: If the role of an assassin is to kill the squishy high priority target...
Good question. We have definitely have "too much" AoE in our game relative to what every champ strictly needs in order to team fight. A few reasons come to mind: 1) The game isn't just team fighting. AoE lets champions clear minion waves so that they can roam the map. We really want assassins to be freed to roam on occassion. 2) AoE is a great tool for making a number of engaging targeting types work. 3) Champs aren't purely about their class identity. The game would be pretty dry if every assassin was built according to a rigid checklist of properties. With any design, we intentionally break some of the "rules" of class design. This is important if we don't want the question of "which of these champs is the best assassin" to be easily answered. 4) To your point, we are sometimes too liberal with putting AoE onto kits. For example, Talon often functions as more of a ball-of-ambient-damage than a surgeon with the blades.
Sahn Uzal (EUW)
: Gangplank's a battlemage? Interesting... A skirmisher + disruptor hybrid would've made more sense to me :p but I can see where you're coming from though, taking a second look at it.
GP is a great example of hybridity -- in fact, almost all champs are to some degree. The fluidity of GP's barrel chaining and fairly front loaded power of his R push him toward Battle Mage in my eyes. He rapidly creates a situation where he can project threat onto the opponent team from fairly substantial range. Imagine a hypothetical GP who really had to set up barrel "traps" in advance... much more of a disruptor playstyle. Imagine a GP who was much more focused on passive procs (e.g., barrel explosions deal less damage cover opponents in tar, slowing them and causing them to take double damage from fire)... much more of a skirmisher.
maikokk (NA)
: Can you NOT encourage us to miss cs?
We agree with your analysis. The "CS sound" playing on Bandit's +1 gold is unintended and should be fixed in 5.24.
maucer (NA)
: Has there been anymore thought on adding champion mastery levels to ARAM (or other modes) in some form? That is something I would love to see!
I'm not sure our designers who work on that are in this Q and A, so I'll answer for them! I would be somewhat opposed to this on the grounds that ARAM doesn't test a wide variety of skills and because the random mode is about encouraging you to branch out, not go deep on a small number of champions. However, I think it would be cool if there were ways to express your mastery of ARAM as such -- for example, ones more related to the map or champion _classes_.
RexSaur (NA)
: About the marksmen that got weaker/arent doing great are you going to buff them oither than the obvious kogmaw? Mainly talking about Caitlyn/Ashe/Sivir/Twitch, they are all at near 45% win rate, and thats with the pre nerf warlords mastery so its only going to get worse for them. As someone who has played caitlyn for over 3 years i feel she will need some buffs, she is mostly worse overall after that patch, i do like the new kit dymanic and the fact she has more unique stuff in it but still. Cant help but feel like caitlyn was nerfed significantly with all the kit nerfs, her laning phase was nerfed way too hard, so much that caitlyn now has a 43% win rate on the first 20 mins of the game according to champion.GG, for her pickrate she has around 46% win rate which is about 5% lower than she had before the patch, and mind you she needed some buffs or atleast net positive changes, not nerfs, i feel like she could use more mana in lane and traps shouldnt feel so weak and have a 45s cd at rank 1 of the spell, its gating her laning phase way too much. i also feel the Q doesnt do enough damage on the early ranks of the spell considering how hard it is to hit now on a single target. Twitch basically got a nerf as 2 seconds on his ult >>>>>>> The q reset which is still mostly completely useless due to the fact his stealth still takes too long go off even if a minion is hitting him.
I'll go into some elements of our approach. As an individual contributor to the marksmen updates, it will only reflect my perspective, but hopefully it will be helpful: 1) Winrate data is heavily skewed at the moment due to three factors. First, a couple of champions are way too strong (e.g., Graves). They will naturally lower the win rate of all other marksmen. Second, champions with new mechanics ought to go down in win rate as people learn to use them. This includes itemization changes (e.g., we are confused as to why players aren't trying Essence Reaver on Sivir). Third, not every champion will have a 50% win rate at balance. For example, as we differentiate marksmen, you'll have to pick them in the right circumstances - If you pick Vayne on a team that desperately needs wave clear, you'll probably be worse off than if you'd picked Sivir. Champs that have well defined niches will tend to be more powerful than their win rate suggests. 2) We aren't sure where every champion sits. Obviously we have our own internal assessments of champion power, but they actually differ markedly from a lot of players' perspectives. Unless we take the time to carefully watch and play the champions on Live for a while, we risk just playing musical chairs, shifting a new set of marksmen from apparently weak to actually overpowered. Further, we can't just balance champs. We need to listen to you, the player base, about how you want to use champs in order to get the _right _changes in place. Technically, we could just balance any champ just through changing their base HP and HP per level, but it wouldn't lead to a satisfying experience. 3) That is all very nebulous. So here are some specific answers. * We're hotfixing Graves and Kog'Maw today (nerf and buff respectively). * I'd look some obvious changes in 5.23 and a substantial amount of fine tuning in 5.24. * Caitlyn's Q is indeed too weak. Even if we had to nerf other elements of her, it would be worth buffing the ability to let her actually reach towers and make skillfully avoiding it matter when playing against. * I believe duo bot Twitch is very powerful and that players who are routinely failing with him are probably not good at the champion or are fixated on a strategy that is now less effective (teamfight AoE) as opposed to opportunistic assassination. Even the data supports this. His win rate is almost 50% when played in his best role. He's not doing well in the jungle, and we'll have to assess how much we can support him there. * I don't have a good sense for Sivir and Ashe's balance right now, so perhaps someone else can reply to that. Anecdotally, they feel effective given their utility.
Pika310 (NA)
: You hit paste too many times and repeated yourself in the original post. --- That aside, I've noticed many old interactions that were specifically removed from the game have snuck their way back in. Just an example of these: a long time ago Caitlyn's passive was changed so that it would not charge up whilst autoing turrets, but with the recent rework this has returned. Were these types of interactions returned on purpose, or is this an oversight in coding error? In the latter case, will you be looking to track these down and undo them once again?
This was done on purpose. Caitlyn is a (perhaps _the_) premiere siege marksman. She should feel good about attacking towers. We added this mechanic back in on Caitlyn because it made sense that she wouldn't feel a tension between shooting towers and minions.
Mongoose (NA)
: i have a suggestion: if caitlyn kills a target with her ult, 3 bullets bounce from the target and attack the 3 nearest champions, dealing %max hp true damage to them and giving caitlyn 3 dashes with her ult. during this time, her passive drops to every 3 hits and also deals %max hp true damage. to balance this out, we will reduce her base ad by 2. this will separate the good caitlyns from the great.
