Red Post Collection: Touching Base on Mid-Season, Quick Gameplay Thoughts: July 20, & More

Posted on at 3:06 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes notes on Mid-season marksman and snowball changes from Maple Nectar, Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts including context on crit item adjustments  and issues with locked camera and the minimap, red comments from around the web, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Touching base on Mid-season (marksman and snowballing) 

Here's Maple Nectar with a thread on the impact of Mid-season changes:
"Hey folks, 
Since patch 8.11 dropped, we’ve seen a pretty large shakeup to the bot lane meta which has been as polarizing as it has been refreshing. We’ve seen diversity like we haven’t in years which has changed the way players think about the game, where champs can be played, and what strategies to employ - and that’s been incredibly exciting. But as many of you have expressed (and as surveys have recently reinforced), that diversity came at the cost of marksmen satisfaction - especially those relying on crit items to scale into the late game. 
It's important to note that satisfaction and viability aren't the same thing. ADCs still make up the vast majority of champion picks in the bot lane role—they aren't absent from the meta by any means. The main problem is that they don’t feel as satisfying to play as they used to, even if their overall strength is still competitive. 
So, we’re taking a larger swing at the marksman space with an explicit focus on satisfaction. This'll look a bit different from the follow-up we've done so far, which was more focused on pure power. (Reigning in top tier ADCs like Ezreal and Kai’Sa, buffing the bottom tier like Cait, Trist, Varus, adding a little power to core items like IE, Stormrazor, Brawlers Glove etc). Our primary goals with the upcoming changes are:
  • Increase how satisfying it feels to play an ADC
    • Move some crit marksman power out of late game and into early/mid game by shrinking some of their larger item purchases in both cost and stats.
  • Maintain the diversity in the bot lane carry role that we’ve seen since midseason 
For an example of the types of changes we’re exploring (still subject to change):
  • Statikk Shiv
    • Total cost 2900 >>> 2800
    • Critical Strike lowered from 30% >>> 25% 
Our goal is not to return to an entirely ADC reliant meta where the only strategy is to always take an ADC, get them to late game, and then win. What we’re trying to do is make you feel like you get to “come online” earlier in the game, rather than the game ending before you hit your important item spikes. If we end up losing a lot of the diversity gains from midseason along the way, we’ll be trying to find ways to bring that back as well, but we're trying not to go that far. 
Snowballing and Comebacks 
Another thing that folks have been feeling in their games and talking about is how snowbally matches feel. Over the course of the season there was pretty steady growth in what we call “trapped games” - a game where the losing team has a very low chance of staging a comeback, but it drags out until the inevitable defeat screen. We know that feels bad, and we shipped several changes over the past several months to try to reduce the number of trapped games. 
The charts below present three types of games that we use to classify how snowballed a game is at 15 minutes. 
  • Even Game - losing team has a 25%-50% chance to win
  • Lead Game - losing team has a 10%-25% chance to win
  • Large Lead - losing team has a 0-10% chance to win
Trapped games (the red line) peaked in 8.10 but has since been going down with changes to early jungle influence, reducing global turret gold, and rejigging the bounty system to better reward you for killing someone on a kill streak. So far those efforts to reduce snowballing seem to be paying off, and we’ve seen a pretty rapid return to the norm in terms of frequency. We're particularly happy that these changes led to a large increase in the number of Even Games (the blue line)—the category with the highest comeback potential. 
We’ve also already seen successful/attempted surrenders dropping at a rate similar to the graphs above, but we’ll continue to monitor in the coming months to ensure that games feelless snowbally to players and take further action if necessary. 
Please continue to talk about your perceptions of the meta and your experiences in game here, on reddit, twitter, or whatever platform suits your fancy. While we might not always reply, the conversations you have between yourselves and via surveys directly influence conversation we have on the team. 
Thanks everyone,
Maple Nectar 
small note: I'm going to be in meetings for the entirety of the day, but will be trying to dip in here to answer questions when I can over the coming days. At the very least I'll be reading comments when I have a few minutes."

When asked about making early surrender not a unanimous vote, Maple Nectar replied:
Don't you think it's time to make surrender at 15 need 4 votes only? There will always be some games that are just not fun to play - for either side - and it is just better for everyone to get on to the next one asap.
We actually want to test this in one region and see how it feels for players. Generally we agree where there's some games where you just want to get the fuck out, and the current surrender system keeps you stuck longer than you want. This is especially true when you have a toxic flamer on your team who will refuse to surrender just to spite you, but also applies to highly snowballed games. No idea yet if it's something we'll end up turning on everywhere, or that we'll just test and then revert, but it would definitely help in some cases."

When asked about game length, Maple Nectar commented:
Have games gotten longer overall since the last couple patches? I've noticed my games are ending less by the 20m mark and usually can make it to the half hour before a game's pretty decided.
Yep, we've also seen an increase in game length (average, median etc), though not a drastic increase."

Maple Nectar also commented on a user's concerns on marksman satisfaction:
For the marksman satisfaction thing:
  1. Part of where I feel dissatisfaction comes from is that for the most part, marksmen don't really go anywhere BUT bot lane carry. There's a few exceptions like kindred, but for the most part they have the least options as to where they can really go. On the other hand, all the new type of champs going bot lane already have homes in other lanes they can play in as well as in bot lane. Part of the frustration is that marksmen don't really have anywhere else to go, so when other types of champs push them out it feels especially bad.
  2. Since marksmen usually have such little agency in the early game, I would bet there's a strong correlation to the frequency of large lead games and marksman dissatisfaction. Typically when games are decided that quickly, the marksman player basically had little to no say in the whole game and that feels awful. I think reducing large lead games like you've been doing and shifting power to help them early would help a lot, so I like the direction these changes are going :D
  1. I think it would be great for League if we could successfully get marksmen into other positions, though that wasn't an opportunity we could deliver on now. With the bot lane diversity being pretty polarizing, saying that we solved it by letting them to mid/top/jungle could have just opened up another experience that some players loved, some players hate. Here's hoping at some point we have the opportunity to do this though!
  2. That's definitely been another consideration we've taken into account. If I play Vayne I'm opting into the fantasy of getting to the late game and bopping fools. With an increase in large lead games, it was statistically more likely that the game wouldn't even get to that point before it was decided, which certainly felt bad. I could believe that dropping large lead games even more could help a lot here, but having games that snowball is also an important aspect for League in terms of game to game variance. You should have games where you and your team are walking in lock step and roll over your opponents, you should have games where you have a slight lead, and you should have games that are even - the difficulty is finding the right mix of the 3 so that you feel like your actions matter in every game."
When asked about the crit item changes and Yasuo, Maple Nectar commented:
Thoughts on crit items changes impact on champions like Yasuo, which is already pretty dominant in pro play and botlane ?
Some champs will likely require followup in response to this work. I wouldn't be surprised if Yasuo needed a bit of a tap down, but that's a cost we accept while doing this work"

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: July 20

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for July 20th including context on crit item adjustments we've seen on the PBE,  the new Cursor added in 8.14, and issues with locked camera and the minimap.
"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 delayed or even stopped. If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up:

Crit Item Adjustments

As you've probably seen we're trying some crit item balance changes on the PBE at the moment, aiming to have something in 8.15. We'll talk about that work in some more detail later sometime in the next few days. At a high level though our goals there are:
Shift some crit marksman power from late game to earlier in the game so that they get to switch on earlier (cheaper items and potentially easier build paths, slightly lower stats as a result)
Drop Zeal items to 25% crit to get rid of bad feels around overcapping crit with IE
Improve how IE crits feel (floating combat text work at least, maybe some mechanics changes too)

Overall we're particularly focused on satisfaction with this round of changes, targeting things that make playing crit ADCs feel poor, not just looking at power. Likely there'll be some further small adjustments early next week too.

Locked Camera and Minimap

We're looking into what changed with locked/semi locked camera and the minimap in 8.14. No changes to behavior were intended so we'll figure out what's causing some buggy behavior reported and get it addressed.

New Cursor

As of patch 8.14 this week the updated cursor's out, hope it's treating you well so far. For anyone that missed it if you'd much rather just use the old one instead it's easy to swap back to it. Just go to the Interface section of the Options menu."

When asked for his thoughts on FizzMeddler replied:
Any thoughts on Fizz after the changes? He feels smooth to play but pretty weak, when can we expect followup changes?
We'll likely have Fizz buffs in 8.15. Liking how the W feels/works, looks like we took too much power out though. Goal was power neutral, so we'll get some back in."

As for champions that may need balancing with the crit item changes, Meddler ommented:
Hey Meddler. What about Yasuo and Trynd? They got buffs to compensate crit changes,but after seeing PBE changes I am worried that they will be a little too strong(They both like these changes)
Once we know exactly what we're doing with crit items we can look at any individual champs who'll then be left too strong or weak as a result. Possible that's a pre-emptive thing with the item changes, more likely it's once we see how they're impacted when the patch goes out. Agree there's risk champs who've been buffed post 8.11 end up too strong, want to make sure if we're nerfing them it's because we're very confident that's the case though, not as a just in case thing."

