- 4/22 PBE Update: Braum, Dragonslayer Braum, Dragonslayer Pantheon, Blade Queen Lissandra, Sunfire Cape VU, Return of Night Hunter Rengar
Braum Q & AWith his recent champion reveal and PBE debut, our next champion Braum is the talk of the forums!
Riot Wrekz, the champion designer behind Braum, stepped up to welcome questions about our upcoming mustached Freljordian:
"So happy to see everyone here posting about him. I'm very excited to talk about Braum and answer everyone's questions. I'll be around for a while answering questions and be checking back regularly."
He continued, sharing a few of the other Rioters responsible for Braum's Art:
"Many people worked on the art from 2d concept through production, primarily though:
TheBravoRay - Concept Art
RiotLamz - Animation
Jin Ho Yang - VFX
Also, we work collaboratively with the entire team for each discipline, the above names don't represent a complete list of everyone who had a hand in making Braum great."
In response to praise that Braum is a true tank, Riot Wrekz commented:
"Love the enthusiasm guys, I hope you continue enjoying him. Go out and save some people (On PBE, saving people on live servers coming soon)!"
[Note: I've rearranged all of these discussions, taken from multiple threads, into similar categories.]
When asked if the community concept of "Angus the Puncher" inspired Braum, Meddler chimed in:
"Angus was one of multiple sources of inspiration during the early development of Braum's concept. In Braum's case we started with a gameplay mechanic we really liked (which is now Braum's E) and looked at a number of different characters it, and the attitude it implied (protector), might be a good fit with. Large guy with a shield was a pretty compelling match and that went really well with a personality that also appealed to us - jovial, fearless, casually invincible. Characters like Angus, Major Armstrong from FMA and others were good reference points as a result for the sort of character we were looking to explore."
As for the artistic style of Braum resembling the Norn from the popular Guild Wars franchise, RiotWrekz commented:
"Artistically the Norn and Freljord draw inspiration from similar things, but the details of the visual style is different (I also worked on both games!). TheBravoRay is the best person to talk about the intricacies and inspiration of Braum's visual style. However, as a raw summary we wanted to make Braum visually distinct from our other large men and tweaking his proportions as we did generated a really distinct silhouette.
Really glad to hear you enjoy the champion, i'll pass the feedback on to the art team!"Morello also added in:
"Yeah - there's a lot of Nordic influence in both (having worked on both games!). It's pretty natural that Norn + Freljord have some comparisons."
BackgroundWhen asked which Freljord faction Braum fights for, Morello noted:
"I believe he's firmly Avarosan, but also one of the "lighter" personalities from Freljord - there's a lot less room for that in the schemings of the Lissandra or the harsh survival nature of the Winter's Claw.
Braum relishes what he does with a moustache-covered grin, happy to help."
AnimationsRiot Whist dropped by a thread discussing Braum's animations, commenting:
"I sit next to the animator who did most of the work on him.
He's one of our top animators.
That slow run he did a few days ago because somebody in the office jokingly suggested to him that he should give him a slow run. There was a lot of love put into Braum. Glad to see you noticed :)"
Concussive Blows ( Passive )
When asked if you can trigger the passive on multiple champions and if it procs on Lucian's passive's extra attack, Riot Wrekz commented:
"Passive - Yes it can be active on multiple targets at once. Yes, Lucian's passive applies on-hits on both attacks so it does add two stacks."
Stand Behind Me ( W )
When asked if Braum can use his W to jump to a ward, Meddler noted:
"He cannot. We wanted to position his W as a get to/save/fight with allies ability, not an on demand method of closing with the enemy. One of Braum's intended weaknesses is that he doesn't have the immediate ability to get on top of an enemy from long range in the way other melee supports like Thresh or Leona can.When asked for specifics on how his W moves between the ally and the enemy, Riot Wrekz commented:
Edit: As pointed out, yeah that should read short range, not melee, in Thresh's case, my bad."
"W - This only takes visible champions into account, you can't use it to detect stealthed enemies. Yes there is a minimum range. If there is no champion in the range you jump just beyond the target as long as that doesn't exceed your max range."
Unbreakable ( E )
When asked to elaborate on how some specific abilites interact with Braum's E, Riot Wrekz noted:
"Our goal with this ability was to determine what is reasonable and expected when something hits the shield while preserving the integrity of things not passing through him.
Skills with explosion effects (Jayce Q, Karma Q, Corki R, Sejuani R) play their explosion effects from where they contacted the shield, damaging Braum and enemies in front of him.
Pass-through projectiles follow simple rules, they stop and do not pass through him. (Ezreal R, Ezreal W, Caitlyn Q etc). Leona E is the same, it hits him and stops the sword from passing through, so she jumps to him instead.
An important facet of this ability is giving the enemy player the satisfaction of hitting Braum with their ability while also empowering Braum to create a safe-zone behind himself."
Riot Wrekz also commented that Braum's E locks your facing once you cast it:
"Braum's Unbreakable does not turn once you cast it. It locks your facing similar to Lucian's Culling and keeps the shield pointing the same direction while you move around."
