Recent News ReminderBefore we jump in the new stuff, I just want to drop off links to a few of the recent news articles. We've had a lot of news & content roll out in a very short time and a lot of these articles have been updated with new information or discussion since their initial posting.
- The Harrowing is upon us!
- Sivir Relaunch
- Rammus Texture Update
- Preseason changes to the Jungle
- Nasus Visual Update Reveal
Soraka_OVERRIDEFor a brief time after the 3.13 server maint, Soraka was showing up in the store as "Soraka_OVERRIDE".
Meddler commented on this, saying:
"Whoops, thanks for the catch.When asked for a preview of what the changes might be, he commented:
For anyone curious 'Override' is a label we add to internal copies of champions we're testing out changes on, to distinguish them from the existing verison. In this case someone (me) forgot to change the name back when copying some of the changes over to the normal version."
"We're adjusting ability scaling on a number of supports in tandem with the changes to support income coming soon. This generally translates to scaling utility (e.g. AP adds additional speed to allies with Lulu's W or additional armor to allies with Soraka's W) and less raw damage. The idea here is that supports get stronger at the things they're picked for in the first place (utility/team benefit effects), in contrast to other champions you could also now run in a duo lane who primarily scale their damage only (Annie for example). The goal there's to avoid having either category of non farming duo laner outshadow the other, with both having strong advantages and therefore an interesting choice about what you want to pick, both in terms of laning phase and contribution late game (when the scaling really matters).
Worth noting that, as this will be a sizable set of changes, exact balance probably won't be perfect at first. Some champions will likely be a bit strong, others a bit weak and that's very much something we'll be working on, both on the PBE and in follow up patches. Feedback on power's very welcome, key thing first though is defining what supports should get better at with which items."
Preseason Q&A Round Up - Vision and SupportsFor those who haven't been able to keep up with all the recent preseason discussion, Riot Pwyff has prepared a Q&A round up on the preseason vision and support changes.
It's time for a roundup of our preseason communications! We've been collecting your questions from around the globe to shed some more light on our upcoming preseason changes. Keep in mind that during this time our specific changes are still being worked on, but the core philosophies for this new preseason will remain about the same.
If you haven't had the chance to check out our recent preseason posts, this global roundup covers our biggest questions on:
Q: Can you explain how many trinkets we can have at the same time, and how do they recharge? (HecasTrinityForce / sdgaysian)
A: You can only have one trinket in your inventory and they recharge naturally over time like other on-use items. We are currently experimenting with swapping trinkets, where trading out your trinket will put your new trinket on a significant cooldown, like two or three minutes.
Q: How does the Sweeper trinket work? Does it reveal stealthed champions? (Nuclear Dragon / Dereoo)
A: Currently we're experimenting with only allowing the sweeper trinket to detect invisible champions at maximum level. At lower levels, the sweeper trinket does not detect invisible champions - only invisible wards and devices. In addition to revealing invisible wards and devices, the sweeper trinket will also disable them for a short period of time.
What it will reveal / disable: Teemo's Noxious Trap, Shaco's Jack in the Box
What it will not reveal / disable: Akali, visible traps (like Caitlyn Traps or Nidalee Traps)
Wards and Ward Functionality
Q: Ward Limits: are supports who focus specifically on "lighting up" the map being punished in the preseason?
A: The meta strategy of forcing a single player to take full responsibility for vision is not worth the cost to the game anymore.
We know that this will have negative effects on strategies that revolve around "lighting up" the map with wards, but the cost to the game of further supporting this style is harmful to the power level and design of support players and team coordination.
Q: Will we be able to hold more wards in our inventory, even if the map limit is 3 and 1? (Sweetbubalekh)
A: We're currently working on this! Right now you can have 5 wards or a Sightstone. If a ward gets killed, you can place a new one (or you can do it yourself to make them prematurely expire). Trinket wards are cooldown controlled!
Q: How does Sightstone operate in conjunction with ward limits?
A: Wards placed by Sightstone currently count toward your ward cap.
There's some scattered player / professional feedback in interest in being able to expand or extend your ward limit but, for the clarity of the initial system, we're still examining if it's a possibility we want to pursue.
Q: If a player buys a Sightstone, this means they won't have to buy a green ward in the entire game. (Sageoffire)
A: Correct! This is the intended result!
Other Vision-related questions:
Q: How will these vision changes (ward functionality, trinkets, etc) affect stealth champions like Evelynn?A: We are worried about Evelynn's power skyrocketing, but it's something we're very aware of!
Q: What is the purpose of Oracle's in this new system?A: Tentatively, we are testing an iteration of the game where Oracle Elixir does not exist but we'll be adding an upgrade to the sweeper relic that grants you true sight for a short duration.
Assist Streaks (now renamed to Assist Bonuses!):Q: How will assist streaks work?
