Red Post Collection: Frozen Mallet & Planned 4.10 itemization discussion, [Continued] Updates to Summoner's Rift, and more!

Posted on at 10:09 AM by Moobeat
[ It appears there is going to be a LIVE STREAM of the update to Summoner's Rift ( in Spanish ) at 19:00 CEST on June 9th. More details can be found here on the Spanish EUW LoL page. ]

This afternoon's Red Post Collection features Xypherous sharing his thoughts on Frozen Mallet, continued discussion on the planned 4.10 itemization changes ( now on PBE! ) and the updates to Summoner's Rift, Nome sharing that during development Howling Abyss actually had gameplay altering environmental effects, Wav3Break on Urgot and Quinn's absence from the 4.10 live gameplay patch forecast, a reminder that One for All: Mirror Mode is ending soon, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


Frozen Mallet

Over in his thread on the current itemization changes up on the PBE, Xypherous took a little time to discuss Frozen Mallet and his feelings on why the item hasn't seen any recent changes:
"We've done a lot of Mallet experimentation - but the result keeps coming back to - Why is this item in the game - whenever it's not fringe, the game sucks.

We're more inclined to delete the item entirely at this point."
He continued, elaborating on his previous comment:
"The basic question is - Is Frozen Mallet essential to the game functioning well? 
And it seems to be no, at this point. 
Frozen Mallet doesn't really seem to help any combat cases we're happy with - nor does it seem to invite interesting gameplay when it works. 
The main problem with Frozen Mallet is basically the concept of an on-hit slow and the idea that it's somehow supposed to help fighters or ranged characters. 
At its core, there's a lot of interesting design space we could put on fighters or ranged characters - but Frozen Mallet doesn't help any of those patterns when it's good. It simply flattens all the patterns down to 'land one basic attack.' 
It's not the permaslow - or the stats really. There's a richness in how ranged vs. melee fight each other and how they position against each other but Frozen Mallet, whenever it's been good basically tells people that a single basic attack should be what defines that pattern. 
Now, I'm not saying that there aren't numbers or mechanics that you could do to make the current Frozen Mallet work. It's just, the gains really wouldn't be worth the costs in the end - You'd have a cool item at the expense of a lot of other things. This isn't a question of viability or whether or not we can make it attractive. All that is really simple to do. It's whether or not it's worth it and I'm not really sure at this point."

When asked why Phage's speed boost and Iceborn Gauntlet's aoe slow field don't suffer from the same problem, Xypherous commented:
"Speed boosts do allow you to stick onto a target but they don't remove a lot of agency from the opponent. 
Additionally, a speed boost doesn't have to be as powerful as a slow - because for a slow, you want to slow the target you're interested in. For Phage's boost, just hit anyone or anything along the way and you get a boost of effort towards your goal. 
Iceborn Gauntlet's slow fades immediately upon leaving the field and the permanent slow aspect is heavily dependent on a champion to champion basis. While it can create situations where this is true - it allows for slightly more play on the side of the opponent. 
I'm not saying IBG has solved some major problem that Frozen Mallet has - it can be just as bad - however, the fact that it can't chain slow and that it allows blinks/dashes/knockbacks to escape the zone quickly helps to mitigate a lot of its problems.
My concern is in regards to tanky low mobility champions.
A working Frozen Mallet that still resembles itself won't help tanky low mobility champions. Mostly because whatever help they get - their compatriots will get better unless you figure out some set of arbitrary restrictions."

When asked if Entropy - an equivalent item on from Dominion and Howling Abyss - would be a good replacement, Xypherous noted:
"Not particularly - it has all the same problems plus it's an active and cumbersome to use or balance well."

He continued:
"While the shorter duration of Entropy mitigates the problems of Frozen Mallet - the core pattern of 'every single one of my attacks slow you and these chain' is flawed as it compresses a lot of interesting fight paradigms to 'can you or did you land a basic attack?' 
Essentially, it has all the problems of Frozen Mallet for a shor time. It only has the problems of Frozen Mallet for 5 seconds - but since the slow lasts 2.5 seconds after this has worn off, given the duration of your average fight, you don't get very far. 
Although, I suppose you do gain one major advantage in that you only make one person miserable instead of chaining it across the whole team - and one major disadvantage in that it's an active."
In response to a summoner's idea of giving Frozen Mallet a passive similar to Vayne's passive ( moving faster towards enemy champions ) on hit, Xypherous commented:
"That is neat. It always does feel kind of bad giving the opponent a boost when you attack them but adding directionality solves a lot of edge cases and could feel intuitively right. 
We'd have to make it a lot more precise that Vayne's 180 degree 2000 range I want to murder ze enemy type movement - but it could be supported with visuals in a really cool way. 
Hm.. I'll talk to my team about it. Slight concern here in that it might make Vayne feel bad because her unique passive gets replicated on an item... but you know.. it's not like that's never happened before. 
Very interesting thought though."

