The News Roundup: Morello on Tryndamere, Annie Visual Rework Update, Xypherous on Resists and Health, Champ/Skin Sale, and More

Morello on Tryndamere

We do have something in the next patch, we agree we went too far with Tryndamere. Though, melee carries overall have problems, we can do somethings on the specific characters.

Annie Visual Rework Update

Why hello there! Some updates for you all!

We're tightening up her run cycle now. We hear that it looks a little floaty, so we're trying to add a little more oomph into her step.

We're looking to readd snowflakes onto Frostfire Annie.

The sparks are back on Frankentibbers Tibbers! (this won't be in PBE just yet)

We've fixed most of her outstanding bugs, including the really old bug where Tibbers steals buffs from Annie if he kills them and the fire appearing under her feet when she autoattacks.

Xypherous on Resists and Health in Season 3

With over three pages of red posts alone, Xypherous talks lots about resists vs health in all forms of LoL.

I'm actually a fan of health being the primary defensive stat - mostly because health has severely intrinsic features that resistances don't, that lets it be more easily controlled.

For example:

1. Health doesn't reduce the effectiveness of lifesteal type effects - or the secondary effects of an opponent's abilities.

2. Raw health isn't multiplicative with other healing or regeneration effects - allowing it to be effective without drastically multiplying in value with other effects (self heals, shields and the like.)

3. Health is a more obvious indicator of high durability than resistances - just due to how basic UIs work.

4. Because of high health per level gains, the relative effectiveness of health is far more temporary than resistances - This is just a natural fallout of our stat per level gains, not an intrinsic advantage of health.

For example, let's take the following case here:

You have a Bruiser with 1000 health, 300 armor fighting an AD carry, versus a Bruiser with 2000 Health and 100 armor.

1. % Armor Penetration is more effective in the first case than the second as % armor penetration values go up - values start to skew drastically as % armor penetration goes beyond ~20% or so, relatively neutral for low values of % armor penetration.
2. However, Life Steal - is far more effective in the second case - whereas it is completely destroyed in the first case.
3. The Bruiser's life steal / shield statistics are also neutral in the second case - whereas they are multiplied in the first case.

Thus, the AD carry or any damage dealer actually has multiple paths to deal with a high health target than they did - because the other defensive aspects of the bruisers *aren't* being multiplied or their own secondary defensive statistic (lifesteal) isn't being diminished as well.

The flip side of this is that Flat Armor Penetration, the primary statistic of assassins, can be weaker and still be as effective versus Bruisers because of their ability to negate a far larger portion of armor.

Naturally, this has the flipside of making certain resistance focused tanks weaker - but that's something I feel like we should solve on resistance based tanks. So please, if there's a particular resistance based tank that feels weak, let us know.

Let's take another example, in lane:

Let's say I'm fighting a primary physical damage dealer, whose probably itemized some sort of flat penetration. I have something like 800 health and 50 armor. How much gold do I need to spend to double my life-span?

Well, I could buy 800 health and have another 1200 effective health! Success!
2. Or I build 150 armor and have another 1200 effective health!

However, let's take a look at how things change when the game continues - as the game continues, the relative contribution of that armor to my health levels doesn't decay mostly because our game awards much more health per level than armor per level. In fact, by the time I'm level 8 or so, I'll probably have 1200 base health - and thus that 800 health is only increasing my effective at a lower ratio.

However, that 150 armor advantage is "still there".

Note this isn't an intrinsic advantage of health versus armor - just a side effect of how we award stats per level - but it does mean that the relative advantage of health in this case is temporary - rather than one that persists through the game.

Xyph, can you tell us what you plan to do about the warmogs spam currently? I don't mind if you don't nerf warmogs, but please tell us you have some plan in action. 

Not actually certain it's as big of a problem as the current environment thinks it is. Warmog's isn't really efficient in terms of gaining raw health per gold if you do the math on it. Buying any combination of ruby crystal items, for example, will net you more health than gold than buying Warmog's.

At the moment, it looks like it's more an environmental thing than an actual cost to gold effectiveness ratio.

Although, there's a couple of things tuned around old armor values that we'll probably need to look at in the future:

1. The tower damage / armor penetration formulae were based off old health / armor values. We'll probably have to revisit that soonish so that towers have more damage and less armor penetration.

