Game Systems analyst ricklessabandon shared a list of tentative changes to Katarina on Twitter. Also, Lead Champion Designer Meddler held a Q&A together with Xypherous, talking about the balance of certain mid mages, the state of Gangplank’s rework and how crit damage on ADC items can be tuned. That plus a sweet conceptual kit for Nautilus.
okay, here’s a preview. i’m still working on tuning, so this comes with the normal ‘work in progress’ disclaimer~ pic.twitter.com/xEPxqw8mWl
— rick maher (@ricklessabandon) January 20, 2015
I’ve formatted the changes below:
- Base Attack Speed decreased from 0.658 to 0.625
- Attack Speed-per-level decreased from 2.74% to 2%
- Sped up Katarina’s auto-attack animation by 46%
Bouncing Blades [ Q ]
- Damage on initial hit decreased from 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.45 AP) to 60/70/80/90/100 ( +0.3 AP)
- Mark damage increased from 15/30/45/60/75 ( +0.15 AP) to 20/55/90/125/160 ( +0.4 AP)
Sinister Steel [ W ]
- Damage changed from 40/75/110/145/180 ( +0.25 AP) (+ 0.6 Bonus AD) to 60/75/90/105/120% of Total AD ( + 0.25 AP)
Shunpo [ E ]
- Damage removed (live value is 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.4 AP)
- Damage reduction increased from 15% at all ranks to 10/15/20/25/30%
- (Also fixed a bug which caused Shunpo’s damage reduction duration to be 1 second instead of 1.5 seconds)
- Cooldown increased from 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 seconds to 15 seconds at all ranks
NEW: Now refunds 80% of Shunpo’s cooldown after blinking to champions Katarina hasn’t Shunpo’d to in the last 9 seconds
- Cooldown refund will trigger on both enemy champions and allied champions
- The 9-second lockout is removed if Katarina gets a reset via her Passive
NEW: Now resets Katarina’s basic attack timer
[ Note ] Nemesis Draft is a new Featured mode that was released in a recent PBE update.
We sure can. There are actually already some changes in place to discourage dodgers, but they aren’t testable on the PBE environment, which is why I didn’t detail them above. As many people have brought up dodging in Nemesis Draft though, let’s get into them right now.
1) Dramatically increased dodge penalties of up to 2 hours for recurring dodges. We can also change these numbers on the fly once live, and we’ll be keeping an eye on them. As many players here have pointed out, Nemesis Draft is an opt-in experience, so there should be no surprises in champ select.
2) In the spirit of rewarding good behaviour, we also have a special reward icon planned for players who don’t leave or dodge any games of Nemesis Draft throughout the mode’s run. There will be a low minimum game requirement, but the goal is to give players who loved Nemesis Draft a badge of honour to display afterwards. This reward will be delivered after the game mode has ended.
For anyone curious on the detection of AFKs, leaving, etc, this recent LeaverBuster FAQ has all the details.
Anyone want to talk about LoL, game design, how we make champions etc? Going to be around for a couple of hours and looking forward to chatting with some of you folks.
To give you a quick bit of background I’ve been at Riot for about three years now. I’ve previously worked on Ziggs, Varus, Syndra, Lissandra, Elise and Gnar. A lot of my time these days is spent looking at the year ahead, working with other Rioters to figure out what sort of champions we want to make, what our goals are etc.
Edit: Xypherous, from the Systems Team that handles stuff like the Preseason changes, is also going to drop by to chat. If you’ve got questions about that sort of stuff should definitely throw them in too! He also worked on Nautilus, Lulu, Orianna, Fizz and Renekton before that as well, so if you’ve got questions about them he’s the guy to hit up.
Edit 2: Thanks for the chat all, I need to head off and grab food. Will drop back later tonight though and add in a few more replies.
There aren’t any champions I don’t think should be in the game at all, I think they’ve all got a solid core to them. In some cases though that’s not very well executed on though. Urgot and Yorick for example have cool underlying ideas (undead cyborg war machine and gravedigger with pet ghouls) that aren’t well realized.
Oh, yeah, then there’s Teemo. Teemo should burn.
I’m totally responsible for Fizz’s ‘E’ – and the intent was to make a frustrating skill that conveyed that aspect of Fizz’s personality. I think my goal was something like ‘Let’s aim for something that feels like Shaco in terms of trickery/frustration without going too far.’ In retrospect – it’s probably worked too well in a lot of regards with that.
The idea for Fizz’s ‘E’ was primarily to allow him to evade opposing damage without actually being durable – so that every now and then his opponents can choke Fizz and obliterate him and feel good about that.
Fizz was really meant to be a character that felt slippery enough so that you experience a moment of catharsis when you finally catch the jerk and annihilate him.
As to lane functionality, it was meant much more for the ‘lower the poke he takes’ rather than the ‘instantly annihilate you with Q’ that it’s become. In hindsight, I wish there was way more incentive to stay on the pole rather than instantly double-tap to move faster.
I don’t work on live balance directly these days, but the incentives to staying on the pole (and perhaps less damage on the double jump part of it) are generally good directions I think. I’d also love to trim Mana costs from his other abilities and shove it even more into the ‘E’ to punish spamming it recklessly like you’ve pointed out.
However, again, don’t work on balancing directly. There’s a bunch of super smart live designers whose job it is to make sure things look okay from a competitive angle.
