Red Post Collection: Caitlyn VU Discussion, Skarner Rework buffs to the PBE soon, and more!

Posted on at 1:42 PM by Moobeat
This afternoon's red post collection features IronStylus sharing his thoughts on if Caitlyn could use a visual upgrade, Riot Scruffy with a list of tentative Skarner changes we can expect on the PBE soon, additional 4.3 itemization discussion,  and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

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Caitlyn Visual Upgrade Discussion

Just as he did with the Sion rework, IronStylus popped up on the community beta site to discuss a potential Caitlyn VU.

He started by offering his thoughts on this summoner suggested theme for a Cait VU:
There's a lot of stuff going on here that I like, I'll expand more on about it when I get back. 
EDIT: Ok, FINALLY WON A GAME. Anywhoozle, yes, I generally like this concept. I think it does some interesting things that preserve what I feel is core to Cait. There's some aristocratic notes, there's some sophistication, and there's class. 
I do feel it might be a bit too Victorian to be uniquely Piltover, whatever that means. That's part of the challenge actually. We've made Jayce and Vi, two people who are supposed to be interacting with Cait and she simply doesn't fit in. They're not really steampunk in thier language, they're sorta.. "manatech". So, while I feel Cait can have Victorian notes, we should find a way to bring her into that manatech (or hextech) area and get her materials, her shapes and other properties in line with Piltover. 
Part of that is sort of figuring out what the hell Piltover actually looks like. We have a start with Jayce and Vi, so that's good. We may have to flesh a few more details out before we jump right into Cait. 
Her hat is another thing. Some love it, some hate it. It is indeed iconic. When you think of Cait, or you associate let's say.. cosplaying Cait, you think purple frilly short dress, knee high boots and big Willy Wonka hat. Now, charm is great, but we need to extract what that charm is and see where we can re-channel it. Maybe a bowler hat? Maybe just a smaller version of her current hat? I do love the hat for its charms, but it's sort of silly. 
That said, if we ever, and that's a big if considering our priorities right now, hit Cait with a VU, my gut guess is that we'd do a traditional skin for her. That way i think we can solve some of her thematic issues without destroying the charming thing we've grown to love. 
But yeah. With our priorities now, a Cait VU is probably a long way off, and as per usual, about anything I talk about:

He continued:
"This is a biggie. In the case of Caitlyn I see her almost like.. a "thematic VU", where we address how she fits into the world. I think one of the big things we can do is leave plenty of space for officer Caitlyn, as it's a contemporary skin, yet diverge enough from the base to give her a classic skin if we were to at all reapproach her. Again, I'll get into more detail when I return."
Continuing on her fashion vs the rest of Piltovers,
"I think it's essential that she has a different fashion or style. I think, out of all of them, (Jayce, Jinx, Vi) Cait is the most fashionable. To me there's something sorta Sherlock and Watson going on with Cait and Vi. Vi can be punky, disheveled, whatever, but Cait has this contrast of being highly fashionable, maybe to a fault. She's proper and she's a sniper. A fashion-centric lady sniper is a pretty damn cool concept. I'd like to see where we can push that to. 
I think right now she's just confusing. There's no intent for her to be of any contrast, it just happens to be so. If we go back in, sew in that intent, we can make something that simultaneously stands out, but also fits into the world. 
Indeed, she doesn't come from a criminal background, so she has no reason to be in line with Jinx or Vi in mimicking fashion style, but she is part of an established police force. They must have some code of dress. Even if she's in a uniform, who knows. 
That's why I do like the Lady Mechanika stuff because there's some feelings of uniform, but also a lot of style. There's also sophistication but some practicality, all be it with a lot of flair."

Returning to Caitlyn's hat, he commented:
"Yeah, as I said, some sort of compromise would have to be made with the hat, at least for what a new base would be in my mind. She would still have to HAVE a hat, because she has one in every skin, and that's a main read of hers. It just depends on how we figure out how to balance that read with what thematically fits with the character. 
I mean, maybe we give it some cool crazy purpose. Not Inspector Gadget-y, but maybe it has some sort of function. 
Or at the very least, we take a nice look into women's high fashion and find a way to make something as absurd as that hat into something cool and fashionable."

