5/16 PBE Update: Continued Pyke Testing & Tentative Balance Changes

Posted on at 1:23 PM by Aznbeat
The PBE has been updated! As we continue the 8.11 PBE cycle, today's patch includes continued Pyke testing, Nautilus' in-client lore updated, new loot assets, and 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


Continued Pyke Testing


Our newest champion, Pyke, continues testing on the PBE! Today's update brings us his short form lore:
"A renowned harpooner from the slaughter docks of Bilgewater, Pyke should have met his death in the belly of a gigantic jaull-fish; and yet, he returned. Now, stalking the dank alleys and backways of his former hometown, he uses his new supernatural gifts to bring a swift and gruesome end to those who make their fortune by exploiting others-- and a city that prides itself on hunting monsters now finds a monster hunting them."
Riot Szymba provided an official bug thread for Pyke:
Heya! 
As of yesterday, the Bloodharbor Riper, Pyke has been unleashed on the PBE. However, we still are very much working on the final touches on him. Let us know of any issues/bugs you find on him here, so we can make sure we know about every one of them. 
Still in the works:
- R kill system on Zombies and other odd EnterDead states
- Assist gold "Your Cut" item will work properly in all cases
- Fog of War Sounds and VFX
- Death Recap & Buff/Debuff tooltips
- Ongoing tuning on his balance 
Thanks a bunch for helping us make Pyke better throughout this PBE cycle! 
-Szymba"

Miscellaneous 

  • Nautilus' in-client bio was updated on the PBE:
"A lonely legend as old as the first piers sunk in Bilgewater, the armored goliath known as Nautilus roams the dark waters off the coast of the Blue Flame Isles. Driven by a forgotten betrayal, he strikes without warning, swinging his enormous anchor to save the wretched, and drag the greedy to their doom. It is said he comes for those who forget to pay the "Bilgewater tithe", pulling them down beneath the waves with him-- an iron-clad reminder that none can escape the depths."
  • Fizz's in-client bio was also tweaked [new in green]:
"Fizz is an amphibious yordle, who dwells among the reefs surrounding Bilgewater. He often retrieves and returns the tithes cast into the sea by superstitious captains, but even the saltiest of sailors know better than to cross him-- for many are the tales of those who have underestimated this slippery character. Often mistaken for some manner of capricious ocean spirit, he seems able to command the beasts of the deep, and delights in confounding his allies and enemies alike."
  • New Bilgewater themed loot items were added to the PBE:
    • Golden Kraken: Reveals one skin shard, one Legendary Skin Permanent, and loot from one Bloodharbor Medallion (one Bilgewater skin shard and one random skin shard).
    • Bloodharbor Medallion: Reveals one Bilgewater skin shard and one random skin shard.
    • Cursed Capsule: Get three skin shards (with one guaranteed to be Epic or higher), 225 Orange Essence, and a chance to obtain an event-only Bloodharbor Medallion or Golden Kraken. Gemstone and Gemstone Skin drop rate multiplied by 1.5.
  

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.

Items
Stormrazor
  • [Tooltip updated, no change to functionality]

Runes

Minion Dematerializer (I3)
[Context]
  • [Changed Effect]
"Start the game with 3 Minion Dematerializers that damage and stun lane minions, and give you a permanent bonus based on minion type. Minion Dematerializers are on cooldown for the first 155s of the game. 
First Melee minion bonus gives 4 armor and 4 movement speed.
First Caster minion bonus gives 4 magic resist and 2% movement speed.
First Siege minion bonus gives 16 health and 4% bonus damage to structures and epic monsters. 
Subsequent minion bonuses of a type you already have are 50% less effective than the previous bonus of that type."


[New] Hail of Blades (Domination Keystone)
[Back for more testing!]
  • "Gain 50 - 100% Attack Speed for the first 3 attacks made against enemy champions.
No more than 1.5s can elapse between attacks or this effect will end. 
Hail of Blades allows you to temporarily exceed the attack speed limit.
Cooldown: 5s out of combat."
    • [Must be out of combat ~5 seconds for the effect to cooldown.] 
    • This is a new Keystone, making it the 4th option in Domination. 

[New] Ultimate Hunter (D4)
[Back for more testing!]
  • Effect:
"Your ultimate gains 5% reduced cooldown, plus an additional 2% per Bounty Hunter stack. 
Earn a Bounty Hunter stack the first time you get a takedown on each enemy champion."

[NewNimbus Cloak (S2)
[Back for more testing!]
  • Takes place of The Ultimate Hat
  • Effect:
"Shortly after casting your Ultimate ability, gain a decaying movement speed increase that lasts for 3s and allows you to pass through units. 
Increase: 100 Movement Speed
Cooldown: 60s, reduced by Cooldown Reduction"

The Ultimate Hat (S2)
  • Removed in favor of Nimbus Cloak.

