The News Roundup: Holiday RP Giveaway, Xypherous Talks Force of Nature and More, Champion and Skin Sale

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RoG Holiday Giveaway

In case you missed it we are giving away RP! Check out the giveaway post for information!


 Xypherous Talks Force of Nature and More

With most people on holiday break, an unexpected red post was found today! Xypherous hit the forums early this morning posting over 50 replies to users! The post covers a range of topics including a possible warmog buff. So sit back with a warm drink and enjoy!

Sure - I can take a stab at this.

The magic resistance option for tanks currently are:


Runic Bulwark
Spirit Visage
Banshee's Veil
Mikael's Crucible

AP Tanks also have: Abyssal Scepter, Twin Shadows

Roughly half of the items in this pool build out of a Negatron Cloak (Abyssal / Visage / Veil) while the other half build out of Null Magic (Runic, Crucible, Shadows)

There isn't quite a concept as AD Tank as anyone with this classification turns out to be a fighter more often than not.

The movement speed options for tanks currently are the same as most other characters in the game, by intent:

Wraith Collar
Alacrity Enchantment

Jungle Tanks additional get two additional options, due to the fact that Golem Soul grants Tenacity and can thus sub out Mercury Treads for additional options:

Swiftness Boots
Mobility Boots

As for HP/5 - that statistic has been admittedly unsupported as a late-game statistic - mostly because we raised Strength of Spirit a tier up - This change hasn't been as effective as I'd actually liked it to have been for support end-game HP/5 without mid-game HP/5 and it's something that I'd want to take a look at in the future.

The reason for removing FoN are as follows - here are the typical cases you'd purchase FoN:


1. You need MR - and you need it now.


However - why are you paying 1900 for an additional Null-Magic Mantle's worth of MR over Negatron Cloak? This meant that the best MR option was to go double Negatron Cloak or Aegis + Negatron Cloak. Considering that Aegis was cost-efficient by itself in terms of statistic strength and that the lone Negatron Cloak could always be upgraded to Abyssals - this meant that optimal MR was always going to include Negatron Cloak sitting in your inventory without a build.

2. You need movement speed somehow on your tank character


However, again, why are you paying 1900 for a bunch of HP/5 and Magic Resistance when you need something for *speed* in a current game. This simply impacts casters negatively - because if tanks are balanced around always having an additional 76 MR for their movement speed options - almost every source of magic damage needs to be absurd (or conversely, there cannot be other movement speed options)

Speed being attached to a primary resistance counter-item is always going to be awkward - if you need movement speed ubiquitously - unless you fight the perfect composition, you are always basically screwing yourself if this is your primary movement speed source.

3. You prize HP/5 as a statistic.


This is really where the crux of the main argument lies. If you are a player who thinks highly of HP/5 as a statistic - then Force of Nature made sense because that is the primary function Force of Nature did well - otherwise, if you were actually optimizing MR - you built twin Aegis and a Negatron Cloak (which would turn into Abyssal). 

However, HP/5 is a very *poor* statistic coupled with burst mitigation and movement speed. One is a set of statistics for primary initiators - the other is a set of statistics for dedicated siegers - Force of Nature was suboptimal unless broken with additional sources of Health (such as Warmog's Armor, for example) - However, this particular pairing is (as many people have pointed out in terms of what champion they miss Force of Nature on) a dedicated Bruiser/Fighter path - one that we don't really particularly need / want to support given how durability focused those characters can get.

It's a ****ty abyssal scepter with two situational slows and **** stats.

Both the Kage's upgrades service different tanks for the purposes of initiating fights - the combined effect of movement speed, long range slows and having a large portion of the item cost negated by how early it fits into your build makes Twin Shadows fairly powerful when used well.

To be fair, in a late-game situation, saving the item slot is invaluable. 
No doubt - but we chose to favor the path that most tanks would have moderate income streams rather assume they would have high income streams due to the nature of the tank role. We basically optimized their items around flexible mid-tier items rather than assume a high gold baseline and that they would hit 6 items. We figured that, in the vast majority of games, tanks should be building piecemeal to react to their situation - not merely opting for a static build-path that discounts who / what the enemy is. This meant favoring smaller items rather than slot-efficiency for the most part, because you have to factor in what the opponent is rushing.

Watching how the AP mid is doing and deciding what your primary mitigation path is going to be is tantamount. Bulwark, for example, is very effective against high AP characters - but pretty ineffective against mages who rushed penetration

So what if the stats don't really mesh together, people bought it because it worked with the champion. That's all that should matter. 
No, it doesn't - not when one of the primary statistic is a stat that is valued across *all* characters (movement speed).

When an item favors a particular character in a class but also contains a ubiquitous statistic that no characters in that class can easily itemize for - you create odd swings where some characters are simply faster for no reason other than the item is awkwardly statted for other characters.

If you look at the current movement speed options (Shadows / Alacrity / Swiftness / Mobility) - they are ubiquitous and universal enough to be applied across most tanks - and that most tanks have at least one option they can choose to opt into high movement speed.

How is removing the option improving the game though? Wouldn't it make sense to leave it in? I guess I just don't understand why it was necessary to remove it. If a tank is doing very well, they should have the items available to take advantage of that just as much as the rest of the roles, right? 
You typically have to balance things around their maximum abusive potential - rather than their minimum abuse potential. Which means that, for example, the Alacrity Enchantment or Swiftness upgrades can't exist in the power level that they are currently at.

By having such statistics on an item that was only good if you prize high regeneration, you unnecessarily degrade the power level on every other item that shares statistics in that category or else the stacked case becomes abusive. Then, when we inevitably nerf the abuse case - the entire spectrum crashes as a result.

