Red Post Collection: Ahri/Fizz/Kass being looked at, More on Olaf/Zyra, Community Platform discussion, and much more!

Posted on at 4:53 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features some notes on Ahri , Kassadin, and Fizz's balance, a continuation of yesterday's Olaf and Zyra discussions, small update on the status of Fiora updates, some major discussion on the community platform, and much, much more!
Continue reading for smorgasbord of red posts, straight from the LoL forums!

Ahri , Fizz, and Kassadin being looked at

In respose to growing summoner concerns, Morello posted on the forums that AhriFizz, and Kassadin are being looked at for some balance changes:
"Ahri is definitely going to get changes, and most of them based around how much damage is loaded into the "free" parts of Foxfire and her ult. The changes will largely revolve around making her burst higher if she lands a taunt first.

Ahri, Fizz, Zed and Kassadin all have problems in how fast they burst, and how little you can do about it. We'll be retaining their roles as Assassins (though I'd wager Ahri, using more poke to set up, is likely more a mage) but fitting patterns that cause a bit more risk and reaction when doing so."

More post 3.12 Olaf Discussion

Building off the discussion from yesterday, both Morello and SmashGizmo had a few more things to say about post 3.12 Olaf now that he's been available for a week.

Morello kicked things off by explaining why Olaf needed a light rework:
"Olaf was fun to play as, for sure. If you were great (Plat+ with him), there were no actions you could take to stop him. He wasn't just a freight train, but one that can't be stopped! 
Couple this with the fact that if you didn't play Olaf exactly that way, he was really bad. So nerfing him would make him terrible for most of our players, while buffing him would have had him running complete roughshot over competitive. Zed's a pretty big problem right now, and this hypothetical Olaf would laugh him out of the game of "who can't you do anything about"? :P 
So, the choices were: 
1) Leave Olaf marginalized and weak (OK, that's bad)
2) Fix Olaf knowing we'd have to take away "I do all the things" from him.

In these cases, we like to choose 2 so you can actually be successful with the champion."
He also commented on all the discussion on Olaf's ult removing his defenses when he becomes CC immune:
"As for the ult, I think this is a clear case that people don't like kiss/curse mechanics. I think it's tough with an ult like this on a character like this. There will have to be a tradeoff to make that a decision of some kind, but I can see the evaluation not always being clear. There's no way you just get to ignore all CC and have bonus stats is a skill."

Falling back to why "old" Olaf was a problem and responding to someone asking why " you aren't allowed to do with Olaf what Olaf was made to do", Morello comments:
"Because in most games, you're right, this would be fine. You have fun and the enemy dies. Mission accomplished. 
The problem is in League, we want you to have real actions you can take to outplay the opponent. As pointed out by lots of people, many fighters lack this, as do some other characters.

The problem was that there are zero valid actions that result in beating old Olaf if he; 
1) Understands how you should play Olaf (a good skill)
2) Can do basic League of Legends gameplay (a good skill) 
Wait, both of those are good. WHERE IS THE PROBLEM?! 
This is the sticking point. Olaf plays his character as designed and is successful, and skills are required to do it. The enemy's options are; 
1) Die
2) Slowly die
3) Moveblock over a wall

And that's the problem. Once Olaf starts Olafing, he does that and you get to watch him. CC immunity and a truckload of fighter stats will make that result. The CC Immunity point makes Olaf resilient to the primary counterplay for melee - kite or CC and peel. We can discuss the quality of the changes, or the satisfaction of the current kit, but there's no reasonable argument for why Olaf was "fine as was.""

SmashGizmo also jumped back in, responding several points of feedback from one very concerned summoner:

Smash, I'm taking the bait for the last time, I do hope you will read me. Xemozu here... > 
I've extensively tried him through the jungle (Not top, I don't top) 
I'm going to be as concise as possible, and if you want me to elaborate, then just say so, otherwise I'm not wasting time again so that my post can be ignored, and in before hand I'm sorry if I'm sounding like a jerk, but you just made me stop playing the champion that I've loved and used for the past 2 years or so. 
Don't worry about sounding like a jerk, you're not at all in this post. I appreciate that you're taking the time to explain some of the issues you're having with Olaf in detail, this sort of feedback is incredibly useful. 

