Red Post Collection: 4.9 Live Gameplay Patch Forecast, Morello on Soraka's Wish, 2 for 1 Rune Pages live, and more!

Posted on at 12:09 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features Riot Chun with the 4.9 Live Gameplay Patch Forecast, context on the recent PBE changes for LeBlanc and Kayle, Morello with more on Soraka's future rework, a reminder on the 2 for the price of 1 rune page sale, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

[4.9] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast

Here's Riot Chun with the live gameplay patch forecast for 4.9, an explanation on some of the balance projects currently in development.
"Hi guys, here is Chun with 4.9 Patch Forecast, where I'll be talking about the major issues we're looking at in League of Legends. Keep in mind that the forecast is more about identifying problems that we're looking at, and not promises of changes to come in each patch. Some changes might take longer than others! 
1) Kha'Zix 
As Jag mentioned in last forecast ( ), we have been working on Kha’Zix. Currently Kha’Zix is being played and built like a brute-force fighter who can initiate a team fight while also being able to survive to clean it up. Assassins in League need to rely on fighters or tanks to initiate fights before they take the opportunity to engage, but Kha'Zix is able to do it all by himself, which gives him a lot of free power. We're looking at highlighting Kha'Zix's assassin powers over his fighter abilities. 
As a side goal, some of Kha'Zix's evolutions are really powerful and certain ones are really weak (hello W), so we want to make all 4 of his evolutions compete with each other (maybe not equally, but situationally), so you can choose the evolution to adapt what you need it in certain phases of games. 
2) Kassadin 
As a rework follow up, we've been keeping track of Kassadin as he continues to become a more and more dominant force. We think we released Kassadin in a good state but then gave him a little too much strength as we saw players struggling with the new kit. The buffs taught players how to play the updated Kass, so we're peeling back the layers we added to get him back to a correct power level. 
3) Kayle 
Kayle right now is being played as an AP-scaling supportive mobile ADC because of her consistent burst, her high ramping damage and her high utility. What this also does is give her very few weaknesses as she can shred everyone in the fight while staying just out of range to use her Intervention on a teammate. We're looking at ways to give Kayle some real weaknesses to compensate for her high strengths so she needs to think about how she gets into the fray. 
4) LeBlanc 
As mentioned in 4.7 forecast, we're continuing to look into LeBlanc. Some of the things we like about LeBlanc are her high precision, her skill requirements, and her trickiness. Unfortunately she's doing all of this along with having crazy high burst damage without any counterplay for the enemy. LeBlanc has so much damage that in competitive play she doesn’t even need a Deathfire Grasp to burst down enemies (and DFG is potentially overboard at doing this). This tells us that LeBlanc is scaling very well (too well?) as a burst champion, and we're trying to find a way to balance her tricky / precise burst while making her fair to play against. 
5) Braum 
As a follow -up to a newly released champion, Braum is a little too powerful at this point. We are happy with what he can do for his team in team fights as a shield man, but meanwhile he is getting very tanky too quickly and he's a strong lane bully at same time. When we release champions we have to think about how players will get used to their playstyle, but people were mastering Braum very quickly so we're keeping an eye on his performance across all levels of play. 
6) Pantheon 
Grand Skyfall was always intended to be a high risk, high reward - a high damage global ability that's inconsistent. We've never been a fan of Pantheon's ability to cast spells while landing (which made his ult very reliable), but as he's gotten more into the spotlight, we finally decided to make the fix (and then forgot to document it, which was a big mistake). Either way, we've fixed the bug with Pantheon's ult where he could be affected by AoE abilities before he lands, but we're still trying to find a good way to make Grand Skyfall feel good to use without directly buffing its power levels (Pantheon has actually been pretty stable from some of our internal statistics). 
7) Jungle XP 
We have bigger plans for the jungle, but currently we're seeing problems where junglers are getting really far ahead of the game, especially if they have a strong start. We think it might have to do with lane EXP versus monster EXP, as lane minion EXP doesn't scale with average champion level, but jungle monster EXP does. Basically a snowballing jungler gets his teammates some kills, they get levels and bring up the average level of the game, and then the jungler gets even more experience as he clears camps for additional rewards. No other lanes get this kind of bonus, and we've always been aware of strong junglers controlling the pace of the game, so we're looking for ways to tone that down."

