Wanted to drop a quick Dev Corner post to accompany the PBE drop.
The changelist you will see today is as follows:
* New item!!
* Not on PBE today as production and tweaks are still finishing up.
* Lost Chapter costs 1100 gold and has additional CDR (to increase the number of failed laning phases).
* Lost Chapter upgrades into three 20% CDR, Mana, AP items; Hextech GLP (catch), Ludens (poke) and Archangel's Staff (scaling).
* https://i.imgur.com/hlMTTFm.png https://i.imgur.com/yXaf4jD.png https://i.imgur.com/f4Kr1dJ.png
* GLP has a few mechanics changes: Stops on first unit hit, increased range (200), longer slow duration, no cast time.
* Haunting Guise no longer has Flat Penetration and instead has a passive effect that synergizes with damage over time patterns (this carries over to Liandry's).
* Morellonomicon has been renamed to Morello's Cursed Tome (AP/HP/Flat Pen/Grievous Wounds), has a mid-tier item Orb of Shadows that is the same as the old Haunting Guise (AP/HP/Flat Pen).
**Problem Statement: **
Mage itemization is very straightforwards for most mana mages. You know what you're buying first item, second item is usually Liandries and third item is probably Void Staff. Put as a goal statement, make the AP item shop more rich and exciting for all users (including supports and manaless users).
* The earlier we can get branching choices, the greater the decision making tree becomes due to its multiplicative nature.
* At the same time, we don't want to be overwhelming players with too many choices or it becomes paralysing; focused items aid decision making in this case (one of the reasons I split out Liandry's, more on this later).
* If the first 2900 gold of yours is static (4000 if you include boots), 15 minutes is already spent making no decisions regarding itemisation.
* _What is important for this structure?_
* Designing this choice structure is somewhat aided by the relational depth of lane matchups. Even the worst laners can have some good matchups (if they are against an even worse champion) and some different win conditions.
* Let's say I'm playing Lux mid, I can have good, bad, farm matchups just within my lane, let alone if I factor in the jungler.
* Maybe against Galio, since it's unlikely I'll one shot him, I could opt for the scaling Archangel's build.
* Maybe against Annie, I want poke damage from Luden's because I outrange her.
* Maybe against Xerath, I want to hit confirm my skills so I opt into GLP to catch him in a binding and land my full combo.
* Maybe if you have a bad back, you want to go for a fallback Tear of the Goddess that you otherwise might not have considered.
* Soft synergies with this approach are also of benefit; the more base damage you have (from Luden's or GLP), the more attractive Flat Pen options become. If you are planning on getting an early Deathcap, maybe Archangels is better (because you will have more AP), maybe you might consider a second mana item to boost your Archangel's mana ratio.
* Ultimately, we decided on GLP (catch), Ludens (poke) and Archangel's Staff (scaling) for first item options (with ROA still as an option of course).
**Second Item onwards (First item for non-mana users):**
Spellbound Orb (Pure offense/greed slot) New item?!!?!/!/1!:
* Moving Luden's away to first item leaves us with a hole in the pure offense/greed slot.
* Wanted to find an item that is functional, but also fun and exciting.
* I wanted an item that gets more value when fighting a lot/being in bloody games as opposed to when the game is relatively slow/split out.
Mana Items Second:
* Loosening the restrictions on stacking mana items, we arrived on a system that gives you most of the benefits of going two 20% CDR items without being broken together. This is to gain 10% CDR from any additional Lost Chapter items (the haste passive).
* Should you want to have infinite mana or to round out 30% with Transcendence/Lucidity, then maybe this is a good option.
* Liandry's has a split identity on Live, it is both about the Flat Pen and the % Current HP tank busting profile.
* This makes it generally good against all targets (live state) OR underpowered.
* As a result, we wanted to split out the Flat Pen from the burn that Liandry's is associated with, this made sense to put on Morellos.
* This meant we needed to find a passive that makes sense for these types of patterns (a passive that synergizes with DoT champs).
Morello's Cursed Tome:
* We knew this item item needed to have GW (better nerf Irelia).
* Putting Flat Pen on this item is a signal to the player that the Grievous Wounds is to be used against more squishy champions (as opposed to if there's a Maokai).
* Of course, it's still useful against Maokai or Mundo, but maybe Executioner's Calling is better for that.
* The GW effect can be far more powerful on this item if it's not seen every game like Morellonomicon was (still a working assumption to be borne out, maybe it's too much for healers to deal with).
* Having GW on this item allows manaless champs to consider it on first buy, especially with the attractive Flat Pen.
* With more income from not having to buy Sightstone, we are marketing Twin Shadows as an attractive option for supports looking to hunt down their targets.
* This item fights against Flat Pen, Liandries, Rylais and other items.
* Of course, maybe champs that really like roaming and hunting from mid occasionally look at this too, but that's less of a desired goal.
* We tried a 20% CDR, AP, Mana version of this on mid lane (for quite a while) to fill a roaming niche, but concerns of 6 of these in a game at once from Mid/Jg/Supp on both teams was quite hosing for all the junglers and for certain types of champions (eg. Akali).
**Small Tweaks: **
* 80 AP >>> 70 AP
* Void staff is just generally too efficient against all targets, rather against the ones stacking MR.
* 75 AP >>> 85 AP
* We nerfed Rylais in previous patches, and left it in a relatively underpowered state since then.
* Given how much perma slows tend to invalidate melee champions, being careful with this one (but the slow is nowhere as strong as it was before).
* AP Amp 35% >>> 40%
* The item was just not living up to its late game fantasy.
* Maybe some champs consider it 3rd sometimes (or even second), especially when going heavy AP builds.