- Red Post Collection: Gameplay Thoughts 4/7, Midseason Durability Feedback, Ask Riot,OCE Client Update, and more!
- Champion & Skin Sale 4/11 – 4/14
- This Week In Esports [April 3rd – April 11th]
- Free Champion Rotation, Week of April 11th
- 4/10 PBE Update: Xayah and Rakan Bio + Pick/Ban and More Tentative balance changes
- 4/11 PBE Update: Conqueror Karma Splash Art, MSI 2017 Login Theme, Skin Tweaks, & more!
Table of Contents
- Quick Gameplay Thoughts April 11th
- ARSR and experimentation in RGM
- Midseason AD Itemization Changes
- PBE Amumu Context
- Quick Hits – RU Summoner Icons & DUOS: Impact and Ray
Quick Gameplay Thoughts April 11th
Meddler’s returned to the boards with Quick Gameplay Thoughts for April 11 – covering several current PBE changes in testing, Amumu, Support itemization, and more:
Apart from the upcoming duo release (Xayah/Rakan) we’re pretty focused on mid-season right now. Imagine we’ll be talking about our plans for that, possible followup, and actual followup for a while to come.
AD item changes
Along with the durability item changes there are now also some AD item changes on the PBE. They’re part of the mid-season changes too, so won’t be shipping in 7.8, which means they’ll vanish for a few days as we test a final 7.8 build at some point.
More context on the AD changes at the link below, short version is:
- Reducing % armor pen/shred in the item system (too high, invalidating armor purchases too much when multiple sources are stacked).
- Zeal item tweaking to do things to make it so Runaan’s isn’t simply the best choice in too many circumstances (currently best AOE, best single target and best build path), Kircheis Shard isn’t as weak if you have to sit on it for a bit, RFC is more about increased range attacks/less about damage etc
- Tweaking IE, Zeal to offer a bit more of an power spike like other frequent early/mid game items
- Tuning big lifesteal items (BotRK is too strong, others too weak, so nerfing it and buffing Death’s Dance, BT, Ravenous Hydra slightly)
- Making Greivous Wounds less accessible in AD builds
In 7.7 we made some changes to Amumu, which included a new passive that amps magic damage. Due to some internal miscommunication we ended up shipping a version that gives 15% bonus true damage calculated off the amount of magic damage dealt post mitigation. That’s effectively bonus magic damage rather than true, since it’s calculated after MR’s done its things already. We’ll be changing it in 7.8 as a result. Since 15% true damage is a lot stronger than 15% magic damage and Amumu’s looking fairly strong already we’ll be toning that number down though (current value in testing is 8%).
We’ve got some further experimental changes to Randuin’s Omen underway at the moment that will probably be hitting PBE sometime today. Long term we think we’ll probaly position crit as a multiplier that lets marksmen get through tankier targets, without being as effective as it is at present against squishies. We were testing one way of doing that until a couple of weeks ago with IE’s passive being changed so it added armor pen to crits instead of increasing crit damage, though we didn’t get enough confidence from testing that that was something we should ship in mid-season given it’s a pretty major change. In that context Randuin’s having crit reduction didn’t make sense (if crits are for killing tankier targets reduced crit damage arguably belongs on an item for squishy champs instead). Since we’re not going with that change though Randuin’s will likely get its crit reduction back, at least until we potentially look at crits in general again (unlikely to be before pre-season at the earliest).
Support Item Changes
Starting support item changes will be part of the 7.9 PBE deploys at this point, they’re not quite going to be ready in time for testing during 7.8. More details on those to come later in the week. One thing I will mention in advance though is that we’re changing the actions you need to take on the Ancient Coin line to something a bit more noticeable/skill expressive (so optimizing around it gives you more rewards if done well/less if done poorly, rather than being as flat as it currently is).”
When asked for his thoughts on Vlad and Lulu, Meddler commented:
Thoughts on Vlad and Lulu?
At this point we’re generally putting most individual balance assessments on hold for a couple of weeks until we’ve seen the impact mid-season’s had. Lulu’s certainly been popular, and highly banned in some regions though not much in others. Expect we’ll at least look at her. Vlad we’ll definitely want to see impact of item changes etc on before deciding whether to put time into assessing him too.
