Red Post Collection: More from Xelnath on Yorick, Xypherous on Heimer's problems, and more!

Posted on at 2:46 AM by Moobeat
Ready for another batch of red posts?
Continue reading for more from Xelnath on Yorick ( including some brainstormed kits ), Xypherous noting the problems with Heimerdinger's kit, and more!

More Xelnath on Yorick
Continuing the discussion from yesterday, Xelnath jumped back in to the Yorick update discussion with a list of good and bad things player's identify Yorick with.
"Whew... Finally caught up with this thread. 
A lot of good thoughts here.

Things filtering to the top:
* Yorick should still be in the front line
* Ghouls are what Yorick is about.
* Ghouls should last longer
* Ghouls should be meaningful to Yorick
* Ghouls should give *some* gold (maybe 5 like Zyra plants?) if you last hit them 
* Yorick's free, ranged sustain is highly frustrating and doesn't require himself to be at risk (Compare with Nasus)
* Yorick's snares and lockdown kit (W -> Q) means once you do close, the enemy has no chance to escape in an even match
* Yorick's ultimate is too dependant on allies and feels out of theme with Yorick.
* Yorick's kit doesn't give Yorick players an opportunity to be skillful.

Going to cook up a couple ideas based on the stuff I've seen here. (Keep in mind, no work on this will begin for quite some time - I'm trying to establish a baseline understanding of player expectations and gameplay hypothesis I want to solve.)

Thanks guys"

Then he popped up with two updated kit ideas based on the feedback in the thread. Please be aware these are brainstormed kits, tentative, likely not the final iterations, and numbers are placeholders.
"I've thrown together two "kit" ideas based on the concepts posed earlier for discussion of the ideas behind them. Keep in mind, these are only tooltips... and tooltips are much easier to write than abilities are to build. :)

Which of these better fits the kind of character Yorick should be? Please explain why you like or hate it.

Good Talking Points:
* Counterplay - which one provides the better experience?
* Creativity - which one lets the player feel like a pro?
* Cohesiveness - which ones feels like it works well together? 
Kit 1)

Ghouls buff Yorick. Yorick can give these buffs to an Ally.

Kit 2)

Ghouls interplay with each other. Yorick's ultimate is a powerful army command tool.

(Q - Ranged Nuke)

(E - Skillshot)

When asked to explain the passive listed in the kits above, he commented:
"Imagine that he has 3 permanent pets. If one dies, it takes him 30 seconds to exhume a replacement. (I really like EX words. EXHUME. EXHAUST. EXHIBIT. EXPELLIARMUS)"
He wrapped up today's discussion by reflecting on the two kit choices and explaining why "bandaid fixes" aren't the solution for certain champions.
"Whoa.... I... I survived this incredible sea of feedback.

Thank you for your thoughts and opinions. Clearly neither kit is perfect and pointing out what you like or dislike.

Originally Posted by Dominus Arts
To be honest I don't quite understand the flow going with the new skill concepts, rather than focusing on his current state first. Of course new skillsets seem promising but at the same time it kills his soul (if he has one :P ). 
As I stated in the post from before, the problem with Yorick being annoying in lane is caused mostly by players inability to comprehend how this champion works. They either pick wrong champions to deal with it or just play the wrong way to avoid/deal damage. 
I admit, he is not so simple to play with/against but he's not that hard either.
@Xelnath, I know that his "toxicness" was being decided by some sort of voting pool. I don't want to offend anyone here, but is it actually a good way to solve the problem? If we look at elo charts, over 90% of the players in League of Legends are below Platinum. That means most of them lack both in technical knowledge like also mechanical skill to constructively point out issues behind Yorick. I'm not saying that this crowd must be ignored, but I'm also not into agreeing on everything it says. 
Before You try to make changes to his kit -> Fix his bugs and change his tips, to educate people how to play with/against him properly. Take your time, because a lot can still be done before the actual rework.
It was not just the poll - it was the emotional reactions, combined with the logical reasoning expressed as to why a specific champion was bad. Four champions all arose as highly frustrating. Only one arose as both frustrating and incomprehensible and difficult to respond to.

