PBE Update: LCS Summoner Icons, Xypherous on Tanks and Lifesteal, Plus the New Rotation and Sale!
- Cooldown reduced from 14/13/12/11/10 to 14/12.5/11/9.5/8 seconds
The following icons represent the teams that will be taking part in this year’s Summer Split. Each will cost 250 RP and are currently not available on the live server.
Here’s more information on when the feature will be released and where the profit from it will go to, courtesy of Rioters Hundo and Udyr:
In celebration of esports, we’re testing a new feature on the PBE that will allow you to show support for your favorite team by grabbing an official team logo Summoner Icon for any of the North American and European LCS teams in the Summer Split.
These icons will be available in the live store shortly after Patch 3.9 until the end of the Summer Split for 250 RP, and are permanently added to your account.
In addition to the new icons, we’re testing some new tech that helps you show off your team pride: all Summoner Icons—including the new esports team icons—will be shown on the loading screen before each match.
As with any feature on the PBE, we’re looking for your feedback, so let us know what you think and we’ll see you rocking some sweet new flair on the Fields of Justice.
(Udyr ninja edit)
20% of the revenue will go to the team of your choice and the rest goes towards funding esports (prizes, venues, video etc)
What if the team I support gets kicked out of LCS?
Udyr also shared that we’d soon be able to get icons for other region teams such like Taipei Assassins:
The following splash art was leaked on the Russian League of Legends website. Below is my manual translation of the description:
“In the chilling cold fields of Freljord even the toughest warriors struggle against nature. Those who wish to survive must tame the elements themselves. Sejuani, unrivaled boar rider and leader of the Winter’s Claw has learned to adapt. But even the bravest of warriors sometimes need to call on the cavalry. And by cavalry we mean bears – huge, hungry and armored.
Bear Cavalry Sejuani will arrive soon in celebration of the launch of the Russian server. Summoners playing on that server will get the skin for free!
Theorycraft nut Xypherous reviews a growing question on the forums: is tanking worse than spanking in LoL?
Full Build armor should get shredded by the AP carry but should NOT be shredded by the AD.Ditto the other way around, Full Build MR should get shredded by a full build AD NOT a full build AP.
But in League tanks are laughed at. They might be used because they can stand a few shots and have strong CC capability but they are not true TANKS. This should be fixed. A pimped out ADC should not crush a 300 armor tank like it was nothing.
It’s somewhat unrealistic to assume that a full defense character should have a similar gold income, especially late game – as full damage characters. Full defense inherently takes less risks and opportunity costs for playing the game. Therefore – you are always going to have less gold at some point that players who actually expose themselves to a serious weakness.
We could solve this by severely increase the power of gold for defense statistics compared to offense but going down this line moots the entire point of buying offensive items. Offensive items intrinsically are worth more because they offer more play – people who buy offense can die.
2. That invulnerable characters are intrinsically a good thing for the game
I think this is where we’ll probably disagree here – characters that become invulnerable, even to a subset of characters – are simply characters who don’t actually wish to interact with a certain subset of opponents.
Invulnerable characters are bad for the game in several ways – because as soon as you reach this threshold, there’s very little reason to actually interact or play with the enemy team, outside of simply murdering them because they now can do absolutely nothing against you.
While this would be fun for the invulnerable player – this is less of a game, and more of a ‘Man, everyone who bought offense is really bad.’
Consider what happens if this is true – if you buy offense, you can’t damage a subset of their team – but you can now be murdered by anyone on their team becomes the norm, and under this state – defense is the only real option.
3. The defining characteristic of a tank is ‘immune to damage’
The interesting dilemma here is that the tank role in many respects reads as ‘durable’ characters. However, the actions that a tank has to do to win any given fight does not rely on durability as much as some other classes – notably melee damage dealers.
A tank dying in a successful initiation has a staggering impact on the success of his team – He has simultaneously started a favorable fight while wasting a large part of the opposing team’s cooldowns. Contrast – most fighters need a prolonged engagement in order to actually output value to their team.
