Red Post Collection: Morello on WW, More on Olaf, Missles from FoW, Jayce / Karma / Olaf PBE changes not 3.10

Posted on at 3:19 AM by Moobeat
Big red post collection comin' your way!
Continue reading for Morello's thoughts on the current state of Warwick, SmashGizmo with an update on those Olaf changes we've been hearing about, a blurb on an upcoming change to missles fired from the Fog of War, and more!

Morello on Warwick 
Morello has finally got around to posting up his thoughts on Warwick and the direction the balance team will be taking for him.
"Alright - again, thanks for your patience. We've chatted a bit about Warwick, and I'll try to lay out what we see the problems, concerns, and our direction we'd like to take while fixing things to bring him up to date. 
Let's start with what's holding Warwick back, currently; 
He has weak pre-6 game presence:

Because of the reliance on his ultimate, Warwick's ability to make plays, gank, or finish a kill is really poor until he hits 6.

He has a very flat pacing that disallows skilled duels, which keeps him weak:
Most reasonable Warwick builds have enough cooldown reduction to keep W up almost all the time, spam Q quickly (and E, of course, is a passive). Over time, this has lead Warwick having few levers for us to adjust and make him have both a satisfying and balanced place in League. 
Blood Scent is only helpful if Warwick is ahead:

Since the skill is passive, and conditional on the enemy being low, this thematically-great skill doesn't make a lot of opportunities for fallback patterns or make ways to outplay an opponent.

These are likely the first places we'd look to fix with him. Next, where do we envision Warwick living in the game, and what should he do?
Warwick should be a staple in the jungle: 
Warwick has historically been a jungler (and for a lot of older players, THE jungler!), and we think this should be where he primarily lives. His lifesteal focus is easier to balance there, and could be used to make for strong counter-jungling safety with the right adjustments. 
Warick should be a consistent, sustained lifesteal fighter:

This is largely what he is now, and I don't see any need to change that identity. I think details will need to change to bring him up-to-date, but the identity is a fine one.

I'll give you some very initial thoughts on what direction we'll take. I'm not going to comb details much in this thread (that's going to likely be handled by someone on the team!), but just give you an idea what we're thinking. 
Improve Blood Scent and improve pre-6 ganks:

This is a pretty cool skill in the way it sells "hunter," but mechanically, it needs some work. This skill is also the first place for us to look in ways to add new decisions (which will show more/less skilled play between players) and enable pre-6 ganks so he can actually perform his job as a jungler. 
More wildly adjust numbers, especially cooldowns:

The lack of pacing spoken to earlier will need to change if we want to buff Warwick. Even other fighters like Jax or Irelia have windows of downtime that more knowledgable players can capitalize on to turn engagements. Without this, we can't really up Warwick's power much - this will be a part of it. It may also include mechanical tweaks on skills like W, E, or his passive. 
This likely won't happen for several patches: 
While we agree something needs to occur here, we do have bigger fish to fry before we do this. I'd love to get this out after World Finals patches are stabilized and we can focus on more opportunistic work like WW.

I'm sure there are some unanswered questions, so I'll try to get to what I can."
Following up on his idea of  Warwick being a lifesteal tank, Morello commented:
"Part of this is by making him a primary jungler. Lifesteal tanks are much more problematic in lane (especially melee) because there's not tons of options to deal with them, and the combat windows are long and support sustain. From the jungle, they can use it to get an edge during ganks, but not become sustainbots."

SmashGizmo with more on Olaf
It's been a few days but SmashGizmo is back with a follow up to his "Let's Talk about Olaf " thread.
"Guess I should've made it clear that I would be gone all weekend when I mentioned I was going to Evo. Sorry for the delay on updates.

