Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 4/27, Upcoming Jungle Changes for 8.10, & More

Posted on at 2:48 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for 4/27, a detailed thread from Riot Sotere on jungle changes coming in the 8.10 PBE cycle, a new Clairvoyance blog on champion duos, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: April 27 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for April 27th, including details on whats coming in patch 8.10 and 8.11, as well as some Baron and Herald changes testing on the PBE this cycle:
"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: 
8.10 and 8.11 
8.11 is the patch that will have some marksmen item and base stat adjustments in it, along with some other stuff including some tweaks to early jungling. Those changes will be on the PBE during the 8.10 cycle (so starting next week) and we'll have some context posts about them up just before that. 
8.10 also has some stuff in it too of course and wanted to talk about some of that:
  • Bounty changes (solo gold instead of team gold) will be in 8.10. After those are out, and the 8.11 changes have had some impact on how much teams look to marksmen to carry versus other positions we'll then consider rolling out further changes aimed at getting more solo carry potential back. Doing so over a series of patches rather than all at once to avoid swinging too hard and creating other problems (e.g. things like excessive early snowball).
  • Potentially some follow up balance work on mana items and/or mages, depending on exactly where the 8.9 changes land. If we need to add power to individual champs a common starting point's going to be adding more impact to abilities, rather than defaulting to giving them mana back (don't want to just reintroduce the issues we're trying to fix with these changes). Definitely possible mana is what will be appropriate in some cases where spell impact's already high as are mana needs though of course.
  • Some regular balance/game health work, including Kha'Zix (R evolution gameplay needs work), Sion (low interaction waveclear), Sterak's (making it more relevant to more champs by reducing or removing Triforce synergy and providing other power). 
8.9 and Baron/Herald 
We've been testing changes to Baron and Rift Herald's stats for a while and those are going out in 8.9. Figured it was worth mentioning even this late in the 8.9 cycle since that doesn't seem to have got that much attention. 
  • Whether or not your team can take an early Baron is currently too dependent on whether not you've got a strong tank who's in a good spot around 20 mins. That can lead to games that are effectively over dragging out until the winning team feel safe taking Baron and puts more pressure on team comps to include tanks.
  • We're distributing damage more evenly across teams during the Baron fight as a result. Base damage at 20 mins is down to 285 from 400 for example, AOE damage however is up (to 120+0.3 AD per second, from 60+0.1)
  • We're also seeing Baron get taken too quickly, which doesn't give opponents enough time to contest and force a fight. That takes away a window for comebacks and can make a brief period of Baron control too influential in deciding that game's outcome.
  • We're adding more base health to Baron as a result (9000, from 6400).
Rift Herald:
  • Rift Herald's not always delivering on its intended purpose at present. It's frequently better to just take a tower direct and not consider Rift Herald. It's also not serving to help games that are functionally over resolve quicker.
  • As a result we're reducing the damage it takes when hitting towers (150 less) and increasing damage it deals to towers (was 25% of own health +150, now the greater of 40% of its current health and 1500).
  • To avoid it being too impactful on even games, and better reward intended counterplay, we're also increasing the damage the summoned Rift Herald takes when you hit it in eye (was 20% max hp, now 40%). Quick response will shut it down quicker than before, if unchecked it'll more consistently take at least one tower."

When asked about the mana changes this cycle, Meddler commented:
Regarding the mana changes, this was designed to circumvent mages farming without risk of going mana-starved, correct? Yet these changes also affect single-target abilities as well. What convinced you and the dev team that this was an acceptable and/or malleable tradeoff?
Our two primary goals are:
  • Nerf waveclear in later laning phase and onwards (mana nerfs later in the game). That's much more about how easily mages can clear waves and either roam or just hang back.
  • Buff mage ability to play more aggressively, especially against auto attackers who aren't at all mana constrained, early laning phase (hence the early regen and starting mana buffs) 
There'll be some cases where it also means mages have to AA a bit more to farm and can't do so as safely. That's probably a secondary benefit, but not our starting point nor would we do these changes for that alone. 
In terms of impact on mainly single target dependent mages we'll need to see where they end up. Possible they're the most likely to need followup buffs. Having said that, most mages bring at least a fair bit of AOE."

On LuxMeddler noted:
I might be a little late for a follow-up question, but I remember seeing the Lux work on PBE so I gotta ask. I see there’s a push to move her power to more supporting abilities, but has there been any discussion to try to seperate her CC strength from her spell damage, or at least force a trade between the two?
It's less trying to make her more supportive and taking power out of something that's low counterplay/highly consistent (E) so we can buff a bunch of other things that lead to more interesting and potentially higher upside if used well play."

