Red Post Collection: 4.9/4.10 "Champion Update...Update", Nidalee Gameplay Update and Skarner Changes ( & TU ) headed to PBE, Morello on Soraka Rework, and more!

Posted on at 8:11 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection is HUGE! It features Riot Seb with  a"Champion Update...Update" for patch 4.9 and 4.10 where he mentions a Skarner TU and an evil global laugh for Karthus Ult, Riot Scruffy with details on the Skarner changes that will be hitting the PBE soon, Riot Repertoir with details on the Nidalee gameplay update as it nears it's PBE release, Morello discussing Soraka's future rework and 4.9 Kha'Zix, SquidmoX with an important announcement on champion reworks & refunds requests, Riot Zeronis mentioning a new Caitlyn skin for later this year, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


Champion Update... Update - 4.9 and 4.10

Riot Seb has returned for another "Champion Update... Update" for patch 4.9 and 4.10! Check it out for more info on an evil global laugh for Karthus R, texture updates for Skarner , and more!
"Hey guys, 
RiotSeb back with some info on Champion Update projects headed to Live / PBE with the current patch cycle. 
Karthus 
The Karthus Visual Update is headed to live! With the help of your feedback we made several changes to Karthus during his time on PBE, mostly centered on clarity but with a little swag mixed in for good measure. 
Some of you had expressed concern about losing Karthus’ abilities within each other due to color similarity, and internally we wanted to make sure players could tell the difference between abilities cast by friendly/enemy Karthuses (Karthi?). We decided to kill two Teemos with one axe by adding friendly and enemy team-color indicators to Karthus’ basic abilities, so they should be more distinguishable when you’ve got spells flying all over the screen. We’ve also done some optimization work on Defile, as it was originally a bit performance-heavy and visually noisy given how often it’s used. 
We also saw some requests for global VO on Requiem; the main issue there is that Karthus’ R lines are pretty dang long so as to match the channel time, and long global VO could turn annoying very quickly when you’re hearing it (not to mention dying to it) every couple minutes. We definitely liked the idea though, so we added a global, evil laugh to Requiem that’ll crank up the feeling of impending doom no matter where your enemies are on the map.
As I’ve mentioned previously, we’re committed to following through on Champion Updates post-Live and making sure their foundations are solid. With Karthus, we’re keeping an eye on couple areas such as whether his frenetic casting causes VO overlap and whether his clearer Q effect results in the ol’ lich needing a bit more power. 
Skarner 
We’ve been working on Skarner for a while now, and in addition to some of the gameplay updates we’ve discussed previously we also had time to flesh out his thematic through some art upgrades and a brand new passive. 
While continuing to avoid Skarner’s old gameplay problems, we’re looking to increase his power with more CC and stickiness as well as enable him to consistently bring value to his team even when behind. To that end, Crystal Slash now grants Skarner stacking Movement Speed, and the scorpion is sporting a new passive that stacks on enemies every time he hits them with a spell – at 3 stacks, Skarner’s next attack applies bonus damage and a short stun. 
Skarner’s new passive obviously required some new VFX, and we decided to take the opportunity to roll together some other key art updates. In addition to the obligatory passive particle, Skarner has received a Texture Update as well as a touched-up shield particle on his W. 
If you’d like to dig deeper into Skarner’s approaching update you can head on over to his PBE thread
Nidalee 
With her nuclear-tipped spears and incredible escapability, Nidalee's been a contentious champion for a long time, and we’ve been working on a Gameplay Update focused on toning down the frustration of playing against her and giving Nidalee players more diverse gameplay options and decision points. 
To that end, we knew we wanted to reduce the damage potential of Javelin Toss as well as tone down Nidalee’s overall safety (especially in prolonged chases) and force her to balance escape potential against the ability to finish off opponents. Doing so gave us the opportunity to diversify her offensive arsenal and make Cougar form a more co-equal partner in Nidalee’s engagements – furthered by the fact that Cougar form is now available right from level 1. The defining feature of this update is a new ‘Hunt’ mechanic , which is applied by Nidalee’s human-form abilities and both increases her speed towards Hunted targets and provides additional options and power to her Cougar-form abilities. Along with some other changes, this mechanic links Nidalee's two forms into a more cohesive package and gives her the chance to feel incredibly agile and dangerous in her ability to close the distance and take an enemy down. 
Head over to the Nidalee PBE thread if you’d like to see the current specifics of her upcoming Gameplay Update."


