Welcome back to Patch Chat! We’re Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high ranking League players whose job it is to play the hell out of things (lane tests, competitive testing, etc) and give actionable, objective feedback to designers.
Every two weeks (concurrent with the release of patch notes), we’re going to be hosting a discussion here on the state of balance on the current patch. **Take this opportunity to ask us any questions about the state of the game.**
Taric drops soon, so feel free to ask us any questions about the process of playtesting a rework.
As well, we’ve given our thoughts on sustain, given the Patch 6.8 sustain changes.
If you looked deep in the patch notes, you saw a series of related changes to lane sustain, aimed at allowing mistakes in lane to be punished, and forcing hard-scaling champions to actually work to make it into the late game. As players, how did we feel about those changes?
> I don’t really mind high sustain. It pushes a different subset of champions to the forefront of top lane and gives me a new play experience.
-- Ben “_Cezium_” Burkhardt
> Sustain in lane makes me feel like I can have a second chance, and makes lane more interesting by allowing for more fights. However, the current level of sustain - especially combined with Teleport - makes your accomplishments in lane feel useless/nullifies lane phase.
-- Shawn “_I Am The IRS_” Currie
> I already play high sustain champions in lane, like Cho’Gath or Nasus. I like the ways those champions can consistently weather the storm and come out on top. High sustain metas frustrate me, because if everybody can do that, so why am I playing those champions?
-- Mattias “_Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman
> High lane sustain allows bad players to make it through the early laning phase. The laning phase is what I find the most fun to play around because it is where you can show your individual skill.
-- Trevor “_ThEntropist_” Thernes
> I don’t mind playing with high sustain. I like to stay in lane to cs or fight the enemy laner. If passive sustain gets too high, then top lane only feels OK if you’re both champions that benefits from it. With Corrupting Flask, if your enemy laner takes it, you probably should too. I’ll be happy if I end up being able to start Doran’s Blade on more champions through top lane.
-- Nicholas “_Nickwu_” Smith
**Taric - From Gem Knight to Shield of Valoran
As playtesters, our job is to represent players at Riot; to make sure the in-game experience is protected from patch to patch. Nowhere is that more clear than in champion reworks, where we have to make sure that the new and improved kits feel improved and yet still the same.
With Taric, that struggle was pretty strong, as we all remembered playing Taric in the past. When we think of Taric, the key ideas that came to mind were his simplicity, and the bucket of stats he gave his team. Once we got over the more complicated kit of Taric, we grew pretty attached to the protective nature of his kit.
We especially learned to enjoy playing around his passive. If you’re ahead, and get to stagger your abilities and make optimal use of your passive, Taric can be quite aggressive and know that he will always have an ability up to bail out a teammate -- or himself. On the other hand, If you’re behind, and don’t get to use your passive consistently, Taric has to choose his actions more carefully, and rely on high-impact reactive casts.
Moreover, thanks to the use unusual targeting (your Bastion conduit), we got to really feel growing mastery of this champion over time, hitting a clutch stun or ultimate based on the positioning of an ally. There are certainly some frustration points (sometimes your allies just don’t move the way you’d expect them to, but playing Taric teaches you to be pretty good at reading your allies’ movements, not just your enemies.
Of course, Taric did have to give some things up, including his explosive burst combo and his simplicity, but getting to explore the deep mastery curve of new Taric more than made up for it in our opinion.
What do you think of the Taric rework or sustain changes? Have any questions about what it’s like to work as a Riot playtester? Maybe some questions about 6.8 as a whole? As usual, feel free to ask any questions about balance or what exactly our job is! We will be around for the next few hours and will try to answer as many questions as possible.
Adam "_Afic_" Cohen
Ben “_Cezium_” Burkhardt
Shawn “_I Am The IRS_” Currie
Miles “_Daydreamin_” Hoard
Mattias “_Gentleman Gustaf_” Lehman
Nicholas “_Nickwu_” Smith
Blake “_Ex Shepherd_” Soberanis
Trevor “_ThEntropist_” Thernes