Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 12th, [OCE] Ocean Week Update, & More

Posted on at 3:01 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 12th, an update on the OCE Ocean Week event, red comments from around the web, and more!
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Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 12 

Here's Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for January 12th, including thoughts on the Sightstone changes, vision score, adaptive damage, and more:
"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: 
Sightstone Changes 
As we mentioned earlier in the week we've got changes coming where the support items will give the Sightstone active as a reward. Goal there's to open up support item choice and flexibility, versus the current degree to which that's locked behind an early sightstone purchase. We've seen a number of concerns expressed about that approach, and while we've talked about that in some threads already visibility's been low and/or our plans have got a bit more concrete since. Some related points below as a result:
  • Overall power level of supports after this change isn't intended to change. If this ends up being a noticeable buff or nerf to the position as a whole we'll adjust things.
  • Goal is that Sightstones should still become available around the same time in lane. Amount of gold needed to complete the quest has been reduced as a result to keep that timing.
  • We'll be moving the Frost Queen's and Talisman actives onto new items, with a goal of finding costs and build paths so that they're accessible to both supports and non supports.
  • We'll be considering something like Face of the Mountain's active for a new item, though aren't as certain about that one. Certainly possible there's a need for a single target (ish) protective item like that that Knight's Vow, Mikael's, Locket don't meet. Purchase rate of FotM has also historically been quite low (versus Eye of Targon), and use of the active lower again. We're less sure that it makes sense to port the active over just like Frost Queen's/Talisman as a result.
  • Active item CDR on an item might come back at some point. It's a decent concept for an item certainly, in terms of what sort of play it enables and the item choices it creates. Would almost certainly need to be paired with a cap on active item CDR though. The lack of an active item CDR cap's an oversight, given until 7.22 there weren't any other sources, and it's leading to issues balancing items.
  • The support items won't give the Sightstone active on Twisted Treeline. For now at least they'll continue to have their old rewards on TT instead.
Vision Score on the Scoreboard 
On a somewhat related topic we're planning to add vision score to the tab screen as a field that's shown all the time, not just something visible on trinket mouseover. Goal there is to better reflect how important vision is, and how much individual players are contributing to their team via vision/vision removal. Should be in 8.2 or 8.3. That will be much more awareness of vision score than there's been in the past, so possible this also reveals oddities in how it's calculated (e.g. is it overvaluing deep wards versus their actual contribution, or undervaluing killing wards with red trinkets?). Feedback on that sort of stuff much appreciated, whether off vision score as it is on live or after it goes out on the scoreboard as well. 
Adaptive Damage Defaults 
We'll be taking a look at each champion in terms of whether they get AP or AD by default from adaptive runes if they don't have any of either stat yet. For most champs that's not a problem, because their starting item either lets them define what they're after or there's one stat that's consistently better for them that they're getting already. For some champs though, particularly tankier ones who may never build any AP or AD, or junglers who'd really like a particular stat for their early clears, the current defaults may be problematic. 
Our plan is to look at the list of defaults and, if there are any that aren't the appropriate choice at present, change them. We haven't made a list of champs to be changed yet though and I figured this was a really good question to open up widely. If anyone's got thoughts on champs with the wrong adaptive default would love to hear them in the comments here."

When asked about whether older items would come back to the game, Meddler replied:
So we'll see Twin Shadows and Shurelya's Reverie make a return? Or are you planning on making totally different items with those actives?
Not certain yet, just starting to look at that now. Likely to have at least some differences (e.g. build path). How big the differences are will be one of the things that helps decide whether we use the old names or not."

Meddler comtinued:
I hope you still keep whatever the item active is searchable with "spooky ghosts" in the shop.

On RyzeMeddler commented:
Any news about Ryze? Are you guys still planning to rework the ult? or maybe revert the ult and tweaks things around? 
And is there any information if this is coming out before or after mid-season?
Still planning to tweak some stuff at some point, no plans to revert to an old ult though. Timing's uncertain, designer who was working on Ryze ended up taking on the later part of Swain's kit development, so he'll be occupied Swain work, both pre and post release, for a bit yet."

When asked for more details on the vision score, Meddler commented:
Will vision score be pingable?
It won't be no, in the same way things like KDA and CS aren't."

Meddler went on:
won't it be a problem to make the enemies see your vision score?, they could predict if you have wards or used them while early game
Plan is to make it so you only see your team's vision score once it's on the scoreboard like that. 
Vision score is a somewhat delayed calculation as well though, so it's not actually very useful when trying to predict if someone warded really recently."

When asked about possible Zombie ward changes, Meddler replied:
Any nerf to zombie ward planned ?
Potentially cutting its duration early game. 60s-180s, scaling by level, in testing right now, versus the 180s previously."

