Red Post Collection: Balance team Q&A #2, PBE signups open, One for All over, tentative Shaco changes for 5.22, & more!

Posted on at 11:33 AM by Moobeat
This afternoon's red post collection includes a heads up that One for All is headed back into the feature game mode work shop, a reminder that PBE sign ups are open and Riot is aiming to test a new feature on the PBE November 3rd, another huge Q&A with the balance team, Meddler on some tentative Shaco changes for 5.22, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

One For All heads back to the FGM workshop

It's been two weeks and the One for All featured game mode is headed back to the shop!
"After two weeks of five copy frenzy, it’s time to bench the penta-Kench and send One For All back into the Featured Game Mode workshop. We’ll continue to tweak and tinker until the next featured game mode, so thanks for playing, and we’ll see you on the battlefields!"

PBE signups open!

As mentioned last week, here's a reminder that PBE sign ups are open and Riot is approving a big wave of players to test a new feature hitting the PBE on November 3rd!
"We’re opening up PBE signups to ensure plenty of testing for features hitting PBE on November 3. Positive players get first dibs on accounts, so sign up today! PBE can take a Zilean minutes to patch up, so if you make the cut start your download ahead of November 3. 
Use this handy link to sign up and we’ll see you on the (PBE) Rift!"
PBE sign ups are currently available for NA, EUW, and EUNE. See this post for more information.

Tentative Shaco QoL changes for 5.22

Meddler has posted on a few quality of life Shaco changes that are tentatively scheduled for 5.22:
"Closing the loop on this barring unforseen bugs patch 5.22 should have:
  • Shaco's clone facing randomized on spawn (instead of always facing the same direction)
  • Fake versions (visual only) of blue, red and baron buff for Shaco, Wukong and Le Blanc clones
  • A timer for Shaco's clone remaining duration (only visible to Shaco)."

Caitlyn Auto Attack bug fixed in 5.21

Riot Exgeniar has posted on reddit about a longstanding Caitlyn bug that is being fixed in the upcoming 5.21 patch that happens when both Lulu and Caitlyn are in the same game.
"The bug never went away.... until the next patch. Yes, that's right.

We found a reliable reproduction step for this bug, and so we fixed it immediately. Finally heh? We are fairly confident in the fix, and will be rolling out in 5.21. ;)

This bug has existed since Lulu was released... When Lulu and Cait are in the game, under certain conditions this bug will trigger (it's complicated, but it's not caused by spaghetti code). When triggered, Caitlyn's autoattack has a 50% chance to happen on non-critical auto-attacks, a 100% to trigger on Critical attack, and a 0% chance on Headshots.

Fixing bugs when we don't have an understanding the issue can be difficult, we can't safely fix the bug and we could end up breaking the ability more. League of a Legends is a widely played game, and we see 'one in a million' edge cases all the time, and it drives me (and other QA) crazy. The playerbase playtime grossly outnumbers the amount of QA effort we can put in per patch. The amount of QA man hours we put per patch probably gets matched within minutes (if not seconds) of playtime on all the servers. So often time, the best source of bug report is from the community. When the community come up with reliable reproduction steps to a major bugs, we can Garen-tee that the bug would be fixed within a patch or two.

So please do report bugs with any concise information you have, or patterns that you've notice about the bug. This will help us find the reproduction case which will facilitate the fix. In this case, we understood the bug only happens when Lulu is in the game, but wasn't enough to help us until we knew it was guarantee to happen on Critical attacks, never on headshots, and when triggered will persist the entire game.

Please let us know about bugs, especially how to reproduce the bug, we are always listening."

The Risks of MMR Boosting

As we near the end of the season, Rhojin has posted a PSA style announcement regarding the risks of MMR boosting - playing on someone else's account or having another player play on your account.
"Hey Everyone, 
A couple months back I made a post regarding MMR Boosting punishments and the updated investigation and identification methods we created for the 2015 Season. Today I wanted to talk about something else in regard to MMR Boosting, the security of your account. By now I’m sure you are all aware of the announcement of the 2015 Ranked Season Rewards; and after seeing what waits for those who reached Gold or higher we have seen a large increase in the number of players receiving MMR Boosts. While it may be tempting to pay for a boost or getting your friend/family member to play a couple games to boost your rank up, there are some serious risks involved in receiving a MMR Boost. 
First and foremost, you will receive a MMR Boosting punishment. Your account will be suspended for two weeks, any ranked rewards you may have earned in the past will be stripped from your account and you will be ineligible to receive the 2015 rewards. Now this isn’t an “IF” your account is caught this is a when your account is caught. No matter how elite a booster may claim their methods are, there is no hiding from us. 
On top of the punishment looming over a boosted account, the security of the account could also be at risk. Far too many times have we seen players share their information with people offering to boost their account, only to have that person then run off with the account and either sell it to another party or use it for other nefarious means. There are boosters who will boost an account and then report it directly to us for whatever reason they may have. And then there are those who set up sting operations, offer to boost someone and report every player to us who says yes, and they aren’t even contracted through us to do something like this. This is something they do out of their own free will to ensure boosters are removed from the community they love. 
But even after being boosted there is no guarantee that an account will remain in the ranking it was boosted to. Throughout the 2015 Season we have seen 35% of boosted accounts drop back down to the ranking they were at before being boosted or lower. So not only is there the MMR Boosting punishment being issued to an account, the numbers show you may drop back down in rank and expose your account information to unnecessary risk. 
I will be checking this post throughout the day to answer any questions or concerns you may have."

When asked if things increase at the end of the season, Rhojin noted:
"While I do not have a solid percentage to share at the moment, I can say that we do see an increase in boosting activity as the end of the season draws near."

When asked if it is ok to just play with friends who may be a higher rank thank you, Rhojin again repeated that is perfectly ok as boosting is only when playing on an account other than your own:
"Nah, you're cool. Duoing with a friend is something we allow, even if they were the one doing the carrying. As long as you played on your own account you have nothing to worry about."
As for trying to catch everyone, Rhojin  noted:
"We are working around the clock on MMR Boosting investigations and we still have a large list of people who are set to be punished for their boosting participation this season. While nothing anywhere is perfect there is a very slim chance someone may get lucky now to avoid detection, but sooner or later their time will come. Also if you feel you have information pertaining to someone who had their account boosted you are more than welcome to send a report to us through the support site. We appreciate these types or reports as it does help us ensure we can identify those who have received MMR Boosts."

