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Posts Tagged ‘FeralPony’

 

Balance Team AMA Part 2 Banner

The balance team made another pass of community questions, which you can find answered below:


[ Note ] Part 1 of the AMA can be found HERE.

BALANCE TEAM AMA Banner

 

 

Balance Team QA 2 Ask Us Anything Again

Scarizard Final PortraitEDIT: AMA’S DONE FOR TODAY! Thanks for coming out and asking questions – If you’re reading this and missed this one (or if we missed yours D:), we’ll be doing two more this month at the same time! We’ll see y’all at 12:30pm pacific, on Friday 10/030!

If you have follow-up questions or want to stalk us on the internet, you can follow almost all of us on ze twitters at (@RiotJag) (@RiotFeralPony) (@RiotTimeWizard) (@G_mang) (@ManWolfAxeBoss) (@SmashGizmo) (@ricklessabandon) and (@RiotScarizard)

Hey folks,

We’re back again for our 2nd AMA this month – another week of worlds has gone by and a new patch is on the horizon, and we still have tons of your questions to get to! Got something to say about balance, your favorite champions, or how free SmashGizmo’s sheik is? We’ve got you covered.

If you want to check out our Q+A last week, here’s a link to that one too! M O R E C O N T E X T

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/miscellaneous/vWEoZ6X0-balance-team-qa-ask-us-anything

On deck, we’ve got:

RiotTimeWizard (thousand-year-dragon in training)

ricklessabandon (all lowercase, all the time)

SmashGizmo (plays 5 colors in EDH like a scumbag)

ManWolfAxeBoss (fire and blood)

RiotGmang (keeps talking so nobody explodes)

RiotJag (has a cool motorcycle)

FeralPony (photoshop artiste)

and yours truly! Got a burning question or top-of-mind curiosity? Fire away and we’ll start answering in an hour! (1:30 PDT)!

If you want some more behind-the-scenes insights on how League’s balance goes, check out these devblogs by RiotJules and King Jag The King, RiotJag himself!

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/riot-official/xORLd02r-data-and-champion-balance-part-1

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/riot-official/cBUqHAm5-data-and-champion-balance-part-2

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Which Champions do players ask you guys to nerf the most

Riot Jag Final PortraitEarlier this year: Akali, Fizz, Kassadin, Leblanc

Lately: Vayne, Fiora, Darius, Morde, GP, Garen, Skarner

Always: Lee Sin, Riven

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How do you guys deal with the stress involved with the game

Scarizard Final PortraitYou get thick skin doing this kind of work, but it’d be unfair to say that it doesn’t get to you.

I think the key thing to understand is that even the most angry, vile and vitriolic statements come out of passion for the game we all love and work on. Those people telling us we should be fired, and that we don’t know what we’re doing? They just want to have fun playing a balanced game, same as we do. In many ways, these can be viewed as motivators – when people are upset, we have a job to do.

It’s often thankless, but I think the nature of the constant, ever-evolving puzzle of a Live environment is a big draw for some. I’d also say we have a big emphasis on communication and teamwork within our group, and I’ve never felt like I’ve worked somewhere where I was both valued as an individual contributor and as a friend. It’s that ‘band-of-brothers’ (and sisters) feeling that means no matter how deep in the trenches we are, there’s always someone else with you ready to help out and make that next change the best it can be.

In the end, everyone’s got their own ways (many folks play other games in their off-time, many of us keep up with the gym, pursue art or personal projects, rick plays ffxiv, etc) but having a team of homies to back you up makes it all easier.

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Current CDR AP items are underwhelming for mid laners Will you add new ones

SmashGizmo Final PortraitI mostly just disagree with this statement. Morellonomnomnomicon and Athene’s are both reasonably powerful in my estimation and we still usually see mages rush one of these two. I do think there’s a small gap here in terms of AP/CDR itemization for non-mana mages, but I also think this is a very niche market that we’re hesitant to provide easy CDR for due to how overbearing a, let’s say, Vlad can be when he can easily rush both AP and CDR in lane.

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Have you had balance ideas that sounded good on paper but were broken ingame

SmashGizmo Final PortraitLiterally tons. A lot of our early iterations on Rengar’s Q in the rework come to mind, where we did stuff like using ferocity on Q would give you 3 stacks to make it the sustain damage option on him, but really basically just made him murder you even faster.

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Why are Azir Ryze and Kassidan so hard to balance

SmashGizmo Final PortraitDifferent reasons on all of these. Kassadin’s the most straightforward, where it’s just about how his mobility profile gives him perfect control over when fights are happening, so the second he crosses a certain power threshold, he just consistently runs away with games. Ryze is currently mostly about the mechanical needs of the character and just how much power a player gains from properly executing his passive combos, which means that he looks very weak for our average player, but is secretly one of the highest winrate characters for experienced players. I could probably write a book on why Azir is a balance nightmare at this point, but in the interest of being able to respond to more posts today, I’ll just say that it’s very difficult to balance a hypercarry who has reliable means of ensuring their own safety and that Azir pushes the limits of both being a hypercarry and reliably ensuring his own safety.

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How closely does the balance team work with the design and reworking teams

SmashGizmo Final PortraitVery closely. We try our best to give them good counsel on how to balance their characters pre-release and they try to give us advice on how to balance their characters while retaining their intended identities.

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Any chance of Ranked ever getting more bans

SmashGizmo Final PortraitThere’s a chance, but I think we’re really hesitant about taking this route, as it does really limit players ability to pick the character they want to play in any given game. I know there are some folks looking at pick/ban structure and I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next few years the pick/ban system changed significantly, but it’s not something we’re directly looking at in the short term.

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People like to bring up crit removal is it a thing that might happen

SmashGizmo Final PortraitNot in the short term. There will be some crit shifting around in the pre-season, but we’re not going to do anything so drastic as fully removing it in the near future. I think long term, trying to shift random crits to conditional crits (like, say, every 3rd attack crits, or all your attacks from brushes crit, etc), might have some promise, but we’ve never really gotten a good enough model of this working to ship.

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Are there plans to tone down Tahm Kench without taking him out of the meta

Tahm Kench Single banner

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitTahm Kench has definitely got some strength packed in that big ‘ol belly. If we do try to tone him down, we definitely won’t be trying to push him out of the meta or out of viability. After all, he’s only started picking up steam over the last couple of patches, so we wanna give him some more soak time before we just bop him!

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Will Janna be receiving buffs in the future

Janna Single Banner

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitJanna is still in a pretty good place right now. Her disengage ultimate is one of the most reliable ways to counteract the menace of run-at-you tanky guys. She doesn’t seem to be in need of any boosts at the moment, but we won’t forget about her. We’ll need to re-evaluate a lot of champs when pre-season hits. 🙂

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How do you feel about Kindreds current state

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Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitKindred is experiencing what almost every new champion does. Extremely high ban rate in games, and players are still picking them up and figuring them out. They’ve proven to be powerful (not ABSURDLY so, mind you) in the hands of players with many Kindred games under their belt. We tend to follow-up within a couple patches on new champions, and we will likely do something to adjust Kindred’s power. Again though, pre-season will be throwing everyone for a loop!

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ManWolf New PortraitThey’re still pretty new to the Rift and have a fairly steep learning curve, so a slightly lower than average win rate right now is appropriate.

I personally feel that they’ll be strong once people figure out all their tricks. Just give it some time.

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How will the Marksman update impact Supports

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitRegarding the ADC rework: since it won’t be much longer, I think I’ll have to go with a “wait and see” here. We don’t expect that supports are going to be adversely affected by the Marskman changes, though.

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Are there plans to updated boring outdated Champion passives

Riot Gmang Final PortraitGood question, and I agree that there are plenty of passives that leave something to be desired.

Regarding your examples:

Some of the champs you mentioned have also been singled out internally and gotten some experimentation (like Heimer, Shyv, and Syndra), though I can’t speak to how they are prioritized among other projects in terms of urgency and which ones are planning to move forward (within our team specifically, the only one that springs to mind is Syndra, though no promises on exact ship date atm hah).

Regarding passive quantity:

This is a controversial topic, but I wanna just share a bit of context here. It’s important to keep in mind that we don’t design passives in a vacuum and then decide how many each champion gets. Passives are designed to serve the needs of a particular champion.

Say I’m a champion designer making a new kit, and I start with a particular gameplay loop that fits nicely on Q W and E slots. The kit is somewhat functional and unique, but there are still things to figure out (let’s say the W and E have some usability issues, certain lane matchups are very one-sided, my abilities late-game are confusing team mates, my spell rotation feels too unreliable, wave clearing is too easy, and my build paths don’t scale right). What I do with the Passive and R slots–indeed, what I do with all slots–are going to be about problems like these or addressing other higher levels goals (like delivering the fantasy better or more unique or something).

The answer to those problems might involve any number of changes, possibly demanding 0, 1, or 2+ passives. If I do add 2+ passives, it’s not because I just want the champ to be cooler or have more stuff than others. And it is going to come at the cost of power budget and complexity budget, not just added on top of an otherwise finished, balanced champion. A solution might even involve removing/nerfing passives so that we have more complexity and power budget to put on actives!

In the end, individual slots are not supposed to be balanced between each other, nor are “my champ passive(s)” vs “your champ passive(s).” Entire kits are supposed to be balanced between each other. “2 passives > 1 passive” doesn’t always follow. It’s very possible to design a kit with high agency, complexity, and fun with just actives, and it’s also very possible to design a super lame kit that has several passives! And it’s those kinds of properties (agency, fun, complexity, clarity, etc.) that we care most about: if a champion’s multiple passives leaves them with too much control over the game, or too much complexity, or something like that, that is a big concern for us (and we definitely aren’t perfect about these things!). But the actual quantity is usually not inherently good or bad.

Regarding passive quality:

Lemme give a different example: say we have a high-complexity champion who has everything BUT the passive slot locked down (you might have even had an awesome passive during development but it ended up being extraneous as other slots developed further). As in, “if our game hadn’t already set the precedent, I might actually give this champ 0 passives.” This can be a tricky spot: players expect each of their slots to feel fun and distinct, including the passive slot, but you don’t want to disrupt the balance and fun of your existing pattern/slots.

A lot of these passives end up being lower-budget passives: we could have made Jayce get multiple intricate passives, but he’s already so complicated and multi-faceted that it would probably detract from the kit to do so. Sometimes you make the call, “this champ is about these cool actives, and we should avoid detracting from that here.”

This isn’t to say that “lame passives” are a good thing, but sometimes the cost-benefit of trying to discover a perfect passive is outweighed by the value of delivering the champion to players with a not-stellar passive. The opposite is also true: sometimes we have a champion that’s bloated in complexity/abilities by the time we’re reading to ship, but we’re willing to make the trade-off for the sake of delivering what we feel is a good product to players.

All that said, improving lame slots is definitely on our radar; I just wanted to give context. I hope that provides a little clarity for why passives compare/contrast in the way they do!

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Did you plan on doing balancing when training to work in the industry

SmashGizmo Final Portrait100% yes for me. I came from a background of clinging onto competitive games for the long haul (been playing MtG for almost 20 years now, Smash Melee for 10, League for 6), so balancing and preserving the fairness of a game was always something super important and interesting to me.

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Whats an average day like for you guys

SmashGizmo Final PortraitWe work in 2 week sprints on each patch. Once during each sprint we plan out our work on what we want to ship in the upcoming patch, which is a combination of the things we see as off as players and the outliers in terms of metrics like pick rate/ban rate/win rate. Once we take on projects, we rapidly iterate and test changes until we get to changelists we’re happy with. We’re also constantly re-evaluating our work so that if something super broken emerges we can hop on it ASAP (for instance, runeglaive Ezreal).

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How do you feel about the current meta

SmashGizmo Final PortraitThis question is waaaaaaay too big to adequately answer. I guess the tl;dr for me is that I’m happy we’ve hit the sort of diversity numbers in Professional play that we’re seeing in Worlds this year, but that I still feel like some things are really off in terms of feeling like a fair and enjoyable experience for most players. I won’t dive too deep into this, but basically, Professional diversity is great and certainly one valid measure of how the game’s balance is doing, but I don’t think it captures the full picture by any stretch of the imagination.

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What are balance teams looking for on an applicants portfolio

SmashGizmo Final PortraitMake yourself visible as an expert on the game you’re trying to work on. This is pretty broad, but encompasses both getting to a relatively high rank and demonstrating your knowledge on the state of the game. Stuff like blogging, writing articles, and streaming can all be good means of getting exposure and demonstrating that you get the game on a very deep level. Also, perpetually seek the feedback of people who are already working on balance, as they can give great feedback about how you might be limiting your thoughts.

