Red Post Collection: November 17th Patch Update, How The Pros Warded at Worlds, Preseason Q&A, and more!

Posted on at 4:19 PM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection includes a look at the November 17th Patch Update  including Graves nerfs, Kog'Maw buffs, and mastery changes, a  new Clairvoyance blog looking at how the pros warded during the World Championship, a massive preseason Q&A, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

November 17th Patch Update

The official 5.22 patch notes have been updated to reflect a hot fix that rolled out to live on November 17th and is now live on all regions. This hotfix includes nerfs for Graves, buffs for Kog'Maw, and chanes to the Warlord's Bloodlust & Thunderlord's Decree masteries.
11/17: As many a botlaner might attest, Graves is bursting harder than is probably fair, even given the 're-familiarizing' period we expect with updated champions. We're lowering both sides of End of the Line's damage by the same amount, which plays out as a stronger nerf to the less-avoidable initial hit. A higher mana cost should additionally force Graves to think more carefully about his Q's rather than spamming them on cooldown.
Burst aside, Graves has also never been as dash-y as he is with the new Essence Reaver. We like the decisionmaking around when to use Quickdraw in fights, so we're letting Graves keep his combat mobility at the expense of some generic movement speed. 
MOVEMENT SPEED - 345 ⇒ 340 
Q - End of the Line
INITIAL DAMAGE - 60/80/100/120/140 ⇒ 55/70/85/100/115
DETONATION DAMAGE - 90/155/220/285/350 ⇒ 85/145/205/265/325
COST - 55/60/65/70/75 mana ⇒ 60/70/80/90/100 mana 
11/17: Though Kog'Maw's update pushes his identity as a true "weak early, strong late" hypercarry, we went a bit too far. Kog'Maw doesn't ever seem to reach that late game hypercarry status, so we're slightly amping his base stats to help him scale into the barfy machine gun he's always wanted to be. These changes aren't aimed at completely nullifying Kog's early-game weakness but should serve to distinguish him from a caster minion while he's working on his items. 
BASE ATTACK SPEED - 0.625 ⇒ 0.665
BASE ATTACK DAMAGE - 54.46 ⇒ 57.46
Warlord's Bloodlust
11/17: This is why we can't have nice things, Yasuo. You too, Tryndamere. 
LIKE EVERY OTHER KEYSTONE - Now only procs on critical strikes against champions or champion clones (tooltip will be updated next patch) 
Thunderlord's Decree
11/17: This one's actually just a bugfix. 
THUNDERLORDS' DECREES - Thunderlord's Decree now works properly when multiple teammates select it


Next up we have a new CLAIRVOYANCE BLOG taking a look at how the pros lit up the map at Worlds!
"As the 2015 season drew to a close, our data analysts were paying close attention to the vision control strategies used by each of the best League of Legends teams in the world. 
In this blog post, we'll use heatmaps to analyze how teams and regions played the vision game in the group stages of the 2015 World Championship. Hopefully, we can provide a window into how the best teams in your region establish vision control and how that stacks up to other regions. Who knows—maybe you'll find some information to take your own play to the next level. 
Heatmaps are two-dimensional representations of data in which values are represented by colors; they're really good at summarizing large and complex data sets. They're often used to understand a person’s focal attention on a computer screen, or track mouse behaviors in UI design. 
In this case, it allows us to quickly visualize and start to interpret the 11,000 wards dropped on Summoner’s Rift during the 49 games played during the Worlds 2015 group stage. To generate these maps, we gathered the coordinate positions of each ward placed and plotted each of these points on a grid the size of Summoner’s Rift. We plopped each ward down on its corresponding (x,y) position on the minimap, then smoothed the distribution of wards. Clumps of wards placed in close proximity to each other generate a "hot spot" on the map. The hotter the spot is, the larger proportion of overall wards were placed there. 

While playing on the blue side, teams from KR were overall more distributed with their ward placements, tending to spread their wards out and not dedicating a huge chunk of their wards to any one place (which would be indicated by red on the heatmap). This was accompanied by a large amount of wards deep into the enemy jungle and side lanes—probably a combination of intentional strategy as well as a reflection that Korean teams generally swung games in their favor to spend more time in enemy territory.

NA and the International Wildcard (IWC) regions placed heavier emphasis on vision around Baron and Dragon. 
Comparatively, NA and the International Wildcard (IWC) regions placed heavier emphasis on vision around Baron and Dragon compared to KR, suggesting a heavier overall emphasis on these objectives in their overall warding strategy. Note that this does not necessarily mean that Korean teams placed fewer wards around Baron, just that a smaller overall proportion of their wards were placed there, compared to teams from NA or IWC. 

In general, winning teams push their ward lines into the enemy jungle. 
In general, winning teams push their ward lines into the enemy jungle, and losing teams put more priority on defending their turf or warding around neutral objectives. This likely reflects an attempt to gain control of those areas to execute on riskier strategies in the Baron and Dragon pit while a team is behind. These plays can start to swing some momentum back into the losing team’s favor. 
Teams from NA and IWC had more losses overall during the group stages, so their warding patterns are somewhat overrepresented in the losing team heatmaps (and a similar story can be told for KR teams and winning team heatmaps). 
So far, we’ve only talked about regions and sides, but what about our favorite teams? We’ve put together heat maps for every team during the group stages for their games on Red and Blue side. Pick your two favorite teams and compare them. Take the same team and see how their warding patterns differ between Red and Blue side. Compare whatever you want, just FOLLOW YOUR HEART.
What did you find? Did you figure out how you can get an edge over your opponents in your next game? Tell us your stories about warding in League and what other data you want to hear about!"

