Red Post Collection: Update on Rengar Rework, Fiddlesticks & Terrify Changes, CertainlyT on "Riot Only Nerfs", Xypherous itemization discussion, and more!

Posted on at 2:23 AM by Moobeat
You know what goes great with a giant PBE update? An equally as giant red post collection! This morning's collection features RiotScruffy with another update on the WIP Rengar Rework, Meddler commenting on the 4.3 Terrify changes and Fiddlesticks, CertainlyT discussing the misconception about Riot "only nerfing" champions, Xypherous with a massive discussion on itemization and what happened to his Jayce rework, Riot Zephyreal with some tips on how to keep your account safe, a big update on OCE, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News:

PHEW! News has just been pouring out lately! Make sure you haven't missed anything:

Continued Rengar Rework Discussion

( If you missed the initial discussions on the upcoming Rengar Rework, check out these posts: 1, 2, 3, 4 )

RiotScruffy returned to the Rengar rework thread to drop off another update on how Rengar's internal testing is coming along:
"Hey its been a little while but we have been testing and iterating on this kit a ton. Here's an update to some of the recent changes. 
-Ferocity Q giving back energy wasn't actually creating a good finisher choice, it was just deferring the decision to choose what finisher you want. We have removed the ferocity refund and focused it into a pure damage focused finisher. Currently gives a huge attack speed buff. 
-Second stealth on R was creating some cool moments for Rengar, but it was having a far worse impact on the experience of Rengar's opponents. 2 Move blocks and 2 stealths were creating a situation where there was no viable option to play against Rengar's dive. We are going to try some more straightforward solutions here that will allow Rengar to dive and escape without creating as much frustration and confusion for the opponents.

-W armor and MR now gains ~50% bonus for every champion hit. This specifically gives him some more survivability in the team fights, where he can sometimes struggle. 
Overall the new patter with fast and clear ferocity buildup has been testing super well. His flow is greatly improved and he has clear ways to get to the finishers he wants.

No details on release date that I can share yet but we are making very strong progress."
He continued, elaborating on empowered Q:
"What the empowered Q was doing before was basically a regular Q with some ferocity refund. Choosing to press that button was more a choice that "I don't want to choose my finisher yet" rather than "I choose damage." We are shifting it into a more clear "I choose damage" option."

He also commented on the reduction to the base armor and mr gains on W:
"Good insight, we actually lowered the base value so that it is basically the same as live when he hits 1 champion: 10/15/20/25/30"

When asked if this prototype kit is about ready for PBE testing, Riot Jag jumped in:
"Not so fast!

I'll be helping out RiotScruffy on the balance side for Rengar as we work on fine-tuning him for release, and while he may not be quite ready for test realm yet, he's not too far off either."

Fiddlesticks and the 4.3 Fear Changes

Responding to concerns about the recent 4.3 Terrify / Fear changes and how they effect Fiddlesticks, Meddler noted that things aren't quite working as intended:
"Hey guys, quick update on Fiddle's fear. The intent is that the slow on feared targets works like Ahri's Charm, causing units to move at a consistent, slow speed against their will. At present however it's got the same behaviour as Hecarim's ult - swift movement away, with the speed diminishing the further away the target gets. Would love to hear how much that helps out in your experience once the fix for that goes out (no ETA at the moment, sooner rather than later though)."

Does Riot Only Nerf Champions?

CertainlyT jumped into a forum thread to discuss the notion of Riot "only nerfing"and elaborate on how balance changes are perceived :
"In reality, the Live Team tends to buff about as much as they nerf. A few factors lead to the perception that our balance is nerf heavy: 
First, players trend toward playing overpowered champions, and tend to focus on champions they play when reading the patch notes. For example, Corki's playrate increased 8x within a 1 month period around September of last year (Trinity Force buffs made him very strong). It's only natural to focus on the champions you play when reading the patch notes and pay less attention to the (previously underpowered) champions you don't. That's why I don't fault you for missing the straight buffs to Corki, Ryze and Skarner in 4.3, despite the fact that it's written in clear English. 
Second, players tend to read net neutral changes (buffs + nerfs) as nerfs. For example, community sentiment was largely that our recent changes to Kayle's Q ratio was a nerf, when in fact the buff to her W's movement speed made her about the same strength, if not more potent -- We reduced Kayle's burst while increasing her team utility and ability to deal sustained damage. Since players were used to bursting with Kayle, they focused on the reduction to their ability to 1 shot a dude over the gains. This isn't true of all players, mind you, but it happens to a lot of us (even Yours Truly). 
Third, buffs are often hard to associate with a particular champion, but nerfs feel very specific. Returning to Corki, when we buffed Trinity Force before Worlds, very few players saw this as a dramatic gain for Corki on patch day. Nonetheless, he was immediately overpowered. When we made subsequent changes to Corki which resulted in a net decrease in power, everyone saw that as a dramatic loss for Corki. Again returning to 4.3, we expect all Tear of the Goddess and Spellthief's Edge users to be stronger in this patch. However, it will take a while for these buffs to be fully appreciated. 
Finally, if you are posting here, you likely read posts here, and players are much more likely to write a forum post when they feel frustrated or aggrieved than when they feel content. Thus, all of the above is magnified because the "TLDR" of the patch notes often seems like a litany of nerfs because a huge portion of the posts on this forum are just players venting about specific nerfs to their favorite overpowered champion."
He continued, elaborating on his above comments:
"I did not mean to imply everyone played champions for power, only that our more powerful champions on average tend to see more play than our less powerful champions.
I also agree with you that the major nerfs we did to Urgot (and Olaf) were unfortunate and tarnished our balance reputation. It is of course unfortunate that some champions are dramatically more powerful in the hands of a pro than our average player, as were Olaf and Urgot (who both saw/see success in competitive after we "destroyed" them). What we should have done was alter their underlying mechanics so that they could be relatively fun while still being unique and balanced at the highest levels of play.