Grievous Wounds on an Item

In a discussion on the now removed Executioner's Calling item that gave  AD, Crit, and applied Grievous Wounds (-50% less healing) on basic attacks, Reinboom commented:
the problem with grievous wounds being super accessible rather than situational (even nomicon is situational as you have to get them low in the first place, and it only lasts X amount of time) is that these champions that are "heal based"...rely on their heal. if it was as easy as buy "x item" then that champion would effectively be useless. Imagine if grievous wounds were easy to apply? What would vlad do? his one thing he does well, he now no longer does. Well then. That sucks. 
These champs can feel oppressive because of their sustain, but all 3 of the ones you mentioned are indeed vulnerable to being blown up. sure they can zhonyas, etc. but ultimately they do have counterplay. 
We need executioners calling back, but it needs to work similar to nomicon as a temporary debuff and only below a certain percentage. Eitherwise champs like vlad, swain, and soraka will just be effectively worthless.
This is a healthy way of looking at it. 
Executioner's Calling in particular is an interesting case. Its biggest failing is that its stat profile was very unique, with the only item on SR sharing its stat space being Infinity Edge. 
Within that duality of purpose, because champions that utilize that stat profile will never give up Infinity Edge, it had no direct comparison. Nothing you would switch for it. The results of this duality of purpose is you had to make a stats optimization case on top of your "I need to deal with this situation case". For most people, what you were trading away just wasn't worth it then. 
Grievous wounds on an item is fine (more fine than on champions I would argue, excepting assassins), but if it's ever an expectancy then what will actually happen with the lacks of Vladimir, Mundo, and similar is over time their healing amounts will just creep up and creep up until they get their identities back."

Masters of War (feat. Uyanga Bold) on LoL Soundcloud

The Masters of War (featuring Uyanga Bold) track is now up on the LoL Soundcloud! Both the normal version and the instrumental version are available .

Community Collab | Helmet Bro: The Animated Series - Pantheon Rises

"I used to knead you. Now you're bread to me.
Animated by ehlboy:
In collaboration with Hyun's Dojo:
**Created in Collaboration with Riot Games**"

Balance Team Q+A #2 - Ask Us Anything (Again!)

Following last week's Q&A, the balance team returned to the boards to answer more player questions!
"EDIT: AMA'S DONE FOR TODAY! Thanks for coming out and asking questions - If you're reading this and missed this one (or if we missed yours D:), we'll be doing two more this month at the same time! We'll see y'all at 12:30pm pacific, on Friday 10/030! 
If you have follow-up questions or want to stalk us on the internet, you can follow almost all of us on ze twitters at (@RiotJag) (@RiotFeralPony) (@RiotTimeWizard) (@G_mang) (@ManWolfAxeBoss) (@SmashGizmo) (@ricklessabandon) and (@RiotScarizard)

Hey folks,
We're back again for our 2nd AMA this month - another week of worlds has gone by and a new patch is on the horizon, and we still have tons of your questions to get to! Got something to say about balance, your favorite champions, or how free SmashGizmo's sheik is? We've got you covered. 
If you want to check out our Q+A last week, here's a link to that one too! M O R E C O N T E X T
On deck, we've got: 
RiotTimeWizard (thousand-year-dragon in training) 
ricklessabandon (all lowercase, all the time) 
SmashGizmo (plays 5 colors in EDH like a scumbag) 
ManWolfAxeBoss (fire and blood) 
RiotGmang (keeps talking so nobody explodes) 
RiotJag (has a cool motorcycle) 
FeralPony (photoshop artiste) 
and yours truly! Got a burning question or top-of-mind curiosity? Fire away and we'll start answering in an hour! (1:30 PDT)
If you want some more behind-the-scenes insights on how League's balance goes, check out these devblogs by RiotJules and King Jag The King, RiotJag himself!"

Q&A Table of contents


When asked about confidence of changes prior to being released to live, FeralPony replied:
"Do you guys feel like you know what is actually healthy for the game and what is not before you release something?" 
Not an easy question to answer. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Generally, we go with the approach that we can be wrong but we tend to have a higher than average hit rate, and we can iterate and update when we make mistakes and get additional eyes and player feedback. 
Scuttlecrab was an example of a design that got a ton of initial pushback both internally and externally and we got a lot of pressure to remove but was probably the best single addition we made in the previous preseason. It offered a lot of additional jungle routes, caused tons of tension and skirmishes - something the early game desperately needed, provided additional control and objective control gameplay, and was freaking cute as hell. 
On the flip side we aired way too high on the power level of Juggernauts in combination of PBE feedback and with the our expectation that the additional playstyle changes would take a lot longer for players to pick up and adapt to. 
"Right now the banning phase is used to get rid of Champions that are actually broken instead of Champions that people feel are stronger than average, which in my opinion, isn't how banning should work. You shouldn't be forced to ban a Champion because they have a 64% win rate or face the high risk of losing that game and having to dodge" 
I pretty strongly disagree with this statement. The banning phase is exactly used for champions people feel are stronger than average. No champion currently has anything resembling a 64% winrate. 
The top 10 bans currently in the game are Darius, Garen, Yasuo, Fiora, Kindred, Mordekaiser, Zed, Riven, Katarina, and Blitzcrank who have ~50% ,52% ,51% ,51% ,47% ,50% ,48% ,51% ,49% ,52% win rates respectively. These numbers are not the end-all-be all statistic or the only thing we care about but the reality of the data is crazy far off from 64% you mention. These will of course fluctuate a little based off ELO, role/lane, and experience rate etc, but not substantially."

When asked about things being done to passive or ignored laning phases, ricklessabandoncommented:
Will anything be done to address passive laning and ignored laning phases? At the moment, abuse of is popular, for instance, in making dangerous picks completely ignore their short comings. You often see it picked into unfavorable match ups because of how easy it becomes to ignore laning phase. This in turn means people with abnormally strong post-laning spikes (e.g, Fizz or Talon) are not tempered by the difficulty of their laning phase.It is also incredibly frustrating having no meaningful options except 'farm and wait for the jungler'. You often don't have the resources to beat passive laning, and the champions that can do so are often unbalanced themselves.
it's on our radar. also, the game systems team has some work in progress that's related to this and i'm excited about it (both from 'player experience' and 'balance levers' perspectives). please look forward to it~"

As for the idea behind so many shake up changes this year instead of waiting until only preseason,
Scarizard commented:
What is the main purpose of all significant changes recently (this year)?Do they or do they not contribute towards a bigger plan?
You weren't very specific with what you mean exactly by 'significant' changes, but I can already tell you that the answer is yes. 
Every change, be it a low-scope balance change (damage here, mana cost there) or a series of item updates (jungle items), up to the Juggernaut and up-coming Marksman updates are part of large, over-aching design goals that drive us forward. There's no literal 'by 2010, X has happened' plan that we're reaching for necessarily, but we've got values and we're sticking to them. 
For example, when it comes to the Live Gameplay team's work (that's this team, by the way!) - we focus on surgical, tactical changes that promote basic champion diversity. From huge 30-change patches like 5.5 and 5.16 earlier this year, little by little we're seeking to make each champion feel like they're viable options. We may never reach the a pure balanced state, and that's not even the goal - but if you load into champion select and say to yourself 'X, Y, and Z could all be good here' instead of 'I have to pick X because Y and Z are unplayable', we think we're hitting our goal. General Data (as well as Worlds' pick/ban!) are showing good trends here, but we're far from done. 
On the other hand, things like the Juggernaut Update and the soon (not tm!) Marksman Update are aimed at entire classes and subclasses - saying 'hey, you never really made a decision about whether or not you picked Garen or Darius, you'd just pick whichever is stronger'. Graves, Lucian and Corki have long held a similar pattern - 'Which one do I want?' 'Well they do the same things, which is strongest right now?' By pushing at our champion roster both in terms of viability (Do I feel like I can compete with this pick?) and strategic identity (Do I understand what situations I'd want this pick? Which ones I wouldn't?), we're aiming at a better, balanced game overall. 
Even if there are Mordekaiser-shaped bumps along the way."