Riot Support New In-Game Performance  Support Videos

Riot Support has uploaded a series of new videos performance supports to help players with issues such as optimizing in-game settings, updating drivers, and more.

Here's Infinite Veritas with more information: 
"Hi everyone! 
It’s been a little bit since we’ve released new support videos! We’ve recently added a new lineup that should help you fix FPS issues, crashing and other in-game performance issues: 
Disabling Background ProgramsPower and Heat SettingsOptimizing In-Game SettingsUninstalling and Reinstalling League of LegendsUpdating your drivers and other software updates 

We’re aware that these videos, in addition to our connection troubleshooting videos, may not always fix your issues. However, they should be another easily accessible resource for you if you’re experiencing FPS or crashing issues. If you continue to experience problems please submit a support request to us so that we can provide better, indepth support. 
Troubleshooting videos may not be the sexiest thing in the world but we do hope that you find them helpful. And we want to hear your feedback! If you’ve watched a video, you can send us your feedback here: We’ll also be hanging out in this thread for a while so we can discuss with everyone."

[EUW/EUNE/TR/RU] Post-incident messaging - 18.11.2015 

We also have Dromaius with post-indictment messaging on server issues players on the EUW, EUNE, TR, and RU regions experienced on November 17th.
"TL;DR: We experienced a routing issue yesterday that resulted in a subset of players not being able to log on EUW, TR and RU. While we found and corrected the issue, many players were disconnected from the game and platform (all, in the case of EUW). 
Hi everyone, 
Here’s what happened yesterday, and ultimately what lead to the loss of connectivity to the EUW server, Turkey & Russia, as well as a percentage of the EUNE server. 
Starting at about 8AM GMT+1 (17/11), we started receiving reports from players who were unable to log on EUW, and we started gathering data to try and figure out if there were any similarities with the reports, etc. 
The engineering teams related to the incident also joined in on the investigation and we worked meticulously on removing potential causes. We also focused on reducing the problem space from "All the things are broken" to "system XYZ is the specific issue. 
What was happening is that a small subset of players were unable to connect to the game, and their geographical location would be all over the place. There was no indication of any kind of location specific problem. And all three servers (minus EUNE, as small percentage) were hit by this issue, but EUW, RU and TR would be in different locations from where “authentication” to the servers would happen. Basically, we had a random number of sources, and multiple destinations affected. 
Eventually during the investigation, we were led to believe that the issue would be unrelated between EUW, and TR/RU (due to different location, as mentioned above) and investigated down that path, treating each as a separate issue. We covered transit networking as a potential root cause, as well as general datacenter networking, then we proceeded with individual lookup and ensuring that communication between the required pieces was working. Every way we looked at the issue, we were unable to find smoking guns but we knew players would still be facing login issues, despite multiple attempts on our side to fine-tune and tweak what we could find that’d look “odd”. 
A thing that kept coming back throughout the day was the CloudFlare errors that would be received, specifically 522 (or sad Amumu), which really just meant connection timed out between CloudFlare and Riot. Yet our look at network traffic, packet capture etc, was still looking OK. At about 3PM GMT+1, we caught a break in the investigation and what was causing the issue for one player, and expanded from that. We traced the traffic between two infrastructure points and noticed it would disappear at one of the points – we tried forcing the data to come and go through another route and confirmed that the player was able to connect. 
From there, we figured something with the routing engine of our hardware had to be acting oddly, kept digging and we ultimately found that we had that subset of routes (and therefore the Players' traffic using those routes) that would get stuck in a communication loop between two points on Riot’s European infrastructure. 
When we tried to resolve the issue at about 3:30PM GMT+1, we unfortunately disrupted the experience for you all, and EUW ended up booting everyone off the platform and games, TR and RU ended up having a smaller scale impact, and so did EUNE. We quickly activated Loss Forgiven for everyone and put up a ticker to let you know we were aware of the issue. 
As we resolved all the issues from the day, we monitored players getting back on the platforms and being able to play normally, along with the players that had been locked out previously! We considered the incident resolved at about 5PM GMT+1, once we confirmed everything was back to normal. 
Essentially, what happened was that a routing table ended up in a bad state and would send a very small portion of traffic through what it considered a “preferred” route; but where it would send the data was not at all where it was supposed to go – so players with login issues would “timeout” and notreceive a response from the Login servers. 
What brought this on is unknown at this stage, and while it would be easy to assume that the maintenance that occurred earlier that day was at cause, it is important to note that the underlying cause was present for much longer. It might have exacerbated the issue, sure, but it was there before, hiding in the shadows. The good news is that this might have resolved some obscure issues where players would sometime have login issues.
Thanks everyone that made it this far; and good luck on the Rift!"

