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RIOT DEV BLOG PART 2 OF DATA CHAMPION BALANCE Banner

Part 2 of Riot’s dev blog on what data tells us about a champion’s state is now out:

 

 

DATA AND CHAMPION BALANCE PART 2 Banner

BY RIOT JULES

Click here to check out our first Dev Blog on data and League Balance!

Hey guys, Jag here from the Live Gameplay team. We’re back with another dev blog, this one addressing our balance strategy a little more broadly. While the last blog covered some of the metrics we use in assessing champions performance, in this article we’ll talk about the more subjective, value-based decisions we make with this data: these are balance changes we make to change the state of League of Legends in ways that are more consistent with our design values.

Before we get to it, we’d like to clarify that this article is meant to give an understanding of how we tendto view champion power in regards to how we change them. To emphasize, these are tendencies; not hard rules. Some of the trends we discuss here will not always apply to every champion or in every scenario.

 

COUNTERPLAY Banner

Let’s start with an easy concept: the underlying counterplay of a character. Generally, if a character has low counterplay, then they also tend to be more binary on the champion strength scale (either oppressively strong with no answers, or incredibly weak with no agency), whereas the opposite is true of champions with lots of counterplay. The best example here is Blitzcrank: if a Blitz is particularly successful, he’s highly impactful to the point of virtually winning games outright by turning them into 4v5s. That’s a champion with a lot of power.

That said, most of the play around dodging Blitz’s hook seems pretty fair as an opposing player. If Blitz’s hook was a targeted spell instead of skill shot, he would feel pretty oppressive while consistently winning games, so ensuring champions have good counterplay makes it fairer for them to succeed. This is one of the many reasons why we pursue having counterplay options against every champion; even when they’re strong, they don’t automatically tilt over into oppressive territory.

 

FORCE MULTIPLIERS Banner

One of the more interesting balance challenges we face is how to properly calibrate champions that buff or empower allies. Internally, we have started to use the term “Force-Multipliers” to describe those (traditionally) support champs who express most of their power through their teammates (i.e.: Lulu). Since these champions invest in conditions that are more teamplay-centric, we’re inclined to give them a significant amount of power when they put themselves in the correct situations. Perhaps the best example of this is Janna; while she does have a few ways of making that “big play” that both teams can appreciate, most of her actions enhance her teammates’ potential through low visibility influence, without a huge amount of power that she can express directly.

So while a good Janna can flash ultimate a high value target into her team, a great Janna may also keep an eye on her friendly Tristana so she can shield her right when she hits Rapid Fire, leading to Trist landing a Pentakill (and getting all of the credit…). Ultimately, given that League is a team-focused game (and teamplay is one of our core design tenets), we tend to be more in favor of abilities that require good coordination or teamplay to fully ‘unlock.’

A consequence of empowering Force Multipliers is that when they become too strong, their power isn’t appreciated in obvious ways. Another example might be pre-update Sona, who was giving her teammates a ton of hidden power that few were attributing to her. There would be many games where she was instrumental in her team’s victory, but due to the nature of how she expressed strength, her teammates would be credited as the reason behind the victory (maybe she should speak up!). We may never truly ‘solve’ Sona’s invisible power problem because of her identity as an aura-focused support, but our recent updates have pushed her toward having more appreciable power. Ultimately, taking action in cases where the perception of a champion’s strength is significantly misaligned with their actual power level (one way or the other) is a large risk for us, as players can sometimes not understand why a change is necessary or even warranted.

 

MULTI LANERS Banner

Balancing champions who function in multiple lanes is another ongoing challenge we face. We have data that tells us how often a champion will win a game depending on if they’re in the top, mid, the jungle, or in a duo bot lane. Sometimes when champions become strong, we emphasize certain roles more than others if the character’s play pattern is healthier there. An interesting recent example is Sion following the introduction of Cinderhulk. While he was a very strong pick in the top lane where he was favored by the majority of the player base, most thought he was close to a balanced state and only needed a few small power reductions. On the other hand, we also saw that Sion’s strength as a jungler was absolutely monstrous (close to a 60% win rate), but this was not clearly visible to players since they tended to calibrate his strength as a top laner. Consequently we made changes that reduced his overall win rate but were targeted at his jungle power. While some players understood our intent, others were quick to register their confusion at nerfing a ‘balanced’ top laner. In the case of these types of changes, we need to be very proactive about providing the right context in places like the patch notes or patch rundown. Lastly, while we’re also trying to improve our design craft as to how targeted our changes are, there will always be some bleed with a change targeting one position to another.

