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Will skins in the future be delayed past their relevant event

KateyKhaos Final PortraitWe’ve stated that we’ve got some stuff planned for Snowdown. In a case like that, yes, skins would be held for that event. There will still be instances where you won’t see a champion skin for a bit due to them being a part of an event/group of skins that will be released.

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What’s the status of Shens rework

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Meddler Final PortraitIt’s high ish on our list of smaller reworks (smaller as in some gameplay changes, with visual/audio changes as needed to support those, rather than a full relaunch). Marksmen polish, bug fixing and followup, plus Poppy, are the champion update team’s big priorities at the moment though. Shen’s rework definitely won’t be this year, early next year’s looking like it could be feasible though.

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Do youve an ETA for when Akalis rework will be released

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Meddler Final PortraitWe don’t have a timeline for Akali at present. Could be a moderate time after Shen, could be a long time after.

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Why not tackle assassins after your Juggernaut Marksman updates

Meddler Final PortraitWe haven’t decided which class to tackle after marksmen. Assassins are definitely a possibility, but still just one of several options we’re talking about. If doing assassins we’d definitely want to sync an Akali rework with that of course.

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Do youve any plans for Talon

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Meddler Final PortraitIt’d be good to do some work on him someday, give him some more distinction from standard assassin tools, a more meaningful passive and better counterplay. No current plans for that though, that’ll likely wait until we tackle assassins at a group whenever that is.

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Whats happening with the Taric rework

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Meddler Final PortraitFor quite a long time we were blocked from working on Taric because we hadn’t found what we felt was the right way to update him without losing core parts of his character. A little while back we found a direction that we’re really happy with, so we’re now in a position where we can look at putting him into the pipeline.

Progress in terms of direction and goals basically, rather than progress in terms of producing the actual character for the game.

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Will the new Champion Select roll out to ARAM 3v3 and Dominion

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[ Note ] You can find an in-game preview of the new Champion Select HERE.

Lyte Final PortraitWe have to first finish the “Blind Pick” version of this experience, then we’ll figure out how we want to tackle unique maps.

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Four premades in SoloQ will have full control over the surrender vote

Lyte Final PortraitIt’s pretty easy to detect if 4:1 premades are surrendering too early, holding the 5th player hostage, so on and so forth. It’s also super easy to resolve, including things like forcing 4:1 premades to have unanimous votes to trigger a Surrender. At the end of the day, there’s way less toxicity to 4:1 situations than players are portraying right now.

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Will we ever get the chance to kick a player from Champion Select

Lyte Final PortraitThe new Champ Select should solve a lot of conflicts because of the system design and things like Pick Intent, Pick 2 Positions, and Distributed Bans. However, if there are still meaningful negative experiences in Champ Select, we’ve considered allowing players to queue dodge and “report” a player and supply a reason. If the reported player was being toxic, we could make sure there’s no queue dodge penalties. But, for us to do this feature there would need to be meaningful Champ Select toxicity, say greater than 5% of lobbies.

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Will you solve the issue of players trollbanning other peoples pick intents

Lyte Final PortraitIf a player wants to troll, they are going to find a way to do it whether Pick Intent exists or not.

We believe Pick Intent is still a net-positive feature, and provides more value than damage. What we did notice was that by introducing Distributed Bans, far less players trolled Pick Intent. Because nearly every player has a “powerful” choice in Champ Select (whether it’s a ban, or 1st/2nd pick), players are less likely to troll one another in the drafting process because that other player could counter you with something equally damaging.

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How do you plan to balance premade groups playing in high ELO queues

Lyte Final PortraitThere’s a weird misconception around high MMR queues.

We can’t predict exactly what will happen, but here’s a few scenarios:

1) High MMR players will group together with their high MMR friends, and we’ll get to watch some pretty crazy matches between players from different pro teams queuing together. This will be highly competitive and entertaining.

2) High MMR players will decide to all go solo, so it’ll be just like Solo/Duo Queue today except sometimes they’ll face off against premade teams from a lower skill tier.

High MMR players are already waiting in queues and being repeatedly matched with lower tier players, or placed with teams that have Duo Queues of lower skill. This already happens, and won’t be fixed with Dynamic Queues. It’s not really easy to fix the problem of “not enough high tier players” in a queue 😛

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Why do the last three players in the new Champ Select get to ban

Lyte Final PortraitPlayer 1 and 2 get first and second pick, which we’ve seen are also “valuable” choices in Champ Select.

Whether we add more bans or not is a super complex topic that Ghostcrawler or Meddler have talked about before, so I don’t want to dig into it here again.

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What if a team with one Bronze Silver Gold Plat Diamond player queues

Lyte Final PortraitYou can’t even create that team because Tier Restrictions still exist in Dynamic Queues. Your team has to be within 2 tiers of each other.

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Will we be able to trade picks in the new Champ Select

Lyte Final PortraitYes, there’s still a Trade Phase in the new Champ Select.

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Can we just fill any team role

Lyte Final PortraitYou can do this! Just select “Fill” as your Primary position and queue up.

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What if I get countered or the Champions for the role I picked are banned

Lyte Final PortraitActually, just like in today’s Champ Select, if you really have to you can negotiate with your team to swap positions. Just like today, you could go, “Hey guys, I really can’t do well versus a Darius Top, anyone mind swapping positions with me?”

We’re not removing any functionality, you can still do this stuff today.

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Premade groups will ruin Solo Queue in Master Challenger ELOs

Lyte Final PortraitI’ll be honest, anyone that says they can predict how Dynamic Queues will shake out for high MMR players is just making a wild assumption at this time.

Even we can’t make a prediction about what will happen, but we can map out the scenarios. IF Dynamic Queues are dramatically destroying the experience for many players, we’ll know and we’ll figure out how to solve it. To say we should never try something because of a hypothetical scenario is being risk-averse. We have to be OK taking risks once in awhile if we want to keep pushing League’s potential.

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Will we be able to lock Champions to prevent them from being banned

Lyte Final PortraitWhen we introduced Pick Intent, it was critical that we also introduce Distributed Bans. Because every player has a “powerful” choice in Champ Select (either 1st/2nd pick, or a ban) we saw less trolling of Pick Intent because every player had some leverage over the other players. It’s a weird dynamic, but Distributed Bans were effective in reducing trolling. We do not intend on allowing players to “lock” something from being banned during Pick Intent because that could introduce far more damage than positive in the long run–imagine preventing a ban of an S-Tier champion that gets first picked by the opposing team. Chaos would ensue.

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Can we be allowed to report players during Champion Select

Lyte Final PortraitNot at this time. If there are still significant toxicity issues in Champ Select, we may introduce a feature to allow a player to dodge, and report a player and supply a reason for their dodge. With some machine learning magic, we could assess this report in real-time and remove any potential queue dodge penalties as well. But, this feature is pretty costly, so it’d have to be worth doing.

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Have you considered allowing players to queue for one role only

Lyte Final PortraitOne of the big criticisms of Team Builder Classic was queue times, so forcing everyone to choose at least 2 positions really, really improves queue times and ensures queue health. By allowing players to only select 1 position (even if they understand they are waiting longer to play that 1 position), it significantly influences the entire matchmaking ecosystem if only 20% of players choose 1 position only. To us, it’s not worth damaging the entire health of the queue to give players this amount of control.

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Why not group premades with premades rather than with solo players

Lyte Final PortraitThis pretty much already happens. We’ve made a few changes to the matchmaker so similar group comps are paired against each other. Premade 5s pair more with Premade 5s, before being paired with 4:1 or 3:2 for example. I’ll also note that really, the vast majority of players wanted Dynamic Queues, but of course Reddit is a pretty hardcore demographic and once a thread swings one direction, generally the opposition are not going to jump in to voice an opinion. Most players also don’t realize when they are in games with premades. Nearly 100% of Ranked Games has a Duo Queue today, but players only remember the games when Duo Queues were negative.

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Wont queues be just as long as with Team Builder if no one picks Support

Lyte Final PortraitActually, with the “Fill” position, we’re in a pretty good spot for position distributions. We’re also willing to incentivize the in-demand positions with some small bonuses from the future crafting system.

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Heroes of the Storm had groups in Solo Queue and the feature was removed

Lyte Final PortraitTo be clear, Blizzard’s reasons had to do with skill disparity and variance on teams.

We’ve added multiple matchmaking features that solve this problem including Tier Restrictions (you can’t queue with friends beyond a certain tier in skill). Also, CS:GO has a Dynamic Queue system that works pretty well, so you can’t just point to 1 game and say “it’s a bad idea because that game moved away from it.”

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Lyte Final PortraitWe’re also doing a lot of features like Clubs to help players find more friends to play with, and make more friends. We don’t have to do one or the other, we have to try many things!

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Why not split your feature into a Solo Queue and Small Group Queue

Lyte Final PortraitSplitting the queues into a Pure Solo and Group Queue would have all the queue health problems that we (and other studios) have faced before. When you have a smaller playerbase on a server like Turkey, both queues would be negative experiences. The more you segregate your playerbase, the worse the experience in each island.

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Why not add voice chat if youre trying to make League more teamoriented

Lyte Final PortraitWe’ve been doing a lot of research on voice chat and the impact it has on the game experience. We have some ideas for how we’d like to solve the negatives that voice chat has, but no teams are actively working on integrated voice chat for League. As you can tell with the 2016 Ranked changes, we are trying to make League more of a team sport, which does make voice comms more valuable.

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Skill ranking is irrelevant to how effective group matchmaking is

Lyte Final PortraitWhen players make statements like “Skill Ranking” means nothing, it might not actually reflect reality.

What does it mean for “Skill Ranking” to mean something? Technically, it means things like if I have Player A (1200 MMR) against Player B (1200 MMR) they will reliably win 50% of their matches against each other over 100s of games. It means things like if I have Player A (1240 MMR) against Player B (1200 MMR), Player A will win their matches 54% of the time if you’re using the basic Elo equation from Chess. Of course, this is a simplified model because most PvP games are team-based so there’s additional variables… but you get the point.

I don’t think players can concretely say that in CS:GO, the Dynamic Queue system is so bad that a significant number of matchups are erroneous and therefore Skill Rating means nothing. On average, a higher skill player will still beat a lower skill player. The question is, how consistently does this happen? If a higher skill player beats a lower skill player at a predictable % of the time, I think the system is working effectively. If a higher skill player should beat a lower skill player 60% of the time, but only beats them 40% of the time on average, something is broken.

I may have gotten a bit too into the math weeds here, but unless you can see the data like Valve (or like us), you can’t simply conclude that Skill Ratings mean nothing in Dynamic Queues. Could it become less accurate than before? Yes. However, if 30% more players enjoy Ranked, and Skill Rating means 2% less… is that a valuable tradeoff? Maybe. Until we try this out for a bit, we don’t know what those numbers will be and what the tradeoffs are, so it’s too early to make wild assumptions.

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Why do you think 41 queues will level out at 50 winrate for the solo player

Lyte Final PortraitWe’ve dug into examples like this many times before, and it’s generally because the Normal MMRs of the players don’t reflect their Ranked MMRs. This is a known problem that we have some fixes for called “Splashing.” Basically, as your Ranked MMR increases, we “splash” some points into the other queue MMRs to make sure they are all tied a bit closer. But, in practice this didn’t work too well because a lot of higher tier players mess around in Normals or only want to play casual in Normals with friends, so they DIDN’T want their Ranked MMR to affect other queues.

Long story short, it does look bad, but actually if you look at the matches holistically, you still have very close to a 50% win rate in those matches.

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Why not learn from Normal games how premade behavior affects queues

Lyte Final PortraitThis is exactly why we’d like to work in Normal Draft Queues first, because they are a close model of how a Dynamic Queue might work. We’re also testing “Ranked Queues” in NA and TR, to get an even closer model of how things might shake out.

We’ll know more soon, we just need players to give us a chance to try things before jumping up in arms and condemning it. We aren’t crazy, and we know this is risky–but, we want to try.

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How did you gather data that suggests most players want Dynamic Ranked

Lyte Final PortraitWe run random sample surveys across the entire global playerbase regularly, so we tend to get a nice representative response from all demographics–the hardcore, the average, the player that never visits forums, the player that visits Reddit 8x a day, etc.

 

The truth is, in every survey we’ve done, the majority of players were interested in Dynamic Queue. That doesn’t mean we just use that data point and force Dynamic Queue on everyone because we also saw that a non-trivial number of players were solo purists, and loved the idea of “true” Solo Queue and their experiences may get slightly worse because of Dynamic Queue. So, we assessed all the potential negatives that Dynamic Queue had, and implemented upgrades or new features that tried to address them. Did we succeed in making it overall a great experience for the vast majority of players? We don’t know yet. We need to try, collect data, learn, and iterate.

That’s how design is.

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I think the queue change will contribute to the communitys declining skill level

Lyte Final PortraitI don’t believe skill level required to be a top tier player has diminished over time. In fact, it’s increased over time.

1) When you look at Ranked data, most players are only proficient at 2 positions. 2.2, to be specific. There wasn’t really a time period in League history where players were proficient at all 5 positions. In the new Champ Select, you still have to master at least 2 positions to rank up effectively.

2) As the game has matured, the skill level required to compete has only steadily increased. There are more websites, guides, blogs, deep analysis on game mechanics than ever before which is improving education of players on game mastery. There is more infrastructure in eSports (for highschool, colleges, and pro) than ever before, and it’s greatly improving the ‘average’ skill level of top players. 4-5 years ago, there was no true understanding of ‘optimal’ ways to play the game, and you didn’t have to understand little nuances to be in the Top 500 players in the world. Today, by about Level 15, players already are beginning to get a feel for the meta, what champions are effective at what positions, etc. A top player today would absolutely crush a top player from a few years ago.

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What the majority of players want may not be whats good for the community

Lyte Final PortraitIt’s getting late–I need to get some rest so will skip some of your bigger discussions for now. At the risk of sounding offensive (which is NOT my intention with this reply), couldn’t we use the same arguments against solo purists? What if Dynamic Queue is something solo purists say they don’t want, but actually is better for them in the long run too?

 

My point is, I agree that players sometimes say one thing, but mean another. Or, sometimes players really don’t know what they actually want. But, I’d be wary assuming “the other population” is the one that doesn’t know what they want, and your population knows exactly what you want and that you must be right. It’s a game designer’s job to try to figure out the reality behind the fog, and try to understand what is actually the best experience–but I’ll be the first to say that it’s hard, and sometimes we’ll get it wrong. This might be one of those times, it might not be. But, we’re willing to give it a go and pivot as necessary–even if it’s mid-season.

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Marksman Update in the 2016 Season

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Ezreal Final PortraitChampion Update team here! While you’ve probably already seen the big changes due for marksmen (if you haven’t, check it all out here http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/site/2016-season-update/preseason.html ), we wanted to set aside a moment for a deeper dive. The new marksmen update comes hot on the heels of the juggernauts update (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/page/gameplay-update-juggernauts ) and, with so much changing so fast, we think it’s a good idea to pause for a more philosophical reflection.

But first, a quick look back.

When we set out to tackle the juggernauts, we were working with a whole lot of unknowns. This was a set of champions that didn’t have much in the way of strategic identity. By really highlighting their strengths, we gave them clear ways to succeed (and fail) in an unfamiliar environment. Making something from nothing is a really interesting space to work in and we think we’ve achieved our philosophical goal with many of them. The tricky bit, however, was calibrating the juggernaut’s appropriate weaknesses against their raw power.

With marksmen, we have a few advantages. First, because the class as a whole already has a clear function and they’re played in pretty much every game of League, we have a much stronger understanding of their capabilities and expectations. Additionally, because the core weakness of every marksman is “blow ‘em up,” they have some pretty clear checks in place when it comes to solo-carrying games.

Looking forward, our vision remains consistent: We want to give each updated champion a unique reason to be brought to a game, and we want each champion to feel different whether playing against, as, or with. For some, this means sharpening what they already do well, or should do well. For others, it means finding new elements that make them feel special. We want you to have a reason to pick Graves over Lucian, and vice-versa, outside of just dealing more damage.

Our additional goal is to ensure basic attacks between marksmen are as differentiated as possible. This is a new goal that’s very important for this group in particular, given how reliant they are on basic attacks.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the changes. We’ll be throwing out a high-level overview of the updates before we go a little deeper on the philosophy behind them, in case you haven’t checked out the site.

 

Graves Final Portrait

“This calls for the ol’ double-barreled ‘Hello.’”

Graves’ double-barreled shotgun is one of the most distinctive weapons in the marksman arsenal. However, this weapon was underutilized as a kind of mid-range, burst, poke, cone spell. So we doubled-down on the classic shotgun fantasy. Now Graves’ basic attacks fire four rounds (eight on a crit!) in a cone in front of him, dealing damage and knocking back minions. Graves has tradeoffs for this unique mechanic, as he has to reload after firing two rounds (but can quickly reload via Quickdraw), and his basic attacks can be body-blocked.

Because we basically pushed Graves’ Q onto his basic attack, we decided to give him a new Q in the form of End of the Line, where he fires out an explosive canister, leaving behind a trail of gunpowder. That canister then explodes after a few seconds (or immediately on colliding with a wall) and detonates the gunpowder for additional damage.

With the defensive buff from Quickdraw and his incredibly high threat on close-range targets, Graves is the kind of marksman you want to bring when enemies have a lot of backline access (see: diving assassins). The tradeoff here is that Graves loses out on a lot of long-range target selection that other marksmen have, since his basic attacks can’t go over enemies.

The changes focuses on pushing Graves’ identity as a close-range, brawling marksman, and we’re excited to see how he does once he gets into the fight.

 

Quinn Final Portrait

“Justice takes wing.”

Despite its innate coolness factor, Quinn’s old ultimate still had problems. It forced her into overwhelming danger, often leading to trades at the cost of her life (not a great deal!). We are re-imagining her ultimate to play up its tag-team, high-speed nature: Valor now swoops down to carry Quinn, giving her massive out-of-combat mobility. This sharpens Quinn’s identity as a rapid-response marksman. Quinn can aid skirmishes in the jungle, swap lanes to help ganks, respond to split-pushes (or split-push herself), and make it back in time to help with a team fight. Need eyes on Baron? Send Quinn to scout it out!

 

Corki Final Portrait

“Bombs away!”

Corki, the Daring Bombardier, hasn’t been very true to his title. Optimal play for Corki was to play it safe and poke from a distance; he lacked the tools to make big plays. We decided to fix this in an… explosive way. With the addition of Special Delivery – a single-time upgrade to Valkyrie that amps up the damage, range, and disruption of the ability – Corki needs to focus on what sort of decisive action he’ll take to capitalize on the skill. It won’t be easy, but the reward is huge.

Finally, to further push Corki’s identity as the magic damage marksman, his auto-attacks now deal split magic/physical damage and his gatling gun shreds both resists. This allows teams to build around Corki being the primary magic damage dealer, something rather unique in the strategic space of marksmen.

 

Miss Fortune Final Portrait

“Fortune doesn’t favor fools.”

Miss Fortune has been synonymous with the famed WOMBO COMBO since she first strutted onto the Rift, though much less so after frequent nerfs to Bullet Time. We wanted the WOMBO back, so we increased her ult’s duration by 50% and increased the number of bullet waves as the game progresses by… a lot.

As for her new passive, we drew a lot of inspiration from Double Up. In lane, Miss Fortune draws tons of strength from her Q, especially in a 2v2 scenario where she can put a lot of pressure on both targets if they don’t position properly. These changes are our way of doubling… down on that thematic, with more rewards for precise target juggling and positioning (the precision is important as well, as there are champions like Varus or Twitch who excel at dumping out a lot of group AoE damage).

 

Caitlyn Final Portrait

“Meet the long gun of the law.”

For Caitlyn, we had to ask ourselves, “How much further can we push the sharpshooter fantasy?” The answer: Like, a lot further. By giving Caitlyn massive range on any enemy she can net or trap, we’re emphasizing her sharpshooting strengths. Giving Yordle Snap Trap an ammo system amplifies Cait’s natural ability to create choke points, while also improving her ability to dominate territory around objectives. The choice between spreading traps for surprise ambushes and setting up lines of defense gives you different ways to capitalize on Cait’s role as League’s #1 sniper elite.

 

Kogmaw Final Portrait

“Feeding time!”

Everyone’s favorite Void puppy just got even more adorabler. Kog’Maw already has a familiar identity in his “Protect the Kog” team comp, but we felt we could amplify it while also separating him from other tank busters. Now, Kog’s Bio-Arcane Barrage doubles his attack speed and attack speed cap, up to five attacks per second (!!!). This makes him the quintessential attack speed “proc” champion, a low-mobility machine-gun of death. It does wonders for creating a unique itemization path and, of course, it makes him look way cooler.

As a quick note for Living Artillery: Changing the damage from raw poke to execution allows Kog to differentiate himself from other long-range pokers. Kog by himself might not make for the perfect poke composition, but if you combine him with enough additional pressure, he can pick off fleeing enemies while also becoming a central damage turret for his team.


So those are our rough thoughts on the update. We’d love to hear yours as you test the changes in action (soon), but these, in tandem with the marksmen itemization update, should bring some interesting changes to the class as a whole.

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Whyd you gut Miss Fortunes dueling potential in her Preseason rework

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Ezreal Final PortraitI can understand that feeling, whenever we refocus a champion’s design we will have to take power away from one area in order to place it into another. In MF’s case, we certainly took down her dueling potential a notch. Though in doing so, we’ve given her a much more solidified role in the aoe carry. She has even more incentives to pass damage around to multiple targets.

Ps. You are a badass for running jungle MF, how the heck did you do it?

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Is her new Love Taps passive a gimmicky bonus or a necessity on her kit

Ezreal Final PortraitOne of the problems with ADCs was that they all had the exact same play pattern. Part of our update is focusing on changing it up a bit. For example, Graves reallllly wants to get in close, Kog’Maw needs to plan ahead of time for his damage window, etc. For MF, she can still certainly get off a ton of damage on a single target, it just isn’t as free as before. Her bonus attack speed is actually far larger than before, just for a far shorter window of time. So now she chooses between short duels and long form target swapping.

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Whyd you make the more minor ADC changes for example to Ashes Q

Ezreal Final PortraitUnsure as to which Q change you are talking about, though I’ll chat about the main two. We made it only castable at 5 stacks since the ability was didn’t propose a good choice. Either you cast it well at 5 stacks and got a fantastic benefit, or you cast it below 5 and went home sad. For the cooldown removal, we really wanted to let players push the limits of the spell. If they were able to keep it up all the time, then they deserved to be rewarded!

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Are there any plans to update Ezreals W

Ezreal Final PortraitThere are no current plans to update Ezreal’s W. I do have to admit, I would love to see us update that ability with something far more interesting, but that is a change for the future.

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DEV BLOG Vision in the 2016 Season

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Pwyff Final Portrait Posting for Xypherous!

We’ve generally been happy with some of the new vision mechanics in the game with the advent of Season 5. However, as the vision system has grown organically over time, the map has become increasingly brighter and brighter since Season 4.

Additionally, the amount of unused trinkets and profusion of various vision types made it hard to consider expansions onto an already bloated system so this Season will mostly focus around concentrating the vision game to fewer discrete points.

Sight_Ward

First off, we’ve removed Green Wards. This is a pretty big sledgehammer to vision overall and the map is significantly darker because of it. We heard a lot of feedback on this and I wanted to give more context:

When vision is in a “consumable” state, it does a few things to the game that we want to change. First, because map knowledge is so powerful, the ideal state of vision for two teams is basically “as much as you can.” That means that teams will be perpetually funneling their excess gold (or in the case of supports and some junglers, their core gold income) into as much vision upkeep as possible. The compelling decision of when to ward and where to ward gets flattened.

For supports, engaging so heavily with the vision system means they’ll often need to give up late-game purchases and slot efficiency to ensure the map is well lit. For others, it becomes a gold dump to push an advantage. By taking all ‘safe’ vision (invisible wards) out of the gold stream and placing them on meaningfully gated cooldowns, teams will have to think a lot more about where they want to set up on the map, rather than it being a given luxury for who can do it.

