Red Post Collection: 4.5 Itemization Changes & New Items, Lee Sin Lessons , "Plot is highly overrated" and more!

Posted on at 3:37 AM by Moobeat
While not quite as big as last night's PBE update, this morning's red post collection is a doozy! Within, you'll find FeralPony discussing some tentative 4.5  item changes ( including two brand new items! ),  Riot Chun with more discussion and another draft of the Lee Sin retune, Kades sharing his perspective on the "Plot is highly overrated" quote, and Xypherous with follow up discussion on his previously mentioned Summoner Spell and Enchantment Changes.
Continue reading for more information.

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4.5 Itemization Changes

It turns out FeralPony has some changes of his own scheduled for testing this PBE cycle!

Here's his list of TENTATIVE itemization changes that he''ll be iterating on for 4.5:
"Hey folks, we have a bunch of itemization changes slated for the 4.5 patch I want to get out in the open and get some thoughts/feedback on. The individual changes for the most part are fairly minor and not super crazy but it's a LARGE list, you've been warned. 
One of the primary problems is that many of the mid-tier component items for AP items make sense only when you have a good consistent Ability Power base - such as triple ring or something. This was exacerbated in Season 4 when we stripped out a lot of the small mid-tier component items (that ranged from 800 to 900 Gold). We want to take a couple of preliminary steps to introduce some new components that might form a solid basis for future items as well as ensure that players that go down a Utility / Support route start feeling more complete earlier. 
Ability Power / Movement Speed(NEW) Aether Wisp
  • Recipe: Amplifying Tome + 365 Gold = 800 Total Gold
  • 30 Ability Power
  • UNIQUE Passive: +5% Movement Speed
This item seemed a very logical component piece for the two current AP & MS items (LB and TS) as well as a good building block for future items. 

