Red Post Collection: [4.10-4.11] Systems Team Forecast, [4.10] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast, and much more!

Posted on at 3:12 AM by Moobeat
Following tonight's giant PBE patch, we also have an enormous red post collection! First up, we have the [4.10 ] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast with an overview on upcoming marksmen changes, including Twitch, Lucian, Sivir, and more. Alongside that, we also have the [4.10 -4.11 ] Systems Team Forecast which highlights a slew of upcoming itemization changes for lifesteal, attack speed, items that build out of BF sword, and more! On top of  all that we have a promo for the upcoming football skins, as well as IronStylus chatting about LeBlanc, art, and life!
Continue reading for more information!

[4.10] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast

Here's Wav3Break with the Live Gameplay Patch Forecast for patch 4.10, featuring info on upcoming changes for Marksmen, an update on LeBlanc, and more!
"Hey guys, Wav3Break here for the 4.10 Patch Forecast. I’ll be explaining some of the reasoning and insights that the balance team is using to approach some of the major issues we have found in live League of Legends gameplay. Keep in mind that this forecast is meant to highlight some of the problems we’ve identified and that not all issues mentioned will necessarily have changes reflecting them in the upcoming patch. Some changes might take longer than others and everything is subject to change! Without further ado: 
4.10 – The Marksmen Patch: We're currently looking at a lot of things in and around the space of the marksmen role in League of Legends. In 4.10, we expect to tune a lot of game elements that currently impact the health and success of the role. You’ll be seeing a lot of changes regarding marksmen itemization paths, champions, items that affect their late game power, etc. Our overall goal is to make these champions feel more satisfying late game and shine even brighter as the powerful late game champions they were meant to be. 
Marksmen we feel that are too strong: We feel that the following champions currently warp the role in such a way that it is unhealthy for the role itself and/or the holistic game. The power of these characters negatively impacts the overall viability of other marksmen and we plan on making some changes to bring them back in line with their marksbrothers and markssisters. 
1) Twitch 
As Jag mentioned in our 4.8 patch forecast ( ), Twitch is an incredibly powerful champ that has been on our radar since his rise in popularity in both competitive and casual play. Our current feelings on this sneaky rat are that his early game power does not give him enough weaknesses to offset his hyper scaling carry potential in the late game. Our challenge is to retune his early game dominance to be better balanced with his late game power levels. 
2) Lucian 
Lucian is still widely regarded as one of the safest and most reliable marksmen in all levels of play. His early game poke via Piercing Light and a scaling double-hit passive allow him to dominate the lane phase while also dealing very respectable damage late game. These problems coupled with his innate safety continue to allow him to dominate the role. In this upcoming patch we plan to retune some his early game strengths and give him well-defined weaknesses and strengths throughout all stages of the game. 
Marksmen that we feel need some special lovin’: We feel that the following champions have currently fallen out of flavor for reasons that specifically have to do with their lack of power or loss of late game identity. We plan to implement changes that will help these champions reestablish themselves as compelling markspeople to play in the current live game. 
1) Sivir 
Our previous changes to Sivir were aimed at reducing her capabilities in the early game to push minion waves down while avoiding any interaction with her lane opponent(s). While the changes we last implemented did accomplish this goal, we feel that some of the constraints we enforced on her early game currently inhibit her identity as a powerful AOE Marksmen in the late game. Thus we are looking to retune some of her mana issues in the late game to make her feel more like the powerful ricochet damage dealer she was meant to be. 
2) Tristana 
Tristana is one of the most classic Marksmen and we’ve identified her as one of the weaker ones in today’s landscape. That being said, we believe there are many low risk changes we can actualize to make her a more attractive champion in the live game. 
Game Systems that impact the Marksmen role (Marksmen Items / Defensive Items): 
1) Warden’s Mail and Randuin’s Omen 
These items are currently the premier buys for players wishing to itemize against ubiquitous physical damage. While we want to maintain the defensive effectiveness of these items, we feel that they may be too powerful due to their combination of high base stats and unique passives. 
2) Life Steal Itemization 
The game systems team has a lot of changes for marksman itemization (specifically centered on life steal) that they'll go into on their upcoming game systems forecast.
Other Pressing Issues: 
1) LeBlanc 
As mentioned in the previous patch forecasts, we are continuing our efforts in creating a healthy LeBlanc for League of Legends. We still enjoy her skill requirements and mind-gamey playstyle, but LeBlanc’s issues reach further into the core of the character and therefore the scope of our long term goals for her have also increased. Still, due to her power and lack of counter play in the live game, we are looking at some incremental changes that will make her play pattern healthier and maintain her defining playstyle. 
Champion Rework Updates: We've got some champion rework updates on the way in the form of Nidalee and Skarner, so head over to the champion update forecast ( ) for more information there.

