Morello talks Patch Cycle and Champion & Item Balance

Posted on at 4:23 AM by Moobeat
If you thought Lyte has been busy, check out what Morello has been up to! Since returning from his holiday vacation he has bombarded the forums with his responses to summoner concerns.
Continue reading for a massive collection of red posts, mostly by Morello, regarding this long patch cycle, the balance state of several champions and items, and more!

For starters, Morello addressed the duration of this patch cycle, saying:
"This cycle, particularly, is longer due to holidays. We're back to normal now though!"
He elaborated further on the frustration of imbalances by saying :
"Early in the lifespan of a big overhaul like this, fast changes (see Diana/Rengar for a good example!) can be wildly inaccurate, based on the data being a blip rather than a trend. We were not likely to change things immediately as there is a learning curve on the patch to adjust to - removing that bit of uncertainty is valuable.

Since then, we haven't had a patch go out since - and we can only do balance changes on patch days (hotfixes can only address certain types of issues and are more limited). This patch will fix a couple certain issues, and the one at the end of the month has a slew of changes as well. Since we haven't patched (and I forget I do so much of our design chatting on the forums sometimes!) and we haven't had a ton of conversations, it feels like we might think everything's fine or we're not working on things - I can understand how that occurs.

Basically, patching every 3 weeks is a very rapid cycle - and going off three weeks for now has made it seem like an eternity. Some good is gained in being more certain about what's wrong (AP Trash-tier is still overstated and hyperbolic, even though an issue exists) so they we don't just layer on new levels of disruption to the game."
He also offered his preference on patch cycle frequency:
"I prefer ~3 week (usual) frequency, and more accurate, targeted changes. One advantage of this longer cycle is the additional certainty we can have with changes. We can avoid over-reaction (Diana!) when we do it this way, which is nice."

Now let's move on to some champion specific responses by Morello.

On the notion of giving Rammus another look at and possibly some buffs:
"I thought we are doing/just did something to help - will check on exact status. Sorry, lots happening and I'm trying to get a bit more caught up"
Responding about Trundle art and kit:
"We ARE working on Trundle's art, and will be doing some gameplay tweaks - scope on that is still a bit up in the air.

Not soon, but soon(tm)."
On the thought of speeding up Nami's Q:
"I'm very against making Nami's Q faster - if anything, I like more slow skillshots in League as they have some of the most gameplay. If it needs more reward, then I'd consider that, but not easier to hit."
On reverting some of the heavy handed Diana nerfs from last patch:
"Yes, though I don't have line-item details. We'll not be fully reverting (we did want to nerf her from there), but finding the middle ground - we did overnerf her.'
Regarding Rengar and his Bonetooth Necklace:
"Different approach, but same idea - we overnerfed, though what we buff might be NEW buffs as opposed to rebuffing some of the nerfs."

Moving on to items, Morello also had some choice words about a few of the more powerful or problematic items currently on live.

Regarding armor being undervalued now that penetration is so easy to pick up and if Riot will take another pass at item prices
"For now, I believe that's the plan (my first day back, though the guys have been here the last couple weeks). I think we agree tuning of either the formula, costs, defenses, etc needs to happen."
Speaking to the possibility of a lower tier item with both Ability power and armor:
"For AP, we think there's an item gap here. Xyph and I were just chatting about this the other day. The goal is to give an AP/armor mid-tier item. It needs to let you start cloth/5 for keeping mid AD honest, build into a new late-game item (maybe not initially, but want to do it) and replace the chain vest in Z Hourglass."
On the subject of Warmogs armor being a "mid game monster" instead of a solid end game HP items:
"Warmog's is a nasty problem - I totally agree. Your diagnosis of this is fairly accurate too - the timing is the biggest issue here, something that's core to the item in a few ways.

I haven't had a chance to ask Xypherous his plan here - I will when I see him next."
On Crystalline Flask making top lane an absurd sustain war of starting flask + 7 pots:
"Agreed - we're hitting Flask this patch to help with this, I'm not certain it's enough, but it will definitely at least help."

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