> [{quoted}](name=Mongoose,realm=NA,application-id=3ErqAdtq,discussion-id=EHnxLwry,comment-id=000f0000,timestamp=2015-09-22T05:46:59.069+0000) > > i have a suggestion: > > if caitlyn kills a target with her ult, 3 bullets bounce from the target and attack the 3 nearest champions, dealing %max hp true damage to them and giving caitlyn 3 dashes with her ult. during this time, her passive drops to every 3 hits and also deals %max hp true damage. > > to balance this out, we will reduce her base ad by 2. > > this will separate the good caitlyns from the great. That will synergize nicely with her innovative new "cops and robbers mini-game" which causes her attacks against the richest enemy champion to heal her for 10% of her missing health. Cops and Robbers triggers any time her team kills the dragon while in control of their fort.
: @Meddler: Is Caitlyn on your "Marksman Update" List?
We are indeed doing some work on Caitlyn as part of the pre-season's Marksmen update. None of her abilities are likely to change substantially. As many have mentioned she's fun and functional on Live. It's just hard to identify a situation when she's the right pick over other marksmen. Here's the gist of the present direction, roughly ordered big to small in terms of where our changes are likely to focus: 1. Hone Caitlyn's strategic identity as a siege/zone control-focused champion, likely by emphasizing her traps. Hone her thematic identity as a sharpshooter by emphasizing accuracy and range. 2. Give a bit more depth to her playstyle, likely by emphasizing shot timing and target selection. You should know a person who has 30 games on Cait from one with 5. Add this depth through rewarding good planning and judgment, not pure mechanical skill. 3. Retain/enhance her trademark safety, again likely through enhanced traps, in exchange for not being a great tank buster compared to less safe marksmen. Ensure she has access to offensive rewards should she trade in some of that safety, likely through 90 Caliber Net. 4. Create limited windows of breathing room to her early pressure so that more champions, when properly played, can fight back against her laning phase. Use those windows to let us be comfortable with her being a potent lane bully.
: MF changes aren't till after worlds, so that means over a month away?
The present plan is for MF's changes to come out with the pre-season (so after Worlds), as they require particle updates to her base and skins. Not to get everyone too excited, but we are also having to do a lot of performance testing to ensure that the number of bullets her ult fires at level 16 doesn't destroy min spec computers.
Amarajah (NA)
: Kalista's range should be nerfed to 525 at the very least, if not 500
Kalista was 525 for a decent period during her development. Feedback was very negative to this at the time, though feedback tends to be negative toward mechanics that reduce the player's margin for error during this phase, as most players are unfamiliar with the champion. Perhaps at some point we will revisit the issue. Certainly a few things about the champion would need to change to compensate for the range loss.
LankPants (OCE)
: >The buff to Zyra's ult is to solidify her role as a potent counter-engage champion. If you dive into Zyra's team, you'd better be extremely fast acting or you're liable to be CC'd for 3.25 seconds. SmashGizmo's in charge of the change, but I think it matches her strategic identity well. It also has the side effect of pushing her further into a support role, which I think is something that Zyra players have made clear we don't want. There's a lot of buffs that could be good for Zyra, I'm not convinced this is one of them.
This is a buff to both solo lane and duo lane Zyra. Gold agnostic power is still power... if you want to play her mid, go for it! No reason to be spiteful over a buff that helps her in both situations. We continue to think that Zyra should feel like a supportive midlane pick (high CC within role) and a mage-like support (high damage within role).
: Can we stop demonizing Riot developers who think outside the box?
Hey, A couple of points: 1) This game is free to play, yes, but you should demand as much from us as you would from any developer. Our goal is to make the best game we are capable of, period. When you don't think we are, tell us. 2) We have thick skins. I'll give my personal reasons for this so as to not speak for other Rioters: a) I know I have a lot of growth to do as a designer. I understand why a player would be upset with some of the decisions I've made. b) My job is to give players extremely hard problems to solve. Sometimes those problems will leave them frustrated. If everyone thought I was a good designer, I'd be worried. c) A player's opinion of me has no effect on my obligation to them. I still owe that person the best in-game experience possible and so will read their feedback to understand what has them so riled. I am admittedly less likely to reply, but that is more because it is hard to have a dialogue when emotions are high than because I don't feel they deserve an answer.
: > [{quoted}](name=Meddler,realm=NA,application-id=3ErqAdtq,discussion-id=EjtVw5RB,comment-id=0000,timestamp=2015-09-03T04:27:21.324+0000) > > Plants should now consistently target Zyra's most recent auto attack target, rather than sometimes attacking things Zyra had attacked previously. They'll also interact a bit better with FoW and should be a bit more responsive around their facing/tracking of targets. Might be some other more subtle stuff, can't recall off the top of the head. > > Got a playtest in on the AI changes yesterday and they felt reasonable to me (I play a moderate amount of Zyra). Nothing that felt dramatically different, so not sure if I'd have known the changes were there if I hadn't been told, did feel like there weren't the moment or two of plants being unresponsive I'd normally notice in a game though. Hi Meddler, Are you saying that if I auto-attacking the champion more than minions, the plants would priority that specific champion when they are in range of the plants? For example, if I auto-attack Yasuo the most and summon the plants to attack him, will the plants continue to priority him when he gets out of the plant's range or attacking minions instead? or do I have to auto-attack him again to make the plants switch the target? Sorry if I'm confusing you.
Zyra's plant logic will not be that much different. Here's the actual logic for those curious: 1) Units that have taunted the plant (e.g., Shen), whatever their range.. they will just stare at an out of range unit while taunted 2) Champs Zyra has auto-attacked in the last 3 seconds (prioritizing most recently attacked) 3) Champs that have recently been attacked by any plant (prioritizing nearest) 4) Champs within 350 units of the plant -- for reference, 350 is the size of Lee Sin's E1 or Evelynn's R (prioritizing closest) 5) Non-champs Zyra has AA'd (prioritizing most recently attacked) 6) Any unit in range (prioritizing closest) The changes in 5.18 are that: 2 and 5 now use "most recent" over "closest", allowing Zyra to better re-direct plants to higher priority targets; Plants will no longer get hung up on invisible targets, such as champions in fog of war; Plants will no longer sometimes mis-believe that they attacked on spawn (which caused a long delay before their first real attack); Plants will quickly move to face the target they are going to attack next, so you can get a better sense for how your actions shape their priorities.