Preseason Q&A

With the preseason changes out on live, the team hopped on the boards to host a Q&A and give some initial thoughts on the patch as well as a look at what we can expect moving forward!
To start us off, here is Meddler with the introduction post :
"Welcome to the preseason Q&A, where myself and the design team will be fielding major questions you might have about the current preseason. Before we get to that, I wanted to write up some early first impressions we've had so far. There are certainly some outliers we want to address before we can get a deeper understanding, but initial thoughts might quell some concerns. A few weeks from now we'll have a more high-level overview. 
In the meantime... 
Preseason so far 
It'll take a while for things to shake down, but I'll dig into some first thoughts. If, after reading this, there's anything not mentioned you'd like to get our thoughts on, we'll be answering questions between 1pm-3pm (with some less regular posting throughout the rest of the day too (where time permits) between other work). 
General Game Elements 
  • Masteries 
Overall, we're pretty happy with how the new masteries are going, with some exceptions. The first of those is that there are some that are definitely too strong. The most notable of those is Warlord's Bloodlust, and we'll be hotfixing that today to work on champions only, rather than against all targets. Might also need to make some changes so that this mastery's just not just dramatically more effective on Trynd/Yasuo than other champs (or make changes to Trynd/Yasuo if needs be). Other likely outliers are Deathfire Touch (probably too strong on DoT champs, potentially too weak on others) and some of the Resolve tree on health stacking tanks. 
On the other hand there are also some champions that aren't sufficiently well served by the current masteries. Starting soon (potentially patch 5.24) we'll start adding a few extra masteries in to flesh out the trees a bit more, probably beginning with the Tier 1 Cunning masteries, since that juncture currently doesn't feel like it offers many champs a good choice. 
  • Minion Blocking 
We made some under the hood changes to make minion blocking more predictable and less random in 5.22, but it looks like we also made minions feel too large. We'll be looking to adjust this to make it feel "right" again, starting with some tuning to how minion blocking's calculated in 5.23. 
  • The Jungle 
We're seeing certain champions struggle more than they should at present. We've got some buffs to Hunter's Talisman and Refillable Potion coming as a result to help out some early clears. We're also seeing some magic damage dealing junglers in particular have issues, so are lowering Magic Resistance on some monsters to help them specifically. If you're currently struggling in the jungle, you may want to try Krugs (or Gromp) > double buffs, as that seems to be a fairly stable approach. 
As far as Rift Herald goes, we're seeing it do some cool stuff so far and it seems to be generating the sort of teamwork and reward for controlling the top part of the river we'd hoped. That said, the Herald is looking like it's a bit too punishing, so we're reducing its damage output somewhat while trying to keep it tanky. Hopefully this reduces the need to recall after taking it for many champions. 
  • Turrets 
We're currently seeing turrets die too easily. Some of that's assumedly due to the reduction in effective health tower health in 5.22, some of it's also going to be due to a bug that's removing their intended growth in Armor/MR over time. We'll be fixing that bug in 5.23, and increasing outer tower health a bit, then looking at whether towers are still falling too fast or not. 
  • Marksmen 
Graves is significantly too strong, Kog'maw definitely too weak. We'll be nerfing and buffing those two respectively in today's hotfix, with Graves losing some burst and early harass power from Q (damage and mana cost nerfs) and a bit of base MS. Kog by contrast's getting a little bit of early AD and a better base attack speed. In both cases we suspect we'll need to make further adjustments as well. We'd rather chip at some of the problem quickly and then reassess than try and do everything at once without sufficient observation time. 
Current thinking is that a few other marksmen probably also need adjustments, though just in the form of regular balance changes rather than a hotfix. For 5.23 we're looking at cutting a bit of power from Lucian and MF, both of whom seem too dominant, and we'll be fixing a couple of small bugs on Ashe's Q that should help her out a bit. We're also looking at Quinn to try and shift some of her power from raw damage back into utility, though aren't sure yet whether we'll have changes we're happy with for 5.23 or not. 
  • Assassins 
Physical damage assassins seem to be in a rough spot after the removal of Brutalizer and changes to Last Whisper. In the short term, we're looking to give some of them a bit of love through buffs to their kits (Kha'zix/Zed), longer term we'll also want to find some other solutions as well (potentially assassin focused items, or item changes). 
  • Other Champion Changes 
It's not preseason specific, but we've also got some significant follow up work on Mordekaiser coming soon. Statikk should be covering that in a separate thread in the Dev Corner within the next couple of days, with some context on what we felt worked and what didn't from the Morde rework in 5.16, plus thoughts on what our next steps are and why when it comes to addressing issues Morde has. 
The next patch will also include a general sizing pass on a large number of champions, with model sizes of around 40 champions changes by between -10% and +10%. The goal there's to align champion size better with each champion's role (tanks should look bigger and tougher, squishies like ADCs smaller and more...squishy) while at the same time removing some visual discrepancies (Lucian's not intended be 7 foot plus tall for example). 
Other Stuff 
  • Items 
Statikk Shiv's looking too generically strong. We'll be hitting its damage as a result, while increasing its damage against minions to try and focus it more as a waveclear item. 
Rageblade is just all-around way too strong. As a first step we'll be increasing its cost a few hundred gold, but I imagine we'll need to look at further power cuts at some point as well. 
  • Clean Up, Bug Fixes 
We've got a number of start of game things to sync up (bunch of stuff that needs to be shifted forwards up to 15s to match the earlier game start, like Bard Chime spawns, Skarner Crystals, Smite charges etc), plus a number of bug fixes to things that changed in 5.22. 
  • Game Duration 
Game duration, and snowballiness, has been one of the things we've spent the most time looking at and talking about since the preseason launch. So far it's looking like the average game is a couple of minutes faster. There are some changes coming in 5.23 that will likely impact that, in particular a change to Homeguard that gives a modified version to every player after 20 minutes, somewhat tougher turrets (see above), and changes to minion strength that cause them to push more if their team is winning (giving winning teams opportunities to siege/losing teams opportunities to farm and catch up). 
In terms of direction, two of the big things we're looking at are the concerns that games are ending too often before late game and that a single mistake mid game may be deciding things too much, too often. We're also looking at whether games are too stompy in general. Some increase in stompiness is expected for the first patch of the preseason, as people experiment with new things, that's something that should fall off fairly quickly though. If not, we'll need to make some follow up changes."
Below are the most interesting Q&A responses, organized by general topic:

Table of Contents


When asked how they feel preseason is turning out, Meddler noted:
How do you guys feel this patch ended up being? Did you get what you wanted or did you see it in the complete other direction?
Overall I think we've got a solid base to build a good season off. There are a lot of rough edges we'll need to polish or adjust in the next couple of patches though - preseason's much more a couple of months of work than a one patch and ready to go thing."

