The History of CC and Why I Believe it's a Problem

Hello G+, For this thread, I want to talk about CC but namely, what has become of CC. To do this, we need to take a step back to the early days as well as go all the way to LoL's roots in DOTA classic. Strap in, it's a long one: #The Beginning: Alpha/Beta LoL and DOTA Classic As someone who plays DoTA would tell you, CC in DOTA hits hard and sticks. Some CC can last absurd amounts of time and will punish you hard for being hit by it at the right time. Likewise, because resources cost more and there are so many ways to circumvent CC (Black King Bar is a common argument), CC wasn't the end-all OP OP of DOTA. Still, the essence was the same: For several seconds you could lose control of your character and you would be unable to do anything about it. When Riot began making League, they ported similar DOTA designs to it. This is why we had a lot of old champions with powerful, point-and-click CC that lasted quite some time. To give an example of what old League used to be, let's look at 2009 Fiddle's Terrify during a patch note. This was a nerf, by the way. >Duration reduced to 1 / 1.75 / 2.5 / 3.25 / 4 seconds from 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 / 4. _4_ second fear at max rank. On a point and click. And people say things these days are busted. Riot, however, also noted that players often felt crappy when they'd get chain CC'd to the end of the earth, plus the nature of no turn times, meant that there needed to be a stat to counter it. Enter **tenacity.** Tenacity was a stat that was rarely present on items that allowed you to shave off CC time by certain amounts. It was also present in certain champion kits, allowing you to weather more CC. Tenacity was actually the second edition of CC reduction, the original effect being ALL CC while tenacity had exceptions. This leads to what I like to call the CC triangle: Non-displacement CC, such as stuns, snares, roots and more would be at the top: Long in nature (3-4+ seconds) but countered by tenacity. Displacement was shorter yet couldn't be countered. Suppression was both long and uncounterable but could be QSS'd as well as requiring the supressor to channel their ability. Slows would be in the center: Affecting everyone equally while also having drastically varied slow strength and time. This also meant there was a power-tier and counter: Normal CC would hurt immobile, squishy champions the hardest as it could mean their demise while tankier characters had tenacity. Displacement hurt melee characters the most as it often peeled them away from the squishy types and beat out tenacity. Finally, suppression beat mobile champions the most because it would force them to stay still as well as get them to buy a QSS, setting their build back to counter them. It wasn't perfect, sure, but every CC had a place. #The Middle: The Rise of Displacements and Death of Normal CC As time went on, Riot began to shy away from normal CC. It was long and players often complained about it. The running joke was always being feared by Fiddle or bound by Morgana, which meant you could go do taxes, raise a family and more before it ended. It was to this end that Riot began to reduce CC of these abilities, which we see today: >ACTIVE: Fiddlesticks causes the target enemy to Flee icon flee as well as Slow icon slowing them by 90%. >DURATION: >1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 / 2.25 Riot also began putting more displacement in kits, as it was "easier to balance" in their own words. It was shorter, quicker and usually attached to a skillshot. To me, this is the beginning to the decline of normal CC and the reign of displacements which we still see today. Abilities like blind and silence began to be phased away in favor of interrupts and "sight reduction", as it affected everyone equally rather than hardcountering one type of character (Auto attackers and casters, respectively). Normal CC in the game was further reduced, moving the monstrous 5 second stun to a far more wimpy 2 second stun at max. Riot forgot to consider something: The power of displacements vs. melee characters. With the rise of displacement, melee often had no counter to getting in and would often be knocked away or pushed up to buy time for ranged to move further away. This, in turn, leads to melee needing more tools to stick to targets. Hence why mobility began to rise in the face of displacements. Tenacity also began to suffer as well. Despite not being "bad" per se, tenacity was much less effective in shaving 40% off a 2 second stun vs. 40% off a 5 second stun. Tenacity, due to this, feels much weaker these days. Especially on melee characters. #Today: Of Pinball and Pythagorean Triangles. This is what the CC triangle looks like today: Displacements are king, with most new champions/reworks eschewing a stun or snare in favor of a short displacement. Displacement is also still unable to be countered, as your only option is to get a spell blocking tool (Banshees/Edge) to avoid the displacement itself. With Morgana up for rework next, it's very likely she'll be the last vestige of the old 3+ second CC club to vanish. This will leave Ashe as the only character with a 3+ second CC in the game, further weakening tenacity. Melee continue to suffer due to displacement and rather than Riot working on displacement, they opt to instead give bigger reward for getting and staying in. If Darius grabs you, you're often ruined unless you have a flash. If you can't peel that Yorick, he's going to cleave your face in with a shovel. Likewise, if they can't get in, they're non-champions. In trying to make the game easier to balance, Riot has created a more binary aspect of the game in champions being overwhelmingly powerful or complete dumpster-tier. Finally, with the change to most CC being skillshot based, it gives further advantage to mobility. It's harder to pin a champion down, making characters like Annie or Malzahar a premium in dealing with a high-speed mobility champ. It also means that the CC budget is far weaker, giving FAR more power to a champion's utility or kit while siphoning CC away from them. In the focus of stripping away CC strength to stun/snares/etc, Riot backed themselves into a corner and forced displacement to be the norm, which in turn forced the game to focus more in getting and staying in (for melee) while ranged was pushed more toward keeping enemies away, #Fixing the CC Triangle I'm of the idea that the CC triangle should move back towards the rock-paper-scissor ratio, yet also improve on the counterplay of before. Tenacity was a good start but most of it was frontloaded into mercury treads. While certain characters have tenacity in their kit, I believe the stat needs an overhaul much akin to stats like crit. For one thing, Tenacity should be a stat mostly for tanks or tanky bruisers. While available to assassins or ranged carries, it should be in far lesser quantities. In an ideal arena, tanks/juggernauts could sit around 50-60% tenacity **MAX** that would be spread across 2-3 items, making them potent mid-game threats but still vulnerable to displacement/heavy chain CC. Assassins/ADCs would sit at around 0-30% on certain niche items, such as Zephyr. This would give them a chance to fight back but not "tank" CC. Second, after tenacity is improved, general CC should increase but only in the max levels. As an example: Fiddle sits around 1.25 at level one to 2.25 at level 5. I would imagine Fiddle would sit at 0.5 or 0.75 at level one at hit around 3-3.25 seconds at rank 5. This way, you're able to itemize against him by the time he's hitting heavy CC levels. This also means cleanse and QSS are now more useful, as they can remove CC that isn't just suppression. But most of all: Add innate tenacity per CC. One of the biggest problems with modern league is the "pinball" effect of getting stunned, then snared, then knocked up, then suppressed, then killed. With innate tenacity per CC, it becomes harder (but not impossible) to chain CCs. Perhaps a 25-100% tenacity boost per CC landed. You'd have to chain more effectively while also being wary of which CC to hit with first and last. This would also leave displacement as is, allowing it to still be useful but not the end-all. Hell, if this works you could even begin working on lowering mobility as it's easier to get in and stay in on targets! #TL;DR League began with heavy CC and a stat to counter it. This created a CC triangle. Riot opted to change their model and pushed towards weakning normal CC and adding more displacement. This, in turn, made melee weaker and forced more mobility to compete with being knocked away. The ease of balance early leads to problems late. Riot should look into improving normal CC and tenacity while weakning CC chaining. From there, it can be easier to begin tuning back some long-standing mobility creep (Seasons 3-5 are the biggest offenders) while keeping the game in a relatively balanced state.
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