Omiwom (NA)
: Stop giving every new champ a projectile with a slow for their Q
Our infatuation with lines is matched only by our love affair with circles. We overuse the line nuke missile, but there's a reason it's our dominant cast type: it tends toward good gameplay around minions/Braums, reads very clearly since it emanates from the caster directly and produces threat that fairly smoothly scales down with distance (creating somewhat linear reward for approaching your enemy, which is risky).
: Community; All Mordekaiser needs to be viable in Solo lanes is a self cast W...
The intent is for this to be a sizeable nerf to duo lane Mordekaiser (the damage zones can no longer overlap for double damage). This is almost certainly a buff to solo lane/jungle Morde, but not enough to get him fully to viability. It's more likely than not that he'll receive further changes in 5.19.
: Thank you Riot!
This set of changes is what we are testing internally at present, and might very well be all we do for 5.18. I do anticipate them being a buff to solokaiser -- It's hard to not generate net health from W (despite the hp cost), and if you hit your lane opponent it's a sizeable heal (half an hp potion at rank 1). These changes alone are probably _not_ enough for his solo lane to be balanced, but I'd like to see where it leaves him when played duo/jungle. It's frustrating to have your favorite champion not quickly brought to viability. It's more frustrating to be put on a buff/nerf roller coaster. Also, this is the patch worlds will be played on, so I'm trying to be cautious (not my forte).
Chortle (NA)
: 5.18 Zyra changes. I'm confused..
We're fixing bugs with her plant AI as well -- the kind that lead to plants idling enemies nearby or continuing to attacking a unit when she had basic attacked another. The buff to Zyra's ult is to solidify her role as a potent counter-engage champion. If you dive into Zyra's team, you'd better be extremely fast acting or you're liable to be CC'd for 3.25 seconds. SmashGizmo's in charge of the change, but I think it matches her strategic identity well.
Lugg (NA)
: I agree with your idea of delaying it, but I would make it .5 seconds due to lag. I consider myself a pretty good Galio player and I have had that happen several times on accident. Nunu should have the same change as well.
I feel like Nunu has much stronger incentives to cancel Absolute Zero early due to the lingering Slow/AS Slow it provides. I wonder whether Idol of Durand wouldn't be a better overall spell with a small linger on the CC.
: Look, I'm glad you posted and I'm sure lot of other people are too. I just wanted to ask though, why would you feel the playtesters were not making the right choices? Aren't the players on the PBE there because they care that extra degree that makes them want to be a playtester? Aren't they in effect a more reliable source of information than the "general population" (both are valuable and will give you different sets of data, I definitely understand that, but valuable for different reasons. The PBE player's reasons are allegedly that they care about the balance of the game a bit more than the gen pop and want to go that extra mile to get that channel of communication directly to you because they believe you will make informed decisions once you have it.) I downvoted the other guy responding, coming in here being toxic to you because that's no way to act. But honestly we can't ignore him. People want answers from you and you're giving them, but I do have to say he's at least sorta-kinda right. You got the feedback from the dedicated Morde players on the PBE, and other smart PBE players and then just "pulled rank" because you didn't trust what they were telling you for some reason. A lot of us players find that to be...baffling at the least...infuriating at the worst, and frankly, brutal truth ahead, it causes some of us to lose trust in you. I don't even play Morde, but I am always looking for communication from Riot about changes that you guys make, especially when the overall feedback on the change is negative. Honestly it's amazing that you would come in here and face that, lots wouldn't in your shoes, and I respect it, even if I do question why it happened. You have a golden opportunity to at least clear your own name here in the eyes of some of us, please don't waste it.
My job is to balance the competing interests of all 10 players in the game. It's also to keep the game dynamic. This means I have to balance feedback from multiple sources. In this case, I had a lot of feedback from people saying Mordekaiser was a nagging problem on the game as a whole to balance against feedback from the fewer but more passionate people saying they wanted their champion unchanged. Based upon the totality of the circumstances, I made the decision I felt was better for the overall health of the game. I don't regret it, though obviously it is difficult as a designer to change something that many of your players enjoy.
: Simple Change to Galio Ult
Good suggestion. How about Galio's R cannot be cancelled by movement during the first 0.33 seconds of the effect if it taunts an enemy champion?
: what i want to know is, why did the morde changes go through in the first place if everybody that played morde didn't want them. Makes no sense to pretty much destroy a champion and replace him with a new one but just give them the same name. Mordekaiser is not even close to the same champion anymore and it fucking pisses me off
Good question. I suspect you will not like the answers, but this was my thought process: First, many people liked the changes. It is challenging when designing for a group to please everyone without simply making the champion more powerful. It is challenging even when designing for an individual to upset their habits, to freshen the decisions they make, without producing frustration. Nevertheless, it is vital for a long lived game to freshen the challenges players must overcome to succeed. Second, Mordekaiser was not in a healthy place. Many lane opponents lacked meaningful ways to interact with him after level 4 or so. This problem didn't seem big because Morde was an unpopular champion, but on a per game basis he was still one of the least interesting champions to fight. The attempted solutions we looked at internally compromised important facets of his mechanical identity (e.g., low mobility, no CC, huge damage, huge durability). These changes produced what to me seemed the best balance of game health and identity maintenance.
Croanin (NA)
: Pigeonholing a champion into a lane just seems like silly design to me. Most ADCs can go just simply go mid if they want as many did during Season 1. Riot might design a champion with an idea of where the meta will take them, but often become suprised at where they end up. Such as Lulu or Quinn top for example. They love the fact that their champions can be flexible. Morde got strangled into a duo lane though. Him functioning in a duo lane very well is fine with me, but the fact that he is down an ability when he's alone is just silly. Even if you opted to go duo bot he his clean up potential can be limited unlike other ADCs because he's simply down an ability and the rest of his team is either dead or licking their wounds.
I've addressed this elsewhere, but the intent wasn't to pidgeonhole him in bot lane. There isn't actually a rule that you need to put two people in that lane. Players are simply extremely accustomed to that (something we have abetted to be sure). I of course had the idea that the "meta would take him" to bot lane, but did and still do feel that there is a profound amount of space for reinterpreting the meta-game through Mordekaiser.
