Quick Gameplay Thoughts: March 23

Hey all, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **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 put 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Attack Move Changes on PBE** We're testing out some tweaks to how attack move works when you're using the attack closest to cursor setting (the default). Core of those changes is that we're increasing the distance around the cursor where targets will be checked for substantially before the game then checks for targets near your champion instead (500, instead of 250). There are also some secondary tweaks to how in-range targets will/won't be prioritized over out of range targets (avoiding mention of the details here to see what does or doesn’t get noticed on the PBE). We've been testing those adjustments internally for a while, and playtesters haven't been reporting noticeable differences. That's mainly a good sign (suggests things are just working well behind the scenes). Thoughts from anyone playing on PBE also much appreciated over the next week or so. Changes seem to be working overall, but want to double check that and if nothing else see if there's room for further polish. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Balancing some champs for organized teams** We've had long running difficulties with some champs who perform dramatically better for organized teams (pro teams, premade 5s, Clash soon etc) than they do for matchmade solo queue teams. Azir, Kalista and Ryze are the strongest example of that, where their performance for the average player trying them will often look pretty weak if they're in a balanced state for organized teams. One of our goals with champion balance is to ensure they're good choices in a wide range of contexts, so that's not ideal. At the same time though they're still situationally very strong even in solo queue sometimes. We've also put a lot of time into trying to close that gap on those three over the years, with mixed success, given some parts of those champions core identities are tied to the very elements that give them that variance in power by context. For a while, quite possibly a long while at that, we're going to be prioritizing most other champion work over closing that gap as a result. That means Azir, Kalista and Ryze will be balanced for their strong cases (organized play primarily), even if that leaves them quite weak in other contexts (exception: a bit of Ryze work that's already underway and might or might not ship). It's not that we think that's the perfect solution, but that we think the time's better spent on other champions who haven't got that same degree of attention over the years and would benefit a lot from it. If you're someone who likes those champs, but feels you shouldn't play them in solo queue, our apologies. I expect that feels pretty rough and that even if these champs are strong in the right circumstances that doesn't help if those circumstances aren't ones you personally experience. Completely agree there are downsides to this approach, we do think it's the best available trade off for LoL players as a whole though. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Midseason** A few more midseason bits and pieces worth mentioning: * We've been testing various jungle power level changes and recently concluded that we were better off putting them in midseason, both to take more time to get them right and since they're the sort of wider systemic change that's often better bundled into midseasons or preseasons, especially as we get to the otherwise lower change parts of the year. * It's likely we do some set up changes for midseason in 8.8 to help validate that they do what we think they do before we pair other changes with them. In particular we're looking at mage mana pools and regen in the first few levels, and how much we might need to increase their early ability to cast more spells to make them better duo laners. That’ll look like changes to base mana and regen, probably paired with a nerf to Doran’s Ring. Nothing too major by itself, but useful to understand what impact it has while we’re still working on other stuff. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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