As for LeonaMeddler commented:
Any other Leona buffs coming possibly or you guys happy with just 20 damage back into her W? 
Also which role/lane would you say has the most diversity issues?
Nothing else currently planned for Leona, though as with every champ we'll see post midseason changes. 
Bot lane farming position (currently just ADCS) IMO has the most diversity problems, given it's effectively single class controlled, leading to high similarity in what output you can get from it and therefore restricting team comps a lot."

On supports in 8.10, Meddler  commented:
Anything you think might affect supports in 8.10? Other than all the adc changes shaking things up down there?
Not too much directly in 8.10 or 8.11, though possible we might have an item aimed at helping supports buff AP champs (kind of like an AP Ardent Censer you buy if it looks more valuable to focus on buffing a snowballing Ori mid, Rumble top etc).
Might look at shields in general a bit post midseason, need to see where things settle though and still got a lot of midseason polish to get done beforehand regardless."

On SionMeddler commented:
What do you mean by sion's low interactive waveclear and does it mean that his waveclear will get a nerf?
That's likely yeah. We're currently testing moving damage from E to Q with an increased penalty to Q's minion damage. That's just gone into testing though, so it's far from final."

As for Rageblade, Meddler noted:
any real nerfs coming to janna/rageblade?
Rageblade's got a bug fix in 8.9 where it won't add additional unintended AD to champs with other %AD effects (Jhin's the biggest offender there, though it's not actually making him that much stronger overall given how late it switches on). Possible we then have to tweak Rageblade a bit to account for some of the midseason stuff, that's still under debate. 
Nothing immediate planned for Janna. More likely to get back to looking at shielding post midseason in general."

On NunuMeddler replied:
Also can you talk a little about what you feel Gameplay wise is the reason for the Nunu rework
Nunu's really distinct gameplay wise, but the way that's expressed can be pretty flat. He doesn't always test skill that much with W and E, letting to pretty constant output that doesn't leave enough room for skilled use or counterplay. Combine that with art and audio that are also really showing their age and a full update makes a lot of sense (he's one of the most player requested VGU candidates nowadays whenever we survey)."

On AzirMeddler replied:
There's been some discussion about adding some weaknesses to Azir's kit (namely removing his AoE from W against minions) in exchange for buffing his kit in other aspects. Is there a current timeline for when these changes will be available on the PBE or will it just have to wait until after the work on Ryze is done? On a different note, I appreciate you all buffing Baron in this manner. It's felt like a really weak objective with a really strong buff all season and this should hopefully help.
They should be on the PBE with 8.10. Not sure if they'll work out yet, haven't had enough time to look at them properly myself. Regardless of how much they do/don't fix we'll be focusing on other non Azir champs post 8.10 though."

When asked for his thoughts on keystones, Meddler replied:
Any thoughts about these keystones: 1- Conqueror 2- phase rush 3- Grasp of the undying
Conqueror and Grasp - Fulfilling their intended functions, reasonably balanced, decent range of users, seem fairly appreciated. 
Phase Rush - Is a consistently good choice on a few champs and a situational choice on a few others. Power often isn't recognized, leading to a perception it has no good users. Poor on quite a few champs who were good Stormraider's users, leading to further perception it's always bad."

On snowballing, Meddler commented:
Glad to hear you're already thinking about how to avoid excessive early snowball. Can you share what levers there are to add carry potential without adding too much snowball, I'm really curious from a design perspective.
A lot of solo carry potential is solo snowball, so to some degree you're going to get one with the other. Some of the things we're looking to avoid though:
  • That snowball becoming too strong too early
  • That snowball feeling unearned relative to its power
  • Teamplay getting weakened too much (certainly not a current problem, but don't want to swing to hard the other way)
  • Solo carry potential eroding kit counterplay too much and/or primarily benefiting kits with low counterplay"

Meddler noted the ADC changes would show in 8.10 but would not be released until 8.11:
Will any of the ADC changes make it out to 8.10? Or will they all stay on PBE till 8.11? Also, when/what are the fighter item changes coming on PBE?
AD item stuff will be on the PBE next week but none of it's planned to ship until 8.11.
Fighter wise we're looking at one, possibly two new items, not a large set of changes. Those are still quite a bit more experimental, so later than 8.11's all I can say at the moment."