: When that champion's weaknesses on release were repeatedly pointed out in a testing environment for a couple weeks, you'll have to forgive me if I take him admitting he was wrong two weeks after Morde was released pretty badly. Oh, him being wrong is something I'll forgive all day, too err is human, after all. But to watch him clam up after testers pointed out this exact set of problems, proceed to do nothing about them, and then reappear a couple weeks later and say he should have listened to the advice he got is pretty grating. Love to see that he's back in the swing of responding to threads, but I'm also looking for a little acknowledgement of what's been done to Morde and some explanation as to why these things were done. Was he intended to become more snowbally? Was he seriously balanced around having someone hold his hand ALL THE TIME? Is his Q, with its binary nature of "I reach you and stick to you you die, if not, then I can't do anything" a healthy thing to put in the game?
Hey Adrian, Yes, if Morde reaches and sticks to you without being CC'd, you will die. This is intended. Virtually every champion has some tools to avoid Mordekaiser sticking to them. He puts players to tough decisions, since often being out of his zone of threat compromises his opponent's ability to do exactly what they want to do in a team fight, but tough decisions are the nature of play. No, Morde shouldn't need to be "hand held" all game. He should be much more threatening when he has an ally present, such that he is looking for opportunities to make plays with his teammates (such as pushing and roaming). Sometimes it will be worth being alone. Sometimes it won't be. In exchange, allies, particularly those with CC, have strong incentives to come to Mordekaiser since he makes them much more effective. Yes, Morde is intended to be able to snowball. Allowable snowball is a function of the amount of counterplay that exists to a snowballed champion. Morde has strong fundamental level counterplay -- his damage takes place over time, and his zone of threat is constrained and does not move rapidly. I've seen 10-0 Morde's do zero damage in a fight when his opponents played better than him and his teammates. Conversely, a Mordekaiser that is behind has a lot of threat simply by existing. If you stand next to him autoattacking for an extended period of time, you'll probably die. So for example, if you are playing Master Yi, you might need to Meditate his Q3 if you plan on all in'ing a Morde, even if you are ahead of him.
: CT admitting that he was wrong? *GASP!* What... what is this? It's almost like... if he had listened to the players on the PBE... they might have actually been able to get a jump start on these changes and have had them ready for 5.17 or something... But seriously, since when do you see champions like Amumu or Jinx having their potential locked down simply because there's no ally to "activate" them? Sure, Jinx requires peeling, Amummy requires followup, Janna requires someone to provide damage, etc, but those champions are always able to bring the full power of their kit to bear even when solo. Janna is generally regarded as one of the most difficult non-tank supports to catch due to her movement speed and CC. Jinx still has absolutely massive lategame damage and range with some ability to self peel even when alone. I've taken down enemy junglers as Amumu because they don't respect my damage potential. Alone. Very few other champs are as reliant on another to unlock their power as Morde and by locking his power away when he's alone, you lose much of your ability to split push, you lose your ability to solo lane, and you lose a lot of ability to clean up after a fight. And while I respect that you're seeing how badly this decision turned out in the long run, I'm also a little insulted that you not only didn't see this earlier, but you ignored all of the very informed testers who told you this exact thing. New Morde is showing himself to be LESS healthy than the old, just in a new role, and the fact that this hasn't been mentioned at all terrifies me. For one of my favorite champions and the health of the game as a whole. Sure, he's not that armor wall immovable object in lane, but he's become so much more of a bully, complete with snowballing into an enormously bulky damage dealer that I'm not sure he's going to be allowed to become viable again. If he gets ahead, he gets level advantage, he gets dragons, he gets an enormously powerful Q, and he steamrolls with very little chance to resist. If he gets behind... absolutely nothing. He has trouble farming and pushing back into the game, he ends up with too little utility to save himself from his flaws, and he consequently falls flat. Was this an intended part of his design?
It's tough. We also listened to the "very informed" testers who told us Skarner was weak. Feedback is always contingent upon the choices made by the playtester. In Mordekaiser's case, I felt the playtesters were not making the right choices but that over time they would begin to make them. I was incorrect. In the end, players will still have to adapt to a play pattern that opens more windows of meaningful response for the lane opponent. My task is to give players the ability to be able to judge whether they are making progress toward figuring the play pattern out. When a champ is underpowered in a role, that's often difficult because even if you do everything right, you might still end up failing.
: Here's what I don't understand, and forgive me if I sound brutish due to a long day at work, but wasn't it going to be obvious that Mordekaiser would be siginifcantly weaker in the solo lane without being able to use his W? It was one of the main feedback points, and I had spoken with my friends and they all agreed that with 4/5 of a kit, he wouldn't be as viable as he was before. You say "Morde is much weaker in a solo lane than I expected", however we all knew of what was going to happen without that W. Was it overlooked that his damage output would make up for the lack of a sustain/free damage, or were you all deadset on "duo-bot" Mordekaiser?
No, it wasn't obvious to me. Perhaps I'm just dense! It was obvious that players would have to play differently in order to succeed, such as working more closely with their jungler. Our internal testing indicated that this was possible. I mis-estimated the ability of players to consistently do that in Live games. Again, I'm not anticipating that Morde will have a magical "50% win rate" in solo lanes in solo queue after changes unless players make efforts to make use of his kits tools. Spam pushing and rushing Gunblade before boots are probably not that though. It's actually quite difficult to know how a champion will perform on the Live environment... you guys are collectively much better than us at this, crowdsourced optimization over tens of thousands of games is an extremely powerful tool for solving complex problems, and likely always will be no matter how many talented individuals we task with theorizing balance.
: Mordekaiser's Fate
Hey MaliciousMetal, Mordekaiser definitely isn't performing in solo lanes to the level we expected. Some of this is players adjusting to his new playstyle, which favors his jungler playing closer to his lane (strong 2v2 counterganks and Morde doesn't lose experience). Some of this is adjustment to his new build paths (I'm pretty convinced that Gunblade rush isn't nearly as optimal as it is common). However, a lot of it is that _Morde is just much weaker in a solo lane than I expected_. We are beginning to test some alternate paradigms for his W that include self-castability to hopefully give him a substantial boost in solo lanes. Look for changes here in 5.18. That being said, Morde is not likely to return to the "immovable object" capable of permanently keeping a shield large enough to slough off entire trades. To the extent that is what you enjoyed about Morde solo lane, you're out of luck. He should retain great carry potential, amazing in-fightturn around capability, and best-in-class capability to completely turn around a game if gets the right ghost. As to Mordekaiser being unbalanceable, I don't think that live Mordekaiser demonstrates this. Many champions require teammate to bring them to peak effectiveness -- peelers such as Janna, engagers like Amumu, and fragile carries like Jinx are unlikely to win a game without ally support. Indeed, this is an important part of League -- champions should find their greatest success when properly paired and coordinated. Champions who lack synergistic strengths are generally relegated to isolation/split pushing. Unfortunately, solo pushing side lanes is a narrow space to occupy. Due to their agnosticism toward the other nine champs in the game, we tend to see one or two split pushers dominating the rest at any given moment in the meta. I think there's a balance to be struck when it comes to the W that current errs too heavily on the side of dependence, rather than synergy.