IronStylus also mentioned he would personally prefer to see a Classic Caitlyn skin in the event of a VU:
"Currently, I simply feel it will require a traditional skin for the reasons that Cait's current base is.. sorta.. goofilly charming. I honestly want to take what's good about it, and port it over, but I don't want to alienate those who really think it's something special. 
I dunno, that's my personal take if it ever happens. 
She's probably retain the same actor but with added lines. Again, I think there's a lot to work with in terms of her core personality, I just think it has to be brought in line."

As for the colors and extra belts on her current base, IronStylus commented:
"I think, at the very least, the purple would need to be toned down, and be balanced with other materials. I think a dark more royal purple would be nice, with gold accents, but also space that out with leather and other fine materials. 
I'm not sure about the belt thing.. way before my time.. no idea there.. But we could keep the flavor and give tactical reasons for them, or incorporate them into the costume stylishly."

After looking at a summoner's suggestion for Caitlyn, IronStylus commented:
"Eh, this is a little too classic steampunk for me. Remember, steampunk isn't so much a style as it is a general era, and that era is pre-1900 (or around there) Victorian fashion. I'm honestly not a fan of taking a 1:1 from what we commonly think of steampunk and porting it over. That's why we can't really even make an analogy of steampunk to hextech. There isn't really an analogy aside from both "styles" using a unique power source to fill in for making tech work. I'd rather we develop what the fashion sensibilities are for the world itself, or derive from pre-established ones, and go from there,"
He continued:
"We're not starting from scratch, but steampunk, and I agree, it's cool, is an era of design. I don't think we want to be completely deriviative of that era, that era didn't happen in our world. So, we want what we associate with the Victorian steam-era (fine materials and leathers, decorative motifs, long dresses, frills, pleats, bodices, points, etc) to be refelcted in there, but not ripped off. Familiar notes are great, but steampunk is literally Victorian era-garb with copper and steam."
As for her weapon, he noted:
"I'm actually in the same camp. I think that's ok for Cait specifically though. She can have a more hand-crafted weapon. It's her personal piece, not something standard issue."

As for why he prefers to use the community beta over the forums for these discussions, IronStylus commented:
"The biggest reason is toxic and derailing posts having equal visual real estate as legitimate questions and comments. 
I've have a few too many discussions that devolve, get lost, get derailed, get piled with vitriol and eventually become too hard to track. The best way I can answer the players, and do service to people who have a desire to interact on topic in a polite way is in the new beta format.

Pretty straight forward."
He continued:
"To clarify, one of the reasons I requested the conversation be ported over is because it's been very easy to track incoming feedback in the beta venue. The way that things can be sorted and upvoted is of great value in me seeing what common agreed-upon themes rise to the top. If specific conversations come up, i can track them in the "my updates" widget and dive a little deeper. 
I popped in here, I was in a hurry (literally in champ select) and didn't expand on my reasoning. Sorry for that. Either way, there's been a good discussion over there and it's yielded some good feedback.

While I'm not trying to deny anyone access, I'm trying to be realistic in which is the best way for me to cultivate feedback and have the discussion. I can't feasibly have two conversations at the same time, in two different venues. If I want to guide the conversation in a particular way, I'm going to have to choose a single venue when it's appropriate. If I see a conversation that would be well suited on the beta format, I'm going to ask that it be thrown over there. Not because I'm trying to ignore people, it's so I can funnel the feedback and see the popular ideas at more of a glance. 
I'm also testing the beta to see if it can be a good home for general Relaunch lines of questions, because I'd like to eventually set up shop there to address relaunches as a whole. While the giant Relaunch thread a few days ago was good, it simply became too hard to track and is extremely large. There's no feasible way I can go back through it to gather information or continue conversation in a meaningful way.

I realize that most people want to interact respectfully. However, sometimes that doesn't happen, and it can happen from both directions. I'd like to minimize that by funneling the conversation a bit so that players can best give me directed feedback which can be easily parsed in order to act upon.

I'm trying to find the best way I can meet players' needs when it comes to large discussions such as these. Experimenting with the community beta is a part of that."

