Red Post Collection: Statikk Q&A On July 21st, Meddler on Varus PBE Changes, Nome on Death Recap, and more!

Posted on at 4:37 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features a heads-up that Statikk, from the live balance team, will be hosting a Q&A on July 21st, Meddler with context on the Varus PBE changes and briefly mentioning Soraka's future rework, ricklessabandon commenting on his experimental Muramana changes, and Nome with more discussion on Death Recaps.
Continue reading for more information!

Join Statikk for a Q&A on Monday, July 21

If you enjoyed the recent Meddler Q&A, you will be pleased to know that Statikk will also be hosting a Q&A on Monday July 21st!
"A live balance designer, James “Statikk” Bach probably hated having to nerf his namesake shiv. Part of the team responsible for the state of gameplay on live, Statikk is also active during preseason experiments and updates. Whether you’re wondering how champs are picked for balance changes between patches, or looking forward to asking about a lightly-buffed Ahri, Statikk stops in for a Q&A on Monday July 21 from 12:00 PM PST until 2:00 PM PST. While he isn’t answering questions yet, stop by the discussion now and start asking your questions!"
When you click in to the thread ( which is up early ), Statikk notes:
"Hey all, 
Statikk here. I'm a designer on the live gameplay & balance team, but in the past I've also handled reworks for Sivir, Kassadin and Evelynn . These days I'm focused mostly on the changes we make to the live game, so whether you’re wondering how champs are picked for modifications or you want to talk about recent changes we've made (or haven't made), feel free to ask here. 
Final note: the Q&A won't go live until Monday, July 21 from 12:00 PM PST until 2:00 PM PST, but start asking your questions NOW and I'll answer as many as I can on Monday. 

Context on Varus PBE Changes

In the 7/18 PBE update, Varus received a tentative buff to his ultimate's cool down, which was lowered to 110/90/70 from 120/105/90.

Meddler popped on to the forums to provide extra context on the change:
"Couple of thoughts behind the change we're testing: 
1. As a non mobile ADC giving Varus a bit more safety/control via his ult being up more reliably's an appropriate place to offer a bit of power.

2. Following on from that one of the prime reasons to pick Varus in a team comp is if you want crowd control from your marksman slot (with a focus on team disruption, and greater reliability as a counterinitiate, in contrast to Ashe's strength as an initiator). Amplifying that strength's therefore fits well with our goals of increasing clear strengths and weaknesses for champions to create further distinctions between them."

When asked why they didn't opt to increase his slow potency, Meddler noted:
"No shortage of champs with slows. As above we're seeing if there's mileage in buffing something more distinct. On top of that a slow's fairly or completely ineffective against a fair number of diving champs, in contrast to a root."

As for increasing the hit box on his ultimate, Meddler replied:
"A higher hit rate, via width, was something we've talked about as well. Agree it feels like it's missed a lot, it's a pretty fast skillshot (2000) with a fair bit of width already (around 100 from memory, not certain off the top of the head) though so I'd be a little hesitant to make it too generous (would also reduce the current cases we see of chaining it with allied CC from your support which can add some interesting play to bot lane comps, CD reduction by contrast supports that)."

and if they are planning to revert the previous nerf of his -5 to his base movement speed:
"No plans to do so at present. Wouldn't rule it out of the question entirely, there are likely more interesting ways we can add power to him though."
As for how much power 5 base movement speed is valued at, Meddler noted:
"From what we've seen it varies a lot depending on that champion's kit and role. On some that's not massively position dependent (not a primary target or heavily range constrained) it may not have too big an impact. ADCs on the other hand do tend to be pretty sensitive to MS changes. Vayne's a particularly good example of that, with even small changes to her movement speed translating into noticeable power differences."
When asked to elaborate on Vayne's movement speed being a delicate balance lever, he continued:
"Not completely certain, couple of things I'm inclined to attribute it to though. Vayne doesn't have any way of projecting influence beyond her auto attack range. Combine that with the way ADC trading/CSing/harassment bot often skirts just around AA ranges (to the extent that a 550 AA versus a 575 AA is a really noticeable difference) and a small difference in MS can make the difference between being able to land or avoid a hit or not. Similarly kills or escapes will often come down to a single AA's worth of health, often just barely landed or escaped. 

