Red Post Grab Bag: More from Xelnath on Xerath, PBE Shyvana and Oracle's discussion, News on Nidalee's skin splashes

Posted on at 10:39 PM by Moobeat
Antsy for day two of the EU LCS to start up? Why not pass the time with a big ol' helping of red posts?!
Continue reading for another update on Xelnath's Xerath changes, discussion on the Oracle's Elixir and Shyvana PBE changes, and a quip from IronStylus that those seeking updated Nidalee splash arts should be delighted to hear.

Xelnath with more on Xerath
Xelnath is back with an update on his proposed Xerath changes, this time including a comprehensive list of changes and explanations.
"So what's happening with Xerath?
  • Basic VFX direction is solid
  • Design direction is complete
  • Ability design is basically locked in
  • Balancing phase is starting
We almost cut the auto-attack replacer, but after several playtests where playtesters insisted it was the most fun thing on his kit, we decided to keep it.

What is Xerath now? 
Q)
Xerath's Q is still a line-nuke which instantly deals damage along the entire length.
W)

Live Xerath only has 2 spells with an obvious flow. E->Q. W->Q. Then his ultimate combo E - R - Q - R - R. To resolve this, we "split" Locus of Power's play pattern into two parts.
  • The W -> Q poke combo has been baked into "Q". Arcanopulse (Q) can be charged, charging the attack takes slightly longer than W-Q, but you can move while charging.
  • The W -> R total annihilation combo has been moved into the new "R". Read down to see more.
New W)
We've given Xerath a new basic spell, name TBD, which works like 1 pulse of Arcane Barrage with a mild slow on a short cooldown. However, it has a "bullseye" effect in the center which deals bonus damage.

E)
The new "E" has all of the old range W gave to Mage Chains baked in baseline, plus its now a skillshot missile that stuns, making Xerath's targeting paradigms line up smoothly.

R)
During the new Locus of Power, you are immobilized and your spells are free, but you drain mana over time. You can remain in R as long as your mana lasts. Your spell ranges increase dramatically.

Instead of 3 huge pulses, you have a very large number of smaller attacks that bombard the target location with aoe explosions. R has a reasonable, but high cooldown.

Passive
Xerath's passive provides early game mana regen, plus bonus spell penetration as he purchases mana items. This gives him early game sustain, allowing him to farm into a large-game mage hypercarry if left unchecked.

Problem we've run into and their solutions:
  1. Major Mindshare during ultimate is insane
  1. Major 3000 range with nearly unlimited duration is overwhelming.
  1. Major Xerath is regularly unaware when he is under attack in locus.
  1. Minor Xerath E isn't reading naturally as a stun.
  1. Minor Xerath ultimate auto-attack replacer was impossible to land.
1) Mindshare

Old Xerath has 2 spells, plus a bursty moment when R was up. New Xerath (Xerath 2.0) has enough spells to keep him busy. So much so that during his ultimate, getting a free 5th spell has proven almost overwhelming.

One option was to cut the auto-attack replacer completely, but it was so consistently positively reviewed that we instead decided to make it cost additional mana during Locus of Power. This means that casting your spells is your primary task, but if you need to finish someone off, you can drain your mana pool to fire a rapid sequence of small attacks to finish them off.

2) 3000 range with unlimited duration is overwhelming.

When we made Xerath's R duration limited by his mana pool, it meant that the length of time he could remain in Locus was much, much higher, based on build. So to counter it, we are allowing Xerath to be knocked out of locus of power when stunned.

During Locus of Power, Xerath is immune to knockups/knockbacks and pulls. However, they will cause him to be stunned briefly and end Locus of Power. This gives enemy teams a strong objective. Get to Xerath and stop his ultimate!
His max rank range has been slightly reduced so that seeing Xerath attack you means you can reasonably reach him.

3) When Xerath is under attack during R, he doesn't notice.

We're hoping that by allowing opponents to stop locus, it makes the moments where you need to turn and fight the guy attacking you more clear.

4) Xerath E isn't reading as a stun.
We're going to make the new effect more lightning "shocky" feel and perhaps steal some visual queues from Syndra.

