Continue reading for even more Yorick rework dicussion from Xelnath ( including another brainstormed kit ) and comments on why the upcoming Spirit Guard Udyr doesn't have an overly fancy death animation like PFE.
More Xelnath on Yorick
Xelnath continued the Yorick rework discussion from the past two days ( first post, second post )
He jumped in today, focusing his attention on Yorick's ghouls:
"Let's talk about Ghoul for a second.
Here's why live ghouls are utterly terrible:
1) They are attackable, but only live for a short time.
2) This means they are killable and can consume resources, but are difficult to kill
3) If you choose to kill them they gain their almost full effectiveness (autoattacking you)
4) If you choose to run away from them, you are kiting almost constantly because there's always some ghouls out.
5) When you do kill them, they don't grant gold
Here is what this remake will almost certainly NOT have:Analyzing more of the "good" moments Yorick has currently, he summarizaed:
1) I will not make short duration summons that are attackable
2) I will not make things with the ILLUSION of counterplay
3) I will not also punish players for focusing ghouls.
Based on those philosophies, I believe that temporary ghouls are a very bad idea and are endemically broken in league unless aoe damage or focused attacks one-shot them, in which case they are useless.
To look at our other summoner character, Zyra:
1) Her whole kit is about summoning
2) She still does damage even without seeds.
3) Her plants create specific areas to avoid
4) Her plans can be killed, dramatically reducing their damage output
4) You are compensated with gold for destroying them, since it probably cost you last hitting.
For this reason, I think Yorick's present ghoul summoning mechanism is very, very bad and should not be preserved. You have some cool ideas in here I like, such as every X spells, you get to summon a super ghoul who is meaningful. Ghouls who debuff the enemy are conceptually cool, but all that it means is "closing on yorick is bad". This is something which is already true, because of the existence of ghouls. (Like Elise spiders).
So I don't feel it really helps his kit."
"Okay, great! This helps me understand the high moments specific to Yorick better than any other post so far. To summarize:
1) Ambushing with ghouls + ult is fun
2) Cutting through the enemy team via smart use of spells to reach the ADC
3) Revenge killing someone
4) Defending tower against the odds
5) Protecting your ADC with slows and ghouls."
He continued, throwing out assorted ideas for Yorick:
"This is an interesting idea. How would you guys feel if Yorick's ghouls were permanent caster minions instead of melee minions and did a larger part of his damage?"Continuing on the ghouls,
"I see one of two models working cleanly with multiple pets:
A) I am the tank, protecting my pets as they do ranged damage from behind me.
B) I am the caster, my pets are my frontline and they provide space and safety for me.
The fundamental problem with "I am melee and my pets are melee" is the Elise problem. Nobody appreciates her spiderling. Yet they are like 40% of her melee damage.
When you're in melee with her, you want to be meleeing her. You don't want to be dealing with garbo spiders. When you're at ranged, her spiders are no threat and are not worth harassing down.
Let's not repeat that mistake. Ghouls should be important, relevant to kill and a meaningful part of Yorick's gameplay. Yorick should feel the pain when they are missing, but not feel hopeless that he will never get them back."
Replying to some discussin on fixing Yorick's current kit rather than making a new one, Xelnath also
shared his opinion on Yorick's current kit:
"I think on this point, we differ strongly. I do not feel like Yorick's mechanics are good at all.
Q - an attack reset + move speed buff)
* This ability is only good if you can already close to reach the target. Compare with Garen Q which allows you to close to the target to enable the rest of his kit.
W - instant AoE snare + minion summon
* This ability isn't bad except for the fact that it is unavoidable harass
E - instant DD + lifesteal nuke
* This ability has zero counterplay and is the reason Yorick is so incredibly frustrating to play against. Worse, the ghoul only makes the experience worse if the enemy wants to fight you head-to-head.
R - Clone ally, revive them if the ally dies
* The optimal use case for this spell is throwing it on an enemy who will live long enough for you to take advantage of the double AD. Then just as the duration is about to wear off, that ally dies and comes back again.
This is a double level of frustration - the scenarios to get the best out of it are narrow. The cases where you use it on yourself, it feels like a very bad Tryndamere ultimate.
Passive - +% dmg and %damage reduction
* This is the worst thing on his kit. It says "if you close on yorick, he's harder to kill than if you harass him"
* This means that players "intuit" how hard he will be to kill by poking, then all-in Yorick and see that Yorick is suddenly 15% more damaging and 15% harder to kill. This leads to constant frustration.
