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Posts Tagged ‘stealth’

 

News Update July 23 Banner

 

Summary

Lead Game Designer Ghostcrawler took some time on the forums to discuss the overall direction of Riot’s balancing, the feedback from both the community and the competitive scene and how Melee vs Melee interaction should be improved. On Twitter, Morello continued the topic and added some tidbits about Riot’s current balance priorities as well as acknowledging the need to work on unpopular Champions. Balance Designer Statikk hosted a Q&A on the new Community beta and addressed specific Champions like Akali, Kha’Zix, Yasuo, Lucian, Lee Sin and Ezreal, Taric, Alistar, Quinn, Zilean as well as much larger topics like Spell Vamp, new Champions easily reaching the enemy backline and balance favoritism, or lack thereof. Finally, GPL icons are in store and clarity from CertainlyT on why Zyra’s W grants her “free’ Cooldown Reduction.

 

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PBE Update July 22 Banner

 

 

GPL Icons in Store Banner


 

The Garena Premier League (GPL) hosts South East Asia’s greatest League teams including Season 2 World Champions the Taipei Assassins. This season, we’re adding permanent summoner icons featuring the GPL team logos for 250 RP. If you’re a hardcore GPL fan, you can pick up all 12 icons for 2400 RP (20% off the regular price).

As before, you’re not just showing off your team allegiance with these icons – 20% of each purchase goes straight to the team, while we use the other 80% to directly support esports through prizing, streaming, events and more!

Rep your favorite GPL teams as they compete for the top spot of the Summer Season!

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Who does Riot balance for Banner


 

 

You seem to be terribly biased in balancing League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitHmm. I felt like Age of Empires 3 was pretty balanced. I did err on making skirmishers and dragoons cool. That was the last game I balanced myself, and it was over 10 years ago.

Now, I have hired a lot of designers whose job it was to balance other games, so I’m fine if you hold me accountable for the work they do, but it’s really not fair to the hundreds of developers who work on titles like WoW and LoL to attribute all the game design decisions to one guy, even if he does like to post on forums a lot.

If you have concerns about the high level direction of League, I’m happy to address those. If you want to talk about changes to individual champions, you’re better off addressing the developers who make those changes. I’ll point you to the recent Q&A with Statikk for instance.

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Is it true you want Champions with flashy plays to be LCS-viable

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe believe there are champions that are more fun to watch than others. That is absolutely not our sole balancing criterion or design direction though. I would say that over time we want to make more of the champions more exciting to play. The guys with fewer exciting moments and just several varieties of “hit that other dude,” are the kind we want to update.

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Do you not want Lee Sin changed before Worlds

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’m not sure if this was from me or Xelnath, but that wasn’t the message we intended to send. Rather we try to be careful as we approach the end of the competitive season not to make radical changes to the game. Preseason has been our traditional time to upset the apple cart. That doesn’t mean we won’t continue to try to balance champions going into worlds, and that includes Lee Sin.

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How are your plans to turn all Champions into OP frost mages going along

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s no fun if they are all frost mages. You need someone for them to dominate.

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What is the high level direction of League as far as Riot is concerned

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat’s a big question, and probably beyond the scope of a single forum post. But since I kind of asked for it, I will say that we want to improve champion diversity (both which champions get played and making sure they feel as different from each other as possible), we want you to play with friends (because that’s often a better experience), we want to explore strategic diversity, and we want to look at those areas of the game that are starting to feel a little stale (not just dated like SR, but stale mechanics as well).

I know that’s vague and arm wavy, but like I said above, preseason is a better time for larger changes, and we’d rather socialize these ideas to a lot of you guys in different regions to make sure we have plenty of feedback. It’s something we’ll start to talk about more. Stay tuned.

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TP’s short cooldown encouraged passive, melee-vs-melee top lanes

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYou touch on a couple of different issues that have a strong interaction. First, we agree that top melee vs. melee does get a little boring. Strategic movement (versus say just having short-term speed boosts) is a way to get those guys interacting a little more with the rest of the map, but we agree there are risks of passive play and having no consequences for bad play. Just increasing the cooldown might help with the second part but does nothing for the first part, and meanwhile means the summoner spell could just be dead. We don’t have any changes to announce but we recognize the problem.

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If you’re taking the flak for decisions, you should be getting the credit for them, too

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTotally, and I have no problem with that aspect of the internet. It’s the other half that bothers me. Imagine you’ve worked on say Braum for months, whether you were the designer or the writer or the artist making particle effects. Then the champion that has consumed so much of your life goes live… and some high level designer gets all the attention for it. That’s really unfair at almost any company and it’s particularly unfair at Riot. We really try to avoid the rock star thing.

I’m fine with you blaming me for anything (and most Rioters would feel the same way) because I also don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to pass the buck, but be aware there are a lot of people that work really hard on this or most games. Don’t boil down the company to just a few people whose names you might know.

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You shouldn’t balance the game around pro-players; they’ll adapt

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe don’t balance the game just for the pros. We do pay a lot of attention to how they are playing because A) they tend to influence what a lot of other players are playing, and B) their skill is such that they are very sensitive to small balance nuances that many other players might not notice.

 



As far as champion popularity, the issue isn’t that we are afraid of player wrath if we nerf popular champions. Sometimes the champion is popular just because they’re overpowered. But sometimes they are popular because they are fun or because others in the same role aren’t as much fun. We try to be very responsive to players, and that includes having a game that is balanced but also a game that is fun to play. If you keep slapping players across the wrists for playing fun champions it’s really easy to send the unintentional message that we don’t want them to have fun.

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Why does it seem like Riot is constantly understaffed

Ghostcrawler New PortraitRiot tends to have small teams, but it depends a lot on what that team is working on. The live team has more than 3-4 people, but that’s really not the whole story. A lot of Rioters contribute to balance, from playtesting, to live data analysis, to assimilating community feedback, to “Hey this experience happened to me last night, maybe we should look at it.”

 

There are also risks to having too many people working on a team — it’s hard to keep in tight communication and make sure two groups aren’t trying to solve the same problem in different ways. In any case, “design” is my team. I don’t tell the balance team what to do, except at a very high level. I talked a lot about WoW class balance, which led to this persistent myth that I did it all myself.

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Slower Champion release means less potential balance issues

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere are some solutions to having a huge champion roster. Yes, the game would probably be easier to balance at 100 champions or even 5, but that would be boring. One of the things that keeps League fresh (by which I mean it contributes but isn’t sufficient to solve the problem all by itself) is a constant stream of new champions (and some updated old ones as well).

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What purpose do you want Supports to serve on a team

Ghostcrawler New PortraitUtility is fun. We don’t want supports to just be warders, nor we want them to just be the dudes who don’t get any kills in order to funnel all the gold to their carries. We also don’t feel that we nailed the season 4 gold income, so it’s something we’re going to have to keep working on.

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Where’s the Bruiser rework promised for Season 4

Ghostcrawler New PortraitPromising anything is dangerous, because it implies we should ship changes that we aren’t happy with just because we said we would. The game still needs a fighter / bruiser rework. Some of that is itemization changes. Some of it is just giving melee champions some interesting ways to interact with other champions beyond just smashing someone with an axe or be kited endlessly.

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Who does does Riot want to balance League of Legends for

Ghostcrawler New PortraitUltimately, we try to balance for the players who are playing the game, which means all of them. I know that’s a tall order, but we wouldn’t be happy with a model that was to only balance for the best players or to neglect them. We do want LCS to be fun to watch, but we also want League to be fun to play for the Bronze player who is still finding their way. Sometimes those directions are contradictory, say for a champion that is only good in organized team play but not solo queue, and in those cases, balance gets super tricky.

