: speaking from the perspective of someone that works on patch-to-patch balance, we definitely don't view all marksmen as belonging to a single bucket—for the past several years at least we've weighed marksmen against a collection of attributes (e.g., power curves, team reliance, 1v1 potential, utility, etc) and used those assessments as tools to try to keep marksmen feeling unique. that's part of why sivir, vayne, and varus (for example) have still felt very different from each other over the years. just because they don't have unique labels doesn't mean we won't think of them as having very different functions beyond being able to answer "why do we have a marksmen on our team?" at a very basic level.
That's true, I didn't mean to imply that the balance team thought that they could just be swapped in and out for each teamcomp or that they aren't unique. As far as I can tell, the entire point of this particular project is to separate champions into classes based on criteria that define their playstyles while still acknowledging their unique characteristics and identities, and to give this information to the balance teams and Champ Update teams so that they can more clearly identify where each champion should fit into the grand scheme of LoL. However, Marksmen are the only class that not only don't have separate subclasses - this worries me because not only do they generally occupy an entire Champ Select role in the Bot selection (unless you're a premade of some sort running something silly) but they have for many seasons been dealing with the problem of the old Renekton bar (currently the Lucian bar). In addition, it seems that the balance team has often not always had the greatest answers for creating a healthier marksman experience (I'm thinking way back to when old S2 when Bloodthirster rush was the hands-down best build, and you basically played a BT-rush champ or suffered until the BT nerf came through, through the period a year or so back when IE rush was the hands-down best build, all the way to two months ago when new Rageblade was broken and today where it seems that Ghostblade is the new hands-down best build). I know there are a lot of moving parts to botlane balance and it's a different topic from the one in this thread, but the reason I brought it up is that I feel like a clear, acknowledged distinction between marksmen can at the very least assist the balance team in identifying problems in the ecosystem. I worry that perhaps instead of considering "Are auto-attack based Marksmen underperforming?" you will consider "Are Marksmen underperforming?" and get an incomplete picture. Bot is often considered a homogenous entity by players that don't understand it, and I don't want to feel like Riot sees it that way as well. I'm just kind of confused that the separations between Lux and Zyra are clear but the separations between Tristana/Kog'Maw and Lucian/Miss Fortune aren't. To me they're very clear, and every Ashe Tristana Kog player could tell you right now on patch 6.10 that they are very clear. I could easily separate the groups and list out what I feel are defining criteria for two different subclasses of Marksmen. I come here from ranked where Lucian is everywhere with an incredibly stupid powerspike riding on the back of a Ghostblade-Cleaver build that he can abuse to the fullest, come into this thread and see that the literal _official_ list doesn't even think he occupies a different class of champion than Kog'Maw. Nerfs to Lucian are a band-aid to the actual problem, because another will just rise in its place (depending on how hard the nerfs hit, it'll either remain Lucian or turn into MF/Ezreal). It just makes me feel like the mark for botlane health, diversity, and balance won't be hit for a long time.
: But what seperates them from divers? It seems to me that champions like Aatrox and Irelia have a lot more in common mechanically and role-wise with a Yi/Jax than Riven/Ekko. Are those two champs going to be tweaked to fit the role more or is this one of those discussion points that really haven't been nailed out. It seems Divers/Skirmishers should be one class really. With Ekko/Yasuo/Riven being moved to primary assassins EDIT- If Yi/Jax are going to stay being considered Skirmishers they need actual/more impact mobility/surival options to match their peers.
