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Warwick Rework

Warwick’s experimental kit finally got teased! Please note that this is rework isn’t even on the PBE yet – a ton of things may change.

 

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Well, here’s more information.

(DISCLAIMER as always, this kit will almost definitely change before we ship. It’s not been in actual production yet–that is to say we’ve not tested it with custom animations, models, particle effects, sounds and so on. We’ve been testing a prototype kit with art stolen from the rest of the game. So a lot may change. But this is what we have right now.)

(ALSO SUPER EXTRA DISCLAIMER: We are not in production yet. It’ll be many, many months before we will be. I HOPE we’ll be able to release this rework in 2014, but no guarantees.)

 

Eternal_ThirstEternal Thirst PASSIVE ]

  • . AAs deal 2% of their target’s max HP as magic damage and heal Warwick for 5 flat + (0.9-1.8% bonus hp) (scales with champ level) Every time this passive is procced, WW gains a stack of Eternal Thirst (max 10). Each stack of ET increases the self-heal effect by 11%. Stacks fall off after 1.8s (just enough time to keep the buff alive at lowest AS + a fleeing enemy) (if you’re faster than them), they fall off one at a time at 4 stacks/second (sort of hyper-quick Jinx Q style).

Thoughts: This is where we lock the drain tanking away behind meaningful gating. You gotta be battling dudes to get full access to your drain tanking potential, and unless you open with your ult it’ll take a while to build. The numbers sound really low, but between AAs and your much more spammable Q you’ll get some meaningful heal out of this, especially in super tanky builds where heal is worth more (MR/Ar are multiplicative with healing, obviously.)

 

Hungering_StrikeHungering Strikes [ Q ]

  • Double-attack a nearby enemy target. Deals a total of 80-200 + 0.6 AP magic damage, but does proc on-hits (and your passive) twice. Note: it’s super weird that we have a skill that procs your AAs but ignores your AD. I know. This is a tradeoff the kit needed. Additionally, passive healing from this spell is further increased by 60-100% (so at 10 stacks you’d get 220% base heal from each proc for a total of 440% of the stated value; at level 18 that would be 5 + 1.8% bonus hp–a good value to hit here is about 35 by end game. This works out to about 180 hp healed, before spirit visage.)

This Q is also super spammable (CD 9-5, mana cost 40-60 on a kit with better base mana and better mana regen) (these numbers will definitely change as we move into tuning later in the year)

Thoughts: Your bread and butter “click a unit and heal some” ability. Separating the offensive (AP) and defensive (max health/armor/mr) builds leads to a much more balanceable skill. If you want the damages, you’ll be frail. If you want to be immortal dog, you’ll take forever to kill a target.

 

Hunter's_CallHowl [ W ]

  • (all names placeholder, obviously). PBAOE terrify away from the center of the effect (NOT from WW; subtle distinction, but important for the E). 0.75s duration on the terrify and then a follow up slow, the duration of which scales with skill rank. This is how you gank pre-6 and why the enemy cannot ignore you in team fights. CD 12-8, mana cost 50 flat. Damage 70-190 + 0.6 AP.

Thoughts: 90% of the time you’ll combo this with E. That’s cool. There are cool uses of this as a standalone, and it helps your jungle clear.

 

Blood_ScentBlood Scent / Hamstring [ E ]

  • Passively this is still Blood Scent, with some tweaks (more range early on, shows an Orianna ball indicator under your feet toward the nearest revealed target, only gives MS when you move toward a revealed champ, also reveals big monsters at <50% hp (for the counter janglings), MS doesn’t all kick in at once but becomes stronger as revealed target gets lower.)
  • Active: Hamstring. This is the “boomerang move”. You’re standing at point A, click B, Warwick dashes A->B->A with no pause in between. He hurts all targets touched en route and puts a strong micro-slow on them (falls off almost immediately). You CAN use W and smite during this ability, but not Q (optimal use case became too micro intensive). The micro-slow BARELY allows you to catch a fleeing enemy, but if you E and they dodge, you’ll lose distance. Mana cost 50 flat, CD 16 flat, damage 140-220 + 0.6 AP total. Does not proc passive, but keeps stacks alive. Slow 95% for 0.25s.

Thoughts: I hope this will be the cool skill that people really enjoy using. It sounds so dry on paper, but man it’s fun in game. The E->W combo when pulled off right drives the enemy right into your arms. Dispersing an enemy team with a well timed E->W only to then get a clear shot onto their ADC for your R feels glorious. Use it to jump in front of a Jinx rocket, out of a Lucian ult for just long enough to live, out of tower range to swap aggro during a dive, or simply go over dragon wall, smite-steal dragon, and come back to safety for free.

 

Infinite_DuressFinite Duress [ R ]

  • Think Sejuani Q, but stun first enemy target hit for 2.5s while attacking them 6 times. Spell has its own base damage and AP ratio (180/240/300 + 0.9 AP), but also procs your passive 6 times, so it also does 18% of target max hp as magical damage.

Thoughts: I really dislike that this can now be used as an escape, but I’ll just tune CDs such that it really hurts when you do that (think Malphite ult). Otherwise this is a straightforward improvement on live WW ult. The enemy gets counterplay (stand in the way), it is much clearer what happens, and when WW does hit, he hits hard. Even a tank will get seriously hurt. Plus 2.5s stun! (Oh yes, suppression is BS. That’s a topic for a different thread tho ;P) I’ll potentially do a thing where the CD is halved when you actually hit this to really reward in-combat usage. WW also gets a 20% damage reduction shield while he is in this ult. Plus did I mention that if you Q right after this, you get to start a fight at 8 stacks of your passive? Yeah. That’s pretty sweet.

 

 

Hype and Reality

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Remember, this is FAR OUT IN THE FUTURE. Me talking about it so early is a huge experiment with setting expectations, but I’d rather hear comments now while I can still make changes :)

 

 

 

Why do his spells scale with AP when he’s, thematically, an AD Champion?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: VERY good question about the disconnect between fantasy (claw and tooth = AD) and mechanical implementation (AP). Let me first explain why I made the choice on the mechanical side and then give you a hint how we hope to reconcile it with the fantasy.

 

So early on in ideation around Warwick’s new kit, we noticed that drain tanks usually tend to be very binary in our game. The way rickless abandon put it, it’s a very stat-checky affair. “Do I have more numbers than you? Cool I win. No? Okay, I can’t do anything.” We identified the problem being with the dual scaling nature of most drainers in our game.

Take Bronze League Master Yi. He builds Blade of the Ruined King (never uses the active, of course) and four Blood Thirsters. Awesome. If he runs into a non-fed enemy in the jungle, he presses R and right-clicks them to death. If they fight back, they either have enough damage to out-damage his heal before they die or they don’t.

Or take the Wizard Wolf, live Warwick with a strong AP item or two (Athene’s, perhaps). His Q does more damage and heals for more; so there simply comes a point at which he either kills you before you kill him, or he doesn’t get to that point and blows up.

We decided to split up the defensive and offensive item paths on new Warwick. In order to do more damage, WW needs to build AP (or AS I guess? Nashor’s/Wit’s End might be a strong damage build). In order to heal more, WW needs to build more max health (which in turn synergizes well with armor and MR). This means that if WW goes straight tank, he won’t be able to solo kill someone (or it’ll take forever, like a murder by spoon). The enemy can just run away to safety or call in allies while WW sticks to them. If WW wants damage, he opens the counterplay route of “just f-king kill him” to the enemy: without an AS steroid (and artificially low base and per level AS) life steal builds won’t be great, and the base on the passive heal is so low that just straight up building AS won’t do much for you (particularly as a lot of the power of the passive is actually tugged away in the Q and the R, where AS won’t do anything for you).

So this meant he needed a tanky itemization path, which in turn means his skills need AP scaling. Our tank + AP itemization is actually decent (Iceborn Gauntlet, Abyssal Scepter, Rylaj’s Crystal Scepter, etc), whereas our tank + AD itemization isn’t (Atma’s Impaler, Maw of Malmortius, ???) (bonus points for someone who can read up a few paragraphs and figure out why we don’t have great AD+tank itemization by design). AP scaling means magic damage. Magic damage also means he’ll do more meaningful damage to enemy tanks, which is great (because he often has no choice but to fight them). Finally, giving any of his abilities AD scaling at all would slowly but surely track us back toward the binary aggressive drainers we want to avoid.

So, the fantasy then. The first thing I did when I realized this thing about itemization was to round up with a creative designer (RiotEntropy) and a concept artist (some dude you never heard of called IronStylus) and pick their brains on how we can reconcile our mechanical needs with the fantasy. Both of them were surprisingly positive on how easy this would be.

From Entropy I learned that the potion Warwick took to turn himself into the monster he has become is very much a magical/alchemical thing. His power is derived not from being a natural monster, but from being a thaumaturgically enhanced human. It is absolutely imaginable that this power expresses itself visually on top of the existing visuals.

IronStylus was pretty much on the same page. Bulging, glowing veins (wherein the potion courses still), glowing slash-trails in the air left behind by his claws, etc.

This disconnect was one of my bigger concerns going into this iteration, but creative and concept art have pretty much put my fears to rest.

 

 

Does Warwick’s ult still proc his passive 6 times?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yup, it does.

 

 

 

 

Can Warwick use E to move forward and then ult?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Ult is disabled during E.

 

 

 

 

What can you use while ulting?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Only your W and smite right now. Potentially ignite as well?

 

 

 

 

Are you stuck while in ult?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: You’re currently stuck, but that’s a big thing I want to revisit. Potentially a re-activate after 0.5s to break the effect early? Always scared players will end up screwing themselves, but there might be cool plays that require you to cancel out early (?)

 

 

 

Why does Q have such a low mana cost?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: The problem here is that his Q MUST be spammable in a long team fight for him to function as a drain tank. If you get three Qs before you oom you cannot be a drain tank. That’s why we ended up lowering the Q cost so much (also current Q cost is crazy high because WW was one of the original 40, from before the time when we understood that letting people pressing buttons a lot is a good idea).

 

 

Will the passive on Blood Scent be removed?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: No way. Blood Scent is why you play Warwick.

 

 

 

 

Will this rework make it easier for players to itemize against Warwick?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yeah, I really want to give both WW and his enemy a much clearer idea how to itemize (as: tanky stats to be drain tank, on-hit/ap/as to be aggressive. Against: always MR).

As for the E, you’d aim such that your peak would be between them and their turret. That way your W pushes them into the arms of your ally mid-laner. The W has a follow-up slow as well, so not only do they run AWAY from safety, they’re also slowed after the terrify. This gives you plenty of time to run in and start wolving them.

 

 

Does Tenacity reduce the duration of Warwick’s ultimate?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: This is a good point! I thought mostly about cleanse (which isn’t really a thing anymore I guess), but yeah, the tenacity’s a tough one. I can technically set a flag in the stun to make it ignore tenacity, but should I? I’ll ponder on that question (read: corner CertainlyT at 3am and have a much too long conversation with him. Poor CertainlyT.)

 

 

How different is Warwick’s Q in the rework?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Q is still very much point and click. Slightly smaller range, but edge to edge (rather than center to center) so it’s easier to Q big dudes (6 stack Cho for instance)

 

 

 

 

Does Warwick need a gap-closer?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Well that’s what the design is attempting to circumvent. The E is very much NOT a gap closer because you will always return to where you started (unless you get stunned or rooted mid-move).

 

 

 

Will these multipliers and % ratios change?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yeah, there is a mess of multipliers on the kit right now. I’m looking for a way to simplify, but what they do is give you meaningful sustain that’s build from small increments. This really drives home the fantasy of “slowly turning into a wolf as the blood lust comes over you”.”



If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.

