Red Post Collection: 11/25 Hotfix Details, "Anti Snowball" discussion, CertainlyT on PBE Yasuo Feedback, and more!

Posted on at 2:32 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features information on the 11/25 hotfix, discussion on the "anti snowball" preseason changes, commentary on preseason supports trends, a note on Skarner being enabled on the PBE soon, CertainlyT discussing several bits of Yasuo PBE feedback ( including concerns about AP Yasuo ), and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

11/25 Hotfix Patch Notes

A few changes were hotfixed in early today, including the changes to the Targon line discussed over the weekend.
"Your new Targon overlords have heard your pleas for mercy. Based on your feedback, we’re making a few balance changes before Thanksgiving since we know people want to spend the holidays having fun. 
It’s still early in the preseason so we’re avoiding sweeping adjustments before the dust settles. We’re listening closely though and will continue to keep an eye on things. 
NOTE: These updates have been made server-side, but may take additional time to update within the game client. You may see old tooltips and old combine costs but their in-game behavior will reflect the changes below. 
Relic Shield
  • UNIQUE Passive - Spoils of War
  • Charge rate increased to 60 seconds from 30 (remains 30 seconds for Targon's Brace and Face of the Mountain)
  • Execute now only works on melee basic attacks
  • Fixed a bug where Zac's Cell Division bloblets could be executed
Hunter's Machete, Spirit Stone, and Madred's Razors
  • UNIQUE Passive - Maim
  • Health return on hit increased to 5 from 3
Wriggle's Lantern
  • Combine cost reduced to 150 gold from 300 (total cost 1650 from 1800)
  • Fixed a bug where the combine cost was 650 gold instead of 850 (total cost is now back to 3200 gold from 3000)"

"Anti Snowball" Discussion

Zileas headed up a discussion on Riot's recent "anti snowball" changes in the 3.14 patch, explaining the thought process behind the recent changes to tower kills, first blood, etc:
"This is a pretty theoretical game design argument, but bear with me.

The game result of 'win or lose' comes from some set of things. They have to add up to a 100% control of the outcome. Lots of things go in -- team chemistry, counter-picks at champion select, mastery and rune choices, whether or not a champion is currently strong (or not), individual skill, good calls on team objectives, and so forth.

We believed that in season 3, early game kills snowballed the game but were not really super 'skillful' compared to other factors in the game. We also thought that a few good early plays on towers could sometimes secure the game -- and a few actions in isolation will be more random than consistent play. So, we decided to reduce the importance of certain early game actions that will tend to snowball teams (Tower kills, dragons, first bloods in the jungle fed to a 'snowballey' lane -- which is honestly a somewhat random, not as much skill-oriented result). From this, we expect that the importance of everything else to go up... because it has to add up to 100%, and we just subtracted something out.

So, by reducing team snowball early game, you must be increasing the importance of individual skill (along with other stuff).

Additionally, the gold changes we made should make it more possible for a support or jungle player to be the star player of their team.

An analogy I'd make is -- would the game have more or less skill if we flipped a coin at the beginning of the game and gave 500 gp to the winning team? Obviously, that would still be 'balanced' but would be a less skillful game. By cleaning out stuff that over-rewarded relative to the difficulty of doing it, we improve the relative rewards afforded to the things we all agree are important. Also, by making the game tend to reward consistent actions over a period of time, we will tend to favor the more skillful player.

- Zileas"
Morello also commented on this, saying:
"We only really want anti-XP snowball in the long-term. We're watching this on the team-snowball level (team snowballing not good, personal is) but you need the ability to get an advantage that closes a game. 
Average game time is up a bit - this is something we worry about too. I doubt everything is "right" in the world on this, but we need to dig into specific causes after today's hotfix."

Data on Preseason Supports So Far

Morello popped into a forum thread to share a few statistics on the preseason support changes now that we've had a few days to settle in:
"So far, we have not seen this be true. Some data we have so far:

* Traditional support characters' winrate is almost unchanged. (Less than 1% delta up or down) 
* Other common duo-laners (Annie, Zyra) are unchanged in winrate. Relatively, their winrate is similar to before...meaning this delta is not changing that equation so far (though some changes may be needed as they might have been in S3). 
* The two exceptions are Taric (up ~4%) due to new scaling being really strong on him, and Janna (down ~5%) due to global passive change. We'll likely buff Janna's core skills a good amount to compensate (woo!)

This is only a few days of data, but right now, the gold delta has had a low effect on general performance (and in this stuff, deltas matter more than absolutes). We do have some hotfix changes to Brace and Jungle coming in today, but supports and bottom lane are actually looking generally more healthy so far based data points."
When asked if Annie will see any nerfs in the near future, Morello responded:
"Not sure - this is a little more in Statikk's area of expertise on this problem. I do think the systems have maintained this balance, though. Where that problem lies, I'm not entirely sure on (the team may have better insights on the specifics here)."

