Quick Gameplay Thoughts: July 5

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Why we turn practice tool off sometimes** As you might have noticed we've had practice tool turned off for some periods of time on some servers recently. We do that in periods of really high player count because it allows us to get more players into games. The amount of server time a game takes is composed of two things. The first is a cost for the game itself existing, which covers things like processing time for minion AI/movement, tracking the states of things like buildings, reporting information post game to match history etc. The second is an additional processing cost per player that's in the game. What that effectively means is that players in practice tool games take up more server capacity than players in other game modes. Turning practice tool off, while frustrating for those who want to use it, can therefore allow more people to play at once. Example with numbers (made up, but they get the idea across): * Flat cost of a game - 5 units * Additional cost per player - 1 unit * Total cost for a practice tool game = 6 units (for 1 player) * Total cost for an SR game = 15 units (1.5 units per player) * Trade off for 15 units is therefore allowing 2.5 people to play in practice tool or 10 people to play on SR ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **TFT and integration with other systems** Now that we've got TFT available for wider play one of our next focuses is looking at where and how it should or shouldn't interact with other game systems. Making it so event passes let you earn tokens in TFT now too is an example of the sort of integration we're talking about there. Other systems we're talking about include things like Honor (does it make sense in a FFA with minimal chat to turn Honor on?) and Leveling (current leveling system isn't well suited to TFT play given rewards and things it unlocks, but adaptations could be made). We're particularly interested in addressing situations where players want to spend their time playing a mixture of regular LoL and TFT but the way we've currently got things set up makes that feel a bit awkward or punishing. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Soft Champion Counters in 9.14** We're currently testing some balance changes to a range of champs that give them a bit more of an edge against specific types of enemy champ or make them a bit more vulnerable to specific enemies. Goal there is to add a bit of extra weakness to champions who could do with another way to deal with them without going so far as to make it so a game is overly decided in champ select. Expectation is that blind picking certain champs should become a bit riskier, especially in organized play where teams are more likely to counterpick. Changes we're currently experimenting with under that philosophy: * Ahri charm stops dashes in progress (anti mobility niche) * Akali's W is a standard invisibility (gives her more vulnerability to enemies with reveals on their kits) * Blitzcrank R and Renekton W destroy shields on the target before dealing damage (anti powerful shield or shield stacking niche) * Cassiopeia and Poppy have their anti mobility effects buffed, with no minimum cast range on Cass W and Poppy W grounding+slowing enemies it stops mid dash * Kat R and Kled Q have a stronger form of Grievous Wounds at 60% reduction (anti sustain niche) * Leona W has flat damage reduction (makes her a stronger pick into DoT champs and others with effects that deal a small amount of damage many times like Kai'Sa Q) No guarantees those exact changes go through yet of course, still investigating. Hope is careful use of tools like this help us balance some champs, both those with said tools and those they're stronger against, better for both regular play and pro at the same time. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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