Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 9

Hey 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Zoe** To state the obvious, Zoe's been a controversial champion. She creates some really fun moments and does some really unique and interesting stuff. She's has also been a source of a lot of player frustration and remains too powerful. We've been chipping power off her in various ways, overall though they haven't made enough of a difference. We'll be nerfing her quite a bit harder in 8.4 (next patch) as a result. In retrospect this is a situation where we should have made larger changes earlier and we need to get better at figuring out when to go from smaller tuning to larger changes in cases like this. We should also have been talking more about our thoughts on her as well, even if that sometimes wasn't more conclusive than exposing a lot of the debate going on amongst us here. Likely changes for 8.4: * Q: Only applies her passive damage on primary target hit. That reduces her wave clear, particularly ability to kill caster minions with one Q, reducing her power from gold and ability to shove/roam as easily. It also makes it harder for her to harass through a wave and makes it easier for allies to block Qs intended for sleeping allies. * W: Is no longer able to drop teleport. Teleport creates some cool plays, and is the only real out of combat drop to be had. At the same time though its power is generally significantly higher than the options and it doesn't present opponents with good ways to play around it either (which is particularly important with randomly picked effects). * E: Drowsy can now be cleansed, preventing the sleep from happening. That makes Cleanse, QSS, Mikael's noticeably better responses to her. We originally thought that the appropriate degree of cleanse countering Zoe E was to have the player choose between being able to reposition faster before falling asleep (cleansing the slow) or breaking the sleep once it hit. Having seen Zoe get a lot of play since her release though it’s clear at this point cleanse effects ought to be a stronger counter, rather than a partial one. * E: CD increased, giving more windows where she can't threaten lethal as well and/or can be engaged on. * R: Bug fix, but one that's potentially power impacting: Was granting the ability to move through units for the entire game after the first cast, rather than just for a very brief period when she returned to the cast point. As you've probably noticed, there's no nerf to her Q damage in that list, though that's certainly a point of a lot of player frustration. We're confident the above changes are both a significant power reduction and changes that, regardless of whether we do or don't also nerf the Q at some point, are improvements to Zoe's play pattern. If we did follow up with a Q nerf, or if the above ends up being too heavy a hit, we'll also need to look at appropriate places to give Zoe power (she's pretty dependent on her Q burst to function). That could involve things like making W's damage contributions more meaningful later in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Summoner Spell CDs on the Scoreboard** The display of those is currently bugged, making them much harder to read than they should be. On CD Summoners should show as much greyer/dimmer like they previously did. We're testing a fix for that at present, should be in the next patch at the latest. We'll also be reverting the orientation change, so Summoner spells are again shown vertically rather than horizontally. That was a well intented change that didn't hit the mark. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Keystone Development** We're still working on that new keystone for the Resolve tree (probably) previously mentioned. Some aspects of it are still in flux, one thing that's looking promising (though also not yet guaranteed) is having some of its reward be some dual percent pen (both some % armor pen and some % magic pen). That makes it appealing on champs with mixed damage types, helps out its users against tanky front lines and helps distinguish it from other sustained damage keystones. One challenge that goes with that is then ensuring that keystone's best users aren't exclusively ranged champs, getting another % scaler on already high offense builds, and/or champs building full tanks looking to multiply their base damages. We're looking at mechanics like a trigger on proximity to enemies, scaling with offensive stats etc as a result. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Lissandra** Following on from a question from earlier in the week: Lissandra. She's got a couple of issues. She's too weak and her passive's not interesting or satisfying to most players. We'll be taking a look at her sometime in the next few patches (8.6 ish?). Minimum target there is to offer her some more power. It's possible we also end up improving or replacing her passive, don't want to make any promises there that we might not be able to deliver on though, beyond that we'll be at least looking at it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Next Week** Amongst other things planning to talk about a couple of other requested topics from this week: * Marksmen play patterns and thoughts on what's healthy/unhealthy * Mastery curves and how we think about them when designing and balancing http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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