A: Assist streaks (as we initially called them) aren't anything like kill streaks, where they're lost if you die. Hence the renaming to something a little more clear, like assist bonuses! Anyway, if your assists are higher than your kills by 2 or more, you'll get additional gold per assist thereafter. You can't "end" an assist streak by dying and, if you get a kill but your assists remain much higher than your kills, you won't "ruin" your streak in any way.
Q: Is it possible for the game to "hype" up player assists? For example, we can add announcements like "Godlike" or "Rampage" in the game for assist streaks?
A: Probably not! The reason here has to do with how assist bonuses work. Ultimately there's nothing the enemy team can do about a player accumulating assists bonuses, unless they try to feed them kills to ruin their assist bonus ratio, but then they've got other problems to deal with and the support will have a lot more gold to make up for losing their assist bonus.
Stronger Supports & Support Utility Scaling with Ability Power
Q: Will this affect some supports that like to be played in the mid lane? Some examples are Janna or Lulu that are played as mages in the mid lane, in addition to supporting in bot lane. (SoraNoChinchira)
A: Yes, but you're going to be out-supporting your opponent's mid laner with your new AP gains - not just bursting people down with more damage. This is a careful tuning point that we're keeping a close eye on - these champions are protectors, not just bursty mages with heals and shields!
Q: How are you going to prevent supports from only buying selfish items with their new gold income?
A: While we don't want to force players to buy any specific items (remember, it's all about reacting to the enemy team and building accordingly), a lot of support gold is tied in with masteries and specific items that build out into support-focused itemization. That said, with our new AP utility scaling for support-oriented champions (Soraka, Lulu, Janna, etc), these support champions will still benefit heavily in their utility, even if they're buying AP items (or should we say especially?). Ultimately the champions you're picking for their utility will scale better in utility as they gain more ability power.
Q: If we're increasing gold income on duo-lane support champions, won't high damage supports become the new hotness? (Neofederalist)
A: This is something we've been concerned about internally as well, and we're aggressively tuning to make sure we can keep the playing field equal. That said, we might not get it completely right out the door, but it's something we're committed to balancing.
Anecdotally, we've seen Leona experience much success with the new system, especially if she can pull ahead in a lane. One of the goals of this system change was to improve the viability of other supports. Now we're seeing Leona and J4 see more success as supports as they are rewarded more for generating early kills in the new system as opposed to the old. Once again, we'll be keeping a close eye on how they do in comparison to others.
One thing to keep in mind is that in order to reap the full benefits of the improved support gold generation, champions will need to invest heavily in the Utility tree. We did this as an intended check on, say, Pantheon or Rengar who might pick up a gold income item to zone out a lane before coming back with a substantial amount of gold.
We're continuing to test champions and "kill lanes" (two high damage champions going into a lane with the intent of shutting down their opponents) to see if the new items and the new gold flow for supports shifts things where certain aggressive kill lanes (like Panthon + Rengar) are just flat out better than a traditional support, which hasn't been the case in our testing so far.
Ultimately we want to increase the number of supports that are viable with these new systems, not invalidate the viability of traditional supports. If we're off-the-mark in our testing and find that traditional supports are falling behind, we'll step in and make modifications. At the end of the day, support role champions scaling their utility with ability power might not be an up-front impactful concept, but if you're choosing a champion for their utility, it makes sense that their utility powers will get even stronger over time!
Support ItemizationQ: Can I build multiple gold income items? (lm Krueger ml)
A: No, even if you fully build out your initial support income item you won't be able to start on another one.
Anecdotally, we originally did not have this limit. Then Madlife and H4ckerv2 came to the office and broke the game by having more gold than any other champion in the game when they min-maxed the the support items. So you can blame them.
Q: What about general items that upgrade from the three support items listed (Philosopher Stone, Kage's Pick, and Emblem of Valor)? (Yaddar)
A: Philosopher's Stone, Kage's Pick and Emblem of Valor have been removed as a component from all items in the game that do not grant alternate gold income. We've replaced those with components we felt were appropriate. For example, Will of the Ancients now builds from a Blasting Wand + Hextech Revolver!
Q: Is Executioner's Emblem an active? And is Executioner's Emblem meant to be a support item to assist lane-mates in last hitting, or is it an item that for dedicated farming champions might buy to enhance their support's gold? (Fgame)
A: Executioner's Emblem is an on-hit effect that triggers when you basic attack an enemy minion with an ally around. This is designed primarily to make it so that supports can help their lane-mates with last hitting, but marksmen or farm-oriented champions can also buy the item as a fallback in a lane to focus funneling gold into the support.
Q: What exactly happens when a support gets a last hit with the Executioner's Emblem trigger? (xBeezT)
A: When a support last hits with Executioner's Emblem, both he and his lane mate get the gold from the last hit. In fact, the lane mate gets a small bonus since he had to coordinate with the support!