When asked about HeimerdingerMeddler commented:
Can I get a update as to how hiemer balance is looking so far this patch? I know I've felt the hit turret diving or being ganked especially and wanted to know if the team was felt any follow up was going to be needed and what it might look like ?
From what we've seen so far it hasn't hit Heimer too hard at least. Need a bit more time to assess more though."

On Master YiMeddler commented:
Hi Meddler, would you be able to give any insights into what you'll be buffing with Master Yi? Also would you be able to give any father insight into if he'll make 8.2 patch? 
Right now Juggernauts stat check him, tanks outduel him (if even with gold, or even from behind if they have tornmail, bramble vest since tanks do disgusting damage with out items right now) and tanky supports can burst him down if you even try to get near the carrys, although I did read resolve was getting nerfed. 
That's without the movement creep in the game its hard to catch anyone (zoe's passive gives more movement speed then highlander, frostqueens give 50% movespeend, any lethality adc builds ghost blade make sticking or even trying to catch someone infuriating more often then not especially since yi is probably utilises ghostblade himself as well as jinx and ashe when it comes to damage it gimps it to much to ever be an option.
Wouldn't expect Yi or Trynd in 8.2. Hoping for 8.3, haven't yet identified what we'd be looking to buff for each of them though. 
In terms of facing juggernauts that's somewhere I'd expect champs like Yi to have some trouble. Mobile champs get a lot more agency over when fights happen and ability to disengage, so juggernauts need to able to just straight up brawl with them well in melee range if that actually happens."

When asked for more info on how the proposed minion aggro changes would effect champions such as AnnieMeddler commented:
Would immobile short ranged champions like Annie get compensation buffs if the targeted spells minion aggro will push through? She already gets bullied in lane and if it pushes through, she might have a harder time.
Potentially yeah. A lot of them work AA harass into their trading patterns, so are already getting minion agro a lot of the time, which makes it harder to predict exact impact ahead of time. We'll be making the change and then looking at how it affected a range of champs."

When asked about LeonaMeddler replied:
What are your thoughts on Leona nowadays? 
Think you got her into a more decent spot or still got your eye on her?
Strong, but Aftershock changes look like the better thing to hit than her directly (same deal, at least for now, as with Blitz and Alistar)."

[OCE] Ocean Week Update 

Ocean Week has been an annual event for players on the OCE server. Here's The Hanshmear with more on what was done in the past years for it, as well as plans for the future:
"When we first cooked up the idea for Ocean Week back in 2015, League of Legends was in a very different place. We were all living in the old client, a place where mana potions were still a thing, Galio had rockin’ abs and Nunu was... well, he was still Nunu. 
Three years on, and things are looking very different for League of Legends players. Thanks to missions, reward-based events like Ocean Week no longer come once a year, they come often – in all shapes and sizes – providing new game modes that enrich the wider skins universe. And with Clash on its way, players will have the opportunity to play together like never before. 
As League of Legends continues to grow, we strive to offer new and exciting experiences to our players, investing energy into the things we think will keep League of Legends growing and evolving. While Ocean Week paved the way for client events, it takes a lot of resources to run, and sadly, these are not unlimited. 
For this reason, Ocean Week is being retired, gently sailing into the sunset to join the likes of that flying statue’s rock solid abs. 
At its best, the Ocean Week trilogy saw the community pool together time and time again to best any challenge set before them, and – thanks to you – no Ocean Week ended in failure. Whether it was kicking back pool party style, fighting off a giant crab, or defending the wildlife from a tentacled menace, we hope you had as much fun taking part in the festivities as we did making them. 
Before we bid Ocean Week farewell, let’s take a look at each year’s goal, updates on their creation, and where they currently stand. 
Ocean Week 1: Nautilus Reef 
The OG of Oceanic events, the first Ocean Week saw the Nautilus statue sunk in Moreton Bay. The idea was to create a League of Legends-based artificial reef in tribute to those who fought valiantly on the Rift. After the initial drop’s photoshoot, diver Scott Grattan provided the community with photos of the reef to document how the statue looked 11 months into livin’ the reef life. 
It’s now 22 months on and he’s paid the big lug another visit, with ol’ Nautilus standing strong – if not, uh, a little sunk in. The new photos reveal the Titan of the Depths playing house to a premade duo of moray eels, while a colourful Nudibranch flaunts its stuff (like a true solo queue hero) across Naut’s outstretched arm. 
In his Reddit post, Grattan notes the following: 
“The sand has encroached the base of the statue a little but there's definitely some big life around it. With the constant shifting sand it might get completely covered for a while then uncovered again at a later date. Another wreck sunk near by many many years ago by the Underwater Research Group of QLD, an old Brisbane Tram, was covered for a few years before finally being exposed and started brimming with life again.” 
He may look dragged down and left to die, but our stalwart statue is far from lost and forgotten. The tide ebbs, and he will have vengeance. 
Ocean Week 2: The Wall 
The second Ocean Week saw the community take on a series of giant crabs... who got a bit antsy... and decided to fight all of our landmarks… for reasons (who knows how their minds work?!). The successful heroes fended off the threat and unlocked the Ocean Week wall: a mural designed by our community and painted by a professional artist. 
This has been a long time coming, but it’s almost here! The mural will be completed in Bondi, NSW, Australia by early February, rocking all the Summoner names of those who took part in the event. For those who don’t live nearby, keep an eye on the client at the beginning of next month for more info and images. 
Ocean Week 3: Tasmanian Terrors 
Last year’s Ocean Week saw players join the Homeguards and fight all sorts of crazy creatures. Most of the possessed critters were beaten back and returned to normal, ending with the multi-tiered boss battler against the Tasmanian Terrors, As it turns out, this final battle would lead into the community prize, as saving the tasmanian devils in-game unlocked the construction of a tasmanian devil sanctuary IRL. 
With the fight behind them, the Homeguard community went on to name the two newly born critters Xayah and *ahem* the incredibly cute Mechwolf the Destroyer, and we’re proud to announce the sanctuary is almost finished. While we’ll have a proper update for you once the final touches are made, below are a few pictures of Xayah and Mechwolf the Destroyer (Wolfy for short), as well as Xayah exploring the new habitat in Wings Wildlife Park in Tasmania! 

