Season 3 Changes Discussion: Penetration is vicious!


Season 3 Changes Discussion: Penetration is vicious!

     Phreak recently announced that one of their planned changes for season 3 is to have percentage penetration apply before flat penetration.  My immediate reaction was "Wait, what?  You serious?"  That is a pretty big change to the damage formula for League.  Now, this can all change due to item changes they plan to implement, but I will use current items to explain why this is a pretty big change and why it could lead some serious pain for some people.

That looks painful!

How it works now

      Time for a little review. The damage formula for League of legends is this:

     Currently, the way the penetration works is that you reduce the stat first by flat, then by percentage.  To illustrate, lets do some quick math.

Mage: Haunting Guise, Sorc Shoes, Void Staff and magic mastery, attacking a 100 MR Carry. 

(100 MR - 20 (Haunting Guise) - 20 (Sorc Shoes)) x .5 (Void Staff + Mastery) = 30 MR, which gives 23% damage reduction from our damage.  23% reduction is nothing to scoff at, and being percentage reduction, it matters more, the more damage you do.  

Because of how it works now, you cannot easily reduce someone down to 0 defenses easily.  It can only be done if they are already at 0 with flat penetration alone, as you take a percentage of the remaining.  So even if you had their MR down to 1, it will not reach 0 through a Void Staff.  

How it will work in Season 3

     Now how it works in season 3 is interesting.  Lets take our same setup:

Mage: Haunting Guise, Sorc Shoes, Void Staff and magic mastery, attacking a 100 MR Carry. 

(100 MR x .5 (Void Staff and Mastery) - 20 (Haunting Guise) - 20 (Sorc Shoes) = 10 MR or 9% Damage reduction. 

The exact same build from season 2 gets an effective 14% Damage increase!  Now the percentage reduction will always apply to the number you want it too (The bigger one!) and have your flat reduction apply to the one you want (the smaller!) making both types of penetration more effective when paired together.  Why would Riot do this and what can we draw from their intentions knowing this change?

Making Burst Mages and Assassins Competitive

     Riot has stated that they are planning on making burst mages (Like Annie) a more competitive option over either sustained damage carries (karthus, ryze, Cassiopeia) or Utility mages (Zyra, Morgana, Anivia, Orianna).  I believe that the changes to the formula are designed to do just that.  While all damage dealers benefit from the change, Sustained damage carries need some defenses to keep their damage going, while burst mages are less concerned about that as they go in, blow something up and get out.  Even if a burst mage dies after unloading, does it matter?  They did their job.  I believe this is part of the intended change to make burst mages more lethal.  The same applies to Assassins as well, as I am sure the new itemization will give them similar benefits.

     Those that should be particularly afraid are glass cannon builds.  A single defensive item is now relatively easy to negate and bring your defenses down to 0.  Obviously this is focused somewhat on AD carries, but it applies to everyone as well.  Glass cannons will be hurt by burst mages and burst assassins more easily with this change.

The changes to itemization

     Now everything I wrote above is admittedly theory, grounded in season 2 items.  Come season 3, the numbers could change dramatically on the items but the change does benefit some champions more than others.  AD assassins are likely to see flat armor reduction items similar to the ones mages currently enjoy.  Making their burst damage so much more killer.  As a result of this new found burst, my suspicion is that either we will see cheaper defensive items to make up for the fact it is now possible to reach 0 defenses easier.  Or we will see an overall enhancement in offense as many classes get access to more dual purpose items like Maw, Phage and Abyssal. 


     I have no crystal ball to know exactly what will happen with season 3.  But when the company states it might change one of its basic damage formulas, I think we should start talking.  Personally, I am very excited for what is in store for Season 3.  It seems like they have really taken the time to overhaul a fundamental part of their game and that makes me happy as a player.  I look forward to learning the new items and figuring out will make my favorite champions more effective.  What does it all mean to you?  









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