Riot GMang  also commented on the idea of an item to "counter" % max hp true damage.
Are there any plans to add items or abilities to counter %max hp true damage, or any way to counter it?
I don't believe so. If a champ is dealing %max true damage, the designer probably was shooting for "if you can deliver this, it WILL hurt. No matter what." So the design is trying to emphasize the "deliver" part of the counterplay instead of champ select or item build. This carries risks of course (doesn't have the mitigation release valve that physical and magic have, nor the HP that flat true damage does), and it's possible we've made mistakes here. But in general, you should feel empowered to respond to the delivery: if Vayne is hurting, get Frozen Heart, or keep distance, or lock her down, or focus her, or hit-and-run, etc. 
If the delivery isn't giving sufficiently counters, then we've probably failed on the design or balance. 
It's possible that we could make a counter to %max true damage (giving heavy shielding and healing comes to mind), but afaik nothing is in the works."

Champion Specific 

Riot Time Wizard  also briefly commented on Aatrox, saying:
A while back Meddler responded to this thread about Aatrox's general issues as a champion. Since then, I've heard nothing about the topic. I've always liked the feel of Aatrox and it saddens me that he hasn't had any attention in a while. Are there any plans for this murderous archangel of war?
A-atrox is a pretty cool guy. We were actually just talking about him this morning. We don't have any specific plans, though he will definitely be affected along with everyone else with the pre-season. What sort of things do you like about him? Also, have you considered his synergy with Kindred?? ;0"

When asked about recent comments about Azir changes. ricklessabandon  commented:
After a recent patch, Azir's winrate has dropped to the second lowest in the game due to his inability to do more damage with his Q with additional soldiers. Even though Azir is still a highly contested champion in Competitive play, in soloQ he's very weak early on. Are there any buffs that might be thrown towards the emperoror in the near future that might make him a more valuable pick in soloQ but not in competitive?
short answer - yes, we're going to try to make some changes to azir in the near future to leave him in a better spot for a larger portion of the player base. 
we're still in the process of collecting data so we can make the best-informed decisions we can here. not sure what the turnaround time will be, but we'd like to do more for him on the improvements side of things without empowering his already powerful influence on professional play."

As for thoughts on how Diana is currently stacking up, Riot Time Wizard replied:
Hey balance team! How are you guys feeling about Diana right now? Is she too strong, just right, or too weak right now?
Diana actually seems to be in a reasonable place at the moment. Her perfect Q+R+R combo can be devastating, but counter play exists enough that playing against her can still be less frustrating than say, Veigar combo. She's also a decent mage jungler, which can shake things up and feel more satisfying as someone who's trying to carry a game."

When asked about Elise and the direction they want to push her in, ricklessabandon  noted:
I'm not sure I really want to know the answer to this but I've been wondering about Elise. 
She's been really dominant at Worlds up to now, so I think we all know a nerf is inevitable, but I'm really worried about what it'll be. The recent Elise changes have been really good in my opinion, with the ratio buff on spiderlings and the Cocoon change allowing her to max W second both being changes that favoured her being built with pretty decent amounts of AP. Her nerfs have been good too, removing quite a lot of the free damage she gets in her kit, which is something that's caused huge problems in the past. 
What I'm wondering is how intentional this has actually been - do you want Elise to be an AP fighter? As much as she's overtuned right now it feels easier to balance her as an offensive champion than as a tank (seeing as she's actually building damage to do damage now, and is only really viable as a tank when she can blow people up without building AP), and I think she's delivering on her gameplay fantasy right now better than she ever has. Even when tank Elise was undeniably the best build a lot of people still preferred maxing W and building some AP just because it was way more fun than going tank, even if it was bad. But I never really got the impression that you guys preferred AP Elise, particularly as you seem to have a preference for what we see in competitive play, and that means you'd like tank Elise more. 
tl;dr is there a particular direction you want to push Elise in? Am I right in thinking that the playerbase seems to find AP Elise more fun, and if so will you take that into account when you do her next balance changes? It's very self-involved of me but I've been having a blast with AP Elise recently (even though lots of losses over the last few days ;_;) and I really can't imagine getting the same satisfaction from "tanky stun bot Elise".
hi, hi~
a lot of what you've been picking up on has been intentional—elise should have a path open to her that allows for gold to be spent on increasing her kill potential, and for less of that threat to be available 'for free' in the form of base stats/damages. since elise is a six-ability form swapper it's more important for her overall fairness to ask elise players to use their early-game power spike to earn a gold advantage and then invest it wisely in order to keep that strength going later into the game. i personally think it helps her feel more like a mage/assassin pairing (which seems more aligned with who she wants to be), whereas the elise of old felt more like a support/tank pairing. 
if i had to guess as to what areas we'd look at next, it would be ones that would let us stay on course with the last few changes—base damage past level 7 should be monitored closely, and scaling with gold should feel appropriately rewarding (and tied to success). if we ever needed to go harder on her, i'd imagine it would be thinking of cool ways to replace her w spells that would give us more 'balance levers' while keeping her feeling great to play."

As for why Evelynn seems to be a constant problem to balance, Riot Jag  noted:
Why is Evelynn so hard to balance? She has gone from an AP assassin post rework to a tanky bruiser and now is somewhere in between. Obviously the biggest balance problem is her stealth passive, but what would it take to really make her the AP/AD Assassin that she was made for? Do you like her current iteration or does she require another rework to be successful?
Honestly I think it's hard to make a stealth champion in our game be particularly consistent or functional and ALSO be a burst character. That seems to be a true void in the "counterplay" area. I'm really not sure about the direction to take Eve but I suspect for her to be an assassin she probably also needs to be a laner. Just my 2c."