1)Q Minimum range should be decreased, slightly. I used to move around jungle when Qing, pre-rework, however right now the distance is excessive and I'm wasting considerably more time moving around. Also, with decreased slow time, it's like slow fading mechanic was never removed, it still doesn't work to close the gap, try increasing to a minimum of 1.5 secs.
There are two separate points here. 
The first is that the min distance is a bit too far and that it's hard to play with it in the jungle. I think this is a fair feedback point that I haven't tuned around enough and I'll try nudging the range down again. 
The second is about the min slow duration and we're in full agreement here. Olaf needs to stick better to utilize his attacks and I'm looking at both the slow duration and the mana cost to help him out. 

2)Attack speed on W needs to either get removed altogether in exchange for something else, or reduced, and W buffed in some other way. (Suggestion: Increased penetration per hit when active, Black cleaver style, but only applies for Olaf) Also, using Q should apply this effect. 
We're going to need to do some talking here. The primary issue I'm seeing with this iteration of the W is that the rank 1 doesn't feel good and that's something I'm aiming to address next patch. The AS curve on the ability is just too steep, I personally think it should be 40/50/60/70/80, but that is of course subject to tuning during testing. 
As for your suggestion, it reads to me as a ramping threat mechanic to make Olaf feel better about autos, which is something that I've tried to accomplish through the E's tick down. So I guess the questions this raises from me here are: 
Is resetting the E just not feeling good enough? 
Do auto-attacks need to feel better on their own? (essentially, is resetting the E too deferred a reward to let you feel good about smacking someone with your axes?) 

3)AD scaling ratio on E should be increased, while the CDR on hit reduced to 0.5 seconds per hit to compensate for the change above, and to move away from the idea that Olaf should hit 2.5 AS since he has no way to actually stick to targets reliably, which means that he won't stay in auto range for long.
If there's something off with the E damage, to me it seems to be base, not ratio. My reasoning here is that I think Olaf's playing too poorly off the back foot right now and I'd rather give him an unconditional buff than one that scales him harder when he gets more gold and levels. That way when you're getting dunked and need to delay your offensive buys, you still have a decent skill in E rather than feeling like you have a gimped spell until you can afford an offensive item. I'm open to discussion here though, why do you think the ratio is the part of this skill that needs help? 

Final point: Ulting feels terribad, you've been worrying a lot for the Olaf's enemies feelings, perhaps it's time now to start worrying for the Olaf's players feelings. 
I went into a duel with a tryndamere early (post 6, he had no ult though) I had double buff, he didn't. at first I thought I had the advantage on him, then he finishes building his rage bar and starts hitting me like a truck. I stood there, using my my three skills, and.. I died eventually. 
There shouldn't be anything surprising about this, except for the fact that I was thinking since the beginning of the duel "Should I ult?" then I got to half HP and I was still thinking about it, then 1/4, still undecided, then I died. And I still haven't figured it out... Tell me Smash, should I have ulted?
Yes, you should have. It was 40 AD vs. 10 Armor. That's 4 long swords vs. 2/3 of a cloth armor. I dunno man, I've been taking a lot of feedback about all the times it sucks to use this ult for months now, but in 1v1 scenarios, it's pretty clear cut. From a straight cost-analysis perspective, I've made sure the offensive stats outweighed the defensive stats considerably (400/800/1200 vs. 1600/2400/3200), the point is to give you so much raw offense that you can feel good about giving up those resists. 