LeSirMJ (NA)
: ALACRITY BUG!! pls fix rito
Movement speed is softcapped. Often Alactrity will appear to be diminished as a result. http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Movement_speed
: malzahar ult does not work on kalista [GAMEPLAY]
Thanks for the report! I've observed similar behavior with GA. Knowing it happens with Malz ult as well is very helpful. It should be fixed next patch.
Zense (NA)
: Yasuo Splash
Good eye Warblood. Typically differences between splash and icon are made in response to play testing feedback (either within Riot or on PBE) about being unable to identify a champion by their icon. Yasuo is no exception. During internal play testing, Yasuo's icon was commonly confused with another champion (Graves), especially on the minimap. While we've since updated Graves' splash, everyone has learned to identify Yasuo in-game by his right-facing portrait.
: Are you worried that Kalista is going to be too good against slow bruisers? Been watching her on the PBE and sometimes it looks like if she has her mechanics down, they can't come anywhere near her.
Yes, I am very concerned about this (My forum avatar was Darius!). When playing an Udyr or Garen against Kalista, I find that I am successfully able to zone Kalista out of fights (run at her, turn around when she commits to dashing way, rinse and repeat) but struggle to kill her unless I have a partner diving her with me. So while I feel that melee have options to win the game against Kalista, I am concerned that these are not satisfying (we've trained you to murder the marksman).
: Recently a Rioter said he would try testing out a suggestion where left clicking could make Kalista dash to use her passive. Did that ever happen, and if it did, how did it turn out?
Yes, this is on PBE right now.
: Can Kalista Teleport Thresh (but before she uses the ult if thresh throws the lantern can we teleport 3 persons?)
Thresh Lantern has a maximum pull distance, so sadly this would not work out on any large scale. If you teleported to the edge of your screen or something locally it would have a cool visual I support.
: why making the bonding permanent through out the game? More play styles and decision making would be involved if she is able to change bound more than once. For example every time she ult or at certain levels. As she is right now, she must be with initiator supports or relinquish her passive though early game in order to bond with the jangler or top for a better team engagement.
While re-bonding technically increases decisionmaking, I feel it reduces the meaningfulness of those decisions. At any phase of the game, it's pretty obvious who is the best ally to bond with. What makes the bonding choice meaningful is a) picking the right person, given that it is unlikely that any one champion will be the best partner for both the W passive; b) finding out how to make optimal use of the W passive or R on an array of champion archetypes (how do we get Nami into and out of the enemy team safely? It may be hard, but if we can do it, the payoff is huge); and c) getting better at synergizing with the *person *you are playing with (not the champion) through repeated execution of your bonded abilities.
: Is it possible to change who you are bound to? What if i'm bound to a troll or Disconnected player?
Not at present. It's something we will be tracking, but I am hesitant to allow re-binding since it undermines a lot of the meaning present in the choice of who to bind to. The example I give is that you can't swap champions midgame -- you are stuck with them, in good times and in bad. You raise the two most troubling points, DCs and team infighting. However, if you are bound to a disconnected player, you've probably lost the game already. If you worry someone is a troll, consider binding with someone else on the team and altering your playstyle to make that combo work.
Sgathach (NA)
: As a support I've been trying to figure out how I'm supposed to handle laning AGAINST such a champion with high mobility. It's one thing if its a Tristana or Ezrael whose mobility spell goes on cooldown, but Kalista's never does. When I first saw her I was excited, and then really worried. "I'll never be able to land a bubble on her!" I thought to myself, especially if the person is really good at kiting. What is a good strategy to deal with her that you guys have found? Or supports that might counter her?
Kalista is definitely not about cooldown tracking. It's about finding small windows to punish her, windows that open up naturally due to connecting the dash to something she is required to do (basic attack). The ways I deal with Kalista when playing Nami are: 1) Wait until you think she is about to begin a basic attack (typically to last hit) and bubble right on top of her. She cannot cancel her basic attack, so if you act early enough, you'll have a guaranteed CC. 2) Alternatively, since she has 1.47 seconds between basic attacks at level 1, if you wait until she launches an attack, you have a solid window to bubble her.
: How do you think she will affect LCS play?
I think Doublelift will declare her to be terrible and then end up playing her for most of the split. Not sure how she'll impact the rest of LCS. I have concerns about her Sentinel at level 1 in competitive play though.
: Okay, some interesting Thoughts; 1. From what Ive seen, Her passive allows her to jump further when she has tier 1 boots and tier 2 boots, how would this be affected by enchantments, such as captain, alacrity, and most notably Furor (Which I almost exclusively use for kiting/stutter stepping on essentially every ranged champion), or even Boots of Swiftness. Perhaps it could be instead be changed based on actual movement speed as opposed to boot tier? Then again having move speed quints and a move speed build (statikk shiv, zephyr, Trinity force, ect) might make that a teensy bit broken, so perhaps a distance ceiling? But I still think it would be interesting to increase the range of it based on furor/Rage, as otherwise those would be effectively useless on her. 2. If, for example, there was ever a one for all scenario, how would 5 or 3 kalistas in the same game work? With that W passive dealing from what Ive seen TWELVE percent of the maximum health on proc, if you had every single attack proc'ing that.. well.. Also I am curious as to exactly how the W passive works? It deals.. 12% of their maximum (or maybe current?) health in bonus magic or physical damage to the person when both linked attack the same person? well, what if you had, say a Thresh or Ashe support or even supported as Kalista, and both you and the linked person got a Bork and a Runaans and 4 Phantom Dancers? I am really curious as to how that works... 3. Was it your intention to also make Kalista so incredibly strong as a support? Yes her slow is only twenty percent from what I've seen, but think about it... Kalista has a decent poke with her Q, which she can use to proc her slow from a long distance. She has built in super wards with her W, AND dealing percent health damage when attacking with the linked person, which no matter how that works is a significant damage increase. And her E, while it may not seem like much, might actually be able to be broken; So it gets a reset when you kill a unit with it, RIGHT? Lets say you get relic shield, auto a minion to half health or something, Q the target you want to slow, E, relic shield kills the minion, you get the reset, Auto attack or Q target again, another slow.... And depending on your skill level and planning you could potentially cc chain them until you run out of relic shield charges.. and when you combine this with a frozen mallet that would create a significant slow. Then again, this would have to be tested. And Finally, most obvious is the Ult... Do I even need to explain how this is good for supporting? You make your ADC invulnerable for 6 seconds AND they can reposition them selves, imagine a thresh lantern on steroids. It wouldn't even compare. 4. Well... Obviously there will be some balance changes, I'm curious to know what aspects of what abilities you aren't sure about and are leaving them in for initial release, but will be monitoring to see if it needs a re-balance?