 

EXPLOITABLE WEAKNESSES Banner

A final area I’d like to touch on is champions with distinct, exploitable weaknesses. In general, it is far easier to allow for high strengths in champions with clear weaknesses versus generically powerful characters with no exploitable counterplay. Certain strengths are very exploitable (range and mobility in particular), so when a champion can be easily attacked or their opponent has multiple methods to counter, we’re satisfied with that champion also having very distinct and powerful advantages. Take Sivir as an example; she has an extremely low basic attack range for a markswoman and has no teleport or dash moves, so she can be dealt with in many ways. You can pick Draven and beat her in a matchup where Spell Shield doesn’t give much help in; you can bring mobile dive champions like Irelia or Jarvan IV; or you can force engagements when she tries to siege with her low range. Because of this, we can allow Sivir to have very powerful strengths like top-tier waveclear and one of the most powerful ultimates any marksperson has in League of Legends.

Hopefully that gives some insight into how the Live Gameplay team treats balance in League of Legends. With any luck, if there is anything these last two blogs have showed you, it’s that the power of a champion is a concept that needs a lot of context and investigation. Thanks for reading, Summoner.

 


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

 

DATA AND CHAMPION BALANCE PART 1 Banner

Riot’s latest dev blog explains why numbers often don’t determine champion balance:


Succeed while playing what you want

BY RIOT JULES

Hey everyone! I’m Jules and I help the balance team leverage data to make smart changes to the game. I wanted to offer some insight into how we evaluate champion balance and discuss the nuances of power, win rate, play rate, and ban rate. Getting started: our primary goal is to empower you to succeed with any champion. When you’re picking a champion, ideally, that decision is agnostic of power. Situationally, some champions will always be stronger than others due to team compositions, synergies, and counterpicks – all of these are an integral part of League of Legends. All else equal, our philosophy is you shouldn’t feel compelled to pick a champion because it’s OP.


Power is destroying the enemy Nexus

 

Power is the degree to which a champion is capable of winning. Champions might specialize in late game scaling or teamfights or pentakills or objective control, but those are simply tools to achieve the primary objective: destroying the enemy Nexus. Power is not constant. In a given game, it is a function of the champions being played and the skill of the players with those champions. Kog’Maw isn’t powerful in every situation, but he’s incredibly powerful with the correct team composition in the hands of skilled players. Just as one could use KDA to measure a champion’s ability to score kills and avoid death, we leverage win rate as one way to measure a champion’s ability to win, or power.


50 doesnt mean balanced

If a champion’s power is analogous to true accuracy, a champion’s win rate is akin to empirical accuracy. Win rate is the probability of winning given the current ecosystem of champions and players. It tells us something about the power of the champion (powerful champions are more likely to win), but it alsotells us something about the skill of the player (skilled players are more likely to win). More powerful champions tend to have higher win rates, but win rate is an imperfect measure of power because it’s conflated with player skill. We can validate this by observing that a champion’s win rate tends to drop during the free-to-play rotation, due to an influx of inexperienced players. One implication of this is that champions can be balanced above or below 50% win rate. According to our data, only a fraction of Azir players are highly skilled with him, so we expect his win rate to be sub-50% in a balanced state. Conversely, a large proportion of players playing Heimerdinger are die-hard mains, so we expect his win rate to be above 50%.


We balance around skillful play

We take into account the impact of changes at all levels of play, but that doesn’t mean we pretend all players fit one mold. Skilled players make decisions with greater information and execute on those decisions with greater precision. We’re comfortable saying that we look closely at these players to best understand the metagame and balance of League of Legends. We believe balancing around a skillfully – but not perfectly – played game creates the best competitive experience for everyone. It also encourages mastery. Sure, Twisted Fate is challenging to play, but as we better learn his kit, we realize what he’s capable of and start pulling off crazy plays. It feels good and makes the investment well worth it.


Its not a popularity contest

Play rate is the likelihood a champion is picked in an individual game. If players were robots that optimized only on winning, play rate would be highly indicative of power. In reality, players care about winning, but they also care about having fun and playing what appeals to them. Ahri is more appealing than Urgot for most players, so we expect Ahri to be more popular than Urgot. Play rate trends can teach us something about power, but the signal is blurry. We also care about champion variety (e.g. not seeing Jinx every game), but one of our tenets is to avoid sacrificing balance just to promote variety. In other words, we won’t nerf champions just because they’re popular and we won’t buff champions just because they’re unpopular.


