5/3 PBE Update: Tentative Balance Changes

Posted on at 1:19 PM by Aznbeat
The PBE has been updated! As we continue the 9.10 PBE cycle, today's patch includes tentative balance changes for Malphite!
Continue reading for more information!

(Warning: PBE Content is tentative and subject to change - what you see below may not reflect what eventually gets pushed to live servers at the end of the cycle! Manage your expectations accordingly.)

Table of Contents


Balance Changes

NOTE*: The PBE is a testing grounds for new, tentative, & experimental changes. Be aware that what you see below may be relative to other changes earlier this cycle! These are not official notes.

Champions
Malphite
[Context / Changelist | Follow-Up]
  • Granite Shield (P)
    • "Malphite now glows when his Shield regenerates. This should make it more clear when Malphite has access to his Shield as a combat resource"
    • "Malphite’s size now scales with his Armor! Become a literal mountain like you always dreamed of"
  • Seismic Shard (Q)
    • Range increased from 625 to 700
    • Missile speed increased from 1200 to 1400 
      • "spawns closer to its target on cast"
    • Cast time increased from 0.25 seconds to 0.5 seconds
    • AP Scaling reduced from 0.6 to 0.4
    • "Malphite no longer “steals” his target’s movement speed. Instead Malphite now slows his target by 20/25/30/35/40% and increases his own movement speed by 20/25/30/35/40%"
    • Speed duration reduced from 4 seconds to 3 seconds
    • "Malphite no longer summons his earthen saw blade from behind himself, and instead casts it from his right arm. This also increases how fast the missile reaches its target"
    • "Targets affected by Q are covered in a molten rock effect for the duration of the slow"
    • "Other miscellaneous values adjusted. Too many to mention in detail here, but overall this Ability should have more weight to it and ‘feel’ like a rock monster hurling a chunk of Summoner’s Rift at his opponents"
  • Thunderclap (W)
    • Renamed from Brutal Strikes
    • "On cast, Malphite resets his auto attack and deals 40/55/70/85/100 bonus Physical damage, scaling with 0.2 armor and 0.4 AP"
    • "In addition, Malphite’s auto attacks create ‘aftershocks’ for the next 6 seconds. These are frontal cleaves (think Titanic Hydra) that deal 10/20/30/40/50 physical damage to all enemies in range of the cone, scaling with 0.1 armor and 0.2 AP"
    • [REMOVED] Malphite no longer gains 3x his bonus armor while his shield holds
  • R - Unstoppable Force 
    • "Malphite’s Base Skin now features an impact crater. IT CAN’T BE STOPPED!"

Context & Notes

1) Here's Riot Lutzburg with details on Malphite changes testing on the PBE this cycle:
"Hi everyone! My name is Lutzburg, and I recently joined Riot as a Champion Designer. We're doing a quality-of-life pass for one of League’s oldest champions, Malphite, for the near future. While we're largely considering these changes as quality-of-life updates, we're also making a few mechanical changes to modernize Malphite’s kit without taking away that rock-solid reliability he’s known for. We'd appreciate feedback on the changes! For more context, we had two high level goals
  1. Improve the visceral satisfaction of Malphite’s abilities (i.e. make it more fun to push buttons!) W in particular was unsatisfying to use, as it lacked an immediate impact and its long duration made it hard to appreciate its power
  2. Retain Malphite’s broadly appealing accessibility and reliable team-fighting prowess 
Full Changelist 
Passive - Granite Shield
  • Malphite now glows when his Shield regenerates. This should make it more clear when Malphite has access to his Shield as a combat resource
  • Malphite’s size now scales with his Armor! Become a literal mountain like you always dreamed of 
Q - Seismic Shard
  • Range increased from 625 >>> 700
  • Missile speed increased from 1200 >>> 1400 (and spawns closer to its target on cast)
  • Cast time increased from 0.25 seconds >>> 0.5 seconds
  • AP Scaling reduced from 0.6 >>> 0.4
  • Malphite no longer “steals” his target’s movement speed. Instead Malphite now slows his target by 20/25/30/35/40% and increases his own movement speed by 20/25/30/35/40%
  • Speed duration reduced from 4 seconds >>> 3 seconds
  • Malphite no longer summons his earthen saw blade from behind himself, and instead casts it from his right arm. This also increases how fast the missile reaches its target
  • Targets affected by Q are covered in a molten rock effect for the duration of the slow
  • Other miscellaneous values adjusted. Too many to mention in detail here, but overall this Ability should have more weight to it and ‘feel’ like a rock monster hurling a chunk of Summoner’s Rift at his opponents 
Q saw a ton of micro tweaks that should amount to a more satisfying and useful button press. Malphite should now have an easier time reaching (or fleeing) targets affected by his cheese wheel o’ death. 
W - Thunderclap (formerly Brutal Strikes)
  • On cast, Malphite resets his auto attack and deals 40/55/70/85/100 bonus Physical damage, scaling with 0.2 armor and 0.4 AP
  • In addition, Malphite’s auto attacks create ‘aftershocks’ for the next 6 seconds. These are frontal cleaves (think Titanic Hydra) that deal 10/20/30/40/50 physical damage to all enemies in range of the cone, scaling with 0.1 armor and 0.2 AP
  • REMOVED - Malphite no longer gains 3x his bonus armor while his shield holds
Brutal Strikes wasn’t fun to use, and its power was hard to appreciate. The AA reset creates some room for optimization without requiring too much mind share, and the cleave gives Malphite something to do after unloading his wombo. Conveniently, it also helps Malphite farm under tower in bad lane matchups (which are most of them.) 
To balance out all this new power, we had to remove Malphite’s 3x armor multiplier. While it was fun to see huge armor numbers, this passive component wasn’t practical enough to justify keeping. Since a lot of Malphite’s damage scales with armor, it was also inadvertently increasing his burst potential when building full tank. However, these changes are designed to be burst-NEUTRAL, as Thunderclap’s initial hit will make up for the highly situational damage that was lost. 
R - Unstoppable Force 
  • Malphite’s Base Skin now features an impact crater. IT CAN’T BE STOPPED! 
We’re currently exploring the possibility of upgrading Malphite’s abilities' VFX to coincide with this gameplay update. So as always, keep in mind that everything in the above list is tentative, including any new VFX you see on PBE. Let us know your thoughts! 
-Lutz"
He added:
"Thanks so much for all the feedback so far, everyone! As this is my first public project at Riot, the sudden exposure has hit me like a Malphite ult, so I apologize for not being able to answer everyone individually. Lots of great comments being made here, so I wanted to add more context to some of the biggest talking points I've seen so far: 
Power and Build Paths- these changes aren't meant to nerf Malphite. He actually has one of the healthiest and most balanced win rates and play rates in the game, if you look at it holistically. If the values are off, we will definitely adjust. As a goal of the project, AP and jungle builds are meant to be power neutral, too. 
Triple Armor Buff- For clarity, Malphite's W would still permanently increase his Armor by 10/15/20/25/30%. It was only the 3x multiplier when he had his shield that was on the chopping block. Seeing "900 Armor" is a fun aspect of his fantasy, though, and it's clear that people really loved socking it to those AD-heavy teams. Finding a way to bring this back in some form is my #1 takeaway from the feedback so far, so stay tuned on this one. 
VGU versus Small Scale Updates- For context, I was given a unique opportunity to work on a Champion I thought could use some love, partially as a way to ramp myself up with the tools and processes of the team. Since I'm so new to the company, it didn't make sense to upend everyone's existing pipelines and schedules to accommodate my experimental side project. While we obviously feel like there are plenty of Champions who could use larger scale reworks, this was a low risk, low scope way of helping Malphite out with the resources I had available to me. 
VFX Updates- One of our amazing VFX Artists was nice enough to sneak some Malphite work into his existing work schedule. He hasn't gotten to all of them yet, but it's already looking awesome and should be on the PBE next week. Keep in mind that you'll only see these on the BASE SKIN for the time being. 
Next Steps- I'm going to put together a revised proposal later today- stay tuned!"

