Meddler on State of Juggernauts, MF Balance Changes after Worlds, Poacher’s Knife to be Removed, Rework for Talon, CertainlyT on Kalista’s Auto-Attack Range, State of Yorick’s Rework & More
- Thoughts on the Juggernaut reworks
- Balance changes to MF after Worlds
- Poacher’s knife to be scrapped
- Discussing Azir’s learning curve
- Suggestion for minor Shaco buff
- Nerfing Kalista’s auto-attack range
- Talon to receive gameplay rework (not a priority)
- State of Yorick’s rework
- PROJECT: Leona’s splash & Promoting lore in-game
- Update from IronStylus
Wanted to provide an update on our thinking about the recently reworked juggernauts. Initial post from a week post launch here:
Overall the juggernauts have definitely been too strong (our bad). Making comparatively immobile melee effective is something we’ve had trouble with in the past, which in retrospect’s lead to us putting too much power into this group. We have been seeing some distinctive play generated by each of the reworks though, which hits on one of our primary goals for this work of making different characters have distinctly different effects on the game. Fairly optimistic we’ll see that continue once we’ve got balance into the correct spot, though won’t count those chickens before they hatch of course. What we’re thinking for patch 5.18 below, with a few longer term thoughts mixed in.
Garen did turn out to be too strong as initially suspected. The mobility nerfs in 5.17 have helped with that, we still feel he’s a bit strong at present though. Next major change we’ll be doing in 5.18 is making it so that people no longer generate Villainy stacks by killing Garen himself. Biggest impact there is that you won’t get punished for killing Garen in lane, which in some match ups makes it really hard to get a real advantage in lane against him (or even turns what should be a winning action into a losing action).
Went from significantly weak to too strong with the hotfix and buff in 5.17. We’re nerfing him in 5.18 as a result, giving Q a scaling mana cost and reducing the amount he heals per target hit by Q (with an increase to the max possible healing). Goal there is to nerf his healing overall, in lane in particular, while allowing some big moments still if he can catch 3 enemy champions with the blade. Longer term we’ve also been talking about whether straight % missing health is the correct model or not for Darius’ heal, given how much a tanky Darius can heal for. It’s possible we’ll shift towards a flat + missing% model instead at some point, still discussing/waiting to see how the 5.18 nerfs impact him.
We were pretty happy with how the hotfix hit Skarner, since it dropped his power substantially without going too far and leaving him too weak. He’s still too strong, so we’ll be following up on him as well in 5.18, with a nerf to his E slow, reducing the power of his ganks in particular.
Now that the dust’s settled somewhat it’s pretty clear Morde’s significantly overpowered as a farming duo laner, and very weak as a solo laner. We’ll be nerfing Morde’s base Armor, W healing and W damage (no longer deals double damage when overlapping, base damage increased somewhat). For solo Morde W’s going to be self castable for the healing effect (though not the damage). Expectation is that we’ll need to do more to Morde in follow up patches as well, though as usual we’ll see what effect those changes have first.
Bonus items section: So far Deadman’s Plate, Titanic Hydra and Sterak’s Gage are looking pretty reasonable. They’re doing the right sort of things on the right sort of champions.Â No current changes planned for them as a result, though we’re still keeping a clear eye on them of course as builds continue to get tested and refined.
Finally it’s also worth noting that since 5.18 is the patch World’s will be played on we’ve been putting a lot of focus into how the juggernauts are performing in professional play (since balance tends to be somewhat different between normal games and organized 5s, high skill level 5s especially). The recent LPL games have been played on 5.16 with the hotfix, which has been a useful data point for us in assessing juggernaut power. We’ve seen Darius and Skarner picked there (Skarner much more than Darius), both looking strong, though not overwhelming so. No sign of Garen isn’t surprising (the nature of his kit’s a better match for solo queue). No Morde picks or bans is a harder one to interpret. It’s possible his weaknesses are such that an organized team can just shut him down, or that he’s new enough teams haven’t had enough time to drill into his changes yet, so aren’t interested in picking him for now even if he’s theoretically strong (I’m personally in this camp, though definitely not 100% certain about it).
Not to get everyone too excited, but we are also having to do a lot of performance testing to ensure that the number of bullets her ult fires at level 16 doesn’t destroy min spec computers.
MF is getting some tweaks in the pretty near future, and I believe that part of this package is better visualization for Impure Shots.
It has, outside of the occasional really niche use. Odds are high we’ll remove it come preseason when we do an item pass (updating, adding, removing various items).
We wanted to try an item that really clearly telegraphed your intent to counter jungle a lot, with power loaded into the action of counter jungling specifically (as opposed to an item that’s good for counterjungling, but also has other uses, like boots). Conclusion at this point is that that’s too narrow a space for an item, given its tendency to lead to one jungler or the other failing really hard early. We want early actions to matter, but not to effectively decide games, and Poacher’s risks games snowballing too hard too fast for one team or the other.
We’re focusing much less on the jungle specifically this time than past preseasons. There’ll be some tweaks to it, but nothing as large as the overhaul last year.
Details on what we are focusing on to follow closer to the time once they’re more certain (lot of early experimentation in progress at present).
None as clear cut as Poacher’s. We’re experimenting with a lot of stuff at present, it’ll be a while though before most of that’s solid enough to talk about usefully though.