Lich Bane
  • Recipe: Sheen + Aether Wisp (NEW) + 1000 Gold = 3000 Total Gold
  • Total Cost: Unchanged
  • Stats: Unchanged
  • Passive: Unchanged
Twin Shadows (Summoner's Rift)
  • Recipe: Aether Wisp (NEW) + Fiendish Codex + 780 Gold = 2400 Total Gold
  • Ability Power: 50 --> 80
  • Magic Resistance: 40 --> 0
  • Cooldown Reduction: 0 --> 10% CDR
  • Movement Speed: Unchanged
  • Additional Active Effect: If the ghosts fail to find a target after 5 seconds, they attempt to return to the caster. Each ghost that successfully returns to the caster reduces the cooldown of this item by 40 seconds.
We've retuned Twin Shadows to more emphasis the scouting portion of the item rather than the tank / initiation portion of the item. The new active effect allows the item to be used at a much lower cooldown cost for scouting purposes. The smoother buildpath compared to live should allow supports who pick up Twin Shadows to make progressive AP gains as they build towards the final item. 
Mana Regeneration and Cooldown Reduction 
(NEW) Forbidden Idol (Icon is currently placeholder)
  • Recipe: Faerie Charm + Faerie Charm + 390 Gold = 750 Gold Total
  • +8 Mana Regen per 5 seconds
  • UNIQUE Passive: +10% Cooldown Reduction
  • Recipe: Fiendish Codex + Forbidden Idol (NEW) + 630 Gold = 2200 Gold Total
  • Total Cost: Unchanged
  • Stats: Unchanged
  • Passive: Unchanged
Nothing to see here besides the recipe change. The removal of Kage's in S4 made this recipe a bit weird so we're cleaning it up a bit. 
Talisman of Ascension
  • Recipe: Nomad's Medallion + Forbidden Idol (NEW) + 585 Gold = 2200 Gold Total
  • Total Cost: 2000 --> 2200
  • Mana Regeneration Per 5: 10 --> 15
  • Other Stats: Unchanged
It's always been weird that Talisman of Ascension has 20% CDR pop out of nowhere. So we're retrofitting Talisman of Ascension to build out of the Forbidden Idol.
That said, this does still mean that Talisman of Ascension will have the most mana regeneration of the Income items again. 
Frost Queen's Claim
  • Recipe Cost: 315 --> 515
  • Total Cost: 2000 --> 2200
  • Ability Power: 40 --> 50
Face of the Mountain
  • Recipe Cost: 185 --> 385
  • Total Cost: 2000 --> 2200
  • Health Regeneration per 5: 25 --> 20
  • Health: 375 --> 500
On the whole this is pretty much a neutral change to Frost Queen's Claim and a very slight buff to Face of the Mountain but the main purpose of these tweaks is to ensure that all the Tier 3 Duo lane items had the same gold cost and thus roughly the same gold efficiency end game. 
Will of the Ancients
  • Recipe: Hextech Revolver + Fiendish Codex + 480 Gold = 2500 Total Gold
  • Ability Power: 50 --> 80
  • Mana Regeneration per 5: 10 --> 0
  • Cooldown Reduction: Unchanged
  • Passive: Unchanged
Xypherous has some crazy conspiracy theories behind this change, but I think it is difficult to adjust and cleanup item recipes without addressing Wota. The Mana Regen was always attached to allow mages who wanted to invest in spellvamp, but was still primarily picked up by resourceless casters. We've retuned the item with those characters in mind. This might be a bit crazy in testing but we can adjust the items balance pretty easily and part of the reason we wanted to get this out earlier.  
Aegis of the Legion
  • Recipe: Negatron Cloak + Ruby Crystal + Rejuvenation Bead + 600 Gold = 1900 Gold
  • Health: Unchanged
  • Armor: 20 --> 0
  • Magic Resistance: 0 --> 20 (40 Magic Resistance total due to the 20 from Aura)
  • Aura: Unchanged
Locket of the Iron Solari
  • Recipe: Kindlegem + Aegis of the Legion + 50 Gold = 2800 Gold
  • Health: 300 --> 400
  • Armor: 20 --> 0
  • Magic Resistanace: 0 --> 20 (40 Magic Resistance total due to the 20 from Aura)
  • Cooldown Reduction: Unchanged
  • Aura - Legion: Unchanged
  • Active: Unchanged
The recipe for Aegis of the Legion has always been a little weird after the removal of Emblem of Valor. The more we prodded at the item, the more the item's triple resistance nature (Health/Armor/MR) seemed to not align with our overall goals and direction of the item system. We want the item to do a better job at it's intended function - defending against heavy amounts of magic damage and be slightly less universal.  
The stat lineup on Locket seemed like a logical choice for players who wanted to pick up an early Kindlegem and rounded out the recipe nicely.  
Glacial Shroud
  • Recipe: Cloth Armor + Sapphire Crystal + 250 Gold = 950 Gold Total
  • Armor: 45 --> 20
  • Mana: 300 --> 250
  • Cooldown Reduction: Unchanged
Iceborn Gauntlet
  • Combine Cost: 1100 --> 750
  • Total Cost: 3300 --> 2900 (Due to Glacial Shroud)
  • Ability Power: Unchanged
  • Mana: Unchanged
  • Armor: 70 --> 60
  • Cooldown Reduction: Unchanged
  • Passive: Unchanged
Frozen Heart
  • Combine Cost: 550 --> 650
  • Total Cost: 2900 --> 2600 (Due to Glacial Shroud)
  • Armor: 95 --> 100
  • Mana & Cooldown Reduction: Unchanged
  • Aura Attack Speed Reduction: -20% --> -15%
We wanted to retune Glacial shroud to be an easier pickup for people in lane and the 950 gold cost made it a much easier early game pickup than the previous 1350 cost. The price point also didn't seem to match the expectations and impact of the item.  
The changes to IBG and FH are overall small buffs to the items which are a bit on the weak side. The easier buildup combined with the lower pricepoint should put both these items in a better spot overall.  
Warden's Mail
  • Recipe: Chain Vest + 280 Gold
  • Combine Cost: 400 --> 280
  • Total Cost: Unchanged
With the change to Glacial Shroud we wanted to be sure that Chain Vest was an available pickup for folks who wanted to really heavily in armor in either Randuin's or Frozen Heart
These should be popping up on the PBE soon and I'll be around a bit later tonight to grab feedback and answer questions."