We keep an ear to the ground

Listening is another way we evaluate balance. When everyone is complaining about Nidalee, we don’t act rashly, but we do refocus our attention. While it doesn’t replace reading the boards or communicating directly, ban rate does complement anecdotal evidence with a more objective lens. One caveat of ban rate is that it is highly influenced by play rate. Even if Rumble is strong, he’s probably not worth a ban if the opposing team is unlikely to pick him. As a rule of thumb, optimal ban strategy (i.e. the strategy that maximizes your probability of winning) is to ban champions that are both high win rate and high play rate.

In reality, ban rate is not only a function of win rate and play rate, but also of perception of power, transparency of power, frustration, and risk-aversion. A few months ago when LeBlanc held the title of most banned, she was a suboptimal ban outside of Master/Challenger. Janna, statistically one of the best bans in the game, was banned in less than 1% of games. With that understanding, we keep a close eye on ban rates but don’t let them single-handedly drive balance decisions.


Were players too

Data matters, but it’s only one part of the equation. Believe it or not, we play League of Legends too. We feel it just as quickly as you when Skarner is in every game and, more importantly, winning every game. We want a fun and balanced game not just because it’s our job but because we’re players. We acknowledge we’re human and susceptible to a plethora of cognitive biases. That’s exactly why we leverage information from all angles. Ultimately, everything we do is an effort to make League of Legends the most fun it can be. In the next dev blog, Jag will discuss how we examine champion balance from a design perspective.



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

 

News Update July 14 Banner

 

Summary

 Lead Game Designer Ghostcrawler shares the thought process behind possible nerfs for Lee Sin and why his dominance has largely been left unaddressed for so long. Lots of arguments for where Lee Sin stands, why him warping the meta game by his own is an issue and unlocking weaknesses in his kit without ruining what’s fun about him. Moving on, Lead Champion Designer Meddler hosted a Q&A session where he answered a lot of questions about the design of some of League’s Champions and even teased the New Champion’s role – top laner. You can find a full breakdown of the AMA below.

Lastly, Q&A analyst Baconhawk explains the design motivations behind Headhunter Caitlyn’s new looks and why her original space-suit concept was scrapped in favor of her current looks. And some clarifications on why Yasuo’s ultimate triggers off any displacement, not just knock-ups.

 

Recent News

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Nerfing Lee Sin Banner

 

 

What’s so hard about nerfing Lee Sin before Worlds

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll address this at a philosophical level, because someone in the trenches of the live team would be better to mention specific tactics.

Champions are coolest, in our opinion, when they have distinct strengths and weaknesses. (This is why we describe champs that are just balls of stats as a bad thing and try to update them.) Moreover, when balancing champs, we achieve the best results when we buff things a champ is good at and nerf things a champ is weak at. This opens up opportunities for cool moments when a champ leverages their strengths, but still leaves clear opportunities for counterplay.

The problem with Lee Sin is that while he has some really cool things he does well, he doesn’t have obvious weaknesses that we can enhance in order to open up windows to try and shut him down. This means we have to invent a weakness, which is a dicey prospect, because it means having to redefine a champion’s role. “Oh, you only thought Lee was great at mobility and that’s why you played him, but we just decided that should be something he’s bad at instead. So sorry.” (Just an example obviously.) That doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility to balance him, but it means it takes more exploration than just nerfing his Q or whatever.

I’ll even expand on the philosophical discussion and say that improving champion diversity is something we need to deliver. By champion diversity I mean three things: more champions actually played, more distinction among champions, and sometimes actually getting to play the champion you like instead of him or her getting pick/banned all the time. These are long term goals and not something we’re going to quickly accomplish in a patch or two, but they are long term goals, and I have no problem if you hold me accountable for making sure we drive in that direction.

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Follow Up

Xelnath New PortraitHey buds, 

Look, I get it. You’re upset, you’re frustrated. You feel like the diversity of champions that should exist is being crushed by Lee Sin. You are sick of seeing the same thing over and over again. It sucks. 

I hate when I want to jungle it up and see yet-another-lee-sin-invade steal my buffs and being unable to punish the **** out of him for it. (Cuz he just ward hops away, woo hoo!)

At the same time – look at what happened last year when we got close to worlds and made some tweaks to Tri-Force. The result was that it distorted the entire competitive scene for worlds, potentially invalidating months of build-up and expertise. 