In addition to the removal of Green Wards, we’re also doing the following changes:

vision ward

Pink Wards will still remain buyable and represent an investment into permanent vision control over an area. They’re also slightly cheaper and fall into Sight Ward’s original cost range.

  • Trinkets

The Trinket System has been streamlined down to 2 basic options, plus 2 “alterations” that become available at Level 9. Trinkets also now continuously improve with level rather than at discrete levels in the game.

Warding_Totem_item

Warding Totem will now behave like the upgraded Warding Totem on live which slowly charges up to store additional wards. The duration and charges have been tweaked to increase continuously with character level.

We like the flexibility and general gameplay of the upgraded trinket as it allows you to maintain vision over a small area for a long time or tactically cover a wide area by yourself if you’ve built up charges over time – giving it a much wider range of potential uses.

Sweeping_Lens_item

Sweeping Lens has taken a hit in power now that there aren’t potentially green wards everywhere.

To compensate, red gains the ability to warn against things that you can’t see in the area letting you know the shape or silhouette of things in fog of war without revealing them directly. This includes things like jungler monsters (check if that camp is up!) and Pink Wards, in addition to providing the silhouette of stealthed threats like champions in brush, fog of war or stealth.

Sweeping Lens’ core functionality becomes alerting you as to whether or not anything in the swept area can detect you and allowing you to disable them.

  • “Alterations”

Instead of upgrades, which are strictly better than the original trinket that you have, we’ve instead chosen to move in the direction of side-grading and altering existing functionality of trinkets.

These swap the functionality of your existing trinket by improving the power of some aspects and decreasing the power in other aspects.

Farsight_Orb_item

Yellow Trinket’s alteration – the Farsight Totem is unlocked at level 9 and functions similarly to the Farsight Orb on live with some improvements. You gain vastly increased range and a shorter cooldown… at the expense of having visible wards and losing the ability to build charges.

In a departure from live, these “blue” wards now last forever and don’t count towards your ward count. Since these wards are easily destructible by opponents, we don’t foresee this as contributing significantly to the overall vision of the map unless a team decides to use multiple blue trinkets in parallel to light up disparate regions of the map over time.

So you can light up the map as long as you do it as part of an ongoing campaign to hold territory for extended periods of time.

Oracle's_Lens_item

The Sweeping Lens’ alteration – the Oracle Lens (also unlocked at 9) – is more tame in comparison and very similar to the Oracle upgrade on live. In lieu of gaining true sight, the red trinket simply has a much wider sweep range and follows you around for 10 seconds.

However, combined with the fact that red trinket can warn you against enemy units that you can’t see – this means it will also provide a proximity check so you don’t walk headlong into an enemy ward or brush.

  • Closing

Vision remains an important key strategic strength in League of Legends. The current vision system has a ton of small moving parts, as well as a few mechanics that just make the system kind of obtuse to interact with.

We want to streamline the existing vision items to a smaller core set of vision items while also allowing that core to branch out in interesting directions and overlapping functions. Overall, the power in vision should be more condensed in the options that remain.

We’re taking advantage of the overall reduction in small vision buys to offer more interesting total item build options in the form of the Sightstone upgrades or the Jungle enchantments. Our goal was not to make the overall vision experience more complicated, but allow vision options to form the basis for more interesting total builds. From the support who forgoes his actives in favor of a powerful AP build, to the support who doubles down on active items, to the Jungler who forgoes combat in favor of map wide vision and utility.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Isnt the removal of Oracles Lens another indirect buff to stealth champions

Xypherous Final PortraitKind of? Other systematic changes such as Marksmen getting better kite / soak options / the removal of Brutalizer / the removal of Trailblazer and the like would probably be indirect nerfs to those characters.

The only stealth champions that haven’t been indirect nerf/buffed in a lot of ways is Akali / Evelyn / Twitch at this point. Eve has never been affected by the true sight from Oracles as her stealth shuts itself off and Akali’s stealth is rather situational.

Twitch, I agree might be a problem – but I’m not sure he was ever at a range to be detected by Oracles when he was murdering you in Stealth. Still – he’s probably the biggest beneficiary of the changes.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Vaynes impossible to fight without an Oracles Lens

Xypherous Final PortraitTrue – but so much of her itemization has changed that it’s hard to tell whether she’s better or worse from a total power perspective.

BoRK is noticeably worse early now, for example – so her assassination playstyle kind of takes a hit.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What about Shaco Rengar KhaZix and Vayne

Xypherous Final PortraitLoss of an early brutalizer and trailblazer hurts Rengar and Kha’zix pretty substantially I find. Similarly, Vayne and BoRK is no longer as powerful as an early power spike.

Shaco, on the other hand, builds whatever he wants – but Shaco is also likely affected by the loss of the early Brut as well.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do the Trinket changes mean people dont have to be reminded to upgrade them

Xypherous Final PortraitIt scales on a per level basis – so not for most roles. The goal is that people should only feel compelled to exchange their trinket when they want fundamentally different functionality – rather than just a more powerful version of their existing one.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If upgrades are supposed to be sidegrades why are they still levelgated

Xypherous Final PortraitExcellent question. They’re level-gated because they’re meant to serve mid-game or late-game vision functions that would be overpowered in early game.

Because players don’t move around a lot in lane – things that can affect others at a long range or a wider area are significantly more powerful – hence the level-gate.

If you want to be really specific – the best trigger would probably be something like ‘Buyable after laning phase’ – unfortunately, there’s no real way to tell when it ends that organically in an understandable way – hence the level restriction.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why cant we have some way of recharging Sightstone outside the base

Xypherous Final PortraitThere’s are a couple of reasons why you want players returning to base on a regular cadence – doubly so for a class that doesn’t have much other reason to return as their item upgrades are relatively less important.

More practically, this favors the team that is pushed in rather than the team that is pushing in most respects – as the winning team is the one best suited to ‘waiting out in the field.’ We’d never really be able to put a recharge timer on it that seemed useful without causing some really weird side effects in this case.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why was ward duration decreased from 180 seconds to 150

Xypherous Final PortraitThe goal was to make the map overall darker and chip as much unnecessary vision power away as possible – hence the reduction. It also helps separate the two use cases out for vision a bit better – shorter term stealth vision vs. longer term control over an area.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

So Sightstone was nerfed even further and isnt worth a supports item slot

Xypherous Final PortraitThat’d be a perfectly reasonable response if the item isn’t worth the slot. If that was the right call to make, I’d expect most of our players to do the same and then we’d simply adjust.

Not entirely convinced the item is weaker given that it’s one of the few sources of invisible wards – so the relative strength should be incredibly high – but if that’s actually the case – yeah, you’d be wise to avoid buying the item entirely.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

There needs to be a Sightstoneesque item that works like a Sweeper trinket

Xypherous Final PortraitI could see that – but the conflicting data point for me here is that the reason why Sweeper’s have such a high hit rate on live is that there’s always wards up due to the prevalence of buyable green wards – at least at higher level play.

I’m uncertain as to how much value is lost as we’re moving from a mostly-lit world in which Sweeper has a fairly high hit rate – to a somewhat-dark world where the hit rate will be much lower.

Vision removal in the item system should be somewhat better covered by cheaper pink wards as well. It may still very well be the case that red trinket has no comparable option and thus Sightstones need to exist so that you can have a red trinket in your inventory – but I’m not inclined to say that this is actually a bad state.

Basically, what I’ve found is that more choices in how you spend gold in vision has mostly led to either negative or kind of poor game-play in general. Complex gold decisions around vision hasn’t yielded good returns in either skillful play (as you should sink as much as you can) or have been particularly satisfying without being brutally overpowered.

The approach we’re trying this season focuses more around complex choices in how youuse vision – rather than how you acquire it – by both severe rate limitations – as well as allowing some more complex functionality to exist without a gold investment.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Vision is integral to winning Why are so many players not warding

Xypherous Final PortraitIt’s likely that warding just isn’t viewed as an activity that makes a ton of sense from an abstract perspective. Put down sticks that grant vision? What?

Eventually, we’ll want to revisit the concept of static wards to begin with and see if there’s a better analogy that still plays a part in the vision game. This is super speculative – but imagine if, instead of a pink ward – you placed a tiny speed shrine that also provided vision.

I suspect that eventually, we’ll have to shift the analogy to like ‘mini-buildings’ or ‘mini-structures’ rather than ‘sticks that see’ in the long long run.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why not have tutorials that teach players the importance of vision

Xypherous Final PortraitTutorials and teaching players are definitely worth pursuing – However, with warding and such, it feels very much like a state of like ‘Well, we could teach them how to do Assembly… but.. maybe we should look at what we want them to do and confirm that’s actually a deep and engaging activity first.’

The other portion of this is that I believe Tutorials that teach you how to ward are going to have a major gap in that you cannot learn from your current enemy if the enemy has found some new clever way to use them. Hence – any tutorials are going to have a continual lag time – so whatever you’re teaching should also have some kind of learnable component from observing your enemy and allies in game.

[ Link to Post ]

 

What led to the pink ward trinket option being removed

Xypherous Final PortraitA lot of the trinket options were removed to streamline the system down. There are some interesting expansion opportunities for the trinket space that I want to look into – and so we removed it to condense the space down to the bare minimum to replicate what most of the players on live regularly use.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

DEV BLOG Starting Items in the 2016 Season

Pwyff Final PortraitPosting for Xypherous!

Our original intent with starting items before this season was to give players the ability to reflexively counter their opponents with generalist options running alongside more pronounced counter-items for specific circumstances (Flask, Doran’s Shield).

However, after a couple of seasons of attempting to balance this world, we’ve grown unhappy with how confining this approach is and the general problems that resulted from this approach. We’re decided to take a different tactic and adopt a pattern closer to the support line of items: Starter items that clearly express some kind of goal or intent in lane alongside a more generalist item for each of the positions in the game.

Magic – Doran’s Ring vs. The Dark Seal

Doran’s Ring is a powerful farming generalist item while The Dark Seal signifies an intent to roam and pick up champion kills along the the way.

While this doesn’t support the full spectrum of mages in mid, it does represent two of the largest factions – push mages vs. assassin roamers.

Attack – Cull vs. Doran’s Blade

Cull is an early skirmish option designed to be focused primarily around farming and light aggression.

Doran’s Blade on the other hand, is a generalist option that scales much better into mid-game and is better in skirmish situations.

Jungle – Hunter’s Talisman vs. Hunter’s Machete

Machete has long favored a certain class of attack speed centric characters and this represents a quandary of how to actually support mage or tank style junglers from the get-go.

Machete now doubles down on its auto-attack centric nature while Talisman focuses on area burn and mana regeneration. Talisman is primarily designed for spell focused junglers – especially those that have repeated area of effect attacks on moderate cooldowns (like Brand or Zyra).

Both of these initial items are required to upgrade into the Tier 2 Jungle item, so your choice of initial item will eventually become moot. However, this flexibility of starting options combined with the patience system should open up stronger opening jungle patterns to a wider variety of junglers.

Lane Sustain – Health Potion vs. Refillable Potion

One of the major issues with Crystalline Flask right now is that we are unable to push its power to the point where it feels non-abusive in lane. This is due to the fact that it stacks with potions and thus any power add-on in Crystalline Flask gets doubled down on because you stack potions with it.

Hence, the new inventory rule: you can only ever have one type of potion in your inventory at any time.

Refillable Potions are 3 times more expensive than a potion but benefit from the fact that they will recharge once you return to the fountain. Normal Healing Potions represent more healing up-front for less gold but is obviously temporary in nature.

Refillable Upgrades – Jungle vs. Lane

This, by itself, would probably still be on the weak side. However, Refillable Potions can upgrade into two versions: Hunter’s Potion and Corrupting Potion.

Hunter’s Potion is a roam-centric potion that can regain charges out in the field while you are killing large jungle monsters. It’s designed primarily to support a Jungle playstyle that focuses on maximal uptime or bolstering characters with low innate sustain.

Corrupting Potion is similar to Crystalline Flask on live – with the added benefit of combat power. During its effect, damaging enemy champions will burn them for magic damage over time. Corrupting Potion represents an intent to harass your lane opponent until they give up.

Mana Potions – Removed

Mana Potions have been removed from the game. We’ve generally found that the decision to opt into Mana Potions was one that was either forced upon some champions (aka “I need this mana to function”) or one that was generally only available to a handful of circumstances.

The best use cases of Mana Potions were typically to circumvent Mana restrictions for boom/bust play patterns (ie: save up to X amount of mana before dumping it all in a large burst of damage, repeat) vs. attrition-based approaches that are more in favor of straight mana regeneration. A champion being able to access their big “all-in” combo more frequently also makes it challenging for us to balance appropriately, and we’ve seen some more frustrating champions have their power reduced as a result.

With the removal of mana potions, we can also retune some champion mana values back to a middle ground. We’ve looked at the data for champions that frequently bought 2 or more mana potions in the game and we’ve either increased their maximum mana or the mana regeneration values based on their class.

  • Closing

For the start of the season, we’ve focused on granting at least two options to a particular need in the starting item space to support a wider variety of playstyles and intents from the start of the game.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why are you both buffing earlygame harass and nerfing Dorans Shield

Xypherous Final PortraitBased on usage – the maximum sustain starts were most frequently used by characters that thrived on early harass. Pantheon, Kassadin and the like were the most effective users of maximal sustain starts – and they frequently used that high sustain to capitalize on early bullying pressure.

While I agree with you that there’s a dearth of solo lane tank starts – most of the solo tank starting item patterns that seem to make senseat first glance – we’ve found that when those options are strong – they tend to be better on pretty much anyone but solo tanks – like bot lane support/adc pairs.

You’ve gone and added a ton of new items for every other class

If we’re not talking about starting items – this item pass has mostly focused on AD Marksmen and some light AD work – rather than ‘every other class.’

The other facet of this is that in the Juggernaut update – there have been a ton of items – while their primary users aren’t tanks – have added to the tank pool of items (DMP and Sterak’s.)

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why are you buffing Dorans Blade

Xypherous Final PortraitFree lifesteal in the ferocity tree makes the relative advantage of picking up a Doran’s Blade weaker in the early item selection phase – as it means it now has to compete with some of the older component based starts (Long Sword + 3) at a much large disadvantage.

Long Sword + 3 is especially problematic if it becomes the default option again – as that’s more early in-lane sustain, hence why we try to keep DBlade competitive with it.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Its power creep to buff one item start for ADCs so it competes with another

Xypherous Final PortraitIn order to run this argument – you need to run through this by several means:

  1. The mastery AD tree gives you as much power in terms of raw offense as before / The beneficiaries of Doran’s Blade have more total raw power than before in pre-game.
  2. Similar argument to #1 – but from a relative perspective – AKA – everyone lost more than they gained.
  3. That this power advantage hasn’t been taken into account elsewhere – like their most powerful first item buy.
  4. That other starting item paths haven’t been buffed as well or heavily adjusted.

While I’m not convinced any of these are true or false as there’s a lot of mechanics going on – I know that a lot of the AD efficiency, early potential spike in AD power, the conversion from total pen to bonus pen in the AD system and the decoupling of flat pen from % pen in the mastery system make the AD curve less steep than it previously was.

While I can’t go out to say that ‘No, power creep isn’t happening’ – What I can say is that I can see other factors that work in the opposite direction of power creep – so adjustment based off initial reads is likely the best solution.

You can strongly make the claim ‘I think a Solo tanks early game is weaker than it was’ – which is probably true. I’m less certain about the statement that ‘Solo tanks are weaker’ as a whole – as most of the efficiency passes, especially in terms of MR – are more favorable to them.

All that said, I totally get why you feel the way that you do. It’s not your job to read every change and put them all together and evaluate whether or not it comes out in one way or another.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If we arent meant to bring the new pots to lategame why do they cost so much

Xypherous Final PortraitYou can claim this about most non-upgradeable starting items.

However, the catch-22 part comes in only if you assume that games cannot be won before slots start to become a problem or that the item’s power curve doesn’t translate well into the mid-game at all.

Sellback values mitigate some of the initial cost for the mid and late game – and the trade-off between a more powerful early start vs. a guaranteed late game is always whether or not you got enough interim value out of the item to make up the deficit in this regard in terms of either uptime or personal performance.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why do the Dark Seal and Mejai lose a flat amount of stacks per death

Xypherous Final PortraitThe most common points of feedback when losing a % of stacks is that it’s never worth it to trade kills and die with the item – since the better you did – the more stacks you lose. Experimenting with a flat amount of stacks so that players can evaluate their plays much better. Did you get 2+ kills? Then it was worth it, even if you died.

The other part of this is that a % loss on death lead to some awkward double-kill or post-death / post-assist death scenarios. While flat suffers from similar problems at the low end – it won’t be as ubiquitous.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

I feel like Mejai got even more snowbally than before

Xypherous Final PortraitThe item is likely more snowbally than before. The idea behind the Dark Seal is that you have a point in the game where you:

  1. Broadcast that you want to do a snowball route (since.. the Dark Seal doesn’t really build into anything else.)
  2. Have a chance to back out if things don’t go your way.

So there’s much less initial risk to the item – and thus the item can be snowbally but will be less feast or famine because a good player can cut his losses early, so to speak.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Are there plans to make a third flask that simply heals faster than the others

Xypherous Final PortraitNot at the moment.

Maximum sustain in lane is something that players would always like more of (as the best way to beat your opponent is to simply have more health at any given time – go go 13 potion starts).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Was it intentional to make the biscuits effect NOT apply to flasks

Xypherous Final PortraitFor now, yes. Although, I could certainly see us deciding the other way in the future easily based on item usage. Eternal Biscuit of Replenishment?

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

What are the expected starting items for someone who needs sustain

Xypherous Final PortraitIf you need a huge chunk of sustain – the expected stat is that you get Corrupting Potion. The other facet of this is that there are a lot more individual sustain options in other pre-game systems (Lifesteal naturally in ferocity tree, for example) – so there should be enough customization bits out of game to bolster this as well.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do you think some Champions will become weak due to the Mana pot removal

Xypherous Final PortraitCurrently the stance is that we’d prefer if Mana purchases reflected more permanent decision making. This is why Frostfang’s line of MP/5 has been greatly increased for example.

Mana potions to support off uses is a niche benefit but the niche benefit doesn’t really outweigh tremendous initial costs in tuning. 😡

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

It feels like Cull and The Dark Seal are trap items that make laning too weak

Xypherous Final PortraitAgree that these two items have a higher risk potential than the standard starting items. Dark Seal and Cull don’t necessarily have to be purchased as your first buy – if you want to take a safer route and see how the lane goals.

Doran’s Ring into Dark Seal instead of a second Doran’s Ring after you’ve gauaged the lane can be an effective way at mitigating that risk. Similarly with Doran’s Blade into first back Cull.

The other idea that we’re stressing here is that, in the absence of greedy items – there’s no real way to punish a safe lane that’s doubled down on being as not dead as possible. Cull / Dark Seal both support the notion that – if you try that approach – then I can respond by getting more out of the laning phase than you will via farm or more powerful rewards for roam.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How do you think the jungle changes will affect AD assassins

Xypherous Final PortraitWe turn over the jungle pool every year pretty consistently – so the ability for an individual jungler to have the same clear speed as before isn’t as important. AD Casters will specifically generally have a harder time of it in this year than previous years.

It’s definitely something we’ll have to keep tuning as we get better data on how players are adapting.

[ Link to Post ]

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

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Scale and Timing of Patch 5 16 Banner

This discussion is in reference to yesterday’s massive patch, which you can check out HERE.

 

Patch 516 Juggernaut Reworks and Item Changes Discussions

Meddler Final PortraitHi all,

Wanted to link a bunch of discussions going on on the PBE boards at the moment regarding the various changes in the 5.16 patch, given threads on the PBE boards tend to have lower visibility than stuff here. Lot more change than the average patch going on, with some stuff that looks pretty weird, overpowered or over-nerfed at least at first read. Lot of details in the threads below that hopefully offer some context on what we’re thinking and what we believe the impact of some of these changes will be.

These threads are on the PBE forums specifically to gather feedback from people that are testing/will test the changes in game. Very interested in feedback from other people as well though of course, and currently reading a lot of it both here and on various 3rd party sites. As usual these are PBE changes and therefore subject to change as we polish kits, balance numbers, fix bugs etc. There are also some changes that are much more, or less, impactful in game than they may appear at a glance on paper (e.g. Morde gaining a bit of extra attack range).

Skarner:
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/d2bmpMif-skarner-pbe-changelist-and-feedback-thread

Garen:
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/Y7ELMJAK-garen-pbe-changelist-and-feedback-thread

Darius:
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/Grx91k8I-darius-pbe-changelist-and-feedback

Morde:
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/KhcvQBlG-mordekaiser-change-summary-feedback-thread

New Items:
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/rFbd7hyy-new-items-steraks-gage-and-titanic-hydra

Defensive Item Changes:
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/yMtrbjGs-core-defense-items-pass-516

[ Link to Post ]



Do you want our negative feedback on the changes

Meddler Final PortraitYes, I’d definitely like to hear the grievances people have with these changes, discussions like this one are one of the main reasons I spend time on the forums in the first place.

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Why are you changing so many things in a single patch

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re putting a lot of stuff in 5.16 for a few reasons:

  1. These are changes that have been developed together that tie in with each other. The state of Morde, Garen etc is going to be highly impacted by the items available to them. Releasing champ changes and items separately means having to wait longer to get a true read on how they interact with each other.

  2. After 5.16 we want to start focusing on balance and stability as we prepare for the patch Worlds will be played on (most likely 5.18). Putting all the disruption into one patch, and then taking a couple to balance it, gives us more time to catch issues than spreading it out over 3 patches and then not having any reaction time to issues that emerge in the third patch.

  3. We feel we’ve been a bit too conservative in the past in the run up to Worlds. Worlds should involve a stable patch, that teams can focus on, ideally with any massive balance outliers. That’s not to say it should reflect a game state that’s been unchanged for so long it’s starting to feel stale though. It’s about two months until Worlds right now, which we feel’s a good time to introduce some change before, as above, shifting gears to balance/polish.

[ Link to Post ]



Why are you doing these massive changes right before Worlds

Xypherous Final PortraitWe have roughly 2 1/2 months of lead up to worlds and so at least 2 full patches to respond to any massive directional imbalances.

As for how massive this is – while there are a lot of items on the changelist itself – it’s mostly small tuning steps with one or two exceptions. Similar to how AP itemization goes – while there is a lot of holistic polish across the board – the net overall change should be moderate – at least for these core passes.

While I understand that’s not a super satisfying answer – I believe this is the last major update of the year in which a lot of things are happening and thus these item changes are meant to be a polish and tuning step to support a somewhat better ecosystem for those changes to live in.

[ Link to Post ]



A huge patch right before Worlds means pros wont have time to adapt

Pwyff Final PortraitSorry if I don’t respond immediately. I occasionally comment and then go do work. I get that being deliberately inflammatory on the internet is how you get responses, and I hate rewarding that, but let’s actually talk about this because I don’t think we’re 100% correct, but at least we have good reasons.

First, I think it’s worth discussing what constitutes ‘too much change’ for pro play vs. regular play. There’s definitely a subjective concept (survey pros! survey players!), but I wonder what is objectively considered too much for a pro player to adapt on a patch to patch basis. That’s a super philosophical question.

Regardless, it’s worth noting that 5.14 is the patch that all of the playoffs are being played on (per esports’ commitment), and then a later patch (definitely post-5.16) will be the standardized patch that Worlds will be played on. Pros do get a period of time between playoffs and worlds to practice.

So here’s where we get to the concept of what makes a competitive player. Every game out there values specific things, from Counter-Strike’s commitment to reflexes, snap aim, tactical map movement, or Quake’s movement-based, tracking-aim, power-up placement memorization. League’s always valued player adaptability to a high degree – probably higher than most competitive games. We know there are benefits (from a spectating perspective games are more varied, strategies are being changed up, different playstyles can shine and truly talented teams can demonstrate their mastery by staying ahead of the curve) and drawbacks (players feel they have to ‘re-learn’ the game, optimization of singular strategies isn’t possible, players with narrow champion pools are negatively impacted).

