This late night red post collection features Scarizard continuing to discuss and respond to feedback on his tentative set of Rengar changes, as well as a few outrageous comments on Taric.
More Rengar commentary
( Note: This is an on-going discussion on future Rengar changes. Be sure to read up on the previous comments here: 1,2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Following up the big update ( which highlighted plans to turn Rengar's E into a skill shot, remove the stealth from his ultimate, and more ) he published a few days ago, Scarizard has returned to the forums to discuss even more Rengar and respond to several concerns about the suggested changes.
He started off today's discussion with:
"Hey dudes, stuck in a constant stream of playtests + meetings literally from the moment i walked in the door at 10am to current (and we have another hourlong meeting in like 3 minutes) - Had Morello play him this version (So far we've had 3 playtests, one with Xelnath, one with myself, and one with Morello) and we talked about how it's trending and where we want to see it go.
Due to getting no sleep, i'm probably going to head out early but not before at least prototyping and sharing my ult idea, so expect that later this evening.
I'll likely be around later to continue posting after you guys have had your eyes on it, so i look forward to talking Knifecat with y'all. Thanks for your patience so far!"He followed up by noting he's worked up a new iteration of the ult that still has stealth and responding to the claims of him just ignoring summoner's opinions.
"Not sure if serious...He's a cat. With a knife. I've been calling him Knifecat the entire thread just as a colloquial fun term i've used since his release. Rango Knifecat. Ragnar Stabtabby. It's just a nonsense name. It's not indicative of any nefarious plans.
As for my ignoring all of the dissenting opinions, i've already prototyped a version of Rengar's ultimate with stealth added back in because of how important it is (obviously to the reaction) to Rengar's identity. I've commented about it numerous times and am going to update the main post with it soon.
The intent of the testing without it, as i've stated many times before, was to start thinking outside of the box and see what we can learn by removing a core part of his Ult that no one had suggested we try - and what we found outside of thematics and style (which is very, very important to a champion) that in more cases playtesters were willing to trade out the stealth for the extra Duration/MS simply due to it being more powerful in some scenarios. If it weren't for this testing, i'd likely have just stuck with the original version that also had a lot of dissenters (Keep Stealth, give a giant particle above nearby enemies heads) that people didn't enjoy.
That's how i got to where i am. By listening to what the communities concerns, and trying things out to see what will work best in the end. Am i 100% doing everything that's posted here? No, and i likely won't - and a lot of my stuff will (and already has) not worked out. That's the nature of iteration. If i'm not allowed to break some stuff, how will we ever learn new things?
You may disagree with some core parts of my work here, and that's totally valid - you're allowed to feel that way and i'm not going to tell you that you're wrong. I'd like everyone to play it on PBE when it's released, but as for perhaps the most thematic part of Rengar's Ult - the stealth - it's coming back. Not everything here will make it to live - i'm just trying to do right by the community by at least updating y'all when i have new iterations so you can see our thought processes along the way to a final product instead of saying 'Surprise! Here it is!'"
Responding to a criticism about his posts being sort of ragey and not well thought out, he took an extensive amount of time to respond to several concerns / popular comments on the latest kit iteration.
Scarizard also had a few thoughts to share on Taric.
"Ask and ye shall receive - i just sat down in bed after work to look through replies and saw someone who obviously felt disenfranchised, but accused me of not understanding a champion because i have a silly name for him. Kind of felt i had to respond.
On to the Big Post Thing by Thanatoz - this might be kinda long
-Rengar has a low win-rate and low ban-rate, so he doesn't have 0 counterplay?
To clarify, i never said that Thrill of the Hunt has no counterplay. There is a high degree of frustration with a champion that has Stealth+MS+Gapcloser on a single ability (coupled with high burst damage, to boot)- we had an initial refactoring that just had a few slight tweaks to Rengar, and we found that by releasing him back in that state he'd be powerful and more viable, but not any healthier to the game. Thrill of Hunt had enough frustration in the playing against case that introducing -more- counterplay to the Ultimate appropriately would allow us to go through with not only those changes, but any other that added power and fluidity to Rengar.
A lot of things in our game have no counterplay, typically present in our older champions. Morgana's Dark Binding is a classic example of good counterplay - it's a skillshot, blocked by minions, that has a great reward and good range. It's slow, but packs a punch. You can position within minions to force her out to use it, you can dodge - when it's down, she's weak for a period of time. Both players can feel skilled when both dodging or landing these abilities.
Corki's Phosphorus Bomb is an example of a spell with poor counterplay. If you're within range, he just kind of targets an area and it explodes with very very short windup and almost no visual tell, either that he is about to use it or on the area that's about to be affected. He just kind of does it - in this case, your opponent doesn't have a chance to dodge anything really - it's all on Corki to mess it up. That's your only 'counterplay' - hope the Corki player can't put his mouse cursor on you and press Q.
