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Table of Contents
- Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 9th
- What push-to-talk key do you use for voice chat?
- Quick Hits
Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 9th
Here’s Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for 2/9, including thoughts on Zoe, Summoner spell cooldowns, keystone developments, and more:
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 put 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
To state the obvious, Zoe’s been a controversial champion. She creates some really fun moments and does some really unique and interesting stuff. She’s has also been a source of a lot of player frustration and remains too powerful. We’ve been chipping power off her in various ways, overall though they haven’t made enough of a difference. We’ll be nerfing her quite a bit harder in 8.4 (next patch) as a result. In retrospect this is a situation where we should have made larger changes earlier and we need to get better at figuring out when to go from smaller tuning to larger changes in cases like this. We should also have been talking more about our thoughts on her as well, even if that sometimes wasn’t more conclusive than exposing a lot of the debate going on amongst us here.
Likely changes for 8.4:
- Q: Only applies her passive damage on primary target hit. That reduces her wave clear, particularly ability to kill caster minions with one Q, reducing her power from gold and ability to shove/roam as easily. It also makes it harder for her to harass through a wave and makes it easier for allies to block Qs intended for sleeping allies.
- W: Is no longer able to drop teleport. Teleport creates some cool plays, and is the only real out of combat drop to be had. At the same time though its power is generally significantly higher than the options and it doesn’t present opponents with good ways to play around it either (which is particularly important with randomly picked effects).
- E: Drowsy can now be cleansed, preventing the sleep from happening. That makes Cleanse, QSS, Mikael’s noticeably better responses to her. We originally thought that the appropriate degree of cleanse countering Zoe E was to have the player choose between being able to reposition faster before falling asleep (cleansing the slow) or breaking the sleep once it hit. Having seen Zoe get a lot of play since her release though it’s clear at this point cleanse effects ought to be a stronger counter, rather than a partial one.
- E: CD increased, giving more windows where she can’t threaten lethal as well and/or can be engaged on.
- R: Bug fix, but one that’s potentially power impacting: Was granting the ability to move through units for the entire game after the first cast, rather than just for a very brief period when she returned to the cast point.
As you’ve probably noticed, there’s no nerf to her Q damage in that list, though that’s certainly a point of a lot of player frustration. We’re confident the above changes are both a significant power reduction and changes that, regardless of whether we do or don’t also nerf the Q at some point, are improvements to Zoe’s play pattern. If we did follow up with a Q nerf, or if the above ends up being too heavy a hit, we’ll also need to look at appropriate places to give Zoe power (she’s pretty dependent on her Q burst to function). That could involve things like making W’s damage contributions more meaningful later in the game.
Summoner Spell CDs on the Scoreboard
The display of those is currently bugged, making them much harder to read than they should be. On CD Summoners should show as much greyer/dimmer like they previously did. We’re testing a fix for that at present, should be in the next patch at the latest. We’ll also be reverting the orientation change, so Summoner spells are again shown vertically rather than horizontally.
We’re still working on that new keystone for the Resolve tree (probably) previously mentioned. Some aspects of it are still in flux, one thing that’s looking promising (though also not yet guaranteed) is having some of its reward be some dual percent pen (both some % armor pen and some % magic pen). That makes it appealing on champs with mixed damage types, helps out its users against tanky front lines and helps distinguish it from other sustained damage keystones.
One challenge that goes with that is then ensuring that keystone’s best users aren’t exclusively ranged champs, getting another % scaler on already high offense builds, and/or champs building full tanks looking to multiply their base damages. We’re looking at mechanics like a trigger on proximity to enemies, scaling with offensive stats etc as a result.
Following on from a question from earlier in the week: Lissandra. She’s got a couple of issues. She’s too weak and her passive’s not interesting or satisfying to most players. We’ll be taking a look at her sometime in the next few patches (8.6 ish?). Minimum target there is to offer her some more power. It’s possible we also end up improving or replacing her passive, don’t want to make any promises there that we might not be able to deliver on though, beyond that we’ll be at least looking at it.