Upcoming Jungle Changes for 8.10 

Here's Riot Sotere with details on Jungle changes coming next PBE cycle:
"Heyas Everyone, 
We're going to have some decently impactful jungle changes show up on PBE over the next few days in preparation for the 8.10 patch. Wanted to touch base here so none of the changes felt like they came out of left field and so players have a centralized place to give feedback over the next week or so. 
  • Reduce early lane pressure from junglers
  • Increase the number of jungle v. jungle interactions in the early game
  • Encourage variation in optimal pathing
  • Reduce mana restraints as a hard blocker for champions that want to jungle 
High level tactics:
  • There is now only one Rift Scuttler on the map at any given time. The spawn location will be determined randomly, with a lot of notice given ahead of time to where it's going to spawn. Its rewards are also substantially higher than on Live
  • Jungle experience is down early game: most notably this means that routes to level (3) are not as simple as going Buff -> Camp -> Buff. Instead, you hit 3 with the following routes:
    • 2 standard camps and a Rift Scuttler
    • 3 camps if you include a Krug clear
    • 4 standard camps
  • Talisman will return substantially more mana regen based on your missing mana as you clear the jungle
  • Runic Echoes will get a face lift to make it more mage friendly
Rift Scuttler Specific Changes:
  • Base Health :: 800 >>> 1200
  • Health Scaling :: 800 +200 (after first spawn) +60 per level >>> 1200 + 25 per level
  • Experience Granted :: 10 >>> 170
  • Respawn Time :: 180 >>> 150
  • [NEW] Now only one exists on the map at a time
  • Initial Spawn Time :: 2:15 >>> 1:40
  • Gold Reward :: 70 >>> 100
  • Mana Reward On Death :: 10-40 (based off missing Mana percent) >>> 50-200 (based off missing Mana percent) 
Will be jumping into this thread throughout the day when I have some spare time to talk about the high level direction. There's a lot of supporting changes for our goals, so the plan is not to get into the weeds until you have the full changelist available on PBE. As always, the changes that first hit PBE are tentative and subject to change. If you feel like a major element is not being considered or neglected, please let me know! We know this is going to impact a wide range of champions in the jungle (that's the intent in large part), and we'll address major outliers and be on the lookout for others negatively impacted. I'm excited for you guys to test it out next week on PBE. :)"

When asked about lane champions being able to take Scuttle early, Riot Sotere commented:
Are you worried about niche lane champions being able to take the first Scuttle right away for an early lead, or maybe with Smite and Unsealed Spellbook?
Not particularly worried. It spawns late enough that there's a pretty heavy cost to take it from what we've seen. As with other jungle camps, some of the value of taking it is amplified by jungle items so it's less worthwhile if you don't have a Talisman/Machete."

When asked about how the changes might affect Ivern, Riot Sotere noted:
can I ask how you feel these changes might affect the abnormal jungler, Ivern, since Squad5 mentioned you guys talked about him when considering his changes
Ivern is one of the big winners of these changes. We'll actually have to keep a close eye on him because the combination of his 8.9 buffs with these jungle changes might be too favorable. In particular, more mana regeneration early gives him more flexibility with his pathing and less reliance on smiting Blue early on. 
He has unique control of camps so if he opts into using his smite, his take of Rift Scuttler is going to be harder to contest than the average champion."

On the spawn time, Riot Sotere noted:
Initial Spawn Time :: 2:15 >>> 1:40 
So when can we know where it will spawn?
You get the standard minute advanced notice with our usual buff camp timers. We're looking into making those show up earlier but right now they're consistent with the other camps and have proven to be ample notice to modify plans."

Maple Nectar noted they would be watching junglers and would make changes as needed:
If some junglers end up struggling with this all will they get some help?
Almost certainly. in terms of who or what tactics I definitely don't know currently, but we'll be paying close attention."

