Tonight's red post collection includes Meddler with more recent gameplay thoughts, a new edition of Ask Riot, a hotfix for Sion's Q out to live, a closer look at Aatrox changes in 7.5, and more discussion!
- EU LCS Spring Split Week 7 [Mar 9th - Mar 12th]
- Champion & Skin Sale 3/10 - 3/13
- Rise of the Dragons: Dragon Sorceress Zyra, Dragonslayer Xin Zhao, and more now available!
Table of Contents
- Meddler's Quick Gameplay Thoughts: March 7 & 9
- Ask Riot: Champ Ideas and Unexplored Regions
- Sion Q Hotfix on live
- Patch 7.5 - Revisiting Aatrox
- Galio's PBE Gameplay Stream
- Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 7.5, Aatrox mini-update
- Quick Hits - V Ping bug in 7.5, GIA vs VIT remake, & The Dive
Meddler's Quick Gameplay Thoughts: March 7 & 9Meddler is back again with his gameplay thoughts. As you might have seen included in our previous PBE coverage since start of new cycle, below you'll find his posts from March 7th - discussing struggling junglers, Ninjas Tabi, and other recent topics - and from March 9th- discussing a recent 7.5 changes, Lux's new PBE VO, and more.
Some things we're thinking about below! Additionally, if there's something particularly on your mind gameplay wise you'd like to hear our thoughts on do throw that suggestion into the comments. Can't make any promises I'll be able to speak to it, or speak to it immediately at least, always on the lookout for new topics though.
Looking at struggling junglers
One of our focuses for the 7.6 development cycle is looking at champions who commonly jungle who are having too hard a time of it. We're expecting that'll mean we look at a range of champions and then make changes to a subset of that group. Currently being considered are Nunu, Fiddlesticks, Nidalee, Amumu, Jarvan and Volibear. You should see changes to some of those champs hit the PBE today, expect some others to follow and some to likely get reverted during the patch cycle as we test them.
Changes we're more confident in are Nid traps prioritizing big monsters over small plus Fiddle getting bonus E damage against monsters and from memory CD/range tweaks to Q/W respectively. For J4 and Nunu we're looking at W scaling and consume respectively, though need more testing on those to speak with confidence about how promising those directions are/aren't. Nothing concrete yet on Amumu or Volibear.
Shifting defensive stats from items to base stats
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned we were testing moving some stats from items to base stats, making vanguards, wardens and juggernauts at least more inherently tanky. We've concluded that approach wasn't working well enough overall, given it pushed a lot of champions towards more offensive itemization, risked blunting the difference between ahead and behind tanks too much and made some defensive purchases too unsatisfying/unimpactful.
We're still exploring other defensive item changes though and will be investigating a number of concepts (possible need for an item that's strong against sustained magic damage specifically, efficiency of double defensive item rushes from solo laners, tanks dying too fast in some circumstances late game etc). We won't necessarily end up with changes that touch on all or even any of exact those issues FYI, but figured there'd still be interest in hearing about the sorts of things we're considering.
We've seen some recent spikes in Ninja Tabi use, especially in high Elo ranked. Still assessing whether that's reflective of Ninja Tabi being too strong (they are really gold efficient) or whether that's a natural and appropriate reaction to some teams stacking a lot of physical damage dealers who auto attack (any game the enemy team's running a jungle Graves for example Ninja Tabi's value goes up quite a bit). We'd like to get more confidence we've properly distinguished between an item being too strong and an item being an appropriate safety valve basically. More thoughts on that to follow at some point.
Aatrox's balance changes should be hitting the live servers shortly. We believe the direction they represent's a good one, as usual with larger sets of changes they'll likely throw his balance out a bit, one direction or the other, initially though. Given his optimal builds have likely changed moderately we also suspect he'll probably perform worse for a little while just after the changes than he will longer term as players experiment with builds and people unfamiliar with Aatrox give him a try."
When asked about the plans for marksmen, Meddler commented:
"Quote:When asked about more on Ninja Tabi, Meddler shared:
What's happening with crit marksmen? Do you believe they are in an ok spot or need some more work?We're looking at crit and % pen for mid-season. Nothing concrete enough yet to talk about beyond that though, don't want to set any expectations there until we've got changes more tested."
