Red Post Collection: Meddler's thoughts on Irelia's R, Azir buffs in 5.5, Colt "Ezreal" Hallam Q&A, and more!

Posted on at 8:58 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes Q&A with Colt "Ezreal" Hallam, Meddler sharing his thought's on Irelia's R and mentioning Azir buffs are tentatively slated for 5.5, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Meddler's Thoughts on Irelia's R

When asked about how current thoughts on Irelia's ultimate from a gameplay and thematic standpoint, Meddler shared:
"I'm of mixed opinion on Irelia's ultimate. 
One on hand:
  • It's an ability that's sometimes just spammed without interesting decisions
  • It sometimes just gets used for boring lane sustain, which is usually a pretty unsatisfying use for an ult with a noticeable CD
  • It splits its satisfaction between multiple casts and then again between damage and healing so doesn't feel good relative to its power
  • There are arguably cooler things that could be done with telekinetic blade warrior (biggest mark against it in my mind) 
Having said that:
  • It does reward smart positioning and lining up of shots, whether against minions or champions. Well used ults give a lot more benefit than mediocre ones
  • Its multicast nature helps support Sheen/Triforce proc weaving, which for many people's a key part of Irelia play
  • A number of people do enjoy it, so while it doesn't hit the mark for me it does deliver for some people and does so without being terrible for game health 
Overall I feel there's an opportunity to do something cooler, with more interesting decisions. Can't see us changing it in the short to medium term though, there's other stuff that's much higher value we could be working on instead and personal feeling is that Irelia's in an ok spot."
When asked if they would consider doing a "Renekton Q" change to her R's healing, Meddler noted:
"I'm guessing by "Renekton Q change" you mean changing it work off targets hit rather than damage dealt? 
That would certainly be an option if we saw issues with Irelia's performance varying excessively based off how much armor the average enemy had, whether her team had any armor shreds to offer, lack of any squishy champs being played to give her targets to heal more effectively against etc. Given she's in an ok spot right now and gets a baseline amount of health restore from her W that's already damage independent I don't personally feel there's value in changing that mechanic at present. Good one to bear in mind though should circumstances change."

Ranked Team Builder to have Fill Option

Continuing on his Ranked Team Builder comments from yesterday, Lyte replied to a player commenting they'd rather be able to play whatever roll using the future option than be locked into one by sharing it will include a "Fill" option.
No, sometimes I go into a game unsure of what role I want to play, so i'd rather be able to play whatever role instead of being locked into one.
Just use the "Fill" option."

This follows his comments yesterday that a Team Builder version of ranked is being worked on:
[1] "We're working on a Team Builder version of Ranked that is just selecting positions. That system in particular should help address problems like the one you noted."
[2] "We are locking down the final designs of Ranked Team Builder, so it's still too early to talk about it!"

Working on Azir Buffs for 5.5

In a thread asking to better sync up Azir's W visuals with their range,  Meddler also reiterated that they are currently working on Azir buffs targeted for patch 5.5
"Agreed, implied range should match actual range.

We're working on some buffs to Azir at the moment, which will likely include giving him at least some range back on the W. After we've looked at where that range should be we'll then look at making the visuals match.

For anyone wondering about timing that's not going to be in the patch that goes out tomorrow (we're targeting the next patch after)."

[BUG] Rek'Sai and Guardian Angel Bug

In a reddit post highlighting a bug that causes Rek'Sai to lose the passive attack speed from her R after reviving with a GA, Beat PunchBeef commented
"Thanks for the heads up on this one. I've already put in the fix, but unfortunately it won't make 5.4. Apologies to all the GA enthusiasts."

Colt "Ezreal" Hallam, Lead Live Designer Q&A

Colt "Ezreal" Hallam,  Lead Live Designer, also popped up on the OCE boards to host a brief Q&A session yesterday.
"Hey everyone! 
Anyone here interested in talking about League, design, balance, or silly champion stories? 
To let you all know a bit about myself, well, I've been at Riot for quite some time (8 years now). This has given me an opportunity to work on just about every aspect of game design. Most of you would know me by the champs I've worked on (roughly 30-40 including Ahri, Blitzcrank, Nocturne, Kog'Maw, Sona, and a few more). Now I'm working as Live Design Lead with an awesome team, all the while looking for opportunities to make current champions more strategically viable. 
I'll be trolling this thread for the next hour to respond to as many questions as I can! Sound dangerous? 
Edit 1: 20 minutes to go before I need to teach a Denewbification class. It's been a blast, so make sure to get in your last minute questions! 
Edit 2: That's it from me for now. Thanks for having me everyone!"

When asked about his thoughts on the summoner spell FLASH, Ezreal explained:
Something that I forgot to ask you about last year is the inbalance of flash as a summoner spell. Understandably it's a great spell from an active play and spectator perspective as it encourages a lot of proactive play and great reactive play. But I feel that it's completely unbalanced as a summoner spell, especially when it's always chosen (minus a few niche situations like Olaf). 
From a design space perspective what are your thoughts on the (choose 1 summoner + flash) situation? 
Do you think it is healthy for the game? 
Is this something that Riot wants to change in the longer term future?
TBH, this is something that we have tried to change multiple times over the years. However, as time has gone on, we have come to peace that Flash is an integral part of League of Legends. Many characters could not operate without it, so nerfing it into oblivion would have major balance implications. I would argue that it would also be hard to buff other spells up to it's power level (imagine how much damage Ignite would have to do in order to pick it over Flash). 
One idea would be to make it a double spell (i.e. picking flash takes up both of your summoner skill slots). Though honestly, I don't actually think that would make LoL a more fun game. At which point we have to ask ourselves the question, does Flash really need to be balanced vs the other summoner spells?"

