Red Post Collection: Upcoming Mordekaiser and Veigar changes coming to PBE, Meddler on Kalista, and more!

Posted on at 4:31 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features a look at the upcoming Mordekaiser and Veigar changes that will be hitting the PBE soon, Meddler commenting on Kalista and Syndra's E stun width, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Upcoming Mordekaiser 5.4 Changes

To kick off today's red post collection, we have Riot Chun with an overview of the upcoming and tentative Mordekaiser changes for 5.4:
"Hi guys, when we removed DFG in 5.2,we have said we will do some changes towards Mordekaiser . And now let's talk about it with details.

Currently on live, Mordekaiser is mainly being played as a burst mage and functions debatably 'well' in that way. But since DFG is gone, Mordekaiser has run into trouble in the late game because one of his essential play-patterns (blow someone up for a ghost) no longer functions well there.

Right now, we're looking at Mordekaiser and we think he definitely needs some help there. That said, the "burst mage" play-pattern doesn't serve well enough both in this champion's fantasy and the counterplay (or lack of) around it. So we're aiming to make this big-full-metal guy a fighter/brawler which better fits his fantasy and is more aligned with his shield passive mechanics. We get there are people who liked the whole "Mordekaiser explodes people" play style, but we just can't keep it balanced and healthy in the current state of the game. Our changes aren't to shift his damage significantly, but we want him to be thinking about that shield while he's in the middle of the fight.

High level, our first change is that now Mordekaiser's shield gain is base on his maximum health instead of damage he deals. By doing this, Mordekaiser will be able to survive long enough to shine on the battle ground with his sustained damage/ghost if he chooses to be tanky. And for enemies, Mordekaiser is no longer a moving short range cannon, but slow metal tank who can be kited. Also Morde's shield doesn't decay while in combat (after 5 seconds it begins decaying).

Secondly, Mordekaiser's burst damage will goes down a bit but, over time, his damage output will be the same or slightly increased. So he will not burst you down but still remain threatening over time.

Third, Mordekaiser's shield now works the same as Nunu's bloodboil (cast on an ally, Mordekaiser also gets the shield) and if they run toward each other, they'll gain a mini speed boost. Think magnets.

Last, Mordekaiser's ghost will be more intuitive and clear in target selection. So Mordekaiser and his ghost no longer grant whacky stats from each other, but straightforward and intuitive stats: Mordekaiser now will gain health/ap from his ghost's bonus health and ability power, while Mordekaiser's stats will help the ghost scale up (but the type of ghost he grabs (ie: Mage / Marksmen / Tank) will have an impact on their performance).

So TL:DR we want to make Mordekaiser more of a brawly-scrappy champion because his current successful play pattern of "explode someone, get a Ghost, roll over the game" is near impossible to tune without hurting some players. This gives us more space to help Mordekaiser succeed while not confusing others as to why a big suit of armor is super squishy and bursty."

As for how drastic the changes to his damage will be, RiotChun commented:
"The damage changes will be small, our goal is to reduce his burst potential but remain the prolong threat. 
I would say his laning will be approximately the same or slightly weaker and his wave clear will be approximately the same or slightly stronger (in lane). 
But late game his wave clear will be weaker mainly because we are not expecting him to build full damage at that point."
When asked if this means his health costs will be reduced to compensate, RiotChun noted:
"Short answer, yes!"

Veigar Changes hitting the PBE soon

Speaking of upcoming changes, SmashGizmo has also posted up a tentative changelist for Veigar which will be hitting the PBE soon!
"Hey guys, SmashGizmo here to talk to you about some changes to the Tiny Master of Evil coming to PBE soon.

A vital part of Veigar's identity has always been about catching people out and 100-0ing them in the blink of an eye, so when we were looking to remove DFG, Veigar was sitting at the top of the list of characters affected by the removal. When looking at a lot of these characters, we found that the full 100-0 combo wasn't something we wanted to support and decided to re-focus them around other aspects of their kits (i.e. making Ahri more about her movement than the 1-shot combo). But for Veigar, this approach seemed off. He is the quintessential burst mage and we wanted to find a way to let him continue to function as such in a world without DFG. Enter the Q double-hit.