Skarner Changes to PBE soon!

Here's Riot Scruffy with details on the long awaited Skarner rework follow up changes, including a new passive, that will be up on the PBE in the near future.
"Hey Skarners, 
Skar is up on PBE with a few gameplay and art changes. We're increasing Skarner's power with more CC and stickiness without creating the old gameplay problems. Additionally, he will be able to consistently bring value to his team, even when behind. He also has upgraded character textures and some new particles for his passive and W. 
Full List of Changes:
[NEW] Crystallizing Sting
  • Skarners damaging spells apply Crystal Poison to enemy Champions and large monsters
  • If Skarner attacks a target with 3 stacks of Crystal Poison he will deal an additional 20-105 damage and stun the target for 0.5/0.75/1 seconds
  • After a stun, targets will not receive Crystal Poison for 6 seconds
Crystal Slash
  • [NEW] Crystal Energy Bonus: Skarner now gains 3/4/5/6/7% Movement speed per stack
  • [NEW] Auto attacks reduce Crystal Slash's cooldown by .5s (doubled against Champions)
  • Base physical damage reduced from 25/40/55/70/85 to 20/30/40/50/60
  • Base physical ratio reduced from 0.8 to 0.4
  • Bonus magic damage reduced from 24/36/48/60/72 to 20/30/40/50/60
  • Bonus magic ratio reduced from 0.4 to 0.2
Crystalline Exoskeleton
  • Cooldown lowered from 16 to 13 seconds
Fracture
  • Base damage lowered from 80/120/160/200/240 to 40/60/80/100/120
  • AP ratio lowered form 0.7 to 0.4
  • Cooldown lowered from 14 to 12 seconds
Impale
  • Cooldown lowered from 130/120/100 to 100/90/80
  • Impale consumes all stacks of Crystal Poison and deals 50/75/100 damage per stack consumed to the target
\o/ 
Scruffy"

He continued, commenting on how the changes change Skarner's play pattern
"It does change his feel somewhat in that he now has a very tangible goal that he is shooting for in a gank/skirmish or any duel. Reaching the stun will often secure kills or turn a fight. 
At the same time, the Q changes (movement speed per stack) actually make him feel much more like his old self. If I start Qing on a target, I'm going to stick to them pretty well. 
AD bruiser builds are still viable with his high base AD, but generally he will take slightly longer to kill enemies but have much better time sticking and CCing."
In a follow up post, Scruffy mentioned Skarner's consumes the crystal poison stacks on stun
"It does, he will have to stack it up again for the next stun on the same target. The stacks last for 5 seconds right now."

As for Skarner's ult consuming the Crystal Poison stacks, Scruffy mentioned:
"When we didn't have the ult consuming the passive stacks we were seeing Ult into follow up passive stun pretty much every time. This was creating really long hard CC chains beyond the duration that we typically allow. 
With this in mind, we compensate him if he uses an ult on a target with stacks of the passive by adding additional damage per stack."
He continued, explaining the R consume does not trigger the 6 second stun cooldown:
"The stun cooldown is not applied in this case."

As for feedback that Skarner's damage may be too low, Scruffy reminded:
"The great thing is, that if he is only deficient in damage numbers that is a very easy fix. The mechanics changes here (more cc and stickiness) are the main focus to get right. 
We will definitely keep an eye on him and make adjustments to his overall dps after more testing."

Nidalee Gameplay Update to PBE soon!

