle route will vary more depending on your champion.
Junglers who are more farm-centric will be able to obtain gold and experience similar to that found in solo lanes, offsetting the map pressure and lane support they give up by farming. “Farming Carry” and “Ganking Support” will both be viable play styles, with each bringing its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
More comeback mechanisms in the jungle
While counterjungling will remain a viable strategy, the jungler who is behind will now have more ways to get back into the game. (Some) Preseason jungling changes:
Here are some of the changes we are planning.
We’ll be adding an extra camp near blue buff and the wolf camp
By adding another camp, players can add some diversity to jungle routes and farm more resources. The extra camp creates further tradeoffs between ganking and farming the jungle because it’ll now be more challenging to keep the jungle clear. Besides that, the camp adds one more lever for us to balance area-of-effect vs. single target junglers. The additional camp also equalizes the number of camps on the north and south side of the map, bringing the blue and purple sides of the map a little more into balance.
Jungle monsters will scale with champion levels
Monsters will now have a ‘level’ that’ll be determined each time they spawn. This level will scale according to the average level of champions in the game. Bonus experience will be doled out if jungle monsters are a higher level than the champion killing them.
By introducing dynamic scaling and varying rewards on monster kills we’re aiming to encourage jungle farming as a viable playstyle. The varying rewards will act as a comeback mechanic and an incentive for allies to leave monsters to players who are a bit behind in the game. With the extra camp, poaching becomes less detrimental to junglers and remains a feasible way for laners to claw back an advantage in their matchup.
More gold flow options for junglers
No specifics today, but we’re looking to pour a little more gold into junglers’ pockets. We’re exploring the idea of tying additional gold income to things like jungler-specific items instead of Smite. This idea and having more reliably scaling monsters should increase gold flow for junglers. Again, these are a few of the changes we’ve got planned for the jungle. We’re looking forward to seeing how everyone adapts and even more excited to see how the jungler position evolves in the new season!
Improved Jungle Items
Solcrushed: An introduction to jungle items without going into specifics
Now the item for farming junglers, grants very bad combat stats but gives a very big increase in gold from jungle monsters
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Now intended for support junglers who will move with the team more than farm the jungle. Allows you to ‘bank’ the gold bonus for a little bit of time which you can cash in by killing jungle monsters.
Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
Now intended to help mage junglers who are hurt by not having blue buff and needing to spend too much resources to clear jungle mid-late game. Will give Health and Mana back equal to a % of spell damage you deal to monsters. (Vlad and co. will still have their selfish spellvamp item – it just won’t be Spirit Wraith)
Have there been changes to Spirit of the Elder Lizard?
Solcrushed: Its been changed but I reserve my rights to tease.
What is the new camp like and how will it impact the game?
Solcrushed: For now it is a big bad red Wraith. Hopefully we will be able to make it awesome later on.
Solcrushed: The new camp is a single monster who hits really hard.
Since we now have camps that consist of 1, 2, 3, 4 monsters it is easier for us to adjust the balance between single target and AOE since you now have enough camps to choose your route, opposed to before where we had to adjust the entire jungle.
Will jungle camps still scale with time?
Solcrushed: We are doing away with the time scaling, monsters will only scale with level now.
Have you considered having jungle items with bonuses that only work if you take smite as a summoner?
Solcrushed: I would shy against having very forced synergy, for one tying everything to Smite also kills builds such as Teleport Ghost jungle, Exhaust Flash jungle etc.
The level scaling will take into account AVERAGE level of champions in the game, so people who are lower level gain more from killing monsters in the jungle compared to higher level.
What will happen to the real tank junglers?
Solcrushed: We will need to make sure they do not fall behind too easily. If it becomes a problem we can make them jungle better mid-late game or introduce an item for those characters.
Have you considered making double jungle a viable meta?
Solcrushed: We will not force such changes, but if they become viable in a way that we feel makes the game better, we will definitely support them.
Will this new camp make junglers who need their ult quickly overpowered?
Solcrushed: We will need to balance junglers again once the changes have shaken out.
Isn’t gold still better spent on a Mage or Marksman than a jungler?
Solcrushed: That is still the case.
Difference is the jungler gets MORE gold than mages and marksmen from monsters.
Is 200 gold for the mage more efficient than 300 gold for the jungler? The answer is no longer always ‘give farm to the mage’ (or we would place it where it would not be)
What stops other lanes from farming these camps for more gold?
Solcrushed: It does not provide more gold and exp for each individual camp, actually the individual camps give less rewards to compensate for there being more camps. So poaching is less strong than before.
Will the changes also apply to Twisted Treeline?
Solcrushed: For now this is all for SR only
Is this a nerf to counterjungling?
Solcrushed: It is a possibility we are worried about, but our tests to this point have signaled that counterjungling is still strong.
Specifically, since there are more resources in the jungle the jungler who is controlling it can get strong very fast.
How will ganking impact the jungler’s power curve?
Solcrushed: If you get an efficient gank, you will still have an edge as should be. (It is a risky move)
If you waste time ganking, the enemy jungler will be ahead as he has more resources to farm and monsters only adjust their level when they spawn.
How can junglers who are behind catch-up?
Solcrushed: Characters who are behind in level to monsters gain more rewards from killing the monster. Jungle monster scaling is also set up so that the first few levels do not grant much stat increases.
