Meddler talks more on the future Sejuani Rework

Posted on at 12:40 AM by Moobeat
1/30 Edit: Added two more lengthy posts, from Ironstylus, to the bottom of the post.

Meddler is back with a bit more to say about the future Sejuani rework.
Continue reading for more information, including new idea's for her E & R abilities and more!

Before we start here are the other two posts, by Meddler, about his current plans for updating Sejuani.
1) [ 1/21 ] Initial post - Outline of planned changes and changes in internal testing.
2) [ 1/23 ] Follow up post responding to questions

Meddler started off by throwing out some updates and clearing up a few questions:

"To clarify a few things: 
1. As previously mentioned the tag for Permafrost will be shifting to a passive on the E, unaffected by tenacity and potentially with a slightly longer duration. Sejuani will get a new passive as a result. Whether that mark can be applied when Permafrost is on CD will depend on how that mark interacts with the rest of the kit - if there's no benefit in having the mark applied it'll be disabled, if there is it'll still be active. 
2. W will definitely not be both applying that mark and gaining increased damage from it, that was the result of incompatible files being mixed. At the moment we're looking at various iterations on W, some of which apply the mark but don't gain damage from it. Will update in a while once we have something solid - this is very much a point of experimentation at the moment.

3. Sejuani's ult will remain an AOE stun when you hit a champion. We are testing a version where the auto detonation at end does not stun and instead applies a really powerful slow, which would allow us to add more power to other parts of Sejuani's kit whilst still allowing skilled plays to get as much power out of the spell as at present. As above that's part of ongoing testing rather than final and would admittedly remove some gameplay on the Sejuani players part (though also adds more counterplay). Some of the extra stuff added's been testing pretty well so it's certainly an avenue worth exploring."

In the following post, Meddler elaborated further on a few of those points.

On the first point about Permafrost moving to E:
"Possible options are things like: 
Passive: Whenever Sejuani deals damage to an enemy with a spell or basic attack she applies a mark of X to the target that lasts for Y seconds. 
Active: Permafrost as at present 
Passive: Whenever Sejuani deals damage to an enemy with a spell or basic attack she applies a mark of X to the target that lasts for Y seconds. 
Active: Permafrost as at present. Marks cannot be applied while Permafrost is on CD. 
Passive: Whenever Sejuani damages an enemy with a basic attack, Arctic Assault or Glacial Prison she applies a mark of X that lasts for Y sconds. 
Active: Permafrost as at present.

Etc. Depends on what tests best and what happens, or doesn't happen, with the W."

On the last point on Sejuani's ultimate being fiddled with:
"At present Sejuani's ult has a really high success rate, even if cast haphazardly towards the enemy, which means other parts of her kit have to be weaker to compensate. By introducing a bigger difference between the good casts and mediocre casts of the ult we can potentially add some other stuff into her kit e.g. perhaps a stronger CC than just a small slow on her Q when hitting a champion."
Going further on her ultimate and it's current interaction with Permafrost:
"It's still planned for the ult to apply the mark from Permafrost, so the R to E combo will work as before. As with anything it's possible that might change, though I'm not aware of any issues that would require it at the moment."

 Lastly, Meddler briefly commented on the visual side of her changes:
"Regarding possible visual changes/tweaks I spoke to Ironstylus the other day and he sounded keen to chat here once we had something we could talk about (no ETA on that yet though sorry)."

Edit: IronStylus swung by later to comment on the situation:
"Ah yes. We have been talking. 
We have an opportunity I feel. I've oft mentioned that if I had the chance, I'd reapproach Sejuani to match her concept to her theme. That isn't to say there isn't something neat about metal bikini's, but if we had the chance to re-evaluate how we could execute on her theme of being an awesome barbarian, kick-ass, boar-riding brute from the north, then I'd jump at the opportunity.

Much like Meddler is taking feedback and direction now, I've been collecting feedback and direction for years. There are some thoughts swimming in my head, there are some ideas I have, and I'm going to play around with them if I get the chance.

