Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 6/22, /Dev: ARAM Changes Roundup & More

Posted on at 11:10 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for June 22nd including some 8.14 changes, as well as a /Dev blog on the ARAM changes that are now locked in after the Bilgewater event, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


Table of Contents



Where Power Lies | VS 2018 Legendary Skins Trailer - League of Legends

Here's a trailer for the upcoming VS 2018 event:

"VS 2018 runs from June 27, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. until July 10, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PT. 
The absolute judge versus the caller of war. You determine who will reign. God-King Garen and God-King Darius (1820 RP each) are facing off in League of Legends. 
Complete limited-time missions for your chosen side to earn VS Tokens which you can forge into icons, special loading screen borders, Lion and Wolf orbs, an emote, and more.  
Learn more about VS 2018: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/new..."

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 22

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for June 22nd, including thoughts on
"Hi folks, 
Usual Disclaimers 
These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get put delayed or even stopped. If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler 
Moving away from big patch/small patch 
We've been trying alternating big/small patches this year, with more systemic changes in the big and mainly balance tweaks in the small. As mentioned recently we're looking to reduce the amount of change over the rest of the year though, focusing on follow up to midseason, polish and balance instead. That means we won't be doing the big/small alternation, and will instead go back to a regular patch approach like in previous years, with systemic changes concentrated more in midseason and preseason patches again too. 
New Tutorial 
Last month we talked about some long needed improvements for the tutorial:
https://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/en-gb/2018/05/dev-new-player-experience/ 
At this point the new tutorial's now out and getting used by some new players. In order to understand where it's working well and where (if anywhere) it's worse than the old tutorial flow we've got it currently enabled for around half of new players to give us comparison points between new and old at the same point in time. Barring any surprises it should be enabled for all new accounts in the near future though for anyone wanting to check it out. 
Some 8.14 changes 
We've just done some initial planning for patch 8.14. Some of the things we'll be looking at: 
  • Monitoring how our changes in 8.13 that impact bot lane, gold/xp funneling and snowball have gone, in particular to see if we should go further in 8.14.
  • Looking at mage balance, with a focus on mages who've been left in too weak a state after the 8.9 mana changes. We'll be assessing a range of champions for that, with changes expected to some, but not all of them. Some possible candidates include Syndra, Annie, Vel'Koz, Ahri, Cass, Viktor and Ori. Likely that some of those champions don't get buffed and some not on that list do though as we dig into things more.
  • Likely a buff to Karma. We're working on some longer term stuff for her, but will likely give her some straight power as well in the short term.
  • Potentially a buff to Liandries. 
Domination buff 
As a late addition to 8.13 we're buffing the Domination style bonus slightly. We've been seeing the Domination tree underperform, even for many champs it should be a great choice for. Buffing it a bit overall as a result. At some point (might be preseason) we also have plans for the vision slot to make it more appealing and satisfying, feel we should also just be raising the power of the tree a bit in the meantime regardless though."

When asked about under utilized runes, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Hey Meddler can I ask for your thoughts on the under utilized runes like Dark Harvest, Lethal Tempo and Glacial Augment?
Dark Harvest - Performs pretty well on some users, is somewhat niche in part because of how appealing Electrocute seems to be to a lot of people. Unlikely we do too much to it in the foreseeable. 
Lethal Tempo - Doesn't have a clear enough niche (PTA overlap in part), satisfaction/useability aren't where they should be either. Expect we'll heavily modify or replace at some point. Isn't doing active harm right now though, so don't feel we have to just straight remove it. 
Glacial Augment - This is one of the Keystones we're most cautious of, given how powerful added CC, even just a slow. Might put a bit more power into it at some point, really want to avoid making it too common though given what that does to game state, laning especially."

