Just wanted to toss up some thoughts about what I've been seeing from the community feedback-wise regarding the midseason durability stuff that went to PBE yesterday. This post will mostly be a collection of common concerns I've seen, and what I think the path forward is on them. That said, this is in no particular order, and by the time I've finished typing this up, I'll probably have left some things out, so do feel free to ask in the comments. Here we go:
**Banshee's Veil harming mid lane**
Many players are expressing concern over the mechanical changes to Banshee's Veil, primarily worried it will become a must-buy in mid lane and ruin opportunities for lane aggression there. The cooldown of the spell shield on PBE is tuned pretty aggressively at the moment, so I definitely think this concern is valid. I'll be looking at making some small tweaks so that it is much more clearly _not_ a frequent lane purchase, whether that means adjusting the cooldown model or the statline or the cost.
**Why is Guardian Angel an AD only item?**
Simply put, we tested an AP version alongside the AD version, and the AP version just wasn't all that appealing since those characters can mostly just resort to building Zhonya's anyway. Consequently, giving many AP champions access to several moments of stasis didn't seem like the right call for the overall fun of the game. Shortly after the time we decided to remove the AP version from testing, we made the Abyssal/Banshee swap, with one of the intentions being to round out a feeling of fairness in defensive itemization options between AP and AD; AP should now have situational, visibly powerful defensive effects against both physical and magic damage, as should AD.
**Why didn't we work on Thornmail/Ohmwrecker/Banner/Zz'Rot/etc.?**
While working on all these items, one of the top goals was to lay a good foundation for defensive itemization that could be built upon. There are definitely some items in the shop that are hardly earning their place, but we think those items can hopefully be tackled one at a time in individual patches down the road. For what it's worth, we even had some iterations of Ohmwrecker where it was positioned to have a statline more like Sunfire/DMP/Randuin's, but playtests showed that without significant work on the item active, it still would never be attractive unless just grossly overtuned. And thus we focused on getting the frameworks in a good spot, and coming back to individual items like these later.
This could very well be true. The idea behind Randuin's was to position it as both the most defensive and the cheapest option of the primary Health/Armor items, but it seems like players would prefer it had ~300g worth of power put into it so that the reason to pick it over Sunfire/DMP is much clearer and more satisfying
**Why would we remove Randuin's Crit Damage Reduction?**
Champions investing in crit tend to have very delayed power curves, where they feel like they need a bunch of their items to come online before they can really impact the game. The number of ways specifically designed to reduce auto attack damage results in those attacks needing to be pretty absurd when defenders don't take every single measure available to mitigate them. Between generally high Armor/lvl, multi-Armor items being in end game builds, Ninja Tabi reduction, Warden's/Randuin's/FH AS reduction, and Randuin's Crit reduction, basic attacks just end up needing to be crazy in order to function in the late game, and you can observe this in the game today. Randuin's Crit reduction being removed is a step in the other direction, but we are also looking at reducing the total amount of Percent Pen on items like Last Whisper on the other end of the spectrum.
**Banshee's/Abyssal swap is confusing**
Yes. Agree, and we'll be trying to come to the solution that makes the most sense.
**Gargoyle Stoneplate looks pretty cool**
Seems like players are generally pretty excited about this item, with some concern about outlier abuse cases and the general efficiency of the item. Might see some light iteration over the course of the next few weeks.
**Adaptive Helm is too good against X champion**
Adaptive Helm's purpose is to be the Health/MR item that feels especially good to pick up against powerful sustained magic damage threats, so in that way, we want to make sure it is effective at that. That said, it could probably use some small tweaks to make it not just the best pickup against all mages, which I think is a valid concern to have. Possibly reducing the duration of the effect to 4 or 3 seconds so that it's not picking up unintended spellcasts? Alternatively, reducing its MR by ~10 and increasing its DR to 20% so that it's less generally good and more targeted? We're aiming for this item to be somewhat akin to "Randuin's/FH, but for magic damage."
**Magic Damage dealers are getting the short end of the stick**
Between the new items, and some adjustments to existing ones, I see where this sentiment comes from, and I'll be giving some thought to whether a course of action is appropriate here or not. One thing that I do think goes unconsidered (or at least underconsidered?) is that champions looking to get tanky tend to buy a lot more Armor items than MR items (if only to deal with the large number of physical threats in the game), and the amount of HP on most of the popular tank Armor items is being reduced, which is a buff to mage early/mid games especially. That said, I understand that this is somewhat offset by the addition of things like small amounts of MR/lvl being added to the game, as well as targeted direct counters being introduced for tanks.
That wraps up my thoughts before I go grab lunch and sit through some afternoon meetings. Hope this helps to let everyone know where it seems we're at with these things, and like I said, I probably left some stuff out, but feel free to ask about any individual questions you have.
Thanks for all the thoughts thus far,