In other words, I’d challenge stability as the ultimate indicator of a competitive player. Faker has long been heralded as the pinnacle of League talent, and we appreciate him because of his tireless commitment to mastering core game mechanics and systems, while also innovating with an evolving game. I’d also mention, I don’t think these changes are so massive that they reinvent all that is League of Legends – they offer new strategic paths, but I have no way of objectively verifying just how much more powerful new, emergent strategies are vs. players believing they are.

All that said, I’m not saying this is a fool-proof argument – if we hear a lot of discussion that this is just too much, that teams just can’t accommodate, then this is definitely a lesson for the future. I just want to make sure we both realize we’re coming from two very different perspectives on what makes a good, competitive game of League.

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Can we expect new mechanics on Nunu Mundo Fizz or Aatrox

Meddler Final PortraitAatrox definitely needs some work, agreed, he does some fun stuff, but it’s too general overall.

Mundo, with his massive regen, poke from a traditionally poke weak class and berserker playstyle (benefits for low health) is someone we feel’s pretty close to distinct enough. Would be good to do some smaller stuff on him at some point, we feel other champs need the work a lot more though.

Nunu we feel’s extremely unique. Long duration MS/AS buff he can keep on multiple targets, extremely strong objective control off a base ability, repeated attack speed slows from a support like champion and an ult that controls space in a pretty distinct way with extreme punishment after a long telegraph.

Current assessment is Fizz is in a reasonable spot, given the uniqueness his Shark and Troll Pole offer, both in terms of playstyle and relative to other assassins. Might need to reward him more for AP builds/less for tanky ones, not sure on that front. As with Mundo though some opportunity to differentiate him a bit more with small changes, but a champ we feel’s got a strong need.

[ Link to Post ]



Can you give us more info on the upcoming changes to Shyvana Olaf

Meddler Final PortraitWe haven’t started work on Shyvana or Olaf yet besides some really rough brainstorming, in part because we want to see how these changes, and the associated item changes, go. Assess what works, what doesn’t, where we should have taken things further or pulled back etc.

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Will Shyvana still be able to carry games

Meddler Final PortraitCan’t offer you any details on what changes to her kit might look like, we haven’t started talking about that ourselves yet. Would definitely expect her to retain a strong damage focus.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Feedback on Updated Darius Banner

You can find all the changes to Darius HERE.

 

New PBE changelist for Darius

Statikk New PortraitHey all,

Got some time to test him out this morning and talk with the playtest team.

We definitely feel his presence in team fights is way higher than he was previous to these changes.

My current concerns lie within the consistency of his laning phase and if he’s just bit too soft there.

Here’s the changelist you guys will see in the next build:

Q

  • Mana cost reduced to 30 from 40

W

  • Slow is now 90% at all ranks from 40/50/60/70/80%

E

  • Slow adjusted to 90% for 1 second from 99% for 0.75

These changes are aimed at making combo’d Q’s pretty much guaranteed. We want to ensure that there is still ample counter-play to the Q when used alone, but we’re pretty happy with Darius making it much easier for himself if he uses up his other resources successfully.

Overall, we don’t feel Darius is far off balance-wise in either direction, so we would like to take small steps at a time. We’re also really interested in how Darius progresses over time as people get used to the new Q.

Thanks guys.

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Responding to community feedback on the Darius update

Statikk New PortraitGonna address a couple of points I’ve seen brought up:

E’s Slow

Currently it’s set to be a 90% slow for 0.75 seconds. It is designed to help ensure that E -> Q is a fairly guaranteed combo.

Lack of an Execution Indicator

We purposely left this out of Darius’s update for design reasons. Darius’s design and balance actually revolves around his R’s success and failures more than any other champion in the game.

Because of this when we added an indicator, the Darius gameplay became too much about just reacting to a UI element changing rather than making interesting, risky, and snappy decisions in the heat of battle that might cascade into a pentakill.

In a lot of cases we would prefer consistency across our champions, but in the Darius case we feel like the lack of the indicator allows us to retain power in certain areas and makes him more enjoyable in the long run.

Removal of Passive Movement Speed

This is essential to the direction we are moving the Juggernauts. They are intended to be and feel slow, but hopefully have a ton of other strengths to bring to the table to compensate.

This change became extremely important to make especially after we changed Hemorrhage to deal physical damage due to the insane synergy Darius now has with Black Cleaver.

Q Delay

Along with Bloodrage, this is the most significant change we made to the kit and we feel it’s 100% necessary for the long-term health of the champion. We’ve struggled in the past to make melee vs. melee combat interesting and skill-based, so this is us trying to address that.

I know it can be pretty painful to get used to, but we’ve tested it pretty thoroughly and feel you guys will be able to get the hang of it. Adding the delay allows us to load more power into the Q (the heal and increased late game damage) without just making him unstoppable in lane and other dueling scenarios.

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How about making the delay on his Q scale down with levels

Statikk New PortraitThat’s an interesting thought. We definitely have struggles keeping gameplay fair as the speed and pace increases later in the game.

Haven’t tried that yet, but it sounds super intriguing. If we find that he is not able to hit Q’s later in the game, this might make sense.

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Follow Up Banner

Statikk New PortraitDefinitely seeing the echo of Q being weaker early and also harder to hit. Very much open to making sure his Q feels right in the lane given the more skill-based gameplay it has now.

Gonna get in a few games on him today and talk with the playtest team to see what we can do.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Did you intentionally make Darius an even slower fighter

Statikk New PortraitYeah Darius is one of the more pure, raw Juggernauts in the game. He truly has no movement bonuses and has fairly limited reach (though his reach is better than some of the other Juggernauts that do exist).

Hopefully Darius feels powerful for being that clean-up monster that none of the other Juggernauts can bring to the table.

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So you arbitrarily designed that a class of immobile fighters should exist

Statikk New PortraitWell, I wouldn’t say “arbitrarily.”

Juggernauts were always a class of champions that we attempted to design (slow, tanky, high damage). We are simply taking a hard look at what we were trying to initially design, finding out where we went wrong in the past, and getting them to work in the modern day of LoL without just turning them all into the same generic champion.

Skarner and Garen are definitely on the fast side of Juggernaut while Darius is on the other side. We think it’s possible to make sure Darius can be stronger than the other 2 in different areas instead.

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Did you fix Apprehends range to be 550 not 540

Statikk New PortraitWe basically re-coded the entire spell to function in the manner we wanted. The E should now be entirely accurate.

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VIABILITY OF NEW GAREN Banner

You can find the complete changelist of Garen compared to live HERE.

 

Dont you think nerfing the silence from 25 secs to 15 is a bit much

Repertoir New PortraitMaybe it is, but I think 1.5 seconds still feels pretty substantial. If, for some reason, it’s too short, it could maybe bump upward a bit.

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Repertoir New PortraitIf there’s any part of the changelist that’s too much, I’ll be happy to reel it in. All data we have so far suggests that he’s at least as powerful as Live with these changes, and likely quite a bit stronger.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why was Courage W reverted to farming minions for flat bonus resists

Repertoir New PortraitThe flat Armor/MR model actually makes more sense in a world where Garen wants to build a lot of Health items (which he should have readily available to him in this patch). I think you may be right that it takes too long to farm currently, though. I’ll keep an eye out for that. This shouldn’t be too much of a nerf, since the Health items coming this patch (Sterak’s Gage, Ravenous Hydra, Warmog’s update, etc.) should allow him to build an abundance of Health and get more of what he needs in fewer items. I totally understand not liking the Tenacity nerf, but we do feel it’s important that Tanks and CC-heavy supports feel good about their efforts to peel the big tanky dudes running at their teams.

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The late game buff to Judgement means Garen will need ArPen items

Repertoir New PortraitThis skill also has a 5.5 Total AD ratio in the late game, so I don’t think it’s only amped by Penetration. Black Cleaver should be even better on him now, due to the higher AD ratio, as well as the fact that he’ll stack the passive faster due to the increased tick rate of Judgment.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why does Judgement slow Garen when hes moving toward enemies

Repertoir New PortraitThis change is intended to improve play during the back half of Judment. Keep in mind, the cooldown of this spell is lower, so you’ll get to cast it more often, and there’s also a cooldown incentive to turning it off early if the enemy has escaped it, meaning it will become available to cast even sooner. He does a significant amount more damage now, and he was probably too sticky to merit it. Garen was allowed to have that level of stickiness before because his damage just wasn’t relevant in the later stages of the game most often, but it should be now.

[ Link to Post ]



His current and new Ws are stale abilities with little gameplay involved

Repertoir New PortraitHis W is pretty darn boring, but individual abilities can be somewhat bland if there is added complexity to the kit elsewhere. In Garen’s case, we wanted to keep him available as a beginner player option, and we took some complexity out of W active, put we put some back in the R passive, E activation, and W passive farming.

[ Link to Post ]



Will the total duration of Judgement change from 3 seconds

Repertoir New PortraitThe total duration is always 3 seconds, so the game starts with it at 5 ticks per spin, and increases to 6/7/8/9/10 ticks per spin at levels 4/7/10/13/16.

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Follow Up Banner

Repertoir New PortraitLate game Judgment damage (all ticks combined) should be 280 + 5.5 TotalAD from 360 + 3.3 TotalAD

[ Link to Post ]

 

 


MORDEKAISER ON THE BOT LANE Banner

You can find Morde’s complete changelist HERE.

 

 

Bot lane Morde will probably need to start Doran Shield or Cloth 5 pots

Meddler Final PortraitWe’ve also seen some Morde’s start Targon’s, particularly if they’re paired with a support that’ll really value the extra healing from that (supports that trade aggressively for example). Not sure if that’s optimal yet, worth a look though.

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If a team takes Mordekaiser bot lane they will probably take an ADC mid

Meddler Final PortraitThat’s what we’ve seen in most internal playtests so far. Some non ADC teams, lot of mid or top (or very occasionally jungle) ADCs.

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What supports have been getting picked to lane with Mordekaiser

Meddler Final PortraitSupports with strong CC have been the most consistently successful so far in testing, since they let Morde get onto targets with his Q and set up well for the W damage field. Double Targon’s has also proven at least moderately effective, again not sure if that’s necessarily optimal or not though.

It’s likely this direction will make it quite a bit harder for Morde to solo lane, given the amount of benefit he gets from duo laing. That’s rough on people that enjoy solo Morde, we did feel this was the right approach to take though to get Morde into a spot where he could be made effective without having to massively change him overall. We believe Morde’s strengths and weaknesses can be preserved, or even amplified, in a way that’s a lot more functional/healthy when he’s got an ally to fill in some of his gaps.

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Are you just looking to fit Mordes kit on some lane in a healthy way

CertainlyT New PortraitYour understanding of the changes is accurate. My goal is not to “use Morde to break the meta” but to find a healthy home for Mordekaiser where he can be successful while still being himself (slow, tough, CC-free overwhelmingly powerful damage dealer). My feeling was that for this sort of profile, the champion could not be both successful and healthy on their own. Morde needs someone to help cover his weaknesses and actualize his strengths. Supports stood out as natural complements. They too are incomplete champions, lacking damage but bringing a lot of CC and ally buffs/hastes.

There is no unherent reason why playing Mordekaiser bottom lane will cause teams to lose. Structurally, he has the ability to forcefully push games to a conclusion by using his dragon to smash down the enemy base. In testing, we have had just as many games where he succeeds as fails.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will you be trying to make more melee champions viable on the bot lane

CertainlyT New PortraitNot at the champion design level. I think there are a few possibilities that Mordekaiser could demonstrate:

1) Melee bot lanes generally are… are sufficiently enjoyable for all players and sufficientlystrategically interesting to warrant further proactive steps by us to dislodge players from their habits;
2) The existence of one occasional melee bot lane is interesting and enjoyable but does not warrant further steps by us;
3) Melee bot lanes generally are interesting and enjoyable, but Mordekaiser is a poor execution of one;
4) Melee bot lanes are antithetical to “good” LoL design, and so we should not seek to support them.

Personally, I feel that #4 is unlikely. This means the central question is largely about whether a) there should be more melee bot lanes and b) at what level that “pushing” should come from us. Candidly, Mordekaiser is pretty “forced”.

I would love for players to feel that they can identify situations to run a wider number of existing champions successfully as the duo lane carry. In fact, Yasuo was an effort in this direction. Unfortunately, he is either ineffective in that capacity (though statistically bot lane duo is his highest win rate) or players are uncomfortable playing non-traditional styles. If the latter is true than I see my role as a designer not to “push” more champions into the lane but to create social and strategic space for players to innovate.

This, then, is my hope for Mordekaiser: that his presence in the bottom lane spurs players to think more broadly about how they can build team composition that have a greater diversity of champion archetypes without the need for us to customize kits to that lane.

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How will Mordekaiser deal with being kited by the enemy ADC

CertainlyT New PortraitWell, your task is to find a teammate that can prevent him from being kited. If you can do so, you’ll probably win the game. Good luck!

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Isnt the nerf to his base movement speed overkill

CertainlyT New PortraitIt might be. I certainly didn’t start at 325. In fact, I was very hesitant and moved him down 5 MS at a time as opponents reported being completely unable to escape his onslaught. A major factor for this is that Mordekaiser has the base damage and base survivability to invest into a lot of movement speed items as the game progresses (Our playtesters often build him Targons–>Ninja Tabi->Phage->Trinity Force->Raptor Cloak->Rylai’s).

I think you might also be coming at this from the perspective of someone who has played “traditional” melee bot lanes, that must function as aggressive kill lanes in order to find any success. Mordekaiser has the scaling and defenses to whittle his opponents down and wait for a good opportunity (like a Thresh hook).

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Can you cast Mordes new W on yourself without allies present

CertainlyT New PortraitHarvesters of Sorrow (W) is not castable without an ally champion present. If you are alone as Mordekaiser, you’ll have to do without it unless an ally ganks/roams for you.

As others mentioned, Morde is still able to solo lane/jungle in our testing, but doesn’t shine as brightly as he does in a duo lane. I’m comfortable with that mainly because I do not think that Mordekaiser can ever be a marquee example of a healthy solo lane champion given how stark his strengths and weakness profile is — An excessive number of his lane matchups are determined either at champion select or through jungler intervention, not through the relative skill of Mordekaiser and his lane opponent. As I began to work on his mechanics though, the thing that stood out was how defined Mordekaiser was by those stark strengths and weaknesses. To round out his kit would have been to compromise him as a champion.

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Why the AD scaling on his E

CertainlyT New PortraitE in my mind is most healthy as a “parry” ability that provides a lot of instant shield. As a nuke, it lacks good play against most opponents, who can’t help but get into its range. As such, the damage had to come down a bit in the early game. I didn’t want the player to have to invest all their early skill points in a fundamentally passive skill, but rather in their preferred means of inflicting damage on their opponent.

Total AD scaling allows the ability to ramp up gradually across game time so that it is hopefully always meeting the needs of providing a “twitchy” active defense against enemy poke.

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SKARNER AND THE NEW CRYSTAL SHRINES Banner

You can find all upcoming changes to Skarner HERE.

 

Why are you changing Skarner again

Repertoir New PortraitWe wanted to give something to Skarner to optimize around other than just run at a guy. Adding potent zones of threat was our take on that for him.

Also, I think there’s a misunderstanding about how much potential gold these things give out as well, but I’ll look into that to make sure they’re not giving out too much.

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Wont the crystals force Skarner to afk farm until a fight happens near them

Repertoir New PortraitWe don’t just want him to afk farm the jungle forever, but we are okay with his jungle presence being higher than his lane presence overall in the early game. Also, his E is a substantially stronger ganking tool now with how easily it applies the old passive stun, so he does make up for some of the loss of entry speed there if he hits it.

Also, the MS nerf may simply not be needed. We’ve tested various versions of this Skarner, and it seems to be quite strong still, but it’s totally undertandable that players would be concerned over such a big base MS nerf. If it looks like he needs it, we can certainly give it it back. This changelist likely isn’t final yet.

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Wont the crystals make it so Skarner clears certain camps faster than others

Repertoir New PortraitHe’ll definitely have some camps that he clears faster than others now. With the crystals’ placement, he clears Red, Blue, Krugs, Wolves, and Crab incredibly well now, and isn’t quite as fast on Gromp and Razorbeaks. Also, the stun only takes 1 basic attack to trigger now following a hit E, so the loss of AS shouldn’t affect that.

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It looks like Skarner will be forced to fight in certain places to be useful

Repertoir New PortraitSkarner should still have a pretty reliable tank/lockdown threat (probably even greater than before in this regard, given how is E now works) outside of his passive zones. What the zones really provide to him is incredibly boosted DPS and stickiness.

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These shrines are free 30 gold and vision for the enemy jungler

Repertoir New PortraitThe vision on these things only lasts 10 seconds at the time they are captured, so they don’t really give much vision outside of the initial cap. And the gold they give out is basically symmetrical. In order for the enemy team to capture it and gain 15g, Skarner’s team has to own it (and they will hold it until the enemy team turns it over). Likewise, Skarner and his teammates will get 15g for recapturing it later. I do need to put in a better solution for level 1 gold provided by them right now, though.

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The 15 base MS nerf is unneeded since the stacking MS on his Q is gone

Repertoir New PortraitDefinitely keeping an eye on this. 15 MS nerf may not be the right number. Could be 5, 20, or 0. I’ll continue to monitor.

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Can you clarify why youve removed so much from Skarners Q

Repertoir New PortraitHis Q definitely still grants him bonus damage. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. The damage it deals is (TotalAD ratio) and an additional (TotalAD ratio + AP ratio) when charged. His clear speed is actually faster now.

You are right about him doing less dps in ganks now, but the ease at which he stuns enemies via E is increased pretty substantially, and the duration of the stun early game is a bit longer.

Feedback from playtesters has been that his E offers a higher total utility package than before, but I’ll keep an eye out for it.

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Context for Item Changes 5 16 Banner

You can find all the item changes coming to Patch 5.16 HERE.

 

Why are Magic Resist items being buffed

Xypherous Final PortraitMR itemization, especially end-game is not particularly stronger overall than it was before. (AKA – total end-game values of MR are relatively static compared to live. While Banshee’s and Visage have +5 MR – Aura MR is down by 5, for example.)

However, the build path for MR is a lot smoother to access – so reacting to an enemy AP should be easier. This nicely lines up with the changes made in AP to make building into a lot of AP items more streamlined.

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Why is Cinderhulk being nerfed

Xypherous Final PortraitWhenever Cinderhulk was problematic – we generally saw it was the case of late game – super unkillable tank of ‘oh god why.’

Thus the changes are designed to pull back on that case in particular – by shifting power from the multiplier to the base.

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Follow Up Banner

Xypherous Final PortraitCinderhulk should be more powerful mid-game to compensate. It won’t actually be a nerf until you surpass 1k bonus health (AKA 3 complete health items).

The issue with Cinderhulk is that after this point, it became rapidly hard to control the impact of any health item in the game – as the effects of said item were wildly variant – hence the adjustment.

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Follow Up Banner

Xypherous Final PortraitIt’s true that Cinderhulk is nerfed in the late game after your 3rd major Health purchase. However, until you hit 1000 bonus health – you are strong that you were previously.

With the jungle items in their current state – if you wanted someone to be strong in the extreme late game – your first option probably wouldn’t be tanks to begin with given that there are multiple routes for end-game success in the jungle that it’s running directly into.

The other facet of this is that if Cinderhulk has to compete in the end-game against these other two – what it effectively would have to do is create unstoppable characters that cannot be killed – and so even if it does work – it wouldn’t be a state we’d be particularly happy with.

Therefore, by shifting Cinderhulk’s impact to be more impactful mid game and less impactful late game – the item actually has a window to shine – rather than be overshadowed end-game by a devourer or completely dominant when it is good.

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What do the Thornmail changes mean for tanks who want to counter ADCs

Xypherous Final PortraitYou need to hard commit to armor in order to screw ADCs in the new Thornmail model – and ADCs that build crit can ignore Thornmail more than more AS centric ones.

If you’re trying to deal the same damage to a critical carry as before – you’ll need like 200 to 350 bonus armor (depending on the damage of the carry.)

It’s a net nerf overall – until you get into champion specifics. Rammus / Malphite in particular can hit much higher levels of Armor much earlier – and so their own synergies with the item increase, for example.

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Context on Riots statement for not working on a sandbox mode

Pwyff Final PortraitThis is a hard stance to take, but we do agree with what you’re saying. That’s pretty much why we opened with an agreement.

Where it gets fuzzy… on this comment chain someone mentioned (https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/3fwiy0/riot_pls_league_of_legends/ctsl875) that if someone wants to improve their freethrows, they go practice freethrows – in League that means players should have an expected mode available where they can practice combos, flashing, etc. I’m not straw manning this thing but that’s always been a core concern when it comes to dictating behavior. I’ll explain:

An answer like “players will see sandbox mode as an expectation rather than a ‘fun tool’ sounds very ‘we know better'” but it’s a pretty significant concern when you look at other games (ie: fighting games) where, if a player wants to get involved, they need to hop into dozens of hours of training mode first.

So in a game that’s oriented around players playing to improve, imagine a world where you miss one flash over a wall and your whole team tells you to quit and hop into sandbox mode? Once again, I don’t think it’s an ironclad stance that will convince the world – I do think it’s got merit. I’d imagine everyone’s had games already where someone’s told them to quit playing ranked and to go play normals. If an additional layer of sandbox got added underneath, that’s what we’re talking about.


I think a different thread died, but I wanted to link out a more cohesive perspective on this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/3fwuvo/riotpwyff_sandbox_mode_will_not_be_implemented/ctsqxen

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WHY SANDBOX MODE ISNT COMING TO LEAGUE

Pwyff’s comments are in response to Riot’s recently-posted announcement, which you can read HERE.

 

So youre not adding sandbox mode because of toxic players

Pwyff Final PortraitI’m going to push back on the concept of it being player toxicity, sorry if it got represented like that. I’ll walk through it again…

First, banksy has a comment here I want to hop off of (https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/3fwiy0/riot_pls_league_of_legends/ctsq90u) and work from.

I think the concept of sandbox mode has a billion different meanings (free-form practice, custom game modes, etc), so just clear that we’re talking about a lot of things. The one that resonates the most is the concept of a free-form training mode for practicing abilities and techniques in isolation without the pressure of a game. That’s what we’re going to use as a shared definition!

When we say we have a lot of debate, we mean it. Even in discussions today, we have lead designers saying there are aspects of sandbox mode that we could or should explore. I’ve talked a lot about the risks in various threads, but I want to emphasize it’s not so much player toxicity as it is broad expectations. If the skill floor for fundamentals requires extensive time spent in sandbox mode, that’s kind of scary. But for many (including designers), this is an acceptable risk for the potential gains – like pros being able to practice or players who want to get better having that option. It’s choice vs. no choice, as many of you have said. I wanted to accurately represent both sides and acknowledge them.

The stance sounds fluffyish because it was born of necessity to put the conversation to rest. As banksy puts it, there are a lot of good reasons to explore training-sandbox mode and we’re having conversations even from these comments and replies. But in terms of prioritization, it’s still below our current ones. We are talking and we hear you – to do sandbox mode right will probably require a lot of investment.

Probably a lesson for the future then. For a nuanced topic like sandbox mode, that seems more like a discussion than something on a dev blog. It’s clear we sound super authoritative and hard-headed about this, so we’ll adjust. I do think it’s a conversation you can bring up as a “we still want this!” but we also want to be clear it’s not happening soon. In other words, an idea can be good but it also can not be a priority. There is DEFINITELY a better way to reach that conclusion because this one’s pretty, uh, painful.