All-in-All, low/no counterplay skills in moderation aren't the worst in our game - they provide reliability and often times are 'glue' to kits - but they can also severely hold you back. In all of our recent Corki buffs over the months, we've changed many things with the exception of Phosphorus Bomb's Mana Cost, simply because the spell has such low counterplay that its rather huge managate is the only thing keeping it from breeding a lot of frustration when fighting Corki.
That may have all been pretty lecture-y, but by giving examples and establishing what i mean by counterplay i hope you can come to realize that Winrate, pickrate, and counterplay have very little to do with one another. Heck, winrate doesn't even mean that a champion is strong - Olaf was near-100% Pick/Ban in the World Championships/IPL5 in Season 2, as well as almost every event after that - despite an incredibly low winrate at the time to the general playerbase.
Rengar just...kind of appears and stabs your face off. Or, he fails in doing so and dies. Yes, pink-wards do exist - but when he's running super fast and has a long-range gapcloser whether or not you can see him, the pink ward doesn't really do anything but give you a moment's warning before he just kind of executes his buttons on you and you live or die. As i said before, this ult having a lack of counterplay doesn't make him OP PLS NERF - it just leads to a lot of scenarios where, when strong, it feels incredibly overbearing and unfun to play against. Which means in this case low counterplay holds him back from ever being a stronger champion in general - that's what i'm getting at here, if we buff Rengar without solving the counterplay, the number of situations where Thrill of the Hunt is a hopeless/foregone conclusion goes up as does the frustration with the champion. By finding ways to add counterplay or reduce frustration, we create an environment for a healthier Rengar to exist that is fun to play as/against, deepening the gameplay involved and opening the power budget for the champion.
-Q Train, and eternity in a team-fight.
3-6 seconds for a full q-train is kind of an exaggeration on my part. I understand this 'eternity' in a lot of teamfight situations, but i just mean tone down the speed at which his damage is applied in general. Either way, this is a tunable number that will be determined at a later date. Rengar has less burst-damage, but more overall damage now than before. For a champion with arguably some of the best target selection in the game, he simply can't have that much damage if he's going to have so many other mechanics supporting him. In the case of catching people out and assassinating them - he's still doing that just fun, there's just more time for the enemy to react and feel like they could have outplayed him. Another key component of the Assassin playstyle is opportunity. Only Talon (another low counterplay champion) just kind of dives directly into a team and dgaf - Rengar's ultimate, Passive, and Bola all are tools he can use and be clever with to catch people out or clean people up. Zed, Kha'Zix, and Akali all have a high degree of splitting, stalking, hunting and waiting for the right moment to strike - if you can use your tools to do that, it honestly shouldn't matter how long it takes to get your damage off. A lot of people here act like Rengar's job is to jump in the middle of a 5v5 and attempt to murder someone or die, but that simply isn't fun for both sides - i'd rather see an opportunistic and swift Rengar, picking off people from the sides of a jungle fight before the numbers are in his advantage to launch that full-on assault.
Furthermore - and this is where i have the unfair benefit of playtests, Q-Train in general at whatever numbers we decide to ship with, has generally been simply a more engaging pattern to use. There's more button-presses, more sounds, more blood, more nuance in the optimization of 'keeping up the stacks' - which i see as a net positive to the experience of playing Rengar, and one that takes him away from being like our olden-day Super Fighters (Xin Zhao? 'Press every button on cooldown and don't stop no matter what order) and adds some thought for gains in damage.
-Battle roar and some sentences about it?
Gotta admit here...you aren't really giving much of an argument. You have a really good idea for a potential creative narrative that supports the current Battle Roar (Arrogant, battle-hardened)...but that could really be said for any number of mechanics (Rengar roars and scares/intimidates people, lowering their will to strike back so they lose AD). The only real line you give is kind of an unsubstantiated 'you're pushing him into this jungle with this'.
It has benefit in the jungle, sure. It also has huge benefits in the lane (nullifying much if not all of the minion wave damage, which as any veteran toplaner will tell you adds up) - but more importantly, makes Rengar better at dueling a certain class of champions and weaker at dueling another class. Jumpin' onto an ADC that wants to outplay you with #mechanics? Roar their face off and put a dent in their counter-attack. Wrestling with a Crocodile, Demacian Prince, or any other physical damage dealer that feels they can get away with building full tank? Enfeeble their offense and get to cuttin'. While this certainly has little effect on most mages - an intended weakness - it's not as if it makes Rengar any less powerful whenkilling them. If anything, this is much easier as Rengar's spell damage overall has risen. It just means when you're playing an AD-based champion and you get roared, it's 'Endure through the pain or wait it out and then counterattack', and if you're a mage you get to think 'Yes! I might actually be able to hurt this dude.' None of this is aimed specifically at jungle, and i fail to see how this 'corners him' into it.
At the end of the day, W change isn't necessary to my internal ship criteria - it just makes him a better duelist vs some champs while opening up some weaknesses, which rengar needs at a core level (Kind of hard to buff the CC toting mobile fighter-assassin with burst damage, sustained damage, waveclear, manaless ranged lane harass, free durability stats, healing and stealth).