The only question a player should be asking himself about his ULTIMATE ability should be "Would this be overkill? Is it necessary at all?". Because at no point I felt the ultimate would give me an edge at all, Even when soling baron (Which is one of the things your newly made Olaf can do now) I didn't ever feel like ulting. It's become nothing more than a glorified cleanse.  
I suggested that it should just add flat damage reduction (like it was long ago) so that bursting is an option, but you didn't seem to like it. If you're going to make it feel so bad to use, then just rework it to "Olaf gains 90% tenacity for the duration" and give it something else that actually makes you feel powerful while ulted.
The first point here is a convention that was first challenged with Quinn and something that I decided to challenge once again with Olaf. It leads to plenty of bad feelings about using your ult and that sucks, I feel you, but it was the only route I saw working to actually introducing a tactical option to the opposing team against Olaf. The flat damage reduction directly goes against the pattern I've set out with with the ult (if you can't run, try to focus him), as it is still a form of defense and furthermore punishes multiple sources of damage and damage over time effects disproptionally, while rewarding single massive sources of damage (namely large burst-caster spells and ADC crits). This means that the gameplay that mechanic promotes is for a very targeted expenditure of team resources rather than giving the whole team meaningful actions to take against an ulted Olaf, which is not what I'm going for. 
At the end of the day, I'm not sure where we go from here on discussing the ult. It seems to me that you fundamentally disagree with the direction we've taken for it."

More Zyra Discussion

Following up on yesterday's Zyra discussion, Morello continued his discussion on wanting to shift Zyra more to a sustained damage mage with more focus on her plants:
"Yep! But I'd rather weaken and risk balance on a champion if it makes the strategic niche and identity more diverse and clear.

EDIT: Again surprised! You guys prefer leaving Zyra alone, we can do that. I'm surprised more people don't want the plant mage gameplay that would be much more unique."
When asked how he - as her creator - defines her, he commented:
"A mage who is more utility and sustained focus. I think her burst basically makes her really similar to other AP Burst mages, and waters down her identity."

He also noted he's happy with her shifting towards a support rather than a mid:
"Not specifically, though not terribly surprising with the amount of utility she has. I'm happy with her being support, but I think is more in the Lux camp, but reversed (usually plays bot lane, can go mid)."
When asked directly if Riot intends to preserve her balance for both mid and support, he commented:
"We're going to be mindful of it, and we understand this is a split character in this way. Doesn't make it easy to accomplish :)"

Where are the Fiora Updates

Morello also responded to someone concerned about Fiora, who still hasn't received any changes to nudge her towards being a viable pick:
"I feel bad for the Fiora conversation because we agree she needs work, and we keep (for some reason I'll ask about) not doing it.

I'll escalate this concern and at least get an answer."
When asked why nothing has been done and why Morello - the lead content designer - doesn't know the status of any changes, he replied:
"Yep - we have. I don't worry much about schedules on this stuff in most cases. We agree that the work needs to happen, then focus on other things that are usually higher-priority."

Ever Tried Skill Shots that Bounce?

Meddler stepped up to the plate to answer a summoner's question if Riot has ever tried a skill shot that bounces between enemies after it connects - something like an Ezreal Q mixed with Brand's ult:
"There's a decent feeling basic spell there. We've tried something similar on a couple of kits, though have opted for other spells so far. Big thing with a spell like this is identifying why it functions better as a skillshot than a click to hit spell. Maybe that's because, for whatever reason, it's on a kit that needs a long range spell and is an appropriate kit for a chaining ability - skillshots can generally have longer range. Maybe you want a chaining ability, but need to add some extra counterplay - make it dodgeable or blockable by first target hit. Maybe you want the spell to, on average, perform much better in narrow areas of terrain than out in the open. Etc.

As pointed out above Varus' ult's the really slowly chaining version of that spell. Amongst other things Tendril of Corruption being a skillshot results in extra synergy being created with champions with initiation CC - if you've got an Amumu to lock down a group, or even a single target CCer like Lux to lock down an initial target you gain a massive increase in reliability, changing the way you approach using the ult."

3 Second CC "Rules"

Following up on some discussion on if various forms of CC should be allowed to be three seconds in duration, Morello shared the criteria the few 3 second CC spells meet:
"The current rule is that 3 second CC can only exist if: 
* The spell does no damage
* The spell is single-target
* It's a core piece of what the character brings to the game 
* You're Enchanted Crystal Arrow, because you're awesome.