What the hell kind of tank "looks" for movement speed? That's a weak reason right there! We get FoN for the MR and the HP5! The movement speed is just a neat bonus! Who the hell decides to get FoN for it's movement speed bonus??? 
This is *exactly* the problem with FoN. Generally, you will find many camps on FoN, each of which doesn't care about 1 out of the 3 statistics on the item.

Wouldn't it be possible to get a new item added in with at least the same MR the FoN had.. i feel like currently all of the options give way less MR, unless i am missing something. 
Probably not - this is because, as a baseline, we rescaled magic resistance to how much it should cost and we retuned gold premiums to be a more acceptable level.

Essentially, old FoN looks amazing in the context of S3 itemization mostly because every single tier 3 item in S2 looks amazing in the context of S3 itemization - it's got hugely inflated gold premiums on the final upgrade.

The high gold premiums essentially choke-out the ability for people to build reactively to their opponents unless a perfect mid-tier item existed for their particular character because any two piece item you could build was strictly gold inefficient compared to one tier 3 item. A tier 3 item gave nearly 50% additional statistic to gold ratio than a tier 2 item.

CALLED IT, I CALLED IT.
i'VE ALREADY STARTED DOWNVOTED THREADS ABOUT UTILITY TREE, 4.5% MS QUINTS, ALACRITY/SWIFTNESS, ZEPHYR IRELIA
AND NOW I GOT A RED TO CONFIRM ALACRITY SWIFTNESS IS TOO STRONG 

Runic Bulwark can't exist in the same environment as Force of Nature.

Upgraded Spirit Visage can't exist in the same environment as Force of Nature.

And yes, Swiftness or Alacrity probably can't exist in the same environment as Force of Nature.

Since each of these items are meant to synergize and provide better build options and counter-build options against certain team comps - I would say that generally, outside of late game HP/5 - I'd rather live without it than have each of these three or four other item niches be unsupported. FoN strangled itemization because it lumps so many desirable qualities into an item that is only good on a niche audience because no one audience wanted every single statistic concurrently. 

By taking a step back and breaking it piecemeal into other items - we've created many more options for supports/fighters/mages in terms of their itemization as well as had the space to create other tank/initiation itemization.

I will fully admit that we've missed the *late* game health regeneration for the tank class because of vastly over-estimating the effect that Strength of Spirit would have had, as I've said before.

But we just want to know if we can get a high MR item again. Right now its pretty much 50MR on any single MR item max. MR prices got buffed, Mpen and ARpen got changed in a way that buffs it(that is why rune stats were altered for these things) so in the end mages come out stronger. Mr is still kind of tough to get. 
Pen Mages in S2 had, when optimized - 48 magic penetration and 46% magic pen. 

Mages in s3 have a maximum of 38 magic penetration and 40% magic pen, with the formula reversed. 

So, while the penetration changes makes it feel like penetration is stronger for mages against MR, in reality, mages got something like a 2-3% damage bump - which we've hit some other ways by reducing the total ability power possible on a slot-by-slot basis. (Deathcap, for example, had it's AP coefficient reduced from 30% to 25% and provides less AP on its own.)

Additionally, for tanks with huge innate MR steroids (like Rammus, for example) - their magic resistance shell actually becomes a lot harder to "burst" through with penetration - the penetration changes along with the flat penetration available means that if you can crack 200 MR, you will be far more durable than you were before in that period. (This is only really relevant to Singed/Rammus/Leona, to be fair - as most other characters have to try really hard to get above 200 MR).

Lastly, there is a simple wish that I have when I play this game. One singular goal that, when achieved, brings me more joy than any other objective in this game. More joy than victory, more joy than a huge KDA. One -true- calling; nay, a need! An OBSESSION!
Gotta go fast.

Swiftness/Mobility + Alacrity/Homeguard/Furor are the intended 'high-speed' builds for Tank Junglers - as the Golem Soul provides them the tenacity they need to avoid being locked out for long period fights (and also burst mitigation.)

You may of course, opt out of Golem Soul by grabbing Mercury Treads and selling Spirit Stone early - but your speed options should mostly come down to whether you are going for high speed boots or not.

If you're having speed difficulties, I heartily recommend that you prioritize Tier 3 enchantments or trying out some of the other boot types - they mesh much better now than before with the other options that you have.

But... But... Singed... 
I will say that Strength of Spirit was the one thing that never really materialized as helping out Singed as much as it should have - I over-estimated the impact this would have on his regeneration, mostly because traditionally in S1, Strength of Spirit would probably be more accurately titled 'Strength of Singed.'

I wonder why strength of spirit would be pushed as the gateway to a stat. I never found it very appealing when it was good, just powerful, and I'm not sure why I would enjoy myself more if it were good again. 
The problem of supporting HP/5 in large quantities is that you pretty much invalidate the laning phase when HP/5 is powerful early on and you get into situations where high regeneration essentially nullifies most of the effectiveness that some characters have in the mid-game as well.

Our solution to this was to tie major sources of HP/5 to other statistics that scaled much more naturally as the game went on (Health/Mana/Level) rather than support it innately as a statistic - it hasn't really been as effective on live as it was internally.

golem soul is a jungler only item. You want to talk about wasted stats? Golem is nothing but a lot of wasted stats. 
it is as you said, a jungle item. If it had something like hp or mr instead of jungle damage and built out of ruby or negatron, It would be infinitely more useful. 

