Quick Gameplay Thoughts: August 18

Meddler (NA)
submitted in Dev Corner
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 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Stoneplate changes partially delayed** Looks like we'll be shipping one of the previously mentioned Stoneplate changes (bug fix so it doesn't give more health than intended when combined with Cinderhulk) in 7.17. The other change (extra health granted is a mixture of base and bonus, rather than all bonus) however will have to be delayed to 7.18. It's tested well and we were hoping to get that in for 7.17 but there's a little bit of technical work needed to implement it bug free so we'll need to push it back a patch. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Ornn and Worlds** Been seeing the question crop up occasionally of whether Ornn will be playable at Worlds or not. It's an issue we went back and forth on a lot ourselves, our conclusion at the end though was that he shouldn't be available. His release is only a couple of patches before the Worlds patch (7.18) and he's got a lot of distinctive stuff on his kit that could take a bit longer than usual to assess the impact of, upgraded items for his allies especially. We're really excited to see him in pro play, want to make sure we've had time to do any polish that's needed though. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **A few 7.18 Balance plans** Some of the champs we'll be looking at in 7.18 below. Since there's a 3 week gap between 7.17 and 7.18 we'll also be doing a second pass partway through the patch development cycle. That means there'll be further changes coming, based in part on how 7.17 performs and pro play on 7.16 which starts this coming weekend. Nautilus - Needs to be buffed. Not certain what we'll do yet, first step is assessing his needs. Panth - We'll likely nerf his early Q damage. Might then put some power somewhere else, make him less about either crushing lane or failing to be usefu. An ult buff's one of the more likely possible changes. Janna - No immediate changes planned, going to be monitoring her closely though to see how the combination of Coin and Ardent Censer nerfs affect her though, with changes later in the patch cycle moderately likely as a result. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Champ Changes not in 7.18** Touching on a few champs we've been testing things for recently that won't be coming back in the 7.18 patch at least: Vayne - Changes likely coming in 7.19. Removing Q's ability to crit and putting power elsewhere's still the plan. Azir - Small update could be as soon as 7.19. Still going well, got some focused testing this week and weekened though which might reveal something new. Udyr - Hoping to have something ready for him before pre-season (7.22) still, need to see how work on him goes though. Yasuo - We've got some good lessons from the Yasuo changes we've been trying, won't be shipping anything for a while however. Extra range on his ult showed some good promise in particular, since it allowed him to better capitalize on his allies' play without giving him more personal power. Will likely revisit that next time we look at Yasuo. Shifting power from his shield to other defensive effects (e.g. base stats) also showed both some promise and some risks.
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new
Are there more pro play specific changes planned for worlds yet, like how you already did with some mids (Cassio/Taliyah/Orianna)?
Meddler (NA)
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We'll be taking a look at a possible final set of Worlds focused changes after this coming weekend of pro play and initial live play on 7.17. Watching some champs of course, but don't want to act until we've got as much context as we can. Since this is a longer patch cycle (3 weeks) we've got a bit more time too, so want to make use of that. Bot lane likely to be watched in particular.
new
Hey Meddler, Riot Fearless recently mentioned you guys were in talks of a "release valve" for excessive healing can you elaborate
Meddler (NA)
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Healing or shielding? We've been talking about shielding in particular, with the belief being that some form of mid game response to shield stacking is likely a good idea. That means something you can opt into when it becomes clear it's needed, so probably an item, not something you have to commit to before the game starts, so not just an individual champ ability, Rune or Summoner Spell.
Sunrize (NA)
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This sounds like a perfect job for Ohmwrecker.
Meddler (NA)
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Could see the name getting transferred. Suspect the new item would be a unique effect on AAs and/or spell hits at a guess though, rather than an active.
Zerenza (NA)
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Can you tell us when you predict Evelynn's Rework will show up? After worlds patch, During or Before? Also, what are your thoughts on Twitch? He can start attacking you from outside his reveal range, something that Evelynn was nerfed for a long time ago so i thought it was nice tie in question.
Meddler (NA)
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Sometime after the Worlds patch (7.18), almost certainly before pre-season (7.22).