That being said, that's not defending that Terrify/Puncturing Taunt SHOULD be 3 seconds, but the fit the criteria that allows it to be a consideration."

On a similar note, Meddler popped into a different thread to share the maximum distance that Ashe's Arrow needs to travel to stun for the full duration and noted the want for an in game indicator of the distance it has traveled like Jinx's ult:
"You'll get the maximum stun duration after it's traveled at least 2800 units.

Regarding Jinx's ult the missile itself changes appearance somewhat once it hits its max damage distance (spins faster, moves faster) to communicate its ramp up distance directly in game. Would be nice to add something similar to Ashe's ult at some point, the value there though's not as high as other things our spell effects team are working on however (not worth delaying a visual upgrade/kit rework for a champion in higher need for example)."

Itemization Viability & AD Zhonya's

Continuing on the item train, Morello also had a reply to complaints that League's itemization on has a low number of viable and unique items compared to something such as Dota:
"To some extent, I think this needs improvement, but I think our itemization is less focused on the "unique builds" part and more on creating good pacing, progression and some choice. 
Now, variety here is good, but we're only willing to put so much on the table to cause it. Many of the more niche or underpowered items need some help, definitely, but I think we're not going to try and create an ecosystem where a champion has 6 different, viable builds. I think our item system isn't optimized for that currently."
He also commented that he thinks AP itemization is the best of them right now with several options:
"I think AP itemization is a better target to shoot for, even if that's not perfect. It's closer though, in terms of variety and options than a lot of other roles."

When asked if there was anyway we could get an item similar to Zhonya's Hourglass but for AD champions, Morello commented:
"Zhonya's has AP on it to keep it OUT of the hands of AD mostly!

A lot of it because mages can only do their work in windows do to cooldowns. Hourglass helps them survive for another cooldown, while marksmen get to auto-attack."

Lowering Older Ult Mana Costs

Meddler also piped up about currently experiementing with lowering the mana costs of some older champion's ults - such as Viktor who is still packing a 225 mana cost!
"It's pretty high certainly. We're currently experimenting internally with lower ult costs for some of the older champions with really high cost mana ults, Viktor included. Can't yet promise we'll change costs, it is something we're actively looking at right now though."

New Community Platform discussion and feedback

moltovocarrot has posted up some ideas for new features for the community platform - Riot's alternative to using the standard forums that's currently in Beta.
"Hey everyone,

Here on the community beta team, we've been keeping a close eye on your feedback and are exploring solutions to a number of improvements we would like to make to the community beta platform. 
One of the problems we're focusing on right now is making it easier to track changes and return to discussions you've previously engaged in. You may have noticed the new comments tag on certain discussions in the listing view. We are experimenting with building more functionality onto those. 
The following is a feature we're considering adding to the community beta, and I'd love to get your thoughts! Do you think this new view would help you return to discussions and re-engage with comments of interest? 
He continued, responding to comaplints that " If I wanted reddit I would go there":
"Hey Xonra! I'm curious if you've had a chance to use our Community Beta yet. We are improving it constantly, and would love to add the perspective of folks who aren't familiar with a voting-sorted, threaded comment system to our feedback as we tweak the system.

Also, though our format shares some similarities with the basics of Reddit, when you dig in, we do many things quite differently. I encourage you to give it a try and let us know what we can do to make it better."

He soldiered on, explaining the want for a new system instead of simply improving the current forums:
"I understand Spits, and I'm sorry you've felt neglected. I haven't been at Riot for 3 years, but since becoming a Rioter it has been my mission to, among other things, design the best community experience I can. 
The rest of the community beta team and I, tasked to solve that problem (and it's a biggie!) decided that trying to hack additional features onto out-of-the-box software was simply not flexible enough to allow us to rapidly experiment based on your feedback and do all the cool things we want to do for you in a way that also scales to the massive size and diversity of our community.