Indeed, this is a lesson that the Live team has taken to heart. SmashGizmo did a phenomenal re-work on Olaf that retained his core identity (Berserker) while removing the competitive balance problems (massive true damage on a CC immune bruiser whose offensive itemization was full health/CDR). More recently, this patch's Twisted Fate changes, while they may seem minor, are designed to make him balanceable across the entire spectrum of players. The Kha'zix changes almost certainly reduce his overall power level, but they also help fulfill his identity as a hunter/assassin in the process. I actually enjoy playing this patch's version of Kha'Zix much more than the previous version -- I may not take Dragon/Baron as quickly, or annihilate underleveled targets instantly when I am ahead, but I can make game defining turn-around plays and can drop aggro in skirmishes when needed and move to isolated targets more effectively. 
So while it is fair to be critical of the Urgot/Olaf approach, it is not fair to portray that as reflective of our current approach to game balance."

When asked directly about the 4.3 Teemo nerfs and how they will effect Teemo's top lane, CertainlyT commented:
"How can you gut the only thing that made teemo viable on the rift without atleast changing his W or adding some sort of damaging effect if you chase him, or possibly increasing the ratio on E or Q? How can you ever expect teemo to beat jax or yorick top anymore? Or any fully tanky bruiser such as renek or shyvana.. It just doesnt make sense... clarity please?"
We expect you to beat Renekton as Teemo by kiting him over mushrooms and using their powerful slow (and still excellent damage) to buy time for your ranged basic attacks to kill him. We don't expect you to auto-win mid to late game because the enemy team cannot move about the map without fear of dying even when you are sitting at the fountain.

Given that Teemo had the 4th highest win percentage in LoL and Renekton had the 68th, I'm optimistic that practiced Teemo players will manage."

He continued, shining a bit of the light on Fiora's problems:
"I mostly agree with your post, but I would ask you to consider that there are around 120 champions in the game right now and a good portion of them have been collecting metaphorical dust for a while now (examples: Viktor, Fiora, you get the idea)." 
From our perspective, the balance strategy of Riot seems to be something like "play whack-a-mole with top champions and hope that one day those champions are weak enough that we can actually play Heimerdinger in real life."  
When people say "All Riot does is nerf," what they really mean is "why is Fiora/Viktor/Brand/Heimer/my favorite champion still unviable/clunky/outdated/otherwise disadvantaged?" 
All of the champions you listed are perfectly viable. Unfortunately, they do not feel viable (for a number of reasons specific to each)."

Take Fiora. If you cannot win with Fiora, that's likely because you are playing her wrong. Is that your fault? Not really. We defined her as a top lane duelist, but in reality she functions as an assassin with subsequent cleanup potential and tends to be most effective in mid lane. This is a difficult problem to solve: "cannot lose 1v1" is not a fantasy we can fulfill on a kit with three enemy targeted dashes; "Demacian anti-mage assassin" is not a fantasy we can fulfill without radically transforming her entire theme."

He also mentioned the recently 4.3 changes to Twisted Fate' Pick a Card:
"Hahah, alright looking back my post does seem a bit ecstatic about the TF changes. Let me re-phrase: 
TF got UI changes to make using his abilities less a function of mastering the poor UI supporting them and more a function of good judgment and ability placement. This is not some Earth-shattering change to his gameplay. However, it IS the sort of change which lays the groundwork for us achieving an iteration of Twisted Fate who can be balanced and satisfying inside and outside of competitive play."

As for who's in charge of  Yasuo's balance, CertainlyT commented:
"Hey CertainlyT, I know this has probably been asked before, but do you have a hand in changing Yasuo's balance? Or are you kind of on the bench now that he's designed?"
Good question. Our approach to both design and balance is collaborative. We discuss, implement, iterate on, and make a call to ship balance changes as a team, though with varying levels of individual ownership over various steps in the chain. Yasuo is a good example.