There is a very big gap between ‘first advantage wins the game’ and ‘early advantages don’t matter’. Our game even with these changes are very far away from the latter.
How can ganking equal a better shot at winning than just farming camps?
Solcrushed: By snowballing lanes and gaining map control, the ‘guaranteed ‘ gold is not so guaranteed when your lanes are weaker than the enemy’s and you cannot fight against their invades.
Preseason: Game flow Changes
How will Preseason affect the Rift? Find out below!
FeralPony: Hey everyone,
FeralPony here to run through some high level changes coming this preseason that fall under a topic we’re calling “Game Flow.” Game Flow is effectively how the core game functions and plays independently of specific roles, champions, items, etc. It’s how the minions move, gold enters and leaves the map, objectives are created, and how strategic battles are won and lost. It’s the systems in place that aren’t under direct player control.
So what does it include? Here’s a look at some of the changes we’ll be implementing this preseason:
Game and objective timings (when things spawn etc)
Jungle (this is a large enough system it’ll be included in another post)
Tons of Changes!
You might be saying, “By the factions of Runeterra, Pony, that’s a lot of changes!” You’d be absolutely correct, but the bulk of these are small changes meant to enhance other aspects of the game. Each of these changes have unique goals that I’d like to provide additional insight into.
We’re making some adjustments to global objectives in Summoner’s Rift.
Dragon: The gold and experience rewards for slaying Dragon will now increase over time.
In the preseason, securing dragon will remain a worthwhile objective even into late game. In addition, dragon will provide more experience rewards for teams down in levels, making it a valuable objective for those who are losing heavily. Winning teams will want to keep dragon secured to retain their lead.
Baron: Baron buff is being shifted away from a team fighting bonus and towards more of a sieging bonus (think bonus movement speed or bonus damage to turrets)
We wanted to shift Baron buff away from an overpowering team-wide buff that gives the buffed team an advantage in any situation. Instead, we want to clarify Baron buff as a window of opportunity to end the game.
Turrets: The team-wide gold for destroying turrets is going down, but the gold given to the players directly responsible for destroying turrets is going up.
This change rewards players directly for taking positive action instead of diffusing the reward by splitting it up among their teammates.
Super Minions & Inhibitors: Downed inhibitors will no longer make all minions stronger. Instead, minions in lanes with downed inhibitors will now push harder than before, while minions in other lanes will be unaffected.
Clarity was the core goal here. Currently when a single inhibitor goes down it causes all minions on the winning side of the map to become stronger, thereby pushing down their lanes as well. This applies pressure to the defending team, but also allows players on that team to farm the pushed lanes in relative safety and possibly pick up a game-changing item or two. That said, it’s still very difficult to come back from a downed inhibitor because even after a great comeback play, the resurging team must still push out ALL of their lanes before the enemy team respawns. We’d like to give teams that make these epic plays a real shot at making a comeback.
Other underlying systems:
In addition to the changes we’re making to global objectives, we have some smaller changes to other underlying game systems:
Bounty Calculations: We mentioned this earlier in our support post, but we’re adding “assist streaks,” where players who have far more assists than kills will get bonus gold per additional assist. Additionally, we’re changing the way death streaks are reset. Previously, they were based only on kills and assists, but we’re looking into ways to tie in other forms of contribution. Finally, we’re also looking at bounty rewards in general and how much of an impact they have in the early game versus the mid to late game.
Minion and Jungle Spawn Timers: All minions and jungle camps will spawn earlier in the game.
We’re experimenting with shaving a little time off of when minions and jungle camps spawn to get the game off to an earlier start. There was just too much idle time in between loading the match and the first moments of action. Our changes here allow almost every opening strategy to remain viable without being too generous for map-wide team shuffles.
Brush Changes: We’re cleaning up a lot of the L- and C-shaped brush formations so that players can gain vision of the entire brush with one ward.
In the jungle, this means more accessible sight lines for both the warder and anyone attempting to move through the jungle.
We’ve also dialed back on some brush that we felt created odd combat situations. We saw situations before where one ward in one brush would leave fights stacked enormously in the favor of the team with the ward. We’ve trimmed back the brush in these regions to still allow for sight lines to be blocked and for melee champions to have a tactical zone to hide in, but brush no longer denies vision to entire battlefields when unwarded.
That’s about it for Game Flow! Some of these changes may be small, but we think that when taken together they’ll play a big role in making for a more dynamic and exciting preseason.
We’ll also be posting this on reddit where we may pass through to clarify some questions. Later this week we’ll be doing a global recap to follow up with the most up-to-date information from questions around the world!
From LCS underdogs to contenders on the World Stage, Lemondogs surprised everyone when they took 1st place in the EU summer split and bested Gambit Gaming to finish second in the playoffs. I had a chance to talk with former mid-laner and Fizz extraordinaire, Erik “Tabzz” Van Helvert, AD Carry for Lemondogs.
First off, what is something unknown or that very little people know about you?
Tabzz: I play piano as a hobby.
What was it like coming back from the 4-6 start you guys had during the LCS? What do you think the biggest changes were that contributed to your success and helped you to place 2nd in the playoffs?