[ Continued ] Planned 4.10 Item Changes (Attack Damage / Attack Speed / Warden's Mail / Support Itemization)

Following all the discussion from yesterday, a sweeping set of itemization changes and two new items are now up on the PBE for testing. Xypherous and ricklessabandon have continued to answer questions concerning all these new changes on the PBE community.


Regarding the magic resist reduction on Athene's Unholy Chalice and how that will play out for the defensive itemization of mages, ricklessabandon commented:
"speaking very broadly, 'mages' have traditionally looked to generic defenses instead of specific defenses (i.e., they buy health and 'damage prevention effects' like the actives on zhonya's hourglass and seraph's embrace, as well as the passives on banshee's veil). it's typically much more difficult to get a mage's armor or magic resist to 'fighter' levels, which is more or less the intent right now.

to answer your hypothetical, if i needed more defense as brand, anivia, ziggs, lux, et al, i would likely buy chalice of harmony or a ruby crystal + giant's belt (or negatron cloak) to eventually upgrade into items that character wants. athene's, rylai's, and liandy's can all be fine. even just a cowl can be great since banshee's veil is really good for long range champions like the ones you mentioned."
As for future plans for spell vamp, ricklessabandon noted:
"spell vamp is something i'd like to look at in the future for sure. i don't know yet if that means we need to add/rework spell vamp items once that's done, but as a stat it's not in a great enough place currently to be made widely available in the item shop. not sure when we'd be able to put in time for this, but given our current 'to do' list i don't think it'll be anytime soon™."

With regard to the new Ardent Censer item, Xypherous had a few comments
Ardent Censer as of the 6/6 PBE Update. ]
To start off, Xypherous commented that the item is currently bugged and doesn't work on -any- heal:
"Seems like I forgot to get the part where it actually works on heals onto the PBE. My bad. 
Err.. I have no idea when the next PBE push is - but I'll try to get it working as soon as it's feasible - it's weird because it's the weekend. 
Thanks for ze bug report!"

He also commented on the possibility of AoE or single target restrictions to shields, warning he'd rather see how players feel about the item first:
We'll see. It's fairly trivial to add AoE or single target restrictions onto the item - but it's premature to add restraints onto the item before people have gotten a chance to use it. 
If AoE shields are really that spammy we can adjust easily. 
The key difference currently is that the single target shields have 100% uptime at max CDR while the AoE ones typically don't or sacrifice some other utility if used at the wrong moment.
He reiterated this in a different comment, saying:
"Yes - an AoE restriction might be tricky to do, but if we really need to do it, we can. I just think it's premature to do an AoE restriction as the two cool interactions are:
  1. Single target high uptime heals/shields with offense boosts (Janna/Lulu/Kayle/Nidalee)
  2. AoE low uptime mass effects (Karma/Thresh/Locket/Soraka ult)
I kind of want to see how #1 and #2 pan out before thinking about the AoE stuff. Under the hood, I can already detect most of the AoE cases as is."

In response to a summoner's concern the item may be broken by citing champions like Janna could maintain an extremely high uptime, Xypherous replied:
"Quote
That's because Janna's shield with 40% CDR has a 6 second cooldown, so you can permanently give someone 25% bonus attack speed for as long as your mana pool can take. That's kinda broken.
Items should feel kind of broken when you use it.

Whether it actually is broken, I'm not sure. I do recall the days of Stark's Fervor - but there were so many things that were broken about that item that the Attack Speed actually seems like the most non-broken part.

That being said - that's why I post the item specifics - it gives us time to consider your responses and react accordingly."

When asked if Ardent Censor will give a speed bonus to turrets when used with Janna's shield, he noted:
"Probably not - but now that I think about it - the way I hooked it up, turrets would gain AS from it. 
On the one hand, not intended - on the other hand, that's actually kind of cool. Hm.. I think I'll want to talk to my team before making a call one way or the other."