Dominus, I totally respect your skill and I have bookmarked your video to watch at work on Monday. The issue is that his issues are clearly so deep that many, many, players cannot see the windows of vulnerability you feel. In fact, I suspect most players who injure Yorick during them do it by accident.

This is symptomatic of a badly designed champion. It's not your fault, it's ours for releasing him in that state. While yes, we could bandaid him, I question if that's a good investment of resources. Even minor balance tuning requires playtesting and analysis which are a limited commodity. I know you've heard this before, but if our options are to nerf a champion into nigh inviability or rework him to be healthy and appropriate for league... where do you really want to see Yorick end up?
The ghouls that deal damage to you like a DoT, but can be targetted and are nigh impossible to kill are confusing and not fun. Should we just make the ghouls untargettable? Should they just be a debuff at that point?

I'm exaggerating these points, though, which I'm sure you already understand. While I am definitely listening to your expert opinion, I also agree based on my gut experience as a designer that Yorick has very little that he brings to the table that doesn't take away more from the game he's in than he provides."
 Have your own ideas for Yorick? Get on over to Xelnath's thread and share 'em!

Xypherous on Heimerdinger vs Other Champions that Push
Responding to this thread- which quotes Xypherous as saying that Heimerdinger's ability to push is too strong and compares Heimer to the current roster of champions who push well such as Jayce, Elise, Trundle - etc, Xypherous shared his opinions on  a few of these champion and elaborated on his thoughts on why Heimers current playstyle is problematic from a design standpoint.
"A couple of points of disagreement here: 
1. You assume that all these champions have pushed you out - and that pushing you out is one of their strengths. 
The champions you've listed - actually have to fight you in order for you to leave your lane. The ones who don't have to fight you (Jayce and Elise) have been problematic in the past due to their ranged harass at safety and are either problems now or have been severely nerfed for similar reasons. 
There is a combination of strong wave push, strong harass and tower pushing power that are the highlights here - The fantasy of Heimerdinger currently consists of standing behind turrets, farming waves via passive turrets, spamming your opponents with undodgeable projectiles and the ability to take your tower?

Trundle is obviously a great duelist - and he can inflict some terrific damage to your tower if you leave him at that. Can Trundle actually harass you at range? Can he force you out from under your tower outside of outright killing you? When does this happen and at what time? 
2. When does this happen and is it actually advantageous to do so for the character in question? 
If Nasus takes your tower early, he screws himself in a lot of ways. Siphoning Strike needs to be built up - and the inability to control the positioning of the wave or farming a wave without risk is going to cost him in the mid or late game.

Similarly - the question asked is whether top tower is actually worth all that much from a strategic perspective, compared to mid-tower - where people traditionally expect to be able to run mages? Top lane's tower does tend to be the first to fall in a typical game - is it that important compared to the loss of vision for when mid-tower falls? This is made worse by the fact that there's a large difference in being able to siege the second center tower versus the second outer tower, given the compressed distance between the two.
There's more of an issue here when mid-lane is the lane in question as the relative advantage of destroying mid-lane is far greater than the side lanes. 
Although, to be fair, you can avoid this one quite easily by claiming - well, then Heimerdinger is a perfectly acceptable top champion and thus you should buff him to fit in top lane - which leads into.. 
3. Can you actually stop them with people that go in that lane, if the champions were balanced? 
Let's be frank here - the current iteration of Heimerdinger is ridiculously anti-melee, especially early. If his power level was bumped high - consider what a typical melee top-laner character could even do. 
Heimerdinger is a melee character's nightmare. If Heimerdinger was a top lane champion, he'd actually exhibit a lot of the lack of play that Elise brings to the table. Undeniable ranged poke, bastion of melee safety, built-in warding and strong disengage. 
More importantly, in top lane - Heimerdinger never has to duel you to win. This is again, similar to the effect that Jayce and Elise have on the lane. He will simply stand there at a safe zone until you lose. He can't all-in you but he never has to when he works 
Now, I'm not saying Heimerdinger is fine by any means but the tension and overarching questions and concerns are 
1. How easily do you win your lane without risk? 2. How easily can you crush lanes that aren't prepared for you? 3. What should the payoff for that be? 
Heimerdinger, when he works, crushes lanes at a safe distance and has really decent matchups against top lane. Therefore, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for that to payoff in such an easy tower kill. Compared to Nasus - who pretty much ties every lane ever. 
I know that's not a satisfying answer given how powerful Jayce is at the moment in performing the same kind of functions - but that's why that character is a problem - rather than an example of something functional."
He reiterated his point simply as:
"Heimerdinger doesn't need to play by the rules of top lane with shoving or escaping - because Heimerdinger's farm isn't really dependent on his position in the lane. That's honestly kind of the entire draw of having turrets in the first place. 
Again - I'm not saying Heimerdinger is good right now - I'm saying that his mechanics, when tuned to work with his live iteration isn't actually healthy."
Elaborating further on this point:
You're essentially saying that Heimerdinger is almost guaranteed to win his lane, which isn't true in itself. You're also not even saying anything about his mid to late game, but I'm not even going to get into that.
Sorry, if I'm making you think that, let me clarify: He's not guaranteed to win his lane all the time. 
However, counterplay against Heimerdinger assumes you have a skill of the following profile: A ranged spell that can clear minions relatively quickly. It is contingent on this fact. If you don't have it, his chances of winning increase dramatically.