5) Xerath's R is too hard to hit.

As an auto-attack replacement, Xerath's R attack was too hard to consistently time and land. We've since removed the effect from his auto-attack timing. Instead, during Locus of Power (R), he cannot auto-attack, but his right and left clicks will trigger a missile under his cursor every 0.5 seconds.

These attacks can be queued up by dragging your cursor across the screen while holding down right click.

tl;dr
I'm feeling *very* positive about this direction. His R feels like the same "blow up the world" feel, but less toxic and frustrating than his old R. It brings area domination on a good cooldown. His new "W" gives him a fun core experience without his ultimate. His new passive, while needing good tuning, makes him feel like the same strong late-game character."
On the PBE Oracle's Elixir changes
Xypherous took time to clarify  the Oracle's Elixir change's, specifically the new gold split for klling ward's that have been revealed by OE, currently on the PBE.
"Basically, the ward bounty system simply checks for nearby Oracle holders and whoever placed a Pink Ward and credits them for a portion of the gold. If you kill a ward without the usual resources - it still does this check, because we didn't want to create weird pressure incentives where 'man - I shouldn't kill this ward as soon as I see it, because then the ward gold will be split.'"
He also replied to some faulty claims of "omg oracle's is now useless vs Evelynn" claims:
"Evelynn reveals herself to champions within 700 units of her. 
The new oracles reveals champions within 600 units.

Oracle Elixir has never actually been effective at combatting Evelynn from revealing her early and now effectively never actually does anything versus Evelynn."
On the PBE Shyvana Changes
Once again Scarizard chimed in on the Shyvana changes that hit the PBE a few days ago.
"To touch on this, the current changes aren't just to increase fury generation per auto-attack - Leveling Dragon's Descent also increases the rate at which you gain fury passively - thus lowering the maximum cooldown the spell can have. This should mitigate the feeling you have about her being 'forced' into attack speed, but Shyvana is also designed in such a way that basic-attacks benefit you immensely. Building fury is just the tip - Decreasing the CD of your double-attack, increasing the duration of your Burnout and damaging targets with Flame Breath are all pretty powerful when combined with even a moderate amount of Attack Speed. 
The basic goal of the changes to R are to first allow her more up-time on Dragon Form, especially for how reliant she is on it for any meaningful late-game fighting, but to also increase the amount of time she can stay in that form while in combat. The counterplay to it is still present - kite her, and she'll run out of dragonbatteries - but now when a Shyvana's deeply entrenched into the front lines of a fight Twin Biting repeatedly (and on multiple targets) should make you feel like you're actually prolonging a window of power. People should -want- to blow cooldowns and make the decision to get you away from a battle, rather than just 'oh lemme ignore shyvana cause dragon form's just gonna time out anyways.'

tl;dr is that these changes -do- decrease the cd of dragon form passively (though not at rank 1 - the values are unchanged) but more fighting=more beastmodes"
He continued, reminding summoners that her defensive stat bonuses have just been moved around - not removed.
"She still retains her passive mitigation, it's just taken the place of her passive. It's available at level 1, and scales throughout the game."
Where are the updated Nidalee skin splashes?
IronStylus was spotted, over on Reddit, answering the question that's been on everyone's mind since Nidalee's rework - "When will we finally get updated Nidalee skin splashes??"
"This is something I just spoke to the splash team about yesterday. RiotTeaTime is helping to re-prioritize Nidalee's splashes amongst the other splash reworks we're doing. Splash has done a crazy amount of catching up recently and the pipeline is stabilizing. We're taking some time to do our due diligence in finding what splashes hold the most player value in terms of reworked splashes. Nidalee's have been deemed as a high priority.
In the recent past, we've generally tried to up the quality of splashes across the board, as you may have noticed. However, it hasn't necessarily been completely synced up to what Relaunch team has planned or is doing. Therefore, we might get new splashes for characters which might get changed fairly soon(tm) in terms of VU. Now we're de-slotting some splashes where we know we're going to have a relaunch, as to have the work on a new splash coincide with any new Relaunch VU. 
So, stuff is going to get fixed :)"

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