He continued, replying to several points about the tentative changes::

FeralPony kicked things off by expanding on why items like Frozen Heart and Rand. Omen get getting nerfs and the lack of counter play against Zhonya's Hourglass:
"It's less of an issue of counterplay as a lot of strategic counter items lack counterplay and it's far from a requirement of items. We've found over time that even an effect like 15% Attack Speed Slow is still very effective at countering the Attack Speed heavy champions and more slow generally goes beyond painful and just makes that champs feel basically unplayable. Through trial and error over many years of seeing, playing, and watching 15% seems like a powerful but manageable number for AS slows. 
As for Hourglass, I can agree with that sentiment that it is an incredibly strong defensive item as well as having a large amount of Ability Power as well. Mage itemization was outside the scope of what I wanted to cover (the current change list was already getting quite large).
I could spend a ton of time overall on itemization but I really need to control scope creep on this - it's really easy start fiddling with numbers on everything and end up not only losing sight of your original goal but also potentially end up causing more harm then good. Game design is by its very nature, high experimental. As in any experiment in order to test if your changes were effective you need to keep the number of changes contained so you can actually attribute success or failure to the actions you've taken. This post-change analysis is where the most learning takes place, and something I think we can spend more time on as both developers and as players."

Regarding the removal of mana on Will of the Ancients, he commented:
"This is a very valid line of reasoning and part of the reason we went with that approach initially. In general I dislike the notion of making an item feel like a bad pickup on characters simply because they synergize naturally with the item. 
Characters should have natural synergies with items that's part of what makes itemization interesting as a system. Fighting hard against that by adding stats that makes unappealing on the characters who should benefit from the most seems a bit backwards to me.
As for the specifics on the numbers I'd have to refer to my spreadsheet when I get back to work but when I ran my calculations the new wota was slightly more efficient than previous for non-mana users and slightly less efficient for mana users. 
If we find that the item becomes simply unusable on a large number of characters who currently buy it and "broken" on resourceless bros I'm totally willing to reconsider this change, as there is also a fairly elegant solution I've already tried where using the current statline we replace the double FC with forbidden idol and leave it relatively untouched. It's a very safe fallback, but I'd like to give this iteration a shot at least."
he continued, validating concern that some champions might benefit too well from the new Will of the Ancients:
"The fear is very valid which is why I'm keeping the testing on this internal until I know it has some promise. :) 
TL:DR We're both a bit scared and rightly so. Some fear though can be healthy. :D"
 he continued, discussing the similarities between Will of the Ancients and Athene's Unholy Grails:
"You raise an extremely valid point comparing WotA to AUG. This overlap is another reason I opted to try out the recipe change. There was quite a bit of overlap between the items and bringing WotA up the pricepoint where we felt it should be (mid 2k). Offering it additional offense power over Athene's can also make it a more appealing buy for champions who are debating between the two, which you'll notice we've done (80 AP vs AUGs 60) 
Spellvamp in general is a stat that is poorly suited for support champions so part of this was positioning WotA a bit away from support champions and more towards the champions that better utalize and benefit from spellvamp. If supports were buying the current WotA it was a trap item, as there are far stronger item choices for traditional support champions, and I believe mage supports who really want SV should find more luck with this version, chalice/MC alone gives more than enough MP5. They don't need to be dropping Mp5 on 3 item slots (since most of the income items also have heavy mp5), it's effectively a wasted stat at that point. 
That said I've been experimenting with a new Spellvamp item specifically geared towards supports (tentatively called Hug of the Ancients :D ). We'll have to see how that pans out but there might be some promise down that path."

As for the Aegis of the Legion changes, he noted:
"There was always something about Aegis that bothered me and it wasn't the aura (though that has typically aura lack of satisfaction for power it grants). It really boiled down to that it had all 3 defensive stats. We already have a stat for "Defend a bit against everything" it's called health, and it felt a bit silly from a design perspective to have an item with health and "effectively more health" when it has a very unique and solid position as an MR / Anti-poke item, so we chose to replace the armor with magic resistance.

It seemed very logical to shift this item more into its natural anti-magic role especially considering a general shortage of strong MR itemization."

