Fiora Overhaul and the return of GuinsooGuinsoo" Feak, one of League's elder Game Designers is back and it looks like blade deep on a Fiora rework!
To start off this Blade Waltz, Morello had this to say in a thread asking if the balance team had any upcoming plans for Fiora:
"So, at risk of building hype... ;p
GUINSOO is working on a Fiora overhaul as a "light fighter." We're still in very early prototying, but we agree Fiora is one of the worst characters upon delivering on her fantasy - a skilled, deft fencer.
I think much of her kit will change, but for the better."
As the discussion and hype surrounding Morello's comment build up, Guinsoo popped up on the forums to chat a bit more about his goals for reworking Fiora.
"Hi guys. I'd just like to weigh in on what some of the Fiora goals are. The main problems we see with Fiora's current kit are that thematically, she doesn't deliver on the fantasy of being a skilled duelist/fencer, and mechanically, her game presence / play pattern / role doesn't line up with being a skilled duelist/fencer.
As far as the duelist fantasy goes, at least when I think of Fiora, I expect her to be extremely mobile but not just going in, she needs to be good at dancing in, out of, around and about combat. She should be about finding weaknesses in the opponent's play and finding the proper occasion to go on the attack. She shouldn't be about running in and bursting enemies down, she should be dealing high, steady DPS over time that is relatively target agnostic.
Mechanically speaking, I'd expect a duelist type champion to be mechanically intense. I expect opportunities to use my abilities at optimal times to counter out the enemy's champion. I want to have a lot to keep track of, but with clear success cases when I do well.
At the end of the day, live Fiora is a ball of stats with some untargetability thrown in; she pushes her buttons pretty much as fast as she can without a second thought, and she's also extremely snowballey. In short, she's bland with no cool opportunities to exchange gameplay between her and her lane opponent.
Some of the current goals including switching Fiora from an assassin to a melee DPS, and moving her lane from top to mid/jungle, and adding tons of 'outplay' functionality on her kit, as well as more mobility especially in terms of being able to disengage and re-engage at optimal times.
I can't share too much of exactly what the plans are for her kit, as I'm sure it's going to change tons during development, but I'll leave this here to hopefully stir up some excitement for our favorite rapier wielder. Also bear in mind this is an early, experimental Blade Waltz, and could certainly change drastically between now and remake launch time.
I also understand it's hard to understand exactly what this sample Blade Waltz does, given the lack of context on her basic spells... but rest assured, there are significant tweaks (or more) to all 4 of the other abilities, so hopefully your imaginations run wild :)"
He continued, replying to someone upset about the new ult by explaining that it emulates her current ult:
"A great question. I'm not going to directly answer it, but I'm going to pose a theoretical question.
If one assumes that Lunge is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz's jump around and hit things function, and that Riposte is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz's untargetability, is it hard to envision a scenario where you don't get the current functionality of Blade Waltz if you're allowed to rapidly cast your basic spells? But with options around when each individual jump and spell block comes from, as well as considering how many jumps to use vs spell blocks vs disengages, when, how many auto attacks to weave in, when to focus more DPS vs more survivability vs more mobility, etc.
The goal behind the current ult was to sometimes emulate the behavior of the old one, but make it more timing and decision based, add more options, and add more counterplay for the opponents. I feel like the new ultimate offers far more opportunities than the old one, if one assumes that R/Q emulates the feel of her live Blade Waltz."
When asked about taking away Fiora's burst potential, he commented:
"OK, I feel like I used the wrong terminology when I said "poke enemies down." I edited my first post to "deal steady, high DPS that is relatively target agnostic." While I mostly agree with you that fencing is all about scoring OHKOs, well obviously that type of gameplay isn't great for any type of PvP game. The way we're choosing to handle this is to give her strong, steady DPS, but have it come in bigger chunks that one might anticipate from a steady DPS champion. For example her Riposte has heavily negative implications on her outgoing DPS... unless she blocks a significant spell or attack, at which point she can respond with a very hard hitting Thrust.