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Why are most Champions forced into a single role and lane

Ghostcrawler New PortraitAll things being equal, champions that can fill multiple roles are cool. There are two big footnotes to this. First, we haven’t always been great at supporting novel use of champions. In the past, if an AD Marksman started to get played as an AP, we’d sometimes stomp it out quickly because it was unintended without really establishing if the play pattern was healthy (e.g. did it have sufficient team play and counterplay) and if players would be able to come up with strategies to counter that play.

We are trying to be less reactionary to those opportunities. Second however, game health still is a thing we have for which we have to be mindful. Jungle Alistar tends to be pretty frustrating for the other team, so it’s not something we’re likely to support without some fundamental changes to his abilities. Support Annie, Mid Lulu, AP Ez are champion roles we have no fundamental issue with, as long as they don’t eclipse the champion’s performance in all other roles.

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Is your design goal to make sweeping changes to keep League fresh

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt isn’t our philosophy to constantly reinvent the game. We think the core games is pretty compelling. There is a risk that League can get stale though. New champions and alternate game modes can help offset that, but you do see players who just get bored if they think the meta is too rigid or each game just feels too similar to the last. So in that sense, we do think it’s healthy for the game to evolve.

I think I am reacting most to the subtext of the accusation (which I realize isn’t yours per se) that the changes are sweeping, arbitrary or thoughtless. There is a happy medium between the extremes of ossification and the wild, wild west.

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Is there truly no room for melee DPS

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere is room for melee DPS, but we’re not there yet. It’s harder to give melee skill shots. It’s harder to give melee a reason to go in, do damage, then break off the attack, since they are designed to do damage in a small window (when they are in melee) and spend the rest of the time gap closing / being kited. It’s harder to keep the distinction between fighters and tanks, since fighters have to be fairly survivable to even get to melee.

We think we can address all of those issues, but they will take time, and sadly longer than we originally thought. Some of these changes are champion updates to give them more to do than just whack at an opponent. Some of these changes are more systemic, such as making sure fighters and tanks build items differently.

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How are we to speak with developers when they rarely respond

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe are trying to get back to that. There was a time when more Rioters were all over the boards and Reddit. For a variety of reasons, that has eroded somewhat, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I personally always loved that about Riot, and it’s something I am passionate about trying to get back to.

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It seems Riot underrates small tweaks made to Champions

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll be totally frank here. I think it’s playtesting. The logic the designers use to make every change is typically pretty sound and we have a culture of beating up ideas. By that I mean, nobody is changing anything without getting a lot of input. We also try to leave room to react to player feedback when you guys see the patch notes or even our initial thoughts on potential changes.

We also do have some very strong players who work here (i.e. Challenger tier) and we rely a lot on them and a whole bunch of other Rioters to put these changes through their paces. But even if we played 200 games with every balance tweak, that is far, far fewer than the bazillions of games that get played when a patch goes live. Yes, there are plenty of unintended consequences that we really should have caught, but there are others that we just never realistically could have predicted until some smart player tried out something wacky and a bunch of other players adopted it.

One idea is to try and leverage the PBE better. Most participants just mess around to get a feel for any patch changes, but aren’t really trying to exploit a change the way they will once it goes live. We have some other ideas as well.

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What exactly does the Design team do

Ghostcrawler New PortraitDesign is a discipline. The “big three” disciplines in game development are design, programming and art, though there are others as well (production, sound, QA, etc.) At Riot, teams are multidisciplinary, meaning that the champion team for instance has a lot of people on it that are not designers.

 

Not every team needs a designer on it. Some are focused on say engine refinements. Others have someone with enough design skill that they can fill in for not having a dedicated designer. Most teams that touch the game directly do have designers though. There are designers on the Live team who do balance the game. (It’s more accurate to say that they are accountable for short-term patch-to-patch changes that can’t wait for a larger update or rework, but that’s a Riot technicality, not something you need to understand to have an opinion on LoL.)

Fortunately, while your question sounds like you’re just curious, it isn’t necessary to understand how Riot (or any game developer) is structured in order to give feedback on the game. In fact, I often say that if your post is focusing a lot on the people making the game and not the game itself, that’s a good hint that your post probably isn’t super helpful in terms of providing us feedback. “I don’t think Jax is competitive in this situation,” is what we call actionable feedback. That’s the kind of feedback we can discuss. “Ghostcrawler nerfed Jax,” doesn’t provide us much actual information. Maybe it helps you feel better by venting, but as I pointed out, since you don’t really know how we structure our teams internally, your statement is likely to not even be correct.

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Why do Rioters respond to trolls but not to reasonable threads

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat’s a reasonable concern. My personal experience from a decade and a half of trying to communicate to players is that if you step into a good discussion, you risk derailing it. Devs can still read and appreciate the discussion, and we do, but if we try to “reward” the thread with our appearance, it ends up attracting a lot of folks who want to make “Rito where” posts or troll or whatever. Troll threads are in essence already ruined, so a dev jumping in can’t make it much worse. 

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Have you ever thought that some top laners liked Melee vs

Ghostcrawler New PortraitOf course. That’s why I asked the question. A lot of the answers are “Because then a ranged champ doesn’t shut him down,” which is a reasonable concern, but doesn’t really get at the issue of how to make melee banging away on another melee interesting. In team fights, we think there is more for melee to do, whether they’re trying to block the front lines or dive past them to hit the softer nukers in the back. But slow, top lane duels feel like they need some help.

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Riot doesn’t hate melee top laners, they just can’t balance them

Ghostcrawler New PortraitExactly. We are trying to formalize (for want of a better word) what strengths melee should have to help them offset the huge advantages that ranged champions have. The traditional solutions have been that melee are hard to kill, or they really mess you up if you fail to kite them. Both of those cause a lot of balance problems though. The first means melee slap fights are boring. The second means that melee vs. ranged encounters can be binary — either the melee zeroes the mage, or the latter escapes.

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Is it true you don’t know where the “Renekton” balance bar lies

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe Renekton “bar” came about, IIRC, because we were just nerfing whoever the dominant melee was at the time and the next melee would come take his or her place. We realized this was because many melee were just ball of stats without interesting interactions (I exaggerate, which I often do, but you get the point). We decided that Renekton actually had some interesting gameplay going on, so rather than nerf him, we’d make him the bar for how melee should act. That doesn’t mean just giving his abilities to all the other melee and it doesn’t mean buffing the stats for Mundo or whoever else to help them pass Renekton.

It means trying to find unique ability and item hooks for those melee below the bar. (Also to be clear, the bar doesn’t mean we nerf all other melee to have worse win rates than Renekton. It’s just a target for power and kit.) Unfortunately, that does take some time and exploration which is why we haven’t delivered on it yet. I hate that we haven’t delivered on it yet, but that’s the story for how it happened.

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QA on Balance Design Banner


 

 

State of Kha’Zix and Hecarim and popular Champions not being nerfed

Statikk New PortraitYou have made a ton of comments, and I’ll try my best to address them all.

1) Kha’Zix

Firstly, I actually think Kha’zix isn’t far off from being balanced. In fact, we have seen him get spot-picked in Korean pro games even in his arguably currently “underpowered” state (I believe they are actually evolving E first).

The changes to Q and its evolution path were actually largely motivated by Game Health concerns with the Isolation mechanic. Essentially, Isolation is a mechanic that works super well later on in the game when you are more heavily grouping up since you have allies to play around, but early on in the game (especially pre-6) avoiding Isolation is not really an option for some roles (ex: the opposing jungler). We think it’s appropriate that Kha’Zix has to invest in his Q to apply this kind of pressure to the enemy team that Isolation brings, and it’s clear that at least some evolutions such as E are still competing with it.

I think Volty (Kha’Zix’s original designer) kind of nailed it on the head when we released Kha’Zix. He claimed that Kha’Zix is a champion we have to normally re-visit in order to re-balance his evolutions to be competitive with one another, and I honestly agree with that. The game and our understanding of the game changes so much even on a daily basis. I suspect we’ll have to revisit his evolutions in the future, but for now we want to monitor how the Q buffs in 4.12 have affected him.