*Statikk, SmashGizmo and Scarizard provided most of the problem identification.
*I spoke with players and Rioters in other disciplines about what they liked about Yasuo and what frustrated them most about him.
*After this, Smash and I discussed solutions, found one we liked (in this case, shield growth at higher levels).
*We ran it by a number of people (champion designers like Meddler, Live designers like RiotChun who has an excellent grasp of what makes a champion powerful in competitive play and Repetoir who plays a lot of Yasuo, and those non-Live designer Rioters play a lot of Yasuo.
*Then the entire Live team playtested it for about two weeks, providing feedback after each playtest.
*During this last step we quickly became confident that the direction was sound and focused on making sure the numbers were right.

*Finally, we talked to Pwyff about messaging. He distilled our reasoning into a patch-notes length version of why the change was warranted and added it to the rest of the patch notes."

What happened to the Jayce Rework

As you may recall, Xypherous dove into some heavy discussion on a kit rework for Jayce a few months back  but we never saw anything actually happen to him.

When asked about the current status of this, Xypherous commented:
"Long story short - I went way beyond what the scope was and basically terrified people to the point of it getting shut down on me. 

There were some things I liked about it - and some of it towards the very end was trending much better on PBE but I still kind of crazy overshot scope and the resulting mess got it taken away from me (and rightly so.)"
He continued:
so basically this all goes back to morello's incompetency when it comes to leading a design team? 
No, it's actually my fault entirely. I was bent on solving a lot of top-lane Jayce and experimenting with transform paradigms instead of first fixing the things people actually found to be problems with Jayce.

So I let it scope creep to a 'How do we make transform champions work' rather than 'Hey, let's fix Jayce 3 shotting you in a blink of an eye.'"

When asked what about his ideas was out of scope, he commented:
"6 levels on skills.
No levelup on ultimate - gains changed to character level with nonlinear scaling 
Melee 'W' redo
Heavy Mana cost experiments (Melee E - a billion, Melee Q - nearly free)
Basically everything that wasn't a problem with Jayce. :P"

Phishers and Keeping Your Account Safe

Riot Zephyreal took to the forums to provide a reminder on phishers and offer tips on how to keep your account safe:
"Hey everyone, 
In Player Support, we regularly receive tickets about suspicious messages or e-mails sent to players asking for personal information. We thought it'd be a good time to create awareness about these phishing scams. 
Phishers are basically bad guys pretending to be a trusted source (Riot, your LoL friend, PayPal, etc.) messaging you to trick you into giving away your information. This can include your password, credit card information, or anything else that might be used against you. Phishing attempts targeted specifically at your League of Legends account usually come in the form of either in-game messages or e-mails, and will ask you to click on some sort of link which then takes you to a site asking you to "log in" with your LoL credentials. 
The first step in protecting yourself against these scumbags is to make sure you maintain good practices. You can find a comprehensive guide here: 

To help determine whether or not a message comes from us, here's a list of all official Riot Games e-mail domains: If an unexpected e-mail does not come from one of these domains and is claiming to be Riot or affiliated with us, don’t even bother with the contents. 
One way scammers try to bypass this is by "spoofing" e-mail addresses. For example, your e-mail provider may not give you their e-mail, but simply label the e-mail as "Riot Games" as the name of the sender. However, you can check the full email address by hovering over the title name. For more information about how to verify email addresses, you should contact your email provider. 
One of our awesome Wrenchman, AmShaegar, wrote a nice, in-depth look at phishing scams and malicious websites. You can find it here: 

If you’ve been instructed to visit a particular part of the League of Legends site, you can always just go to front page:, log in there first, and then manually navigate to wherever you wanted to be. 
This will help you separate messages from Rioters and your friends from attempted attacks by scammers. Remember, a Rioter will NEVER ask you for your password. Remember, keep it secret, keep it safe: 
(Try hovering your mouse cursor over this link. The bottom of your browser should tell you the actual address you’re going to… in case this is a spoofed link!) 
Lastly, if you wish to report a suspicious site, feel free to send in a ticket to Player Support at 
Stay safe, good luck, and have fun!"

Issue with "Undo"

It seems the there is a bit of a problem with the shop's undo feature, particularly for ARAM.

Here's taeshe with more info:
There’s a bug with the undo feature (not Kha’Zix) where if a dead player buys an item and then uses the undo button after they respawn, they’ll end up with almost no health. In regular games they’ll just recover at the fountain, but in ARAMs – since there’s no way to recover health at the base – this turns into a bigger problem. 
We’re currently working on a fix but wanted to raise visibility so that you can avoid it if possible. Remember, do not buy an item while dead and then use the undo function after you spawn. Sorry for the inconvenience!""