When asked about the average game length goals for preseason, Meddler  noted:
What is the average game length that Riot aims for? I completely love games ending in 30 min or less. Ranked and normal games that went to 40 minutes used to become complete coin flips. 
Not all champions can snowball equally, but the way the game is now (turret health especially) all champions have the chance to snowball their leads by taking towers.
Our goal with preseason was to keep games around the same average length as they currently were (around 33 minutes on average). Games in 5.22 look like they're a couple of minutes shorter so far, at around 31 minutes, that's likely to change though in 5.23 as we get in changes that either missed the cutoff for 5.22 or were bugged (minion changes, tower scaling defense respectively)."

When asked if they've noticed an increase in surrenders since 5.22, Meddler  replied:
Has there been an increase to the amount of surrendering since the preseason has taken place?
Yes, we've seen a noticeable increase in surrendering around the 20 minute mark post 5.22. That's pretty standard after a major patch like this, given some champions tend to be out of line and people are experimenting with new stuff, so games can feel decided pretty early on. It's something we'd expect to drop off noticeably over the next couple of patches though as we address major issues and people figure out what works and what doesn't post changes. If that doesn't happen we'll need to dig into what else is going on."
When asked about the changes to seemingly turrets in 5.22 (aside from the bugs mentioned in the initial post), Fearless  noted:
Why did you guys nerf towers? 
We have a small health buff coming for them in the next patch. We don't want lanes to end off of smaller, early mistakes, and are pushing up a bit to curb that. 
Also to clarify, we have not targeted faster game times with these changes. These changes are about ensuring that successful actions promote further aggression to maintain and increase leads. These changes do appear to be shortening game times, but I do want to be clear that this was an acceptable (and possibly beneficial) side effect, rather than the goal."
Riot Axes  added:
 "So, first off, I think we overdid it. We're buffing outer and inner tower health up to 4000. They'll end up being just a bit tankier than outer towers from S5.
The hard thing here is that towers are perceived very differently than their actual effects on the game. Players often want them to be powerful protectors, but when they are, the game grinds to a halt. When you're losing a lane a little bit, your tower should be able to help stave off tower dives, but when you're losing a lane by a lot, your tower's death is often the event that lets you off the hook. If we made towers impossible to kill until 15 minutes - even impossible to kill AND impossible to dive - the game would slow down a lot, and you'd be locked into lanes where you're getting stomped for 5+ extra minutes.
Tl;dr: Went too far, we're buffing them back up to about 5.21 outer tower tankiness, but we have no plans to buff them further."


As for Caitlyn regaining her passive charging on turrets, CertainlyT  noted:
I've noticed many old interactions that were specifically removed from the game have snuck their way back in. Just an example of these: a long time ago Caitlyn's passive was changed so that it would not charge up whilst autoing turrets, but with the recent rework this has returned. Were these types of interactions returned on purpose, or is this an oversight in coding error? In the latter case, will you be looking to track these down and undo them once again?
This was done on purpose. Caitlyn is a (perhaps the) premiere siege marksman. She should feel good about attacking towers. We added this mechanic back in on Caitlyn because it made sense that she wouldn't feel a tension between shooting towers and minions."

When asked about Kog'Maw's low performance on live following 5.22, RiotRepertoir  noted:
Why did you change the percent health damage on Kog'Maw's w to scale better with ad, but make it so that if you build the ad to facilitate this, you get a diminishing return do to the damage reduction on his w. Where as, if you build attack speed and on-hit effect, you sacrifice power on the individual auto attacks and the scaling percent health damage in favor of power to on hit damage and an extreme spike in attack speed. Would it be better for Kog'Maw's w to return to a flat scaling damage or would that be to powerful?
I'll say outright that we over-corrected on Kog'Maw's release. Both internally and on PBE, everything I had to go off suggested that he would actually be one of the strongest champions in the patch, and so as he approached release, I consistently made efforts to strip out base damages so that he wouldn't be an outright god with just a BotRK or something. That may be difficult to understand, given how he released, but our fear was actually that he was overly base damage driven, and I way over-corrected on that. That's totally my bad, and I am to address this.  
The good news is, I've seen versions of this W and R that are very powerful and effective, so I do feel it's a matter of tuning, and not that Kog'Maw is doomed to be weak or something like that. Really sorry to Kog'Maw players for their struggles in this patch so far, but I'm going to be doing my best to fix him up. Given the state of the game, it doesn't seem appropriate for him to have to max out on items to be competitive, when games are going really short, and everyone seems to spike hard on their first item or two."