"Unbreakable stays active until the end of its duration, the only thing that cancels it is death!"
When asked specifically how Zyra's Grasping Roots would interact with Braum's E, he noted:
"Good question. Projectiles hit Braum and then are destroyed. So he takes the damage, CC, and then the grasping roots does not pass through him. If this is the first ability that hits him he would negate the damage but the CC still applies."
As for Karma's mantra-Q hitting Braum's E, he explained:
"For Karma mantra-Q the intial damage hits him and the explosion ground zone is created at the ground where the spell contacted the shield (in front of Braum).
Keep throwing these out guys, I am here as a resource to help ease your confusion."
and for Twitch's ult, he noted:
"He does stop Twitch ultimate from piercing through."
and for Brand's ultimate, he noted:
"Braum would destroy the projectile causing to not continue bouncing, as is the case with other bouncing missiles (Ryze, Sivir, Katarina etc). In the Brand case he still gets the passive debuff because he is hit by the Pyroclasm before destroying it."
When asked about how Braum's E block interactions with turrets and Neutral monsters, Riot Wrekz explained:
"Good question! These things aren't all handled the same way, they are different cases.
Turret attacks are not basic attacks, our mechanics that involve basic attacks exclude them, as does Braum.
Braum does intercept champion basic attacks the same way he intercepts other projectiles, if it touches his shield it hits him instead of its target and is destroyed.
Neutral monsters and minions are treated the same way as enemies, you can intercept their attacks and reduce damage from them."
As for Unbreakable granting assists, he noted:
"Yes, Braum does get assist credit when he uses Unbreakable to block attacks. It takes proper positioning and timing to block attacks, and a number of Braum's big plays are defensive in nature so it didn't feel appropriate to have them go unrewarded if the fight turned from those actions.
Malphite and Braum colliding does not crash the game, instead people tend to gather round and place bets on the rock-man vs muscle-man boxing match that is about to go down."
Riot Wrekz also reiterated that the damage block is for projectiles only but the damage reduction applies to all attacks:
"While Braum's damage reduction effects apply to everything from the direction of the shield, the projectile blocking properties only apply to projectiles. Vi and Xin are totally safe because they are not projectiles, Braum will take reduced damage from them if they hit him from the side the shield is facing."
When asked to elaborate more on what is considered a projectile and what happens when Twitch is shooting for a target behind him, Riot Wrekz continued:
"More questions is just fine!
Projectiles that pass through the shield as visually represented will hit Braum regardless of their intended target, this applies to targetted things like basic attacks as well as free target things like Ezreal Q/W/R. It is reasonable to think about the shield as an extension of his hitbox that only applies to projectiles entering from the correct angle (if you shoot things at him from behind they are not destroyed).
If Braum eats basic attacks from Twitch headed for someone else, he will get poisoned as well, and if a hook touches the shield it will still pull him. This does create situations where a Braum with his shield up is easier to hit than a normal champion, but he is also a much less attractive target than his allies. Clever timing on when you use Unbreakable and understanding the limits of your durability will help you decide what hits to take vs which ones you dodge.He continued:
If all else fails the mustache should keep him safe."
"Yasuo answered a lot of the questions for what feels like a projectile vs what isn't. Our general distinction was if it is a thing that is launched by a character and travels with a physical manifestion in the game world it is a projectile. Projectiles have core characteristics, they have start and end points, directionality between those, and consequences either when they hit something or reach their destination.
Nami ultimate is a projectile by those accounts, and is blocked by Yasuo's wind wall. It is also blocked by Braum's Unbreakable. Braum's Glacial Fissure is also a projectile by those metrics, and because the slow zone is a left on the ground that the projectile has traveled over the interaction is that the zone is only left up to where it hits Unbreakable or Wind-wall."
When asked why some of Braum's tooltips reference his E as "Immovable Object" instead of "Unbreakable", RiotWrekz commented:
That appears to be a mis-named string that went out. Braum's actual ability name is Unbreakable, not Immovable Object. Sorry for the confusion, that should be fixed up on PBE tomorrow."
Wind Wall vs Braum's E
"Braum's E doesn't block any ability that's unable to interact with his allies. Things like Lux's shield won't be affected by him as a result."
Riot Wrekz also jumped in to the discussion, noting:
"Yasuo Wind Wall destroys projectiles entirely, causing them to not do anything they were going to do.
Braum Unbreakable redirects projectiles to himself and takes their damage and effects. He takes reduced damage from the direction his shield is pointed, and the shield continues to move with him"
The UltimateRiot Wrekz commented:
"Braum ult and Nami ult have some core differences in use and what makes them powerful.
Nami ult has a short cast time, very long range, and a slow that scales as the missile travels. It's knockup is consistent throughout. The increasing slow time and consistent knockup makes Nami ult more powerful against back-liners than front-liners if they don't dodge it.
