Xelnath's thoughts on Rengar changes and a quick update from Scarizard

Posted on at 9:54 PM by Moobeat
The discussion on Scarizard and Wav3break's proposed Rengar continues on the forums with today's update including a chunk of discussion from Xelnath and a brief update from Scarizard.
Continue reading for the full scoop.

( Note: This is an on-going discussion on Future Rengar changes. Be sure to read up on the previous comments here: 123, 4 )

When asked what he thinks of Wav3 and Scarizard's new direction for Rengar, Xelnath commented:
"I like the return of Jungle Rengar.

Not totally sold on the chain Q spamming until I play it in a playtest. I think in my head it will feel good, but it really locks down empowered Q chains for killing. This is probably a good thing, as it means W/E are your exit strategies and using them early is tenuous. 
I'm particularly excited by the bonetooth changes. Perhaps it means I'll finally be able to face my eternal rival someday soon on the ranked fields of justice.

I *really* like the cooldown reduction and move speed increases on R thanks to the new warning. It means I can use Radar Knifecat to find enemies without being concerned I'm totally wasting the ult. Frankly, 100% assassin cat always felt a little bull**** :0 
The new E is like whoa levels of strong."

He also had a few things to say to an unhappy summoner criticizing the changes as "If it's not broke don't fix it":
"There's a difference between "if its not broke, don't fix it" and "if its not broke for me, don't fix it."

Rengar Triple Q bursting an ADC without warning, then staying alive by aoeing the enemy team doesn't sound broken to you?"
He continued, explaining why the ult is so problematic:
"Hey dude, I realize you're just having a bad day and lashing out, but I think you might need to take a step away until you relax again. This isn't a productive argument and I know you are capable of being far more rational. 
Rengar's kit looks like a fighter kit to me - sustained damage, no mana costs, free healing, ranged snare. His ultimate is an assassin ultimate though. The point is to resolve that disparity. When you look at other characters with the ability to close onto a target from a long distance away: 
TF, Shen, Fiddlesticks, Pantheon, Nocturne, etc. Even Kha'zix to an extent.

They *all* have a warning and telegraph that they are about to do it. Even Eve, the bonafide stealth champ, reveals herself before attacking you. Rengar is the only one who breaks the "warning" rule. Furthermore, he doesn't just show up. He shows up and triple Qs you in the worst case. Rengar violates a core value of our design philosophy that exists everywhere else.

You guys are smart. You realize no-warning stealth is powerful. You also realize that triple Q burst is powerful. That combination is highly frustrating to deal with.

Yes, it's fun to be the one who doesn't follow the rules and frustrate other players. No, it's not okay to say "its fine" and will never be OK to just ignore it."

Commenting on the ult, which now displays a symbol above enemies heads to alert them Rengar is hunting, he noted:
"It's still a very powerful movement speed steroid + a gap closer + the enemy can't see which direction you're coming from. I quickly tried it out, stealthing around the wraith camp then going in to gank the enemy laner from behind. Unless he's already playing conservatively, the warning doesn't appear until you're stealthed and the enemy is in your radius. 
I'm sure we're still tuning it, but when I went to gank mid, the midlaner didn't see the "icon" until I was already in the lane entrance behind him.

This change is going to be fine."
 He then dove into some examples of ambush ganks with the new ult:
"Well, Rengar's feeling remains intact. You are welcome to continue disagreeing with me, so I'm posting this: 
Huge Caveats: Balance not done, etc. 
I am assuming here that you're using Rengar's ult to jump onto the target as quickly as possible from as close as possible.

Now, if you're coming out of the jungle with 0 combo points and need to wait the full 5 seconds of stealth to charge-up your ferocity, or you want to stealth to avoid a ward, you'll need to stand back a little bit further or be willing to chase them with the warning up. But that situation is preventable.

Here's where you would mark the target from a fast bush gank (click stealth + run) or back lane gank. Keep in mind you also have 10-50% movement speed bonus at this point.

These gank positions are amazing. Factor in human reaction time and the fact that Rengar can still tower dive and run away, and this stabcat looks like he's great to me."

 When asked what enemy players see when Rengar ults, he shared:
"Aatrox just sees the icon over his head."

When asked about the alleged buffs Rengar was going to get, as many summoners see the ult and Q changes as a nerf, Xelnath commented:
"I'll leave it to Wav3break and Scarizard to take credit for the specific buffs. The big ones that jump out to me are the jungling survivability buffs, massive base HP regen increase, W and E damage are increased, the empowered W damage and E root duration are also just shy of double strength. 
They've really made him a much better character in exchange for fixing a broken ultimate.

Like... I feel like this new Rengar is broken strong now."

 He also shared his personal thoughts, as a summoner who plays a lot of Rengar himself, about hearing Rengar was up for changes:
"Ah. I'm trying to be empathetic. I was really worried about this rework, too. So much so that when I heard Scarizard was doing it, we went out to coffee to talk about it for an hour. Then he explained what he wanted to do and why and I felt like it was a good direction. 
I was worried Rengar wouldn't be fun the way I wanted to play him anymore. Now after playing around with him, I feel like I might be able to have way more fun him now. The ult warnings means I can use it to make my opponents run away scared if I'm fed without putting myself in danger.