When asked about BotRK and Talisman, Meddler explained:
two questions from reading this:
- What exactly are the nerfs to BotRK? Personally hoping for a cost increase, to position it in the range of the other major Lifesteal items (3500-3700 gold)…
- Will you change Talisman of Ascension, the T3 Coin line item, beyond the gold generation passive? (I hope not).
Also, I liked the Randuin’s/Crit-for-tank-busting change. Hope it will return come pre-season.
BotRK – currently a small cost increase.
Talisman – No changes currently planned for the active, components or general stats, though number tweaks especially are certainly possible.
I really liked the promise of crit-for-tank-busting, it’s got some definite issues to solve though around things like how much your choice of champion versus build determines, interactions with other sources of armor pen, what appropriate power is versus squishies etc.”
On Ancient Coin, Meddler commented:
I actually wanted to ask about the coin thing because currently it’s really a nice option for new players who tend to play support really passively.
Yeah, there’s some risk there that we make things noticeably more rough for players still learning a bunch of other things. At the same time though we don’t want to limit our ability to make support a more engaging position for experienced players because of players after a simpler or low activity playstyle. Would want to find an alternative way to help those players out if a problem does emerge as a result, rather than restricting our options as much.”
About the coin, are you trying to remake it into a general support item, or something that favors enchanters?
Should still be a good option on Enchanters, looking to make it a broader option too though (should still be an appealing choice on Blitz or Thresh for example both of whom have been regular uses at times).”
On concerns about true damage being too strong on the new Gargoyle Stoneplate, Meddler answered:
Are there any concerns with about true damage negating the downside for the Gargoyle Stoneplate item? Like Chogath ultimate, for example.
There’s a bit of risk there yeah. Not too concerned in most cases, Cho and Darius are potential outliers though. One possible solve, should that actually turn out to be a problem, might be to add a slight self slow to the active so that while their damage may still be high they’re limited in ability to close enough to use it on most targets for the duration.”
After a comment about ARAM queue times on the PBE, Meddler explained:
While I know it is not under your direct influence, testing the ARAM changes on Pbe while simultaneously re-testing Poro King makes for extremely long normal ARAM queues (20-30min+ compared to 10-15mins when Poro King isn’t there at peak hours).
If additional TT changes are tested, please note to consider not also re-testing Hexakill TT during the same cycle.
That’s a good note. It’ll sometimes be unavoidable since there’s always a bunch of stuff to test, and sometimes two teams have to drop work that competes for the same eyeballs in the same patch. Definitely good to try and minimize where possible though.”
When a user commented with concerns about lifesteal, Meddler had this to say:
There have been many changes made to reduce the overall level of sustain in the bot lane (especially around Warlord’s Bloodlust). Is there any concern that the buffs to Lifesteal items might bring back a first item Bloodthirster or BoRK meta that could end up causing the bot lane to go back to high lane sustain due to an early Vamp Scepter purchase?
It’s a possible risk, Vamp Scepter does put you down noticeable other stats for a while though, so there’s some solid trade off there. Less concerned as a result.”
On Lethality, Meddler remarked:
Meddler – Question. You changed turrets to have more armor, and in exchange had them affected by armor pen. Then you removed armor pen from the game and replaced it with lethality and suddenly we got the ADC in 2017 meme. Does lethality affect turrets or did the changes simply make it harder for assassins and carries to take turrets with no compensation?
Lethality gives you flat armor pen and that armor pen affects towers.”
As for thoughts on continuing to make critical strike appealing to more marksmen, Meddler elucidated:
Quick question with the new crit changes you want to introduce, do you also plan on adjusting some of the marksmen champions to make them more compatible with crit?
Long term I suspect we’ll still look at getting Kindred at least happier buying crit. Uncertain on Quinn, though definitely wouldn’t rule it out.”
Meddler also commented briefly on a Xerath exploit that had recently come to light:
Hi meddler, can you tell us if the xerath bug is being looked at? thank you!
The Xerath exploit’s being looked at at present. I gather we’ve also banned some people already for using it too.”
When asked about Malzahar, Meddler explained:
Meddler, Riot has been quite silent about Malzahar’s current state. Tell us anything about him, please. Is Riot aware that his support nerfs are taking him away from his main role at mid? Are there any medium or long term plans for mid malzahar? Does he have a mini-rework scheduled to fix him? Are Riot designers unsatisfied with his kit?