Skarner Enabled on PBE soon

While his rework was shipped back to the PBE a few days ago, Skarner has remained disabled due to a bug.

Here's Riot Feithen with the good news that he should be fixed up and ready for testing in the 11/26 PBE update!
"Quick update: We've identified the issue and the fix will be included with the PBE update tomorrow. To release it tonight we'd need to kick everybody off, and we'd rather let you test the newest fixes and content given what time it is."

CertainlyT on Yasuo PBE Feedback

CertainlyT, the designer behind our upcoming champion Yasuo, has been spending a lot of time around the PBE forums responding to feedback regarding Yasuo's kit, role, bugs, and more!

When asked about Yasuo's role, CertainlyT explained:
"Yasuo reflects my feeling that you are giving up on the "all in" class to easily. He is able to stay more in his team's back line, isolate enemy divers using wind wall, hack them to pieces, then dive into the enemy back line once their major cooldowns have been spent. This is fundamentally different from a Fiora who has to choose between non-participation in a fight and rushing headlong into the enemy's entire zone of threat."

When questioned about being able to properly execute Yasuo's R WITHOUT using smartcast,he noted:
"Hey Schroeder, Unfortunately, the ability is almost unusable for its intended combat purpose when not smartcast. I know that makes Yasuo tough to adjust to for some folks (Cassiopeia, Karthus, Zyra, etc. garner the same reaction from some). However, I had to make the tough call that the alternative was just worse for everyone. 
That being said, I'm going to push a version of the ability to PBE next patch that allows the Q3 Whirlwind to be non-quick cast. That spell is one you can reasonably want to spend more time setting up as a player."

As for Yasuo's difficulty and early game power, CertainlyT commented:
"We've had more success with Yasuo early game than most PBE players. A few observations: Doran's Shield is a very underbought item that can buy you a ton of room early; Yasuo is hard to play and most people I watch on PBE are not yet familiar with him; While Yasuo does not duel particularly well, he has good clear power and can make action happen in the jungle and other lanes. 
All that said though, I'm aware that he scales very hard and pays a price in early game effectiveness for that. I think some smoothing would be helpful, since he's fun to duel opponents with and you can't very well do that when they just straight kill you whenever you engage."

CertainlyT also mentioned that OhMikeGoodness is currently working on redoing the animationf or Yasuo's E as it feels a bit slow despite being a dash:
"Hey all, thanks for the feedback. We're going to redo the E animation to address this. RiotOhMikeGoodness, Yasuo's animator, is hard at work at this very moment!"

Speaking of animations, he also noted that Yasuo has a "hasted run animation", i.e a new animation when he is above a certain movement speed, but it is currently disabled until they can make it work better with his sheathing animation.
"Yasuo has a hasted run animation. It is presently disabled because his sheathing (this is unique tech for Yasuo) does not play nicely with it. Should be working by next week.... cross your fingers!"

On the topic of AP Yasuo, CertainlyT commented:
"My biggest concerns with AP Yasuo are: 
  1. Access to substantial spell vamp off minions. Combined with his passive shield, this could lead to less interesting laning phases.
  2. Lack of integration with the full kit -- Intent is literally unused without crit, and Last Breath's bonus armor pen doesn't matter to AP Yasuo.
  3. Sweeping Blade is exceptionally reliable. Part of Yasuo's feel is supposed to be the unreliability of his combos and the enemy's feeling that they can play the same elusive dodging game as does Yasuo. So while you may enjoy the build, I as a designer have to think about all parties to the game when deciding what to incentive and what to discourage.
  4. Samurai + Deathcap is dissonant. If I were new to the game and was laning against Yasuo, there's no chance I would think to stack MR. As a teammate of Yasuo, I am unlikely to presume him to be a magic damage dealer at champion select and so may select a suboptimal champion to fight alongside him as. Of course player communication can mitigate this, but design is a practical exercise, and perfect communication is not something that can simply be assumed.
The AP ratio on E was meant to make certain off build items like Triforce feel fairly effective. I had hoped that the cooldown would keep AP Yasuo non-viable. At present, it remains to be seen whether the build truly has merit, but I am inclined to lower the ratio on E if it does prove viable outside of casual games. 
I know you and others enjoying AP Yasuo will probably find that statement frustrating -- as a player who enjoys "off" builds myself, I can sympathize -- but these decisions require balancing the interests of game health against player expression."

Syndra Disabled in One for All Matchmaking

Here's Brackhar with the details:
"We disabled Syndra in One For All matchmaking today due to an issue with her ultimate. She is still playable in custom games however."

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