Red Post Collection: Uses of % Current Health Damage, new /ALL Chat, Critical Strikes discussion, and more!

Posted on at 4:53 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes a reminder Party IP Weekend is ending soon,  Meddler explaining the uses of % current health damage on both items and champions, Axes on Poacher's Knife and items that build the The Brutalizer, Reinboom with a large discussion on critical strikes, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents:

Party IP Weekend Ending Soon!

Just a reminder that the Party IP Weekend lasts through the end of the day PDT on Saturday, April 19th!

Meddler on the uses of % current health damage 

In a boards thread asking about the use of "% current health" on items (Blade of the Ruined King and Liandry's Torment) or abilities (Evelynn R or Elise's Human Q), Meddler explained:
We put % current health damage on spells when we want those abilities' effectiveness to be independent of how much health the target has or hasn't stacked and: 
  • The spell's intended to be used early in a fight as a core part of the champion's play pattern. Xin Zhao's ult is a great example of that - % current health damage reinforces the message that the Armor/MR bonus already sends, rewards using the ult to make big early plays that split teams.
  • The ability's deliberately being made weak (or non useable even) as a finisher. Elise for example is rewarded with extra damage for going into spider form against weakened opponents, as her human Q damage drops off and spider Q damage increases. Evelynn's the more extreme example, with her ult being explicitly designed so that she can't get kills with it outside of her Q range and is instead rewarded for flanking a fight and going in as soon as things kick off.
  • The effect's intended to be strong as a softening effect, but drop off in effectiveness as enemies get worn down. This mainly just applies to poke effects, like Mundo Cleavers or Liandry's Torment (whether on poking casters or early into the fight champions). Diminishing returns against wounded targets means the poking player's got a strong incentive to eventually use more of their kit/have their team follow up on their engage. Additionally, targets of the % current damage get a bit of help if they're taking continuous hits and really struggling to engage or disengage.
  • We're looking to incentivize splitting hits between targets a bit, in a way that wouldn't normally be smart. Jarvan's passive offers a bit of this in that there are times when, rather than just training one target down, it may be worth swapping to another for the passive proc. A minor opportunity for play optimization under some circumstances basically. 
Additonally something we haven't used % current health for in a big way, but might at some point, is as a kill set up mechanic. Imagine a support for example with a powerful % current health nuke, possibly even as an ult. Intent would be that they'd soften a target up for a team mate (assassin would be a good fit) to then follow up on."

Axes on a solution for Poacher's Knife & The Brutalizer's Build Items

When asked if there are any current plans to rework Poacher's Knife, Riot Axes commented:
"I had a rework in testing a month or so ago that didn't pan out, ended up causing more problems than it solved. I don't think anyone's actively working on it right this second, but we all agree that it's a problem, it's just a matter of hitting on the right solution."

In a different thread, Axes also commented on a player's suggestion to make a new item that builds out of The Brutalizer and incorporates the Grievous Wounds passive from the now removed Executioner's Calling item:
You know what item we've kind of been missing? Executioner's Calling used to be the only item that placed a heal debuff on enemies that AD-focused characters could build, and those characters can't buy that item anymore. What other way do AD characters have to deal with heal-based sustain other than "deal way more damage than the enemy can handle"? 
Why not make an iteration of EC that builds out of Brutalizer to fill in the Brutalizer gap now that the only viable item would once again be Youmuu's?
That... might actually work. 
No promises (and definitely no timeline - item work takes a lot longer than you might think given how much even relatively small item changes impact the game), but I'll talk to some people about it."

URF Doombots Suggestion

In a thread theorizing the terror from combining U.R.F mode with the Doombots of Doom gamemode, Riot Terra commented they had considered the idea in the past:
Ok, so I know I might sound crazy (got a doctor's note ), but how about making an event maybe mid year or towards the end of the season to include a showdown where doombots are live and we play against them with URF mode? There were a lot of people that never made it to level 5 of the doombots, but with URF on our side, I think it would be a fair play. Lots of hectic stuff would go on in this, but it (could) be enjoyable!
URF Doombots was something we considered, but ultimately didn't have time for :( I do agree it would have been pretty hectic! 
In order to have a good Doombot experience, the AI would have to be tweaked. Just enabling the URF ruleset makes the bots cast their spells somewhat more frequently, but not to the URF degree that players do. 
Another consideration that makes it tough is both URF and Doombots are more game server costly, so making sure the servers don't melt would take some work too :)"

Discussion on Critical Strikes

Riot Reinboom popped into a boards thread discussing critical strikes, sharing her personal thoughts and elaborating on some of the gameplay introduced by the critical strikes:

[Since there seems to be some confusion... this is a discussion. Critical Strikes are not being removed...]

