Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 2/23, Some Larger Patches Incoming, & More

Posted on at 4:08 PM by Aznbeat
[7:30 PM PST Update: Added in Quinn Changes Coming Soon article!]

Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for February 23rd, a note on some larger patch sizes coming in the next few patches, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quinn Changes Coming Soon - Strike from the Sky!

Riot Xenogenic is here with a changelist and context on Quinn changes coming to the PBE soon. These changes are slated for 8.6. Here are the full details:
"Hey folks! As Meddler mentioned, we’ve been looking at ways to improve Quinn in the short-term, so this post is going to outline some changes we’ve been testing and are coming to PBE next week. The changes are not currently targeted for 8.5, but we’d love to get your feedback as soon as possible. 
So, with that said, here are the goals for our changelist: 
  • Increase her overall power, particularly by late game, without increasing her ability to bully in lane
  • Improve the quality of life for Quinn players by fixing a number of bugs, especially with her ultimate
  • Reduce the number of rules and exceptions around Quinn’s ult so it’s more fun to use
  • Shift a little of her early game power into late game power 
And here are the changes we’ve been testing: 
Passive - Harrier - Quality of life improvement and power increase
  • Auto-attacks that are already in-flight will now trigger and consume the Harrier mark
Base Stats - Shift some of her early game power into late game power
  • Starting AD reduced: 62 >>> 59
  • AD per level increased : 2.4 >>> 3 (AD at 18: 103 >>> 110)
R - Behind Enemy Lines - Bug fixes, quality of life improvements, and teamfight usability improvement
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes prevent Skystrike from firing
  • Skystrike now applies her Harrier mark to all enemy champions hit
  • Fixed a bug where Skystrike would deal double damage if fired by re-activating her R
  • Channeling no longer breaks when taking damage
  • Removed the in-combat state that would refresh R’s cooldown every time combat was entered
  • Taking damage from non-minions while channeling or while Behind Enemy Lines is active no longer breaks the channel or form. Instead, the movement speed bonus is removed for 2 seconds. Taking damage from minions no longer has any effect. 
  • Fixed a bug causing Behind Enemy Lines to immediately end when used while attacking a turret
  • Fixed a bug that would cause movement orders to be removed or ignored while casting Behind Enemy Lines
  • Returning to the fountain now automatically casts Behind Enemy Lines if it has been learned
As I said above, this is not currently slated for 8.5, so we have some time to discuss it and test it on PBE. Please let us know what you think. Thanks! 
“Sometimes I swear that bird is just showing off.” - Quinn"

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 23rd

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for February 23rd, providing more mastery curves, notes on a Minion FPS bugfix, Duskblade nerfs moved to 8.6, and more:
"Hey 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:

Some more Mastery Curves

Got some requests to show more of these, Singed included, after the first post on them earlier in the week. Some more, with brief comments, below. As a reminder, a flatter curve doesn't necessarily mean that a champion is less skilled since it in part reflects how similar the skills a champion tests are to those tested on other champions. As with the previous set of mastery curves this is based off data from the previous 6 months, so it won't perfectly match current win rates. I've also gone with mastery curves over 100 games this time, which does introduce some messiness into the curves for champs with lower sample sizes at higher game values, but also gives a better impression of how they change with more games played.
Singed - As mentioned previously has a really steep curve. That reflects how different his playstyle is to other champs in part. There's a lot to learn, even after a lot of games. It's also correlated somewhat though with how, if you're a really dedicated Singed player, you'll end up much better on him than other champions. That means you’ll climb playing Singed and then, when you're playing other champs you'll end up losing more. That drags your MMR down a bit again, potentially increasing your future Singed winrate.

Tanks - A lot of tanks have mastery curves that cap out fairly quickly, given they test game skill in general more than kit specific mechanics. Malphite's a particularly clear example of that, maxing out after ~10-15 games. Alistar's got some more kit specific stuff to him, but still on average maxes out curve wise around 40 games or so mark. Ornn's then a strong contrast with most other tanks, with his curve continuing upwards a bit even after 100 games, reflecting that he's got a lot of different stuff going to to learn. When coupled with how most games on Ornn are by people still very early on in that mastery curve (the grey section below) it means you can end up with a champ with a low average win rate who's still quite strong when played by someone who knows what they're doing.

