In the near future, some changes to durability in League are going to hit the PBE in anticipation of the upcoming midseason patch. Before that happens, I wanted to give some brief info on what kinds of things you can expect to see, as well as why we wanted to work on these things. Please note that this post in particular will be more about goals and direction than specific changes, so take numbers with a grain of salt, and know that things are still subject to change pending feedback/tuning. With that brief intro out of the way, let’s get right into it.
**MR/lvl for all**
Since this is pretty straightforward, we’ll get it out of the way first. Every champion that has no MR/lvl is planned to gain a small amount. This change will probably go mostly unfelt, but should help to curb some especially crazy burst damage cases on squishy champions, and though we have no current plans, it puts us in a better position to do things like use MR/lvl as a tuning level in the future, similar to how we do for Armor/lvl already.
**Tank Item Stat Rebalance**
Many of the game’s end-tier tank items have approximately half of their gold value in Health and half of it in Armor or MR. With the midseason coming, we’re looking to change some of those proportions slightly so that the items have more of their gold budget in the Armor or MR stat on them. The goal of this change is reduce how spiky first and second item purchases on tanks tend to be, while simultaneously increasing their ability to grow their builds satisfyingly throughout the game.
For an example, Sunfire Cape currently gives a good amount of Health and a good amount of Armor, and with these changes, we’re aiming for it to have slightly less Health and slightly more Armor. By doing these changes, a tank rushing an Armor item like Sunfire Cape will be less effective defensively against the opposing team’s magic damage dealers until they manage to round out their defenses through other items. So in this case, Sunfire Cape has 75 less Health but 10 more Armor.
**Tank Item Unique Effect Sharpening**
While working on the tank item side of durability, we wanted to increase the excitement of items by making them a bit more about their unique effects. Throughout the items changes, you’ll see small changes to items’ uniques that aim to make them more effective at their intended purpose (and sometimes less effective at more general purposes). For instance, we have some changes that make Dead Man’s Plate deal no bonus damage except at max stacks, and also lose some stacks when basic attacking without max stacks. However, it also stacks up more quickly and its slow no longer decays, both of which help the item better perform its main purposes.
**New Defensive Items**
In addition to changing some existing items’ effects in the shop, we’re also looking to add a couple new ones. These primarily aim to add a few options that tanks can opt into to protect themselves against common threats they need to deal with. As an example, we’ll be putting a new Armor/MR item on the PBE that is statistically very inefficient, but doubles its Armor/MR when around enemy champions. This positions it as a great choice when you know you need to get in the middle of the enemy team regularly, but not so attractive if splitpushing is a core part of your strategy.
Some items in the game have stats and unique effects that conflict with each other. To this end, you’ll be seeing some changes aimed at reimagining existing items to either have new stat lines and build paths, or that simply have their effects swapped with other existing items that we felt would be more fitting. To speak to one of them, Guardian Angel can often not feel like a particularly helpful item. Its stats are attractive to tanks, but its unique effect isn’t very fun for the game on tanks. Its unique effect would be a welcome addition to some damage dealers, but its build path usually feels far too inaccessible or inconvenient to get to. As such, there are some tentative changes on the way for Guardian Angel, as well as a few other items in similar positions.
Again, things that end up on PBE will be subject to change and/or removal before shipping for midseason. One final thing to note is that, following these change, there will still be some items that aren’t in great shape and are going unchanged for at least the time being. However, our hope is that we’re setting up a good framework around which we can work on individual items in the future and find them good homes in the item shop.
That about does it for the precursor to the midseason durability changes. I probably won’t go into too much detail on individual changes here, but if there are questions about goals and direction that were unclear or that you’d just like some more info on, I’ll try to answer some comments.