Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: August 29th, Nexus Blitz Patch Notes & More

Posted on at 12:52 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for August 29th, patch notes for the Nexus Blitz alpha in 8.17, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: August 29 

Check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for August 29th, including current thinking on Worlds balance and more:
"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: 
Next post: Some Early Preseason Details 
For the second post later this week we're gonna have Scruffy jump in again with some further details on things we're experimenting with for preseason. Potential changes include buffs to early tower durability, changes to bounties based off learnings this year and snowball/comeback focused work. 
Current thinking on balance for Worlds 
We did some planning recently to identify initial targets for Worlds balance. Run through of that below. As usual this is subject to change. Worlds will be played on the 8.19 patch, though we're aiming to have a lot of the changes in for 8.18 in case any of them need followup. We believe the pro meta's in a decent spot overall. The overall targets we're using for Worlds balance are: 
  • An interesting and fun to watch experience is most important from a viewer perspective.
  • A diverse meta's good, but not as important as interesting matches (better low diversity and exciting games than high diversity and slow, uneventful play repeatedly)
  • No champions should be 100% pick/ban, or very close to it
  • No major disruption (minimal systemic changes especially, changes to individual champs especially are more appropriate)
  • While we're putting more attention into pro balance for the next couple of patches, ideally any changes made should be positive for regular play as well. If not they should at at minimum not be highly harmful to regular balance. That's the case in particular when it comes to buffing champs, with a fair number we believe could buff into pro play relevance but only by making them inappropriately strong for regular players. 
Based off those principles the changes we're currently looking at making are as follows. 
  • Trundle - Jungle dominance
  • Gragas - Jungle dominance (though does lead to interesting early play, especially with increasing common Predator builds)
  • Gnar - pushing champs out of top lane
  • Ryze - limiting mid picks
  • Braum - dominant support pick 
  • Renekton (lacking from top and has some room for buffs in regular play as well)
  • Vayne (unseen in pro, on the weak side in regular play) 
Some other points: 
  • Top Lane - Watching a range of champs for their performance top, though nothing currently slated for them (Aatrox, Sion, Ornn, Cho, Mundo). Also want to ensure we're not balancing in a way that leaves blind picking a tank for top each type the default, low risk behavior.
  • Mid lane - While it would be cool to see Zed we don't have the room to buff him in regular play. Ekko would be interesting too for playstyle diversity, also lacking in regular play room though, plus has some tendency to low risk play at times (wave clear with Q, R to prevent deaths happening etc). Attractiveness of Galio is likely to change a lot depending on how safe tanks are as picks in other positions.
  • Electrocute/Dark Harvest - We're expecting some migration from Electrocute to Dark Harvest, especially for junglers, given they don't get much benefit from the lower Electrocute CD but certainly feel the damage nerf. Watching to see who that benefits/hurts.
  • Akali - Suspect we'll need to nerf her, want to give her a bit longer to see where she settles though, to better understand both how strong she is with a more experienced player base and how large the delta between pro and regular play is or isn't
  • Sejuani - A likely pro issue, especially with nerfs to Gragas and Trundle planned. At the same time she's in a pretty sad state in regular play. Might be able to find changes that lower pro value without further hitting regular, those sorts of changes are riskier to land accurately though which is a concern at this time of year.
  • Kai'Sa - Possible we chip her down given her consistently high presence and usefulness. Still discussing however. She doesn't have strong lane counters, marksmen in general are fairly blind pickable however.
  • Tahm Kench - Trying to get a better understanding of where the 8.16 changes left him. Was certainly a concern beforehand, unclear how big an issue he currently is. TK's a particular concern if too common a pick given he can dampen action more than most champs.
  • Annie - Possible we see some support play from her again, given the AA range nerf was what previously pushed her out of the meta. Also very possible things are just different enough now that that won't matter too much."

When asked about the 8.18 PBE cycle and it's lack of new content, Meddler commented:
Can i ask why yesterday we didn't have any PBE new content?
I'm not sure if we had issues with the PBE deploy yesterday or just that nothing was ready for day one. On the gameplay side there'll be a fair number of balance changes in 8.18, including a number of the things talked about above. We've been using the first part of each patch development cycle to work on preseason development though, so those changes will arrive gradually, rather than being mainly there day one as they've sometimes been in the past. 
In terms of non gameplay content from memory 8.18's a lighter patch in some other regards, so PBE might be a bit quieter than usual."