We desperately want Sejuani to feel better. There is no reason she shouldn't be more widely accepted other than the points brought up here.. which.. well, are a lot of points, but nonetheless, we should not constrain ourselves, even when we've put something out which we feel could use a good once-over that might not be living up to its potential, especially if it's not widely off the mark.

I want to feel awesome playing Sejuani. From an art standpoint, I can't say I feel that way now, and with all of the feedback I've collected on her since we released her, I've been taking mental notes as to what I would want to execute on, how I would solidify her theme, and how I would better integrate that with any possible kit tweaks.

Sejuani is really fertile ground to take something that I think we delivered a 7-8 on and really bump it to a 10. People know my feelings about her, we discuss internally how we feel also. Lots of great conversations are happening, and a lot of cool directions are being devised if indeed we do have this chance. 
We shall see.

More to come!"

Edit 2:  When asked why he isn't actively seeking out feedback for Sejuani, IronStylus commented:
"I don't currently have a thread asking for feedback. I've done a LOT of feedback collecting over the year+ that she's been out, having discussions long before this on Sejuani specifically and female champion design generally. They overlap a lot. 
I'm absolutely open to feedback, and there actually might be threads that I've commented in that can be resurrected. Meddler and I were talking about combining efforts here but yeah, this thread is huh-yooooge. I'll see what I can manage. I've been really busy lately so I haven't had my normal cadence of posting recently. It's hard to track feedback right at the moment.

Lots of what I've heard over this time however is pretty much what I've been saying. Boar: a-ok. Bikini: a-ok if that's her theme. If not, then that needs a'changin'. I'm pretty hard line on this stuff. I see a really really ripe opportunity with Sejuani to solidify her and make her stronger all around, to go toe-to-toe with the others of Freljord. She should feel like a total badass, we can make that happen. I really don't think she's hitting that mark for a number of reasons.

As I've said, I'm pro-boar. The boar however needs to work. It needs to be designed like a boar actually functions, big part up front, little part in back. In fact, it'd be nice if we could hit notes that don't just scream "I'M A REAL WORLD BOAR!". What does a Freljordian boar look like? Is it a straight up white version of a warthog? I would think not. I would imagine that this thing is somehow unique and not straight up plucked from our world. I'd like to bring some directional power into that boar, make him a block that's going to cause some serious pain by ramming you. He sort of make a wedge shape right now, front end sloaping down, big end in the back. I'd like to reverse that and get that power up front. Basically, I'd like to make him into a Dodge Charger rather than a Lamborghini."
He then elaborated more by responding to someone who already enjoys Sejuani's look and doesn't see why it should be changed.
We see artistic updates or overhauls as ripe opportunity to not only increase fidelity but to make a theme cohesive, possibly even to re-examine a champion's theme and see if we can treat it better. This isn't just about "The bikini", this is about her as a package, as something that we can see living and breathing, as a rich component of our world. Right now I don't see that with Sejuani, but that's for multiple reasons, yes, a big reason being her visual design. 
Honestly, you hit on a good point. If I was given a blank check, I'd redo Ashe and Trynd also. I'd make Ashe not dressed in a hoody, but something that makes more sense in context. We do have that option in skins though, we can make something lore related or make something like "Ashe 2.0" or whatnot based on a particular canon story line if we feel like it.

That's the tricky part with visual updates and reworks. We have to maintain what people love about that character and make them love it even more. Sometimes though it goes beyond craft and it means we have to peel back some layers to see if what we've got currently is really what we want for our game, our brand and our IP. If it's not quite fitting in, we have to re-examine. We have to be open to being iterative and bringing that character up to snuff. That might not just be fidelity, that might be theme and how the character's visuals are tied to it.

We don't want to make arbitrary design choices any more. That can happen in the past with a young game, a new IP and a high cadence. We've reached a point where "awesome" is really the only acceptable answer. We're going to try to hit that. If we fail, we're going to try again.. and again! Sejuani might be one of those times. When we can take a good hard look at what we've done and ask.. "Is this purposful and clever? Or is this arbitrary?" Currently, I do feel some of her visual design is arbitrary when you look at her whole context. We desperately want those to feel better connected. We have to try.

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