This toxic stat has plagued the rift for far too long and should have left with dodge. There is absolutely no skill in getting a crit and winning the game because of it. There shouldn't be a stat based on how many four-leafed clovers you've picked in your life. 
ADCs would no longer use crit to outplay and require actual skill.
There are a number of interactions that Critical strike is creating that need their value explored first. 
Personally, I dislike Critical chance in league. At its worst, which is randomly realized, a single critical strike can define a game - especially on feast or famine characters - in either direction. Individual attacks have high meaning in League and having that action not be controlled when most of the rest of the game is feels a bit wrong. 
And to be further clear it's not the RNG element that's wrong here; it's the RNG element compounded by the reaction window afterwards. RNG that guides strategy and decision making but doesn't define individual events are amazing (Bard meeps <3). Short response window RNG is the icky one. 
... However... 
Critical strike also does a lot of good things. 
To highlight these, I would like to call out and contrast some of the effects of Critical Strike to the most common suggestion in changing it: Flattening the output. (Flattening the output is where Critical Chance becomes a basic attack damage multiplier. 1% Crit -> 1% Basic attack damage amp). 
In the broadest of theory, assuming all actions are the same, just changing one for the other would (given that there's lots of games being played) would statistically be the same. 
However, that wouldn't actually be true. Not all actions would be the same. Here are some of the key differences (in no particular order):

  1. Critical chance proposes a degree of possible threat that people do respond to. An ahead Marksman will be more reluctant to engage on a Marksman that's behind and has a bit of crit because of the chance of a crit still sits in the realms of possibility. This allows a behind Marksman to still project some control whereas if all damage was flattened this would be less true.
  2. There is an interaction with critical strike that I will call "crit fishing". Crit fishing is where someone will poke the enemy and then hard engage if they see a critical strike. If they don't, they back off (with the enemy sustaining back up a bit). Even though what's being tried is luck (ish, thanks to pseudo-rng it will actually be guaranteed eventually), there's a skill and a mini-game wrapped around it on capitalizing on the event. This entire mini game doesn't occur with a flattened damage situation.
  3. Thanks to pseudo-RNG, when there is a decent amount of crit (but not max) on a character in a full team fight where Marksman get to hang around for awhile then the fight will have a mix of crits and noncrits. In mid to late game, given the high damage outputs that Marksman have, this can be pretty defining. The marksman will crit someone into being into burst range, the question is "who and can it be acted on?" This is an element of unpredictability and interaction with other classes of characters (burst mages) that is very similar to point #1, but stretched even further and with a proper response window for teams to react and decide if and how they hold their engagement or disengage. This flowing and shifting long fight dynamic would be lost with the flattened version.
  4. One of the hardest ones to capture: the feeling of crit. When a crit occurs, for a lot of people it's fun. The number is larger, there's an awesome fiery icon next to the damage, the damage number moves differently, your champion does different things (animation and sometimes sound), and the enemy health bar takes a heavier chunk. Each of these aspects feed off of each other. There are an ensemble of elements executing this feeling and the shift itself between adagio to allegro is what matters. Having just one or the other can be quite boring for many. 
I'm sure there are more things crit is doing as well. These are just some major ones that have been partially understood. 
Now, what the value of each of these aspects are is much more difficult to define and emulating them all becomes rather complicated. 
Unlike, say, the dodge mechanism or the phage random slow mechanism of many days past, critical is also much more ubiquitous which makes trying to understand these values much more important. 
All of that said, it might turn out that the right answer is just flattening it - or any number of other ideas. The bad of Crit might just be straight up worse than all of these elements combined. However, I can't say with confidence that that's true. 
Tricky area. Would love to read more thoughts here on this."

/ALL Chat | Minecraft Shurima

A new episode of /ALL Chat is out! Check it out for the latest community creations, including an Arcade Miss Fortune cosplay, a set of retro champion sprites, Shurmia recreated in Minecraft, & more!

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