Here's Riot Repertoir with a PBE community post on the Nidalee Gameplay update that is will be available for PBE testing soon!
"Hey guys, 
Nidalee has some gameplay changes headed her way, largely in the form of a modified passive and its interactions throughout her kit. These changes help reinforce a pattern of interaction between Nidalee and opponents, but since the changes are quite dramatic, they required changes to numbers and timings throughout her kit. I’ll be popping in and out of this thread while she’s on PBE to collect everyone’s feedback on her, so please feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll try to get back to you. 
While all feedback is welcome at this point, the stuff that would be particularly useful is:
  • Are Pounce and Swipe behaving the way you’d expect?
  • Are you having difficulty using her Hunt Pounce effectively?
  • How has your laning pattern changed compared to Live (both as and against Nidalee)?
  • How do you feel in roaming cases using your modified brush passive?
  • Did you notice any bugs on her?
  • What items are you guys building on her to be successful?
  • How was your experience building mainly Ability Power items?
  • How was your experience building more bruiser items?
  • Generally, where do you feel she is too strong/weak? 
Thanks in advance for all your guys’ thoughts, 
Repertoir 
With that said, if you're interested in the full changelist, here it is below: 
General:
  • Basic attack hit timing adjusted to better match visual
  • Death Recap now properly differentiates between Javelin Toss and Takedown, and Bushwhack and Pounce
  • (R) Aspect of the Cougar now has 4 ranks and is automatically trained at level 1
  • UI elements added to support modified passive
  • Movement Speed increased to 340 from 335
(P) Prowl
  • Movement Speed in brush reduced to 10% from 15%
  • Movement Speed in brush is now increased to 30% while moving toward visible enemy champions within 5500 range
  • Damaging champions with Javelin Toss and Bushwhack causes her to Hunt these targets for 4 seconds, granting Prowl’s increased Movement Speed toward them and enhancing her next Takedown, Pounce, and Swipe against them
  • Nidalee ignores unit collision while Prowl and Hunt are active
(Q) Javelin Toss
  • Minimum base damage reduced to 50/75/100/125/150 from 55/95/140/185/230
  • Maximum base damage reduced to 150/225/300/375/450 from 137/237/350/462/575
  • Minimum Ability Power ratio reduced to 40% from 65%
  • Maximum Ability Power ratio reduced to 120% from 162.5%
  • Cooldown adjusted to 8/7/6/5 with rank in (R) Aspect of the Cougar from 6 at all ranks
  • Now deals maximum damage at 1300 range rather than 1500
  • Missile visuals adjusted to better match player expectation
  • Applies the Hunt debuff to enemy champions hit
(Q) Takedown
  • Deals 33% increased damage to Hunted targets
  • Minimum base damage reduced to 4/20/50/90 from x/40/70/100
  • Maximum non Hunt base damage reduced to 10/50/125/225 from x/120/210/300
  • Maximum Hunt base damage introduced at 13/67/167/300
  • Maximum non Hunt Total Attack Damage ratio reduced to 250% from 300%
  • Maximum Hunt Total Attack Damage ratio introduced at 333%
  • Minimum non Hunt Ability Power ratio introduced at 24%
  • Maximum non Hunt Ability Power ratio introduced at 60%
  • Maximum Hunt Ability Power ratio introduced at 80%
  • Now deals entirely magic damage instead of entirely physical damage
  • Maximum damage is now dealt when the target is at 20% current Health, up from 0%
  • Nidalee gains 75 Attack Range while Takedown is active
(W) Bushwhack
  • Ground duration reduced to 2 minutes from 4
  • Debuff duration reduced to 4 seconds from 8
  • Now only affects 1 enemy per trap
  • Flat base damage reduced to 20/40/60/80/100 from 80/125/170/215/260
  • Flat damage Ability Power ratio removed (was 40%)
  • No longer shreds enemy Armor and Magic Resist
  • Now additionally deals 12/14/16/18/20% of the target’s current Health over its duration
  • Now additionally deals 1% of the target’s current Health per 50 Ability power over its duration
  • Cooldown reduced to 17/15/13/11/9 from 18 at all ranks
  • Mana cost reduced to 40/45/50/55/60 from 60/75/90/105/120
  • Team color indicators added to better indicate trigger radius
  • Persistent pulsing particle adjusted for better visibility
  • Applies the Hunt debuff to enemy champions hit
(W) Pounce
  • Now moves toward the player’s cursor rather than Nidalee’s current facing
  • Base damage reduced to 50/100/150/200 from x/125/175/225
  • Ability Power ratio reduced to 30% from 40%
  • Cooldown increased to 5 seconds from 3.5
  • Can now be used to jump to Hunted targets at up to 700 range by hovering the cursor over the Hunted target
  • Killing a unit while in Cougar form reduces Pounce’s current cooldown to 1.5 seconds if it is currently higher
(E) Primal Surge
  • Base healing increased to 55/95/135/175/215 from 50/85/120/155/190
  • Ability Power ratio reduced to 50% from 70%
  • Attack Speed buff duration reduced to 6 seconds from 7
(E) Swipe
  • Now targets toward the player’s cursor rather than Nidalee’s current facing
  • Base damage reduced to 70/130/190/250 from x/150/225/300
  • Ability Power ratio reduced to 45% from 60%
  • Swiping a Hunted target reduces Pounce’s current cooldown to 1.5 seconds if it is currently higher
  • Cooldown reduced to 5 seconds from 6 
(R) Aspect of the Cougar
  • No longer grants 20 Movement Speed while in Cougar form
  • Cooldown adjusted to 5.00/3.75/2.50/1.25 from 4.00 at all ranks
  • Nidalee gains vision of all Hunted targets while in Cougar form"

