Quick Gameplay Thoughts: July 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Approach we're taking with 7.15/Qualifiers** First off, quick update, was talking with some of our Esports folks and they mentioned some of the qualifiers will likely be played on 7.16, rather than all of them on 7.15 (LPL seems most likely from the sounds of it). Secondly, wanted to talk a bit more about the approach we're taking with pro balance for the coming patch. We're looking at groups of champions more than usual, with a few observations driving a lot of our changes and then a number of one offs. What we're currently looking into therefore looks like: * Jungle - Belief is that it's more appropriate to bring the top junglers down a bit than trying to buff others up to their level. That means smallish nerfs to Lee Sin, Gragas, Elise, Rek'Sai and Zac are being looked at. That also has the added benefit of bringing jungler impact overall down slightly, in addition to hopefully being the better way to see some more diversity. * Mid Lane - Looks to be in a reasonable spot overall, so here we're targeting specific champs we think could get into the competitive pool. That means buffs to TF, Ekko, Ziggs, Xerath and potentially one or two more. We haven't seen artillery champs in pro play much for a while, Jayce excepted, so are hoping to get a bit of spot play on one or two. Buffs will be pretty light though, so that's more a hope than an expectation however. * Champs we've adjusted recently - We're watching, but not yet testing changes for, a number of champs we've recently nerfed. Those are competitive staples recently like Galio or Caitlyn. Want to make sure we've trimmed then down enough but don't want to swing at them again if that's not needed. On the other side of things also watching a couple of champs we've recently buffed who are getting a bunch of pro play, Gnar being the biggest example * Misc champs - Finally we're also just exploring some minor tune ups/tune downs for a few miscellanious champs we think are either a bit strong or could be pro viable with smaller work. Thresh (-), Nami (+), Jinx (+), GP (+) are good examples of that. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Singed Hotfix** As a lot of you will have noticed we hotfixed nerfed Singed yesterday. Buffs for him gave him much more power than we'd predicted so we felt it necessary to take some power off him quickly. Urgency there was particularly high given that high performance wasn't just experienced Singed players doing well, but happening even with a lot of people with limited Singed experience jumping onto the changes, indicating power when played effectively was noticeably higher again. We're glad to see Singed in a stronger spot, and that was one of the big goals of the recent changes, but that doesn't mean any magnitude of buff was appropriate and this one overshot quite a bit. More thoughts on his state to follow once the patch has been out a decent amount of time. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Hotfixing in General** For anyone unfamiliar with the term a hotfix is a quick change to the game outside of the normal patch cycle that often doesn't require the player to download a new patch (done on the server). They've got some added risk, so they're not a standard tool, with less time to test things both in terms of bugs and balance. If things are urgent they can be a good choice though. We're planning to do slightly more hotfixes, in particular because we recently saw some tools changes get finished that reduce the risk of bugs from hotfixing and the amount of developer time they take to do. They're still a riskier tool, so won't become the standard way of rolling out changes, but it's much more likely you'll see a balance change or two following up after a patch goes out. Goal with those is primarily to adjust anything that had a much larger or smaller effect than we expected (e.g. correct extreme cases of overbuffed or overnerfed quicker). Those changes won't be aiming to fully solve a problem gebnerally though, both because of the limited testing time possible and because it's not clear enough what that would require shortly after a patch. Instead they'll be aimed at moderating the most out of line cases a bit before we give them a more extended analysis over a longer period of time. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Kayn** Seems to be in an ok spot so far. We're seeing a lot of Kayns fail, that's very much expected for a new champ, especially a squishier melee one. Assassin Kayn seems to be struggling more than Darkin. That's somewhat expected off assassin being the harder to learn form, also possible there's too large a power difference between the two though. No immediate plans for balance changes, discrepancy between the two forms is one of the key things we'll be watching though. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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