2. We'll have to do a pass on character that used to scale primarily off health because their tuning is probably off - Probably not a huge surprise that Shen or Olaf are pretty decent now.

Hey Xyph, I was the guy who stated that Vlad's pool needed to be nerfed in PB forum, you said I was wrong...
Then later, you were forced to nerf his pool, over and over.

I typically don't comment on Vladimir at all, are you confusing me with someone else? I don't actually have a lot of ton of balance insight into Vlad - despite him being my forum avatar.

I always enjoy and appreciate your posts Xypherous, even if I don't agree with them. One thing I would point out is that, in my opinion, the health items available are much less interesting than the armor choices. As a tank/bruiser, if I want to start stacking a lot of armor there's Atma's, Frozen Heart, Randuin's, Iceborn Gauntlet, Aegis, Sunfire Cape, and Thornmail. For health, I just have Warmog's and Frozen Mallet. I know there's the kindlegem items if you're a more supporty tank, but those don't give very much health. 
While Warmog's may be the defining health item - Bulwark / Randuin / Locket of the Iron Solari / Sunfire Cape all over above 400 health in a single slot. Roughly half the armor items are as much health items as armor items at their core. Randuin's is the only item in there that provides more than 50+ armor in a single slot - so most of those are items are actually core health items.

Agreed. AS nerfs hit her pretty hard and the jungle changes were a double whammy onto her.

Wouldn't it make more sense for resistances to be stronger? Simply because they only apply to half of the damage you're taking, less if there's an olaf/irelia/cho'gath/darius on the other team. Shouldn't they be stronger against that particular type of damage? 
The strength of resistance is hidden in a lot of myriad ways. While they only apply to "half" the damage you're taking, that's not the whole picture. What resistances actually do is magnify the effect of your other self-healing, resistance and regeneration effects, while also mitigating the drain effects and % health effects of your opponents.

I agree that on the surface, it feels like resistances should feel stronger against a single type of damage but the power of the combined effect of resistances with other effects means that resistances can't be as strong innately on the 1:1 comparison.

I created a thread that went on for over 10 pages(ish?) stating that you WOULD need to nerf vlad because his pool was too powerful. You came in defense of Shurelia, who stated vlad was "fine" back when Vlad was new, which he wasn't. 
Oh fair enough. If it was 2 years ago - yeah, I was probably wrong. I was wrong about like eeeverything 2 years ago.

I may have slightly improved since then - but still not by much. XD

Olaf scales well with health for obvious synergies health has with his W and R, but I mention Irelia because she already has a lot of damage in her kit. The truth is, she doesn't really need to build damage to become an effective Bruiser. The most common thing to do with her in Korea is to rush Warmogs then pick up Zerker's followed by Zephyr. Do you really think that late game heroes getting to late game faster isn't a problem? 
I'm not actually sure they are getting to late game faster - The build you've described is a 7000+ gold build, for example. Perhaps they are - but the fact is that Warmog's isn't actually all the cost-effective from a gold / statistic conversion value wise so the argument that "they are getting to late game faster" doesn't seem to ring true at first glance? What causes them to get to late game faster?

Isn't the intrinsic worth of this lifesteal against health also diminished against armor when coupled with armor penetration though? I've always understood that armor pen affects effective life steal 
You can magnify the effect of lifesteal with armor penetration, yes - but that's because you are countering their armor which is what is actually diminishing your lifesteal.

I mean it seems pretty much any champion that's relevant has a pen/shred function or scales off health. Whether it be Xin, J4, Darius, Olaf, etc.. 

Yes health feels better to buy, but that's primarily due to resistances feeling less so. 

I totally agree with you - it became more and more obvious to me that armor was too cheap when we started throwing armor shred on basically everyone that wasn't a carry because none of them could scale to late game when people built optimally.

Like, Darius, who deals 3 types of damage, phys/magic/true also has 25% armor shred because he didn't do enough damage late game. Like what? That to me was the warning sign of 'hey, there's probably something deeper rooted that's wrong.'