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Any plans to make upgrading the warding trinkets less awkward

Scarizard Final PortraitI’d be looking for something along these lines with the upcoming preseason. I agree that it’s a major frustration to have people put off trinket upgrades for so long, and the entire trinket system has been a hot topic for the Systems team for 2016.

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Is there a particular direction you want to push Elise in eg mage or tank

Ricklessabandon New Portraithi, hi~

a lot of what you’ve been picking up on has been intentional—elise should have a path open to her that allows for gold to be spent on increasing her kill potential, and for less of that threat to be available ‘for free’ in the form of base stats/damages. since elise is a six-ability form swapper it’s more important for her overall fairness to ask elise players to use their early-game power spike to earn a gold advantage and then invest it wisely in order to keep that strength going later into the game. i personally think it helps her feel more like a mage/assassin pairing (which seems more aligned with who she wants to be), whereas the elise of old felt more like a support/tank pairing.

if i had to guess as to what areas we’d look at next, it would be ones that would let us stay on course with the last few changes—base damage past level 7 should be monitored closely, and scaling with gold should feel appropriately rewarding (and tied to success). if we ever needed to go harder on her, i’d imagine it would be thinking of cool ways to replace her w spells that would give us more ‘balance levers’ while keeping her feeling great to play.

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Will you make Mordekaiser less reliant on duo laning to be viable

Mordekaiser Single Banner

FeralPony Final PortraitPower-wise we feel Mordekaiser’s too strong currently in the duo lane and too weak in the solo lane case. We’re generally okay if duo is his main role, but the disparity between those roles is currently too high. His solo lane is too weak and his duo lane is too strong.

Mordekaiser W is totally worth revisiting in regards to the solo vs duo cast, it can feel pretty lackluster and is a good spot to target to help bridge the gap between the Solo lane/ Duo Lane case. Not sure on specific changes we’d make, but we’ll be looking into Morde specifically more after the first big preseason patch (PBE Soon(tm)!)

I’m unsure specifically on % of shield conversion values. He’s pretty damn durable atm, and I feel the minimum shield threshhold helped him a lot more in lane than is getting generally credited, but adjusting the W sustain could grant us the option of increasing his shield growth since that skill in particular is currently double dipping in generating shield and restoring health.

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Are you considering any changes to Lissandra

Lissandra Single Banner

ManWolf New PortraitWe very recently put in the change to her ult where she heals on self cast. Spell costs were something we looked at, but didn’t feel like she really needed anything there. The passive definitely has the biggest room for improvement. I messed around with some changes where she would spawn black ice around her and gain bonuses if she cast on top of them, but ultimately didn’t have time for that patch. Definitely something I’d like to continue work on later though.

That being said, we’ve seen her in a few games at worlds so far and think she’s in a decent place in terms of power.

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Any plans for Katarina

Katarina Single Banner

Ricklessabandon New Portraithello!

so, we’ll probably need to take a look at her sometime after the new season starts up (if nothing else, just as part of a follow-up pass on the different roles) but we don’t have any kat-specific changes already in mind. part of the issue with katarina is that, at present, she is intended to be more about ‘chasing a high moment’ and as such will rarely feel as fair as a lot of the roster (the players playing as, with, or against are kind of playing a zero-sum game over happiness/fairness).

we came around to that intention pretty explicitly around the time i put some very experimental changes out on the pbe, which i believe was about a year ago. essentially, we took a stab at what a more ‘healthy and sustainable’ katarina would look like. what came of that is that while we might have ended up with a katarina that more people could have been more happy with if she was commonly in their games, league of legends as a whole would have lost a type of character/playstyle that was one of the more unique offerings in the game. we likened it to the experience that draven provides—to make the ‘draven experience’ feel as fair as someone like lucian would almost certainly make our adc pool feel less diverse/rich, if not the game as a whole.

that’s kind of the long and short of it. for the time being, katarina represents a play experience larger than herself. if we ever reevaluate and decide that that experience doesn’t align with katarina, then we’ll certainly give her the time needed to give her the appropriate changes. outside of that though, she’ll likely remain in the ‘chasing a high moment’ camp. that said, i think more than a couple assassins could use some love right now, so she might be suffering from compounding issues—we’ll be sure to look into that once the next season gets rolling.

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Thoughts on Nami

Nami Single Banner

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitShe definitely wasn’t weak prior to her buffs, but she does get harder and harder to succeed with as the game goes on. While people start to move faster with boots and items, her Bubble becomes trickier and trickier to hit. Would definitely be interested in doing even more cool things for her 🙂

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If Nasus were made today what would he be like

ManWolf New PortraitIf he were made today, I assume he’d be classified as a juggernaut and not have an infinite scaling mechanic. If he does ever get reworked, the late game raid boss fantasy is a must and I’d be sad if stacks got removed, but could live with that I suppose.

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How about locking Flash for everyone and adding a third Summoner spell slot

ManWolf New PortraitCurrently, we have no plans to implement a third summoner spell slot, nor do we have plans to lock Flash in for everyone.

We are looking into ways to diversify Summoner Spell choices, and that includes considering how Flash relates to other Summoner Spell.

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Will you guys revisit options for Syndra after Preseason

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Ricklessabandon New Portraitthat is the current plan, i believe. we had some work in progress we really wanted to wrap up before starting on our preseason work, but we ran out of time. nothing is set in stone though, so that work is just ‘on hold’ until we have an opportunity to pick it back up which could technically be a while (or forever), but with luck it’s just around the corner.

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Do you guys feel you know what’s healthy for the game before you release it

FeralPony Final PortraitNot an easy question to answer. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Generally, we go with the approach that we can be wrong but we tend to have a higher than average hit rate, and we can iterate and update when we make mistakes and get additional eyes and player feedback.

Scuttlecrab was an example of a design that got a ton of initial pushback both internally and externally and we got a lot of pressure to remove but was probably the best single addition we made in the previous preseason. It offered a lot of additional jungle routes, caused tons of tension and skirmishes – something the early game desperately needed, provided additional control and objective control gameplay, and was freaking cute as hell.

On the flip side we aired way too high on the power level of Juggernauts in combination of PBE feedback and with the our expectation that the additional playstyle changes would take a lot longer for players to pick up and adapt to.

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You shouldnt have to use bans for Champions with high winrate

FeralPony Final PortraitI pretty strongly disagree with this statement. The banning phase is exactly used for champions people feel are stronger than average. No champion currently has anything resembling a 64% winrate.

The top 10 bans currently in the game are Darius, Garen, Yasuo, Fiora, Kindred, Mordekaiser, Zed, Riven, Katarina, and Blitzcrank who have ~50%,52%,51%,51%,47%,50%,48%,51%,49%,52% win rates respectively. These numbers are not the end-all-be all statistic or the only thing we care about but the reality of the data is crazy far off from 64% you mention. These will of course fluctuate a little based off ELO, role/lane, and experience rate etc, but not substantially.

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Will Teemo be a part of your Marksman update

Teemo Single Banner

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitTeemo isn’t currently a part of any marksman updates, so I think someone was trolling you. There’s discussion about doing some changes of VARYING scopes on the others that you’ve mentioned. Distinguishing play patterns is part of the aim for updating marksmen, so there’s definitely some work being done to enhance that. You’ll have to wait for more exact details, but not very long!

 

Yes, we have tempered our approach to the marksman update with our learnings from the juggernauts. As you say, pre-season will definitely shake things up, but that doesn’t mean we want to repeat any of the frustrations that we introduced with the juggernauts. We’re still being ambitious and creative while trying not to aim for raw power as a means of attaining viability. The marksman update in conjunction with all of the pre-season changes will likely cause a significant shift in a way that we’re working hard to make fun and refreshing.

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How often do you request a rework when balancing is too hard to do

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitHmm. Lucian is a good example for me. That dude was just in every pro game for the better part of a year, so we actually sat down and did a mini-rework of him (Attack Range, E changes being pretty major here). There’s definitely some kits that you’ve seen us struggle with balancing in the past year or so that may be solved with some small tweaks, or may need some broader updates (Ryze, Azir, Kalista being decent examples).

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Do you playtest minor stat changes or do you just rely on spreadsheets

Riot Jag Final PortraitFor something like that we rely more on past experience, since we’ve seen what kind of power change a nerf like that has had on ADCs before (for example, Twitch got -3 AD last year and we could use that as a reference point for the Vayne nerf).

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Do you recall making small changes that ended up breaking Champions

Riot Jag Final PortraitI definitely didn’t see mid Ezreal coming when I was doing Runeglaive. 😛

I did the Nautilus changes at the beginning of this year, and I knew that he would feel more versatile as a champion, but I didn’t anticipate him being so powerful in the support role.

Most of these surprises were pretty cool though.

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Do youve any plans for Aatrox

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitA-atrox is a pretty cool guy. We were actually just talking about him this morning. We don’t have any specific plans, though he will definitely be affected along with everyone else with the pre-season. What sort of things do you like about him? Also, have you considered his synergy with Kindred?? ;0

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

 

News 12 09 Banner

 

Summary

Azir has been delayed on the live client because of bugs, Ghostcrawler explains the goals of the Fighter rework and Lyte notes that extending chat restrictions for neutral players is a mistake of the system. Lastly, IronStylus with clarity on texture rebalances and why the end result seems less detailed than the original.

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

Recent News

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Are you delaying Azir because his Shurima story isn’t over

sixtwo Final PortraitHey guys, not sure where the quote comes from, but Azir isn’t out yet because he’s not done – bug fixes are being checked in around me as I type this. Now carry on!

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Baconhawk Final PortraitI was not clear in stating Azir is not available yet because of “reasons” (he is getting bugfixes). I did not mean to insinuate we are waiting for a lore story part 2… just to give some sort of hope and looking forward. My wording was ****.

I’ll try to be more clear next time. Let me know if you have any more questions.

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He shows up in Champ list but is unavailable for purchase

Baconhawk Final PortraitThis is because he was shipped in the patch but not switched on. This is normal.

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Can’t you give us detail on issues or at least a timeline

Baconhawk Final PortraitI totally understand. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten really burned when trying to give you guys dates on when x will come out (or if it even will at all, RIP Magma Chamber, so say we all), so to save us all the the heartache, its best if we just get him ready and unlock him when he’s finished.

 


You DO know there’s a champ coming. There was a time before PBE when [email protected] and other sites wouldn’t be able to do all these great screencaps and preview videos, and set the hype stage for champs, skins, game modes, etc. We have a lot to deliver and we’d like to make sure it’s ready before we say YES IT IS GOING OUT ON THIS DATE and then what happens when we get an Azir and he ends up with some last minute bugs that just absolutely cannot ship? We look bad, you’re upset, we’re upset, and no one wins. The expectation is that we will release everything perfectly, meet everyone’s expectations 100%, release on time AND let you know ahead of time when that is. IN A PERFECT WORLD!

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What are the exact goals for the fighter rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe goals are to agree on what is the strategic identity – the strengths and weaknesses – of melee champs, as well as figure out how many categories of melee we actually have (e.g. Is a bruiser different from a diver? What is a melee carry?)

The list of champs that we’d want to adjust to meet these goals is beyond the scope of a forum post. Generally those who are largely balls of stats with limited counterplay or those who seem mirror images of other melee are the ones most in need.

We haven’t decided yet on the future of red buff. As a general guideline, I think we do throw around movement speed debuffs too readily.

It’s okay for someone to have good or weak laning, within reason, as long as there are trade-offs elsewhere. Our general concern about melee is they don’t have any trait to offset their lack of range. The two characteristics that we have tried (hard to kill or eats your face if they manage to close) have been problematic. The former erodes a niche for true tanks and the latter makes the counterplay pretty binary, as well as making melee on melee engagements slow slugfests.

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How would you define a “tank” in League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitA common thread we’ve found with tanks is that they are good at initiating. The problem is that the word “tank” also carries a strong connotation from other games that they have a ton of survivability as well. If we renamed the role it would be easier to define, but we’re not sure players would react well to redefining a whole lot of roles in the game (as I mentioned for fighters above).

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Why don’t you name the Fighters you plan to rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitNot sure I agree with that.  Even stating that we think a champ is overtuned feels like a mic drop without a lot of context. The other challenge is that when we mention we want to work on something (like say a fighter rework) and then it takes a lot longer than expected, players get frustrated and want even more context for the delay. Believe me, my inclination is to be as honest and open as possible. If we can earn enough trust with the community that changes we mention will eventually come to pass, I’d love to be able to talk more about long-term plans.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Can we have specific information on the Fighter reworks

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s just a big project that touches a whole lot of champions. At our current cadence for gameplay updates, it would take a long time to reach them all. In the meantime, if we introduce say counterplay for one fighter and not another, then the second one becomes overpowered in the interim. It’s not just fighters either. If we decide that we offer too many slows, then a lot of ranged champs would need to be touched as well. This is the kind of thing we’d love to be able to hit with some sweeping changes all at once, but we’re still working out how that could be possible.