[ Continued ] Skarner Rework Follow Through

( If you missed the initial posts on the Skarner Rework Follow Through, check out these posts: 1,2, 3)

Riot Scruffy has posted up a set of tentative Skarner tweaks that will hit the PBE later this week:
"Hey quick update about PBE changes. They wont be up today but should be on pbe later this week. This is the tentative changelist 
-E slow increased from 30/35/40/45/50 to 52/54/56/58/60%
-E missile width increased slightly
-E missile speed increased slightly
-E mana cost reduced by 10 
These changes are WIP so they may be adjusted after testing and feedback. The main problems we're trying to solve with these are: 
-His early game is weak from both not having a strong 1 point ability and weak pre 6 ganks. 1 point in E should hopefully make him a better ganker pre 6.
-Soften up the difficulty of landing the E missile slightly to match the power of its effect
-Generally push his power back into a more CC focused space

These numbers may seem crazy, but as a first pass I think this will really help Skarner out in terms of viability."
He continued:
"Ok cool, lets try out some CC buffs on PBE this week and see how he feels. I'm with you guys, the payoff for hitting the E is not there yet."

When asked about improvements to his W's ramp time, he commented:
"We could definitely put more power/reliability into W but it would mean less power in his CC. It's a totally valid proposal, would you rather see more power in his speed or CC?"
He continued:
"Definitely, I'm mostly asking where we should put the power considering he will be getting some buffs."

[ Continued ] Planned 4.3 Itemization Changes

Continuing the discussion from this weekend, Xypherous returned to the PBE community to talk more about his tentative 4.3 itemization changes.

Xypherous continued the discussion on the Boots of Mobility changes, explaining the "lack of tradeoff between purchasing Boots of Mobility and any other boots":
"The problem with Boots of Mobility isn't the escape case. It's the lack of tradeoff between purchasing Boots of Mobility and any other Boots. 
Essentially while Boots of Mobility doesn't have any direct combat stats on it - two things override this:
  • Outnumbering your opponent is the largest combat multiplier
  • You gain more access to experience from participating in more fights.
Effectively, Boots of Mobility can be seen as the +1 or +0.66 level boost for characters that want to roam. 
This is much less true for pure farm characters - ADC/Mage/etc.
What I don't like about this nerf is that all the other T2 boots do have a base MS of +45 and an added effect on top of that.
Swiftness - unless you consider that Base MS of +45 and then another MS or +15. 
On Movement Speed Ramping 
Possibly doable - although you'd have to make the ramp take much longer than 5 seconds for it to be the same level of balance."

As for adding more AP on Frostfang ( tier 2 Spellthief line ), Xypherous reiterated:
"I'll work on the tier 2 stat-line for Spellthief's edge and try to see if there's room for Ability Power on that."

When asked about the reduced amount of potential Spellthief procs now that it will be based on charges rather than per champion, he commented:
"We're trying to hit a mark where you can more realistically achieve the gold generation of spellthief's edge. The live model of spellthief's edge has the highest potential gold in the game - but is also impossible to achieve. 
This is one of those cases where the theoretical absolute best case is absurd and so no one really bothers with it and so we're trying to ensure that things are both practical but maintain some level of uncertainty."

Xypherous also responded to someone concerned about the potential damage loss of the Spellthief line ( using Karma as an example ):
"You're absolutely correct that the theoretical maximum damage is far lower - especially on Tier 2, which is on my radar for adjustments. 
However, this analysis is somewhat unrealistic in a number of ways. For example, the sheer mana expenditure of this requires spending 300 mana a minute (assuming you leave Q at rank 1) and assumes that every single Q lands. While Karma's mana pool is fairly high - you might be able to sustain this for about 2 minutes at most. 
You have the added problem that missing a single Q basically tanks your damage comparison because the additional procs are never lost if you don't hit - while missing a Q does cause you to lose the .AP benefits - 
As soon as you miss a Q or are unable to cast a Q due to mana considerations, the damage per second is much more favorable in the proc case. 
While I agree that Tier 2 could use some retuning, your numbers clearly show a larger/valid discrepancy at this tier - this analysis is mostly hindered by the fact that you don't actually have infinite mana / perfect accuracy / perfect opportunity - while the proc, being time gated and available through free attacks doesn't have that problem."