Itemization Discussion
Across several other threads, Xypherous continued his spirited discussion on various itemization issues. Some of them spread out across multiple threads, so I've attempted to organize them for easier reading.

Support Itemization outside of Gold Generation Items

Xypherous also commented on plans to take a better look at support itemization:
"We fundamentally agree with your assessment. 
Recall, in my 4.3 PBE items post - I said we have some long term plans for support itemization but we wanted to do as much cleanup work in the interim to make sure their mini-games and relative balance was closer. 
You are right that as long as there are powerful end-game actives that are dependent of your starting choice - that will ultimately bend the items to a a very warped state. So we did some experiments on cleaning these items up and we determined that we needed to do a much larger item pass in order to get there... 
...but along the way we had also discovered some fun things that would immediately improve the live state (Spellthief changes, et al) so we decided to implement them immediately."

Xypherous also replied to someone asking why you can't find Spellthief's Edge listed under AP in the shop
"Probably because the re-addition of AP was incredibly late. I'll grab this for the next patch."

He also had several comments on the support gold generation item changes that were pushed in 4.3:
"A couple notes on this:

1. Coin Tier 1 regeneration power level shouldn't have changed much if used in lane (as intended).

~12 minions per minute => 60 health per minute => 5 HP/5.

2. Tier 2 Coin was objectively nuts for how safe it was and how the mechanic itself scales better to mid-game. It had equal or better GP/10 compared to the others.

The optimal play in the previous patch was start with whatever Tier 1 you could maximize and always switch to coin - Mostly in part for the activation on the Tier 3 model - but also because Tier 2 Coin generated more gold than the other two from a realistic standpoint (Targon's and Edge become impossible to consistently trigger by the time mid-game rolls around and their gold generation drops of steeply as a result.)

This coming from the safest and most passive item seemed fairly off from an incentives perspective.

Coin had a lot of advantages going into these changes and it's still the most powerful of the three by far. While a large part of this is the active - the fact that the gold generation of coin frequently outpaced the other two in most games implies something very off about the risk/reward balance.

3. Targon's Tier 1 is weaker for self-sustain because we shifted the heal power mostly to your ally. Total healing from the item is roughly the same.

Pre-patch, Targon's Tier 1 looks like this:

72 health for self per minute
2% of your maximum health for ally per minute.

Post-patch: Targon's tier 1 looks like this:

+25 starting health
40 health for you per minute
40 health for an ally per minute

So we expect Targon's tier 1 to be roughly similar in terms of overall lane sustain but weaker in terms of personal sustain.

4. Targon's tier 2 is significantly more powerful in the power of sustain because of the fact that the charge timer is 30 seconds.
Previous Targon's Tier 2:

144 Health per minute
4% of your maximum Health to ally per minute

Current Targon's Tier 2:

146 Health per minute on self
100 Health per minute on ally 
5. We did nerf the power of the gold generation of Targon's...

...but that gold went to your ally. We essentially swapped the increased gold functionality for a really strong heal capacity instead.

6. Spellthief's Edge is riskier than it looks - hence the risk reduction / power increase.

Spellthief's Edge looks like it has a lot going for it - and it does.

Spellthief's Edge has a lot going against it - which mostly the fact that you are missing vital sustain statistic or health statistic that nearly every other start has.

Think of every feasible support starting item - all of them have max health or HP/5. If you start with Spellthief's Edge - you are entering lane with base health and base health regeneration. You will die if you mess up with Spellthief's.

You have zero recovery from items."

Runaan's Hurricane and AD Itemization

During his discussion about Boots of Mobility, Xypherous replied to someone asking why low usage / underpowered items like Ruaan's Hurricane haven't seen any love:
"Paraphrasing some other users in this thread in a nontoxic manner worth responding to: Alright, but what about other underpowered items? If there wasn't followup to balance Runaan's Hurricane, why should players believe that followup will happen for an underpowered Boots of Mobility?" 
Hurricane started out bad and we saw no reason to immediately work on it because it doesn't actually affect play much if they're bad. 
Boots of Mobility, however, is actually a core piece of the game and actually has fairly large reach due to their prominence. 
If I nerfed Hurricane, for example, people would be confused and amused - but at the end of the day no one would care because it's not core to how the game functions. 
I'm not saying that to make it sound better than it is - but working on Hurricane is a luxury / fanservice task - but working on Mobility is a core system."
He continued:
"Skarner's rework is a joke and when you come in and say stuff like 'working on such and such is a fanservice task' it infuriates me because I see Skarner who was already useless and now that he's more useless should I just pile him into the 'luxury/fanservice' champion pool?"
You shouldn't pile him in the luxury/fanservice pool because Skarner being bad affects anyone who wants to even play Skarner.

Hurricane being bad prevents you from gaining access to an item that grants cross-class advantages (AoE) to a class whose core fantasy is about annihilating single targets.

