Quick Gameplay Thoughts: July 27

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Some thoughts on tanks + thoughts on damage part 1** We've seen quite a bit of player discussion around damage currently feeling really high. Also seen fair amount of discussion around tanks, and how some are struggling. Wanted to start today by talking about the tank side of things, given it's also part of the damage discussion. Further thoughts on damage in general to follow next week, there are quite a few different angles worth talking about, so wanted to split the conversation over more than one post. Talk next week will include some of our thinking on damage contributions from kits versus other sources in particular (e.g. where is ability to stack damage from items, runes etc healthy or problematic?). Some current thoughts on tanks then: 1. Tanks played as supports are generally performing pretty solidly. Jungle and top tanks by contrast are more likely to struggle. A lot of that reflects what a team expects from higher gold/XP positions. Many tank patterns front load a lot of their contribution, which tends to be pretty consistent in power (CC that isn't very item/level dependent in particular). That means support tanks are more likely to still justify their spot even if tanks overall may be weaker. 2. Most players are drawn much more to damage focused classes than non damage ones. Play rates for many tanks tend to be low relative to other options when they're equally balanced. 3. That combination of some tanks (jungle and top struggling) and lower general appeal means metas occur, such as the present one, where there are few tanks being played. That contributes to damage feeling high for a couple of reasons. Teams without tanks lack a front line, so tend to get burst more due to the lack of soak/zoning. Metas without tanks also mean it's more likely that each team has 4, or even 5, damage threats on it as well though, especially if enchanters (the main other non damage group) are also being played less. Even if any individual champion’s damage isn’t any higher the game's going to feel much more lethal when there are 1, or even 2, more high damage champs per team. 4. Given the above impact on how high damage the game feels, plus other benefits tanks bring (they give structure to team fights, help create more distinction between different members of a team etc) we think it’s generally good for a team to have around one tank on average. That’s not to say teams without tanks are bad and something we want to remove entirely, or that teams with multiple tanks are always problematic. Tanks being too common or too rare tends to create problems though, with one a team on average tending to lead to good metas. 5. Some tanks are proving to have some of the difficulties being balanced between pro and regular play that a few other champs (Ryze etc) have. Gragas has also been such a case, Zac and Sejuani are now also creating some problems in that regard too, indicating our approach with their updates last year had some significant issues. So, having tanks be good choice who get picked is something we think’s important for the game, both to help keep damage output in check and for other reasons. In terms of what we're planning to do to support healthy amounts of tank play: 1. We'll be looking at damage sources that are anti tank, particularly those that counter Armor/MR. Feeling is we've pushed too far in terms of amount of pen/true damage offered. The reduction in true damage from IE's passive in 8.15 is the first part of that. Following changes will depend on how large an impact that does/doesn’t have, plus the general state of the game. Need to be careful here not to swing back so hard that stacking tanks becomes optimal again, without sufficient ways to respond to it. 2. We'll be buffing some individual tanks in 8.16, particularly those who've been historically healthy even when strong and/or that we've overnerfed this year. 3. We'll be looking to reduce the organized team versus random team difference in effectiveness some tanks show. Not certain yet on timing of that. 4. Longer term again we also want to work on kit satisfaction (feel, rather than power) for some tanks. Not sure when that will happen yet, could be quite a while off (e.g. not this year) depending on what other work on champions is also needed. Tanks we'll be testing buffs for in 8.16 below. Not guaranteed all of these ship, possible others also get added, though this is our best estimate right now of the appropriate candidates. * Amumu * Nautilus * Sion * Leona * Rammus * Maokai (probably pretty jungle focused to avoid him defining top lane too much again) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Stats Tab** We've been testing a new stats tab in some regions recently. So far that's been doing pretty well. Plan as a result is to roll it out wider with a patch or two, barring any unexpected issues arising. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Next Champion Roadmap** Should be in early to mid August. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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