When asked about Miss Fortune's new playstyle around the new passive, Meddler noted:
MF is really strong in laning phase and team fights but she has problems in early game 1v1 when she fights without enemy units. Are you going to change it or do you think she's ok now? 
What about 6th and 7th level in champion mastery? Are you still working on it? When will you release it?
Champions having scenarios in which they're noticeably stronger that they want to engineer or avoid is something I feel leads to healthy, interesting gameplay unless taken to an extreme. I think MF's style of play in that regard's currently pretty good, though some of her numbers are looking a bit high. 
Not sure about Champion Mastery plans sorry, that's a feature that's developed by a different team."

As for thoughts on Quinn's new R, RiotRepertoir commented:
Hi there. Have there been any considerations to put Quinn's ultimate on a short CD in favor of removing the cast time and ease of interruptibility? The visuals/animation make it feel like a really epic moment, until you get shot down immediately afterwards by an auto attack or interrupted by a caster minion. I think giving it a CD would encourage Quinn to make the most of her time in the ultimate.
Yes! I've given quite a bit of thought to this actually. One of the things that I think is important to get right here is how to balance what feels good for Quinn versus what feels fair for the opponent. Though I don't have specific changes for 5.23 to make on this front, I'm keeping an eye on Quinn (her ult especially) to see what kind of adjustments need to be made over the course of the next few patches. 
What I'm currently feeling is that it's too easy/annoying to get knocked out of R or the channel (I think minions cancelling the channel, for example, may be out of hand), and that a cooldown or different restriction on the R may be appropriate in the long term in mitigating some of those more earflicky interactions associated with her R at the moment."
Hope that helps!"


When asked how self healing based champions like Vladimir, Swain, and Mundo are doing in 5.22 with changes to Grievous Wounds & Masteries, Meddler commented:
What are your feelings on sustain characters (i.e. Vlad, Swain, Mundo, etc) now that their healing is cut by 40% because of a last whisper upgrade? Is your data showing that they're still doing fine, or that Mortal Reminder is hurting them too much?
It's too early to say for sure, but so far it looks like they're performing better in 5.22 than 5.21. Some of that's probably the impact of Masteries, some of it's likely because the GW upgrade for Last Whisper does require you give up the 15% damage against most enemies from the other upgrade option, so it's not something that gets picked up all the time."
Meddler also commented on armor heavy champions like Taric, Malphite, and Rammus who are seeing spikes in their win rates in 5.22:
"Yeah, we're also seeing Malphite and Rammus, other champions who are rewarded for stacking armor, do well right now given the number of AD damage dealers being played. I don't think we'll make any changes to those champs individually until we've got the bigger picture balanced, it seems reasonable to believe that they're just reflecting a temporary meta state rather than themselves generally overpowered."

When asked if the team has any current plans for AatroxMeddler commented:
Will Aatrox get some love at the dawn of the new season(aka abilities reworked) ? Also do you guys think the Fervor mastery needs a bit tuning down
No current plans for Aatrox. I suspect we'll do some work on him whenever we get round to looking at diving fighters (Aatrox, Xin, Irelia, Jax etc) as a group. 
Fervor's on our list of 'might be too strong' masteries. At present though Warlord's Bloodlust's overwhelming our ability to get a good read on it, since a lot of champions that could use Fervor well are using Warlord's given it's really strong."

As for any Kha'Zix plans, Riot Asyrite  commented:
What do you guys plan for kha'zix? He hasn't been at a good spot at all this past year and i want your true thoughts on him.
Having played a decent bit of Kha'zix both in normals and ranked over the years, he's definitely someone that was hurt more than we'd like due to the preseason changes (looking at you Trailblazer). While we want to avoid any heavy handedness right now due to the number of things that have changed, there's definitely room to give him a bit of love, especially in regards to his early game. 
I played him last night in order to get a better feel on Live, and after Twitch accidentally took my large Krug early which kinda boned me (hit lvl 2 at 3:55), I still managed to do alright. Like I said though, definitely want to show him some love in the near future, as well as potentially look at something more long term.

Meddler also commented on Thresh as a ranged vs melee champion for purposes of items:
"Thresh is meant to be a ranged champion. When we updated how we tag champions as melee or ranged he got missed for some reason (not sure why myself sorry). That'll be fixed in the next patch."
When asked about Urgot and why he didn't received significant changes in the marksman update, Meddler noted:
With this preseason and the marksmen update I was really hoping Urgot would get some love just enough to give him a home on the rift, but seeing as there was basically no change to his kit I'm pretty disappointed. I love playing Urgot but he feels so out of place in pretty much all roles and with all the new items benefiting other ADs more than him he's even further away from useful than ever before. 
So my Question is will there be any changes to him in the near future? and why wasn't he seen as a priority during the marksman overhaul when he was struggling to find a niche more than any other marksman i can think of (excluding maybe quinn)?
In short we don't see Urgot as a marksmen overall and feel he's got some core issues that will still require a full scale rework at some point. We did want to do a bit for him, given his playstyle's got a bunch of marksmen like elements to it, hence the small change to his ult. He's got some counterplay issues though, which is why he got so heavily nerfed years ago. We've been adding power back in gradually where we can so in healthy ways, getting to the point where that's getting difficult to do though."
As for when we might see something on the Poppy rework, Meddler  teased:
Can we get some Poppy teasers or something? Or just like a time table. This is all I care about, Poppy is life.
Quite soon (almost certainly next rework of any size to go out)."


As for the new item Cull and how it is turning out, Meddler  noted:
Any thoughts on Buffing Cull? that item is so lackluster. i think if fully used it should sell back for 100% of its inital buy cost
It's looking like it'll probably need some form of buff yeah."
When asked about the new Essence Reaver and potential changes, Meddler noted:
Are the people at riot looking to nerf the new essence reaver
We are. In particular it's getting champions to the CDR cap too early in the game. We'll be looking at some changes, probably for 5.24, to make some of that CDR come later in the game."