I’ll talk to Morello and some of the other designers. Maybe we can put together a dev blog that explains our current thoughts so long as we can provide sufficient caveats that we haven’t ironed out all the details yet and would welcome plenty of feedback before those thoughts turned into patch notes.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Issues with Muting Banner

 

 

Chat Restrictions shouldn’t be extended if you’re neutral

Lyte Final PortraitCompletely agree. We recently tuned the system to try to be more accurate up front, but it’s clear we might be up to ~20 games off still in some cases.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Can you provide an example of toxic gameplay

Lyte Final PortraitAt the end of the day, are you a neutral player, or a negative one? If you’re still negative, your account will continue to get chat restrictions.

Have you actually reformed after going ~50 games in silence? The answer is probably no. Even how you communicate with others here on the forums shows that your behaviors really haven’t changed.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Lyte Final PortraitThe idea that the system expects toxic players to be “positive” is a misunderstanding. If a player is “neutral,” their account will eventually be clean of any penalties or punishments.

The actual problem with the system is with situations like these, where the system should have probably just given the player 78 chat restrictions right off the bat; however, that’s a tuning problem that we’ll need to continuously work on to get right.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Single Posts Banner

 

 

Why texture rebalances seem less detailed

IronStylus Final PortraitGotta remember that detail frequency often works against us. Excessive detail, especially detail that is highly contrasted against it’s adjacent material leads to “flickering” and “buzzing.”

That a) hurts they eye, b) generally feels low quality, c) doesn’t fit in with our changing style.

While it can be sometimes confused with feature removal, it results in a cleaner asset, it’s for the overall health and quality of the game.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What are some of the more known Rioters working on

FeralPony Final PortraitSure, no real spoilers here (sorry) but CertainlyT is still working on Champions. From what little I’ve seen the next one he’s working on looks pretty awesome. Xypherous and myself are working on “Systems” which is primarily working on the next pre-season patch change with a number of other folks.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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

 

 

MagicnaAnavi Banner

 

PBE: 04/02

Red Post Collection

RedditNew J4 and Ezreal Splash Arts

Fan Art ShowcaseMagicna Anavi

Champion RotationS4 Week 3

Champion/Skin Sale: 04.02 – 07.02

 

 

 

PBE Khazix Q banner

 

 

Khazix New Portrait

 

Taste_Their_FearTaste Their Fear [ Q ]

  • AD ratio increased from 1.3 bonus AD to 1.5 bonus AD (back to live value)

 

 

Bouquet Ward Store

Bouquet Ward Store Image

 

 

Minimap Bug – Icons popping up

 

Riot Feithen Button Rioter Riot Feithen: Hi folks,

In today’s patch we’ve fixed one case that was causing the mini-map vision bug. For those not familiar with the bug, it’s where an enemy champion icon appears on the edge of the fog of war for a split second in the wrong location. It quickly jumps to the correct location where the champion is actually standing (usually somewhere across the map). In the absolute worst case you would see the champion model and particles in the wrong location.

Our fix should lower the frequency of the issue significantly: we’d like to know if you guys feel like it’s improved. Please post any feedback in this thread.

Thanks,

Fei

 

 

Shaco Rework Topic

Shaco has been suffering in popularity in Season 4. What does Riot plan to do to get the Jester of the League back in the jungle? 

 

 

Do you have a general clue what you want to do with Shaco?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: We’ve got a direction in mind for him, yes. Goals are solid, exactly how they’re met, ability details in particular, very much a work in progress.

 

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: 1. We’re still working on Shaco. Other reworks however are being given a higher priority (Xerath/Skarner being close to done, Sion being a major project that’s in the early stages, Kassadin and Rengar both having much more urgent needs due to their impact on game health/other players, a couple of low gameplay impact reworks to accompany visual upgrades).

2. Shaco’s a pretty difficult character to rework well. It’d be really easy to just strip away all his problematic elements and in the process remove many of his tricks and distinctive skills that people really enjoy when playing him. Finding the correct ways to fix his issues and preserve as much of his gameplay identity as possible however is much tougher, involving a lot more analysis, playtesting, iteration and sometimes, if something isn’t working as hoped, restarting, than many other champions would.

Hope that explains a bit on why rework timing can vary, and why it can be hard to make any concrete estimates or promises on a rework’s ETA.

TLDR: Lots of different types of rework, Shaco’s a tricky one.

 

 

Why did the Rengar rework take priority over Shaco’s?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: The path for Rengar was much clearer than Shaco. For Rengar, we knew we wanted to clean up his core abilities a little bit, experiment with bonetooth, remove some exploits, then experiment with some ideas for his ultimate.

Shaco requires more tinkering. In the worst of cases, Shaco is frustrating to play against, stifling and frustating for everyone in lane, is an uncatchable split pusher and can lay traps that murder you without a chance to counter Shaco.

Rengar’s burst vs. Shaco’s inherently frustrating kit need dramatically different solutions.

 

 

So why is Shaco still in this state?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: Basically, what I am saying is that Shaco’s rework is not on the near horizon, despite being discussed in the past. We had a couple awesome leaps forward, then sat down, looked at the champion list as a whole (see Meddler’s post) and prioritized to suit the upcoming year and champions best.

I really want to reinforce this – meaningful reworks take a long time to do right unless they are minor updates or quality of life improvements.

Shaco is a cool character. We want to do cool characters right. Shaco has some very harsh edges in his playing against experience. Thus we need to do more work than just a few minor tweaks.

 

 

What happened to his Rework? Why is it being delayed so heavily?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: In this case, the guy who was working on the Shaco rework switched his time and energy to help us deliver preseason. I’ve learned in the past year, that people get very “fast” expectations when we talk about things – this is just a side-effect of not framing “hey, I’m looking at this” properly.

To be fair – I expected to ship Xerath in August when I started working on him in May… but as we all see now, it ended up being another 6 months before other important things got done and we were able to schedule team time to finish Xerath. 

 

 

Why is Shaco a problematic Champion?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: He’s best played as a split-pusher who is nigh uncatchable, an assassin who can’t team fight, an ambusher who can’t be countered, if you are chasing him into a next(p.s. does anyone know if red trinket disables his boxes or not?)

And once he starts to get ahead of you, he has a permanent slow in addition to a backstab + crit multiplier – aka, once he wins, if he catches you away from a tower, you don’t have a good way to escape.

 

 

Rework Philosophy Topic

The different kinds of Reworks – are Reworks scrapped all the time?

 

 

MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: Sometimes true, depends on what the rework involves and why it’s being done though. Reworks generally fall into one of a few different categories:

1. Those that accompany a visual upgrade for a champion. Sivir’s a good example of this, where our art team had plans for an upgrade to Sivir’s appearance so we took the opportunity to pair some gameplay changes with that upgrade. Visual upgrades are great opportunities to do valuable, not not immediately urgent, gameplay work on a champion, because since animations/particles/sound etc are being redone anyway changing how abilities function is easy to support.

Timing on these reworks is tied to the readiness of the visual upgrade.

2. Those done because a character has gameplay issues that are creating significant problems at present. This is the category that Kassadin and Rengar currently fall into. This is the most urgent category, and one where we’ll put a lot of focused effort into finding a solution, since the alternative’s nerfing the champion so much the issue’s aren’t a major problem (something we’re really trying to avoid where possible).

Timing on these reworks is dependent on how quickly we can identify and valid an appropriate solution to gameplay problems.

3. Reworks on a champion who’s not a major problem, but has the potential, with some adjustments bigger than just number tweaks, to be healthier, more effective, a better take on their theme etc. This is the category Shaco falls into. He’s not creating massive problems, but he struggles if unable to snowball and/or splitpush, and can be a noticeably more frustrating experience than average to play against.

Timing on these reworks can be variable, since they’re much more dependent on how well an initial idea works out, what other responsibilities the person working on the rework also has and whether other emergent works pops up that needs to take priority (e.g. reworks from category 2 above).

4. Reworks on champions that aren’t in particular need of work, and may even be really good already, but that someone believes could be better still. These reworks are side projects, sometimes done in someone’s own time, because they’ve got some cool ideas they want to test out/a vision for how a champion could be better. The Miss Fortune changes ricklessabandon’s testing at the moment are a good example of this. MF’s not a problem, fun to play and well designed. That’s not to say there might not be some good opportunities to smooth out some smaller stuff or enhance her play a bit though.

Timing on these reworks is extremely variable and these are the reworks most likely to get put aside (most often because an idea, when investigated and tested didn’t work out, sometimes because something does work well but is a better fit for another rework, new champion or an item).

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: Reworks can take like a year and sometimes get canned or sent back to the drawing board repeatedly. I wouldn’t expect too much in the way of updates for a while.

Edit: Reworks take a long time. Xerath had 18 thrown away kits before he got to PBE. Shaco’s going through similar kinds of exploration to distill the best features of his kit. See Meddler’s post for details – I know it sucks to hear, but Shaco is a lower priority than Sion, Skarner, Xerath and some other champions.

 

 

Can you comment on Yorick’s state?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: We’ll definitely do some really substantial work on Yorick at some point – gravedigger/necromancer offers a lot more potential than just what’s on his current kit. That’ll be a fair way off though, he’s potentially a Sion sized project and there are only so many of those we can have underway at once (not to say he’ll necessarily be the next major rework post Sion either, there are other good candidates like Poppy that would be worthwhile too).

 

 

Can we have an ETA on when Sion’s Rework will be live?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Apologies, timing’s something I’m going to have to be vague on. Would be extremely surprised though if he took as long as a year for what it’s worth. He’s a big project (roughly the same amount of work as a new champion), but also one of our priorities this year.

 

 

Is Graves getting any kind of Rework?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Very early ideation. Not a rework as much as a minor touch up as well, from my understanding. What I’ve heard boils down to “do more damage the closer you get”. No one has implemented any changes much less tested them yet.

 

 

Is Viktor still slated for a rework?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Honestly we would like to make improvements on so many champions (Viktor included), but right now he is not an active project. It is definitely noted that there are so many people interested in and hoping for some Viktor changes.

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: We realized it was a much bigger ball of yarn than it appeared to be. We had some specific ideas regarding his unique item, how to improve the feeling of his laser, etc. And it required a lot more work than we could support while getting trinkets, vision updates, new jungle, etc.

Since then, Solcrushed has still been looking at the jungle (see the new spirit stones and some work on the Wriggles line).

Post preseason, we took the time to sort out the reworks but I don’t recall where he ended up.

 

 

Why did you pack all the changes to Vision, Jungling and Supporting, into one patch?

 

XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: The reason we did those things together was to try to bundle most of the “okay, how I have to think about the entire game has completely changed for everyone” factor into a single patch.

It’s easier to accept, “okay, I’ve got some big changes to learn, but so does everyone else”. For example, just doing the jungle item rework would be all of the junglers are in flux, but everyone else feels kind of the same.

Bundling changes together means players can kind of go through a mutually shared experience of re-experiencing summoner’s rift.

Re: Losing things – part of improving a game is culling features too. The opposite is feature bloat, champion sprawl and creeping complexity.

 

 

Xerath Rework Topic

Xerath’s been on the PBE for quite some time and his new kit is close to hitting live. What makes him a better pick this time around?

 

 

Xerath’s ult doesn’t feel as satisfying as other long-range ults like Lux, Karthus, Ziggs, etc.

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Lux’s kit is problematic in that she is a “fish for root, 100 to 0” pattern. This means we don’t have a lot of levers to adjust her if she ever does become problematic. Her pattern is all or nothing. Sure her ult fits in that, but I think Lux’s ult is much more interesting when used at long range.

 

I’m hoping that the amount of damage and range Xerath gets (it IS the highest range in the game) make the ult compelling. But most importantly, even if that is not the case when he goes live, we’ve created a kit that ALLOWS us to tweak these levers. By divorcing the ultimate from the full burst case of the basic kit we’ve made it ADJUSTABLE. I’m not saying it’ll be perfectly well adjusted when it goes live, but we have the tools we need now.

 

 

Will you keep Xerath’s strong teamfight presence?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: His Q, which he typically maxes first, goes down to a 5s cooldown. New Xerath hangs around the edges of a teamfight, constantly trying to snipe a high value target. Between that and his W cooldown generally allowing him 2 or 3 casts per fight as well, we find he has very strong teamfight presence.

Let’s also talk about his ult, because I see a lot of mentions of that in this thread!