Marksmen - Marksmen are another class with a lot of overlap between the skills they test, so their curves usually look pretty similar, with a steep early climb that then flattens out a lot. Tristana and Ezreal are good examples. Lucian's an interesting counterpoint in that he's got an initial steep climb, that curves off sooner, but then keeps gradually going up, suggesting there's a lot players pick up really quickly and then some subtleties that even after 100 games keep mattering. Vayne's a stronger contrast again, with a curve that's yet to flatten that much even after 100 games. That's a trend we see on mechanically intensive champions in general too, such as Yasuo (shown here) or other champs like Azir or Kalista.

Minion FPS Bug Fix

We got a fix into 8.3, that we've now verified is working as intended, that fixes a number of FPS dropping/hitching when minions get spawned into the game (lane minions, jungle monsters, player created minions etc). Should have improved performance noticeably for a number of players. Won't fix everything of course, but worth checking out if you've been having problems around those circumstances and haven't played for a bit.

Duskblade Nerfs moving to 8.6

We'll be moving the Duskblade nerfs back to 8.6 so that we've got enough time to also do some compensatory work on champions who might be hit too hard otherwise. Not sure exactly what that compensation will look like yet. Possible (not guaranteed) candidates for buffs below. Most likely case where we don't buff is if a champion already has similar strength with Ghostblade or something else (they're not actually very dependent on Duskblade).
  • Wukong
  • Zed
  • Talon
  • Rengar
  • Quinn
  • Miss Fortune
  • Kayn
  • Kha'Zix"

On LeBlancMeddler noted:
Hello Meddler
You said that LeBlanc changes would be in PBE 8.5 cycle
But August is saying PBE 8.6? So i just wanted a explanation or something? Maybe you talked to AzuBK recent and want it to be in 8.5 cycle or 8.6 cycle?
Hope you will answer. Would be much appreciated.
We'll get LB onto PBE whenever things are ready enough. My guess was that would be sometime during the 8.5 cycle (though still not shipping in 8.5). If August thinks 8.6 is more likely then 8.6 is more likely though, he and AzuBK are much more involved in the details of that work than I am."

On SwainMeddler commented:
Are you still monitoring Swain and do you think he needs buffs still? His W is still unreliable.
Yeah, Swain does look on the weak side at this point. Didn't want to do much in 8.4 (avoid over reacting) but will likely give him a bit of power in 8.5. Think it's likely that includes on the W, we were pretty cautious about making it too strong given its long range, but may have been overly careful."

As for Volibear, Warwick, and SionMeddler replied:
"Volibear - Buffed more than intended, not sure yet if so much we'll need to take some power off or not. 
Warwick - Nothing planned. 
Sion - Looking into a possible new bug that may be making him stronger than he should be. More details on that in a post next week."

When asked about the support item changes, Meddler noted:
"The Bandit CS penalty on the PBE's too harsh, agreed. We do want to avoid those items getting poached much at all (hasn't lead to good game states), don't want to punish supports for making the correct plays though, whether that's picking up the occasional CS via AOE hits on champs, clearing a bit or whatever. Next version, which I think hits PBE today, uses a ramping lockout, at 5s for the first CS, 10s for the second, 20s for the third. Max lockout of 30s. 
We did consider a penalty on minion gold gained instead, but had a couple of concerns. The first was that, in order for it to be effective enough, that number does have to get really high (30%+?). The second is it then makes getting to T3 all the more important on a number of champs, bring them back towards more locked builds."

On LissandraMeddler commented:
Any update on Lissandra passive changes or potential buffs? Will those be on the PBE this patch?
Not this patch at least. Got some changes that will probably get their first internal tests early next week. If those go well 8.6 PBE seems very possible. If that doesn't go well, timeframe uncertain."