 

 

pbe skt t1 zed banner

 

PBE 07/04

Void Fizz in Store – 1350 RP

Guinsoo: Fiora’s Rework

Meddler: Ao Shin Release

Single Posts – Lissandra’s Passive and Miss Fortune W QoL

 

 

PBE April 7

 

Previous PBE Changes from Patch 4.6 Cycle:

 

SKT T1 Zed Shadow Changes

 

 

 

 New Potrait Rengar 

 

Thrill_of_the_HuntThrill of the Hunt [ R ]

  • Indicator won’t alert enemies who can’t see you when you exit stealth. If you’re in their field-of-view, the indicator will trigger as normal. (check this red post collection for context)

 

 

Rumble New Portrait

 

 FlamespitterFlamespitter [ Q ]

  • Now again deals half damage versus neutral monsters (changed here)

 

Scrap_ShieldScrap Shield [ W ]

  • Movement Speed when in Danger Zone increased from 12.5 / 18.75 / 25 / 31.25 / 37.5% to 15 / 22.5 / 30 / 37.5 / 45% (from 25% to 50% bonus)
  • Shield health when in Danger Zone increased from 62.5 / 100 / 136.5 / 175 / 212.5 (+ 0.5 AP) to 75 / 120 / 165 / 210 / 255 (+ 0.6 AP) (from 25% to 50% bonus)

 

Electro-HarpoonElectro Harpoon [ E ]

  • Slow when in Danger Zone increased from 18.75 / 25 / 31.5 / 37.5 / 43.75% to 22.5 / 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5%  (from 25% to 50% bonus)
  • Damage when in Danger Zone increased from 56.25 / 87.5 / 118.75 / 150 / 181.25 (+ 0.5 AP) to  67.5 / 105 / 142.5 / 180 / 217.5 (+ 0.6 AP) (from 25% to 50% bonus)

 

 

 

Twitch New Portrait

  • Base armor increased from 14 to 18 (back to live values, was probably a bug due to his visual update)

 

 

Trinkets

 

Scrying_Orb_itemScrying Orb (and upgrades)

  • Reveals target area for 2 seconds, increased from 1

 

 

Void Fizz in Store Banner

Link to official announcement.

 

A chill grips the man’s spine as a warped giggle echoes through the streets. He’s coming. Fizz used to be welcomed with open arms but recently, something’s changed. Vaulting over walls with his corrupted trident, he’s been terrorizing everyone for weeks with his demented games. The man starts running, passing by an alley when something strikes his back and drags him to the ground. Reality tears beneath him and a sickly sweet odor envelops the street. He looks back and sees Fizz, reeking of corruption, staring and chuckling. Moments later the ground erupts as a putrid leviathan bursts forth from below, devouring the man in an instant. Void Fizz and his pet love to play hide-and-seek.

 

 

Play gruesome games with Void Fizz, available now in the League of Legends store for 1350 RP (discounted to 975 RP through April 14).

 

Void Fizz Skin Preview

 

 

 

Guinsoo Fiora Rework

Following yesterday’s discussion on Fiora’s rework, Guinsoo elaborates on Fiora’s power curve, passive and development.

 

 

Will Fiora carry in late-game like other Melee ADs, or will her power be focused on early/mid game?

 

Guinsoo Button Rioter Guinsoo: That’s a good question that I think as a design team we haven’t fully solved – what exactly should a melee ADC’s power curve look like with respect to time? I think we did make strides with the new Yi and Yasuo. I guess in an ideal world I’d like her to be fairly well rounded, maybe shading slightly weak in the early going and leaning slightly strong in the late game.

But at the end of the day I want her to be about her abilities and how well she used them. But this is a very complicated question whose answer will likely change or become more defined over time, as we discover what exactly she’s capable of, what feels good, what exactly we want to emphasize about the actual mechanical skills themselves.

 

 

Will you make Fiora’s passive more engaging?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Yeah to be honest I’m not super stoked with where the (new) passive is at, it’s a fairly generic steroid that we plan to replace with something more relevant once we get a good grasp for exactly how her gameplay flows. I have several ideas for different ones I’d like to try out to encourage various target selection/gameplay choices.

 

 

Can we get a release schedule for this rework?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I’m not clear about the timeline at all, so I can’t even give you a vague “soon™” or “not soon™”. I have a meeting about it tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll be able to share too many details. At this point I don’t even know if she’s planned to be tied to an art rework, new VO, or anything like that.

After I combed through 50 pages looking for all my posts, I found the “next Riot post” feature. Lol.

 

 

Is reworking older Champions harder than making new ones?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: It’s definitely harder. As you can see, players have strong opinions about their favorite champions, so changing them is never easy. I also think it’s more enjoyable – I think there’s a more clear design path since you have an idea for how the character plays now and how you might want them to play; that’s a lot harder when making a character from scratch, which is like setting sail for the new world without having any idea where it actually is or what it looks like, but you’ll know it when you get there.

 

 

Is the new Blade Waltz meant to complement her other abilities?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: This is definitely what we’re striving for. If you break Blade Waltz down to its primal components, it’s a bunch of dashes, it makes you invulnerable, and it does damage. All of those pieces are there on her kit already (with a few enhancements for example to the Riposte).

 

 

Suggestion: Make Fiora’s ult like Riven’s, where she gets buffed, but can also use the ult

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s definitely a possibility I’m open to. Maybe a Coup de Grace to end the ultimate. Sounds kinda neat. Filed away.

 

 

 

 

Won’t making Fiora mobile during Riposte overload her new kit?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I don’t disagree with this point. The benefit to starting with Riposte as an immobile spell are multifold. First, it makes the Blade Waltz enhancement to it feel super epic; second, it puts maximum counterplay into the opponent’s hands to counter out the extreme defensive capabilities in the skill, matching most closely the fantasy of extreme counterplay between Fiora and opponent; and third it allows us to increase the power budget in a successful Riposte to the maximum (because it’s harder to pull off).

We are definitely not opposed to making it more mobile if it doesn’t work out well, but this is the appropriate starting point, I think. We’d definitely have to make it weaker in terms of amount of damage blocked and/or return Thrust damage dealt if she could normally move during it.

 

 

Isn’t fencing in the real world all about not making a mistake and punishing the opponent’ts mistakes with a single blow?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: This is definitely the case. I’ve always thought fencing was about maintaining a maximum defense (so you don’t die) while looking for the opening to kill the opponent, so that by fighting in this manner if you don’t make any mistakes you would never die and would beat any opponent who made a mistake.

 

But it becomes slightly different in the world of League of Legends where a single sword wound will never kill an opponent. I’d imagine that in that world, fencing would be about being able to inflict maximum damage output while minimizing ‘great risk’ (since both parties can afford to take a couple hits, I suspect you would no longer opt for a 100% defense strategy).

 

 

Off-topic: Pokemon has One-Hit-Knock-Outs. Why can’t League have them?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Those are all always banned in any serious match or competition. They also ban moves that give an enemy a chance to miss and a few other things. Pokemon PvP has a steady pacing based around either matching your poke’s types and attack types versus the opponents and vice versa (essentially trying to always super effectively hit while resisting his attacks), or trying to stall by countering all of his threats with defenders that can slowly whittle them down. OHKOs do not fit into Pokemon at all.

I’d guess Baton Pass teams are probably a lot stronger in the new gen so I guess that can be a third type of team, where at the start of the match you focus on super buffing your pokemon and then passing that buff to a super hard hitting mon that can sweep the entire enemy team, regardless of typing. But even this team has counterplay, as taking out the buff chain at any point basically wins you the match, as does getting off a Clear Smog or Haze, or priority Brave Birding it down with Talonflame, etc.

Not to mention when you see his team will likely to be Baton Pass, you can just use a starting pokemon that has a buffing move of its own, so while the opponent is using some turns to buff and some turns to Baton Pass, you can just buff the whole time, and then out sweep their sweeper.

It gets a little complicated if they start with a Scolipede or Blaziken (banned) because they can buff their speed every turn while Sword Dancing, but for example a Volcarona can Quiver Dance every turn to buff her dps and speed (and sp def which is admittedly useless vs a Sword Dance BP team). There’s counterplay.

 

 

Ao Shin release banner

Long ago, a sand dragon was teased as a new Champion release. So when is Ao Shin coming to League?

 

 

Can we get a time table on his release?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: We’re still working on Ao Shin, but for now he’s a long way out. Some of our initial ideas for translating his concept into an actual in-game champion haven’t quite panned out, so we’re continuing to work towards an approach that really hits the bar. He’s definitely a champion we want to make happen, but we’d rather take a long time than fail to do his concept justice.

 

 

Will you guys do a Dev Journal on Ao Shin’s development?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Good suggestion, will look into that at the time..

Follow on question: What are you folks most interested in seeing in dev journals?

 

 

 

Off-topic: Are you working on a new Champion?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: My time’s more focused on working with the other folks on the team and general champion stuff now, so I’m not doing full gameplay design on new champs anymore. Have been tag teaming the design on a champ with Gypsylord though, which I’m really excited to see come to fruition sometime this year.

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

A Look at Lissandra’s Passive

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Lissandra wise I’ve been pondering some passive tweaks. Have tested out a couple of alternatives that tie in with her need to dive into fights (conditional ice shields). Haven’t yet hit on anything that hits the mark, nor determined whether that would be instead of or in addition to her current passive. Going to keep testing, no guarantees that’ll go anywhere though.

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: One of the passives I’ve been looking at’s pretty similar to that actually, though based on a stack building system, with a shield at max stacks, and stacks gained when you CC an enemy (more stacks for champs/less for minions). Current version, due to the CD in particular, runs into some issues where it just happens in team fights, and so there’s a lot less gameplay created than I’d like. Going to try tuning it when time permits, see if there’s a version that minimizes that issue.

 

 

Can Miss Fortune get a W stack indicator?

 

ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: I’ve asked about it, but we won’t be able to do something like that independently of some kind of visual update (which I totally keep trying to bring up casually as a thing that would be awesome to do). So short answer is that we’ll totally look into it once we’ve allocated artists to working on her, but I have no idea when that would possibly be since it isn’t currently on anyone’s schedule that I know of.

 

 

If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.

 

 

Nidalee and Fiora Rework Banner

 

Red Post Collection

Single Posts – Stale Balance, Skarner, Support Gragas

 

 

Fiora Rework Banner

Awesome news – Guinsoo is back and he’s ready to deliver on the fantasy of dueling Champions with a French fencer lady!

 

 

 GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Hi guys. I’d just like to weigh in on what some of the Fiora goals are. The main problems we see with Fiora’s current kit are that thematically, she doesn’t deliver on the fantasy of being a skilled duelist/fencer, and mechanically, her game presence / play pattern / role doesn’t line up with being a skilled duelist/fencer.

As far as the duelist fantasy goes, at least when I think of Fiora, I expect her to be extremely mobile but not just going in, she needs to be good at dancing in, out of, around and about combat. She should be about finding weaknesses in the opponent’s play and finding the proper occasion to go on the attack. She shouldn’t be about running in and bursting enemies down, she should be dealing high, steady DPS over time that is relatively target agnostic.

Mechanically speaking, I’d expect a duelist type champion to be mechanically intense. I expect opportunities to use my abilities at optimal times to counter out the enemy’s champion. I want to have a lot to keep track of, but with clear success cases when I do well.

At the end of the day, live Fiora is a ball of stats with some untargetability thrown in; she pushes her buttons pretty much as fast as she can without a second thought, and she’s also extremely snowballey. In short, she’s bland with no cool opportunities to exchange gameplay between her and her lane opponent.

Some of the current goals including switching Fiora from an assassin to a melee DPS, and moving her lane from top to mid/jungle, and adding tons of ‘outplay’ functionality on her kit, as well as more mobility especially in terms of being able to disengage and re-engage at optimal times.

I can’t share too much of exactly what the plans are for her kit, as I’m sure it’s going to change tons during development, but I’ll leave this here to hopefully stir up some excitement for our favorite rapier wielder. Also bear in mind this is an early, experimental Blade Waltz, and could certainly change drastically between now and remake launch time.

I also understand it’s hard to understand exactly what this sample Blade Waltz does, given the lack of context on her basic spells… but rest assured, there are significant tweaks (or more) to all 4 of the other abilities, so hopefully your imaginations run wild 

 

FioraUltSample

 

 

Do you think this new ultimate will accomplish what the old one did?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: A great question. I’m not going to directly answer it, but I’m going to pose a theoretical question.

If one assumes that Lunge is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s jump around and hit things function, and that Riposte is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s untargetability, is it hard to envision a scenario where you don’t get the current functionality of Blade Waltz if you’re allowed to rapidly cast your basic spells? But with options around when each individual jump and spell block comes from, as well as considering how many jumps to use vs spell blocks vs disengages, when, how many auto attacks to weave in, when to focus more DPS vs more survivability vs more mobility, etc.

The goal behind the current ult was to sometimes emulate the behavior of the old one, but make it more timing and decision based, add more options, and add more counterplay for the opponents. I feel like the new ultimate offers far more opportunities than the old one, if one assumes that R/Q emulates the feel of her live Blade Waltz.