Ezreal also replied to a question about if Blitzcrank ever had a larger focus on "steam" during his development:
Did Blitzcrank ever have any abilities that were more thematically in line with using steam? Sure I could say his abilities are steam/piston activated but what about using steam itself?
Honestly no, though I can say that I wish we did focus more on steam.
Some day I would like to try out changing his Overdrive from an attack speed focused ability to a steam engine ability. Imagine if he let out a steam cloud while running (think Singed), except instead of damaging enemies, it reduced their vision ala Smoke Screen. Still not sure if it would be fun, but it sounds neat!"

When asked about midlane and itemization now that DFG is removed, Ezreal commented:
so whats happening with the mid lane? bc after the DFG removal i personally have seen alot less assassins but more of..well... ahri. so my question is when will the buffs for the champs that really needed the AP (eg: LeBlanc) and if you are going to implement another similar item, how will you make sure the same thing doesnt happen with the AP assassins coming back with a vengeance?
Our ultimate goal is seeing every character become viable. As such, there will always be a certain amount of churn within individual roles. We accept and embrace that fact. We want to see new and different characters get their time to shine. 
On that note, the new AP Item is pretty crazy cool. I'm personally looking forward to seeing the ways champions this new item brings to the meta. 
As for AP Assassins coming back, well, that is always possible. We have lightly avoided that by focusing our new AP item on damage over time rather than damage in a short burst window. This should help out the more kite heavy champions than the flat burst champs."

As for making current champions more "strategically viable", Ezreal shared the example:
You said that you are looking for opportunities to make current champs more strategically viable. Are there any champs you have in mind and if so how would you address them?
I unfortunately can't show my hand on this topic as of yet. Though I can certainly give you a crazy example. 
Imagine a world where a single character could burn down brush. All of a sudden you have a real reason to want this character on your team that no one else could bring to the game. We want every character to have a unique reason to bring them to the table (note: this doesn't mean a unique ability, I would actually say that Nunu's objective control is a great reason to pick him over everyone else!)."

When asked about people referring to Yasuo as "an easy champion to play" and the last new champion he worked on extensively, Ezreal noted:
"I don't think players pick Yasuo to play the easier character in the game, they pick him to show off their own personal skill. He serves as a way to exhibit the mastery that you have built up while playing League. 
As for new champs, unfortunately Ahri was the last new character I made from the ground up. Since then I've mostly been helping out with creating new concepts for others to work on."

As for what got him into MOBA's / Riot and if he thinks LoL is missing any core elements, he noted:
"Well, I really started designing games inside of Starcraft I's map editor, so I've always been a huge RTS fan. From there I've been playing every moba since the very first one (Aeon of Strife from SCI). After playing thousands of hours of DotA, I was lucky enough to find Riot Games on Craigslist ...the rest is history. 
I don't believe we have any core elements that we haven't been able to get into the game. Though there are a ton of improvements that we find to make every year. Honestly, being a persistent online game is one of LoL's greatest strengths."
Ezreal continued, sharing his favorite part about his job:
"I play video games as my full time sweet is that? Though honestly it would have to be the people I work with are all both incredibly awesome and incredibly like minded. I am surrounded by friends who are are always up for gaming at the drop of a hat."

When asked if Riot ever considers or accepts fan champion ideas, Ezreal noted:
"I don't believe we can legally take direct fan champions. BUT, we have found new designers who have submitted fan champs in the past. We like finding talent in all areas, and it just so happens there is a TON of talent in our community!!!"

Ezreal also commented on champion naming, noting:
I was just curious about the idea and story behind Caitlyn and her work with Vi and conflict with Jinx. I was also wondering why you guys decided to spell her name 'Caitlyn' that way? It's just I have the same name and spelling as the champ (which is completely awesome, so thanks) and know that it is an uncommon way of spelling it.
Naming comes from a lot of different places. For example, Cassiopeia is named after my sister. I would have to do some searching for the exact answer, but I believe Caitlyn was named after a rioter's old girlfriend."
He continued:
"I have 4 questions if thats cool? 
I hear you used to play tabletop games, were you into magic the gathering and D&D? or just warhammer? 
You have done alot of work with the features of the game IE: runes, masteries pages etc.. what sort of process goes into this? have you ever thought of a idea or summoner spell that you wanted added but never made it? 
Would you be willing to share some info on the upcoming champion? 
Who killed vaynes parents?"
-I love tabletop games, and have just started up an oldschool Necromunda campaign at the office. 
-You would be amazed at the sheer amount of content that we make but never release. So yes, I have put a lot of thought and hours into summoner spells, masteries, runes, and even champions that we have never even released! 
-I'm not going to steal the thunder of it's designer by releasing info early =-P. 
-That's a sec-ret!"

When asked if he had anything to do with the next champion, Ezreal commented:
"I helped out with the character in it's early pitch phase, which is ultimately only a very small portion of the character. That being said, I am super excited to see it in the live environment."

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