"Making the Ninja Tabi effect scale with tank stats would be an effective approach if the desire was to make it so they were generally only bought on tanks. That's not a goal at present, though something like that could make sense if it someday was.
%max health damage is intended to be a counter to tankier defense stackers in part, so we wouldn't want to blunt that. Options we're thinking about are things like a Sterak's for tanks (burst of one off survivability), a Wukong passive item (more defense per nearby enemy), AOE damage reduction in some form (lot of the problem is the ambient damage that's not even targeted at melee they have to eat anyway) etc. That's still at the brainstorming stage though to be clear, not stuff we're committed to or anything."Meddler shared:
"Quote:As for Udyr in these jungler changes, Meddler commented:
Hey Meddler can I ask for your thoughts on if J4 needs larger scope amounts of workI personally think he needs a clearer set of strengths or weaknesses to put him in a more balanceable long term position. He's also showing his age visually. Overall though he's in a much better spot than some champs, so certainly wouldn't advocate for a VGU for him in the short to medium term."
out of all these junglers , i didn't see udyr getting any changes , we already only see him once in a bloodmoon , this patch is a good one to help him out in itOh, yeah. We'll be looking at Udyr, separate piece of work though so it slipped the mind even though he shares those problems."
Any thoughts on Kindred? Do you think the marking qol buffs on the PBE will be enough?Longer term we'll probably want to do some work on how they scale and therefore which items are appealing to them late game. It's likely we'll wait until plans with crit/pen for mid-season are clarified though, rather than doing that work twice."
Thoughts for today below!
Patch 7.5 started getting played on yesterday and so we're beginning to get an idea of how it's landed. Too early to say with confidence, but we've got a few initial reactions:
- Warlord's Bloodlust and Stoneborn Pact (Bond of Stone replacement) seem to be in good spots so far. For now at least they're looking like good choices on some champs, but not all. We'll probably do a bit of tidying up on them at least in 7.6 (might smooth out the healing extremes a little on Warlord's for example, though that's tentative). Quite happy with the changes so far overall though.
- Aatrox looks like he's almost certainly too weak by a noticeable margin. We're looking at possible buffs, with a decent chance we hotfix at least some of them out. We would expect Aatrox to struggle somewhat as players adapt to new builds, the changed passive etc, it looks like his kit's just too weak as well though.
- Le Blanc, Varus and MF may also have been hit too hard, so we're both looking at where they've landed to understand it better and considering what we'd do if that were true (want to answer questions like impact on Support MF versus ADC MF, how much LB's performance is affected by some players not yet changing skill rank up orders etc).
- Think we've smoothed out some unintended mark pain on Kindred, we'll see though. Understanding where they've landed off these changes will be helpful for assessing any possible future needs (making crit more appealing's something we've talked about as an option for example)
- Lucian changes look promising so far, with a definite feel improvement. Power impact less clear, though we think we're probably less at risk of Lucian being everywhere given his spell ranges are shorter than when that was previously the case, making him hopefully less universal a pick.
Expanded Lux VO
Reav3 talked about this a couple of days ago on Reddit in more detail, figured I'd mention it here as well for anyone that missed it. We've got a lot of new lines for Lux coming in the next patch (same voice actress who did original Lux and Elementalist Lux). That's in part a test of how much impact changing just VO has. Possible we'll do more if it goes well, though too early to say for sure.
Goals for patch 7.6
Gameplay wise patch 7.6 is likely to be smaller than average for a few reasons, focusing mainly on a few balance outliers and followup to 7.5. In no particular order those are:
- We've got a number of people who'd normally work on standard patch content focused on mid-season at this point.
- 7.6 is the LCS playoff patch, so we'd like to reduce the amount of change in it at the end of the split as a result.
- We've had a number of patches with some pretty wide impacting changes in them since pre-season (jungle tuning, masteries adjustments etc). We think it's time for a less changing period as a result (7.7 and 7.8 will also probably have fewer systemic changes than usual too therefore)."
