7-12's News: Zyra's Art Spotlight, A Fix for Xerath, Xyperous on Ori changes, and more!

Posted on at 7:57 PM by Moobeat
 ( Sorry for the delay! News is breaking and I'm trying to stay caught up. I'll come back and update this when things settle a bit. I had eye surgery today and there has been a lot of news! )

In today's League of Legend's news we have the Zyra Art Spotlight, some details about the fix for Xerath's currently nerfed ultimate, Xypherous talking in depth about the recent Orianna changes, details about a few more skins that are acquiring Legacy status. a new skin sale. There was also a post earlier in the day about Twitch's new kit, you should definitely give that a looksy if you missed it!
The finished Splash art taken from the Art Spotlight
Zyra's Art spotlight is out! Check out the video below to see how your favorite Riot artists design those lovely splash arts we all love.

Hopefully the early release of this spotlight means we'll get her abilities and a PBE update soon! I anticipate she'll be out next week at this rate.

The recent changes to Xerath's ulimate have caused a lot of turmoil among his sect of dedicated players. FeralPony submitted a lengthy post earlier detailing the situation and aims to clear up a bit of confusion around why it was changed and where it is intended to fall when the dust settles.

I want to jump in this thread to clear up a few misconceptions around this issue. A lack of communication on our end and a few misleading comments have caused a bulk of misinformation around the Xerath ult changes so I want to clarify what exactly happened and how we’re moving forward. 

I’ll start by outlining how Arcane Barrage functioned previously, how it functions on live, and how it will function next patch. 

Quick definitions
CastTime – This is the amount of time the champion is locked in place while casting a spell. An animation plays and you’ll see a bar fill up at the bottom of the screen. 

FallTime – Not really a technical term but what I am deeming the time delay between the visual effect starting to appear (the green expanding ring) and the actual damage being applied (the exploding lightning bits) 

TotalDelay – The ultimate delay between the button is pressed and when the damage is applied

TotalBarrageTime – The total time it takes to cast and land all 3 ultimates assuming no human or lag delay. 

How Arcane Barrage functioned pre-change
CastTime = .25 seconds 
FallTime = .25 seconds
TotalDelay = .5 seconds
TotalBarrageTime = 1 second

How Arcane Barrage functions currently on Live
CastTime =.25 seconds 
FallTime =.625 seconds 
TotalDelay = .875 seconds
TotalBarrageTime = 1.375 seconds

How Arcane Barrage will function on Live
CastTime =.25 seconds 
FallTime = .5 seconds (This now starts at the same time as the CastTime)
TotalDelay = .5 seconds
TotalBarrageTime = 1 second

What has changed – There are two changes being made next patch. 
1- The Falltime is being reduced to .5 seconds from .638 seconds. 
2- The Falltime will start at the beginning of the cast bar instead of the end of the cast bar. This effectively shaves an additional .25 seconds from the time of button to the time on impact from the Live version. 

Why did the changes in the Draven patch make the ultimate so difficult to land?
In short there was almost half a second delay added between when the opponent could see the ring and when it would impact. This would lead to opponents, especially those with upgraded boots or other movement speed increases to be able to walk out of the ultimate unless the placement was close to perfect. The goal with the initial change was to allow opponents the opportunity to react to the visual effect before getting damaged. Syncing up the visuals and the gameplay was a good change but we admit we went about it the wrong way and it caused unfair damage and frustration for Xerath players which is why we are making changes next patch. 

What will this change ultimately (ha ha!) do for Xerath
- The timing for the Xerath player will behave identically to how it was pre-change. 
o This will allow Xerath players who were used to the old timings to aim with the same feel and precision that they had previously learned. 
o Xerath will be able to once again use his stun to combo with his ult as a reliable damage source
- And the visuals will now match the gameplay. 
o The big problem with the pre-change effect is how the damage was applied to the enemy before the explosion occurred. 
o Opponents should be able to react with appropriate instant cast counters such as spellshields or flash (or react quickly against poorly aimed Barrages). This is critical to counterplay and a healthy game experience as a whole. 

I also want to formally apologize for our lack of clear information on this issue. Hopefully this cleared some things up. This will obviously not rule out the possibility for any future Xerath changes and the Live Team will continue to access his status post-changes. As the person working directly on the ultimate changes for next patch I can also answer additional questions on this issue. 

- Xerath’s ultimate changes are coming next patch
- The time delay between Xerath hitting the button to the effect hitting will be changed to pre-change. This will allow Xerath to combo his abilities together like pre-Draven patch. 
- The visual effect will continue to match when the damage is applied
- The only effective difference now to pre-Draven patch is a small visual window for the opponents to react with appropriate instant cast counters (such as Flash, spellshields etc) 
- We will not be reverting the Xerath buffs from last patch
- Our apologies for the confusion and frustration that these changes have caused Xerath players
- FeralPony, Associate Game Designer, via the official forums.

Many players have taken to the forums and similar venues about the recent Orianna buffs and are claiming that they are actually nerfs to their beloved robotic lady. Similar to the above, Xypherous took to the forums to address some of these concerns with a detailed and concise post.
Before answering specific questions, there's a lot of misinformation to clear up on this thread first that I need to clear up before we can get down to any specifics - Especially as to what the extent of the changes were and what specifically changed. So, first off keep that in mind.

So what changed, specifically?

Why is Orianna more responsive?

Essentially, the core of the Orianna changes were recoding the Q and E spells to include lag compensation and some small amount of mid-flight casting. The net effect of this is that every followup command to a Q and E spell got 0.25 to 0.5 seconds faster, depending on your latency.