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Follow Up Banner

Pwyff Final PortraitI wouldn’t actually say it’s toxicity of the community as it is broad behavioral patterns. The thing about massive communities is how prone they are to group-think. I’ve said this before and this sounds super ‘we know better’ but it’s the same thing with community management. What a community ‘picks up’ as cultural norms or expectations sticks with them for a long time. I don’t want to analyze how these things get picked up in the first place, but if you look at something like the boards where there’s a lot of very heated debate over every little change, you can see that’s the ‘expectation’ of the environment. You can only really change that by iterative steps along the way (ie: “Let’s have a constructive conversation”).

Once again, this won’t be an answer that says “you are all convinced” – it’s an answer that shows there are a lot of underlying concerns and why it’s tough to judge which way that coin will fall.

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Follow Up Banner

Pwyff Final PortraitI don’t think these responses are going to make things better or convince people who might have otherwise disagreed. I’m just making the stances clear on both sides, even if they are very, uh, polarizing.

Once again, I just don’t think this is going to be a “let’s convince everyone” because I get where your values are coming from and I’m just hoping people might see where ours come from.

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Players improve via educational mediums not from spamming solo queue

Pwyff Final PortraitI agree with you that educational mediums are huge for learning League – maybe we can get better at showcasing those (I believe in NA we’re highlighting them in the client).

The argument that “it would have happened already” with CS drills is something you do see even if it’s not on a broad scale. Where I’d say it’s ‘already happened’ is if you hop into a ranked game, perform badly, and hear someone tell you “go back to casuals” (or just uninstall). That does occur and that should be the last stop (or vs. AI bots) of where people go to when it comes to improving.

I realize I’m just repeating myself from other parts of the thread and it’s really clear the disconnect comes from a very odd “that is a risk” stance and y’all saying “it won’t happen that way.” I won’t say agree to disagree but…

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Red Posts 19 06 Banner

 

Table of Contents

 

Recent News

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Wont these changes force players to rush Deathcap early

[ Note ] Xypherous recently posted a changelist for every core AP item (the post also includes a lot more questions and answers on the topic).

Xypherous Final PortraitRushing a DCap is actually less efficient in this world – AP per AP. While the 5% increase is nice – the overall net AP you’re getting from the item, compared to price is lower. While each slot offers less overall AP (Zhonya’s and Ludens, for example) – they’re also slightly cheaper – So if you used to primarily start Zhonya’s – you would use the leftover gold to get a head start on the next item.

Eventually, Death Cap will be the highest AP for the buck – but along the path up to Deathcap – you should have similar AP / Point of Gold comparison – and you’ll be somewhat higher along the way if you ever incorporated Liandry’s / Void Staff / Nashor’s Tooth / AAA / RoA in any of your builds.

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I think these AP item changes couldve been more radical

Xypherous Final PortraitThere’s definitely more we can do on this front from a component / gold and items standpoint but this is a fairly light pass as I didn’t really want to disrupt the ecosystem too much. There’s a particularly set build that I want to break on the high AP triplet.

Then again, this also buffs every non Manareg, Boots, High AP triplet, Void Staff build – so at the very least, alternative playstyles aren’t so far behind the curve as the primary one.

However, before I go farther in this direction – I do want to validate some of my hypothesis in that it’s the right direction before planning more sweeping changes.

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Darius Single Banner

 

 

Is it still possible to see a Darius rework this year

Meddler Final PortraitIt’s likely, though not guaranteed, that we’ll do some more work on Darius sometime this year. Odds are that’ll involve making him less of a lane bully, but giving him a better late game presence. Something else we’d also like to get to, and might bundle with that work, are some adjustments to fighter itemization, both in terms of a new item or two and some revisions to existing items.

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How do you plan on making Darius less of a lane bully

Meddler Final PortraitDisclaimer: This is far from set in stone. At a guess though, I’d expect him to still be a fairly dangerous laner, but not to the current ‘dominate you completely in lane otherwise he’s failed’ extent. Scope wise probably smaller than Ashe. Something along the lines of changes to the effects on some skills, but not complete replacement of anything.

And, just to keep expectations appropriate, this wouldn’t be just a bunch of buffs. We do want to get Darius to a spot where he can better contribute in team fights, whether through kit changes or better itemization. We also want to fix some of the laning problems he creates though, where some opponents are left without options apart from ‘lose a lot of farm or get heaps of jungler help’.

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Pool Party Event Single Banner

 

 

The Pool Party event is currently at around 13875 million points

Hippalus Final PortraitHey OP, I appreciate the thought you’re putting into this. We aren’t looking at how this plays out as a black or white “failure” or “success”. We see this as dipping our toe in the water to explore if community reward events is something we want to do on a bigger scale in the future, and to understand what aspects are most important to players so we can make sure to get them right if/when we decide to go big. Some of the feedback so far has been helpful, some has been flat out incorrect, but we’ll take it all in and decide where to go next with community rewards. Here’s what I posted yesterday with some more detail…

Just wanted to hop in here and say that we’re still learning about these kinds of promotions and definitely want to know where we can improve. Our goal here was to create an event that would give the community a reason to play with friends and give everyone an opportunity to earn some cool rewards together. While we’ve obviously included ways to fund these rewards (gifting), we wanted to make sure we included ways for players who don’t want to spend any money to participate.

Earlier this year we ran Ocean Week in the Oceania region and players there BLEW through the goal way faster than expected. When we designed Team Up and Pool Party, we wanted to give the community a genuine challenge rather than a softball. The last couple levels are definitely stretch goals, intentionally designed to be tough to reach, but if it feels like this, then we didn’t get it right.

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BuboBubo New PortraitNice work! For future events we’re going to try and to a better job at recognizing players who go above and beyond.

Overall, this has been a huge learning experience for us. The parts we really like and want to do more of are giving the community a reason to come together and earn cool rewards. There is also a long list of things we want to do better next time around.

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Is there any reason not to ever reward players for solo queuing

Hippalus Final PortraitFair question. All of our research shows that on average players have more fun when they queue with friends so we’re trying to provide more reasons to make the effort to coordinate a game together. But we do realize that not everyone enjoys it as much, so that’s why you only have to win once to participate in the rewards. Maybe next time we can come up with more ways to contribute that appeal to players like you. Thanks for the feedback.

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New Champion Teaser Banner Single

[ Note ] You can check out the official teaser HERE.

 

 

DanielzKlein Final PortraitCan confirm that I’m the champion designer on whatever this thing is that’s coming downriver toward us.

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How many passives will the new Champion have

DanielzKlein Final Portrait3.

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What about true damage and knockups

DanielzKlein Final Portrait0 knock-ups, no true damage, no execute.

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Will all his abilities slow enemies

DanielzKlein Final PortraitYou’re so far off, friend.

Except for the Q slow. That’s spot on.

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Turrets are already weak so why are they being nerfed on the PBE

[ Note ] The Nexus / Inhibitor turrets were nerfed in this PBE update.

Meddler Final PortraitWe originally added the slow (and a -damage mod) to the Nexus/Inihb towers as an anti split pushing effect, at a time where we were concerned that split push was leading to low interaction games. That’s currently not the case however, very much the opposite in fact, with heavy team fight comps crowding out split push almost entirely. We’re not looking to make split pushing a staple of every game, but do think we’ve limited it too much, hence the removal of those effects.

In terms of the broader purpose of towers it is intended that the risk they pose to enemy champions decreases over the course of the game. Early on they’re zones of sanctuary, where it’s extremely risky to try and go in for a kill much of the time. Over time they transition to a helper role instead. Towers will turn the tide of a close fight, but they’re not going to be more dangerous than an enemy champion anymore. Late game in particular, once everyone’s past the individual laning period, it’s the presence of teammates instead that provides substantial zones of safety/support. Powerful late game towers, particularly if they can be held by a couple of champions against a full enemy team, result in slower, drawn out, low risk/interaction games.

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How long until the new Tribunal goes live

Lyte Final PortraitIt’s been about 8 months; however, a lot of the new foundation and skeleton is in place. The new Reform System has a machine-learning based engine backing it, and already hands out bans and Reform Cards in e-mails automatically within 5-15 minutes of the behavior occurring. We’re going to be adding in Intentional Feeder Detection and Elo Boosting soon too and rolling it out to the rest of the servers… so technically there’s already stuff that’s “live” that the old Tribunal did.

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Follow Up

Lyte Final PortraitOur current focus is Team Builder Draft, but we have a couple milestones for the new Reform System that we’d like to get out this year including real-time Intentional Feeder Detection, Elo Boosting Detection, and Tribunal Voting. There’s a couple other things we’d love to squeeze into this year’s package of features, but more details later.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

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Table of Contents

 


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Experimental new item Mandrake Ward

[ Note ] The Mandrake Ward was added with yesterday’s PBE update.

Xypherous Final PortraitNote: The following item is highly experimental and probably won’t ship any time soon, if at all. All assets are temporary and are absolutely not final.

Hey guys.

I’m putting up some experimental content for exploration.

Mandrake Ward
50G

Click to Consume: Places an invisible blind sentry in a brush for 5 minutes. The plant will ping the map if a visible or invisible enemy enemy is within 900 range.

(Counts as a Stealth Ward)
(May only carry 3 Stealth Wards at a time.)

This is intended to be an early game ward to protect the lane against the jungle without revealing a jungler’s prospective health or directional pathing. It’s also an answer to early game stealth for lane protections now that pinks are fairly woefully inequipped at dealing with the task. There’s some neat tricks (it can sense over walls) that it has currently – but it still needs a ton of iteration to feel usable personally.

Will be doing some polish work over the next couple days trying to get it in a cleaner state – last I checked, I missed a file somewhere and it’s probably super bugged on PBE – also need to think about ping throttling the thing in terms of sounds and motion. Eventually it’ll require a custom ping sound and error handling – but for now, everything is highly temp and experimental.

  1. I’m curious to see whether or not people feel like the item’s purpose is clear.
  2. The item hopefully doesn’t feel like it’s worth a slot end-game and make end-game consumable purchase cycles even worse.

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How often will the ward ping

Xypherous Final PortraitOne ping. Currently it’ll reping if they’re still there in the area after 10 seconds but I’ll probably be adjusting this rule.

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Where does it ping

Xypherous Final PortraitCurrently it pings at where the breach occurs – but given that it’s a mini-map ping, you’re not really going to catch any difference – though you’re right that it should probably ping itself rather than the point location.

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Why is this ward active for 5 minutes and not 3 like regular wards

Xypherous Final PortraitThe initial reasoning that it provides you much less information than a sight ward does.

For example, you don’t get the items of the champion you detected (because you never saw him).
You don’t know the champion’s health status or direction (because the ping is centered on the mandrake).
You’re not sure if he’s passing through or if he’s actually aggressing on the lane.
You’re not even really sure which champion it was – but you can probably do that by process of elimination.

It might be a total mistake to have it at 5 minutes as it feels like an eternity – but that’s another one of the things that I’d want to feel out in testing.

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Wouldnt this kind of item just gut Eve even further

Xypherous Final PortraitYes and no. There’s multiple ways of looking at it.

  1. In a world where Eve is a primary jungler and there are no way of mitigating the effects of her game other than complete passivity – Evelynn will probably never be good.

So you get to a point where either

  1. Eve can’t be a jungler -OR-
  2. There needs to be a way to mitigate the effects of her stealth somehow in order for her to be good.

When you introduce the item to mitigate the effect of long term stealth – for the short term, absolutely it will make her power level holistically lower. However – this is the only possibility space in which Eve could be powerful in the future.

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New 120 AP item on the PBE soon

Ricklessabandon New Portraithello friends~

so, the title pretty much covered this but we’ve got a new ap item hitting the pbe soon! as we mentioned in the 5.2 patch notes, we’ve been spending some time exploring a few different options to add another “late-game mage item” into the game. we’re now at the point where we want to share one of those directions with our pbe testers and see how the item is received with a wider audience. one of the goals of these explorations was to discover something that is especially exciting to a particular mage play style, and as you’ll quickly notice, this item takes the basic actions of moving around the battlefield and repeatedly slinging spells and rewards them by casting its own spell into the fray! we have some initial thoughts on which play styles are in want of something like this, but more importantly we’re interested in seeing what the community does with the new item.

alright, let’s talk about our current timeline! this item should be on the pbe soon (tomorrow if everything checks out okay) but will not be shipping in the 5.4 patch—we’ve still got a bit of testing and number crunching to do on top of getting non-placeholder art and sound. if you’re wondering exactly when this would be shipping, the honest answer is that right now we’re focused more on getting the item into the hands of testers and confirming that we’re happy with this direction than we are about shipping anything by a certain date. the classic “when it’s ready” shipping date, if you will.

with all that out of the way, here are the item stats of the first pbe iteration!

Item 3285 (3100g)

Needlessly Large Rod + Aether Wisp + 650g

  • +120 Ability Power
  • +7% Movement Speed
  • UNIQUE Passive: Gain charges upon moving or casting. At 100 charges, the next spell hit expends all charges to deal 100 (+15% AP) bonus magic damage to up to 4 targets on hit.

Please note that this is a work in progress and that its name, as well as any art or sound assets, is to be considered placeholder.

that should do it for the item’s introduction (i’ll update this post if i forgot something). looking forward to the discussion about the item!

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Follow Up

So this will be essentially Statikk Shiv for mages

Ricklessabandon New Portraitit’s a bit different since one of the triggers is spell casts instead of basic attacks, so the cadence depends more on which champion you’re playing.

i believe the tuning in the first iteration that should hit pbe gives 20 stacks per spell cast, and gives a little bit less from moving than statikk shiv does.

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Dragonslayer Poro Ward in Store

DontHassleDaHoff Final PortraitThis brave little poro is fighting back against the onslaught of aerial assault alongside the other Dragonslayers. With his vigilance, you’ll never be surprised again whether it’s an impromptu dance of dragons or a sneaky attempted gank.

Rise up against the dragon horde with the Dragonslayer Poro Ward Skin available now until 23:59 PST on February 27 for 640 RP.

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Dragonslayer Poro Ward

 


How is Evelynns rework coming along

IronStylus Final PortraitCurrently she’s not. We had a few update concepts back in the day but she just doesn’t have any sort of story direction or explanation of what the hell she is. Until we hammer that out we probably won’t be doing anything with her until then.

I think there’s some good ideas in the Shadow Isles ideas, and heck, I could see her playing into the Darkin thing if we ever build that out. There’s a lot of options, so that’s good. She’s wide open in terms of actually making a character out of.

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Syndras Q E stun combo is really inconsistent

Meddler Final PortraitThe patch that reduced the width of Syndra’s Q+E stun also significantly reduced the radius of the initial check around a sphere that’s been hit to see if there’s a unit there that should be stunned before the sphere starts moving. We’ve got a change on the PBE at present that increases both that radius and the Q+E width as it travels. Assuming that change goes live I believe that will probably help out with the problem you’re seeing – as far as I’m aware Q timing hasn’t been changed at all.

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Why does Xin Zhaos Q knock targets up anymore

Meddler Final PortraitThat’s definitely a bug, not an intended change. I’m 99% sure we’ve got a fix for that in the next patch already, will double check tomorrow though.

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Follow Up

Why hasnt it been hotfixed yet

Meddler Final PortraitHotfixes (making quick changes to the servers without taking them down for a longer maintenance period) have extra risk associated with them. Hotfix changes do get tested extensively, but it’s over a shorter period of time so it’s not completely equal to a full patch cycle of testing. As a result in order to justify the risk involved hotfixes need to be really high value (e.g. X champion is currently disabled because they crash the game) or be at least fairly high value and really low risk (e.g. changing a single number in a text file that corrects a major damage bug). In this particular case Xin Zhao’s Q doesn’t knock up if the target isn’t moving at the time of the third hit. That’s definitely a significant bug, but it’s not crippling him and the fix involves code changes, which are much riskier than just changing data values. As a result (as far as I’m aware, server patches aren’t my area of expertise) we’re not currently planning to hotfix this bug.

In terms of how often we update we’re currently putting out a patch every two weeks generally (major exceptions around things like Worlds, Christmas etc). I can understand your frustration that fixes like this can take a bit of time to come out, that’s the same cadence of patches as in Season 1 back in 2011 though.

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All the Champion Poros

The collection is complete and all Champion Poros for the LAS/LAN and Brazil event have been revealed! You can check the first ones here or in the Imgur album below:



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poro_thumb_16_2

poro_thumb_16_1

poro_thumb_15_12

poro_thumb_15_11

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poro_thumb_15_8

poro_thumb_15_7

poro_thumb_15_9

poro_thumb_15_6

poro_thumb_15_5

poro_thumb_15_4

poro_thumb_15_3

poro_thumb_15_2

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poro_thumb_17_11

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

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Summary

Mordekaiser will be moving from a nuker into a fighter role with Patch 5.4. Also, Veigar‘s kit will be significantly reworked to introduce more counterplay and buff him up after the removal of DFG. Meddler discusses Kalista’s current state, the scaling on her auto-attack wind up and her damage against objectives with Rend, IronStylus comments on Demacians wearing skintight suits and how Taric’s rework is going. Lastly, some of Syndra’s recent nerfs may be rolled back, most prominently the width of her E stun and an explanation from Xypherous on why Ruby Sightstone is designed to be underwhelming.

 

Recent News

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Mordekaiser Changes Banner

 

 

Changes to Mordekaiser in Patch 5 4

Chun Final PortraitHi guys, when we removed DFG in 5.2,we have said we will do some changes towards Mordekaiser . And now let’s talk about it with details.

Currently on live, Mordekaiser is mainly being played as a burst mage and functions debatably ‘well’ in that way. But since DFG is gone, Mordekaiser has run into trouble in the late game because one of his essential play-patterns (blow someone up for a ghost) no longer functions well there.

Right now, we’re looking at Mordekaiser and we think he definitely needs some help there. That said, the “burst mage” play-pattern doesn’t serve well enough both in this champion’s fantasy and the counterplay (or lack of) around it. So we’re aiming to make this big-full-metal guy a fighter/brawler which better fits his fantasy and is more aligned with his shield passive mechanics. We get there are people who liked the whole “Mordekaiser explodes people” play style, but we just can’t keep it balanced and healthy in the current state of the game. Our changes aren’t to shift his damage significantly, but we want him to be thinking about that shield while he’s in the middle of the fight.

High level, our first change is that now Mordekaiser’s shield gain is base on his maximum health instead of damage he deals. By doing this, Mordekaiser will be able to survive long enough to shine on the battle ground with his sustained damage/ghost if he chooses to be tanky. And for enemies, Mordekaiser is no longer a moving short range cannon, but slow metal tank who can be kited. Also Morde’s shield doesn’t decay while in combat (after 5 seconds it begins decaying).

Secondly, Mordekaiser’s burst damage will goes down a bit but, over time, his damage output will be the same or slightly increased. So he will not burst you down but still remain threatening over time.

Third, Mordekaiser’s shield now works the same as Nunu’s bloodboil (cast on an ally, Mordekaiser also gets the shield) and if they run toward each other, they’ll gain a mini speed boost. Think magnets.

Last, Mordekaiser’s ghost will be more intuitive and clear in target selection. So Mordekaiser and his ghost no longer grant whacky stats from each other, but straightforward and intuitive stats: Mordekaiser now will gain health/ap from his ghost’s bonus health and ability power, while Mordekaiser’s stats will help the ghost scale up (but the type of ghost he grabs (ie: Mage / Marksmen / Tank) will have an impact on their performance).

So TL:DR we want to make Mordekaiser more of a brawly-scrappy champion because his current successful play pattern of “explode someone, get a Ghost, roll over the game” is near impossible to tune without hurting some players. This gives us more space to help Mordekaiser succeed while not confusing others as to why a big suit of armor is super squishy and bursty.

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Can you give Mordekaisers ghosts the option to attack move

Chun Final PortraitI believe currently Pets already does what you said about “automatically attacking your current basic attack/single target skill target if they don’t currently have a target.”

But I’m afraid the idea of “make Pets able to attack-move” will provide a lot of hidden power(or unnecessary power) for all the “Pets”, it is important for player to understand how strong the “Pet” is, especially for those guys who play with/against. Unfortunately this Idea is against that.

Right now the minion AI have a problem that after you input any “move” commander they will just “hold” at destination instead of attacking afterwards. I believe this create a lot of frustration and it’s something I’m looking into.

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How drastic are these damage changes Will this affect laning wave clear

Chun Final PortraitThe damage changes will be small, our goal is to reduce his burst potential but remain the prolong threat.

I would say his laning will be approximately the same or slightly weaker and his wave clear will be approximately the same or slightly stronger (in lane).

But late game his wave clear will be weaker mainly because we are not expecting him to build full damage at that point.

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Will his health costs be decreased to compensate for his lowered damage

Chun Final PortraitShort answer, yes!

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Veigar in 5 4 Banner

 

 

SmashGizmo Final PortraitHey guys, SmashGizmo here to talk to you about some changes to the Tiny Master of Evil coming to PBE soon.

A vital part of Veigar’s identity has always been about catching people out and 100-0ing them in the blink of an eye, so when we were looking to remove DFG, Veigar was sitting at the top of the list of characters affected by the removal. When looking at a lot of these characters, we found that the full 100-0 combo wasn’t something we wanted to support and decided to re-focus them around other aspects of their kits (i.e. making Ahri more about her movement than the 1-shot combo). But for Veigar, this approach seemed off. He is the quintessential burst mage and we wanted to find a way to let him continue to function as such in a world without DFG. Enter the Q double-hit.

 

Baleful Strike Final IconBaleful Strike [ Q ]

  • Changed to a skill shot that stops on the second unit hit
  • Grants 1 AP for each unit killed
  • Range increased to 850 from 650
  • Cooldown changed to 7/6.5/6/5.5/5 from 8/7/6/5/4

 

By amping up the AP farming mini-game on his Q, we’re creating a new path for Veigar players to achieve their dream of pressing a single button and watching an enemy disappear. As it turns out though, this worked a bit too well, and pretty early in playtesting, we found that Veigar was reliably deleting people a bit too early in the game, so we had to make some small adjustments to his ult.

 

Primordial Burst Final IconPrimordial Burst [ R ]

  • AP Ratio reduced to 1.0 from 1.2 (Ratio on enemy’s AP unchanged)
  • Mana Cost flattened to 125 at all ranks from 125/175/225
  • Cooldown reduced to 120/100/80 from 130/110/90

 

While 0.2 is a sizeable hit to his Ult’s ratio, I want to stress that Veigar is getting quite a bit more AP from his Q in this version than on live and reassure any worried Veigar players out there that we’re still seeing those beefy 2K+ Primordial Bursts in the late game with this version.

From here, we should move on to talking about Event Horizon and how it fits into the picture. With the current version of Event Horizon, the optimal use is for the Veigar player to place his Event Horizon such that it immediately stuns his opponent. This leads to the ability feeling like a particularly awkward skill shot with almost no dodgability provided to the opponent once the Veigar player masters aiming it. When we took a step back and thought about what the ability was really trying to get at, we saw the ideal Event Horizon being more about trapping your opponent in a cage for Veigar to torment than simply about stunning a dude at 1025 range. In the interest of pushing towards this ideal, we’ve added a delay and warning particle to Event Horizon to encourage Veigar to use it more to trap opponents than to immediately stun them.

 

Event Horizon Final IconEvent Horizon [ E ]

  • Has a 0.75 second delay with a warning particle before the walls appear
  • Mana Cost decreased to 80/85/90/95/100 from 80/90/100/110/120
  • Cooldown reduced to 18/17/16/15/14 from 20/19/18/17/16
  • Range increased to 700 from 650

 

This definitely represents a shift in how Veigar uses this ability, but our belief is that this version of the spell is much healthier and leads to more fun interactions between Veigar and his hapless victims. Instead of blowing up a prone target, Veigar traps his prey in a chamber of horrors and shoots Baleful Strikes at them and drops Dark Matters where they have limited space to dodge. Speaking of Dark Matter, meteors are pretty cool and frankly, Veigar doesn’t get to drop quite enough of them on people’s heads.