Tabzz: The biggest change was definitely the patch in which AP top laners were meta, we took heavy advantage of this and managed to get high in the league because of it. Switching supports helped a lot too.
What was it like playing on the world stage and making it to worlds after being considered underdogs earlier in the year? What was your favorite experience at worlds?(best game, delicious food, etc)
Tabzz: It was certainly a great feeling, as nobody expected us to be there. Best experience was laughing at how ridiculously stupid American TV commercials are.
Thoughts on the teams at worlds and did everyone make it as far as you expected? Did any of the outcomes surprise you? Who was the strongest opponent you played against?
Tabzz: The tournament went just as expected in my eyes. The strongest opponent we played against was SKT and they ended up winning the whole thing.
Thoughts on SKT’s bot lane? What is the hardest thing about playing against SKT?
Tabzz: SKT botlane is very hard to trade with, they will always punish you. The best thing to do is to just equal farm them if you have an equal matchup. Beating them in trades is almost impossible. The hardest thing about playing SKT is their jungle and map control. Once they grab a tiny advantage in jungle or midlane, they can easily snowball it into a win for them.
We saw the rise of Corki recently, being picked or banned nearly every game. What makes him as strong as he is? What do you feel the current state of AD carries are and what kinds of changes do you want to see in season 4?
Tabzz: Trinity force change just boosted his power by a lot. I hope AD carries will be auto attack carries instead of casters in season 4, because I like that play style more. Buffs to phantom dancer and infinity edge would help in making that a reality.
What should an AD carry do to make the most impact on the game for his team?
Tabzz: Get as much farm without losing towers, and then play teamfights correctly later in the game. Using summoner spells correctly is also very important.
Going into worlds what was your preparation like and your expectations of yourselves and other teams?
Tabzz: We had a very hard group and were not sure if we could make it through, we tried our best but fell short against the Asians. All in all, I think the tournament went pretty much as expected.
What champions are you current favorite to play as? Who is your least favorite to play against right now?
Tabzz: Vayne and Ezreal are the most fun to play as. Least favourite to play as and against would be Corki, because he’s incredibly OP with very low skill requirements.
We have seen incoming changes on Zed/Ahri/Fizz. What do you think of Fizz current status and what do you think needs to or will be changed, if anything? What do you think the best way to balance Fizz would be?
Tabzz: I think the main unbalance with fizz right now is that there is no way to counter his late game. Increasing his early game damage while nerfing his lategame cooldowns would tone him down a lot. But as it is right now, I don’t think fizz needs any nerfs. Other champions just need buffs. Or there has to be an AD item that gives invulnerability to magic on active in season 4.
How have you and the team been spending the offseason? Is there a lot of time spent outside of the game together?
Tabzz: We’ve basically not talked to or seen eachother since worlds.
Looking into Season 4, do you think the current top teams will stay on top, or new ones emerge as we have seen in the past? Do you think SKT can stay as dominant as they have been?
Tabzz: League of legends changes all the time and as a result so do the teams. I don’t think a single team will stay on top for a very long time.
How do you feel about the current format of the LCS and World Championship? Do you think there should be changes for Season 4?
Tabzz: I’d like games to be bo3 instead of just 1 game in the season. Bo1’s are pretty boring and their outcome often feels like it doesn’t carry any weight. That means the games are less interesting for the viewers aswell.
Do you ever miss the mid lane? What is your favorite thing about each role? (AD/Mid) Which do you personally feel you are better at?
Tabzz: I think I can be at the top 3 players of both roles in EU. What I like most about Mid would be that I can lane, engage and make a lot of things happen on my own, whereas the AD role is more reliant on teammates. The AD role is more fun in teamfights, and it feels very rewarding to position properly and dodge important spells while killing your enemies.
Tabzz: Shoutout to all my fans and everyone who supports me!
You can follow Tabzz on twitter, or catch him streaming on twitch.
Hello, this is Misaya from Team WE. S4 testing in Los Angeles concluded just a few days ago and now I’m here to share some of the changes.
Firstly, I think Season 4 will make the game more competitive and interesting.
In the S4 preseason tournaments, there will be much less level 1 fights. Minions spawn at 1:00 and jungle camps – at 1:30 (on the test client now, but subject to change). The addition of Trinkets (3 abilities: a 60s ward, Clairvoyance, and a small stealth detection) will make level 1 fights less feasible. Those will be very rare in future Ranked and Tournament games. The gold from First Blood before 4 minutes is also reduced to 240. Who would sacrifice lane experience for so little gold in a level 1 fight?
The changes to the vision system and the positions of bushes will let skirmishes happen more often. Whoever can best utilize the new Trinkets (a 7th item slot dedicated to vision items) will directly decide vision control and come out ahead in skirmishes. How to use Trinkets should be the first thing to learn; they are definitely the most important items in this version of the game.