Home is where the Homeguards are 
While the sun has set on the Ocean Week trilogy, bringing the community together over the past three years for these events has been unreal. Thanks to everyone who joined the fight, we’re excited to see how Oceania tackles the future events thrown your way."

Quick Hits

  • Maple Nectar gave his thoughts on the Sightstone/support item changes and the feedback they've been getting on them:
"The first line of your post is kind of hyperbolic in the claim that 90% of players are massively against these changes. This tends to be a wall we run up against any time we try to introduce some sort of systemic change (elemental dragons, jungle plants, adjusted cs scores on jungle camps etc), where initial outcry can be quite negative, but once players have played around with the changes they actually tend to like them (now I won't say that 100% of people do, but the vast majority). The designer who's been working on the project has been doing a load of tuning to the sightstone quest reward so that it "turns on" roughly around the same time supports are buying sightstone on live. What this means is you'll have vision around the same time as usual, but will also have that 800 gold that you can put towards a more exciting purchase. 
The majority of the negative pushback (which is warranted) seems to be revolving around the idea that we're doing away with the item actives which people find exciting. While it's true that we're going to be taking it off of the gold gen items, we're going to be looking for ways to re-introduce them back to the game as soon as possible, just as new items. Who doesn't love spooky ghosts? 
In regards to the poaching concern - that's something we're super aware of and will be looking to actively tune if we're off. There's a change going out for relic shield to the PBE today (was supposed to go yesterday) where we're cutting the healing for ranged users in half (this does hurt Thresh so we're going to look to buff him in another way as a fast followup should he need it). We'll see if that pushes relic far enough from desirable in every game territory for marksman, but if it doesn't, we have other things we can try."
  • Maple Nectar also provided thoughts on how the 8.1 patch was handled, as well as what they feel the direction of League is:
"Yeh... the timing of 8.1 was a bit confusing and probably set expectations a bit too high for players. Meddler tried to address it in his quick gameplay thoughts - but that particular section didn't get much visibility. The 8.1 patch actually "locked" before Christmas, and was worked on at the same time as 7.24b. We usually would have put more time into the 8.1 patch, but were focused instead on getting some short term wins for top lane and a few other notable areas around the map into 7.24b. To clarify - 7.24b wasn't meant to "solve" top lane, or the rest of the game for that matter, but it felt like there was enough low hanging fruit that getting an additional patch out before Christmas was the right way to go, rather than have a 5 week break between 7.24 and 8.1 
At any rate, what this meant for 8.1 was that there was less content than usual, while players were probably looking to it to start hitting on some of the problems that they were feeling - which unfortunately wasn't the case. We have a pretty substantial number of changes going into 8.2 (some have started to hit the PBE), some are still in exploration like a number of new runes/tweaks to current ones. 
To provide a super high level summary of what our direction for League is - since what you're asking is a super deep question, is to get the game to a point where you feel like you're constantly presented with the opportunity to make nuanced decisions that can help you win a game of League. Whether that's what champion you take, what runes you go with, what items you buy, how you rotate around the map etc etc. It was a large part of why we redid runes and masteries as a system in the first place, the old system provided important decisions, but they weren't particularly meaningful, and very rarely did they ever change (I'm not talking about switching between taking scaling hp vs armor yellows). We have a long way to go yet for runes to be as flexible as we want, but we have a lot of internal focus on adjusting current runes and creating new ones to get it there over the long run. In regards to more in game positions we're also doing some deeper vision/direction setting for where we want to take every position going into the new year and beyond. We're also looking at things like broadening the number of positions a champion can be considered in that are also sustainable to help feed into the idea of being faced with nuanced decision making. Morgana and Zyra could be looked at as the first real foray into this space. While we didn't quite nail it yet, we wanted players to be able to think about taking them in the jungle if they wanted to for a variety of reasons. 
