PBE Update: Changes to Fizz, Kassadin, Xerath and Zed, Haunted Zyra, Officer Vi, New Mastery and End Season Icons for S4 || Xelnath talks why Xerath was reworked, Morello on key balance issues in S3, nerfing assassins and DFG and more on Heimerdinger!
Red Post Collection:
- Xelnath: State of Xerath’s Rework
- Lyte: More on Team Builder
- Meddler: Casting spells during knock-up
- 20thCenturyFaux: Heimerdinger’s QA – Part 4
- Zileas: Why was dodge removed but crit is allowed to stay?
- Morello: Regarding recent nerfs to assassins and DFG’s strength
- Morello: Where balance went wrong
- Active AP ratio reduced from 0.35 to 0.15
- Mana cost decreased from 70/80/90/100/110 to 70/75/80/85/90
- Damage decreased from 80/130/180/230/280 to 80/115/150/185/220
- Silence duration changed from 1/1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6 to 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 seconds
- Subsequent uses no longer stack bonus damage unless Riftwalk hits an enemy Champion
- Damage changed from 60/70/80 ( +0.8 AP ) to 70/100/130 ( +0.6 AP )
- Now creates a Living Shadow near his target’s position when the ability’s cast, not after Zed has already ported
- Mana restore changed from 12% to 45-130 mana flat
- Now increases Xerath’s magic penetration for his basic abilities by 3-20% (1% per level)
- AP ratio increased from 0.45 to 0.6
- Stun duration now increases based on traveled distance, lasts between 1 and 2 seconds from 1/1.3/1.5/1.8/2 seconds.
- Added a small cast time ratio
- Missile speed treatly increased
- Cooldown changed from 13/12.5/12/11.5/11 to 15/13.5/12/10.5/9 seconds
- Base damage increased from 100/150/200 to 150/200/250
New Mastery Icons
End of Season 3 Icons
As a part of our effort to go back and take a look at what it’s like to learn League of Legends for the first time, we’re taking a look at turrets. Turret behavior is one of the most confusing things for new MOBA players to pick up and the average player tucks a lot of executions under their belt before they learn when and why a turret attacks them. Even more experienced players can take months or even years to learn the exact range of a turret so they can perfect the complicated dance of turret diving and breaking aggro.
Turret Indicators are a new addition in 3.13 that aim to teach players how turrets behave as a natural part of playing. When you’re near a turret, a ring appears on the ground to show you its exact range. The ring changes color to let you know when it is and is not safe to be near the turret, and when you’re in range and under attack the ring changes color and pattern to tell you the exact moment you draw aggro. Our goal was to be clear without being too noisy, and we’d love to hear how you think we did.
When this feature goes live, it will only be available in Co-Op vs AI and training modes like the tutorial and custom games against bots. This is a learning tool for players of all levels, but we think that once you’ve graduated to PvP, the training wheels come off and it’s time to get serious. If you don’t like the look of the indicators or want to measure your understanding of the range on the fly, we’ve added an option under the Game tab in the options menu for you to turn them off. We hope that you’ll play around with them and let us know what you think!
The sun sets and darkness creeps in, candlelight flickers and fires burn out. The Harrowing is nearly upon us. Whether exploring an old tomb or getting decked out to deck some criminals, terrifying and surprising storytelling comes alive with new skins for Zyra and Vi. Haunted Zyra and Officer Vi headline a cast that includes all of the former Harrowing skins. As announced last Thursday, skins that were previously categorized as Limited Edition are now legacy and will also be retrieved from the vault.
Here’s the list of all of the legacy skins that’ll be available this Harrowing:
- Mundo Mundo
- Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks
- Kitty Cat Katarina
- Zombie Ryze
- Nosferatu Vladimir
- FrankenTibbers Annie
- Definitely Not Blitzcrank
- Bewitching Nidalee
- Haunting Nocturne
- Headless Hecarim
- Haunted Maokai
- Underworld Twisted Fate
- Headmistress Fiora
- Pirate Ryze
- Zombie Brand
But the Harrowing is more than just dressing up and terrifying your foes, we’re also bringing back all five Harrowing ward skins and unveiling five new summoner icons to earn throughout the event. And it wouldn’t be the Harrowing without another mystery or two. This year, it’s the debut of mystery gifting. When you give a mystery gift, your purchase unlocks a random skin for a champion your friend owns. All skins in the store plus a selection of legacy skins are fair game, so your friend could end up with a legendary or even ultimate skin!
The Harrowing launches in an upcoming patch, so check back with leagueoflegends.com for more information about the event and we’ll see you on the battlefields!