As for when an Aatrox hotfix buff might go out, Meddler noted:
@Meddler Aatrox definitely needs hot fixes big time. Do hot fixes usually happen within the same patch or do we have to wait for patch 7.6?Hot fixes happen between regular patches. Usually they're done to address bugs that just can't wait until a patch, occasionally we'll also use them for champion balance if they're extremely far off and we don't think that's just a result of player learning that's still going on.
If we were to hotfix Aatrox this coming Monday's probably the most likely date, with some possibility for Tuesday or tomorrow depending on what trends we see. Again though, a hotfix is not a definite thing at this point, though certainly something we're considering."Meddler noted:
"Quote:Riot Axes also commented on how the Rek'Sai mini rework is turning out:
What are the plans on Lissandra and her passive? Didn't you guys discuss that she is in need for a buff this patch?She's still on the list, possible changes don't happen in 7.6 though."
Still no Rek'Sai ?Still taking more time. Really sorry about that - I did a poor job of setting expectations at the outset, and our estimated timeline was wrong by a sizable amount anyway.
We're very positive on the direction and she is coming along well, but our pipeline for this scope of work isn't as good as it needs to be.Meddler noted:
For Varus, from looking at the available data (LoLalytics), it seems to me that his low performance comes a lot from people stuck in their old, Lethality-based build paths.
Specifically, auto-attacking based items have better perfomances than Lethality ones on him since the patch hit, often with differences of over 5%.
Does your internal data confirm that?I'd expect that to be the case, I wouldn't want to commit to an answer though until we've seen both larger sample sizes and players modifying their play patterns as well.
Definitely agree it's very possible his performance spikes back up once players who haven't already adjust to what's now optimal."When asked if they still plan to buff a few week junglers in 7.6, Meddler noted:
"Quote:As for recent discussion around smite support Nunu player behavior case, Meddler shared:
Will 7.6 still have the buffs for weak Junglers in it? I assume they're less likely to affect LCS.Still planning to do some in 7.6, that's accounted for in 7.6's goals."
"Quote:seen on the PBE, Meddler commented:
When are you going to address the smite support Nunu? Wookiecookie said you guys had discussed it early this week.We're working on drafting revised policies and approaches at the moment. Not sure exactly when that stuff will be ready to share widely, it's underway at present though.
Also for anyone unaware we took that Smite Nunu player's ban off last week rather than letting it run its course since we didn't feel our different values matched up well enough with each other or had been expressed well enough."
Do you know why an unfinished or weird looking urgot model got accidently released on the PBE a few days ago?That's called an 'oops' on our part.
I'm not sure about the exact circumstances, generally when that happens it's because someone accidentally included another champions files when moving stuff around (e.g. wanted to move Galio stuff into the folder that the PBE builds from, unintentionally mixed some Urgot stuff in too)."
As for the Warlord's Bloodlust changes seen in the 3/9 PBE, Meddler explained:
"Quote:As for Death Fire Touch's current situation after 7.5 nerfs, Meddler commented:
I just saw the changes to Warlord's Bloodlust on the PBE. I assume your reasoning is the same for heals on heal-dependent champions like Vladimir and Swain? However, Warlord's is supposed to be picked by champions who primarily deal damage. And while champions with a lot of Attack Damage naturally do that (fulfilling that requirement), this change would just nerf champions who seek to reduce the amount of damage dealt, like Tanks through Resistances and some Supports through damage reduction (Exhaust, Sona, Kayle, Taric, etc.). Depending on how well live Warlord's Bloodlust fairs, would you reconsider the current changes on the PBE for their sake?The changes currently on the PBE are pretty experimental (highly likely too much of a buff in general). We're interested in whether straight lifesteal is the appropriate method (leads to issues against tanky champs you're trying to kite, massive spikes if used on a minion with no armor). It's not clear how much of a problem that is or isn't yet though, so we're exploring to give ourselves understood options if needed."
If not, would you at least consider reducing the values? Because this is a buff in 100% of the time.
"Quote:When asked about doing more voiceover updates in the future, Meddler commented:
Has meddler written about the DFT nerfs in a previous post? Asking since he discussed the other 2 keystones that got changed this patch and I'm curious if he think's they over nerfed it or they got it in a good spotHaven't talked about it yet, not enough to say until we see a bit more of the patch. Number changes like that are harder to get an initial read on than pattern changes that, even if the numbers are/aren't right, can be judged quicker."
