Today’s red post collection includes Meddler’s quick gameplay thoughts for January 19th, red comments from around the web, and more!
- Red Post Collection: January Bundles, Ask Riot: Gifting & Ohmwrecker, & More
- January Early Sales [1/19 – 1/22]
Table of Contents
Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 19
Here’s Meddler’s quick gameplay thoughts for January 19th, including thoughts on 8.3 balance changes, counterplay, 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
8.3 Balance Changes
As previously discussed 8.3, like all odd numbered patches for at least a while, is going to be a small patch in terms of balance changes. Even numbered patches will be larger than normal. Things we’ll be looking at for 8.3 below. Unlikely much else gets added and possible some things get pushed to 8.4. For small patch balance changes we’re generally focused on things that are either in urgent need and/or are fairly straightforward to work on (e.g. base stat buffs), though there’ll be some exceptions to those rules of course.
- Katarina (previous nerfs didn’t do enough)
- Magical Footwear
- Kalista (potentially taking power from her ult)
- Manaflow Band (less certain on this one, but looking at it again at least)
- Master Yi
Figured it might be good to talk a bit more about part of our philosophy on counterplay. To start by stating the obvious, we think it’s really important that champions have counterplay. There should be things you can do to foil your opponent’s plans, ways to counter their actions and accomplish what you want instead. That’s not the same though as putting counterplay in every element of a kit and every moment playing against it.
Champions as a whole should have counterplay, they should also have moments of reliability though, moments that give them a payoff for successfully dealing with their weaknesses. Any easy example of that’s Nasus Q. If Nasus is on top of you and has a bunch of stacks you’re often just screwed – it’s a basic attack modifier there’s no way to outplay at that point. There’s a lot of counterplay to Nasus as a whole though around keeping distance from him and shutting down his ability to build stacks and needed items in the first place. Counterplay’s spread different parts of the game, from how you mechanically use your abilities, to how you play strategically (e.g. when to roam), to what items to build, to what champs you pick, to taking advantage of long enemy CDs etc. Sometimes conversations around counterplay get really focused purely on ‘can I dodge the ability’ and/or ‘what can I buy to counter this champion’. Both of those can be good types of counterplay certainly, tunnel visioning only on those risks ignoring a lot of other good options though.
Stuff on PBE that doesn’t ship
Something you might see a bit more of, particularly during small patch development cycles, is content on the PBE that doesn’t ship in the next patch. It’s likely some things end up on the PBE during the 8.3 cycle that will end up in 8.4 for example. That could include things like Rengar changes or items with Frost Queen’s/Talisman’s actives. We’ll be putting things like that on there earlier to get both more visibility into bugs and feedback on gameplay direction.”
Meddler commented more on counterplay:
On the subject of counterplay, how do you think the azir rework landed?
I’m a big fan of that champion and wanna know if it’s gonna be safe to play him without him getting nerfed back down to being really weak again
I think it helped, in particular giving some champs better ways to lane effectively against it. I’m not sure if it went far enough necessarily though, could be we’ve just got the tuning off, but a well played Azir’s still pretty tough to deal with.”
When asked about the progress on a keystone for bruisers, Meddler commented:
Still nothing about the buisers keystone??
Still being worked on. We want to make something that’s a good choice on bruisers but not solely for them. Version we’ve been testing however looks like it’d be too generically good on most champs though, so we’ll need to take another pass at it, tailor it somewhat more towards champs who need sustained damage and are at least somewhat tanky.”
When asked what wouldn’t be shipping from the PBE this patch, Meddler replied:
About stuff on the PBE that doesn’t ship, is there anything in the current cycle that won’t or isn’t likely to be in 8.2?
I think everything on PBE should be shipping in 8.2 at this point, though we did have to pull the vision score on scoreboard stuff out a few days ago due to some bugs (that’ll go into 8.3). It’s more likely there’ll be stuff that doesn’t ship until the next patch during small patches (so 8.3, 8.5, 8.7 etc).”
When asked about the Katarina changes on the PBE, Meddler commented:
Why the nerfs on Kat? She only stomps in plat under, any higher and she’s only played by one tricks because people actually understand how to play against her.
We think Kat’s a bit too strong across a range of MMR bands, including above Plat, and including when played by people with only moderate amounts of experience on her. It’s not just one tricks with 100s of games doing well.
Even if that wasn’t the case and she was just stomping plat and under we’d still probably look at her. We can’t balance purely for the few % of the playerbase above plat, even if that’s where a lot of our balance focus is. We would want to do work on them to even out their performance by MMR more, make them less pubstompy for example and if needs be more functional in higher skill bands, wouldn’t want to just ignore the issue though.”
On Jarvan IV, Meddler replied:
Why the Jarvan nerfs? That seems completely out of left field since he seems to be an okay spot, though I’m not really knowledgeable about his stats. I’ve seen him being picked more, but nothing compared to Warwick or even Morgana jungle.
