Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 12/6, /Dev: Upcoming Party Changes, & more

Posted on at 1:38 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for 12/6, a new /Dev on upcoming party changes and voice chat, the Patch Chat for Patch 7.24, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: December 6 

Here's Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for December 6, covering Zoe, new ability icons, fighter performance, and more:
Hi all, 
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: 
Zoe's been fairly strong, hence the nerfs that just went out in 7.24. Our prediction is that those should be sizeable enough she won't need much immediate followup on power grounds, with changes like 20s duration on minion dropped W spells and a smaller radius on the E trap being particularly meaningful. We'll see where she lands though, with further power changes in 7.24b or 8.1 if needed. One thing we're considering doing regardless of power is potentially shifting some of her damage from base to ratios, with the argument being that she may be doing too much damage mid game even when she doesn't have much in the way of items. 
In terms of RNG on Zoe's part, more thoughts on that, and RNG in general, in an upcoming post (probably the one at the end of this week, possibly early next week). 
New Ability Icons 
We've finally got some updated ability icons for Mundo, Renekton, Nunu and Amumu in patch 7.24. Took a lot longer than originally expected when I first mentioned them, since the artist who was working on them got suddenly pulled onto something else. Glad to have them done though and, while I wouldn't want to make any promises beyond 'sometime next year', we'll also do some further champs who've got old icons that look poor at some point. 
Looking at fighter performance in 7.24b 
As previously mentioned we'll be doing a mini patch in mid December called 7.24b that will have a bunch of balance changes in it (no other stuff though). One of our targets there will be helping out a number of fighters. Our plan at present is to use a combination of buffs to some fighters (Aatrox, Fiora, Kled, Olaf, Renekton), nerfs to some overperformers who surpress fighters (Teemo, Jayce) and item changes (Tiamat, Ravenous Hydra, BC, LDR). Most, or all of that, should be on PBE already. It will likely get iterated on during the patch cycle of course. Worth calling out the LDR change in particular, which is that the Giant Slayer passive now requires the target have 2000 more health than the user to get the maximum damage increase. We're looking to test that based off the observation that tanks in particular are generally 2000+ health up on LDR users. Fighters by contrast will often by around 1000 damage up, but aren't as often cracking 2000. Should mean lower damage output against fighters and other champs who build some health while maintaining anti tank damage as a result. 
We'll also be looking at how the Bramble Vest nerf/Sunfire Cape buff in 7.24 went. A key goal there was to reduce differences in how well tanks and fighters performed in lane based off whether or not a lot of auto attacking was going on or not (how good Bramble Vest is). That meant shifting power from Bramble Vest to Sunfire Cape, which has a less variable output. It's possible that we may have also moved power up for tanks generally with that change though. That wasn't our goal, so we'll want to keep an eye on that as something to follow up on in 7.24b as well. 
Game Pacing 
We've also been looking at game pacing in general a fair bit recently, looking at things like how long games last, when towers go down, which lane tower first blood occurs in etc. Seeing a lot of discussion about those sorts of issues from you folks too. We've got a longer blog post on that coming sometime this month (exact date to be determined). A few observations that leap out for me though below in the meantime as well: 
  • The changes in 7.23 (more tower health, more minion damage to towers, minions faster after 20 minutes) had almost no effect on average game length or on time of first tower fall (now about 6s later than 7.22). Our primary goal with those changes was to support split pushing a bit more, especially for champs with lower personal damage to towers, without making towers fall faster overall. We're not seeing towers go down faster post 7.23 which is good, we're also not seeing much affect on split pushers so far however, suggesting we've potentially been too subtle in our approach with that set of changes.
  • Average damage dealt is up somewhat, relative to before pre-season. Our initial assumption was that that would be coming from the Runes system, looking into it further it looks like one of the biggest contributors is the shift of a lot of supports to the Frost Queen's line from more defensive items, with associated shift in support champs picked to those who deal more damage anyway (and therefore like the FQ line being strong). That combination means both more damage dealers on a team and less champs peel/preventing damage, particularly during laning phase in bot lane, but also to some degree in later team fights.
  • Bot lane's also seeing more tower first bloods than previous (really low MMR take rate 44%-47%, mid MMR 47%-51%, really high MMR 55%-58%). We've generally felt around 50% of tower first bloods in bot is appropriate, given half the laning champs in the game are in that lane in the average game. That high MMR value is a point of some concern as a result, and suggests bot lane influence might be too high at least in that context. Need to see whether the fighter changes mentioned shift some of that back to top lane or not. If not might look at changes for 7.24b or 8.1, though that's not the only factor in considering tower and other game pacing changes."