Are we talking about the same Spirit of the Ancient Golem here? The thing with 500 Health?

Ill use wukong for example. Other team is running a double AP comp. Our jungler says that he will build bulwark. So what does that leave me? 
Double Aegis in S2 was powerful in the same way that Double Bulwark is incredibly powerful against Double AP in S3. Both holders of the item get the effects of the aura and the base statistics. 

If you and your jungle are the two-front lines against double AP - this is completely viable.

So then why is Flask a ward and 5 Health Pots ok? thats 1050Hp of regen right there. 
This is actually one of the things we're looking into right now. We're currently dissatisfied with how powerful this start is - we're watching it closely in the hopes that it isn't as effective as it is on first glance - but it's on our list of impending changes if it keeps trending towards being out of line.

I think every stat on FoN syncs well with each other! You got the three things tanks love. MR, HP5, and movement speed to amplify their initiating ability. Movement speed to help stick on the enemy AD carry! 
Let's look at why you'd want FoN:

1. I want high MR because their AP carry is doing well. Thus I want movement speed to stick onto.. the enemy AD Carry?

2. I want high HP/5 because we are sieging - so I get stronger initiation powers - but the counter to sieging *is* to have extremely powerful initiate.

3. I want movement speed to stick onto their AD carry - thus I want high.. magic resistance to counter the AD Carry's physical damage?

You of all people should know that you can't just use a single example in each case to justify why it doesn't make sense. The stats obviously don't sync if you use those examples. 
You can justify any set of statistics by combining enough situations where only one attribute is successful and stringing three of them together. I'm merely pointing out that for each of the situations described, one aspect of the item doesn't fit - you need all three situations together for his argument to be valid.

I just want to put out there that I think the reason flask is so broken is because it has no role differentiation or 'hook'. 
Possibly - while it would be obviously far more gated if the effect was situational - the ubiquity of the item has a strength all on its own.

Mostly, the 5 potions are the annoying thing thats tipping the starting build over the top - because we're actually relatively okay with how it plays out past the first-buy.

i have no idea what this means D: 
The fact that you don't need to do anything special with the item and that the item is unfocused means that there are a lot of times where the item is just good, or at the very least, it's never bad to have a "slow" ruby crystal for half the cost.

I actually kind of like the effect that a cheap effective hp item has in the mid-game, especially when you're behind your opponents - and that it can be bought on everyone - but the flask/potions start is kind of destroying early lane dynamics, I feel.

What I meant was more hp. Yes I am aware of the 500 hp it gives. Sorry, I looked back at my post and realized I gave the impression it gives no hp. the mana regen is somewhat uselss as few champs suffer from mana shortages in the mid-late game, which is when this item would be completed unless you religiously avoided boots and pots. 
The mana regen on the item is mostly to tide you through the first clear to the second, and mostly comes as a holdover from Spirit Stone. Since you're not guaranteed to have the Golem buff on your second clear, the mana regen helds tide you over until it is no longer needed.

I also don't understand why the life regen and +life was taken off of warden's mail.... it used to easily be the best early armor item. 
That's pretty much exactly why it was taken off warden's mail. Warden's Mail was the most powerful early armor item.

The MR bonuses you get from bulwark, mercurial, abyssal just don't seem to be enough. Unless you build more than one of them, but why should I have to? 
In general, we'd like builds to be much more dynamic in S3 than they are in S2. Static defense builds that are good versus any composition without regards to how well their enemy was doing or not is something we'd like to get away from in general - where itemizing based on the context of the game should be grow in importance as players get more skilled.

Many items in S3 were tuned around the fact that not finishing an item could be as powerful as rushing an item - but could still feel good in your inventory. That early zeal becomes a Statikk Shiv if you are far ahead, or a Phantom Dancer if you are behind. That Kage's Pick becomes a Twin Shadows if you need more initiating power - or a Shard of True Ice if you find that your team has enough initiate - but needs more in-fight presence - each with their own various strengths and tradeoffs.

why can't you give us an armor item that gives us movement speed then if the only possible reason for a tank to want movement speed is to stick to an AD carry? (it's not by the way, I deeply treasured the movement speed on force of nature. I still don't get why you insist it was an awkward buy. The stat I cared LEAST about it was the HP/5 with it only being a factor in my garen and mundo builds. It was the MR and the Movespeed I loved). 
This item exists - it's called Randuin's Omen. While it doesn't accomplish the goal by directly making you faster - it accomplishes the goal by making the carry slower if he attempts to kite you - and has a wide-range active slow to pin them for a duration once you are there.

Know what would also help when you're behind as a Carry?
Even more offense on top of your Ignite!
If you had Surge, you could have gotten that kill ^.~ 

Replace Surge with Exhaust and you'll be much more likely to get that kill, in the vast majority of cases - especially if you have the offensive mastery.

yes but the range on randuin requires you catch him first. plus, it has a cd while ms does not. 
I'm more referring to the guaranteed passive movement speed slow proc that it has now for the catching up to the AD carry part.

Granted, I suppose they could never attack you while you run up to them but if they're constantly running - I think you've accomplished your goal as a tank to begin with, for the most part.

So my ability to stick to a target, escape from an enemy has to be on a cooldown and staying with my carry just doesn't happen? I'm not sure that's achieving the same objective. 
It's the passive, not the active that accomplishes the goal here, for the most part - it has a slow component upon being hit - so either you never get hit (Yay!) or they're slowed.

Exhaust requires a click, which can slow a high burst assassin's ability to burst someone.

More importantly, all of their relevant defense is pierced, and you are already dealing true damage. 

