- State of Quinn
- Thoughts on Ezreal
- Context for PBE Changes to Veteran’s Scars
- Mordekaiser follow-up thread
- Reasoning for Swain PBE nerf
- Context for Ziggs PBE changes
- Context for Skarner PBE nerfs
- State of Yasuo
- Context for Hecarim’s unit collision change on the PBE
- Rengar to be looked at next week
- Meddler on various in-game mechanics
- Fan-artist feature: Shilin
She’s too strong. We’ll nerf her early game through some base AD and some Q nerfs, and then she should be in a better spot. I had some stuff submitted on Wednesday to the build that goes to PBE, but it looks like we didn’t ship to PBE on Wednesday due to the holiday week. Expect to see some stuff show up there on the next PBE build.
Yes, but I’m not sure what the right call is on that yet.
Q is dealing too much damage for the utility it provides, or it is providing too much utility for the damage it deals (or both).
Harrier is a bit stronger around levels 3-6 before she’s backed and bought any AD (because it now has a base damage that is scaling with her level rather than being all AD dependent).
Some other stuff that may be contributing:
- She’s really good against Illaoi
- Not having the option to rush Homeguards (which was fun, and many people were doing) may actually have been a buff because players are buying more combat-effectiveness in their early items.
So that in a balanced state she does not need to be snowballing incessantly in order to be useful for her team. That isn’t to say she’s balanced on this patch; she most certainly isn’t.
In a balanced state, she’ll be able to hit a good Q on a mage or marksmen to help her team win a fight, rather than having to have all her value loaded into her R and raw damage.
Ezreal feels like he fell a bit short of what we expected to see from him in the 5.22 preseason patch. We should look over him along with some others like Ashe, Sivir, and Twitch before the preseason ends. For him specifically, we nerfed some stuff to make room for the improved Q cooldown reducing effect as a precautionary measure, but it may not have been necessary.
We expected him to be fine, and he’s honestly not super far off. He tends to sit at a lower-than-average win rate when considered balanced by us and most players.
op.gg has him at a 48.5% win rate over the last week in Korea, where he has always been and continues to be a very popular pick, so that seems like decent evidence that he’s not horribly far off. I don’t think he requires much more than a slight adjustment, really.
It is sad, and we’re not happy with it either. If we had the right low-cost approach (resources seem to mostly be allocated things at the moment), there may be something we could do. Of course there are things we could do, but it’s more a matter of finding a good long-lasting approach.
I’m not in charge of these changes, but one thing to keep in mind here is that changes to the early game power of something have a far greater effect than changes at all other points in the game. It’s why reducing someone’s base HP by 40 or base AD by 3 can result in substantial performance hits to champions.
I imagine this change is intentionally aimed at keeping it powerful in the early game (45 base HP is significant power, as noted above) without it scaling well into the late game. I do believe most the rest of the Resolve tree tends to scale very well into the late game.
Veteran’s Scars’ placement in the Resolve tree does make it accessible to more than just tank-types that are going down to Resolve keystones.
That seems like a good solution if there is currently nothing attractive in the other trees.
If we wanted trees to belong to only one class/archetype of champion, they would be 30 points deep instead of 18 so that you had to invest all your points in that tree in order to get to the keystones.
We’re going to be trying out methods of making our internal design reviews player-facing. These reviews are mostly done on major champion releases, updates, and systems tuning that we roll out. We may dig into our archives for recently released champions as well.
These reviews will probably not be very ‘polished’ in their presentation, rather, they’re meant to be a way of showing how we examine our work. By looking back at our original goals and then examining what’s currently working (or not working) in the present day, we can be more transparent about followup changes while also being able to discuss what ‘good’ looks like.
This is very much an experimental process, but hopefully it proves valuable in the long run. Our first trial is going to be… Mordekaiser.