Malphite would be stronger in the armor case than the health case, right? Since he can stick to people and his AD would go farther in a 1v1. The case is similar for someone like Maokai, who heals based on his maximum health with his passive, and since he has high armor, his health is worth more. The difference between building health and armor, however, is that someone can negate all of their hard work with two items and some innate armor reduction, whereas they can't actually negate health - they have to burn through it. They have a choice. But since armor is subpar compared to health, they just build the health since they technically scale both ways; Malphite's passive is based off of his max health, so he still benefits, and Maokai's ultimate makes his health worth more like the armor would. 

Even when health is the best stat, Sejuani and Nautilus aren't even remotely popular. Neither is Mundo. They don't usually get to choose between health and armor. They gain direct bonuses from health. Even though health is great on everyone, they still aren't picked because they lose a lot of health early on. This makes it seem to me armor is stronger than health over a long time where you can regen health (like natural HPRegen) even if your regen is based off of your health.

How come champions who are debate-ably stronger building resistances are still more popular than health based champions? Or is that just due to the specific champions I used for my example? 

Sejuani, I'm not sure - but Nautilus is pretty easy to answer. Nautilus gets more health when he builds health on his shield. He doesn't get damage from his health ratio. In fact, building resistances is the best way to amplify his shield.

Nautilus has a health ratio on his shield to ensure that no matter what defensive statistic you build - it would amplify his shield. Health scaling wasn't intended to be his core thing - I just wanted to make sure that Nautilus felt like he could build any defensive item and be decent from it because he has some of the highest defensive requirements due to low starting stats.

I'm pretty sure that the answer to most of your question is similar to the Nautilus case. While Nautilus does scale off health on his shield (10% of his health, for example) that's nowhere close to how much armor would scale him equally. The benefits from gaining health or armor tends to be skewed towards armor, because a health ratio that would actually compete with armor would look pretty ridiculous. (For example, in order for health to compete with armor for Nautilus' case, it'd have to be like 25% to 35% of his health or something.)

Then couldn't the likely culprit be the residual effects of S2 balance work transitioning into S3 ?

Just throwing out some food for thought, that all the items may indeed be balanced but certain champion kits make them stronger than intended (namely those with high arm pen/shred as well as those who scale off health to a lesser degree) 

Some of it is probably some residual effects from S2 balance, I definitely agree. We'll be looking at that when we get the chance. I think we can convert some of the % shred on some characters to flat shreds, for example.

Somewhere, in my unspoken secret dreams, I'd like to rip Kayle's passive off and give her her old one back. 

Well, my thought on the prevailance of Health is that (seems to, anyway) hurts mages more than anyone, especially burst mages. A lot of the time you can't keep up with the rate at which everyone is buying health, and once you blow your combo to not much effect, you're a sitting duck (the inherent problem with burst mages, it's true, but at least with resistances you could buy some magic pen. Health penetration not so much) 
Yes, burst mages do get hit when health becomes the dominant statistic - mostly because, it turns out that health is a pretty good substitute for magic resistance when the going gets rough.

There's various implications of that - but that's why you see things like Liandry or DFG existing. We're doing an AP pass next patch to help mages out - and after that we can start looking at specific characters if they still feel weak.

So what are your plans for champions like Rammus? His passive is completely based around buying armor, which you nerfed 2-fold through cost and effectiveness........I remember you quoting something like "burning 1 champion to save a hundred" in a Heimer thread, it just seem like this is your go-to philosophy way too much and in the ends turns out to be maybe a dozen or so champions getting burned. 
Rammus' problems I think stem from Jungle changes more than anything else. It's pretty hard to tell with him specifically. The increased health itemization should have helped him be generally tankier.

Rammus isn't really a resistance based character. Skarner, while he's not a tank, is a far better example of a resistance based character - because almost everything he is depends on that shield. Udyr is similar. 

Typically, strong repeatable shield champions or champions with shields at their core are resistance based characters, because their health pool is actually several times larger than it seems.

The problem is that Liandry's seems like a waste on a burst caster; if you're supposed to kill an enemy in a single combo, why spend so much money on a passive that's almost never going to see use? If an enemy survives your combo, they're probably so low that liandry's doesn't do anything anyway. 
It is a waste on a burst caster, I agree - but it gives burst casters a way to itemize into more of a sustained damage caster, depending on what they are fighting.

Brand is an example of this, for example. While Brand is typically a burst mage, Liandry + Omnomnomnomicon can turn him into an effective sustained mage.

DFG attacks it by adding to more burst - while Liandry tries to attack it by offering an different playstyle out. We'll see how it goes.

On the subject of DFG, morello mentioned that if he could take it out of the game completely, he would (this was before the S3 rework). Do you agree with him on that? 
I disagree with that - but I mean, sometimes late at night, I think I've actually gutted DFG. It used to be a 50% current health nuke. Now it's merely 15% max health.

I'm not actually sure whether the new DFG in any way, shape or form resembles the power / scope that the old DFG had.

I read that you don't think that hp is really a prob... but I found the latest tournament quite discouraging. The trend does not seem to be the best players getting over a fad... I know that Riot has a low opinion of the communities' ability to theorycraft... but... I saw one support rush a warmogs... not that supports shouldn't get nice items, but how is it ok that all 5 roles find warmogs to be worth it? 
From what I saw of the last tournament data, there were roughly 43 warmog's built in 19 games - which means that one out of roughly three or 4 characters were getting it per game. Which seems to sync up with what I expected, since the fighter and the tank should like it - so at the very least, I expect 4 people to have Warmog's.

I mean, there's probably a lack of diversity there - but the numbers don't seem to be too far out of line - it just seems like we got the health / resistance ratio wrong, which we're addressing next patch.

Secondly, Warmogs providing high sustain characters such as Irelia and Olaf with even more sustain makes them almost immovable objects during the laning phase. Having the ability to just sit in lane and farm does really contribute to you getting to late game a lot faster than your opponent. After they get this item, it is almost impossible to shove them out of lane. 
Irelia being able to sit in lane and farm forever isn't a new problem. In fact, it's pretty much been her problem forever.

I'm not actually sure why Irelia seems stronger, to be perfectly fair, because she used to do the same thing with resistances, for example.

Olaf, on the other hand, I can understand. The skill that gives him his primary sustain in lane, also gives him bonus AD based on health - which has doubly amped their farm/sustain potential - but that's more of a health scaling thing in my opinion - though I admit, I could be totally off.

Thirdly, I want to add on that health is the most effective stat in the current meta. Sure I could buy Randuin's or Sunfire, but if my opponent is running 9 points in offense and has a Black Cleaver then I am paying for 67% of the actual Armor value. If they have LW, I am paying for 32% of the actual Armor value. If I get Warmogs, I am paying for 100% of the health value, which makes it a much more effective option against massive armor penetration. 
I'm just going to nitpick here and say that armor penetration stacks multiplicatively. If they had 9 points in offense, and have full stacks of cleaver and last whisper, you are paying for 45% of the actual armor value - granted, that's low - but in S3, if they had 9 points in offense and a last whisper, you were paying for 54% of the actual armor value.

Yes, a significant difference - but not as big as you'd think.

Warmogs looks good! It is incredibly slot efficient, provides massive amounts of health, and gives me some good sustain in lane! Not only that, but the extra health will make it a lot harder to gank me and probably serve as a deterrent from the jungler since they will waste a lot of time if they don't manage to pull the gank off. I can just sit up here and farm all day.

I hope you get the point that I am trying to make. Warmogs may not be the most effective source of health, but with the rise of Black Cleaver it is probably the most effective item to get. It can be core in almost any build and only scales better as the game goes on and you acquire more health. 

Kind of - it doesn't really scale better as you acquire more health - you certainly get more regeneration but there is a threshold where you should be building Randuin's or Sunfire cape to massively multiply your survivability from armor.

The lane case that you've stated is a problem - and I completely agree with you on that. That's something that Scarizard has pointed out to me recently that I'll need to start digging into, that it might still be too good as a health regeneration item, even if we took off 40 HP/5 from the base.

Two major points:
1. Resistances have built in counter play available to everyone, in the form of Armor/Magic Pen. Health has extremely poor counter play, with DFG being nerfed at the end of last season and Liandry's being a joke. Why stack resists that the enemy can negate when you can build health and be tanky for sure? Especially when there are dozens of champions that can reduce the effectiveness of resists but a tiny handful that punish health stacking? 