The distinction here is that Skarner being bad causes everyone who likes Skarner to suffer but Hurricane is at tangential, at best, to what people find attractive about carries. Carries' primary fantasy doesn't suffer when Hurricane is bad and People who dream about doing lots of area of effect damage also have other outlets in terms of mages."
In a different thread, Xypherous continued his discussion on Runaan's Hurricane:
"It's not core not because it's not gold efficient. 
It's not core because it's fundamentally a tangent to the primary fantasy of the carry playstyle - annihilating a single target. While it would be nice to improve Hurricane - you might consider tackling every other AD carry concern first because those issues are what actually interfere with enjoying AD carries at a baseline.

He continued, defending his stance:\
"A rioter actually said this? That's f├╝cking disgusting. As far as I care, items are a large factor in determining what the meta is. Just imagine what the game would look like if there were no IE, or if there were no Randuin's. Even less than that, imagine what the game would look like without Pickaxe or Blasting Wand."
A world without Infinity Edge is not the same as a world without Hurricane because while it's a nice change of pace from the standard carry build - it's not the same as making sure that a core carry build exists. 
The items you've listed are core components and do important things to both build ups and item progression. Hurricane offers an alternate fantasy for AD carry players - but one that is tangential to their primary one."

As for why the item should remain in the game, he commented:
"Then why not just remove it, along with all of the other useless items? Leaving it in seems to be..pointless. "
I'm not sure about that - it has high points in both co-op vs. AI / aram and other alternative low stress modes.

Additionally, the reason that working on it is a larger task is basically you have to carefully consider the functionality of the class because alternate playstyles can cause sweeping side effects if done poorly.

There are other, more important concerns about AD carries at the moment (such as their targets, their feeling of scaling and their feelings of powerless versus their actual effect on the game) - tasks that offer alternative fantasies can't really be a main concern. We've been fighting back super tanks for a little while and the complete burst-patterns in lane to figure out how to get defensive supports and peels back into the game and until that's in a healthy spot working on side itemization for carries is analogous to painting a room while the foundations are in trouble.

"ADC'S builds nowadays are ALWAYS the same. You need BT for sustain. You need infinity edge for the crit increased damage. You need LW because of tanks. 
There is room to change your bath build. 
Some games i can play YOLO darius. Some games i have to play tank/cdr Darius. 
But as adc? is always the same thing. "
You are absolutely right that you're locked into a lot of items on an ADC.

However, a balanced hurricane won't fix that. An overpowered one will because it'll create a different issue. 
The issues regarding AD carry itemization are deeper and need to be tackled first before you work on something like Hurricane. It's a hard statement to make - but it's true."
He continued, further discussing AD itemization:
"And what's wrong with just nerfing Annie Thresh and Leona until you figure out how to fix it? You have a bunch of champions that you consider 'toxic' to the game if they're strong, so what's wrong with a few more?"

Annie / Thresh and Leona are a lot of things but I'm not sure toxic is one of them.
The game is functioning fine with them in the game and in many respects it's a faster and more action-packed game for people who enjoy that kind of thing. The support role has never made more of an impact that those characters at the moment. 
However, what we're seeing is a stagnation of defensive picks and a complete lack of defenders for the carry. It's not toxic - it's just cramping out the environment. Toxicity results in a game where if X is strong, no one has fun. Their current status is simply causing some staleness (which we're trying to address with shield/edge and working on other stuff). 
Stale itemization for ADCs is certainly a problem but carry frustrations right now are much much more than a lack of variety in items and the gauge on it currently at the moment is that those problems are much more dire than stale itemization. 
From the top of my head, ADCs suffer right now because peelers aren't being played or have the incentives to be played and the current crop of ADCs are lane bullies that control the lane. Those two issues seem to be first and second on the Carry issues over 'stale' itemization.

Still, you should keep beating me up about it. It's definitely a weak point at the moment."

Bruiser Itemization

When asked about his previously mentioned plans to clean up Bruiser itemization, he commented:
"Can I call you out about all the bruiser itemization that was so totally coming out when Maw was released? Then Maw sucked, then Maw was never buffed, then we never heard anything else about the rest of the bruiser itemization?"
I totally made Hydra and Cleaver work kind of. Yeah, that's something FeralPony and myself want to tackle but there's a lot of component cleanup we have to do - not happening until Support AP is in a better place at the very least."

"Drain Tank" Itemization and Discussion

When asked about fighter itemization and the idea of "drain tanks", Xypherous commented:
"An item for drain tanks to continue drain tanking in the late game."
I'm not currently looking at fighter itemization and I have a notable bias against drain tanks. Although, I do know that Feral Pony is looking at this stuff. I suspect that Armor/AS/Heal on Hit would be the right base item for that slot but that's pretty bland. 
It'd ideally do something more interesting than be a generic ball of drain-relia stats.