- Solidify Mordekaiser in the Juggernaut space (low mobility, high close-range threat)
- Offer a different non-Marksman duo lane experience
- Add new strategic meaning to Dragon
- Strengths / Weaknesses profile aligns with Juggernaut space
- Provides a different bot lane experience and has unique ally synergies
- Dragon creates unique and memorable moments
- Extremely early / mid game dominant – lacks true, exponential late game scaling
- Both Morde and Dragon follow this power curve
- Too difficult to interact with in lane, due to sustain on top of sustain
- High AP ratios (especially on R) still leading to Morde being potentially too bursty
- Q damage ramping is extreme and readability is poor – leads to weird “what happened?” moments on Q3 hits
- Tankiness is extremely inconsistent (unlike other Juggernauts) due to Passive’s scaling with direct damage output – increases snowball dependence
- Dragon / pet controls are still clunky
- Experience bonus passive may not be the optimal solution – it is effective and functional, but low in satisfaction and hard to understand
- Lower sustain early, better damage scaling late
- Dragon needs more late game relevance and potentially less early game power
- Flatten Q damage out (more on 1, less on 3) while still preserving the 3rd hit as a big, high moment
- Increase the importance of effectively utilizing Passive / E to survive in lane and fights
Hopefully this gives you guys a bit more insight into our current thinking on Morde and helps explain the direction we’re moving him in with the recent patch.
Feel free to chime in with any thoughts, questions, or concerns.
This is a good point, definitely an oversight on our part.
I have personal opinions on this, but I don’t want to misrepresent the entire team’s analysis and design direction for Solo Morde.
I’ll try to get some analysis and thoughts back to you guys on this topic after the upcoming break.
This is an open question. In development, we didn’t think that Morde would continue to be so reliant on AP itemization. We envisioned him having access to the new Juggernaut items in addition to the hybrid AP / AD items.
What do you WANT to build when you play Mordekaiser? I think this would give us a better idea of where to push his itemization incentives.
If AP itemization is what Morde should be buying, I really like the idea of hybrid defensive / AP items being his mainstay (like you stated above – Rylai’s, Liandry’s, Abyssal, Zhonya’s make sense).
I think it’s a lot trickier when Morde’s optimal builds make him a glass cannon – so I’m pretty personally weary of pushing him into items like Nashor’s or Deathcap.
Would a build like Rylai’s + Gunblade + Tank items make sense for Morde?
I think more importantly than nerfing the AP build, we want to provide alternate build paths that allow Morde to truly live out the Juggernaut fantasy.
I can talk to the Live team / CertainlyT about the base stats situation.
Well if we made this change we would probably have to reduce how fast it generates as well, otherwise that would be a pretty significant buff especially in the lane phase.
Well we’re not married to this exact solution, but overall we feel like an early / mid-game Dragon can be pretty overwhelming to deal with. As the game goes on though, the Dragon Ghost eventually just melts to the exponential late game damage scaling. We think this mostly has to do with survivability tuning.
We’ve felt Swain’s been borderline too strong for a long time, but his low play and ban rate have been a deciding factor in leaving him as is and keeping an eye on him. We’re now seeing him perform really well post preseason changes, so feel we need to take some power off him. Current thinking (still going through testing, so not a locked change yet), is that as a sustained damage, drain mage-tank, that CC’s the best strength to hit, hence the change to Nevermove so it’s got a lower duration at lower ranks.
Looks like it got changed during the rework. I’d assume it was part of the balancing sweep that happened in the last month or so before the rework’s release and documentation was missed.
We feel Ziggs is in a weak spot at the moment, and has been for a bit. We’re not looking to go back to the days of endless wave stalling though, so we’re adding power to places where it’s more anti champion/objective than anti lane minion (sweet spot on ult, tower damage from passive).
Sounds like a really good idea. Will bring that up if we’re doing some animation work on Ziggs at some point we could bundle that in with.
From what I understand, the team just wanted to try out a few different avenues as to how we want to nerf Skarner. Though it won’t show up on the PBE over the holiday weekend, I believe the plan is to go with a pared down version of these nerfs for final changes.
It seems worth noting here that it can be difficult to really try more than one thing out at a time in an effort to land on the correct change when it comes to nerfs and buffs, because we tend to get large reactions from players when we do so. I’m not saying that reaction isn’t justified (since we don’t have the greatest history of being fully transparent on every change you see on the PBE), but I do think that’s what is going on in this case.
We think he’s too strong. Incredibly overpowered? No. But slightly too strong, hence going with a small set of nerfs. You’re free to disagree with that assessment; that was my first reaction too. That said, this is a character that is around a 54% win rate, with an experienced player win rate that appears to easily break 60%, so it’s not unreasonable to assess him as overtuned.
Skarner does have a low play rate, so yes, he can probably be balanced resting north of a 50% win rate. These changes aren’t intended to (nor do I believe they will) be an enormous power hit, just a small power trim.
First of all, you could hardly call a nerf to his ultimate “taking a dump on him,” so please don’t blow things out of proportion.