Meddler  also commented on the Hextech Gunblade changes, noting:
Any thoughts on Hextech Gunblade? In addition to people that can pair it well with Rageblade, I've seen it pop up on some unexpected champions like Heimerdinger and Viktor. It hasn't been popular enough to scare me yet, but it's popped up on my radar as something to consider for a variety of mages.
Seeing Gunblade used by more than just one or two champions would be good and so far at least we haven't seen any use cases that seem problematic. Does feel slightly weird thematically on some mages, but if it's offering an alternate playstyle you can opt into that's not doing anything unhealthy can't see any problems there."

When asked about mage CDr itemization relative to the recent marksman itemization changes, Riot Pwyff  noted:
Why do mages have such a hard time efficiently hitting 40-45% CDR? Their only viable options are . Every CD item is now a support item,adc item or even a tank item. Also why Is rift herald a one man buff? It would have far more impact if it was teamwide.
I know Jag had a very specific reason as to why he kept Herald a one-person buff, so I'll poke him to answer here. 
For the CDR topic, I wonder if the ideal state of Mages is that they are guaranteed to hit CDR cap without much tradeoff or if they can be balanced in a way that investing into CDR is a meaningful decision (ie: giving up MR and maybe even Sorc Boots to double down on cooldowns for the additional utility). A world where a mage decides between high-damage, higher-cooldown abilities vs. lower-damage, utility-focused, lower-cooldown abilities seems like an interesting decision if done well. 
In other words, right now there's a large mentality shift of "I will always hit the CDR cap" to "I need to think try very hard to hit the CDR cap." Additionally, since outside of the keystone masteries there hasn't been anything more powerful injected into Mages, it might feel like a power decrease but we have a lot of noise and data we'll need to parse through to see if this is actually true. Are mages weak? Are mages properly calibrated against their core stats (CDR, AP, mana regen)? Honestly speaking I want to see more before just saying "if you raise gold costs on AP and make it more difficult to hit the CDR cap, of course mages are going to be weak," - it's hard to assess that without seeing how the ecosystem of the game actually plays out, not to mention the strength of Deathfire Touch. 
Additional note on other champions getting more 'free' access to CDR than mages. These kind of comparisons are really weird to me, because CDR is one of those stats that's very closely tied to the balance of the kit using it. CDR on marksmen tends to be very singular in purpose - damage - and often dependent on proper positioning to use well. Most Mage abilities tend to be fight-starters or fight-stoppers, meaning they have the ability to dramatically change the landscape or flow of a fight on a single ability cast. CDR to them is far more valuable and, in their natural item builds, needs to be 'priced' accordingly. 
If stats were just generically priced without accounting for the stat affinities of the classes purchasing them, I think we'd get some really, really weird scenarios."
Riot Pwyff  continued:
But I think this is the problem from the outside looking in. Mages have few options to do it, yet AD casters (Ez/Lucian/Corki/ect...) all get it REALLY easy.
The question is also what they do with those abilities. AD Casters get access to CDR very easy, but they can't transform that CDR into an ability that starts and ends a teamfight on a single cast. An Ahri charm at late game can potentially mean a squishy target is dead without using any ability. An Ezreal Q cast on cooldown does not.
Really, really important distinction."

When asked if they would consider bringing back Stealth Wards to the shop, Meddler noted:
I really only have one question that as far as I can tell hasn't been covered in your post, which is why I'm bringing it up. 
Is there any chance you'll bring back Stealth Wards? I know that many people didn't buy it but that doesn't take away from the fact that some did, and those that did made use of a really good item. Is there any chance at all?
No current plans to, we believe we can make a more interesting system by providing vision through other means. It's certainly possible we're wrong on that, and that's one of the specific things we'll be assessing early next year, at the moment though it's too early and chaotic to confirm which more subtle benefits and problems are happening though."


When asked about Bone of Stone and how it works in a team fight, Meddler  explained:
"Bond of Stone works with your closest ally only. "

As for potential buffs to the AD side of Thunderlord's Decree, Meddler noted:
"Thunderlord's Decree's intended to be a good choice for burst focused AD casters. If it's effective enough for AP casters, but not for AD because they don't have magic pen to multiply it, we'll increase the AD ratio to address that."

When asked about potential changes to the cunning mastery tree, Meddler  noted:
Do you have any ideas on how to make the cunning tree more appealing to assassins/mages when compared to the ferocity tree ?
We'll be fleshing out the Tier 1 and Tier 2 keystones in Cunning, which should help somewhat there. For some champions though Ferocity's probably always going to be more appealing (DoT mages especially will be really strongly drawn to DFT). Assassins by contrast are meant to be well served by the Cunning tree, so if they're not getting decent performance from it we might need to make the Tier 3 keystones a bit stronger for them."

