Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: Sept 7 & Sept 12, Thanks for Playing Nexus Blitz, & More

Posted on at 9:50 AM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 7th and 12th, a thank you to testers of Nexus Blitz, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


Table of Contents


Quick Gameplay Thoughts: September 7th

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 7th, including thoughts on execute indicators on champions, Smite as the default spell for junglers in 8.18, 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: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler 
Pyke Indicator and other champs 
As mentioned in an Ask Riot post a little while back we've been considering adding an indicator like Pyke has to some other execute abilities. Current plan is to do so for some execute abilities, but not all. Abilities where judging the threshold isn't a core part of the abilities skill check should be good fits for an indicator (e.g. Urgot ult). On the other hand abilities where a really significant part of the skill expression is in gauging the reset we'll likely keep in their current form (e.g. Darius ult). 
In terms of when we'll add those, first up will be Urgot, in 8.19. We're looking to do just one initially as a check on whether this adds meaningful power to a champion or not. 
Assuming that goes well we'll then look at other cases to do shortly after (Cho ult and Garen ult against villains are likely choices, given they've already got indicators which just aren't as clear as Pyke's). 
Smite as a default in matchmade games in 8.18 
In patch 8.18 we'll be making it so, if you're put into a lobby in the jungle position for any map, you'll have Smite automatically put in as one of your summoner spells if you don't already have it. You'll be free to swap which key it's on, or even replace it with another Summoner Spell entirely (this isn't like Nexus Blitz where Smite's mandatory for those queued as jungle). Goal of the change is to avoid cases where someone wants Smite but forgot to take it, not change Summoner Spell usage at all otherwise. 
Nexus Blitz Alpha 
Nexus Blitz's alpha test run comes to an end next week when patch 8.18 goes out. We'll then pore over all the data and feedback we've gathered to figure out what next steps for it should be. We'll let you folks know what our thinking is as soon as we've got a concrete plan to share. From a process perspective can say this style of experimental mode on the live servers has been really helpful for us, so regardless of where Nexus Blitz ends up I expect we'll try another public prototype someday."

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: September 12th

Meddler also posted his quick gameplay thoughts for September 12th, including thoughts on the Worlds balance for 8.19, Rek'Sai, 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: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler 
Worlds on 8.19 
We've got our second and final round of balance changes with more focus than usual on pro play in 8.19. It'll be the Worlds patch, so we're also leaning towards conservative changes generally. As a recap the principles we're approaching Worlds balance with 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 context on changes we're currently looking at: 
Champions 
  • Ornn, Cho, Sion - Are very high presence in pro play in the play offs. Teams do need tanks though, so our inclination is adjust a couple of items (see below) rather than hitting this champs specifically.
  • Janna - Is currently weak in regular play (especially versus historic expectations). Pro play's also light on enchanters. We're testing a light buff to her passive conversion. Don't want to over buff, but interested in seeing if we can get a bit more niche variety at least in the support position. Buffing the amount of damage her AAs and W get from movement speed's what we're looking at because those are aspects of her kit that tend to have more impact at higher skill levels and Janna's historically overperformed at low/average MMR versus high.
  • Elise and Kha'Zix - Will potentially receive small buffs each. They've both got a bit of room to be stronger in regular games and we think are probably on the cusp of getting occasional pro play. Jungle variety's been fairly good during playoffs, so don't want to swing hard here, would be nice to get a couple more non tanks in play though.
  • Urgot - We're looking at him, but trending towards not making any changes. Some risk he ends up pick/ban and/or that mid ends up dominated by tanky picks. At the same time he's an interesting emerging pick and one that we believe has some not yet demonstrated counters.
  • Olaf - Also on watch, but likely not get changed. He's getting a lot of play, but provides something pretty different in the jungle.
  • Gnar - This is technically a really late 8.18 change, mentioning for those who missed it earlier this week though. Gnar's priority in pro has dropped a lot, so we've pulled the Armor nerf we previously had in, doesn't look necessary.
  • Kai'Sa - Is getting a lot of play. We haven't yet seen the 8.18 nerfs in action though and believe they'll have some effect. No further changes planned as a result. 
Items: 
  • Liandry’s - We're looking at a buff to Liandry’s, both due to its general weakness and so it does a better job as a HP stacking counter. Current direction we're testing is making it also do 2% damage, so that it can function a bit better as a HP counter without also requiring the correct kit and/or Rylai's as much.
  • Warmogs - Is arguably invalidating damage put onto some champs too much, letting teams recover from punishment in team fights/poke a bit too well. We'll probably chip some power off it, though won't be going for any really major changes here. 
Rek'Sai 
A while back I mentioned we were looking at Rek'Sai buffs which never ended up happening. Wanted to share a bit of context as to why since I see them getting asked about a fair bit still. At time of mention our assessment was Rek'Sai was underperforming across the board, so we had room to add some straight power to her. 
Looking into things a bit deeper though we realized she was performing quite well at higher MMR already and that straight buffs would be inappropriate. She does have a fairly steep learning curve, and underperforms at low/average MMR though, so will feel weak to quite a lot of players. Would like to do some work to smooth out her early accessibility a bit as a result, that's a much larger task though than just adding power so it didn't fit within the time we had allocated. Expect we'll come back to her at some point, not sure on when though."