As to trying to address a low play rate, there is an assumption here that we would like him to be a popular champion, or at least more popular than he is now. It’s unlikely that Skarner will ever be popular, given the theme, fantasy, and kit of the character.
His theme and fantasy aren’t bad, just niche. And his kit just doesn’t really have the best gameplay built into it, and it never really has. Keep in mind, when I mention good gameplay, I don’t mean that the kit has never been and will never be fun; it’s more that his moment-to-moment power has always been very stat checky. We’d have a lot of work to wholly fix that, and though we tried to chip at it with the Juggernauts update, it would be disingenuous of me to say that it was fixed. He’s now more strategically interesting insofar as he thinks about and tries to set up where he fights you, but it’s still not particularly interesting how he fights you when he does.
For what it’s worth, this isn’t an isolated Skarner case. It’s pretty consistent with many of the melee guys out there, especially the ones that we made 3-4 years ago.
We still think the spires should be important to his success, but there’s also an argument to be made for him having too many eggs in one basket, so to speak. For now, I believe we’re sticking with the ult AD ratio and leaving the spire strength intact.
Yasuo is likely too strong, though it’s hard to say by how much. Honestly, and I don’t expect this to be a popular opinion, he’s probably just more frustrating than he is actually overpowered.
This could be me not remembering correctly, but I was under the impression both Brand and DFT were getting nerfs on the PBE.
Maybe. It depends how frustrating a champion should be. I think there’s an argument to be made that if a champion isn’t frustrating in one way or another, it’s probably not very compelling/unique/interesting, though of course that isn’t to say we should intentionally make frustrating champions.
Yeah, Yasuo feels great to play because he often has so much agency over how his lane goes. Unfortunately, that often seems to come at the expense of his opponents’ agency, so it may be fair to say that’s what’s so frustrating about him.
Basically, yes. It’s about how much control someone has over their fate. If a character is 100% in control of how a lane goes if played well, then that implies it doesn’t even matter what their opponent does to defeat them, and it sucks to be that opponent and know that I can play as well as I want and it doesn’t even matter all that much.
It’s just a barrier based on how well the person can play their champion. These champions are commonly ones that people claim are overloaded. Yasuo, Lee Sin, Nidalee (to use a champion that I was responsible for) have all been guilty of this, and this is some of why we see them needing to be balanced around lower than 50% win rates; because when you actually play things perfectly on champions like these, you leave little room for your opponent to do much of anything.
Unfortunately, these champions are also commonly very popular because they have that feeling of being able to do anything with them, so it does someone beg the question of whether we should be trying to make more champions like that (that players feel like they are in full control of their destiny), or ones with clearer weaknesses for opponents to exploit (at the expense of some of that control).
I don’t have any deep insight into the particular Hecarim changes on the PBE, but I imagine it has to do with Hecarim’s perma unit collision avoidance being somewhat fundamentally flawed given the kit he has. He just gets near you and then spams circles of damage onto you. If he is stronger and you don’t have a tool to get away, he will win.
On the one hand, yes, he’s always been this way, so the need for this particular change on this very patch is probably no greater than on any other patch. On the other hand, if he’s deemed too powerful at the moment by the balance team (which seems to be the case), it seems like a good place to trim power.
For what it’s worth, permanently ignoring unit collision is probably not something we should just put on champion kits, and I wouldn’t really be opposed to us taking this from Fizz and Kassadin as well, even if it meant we had to compensate them with power elsewhere. It’s just not that exciting for how powerful it is. I don’t think anyone selects any of these champions primarily because they are excited about ignoring unit collision. As any of these champions, I’d rather have just about any of my spells be a bit stronger rather than always avoiding unit collision.
Even if someone was picking these champions solely for these reasons, this to me is more an argument that pathing/collision should be more tolerable on average than having players choose champions that ignore the rule.
I’m not really the guy to make that call, but I will say I’d prefer that we do that over having champions that selectively ignore it on a case by case basis.
Unit collision between champions is actually something I do think is good, and I do think it’s nice that my minions may cause small reroutes for enemies that are ahead of me, so unit collision isn’t all bad. However, I do understand how frustrating and inconsistent it has felt on Live lately, and that’s not ideal either.
I hope we have some plans for him, but I’d need to look into it next week.