Here's how I see Jax and Yi fitting into Skirmisher rather than Diver: First, think about the primary role of the champions in question. For Divers, it is to A) initiate teamfights, B) apply pressure to priority targets through damage or CC), and C) attract attention from other enemy skills, CC, etc. in order to deflect it from your priority targets. However for the Skirmishers, their primary role is A) deal damage as necessary to as many priority targets as necessary, and that's really it. The Divers are protecting the priority damage dealers, but the Skirmishers *are* the priority damage dealers. If a Vi or Hecarim is brawling with a Malphite instead of chasing an Ashe, they may not be playing optimally, but a Jax or Yi wants to stay alive in order to continue being a damage threat. Sure, an Irelia or Lee Sin can become a monster, but not in the same way that a Fiora, Jax or Yi can. The archetype "Fighter" is about starting fights while the archetype "Slayer" is about getting kills and dealing damage. If a Fighter or Diver dies, it's to ensure that their Skirmishers live (or the enemy Skirmishers die). Second, think about where the champions want to position themselves while a teamfight is breaking out. The Divers generally do not mind diving straight into 4 or 5 enemies (depending on the situation). Divers want to deal damage and disrupt the enemy team, but they are fearlessly going to jump in to a fight and absorb CC if they have to. Jax and Yi, however, generally do not want to be caught in the middle of 4-5 enemies at once and generally do not want to be targeted with CC. This goes for all the Skirmishers - generally, they do not want to be the first ones in and generally they do not want to absorb CC. Third, think about how strong of a "dive" the champions have. Most of the champions in the Divers category have much more offensively-focused "dives" than Jax and Yi. Jax's is quite a strong dive, sure, and it enables his stun, but as I said before he doesn't really want to go for 5-man stuns. The "problem" facing a Lee, Vi, or Irelia is that they can dive you, and if they dive you they can deal damage, while the "problem" with Jax or Yi is that they deal massive damage, and dive aids them in doing that. They're similar, but think about a regular game scenario. If a Lee is running at you, you think "he's gonna dive me" and if a Yi is running at you, you think "he's gonna murder me". I think that they are fairly close, especially depending on the strong items of the meta and how you prefer to build the champions, but these are the key differences I see. I think Jax could be subclass Diver based on how often he builds tanky, but Yi is always about killing, not necessarily diving.
Statikk (NA)
: Champion Subclass List
Disagree with keeping Marksmen all in one category. You have Vayne classified the same as Caitlyn and Ashe classified the same as Miss Fortune and Lucian and it is very clear that they operate differently. Thinking about the windows of power in lane phase, ability to scale into lategame, key item/stat purchases (such as prioritizing Armor pen and CDR over AS and Crit), ability to eliminate structures (as opposed to eliminating champions), the ways they interact with or depend on teammates, and the very simple consideration of "how do I play this champion?", it is clear that needs to be more separation. I think that by not separating Marksmen more thoroughly, this is leading to poor balance decisions being brought to the live server. The lack of separation in the Marksman class is leading to less focus on the itemization, playstyles, windows of power and overall team functionality of different kinds of Marksmen. Instead, I see that the balance team is focusing on champions uniquely in a vacuum - this type of focus is what leads to over/underpowering champions through balance changes once their ecosystem is disturbed. I think that the problem with Lucian on live right now isn't just a Lucian problem, but a problem with the entire "subclass" that can use Ghostblade and Black Cleaver - Lucian synergizes the best with the build, yes, but the problem is that the marksmen that can use those items are rising in power (MF, Draven and Twitch) and they are essentially using items that were not designed for their class. Save for Caitlyn and Ezreal, many marksmen cannot compete in botlane with the raw power of the Ghost-Cleaver champions. While I encourage using unique builds and using champions in unique ways, I think it's very telling if lots of champions in one subclass begin using items targeted at a different subclass and begin trending higher than they should be (think Spirit of the Elder Lizard Ezreal). However, this analysis is muddied when there is not enough separation between subclasses of Marksmen. By separating Marksmen more thoroughly, more analysis can be done towards how subclasses interact with the game, how problems form and how they can be solved, but as long as Lucian and Ezreal are considered entirely on par with Kog'Maw and Vayne, there will be missteps in balancing the entire class (and honestly, the entire Botlane). thoughts?
Meddler (NA)
: 6.9 Balance, Cass and Swain especially
I think you need to very strongly consider allowing Cassiopeia to cast her Miasma at any range. If you rush a hotfix on her for ratios or base damage or whatever then her play may go up, but if you let it all sit for a little while, I think you'll realize that letting her use Miasma at close range is the best thing to do. The biggest complaints about the new Cassiopeia kit are clunkiness and her inability to fend for herself without teammates' help. A Miasma cast range change would go very far in solving both of those issues. I'm sure you designers at Riot agree that the priority is first to develop a kit that functions well and feels fun and fluid, and the second consideration is the numbers, ratios, etc. - also, once a kit has become "balanced" yet still contains problematic design such as clunkiness, then it becomes another challenge to add flexibility and then reduce power as well. Her damage problems could be caused by item builds, etc. and with time, optimization of other things could cause her winrate to increase. However, those factors would still exist within a kit that does not have enough flexibility. Cassiopeia players would rather you take a little while and change the Miasma cast dynamic instead of just buffing some base damages or ratios and then see the winrate numbers go up.