When asked if Nidalee will be getting any new spell effects with these changes, he noted:
"Yes, there are new targeting effects to help Nidalee players use their Hunt Pounce more effectively and take advantage of the boosted range. Please give us feedback if it's not working out for you, once it hits PBE!"
He continued:
"There are actually two UI elements for enhanced Pounce that only Nidalee sees while Hunting.
  • A circle range indicator for Hunt's improved Pounce
  • A directional tether between Nidalee and Hunted champions that swaps from dark red to bright green when Nidalee gets in range for the improved Pounce."

When asked how these changes will stop her from "playing her exactly the same as before", Riot Repertoir replied:
"I think the reduced effectiveness in playing this way will mostly likely cause people to adjust their playstyles. There will still be spear throwing, but a much larger number of her kills will come from getting in your face."

As for the complexity of using traps when they can also proc on minions, he noted:
"Quote
It seems pretty hard to use when you are fighting against someone, since it only affects one target, does it still activate with minions?
Traps are more about setup to me. While playing this Nidalee, players will be taking aggressive action with their Javelin Toss, forcing enemies to dodge them to not get Hunted. Bushwhack traps, on the other hand, require some foresight into where they should be placed for the purposes of Hunting. For example, if I'm laning against a melee champion that may try to jump on me, I probably want to have one around my feet to get damage and Hunt proc on him if he does, but if I'm against a ranged champion, I may trap the sides of the lane to corral them into a smaller part of the lane where I can line up Javelins.
What if an enemy champion and a minion activate it pretty much at the same time? does it randomly debuff one of them?
Bushwhack traps always look inside their radius for champions first and minions second, so you shouldn't ever trigger it on a minion when there is also a champion in its activation range."

Repertoir also replied to a string of questions concerning  Q's range, W's damage, and Pounces power:
"Good questions. I'll take them in order. 
Q - Javelin Toss still has a range of 1500, but it achieves its max damage once it has traveled 1300 range. I knew there was a limit on the amount of damage Javelin Toss could deal, and it needed to be lower, but I wanted to keep the spell satisfying, so the last 200 units is basically a cushion where the max damage is dealt. Takedown base damage probably does look a bit wonky, but keep in mind that most of the damage of Takedown is in the Total Attack Damage ratio. As such, the base damage at rank 1 R is more like 4 plus her Total Attack Damage. 
W - Bushwhack is still in tuning, so maybe they're too strong right now; that's quite possible and can be tuned to not be obnoxious I believe. One of the goals of these changes is to reduce invisible power in her kit, which is why the shreds were removed from her traps. However, it wasn't really the goal to make traps weak, and my experience working on her has taught me that Bushwhack is an integral part of her fighting tankier champions. Also, traps have about the same cooldown at rank 1, and they are now quite visually loud on the ground, so avoiding them will have to be a conscious effort, but it shouldn't be the case that you couldn't see them out there openly in the lane. 
E - In practice you will very rarely get two empowered 700 range Pounces within the time of the Pounce reset. Most often, you will get the empowered one to go in, use your Swipe on the Hunted target, and then have a 375 range Pounce to jump out. 
Thanks for the feedback!"