Ah, I thought you were talking about Surge in the context of AD carries - not high burst assassins.

The answer on high burst assassins is that they don't really need additional support to murder someone - most high burst assassins need the opportunity, rather than the raw damage - hence why Flash is so popular on them.

But as a tank I want them to hit me instead of my team (so less yay), and they want to avoid hitting me which makes it again difficult for me to catch them. Basically the item only works in that manner if the enemy is doing the one thing they shouldn't. 
Potentially but I'm finding it a really difficult time to visualize when an AD carry would be simultaneously attacking members of your team and running away from you fast enough that you need a movement speed boost to catch up.

In short, it seems like if the AD carry is outputting damage to the rest of your team (typically behind you) then you should have no problem catching up - or if you are having problems catching up, he's probably running away from you and outputting no damage which again accomplishes your goal as a tank to zone the carry out of the fight and reducing the effect that the AD carry will have on your team.

Is there something I'm missing here?

Of course this is assuming that the carry doesn't have a frozen mallet or any kind of slow of their own in which case the tank is still invalid in terms of keeping up. Randuin's only puts a 10% slow on them anyways, which is essentially Sejuani's passive. Last time I played Sej (admittedly a LONG time ago) I seem to remember the enemy carry still getting away from me because that 10% slow was pathetic and I'd already used permafrost. 
This is true regardless of whether or not the tank has an 8% movement speed buff, however - so the Frozen Mallet case, while interesting, is still invalid here as FoN would be equally poor in this situation.

Can we please get a premium endgame health regen item into the works, then?

My main purpose of getting FoN was the massive in-field regen after stacking HP. It felt really good.

Especially after breaking an engage, and while most teammates either have to B or retreat to jungle for lifesteal, I could simply go to some lane and push or threaten objectives, and just during the time I spent offscreen or not in battle, I would regenerate enough HP to feel safe should I need to disengage. 

Yeah, I fully agree we probably need a premium end-game health regeneration item - The trouble here is how to avoid making a premium *mid-game* rushed health regeneration item rather than a premium end-game health regeneration item.

I kind of want to try tripled passive regeneration on Warmog's if you haven't been damaged by champions in the last X seconds - but we'll see.

You make a good point with that one. My big issue is that I'm slower than EVERYONE unless someone is attacking me (even then that's only relatively speaking). Honestly this isn't some single thing that upsets me. I've been upset with the way tanks and supports have been treated all last season. I'm glad supports got a lot of notice with this season, but I feel like tanks have been hurting for a good long time. 
In general, tank itemization has been tricky because bruisers/fighters tend to steal it for themselves.

I think I might need to create two things: A high end-game regeneration item for tank sustain so they don't have to recall late game every other second (or retrofit warmog's or spirit visage into it) and some sort of stand-alone heavy resistance-based tenacity item that lets tanks get boots of swiftness/mobility with the alacrity enchant for additional speed if they need it.

Additionally on pure-tank itemization - there's a few mage/tank items that have too much AP and not enough tank stats. Liandry's Torment and Twin Shadows, for example - I think are both items that would be better fits for the game if the AP/Defense tilts were more towards the defensive side rather than the offensive side.

In the meantime - I'd actually suggest you try out an early boots of swiftness + alacrity enchantment and tell me how that goes and if it's actually good enough for your speed needs on Jungle Tanks.

I've honestly been experiencing this a lot. Even last season I was struggling to counter build against these super fed carries when I'm expected to give all my gold to my carry. Now with their items being cheaper/more effective and mine being the opposite. I never feel tanky no matter how well I do. I feel like a walking roadbump instead of a tank. I only exist to distract the carry for a few seconds until my team gets their act together (if I last that long). 
From what we've generally seen - the characters who do prioritize health become very very difficult to kill if they spike health early game and shift to more resistances as the game goes on. I know that tanks feeling weak are something we are currently watching and something we'll continue to watch as the preseason continues.

(as you said yourself, you'd like to move the HP/5 into a more toned down mid-game role) 
Actually, this is the opposite of what I've been saying. I want end-game HP/5 to be strong - but the problem is how to avoid end-game HP/5 items from being overpowered mid-game HP/5 items.

Is that considered overpowered, in retrospect? I feel like with Liandry's Torment in the game that in-battle regen should also have a place. Often times it's just ridiculous to consider engaging if you take a poke or 2, because now you've burned off so much HP that a full commit will almost definitely kill you. 
In general, a lot of the worst cases in our game tends to result from in-combat regeneration being high enough to negate the outgoing damage of the defenders in question, especially in snowball cases. It's why I keep talking about trying to keep away end-game regeneration from affecting the mid-game - because when we see end-game regeneration values in the mid-game (perhaps someone got to 18 fairly early, for example) - that's when those character types tend to rapidly degrade teamfights.

Secondly, 1-3 seconds of overextending because you had to chase can leave you even more vulnerable.
The idea is to be revealed for as little as possible. Killing faster makes you safer. You cannot handle the backlash.

You take something one thing is good at, then amplify it, then amplify it further, then amplify it further, then keep amplifying it until it simply cannot be countered 

Unfortunately, we tend not to support playstyles whose ideal circumstance is that the opponent has zero possible responses. Time is the one of most important pieces to ensuring that players fight each other rather than racing for statistics. Since we're primarily a player versus player game - we'd like the game to be about interactions between players - rather than a race to make one player invalid by having enough burst damage that the opponent has no responses in the time frame you are performing in.