FeralPony also commented on his stance on Aether Wisps price effeicentcy. :
"Totally willing to increase the price point if it starts becoming a problem. As it only builds into 2 items (LB and TS) we have a lot of room to play on pricing here without altering the end items (simply pull cost out of the recipe and put it into Aether Wisp)"

Feral Pony also mentioned that his next focus is likely going to be chipping away at ADC itemization:

"I agree with you that there is a lot more positive changes and adjustments we can make to itemization, particularly in variety of Marksman and Fighter items, as well as readjusting some of the super rarely used items. In terms of prioritization, we felt that support itemization needed not only a lot of work but that most of it was fairly straightforward with a lot less side effects to manage than something like Marksman items which meant we could get these out of the door pretty quickly and safely. 
To say that a lot of these items though were in a good place I disagree with you on. Items like were in serious need of tuning, and and definitely fall into your category of "too niche" if items like Zephyr and Nashors are present in the list. 
The sheer number of items you posted that could use adjustments or fiddling is the exact reason we are trying to keep these changes under control. Obviously every player is going to have some innate biases - I have heard sentiments that Riot loves/favors every single class at one point or another with the same changes. 
Saying that we favor ADCs and Mages though feels extremely odd since none of these changes are really geared towards either roles. These are targeted towards primarily towards tanks, supports, and tanky supports (with the exception of WotA which is moving it a bit out of the support space) 
That all said, I don't want to dispute that we need to do a lot more work on items as a whole, and that a lot of this style of work or changing/retuning build paths can be used across a lot of item sets (and will be) but we ultimately had to start somewhere and we felt the biggest bang for the buck came from tackling some of this support itemization first. 
In terms of place to focus next, I think we're looking at Marksman items but I'm also open to hear where folks feel we have the biggest gains to make. You can't touch everything at once and expect a good result but where to look next and how to prioritize it is a very active discussion I wouldn't mind additional opinions on."