He continued, reiterating that the upcoming changes aim to bring the marksmen class up as a whole:
"I apologize if this was not clear in the original post, but many of the game systems updates we plan to roll out in 4.10 will increase the power level of the entire marksmen role. All marksmen champions will have even more impact on games. Thus in the wake of these changes, we are paying extra attention to Twitch and Lucian as they are already two of the strongest and we are bringing the entire class's base line higher."

[4.10 - 4.11 ] Systems Team Forecast

Xypherous continued the communication train with the Systems Team Forecast for patch 4.10 and 4.11 where he honed in on several itemization changes that are coming down the pipeline:
"Note: As this is a forecast, this won't have many specifics in it. I'll have my usual style of post with the specifics of item changes on Friday when we try to coordinate a PBE push. 
Attack Damage - B.F. Sword normalization 
Items Affected:  BF Sword, Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster, Mercurial Scimitar
We're going to be normalizing everything that builds out of B.F. Sword to have 80 Attack Damage with minimal price increases to compensate - as well as shifting B.F. Sword to have 50 Attack Damage at the 1600 Gold price point, instead of 45 Attack Damage at the 1550 Gold price point. 
On the whole, we like what this does to the overall decision making when purchasing a B.F. Sword - you know it will eventually morph into an 80 Attack Damage item - the only question being what sorts of side utility you want out of the whole deal. 
There's a slight caveat here in that this puts an unfortunate damper on Bloodthirster - whose presence is too dominant and skews the power between Ratio driven carries and more traditional basic attack oriented carries. 
Essentially, BT goes down in power - everything else goes up in power - including the midgame where you build up to BT. 
Attack Speed Itemization - Dagger Retuning 
Items Affected: Dagger, Berzerker's Greaves, Zeal
Attack Speed isn't a particularly attractive statistic to overcommit to at the moment given the natural Attack Speed growth of carries. We're making some slight buffs to Dagger to help mitigate some of the mid-game power issues that carries are facing at the moment where Attack Speed only feels good at the final completed item rather than during the build-up, where it matters. 
Basically, you usually do get enough Attack Speed by the end of the game with your build. It's just that the entire way to the end item, you don't have nearly enough. You can expect these items to have slightly more attack speed with a minimal price increase. 
For example: Berzerker's Greaves giving 5% more Attack Speed and costing 50 more Gold. 
Going to start with a quick item preview as a framing piece: 
Doran's Blade
80 Health --> 70 Health
8 Attack Damage --> 7 Attack Damage
3/5 Life on Hit --> 3% Life Steal 
For a long time, we were trying to phase out early life steal as a statistic and replacing it with other mechanisms such as life on hit. However, with the rise of non-sustain supports - this avenue no longer makes sense. With non-sustain based supports being the norm rather an exception - Life Steal needs to be easily accessible from a variety of sources in order for the ADC to not be locked into a single early build path - the one that includes Life Steal.  
With this in mind, it makes more sense for Life Steal to be more expensive overall but easier to 'stack' from a wider variety of sources rather than have Life Steal be a single specific path.  
Hence, we're going to lower the life steal amounts of all items - but introduce it back into Doran's Blade in order for carries to have a wider range of possible % Life Steal values - this allows carries to basically build the 'right' amount of life steal for their carry type, their support and the power of their lane opponents - rather than having one single overpowered choice that tries to cover every situation in which you might need sustain. 
On the whole, you can expect there to be less life steal on each of the life steal items but more available % life steal options. What we expect to see is a slightly wider range of potential first order buys - especially since this version of Doran's Blade has more mid game potential. 
Doran's Blade + Doran's Blade + Doran's Blade + Infinity Edge
Doran's blade + Blood Thirster
Doran's Blade + Blade of the Ruined King
Doran's Blade + Doran's Blade + Vamp Scepter --> ?
70 Attack Damage --> 80 Attack Damage 
12% Life Steal --> 15% Life Steal 
Unique Stacking Passive --> Removed 
New Passive --> Your life steal effects can overheal you, granting you a shield equal to the excess up to X (based on character level). This shield decays if you haven't dealt or taken damage in 15 seconds 
Bloodthirster becomes a problem when its too commonplace as it creates a situation where it basically comes down to who acquires it first. This is both due to the power and build path of the item as well as the stacking mechanic on it. Additionally, it favors Attack Damage ratio-driven carries who traditionally have weaker end-games to begin with. We're retuning Bloodthirster to be a more consistent choice and to give other damage options a more favorable comparison point. 
We know that this will leave certain ranged characters that rely on Bloodthirster Stacking in a bit of a bind at the moment - Certain heavy AD Varus and Miss Fortune builds will be in a bit of a pinch without a stackable Attack Damage source. However, given how Bloodthirster both supports these characters and suppresses them by being more favorable to other characters - it's not really contributing to a healthier ecosystem. 