Braum ultimate leaves a slow zone on the ground where it travels, making it a stronger counter-engage and giving it zone control power. Also, the slow actually applied to targets is short, but refreshes while they are inside the zone, meaning that positioning the zone is very important rather than just the initial hit. Finally, Braum's knockup on the ult is 1.5 seconds for the first target and very short for all the targets after that, giving you more ability to play around where you leave the zone by reducing the power as the spell travels past the front-line into the back-line.
Hope that helps!"
When asked what happens if an enemy Braum or Yasuo block Braum's s ultimate, Riot Wrekz commented:
"R - If his ult is blocked by Enemy Braum (Evil Braum) or Yasuo the ult will only make the slow zone up to where it hit the windwall/unbreakable."
Braum Concept ArtSpeaking of Braum, The Bravo Ray uploaded an awesome concept art of our upcoming champion over on his deviantart.
Dragonslayer Pantheon Splash Art vs In-Game
|Dragonslayer Pantheon's splash art, added in the 4/22 PBE update.|
When asked why the Dragonslayer Pantheon's splash art looks so different from the in-game model, Riot Whist commented:
"We've discussed this during skin reviews. We know there's a huge disconnect from the splash.Panth simply needs a model update.
Also the splash art is very dark to bring nice contrast from the fire. While it's badass it does create a higher expectation than we can deliver with the current panth model (and if we darkened the textures to match the tone they have he would just be a black blob on the screen, the skin theme is made to match Dragon Braum).
The spell effects really sell the skin (there's a new ult animation as well as a recall). Once you guys see him cast his ultimate...mmphhhh...it's definitely his best skin. I would recommend withholding judgement until you can see it ingame with the particle effects."
Atlantean Syndra Model matching her Splash ArtOn a similar topic, Riot Whist also commented on the communities request to better allign Atlantean Syndra's in-game colors with the colors in her splash art.
"I'm under the understanding that we did fix that up. Check lolking.
It kills me when people say Riot doesn't listen to the community especially in such a hateful way. Everything we do is for the players and with the players in mind. We listen to every bit of feedback. Sadly, we can't always address every little problem people might have with something.We wish we could though."and they have indeed updated it - The 4/22 PBE update included significant color changes for Atlantean Syndra:
The difference between Barrier and HealAs the recent buffs to Heal have made it a standard choice over Barrier, Morello dropped a few comments off in a thread asking how to differentiate Heal from Barrier:
"We're doing some explorations on what Barrier should do, now that (as you said) Heal is the superior option. Since the comparison between them will always be a numbers game, it should have a different function (so you decide on what strategic benefit you want as opposed to comparing nuanced differences)."
Power BudgetsWhen asked if there is a formula or a set of rules the design team uses when figuring out how to balance a champion, Meddler commented:
"The idea of a power budget, where champions have the same amount of ability to influence the game, is a useful one when considering the design of a champion (or other game element). It's not something that's formally plotted out using numbers or a formula though. Trying to assign a numeric value to hard to compare effects is much more likely to mislead than help (e.g. how many points of power do you assign to a vision reduction effect, as opposed to a 25 unit range increase? Easy to estimate some numbers, extremely hard to have a sufficient level of confidence in them).
Discussion of power budget instead focuses on intended areas of strength and weakness (e.g. Braum has strong defensive windows, but brings less kill power than harder engage supports like Leona). Once that conceptual framework has been established it gets tested and, once validated, numbers then get tested and balanced. For the exact numbers other abilities can be useful reference points (e.g. X damage is a good starting point for a point and click nuke, Y range is appropriate if you want X sort of playstyle)."He continued:
"More powerful abilities will usually have higher trade offs certainly. In Dark Binding's case one of the biggest trade offs for the power of the root is the missile speed for example - at 1200 units/second it's slower than most missiles in the game. Overall though we're much more focused on how champions as a whole compare, not individual abilities. Having mobility or reliable hard CC elsewhere on the kit for example has substantial implications for what sort of functionality can be attached to a specific ability.
Looking at the Sejuani E example you discuss yup, Permafrost's potentially a very powerful spell and has a low cost. On the other hand it's also got a lower application range than Wither and doesn't slow attack speed. Sejuani also doesn't have the inherent sustain, or late game single target damage, that Nasus can bring. She also plays a different role to Nasus (initiator tank versus heavy fighter) and so needs to have different strengths and weaknesses."
Continuing to talk about Morgana, Meddler shared the differences in her vs Ezreal's skill shots:
"Dark Binding's 90 units wide. For context Mystic Shot's 60, and one of the narrowest skillshots out there. Ezreal's ult on the other hand is 160 and one of the widest.
I certainly agree there are a couple of ways Morg discourages interaction (easy W farming and Black Shield versus some laners/junglers), Dark Binding's missile however isn't one of those to me though."
Bundle GiftingBuboBubo, a business analyst, briefly touched on the idea of gifting bundles, saying:
"Bundle gifting is on our radar but got deprioritized because there wasn't as much demand for it. Maybe it's time we revisit that now that bundles are more common and WizardCrab is making them cooler.
Thanks for the feedback!"