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CONTEXT FOR RECENT ZED BUFF ON THE PBE Banner

 

Why are you buffing Zed again

[ Note ] This is the PBE change in question:

 

Zed Final Portrait

 

Buff BoxDeath Mark Final IconDeath Mark [ R ]

  • Delay on recasting Death Mark has been decreased from 1 second to 0.5

 

 

Repertoir New PortraitI didn’t do these change, but if Juggernauts release on the strong side, Zed’s going to need the buffs. Those guys just wreck him.

Honestly, I don’t know if there’s anything sadder for Zed than being the Villain.

Edit: this was a bad joke on my part. Zed getting buffs has nothing to do with Juggernauts. He should be weak against Juggernauts. He should be strong against squishies. And I should re-read posts before pressing Save so that I don’t give people the wrong impression as to why he (or any other character) might be getting changes.

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If you buff Zed hell be even stronger against immobile mages

Repertoir New PortraitAren’t the proposed buffs to Zed to reduce the blink-back time on R with rank? This seems like a pretty sound approach to me, tbh. .75 and .5 seconds are long enough in the early and mid-game for a single defender to hit some cc on him when he comes in, and though .25 seconds is pretty short, there should be teammates around to help then.

At the end of the day, Zed is probably supposed to be pretty strong against immobile skillshot mages, similar to how juggernauts are supposed to be strong against him.

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Repertoir New PortraitThe juggernaut reworks aren’t at all being released to help counter Zed. My apologies if that’s the impression I gave.

As an assassin, Zed should be strong against squishy targets. They should have a fair chance to defend themselves (especially early in the game), but the upper hand should probably be his.

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Light buffs to mobile assassins in 5 16

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re putting a bit of power back into Zed and Le Blanc in 5.16, in both cases partial reversions of the previous nerfs, they got hit harder than intended.

5.16 also includes an overall nerf to Ahri’s passive (same healing at level 1 and level 16, less healing at the levels in between though).

Fizz we’re still talking about. He’s a possible candidate for work in 5.17, depends in part on how 5.16 goes though and how the state of the game does or doesn’t change.

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REQUEST FOR 5 BANSPERTEAM Banner


 

Riot there are 126 Champions and 6 bans We need 5 bans per side

Repertoir New PortraitThough I personally don’t know why the ban count is three instead of 4 or 5 or even 2, what has actually changed recently that would make it so that you now need 2 additional bans per team? I could see the size of the roster growing being a reason, but it’s really not THAT much larger than it was at the beginning of the year.


I actually think that having another ban or two could be cool, but mostly for reasons that are due to my own personal preference, and not necessarily because I think it makes the ranked play system any better. Even in the example you provided above, assuming those champions are ban worthy, the two captains could still only ban 10 of those 13 champions, and there would still be 3 left over. And of course, there would be all the champions that every other player in the game thinks are ban worthy that did not get banned, so it’s hard to tell in that case if we’d really be any better off. One thing that would be especially painful about having 4 more total bans during the ban phase is how much longer each Draft Queue game would take. It may not sound like a big deal, but champion select already seems to drag on an eternity sometimes. I guess at the end of the day, I’m not really sure if we’d better or worse off with more bans.

Maybe a different ban system entirely would be cool, like one where everyone in the game gets to ban 1 champion in the first thirty seconds or something. That would be faster, though it would come at the cost of ban overlap or team miscommunication getting a team off to an unfriendly start. Maybe ranked 5s and competitive play should be using a different system than solo queue; not sure entirely.

We were talking internally about some adjustments to the draft phase of champ select about a year ago, but I’m not sure any particular idea stuck out as the right solution. It’s probably something worth exploring some more, since it is a part of every draft queue game we play.

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This is not a new problem its just more relevant with the growing Champ pool

Repertoir New PortraitYeah, I didn’t mean to suggest necessarily that this is a new problem this year. With that comment, I more meant to suggest to ask OP why the need was so dire now as opposed to before.

I definitely agree that it would be great if the draft system was better suited for building out team comps better as a team and banning out stuff that threatened it rather than just banning the fotms.

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GAMEPLAY AROUND SKARNERS NEW SHRINES Banner

 

Skarners passive is lackluster and is a bunch of extra work for sub par rewards

Repertoir New PortraitAbout it being lackluster, that’s certainly not the intention. If the reward just isn’t there, that is something that can be easily addressed. If it’s that they’re tedious, maybe the channel time is too long or some of them are just too far out of the way to be useful.

 

As per your suggestion, one of the things I actually think is really important to them is their static positions. It gives Skarner players, teammates, and opponents an expectation as to how they’re going to play about them in any given game. This is important to me because, even following these changes, we aren’t aiming to have Skarner be extremely popular and in every game. We’re okay with his niche appeal, and we just wanted to give a little more uniqueness to the games he’s in, as well as another point of mastery for Skarner players. Whether good or bad, his ultimate really isn’t that unique anymore, and it can’t really be made much more powerful, so we looked elsewhere.

I think another thing that seems tedious about them is that players feel like they should be trying to control them all whenever possible, and that’s really not the intention. Played optimally, Skarner should try to control the ones he thinks he’ll need in the next minute or two, or maybe stop to cap one over when he’s nearby. There’s no bonus for holding all of them, so I don’t really want Skarner players making the choice to go activate a crystal in the enemy jungle when there’s a lane that needs ganking or something, unless maybe taking that crystal helps them steal a buff or do some counterjungling.