Riot Chun also specifically addressed the LeBlanc and Kayle nerfs introduced for testing in the 5/23 PBE update.
"At this point, we are just doing experimental changes to LeBlanc/Kayle and there is a good chance that we will not release those changes for 4.9. 
To be more specific, I personally believe LeBlanc's damage is a little too high as she has above-average base damage and very-high AP ratio (3.7 ap ratio for a QRWE combo -_-). Changing the Mimic damage is a good direction to try but we are still trying to find a way to balance her tricky / precise burst while making her fair to play against as I mentioned in the OP. 
For Kayle, it is not the case you are afraid of. There are high strengths of Kayle and she just needs some real weaknesses. Range reduction would be effective but we are still exploring."
Pwyff also weighed in on the Kayle E range reduction specifically, saying:
[ Tweet 1 ] We're probably going to be reverting the range nerf but the TLDR would be to give Kayle meaningful weaknesses. I'd agree...

[ Tweet 2 ] ... this probably isn't the change to accomplish that goal.

As for the changes to jungle XP and it's impact on tank/support junglers, SmashGizmo commented:
"I get your concern here and just wanted to offer up a couple responses. 
The first is that while it's true that this will also be a slight nerf to jungle support tanks, the relative nerf is much lighter on them than it is on fighter/assassin junglers. Basically, this XP scaling ramped up as the game ramped up, meaning that it has a very minimal impact on the first 6 levels of the game and was mostly impacting the XP from camps in the mid to late game. During these later phases of the game, not only are Tanks slower at dedicated jungle farming, but they're also spending more time ganking, assisting lanes, and donating camps to teammates than their damage dealing counterparts. So all in all, yes, their strength is slightly lower from this change than it was prior to this change, but they lost much less than the class that they are trying to compete with and thus get relatively stronger (slightly). 
The second response I'll offer up is that we're still working on larger jungle projects aimed more directly at bringing Tank junglers back up to par with Fighters/Assassins. The change for XP in this patch is merely a response to a problematic trend we're seeing, it's not nearly large enough scale to be aimed at solving the larger issues that are causing Tanks to suffer in the Season 4 jungle. As I said above, I believe the net result of this change is a small relative benefit for Tank junglers, but this change is not aimed at the problem you're stating and rather, we have a larger on-going project that is working towards the issues you're seeing."

[ Continued ] Soraka Rework Discussion

Following his comments from yesterday, Morello dropped off a few more bits about the future Soraka rework.

When asked about keeping her current ultimate "Wish", Morello replied:
"We actually like Wish, it's one of the most strategically good spells she has."
He continued:
"Yes - we like Wish. Long cooldown heals work well (it's the basic spell ones that are hard)."

Taric VU on list but not "in the immediate priority"

When asked how Taric's visual update is coming along, Morello noted:
"I don't think Taric's in the immediate priority, but we agree he's on the "ugh" list of badness. :) I'd have to ask artists on their thoughts of VU and how that relates to gameplay update. 
In this case, we'd be waiting to add Gameplay until a VU, since we can easily piggyback on the new VFX and animations (which lets us release more reworks when we do this!)"
When asked why it's taking so long when it was first mentioned over a year ago, he replied:
"We had to reprioritize this year with an actual strategy. Good to do, but I'll be honest - Riot's pretty bad (myself included) at managing expectations!"

[ Reminder ] Two for the price of one rune page sale

In case you didn't remember, the two for the price of one rune page sale is live for the next two weeks!

Through the end of June 6th ( for NA, other regions vary slightly ), you can pick up two rune pages for the price of one - 590 RP or 6300 IP!

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