Building off the discussion about Boots of Lucidity, one summoner suggested that Riot just remove cooldown reduction as a stat as it seems so difficult to balance. Xypherous replied, explaining the purpose of CDR as a stat.
"In my experience, cooldown decreasing mechanics are generally far more disruptive as a whole. The issue being that CDR mechanics tied to skills or passives tend to be incredibly 'feast or famine' in most scenarios as they require the skills/mechanics to be used in the first place.
In the world of cooldowns, either these mechanics are tame or absolutely worthless - unless they were simply a flat CDR statistic that everyone gets per level. 
However, to the meat of your point: Many things are hindrance to "balance". That's not why we have them. 
We have CDR so that people who want to CC can CC more without resorting to longer CC lengths and they have to make a significant effort to do so by giving up burst damage or basic attack damage. Or support. Or initiate. Or move. 
Having multiple champions is a hindrance to balance. Having different combat ranges is hindrance to balance. New mechanics and gameplay styles are a hindrance to balance. 
Everything you put into a game has a cost. No doubt the way our CDR works inflicts a heavy cost to balance and items and what not. However, the question to ask is it worth the price we pay? We'll probably disagree here - but the damage done to/from Skarner/Ryze/Kat/Yi/Fiora from their cooldown mechanics far outweigh anything that the stat has ever done."
In response to a summoner asking why not make Boots of Lucidity reduce mana / energy costs by a flat amount, Xypherous commented:
"I would opt for something simpler - like '5% reduced mana/energy costs, rather than having two statistics. Then again, whenever you have an item like this - tailoring for one camp or the other will simply annoy / anger some third camp who thinks the item should be more tailored for them instead. 
It's a tricky thing."

Heartseeker Ashe R hard to see for Colorblind Summoners

In a reddit thread mentioning that Heartseeker Ashe's ultimate is extremely hard to see for colorblind summoners, CertainlyT commented:
"We'll fix this. Really sorry man. That sounds frustrating."

What about a Void Support Champion?

Meddler briefly mentioned the desire to eventually have a support champion from the void!
"We've also been kicking some ideas about possible void supports around internally, being able to run a full void comp would be cool and a void support could allow us to explore a slightly different take on the void. Can't make any promises or guarantees, something we'd like to do though."

Pick order with mismatched Duo Queues

Zileas commented on the decision to randomize pick order even though an extreme situation ( such as a bronze 5 queuing with a challenger player ) can put someone who has a significantly lower rating in front of other players.
"Because in a normal match, the ranges are VERY close to each other, except if there was a duo. Random in the absence of a duo is pretty much the same as non-random. 
Duos had very odd behavior, and that was frustrating both duos and non-duos. I believe sometimes they would be pick 4/5, other times pick 1 and I think 4? Not sure how it fell out of the elo calculations, but was awkward. 
We felt that randomizing would be an improvement in terms of removing any upsides/downsides from duoing (elo already adjusts them fairly). Most of the lingering issues people are having are around people premaking with their hypothetical bronze 5 friend. We may revisit that, but that's a much lower frequency than the previous every-game oddness happening with duo.

If you have someone challenger tier matchmaking with their hypothetical bronze 5 friend, pick order is not going to make the match any better either, separate issue as far as I'm concerned. One we should probably fix at some point, I just think it's an edge case, so we've prioritized other matchmaking enhancements over blocking large tier discrepancies between duo partners."

Vel'Koz and Yasuo's Windwall 

subninja also commented on how Vel'Koz will interact with Yasuo's wind wall:
"Just to clear up Vel'koz/Yasuo interaction goals: 
Q - Blocked by wind wall, split shots are also blocked (if first hits, it won't split)
W - Blocked by wind wall, but will still erupt up to the wall (ie the part that wasn't stopped)
E - missile that shoots forward is blocked by wind wall, you can still put it next to the wall and potentially hit people on the other side of the wall
R - Not affected by wind wall. 
Not sure about auto attacks. My guess is they'd go through? I don't think there's an actual missile involved."

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