The way I see it, you can do a lot of different things with mage kit ultimates. One of them is to have an ult that perfectly slots into the kit. Think of Brand: Brand wants to AOE dudes with W/E or just burst one guy out. Pyroclasm helps him do either of these things better. What this means is that Brand has one kit, but every so often that kit is a LOT stronger. He needs to decide when to use his ultimate (generally whenever he feels he can get a kill with it) and then commit to that fight. While his ult is down, he generally does the same kind of thing, only less powerfully. That is a perfectly fine way for a mage kit to work.

Ahri works a little differently from this. Ahri is about poking and fishing for an E hit confirm. When she has her ultimate ready, however, she becomes an all in assassin who zips around the battlefield, getting a kill and using her remaining dashes to get to safety (hopefully). Whether or not her ultimate is up very much defines what she can or cannot do.

Then there are guys like TF and Karthus, where the ultimate isn’t so much part of a rotation as it allows them to exert their influence strategically. This might be to follow up aggression from their team mates, clean up after an exchange they were involved in, or to capitalize on an enemy finding themselves in a compromising situation; say someone being brought to low health by doing Baron/stepping on a Teemo shroom or someone walking over a ward, revealing that their far from their team. Xerath very much falls into this category.

The coolest uses I’ve seen for Xerath ultimate are for instance firing in the path of an enemy ADC who is running from a gank in bot lane (forcing them to make the decision between eating Xerath ult damage or potentially letting the enemy bot lane / jungler catch up with them), stalling out a team from doing Baron (you do not want all three shots to hit multiple people on your team while they’re doing Baron) or to put damage into a team fight when the enemy team has a diver intent on taking out Xerath every single time (Xerath just hangs 1500/2000 units back, waits for the two teams to commit, then shells the teamfight with his ultimate and joins to clean up with his basic kit).

No, Rite of the Arcane will not work as part of his normal in-fight rotation. That is very much by design. The fact that Arcane Barrage worked as part of Xerath’s rotation on live was contributing heavily to Xerath’s biggest game health problem, which is that he is super high burst champion who, if he ever got popular, would have to be balanced around his full kit burst. That way lie boring/safe damage numbers.

 

 

Why did you remove Xerath’s % Penetration?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: R.e. the removal of the % Magic Pen – we wanted to really reinforce Xerath’s niche as a really long range poke/siege mage. That sort of range gives freedom of target selection. As a result giving him more raw damage, and therefore ability to be effective against a range of targets was a better fit than giving him % magic pen, and therefore focused effectiveness against a subset of enemies who he generally doesn’t need that range to reach (the enemy front line).

 

 

Sion Rework Topic

The long-awaited Sion Rework is finally being talked about!

 

 

Summoner Feedback

 

Button Rioter Hellioning: Now, I’m sure everyone is aware that Sion is an issue. He has two real builds; ap and ad. AP completely ignores two of his skills and instead focuses on a point and click that removes the intended counterplay to his exploding shield, that is, blow it up before it can respond. While this is fine in a teamfight environment, since he can only stun one champion and their teammates can explode the shield, it is incredibly hard to play against in a lane enviroment. This build also falls off in late game, due to the ease of which a full team of five can explode his shield, therefore completely neutering his damage. It also completely ignores his theme; he’s a giant zombie with an axe that is a big Ahnuld fan. He should not be a mage.

Meanwhile, his AD build takes forever to build up to a reasonable level. While this build does not ignore his shield and stun, they are much weaker and only used for the utility and survivability they bring. After he gets his items, he gets much stronger, so he can right click people and kill them during the stun. This makes much more sense in regards to his theme, but is also incredibly boring.

Now, it’s no secret he’s getting reworked, because when people think ‘clunky kits’ Sion is either the first or second champ they think besides Urgot (incidentally, both are reanimated Noxian warriors. Coincidence?) The issue is ‘what IS Sion?’ Theme wise, it’s obvious; he’s a giant axe-swinging zombie that quotes Schwarzenegger, so he should have something akin to Darius’ kit. When it comes to gameplay, however, people are far more attached to his AP mage pattern. Even if it’s impossible to play against, that shield is so much fun when it explodes. Something has to change; but what?

Please post your comments and concerns in this thread; IronStylus has promised to post this thread on his twitter and hopefully get some discussion going, so he can properly express the average player’s opinion to the relaunch team. Hopefully, we can make a Sion that everyone enjoys or, at the very least, everyone can tolerate.

 

IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: Great ideas here. There’s not much I can add in terms of mechanics, but I can say that these ideas can slot in very well to the overall thematics. Something specific which you’ve mentioned is being this slow, un-killable, unstoppable undead force, who, yes, would have died previously. I think this is a core characteristic.

Another thing that you’ve said about his axe not defining him, I think you’re correct there. Sion himself is the focus here. He’s a brute, maybe one that was consumed by such uncaring murderous momentum in his time in the Noxian military. Almost a precursor to Darius, maybe a similar position as Darius not commands. A idea we had is that Darius might even be the modern day incarnation of what Sion’s “style” used to be. Sion might have been a great ax wielder (though a more primitive style) in the past, but is now this lumbering monster where his ax is just representative of his brute strength. It’s used in more of a clobbering, smashing way than a precise slicing that Darius does.

This also adds into potential story lines. We can draw parallels back into Sion’s previous life, perhaps in the heyday of the Noxian-Demacian war. Whatever might have transpired there could have caused his death and eventual arcane reanimation. But, that’s just it, he’s a behemoth which has been brought back, reinvigorated with undeath. Not really a Frankenstein which has been put together from other people’s parts, Sion is still quinticentially Sion, just an undead extension of his brutal formar sense.

We’re playing around with the idea that maybe he’s sort of like.. if the US were to resurrect a great war hero. What would that person be like in present day? What would they retain? We surmise that in undeath they’re motivations would sort of taper off where they’re core craft still exists, or their fighting spirit is still there. Maybe Sion is Noxus’ George Washington or General Patton, resurrected. Who knows!

“he FEELS NO PAIN, NO REMORSE, THERE IS ONLY DEATH. And if you kill him? I’LL BE BACK!”

That’s a great sentiment, like Prince Vigo from Ghostbusters minus the maniacal mentality 😛

Thanks for the feedback!

 

 

Is Sion’s character defined by his axe?

 

FeralPony Button Rioter FeralPony: Jumping in real quick as I’m working on the mechanics design on Sion. It’s a bit early to start talking specific mechanics here since we’re still very early in the process but I do want to confirm that we’re aligned on the thematic goals. Sion is an undead juggernaut.

 

Sion does have an axe and he needs to hit people with it. As to your concern of does the axe define him? Not at all. As far as I’m concerned mechanically the axe only exists because it’s the tool in his hands he died with and he uses it to break people. It’s about force and impact, not cutting and precision. Mechanically his weapon could just as easily be a hammer, a tree trunk, or a lead pipe. It just needs to hurt people and act as an extension of his force and brutality.

As for your concerns of him being a reskinned Darius I have no desire to tie Darius and Sion together mechanically despite being thematically tied (Sion is basically an older, deader, Champion of Noxus). They both have axes but that isn’t enough for us to make them similar. Just as Garen and Yi both have swords but are totally unrelated.

I am going to very upfront on one point though despite being very early in development, I have no intent or desire to retain the current AP Sion playstyle. It doesn’t make sense thematically, visually, or have much mechanically worth salvaging. Run at a bro – click to stun then explode before they can react is really harmful to the game as a whole and is an incredibly frustrating and binary experience. It simply is not worth preserving. We are trying out versions of the character where we keep the exploding shield because it is a really solid tank mechanic and has some cool gameplay around it. But the current Q is most definitely getting removed.

 

 

What sort of DPS do you think is appropriate for Sion?

 

FeralPony Button Rioter FeralPony: It’s a little mathy but yeah it’s something I’ll definitely consider. He is a champion that I think would look silly at 2.5 attacks per second. I’d rather see him with something like 600AD with a more reasonable AS in a DPS build 😛

 

 

Any ideas for his Q? Will it stay the same?

 

FeralPony Button Rioter FeralPony: I think shifting him a bit more in the fighter/tank direction is very natural and makes a lot of sense to fit the overall unkilling/juggernaut theme. This would involve retaining CC and mostly likely increasing the amount of CC on his kit. The current kit actually has a ton of CC, we’ll see how it plays out internally before I go into more details on it though.

 

 

 Suggestion: Sion’s new ult throws his target in a direction

 

FeralPony Button Rioter FeralPony: Thematically it’s super awesome and I tried this in the very first prototype. I even had a version of it where champions thrown into walls would bounce off back into Sion (Pro Wresting Style) but I really didn’t like how it played out when I actually implemented it and played with it.

It basically felt like a more frustrating/crazy strong Skarner Ultimate with clunkier targeting. I had to slash so much power out of the rest of the kit because it was basically a guaranteed death sentence to the enemy in any team fight that the rest of the character felt pretty unsatisfying.

The scenario of throwing someone back into their team (the cool play) almost never occurred, instead it devolved into just flipping them into Sion’s team every single time which is a much less cool version of the skill.

 

 

Will you get rid of his Schwarzenegger voice?

 

IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: That’s probably the direction we’re going to go. It’s just really an odd phenomenon.

 

 

 

 

Will you give Sion players a Classic Skin when he’s reworked?

 

FeralPony Button Rioter FeralPony: I can’t commit the relaunch team to it but I would suspect there will be a classic skin. Keeping the VO or the feel of the classic VO if there is a classic skin would be very likely.

 

 

 

Reddit J4 Ezreal Splash Topic

New Splash Arts for Jarvan IV and Ezreal coming to the client? Affirmative, according to Reddit.

 

Jarvan New Splash

Jarvan New Splash

Ezreal New Splash

Ezreal New Splash

 

 

Fan Art Showcase MagicnaAnavi

I’ll try to turn this into a daily/weekly series where I preview an artist and his LoL-related work. Hope you enjoy!

 

DeviantArt

 

Ashe

Ashe

Caitlyn

Caitlyn

Cyber Sona

Cyber Sona

Diana

Diana

Foxfire Ahri

Foxfire Ahri

Jinx

Jinx

Koi Nami

Koi Nami

Nanotech Caitlyn  (League of Legends)

Nanotech Caitlyn

Nidalee

Nidalee

Sona

Sona

Syndra

Syndra

Vi

Vi

 

 

Champion Rotation – Week 3, Season 4


 

  • Anivia – 3150 IP / 790 RP
  • Draven – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Elise – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Karthus – 3150 IP / 790 RP
  • Kha’Zix – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Malphite – 1350 IP / 585 RP
  • Nami – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Orianna – 4800 IP / 880 RP
  • Shen – 3150 IP / 790 RP
  • Sivir – 450 IP / 260 RP

 

 

Sale February 7

 

Champions

 

  • Dr. Mundo – 292 RP
  • Kog’Maw – 440 RP
  • Quinn – 487 RP

 

Skins

 

 

 

Missed any recent articles? Check below:

 

 

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Patch 3

 

Patch 3.13

Harrowing Skins

Ququroon: Nasus VU

Preseason

 

Patch 3.13


Champions

 


 

AatroxSquare

     Aatrox

Summary: Blood Well’s passive attack speed bonus now scales with character level (lower at earlier levels, higher at max level). Blades of Torment’s damage has been reduced (equal at lower levels, lower at max levels).

Context: Any champion can be frustrating to play against when they’re capable of building very tanky while still outputting considerable DPS, so we’re lowering some of Aatrox’s innate damage. With this change, Aatrox must build items for damage and won’t be able to simultaneously tank and smash face as easily.

 

Blood_WellBlood Well ( Passive )

  • Passive Attack Speed changed from 50% flat to 30/35/40/45/50/55% (upgrades every 3 champion levels)

 

Blades_of_TormentBlades of Torment ( E )

  • Damage reduced from 75/120/165/210/255 to 75/110/145/180/215

 

 

AhriSquare

       Ahri

Summary: Charm has had its mana cost changed to a flat amount at all levels but now increases the magic damage Ahri deals to a Charmed target. Essence Theft now heals her for a specific amount based on the number of enemies she hits with her passive-enhanced spell, as opposed to getting straight spell vamp. Fox Fire now deals less damage when multiple wisps hit the same target. Spirit Rush’s base damage and AP ratios have been slightly reduced.

