Red Post Collection: Skarner follow-up - New passive direction, All-Star Challenge Teams Locked In, and more!

Posted on at 1:39 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features Morello, Scruffy, and Jag with a follow up on Skarner, including discussion on options for which direction they are taking for a new Skarner passive. Additionally, you'll find info on the All-Star Challenge teams, a new service to pull and share your summoner icon, and eye-catching ward art!
Continue reading for more information!

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[Skarner follow-up] New passive direction

The Patch 4.2 Skarner rework has been quite the hot topic since it's release in early February .
As a follow up, Morello has posted up a thread asking summoner's which direction they prefer for a potential new passive on Skarner - one being a stacking poison that stuns after so many stacks and another that does bonus damage plus a heal after so many spell hits.
"Hey everyone! 
One thing we've been talking a lot about is how we want to make sure Skarner  is followed-through on to correct some things you guys called out in his rework. I won't recap the whole discussion as it's long, but our goals are; 
1) Ensure Skarner's pattern is healthy, can be balanced, and allows for meaningful choices when fighting against him 
2) Create (or somehow restore) Skarner's identity that players miss now - mainly that of the "inevitable predator", freight-train style play. 
3) Make sure Skarner's strengths and weaknesses make sense. 
With that, I wanted to shop two different ideas to players and get a read on which direction seems like the better set of tradeoffs to satisfy these goals. To be clear, this must be a tradeoff to meet goals 1) and 3), but which one we choose is heavily influenced by 2). 
In both versions, his old passive would be removed, but the passive would be a passive on the Q (so it stays the same) Listed below. Other skill cooldowns likely lowered to match the fact that they don't get the passive. This keeps him out of total feast-or-famine, but allows some scaling/changes in power based on performance. In both versions: 
Q: Skarner gains A/B/C% movement speed as he stacks up Q hits, for X seconds. This will help him stick when he reaches a target. 
Now, for the two passive directions we're looking at. 
Direction 1: Skarner is a premier freight-train with great stickiness and good control. His tradeoff is his damage pattern is less bursty/longer time-to-kill, 
New Passive: Crystal Poison (name tbd) Spells apply stacks of poison to the enemy. After X stacks, the next auto-attack will do a (short) stun and bonus damage. 
1) We're stoked on this because it adds into his training pattern 2) We have a cool animation and effect we can repurpose to make this awesome (stings you with his tail!) 3) Likely more healthy with his natural transition into late-game initiator 
Direction 2: Skarner is a damage-oriented fighter with low utility. Gets no more control than on live, and does damage until transitioning into a late-game pick-tank. 
New passive: After X spell hits, Skarner's next attack does +damage and heals him for Y. 
1) Likely true damage 2) The more he trains, the more damage he does 3) Probably gets really bad if behind because damage is more granular and dependent on snowballing. 
So this is what we're talking about right now. I wanted to come ask what you think about these - I have my opinion, but since we want to make this right, we wonder if damage, or the ability to train/control is MORE important to Skarner fans or potential Skarner fans."

When asked if he will keep his attack speed bonus if he gets additional mov speed from his Q, Jag noted:
"The current idea is that he retains the AS bonus on Q and gains the MS boost on top of that."

Riot Scruffy chimed in, saying
"In either version of this change, the ramping movement speed on Q allows him to stick to a target once he is able to close. Feels good. 
Honestly I would be pretty happy with either version."

Replying to feedback that option one fits Skarner as he is more about control than damage, Scruffy reiterated that this is to help choose a direction Skarner players want:
"This is good to know, we wanted to be absolutely sure that the direction we choose is actually one that Skarner players would actually be excited about. Hopefully after the weekend we will have a really clear set of responses."

Riot Jag also spoke a bit to the direction 1 responses, noting:
"I like that people really favor Direction 1 because I think that results in a more balanced version of Skarner. Keep in mind though that the Q damage on that guy would be lower than live (perhaps significantly so) to compensate for the awesome CC-focused passive he'd be getting. Hopefully that helps guide your expectations on what "consistent damage" would be."
When asked if direction 1's lowered damage would affect his jungle clear times, Jag commented:
"That's a good question. Honestly, the answer is probably yes, his clear time may be worse, but that's not something we're settled on yet and we can possibly tune his passive numbers around aiding his early jungle clears. To us it's more important that Skarner players like the overall direction that he's going, and we'll tweak stuff like clear speeds afterwards."

As for direction 1 still being a bit too "feast or famine"-y ( example: 3 stacks too few, 5 stacks too much, etc ), Jag noted:
"His teamfighting pattern will have a lot more success cases even when he can't ultimate his optimal target since his peel will be a lot more potent. I share your concerns though that his early game ganking pattern may be a little too feast or famine still. We'd have to carefully tune his E slow around how easily he can close distances."

Riot Scruffy also confirmed that, with the removal of his current passive, Skarner's base cooldowns would be reduced:
"This is right. We are planning on base Cooldown reductions for w e and r to make up for the loss of passive."

Official All-Star Challenge Teams  Locked in!

All the votes are in and teams have been locked in for the upcoming All-Star challenge - featuring players and game modes voted on by summoners!
Here's Riot Shantzilla withthe full scoop:
"The time you've all been waiting for is here. It's time to announce the official teams that will be hitting the Rift this year in Paris, France for the first ever All-Star Challenge! These teams were built through a random drawing from the pool of pros voted for by you
On the blue side – Team Ice:
  • Froggen – Team Captain
  • Doublelift
  • Madlife
  • Caomei
  • Archie
  • Misaya – Hexakill Sixth Position
And the red side – Team Fire:
  • Diamond – Team Captain
  • Bjergsen
  • Shy
  • Wx
  • QTV
  • Toyz – Hexakill Sixth Position
The combined experience and skill level of these pros means that exciting, fast-paced League action is all but guaranteed. To see these two prolific teams throwing down in a wide variety of epic game modes, make sure you tune into starting Thursday May 8 at 6:00AM PDT/15:00 CEST. And to see the rest of the 2014 All-Star Challenge, as well as the All-Star Invitational schedule, click here. "
For more info, check out! 

League of Legends Avatar Service

Check out the new Avatar Service here - use the "change" button or the top bar to switch regions. 
Here' Krylhos with a heads up on a new little mini site that allows you to easily pull version of your summoner icon to share on .. well where ever!
Recently, we rolled out a service that allows for you to easily access your League of Legends summoner profile icon. This allowed us to easily put summoner icons in our vBulletin forums. 
Today, we rolled out an official destination so you can easily embed your summoner icon on other websites.

Check it out!"

High Res Ward Art

Since you guys might fancy a peek, I thought I'd share Riot Penguin's high res art of both the Stealth and Vision wards from over on twitter!

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