Meddler also provided some details on a new attack speed rune in internal testing:
"We are testing a new attack speed rune, that instead of giving you attack speed after a delay in combat gives you a limited number of faster attacks at the start of combat and is then unavaible again until you've been out of combat for a while (same as Mobi boots). Shows some promise, is behind work on some other keystones in the queue though (Conqueror and Unsealed Spellbook at the least)."

Meddler continued:
question, is there going to be a continuing trend of rune trees becoming 4 instead of 3? will this new attack speed rune replace lethal tempo? can we expect another domination keystone sometime this season?
We'll likely see some trend towards 4 choices in slots, yeah. Will also be replacing/removing some things that aren't working, or aren't healthy, as we go too though, so won't be all straight addition."

On ZoeMeddler noted:
"Figuring details of how to put some power back into Zoe at the moment. As suspected she's in a pretty weak spot right now, we did think it was better to deal with a lot of things at once, and then add some power back though, rather than trying to both figure out what needed to be removed and how much power needed to go back in at once."

As for how the AP item changes were faring, Meddler  replied:
"Bit early to conclude much overall. 
At the individual champion level does look like Ryze got a substantial amount of power, assumedly at least in part off the Archangel's changes. Liandries users don't seem to have changed much, though still watching them closely."

And on Shaco, Meddler commented:
"We're talking about Shaco. Risk there is he's pretty strong already at most skill levels already, so we'd already been considering a nerf on pub stomp grounds. Nothing conclusive yet, but less sure we should add power to him as a result, even if Duskblade gets nerfed."

Some Larger Patches Incoming 

Riot Eno and Riot Searsha are here to tell you about upcoming patch sizes, and why they will be bigger than usual in the next few patches:
"Tl;dr: Your next few patches (8.5 through to 8.8, and maybe 8.10) are going to be larger than usual. Why? New software built by our tools team requires champions to be updated in your game install, and an audio engine update requires a re-patch of audio data. These updates will allow us to create even better in-game content and audio moving forward.

Hi everyone, Riot Eno and Riot Searsha from the Audio and Content Efficiency teams here to talk about a few upcoming patches. Our teams work on the tools and tech that enable Rioters to deliver awesome content to players. In order to level up those tools, we need to lay some groundwork that requires data changes behind the scenes. These updates will make patches 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, and potentially 8.10 larger than usual, so we wanted to give you a heads up and provide some background information as to why. 
Two projects are happening simultaneously—Audio will be upgrading to a new audio engine in patch 8.5, and Content Efficiency will be moving champions into a new tools ecosystem in patches 8.6 to 8.8 and potentially 8.10. 
Audio team upgrading the audio engine: 
Riot Eno here from the Audio team! For several years now, LoL has been using a third-party audio engine. One of our challenges right now is keeping the audio engine robust, sustainable, and supported—even Audio can have trouble finding a good support now and then. To ensure this, we need to update our audio engine, which requires a full re-patch of audio data. The upgraded engine will give us opportunities to improve the audio mix for League in the future, and allow us to continue delivering great sound. When we re-patch all the audio banks in 8.5 you’ll see a patch ranging from around 1.8-2.2 GB total. This number will vary depending on your location since some regions have larger VO size than others. 
Content Efficiency tools for developing game content: 
Riot Searsha here on behalf of the Content Efficiency team! We’re responsible for the systems that manage all game data for LoL, as well as the tools content creators like designers and artists use to create and modify properties for champions, skins, spells, and more. 
As part of improving how easily and quickly our content creators can iterate using our in-house tools, we’re improving how the game’s data is managed. This involves migrating game data to a new format called WAD files, which are managed by our all-knowing, all-powerful Game Data Server. These updates unlock our ability to create even more visually unique champions like Zoe and Kayn, new materials and shaders like you see on Xayah and Rakan, and stunning new maps like PROJECT// Overcharge. And that’s just the tip of the Freljordian iceberg! 
Terrible jokes aside, we’re currently busy migrating champion data into the new format, and so far we’ve been able to channel our inner Zoe to portal ult a few champion migrations each patch. However, continuing this way will take well over a year (about as long as it’s going to take me to master Zoe). Since we don’t want to delay all these awesome new features, we’ve opted to speed up the process by aggregating the remaining champion migrations into patches 8.6, 8.7, 8.8 and potentially 8.10. These patches will be larger than normal, however not as large as the audio update in patch 8.5. 
We’ve also seen that certain internet sleuths have noticed our work and connected the WAD migration to upcoming champion skins. Clever, very clever. But as we ramp up our work, that won’t be possible anymore—aha, foiled like a surprise Zoe sleepy trouble bubble. Can you tell yet I'm a big fan of hers? 
Thanks for reading! See you all out there on the Rift, you can find me in the mid lane wildly chasing stars and missing my skillshots. 
We’re excited to roll out these changes so we can make better in-game experiences for you all. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!"

