Red Post Collection: Female Yordle Discussion, Jinx Feedback, Xelnath mini-interview from EUW, and MORE!

Posted on at 11:56 PM by Moobeat
Update: Added in ricklessabandon commenting about an upcoming Morgana change.

This late night red post collection features Grumpy Monkey sharing some of this thoughts on Poppy compared to the other female yordles, ricklessabandon mentioning an upcoming 3.13 PBE change for MorganaGypsylord and a few other Rioters with update and feedback on Jinx, Riot Pwyff discussing the patch 3.12 Katarina changes, Riot Socrates discussing a few issues with the ranked systems, a mini EUW forum interview with Xelnath, and another animation reference from ohmikegoodness
Continue reading for the full scoop, straight from the Riot forums!

Upcoming Morgana W change

Replying to a summoner requesting something be done to spruce up Morgana, ricklessabandon commented:
"i already have a change for morgana's tormented soil coming up in the 3.13 patch. it's not what you've proposed, but i do think it's a nice update for my original favorite. :3

the change will be on the pbe once it updates to the 3.13 patch—not sure on the exact date, but it's fairly soon! i'm looking forward to feedback regarding it once the pbe folk can get their hands on it."

Grumpy Monkey on Poppy and Yordle Girls

Grumpy Monkey, one of Riot's senior character artists, popped into a forum thread Poppy, sharing a few of his thoughts on her as a character and asking for summoner feedback on her compared to the other female yordles.
"I have Poppy on my mind now, So I would love to hear your feedback on Poppy in relation to the other Yordle girls. Lulu and Tristana.

I have always thought of Lulu and Trist as more "Cute" and Poppy as more of a warrior woman yordle. If/when we do a VU I would like to bring that sort of aspect to her even more. Like really make her one of the warrior yordles, and maybe open that space so we can have more."
He continued:
"Yordles are cute by nature, but the do it by accident right? They don't know they are cute. Poppy can have cute moments just due to her Yordleness for sure. But by contrast to Lulu and Trist she's pretty battle hardened I would reckon."

Jinx Feedback and notes

Gypsylord returned to the Jinx feedback thread to drop off a few updates:
"Hey guys, 
Thanks a ton for all this feedback. Have read every single post. Going to try to get time to chat more later this week but at the moment can not due to being swamped with Jinx stuff (surprise!).
Just wanted to let you all know that I am for sure reading this stuff so please keep it coming. 
Some quick stuff:
  • Anyone try jungle Jinx? Tell me how it went.
  • Again, your feedback on the splash vs. in-game model discrepancy has been heard. It's being looked at.
  • Jinx's numbers are high. This is true. They're like that for a reason. All the power on her kit is deferred (Mobility isn't on-demand and abilities have cast times, arm times, ramp times, travel times, etc.) which results in her spells getting to have a little extra oomph. Not saying she doesn't have the potential to be OP, Sol may still want to throw in some nerfs for her, just saying that there's a method to the madness. If she ends up being a problem we'll take the necessary actions to bring her in line.
  • About Minigun vs. Rockets: My design intent behind the Q ability was to make Jinx a stance chooser, not a stance dancer. The important thing for me is that players find specific moments throughout the course of most games where both guns feel good to use. It's fine with me if you use the minigun for 90% of the game if there's a Vi on the enemy team and all you find yourself doing in team fights is trying to fight her off alone from pointblank range. What I don't want is for you to then run up to a wave of 50 minions and opt to clear them one at a time with minigun because you feel rockets aren't doing their job.
  • Some people are saying rockets deal 130% damage at max rank. False. Damage is 110% at all ranks and the bonus doesn't scale with crit (crit rockets deal 210% damage, not 220%).
  • W range is 1500, not 1450. Targeting indicator ranges in our game are often slightly smaller than the actual range of the spell.
  • Rocket splash on individual Hurricane bolts is equal to the bolt's damage (50% AD) and can not crit. A single target hit by splash from the main attack and both hurricane bolts will take 210% damage (110% from main attack + 2x50% for the Hurricane bolts."

Grumpy Monkey also chimed in on the bit about updating Jinx's model to reflect her splash:
"I really like the the stuff being done here. I'll forward it to the guys. One thing that is tricky though is there is something tricky with our engine where things that are near white tend to blow out to full white. We will have to mess with how pale we can get her with out blowing out the texture. But yeah, good stuff."

On the topic of Jinx, Riot Ve1vet reiterated the message from the 3.12 patch notes:
"Ah, she is in this patch! Just won't be turned on for a little bit while the final kinks are ironed out :) SOON!"
When asked for a more exact time frame, Ve1vet responded:
"Can't say an exact date since I'm not the Jinx-on-switch-flipper- I'M WORKING AS FAST AS I CAN Q___Q"

Pwyff on Katarina

Riot Pwyff jumped into a forum thread regarding Katarina's viability, explaining some upcoming 3.12 buffs for her.
"You'll see this in the patch notes but we actually removed the initial cast delay of Death Lotus (it used to be 0.25 so it's now 0). With the increased ratios and higher base values at higher levels, even with the increased channel time I think Kat does the same or higher overall damage even if interrupted super early but now does even more damage (like... a lot more) if she's allowed her full channel.