Lee Sin Lessons

Following the community's response and feedback on his original draft of the Lee Sin retune, Riot Chun has returned with another iteration of the changes and more context than you can shake a blind monk at:
"Hey everyone, 
I read through all your replies / feedback on our Lee Sin retune, and I have made some changes! But before I get to them, I think there’s some misunderstanding to why we’re making the changes to Lee Sin and how these changes will impact him. Some of you read my posts and responded (good feedback!), but a lot just saw lower numbers and got angry (not good!). So a few things: 
From our changes, it felt like Lee Sin’s ‘identity’ was under attack (assassin early > utility tank late / strong early > weak late) 
Changing Lee Sin’s identity was never our intention! If it seemed like that, then your feedback is good in checking us. 
From our own understanding (and your feedback), we see Lee Sin as a risky, high-skill champion who makes really cool plays in the early game and gets rewarded for that playstyle (especially in the early game where small-scale skirmishes take place). The problem was that he had very low risk because of his raw strength in stats and abilities that even if he made a misplay, he could always recover. We are absolutely fine with early game Lee being strong and late game Lee being weaker than most, but we wanted to create real risk for Lee in the early game and, if he succeeds, give him a path forward to play in the late game. This is more true (but not absolutely driven by) competitive play, which is more focused on early power champions. Speaking of competitive, early game Lee Sin (for teams that can play him) is so strong that he often crowds out any alternative choice (because there’s very little he can’t do for the demands of competitive junglers). 
Late game Lee Sin is the opposite - the most frustrating part was that he lost a lot of relevancy late game no matter how well he did early game (this is important!). Late game Lee has no prolonged threat to give him a presence except his initiation (which can be very unreliable), so he has to pull off an extremely mechanically difficult play to be considered “successful,” and then he’s almost completed his job. If Lee can’t pull off that kind of play, he gets punished for “misplaying.” Even if Lee makes a lot of successful ganks and goes into the late game with a lot of kills, he often loses because he has no strong way to take advantage of it (unless he’s really, really far ahead). We wanted to give Lee Sin some options while staying true to his perceived power curve of being strong early and weaker late. 
A summary here would be that we like champions who are strong early or are strong late, but at least part of those strengths should come from player skill and not all the champion being picked. I know Lee Sin 'feels' very balanced because all of his abilities are skill shots, but he keeps a lot of his power even when he fails, which isn't true of a lot of champions. 
Nobody appreciates the attack speed buffs on Flurry.I made a mistake in communicating this the first time, so I’ll say this: this isn’t a buff to how Lee Sin is played right now, but it’s a buff to how he can be played when he has a real late game presence. I wish I could show you how much smoother Lee Sin feels to play with these changes because it lets him get his energy back from Flurry so he can use more spells. He's also a lot 'stickier' in following opponents because he can get a few attacks out in between his abilities (and much faster). 
In late game team fights Lee Sin is very weak so he could only use his spells for damage. The attack speed buff to Flurry means he can finally deal sustained damage at all points in the game so he’s not trapped in only finding the ideal initiation window (insec play). 
Ward Hopping was too punishing.Once again, we like the play pattern and think it's cool, but it was giving Lee tons of frustrating mobility without real offensive / defensive tradeoffs. We're very firm on that belief! But from your feedback, it was clear that energy cost increases on Safeguard would make Lee no longer able to perform his best combo, so we've reverted it. We still need to make some kind of tradeoff here, so he'll be giving up the safety of the self-shield if he jumps to minions / wards.
We also think it's important to reduce a little bit of Lee's frustrating mobility moments so we're also sticking with the increased base cooldown that gets reduced when you cast it on an allied champion. This also rewards / incentivizes Lee to cooperate with his team instead of being a self-sufficient monk. 
The change to Dragon's Range was too different from what Lee currently has.Agree. With so many changes in this retune it could be easy to see this change as just a damage nerf. In the early to mid game, Dragon's Rage is mostly used as a high damage execute and in the late game, Dragon's Rage is mostly used as a positioning / 'insec' play to isolate a target. We made this change to add more consistency in the choice while also reducing some of Dragon's Rage's really high early game power. So you would choose to either isolate a target from his/her team, or you would choose to kick someone into the enemy team for massive damage. This would be a choice you could always take throughout the game rather than one you're forced you take because your power fell off. 
Still, it's a lot of change so we're going to keep it like it is on live (but we'll still need to reduce the damage on it because it deals really high base damage, especially when Lee is ahead). I still think it's important that there be a tradeoff between isolating a target or dealing maximum damage, but we'll think of that in the future. 
Now that I've written so much... you can have the changes! I really hope you take the time to read through the above so you can understand the changes below. I also noticed some misunderstanding behind total attack damage versus bonus attack damage. While it does seem like some values are much lower than their current live values, the scaling with total attack damage means Lee Sin will scale better into late game but will snowball less when he gets a bunch of AD items in the early game.

  • Flurry
Attack Speed bonus increased to 40/60/80/100% (at levels 1/6/11/16) from 40% at all levels
  • Sonic Wave
Damage changed to 15/35/55/75/95 (+0.5/0.6/0.7/0.8/0.9 Total AD) from 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.9 Bonus AD)
example1 example2
  • Resonating Strike
Damage changed to 15/35/55/75/95 (+0.5/0.6/0.7/0.8/0.9 Total AD) from 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.9 Bonus AD)
Now deals up to 50% bonus damage (150% total damage) based on the target’s missing Health instead of 8% of the target’s missing Health
  • Safeguard
No longer grant shield on himself if dashes towards non-champion unit
Cooldown increased to 14 from 9 seconds
Cooldown is now reduced by 50% if cast on an allied champion (excluding self)
  • Tempest
Damage changed to 20/40/60/80/100 (+0.6 total AD) from 60/95/130/165/200 (+1.0 Bonus AD)
Now deals physical damage instead of magic
  • Cripple
Slow decay now updates more quickly (every 0.25 seconds instead of every 1 second)
Slow decay now correctly takes into account disable reducing effects such as Tenacity (if the slow duration is being reduced, the slow will now decay more quickly)
  • Dragon’s Rage
Damage changed to 150/300/450 (+2.0 Bonus AD) from 200/400/600 (+2.0 Bonus AD)"

"Plot is highly overrated"

