Xypherous Talks about Force of Nature's Removal and in S3 Itemization

Posted on at 1:41 PM by Moobeat
Xypherous, one of head developers behind the S3 item update, has taken to the forums to respond to persisting summoner complaints about the removal of Force of Nature, an old item offering Movement speed, high magic resist, and ample health regeneration.
Continue reading for a quite lengthy discussion on Force of Nature and the S3 item changes.

Before we start, here is a recap of what the old Force of Nature item offered before it's removal in the Preaseason 3 patch:

Force of Nature
2610 gold
  • +40 Health per 5 seconds
  • +76 Magic Resist
  • +8% Movement Speed
  • Unique passive: You regenerate 1.75% of your maximum health every 5 seconds.


The initial post that started things off was a summoner disappointed with the current Magic Resist item games and questioning if the removal of Force of Nature, which was removed in the S3 update, was a mistake or not. Xypherous jumped in and gave a run down of the MR items, how they would each be used, and why FoN was problematic from multiple angles.
"Sure - I can take a stab at this.

The magic resistance option for tanks currently are:


Runic Bulwark
Spirit Visage
Banshee's Veil
Mikael's Crucible

AP Tanks also have: Abyssal Scepter, Twin Shadows

Roughly half of the items in this pool build out of a Negatron Cloak (Abyssal / Visage / Veil) while the other half build out of Null Magic (Runic, Crucible, Shadows)

There isn't quite a concept as AD Tank as anyone with this classification turns out to be a fighter more often than not.

The movement speed options for tanks currently are the same as most other characters in the game, by intent:


Wraith Collar
Alacrity Enchantment

Jungle Tanks additional get two additional options, due to the fact that Golem Soul grants Tenacity and can thus sub out Mercury Treads for additional options:

Swiftness Boots
Mobility Boots

As for HP/5 - that statistic has been admittedly unsupported as a late-game statistic - mostly because we raised Strength of Spirit a tier up - This change hasn't been as effective as I'd actually liked it to have been for support end-game HP/5 without mid-game HP/5 and it's something that I'd want to take a look at in the future.

The reason for removing FoN are as follows - here are the typical cases you'd purchase FoN:


1. You need MR - and you need it now.


However - why are you paying 1900 for an additional Null-Magic Mantle's worth of MR over Negatron Cloak? This meant that the best MR option was to go double Negatron Cloak or Aegis + Negatron Cloak. Considering that Aegis was cost-efficient by itself in terms of statistic strength and that the lone Negatron Cloak could always be upgraded to Abyssals - this meant that optimal MR was always going to include Negatron Cloak sitting in your inventory without a build.

2. You need movement speed somehow on your tank character


However, again, why are you paying 1900 for a bunch of HP/5 and Magic Resistance when you need something for *speed* in a current game. This simply impacts casters negatively - because if tanks are balanced around always having an additional 76 MR for their movement speed options - almost every source of magic damage needs to be absurd (or conversely, there cannot be other movement speed options)

Speed being attached to a primary resistance counter-item is always going to be awkward - if you need movement speed ubiquitously - unless you fight the perfect composition, you are always basically screwing yourself if this is your primary movement speed source.

3. You prize HP/5 as a statistic.


This is really where the crux of the main argument lies. If you are a player who thinks highly of HP/5 as a statistic - then Force of Nature made sense because that is the primary function Force of Nature did well - otherwise, if you were actually optimizing MR - you built twin Aegis and a Negatron Cloak (which would turn into Abyssal).

However, HP/5 is a very *poor* statistic coupled with burst mitigation and movement speed. One is a set of statistics for primary initiators - the other is a set of statistics for dedicated siegers - Force of Nature was suboptimal unless broken with additional sources of Health (such as Warmog's Armor, for example) - However, this particular pairing is (as many people have pointed out in terms of what champion they miss Force of Nature on) a dedicated Bruiser/Fighter path - one that we don't really particularly need / want to support given how durability focused those characters can get."

