Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 22

Morning all, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **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 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **7.24 is the last standard patch of the year** 7.24, the patch currently on PBE, will be the last standard patch of the year as we get close to the end of year holiday period. All going according to plan, it'll go out around the 5th of December. That still leaves quite a bit of time during December where we'll be working on stuff though with a while until the first patch of next year (8.1) in early January. We're planning to do at least a few balance adjustments via micro patch in mid December as a result for anything that's ready to go and safe to do via micro patch. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **When is it appropriate to micro patch?** Micro patches involve changes to game logic. They don't allow us to add completely new things to the game though, especially not where those things would need new art/sound etc (e.g. skins, new features, champs, items etc). The biggest thing that impacts whether we micro patch a particular change or not is how easy it is to assess the possible impact of it: * Game code changes tend to higher risk changes, so we're more hesitant to micro patch them. Game code here refers to the core functionality of the game, stuff like how units move around, how fog of war works, that health exists as a concept etc. For many changes, even if they look pretty simple, they can impact so many different things it's not appropriate to micropatch them (micro patches have really limited testing compared to normal changes) * Game script changes range in risk from high to low. Game script (Lua in our case) controls things like how specific champion abilities function, or how items work. Some changes are easy to assess and therefore safe to change (e.g. changing 'If X>0.1' to 'If X>0.01), especially given worst case scenario is normally that you just mess up one champion ability or whatever. Other changes by contrast tend to cross the risk threshold if they involve changing a lot of logic throughout the script (e.g. rewriting how Pix follows Lulu/people she's E'd for example are much more complex). * Raw numbers changes. These are normally safest of all, changing something like a spell's damage, a champion's base HP etc. A few of them still have notable risk, in particular if a champion's scripts are really dependent on them (e.g. spell cast ranges or timings). Generally we can change these pretty safely provided there's a strong enough need. It's still better to get a full cycle of testing in, both from a bug and balance perspective, unless the need is urgent though. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Morg and Zyra changes** We've got some Morg and Zyra changes in 7.24 aimed at helping them perform better outside of support. Goal there's not to push them out of support though, so if their duo lane performance ends up struggling we'll do some follow up work to get them to a reasonable spot there, possibly in the micro patch mid December. We think the current changes should be ok for support as well, but the amount of testing we get internally's tiny relative to the number of games that get played after a patch goes out. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **No Posts until late next week** As a quick heads up there won't be another of these posts until late next week. It's the Thanksgiving break here in the US so I'm taking the opportunity to head home (New Zealand) for a week. That means it's also likely I won't be able to respond to this post much either, apologies (I'm writing it at work, but will be posting it while traveling). http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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