Context: Ahri is a champion with a lot of strengths and few weaknesses, given her high versatility and reliability, so she can consistently apply a lot of pressure on her opponents from relative safety. Ahri’s strengths should be better defined than they currently are. These changes give Ahri players (and her opponents) clear areas of mastery that differentiate the good Ahris from the great Ahris. Our core focuses are:

  • Make Ahri’s default lane patterns more clear, so both Ahri and her opponents can make plays around them
  • Make Ahri’s “all-in” gameplay more closely tied with landing Charm to establish Charm as Ahri’s “kiss of death” that needs to be avoided, as well as lower her threat/presence while Charm is on cooldown
  • Keep Ahri’s core gameplay intact while trimming away strength from the low-gameplay patterns that don’t feel rewarding

 

Essence_TheftEssence Theft ( Passive )

  • Now heals Ahri for 2 (+1 per champion level) (+0.09 Ability Power) each time her passive-enhanced spells hit an enemy, changed from 35% Spell Vamp flat

 

Fox-FireFox-Fire ( W )

  • Mana cost reduced from 60 at all ranks to 50
  • Diminishing returns effect on same-target hits increased (means less damage) to 70% (from 50%) (best case is now 100% + 30% + 30%)
  • This reduces the same-target damage to 64/104/144/184/224 (+0.64 Ability Power) (from 80/130/180/230/280 (+0.8 Ability Power))
  • Fixed a bug that caused Fox-Fire to sometimes deal reduced damage to a target that should receive the standard damage amount

 

CharmCharm ( E )

  • Now increases the magic damage Ahri deals to the target by 20% for 6 seconds
  • Mana cost changed from 50/65/80/95/110 to 85 at all ranks

 

Spirit_RushSpirit Rush ( R )

  • Base damage reduced from 85/125/165 (+0.35 Ability Power) to 70/110/150 (+0.3 Ability Power)
  • This reduces the max damage per target from 255/375/495 (+1.05 Ability Power) to 210/330/450 (+0.9 Ability Power)

 

 

CorkiSquare

      Corki

Summary: Corki’s base attack speed has been reduced. Missile Barrage’s base damage has been reduced at earlier ranks and the cooldown between missile shots has been increased. Additionally, the cooldown between missile shots can no longer be reduced by cooldown reduction, but CDR will still affect how quickly you can gain missile ammo.

Context: Overall, we like the direction we pushed Corki toward with Trinity Force, but currently he’s too overwhelming to play against. Here we’re reducing excess power in a few areas to put him more in line with other similar spell-based ADCs. Ultimately, Missile Barrage should function as a powerful sustained damage tool rather than a source of burst damage.

General

  • Base Attack Speed reduced from 0.658 to 0.625

 

Missile_BarrageMissile Barrage ( R )

  • Base damage reduced from 120/190/260 to 100/180/260
  • Cooldown between missile shots increased from 1.2 to 2 seconds
  • Cooldown between missile shots can no longer be reduced by Cooldown Reduction (Cooldown Reduction still affects how quickly you gain missile ammo)

 

 

FizzSquare

       Fizz

Summary: The active ability power ratio of Seastone Trident has been reduced significantly.

Context: We’re aiming to reduce some of Fizz’s late game damage so that he has to rely more on successfully landing his ultimate or finding a way to stall until his next set of cooldowns come up in order to successfully assassinate targets in late game fights.

 

Seastone_TridentSeastone Trident ( W )

  • Active Ability Power ratio reduced from 0.35 to 0.15

 

Playful
Playful / Trickster ( E )

  • Fixed a bug where Fizz became targetable while still descending from Playful (he now only becomes targetable after landing, just like Trickster)

 

 

HeimerdingerSquare

   Heimerdinger

Summary: Heimerdinger’s kit has been significantly reworked this patch. Techmaturgical Repair Bots no longer works on friendly turrets. H-28G Evolution Turrets now fire a beam every twelve seconds in a projected line shot in addition to their regular attacks. Additionally, H-28G Evolution Turret will now shut down after a period of time if Heimerdinger leaves the area. Hextech Micro-Rockets have been reworked to unleash a barrage of rockets that converge at your cursor before fanning out. Enemies hit by more than one rocket take reduced magic damage from additional rockets. CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade now travels in an arc.

UPGRADE!!! makes Heimerdinger’s next spell free while also applying bonus effects. Upgrading H-28G Evolution Turret transforms it into a giant H-28Q Apex Turret that deals higher damage with a lower cooldown beam. Upgrading Hextech Micro-Rockets transforms it into Hextech Rocket Swarm, where Heimerdinger fires out four waves of rockets that deal damage on impact. Finally, upgrading the CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade transforms it into a CH-3X Lightning Grenade that bounces three times (dealing damage on impact and applying the base ability’s CC).

Context: Heimerdinger’s got some new toys! Our core goal was to give Heimerdinger the tools to differentiate himself in ability use and build optimization. In particular, we focused on diversifying the Heimerdinger experience so that each of Heimer’s abilities comes with its own form of gameplay and interaction – players will need to think carefully about how to use each in an optimal way. Raise your turrets!

Techmaturgical_Repair_BotsPassive: Techmaturgical Repair Bots ( Passive )

  • Heimerdinger gives nearby allied champions and H-28G Evolution Turrets 10/15/20/25/30 bonus Health Regen

 

H-28G_Evolution_TurretH-28G Evolution Turret ( Q )

  • Places a Turret at target location. Turret attacks prioritize Heimerdinger’s targets and enemies attacking Heimerdinger
  • Heimerdinger generates a Turret Kit every 24/23/22/21/20 seconds (modified by Cooldown Reduction), and he can hold up to 1/1/2/2/3 Kits at once
  • Cost: 20 Mana and 1 Kit
  • Cooldown: 1s

H-28G Evolution Turret Stats

  • Health: 150 (+25 per champion level)
  • Attack – Cannon: 15/22/29/36/42 (+0.125 Ability Power) magic damage
  • Attack – Beam: 50/75/100/125/150 (+0.5 Ability Power) magic damage in a line, 12 second cooldown
  • Maximum Turrets: 3

 

Hextech_Micro-RocketsHextech Micro-Rockets ( W )

  • Unleashes a barrage of 5 rockets that converge towards your cursor and fan out past it. Each rocket deals 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.45 Ability Power) magic damage
  • Enemies that are hit by more than one rocket take 20% magic damage for each additional rocket (max damage 108/162/216/270/324). Minions take 60% instead
  • Targeting the ability closer to Heimerdinger increases projectile spread
  • Cost: 70/80/90/100/110 Mana
  • Cooldown: 11s

 

CH-1_Concussion_GrenadeCH-1 Electron Storm Grenade ( E )

  • Hurls a grenade that deals 60/100/140/180/220 (+0.6 Ability Power) magic damage to enemy units and slows their Movement Speed by 35% for 2 seconds
  • Enemies in the center of the blast are also stunned for 1.25 seconds
  • Cost: 85 Mana
  • Cooldown: 18/16/14/12/10

 

UPGRADE!!!UPGRADE!!! ( R )

  • Heimerdinger’s next basic spell is free and has bonus effects

 

H-28Q_Apex_TurretH-28Q Apex Turret: ( R+Q )

  • Places a Turret that deals 90/110/130 (+0.33 Ability Power) magic damage with its cannon and 225/300/375 (+0.8 Ability Power) magic damage with its beam for 8 seconds

 

Hextech_Rocket_SwarmHextech Rocket Swarm ( R+W )

  • Fires 4 waves that deal 135/180/225 (+0.45 Ability Power) magic damage each. Champions and monsters hit by multiple rockets take reduced damage (max 550/690/865 (+1.83 Ability Power))

 

CH-3X_Lightning_GrenadeCH-3X Lightning Grenade ( R+E )

  • Throws a grenade that discharges three times, dealing 150/200/250 (+0.6 Ability Power) magic damage each time. Both the stun and slow areas are larger, and the slow is improved to 80%
  • Cooldown: 100/85/70
  • Cost: 100 Mana

 

 

JinxSquare
       Jinx

Summary: Switcheroo!’s Minigun attack speed bonus has been reduced at early ranks. Zap!’s base damage has been reduced at early ranks and its mana cost has been slightly increased. Zap! also no longer reveals stealthed units.

Context: We feel that while Jinx’s kit has a lot of built-in weakness in the mid and late game, her early lane dominance is so overwhelming that it distorts her overall power across the entire game. The goal here is to address Jinx’s early damage potential while trying to minimize effects on her late game.

 

Switcheroo!Switcheroo! – Minigun ( Q )

  • Total Attack Speed bonus reduced from 50/70/90/110/130% to 30/55/80/105/130%

 

Zap!Zap! ( W )

  • Base damage reduced from 30/75/120/165/210 to 10/60/110/160/210
  • Mana cost increased from 45/55/65/75/85 to 50/60/70/80/90
  • No longer reveals stealthed units

 

 

KassadinSquare
  Kassadin

Summary: Null Sphere has had its mana cost and damage reduced at later levels. The silence duration of Null Sphere has been increased at lower levels but very slightly lowered at max level. Riftwalk’s base damage and bonus damage per stack has been increased in addition to having a small AP ratio added per stack. Additionally, Riftwalk now refunds 50% of the total mana cost when it damages an enemy champion. Finally, Kassadin no longer gains magic resistance per level.

Context: Currently we feel like Kassadin’s play beyond the laning phase is too safe, especially when he gets ahead. He can deal consistently high damage at range with Null Sphere and Force Pulse while holding on to Riftwalk for a safe escape. These changes are focused on forcing Kassadin to use Riftwalk as a significant part of his damage output, which also gives opponents opportunities to capitalize on his mistakes.

General

  • Magic Resist per level reduced from 1.25 to 0

 

Null_SphereNull Sphere ( Q )

  • Base damage reduced from 80/130/180/230/280 to 80/115/150/185/220
  • Silence duration changed from 1/1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6 to 1.5/1.75/2.0/2.25/2.5 seconds
  • Mana Cost reduced from 70/80/90/100/110 to 70/75/80/85/90

 

RiftwalkRiftwalk ( R )

  • Base damage increased from 60/70/80 to 80/100/120
  • Base damage per Riftwalk stack reduced to 50/55/60 (from 60/70/80)
  • Added 0.1 Ability Power ratio per stack
  • Now refunds 50% of the total mana cost when Riftwalk damages an enemy champion

 

 

MorganaSquare

   Morgana

Summary: Morgana’s attack range, base attack speed, and basic attack animation have been improved across the board. Tormented Soil no longer reduces magic resistance per tick, instead it deals additional damage based on an enemy’s missing health. Morgana should deal roughly the same amount of overall damage, although there’ll be some variation due to how the new Tormented Soil works.

Context: This change is more of a modernization of Morgana and her Tormented Soil by rewarding her for being continuously aggressive with landing her Dark Bindings. Specifically, we wanted to reinforce Morgana’s standard damage combo of Dark Binding to Tormented Soil, rather than the “ideal” combo of using Tormented Soil’s magic resistance reduction to make Dark Binding deal more damage.

General

  • Attack Range increased from 425 to 450
  • Base Attack Speed increased from 0.579 to 0.625
  • Improved basic attack responsiveness

 

Tormented_SoilTormented Soil ( W )

  • Damage per second changed from 25/40/55/70/85 (+0.2 Ability Power) to 24/38/52/66/80 (+0.22 Ability Power)
  • Tormented Soil’s damage now increases by up to 50% based on the enemy’s missing Health
  • Damage now ticks every 0.5 seconds, instead of every 1 second
  • No longer applies a Magic Resist reduction debuff

 

 

Olaf_NewSquare

       Olaf

Summary: Undertow’s slow duration has been increased and its mana cost changed to a flat cost. Vicious Strikes grants more attack speed at lower levels. Reckless Swing deals slightly less self-damage to Olaf on use.

Context: We were overly cautious with our initial rework changes for Olaf, which left him undertuned, but not Old and Busted. However, now that we’ve addressed some of his old core issues, we feel like we can be more aggressive with tweaking his kit balance. These changes are focused on allowing Olaf to better stick to his opponents when he’s landing his skillshots properly, which will, in turn, allow him to better melt face when he’s in the zone.

 

UndertowUndertow ( Q )

  • Slow duration increased from 1.0 to 2.0 to 1.5 – 2.5 seconds
  • Mana cost changed from 55/60/65/70/75 to 60 at all ranks

 

Vicious_StrikesVicious Strikes ( W )

  • Attack Speed increased from 20/35/50/65/80% to 40/50/60/70/80%

 

Reckless_SwingReckless Swing ( E )

  • Self-damage reduced to 30% damage dealt (from 40% damage dealt)

 

 

RammusSquare

   Rammus

General

  • Rammus has received a texture update!

 

 

Courtesy of Skin Spotlights.

 

 

SivirSquare (1)

       Sivir

Summary: Sivir has received a visual upgrade! Sivir’s Ricochet will now be active for the next three attacks after casting and each attack bounces infinitely, provided it can find new targets to bounce to (it will never hit the same target twice). Additionally, targets hit by a bounce will take a flat percentage amount of damage. Spell Shield no longer costs mana to cast. On The Hunt no longer has a cast time but doesn’t provide a flat bonus attack speed aura. On The Hunt now provides a large movement speed boost that wears off to a smaller, longer lasting movement speed buff. On The Hunt also provides a passive attack speed bonus when Sivir activates Ricochet. Finally, Sivir no longer runs in slow motion (her movement speed remains unaffected).