I hope this helps to explain some of the reasoning behind the goals for his passive, even if it’s not exactly what you wanted to hear.

As a follow-up, if you want to continue to help me understand what makes them ‘lackluster and a bunch of extra work for a sub-par reward,’ I’m happy to talk about it. Though some things are probably set in stone for the upcoming patch, that doesn’t mean everything is, and it doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing follow-up work on Skarner if he falls short in unintended areas.

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Will you be pulled to another project like Stashu was with Cassiopeias rework

Repertoir New PortraitI am not my own manager, but I also do think I am capable of making positive change with the right effort and focus. You guys probably remember that Ashe got an update earlier this year? That was just an extra thing that I picked up on the side and then put together with the Champion Update team’s help, and I think it went really well.

For me, I don’t usually find that one project is enough to keep me occupied, so I like having follow-up or other stuff to work on on the side.

If a few months down the road, you think there’s follow-up that I’ve ignored or forgotten, please do hold me accountable to at least letting you know what’s up. Worst case, I’ll hopefully just be able to let you guys know what’s up, even if the decision isn’t what you want to hear. Leaving you hanging wouldn’t be cool, though.

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Arent the crystals on the enemy side just 30 free gold for the enemy jungler

Repertoir New PortraitThe crystals on the enemy side of the map start on their team, and they can’t get any gold from them unless they capture them. Technically, if you never went into the enemy jungle and left those crystals alone the whole game, they would never swap over to your team, and thus never present the chance for opponents to ever capture them for the small gold reward.

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Its tedious having to run back and recapture crystals that an enemy has capped

Repertoir New PortraitI think that feeling of being compelled to reclaim it in all cases will go away after a few plays, and you’ll just focus on the ones that are going to help you in the foreseeable future. Additionally, even in the case that someone takes a crystal from you, you do get information as to there whereabouts if you’re paying attention, so it’s not all a loss.

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Why is Skarner labeled a Juggernaut when his gameplay doesnt reflect that

Repertoir New PortraitWe actually agree that Skarner is probably the odd one out amongst the four releases coming up, but we’re actually okay with that. He’s more about CC than the others, and probably less about damage overall, but we don’t think it’s absolutely necessary that there be a single damage profile that these guys all adhere to.

Skarner will probably function full time as some kind of off tank guy, while being a full on Juggernaut damage threat while under the effects of his passive.

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Follow Up Banner

How would Skarner compete for objective control with Nunu

Repertoir New PortraitGood question. I’m on my phone more so I won’t be too wordy.

First, we don’t actually consider Nunu to be in the same class as Skarner, in that Skarner is intended to be more of a damage presence than Nunu.

If you wanted objective control, but needed damage still, I’d expect skarner to be a better choice. Also, Nunu controls objectives primarily through his secure combo, whereas Skarner through fight presence and power around the objectives.

Less relevant, but still interesting, Skarner’s Impale will prevent Nunu from Smiling or Consuming, so he can actually shut that down if played well.

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DISCUSSION ON GARENS REWORK

 

The community was promised that Garens silence would remain the same

Repertoir New PortraitFrom what I understand, any messaging about Garen’s update said his Silence would still be there, not necessarily that it would go untouched in any way, shape, or form. Can you show me where we said that? Because that seems like a big goof up on our end if that’s the case. So, on that topic, yeah, no one should have promised that :(

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If Garens silence is a problem why does ChoGath have 3 forms of CC

Repertoir New PortraitThough historically we haven’t made many efforts to differentiate between tanks like Cho’Gath and tanky guys like Garen, we’re trying to establish that differentiation to some extent. Though we haven’t really investigated Cho’Gath directly yet, he falls much more toward the general idea of what a tank is. Durable, heavy crowd control, and low sustained damage (though his sustained damage may be too high for this to be true).

Garen, on the other hand, is being pushed toward a much higher sustained damage pattern than he’s ever had in the past, to the point that we’re classifying him as a carry. I think we can probably agree that carries shouldn’t have a high level of crowd control, though it doesn’t necessarily follow that a 2.5 second silence is a ‘high level of crowd control.’ Maybe Cho does too much damage for a tank or is unfair in some other way (like his silence duration), but it’s probably not the best idea to reduce Cho’s silence duration because we’re reducing Garen’s, and it’s also probably not the best idea to think we have to leave Garen’s silence alone because there are other characters whose silences are longer.

I will say this about the duration reduction on Garen’s silence. I lowered it to a duration that felt fair given the higher damage the character will now do. Is 1.5 seconds too low? Possibly, but it definitely wasn’t reduced because Riot doesn’t like silence. With his upcoming changes, we’re trying to put him in a spot where he can be seen as a real threat, and less of a guy whose usefulness falls off dramatically as the game goes on. If we’re not hitting that mark after his release, I’ll try to calibrate upward.

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Why did you revert Courage W back to a stacking resist buff

Repertoir New PortraitThis update aims to increase Garen’s affinity for Health items, and flat resistances are a good way to do that. Maybe this just reads as a nerf or something, but in almost all cases, it’s just not. I sure don’t think ‘scaling/stacking benefits are toxic,’ and if that was formerly our stance, we have changed a lot in the past few years, and the game has too. Overall, he should not be squishier, except in the case of full tank builds.