2) Hecarim

Agreed 100% that we went overboard with the Q Mana cost tuning the last time we changed him. This is something we’re looking to change with the next upcoming patch. His Q Mana cost will now be in the middle ground between where it was before and where it is now.

3) Balance “Favoritism”

I think it’s a bit unfair to jump to conclusions about why we are hesitant to nerf X champion versus Y champion. Firstly, there’s always going to be variance in the power of champions after we change them. Getting them right 100% out of the game is honestly unrealistic, as it takes time for everyone to understand how to optimize champions after we change them.

Lucian was a case where we were more concerned with ensuring that he was still functional post Attack Range changes. Yes, we went overboard on our first shot, but this is something that can be and will be corrected in the upcoming patches (everybody deserves a second shot amirite?).

Lee Sin is a different beast altogether. Firstly, we didn’t go through with our first initial larger changelist months ago due to a legitimate concern that players brought to us which was that we were fundamentally altering his gameplay identity with our changes. This made us go rethink our approach to Lee Sin and instead of normalizing him into a champion we know fits the game, we are trying to fit his unique identity (early game gambit, late game falloff) into the game. This is something we will be pursuing fairly aggressively with Lee Sin.

In addition, we always have to assess what each champion brings to the game and how that can affect our analysis of the situation. Let’s be honest, Lee Sin is one of the most fun and exciting champions in our game, it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone why he is so popular. We’ll continue to adjust his power as we always have (and if you don’t think we’ve changed him a ton…go look at his patch history), but Lee Sin is a champion that as a design team we feel brings a lot of positives to the game.

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Melee Carries, Assassins, Access to Team Backline, Stealth & More

Statikk New PortraitHey Sayath, always a pleasure to read your posts. I’ll answer the questions in your Summary as best as I can:

1) State of Akali

Akali currently looks to be in a decent spot, and as I hear she is starting to gain more popularity recently especially in solo queue. I also think she will be benefiting from the changes we are making to the overall game to make it less anti-Assassin. As far as Game Health goes, I still believe she is a champion with a lot of flaws. When she gets ahead, there is usually very little individuals can do to overcome the situation due to her simplistic mechanics (tons of just “I click you and hope you die” abilities) and when she’s behind she has very little power to come back since she doesn’t have any strong “fallback” patterns and the her primary defensive ability (W) is still tied to our primitive and hard counter-y stealth system.

2) Squishy Melee

We are still exploring what it means to be a squishy melee in the game. Yasuo was obviously an experiment in this field. I see 2 possible positions for them:

1. Enemy backline (Assassin): I think everyone is familiar with this pattern. In my mind there are 2 inherent steps in this pattern – 1. The Infiltration to get to the right target and 2. The Execution when they arrive at the target to take them out. Assassins should be champions who rely on flanking and other creative ways of infiltrating towards the enemy’s high-priority targets. I think a large part missing in a lot of our Assassins is an interesting Execution phase, where they still need to make a play once they reach the target to finish them (maybe Zed after the more recent changes meets the bar now).

2. Ally backline (Melee Carry): This is a term we’ve thrown around a ton but have never truly delivered upon. A lot of the supposed Melee Carries we’ve put into the game are honestly very Assassin-like in their pattern since we often give them the tool to access the enemy backline. The idea behind this character would be similar to that of a Ranged Carry mindset – start with whatever targets present themselves, usually the enemy frontline and eventually make their way through the team to clean up the enemy’s backline.

Yasuo was a champion I believe had a lot of potential of fulfilling this role due to mechanics such as Wind Wall which keeps him safe from the enemy backline while he deals with the enemy frontline, but once again we ended up giving him a way to easily access the backling via his ult which I think really undermines this role’s purpose and essentially turned him into an Assassin. To me it feels like a somewhat lost opportunity.

3) Spell Vamp

Spell Vamp is honestly another old system that we probably need to revisit and re-set the goals around its purpose in the game. I would say in its current state, Spell Vamp being any more prominent would probably just lead to abuse cases. One of the largest problems with Spell Vamp is how much it favors resourceless champions vs. Mana champions. This is something we’d have have to take a hard look at if we wanted to adjust it, but I don’t think there are any immediate plans.

4) Stealth

I don’t just think it would be beneificial, I think it is integral to the health of all stealth champions that we figure out a better system for them to work under. The current binary / hard-counter system is one that provides little gameplay and disallows these champions to scale with player skill effectively. It’s something I’m very personally interested in investigating but have never found the time to.

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Who do you think are the top 5 Champions in need of Rework

  1. Statikk New PortraitUrgot
  2. Poppy
  3. Mordekaiser
  4. Yorick
  5. ??? – can’t decide =/

Once again, my personal opinion. I think the above 4 have incomplete/confused identities/roles within the game and have flawed play patterns that offer very little counterplay.

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Immobile Mid-lane Mages, Athene’s, Deathcap and Void Staff

Statikk New PortraitThis is definitely an issue that we have struggled with a lot internally. We call this class of characters the “Immobile Mid-Lane Mages” and I 100% agree with your identification and breakdown of the problem.

I’m definitely on the same page with you when you say Mobility Creep is one of the largest contributors to this. As we’ve added more and more mobility to the champions in our game (for good reasons – mobile champions are really fun to play, create a lot of “outplay” moments, etc.), the Immobile Mid Mages have fallen off especially in the competitive scene.

The bottom line is that we have done a poor job of valuing Mobility as it relates to the amount of power it gives to a champion’s kit. Champions with high mobility need to be paying a larger cost for having that strength, and this is obvious with examples like Kassadin, LeBlanc, or Lee Sin. Mobility is actually a tool that scales extremely well with player skill, pros are able to exploit both the strategic map mobility and tactical in-combat mobility to its fullest extent.

As far as itemization goes, I know the Systems team is looking into different the lesser used items such as Rylai’s. The lack of Mana Regen in the Rylai’s + Liandry’s combo is interesting (I believe most stack a few Doran’s Rings to try to get around this), but overall I think it might be pointing out a larger issue in our game which is our ever-growing pool of Resourceless champions and how we have maybe warped the game to allow Mana users to compete with the resourceless guys over time. A big example of this is how strong Athene’s is at the moment. When you look at the item objectively, Athene’s is pretty insane in terms of gold-efficiency, but this leads to a scenario where the only mages that are viable are the ones who can leverage Athene’s effectively. This is something I’ll definitely bring up to the other guys on the team to see if this is another avenue we can help attack the problem.

Overall, I don’t think there’s an easy fix to this problem. I think we’ll have to do a lot of systematic changes to the game in order to get Immobile Mid Lane Mages back into the game in a healthy way, but it’s something definitely on our radar (just not right at this moment since we are prepping for Worlds).

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 Lucian feels like a better Ezreal right now

Statikk New PortraitFirstly, I’ll start with new Lucian. Flat out, he’s just currently overtuned and that will be corrected soon. This means that Lucian’s current state is not really a useful grounds of comparison when it comes to power level.

To address Ezreal, we honestly feel Ezreal is still fitting the vision we set for him. He’s a long-range, mobile, poke ADC and he fits that pretty well. In fact, Ezreal is still being valued in the Korean competitive scene.

I don’t think it can be easily assumed that Ezreal is “weak” at the moment. He has things that Lucian doesn’t have (long range) and Lucian has things that Ezreal doesn’t have (hyper mobility). That’s a great place to be in when they can be valued for different reasons. I think something to clarify is that Ezreal should probably not be the most mobile ADC in the game given that he has such high range. He can be mobile sure (and he is because of his E), but being the most mobile is probably not ideal given his other strengths. I think it’s easy to forget, once a champion has not been dominant for a while, the times they actually were dominant and how small of a change it takes for us to revert back to those times.