 

 

Do you think Fiora’s rework will allow her to duel the current top lane picks?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Right now to me the ‘natural’ top laners are people like Renekton, Shyvana, etc. I feel like in order to make a melee ADC (ala Yasuo) compete with those types of champions in the top lane, we’d have to make other sacrifices to her core design (e.g. putting life regeneration on her kit, I really don’t like her current passive but I worry that without it she’d really struggle top lane).

 

 

As a fencer, Fiora should be about one-hit knockouts, not poking enemies

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: OK, I feel like I used the wrong terminology when I said “poke enemies down.” I edited my first post to “deal steady, high DPS that is relatively target agnostic.” While I mostly agree with you that fencing is all about scoring OHKOs, well obviously that type of gameplay isn’t great for any type of PvP game.

 

The way we’re choosing to handle this is to give her strong, steady DPS, but have it come in bigger chunks that one might anticipate from a steady DPS champion. For example her Riposte has heavily negative implications on her outgoing DPS… unless she blocks a significant spell or attack, at which point she can respond with a very hard hitting Thrust.

In general we want her to feel good (and be greatly rewarded) for using her abilities properly. While that can’t be in the form of OHKOs, I think the next best thing is “big chunks of damage.”

 

 

Off-topic: Why were you gone for so long?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Truth be told, 6 years of intense video game development got to me and I really needed to take some time to destress. I spent about a year traveling and relaxing and now I’m locked and loaded and ready to pump out some sweet content.

 

 

Why would Fiora be picked over Yasuo?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Here are 3 reasons off the top of my head to pick her over Yasuo. Please note I’m talking about her new kit with new abilities, not her old kit with a new ultimate. I just spoiled the ultimate for funsies 

1) Kayle ult with a few catches on a normal slot
2) Weaker engage, but much stickier than Yasuo
3) Built in disengage

 

 

Will her Reposte be able to block tower shots while Fiora is using her ult?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I doubt it. I’m not a great fan of tower diving. I think her kit still leaves her much better positioned to tower dive than the average champion even without being untargetable/immune to turrets. I’m not completely opposed to her having some turret mitigation capabilities. But I’d rather avoid it, and so far my instinct tells me she’ll do okay with out it just due to the sheer mobility on the kit.

 

 

Do you feel her passive is underwhelming?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s kind of what I’m driving at – the passive feels lame, it’s especially lame in tense moments like battles with other champions, and its only real use is allowing her access to a lane that I don’t really feel she belongs in in the first place. It’s power without gameplay, and plus it feels useless too. It’s effective, but totally lameballs. That’s pretty much the opposite of where I’d like her passive design space to lie.

 

 

Why would a duelist be a jungler? It doesn’t seem thematic

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s an interesting consideration. But I still think mid lane works fine for her; perhaps you’re right that jungle isn’t where she belongs.

 

 

 

 

How will you balance Fiora’s damage spike from her new ultimate?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Originally I was debating how to primarily balance this implementation of Blade Waltz. There are two obvious limiting levers, duration and number of casts. The version of which I posted a screenshot is clearly more duration limited. In this iteration I was counting on the various “drawbacks” / nuances of the abilities to limit the ultimate – e.g. travel times, delays, parry times, etc.

 

In the end with the directions we took for some of the other , and the more recent version is more moderate 8 second duration, with a limit of 4 / 6 / 8 casts (still needs tons of tuning). Also note that right now Blade Waltz doesn’t provide any bonuses to how hard the skills hit, to emphasize mobility and tactics over brute force during the ultimate (obviously when casting that many spells in succession, it’s going to be doing a certain amount of brute force work).

You’re partially right that an ultimate that uses stronger versions of your basic skills requires a sharp tuning knife to make it feel good with and without. But in this case, I think there are some “under the hood” things that we can do to make the ultimate feel like a thing of its own. For example right now when you activate it, it resets all your cooldowns so you can start your comboing or dancing immediately, you get X number of casts chosen pretty much any way you like, and afterward it puts the cooldowns back where they were. I think this really helps make the ultimate feel like a spell all of its own. Additionally, the more potent the “spell modifications” that Blade Waltz offers, the more it feels like the ultimate is a collection of different spells. I think the W captures that well right now, the E to some degree, and the Q not nearly enough.

She definitely pulls a lot of weight with all her spells. In fact, she’s decidedly spell based and mostly weaves autos between them, but still plays a lot like a melee ADC because she can cast so many spells within her windows and (conditionally) deal steady spikes of damage. As far as the actual itemization, that is yet to be determined. Right now, she does have an attack speed steroid elsewhere on her kit (originally it was on the ult, but that doesn’t fit for obvious reason), but it’s not clear to me yet if that will or should stick. That is one of the balancing levers for her that partially determines if she’s more assassin or melee ADC; in an ideal world I’d like her to play exactly like a melee ADC without any basic attack steroids, but that’s a lofty goal that’s probably not possible. I also don’t want her to rely exclusively on her auto attacks like for example Tryndamere, I think it should be somewhere int he middle.

And I don’t really have any thoughts on jungle Fiora at the moment. I’m really not sure if that’s a reasonable expectation or not. It has not yet been tested, and it’s definitely not the primary focus/intended role for her.

 

 

Will Fiora’s kit be overtuned to fit the Melee DPS archetype?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I think there are levers you can tune to allow a character to be very mobile while not being completely out of hand. It’s definitely a hard goal, and melee DPS seem to be one of the hardest classes to get right. I certainly would like to try.

 

 

Can you make Fiora’s dash work on allies?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: It’s something we’ve considered; ultimately I don’t think it fits the fencing fantasy well so I’d rather try to go other routes to get the mobility we like. But we’re not opposed to it if other methods fail.

 

 

 

Why are you reworking Fiora when some people don’t want her changed?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: People don’t like change. It’s in our nature; if we like something we don’t want it to change. But that doesn’t mean it’s not for the better. I’m confident we can deliver a new Fiora kit that delivers most of the same mechanics that the old one has (including the important ones like the Blade Waltz experience) but creates new gameplay and makes her actually feel like a duelist.

I prefer to focus my responses toward posts that are more constructive.

 

 

Warwick Relaunch

Warwick will soon be getting a full balance rework, complete with a visual update. More from Zenon.

 

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We have a full relaunch slated for Warwick, but the question is indeed when. Currently our highest priority in terms of full relaunches is Sion; as for visual only stuff we’re excited to bring you Twitch very very soon.

I’d love to say Warwick will happen at some point this year, but who knows. The landscape of what needs work most is ever-shifting. For what it’s worth, I have a kit I fully believe in ready for further work.

 

 

Is Warwick getting a full ability rework as well?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yup! Blood Scent stays (but receives a toggle) and Hungering Strike becomes Hungering Strikes (still with a very similar purpose), but other than that a lot of things will change.

 

 

 

Will Warwick’s other skins get the running animation from Blood Scent that Hyena Warwick has?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: That’s a very good question! I do want special animations for all skins when he goes into Blood Scent, but I like that Hyena gets something special. Maybe the other skins will get somewhat more vanilla wolf running animations? That’s a conversation I will need to have with my animator once the pod comes online (once we start working on the art).

 

 

Will WW’s balance rework ship before his visual update?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We had the discussion on whether or not we can ship WW without art, but some of the things we’re doing would just look very, very derpy without new art, so I’d rather wait. WW is at least a niche pick right now, unlike Heimer who was simply unpicked before the remake.

 

 

Is Warwick going to retain his life-drain tank niche?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Absolutely! If anything he’ll be more of a drain tank. He currently gains self-heal with bonus health, so if you want to drain tank you no longer build AP on him. He has a passive that stacks up on himself when he attacks stuff and his self-heal also increases with those stacks, so he needs to be in combat for a while before his drain tanking really comes online. It creates some pretty tense “can I live through the first 10 seconds of this and then become IMMORTAL DOG” situations.

 

 

What’s your favourite thing about this rework?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: My biggest like about the warwick gameplay changes in progress are that they give him many more important decisions and high moments. He will actually be able to make “big plays,” which is really great.

 

 

 

Nidalee Rework Banner

After extensive research, it turned out Nidalee is anti – fun. Rioters are on the case to bring Nidalee a shift in balance, along with some welcome QoL changes to her Cougar form.

 

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Hi guys! As has already been mentioned here, I’ve been doing work on Nidalee for some time now, and I definitely think things are headed in the right direction with her. I can’t really share specific details of the kit changes just yet, but I can share some of the primary (there may be others, but these are the forefront ones) problems that we’ve identified and are working to solve.

Problems:

-The way Nidalee utilizes both forms to succeed is out of whack. She very regularly doesn’t have to use Cougar form as part of her killing pattern. This is not only unfair to enemy players, but also just a bit lame as a shapeshifting character.

-Nidalee doesn’t put herself at enough risk of death when she succeeds. I personally think it’s okay if Nidalee averages a high number of kills every game, but the number of deaths she accrues needs to be a bit higher to reflect that.

-Nidalee is pretty hard to control in Cougar form, and she just feels clunky much of the time. Even in pro games we see people Pouncing/Swiping in the wrong direction while farming or faceplanting into walls they meant to hop over.

As for Javelin Toss, I know this doesn’t provide a definitive answer on that subject, and once we have more definitive details on a direction, I’ll be happy to talk about them. At this rate, I wouldn’t expect Javelin Toss to undergo fundamental changes to its mechanics. It will almost assuredly remain a “deals more damage at greater range” ability, and it will hurt to get hit by. Furthermore, it probably won’t have cooldown reducing mechanics or ramping mana gates or something like that on it. None of that really matters if the Javelin that does hit you or your carry drops them from 100% health down to 40% at the beginning of the fight, because you’re still just forced to leave. In that case, we’ve just condensed the window of frustration rather that targeting the frustration itself.

Looking forward to sharing more details with you guys once we’ve something a bit more well-defined to talk about!

 

 

Any major changes to Javelin Toss?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Basically, I think we can put Javelin Toss in a good state that leaves it satisfying without added intricacies to the reasons or timing of casting the spell. With a kit to support this, of course.

 

 

 

Will this impact bruiser Nidalee’s viability?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Bruiser Nidalee should be fine following the changes, if not more fun to play.

 

 

 

 

Currently tested kit

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Piggy-backing on this: we do have a kit in testing, designed by RiotRepertoire. That kit mostly tones down Javelin Toss’s mid range damage and creates a follow-up opportunity to encourage more time spent in cougar form (which is currently the wave-pushing and teamfight clean up form) (plus strategic map movement I guess).

However, to set expectations appropriately: just because we’re testing changes doesn’t mean those changes necessarily see the light of day. We test a LOT of kits, sometimes with crazy experimental changes (a Brand kit from last year comes to mind where Pyroclasm slowed down after each bounce but could bounce INDEFINITELY so long as the enemy team stayed together), and often the answer is “probably not worth doing”.

This is a strength of our design process. We’re highly iterative and we realize that there’s only so much value to be gained from theory-crafting it all out in your head. There’s a time and a place for spreadsheet design, and IMO that’s in the very beginning of a design idea, when you just want to get a rough read for the power level. After that there’s no substitute for “just put it in a playtest and see how it goes”.

My personal feeling is that while everything Repertoire’s changing about Nidalee is a positive change compared to live (a couple of GREAT QoL changes like pounce and swipe going toward mouse cursor), we’re not addressing the truly grating aspect of live Nidalee, which is random spears chunking you down to 50% health. In theory, Nidalee is mana gated and can’t just throw out spears all day. In practice, blue buff exists and Athene’s is a gold-efficient pickup even without the mana on it, so yeah. May not be a Nidalee problem. May be a problem of how we’re failing to do mana gating in modern League.

But the kit is still in testing and it’s way too early to tell where it’s going. Definitely don’t expect it to hit live any time soon; these things take time.

 

 

State of Rengar Banner

After the big changes to Rengar in Patch 4.5, it’s time to sit back and not get one-hit from stealth. What’s the community’s take on the rework?

 

 

Is Rengar getting shifted from an assassin to a fighter?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: To be clear about Rengar’s role in a team, we wanted to leave this mostly unchanged. He is still the guy that hunts the enemy squishies and can stalk around choosing his prey at will. His damage is lowered some, but we still want him to be a strong damage threat.

 

He is unique from some of the other assassins like zed or khazix because he has much more versatility with his ferocity skills (CC, Damage, Heals, many options here). On the other hand, some other assassins have escapes, where he does not. Considering he doesn’t have a reliable escape once he has engaged, we gave him some more tools like durability and speed so that once he is in, he has a means of contributing.

