Patch 3.5 Draven Axe Catching Changes being Reverted

Posted on at 9:51 AM by Moobeat
Over on /r/leagueoflegends, Volty has put up post explaining that he'll be reverting a recent patch 3.5 Draven changes. While these changes were aimed at making his axe's more reliable when Draven has increased movement speed, they have since been proven, by the community, to do more harm than good.
Continue reading for the full post including why they pushed the change, why it didn't work, and more!

"Summoners, I'd like to go in-detail with some recent changes to Draven's Spinning Axe and what you can expect in 3.06 (barring major disasters and other issues which would delay the change). TLDR: We're reverting axe placement to be like it was on release. But I'd like to take an opportunity to share some thoughts and details with you on this. 
Patch 3.05 included these two changes to Draven's Spinning Axe: 
Spinning Axe Now leads Draven more accurately when he is benefiting from Movement Speed increases Axe drop location will no longer be placed partially inside walls / terrain 
The first change modified the calculation for how far to lead Draven when he moves after throwing the Spinning Axe. In particular, the goal was to permit Draven to run really far between throwing and catching a Spinning Axe and have the system lead you accurately. I was inclined toward finding ways for Draven to make huge plays, and I saw this change as supporting that. I was also frustrated whenever I had an axe fall short of me, and this was aimed at making that much less common. 
With these goals in mind, the new formula utilized your actual movement speed, including any temporary changes to it. It was now sensitive to usage of Blood Rush, Ghost, and the like. In contrast, the calculation employed at Draven's release only looked at your base movement speed and flat modifiers from things like boots. The release formula was much more consistent, something which I valued when I first developed it. But since then I felt that I could sacrifice consistency in favor of giving Draven players more control. 
In any case, the result was that the new formula did in fact lead you really far when that was what was necessary to let you run in a straight line but still catch the Spinning Axe. In all other situations, however, it often lead you too far for you to realistically catch or want to catch if it was so far away. We were aware, prior to shipping the change, that this was generally going to be the result. I did not anticipate that this was the incorrect thing to do at the time however. 
Draven players have been very talented in developing playstyles which are suited to the particulars of how Draven has worked since his release. Most notably, the relatively short distance which axes would ever lead you allowed for time to do other things between throwing an axe and catching it. Most often this meant being able to throw an additional autoattack or Spinning Axe while the first was in the air. 
The change in 3.05 was very disruptive to this playstyle, and I don't think offered enough potential for skilled Draven players to outperform themselves through covering long distances between throwing and catching. After receiving feedback from players and observing the results on live servers, we have been motivated to revert the change. I apologize for the present state of Draven on live and look forward to restoring his functionality at the soonest opportunity, which is likely the 3.06 patch. 
This series of events has caused me to reflect on how I might do things differently in the future. For one, I have learned to be very careful with changes like this. Spinning Axe is incredibly dependent on muscle memory and feel, so once players have gotten accustomed to a specific configuration I need to be very cautious about changing it. I also think we could have let this one cook on the PBE (public beta environment) for longer and I could have been more proactive about soliciting feedback from that source. 
One final note: the second patch note, that the axe drop location won't fall partially inside terrain, is still going to be in effect. I think this is all upside. Furthermore, we have also now blocked the Spinning Axe destination from falling on the opposite side of terrain. This was much requested and long overdue, and I'm excited to get that out to you ASAP. 
Thanks everyone for your feedback and patience. See you in the League of Draven soon! 

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