Purely using Win Rates averaged over all skill levels is a dangerous way to approach game balance. In fact, I think this kind of mentality has heavily contributed to the Mobility Creep that continues to grow in our game. Some things simply scale extremely well with player skill level – it turns out that Mobility is one of these things. The fact that a lot of our more mobile champions do have “lower” win rates is not an accident or mistake. It takes a ton of mastery and skill to leverage Mobility to its maximum potential.

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What’s your opinion on underplayed Supports like Zilean, Alistar and Taric

Statikk New Portrait1) Taric

Similar to Garen, I think Taric is at a place where we have to weigh simplicity vs. mastery. If we were to change Taric, I doubt we would put more emphasis on Auras as they are biggest examples of “Power without Gameplay.” Stat-based Auras typically have to be fairly game-warping before they are noticeable and satisfying, which is why we usually avoid them.

Overall, I think we need to find a more interesting core gameplay pattern than “stand near an enemy and press all your buttons” for Taric. I don’t want to get your guys’ hopes up, but we actually do have some experimental Taric changes that are pretty different from his current kit. No guarantees on if it will ever release or when, but he is someone who the Reworks team is looking at potentially changing.

2) Zilean

Zilean’s kit unfortunately has very little counterplay, and it’s the large reason why it’s hard for us to find a place for him in the game. Currently when he’s powerful, he creates an extremely frustrating experience for the enemy laner. He is also one of the champions that is higher up on the Reworks priority list, but because we would have to change his kit so drastically to make him healthy for the game, it will definitely be a while until we can release changes.

3) Alistar

The W+Q combo is something that we never intended to exist, but it’s something that Alistar players have gotten used to and is honestly integral to his current balance and gameplay. If we were to revisit him in a Reworks style approach, I think there’s a high likelihood that we would remove the combo and instead give him more ways to create situations where he can W enemies into walls to setup a follow-up Q. This is probably a healthier version of his combo, but it’s not something we’d do unless we supplemented the kit with ways to function and succeed without the combo.

I agree the heal is also something that doesn’t necessarily mesh well with his kit – both from a game health perspective and a thematic perspective. Functionally it is honestly just a bunch of sustain in lane (arguably not a “bunch” anymore now that we’ve tuned it down over time) and then falls off in usefulness once it gets to late game. It creates a fairly un-interactive lane pattern that is diametrically opposed to his all-in initiation combo style. It’s something I think we’d have no qualms of removing if we found something better to replace it with.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Are there any plans to rework Garen

Statikk New PortraitThe difficulty of a champion like Garen is that we see him as a great beginner champion. He’s easy to pick up and easy to understand, so he does bring a lot of positive to the game even when he isn’t necessarily a strong champion at the competitive level.

If we wanted to make him more healthy for competitive play we would have to start weighing the costs of adding complexity to his kit via new mechanics and probably adding more points of mastery in his gameplay which probably means making him overall more demanding to play.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned working on this game is that it is rare for any decision to be completely free of costs or tradeoffs. Almost every change we make that has a benefit also has a cost and we always have to weigh them against each other.

In Garen’s case we would have to understand the costs we would have to pay in his simplicity in order to make him a healthier competitive champion. I can say right now, that there are no immediate plans for work on Garen, but you’re definitely on the mark when you say that if we do go and change Garen we would need to try our best to preserve his low skill floor while still increasing skill ceiling (which is extremely difficult to do).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What's your view on Quinn

Statikk New PortraitIn terms of balance, we think Quinn is actually pretty strong.

In terms of design, I think we all feel Quinn is somewhat of a missed opportunity. Here’s a list of things I think we are not exactly content with:

  1. She’s a sub-par bot lane ADC
  2. She’s overly reliant on snowballing / doesn’t have a great fallback pattern
  3. Her ult specifically is great when she’s ahead (potentially makes her feel overbearing when ahead due to the amount of burst it adds) and feels almost useless when behind or even

Overall, I think Quinn is a fun champion with a lot of potential, but we’re simply not there yet.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do you think Spell Vamp is in a good place right now

Statikk New PortraitUnfortunately, I actually don’t have a ton of insight into Spell Vamp and how it should function in our game (probably more appropriate for one of our Systems guys like Xypherous), but I will say that although a “Spell Vamp ratio” on each spell would make Spell Vamp healthier and more functional in our game, it would be an extremely inelegant solution. For example, how would players know whether they had good Spell Vamp ratios or not?

We would probably have to display it in the tooltips somewhere and that has its own complexity and costs as well. I think you are getting at the heart of the problem though, which is that Spell Vamp is a lot weaker on champions who have to expend resources (Mana) to get returns out of it. Personally not sure what the answer would be here still.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

The Direction of LoL Balance

Morello was up on Twitter yesterday, tackling balance questions one at a time. The first 5 are sequential, after which come a small set of replies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will you address unpopular Champions like, say Viktor

 

Will you address Diana’s currently poor state

 

Don’t you feel that you’ve overnerfed Kha’Zix

 

How long does it take to rework or update a Champion

 

Which takes more time - new Champions or new updates

 

Will we see a solution to the ball of stats fighters

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Why does Zyra’s Passive on W give CDR and not, say, Magic Pen

CertainlyT New PortraitHi there. Zyra’s W gives CDR for two reasons:   First, Seeds have relatively little inherent value. We wanted to ensure that Zyra could cast more spells as she began to replenish her seeds faster, because as you put more points into W, you are expressing a desire to have more plants.   Second, because we wanted Zyra to be able to buy non-CDR items. We wanted players to be able to buy the items that made sense for them in their particular game from the entire line of mage oriented items, such as Zhonya’s or Abyssal Scepter, not be restricted to the (at the time) small pool of CDR items.

A bit of context: We struggled during her development to balance 0% CDR Zyra builds against 40% CDR Zyra builds. The latter could put so many seeds out that certain enemy team compositions felt completely stifled. When W’s cooldown was at a healthy level assuming 40% CDR builds, all other item paths felt terrible. Giving Zyra “free” CDR (20% on release) was accompanied by raising the cooldown of her W to compensate, meaning that Zyra’s effective CDR cap for Rampant Growth was 20%.   Today, it’s unlikely we would make the same decision, as CDR is a much more accessible stat. This is the reason that I lowered Zyra’s passive CDR on W from 20% at max rank to 10%. In a game now filled with CDR choices, the “free” 20% was actually stifling her ability to purchase items. Hopefully getting to 40% these days involves a good amount of choice and compromise without leaving the player feeling like they are struggling to get to cap if they so desire or going way over if they do opt for CDR items.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Can we have an update on Dunkmaster Darius

Baconhawk New PortraitThe answers to these and all your other questions will be answered in time, friend.

(He looks kind of amazing. Graceful, even).   [ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Lucian decoration

 

Rioters answer all your questions about Lucian below! Additionally, Scarizard brings a massive update to Rengar’s state, including the return of stealth and the Armor/MR from Battle Roar! Last (and kinda least) – the new Champion/Skin Sale!

Apologies for the article drought this week. I’ll be back on schedule as early as Monday! Also, there may be formatting issues with this particular article on widescreen resolution, so if you see any, you’ll need to resize your aspect ratio through your browser’s tool options.

 

Lucian’s Double AMA

Stalking returns: Rengar’s new Build

Champion/Skin Sale – Expires August 2nd


 
 

 Lucian’s AMA

 

reddit

Rioters gather to answer all questions regarding the latest addition to the League’s roster!

 

 

Feel & Design

 


 

[Valaran] Why does he carry two different guns?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: The fact that they’re different is very important from a story perspective, though, and something we focused on quite heavily during art iteration. One of the weapons belonged to his wife, and one of them was his all along. It was a tough challenge to make sure the guns were similar enough to avoid the implication of a different power source or different gameplay between the two, but still preserve such an important aspect of his story.

 

 

[Agracho] How did you get the idea for the Ultimate ”The Culling”?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: Couple more details – thematically, we wanted a moment in which Lucian could “let loose.” All of his other abilities are very focused, precise, and deliberate. In his ultimate, raw emotion breaks through his normally cool and collected personality.