I'm not looking to add fighter itemization any time soon as we still need to do some component cleanup from the seasonal changes. We lack a lot of decent small components to build items out of - as evidenced by some really awkward recipes we have."
Xypherous continued, explaining his dislike for drain tanks:
"I reply to hash threads because I like talking to hashinshin on the forums. I don't know? I'm weird, sue me. 
The reason why I don't like drain tanks is that most often they are DRAIN tanks and not drain TANKS. They have enough health to not be bursted and they will be at full health if their pattern is working. 
So you get these people that heal 1000% of their life but that becomes a DPS optimization exercise - which is already the play pattern that exists for everyone else, minus the invulnerability aspect. You get a little bit more play in the 'how do I DPS, given that I am invulnerable' - but often it simply becomes a matter of 'my drain output > any other considerations'. 
It's really the combination of 'not realistically burstable' and 'no real other considerations when ahead' that I mind - because often times the best place is to just stand still and whack at something. It's a personal preference thing. Jax is a pretty decent character overall because his entire purpose is to get to the point where he is Jax. 
If you consider lifesteal as a spectrum, you have: 'I bleed out but I have massive HP' on one side, and 'If I never get bursted, I am immortal.' on the other side - but most players prefer characters who sit in the middle where they will never be bursted and never bleed out and I'm biased personally against that middle because it's just a gear-check at that point for the most part."
He continued:
"I agree with your assessment that more interesting play decisions could make drain tanks more palatable to me - especially if there was more effort involved on becoming invulnerable.

However, recall that this is my bias. I'm not actually sure it's any more fun to jump through hoops for most people - it's just more fun for me as a player/designer.

I'm not reworking any champions soon but a lot of what you're saying revolves around conditionals which have their own kind of gameplay fun (training a dude) or some kind of spike healing paradigm gated by cooldown (Renekton/Mundo) - which I generally like. 
That said, unsure if Aatrox is doing it that well for me at the moment. As soon as you put Second Life on a drain tank concept - I just get really confused as to what exactly he is drain tanking *for*."

Doran's Shield Changes

Now that the nerfs to Doran's Shield have been pushed to liveXypherous popped in a thread to make a few comments about them:
"Our goal is to make it viable as a starting item on supports - but only in specific matchups that make sense with it - rather than all the time. 
So if you see Caitlyn and Lulu on the other side - yes, grab that shield because lane will hurt."
He continued:
"I honestly just think Doran's Shield is band-aiding way too much - ideally it's just a solution for double ranged.

Kennen, I think, has one of the last non-gated point and click nukes in top lane. Jayce / Nidalee I'm not too sure about - I actually haven't seen Nidalee (even before we increased the power of shield)."

Boots of Mobility Discussion

The changes to Boots of Mobility continue to be a hot topic on the forums and Xypherous popped into one particular thread to share more on the thought process behind them:
"While I'm not saying BoM is tuned perfectly right at the moment - let me respond to a couple of notes. This won't alleviate all your concerns - because adding real meaningful tradeoffs is always going to be a sour pill to take but... 
"All of the other boots gain a very large bonus in combat, while the Mobility Boots gain nothing. This is in my opinion a fair trade. You gain the ability to put down more map pressure but lose fighting potential, especially in teamfight."

Boots of Mobility actually has one of the largest bonuses to combat hidden on the item.
--> Bonus XP and Gold generation. 
True, it was conditional - but no other boot option basically gives you the possibility of being +1 Level in a fight. It's incredibly hidden power and very hard to evaluate but for a roaming pattern getting to partake of assist xp/gold bonuses translates to a huge amount of effectiveness.
It's the main reason why if you can take Boots of Mobility and work with it - you should.

"How can I viably expect to gank someone if I have T1 boots and they have T2? That's what they are btw, in combat they become T1 boots. It's ridiculous to try and use them on a melee Character and expect to be able to do anything."
You're right - you will have a much much harder time ganking someone in lane, without flanking someone, if they have Tier 2 boots. The questions here are: When will they have Tier 2 boots? Can you beat them to increased mobility? 
Afterwards, can you flank them and take more optimal gank routes? Can your team set up kills for you if you do? 
A contributing portion of this is that most melee at T1 boots match or are innately faster than most ranged at T2 boots - to say nothing of characters with intrinsic MS boosts coming out of the jungle.

"As a jungler this kind of irritates me, because the concept of Mobility Boots is ideal for the role, but you're basically just forcefully refusing to let me buy them."
An item that is ideal for the role without any meaningful tradeoffs isn't really an item that you want because you get to the same kind of restriction - you are forced to buy them to be effective - the exact problem you're talking about, only for the other extreme. 
Boots of Mobility, throughout it's lifetime, has always fallen in and out of favor as 'only boot option viable for junglers.'"
He continued, assuring that if the item was indeed "gutted" there would be more adjustments to it: 
"So basically you're saying your inability to actually provide meaningful alternatives to good items forced you to gut an item again." 
If we've truly gutted an item - we'll obviously make adjustments for it. That said, most people will view any kind of tradeoff as 'gutting the item' because item build theory tends to look at ideal optimal conditions rather than how the game flows."