As far as items, we’re not designing towards any “right” way to build Rengar. He scales well with both offensive and defensive items and that is something that is cool about him as a character.

Keep in mind, we’re not going to leave Rengar out to dry if he has problems/needs changes. We already have a bunch of changes planned for the next patch like speeding up the Q attack animations significantly, and some ult warning changes that we have been talking about in this thread. We should have a bunch more data soon, which will help inform us if he needs more changes, and where.

I appreciate all of the feedback, and I know that change can be frustrating on a character that you know and love so well. Don’t fear for Rengar, he’s not going away anytime soon.

 

 

Any changes you’re planning for his ult?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We have an ult change coming in the next patch that will not alert enemies if you wouldn’t be visible to them outside of stealth. This is really big for when he is ganking or approaching his targets from a brush or near walls. It was pretty silly to alert the enemy when Rengar wouldn’t have been visible out of stealth anyway, you guys were totally right on this one.

Also, the Q and Empowered Q attack animations are getting significantly sped up. This will fix a lot of the “my Q didn’t go off” cases, and it’s a non trivial buff in his dps output over time.

This isn’t the end, but it’s what I can say is coming with certainty right now.

 

 

Can you bring back Rengar’s Q+Auto Attack chain from brush?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The Q from brush will be working better after our next set of changes as well. Also Q does currently and will still reset his auto attack.

 

 

 

Are damage a likelihood if Rengar proves too weak after his rework?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Things like damage numbers are never set in stone. We will make adjustments to his damage if we overdid the changes. Real data will give us lots of information about how the changes turned out: Is his early game too weak? Is his late game too strong? etc.. Depending on what we find, adjustments will be made. It’s unfortunate that we cant play millions of test games with any changes before they release, but the least we can do is respond to the real data once the changes are live.

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Are LoL Champions being standardized like the classes in WoW?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Flattening unique and powerful abilities was something WoW had to embrace to some extent or else players would just stack classes with the most valuable unique mechanics and neglect the others. In Sunwell, you needed one shaman per melee party for Windfury, and in Throne of Thunder, you wanted several warlocks for Demonic Gateways and perhaps even Healthstones.

 

This is largely a function of the noble desire for boss encounters to have different mechanics, though it does exist in WoW PvP to a lesser extent. The sweet spot is having classes feel different without actually being dramatically different. Too many differences leads to lack of diversity, because your group composition becomes inflexible. You are forced to play Tetris to min max the class mechanics you need.

League is a different kind of game. Champs have fewer abilities than WoW classes, but the fights are also less predictable, so you don’t know that you will need a certain ability to solve the puzzle. Blitz’s grab or Sona’s auras are useful, but hardly mandatory, and you’re giving up something else to bring them. The game rules also don’t allow you to stack champs, One For All not withstanding. In this case, it’s important for champions to be as different from each other as possible. If two champs have similar mechanics, it’s easy to evaluate which one is the best choice, usually just based on higher damage or stats. In this case, not having enough differences can lead to lack of diversity. While it’s advisable to build teams with some synergy, there’s a ton more flexibility and much less of the Tetris feeling.

TLDR, champ similarity isn’t a League value.

 

 

Upcoming Buffs for Rumble

 

morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: Right now, the balance team is looking into Rumble buffs for an upcoming patch. With All-Stars, we’re unsure if that will be 4.6 or 4.7 (or later…), but there’s a few top laners we’d like to bring up – Rumble is one of them.

 

 

 

Can you give Vandal Twitch his green shades on his visual update?

 

Ququroon Button Rioter Morello: We’re investigating changes on this now.

 

 

 

 

State of Skarner

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We still have plans for Skarner, mostly in the realm of bringing excitement and a bit of the old identity that people liked about the old Skarner back.

We can keep a lot of the gameplay gains (versatility, windows of power/weakness) and add a bit more stickiness/cc control that people liked about the old kit. I’ve been in ongoing discussions about these changes with a lot of the team, and I should get down to implementing them sometime next week. When we have a more final changelist, I’ll let you know what we intend to do.

 

 

Is Support Gragas a possibility after the rework?

 

Riot Zephyreal Button Rioter Riot Zephyreal: When I first saw his kit on the community beta thread I immediately thought support Gragas. He now has 3 forms of CC at 6, his knockback on E is either tied or slightly further back than Thresh flay, and his Q slow is pretty heavy if there is any sort of charge up time (which you can set up with combos with his E or even more impressively his R).

His passive is also pretty sweet since he has to go kind of close with his body slam for trades, so that extra heal is nice if he can manage the passive timer well. But also given the fact that the E knocks back and stuns, he pretty safe to begin with if he wants to do an E+Q combo for harass. I’m literally chunking people for 35-40% HP (depending on Q charge) and walking away without a care in the world.

The one downside is that you’re not flanking much in laning phase as support Gragas to maximize the displacement on body slam, but again if you can combo a Q through an E (super easy with practice), it should be easy for your lane partner to follow up.

 


If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.


 

PBE SKT Banner

 

PBE 04/04

Red Post Collection

Single Posts

Bonus!

 

 

PBE 4 April

 

 

SKT T1 Jax Skin Preview

 

 

SKT T1 Vayne Skin Preview

 

 

SKT T1 Zyra Skin Preview

 

 

SKT T1 Lee Sin Skin Preview


 

SKT T1 Zed Skin Preview

 

 

Classic Twitch Visual Update + Voice-Over

 


Vandal Twitch Visual Update + Voice-Over

 


Gangster Twitch Visual Update + Voice-Over

 

 

 

Champions

 

 

 Kassadin New Portrait

 

Null_SphereNull Sphere [ Q ]

  • Shield increased from 40/70/100/130/160 ( +0.6 AP ) to 40/80/120/160/200 ( +0.8 AP ) [ live value of AP ratio is 0.3 ]

 

 

 Rumble New Portrait 

 

FlamespitterFlamespitter [ Q ]

  • No longer deals half damage to neutral monsters (Rumble in the Jungle!)

 

 

Twitch New Portrait

  • Base armor reduced from 18 to 14 from 18 [ probably related to the VU release & will be fixed ]
  • HP regen removed [ live value is 1 but, as the above change, will probably be fixed ]
  • Expunge [ E ] renamed to “Contaminate”
  • Spray and Pray [ R ]  renamed to “Rat-Ta-Tat-Tat” (And Lux’s Final Spark is now “Pew Pew Laz0rs”)

 

 

Vayne New Portrait

 

 

Improvements to Gragas

With the recent rework of Gragas in Patch 4.5, what’s the community’s opinion of the booze-loving fatty?

 

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: This is the thread I hope to consolidate the feedback on the new Gragas. While we won’t be making significant balance changes before we have some data, feel free to suggest improvements, builds and lanes!

Some changes I will be making for the next patch regardless of his balance.

  • Gragas will not auto acquire a target after E if he has W buff active.
  • Gragas E hitbox adjustments to make sure you hit the units you feel you should be hitting
  • Gragas W autoattack buff lasts 1 second longer

 

 

Suggestion: E applies the tick of W to whoever it hits.

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: Can you tell me what you mean by this? Do you mean the W will proc on whoever he hits with E?

I would think once the issue with the Autoattack after E is fixed, E would more or less guarantee a W anyway.

 

 

What is the direction you are trying to take with Gragas?

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: Lanes were less of an issue to us when we were doing the rework. We were more concerned about changing his core pattern than we were about lane assignments.

We would expect that his new strengths and weakness suit him better in non-mid lanes but if he is still proven to be a good mid we would be fine with it, provided that the pattern change holds.

 

 

Why was the mana-gain from W removed?

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: We felt the mana restore was an unnecessary part of the kit that would be awkward to carry over with the new W cooldown.

Also His mana costs were reduced quite a bit to reflect that he no longer has W mana restore and he will be building less mana items. Maybe they are not enough, we will see.

 

 

Gragas Support

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Gragas support seems pretty legit. I expect to see a good deal of it in our future.

 

 

 

Rengar Feedback

Rengar is back from Patch 4.5 with a fully reworked kit! But is he still the fierce assassin he used to be?

 

 

RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: The Rengar update is live and we’re playing and monitoring his performance a ton on our end. Let’s use this thread for constructive feedback. Once we have more data we will definitely be adjusting his power levels up or down if he needs it.

  • How are the changes playing for you?
  • What builds are you using?
  • What lanes are you playing him in?
  • Finding any bugs?

I’ve already seen a suggestion that I like: his alert to enemies during the ult only appears if they would be able to see him out of stealth, we’re already talking about this a lot internally. This seems like a good way for Rengar to optimize a bit more by taking clever paths on ganks and approaches.

 

Riot Jag
Button Rioter Riot Jag: I’m pretty interested in the builds that people try out on him. In playtest a lot of our experienced Rengar players thought Blade of the Ruined King was really strong on him. I think some people will make the classic Trinity/Sunfire/Spirit Visage build still work though.

 

 

Feedback: His Q feels very clunky and slow to use

 

Riot JagButton Rioter Riot Jag: Since this version of Q doesn’t give you AS it does feel a little slower at first, but we made some small changes to the spell to ensure it feels good. There may be an adjustment period but if it still feels clunky we’ll keep an eye on it.

 

 

 

Feedback: Rengar feels more like a fighter than an assassin now

 

Riot JagButton Rioter Riot JagWe have definitely shifted the time-to-kill window for Rengar’s assassinations more into the fighter end of the spectrum (closer to Jax than Zed, for example). He’s not going to kill someone in 1-2 seconds, yes, but his damage over 4-5 seconds should be comparable to or better than the previous version while also having stronger tank stats and better stickiness.

 

 

Feedback: He’s weaker in lane

 

Riot JagButton Rioter Riot JagIt’s true that his early lane has more weaknesses than his previous iteration. We shifted some of his power away from his Level 2 cheese and spammy E-harass, but added some back in sustained trades, healing when he’s behind in lane, and assistance for jungle ganks. One thing I’m curious on here is what is an assassin’s idea of winning lane, especially in the top lane. When we see assassin’s top lane they’re generally more than happy to be able to farm against bruisers.

 

 

Feedback: He’s a much slower split-pusher after the rework

 

Riot JagButton Rioter Riot JagIf you feel like his pushing power is excessively weak I think that may be a fair criticism. We’d like to keep an eye on his overall power level since he has a lot of other really strong tools to aid in tower pushing (e.g. using an Empowered Q on a nearby minion for a strong AS bonus, the ult giving a good escape, etc.)

 

 

Feedback: Rengar is too weak to be either a tank or an assassin/fighter now

 

Riot JagButton Rioter Riot JagWe want him to be in a state where he can still build to be a damage threat. If that’s not true, then it’s something we’ll address.

 

 

 

 

Why is the warning for when Rengar ults not global?

 

RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: There are a few people suggesting that the warning from his ult should be global. We thought about this idea actually but it was actually too punishing for Rengar because it gave his opponents too much time to react, and essentially removed all of his ganking power. Enemies would all just back up to their tower before he could engage, so we went with a much shorter warning time frame.

I’m much more keen on the idea that if he wouldn’t be visible, the warning will not appear. This rewards clever paths and approaches when ulting.

 

 

More from Ghostcrawler

After the brief info we got from Ghostcrawler yesterday, here’s more of his thoughts on Riot, game design and more!

 

 

 Why are some projects discussed with players and then scrapped?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler:  That’s a huge challenge of talking to players. If you want to be really honest, which we generally try to do, then that means talking about plans (even pretty solid plans) that have a chance of not working out. The alternative is not to talk about anything that isn’t 100% ready to ship. I prefer the former, but I understand it can be frustrating.

 

 

You’re like Morello! (in a good non-nerfing way)

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler:  I love Morello too. We should hang out. The thing you have to remember as a developer when you’re talking to players is that some of them are going to be angry or even nasty, but you can’t let it get you down. At the end of the day, they are usually speaking out of passion just trying to improve a game they love (unless they are true trolls who just want to sow discord, but in my experience those dudes are pretty rare). Having passionate players is awesome. Every game developer very much wants passionate players!

 

 

With Riot being open with its community, you shouldn’t be taking so much flak

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I love this about Riot, and I love that a bunch of the Rioters posting are from disciplines other than design. It helps reinforce that these are real people (who love their job!) and not just PR bots spouting some approved company line. I think it also helps reinforce that it takes so many people from different disciplines collaborating to create a game.