 

 

 

 

[Jocko6418] When designing a champion, does the idea originate from a character concept, or an in-game mechanic concept? Which was Lucian created from?

 

nickstravaganzaRiotlink Button nickstravaganza: It can come from either, depending on the champion. Lucian was inspired first by the concept art. His gameplay went through many iterations, but he’s always stayed quite close to the first image.

 

 

 

 

[Velediron] I’ve noticed that when Lucian’s passive is used, if he begins moving, he continues the animation by shooting to his side/over his shoulder and I absolutely adore it. How difficult was this to implement and can we expect such smooth animations for future abilities?

 

nickstravaganzaRiotlink Button nickstravaganza: Hey, as Lucian’s animator, I can answer #5. That passive animation uses something called parametric blending, which allows us to blend between different animations based on how he turns. We’ve used it in the past on Thresh (his long chain) and on Zac (Stretching Strike). We’re using it more going forward and even on Lucian, it’s used on his W and his Ult in addition to the passive.

 

 

[Arcviral] How much has “The Culling” ( R ) changed during development?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: The Culling has basically been on the kit since Day 1 – but it was initially tuned as a ‘blow this guy up and do every bit of damage’ spell. The base Damage/Ratio are still very high, but we found that with that model Lucian’s Ult took up almost all of the power budget of the champion, such that his Q/W/E/P felt really useless, but then the Culling would just instagib people out of nowhere. We decided to make the Culling still a good portion of his kill/damage potential, but inject more agency into his other spells.

 

 

[Tnomad] What was it like working with Daniel ‘Zenon’ Klein on Lucian?

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: The day Daniel started, i thought to myself ‘I wonder if i’ll tear my hair out working with him.’ Many months later and after our first project – i can safely say i’m still asking myself the same question 😛 Truthfully though, Daniel’s personality i feel is what helped keep Lucian core through a lot of feedback and iteration. Champion Designers are usually the guardians of their Champion’s feel, and he was no exception in this regard. Quite sure i’m speaking for the team when i say it’s awesome working Daniel and would do so again.

 

 

[nothingxs] What was the focus of Lucian’s design?

 

morellovatar Riotlink Button Morello: Lucian was a weird process – it actually broke a couple backs on the way because of lack of direction on this front. In the end, we did something in-between; the thematics called for something that felt pretty “action-packed” (using references of material like the Matrix or Equilibrium), but we wanted to explore a space that was both more auto-attack focused to fit the role of a Marksman. Additionally, we wanted to try something a bit different than missile-based skillshots to get there, which leads to skills like Lucian’s Q and R being “aimed,” but not shooting normal skillshots.

 

 

[slinkyvagabond] Why was Senna abandoned in the story?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: In writing Lucian’s story (and being a woman myself), I struggled with this quite a bit. I admit that it does feel like a bit of a cop-out in the way it’s been presented so far, but the conclusion I came to was that the story we’re focusing on, at least for Lucian’s champion release, is Lucian’s. We did our best to hint at Senna’s deeper character – for example, it’s lightly touched upon that when they were together, she was the more no-nonsense and “tougher” of the two (with Lucian being the more light-hearted and humored). It was important to communicate, at least in a small sense, that she was more than just a cardboard cutout “damsel,” even if we were going to present very limited information about her.

There’s also the mystery of how exactly Thresh managed to manipulate and trap her – this is something we left intentionally vague, as it’s something we eventually want to reveal as very deep to Senna’s character. The most I can say is that it was not at all a simple trap. We’ve left a lot open for further development on Senna’s character, too – for example, I hope people speculate as to what her interaction with Thresh is like from within the lantern. Senna’s a fighter; she’s not going to take his torment easily. tl;dr – I admit Senna’s presentation in current lore is very limited. That said, we have discussed her very heavily and there is more to her than what’s been presented thus far. I very much want to develop her further and use her in ways that aren’t typical to the “damsel in distress” trope in the future. : )

 

 

[Sour_Jam] Why was Thresh picked as Lucian’s rival over other established villains?

 

morellovatar Riotlink Button Morello: Originally, we wanted them to be released near each other, but some release complexities changed that. We thought the lantern hook was good too – it’s easier to understand the relationship when a character already has “this thing holds souls.” 🙂

 

 

 

Follow-up:

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: To add to Morello’s post, we also wanted a character who stood in contrast to the Shadow Isles specifically. As Thresh was in development, it was an ideal opportunity to bring the two together.

 

 

 

 

[TxtsMinez]Was the replay button for Lucian’s load screen theme hard to implement?

 

Riotlink Button Verdugren: We have some awesome tech/art wizards who weave the black magic that makes the login screen work… They definitely picked up their game for this one and are always looking to level up what we do with the login.

 

 

[vakabiel] How did you end up working with Crystal Method on the login music?

 

Riotlink Button Verdugren: A bunch of us on the music team with Praeco are big fans (myself included) too of Crystal Method. We reached out and had an awesome vibe with them, and they loved Lucian. The rest is history!

 

 

[godplusplus] Is Hired Gun Lucian based on The Twins from Matrix: Reloaded?

 

morellovatar Riotlink Button Morello: There’s some influence from that there, for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

[suchareq3] His autoattack and ultimate particles are really unique -where did you get the inspiration for them?

 

riotsilverRiotlink Button RiotSilver: Lucian is all about light. Originally his particles in development looked very prismatic with many more colors than their current state. At that point they were pretty noisy and treaded a little too close to Lux’s particle design space so we ended up limiting the palette to a blue/yellow sceme that we feel still communicated the same thing, in a more unique and readable way.

 

 

 

Mechanics (from Zenon’s solo AMA)

 

 

[Cxarol10] What was the previous ult that he had? I heard it was some kind of missile.

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: Yup. It was called Seeking Shot or something like that. Here’s how it worked:

  1. You marked an enemy champion in ~1500 range. For the next 6s they received a Caitlyn ult icon over their head (placeholder art).
  2. Within the next 6s you could shoot a missile in any direction. The missile would travel in that direction for about 0.5s and then start turning toward the marked target.
  3. The missile would bank SLOWLY and overshoot and correct. I was madly proud of the fake physics I’d written for that simple spell. It gave the missile a feeling of heft and real world physics.
  4. Once the missile was locked onto the target for 0.2s in a row, it would go into dumbfire mode, accelerating and gaining most of its damage. The target line would change colour to communicate this changed state. This was when the enemy could sidestep the missile. It could be body blocked at all times.

There were a whole bunch of reasons why we canned that ultimate, not least of all that it’s an AP carry skill: it’s a skill for a character who relies on skill execution rather than positioning. It also required you to look in too many places and potentially stand still for too long while lining up the shot. Finally, the counterplay I imagined wasn’t there. Before I added the dumbfire mode people just shot the missile point blank at the enemy and all the banking was totally lost. After I added the dumbfire mode I never found the right set of values for missile speed/acceleration before/after dumb fire that made it challenging but possible to dodge.

I admit I still have the lua scripting shelved. Just in case I need it for another character at some point. It was my first complex skill ever, and I was really happy with it from a playing-as perspective.

 

 

[tzu3] What was the reason to not make Lucians Q a Skillshot since that would somehow make more sense?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: Morello answered this in great detail in the original AMA. Here’s my TL;DR:

  1. Our Q feels like a trick shot: lined up through a moving target, great range but dodgeable. If you hit it, you feel accomplished.
  2. Gating allows us to put greater power into the skill. It scales with bonus AD like mad once you get it to rank 5.

 

 

[DarkPercy] How does The Culling’s AS Ratio round up/down ?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: The actual formula, from memory, is (AS * 2.5/3/3.5) + 2.5, and it rounds down.