2) Meddler is back after a long break with his quick gameplay thoughts for May 3rd:
"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 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 
Getting back into posting 
I've been back at work for a little bit now so will be getting these posts going again. For now at least they'll be weekly, might sometimes go back to twice a week though when we've got a lot to cover and time permits. Also looking to have some of the other folks who've been posting some stuff while I've been out continue to do a bit more of that. 
Adjusting Matchmaking's Speed versus Accuracy at high MMR 
We've made some adjustments to high MMR matchmaking this week based off some problems we've been seeing this season with too wide an MMR discrepancy occurring in really high skill games. That will be primarily felt in Masters, Grandmasters and Challenger games, with player MMRs being closer together but queue times up from around 4 minutes to around 9 minutes. Changes that increase queue times are something we're always cautious of, in this case very high MMR player sentiment was pretty consistently in favor of the trade off and the MMR discrepancies were pretty noticeable. 
Likely this change is also felt a bit by high diamond players, who won't find themselves in a Grandmaster+ game as often or have their games joined by a surprise challenger.
We're not making this change in other skill ranges because when we look through matchmaking data we're not seeing the same pretty substantial MMR differences between players. Not to say there aren't ways to improve matchmaking there too, and we're always trying to figure out how to deliver on the best combination of speed of match and quality of match we can, along with other factors like auto fill rate etc too. 
Yuumi post release 
As I'm sure you've seen Yuumi's coming out real soon! Figured it was a good time to share some thoughts on a few things we'll be watching particularly closely post release (in addition to the usual stuff like power level).
  1. We're expecting Yuumi to be quite strong against a number of champs while also having clear weakness against many others (e.g. can dodge a lot of threat via frequent attachment to allies but isn't strong against champs who really need to be peeled off her team). Will be watching to see whether the ratio of strong against/weak against is appropriate and whether the difference in performance between the two cases is too extreme. Those are things we'd track for any champ, but of increased interest for Yuumi given how much her attachment gameplay departs from normal strengths and weaknesses of a champion.
  2. Yuumi's intended to be a pretty accessible champ who nonetheless has quite a bit to master. We'll want to make sure that's the case on both fronts, so will be tracking her learning curve closely.
  3. Where is her kit falling in terms of overall counterplay? Finding the sweet spot where she's sufficiently reliable to feel decent while still having enough potential to be outplayed is going to be very dependent on the tuning of some timings on the kit (e.g. Q missile speed and turn speed, W attach speed, R speed/range). Planning on monitoring some specifics like those a lot early as a result so we can fine tune as needed. 
Rageblade Context 
We've got some changes in testing for Rageblade at the moment that should be part of the next patch. The key change is shifting phantom hit from every second hit to every third hit, with a goal of decreasing just how much Rageblade performs better on champions with very strong on hit effects in their kit, then putting some power in more generally accessible stats.Our belief is that a fairly small subset of champions getting so much more value from Rageblade than others has contributed a lot to challenges keeping it balanced. While we do want items to synergize with some champs more than others it's certainly possible to go too far in that regard and we're pretty confident that's the case with Rageblade at present."
Check out [THIS PAGEfor a comprehensive list of the new content & changes currently on the PBE as a part of this cycle or catch up with the individual update links below !

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