Durability – at the end of the day, is a more valuable fighter statistic than a tank statistic – simply due to need / time required to stay in a fight. Tanks have many non-pure durability ways to simulate effective defense, every tank knows intrinsically that disabling their damage dealer for a few seconds is worth a massive amount of durability. If CC is a portion of a tank’s kit – they will always have many different ways to mitigate damage – from disabling the opponent’s damage outright by stun – or simply making it very difficult for the damage to be applied in time via slows or displacements.
As a side note here, I actually believe that we should be putting more defense straight onto a tank’s kit rather than force them to buy it. You should be able to rely on the fact that your tank has a baseline level of durability – rather than that shift wildly based on gold income.
Quick aside on Armor versus Health
Armor, being a net multiplicative statistic influences a lot more than just damage reduction – It also reduces life steal and amplifies the effect of other abilities like shielding effects (which lie on the same multiplicative axis as Health.)
What this does (and did in Season 2) is create an environment where only characters with penetration could reliably damage other characters and negates a large subset of characters like AD Casters, Utility Supports and Tanks from contributing to anything in a late game fight outside of ‘Protect the characters with % Pen.’
Shifting away from primary resistances allows you to do a few things – It lets us control the power of in-combat sustain, like life steal or spell vamp because you interact with health more directly. It opens the way for penetration to actually be a counter statistic (though it’s not there yet, admittedly) rather than simply the best damage multiplier you can get. It lets more people participate in the damage race because they no longer need both damage and penetration in order to pierce the opponents in-combat sustain.
Does the current state of balance mean supports and tanks will never have reasonable amounts of gold?
Xypherous: Not exactly – Basically what I’m saying is that players who purchase items to mitigate risk should not be rewarded with more gold than players who are purchasing items that maximize their risk.
Essentially – if you rewarded more or equal gold to the player who is trying to ‘not lose’ – then not losing becomes the best available course of action.
Think about GP/10 - you incur more risk when you purchase a GP/10 item. They give you less raw statistical power than any other equivalent and frequently opens you up to punishment in the short-term – thus it’s a great tool to manipulate gold streams so that the support / tank gets a larger share of gold – while not simply building to invalidate opponents.
For example, imagine a world where your towers had passive GP/10 and that taking enemy tower’s down gave you nothing – What are you encouraging here, with this gold income model? Then think about how it applies to buying defense versus buying utility/support items.
Should building defense yield the same gold as building offense?
Xypherous: The answer is ‘no’ – because intrinsically you are taking steps to mitigate risk rather than leaving openings for yourself. This is why offensive items have better multipliers – that most gold sources require offensive acts or risk taking behaviors – and why you should have gold generally scale better on offensive actions than defensive ones.
Tanks should not have lots of innate resistances
Xypherous: I definitely agree with you that free defenses encourages you to build non-defensive statistics. If you give lots of free resistances to a character – they are encouraged to build stuff that isn’t resistances – because you only need a certain level of defense to be able to do their job – assuming your job is damage and not utility.
However, I also believe that a tank role needs to be an inherently reliable role – and thus the amount of unreliability based on gold needs to be lower than other roles. I’m not saying there won’t be the negative side effects – merely that the game flows better when you can both rely on tank initiation and tank control at some baseline level.
Essentially – While I don’t think tanks feel quite right building non defensive items – I do feel like they should still act and do tank actions more reliably than being almost completely dependent on items to do so. It’s kind of like a cost / benefit analysis at this point – The cost: They won’t build tank items and might build a lot of damage items – The benefit: Tanks do tank things which help general game flow.
Defense items don’t provide multiplier stats such as crit chance, crit damage and %AP increase
1. AS% Slow – Randuin’s Omen and Frozen Heart
2. Straight DR% versus basic attacks, ala Ninja Tabi
3. Health, Health Regeneration, Shield
Arguing that Omen isn’t cost-efficient is somewhat a losing battle – I’ve stated why we don’t want more of them – but there are definite multipliers to defense that cause a full-build defense to consist of multiple items that synergize.