That is, her Q/W combo and her Q/R combo became 0.25 to 0.5 seconds faster. The further reducing of her GCD down to 0.15 allows her to pull off her entire combo to the degree of 0.5 seconds to 1 second faster.

This is also what is leading to her impression of a "Burst Caster" while simultaneously also having lower net ratios. She's simply able to pull off her combo faster, if you are an experienced player and have a somewhat decent connection.

Of course, the counterplay around the ultimate was tuned very specifically from day one to account for this variable delay due to player latency of 0.25 to 0.5 seconds - Hence the increase in ultimate delay by 0.1 seconds - normalizing the experience of the opponents on reaction.

Why does the ultimate not stun now?

Looking at the code internally, this shouldn't actually have happened. It's a bug which I'll be trying to get in for next patch. Thanks for the heads up. It's always nice to have a pleasant reminder that I screw up all the time on implementation. :/

What's the deal with the Passive change? Why did you nerf my high end?The passive change was a simple numbers adjustment. Before - Until you got around 500 AP or so, any and all use of the passive didn't actually contribute all that much damage. This is due to the fact that the number of hits and the hit amplification only made using the passive make sense until after 500 AP.

Essentially, before, you needed 4 hits, 3 to stack the full passive, one to actually get the full effect of the passive, in order to get the full damage of (35 + 0.2)*145% damage - and it wasn't worth it until 500 AP. A little silly, even for the AP/Nashor builds.

The new passive operaters similarly, except you only need 3 hits to get the full passive and we doubled the base damage and adjusted the AP ratio. Now the passive is stronger until you hit 500 AP. The AS/AP builds should be significantly stronger (as they never had the potential to hit 500 AP) to begin with. 

The risk versus reward ratio of the passive was completely off and wasn't in line with a typical team fight - and so that's the adjusment. We shouldn't have actually nerfed your high-end case, unless your typical AS/AP build was getting more than 500 AP. If you notice your damage being significantly lower with that build - let us know because it's not intended.

So what's the deal with the 'W' ratio?

Command: Dissonance lost a good deal of the hard decision point that it had before. Orianna is a caster with some hard choices to make: Damage or Utility. On release, the 'W' and 'Q' had equal ratios with the Q having damage fall-off. 

Finding ways to amplify the 'W' ratio reinjects this hard tradeoff gameplay that Orianna needs to be able to be balanced as an AP caster as she now needs to trade damage for utility at any given point.

So what's with Q's damage?

One of the major negative fallouts of the Q mana change was that Orianna players no longer had to use or become proficient at her kit in order to be a decent Orianna player. Pretty much, her Q was her primary damage, her primary poke and functioned as everything that she needed. 

For a 'combo' mage, having one skill be the only skill that mattered was pretty off overall. This cannot be the norm.

That said, we're definitely tracking the Q change. Q was the majority of your damage before - and that can't be the case with a combo caster who should ideally need to string her abilities together to get maximum damage. I believe we're giving half of the AP ratio back to Q (0.5) on next patch as many of you have pointed out that it seems too unequal between Q and W where W is now waay too much of your damage than before.

So why the Q speed?

Again, it has to do with the reduced delay on the 'W' and 'R' activations. The ball went down to 1200 from 1275 - This means that the ball needs to travel an extra 0.05 seconds to get the the target destination of 875 units. 

Since the ball speed was tuned around the total time of the combo - for counterplay reasons we made the adjustment so that the opponents had the appropriate time to respond to the combo.

If you think the ball is significantly slower - the time it takes it actually less than 0.05 to get there. While I agree that this makes all the difference in the world - your follow up spells are 0.25 seconds faster so.. chain your spells. 

What about my Damage to Mana Ratio?

One of the things with essentially 'speed' or 'timing' related buffs, is that they directly pertain to accuracy. 

Accuracy is one of the hardest things to judge - so we were loathe to touch that. Being more accurate with the ball makes a champion more mana efficient overall as you need less spells for overall the same effect.

As a side note

I appreciate all of you guys giving deep feedback on this and I assure you that I want to track these changes are strongly as you do. 

However, it's extremely disruptive and it makes tracking extremely difficult if the same six or eight people monopolize a discussion and repeatedly drown out other posts. (You know who you are.) I can't gather mixed feedback or signals when discussion is being monopolized. Trying to formulate an accurate responses and seeing how many people are affected is drastically harmed if a small group of like minded individuals drown out every other discussion.

While I appreciate your passion and insight - try to keep in mind that in order for a discussion forum to be a discussion and to be useful to gather broad spectrum feedback, it needs to be broad spectrum feedback to begin with.

Thanks all!

- Xypherous, Associate Technical Designer, via the official forums.

It's been a while since we've seen some skins retired to Legacy status ( meaning they will no longer, under normal circumstances, be purchasable from the store ), but Riot is planning to retire five skins  July 17th at 11:59 PM PDT. All of the old "legendary" skins, including Magnificent Twisted Fate, Red Baron Corki, Annie in Wonderland, Firefighter Tristana, and Alien Invader Heimerdinger, fill this list so you better pick them up now if you were on the fence about purchasing them. The sad news here is that there will be NO price reductions ( as is common with these actions in the past ) in an effort to keep them exclusive.

Speaking of skins, there is a new skin and champion sale a foot! Between July 13th and July 17th you can pick up Sandstorm Katarina ( 487 RP ), Nightblade Irelia ( 260 RP ), and Hextech Singed ( 487 RP ) for half off! If champions are more your deal, you can take advantage of purchasing Wukong ( 487 RP ), Gragas ( 487 RP ), and Janna ( 292 RP ) at a discounted rate.

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