To touch on the subject of Tank optimization, being that something like Force of Nature would be an end game item but the new options are mostly mid game items, Xypherous commented:
"No doubt - but we chose to favor the path that most tanks would have moderate income streams rather assume they would have high income streams due to the nature of the tank role. We basically optimized their items around flexible mid-tier items rather than assume a high gold baseline and that they would hit 6 items. We figured that, in the vast majority of games, tanks should be building piecemeal to react to their situation - not merely opting for a static build-path that discounts who / what the enemy is. This meant favoring smaller items rather than slot-efficiency for the most part, because you have to factor in what the opponent is rushing.

Watching how the AP mid is doing and deciding what your primary mitigation path is going to be is tantamount. Bulwark, for example, is very effective against high AP characters - but pretty ineffective against mages who rushed penetration"
Continuing on to talk about FoN and how it relates to the new S3 items, Xypherous drew a better example of why the new items, featuring heavy regen, MR, or Movement speed, are promote healthier itemization choices.
"Runic Bulwark can't exist in the same environment as Force of Nature.

Upgraded Spirit Visage can't exist in the same environment as Force of Nature.

And yes, Swiftness or Alacrity probably can't exist in the same environment as Force of Nature.

Since each of these items are meant to synergize and provide better build options and counter-build options against certain team comps - I would say that generally, outside of late game HP/5 - I'd rather live without it than have each of these three or four other item niches be unsupported. FoN strangled itemization because it lumps so many desirable qualities into an item that is only good on a niche audience because no one audience wanted every single statistic concurrently.

By taking a step back and breaking it piecemeal into other items - we've created many more options for supports/fighters/mages in terms of their itemization as well as had the space to create other tank/initiation itemization.

I will fully admit that we've missed the *late* game health regeneration for the tank class because of vastly over-estimating the effect that Strength of Spirit would have had, as I've said before."
To further press this point, he explained it as FoN was "strangling other itemization options", saying: 
"It's more than that - it's about sacrificing entire tiers of other itemization that could exist - for the sake of a niche item that is good some of the time. FoN was strangling other itemization options that could exist because of how awkward and powerful the stats were on a single item.

Having a fallback "swiss-army" knife for tanks that got progressively more niche the higher ELO you got in exchange was not worth not being able to have or make additional MS/MR or a strong Spirit Visage / Anti-AoE item. Twin Shadows, Alacrity, Bulwark, upgraded Spirit Visage, etc - all could not exist in the same environment that Force of Nature would exist in - as the stacked potential of each one of these would have been assuredly abusive - and when toned down to prevent the abuse case - don't really serve any of their core purposes."

Talking more in general about S3 itemzation, Xypherous reiterated their goals with the massive item overhaul, saying:
"In general, we'd like builds to be much more dynamic in S3 than they are in S2. Static defense builds that are good versus any composition without regards to how well their enemy was doing or not is something we'd like to get away from in general - where itemizing based on the context of the game should be grow in importance as players get more skilled.

Many items in S3 were tuned around the fact that not finishing an item could be as powerful as rushing an item - but could still feel good in your inventory. That early zeal becomes a Statikk Shiv if you are far ahead, or a Phantom Dancer if you are behind. That Kage's Pick becomes a Twin Shadows if you need more initiating power - or a Shard of True Ice if you find that your team has enough initiate - but needs more in-fight presence - each with their own various strengths and tradeoffs."

Xypherous also mentioned the trouble with creating focused tank items,
"In general, tank itemization has been tricky because bruisers/fighters tend to steal it for themselves.

I think I might need to create two things: A high end-game regeneration item for tank sustain so they don't have to recall late game every other second (or retrofit warmog's or spirit visage into it) and some sort of stand-alone heavy resistance-based tenacity item that lets tanks get boots of swiftness/mobility with the alacrity enchant for additional speed if they need it.

Additionally on pure-tank itemization - there's a few mage/tank items that have too much AP and not enough tank stats. Liandry's Torment and Twin Shadows, for example - I think are both items that would be better fits for the game if the AP/Defense tilts were more towards the defensive side rather than the offensive side.

In the meantime - I'd actually suggest you try out an early boots of swiftness + alacrity enchantment and tell me how that goes and if it's actually good enough for your speed needs on Jungle Tanks."

107 comments

  1. Everybody has a life and doesn't post something on 24.12 O.o

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  2. Merry Christmas to you Moobeat!