As to ‘complete and utter gutting,’ that seems to imply the character is going to fall to a sub 45% win rate or something. With the changes going in, I’d be truly surprised if it was closer to 45% than 55%. I could be wrong here, but we’re definitely not aiming for a gutting, or even a nerf at all. If he comes out and proves to be weak, I’ll be happy to admit we missed the mark on him, and buff him up a bit, probably in places where we took some stuff away.

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Follow Up Banner

Repertoir New PortraitI really do want to make his W active more interesting in the future, if I get a chance to come back to it and power permits.

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Isnt the point of Juggernauts that theyre rewarded for closing the gap

Repertoir New PortraitThey should indeed be rewarded for getting on top of a target, and in most cases following the update, I’d expect a late game Garen to easily kill a late game Vayne in a 1.5 second silence if he manages to close the gap and get a silence off on her.

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Is the silence nerf aimed at reducing Garens lane presence

Repertoir New PortraitLane silence isn’t actually really an issue at all. It’s still the same at rank 1, after all.

This discussion does seem to keep coming back to some players saying “trust us, his silence duration needs to be what it’s always been” and me saying “trust me, I don’t think it does anymore when he does more damage.”


I understand that that’s an uncomfortable situation for you guys to be in, and I don’t mind talking having the discussion really. Since Garen went on PBE about a week ago, there were some changes that, following discussion with you guys, didn’t seem like the right changes, and I tweaked some and reverted others. That said, there are some changes that I think are important for hitting the goals of his changes, like being more about damage in the late game, and less about his silence.

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You want Garen to be a Juggernaut but it seems hell be played as an assassin

Repertoir New PortraitThough he will now do a lot of damage to a target, Garen lacks the mobility profile and target selection of a real assassin. Assassins get to blink or dash to where they want to be, try to kill a guy, and then get out, and they often have the tools to do all that. Garen has to run at a guy, stick to them for 3 seconds, and then run away. As such, I don’t really see him as an assassin.

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Whats Garens highlight supposed to look like after the rework

Repertoir New PortraitGaren does the baseline stuff of a Juggernaut (tanky, high damage, low mobility profile) with some additional assassin-like tendencies against a single, semi-random target.

When I think about what these Juggernauts are, they should all be really tanky, they should all deal high damage to the enemy team, and they should all be relatively immobile, PLUS one or two additional differentiating aspects (Villainy, in Garen’s case).

Maybe the “increased damage when hitting a single target” doesn’t send a perfect message, but Garen’s damage in teamfights should still be on par or higher than these other guys. I expect his aoe damage to still be really high despite that addition.

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Would you nerf Judgements E damage if it proves too high

Repertoir New PortraitIf it turns out Garen is too strong following his update, I’d prefer to nerf his Q speed or base MS slightly over hurting his damage.

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Why should I pick Garen over other Juggernaut top laners

Repertoir New PortraitThere are a couple potential reasons that I could see to pick Garen (outside just liking him). First, he’ll still be a lane bully for several matchups I imagine, and picking to win your lane can often be a good idea. Second, relative to other tanky top laners, Garen will have possibly the best combined package of sustained speed, durability, and damage. Basically, he’s a good pick when you need a tanky damage dealing presence and you can anticipate fights that will move a lot.

Strategically, he may be the perfect pick when you have a team that can support him (especially with speed buffs, like Lulu or Sivir) and the opposing team has only one or two damage threats (bonus points if at least one of them is a melee threat). This is the ideal pick scenario for him because the opposing team needs their limited damage dealers to get fed in order to win the game, and if they get fed, they become the Villain. Having that extra effectiveness against that Villain when the opposing team is heavily reliant on them can actually be a big deal.

Another fun interpretation of where I think Garen is a good pick, though it isn’t strategicwithin the game is when you know the opposing team relies on a certain player to get fed in order to win. This could potentially translate to competitive play, though I think it’s more applicable and fun to pre-mades with friends. When you’ve got that one Diamond guy in your premade that you know is going to stomp a bunch of Silvers, pick Garen against him and show him who’s boss in the late game.

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What problems does this rework solve for Garen

Repertoir New PortraitBefore making any changes to him, Garen was in the unfortunate situation of:

  1. Having to work super hard to get to people in fights (this used to be the standard in LoL)
  2. Not being all that impactful if he actually managed to get to people


This update doesn’t change the former. In fact, he statistically becomes slightly worse at getting to people. However, it is intended that he’ll have a huge impact if he actually manages to get to people now. Whether or not the exact numbers we have on PBE right now will perfectly accomplish that goal, that is indeed the goal, and I’ll work to get him there if he falls short of it on release. At the end of the day, Garen is never going to be able to compete with champions like Irelia, Hecarim, or Riven (this isn’t to say that any of these three characters are necessarily balanced either) when it comes to getting to specific targets, so he should be meaningfully more impactful than them in some way if he pulls it off. In his case, he’s just going to deal a ton of damage to things he sticks to.

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ROLE OF JUGGERNAUTS IN A TEAM Banner

 

What role are Juggernauts supposed to fill on a team

Meddler Final PortraitWe see juggernauts as a sub class of fighters/brawlers/bruisers/whatever else you want to call them. That’s a really large group of champions that ranges from the really mobile characters that build damage only, like Tryndamere, to the immobile champs that build tanky like Nasus. We’ve been looking at a series of sub groups with that larger fighter group as a result as follows:


  • Juggernauts – Immobile, tough, build one to two offensive items on average (e.g. Nasus or Garen)
  • Divers – Pretty mobile, and really good at getting onto specific targets they want to kill, builds a little bit more offensively than juggernauts (e.g. Irelia or Xin Zhao)
  • Light fighters (need a better name for this group – Highly mobile, builds almost entirely offense, often good at killing multiple targets, usually squishy with windowed defense of evasieness (e.g. Trynd or Fiora).