Check out the announcement of the feature here!
Is the enemy team’s composition dependent on ours?
Lyte: Your team will be faced with a completely random composition. As a scientist, just imagine all the data when you get to see a matrix of creative, unorthodox compositions and how they perform against all other compositions…
How can I see what composition the Team’s leader wants to fill?
For example, as a team leader, I was able to setup the following today:
Fighter – Top
Support – Top
Marksman – Mid
Mage – Bot
Mage – Bot
Once I’ve determined my team composition, I lock in, and the system begins finding players for me that are interested in playing one of those specs on my team.
How will you deal with people having different expectations for a single role?
Lyte: We agree, the system isn’t designed to communicate all intentions and absolve players of any communication. Once a Support gets accepted into the lobby, teams should chat! They should figure out what they want to do, and whether they want to do 0 CS Support, or whether it’s a kill lane. If players disagree on something, they can very easily ask the system to find them a new player or a new team.
There will be a lack of people queuing for support
Xelnath: Davin’s research showed that a fairly good margin of players want to be supports. If that doesn’t turn out to be true, then I’m confident there’s things my team can do to help make support a better experience.
Will we be able to see Honor badges while in Team Builder queue?
Lyte: I like the idea of showing Honor badges… in fact, we have a few ideas with what we want to do with Honor and Team Builder. But for now, let’s focus on getting the Champion Select re-design out to players
Are Champions tied to specific Roles?
When will the chatting with your teammates be available during the teambuilding process?
How far has the rework pushed Xerath from his original iteration?
Simmer down a bit, I appreciate the amount of passion going on here, but that’s not justification to start attacking each other.
To explain our logic on the passive:
- There were concerns the super high spell pen lead to poor counter itemization
- We wanted to try an alternative growth path that encouraged escalating power towards the late game (in this case boosting item purchases)
After trying it out, we actually felt like it snowballed him harder, making an already win-or-lose champion win-or-lose even harder. In fact, 15% bonus AP is really just a fancy way of saying his AP Ratios are higher than normal, that squishes squishies too hard.
We’ve totally acknowledged that being 100-0′d by his ultimate is not fun. So we’re going back to the 20% Spell Penetration passive, but this time with linear scaling, instead of geometric scaling. However, this time, it will only apply to his basic spells.
This way, if a Xerath gets out of control and snowballs into AP, you can buy MR to prevent yourself from being obliterated at a range you can’t respond, but Xerath retains his ability to poke down tanks over time. (Assuming mana enough to pull it off)
This kind of iteration can be confusing in a vacuum. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to communicate more with you directly, but I’m in pretty bad shape at the moment. While Zenon is heroically taking on the effort of finishing up Xerath, implementing new ult visuals with Bitsplosion and generally being awesome, my time is split between communicating about Xerath, handling some season 4 changes that we’ll be announcing soon and also doing some heavy work to adjust support itemization with Xypherous.
I understand your frustration with the lack of communication, but hope you understand.
That said, here’s some stuff we’re going to try out:
We’re going to try making Xerath’s E path a little more clear before it fires, make the stun scale up to 2 seconds at max distance.
This is pretty experimental, but expect to see it in Xerath V4 or V5.
[Crownface] Why are you reworking Xerath for the people who didn’t like playing him?
Xelnath: Crown, you *are* negative, but you have also provided useful insights and I’ve made adjustments to how I handled the character as a reflection of understanding the things you enjoyed and identified with the character.
At the same time, I am also reconciling the poor usability the character had with other play patterns that fill the same niche with greater satisfaction. I know you can’t at a glance see that you’ve had a positive influence on this rework, but you have. I greatly appreciate that your responses have been well-phrased and reflect some soul searching.
[Despia] Do you agree with the community’s feedback that the rework should be canceled?
Xelnath: We will not be cancelling Xerath’s rework. Thank you for your patience thus far, but if you disagree with this core goal, we will not be able to collaborate. I hope that you try the final reworked Xerath or can find another champion who embodies the mechanics you enjoy, who hopefully isn’t just a stealth OP.
[Crownface] Why was Lotus of Power removed?
Xelnath: After much review, we felt that locus as a core spell added a dramatic amount of clunkiness to the kit that requires massive amounts of over-budget AP ratios, 40% spell penetration and a nearly unstoppable stun on an 8 second cooldown to compensate for.
The amount of power Xerath required to keep that one ability was absurd. He’s utterly broken to the core. Yes, the uniqueness brought value. No, it did not justify that much power. It was only a matter of time before Xerath was given the Poppy treatment.