The community beta is an experiment in creating a better way to interact with us and each other. It is rapidly evolving, and we are constantly watching feedback and making adjustments in a way that is simply not possible on this platform. If you feel pain while using the community beta, please join the conversation and help us address your concerns."
As for people who are interested in using the community beta to role play, moltovcarrot noted:
"Rest assured, we are keeping a close eye on the needs of RPers and others who will require a different format in order to have specialized types of interactions. We just need to solidify the core of the system first."

Krylhos also jumped into the conversation, delivering a masive response to many of the common concerns about the new community platform.
"I want to talk to you guys about vBulletin and discussion quality, since those seem to be the big sticking points. Let me start off by saying I have worked on a slew of vBulletin installations as a developer, including the lovely stack we have here at Riot. I have endured many long nights with that code. vBulletin is a great tool, and it’s worked really well for us for a long time. But we’ve reached a level of community scale where vBulletin is holding us back. 
Let me go into the details a bit. As far as I'm aware, you guys have been participating in the largest vBulletin community in the world. We run vBulletin at a scale that is above and beyond what the architecture was originally created for. In NA alone, we see about 25k posts per day, and about 3k new threads every day (that's a new post every three seconds) That being said, we've made quite a few customizations over the years to help vBulletin not tip over including disabling a few features, rewriting certain core architectural decisions within the vBulletin codebase and making a variety of MySQL enhancements. Developing features within vBulletin (and allowing it to scale so it doesn't tip over) is a massive effort. No matter how badly we want to give things to you, it ends up not being a good use of our time because of the massive amount of work required not only to build it, but the massive efforts required to maintain it to scale. 
Let's call out the avatars in vBulletin, because it’s a pretty good example of what I’m talking about. "So Krylhos, why can’t we just use our summoner icons from the game?” Seems easy enough. Until recently, getting our web data to keep up to date with game data with the current public facing patch was very manual and a very large undertaking. Even with a better consistency of game data accessible to web, web needs to keep up-to-date with game profile data specific to players or else it’d be a pretty bad player experience. Training vBulletin to keep every player profile in sync w/ the game data would have negatively impacted scale on both the website and, potentially, the game data service. Doing icons right would have actually meant more lag. I was pretty deeply involved in these conversations. Believe me when I say, we deeply investigated what this would take, because you guys have asked for it for a while, and in the end we didn't want to sacrifice the stability of the service for profile icons. 
Portability of conversations within a larger ecosystem is another place where vBulletin falls short. Unlike vBulletin, we’ve built this as a service, allowing for an enormous amount of flexibility. Being able to drop-in comments on any page is a good example. We also ran a couple contests that didn’t look anything like a discussion using this as a platform. It’s basically a really sturdy foundation that makes it a lot easier for us to build stuff. 
With the large volume of comments, threads within GD shuffle around at a rate that's improbable to keep up on new discussions, or new content submitted to old discussions unless you stare and refresh constantly. This pattern works well enough with smaller communities, but intimacy and quality conversations can quickly get lost. While a majority of the internet (myself included) have been trained for this kind of pattern, we feel like there might be a better way.

We are not cloning Reddit. I understand that on the surface, with vote arrows and nested comments, it can certainly appear that way. Believe it or not, we agree with you on many points in which Reddit falls short. This is a custom community platform which was inspired from realizing certain problems within our forums community. Problems such as large conversations being difficult to follow, intimate back and forths, and quality content being easily accessible are ones we want to solve. I do not feel like the current Community Beta solves all of those problems today. But I do feel that, in order to solve these problems, we have to fundamentally change the model. 
To the RP community - I promise you, the kinds of discussions you currently have within your RP community threads will not be lost by the time we take the "beta" tag off. Coder's promise.

We're flexible. We're not opposed to shifting views, providing different presentation styles and sorting strategies. There have been a ton of great ideas that have come up, and we're excited to provide those features that we didn't think of. We can quickly, and effectively develop features in this new platform as it's built with rapid deployment, and Riot's scale needs in mind, and we can’t do that in vBulletin today."
If this has piqued your interested, click here to check out the new community beta!

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