With all the existing LCS promotion tourney action done for the day, why not relax with a big ole' collection of red posts?Solcrushed's update on the Viktor changes and a variety of posts from Xypherous.
Update on Viktor changes
For those interested in what Solcrushed has been cooking up to improve Viktor, you should be delighted by the update he posted earlier today.
I have been consulting with the Pony on the issue.
We will be trying out a version where he can 'merge' the augments together by spending more gold.When asked if this merging of augments included stats or just the bonus ability effects, he replied
Obviously this is an iteration and subject to change!"
"Stats too, since one of the common complaints about Viktor is that the Core feels like a waste of a slot late game."He continued:
"So one of the biggest reasons I like this iteration is actually the ability to 'color-code' the augments .
For example since Q is yellow and E is red... if we allow you to merge Q and E what color would that be?.........(drumroll)........ ORANGE!!Xypherous Grab Bag
The stats will probably be nerfed, they are EXTREMELY gold efficient because they take up a slot late game, if we give slot efficiency back it is difficult to justify the gold efficiency."
Xypherous went on a posting spree last night, covering a multitude of different topics.
Let's start off with some of the general concepts he spoke about.
In response to a question about non Junglers using the new jungle items, he commented:
"I'm not hugely concerned with non-laners building the spirit stone upgrades, unless the Spirit Stone items are incredibly game warping on lanes or become core items on a large set of people.
So a few scattering of characters grabbing spirit stone upgrades is actually neat - it'd be worrisome if the Spirit Stone items became required carry items for example, across all carries or something."
Another summoner was curious to what Xypherous thought of AoE based mages, such as Vlad or Mordekaiser, now that we have strong season 3 items, like Runic Bulwark and a more viable Locket of the Iron Solari, and the penetration changes.
"I don't know much about Vladimir these days, admittedly. Sorry. I know Mordekaiser does pretty well win-rate wise - he's just super binary which causes everyone to think he's far weaker than he is.
The Flat Penetration nerfs certainly hit them hardest because they have weaker laning phases than most, and so relied on the flat penetration to carry them through lane. However, Void Staff is completely crazy - I'll ask about Vladimir when I get the chance."
While we know it's something he's been working on, Xypherous also chatted a bit about melee ADC's and his plans to bring them back into viability. He started off :
"My thought is basically that a Melee ADCs should not be more reliant on autoattacks than their ranged counterparts - given the cost of an autoattack on a Melee ADC is much much higher than the cost of an autoattack on a Ranged ADC.He continued later, sharing some ideas he is brainstorming:
I guess the short form is: Melee ADCs should rely on both attacks and spells to carry."
"I haven't tested a lot of these yet as we've been iterating on some other stuff - but imagine if Heartseeker strike had a zero second cooldown and the channel time scaled with attack speed. Is Pantheon still an assassin? Is he a caster? Is he a sustained AD man who can kill teams if you protect him?
What if Alpha Strike had lower base values but somehow scaled off DPS - Can Master Yi penta-kill your team through a combination of AA's and Alpha's? Isn't that what he's supposed to do?
The other things are like... What if Hexdrinker had a Zeal upgrade? Melee AD Carries are vulnerable to mages mid-game but they can't keep itemizing MR, because otherwise they'll die to physical damage late game.
Stuff like that mostly - still plotting it out."
He also touched a bit on the ideal behind "Reset on Kill" moves, such as Yi's ultimate or Darius's ultimate.
"From what I've seen, Reset on Kill doesn't seem to incentivize skilled gameplay as much as simply punish the losing team for losing.
It does create enormous high moments though - but they've generally come at considerable cost (Darius / Katarina) for example. I'm not sure if we've done the mechanic entirely correctly - there's facets that are good and bad.
In general, reset on kill tends to favor low elo over high elo - which means that it generally decreases in power as skill level increases. However, the flashiness of said resets increases as skill level increases."
Xypherous also answered several questions about various different champions.
In regards to Kha'Zix:
"Seems fine for the majority of our playerbase. Ranged slow on 'W' is annoying from a design standpoint - because it turns 'W' into a hybrid phys/magic damage spell and basically forces you to evolve it first.
Competitively, he might be slightly problematic - but not overly much - also related to the 'W' thing."
