1/29 PBE Update: Swain Login Theme

Posted on at 12:41 PM by Aznbeat
The PBE has been updated! As we continue the 8.3 PBE cycle, today's patch includes a new login theme featuring Swain, and more tentative balance changes!
Continue reading for more information!

(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

Swain Login Theme

A new login is now on the PBE, featuring Swain!

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.

  • Curtain Call (R) damage increased from 50/115/180 to 50/125/200

  • Attack range increased from 500 to 525
    • Vs Live: from 550 to 525
  • Sentinel (W) 
    • Cooldown increased from 30 at all ranks to 90/80/70/60/50
    • [Removed] No longer mentions "Kalista gains a charge of Sentinel every x seconds."

Context & Notes


1) Phroxz0n provided context on the Kalista changes on the PBE:
  • "The 0.9 ratio on her autos is so that a larger portion of her damage is in rend stacks vs auto attack damage. (Say, 60/40 rend vs. autos, instead of 40/60 rend vs. autos.) Since we think that Kalista's offensive output being about Rend is good and unique, I prefer this AA structure better.
  • I believe it has pretty good gameplay, as you can make her kite back, which loses the rend damage on targets in the middle of the teamfight and cashing in rend at the right/wrong time is a good gameplay moment. Given how much players complains about when ADC's are killing people with 2-3 targeted attacks late game, it makes me confused why players want to play against a Kalista that has more of a burst profile due to the structure of ADC itemisation for crit carries.
  • My thoughts are that this is like Zoe's E sleep CD - its function on first glance is "why does Zoe get to have cooldown back on her sleep when she hits it?". In fact, what this mechanic does is when she misses her sleep, it is on cooldown for longer. It is a lever to gate how often she is fishing with E's. I view Kalista's attack ratio like that. On paper it looks like a regular nerf, but it is actually doing something important for both her itemisation and her gameplay pattern, though admittedly it does look a bit strange and potentially can feel bad (but I think holistically less bad than the alternative).
  • Why this nerf compared to others? As most have pointed out, Kalista can tend to invalidate melee champions late game. This nerf is intended to create a weakness, such that she has risks to picking her. Shorter range tends to open up poke lanes as counters, she will be more likely to be inside of Maokai's W range, etc. This gives us the space to be able to buff her back up in a sustainable way later (eg. Rend damage increased because it's more difficult to stay in range), which would not be possible with a change like "rend damage level 1 reduced or rend gives less mana when you're using it to 1 reset harrass someone". These are nerfs, but they don't create weaknesses.
  • Regarding Rend capping on monsters: Obviously, this is a contentious topic. Firstly, I'll tell you that just putting a cap on rend does not solve problems regarding competitive viability. It's just a nice to have on top of the primary reasons to play Kalista. Kalista's strategic niche is that of teamwork/objective control marksman. In my opinion, having rend stack infinitely is firstly more elegant (requires less lines in tooltip, compared to other things which have laundry lists of exclusions and caveats), is more strategically unique and fitting to her niche as well as viscerally satisfying. For this to be removed, I think the gameplay around stacking rends would have to be deemed to be bankrupt as removing the cap is a reduction in gameplay, not a gain (eg. It is impossible to force Kalista away from dragon/baron after she has started it). We've seen that this is not the case with junglers (teams have shown that they are certainly capable of zoning junglers away from objectives or focus firing them in a contest to get rid of a smite).
  • Agreed that saving support is problematic, I personally don't have a good solution for it. I think potentially adding more power into the offensive use case increases opportunity cost of using it defensively, but at the same the spell is already quite powerful offensively. Many of the "support can't be dragged if CCed/damaged" have weird player feedback implications."
2) Riot August with a changelist and context for more changes to Rengar coming to tomorrow's PBE update:
2 patch notes today (I was off Friday at an anime convention pretending to be 707 so didn't get a chance to write them then, apologies) 
Patch Notes for 1/29 (these should already be out on pbe)
No longer grants ferocity on leaping to closest target (IGNORE THE TOOLTIP, IT IS BUGGED)
Patch Notes for 1/30 (tomorrow)
Base AS:: .625 + 3.5%/lvl >>> .666 + 3%/lvl
Sped up certain attack animations to make them feel crisper and better match with when the damage comes out (this is purely a visual change) 
No longer plays Q animation when leaping with Q (looked bad)
Now plays Q Hit VFX when hitting target with leap Q (looks dope) 
W -
AP Ratio reverted:: .7 >>> .8 
E -
AP Ratio Removed 
Closest target leap bonus: 30% TAD + 60% AP Bonus physical damage +10/14/18 Armor shred for 4 seconds.
Fixed tooltip to reflect this 
All sounds are being reverted to live states until the 8/4 PBE cycle starts next week.
Skins -
Adding a new Q animation for Mecha Rango. (This is currently very WIP, still needs VFX, sound and general iteration)
Don't worry about the sounds being gone tomorrow, we'll bring them back. We had to revert them for the week so we can cut the 8.3 branch and ship it to live. Rengar's target patch remains 8.4 and the sounds will be back for the 8.4 PBE cycle. All gameplay changes will remain playable on PBE. 
Mecha Rango feels a little off now that his old Q is back, but his skin model has a SLASHY blade and not a STABBY knife. We're going to try giving him a fancy new SLASHY animation for Mecha Q. (THIS MAY NOT WORK OUT, IT IS TEMP, WE ARE TESTING) 
The base AS changes are there with the consideration that he basic attacks a lot more with reverted Q + his jungle clear has gotten a bit worse with the removal of live Q's AoE. Attacks should feel smoother as a result because Attack Speed makes everything feel 10/10. 
Reverting the AP ratio changes on W and E as I expect AP Rengar may already be getting a lot better only with the boonetooth changes and Q lich bane synergy. Additionally, E AP ratio wasn't adding much (since he maxes the spell last and it deals physical) and it felt bad to lower W ratio if we don't need to (since he uses it to clear/farm and ROAR-ROAR). 
Removing the ferocity from the ult as giving any amount of it on leap messes with Rengar's combo flow (turns out lions love casting tons of spells IN THE AIR, who knew). The combos as they exist on live are pretty smooth (Ult --> jump --> Basic spells --> Ferocity finisher) and it feels low value to mess with that. Something that's delayed (offering more counterplay) AND feels good for Rengar? Yes pls. 
So why not just remove the closest bonus entirely? We're not removing it because we think its GOOD COUNTERPLAY that the enemy team can body-block for their squishies to prevent Rengar from getting max value if he leaps on them. The difficulty we're running into here though is that the bonus has to be WORTH BLOCKING, but also NOT JUST ONE-SHOT A GUY. That's why we're trying a shred + small amount of cosmetic damage. Idea here is that it lowers up-front burst (giving time to flash), but then gives a lot of strength to Rengar's followup if his opponent can't get away (therefore making it worth it for opponents to block him from getting a "closest leap" on a squishy). 
As always, we're still iterating so not all of this will stay. Trying to make Rango as cool as possible while still offering adequate counterplay for his opponents. Please give feedback! Appreciate all your help <3."

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