 

Dark Matter Final IconDark Matter [ W ]

  • Mana Cost reduced to 70/75/80/85/90 from 70/80/90/100/110
  • Cooldown reduced to 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 from 10 at all ranks

 

And with that, we’ve hit the full set of Veigar changes that are about to hit a PBE near you.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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How would you go about nerfing Kalista

Meddler Final PortraitWhat we’re currently looking is reducing the amount her attack wind ups get faster when she gets attack speed.

When champions get attack speed they both make more attacks per second and each individual attack takes less time to perform. In Kalista’s case that means she’s spending less time in her attack windup and so she gets to dash more often/doesn’t spend as much time preparing to dash. Attack speed’s making her more mobile than we think’s appropriate, so we’re going to adjust that.

As per usual we’ll then see what sort of spot she lands in after that change, assess whether other changes are appropriate too or not.

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Kalistas problem is that her Rend outscales Smite at any point in the game

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re confident that the amount of extra mobility Kalista gets from attack speed is a problem, so we’re addressing that, given how effective she can be against some melee champions especially. Regardless of what changes it might or might not be appropriate to make to her E we believe this change is a good one.

As far as her E and Smite go creating an ADC with really strong objective control if she can spend a decent chunk of time attacking a target was something we wanted to try out with Kalista. Various other ADCs are great for objective control too, they do it by helping you kill baron or dragon really fast though (think Vayne or Kog for example). We wanted to offer objective strength in a different way and Kalista’s certainly doing that. Whether she’s too effective in that role, in terms of forcing the enemy to deal with her rather than trying for a last minute steal, is a great question. It’s certainly possible her E might need to be capped against monsters, we’re not sure if that’s the appropriate call at this point though and would like to avoid homogenizing champions if there are healthy ways to avoid doing so.

[ Link to Post ]



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Why are most Demcian champions in skintight bodysuits

IronStylus Final PortraitYeah, we’ve done that a lot. So much so that as ChampUP goes and explores what we’ve done in the past we’re noticing the same trends. Some of these characters are/will-be up for updates so I’m definitely looking for alternatives. I mean, where it fits it fits.. (HAH! PUN!).. but sometimes the costume doesn’t warrant literally being the same skin tight material every time.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts or seeing references as to what might be interesting solutions for these characters if we do eve depart from tight-onesies.

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I think agile champions like Fiora and Vayne should be in tight clothing

IronStylus Final PortraitAgreed. Agility = form-fitting. However it doesn’t necessarily mean a vinyl body suit. I think that’s the issue. Cool, they gotta be fast, form fitting is great, but even Trinity and Byonetta have some style in how they do that.

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Body suits are probably a bigger problem than skin tight clothes

kingdom_death___great_game_hunter_by_lokmanlam-d4vvuc7

A reference for Demacian attire by the thread’s author, A Superb Villain.

IronStylus Final PortraitYeah I agree that “skin-tight” isn’t as much of a problem as “body-suits”. You can have some really classy skin-tight stuff especially in high fashion, which I think strikes me as a fun place for Demacian casual-wear to be. I think that it’s definitely a place to bring sort of a very East Coast runway sorta vibe. That with treating it with the right motifs can give it a cool fantasy read with a slight modern spin.

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 How is development on Taric going

IronStylus Final PortraitSlowly, from the art side at least. We’ve been working on a few thing that will come before Taric and are deep in production or have high-priority in pre-production for various reasons. Currently, and Scruffy can probably speak better to this, but his new kit looks like it’s shaping up nicely. For us on the art side, that’s huge. We can have much more narrow of a focus now that we know specific actions a champion will take and how we build the character around those actions.

Currently Narrative is helping us on high-priority stuff that’s in pre-production. They sort of occupy the same area that Concept does because they help formulate the very core of the character. We think that Taric will be a big discussion in the “near future”. Sorry that’s so ambiguous.

That said, we have about 30 concepts of Taric from various artists. This however was done in a bit of a vacuum, back when we were moving in a direction that we really hadn’t validated properly, a very much straight-forward dude in blue armor and gems. Since then, the casual discussions around him between art, gameplay and narrative aspects are aligning around something with a slightly different flavor than what we had originally anticipated, and that’s good. When the official ideation sessions strike up again I think we’ll have a good spring board. Narrative helps tremendously in those discussions because we want to understand what made Taric into Taric and what his current pillars of design are.

Likewise, having gameplay in place really helps as well because we’re not designing in a vacuum, we’re working towards the goals of fulfilling the needs of that gameplay.

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Syndra was overnerfed and some of those nerfs should be rolled back

Meddler Final PortraitAgreed, she was hit harder than intended in a way that’s left her E feeling like it sometimes misses when it’s expected to hit. We’re increasing the width on Syndra’s stun in 5.4 (and to a greater extent than it was increased in 5.2). It’s not going to be as wide as pre 5.1, which was unfairly wide, but should more consistently hit when it looks like it did.

After that change, which is both a feel and a power one, we’ll look at where her balance stands, see if it’s appropriate to do more.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Ruby Sightstone should recharge wards over time not just on the fountain

Xypherous Final PortraitThere’s a (fairly unpopular, admittedly) reason why Ruby Sightstone is such an underwhelming upgrade.

We want you to get cooler items rather than feel like you have to dump yet ANOTHER 800 gold into vision on top of the 800 you already have sunk into it.

Linearly upgrading Ruby Sightstone to improve your vision capabilities strips out a lot of customization you could have on your own character for items that are unique or special for your role.

There’s an end-game slot inefficiency thing that needs to be solved absolutely that does come up (more often as game length goes up) but the main reason why Ruby is underwhelming is by intent – it absolutely sucks to be forced into delaying your build by having to purchase 3k of ‘required’ items to function in your role while you have a limited income stream to begin with.

(Highly efficient upgrades here makes it more likely that it’ll be main on another type of character – but that’s secondary to this particular discussion.)

We limit the total amount of gold you can invest into vision pretty heavily to force you into buying items that do things for your character and force the vision investment to be distributed more evenly across the team.

I get that some people want the option of heavily investing into vision – if this were possible without becoming mandatory, we would do so – but unfortunately – the optimal way to play when someone can invest all their income into vision is to force that character to invest all their income into vision – depriving most other possibilities in terms of purchases.

Essentially, if you ever feel like you have to upgrade Ruby Sightstone, that’s another mandatory expense that we’re basically forcing support players to pay over all the other items that would make their own character function better.

Still want to solve the end game slot capacity thing as that’ll come up more and more though. I get your frustration here in that it’s underwhelming – but it’s serving the primary intent of ‘it’s the last thing you buy so you don’t feel bad about having a sub <1k gold item in your inventory’ and not choking out all the other more fun choices you have.

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Follow Up

So why not change the item so it becomes a viable upgrade

Xypherous Final PortraitYou run into poaching from other classes – namely the Jungler in this case. You basically have to do something extremely hacking – but if the incentive is to then rush it to get the best possible gold income – you’ve basically recreated the same problem – forcing supports to complete it in the lieu of anything else.

Essentially – there’s is no incentive to purchase it because we don’t want you to even think about upgrading it at any point that is not the late late late late game when you’ve already purchased everything else you could possibly think of purchasing. Spend your money on things that make your character work.

(Poaching – Roughly used here as ‘They’ll take the item intended for someone else and use it better than the original.)

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Will we learn more of Diana and Leona s past

IronStylus Final PortraitHeh.. funny thing is I was talking to Ant about this today. (in a passing way, not committing anything, just brain-jamming)

I think it’s pretty agreed-upon that Targon in general is a ripe place for development. It’s one of our least defined areas and I feel that’s a benefit. We have some indication, a shell or a foundation. We have some good characters to build on, and even better, we have the opportunity to do really cool things with them in time!

I have high hopes 🙂

Like Ant said though, nothing is hammered out especially where delivery is concerned. That said, I’m excited about the possibilities the future holds. I’m also really excited about working with guys like Ant (who’ve helped us on the ChampUP side of things a lot recently) that are really talented and really just great to kick ideas around with.

When in place Gameplay, Narrative and Art can do some really amazing things. I hope we can indeed progress the story of these two ladies, and also build a world around them that feels solid and unique. A world that builds on what our characters are, but also corrects inconsistencies of the past. I think that’s key.

Team Diana did a lot of good stuff back in the day. Now it’s time to go back and flesh things out and make a good foundation for deep stories to be told.

Sun and Moon, the best tales are yet to be told.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

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Summary

Game Systems analyst ricklessabandon shared a list of tentative changes to Katarina on Twitter. Also, Lead Champion Designer Meddler held a Q&A together with Xypherous, talking about the balance of certain mid mages, the state of Gangplank’s rework and how crit damage on ADC items can be tuned. That plus a sweet conceptual kit for Nautilus.

 

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Tentative changes to Katarina coming soon to the PBE

 

I’ve formatted the changes below:

 

Katarina Final Portrait

  • Base Attack Speed decreased from 0.658 to 0.625
  • Attack Speed-per-level decreased from 2.74% to 2%
  • Sped up Katarina’s auto-attack animation by 46%

 

Bouncing Blades Final IconBouncing Blades [ Q ]

  • Damage on initial hit decreased from 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.45 AP) to 60/70/80/90/100 ( +0.3 AP)
  • Mark damage increased from 15/30/45/60/75 ( +0.15 AP) to 20/55/90/125/160 ( +0.4 AP)

 

Sinister Steel Final IconSinister Steel [ W ]

  • Damage changed from 40/75/110/145/180 ( +0.25 AP) (+ 0.6 Bonus AD) to 60/75/90/105/120% of Total AD ( + 0.25 AP)

 

Shunpo Final IconShunpo [ E ]

  • Damage removed (live value is 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.4 AP)
  • Damage reduction increased from 15% at all ranks to 10/15/20/25/30%
  • (Also fixed a bug which caused Shunpo’s damage reduction duration to be 1 second instead of 1.5 seconds)
  • Cooldown increased from 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 seconds to 15 seconds at all ranks

NEW: Now refunds 80% of Shunpo’s cooldown after blinking to champions Katarina hasn’t Shunpo’d to in the last 9 seconds

  • Cooldown refund will trigger on both enemy champions and allied champions
  • The 9-second lockout is removed if Katarina gets a reset via her Passive

NEW: Now resets Katarina’s basic attack timer

 

 

Too many people dodge in Nemesis Draft

[ Note ] Nemesis Draft is a new Featured mode that was released in a recent PBE update.

L4T3NCY Final PortraitWe sure can. 🙂 There are actually already some changes in place to discourage dodgers, but they aren’t testable on the PBE environment, which is why I didn’t detail them above. As many people have brought up dodging in Nemesis Draft though, let’s get into them right now.

 

1) Dramatically increased dodge penalties of up to 2 hours for recurring dodges. We can also change these numbers on the fly once live, and we’ll be keeping an eye on them. As many players here have pointed out, Nemesis Draft is an opt-in experience, so there should be no surprises in champ select.

2) In the spirit of rewarding good behaviour, we also have a special reward icon planned for players who don’t leave or dodge any games of Nemesis Draft throughout the mode’s run. There will be a low minimum game requirement, but the goal is to give players who loved Nemesis Draft a badge of honour to display afterwards. This reward will be delivered after the game mode has ended.

For anyone curious on the detection of AFKs, leaving, etc, this recent LeaverBuster FAQ has all the details.

https://support.riotgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/201752714-LeaverBuster-FAQ

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Concept Art for Bloodmoon Elise

 

 

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QA on Champion Design

Meddler Final PortraitHey all!

Anyone want to talk about LoL, game design, how we make champions etc? Going to be around for a couple of hours and looking forward to chatting with some of you folks.

 

To give you a quick bit of background I’ve been at Riot for about three years now. I’ve previously worked on Ziggs, Varus, Syndra, Lissandra, Elise and Gnar. A lot of my time these days is spent looking at the year ahead, working with other Rioters to figure out what sort of champions we want to make, what our goals are etc.

Edit: Xypherous, from the Systems Team that handles stuff like the Preseason changes, is also going to drop by to chat. If you’ve got questions about that sort of stuff should definitely throw them in too! He also worked on Nautilus, Lulu, Orianna, Fizz and Renekton before that as well, so if you’ve got questions about them he’s the guy to hit up.

Edit 2: Thanks for the chat all, I need to head off and grab food. Will drop back later tonight though and add in a few more replies.

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What change coming into this season is your favorite

Meddler Final PortraitI really like how dragon’s now an objective that matters throughout the game, that teams plan around and fight over, rather than something that, late game, someone just does on the way past at times.

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Are there Champions you feel shouldnt had been released

Meddler Final PortraitThere aren’t any champions I don’t think should be in the game at all, I think they’ve all got a solid core to them. In some cases though that’s not very well executed on though. Urgot and Yorick for example have cool underlying ideas (undead cyborg war machine and gravedigger with pet ghouls) that aren’t well realized.

Oh, yeah, then there’s Teemo. Teemo should burn.

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Was the idea behind designing Fizzs troll pole E

Xypherous Final PortraitI’m totally responsible for Fizz’s ‘E’ – and the intent was to make a frustrating skill that conveyed that aspect of Fizz’s personality. I think my goal was something like ‘Let’s aim for something that feels like Shaco in terms of trickery/frustration without going too far.’ In retrospect – it’s probably worked too well in a lot of regards with that.

The idea for Fizz’s ‘E’ was primarily to allow him to evade opposing damage without actually being durable – so that every now and then his opponents can choke Fizz and obliterate him and feel good about that.

Fizz was really meant to be a character that felt slippery enough so that you experience a moment of catharsis when you finally catch the jerk and annihilate him.

As to lane functionality, it was meant much more for the ‘lower the poke he takes’ rather than the ‘instantly annihilate you with Q’ that it’s become. In hindsight, I wish there was way more incentive to stay on the pole rather than instantly double-tap to move faster.

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Follow Up

Do youve plans to tweak his E along the lines youve described

Xypherous Final PortraitI don’t work on live balance directly these days, but the incentives to staying on the pole (and perhaps less damage on the double jump part of it) are generally good directions I think. I’d also love to trim Mana costs from his other abilities and shove it even more into the ‘E’ to punish spamming it recklessly like you’ve pointed out.

However, again, don’t work on balancing directly. There’s a bunch of super smart live designers whose job it is to make sure things look okay from a competitive angle.

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Will you change Annie to compensate for the removal of DFG in Patch 52

Meddler Final PortraitWhat we’re currently looking at (note this is experimental, so could well change tomorrow) is slightly lower resistances on Molten Shield, with Tibbers also getting the resistance bonuses as well plus a brief movement speed boost. One of the big goals there, in addition to balance changes, is to make casting Molten Shield a bit more interesting and add a bit of extra depth to how you micro Tibbers.

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What do you think of AD carry itemization currently

Xypherous Final PortraitFor the short term, there’s a wide range of ADC itemization paths depending on the ADC. However, there is little variation on the items that an individual ADC buys.

There isn’t a whole lot of range on a specific ADC for the items they can buy – but at least they’re buying different things (I see 3 or 4 main builds that vary across type – and then there’s Hurricane on Kalista – so there’s variance across ADCs but not in an ADC.)

That’s in an okay spot for now – but in an ideal world lots of things would be different in terms of reactive purchases and such but I think the other classes’ itemization deserve a touch up before we delve back into ADCs.

For an example of more long term stuff – critical strike is eventually going to have to be looked at to prevent AA based carries from forever being the norm, for example – but that exploration will take a while.

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Where do you see crit damage as a mechanic in the future

Xypherous Final Portrait(Warning – the following comment is entirely Pie in the Sky and not going to happen in the near future.)

I’d kind of like to envision a world where every ADC has a special ‘Crit Damage’ skill like:

Vayne – Silver Bolts (Every 3 hits, deal X + Y% of the target’s maximum Health as true damage. Every critical strike does Z% of the target’s maximum Health)

-or-

Varus – Blighted Quiver (Critical Strikes automatically apply full Blight stacks to the target).

That way, every carry would look at crit a little differently – based on their pattern and what they think they could accomplish etc.

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What are your thoughts on Essence Reaver at the moment

Xypherous Final PortraitWe could fork Essence Reaver off Brutalizer – and the item would be immensely more popular and bought more – you’re absolutely right on that.

Unfortunately, making Essence Reaver’s build path and build up good is something that would most likely send a certain class of AD assassins (whose gates are early/mid-game Mana) into somewhat crazy levels. Pantheon/Talon, etc – would get the lion’s share of benefit until ER was nerfed to be suitable for them.

Ultimately, ER will always kind of be bad until Assassin’s have their own itemization and have their inherent power reduced.

The weird part about items is always that we can always make an item good or powerful – but making that item good and powerful on the people we want it on and not cause side effects elsewhere is the tricky bit.

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How has female champion design in League evolved over the years

Meddler Final PortraitSomething we’ve been aiming for is to get a greater variety of appearances/tones for champions of both genders. There were a couple of years there where many of our female champions especially ended up looking pretty similar and we’ve been making an effort to try and avoid that. That’s not to say we won’t continue to make attractive champions, male and female, where appropriate for their character, but that we also want a wide range that includes champs like Kalista and Rek’Sai as well.

I can’t speak with personal experience about the intent around the game’s initial release, that was well before my time at Riot. Certainly there seems to be a lot of support internally for the greater variety we’ve been exploring recently though.

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Why did you design Varus with no escapes other than his ultimate

Meddler Final PortraitThe intent with Varus was to make a champion with strong poke, a lot of utility by ADC standards and reasonable auto attack damage, in exchange for low burst and mobility. Fitting into the gap between Ashe at one end of the immobile spectrum (heaps of utility, lowest ADC damage) and Kog’maw at the other end (heaps of damage and poke).

Been thinking recently we might want to strengthen his poke a bit (possibly by tying his passive into more than just his auto attacks). Haven’t had a chance to bounce any thoughts about that off the live balance team yet though, see what their current thinking is.

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How did Nautiluss development go Any scrapped abilities

Xypherous Final PortraitA ton of moves were scrapped in the making of him – he started out as being very light in CC because he had the hook but… yeah.

Off the top of my head, here’s the things I remember trying:

A punch which knocked back anyone but the primary target (Xin Zhao’s current ult).

Passive X-Ray eyes that could see through walls in a cone.
Cage of Pain, which brought up a giant circular shock/slow ‘fence’ – like a super big wall of pain.
Bullrush, where you got MS and flung anyone you moved through (multiple times, charging bull kind of deal)
Throw – where you impaled someone on the anchor and then flung them and the anchor to a point of your choice
‘Enrage’ when a nearby ally got attacked (yeah…)

I tend to cycle through skills a lot – I’m sure there was more that I can’t remember. I just remember a long phase of Nautilus being ‘A bull who sets up cages that he then chases people in.’

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Follow Up

Meddler Final Portrait“Bullrush, where you got MS and flung anyone you moved through (multiple times, charging bull kind of deal)”

Man, that was a memorable playtest. I recall one team fight near dragon, where Naut ulted and ran back and forth, juggling 3-4 of us in the air for about 5 seconds until we all died. I still wake up screaming occasionally…

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How did you decide Syndra would need her Q for all other spells

Meddler Final PortraitTook a little while to hit upon the Q as the foundation of the kit, though then felt obvious in retrospect since her original concept art featured her spheres so prominently. Once the basic idea of ‘Q generates objects, other spells manipulate them’ came together things were relatively smooth.

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How did you guys come up with the idea of her incredibly bursty ult

Meddler Final PortraitThe intent with her ult was to give her a reliable tool (given her other abilities were all skillshots) and allow her to punish someone caught out of position or diving into her team (theory being that as a non mobile mage she’d have limited target selection). Ended up being a bit more of a ‘burst down a key target after stunning them’ ability than originally intended. It’s counterplay’s a bit lower than I’d like in that regard, though having said that champs do often need tools like that if they’re to compete with other highly mobile options.

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How separate are the Systems team and Balance team

Xypherous Final PortraitThey’re two different teams. We both have a strong focus on the state of the live game but systems tends to take a longer view on game flow and game health while Balance tends to look at the immediate things affecting champions.

For example, systems might think about whether or not we want more or less snowballing in the game and adjust things like jungle gold or laner experience to accommodate while Live might look at a specific champion and whether or not he should be changed in the upcoming patch because he’s too snowbally.

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What kind of qualifications resume do you look for in the field

Meddler Final PortraitSome of the most useful skills:

  • Analytical abiliity
  • Communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Demonstrated ability to drive on/own projects
  • Understanding of both LoL and other competitive multiplayer games

That stuff can be hard to demonstrate on a Resume sometimes, past work/study, pet projects, gaming background, written design tests etc come together to give a fairly good initial read on applicants though.

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Any news on a Gangplank rework

Meddler Final PortraitBit early to say much alas. We had a crack at a GP rework last year that had some interesting stuff in it, but didn’t quite hit the mark so didn’t get shipped (or talked about after a while, our bad, we should have mentioned it was a project that had been put on hold). We’re going to give him another look this year, wouldn’t expect anything for a while though, a number of other reworks will come out beforehand that are further along already.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

News Banner 10 10

 

Summary

Stashu, the designer behind Cassiopeia’s rework, has made a lengthy post regarding her future direction. Following yesterday’s gigantic PBE update, Xypherous, FeralPony and Ghostcrawler have all joined on the forums to discuss the preseason balance changes and how League will play out in Season 5. Like EUW, an EUNE server migration has been announced, we also have post-game gifting coming to the PBE and a request to the community to come up with interesting biographies for LoL’s Champions.

 

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STASHU New PortraitHey everyone! Sorry for not having the Cassiopeia discussion on Boards earlier. The discussion on GD has been going pretty strong for a while now, and I’ve learned a lot from it, but it’s definitely about time I brought this over here. (Also, sorry for not posting there in the past week or two).

 

I’d love to discuss everybody’s experience on Cassiopeia since the update, but I think I should first address the concerns about her identity and power level. Also, as it’s come up a number of times, I’ll include a more detailed background about what inspired this update and how we got to where we are today. It’s quite long, so I’ll throw that at the end of this post for those of you who are interested.

Let’s start with the more pressing issue. On top problems from a balance perspective, Cassiopeia has lost a lot of her poison feel. This is the bigger pain point for most, and we definitely understand where everyone is coming from. Much of what has historically contributed to Cassiopeia feeling like the ‘Snake Mage’ is her poison DoT’s, and, as these have been deemphasized, she’s lost some of this — well, to be more specific, we inadvertently took it away. It was never the intention to strip her Snake Mage identity, but we agree that we’ve done so in trying to meet other goals with the kit. This has left Cassiopeia in clear need of our attention, and we’re really sorry about that.

Further, while she’s statistically in line with several other champions in League (Twitch, Lee Sin, Elise), there are still some power concerns regarding her kit. That is, skilled players can take advantage of many of the challenging aspects of these champions’ kits in order to overcome their inherent weaknesses (Lee Sin and Elise can overcome their lack of innate tankyness with mobility and cc, and Twitch can overcome his range disadvantage by using his stealth to get in range of his opponents). It has become abundantly clear that on top of being rather difficult to play, Cassiopeia has weaknesses which her kit can’t answer. In isolation, this is okay or even good, champions should have clear weaknesses, but they should also have appropriately powerful and relevant strengths. Cassiopeia’s strength, her damage, is gated sufficiently that despite how high it can be, it’s not contributing enough to overcome her clear and often crippling weakness (namely a combination of range and mobility that just leave her terribly unsafe, particularly in lane).

With all this is mind, the primary reason why we had no changes for 4.18 is that we still haven’t fully determined which tools to add to/bolster on Cassiopeia’s kit. We know that we can buff her stats to a point where she’s strong, but we’re spending some extra time to ensure that our changes do everything we want them to (namely, reinforce her Snake Mage identity). We’ve been moving a bit more slowly than we (and I’m sure all of you) would like, but resources have been a little tight (we have a lot of awesome stuff in the works for pre-season! Coming to pbe soon :D).

That said, I plan on getting some Cassiopeia changes into testing with the target of finalizing them by the next patch or two. Our goals here are to preserve the direction Cassiopeia has gone in (high mechanical skill, combo-casting, late game carry mage), but add back some of the poison feeling that was lost along the way. These changes won’t be on the scale of the original update, but we won’t be hesitant to change mechanics/abilities more significantly where appropriate. The primary candidate here is Twin Fang– we’re considering having Twin Fang play into the DoT game somehow, perhaps through increasing poison damage to its target. Not sure if this is going to be what we ultimately land on, but that should give you an idea of how we’re thinking here.