 

 

Did you play League at all prior to joining Riot?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I did. And then I played a lot while I was interviewing, but I had to do it in secret. BRO, WHY YOU PLAYING SO MUCH LEAGUE RIGHT NOW, BRO?

 

 

 

 

What do you think about the eSport side of League?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: It’s infectious! I’m not on the esports team, but I started paying a lot of attention to LCS once I started seriously considering moving out here.

 

 

 

 

Do you think Rioters used to communicate design decisions better last Season compared to this one?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Okay, here is an example where I’m going to attempt to prove that I don’t mind leveling with you guys. But you have to not beat us up about it. We’ve talked about this a lot, and we agree that Riot used to do a better job of providing context, debating design changes, and following up on things we said we’d follow up on. When I was on the outside looking in, I was super impressed with how well Rioters communicated with you guys, and I think it’s fair that it has fallen off some this season or so.

It’s a priority to get back there. We probably burned a little bit of trust with you guys and it’s time to try to get it back. Please hold us to that, and let us know when we go astray.

 

 

Do you talk with Morello about WoW’s balance design in the office?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: We do. He still plays. As you might imagine, designers love to sit around and dissect design decisions in other games. I think a bunch of the guys have enjoyed asking how I really felt about various aspects of WoW.

 

 

 

Is it true you used to work on Age of Empires?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: That’s how I got my big break. Some players like the “That’s what happens when you let a marine biologist balance your game” narrative, but I worked on Age of Empires for 10 years before I ever went to Blizzard. I started on Rise of Rome and worked on every title up until Halo Wars, which is around when I left. Ensemble Studios (who made AoE) was a great place to work and I still keep in touch with a lot of friends-for-life that I made there. It’s interesting to me that RTS games have kind of died off lately, save for Starcraft.

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Refunding Reworked Champions


 

Riot DryTheRiver Button Rioter Riot DryTheRiver: Hey everyone,

I’d like to shed some light and clarify the above statement as it is not entirely correct:

 

If a champion or skin had a graphical or kit (play style) rework after your purchase, you do indeed have the option to refund them without spending any refund tokens. However, this refund is for FULL reworks only. Buffed and nerfed champions do not count as full reworks and, as a result, are not eligible for a refund. Also, in order to be eligible for this refund, you must request a refund on a visual/design rework within 90 days after the rework. We will not be able to give you a refund beyond the initial 90 days.

For more info, you can check out our content refund guidelines are available on the player support website at the following location: https://support.leagueoflegends.com/…ent-Refund-FAQ

Hope this helps 

 

 

Hopes for Mage-Fortune


 

ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: Going to bring this thread back from the dead now that I’ve had some time to read everyone’s responses and think about them a bit. My plans for the immediate future are to: watch Miss Fortune on 4.5 and make balance changes as necessary, and then make adjustments for AP-scaling Miss Fortune. I should be able to get something in time for the 4.6 patch—we’ll see how things test over the next week.

Based on where she’s at now I don’t think it’ll take much, but wanted to give you all a heads up that i’m still working on her all the same.




Plans for Fiora


morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: So, at risk of building hype… ;p

GUINSOO is working on a Fiora overhaul as a “light fighter.” We’re still in very early prototying, but we agree Fiora is one of the worst characters upon delivering on her fantasy – a skilled, deft fencer.

I think much of her kit will change, but for the better.

 

 

Bonus: Void Fizz Comic


 

Artist: Holyelfgirl

Link to Comic

I thought that was awesomely adorable, enjoy reading! And don’t forget to check out the artist if you like her work!

 

void_fizz_comic__commission__by_holyelfgirl-d7c5d1u

The (best) story of Void Fizz

 

 

PBE SKT T1 Skins

 

PBE 04/03

Red Post Collection

 

 

PBE SKT T1 Skins

 

SKT T1 Skins for Lee Sin, Jax, Vayne, Zyra and Wards!

 

SKT T1 Lee Sin

SKT T1 Lee Sin

SKT T1 Jax

SKT1 Jax

SKT T1 Vayne

SKT T1 Vayne

SKT T1 Zyra

SKT T1 Zyra

SKT T1 Ward

SKT T1 Ward

 

 

Champions

 

 

Kassadin New Portrait

  • Mana-per-level increased from 45 to 70
  • Movement speed increased from 340 to 350

 

Nether_BladeNether Blade [ W ]

  • Damage increased from 40/65/90/115/140 to 40/75/110/145/180

 

 

Vayne New Portrait

  • Base Armor reduced from 13.3 to 9.3 (note: April Fools was 2 days ago.)

 

 

Cho'Gath New Portrait

 

Vorpal_SpikesVorpal Spikes [ E ] 

  • Spikes now grow wider as Cho’Gath gains stacks of Feast, changed from when Cho’Gath levels.

 

 

Items

 

 

  Blackfire_Torch_itemBlackfire Torch

  • No longer grants 5% Movement speed

 

Hextech_Sweeper_itemHextech Sweeper

  • No longer grants 40 Ability Power
  • Health granted reduced from 250 to 225
  • Now grants 250 Mana and 25 Armor

 

Twin_Shadows_itemTwin Shadows

  • Ghosts from active now seek out enemy Champions for 6 seconds, increased from 5

 

 

Lulu Mid Statikk

Why is Riot intent on toning down Lulu mid? Will this harm support Lulu? Why can’t we turn our enemies into gummy bears?

 

 

StatikkButton Rioter Statikk: Hey Mystic Blue Fox and other Lulu players here,

Firstly, unfortunately I am not Xelnath.

Secondly, I’d like to say that we really appreciate the calm and constructive way you made this thread. Awesome.

I want to take some time to clarify our perspectives on Lulu, why we’re doing what we’re doing now, and what we plan to do moving forward.

We are genuinely happy (and excited) that Lulu can be a mid lane Support champion who brings different strengths than other popular mid laners – especially in terms of potential team compositions.

When Lulu can be brought mid lane to help build a team composition around say protecting an allied Vayne, that’s super cool. In fact, this type of champion and team composition diversity is something we’d like to see a lot more of.

One of the most common criticisms is that due to the Support utility scaling we added in the new season, mid lane Lulu makes herself and her teammates super fast, and that that is a bad / annoying thing. We actually think it makes the game more interesting and gives players different reasons to pick and play different champions. Not every champion should need to bring a ton of damage and blow everything up. Some champions bring other strengths to the table.

We don’t just hate any and all Supports that are played in mid lane.

In Lulu’s case, we are not happy with the primary reason for her being picked in mid lane being that she is a safe, reliable laner who bullies a large majority of other mid lane champions. This is true of any champion in any role. When a champion’s job in the game is to make sure other champions don’t get a chance to participate in the game, there’s a problem.

Another common historical case people bring up is mid lane Janna, which is perfectly reasonable. The primary issue with Janna at the time was that she created a very un-interactive laning phase by continuously charging up her Q to just wave clear and force enemies under their turret which drastically reduced the potential viable picks in that lane.

At the end of the day, we’d prefer if Support mid laners were being brought for their unique Supportive strengths such as protecting /enhancing their allies. It’s really awesome when these type of picks increase champion diversity rather than stifle it.

These nerfs were directed at reigning in some of Lulu’s more abusive lane harass patterns – especially when she snowballs ahead.

Although her laning harass patterns have risk and interactivity in the duo lane, the same rules don’t always apply in solo lanes. In fact, against many other champion in the solo lane, Lulu can freely harass them with little to no repercussions at higher range while they have no way to interact with her.

Once again, it’s an unfortunate truth, but many gameplay patterns that work well in a certain lane can be toxic for game health when brought to other lanes. This is something we always actively design around.

We agree we failed to ensure that she was still equally as viable in her traditional role as a bottom lane Support for this patch.

Normally we would either A) understand we significantly affected her bot lane viability and make compensatory buffs or B) confirm that we did not hurt her viability in her traditional role.

We simply ran out of the normal amount of analysis time and data gathering we would need to accurately execute on this.

To be clear, this does not mean that she is not viable as a bot lane Support currently. It simply means that we failed to ensure that her bot lane power was still up to par with this release. It still might be, but either way it’s something we need to look into and work on if needed.

We will be following up by doing internal analysis on her status as a bot lane Support and take action in an upcoming patch if necessary.

This is something that is currently ongoing. Lulu’s current viability as a bot lane Support is something we’re taking a hard look at to make sure we didn’t mess anything up here. If she is no longer viable in her intended role, you can expect we’ll be making changes until she is.

Anyway, I know it was long, but I really wanted to address everything I’ve been reading / hearing. Once again, thanks a ton for the constructive posts.

 

 

Will you keep Support Lulu viable?

 

StatikkButton Rioter Statikk: It depends on the result of the following analysis, but yes, we will make compensatory changes if we feel she’s now lacking as a duo lane Support.

 

 

 

 

Follow-up: Is compensating for the Support role a Season 4 philosophy?

 

StatikkButton Rioter Statikk: It’s definitely something we’re adopting much more as we have continued to grow and learn while working on LoL.

Sometimes we will have to outright push a champion out of an off-role because of the game health problems they present and the costs / tradeoffs we would have to make to their primary role to make the off-role healhty. We’re definitely going to try much harder to find room for these off builds to work, but I can’t promise that we will always be able to deliver on that.

 

 

If Lulu’s early game Q damage is the problem, why is her E getting nerfed?

 

StatikkButton Rioter Statikk: That’s a pretty good point. Our main thought process around nerfing E damage was that it was the most un-interactive part of her kit (click a dude, deal damage to dude) and that ultimately we would like to move power from there to other parts of her kit that have more interesting gameplay.

We also largely believed that nerfing her Q base damage would cripple her viability as a Support, but we may be wrong on that?

 

 

Why is Lulu mid being a reliable pick a balance issue?

 

StatikkButton Rioter Statikk: When we say overly “reliable,” we really just mean we think the champion is too good against too many things. Mid lane Lulu wins the majority of her lane matchups and outright crushes many of them.

That is a lot different than being reliable as a protector or source of CC for her teammates, we’re fine with that. We just don’t like her being able to have such a huge advantage in lane against almost any champion.

I guess our take is that mid lane Lulu should be taken as a way to give a ton of Movement Speed to an ally and a way to protect a high priority target on her team (or synergize with an initiator for a wombo combo).

The problem isn’t that Lulu doesn’t die in the lane, it’s that she consistently harasses out her opponents and forces them to back or risk dying while maintaining her relatively high safety.

 

 

Off-topic: Do you think Renekton limits the pool of top laners?

 

StatikkButton Rioter Statikk: Yeah I figured this would be coming up, because it’s a legit argument. I don’t want to derail too much because this is a thread about Lulu, but Renekton is definitely an issue and as you can see in the latest patch notes we are trying to off load some of his early lane dominance elsewhere.

 

Don’t want to go too in-depth here, but we basically feel if we nerf Renetkon, a new bully will just rise up in his place that is potentially even more unhealthy for the game due to our generic fighter designs. Our current approach in one of the upcoming patches is to take a look at some of the top lane champions we think would make top lane more interesting and give them buffs so they can better compete with champions like Renekton.

A more holistic approach to fully solve the “Fighter” issue is to make our fighters have more defined strengths and weaknesses both in lane matchups and in overall team / game strategy, but that’s a project that would take a long time to finish.

 

 

Twitch Voice Over

We recently got the announcement that Twitch would be getting a visual update, but what about his voice? Good news, the stinky rat gets to keep his awesome accent!

 

 

Is Twitch’s voice actor the same one from before?

 

Riot EntropyButton Rioter Riot Entropy: It is indeed the same gentleman. We brought him back to expand Twitch’s script from the original nine lines to 80+ interactions. The actor has a lot of range, so we were able to capture more depth of character this time around. The lines you heard in the showcase are on the manic “high-strung” end of the spectrum you’d expect from him in the middle of a deadly game of cat-and-mouse… or rat-and-splat?

 

 

What can we expect from the VO?

 

Riot EntropyButton Rioter Riot Entropy: VO hookups. Attack lines, move lines, taunts, jokes, ability activations, and some other stuff I don’t want to spoil until you try him out.

 

 

 

 

Will he be like Rattigan?

 

Riot EntropyButton Rioter Riot Entropy: There are some subtle notes of Rattigan. He’s more trying to be refined and sophisticated by denying what he is though. Twitch loves who he is, it’s just that Twitch’s idea of what’s good is very different from ours.