Melee will generally come out favorably as they have a very offensive life steal item (Hydra) and a more defensive one (Bloodthirster). 
Mikael's Crucible
Lastly, I want to talk about Crucible - this item is too commonplace and negates a lot of decision making in the end game. Crucible does odd things where it devalues long cooldown initiation patterns in exchange for repeated pick patterns. 

This heavily suppresses utility centric carries like Ashe or Varus who rely on these patterns to be strategically interesting. 
We do like that Crucible is an option in the game but it is currently too broad of a pick and appearing too frequently on a much wider array of supports than intended. Mikael's is just as good as a buy on offensive tanky supports as defensive ones - which skews the balance of power even farther away from initiation based carries as their unique niche both gets countered and replaced by the same character. 
We're going to both raise the cost of this item and adjust the statline to favor more Mana intensive supports to shifts Mikael into favoring more mage-centric supports rather than Tank supports. We'll be adding another support item in Mikael's price point in order to grant a wider breadth of items - the details of which will be on the PBE post on Friday."

He continued, replying to questions concerning the attack speed changes and the price increase on BF sword:
"Attack Speed
We're mostly only targetting the mid-game build up of these items with Attack Speed. Currently, any Attack Speed build tends to build an excess of it - rather than not have enough. What we specifically wanted to do is make the traditional ADC Attack Speed items give more Attack Speed along the waybecause currently their midgames seem far more painful than they have to be. 
The only real item that will see a net increase in power / gold will be Berzerker's Greaves - which has been more traditionally ADC focused - though it does see some fringe use in super aggressive fighter builds. 
BF Sword cost increase
This has come up once or twice in playtesting but a 50 Gold difference is fairly minimal in terms of the pace of the overall game. It's effectively 2 CS - which can be overcome by skill.
Essentially, I don't expect it to be a problem - but if it turns out to be the case, then the important thing that we'll keep is that B.F. Sword goes to 50 Attack Damage."
He continued, sharing this thoughts on how these changes will play out in the end game:
"The ADC typically suffers from a lack of uptime on their damage in the end-game, rather than a lack of damage straight up. 
What usually happens is that they either don't have the time to kite or the survivability to survive the initial burst - and thus whatever damage window they have is pretty meaningless and tiny. 
The Live team ultimately decided that removing the MS slow from Randuin's was a better call (detailed in their forecast, which I should really duplicate here) - which will give uptime through evasion / kiting. 
The thought behind this version of BT is that it can help to provide a defensive buffer such that carries feel safer and can get more attacks in dangerous situations. It's essentially a form of survivability that you can only really access when your basic attack damage is insane."