Biggest contrast between tanks and juggernauts is in what each group is trying do. Tanks are generally trying to initiate or peel more, kill by themselves less. They build almost mainly (sometimes exclusively) defense/utility and have a greater amount of mobility, generally tied to initiation or peeling actions.

As far as other juggernauts go, Olaf, Shyvana are the next two we’re planning on looking at. Yorick’s arguably a juggernaut, he’ll get a full relaunch though. Volibear could be described as a juggernaut, though he’s also got some diver and tank bits to him. Mundo also shares some juggernaut characteristics, but doesn’t really match overall (which is fine, we’re looking to use these descriptions as ways to map similarities and differences between champions, not because every champion has to be forced into a specific category).

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Follow Up Banner

Meddler Final Portrait‘Juggernaut’ is a term we’re using to talk about a type of champion that’s pretty much always been in the game. We haven’t previously put enough time into identifying their strengths, weaknesses, item needs, role in lane, role in a teamfight however, so we’re doing some of that work now.

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Will you be working on other subclasses like Divers or Light Fighters

Meddler Final PortraitWe chose juggernauts as a group to focus on because we felt they needed the work the most. Next step’s going to be follow up work post 5.16 release (balancing if we’re off on power, adjusting mechanics if some of our theories get proven wrong etc). We’ll then assess how successful this work was or wasn’t and use that to help inform how we tackle other characters.

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Would you classify Shyvana as a Juggernaut

Meddler Final Portrait We think juggernaut’s probably the closest description for Shyvana because damage output, and ability to kill enemy champions herself, is a really core part of her identity. She’s happy soaking some damage certainly, but she’s not there primarily to set up/enable her team. Gragas and Cho we’ve been looking at as tank/mage combinations, Trundle as tank (though he’s definitely got some juggenaut characteristics and doesn’t fit the tank mold that cleanly), J4 as diver or tank (definitely not a juggernaut given the amount of mobility on his kit).

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Why not turn Shen into a Juggernaut

Meddler Final PortraitAs in remove his dash and make him more about auto attacking/damage output? Not seeing the Shen+Juggernaut fit sorry, and that’s before looking at thematics too.

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Is Poppy being pushed more towards a Tank or Juggernaut role

Meddler Final PortraitMore tank (stronger CC focus, so more like Sion than like Garen).

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IDEAS FOR NERFING VAYNES EARLY GAME Banner

 

Why hasnt Riot toned down Vaynes HP true damage

Repertoir New PortraitSeems like something we’d prefer not to touch since it’s such a core part of the character’s identity. If I had to nerf Vayne, it certainly wouldn’t be the first place I’d look to hit. I’d prefer to just nerf her early game or reduce the flat damage component of Silver Bolts, but the percent part of it seems pretty core to the identity of the character.

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How would YOU nerf Vaynes early game

Repertoir New PortraitIf I had to nerf Vayne’s, I’d probably try to first think about why she’s too strong in the first place. How did she go from someone seen as having a bad early game to someone seen as pretty average in the early game?

Though these first few suggestions aren’t directly nerfs to Vayne and have other implications, I’d probably ask why Caitlyn, Lucian, and other historical lane bullies aren’t doing their job to keep her in check. So first, I’d ask why other lane bullies that used to give her trouble aren’t being played anymore, and maybe look into that (though that’s a multi-champion change).

Also, I’d probably try to determine what exactly is the issue with her early game. Is her early game actually too strong? Or does the state of the game just more or less guarantee that she gets her late game? This second part can be especially relevant, because it makes less sense to have champions that are so disproportionately strong in the late game if games are tending to go five minutes longer than they used to (not sure on the exact numbers on game length at the moment, to be honest).

I’ll admit I’m absolutely not an expert on marksman balance, so don’t take my suggestions here as gospel. However, there are lots of ways to nerf a champion’s early game. Off the top of my head:

  • Base AD nerf and increase AD/lvl. Just a couple Base AD makes a huge difference in early game power. I reduced Nidalee’s base AD when she was a terror in top lane late last season, and she basically disappeared from the lane.
  • Scale her spell damages or cooldowns non-linearly, with the later ranks giving more value than the first. This is unconventional, but there’s no reason we really can’t do it. For instance, if Tumble’s cooldown was only reduced by .5 seconds at early ranks, and 1.5 in the last few (or something like that.
  • Probably a bad idea, but maybe Vayne could have 325 or lower MS and have her passive MS increased. I think one of the things about Vayne is that she’s supposed to be a statement pick, like “I know this champion isn’t good early game, but I’m better than you and can win regardless.” Something like this may play that up, though at the expense of snowballiness.

Anyway, just some thoughts off the top of my head.

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Do you think Vaynes kit synergizes with Blade of the Ruined King too well

Repertoir New PortraitImo, BotRK rush is generally probably just too strong, especially on champions it synergizes with.