In general we want her to feel good (and be greatly rewarded) for using her abilities properly. While that can't be in the form of OHKOs, I think the next best thing is "big chunks of damage.""
He also fielded a few more questions on his earlier comments:
[ Initial quote snipped for length, was asking why pick her over Yasuo as a melee carry ]
"Here are 3 reasons off the top of my head to pick her over Yasuo. Please note I'm talking about her new kit with new abilities, not her old kit with a new ultimate. I just spoiled the ultimate for funsies :)
1) Kayle ult with a few catches on a normal slot
2) Weaker engage, but much stickier than Yasuo
3) Built in disengage
Guinsoo, will her Riposte be able to block tower shots while she is ulting? The untargetability was a key feature of her ultimate when it came to tower diving.
It looks good though, I hope it turns out great.I doubt it. I'm not a great fan of tower diving. I think her kit still leaves her much better positioned to tower dive than the average champion even without being untargetable/immune to turrets. I'm not completely opposed to her having some turret mitigation capabilities. But I'd rather avoid it, and so far my instinct tells me she'll do okay with out it just due to the sheer mobility on the kit.
I play her sometimes in normals and i've yet to encounter a situation where i feel like her passive had a meaningful effect on winning a duel or 2v2 skirmish. It's not really impactful later in the game either since she falls into an assassin role and fights end before it can really ramp up and heal her.That's kind of what I'm driving at - the passive feels lame, it's especially lame in tense moments like battles with other champions, and its only real use is allowing her access to a lane that I don't really feel she belongs in in the first place. It's power without gameplay, and plus it feels useless too. It's effective, but totally lameballs. That's pretty much the opposite of where I'd like her passive design space to lie.
Guinsoo you designed some of the most frustrating and OP champions ever conceived.Touche. That sort of sums up my design, kinda feast or famine. At the same time, it's remarkable how often really fun and interesting champions skirt that fine line..."
Guinsoo you designed some of the most creative and fun to play champions ever conceived.
As this is the first we've heard from Guinsoo in a long while, he shared what he's been up to:
"Truth be told, 6 years of intense video game development got to me and I really needed to take some time to destress. I spent about a year traveling and relaxing and now I'm locked and loaded and ready to pump out some sweet content."He also noted that he's now a daddy.
"This is random. But I'm a daddy now. His name is Jayce Alexander Feak, he's 6 months old in 2 days, and he's the most adorable and well behaved baby ever. Also last time we were at the doctor he got weighed and he's in the 99th percentile of healthy babies. He's a fatty :)"
As for what else he's working on:
"I'm not working on any new champions right now, just Fiora and two unnamed remakes are next on the slate.
Having said that, I do have a couple ideas for some characters. Maybe I should revive Tankenpush. And then there's my idea for a flying unicorn that lets his allies ride him..."
Rumble Buffs on the tableMorello also briefly commented on Rumble, noting the balance team's interest in givin' him a little love.
"Right now, the balance team is looking into Rumble buffs for an upcoming patch. With All-Stars, we're unsure if that will be 4.6 or 4.7 (or later...), but there's a few top laners we'd like to bring up - Rumble is one of them."When asked about the scope of these potential changes, he replied:
"I think something really light is in order."
Vandal Twitch and his Shadestoday's PBE update but several summoner's are lamenting the absence of his signature green shades.
When asked about it in the Twitch VU feedback thread, Ququroon commented:
"We're investigating changes on this now."
GIVE WARWICK A VUZenonTheStoic has caught the scent of a thread demanding Warwick get a VU and has dropped off a few comments on the WW relaunch:
"We have a full relaunch slated for Warwick, but the question is indeed when. Currently our highest priority in terms of full relaunches is Sion; as for visual only stuff we're excited to bring you Twitch very very soon.
I'd love to say Warwick will happen at some point this year, but who knows. The landscape of what needs work most is ever-shifting. For what it's worth, I have a kit I fully believe in ready for further work."
