Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 7th & 9th, Preseason Essence Emporium Opening Soon & More

Posted on at 5:52 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's gameplay thoughts for November 7th and 9th, details on the return of the Blue Essence Emporium, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 7 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for November 7th, with thoughts on Odyssey, Nexus Blitz, & 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: 
Reflecting on Odyssey 
We've been looking back at Odyssey a bit recently and reflecting on how it went and what we can learn from it. A few thoughts from that:
  • There's clearly some interest in PVE within LoL as a substantially different experience, not just as an emulation of PVP play (Co-Op versus AI style). Being able to heavily modify a champion's capabilities and raid style encounters were called out in particular as a lot of the appeal.
  • Most people tried the mode, and a meaningful proportion put quite a lot of games into it. Digging into it both the mode's gameplay and the mode specific missions mattered quite a bit for people who engaged heavily.
  • Friction trying to find a team who wanted to do the same missions you did was the most common source of frustration reported by an enormous margin. We should avoid creating those sorts of conflicts again, via things like changing mission designs or helping players group together with common goals.
  • We'll keep an eye out for another opportunity to try more PVE like this at some point. It's not as inherently replayable as PVP is, but is certainly worth exploring in the future. 
We should also have a dev blog that runs through some stats from Odyssey in the next month or two, covering things like popularity of the different champions, difficulty completion rates, augment usage etc. 
Nexus Blitz 
As we mentioned a few weeks back we're planning on bringing Nexus Blitz back for another test run from 8.24 onwards: 
We're now well into the work on that so wanted to share a few details about how it was going: 
  • We've got a couple new events we're confident in, including one that's especially focused on smaller skirmishes rather than teamfights, in contrast to many of the existing events.
  • We'll be taking out Snowball Fight. While it had its moments, feedback on it was overall noticeably more negative than other events.
  • On the rewards side we'll be cutting a couple unsatisfying / frustrating ones like Blessing of Caitlyn and Cursed Minions,and adding some more fun and memorable replacements.
  • Reshaping of some of the map walls and jungle camp locations is looking promising, giving a bit more of a distinct laning phase and jungle path variety.
  • The map itself should also end up looking noticeably nicer/less like an early prototype. Not currently expecting it'll be as polished as something like SR for this test, but you should see a fair bit of upgrade aesthetics wise compared to the first version. 
Is still on track for patch 8.23. We're working on some final polish at the moment, including likely taking a bit of sustain out of the game overall to avoid laning phases becoming too defensive and safe. Also testing keeping minion spawn at its current time, rather than getting minions and the jungle onto the map earlier. Main point under discussion there is how to assess the value of that time for the invades and action it sometimes offers, which can be strong high moments, versus the larger number of games where it's unused time spent afk/alt tabbed until laning starts."

Meddler provided context on Rageblade changes testing on the PBE:
"Rageblade we're testing some changes to potentially:
  • Broaden its effective user pool
  • Create clearer distinction between it and crit paths (less overlap of items, more distinct power spikes)
Edge of Night:
  • Nothing major looking likely in the short term."

Meddler commented on the state of the Pro meta:
"We've been really happy with the pro meta recently, so aiming to stay fairly similar. If the preseason changes end up shifting things dramatically we'll do some follow up work on them most likely. In terms of safe versus aggressive play we're not trying to remove safe/scaling play from pro, but don't want it to be as dominant as it has been for a long time."

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 9 

Meddler also posted his quick gameplay thoughts for November 9th, with thoughts on balancing for regular and pro play, Rune stats, & 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: 
Better balancing some tanks in both regular and Pro play 
In addition to our other preseason goals we're also putting some work into narrowing the effectiveness difference some champions have in regular play versus in pro play. Right now we're working on Sejuani, Galio and Ornn, each of whom's been a challenge to balance in both contexts. 
Correcting that sort of difference generally involves moving power out of places that are much more effective in pro and putting it elsewhere. Can also involve removing unintended barriers to playing a champ successfully. A good example of both from last year was the Alistar update in 6.22. Some of his CC got shifted from immediate to delayed (E stun), which, along with better buffering on his WQ combo, has narrowed the gap dramatically. He still goes through periods of really high pick/ban rates in pro play, but is in a much better state in regular games (doesn't sit in the low to mid 40s win rate wise for example). 
Details on the champs we're currently looking at below. Please note this is all still work in progress, so likely some things change substantially as we continue testing. Likely at least some of these champs’ changes don’t ship in 8.23 either. 
  • Galio
Nerfs: Waveclear's disproportionately powerful in pro, so we're cutting back on that, with Q damage over time moving to % only which is much less effective against minions. E is then also getting reduce damage to non champions. Finally his ult no longer knocks up more in the center, given coordinated teams are able to get much more value out of that bonus. 
Buffs: More upfront damage on Q and a significantly lower mana cost at higher ranks. Allows more harass, making optimal Galio play less about wave clearing. On the same note his E's getting both a faster dash speed and a slightly lower cast time, making landing it on targets actually trying/able to dodge more feasible.
  • Sejuani
Nerfs: Reducing Sejuani's CC power, targeting durations on Q and E, plus potentially removal of the brief W slow. Also testing lower range on E activation. 
Buffs: Adding strength to her later in the game with better per level health, armor and attack speed. Also just adding damage to Q,W,E, some at rank 1, but mainly loaded into rank up damage. Early game power's highly favored in pro, so scaling stats can be good levers for addressing excessive performance differences. 
  • Ornn
Nerfs: Targeting Ornn not winning trades so reliably in lane with removal of the W shield. R1 slow scales off distance travelled, so less power from just dropping it on someone. R2 knockup reduced on subsequent targets, cutting further power from his initiation and general team fighting. 
Buffs: Higher per level armor and HP here too. Return of Unstoppable on the W, high W damage, revised passive. Ornn changes have the most going on, with more other reasons mixed in as well, rather than a strong focus on just narrowing the pro versus regular play gap. 
Rune Stats and Different Classes 
The changes to rune stats coming in preseason will likely impact some classes more than others. Our plan there is to see where things land and then make quick reactive changes as needed, rather than trying to compensate before scale of effect is clear. Our expectation is that tank supports will probably be one of the most affected groups, given they're end up trading the scaling Health Resolve currently offers, which is really good on them, for a probably weaker mixture of stats. Many of them are quite strong going into preseason, so that's still a case where we believe the best approach is to assess and react quickly, rather than potentially prematurely buffing."

Meddler added:
"Additional note since time of writing: Looks likely we'll put some more time into Sejuani and Galio changes. They'll be in 8.24 or later as a result. Will likely see them gone from the PBE shortly, work's still ongoing though, that just reflects preparing 8.23 for launch. 
For Sejuani something we'll be looking at in addition to, or instead of some of the above changes, is how much power her passive's giving her in pro given how much front loaded power is valued there. Might be a good angle to reduce that instead of some of the CC changes. 
For Galio, considering bigger changes potentially."

On Spear of Shojin, Meddler commented:
"Looking like it might end up in a later patch. We still think it's worth trying to find the right version of a teamfight survivability item for lighter fighters, haven't got something we're happy enough with yet though."

On KalistaMeddler commented:
"We've chosen to put time into other champs like those above rather than Kalista, Azir and Ryze because of how much time we've sunk into them previously with mixed overall results. Fair argument though that Rend capping might be a quick to implement/test and effective lever. Will pick a couple of people's brains on that one, see where thinking currently is."

Meddler talked more about rune stats:
"Current thinking is that we'll cut a bit of sustain, rather than cutting defensive base stats. Increasing ability to survive early burst if you want to spec into it's probably reasonable, inability to get damage to stick when stacking sustain and mitigation's where we're more concerned."

He continued:
"No plans for a fourth slot (oh, unless you mean a fourth option in one of the existing rows, that's still possible). 
CDR wise 10% by 18 is what we believe is correct power budget wise. It can feel a bit janky having odd amounts of CDR pre 18, which is a downside. Per level CDR runes under the old system had a moderate pool of positive users though and our belief is we'll see the same thing here."