If the enemy team DOES have good CC then I stick with mercs. I always get alacrity on pretty much every champion because Furor has seemed a bit off to me. It feels like the speed boost degrades so quickly I can't make use of it at all. I might be wrong on that one but it seems woeful. I'm pretty happy with alacrity anyways aside from the fact that it's pretty much just the same boost everyone gets to their base speed. 
There's a secondary problem here in that Banshee's Veil isn't actually as strong as I'd like it to be against that 'strong' CC team mostly because Catalyst still isn't that great of an option in game. While BV has been problematic when its been too ubiquitious - there's a problem right now where it's still too niche of an option to really be a good tank item 

In an ideal world, it would look something like Swiftness for light CC, Swiftness --> BV for moderate CC and Merc Threads --> Whatever else in heavy CC land. BV isn't there yet - but I'm not sure it'll ever be there due to how undervalued / weak(?) the spell shield effect is.

So, xyph, since you removed the FoN for the reasons you state why did you keep the Frozen Heart then? Armor/Mana/CDR/attack speed decreasing aura, hmm, seems kind of like the armor version of FoN, going by all the reasons you listed for removing FoN, why keep FH? 
Armor / Attack Speed Debuff is a decent synergy to negate physical damage, especially ones from a carry that you can't quite catch up to, due to the aura range. Mana / CDR is a decent synergy on characters with powerful spells that are on long cooldowns and have high costs. Traditionally, these have been tank spells.

Not seeing the breakdown here, unless your main point is that no one actually needs to itemize mana anymore?

Would an item like Chalice of Harmony for HP regen be a way to solve the mid game regen problem? An item that gives a higher % regen based off the % of missing hp you currently have, so lategame when you have more health it would regen more, and while laning, having less hp would make the regen more powerful, but would also come with the risk of the other laner being able to just straight up kill you since your health would be low. 
A health chalice is something we've experimented on - but in general, it kind of just lied to you about how well you could kill someone and actually kind of pissed people off, more often or not - because the better you poked someone, the worse you felt about the poke since you saw their health chunk up.

I think I'd like to experiment with HP/5 per level as a statistic on an item but that has the odd case of making you never want to buy the item early, even if you need the other statistics. It's an interesting problem.

Well not every tank can really use the FH while EVERY tank could use the FoN. 
The problem with FoN wasn't how many tanks could use it - it's that when it came down to the situation at hand, it was rare that you wanted all 3 statistics on it - but you frequently wanted part of the statistics on it and the third one just came along adding to the cost of what you needed to itemize.

However, because the statistics in question were so strong and so powerful - it made making additional items to fill those niches awful, because you have to balance around the abuse case typically - rather than the norm. So MR sucks and can't be found anywhere because the possibility of FoN + said MR item choked it out of the item pool - the same was true of MS options.

I believe FoN was intended as an anti-poke item, MR + HP/5 to survive the siege, with ms to enable initiation. 
Accurate, which is why Bulwark/Aegis are tuned the way they are, anti-poke - but for your team - a much more likely case than a single person blocking every poke single-handedly.

There are quite a few tanks who don't use mana, so I stay away from it unless in proving grounds against heavy poke. 
Tanks who don't use mana.. Shen and..?

What about a since game start HP5 item? Per level can potentially be abusive when you get leveled midgame (as you said), so why not tie it to the only reliable indicator of endgame? 
Kind of - you generally find that the higher ELO it is, average game length tends to decrease because everyone farms faster/better and thus reaches critical mass at an earlier stage.

Game length is a good indicator of what phase of the game it is - but the tuning point is a bit odd, given there's a 5 to 10 minute discrepancy between end-game for low ELO and end-game for high ELO.

My main concern with it is whether or not it would feel forced, in this case? Generally, items with that are iron-clad with no abuse cases whatsoever tend to feel stagnant somehow.

Yay a massive tax for an item that you may not need for the team when you need a more cost effective solo item. 
I'm not sure how many situations you would face poke solo?

Hp5/level on an item would be interesting, but why not just make the base hp5/level of tank characters higher? 
Honestly, base stats could use a pass throughout the game - not sure how disruptive that would be - but I'm not actually sure we're using HP/5 to maximal gameplay effect.

Also, the net result of this probably wouldn't get you to where you'd want to be, since you'd want tanks who opted into high sustain to end up near 150 / 200 HP/5 most likely and HP / 5 per level increases can't take you that far.

What if you make a flat percentage multiplier on Hp5 then? Make the item give little itself (~5 or so) but combo well with other Hp5 stats so that you already had to have abusive regen midgame to get effective bonuses out of it. 
To be fair, that's what SV is trying to do - however, there's a couple cases where that breaks down(mostly Shen/Mundo/Voli) on characters who amplify their own regeneration several-fold and since the magnitude of their effects are so high and so % regeneration amplification is kind of gated by how powerful those effects can be.

Mundo, well and most mana using tanks stop caring about the mana portion once midgame rolls around. Really i think the bigger issue is that frozen heart is the only reliable AS slow in the game now that randuin's active is only movement speed. Sure the warden's mail proc can do the trick but that only works if the AD carry starts beating on the tank which isn't necessarily going to happen. 
While it's definitely true that FH is the only reliable AS slow in the game - we've generally found that we don't want to tune AD carry damage around the assumption that there's multiple guaranteed AS slows in the game as this tends to give them absolutely insane levels of damage when not directly countered.

They can't do that because apparently it's not what we want, it has stats that we don't want, how would we know what we want? 
It's more than that - it's about sacrificing entire tiers of other itemization that could exist - for the sake of a niche item that is good some of the time. FoN was strangling other itemization options that could exist because of how awkward and powerful the stats were on a single item.