What we’re currently looking at (note this is experimental, so could well change tomorrow) is slightly lower resistances on Molten Shield, with Tibbers also getting the resistance bonuses as well plus a brief movement speed boost. One of the big goals there, in addition to balance changes, is to make casting Molten Shield a bit more interesting and add a bit of extra depth to how you micro Tibbers.
There isn’t a whole lot of range on a specific ADC for the items they can buy – but at least they’re buying different things (I see 3 or 4 main builds that vary across type – and then there’s Hurricane on Kalista – so there’s variance across ADCs but not in an ADC.)
That’s in an okay spot for now – but in an ideal world lots of things would be different in terms of reactive purchases and such but I think the other classes’ itemization deserve a touch up before we delve back into ADCs.
For an example of more long term stuff – critical strike is eventually going to have to be looked at to prevent AA based carries from forever being the norm, for example – but that exploration will take a while.
I’d kind of like to envision a world where every ADC has a special ‘Crit Damage’ skill like:
Vayne – Silver Bolts (Every 3 hits, deal X + Y% of the target’s maximum Health as true damage. Every critical strike does Z% of the target’s maximum Health)
Varus – Blighted Quiver (Critical Strikes automatically apply full Blight stacks to the target).
That way, every carry would look at crit a little differently – based on their pattern and what they think they could accomplish etc.
Unfortunately, making Essence Reaver’s build path and build up good is something that would most likely send a certain class of AD assassins (whose gates are early/mid-game Mana) into somewhat crazy levels. Pantheon/Talon, etc – would get the lion’s share of benefit until ER was nerfed to be suitable for them.
Ultimately, ER will always kind of be bad until Assassin’s have their own itemization and have their inherent power reduced.
The weird part about items is always that we can always make an item good or powerful – but making that item good and powerful on the people we want it on and not cause side effects elsewhere is the tricky bit.
Something we’ve been aiming for is to get a greater variety of appearances/tones for champions of both genders. There were a couple of years there where many of our female champions especially ended up looking pretty similar and we’ve been making an effort to try and avoid that. That’s not to say we won’t continue to make attractive champions, male and female, where appropriate for their character, but that we also want a wide range that includes champs like Kalista and Rek’Sai as well.
I can’t speak with personal experience about the intent around the game’s initial release, that was well before my time at Riot. Certainly there seems to be a lot of support internally for the greater variety we’ve been exploring recently though.
The intent with Varus was to make a champion with strong poke, a lot of utility by ADC standards and reasonable auto attack damage, in exchange for low burst and mobility. Fitting into the gap between Ashe at one end of the immobile spectrum (heaps of utility, lowest ADC damage) and Kog’maw at the other end (heaps of damage and poke).
Been thinking recently we might want to strengthen his poke a bit (possibly by tying his passive into more than just his auto attacks). Haven’t had a chance to bounce any thoughts about that off the live balance team yet though, see what their current thinking is.
Off the top of my head, here’s the things I remember trying:
A punch which knocked back anyone but the primary target (Xin Zhao’s current ult).
Passive X-Ray eyes that could see through walls in a cone.
Cage of Pain, which brought up a giant circular shock/slow ‘fence’ – like a super big wall of pain.
Bullrush, where you got MS and flung anyone you moved through (multiple times, charging bull kind of deal)
Throw – where you impaled someone on the anchor and then flung them and the anchor to a point of your choice
‘Enrage’ when a nearby ally got attacked (yeah…)
I tend to cycle through skills a lot – I’m sure there was more that I can’t remember. I just remember a long phase of Nautilus being ‘A bull who sets up cages that he then chases people in.’
Man, that was a memorable playtest. I recall one team fight near dragon, where Naut ulted and ran back and forth, juggling 3-4 of us in the air for about 5 seconds until we all died. I still wake up screaming occasionally…
Took a little while to hit upon the Q as the foundation of the kit, though then felt obvious in retrospect since her original concept art featured her spheres so prominently. Once the basic idea of ‘Q generates objects, other spells manipulate them’ came together things were relatively smooth.
The intent with her ult was to give her a reliable tool (given her other abilities were all skillshots) and allow her to punish someone caught out of position or diving into her team (theory being that as a non mobile mage she’d have limited target selection). Ended up being a bit more of a ‘burst down a key target after stunning them’ ability than originally intended. It’s counterplay’s a bit lower than I’d like in that regard, though having said that champs do often need tools like that if they’re to compete with other highly mobile options.
They’re two different teams. We both have a strong focus on the state of the live game but systems tends to take a longer view on game flow and game health while Balance tends to look at the immediate things affecting champions.
For example, systems might think about whether or not we want more or less snowballing in the game and adjust things like jungle gold or laner experience to accommodate while Live might look at a specific champion and whether or not he should be changed in the upcoming patch because he’s too snowbally.
- Analytical abiliity
- Communication skills (both written and verbal)
- Demonstrated ability to drive on/own projects
- Understanding of both LoL and other competitive multiplayer games
That stuff can be hard to demonstrate on a Resume sometimes, past work/study, pet projects, gaming background, written design tests etc come together to give a fairly good initial read on applicants though.
Bit early to say much alas. We had a crack at a GP rework last year that had some interesting stuff in it, but didn’t quite hit the mark so didn’t get shipped (or talked about after a while, our bad, we should have mentioned it was a project that had been put on hold). We’re going to give him another look this year, wouldn’t expect anything for a while though, a number of other reworks will come out beforehand that are further along already.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at email@example.com.