On GarenMeddler commented:
"Yeah, still interested in getting a bit more skill expression on Garen, though wouldn't prioritize it over working on other champs in more need right now. Wouldn't expect buffing his passive to be a particularly fruitful way of doing so though, given its a forgiveness mechanism for when Garen gets punished. Suspect best case scenario is that it's a very expensive way (in terms of power added) to get slight skill expression added, worst case scenario being that it significantly further widens the gap between low MMR and high MMR Garen play."

As for ZoeMeddler noted:
Any thoughts on Zoe?
Work on adjusting what it's like to play against Zoe's still underway. Nothing concrete to share at present, will update when we've got something."

On Elise and NidaleeMeddler commented:
"Elise - potentially, especially given she's not out of line in solo queue. She does risk becoming pick/ban if overbuffed easier than most, but we've been considering something for her. 
Nidalee - Less likely. Not impossible, but performance in solo queue at high MMR's a point of caution for us on her."

On VeigarMeddler commented:
Any hints about Veigar's future update?
I could see us doing one at some point, lot of champions we'd need to do VGUs for before Veigar though, so would expect it to be quite a way off. Think his gameplay pattern's pretty reasonable at this point so no plans for a gameplay only update at present."

And on Yorick, Meddler replied:
"We should have a good picture of how 8.17 has landed in terms of solo queue champion balance within a couple of days. Can then see if Yorick needs immediate followup.
The issue with Mist Walkers, as with most AI in PVP games, is that their effectiveness doesn't vary much with their allied player's skill. Opponents get better at playing against them as they become more skilled, but the value Yorick gets from them increases at a lower rate. That's an issue also visible on other non directly controlled minions like Malz, Zyra, Heimer who've also shown some of the low/high MMR issues over the years. It's certainly possible to mitigate it, usually by giving the summoning player more ability to somewhat direct the minions in question (e.g. Zyra's AAs guiding plants) or with skill tests that do translate into increased minion effectiveness (e.g. Yorick's E). Would like to do some work on Yorick in that regard at some point, smooth out his low/high delta a little. For 8.17 we felt we needed to bring him down a bit however, and that sort of work takes time and involves some risk. His high MMR performance has also been fairly strong recently."

Reav3 also popped in to clarify a comment on Wukong:
"Just wanted to jump in and clarify my comment since I think it has been misconstrued a bit. I was specifically speaking about Champions team giving Wukong a full VGU, not a minor gameplay update (Which are generally handled by the Live Gameplay team these days) We do take player request into consideration with VGUs, but that is only one factor, and my comment was more about why Wulong wasn't super high priority for a VGU right now (Which also doesn't mean that we would never update him, just that their are higher priority candidates at the moment). 
For example, a Champion like Nunu was highly requested in all Riot regions for a VGU, had outdated gameplay, and very low quality art, which makes him a higher priority than Wukong who is only requested highly in some regions, has decent but not great gameplay, and has decent but not great art. Champions like Nunu or Morde are genernally going to be higher value then a Champion like Wukong for a VGU (At least right now.) 
Ezreal is obviously a Champion that also bucks this trend, and if Ezreal goes really well and smaller VgUs are something we do more often in the future, Wukong could be a good candidate for something like that as well."

Reav3 continued, giving a list of highest priority champions for a VGU:
"Sure, current highest priority targets (Not including ones already announced) are Amumu, Dr. Mundo, Corki, Fiddlesticks, Mordekaiser, Nocturne, Rammus, Pantheon, and Volibear.
This always shifts and changes of course, this is just our current thinking."

