Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 8/4, Ask Riot: Pentakilled, Introducing Damage Rating & More

Posted on at 2:36 PM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for August 4th, a new Ask Riot featuring answers from the members of Pentakill, an introduction to Damage Rating, and more!
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Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: August 4 

Here's Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for August 4th, covering Rengar and upcoming runes:
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: 
Touching on Rengar since he gets some questions and we mentioned him much for a bit. We don't have any immediate balance plans for Rengar, we're not happy with his state long term though, which will assumedly mean some larger work at some point (might be one of the projects taken on after LB and Azir, might not, still assessing options there). As with LB he's been a challenging champion historically, offering some really high moments but never being in a great spot counterplay/balanceability wise. 
Upcoming Rune Reveals 
We've seen some feedback recently that our rune reveals each week have felt really heavy on damage options for keystones, leaving people wanting to see more non damage stuff and/or concerned there won't be enough non damage options in the system. Seemed like really legit concerns. Next week we'll have a couple of regular runes that are non damage options from the Inspiration tree. Week after that we should have a couple of non damage keystones (probably one from Resolve and one from Inspiration). Let us know if there's other stuff you particularly want to see some of after that. 
Rune Simulator 
Speaking of new Runes also wanted to talk about something else that's been asked for. We will be doing an online Rune simulator, sometime around the time Runes hit PBE most likely, that will allow you to go to a webpage and browse through runes/make a rune page using a very similar interface to the in game one. Mentioning in part since it's a question that's cropped up a number of times in the past that we haven't previously been sure we'd be doing or not. 
Non Runes pre-season stuff 
As we get closer to pre-season we're also starting to look at what smaller non runes projects we might also include. Should be able to expect some more talk about that in a month or so, with tweaks to some systems like starting items, possibly income systems etc possible. Details not yet certain, we're still figuring out how much work we should be trying to take on in addition to Runes, which things are most in need and which sorts of change it's most appropriate, or inappropriate, to do at the same time Runes go out."

When asked about Janna, Meddler replied:
What do you think of janna's current state being one of the best support in the game for a while now?
Coin's definitely a significant part of Janna's current strength and we'll be hitting that. Possible Janna's also out of line as well, planning to look into her, both from a balance perspective and to determine whether there's some quick work we can do to add some more moments of skill expression to her kit as well. 
In terms of 'best support in the game', I think some of that also depends on how you define best support. She's certainly right up there at present, historically she's often sat at a really high win rate, without actually being as strong as that might suggest, because of how forgiving her play can be (e.g. first game Jannas are likely to be much more useful than first game players on most other champs in the support position)."

When asked for his thoughts on catchup XP, Meddler commented:
Thought's about catchup xp(from kills and jungle camps)? Thoughts about the success rate of ganks? Feels so difficult to avoid ganks this entire season, with combat smites, decreased vision, higher respawn timers on camps meaning more time to gank, and gold/xp of junglers higher than ever(excluding the disaster of season 6) means more damage, so even without the help of laners, junglers can often 1v1 the solo laner in the gank even with their teammate pushed back.
Looking at XP flow's on our list of stuff to consider for pre-season. Seems to be a particularly hot topic on Boards/Reddit at present, it's not the sort of thing we'd want to change during the season unless absolutely necessary though and definitely don't think it's at that point."

On UrgotMeddler replied:
His W shield probably deserves a nerf
We think he's around the right ballpark, hence the lack of any 7.16 changes. Still watching him to see if he'll need a bit of help, don't want to react too quickly and buff when he's just going through learning curve though."

When asked his thoughts on a recent Reddit post on dragon and Baron's sway in game, Meddler replied:
Yesterday there was an interesting thread on reddit about Dragons and Barons swaps; tl;dr adding more rng in the game. Haven't read any rioter comment about that, what's your position?
This general concept wouldnt require much work from art side, even code maybe. It would be a nice refresh for the jungle.
Assuming it's well telegraphed main impact seems to be some forced top/bot swaps. Not sure the play necessarily ends up being that interesting for non junglers as a result, more a chance to fail at some skill levels where remembering to rotate may not happen. A 2 minute telegraph as suggested there still gives plenty of time to recall, run to the other lane, ward etc, so likely means more time on strategic map movement and less on laning? 
Can see the appeal/goal in terms of getting a more dynamic feel into the game, inclination is there are ways to accomplish it that, while they'd take more work, give higher value at lower gameplay cost."