Now, I am not saying there aren’t tweaks to Lee Sin that would push him out of Worlds. The perfect solution might even be in this thread. What I am saying is that to find, evaluate and iterate on that solution takes time and causes ripple effects on the rest of the game. 

Lee Sin has become a jungle-defining staple because he has no weaknesses. This is why the long-term solution Ghostcrawler described is the right one – and will probably cause some pain along the way. Once Lee’s out of the way, who are the next three champs to surge to the front? They could make the game just as bad, if not worse. 

When we hit a champ like Lee, we want to do our jobs and do our jobs right. Thank you for holding us to that standard. We’d also be doing you a disservice if we didn’t tell you that the right solution isn’t easy.

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So you admit that Lee Sin has been inhibiting other jungle picks

Xelnath New PortraitYou know, it’s a fair criticism that he’s been strong a long time. 

But do you remember when we had some pretty severe changes to him on PBE? Lots of you guys got pretty upset, saying we over-shot so we scaled back the changes. (E.g. His ult doing damage based on the number of enemies hit)

Maybe we should have pushed forward harder to hit competitive. However, we already saw Lee Sin’s success rate plunge while players continue to play him a ton.

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You’ve yet to address Lee Sin because he makes flashy plays at pro level

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYep, that’s a totally fair criticism, but you can also see the challenge in trying to navigate those two extremes: removing what is cool vs. tinkering around with changes that don’t really solve the problem.

A few of you have mentioned that I didn’t respond with a specific list of changes for Lee. That’s true and I tried to address that up front. What I was attempting to provide is some insight into how we think about these things. If you are only interested in specific patch notes, the patch forecasts or notes themselves are better for that sort of thing. I appreciate not everyone is interested in our conceptual framework for how we solve problems, but my experience has been that some players are.

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Lee Sin has no weaknesses, that’s why he’s problematic

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTo be clear, he does need counterplay. We have to engineer some versus just nerfing something he is already bad at, because he’s not really bad at anything. Our intention is to do that, and when we have a direction, we’ll let you know.

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If you want to hit Lee Sin, why not nerf his energy costs

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat would nerf him, and something we can consider, but does it really open up coubterplay? Maybe if you survive his attack, you have a chance to counter….

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You overnerf some Champions to remove them from the scene and leave others imbalanced

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTotally agree. We understand how frustrating the inconsistency can be. If we were consistent, at least you could predict what you were likely to see in a patch or two. We also understand that actions speak louder than words here and you won’t take our word on improving consistency. We have to earn that trust.

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Why not rework Poppy, Urgot and Olaf first before moving onto Lee Sin

Ghostcrawler New PortraitSo the difference here is these champions need reworks to some degree. We have several champions, many of which were designed before we really solidified what made a good champion, who don’t have a lot of counterplay or don’t do much interesting to the game overall. We do keep them weak so that they may get some play but aren’t really competitive at higher levels. This isn’t ideal by any stretch but it’s better than having the game dominated by these guys. Our apologies if you play League for Poppy and we will get her straightened out at some point.

Lee Sin isn’t in that category. He does interesting things to the game. He requires skill to play and you can make mistakes. He doesn’t need an update or rework by the team that does that for champions. However, he is very dominant. We don’t think he just needs a simple number tweak. He does need a weakness that skilled players can exploit. Does that distinction make sense?

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Meddler QA Banner

 

Meddler’s Q&A Breakdown

 

 

 

General New Champions

 

Is it true that Champion designers can’t look at the player creations forum

Meddler New Portrait Not to the best of my knowledge, I’m not aware of anyone on the champion design team that frequents them though. Good starting ideas aren’t usually the issue we run into, it’s how you refine, implement, iterate, balance etc that’s the bigger challenge.

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What makes a Champion Kit or Lore

Meddler New Portrait Gameplay, lore and art are the pillars of how we approach making a champion. The initial idea can be any of the above – someone’s got an image they’d like to draw, a story they’d like to tell or an ability they’d like to play with. Working from that starting point we then explore what the rest of the champion might look like and what opportunities there are to offer something new. Braum for example started off as a female Piltover engineer, with a giant mechanical shield.

We tested a kit for that initial idea in game and hit on some abilities we really liked (similar to Braum’s current passive and E), the art and personality weren’t coming together however. We consequently took another look at who such a kit could fit on and, after a fair bit of exploration of different possible personalities and origin factions hit on Braum.