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CONTEXT FOR RECENT LEE SIN BUFFS Banner

 

 

Why is Lee Sin being buffed on the PBE

Meddler Final PortraitThese are buffs intended to give power particularly to players who aren’t amazing at Lee Sin. We like that Lee Sin’s got a pretty steep mastery curve that really rewards practice, but it’s a bit too extreme, making it really hard to put him in a good spot balance wise (if he’s balanced in top tier play he’s very weak for the average player, if he’s at least tolerable for the average player he’s probably too dominant in top tier play). They will add a bit of power to competitive Lee Sin play too, we’re looking to avoid too much of a buff there though.

As far as the specific changes go:

  • Ult now deals damage to people hit by the champion knocked back based off the bonus HP of the champ kicked. If you can Insec well, this isn’t going to be a very appealing play generally. If you can’t however, and are regularly using the ult just to get enemy divers out of the fight for your team this will offer a bit of extra power to try and optimize. Will be some niche cases where it helps out in high level play as well, we expect those situations to be pretty niche though.

  • Energy restore from passive now frontloaded onto the first auto attack (20 first auto then 10 second auto, instead of 15/15). This buff will help out both new and experienced Lee Sin players, expectation is it’ll be significantly more useful to newer players though as they learn energy management and when to weave auto attacks in between spell casts. A frequent source of failure we see from new players is constantly trying to weave in 2 autos per cast, even when that’s a really poor idea or, at the other extreme, running out of energy frequently. Giving people room to learn and grow’s great of course, we’d like to get some signalling in there to encourage people to consider 1 auto per cast more often when they’re first learning though.

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Why not balance him instead

Meddler Final Portrait‘Balanced for who?’ is one of the questions behind this work. We choose to balance for high level play, with some reigning in of massive outliers at lower skill levels. If the difference in performance between experienced and inexperienced player gets too far out of line however that means we’re forced to make a champion really hard to succeed with and unsatisfying for the average player if they’re to be balanced at high level play. Making a champions skill floor a bit more accessible, without lowering their skill ceiling, is an approach we feel’s valuable as a result, and this work is, in part, an example of that.

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Follow Up Banner

Meddler Final Portrait5.16’s also got changes to a number of other champs we believe also need some help. Currently in testing stuff includes:

  • Kassadin (ult AP ratio)
    Le Blanc (partial reversion of the W speed reduction)
    Lissandra (self cast ult heals Lissandra)
    Lucian (W MS bonus can now be triggered by allies)
    Nami (buffed passive, ult applies double strength passive)
    Twitch (lower Q mana cost and very slight ult damage increase late game)
    Vel’koz (secondary missiles on Q have more range)
    Zed (shorter delay until ult can be reactivated)

That’s all potential stuff in testing, so not guaranteed to go live of course, but Lee’s definitely not the only champ we’re looking at in that regard.

Yorick’s a champ we believe needs a full kit overhaul, in the same way old Sion did/Poppy does. He’s not in a terrible spot power wise so, given we don’t believe he’s good for the game, we don’t want to add any power to him at this point.

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BUFFS TO FIORA IN 5 16 AND UPDATE ON WARWICK Banner

 

 

Will Warwick receive an update soon

Repertoir New PortraitWarwick is one of the champions that pretty regularly shows up on the list of ‘champions to work on’, but I don’t think there are currently any plans for him. That said, there weren’t any plans for Garen, Morde, Darius, and Skarner until May, so who knows…

If you don’t mind me asking, what is it about him that makes him your favorite character?

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Fiora should receive some minor buffs

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re with you that Fiora seems to be pretty underpowered and are working on a set of buffs for her at the moment. One of those will increase her mobility, overall though at least for a first set of changes we’re looking more to add baseline effectiveness to her. From the look of it we ended up being significantly too cautious about her balance overall.

Current changelist (note, work in progress, so not set in stone) looks like this:

HP / level 80 >>> 92
AD / Level 2.5 >>> 3.3
Q CD 18/16/14/12/10 >>> 16/14/12/10/8
W CD 21/19.5/18/16.5/15 >>> 19/18/17/16/15

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Reworks Urf and Dragons Banner

 

 Season 5 is fast approaching and we’ve been given some clues as to what we can expect. I’ve organized the major events in this article; note that while these are all confirmed, there’s no timeframe, so they might not happen in 2015.

 

 

Poppy Rework Banner

 

  Poppy is first on the gameplay update list and likely the high priority for the rework team right now. Morello has personally stated that Poppy is in a dire spot and needs a complete overhaul, one that would keep her theme of a hammer-wielding Yordle.

 Poppy is an example of Riot’s old design philosophies; making Champions that fit one purpose on the map and have clearly defined weaknesses. That was the intent. However, Poppy isn’t exactly handing out counterplay tips. Her main cons – an abysmally small mana pool and lack of wave-clear – don’t give enemies an opportunity to abuse; they just keep Poppy toned down so she doesn’t dominate. She’s more of an obstacle to play around rather than a Champion with interactive mechanics.

 The main offenders are her passive and ultimate. Blocking chunks of damage innately and constantly is just raw statistical power. The enemy gets hardly any feedback, visual or number-wise, when spells hit Poppy for halved damage. It’s not really a passive you can play around in a teamfight or even in lane, unless you’ve true damage or low-cooldown spells. Worse, still, this passive defines Poppy as a bruiser, meaning her appeal lies in bad design. Not the easiest Champion to rework.