 

 


Ghostcrawler Topic

Riot’s Lead Game Designer steps into the forums to answer some burning questions LoL and WoW fans.  No Lissandra buffs announced (yet).

 

 

How involved are you with the game’s balancing?

 

(Well, that isn’t at all what the Summoner was “asking”, but it’s the most civil interpretation I could come up with.)

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I’m not interested in dramatic change. The teams at Riot know what they’re doing, and they don’t need me mucking that up.

But maybe where I can contribute is helping make sure you guys understand our overall philosophy for why we make the changes we do (or those that we don’t!). I want to do what I can personally to get you all bought into our design direction and also make sure we understand your point of view when we disagree.

I love that Riot aspires to be so player focused. Any of you who have known me for a long time can understand why I’d want to be a part of that.

 

 

Follow-up: You have a history of making “dramatic changes”. Why shouldn’t we expect them in LoL?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I understand where you’re coming from, but again, this is an example of conflating the direction of a team with the influence of one person. The direction of League comes from Riot and it comes from you guys. The same was true of WoW during my tenure there, and I can’t imagine it could have changed that quickly since I left.

 

 

Were you blamed for the balance issues in WoW because you were the only one who communicated them with players?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I said this on Twitter recently, but I’m totally fine if any of you want to hold me accountable for anything in the games I’ve worked on, including this one. I can take it.

That said, when you attribute the work of so many to so few or even one guy, it’s really not fair to the literally hundreds of people who work together to make a game like WoW or LoL. It’s really not possible in a game of this size in an environment this collaborative for any one person to have that much of an in influence.

 

 

How is your job different from Morello’s?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: We’re not big on titles here, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Morello works closely with the champion and core teams and he has been a point of contact on that stuff for you guys forever so I would keep using him. We’re friends and we work closely together. Anything you say to either of us will get to the other dude.

 

 

Can we expect an AMA from you?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I thought about that, but I worry the message it sends is I AM VERY IMPORTANT which isn’t a message I actually want to send.

 

 

 

 

Aren’t you responsible for homogenizing WoW’s classes and making balance stale?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I think this is a fair criticism. At the time, we were trying to solve a problem where certain classes were stacked and others just didn’t get to participate at all. But homogenization is absolutely a design risk, especially in a game like League with so many champions.

For the record, I think homogenization stinks, and I invite you guys to absolutely call us on it when it happens.

 

 

How did you rise to Lead Game Designer without ever working for Riot previously?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: In many industries, including this one, experience counts for a lot. At the end of the day, you need to ship a product (as lame as that makes it sound), and there are things you learn about how to get that done. I’m not in charge of the direction of League — nobody is really. I do have sixteen years of experience in building teams, improving communication, building consensus, helping to level up junior designers, and hiring talented new ones. Those are all important components of leadership and ultimately that’s what Riot said they liked.

I’ve said this before as well, but one of the secrets of this business is that good ideas are cheap. Knowing how to ship a good game is what is really valuable.

 

 

Weren’t you a disrespectful blue on WoW’s forums?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Are you sure you aren’t confusing me with someone else? I take player opinions very seriously, even when I disagree with them. It’s harder on Twitter, where the limitations of the medium make it hard to say things like “You have a point, but…” or “Our goals are the same, and we just disagree on whether a proposed change will accomplish those goals.”

Now, some players might say “You didn’t make this change I wanted, so how can you really call yourself responsive to player concerns?” It’s not really possible to make everyone happy all the time, and when you try, you can end up with mistakes… like homogenization!

 


Patch 4 Point 5 Banner


Patch 4.5


Hey Summoners,

It’s mid season! That doesn’t mean we’ll be making dramatic changes a la the 2014 preseason, but it does mean we can make some larger systemic changes in areas where we could. You’ll see this in places like the support item recipe cleanup and the addition of two foundational support items. While we’re not planning to completely change the landscape, this does mean that supports will be able to keep pace when purchasing ability power items and, in the future we’ll be able to build out more support itemization paths for those who want it.

Also included in this patch are two gameplay updates (that’s what we’re calling ‘em): Rengar and Gragas. Rengar’s got some new tools to actually contribute to an ongoing team fight, while Gragas has traded some of his long-range barrel-sniping power for scrappy in-your-face brawlin’ strength. Our overarching philosophy behind these two changes was mostly due to their binary gameplay, where both had clear success cases (usually involving the absolute destruction of a single target before they knew it) but, when they weren’t succeeding, they were rarely allowed to contribute in meaningful ways. You can find out more details by reading below, but our goals were to provide more tools and, generally speaking, more cool things to do in a fight. Like belly slams.


LoL Client

Game Lobbies


Team Builder

Team Builder Text


Combat Text

Combat Text Text


Gameplay Updates

Rengar

Gragas


Champions

Global Stat Changes

Anivia

Fiddlesticks

Graves

Heimerdinger

Khazix

Lee Sin

Leona

Lulu

Miss Fortune

Renekton

Twisted Fate

Wukong

Ziggs


Minor Changes

Ahri

Blitzcrank

Jarvan

Jinx

Malzahar

Nami

Pantheon

Talon


Items

Blue Trinkets

Spirit of the Elder Lizard

Feral Flare

Support Itemization

Aether Wisp

Forbidden Idol

Frost Queen Claim

Face of the Mountain

Will of the Ancients

Aegis of the Legion

Warden Mail

Glacial Shroud

Boot Enchantments


Runes

Seals

Glyphs

Quintessences


Masteries

Feast

Scavenger


Summoner Spells

Exhaust

Heal

Ignite

Barrier


Summoner Rift

Dragon


 

Patch 4 point 5 Notes

Disclaimer: This is completely legitimate news. Confirmed on Saint’s stream.

 

 

Pwyff Troll IconRiotPwyff:  Summoners! In preparation for the future of League, aka Ultra Rapid Fire mode, we’re releasing Patch 4.5 to fix the existing balance issues and make some new ones. The focus of this patch is reworks and player fun, so the new Champion, Helmet Bro, will have to wait. Enjoy reading!

 

 

Patch 4.5

 

 

Reworks

 

Lee Sin New Portrait

Context: A while ago someone leaked our April Fools patch notes for Lee Sin. This left us with nothing cool to show off for Lee Sin on April 1st, so we’re just posting his actual rework.

 

FlurryFlurry [ Passive ]

  • After using a spell, Lee Sin gains bonus health regeneration for 5 seconds.

 

Sonic_WaveSonic Wave [ Q ]

  • Now applies a 2-second bleed that scales with AP.

 

Resonating_StrikeResonating Strike [ Q ]

  • Removed.

 

SafeguardSafeguard [ W ]

  • If cast on a ward, depletes Lee Sin’s energy bar, roots him in place and goes on a 30-second cooldown.

 

TempestTempest [ E ]

  • Makes visible enemy Champions go in stealth.

 

CrippleCripple [ Reactivate E ]

  • Now applies the Cripple debuff to Lee Sin as well.

 

Dragon's_RageKitty Punch [ R ] (renamed)

Damage reduced from 200 / 400 / 600 (+200% bonus AD) to 50 / 100 / 150 (+100% bonus AD)

 

 

Yasuo New Portrait

Context: We never pushed Yasuo’s concept, because we were afraid we’d have to release a broken Champion with too many mechanics. We decided to play it safe so we removed cooldowns, gave him three passives, infinite gap-closing, 50% Armor Penetration, hard CC and a spell that counters 95% of the game. Logically, he proved far too weak to survive in the meta. With this rework we’re bringing back a lot of the “crazy” mechanics we scrapped during development. Hopefully, this will lift Yasuo’s miserable 80% win-rate.

 

Way_of_the_WandererWay of the Wanderer [ Passive ]

  • Now lets Yasuo choose an additional passive that any of the other Champions in LoL have.

 

Steel_TempestSteel Tempest [ Q ]

  • Can now be toggled to fling katana swords at enemies from Caitlyn range. Note that this is just an alternate way to cast Steel Tempest.

 

Empowered_Steel_TempestEmpowered Steel Tempest [ Third Q ]

  • Yasuo’s third ranged attack impales target enemy in place. Critical hit chance increases the duration of the stun.

 

Wind_WallWindwall [ W ]

  • Now correctly blocks Tower hits, melee attacks, non-projectile attacks and basically everything in the game ever.

 

Sweeping_BladeSweeping Blade [ E ]

  • Refills Yasuo’s Flow to maximum when cast.

 

Last_BreathRiot Please [ R ] (renamed)

  • Range is now global. Spawns a second Yasuo where the spell was cast from who continues to farm minions.

 

 

Champions

 

 

Ahri New Portrait

 

CharmCharm [ E ]

  • Charmed targets now permanently fall in love with Ahri and will follow her in other games. Ezreal is immune to this.

 

Context: Since Ahri’s rework, we had a lot of Diamond smurfs (with suspicious Bronze icons) tell us she’s ruined and that they’re moving to DotA because it’s a better company. We’re excited to see Ahri on the pro-scene again and we hope we can fulfill your fantasy of Shiphtur commanding an army of LCS players. Yes, she can still be your waifu.

 

 

Alistar New Portrait

 

Unbreakable_WillUnbreakable Will [ R ]

  • Mana cost increased from 100 to 150. (see context)

 

Context: A recent complaint on Reddit was that Alistar’s level 5 Q and W cost more than his ultimate. We realize this is confusing for players who still pick Alistar in Ranked, so we’ve fixed it. Next patch we plan to rework his Headbutt so it always sends enemies towards your ADC for free kills.

 

 

Anivia New Portrait

 

RebirthRebirth [ Passive ]

  • Instead of reviving, Anivia will now self-destruct after 6 seconds.

 

Context: We recently found an issue where Anivia would revive after dying. I think we can all agree that revive passives are broken-as-fudge toxic gameplay, but we still want Anivia players to have that experience of being completely helpless for several seconds.

 

 

New Portrait Heimerdinger

 

H-28Q_Apex_TurretH-28Q Apex Turret [ R + Q ]

  • Every third attack now spews out a regular turret.

 

Context: We had a report on NA servers that a melee Champion actually managed to lane versus Heimerdinger and trade kills. This is unacceptable and ruins the status of Heimer as the Overlord who Bathes in your Tears. These spawned turrets do not count towards Heimer’s maximum turret count and are simply there so you can die quicker when you decide to 1v1 him.

 

 

Irelia New Portrait

 

Hiten_StyleHiten Style [ W ]

  • Damage and heal removed. Can still be cast for the pretty light effect.

 

Context: Irelia is just far too overwhelming on top lane. Having infinite sustain and free harass combo on top of being able to 2v1 the enemy top and jungle on level 6 with Dominus is making a lot of top laners obsolete currently. Wait, what’s an Irelia?

 

 

Lissandra New Portrait

 

Glacial_PathGlacial Path [ E ]

  • Bugfix: Now correctly grabs enemies hit by it and pulls them towards Lissandra.

 

Frozen_TombFrozen Tomb [ R ]

  • Base damage increased from 150 / 250 / 350 to 450 / 675 / 950 and 450 / 900 / 1350 with Shatter talent.

 

Context: No context.

 

 

Lulu New Portrait

 

Whimsy Whimsy [ W ]

  • Added a variety of sweet products that Lulu can turn enemies into – muffins, croissants, dunkin’ donuts and gummy bears.

 

Context: We realize Lulu is a big problem in mid lane, so we nerfed Rabadon’s Deathcap (see below) and focused on the fun aspects of Polymorph.

 

 

Nidalee New Portrait

  • All spells except Javelin Toss have been removed.
  • Mana removed. Nidalee now drains the fun and joy out of the enemy team to cast spells.

 

Javelin_TossJavelin Toss [ Q ]

  • Cooldown removed.
  • Range is now global.

 

Context: In the office, we like to imagine that most Nidalee mains are sociopaths who throw rocks at people on the street. We understand they derive their fun experience from chugging half of someone’s health bar with invisible spears every 3 seconds, so we decided to focus on that aspect of Nidalee. We also made new Splash art for her, check below!

 

 

Teemo New Portrait

  • Occasionally cites Dante’s “Divine Comedy” in lane.

 

 Blinding_DartBlinding Dart [ Q ]

  • Target enemy’s display turns blinding white for the duration of the spell.

 

Noxious_TrapNoxious Trap [ R ]

  • Now plants claymores instead of mushrooms. Damage is instant.

 

 

Skarner New Portrait

  • Health at level 1 increased from 536 to 546.