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  3. Nah, you're just imagining. Wait a few moments and I'm sure the posts will come. :)

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  4. where is outrageous ?:(

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  5. Just give us a better MR item my god i hate being a tank and a Lb blowing me up when i have 140 MR -__-

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  6. Well, you only need TriForce to deal Tons of damage!

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  7. If you're the tank and Leblanc is blowing you up, you don't have 140 MR and you sure as hell don't have health either.

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  8. I do not agree with you. I had seen LeBlancs killing tanks with a lot of life and MR. The new items for magic resitance can not stand Ap casters with a really powerfull combo burst

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  9. Everybody has a life and you're posting here on 24.12 XD

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  10. Is simple why they deleted FoN. AP casters are disappearing. LeBlanc, Kassadin, Swain,etc. All AP burst casters are disappearing. FoN was negating a lot of damage on AP making them usless, and now Riot is trying to put them back in the game. Ziggs skin, Veigar.

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  11. well.... if you have 140 mr at like 30 min it won't provide much protection. lol

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  12. FoN was just a well rounded item and I will miss it dearly, especially on Mundo.

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  13. FoN helped against burst champions, but in no way did it ever stop them. Magic pen was a thing also.

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  14. Looks like trouble

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  15. I came in on S2, and I mained Veigar for around... 5 months. During that time, I never had much trouble with FoN. If anything, I think now that its gone, AP casters can start laying off the Void Staff that was almost permanently in their inventories, and can branch out to other, more situational cooler stuff. Having said that, I'm neither for, nor against the removal. I trust Riot's judgement.

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  16. MHUAHAUAHAUHAUHAAUAHUUHUHHAUHAAUHAHAHAUUAAHUAHAU

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  17. HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAVE A BRIGHTER TOMORROW

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  18. actually she can assuming she got magic pent % and magic pent.
    But i think he doesn't have enough hp.

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  19. That's outrageous!

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  20. you know that 140mr gives you ruthly 57 % magic damage reduction where as 200 woud give you 66.7% reduction

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  21. -_- you do know theres only 1 ap caser in the meta adn they force you to waste you money on mr rather than armour

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  22. its too niche and runic balwark is like 2x better

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  23. KILL IT KILL IT! KILL IT WITH ALL THE NIPPLES

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  24. The balance of power has been restored.

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  25. I'm really starting to hate Xypherous and his retarded reasons for changes.

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  26. The nipples! They call to me!

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  27. The plethora of role playing champion accounts scared him away :(

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  28. He is quite reasonable while you just splatter your opinion and feel good about it.

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  29. When playing Garen I find it hard to find a good magic resist item. There is always useless stats that Garen cant or doesn't use.

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  30. Smells like trouble.

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  31. Well, if Leblanc is going for the tank be sure she won't have almost any chance to get the ADC or the AP caster. I mean, it's even good for the team, she gets all her spells on cd.

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  32. Ap caster didnt really do much to tanks... unless they build full magic pen

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  33. I bet it tastes like trouble.

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  34. I can't tell yall how much I miss the FoN. It was my go-to item for fed mages. The movement speed on that made it so amazing just as much as the other stats for a tank. I hope they can either bring it back with similar stats or make a new item that correlates with those stats. I am just sad about the removal.

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  35. Merry christmas summoners! Also, a pic of me in a Noxian strip club!

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  36. MERRY CHRISTMAS COMMUNITY :D

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  37. iMiss you Fon. Udyr/Olaf just don't feel the same without it, and Hog.

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  38. Merry Christmas from Noxus!

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  39. I disagree with how riot is looking at this, I built FON because of all the stats it gave you. Not just one of the three, it was a core item for my wukong build because it gave me everything I needed to transcend into late game.

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  40. Tony y Mónica Merino-TiernoDecember 24, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    FoN was not just a MR item, was hp regen too, a core item for my Mundo or Singed and a NOT BROKEN ITEM, FFS

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  41. High-end regen item? :D
    Something that regens a % of the HP lost from damage in the last 3 seconds each second. That compared with warmogs and spiritvisage should probably make HP/5 a serious stat :)

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  42. Then it must be trouble!