Big changes to the assist system and support role will let the Support have more carrying power. In this version, Supports can get gold from various sources (masteries, assists, towers, new items, and the gold ADs obtain). In the testing, I found out that gold from assists is just way too much. Madlife would always have a lot of items. One time, when he was supporting me, he had Philosopher’s Stone, Ruby Sightstone, and potions before 8 minutes. We won that match easily. If the Support and AD can win bot lane, the Support can definitely carry. I believe many different Supports will appear in future tournaments
The changes to the jungle involve a new camp and Item changes. I’ve got to say that right now, the gold increase from jungle items is too much, especially Wriggles Lantern (giving an additional 40% gold from jungle creeps during testing). Several other items also give pretty good gold. The increase to assist gold will let the jungler, who is already roaming all game, get more gold. The new jungle camp is definitely a blessing – it gives decent experience and gold, and isn’t hard to take down. It also balances the map, letting every quarter of the map have 3 camps, making jungle diversity richer.
The S4 changes are definitely interesting, and we had a lot of fun in testing. Support is no longer negligible, and the changes to masteries also let AP become more interesting. Although support and junglers are becoming stronger, the damage of AP and AD will also increase due to masteries changes. This version of the game will need the AP to be more active in roaming in tandem with the jungler, since there are more resources to contest on the map. How to help the jungle and other lanes get more jungle resources and tower gold will be the main objective of the new season.
During testing, we found that every game proceeded very quickly. The gold increase from first tier turrets (the killer of the first tier turret will get 250 gold + 75 gold to everyone), will let the game develop faster. On the whole, the game rhythm will develop from active early game fights: towers, dragon, and buffs will all become extremely important objectives to contest. The Sightstone will also let the winning side get more chances to attack, while the defending side will also have some ability to strike back.
The changes to Baron buff (the buff holding side will receive a buff similar to Mobility boots and a percentage increase to tower damage). So with the buff, the speed of taking down towers is like…I think a TF with Lich Bane and Deathcap can take down an inhibitor turret in 2 blue cards? Baron buff no longer gives any fighting power, so the defending side has to actively attack, or else the towers go down way too fast.
After testing, I am truly looking forward to the preseason. This will definitely be a very fun version. We’vce been playing the S3 version for a very long time. Even though S3 is an excellent version, I am still eager for the new version, because the changes are very interesting and attractive. Nobody knows which champions and what strategies will become mainstream in the preseason tournaments.
Are you guys excited for the new season? Let’s await the Preseason together!
What these changes mean (my impressions):
For junglers: The adjusted spawn timers make it impossible to receive a long leash on Buffs, so junglers will have to again Smite. This removes the imminent threat of level 3 ganks against level 2 Champions. With the addition of a new Camp and items that increase a jungler’s profit from farming, it actually makes this role a viable alternative for carries that have a hard time surviving in lane.
For mid: As stated, mid laners will have to be much more active on the ganking scene. The choice between farming or assisting a lane will become far more strategic with the revisions to XP, vision and overall reduction of snowball scenarios. The math clearly suggests Fizz, Kassadin, Zed and so on will continue to be viable in Season 4. Yeah, science bitch!
For top lane: Much of the pressure to buy early wards and play on tower has been removed with the addition of Trinkets and now with the reworked Jungle. Top Laners should have a broader set of alternatives for starting items and may actually commit to level 2-3 fights without getting squatted by an overleveled double-buff Jarvan. Solo lanes and top especially will balance around early push strategies, due to the increased bounty on towers. So hugging that mighty expensive turret may become a detriment to your team’s success! It doesn’t change the core philosophy of top lane (stats>skill), but it may shake up the typical roster with Champions who can push an enemy to his/her turret at early level.
Bottom lane: The most notable change here is to Supports. Given how many more opportunities there are for Support champions to gain gold and scale their assisting power, we may see a heavy snowball effect with kill-comps over farming ones. Expect Taric/Graves, Corki/Leona and the like to return in full force, as swinging the tides early on means the winning comp’s Support will be in an infinitely better position, with more gold to spend on core items and vision.
The New Baron buff: Overall it removes the skewed powerlevel in teamfights where one team has Baron. Now Nashor will be more about splitpush and poke compositions dominating the enemy by applying continuous pressure over just steam rolling with better stats. The extra movement speed means the buffed team can easily re-position and snipe objectives. It’s certainly a dynamic improvement over the previous version, but balance in certain comps remains to be seen.
I’m interested in how Season 4′s reiteration of the meta will tie in with the recently announced Team Builder. Will these changes encourage pro players to experiment with different setups? It certainly looks like Riot is trying to stray from the currently enforced composition, but won’t know until we get to test it for ourselves.
Riot encourages Summoners to rise against the practice of Elo boosting.
Riot CaptnPanda: The battle against Elo Boosting commences everyday.
We get an extremely high volume of reports of Elo booster and Elo Boostees. We want to find justice for these boosters as much as you do. Our investigations on these players are very in depth and in some cases may take some time. IP addresses and Lolking scores are not as reliable as you may think and we always want to make sure that we are 100%. We do this so we catch the guilty ones and ensure that no innocent bystanders get caught in the cross fire [shared IPs, College/PC Cafe IPs]
Since the results are not instant it may seem that we aren’t looking into this or that we don’t care. Since the end of the season is near there are those summoners who are desperate for those rewards. This is the reason for the spike. As players are seeing the spike in games we are seeing the spike in reports and we go through and investigate every single report made.
As Summoners you have every right to help us find these boosters/bostees.
Efficient reports include: Summoner name - Of both the Boostee and Booster if you know but either summoner name will work. Screen Shots- It’s not always apparent that a booster will admit in chat that they are boosting or a player will say they are playing on a friend to get them out of bronze but if it does and you screen cap it it will help us greatly.