When asked about champions mentioned for changes in earlier posts, Meddler commented:
Hey Meddler I wanted to take this QGT to ask you about what happened to some potential balance changes that you'd previously mentioned like what happened to the Zac, Tristana and Twitch changes
We've backed off on Twitch/Trist changes, at least for now, after seeing Pre-season drop their power a lot, both in solo queue and pro games. 
Zac we'd still interested in trying some changes on at some point (gameplay pattern more than balance). Other stuff, like Runes follow up/the above fighter work's pushed that out of priority for at least a while though."

On Jhin, Meddler replied:
What about some jhin buffs he is very weak atm
We were testing some Jhin buffs recently, having been on the same page that he was weak and had been for a while (so should be more of a priority). As we were working on those though we saw his performance improve quite a lot, in particular for those picking Runes well, so we backed off for a bit to see where he settled."

On FPS issues, Meddler provided an update from the engineering team:
What about those FPS issues? We really not going to be able to play 'till Jan/Feb?
Ok, engineering are currently working on it. They've identified an issue where minions spawning are dropping FPS somewhat, suspicion is that's probably not enough to account for reported FPS drops recently though so they're still digging."

As for RumbleMeddler commented:
Any thoughts on how Rumble is doing and if he's going to recieve changes any time soon?
No plans in the near future. We may end up nerfing the Sorcery style bonus, or Comet (one of his best keystones) in 7.24b though, which would mean we should assess him for a potential buff if so (he's not overperforming like a lot of other Sorc/Comet users are)."

On the AP Itemization mentioned in an earlier post, Meddler commented:
Anything to say about the AP pass?
Still planning to do some adjustments, best guess would be sometime 8.3 to 8.4? That could vary a lot depending on what else comes up though, it's work that should be done but not as pressing as bigger issues that often crop up."

Meddler continued:
"Fairly small yeah. At a guess a new item, plus small to moderate stats (maybe build path?) changes to quite a few others."

As for RyzeMeddler replied:
Do you have any information on the Ryze issue you mentioned something like 2 months ago ? Is the blue dude still in your scope? 8.1 material ? 
I understand that balancing induced by runes has a much higher priority but just wondering if something is still planned for him ! Thanks
Still planned. We had to pull the designer working on the Ryze stuff onto the Champion team instead to help out with a project there. Not sure if we'll do Ryze after he's back on Live Gameplay or if we'll get someone else to take over the work yet. Will get to it though."

When asked about Xin Zhao's upcoming new splash art, Meddler replied:
A quick question: what happened to Xin's new splash art?
Still coming, not sure on specific timing."

Meddler noted the Grasp of the Undying changes in testing on the PBE right now are not slated to be released in the 7.24b micropatch:
"Not in 7.24b at least. They need more testing and they're not the sort of thing we can do in a micropatch, which 7.24b still is behind the scenes. 8.1's possible, though far from guaranteed, Grasp changes have only just gone into testing."

Meddler provided a definition for gameplay pattern:
"I'm using 'gameplay pattern' here as a shorthand for what actions a champion is able to perform, what skills are tested of the player, how reliable the champ is, what their power curve is like etc. Things that are true regardless of the exact balance tuning at any point in time. Changes to how skills function, or even what skills a champ has, would fall into that category. 
Sufficiently large changes to things like speed or damage can of course change a pattern, generally smaller changes don't though."

He also commented with more on average game time:
When you speak of average game times (both here and in the previous QGT), what population are you referring to? All SR games (normals and ranked)? Just ranked? Plat+ ranked? Something else? 
Do the averages actually change much between MMRs?
Game times do change quite a bit by MMR and even somewhat by region. Ranked is what we most commonly look at, something we'll touch on in that longer piece on pacing coming this month is a difference we're seeing in changes between ranked and normals this pre-season (tldr: normal games lost more time than ranked by a noticeable margin)."