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  43. Merry Christmas Hand of Noxus

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  44. Nah it's outrageous that someone is impersonating me :O Even Skinned Talons get clones? :P

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  45. Well, if it looks like trouble, smells like trouble AND tastes like trouble then it's a duck!

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  46. Mundo will never be the same...

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  47. Imagine a Jax with FoN. Sustain, MS, and a huge boost to MR. Killing the AP caster was pretty damn easy. For example i used to build FoN on Darius, and he could just dive 3-4v1 and kill the AP caster if the team lacked hard cc.

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  48. If they see people complaint because they want an item back they justify why they remove it. So the game is runned by their decisions they dont care about the community these sad noobs

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  49. Tbh, I think they just wanted to nerf Dr. Mundo's late game.

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  50. Broken is not overpowered, it means that, while the item is still UP on some of the champs its needed for, it's already becoming OP on some of the others. Broken = cannot be balanced. It's also comparable to Master Yi. If you buff his AD version until he's viable in tournaments, he'll rolfstop everyone below 1500 elo, just like his AP version.

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  51. health one word mmm.... and its tasty

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  52. ironically your just a clone of the real talon as well 0:

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  53. and Xypherous is the one who has many years of experience in making games and then theres you.....

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  54. I wasnt broken just not well balanced and had weird stats like ms and health regen

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  55. ha good point I wondered why they never buffed him properly... pooor yi

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  56. Cloneception!

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  57. Yi isn't that poor... I've started to play him AP a few days ago, and now I'm at 14 games ranked with him (out of my last 15), of which I won 11, and rose from 976 to 1147 elo, while I'm still, also in my last games, having scores

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  58. And where are new hybrid items?...

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  59. Death fire grasp ummmmmm 3 words and it's tastier .

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  60. Mundo loves HP, so you build Warmogs and there we go, you have HP/5 regen. Mundo loves HP #2, he builds visage and there we go, he has even higher HP/5 regen + health + tons of magic resists, I have no fukin idea what do you miss on FoN, also that epic health on randuins mundo loves so much, so mundo has more epic items than before

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  61. deathfire 15% of hp and though magic resists it does nothing, so you have to have really bursty spells anyways to make this 20% higher damage profitable

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  62. you know, there is banshee, its pretty good item now, and its real item which stops one spell

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  63. AND YOUR FIRST 4 DOWNVOTES

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  64. You will be missed force of nature T_T

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  65. Ok, so Force of Nature is a situational/niche item, and Spirit Visage is somehow not? I've never purchased Spirit Visage on any champion, granted I don't really play any of the 2 or 3 champions it's good on, but that just reinforces how niche it is. AFAIK it's like only good on WW and Mundo, while FoN was great on practically anyone in the right situation. Also how is Riot shocked that a whopping SIX HEALTH PER FIVE mastery couldn't do the job of an item that gave 40 hp5 base and as usually at least an extra 100 hp5 from the passive. Seriously...SIX, did anyone at Riot pass second grade math? Because I'm pretty sure 140>6, by a tad. If they didn't like the MS on the item why didn't they just change it to 200 health or something... They reworked every item in the game and inexplicably remove this one item, and now there are only 2 real magic resist options for melee. Mikael's is a piece of utter trash, the cooldown is ridiculous, and SV is niche at best.

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  66. Merry Christmas from Twisted Treeline

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  67. HP/5 not a valuable statistic...... so basically Xypherous just hates all mundo players and views our passive as totally useless. why can't they just ask the community our opinions before making such big changes? is it really that hard? GG

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  68. I miss the movement it granted, how well it countered AP casters, and added to your HP/5 sooo much when you multiplied warmogs, all in a single item slot. absolutely stunning. we have to spend at least 2 item slots to get those same stats now. not to mention unstackable warmogs.

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  69. And what should you do on twisted treeline? Runic Bulwark is disabled in 3vs3 :(

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  70. Too bad in TT theres no runic bulwark and no fon so wtf.

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  71. why cant you look at the bright side

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  72. Mundo think Christmas is dumb. Mundo goes where he pleases and gets what he wants anyway!

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  73. 0: son of a well GET A GODDAM NEGATRON is what you do! excuse my rudeness but I take my negatrons very seriously

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  74. lol where have you been when it got nerfed -_-

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  75. thats actually a very good think because your adc isn't focused and will butt rape Leblanc for you!

