Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 28

Hey all, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Sion** We fixed a couple of bugs on Sion in 8.3, which likely made him a bit stronger. At the same time it turns out we also unknowingly introduced a new bug as well, which is likely adding quite a bit more strength to him than those bug fixes did. In order to address an issue where minions he E'd would sometimes die before the end of the knockback we ended up rebuilding the spell. The rebuilt version was unintentionally set to use a different check to determine what was hit (distance between the E and the edge of the target's model, instead of the E and the center of the target's model). That basically means Sion E is wider than it's meant to be at present, which adds noticeable extra power. That will be fixed in the next patch. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Conqueror** We're continuing to test the new Precision keystone, Conqueror, with the goal of shipping it in 8.6. Been seeing quite a bit of discussion about it and wanted to talk about out a few things with its design: * While you do have to be in combat for 4s before it triggers that's not the same as you have to be hitting your target for 4s before it triggers. Like Grasp of the Undying you can prep it by taking or dealing damage (e.g. poke spells or other targets) before getting onto the enemy you particularly want to fight. * The true damage conversion it offers is somewhat anti synergistic with champions who build pen or have it on their kits, or have true damage already. Converting a % of your damage to true is much more valuable when that damage was previously getting mitigated at a high rate. If you're got significant % pen/shred already (e.g. Darius with BC and his E armor pen) and/or deal a lot of true damage regardless (e.g. Fiora) you'll be getting less of a damage amp than champs without either. Might still be a good choice, especially if you're facing really tanky enemies, but less likely to be the strongest use case. * The delay and the true damage are both there in part to create more distinction from other keystones. To get meaningful choice between runes they need to be offering significantly different things, which can be tricky when their output is just damage. That means creating distinction between damage runes through things like when in the fight they offer damage (e.g. up front versus after a delay), who they're good against (e.g. squishies versus tanky targets versus low health enemies etc), whether they're pure damage or also include some other effect (e.g. healing) etc. Lack of that sort of distinction was one of the big issues with Fervor, given it switched on almost immediately (most of its users could rush its ramp up significantly) and then stayed on while being equally effective against whoever (given it was raw AD). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Longer thoughts on Marksmen delayed** I mentioned a while back I was looking to talk about our thinking on the state of marksmen in detail soon. Going to have to delay that until quite a bit closer to mid-season. We're still working through a lot of interconnected issues there around marksmen and bot lane overall that will need a fair bit more time before we've got some clearer conclusions. Apologies this is taking quite a bit longer than originally hoped. Some of the things we're looking at: * The arms race between champs who build multiplicative damage and multiplicative defense and how that affects champs building a mixture of both * The need to be able to kill full tank builds late game * Whether the balance of power between marksmen general damage and marksmen tank busting effects is correct * How front loaded marksmen damage can get, later in the game especially (e.g. crit + Shiv crit) * What stats are needed to make playing a marksmen feel good earlier in the game versus what power's actually needed * How much reliable burst mitigation there is available for marksmen, both from supports and from other sources * How marksmen power curves compare to other classes and whether marksmen have sufficiently distinct power curves from each other * Marksmen wave clear late game (and wave clear in general) * Amount of power having decent resourceless ranged damage early game offers (while many champs are still quite mana gated) Plus likely a few other things that will emerge as we keep working. One of our next steps is going to be narrowing down to a subset of issues, with the goal of making significant progress on some rather than a little bit on everything. We'll also going to need to do some work on non marksmen too as part of our work to open up bot lane more. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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