 

ImpaleImpale [ R ]

  • Now tickles target enemy instead of rooting.
  • Applies a 10% slow for every second the enemy spends laughing at how bad Skarner is.

 

Context: We’re kind of pushing the limits here, but we want Skarner to be a viable pick. The extra 10 hit points will let Skarner tank an additional fifth of an auto attack, giving him complete dominance in the early game. To compensate, we’re reducing the amount of power he has when his ult is up and the enemy is reconnecting.

 

 

Minor Changes and Bug Fixes

 

 

Fiora New Portrait

 

Blade_WaltzBlade Waltz [ R ]

  • Can no longer be cast on Champions. Still available for minion-farming.
  • Now properly disables Flash when used until the spell comes off cooldown. (see thread for context)

Context: We realized Blade Walts only works for people who understand how often it doesn’t work. Since pro-players now know she has 4 spells, she’ll probably become a contested LCS pick unless we act. We’re fixing this along with quality of life changes to her Flash.

 

 

Grasshopper

 

Taste_Their_FearTaste Their Fear [ Q ]

  • Grasshopper now makes nature sounds when a target is isolated.

 

 

Jinx New Portrait

  • If Jinx kills Officer Caitlyn or Officer Vi, the player is immediately mailed Ice-T merchandise.

 

 

Nidalee New Portrait

  • Splash art updated.

Context: Two years ago we did a visual update for Nidalee, but financial constraints prevented us from making new splash arts for her skins. Well, that’s no longer the case! Here’s one of her new Splash arts:

 

Best Nidalee Art World

New Nidalee Splash Art

 

 

Rengo

  • Makes a webcam shot of the enemy’s face when Rengar comes out of stealth. Automatically uploads it to player’s Facebook wall.

 

 

Map Vision Bugs

  • Random champion icons now again appear on the minimap for no reason.
  • Standing inside a brush sometimes grants random amounts of vision.

Context: We’ve read tons of letters from fans who told us how fond they were of the countless vision bugs and so we brought them back. From now on, bugs in patches will be referred to as “features”.

 

 

Items

 

Black_King_Bar_iconBlack King Bar

  • Grants immunity to magic damage and crowd control for 6 seconds.
  • Free if you buy an indie bundle.

 

Heart_of_Gold_itemHeart of Gold

  • Cost: 825 Gold. Grants 5 Gold per 10 seconds and 200 Health.
  • Can be upgraded to Squirtle.

 

SquirtleSquirtle

  • Cost: 1250 Gold. Grants 10 Gold per 10 seconds and 350 Health.
  • Causes your Champion to spray water jets at enemies when low on life.

 

Last_WhisperLast Whisper

  • Ranged carries can now get this item for free as a Trinket.

 

Rabadon's_DeathcapRabadon’s Deathcap

  • No longer grants % increase to AP.

 

Context: This change will hopefully reduce Lulu’s dominance in mid lane.

 

 

Twisted Treeline


 

exclamation iconNew Mode Added: Save the Poros!

  • Poros spawn randomly around the map. Both teams have 15 minutes to collect as many Poros as they can and bring them to their respective Fountains. Note that in Save the Poros! Vilemaw can move freely around the map and consume Poros.

Note: Rengo and Grasshopper are unavailable in Save the Poros!

 

 

My Info Article Ending

 

Pantheon Gragas Banner

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Why Pantheon was Reworked

A post popped up on the PBE community forums explaining the recent changes to Pantheon.

 

 

SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Hey guys, SmashGizmo here to give some more context and details on the Pantheon changes you’ve already seen on the PBE today.

Pantheon’s one of the biggest benefactors we’ve seen from the recent spirit stone changes, and while we don’t innately dislike him as a jungler, we would like to both add some options for his opponents against his ganks and smooth out his historically lopsided power curve a bit.

The current changelist that’s on PBE is still very fresh and subject to tuning before it hits live, but here is the current full list of changes:

 

Aegis_ProtectionAegis Protection [ Passive ]

  • Now will block the attack of any siege minion or large jungle monster instead of a damage value based on his character level

 

Aegis_of_ZeoniaAegis of Zeonia [ W ]

  • Stun duration changed from 1 second at all ranks to 0.5/0.75/1/1.25/1.5

 

Grand_SkyfallGrand Skyfall [ R ]

  • Channel time reduced from 2 seconds to 0.5
  • Landing time (after circle appears) increased from 1.5 seconds to 2
  • Cast range reduced from 5500 at all ranks to 2000/2500/3000
  • Cooldown reduced from 150/135/120 seconds to 150/125/100

 

The passive changes are a straightforward modernization of the ability to make it reliably block the minions and monsters that Pantheon wants it to block.

W’s changes are aimed at power curve adjustment and I will be monitoring how much this makes his early ganks less brutal to weigh the gains vs. pain to Pantheon players.

R’s changes are a bit larger in scope and are trying to address a wider breadth of problems. The range reduction is there to allow opponents to ward more effectively versus jungle Pantheon, while the landing time increase is there to give opponents more time to react to an incoming Pantheon gank. The two together may be hurting Pantheon’s level 6 ganks too much, but I tend to go overboard with my initial changes and then tone it back with iterations when I get a better sense of what changes are actually accomplishing. The channel time reduction, on the other hand, is aimed at addressing Pantheon’s ult usability in teamfights and skirmishes. I’m hoping that this will give Pantheon some stronger options when using his ult more reactively, such as being able to escape dicey situations in enemy territory or quickly repositioning mid-teamfight. With this larger emphasis on mid-fight usability from his ult, I also wanted to reduce the late game cooldown so that he will realistically have it as a play making tool in almost every late game fight.

Just to reiterate, these changes are hot off the presses and are subject to go through some iteration before they hit live, but I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging without any context and missing pieces of the changelist.

 

 

Gragas rework

Gragas has been dominating in competitive play and Solo Queue and is being taken down a notch. Not your usual nerfs this time – we get a full rework! (for better or worse)

 

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: Hey Summoners,

Although Gragas in his inception was designed as an AP brawler mixing it up with the enemy, he has historically been played as a mid AP nuke/poker. While we were fine with this, the recent resurgence of Gragas as a top pick has brought to our attention the problems inherent in this playstyle.

Gragas currently possesses strengths of long range burst, tankiness and disengage- carried by AP ratios on Q and R being so high that they will effectively two-shot you. This combination of strengths do not make much sense (why do you need tankiness if you are a sniper? Etc.) and are unhealthy for the game.

However, since Gragas was never designed as a sniper, he does not have enough tools he needs to be a valued pick if he is not two-shotting people. Therefore, just nerfing his current damage numbers will ‘Olaf’ him (his win rates are already super low for most players). When we looked at Gragas as a character, it made much more sense to retain the tankiness while hitting the long range burst damage and grant him the tools to succeed while being in the thick of the fight, rather than turn him into a fragile long range sniper, hence the rework. We are attempting to reposition Gragas as more of a bruiser/tank that better reflects the fantasy of being a large drunk dude who gives no @#$@s while ramming into people.

The direction of the important changes are below, along with the points of feedback (both playing as and against) I am mainly looking for!

 

Barrel_RollBarrel Roll [ Q ]

  • Damage reduced
  • Now slows Movement Speed instead of Attack Speed
  • Now deals more damage and slows for more as the barrel sits out

 

This lowers his effectiveness as a poke mage (since no one will be standing in the barrel radius for any amount of time) and gives more incentive to ‘combo’ his spells to knock people into a barrel.

The coolest play Gragas makes is when he uses Explosive Cask to knock the enemy into a Barrel that has been sitting outside and we wanted to incentivize that. The new effect on Body Slam will also synergize with this ability.

Feedback Point

Do you feel that this ability gives enough payoff for hitting the charged barrel?
Is his prowess as a poke mage too strong for how much cc he brings?

 

Drunken_RageDrunken Rage [ W ]

  • Much lower CD and duration, grants a one time hit bonus instead of AD.
  • Gragas can also move while drinking.
  • No longer restores mana.

 

The current Drunken Rage is a very dull spell that is simply a chore to upkeep. There are almost no cases where Gragas engages without this buff and there is very sparse gameplay associated with the trigger or the effect.

The new iteration hopes to create a more windowed effect to his DR and damage so there is richer play and counterplay. Also a Gragas who is drinking more often is a more awesome Gragas.

Feedback Point

Does the spell grant appropriate defenses to allow Gragas to function in melee?
Is there a pronounced success/failure case when Gragas uses his W at the right time?

 

Body_SlamBody Slam [ E ]

  • Now stuns and slightly knocks enemies back instead of slowing them.

 

We have moved some power from Barrel Roll to Body Slam to give him the tools be valuable without needing to deal tons of damage. Gragas should be able to function as a mid-teamfight brawler that acts like a brick wall for enemies trying to get past him and gum up the fight.

Feedback Point

Does the spell offer a good enough incentive for you to duke it out in melee?

 

Explosive_CaskExplosive Cask [ R ]

  • Deals less damage

 

Explosive Cask is already an awesome ability that requires mastery to use to full potential with amazing payoffs. However, currently it deals too much damage that dilutes its own strengths (You don’t care about where you knock the enemy if he just dies from the explosion).

We wanted the spell to be focused on its cool and unique strength – a huge radius ranged knockback.

 

 

 

 

Rune Changes

 

RiotPwyff gives us a look at the long-awaited changes to runes!

 

 

Upcoming rune balance changes

 

Back in the 2014 preseason we spoke about rune balance changes but couldn’t deliver them in time for the launch of the season. The short version: we took a closer look at the rune system after our original announcement and decided that our plans weren’t going to get runes where we want them to be. We’re still committed to exploring the best way to make runes an interesting and dynamic system for all players, but in the meantime we’ll be implementing some basic changes in the next patch.

For starters, we’re very aware that rune costs are a pain point for many players, so with the upcoming rune balance changes, we’ll be kicking off a 30% off Rune and IP Boost sale that will last from the start of the next patch through the end of April.

As for the balance, we’ll be making the following basic changes to runes (we’re only showing the Tier 3 changes, but you can assume roughly equivalent changes for the lower tiers). Supplementary changes in other systems will accompany our only two rune nerfs to armor seals and life steal quintessences. All other rune changes are buffs. It should also be noted that we will not be offering refunds (or meeting the price difference) for runes previously purchased or purchased between this announcement and the official sale start.

 

Seals

 

Values are for Tier 3 seals


Armor


Per seal 1.41 armor ⇒ 1.00 armor
Per 9 seals 12.69 armor ⇒ 9.00 armor
Supplementary: All champions will gain +4 base armor in compensation

 

Scaling Armor


Per seal 2.7 armor at level 18 ⇒ 3.0 armor at level 18
Per 9 seals 24.3 armor at level 18 ⇒ 27.0 armor at level 18

 

Health


Per seal 5.35 health ⇒ 8.0 health
Per 9 seals 48.15 health ⇒ 72.0 health

 

Scaling Health


Per seal 19.44 health at level 18 ⇒ 24.00 health at level 18
Per 9 seals 174.96 health at level 18 ⇒ 216.00 health at level 18

 

Health Regeneration


Per seal 0.43 health regen/5 sec ⇒ 0.56 health regen/5 sec
Per 9 seals 3.87 health regen/5 sec ⇒ 5.00 health regen/5 sec


Glyphs

 

Values are for Tier 3 glyphs


Scaling Cooldown Reduction


Per glyph -1.11% cooldowns at level 18 ⇒ -1.67% cooldowns at level 18
Per 9 glyphs -9.99% cooldowns at level 18 ⇒ -15.00% cooldowns at level 18

 

Scaling Magic Resist


Per glyph 2.7 magic resist at level 18 ⇒ 3.0 magic resist at level 18
Per 9 glyphs 24.3 magic resist at level 18 ⇒ 27 magic resist at level 18

 

Mana Regeneration


Per glyph 0.31 mana regen/5 sec ⇒ 0.33 mana regen/5 sec
Per 9 glyphs 2.79 mana regen/5 sec ⇒ 3.00 mana regen/5 sec

 

Scaling Mana Regeneration


Per glyph 0.99 mana regen/5 sec at level 18 ⇒ 1.20 mana regen/5 sec at level 18
Per 9 glyphs 8.91 mana regen/5 sec at level 18 ⇒ 10.80 mana regen/5 sec at level 18


Quintessences

 

Values are for Tier 3 quintessences

 

Cooldown Reduction


Per quintessence -1.67% cooldowns ⇒ -2.50% cooldowns
Per 3 quintessences -5.01% cooldowns ⇒ -7.50% cooldowns

 

Scaling Cooldown Reduction


Per quintessence -2.5% cooldowns at level 18 ⇒ -5% cooldowns at level 18
Per 3 quintessences -7.5% cooldowns at level 18 ⇒ -15% cooldowns at level 18

 

Attack Speed


Per quintessence 3.4% attack speed ⇒ 4.5% attack speed
Per 3 quintessences 10.2% attack speed ⇒ 13.50% attack speed

 

Life Steal


Per quintessence 2% life steal ⇒ 1.5% life steal
Per 3 quintessences 6% life steal ⇒ 4.5% life steal
Supplementary: The offensive mastery, Feast, will now restore 3 health on minion kill (up from 2)

 

We’ll be keeping an eye on runes and may need to make additional tweaks for game health reasons, but we’re not currently planning any further significant changes in the 2014 season. We hope you enjoy the upcoming rune sale and take this opportunity to get geared up for the season!