When asked about Ezreal buffs, Riot Time Wizard commented:
@RiotTimeWizard, how are those Ez buffs coming along?
An Ez buff happened! He had an AD ratio added to his E in 5.18! 
There are still peeps thinking of ways to edge him more towards feeling even better as a marksman, but no ETA."

When asked about Katarina and if there are any plans to change her, ricklessabandon  noted:
Hi! Any plans for Katarina? If you look at the rework announcement back in 2012 you'll find something along the lines: "The first problem that Katarina players often faced was weak performance very early on, primarily related to the steep damage curve of her core damage ability, Bouncing Blades." and other things concerning Kat being weak early, unreliable etc... well I think it describes her current state, which makes me super sad... She was my first main, I really love her lore, concept, well generally her whole persona, but it makes me super sad to play her nowadays. Either I get smashed early, pray for ganks or pray for some random kills or successul roam... ooor I'm lucky enough to snowball and then enemy team will flame the heck out of me for playing a "facerolling champ, which doesn not require skill at all, and they wish me all the worst" Let's say she's a pubstomper in bronze- low gold divisions, and then let's say not that great in higher divisions. At this point I don't care about what changes could be made I just really want to play her again. "
so, we'll probably need to take a look at her sometime after the new season starts up (if nothing else, just as part of a follow-up pass on the different roles) but we don't have any kat-specific changes already in mind. part of the issue with katarina is that, at present, she is intended to be more about 'chasing a high moment' and as such will rarely feel as fair as a lot of the roster (the players playing as, with, or against are kind of playing a zero-sum game over happiness/fairness). 
we came around to that intention pretty explicitly around the time i put some very experimental changes out on the pbe, which i believe was about a year ago. essentially, we took a stab at what a more 'healthy and sustainable' katarina would look like. what came of that is that while we might have ended up with a katarina that more people could have been more happy with if she was commonly in their games, league of legends as a whole would have lost a type of character/playstyle that was one of the more unique offerings in the game. we likened it to the experience that draven provides—to make the 'draven experience' feel as fair as someone like lucian would almost certainly make our adc pool feel less diverse/rich, if not the game as a whole. 
that's kind of the long and short of it. for the time being, katarina represents a play experience larger than herself. if we ever reevaluate and decide that that experience doesn't align with katarina, then we'll certainly give her the time needed to give her the appropriate changes. outside of that though, she'll likely remain in the 'chasing a high moment' camp. that said, i think more than a couple assassins could use some love right now, so she might be suffering from compounding issues—we'll be sure to look into that once the next season gets rolling."

As for initial thoughts on Kindred following their live release, ManWolfAxeBoss commented:
I'm interested in what you all speculate will become of Kindred, buff or nerf wise. I heard that for the most part, she seems like she's in a pretty good place. I'm curious to hear a/some rioter(s) personal opinion on it. I personally agree with the team. She is not too strong, and when played right, makes a pretty balanced champ.
They're still pretty new to the Rift and have a fairly steep learning curve, so a slightly lower than average win rate right now is appropriate.
I personally feel that they'll be strong once people figure out all their tricks. Just give it some time."
 Riot Jag added:
"Kindred may be reasonable for the average player, but she is definitely too strong when in the hands of a capable/experienced player right now. I think we're going to look into narrowing that gap some."

When asked if there are  any plans for Lissandra in the works,ManWolfAxeBoss noted:
Hello there, I'd just wanted to know if u guys have anything planned for Lissandra. 
Lissandra - Since she was out you guys nerfed her damage howerver always putting more and more utility, but i guess she kinda needs to have her mana costs lowered; or i'd like to suggest an addiction to the passive ,along with the no mana cost spell, she could have like extra damage maybe scaling with level only. Another suggestion would be lowering the E dmg ,since it's mostly used to escape/engage, and put some damage on the other abilities. 
Thanks for the time!
We very recently put in the change to her ult where she heals on self cast. Spell costs were something we looked at, but didn't feel like she really needed anything there. The passive definitely has the biggest room for improvement. I messed around with some changes where she would spawn black ice around her and gain bonuses if she cast on top of them, but ultimately didn't have time for that patch. Definitely something I'd like to continue work on later though. 
That being said, we've seen her in a few games at worlds so far and think she's in a decent place in terms of power."

As for current thoughts on MordekaiserFeralPony commented:
"Power-wise we feel Mordekaiser's too strong currently in the duo lane and too weak in the solo lane case. We're generally okay if duo is his main role, but the disparity between those roles is currently too high. His solo lane is too weak and his duo lane is too strong. 
Mordekaiser W is totally worth revisiting in regards to the solo vs duo cast, it can feel pretty lackluster and is a good spot to target to help bridge the gap between the Solo lane/ Duo Lane case. Not sure on specific changes we'd make, but we'll be looking into Morde specifically more after the first big preseason patch (PBE Soon(tm)!) 
I'm unsure specifically on % of shield conversion values. He's pretty damn durable atm, and I feel the minimum shield threshhold helped him a lot more in lane than is getting generally credited, but adjusting the W sustain could grant us the option of increasing his shield growth since that skill in particular is currently double dipping in generating shield and restoring health."

When asked about their thoughts on NamiRiot Time Wizard  commented:
Thoughts on Nami? I thought she was strong even before her recent buffs, which only made her better. Is there anything more planned for her in the near future?
She definitely wasn't weak prior to her buffs, but she does get harder and harder to succeed with as the game goes on. While people start to move faster with boots and items, her Bubble becomes trickier and trickier to hit. Would definitely be interested in doing even more cool things for her :)"

As for the previously seen Syndra plans that were put on PBE then never returned, ricklessabandonnoted:
Will you guys revisit options for Syndra after preseason changes settle down?
that is the current plan, i believe. we had some work in progress we really wanted to wrap up before starting on our preseason work, but we ran out of time. nothing is set in stone though, so that work is just 'on hold' until we have an opportunity to pick it back up which could technically be a while (or forever), but with luck it's just around the corner."

Items & Summoner Spells

When asked about plans for Sightstone in preseason, Scarizard commented:
Well as a support main I gotta ask, 
What specifically are the plans to update Sightstone? Specifically, are there still plans to split the upgrade between something like Ruby/Emerald/Sapphire Sightstone with different effects, something which could tailor to the three main categories of support: tank, utility, and mage? 
Also, any plans to update Frost Queen's Claim? Seems it's not as good as Talisman or Face of the Mountain.
I don't want to seem like I'm being vague, but Sightstone specifically is getting some changes in the upcoming Preseason that should hope to address your feelings here.
Also, I see you on the lowkey pokemon reference. Good on you."