Poppy Concept

 Diplomatic Immunity reminds me a bit of Magic The Gathering’s Black Lotus, in that almost every Champion can replace their ultimate with Poppy’s. It’s the best carry spell by miles, because it eliminates the threats that prevent a carry from carrying. In a game that’s focused around teamplay and Champion interactions, Poppy’s ultimate is deliberately made for zero interaction. And it’s another defining strength of Poppy’s; Diplomatic Immunity has existed for so long only because Poppy isn’t popular enough for it to be a considerable problem.

 At her core, Poppy is a fearless front-liner who smashes targets with a big hammer. That’s a cool concept, but it can definitely use less ridiculous mechanics to function. I’ll aim to cover her in a future Rework Forge article with ideas that might preserve her theme.

 

 

Ultimate Skin Banner 2

 

 2014 passed without an ultimate skin and I think it was a good decision. Why? Two things were clear; one, DJ Sona was meant to be the year’s ultimate skin and two, the community’s feedback on the concept was mostly negative. Riot could had gone forward and made the skin in 2014 and it would likely had sold very well, but they listened to what players thought.

 With DJ Sona possibly being remade into a legendary skin, we don’t yet know who will get the ultimate skin. Rioters have teased info before, like that the chosen Champion has few skins and some have narrowed down choices to Lux or Xerath.  Regardless, we won’t know for sure until the skin is patched onto the PBE. Maybe we’ll get Dragonmaster Swain after all.

 

 

Tristana Update Banner

 

Tristana is one of 16 Champions who were released during League’s Alpha in 2009. Her visuals are as outdated as they can be, so her being on the update list is great news.

Tristana RenderTristana’s kit may be 5-years-old, but it still holds up quite well in the meta, as we saw this year when itemization favored hyper-carries. Still, there are aging mechanics littered throughout. The obvious one is that Explosive Shot [ E ] is not a toggled spell. Since it can’t be disabled, it forces Tristana players to manage their last hits so one kill doesn’t ruin another. It also means a Trist player who has a point in E can’t freeze lanes. It’s certainly unique; no other Champion forces a player to think about last hitting ahead-of-time like that.

But this added difficulty isn’t essential for Tristana’s kit. It’s just there because you can’t have both a toggle and an active bound to a single key. It’s restricting game design, something Riot have gone past in recent years. If Tristana were released today, her E would, for example, make every X shot explode for bonus damage. It would certainly be streamlined to where players aren’t stuck with a passive they might not want.

There are technical issues to Tristana that the gameplay update will likely address. Her Rocket Jump is only visually a jump; it behaves like a dash, meaning it won’t go over Caitlyn’s traps, a Blitzcrank hook, a Bear Stance Udyr or any triggered stun. Speaking of stuns, those only affect Tristana after she’s landed, so if you Bandage Toss her as Amumu, you’ll stop at the point where you’ve landed the stun and not where Tristana will land at. Mechanically, the spell is inconsistent and just confusing for players who assume Rocket Jump interacts in certain ways, but it doesn’t.

Lastly, AP Trist. Although it’s most often a build for pub games, it will likely be gutted with the update. Riot have been adamant about multiple builds and Champions who are played in “unintended” ways usually get the short end of the stick when the patch hits. An AP build makes Tristana’s playstyle completely opposite to that of AD Trist which, in itself, is worth keeping.  But, given Riot’s history with alternative builds (Tryndamere, Rengar, Alistar, Lulu, Soraka, Katarina, and, most recently, AP Rek’Sai) they likely won’t be balancing Tristana for both options.

 

 

Urf Mode Banner

 

 U.R.F was a massive hit with the playerbase in April of 2014. It was the most popular featured mode and the most requested one. Its roots are in DotA’s WTF mode and it’s great fun, but was taken away just a short month after its release.

 To say U.R.F was imbalanced would be an understatement. For example, Sona had a 77% winrate on U.R.F. Alistar could play tennis with your mangled corpse, Yorick was a god, most AD bruisers who are otherwise gated by CDs were ridiculous and you could watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy while being chain-snared by Morgana.

 Looking back at it, we all agree U.R.F was great, but we can’t deny it was a love-hate relationship. Balance is part of the equation when playing a competitive game for fun and players naturally tunnel on what’ll let them win easier, since winning is fun for most.  Featured modes are imbalanced, which is why they’re rotated out. If we want U.R.F to stay, we should view it in long terms; unfair picks would burn us out on an otherwise great addition to League.

 When Riot pulled the plug on U.R.F, they did so to fix the issues the mode had. We’ll most likely see it return in 2015, if not as a permanent mode, then at least as a better, more refined version of the old crowd favorite.

 

 

New Tribunal Banner

 

It’s been 8 months since the Tribunal was brought down for an overhaul. In that time, we got Chat Restrictions, bans from Ranked, 2-week bans and bans for intentional feeding to handle the toxicity (of our city). Though reports are still handled by real people, the lack of players reviewing cases has slowed down punishment to a crawl. You could be a dick to someone and not learn of said dick behavior until a few weeks later.

justicereview

 

 The Tribunal will, above all, distribute punishments and rewards faster. It will only take a few days following a closed case for action to be taken. To contrast, punishments at the moment are handed out in “waves”, meaning negative players are clumped together and restricted at the same time. The “pardon period” will also be made a lot shorter – a punished player will only get one warning and two chances before they lose their account.