Context: When we approached reworking Sivir, we shied away from homogenizing her as another generic Marksman. Instead we took a route where we wanted to highlight Sivir’s unique traits, like her ability to deal high area-of-effect damage with Ricochet and her large team-wide mobility boost in On the Hunt. Our focus here is to ensure that dedicated Sivir players will still be able to enjoy the core gameplay mechanics they’ve come to appreciate while also bringing Sivir up to our modern gameplay standards and aesthetics.
General

  • Sivir has received a visual update!
  • Attack Speed per level reduced from 3.28 to 1.6

 

Ricochet2Ricochet ( W ) – Reworked

  • Now when activated, Sivir’s next 3 basic attacks will Ricochet
  • No longer has a maximum number of bounces (each Ricochet can still only strike a target once)
  • Now bounces to the closest target (instead of a random target within the bounce radius)
  • Deals 50/55/60/65/70% damage to all secondary targets
  • No longer has a base damage
  • Cooldown increased to 9/8/7/6/5 seconds (from 7/6/5/4/3)

 

Spell_Shield2Spell Shield ( E )

  • Mana cost removed
  • Mana return reduced from 150 to 60/75/90/105/120

 

On_The_Hunt2On The Hunt ( R ) – Reworked

  • No longer has a cast time
  • Active no longer grants Attack Speed
  • Now grants Sivir a new Passive: Sivir gains 40/60/80% bonus Attack Speed while Ricochet is active
  • Movement Speed bonus now begins at 60%, then reduces to 20% after 4 seconds
  • Cooldown changed from 100/90/80 to 120/90/60 seconds

 

 

 

ZedSquare

        Zed

Summary: Living Shadow and Death Mark have had their cast wind-up time increased. Death Mark now spawns the shadow at Zed’s starting position rather than behind the target. Death Mark’s shadow will stay around longer and Zed can switch places with it at any range.

Context: Zed’s been a balance pain point for a while, especially at the competitive level. In particular, Zed’s current play patterns – while satisfying for the player – can be executed so quickly that they offer little to no reaction time for his opponents. In its current iteration, Death Mark sets up Zed’s gameplay for free with little execution needed beforehand. Because Zed’s intended gameplay focuses so heavily on manipulating his shadows, we want to force him to actively think about how he’ll use his tools to assassinate his targets.

 

Living_ShadowLiving Shadow ( W )

  • Significantly increased the time it takes for the Living Shadow to reach its destination (missile travel speed reduced to 1500 from 2500)

 

Death_MarkDeath Mark ( R )

  • Now spawns the Living Shadow at Zed’s starting position rather than behind the target
  • Increased the time Zed remains untargetable before dashing to the target to from 0.35 seconds to 0.75
  • Death Mark shadow duration increased from 4 seconds to 6
  • Increased the range at which Zed can switch places with his Death Mark shadow to 2000 (from 1100)

 

 

ZiggsSquare

      Ziggs

Summary: We’ve slightly increased the damage on Short Fuse. Bouncing Bomb can now be cast at targets outside of max range but will only travel the set distance. Satchel Charge’s radius has been increased. Hexplosive Minefield and Mega Inferno Bomb are both more effective against minions, with minions no longer taking reduced damage from multiple hits of Minefield and Mega Inferno Bomb dealing double damage to minions.

Context: We’ve improved Ziggs in terms of general utility while also trying to more effectively carve out his niche as a pushing /counter-pushing champion. Bombs away!

 

Short_FuseShort Fuse ( Passive )

  • Max damage increased from 139 to 150 (now scales non-linearly)

 

Bouncing_BombBouncing Bomb ( Q )

  • Bouncing Bomb will now cast when targeted outside of its maximum range (will fire to the maximum range in the targeted direction)

 

Satchel_ChargeSatchel Charge ( W )

  • Radius increased from 275 to 325

 

Hexplosive_MinefieldHexplosive Minefield ( E )

  • No longer deals reduced damage on multiple hits to minions
  • Damage radius per mine increased from 135 to 150

 

Mega_Inferno_BombMega Inferno Bomb ( R )

  • Now deals double damage to minions

 

 

ZyraSquare

       Zyra

Summary: Deadly Bloom’s damage has been reduced overall but her AP ratio has been increased. Rampant Growth’s passive cooldown reduction has decreased. The plants spawned from Rampant Growth have had their base damage reduced at lower levels, but increased later on. We’ve also improved Zyra’s overall feel by making seed transformation/enraging plants more intuitive.

Context: Our overall strategy here is to tone down Zyra’s early level poke damage and, while we are reducing some of her overall power, we also want to improve her ability to fluidly combo cast with seeds. Additionally, reducing the base damage of her spells while increasing the AP ratios is aimed at reducing her power as a support without hurting her capabilities as a mage.

 

Deadly_BloomDeadly Bloom ( Q )

  • Range reduced from 825 to 800
  • Damage changed from 75/115/155/195/235 (+0.6 Ability Power) to 70/105/140/175/210 (+0.65 Ability Power)

 

Rampant_GrowthRampant Growth ( W )

  • Passive Cooldown Reduction reduced from 4/8/12/16/20% to 2/4/6/8/10%
  • Plant base damage changed from 26 (+6 per champion level) to 23 (+6.5 per champion level)
  • Reduced the delay before seeds can be stepped on by enemies from 3 seconds to 1.5
  • Range increased from 800 to 825
  • Fixed a bug where spells would rarely not turn seeds into plants

 

StranglethornsStranglethorns ( R )

  • Stun no longer persists after the knockup ends
  • Now properly enrages plants created within the bramble zone after Stranglethorns has been cast

 

Minor Changes and Bug Fixes

 


 

JarvanIVSquare

   Jarvan IV

Context: This change forces Jarvan to be more accurate with his Demacian Standard / Dragon Strike combo while giving opponents some breathing room when trying to dodge it.

 

Dragon_StrikeDragon Strike / Demacian Standard ( E+Q )

  • Jarvan’s knockup collision radius reduced from 260 to 180

 

 

KhaZixSquare

    Kha’Zix

 

Evolution_Spike_RacksVoid Spike – Evolved Spike Racks ( R+W )

  • Slow increased from 20% to 30%

 

 

MasterYiSquare

  Master Yi

Context: Our original reasons for having Meditate’s mana cost scale so high no longer exist, as we were primarily concerned with AP Yi bullying lanes or Meditate refreshing multiple times in a fight.

 

Alpha_StrikeAlpha Strike ( Q )

  • Master Yi will no longer be hit by targeted spells during Alpha Strike

 

MeditateMeditate ( W )

  • Mana cost reduced from 50/65/80/95/110 to 50 at all ranks

 

 

NasusSquare

     Nasus

 

Siphoning_StrikeSiphoning Strike ( Q )

  • Fixed a bug where Siphoning Strike ignored Spell Shields

 

 

RengarSquare

     Rengar

Context: Rengar’s leap out of stealth has insufficient warning for his target, so we changed him to de-stealth at the beginning of his leap instead of mid-leap in order to give his target a fighting chance.

 

Thrill_of_the_HuntThrill of the Hunt ( R )

  • Rengar now de-stealths at the beginning of his leap when attacking a target from out of stealth

 

 

ShenSquare

       Shen

Context: Shadow Dash had a fairly large start and end radius to make the spell more forgiving to land. We no longer believe this is necessary.

 

Shadow_DashShadow Dash ( E )

  • Collision radius has been reduced at the start and end points of the dash

 

 

SwainSquare

       Swain

Context: We saw Carrion Renewal as a place to add strength without significantly impacting the phases of the game where Swain already excels.

 

Carrion_RenewalCarrion Renewal ( Passive )

  • Now additionally restores 9% of maximum Mana on champion kill/assist

 

 

 SyndraSquare

     Syndra

Summary: Syndra received a number of usability improvements to her abilities. Scatter the Weak now indicates where a Dark Sphere will travel and Unleashed Power indicates how many Dark Spheres will be fired.

 

Scatter_the_WeakScatter the Weak ( E )

  • Range increased from 650 to 700
  • Dark Spheres now have arrow indicators to show the direction they will travel if hit by Scatter the Weak

 

Unleashed_PowerUnleashed Power ( R )

  • Now displays a counter over the spell icon that tracks the number of Dark Spheres that will be fired

 

 

TeemoSquare

     Teemo

 

Noxious_TrapNoxious Trap ( R )

  • Fixed a bug where mushrooms gave experience

 

 

ThreshSquare

    Thresh

General

  • Attack Speed per level increased from 1% to 3%
  • Thresh’s basic attack wind up is reduced by 0.25% per 1% attack speed, rather than the standard 1%

 

 

TryndamereSquare

Tryndamere

Context: We’re trying to reduce the overall map mobility of Tryndamere so it’s harder to safely split push all day, but to do it without hurting his mobility in team fights.

 

Spinning_SlashSpinning Slash ( E )

  • Cooldown refund upon critically striking minions/monsters reduced to 1 second from 2 (refund upon striking champions unchanged)

 

 

VladimirSquare

   Vladimir

 

HemoplagueHemoplague ( R )

  • Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented casting of Transfusion and Tides of Blood for longer than the spell’s 0.5 second cast animation

 

PvP.net Service / Client

 

  • We made some changes that allow us to dynamically provide “Loss Forgiven” to servers experiencing hardware or connection issues. Players should see this more often if their game servers are having issues
  • We can now disable in-game items and features on the fly, so if there are new bugs or exploits, we’ll disable things on a more sophisticated level rather than turning off all ranked games
  • Improved Champ Select Timer accuracy and reliability (to be turned on at a later date).
    • The client will now actively sync its timer with the server during every phase. If your original timer is behind, you may see a jump as it syncs up with the server (e.g. jumping from 60 to 50 if you are 10 seconds behind). But you will no longer run into situations like having seconds left on your timer but having your selection window end prematurely.
    • We’ve also reintroduced the numbers 89 to the beginning timer, and 9 into the post Lock-In timer (did you realize they were missing?).
  • Fixed an issue which would cause the screen to briefly flicker black when selecting a skin in Champ Select
  • Temporary summoner icons for the Season 3 World Championship teams have been removed from the client
  • Fixed an issue where purchased champions or skins would disappear in rare circumstances

Friends List

  • Added redundancies to fix corrupted friends lists commonly caused by 3rd party chat clients
  • This will fix the following:
    • Online friends appearing offline
    • Opening the wrong friend when clicking on another
    • Friends appearing to be another friend
  • Fixed an issue where a player with a pending friend request would appear online after sending them a game invite
  • Group Chat Panels received a visual update to match the new updated friends list

Game Interface

  • Fixed a bug where some options, such as move camera on respawn, would not save
  • Players who receive messages while scrolling through chat history will no longer have their chat jump to the bottom

 

In-Game Mechanics

 


Attack Speed slows

Summary: Attack speed slows (IE: Nasus’ Wither) were immune to cleanse or other forms of debuff removal unless attached to a movement impairing effect. Now all attack speed slows can be cleansed and are treated like movement speed slows.

Context: We’re updating attack speed slows in order to have more consistent counterplay related to debuff removal. Essentially, we’re looking to treat all slows the same, whether they’re movement or attack speed based.

  • Attack Speed slows can now be cleansed as if they were movement-impairing crowd control effects
  • Affected champion abilities and items:
    • Gragas’ Barrel Roll
    • Malphite’s Ground Slam
    • Randuin’s Omen
    • Warden’s Mail

Champions with dashes tied to their ultimates

Summary: The following champions will now be affected by snaring or stunning crowd control abilities after they complete their dashes. Their spells will still be unstoppable, but most forms of crowd control landed while the champion’s using the ability will be applied after the spell completes. CC duration will tick down while a champion is mid-dash.

Context: We’re adding more counterplay for champions who have long-range dashes tied to their ultimates by making them susceptible to certain forms of crowd control after they complete a dash – like snares or stuns. Now if a teammate lands a snare in the middle of a champion’s dash, the ulting champion will complete their ability, but be snared at the end.

  • Crowd control effects can now be received during “unstoppable” movement ultimates (they previously discarded all crowd control effects), but those ultimates will still finish their movement regardless (crowd control effects can persist after the cast finishes)
  • Affected champions:
    • Jarvan IV’s Cataclysm
    • Nocturne’s Paranoia
    • Vi’s Assault and Battery
    • Malphite’s Unstoppable Force
    • Hecarim’s Onslaught of Shadows

Stealth Champions

  • Stealthing now causes a self-only screen tint visual effect.
  • Affected champions:
    • Akali
    • Kha’zix
    • LeBlanc
    • Shaco
    • Talon
    • Teemo
    • Twitch
    • Vayne
    • Wukong

 

Mana Cost reduction on Ultimates

 

Context: Reiterating our stance on high mana cost ultimates, we want ultimate abilities determined more by cooldown than mana cost. Rather than doing an individual context paragraph for each ultimate (which is what we did originally until someone pointed out how stupid that was), we gave them their own section.