When suggested that Warwick's kit rework be shipped separate from his visual update like Heimerdinger, Morello stepped in to comment:
"We got fortunate on Heimer, as we could "hack" together a lot of the art for the skill changes. One real challenge for changes is it's hard to do if it needs new art (IE; if you change the core functionality of any spell). This is a lot of why gameplay changes attempt to piggyback on VUs, it allows us to use the same resources on the art side to greater effect."ZenonTheStoic added on to this, saying:
"Yup. We had the discussion on whether or not we can ship WW without art, but some of the things we're doing would just look very, very derpy without new art, so I'd rather wait. WW is at least a niche pick right now, unlike Heimer who was simply unpicked before the remake."
When asked about the rework and what will change, ZenonTheStoic commented:
"Yup! Blood Scent stays (but receives a toggle) and Hungering Strike becomes Hungering Strikes (still with a very similar purpose), but other than that a lot of things will change."
As for if Warwick will remain a "drain tank", ZenonTheStoic noted:
"Absolutely! If anything he'll be more of a drain tank. He currently gains self-heal with bonus health, so if you want to drain tank you no longer build AP on him. He has a passive that stacks up on himself when he attacks stuff and his self-heal also increases with those stacks, so he needs to be in combat for a while before his drain tanking really comes online. It creates some pretty tense "can I live through the first 10 seconds of this and then become IMMORTAL DOG" situations."
ZenonTheStoic also replied to a summoner asking if Hyena Warwick will retain his special running animation:
"That's a very good question! I do want special animations for all skins when he goes into Blood Scent, but I like that Hyena gets something special. Maybe the other skins will get somewhat more vanilla wolf running animations? That's a conversation I will need to have with my animator once the pod comes online (once we start working on the art)."
[ Continued ] The Gragas Followup Threadyesterday's discussion, Solcrushed returned to the forums to chat more on the 4.5 Gragas rework:
"Summary post of the big flows of feedback I see:
1. I like the character (Yay! putting this on the top because I can)
2. I dislike the balance of his W (He doesn't get enough for how much he gives up, does not give enough tankiness, damage is not enough payback etc.)
3. I dislike the design of his W (He should not be channeling to prime this)
The current plan going forward:
After the patch that fixes the clunkiness bugs,He continued:
We will be mainly monitoring his W balance in the short term, as in does it give enough payoff in damage in tankiness, does it last enough for Gragas to do what he needs to do etc."
"Oh one more thing guys,
I feel that the discussion in this thread has been very constructive compared most other threads, especially from those who dislike the changes.
Really wanted to point that out and to encourage you guys who have been engaging in productive discussion (you should know who you are) to continue doing so in this and other threads."
When asked if the next patch would be quick given that both Gragas and Rengar need bug fixes following their reworks, Solcrushed replied:
"Unfortunately I can't answer this as I do not make the calls and I do not wish to put undue pressure on the folks that do. Sorry :("To answer why Gragas's new W and E are a bit buggy despite their stay on the PBE, Solcrushed noted:
"Oh sorry, the short answer is that I suck.
The long answer was that his W and E were undergoing significant iteration to their logic during the PBE and the problems that you see now are not the ones that existed during the bulk of the PBE.
Doesn't mean we could have done better, but didn't want you to feel that your feedback was being ignored. Some of the bugs are actually things I introduced trying to respond to PBE feedback"
[ Continued ] Rengar Thread of Bola and Roaringyesterday's discussion on the Rengar Rework, Scruffy returned to the follow up thread to respond to additional suggestions about Rengar's ult warning:
"There are a few people suggesting that the warning from his ult should be global. We thought about this idea actually but it was actually too punishing for Rengar because it gave his opponents too much time to react, and essentially removed all of his ganking power. Enemies would all just back up to their tower before he could engage, so we went with a much shorter warning time frame.As for the bug causing Rengar's Q to not work correctly while jumping, he noted:
I'm much more keen on the idea that if he wouldn't be visible, the warning will not appear. This rewards clever paths and approaches when ulting."