As for thoughts on trinket upgrades, Scarizard noted:
Any plans to make upgrading the warding trinkets less awkward? Right now due to both the lv 9 and 250g requirement there is a lot of randomness that goes into being able to buy it early enough to matter, if you're forced to back at lv 8 you can't even if you have the gold. If you're forced to back at lv 10 but can either upgrade it or finish a key item, that's not a fun strategic choice. The cost just feels awkward to fit into your buy progression. 
A lot of players just put it off until it's too late in the match. You already pay for extra trinkets, and items, and pots. I feel like the FREE trinket upgrade should also just be, free, at lv 9. Since the counter to it, scanners, would also get a free upgrade. Seems like it balances itself out. Thoughts?
I'd be looking for something along these lines with the upcoming preseason. I agree that it's a major frustration to have people put off trinket upgrades for so long, and the entire trinket system has been a hot topic for the Systems team for 2016."

When asked about the idea of adding a third summoner spell slot. Riot Time Wizard commenting:
With Flash almost a necessity for most players in most situations (Hecarim and Singed notwithstanding), is it time to make Flash a mandatory selection and have a third Summoner Spell? 
If not, is there a consensus why?
Currently, we have no plans to implement a third summoner spell slot, nor do we have plans to lock Flash in for everyone. 
We are looking into ways to diversify Summoner Spell choices, and that includes considering how Flash relates to other Summoner Spell."


When asked how the team handles the stress involved with balancing and the community, Scarizard commented:
How do you guys deal with the stress involved with the game? I feel like every time I go to see news about League of Legends on twitter, Reddit, Facebook, or the boards there is ALWAYS some commentary about the game not doing enough in terms of skins, balance, server management, etc. I can easily see how being a part of the balance team (or any team at Riot) can quickly become overwhelming, and I would love to hear how some of you deal with stress involved. 
I know for a fact that I can deal with stress in a much more safe and constructive manner and I was hoping to see what things you lovely folks do to help manage. 
Thanks for all your hard work in making an incredibly fun and diverse game! Hope to hear from you all soon!!
You get thick skin doing this kind of work, but it'd be unfair to say that it doesn't get to you. 
I think the key thing to understand is that even the most angry, vile and vitriolic statements come out of passion for the game we all love and work on. Those people telling us we should be fired, and that we don't know what we're doing? They just want to have fun playing a balanced game, same as we do. In many ways, these can be viewed as motivators - when people are upset, we have a job to do. 
It's often thankless, but I think the nature of the constant, ever-evolving puzzle of a Live environment is a big draw for some. I'd also say we have a big emphasis on communication and teamwork within our group, and I've never felt like I've worked somewhere where I was both valued as an individual contributor and as a friend. It's that 'band-of-brothers' (and sisters) feeling that means no matter how deep in the trenches we are, there's always someone else with you ready to help out and make that next change the best it can be. 
In the end, everyone's got their own ways (many folks play other games in their off-time, many of us keep up with the gym, pursue art or personal projects, rick plays ffxiv, etc) but having a team of homies to back you up makes it all easier."

ManWolfAxeBoss also added:

"As a team, we usually relieve stress by backseat gaming SmashGizmo while he solo queues. 
As an individual, I try and go to the skatepark at lunch and convince other people to listen to Riff Raff."

When asked if they ever look at data for featured game modes as reference for balance,  Riot Time Wizard  commented:
This might be a stupid question, but do you find data from gamemodes like One For All to be useful for the balance team in any way? Even just for vague observations.
No question is a stupid question, mang. Typically we wouldn't find a lot of use out of One For All data, considering the mode is so very different from "normal" League of Legends."

Group Questions

Last up we have a large set of group questions and answers from the team!

FeralPony   group questions 1:
What is your stance on balance. Do you prefer to have a "rotational meta", or is it more about not having any thorns sticking out of the bush, and what happens, happens?Also, what about the champions that just aren't played anymore? Are you guys gradually trying to give everyone sets of QoL buffs, or is the best thing in your mind to leave them be?

"Rotational Meta" can mean a lot of different things to different people, so I'll try and break it down as best I can and can answer any clarifying questions after. 
1- We prioritize addressing outliers in regards to power (Too OP/Too UP) and primarily look at top end Ranked play for assessing champion strength. However, outliers any way you look at them tend to make us investigate the situation (insanely popular, insanely pub stompy, insanely strong with a niche item etc). 
2- Our target with balance changes is to move champions, items etc to the center of the pack. Example - A champion is the number 1 champion in the game out of 120 champions. We'd target to nerf them down to #60 instead of to the bottom. Sometimes we target this change to happen over multiple patches instead of single patch. 
This means generally that you'll see a shift of what champions are viewed as OP over time and over patches, but the goal is not to just cycle champions for the sake of cycling them. Balance is a moving target with lots of interlocking changes and we learn a lot about the game along with the community. This is also the reason we prefer an approach of making smaller iterative balance changes versus a huge balance patch every few months or so."