1) We used boot rank because it gave us greater control over her mobility by phase of the game. It would be fun to use MS quints to turn on the passive quickly, but she became virtually unhittable when her dash was combined with the persistent presence of minions as exists in the early game. By using boots, I felt like the player a) could not start the game at "max dash speed" without b) paying a large cost in terms of overall threat level (boots1 over Doran's Blade; Boots 2 over BF sword). 2) I think that sounds really fun. The W passive has an internal cooldown per enemy (like Bear Stance or Jarvan's Martial Cadence) so while this would given you a big pulse of up front damage, it likely would not be the optimal build. 3) No, my intent wasn't to make her an incredible support. That doesn't mean she isn't good there, just that I did not set out toward that end. Generally speaking, I am happy to let the community find the best place to play the champions I make (this isn't something all designers here agree on, it's a personal thing), and then manage for game health once the best use case is clear. I'm not especially worried because all of the things you listed as stengths as a support seem more powerful when given to an AD carry (example: why would you want your AD carry to be invulnerable and passified during a crucial fight?). 4) I have great confidence in her Q.
: ... never thought of this. if only one for all mode was still able to be played. is this a hint?
No, that isn't a hint. It's just Zenon trolling us. To answer the original question: I have no idea, but I hope our players will help us find out.
SonofJax (NA)
: I'm an adc main and I'm excited about kalista as a champ, but it me worry that the only time she'll see play is in duo queue, and with the duo queuers, they also have to be ad or supp main to make the synergy work. What was the thought into making a champ reliant on another person and was one of the reasons was to support duo que??
I think it's a bit of a myth that you can't play Kalista without voice chat. After all, communication is very valuable in any duo lane pairing. If you announce that you are casting Ashe arrow, your teammate will follow up much more crisply. In fact, one of the goals of Kalista was to up the signaling on abilities in addition to increasing the benefits of coordination so that we would see people not on voice chat get closer to optimal play with her.
: Hello Riot!, I have checked out kalista on the pbe, and i love it! I love the art direction and overall visual feel of kalista. So my question is this : I feel like kalista's champion style, with the mystic blue 'energy' ( for lack of a better word ) lends very well to cool skin ideas. **Was that a consideration / motivation when you created the character?** And would it be wrong of us to hope that you guys make her some awesome skins in the near future! - As far as her release day skin, to be honest, i am not a fan. I think it looks kind of bizarre and does not really appeal to me as a whole. I feel like it is something that would be better fit to shaco. No to offend the people who worked on the skin, it is really top notch as far as production value.
This is a great question for Ant, but I'll add my two cents. I wanted to do a cooperation-focused duo laner. After pondering thematics, as well as real life examples of partnership, I ended up concluding that these sort of relationships are often represented as "friendship" in our game but in life are more about shared duties (soldiers/workers/even farmers and oxen). When the creative pitch for Kalista was a vengeful specter, I thought that was really cool and match the thinking about shared duty I was also stuck on.
: If Kalista ults an ulting Sion, will his ult be cancelled or will she be able to spit him out over a wall?
Hmm, this is one of the special cases that we haven't fully ironed out yet. I lean toward his ult restarting once he is released by Kalista, making her ult an interesting way to re-orient him directionally or launch him over a wall.
pcosty (EUW)
: Gameplay: Almost unlimited mobility has been a feature of CertainlyT's 2 most recent champions (Yasuo and Kalista). Is this something you guys are actively trying to encourage going forward, or is it just a groove CertainlyT has going? Why do you guys feel that sort of unlimited (although conditional) dashes is suitable for a Marksman? Are you afraid that she'll simply be too strong because of it, and what would you consider her tradeoffs for the amount of power this gives her? Kalista fills a very niche role in the game as this very mobile, but communication and coordination focused marksman. I know unique gameplay and strategic niches is something you guys are trying to incorporate going forward, but how difficult is it to create a champion that is truly unique but still fits into the game's established roles? When I played Kalista on PBE, I struggled to think of her ult as something that should be part of a marksman's kit. It's a cool concept and a unique idea that reinforces your goals with her, to require people to communicate to make the most of her, but launching your team mate for a non-damage knock-up doesn't feel like it fits a marksman design, nor does it feel like it fits her theme has a mobile spear-chucker. Why did you guys feel it was appropriate for her kit? Design: Kalista doesn't really fit the mould of female champions in League from a design standpoint. She's quite ghastly, very understated, not very sexualised. Was this a conscious decision, a part of your previously stated effort to try different female forms and move away from the overly sexualised representation in the game? Conversely, Kalista is the first female champion released since Jinx last year. Diversity from a gender standpoint has been lacking recently, is this something you guys are going to improve on in the immediate future? Are we going to see a greater number of female champions soon? Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA, can't wait to play her on live!
Both Yasuo and Kalista are explorations of non-cooldown based mobility paradigms. Both rely on fixed distance dashes, which I feel create healthy variance in positioning (sometimes you end up further/closer than you'd like). Yasuo is limited by the number of targets and their position relative to him, which I hoped would create situations where he had functionally infinite mobility (within a minion wave), balanced against situations where he had very little (dueling without minions around). I'm not sure that was completely successful -- he's very frustrating for his opponents. With Kalista, I wanted to try mobility where its cost is in the same vein as its benefit. Since mobility is about Space covered per unit of Time, I looked to Time and Space costs. Time-wise, this is why Kalista has an extremely long, non-cancellable basic attack. She has to stand still to "charge up" her dash and she has to commit to that charging up. Spatially, again I relied on fixed distance. It's extremely easy to get yourself into trouble as Kalista by dashing in a direction that seemed good, but was a little too risky. Conversely, it feels great as, say Udyr, when Kalista autoattacks you and dashes backward and you just turn around and start mauling her teammate from out of her attack range. It often takes her 2-3 seconds (25% of a team fight) just to walk back into range.
