8/18 PBE Update: More Tentative Balance Changes

Posted on at 11:54 AM by Moobeat
The PBE has been updated! Today's small patch continues the 7.17 PBE cycle and includes reverts for the previously seen Malphite changes. and tweaks for Ornn's horns.
Continue reading for more information and context.

(Warning: PBE Content is tentative and subject to change - what you see below may not reflect what eventually gets pushed to live servers at the end of the cycle! Manage your expectations accordingly.)

Table of Contents

Skin Tweaks

Ornn's  horns have been tweaked again, improving details on the horns.

Balance Changes

NOTE*: The PBE is a testing grounds for new, tentative, & experimental changes. Be aware that what you see below may be relative to other changes earlier this cycle! These are not official notes.

  • All previous PBE changes (Q/W) reverted. See Riot Axes comment for more info, similar changes likely to return in 7.19. 

Context & Notes

1) Context from Riot Axes on Malphite reverts:
Talked it over with the team. We're pulling the changes from this patch. We believe that it is still a good overall direction, but we're going to do a further tuning pass on the Q. Expect it back on PBE with some tuning next week, but it's now unlikely to ship before 7.19 because 7.18 is the Worlds patch. 
We feel the W changes are a good direction because they amplify an identity that has significantly deteriorated (tank vs physical) while rewarding good play in nuanced ways without making his spells much more complex - it rewards him for being able to ult in without having been poked out first (his wombo damage is amplified by the armor boost while his shield is active, due to the armor ratios on W and E), for good target selection for quick kills on targets that are more threatening to his shield, and for finding ways to leave a fight briefly when situationally correct. 
I do think we're going to ship some amount of reshaping of the Q - mainly because Q as a first max creates a play pattern of "Q them over and over" whereas Q as a second or third max where it gives most of its movement control up front creates a pattern of using your Q to set up melee range combo trades with W/E. That said, we are not firmly committed to that kind of change, we'll be aiming to preserve his ability to rank up Q to deal damage as much as possible, and you'll certainly see that iteration on PBE before we attempt to ship it."

2)  Meddler's Quick Gameplay Thoughts for 8/18, including a few things to look forward to for 7.18:
"Hi folks, 
Usual Disclaimers 
These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get put delayed or even stopped. 
If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler 
Stoneplate changes partially delayed 
Looks like we'll be shipping one of the previously mentioned Stoneplate changes (bug fix so it doesn't give more health than intended when combined with Cinderhulk) in 7.17. The other change (extra health granted is a mixture of base and bonus, rather than all bonus) however will have to be delayed to 7.18. It's tested well and we were hoping to get that in for 7.17 but there's a little bit of technical work needed to implement it bug free so we'll need to push it back a patch. 
Ornn and Worlds 
Been seeing the question crop up occasionally of whether Ornn will be playable at Worlds or not. It's an issue we went back and forth on a lot ourselves, our conclusion at the end though was that he shouldn't be available. His release is only a couple of patches before the Worlds patch (7.18) and he's got a lot of distinctive stuff on his kit that could take a bit longer than usual to assess the impact of, upgraded items for his allies especially. We're really excited to see him in pro play, want to make sure we've had time to do any polish that's needed though. 
A few 7.18 Balance plans 
Some of the champs we'll be looking at in 7.18 below. Since there's a 3 week gap between 7.17 and 7.18 we'll also be doing a second pass partway through the patch development cycle. That means there'll be further changes coming, based in part on how 7.17 performs and pro play on 7.16 which starts this coming weekend. 
  • Nautilus - Needs to be buffed. Not certain what we'll do yet, first step is assessing his needs. 
  • Panth - We'll likely nerf his early Q damage. Might then put some power somewhere else, make him less about either crushing lane or failing to be usefu. An ult buff's one of the more likely possible changes.
  • Janna - No immediate changes planned, going to be monitoring her closely though to see how the combination of Coin and Ardent Censer nerfs affect her though, with changes later in the patch cycle moderately likely as a result. 
Champ Changes not in 7.18 
Touching on a few champs we've been testing things for recently that won't be coming back in the 7.18 patch at least: 
  • Vayne - Changes likely coming in 7.19. Removing Q's ability to crit and putting power elsewhere's still the plan.
  • Azir - Small update could be as soon as 7.19. Still going well, got some focused testing this week and weekened though which might reveal something new.
  • Udyr - Hoping to have something ready for him before pre-season (7.22) still, need to see how work on him goes though.
  • Yasuo - We've got some good lessons from the Yasuo changes we've been trying, won't be shipping anything for a while however. Extra range on his ult showed some good promise in particular, since it allowed him to better capitalize on his allies' play without giving him more personal power. Will likely revisit that next time we look at Yasuo. Shifting power from his shield to other defensive effects (e.g. base stats) also showed both some promise and some risks."

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