I know it may feel like we’ve abandoned or forgotten about Cassiopeia to some degree, but I promise you it’s something I think about every day. I’m eager to bring Cassiopeia into a place where people are happy with her, especially those who used to love playing this Champion. While the GD discussion got a bit overwhelming, know that I’ve read the majority of your feedback and we’re trying to figure out how to best respond to the problems you’ve all helped to identify.

Thanks to everyone who has been raising visibility on and contributing to the discussions surrounding Cassiopeia, and thanks for caring. We’ll do our best to make her the best Champion she could be.


Main post: over. Detailed history of the project below for those who are interested. It’s really long, so, sorry about that!


Background: Cassiopeia was in line for a texture/art update since she was a bit old-fashioned and could use a little work both in general but also for her appearance as it will fit on the new Summoners Rift. With this in mind, we saw a good opportunity to add some gameplay updates to Cassiopeia, so we decided to look into it and see if she could benefit from any. This led to some deep analysis, and after a lot of discussion, we identified some problems on the kit. Casseopia’s damage profile (spamable, high damage, AoE DoT’s) made her impossible to balance and fight against when strong and had some readability/satisfaction problems on top of that. Additionally, much of Cassiopeia’s kit was nondistinct and, though she was unique in some ways, we felt she could be more interesting than a ‘vanilla’ mage than she already was.

Hence, our planned changes primarily revolved around identifying and clarifying her identity. Our results: Cassiopeia had good AoE damage, but she wasn’t the AoE mage. She also had good control, but she wasn’t the control mage. She used damage over time, but she wasn’tthe DoT mage– Brand, Rumble, Swain, Zyra, Malzahar, and even Mordekaiser compete in many/all of these fields. However, it was quite clear that compared to other mages, Cassiopeia stood nearly alone when it came to consistent DPS output.

Even previously, those who knew her well feared Cassiopeia as the highest damage output mage in the game– and this occasionally led to some very interesting strategies, even in the competitive scene, like the Yorick/Cassiopeia Zombie-Snake combo. Karthus admittedly was a close competitor here, but we recognized differences between him and Cassiopeia wanted to push them a bit further (have to mention Ryze as well, but his thing is tanky/reliable damage, more than the highest damage possible).

For Cassiopeia, this meant emphasizing her single target damage and her utility surrounding it. On the flip-side, this also meant de-emphasizing her AoE damage (and as a result, her DoT damage). In some ways, we were certainly happy about this, as there are some design problems surrounding the satisfaction/power ratio and readability of DoTs. In others, we were less happy. Poison has been an important part of Cassiopeia’s thematic identity, and a part of it that many people have deeply enjoyed, so this direction was dampening that a bit and thus costly in that sense. However, truthfully the poison aspects of her kit were not integral to its gameplay even as it stood before–one could argue that Twin Fang depends on the target being poisined, but her Q/W could just as easily applied a non-poison marker which enabled E-resets and retained nearly identical gameplay. I could imagine a Champion’s kit that depends on a thematic poison identity to work with its gameplay (a debuff-focused champion comes to mind), but Cassiopeia would likely have to change dramatically to become this. Our changes here were focused on driving Cassiopeia into a unique area which emphasized many of the things she already was doing, not switching her role entirely.

As a brief aside, I’d like to explain a bit about how why we decided to push Cassiopeia so far in one particular direction– bare with me for a moment. Consider Cassiopeia, and, side-by-side, consider a nearly identical champion, except one who uses nukes instead of DoTs (imagine all the other mechanics stay the same, like her Q applies a 3 second marker to the target that resets her Twin Fang when it hits them). Do these champions bring anything different to a team? Of course, there are some differences between DoTs and Nukes that would likely result in minor number changes, but, overall these champions would be doing largely the same thing, with largely the same damage. Now consider Cassiopeia again, but with half her damage and twice the crowd control effects, and compare that to a Cassiopeia with twice the damage but no crowd control (forgetting for a moment whether or not these champions would be balanced). These two champions have clear strategic differences, as they bring dramatically different things to a team (in this case, general damage vs general crowd control). As the League roster grows and grows, Champions need to occupy more and more specific niches to be unique, and this general damage vs general crowd control difference is no longer meaningful.

This is the line of thinking that brought us to distilling Cassiopeia to the highest — single target — late game — consistent damage — mage. This is a particular space that Cassiopeia can maker her own, not shared with any other champion; unlike DoT mage, for example. It does have some differences compared to her pre-update identity, but it comes directly from the unique things about her that we identified and wanted to support. We may not have gotten the numbers right here for her to hit each of these aspects, but that’s the goal and we’re still working towards it.

Now, there may have been better ways to tie the poison thematic (or more importantly, the DoT feel) into this identity than the ones we landed on (the ones we settled on being certain aspects of her passive and Miasma slowing more). One idea that has arisen both internally and on the forums is something like making E into ‘Corrosive Fang:’ Deals some minor damage to the target and increases all poison damage to the target by x% for y seconds, stacks up to z times. This wouldn’t change her gameplay at all (she would still mark targets with Q/W then hit them with a bunch of E’s, and continue to try to land Qs, just as she does now and even before), and thus wouldn’t add anything particularly poison-y to it, but it certainly goes some way towards amping up her poison thematics and adding back some poisony feel. While this particular version has some problems, I quite like the goals and direction and it’s something I’d like to take a stab at.

In any case, that’s a more detailed look into our thought processes and the story behind this update. Hope that helps/explains some stuff!


TLDR; We could meet our goals of keeping Cassioepeia’s use case (namely, late game single target mage carry) unique and special while amping up her thematics and making it more of what everyone wants from the Snake Mage. And that’s where we’re going in the next set up updates!

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Will you be looking at champions with low base regen

FeralPony Final PortraitThe short answer is yes. We’ll be doing a pass on health and mana regeneration statistics.

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So will games start like Dominion

FeralPony Final PortraitWay less extreme than that. Assuming a champion had 500 starting base health and 100 per level under the old system their stat growth would something like this.

Level – Health
1 – 500
2 – 600
3 – 700
….
18 – 2200

The new system might look more like this –

1 – 550
2 – 625
3 – 700
….
18 – 2200

There are a few advantages to this approach, but the biggest one is it allows to curb some of the really crazy snowballing power seen in level advantage from statistics – You’ll still gain a ton from levels (lots of stats, new spell etc) but this allows us to keep the laning phase more in check which gave us the opportunity to remove some of the more heavy handed rubberband mechanics we weren’t happy with but felt necessary to include like reduced first blood gold. First blood gold will be worth the full 400 gold regardless of how early you get the kill. Murder away!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will these base stat changes address snowballing

Sotere: Xypherous touched on it in his context a bit. Early level advantages create crazy power swings and we wanted to tone that down slightly. You can still create good opportunities for yourself by leveling up and having access to an extra or stronger spell, but no longer will you simply outstat your opponent(s) to the same degree.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Xypherous Final PortraitExactly right – this reduces early snowballing by level advantage as levels are far easier to acquire earlier than later. If you can maintain a level lead, being 18 when your opponents are 17 will (relatively) matter more than on live. We’ve pulled back the really unpopular first kill gold rubberbanding stuff though.

So, roughly speaking, level advantage from 1-9 is lessened but the harder it is to maintain a level advantage (due to the increase XP requirements per level) the more a level advantage will be worth.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Don’t you think map vision is being overdone for Season 5

Xypherous Final PortraitIt is a lot of vision, but the uptime on these effects vs. the respawn time of these effects generally keep it down. There are periods of time when its down because the thing just hasn’t respawned yet.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Riot Axes New PortraitThere’s a lot of vision on the map in the spots you’re successfully controlling, which ends up making for more of a map control war through early/mid game than before. You do have to spend a pretty decent amount of time establishing all that vision if you want it – it isn’t free (burn your smite on a wolf, spend a while hunting down crab is a lot of vision but also a lot of time spent getting it).

It’s different for sure, but we haven’t generally been seeing teams that just have vision everywhere or anything like that unless they have a counterjungler who is just owning the map. And ganks still work.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Sotere: This is something we’re excited to get feedback on and will be a careful tuning point as we continue testing. The number of ways to gain vision has increased. Gift of the Eagle Eye (Raptor smite reward) counteracts this to some degree by allowing vigilant junglers to remove vision but we’re still feeling out the balance.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do you think laners will be playing with Smite items

Riot Axes New PortraitIt’s conceivable that a few laners might occasionally take smite with the intent of applying some jungle pressure, and use the item as an added bonus to that strategy, but yeah, I would be pretty surprised if taking Smite just for one of these items was ever worth it. 750 gold and a summoner spell until you spend that 750 gold is a STEEP price to pay, even if the gating is somehow a non-issue.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why can’t we place wards with the new jungle items

FeralPony Final PortraitThe ability to place wards from the jungle items was a bit overkill with the addition and modification in the smite rewards several of which grant vision in various forms. The trinket system as a whole also goes a long way in covering for this need.

 

I don’t think anyone is opposed to adding these again if needed. Some of the elements of the older items – feral flare stacking etc could very well sneak back into either the items themselves or into the enchant system. I know it’s been a topic of discussion recently. Feedback on what specifically you miss from either a functional or simply a fun perspective is always helpful.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do you think the PBE changes will diversify  jungle picks

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI would argue Jungler diversity isn’t particularly good on live. What we are trying to do is having multiple axes on which a Jungler can be good so that the same champions don’t keep rising to the top. One champ may be better at traditional camp clearing, but another might be better at counter jungling or even farming Feral Flare-style.

In any case, we will have to adjust the tuning on some champs for sure if we go through with these changes. It isn’t worth taking those steps until we feel pretty solid about the changes themselves or the target will just be constantly moving. I would focus on your feedback on the system overall and not necessarily which champs have become better or worse at jungling. That information is still important, but it’s easier to iterate on than the new jungle design overall.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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End of game gifting up on the PBE

Saberprivateer New PortraitHey guys!

We’ve released end of game gifting to the PBE for testing. This is a new way for players to gift fellow Summoners via the post-game lobby. Now, whether you want to thank a friendly player or reward someone’s first Pentakill, you can show your appreciation after the match! Here are the details:

 

• You do NOT have to be friends to send a gift
• You can send gifts to players on both teams
• Only mystery skins and mystery gifts are available at this time
• The prices will be the same as in the store
• Gifts will count towards the daily gifting limit. In other words, you can only send/receive up to five gifts each day (For example, sending three mystery skins from the store and two end of game gifts hits your limit)
• Available in all queues except for custom games

The Unlock team is looking forward to your feedback so please respond to this post with questions and let us know what you think!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

EUNE Server migration on its way

Dromaius New PortraitHey guys,

We’ve said it before, but our main goal for 2014 is to provide you with the quality, reliable League of Legends service you deserve. We haven’t posted any major status updates as of late, but rest assured that the efforts we’ve begun in our new Amsterdam data center are progressing according to plan, and the EUNE service will soon be getting a new home! Our engineers continue to work on all aspects of service migration and we should be ready to launch EUNE from the new location sometime in November of this year. We expect to have a firmer go-live date as the project nears completion.

Our Amsterdam data center already hosts the new EUW service, and our quality uptime has improved. EUNE stands to reap similar benefits from the facility’s new infrastructure, hardware solutions, stability and network security. This will enable us to safely increase EUNE’s capacity, expand every part of the service, reduce patch deployment times and boost Internet connectivity.

Another important aspect of this his change involves the consolidation of the EUNE service – both platform and game servers – in Europe, removing the dependency between globally shared services and reducing vulnerability when third-party service providers experience disruptions.

Our teams in Europe and North America will continue working together to deliver on the promise we’ve made of increased service stability. Do note however that setting up a new data center is a massive undertaking, and while we are currently on track to complete it in the November timeframe, there’s always the potential for unforeseen delays.

Stay tuned for more updates on the progress, final maintenance date and expected downtime involved in this transition for EUNE players. We appreciate your dedication to League of Legends. Thanks for playing!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Singed’s PBE Balance Changes

 

[ Note ] Here’s a link to the PBE update where Singed was tweaked.

 

SmashGizmo Final PortraitHey guys, SmashGizmo here from the Live Gameplay team, and I’m here to just give you guys a little heads up on some Singed changes coming to PBE soon. We don’t think Singed needs a big push to make his way back into the mix in top lane, so we’re looking at some small scale changes, both to give him something new and cool to do and to give him a little nudge up in power. The main changes we’re looking at here are:

  • When Singed Flings an opponent into his Mega Adhesive, they are snared for 1 second
  • Slight buff to rank 3 Insanity Potion stats bonus

The first change is about adding some cool thematic utility to Singed and opening up some big play-making potential when he gets creative with comboing his abilities. We like the core stuff that Singed is doing and we didn’t really want to change that too much, but we wanted to give him some new ways to think about his E and W usage and reward players for using them well together. The second change is just a slight nudge up to his late game effectiveness, as Insanity Potion’s rank 3 isn’t quite as noticeable in the late game as the earlier ranks are in the early-mid game.

Also, Singed is receiving these kit changes in tandem with some visual changes! The model and textures for all of his skins have been updated, so you can look all spiffy as you run by people and throw them onto disgusting puddles of goo.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Thresh would be a viable pick even if he did no damage

Zephyreal New PortraitNo damage would be brutal in laning phase, but the concept is kind of the same late game where he (generally) doesn’t build damage so his entire fight contribution is CC, saving mispositioned allies, and area control with his ultimate. Personally, I am of the latter where some of the older supports just aren’t at Thresh’s level as opposed to Thresh being super OP, but obviously that’s not a hard-fact statement, just a subjective thought. And if the main problem is the flashy feel (which some people pointed out is their primary concern as opposed to wanting more gold or assists to give more power), then utility as opposed to damage or item power reliance is one way to go about it.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Fun facts about Diana

IronStylus Final PortraitDiana is named so because the name Diana is derived from the Roman goddess of the moon and hunting.

Also! Diana’s weapon, the Moonsilver Blade is a “reverse khopesh”, making it a stylized scythe, alluding to it being a metaphorical reaping tool, alluding to the harvest, another aspect of the moon.. and also the murder of the Solari elders in her case whom she “reaped”.

Bonus art tidbits! Diana’s character design utilizes forms and shape language which are antithetical and opposing of Leona’s design language. While Leona’s design flairs out in many aspects (the Solari symbol, her crest/crown/faceguards, dress, etc) Diana is comprised of inwardly converging circles or ovals (chest guard, gauntlets, dress, etc).

🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Let’s talk Champion biographies

Carnival Knights New PortraitContinuing an interesting discussion from this thread here, I’d like to talk about some characters we’ll be taking a crack at soon as a natural course of the revamp. As pointed out earlier we still have a lot of champs that have outdated lore, but for the sake of keeping a clear focus I’d like to hold this discussion primarily to champions whose biographies are completely dependent or intricately entwined with the Summoners/the IoW. Without the aforementioned institutions, where did they come from? Why are they here? What do they want? Nocturne, Fiddlesticks, Lee Sin, fourth example. All the champs. All your favorite champs (I make a lot of bad jokes, by the way. I apologize in advance).

To give you some insight into our motivations, we’re looking at stories holistically, rather than storytelling in a vacuum. What that means is, our goal is to preserve core personality aspects of characters while reinventing the how and why of their stories to create an interesting and vibrant world. For the sake of this discussion, you do not have to adhere to those rules. Offer any crazy idea you can think of! I’ll try and check in as often as I can and respond as often as possible.

A couple points of note: this is not a promise to act on any of these suggestions. As well, I’d like this to stay as positive as possible – if you have criticisms feel free to voice them, but I’d rather have a friendly, focused discussion of these champs. Besides their core personalities, they’re almost blank slates! Mostly blank. Kind of sort of blank. Ish.

I’ll get it started: where should Nocturne come from? Is he a living shadow that kills people in their dreams and impresses nightmares on the waking world in the form of hallucinatory episodes? Or something… more? Share your thoughts! Lets do it!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com

 


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More on Future Item Changes Banner

Xypherous is continuing the discussion on the big item changes that went into yesterday’s PBE update. Frozen Mallet will likely be deleted. Sorry to all 3 people that buy it.

 

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[ Question ] Won’t Ardent Censer be broken in the hands of Supports with spammable Shields / Heals?


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Items should feel kind of broken when you use it.

Whether it actually is broken, I’m not sure. I do recall the days of Stark’s Fervor – but there were so many things that were broken about that item that the Attack Speed actually seems like the most non-broken part.

That being said – that’s why I post the item specifics – it gives us time to consider your responses and react accordingly.


Ardent Censer In-Game

[ Ardent Censer from 06/06 PBE Update ]



[ Question ] Should Ardent Censer work on Turrets?


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Probably not – but now that I think about it – the way I hooked it up, turrets would gain AS from it.

On the one hand, not intended – on the other hand, that’s actually kind of cool. Hm.. I think I’ll want to talk to my team before making a call one way or the other.



[ Question ] Will Soraka’s ultimate work with Ardent Censer?


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Yes – an AoE restriction might be tricky to do, but if we really need to do it, we can. I just think it’s premature to do an AoE restriction as the two cool interactions are:

  1. Single target high uptime heals/shields with offense boosts (Janna/Lulu/Kayle/Nidalee)
  2. AoE low uptime mass effects (Karma/Thresh/Locket/Soraka ult)

I kind of want to see how #1 and #2 pan out before thinking about the AoE stuff. Under the hood, I can already detect most of the AoE cases as is.



[ Question ] What are AP midlaners that do not benefit from AD or building tank supposed to build for MR now? 


ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: speaking very broadly, ‘mages’ have traditionally looked to generic defenses instead of specific defenses (i.e., they buy health and ‘damage prevention effects’ like the actives on zhonya’s hourglass and seraph’s embrace, as well as the passives on banshee’s veil). it’s typically much more difficult to get a mage’s armor or magic resist to ‘fighter’ levels, which is more or less the intent right now.

to answer your hypothetical, if i needed more defense as brand, anivia, ziggs, lux, et al, i would likely buy chalice of harmony or a ruby crystal + giant’s belt (or negatron cloak) to eventually upgrade into items that character wants. athene’s, rylai’s, and liandy’s can all be fine. even just a cowl can be great since banshee’s veil is really good for long range champions like the ones you mentioned.



[ Question ] Will you be adding more Spell Vamp items?


ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: spell vamp is something i’d like to look at in the future for sure. i don’t know yet if that means we need to add/rework spell vamp items once that’s done, but as a stat it’s not in a great enough place currently to be made widely available in the item shop. not sure when we’d be able to put in time for this, but given our current ‘to do’ list i don’t think it’ll be anytime soonâ„¢.



[ Question ] Why are low crit chance values an issue in balancing?


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Due to how the PRNG system works, lower amounts of critical strikes are more dangerously swingy than higher amounts – because it needs more time/hits to function in order to guarantee that 1 in X attacks critically strike.

As critical strike values get higher, PRNG can actually ensure that in smaller windows – the amount of critical strikes can be normalized.

However, with low critical strike values (10%) – there is very little that PRNG can do to prevent or tackle streaks or luck events. PRNG needs to work off of high base values in order to ensure consistency in a 3 to 4 second time window.

Conversely, a 10% critical strike is far less predictable as it needs a 20 to 30 second window to normalize out.

This is not true of pure RNG, of course, which doesn’t care about time windows at all.

The problem with critical strike isn’t that if a critical strike happens, it’s automatically bad.

The problem with critical strike is that at low values it is inconsistent and unpredictable because there’s no way to plan around it – what you want is increased predictability of the system – and PRNG needs a large base and a better time frame to do that kind of work.

Triforce gives 10% crit.

Zeal after BT gives 10% crit, and that’s almost at laning over.

The argument that Zeal after BT is ‘lane is over’ – then a similar analysis can be done on the I.E. ‘rush’. Current Zeal after BT in the live game has at minimum – 4375 gold.

I.E Rush is at minimum – 3800 gold. As I.E. Rush will necessarily need another DBlade to sustain it – it becomes 4275 gold in order to be an effective strategy.

Note that this is 4200 gold after whatever baseline items you assume an ADC needs (typically default blade + 325 G boots).

Essentially, by the time critical strike enters the equation with the IE rush – it’s a similar time window to when crit enters the equation at the moment, except in the case of Tri-force rushers – in which case critical strike enters the equation earlier.

The short of this is that unless Cloak of Agility actually turns out to be a good purchase (it’s not and easily tunable to always suck) – we don’t actually introduce critical strike chance much earlier than the current state of live. The leftover change is easily tunable with Gold if we’ve determined we’ve overbuffed things.

Therefore, if your assessment is that Zeal after BT is effectively lane over – then you also have to take with it that double blade into IE is effectively lane over as well.

The other portion of this is that if double Dblade into I.E. becomes the default, we’ll raise the cost of I.E. The entire point of this item adjustment exercise is that there are multiple competing strategies. If in fact, 2x Blade into I.E. becomes the overwhelming default – we’d fix it with price increases because we’d be annoyed there is an overwhelming default that doesn’t care about champion specifics.

TL;DR – Timing doesn’t change much to crit in lane. PRNG system makes higher crit chances more predictable and better able to be planned around. We’ll adjust 2x blade into I.E. down if if becomes overwhelming default.



Frozen Mallet to be deleted



[ Question ] Do you have any plans on Mallet as defensive item?


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: We’ve done a lot of Mallet experimentation – but the result keeps coming back to – Why is this item in the game – whenever it’s not fringe, the game sucks.

We’re more inclined to delete the item entirely at this point.



[ Question ] What part of Frozen Mallet presents a balancing issue?


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: The basic question is – Is Frozen Mallet essential to the game functioning well?

And it seems to be no, at this point.

Frozen Mallet doesn’t really seem to help any combat cases we’re happy with – nor does it seem to invite interesting gameplay when it works.

The main problem with Frozen Mallet is basically the concept of an on-hit slow and the idea that it’s somehow supposed to help fighters or ranged characters.

At its core, there’s a lot of interesting design space we could put on fighters or ranged characters – but Frozen Mallet doesn’t help any of those patterns when it’s good. It simply flattens all the patterns down to ‘land one basic attack.’

It’s not the permaslow – or the stats really. There’s a richness in how ranged vs. melee fight each other and how they position against each other but Frozen Mallet, whenever it’s been good basically tells people that a single basic attack should be what defines that pattern.

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t numbers or mechanics that you could do to make the current Frozen Mallet work. It’s just, the gains really wouldn’t be worth the costs in the end – You’d have a cool item at the expense of a lot of other things. This isn’t a question of viability or whether or not we can make it attractive. All that is really simple to do. It’s whether or not it’s worth it and I’m not really sure at this point.



[ Suggestion ] Instead of a passive perma-slow, give Frozen Mallet an active that slows heavily on the next auto attack


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: The item could theoretically exist – but it doesn’t really add much other than Frozen Mallet is in the game. Low mobility, high-CC fighters are still screwed. High mobility fighters now have one more CC. Ranged ADCs don’t benefit from it – nor do they have a compelling reason to get it.

It’s not that you can’t make a viable slowing item in the game. That’s obviously possible if you want to jump through the right hoops. The question is whether it adds anything of value to the overall game and what is it trying to solve.



[ Suggestion ] Change Phage to passively give movement speed when moving towards an enemy Champion (Vayne). The movement speed buff doubles if the item owner takes damage


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: That is neat. It always does feel kind of bad giving the opponent a boost when you attack them but adding directionality solves a lot of edge cases and could feel intuitively right.

We’d have to make it a lot more precise that Vayne’s 180 degree 2000 range I want to murder ze enemy type movement – but it could be supported with visuals in a really cool way.

Hm.. I’ll talk to my team about it. Slight concern here in that it might make Vayne feel bad because her unique passive gets replicated on an item… but you know.. it’s not like that’s never happened before.

