Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 22

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Overall Game State** We're getting some initial impressions of how the preseason changes have landed. Thoughts on those below. Early days still, so not putting too much faith yet that what we're seeing is representative of how things will necessarily settle down. Still getting some really useful early data and observations though. As a quick repeat our big goals were: * Reduce cases of outer towers going down too quickly, while still rewarding early aggression/advantage * Make comebacks more achievable * Have games that are a foregone conclusion end quicker (less time waiting for a statistically inevitable loss) * Allow more flexible rune choices by decoupling rune stats from paths What we're seeing so far: * Outer towers are falling a minute or two later on average, resulting in fewer laning phases over extremely early * Average game length hasn't changed meaningfully however, despite those later outer tower falls. That suggests some of the game resolving changes, like those to Epic Monster spawn times, are helping decided games get closed out. * Looks like teams aren't quite as likely to win as they were previously after taking early/mid objectives, suggesting early snowball might be down/comeback chance up. Need to dig into data here a lot more though, more on this next week most likely. Once we've got a clearer picture on things we'll dig more into how each individual change in 8.23 is working, see whether we should be adjusting numbers on things like turret plating gold, tower stats, bounty calculations, individual camps etc or not. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Champions in 8.23 so far** **Stronger Champs** **Ezreal** is looking a bit stronger, though not enormously so. Initial impression is that the Klepto change doesn't change its attractiveness that much for him, which might suggest we need to refine Klepto's CD, trigger rate etc further. We did also just straight buff Ezreal this patch though, so don't want to judge prematurely until we've got a better handle on what did what. **Lissandra** also seems slightly stronger. We're expecting Lissandra players will also get better at taking advantage of her changes, playing around things like changes to her mana access, E speed, new passive. Wouldn't be surprised if she looks a bit stronger again in a week or two. Having said that also expecting opponents to get better at avoiding Frozen Thralls (seeing a lot of people ignoring them and paying for it right now), so possible those two effects cancel each other out power wise. Looking at the different positions she's played in mid/top are still dramatically more effective than support, so so far at least doesn't look like her scaling's too weak or her inherent utility too strong. **Karthus** is performing noticeably better too. Could just be small sample size, also possible changes to game pacing like the extended laning phase are particularly beneficial for him though. **Weaker champs** **Gangplank** has been hit pretty noticeably. Possible that reflects changes to Runes. Klepto's likely less effective on him given difficulty getting the second proc off. The Resolve tree's potentially less appealing to him too, given Chrysalis's removal, and we're still seeing him take Grasp and Klepto roughly equally. Also possible something's just bugged with him though, we did rescript him a bit behind the scenes to fix some other issues. Digging into those possibilities and more to see what's going on, seeing him weaker's not something we were targeting. **Irelia** is looking a bit weaker in mid specifically, which is encouraging given her over performance there. Need to investigate more, both to understand what's driving that change and assess her overall state now. **Taliyah** jungle seems to be quite a bit weaker so far. Possible we hit her too hard there, expect her to bounce back though as junglers adjust to the changes. Cautiously optimistic that this set of changes will have helped with balancing her for both mid and jungle. **All Other Champs** Most champs have had their performance impacted a bit, those not listed above don't seem to have changed significantly though. We'll be back to looking at regular balance in patch 8.24 and onwards. We don't have 8.24 changes planned just yet, going to let things settle a little more and then pick targets early next week. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Runes in 8.23** **Dark Harvest** was clearly out of line. We hotfixed on the first day as a result, hitting both base damage and scaling. Now assessing it again. **Klepto** wise we're waiting a bit before drawing any conclusions. Possible Ezreal's still too bound to it. Seeing some new champs perform reasonable with it but nothing out of line. Lucian for example is effective with it, but it's certainly not mandatory for him or excessively powerful so far. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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