Having a fallback "swiss-army" knife for tanks that got progressively more niche the higher ELO you got in exchange was not worth not being able to have or make additional MS/MR or a strong Spirit Visage / Anti-AoE item. Twin Shadows, Alacrity, Bulwark, upgraded Spirit Visage, etc - all could not exist in the same environment that Force of Nature would exist in - as the stacked potential of each one of these would have been assuredly abusive - and when toned down to prevent the abuse case - don't really serve any of their core purposes.

So you replaced a situational item with items that you have to build even if they're not appropriate for your situation just because you're that desperate to fill that void even if you have to pay extra or get stats you seriously don't want? 
Alacrity is raw movement speed upgrade for gold.

Bulwark is a raw MR upgrade that adds raw MR to an item you already have - Aegis.

Spirit Visage is an whose main properties is to survive burst (Health/MR) and then recover from it using your kit / other abilities (HP/5).

Twin Shadows is an item whose combined power is for primary initiation for AP characters - with a ranged slow, % MS, MR and AP.

Each of those items have a distinct purpose - It's quite possibly that the statistics are tuned incorrectly (as I've mentioned before) - but when you spend gold on these items - you're typically only upgrading a single facet of the item or for a single purpose.

Hey Xyph, I've actually got a lot of questions for you. Most tying to FoN, but involving other items. 
1. A single-slot item that shut out mages from damaging you late-game after a full-build is fairly bad for the game, overall - mostly because a single slot isn't a terrible price to pay in a full-build, especially if it negates more than half the incoming damage that the enemy team can build.

Additionally it tied the movement speed build to the regeneration build intrinsically at its core - which means that if you wanted movement speed on a defensive character, you automatically had resistances and regeneration as a statistic - which is something we want to break as this relationship isn't always realistic.

2. Liandry's is primarily meant for AP control characters or Long Range Poke characters that deal magic damage - the statistics are off on it, as it should be giving more health and less AP but it gives durable AP characters who deal their damage at the beginning of the fight a large amount of additional damage.

But wait, it gives a diminished effect on periodic spell damage! What the heck is this thing for? 
It gives diminished duration, not effect on periodic spell damage - which means that it lasts for roughly the same amount of time as the DoT - Essentially, anyone that can output a sustained amount of damage and can control the battlefield well would benefit from Liandry's - the only problem is that it has too much AP and not enough health and it's something we'll have to retune to be more similar to Rylai's ratios.

3. Sunfire Cape 

Split pushing doesn't encourage the aggressive gameplay you have in mind for the game, why leave an item like that in? 
Your assumption is that we don't like split pushing because it doesn't encourage aggression - however, split pushing has many strategic benefits if the power level of the strategy is appropriate. We don't make more split pushing items because we think the power level of the strategy is at a point where it creates interesting large scale strategic dynamics without being terrible - and Sunfire cape does support that style of gameplay quite well.

4. LDVP - you'll have to ask Nome about why he kept Cleaver over LDVP.

Soul Shroud - specifically, is that the CDR aura doesn't actually work the way you think it does. I'd like to bring it back somehow - but the CDR aura on it, from a mechanics perspective - doesn't actually work most of the time. :x

If liandry's is meant for long ranged poke champions why does it have a weak version of the blackfire torch proc on it? What do Nid or AP kog or Xerath want with a proc that's awful if you don't have a dot? Liandry's is decent on "control casters" see: swain, anivia, singed etc. but its absolutely awful on poke champs and really a lot of people who would buy haunting guise. 
There's very specific poke examples - Liandry's is actually really potent on Mundo, for example as it makes his cleavers absolutely absurd poke. Brand's poke gets significantly more powerful due to how Ablaze works. 

Both of these give a poke route for these characters who are traditionally either more tank based (Mundo) or Burst based (Brand) - to say nothing of things like Cass's Miasma or Rylai users. I should back up and say that when Liandry's works on a poke type character, it typically turns 'moderate' poke into 'decent' poke - whereas a strong poke character just wants additional AP because that's what their poke scales best at.

And I'd really like to know why 2 Null-magic Mantles that build Bulwark only makes it 30 MR when 2 null-magic mantles not in bulwark add up to 40 O.o 
Aura affects yourself, so you get 60 total from the item.

This is similar to how WoTA works.

I'll bite. I'm really not seeing how liandry's would be in any way good on kennen. Really what I'm saying is, give guise an upgrade that isn't liandry's so people don't mock me when I pick up guise on someone with out a dot even if I just intend to sell it later. It seems like when making these new items you forgot sometimes the basic assumption that if an item has an upgrade people will assume you're going to upgrade it even if the base item is good and the upgrade is bad. 
Kennen tends to be the first or second person in a team fight and typically disables everyone as he rushes in by himself - he plays very similarly to a control mage when itemized as such.

Really what I'm saying is, give guise an upgrade that isn't liandry's so people don't mock me when I pick up guise on someone with out a dot even if I just intend to sell it later. It seems like when making these new items you forgot sometimes the basic assumption that if an item has an upgrade people will assume you're going to upgrade it even if the base item is good and the upgrade is bad. 
That's actually one of the major mental states we were trying to break in season 3 - that you must finish mid-game items in your inventory as quickly as possible, otherwise, you were bad. We mostly attacked this through the tier 3 gold premium changes - however, it'll be a while before that concept catches on as its incredibly subtle.

A lot of Tier 3 upgrades don't actually net you that much gold-efficiency over their Tier 2 compatriots - making it so that sitting on tier 2 items while itemizing the right ones should become more commonplace as time goes on.