Instead, we are trying to figure out the healthiest, richest and most engaging parts of Xerath to keep, while keeping the important parts of his kit that were fun – e.g. a pass through base nuke. Then preserving mechanics that players recognize on Xerath, e.g. % Spell Penetration, where possible.
I just had an amazing game tonight were I survived a Varus/Blitzcrank 2v1 lane in midlane today. Yes, skillful use of Locus lead to me dodging some cool hooks. However, that wasn’t what won the game. It was that one time I landed a full combo on the entire enemy team… then the one after that… then the one after that… ultimately resulting me dealing 4x more damage than any other member of my team.
Broken AP ratios and spell penetration have been on Xerath for years. Locus has been around for years. People will never warm up to abilities that just feel that bad. I hope instead that I’ve expressed the feeling and vision of what Xerath SHOULD be to fill the long-range siege role we want to explore with him in league of legends.
Based on the other replies in this thread – I really feel like we have.
Why it’s not allowed for mutated bugs to cast spells while in the air.
[Effrim] Can you bring back Ziggs’ ability to cast spells during Satchel Charge’s knock-up?
If you’re seeing certain situations where you can’t cast mid air (and aren’t CC’d by something else at the same time) let us know, will give that a look.
[orghak 11] Why was this feature removed from Kha’Zix but not Ziggs?
Meddler: The issue with Khazix was how it compressed his damage into a really small window. In Ziggs’ case that problem doesn’t apply – 99%+ of the time using Satchel Charge to land directly on an enemy to burst point blank isn’t even remotely a good play, particularly since it involves sacrificing a damaging spell. Ziggs’ casts while airborne instead tend to be getting in a parting shot while disengaging or trying for a kill shot while chasing neither of which has, so far at least, proven to be problematic, especially given Ziggs’ damage output has a fair degree of unreliability.
[McTokie] Follow-up: Isn’t burst what Kha’Zix is all about? Why take away the opportunity from him to burst quicker?
Meddler: Yup, burst is damage concentrated into a small window. That’s not to say the smallest possible window is always appropriate though. Being able to unload your full combo over 1s for example is still pretty bursty, but offers substantially more opportunity for play by the target than a 0.5s window (numbers hypothetical, not familiar with Khazix’s exact timings pre/post W change).
[Chocoboko] Sometimes Ziggs’ Q doesn’t cast until he has landed
Meddler: Doesn’t start casting until you land or doesn’t launch until you land? Even when cast in the air the Q still has a cast time, so, particularly if you start the Q cast after the halfway point of the W knockup (approximately) it’ll launch around the time you land.
Catch up on the previous parts using the links below:
The sight you gain from turrets should remain when they shut down
Any news regarding Heimer’s passive?
20thCenturyFaux: We’ve played with some new passive ideas in the thread, but we haven’t found one that’s avoided some nasty downside or another. The closest contenders were: First, a sort of spellvampy thing that procs on dealing magic damage with turrets/w/etc, but it doesn’t do much when Heimer gets zoned out. Second, a % current health variant on his passive, which is the same thing but more interesting but has the potential to get weird with tanks and feels bad when you’re behind. I had high hopes to find something good, and we still might, but I don’t feel that it’s something I’d hold Dinger back for.
At the end of the day, the current passive’s problem is how it feels–it can only be appreciated cerebrally, instead of on a gut level. I’m more ok with that on Heimer than I would be on most champions. What’s more, the aura has its supporters–some support Dingers but also people who deliberately make use of its pushing power mid. It looks weak so it’s an easy target, but it does more good for Heimerdinger than might appear at first blush.
At certain point, there’s always small problems to chase when polishing a project, but if you have no cutoff point it’ll never release. I’d like a version of the passive that feels better but does most of the same stuff, but at the end of the day I’m not willing to accept a complexity/playability penalty for a feel boost.
What’s the effective range of turrets?
20thCenturyFaux: They’re capable of operating from further away, so hopefully you’ll have more opportunities to split them up to avoid Riven Qs, Gragas barrels etc. Characters like Morgana will probably hit a point early where they can spend one big AE spell to kill a turret, but as long as they only hit one at a time Heimer can still come out ahead overall–he spends less mana and can try to punish with rockets. That’s the dream, anyway.
Could we get a table of what the turret resists are supposed to be?
Why is the new Heimerdinger so reliant on hitting skillshots?
A damage analysis that includes turrets and hit W produces huge damage numbers, but that doesn’t mean he’s release Xin Zhao
20thCenturyFaux: This is definitely part of why PBE is more about making sure stuff is fun and fixing bugs than it is about balancing. Balance-wise I’m more interested in stuff like, support Heimer has a bad day because disabled turrets have no vision, etc.