Just to be clear on the new Essence Reaver's passive, Xypherous noted:
"You might be misreading the item there. It gives you Mana Leech - it doesn't restore 8% of your mana. It restores 8% of the damage dealt if you're at 0% Mana - similar to life leech."
[ Essence Reaver as of the 6/6 PBE Update ]

Xypherous also chatted a bit about % Max HP damage and it's relation to bruisers and marksmen:
"% Max isn't a tank buster item. % Max Health damage is a bruiser item at its core - the reason for this being that an item with % Max Health damage is far better on you when you have low damage of your own. 
Since the % Max Health would be lower - you'd actually want to target low armor targets to get the most value out of it - again, better against squishies. 
To throw a thought experiment - who would benefit more from the following item? 
50% Current HP on hit 
25% Max Hp on it. 
The ADC would most likely kill you in 3 hits with either item as he's dealing 300 + 50% of your current health or 300 + 25% of your max health. In any event, against a 2000 health target, you're dying in 3 hits. 
However, let's look at the bruiser who does relatively low damage per hit. 100 + 50% of your maximum health would take 5 hits to kill you - however, regardless of his damage, he would kill you in 4 hits with the Max HP version. 
Obviously the numbers are extreme here and tilted to favor my point but % Current Health damage favors characters with intrinsically high damage per attack - whereas % Max Health is agnostic and thus favors characters regardless of their base damage (which end up being bruiser focused.)
Lastly, every time Doran's Blade changes, why does its AD have to go down? It continually gets weaker and makes last hitting at certain points a bit harder.
Mostly because every time we make Doran's Blade more stackable, we have to keep in mind that we never want triple Doran's to be the best option - just one of several potential options."
He continued:
"Bruisers typically attack things that are lower resistance, while ADCs ignore more resistances on the targets they attack. 
I've just generally found that whenever we put % Max HP damage on anything, squishies tend to die all over the place."

[ Continued ] More on Summoner's Rift

Didn't get your fill of Summoner's Rift information in our giant red post collection? Never fear! The team has continued to answer summoner questions about the upcoming visual update to The Rift.

When asked when the development of the Summoner's Rift update started, Nome commented both it and Howling Abyss started at the same time:
"Both Howling Abyss and SR started initial development simultaneously. We began with a small team, focusing on concept and direction, and as everything fleshed out we added more members to the team. Getting SR right was super important, because in a lot of ways Summoner's Rift *is* League of Legends"

As for how new minions will spawn, Nome noted:
"They still poof out of nowhere for now, but we're hoping to find a pretty solution for their spawn later."

When asked about weather effects and day/night cycles, RiotForScience commented:
"Yes there will be some weather effects. The north east quadrant is going to be rainy, apart from that we will have dust, fog, lightrays and other environmental effects 
We will not have day/night cycles. Our lighting is all hand painted. The wins that we would get by having a day/night cycle would be massively outweighed by the losses we would get from adopting a more artifical lighting system.

We will not have camera rotation, but the fundamental issue behind why we want the ability to rotate the camera is being looked into. We are not prepared to discuss that yet. The solution will not be part of the visual update."

RiotForScience also answered a list of questions including Shaco's deceive over the same terrain with new updates, aggro range with markings around turrets, the healing/shop zone sharing a range, and if you could still abuse Dragon's range by making him toggle in and out of attack range:
1. yes they will still work. The nav mesh is copied directly from the map on live. It is not a new map. It is a visual update. The only difference is a few bugs we cleaned up. 
2. Having a really clear circumference around the towers is problematic from a design perspective because it would allow players to stand 1 pixel outside of the range something we would prefer there to be some risk/mastery in order to do. 
3.Good point on the heal zone. I will look into it. There is a design feedback thread located in the summoner's rift sub-forum. If you could post it there I will not lose track of the concern. 
4. There are some distinctions between those 2 camps and how they behave on the current map. I think it will have an impact.

As for if the Summoner's Rift update was what Tryndamere was referring to when he said "You'll see why in Q1 of 2014", vladcole shared:
"He didn't mean fiscal Q1. We're not a such a money-oriented company that we speak in terms of fiscal quarters. We use real people days, months, and quarters. Honestly, Marc just overpromised. I'm sure he regrets making that hint -- this community was pretty great at reminding him regularly of the miss. I mean that -- <3 redditors -- you hold us very accountable. 
But yes, he was hinting at the SR VU."