Food for thought!"
He continued, offering a more detailed look at the changes:
"Sorry I had to hop off to chase down other things - in terms of her being overdependent on her ultimate, I'll note something here - this is a straight buff at earlyish-mid to late game. In terms of making her even more dependent on her ultimate, we haven't reduced the power on QWE in order to buff R, so this isn't a tradeoff (and you're not allowed to frame it like that!)

Here I'll reframe the discussion - if you think that by buffing Katarina's ultimate it means we'll never buff anything else ever, I'm not sure where that thinking comes from. Honestly speaking, however, a lot of Katarina's gameplay does come from her ultimate in terms of Katarina trying to position for a perfect ultimate and her opponents trying to stop it. Think Nunu, Warwick, or Malzahar (and they may have other problems but I'm just saying).

From the discussions we've had surrounding this change, buffing Katarina's level 6 damage isn't a great idea given it's typically a solo lane and we've nuked the cast time on it. If she straight outputs more damage at level 6 even from 1 second on, that's dangerous. The straight math:

NEW: 400/575/750 (+2.5 Ability Power)(+3.75 bonus Attack Damage)
OLD: 400/500/600 (+2.0 Ability Power)(+3.0 bonus Attack Damage)

The channel duration is effectively:

NEW: 2.5s total channel (damage throughout)
OLD: .25s windup + 1.75s = 2s total channel

I think Katarina does around the same frontloaded damage because there is no delay to her ultimate going off. I'll do quick math:

Assuming +22 AP (21/x/x masteries, +14.95 AP runes [no AP scaling runes]), and +2 bonus AD (havoc) at level 6 with only a 1 second channel time before it's interrupted:

OLD: 450 total damage. 192.855 first second (incorporating +0.25s cast time) + 257.14 second second.
NEW: 462.5 total damage. 205.555555 first second (no 0.25s cast time) + 205.5555556 second second + 102.7777778 last half second.

Assuming Katarina buys something safe like a Seeker's Armguard and no other AP items, we get to +43 AP and +2 AD:

OLD: 502 total damage. 215.14 first second / 286.86 second second
NEW: 558 total damage. 223.2 first second / 223.2 second second / 111.6 last half second

If I give her a NLR in addition to the Armguard and a level 2 ult...

OLD: 760 total damage. 325.71 first second / 434.28 second second
NEW: 900 total damage. 360 first second / 360 second second / 180 last half second

If I give her a Rabadon's + Zhonya's and a level 3 ult...

OLD: 1373 total damage. 588.38 first second / 784.5 second second
NEW: 1716.1 total damage. 686.4 first second / 686.4 second second / 343.2 last half second

That said, my math might be terrible because I am notoriously bad at it. Judging from these numbers though... We can assume that if Kat is allowed to channel for 2 seconds, she'll do more damage with her old ult. If she's allowed to channel for 2.5 seconds, she'll do more damage with her new ult.

I'd ultimately argue that if Kat is allowed to go beyond one second (around normalish reaction time to interrupt if you have the interrupt), she'll typically get off near the full ult. She actually does more damage in the first second (or beyond, I really don't want to do the DPS math here) with her new ult at all times so keep that in mind.

Anyway, this actually took some time to brain out but I'd reframe this. Is Katarina's kit fundamentally weak? I honestly don't think so, but she's got some problems in terms of being countered (I play LeBlanc, so I know all about getting counterpicked...) and I've seen players using her to great effectiveness at the highest levels. Is she picked in worlds or LCS? Maybe not, but that speaks more to the metagame and player priorities in their mage / assassin picks as opposed to a champion's fundamental balanced...ness.

But this discussion is getting a little aggressive and I'm sorry I left it for a bit :( Honestly speaking though I'll take a look through all the rest of this but I do disagree that we've somehow made her ultimate even more important if we just straight buffed it except within the 1s-2s window.

[edited for some silly clarity mistakes]"
Following responses claiming that this may be a buff but isn't what Katarina needs, he noted:
"Then we need to reframe this discussion to be that other aspects of Katarina's kit should be buffed and not her ult.
My bad for jumping in, I just sort of saw it and wanted to hop in before a meeting.
That being said, I still disagree - Katarina does ridiculous amounts of damage if we buffed her QWE because she gets resets the moment an assist happens. If her damage is too high on QWE, she'll literally obliterate teams just on those abilities alone. 
It's also worth mentioning that with the cooldown buffs on lotus she gets a straight full reset at 3 kills / assists @ lv3 ult.

Anyway, once again I'll say this didn't make Kat overdependent on her ultimate - it was a buff that makes her want to land a full ultimate but her core abilities still do really high damage. Her problems are inherent to assassins in that she needs to wait for an opportune moment to go in. I'd argue that other assassins (Zed, Kass, Ahri) are too safe and that Katarina is a good example of a champion who needs to find that opportunity to engage."