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How many Champion concepts never make it to development

Meddler New PortraitMost suggested champions never get made. A lot of ideas stop in their early stages when they’re no more than a sketch or some discussion about abilities that might be interesting. Some do end up getting put aside later in the process though, either because the character’s not working out or because we’ve got something we feel’s better. A number of those ideas do later get revisited and often work out the second or third time though (Lucian and Vi are good examples of that). Finally champions do occasionally get cancelled late in the process, that’s pretty rare though.

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Which lane is Riot looking to design the next Champion for

Meddler New PortraitNext champ’s a top laner. Balancing a lane or the meta’s not something we try to do with a single release though, the roster’s too big and the game too complex for that to be a viable approach.

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When are we going to see Ao Shin , the Storm Dragon

Meddler New PortraitNot for a long time. We do still plan to make Ao Shin, but we ran into a number of issues with how we were approaching him. As a result we basically took his concept back to the really early stages – would rather go for slow, but good, than quick but disappointing.

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How do you like these new forums

Meddler New PortraitLiking the flexibility of these RE ‘pick your own layout’. Bit dark for me though, going to pass on some thoughts to the folks working on them, find out if color scheme modification’s something on their mind.

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Is the Role of a new Champion pre-determined or is it a result of development

Meddler New PortraitWe do have a rough layout of what roles we want to release over the course of the year. As a result if we’re trying to come up with an idea for a particular release slot then yes, we do tend to target a particular role. Having said that if, during the exploration of a champion, we find out that a different role’s a better fit for the character we’re creating we’ll embrace that new role and then usually change which slot we’re planning to release said champion in.

The other thing though is that not all champion ideas are targeted at a particular release slot. Some are instead explorations of what might be cool, with no fixed timeframe in mind. Those by contrast are pretty open, with the goals (gameplay, art and story) eventually deciding what role’s a good fit.

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Champion Skin Design Banner


 

What were the team’s ideas about Syndra’s kit

Meddler New PortraitTried a lot of different versions of sphere manipulation, some of which consumed the spheres on use. Also tried some other stuff that didn’t work out at all, like a giant nova effect, slow moving extremely powerful skillshot (think a line of Veigar meteors) and an ultimate that let you throw enemy champions (suspect we’ll go back to a variant on that for someone someday, Syndra wasn’t the right fit for it though).

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Why did you make Vel’koz’s first skin of the Battlecast series

Meddler New PortraitWe did look at Deep Sea and Jurassic as options, the visual mockup for the Battlecast skin however was a clear winner for the team though, in terms of personality fit and visual opportunities.

We went for a ram with Braum since it was a great fit with the sort of character we wanted to convey – tough, at home on a mountain, headstrong, forceful but kinda fluffy etc.

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Were any other shapes or blast patterns tried for Vel'koz's Q

Meddler New PortraitSubninja, who did the gameplay design on Vel’koz, did try out a 45 degree split instead of a 90 degree one. Was generally both less useful and harder to land, so didn’t show much promise.

The ult was driven by a desire to make a real disintegration ray, something that gave the player the feeling of melting a target under a blowtorch if they could keep the flame on it.

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What’s your favorite mechanical idea that didn’t make it to live

Meddler New PortraitXypherous played around with a champion that could attach themselves to an ally, soaking damage for them and casting spells as the ally moved around. Would love to try that again sometime on a tank or support.

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Follow Up

It wouldn’t make sense for that Champion to be humanoid, right

Meddler New PortraitYeah, creature or shapeshifter seems likely. I believe (before my time at Riot) the original concept was for a swarm of insects for example. It’s an idea we’ve tested a couple of times since but haven’t found the right fit for.

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Was Jinx different during her concept stage

Meddler New PortraitWe did have another concept that was competing for the same space as Jinx at one point, a heavy hextech chaingunner. There were some cool bits and pieces to the idea, it never really got off the ground though and if we were to revisit it we’d want to do something pretty different – Jinx does the chaingun space well.

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Any updates on your earlier comments regarding Lissandra's passive

Meddler New PortraitStill planning to test out a defensive effect after CCing enemies, probably with a greater effect against ranged attacks than melee, given Lissandra struggles in some ranged match ups . Hoping to put some time into that after getting some Urgot tweaks out.

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Follow Up

What are you tweaking on Urgot

Meddler New PortraitBunch of discussion in this thread:

http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=42998910

The tweaks I mention are described in a couple of my most recent posts, short version is making bigger changes is going to require art support for a proper rework, so we’re looking to give him some help (quality of life changes, smallish buffs) in the meantime).