: Kalista has some pretty new and unique mechanics, notably the "soul bind" and passive. Where do these mechanics stem from? Are they just brainstormed, do you pull from other games/media, or does the team have like, an entire pool of unique ideas that they could pull or add to? Did you have any ideas/mechanics that just didn't get past the cutting room floor? Many people are interested in some sort of Riot documentary video about the process of designing, creating, and releasing a champion. However the time it takes varies per champion, some taking years. However I would like to ask if something like this is already in the works. If not, is this something Riot is considering in the future. I'd be completely okay with just an indepth text post, if there is the concern of accidentally revealing any sensitive information via video.
The origin of Kalista's mechanics comes from an exploration of how to make a "hunter with pet" champion. Since pet control is not something our UI does well, eventually someone suggested, somewhat in jest, that we have another player control the pet. Originally the soul bound was substantially transformed by the bonding. For example, an early iteration was "Ally has 25% damage reduction, 50% of which is taken by Kalista. Kalista gains 20% life steal against targets her ally is hitting. In this iteration, Kalista's W was a stacking Starcraft Marine stimpack (health cost in exchange for movement and attack speed) that applied to both her and her ally."
Tact (NA)
: I have prepared a bunch of questions for the Kalista team! Without further ado, here we go. Gameplay Questions: 1. What was the thought behind Kalista's passive? Was it inspired by orbwalking (moving right after each autoattack fires so you can remain on the move while attacking)? I feel like it's a great learning tool for people who want to learn to play more Marksmen. 2. Also about her passive, why is there the need to specify that her autoattacks will miss if she loses sight of her target? Is she simply not as accurate as other Marksmen who have homing projectiles? 3. When Kalista is using the Black Spear on her intended Oathsworn ally, what does it look like from that ally's point of view? Do they get any special notification (on top of the particles) that Kalista wants to bind them? 4. In internal testing, has there been much success in cases where Kalista binds an ally other than her support? 5. Is there any concern that Kalista's Rend (E) might be a bit strong in helping her jungler secure Dragon/Baron? I understand Kalista's supposed to be a very support-y Marksman, but this might not be part of that intent. Gameplay/Art Questions: 1. What steps did the art team take to differentiate Kalista's poses and animations from those of League's other spear-throwing lady, Nidalee? Lore Questions: 1. When she was still alive, did Kalista favor spears as her weapon of choice? (Is her case similar to Thresh, who was known for his chains in life?) 2. What/who are the souls Kalista uses for her Sentinel (W) ability? Are they souls she claimed with the Black Spear after fulfilling their pacts? 3. Does Kalista harbor any genuine sympathy for those who were betrayed, or is her vision clouded by her need for vengeance? 4. It seems like it would be kind of hard for Kalista to have many friends in this state. Would she just gravitate towards people who she felt were wronged? 5. Is the Black Spear the very weapon that was used to kill Kalista? (Feel free not to answer this one. You said it was a touchy subject. Pleasedon'tkillme.) Sorry for the wall of questions, but thanks for your time and I hope you get to answer these!
I'll answer a few here. Great questions though. > 1. What was the thought behind Kalista's passive? Was it inspired by orbwalking (moving right after each autoattack fires so you can remain on the move while attacking)? I feel like it's a great learning tool for people who want to learn to play more Marksmen. The inspiration was actually just this -- thinking about how many players never progress toward orb walking (moving between attacks). I thought about an input paradigm that would be similar in some important regard, either cadence or button use. In the end, it ended up here, very similar in terms of button presses, but very different in terms of timing. > 2. Also about her passive, why is there the need to specify that her autoattacks will miss if she loses sight of her target? Is she simply not as accurate as other Marksmen who have homing projectiles? I've always felt that projectiles ridiculously bending in mid air is a thematic mismatch. In Kalista's case, we faced an additional problem: the server canceling her basic attacks (due to loss of vision) is jarring, since you end up not moving afterward. > 4. In internal testing, has there been much success in cases where Kalista binds an ally other than her support? Sure. Playtesters have primarily bound with a lane partner, but a few Rioters swear by jungler binding. I would be unhappy if she felt like there was only one player with whom she could bind each game, and that player was distant from her throughout much of the game. > 5. Is there any concern that Kalista's Rend (E) might be a bit strong in helping her jungler secure Dragon/Baron? I understand Kalista's supposed to be a very support-y Marksman, but this might not be part of that intent. We are watching this closely. It's a risky mechanic to say the least. Specifically, we are concerned that it will discourage enemy contestation objectives, rather than changing how enemies contest them. Ideally we observe Kalista's opponents making more of an effort to do Dragon/Baron before her or choosing to team fight rather than go for the steal.
Drukyul (NA)
: > Cassio has a Marksman like power curve and how that was accomplished No. Marksmen/hypercarries that get a BF sword advantage due to kills have a huge advantage in lane. For Cassi, even if she gets an item advantage her ratios are such shit that it doesn't matter. She **has to** get to late game.
Again, Cassiopeia could be undertuned at the moment. My point was to explain why we use the *curves *we do, not to claim that we get everything exactly right. As to Cass and the BF Sword analogy, Marksmen have more multiplicative scaling through itemization (AS, Crit, Crit Damage, %Pen) than casters (AP, Deathcap passive, and somewhat CDR). Cassio's passive AP amplification isn't intended to compete with BF sword, it's intended to scale her damage in the same way PD/Shiv scales up IE. It's also worth noting that Marksmen as a class are probably stronger than is long term ideal for the game, so comparing Cassio to Trist-from-last-patch is dangerous.
: Huh. Thank's for the response. Some enlightening stuff here I didn't think about before. I think the biggest 2 things I took away from this was how Cassio has a Marksman like power curve and how that was accomplished, and that it would infact not be okay to leave Sion's base health alone, as you've said the feedback you recieved was that he felt too strong. I think thresh is fine. I don't think anyone has a problem with how his armor gains and no armor work, because the rest of his kit is really cohesive and feels like he has power, and isn't being yanked on a chain (hah). Sion just feels so overly undertuned in the form of the abundance of Counter-play, that I felt that maybe giving him MORE survivability would be the key in making him feel much better by allowing him to use more of his abilities during a fight since these abilities are very unreliable. I think sions a lot of fun to play personally, but I feel very useless on the guy a lot of the times, because on one hand if I build damage, i'll just die quickly or if I build for tankyness, I get ignored since I do no damage and my CC abilities are easily avoided. I identified what I saw as a problem (his health being really low compared to virtually everyone) and saw that he lost much of his damage. I felt that sense you guys took his damage away, you just wanted him to be a tank. So I thought that giving him more of his base HP would be what solves this problem I feel Sion has. Hopefully that makes sense. This is the exact kind of post I was looking for. Thank you VERY much. Really.