Towers
Tower Regen
"One change that's on the PBE at present that's harder to spot is that we're testing out a change to how inhib and nexus towers regenerate health.On Live those towers regenerate some health when damaged. What we're trying is having them only regenerate health up to the next 1/3 marker on them (signaled by notches on their health bars and the damaged tower animations). A tower that's at 79% health for example will still regen up to 100%. A tower at 50% would regen to 66%. And a tower at 32% would regen to 33% etc. 
We're making that change in part to open up the ways you can approach taking down a base. The full regen model makes partial sieges much lower value unless you're coming back soon. It also means split pushing against an inhib tower tends to be an all or nothing thing a lot of the time. Giving partial success cases (cool, got it below 33% even if we didn't kill it) should help out those as alternative strategies to usually just blowing through the whole tower in one go, usually as a full team."

Context & Notes

1) ricklessabandon noted context on the the Minion Dematerializer changes in today's PBE update! He also noted another iteration coming tomorrow:
[1] "i guess the tl;dr version would be something like… drastically reduce its ability to impact wave control, while trying to make it a bit more appealing, i suppose 
will have a new iteration tomorrow, and will actually post a preview with all the small details sometime later on"
[2] "preview for minion dematerializer changes that should be in the next pbe update:"




2) Check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for May 16th:
"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: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler 
True Damage 
Since we've got a couple of new high profile sources of true damage (Conqueror and the upcoming IE change) figured it would be a good time to talk about our thinking around it.  
Recap:
  • True Damage is damage that's not reduced by Armor or MR. No other effects increase or decrease it (damage amps like Press the Attack, Damage Reduction like Alistar ult etc). It can be blocked by shields/invulnerabilities. It's usually spell damage (e.g. Cho ult that applies things like spell vamp) or proc damage (doesn't trigger most effects). 
Why we use it:
  • On paper, true damage sounds like it's just plain better than other damage and, point for point, that's almost always true. What true damage also does however is level the playing field a lot between how effective an ability or attack is against a tanky target versus a squishy one. Defensive heavy enemies can therefore take meaningful damage without the damage in question having to be so high it's excessive against everyone else.
  • To give an example, let's assume two targets, one with 80 armor and one with 240. Against a physical damage hit of 600 damage the 80 armor target takes 333 damage (44% reduction). The 240 armor target takes 150 damage (75% reduction). If that's the desired contrast in damage, perfect, physical damage makes sense. Things get trickier however if you need to offer more tank killing power. Let's say for arguments sake that 250 damage against tanks is needed here for the champ in question to be effective at fighting enemy front lines. To get that using physical damage alone we'd have to push damage against our squishy target up to 555. Using true damage by contrast we can drop damage against the squishy down to 250 if that's desirable, or use a partial true damage conversion if still after some difference. 
Why not just use more Armor/Magic Pen?
  • Armor/Magic Pen also narrow that gap between squishy and tanky targets. We've got a lot of those effects in the game too as a result and they're particularly useful when you want a mid point between 'equal damage to everybody' and 'very large contrasts in how hard you hit people'.
  • For cases where you want complete equality, full true damage is the way to go. For things like Conqueror or IE though you could accomplish the same sorts of results using % pen, rather than a partial conversion to true damage. True Damage has the benefit of being easier to understand the impact of in game though, both for the user and the victim.
  • For the victim, seeing physical damage of 600 points for example might suggest you should build a lot of Armor. If that damage is ignoring most of your Armor already however (e.g. GP barrels stacked with % pen or shred) building health's often going to be the better defensive choice. A partial conversion to true damage makes it clearer that that's the case by contrast.
  • For the applier of the True Damage benefits are a mixture of satisfaction and better understanding of the power of the effect they've got. 
But there's no counterplay to True Damage!
  • Item counterplay to True Damage is lower, that's true. Item options still exist though. Health and shields are the primary item responses. Depending on the circumstances though effects like Frozen Heart's Attack Speed Slow, Zhonya's invulnerability, QSS's ability to prevent getting locked down in the first place etc are still strong responses to True Damage threats.
  • Counterplay's also not just something that exists in the item system - there's more to it than just 'what item do I buy do beat this thing'. Less item counterplay does mean a heavier burden on other types of counterplay though certainly, which is why we'll often use true damage particularly on melee effects and/or sustained damage, rather than ranged burst for example. 
Frequency of True Damage
  • We've been using True Damage more than launch LoL/early seasons did. That's due to a belief on our part that it's a valuable tool for helping balance the game that was underutilized.
  • Shouldn't expect a constant rush of new True Damage effects though. Post Conqueror and IE we don't have anything in the pipe, at least so far, that would offer True Damage to a wide audience. Likely it crops up on some individual kits over the next year of course. At present only one of the new champs/VGUs currently in development has True Damage on their kit, possible that number changes though certainly. 
Pyke Feedback
Now that Pyke's on PBE feedback would be especially appreciated if you're playing him on a few things in particular: 
  • How you find his performance as a support versus other positions. Pyke's got some tools (basic ability hard CCs) we don't normally allow assassins or assassin like kits. There's some risk that counterplay that's ok when he's on a lower XP and gold income as a support and needs an ally's help to get kills generally won't be appropriate if he's able to function solo
  • How you find the experience of playing alongside him as an ally. Particularly interested in things like whether you can understand his game plan plus how much he's roaming and how that feels.
  • Whether, even if he's not necessarily able to play like a true assassin, he captures the feeling of it, in particular for those of you who enjoy playing assassins and have at least some interest in playing support.
  • How his build paths feel, particularly given the HP to AD conversion on his passive. 
Testing a change to tower regen 
One change that's on the PBE at present that's harder to spot is that we're testing out a change to how inhib and nexus towers regenerate health.On Live those towers regenerate some health when damaged. What we're trying is having them only regenerate health up to the next 1/3 marker on them (signaled by notches on their health bars and the damaged tower animations). A tower that's at 79% health for example will still regen up to 100%. A tower at 50% would regen to 66%. And a tower at 32% would regen to 33% etc. 
We're making that change in part to open up the ways you can approach taking down a base. The full regen model makes partial sieges much lower value unless you're coming back soon. It also means split pushing against an inhib tower tends to be an all or nothing thing a lot of the time. Giving partial success cases (cool, got it below 33% even if we didn't kill it) should help out those as alternative strategies to usually just blowing through the whole tower in one go, usually as a full team."
3) Here's Riot Orphyre with a bugs and feedback thread for each of the chromas this cycle - PBE Bugs & Feedback Thread: Sand Wraith Pyke, Dark Waters Diana, and Dark Waters Vladimir:
Hey everyone! 
We’ve got some new Chromas coming up for our newest Champion’s skin, Sand Wraith Pyke, as well as Dark Waters Diana, and Dark Waters Vladimir!
Sandwraith Pyke:
  • New textures: “Welcome to the Underdune.”
    • Sand Wraith Pyke (Catseye)
    • Sand Wraith Pyke (Obsidian)
    • Sand Wraith Pyke (Sapphire)
    • Sand Wraith Pyke (Tanzanite)
    • Sand Wraith Pyke (Rose Quartz)
    • Sand Wraith Pyke (Turquoise)
    • Sand Wraith Pyke (Pearl)
Dark Waters Diana:
  • New textures: “A new moon is rising.”
    • Dark Waters Diana (Pearl)
    • Dark Waters Diana (Ruby)
    • Dark Waters Diana (Obsidian)
    • Dark Waters Diana (Turquoise)
    • Dark Waters Diana (Sapphire)
Dark Waters Vladimir:
  • New textures: “The rivers will run red.”
    • Dark Waters Vladimir (Pearl)
    • Dark Waters Vladimir (Obsidian)
    • Dark Waters Vladimir (Tanzanite)
    • Dark Waters Vladimir (Emerald)
    • Dark Waters Vladimir (Sandstone) 
The chroma sets are now available on PBE! We hope you all will enjoy the new sets, but we’re also looking forward to hearing your constructive feedback. I’ll do my best to answer and reply to your questions and feedback! 
Thanks! 
Riot Orphyre"

