Quick Gameplay Thoughts: August 29

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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Next post: Some Early Preseason Details** For the second post later this week we're gonna have Scruffy jump in again with some further details on things we're experimenting with for preseason. Potential changes include buffs to early tower durability, changes to bounties based off learnings this year and snowball/comeback focused work. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Current thinking on balance for Worlds** We did some planning recently to identify initial targets for Worlds balance. Run through of that below. As usual this is subject to change. Worlds will be played on the 8.19 patch, though we're aiming to have a lot of the changes in for 8.18 in case any of them need followup. We believe the pro meta's in a decent spot overall. The overall targets we're using for Worlds balance are: * An interesting and fun to watch experience is most important from a viewer perspective. * A diverse meta's good, but not as important as interesting matches (better low diversity and exciting games than high diversity and slow, uneventful play repeatedly) * No champions should be 100% pick/ban, or very close to it * No major disruption (minimal systemic changes especially, changes to individual champs especially are more appropriate) * While we're putting more attention into pro balance for the next couple of patches, ideally any changes made should be positive for regular play as well. If not they should at at minimum not be highly harmful to regular balance. That's the case in particular when it comes to buffing champs, with a fair number we believe could buff into pro play relevance but only by making them inappropriately strong for regular players. Based off those principles the changes we're currently looking at making are as follows. Nerfs: * Trundle - Jungle dominance * Gragas - Jungle dominance (though does lead to interesting early play, especially with increasing common Predator builds) * Gnar - pushing champs out of top lane * Ryze - limiting mid picks * Braum - dominant support pick Buffs: * Renekton (lacking from top and has some room for buffs in regular play as well) * Vayne (unseen in pro, on the weak side in regular play) Some other points: * Top Lane - Watching a range of champs for their performance top, though nothing currently slated for them (Aatrox, Sion, Ornn, Cho, Mundo). Also want to ensure we're not balancing in a way that leaves blind picking a tank for top each type the default, low risk behavior. * Mid lane - While it would be cool to see Zed we don't have the room to buff him in regular play. Ekko would be interesting too for playstyle diversity, also lacking in regular play room though, plus has some tendency to low risk play at times (wave clear with Q, R to prevent deaths happening etc). Attractiveness of Galio is likely to change a lot depending on how safe tanks are as picks in other positions. * Electrocute/Dark Harvest - We're expecting some migration from Electrocute to Dark Harvest, especially for junglers, given they don't get much benefit from the lower Electrocute CD but certainly feel the damage nerf. Watching to see who that benefits/hurts. * Akali - Suspect we'll need to nerf her, want to give her a bit longer to see where she settles though, to better understand both how strong she is with a more experienced player base and how large the delta between pro and regular play is or isn't * Sejuani - A likely pro issue, especially with nerfs to Gragas and Trundle planned. At the same time she's in a pretty sad state in regular play. Might be able to find changes that lower pro value without further hitting regular, those sorts of changes are riskier to land accurately though which is a concern at this time of year. * Kai'Sa - Possible we chip her down given her consistently high presence and usefulness. Still discussing however. She doesn't have strong lane counters, marksmen in general are fairly blind pickable however. * Tahm Kench - Trying to get a better understanding of where the 8.16 changes left him. Was certainly a concern beforehand, unclear how big an issue he currently is. TK's a particular concern if too common a pick given he can dampen action more than most champs. * Annie - Possible we see some support play from her again, given the AA range nerf was what previously pushed her out of the meta. Also very possible things are just different enough now that that won't matter too much. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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