Red Post Collection: Talk to Me About Pantheon, Phreak and ZenonTheStoic on Nidalee, and more!

Posted on at 2:39 AM by Moobeat
[ Update: Added in a small quote from Tryndamere on the "You'll see why Q1 2014" comment ]

While you may be preoccupied with the glorious new U.R.F mode, I suggest you take a break to check out this short and sweet red post collection featuring SmashGizmo seeking feedback on Pantheon, Phreak and ZenonTheStoic discussing Nidalee currently in internal testing,  and more!
Continue reading for more information!

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Talk to me about Pantheon

SmashGizmo has jumped onto the forums to collect summoner feedback on Pantheon, including how they perceive him and what lane he should spend the most time in.
"Hey GD, 
I'm looking to get a better idea of how you all see Pantheon. Any and all thoughts are appreciated here, but the big stuff I'm looking for are: 
1. What aspects of his kit are essential to Pantheon's core identity? 
2. What role do you currently think of Pantheon as fulfilling (Fighter/Assassin/Melee Carry/Something Else)? 
3. Is this role the one you want to see him in? If not, what role would you like to see him in? 
4. What lane assignments do you like to see Pantheon in?

I've been playing Pantheon since the day he came out, so I have my own thoughts on these, but I'm only one player and I'd like to hear some stuff from others first before I go into my own thoughts here."
He continued:
"To be clear here, I'm not looking at Pantheon for a full scale rework. I'm trying to identify whether this guy's place in the game is problematic at the moment, and if so, figure out what the best course of action is for him in the short term."

After several pages of discussion, he summed up what he was seeing as:
"Ok, so I'm going to try to summarize what I've been seeing in here thus far... 
- Mandrop is the most iconic part of his kit, almost everyone identifies it as a core piece of his character. After that, his passive and E (both passive and active components) seem to be the next most frequently identified things that make Pantheon Pantheon, followed by the W. No one really seems to think Q is particularly cool. 
- Role feedback seems a bit muddled (I'll go more into that below). I've seen answers about his current role all the way across the spectrum of reasonable answers here, though most trending towards assassin/fighter due to his high damage output. 
- As for his ideal role, most people seem to see him as a Fighter, though there is still some contention here on both sides of the spectrum (more tanky bruiser or more damagey carry/assassin). 
- Lane assignment feedback almost universally seems to want to see him in top lane, with a healthy mix of people who are also ok with seeing him out of the jungle or mid.
So before we go any further here, let's talk a bit more about roles in LoL. 
One thing I saw a lot of was people defining Pantheon's role as an "AD Caster," which isn't technically a role in LoL. A Role describes What a character does in LoL, whereas "Caster" is answering How a character does what they do. For instance, Ezreal is an AD Caster, but he's still a Marksman because his role is to output high sustained damage to whatever targets he can hit while keeping himself alive. To shift the analogy back to Melee characters, Talon and Zed are examples of AD Caster Assassins, while Renekton and Garen are examples of AD Caster Bruisers, and I'd argue that Riven is an example of an AD Caster Melee Carry (not everyone agrees here). 
So from here, I guess I'd like to hear from dedicated Pantheon players about: 
- Which epic Mandrop plays do you love the most? What frustrates you about Mandrop? Are their any parallels from other games that Mandrop reminds you of or vice versa? 
- What other champions do you like playing? When Pantheon isn't available or you need a change of pace, who do you go to?

- What is more important to you, the ammount of damage that Pantheon deal in his burst or the amount of CC he brings via ult/aegis?"

Nidalee Discussion

Prompted by a thread discussing Morello's previous comments on Nidalee, Phreak stepped in with a few comments super tentative changes currently testing internally:
I don't want to spill too much. Ultimately... I had something typed out, but it's not my place to share. 
What I see right now internally is a largely unchanged champion. All the abilities are in the same places. There's just more interaction in the kit. More things to do than throw Javelins and wait. I'll see if I can ask the designer heading the project to poke in when he feels ready :)"
ZenonTheStoic elaborated on this, saying:
"Piggy-backing on this: we do have a kit in testing, designed by RiotRepertoire. That kit mostly tones down Javelin Toss's mid range damage and creates a follow-up opportunity to encourage more time spent in cougar form (which is currently the wave-pushing and teamfight clean up form) (plus strategic map movement I guess). 
However, to set expectations appropriately: just because we're testing changes doesn't mean those changes necessarily see the light of day. We test a LOT of kits, sometimes with crazy experimental changes (a Brand kit from last year comes to mind where Pyroclasm slowed down after each bounce but could bounce INDEFINITELY so long as the enemy team stayed together), and often the answer is "probably not worth doing". 
This is a strength of our design process. We're highly iterative and we realize that there's only so much value to be gained from theory-crafting it all out in your head. There's a time and a place for spreadsheet design, and IMO that's in the very beginning of a design idea, when you just want to get a rough read for the power level. After that there's no substitute for "just put it in a playtest and see how it goes". 
My personal feeling is that while everything Repertoire's changing about Nidalee is a positive change compared to live (a couple of GREAT QoL changes like pounce and swipe going toward mouse cursor), we're not addressing the truly grating aspect of live Nidalee, which is random spears chunking you down to 50% health. In theory, Nidalee is mana gated and can't just throw out spears all day. In practice, blue buff exists and Athene's is a gold-efficient pickup even without the mana on it, so yeah. May not be a Nidalee problem. May be a problem of how we're failing to do mana gating in modern League. 
But the kit is still in testing and it's way too early to tell where it's going. Definitely don't expect it to hit live any time soon; these things take time." 

Vision is Powerful

Responding to someone spit ballin' ideas on improving Quinn's W's vision, ZenonTheStoic chatted a bit about how powerful vision is on a champion's kit:
"Vision is incredibly powerful and hard to appreciate at the same time. In working on the Warwick remake I keep running into how much of the power budget lives in the REVEAL of blood scent alone. Remember that vision is basically a "team-wide buff", as all of your allies can take advantage of the additional information gained. Quinn W also grants vision ACROSS WALLS, which is double-crazy strong.

Thematically, imagine that Valor flies up really high to where he can't fight people when he grants Quinn W vision; when he's on the battlefield himself he can't afford to do that!"

No Immediate Plans for Zed

Meddler popped out of the shadows to briefly mention Zed, noting the team has no immediate plans to change him:
"We currently have no plans to rework Zed nor, in the next couple of patches we're assessing possible balance changes for at present, plans to buff or nerf him either."

Old Icons being updated!

When what's going on with the new icons for Ashe, Soraka, and Kayle in recent patches, Meddler noted that the team is slowly working through champions with old icons and updating them:
"Non gameplay related icon update. We're working our way through champions with old icons and updating them, often doing so seperately from gameplay/general visual updates unless those are scheduled in the near future."

[ Reminder ] Mystery Skins are back!

Here's a reminder that MYSTERY SKINS, being able to gift yourself a random skin valued at 520 RP or higher for a mere for 490 RP, are back between NOW and April 4th!

See this post for full details.

[ Updated ] "You'll see why in Q1 of 2014" update. 

Tryndamere has posted a small reply regarding his previous comment"You'll see why in Q1 of 2014" when asked why there have not been any map skins.
"Hey guys - sorry I'm late to this thread. I'm traveling at the moment so wasn't able to see it when it was on the front page. Anyway: 
You're totally right, and this is why we generally don't announce dates - things can take longer than expected to get right. We're not gonna announce or release things just to hit some arbitrary date. My bad - I really shouldn't have hinted at a date."

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