For reference, here are the final Katarina changes being deployed in patch 3.12:
"Death Lotus
  • No longer has a cast time delay before channeling (previously had a 0.25 second delay)
  • Total damage increased to 400/575/750 (+2.5 ability power)(+3.75 bonus attack damage) (from 400/500/600 (+2.0 ability power)(+3.0 bonus attack damage))
  • Channel time increased to 2.5 seconds (from 2)
  • Cooldown reduced to 60/52.5/45 seconds (from 60/55/50)"

MMR and Ranked Systems discussion

Responding to a summoner frustrated with trying to figure out the MMR system, Riot Socrates, a systems designer, commented:
"In the existing system a number of factors are taken into account when looking at whether a player is ready to start their promo games for the next tier, not just MMR. If you continue winning games you will start your promo series. 
We are planning on some changes to make things more transparent and intuitive for next season though I can't go into detail on them just yet."
He continued, explaining why it may seem that a player in a higher tier has a lower MMR than players in lower tiers:
"Since players can't be demoted currently once they achieve a tier, the original design needed to be fairly sure a player could consistently play at the level of the tier they were entering or things would get out of alignment fairly quickly and the upper tiers would get bloated.

That said clamping as a whole is a pretty confusing / frustrating experience and it's something we want to address in season 4."
He continued:
"Yea, we've seen a lot more participation in ranked this year and that participation has been continuous. We look at player satisfaction in ranked and in general it looks good on paper but there are some pain points that basically everybody agrees on that we need to address.

The heart of the issue is that a lot of the workings are governed by values that aren't exposed to the player and the resulting behaviors are just confusing without those values. Getting 0 LP repeatedly for wins is not a fun experience and it's something we are going to address."

Xelnath Mini Interview

Xelnath took the time to conduct a mini interview with an EUW summoner over the weekend, sharing several items of interest.

Here's a few of the juicy bits:
"Q: What is the current progress on Xerath and Yorick (For whoever hasen't followed up on it)
Xerath will be on PBE with 3.13. Yorick is currently tabled while we resolve some systems work.
Q: What do you do at Rioter?
I'm a systems designer - working on champion reworks, new champions, adding game systems (Minimap Icons/Designer features/new support gold systems/ward updates, etc).
Q: Have you ever participated or create a champion yourself?
I have - but only in the concepting stages. You'll see one of them early next year.
Q: What is your thoughts about future systems changes?
I think the feedback you guys have given has really helped us narrow do what changes we need to make to wards, vision and support income.
Q: What sort of problems can you run into when either reworking a champion?
The big thing is that your initial concept in your head is always different when you play it than you expected. When I remade Xerath, I imagined a long-range sustained bombarder - turns out that feels horrible to play against. It was novel, it wasn't fun.

So I instead had to make his bombardment window more narrow. 
Q: Do you really love Kha'Zix since you have him as your profile picture? 
I love his philosophy of changing and adapting to match the situation. Its a philosophy every league player should embrace... as compared to ... you know... Mundo - GO ALL OF THE PLACES. 
... actually that sounds pretty cool too!"
and from part 2:

"Q: Why would you change phage and trinity force? 
Phage was a "if you're lucky with a proc, you win harder". Old Phage early randomly guaranteed you won lane. You couldn't be burst or outtraded. If the enemy engages, they can't leave. The new phage became an awesome "catch-up-to-target" utility item that was incredibly useful. Xypherous takes all of the credit for improvement.

The sprint one rewards action and using minions to speed you up to engage opponents. It makes the matchups a lot more interesting.
Q: Do you have any plans to rework Taric?
I can't comment on this, but I think we all agree his Triangle cape lacks a bit of that leaguey style.
Q: Do you have any plans to rework Skarner?
We're looking at Skarner right now! RiotScruffy is playing around with some prototypes. No ETA though, this is his first big project and we like to take our time to get these things right.
Q: Were you in the making of Jinx?
Nope, she was already under way when I started. :)

Q: What do you expect of the upcoming meta changes?
I expect Junglers to feel really awesome and more free to farm the jungle and change-up their routes. Supports should feel more freedom, and have a bit more income, but still be supports. 
Q: What do you expect to do in season 4 with supports and junglers?
The first order of business is to increase their gold income (I've got huge threads on this) then reduce pain that prevents them from feeling like fully realized characters in the endgame.
Q: What is the current kit for the reworked Xerath?
Q - charges to increase range
W - aoe slow that does bonus damage in the center
E - line nuke that explodes and stuns when hits a champion
R - locus of power + his old ult, with extra range and more spread out damage."

Lucian's Laugh Reference

Over the weekend, Ohmikegoodness returned with another animation reference, this time with one for Lucian's laugh!

"Greetings summoners! 
Whenever we do animations for a champion, we have to take into account his personality. Would a cool calm and collected guy laugh like Lux? Hahahah no but that would be funny though. Here is a video of Nickstravaganza (the Animator on Lucian) and Myself trying to explain how he would laugh on the battlefield! 
We hope you enjoy!"

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