Quick Gameplay Thoughts: September 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 http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Future Champ Releases** Some of you will have seen this already in some of Reav3's posts, for those that haven't though, or weren't sure on timings, our current plans for larger champion releases this year currently looks like this: * Worlds Patch (8.19) happens and does not have a new champ or update in it * Sometime after that, Ezreal update (limited gameplay changes, focused mainly on W) * Sometime after that, though still expected this year, a new champion ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Mastery curves for same champs pre and post update** The last time we shared mastery curves for some champions one question that came up was how they compared pre and post update for some champions. Seemed like a great question to share some more data on. What we're looking at here are mastery curves for Rengar, Irelia, LeBlanc and Swain. The first pic shows their curves in 2017 between September and December, for players from all regions at all MMR bands. The second pic's the same thing, except with data from June-August of 2018, so post VGU for Irelia/Swain and post partial revert for Rengar/LeBlanc. 2017 https://imgur.com/a/xBqV3MK 2018 https://imgur.com/a/h9b8oDP The most noticeable change is to Irelia's curve, which starts a lot steeper than it used to. Both of her graphs are pretty similar beyond about 25 games, with a gradual increase in performance by games player continuing to 50 games. VGU'd Irelia has a much steeper initial curve however, reflecting the need to learn more about how her kit combos and greater mechanical execution. Adding combo and mechanical skill expression can help make a champion feel better to master and tends to be a really good fit with some thematic fantasies (e.g. skilled and nimble in Irelia's case), it does come with some accessibility costs though. Swain's a good contrast here, given his curve doesn't meaningfully change post update, which I'm happy about since one of our goals with him was to maintain his mastery curve. Looking at LeBlanc and Rengar, their curves are fairly similar before and after. Both still reward games played pretty heavily, though they're not as punishing in your earlier games. Finally, it's worth noting that changes to these champions' kits won't be the only factor behind differences in these curves. Things like which opponents they're most commonly playing against, which items/summoner spells are most effective on them etc will also impact what their curves look like (e.g. if optimal Rengar play involves a lot of AA resetting with Tiamat he'll probably have a steeper curve than if his optimal build doesn't include any in combat active items). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Context on additional 8.18 changes** * Aatrox - Previous changes cut down his excessive pro presence. We're now looking to add some power back in in ways that are targeted more at regular play, with buffs to E healing at higher ranks and R AD at higher ranks. * Gnar - We're hitting Gnar's base Armor to make him less of a safe blind pick. Shouldn't be too affected against tanks and magic damage heavy opponents, but should be a riskier pick against many aggressive laners. * Viktor - We're reducing Viktor's first Hexcore cost with the goal of more frequently letting him hit an early power spike.
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