As for how the team feels about midseason changes so far, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
If I recall correctly, the original aim for mid-season was opening up bot lane (to mages in particular), but as it got closer you decided to focus more on marksman changes only.
Now that bot lane has opened a bit anyway and you are trying to keep it that way, would you mind sharing how the team feels about the mid-season changes? Are there any further plans for increasing bot lane diversity?
We concluded we were better off working on what excluded other classes from bot lane (some aspects of how marksmen functioned) than trying to push specific other classes in. In terms of bot lane being more open at present we're really positive on that, the degree to which it's excluding crit ADCs though is something we need to fix and are actively working on. Trying to do that without swinging so hard back in the other direction though that we go back to marksmen only. 
In terms of further increasing bot lane diversity, besides getting some missing marksmen back in more, no immediate plans. Looking much more to balance the lane, do followup polish, than try and shift it further at present."

On the Domination rune tree, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
For the Domination tree's vision row, do you think you might be adding a new option or just rebalancing the existing runes? If it's the former, does the balance team have any preliminary thoughts on which rune might be removed/shifted? I know Zombie Ward has been a bit of a sticking point in the past but it seems to be in an okay spot right now, not sure about how Ghost Poro and Eyeball Collection are viewed since they haven't needed as much tweaking. 
Thanks for the post as always!
Likely some adjustment to everything in the slot. Zombie Ward provides a lot of strong but unengaging power by extending your own wards lifespan effectively. Ghost Poro's pretty much always a bad choice. Eyeball Collector's functional, but pretty stat heavy and opts out of vision interactions a bit much. 
Having said that, none of those are critical problems, but would want to work on them all whenever we do make those changes to the slot."

On Fizz, Corki, and SyndraMeddler noted:
"Quote:
Hey Meddler, thoughts on the Fizz changes on the PBE? Fizz mains reddit seems think it feels clunky. Are you set on his W being the 2 hits or are you open to trying different things? Seems to me the W and R go hand in hand. Even if the W changes punishing a melee assassin for ulting in melee range is absurd. Also taking away the last hitting W mechanic is kinda rough imo.
EDIT: have you thought about lowering the ult damage a little bit but making it do the same damage at any distance but the slow and knockup cc scale with range how it is now?
Also thoughts on Corki? You mentioned he was a candidate for buffs 8.12 but never got any. Anything for Syndra as well?
Fizz work is still comparatively early and exploratory. It won't be shipping in the next patch and, as with Rengar/LB, we're putting it on the PBE early to gather feedback. Not certain on exact tactics the team's thinking, but there'll be changes and ongoing discussion over time. 
Corki still needs a bit of help, though isn't top of our list at present (ongoing bot lane work and mage followup as mentioned's more of the focus). 
Syndra will be looked at as part of that mage work."

On enchanters, crit ADCs, and the meta, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Are you planning on making any changes to enchanters/crit adc's in light of the recent meta shifts? Or any comments on the meta shift in general.
Enchanters - Not yet for the subclass as a whole at least. Likely we buff Karma at least though. 
Crit ADCs - Putting power back into them, with a goal of getting them back to being reasonable picks in bot lane without in the process buffing marksmen so much bot goes back to being marksmen only. 
Meta in general - Lot to be excited about. Gold/XP funneling looks problematic. Need to put crit ADCs back in better spots as above. Also need to ensure 4 fighter teams don't become standard (in part because lack of squishy targets and lower positional relevance leads to less interesting team fights)."

And on Yorick, Meddler noted:
"Quote:
Anything you are looking at for Yorick?
Bit concerned that the buffs and bug fixes he got last patch added noticeably more power than the Sterak's adjustment removed. Don't think he's in a spot where he currently needs to be nerfed, but certainly closer to too strong than too weak so keeping an eye on him."