After these tweaks an actual balancing can be made and it opens a few options:
#1. Lowering the ratios on skills while increasing damage from ghouls at the same time - this change would make his poke weaker, but will allow players to negate some damage by fooling ghouls or focusing them. Right now ghouls start with 300 movement speed so it's already pretty hard for them to catch up to running target anyway at the beginning of the game
This is an option, but Ghouls are intrinsically badly designed. Short duration, high hp, killable proxy units who punish you for attacking them.
#2. Switching the spells origin might allow easier itemization - right now it might be quite hard for some players to itemize because Yorick's ghouls and his Q deal AD damage, while Inidial damage from W and E are Magic damage. Dealing pure physical damage would allow players to buy armor + hp items like Sunfire Cape/Randuins Omen, and at the same time Yorick would have to rely on items like Black Cleaver/Last Whisper to break through them. Also it might allow AP champions to perform stronger ganks on a champion that would stack armor against Yorick.
Okay, I can totally get behind this. You make a great case for Yorick doing only one damage type. It increases understanding of how to handle his character.
#3. Lowering ratios on skills and ghouls damage while giving them additional factors, like... CC - this is pretty much what Yorick lacks in order to initiate/follow up fights or ganks. And this doesn't have to be some kind of big CC, even 0,5 second one would do.
Yorick summons a Decaying Ghoul that arrives with a violent explosion, damaging enemies within 100 range and slowing them for 1.5 seconds. Enemies within 40/50 range from the center are feared/stunned/rooted for 0,5/1 seconds.
Omen of Pestilence:
So you're basically suggesting that we narrow his invisible power and giving him more appreciable power in the form of CC? Okay. I can get behind that argument too. It depends on what kind of character want Yorick to be.
#4. Adjusting Unholy Covenant itself, adding some sort of link factor - the further the ghoul is from Yorick, the weaker it is and when he passes certain range it dies automatically.
I think I wrote quite a bit, so I'm gonna wait to see if You like/don't like this track of thought until I move on.
I agree this is an incremental fix that makes ghoul kiting better, but it also means the optimal counter play is "always be running away from Yorick" - that feels really good to the Yorick player and really bad to the person who is zoned from lane."
Zeroing in on the problems with Yorick's current ult specifcally, Xelnath commented:
"His ultimate is reliant on others for you to be successful in the best case, in the worst case is negated if you use it prematurely, and serves as an underwhelming revive ult in the case where you use it on someone about to die.
In addition to those clunky use cases and mechanics, Yorick's Ult has caused more bugs in league of legends than even Mordekaisers and brings an immense amount of invisible power into the game.
Based on these factors, I believe exploring another ultimate which better serves his kit and his fantasy would be a good idea."
Xelnath also explained why certain champions are prioritized for reworks over others.
"The champions I pick to rework are prioritized based on the following factors:
* They fail to fulfill the fantasy most players have when they imagine that championWhen asked what exactly he means by rework, Xelnath responded:
* They have raw power that is either hidden by or tied to mechanical clunkiness
* They have the potential to bring a game-changing experience to league of legends.
Xerath was the long range caster who was outranged and given one OP spell as a crutch. Yorick is the toplane bruiser with no counterplay and no skill-based differentiation.
Both of these guys could be phenomenal, game-changing characters... or at least be more awesome to play."
"I really wish someone would write a Riot Dictionary. I'm not sure which term to use.
Visual Upgrade - Focused on bringing the character up to modern day lol standards
Tweak - Minor changes to the character to improve game health.
Rework - Mechanical changes to the character to add strength and vulnerabilities.
Relaunch - A reboot of the character both visually and mechanically to create a cohesive fit in league of legends. (I consider Sejuani a relaunch)
A full rework means that the core philosophies of the character are out of line. In Yorick's case, his meaningless ghouls, choice of abilities and their interactions and his role in the game.Responding to a summoner who noted his opinion that Yorick should be fine with touch ups, not a full rework:
I strongly suspect the right places for a character like this are Top and/or Jungle. Support Yorick exists only because of his free, frustrating harassment"
"I respect your right to disagree, but based on the feedback here, I believe Yorick is more prime for a full kit rework than possibly any other champion in the game. This is why its so important to deeply understand the exciting moments on Yorick, so we can find healthy ways to keep the awesome experiences in the game.