 The new Tribunal will also be reviewing positive players for rewards in addition to its older features. This change may give players a tangible reason to act decent and that puts a welcome spin on how community behavior is handled. Every year the best Tribunal contributors will receive in-game rewards for their work.

 

 This mix of punishments and rewards will, hopefully, cover all types of players. Those who want skins may, for example, receive an exclusive skin for positive behavior. Respectively, negative players may be denied the Season’s Victorious skin. Players who value in-game status may earn or lose loading screen borders, etc.  To sum up, neutral and positive players will have in-game goals to strive for and remain neutral or positive and negative players will have punishments to keep them in line.

 Justice Reviews will be easier to manage. These are, in essence, “scoreboards” for Tribunal users to track their contribution to solving cases. They’re a good incentive for the “jury” to remain active, so making them more accessible means more people will stick around to keep the Tribunal functional.

 What’s missing from the list of features is, still, pre- and post-game chat logs. I personally think most toxicity takes place in Champion Select and if that area of player communication isn’t monitored, then the Tribunal loses a lot of its evidence for a case. I hope Tribunal users will be given access to these.

 The new Tribunal is taking similar time to develop as an average game by EA. And, while relying on slow systems for months-on-end is a tad aggravating, we’ll be getting mostly every feature requested. Let’s hope we can instantly ban people whose chat logs include “X or feed”.

 

 

Fiora Rework Banner

 

Fiora’s rework was an update teased too early, akin to Yorick’s rework. We know she’ll be getting a complete overhaul, but she isn’t a priority for the moment so shooting for 2015 is perhaps wishful thinking.

It’s evident why Fiora needs changes; a condensed explanation would be that she’s meant to be a Melee DPS, when she’s really a glorified assassin. Outplaying Fiora is rarely an option, since she’s effectively a lump of stats and targeted dashes. Similarly, she can’t outplay enemies herself. Put the two together and you get a one-trick pony whose success depends mostly on the match-up and rarely on mechanics or strategy.

Personally, I don’t think Fiora is a balance issue, but I consider her a failed concept. She’s the Grand Duelist, but only on paper. A duelist would time her attacks and wait for a crack in the enemy’s guard, but Fiora mostly relies on her three steroids to win fights. Her rapier could be Xin Zhao’s spear and little would change.

FioraUltSample (1)

Game Designer Guinsoo has shared ideas for Fiora in the past and they’re in a similar ballpark – more mobility and opportunity to outplay, at the cost of burst damage. Her role would change from a top laner to a mid laner or a jungler; the latter is interesting, since Melee ADCs have never really been competitive junglers.

 The rework team seems to be leaning towards excessive mobility to make Fiora viable. Given the over-abundance of mobility that’s currently in the game, it may be the only solution to make a Melee ADC competitive. But will that mobility take from the Champion’s power budget or will it just be tacked on?

 The main problem with Fiora will be the problem of Melee ADs in League. The archetype is usually too risky to warrant picking over Ranged ADs and bruisers. It makes Fiora’s rework that much more important for the game, since it can be an example of how melee carries should be designed in the future.

 

 

Warwick Rework banner


Warwick’s rework was teased several months ago on Reddit by Champion designer ZenonTheStoic. We already saw a preview of how unfun Warwick can be if left to his own devices in Patch 4.20. He’s a simple character with simple counterplay and that’s good to have for new players, but it’s hard to make the formula competitive and fair. The suggested rework has a lot of skillshots and requires proper positioning, which would make Warwick much easier to balance, since enemies can interact with him beyond buying QSS.

 

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).

 

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)

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 There’s no set date for when we’ll see Warwick’s rework and no evidence that the suggested rework is anything but an experiment. He isn’t on the gameplay update list (yet), but he’s being worked on and we’ll likely see him revamped this year.

 An interesting observation is that Warwick hasn’t received a texture rebalance. Given that his model and animations are outdated, it suggests a visual update is on its way to complement his gameplay rework. And it may happen way sooner than we expect.

 

 

Ao Shin Banner

 

Ao Shin was a hot topic in 2013 when he was teased, but since then there hasn’t been news on the Champion. The gist of the design is an Eastern-themed storm dragon that can both support allies and be a teamfight threat. He’s meant to fill concepts that aren’t already occupied by Shyvana (half-dragon) and Janna (storm sorceress). Being an interpretation of a Chinese dragon, he won’t be breathing fire; his powers will be based around controlling elements.

Ao-Shin-Sketches

From the teaser:

 “Ao Shin embodies this elemental duality, capable of raining good fortune on his allies and, in the very next breath, bringing stormy, thunderous ruin upon his foes.”

 Gameplay-wise, the direction seems to be a hybrid between a support character and an AoE mage. This may mean Ao Shin will have dual-effect spells that change depending on who they target, like Lulu. Also, given that most new Champions don’t use mana, he might have a completely new resource to fuel his hybrid kit.

 The teaser mentions that Ao Shin will come when Ionia is faced with its biggest crisis, so his release will likely be tied to a major lore event. Again, we may not see him this year, but if we do, we’ll get plenty of forewarning. For now, we’ve Champion Designer Meddler‘s explanation why we won’t be seeing Ao Shin for a while:

 

When will Ao Shin be released

Meddler Final PortraitTLDR: Ao Shin someday, won’t be soon.