-Bola's useless because it will be bad in lane due to people being able to hide behind minions.
I don't want to come off as rude, but:
This is a list of capable solo-lane champions that have skillshots, pretty essential their kits, that don't go through minions. They all as well have some form of speed-boost or gapcloser that helps them to outmaneuver their lane opponent. With the update i'm talking about here, Bola Strike has a Lower cooldown, Higher Range, and Higher Damage. The empowered version roots for much longer as well. The reward for Bola Strike in general has increased much more, and for a manaless champion i never thought i'd hear anyone complaining about a lower cooldown. Yes, it takes more skill to land it on an enemy champion, but it instantly opens you up for an attack afterwards - he also happens to have a gapcloser that puts him directly on top of you, so it's not like minions are always a big deal.
- Elise's Cocoon
- Jayce's Shock Blast
- Kennen's Thundering Shuriken
- Kha'Zix's Void Spike
- Lee Sin's Sonic Wave
- Rumble's Electro-Harpoon
All this, at the low low cost of removing Guaranteed Manaless Ranged Harrass from our game. I can understand your concern about how it will fare in toplane (many have echoed this) but without playing it your claim that this is somehow the last nail in the coffin for toplane rengar is alarmist and unsubstantiated - He might be weaker in the one regard t hat he doesn't auto-target you anymore, but that's a price i'm willing to pay for my Bola to be upgrade in almost every way, especially if it adds gameplay.
-Bonetooth feels not worth it and maybe too pushed towards jungle
So, i've posted like 8 billion times so far but the 28 AD is getting upped. Arguments on the merit that it's no longer gold-efficient don't concern me simply because we aren't at the stage where we've begun to balance the actual stats on it. These will be buffed.
The one thing i -do- kind of agree with you on here is if Jungle Rengar's feel like they have to get this every time - but we have to ask ourselves if that's a problem? If Rengar's upgrades (which are by no means locked, as with everything i've mentioned here) are mobility/ganking/hunting focused, then i wouldn't mind if every Rengar in the world wanted it - it'd just make him a bigger badass at doing what he's doing instead of 'I deal more damage rawr'. Tl;dr, Bonetooth Stat buffs will come, i regret ever posting them, need to watch and see if there are any jungle Rengar's that wouldn't want to get it (and if that's a bad thing).
Also not really going to respond to your R point because it's a lot about 'he doesn't have stealth, therefore can't function ever at all for any reason whatsoever also no damage'. It's not that i don't respect your opinion - i've clearly tried to respond to everything here as much as possible - it's just conjecture that can't be substantiated until this is released on PBE and we all play it.Taric Discussion
I just took 50m+ to type this. I'm going to take a break for a bit u_u"
Scarizard also had a few thoughts to share on Taric.
"Probably not going to be able to stick around and monitor this, but since i have an opinion/some context, i thought i'd share with you my feels.
Taric is a (you guessed it) low counterplay champion. He kind of just gets in range and stuns you - and that's about all there is. Statikk made a new passive in an attempt to add some gameplay to Taric around basic attacking/synergies with items and gold income, and it actually worked!
It also opened the door for Jungle Taric and Top Taric...which had to be nerfed due to his low counterplay overall. (one of the only cases we've had where after a nerf a champion's winrate lowered but playrate spiked).
It'd be one thing if the champion just had low counterplay - there are plenty of examples of these in our game, namely amongst the Fighter class that are really fun and engaging, despite feeling bad for opponents. The issue is more that Taric is a low gameplay champion overall - that is, there are very few actions Taric can take that make you feel powerful or skilled while expressing yourself.
Taric is certainly powerful - and when he was powerful, people played him to no end because of it. Stun on a stick, tons of free stats for your allies and a heal? What's not to like? Well, a lot as it turns out. Leona calls sunrays to crash atop your foes and leaps across the battle with a beamsword. Nami smacks everyone with a tidal wave and bubbles dudes. Thresh. (The entire champion. That's the sentence.)
Taric can, and always has been able to stand up to these dudes in power, but there's a definite lack in expression and realized fantasy that i think make him seem far worse off than he actually is.
What this means, is in his current state he won't get worse - but he ain't gettin' better. We'd need to do some deeper refactoring on Taric to find ways to add more actual counterplay/gameplay in his kit, and hopefully get him feeling like that playmaking/hero support (Even Alistar/Soraka, lesser played supports have these epic moments of feeling like you're moving mountains for your teammates) - no timeline on when that would ever come out, or how many resources we'd need - although it's certainly something that would be cool for someone to undertake in sync with maybe a Visual Update if we have bandwidth for a project in the future (Currently, Live is dealing with Rengar, Xerath, Olaf, Heimerdinger, and all of our new champions - not to mention the patch to patch balance as-is). This isn't saying it wouldn't get done. I'd just say it's on the further end of our Radar, and as things move up the more likely we'll be able to revisit him.
Until then, stay outrageous y'all."