Summoner Spells

While it had changes in 5.22, Meddler  also commented on the summoner spell teleport:
Do you think the teleport meta is good and what are you doing to fix or enforce it. 
I was playing a game and i was support. We 2v2ed them and go a double me and the support, but right after that the mid laner teleported to a ward and followed by the top laner and the jungler came in. We both died and then they got drag from that too. This happens every time i play the mid and top laner have tp (or even a twisted fate with tp), and i kill him in lane with the help of barrier and then he spawns and ults bot for a double kill then backs and teleports mid and kills me. I feel useless as a player in a lane due to the fact that if i try to test my skill and outplay in a 1v1 that even if i win the fight, 2 or 3 members of the other team are right there to kill me after i killed the enemy laner. Do you guys want people to just farm up in lane and wait for the jungler or a teleport to make a play, because in my opinion you are putting too much emphasis on the team in a solo queue game. To sum up, i feel like league is getting harder to carry from a single standpoint if you team is not the best. You can kill someone but if the mid, top, and jungler have tp or even more considering shen,tf, and tahm kench. I feel like its getting too much reliance on your team because we all know, some teams you just cant rely on in solo queue. Are u guys looking at a "cant teleport to wards before 10 min" kind of thing of are you just going to leave it the same
We think teleport being a decent option's good for the game, but that if it gets to a mandatory point it really limits how games play out. In particular bot lane gets to the point where it's getting constantly invaded, which both limits the sort of plays/comps that can happen bot and puts a lot of focus on the lower half of the map. That's then combined with a top half of the map that doesn't feel particularly significant, and laning phases that can get pretty passive, in contrast with lanes where at least one player's running Ignite, Barrier or whatever. 
We put some changes in 5.22 we hope will help out significantly with TP being too common, with the addition of Rift Herald to make the top half of the map more significant and the removal of the lower TP CD when used on turrets. Right now we're still trying to validate how much of an impact those changes have had."


When asked which "class" of champions they team might turn their eye to next, Meddler noted:
Will it be an update similar to the ADC one? I think that this is needed, the overlap issue in that class is quite significant
Yeah, we'd like to do an update like the marksmen one for diving fighters as a whole. To be transparent about it though they're not necessarily a class we'll get to in 2016, or at the least not early in. Immobile mages, assassins and tanks would also get a lot of benefit from some focused work and we're currently trying to figure out which classes to work on when."

When asked which teams were responsible for which changes, Riot Asyrite  commented:
Kind of random but which employees at Riot were responsible for preseason c:
There were 4 teams responsible for the in game changes: 
Game Systems - things like Masteries, Items, minions etc
Live Gameplay - Rift Herald, ongoing balance tuning
Champion Update - Marksman
Playtest - Sanity checks on content before it goes Live 
It's really a bigger team effort though, and the collaboration between teams is pretty huge."
Meddler  added:
Also worth calling out that we had help from individuals on various other teams as well. Some of the champion team helped out with masteries, couple of folks from the team that worked on the Bilgewater event helped with Rift Herald's model etc."

When asked about the launch of dynamtic ranked queues, Meddler  noted:
I was wondering, when will the new ranked dynamic queue be put into effect?
Not sure sorry, features outside of the in game experience directly are handled by a separate team (things like Champion Mastery, Ranked Dynamic Queue, Teambuilder etc)."

When asked about being able to earn champion mastery in ARAM, CertainlyT   noted:
Has there been anymore thought on adding champion mastery levels to ARAM (or other modes) in some form? That is something I would love to see!
I'm not sure our designers who work on that are in this Q and A, so I'll answer for them! I would be somewhat opposed to this on the grounds that ARAM doesn't test a wide variety of skills and because the random mode is about encouraging you to branch out, not go deep on a small number of champions. However, I think it would be cool if there were ways to express your mastery of ARAM as such -- for example, ones more related to the map or champion classes."

Group Questions

Meddler  group responses #1:
I kinda have a few questions :S (sorry for greed XD) 

With the masteries Deathfire touch and Thunderlords decree where they do extra damage based on a % of AD and AP they seem so similar do you think they need a bit of a touch to feel more different or am I not using them right?
I was wondering why so many AP items got a cost increase I feel like AP mages don't feel so strong as they should with these nerfs 
Theres been a few interesting new AD items such as deaths dance and rapid fire cannon and even a few interesting changes like phantom dancers new passive. I was wondering if AP champions will get a few new AP items too because I still feel like if I need armour zhonyas if I need MR abyysal/athenes and if I need extra damage void/rabadons. This may seem like a stupid suggestion but I thought now that theres a lack of CDR AP items i thought of a cool idea for an item where it has an active that creates a zone where it reduces basic ability CDs for example if I was too play lissandra and I place the zone around me and an enemy annie. if I was too ult then being in the zone I could spam q quickly but if I was to leave the zone the abilities go back to the original CD and the timer goes down as normal.Going back to the point do you think AP champions could get a few interesting items like AD champions did? 
We'd like DFT to be the sustained damage option and Thunderlord's the burst damage one. Both should have reasonable scaling though, hence the ratios - we're not looking to make one of them a non item dependent option. 
We increased item costs generally in preseason while modifying gold income and item premiums. We have seen a lot of early feedback on AP mages feeling punished by that, from the looks of it so far though some are struggling and some aren't however, so we'll need to be more tactical about changes than just straight AP item buffs across the board (Heimer and jungle Nid look too weak for example, Brand and Swain too strong). 
I expect we'll look at AP items in the coming year. Immobile mages in particular are one of the classes we're thinking of tackling next and some item adjustments would likely be part of that process as with Marksmen/Juggernauts."

