Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 20

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **TFT** At time of writing TFT's been out on the PBE for nearly 24 hours. It's been exciting and a little tense watching to see what you folks will think and how the PBE server will cope with so much more demand to play than it normally gets. Very grateful for all your feedback so far, whether you've had a chance to play yourself or have checked it out on a stream. Wanted to run through a bunch of things we're planning and things we're considering doing so notes on those below. We'll also have a dev blog going out tomorrow that covers some of our thinking around design principles for TFT and some longer term plans. Things that will be in upcoming patches (some first patch post launch, some a bit later): * DPS meters. * More detailed unit stats when you Right Click a unit to inspect them. * More bug fixing, though we're hoping to hit all the big stuff at least before it leaves PBE. * A ranked queue. * Improved clarity around unit positioning on the board. Likely involves further work on the ground textures to make movement easier to track, could well include an toggle option to show a subtle hexgrid overlay all the time. * Refinements to PVE rounds including difficulty tuning. * Ways to get more information about what items will build into without having to commit them to units first. * Additional balance and bug fixing (these should be in every patch for a while). Some things we're discussing based off feedback so far: * It's a common point of feedback that players feel like the board is too small. We're happy with it as it is currently and want to give it a bit more time to see how positional play does or does not develop with the currently available space. We're open to revisiting though if the feeling persists with players, especially if it reduces depth in the game. * Similarly we think a maximum unit cap of 9 is the right place to be, especially given things like Force of Nature that let you exceed that cap and other items that let you add additional synergies. Again, open to revisiting though once things have had a bit of time to play out. * What our options are to make two and three star units more distinct and more satisfying. We'll likely refine the existing silver and gold visual effects further regardless, especially given we think they're looking really good on some champs and not others at present. Discussing other angles as well. * What additional information to next work on conveying through the scoreboard on the right hand side of the screen. It currently just shows player name/health, should we make adding things like loss/win streaks to it for example a priority ahead of other TFT work? * Whether we’ve got the tuning right on how much damage a player who loses a round takes. For the first day of PBE that calculation was bugged and often higher than intended. Watching to see whether the intended values are appropriate or whether we should also make some adjustments so that games don’t resolve too suddenly or drag on forever. * Whether item drop rates are too high or too low and how much we should or shouldn’t be controlling variation in items earned from PVE rounds for different players. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Little Legends** In addition to their role in TFT we're also looking to bring Little Legends to other game modes. We want to make sure we're not damaging combat clarity by doing so though and a lot of extra units running around in the middle of a fight can make things quite a bit harder to follow. We've got some behavior in place for them as a result where they'll show up in ARAM games but hang back from the action. They'll be visible, but not in prime combat areas and will run towards the Nexus when an enemy champion gets too close. Play-testing so far's suggested that's a promising approach for making them still appreciable but avoiding them feeling underfoot and in the way. Plan is to see how that goes in regular games, refine the approach further, then see whether there are appropriate ways to get them into SR games as well, using both lessons from ARAM and potentially other techniques again. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Sona** Sona’s been a really interesting champ to track the playrate and performance of recently, with the emergence of Sona plus a tanky support (usually Taric) bot lanes showing a lot of strength. Some thoughts on her as a result: * Our starting point is that it’s good to see new picks getting used in different positions provided they’re not crowding other options out. * From a power perspective Sona’s stats in various skill ranges are on the border of what we’d generally consider overpowered. Digging into the numbers more however it looks like Sona + support is stronger than those averages suggest. There’s still a lot of support Sona data mixed in in solo queue, with Sona + Taric for example being dramatically stronger than Sona as a support statistically. In pro some teams have a very high pick or ban rate with Sona + X and we believe that that would be the case for most other teams as well if she remains in her current state for an extended period. * We’re confident Sona’s too strong as a result and will be taking some power out of her. We’re targeting her AP scaling on Q and E, rather than her bases, looking to bring down Sona’s power with higher income/more aggressive (AP) builds than with more utility item and/or lower income builds. * Goal here isn’t to push Sona out of the ADC position necessarily, but to address overall power. It’s possible that does end up with her no longer seeing ‘ADC’ play if that’s something that only happens when her numbers are out of line. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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