Quick Gameplay Thoughts: December 5

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 http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Snowdown pass and Nexus Blitz** Both the Snowdown pass and Nexus Blitz will be going live tomorrow morning (6th of December). First, some pass details: * The Snowdown pass is an updated version of the Worlds pass. You now get tokens from winning games, with half as many for a loss. Champion mastery grades no longer have any effect on tokens earned. You can also get some tokens from first win of the day, from missions and from orbs. * Prestige Akali's available this time. * There will also be some unique rewards that only work on Nexus Blitz/ARAM during this event (special recall VFX/audio, finisher vfx/audio, a fire poro pet). You can unlock those via a second type of token that can only be earned on Nexus Blitz. Can also get them with RP if preferred. * Pass runs until the 7th of January. More details, numbers especially can be found on Riot Mort's Twitter https://twitter.com/Mortdog/status/1069710221780480005 Plus a quick refresh on what's up with Nexus Blitz: * We've done a lot of work on Nexus Blitz since its first run, with significantly better map art, improved events and rewards, some changes to the map geo, bans in champion select and more. If you never checked it out previously, or gave it a shot but found it a bit too unpolished, highly recommend giving it a try! * If Nexus Blitz proves to be really popular throughout its run we'll be looking into making it a permanent mode that's always on. If it gets a decent amount of play, but not enough to break the needed threshold for permanence we'll look at bringing it back as an RGM regularly instead. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Tower stats and rewards post preseason** So far tower stats and rewards are performing as we'd hoped. One of our key goals was to address cases where towers fell too quickly, cutting lane phase off too early. We didn't want to increase the length of longest laning phases by contrast, feeling those were already long enough. Looking at some stats:. 10th percentile (towers fall before this time only 10% of the time) * 8.22 = 9 minutes, 11 seconds * 8.23 = 11 minutes, 8 seconds 50th percentile (towers fall before this time 50% of the time) * 8.22 = 12 minutes, 17 seconds * 8.23 = 14 minutes, 1 second 90th percentile (towers fall before this time 90% of the time) * 8.22 = 15 minutes, 35 seconds * 8.23 = 15 minutes, 56 seconds These are stats from all MMR ranges combined. When looking at high MMR only all of the above values are about 1 minute faster, both in 8.22 and 8.23. Other goals were to make diving a bit more risky, via increased tower damage. We're still seeing a decent amount of diving going on, but with somewhat increased odds of a turnaround being possible, so that's also looking good so far. Still looking into data on the rewards side of things, will have that to share soonish. Also looks pretty appropriate though, with income up a bit but not dramatically, leading to champs more often leaving laning phase with their first big item completed as desired. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Lane Swaps** Lane Swaps are on our minds a bit given the changes to towers and game pacing. We don't want to see the game end up back in a state where early lanes are uncontested and champions just don't interact in organized play. We are open to early rotations or 1v2s as an occasional thing, though have some caution about how balance-able lane swapping as a more niche but viable option is, given it's been extremely frequent or missing entirely historically. Not concerned at present, given there are a lot of factors that should stop lane swaps being excessively powerful, or could be tuned to do so if needed. Plating gives more time to respond to towers going down. Plating rewards make it more costly to not defend your own towers. First tower gold, though smaller now, still exists as does tower fortification (50% reduced damage on top and mid outer towers in the first 5 minutes). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Katarina changes on the PBE** We've got a couple of changes to Kat's E hitting PBE I wanted to mention since they hard to spot or datamine and feedback on them would be useful: * Spell Buffering - Gunblade Active can now be buffered with all of Kat's spells. Should be particularly noticeable for higher ping players. * E - Cast time is now split into 0.075s before the blink and 0.075s after it, instead of 0.15s all up front. Should make E feel better when dodging incoming spells or picking up daggers.
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