I would argue that one of the things (and please let me stress the ONE in that statement) that may feed into your perception of the game feeling less tactical, is the fact that the relative skill level of players and their mastery over League seems to be accelerating. When you look at how teams tend to play around the bot side of the map and look to gain a lead from diving a turret with a jungler, or having mid roam down and flank for a 4v2 which then turns into an objective/s. In prior years, if bot turret went down, you'd typically see the adc and support back, buy items, and then head right back down their lane. These days, players have caught onto the idea of rotating that power around the map, moving their top laner to bot, and then taking the top turret further accelerating their lead (this is just one example). As more and more players learn what optimal strategy/tactics they should employ in a game when they want to win, games can feel less tactical/strategic as they become more par for the course. This is a huge reason why we update the game every two weeks, since if left untouched, the game would become more and more about optimizing one or two strategies that are proven to work which would then very quickly become stale. 
In regards to the comment about fast paced games, I don't have too much for you atm, but we're doing a lot of investigation into general game pacing, game length, bloodiness etc, to find areas where we can tune back some of the more egregious experiences, but I will definitively say that we're not looking at making the average game 45 minutes (right now average game length is 30.5 minutes +/- ~2 minutes based on mmr range and region). The primary things we need to make sure to maintain are the rough lengths of various phases of the game - aka lane phase shouldn't be over at something silly like 4 minutes, you shouldn't be able to close out the game at 15 minutes on one team fight etc. 
That got more wordy than I intended - please keep in mind this is my personal attempt at summarizing thoughts from a variety of teams though I hope it provides a bit more insight/context. 
Edit: Oh, and about the Heimer nerf - ask any melee top laner or jungler who's tried to gank a Heimer and you'll probably find their opinion quite different regarding the nerf."
Hey all, just hopping in to give some context on design intent behind this change. NB: This is not finalized - it's a direction we're exploring. 
Viktor's Q actually has a cool input paradigm (split between a cast and a subsequent auto), but the correct player optimization is to mechanically optimize it down to basically a Kassadin Q in most scenarios. While this is fine as a mechanical skill check for the Viktor player, it's unfortunately not contextual at all - it's just something you almost always want to do (as evidenced by the comments in this thread). The idea here is to offer a real reason to consider spacing out Q in some situations - optimizing for fastest burst damage vs. optimizing for max shield. The option of doing the latter will help him remain in threat range longer / more safely, allowing him to position more freely. 
Worth noting additionally that my intent is to give a decent upwards nudge that also opens up some more room for skill expression - not to grant a major power-up, because, put plainly, Viktor isn't that weak. He may have been on the 8.2 list with Nunu, but the magnitude by which they are off in the hands of an experienced player is quite different. 
Anyway, I hope that helps shed some light. Always interested in feedback and pitches, as usual. I'll be checking this thread intermittently when I'm around for the next few days, so feel free to drop replies below. :) 
e: Actually, bonus question time. Assume for the sake of discussion that Viktor is in a totally balanced state. What are your thoughts on the change given the context provided? Is this optimization or opportunity for choice something that interests you or provides value?"
"A few points: Q evolution does not add burst damage (in the conventional way) for a reason. 
Making Khazix's conventional assassination pattern require a Q evolve just forces him to evolve Q first most games. 
Ideally, each game asks a question of Khazix to adapt to the scenarios with different sets of evolves. The reality is that this is a pipe dream most of the time, but we can still strive for it. 
I agree Khazix could be using his isolation mechanic more, but in that case we could increase the isolation % instead of forcing the Q evolve and reworking it. 
I think the shape of Q evolve is fine because: 1. Khazix does not have much AOE and Q declares that he is becoming better against tanky targets. He is not able to bankrupt the isolation gameplay by having excessive AOE damage (Eg. If W was the first max). 2. Tanky targets are naturally able to withstand and access the counterplay of isolation over a longer period of time. Since tanks do not get one shot, they are able to take time to un-isolate themselves. This is not Inherently broken if there is counterplay and there are tradeoffs. It may result in him becoming a generalist, but that's another discussion. 
If Khazix can kill tankier targets while ignoring isolation gameplay, I agree that's a problem or if he's not paying a cost. However, if Khazix is speccing into killing tankier targets by evolving q, he is presumably paying an opportunity cost on his other evolves. 
TLDR: I do not believe we should revert Khazix Q evolve."


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • As noted by Riot Aeon, there will be no Rotating Game Mode for the next few patches while they work on getting One For All working in the client!

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