Risk level depends on the character played, not just the item build
Xypherous: I definitely agree with you that the more risk inherent to your character, the more defenses you build so that you can minimize it – because you need a baseline level of survivability to perform your role. However, above the minimum required survivability, you now try to maximize effectiveness proportional to the risk that you incur.
However, let’s say that your role is crowd control – there is literally no reason to build anything but defenses or utility. If defensive items were more powerful – that would still not get you to incur additional risk, because you’ve already satisfied the minimum requirement to survive in a team fight – and you already have what you need to perform your role and win the game.
Is Frozen Heart a good tank item against AD carries?
Xypherous: Attack Speed debuffs are multiplicative – so it subtracts 20% from their total Attack Speed, not their additive attack speed. The more attack speed the opponent’s ADC has – the more powerful this effect becomes.
What’s your current take on lifesteal?
Lifesteal follows this weird nuclear curve, where just below the level of lifesteal they need to fully drain tank you, lifesteal has great gameplay. And then if they can drain-tank you, lifesteal has terrible gameplay.
However, this is an argument for health in a lot of cases. The more powerful armor is, the more powerful and binary lifesteal needs to be in order to pierce through armor – since armor reduces damage and thus the effect of lifesteal proportionally.
What then happens is that the raw lifesteal amounts tend to be inflated for lifesteal to be able to do its job which spikes its value against minions and squishy targets, effectively turning them into giant health batteries.
Why can’t lifesteal have reduced effect against minions?
There are several reasons – but that’s my favorite.
Will you be changing the lifesteal number on items?
Xypherous: At the moment – I think lifesteal is in a decent spot. Bloodthirster’s lifesteal might be too strong but honestly, you’d have to make a good argument with some solid evidence. Right now – Bloodthirster is being bought a lot – but is it really game warping? Eeeh.
How about making lifesteal a unique passive with multiple LS items giving only 50% of stats?
It’s a little heavy-handed though for my taste – but it could be the right direction if lifesteal becomes a problem. I’m not necessarily convinced that it is – but I also admit I’m not actually looking at lifesteal at the moment (nor am I particularly qualified to comment on how lifesteal changes the flow of higher level games.)
Why is ranged sustain so effective?
Ranged carries typically get massive sustain potential near the end of the game – this is also when they’ve spiked in terms of risk as their builds are very fragile compared to the relative damage output of everyone else.
The other thing to think about here is whether or not they can lifesteal at will – it typically requires additional minions and pausing to attack – while these are not as restrictive as say, channeling in place to heal – it is more restrictive than a point-and-click heal spell that is no longer gated by mana.
In effect – it’s both that lifesteal has the most restrictions (needs a target, only becomes powerful late in the game, actually requires secondary elements) compared to healing (generally more powerful early and requires no other elements) that enable it to have the magnitude it is allowed to.
Why do some champions get offense from building defense and vice versa?
referencing Olaf, Vladimir, Volibear, Riven and Xerath
Xypherous: For the first part – in general, there’s a reason why those characters are inherently problematic – and when they are seen in high level play – bad things kind of happen. While I’m not saying that they’re mistakes – when you break a general rule – you need to compensate with some other weakness or some other behavior.
Olaf, for example – gains defensive scaling through offense because he generally has zero mobility tools whatsoever. It’s also what makes Olaf tricky to balance and I fully admit that he’s not in the greatest of spots.
For Riven, specifically – that’s one of the major errors on my part – her heavy offensive to defense scaling actually creates a lot of negative aspects on the character. She was made in a world where buying offense was a pure trap on melee characters – and thus the heavy scaling was meant to mitigate that behavior.
It was also to counter the power of resistance stacking upon high base value shields – Riven’s shield base value is close to half the effectiveness of other shields – as building resistances to multiply the strength of that shield was obnoxiously strong. I agree that it’s tuned waaay too aggressively at this point with the S3 baseline statistic changes.