Just gonna rapid fire my thoughts to you guys so you know what's going on, but I honestly don't have enough time for a lot of back and forth until later in the week. 
- Min Range
- Overall confident in the change
- Distance currently tuned at 400 (pickup radius is 250, cast ranges are measured for the center of a character so Olaf is currently walking under 100 units to retrieve min range axes)- Slow Decay
- Confident in the change
- Unlikely to change slow values until I'm confident in larger scale changes and am at the phase where it's time to do balance tuning- Wall Sticking
- Unconfident in the change
- Testing feedback has been inconsistent
- More experienced Olafs dislike it more than newer Olafs, laners dislike it more than junglers
- Planning on trying an iteration where wall sticking only occurs if the axe would land inside impassible terrain, essentially trying to keep it as a solution for junglers who rely on the lower min range without disrupting its current use cases
- Going to try lowering axe's vision radius on impact to reduce the ability's scouting power without fully removing the scouting aspects 
Vicious Strikes and Ragnarok
- AS feels pretty meaningless on Ult, probably getting removed
- AD on Vicious Strikes muddles the use case considerably
- Likely to iterate on Vicious Strikes by removing the spell vamp and AD and replacing with AS of some sort
- Undertow scaling off the AD and spell vamp is making the usage of this skill overly confusing
- Would like to make it clear that this is your berserking steroid, best used in conjunction with Berserker Rage, rather than providing a hodgepodge of stats that are difficult to optimize- Still trying to figure out what to do with Ragnarok
- Passive Armor/MRes that is cast aside during Ragnarok is conceptually better in terms of defined counterplay and seems well liked by Designers
- However, creates some weird feelings for players with less design context, where they are hesitant to trade off their defensive stats and then go in
- Still trying to find the balance between offering sufficient counterplay to opponents and providing the Olaf player with what they want out of Ragnarok

So I guess the tl;dr is that I'm still not happy with the W/R mechanics and will be shifting those around until I'm happier with their defined use cases and will be trying to find a more intuitive way to accomplish my goals on Undertow."
He also commented:
"I specifically don't like that players have a strong natural urge to press W before Qing to get the bonus AD and spell vamp on their axe. This pattern encourages Olaf players to use their strongest auto-attacking steroid before they've closed the distance, which is a fairly large misuse of the ability's power in most situations. I wonder if maybe just taking the spellvamp off is sufficient to make this use case less attractive. I dunno, I'll think on it. I agree that the AD provides better gains for Olaf by accessing the multiplicative scaling and conceptually feels better, but I just don't like the W + Q interaction and how it frequently leads players into a poor skill usage cycle."
Improvements to missles fired from Fog of War
Xelnath was kind enough to drop by the PBE forums and leave a note about upcoming changes to missles fired from the Fog of War.
"Do you like getting hit by invisible Nidalee's spears? 
I don't like getting hit by invisible Nidalee's spears. 
In the next PBE push (Sometime after 7/17/2013), you may notice a slight change to skillshot missiles fired from Fog of War.

Specifically, if a missile is moving towards you, Fog of War won't hide it when it's close to you. The intent is that you should always have some warning when you're going to be nailed by a missile. It won't be as much warning as you'd get if you could see the enemy, though. 
We're not quite done with this feature, so feedback is welcome. Here's roughly how it should work: 
If you're standing behind the baron pit and nidalee throws a spear from where Baron spawns, towards you, you should see it before it hits you. If she throws it towards river, you see no warning about the spear at all. Similarly, if she throws it towards mid or top lane, places you can't see, you won't see the spear either.

The hope here is that we reduce the number of scenarios where players take damage without understanding why it occurred."
When asked how far away you should be able to see this skill shots, he noted:
"It's more about the amount of time you have to dodge than the units. Probably about a half second to a second of warning time."
Jayce / Olaf / Karma PBE Changes likely not in 3.10
According to Scarizard's twitter, it's unlikely will we'll see the PBE Jayce, Olaf, or Karma changes in 3.10. 
"Jayce, Olaf, and Karma are probably going to be 3.11"
While ( deduced from above ) SmashGizmo isn't happy with the current Olaf changes and the Karma changes need more work,  Xypherous commented on the Jayce changes:
"Since we have to finalize the goals for the patch soon - the Jayce rework won't make it on the docket for the next incoming patch as we're starting to really double down on some testing on this and other reworks. Thanks for everyone whose stopped by and contributed to the post - I'll reopen this to restart testing again on the PBE after we ship the next patch.

Thanks guys!"
Be sure to check out THIS THREAD for more discussion on the Jayce stuff - Xypherous has practically written a book about it.

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