Q: If I don't last hit minions with Executioner's Emblem, do I lose the bonus gold income? (Hullun)
A: If you take the Executioner's Emblem and never last hit, you will not provide bonus gold. Buying this item means you're opting into sharing the last hitting experience!
Q: Pickpocket and Spellthief's Blade seems to be heavily focused on ranged supports. How will you balance for melee supports? (Borigrad)
A: We will probably need to adjust items for melee supports, much as we did for Pickpocket. Melee supports in our lane tests have either won handily or have starved, so this is something we're keeping a very close eye on."
Riot Pwyff also answered several more questions in the ensuing comments.
When asked if Assist Streaks will be tied to a skill in the mastery tree, he replied:
"No, it's an underlying addition to the bounty system in general."
Elaborating on the support scaling and how it relates to support champions going mid, he commented:
"There's a few concerns - mostly surrounding the notion that even when a traditional support champion does go mid (Janna, Soraka), the amount of gameplay interaction they have with their opponent tends to be close to none. Janna is a good example here. The other thing is that if you pick a champion for their core utility but then just end up picking up piles of damage over time because you're building AP for additional utility, the feeling of "this champion is all about control" gets pushed to the way side in favor of an arms race - and then certain higher damage champions will simply outshine everyone else.He also commented:
I think really pushing the divide between high utility champions (WITH MORE UTILITY) versus high damage champions is a better move here, as then we don't run into those concerns where higher damage champions simply become the go-to choice for lategame."
"I think we're not limited here in what we can do with utility scaling, but there are certain limitations for the sake of gameplay and clarity. Currently movement speed bonuses (Lulu shield) and statistical bonuses (Janna's AD bonus on shield) are the core focus for utility scaling. Nami's changes will be really interesting."He also reminded:
"So we're not currently COMPLETELY removing AP ratios on these supports - they'll still do damage with more AP if they currently do that on live. That being said, Sona is an interesting balance between aura support / an incredible engage CC ult / high early damage with Hymn of Valor and Power Chord. I think we're looking to maintain some of that strong poke, but as you mention - once Sona gets some real items rolling she outputs incredible damage at late game with her current ratios. I think we can definitely hit a sweet spot here where your play style is possible but isn't overwhelming with easy access to items (see Sonas on ARAM)."
Clarification on 3.13 Thresh ChangesPatch 3.13 featured the following changes for Thresh:
- Attack Speed per level increased to 3% (from 1%)
- Thresh's basic attack wind up is reduced by 0.25% per 1% attack speed, rather than the standard 1%
CertainlyT commented on these changes, clearing up their intended purpose:
"...Allow me to clarify, because this is not a traditional change. Attack Speed traditionally reduces the time between attacks by compressing everything about the attack, including the animation (we call this the Wind Up). What Thresh now does is instead compress the time between one attack firing and the next ending by more than 100% of his attack speed, but the time that the animation plays by less than 100%. This means that he can now be given more attack speed without looking ridiculous.
In sum, this change:
Reduces Thresh's ability to kite/chase between basic attacks when he builds AS items;
Has little impact on his animation when not buying AS items due to the extra attack speed per level we granted him;
Increases his damage in stand and fight cases across the board."
Nami Skin Live Art Demo
( NOTE: As with the other live art demo skins, there are no guarentees this will become an actual skin - although Pool Party Leona went from demo to reality! )
Here's IronStylus giving some context on these pictures and commenting on the event!
So, myself and another Riot artist, Oscar, are currently in Brazil attending Brazil Game Show, pretty much a PAX for South America. We were asked by our Brazilian office to come down, hang out with players and show them how we do art!
Like other events we've done, we like to try to live-design a skin for the audience. This time, we asked the Brazil office what myths, legends or other cultural aspects from Brazil could inspire a particular skin. What we decided to try out was a Nami skin inspired by the legend of Iara, the mermaid. This model and concept are our result so far.
I played around with the concept a fellow artist gave me to work with, and Oscar sculpted the model live. He did an amazing job as you can see!
BIG BIG DISCLAIMER! Like every skin we work on at an event, we cannot guarantee that it'll be made. We got some wonderful input and inspiration. We'll now take that work back to our team and see if it's something we agree upon as being a viable idea for a future skin. We had been ideating on a Nami skin, but this is a fresh idea which might inject a different flavor into it. We shall see.
Just wanted to clarify that this is something we want to make, but not something that will be made necessarily, depending on what the Skins team decides.
Glad you guys like it! Stay tuned!"
Sivir SculptsNow that Sivir's relaunch is out, Grumpy Monkey shared a turnaround video showing off the Sivir scuplt over on his twitter
If you want to see more, Grumpy Monkey also shared simliar videos for Sivir's other skins: