Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 14

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **8.12 Fighter items** We came to the conclusion at the start of this week that we should pull the fighter item changes out of patch 8.12, despite the patch being about to go out and a lot of work/testing having been done on those items. Our belief is that they're good designs, but that the timing's wrong for them, both in terms of current power of fighters and amount of change we've put into the game recently. Hoping to still do them at some point, with pre-season being the most likely option. Our apologies to those of you who were looking forward to those, would expect their removal to be pretty frustrating for some players, especially if you play fighters who aren't among the stronger ones right now, or who don't have a broad enough range of itemization. Building up expectations around content like this going out, only for it to then be pulled away, is something we try pretty hard to avoid. In this case, despite the pain that creates, we felt we needed to pull them out though. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Crit ADCs** We're working on buffing the performance of some ADCs in 8.13. That'll be focused on those who need some help like Trist, Vayne or Jinx. We want to get a range of crit ADCs back to being reasonable choices, at least in regular play, quickly - we have no desire to leave that group of champs without a home anywhere on SR. We also want to try and maintain some of the new diversity we're seeing sometimes in bot lane too though, so are trying not to swing so hard we go back to only seeing marksmen. In terms of what's getting played at present, it's not yet clear what optimal is. We're seeing a range of different things tried in pro play for example, with a wide range of success and failure. Also seeing a lot of player discussion around non marksmen dominating bot, though in most MMRs/regions play rates of non marksmen are extremely low still (some exceptions). In terms of how we'll be buffing the thing we're planning to target first is the performance of those struggling champs in the 1 to 2 item spike range. Looks like we pulled the crit users back too far in that period, leaving them too dependent on getting to 3+ items to contribute. Given their multiplicative power late game we do believe champs using those builds should be weaker mid game, but not to the extent they are right now. That also ties in with lane diversity, which we think is driven significantly by really early game power, so buffing mid game should be compatible with both putting crit ADCs in a better spot and keeping some increased lane diversity for those who want it. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Gold Funneling** We'll be nerfing gold funneling strategies in 8.13. Gold Funneling, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, is where you give one champion much of the gold/XP from multiple positions. Taric Mid/Yi jungle with Yi getting really farmed, or Karthus mid/Nunu counter jungling, with Karthus taking most of the allied jungle, being current examples. The gold funneling we're seeing now results in what's usually a pretty interactive, interesting, and often playmaking lane (mid) becoming very passive, with one laner just doing their best to interact with the other player as little as possible and getting rewarded for that. In cases where the mid laner isn't CSing that problems exacerbated further, since CSing does at least create small windows of vulnerability, earlier in the game especially. While there's likely some counterplay to gold funneling that hasn't emerged yet, we're doubtful it's going to be around as easy to execute as gold funneling itself is or particularly fun/interesting in its own right. We held off on changes to gold funneling initially when it wasn't clear if it was a pretty niche thing that would bring some variety occasionally and be worth a bit of game health cost, or something that would become more dominant and need to be addressed even if it offered strategic variety. Pretty clear at this point it's the later. In terms of how we'll address it we're still testing exact tactics. Possible changes include returning the overlevelled XP penalty on jungle camps that got removed in 8.10, individual adjustments to champs like Yi (lane minion damage on Q for example), jungle items giving XP penalties for lane minions to offset the increased XP from jungle monsters etc. Should have more details soon. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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