Kades jumped onto the forums to discuss the quote from Riot's narrative lead, Tom Abernathy  that's been circulating around - "Plot is highly overrated":
"You know, I'd taken a break from the forums for a bit- but this thread really befuddled me. I have that sick sensation right now- like I'm Bilbo Baggins wandering headlong into a den of trolls- but I'm genuinely confused so I might as well chime in. 
Ryugi, you mentioned that you were considering applying for a 'Narrative Editor' position. I'm not really sure on the specifics of the role, but context clues lead me to think that it would have you working- at least somewhat- with our Narrative Lead. A guy that I feel very humbled to call a coworker. In all my interactions, Tom's been incredibly on-point and awesome to work alongside. A passionate dude who is always trying to find cool new ways to explore our lore. The type who will sit there and really try to listen and understand what you're saying before he responds. And from Bilgewater to Shurima to Ionia... he lives and breathes our lore. That entire team does. 
He's a collaborator. In my interactions, he appears to lead by example. And he's far more talented than I am (though I suppose that last part's not saying too much...) 
I gather by the tone of your post that you scrapped that idea to apply to Riot- which might be our loss- but from what you're showcasing, I'd struggle to see you thrive in an environment that you hold in such contempt. I don't know. From the small bit I've seen, you seem to also jump quickly to hyperbole and sensationalism (title of the thread?) Maybe that strategy has worked for you in the past?

Regardless, I think it's plausible that you took what he was saying about how 'plot is highly overrated in games' out of context. (That's reinforced by the fact that this discussion is based around an IGN article rather than a GDC video.) 
For me, personally, as a fun of the lore- I tend to respond to more character explorations rather than plot driven thematics. That's what I took from his observations, too. The Jinx video would be considered a character exploration in the way I'm describing it; the old Journals of Justice (of which I've read them all...!) is the best example I can think of that showcases us trying to add plot into the world of Runeterra. The political intrigue was exciting for me, but I found that most people around me had to previously be really invested to care that... I don't know, 'Swain is now running Noxus'. Where as, I can show the Jinx video to a stranger and they get what Jinx is about. My wife only wants to play Jinx mainly due to the video.

'Great characters and a rich world create a canvas for players to explore a game- and it allows them to make their own plots.' That's what I took away from the talk.

You seemed to take 'Riot hates stories!' or 'Riot hates having lore!' which... I suppose is just a different way to go with it. And all the more confusing because it is so drastically far off from the truth.
I could debate the pro's and con's of Tom's GDC speech at length, but that's not really why I stopped by. I guess I just wanted to touch on one point- it seems like you are genuinely passionate about our lore. And I can appreciate that you care so much about it that you are upset you don't have more of it. I get that. But on that front, that dude you're raging about is not your enemy.

Frankly, he's one of your biggest allies."
He continued:
"That's fair. And I can get that's how you'd feel from the outside. It's just odd hearing that frustration directed at that specific guy. Like, "Mr. Rogers is such a jerk IRL!!!" 
I gotta be really careful about extending expectations to a group that already feels pretty frustrated and slighted. But our Lore department isn't getting any smaller. We want to tell more stories, too. I'd be a bad fit for the 'Iron Stylus of Lore', but I can understand how you'd feel frustrated if you wanted to hear more and you thought we weren't listening.

I guess I'll just say that we are listening. And that we want to tell great stories rather than rush to tell lots of them."

[ Continued ] Planned 4.5 / 4.6 Summoner Spell and Enchantment Changes

Following up on his previously shared post, Xypherous took to the PBE forums to answer more questions about his tentative Summoner Spell and Enchantment changes.

When asked if he had ever considered being able to put enchantments on items other than boots, Xypherous commented:
"I haven't really. Enchantments are a presentation mechanism. 
Enchantments are a way of saying - These 35 boots are actually just two sets of items - 7 boots and 5 enchantments. 
So you'd use enchantments when you want to share effects across items - but it doesn't really seem like there's a lot of places where this approach offers a whole lot of benefits compared to just creating something cool or refactoring an underlying system"
He continued, responding to some general ideas of what enchantments should be:
I might be misguided but I stick fairly hard to the notion that all the enchantments should modify movement in some way. This is why Distortion modifies an apparently random set of Summoner Spells - they're the primary Movement related ones. 
(Although - now it looks more random because Heal.) 
This makes them relatively easy to compare because you're comparing things that try to accomplish the same goal and which one suits you the best. 
As to your other ideas - I'm not going to respond to them in this thread. We'll get an itemization thread on PBE with the current changes for ze patch. We're not interested in touching VS / LW / Core Mage items this patch - we're just trying to do some mid-game cleanup."