Amongst other things planning to talk about a couple of other requested topics from this week:
- Marksmen play patterns and thoughts on what’s healthy/unhealthy
- Mastery curves and how we think about them when designing and balancing”
When asked about the Zoe changes on the PBE, Meddler noted:
“It’s likely, though not guaranteed, that all of these changes ship. It’s also possible that we will have to nerf the Q still. We’re making these changes because we believe that, even if the Q also needs nerfs, these are all appropriate changes. If she ends up too weak we wouldn’t revert these nerfs but would instead give her power in healthier ways.
In terms of how we should have done better here, yeah, in retrospect we should have hit Zoe harder like this in 8.1 or 8.2, rather than putting her players through a steady trickle of nerfs while her opponents still had to deal with some inappropriate strengths. That’s something we need to get better at and I think the best response there is to demonstrate by handling future releases, whether VGUs or new champs, better.”
How about having the ability to activate W for the passive damage with no summoner spell attached to it (so you don’t get the MS buff), but have the ability go on CD if you do? this will help wave clear when needed but wouldn’t really buff her a lot IMO
Something along those lines seems promising, find ways to make the W contribute more of a baseline.”
Meddler went on:
“It’s possible this hits her too hard. I feel a good potential parallel here is Camille. We nerfed her in small ways repeatedly early last year, which didn’t solve her problems. After we finally hit her fairly hard we got a much better understanding of how she should/shouldn’t be powerful while she was a bit weak. That let us then put some power back into her in appropriate ways and she’s an effective pick without being the balance challenge she was on release at this point.”
Meddler talked more on the Precision tree:
Are you guys ever experimented with opening up precision for mages? I mean making it more viable to go into precision as a primary tree? Now mages can only go sorcery and only a selected few can go domination, and probably none of them can go precision, even though there could be an interesting gameplay with a DoT pattern with PTA for example. In contrast ADCs can go precision sorcery inspiration maybe even domination, and do fine.
Definitely open to mages in precision primary and it was something we thought about during keystone development in particular (e.g. adaptive damage on PTA or the AP ratio on Fleet Footwork). Hoping the precision stat split opens up a few more opportunities for that to be an effective choice, the Attack Speed’s still arguably too much of a barrier there for many mages though, even at only 50% of its previous value. That does then beg the question of how much playstyle bound stats like that are appropriate on the trees, and that’s something we don’t have enough of a consensus on ourselves yet (but are certainly actively discussing).”
When asked about how the support items have been working out, Meddler commented:
How do you (and probably also the balance and gameplay teams) feel about how the Support Items got received by the playerbase so far? Any potential follow up changes planned yet?
Reception seems ok. We did some surveying and overall satisfaction was about the same before and after the changes. Belief is that reflects some people who are dissatisfied because of the lost options, some people who are genuinely neutral and some who like the build flexibility it gives. We’ll be bringing a standalone Twin Shadows back in 8.4 as the first step to help that first group, then Shurelia’s (Talisman active) in 8.6 most likely. Still considering an Active Item CDR option (though would need to come with an actual Active Item CDR cap) and whether or not a FoTM active replacement is also needed.
In terms of wider ecosystem stuff, there are also some edge cases with non supports utilizing the Bandit passive. Looking into whether that’s abusive and a coming balance problem or just an unusual build that’s fine.”
When asked about the upcoming keystone that has been mentioned in the past, Meddler noted:
I’ll leave a couple of question if you happen to read them and have time in your schedule:
Is the “bruiser” keyston getting placed in Resolve a final desicion?
Is there any talking in the team about making stat bonuses somewhat flexible?
Quick clarification first – we’re aiming to make a keystone that, amongst other things, should be good on bruisers. It’s not intended to be a bruiser only rune, or the only rune bruisers should pick though. In terms of tree, we’re still discussing where it should go. Resolve is most likely, in part to open that tree up to more users who can’t go there at present without too substantial a damage trade off. Possible it ends up somewhere else though, depending on its exact shape.
Few thoughts on stat bonuses, in another comment here. TLDR – we’re talking about it quite a bit internally, but don’t have any immediate changes underway beyond the precision stat split (at least, not yet).
When asked about the jungle item changes that were in testing on the PBE, Meddler commented:
what’s your current thoughts on Jungle items changes ?
I feel like they are very iterative and shouldn’t hit live as such.
Even on pure auto-attacker jungle Talisman overwhelm a 5% life steal Machete.
They’re still pretty experimental. They won’t be in 8.4 at the least and, assuming we ship something in a later patch, will almost certainly change noticeably from what’s on PBE right now.”