Second, mages aren't picked for their late-game tanky busting power (Because that isn't their job). Utility mages are brought because their utility is priceless. Burst assassins are brought because they can take out squishies. Poke mages are brought because they can win seiges. None of those are meant to straight up wreck a tank. If I want a tank busting mage, that's Malzahar and Ryze only. If I want a tank buster, I have an AD carry for that. I shouldn't need a tank buster though, I need someone to keep my carry safe or someone to take care of theirs. If they output some damage to the tank, that's nice. If they don't, it's not a big deal. 
That would be true if FoN was balanced around solely tanks picking it up - which is untrue, as you'll hear many languished cries about being unable to be built on fighters.

Then why didn't you just add in alternative movement speed options and leave this item? If movement speed is sleeping around with all the other stats, why does it matter that it sleeps around with health regen? Most players would have been completely fine if we got to choose between Wraith Collar and Force of Nature for magic resist and movement. Do I need tons of magic resist because they're double AP? No? Sweet, I'll get a Wraith Collar for some extra hard initiates! Is Wraith Collar not gonna be enough? No sweat, I'll just pick up a Force of Nature so I can get in there and soak up some more punishment. 
Offering Tier 3 boot enchants that augment speed, minor MS items like Twin Shadows *and* having Force of Nature in the game is overkill on movement speed in the stacked case. There's never a scenario where movement speed isn't the best statistic you could have in terms of positioning and a team fight.

Something has got to give - otherwise the extreme MS case breaks a lot of dynamics in the game - which can only be then countered by hard CC creep. 

Who would you categorize as AP control characters? Anivia, Zyra, Orianna? How would extra health benefit a long range poke character? If I'm Nidalee, chances are I'm not gonna get hit too much if I'm poking. It feels like there is a lot to be desired on this time if I'm a character like that. Haunting Guise itself isn't gonna help me out more than something else, and by the time I would actually get around to Liandry's, it's time probably time for Rabadon's or Void Staff. 
Some examples of AP Control - Swain, Anivia, Amumu, Singed, Rumble - they are predominantly characters who control space around themselves very well - but don't offer the amount of burst that other characters do.

Not to be confused with long range zoners, who typically can force the enemy to move - but are relatively helpless up close.

Wouldn't adjusting it to be more similar to Rylai's cause the problem of items directly competing with each other over the same role? Rylai's would help kite and help keep them off the carry but I would buy it if I needed AP and HP. Liandry's would help deal extra damage in the area but wouldn't help protect anyone, but would I buy it if I needed the extra AP and HP? What if I needed both statistics because they're powerful. Wouldn't it cause a problem if I built both of them because they were both appealing? And if they were adjusted due to that, why would I want to build either if they aren't up to snuff because they were too strong together. 
When we made Liandry's - we actually were intent on binding it to Rylai's - that's why Liandry's has the slow cause in the first place - we designed them as sister items to one another - good with each other but not overbearing when stacked.

This also let us make the base case for Liandry's fairly weak on most burst casters - because it was designed with sister effects in mind.

You're right, I did assume that. Offering more levels of strategy with items is fantastic. That doesn't change the fact that in a lot of scenarios, it causes the game to become frustrating and passive. There aren't any items that would help counter this sort of a strategy either. It reminds me of stealth without Oracle's. 
We actually put in Homeguard to exclusively keep this strategy in check.

What's different about how it actually works and how it is perceived to work? If my ADC is like Corki or Ezreal or something, why wouldn't I want it? Tanks love CDR, Bruisers love CDR, Mages love CDR, everybody loves CDR. 
If they cast out of range of you and enter the range of the aura, they don't get the CDR. If they cast in range of you and exit, they get the fully benefit even not in the aura.

This makes it weird - because half the time, they don't get the CDR effect because they have to do other things like initiate, or kite, or etc.

Making it global would actually help this quite a bit - but I'm questioning as to whether Soul Shroud will then be seen as a 'must-buy' on someone.

If mechanically possible within the game engine, I know exactly how.

Recode cooldowns to be processed as rates, rather than fixed durations, and CDR to increase that rate, rather than reducing the flat cooldown. Then, Soul Shroud's CDR aura would increase that cooldown rate, instead of reducing a fixed number. This is how everyone assumes Soul Shroud worked from the first time they read the tooltip, and honestly, I would love that possibility on a Support with someone like Varus, who's primary damage (Blight triggers), or Ashe, who's global presence and initiation (ECA) are tied to significant cooldowns.

But I have no idea if that's possible to do. 

That rewrite is actually fairly large - but also doesn't quite produce the effect of CDR that we currently have. Rate increases are of equal power no matter how much rate increase you have - while CDR gets exponentially more powerful the more CDR you have - so hard spec'ing into CDR gives far better returns (and that's what allows it to function well as a build.)

Maybe the idea would work better if you nerfed all tier 3 items though. Like BT, DFG, deathcap, and BC, to start. 
We did. Every Tier 3 item gives less gold premiums than they used to in S2.

That's also why FoN comparisons to existing items looks so great - because comparing *any* S2 tier 3 item to an S3 tier 3 item looks great.

I'm curious Xyph, did you guys toss around the idea just nerfing/removing some of the bonuses to FoN before you decided to just left click and press delete on it then proceed to replace it with the mediocre items we have now?

Was it such a strong item that you couldn't have just removed the MS boost and/or nerfed the hp/5? There really aren't any other decent MR items to replace it, that damn expensive ass shield withstanding. 