/Dev: ARAM changes


Here's Riot Popc0rner and Riot Onion with an update on the ARAM changes that are now locked in after the Bilgewater event:
"Last month we talked about the new features and gameplay updates headed to ARAM during the Curse of the Drowned event. Now that the waters have settled, we’re here share how these changes went: What was good, what wasn’t, and what we learned—and which of the changes are here to stay. 
HERE TO STAY 
CHAMPION SELECT 
We’re quite pleased with the reception of the Bench and the larger Free to Play pool. One welcome side benefit is that we saw ARAM queue dodge rates drop by about half. We think this is because players are more likely to find a champion they’re willing to play. 
One question we saw players ask was, “Does the Bench cause teams to be ‘better’ on average, with more high-winrate champions per team?” The short answer is no. While the ability to select a teammate’s rerolled champion does increase team quality a little, this effect was compensated for by the expanded F2P rotation, causing overall champion diversity to remain steady. 
OTHER QUALITY OF LIFE CHANGES 
We’re pleased with how the changes to surrender times, base gates, and in-game experience have gone. In particular, the Level 3 experience fix has caused games to be slightly faster (about 20 seconds on average) and allows many champions who are heavily dependent on their ultimates to come online sooner. 
Some players have raised concerns about games snowballing harder as a result of this change. This seems to be true, but only mildly so. For example, games where the losing team destroys no towers are about 2% more common. We’ll keep an eye on these effects as time goes on. 
DARK HARVEST NERF 
We originally introduced the nerf to Dark Harvest as a temporary change, but its reception and effect on the game have been positive enough for it to become permanent. Dark Harvest is still a viable keystone; it remains a powerful pick for a handful of champions like Nasus, Graves, and Gangplank, but it’s no longer the top-winrate rune for unintended champions like Maokai and Brand. 
AOE HEALTH RELICS 
The Health Relic changes were pretty popular. In particular, the new healing behavior helped spice things up and give teams a small objective to fight over while also smoothing over internal struggles about who gets the health. For these reasons, the new Health Relic behavior will come to the Howling Abyss. 
They’ll work the same way there as they did on Butcher’s Bridge, with one small exception: We’ve reduced their radius slightly, making them a little more dangerous to contest. The tab menu timers for health relic spawns will also remain, so you can keeptabs on when to prepare for a brawl. 
GONE FOR NOW 
NEW ITEMS 
We introduced Ghostwalkers, Bloodletter’s Veil, and Spectral Cutlass for two reasons: We wanted to give the event some unique thematic content, and we wanted to test out ways to make assassins more successful and fun to play in ARAM. 
The latter goal has had mixed results, with AD assassins’ win rates creeping up only a tiny amount. Mage assassins like Diana and Katarina improved a little more, but Bloodletter’s Veil also proved useful on some mid-range mages like Mazahar and Viktor.
Thus, these items will set sail for now, but we’ll continue looking into ways to help Assassins find more success in ARAMs in the future. 
BUTCHER’S BRIDGE 
We were overwhelmed by the reaction to the new Butcher’s Bridge. We heard a lot of calls to keep the map permanently in some way, so we’re looking into options. It’s too early to make any promises about when or how we’ll return to the Slaughter Docks, but we’re looking into it. 
WARMOG’S ARMOR REMOVAL 
And last but not least, Warmog’s Armor. There was a lot of discussion about this item in the wake of its removal for the event, both supporting and opposing its absence. Many of you raised the valid concern that poke is still a very dominant strategy in ARAM, and that Warmog’s Armor was one of the few ways to itemize against it. In an environment without Warmog’s, we did in fact see win rates for mages go up, by about 2 percentage points across the board. 
We still believe that Warmog’s Armor in its current state does not belong in ARAM, but it’s become clear that we should change it or replace it with a new anti-poke item rather than simply removing it. In the meantime, Warmog’s will return
That about does it for the ARAM roundup. Thanks so much for the feedback, and if you have any other suggestions about how we can improve the mode in the future, we’d love to hear them. See you out on the Abyss!"

Quick Hits

"Tickets for the #EULCS Summer Finals in Madrid will go on sale on June 28th! Here's everything you need to know:"

Reminders

To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • The VS 2018 event is coming soon! From June 27th to July 10th, you can grab new skins, bundles, complete new missions, score loot, and more!

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