Anything else. If you think it might be helpful to us include it in your report. With this information we can get to our investigations quickly and in some cases be more efficient. Every little bit helps.
What’s your stance on smurfing in order to duo queue with friends?
Riot CaptnPanda: I’ve been on both sides. A few years ago I had a smurf I made when my friends were first getting into league. So they wouldn’t have to suffer through the horrors of getting matched up with level 30s when they are still only level 7. I’ve also suffered through playing a games where you are playing against players who are smurfing. It’s frustrating I will say that.
Personally though I do not see anything wrong with this. Not only because it’s a fairly common thing to do but whenever I’m up against that Platinum smurf Mid, or that Diamond Smurf ADC I’m learning. They are stretching my skills in a way where it’s not just another game. I almost never see it as a negative experience I always see it as an opportunity for my skills to get maybe even a little better.
Is claiming to be an Elo booster a bannable offense?
Riot CaptnPanda: Claiming to be elo boosting wouldn’t get a player banned. If a player was reported because they said that when we investigated their account we would see that they weren’t.
Are these the only issues concerning boosting?
Riot CaptnPanda: Absolutely not.
When you are confiding in a booster you are putting your account at a lot of risk. A booster can steal your account or get your account banned by the tribunal by being toxic while playing.
A boostee is also hurting their teammates. By being boosted to a division you haven’t played up to yourself. Your skills are not up to par with your teammates which can make a game very frustrating.
Finally, you are getting rewarded for something you didn’t achieve. This falls down to just principle. An average player could be putting in their blood sweat and tears to make it to gold before the seasons end. Weather they make it or not they get that feel of accomplishment on how far they’ve achieved. A boostee didn’t get any of this they got rewarded for doing nothing. As stated before it falls on principle.
Can we report Facebook pages that advertise boosting?
Riot CaptnPanda: Facebook groups are tricky that being sometimes Summoner Names are hard to find. You can report this as usual ticket. The subject line should sum up the ticket ” Facebook Elo boosting group ” for example. Then in the ticket just include everything you can. Links, Screen Shots, anything you think would be helpful for us to figure out if this group is actually an elo boosting group or not. However, Groups and such tend to take us longer to investigate. Just keep that in mind.
Marv finally had his life clear up a bit, here’s his next chapter:
On the balcony, Marvelous sat alone. Letting his legs dangle off the side and slowly swing in the breeze miles above the ground he simply sat alone, watching the clouds dance through the sky. The pain in his neck was still extremely present, fingers dragging over his neck slightly. As he pulled the fingers away he found stains of blood upon said fingers, causing him to grimace in disgust but otherwise remain silent
“Let me see that,” somebody spoke behind him. Marvelous turned to see Sarah, moving to sit next to him with a small bag of supplies from their brief time camping. Miss Fortune placed two fingers under his chin, lifting it as her other hand began to scour through the supplies to find disinfectant and bandages. “It’s not too bad to be honest. It’ll hurt like hell but otherwise youre going to be fine, Marv.”
As Sarah pulled out a small bit of cotton and a tiny container of Zaun anti-biotic (Which would likely get him more injured than prevent sickness), and began to dab along the cut. She could see the Captain seething as the antibiotic left a stinging sensation all along the cut but, otherwise, he remained still. “This is probably going to leave a scar on your neck,” Sarah mentioned, frowning to herself as she slowly began to place a bandage over the cut. It made Marvelous look similar to Singed in having his entire neck wrapped but otherwise, it was clean medical work.
Finally he spoke up. “I don’t suppose you have scars too or you’ve simply dealt with wounds that would scar? You seem to know a lot about injuries,” He muttered.
Sarah frowned softly, grasping the bottom of her blouse and lifted. At first, Marvelous thought she was trying something to change the subject. This thought was stopped once he saw what she meant to display: A long, thin gash just under her breast that reached across her side. Curiosity took hold as Marvelous reached over to touch it before recoiling. It was, after all, very close to a personal area. “Sorry.”
Sarah shook her head, lowering her blouse. This time she hooked a hand on the rim of her pants, pulling down ever so slightly to reveal another scar: A small but noticeable “dot” on her pelvis, most likely a bullet wound. “Don’t worry about it, Cap. Any pin-ups I’ve done use so much magic to remove these little…imperfections…that most don’t know they exist. It’s natural curiosity to want to touch.”
Marvelous smiled before turning away, rubbing at the bandage. “Thank you for saving me. It means a lot, especially since we were sort of in that argument.”
Sarah turned to him, smiling back as she reached over. Her hand was placed atop his, fingers sliding under his palm. She squeezed, fingers agile but callous from years of gunplay and ship labor. He squeezed back, turning to her and smiling softly.
“It meant more to me for standing up for me after my…moment.” Sarah spoke with a twinge of regret. The unprofessional “freak-out”, for lack of a better phrase, was pretty unbecoming. More so, it brought about unpleasant memories of what had catapulted her from average young woman into pirate-hunting markswoman. “Seeing his eyes? The red. It made me, well, panic. I know he likely didn’t do it, he’s too young, but it still made me want to turn him into a bullet sponge,” Sarah admitted.
