Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 5/4, Marksman/AD Itemization Updates, & More

Posted on at 10:41 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for May 4th, including thoughts on the League cursor, minion spawn delay, whats going in the 8.10 and 8.11 PBE cycles, as well as an update on Marksman/AD changes testing on the PBE, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 4 

Here's Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for May 4th:
"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:  
Cursor Update 
We've just started looking at updating LoL's cursor (it's certainly showing its age). Plan is to have an updated one in internal testing for a while. Once it's looking solid, we'll then get it onto PBE for a second round of feedback (best guess is that'll be a month or two away). We're taking a slower, more deliberate pace with that testing because of how impactful changes to interface elements like cursors can be, especially when you've spent a lot of time using the previous version and are pretty accustomed to how it behaves. 
Is pre-minion spawn phase worth the time it consumes? 
Something we've been talking a bit about lately is whether or not the phase when the spawning platform barrier is down, but minions haven't yet spawned, is worth the time (about a minute) it consumes. On one hand it can sometimes lead to cool invade, warding or counter jungle play. On the other hand most of the time it just results in people placing a ward or two and then alt-tabbing, spamming /dance etc. 
Been wondering as a result whether we'd be better off removing that phase and getting the game going faster, given it's so often a break in game flow right now. Would need to make a number of adjustments to compensate of course to things like trinket timings, champions who need set up time at camps, effects that support invading/counterjungling (so that's still able to happen in some form) etc. If we were to do so it's not something that would happen until preseason and it's still in the category of something we're thinking about, not something we're committed to doing. Would love to hear your thoughts on the concept. 
What on PBE is for 8.10 versus 8.11 
Been seeing some uncertainty as to which changes currently on PBE are potentially in 8.10 versus which are aiming for 8.11. Quick rundown below as a result for anyone interested: 
  • Champion changes with the exception of marksmen base stat changes
  • Scuttle change, Runic Echo change, Talisman change
  • Bounty change
  • Plus likely some more champion adjustments that will come later in the cycle
  • AD item changes
  • Marksmen base stat changes
  • Hail of Blades (new Domination keystone)
  • Plus some other stuff that won't hit PBE until the 8.11 PBE cycle"

When asked for how the mana changes were doing, Meddler noted:
Thoughts on how the mana changes have panned out so far?
Also, what are your thoughts on Vel'Koz in mid?
Happy Friday! 
Mana changes seem to have landed as intended so far (power neutral overall, with strength shifted about a bit). That seems to include mages playing in the support position, which is a bit of a surprise. We'd been half expecting to have to follow up on them, given they weren't using DRing to being with, but did get the other buffs. 
The exception to power neutral, who we're monitoring, are a few mages who have lost some noticeable power. They're all the ones who can dump a lot of mana repeatedly (Anivia, Cass, Malz, plus maybe one or two more). Possible item builds adapt to compensate and those champs recover, also possible we might need to do something for some of them."

On how the marksman/AD itemization changes were testing, Meddler commented:
On a more serious note how do you feel the marksmen stuff has been going so far on PBE? I know it still early and pbe is pretty wild. But do you guys feel somewhat confident in the direction it could be going?
Pretty good so far on the AD items IMO. Still some tuning needed though, wouldn't swear we've got all the item gold efficiencies right in particular. And a lot of bug fixes still underway too."

Meddler provided a quick rundown on reason why you would pick keystones, including the newest Domination keystone testing on the PBE, Hail of Blades:
So with the recent introduction of Hall of Blades on the PBE, can I ask who it would be aimed at? Its very much a lovechild of Press the Attack and Lethal Tempo, with both of those runes often fulfilling the purpose better. Especially as Hall of Blades can only be proc'd once a fight, would this keystone be aimed at Junglers or what? Im just struggling to see the niche this keystone would actually fill
Press the Attack:
  • I deal sustained damage and can or must potentially back load some of it
  • I'm willing to trade some personal power for greater team power
  • I want to be in the Precision tree but the other options don't fit my needs (not a good Conqueror user, don't like Attack Speed as much as some, don't need the MS/sustain)
Lethal Tempo:
  • I deal sustained damage and my auto attacks are really important. I'm ok backloading some of it
  • I want personal power
  • I might sometimes overcap on attack speed
Hail of Blades
  • I auto attack at least a moderate amount but also want to be in Domination primary
  • I want to front load my damage (at least a somewhat bursty pattern, or expecting fairly short fights)
  • I might have a AA combo I want to get off quickly (e.g. Xin)"

On SyndraMeddler commented:
Anyways, thanks for the Syndra Q revert, how has she been doing since then and do you think there will be other changes for her down the road?
Early performance suggests she's slightly stronger. We think her gameplay should be healthier as well (more need to hit Q, more effort needed to set up strong ults). Change looks good so far directionally. 
In terms of power, maybe more in a bit? Don't think we've got that much room to move though before we start risking pick/ban status again though so wouldn't want to rush things until we've better seen impacts of this change."

