Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 22

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 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **9.5 a simpler patch** 9.5 is likely to be a fairly straightforward, and probably comparatively small patch. It'll have a range of champion balance changes in it, current expectation is it won't have any larger changes to game systems though (things like the crit item changes recently for example). We've got work on bounty system improvements underway, those will likely be in 9.6 though. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Some early observations on 9.4** Note, these are being written just hours after the patch went out, so possible a few things have become clearer in the day or so since. * Azir and Rek'Sai - both have comparatively small play rates, so it's harder to get a quick read on how they're doing post changes. Looking like both got noteworthy power increases, too early to say much beyond that though. * Kai'Sa - Is performing noticeably better post patch even though the only change for her was an update to her recommended items. Good reminder for us when we're assessing balance that a character's potential performance and how they're on average being played can be pretty different. Important to account for what effective playstyles/builds can yield and/or help players intuitively identify such builds as a result. * Urgot - Lost a meaningful amount of power as expected. We're still planning on letting him settle for a patch. Likely result after that is we put some power back into him in 9.6 in different places than where it was taken out. Depends on how he performs between now and then though of course. * Conqueror - Again, hard to assess off just part of a day of play on the new patch. Some of its users are almost certainly performing quite a bit better with it than before (e.g. Riven, Olaf and Irelia). Early indications suggest others are potentially neutral or a bit worse (e.g. Trynd, Darius and Yi). We're expecting we'll have a much clearer read on its power later today and should then be able to make calls on what sort of follow up is or isn't needed. Most likely target if it's too strong is reducing the amount of Adaptive Force each stack gives, though it would of course depend on in what ways its users were out of line. Not clear yet if any AP champs are effective, or even overpowered, users of it, given not enough people have tried it out yet on champs who weren't good users of the old version. Similarly not yet clear whether there are marksmen for whom it's a great choice, though expect we'll get a clear read on that too soon. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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