: Yo Yousosmart! Star Guardian is absolutely a line that we want to explore further, skins team itself is comprised of a ton of Magical Girl super fans! We definitely want to make more SG skins in the future (TBD), so keep your eyes peeled for cuteness! :3 As far as our data goes players lovvvvveddddd her, like off the charts positive player response. lol **Question for the thread: **What other champions, aside from Lux, would make great Star Guardians?
{{champion:83}} and {{champion:28}} and {{champion:267}} and {{champion:56}}
: Mid Year Mage Updates - Annie Direction
I like you so here's a free idea: After casting Tibbers, reactivation of R causes Tibbers to lunge X units towards a target area, slashing everything he hits, dealing X damage. This could be given low damage with a short range and short cooldown, or a long range with strong damage and a higher cooldown. Perhaps while the lunge is on cooldown, reactivating R will still let Tibbers walk and autoattack, but once the lunge comes off cooldown the next reactivation will make him lunge. Fun part: the Lunge either adds a stack of Pyromania, can consume the stacks of Pyromania to proc the stun, or both! I think this is a good idea because it gives Annie: 1) damage pressure after the burst combo, minimizing her kill-or-be-killed dynamic, removing some of the pressure from hitting as many people as possible with the ult, 2) space as a zone control mage who can use Tibbers as a way to control the enemy's movements, especially if Tibbers is allowed to proc Pyromania in this fashion 3) space as a pursuit/clean-up mage, giving her damage some range and mobility under certain circumstances that the enemy can of course play around, 4) supportive and defensive capabilities such as blocking skillshots with the lunge (she already has this but it's kinda clunky) and stalling attackers (once again, on the premise that this theoretical dash could proc Pyromania), 5) a more thematic Tibbers, since a giant bear should be able to lunge instead of just walk around on two legs, and 6) more dynamic and interesting gameplay overall. EDIT: Point number 7) an unexplored space as a minion control mage, being the first champion whose minion has its own ability. thank you for listening and I am excited to see my vision of Tibbers come true :^)
Statikk (NA)
: Mid-Year Mage Update
{{champion:69}} Most core to her identity are the poison and the ultimate. Ultimate is perfect as it is - offers a great reward when used well, isn't a total waste if not used optimally, gives opponents adequate chance to counter it, and is overall a unique ability. Would hate to see major changes to the ult besides tuning. Despite being relatively immobile, I think Cassiopeia currently has some decent defensive options. {{item:3027}} {{item:3116}} {{item:3040}} {{item:3151}} {{item:3157}} are all very viable purchases on her, her current passive provides some small sustain, she has movespeed from Q and a slow on W, and if someone dives her she can ult which not only can save her but give her a kill instead. I think the main "problem" with Cassiopeia is that she was mini-reworked to be a lategame "machine gun" that can't be stopped when her passive hits 500 stacks, and then the new season made that so much more difficult to achieve. I think that could be simply solved by numbers tuning, but I'm not sure the passive makes for very interesting gameplay. She has to go aggro to hit Q and W and get stacks, and she needs to hit E's for sustain, but her passive basically screams at her to wait for lategame. Playing Cass, I always feel like I should take a safe, passive role and just try to wait to come online. {{champion:8}} Identity is being a blood mage (not vampire of course). Core identity involves sustain from Q and Sanquine Pool. I also like his ultimate, it gives Vlad some playmaking ability, some utility to help his team even while he's behind, and it's fairly unique. Problems are that he's basically a walking ball of stats - he can either push you out of lane or he can't. There is a place for targeted abilities like his Q (would like to see this stay targeted) his passive and E and not very interactive. His passive is definitely the place to start, and I'd like to see something a bit more substantial from it (also, his passive shows him drinking blood even though he isn't a vampire). His E as a "hit everyone around me" could work, but the stack mechanic is fairly easy to keep up perpetually so it doesn't feel very important. {{champion:143}} Identity is absolutely the plants. Q, E and R feel good as mage-y abilities on their own. Issue is that A) her passive is hardly useful and B) while the plants are powerful, they don't fulfill the fantasy of being a plant queen as much as they could. They die quickly and easily, and they are basically only "used" when you're hitting your abilities anyway. I also think that the enrage mechanic on her ult is something that was supposed to be very cool, but just feels underwhelming.
: PBE 10/10/13 Corki Changes (Please Save AP Corki)
just saw this, and I totally support it. I made a thread on the only site's GD just today about AP Corki. Assuming 20% CDR from either blue buff or items, he actually would lose over 50% of his damage output. Honestly, it seems Riot is just going to ignore this, though, because I'm sure they've seen this thread but decided not to respond.

Cpt Shaq Sparrow

Level 30 (NA)
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