Riot GMang group questions 1:
Well, after you managed to "miss" this on the last Q+A, I might as well have another go. 
I think the changes to Zilean's passive are interesting, though I still think there are a lot of passives that are incredibly outdated or are just downright bland. Is there any chance you are reviewing things like this to make the game more interesting? Here's some of the worst offenders IMOHis current passive (techmaturgical repair bots) has neither interaction or impact IMO. When his gameplay was reworked, the only interesting thing about it (the unique ability to heal towers) was stripped away, and that was really it. All we're left with is half an Aegis aura that also heals your turrets absurdly slowly. Is this really the best thing the inventor can come up with? 
I know this is partially because of the clarity demanding you shift the wording, but this is really little more than a ball of stats (which I'm pretty sure you're not too fond of, right?) Again, can't we make it more interesting.I'm pushing these two together because for me, they both suffer from the same problem. Their passive is literally an extension of one ability (both being their "not" ultimates). It feels like a band-aid fix to a problem you had in development of putting too much "power" onto their active abilities then compensating by effectively giving them no passive at all (even if this isn't true, that's the conclusion I've drawn). How is this right in a world when there are new champions with effectively two passives? 
You've probably heard about this one a few times already, but I'll throw in my two cents. The problem here is that plant thematic cohesion aside, this passive just doesn't work. Apart from Karthus, all the other "strike back after death" abilities allow the player to chase down their killer or allies to some degree. Karthus still works due to his devastating E damage and uninterruptable Requiem making dying a viable option. None of this is true for Zyra. You get one restrictively narrow skillshot on an immobile mage who is trying to be as far away from the enemy as possible. It is way too easy to sidestep them attack with the time before you can make the shot. Not too mention her lore specifically highlights the new risk of dying. Why should anything in her kit require her to die if this is the case? 
That's probably not an exhaustive list, but that's the ones I personally dislike the most. I doubt anything's going to change from this, but I'd like to at least know some of the designer's thoughts on these particular abilities.
Good question, and I agree that there are plenty of passives that leave something to be desired. 
Regarding your examples: 
Some of the champs you mentioned have also been singled out internally and gotten some experimentation (like Heimer, Shyv, and Syndra), though I can't speak to how they are prioritized among other projects in terms of urgency and which ones are planning to move forward (within our team specifically, the only one that springs to mind is Syndra, though no promises on exact ship date atm hah). 
Regarding passive quantity: 
This is a controversial topic, but I wanna just share a bit of context here. It's important to keep in mind that we don't design passives in a vacuum and then decide how many each champion gets. Passives are designed to serve the needs of a particular champion. 
Say I'm a champion designer making a new kit, and I start with a particular gameplay loop that fits nicely on Q W and E slots. The kit is somewhat functional and unique, but there are still things to figure out (let's say the W and E have some usability issues, certain lane matchups are very one-sided, my abilities late-game are confusing team mates, my spell rotation feels too unreliable, wave clearing is too easy, and my build paths don't scale right). What I do with the Passive and R slots--indeed, what I do with all slots--are going to be about problems like these or addressing other higher levels goals (like delivering the fantasy better or more unique or something). 
The answer to those problems might involve any number of changes, possibly demanding 0, 1, or 2+ passives. If I do add 2+ passives, it's not because I just want the champ to be cooler or have more stuff than others. And it is going to come at the cost of power budget and complexity budget, not just added on top of an otherwise finished, balanced champion. A solution might even involve removing/nerfing passives so that we have more complexity and power budget to put on actives! 
In the end, individual slots are not supposed to be balanced between each other, nor are "my champ passive(s)" vs "your champ passive(s)." Entire kits are supposed to be balanced between each other. "2 passives > 1 passive" doesn't always follow. It's very possible to design a kit with high agency, complexity, and fun with just actives, and it's also very possible to design a super lame kit that has several passives! And it's those kinds of properties (agency, fun, complexity, clarity, etc.) that we care most about: if a champion's multiple passives leaves them with too much control over the game, or too much complexity, or something like that,that is a big concern for us (and we definitely aren't perfect about these things!). But the actual quantity is usually not inherently good or bad. 
Regarding passive quality: 
Lemme give a different example: say we have a high-complexity champion who has everything BUT the passive slot locked down (you might have even had an awesome passive during development but it ended up being extraneous as other slots developed further). As in, "if our game hadn't already set the precedent, I might actually give this champ 0 passives." This can be a tricky spot: players expect each of their slots to feel fun and distinct, including the passive slot, but you don't want to disrupt the balance and fun of your existing pattern/slots. 
A lot of these passives end up being lower-budget passives: we could have made Jayce get multiple intricate passives, but he's already so complicated and multi-faceted that it would probably detract from the kit to do so. Sometimes you make the call, "this champ is about these cool actives, and we should avoid detracting from that here." 
This isn't to say that "lame passives" are a good thing, but sometimes the cost-benefit of trying to discover a perfect passive is outweighed by the value of delivering the champion to players with a not-stellar passive. The opposite is also true: sometimes we have a champion that's bloated in complexity/abilities by the time we're reading to ship, but we're willing to make the trade-off for the sake of delivering what we feel is a good product to players. 
All that said, improving lame slots is definitely on our radar; I just wanted to give context. I hope that provides a little clarity for why passives compare/contrast in the way they do!"

Riot Jag group questions 1
Hey, there!
  1. How often there are instances when you have so much hard time balancing a champion, that you request a update/small scope rework for him/her/it/them? Are there any examples?
  2. Do you playtest internally +3 AD changes or just rely on spreadsheet data alone, as such small differences make it extremally difficult to properly 'feel' what has changed really?
  3. Do you recall any fairly innocent changes you made to any champion, than, after they went live made a surprisingly high impact on game that you have not expected?
  1. Hmm. Lucian is a good example for me. That dude was just in every pro game for the better part of a year, so we actually sat down and did a mini-rework of him (Attack Range, E changes being pretty major here). There's definitely some kits that you've seen us struggle with balancing in the past year or so that may be solved with some small tweaks, or may need some broader updates (Ryze, Azir, Kalista being decent examples).
  2. For something like that we rely more on past experience, since we've seen what kind of power change a nerf like that has had on ADCs before (for example, Twitch got -3 AD last year and we could use that as a reference point for the Vayne nerf).
  3. I definitely didn't see mid Ezreal coming when I was doing Runeglaive. :P I did the Nautilus changes at the beginning of this year, and I knew that he would feel more versatile as a champion, but I didn't anticipate him being so powerful in the support role. Most of these surprises were pretty cool though."

ManWolfAxeBoss group questions 1
Can you talk a little bit about how the team approaches mana and cooldown gating when evaluating a champion's strengths, weaknesses, and play pattern? In particular, I'm curious about cases where the gate is essentially added or removed almost entirely (Eve W 0->40, Braum Q cost fluctuation being two recent examples), and what the thought process is behind making that hard call. 
In the same vein, how do you value usability changes (e.g. skilshot width/Zyra plant AI) relative to numeric increases in power?
  1. Mana is tricky. It's not a super interesting resource, but has a ton of power connected to it. In Eve's case, we felt like that was just too much power (and really inappreciable). With Braum, he needed some attention overall and Q mp cost was the best place to give some power back. 
  2. Usability changes, like any numbers change, just happen when appropriate. If we felt like expanding the width of Braum's Q would have been more appropriate than MP cost, we would have gone with that. Usability tend to have higher impact, so we try and make those work when we can."

ManWolfAxeBoss  group questions 2
Ok, I don't have a lot of original questions.So I ask for some simple stuff.Doran's shield - On a scale of 1 to 10 what do you think of this item?1 being a "must rework or delete" & 10 being a "must buy 6 of these on every champ". 
Nasus - My favorite Dog in League.If he was made today,what would he be like? 
Crazy ideas - If you could come up with a crazy idea that would completely change league,for better or for worse,what would it be?These ideas could range from stupid ideas that only exist in your head to ideas that maybe be worth considering to.I'll provide an example,add an area past top lane with an epic monster.The idea here is to make top lane a more important part of the map rather than the "island" full of tanks & split-pushers.Plus it would help with the whole "Party down Bot!" TP meta.What are you crazy ideas? 
Flash - Is it possible for just one patch during preseason to remove Flash temporarily?Just to see how hard things shake up.

  1. Doran's Shield 9/10 - Situational buy that does its job when it needs to. 
  2. Nasus.The Cane - If he were made today, I assume he'd be classified as a juggernaut and not have an infinite scaling mechanic. If he does ever get reworked, the late game raid boss fantasy is a must and I'd be sad if stacks got removed, but could live with that I suppose. I love the idea of movement silences. Get to kill Ezreal more. Lesser elixirs (think 75g and your next attack has 100% lifesteal or something). Flash only usable outside of combat. Shrink the entire map by 25%. Lots of neat stuff that would be fun to experiment with. 
  3. Flash. A dream of what may never be... ; ;"

SmashGizmo  group questions #1:
I have alot of questions to ask, i even split them up in multiple posts XD.