 

 

AsheSquare

      Ashe

 

Enchanted_Crystal_ArrowEnchanted Crystal Arrow ( R )

  • Mana cost reduced from 150 to 100

 

 

LeonaSquare

      Leona

 

Solar_FlareSolar Flare ( R )

  • Mana cost reduced from 100/150/200 to 100

 

 

SorakaSquare

    Soraka

 

WishWish ( R )

  • Mana cost reduced from 100/175/250 to 100

 

 

VarusSquare

      Varus

 

Chain_of_CorruptionChain of Corruption ( R )

  • Mana cost reduced from 120 to 100

 

 

ViktorSquare

      Viktor

 

Chaos_StormChaos Storm ( R )

  • Mana cost reduced from 125/175/225 to 100

 

Alternate Map Balance

 

Twisted Treeline out of beta

 

Context: With the competitive season almost done, Twisted Treeline is finally ready to emerge from beta! This doesn’t mean design iteration will stop – we’ll continue with champion balancing, system tweaks, and maybe even a new item or two!

 

 

Crystal Scar

 

The following changes are for the Crystal Scar only

(Crystal Scar) Map-Specific Change: Self-Healing Penalty

Context: Dominion has evolved in such a way that this healing restriction no longer serves its original intent of preventing turtling. Instead, it’s only hurting champions that rely on regen or healing to be effective, so we’ve removed it.

  • Removed global self-healing reduction buff

 

(Crystal Scar) Map-Specific Change: Speed Shrine Buffs

Context: The previous version of speed shrine buff allowed for people ganking bot lane to come in at basically Ghost movement speeds, with the gankee having very little reaction time on a wardless map. This change is meant to alleviate some of the pressure to bot lane while making teams invest more if they want to continually pressure the lane.

  • Speed shrine buff now decays over its duration

 

S
TeemoSquare

     Teemo

  • Fixed a bug where his Move Quick passive Movement Speed was not being removed by Dominion turrets

 

 

Crystal Scar, Howling Abyss, and Twisted Treeline

 

The following changes are for Crystal Scar, Howling Abyss, and Twisted Treeline only

Grez’s Spectral Lantern

Summary: Grez’s Spectral Lantern’s combine cost has gone up and the damage has been reduced slightly. The active’s vision duration, cast range, and how long enemy champions stay revealed after exiting the dust have all been reduced significantly.

Context: This item was too cost effective for what it offered and these changes are to bring it more in line with other vision items in terms of cost and utility.

  • Combine cost increased to 350 Gold (from 150)
    • Total cost increased to 1450 Gold (from 1250)
  • Damage reduced to 15 (from 20)
  • Vision dust duration decreased to 5 seconds (from 10)
  • Lingering reveal reduced to 3 seconds (from 6)
  • Cast range decreased to 800 (from 1200)

The Lightbringer

Summary: The Lightbringer’s cost is being increased (partially due to Grez’s Spectral Lantern’s cost increase), and it is gaining additional defensive stats (health / armor / lifesteal) in exchange for a damage reduction. The active’s vision duration, cast range, and how long enemy champions stay revealed after exiting the dust have all been reduced significantly.

Context: Lightbringer is a niche item and will still be a niche item, but this build change will open it up to more champions.

  • Combine cost increased to 575 Gold (from 300)
    • Total cost increased to 2500 Gold (from 2425)
  • Now builds from Ruby Crystal instead of Pickaxe
  • Now grants +200 Health
  • Damage reduced to 20 (from 50)
  • Armor increased to 25 (from 20)
  • Lifesteal increased to 15% (from 12%)
  • Vision dust duration decreased to 5 seconds (from 10)
  • Lingering reveal reduced to 3 seconds (from 6)
  • Cast range reduced to 800 (from 1200)

Hextech Sweeper

Summary: Hextech Sweeper now builds out of a Kindlegem and Fiendish Codex. The overall cost has gone up and most stats have been reduced (health / AP). The movement speed bonus has been removed and the cooldown reduction has been increased. The active’s vision duration, cast range, and how long enemy champions stay revealed after exiting the dust have all been reduced significantly.

Context: Hextech Sweeper is a staple item on Twisted Treeline / Dominion and we don’t want to change that, but we’re making it a little less universally appealing by reducing the stats and removing the movement speed bonus. We’re also giving it a cooldown reduction boost to help out with some AP itemization issues.

  • Combine cost increased to 530 Gold (from 200)
    • Total cost increased to 2300 Gold (from 1920)
  • Now builds from Fiendish Codex (from two Amplifying Tomes)
  • Health reduced to 250 (from 300)
  • Ability Power reduced to 40 (from 50)
  • No longer grants Movement Speed
  • Cooldown Reduction increased to 20% (from 10%)
  • Cooldown Reduction is no longer UNIQUE
  • Vision dust duration reduced to 5 seconds (from 10)
  • Lingering reveal reduced to 3 seconds (from 6)
  • Cast range decreased to 800 (from 1200)

Sanguine Blade

Context: At 50 AD, this item was too cost efficient for what it offered. We’ve reduced some of the stats and raised the cost in order to bring this item more in line.

  • Combine cost increased to 600 Gold (from 500)
    • Total cost increased to 2275 Gold (from 2175)
  • Attack Damage reduced to 40 (from 50)

 

ShacoSquare

      Shaco

Jack in the Box

  • Fixed a bug where Shaco boxes were not properly revealed by the passive on Hextech Sweeper and The Lightbringer

 

 

Twisted Treeline and Crystal Scar

 

The following changes are for Twisted Treeline and Crystal Scar only

General

  • Turrets now have inventory items that describe turret mechanics

Blackfire Torch

Summary: Blackfire Torch has gained bonus movement speed in exchange for a higher overall cost and a shorter duration on the magic damage amplification active.

Context: Blackfire Torch is gaining the movement speed bonus that Hextech Sweeper had because while not everyone who uses AP should get an easily-accessed movement speed item, we do feel that AP casters should have one in smaller maps like Twisted Treeline and Crystal Scar.

  • Combine cost increased to 970 Gold (from 720)
    • Total cost increased to 2650 Gold (from 2400)
  • Now grants +10% Movement Speed
  • Magic damage amplification decreased to 4 seconds (from 6)

 

Twin Shadows

Summary: Twin Shadows’ overall cost has been reduced and the cooldown on the active has been reduced significantly, however the bonus ability power and magic resistance is being lowered.

Context: Twin Shadows is a great item on wardless maps, but the cooldown was too long to really make use of it. It’s been made cheaper to increase accessibility, while the stats have been reduced to reflect the new cost.

  • Combine cost reduced to 535 Gold (from 735)
    • Total cost reduced to 1700 Gold (from 1900)
  • Ability Power reduced to 30 (from 40)
  • Magic Resist reduced to 30 (from 40)
  • Cooldown on active reduced to 60 seconds (from 120)
  • Wraiths are now affected by speed shrines

 

Tutorial, Co-op vs. AI, Custom Games with bots

 

The following changes are for bot game modes only

 

  • Turrets in bot game modes (Tutorial, Co-op vs. AI and custom games with bots) now display an indicator of their attack range and their current attack state. You can disable this feature in the Game menu

 

League System

 

  • Players who earned silver in Season 2 will now have silver profile borders until the end of the season

 

Harrowing Sale

Limited Edition Skins and two brand new ones are available in the store!

 


Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks - 520 RP


Fiddlesticks_PumpkinheadSkin

Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks


 

 

Bewitching Nidalee - 975 RP


Nidalee_BewitchingSkin

Bewitching Nidalee



 

Nosferatu Vladimir - 975 RP


Vladimir_NosferatuSkin

Nosferatu Vladimir



 

Officer Vi – 975 RP


Vi_OfficerSkin

Officer Vi


 

 

Haunting Nocturne – 520 RP


Nocturne_HauntingSkin

Haunting Nocturne




Zombie Brand – 1820 RP


Brand_ZombieSkin

Zombie Brand



 

Haunting Zyra – 1350 at launch, 975 after


Zyra_HauntedSkin

Haunting Zyra




Other skins also on sale:


  • Kitty Cat Katarina – 975 RP
  • Zombie Ryze - 975 RP
  • FrankenTibbers Annie - 975 RP
  • Definitely Not Blitzcrank - 520 RP
  • Pirate Ryze – 975 RP
  • Headmistress Fiora - 975 RP
  • Haunted Maokai - 975 RP
  • Underworld Twisted Fate – 975 RP
  • Headless Hercarim - 975 RP
  • Mundo Mundo - 975 RP
  • Lolipoppy - 975 RP… I mean 1820… I mean 6500! Don’t buy it!



 

Awaken the Ancient- Virtual Update for Nasus

 

Nasus decoration

AFK Farming has never looked so glorious!

 

QuquroonButton Rioter Ququroon: Nasus is shaking off years of rough abrasion from the sands and returning to the battlefield with a complete visual update. Armored with refined plate and a higher fidelity look for his signature halberd, Nasus’s new model reflects his unbounded intellect and immense power.

 

Beyond the new model, all of Nasus’s abilities, animations and particles have been updated. His ultimate, Fury of the Sands, summons the ferocity of the desert tempest, and Spirit Fire burns with arcane etching upon the ground. Along with his model and visual changes, the Curator of the Sand’s sound effects and voiceover have been updated and expanded, exposing more of the vast archive in Nasus’s mind.

 

 

 

Preseason: Jungle Changes

 

Preseason Jungle banner

A preview of what we can expect for junglers in Season 4!

 

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: We’ve got some big things coming for the jungle this preseason. The overarching philosophy for our jungle update is to create more options and possibilities for junglers of all kinds. This moves us closer to the larger goal of ensuring that all roles and positions within League of Legends can feel strong throughout and make a big impact on the endgame. Let’s take a look at some of the changes:

The Season 3 jungle

  • Junglers are very strong early, but many are pushed into more of a supporting role by mid-game
  • Junglers frequently run out of camps to farm due to laning teammates ‘poaching’ jungle monsters
  • Junglers who can gank early are favored over any other type of jungler
  • Junglers who fall behind early have a very difficult time getting back into the game

Why do these things happen?

  • Jungle monsters don’t scale well

Jungle monsters grant more experience and gold (relative to minions) early in the game but don’t scale as well as minions. Therefore, ‘carry’ junglers can’t carry by farming the jungle – they must take lane farm or have multiple successful ganks if they want to achieve the same amount of gold and experience as laners.

  • The tradeoff between ganking and farming is not optimal

Farming the jungle does not provide enough reward compared to the potential pay-off of early ganks. Additionally, it’s easier for some champions to keep the jungle cleared while maintaining gank pressure.

  • It is better to concentrate gold onto a Marksman or Mage

In the Season 3 meta, gold was nearly always more efficient on a Marksman or Mage, regardless of position. This leads to rampant poaching of the jungle and junglers often find themselves at a clear gold disadvantage as compared to Marksmen or Mages.

Our new season jungling goals:

  • Flexibility in the jungle

We really want more playstyles to be viable in the jungle. Junglers will have more flexibility in choosing jungle routes, and the optimal jungle route will vary more depending on your champion.

  • More resources

Junglers who are more farm-centric will be able to obtain gold and experience similar to that found in solo lanes, offsetting the map pressure and lane support they give up by farming. “Farming Carry” and “Ganking Support” will both be viable play styles, with each bringing its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • More comeback mechanisms in the jungle

While counterjungling will remain a viable strategy, the jungler who is behind will now have more ways to get back into the game. (Some) Preseason jungling changes:

Here are some of the changes we are planning.

  • We’ll be adding an extra camp near blue buff and the wolf camp

By adding another camp, players can add some diversity to jungle routes and farm more resources. The extra camp creates further tradeoffs between ganking and farming the jungle because it’ll now be more challenging to keep the jungle clear. Besides that, the camp adds one more lever for us to balance area-of-effect vs. single target junglers. The additional camp also equalizes the number of camps on the north and south side of the map, bringing the blue and purple sides of the map a little more into balance.

  • Jungle monsters will scale with champion levels

Monsters will now have a ‘level’ that’ll be determined each time they spawn. This level will scale according to the average level of champions in the game. Bonus experience will be doled out if jungle monsters are a higher level than the champion killing them.

