Commonly Asked Preseason Questions, aka why manual solutions are the worst

Just putting in some of our more commonly asked preseason questions thus far in a referable document for when you're having a respectful debate with your friends and want to pull out some *knowledge*. Or not, whatever. I'm pulling the more interesting answers from the preseasoning discussions. **Some notes on what makes a good question**: Asking for specific details when they're still in testing is a difficult thing to work with, and usually doesn't give a satisfactory answer. We just want to share philosophy with you right now - do you agree with the direction? If not, what about the direction do you want to ask about? Later on, if the details don't 'match' the design intent, that's a different discussion! You've also probably already seen the PBE changelists if you'd like, but we're not going to be really discussing them here. ( Okay so. I'm going to lead with the top question I hear a lot, so I'll paraphrase: --- **Have you considered my champion in all of this?** > This is the most commonly asked question, even if it doesn't seem like it. Questions like "will my Nami be alright if you remove mana potions?" relate to it, and we'll get a specific answer later down the line. At the end of the day, however, I'll say this: **We will try to accommodate for edge cases and weirdly impacted champions with this preseason, but that is not the highest priority.** Large-scale system changes like the introduction of the Rift Herald, the revamping of marksmen itemization and marksmen themselves, keystone masteries, etc - these all interact with each other in millions of different permutations. > What we can promise is that we'll be keeping a close eye on *what shakes out* from this preseason, and we'll be ready to adjust accordingly. In the meantime, I'd suggest you just give your champions a try! --- **Riot Xypherous on why remove mana potions?:** *(I'm going to steal from Xypherous' dev blog early, and I'll add my own thoughts)* > We’ve generally found that the decision to opt into Mana Potions was one that was either forced upon some champions (aka “I need this mana to function”) or one that was generally only available to a handful of circumstances. > The best use cases of Mana Potions were typically to circumvent Mana restrictions for boom/bust play patterns (ie: save up to X amount of mana before dumping it all in a large burst of damage, repeat) vs. attrition-based approaches that are more in favor of straight mana regeneration. A champion being able to access their big “all-in” combo more frequently also makes it challenging for us to balance appropriately, and we’ve seen some more frustrating champions have their power reduced as a result (see: LeBlanc). > With the removal of mana potions, we can also retune some champion mana values back to a middle ground. We’ve looked at the data for champions that frequently bought 2 or more mana potions in the game and we’ve **either increased their maximum mana or the mana regeneration values** based on their class. **Other Pwyff thoughts:** Mana 'balance' is an incredibley nuanced topic. I might get in trouble for saying this, but I would hazard that mana conservation and intelligent use of spells is probably a major point of differentiation between high-skill players and lesser skilled players. The ability to understand when to use a spell 'properly' so that you can have a lasting impact on the balance of the lane - without pushing yourself oom - is a daunting challenge. I wonder if mana potions are more of a 'shield' at this point in time, preventing us from really giving meaningful sustain buffs to those who actually need it. If Nami or Zyra or Lulu are really useless without mana potions - and were only sustaining themselves through their blue-liquid addiction - that's something we can now address with itemization or base stats, rather than assuming they - **and only they** - were chugging mana pots. That automatically puts them at a weird gold disadvantage over the early game. --- **Riot Xypherous on why remove Green Wards?:** Stealing this from the dev blog: > When vision is in a “consumable” state, it does a few things to the game that we want to change. First, because map knowledge is so powerful, the ideal state of vision for two teams is basically “as much as you can.” That means that teams will be perpetually funneling their excess gold (or in the case of supports and some junglers, their core gold income) into as much vision upkeep as possible. The compelling decision of *when* to ward and *where* to ward gets flattened. For supports, this means they’ll often need to give up late-game purchases and slot efficiency to ensure the map is well lit. For others, it becomes a gold dump to push an advantage. By taking all ‘safe’ vision (invisible wards) out of the gold stream and placing them on meaningfully gated cooldowns, we’re hoping teams will have to think a lot more about where they want to set up on the map. --- **Will Pink Wards light up the map and negatively impact stealth-based junglers?** > See above re: "Have you considered my champion?" - if Pink Wards in the early game become that much more prevalent, we'll keep an eye on our invisible buddies. --- **Riot Reinboom on new marksmen items impacting mid-lane assassins and other AD champions:** > Some of the Marksmen item changes will definitely (and intentionally) be used by non-Marksmen. Jayce in particular we've seen have two viable build choices internally. Classic Jayce and a newer Caster Marksman like Jayce. > The major goal of the Marksman itemization changes (choice) leads to versatility, so that's where you'll mostly see changes. Of course, with versatility also comes the potential for powerful combinations to work exceptionally well with certain Marksmen. Power will definitely shift around (and we have a number of changes to make up for that). --- **Riot Scruffy on lessons learned from juggernauts:** > A big learning we had from our first go on this style of update (the juggernauts) was that we wanted to aim towards playstyle like you say rather than mechanics that feel too much like mini games. --- **Riot Jag on the Teleport Summoner spell:** > Teleport is definitely too powerful, particularly in the pro game. We're doing some cooldown changes on it, but also Rift Herald features prominently here since there's a good reason to not TP away from the top side of the map. --- **Riot Jag on Rift Herald making SR 'top heavy':** > Yep, it is a concern that top laners may use this to take over the game. That being said, I think the state of having top lane carries stay viable is very brittle (in the pro game specifically: do you have the ability to double jungle for free level 2 + potion sustain? does the meta favor engage/tanky supports and jungles so the tops can build damage? are utility ADCs particularly strong to pick up the burden of bringing a pure DPS top? etc). RH gives firm ground for fighters and top lane carries/splitpushers to stand on, and it's a lever we can tune as appropriate to make sure those guys are fair. > I think if jungles/mids feel like they need to care more about interacting with top then it's totally fine. We are trying to play up the top lane domination (1v1 me bro) fantasy a bit, and let people consider taking Ignite or Exhaust instead of TP, but we don't want it to be an island. And honestly I think bot lane can use the relief of pressure a bit from mid/jungle attention (and top lane teleporters, for that matter).* --- **Riot Repertoir on Quinn's 'core' identity:** > These changes are meaningful, yes, but we don't think they're a gutting or anything of the sort. Quinn was a character being torn in the direction of several identities. With these changes, we're committing to one, and we intend to make it powerful and effective at doing its job.* --- **Gypsylord on Keystone masteries for niche champions:** > We're hoping there's masteries out there for those guys. Deathfire Touch comes to mind as something Rumble and Brand should be quite excited about (Do you like burning on your burning?). > Cool part about the new system is that it's pretty expandable, so if there is a class of champions that's getting left out we could likely add in something new for them in a later patch :D --- **Ghostcrawler on critical hits in League of Legends:** > We definitely hear player concerns about crit. Our thought process was that we are introducing a lot of change with this preseason and replacing crit with another stat at this time would mean less bandwidth to make sure all of these other changes accomplished what we hoped they would. We still might reach a point where we swap the crit stat for something similar that is still attractive to Marksmen. > We think the game needs a certain amount of unpredictability in order to really test player decision-making in the heat of the moment, but there are ways to add unpredictability that aren't as RNG as crit. > No promises it's going away, but no promises it's here to stay forever either.

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