High Health / Low Resist has tons of counterplay - in fact, quite a good deal more than resistances in most cases.

The most basic form of counterplay versus health is life steal. Innately, the higher health and lower resistances someone has, the more effective my life steal statistic becomes. It's why having 4000 health doesn't really help you against Warwick - but having 100 MR does. Your health pool is becoming *their* health pool. 

Furthermore, as I've explained earlier, resistances bolster your own natural defenses - whereas health doesn't. Shields / Self-heals / Regeneration effects become far out of line when resistances are strong - because resistance magnifies these - these effects typically have very little counterplay of their own without further stacked effects.

2. Resistances and health are not even in the same league efficiency wise thanks to things like warmogs. 1000 HP within your first 3000 gold is infinitely superior to building resist items for your EH because A) You have a small HP pool for resistances to work with and B) Your opponent will have a certain amount of penetration from their base kit/runes/masteries/core items no matter what and chances are a lot of your initial resistances will be negated before you can even go above 0. 
Spend three thousand gold in lane on armor - what does that get you? 4 Chain vests, or 160 armor. 

If you had 1000 health, you would be multiplying your EHP by 160%. If you spend three thousand gold on health, you would be multiplying your EHP by 100%.

Armor wins here - especially if they have flat resistances. The more flat penetration your opponent's have, the more armor wins out in this case.

Not quite seeing it here - they are actually pretty similar in terms of efficiency early on.

What do you think of the versatility of giant's belt? It builds into warmogs, mallet, randuins, sunfire, rylai's, there really is no reason not to get it. You can't go wrong because it's a cheap way to make yourself immovable in lane until you farm up whatever you want while also having no risk associated with it. You can't build it "wrong" because it can evolve to fill any role. 
The strength of the various health components are actually on our radar - I agree with you that it's probably too safe of an item when unfinished right now. It's something we're going to address next patch and then take another look at afterwards to see if it needs further work.

So don't get me wrong, I'm not saying health tuning is perfect right now or that we aren't making gold : stat efficiency so let us know of stuff like this!

because tanks literally have a cap with what we can diminish from a carry 20-40% attack speed. SO why do carries get to counter half of our gear and tanks just get items to mitigate Berzerker Greaves? 
It's actually multiplicatively reducing. The attack speed slows that you get lower their total attack speed by a percentage. Which means that a combination of Randuin's + Frozen heart will lower opposing carry DPS by 40% if you're being attacked.

Health has almost no counterplay on the AP side of things. Liandry's is not good on busts and neither is DFG due to the range. Plus MDB's passive is gone for on-hit magic damage builds. 
Potentially - and this is going to be pretty controversial - but burst damage isn't really designed to have counterplay either because the ideal scenario for a burst mage is death without the possibility of reaction.

It's just something we typically don't support in large quantities either way without caveats like the range of DFG or the conditional 'you must poke at them for a while' in Liandry's case. A scenario where unrestricted burst damage is allowed to do its thing isn't actually all that great - which is why many Burst mages have secondary utility fall back patterns.

lord knows why ranged carries turning in to better drain tanks end game than Vlad, Viktor, Irelia, Warwick, etc. is considered normal. 
Theoretically, this is why Thornmail still exists. Theoretically.

Xyph, do you know why Liandry's was given %current rather than %max? Were you guys just turned off from it after Blackfire Torch? 
I chose % current because its a marginally safer effect that lets us be a little more aggressive with the numbers on the item. It tends to also create a better playstyle dynamic because it's not entirely self-contained - you need % current health plus something else in order to murder someone - whereas % max health only needs more of itself, for example.

I something that has been ignored here is how for every role, and on every character, a 
majority of league players are using armor seals and some form of magic resist glyph. 

These runes are more skewing the cost effectiveness of health by making every character 
begin with higher resistances. Even with resistance items nerfed the runes are just as 
effective making health a more attractive option early due to every character having higher resistances from the start. 

Yes, this is true - however, runes are something we're much much more careful about touching because players have significant investment into their rune sets as is. If we have to do rune adjustments we will - but it's something that we want to traditionally be very cautious about as there's a lot more potential for disruption here than anywhere else.