GhostStalker, As I mentioned, it is possible that Sion is undertuned (i.e., weak). After all, he just came out. It's also possible that you are not playing him correctly (after all, he just came out ;-). It's also possible that Sion just isn't for you. A lot of Sion's power lies in zoning enemies outside of your Q range. If you enjoy landing every spell, rather than scattering enemies, you probably will not enjoy Sion. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't much overlap between the Leona/Maokai player who enjoys reliably landing spells and the Sion/Cho'Gath player who enjoys reliable manipulating the enemy position through the threat of more powerful but less reliable spells.
: This comment is 100% accurate and describes well the nature of the issue. Riot, give different weakness on champions, different than their hyperscaling aspect. Having their early weakness being their late game strength is odd, illogic and not fun at all.
I disagree with this. Setting aside politics, I think Nixon put it well when he said: "Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." The feeling of hyperscaling is accentuated when the player starts from a lower starting point.
Jryiah (NA)
: > 1) Create game-by-game variance in a champion's strength. We aren't interested in any champion *always *feeling superlative (tankiest, burstiest, etc.). 1) This is already achieved with the gold system. If a player is behind in gold, they will not be able to get the items to do the things you are talking about, let alone work on there stats. If they have an excellent game, they will feel rewarded regardless if you offset the base or not. By offsetting the base to account for a strength, you are effectively double dipping on the negative impact when behind. Now not only are they behind in gold, but also they have a glaring weakness on what was supposed to be a benefit.
I apologize for not being clearer: we have two primary scalers in LoL, Gold and Exp. Sometimes we like to emphasize gold over experience (and the item choice that comes with it), as is the case with Garen's W passive. Sometimes we like to create scaling that is not directly linked to either (like Cassiopeia stacks or Thresh souls) and instead force the player to optimize in other fashions.
: Stop balancing champions by watering down their strength with the same weakness.
Let's call these sort of additive or multiplicative statistical bonuses "stat hyperscaling." Let's call reduced base stats on champions with stat hyperscaling "base offsets." I see two variants of the argument presented in GhostStalker's post: 1) Some stat scaling bonuses are undertuned, so that the champion doesn't feel like they end up feeling benefited from their bonus; and 2) Champions with stat hyperscaling should not have lower base stats than their counterparts who lack those bonuses. I'll not address #1 in depth, but have two short thoughts: First, you might be right. It's entirely possible we've undershot the mark in some places. Second, it is possible that you aren't getting the full benefit of some of these stat hyperscalings. As I'll talk about below, hyperscaling is designed to feel good when availed to its fullest. As to point #2, this technique (stat hyperscaling with base offsets) allows us to do one of three things. 1) Create game-by-game variance in a champion's strength. We aren't interested in any champion *always *feeling superlative (tankiest, burstiest, etc.). Rather, we want players to have games where, due to an excellent performance, their champion achieves that feeling of being unkillable, or of annihilating an opponent in a single spell rotation. In the case of Sion, his HP/Level of 104 (currently 70) was retained for much of his rework's development. Feedback from nearly every playtest was that he felt unkillably tanky. After reducing his HP per level but keeping his W passive HP per kill high, Sion reached a point where he sometimes became a super tank and sometimes failed to do so, based upon the Sion players performance and the enemy team's ability to keep him from farming. This variance frequently results in player frustration when they fail with a champion and then fault base offsets for depriving them of their superlative quality. In reality, the offsets are not at fault, but rather the champion might be undertuned (so they did not have a fair shot at scaling), the hyperscalar may be undertuned (this is point #1), or the player may be not yet be optimizing their stat hyperscaling (i.e., they are bad, which is normal on newer champions or major reworks). 2) Create distinct gameplay through alternate incentives. Generally, we are happy with LoL's emphasis on Gold and EXP as a means of scaling stats. But in some cases, we like to emphasize one over the other. Garen, for example, emphasizes build choice over character level. He can customize his defensive strengths to suit the game at hand. Thresh emphasizes active resource acquisition (picking up souls) over passive resource acquisition (being in EXP range) because I wanted to both encourage the player to stay closer to the minion wave and to make the same sort of moment-to-moment decisions that come from last hitting. If Thresh tended to up with the exact same amount of armor as a base stat driven champion, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest, since I am happy with the distinct gameplay behind his armor growth. 3) Create intra-game variance, typically over time. This is most obvious on marksmen, who, as a class, tend to have substantial base offsets in exchange for hyperscaling. Similarly, with the Cassiopeia rework, RiotStashu sought to create a sustained damage mage with a marksman-like damage curve by moderating her early ratios in exchange for higher late game ratios (combined with less quantifiable usability changes that resulted in higher DPS). As such, Cassiopeia's power spike is later than a standard mage, and later than her previous self, which is undoubtedly jarring to some players.
: A question about Zyra
Hi there. Zyra's W gives CDR for two reasons: First, Seeds have relatively little inherent value. We wanted to ensure that Zyra could cast more spells as she began to replenish her seeds faster, because as you put more points into W, you are expressing a desire to have more plants. Second, because we wanted Zyra to be able to buy non-CDR items. We wanted players to be able to buy the items that made sense for them in their particular game from the entire line of mage oriented items, such as Zhonya's or Abyssal Scepter, not be restricted to the (at the time) small pool of CDR items. A bit of context: We struggled during her development to balance 0% CDR Zyra builds against 40% CDR Zyra builds. The latter could put so many seeds out that certain enemy team compositions felt completely stifled. When W's cooldown was at a healthy level assuming 40% CDR builds, all other item paths felt terrible. Giving Zyra "free" CDR (20% on release) was accompanied by raising the cooldown of her W to compensate, meaning that Zyra's effective CDR cap for Rampant Growth was 20%. Today, it's unlikely we would make the same decision, as CDR is a much more accessible stat. This is the reason that I lowered Zyra's passive CDR on W from 20% at max rank to 10%. In a game now filled with CDR choices, the "free" 20% was actually stifling her ability to purchase items. Hopefully getting to 40% these days involves a good amount of choice and compromise without leaving the player feeling like they are struggling to get to cap if they so desire or going way over if they do opt for CDR items.
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