Garen still have a silence
Fizzs ult increase damage taken
Veigar ult scale with other person ap
Udyr have Phoenix stance
Ahri charm not increase damage taken anymore
What’s the purpose of urgots ult
Enemies knocked back into bards magical journey not go through it
We want to remove silences from highly mobile, high burst champions since those are the cases that leave very little counterplay if played correctly. Garen’s not very mobile, so we feel it’s appropriate he has a silence still.
Fizz ult has a damage amp on it so that more of Fizz’s burst combo is dependent on a long cooldown. That makes his choice of when he goes all in, and on who, more significant than if he can repeatedly use most of his full burst combo.
Veigar’s ult scales with the opponent’s AP so that Veigar has somewhat different target and match up preferences than other similar champions. It does add a bit more champion select counter feeling than we tend to prefer though, and can get drowned out by the sheer amount of AP he himself builds up, so there’s some debate over how appropriate a mechanic that is.
Phoenix is there to offer Udyr an AOE option should he wish it, and to add some nuance to his damage pattern, particularly while jungle clearing.
The damage amp was removed from Ahri’s E to shift her towards more of a mage pattern and less of a pick into kill model (contrast with Fizz being somewhat longer fight times, lack of untargetability, ranged versus melee etc).
Urgot’s a bit of a mess, and his ult doesn’t fit particularly well with the rest of his kit. It can lead to some cool plays, whenever we do an Urgot rework one of our goals will be to give him a kit with less conflicting notes to it.
While knocking enemies through Magical Journey would be cool it’s both quite a lot of power, in a really team dependent way, and likely to lead to a lot of unintended displacements. Bard’s already got a pretty hard to master playstyle and a fair bit of unreliability, so wouldn’t want to double down further on those elements.
Hey Summoners! In today’s feature we’ll be hearing from Shilin, a talented community artist from Canada who enjoys telling stories and has her own original comic series! Continue reading to learn more about her awesome art and process.
If you know someone that you’d like to recommend for a future Fan Artist Feature, please let us know here.
How did you get started creating League of Legends fan art?
My first league piece was actually the current Sona classic splash art that I had the honour of doing! I didn’t play league at the time because I was terrified of any PVP environment, but eventually my now girlfriend babysat me into the game through playing bots and learning about the champions’ stories, which inspired me to do a bunch of drawings as gifts for her of her favourites (Riven, Vayne). I also got a bunch of my own favourites after learning more about the champion lores, and out came all the fan art that I did!
What’s been your favorite piece to create, and why?
My favourite and most natural piece to create is the Nami/MF piece I did, Shipwreck. The composition came to me out of nowhere and the entire rest of the process was just putting what’s in my head onto the canvas, rather than battling the drawing to try to make things work out. I enjoyed thinking about the interaction between the two in the picture a lot, even more than the process of drawing itself. Did Nami strike at a time when MF is most vulnerable? Did Nami save MF from impending fiery doom and just savoring the moment before returning MF to the land? Thinking is the most fun part of drawing!
Do you have a dream project you’d like to work on?
I am extremely lucky because I am already working on my dream project–an original series called Carciphona (at carciphona.com). I don’t know how, but the public has given me enough generous support for me to be able to do this work of my own full time, write/draw/publish the story at my own pace, without the confines of a publisher’s deadlines and writing/art direction restriction, or fear of the series being dropped because it’s not mainstream or successful enough. Even to this day I feel baffled just putting this down in words; being able to do what you love for a living to this extent is like heaven for every creative, and I am so privileged to be there already.
Who’s your inspiration? Do you have any favorite League content creators?
In most cases, my inspiration lies in “what” rather than “who”. I feel most frequently inspired by things I see–even mundane things down the streets, stories I hear–be it a masterwork of fiction or the rundown of a friend’s day, news, experiences… There is so much to think about in everything that happens and there is always something to express through art.
But that is not to say fellow artists are not inspiring as well! I look up to many professional and peer artists alike and find motivation in seeing the fruits of their hardwork and gems of their genius. Some of my favourite League fan artists are:
Suqling – bask in her masterful storytelling and gorgeous art right before she strikes your vitals with her savage puns.
2gold – for her charming characters and beautiful colours!
Kaisinel – from monsters to people, kaisinel makes everything look SO GOOD.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the community?
Please allow me a moment to convince you how awesome it would be to have a League MMO. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to explore all of the breathtaking lore and world building work Riot has put in!? MAYBE IF WE SPAM ENOUGH RITO PLS, WE CAN CHANGE DESTINY???
Last but not least, some awesome videos sharing Shilin’s painting process!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.