Will Heimer be able to support?
We played a while with the idea of Heimer moving turrets. In doing so, we found the main goal was to let him have some wiggle room for turrets that ended up in poor spots. Making turrets only 20 mana and giving him faster kits lategame ended up hitting the same goals a “move a turret” feature. It basically ended up being a solution looking for a problem.
And Liandris works on turret beams. I should really add a FAQ to the first post hehe xD
Why the passive CDR from Heimer’s ult is gone
20thCenturyFaux: Tl;dr on cooldown reduction: If Heimer’s cooldowns need to go lower, they should just go lower. Giving him innate CDR just says “you cannot build 40%” in exchange for making sure the CDR kicks in at level 6/11/16. Since he now has reasonable power spikes at those levels due to the ult having damage numbers, there isn’t any goal left that’s solved by having innate cooldown reduction.
Final (serious) words
20thCenturyFaux: TL;DR on Heimer balance: I’m very interested in what data comes out of PBE, but final balance will have to come from the first patch or so he’s live. The rework makes him healthy enough to keep him at a high power level, and we think he’s there now, too–but he’s also a very high skill cap champion. He needs time for players to learn strategies, etc.
I understand that a few of you feel very passionately about your vision for where his power is at, but I have to consider everyone’s viewpoint, the data at my disposal, and the big accuracy gap between balance information from PBE and balance information from live. I think it’s very important for Heimerdinger that he be viable–but making big power changes from individual anecdotes is not the way to do that.
My powers are inferior, I cannot beat teh assassinz!
Best Passive EU
How about this for a passive… every few seconds he’s alive, each enemy gets a flash on the screen saying ‘ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO THE DONGER!’ with Heimer’s laugh playing at the same time. This would have no real power effect, but would act as a super global taunt helping enemies get in range of his abilities by making players want to find him and rush at him with their mouths frothing in rage…
20thCenturyFaux: Hmm… low mindshare, low power budget (no actual numeric effect!), and more awesome. This meets all my criterion! It even has counterplay, enemies can simply hide their eyes and ears in shame and also shame, respectively.
While we do generally want to keep artificial RNG low (as opposed to ‘hidden information emergent “rng”‘ — I turned a corner, and didn’t know there were 3 guys there), we opted to keep crit but remove dodge for a few reasons:
1) Dodge is ‘negative’ RNG rather than ‘positive’ RNG. We found that players notice dodge a lot less as the beneficiary than as the person who ‘missed’. So, it tends to be on net not very fun.
2) The more RNG elements you add together, the more maximum RNG outcomes you get. By removing just one of the RNGs, you don’t halve the ‘worst case’ RNG outcomes, you actually more than halve them (A scenario where you are dodging attacks on you AND criting opponents).
3) Players were excited about building for crit, and weren’t excited by building for dodge.. because criting is exciting and cool.
4) We wanted some build types to scale a bit harder (not a LOT harder) than others, and the existence of crit ensures that marksmen can scale a little bit better on DPS than does defense or AP damage. (NOTE — a LITTLE bit)
Note that we also moved our crit system to pseudorandom that makes it less spikey (low chance of double crits), and reduces the impact on game objectives.
So, I feel like this is a good balance between the various considerations. In total, our artifical RNG is very, very low.
Overall, though, these items are pretty balanced on a number of characters, and I don’t think we’d want targeted changes to these characters to effect others. I don’t think we’d want to nerf good uses of Lichbane on TF or Ziggs just because Fizz uses it and causes problems. Lichbane is a great core item for mages who weave in auto-attacks.
DFG is…well, DFG. But historically, I’ve felt DFG is a bad item for League overall, so we might need to have some discussions about that DFG isn’t egregiously OP, I just worry it creates more 100-0 cases with no more interaction or skill to require it.
This comment was made:Quote:
To which you replied with:
- Top lane consists of three champions and only three champions; World’s commentators even state directly, almost word for word, that because, “Renekton and Shen [were] banned and Jax was picked, there’s nothing left to be picked to oppose him.”