That said, its important his underlying philosophy doesn't change:He also agreed that there need to be more concrete goals for Yorick, such as what role he should fill.
Yorick is a guy who should fight you.
Yorick's ghouls help him fight you."
"I agree, it sounds like we need a statement of Goals in terms of reworking Yorick. Now that I've gotten an initial flood of ideas from you guys, I'm going to bounce the overall themes (Bruiser Yorick, Support Buff Yorick, Necromancer Yorick, War Commander Yorick) with my colleagues and see which role we think is most appropriate for the character.
Once we firmly establish what kind of character role we want Yorick to fill, we can try to build a kit from the ideas and feedback you guys have given here. It will also help narrow this discussion down in a way that we can focus this conversation"
After all this discussion, Xelnath proposed another iteration of a reworked Yorick kit.
"Here's a new pitch based on some of the ideas in this thread.In the discussion following the newly suggested kit, Xelnath pointed out one of the major points of contention with the new kit: Melee fighter or minion commander.
Basic idea: Yorick is a close-range, melee bruiser. He can use his ghouls to gain ranged damage and harass, but only by putting them at risk.
I also mocked up what it would look like when 3 ghouls were protecting Yorick defensively.
Edit: Updated to be all physical damage, as suggested."
"It seems like this is the major point of contention:
Is Yorick a melee fighter or a minion commander
Players who want a necromancer style of play want more ghoul commands.Continuing:
Players who want a strong melee fighter want to ignore the ghouls.
Of these two categories, which one does League need more? Which one is the best "fit" for Yorick? I'll be discussing this more with coworkers tomorrow as well."
"Is there a way to merge these two concepts better?
I can imagine a world where Yorick's ghouls work like Zed's shadows, performing actions in sync with Yorick when he attacks. That might let us get a mixture of both worlds.
Compromising is dangerous though. I feel pretty empathetic to the guys who are like "we have a ton of auto attack bruisers".
Similarly, I feel bad for people like you who have made the best by auto-attacking with Yorick a lot, making the best out of a bad situation.Continuing:
What path leads to the strongest possible champion concept, with unique character, mechanics and personality?"
"It's becoming very clear that the community is very split on this issue. It's unlikely that we'll satisfy everyone, so the best call will likely be "what is the most awesome guy w/ minions" character we can make.No Custom Death for SGU?
It's unfortunate there's not a strong sense of cohesion towards what Yorick should be, but that mostly points to the issue of Yorick not being a very clear design."
As you may have noticed, Spirit Guard Udyr doesn't have an overly fancy death animation, like PFE when he explodes.
Here is Riot Dudebro commenting on this choice:
"Hey folks,We skipped a custom Udyr death (vfx and sound wise). The reason is he had 4 sets of emotes, 4 recalls, 4 minion deaths, 4 jungle creep deaths, 4 champ deaths.( on top of the other stuff involved with him). We wanted to focus on those as there was of backend tech and content creation involved as well as all the QA that needed to happen. Overall, it was me that didn't do anything for it( I was underwater in work as it is with this skin).
We'll take this data so we can use it to for the next Ultimate skin.Responding to claims that he is just lazy for not adding these things, Riot Dudebro noted:
"Not true...I worked over the Christmas break, missed a number of Riot events, worked every weekend for 2 months(at least) and worked two days straight to get Spirit Udyr done."RiotMindBullets also jumped in, explaining:
"Just to jump in here and add some more visibility:
This is something we talked about. We decided that we wanted to focus our efforts on making the stances and custom kills as rewarding as possible. We wanted to encourage players to be rewarded when they do something awesome, and encourage them to do those things.
We didn't want to encourage players to have to die in order to fully experience the scope of the features in game. After play tests and talks we felt it was much more rewarding to see cool features you trigger by killing things, using emotes, etc. It felt not as cool to make the features of Udyr dependent on something negative or that other players controlled like getting killed.
There are times when it fits the theme so much that we are just like "well yeah, that makes sense, we absolutely should do this" (Phoenix Quinn is a great example) but this one didn't stand out as an especially cool place to do so. It is more of a gut feeling on a skin by skin basis, including discussion as a team.
Not saying this is right or wrong, but just want to be able to answer the question of why."