Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 15th, Riot Games Merch Teaser, & More

Posted on at 1:29 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for November 15th, including discussion on game length, snowballing, Transcendence, as well as a second merch teaser, & more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 15 

Check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for November 15th, including thoughts on game length and snowballing, Transcendence, healthbars in 7.24 and more:
"Morning 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: 
Game length and snowball 
Something we watch closely especially around pre-season is how game time and snowball rates are changing. That's been particularly important to watch this year given a few changes that have the potentially to create more snowbally and/or shorter games. Those are things like a reduction in catch up XP, Legend/Bounty Hunter runes that are being taken a lot right now, people running very aggressive feast or famine team comps without much of a front line etc.\ 
After the patch went out last week we saw average game times in ranked SR drop by about a minute, which is meaningful. Looking into it we realized patch 7.22 had also introduced a bug into match making where higher MMR players were being stacked on one team inappropriately. We fixed that a couple of days after the patch and then looked at game times again. That showed average game times down 30s versus 7.21, of which 10s comes from minions/monsters spawning quicker (quicker game start). 
So, game time hasn't changed too much on average. Having said that though, that's just one facet of things and lack of much average game time doesn't mean other things might not have changed significantly. We're currently looking at a range of other measurements including things like: 
  • How snowbally a game is (on average how far through is the game decided?)
  • Whether both early game and late game champions are performing appropriately
  • How much variation in game length there is (are more games around the average length, or are we seeing more really short and really long games?)
  • How game time, snowball etc changes by different skill levels and regions
  • Etc 
More thoughts on stuff like that, and pacing in general, to follow. 
Transcendence seems to be getting a lot of conversation at the moment and we've been looking at a range of item builds suggested using it. Some seem good, but not out of line, some seem interesting but probably not effective choices. A few look really strong, especially in certain situations (looking at you Malphite), things should have contexts in which they're really strong sometimes though. Doesn't seem like the Rune's inappropriately tuned at present overall, keeping a close eye on it though in case any of the edge cases become really abusive. 
Health Bar update now in 7.24 
We're still working on the health bar update. Based off the number of things we still want to polish and some really useful feedback we're going to move that back to patch 7.24, rather than 7.23 as we were originally thinking, to get a bit more time to work on it. If you've got any further thoughts about how the new bars are looking, particularly after the recent polish to them while they've been on PBE, that would be much appreciated. 
Non LoL: Level Design in Breath of the Wild 
Occasionally I figure it's good to post some general game design stuff for people interested in that side of things, even if it's not LoL related. One thing I was reading recently that I thought was quite insightful was an account of one of the principles the Breath of the Wild team used to build their outdoor world. Link to a summary of that below, courtesy of Robert Yang summarizing Matt Walker's twitter rundown of a presentation by some of the Breath of the Wild team:"

When asked about Black Cleaver, Meddler noted:
I've seen some discussion around stacking Black Cleavers through the overcapping of CDR on Transcendence. I wanted to know what you thought of that from a game design / game health point of view.
Do you have anything in mind for changes in the way of Press the Attack vs Lethal Tempo? Eg. Nerfing PTA or buffing LT to bring them in line with one another and make the choice a bit more meaningful
Black Cleaver stacking hasn't looked at all out of line so far. If anything, it's often looking like quite a poor choice, given you're spending quite a lot for that HP/AD and not getting any of the unique benefits other items could be offering you (compare to say a Titanic Hydra instead of an additional BC). 
Bunch of thoughts on 7.24 balance coming on Friday, Precision keystone balance is one of the things we're focused on for that patch."

On MalphiteMeddler commented:
Is it really Malphite a problem with trascendence?
and if it is why?
The real problem is all those assasins buying 4-5 BlackCleavers and having way more AD than those who build a standard build.
We don't have any current plans to change him, Frozen Heart stacking, in particular how bursty it makes him in combination with his passive, is a risk though. Might be fine, not confident either way yet. 
Not seeing anything out of line with BC stacking so far. Possible it will prove to be a problem, but you give up a lot to do so."