Meddler provided a full changelist for Lissandra this cycle:
"Skins VFX - yep, they're on the way. Blade Queen at least should hit PBE today, not certain on exact timing for Program. Coven and Bloodstone should already be there. 
Nerfs - Assessment off a bunch of playtesting is that the current changelist is likely slightly power positive. Going into this patch Liss is already in pretty well performing spot, so our room to tone down on nerfs and/or swap them for different ones with less impact isn't great. Will be adding the 10 base damage at rank 1 onwards back onto W though, no need to nerf early laning at least, later in the game's where we're more cautious about overall power. Also, if our assessment ends up being wrong and she ends up meaningfully weaker than before my starting point would be to consider putting power back in where it was removed. 
Since some of it's not easy to spot on PBE, here's the current full changelist: 
  • Removal of old mana passive
  • W - Damage 70-190 +0.3 (was 70-230+0.4)
  • R - Ratio to 0.6 (was 0.7) 
  • New passive - Enemy champions who die near Lissandra become Frozen Thralls. Frozen Thralls hunt out living enemies and slow enemies around them by 25%. After 4s they explode, dealing 120-520 (+0.3 AP) magic damage
  • MP5/level to 0.8 (was 0.4)
  • Smoother AAs - animation and actual timing better synched, missile speed to 2200 (was 2000), Base attack speed increased to 0.656 from 0.625. AS ratio for AS scaling is still 0.625
  • Q - Mana cost 60-72 (was 75)
  • W - Mana cost 40 (was 50)
  • E - Missile speed starts at 1200, decelerates to 640, takes 1.25s to get to end point (1050 range). Makes short casts a bit more useable without adding faster long range initiation or escapes. Previous version for reference is 850 speed throughout, takes 1.25s to get to end point (1050 range) 
Can understand concern around removal of some ratio and a bit of base damage later in the game, in particular from the angle of 'will Lissandra still be able to burst squishy targets?'. Belief off testing so far is yes. If that stops being the case will move power around so she's still got some burst threat though."

On Zoe, Meddler replied:
"Nothing at present. Changes being tested didn't work out so well. She's now in the reassess after preseason bucket."

Riot MapleNectar also commented on Zoe:
"We haven't been putting time into those atm. In the midst of preseason work we have had very little time to devote to individual champ work, and for designers that did have time we've been putting it into those pro play victim champs who we can hopefully bring back to rough parity. I suspect some of her frustration will go away when you have MR to start the game (less poke/burst in lane phase), but should she continue to be an issue we'll work on her again I'm sure."

Preseason Essence Emporium opening soon 

Here's Riot Evaelin with details on the return of the Essence Emporium:
"Welcome (back) to the Essence Emporium! We’re kicking things off at 11:00 a.m. PT on November 20 and will be open for business until December 3, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. PT. During that time, you can snag chromas, gemstones, icons, wards, emotes, and other exclusives for Blue Essence. 
Here’s what’s new: 
  • 2,000 BE – Preseason chromas (Includes all chromas currently individually sold in the store, released between January and June of any year. See the full list of available chromas at our FAQ here. Listed chromas released in 2018 will also be on sale for 195 RP).
  • 2,500 BE – Mystery Mini icons, series 3 (with 8 new icons available)
  • 4,000 BE – Essence Emporium exclusive Baron Hat Poro Icon
In case you missed the last Essence Emporium, here’s what’s coming back:
  • 1,500 BE – Mystery icons (Does not include esports icons, may contain Mystery Mini Icons)
  • 2,500 BE – Mystery Mini icons, series 1 and series 2
  • 4,900 BE – Mystery wards
  • 6,000 BE – Essence Collector Ward
  • 50,000 BE – Make It Rain Emote
  • 50,000 BE – Gemstone + Gemstone Knight Icon
  • 75,000 BE – Moneybags Emote
  • 75,000 BE – Gemstone + Gemstone Prince Icon
  • 100,000 BE – Gemstone + Gemstone King Icon
  • 150,000 BE – URFWick skin
Blue Essence gifting for wards and icons (both Mystery Mini and regular mystery icons) will also be available for the duration of the Essence Emporium. 
As a preseason bonus, the following will also be on sale: 
  • Summoner Name Change (50% off RP – 650 RP)
  • Rune Pages (50% off RP and BE – 295 RP | 3150 BE each)
  • XP boosts (all 50% off RP) 
For more information, check out our Player Support FAQ. We’ll see you in the Essence Emporium starting on November 20th!" 

Quick Hits

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"The rising stars of Team NXT look to make an impact as their coach TYLER1 prepares them for what lies ahead in the biggest showdown ever! Will ADAM COLE, DAKOTA KAI, SHAYNA BASZLER and JOHNNY GARGANO rise up to meet the challenge?"


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • Worlds Watch Missions are available for a little while longer! If you missed them live, check out the Worlds VODS and gain Worlds tokens for in game loot! Check out the article for more! 

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