On the possibility of changing the cursor, Meddler commented:
Glad to see you finally update the cursor. Some guesses:
Provide more than one option. (including a polished old one maybe)
Make it future proof. With that I mean scalability for higher resolutions like 1440p, 2160p and so on.
A color and/or size option for every version (if there are multiple) would be good.
Please go full on this one and not only updating a 64px img and do nothing else. This is the right opportunity
Adjustable sizing's definitely going to be in there so you can tailor as desired. I'll pass your feedback on to the team on the other points, believe they've been discussing some of that stuff at least already, but not sure what their conclusions so far have been."

On LeBlancMeddler noted:
AzuBK, said that he wanted to release LeBlanc weak/in a OK place(patch 8.8) and then buff her afterwards and fixing some bugs. But there is nothing and everybody(LeBlancMains) wants to know why.
Hope you will answer. Would be much appreciated.
She's got some more bug fixes and a couple of spell buffering improvements coming up. Beyond that we'll also want to see how she performs in pro. Historically this style of LB's also tended to underperform for average players when she's balanced for experienced LB players too, so I don't think she's far from the right spot. Guessing, but think it's likely we don't make any major power changes as a result."

When asked about Fleet Footwork, Meddler replied:
Is Fleet Footwork getting adjusted? Should've sworn I saw that in the Marksmen update thread.
From memory we're reducing it's sustain during most of the game. Same start and end points, but most of the increase is backloaded, so will heal less in lane and mid game."

And when asked for more details on the possible minion spawn delay removal, Meddler replied:
With the potential removal of the minion spawn delay, how would that impact (admittedly only like 1 or 2 champions) who want to proxy and need time to get all the way over to the other side of the map? I could be wrong, but I think they need a bunch of it. They might be able to sprint the entire way.
If we did make such a change we probably need to treat them like those that need a bit of setup time at camps at present and give them some help."

Marksman/AD Itemization Updates in 8.10 PBE Cycle

Riot Axes noted some changes for the Marksman/AD itemization that should already be on the PBE, as well as changes we should see in an upcoming PBE update:
"UPDATE 5/3-5/4 
Thanks for all the feedback and bug reports! I'm reading a lot more than I'm responding to right now because 
Biasing stats a bit further away from assassins, and experimenting with the time required to regain the crit passive.
  • Build path :: B.F. Sword + Pickaxe + Dagger >>> Pickaxe + Pickaxe + Dagger
  • Total gold cost :: 3400 >>> 3200
  • Attack Damage :: 65 >>> 55
  • Attack Speed gained after critically striking :: 25% >>> 35%
  • Fixed a variety of spells not critically striking (Garen, Illaoi, Gangplank, Yasuo, Ekko, Rengar, Mordekaiser, Leona, Rek'Sai, Renekton). I'm aware of a few more, will be working on them tomorrow. We'll be doing a full sweep a bit later in the process, but if you run into ones you expect to work, keep flagging them!
  • Fixed a bug where it was granting only a very small (much less than 1) amount of movement speed after critical strikes. 
Molten Edge
Back in the shop.
  • Once again purchasable
  • Total gold cost :: 4400 >>> 4700 (still 1000 gold more than Infinity Edge)
  • Attack Damage :: 100 >>> 110 (still 30 more than Infinity Edge)
  • [REM] No longer increases critical strike damage.
  • [REM] No longer grants +20% critical strike chance.
  • [NEW] UNIQUE Passive: Doubles your critical strike chance.
  • [NEW] UNIQUE Passive: 20% of critical strike damage is converted to true damage.  
  • Fully reverted to live values. 
ADC Health per 5
  • Changes should be pushed to PBE tomorrow - they hadn't been pushed yet. 
Essence Reaver
New model for the post-ult buff, and bugfixing. Aware of a few more bugs (some attacks that don't proc the post-ult buff or grant cooldown refunds on attacking) on this one that I'll be getting to tomorrow or next week.
  • Passive reworked - now triggers on first basic attack after casting your ultimate.
  • Fixed a bug introduced yesterday that caused it not to restore mana on hit."