Quick Hits

  • Reav3 noted Void lore was coming soon:
"There is indeed more void lore coming soon. The void is probably different then most people currently think it is, but that should be revealed soon."
  • Stashu commented on the new Bone Plating rune he designed, which was introduced with Patch 8.4: 
Hello! Bone Plate Designer and balance designer who handled the top lane changes this past patch. I hear where you're coming from, and I also hate stone-walled lanes. I'm a top lane player primarily, and I play agressive champions like Fiora, Kled, and Renekton. I'm with you that playing into uninteractive farm lanes sucks, whether it be against ranged-waveclear or unkillable tanks. So... I hope you believe me when I say we thought about this stuff extensively when designing Bone Plating. Here's some context on the design conversations around it: 
Non-tank champions lacked options in Resolve for mitigating 'all-in' opponents like Riven or Tryndamere, since the existing minor runes weren't strong in lane for them. As a result, they turned to Inspiration for early durability/sustain options (like Celestial Body, Perfect Timing, and the potion style bonus). We wanted Resolve to be able to fill that need for non-tanks and landed on Bone Plating - good on tanks, but also appeals to squishies. It's good against burst, but bad against poke since opponents can 'poke it off' (damage of the hit that procs Bone Plating isn't actually reduced), then take advantage of the huge cooldown. 
With that design trending well, we wanted to make sure we weren't increasing the overall amount of defensive power in the early game, particularly the full-tank Resolve+Inspo build. So we removed Celestial Body, nerfed Perfect timing, moved the potion style bonus to a new rune that you have to give up a slot for, and, most importantly, shuffled Resolve runes around. Resolve users can no longer take the mega-early-game defense package of Iron Skin/Mirror Shell + Second Wind. They CAN go Bone Plating + Iron Skin, or Bone Plating + Second Wind, but that package is not strictly tankier since Bone Plating does nothing for 45 seconds after it falls off. (Combined, The full-tank inspo+resolve build is worse off.) 
Overall, I believe these adjustments will help the 'stonewall' problem, not make it worse. But, 8.4 was a massive patch and we're totally ready to pull the trigger and nerf or change Bone Plating if it does in fact make top lane less interactive!"
He continued:
As for Bone Plating, it's hard to read how it will affect 'overall' durability. It will likely add to early game durability in some matchups, but will be worse than other options (like Celestial Body) in other matchups. As for the late game, if your team has any amount of ranged poke, you effectively can deny the enemy's Bone Plating at a low cost. 
The point I really want to push on here is that unlike flat defensive stats like HP or Armor, you can actually play around Bone Plating. It does not reduce the damage on the attack that procs it, it only lasts a few seconds, and then it has a longgg CD. The other aspect of it (which didn't make it into the tooltip, my bad!) is that it only blocks damage from the person that triggers it. So if your Soraka Qs the enemy ADC and triggers Bone Plating, the assassin who then dives on that ADC does not suffer any reduced damage. 
Sooooo! With all that considered, it's really hard to evaluate exactly what this will do to 'overall' durability. But it is easy to talk about what it will do in specific matchups, since it was designed to be good in some and bad in others :D"


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!

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