Clairvoyance Blog: The Champion Duo Awards

Check out this new Clairvoyance blog. on Champion duos from Bilby, Riot TKDJoe, Benobo, and Nancymon:
"Hello and welcome to the Duo Awards, where we look at the data from every single possible champ combination to figure out which champs have the best (and worst) synergy in League of Legends! 
But, before we get to the nominations, let’s talk a little bit about the scores. When we set out to find the best champion duos, we started by looking at the winrates for each pair of champs when they were played together. We found that whoever was super strong at the time was basically the “best” duo for everybody (in this case, Volibear was the win-machine). While this is accurate—champs that are strong overall are gonna be strong duo partners—it wasn’t really what we were trying to measure. 
We wanted to know what champs play well together overall, not which champs were the flavor of the month. So we created a new formula that accounts for individual champion winrates and got a clearer idea of how one champ’s presence in a game impacted the odds of winning for every other potential teammate. Using this formula, we calculated every duo’s synergy score. We put this score on a scale from 0-10, where 10 is Wombo Combo City and 0 is Sorry I Bard Ulted Over Your MF Ult Again. 
Aside from the prestigious Duo Awards, we can use these synergy scores to help measure the impact of team compositions. It can be a hard balance to find: Team comps and champ synergies should matter and be interesting, but shouldn’t be such a big deal that games feel unwinnable by the end of champ select. Knowing these numbers can help us try to find that balance.
There are also some data caveats we’ve gotta call out here so you don’t blame us if you and your new duo lose a bunch of games: 
  • We’re looking at global data from Riot regions, across all MMRs, in ranked solo games, for patch 8.5 only. That might seem like a ton of games to pull from, but the numbers can be off for some of the less popular champions. In order to be eligible for the Duo Awards, the pair had to play at least 2,000 games together. Ideally we’d like a bunch more games (like 40,000), but this should be pretty accurate.
  • We totally disregarded champions in roles that showed up in less than 10% of that champion’s total games. Sorry to all you Soraka top players.
  • When individual winrates get super high or super low, the calculation for synergy starts to fall apart.
  • Kai’sa had just been released, and everybody was still figuring out her kit and trying her in every role. She wasn’t doing super well but was very popular, so her winrates and synergies are kinda funky here.
Ahem—Without further ado, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Let’s begin the Inaugural Champion Duo Awards Ceremony!!! 
OH WOW!!! League’s leading lovebirds take the first place prize!
…Okay so Xayah and Rakan aren’t a huge surprise here—their kits were designed together and literally give each other buffs. But Yasuo mid and Malphite jungle? Watch out for that level 6, midlaners. Kayle top and Twitch jungle is a little less telegraphed, but Kayle’s ult can save the sneaky rat who just popped up behind the enemy team, and that mix of AP and AD damage can’t hurt. 
And now, the WORST OVERALL SYNERGY(a.k.a. Nonbo) award! Drumroll for the champs that hurt each other’s winrates the most:
Congrats, Team Firespider! There could be a ton of factors that cause this combustible arachnid duo to fizzle out, but our best guess is that it has more to do with the damage mix than anything else. In fact, A LOT of the lowest synergy combos are double AD or double AP, especially on mid/jungle pairs. It’s probably the same problem with Team Undying Orange over there. Rakan is a bit of a different story; the flipside of his great synergy with Xayah is that he doesn’t have the same chemistry with other lanemates.

And so begins the bonus categories: BEST SKINERGY COMBOS!
Yee haw! For this one, we just went down the synergy chart and tried to remember what skins everybody has. It wasn’t as scientific as everything else so we might have missed some. Let us know if you find a pair that dethrones the Wild Western Scarecrow-Swordsman combo we all know and love.

Next up: the AMUMU’S FRIENDS FOREVER AWARD! For best synergies with the saddest little mummy. 
Aside from Jayce, it looks like Amumu’s best chances for friendship are with some of the edgier champs. Runners up go to Zed, Karthus, and Talon. We think it’s even weirder that more wombo combo-ey champs like Miss Fortune or Galio aren’t up here.

Next up: the THE BANDLE CITY BEATDOWN AWARD! For the best Yordle-only synergies.
Honorable mention goes to Fizz and Poppy, who would actually be third here, but we’re not sure if Fizz counts. Poppy also deserves extra recognition for being such a generally-great duo for other yordles, even across two different roles.

And for our last award of the night, we have THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND! For the Runeterran rivals who have the most synergy on the Rift.
…actually, most of the champs who are feuding in Runeterra also bring each other down on the Rift. Kudos to the winners for being able to put aside their differences and focus on the ultimate goal: Taking down the enemy Nexus.

And that’ll do it for our inaugural Champ Duo awards! To show our appreciation for your attendance, we’d like to present the tool we used to determine our winners. Go crazy and let us know what you find, or just look up your main and find your favorite teammates. Enjoy!"

[Check out the full tool used in the article!]

Quick Hits

"Ever wondered what it takes to produce the EU LCS every week? We take you on an exclusive backstage tour to meet the teams that bring the show to life. This episode will focus on the broadcast producers, the observers who chose what actions to show in games, the referees and live operations."


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • MSI 2018 starts May 3rd, but you can start the celebrations now! Check out our coverage in MSI 2018 Hits the Rift!
  • The Midseason Essence Emporium will be open from 4/19 - 4/30! Check this article for more details!

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