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Hey Meddler, what about the changes to Brand in order to buff his mid lane role you talked about last patch?
Meddler (NA)
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Currently on hold, I'll check in with the team about whether it's something we're scheduled to look at again post Worlds patch though.
new
Hey Meddler, 2 questions; 1. With Karma being the worst overall ranking mid laner (according to champ.gg), is it likely that she'll be worked on at some point after world's? 2. I noticed you didn't mention Xin in your post, how's his update coming along?
Meddler (NA)
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We'll need to do work on Karma sometime yeah, though I'd expect that's much more likely to be next year than this year. Even though it's only August pre-season's taking up enough time any updates not already underway probably won't happen this year unless they're pretty small. Karma needs larger work than that. Xin's coming along pretty well. His is a smaller update, so it's not going to address absolutely everything about him of course, I think it's a clear improvement though certainly. Needs a bit of balancing work in particular right now though, dude's been pretty murderous in recent playtests.
Howain (EUW)
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Greetings Meddler, I do not know if this is the right place to do it, but I came to talk about Tahm Kench. I am, in short, suggesting changing the stun of his Q on thrice-stacked targets into a charm instead. Why am I suggesting such a thing ? Context. I am a big fan of Tahm Kench. I personally think he is one of the best designed champions in the game, in terms of coherency between his visuals, background, and gameplay (you can give his dev team my congratulations). But I feel that, regarding the way he is designed, a last improvement could be made. I’ve read the Champion Insight that was published when he released (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/champions-skins/champion-preview/champion-insights-tahm-kench-river-king). I shall use it to back my words. In this Champ Insight, we learn that Tahm Kench’s character is built around his mouth. He is at first a mere devourer, but then, he is also a charmer, someone who uses his mouth and tongue to both attract and devour his prey. Thus, linking background and gameplay, we can understand that when he licks his enemies (with his basic attacks and his Q), he is somewhat talking them into trusting him (the slow), slowly trapping them thanks to his eloquence... So, when, he achieves this, he finally charming his enemies would make a lot more sense than a simple stun. In a world full of slows, stuns and knock-ups, CC abilities like charm, fear, or taunt conveys in my eyes much more than just power, strength, or precision (which are what is mostly conveyed through stuns or knock-ups) ; these “different” CC types show really well uniqueness or personality in my opinion. It is, I understand that, important that such CC exist, but for Tahm Kench ? Is it really power, strength, precision, that define him ? Tahm’s dev team fully committed into a character created around his mouth and his uses of it. A silver-tongued, talking fiend that charms his enemies, wouldn’t it be so perfect in game ? Still, I understand a few things. First, that it is a different kind of CC that may reveal harder to balance. It is obvious that, a charm being more powerful that a stun for Tahm Kench’s kit, the duration of the CC is likely gonna go down (a 1.5 second-lasting charm would be pretty busted ; better make it 1 second or so). Second, that he is probably not your priority at all. There’s the Worlds, the Runes Reforged, the preseason... And Tahm is fine as he is, it seems, in the current meta. I am just asking to you, to Riot’s dev team, to consider it, to keep it somewhere in your head(s) and, if you think this is worth it, to at least try it out. Thanks for hearing me out, you do a great job overall.
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Hi Howain! That's a good question and it makes sense at first blush that Tahm Kench's output would be a charm. However, thematics and in-game feel don't always map perfectly. In game, we needed a strong, straight-forward spell with good gameplay around it to realize Tahm Kench's threat-over-time pattern (stay around him for too long and you'll be stunned or devoured). Tongue Lash is a straight-forward skillshot with a long self-root, like Amumu's Q or Blitzcrank's Q, which we know has pretty good play around it. However, forcefully striking an enemy with your tongue isn't a thing that lends itself to a charm, in my mind. It makes sense if you know who Tahm Kench is, but if literally all you know is "he's a catfish who slaps you with his tongue", it makes no sense. In my mind, the aspect of Tahm tricking people with his mellifluous verbiage is more on the meta level of how you don't take him seriously due to the silly things he says and his funny animations, until suddenly he eats you and all is darkness.
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