Please do more VO updates. It's painful waiting for older champions to get a VGU in the hopes of getting some new lines. Getting a VO doesn't mean Riot has to redo them if/when they get a VGU right?I'd expect we wouldn't want to do VO updates on characters who were VGU candidates in the moderate future if their personality/background had a meaningful chance of changing significantly. Lux is a really safe option here for example, she's nowhere near a VGU candidate and her theme and character are solid, so we could record extra VO with confidence it wouldn't be obsolete too soon.
Someone like Pantheon by contrast, who needs both some thematic work and, while not an immediate VGU candidate seems like a good option well before someone like Lux, would run the risk of recording VO that then has to be replaced. Much better to put that recording time into someone we can be more confident is in a good spot."A preview for the new PBE Lux Voiceover can be found [here].
Ask Riot: Champ Ideas and Unexplored RegionsThis week's edition of Ask Riot answer questions on new ideas for new champions, splash art in tank rework, and the unexplored regions of Runeterra!
"Welcome to Ask Riot!
This week we’re talking champion ideas, reworked splashes, and whether there’s more to Runeterra than what we’ve seen.
Do you plan to add new regions to Runeterra? Like, we know about Ionia and Demacia and Zaun, etc., but what about regions we haven’t seen?
Never say never! While there’s no plans to right now – there is still a heck of a lot for us to discover and develop within the regions that are already named – in the future this could be a cool thing to explore… So where DID Kalista, Hecarim, the Ruined King et al come from again, hmm?
ANT IN OZ, Worldbuilding Lead, Foundations
How do you come up with ideas for champions?
Ideas for new champions can start anywhere. These days, we try to design a champion from the ground up with owners from gameplay, narrative, and concept design all present from the start so that no piece needs to be pasted on later in development. This means the hook for a new champion can be a single ability that doesn’t exist in the game yet (like hook-shotting to a wall), an inspiring piece of concept art (like a pink-haired punk with giant punching gloves), a unique role not in the game yet (Jungle Marksman), or a thematic archetype (Druid, or Space Dragon). The hook can then help inspire the rest of the champion’s design, gravitating towards what feels clean, cohesive, and natural with everything else.
Generating those ideas is the responsibility of creatives (artists, writers, designers) on the League of Legends team. Primarily this falls to those working on new champions directly, but often with the inspirational help, feedback, and pitches of others around the organization. We have folders bursting with short stories, paper kit prototypes, and quick and dirty as well as intricate pieces of concept art of champions who never made it past the earliest stages of ideation. It often takes dozens of ideas to come up with the one that feels fresh and iconic for our always-growing roster!
INIQUITEE, Product Manager, Champion Team
I hear there is a tank rework incoming — does that mean you’ll be updating all the tank splashes?
We won’t be updating all of the them, but we will be doing a few. The ChampUp splash team’s main priority is updating Splash art for our big VGUs, but in between big VGUs we have been going back and updating the splash art for the champions that got VGUs or VUs in the past. It just so happens that both Sejuani and Maokai had VUs in the past so we will be updating both of their old skin splash art for the Tank update. Their base splash art still looks great, so we won’t be altering those, though.
REAV3, Lead Producer of Champion Updates
Have a question? Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Dos and Don’ts, then ask away.
We promise to read every question, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all get answers. Some questions may already be answered elsewhere, and some won’t be right for Ask Riot.
This isn’t the best place to announce new features, for example, and we might skip conversations on issues we’ve talked about in depth before (though we can clarify individual points).
We are listening, though, so keep asking. We’ll make sure your questions are heard by the Rioters working on the stuff you’re curious about."
Sion Q Hotfix on live
When asked on the boards early March 9th, Meddler noted:
"We'll be hotfixing that bug, likely sometime this evening or tomorrow morning."Riot Exgeniar also confirmed:
"Confirmed, Hotfix in flight."UPDATE: Riot Exgeniar popped on the subreddit to note the hotfix is now on live servers.