Agree with your point that dashes/blinks should be expected to reduce such impacts. In Vayne's case however I think the factors amplifying movement sensitivity are strong enough to outweigh the mobility she gets from her kit though."

Meddler also briefly touched on Ashe's viability:
@Meddler, since you're here... 
Do you think Ashe actually could be buffed to a top-tier ADC pick, without disrupting the game, due to her permaslows? I mean she was the reason why Irelia/Xin/etc were made, to counter... Pretty much her, and she ended up making problems due to a ranged permaslow. 
However, times have changed and arguably permaslows aren't as strong as they used to be. Still, they can be highly problematic for the game and make a lot of Champs suffer as well. 
I'm curious if you think she could be buffed to that stage without impacting the game too powerfully in a negative fashion, and how you would do it.
I'm not sure top tier's necessarily a good goal, that implies she's potentially strong even against those that are meant to be good against her and therefore overwhelming against those weak to her (given she's not as much of a baseline pick as some other champs). Sometimes picked in competitive play (with the right team comp/enemy team comp) on the other hand I could see being appropriate. We did see a little bit of that last year with some of the Ashe/Zyra lanes being run. Personal suspicion is she's probably not too far off situational picks like that being valid, particularly with the decreased number of assassins in the competitive meta of most (all?) regions right now."

 Soraka & Upcoming Support Nerfs

In a thread asking if Soraka will be getting any sort of immediate balance changes to hold her over until her future rework is completed, Meddler commented:
"Testing at the moment to see if we can add one of the things from the rework to her current kit. Initial testing suggests it may not function well enough without other corresponding kit changes, looking into it though in case we can give her a bit of help sooner."
 asked why Nami is being nerfed on the PBE and not Thresh or Braum ( who actually is! ), Meddler noted:
"We're testing nerfs to all 3 (guessing only the Nami ones are on PBE from your question), along with some buffs to other supports."

Status of the Experimental Muramana Changes

When asked about the fate of the experimental Muramana changes we saw testing on the PBE during the last cycle, ricklessabandon noted:
"the experimental changes are just that—i'm just trying to gather data on what kind of actives might work (mostly cast paradigms, how mana costs work with them, etc). at some point muramana's active will be changed (or at least adjusted for balanced), but that time isn't in the immediate future from what we've been seeing."

[ Continued ] Nome on Death Recap

When asked when and if Riot plans to update and make the Death Recap system more reliable, Nome replied:
By this point, the Death Recap's bogus info, constant mistakes, and lack of non-damage inputs (i.e. if someone Exhausted you) makes it an eyesore, not a helpful source of information. Yet Riot won't even entertain the notion of updating it. Why?

It's a thorny question, and depends what you mean by updating it. 
If you mean the multitude of bugs, then that's going to take a lot of time, and might not be worth the effort. Rather, we need to go back and re-assess what the value of a good death recap is. We don't want to go the combat log route; raw information is rarely actionable. Likewise, I'm not entirely clear on how the existing implementation is useful outside of letting you know how much magic or physical damage you took. We'll probably update it at some point in the future once we knock out some competing UI features, but if we do, expect more of a redesign."

He continued, elaborating on their options they have for fixing it:
"To make an analogy, consider an intricate mansion built with a poor foundation that's resulting in structural issues. The citizens find it unsightly, but still recognize the value in the property. There's a few ways for the city to address this--
A. Build a nice facade that hides the issues. 
B. Carefully rebuild the foundation piece by piece without touching everything else. 
C. Demolish and rebuild from the ground up.
Now, we're fairly certain that we'll want to do Option C at some point. This makes A and B much less attractive. But then there are other uses of resources, like building that new elementary school, cleaning up the city square, etc. 
This is the situation we're in--the bugs that plague death recap are deep. How deep? There's already been a few attempts to fix it to no avail! We have to prioritize redoing the feature with all the other things we're doing, and measure value that way. Maybe I'll share some of our concepts for how death recap could work in the future. We're definitely thinking about it :)"

As for this thoughts on a player made "Death recap 2.0" suggestion, he noted:
"This is moving more towards the combat/death log approach, which I think is less compelling on the basis that it doesn't provide actionable information. Players who die generally need one thing out of death recap--which is why they died. Unfortunately, why is never an easy answer, so most players tend to be OK with extracting the why out of the how. Combat logs explain the how, but not the why. If we were to redesign, we'd want to head more towards why."

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