"Just fixed this, will be in the next patch for sure."
Feral Pony on Unpopular ItemsFeralPony hopped right back in to his discussion on unpopular items and itemization in general, replying to this trio of questions:
- "A. Whether the rest of the classes are slotted for having more class-focused itemization and/or QoL passes like the currently tested AP Mid/AP Support itemization,
- B. Whether junglers will keep receiving better itemization and access to gold (they end up around 3d-5th in terms of gold gains in the majority of my games) and
- C. Whether items like Runaans, Zephyr, Zekes, etc will see any kind of functionality/survivability or stat retrofitting passes."
"A- Yes, though that style of item cleanup that we saw last patch (cost tuning, recipe cleanup etc) is more of a passion project of mine as it bothers me quite a bit from a kind of designer OCD standpoint. Some of it was also necessary and important groundwork for future expansion of the item system and to get the itemization system as a whole in a better spot.When asked about Wit's End, he commented:
When we do this style of batch change for each grouping of items is going to vary a bit, the next largescale pass on recipe cleanup/adjustments will probably be Marksman items, followed by Fighter/Tank, followed by Mages, though some stuff will probably occur out of order when it's appropriate.
Example - Attack Speed itemization is primarily a Marksman stat but in adjusting those recipes we're already looking at Wit's End for example so despite it being more of a Fighter Item it makes a lot of sense to tackle at the same time.
Another aspect of this is to shift items more into their unique roles having clearly defined strengths and weaknesses. The Aegis/Locket changes were an example of this for last patch. We striped the armor focusing it more into an anti-magic damage role instead of a mediocre feeling just all around good item.
B- Jungle itemization is a hot topic with the team right now, it's not something I am personally working on atm so I can't actually speak to it much. At this very moment I'm focusing more on Attack Speed items.
C- Some of those items will certainly be updated when it is appropriate. Hurricane, Zephyr, Rageblade, and Wit's End for example are all on our radar atm for changes since it makes sense as we're touching AS itemization as a whole. Not saying we'll ultimately go through with everything but if we hit a spot we're happy with them we will absolutely update them. As general practice I would much prefer updating and improving an existing item when we can rather than creating a new one for a variety of reasons.
Zeke's, not really being related to the larger categories we're looking at atm, is not on our radar for the next pass, though it's something I would love to look at in the future still."
"Yes we're looking at Wit's End.
Not saying anything will ultimately come of it and the changes we're looking at are fairly minor atm. The end item will most likely look very similar to the current version.
Recipe-wise though altering the Recurve Bow is something that is very much on the table, and we're leaning towards either removing it or re-purposing it."
As for the current support trends favoring poke and engage over sustain, FeralPony commented:
"I agree with your core analysis but I think you're getting the wrong take-away from sustain power. It isn't that Sustain is too weak, it's the opposite there is simply too much sustain present that poke is ineffective due to such heavy amounts of inherent lifesteal. Additional sustain from champions like Sona and Soraka is simply excessive and mostly wasted in this scenario.
When sustain gets too powerful it forces opponents to rely on a 100-0 kill lane pattern as it's the only way to actually win lane and running additional sustain is largely a waste as all you need is enough sustain to mitigate or counteract poke.
That's part of the reason champs like Leona, Thresh, and Annie are so sought after atm. I'm fairly confident if there was less sustain in bot lane those champions would see a lot more play, even with no other changes."
Speaking if itemization options, CertainlyT also weighed in with someone discussing that Rylai's , DFG, and several "non support items"are being picked up by supports instead of traditional support items
"I am curious why you feel this way. "All your spells now slow" seems a very supportive item to me, as does "Mark a target; magic damage dealers on your team deal more damage to them."
Do you think the ITEM purchase or the PURPOSE of the item purchase within a champion's play pattern should define whether it is appropriate for a given champion in a given role?
I would agree that Void Staff does not feel like a support item to me, but is purchased primarily because it is absurdly undercosted late game when MR values are high and because supports tend to have low offensive scaling with non-penetration stats."