Here are a few recent topics on the forums with a generous sprucing of fanart.
(As a meta comment, “meta” is one of those words that gets used to describe so many different things that it has started to lose some of its meaning.)
First, we’re okay with having a 1+1+2+J configuration. Things like duo jungle or three champs in one lane may happen from time to time, but we’re not going to go out of our way to support them. For the most part, the way players allocate number of champs per lane works, and we don’t feel the need to monkey with it.
Second, we are trying to keep the concept of position (top, middle, bottom, jungle) separate from role (fighter, mage, assassin, tank, etc.). We care a lot less which roles are played in which positions as long as the game is healthy overall (more on this below). The characteristics of some roles is going to make them better at some positions (e.g. most junglers are melee) and we’re okay with that. Likewise, there are some individual champs that we don’t want to see frequently in particular positions, because the results tends to be less fun for everyone. The word “Support” is particularly confusing here, because it refers both to a role (“utility mages” like Janna and Sona) as well as the (traditionally bottom) position of jumping into a lane with another champ without actively farming minions. A support role like Sona can play the support position, but so can a mage or a tank.
Third, every role (and ultimately every champion, though we’re not there yet) has to exist in the game somewhere. This is the big corollary to my second point. If there are mages in the top lane and mages in the mid lane, that’s fine. If that means fighters have nowhere to exist, that’s not fine. Ideally (and I mean in the sense of a compass direction, not the state of the game today) you’d sometimes see mages and sometimes see fighters top. To use the current topic, jungle tanks didn’t feel viable, so we made some changes, and now they are plenty viable and I realize some of you feel they are too viable. In crazy world, maybe there is somewhere for marksmen to live besides bottom and maybe you don’t even need a marskman every game. But let’s not get too crazy yet. We used to design new champs as “Gnar is going to be a top lane fighter.” Now we would say “Gnar is a fighter” and leave it up to experimentation and evolution to determine where he fits best, so long as (1) he has some position in which he can be played and (2) isn’t oppressive when he does.
Fourth, we are trying as a team to be a little more hands off and provide players more room to experiment, and this applies to the state of the meta as well. Now, I’ll admit it’s difficult sometimes for us to make the determination of when it is time to step in. This year, we wanted to give y’all a chance to adapt to the preseason changes, but our opinion now is that we waited a little too long to react. We are pretty happy overall with the state of the game post patch 5.5 and 5.6, but maybe things would have felt even better if we had made those changes in 5.4, while 5.2 likely still would have been too soon. Make sense? Likewise, we know there is some concern that tanks are too dominant right now, but we want to wait a few patches to see if that’s a persistent problem or not. The meta will shift on its own, and has, even without Riot involvement. Sometimes it needs a nudge and sometimes the shift is towards something that is likely unhealthy in the long run, and when that happens it’s our responsibility to take action.
Here is the change being discussed:
Super Mega Death Rocket [ R ]
- Minimum damage (from point-blank range) decreased from 125/175/225 [ + 0.5 bonus AD ] to 25/35/45 [ + 0.1 bonus AD ]
So as Jinx’s designer I asked to head up the nerfs coming out for her this patch. Let’s talk about them and Jinxy in general.
First full info on the nerfs:
The min damage on the R is being cut. The max damage is staying the same. Additionally, the execute damage is not being touched. SMD rocket will ALWAYS deal 25/30/35% of the target’s missing health regardless of range.
Below are the rough damage estimates based on ranges Jinxs should be familiar with:
NUMBERS AND CHANGES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE (or not). ALL THIS IS STILL IN TESTING
- R damage @ Point blank: 125/175/225(+.5) >>> 25/35/45 (+.1)
- R damage @ Minigun range: 175/245/315 (+.7) >>> 110/155/200(+.45)
- R damage @ Level 9 Rocket range: 185/260/335 (+.75) >>> 135/190/245(+.55)
- R damage @ Shock Pistol range (max): unchanged – 250/350/450(+1.0)
TLDR summary of the below wall of text:
We like Jinx being strong for a variety of reasons but she may be TOO strong at the moment. Jinx’s snowballing and hyper-carry potential is intended to be strong and we like it where it is so this change is targeted at amping up her main weakness (gets wrekt if jumped on). IF THIS CHANGE GOES TOO FAR WE’LL FOLLOW UP ON IT. THE GOAL HERE IS A SLIGHT TONING DOWN OF JINX’S POWER.