Xypherous also addressed a comment about the extra mobility breaking on jungle camp hits:
"Also just want to point out you say that the hidden benefit of Boots 5 is +1 level in fights. Well, if you're taking off 25 movespeed for 5 seconds after a jungle camp I can guarantee that isn't happening any longer." 
Right - and if the effects of that are dramatic, the next follow-up step is to make the mobility portion of the item break on threshold damage break or champion damage break. 
Internal testing suggested that we didn't really need them as the gold decrease in cost actually made boots of mobility a pretty big pacing change that allowed for a lot more gank opportunities - but if we're wrong and the inability to farm neutral monsters makes it hard to actually do anything meaningful mid-game - more steps need to follow.

However, the tricky part here with this change is that it simply will never look good on paper because it's always going to be a nerf to a theoretical maximum build - so we'll have to rely on usage patterns / feedback and observation at large."

He continued, discussing the trade offs between different boots and a few other "underpowered" items:
"You keep talking about "trade offs".
Please explain what are the trade offs for Tabis, Merc Treads, or Swiftness?"
So, the easiest one is that you are only allowed one boot choice, so every boot choice locks you out of every other boot choice and it's horribly gold inefficient to do so. 
Merc Treads are pretty inefficient at what they do from a cost perspective. Since their tenacity is freely available to everyone - the cost of tenacity on that item is far greater than many of the other sources (See: Ancient Golem or Masteries.)

Swiftness boots are incredibly niche as the passive and base don't actually work at full efficiency a lot of the time. Udyr with Swiftness sounds like a good concept until you realize that Udyr either always hits diminishing returns with his MS boots *or* benefits from the slow reduction, never both. 
You've totally got me on Tabi though - those boots are pretty powerful at the moment compared to their actual cost."
He continued:
"I like that Xyph uses the cost versus massive efficient items."
Right - this is the fundamental disconnect of analysis between in-game flow and theoretical best.
Cost is mostly a function of in-game flow. How am I doing? Am I doing well? Are other people doing well? 
Efficiency is a function of maximizing a hypothetical amount of resources. If I have X gold, what should I spend it on? If I have a full build, what would I prefer? 
The different modes here are generally why people view early scale scaling nerfs as 'fine' as long as late game scaling is untouched - even if early game scaling is typically far more impactful.
He also commented on increase to everyone's base movement speed in an earlier season:
"The trade off value for boots as a starting item is pretty much gone now. From the videos, it seemed like it used to be a decision to take boots to lane or items that grant stats, as the movement speed difference is huge. Right now, only certain characters or people who want to dodge skillshots (a little) better would want to start with it - not a lot of people, to be honest."
For that specific point - it actually wasn't a decision by the time we made that change. You had to start boots because the pace of the game simply didn't work at 300 base MS. 
Every start for every character was boots / 3 potions and the game simply wasn't fun at all with 300 base MS - so we retuned base MS across the board to better fit the dimensions of the game in terms of lane width/size/shot speed/etc. 
Boots 1 being a feasible starting option simply adds +1 to starting options at the cost of the game speed feeling dramatically off and the tradeoffs for that don't seem to be favorable."
Continuing to discuss Mobility boot concerns:
"Mobo boots are hit harder early game, and they're almost not worth the buy for junglers that would want them. They push the jungler norm to those WITH dashes/jumps, which is unfortunately further homogenizing the traits champs need to have in the jungle." 
Gap closers usually act as powerful initiation mechanics - in the context of an early gank. Boots of Mobility serves as an additional +1 gap closer if used correctly so that you can re-engage. 
It's a difficult thing to work through - mostly because what people expect a jungler to have and do has ballooned incredibly to a set of statistics which is, at best, unfeasible and, at worst, incredibly damaging to the overall game. 
There are so many categories that you need to be a good jungler: Clear, Roam, Gank, Farm, Late Utility, Scaling, etc. and people have expected to be powerful in nearly all categories to be "playable" and thus whatever is deemed 'good' in the jungle has to be completely without drawbacks. 
The real question to me is what value does variety have - if every junglers output looks the same? If there's no difference in the expectations of what your jungler can and can't do - then essentially you just pick the one with the highest power level in the end. It's a tricky thing to wrap my head around. 
That said, that's not incredibly relevant to the BoM discussion - it's just a hard question with all the jungle stuff that's been changing.