Xyph look at the argument though, my tank reduces their dps by 40% (if randuins even procs or hits them with active) with 6.5k gear they reduce my armor by 60% minimum with >6k of items. Unless I cc them first and my carry gets them I really don't have any way of surviving their attacks. Health really becomes the only option since carries can't mitigate 60% of champions health with 2 items, and that's one of the reasons why Nunu, Malphite, Shen, and Olaf are seen so much over Alistar, Rammus, Galio. Its a numbers game, and forces a paper rock scissors problem where I can actually be punished for buying resistance over raw health. 
DPS Reductions don't quite work the same way as penetration does. Reducing someone's attack speed by 40% causes you to live 66% longer - as their total DPS goes down.

They can't reduce your armor by 60% minimum - maximum % shred is 54.5% right now, which reduces your lifespan by some amount depending on how much armor you have. If you have 100 armor - they've reduced your lifespan by 30%. If you have 200 armor, they've reduced your lifespan by 36% - and this plateaus at 54.5% if you have infinite armor.

@Xyph: First of all, there seems to be a bug with Tear of the Goddess, where you don't actually have to wait for its CD before you can charge it again (urgot's Q for example, will charge the tear on its CD, instead of having to wait for Tear's CD). 
Tears actually lies about its cooldown a bit - this is working as intended though. Basically, you can get two tears charges in 6 seconds. No more than two tears charges per 6 seconds.

Wait what? Doesn't Bruiser 1 have 4000 EHP (the way armor works is that each point of armor is +1% EHP, right?), Bruiser 2 has 8000 EHP. Wouldn't it be bruiser 1 with 700 armor vs bruiser 2? In that case, 50% armor pen would make Bruiser 1 have 350 armor, or 4500 EHP vs Bruiser 2 having 6000 EHP. Not a mathematically sound example, if the way I understand armor is correct. 
My bad. Sorry. Corrected the numbers and the argument. Eugh - I knew something was off when I wrote it. >_<

Thank you for the correction. I am actually surprised that my poor math wasn't corrected earlier in the thread.

If they itemize flat armor pen, it is incredibly unlikely that you have 800 health and 50 effective armor, unless you already itemize armor. Champions with a Brutalizer and flat armor pen marks and 21 offense will have about 28 armor pen. Assuming someone like Ezreal with armor seals, he has 25 armor and 430 health at level 1. By level 6, he has 830 HP and about 43 armor. Against 28 armor pen, his effective health is ~950. He is actually at roughly a break even point against physical damage. Considering chances are that the champion already has a Doran or 2, they already have a bit more health than 830, closer to 1000. 
This is completely true - However, the more flat armor penetration the enemy has, the less additional armor you need to equal health in this case. The example is weighted in favor of armor. If they have 28 armor penetration, you only have 22 armor, and thus you'll need another 122 armor to double your effective health.

-Ap items. Just about every ability power item was either nerfed in overall value. I'll give a few examples:
- Deathcap- overall cost reduced by 400g, but ability power reduced by 20 and bonus ap reduced from 30% to 25%. This seems to me to be quite a nerf.
- athene's- overall cost reduced by only 150g, but ap given reduced by 30g. 
-lich bane- overall cost reduced by 470g. 32 magic resistance taken away. passive changed to deal less dmg AS WELL as no longer benefiting from your magic penetration, since it now deals physical dmg. 

Short answer: All tier 3 items were nerfed across the board - to lower their gold premiums. Across every class.

Reread lichbane - it now deals magical damage instead of physical damage. 

Wraith / Wolf camp: This was a change that stemmed from pro feedback - as it meant that the only AP mids who were worth picking are mids that could farm Wraiths and Wolves. As this is no longer as dominant a tactic - more divergent AP mids can be played.

Magic Pen: Magic penetration builds have been thought to be too strong for a while - Tripen + CDR was directly competing with Deathcap, for example - it was simply hidden because Haunting Guise was considered undesirable.