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Was Braum’s concept inspired by Alex Armsrong from Fullmetal Alchemist

Meddler New PortraitArmstrong’s a good example of the archetype we wanted to tap into with Braum, and was one of around half a dozen reference points we had for the sort of character we wanted to make. He wasn’t the initial inspiration though.

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What were some of the biggest challenges while designing Ziggs

Meddler New PortraitI just started on a Ziggs dev blog the other day actually, which should give a bunch of details about how his development went. That’s probably quite a way off though, we’ve got other dev blogs we’d like to get out first, so the short answer is that nailing down his initial personality and appearance was one of the hardest things for the team (Ziggs actually started off as a human in a bomb disposal suit for example, not a manic Yordle).

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What’s currently the biggest unexplored piece of design space

Meddler New PortraitWe went through a period where we avoided doing creatures much at all and that’s something we’re looking to remedy now, so less human/humanoid would be my answer on the visual side. Gameplay wise I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff to be done with clickable objects (like Thresh’s lantern) and we’re playtesting a few things at the moment I’m hoping see release sometime this year (no promises, but fingers crossed).

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Will we see a different female Piltover engineer

Meddler New PortraitIt’s a possibility, though we’d want to do something other than a shield now of course. No firm plans, but it’s a concept we have talked about occasionally since.

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Could you make a projectile that blocks other projectiles

Meddler New Portrait Spells that interact with other missiles in flight is something we’ll likely visit again at some point, certainly. No plans to do so in the near to moderate future at least though, that’s gameplay space we’ve tapped into enough for now. Would definitely see a variant on that sort of spell someday though that’s all about a single, brief cast, rather than an extended effect in the world, would have noticeably different use cases.

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Will you ever create a true pet Champion

Meddler New PortraitYeah, we’d like to explore a champion with a more permanent and significant pet at some point. Would definitely want engineering support to do that properly, the current system works well enough for straightforward pets like Tibbers but wouldn’t support a pet that was around constantly, with a bigger skillset, well. Can’t make any promises on timeframe though, besides not for a while at the very least.

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Will we see more Champions with a vacuum mechanic, like Diana’s  E

Meddler New PortraitWe’ve talked about vacuums a lot. They’re extremely powerful however, in terms of how they amplify other abilities’ effectiveness, to the degree that a champion with an accessible ranged vacuum is going to have to be balanced around their best case scenario to a degree that will leave them feeling pretty mediocre otherwise. As a result we’ve opted to limit vacuum like effects in other ways instead, whether that’s with a melee requirement and short range (Diana’s E) or movement compensation (Orianna’s ult, which is as much a flip as a vacuum much of the time).

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Why is Headhunter Caitlyn’s different from the skin’s original concept

Baconhawk New PortraitThis has been answered before but I am happy to answer it again. That was exactly what you said it was: concept art. If you look closely, it doesn’t bear much resemblance to Caitlyn. In order to fit within our guides for readability and clarity within the game, it had to be adjusted. Otherwise it would definitely not have worked. (You are comparing that artist’s hand-done paintover to an ingame model on the PBE, which we are still working on!).

It’s easy to say “amagad that look so much bettar rito y u do dis” but in all honesty, a lot of our concepts look totally different (for better or worse!) than the final product, but it’s all about readability and gameplay clarity as well as looking totally badass/sexy/amazing/baller/Teemo.

I hope this answers your question.

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Why does Yasuo’s ultimate trigger from every form of displacement

Meddler New PortraitYeah, knocked up’s a misleading shorthand here, I should be saying displaced. We opted to have Yasuo’s ult trigger off any displacement because it both clarifies which allied skills are relevant (if it moves an enemy then you can) and because it opened up the pool of champions Yasuo works with more. Our intent was to make Yasuo stronger with some allies than others, but we did want to keep that set of champs he synergizes with moderately broad.

As to why the ult went out that strong? That was our best estimate on appropriate balance for Yasuo. For the first few weeks players really struggled with him, and we thought for a while we might have undertuned him and buffed him a bit as a result. Those buffs, combined with his learning curve and some quality of life changes (consistent targeting indicators, better visual feedback etc) however brought us to the conclusion he was too strong once mastered so we took some power off him. He’s currently played with some success in both competitive play and normal play. Some discussion internally on whether he may be too strong late game, last I heard we hadn’t come to a definite conclusion on that yet though.

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