 

 

[Herpes_Vendor] Did you have an obvious lane combo in mind when making Lucian?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: I don’t think Lucian was specifically “made” to shake up the bot lane meta, but this is very much an intended side effect. Let’s see how it turns out! As for supports, we found that he generally works with most supports that are strong now (which is a good thing), but particularly supports that can hold the enemy in place for 3s.

 

 

[Magnissimus] Are you satisfied with Lucian’s current state?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: I personally am very satisfied with them, yes. Give it a few weeks, you’ll see.

 

 

[EonOmega] Is it intentional that multiple “Light” champions have Proc-based mechanics? (Leona-Passive, Lux-Passive/Ulti, Lucian Passive/W)

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: This is a tough one to answer. I feel there’s an underlying trope here of light marking enemies, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It feels right, you know?

 

 

[Zemnozz] What do you think is the priority for Lucian’s ult? Attack speed or AD?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: AD

 

 

[Vulkanus8] Do you expect to see Lucian on the competitive play? Why/why not?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: Too early to tell, but I’m hopeful!

 

 

Do you agree that Lucian’s reset mechanic is too hard to pull off?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: We’re okay with a useful E reset being a one in ten games thing. Thanks for your kind words!

 

 

[Zacheris] Isn’t there a disconnect between Lucian’s AS scaling on R and his natural AD scaling?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: Yeah, there’s a few things here. You correctly identified that AS “feels” good and we want to support that. At a very low / beginner level, you want to be able to build things that feel good and not completely screw yourself. Secondly, The Culling feels like an extension of Lucian’s auto attack. It just feels right to have it scale with AS also. Finally, at the top level it’s about build diversity. Once you have a bunch of AD and armor pen, building AS becomes very cost effective.

 

 

[NurokToukai] Is there any talk on the team to buff his ult?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: Early data suggests close to a 49% winrate. This is while we’re still in the steepest climb of his learning curve.

 

 

[grbee] Isn’t his W bad for his kit and why is it star-shaped?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: The star was there first. Casey made a badass looking star explosion and I made the skill to fit. And why would you say that? He’s all about mobility and the skill gives him more mobility.

 

 

[rafalemos] Have you seen the Q bug where it costs double the mana?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: Yup. Our QA vendors are on it.

 

 

[DemonDZ] Why doesn’t his ultimate scale with SotD’s AS active?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: It would have made the item too much of a must buy for Lucian.

 

 

[elguepo] Was the effectiveness of Lucian and Thresh laning together done on purpose?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: It’s partly an accident and partly me being a huge fan of CertainlyT.

 

 

[Bugslider] How does Lucian’s E fit his kit?

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: So the thought toward kit synergy in his E is that all his other skills require precise positioning. E allows you to get that positioning, even when a Nasus withered you.

 

Lore

 


 

[juffery] Are Lucian and Vayne similar in their beliefs?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: You’re right, they are very similar on a base thematic level (“hunters of evil”), but they’re essentially two sides of the coin – think of it in terms of darkness and light. Lucian and Senna hunted evil with its natural opposite, righteous magic intended to destroy corruption. They were also protectors; their motivation hinged on saving innocents in need as much as it did purging corruption. They were beloved heroes.

Vayne, on the other hand, is more of the Batman of Runeterra – she’s hell-bent on destroying the supernatural, but she is not afraid of using underhanded methods and turning the darkness against itself. Her methods are not always smiled upon by greater society. Personally, the similarities between them alongside the subtle differences are a really interesting opportunity for future interaction. They wouldn’t get along, but they’d share incredibly similar goals – perhaps they’ll end up reluctantly fighting a common threat one day. Who knows?

 

 

[ringadu] Was the Lucian / Thresh relationship planned around when Thresh was being made?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: We definitely wanted to leave a lot open-ended between Lucian and Thresh. Usually, when we develop relationships between champions, we like to leave some elements of the story to be explored in the future. As I mentioned in another response, Lucian and Thresh were actually developed around the same time late last year – Lucian’s gameplay just required a lot of iteration that led to his much later release date.

 

 

[Glyceroll] Is Senna stuck forever or is there hope for her escape?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: Senna’s pretty dang trapped for the moment. There’s nothing to say that she couldn’t be set loose – Thresh’s goal in taking her to the Shadow Isles was essentially to set her free there, where her powerful soul would be transformed into some kind of monstrosity. However, he hasn’t let her go… is he keeping her trapped as a tool to torment Lucian, or is there a deeper motivation behind his keeping her locked away? Food for thought!

 

 

 

[vakabiel] What powers the guns that Lucian uses?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: His guns essentially fire purifying light magic. They also cannot be fired by just anyone – you have to have certain qualities to be able to fire them.

 

 

 

 

[Velediron] What gave the inspiration to Lucian’s and Senna’s backstory and lore?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: The inspiration for Lucian and Senna’s story was actually pretty spur of the moment. Lucian and Thresh were actually developed around the same time (late last year) during the time we were focusing heavily on The Shadow Isles. We came up with the connection between them pretty organically – someone threw out the idea in a meeting. “Wouldn’t it be crazy if Thresh had the soul of Lucian’s wife in his lantern?” Everything else sprung up from there.

 

 

[Velediron] What’s the story behind the interactions with Hecarim and Mordekaiser?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: Lucian’s hatred of the Shadow Isles is centered on Thresh, but his mission to purge the undead definitely doesn’t stop there. He’s definitely encountered other denizens of the Shadow Isles along the way – thus the custom taunts. 🙂

 

 

 

[Velediron] Do you flesh out the stories more than just the lore that is revealed to the players? Is there a more intricate story about how Thresh actually tricked Senna and escaped from Lucian?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: Yes, there’s definitely more to the story than we’ve given away. We had a ton of discussion on how Thresh manipulated Senna and managed to capture her, but the things we talked about couldn’t be told in a way we thought would be satisfying or impactful to players. We chose to focus on the core of the characters involved and leave some revelations and story for the future.

 

 

[EinAardvark] From where in Runeterra is Lucian?

 

Runaan Riotlink Button RiotRunaan: He’s from Demacia!

 

 

 

 

 

[Epik-EUW] So, just to clarify because the Batman analogy made me slightly confused…. Vayne is more of an anti-hero sometimes adored, sometimes vilified (like Deadstroke), when Lucian is more of a traditional hero (like Superman)?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: Yes, that’s roughly it (though Lucian’s in a place where he’s “fallen” in a way after the death of his wife – he’s lost sight of the righteousness of his mission in favor of obsessive revenge against the undead of the Shadow Isles).

 

 

Gameplay

 


 

[Clavikus] How does Lucian’s ultimate interact with Lulu’s Help, Pix!, and how does his passive interact with the aforementioned ability?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: As Lulu’s Pix buff is a modifier to your basic attack, it would not have any interaction with The Culling (As the Culling is a spell) – but would double-shoot pixbolts with Lightslinger, as it’s two basic attacks.

 

 

 

 

[zachy55] Why does Lucian’s ultimate feel so lackluster late-game?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: I think it all comes down to your build – Varus and Miss Fortune are two champions with really powerful AD Ratios, but these will tend to fall-off if your build doesn’t support ability usage and instead favors sustained basic attack damage. Besides, doing damage while kiting or backing off as an AD carry isn’t something i would turn down!

 

 

Follow-up:

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: I think a lot of the power of the Culling is tucked away in the simple fact that you can move + cast Relentless Pursuit while using it. You’re totally right that the Low Cooldown is to incentivize using it whenever you feel the need without having to feel like you’ve wasted it – I can see us (do not misinterpret – VERY SLIGHTLY) upping the AD ratio on it, but the situations you’re outlining are the situations the ability is designed to handle.

Doing DPS in a fight when a bruiser decides to jump you? Hit Ardent Blaze + The Culling on them and move backward and enjoy repositioning while dealing damage. Balance on this spell due to a number of factors has always been on a knife-edge – a simple ratio increase can take it into ‘Lucian just uses his short cooldown Culling and everything dies’ or ‘Lightshow tickle-fight’. If it’s more the latter, as always, we’ll make changes if he needs it. Just not convinced he needs it at the moment.