Very interesting thought though.



More on New Summoner's Rift Banner

The discussion on the recently announced visual update for Summoner’s Rift continues.


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[ Question ] Shaco can Deceive over terrain much more effectively than Flash. Are you making sure those locations still work?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: Yes they will still work. The nav mesh is copied directly from the map on live. It is not a new map. It is a visual update. The only difference is a few bugs we cleaned up.




[ Suggestion ] The area around the towers should be paved to indicate the tower’s range


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: Having a really clear circumference around the towers is problematic from a design perspective because it would allow players to stand 1 pixel outside of the range something we would prefer there to be some risk/mastery in order to do.




[ Question ] Will the Dragon and Baron AI be improved?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: There are some distinctions between those 2 camps and how they behave on the current map.

 

 

 


[ Suggestion ] The shop bounds should match the heal zone, or at least have the same center


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: Good point on the heal zone. I will look into it. There is a design feedback thread located in the summoner’s rift sub-forum. If you could post it there I will not lose track of the concern.

4. There are some distinctions between those 2 camps and how they behave on the current map. I think it will have an impact.



[ Question ] Will there be any weather effects?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: Yes there will be some weather effects. The north east quadrant is going to be rainy, apart from that we will have dust, fog, lightrays and other environmental effects.

 

 

 

[ Question ] Will we have daytime/nighttime cycles?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: We will not have day/night cycles. Our lighting is all hand painted. The wins that we would get by having a day/night cycle would be massively outweighed by the losses we would get from adopting a more artifical lighting system.

 

 


[ Question ] Will we have camera rotation?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: We will not have camera rotation, but the fundamental issue behind why we want the ability to rotate the camera is being looked into. We are not prepared to discuss that yet. The solution will not be part of the visual update.




[ Follow-up ] Why not shift the camera angle by 45 degrees?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: I think the 45 degree solution is a lot stronger than the 180 degree or 90 degree solution because it creates a more stable play environment and allows us to optimize the map in cleaner way. There is inherent asymmetry in the map (Dragon Baron, the locations of the buffs) but testing a camera shift would tell us if those things are really distorting balance or if they just provoke tactical adjustments. 

That being said I am not saying that we are doing the 45 degree option at any point. We could hit huge unforeseen obstacles. But, (in my opinion) it is a stronger option than the methods we have considered previously.



[ Question ] What kind of work besides optimization and Wraiths / Double Golems is left?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: The “Wraiths” (Now Razorbeaks) and Double-Golems (Now Krugs) are just as far along as the other creatures in the map, we just didn’t show them in the video. We have a lot of refinement to do on textures. The map is still unlit (which is one of the things leading to the complaint about darkness) We are still in the process of populating flowers easter-eggs and player orienting props.We need to tighten the visuals around the nav-mesh. We need to do a lot of optimization work on our texture/mesh optimization… apparently we need to find a duck? I am not sure about that one.



[ Question ] Will we be able to turn off some of the more hardware-intensive animations?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: We are working on tech to get things really clean for min-spec machines. that is one of the things being considered.





[ Question ] Does the map affect ping?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: I don’t believe so. I don’t think a map could effect ping. Do you mean FPS? Could you go into more detail about the concern?





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[ Bug-fix ] PBE: Ardent Censer not giving the AS buff after a direct heal


Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Seems like I forgot to get the part where it actually works on heals onto the PBE. My bad.

Err.. I have no idea when the next PBE push is – but I’ll try to get it working as soon as it’s feasible – it’s weird because it’s the weekend.

Thanks for ze bug report!

 

 

[ Question ] Why haven’t we received any news regarding the NA East Coast Servers?


Cedriel Button Rioter Cedriel: We try to be transparent on what we do and why we do it: that’s why we’re doing things like patch previews, post content ahead of time for feedback on PBE, write dev blogs and interact directly with players in the forums, twitter, reddit and such. Unfortunately, there are things about which we can’t say much until we have something to deliver.

For instance, take a project that is still in an early stage and is undergoing a lot of testing and revision. Anything we show you is going to create excitement and set expectations, but what we actually launch might end up being very different, to the disappointment of a great many people who were anticipating something else. Sometimes, we find along the way that what seemed like a great idea turns out to just not to be fun in practice, and simply never release it because it would’ve been a pretty bad player experience. We messed up bad with Magma Chamber on this one, for instance.

Another example would be projects that are large in scope and technically complex. Sometimes these things change mid-development, or we find out that some problems were more complicated than we anticipated. Particularly when you’re doing new things, deadlines can slip. If we promise stuff and fail to deliver, you have a right to be pissed at us. We’d rather under-promise and over-deliver!

Finally, there are projects that we simply have to be vague about for security reasons. Security often plays out like a cat-and-mouse game in which hostile parties come up with creative new vectors for attack and we come up with counter-measures. Spelling out in detail what those counter-measures will be ahead of time amounts to giving these people advance notice, and making them less effective. For instance, we’re working on solutions to reduce or eliminate the pain that players feel from DDOS and drophack attacks, but we can’t really talk about what or how.

We recognize that East Coast players are not getting the same quality of service that West Coast players do—and we’re committed to doing something about that. Wiser heads than mine are working on this. Unfortunately, if their work hits any of those points—and almost any solution will—there’s just not much we can say until it’s ready or near-ready. It’s frustrating to you because it feels like we’re not listening, and it’s frustrating for us because there’s nothing that we want more than to show all the cool stuff we’re doing to make League of Legends better—but there are good reasons for it.

In the meantime, all we can do is apologize for not being good enough, thanking you for your patience, and telling you that we’re working on it.



[ Question ] Will Patch 4.10 include changes to Quinn and Urgot?


Wav3Break Button Rioter Wav3Break: Hey guys, I just want to clarify some of our views on sensitive/gray area champions like Quinn and Urgot since there is a lot of lively discussion. Currently, we don’t necessarily see these two champions fitting into the traditional marksman role and thus 4.10 will not have specific changes reflecting them. The scope of 4.10 has us incredibly focused on improving the health of traditional marksman role and we plan to deliver our best work regarding that focus. Discussion is always valuable to us though and we are grateful for all the feedback you guys provide us.



[ Follow-up ] Quinn is a lackluster bot-lane Marksman


Wav3Break Button Rioter Wav3Break: I agree that Quinn currently does not function at her best as a traditional marksman and that she feels like she is at an awkward spot regarding her champion identity. That being said I don’t think that she is a particularly weak champion. She is an incredibly interesting character and we want to observe how the overall game changes after we implement the changes we have planned in 4.10. The post 4.10 analysis will be real and we look forward to the feedback and discussion you guys will have for us :).

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.


 

News Update June 5

 

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Fan Art Showcase: Lulu Chibis

 

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Patch 4 point 10 Live Gameplay Forecast Banner

Here’s what you can look forward to in the next patch. The discussion on Life Steal is continued by Xypherous in the next collection!

 

 

Wav3Break Button Rioter Wav3Break: Hey guys, Wav3Break here for the 4.10 Patch Forecast. I’ll be explaining some of the reasoning and insights that the balance team is using to approach some of the major issues we have found in live League of Legends gameplay. Keep in mind that this forecast is meant to highlight some of the problems we’ve identified and that not all issues mentioned will necessarily have changes reflecting them in the upcoming patch. Some changes might take longer than others and everything is subject to change! Without further ado:

DISCLAIMER: I’M GOING TO BE SAYING MARKSMEN A LOT.

 4.10 – The Marksmen Patch: We’re currently looking at a lot of things in and around the space of the marksmen role in League of Legends. In 4.10, we expect to tune a lot of game elements that currently impact the health and success of the role. You’ll be seeing a lot of changes regarding marksmen itemization paths, champions, items that affect their late game power, etc. Our overall goal is to make these champions feel more satisfying late game and shine even brighter as the powerful late game champions they were meant to be.

 Marksmen we feel that are too strong: We feel that the following champions currently warp the role in such a way that it is unhealthy for the role itself and/or the holistic game. The power of these characters negatively impacts the overall viability of other marksmen and we plan on making some changes to bring them back in line with their marksbrothers and markssisters.

 

Twitch New Portraits

 As Jag mentioned in our 4.8 patch forecast (http://community.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/live-gameplay/gTkfbmI6-48-live-gameplay-patch-forecast ), Twitch is an incredibly powerful champ that has been on our radar since his rise in popularity in both competitive and casual play. Our current feelings on this sneaky rat are that his early game power does not give him enough weaknesses to offset his hyper scaling carry potential in the late game. Our challenge is to retune his early game dominance to be better balanced with his late game power levels.

 

Lucian New Portrait

 Lucian is still widely regarded as one of the safest and most reliable marksmen in all levels of play. His early game poke via Piercing Light and a scaling double-hit passive allow him to dominate the lane phase while also dealing very respectable damage late game. These problems coupled with his innate safety continue to allow him to dominate the role. In this upcoming patch we plan to retune some his early game strengths and give him well-defined weaknesses and strengths throughout all stages of the game.

 Marksmen that we feel need some special lovin’: We feel that the following champions have currently fallen out of flavor for reasons that specifically have to do with their lack of power or loss of late game identity. We plan to implement changes that will help these champions reestablish themselves as compelling markspeople to play in the current live game.

 

Sivir New Portrait

Our previous changes to Sivir were aimed at reducing her capabilities in the early game to push minion waves down while avoiding any interaction with her lane opponent(s). While the changes we last implemented did accomplish this goal, we feel that some of the constraints we enforced on her early game currently inhibit her identity as a powerful AOE Marksmen in the late game. Thus we are looking to retune some of her mana issues in the late game to make her feel more like the powerful ricochet damage dealer she was meant to be.

 

Tristana New Portrait

Tristana is one of the most classic Marksmen and we’ve identified her as one of the weaker ones in today’s landscape. That being said, we believe there are many low risk changes we can actualize to make her a more attractive champion in the live game.

 

Game Systems that impact the Marksmen role (Marksmen Items / Defensive Items):

1) Warden’s Mail and Randuin’s Omen

These items are currently the premier buys for players wishing to itemize against ubiquitous physical damage. While we want to maintain the defensive effectiveness of these items, we feel that they may be too powerful due to their combination of high base stats and unique passives.

2) Life Steal Itemization

The game systems team has a lot of changes for marksman itemization (specifically centered on life steal) that they’ll go into on their upcoming game systems forecast.

Other Pressing Issues:

 

LeBlanc New Portrait

 As mentioned in the previous patch forecasts, we are continuing our efforts in creating a healthy LeBlanc for League of Legends. We still enjoy her skill requirements and mind-gamey playstyle, but LeBlanc’s issues reach further into the core of the character and therefore the scope of our long term goals for her have also increased. Still, due to her power and lack of counter play in the live game, we are looking at some incremental changes that will make her play pattern healthier and maintain her defining playstyle.

Champion Rework Updates: We’ve got some champion rework updates on the way in the form of Nidalee and Skarner, so head over to the champion update forecast (http://community.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-skins/ZuUsm0U8-champion-updateupdate-49-410 ) for more information there.

 

 

[ Question ] Weren’t your plans to buff other Marksmen instead of nerfing Twitch and Lucian?

 

Wav3Break Button Rioter Wav3Break: I apologize if this was not clear in the original post, but many of the game systems updates we plan to roll out in 4.10 will increase the power level of the entire marksmen role. All marksmen champions will have even more impact on games. Thus in the wake of these changes, we are paying extra attention to Twitch and Lucian as they are already two of the strongest and we are bringing the entire class’s base line higher.

 

 

Upcoming changes to Life Steal

Staple items on AD Carries are getting a complete overhaul to prevent Bloodthirster ADs from continuing to dominate.

 

 

XypherousButton Rioter Xypherous: Note: As this is a forecast, this won’t have many specifics in it. I’ll have my usual style of post with the specifics of item changes on Friday when we try to coordinate a PBE push.

 

 

Attack Damage – B.F. Sword normalization

Items Affected:  The_Bloodthirster B._F._Sword_item Mercurial_Scimitar Infinity_Edge

 We’re going to be normalizing everything that builds out of B.F. Sword to have 80 Attack Damage with minimal price increases to compensate – as well as shifting B.F. Sword to have 50 Attack Damage at the 1600 Gold price point, instead of 45 Attack Damage at the 1550 Gold price point.

On the whole, we like what this does to the overall decision making when purchasing a B.F. Sword – you know it will eventually morph into an 80 Attack Damage item – the only question being what sorts of side utility you want out of the whole deal.

There’s a slight caveat here in that this puts an unfortunate damper on Bloodthirster – whose presence is too dominant and skews the power between Ratio driven carries and more traditional basic attack oriented carries.

Essentially, BT goes down in power – everything else goes up in power – including the midgame where you build up to BT.

 

Attack Speed Itemization – Dagger Retuning

Items Affected:   Dagger_item Zeal Berserker's_Greaves

 Attack Speed isn’t a particularly attractive statistic to overcommit to at the moment given the natural Attack Speed growth of carries. We’re making some slight buffs to Dagger to help mitigate some of the mid-game power issues that carries are facing at the moment where Attack Speed only feels good at the final completed item rather than during the build-up, where it matters.

Basically, you usually do get enough Attack Speed by the end of the game with your build. It’s just that the entire way to the end item, you don’t have nearly enough. You can expect these items to have slightly more attack speed with a minimal price increase.

For example: Berzerker’s Greaves giving 5% more Attack Speed and costing 50 more Gold.

 

Lifesteal

Going to start with a quick item preview as a framing piece:

 

Doran’s Blade

 

Doran's_Blade

  •  80 Health –> 70 Health
  • 8 Attack Damage –> 7 Attack Damage
  • 3/5 Life on Hit –> 3% Life Steal

 

For a long time, we were trying to phase out early life steal as a statistic and replacing it with other mechanisms such as life on hit. However, with the rise of non-sustain supports – this avenue no longer makes sense. With non-sustain based supports being the norm rather an exception – Life Steal needs to be easily accessible from a variety of sources in order for the ADC to not be locked into a single early build path – the one that includes Life Steal.

With this in mind, it makes more sense for Life Steal to be more expensive overall but easier to ‘stack’ from a wider variety of sources rather than have Life Steal be a single specific path.

 Hence, we’re going to lower the life steal amounts of all items – but introduce it back into Doran’s Blade in order for carries to have a wider range of possible % Life Steal values – this allows carries to basically build the ‘right’ amount of life steal for their carry type, their support and the power of their lane opponents – rather than having one single overpowered choice that tries to cover every situation in which you might need sustain.

On the whole, you can expect there to be less life steal on each of the life steal items but more available % life steal options. What we expect to see is a slightly wider range of potential first order buys – especially since this version of Doran’s Blade has more mid game potential.

 

Doran's_Blade

Doran's_Blade

Doran's_Blade

Doran's_Blade

Infinity_Edge

Doran's_BladeThe_Bloodthirster

Doran's_BladeBlade_of_the_Ruined_King

Doran's_BladeDoran's_BladeOld_VampiricScepter

 

 The_Bloodthirster Bloodthirster

70 Attack Damage –> 80 Attack Damage
12% Life Steal –> 15% Life Steal

Unique Stacking Passive –> Removed
New Passive –> Your life steal effects can overheal you, granting you a shield equal to the excess up to X (based on character level). This shield decays if you haven’t dealt or taken damage in 15 seconds

 Bloodthirster becomes a problem when its too commonplace as it creates a situation where it basically comes down to who acquires it first. This is both due to the power and build path of the item as well as the stacking mechanic on it. Additionally, it favors Attack Damage ratio-driven carries who traditionally have weaker end-games to begin with. We’re retuning Bloodthirster to be a more consistent choice and to give other damage options a more favorable comparison point.

 We know that this will leave certain ranged characters that rely on Bloodthirster Stacking in a bit of a bind at the moment – Certain heavy AD Varus and Miss Fortune builds will be in a bit of a pinch without a stackable Attack Damage source. However, given how Bloodthirster both supports these characters and suppresses them by beingmore favorable to other characters – it’s not really contributing to a healthier ecosystem.

Melee will generally come out favorably as they have a very offensive life steal item (Hydra) and a more defensive one (Bloodthirster).

 

Mikael's_Crucible Mikael’s Crucible

 Lastly, I want to talk about Crucible – this item is too commonplace and negates a lot of decision making in the end game. Crucible does odd things where it devalues long cooldown initiation patterns in exchange for repeated pick patterns.

This heavily suppresses utility centric carries like Ashe or Varus who rely on these patterns to be strategically interesting.

 We do like that Crucible is an option in the game but it is currently too broad of a pick and appearing too frequently on a much wider array of supports than intended. Mikael’s is just as good as a buy on offensive tanky supports as defensive ones – which skews the balance of power even farther away from initiation based carries as their unique niche both gets countered and replaced by the same character.

 We’re going to both raise the cost of this item and adjust the statline to favor more Mana intensive supports to shifts Mikael into favoring more mage-centric supports rather than Tank supports. We’ll be adding another support item in Mikael’s price point in order to grant a wider breadth of items – the details of which will be on the PBE post on Friday.

Note – 11:43 p.m.: Gotta run. Won’t be responding to posts for the rest of the night. I’ll check back in this thread tomorrow.

 

 

Overview of AS & BF Sword Changes

 

XypherousButton Rioter Xypherous: Attack Speed

We’re mostly only targetting the mid-game build up of these items with Attack Speed. Currently, any Attack Speed build tends to build an excess of it – rather than not have enough. What we specifically wanted to do is make the traditional ADC Attack Speed items give more Attack Speed along the waybecause currently their midgames seem far more painful than they have to be.

The only real item that will see a net increase in power / gold will be Berzerker’s Greaves – which has been more traditionally ADC focused – though it does see some fringe use in super aggressive fighter builds.

BF Sword cost increase

This has come up once or twice in playtesting but a 50 Gold difference is fairly minimal in terms of the pace of the overall game. It’s effectively 2 CS – which can be overcome by skill.

Essentially, I don’t expect it to be a problem – but if it turns out to be the case, then the important thing that we’ll keep is that B.F. Sword goes to 50 Attack Damage.

 

[ Question ] Will you be shifting Blade_of_the_Ruined_King‘s power from its overall DPS to its anti-health passive?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Yeah – I’m still trying to figure out the final numbers on this.

 

 

 

[ Question ] Any plans to to improve Youmuu's_Ghostblade and Statikk_Shiv paths?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: We were trying to polish up critical strike a bunch but the more we churned on it, the less confident we were in that it’d be a good idea to do mid-season.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] How will you solve lifesteal sustain on top lane?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: We really weren’t concerned about lifesteal in top lane – mostly because top lane seemed mostly unchanged even after the DBlade tweaks.

 

 

 

[ Question ] Is Ravenous_Hydra receiving any changes?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Nope – mostly just concerned with ADC/LS at the moment.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] How will this affect the end-game for AD carries?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: The ADC typically suffers from a lack of uptime on their damage in the end-game, rather than a lack of damage straight up.

What usually happens is that they either don’t have the time to kite or the survivability to survive the initial burst – and thus whatever damage window they have is pretty meaningless and tiny.

The Live team ultimately decided that removing the MS slow from Randuin’s was a better call (detailed in their forecast, which I should really duplicate here) – which will give uptime through evasion / kiting.

The thought behind this version of BT is that it can help to provide a defensive buffer such that carries feel safer and can get more attacks in dangerous situations. It’s essentially a form of survivability that you can only really access when your basic attack damage is insane.

 

 

[ Question ] What do you hope to accomplish with these changes?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: The common BT –> Tri-force build will definitely be weaker – as that’s kind of the goal here. Ratio driven carries have pushed more traditional basic attack driven carries out of the playing field.

My goal is to ensure that the item system in general doesn’t favor one subclass of carry over another – and that we try to add power onto ADC midgames such that they feel relevant earlier. Granted, these changes aren’t huge by any means, some small amount of AD / AS and a better mid-game focused DBlade but we are doing things slowly for now as we’re doing lots of things simultaneously.

 

 

[ Follow-up ]

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: As stated in the post – Vampiric Scepter and almost every life steal item will have a reduction in % Life Steal.

Right now, carries only have three possible stopping points for life steal: 4.5% (Quints), 14.5% (Quints + VS) and 16.5% to Y% (BT).

My goal is to nerf every source of lifesteal that stems out of the Vampiric Scepter path, including Vampiric Scepter but add a small component source of % lifesteal such that there is a wider range of lifesteal values that a carry can get or stop at which will then allow him to choose what level of sustain he wants / feels like he needs.

 

 

[ Question ] Doesn’t Vampiric Scepter already make harass supports irrelevant?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: A couple of notes:

  • 3 life on hit will typically give far more returns than 3% life steal to begin with – so the early game life steal will be cut back – even if they go for an immediate vampiric scepter.
  • Vampiric Scepter will be nerfed in % LS.
  • We nerfed the LS quints a couple patches ago.

Your assertion is that Vampiric Scepter itself at any amount of % LS will make harass supports impossible to run. I disagree with this as harassment is typically balanced on an edge because the duration of the laning phase is a very extended time table – thus minor changes to harass, regeneration or sustain tends to have very large impacts because it has a long time to work on.

The other facet of this is that sustain / defensive supports actually seem far less common than harass supports currently – and after the defensive item starts (and the spellthief’s changes) have brought a lot more mage supports back into the fray.

 

 

[ Follow-up ]

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Which harass support are you thinking of here? Karma/Nami/Lulu all do fairly well in bottom lane (even in Lulu is stronger mid in the current ecosystem.)

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] Won’t Sona and Nami suffer too much as a result of these changes?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: I agree with you on Sona – though I don’t think nerfing Vampiric Scepter will help Sona any – mostly because she gets murdered by the burst factor of other supports due to her squishiness.

I disagree with you on Nami though – Internally, it seems like Nami is doing really well with these changes. I’ll ping some people about it as I’m not an expert on Nami.

 

 

[ Follow-up ]

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Since I work on overall systems – I can’t comment on Sona. I don’t think anything’s planned in the interim for Sona.

As for Nami – again, not a Nami expert. I’ll have to poke around tomorrow to ask if people think Nami is in a weak state or not.

 

 

[ Clarity ] Will these “small component sources” work as Boot enchantments?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: The small component source is just Doran’s Blade. I’m not doing an enchantment style approach to life steal – sorry if you got that impression.

Eventually, I do think that ADC items should probably have more linear upgrades in general but I’m not exactly sure what kind of space is left.

 

 

[ Question ] If IE, a crit-dependent item, becomes the go-to rush item for AD Carries, won’t this randomize bot-lane duels too much?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: While that’s an interesting point – I don’t actually see that random factor changing as much – mostly because the first item you get after BT is a Zeal – which has much less crit chance and just as much variance.

Secondly, the triple DBlade into I.E. build is more expensive than a straight BT rush. By the time you finish triple doran’s into IE – it’s far more likely that you’ll be at the tail end of the laning phase as it’s far more gold.

In both of these cases – the situation where the game is more random because of dive/duel cases is mitigated by the fact that it either takes longer to get to the crit (in the case of DBlade –> IE) or by the fact that when you’re at the same gold equivalent value – there was crit in the BT build as well.

 

 

[ Question ] Do you see AD ratio carries still building Bloodthirster, or will they just shift into traditional auto-attack carry builds?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: I think ratio driven carries should still build BT as it’ll be a smoother path in general.

The unfortunate part here is that the triple BT builds won’t function anymore which makes Varus/MF sad.

 

 

[ Question ] Will there be other changes to spread out ADC itemization further, especially lategame?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: You’re right in that there’s a pure optimization of DPS pattern going on here – but Ratio driven carries tend to be more dominant in the early / mid-game which is hurting the variety of carries.

 

The goal right now isn’t to spread out ADC itemization in general – it’s to ensure that items aren’t favoring a select group of ADCs over another – so that there can be more variety in the entire carry space – this is also why Mikael’s is getting nerfed, for example – because it mostly murders our Utility Carries.

It’s less about item diversity and more looking at what itemization does to the ADC pick diversity in general. There’s a couple things that my team wants to look at – but we need to give ourselves enough of a buffer to look at and respond to these changes.