When asked if there were any plans for Corki or Graves, Xypherous responded:
"We made a couple changes to Corki a while back - it'll take some time to resurface. Graves still seems some spot play - he's not really in the worst of spots."
When asked if he could talk a bit about Talon, Xypherous replied
"Sure - I can say something about that. Talon has the 5th highest win rate across characters, on average."
Continuing on to the topic of Talon, he responded to someone asking if Talon's win rate was low enough to signify a problem:
"So, Talon tends to win quite a bit - and he tends to be on average, picked more than other characters. I don't have a great explanation for why people find Talon weak - other than the fact that any experience you have playing as Talon generally starts with 15 minutes of you getting your butt kicked in lane."
He also talked a bit about Viktor's problems:
"So in the context of the Viktor thread - Solcrush basically asked for a lot of good feedback which he tried to iterate on - then Season 3 and the Korean leagues hit him like a truck in terms of his ability to actually do anything about that feedback - which is why he's been sidelined so long on making progress on Viktor.
Viktor suffers from two main problems:
1. Vector targetting is kind of an awkard targeting paradigm, in general, when you're using a mouse. It's something like a minimum combined 3/4 inputs where most other spells can be condensed into 1 - which always makes Vector targetting weird.He continued on, giving some context to why Viktor needs changes and not just stat / number tweaks:
2. Viktor's augment choices aren't really being apparent - so his flexibility as a mage and his utility as a mage is somewhat hindered. FeralPony has a little more context here, but personally, I wonder if approach Volty showed with Khazix would work better for Viktor - let him opt out of one spell, rather than having to pick one spell."
"The crux of the disagreement here is that 'viable' means different things to different people (50% win rate? Seen in tournament play? Strategic niche pick below 50%? Lack of a hard counter at 48%?) but in general, Viktor's win rate is such, across most skill levels - that he doesn't need numerical or statistical adjustments to do well. If you did all those changes, you'd have to nerf other things about the character, likely damage and scaling for him to be balanced.
You could easily argue that these things are necessary for a more viable character - however, it basically just flattens characters - every character is now a moderatly tanky, 700/800 range, poke-sustain caster with moderate harass and survives ganks. We saw this near the tail end of Season 2, where it looked like every mid caster had the exact same profile - high wave clearing, gank-proof, mid/long range harass mages with moderate burst potential. I'm not disagreeing that it works - and obviously competitive balance isn't my thing.
Because it was unclear when I listed his problems out, let me back up and say - when I listed problems with Viktor - I listed gameplay problems with him not power problems."
Discussing the reasoning behind the recent changes to Akali's passive:
"Essentially, the key was that Akali, with Spellvamp turned on in lane, and Akali with zero spellvamp in lane - could not be remotely considered balanceable with either case being one of the norms.
So, there was one of two options:
1. If you don't have Akali runes, you don't get to play as Akali.When asked if this meant Riot has ruled out the possibility of reinstating her, he compared old Akali to old Sejuani:
2. Rebalance the character assuming she has Spell Vamp in lane."
"Think of it this way:
1. Akali's Q and R were overpowered and should have been nerfed.
2. No one realized that Akali's Q and R were overpowered because sometimes her early laning phase was pitiful.
It's an analogous case with most junglers, actually:
1. Sejuani was overpowered.
2. No one thought Sejuani was overpowered, because her first clear was so bad.
Now, you could get an 'average' win rate, by reinstating the thing that held them back #2 - but all this does is create an 'average' character win rate by making it so that half the time, she obliterates you and the other half is a complete mess - which generally means that everyone still thinks they are awful - but now for different reasons 'unreliable' or 'generally painful to have on my team.'When asked why they even started to mess with Akali in the first place, he elaborated:
People are more okay with this in lanes that have some push-back in bot or mid - but these traits turn out to be pretty awful in isolated situations (top) or places where people need to rely on something (support / jungle)"
"In general, we change things for two reasons: Power level in competive play (AKA - why I keep pushing for more Lulu nerfs) or Gameplay problems in lower level play (AKA - why I keep pushing for Lifesteal Tank Melee to be shot, but that's a personal bias.)
You don't do numeric balance for low-level play - that's kind of rough to do. What you try to do is make sure that the power of the character scales with the skill of the environment that they're in.
Sometimes, it's impossible to do both with just numbers - that's why we do ability redesigns or kit reworks."