Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 30

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 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 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Why the PBE's not good for judging balance** A question we see crop up pretty regularly is 'why don’t you balance off PBE testing more?'. We'd love to get a better read on balance changes while they're still on PBE so we can catch more things before they're live. PBE's not a good representation of normal LoL play though unfortunately. To dig into that a bit more though let's take a look at some data that compares impact of balance changes on the PBE versus those same changes later on the regular servers. The Live servers are the top set of data here, PBE the lower. Champs listed are those we made changes to in 8.9. The Live data's from just after the patch went out, the PBE data's from most of the PBE patch cycle. Win rate differences listed are relative to where champs were during the previous cycle for the respective servers (e.g. PBE Mundo in 8.9 is being compared to PBE Mundo in 8.8, not Live Mundo in 8.8). Apologies these aren’t the easiest to read graphs, they’re just slightly modified screenshots from one of our tools. https://imgur.com/a/QroQ5Ij As you can see in some cases impact of a change is pretty similar in the data sets (e.g. Talon at +1.5% PBE and +2% Live). Most changes however are pretty different, sometimes extremely so (Shyvana, Mundo, Leona, Rammus etc show very different changes on PBE here versus Live). That difference between PBE and Live performance is due to a range of factors: * PBE has a lot of people trying weird stuff, not trying to win, lots of afking etc * PBE has low quality matchmaking (very large skill discrepancies between players). That's due to both a low server population and lack of match history for most players to accurately gauge their skill. * Even if people are trying and are appropriately matched there just aren't enough games on most champs for a good sample size. With a couple of hundred games for a champion margin of error is really large, even more so if a lot of those games come from one or two players spamming that champ. * We also see a lot of people trying things for the first time (e.g. AP Shyvana in this example) * Etc That's not to say PBE isn't really helpful. What's it's good for though is generally not balance related though. Things like: * Identifying and reproducing bugs * Generating perception feedback on changes, both from people who've tried it in game and those who've read about it elsewhere (sites like Boards, Reddit, Surrender@20 etc) * Assessing intuitiveness and usability that aren't dependent on the actions of other players much. Does this ability feel smooth to cast? Is this tooltip intuitive? --------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Yorick** We’ve got a change going into 8.12 where Yorick’s summons will update their stats as Yorick’s stats update. In particular that means things that give/remove AD post cast (Sterak’s, Conqueror, Mocking Shout etc) will be more relevant. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Early Game Snowball** We’ve seen an increase in early game snowball over recent patches, both statistically and in player feedback. We’ll be looking at that as one of our highest gameplay priorities for a while as a result. Some preliminary details about what we’re thinking later in the week. One of the challenges there will be managing both an increase in solo carry potential (another goal) with reducing early game snowball, given things that do one will often clash with the other. http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png
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