Generally we like Jinx being a strong champ in League of Legends. Even when winning she has a lot of inbuilt counterplay which makes losing to her feel a lot less demoralizing. Thanks to her general immobility combined with the delayed and conditional nature of her spells players tend to come out of games against Jinx with gameplans on how they’re going to beat her next time.
Going off of this, it is likely that Jinx “at balance” sits at above a 50% winrate. This partially stems from the nature of her power profile. Jinx is highly snowbally, especially in AoE focused teamfights, and is one of the best characters in the game at taking objectives after killing off the enemy team. This is going to contribute to a higher number of wins in solo queue where the “group and push” strategy is so prevalent (Jinx loves grouping and pushing!). People group, teamfights happen, Jinx AoE’s things, and 1 kill tends to lead to 1-4 more + towers and dragons.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning Jinx’s dedicated player base. If you run into a Jinx player on live that person is going to have 31 games on her on average, That’s up there with other “I main dis guy forever” champs like Yasuo, Lee Sin, and Riven. For comparison, Graves has a similar play rate to Jinx (they’re neck and neck for most picked ADC), and yet the average Graves player only has 16 games on him. This isn’t meant to be a knock on Graves but more a highlight on the fact that many of the Jinx’s you run into out there have played her A LOT and as such you’d expect a higher win rate out of her due to player experience.
So I’ve gone over why we’re okay with Jinx being strong so in that case why are we nerfing her? Well the thing is there’s strong and then there’s I AM THE GOD OF SOLO QUEUE strong. Jinx is trending towards the latter and has only been getting better each patch. She’s got one of the highest winrates in the game at 55% across all elos and that combined with her insane playrate is cause for alarm. We felt some light tuning would be appropriate to level the playing field vs. other ADC’s so we looked across her kit and asked ourselves “is there anything Jinx is doing right now that maybe she shouldn’t be?”
So as her designer I’ve always felt that Jinx is defined by the following strength and weakness
A) Jinx is a snowball: If you let Jinx get ahead and can’t figure out how to get to her SHE WILL TAKE EVERYTHING YOU LOVE AND BURN IT TO THE GROUND.
B) Jinx has a hard time with people who invade her personal space. If you manage to jump on her when she’s unprepared you should be rewarded accordingly.
The strength is supported by things like Get Excited (the speed passive), the always-on AS/range+AoE steroids on Switcheroo (the Q), and Jinx’s reach in general which progresses from 525 range – to 700 – to 1500 – to global. This power combination ensures that if Jinx has enough gold and manages to get a foothold of safety/advantage in a fight she WILL GET TO YOU, BLOW YOU UP, AND THEN TAKE YOUR TOWERS. This is good, it’s character defining and it’s what we’d like her to excel at.
The weakness is supported by the ramp up on minigun, the cast/arm times on all her spells/ and the damage w/distance mechanic on the R. If you manage to close with an unprepared Jinx she’s going to have a hard time dealing with you. Her spells leave her vulnerable, her AS needs to ramp for full DPS, chompers take a while to arm, and ideally she can’t just Graves ult you for a burst of power unless you’re incredibly low on health.
^^^^^that last thing is where we found a possible problem. Jinx was winning a number of engagements off the sheer burst power of her ultimate, even at pointblank range. This to me is out of line with her strength/weakness profile.
Jinx is a hyper carry who can kill every single member of your team from extreme ranges if left alone but if you jump on her she should be at a severe disadvantage. Nerfing the pointblank ultimate makes the weakness more true and allows us to preserve her strengths in light of extreme power in solo queue.
So yeah I’ve tested the changes and I’m pretty confident that this will not massively affect Jinx’s playstyle. You’re mainly going to feel it against people in melee range of you (and that’s the point) but in the average lane duel at 525 + range it should still be a potent execute. In the early game you’re likely going to need one more basic attack than before to secure those closer range kills.
I’m also willing to admit that we’re not omniscient and this change may affect her in ways we didn’t anticipate. We’ll follow up on it if that’s the case.
I expect we’ll make more Taunt using champions at some point. It’s a type of effect with some pretty specific gameplay, so as with other specialized CCs we’ll probably only ever use it occasionally, in part to ensure those champions with it remain distinctive.
These next ones don’t have linked sources. If you guys know who the artists are, let me know and I’ll add them to the post.
Ghost Bride Zyra
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.