As for his thoughts on the tribunal system, Meddler replied:
Now I don't know if Riot would find the tribunal to be an effective option, but the idea of punishing players for trolling in champion select while protecting players from others misusing the tool to "escape" counterpicks or against off-meta players does make it seem very attractive to me.
What do you think?
Also have there been any developments with detecting or dealing with trolls in champion select?
Social system design like that's not something I've worked on that much, I'd expect to see such a system very heavily abused however. Being able to ensure you don't have to play with people who pick things you don't like, or being able to make someone else take a hit in order to dodge a lobby without personal cost when the other team's drafted better probably end up dominating the intended use cases really quickly. 
Not sure on champ select trolls etc work sorry, that work's done by a team I've got limited contact with most weeks."

On the Spellthief line, Meddler commented:
Will Spellthiefs line be looked at sometime soon? It has become very discarded since it has been nerfed many times cause Mid Laners abused it and Coin atm is very powerful causing it to be dropped by a lot of supports that used it.
Also do you plan to transfer Windspeakers Blessing to the new Rune system or make a new rune that is similar but unique
First step is to pull Coin back. It wasn't long ago that the attitude was Coin was terrible and should never be taken versus Spellthief's, so don't want to just keep power creeping both of them. 
We've got some runes, both at the keystone and normal level, that should be pretty appealing to current users of Windspeaker's. Not planning to do something exactly linke Windspeaker's itself though."

Meddler continued:
If you remove Windspeakers are you going to buff Redemption to compensate? Does Windspeakers count as heal/shield power for the purpose of Redemption's special scaling?
Not at all concerned about Redemption being too weak. Windspeaker's does affect it, but it's a strongly performing item and there'll be at least one rune that works with it to pick up if desired."

When asked about reworks and specifically TalonMeddler replied:
@Meddler, Recently Ghostcrawler discussed what makes a champion/rework a success, as a talon main, I'm not satisfied with the outcome of his rework, he fits the theme yet he lost a lot post the rework, I would like to know your opinion about him and if he'll receive any changes/QoL adjustments in the near future. 
and when can we expect the reveal of the new Vanguard champion? From the "Horn" teaser, I feel like he'll be a leader type of champ that will give much Auras to his Teammates, am I right?
I think the Talon update was a solid improvement. My apologies that your own experience has been negative with him, that cost for some existing players is something we struggle with conceptually even on the reworks that go the best (there are still players who'd prefer old Sion for example). 
As usual I'll leave reveal details of new champs to the champion team, don't want to undercut any of their plans. "

On Ryze, Meddler commented:
I have a bigger question: what do you guys want to do about Ryze?
He was a problem before his rework, and generally always have been, but why decide to give him an ultimate that's disproportionately powerful in pro play, and really limit what you can do with him for solo queue? I feel like it sort of hurts the players who want to bring him in as a solo queue pick but can't because he has to be reduced in effectiveness to compensate for pro play.
D'you have any thoughts/plans for Ryze?
I'm interested in trying to shift some power from his ult to other parts of his kit. Exploring W being non instant further is also worth a look again IMO, we tried that previously at one point and the feel hit for Ryze players was pretty high but it might allow us to put enough power/feel elsewhere that it seems worth it."

On Ancient Coin, Meddler replied:
Do you think it's possible that Coin itself is a poor item from a conceptual standpoint and you should be considering an alternative to having a gold generation item that rewards you for doing nothing?
I actually think the coin collection's a pretty decent foundation for a style of gameplay in lane. Again, it wasn't long ago that conventional wisdom was that picking up coins was too difficult, suicidal even against most lanes, whether it got your burst down or chipped every time you did so. Looks like something that's probably tuneable rather than only 'impossible to collect' or 'reward for doing nothing'."

Ask Riot: Pentakilled

A new edition of Ask Riot is out, featuring answers from the band members themselves! Check it out on the Nexus, or continue reading for more:
Header fan art by Ze:
This week is for headbanging.