/Dev: Upcoming Party Changes

Here's Riot Soundwave with some upcoming changes to parties, as well as an announcement on voice chat:
As you’ve may have noticed, we’ve recently made some changes to the old parties system. Before, parties had really rudimentary functionality: You could invite friends to join if they were eligible, you could select your positions and… that was pretty much it. It didn’t persist past a single game, it didn’t let you switch modes, and it didn’t really do a lot of things you’d expect from a group management tool in 2017. 
We wanted to start moving towards a new system that better meets the quality bar for this day and age. Our hope is that by creating a more flexible system with better tools for finding and playing with friends, we can make life easier for players who enjoy playing in premades. If you prefer just playing on your own, you might not notice a lot of these upgrades and that’s okay, but our hope is that if you do play with friends, this will be a significant upgrade to your experience. 
So far, we’ve made three significant changes: We’ve made parties persist between games, you can switch your map or mode without having to re-invite your party, and you can invite from the end-of-game screen. Now we’d like to shed some light on some of the pretty significant upgrades that will be rolling out over the next few months. Just as a heads up—these features are currently in various stages of production, so we’re going to use wireframes (and not final art) to help show you what’s to come. 
Anyways, let’s get to the fun part: new features that’ll be rolling out throughout the first half of next year! 
Add teammate to party from the end of game screen – Currently, the way you invite strangers from a game you just played to your party is by adding them as a friend and then inviting them to your lobby. We think there are may be times where you want to play with the same team or even just duo for a few games without necessarily having to add anyone to your friends list. This is why we just added a button at the end-of-game screen to allow you to invite people directly to your party without having to befriend them first.
See who’s already clicked “Play Again” – We will show you which of your party members are already back in the lobby at the end-of-game screen so you can easily tell which of your friends are ready to play again! 
Let anyone on your friends list join your party – We’re going to add a toggle in the party screen that lets you set your party to “open.” If you use this option, anyone who’s friends with you or anyone else in your party can join your team with just one click. No invites, no accepting requests—just click the open party and receive the bacon. Hopefully, this will help you find duos who are ready to play, form teams to complete group missions, and join premade squads a little more easily. 
Parties are more flexible – There’s going to be some changes to how we handle eligibility for joining parties. Today, we check whether someone is eligible to join your party when you try to invite them, so you can’t invite a friend who’s too far from your rank to a ranked game or a brand new League player to a draft pick. This also means you’ve always had to start with exactly what you wanted to play and then decide who to play with. 
The new system is much more flexible. It’ll let you invite anyone to your party, regardless of eligibility. Then you can make changes to the party or selected game mode without having to reform the party from scratch. This way, you can start with who you want to play with and decide what you want to play from there. 
Quick and easy voice comms for your partyWe’ve been talking about this for a while, but League Voice is finally in production. It’ll be built into the party system, so as long as you’re in a premade party, you’ll all be in the same voice room. If you’re unable to or don’t want to participate in voice comms, you’ll be able to opt out. 
To answer a question that’s probably on your mind: We are currently not planning on expanding League Voice to team members outside of your premade party. Playing with friends usually makes for a safer environment than playing with strangers, and until we have better tools to help address abusive scenarios with strangers, we will not be implementing it outside of premades. We trust that between the social implications of being a jerk to your friends, being able to kick people from your party, and the capability of muting individual members, players will be equipped to deal with their ill-behaved party members. 
This is just what we’re ready to share right now—we also have some more ideas in the works which we can hopefully share later. As always, it would be great to get some feedback on how we can make the party system even better! So what would you like to see?"

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 7.24 

Here's Riot Novalas with a new Patch Chat for Patch 7.24:
Hey everyone and welcome to the Patch 7.24, the LAST PATCH OF SEASON 7! 
I’m Riot Novalas & I’m a QA Analyst on Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high elo players who work on Core Gameplay playing new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they’re released. It’s our job to test the changes that our designers come up with and ensure that we’re introducing positive changes to League in terms of both balance and fun. 
Patch Chat serves as an opportunity for us to talk about the patches that come out every two weeks. You can find the most recent patch by following this link: 
There are a wide array of changes in this patch, focusing specifically on balance changes and runes changes. The healthbar update also hits live too! 
Ask us anything about the last patch of the season, our favorite rune builds on YOUR favorite champions, our likes and dislikes, how often we execute to jungle camps, and more!... Or feel free to just chat with us! We like people (mostly). 
Disclaimer: We don’t have any insight into skins. 
  • Don “Riot Aesah” Ding
  • Adam “Riot Afic” Cohen
  • Chris “Auberaun” Roberts
  • Christy “Riot Ender L” Frierson
  • Nick “Riot Endstep” Frijia
  • Sigmundur “GangIeri” Helgason
  • Arnor “Riot Hjarta” Halldorsson
  • Rob “Riot King Cobra” Rosa
  • Miktat “Riot Koyuncu” Koyuncu
  • Brian “Riot Madness Heroo” Pressoir
  • Nabi “Riot Novalas” Barak
  • Dan “Riot penguin” Hardison
  • Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
  • Trevor “Riot ThEntropist” Thernes"

Quick Hits

  • Riot SapMagic noted that club limits going up to 100 were being tested on one server, and would go to all servers later in the coming weeks:
"Heya! Yeah, small mistake on our part. It'll go out to other regions sometime during 7.24 - we're going to be running a single region test first to make sure it's all good to go." 
  • The Lancer Rogue Blitzcrank and Lancer Paragon Blitzcrank skins, as well as their bundle, are now back in shop after an extended vacation!

"The stars have arrived. Who will rise and who will fall? Find out at All-Star 2017, December 7-10. 
More info at 
Music: "The Drum" by The Seige"
  • Check out Crystal Quest, a weekly fan comic featuring the RPG skins:


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • The Welcome to the Jungle merch event is ending soon! Check out the deals from the Riot Games Merch Store now through 12/6!

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