Quick Gameplay Thoughts: March 20

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 http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/champion/Ziggs.png ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Position Preferences** It's been a while since we last talked about some position select data. Had a couple of requests to revisit it recently too so figured it would be a good topic to cover today. Bunch of data and comments below, few overarching takeaways that come to mind for me being: * Preference for different roles reflects a mixture of both desire for playstyle and perceived power. We see that role preference change meaningfully for example when ranked turns on/off, when players feel a position has been buffed/nerfed, temporarily when new champs for a position come out etc. * Preferences vary a lot between different regions, reflecting different metas and different preferences for different groups of players. * Similarly they vary quite a bit by MMR, assumedly reflecting meta and interpretations of power, potentially reflecting desired playstyle IF that's correlated with player skill (the lesser factor from what we've seen) https://imgur.com/a/J2NZqT7 So, first off, everything together. Most noticeable trends recently are bot preference increasing substantially post crit item changes and season start, support preference going up with season start and jungle/mid trending down somewhat since preseason. Noteworthy order swap there is bot climbing back to second for the first time in a while and jungle dropping from 2nd to 4th. https://imgur.com/a/FhXvIK9 High MMR has similar, though not identical trends. Top's much less popular comparatively in this context and while jungle's down this year it's still middle of the pack. https://imgur.com/a/bL1QopU Looking at Brazil we see a really strong preference for mid lane while top preference is close to all regions high MMR rates. https://imgur.com/a/fxfz66R EUNE then has the same high preference for mid, but a much lower preference than most for support, with the other three positions currently in the same spot. That's historically representative with the exception of bot being low post midseason changes last year for a while. https://imgur.com/a/Jb0CbDY Korea's not as big on mid at present as those other regions, though players there have been historically. Support interest's much closer to other positions too. https://imgur.com/a/zBaAO14 NA's then most notable for the degree jungle isn't favored there. https://imgur.com/a/qSpq4KB And Vietnam by contrast has a really high jungle preference, even after some recent drop, paired with a very long interest in queueing for support. Desire to queue as bot's also been more volatile than other regions, following the same inflection points but to greater degrees. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **A few likely balance targets in 9.7** * A Lissandra nerf, aimed at pro power especially. * Morgana assessment, mid lane specifically. We didn't ship nerfs in 9.6 because we weren't certain enough they were needed. Planning on assessing again shortly, see if that was the right call. * A nerf to Dark Seal, which is currently filling both the safe early sustain niche and the supposedly risky snowball niche. Likely that nerf includes a much lower sellback value as a result so it's a more of a gamble to opt into it. * Wit's End experimentation, aimed at making it a more relevant item. We're 50/50 on whether we'll ship something still, expect changes to hit PBE at least however. We'll have some other work in 9.7 as well, those are the projects we're sufficiently confident will be getting some time to talk about right now though.
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