Nexus Blitz patch notes 

Here's SpaceNorth with Nexus Blitz patch notes for Patch 8.17:
"Patch 8.17 marks the halfway point of the Nexus Blitz alpha, and while it's still too early to tell if the mode will stick around, we're thrilled with the response so far. Today we're talking about common feedback trends and questions, and sharing some changes coming with the next patch. 
8.17 Changes 
Reminder: We patched in Scuttle Racing (event), Wrath of the Hunter (reward), and a bunch of balance changes during the 8.16 patch. Check your week 1 and week 2 boards threads for details! 
Some Good Questions 
Will we get ranked mode, draft pick, or bans if Nexus Blitz becomes permanent? 
We set out to build a mode with less pressure than Summoner's Rift, so the plan is to avoid a lot of the metagame features that lead to hypercompetitive feels. These have been pretty common requests, though, so we're looking into what we can accommodate for the future. 
Old items are really exciting! Add more! 
Why did you make janky Summoner's Rift instead of a new map? 
Everything you're seeing on the map right now is temporary for the sake of the alpha. If Nexus Blitz becomes permanent, it'll get its very own high-quality map with a unique thematic identity! 
Why does Nexus Blitz take so long to load up? 
Like other things, this comes down to the alpha nature of Nexus Blitz. We've been focusing on critical needs first, like a functioning queue and an exciting events system that keeps you coming back. That said, we're looking into a few load time trends to see if there are any simple fixes to make things faster. 
Wait lol why am I playing against challengers I am silver please help? 
We’re using a similar approach to matchmaking that’s been used for rotating game modes in the past, but every mode requires different considerations. While we've managed pretty fast matchmaking (which is huge for this mode), we've also seen some match-ups that are... questionable... particularly for the first few matches you play. It’s definitely not the desired experience, and something we'll be looking at for future prototypes or if NB becomes a permanent mode. 
Riot, how am I supposed to do King of the Hill when the circle is in their fountain? 
We want each event to be an exciting moment where either team could make an awesome play and win, even when one team has a big lead going into it. The event system currently overcompensates in some cases, though, creating bad scenarios like a circle in the fountain. We're still tuning this part of the feature, including some 8.17 work (see above). 
Champ balance seems [good/bad]. [Good/bad] job Rito! 
For a less competitive mode, we think Blitz is doing pretty well on the balance front. We want you to be able to pick whichever champ you feel like playing and so far that seems to be the case. One specific observation we're excited about: almost any champion can viably jungle if paired with the right partner. 
Are you adding or removing any more events and rewards during alpha? 
We've got a few more additions in 8.17! In terms of removing or reworking events and rewards, our plan is to keep everything in since the alpha only runs for two more weeks. We'll then evaluate what worked and what didn't, and make deeper changes (including additions/removals) if we bring Nexus Blitz back. 
Thanks for checking out the patch notes! The next event begins in thirty seconds—get in game and let us know what you think of it (and all the other new features)."

Riot August also posted a new Nexus Blitz feedback thread - Nexus Blitz - Week 3 Feedback and Patch Notes:
"Week 2 feedback thread 

This post marks the halfway point of the alpha, and patch 8.17 is shipping with a bunch of feature updates. You can read the full list here, but for convenience, here's a quick summary: 
  • Two new events: Paranoia Royale and Loot Veigar
  • A new reward: Blessing of Caitlyn
  • A new item: Sword of the Divine
  • Changes to the Snowball Fight event
  • Tunings for the Push the Cart, King of the Hill, Bardle Royale, and Juggernaut events
  • Added a scuttle crab nest to bot lane
  • Various balance changes 
We'll be watching for any balance update needs as the patch goes out. 
Keep giving us that feedback!"

Quick Hits

"For the past three weeks, we’ve been focused on listening and learning. As a company, we’re used to patching problems ASAP, but this patch will not happen overnight. We will weave this change into our cultural DNA and leave no room for sexism or misogyny. Inclusivity, diversity, respect, and equality are all non-negotiable. While there is much to improve, there is a tremendous amount of good at Riot that will drive this change. This is our top priority until we get it right."
"Hi all! 
I wanted to give a quick update about PBE and address some things. 
It’s recently been brought to our attention that many of you are running out of RP. As some of you may remember we used to do a daily reset on your RP balance. We’ve made some changes to our systems and the service that automatically reset your balance broke. :/ 
We’re looking into a fix for this, however, it’s going to take a while for this to take place. 
Over the next few weeks we’re going to be going in and adjusting the Blue Essence price of content to make some things more accessible. We’ve started by making champions 1 BE. 
As a reminder, PBE is meant for players to test out new content and share your feedback. Currently most skins, ward skins, emotes and summoner icons are listed with a low Blue Essence price so that they’re more easily attainable. 
With our adjustment to the Champion Blue Essence price, we will be discontinuing the granting of RP by player support."


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!

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