Morello on Soraka's Future Rework

Morello popped up on the forums to chat a bit about Soraka and her future  rework, which is planned for (tentatively) sometime in 2014.
"Thanks for the post. Looking at it, here's what our analysis is; 
1) Nerfing Solo Soraka was needed, and we think this was the right decision. "Countering" based on a specific pick limits the pool of picks additionally - let's not confuse hard-countering and counterplay. Solo Soraka, pre-nerf, had a 58% winrate, which does cause us to ask questions. 
2) Support Soraka was already weak, and this is an additional kick to her. We know this feels bad, and we may look at this. 
3) Soraka will get a rework this year. There's this thread in where we talk a bit more about our plans here. 
Soraka is overdue for this - we do think she's a bad experience for people who want to play her, and we need to fix that. That being said, her current kit cannot be powerful and healthy simultaneously - exactly why we've reprioritized her rework to this year. We're going to do everything we can to keep her as a healer - though that will require MAJOR shifts to her kit. 
A healer may be able to work under a different model. The MMO Priest model cannot be what it is (I've written litanies on why this is the case). If anyone can do healer in League, it needs to be done on Soraka."
He continued:
"If healer is possible (I think it might be), then we'll find it for Soraka. If it's not, though, then the choices would become:
  • Violate Soraka's identity and make her good, but not a healer
  • Never rework Soraka, but keep her weak since she fucks up the game :)
This Sophie's choice has stayed our hand on it too long already, so we want to rip the bandaid off and make a choice. Starting with exploring (different) healing models, then working from there. 
Soraka will not be the same as she is today. 
Soraka will hopefully be a healer."

On 4.9 Kha'Zix Changes

As you may have noticed, Kha'Zix is up for several changes in patch 4.9.

In response to extremely aggressive feedback regarding the changes, Morello replied:
"If you were planning on running in the frontline and snowballing through a team, yep, you can't do that now. 
If you wanted to flank, assassinate and escape, you can still do that."
He continued, addressing the removal of % damage and the R damage reduction:
"Everything that made bruiser Kha'Zix good is gone - that's the entire point. Assassin Kha' should still be in good shape."
He continued:
"Damage Reduction on Assassins is OP* :)"

Update on Champion Updates & Refund Requests

SquidmoX, a player support manager, has posted an update regarding Riot's refund policy concerning champions who recently received a gameplay or visual update - As of the Karthus update they swill stop processing refund requests for updated champions.
"Hey all, 
Over the past two years we've been ramping up our ability to steadily modernize champions' art, background and gameplay, to the point where champion updates have become an integral part of the overall evolution of League of Legends. When we first began making these updates we were mindful of the fact that we were altering content to which players might be very attached, and with that in mind we agreed to the handful of refund requests from the passionate players who owned updated champions and who sent a ticket to Player Support.

Back then we could do these individual gestures of goodwill because the number of refund requests was pretty low. Requests came largely from players who mained the champ. Once the policy was made public, there was a 10,000%+ spike in requests. We looked at the data and found that a very large majority of requests were from players who weren’t actively invested in the champion pre-update, but were trying to get back RP or IP without using a refund token. 
To give you an idea of the impact, every recent champion update has resulted in a storm of support tickets larger than what we typically see from a full day of major server instability. Combine this with the fact that we're on pace to double our annual number of champion updates (6 in 2013, already 7 in first half of 2014) and it begins to significantly impact Player Support's ability to handle critical issues like account recoveries and tech support. 
As a result of these factors, we've decided that beginning with the Karthus champion update, we will stop processing refund requests for updated champions. It would be awesome to have a process that specifically targets those players significantly impacted by an update and doesn't interfere with Player Support's ability to quickly solve vital support issues, but we are far off from a good solution to this. 
We know this may be disappointing for some players, particularly those actively playing and invested in updated champions. To help address this issue, the champion update team is working on increased transparency when it comes to which champions they're working on. Additionally, the Player Support team has created a central hub with info on past, present, and future champion updates. These efforts should both help you plan your purchases and use of refund tokens and give you better places to voice your feedback and help us fine-tune updates.

If you have any questions about this change, please leave them below and we'll do our best to address them."

PBE Update Delayed Until Tomorrow (6/4)

As you may have noticed earlier, the PBE went down for an update but came back up without a patch!

Here's Chesties with more info: 
Summoners, 
Although there was a notification today regarding a maintenance, we had to delay the maintenance until tomorrow. 
Thanks for being patient. 
Riot Chesties"

New Caitlyn skin later this year

Over on twitter, Riot Zeronis mentioned that a new Caitlyn skin he worked on will be out later this year!
[ Tweet #1] "There is a new one coming out this year, I had the honor to design the skin. I'm excited to show!"

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