Patch 7.5 - Revisiting AatroxHere's Gentleman Gustaf and ricklessabandon with a short article diving into more on the patch 7.5 Aatrox changes:
"Aatrox is one of our top candidates for whenever we tackle divers in a class update, thanks to some pretty fundamental game health problems. Knowing that, we’ve been holding off on balance tweaks on the Darkin Blade until we’d had a chance to solve some of those issues. To be frank, he’s been left in that state for far longer than we’d intended, and we should have tried a minor pass on his problems long ago. In Patch 7.5, we decided to roll up our sleeves and do what we could to make Aatrox more safely tuneable.
When Aatrox is ahead, he feels like a god of war, dishing out tons of damage and healing through anything short of a full team’s worth of focused punishment. Blood Thirst’s healing gets stronger as Aatrox loses health, meaning getting him low just makes him harder to kill. Even if you do burst through his lifesteal, you have to kill him a second time thanks to Blood Well’s revive effect.
But when he’s behind? To access the strength of Blood Well, Aatrox has to bleed his own health through his abilities, which might just get him killed. And if (when) he does die, he’s even weaker until his passive resurrection returns.
This razor-thin line between winning and losing makes Aatrox one of the clearest cases of the design problem we refer to as “feast or famine”. He needs better ways to pick himself back up from an early disadvantage, and in return, opponents need better ways to play around him when he gets ahead.
The Revised Darkin Blade
With that in mind, here’s what we’re doing.
We’re starting by giving Aatrox and his opponents clearer signals about when Aatrox is The Darkin Blade, and when he’s just a bad dude with a blade. Instead of slowly scaling up with Blood Well, Aatrox has a new state - Blood Rush - that activates when the Blood Well’s full, giving Aatrox more clear “regular” vs “overdrive” states.
When we first designed Aatrox, we thought the “risky drain tank” fantasy would be a cool strategic niche for Aatrox to fill. We no longer think it’s sustainable to double down on the risk Aatrox already takes as an often squishy fighter by adding significant health costs to his abilities. This iteration of Aatrox will no longer bleed himself dry from using his abilities.
When it comes to Blades of Torment, it is often used to mitigate risk, allowing Aatrox to farm or harass from a distance. As such, some cost seems appropriate. However, we’re converting the current health percentage cost on Blades of Torment to a flat one, while also changing Blood Thirst’s heal from AD scaling to a missing health percentage.
We hope that this gives tanky fighter items - and perhaps the occasional pure defensive item - a better home in Aatrox’s inventory, by making it less counterintuitive to build health. With more opportunities to supplement his sturdiness, Aatrox can leap into scrappy fights and have enough time to slash people up in Blood Rush without immediately collapsing.
While this round of changes doesn’t get Aatrox where he should be in the long-term (it’ll probably take a more long-term project to accomplish that), we hope we’ve made enough strides here for him to be buff-and-nerf-able state until that update comes."When asked about potential follow up buffs for Aatrox if needed, Meddler noted:
"Yep, there'll be followup needed. We think the pattern the kit changes move Aatrox towards is better, that's not to say the numbers are right however.
Looking at Aatrox's performance today so far he's having a really tough time of it. Some of that's expected (people who've never played him trying him, people experimenting with builds or doing what used to work but isn't great anymore). We're seeing significantly worse performance than we'd expect from just that though if he was in a good place. We're going to start testing buffs as a result, possibly for the next patch, possibly for a hotfix before then depending on how Aatrox does over the next few days."
Galio's PBE Gameplay StreamFollowing Galio's champion update reveal, Solcrushed and crew hosted a live gameplay demo stream !
"Join Galio’s update designer Solcrushed at 22:00 GMT for Q&A and a live PBE demo of Galio’s updated gameplay. If you’re here a bit early, leave your questions in the comments below so we can answer them on stream!"
Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 7.5, Aatrox mini-updateWith 7.5 hitting live earlier this week, the playtest team returns with the Patch Chat for 7.5.
"new "Minions" art created by inkinesss!
Hey guys! Welcome to Patch Chat, a Dev Corner thread we make to talk about our new patches every two weeks: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-75-notes
I'm Aesah on Riot's Playtest Team, a group of Diamond+ players who play with the new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they are released. It's our job to the test the changes that our designers come up with and ensure that we're introducing positive changes to LoL in terms of both balance and fun. We'll be watching this thread to answer as many questions as we can.