Interested in more on the upcoming updates to Summoner's Rift? Check out these links:

Scrapped Environment Effects from Howling Abyss

In a discussion about ambient / weather effects and gameplay, Nome shared that at one point during development Howling Abyss had a few environmental events that actually affected gameplay.
"During the development of Howling Abyss, we toyed with the idea of environment effects affecting gameplay. If you pay attention to Howling Abyss, you'll notice that every once in a while, the wind blows harder. This used to tie into two things happening: destructible ice blocks would form around the bridge and allied vision would become unbound for the duration (think Nocturne). The ice blocks would last until destroyed (they'd take damage from spells and block skill shots--that was originally the answer to Nidalee's Javelin!), while unbound vision give players a chance to initiate amidst the chaos.
What do you guys think? Still worth exploring?"

Transparency with Big Projects

With relation to the discussion of NA's East Coast vs West Coast ping, Cedriel commented on transparency and expectations surrounding these big projects:
We try to be transparent on what we do and why we do it: that's why we're doing things like patch previews, post content ahead of time for feedback on PBE, write dev blogs and interact directly with players in the forums, twitter, reddit and such. Unfortunately, there are things about which we can't say much until we have something to deliver. 
For instance, take a project that is still in an early stage and is undergoing a lot of testing and revision. Anything we show you is going to create excitement and set expectations, but what we actually launch might end up being very different, to the disappointment of a great many people who were anticipating something else. Sometimes, we find along the way that what seemed like a great idea turns out to just not to be fun in practice, and simply never release it because it would've been a pretty bad player experience. We messed up bad with Magma Chamber on this one, for instance. 
Another example would be projects that are large in scope and technically complex. Sometimes these things change mid-development, or we find out that some problems were more complicated than we anticipated. Particularly when you're doing new things, deadlines can slip. If we promise stuff and fail to deliver, you have a right to be pissed at us. We'd rather under-promise and over-deliver! 
Finally, there are projects that we simply have to be vague about for security reasons. Security often plays out like a cat-and-mouse game in which hostile parties come up with creative new vectors for attack and we come up with counter-measures. Spelling out in detail what those counter-measures will be ahead of time amounts to giving these people advance notice, and making them less effective. For instance, we're working on solutions to reduce or eliminate the pain that players feel from DDOS and drophack attacks, but we can't really talk about what or how. 
We recognize that East Coast players are not getting the same quality of service that West Coast players do—and we're committed to doing something about that. Wiser heads than mine are working on this. Unfortunately, if their work hits any of those points—and almost any solution will—there's just not much we can say until it's ready or near-ready. It's frustrating to you because it feels like we're not listening, and it's frustrating for us because there's nothing that we want more than to show all the cool stuff we're doing to make League of Legends better—but there are good reasons for it. 
In the meantime, all we can do is apologize for not being good enough, thanking you for your patience, and telling you that we're working on it."
Along the same lines, Riot Tokkelossie commented that Sion is currently the only champion VU being discussed for similar reasons:
Thanks for helping keep things on topic guys :) 
Immortalibra: Sion is the only champ VU that is currently being discussed, but there are numerous other champs in various stages of development/exploration. The reason we prefer to hold off on confirmations until champs have moved to the final stages of development is because unforeseen things can sometimes push the schedule out or cause priorities to shift. A certain map VU might be an example of such a thing :) 
Until we know that we have a fairly clear path to release, we don't want to create excitement and then let everyone down if we hit a speed-bump and have to delay it.

Quinn and Urgot not forgotten

Following up on the marksmen discussion included in the [4.10] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast, Wav3Break popped back in to add a note on absence of Quinn and Urgot discussion.
"Hey guys, I just want to clarify some of our views on sensitive/gray area champions like Quinn and Urgot since there is a lot of lively discussion. Currently, we don't necessarily see these two champions fitting into the traditional marksman role and thus 4.10 will not have specific changes reflecting them. The scope of 4.10 has us incredibly focused on improving the health of traditional marksman role and we plan to deliver our best work regarding that focus. Discussion is always valuable to us though and we are grateful for all the feedback you guys provide us."
He continued, mentioning Quinn specifically:
"I agree that Quinn currently does not function at her best as a traditional marksman and that she feels like she is at an awkward spot regarding her champion identity. That being said I don't think that she is a particularly weak champion. She is an incredibly interesting character and we want to observe how the overall game changes after we implement the changes we have planned in 4.10. The post 4.10 analysis will be real and we look forward to the feedback and discussion you guys will have for us :)."

One for All: Mirror Mode ending Soon

Here's Bufmeplz with a reminder that One for All:Mirror Mode is ending soon!
"On June 8, One For All: Mirror Mode returns to the Featured Gameplay Mode workshop. Hop in and experience one last conga line of Rocket Grabs across Howling Abyss to unlock the One For All summoner icon."

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