As for his thoughts on how Distortion's bonuses are perceived, he commented:
"Definitely true. 
However, the tricky part to weighing Distortion versus the other boots is that Distortion gives you a very powerful effect once every 3 or 4 minutes - while every other boot basically is up for the entire fight. 
So - Distortion will always look much more amazing than the others because it compresses its moment of power into one instant - while Alacrity, Captain, Furor, etc. are more invisible because their effects are spread out over 12 to 15 seconds of the fight."

When asked if Exhaust will still slow attack speed, Xypherous confirmed:
"Yes. Exhaust will still slow Attack Speed."

Xypherous also expanded his thoughts on heal and why flash is a good summone rspell:
Increasing the power of Heal always has the issue of turning bottom lane into a passive sustain fest rather than one where players can take action.
We already wanted to reduce the cooldown of Heal - increasing the heal numbers early game seemed to just promote cases we didn't want (Heal being used primarily for sustain) rather than moments of action (Reversals, etc.)
While Flash does have a heavy cost in variance because it is so dominant or prevalent - Flash is one of the few spells that actually is both reactive and proactive. Flash enables players to do cool things.
We're taking the approach that other Summoner Spells need to be better enablers of playstyles - while I don't think that these changes will make Flash less prevalent but this should capture more of what we like about Flash in the other spells as well.

When pitched the idea of an item that build out of boots to replace that slot, Xypherous commented:
"We always kick around the idea that Zephyr should just build out of Berserker's Greaves and give Enhanced Movement as its passive instead of 10% movement speed. 
It's always a little sketchy to fully support 'The Sword Boot' though."

When asked about any changes for Cleanse, Clarity, or Clairvoyance, he replied:
"So - we actually heavily iterated on the Cleanse / Knockback version this patch, as we wanted to focus on Defensive Summoner Spells and giving them more breadth. 
However, as it turns out - the gameplay of it was just really bizarre. No one actually felt good using Cleanse because it was such a mismatch of their combat ranges - or it didn't help them disengage even after the knockback because they didn't actually have a true disengage ability. But if they had a true disengage ability, they didn't need the knockback - and then vicious circles. 
As for Clarity / Clairvoyance - that wasn't our focus this patch. For these patch to patch system changes, we usually start out with a goal: (Summoner Spells: Defensive Spells for bottom lane) or (Boot Enchantments: Mid and Late Game combat mobility) - rather than a broad topic like 'Summoner Spells in general'. 
I've got no real thoughts at them other than what we tried in Pre-S4 cycle."

As for the Distortion changes allowing you to flash over walls you couldn't normally get over, he noted:
"It does add to the number of walls you can flash over. I'm not too happy about that because it makes it really convoluted to learn and practice on. 
In an ideal world, we'd have some sort of special effect when you flash over a wall you couldn't with Distortion but those kind of 'communicate design intent' particles are often noisy and hard to understand in the first place which defeats the purpose of them being there."

Riot Riscx also commented on summoner feedback and "feeling ignored":
"I dont think things being implemented in a way you disagree with is the same as feedback being ignored. Xyph and some of the other core gameplay team are very active on the various forums and seek out as much feedback as possible, but in this case maybe they just disagreed with the opinion in question. 
PBE is just one (very important) feedback source. For high-mmr feedback we also have challenger level rioters in multiple daily playtests evaluating changes like this. 
One great thing about being a live service product is that we can continually tweak and make changes based on new data, and I'm sure the balance team will be watching this change closely. It's entirely possible this will hurt TF's win rate and he will need some love, but we'll see when the data and more player feedback comes in. 
Please continue to provide feedback, it is super valuable :) There are many datapoints being evaluated, and just because your feedback was in conflict with our decision in this instance doesnt mean you arent contributing real value to the discussion."

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