“Well, I kind of realized why it hurt so much for me to talk down to you like that. In a way, I saw myself when that guy was talking so much garbage of you.” Marvelous turned away. Sarah’s eyebrow rose, moving her hand off of his. “I guess this is my way of saying I’m sorry?” he spoke, questioning his own intention as Sarah watched him.
Slowly, Marvelous turned. “If you’re still mad, I don’t blame you. You have a right to be. Sticking up for you was the right thing to do but I doubt it makes up for what I said before,” he added, looking away from her. Instead, Marvelous flinched. Sarah’s weight was placed upon him as she wrapped an arm around him, pulling herself into a half-hug. He turned, surprised as he watched her just press against him. It wasn’t the slightest bit risqué either! It was a pure, unconditional embrace of gratitude.
“I still think what you did was incredibly stupid and the way you treat a fair bit of champions at the Institute, myself included, is shallow and exemplifies us in a bad light…but that was a good start towards making things better,” She said, pulling away before nodding to him. “Maybe deep down, there’s more to this author than profiting on other’s stories?” Sarah smirked a bit.
Marvelous looked away as he coughed slightly. So much for a complete reconciliation but, as Sarah said, it was a start.
Captain stood up, rolling his shoulders to fix his jacket. “C’mon. We should go find Dirk. Viktor should have almost finished getting a hang of the ship’s controls.” Offering a hand, Marvelous pulled Sarah upwards, the two walking back towards the depths of the hanger as they went to find Dirk.
Dirk was alone on a balcony, leaning over the railing after finally getting Maokai to leave him be. To say that his head was pounding was an understatement; it felt more akin to Nautilus bashing his skull with the heaviest part of his anchor over and over. The throbbing in his head was made only worse by the irritation of his shoulder, the two working in tandem to make Dirk feel as terrible as possible.
Dirk was so out of it that he didn’t notice M approach until he was already right next to him, a small brown cylinder in his mouth. “Cigar? Janna doesn’t approve of me smoking in her home,” He asked, offering Dirk a little cylinder from the pocket of his coat.
Dirk just glared, putting off an aura that would make the average person keep this distance.
“Eh, suite yourself.” M said even as Dirk continued to glare. Dirk wasn’t quite sure what M did, but something made the blade burst into flames.
M tapped the tip of the cigar to the flame before shaking the sword. The flames died as M breathed deeply of his smoke. “Like it? It’s a blade made from a phoenix feather. All magical and such.” M tried to establish conversation but Dirk, unfortunately, seemed far too distracted with the agony of his wounds.
At this M grumbled, arms crossed as he stuck the sword back on his belt loop. “Very well, Dirk. Viktor told me that you have a “tragic story”. Question is, what exactly happened to you? Considering you’re not gonna talk to me, I think I’ll play detective.” For a long time M stared at Dirk, the Summoner’s head hung low as he fought back both anger and the urge to vomit. That idiotic cigar was only serving to increase the feeling of sickness deep within his body and the crimson eyes boring a hole into his back didn’t make it any easier.
M nodded to himself after what seemed like an eternity. “Right, here’s what I guess: You’re too young to have anything to do with the rune wars. You don’t seem to bear any state insignia or marking, so this isn’t a matter of that. You don’t look Ionian nor Demacian. Maybe Noxian but that’d be a stretch. You’re something else. Hm. . . . Shurima nomad?” Silence. “Bilgewater orphan?” Again, silence. “Piltover? Zaun?” Once more, Silence.
Peering deeper at Dirk, M finally spoke that magic word: “Kalamandra?” Both fed up with his incessant questioning and aggravated beyond belief that M was prying into his life, that trigger word caused Dirk to furiously grab at M’s shirt, grabbing a handful of the cloth on his chest menacingly. M only smirked, nodding as Dirk finally looked up, regarding him with nothing but animosity.
“There it is. There’s that scar you don’t like people knowing,” M said, casually tossing his half-spent cigar over the edge of the balcony. Lightly he took Dirk’s hands, removing them from his shirt (Which Dirk reluctantly allowed) as he leaned on the edge. “I don’t need to know your whole life story, I just needed to see where you came from. I got what I need so we’re done here, if you so choose. You all should probably get moving anyway, no telling how soon until someone figures out where you went.”
With that, Dirk turned to the door of the balcony. As he grasped the handle, however, he turned to look at M. “Your name is M, right?” Dirk questioned. To this M nodded, arms crossed as he raised an eyebrow. For a short time the two men locked eyes, Dirk trying to figure out the right way to phrase this while M just waited to find out what Dirk had to say. It was difficult but Dirk finally figured out just what to say.
“You’re a dick.”
And with that, Dirk opened the door and closed it right on the dot. M could only chuckle to himself, shaking his head. “Wouldn’t say he’s wrong. Wouldn’t say he’s wrong at all . . .”
In the hanger, Dirk found his motley crew pretty much ready to go . . . sort of. Maokai stood on the “bridge” that let people walk up to the deck of the airship, even as Marvelous and Sarah were trying to push him along against his will.
“I shall go at my own pace, humans!” Maokai angrily shouted, this predicament a near-copy of the situation in trying to get the treant into the elevator. “You think it’s easy to board a metal coffin that will throw me into the sky!? You disgust me with this abomination you call technology!”
