1/30 PBE Update: Even More Tentative Balance Changes

Posted on at 2:59 PM by Aznbeat
[Added Visual Effect Updates: Kennen, Olaf, Wukong and Riven]

The PBE has been updated! As we continue the 9.3 PBE cycle, today's patch includes more tentative balance changes!
Continue reading for more information!

(Warning: PBE Content is tentative and subject to change - what you see below may not reflect what eventually gets pushed to live servers at the end of the cycle! Manage your expectations accordingly.)

Table of Contents


Visual Effect Updates: Kennen, Olaf, Wukong and Riven 

Here's Riot Beardilocks with details on new VFX updates coming to the PBE soon:
"Hello everyone! 
Similar to the previous updates to Anivia, Dr. Mundo, Gragas, Jarvan, Lee Sin, Renekton, Veigar, and Vi, we're working on updates to the Visual Effects (VFX) and Sound Effects (SFX) of more champions whose spell effects are in need of some love. These are updates to the visuals and sounds only, and do not include any gameplay updates. Our aim is to get their FX to current League standards and improve gameplay clarity. In Patch 9.4, we'll be releasing VFX and SFX updates for and Wukong, and VFX-only updates Olaf, Riven and Kennen (he already received some SFX love a few patches ago). 
We're looking for early feedback now on these videos, but they will be added to the PBE soon. Please try them out there —especially if you're a main—when they're available and leave us your feedback! 
Kennen 
VFX update across the board to clean up unnecessary noise and improve gameplay clarity.
Kennen received SFX updates several patches ago
 
BA - Basic attacks are more easily distinguished from Q
Q - Q is more distinguished from BA, has increased satisfaction and a unique impact VFX
W - Increased visual satisfaction
E - Kennen has all new VFX for lightning rush. This has a key change to keep Kennen's silhouette during the animation for gameplay clarity, with an added range indicator. Blood moon Kennen has received a similar update, and Super Kennen has a superhero pose, though it still uses base VFX
R - Increased visual satisfaction and reduced noise
P - When Kennen procs his passive on a champion or monster it now has a clear 3 mark VFX to show the source of the stun. Passive marks on minions are reduced in size and brightness to add clarity to gameplay 
Please note that all skins other than Blood Moon use Kennen's Base VFX (with the exception of their unique shaped shuriken)





Olaf 
VFX update across the board to clean up unnecessary noise and improve gameplay clarity. 
BA - Basic attacks now have swipes and a new hit effect
Q - Q missile now has a hitbox indicator. The pick-up range is now visible. Pick-up also has a new effect
W - Increased visual satisfaction and readability. Removed old noisy runes. Heal effect is now clearer, too
E - New lightning effect and swipes!
R - Clearer and better visuals for R activation and buff. Olaf doesn't turn just red anymore. 
All of Olaf's skins have been updated to be closer to these VFX. Brolaf has some new unique VFX.

Riven 
VFX update across the board to clean up unnecessary noise and improve gameplay clarity. 
BA - Cleaned up noise (removed the blood!)
Q - All three Q's have unique slashes, and now properly show the area of damage
W - Updated the ability to bring it more into League's current visual style, while providing more clarity to the hitbox
E - Riven's sword pieces now shield her when she dashes. Also brought the shield up to current VFX standards
R - Cleaned up the random visual effects that play around her body/hand, but added more emphasis/glow on her sword. All abilities should now properly reflect the larger ranges during ult, and the Wind Slash is now clearer and more unified.
P - The hilt of her sword (and the first shard of it) should now glow when her passive is active. Cleaned up the noise. 
Please note that none of Riven's animations or actual gameplay have been changed at all.

Wukong 
VFX update across the board to clean up unnecessary visual noise 
BA - Basic attacks now have a swipe and new hit effect
Q - Q now has a cleaner more powerful swipe, unique hit effect, and removed noisy fx
W - Removed unnecessary amounts of clouds and pushed back visual priority
E - New clouds and wisps!
R - Clearer visuals
Some skins have received minor updates to reduce unnecessary noise and increase satisfaction of their VFX 
Sound effect updates are planned for Wukong for 9.4, but are not included in this preview video. Keep your eyes peeled on this post for SFX updates!

Please let us know if you have any feedback on these video previews, they will all be available on the PBE soon!"

Balance Changes

NOTE*: The PBE is a testing grounds for new, tentative, & experimental changes. Be aware that what you see below may be relative to other changes earlier this cycle! These are not official notes.