Meddler continued:
I'm confused by the crit item changes on the PBE. The changes seem to revert a lot of the mid season changes. 
How confident are you that these changes won't revert the meta back to marksmen only, or even crit marksmen only, in Bot lane? Really curious to hear your reasoning on this. 
Semi-related - When experimenting on the PBE, to compensate for the small sample size of games, do you make larger changes than you think is actually needed so that the effects are amplified and easier to validate? I feel like I've noticed this a few times, I'm curious to know your design process.
The risk of overbuffing and pushing all non marksmen out of bot's on our mind. At the same time we feel it's pretty important to improve crit marksmen feels, so don't want to use that as an argument for doing nothing. We believe there's a midpoint between the pre 8.11 state of things and 8.11's and changes here are looking to find that. It's shifting some things back towards the prior state, but certainly not going the whole distance. We're also still working on the details, so while the direction on PBE is what's intended the exact numbers may still change. 
In terms of testing changes like this PBE games aren't very useful themselves, given as you say small sample size, plus things like limited pool to matchmake from, people not trying seriously, lot of afking/quitting etc. We tend to rely more on internal tests, community discussion off datamined changes and mathematical analysis of changes instead as a result."

As for whether the legacy cursor would ever be removed, Meddler noted:
Hey Meddler, will the legacy cursor be remove in the future like the legacy client or will be there forever?
No plans to remove it. If usage ends up being effectively zero might consider taking it out someday, but even then wouldn't be hurrying.

Meddler noted the next champion roadmap would be coming soon:
When's the next champ roadmap? There was a post on reddit a few weeks back talking about a potential update. Is it going to happen? And if so, what's the scope?
Next champ roadmap should be in the first half of August. 
Ezreal's a champ we'd like to do an update on at some point (mainly new art and updated VO, probably changes to his W). Not sure exactly when that'll be though."

Meddler commented on bot lane diversity:
The bot lane diversity will be kept imo bcz the ADCs are weaker and more punishable early to allow for that to happen.
We think that's pretty important here. The early base AD penalty, lowered health regen and Fleet Footwork nerfs are likely doing a lot here. Crit item changes definitely contribute too, but at a higher feel bad to impact ratio. We think they're a good spot to restore some better feels as a result."

As for support item changes, Meddler commented:
Any context on the support item changes? It looks to me like the removal of 3 health pot/refill pot starts will only widen the gap between poke supports and enchanters/tanks
The goal there's to reduce the degree to which supports can bully the enemy CSer in bot lane. Having 3 pots lets them trade pretty hard and gives them a bit too much early influence over how the lane plays out. 
We're not looking to buff poke supports though, so if needs be could pair the change with some nerfs. Having said that enchanters/tanks tend to have more inherent sustain/protection, so the pots also account for a lower proportion of their total effective health pool. Isn't necessarily a buff to poke like Zyra/Brand at least as a result, given they're down a pot too."

Champ Memotions Contest Voting Begins 

Here's SandalwoodGrips with more on the Champ Memotions contest voting:
"The time to submit is over, the time to vote has begun! We've received some incredible entries from all of you, now we need your help finding the best of the best! Head over to Woobox to vote on your favorites! Winners will be announced on or before Friday, 7/27! To everyone who created a piece and submitted, thank you and good luck!"
Head on over to WOOBOX to vote for your favorites!

Quick Hits

  • Riot NeuroCat has tweeted an updated Fizz PBE changelist!
[1] "So remember those Fizz buffs for 8.15? Well, based on feedback and internal testing, we're increasing them. Here's what we're thinking now:"
[2] "As a side note, we'll be testing some tweaks internally to try to make the on-hit buff feel better on Fizz. I'll let y'all know if those look like they are going to ship." 
[3] "The buffs above should be showing up on the PBE during the next deploy."

"I'm not on the teams, but I know there were a number of people investigating this on Thursday/Friday. I don't personally know when it's getting fixed, but I'm assuming there's something in testing. I'll message the teams and try to remember to followup here too. 
UPDATE: So talking to folks it seems that there hasn't been a good resolution found for the bug yet, though investigation is going to continue. Around the discussion around disabling snowball, the current decision by the team that owns ARAM has been to leave it enabled given that a number of champs actually rely on it to be playable for the mode. It's a bit of a rock and a hard place, disabling it makes sense from one perspective (it's the bug that everyone can abuse if they take snowball), but disabling it is actually a pretty huge detriment to the rest of the champions on the mode. Ideally we're able to find a fix asap and deploy it - sorry that's all the info I have atm"
  • Here is a look at a new art featuring Kayn, Ekko, Lucian, Lux, Annie  shared across several of Riot social media channels. Full version available via the LoL Facebook page.
A larger version with just Kayn, Lux, and Ekko is also available.


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • Dark Star Cho'Gath is now available, with 100% of proceeds going to regional charities! From now until August 10th, you can grab the skin, border, new summoner icons, and an emote! Check out our coverage for more!
  • The free skins promotions on Riot social media are heading to the vault! Check out the full details on this page to redeem Riot Girl Tristana, Dreadnight Garen, and Unchained Alistar before August 1st!

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