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  76. A good question would be why the hell is she focusing the tank???

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  77. it is stupid because now if an AP is feeded you have nothing to buy for have an istant magic resist.

    about armor resist you have many choices and evolution of magic resist items while the choice and minimal and you have to evolve the item paying much more than the items of armor resist

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  78. I can name more than 30 champs who can effectively use spirit visage.

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  79. All you kids are complaining because of ap burst casters bursting you down. That's the freaking point of ap casters. They're supposed to burst down one champ and bre done. FON was restricting that and made ap casters unable to fulfill their role. I'm sorry you lost your op snowball item get over it. The game is better balanced without it and makes teamwork more important.

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  80. The reason AP is less prominent than AD is because AP requires Skills to deal damage. AD isn't so limited. With the rework to black cleaver, It's shown how much more powerful physical penetration is compared to magic penetration.
    It's also a pretty well known fact that AP characters couldn't carry season 3, simply because of FoN. In the ace of severe mitigation and flimsy penetration design, plus relying on cooldowns for damage, it was simply impossible. AP carrys were meant to be existent, and they want to facilitate an environment that supports it. As the article pretty much said, FoN provided too much and essentially killed an entire archetype.

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  81. Hold it, partner

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  82. niche my ass! In almost any situation where the enemy team hasn't specialized completely into a specific situation, there will be sieging and there will be waiting games where you want that regen so you can be in shape for when shit goes down, or simply have enough regen so that the enemy never risks it! the movement speed fits it well because you would rather dodge it and is globally useful, and magic resist because the main source of poke is magic damage. I picked it up in almost every game. and I'm fine with them removing it, but not only is there no decent magic resist items, but there's no decent regen items either - it was never a question of if i should pick it up, but when.

    And since they've removed any decent source of regeneration, you just get slowly whittled down during sieging. Aegis is my only real source and is nowhere near good enough in this regard - warmog is just plain weak and doesn't supply a flat amount of regen which there should be, and still doesn't give armour or MR to make you good at LASTING which FoN did. Warmog is more niche. it's more effective to grab an aegis and just rotate who's on the front.

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  83. The worse excuses i have ever seen, typical for sure. The truth is he is to much of a coward to admit they wanted to nerf heavy tanks without admitting he wanted to nerf heavy tanks.

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  84. there was nothing weird about them. it was anti siege and core regen item. under siege you need to outlast the enemy, so therefore regen. most siege is poke and most poke is magic, so therefore magic resistance. ideally you want to just plain avoid the damage, therefore movement speed. not to mention due to the high health you had late game, you could easily get 60 hp/5 from the unique alone, and you need movement to get into position. shit position can fuck up everything, for any champion. and now there is NO good way for tanks to get movement speed unless they start getting random shit like twin shadows or zephyr. and on a tank how is THAT not awkward. it sure as hell beats getting those items but apparently "Speed being attached to a primary resistance counter-item is always going to be awkward "

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  85. Xypherous has no clue what he is talking about, after all this happening with removing FoN mages now rule the game since you cannot counter them. 'build MR" you say? Oh that works until mages get 35% pen and then 45 ish from boots and other items. Build health! Yeah that doesn't work with new liandry's and DFG. Bottom line is: Mages need nerfs across the board now that FoN is gone.

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  86. lol where have you been season 3 patch they changed it so it's kinda better now . =] if not equal the the old one it still give you cdr.

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  87. He was talking about Leblanc though which would profit on her. Even if so she should have some kinda magic pen either way.

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  88. Well said! Though I am in a particular wistfulness for the FON, it certainly was a powerful item indeed. A tad too much so, unfortunately.

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  89. Uh, the tl;dr version of this is something on the lines, "Tanks had little Mres for their money, they had speed which they don't really need, and they had HP/sec, which we found a) useless, b) trouble-making for anyone else, except for tanks. So, basically, what we did was, we said "FourQ, tanks! Fill your limited item slots w/ stuff you don't need, because that's what makes the build variability!"," or am I missing something?
    FoN died for our sins.

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  90. Play PBE Runic Bulwark is coming to TT. :D

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