In a much more peaceful display, Janna and Viktor were going over the final preparations of piloting her airship with Viktor rather quickly grasping the finer mechanics of using such a vehicle.
“Hey Dirk, we’re almost ready but a certain TREANT is making this VERY difficult for us!” Sarah said, the combined shoving of both Marvelous and herself moving Maokai only inches at a time. Dirk, not in any mood to watch this spectacle, simply moved up the ramp and onto the ship. The trio of Maokai, Marvelous, and Miss Fortune watched him march up the ramp, moving right past Janna and Viktor before heading below deck.
To this the entire group shared a look of worry. “Viktor wasn’t kidding. He’s going to hurt himself unless he has some way to de-stress himself,” Captain said, Maokai inching a little closer to the deck as the two stopped pressing on his bark. “We didn’t happen to have painkillers or any remedies to reduce the pain, did we?” Sarah shook her head at Marv’s question, causing both of them to cross their arms and stew on the situation.
Janna nodded to Viktor, lifting herself off the deck and slowly floating herself to the hanger floor. “If at all possible, I’d like to have my ship back in the condition I gave it to you in. Though my better judgment is telling me I’d be lucky to get my ship back at all,” Janna shook her head, sighing to herself. These airships were pretty expensive to produce, but nearly as painful to lose as her friendships.
Viktor nodded, waving to Janna as moved to the side of the ship. “Do not worry. I will take as many precautions and avoid as many risks as I can. It is not much but it will be the best I can do for you.”
Finally the combined shoving of Sarah and Captain carted Maokai onto the deck…who made his way over to the closest, centermost section of the deck he could and planted himself onto the floor, making sure he couldn’t see over the side.
“Well with our group mascot on the boat, I believe we’re ready to ship out?” Marvelous questioned, looking around and seeing Sarah already removing the ramp from the side while Viktor moved into the pilot’s cabin. The ship’s engines began to roar to life as energy flooded the many wires and pipes connecting the various turbines and sails.
Janna watched from the side as they began to leave. Politely, she waved to the departing group. “Sorry again for all the trouble we caused you, Marvelous. Well, all the trouble M caused! For what it is worth, I found some of your books entertaining!” Janna yelled, voice barely clear over the roar of engines.
Marvelous waved back, Sarah joining in as the gripped the side of the ship.
“We’re sorry for the trouble as well! Sorta, that is! I’ll see you on the fields, Janna!” Sarah yelled back, the ship slowly hovering in the hanger before lethargically backing itself out. Janna watched as that ship emerged from the hanger gate, hovering in the land above the clouds before turning its back to her, sailing outward and onward.
With the 2013 World Cyber Games just about a month away and the upcoming launch of Riot’s Japanese server, it’s time to bring some attention the LoL scene in Japan. I had a chance to talk with Takuya ‘Aotaka’ Fujita’, the top laner of Japan’s WCG representative, Team Rampage.
Take a second to introduce yourself for those who may not be familiar with the Japan LoL scene.
Aotaka: Hi my name is Aotaka and I’m playing for the Japanese team: Rampage.
What was preparation like going into the WCG qualifiers?
Aotaka: We are scrimming against SEA teams and trying to improve our communication and the team moves. It sounds basic but we need to learn from this since we don’t have experience like other region does atm.
How would you describe your play style?
Aotaka: My play style is aggressive and trying to win the lane. I love the feeling when you can beat someone in lane and dominating.
Who is your favorite current champion? Who do you feel is the strongest Top lane champion currently?
Aotaka: Irelia and Jax are my favorite champions. I like more aggressive champions that can dominathe e in lane like season 2 more than Shen/Renekton. Sadly the champions I like aren’t good picks with tcurrent Meta.
You defeated Peachserver Allstars as well as Detonation FM, the winners of JCG Premier League Season 2. Do you think you have improved since JCG season 2 and are stronger than those teams?
Aotaka: We didn’t play the games against PA in JCG S2, we forfeited. In a tournament setting, we have never lost against PA or Detonation FM in tournament since Rampage was formed.
You are not playing in JCG season 3 despite winning the WCG qualifiers. Will we see you in Season 4?
Aotaka: There’s a deep background to this. The biggest reason is because JCG tournament side got threatened by Rampages opponents team manager so the opponent team and JCG organization were trying to change tournament dates many times. We said no multiple times but they wanted us to change our rosters. So because of how JCG acted, Rampage decided to not play in S2 and S3.
Aotaka: Currently it’s fine. JCG posted on their homepage that they made a mistake so we are going to play if they are not going to do same mistake again which they promise to us. (Tournament Organization that can’t follow their rules are not acceptable, they need to respect players more). Yes, we are going to play in S4.
Thoughts on AF1A/B and The Beastmitai?
Aotaka: I have no idea around Japanese team, so I don’t have any kind of image to tell about those teams. Our manager is normally just giving us how our opponent plays when we are going to play any Japanese team so I have never cared about the Japanese teams.
Who do you think is currently the strongest Top laner in Japan? Strongest Team in Japan?
Aotaka: I think I’m the strongest Top laner in Japan, and my team is the strongest Team. If there’s any stronger team, they would have won the WCG Japanese qualifier.
