Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Impact of the 8.9 mana changes** We've been watching the impact of the 8.9 mana changes (mages and some items) over the past week. So far the effect on most champions seems to be power neutral, which was our target (more casts early, fewer later, same overall strength). There are a group of a few mages who look like an exception to that though. They're all champs who are able to burn a lot of mana repeatedly and do seem to have lost a noticeable amount of power (Anivia, Cass, Taliyah, Malz). Might need to put some power back into them as a result, still assessing. If so it would likely not be as more access to mana later in the game though since one of our other goals was to reduce the power of mage waveclear as well. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Some thoughts on supports** After the midseason changes (8.11) and some followup (8.12 at least) some of the things we'll be looking at are various things about the support position. Not sure exactly what will ship or when yet, but did want to run you folks through a list of things we'll likely be looking at and why. Heal/Shield Stat: * Was introduced back when supports got less gold. Also contributes a lot of power through multiplication of base stats, rather than as a separate ratio like AP, making it hard to tune it properly for a variety of different cases. Will be considering things like whether it's undercosted, whether it should be a stat that can be tuned on an ability by ability basis, which items should offer it etc. Reliability of defensive tools: * A lot of the time defensive tools, particularly those on Lulu and Janna, are significantly more reliable/forgiving than offensive tools used against their team. We'll be looking at whether more risk/skill expression should be added to particular effects as a result. That could mean things like shorter shield durations or other timing demands (e.g. like Redemption), adding more contextual demands to some abilities (e.g. % missing effects or bonuses just after an ally has been damaged) or other approaches. Item Efficiency: * This one's similar to the Heal/Shield stat stuff above, but also applies to a wider range of classes who play as support. We've got a range of items at significantly cheaper than average price points because support income's been low historically. Some of those at least might need to be repriced to account for increased support income. Those three categories are where we'll likely start. There are a couple of other spaces we'll also consider, though aren't as likely to ship changes in in the shorter term at least. They're being treated as secondary areas because they've either got less clear directions and/or the time versus benefit ratio on work there doesn't look as promising as the above issues: * Introducing more variability into support gold/XP income (valuable, but a large and tricky task, could involve enabling/rewarding roaming play more, though that brings some other issues with it due to impact on other lanes) * Reducing the amount of power supports give to others (solves some issues, particularly around removal of marksmen weaknesses, but also cuts pretty hard into support differentiation from other positions and enchanter/warden identity) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Upcoming Post: True Damage** Been seeing quite a bit of discussion around increasing use of True Damage, given both Conqueror and IE have made it more accessible to a range of champions. Thoughts on why that approach, in particular why we think it's better than the alternatives, soon (probably early next week). http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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