Quick Hits

"I was going to write a bit of a longer post, but Riot Pwyff captured it pretty well down below. I'll try to elaborate on this a bit more however: 
One of our primary goals heading into this year has been to start to open up the meta in order to better support alternate playstyles - the positions you can bring a champion, the roles you can flex them into, the items you build game to game etc. Late last year we did a little testing on Morgana/Zyra to see if we could get players to even consider bringing them into the jungle. Not to dominate mind you, but that if a player invested the time it could be considered a viable pick in solo queue and not just straight trolling. This was part of a larger push we wanted to continue as we moved into this year - unfortunately we got waylaid a bit by the first few patches being allocated to post runes reforged balance, but mid-season is one of our first larger pushes to help open up the meta for alternate playstyles. We'd initially talked about this as getting mages into the bot, or letting you build a team comp that didn't require a marksman. We pulled back on the magnitude of those goals a bit, but once we've 8.12 has gone out (we've spread midseason over patches 8.9-8.12 this year), I'd suspect that we see some natural alternate playstyles emerge, and we're actively seeking to not have to snuff things out. 
You're also going to see us shipping individual champ to champ changes over the coming months which are aiming at either opening up playstyles that used to exist but don't anymore (AD Malzahar, Lane Nidalee, AP Trist as a potential examples), or introducing playstyles that have never existed on a champ before (I wonder what an AP Shotgun knees looks like). This needs to be done carefully though, as alternate playstyles present entirely new challenges when it comes to balancing. Sometimes they can be great and we've been able to support them for years (Jarvan jungle/top, Vlad mid/top, a bunch of our mages that double as supports), but others can prove tricky/problematic. Tank Ekko, jungle Ezreal, AP Mao support after the rework are some that come to mind. What's important to note is that no alt playstyle is created equal, and while we want to support as many as we can - there's also ones that have simply proven out to not be sustainable for a multitude of reasons - lack of counterplay usually being one of the main ones there. 
Something that's often forgotten when it comes to alt playstyles is that the more there are, the more we undermine the value of our decisions pre-game. Knowing who you're likely to be playing against helps you make smart decisions pre-game. Whether that be picking a lane counter, different runes, different summoner spells etc. The more we open up the meta, the harder it will be to make those choices feel meaningful and like they have an impact on your ability to win the game. In some cases you may also get baited into an awful matchup because you thought they had Pantheon top and took Malphite but then they swapped him to Jungle and took someone like Rumble or Vlad top. There's some value there, but for a competitive game it's important you don't often feel completely "tricked" out of a victory and instead are judged on your ability to make smart decisions and play well. This is just one of the things that we need to think about when looking at opening up the meta, but I hope this sheds some light on the nuance of this particular area. 
Let me try to sum this up. Going forward we're actively seeking to support as many alternate ways to play as possible, but we're still going to uphold values such as meaningful counterplay, interesting decision making etc. We don't want to kill the fun and creative things you all discover, since discovery is half the fun of playing games, but we need to make sure that the fun you have doesn't always come at everyone else's expense. Does that sort of make sense? Trying to communicate a fair bit but also trying to not make this longer than I already have :(. Feel free to challenge me as well, while I might not be able to reply to many comments, I'll be reading/paying attention."
"Thanks for your patience. :-) It's done, I just have to get the thumbs-up for when it will be released. 
(And to think people blame us Narrative folks for content not going out!)"
  • ricklessabandon noted a different iteration for Kha'Zix as well as followup Dr. Mundo changes coming in today's PBE Update:
[1] have a new version of kha'zix changes coming to the pbe
[2] will be trying to make a call between this new version, falling back to something similar (but not the same as) yesterday's version, or giving him another patch to figure out 
[3] putting up some follow-up mundo changes for testing on the pbe as well


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • MSI 2018 kicks off May 3rd! Check our MSI 2018 Hits the Rift coverage for a look at in-game content such the new Conqueror Varus OR head on over to [LoL Esports] for streams & more!

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