  1. Are there any plans to add more summoner spells to the game?
  2. any plans for AP mages to get a new CDR + AP item? most CDR + AP items aren't very good on very many AP midlaners.
  3. Any balance ideas you guys thought would be a really good idea on paper but just were hilariously bad when tried out?
  4. Why are Azir, Ryze, and Kassidan so hard to balance?
  5. Have you ever considered allowing a Community made patch of sorts, where most, if not all, changes would be sugestions from the comunity. (if not, this could be a pretty entertaining idea for a featured game mode XD)
  6. How closely does the balance team work with the design and reworking teams?(also, tell the design team to do Q&A's as well XD)
  7. Any chance of ranked ever getting more bans?
  8. What patch will the preseason start?
  9. People like to bring up crit removal, is it a thing that might happen or not.
so yeah thats pretty much it for my questions (for now) Thanks for hosting the Q&A
  1. No concrete promises on this, but we are exploring some options to make the Summoner Spell system more interesting. Really have no idea when we'll be ready to deliver on this, but yes, Summoner Spells are on our collective radars as something that could clearly be improved upon.
  2. I mostly just disagree with this statement. Morellonomnomnomicon and Athene's are both reasonably powerful in my estimation and we still usually see mages rush one of these two. I do think there's a small gap here in terms of AP/CDR itemization for non-mana mages, but I also think this is a very niche market that we're hesitant to provide easy CDR for due to how overbearing a, let's say, Vlad can be when he can easily rush both AP and CDR in lane.
  3. Literally tons. A lot of our early iterations on Rengar's Q in the rework come to mind, where we did stuff like using ferocity on Q would give you 3 stacks to make it the sustain damage option on him, but really basically just made him murder you even faster.
  4. Different reasons on all of these. Kassadin's the most straightforward, where it's just about how his mobility profile gives him perfect control over when fights are happening, so the second he crosses a certain power threshold, he just consistently runs away with games. Ryze is currently mostly about the mechanical needs of the character and just how much power a player gains from properly executing his passive combos, which means that he looks very weak for our average player, but is secretly one of the highest winrate characters for experienced players. I could probably write a book on why Azir is a balance nightmare at this point, but in the interest of being able to respond to more posts today, I'll just say that it's very difficult to balance a hypercarry who has reliable means of ensuring their own safety and that Azir pushes the limits of both being a hypercarry and reliably ensuring his own safety.
  5. I've idly thought about what this would look like, but I don' think there's any chance of this actually happening.
  6. Very closely. We try our best to give them good counsel on how to balance their characters pre-release and they try to give us advice on how to balance their characters while retaining their intended identities.
  7. There's a chance, but I think we're really hesitant about taking this route, as it does really limit players ability to pick the character they want to play in any given game. I know there are some folks looking at pick/ban structure and I wouldn't be surprised if over the next few years the pick/ban system changed significantly, but it's not something we're directly looking at in the short term.
  8. 5.22, HYPE!
  9. Not in the short term. There will be some crit shifting around in the pre-season, but we're not going to do anything so drastic as fully removing it in the near future. I think long term, trying to shift random crits to conditional crits (like, say, every 3rd attack crits, or all your attacks from brushes crit, etc), might have some promise, but we've never really gotten a good enough model of this working to ship.

SmashGizmo  group quesitons 2
Warning, essay incoming. I have 1 really long question, and 1 much shorter question. 
Question 1:I want to start by saying that I really do appreciate how you balance League, especially with the focus on counterplay. However, there are a few instances where I scratch my head a little. Most of my gripes come from the category of melee AD characters with high damage output, mostly the assassins and some fighters/juggernauts (looking at YOU, Darius). I’m mostly a support player, and I feel that a large majority of supports have very little true counterplay to that entire class of champions. Unless you’re playing someone like Braum, Alistar, or Leona, you don’t have very many options for handling these champions in any capacity. 
In the past, some of my biggest gripes with those “problem” champions have been addressed in much the same ways that I would have suggested dealing with them. Examples of those are how Yasuo stopped getting bonus flow for dashing, Zed got his AS nerf and the delay before jumping back to the ult shadow, and that Talon no longer silences. These nerfs provided usable windows where a champion could be stopped from one-shotting you or where you could trade back in some kind of meaningful way. However, I still feel like there are some big offenders where those windows don’t exist.The prime offender to this is Riven. Given her propensity to snowball, she tends to be able to afford a few important items by the time laning phase ends. When she hits the CDR cap, she tends to disregard rules and mechanics of movespeed and skates across the map as if she had ice physics.  
I can be playing Janna, have Distortion Boots of Mobility, Talisman, and all of my skills and summoners off cooldown, and still struggle to get away after burning EVERYTHING. If that’s the cost of not dying against Riven, is it really counterplay if that’s what’s necessary as long as we’re in the same quadrant of the map? Its not only the speed and ferocity of which she’s capable of hunting down a target, but the fact that she can then lock you down, out-trade you through lifesteal and a shield that doesn’t feel like it has a meaningful cooldown, and still kill you if you flash away due to the range and power of her ultimate. I know you guys are planning some nerfs for her, but is there any guarantee that I’ll be able to play the likes of Morgana, Nami, Zyra, or Sona without a single QSS negating my chances of doing ANYTHING to those champs? Bard, Lulu, and Janna feel like the only champs in this category where I feel that I’m not completely helpless. 
I’m pretty sure that besides Riven, the only other big gripe I have is that Master Yi’s Q has such a short cooldown and can be used to dodge really high cooldown ultimates (like Sona’s) or even other important skills with moderate cooldowns (most skillshot stuns) and then leave zero options for dealing with them. 
I guess if I had to make a TL;DR of this essay question, it would be: do you look at counterplay from all roles or just direct lane opponents? In the case of most mage supports, is there something I’m supposed to do for “counterplay” besides “hope my toplaner doesn’t feed Riven”? Or am I supposed to also take teleport like the other lanes and kill them like they kill me? 
Question 2:I also like to play jungle when I’m not supporting (I love macro play and can’t stand teammates who fall short in that area). I’ve noticed that when your team starts to fall behind, the junglers (who already have income that’s arguable worse than the supports) can’t farm because the laners shove out a wave then clear out the jungle. Have you looked at any recourse for jungler income to help them rubber band a little?