Q - Baleful Strike
  • Changed to a skill shot that stops on the second unit hit
  • Grants 1 AP for each unit killed
  • Range increased to 850 from 650
  • Cooldown changed to 7/6.5/6/5.5/5 from 8/7/6/5/4 
By amping up the AP farming mini-game on his Q, we're creating a new path for Veigar players to achieve their dream of pressing a single button and watching an enemy disappear. As it turns out though, this worked a bit too well, and pretty early in playtesting, we found that Veigar was reliably deleting people a bit too early in the game, so we had to make some small adjustments to his ult.

R - Primordial Burst
  • AP Ratio reduced to 1.0 from 1.2 (Ratio on enemy's AP unchanged)
  • Mana Cost flattened to 125 at all ranks from 125/175/225
  • Cooldown reduced to 120/100/80 from 130/110/90
While 0.2 is a sizeable hit to his Ult's ratio, I want to stress that Veigar is getting quite a bit more AP from his Q in this version than on live and reassure any worried Veigar players out there that we're still seeing those beefy 2K+ Primordial Bursts in the late game with this version.

From here, we should move on to talking about Event Horizon and how it fits into the picture. With the current version of Event Horizon, the optimal use is for the Veigar player to place his Event Horizon such that it immediately stuns his opponent. This leads to the ability feeling like a particularly awkward skill shot with almost no dodgability provided to the opponent once the Veigar player masters aiming it. When we took a step back and thought about what the ability was really trying to get at, we saw the ideal Event Horizon being more about trapping your opponent in a cage for Veigar to torment than simply about stunning a dude at 1025 range. In the interest of pushing towards this ideal, we've added a delay and warning particle to Event Horizon to encourage Veigar to use it more to trap opponents than to immediately stun them.

E - Event Horizon
  • Has a 0.75 second delay with a warning particle before the walls appear
  • Mana Cost decreased to 80/85/90/95/100 from 80/90/100/110/120
  • Cooldown reduced to 18/17/16/15/14 from 20/19/18/17/16
  • Range increased to 700 from 650

This definitely represents a shift in how Veigar uses this ability, but our belief is that this version of the spell is much healthier and leads to more fun interactions between Veigar and his hapless victims. Instead of blowing up a prone target, Veigar traps his prey in a chamber of horrors and shoots Baleful Strikes at them and drops Dark Matters where they have limited space to dodge. Speaking of Dark Matter, meteors are pretty cool and frankly, Veigar doesn't get to drop quite enough of them on people's heads.

W - Dark Matter
  • Mana Cost reduced to 70/75/80/85/90 from 70/80/90/100/110
  • Cooldown reduced to 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 from 10 at all ranks

And with that, we've hit the full set of Veigar changes that are about to hit a PBE near you."

Meddler on Kalista and Syndra's E Stun Width

When asked if the balance team has any current plans for Kalista, Meddler commented:
"What we're currently looking is reducing the amount her attack wind ups get faster when she gets attack speed. 
When champions get attack speed they both make more attacks per second and each individual attack takes less time to perform. In Kalista's case that means she's spending less time in her attack windup and so she gets to dash more often/doesn't spend as much time preparing to dash. Attack speed's making her more mobile than we think's appropriate, so we're going to adjust that. 
As per usual we'll then see what sort of spot she lands in after that change, assess whether other changes are appropriate too or not."
As for the power her E has against objectives like Dragon and Baron, Meddler commented:
"We're confident that the amount of extra mobility Kalista gets from attack speed is a problem, so we're addressing that, given how effective she can be against some melee champions especially. Regardless of what changes it might or might not be appropriate to make to her E we believe this change is a good one. 
As far as her E and Smite go creating an ADC with really strong objective control if she can spend a decent chunk of time attacking a target was something we wanted to try out with Kalista. Various other ADCs are great for objective control too, they do it by helping you kill baron or dragon really fast though (think Vayne or Kog for example). We wanted to offer objective strength in a different way and Kalista's certainly doing that. Whether she's too effective in that role, in terms of forcing the enemy to deal with her rather than trying for a last minute steal, is a great question. It's certainly possible her E might need to be capped against monsters, we're not sure if that's the appropriate call at this point though and would like to avoid homogenizing champions if there are healthy ways to avoid doing so."