As for Xerath, I believe the original reasoning was that Xerath rooting himself incurred additional risk above and beyond other characters.
Is there a weakness to poke strategies?
It’s also determined at team composition mostly – which makes it a weakness determined at champion select rather than a play-style.
A poke comp is certainly viable – but they need intrinsic counterplay. Many of the poke champions currently don’t actually have all that much play on their kits. A large reason why Jayce and Nidalee are frustrating is due to this dual nature of poke + escape.
I agree with you that a lack of counterplay can be made for any comp type – but it’s an ideal at the end of the day – we should strive to make as many compositions viable, as long as they can be outplayed in the scope of the game they are in.
I’m specifically going to look into making a little bit of anti-poke in order for us to better control this phenomenon.
Are multiplicative items such as Randuin’s toxic for gameplay?
This is in general, the problem with most multiplicative items – when you have too many of them, you either have to flood them so there’s choice between the multipliers on an equal level – or you have to heavily restrict them so they don’t close out choice.
For example, currently we have lots of critical strike items only one real AP multiplier item. Because if there was only 3 crit items or 3 AP multiplier items – the build would necessitate all 3 of them in a lot of cases
Why are AD assassins seeing more play than bruisers in Season 3?
What this let us do is essentially have better controls on assassins having absurd damage output in lane and falling off – this is fairly toxic gameplay. Smoothing out the damage curve somewhat lets characters like this exist in a better space without being too spikey at one phase of the game.
Tanks in League of Legends rely on Crowd Control as their primary damage mitigation, i.e the more time the carry is not hitting them due to being stunned/knocked-up etc. the less time they’re hitting the tank. Mechanics such as invulnerability or high resistances are not interacting with the rest of the game and as a result feel lacking in terms of fun and balance. A minor shift is being considered, however, as Riot is trying to expand on the tank role by making durable, weak DPS characters tougher to kill from the start.
Offensive builds are more powerful than defensive ones by design, because the DPS player risks more by going that route. Naturally, this should pay off for the squishier characters on the power curve in order to justify going glass cannon over stacking tank items. Even so, tanks and supports are able to get solid income to be viable later on due to GP/10 items. These follow a similar philosophy because they grant less stats, thus opening a window of vulnerability. Risk should be rewarded to give players an incentive to build damage over defense.
Lifesteal is a powerful, interactive mechanic that only escalates late-game when ranged carries become dominant. It is significantly stronger than healing spells because it requires a target and is only available through consistent auto-attacking. Because armor reduced LS strengths it really shines in leeching health off of minions and monsters, turning the lane into a health replenishment of sorts. If there’s any issue with it it’s early-game lifesteal reaching too high percentages. This is most likely a problem with LS Quintessences and not items or champions.
Builds alone do not merit a champion’s risk takes. A melee role is by default riskier than ranged, so a fine line must be drawn between building offense because you’re well on defense and vice versa. Damage vs Health, Armor vs Lifesteal, Multiplicative items such as Randuin’s and Frozen Heart – they all play into each other balance-wise because there always needs to be an incentive for both offense and defense to be viable choices.
The following champions will be free-to-play until July 2nd!
- Draven - 6300 IP / 975 RP
- Irelia - 4800 IP /880 RP
- Karma - 3150 IP /790 RP
- Lux - 3150 IP /790 RP
- Maokai - 4800 IP /880 RP
- Renekton - 4800 IP / 880 RP
- Ryze - 450 IP / 260 RP
- Sivir - 450 IP / 260 RP
- Twisted Fate - 1350 IP / 585 RP
- Zac – 6300 IP / 975 RP
Get the following champions and skins at a discount until June 28th!
- Shyvana – 487 RP
- Talon – 440 RP
- Trundle – 440 RP
Blast Zone Heimerdinger – 260 RP
Bloodstone Taric – 487 RP
Sanguine Garen – 260 RP
If you have any questions about the article or the concept of an expanding universe, feel free to ask in the comment section.