 

PBE Super Galaxy Rumble

 

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 (PBE is currently down and I couldn’t finish my coverage of Nighthunter Rengar and Void Fizz. I’ll have the videos for them finished once PBE is back up.)

 

 

Super Galaxy Rumble Preview

 

 

 

Items

 

For explanations on why these items are being changed, click here.

 

Aether Wisp

  • Cost: 800 Gold
  • Recipe: Amplifying  Tome (435 Gold) + 365 Gold
  • Component of Lich Bane and Twin Shadow
  • Grants 30 Ability Power
  • UNIQUE Passive:  Grants 5% Movement Speed

 

Aether Wisp

 

Forbidden Idol

  • Cost: 750 Gold
  • Recipe:  Faerie Charm (180 Gold) x2 + 390g
  • Component of Morellonom(nomnom)icon and Talisman of Ascension
  • Grants 8 Mana Regen-per-5
  • UNIQUE Passive: Grants 10% Cooldown Reduction

 

Forbidden Idol

 

Aegis_of_the_Legion_itemAegis of the Legion

  • Recipe changed: Negatron Cloak (720 Gold) + Ruby Crystal (400 Gold) + Rejuvenation Bead (180 Gold) + 600g = 1900g
  • Total cost reduced from 1950 Gold to 1900
  • Armor removed (previously 20)
  • Now grants Magic Resist (previously didn’t grant any)

 

Face of the MountainFace of the Mountain

  • Total cost increased from 2000 Gold to 2200
  • Recipe increased from 185 Gold to 385
  • Health Regeneration-per-5 decreased from 25 to 20
  • Health increased from 375 to 500

 

Frost Queen's ClaimFrost Queen’s Claim

  • Total cost increased from 2000 Gold to 2200
  • Recipe increased from 315 Gold to 515
  • Ability power increased from 40 to 50

 

Frozen_HeartFrozen Heart

  • Total cost lowered from 2900 Gold to 2600
  • Recipe cost increased from 550 to 650
  • Armor increased from 95 to 100
  • Now reduced enemy’s Attack Speed by 15%, decreased from 20%

 

Iceborn_GauntletIceborn Gauntlet

  • Total cost lowered from 3300 Gold to 2900
  • Recipe cost reduced from 1100 to  750
  • Armor reduced from 70 to 60

 

glacial shroudGlacial Shroud

  • Recipe changed: Cloth Armor (300 Gold) + Sapphire Crystal (400 Gold) + 250g = 950g
  • Total cost decreased from 1350 Gold to 950
  • Armor reduced from 45 to 20
  • Mana reduced from 300 to 250

 

Lich_BaneLich Bane

  • Recipe changed: Sheen (1200 Gold) + Aether Wisper (800 Gold) + 1000 Gold
  • Total costs lowered from 3000 Gold to 2900

 

Locket_of_the_Iron_Solari_itemLocket of the Iron Solari

  • Recipe changed: Kindlegem (850 Gold) + Aegis of the Legion (1900 Gold) + 50 gold = 2800 gold
  • Total cost increased from 2550 Gold to 2800
  • Health increased from 300 to 400
  • Armor removed (previously 20)
  • Now grants 20 Magic Resist (previously didn’t grant any)

 

Morellonomicon_itemMorellonomicon

  • Recipe changed: Fiendish Codex (820 Gold) + Forbidden Idol (750 Gold) + 630 Gold = 2200 Gold
  • Total Cost unchanged

 

Talisman_of_Ascension_itemTalisman of Ascension

  • Recipe changed: Nomad’s Medallion (865 Gold) + Forbidden Idol (75o Gold)
  • Total cost increased from 2000 to 2200
  • Mana Regen-per-5 increased from 10 to 15

 

Twin_Shadows_itemTwin Shadows

  • Recipe changed: Aether Wisp (800 Gold) + Fiendish Codex (820 Gold) + 780 gold = 2400 Gold
  • Total cost unchanged
  • Ability power increased from 50 to 80
  • Magic Resist removed (previously 40)
  • Now grants 10% Cooldown Reduction
  • New effect: If a ghost cannot find a target, it tries to return to the caster. Ghosts that successfully return in this way reduce the item’s cooldown by 40 seconds (120 Second CD)

 

Warden's_MailWarden’s Mail

  • Recipe changed: Chain Vest (720 Gold) + 280 Gold = 1000 Gold
  • Recipe cost reduced from 400 Gold to 280
  • Total Cost unchanged

 

Will_of_the_Ancients_itemWill of the Ancients

  • Recipe changed: Hextech Revolver (1200 Gold) + Fiendish Codex (820 Gold) + 480 gold = 2500 Gold
  • Total cost increased from 2000 Gold to 2500
  • Ability power increased from 50 to 80
  • Mana regeneration-per-5 removed (previously 10)

 

 

Fiddlesticks Passive Debuff Fix

 

MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: We’ve got a change to this in the patch currently on the PBE, where Fiddle’s passive won’t apply to enemies who can’t see him. Not guaranteed yet that we’ll ship that change, investigating it at the moment though.

 

Fiddlesticks Passive Fix

 

 

New Summoner Icons

 

HElDd0C vLFL8HB

 

 

New Malphite Splash Art

 

Malphite_Splash_0

Malphite New Splash

 

 

Why Xerath was Remade

 

ZenontheStoic has released a dev blog explaining why Xerath was reworked.

 

 

Hey all!

Welcome to the League of Legends design blog, a new channel for developers to muse on designs from the past and present! We’re introducing the blog to talk to you guys and help you understand our philosophies as well as seeing why we do what we do. You won’t see official announcements about things on the way, but you will get to know more about designing a game like League of Legends – straight from the team!

We’ll be evolving over time with the topics we cover (and the name, and the look, and so on…), but we wanted to start the conversation early because… why not!?

I’ll introduce each new author as they come along. Up today we’ve got Associate Champion DesignerZenonTheStoic on the Xerath rework along with some background on why we rework champions in the first place. Enjoy!

 

Why do we do gameplay reworks

 

 When we rework a champion, players often tell us that the champion was perfectly viable, or possibly only needed some number tweaks. That’s cool, and often small number tweaks would make the champion much stronger, but power level or pick rates are not the reason we do reworks! In reality, champions often need reworks because they have underlying problems that would make the game a lot less fun for everyone if those champions were picked every game.

When we decide to do a rework, the reason is usually a combination of two factors:

  1. Satisfying execution of a power archetype
  2. Overall game health

Let’s break this down:

 Every champion in League of Legends should represent an ideal power archetype (or fantasy). Dr. Mundo represents the unkillable ubertank, LeBlanc the deceiving trickster mage, and so on. Sometimes, older champions don’t do a great job of delivering on their intended goals. For instance, if Sejuani’s power archetype was to be a boar-riding warrior with a giant mace, it probably didn’t help that before her rework neither the boar nor the mace were ever used meaningfully in her abilities. Oops.

 In relation to game health, there are a number of ways in which a champion’s kit can be ‘unhealthy,’ and, just like the unique snowflakes they are, our champions all have their own unique problems. We’ll take a closer look at Xerath’s set of problems in the next section.

 

Why are we changing xerath

 

 Let’s start with the game health issues Xerath’s old kit had. To be perfectly clear: we did not rework Xerath because he was unpopular. His kit was in a state where we couldn’t have allowed him to become popular. This is what we mean when we speak of game health: the more such a kit is played, the less fun the game becomes overall.

We identified three patterns in Xerath’s gameplay that made him a good candidate for a rework.

 First off, Xerath’s decision making was very simple and non-interesting. Instead of having to ask things like “what are my teammates doing?” or “how am I positioning myself,” Xerath’s decision tree really came down to: “is my ult available to cast?” To make things worse, there was very little that Xerath could do while his ultimate was down.

 Secondly, Xerath occupied a very awkward niche: a tank buster who could output significant damage from off screen. When a champion lacks the tools to dodge damage, they should be allowed to buy defensive items or keep their distance from the source of damage. None of these were viable options against Xerath thanks to his high spell penetration.

 Finally, the pattern of “use my ultimate to quickly take down an enemy” is a very common pattern in our mage design. When too many champions who are primarily defined through this pattern become popular, it’s often just an arms race to see who puts out the highest number and thus gets to be the flavor of the month.

What about the satisfying execution of a power archetype?

 Xerath’s archetype is that of a skillful long range mage who picks off high value targets at great range. Locus of Power dilutes this concept. The spell penetration makes it so Xerath’s great ability to pick a target is less relevant—you could try to fish for the super difficult back line kill or… you could just dump your damage into their frontline, whose magic resist means very little to you. Additionally, the root on Locus of Power and the oppressively long cooldown (before rank 4/5) make it so that often this was the only play available to you.

So, to recap: unhealthy core play pattern and less than perfect realization of a cool power archetype. Sounds like a clear case for a rework.

 

How did we rebuild xerath

 

 Tradeoffs are generally a good thing to have, but a sniper who has to stand completely still to access longer-than-normal range – and rarely gets the option to do so – doesn’t feel like a sniper for most of the game. Locus of Power had to go. We did like the idea of a tradeoff in mobility, so we baked it into the skills that have particularly long range: Arcanopulse slows your movement speed as you charge up its range, and Rite of the Arcane has you stand completely still for the duration of the spell. Specifically for his ultimate, it lets Xerath pick his big “moment of power” as he roots himself in exchange for the longest non-global range in the game.

 Similarly for the old passive and the spell penetration inherent in Locus of Power: these types of power actually diluted the sniper concept. Giving free armor means Xerath has to care a little less about enemies closing the distance to him, and spell penetration means that target selection was not as rewarding as it could be. We felt that a sniper who actually has to maintain his distance while searching for a valuable back line target would work much better. There is now a necessary element of skill expression on Xerath’s kit that makes successful players feel like badass snipers.

 

What about xerath enemy

 

 One of our favorite concepts here at Riot is to create interactive gameplay (counterplay being an aspect of that). It’s the notion that with every action you take, you give your enemy equal options to react. Generally, a targeted stun on its own is low on counterplay: you literally stop your enemy from acting. A good example would be Morgana’s Dark Binding: the slow missile is dodgeable, it stops when it hits minions (so you can use your little friends as human shields) and, even when it does hit you, you can still attack and cast.

 We already covered a lot of the counterplay in Xerath’s new kit: he pays for his range in mobility, most of his new skills can be dodged and as such rely on ally setups or teamfights, and he no longer gets free spell penetration, meaning that you can feel good about the magic resist you buy against him.

But there are two subtleties to the kit worth calling out.

 Xerath’s new kit is very mana hungry, but Xerath can work around this constraint by making full use of his new passive, Mana Surge, which allows him to regain mana by landing an auto-attack. This means he needs to go within auto-attack range, which we’ve reduced to 525. Additionally, we dangle the carrot of double mana restore on auto-attacking an enemy champion in front of Xerath. We hope that this will incentivize making risky plays, because that leads to fun.

 Additionally, while Xerath gains the longest non-global range in the game, we thought that the counter-play for the enemy (jump on Xerath and ruin his day) should be as clear as possible. Therefore, we reveal Xerath through fog of war for the enemy when he begins firing Arcane Barrages during Rite of the Arcane. Additionally, how players respond to Xerath’s ult is unique, as you can’t flash out of range – you need to specifically focus on either dodging or getting to a safe area in the fog of war.

 We hope that this kit update will make Xerath more fun to play, both as and against. Combined with amazing new particles, art, and sound effects, we believe we have created a much more engaging version of the Magus Ascendant.