Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 9, Mechs vs. Minions Wave 3, & More

Posted on at 3:51 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for May 9th, including thoughts on the 8.9 mana changes & supports, Mechs vs. Minions' return to the merch store, as well as red comments from around the web, and more!
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Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 9

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for May 9th, including thoughts on the 8.9 mana changes, supports, 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: 
Impact of the 8.9 mana changes 
We've been watching the impact of the 8.9 mana changes (mages and some items) over the past week. So far the effect on most champions seems to be power neutral, which was our target (more casts early, fewer later, same overall strength). There are a group of a few mages who look like an exception to that though. They're all champs who are able to burn a lot of mana repeatedly and do seem to have lost a noticeable amount of power (Anivia, Cass, Taliyah, Malz). Might need to put some power back into them as a result, still assessing. If so it would likely not be as more access to mana later in the game though since one of our other goals was to reduce the power of mage waveclear as well. 
Some thoughts on supports 
After the midseason changes (8.11) and some followup (8.12 at least) some of the things we'll be looking at are various things about the support position. Not sure exactly what will ship or when yet, but did want to run you folks through a list of things we'll likely be looking at and why. 
Heal/Shield Stat:
  • Was introduced back when supports got less gold. Also contributes a lot of power through multiplication of base stats, rather than as a separate ratio like AP, making it hard to tune it properly for a variety of different cases. Will be considering things like whether it's undercosted, whether it should be a stat that can be tuned on an ability by ability basis, which items should offer it etc.
Reliability of defensive tools:
  • A lot of the time defensive tools, particularly those on Lulu and Janna, are significantly more reliable/forgiving than offensive tools used against their team. We'll be looking at whether more risk/skill expression should be added to particular effects as a result. That could mean things like shorter shield durations or other timing demands (e.g. like Redemption), adding more contextual demands to some abilities (e.g. % missing effects or bonuses just after an ally has been damaged) or other approaches.
Item Efficiency:
  • This one's similar to the Heal/Shield stat stuff above, but also applies to a wider range of classes who play as support. We've got a range of items at significantly cheaper than average price points because support income's been low historically. Some of those at least might need to be repriced to account for increased support income.
Those three categories are where we'll likely start. There are a couple of other spaces we'll also consider, though aren't as likely to ship changes in in the shorter term at least. They're being treated as secondary areas because they've either got less clear directions and/or the time versus benefit ratio on work there doesn't look as promising as the above issues:
  • Introducing more variability into support gold/XP income (valuable, but a large and tricky task, could involve enabling/rewarding roaming play more, though that brings some other issues with it due to impact on other lanes)
  • Reducing the amount of power supports give to others (solves some issues, particularly around removal of marksmen weaknesses, but also cuts pretty hard into support differentiation from other positions and enchanter/warden identity) 
Upcoming Post: True Damage 
Been seeing quite a bit of discussion around increasing use of True Damage, given both Conqueror and IE have made it more accessible to a range of champions. Thoughts on why that approach, in particular why we think it's better than the alternatives, soon (probably early next week)."

When asked about fighter items in internal testing, Meddler commented:
Hey Meddler, could you give any insight into the broad direction of the new fighter item that is in testing? What's its purpose intended to be as opposed to the other fighter items right now like Sterak's, Black Cleaver, Titanic Hydra, etc?
We're trying two different items, though no guarantee both, or even either, ship yet. One's focused on providing resistance to ongoing damage in teamfights (versus Sterak's anti-burst role). The other's a later in the game damage multiplier with some defensive stats (but less bound to AA patterns/AOE than Titanic is). 
More details, assuming testing goes well, just before they're ready to PBE."

On the topic of Steraks, Riot Stashu replied:
Steraks: A few weeks ago you mentioned you were looking at uncoupling Steraks from Trinity Force and giving it power elsewhere. Is that still being worked on, or did that direction not seem fruitful?
Still hopeful on that direction, waiting to see how fighter items settle before deciding on a ship date."