What is the common language in Runeterra?

The Iron Revenant

If Graves can have his cigar, can Karthus have his face back? Why is karthus not a skeleton?

Oh look, another amateur necromancer uneducated in the difference between a lich and a skeleton. Look upon my glorious undeath—tell me, do you see a bag of rattling bones? Or a Deathsinger cloaked in necrotic sorcery? 
No autograph for you. 
The Deathsinger

Why there is a Lumberjack Sion skin but no Lumberjack Olaf? Because there are now two trees (Ivern, Maokai). I mean it’s only fair.

The Berserker

There are champs like Twitch and Sona, who don’t require much skill, and then there are champs like Azir and Ryza, who are practically impossible to play. What do you plan to do to bridge the imbalance gap between these champs?

.– …. .- – / – …. . / ..-. ..- -.-. -.- / -.. .. -.. / -.– — ..- / .— ..- … – / ..-. ..- -.-. -.- .. -. –. / … .- -.– / .- -… — ..- – / — . –..– / -.– — ..- / .-.. .. – – .-.. . / – . . -. -.– / -… — .–. .–. . .-. ..–.. / .. .-.. .-.. / …. .- …- . / -.– — ..- / -.- -. — .– / .. / .–. .-.. .- -.– / .- – / – …. . / – — .–. / – .. . .-. … / .. -. / … — .-.. — / –.- ..- . ..- . –..– / .- -. -.. / .. …- . / -… . . -. / .. -. …- — .-.. …- . -.. / .. -. / -. ..- — . .-. — ..- … / … — .-.. -.. / — ..- – / … …. — .– … / ..-. — .-. / .–. . -. – .- -.- .. .-.. .-.. –..– / .- -. -.. / .. / …. .- …- . / — …- . .-. / …– —– —– / -.-. — -. ..-. .. .-. — . -.. / .- … … .. … – … .-.-.- / .. / .- — / – .-. .- .. -. . -.. / .. -. / . – .– .- …. .-.. / .– .- .-. ..-. .- .-. . / .- -. -.. / .. — / – …. . / – — .–. / … ..- .–. .–. — .-. – / .. -. / – …. . / . -. – .. .-. . / .-.. . .- –. ..- . / — ..-. / .-.. . –. . -. -.. … .-.-.- / -.– — ..- / .- .-. . / -. — – …. .. -. –. / – — / — . / -… ..- – / .— ..- … – / .- -. — – …. . .-. / .- … … .. … – .-.-.- 
Maven of the Strings

Will we ever get a more dark and scary themed champion, like a demon/reaper/ghost one who strikes a bit more fear into summoners? Cause the scariest one now is Yorick and he is well, not so much — but could be fun with a more dark approach.

Really? Yorick is more terrifying than my songs of eternal despair and death? That thick-skulled bass player couldn’t scare a shiver out of a wet cat. 
The Deathsinger

Do you plan to show Karthus some love and give him an update or two to make him fit into the current meta better?

I’m sorry, is there a meta where a Pentakill doesn’t fit? We’re a metal band, but that doesn’t mean you should ask us bronze questions. This interview is over. 
The Deathsinger

Thanks for reading this week’s Ask Riot. Have a question?

Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Pro Tips, then ask away. 
We promise to read every question, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all get answers. Some questions may already be answered elsewhere, and some won’t be right for Ask Riot. This isn’t the best place to announce new features, for example, and we might skip conversations on issues we’ve talked about in depth before (though we can clarify individual points). 
We are listening, though, so keep asking. We’ll make sure your questions are heard by the Rioters working on the stuff you’re curious about."