Slightly longer version: We spent a bunch of time working on Ao Shin but ultimately concluded he wasn’t hitting the mark so put him on hold for a while in order to figure some things out. We still think his concept’s really cool, as is some of the stuff we were trying with him, so do intend to make him someday. Don’t expect to see him anytime soon though, we’d rather be slow, but do a better job of delivering on his potential, than quick.

That’s a process some other champs have also gone through (Lee Sin, Elise and Azir for example), where it took a few different takes to hit on what we felt was the right one (Lee Sin originally as Blind Monk way back pre launch, Elise originally as Priscilla the Spider Queen, Azir originally as Seth the sand mage), ultimately yielding better champs in the long run we feel.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Replays & East Coast Servers

Both will be available as DLC for Half Life 3.

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

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.

 

 

Kassadin banner

 

PBE Update

Warwick Rework

 

 

PBE Update

 

 

 GragasSquare

     Gragas

 

Barrel_RollBarrel Roll [ Q ]

  • AP ratio decreased from 0.9 to 0.8

 

Explosive_CaskExplosive Cask [ R ]

  • Damage decreased from 200/325/450 (+1.0 AP) to 150/300/450 (+0.9 AP)

 

 

KassadinSquare

  Kassadin 

 

Force_PulseForce Pulse [ E ]

  • Damage increased from 110/140/170/200 to 115/150/185/220

 

RiftwalkRift Walk [ R ]

  • Cooldown lowered from 7/5.5/4 to 7/5/3 seconds

 

 

RivenSquare

    Riven

 

  • Health-per-second decreased from 1.1 to 0.2

 

ValorValor [ E ]

  • Shield value increased from 70/100/130/160/190 to 80/110/140/170/200

 

 

 XerathSquare

     Xerath 

 

Cosmic_StrikeLocus of Destruction [ W ]

  • Slow duration in the center increased from 40/45/50/55/60 to 60/65/70/75/80

 

AscensionAscension [ R ]

  • Base damage decreased from 140/190/240 to 130/170/210
  • Duration increased from 6 seconds to 10
  • Damage amplification for hitting single champions decreased from 75% to 50%

 

 

Items

 

 

Spirit_Stone_itemSpirit Stone

  • Bonus damage to minions decreased from 20% to 15%

 

Spirit_of_the_Ancient_Golem_itemSpirit of the Ancient Golem

  • Health increased from 350 to 400

 

Spirit_of_the_Elder_Lizard_itemSpirit of the Elder Lizard

  • Attack damage increased from 30 to 35

 


Spirit_of_the_Spectral_Wraith_itemSpirit of the Spectral Wraith

  • Bonus damage to minions decreased from 30% to 20%

 

 

Warwick Rework

 

Warwick banner

 

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Hey guys!

I’m currently hard at work bringing you the updated Xerath. Once that’s out the door, I’ll focus my energies on the Warwick rework. We have tested some early experimental kits and gotten some very good early data points, particularly as to what feels “Warwicky” and what doesn’t; what must we keep and what can we drop.

At the heart of the discussion of what Warwick should be lies a conversation about the role we refer to as “bruiser”. Ryan “Morello” Scott, our Lead Content Designer, gave a great write-up on the problems of the role here:

http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com…09164#44409164

The TL;DR is: Bruisers were a reaction to ADCs being too strong, and as a result they got all of the tools for all of the situations. This is deeply unhealthy for the game, and as our playerbase accrues more and more mastery with a particular bruiser kit, we have to continue nerfing that kit as its unbalanced strengths are brought to light (see: Irelia)

Personally I believe there are two main roles champions with no meaningful interaction at range (aka melees) can bring to the team: disruption and killing power. This means tanks/assassins (and the ill-defined melee ADC). I don’t think there is room in between the two extremes for particularly healthy kits.

Warwick can go either way, but if we want life steal to be a meaningful mechanic on his new kit, I firmly believe he belongs in the former camp: tanks. Life steal on a fragile high damage kit is inherently broken. Go make a new account and play a triple Blood Thirster Master Yi (don’t actually do this please; this is what we Germans refer to as a Gedankenexperiment, a thought experiment). You are either killed before your LS becomes meaningful–which is totally useless for your team–or you heal up faster than the enemy can burst you down, in which case you are now an unkillable god of slaughter. Great fun for you, reason to never ever play the game again for the enemy.

A healthy wolf will dip in and out of the enemy team, smartly using the tools at his disposal to create maximum havoc while always healing up just enough health to not die. The enemy either zones him out of his heal (indicating that his life steal needs to be gated; probably range gated, potentially build-up gated) or makes one coordinated effort to burst him down when he goes for a risky play. Either way, he doesn’t single-handedly kill anyone, or if he does, it takes him 30 seconds. And he uses paws.

This is my guiding direction on the kit, and while we currently have a passive and four abilities, these are all very likely to change in the future, so there’s not much of a point talking about them right now. Instead I would invite discussion about my direction: is this a Warwick you can see yourself playing? Specifically, here are two videos that guide me in remaking my most favourite jungler in League:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avRTOEjQtDg&t=19m15s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBpzXIIM6Fk

Note how in both videos Warwick gives zero ****s and the colour caster is reduced to giggling. That’s what I want to do. I want to make colour casters giggle. Especially if they’re me.

 

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Also of note: this remake has NO release date. It could be three months, it could be six months, it could be a year. We’ll release when we feel it’s ready to be released.

 

 

 

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