What is the best way to siege a tower in a 5v5 situation? Assuming it is still early into the game, you only have about 3-4k worth of gold to work with. Your team is already ahead of the other team by about 500 gold a player because of the global pressure. You could buy 1500 gold worth of armor and another 1500 worth of mr, OR you could just buy warmogs and have innate sustain with tower diving health. Now when you get into that first 5v5 situation at about 10-15 minutes (AGES earlier than it used to be), you can use the lead you have and effectively dive tower. 
Somewhat agree with the tower diving case. Recall in season 2, we tuned towers to have less damage but more armor penetration to stop tower diving. With the re-evaluation of armor and health availability, this is why I've said that we probably need to go back and re-evaluate this particular ratio.

You are correct that armor is a percentage based survivability boost. But if you can't balance complex concepts like "flat hit points" and "percentage hit points" then there is a problem. 
Armor is indeed a percentage based survivability boost - but one that is multiplicative with every other form of survivability boost. Intrinsically, you need to balance around the most abusive case, rather than the least abusive case. 

Armor has so many synergies, especially with other forms of sustained healing / shield effects that the weakened state is a better reflection of how strong the statistic actually is.

Did you really just say armor is too hard to understand? You guys are so afraid of falling into the Dota trap of needless complexity that you are dangerously close to treating the players like they are mentally handicapped. Dota is not a very good game, but at least it does not assume I am retarded. 
It's not hard to understand - it's simply that our basic UI sells health better than armor. It's far more important that information be presented as fast and cleanly as possible without jumping through additional mathematical hoops in the player's heads because that allows them to make faster and cleaner decisions.

In short, focusing on elements that your UI does well doesn't mock your players understanding of the mechanics - it clears away chaff that forces them to take longer to make good decisions. You want your UI to communicate everything the player needs to know as quickly as they can so that the player can get to the strategic part of making decisions rather than parsing numerical information.

So, this is a terrible analogy - but what if we wrote the entirety of our UI in Runic? It probably wouldn't be more complicated to understand - but it is pretty crappy when it comes to making decisions because it merely adds an additional information processing step before meaningful decision making.

You joined Riot after mechanics like health and armor were already in place, so you should either work with what you have or remove the mechanics you don't like. Don't leave armor lying around as a useless noob trap just because you hate the fact that it doesn't add lines to your health bar. 
I'm actually pretty sure that armor isn't a useless "noob trap" at the moment - we've merely adjusted the time period which armor starts becoming relevant too far in the opposite direction. Randuin's Omen is objectively the best anti-carry item in the game, for example, in no large part due to it's combination of armor / health / as debuff - something that it wouldn't accomplish with health / as slows alone.

Also the whole point of having both armor and magic resist is to force teams to have both AD and AP characters. Health is universal, and as a result people are seizing the opportunity to get rid of their squishy and relatively weak AP mids and replace them with bruisers. Like the game doesn't have enough unviable champions as is. 
This might be true - but if you need an arbitrary damage distinction limitation to get a entire class of characters to be played - I'm pretty sure there are some flaws in it.

Why not split things into three types? Physical, Magical and Arcane? This would allow a whole new class of arcane characters to be part of every team! Basically, yes it solves the issue of needing to bring multiple types of classes into the fray - but if this is the only benefit it does - then all it encourages is fairly artificial distinctions in the end.

If characters are weak and unviable - then yes, you can solve it with a type of system that forces you to play with weak and unviable characters by making it so that the ideal composition is weak. However, I'm not sure that really solves anything about those characters to begin with.

why do developers even respond to the "AP mids are so useless now!" 
Mostly because it's kind our duty to ferret out things that might not be obvious on first glance. You respond to feedback that seems odd by trying to find the signal underneath it all that's causing the feedback - but first you have to investigate the noise. XD

In short, the way people feel about something typically isn't wrong - because something has caused them to feel that way - but it's just kind of our job to figure out what is causing them to feel that way and fix it if possible.

So, I mean, in this case, you throw up questions or examples and hope for further info that tries to explain it more. Context is always fun.