Our take is that Jarvan’s pretty much always the right choice in the jungle at present, given combination of his numerical power and range of tools/flexibility he brings (engage, early power, duels fairly well, can burst, lot of build flexibility, disengage etc). Play rate by contrast isn’t something we use as an indicator of whether or not a champ should be buffed or nerfed (though it can be a good indicator that a champion should be investigated). Champs with high play rates can still need buffs (fun and cool themes so people play them regardless even if they’re weak). Champs with low play rates can be too strong (niche or poor theme, kit not so fun, still overpowered when picked even if less people do so because most people don’t pick off power alone)..”
When asked about shields, Meddler commented:
On the subject on counterplay how do you feel about the current state of shields or shielding in general?
From what I see a lot of people generally agree that shielding feels too abundant at the moment either to low cd’s or too much shields, whats your opinion on the matter?
I think some form of outlet item to shield stacking would be valuable. We’ve been working on one on and off as mentioned a while back, it hasn’t been a priority compared to getting other stuff sorted out though (pre-season follow up in particular). Still expecting we’ll do so in the earlier part of this year, priority’s been lower though given ‘people don’t die fast enough’ hasn’t generally been the prevailing sentiment (with the exception of some specific tanks in particular).”
On Ohmwrecker, Meddler commented:
it’s been a long time since it was last mentioned (I think) but is there any news on how the Ohmwrecker experiments are faring? I think someone wanted to try out Demolish on it?
Still going to try a Demolish effect on Ohmwrecker sometime, though would need a bunch of testing before we talked about whether to ship it or not of course.”
Meddler gave his thoughts on Stopwatch as well as Viktor:
Any thoughts on the strength of stopwatch rune? And last I saw viktor buffs targeted his shield uptime (but at the same time made it counter intuitive to use both damage instances of siphon power in quick succession). Are there any other changes planned for him?
Stopwatch – Probably is too strong, single use mitigates a lot of the issues from that though at least. Suspect we’ll pull a bit of power from it, with the gold contribution towards Zhonya’s, GA, Stoneplate being a likely target. Think some of the issue is that it’s often paired with Magical Footwear, so trending somewhat towards tapping that down first (hit part of the combo, then if needed look at the other as well).
Viktor – Last I heard we were going to test other buffs instead of the shield change. Possible we go back to it, looking to see what might be a better fit though.”
On Vayne, Meddler commented:
“Vayne has nerfs in 8.2.
Nasus wise a lot of his power’s coming from Klepto being too dominant, particularly in melee/melee match ups who really want the sustain and/or can proc if reliably. We’ve got Klepto changes in 8.2 as well that should bring down the amount of gold/items best case users (Ez and GP included) get from it noticeably.”
As for Jinx and Illaoi, Meddler replied:
“Jinx – Some buffs in 8.2, likely paired with some compensatory nerfs in other places so she doesn’t go too nuts.
Illaoi – Yep, she’s pretty impactful and getting a lot of play at present. Having said that you give up a lot of tools by picking someone like Illaoi instead of champs with more mobility and/or CC, so so far at least she doesn’t seem too overbearing overall (not that it feels that way when you’re getting ulted of course).”
And on Malzahar, Meddler commented:
“Malz Q – we were originally looking to nerf his W damage against minions. After testing that we concluded it didn’t nerf his pushing power that much, given the rest of his kit. Did make his CSing with them quite a bit more awkward though, which felt really poor. Went with a Q nerf instead as a pretty straight forward way of taking some direct damage out of Malz especially when he’s doing well. At a 0.65 AP ratio with AOE silence confident it should still be impactful and satisfying.”
- Maple Nectar commented on the state on Kleptomancy:
“There are nerfs going out to Klepto in 8.2, as well as the quest reward changes for support items which hits nasus in a pretty big way (not getting talisman of ascension). There are also so many examples of us doing the exact opposite (nerfing champion the patch a skin comes out) that the fact these threads still crop up is interesting.”
Maple Nectar also commented on Aery and Arcane Comet:
“Would agree with you here. We’ve discussed doing some work to Aery and Comet to make them feel a little bit more unique from one another specifically, but agree with your evaluation comparing it to the other keystones. There’s been work going into some different runes/keystones that you’ll likely start seeing over the next few patches. Haven’t got to these ones yet (nor do I know exactly when we will), but wanted to pop in here quick to let you know we’re talking about it too :).
Finally, Maple Nectar talked about the Resolve tree in general:
There’s a lot of exploration going on to make the resolve tree feel like it’s got a lot more contextual/interesting choices that you can make. It can be pretty tricky balancing defensive runes lest they become “must haves” on everyone, but there’s some pretty fun stuff we’re playing around with atm. Currently they definitely don’t feel particularly exciting when compared to runes in the other trees – we’re on it!
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