One thing I will mention, since I’ve seen it requested a lot, is that we’re looking at a reworked version of Executioner’s Calling (AD Grevious Wounds item). Way too early to make any promises it’ll necessarily be coming back, it is one of the things we’re looking into though.
Current thinking is that Grevious Wounds serves a useful function keeping healing/regen in check, but that we may not have been offering it in the right ways. For starters the % may not be right, – 50% is such a larger difference that characters with strong healing end up being really feast or famine depending on whether they’re facing GW or not. Shifting to a lower %, and reducing healing/regen amounts somewhat, might be more appropriate.
As far as GW on individual champions goes we’ve stripped it off a number of champions because of the amount if felt like some match ups were decided in champion select. We’re still talking though about whether there are some good spots for GW on champion kits (e.g. is the problem regular application of GW in lane, rather than GW on kits in general).
Yeah, Azir’s learning curve’s extremely steep (hardest in the game last I checked). Having a long learning curve for a champion has a lot of value, it means there’s almost always something you can learn and improve at. In Azir’s case though his curve’s both very long and, during your initial games, really steep. That means there’s a really punishing period to get through before you can start playing him reasonably well, given we need to balance for players who know what they’re doing on him. Ways to make him a bit more accessible, without removing depth, would be really valuable as a result. We’ve been considering doing that at some point later this year already, thoughts extremely welcomed on things to look at.
The Devourer wolf does stealth when Shaco stealths. If there are certain circumstances that’s not happening in let us know and we’ll get them fixed.
Finally as far as Shaco boxes go I’d be really hesitant to mess with their health model without doing significant other work to Shaco, given that’s going to impact his jungle clearing in particular. Definitely a thought worth noting in case we do a Shaco rework at some point though (nothing currently planned, there is some stuff it would be good to improve however).
Kalista was 525 for a decent period during her development. Feedback was very negative to this at the time, though feedback tends to be negative toward mechanics that reduce the player’s margin for error during this phase, as most players are unfamiliar with the champion. Perhaps at some point we will revisit the issue. Certainly a few things about the champion would need to change to compensate for the range loss.
We do think Talon could do with a bit of work at some point, aimed at making him more distinct from other assassins and improving counterplay available for some enemies. Overall though there are quite a lot of other characters that need the work more, so he’s not a rework priority.
The Yorick rework Xelnath was experimenting with did get ice boxed. We do plan to do a full rework (Sion/Poppy level) for Yorick still at some point, at the very least that won’t be happening this year though. Yorick’s got some major issues, Poppy, and likely Taric, are ahead of him in the full relaunch queue at a minimum though.
In terms of class we do think juggernaut would be a good fit. Given his minion summoning theme the direction we’re most likely to go is a juggernaut with strong pushing power (split push, counter push, tower sieger or some combination of the above).
I don’t know for certain if she’s crying or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. PROJECT isn’t (despite Leona’s presence) all sunshine and smiles. It’d be nice to hear more about that world.
I think they’re still on for releasing them on 9/8, right? Not too long now.
I think there’s been a few things that sort of touch on this, referred to as hidden passives:
In that list you’ll find little treats for Vi/Caitlyn vs. Jinx, Leona vs. sunglasses, pirates vs. ninjas, etc. These are super subtle things that might add 1g or -1hp or something of that scale – nothing particularly game-breaking for the most part. I don’t know what the development cost is for making (and more importantly – maintaining) these things are, so I can’t speak to if they are easy to add, or more trouble than they’ve been worth. I see that they removed the item for Rengar (in the Kha’Zix/Rengar quest) and turned it into a passive stacking buff instead.
I agree with TurquoiseYoshi and ChromaticEagle that 200g is a hefty chunk of change that could change the course of a game, if it came at the right moment. The number of times I’ve been short even 50g to get my next item I can hardly count!
I think the kind of effort that’s going into these things is usually channeled into the taunt quotes (which have been pretty extensive, recently, I thought).
What I wouldn’t want to see is more reasons for players to fight for results that don’t align with the rest of their team. You sometimes see this in events – if you’ve got half your team wanting to kill more turrets, and another team wants to win fast, then you get players who are misaligned in their goals, and that can lead to intra-team conflict. Maybe you argue that 200g isn’t enough to create that sort of conflict – but I’ve seen how even in normal games, an upset player can begrudge a jungler some CS, or a player in a vs. bots game might be disappointed that they didn’t practice a baron kill before ending the game. I could only imagine the anger some players would display if they were playing Lucian and the jungler killed the enemy Thresh. Or how annoyed the rest of the team might get if Lucian, determined to get that gold, took a risk that they maybe shouldn’t have done. 🙁
I could see something like these things turn up as hidden passives in the future (if it’s not a maintenance nightmare – I don’t know) or as something that could turn up in a future event, or more likely be something we see a lot of in taunts between champs.
I like them too – especially as they’re opt in, and everyone has an understanding of the expectation for the mode.
There have been times (like when different people were on different stages of the recent Bilgewater event) when it could get a little confusing, but again – as long as it’s opt in, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. (Though if I can suggest ways to improve them even more, I’m not going to hold back 😉
I’m quite here 🙂
Lots been going on recently. Lot’s of pretty crazy life stuff, honestly. Perhaps when it’s all over I’ll tell the tale.
Aside from that though, I’ve been working quite hard on Taric recently. Been a long ride, but we’re getting close to a concept which I think will work. Here’s hoping!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me atÂ @NoL_ChefoÂ or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.