In 7.5, Aatrox has a mini update aimed at increasing satisfaction playing as and against him. Fizz has had power shifted out of the reliability of the ultimate into the Q. Leblanc received a hefty nerf, hopefully taking her out of 100% pick/ban status in pro games while still keeping her viable for the playerbase. Miss Fortune has gained some incentive to itemize for crit. Rengar, Ryze, and Varus have received nerfs as well (Varus also receiving indirect nerfs through DFT/lethality, but he was finding too much success without using either of those as well).
For items, Blade of the Ruined King was changed to be more attractive to Marksman and also potentially as a first item, and Edge of Night has been nerfed to focus on "I'm using this to go in" rather than "I activate this at some point then run around with a shield". For keystones, Deathfire Touch was nerfed, Warlord's Bloodlust and Bond of Stone were completely replaced with new effects so it will be exciting to see how those play out. Finally, Exhaust was nerfed and hopefully we'll be seeing it less as a generalist summoner taken by midlaners and more of a focused, defensive summoner.
All of us on the Playtest Team are avid gamers so feel free to talk to us as fellow LoL players!
- Adam "Afic" Cohen
- Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
- Don “Aesah” Ding
- Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad
- Dan “penguin” Hardison
- Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
- Rob "King Cobra" Rosa
- Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
- Blake “S0be” Soberanis
- Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes
- Arnor "TheLastAirbender" Halldorsson"
Quick Hits - V Ping bug in 7.5, GIA vs VIT remake, & The Dive[Quick Hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]
1) Meddler mentioned on reddit that the V ping is bugged in 7.5 and they are looking into a fix.
2) Riotsnowbird dropped in to offer context on the remake situation between GIA and VIT in EU LCS W7 D1:
Context on the remake of Game 2 GIA vs VIT, March 9th 2017: Due to a bug, Vitality players were not able to see the Orianna ball anymore in certain instances from approx. 25:52 onwards, putting them at a disadvantageous position. League officials verified the visual bug and determined it had significant game impact. In accordance to our rules (section 7.10.5), in case of a critical and verifiable bug, the team disadvantaged by the bug, in this case Vitality, will be presented with the option for a restart.
We understand that GIA had the gold lead at the time the bug occurred and that VIT accepting a remake when behind can feel unfair, however, in this case the bug was significantly game impacting and for both teams a fair completion of the game, the outcome of which was not decided yet, would not have been possible.
Orianna will be disabled for the remainder of the match day to allow officials to further investigate.
On Chronobreak: It’s in development by our devs centrally and still beta, thus unfortunately not yet available globally. More info here:
3) Riot has launched a new esports focused podcast - The Dive features Jatt, Kobe, and Azael discussion a variety of recent news topics!
"Welcome to The Dive, a weekly podcast hosted by Jatt, Kobe, and Azael that takes a closer look at the world of League esports.
Releasing on Thursday every week, the gang will be diving into the biggest international news, meta shifts and solo queue trends, and in-depth analysis of the NA LCS. This week they’ll be looking at one of the biggest roster moves since Doublelift joined TSM, as he now teams up with Liquid to salvage what’s left of their Spring Split campaign. Will he be Liquid’s savior in their darkest hour? Or is this just a patch-up job for an otherwise sinking ship?
Find out what Jatt, Kobe, and Azael had to say about it in this week’s episode of The Dive. You can listen on Soundcloud by clicking on the URL below and don’t forget to hit subscribe.
The Dive will be expanding to both iTunes and Spotify in the future, so keep an eye out for those in the weeks to come."
4) Interested in upcoming Galio PBE changes? Solcrushed has been posting tentative change lists for the daily PBE updates over in the PBE feedback thread for Galio's champion update - recently updated for 3/10!
5) For anyone interested, Artist Victor Maury shared a large version of the Galio splash art on his artstation as well as some process pictures!.
RemindersTo round out this red post collection, here are reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
- As mentioned in the 7.5 patch notes, ASCENSION returns in the RGMQ from 3/10/17 - 3/14/17 and again 3/17/17- 3/21/17!
- Two limited time Ocean Week summoner icons are available through 3/17/2017 at 23:59 PT!