Meddler  group responses #2:
These questions are probably outside of the jurisdiction of "preseason", and I definitely don't expect you guys to have a solid answer yet for them, but I'm still curious. 
So far, you've done overall passes on "marksmen" and "juggernauts" as self-contained groups of champions that feel "samey", to give them individual identities. What other groups of champions are on your radar? Are you already thinking of particular schools of champs that as a whole need work, and do you think there are any individual groups ("assassin mids", "initiation tanks", "junglers", "sustain fighters", "poke mages") that need the attention more than others? It seems that the obvious route from here on out is identifying the next selection of champions to work on; do you have any initial thoughts on which ones you'd like to work on more? 
Also, what is the balance team's overarching stance on Grievous Wounds and Blind? When you removed GW from champions such as Miss Fortune, it seemed that there was some effort to phase out the condition in favor of balancing healers and sustain tanks on their own merits. Do you see it as a necessary evil that's keeping champs like Mundo, Vlad and Volibear in check, that you'd prefer to slowly remove from the game entirely in favor of a less binary "I need condition X because they have champion Y", or do you think having GW is a net benefit to the game and want to try and keep it around with changes such as the preseason changes to its scope? In the same vein, Teemo is the only champion with a blind now; do you think Blind is a good mechanic? Would you prefer to find a suitable alternative for Teemo in the future or keep it as his signature ability, or do you see it being placed on more champions in the future?
We've just started talking about which class (or sub class) to look at next. We're currently trending towards immobile mages. Given the need for preseason followup though it'll also be a little while before the team's ready to start heavy work on whichever class we go with. 
We see GW as a useful safety valve on healing/high sustain champions, and one that's probably best accessed in game in response to an enemy getting out of control (e.g. a really fed Swain), rather than accessed via champ select before you know how needed it'll be. GW on individual kits has the potential to lead to hard counter situations, and while we do want to reward good choices in champ select we'd like to avoid games that feel predecided before the loading screen. 
We don't have any plans to remove blind from Teemo and I'd imagine will at some point look to use it on at least one other champion. Would want to improve the visual/audio feedback for the blinded player to help them play around the effect before doing so though. The important thing would be putting it on a champion where it doesn't leave the enemy without sufficient means to respond. Teemo's really range limited, doesn't burst people down generally and lacks other survivability tools when in the thick of the fight. Quinn by contrast had much longer range on her blind, has a powerful mid fight reposition and is adept at forcing fights with targets of her choice."

CertainlyT   group responses #1
About the marksmen that got weaker/arent doing great are you going to buff them oither than the obvious kogmaw? 
Mainly talking about Caitlyn/Ashe/Sivir/Twitch, they are all at near 45% win rate, and thats with the pre nerf warlords mastery so its only going to get worse for them. 
As someone who has played caitlyn for over 3 years i feel she will need some buffs, she is mostly worse overall after that patch, i do like the new kit dymanic and the fact she has more unique stuff in it but still. 
Cant help but feel like caitlyn was nerfed significantly with all the kit nerfs, her laning phase was nerfed way too hard, so much that caitlyn now has a 43% win rate on the first 20 mins of the game according to champion.GG, for her pickrate she has around 46% win rate which is about 5% lower than she had before the patch, and mind you she needed some buffs or atleast net positive changes, not nerfs, i feel like she could use more mana in lane and traps shouldnt feel so weak and have a 45s cd at rank 1 of the spell, its gating her laning phase way too much. 
i also feel the Q doesnt do enough damage on the early ranks of the spell considering how hard it is to hit now on a single target. 
Twitch basically got a nerf as 2 seconds on his ult >>>>>>> The q reset which is still mostly completely useless due to the fact his stealth still takes too long go off even if a minion is hitting him."
I'll go into some elements of our approach. As an individual contributor to the marksmen updates, it will only reflect my perspective, but hopefully it will be helpful: 
1) Winrate data is heavily skewed at the moment due to three factors.
First, a couple of champions are way too strong (e.g., Graves). They will naturally lower the win rate of all other marksmen.
Second, champions with new mechanics ought to go down in win rate as people learn to use them. This includes itemization changes (e.g., we are confused as to why players aren't trying Essence Reaver on Sivir).
Third, not every champion will have a 50% win rate at balance. For example, as we differentiate marksmen, you'll have to pick them in the right circumstances - If you pick Vayne on a team that desperately needs wave clear, you'll probably be worse off than if you'd picked Sivir. Champs that have well defined niches will tend to be more powerful than their win rate suggests. 
2) We aren't sure where every champion sits. Obviously we have our own internal assessments of champion power, but they actually differ markedly from a lot of players' perspectives. Unless we take the time to carefully watch and play the champions on Live for a while, we risk just playing musical chairs, shifting a new set of marksmen from apparently weak to actually overpowered. Further, we can't just balance champs. We need to listen to you, the player base, about how you want to use champs in order to get the _right _changes in place. Technically, we could just balance any champ just through changing their base HP and HP per level, but it wouldn't lead to a satisfying experience. 
3) That is all very nebulous. So here are some specific answers.
We're hotfixing Graves and Kog'Maw today (nerf and buff respectively). I'd look some obvious changes in 5.23 and a substantial amount of fine tuning in 5.24.
Caitlyn's Q is indeed too weak. Even if we had to nerf other elements of her, it would be worth buffing the ability to let her actually reach towers and make skillfully avoiding it matter when playing against. I believe duo bot Twitch is very powerful and that players who are routinely failing with him are probably not good at the champion or are fixated on a strategy that is now less effective (teamfight AoE) as opposed to opportunistic assassination. Even the data supports this. His win rate is almost 50% when played in his best role. He's not doing well in the jungle, and we'll have to assess how much we can support him there. 
* I don't have a good sense for Sivir and Ashe's balance right now, so perhaps someone else can reply to that. Anecdotally, they feel effective given their utility."

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