- Mid lane consists of champions with extremely overloaded kits (Orianna as a Xypherous champion speaks for itself, for example) and Zed; that’s it
- Bot lane consists of Vayne, Ezreal, and Corki, two of which use a remade Trinity Force (which was hypocritically adjusted right before World’s to an egregiously overpowered state for ranged carries) and the other abuses Blade of the Ruined King (an item remade and play-tested once before re-release, which arguably broke the game for weeks on end on account of its influence)
- Supports consists of Zyra, Thresh, and Sona, all of whom amount to little more than ward slaves and AoE, crowd control bots
- An impactful jungle in season two is remade at the start of season three and changes in effect cause junglers to swing wildly from being useless to overwhelmingly influential on a patch by patch basis
- Ranged carries are coddled like children whilst all other champion archetypes are nerfed around them
- Continuous talk of counter-play exists and yet Silver Bolts still exists, Ezreal can still abuse Iceborn Gauntlet for infinite kiting potential (RIP Skarner), there’s still only one true melee only item in the game, etc…
- Heimerdinger, Viktor, and Olaf speak for themselves; Rengar to a lesser extent (all champions that had changes, promised long ago, sit “in limbo” for extended periods of time for reasons unknown)
- A game, labelled as a competitive one, is still balanced around lower levels of play (Darius is one example)
- Ranged top laners, for the vast majority of season three, invalidated 90% of top lane champions and it took a plethora of patches before they were addressed
- League of Warmogs, League of Cleavers, League of Blade, League of Carries, etc…
- Percent of maximum health being used as a band-aid fix all over the place
- Ranged carries are given higher base values, higher scaling figures, hard disables, and abhorrent amounts of disengage relative to their melee counterparts
- The list goes on (and trust me, I can recount quite a bit more)…
Taken as a whole, season three was a catastrophe so to ignorantly suggest that there’s nothing “bad” seems a tad laughable. As stated in the title however, I truly don’t mean to sound insulting because I like this game, continue to play it, and wish for it to succeed furthermore but at this point, Riot can’t afford to be ignorant anymore and frankly there’s a lot of work to get done for season four.
EDIT: Let’s keep comments civil please.
Morello: My intent was not to imply there’s nothing to improve or fix, it was mostly a jab at the hyperbolic THIS IS TERRIBLE feel that’s based on limited data sets and popular opinion to try to position it as an attack from the OP you quote here. Let’s talk brass tacks:
League of X: Balance will fluctuate naturally, especially as we make fundamental changes to the game. The new item system (today) has better item variance than previous seasons, but we had to suffer some temporary issues to get there. This is much like when you launch a new game and it’s all over the place, except that players are much better as the game’s skill floor has gone up due to more mastery. I think there’s something to be said for needing to react faster on that stuff, though.
2) Only X of Y characters exist in Z lane: The real metrics on balance (IE: how we judge if we’re being successful or not) comes down to a combination of possible picks (total variety) and lack of domineering picks. This is both related to tournament play and what’s usable generally speaking.
Variety has been similar (~65%) this season consistently, including Worlds, but we’ve done a little worse on domineering picks, with Zed, Corki and Shen being on the must-pick list (compared to only Ezreal in Season 2). We’re going to institute methods of getting in front of this easier for this season and have learned some good techniques on how to watch these trends.
Additionally, this is only in tournament play – which we do take seriously when doing balance of course – but what that means 99% of players can play most characters and be successful. Very few characters are actually in a bad spot. Even the variety between Diamond 1 and pro games is pretty different.
3) Counterplay needs more work continuously, and counter-examples tend to speak of more work to do. Silver Bolts is a terrible example though because the countering strategically != counterplay. If Vayne is overpowered because of her target selection freedom, that’s a different topic.
So should we never try to do anything on counter-play unless we can change every champion to ensure 100% of champions are as successful as we’d like here? That seems like it creates a worse problem that chipping away at it, to me.
So if your goal is to get me to admit that League of Legends has problems we want to fix, then you got it! That’s never a hard admission to make. The work is interesting because there are so many problems to solve, and it’s not possible to be finished, ever ever. That’s the reality of working on game health.
Reasonable conversations about game health, balance, design and other subjects that effect play are great. They’re the reason we get on these forums. But let’s also be real for a second: a large number of people think they’re an expert on balance, and frankly, very few people are (and if you actually are, I’m hiring!). That’s why we want to use reasoned conversations, structured problem-solving, data, and objective analysis to discuss these problems in detail.
As far as how balanced does the game “feel”, I agree with something here. While any gaming forum is talking about how unbalanced every game is, there’s a more balance disruption when we do season changes, and the “feeling” of how balanced the game is is risked when more must-picks appear in competitive play. And that makes sense. It’s easy to read a story that says “play this champion, or don’t show up as a serious contender,” and that obviously feels really bad. We agree and are working to address this more aggressively.
Does this help clarify things, a little?
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IGN: NoL Chefo, EUW