Champions
Cassiopeia
[Cassiopeia has other changes in testing on the PBE!]
  • Noxious Blast (Q)
    • total damage lowered from 75/120/165/210/255 to 75/110/145/180/215
    • AP ratio increased from 80% to 90%

Ezreal
[Context]
  • Arcane Shift (E) damage reverted from 80/120/160/200/240 to 80/130/180/230/280
  • Trueshot Barrage (R) 
    • damage reverted from 300/450/600 to 350/500/650
    • bonus AD reverted from 80% to 100%
    • AP reverted from 100% to 90%

Lucian
[Context]
  • Ardent Blaze (W) 
    • Mana cost reverted from 70 at all ranks to 50 at all ranks
    • Damage reverted from 75/115/155/195/235 to  85/125/165/205/245

Items
Molten Edge (Ornn Masterwork Item)
[Molten Edge has other changes in testing on the PBE!]
  • AD increased from 105 to 110

Runes
Magical Footwear (I2)
[Context]
  • Free boots time reverted from 12 minutes to 10 minutes

Context & Notes

1) Maple Nectar noted a few changes this cycle would be reverted:
"We'll be pulling Lucian, Ezreal, and Free-Ass Boots from the patch. We were going to nerf Lucian preemptively given that the crit item changes coming in 9.3 are a bit power down at 1 item, but power positive at 2nd and 3rd relative to live. Given that Lucian is already the predominant lane bully in bot lane he has potential to make life continually rough for crit adcs who we intend to feel better going into this patch. We will be avoiding the Riot Special though, and will wait to see how things shake out. Him and Ezreal are super high on our radar."

2) Check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 30th, including thoughts on refinements to bounties, healing on Akali's Q, and updated movement animations:
"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 
Refinements to Bounties 
We've got some adjustments to how bounties from CSing are calculated coming in 9.3. Our goal with introducing CS based bounties was to recognize when players and their teams were substantially ahead via CS gold and give catch up opportunities in those cases, rather than only when a player was ahead on kills. In some cases that's been working well, in others however players have been ending up with CS bounties not because they're ahead, but because they've caught up since their last death. We'll be making some changes behind the scenes to the CS bounty calculation as a result so that the threshold to hit a bounty better reflects actual game state, meaning that you should only have a bounty from CSing when you're meaningfully ahead. 
Healing on Akali Q 
At this point it's likely we'll be taking the healing off Akali Q. We're doing so because we believe the current set of tools Akali has means she's lacking in sufficient weaknesses, in lane in particular. Sustain is generally a tool we give to characters who have weaker all ins, or difficulty making an all in happen when they want. Akali's pretty good in both those regards however. Trying to trade and gradually grind down a champ with all in strength's normally a good response, sufficient healing nullifies that as a weakness however. Couple that with decent waveclear from Akali (in part because she uses energy, not mana), plus decent roaming to take advantage of that pushing, and it's hard to find strong enough weaknesses against her. That lack of clear enough weakness is then amplified again by Akali's ability to flex between multiple positions, allowing her to sometimes take a more advantageous match up. Being a flex pick isn't an inherently problematic thing, but it does add additional power to an already hard to punish kit. 
It's certainly possible that removing Akali's healing leaves her in a pretty rough spot overall though. In cases like this where a champion's been problematic for an extended period we've had decent success in the past by taking a heavy pass to them to remove issues, then going back and adding power shortly after if needed once we've seen where they've landed. Zoe early last year was a good example of that, proving very difficult to get into an ok spot power and frustration wise with a series of smaller adjustments. Only after we took a really heavy pass and then put some power back in were we able to get her to a better, more stable state. We're looking at potentially bringing Akali's based HP5 up to average, from quite low, in 9.3 alongside the nerf, larger compensation, if needed, would be later though. 
More Updated Movement Animations 
We’ve got another round of updated walk/run (mainly) animations hitting the PBE shortly. Feedback on these once they’re there much appreciated. As before we’re targeting movement animations generally because they’re seen so often, so they’re a great way to improve a champion’s overall visual quality for the time involved per animation.
  • Dr Mundo - Mundo does things his way. In this case that means getting an updated Q throw animation instead of a walk or run anim.
  • Gragas - Updated base run
  • Katarina - Updated base run
  • Lux - New no boots walk anim and updated base run
  • Shen - New no boots walk
  • Twisted Fate - New no noots walk anim
  • Zyra - New no boots walk"
Check out [THIS PAGEfor a comprehensive list of the new content & changes currently on the PBE as a part of this cycle or catch up with the individual update links below !

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