Meddler continued:
If Frozen Heart stacking (or Cleaver stacking / anything stacking) is a problem, though, wouldn't it be possible to make the CdR unique?
If it's just a single item or two out of line, yeah, we could do so. So far, that doesn't look necessary, we'll see how things develop. Also possible the conversion ends up looking too strong in general, though not seeing much evidence of that yet.

On struggling Phase Rush users, Meddler commented:
Are there any potential buffs to other struggling Phase Rush users like Cassiopeia or Aurelion Sol? I mean besides Taliyah of course.
We're working on a balance assessment for 7.24 changes at the moment, whole bunch of details about that coming Friday. Considering former Stormraider's users and looking at their performance now is part of that."

Meddler provided average game times this patch:
Can you share what the average game time actually is? How about standard deviation about that? 
If most games are 20 minutes with a few drawn out 60 minute slug fests dragging the average up to 30, thats a different story than most games being 30 minutes. I know (particularly right now) people have a lot of hyperbolic statements about how we need 10 minute surrender and things are decided super early, but between late game champs and now late game runes (e.g. gathering storm) it'd be interesting to think about whether people might be able to hang in and prevent the enemy from closing out in order for their own strengths to come online.
Ranked SR: 
7.21 - 30.05
7.22 with matchmaking bug - 28.57
7.22 with bug fixed - 29.26 
That also includes the -10s from earlier game start too. 
I don't have standard deviation to hand, though as above that's something we'll be looking at shortly. Looking at a snowball measure we use games are somewhat more snowbally, but the data being looked at for that includes pre bug fix games, so not putting any weight on the numbers there until we've got those filtered out."

Meddler continued:
How do you guys determine the point at which "the match is already over"?
We use a predictive model that looks at things like gold and XP differences. It equates large enough gaps (based off correlation between a team getting that much a lead and winning in other games) with when in the game it was almost certainly decided. That lets you measure things like what proportion of games are probably over early, probably over mid game, could go either way right until the end etc. It's still pretty approximate of course, but is helpful in understanding how the game has/hasn't changed after a patch."
As for an attack speed Doran's item that was mentioned in an old thread, Meddler replied:
Are there still plans for an attack speed Doran's item that I remember reading about or was that scrapped?
That got iceboxed. We'll likely take another look at starting items sometime next year though."

When asked about EzrealMeddler commented:
Does Ezreal seem to be in a fair spot after the bugfix, or do you think nerfs will still be appropriate?
Not sure yet, need a bit more time to assess (it only went out late afternoon yesterday)"

Meddler continued:
I probably should've worded it better. 
In your opinion, do you think this bug was the cause for him being so strong, or is Klepto still the true culprit (or even something else)?
I suspect the bug was a meaningful amount of power on him. He performs much better with Klepto than most of the other keystones though, so I'd expect him to still be pretty strong using it afterwards. Will need to figure out whether, if he's still too strong, that means we should be tweaking Ez and/or Klepto (reduction in difference in effectiveness between most and least effective users?)."

As for what we could expect in patch 7.24, Meddler commented:
from the timing of things, 7.23 is shaping up to be on the lighter side, balance-wise. Does that mean we can expect more numerous changes in 7.24? 
Also, does the data show anything regarding the effectiveness of Anti-Armor options? Specifically since Runes Reforged removed the 7% total ArPen from Ferocity. Did that have an impact on tanks?
7.24 is likely to have a wide range of tweaks to champs and some Runes yeah. For 7.23 we were focused more on hitting the significant outliers and building up an understanding of how the game had changed, rather than adjusting a lot of smaller things."

Quick Hits 

  • SapMagic noted the season recap page would be back sometime in December:
"This is a confirmation. We're definitely doing it, and it'll launch in late December. Hang tight! :)"

  • The Riot Games Merch FB teased the November 20th release of upcoming merch with a new image:
"Meow.Meow.Meow. Limited Meowdition. Novembeow 20th, 11am pst. Meow."


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • With preseason comes a handful of missions to complete matchmade games and earn rewards based on things you've previously owned, time played, etc. Be sure to check your missions in-game!

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