Following up on his earlier comments regarding Syndra's E width changes from a few patches ago, Meddler also noted that they will be inching up the width on Syndra's E stun in 5.4:
"Agreed, she was hit harder than intended in a way that's left her E feeling like it sometimes misses when it's expected to hit. We're increasing the width on Syndra's stun in 5.4 (and to a greater extent than it was increased in 5.2). It's not going to be as wide as pre 5.1, which was unfairly wide, but should more consistently hit when it looks like it did. 
After that change, which is both a feel and a power one, we'll look at where her balance stands, see if it's appropriate to do more."

Update on Taric's Future Update

IronStylus also swooped into the forums to chat a bit about Taric's future champion update is going, commenting that both the artside and gameplay side are moving along:
"Slowly, from the art side at least. We've been working on a few thing that will come before Taric and are deep in production or have high-priority in pre-production for various reasons. Currently, and Scruffy can probably speak better to this, but his new kit looks like it's shaping up nicely. For us on the art side, that's huge. We can have much more narrow of a focus now that we know specific actions a champion will take and how we build the character around those actions. 
Currently Narrative is helping us on high-priority stuff that's in pre-production. They sort of occupy the same area that Concept does because they help formulate the very core of the character. We think that Taric will be a big discussion in the "near future". Sorry that's so ambiguous. 
That said, we have about 30 concepts of Taric from various artists. This however was done in a bit of a vacuum, back when we were moving in a direction that we really hadn't validated properly, a very much straight-forward dude in blue armor and gems. Since then, the casual discussions around him between art, gameplay and narrative aspects are aligning around something with a slightly different flavor than what we had originally anticipated, and that's good. When the official ideation sessions strike up again I think we'll have a good spring board. Narrative helps tremendously in those discussions because we want to understand what made Taric into Taric and what his current pillars of design are. 
Likewise, having gameplay in place really helps as well because we're not designing in a vacuum, we're working towards the goals of fulfilling the needs of that gameplay."

Why Ruby Sightstone is an "underwhelming upgrade"

In a reddit thread discussing why Ruby Sightstone is not a very exciting update, Xypherous explained:
"There's a (fairly unpopular, admittedly) reason why Ruby Sightstone is such an underwhelming upgrade.

We want you to get cooler items rather than feel like you have to dump yet ANOTHER 800 gold into vision on top of the 800 you already have sunk into it.

Linearly upgrading Ruby Sightstone to improve your vision capabilities strips out a lot of customization you could have on your own character for items that are unique or special for your role.

There's an end-game slot inefficiency thing that needs to be solved absolutely that does come up (more often as game length goes up) but the main reason why Ruby is underwhelming is by intent - it absolutely sucks to be forced into delaying your build by having to purchase 3k of 'required' items to function in your role while you have a limited income stream to begin with.

(Highly efficient upgrades here makes it more likely that it'll be main on another type of character - but that's secondary to this particular discussion.)

We limit the total amount of gold you can invest into vision pretty heavily to force you into buying items that do things for your character and force the vision investment to be distributed more evenly across the team.

I get that some people want the option of heavily investing into vision - if this were possible without becoming mandatory, we would do so - but unfortunately - the optimal way to play when someone can invest all their income into vision is to force that character to invest all their income into vision - depriving most other possibilities in terms of purchases.

Essentially, if you ever feel like you have to upgrade Ruby Sightstone, that's another mandatory expense that we're basically forcing support players to pay over all the other items that would make their own character function better.

Still want to solve the end game slot capacity thing as that'll come up more and more though. I get your frustration here in that it's underwhelming - but it's serving the primary intent of 'it's the last thing you buy so you don't feel bad about having a sub <1k gold item in your inventory' and not choking out all the other more fun choices you have."
He continued:
"Quote:
Then...why not just give it an incentive to purchase to counter balance support income problems...which almost solo depend on if your ADC or team is doing good. This leaves supports kinda in the hole.
You run into poaching from other classes - namely the Jungler in this case. You basically have to do something extremely hacking - but if the incentive is to then rush it to get the best possible gold income - you've basically recreated the same problem - forcing supports to complete it in the lieu of anything else. 
Essentially - there's is no incentive to purchase it because we don't want you to even think about upgrading it at any point that is not the late late late late game when you've already purchased everything else you could possibly think of purchasing. Spend your money on things that make your character work. 
(Poaching - Roughly used here as 'They'll take the item intended for someone else and use it better than the original.)"

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