Counterplay is largely something we look at contextually. When it comes to assassin or assassin-like characters, your ability to play around them almost definitionally starts to vanish as they get far enough ahead, especially as the squishiest character on your team, as most traditional supports are. Speaking to this, look at the nerfs you cite as alleviating your issues with Zed, Talon and Yasuo; they all target different parts of those characters and aside from Talon do very little to actually impact your ability to fight back as a support. To me this says that these types of characters are really oppressive when they are generally too strong, but once you hit the reliability with which they get ahead, they start to feel less probelmatic. This in turn speaks to the fact that Riven is just flatly too powerful at the moment and is getting ahead too frequently, at which point, once ahead she is super oppressive to play against. 
To start, jungle definitely gets more farm than supports, there's no argument that they're behind supports :p. That being said, typically junglers are 4th priority on the team in terms of allocating farm, so once your team's overall income starts to get constricted, it's a natural side-effect that junglers get pinched on income particularly hard. Honestly, this is a really difficult thing to try to 'solve', both because most 1st order solutions also give more gold to teams that are ahead and also because it's questionable whether it's even a problem that should be solved. Drying up farming options for the jungler when you're behind forces the jungler to directly try to help their lanes, which in some ways is a desirable behavior shift, as this leads to the sorts of plays that can actually bring your team back into the game, whereas powerfarming is almost certainly a losing strategy when behind."

Riot Time Wizard group questions #1
A few things, thanks for the AMA I do quite love these.1) Tahm Kench? I don't really think I need to say more, he's arguably unbalanced. Are there plans to tone him down without taking him completely out of meta? 
2) Janna .. The hit on tailwind, Howling Gale, and Monsoon all at once? Any tone-up in consideration? 
3) How do you feel about Kindred's current state? 
4) Lastly, the adc "Rework" that's appearing. I'm not too informed on it, but has proper consideration been taken as to how supports will change as an inevitable result? Or are the changes not significant enough to entail such? Then again..if they aren't significant enough, could you really call it an adc rework? 
That's about it. Even one answer would satisfy me I'm sure you guys are getting flooded with questions though (:
  1. Tahm Kench has definitely got some strength packed in that big 'ol belly. If we do try to tone him down, we definitely won't be trying to push him out of the meta or out of viability. After all, he's only started picking up steam over the last couple of patches, so we wanna give him some more soak time before we just bop him!
  2. Janna is still in a pretty good place right now. Her disengage ultimate is one of the most reliable ways to counteract the menace of run-at-you tanky guys. She doesn't seem to be in need of any boosts at the moment, but we won't forget about her. We'll need to re-evaluate a lot of champs when pre-season hits. :)
  3. Kindred is experiencing what almost every new champion does. Extremely high ban rate in games, and players are still picking them up and figuring them out. They've proven to be powerful (not ABSURDLY so, mind you) in the hands of players with many Kindred games under their belt. We tend to follow-up within a couple patches on new champions, and we will likely do something to adjust Kindred's power. Again though, pre-season will be throwing everyone for a loop!
  4. Regarding the ADC rework: since it won't be much longer, I think I'll have to go with a "wait and see" here. We don't expect that supports are going to be adversely affected by the Marskman changes, though."

Riot Time Wizard  group questions 2:
I have a few questions about the Marksman update. ADC was the first position I ever learned, and I grew really attached to a lot of the characters. So I'm really excited about the update. 
I'm curious how large the scope is. I know there's been comparisons to the Juggernaut changes, but those were for 4 champions and a few items, whereas the Marksman class is comparatively much larger. Is the focus mainly on just those champions that are particularly rare or outliers compared to the rest? I've seen some discussion about Quinn, Urgot, Caitlyn, even Teemo (GOD NO), but not as much on the champs like Lucian and Graves, who are the champs we usually point to for similarities in play patters (since Graves was my first main I'd love for him to get some attention.) 
Also, is there anything you learned from the Juggernaut update that influenced what you're doing this time around? It seemed there were a lot of mixed reactions last time, since the changes were certainly needed but also kind of put the game in panic mode for about a month as we adjusted. Are you tuning the Marksman changes to try and prevent something like that again? Of course, this is the preseason, so it might be you're not as worried about a major upheaval. 
And how large are you expecting the update to have an impact on the rest of the game? ADC seems to me to be the most reactive position to play, meaning your choices in terms of champions and items are really determined more by what the other roles are doing and how to best deal with them and survive. It'd be really interesting for once to see the meta determined by what the bot lane was doing for once. 
As for other topics: 
Are you concerned about the new items as too strong in general? I know there are other people who work on items specifically, it seems like the items are being abused a bit on champions they weren't intended for. For example, Deadman's Plate (which is currently my favorite item honestly) seems to be a bit TOO good (movement speed, health, armor, and initial damage) on any bruiser champion, especially those that already have a lot of mobility. 
Will this preseason leave the jungle fairly similar? After all of the updates in jungle items that have come in the past year, as well as new leashing rules, Junglers may enjoy some stability for a bit. 
Any thoughts on how Top Lane's sort of become insane? I know that for the longest time that position was the "island" of league, and there are more options certainly that are viable, but the number of permabans that are up there is a bit ridiculous (I miss getting to play Fiora and Gankplank in anything besides blindpick), and in other lanes its frustrating how much weight is now put on whether your Top does well compared to everyone else. 
On that note, how satisfied are you guys with the current state of League? There's always room for improvement of course, but it does feel like there isn't any one way to play or win right now, especially if Worlds is any indication with the number of champs and strategies being played. Diversity achieved? 
Thanks for the Q&A, and sorry if this ended up too long.
Yo! (also an adc main :D) 
Teemo isn't currently a part of any marksman updates, so I think someone was trolling you. There's discussion about doing some changes of VARYING scopes on the others that you've mentioned. Distinguishing play patterns is part of the aim for updating marksmen, so there's definitely some work being done to enhance that. You'll have to wait for more exact details, but not very long! 
Yes, we have tempered our approach to the marksman update with our learnings from the juggernauts. As you say, pre-season will definitely shake things up, but that doesn't mean we want to repeat any of the frustrations that we introduced with the juggernauts. We're still being ambitious and creative while trying not to aim for raw power as a means of attaining viability. The marksman update in conjunction with all of the pre-season changes will likely cause a significant shift in a way that we're working hard to make fun and refreshing. 
Items such as Deadman's Plate don't seem too out of line at the moment. It may be that they are a tad on the strong side; we'll want to revisit their sstate soon.
There aren't any plans to change jungle as extensively as it was last season, though there will be some systemic changes and tunings. 
There are multiple ways we're planning to address top lane that will be part of the pre-season bundle. More specifically, we're looking at adjustments to Summoner Spells (including Teleport) and ways at defining what a "successful" top laner does. 
We're definitely happy to see the amount of diversity in Worlds and the different types of strategies across all games. Doesn't mean we're done, though! Really freaking excited about all the new things we have in store."

Don't forget there will be another balance team Q&A next Friday on October 30th!


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