As for the lifesteal changes, Xypherous elaborated:
"As stated in the post - Vampiric Scepter and almost every life steal item will have a reduction in % Life Steal. 
Right now, carries only have three possible stopping points for life steal: 4.5% (Quints), 14.5% (Quints + VS) and 16.5% to Y% (BT). 
My goal is to nerf every source of lifesteal that stems out of the Vampiric Scepter path, including Vampiric Scepter but add a small component source of % lifesteal such that there is a wider range of lifesteal values that a carry can get or stop at which will then allow him to choose what level of sustain he wants / feels like he needs."

When asked how the changes will play out for fights like Yi or Fiora, Xypherous replied:
"Unsure - BT changes don't hit them as hard mostly because Hydra exists as a very compelling parallel. I think it'll give them an additional item to think about as before, Hydra outclassed BT in almost every way on them - but now BT has a defensive component to it that they might appreciate. 
On the whole, I think it's kind of neutral to positive note for them. They'll benefit from DBlade and get a little bit of item flexible from BT - but not a whole lot else as they don't benefit from Attack Speed as much as other classes."

When asked what changes are coming for Blade of the Ruined King, he shared:
"(There are light number changes to it - but the numbers aren't finalized. The general gist is that the proc is getting stronger but the active nuke is getting weaker.)"
As for Hextech Gunblade, he noted:
"Not currently. This is mostly focused on LS/ADC at the moment. 
Gunblade is not getting changes to it's lifesteal - mostly because it's not an ADC item."

Xypherous also noted the Infinity Edge and Mercurial Scimitar changes will be:
"It's just a base AD increase with minor cost adjustments. In general, the items gain more AD than they gained in cost."

As for Bloodthirster into Trinity Force builds will fair from these changes, Xypherous noted:
"The common BT --> Tri-force build will definitely be weaker - as that's kind of the goal here. Ratio driven carries have pushed more traditional basic attack driven carries out of the playing field. 
My goal is to ensure that the item system in general doesn't favor one subclass of carry over another - and that we try to add power onto ADC midgames such that they feel relevant earlier. Granted, these changes aren't huge by any means, some small amount of AD / AS and a better mid-game focused DBlade but we are doing things slowly for now as we're doing lots of things simultaneously."

When asked about the upcoming PBE post with more details, he noted:
"The Public Beta environment is a special forum that is meant to contain all the changes for the latest patch. I'm not sure of what the signup status of the PBE is but if you are a PBE tester - you'll have access to that forum. 
Whenever my team does item changes, we usually try to put the changelist on PBE for at least a couple of weeks to get community responses / feedback. Since the PBE build is usually data-mined - we like posting the full changelist to avoid inaccuracies as well as answer questions."

LeBlanc, Art, and Life

Following grumpy monkey's posting spree on various VU related topics, IronStylus swooped in to answer a few art related questions and what he's been up to lately.
"So.. we do have a concept for Le Blanc floating around done by Zeronis. HOWEVER. Though it's a bad ass concept, that is in no way indicative that it will get expedited. We're having our "fantasy slotting" meetings these next few weeks. That will define our priorities that will decide which champions get what sort of update and when. 
Currently She's listed on the Visual and Gameplay Update section. Meaning some pretty heavy kit changes.. or so I'm guessing. To my knowledge though nothing has been done on her kit, and nothing is in the pipeline for any potential changes that may or may not happen. Again, that however might change depending on our slotting and what we prioritize.