By introducing dynamic scaling and varying rewards on monster kills we’re aiming to encourage jungle farming as a viable playstyle. The varying rewards will act as a comeback mechanic and an incentive for allies to leave monsters to players who are a bit behind in the game. With the extra camp, poaching becomes less detrimental to junglers and remains a feasible way for laners to claw back an advantage in their matchup.

  • More gold flow options for junglers

No specifics today, but we’re looking to pour a little more gold into junglers’ pockets. We’re exploring the idea of tying additional gold income to things like jungler-specific items instead of Smite. This idea and having more reliably scaling monsters should increase gold flow for junglers. Again, these are a few of the changes we’ve got planned for the jungle. We’re looking forward to seeing how everyone adapts and even more excited to see how the jungler position evolves in the new season!

 

 

Improved Jungle Items

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: An introduction to jungle items without going into specifics

 

 

 

 

Wriggle's_Lantern_itemWriggle’s Lantern

Now the item for farming junglers, grants very bad combat stats but gives a very big increase in gold from jungle monsters

 

Spirit_of_the_Ancient_Golem_item Spirit of the Ancient Golem

Now intended for support junglers who will move with the team more than farm the jungle. Allows you to ‘bank’ the gold bonus for a little bit of time which you can cash in by killing jungle monsters.

 

Spirit_of_the_Spectral_Wraith_itemSpirit of the Spectral Wraith

Now intended to help mage junglers who are hurt by not having blue buff and needing to spend too much resources to clear jungle mid-late game. Will give Health and Mana back equal to a % of spell damage you deal to monsters. (Vlad and co. will still have their selfish spellvamp item – it just won’t be Spirit Wraith)

 

 

Have there been changes to Spirit of the Elder Lizard?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: Its been changed but I reserve my rights to tease.

 

 

 

 

 

What is the new camp like and how will it impact the game?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: For now it is a big bad red Wraith. Hopefully we will be able to make it awesome later on.

 

 

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: The new camp is a single monster who hits really hard.

Since we now have camps that consist of 1, 2, 3, 4 monsters it is easier for us to adjust the balance between single target and AOE since you now have enough camps to choose your route, opposed to before where we had to adjust the entire jungle.

 

 

Will jungle camps still scale with time?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: We are doing away with the time scaling, monsters will only scale with level now.

 

 

 

 

Have you considered having jungle items with bonuses that only work if you take smite as a summoner?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: I would shy against having very forced synergy, for one tying everything to Smite also kills builds such as Teleport Ghost jungle, Exhaust Flash jungle etc.

The level scaling will take into account AVERAGE level of champions in the game, so people who are lower level gain more from killing monsters in the jungle compared to higher level.

 

 

What will happen to the real tank junglers?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: We will need to make sure they do not fall behind too easily. If it becomes a problem we can make them jungle better mid-late game or introduce an item for those characters.

 

 

 

Have you considered making double jungle a viable meta?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: We will not force such changes, but if they become viable in a way that we feel makes the game better, we will definitely support them.

 

 

 

Will this new camp make junglers who need their ult quickly overpowered?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: We will need to balance junglers again once the changes have shaken out.

 

 

 

 

Isn’t gold still better spent on a Mage or Marksman than a jungler?

 

Solcrushed Button Rioter Solcrushed: That is still the case.

Difference is the jungler gets MORE gold than mages and marksmen from monsters.

Is 200 gold for the mage more efficient than 300 gold for the jungler? The answer is no longer always ‘give farm to the mage’ (or we would place it where it would not be)

 

 

What stops other lanes from farming these camps for more gold?

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: It does not provide more gold and exp for each individual camp, actually the individual camps give less rewards to compensate for there being more camps. So poaching is less strong than before.

 

 

 

Will the changes also apply to Twisted Treeline?

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: For now this is all for SR only

 

 

 

 

Is this a nerf to counterjungling?

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: It is a possibility we are worried about, but our tests to this point have signaled that counterjungling is still strong.

Specifically, since there are more resources in the jungle the jungler who is controlling it can get strong very fast.

 

 

How will ganking impact the jungler’s power curve?

 

  1. SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: If you get an efficient gank, you will still have an edge as should be. (It is a risky move)
  2. If you waste time ganking, the enemy jungler will be ahead as he has more resources to farm and monsters only adjust their level when they spawn.

 

 

How can junglers who are behind catch-up?

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: Characters who are behind in level to monsters gain more rewards from killing the monster. Jungle monster scaling is also set up so that the first few levels do not grant much stat increases.

There is a very big gap between ‘first advantage wins the game’ and ‘early advantages don’t matter’. Our game even with these changes are very far away from the latter.

 

 

How can ganking equal a better shot at winning than just farming camps?

 

SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: By snowballing lanes and gaining map control, the ‘guaranteed ‘ gold is not so guaranteed when your lanes are weaker than the enemy’s and you cannot fight against their invades.

 

 

Preseason: Game flow Changes

 


Preseason banner

How will Preseason affect the Rift? Find out below!

 

 

FeralPonyButton Rioter FeralPony: Hey everyone,

FeralPony here to run through some high level changes coming this preseason that fall under a topic we’re calling “Game Flow.” Game Flow is effectively how the core game functions and plays independently of specific roles, champions, items, etc. It’s how the minions move, gold enters and leaves the map, objectives are created, and how strategic battles are won and lost. It’s the systems in place that aren’t under direct player control.

So what does it include? Here’s a look at some of the changes we’ll be implementing this preseason:

  • Kill/assist gold
  • Game and objective timings (when things spawn etc)
  • Objective values/rewards (Turrets, Baron, Dragon, etc)
  • Experience
  • Inhibitor mechanics
  • Death timers
  • Map layout & brush changes
  • Jungle (this is a large enough system it’ll be included in another post)

Tons of Changes!

You might be saying, “By the factions of Runeterra, Pony, that’s a lot of changes!” You’d be absolutely correct, but the bulk of these are small changes meant to enhance other aspects of the game. Each of these changes have unique goals that I’d like to provide additional insight into.


Objectives

We’re making some adjustments to global objectives in Summoner’s Rift.

Dragon: The gold and experience rewards for slaying Dragon will now increase over time.

  • In the preseason, securing dragon will remain a worthwhile objective even into late game. In addition, dragon will provide more experience rewards for teams down in levels, making it a valuable objective for those who are losing heavily. Winning teams will want to keep dragon secured to retain their lead.

Baron: Baron buff is being shifted away from a team fighting bonus and towards more of a sieging bonus (think bonus movement speed or bonus damage to turrets)

  • We wanted to shift Baron buff away from an overpowering team-wide buff that gives the buffed team an advantage in any situation. Instead, we want to clarify Baron buff as a window of opportunity to end the game.

Turrets: The team-wide gold for destroying turrets is going down, but the gold given to the players directly responsible for destroying turrets is going up.

  • This change rewards players directly for taking positive action instead of diffusing the reward by splitting it up among their teammates.

Super Minions & Inhibitors: Downed inhibitors will no longer make all minions stronger. Instead, minions in lanes with downed inhibitors will now push harder than before, while minions in other lanes will be unaffected.

  • Clarity was the core goal here. Currently when a single inhibitor goes down it causes all minions on the winning side of the map to become stronger, thereby pushing down their lanes as well. This applies pressure to the defending team, but also allows players on that team to farm the pushed lanes in relative safety and possibly pick up a game-changing item or two. That said, it’s still very difficult to come back from a downed inhibitor because even after a great comeback play, the resurging team must still push out ALL of their lanes before the enemy team respawns. We’d like to give teams that make these epic plays a real shot at making a comeback.

Other underlying systems:

In addition to the changes we’re making to global objectives, we have some smaller changes to other underlying game systems:

Bounty Calculations: We mentioned this earlier in our support post, but we’re adding “assist streaks,” where players who have far more assists than kills will get bonus gold per additional assist. Additionally, we’re changing the way death streaks are reset. Previously, they were based only on kills and assists, but we’re looking into ways to tie in other forms of contribution. Finally, we’re also looking at bounty rewards in general and how much of an impact they have in the early game versus the mid to late game.

Minion and Jungle Spawn Timers: All minions and jungle camps will spawn earlier in the game.

  • We’re experimenting with shaving a little time off of when minions and jungle camps spawn to get the game off to an earlier start. There was just too much idle time in between loading the match and the first moments of action. Our changes here allow almost every opening strategy to remain viable without being too generous for map-wide team shuffles.

Brush Changes: We’re cleaning up a lot of the L- and C-shaped brush formations so that players can gain vision of the entire brush with one ward.

  • In the jungle, this means more accessible sight lines for both the warder and anyone attempting to move through the jungle.
  • We’ve also dialed back on some brush that we felt created odd combat situations. We saw situations before where one ward in one brush would leave fights stacked enormously in the favor of the team with the ward. We’ve trimmed back the brush in these regions to still allow for sight lines to be blocked and for melee champions to have a tactical zone to hide in, but brush no longer denies vision to entire battlefields when unwarded.

That’s about it for Game Flow! Some of these changes may be small, but we think that when taken together they’ll play a big role in making for a more dynamic and exciting preseason.

We’ll also be posting this on reddit where we may pass through to clarify some questions. Later this week we’ll be doing a global recap to follow up with the most up-to-date information from questions around the world!

-FeralPony



Missed any recent articles? Check below!


 

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Skype: chefoslr
IGN: NoL Chefo, EUW

tuning

The user Postal Twinkie brought up a suggested change to Akali on the forums, which lead to a good dialogue between Riot’s FeralPony and the community. Through this post a design philosophy surfaced that has some awesome implications and thoughts behind it. This will be a two-part article going over what the design philosophy is and then showing some examples, flaws and perks to this system.

This back-and-forth conversation brings up the three-talon strike of champion balancing: thematics, kit and numbers. These three are present in any champion and balancing requires multiple iterations until things are right. A flaw in character theme can be overlooked with a strong enough kit, but numbers cannot fix a bad kit. So what exactly are these three things?

Thematics

The first thing to consider is a character’s theme and how their abilities relate to it. The theme ties directly into how a champion feels and should feel, given their appearance and background. In theory this makes sense. You would expect Vi, a champion based around punching with her gauntlets, to have moves focused on being a beat ’em up style punchasizer. You would not expect her to be summoning flaming space creatures at enemy champions.

punchasize

Punchasize your face, for free.

A lot of the reworks on characters have been to address oversights in their thematics, as the only way to alter it is a rework. Thematics can be problematic, but not always. Nobody would see a spiked turtle (Rammus) and expect him to taunt things while creating an earthquake (Prehistoric Turtlesaurus didn’t), but this character miscommunication works because it ties into his other, predictable abilities.

Kit

The next stop on the way to balance-town is the character’s kit. There are reworks focused on kits, whether it is a small change such as removing armor from Lee Sin’s Safeguard or a full blown rework such as the Karma changes. A champion’s kit usually determines how hard they are to balance. Someone such as Lee Sin or Elise would be extremely hard to balance. You can’t simply look at numbers and adjust them; you have to see what impact each of those abilities has and isolate the instances where it is too strong or weak.

dualability

A lot of the double ability characters (Lee Sin, Elise, Nidalee, Jayce, etc.) are constantly played and fluctuate from “OP” to “playable”. Their kits are strong and offer a variety of options in play patterns while maintaining theme. Characters that drop off the face of the planet almost always have a kit that can be rendered useless by linear play and numbers. This can be seen in someone such as Volibear who’s play style is “run in and maul things.” This is very linear and he’s either able to maul things or gets exploded; there isn’t too much in between.

Numbers

Numbers are the final stop. They’re the fine dials you can play with in order to tune a solid kit up or down without making sweeping changes. After enough number changes with no real improvement in perception, a champion will typically see a kit or thematic rework. This was the case with Katarina and Shen where the changes made didn’t really fix their core problems. Number changes are also what creates flavor-of-the-month style characters, as a buff or nerf in a cooldown, base damage, health, etc. can swing a character back in line.

dianachart

Numbers matter too

While numbers can always make a character stronger or weaker, an inherent flaw in a kit cannot be fixed with numbers. Think of someone such as Sejuani in this instance. Her early game and tankiness could be changed by raising her base health, sustain and/or damage, but this creates the problem of her now being too strong in a best case scenario. Her kit either presses too much advantage with slows, AoE damage and stuns or falls flat on its face because she can’t take any damage in order to accomplish that.

Putting it together

We can see that problems in either thematics or kit can render number changes useless. There are constant complaints about champions going up and down in power level because simply tweaking numbers doesn’t work. The next part of this article will go over some problematic examples, the flaws and the perks of using this approach.

Until then, what examples can you find of a patch aiming at the wrong fix for a champion? What champions, like Akali, would be a lot more balanced with a simple (0.5 second cloaking removal) change? What champions would get better with a small kit change (minion pass through on Udyr’s Bear Stance) without a number alteration?