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Preseason 2015 Q&A

November 5th, 2014


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I’ll be expanding this article continuously as more questions are answered. Don’t forget to leave any question you may have here!



Ypherion New PortraitWe’ve been sharing a lot of thoughts and goals around Preseason 2015 over the past week (you can find the Dev Blogs here)

For the next few hours we’ll be around to answer questions you have. We’re going to leave some time for questions to be put into this thread and get voted up or down, so we’ll start answering around 2pm PST.

Looking forward to it!
– Ypherion (and the Game Systems team)

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Any changes to the ranking system for next season

Draggles New PortraitWhen tackling large changes like preseason, do you guys have an inkling as to which champions are going to be in the meta or FOTMs, or is this generally something that gets discovered over a period of time? Like, you don’t have to reveal who, but do you have a suspicion that say, Skarner will be really strong with the new changes?

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Do you expect diversity in viable junglers

LtRandolph New PortraitWe certainly hope to see more diversity in the roster of junglers that are seen as competitively viable. That being said, it’s a more dangerous place than it used to be, so there is certainly a risk of some of the more tenuous junglers having a harder time.

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Follow Up

Riot Axes New Portrait I expect more diversity in terms of which jungle strengths matter – so Nunu and maybe Shyvana/Mundo get to be better because counterjungling matters more, Xin Zhao and Udyr get to be better because dueling matters more, for example. The ideal here would be a rich metagame where you see that your opponent really wants to, say, invade you a lot, and you feel like you have options to deal with that which are specific to the game you’re in, even if you’re playing the same jungler as always.

As for newly viable junglers, that’d have to be a case by case thing. We’d default to allowing it, but we’d keep an eye on the effect the jungler is actually having on the game. An example here would be Pantheon, who emerged as a strong jungler who was super oppressive, but once we got his kit in line with the new role, it actually worked out pretty well and is something we’re ok with going forward.

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Is the new Baron buff intended for split-pushing

LtRandolph New PortraitOne of the frequent discussions I’ve heard and been a part of is how a team that is strong in one particular strategy can get a temporary source of a different strength to finish off the game. The baron buff in a broad sense is shifting to be more focused on sieging, whether that be split pushing or together. This is intentional, since taking Baron is typically a sign of strong teamfighting.

That being said, the health and mana regen on previous Baron buffs were very strong for sieging; we just wanted to make the strength much more focused and obvious.

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Why are Quinn’s PBE changes going on and off

Sotere New Portrait Unintended technical issues exposed changes that weren’t quite ready for PBE. 

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the vision from the crab buff make Dragon

Sotere New PortraitPossibly! It is always a very big risk to do an objective when there is any level of vision owned by the enemy team in the area. We are looking at tuning the vision reward of the crab, especially as we continue to receive feedback that the vision stalls out fights around those objectives.

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The Towers feels squishy

Sotere New PortraitIt’s not just you, and we’re looking into that! There’re definitely a lot of mechanics that make minions stronger against turrets but that doesn’t explain general turret squishiness.

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Any plans to add enchantments for roles other than junglers

LtRandolph New PortraitThe designers, RiotAxes in particular, have been excitedly asking for an actual enchantment system to make what you’re talking about much more doable. The current setup is actually quite horrifying, and has led to a lot of wasted time and bugs. To be clear, the solution is very clever, it’s just messy.

Currently there are 6 items called Berserker’s Greaves, 6 called Sorcerer’s Shoes, etc. One for unenchanted, and one for each enchantment.

I really hope I have time to make a fancy shmancy enchantment system to end this abomination.

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Follow Up

Why hasn’t this been fixed

LtRandolph New PortraitAs a one-off system it was decided that making 25 extra items to implement boot enchantments was more efficient than engineering and debugging a new system. The decision looks different if we decide that we need to make 150 extra items to implement 10 different enchantable categories.

There’s always tradeoffs, and always a bunch of different ways to do things. There’s always some beautiful solution that makes all the engineers jump up and down with glee over its elegance. There’s always 10 other things we want to fix at the same time that we might want to make that beautiful solution.

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Will there be new Masteries or changes to Runes

FeralPony Final PortraitWe will not be making any largescale changes to Rune or Masteries this pre-season. These are both systems we’d like to approach at a later date though because we agree there is a lot of room for improvement there.

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Do you think niche items will continue to be problematic

Riot Axes New PortraitI think there’s a balance point where the stats are good enough that when you really need the effect they provide, the item is worth it and if you don’t need the effect, the item is not worth it.

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How do you plan to avoid dominant strategies

Riot Axes New PortraitIt really comes down to what actions you would take to counter the other team, and making sure there are appropriate responses to their strategy (and responses to responses, and…)

If you build a strong teamfight and my team’s only real response is to also build a strong teamfight, then that’s just a dominant strategy where both teams will have to just do that. If you build a crazy wave clear team and make pushing towers impossible, and pushing towers is the only real way to achieve victory, that’s again a dominant strategy and teams just have to do that (we saw this earlier this year with Ziggs/Xerath/Zilean).

But consider what happens when there’s an objective on the map that can be leveraged to break a stalemate – let’s say Dragon’s stacking buff has this effect (it might, it might not, but suppose it does). Your wave clear is still potentially a very valuable thing to have in buying time for your team to scale later into the game, but if the other team is getting close to maxing out their Dragon buff, your team is eventually going to have to come out of your base and take some risks, and you’ll need to have a different kind of strength besides just wave clear to contest that Dragon.

So, in that case, if stall becomes too powerful, one of our responses could be to make Dragon respawn slightly faster or make Dragon buffs a bit more powerful, thus providing some options to the other team to deal with your extremely powerful stall tactic. And both of these strategies could coexist if, say, there’s a good payoff to stalling for a while even if you can’t stall forever, such as allowing late game champions like Kog’Maw or Jax on your team to get their items.

This is just one example of the kind of thing we’re trying to build for preseason, of course.

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What strategies do you think will be used to end games

Sotere New PortraitThe strategy that has become more prevalent has been complete dragon control into team fight power with the Aspect of the Dragon buff. Historically, teams have not owned Dragon to the extent that it was clearly the contributing factor to game ending.

Teams that took five dragons would win, but it would just be another advantage displayed through their gold and inventory. It definitely feels like something more to work towards, now.

Outside of that, I’m excited to see how people engage in splitpushing and seeing if it feels healthier.

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Is a 5-stack Dragon more valuable to kill than Baron

Ypherion New PortraitAspect of the Dragon (tier 5 buff) is indeed stronger than Baron. This is on purpose because 5 Dragons is a full game investment, whereas Baron could have been a coin-flip Smite war.

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Will you be able to solo an inhibitor turret with one minion wave

Ypherion New PortraitRight now tower durability is still being tuned (they seem a bit too squishy) so hard to say for sure. My guess is that a fed AD split pusher could probably still take them if uncontested. However contesting the tower should be more palatable as a defending duelist.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]