My view, is I like to have as many cool concepts of champion update candidates handy at all times to either inform the VU/VGU directly or to at least start a conversation with when we get into pre-production. 
So yeah, she's on the radar, and I'd very much like to execute on the concept that's currently hanging around, but I'm in no way sure as to what sort of timeline she's on yet. 
Here's hoping sooner than later!"
He continued, sharing his thoughts on LeBlanc's thematic points:
"So I think the "deceiver" thing is the most interesting. I don't think it's appropriately represented at all currently aside from her.. ya know.. clone. But I think she has some untapped arcane, high-society, druid thing that could really go the distance thematically and visually. Making her this adviser/counterpart to Swain from this secret society. It almost reads like the character archetype of Melisandre from Game of Thrones. I'd love to take that idea and pump it up.

There's some cool dichotomous costuming we could do, or maybe something with masks, I dunno. I think there's opportunity, even if she is just a standard female mage in terms of basic form.

Visual markers for me that have to stay are the giant collar, cape, head thingy, half revealing dress, dual-tone color palette, that sort of stuff. Honestly just taking what she is and putting a lot of style and quality, while also integrating some sort of motif that speaks of being two-faced. I'd like to get a couple more costume elements in there that could be ported over to skins aside from just the cape and collar."
When asked about the potential of an Irelia VU and if Riot Zeronis, who worked on Karma's relaunch, might have anything to do with it, IronStylus shared:
"I actually did the most recent concept for Irelia that we have internally. Actually.. it's the only one.. Not sure if no one wanted to take her on or what. 
While not being too specific, I combined aspects of the new Karma and some form language from Yasuo. Personally I feel that she should be the quintessential Ionian military commander.

Again, all of it could change."
As for how life is going on a personal level, IronStylus shared:
"Welp, I'll echo what Josh was saying. Things have been busy, especially since PAX East. Relaunch, now called Champion Update has really picked up and our team is chugging along with a decent mandate on the continued improvement of the game from all three angles of character content. It's a very exciting time, one which has it's share of high moments and real challenges. 
Personally, things for me have been mixed. My wife recently lost her job and that's been a big punch in the gut for us. Job loss is often coupled with feelings of depression, anxiety and other troubling emotions. It's obviously difficult for the person going through it, but it's also tough for the couple in general.

We're doing our best. My wife is working through a lot of tough emotions right now amidst the job search and I'm trying to help where and when I can. I know what she's gone though, intimately, and we're trudging through as a unit. Things are tough out there in general for a lot of people.

I'm not going to make it out like it's anything worse than what others who've been hit by the general economic downturn have faced. In many, many ways we're very blessed. We have friends, family and mechanisms in place to help us. Support is everything when someone goes through this sort of situation. It's hard to not feel devalued or unsure of one's self when losing a job. Often the psychological effects are just as traumatic as the economic ones. 
That said, we're holding in there. I'll be honest. The personal situation with my wife and I has kept me away from the forums in general. Family always comes first. There's a lot that I've been tending to on that front and it's left me with little time and energy to come out here into the community as much.

So yeah. Moving on, wheel keeps turning. Thanks for asking :) "

Football Skins Teaser

Five new football themed skins, undoubtedly to celebrate the upcoming World Cup being held later this month in Brazil,  have made their way on to the PBE.

As such, the Brazilian League of Legends page has posted up a nifty teaser for the skins!

Looking to score a better look? Check out the 6/4 PBE update for full previews of the five upcoming skins!

How Rioters Came Up With Their Names

Over on reddit, several Rioters have been submitting stories about how they chose their online handles!

Check out the thread for a whole slew of  interesting answers, including RiotNickAllen, RiotJeffJew, IronStylus, Rivingtonthe3rd, fizznchips, RiotGoodKing, RiotBaconhawk, and many, many more!

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