Do you have obligations outside of LoL? What is it like trying to balance these things with competitive gaming? Do you have plans to make a living from professional gaming?
Aotaka: I’m spending my free times on Solo queue, I’m always inside LoL. I enjoy the game and without LoL, I can’t keep the balance. I would like to play as professional gamer but it’s hard without a Japanese LoL scene.
What server are you currently playing on? Do you feel that Japanese teams are at a disadvantage currently without their own server?
Aotaka: Japanese teams are are playing on NA server; I think we have a disadvantage. Making scrim against NA teams are hard because of time zone and it’s hard to grow the Japanese scene without an official Japanese community.
Aotaka: I heard you are scrimming teams from SEA/GPL. How are those going, and what are your thoughts on the teams from those regions?
Aotaka: Yeah, we scrim a lot and I would like to thank to all the manager and teams. The games are going good, there are of course many teams that are better than us and everyone is friendly there. We are getting great help to improve us self.
How much of an impact do other regions have on your gameplay? What region do you follow the closest?
I love KR scene, I’m always watching the OGN. I’m a big fan of KR scene.
You are working on finding a second player for each position. What type of role will the secondary players have in the team? Will there be constant swapping, or is it more of a sub position?
Aotaka: The reason why we are looking second player in each position is to improve together and schedule problem for tournaments and scrims. There’s many people working at the same time so we just need more players to keep as an organization, we don’t have an income by playing LoL.
Do you have any favorite players or role models in the game? Who?
Aotaka: Cj Entus Blaze’s top laner Flame. I’m already excited to meet him at WCG. My dream was to meet him.
Did you follow the World Championship? If so, who did you think would win season 3? Who do you feel the strongest team in the world is currently?
Aotaka: Yeah I followed the WCS, I have been watching SKT from the OGN scene so I really wanted them to win. I’m happy that they won and I still think SKT is the strongest team.
Heading into season 4, what types of changes would you like to see to top lane, or the game in general, if any? Do you feel any champions need tweaking currently?
Aotaka: More aggressive lane with more 1 v 1 laning phase, I hope Irelia gets more buffed.
Are you planning on forming a B team? Do you feel having a secondary team offers an advantage against teams without one?
Aotaka: PA is old Rampage B team, we would like to form a B team but in Japan we lack on players to do that so we have to take it slowly atm. We don’t think secondary team will offer us an advantage; the reason why we had B team was lack of scrim partners in Japanese scene 1 year ago. Currently with nice support from other regions and people, we can scrim with good teams to improve now without a B team.
Are you planning to scrim Korean teams?
Aotaka: We would like to play against any Korean teams, but we don’t have the way to do that right now.
What do you hope to improve on the most individually? As a team?
Aotaka: Team fighting. We need to communicate more and learn the strategy to make our game easier. Communication is a key point but it’s really hard.
Do you think Japan should have been in the Wildcard for Season 3 World Championship? Do you believe they will be able to compete in the S4 World Championship?
Aotaka: No, I don’t really think so because we don’t have a server. Rule is a rule, the requirments for Wildcard was server so I can’t really say yes. But I wish we could have played there. We have played teams qualified on Wildcard and we played the games fine with them, I’m taking this positive but we need to improve more to compete in the S4 World Championship for sure.
What steps do you feel need to be made in Japan to promote LoL, and LoL esports? When an official Japanese server is released, do you expect a large increase in the competitive scene?
Aotaka: I can’t really image how it’ll become since computer games aren’t that popular in Japan, people prefer to play arcade games more like Street fighter. Japanese people understanding about E-sports is really low, we need something to change about this and I think Japanese server would be a good step for that.
Does having a manager living in Sweden make it difficult?
Aotaka: It’s difficult since I have to wake up really early in the morning when I need to watch the scrims on live because I’m coaching the team too, but I enjoy it. I’m helping the team with English part, making scrims and training the team with my experience and so far it has been working great.
Will the team ever look to move into a Gaming house? What type of effect would a gaming house have on the team?
Aotaka: Every Rampage member would like to have a Gaming house, but we can’t see the possibility in current scene in Japan so it would be difficult. I think it would affect the team positive, mostly the communication part and understanding in team mate will improve.
What are your goals for Season 4? What is your preparation like heading into the new season?
Aotaka: Rampage was made since MizuRussian wanted to have more preparation into Season 4 when Japan is getting a server. In Japanese scene, teams are disbanding too often, so he wanted to make an organization that would stop it somehow or make a team that could play in the long term.
What is the meta like in Japan compared to other regions?
Aotaka: Japan Meta is like season 2. One of the reasons why our Meta doesn’t improve is because that team is disbanding way too often as we mention before. We are trying to watch the VODs from world-class team but it hasn’t been successful enough to form our own meta yet.
What is the team’s preparation like heading into WCG?
Aotaka: Trying to improve our individual skills is needed but we are trying to focus more on communication and how to work as team, especially when playing against strong teams.
Aotaka: Thank you to everyone for the interview. We would like thank to all the fans, it helped us a lot to keep our motivation.
We will try our best at WCG, I hope everyone will enjoy the tournament and thanks again for reading. I’m streaming solo queue sometimes and when I do I tweet on Twitter. If you have time please take a look. Arigatou!
If there’s any organization or company willing to help us, we would appreciate it.