That's psychological power he didn't have before that can save allies."

Scarizard also jumped in with his own updates to the Rengar thread, saying:
"It's 2 AM in Tenerife, and i have ~7 hours until we shuttle to the airport and begin the 20 hour trek home. I decided to stop in and see how the discussion has been going, reading the last 40 or so - big thanks to Xelnath and Wav3break for helping keep the discussion moving while i've been away and reporting how playtests seem to have gone (naturally, even i haven't seen any results yet!) 
Upon my return i'd like to get a clearer update on where things are headed and prepare to clock another iteration as well as have that big 'Bruiser or Assassin?' talk that's on everyone's minds. But, as ZenonTheStoic's snores keep me from falling asleep, i'd rather use this window of insomnia to respond to your somewhat massive post. Here goes:

Originally Posted by NA Darklarik
"Part 1: The Item
My idea for it radical: Make it a starting item.
By making it a starting item, that gives rengar a unique advantage to other junglers, your not only tailoring him as a jungler but also giving him an alternative to machete and its items. 
My proposition would be as follows:
1. Hunter's Neckalace/ Cost: 350 gold.
Effect: Rengar's basic attacks deal 15-20 increase magic damage to Neut monsters.
Effect: If Rengar gets a kill or assist, he gains a Trophy stack, these stacks cap at 25 and carry on to Hunter's neckalace's upgrades, but do nothing on there own. 
Snipped rest of the post, feel free to check out his suggestions if my responses below don't make sense! - Scar"
An interesting suggestion, but one that brings up a core question on BTN from the get-go: Why is BTN optional at all? In the case of the first question, at least, is to not force Rengar at all to play this mini-game. Many Rengar's on Live choose not to Bonetooth, simply because the upgrades are not appealing/attractive to their playstyles. My goal with our BTN Exploration is to see if we can come of with a set of upgrades that aren't as binary as 'i don't care about mini-brutalizer stats, so no please' (which is very win-more in the case of snowballing knifecats) but instead emphasize and embrace his individual strengths as a skirmisher who is very dangerous near brush and stalking isolated engagements. Ex. 'I like to force fights in the jungle and gank sidelanes and would like to become better equipped for that, so BTN is right for me'. In theory, this 'amplifier' BTN would be a more welcome addition to a Rengar's arsenal than the current 'steroid' BTN with regards to game health, but should still remain an option to respect and preserve the decision point that exists on Live - 'Is this a BTN game? When do i get it? Am i a player that enjoys engaging with the BTN gameplay?' 
I think what you're attempting to accomplish here is very similar to our suggested Hunter's Machete + Long Sword + 100g = BTN Recipe, and that is increasing the flexibility for either Lane or Jungle Rengar to 'Opt-in' smoothly out of lower-cost items. While this version is certainly a boon to Jungle Rengar, (tho Lane Rengars might feel left out) the cost means that if this item is ever good to start with, you're engaging in the minigame even if you don't want to - and in the case of building/losing trophies that have no actual effect, subverting a lot of the decision of the purchase (Am i snowballing/doing well with some trophies banked? Proceed to upgrade for little cost and no risk vs Am i doing poorly? Sell item for little cost and proceed with standard jungler items) that in the end allow us to make the item unique and powerful. By keeping variance a factor, we ensure that BTN's effects can be strong simply because they aren't a common occurrence like hitting Rank 5 of a spell or Level 18 is. 
As for your Offensive/Defensive/Utility suggestions, we then have to go back to the purpose of BTN and what, in the end, we want Rengar to look like as a champion. Fighter or Assassin, he's a damage-dealer at heart and that will be his primary reason for finding a home on a team. Would a Defensive upgrade for BTN ever feel 'fair' on a champion who's intended function is damage? Would it feel cool, or aspirational? In my personal opinion at the very least, i see Bonetooth as the utility belt - as he becomes more and more successful in his hunts, he hunts better. More efficiently. These are why ideas we've discussed such as 'Rengar gains X% MS out of combat; doubled in brush' and the Leap Range that's on Live really excite me - they don't give him more damage. They give him more options. He's honing his craft. Now, this isn't to say that BTN can't provide Defensive or Offensive bonuses - but i'd argue that while 'Taking Less Damage', 'Dealing More Damage', and 'Conditionally Moving Faster/Leaping More' might all net you a kill, the last one of those three would really give you those strong feelings of 'I really outplayed my opponent/contextually read and reacted to the situation' that make you feel skilled. Big wins for playing against case too, imo - being outplayed can give you something to analyze and learn from, being out-statted just says 'you're dumb for having fought there' and often leads to feeling helpless. 
I'm getting pretty tired as this took quiiiiiiiiiiite a long time to write up, but i hope even a response to half of your 4 hour post is useful! I'll be sure to muse a bit more on Rengar and give my thoughts as well as reports on his process as soon as i'm back stateside.

So to you, Darklarik and everyone that's posted - thanks for your continued input. Every day i come to this thread i have more and more to think about. Gonna pass out and prepare myself for 20 hours of international travel, goodnight y'all"

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