On Lissandra, Meddler commented:
So with the Lissandra passive, are you planning on keeping the mana part but make it more intuitive with her ice theme, or just make something entirely new, like how you did with Ashe and moved her old Q to her passive.
More likely just replacing it. It does offer meaningful power, but that power’s not satisfying or particularly engaging. Possible there’s some solution that improves it enough to be worth augmenting instead, but I’d be a little surprised.”
On Swain, Meddler noted:
What are the thoughts on how Swain’s numbers are turning out and the reality of his gameplay? The common notion being his kit is in the right place, but his ultimate is extremely underwhelming — and how a lot of players are still picking him top lane? Any plans with him as of yet, or is it too soon to tell?
Too early to say much. He seems to be around the right ballpark at least. Having said that, it’s also a very different kit, so there’s quite a bit of learning curve there. If I had to guess (personal opinion only now), I’d say he’s more likely to be too strong than too weak, ultimate included. Will talk more about him next week though once things are clearer.”
As for when we would see LeBlanc work, Meddler commented:
“Yeah, it’s planned, but until the 8.4 patch gets locked (middle of next week), hands on work won’t have really started.
AzuBK and August are indeed the folks who’ll be looking at her.”
And on Unsealed Spellbook, Meddler replied:
Hey meddler when can we expect the addition of old summoner spells to unsealed spell book?
Also as a QoL can you let us swap summoners around for free when we have spellbook? As of how spellbook works we need to swap whatever is off CD and that usually leaves us with summoners in the wrong order. The only work around right now is to either wait for the shards and use them to correct it or rebind the summoners around which both feel pretty bad.
Spellbook changes – potentially 8.6.
Swapping buttons around – planning to do that. Takes some UI/engineering work, so I’m not sure where it is on the backlog versus other similar tasks.”
What push-to-talk key do you use for voice chat?
I’m a UX designer working on League’s voice chat and wanted to get your input on push-to-talk. If you have time to answer a couple short questions, it’ll help us a ton. For all you PTT enthusiasts out there…
- What PTT key do you typically use in other games to broadcast? What would you use in League?
- Would you change any other keys you typically use to make room for your preferred PTT key? If so, which ones?
Thanks for your help!
EDIT: Also to clarify: you’ll be able to change the key. We’re interested for thinking about defaults and looking at overlap with keys that already have jobs (which we don’t want to take away, it’s a rough world out there).
EDIT: And for those who aren’t PTT fans, voice activation will be an option. As long as you close your mouth when you breathe.”
- RiotBrightmoon noted tweaks would be coming for Cho’Gath’s new VFX to help with colorblind mode:
“We’re going to work on making this better – because it’s only visible to Cho we can amp up the visibility more, but in addition we will tweak the colors to make it better for colorblind visuals”
- RiotMEMEMEMEME provided some insight on just how many bugs the QA team go through that don’t make it to live:
“Adding a little more to this, there are hundreds/thousands of bugs that have occurred you never see, and when making those priority calls on what is on live, it can sometimes be relative to the greater count of issues. As an example I worked on the Assassins update, between all the Champions there were over 1,400 bugs reported prior to them shipping. That is a slice of the known issues for those champs, many occur and we they never get reported to us, we don’t know the repro steps, there are greater priorities weighed against the current state, ect.”
- DontHassleDaHoff noted the Golden chroma may come back after the event:
“We may bring them back in the future, but that hasn’t been determined yet. A lot of this will be determined by feedback we get from players like you.”
- Riot Stephiroth noted that Kayn wasn’t originally planned for Blood Moon mode, but they worked to get him out due to popular demand:
“FYI we originally weren’t going to ship Kayn for Blood Moon this patch, but due to overwhelming player (and rioter!) sentiment we expedited several test passes of him and got him enabled! Didn’t wanna post til after in case any blockers came up :3 #LeagueOfLegends“
- Wav3break noted Swain was doing well, and would be recieving QOL life updates soon:
“Swain has landed pretty well, most likely looking to do some tiny QoL buffs in 8.4 focused on making Demonflare charge faster and more reliable when running people down. Keeping an eye on ult healing amounts for now, not confident it needs buffs yet.”
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- Hunt of the Blood Moon is now available to play during the Lunar Revel through February 19th!