When asked about the Minion Dematerializer changes that tested on the PBE earlier this cycle, Meddler noted:
Hey meddler can you share the context behind the Minion Dematerializer changes since I thought you guys wanted to opt for like a mind control model
Mind Control approach was something I was really excited about on paper. Once in game though it just ended up feeling like mini Banner of Command all the time. Optimal play was still just grab cannons and push, just with a bigger swing since you'd also gained a minion. When strong also lead to Mind Control versus Mind Control lanes (was its own counter) that got bogged down with not very interesting minion combat.
We're looking at other approaches to Minion Dematerializer as a result. Generally like the 'kill a minion' part, waveclear part hasn't worked out as hoped (were looking for a safety valve/fallback, has ended up being too much an unsatisfying but optimal and should be default for some champs)."

On Lux, Meddler replied:
How have the lux changes hit?
Pretty well so far. She no longer underperforms as much in high MMR as she used to, relative to average MMRs, which should make her easier to balance. Her play as a support's also noticeably better (not sure if 'viable', but should be much closer to effective at least). Overall power wise she's only up slightly, which is a reasonable trade for improving a couple of issues like that."

As for Zyra, Meddler commented:
There was a thread about Zyra, which popped off at boards yesterday. Is there anything you can say about her?
Zyra's on our list of champions who might get looked at during the 8.11 cycle. Not guaranteed to ship anything in 8.11 and not sure what possible work would involve yet, but we did talk about her yesterday when doing 8.11 planning."

On the possibility of an AD support item, Meddler replied:
Thoughts on adding an AD supp item, or changing frostfang to adaptive stats? Feels like it's keeping some fun choices locked out of playing support because of FF line switching your adaptive stats on runes to AP, which feels really bad for BC supports who can't get the sorc+absfocus AD until full cleaver complete.
We are interested in AD support items and/or opening up Frostfang to AD users. Issue there's just one of bandwidth, with other stuff having to take priority for now at least."

Quick Hits

  • Riot Maple noted some context on the Poppy movespeed changes testing on the PBE this cycle:
"SolCrushed - the designer on the Poppy VGU had wanted to do those changes for awhile, and got some time after Irelia shipped. The intent was to be power neutral (but she ended up dropping a little less than 1 percent. The day after the patch went live, he came over to our team and said he wanted to revert a bit of the compensation nerfs he'd included with the changelist - hence why on the PBE the 5ms nerf is being reverted. 
Work for Poppy wasn't shipped because we randomly decided she was too strong/too weak. SolCrushed felt that these changes overall would make her a better champion and had been something he'd been thinking about for awhile.
  • Riot Wittrock noted a Talon bugfix testing on the PBE this cycle:
"Hey there /r/longswords !...uh..erm, ..I mean /r/Talonmains 
We've got a change we're testing on the PBE to help reduce/remove instances of failed E's, particularly the backflip/jumping backwards or going nowhere cases. No promises on a complete fix, or when we'll ship it, but wanted to give you folks a heads up. If you're playing Talon on PBE (including a custom or practice tool game), things to look out for: 
  • E still failing on short jumps / jumping backwards
  • New E failures (problems with longer jumps, weirdness with champ created terrain) 
If you do still encounter E issues, ideally capture them with a quick video or the .rofl file of the replay; barring that, at least knowing the specific piece of terrain that's giving you trouble with a screenshot helps. Feel free to post that stuff in the thread or DM me. 
Thanks all!"
"oh, yes — she'll get a new passive icon, and maybe also updates to her other icons, but she's in line behind a couple others"
  • The next wave of Mech vs. Minions is once again available for purchase on the Riot Games Merch site!
"We are pleased to announce that Wave 3 of MvM is now available in North America. Everyone's favorite Minion stomping board game is back in stock and we will be featuring more about this game in upcoming posts."


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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