If you could outplay Heimerdinger to a certain extent - this would be great - but it is predicated on the fact that you have a certain type of skill in the first place in order to start fighting him. Thus, if you buff Heimerdinger, you make currently 'good' or 'okay' matchups much better - but you haven't actually done much of anything for the matchups in which is he is bad at - so he just becomes more unhealthy in a lot of ways."
One summoner asked what the actual problem was with Heimer being seen as an "anti-melee" champion. Xypherous answered:
What's wrong with them being anti-melee? I thought that was why his base stats were originally tuned the way they are, specifically him having very low armor and some of the lowest hp levels in the game... 
And if it is still more anti-melee then most champs, why can't that be his specialty?
The question here is whether you consider hard counters and to what degree should a hard-counter be a hard counter? The inverse here is also what are his poor matchups like, given his strengths? 
For example, a character who wins 100% of the time at loading screen isn't one that you want to have for the game - especially for things like blind pick. 
And it varies based on the game - games in which you can change your character during the game can have varying degrees of hard counter qualities. Games in which you can double or triple up on a role can have a high degree of hard counter qualities to them.

Boil that down to - Let's say that anti-melee was a strength I could give to a champion - how strong should that quality be before the game stops becoming a skill-based game and a pre-counter based game?"
When pointed out that Kassadin, as an anti-mage, and Vayne, as an anti-tank, are able to function in the game and no invalidate the roles are are meant to counted, Xypherous responded:
Vayne doesn't invalidate tanks as a role anymore than Kassadin shuts mages down in the lane. There has to be a way to let Heimer say "Get close...if you dare," without neutering melees. Since that's what turrets are all about - claiming a strategic position as your own. 
I'm quite confident that the toxic part of his kit isn't the turrets (counterplay: ambush him, force him away from them, or catch him without them). It's the la-la-la, I autopilot rocket you while you take a risk on killing my turrets. 
You've hit upon some great points here - but timing is a major consideration for Vayne / Kassasdin and the like. They are anti-mages or anti-melees in a lot of ways - but they need a certain time before they actually become those roles. It's the difference between having that kind of power at level 6 versus having that kind of power at level 2 or 3.

I agree with you that rockets are fairly toxic but I think the toxic portion of turrets typically come from denying the enemy from being able to stand near or rely on their minion wave early in the game - or advancing outward from their tower to threaten you.'