You don’t need to answer all these questions, but it would be good to get a glimpse of hope for Malzahar mid laners.
We’d like to make it so Malz is a decent solo laner again. We also don’t think his support play’s been healthy for the game, so don’t plan on trying to support both solo Malz and support Malz. As a starting point we want to support newly discovered playstyles wherever we can. That stops being the case if they lack appropriate counterplay or are really damaging to game health in other ways though.
In terms of timing on work to get Malz back into solo lanes I’m not sure though sorry, it’s behind the mid-season stuff for focused work right now and might be for a while.”
ARSR and experimentation in RGM
L4T3NCY hit the boards with some context about ARSR and future rotating gamemode experiments:
“Heya guys, we’ve finished the first weekend of ARSR this patch and I wanted to chat about our intentions behind trying this experiments like this one.
TL;DR: We want to be more experimental with the kinds of modes that could show up in the RGM queue. This isn’t at the cost of new modes and old favourites.
A sentiment we saw over the weekend was that “ARSR doesn’t feel like a RGM mode”.
We agree with that. It doesn’t really fit the traditional idea of what RGM modes look like (EG: a Blood Moon or a Doom Bots or even a One For All). We’re interested though in starting to use RGM to experiment a little more with modes like this. For example, on PBE we tried a version of Poro King that had Doom Bots style Ryze portals as a test. I want us to be able to try more tests like this in the future too.
To be clear, we’re still working on big new modes like Blood Moon or Doom Bots and are super excited by those! Unfortunately, the realities of #gamedev mean that not every patch can be a Blood Moon sized ‘new’ mode (I wish). In between though, we don’t want to leave you guys hanging with the same old favourites on repeat forever. Lower scope experiments like these are a faster opportunity, that hopefully lead to there just being more fresh modes to play in the future than exist today.
Midseason AD Itemization Changes
We’ve got some tuning-level changes to AD itemization coming in Midseason. I wanted to give some context on those changes, since they’ve hit PBE today.
All changes are currently tentative and there’s a good chance you’ll see further tuning before they go live in the Midseason patch.
There’s more armor penetration/shred in the system than really ought to exist – 52% armor pen is a pretty common stopping point these days, and many champions add a Black Cleaver and/or some Lethality to that. With so much armor penetration in the system, defensive items have to be tuned to be pretty crazy before they’re worth buying at all.
We’ll be reducing the overall amount of armor that can be ignored through item purchases, and putting that power into other sources like Critical Strike itemization, the Giant Slayer effect, and big AD purchases.
Life Steal Items
Looking to balance out the Life Steal items against each other. Our assessment is that Blade of the Ruined King is a bit more powerful than an item should really be, so we’ll be trimming that a bit. At the same time, we don’t want to just balance it down to be equal with the other Life Steal items, which are likely weaker than they ought to be given the way the game is shifting. We’re looking to land all the items somewhere in the middle ground.
Look for a small nerf to Blade of the Ruined King and small buffs to Bloodthirster, Death’s Dance, and Ravenous Hydra (which has sadly fallen a bit behind its Titanic cousin :/ ).
Early Marksman Build Path
We’re testing buffs to Zeal and Infinity Edge aimed at smoothing out the first two purchases for critical strike users. We’re targeting a reasonable 1-and-a-half item spike into a fairly strong 2 item spike. This will likely just be cost adjustments to Zeal itself and to Infinity Edge, making it easier to get to IE + Zeal as a power spike than before.
Zeal Upgrade Tuning
We’re taking this opportunity to tune the four Zeal items – Runaan’s Hurricane, Phantom Dancer, Statikk Shiv, and Rapid Firecannon. The goal here will be both balancing them against each other and making their unique identities more clear and better differentiated.
On live, Runaan’s Hurricane is the best AOE damage option, has the best build path, and is often the best single target sustained damage option of the four thanks to its on hit damage. Look for a new build path more in line with the other items, plus the loss of on-hit damage in favor of a higher AD ratio on the secondary bolts – Hurricane will still be a powerful sustained AOE damage tool.
