Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 1

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Thoughts on 8.11 shortly** At time of writing the 8.11 patch is getting deployed still so we haven't yet had a chance to see how it's landed. Thoughts on that to come shortly. Over the first couple of days we'll be looking in particular at champions and items that are so out of line (whether strong or weak) that we need to prioritize work on them for 8.12 or potentially just micropatch them before that. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Gold/XP Funneling** There's been some increase in gold/XP funneling recently, both in game usage and discussion around it. Thoughts on that below. It's an an ongoing thing we're keeping an eye on, so these are initial thoughts, not a strong statement of our position. For anyone unfamiliar with it funneling here refers to when you try and give a champ much more XP/gold than they'd normally be able to get so they're really far ahead of everyone else. Right now that usually involves one champ taking most of the minions/monsters from two positions with things like Taric/Yi in Mid/Jungle, or Karthus/Nunu also in Mid/Jungle. We've also seen it in the recent past with cases like Kayle/Yi in Top/Jungle. It's a non standard strategy getting play on SR, which, all else being equal, we think is pretty cool. Would like to support different playstyles more than we have in the past. Having said that, it's not clear yet whether there's sufficient counterplay to it or not. Not seeing people use it optimally or play against it optimally yet (does demand adaptation). We're also unsure how effective a strategy it really is. It's looking like one of the stronger ways to play as a smurfing duo, unclear how well it will perform once it's better known against equal skilled players. We're certainly seeing some player frustration with it. Need to determine whether we’re seeing temporary pain around the state of the meta changing as something new but healthy is found, a flavor of the month strat that will vanish by itself or a strategy that even long term will lead to a less fun, deep game. Funneling of resources also risks creating game states where one or more players gives up a lot of their agency and fun so someone else can be stronger. Some of that can be fine, possible this crosses the line though (not personally sure yet). If it starts to become the primary way to play, versus a niche option, that would be pretty concerning (Twisted Treeline suffers in that regard). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Early Game Snowball** As mentioned previously we're going to be looking at early game snowball in the near future. We've seen snowball rates gradually increasing statistically over the last couple of months. We’ve got a number of ideas about what might contribute to that increase so will be validating things like: * Have gameplay changes like those to gold bounties, scuttle, mage mana, resolve health contributed significantly? We didn’t see similar snowball increases looking at last year’s data and 2017 also had meaningful gameplay changes. * Are there behavioral changes that are contributing? Things like an increase in ‘open mid’ as an attitude would also contribute to statistical measurements of snowball. * Are there any other factors we might be missing? Things like bugs in the data set (unlikely, but want to keep checking), matchmaking changes etc could also be really relevant here. On the gameplay side changes like those above that might have contributed have been targeted at other things we also believe are important, like solo carry potential, broadening team comps, reducing early lane passivity etc. If looking to tone down snowball from a gameplay perspective we’ll be aiming for approaches that don't clash too hard with other goals as a result. Things like reducing team snowball more than solo, potentially reducing the cost of an early death, changing tower tankiness by game time (does it still make sense for them to gradually get tankier versus starting tanky?) etc. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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