Quick Gameplay Thoughts: November 28

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Preseason follow up: Part 1** Going to be mainly talking this week about how preseason's gone so far and what our thoughts on follow up are. Today's going to cover a bit about our approach, plus context on how why we're targeting various specific changes in 8.24. Friday's post will then focus on larger issues rather than specific champ/rune balance. Quick timeline: * Last Week - Preseason gets released in 8.23. * This week - We've now had time to get a solid initial picture of where preseason's landed so we're working on getting some balance changes into 8.24. Patch has to be locked down today, so the focus is on hitting a range of quicker to fix issues like individual champion balance that don't require longer development and testing. Those changes will go out next week in 8.24 * Later this week and next week - We'll be working on a patch 8.24b which will get released sometime mid December. It's a 'b' patch because it won't contain new content like skins or game features, instead being a purely balance focused patch. Changes will generally be adjustments to numbers, rather than new or heavily modified functionality on abilities, items, towers etc. Expectation is we'll probably work on addressing some larger issues in this patch, though some things could instead be in a patch early next year if they need more than a couple of weeks of development. * Early next year - Goal is to get larger changes into the first couple of changes, then once Ranked season starts, have a more stable period. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Balance Changes in 8.24** Runes * Dark Harvest Nerf - Dark Harvest's still looking too universally effective and on too many champs too powerful. We'll be cutting its base damage (20-60 instead of 40-80) and making it so it can't trigger off proc damage to make it less in-discriminant. Hitting base in particular to reduce its lane bullying potential, would like picking a scaling rune like this to come with more early game trade off. Once those changes have hit we'll then see if we should also be considering changes post 8.24 to the reset (should it be longer, or potentially removed?) and health threshold for the trigger (would 40% instead of 50% be more appropriate?). Don't want to hit too much at once though and overcorrect, hence a couple of changes next week with further follow up if needed. * Raptors - Pushing back the Raptor camp spawn time slightly (1:30 instead of 1:27) so that a few champs (Karthus and Aatrox especially) can't clear it then still get all of the first minion wave as easily. Champions: * Viktor Nerf - Looking to bring down top lane Viktor in particular, hopefully hitting it meaningfully without pushing him out of top completely. Likely involves hitting Q base and/or CD, then buffing Q and/or E ratios. * Irelia Nerf - Taking some power out through simple numbers changes right now, then likely following up with some larger work in a later patch. Probably removing power from her W primarily. * Aatrox Nerf - Removing Q's bonus damage to monsters to chip mid Aatrox with Smite down a bit (also cleans up an unnecessary mechanic on the Q as a bonus). * Akali Nerf - Taking some general power out now, then looking at larger mechanics changes later. Not sure on direction of either at time of writing. * Jax Nerf - Looking too strong, especially in the jungle. Just taking a bit of power out somewhere. * Camille Nerf - Looking to trim her jungle power in particular, laning to a lesser degree. Might involve lower base AS since that disproportionately affects jungling. * LeBlanc Nerf - Cutting some power. Direction to be determined still, probably something pretty straightforward. * Illaoi Buff - Potentially giving her lower CDs on an ability to two. Confident we should be buffing her a bit, still discussing exactly how though. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Stuff discussed that's not in 8.24** **Champs** * Pyke Nerf - We think Pyke's too strong when he gets a gold/XP lead going. Going to be looking at his scaling and/or rank ups as a result. Play rate's currently fairly low, but solo lane Pyke's looking real strong, so likely that's a large part of the focus of this work. Likely changes in 8.24b. * Karthus - Has benefited a lot from easier access to Presence of Mind and Last Stand (no forced attack speed), both of which are much more effective on him than on most champions. Still assessing him, including bot lane play, where's he's also looking strong, but still a pretty rare pick. * Taliyah - Starting to see her performance jungle recover after the changes. Continuing to watch for now. **Runes and Items** * Guinsoo's - No changes currently planned. Changes don't seem to have impacted its users much so far, with the exception of Kai'Sa who seems somewhat less bound to it. More a sidegrade for the others however. Nothing looking out of line, not a clear success at least initially either though. * Celerity - Is a strong choice on a limited number of champs, much weaker choice on many. Not sure yet if it's now too niche, versus its previous too broad status. Possible it's a bit weak/narrow over all, want to take a bit longer to see how it goes though, especially since we're still seeing a lot of players haven't adjusted their rune pages to add or remove it where appropriate yet. * Presence of Mind and Absolute Focus - Are both looking pretty strong, but sufficiently we think they need to be acted on at present though. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Likely topics for Friday's post** Going to focusing Friday on systemic topics we'll be looking into after the 8.24 work above. Likely includes some updated thoughts on ongoing assessment of tower stats/rewards, potential resurgence of gold/xp funneling and/or laneswaps, recent player discussion about power and feel of marksmen. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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