We’re currently exploring some changes to Rapid Firecannon and Statikk Shiv to sharpen their identities and to make the combination of the two more compelling – Rapid Firecannon charges Energized effects (itself, Shiv, and Warlord’s Bloodlust) faster but deals less burst damage, increasing its usefulness in long range engagements, while Statikk Shiv deals considerably increased burst damage to champions.
Phantom Dancer’s already meeting its goals pretty well, so no changes planned (except making it cost the same amount of gold as the other three.)
Current assessment is that Executioner’s is too powerful as a lane counter to certain champions, but the passive is an important release valve against sustain-based champions later in the game. We’re exploring ways of making it more costly to access that power early in the game, either with a direct cost increase or by making it less reliable.”
Riot Axes gave his opinion on Mercurial Scimitar:
What about Mercurial Scimitar? I know it’s not used primarily as a life steal item, but it gives lifesteal. Are you guys going to touch on that or is it not part of the core lifesteal items/doesn’t need to be on par with them?
Pretty happy with Mercurial as a niche buy when you have to have that QSS effect. Lifesteal makes that more palatable, but I wouldn’t want to push it back into being your core lifesteal purchase in most games.”
Riot Axes clarified more on the Runaan’s changes:
As for Runaans, I would bet my best cow that the secondary bolts still proc on-hits.
Secondary bolts still proc on hits.”
What about essence reaver? The item is a parallel to infinity edge. Is it not getting any adjustments like Infinity is?
Will individual ADC’s see changes to their kits to follow with these itemization changes?
Currently don’t think I need to touch Essence Reaver to keep it relevant on its best-case users. If I’m wrong about that, it’s easy enough to do a follow-up change.
No individual kit changes to Marksmen at midseason, most likely. I’m sure we’ll have to do some tuning once things begin to shake out, of course, but there’s nothing obvious enough to justify preemptive changes.”
On Zeke’s, Riot Axes remarked:
“I would like to look at Zeke’s at some point, but we haven’t got any changes for it just yet.
Talisman is more a matter of what lane phase options you’re going to buy – the effect is strong, but if Coin puts you behind, you won’t bother. I imagine we’ll take a look at that at some point.”
On armor pen mastery, Riot Axes commented:
Will you guys be touching the armor pen mastery as well in offense tree and if since you are looking at the Hydras, don’t you feel Titanic may fall out of favor with the reduction of HP in exchange for higher resists on items
Not touching the armor pen mastery.
I’m not all that concerned about Titanic Hydra – even if it does go down slightly, it’s quite powerful. We’ll obviously be keeping an eye on it and if it needs love, we’d work on it, but I don’t expect that to happen.”
PBE Amumu Context
Wav3break on Amumu changes in the 7.8 PBE Cycke:
“Hey wanted to provide some detailed context for this change!
The current live version of Amumu’s bonus true damage passive doesn’t actually penetrate through resistances. This patch we are making it behave like true damage is expected to, but found that 15% proved to be too powerful. We are tuning it down to 8% as a result.”
Wait… You say that spaghetti code managed to make a true damage that doesn’t do true damage?
He’s saying that there are 2 different times that damage can be added/modified/calculated… before mitigation is considered, and after mitigation is considered.
Imagine an enemy has 50% DR from Magic Damage (MR, straight DR, whatever) and is about to take 200 magic damage (pre-mitigation), but has Amumu’s passive on them.
On Live, the system registers 200 damage, reduces it to 100, and then adds 15% more as true damage, so 115 total damage taken.
In the new version, the system registers 200 damage, adds 16 (8%) as true damage, and then reduces the magic damage to 100, so 116 total damage taken.
This is around the breakeven point given the proposed values, so at higher values of MR/mitigation on the target, the passive will be more valuable than on Live, and on lower values of MR/mitigation, it will be less valuable (at this current tuning).”
More changes hit in the 4/11 update!
Quick Hits – RU Summoner Icons & DUOS: Impact and Ray
[Quick Hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]
1) The previously seen Astronaut teemo and Bard icons seen on the PBE are for an event on RU server. While still up in the air, these types of icons do occasionally see release on other regions eventually!
- To celebrate her new skin splash arts in 7.7, Karma’s legacy skins – Traditional, Winter Wonder, and Sun Goddess – plus a champion & skin bundle are available through April 12th.