He continued, responding to several summoner questions about Heimer's inherent flaws, particularly his turrets.
Well if the enemy shuts down heimer, then even if his turrets scale into the late, he won't get -as- much farm as normal and they will do more damage, essentially knocking out his turrets faster.
The problem here is turrets have very little play against them unless you have specific tools to deal with them - and it's an on/off switch rather than a skill-based check.
This is much less problematic when you can shut down a character by outplaying him - but dealing with turrets assumes you have a certain set of skills on your kit - the ability to destroy large amounts of minions at range - which isn't a skill-based check so much as a precondition.
Let's say I had a skill that was called 'tank 2 tower shots for my minion wave and do absolutely no damage' - how much additional damage would I deal to the tower if I had this with a cannon minion wave?
Honestly Heimer's towers as-is do next to nothing when pushing, it's the waveclear that helps with his pushing. Early-on your turrets are lucky to do 20 damage to a tower per hit, which are then focused by the enemy's turret and die in 2 hits. Unless you have a siege minion with you, your towers are going to die before doing more than 80 damage to the turret, (negligible considering that's what one or two auto attacks would be doing)."
the two things i want to know... why is it his turrets dont take reduced damage from AoE... they die almost instantly in teamfights and with little effort... also why is it towers focus his turrets?
1. It's mostly due to the fact that his ultimate has a built-in heal for his turrets - thus, they actually have twice the listed health in a lot of cases - which is unfortunate because it's balanced around being super swingy.

2. So, if you apply the principles I stated above, towers focus his turrets because he should not have tower damage as one of his strengths if lane dominance is supposed to be one of his strengths."
Continuing the turret based discussion:
They just need to have a minimum range and then the rest of heimer can be safely buffed without making him an absolute pre-nerf top lane nunu level nightmare against melee.
We've actually tried this - what happens generally is that if melee are focused on tanking turrets or stepping into a minimum range- then Heimerdinger simply switches to levelling rockets and because you've sacrificed your positioning to get within the turret minimum range and punishes you with rockets (and somewhat easy grenades.)

The other aspect of this is that at level 6 - this strategy is no longer particularly viable because of the turret heal + slow augmentation."

Xypherous also responded to a summoner curious why the forums are so adamant about Heimerdinger lately, saying:
"To be honest, we've been fanning the flames of this quite a bit. We keep talking about him intermittently bi-weekly or so - and that's basically like pouring salt on an open wound. 
It's kind of the trade-offs of communicating - if you don't have a solution, being open is just going to keep issues rebleeding - but it's much better than not talking at all."

Xelnath also commented on the long awaited Heimerdinger rework, saying :
"Actually, Heimerdinger is making progress. However, my sudden insertion of Xerath into the playtesting schedule pushed Heimerdinger back severely. (You can't playtest two AP mid characters effectively in the same game without warping feedback.) 
Morello actually asked me if I would like to pickup the task of finishing off Heimerdinger now that Xerath is getting into a good state. I actually said no, because I'm fried mentally on the AP character space right now and the "cleanup/pruning" stages of development are the ones I find most stressful. (I'll post more about this in the Xerath thread).

So, feel free to blame me for Heimerdinger being pushed back. That said, the guys who are assigned to him have actually done a great job of remaking him to feel way more satisfying!

That said, I won't be commenting on Heimerdinger again in this thread. Let's focus our attention on discussing Yorick."

ZenonTheStoic continued teasing out bits and pieces on his upcoming champion, saying:
[ Google Translated from German ] "My Champion has an AoE skill that explodes in a pattern that we had not yet (ie no circle, rectangle, cone, etc.). What a pattern could that be?"
Ole' Xelnath also popped into Zenon's thread on german forums to reveal that Zenon's champion's skin has four eyes ( possibly glasses ) in it.
[ Google Translated from German ] "Sorry. I lied, only 4 in the skin" 

Xypherous also shared his thoughts on the notion that Riot purposefully nerfs "a different play pattern than the one true pattern endorsed by Riot designers ":
"There's a grain of truth to this - any play pattern that is particularly annoying, obnoxious or warps the game to the detriment of the overall game is fairly unhealthy overall. 
It's a choice between whether you kill a particular play pattern because it absolutely destroys existing fun ones or not. Variety is not intrinsically good - but in this case, some play patterns actually reduce variety by making so that other play patterns can't exist in the same space. 
For a clear example, let's take AP Trynd - sure. New and different play pattern for the game. What this meant is that no one can actually play anything top lane and have a meaningful game. It just invalidates almost all other play patterns" 

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