Meddler added:
"Oh, one addition - after talking/testing might be going back to Liandry's still rewarding the target being CC'd, just with both numbers being buffed and the difference proportionally smaller. Testing 1.5% normal/2.5% if CC'd right now, with 5 AP taken off Liandry's as well."

On Support changes, Meddler noted:
"It's looking more likely that we don't do them at present. Combination of other work being higher priority and debate over whether the approach being proposed was the right one. Will update you folks if they get back on the docket at some point."

Meddler continued:
"Problem statement was that the gold gen mechanics are designed for lane, so don't always appropriate post lane (e.g. FQ's numbers are tuned for laning and difficulty proccing Targon's when your team just kill everything before you can). Some debate over how big an issue that is, also some concerns that solutions potentially add additional complexity to items that already have a lot of different parts already. 
In terms of timing, this was a potential preseason project, not something for right now. Probably not a preseason thing at this point, will let you know if that changes though." 

When asked about being able to pick your position in blind pick, Meddler commented:
Position select in blind pick - potentially yeah. The folks who'd work on that are currently mainly focused on Clash and the Ranked improvements for next season right now. That's one of the possible projects we've talked about for sometime after that though. Can't make any promises, but is on our radar. 
Games by queue type - Maybe. Let me check with our data folks, see if they've got any concerns about sharing that info. Probably fine to do, I'll put it in a future post if so. One interesting thing is how much some queues vary be region (e.g. non SR modes get much lower play rates in Korea than most other regions for example)."

Meddler commented on the Timewarp/Biscuits/Dark Seal/Corrupting Potion combo:
"Likely we make some changes in preseason at least, possibly sooner. Amount of regen that combo, or variants on it, offers, is stalling some lanes out. We considered an adjustment in 8.19, but concluded that potential disruption to champions using just some of those effects in healthy ways means it's probably not worth the risk for the Worlds patch at least. Still discussing, so conceivable that changes, but more likely we do something a bit later."

On Atma's Impaler and Spear of Shojin, Meddler commented:
"Still potential candidates for preseason, we haven't made a call yet though."

When asked about Nexus Blitz, Meddler responded:
"Will talk about it as soon as we've got concrete plans ready to share! 
I think it's pretty guaranteed you'll see it again in some form. Whether that's another trial run, as a temporary mode or as a permanent addition is something we need to figure out. Lot of data and feedback to go through. It's certainly passed the 'we should do this again' in some form bar though."

When asked about possible Diana work, Meddler replied:
"Very unlikely we do a mini Diana rework this year. Small changes are possible, though priority for Diana work at present will be on two bugs with her Q and E. 
In terms of long term direction there have been arguments for both assassin and more AA like playstyles. We haven't made a commitment to moving her in either direction at present. That's the sort of thing that would get investigated and tested when we were working on an update, whether small or larger."

Thanks for testing Nexus Blitz! 

The Nexus Blitz alpha ended with the release of Patch 8.18, here's SpaceNorth with more:
"And that’s a wrap! 
The Nexus Blitz alpha playtest officially ends when patch 8.18 begins. A big shoutout to all those that participated in the scuttle races, base catapults, and nexus-on-nexus title fights over the last few weeks, and for all the feedback you shared along the way. We learned a lot from this playtest, and are now going through all the data so we can make the call on when or if Nexus Blitz will return. We’ll be back soon to let you know what’s next. 
Thanks for testing our first experimental mode with us!"

Quick Hits

"Hey all! 
Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday’s Clash PBE test! With your help, we were able to successfully exercise the “Revert Step” functionality of our Clash Management Tool (CMT). 
What we learned 
We have built additional confidence around our ability to use the Clash Management Tool to safely bring teams back to Lock-In from Scouting, and have the Tournament proceed thereafter. While we hope to not have to use this feature of the CMT much, having this tool available means we can do more to protect the player experience when things do go unexpectedly wrong. 
We observed similar issues in this test that we saw in our first test last week, involving the Tutorial and players who had very recently created their PBE accounts. While this won’t be a possible scenario for Clash outside of PBE testing, we have taken steps on PBE to prevent this from happening in our next test. 
What’s next 
Our upcoming test will continue to focus on Disaster Recovery, simulating catastrophic events and using the CMT to save the day!
This test is scheduled 9/19, so stay tuned for more details on the timing and how to participate! 
Cheers!"
  • Worlds 2018 Qualified Teams:
    • Play in Stage
      • CN: TBD
      • EU: TBD
      • NA: TBD
      • LMS: TBD
      • BR: KaBuM! Esports
      • CIS: Gambit Esports
      • JP: TBD
      • LAN: Infinity eSports
      • LAS: Kaos Latin Gamers
      • OCE: Dire Wolves
      • SEA: Ascension Gaming
      • TR: TBD
    • Group Stages
      • KR
        • KT Rolster
        • Afreeca Freecs
        • TBD
      • CN
        • Royal Never Give Up
        • Invictus Gaming
      • EU
        • Fnatic
        • Team Vitality
      • NA
        • Team Liquid
        • 100 Thieves
      • LMS
        • Flash Wolves
        • MAD Team
      • VN
        • TBD
      • INT
        • TBD
        • TBD
        • TBD
        • TBD

Reminders

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

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