 

 

[sublimeo12] Any explanation for why BOTRK is listed as his “essential” item, when items like BT and Triforce seem to be stronger on him in general? Is AS really that strong on Lucian early game?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Lucian scales with so many different stats that it really allows you to customize your playstyle. Builds like IE/PD give you a ton of spike damage with your basic attacks, but leave The Culling taking a backseat in terms of your overall damage output – while BT/LW make your Culling a god-mode R,  your basic attacks will be weaker than a crit investment. BOTRK fits his dueling nature and allows him to outplay his opponent easily, as well a synergizing with Lightslinger. It’s not my preferred way to play him, but i think it comes down to there being so many ways to utilize him that none were ever really going to feel like they were the best pick.

 

 

[lcarlos5] What kind of team comps do you see Lucian fitting in?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: We generally have seen him work really well in kite/disengage teams, or pick-based compositions. Things like Elise, Ahri, Thresh (funnily enough) – anyone that makes the opponent stop moving, Lucian can just turn on the Giga-Culling-Prismatic-Gatling-Death-Attack and blow through them with ease. Have to say I’m also hopeful of his viability in a double-AD composition that we’ve seen worldwide. Lucian Mid is quite good, due to wave clear, escapability and the aforementioned burst-damage. Played some tests internally with Lucian Mid and a Vayne Bot and between the two of us we cleaned house.

 

 

[DLEric] Why doesn’t Lucian’s Ultimate apply on-hit effects?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Pretty much echoing what people have said before, we didn’t want to apply on-hits unless there was a strong reason to do so. We’ve had periods of Lucian’s balance where his ult is 80% of the damage he deals to a person he kills and as such was kind of insane – Imagine getting hit with Frozen Fist or other types of onhits at the same time D: !

 

It just came down to a judgement call on our parts – the Culling is kind of a numbers-intensive ability when it comes to balance – adding On-hits into that equation lowers the amount of strength the ability itself is allowed to have due to needing to balance around the ‘best-cast (Ex. if Bork+Shiv+Iceborn Gauntlet+SOTEL Culling is insane, Culling without these items needs to be at 20% Capacity just because he -could- build them).

 

 

[alchemist87] Why isn’t his Q a skill shot? Any particular reason as to why it is the way it is right now?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: There were really two reasons driving this – one was that Lucian earlier on was missing a reliable damage ability which playtests showed that he really needed. We also felt that he needed a ‘trickshot’ type ability, or something that had him lining up shots or feeling clever about using well situationally.

 

This led to the Double Up + Ricochet style ability we have – in lane and in skirmishes, it allows Lucian to line up some nice shots (I’ve personally gotten kills -through- an enemy champion to their allied support or jungler a few times), but in the latergame you can still just put your mouse on them and fire away for the damages. Once we really embraced it as ‘Lucian uses a target to aim the laser, then fires it no matter what’ we also found interesting interactions (for instance, Vayne can tumble away from it, quicker movement speeds can run away from it) that actually made it feel much cooler from a playing against perspective.

 

 

[Deathzwergi] Will you buff Lucian next patch?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Likely not. If we need to buff him we will, but waiting and not overreacting to first-impression feedback and letting people get accustomed to the champion/letting people explore different builds generally yields better results. Personally, none of us are convinced that he’s weak, and data is trending to suggest it either. Daniel Klein and i already prepared Buffs in the event that he’s weak, or nerfs in the event that he’s OP and can change him if he requires either.

 

 

Isn’t Lucian a weak AD carry because he’s dependent on skillshots?

 

morellovatar Riotlink Button Morello: To be fair, we got this feedback about Caitlyn when she launched. I’m not convinced people have solved Lucian yet (Draven was similar too). I’d rather make it so more counterplay exists than less. We haven’t always done a good job of this, but no excuse to not do better 🙂

 

 

Fun bits

 


 

[vakabiel] When Senna was taken from Lucian did he sit on a park bench and stare at a cupcake with tears in his eyes?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: “She was everything to me. But they took her. And with her, they took my pastries and my cookies. That was their mistake – because now, all I’ve got left is a cold cupcake.”

 

 

 

 

[dida55] How does Lucian feel laning with Thresh?

 

RunaanRiotlink Button RiotRunaan: Awkward.

 

 

 

 

 

[Thomasedv] Anything crazy happen during development?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Nothing too gamebreaking, except when we implemented Ardent Blaze’s MS proc, ‘Blucian’ was the build we were testing. While that build still lives (No longer truly blue, just an AD + CDR build) – Spirit of the Elder Lizard’s True Damage (That was applied by the W spell itself) was proccing the Mark, allowing him to just get insane MS at long range without having to follow-up which was pretty OP D:

 

 

[Runningman4107] So how many John Woo movies did you guys watch in the process of designing Lucian?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Mandatory John Woo viewings. Daily.

 

 

 

 

 

[ravedave] How many man hours went into building Lucien across art, design, and coding?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Probably like half a day.

 

 

 

 

 

[Draki1903] NAME ALL THE ITEMS THAT HAVE AN EFFECT APPLIED BY HIS ULTI. CAPS LOCK IS MANDATORY.

 

Riotlink Button DanielZKlein: RYLAJS CRYSTAL SCEPTER. ALL SPELL VAMP ITEMS. ERR. ANYTHING THAT PROCS ON SPELL AOE.

 

 

 

Rengar bannerRengar’s new Build

 

Following the last, rather poorly received iteration of Rengar’s kit, Scarizard returns with promising changes!

 

 

 

 

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Hey dudes, sorry for going mostly silent this week – had a lot to get done and i don’t like to post when i know i won’t have time to follow up with y’all (this is why last week’s post came on a Friday evening so i had all weekend to keep talking)

So i’m likely going to format this horrendously because i’m at home and don’t have a screencap of the tooltip, but here’s the new idea for Rengar’s ultimate:

Thrill of the Hunt

Hunt: Rengar activates his Predatory instincts, gaining % movement speed and vision of all nearby enemy champions. During this time, Rengar also generates up to 5 Ferocity and his first basic attack will cause him to leap. Lasts (Long Duration) or until Rengar uses an ability/leaps.

After a few seconds, Rengar may choose to reactivate Thrill of the Hunt to enter Stalk.

Stalk: Rengar loses all bonus movement speed from Thrill of the Hunt, but enters Stealth. Lasts (Shorter Duration) or until Rengar takes offensive action.

If i can clarify more, let me know. The basics are that Rengar players get to choose which is best for the situation – to Speedcat for a chase or cleanup? or Stealthcat for an ambush or otherwise awesome juke? I’m excited about this version because it has a lot of flexibility in what Rengar can do throughout the game (by retaining Higher % MS than is on live via Hunt, but retaining the Stealth Ambush in Stalk) but doesn’t let you just hit R and run without being smart about it.

Bonus Question!– Consuming Ferocity on cast is still something i want to do, but i’d want to find a better bonus you get for ‘Empowering’ your Ultimate rather than duration. Suggestions? I anticipate a lot of ‘+Damage and +Stealth’ time, but i’m open to hearing what you guys have to say.

Let me know what you guys think, and sorry for the delay!

 

 

Is the “few seconds” wait for stealth necessary?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: This is something that can be toyed with, but the idea here is that the Stealth from Stalk activation has no delayed fade time like Live (where damage causes the fade time to increase). Basically if you catch a Rengar out and he ults, either A. He’s gonna book it the whole way, in which case you can see him the whole time or B. He has about seconds of running/juking he needs to do before he has access to his instant stealth.

 

Again, the intricacies of how/when he stealths is tunable, but i’d like very much for there to be a delay between the two.