Introducing Damage Rating: A better metric to track damage  

LoLEsports released a new article covering a new metric they came up with, Damage Rating:
Rekkles is a pretty average ADC, at least that’s what his damage per minute (DMG/M) would suggest. As of week 8 of the EU LCS he sits firmly in the middle of the pack at 5th place in DMG/M.\ 
And as we know damage is a pretty important element of the game - lots of damage means lots of kills and lots of kills means winning. And winning is good. But without actually looking further and seeing what champions Rekkles is playing, how much he’s winning or losing, how long his games went and a bunch of other things can we be sure he’s really as mediocre as his DMG/M suggests? 
For such a fundamental aspect of the game it would be nice to have a way to quickly discern whether or not a player is dishing out buckets of damage. That’s why we created damage rating. Damage rating takes in a whole bunch of different factors and shows you how much more or less damage a player is dealing than is to be expected. TL DR; these are the people who make the best use of their champions damage potential 
Curious to see who’s putting up crazy damage numbers? Here’s the top 3 ADCs across a few regions: 
And would you look at that, Rekkles jumps from 5th in DMG/M to 1st in DMG rating! - So what is damage rating? 
On a high level damage rating is the percentage difference between a player’s DMG/M and their expected DMG/M of an “average player”, taking into account the champions they play and how much they’re winning. 
We calculate this “Average Player” using data from EU LCS, NA LCS, LMS and LCK. We want a big enough sample to compare to, however we also want our data to be relevant enough that the comparison is meaningful. We landed on 10 weeks (plus the current week) of regular season data - which is roughly about 700 games of data. Right now at the end of week 8 of Summer Split, that’s 8 weeks of Summer data, and the last three weeks of Spring Split. We also factor in any major champion reworks are taken into account. 
But who are we kidding? You’re really here to read the math behind damage rating, so let’s get into it. 
So to start off, let’s run through an example for how damage rating is calculated for a single game. We’re going to look at how Faker performed on Kassadin vs Samsung Galaxy, back in Week 6
These were his stats for that game: 
First we get Faker’s adjusted DMG/M for that game, which only accounts for the amount of time he spends within 2000 range of an enemy opponent. We do this as we want to exclude the time that Faker couldn’t possibly do damage. For this game it works out at 1584 adj. DMG/M. SKT ended up losing this game - so we take all mid lane Kassadin performances from other players in losses over the past 10 weeks of regular season data. There are 23 games which meet this criteria. 
The number of data points used to calculate the expected DMG/M is important - we want a big enough sample size that individual games don’t skew the average. We decided that there need to be 5 data points, excluding all games played by that player. By having this cut off of 5 data points, it means that for some games a damage rating can’t be generated for a player. That being said we don’t want to make it unfair for the trendsetters - so those games will retroactively be calculated when there are enough points in the data set. 
Back to our example! So with 23 other losses on Kassadin our sample size is more than big enough. We grab the average adj. DMG/M of these games to get our expected DMG/M and then it’s all plane sailing from there. 
It’s this percentage difference which makes up the damage rating. So we know that for this game - Faker did an astounding 62.2% more damage than would be expected! 
How did we get here? 
The process of getting the adjusted DMG/M and calculating the expected DMG/M isn’t trivial - so why are we bothering, couldn’t we just use DMG/M and call it a day? If you just wanted to say that one player is dealing more damage than another player than sure. But if you actually want to say that one player is a better damage dealer, then you first have to look into a slew of different factors. 
So what are all these different factors? 
Champion pool 
Champion pool is probably the biggest bias for both DMG/M and DMG%. If we look at top lane champions with more than 10 games played you can see a huge difference between Rumble, the champion with the highest DMG/M and Shen, the champion with lowest DMG/M. 
Wunder (as of week 8 of the EU LCS) has the second highest DMG/M - and that makes a lot of sense when you look at his champion pool, where his top three champions played are Rumble, Kled and Fiora. Just from his champion pool we should expect him to be putting up really good damage numbers. Is he actually the best at dealing damage? Well if we look at damage rating the answer is no. With a +4.6% damage rating he ranks 5th - still pretty good but not as amazing as his DMG/M would initially suggest. 
Win bias 
Like a lot of stats, DMG/M is highly win biased. Usually if you’re winning you have more gold to buy items which in turn means that you can deal more damage (if that’s how you’re itemizing). 