PBE Chat with the Playtest Team - 8.11 

Here's Riot Novalas with the latest PBE Chat for the 8.11 PBE cycle:
"Hey guys! 
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 and in dev content before they’re released. It’s our job to test the changes that our designers come up with to ensure that we’re introducing positive changes to League in terms of both balance and fun. 
Rather than a Patch Chat, we’re opting for a new approach these next few patch cycles. Lots of changes are planned in the upcoming patches and a lot of content is or has been on PBE for awhile. We’d like you guys to talk to us about your questions or concerns with upcoming content - We’ve tested a lot of it and would be more than happy to give you guys insight on how the changes are panning out. If you’d like us to test something in particular out - let us know and we can try to get it into a playtest. 
The biggest changes on PBE right now are the Marksman changes and Pyke, the Bloodharbor Ripper. If you have any Pyke related questions (or water door related questions), feel free to ask Hjarta and Auberaun who were the playtesters on Pyke while he was in development! 
We’d love for players to get in on this & help the Playtest team make Patch 8.11 launch as smoothly as possible! 
Here’s a link to the content currently on the PBE.
https://www.surrenderat20.net/p/current-pbe-balance-changes.html 
Also, we're all on his list. 
  • Brandon "Roku" Davis
  • Chris “Auberaun” Roberts
  • Christy “Riot Ender L” Frierson
  • Nick “Riot Endstep” Frijia
  • Sigmundur “GangIeri” Helgason
  • Arnor “Riot Hjarta” Halldorsson
  • Miktat “Riot Koyuncu” Koyuncu
  • Brian “Riot Madness Heroo” Pressoir
  • Nabi “Riot Novalas” Barak
  • Dan “Riot penguin” Hardison
  • Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
  • Louis "nubblez" Carpetto"

Check out [THIS PAGEfor a comprehensive list of the new content & changes currently on the PBE as a part of this cycle or catch up with the individual update links below !

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