"Xypherous, there's another aspect to the BoM nerf. Balance completely aside, it feels horrendous to pay gold to *lose* stats. 
Please never, ever, nerf an item like this again. If you must nerf, please remove positive stats, don't add negative ones."
You don't lose stats upgrading the item. You just don't get any more additional base movement speed."
He continued:
"If you wanted to nerf mobility boots why not just reduce the out of combat move speed by 20? 
Why not just increase the time it takes to get the movement speed back? 
Why not make it ramp up slower like MF's passive. "
All of these fights the item's core purpose - to get around the map faster. When you go around this approach of nerfing - you minimize short term pain because no one has to adjust but eventually you simply strip out the reason for the item's existence.

"See, I actually agree with this. The problem I have is that they add drawbacks to champs/items/whatevers that are already kinda weak, but not the ones that are dominating." 
In all fairness Boots of Mobility have never been 'kinda weak.' :P"

As for his thoughts on alternatives to buying boots ( such as Zephyr ), he commented:
"On the topic of boots, are boots meant to be a "mandatory item"? 
Almost everyone gets them in almost every game. Is this a design decision to speed up the pace of the game, or would you in the future consider nerfing boots to make room for other build options? "
I would love for certain classes to have a boots alternative late late late late late late game (but not everyone.) 
Zephyr, for example, turned into this - and at this point it's really hard for me to argue with the fact that Zephyr should probably just build out of Berzerker's Greaves and give flat MS.
Okay, maybe just carries."

As for champions who rely on the extra speed to gank since they do not have a gap closer, he commented:
"My concern is that if I want to play a non-traditional jungler that doesn't have a great gap closer (like Darius), if I get hit by a minion on the way to a gank, or if I want to try and catch someone after I get hit, it's a lot harder to do my role properly. I am being hyperbolic to a degree, but I think it hurts lesser-picked junglers, or junglers with mediocre gap-closing ability more."
The minion on the way to gank part is fairly rare for straight running - mostly because minions can't actually aggro you unless you've triggered a call for help. Since calls for help are exclusively generated by inflicting damage - you've already engage in combat. 
This does come up in the deep flanking case a lot though, which is the only realistic option for non-gap closing champions which means the minion breaking speed part hurts this paradigm quite a bit.

Hrm.. I still need a lot more data on use cases/rates and analysis from higher level in the scene as to the pacing changes with the gold adjustments but that suggests that the next logical step if it proves too weak is to have it only break on champion damage (which also cleans up the support/ward case nicely.) 
I can already hear the Miss Fortune posts as I write this though."
and of course the Miss Fortune questions did come, which he replied:
In all seriousness though, why hasn't something like that been considered as a way to help MF out in the current meta?
I don't speak on champion balance but I'm actually fairly certain that if this happened to MF - she wouldn't be able to keep her trade potential or strut's current power level. 
Strut is way swingy due to the high amount of potential power in it and so removing restrictions without hitting either her or the effect creates much larger consequences. 
It's a small change with huge effect - but you assume it'll get her up to par but I'm pretty sure it'll overshoot quite drastically and then, what then do you adjust back?
"Is this the same calculus behind Fiora and other champs with blatantly lacking kits being practically ignored for the entirety of their non-competitive lives?"
Here's the thing about Fiora - the people playing her, even at gold or above - do fairly well with her in most settings. They win more games than they lose. While there are long standing issues with Fiora in terms of what people want her to be - she's actually performing really well for the players that use her. 
Yes, that sounds like a slap in the face - but a lot of it is due to the fact that her optimal playstyle is more of an assassin and less like a melee carry.

So people who want to play crazy fencer girl with super multi-strike can do so - it's just not well aligned with people who simply want to be right-click and sustained focused."

Continuing to round out the discussion on champions who need a bit more work, Xypherous briefly commented:

"I realize their kits need help, but why do they not get priority over someone like skarner or Xerath who aren't nearly as bad, and are more popular?" 
You are absolutely right in calling us out on that and you should keep calling us out on stuff like that. That is an admitted failing in our process right now where we keep toxic characters weak and lag too long on reworking them to a healthy state. 
It doesn't excuse us for taking this long and you guys are right in holding us accountable to it - so make a fuss about things we're doing wrong. 
We have characters that we deem impossible to buff because we think they'd damage the game as a whole when they're good - but the urgency has been lost in reworking them simply because it's been so long.

You're right about Sion/Urgot and you should call us out on it more."
He continued:
"While on this topic, is there any chance of a list of champions you'd deem to be in this state? Poor GP for example has been wanting some changes for the longest time but whenever he's "good" he becomes completely toxic due to his point and click ranged harass/slow."
GP, Poppy, Talon, Yorick are the ones that spring off the top of my head."

Mega Update and AMA from Oceania Rioters

Master Mirkinen, the Country Manager for Oceania, has rounded up several other members of the Oceania team to post a giant update on all things relating to the OCE server specifically.

Check it out for info on job positions on the OCE team, Player behavior initiatives unique to OCE servers, the latest on the OCE community, what's happening with OCE esports, and much more.

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