 

 

 

Why didn’t you give him Eve-like stealth and can Rengar still Leap during Stalk?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: I’ve posted in one of the main-page edits why it’s unlikely that we’d give him Evelynn Stealth – but yes, you can still Leap out of Stalk. From Rengar’s Passive: While in brush or in stealth, Rengar gains bonus attack range and his attacks cause him to leap at his target.

 

 

 

 

After the stealth ends will the movement speed turn back on or does triggering the stealth end the ultimate entirely?

 

ScarizardRiotlink Button Scarizard: Once you activate Stalk, that’s it. Any of the duration you had in Hunt is now gone – you can maximize this in a long-rage engagement (Use hunt to traverse great distance, Stalk at the end) but in cases where you’ll Hunt, run at them and have a good portion of Hunt left, your decision to Stalk must be weighed againt using the duration of that MS. You don’t lose Predator Vision though – it’s just the movement speed.

 

 

Suggestion: Empowered = Rengar gains extra range on his leap based on how many stacks of Ferocity he consumed

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: One of the reasons we don’t do things like different spell ranges that are non-ultimate (Zac’s E is a recent example of where we’ve intentionally broken this rule) is that your enemies have no idea how many Ferocity points, if at all you’ve burned. So if you’re in Hunt mode and just booking it, how do i know when to use my disengage spell? How will i know when you’re about to leap?

I’d like to make the bonus something that Rengar-only kind of cares about. Duration fit that bill and i’m happy to go back to it, i’m just opening it up to see if there’s anything we can do. Damage incentives make you feel like you never want to ult UNLESS you’re 5-stacked, so making it too much of the ult’s power makes the optimization point feel necessary. Ideally, this feels like a thematic/fun bonus but something you could live without.

 

 

Suggestion: Kills or assists during ult grant Rengar an additional necklace stack

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: Really cool that Rengar could ever double-up on Trophy Gain, but i wonder about the implications of when/how. I’m unsure if Rengar (A champ who on Live is already approaching mechanical overload) could stand the complexity, but in a perfect world where we could do whatever we wanted, i’d want to see a ‘revenge’ mechanic.

 

Basically you lose a stack when you die, but if you kill the person who last killed you, you’d take back the trophy that ‘dropped’ and a new one – this would reset each death you had and you’d probably only get it once – but it would definitely be interesting. Unlikely that it’d happen, but i’ll keep my eyes open for Big Game passive.

 

 

Will I get the same stealth duration if I activate Stalk later?

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: Currently, Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

Won’t split-pushing with Rengar still be too dominant?

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: Possible, but there are many ways to combat this. Q no longer damage towers – or, Q does hit towers but doesn’t gain the 3 Ferocity or Attack Speed from towers.

Also, Hunt’s MS can ramp. Stalk providing no MS and a shorter duration also means that if he stealths after you find him splitpushing, you can actually fan out and catch him when he reappears.

Not concerned about this. There are more levers than even these that can make things less terrible in a world of gigasplitpushrengar, and i’m willing to do any one of them since they don’t really hit his -actual- power.

 

 

Community Feedback: Why the ult change?

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: Brief post before i head out for the day – been reading a lot of your Ferocity bonuses for R and while i appreciate the creativity, unsure if i’m gonna take anything i see – everything so far is kind of above the powerbudget i’d like to give it – i’m heading towards ‘nice, small bonus’ – where things like Tenacity, a Fear, extra Damage are all things that just make me feel like an idiot for ever ulting without max ferocity.

As for Hunt -> Stalk, i’ve seen a lot of you mention you think it should be reverse. Aside from my poor naming (Maybe Sprint->Prowl would be more accurate?), the basic idea around this is

1. Adds a window of time where Rengar can get caught out and still be outplayed – stealthing, picking a direction you want to go, and then bursting into speed to run away is kind of @[email protected] Hunt->Stalk at least has a period of time where you know he cant’ stealth you, and if you don’t play it right may not even need to use it.

2. Taken as evidence from our tests where the ult had no stealth at all – in most cases, i think ‘Hunt’ is more universal. When ulting with Rengar, more often than not you want to run fast. Whether or not you’re getting into position for an Ambush or just running a guy down, if your ultimate button gave you nothing else, MS is more consistent and you can form an expectation around the button press. Seeing low-health dudes and pressing R, only to know your giant MS boost is ~5s away from activation feels like they’re escaping from you just because we let it happen – while giving it to you upfront and keeping the Stealth optional allows you to premeditate it for when it would be useful to you.

Maybe i didn’t explain it that well – only got like 4h or so of sleep (Damn you, gamescom !_!), but i hope it makes sense. I’m still considering all of these suggestions, this is just snapshot on where i’m feelin’.

 

 

Suggestion: Stalk costs Ferocity to enter

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: I’ve seen this a bunch in this thread so far, but i don’t see it as having the same problems due to

– Stalk having less Stealth Duration than on Live
– Stalk losing Thrill of the Hunt’s movement speed
– Rengar’s overall burst being lowered

In general, there’s a much lower window for Rengar to Sneak-Attack you. He can also just run and leap on you if his goal is to just get to you, but if taking your opponent by surprise is important (say, in a lane-gank) that option is still available and potent. Overall it takes a lot more planning and execution to pull off the stealth-attack, but you can forgo the planning and just bumrush them (at the cost of alerting them to your presence earlier)

 

 

Update: Rengar’s damage still stronk, rolling back on W’s DR changes

 

Scarizard Riotlink Button Scarizard: Xelnath played him in the jungle and got like 1 bajillion kills (I think the final end score was 15/7/8?) building BTN, BT, Trinity Force, Infinity Edge and Berserker’s Greaves. They ended up losing to a few misplays, but so far judging by his in-game performance (and the screams of ‘oh god’ from the other members of Live Design) it seems like he’s still 100% capable of dealing damage.

W Mechanic is back to Armor and MR from AD Reduction – this hurts his early clear, but we decided that it’s actually pretty necessary for him especially now that he takes slightly longer to kill.

Sprint/Stealth ult is working out pretty well, going to play him myself later today from a Toplane position and begin working on that since jungle seems like it’s working fine (insofar as a bruiser-utility guy with strong laneganks or as an assassin), so i want to make sure that Toplane Rengar is still pretty strong.

 

 

 

 Champion/Skin Sale – Expires August 2nd


 

Sale 2nd AugustEnjoy the following champions and skins at a discount until August 2nd!

 

 

Champions:

 

  • Fizz – 487 RP
  • Maokai – 440 RP
  • Mordekaiser – 395 RP

 

 

Commander Galio – 260 RP

 

Commando Galio

 

Rugged Garen – 375 RP

 

Rugged Garen

 

Pentakill Yorick – 487 RP

 

Pentakill Yorick

 

 

Missed any recent updates? Check here!

 

Patch 3.10A – Riven jumps over walls, Nerfs to BotRK, Phage Reworked; PBE Update: Balance & New Turret UI; Dunkmaster Darius teased at Gamescom, New Skins & Lucian in Store, Scruffy explains Skarner changes & the latest Sale!

Pool Party Graves, Leona, Lee Sin and Renekton on the PBE, IronStylus tells the story of Leona’s skin, Lucian Spotlight & Making Video, No more stealth for Rengar, State of Taric and Massive changes to Skarner!

Massive PBE Update – Changes to Yi, Zac and Phage, New Teamfight and Dragon & Baron UI, Improvements to Champions Tab, Update on Skarner, Skins in development, More amazing Diana Art, Results from the Freljord Tribe Event and the latest Sale!

Patch 3.11 Teaser, Legendary Skin for Janna, Zileas on Game Design, New Bundles in the Store, Summoner shows unique Skin Splash Arts and the latest Sale!

Are Leagues better than S2’s Rating? Morello on LoL’s core design, Nerfs planned for Master Yi, Lucian still not live, Rioters object to Mercy Voting, No plans for Udyr VU and the new Sale!

 

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