 

 

Community wishes for SR banner

RiotforScience has compiled a full list of proposed changes to Summoner’s Rift.

 

 

Full List of Community Wishes for Summoner’s Rift

 

RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: I apologize in advance for this huge post. I have been trying to condense the feedback from this thread over time and trickle it out into smaller digestable bits that are easier to discuss. I want to make a single post that has most of the feedback in one easy place to reference.

Consolidated Critique from the Art and Audio feedback forum.
Most common feedback
Minons and Monsters and Towers need a VU
Balance the map by rotating it 45 degrees
The map needs to retain a lighthearted feel
We need to add 4th camp (Allready done)
The creep camps need to make sense for the monsters that live there
The river needs to make sense and feel like a river
Trees and bushes should not be so uniform, Need to be proportional to the Champions
Make Summoner’s Rift fit it’s lore; or make the lore fit SR.
Make Baron look like the ToF cinematic
SR should be themed for conflict.



1. Textures and rendering needs to be higher fidelity
2. Flora is not integrated with each other or with the terrain
3. Flora scale is not appropriate to the champion scale
4. Baron’s area does not feel as epic as it should
5. Architecture seems out of place with the environment as a whole
6. Objects in the map are repeated too frequently
7. The turrets do not look as good as HA
8. The Map needs to retain it’s “Fairy Tale” thematic
9. The map needs to be single themed ***
10. Laser range needs to be clearly defined
11. The nav-mesh on the map needs to stay the same
12. The map must be highly performant on a min spec machine
13. The map needs better integration with the lore
14. There are props that seem inappropriate for the environment
15. The jungle camps need to be higher quality
16. The minions need a VU
17. We should flip the golem camp so that they face the other direction***
18. More destructible content like HA
19. Make SR look like the beta-site background Illustration***
20. Make brush move dynamically
21. Add damage states to the turrets
22. More variety in tree types
23. There needs to be a clear (but not clean) boundary between terrain and path
24. The River needs to make more sense
25. The different sections of the map need slightly different themes
26. There needs to be SFX for walking through grass or water ***
27. The terrain could get more worn as the game progresses ***
28. The houses feel really unnatural in the forest, the statues don’t make much sense
29. Summoner’s Rift needs to actually feel like a Rift
30. Trees should wobble when you shoot a skillshot through them ***
31. The Nexus needs to be updated
32. The Terrain feels too flat ***
33. Reposition the minion camps***
34. Add weather ***
35. Make the base look better
36. Higher tech deep water for the River
37. SR needs to be symmetrical
38. The map should feel war-torn
39. We need to avoid Visual and Audio clutter
40. The 2 sides need to be visually distinct Arcitecture as well as gamplay objects like towers
41. The 8-eyed wraiths seem really weird
42. Red Buff Spikes feel unnatural
43. Baron needs a VU
44. Flat flowers all over the map does not make sense
45. Make colorblind mode the default method of play
46. Secret Portals
47. Make Buff monsters more prominent
48. More directed audio based on factions and characters
49. More SFX in the jungle
50. Stranger audio interactions with Baron and Dragon
51. Darker color template ***
52. The place needs to feel like either an arena or a site of conflict
53. SR needs to feel organic and grounded in reality
54. The jungle shoulden’t feel cultivated to have specific paths
55. The buff creatures and dragon deserve names and implied stories
56. The map needs little details that give it character
57. The map needs to feel “Clean”
58. Make bold changes to the layout***
59. SR should have a very distinct top feel vs Bottom feel (Light Side Dark Side)
60. Avoid cliché divisions between the top and bottom, like good vs evil
61. Need a more iconic exploration of dragon
62. Make creep comps feel lived in by their inhabitants
63. Minions need a rework and it would be great to have a map-specific skin for minons
64. Build models and textures in a way that permits the map to be rotated***
65. Destroy landscape when towers fall
66. Make Baron look like the Twist of Fate cinematic
67. Make baron be a multi phased bossfight. Fight tentacles before baron spawns***
68. Make SR look as good as HA
69. Redesign the map to be as animated as CS
70. Balance the map by fixing inequity of HUD and camera. Orient the map from right to left***
71. Have min spec lower than HA
72. Create landmarks in the playspace to indicate where you can flash or ward
73. Increase the resolution of the map, but don’t change it like we did with HA/TT***
74. Tie SR into Freljord and Ironspine mountains. Hook it into the lore of Runeterra***
75. More easter eggs especially things associated with specific champions
76. Make the map immersive but avoid clutter
77. Each lane needs to have something special about it…like CS
78. Each lane should have special and unique turrets
79. Midlane needs to feel great
80. Maintain the playful and cartoony essence of SR
81. It doesn’t need to feel literally like a river or a jungle
82. Purple side needs to not be at a disadvantage
83. Need small visual ques to indicate tower range
84. Contextual soundtracks based on location on the map or status
85. Align SR to the Vis-Dev image ***
86. Make baron’s lair feel acid burned. Make it feel more dreadful and deadly
87. Have dragon be sleeping when we first see it. Have him surrounded by bones
88. Better water effects
89. Trees look like party hats. Too much repetition in flora
90. Have camps repositioned so that they face each-other ***
91. Have more options and mobility for jungler, change map layout for Season 4
92. Reposition Tri bush so that it is not such a long walk to gank ***
93. SR needs to feel alive like CS, TT, and HA. SR is too static
94. Add pixies or fireflies
95. Higher fidelity lane and jungle ground textures
96. Add overgrown statues or architecture
97. River should connect through the middle otherwise it doesn’t feel like a river ***
98. The jungle should feel thick and scary
99. Use the unused space in the bases to add a more defining theme
100. Get awesome updated music
101. Set SR at nighttime, add more light sources***
102. Change the ground texture when towers are destroyed
103. Make the 2 sides visually asymmetrical
104. Have trees that overhang the playspace and have them go transparent when occluding***
105. Have height variation that effects gameplay for mobile champs***
106. Be able to destroy a lane and make it impassable for a period of time***
107. Fix the golem advantage for blue side
108. Add day/night cycles***
109. Add Hazardous environmental effects***
110. Add things that can knock around your character on the map randomly***
111. Add weather conditions that alter visibility and mobility ***
112. Create additional play phases on the map that would allow players to rebuild structures***
113. Raise the item tier cap and create a 2-3 hour long game mode ***
114. Have customizable map setings like turret damage and global xp and gold***
115. Be able to set a camera offset on the purple side
116. Allow players to zoom the camera out further***
117. There are too many lantern doodads. They are distracting
118. No more pigs knights and garden gnomes
119. Redesign the map so that all of the lanes meet straight-on***
120. Dragon’s anatomy needs to feel similar to Shyvanna’s. More consistancy***
121. Add random ambient life to the map
122. Killing Baron needs to feel EPIC
123. Replace dragon with phoenix because a phoenix would respawn***
124. We need a buff to indicate temporary invisibility within the brush
125. Add a vista on the borders of the map like in HA
126. Need a critter in SR like HA’s poro
127. Have the river give a mana regen buff***
128. There needs to be a thematic opening
129. There needs to be a grave at the site of first-blood
130. Nexus and inhibs should be updated and thematic for the map
131. Have unique shopkeepers at both ends of the map
132. Have story elements in the map like in TT
133. We need to increase engagement on the Dragon
134. Add more jungle monsters to help purple side
135. Have splashes in the river when you walk on it
136. If minions don’t do magic damage, they should have a bow rather than a magic effect
137. Wolf camp is located in such a way that it interferes with pathing
138. Some camp openings should be inverted
139. Lanes should bow in toward the map. Should be concave
140. There needs to be a Rift in Summoner’s Rift
141. Have Shopkeeper dialogue like HA
142. Dragon should have a gold hoard that vanishes when you kill him
143. Do not add environment effects
144. Add a gravestone for URF
145. Tie the map into the Rune-Wars lore
146. Torches should light up the fog of war
147. The jungle asymmetry makes it easier for Purple to gank
148. There should be terrain advantages to vision. Higher ground for more vision***
149. Minions should have a little VO. Like yelling Charge!
150. Have Baron emerge from water at the source of the river
151. Smaller more frequent updates
152. SR should be themed for conflict.

 

 

Updates on Visual Updates Banner

Everyone’s favourite artists Grumpy Monkey and IronStylus are up on the forums to update the community on who’s getting a visual overhaul next!

 

 

[ Questions ] Are the Pentakill skin updates work-in-progress and will Mordekaiser be getting a VU?

 

grumpy monkey Button Rioter Grumpy Monkey: I don’t know if they are finished to be honest. I think the goal was to clean them up and make them less noisy to better fit the current lower contrast/easy read texture style we like. Since pentakill is getting some attention because of the bad ass album, I think skins team wanted to give the Pentakill skins some attention. The main complaint I am seeing is that a lot of the visual noise that was conveying metal material, has been lowered in contrast. At any rate, if they are slated for this patch then it’s out, but that doesn’t mean we can’t update a little here and there after the fact. As for a Morde VU, hell yes! Most likely next year though…maybe…don’t hold me to that.

 

 

[ Question ] Is anything in the works for Singed?

 

grumpy monkey Button Rioter Grumpy Monkey: There have been discussions, nothing set in stone yet, just experiments really.*no pun intended*

 

 

 

 

[ Related Q ] Can you comment on the leaked image of Singed’s VU that was seen with a leak of Heimer’s VU back in December?

 

grumpy monkey Button Rioter Grumpy Monkey: That singed wasn’t a leak. It was a demo I did at the Gnomon School of Visual effects, it’s not going to be the VU, it was though one of the experiments I was talking about. Singed needs a lot of work. I don’t think I am gonna nail it on the first try. But really, please consider it fan art.

 The Heimerdinger was also for the Demo, but as it turns out, a lot of the features of the sculpt I did were really embraced by the team, so we used it as a base for the Vu. There were still things changed to turrets and over all color scheme.

 

 

[ Question ] Why isn’t Evelynn a top priority for the rework team?

 

grumpy monkey Button Rioter Grumpy Monkey: The thing about Eve, is there are several directions we can take her. Right now it’s a toss up as to what we want to do with her lore. The choices made by the writing team as to her origin will largely affect what she looks like. Also if I can be candid for a second, So at Riot, everybody is a huge fan of league (duh) and everybody has favorite champions. The Relaunch Team (Now being called the Champion Update Team) tries to be very visible to the rest of the company as to what we are doing (as most teams are). Now it just so happens that sometimes we want to update a champion that a TON of people love, but for all different, and sometimes conflicting reasons. Sometimes what we the team think a champion is, turns out to be completely contradictory to what the champion has become through the lens of the community and being out in the wild. Sometimes things get too visible, and we get a flood of feedback before we even have any firm ideas of our own as a team. It takes time to sort out all that feedback. Also when this happens it’s very easy to get lost, to have too many options. Eve has the potential to be a key character in the Shadow isles, she can show a side of the area that other characters like Elise have touched on, but really be the paragon of certain themes. I think we sometimes get confused in the nuances of characters sometimes I’ll admit it. Sometimes we say, ” We need to make this the best character it can be!” rather than “This needs to be the best X champion it can be!”. So rather than make the best character ever, we strive to make the best Karthus ever, or Heimerdinger or whatever, which in my opinion is more important, and an easier goal to grasp. Does that make sense? 

 There are so many characters, and so many nuanced archetypes in League, that we really need to take our time sometimes. Relaunches aren’t just about re-making the character with better visuals,(in the beginning that’s exactly what it was I’ll admit) But these days they are about giving the characters more room to grow. To get them out of their dead ends, and create a future for them and integrate them into the greater tapestry.

 So your question about “How much of a problem is to sit as a team for a few hours and have a conversation about what she supposed to be?” it’s not a problem, but it’s an ongoing process. We don’t do it just once and say “BOOM that’s Eve! Josh when can you have the model done?” We do it a few times to double check ourselves, and most of the time we are able to poke holes in stuff we could have swore was solid. But we always replace it with stuff that is much stronger that only would have happened if given enough time to percolate among a group of experienced, creative people. 

 I understand the impatience, I really do. People love these characters, I get it. We are doing our best is all I can tell you, and when Eve VU finally does come out I hope she is what players expect and then some. I hope we can make Her more intriguing as a character and provide visuals that can instantly draw you in. Sorry for the wall of text bro, you caught Me in a typey mood.

 

 

[ Question ] Any news on a visual update for Irelia?

 

IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: I actually did the most recent concept for Irelia that we have internally. Actually.. it’s the only one.. Not sure if no one wanted to take her on or what.

While not being too specific, I combined aspects of the new Karma and some form language from Yasuo. Personally I feel that she should be the quintessential Ionian military commander. 

Again, all of it could change.

 

 

[ Question ] Any word on a new Karma skin?

 

grumpy monkey Button Rioter Grumpy Monkey: I have seen some stuff for Karma, but again, I have no idea as to release dates.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] Will LeBlanc be getting a visual update?

 

IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: So.. we do have a concept for Le Blanc floating around done by Zeronis. HOWEVER. Though it’s a bad ass concept, that is in no way indicative that it will get expedited. We’re having our “fantasy slotting” meetings these next few weeks. That will define our priorities that will decide which champions get what sort of update and when.

Currently She’s listed on the Visual and Gameplay Update section. Meaning some pretty heavy kit changes.. or so I’m guessing. To my knowledge though nothing has been done on her kit, and nothing is in the pipeline for any potential changes that may or may not happen. Again, that however might change depending on our slotting and what we prioritize. 

My view, is I like to have as many cool concepts of champion update candidates handy at all times to either inform the VU/VGU directly or to at least start a conversation with when we get into pre-production.

So yeah, she’s on the radar, and I’d very much like to execute on the concept that’s currently hanging around, but I’m in no way sure as to what sort of timeline she’s on yet.

Here’s hoping sooner than later!

 

 

[ Related Q ] What aspects of LeBlanc do you find personally engaging?

 

IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: So I think the “deceiver” thing is the most interesting. I don’t think it’s appropriately represented at all currently aside from her.. ya know.. clone. But I think she has some untapped arcane, high-society, druid thing that could really go the distance thematically and visually. Making her this adviser/counterpart to Swain from this secret society. It almost reads like the character archetype of Melisandre from Game of Thrones. I’d love to take that idea and pump it up. 

There’s some cool dichotomous costuming we could do, or maybe something with masks, I dunno. I think there’s opportunity, even if she is just a standard female mage in terms of basic form.

Visual markers for me that have to stay are the giant collar, cape, head thingy, half revealing dress, dual-tone color palette, that sort of stuff. Honestly just taking what she is and putting a lot of style and quality, while also integrating some sort of motif that speaks of being two-faced. I’d like to get a couple more costume elements in there that could be ported over to skins aside from just the cape and collar.

 

 

[ Question ] How have you been doing in your life and what project are you looking forward to?

 

IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: Welp, I’ll echo what Josh was saying. Things have been busy, especially since PAX East. Relaunch, now called Champion Update has really picked up and our team is chugging along with a decent mandate on the continued improvement of the game from all three angles of character content. It’s a very exciting time, one which has it’s share of high moments and real challenges. 

Personally, things for me have been mixed. My wife recently lost her job and that’s been a big punch in the gut for us. Job loss is often coupled with feelings of depression, anxiety and other troubling emotions. It’s obviously difficult for the person going through it, but it’s also tough for the couple in general. 

We’re doing our best. My wife is working through a lot of tough emotions right now amidst the job search and I’m trying to help where and when I can. I know what she’s gone though, intimately, and we’re trudging through as a unit. Things are tough out there in general for a lot of people. 

I’m not going to make it out like it’s anything worse than what others who’ve been hit by the general economic downturn have faced. In many, many ways we’re very blessed. We have friends, family and mechanisms in place to help us. Support is everything when someone goes through this sort of situation. It’s hard to not feel devalued or unsure of one’s self when losing a job. Often the psychological effects are just as traumatic as the economic ones.

That said, we’re holding in there. I’ll be honest. The personal situation with my wife and I has kept me away from the forums in general. Family always comes first. There’s a lot that I’ve been tending to on that front and it’s left me with little time and energy to come out here into the community as much.

So yeah. Moving on, wheel keeps turning. Thanks for asking 

 

 

[ Question ] What about a Teemo skin?

 

IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: -______________________________-

 

 

 

 

Fan Art Showcase Lulu Chibis

 

Credits to Summoner Mousu for the awesome art!

 

Link to thread.

 

Like the Series? Check out some of the previous showcases:

Fan Art Enijoi

Fan Art Erina Topic

Fan Art School Designers

 

asf

sdg

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Untitled-1

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

Xypherous PBE Banner

Xypherous announced a ton of changes to Boot Enchantments and Summoner Spells for the upcoming Patch 4.5. Read below for more!

 

XypherousButton Rioter Xypherous: Just a quick heads up on changes that we’re planning for 4.5. We’re working on some itemization recipe, enchantment retuning and Summoner Spell updates for 4.5. Therecipe changes I’ll post on a different thread at a later date since it’s much lengthier than my usual PBE posts.

 

Boot Enchantments

 

 Overall, enchantments were an interesting experiment. Despite the power or popularity of Homeguard, it didn’t seem like the enchantment system was causing any particular problems in Season 3 for the most part. However, in Season 4, it’s looking like the late late game often gets dragged out too long and is much more difficult to close than intended.

  I don’t think that simply changing Enchantment: Homeguard will solve the problem of the errant late games but it’s definitely a contributor to the overall state. We’re going to reduce the power level of Homeguard to clean up a little bit of the end-game problem and power up some of the other options such that there’s a better balance between offensive mobility and defensive mobility options.

 

 Homeguard_itemEnchantment: Homeguard

  • No longer fully regenerates you upon activation.
  • Instead, item restores 35% of your missing Health and Mana per second while at fountain.

 

  We like that Homeguard can give you an instant satisfying burst when used well – enabling you to defend objectives almost immediately upon a successful recall. However, the speed of response is just too fast right now. By changing the mechanic to restore a percentage of your missing Health and Mana – we basically add a couple of extra crucial seconds if you want to re-engage or defend at full health.

However, if you were severely wounded and you rush off the fountain with Homeguard, you’ll only be at roughly 70% or so. Healthy enough to mount a defense of a tower but not quite so domineering.

 

Alacrity_itemEnchantment: Alacrity

  • Movement Speed increased from 15 to 20

 

Alacrity has always been in a bit of a poor spot due to being off from a tuning perspective.

  (As a bit of a followup, Boots of Mobility has seen roughly equal play / success numbers as before. There’s been a bit of a dropoff in usage rates but nothing major overall. However, this change will make those players who were trying to compensate for the change by using the Alacrity Enchantment actually have equivalent Movement Speed in combat with the other boot options.

Or you could just enchant Boots of Swiftness with it. SPEEEEED.)

 

Furor_itemEnchantment: Furor

  • Price reduced from 650 to 475

 

  Furor is too expensive for what it brings to the table. While Furor is an excellent option for training or kiting your opponents, the price often made the practice moot because if you spent 650 gold training or kiting someone and you didn’t have the combat strength to make it pay off – it was kind of pointless.

  This change will make Furor slightly easier to pick up when the mid-game or late-game fights start and players start to realize they need an extra bit of Movement Speed in fights – but can’t afford to begin starting down a path to another major Movement Speed item like Zephyr or Phantom Dancer.

 

Captain_itemEnchantment: Captain

  • Directional Movement Speed Strength increased from 8% to 10%
  • Price reduced from 750 to 600

 

  We’ve always been unhappy with aura effects as their relative power level versus visceral/intellectual satisfaction is always off. However, you could make a number of decent arguments that by overpricing and dampening the power level of the Captain Enchant, we never gave the aura a fair shot at being appreciated or recognized by our players.

  So, tentatively, we’re increasing the power level and decreasing the gold cost of the Captain Enchantment. We’ll keep an eye on whether people start appreciating the power of the effect or whether or not at this point it simply becomes overpowered and mandatory before deciding if it really needs further work.

 

Distortion_item Enchantment: Distortion

  • Ghost / Flash / Teleport CD Reduction decreased from 25% to 20%
  • (NEW) Adds additional effects to the spells:
    • Ghost
      • Movement Speed increased from 28% to 35%
      • Duration increased from 10 to 12
    • Flash
      • Cast Range increased from 400 to 480
    • Teleport
      • Grants 30% bonus movement speed for 3 seconds upon a successful Teleport

  The Distortion Enchantment right now is most often used to enhance powerful initiation effects, especially combined with Flash. These changes are designed to augment all three of the spells in question to be a powerful offensive tool regardless of which Summoner Spell you are using to accomplish it.

It’s kind of crazy and potentially overpowered – but it’s also exciting and it seems like there are enough levers on the item to tune it to a spot where it isn’t if any one of the effects seem out of line.

  Summary: We’re basically either increasing the power or decreasing the gold barrier to a lot of the enchantments that can be used to make interesting Team Fight plays for the mid to late game – with the exception of Homeguard which we’re nerfing slightly to clean up the late game team fight defenses.

 

Summoner Spells

 

  It’s always been a little weird that our pure defensive supports don’t have a Summoner Spell that emphasizes their support / healing nature and they have to take things that are either highly aggressive Ignite or somewhat less aggressive Exhaust to get a similar level of effect.

  We’re making a couple of changes to Heal and Ignite to help give them a bit more character, while also slightly retuning Exhaust to fit better on a larger variety of roles.

 

 HealHeal

  • Targets affected decreased from 5 to 2
    • Now only affects you and the target nearest your cursor (within 700 range).
      • If it can’t find anything near your cursor, it’ll affect the most wounded nearby allied champion instead.
  • Cooldown decreased from 300 to 240
  • Heal Amount increased from 90-345 to 90-495 (Scales non-linearly with level, more at higher levels)
  • Additional Effect: After healing the target, it then removes any healing reduction effects the target suffers.
  • Additional Effect: Targets healed also gain 30% Movement Speed for 2 seconds.

 

  We’ve always had trouble with Heal as its narrow functionality and high area of effect characteristics has made it pretty much impossible to balance for the lane and the late game. We also wanted to retune Heal to be attractive to both characters with Heal and characters without innate Sustain.

  Heal will have natural synergies with strong Healers like Soraka / Janna as it gives them a way to ensure that their heal sticks – at least for a short time on a very very long cooldown. The Movement Speed now allows it to either enable you to heal lethal damage and facilitate an escape – or target it at an initiator under fire and allow him to rush through to the opponents.

 

Ignite Ignite

  • Additional Effect: Now also grants vision of the target over the duration (Non-Stealth only.)

 

  Ignite, traditionally, has either overwhelmed Heal or been dominated by it. We’ve decided to make Heal simply negate 1:1 the effects of Ignite on a single target – and thus Ignite needs a little more sideways functionality.

  We’ve always wanted to make Ignite grant vision of the target so you can slowly watch them burn but this also better clarifies Ignite’s use as either a signal to focus fire your target or a end-spell to help finish off your targets as they run by ensuring they can’t evade you by dodging into a brush.

 

Exhaust Exhaust

  • Movement Speed Reduction decreased from 30% to 25%
  • Damage Reduction increased from 30% to 50%
  • Cast Range increased from 550 to 650

 

Tentative numbers on Exhaust right now.

  Exhaust has traditionally been powerful on initiators, mostly because the short cast range demands that you close the distance with some other spell before using Exhaust. Exhaust is center-to-center cast, so the 550 cast range actually falls short of most AD Carry attack ranges or other burst initiation ranges.

  This makes using Exhaust defensively against carries somewhat awkward, as you typically have to walk forward to Exhaust the target that is actually inflicting all the preventable damage incoming.

  We’ve reduced the slowing power of spell because you can cast it from a longer distance and we’ve made the spell much more powerful as a preventative reactive measure against the engagement burst so that casting Exhaustbefore the impact happens is more rewarding.

 

Note: Probably won’t be responding to this thread tonight in full vigilance – I’ll hop on this thread more when I get confirmation that these changes are on PBE. Otherwise, again – this is just a quick heads up on what you’ll seen soon on PBE.

 

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