These are all the ADCs who have been played more than 10 times in our sample set and their DMG/M in wins and losses. At a minimum for ADCs, a losing champion will deal 17% less damage than the same champion in a win. You can also see that the disparity between wins and losses is also champion dependent. A winning Kog’Maw will do 31% more damage than a losing one. This is why when we are calculating the expected DMG/M we take wins and losses into account - we can’t really expect someone who is winning to be dealing the same damage as someone who’s losing. 
Decoupling stylistic choices from performance metrics is difficult. Some teams like to fight more than others, some players like to split push - there are lots of choices like these which will impact DMG/M. 
If we look in the NA LCS the team with the highest combined kills per minute CK/M is Immortals (IMT) and the team with the lowest is NV. NV ranks 6th in team DMG/M whereas IMT rank 2nd. This doesn’t necessarily mean that IMT are better at dealing damage than NV - they may just play more conservatively, or maybe give themselves less opportunity to deal damage. 
The above graph shows the amount of time a team spends within 2000 range of at least one opponent and their average DMG/M for that game. As you can see the more time you spend around at least one opponent the more damage you deal. 
The more time you spend in proximity of at least one opponent the more opportunity you have to deal damage. When we look at how well someone is at outputting damage we only want to look at times when they have the opportunity to deal damage. This is why we calculate an adjusted DMG/M. Instead of dividing the total damage dealt to champions by game time, we instead divide by the time that they spend within 2000 range of at least one opponent. 
We chose 2000 range as it encompasses most champion abilities in the game. There are obvious problems with champions with longer ranged abilities, however we’ll touch on that later. 
Let’s take a look at EU top laners and how they measure up in both DMG/M and adjusted DMG/M. The rankings between DMG/M and adjusted DMG/M don’t vary too much, however it should be noted that the rankings for almost every player does change. However if we look at someone like Profit, probably the split pushing champion of EU LCS right now - we can see that his adjusted DMG/M is five ranks higher than his plain old DMG/M. So when Profit has the possibility to do damage he’s actually outputting a lot! 
As excited as we are by our shiny new damage metric this stat is by no means perfect - we could analyse damage until the cows come home and try and account for endless biases. So let’s look at where damage rating falls short: 
Game time 
With a game with countless variables every metric is going to have it’s potholes. However let’s talk about one of the most glaring ones with damage rating. It still doesn’t take into account game time. 
It might seem like DMG/M already accounts for time, as you’re somewhat normalizing the stat by dividing the total damage dealt to champions by the game length. However that only really works if the amount of damage you do increases linearly over a game which it doesn’t. 
The graph above shows that as the game progresses a player’s DMG/M also increases. If dividing damage by minutes actually normalized for game time the above graph wouldn’t increase over time. 
We looked at a few different ways of tackling this, however nothing felt very intuitive or significant. If you have any suggestions on how to account for game time we would love to hear them! 
Adjusted damage rating 
Adjusted damage rating is a bit of an issue. 2000 range is the max range of Caitlyn’s ultimate so whilst it encompasses a lot of the abilities in the game what about champions that have abilities that are longer than this range? Whilst this is an issue, as damage rating is about comparing a champion to other performances of the same champions, it doesn’t raise huge problems. The amount of time that someone deals damage outside of this 2000 range doesn’t vary hugely between performances on the same champion. 
Major reworks 
There’s also an issue with what happens when we have major shifts in the game - is the data still going to be relevant after pre-season or mid-season changes? This is something that we’re going to evaluate after these changes happen. We already account for major champion reworks however rune and item changes can also have a big impact on damage. 
Perhaps after pre-season changes we’ll have to decide that the previous 10 weeks of professional data are irrelevant. If this is the case that means that we won’t be able to generate damage ratings until we have a big enough sample size. Overall this is simply a reflection of the fluidity of the game - things change, and whilst we would like for numbers and stats to be safe constants sometimes they simply have to encompass the flux. 
Damage rating across regions 
And if you’re curious, here are the damage ratings for each role across NA LCS, EU LCS, LCK and LMS. Only players who have played 30% or more of the average number of games in their league are included. 



All stats are up to date as of week 8 of EU LCS, LCK, LMS and NA LCS."

Quick Hits

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Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • As mentioned in 7.15 notesAscension returns to the RGMQ 8/4/17 12:00 PT - 8/8/17 04:00 PT.

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