We nerfed it, removed some bonuses and then nerfed it again once everything turned out to be unkillable and lightning fast - then we nerfed it again. Sejuani / Hecarim essentially became unkillable machines of death that could never take any damage and couldn't be stopped or evaded.

Basically, the fall-out of that was - a large MR item that was single-slot *had* to be MR-inefficient to actually work in our game, otherwise that single item would either have to be so expensive as to be the gold cost of two items (4200'ish - which is incidentally, how Scimitar's final pricing came about) or inefficient in that a portion of it was consumed some kind of unique passive, hence Bulwark.

You have two teams, both consist of a tank, a mage, and a DPS. On each team, the tank has a bulwark, the DPS has BT, and the mage has a deathcap. These are the three best single-buys for all three classes, no doubt. To be fair, lets remove the passives from both the DPS and the mage. To be fair.

The tank has 20 armor, 60 MR, and 400 health. That's roughly 2800 gold in stats.
The carry has 10 armor, 30 MR, 70 AD, and 12% lifesteal. That's about 3200 gold in stats.
The mage has 10 armor, 30 MR, and 120 AP. That's roughly 3100 gold in stats.

Remember, resistances are best on the first buy, and fall off from there. 

While resistances have diminishing returns on their DR%, your effective health increase per point of resistance is still linear. Resistances only fall off due to the fact that things like Last Whisper and Void Staff exist to counter heavy resistance stacking.

While rushing resistances was the dominant tactic in S2 given resistance costs in general - we've retuned it so that proportionally survivability increases from the first buy are best serviced by buying health in situations where your health pool is low - mostly because if resistances are the best buy early game, rather than late - there is no situation where health is actually a good defensive statistic until you have all your resistance items.

The best first-item in this paradigm is actually Warmog for your defensive needs - or realize that the Bulwark upgrade actually does *not* benefit you, the tank at all, for the most part, and simply pick up Aegis + Null-Magic.

Hey Xypherous, how much would FoN cost in s3 if it had stayed? 
Roughly 4000, if it kept the same stats: Unique passive is roughly 800, the amount of MR is roughly 1300 - the raw HP/5 is 1400 and the movement speed is roughly 700.

I've noticed this, Most bruisers/tanks have around 90 armor and magic resistance passively mid-game (with runes/masteries), so bonus health is better than more resistances, especially if you have low health. Doesn't that kinda limit early game itemization for tanks/tanky bruisers? Rush warmog/frozen mallet then build defenses? 
There's generally a lot more health options than not - For example, if you buy an early Giant's belt / Kindlegem - it'll never dead end into an item that is absolutely awful. Most of the best defensive items start from a Ruby Crystal or a Giant's belt option - and frequently you'll want a Giant's Belt item and a Ruby Crystal item on your final build somewhere. (EG - Omen, Locket of the Iron Solari, Visage, Golem Soul, etc.)

It should be more piecemeal than that - most likely opting for an early Giant's Belt or Ruby Crystal/Kindlegem into whatever the mid-game serves.

Gotta say xyph, posting here at work about to get off in a few minutes, even though I and many many posters aren't really pleased/comprehend the reasons, I'm glad you are staying up late and conversing and keeping this discussion alive, are you at work drowning in coffee or at home right now? 
Just losing sleep and tracking on what additional support S3 needs - as usual. Negative controversies are the best ones because it usually means there's something fundamental that's missed and wrong.

No one really gets served by claiming their isn't a problem where there is one, for example - the question is the transition between what the actual problem is from how people feel. The two main takeaways that I want to try is figuring out how to get high-end regeneration back in some form and that we need to do shifts on some of the lesser MR items to be less AP centric and more resistance centric to set them on a better footing.


Champion & Skin Sale: Save Snowdown!

The frozen and howling expanses of Freljord stretch out before you, a crystal mezzanine of frozen steppes and colossal caves. In the distance, you hear the maniacal cackling of a twisted yordle, but before you can force your way through the blizzard to investigate, something huge crashes into you and pins you to the floor. You look up, and find the giant form of Northern Storm Volibear above you.
Northern Storm Volibear

  • I have saved your life, Summoner. As dangerous as these lands are, I, Northern Storm Volibear, have never before seen anything as lethal as the crazed mage we are tracking. You will help me.487 RP
  • The sprightly beast has evaded even our best sniper. Arctic Warfare Caitlyn may have the tools needed to take down our target, but his skipping shape only appears in passing through this unrelenting snowstorm. 487 RP
  • After our equipment failed, we turned to Arctic Ops Kennen to put an end to this Snowdown insanity. Even his skills have withered in the face of this malevolent storm. 487 RP

Volibear pauses, and raises his nose to the winds. His nostrils flare, and in a heartbeat, he is gone, thrust through the blinding snow. The slender, shivering form of Arctic Warfare Caitlyn takes his place.
Arctic Warfare Caitlyn

  • I’ve never seen him so agitated, you know. Volibear may be a mighty beast, but there’s something about this merry little maggot that’s giving us the slip. 487 RP
  • As for Kennen, the poor soul’s not exactly built for this climate. You can’t throw shuriken if you can’t feel your paws, apparently. 487 RP
  • Then there’s little old me, Caitlyn. I’ve caught a glimpse of our mark once or twice, but he’s gone long before I swing my sights around to him. Maybe you can help? 395 RP




Now, whatever you do, you need to get a move on. The Snowdown Showdown is just days away from ending, and unless we stop this little blighter’s schemes, the boys and girls will have nothing to open this year. So act fast, Summoner, our window of opportunity will only last from December 25 to December 28. Good hunting!

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