On a related note, since you're on the side of preferring health as a defense, do you see the inherent problems with Trundle's ult being in the current state of being more resistance oriented? His potential power went up initially when people generally had only one dedicated tank/initiator at the beginning of Season 3, but now that 2-3 champions feasibly build high health (and in this current iteration, practically everyone), Trundle's ult might feel pretty limp with the mere flat health + % resist steal. 
Hm.. Interesting. Will investigate when I get the chance. Trundle usually does well when 4 people build glass and one person builds high damage - but if he has no decent targets, this might be significantly worse. 

Might be something to look at. Thanks!

I think that's probably how things should work, isn't it? Your big mpen item gives you more damage when they build a ton of MR?
Why should Rabadon's give you the most damage and the most AP, when AP gives most mids a form of defense as well as offense? 

I think he's saying that 80 MR is too low of an MR threshold for this to be true. I'm kind of inclined to agree - but that would mean nerfing void staff or buffing Deathcap.

Nerfing void staff is probably straight out - but Deathcap might be weak? It's uncertain. I'll try to get Roku to look at it some more when he gets the chance.

(It's weird because it actually heavily depends on your champion's AP ratios to base damage.)

Xyph, stacking health maybe is what you said, but you cannot deny that Warmog is cheap. 
Yeah, on PBE the cost of Warmog's is inching up slightly by 180 gold or so.

We'll keep adjusting the cost until we feel like it's in a decent spot. Like I said, I'm not saying the current tuning is perfect and that we've definitely overshot this patch - but we'll keep tuning it until it is.

Survivability doesn't kill enemies though. The best you can achieve by stacking survivability is a stalemate, which is a good thing when you are behind but not useful when you are ahead. At some point you just get ignored and killed last. 
Not quite. Tank / CDR builds for example excel at dealing sustained damage through high base values on spells.

Tank / CDR Kha'zix deals roughly the same amount of damage as glass DPS Kha'zix through a fight - he does it in a less bursty fashion but base damages are multiplicative with survivability for higher overall damage output in the course of a fight.

Otherwise known as, this is how Singed kills you.

Shields are already much more powerful in lane than in teamfights because damage comes in much slower. They deserve the power boost in order to stay relevant during teamfights. 
Yes and no. In lane, you have the option of ignoring a shield if necessary. In team fights, you typically don't, because there's a time pressure element involved. 

While laning shields are great in soaking damage that comes in or that soaks damage from harass - you typically can't force targets to DPS a shield down in lane because backing away is a much stronger option.

Also, shields tend to already scale decently for team-fights with CDR and innate resistance gains. Resistances doesn't have to be the best form of mitigation for shields to stay relevant.

You have 400 auto attack damage and you shoot Rammus. He loses one bar of his health. You don't need to know exactly how much armor he has, all you need to know is you'll be shooting at him for a while and you should probably shoot someone else who loses more bars of health.

And in the end, champions still have innate armor and magic resist which randomly gimps your damage for no clear reason. Some champions take inordinately low or high damage from your attacks regardless of items and pretty much regardless of champion type - for some reason tanks do not have scaling MR while squishy melee does. If anything, this is a readability problem.

Items are much less of a problem because you can always click on an enemy and observe the frozen heart in their inventory. 

While your example rings true for autoattackers or characters who have quickly repeatable effects, it's not so obvious for characters who damage comes primarily from spells.

Scaling MR. No, agreed, scaling MR is rife with issues that we can hopefully address. 

As to items being much less of a problem - one click is still one click too many.

You can already see this, with AD casters displacing AP mids. When you can have an AD burst caster and an AP burst caster, you just pick the better one! It used to be the case that you needed one or the other, but now they are in direct competition and you just pick the better champion and ignore the other. 
AD Casters displace AP mids because the AD Caster versus AP mid matchup is so lopsided in favor of AD Casters because the AP caster has no strategic itemization path to build. They are forced to take true damage for the entire laning phase.

As for characters not having a strategic niche so that players will only play the best ones - sure, I agree with that. However, I view that as something we need to fix on a champion by champion basis as well. Nothing is perfect at the moment - but finding that strategic niche is incredibly important and something we need to add to characters that don't have it.

Damage oriented AP mids were weak and unviable compared to League of Bruisers but you needed one on your team. Now you don't. GG half of the AP roster. 
To me, that's actually incredibly exciting because then it'll be patently obvious that some things need to change to gain strategic variety where none exists. Something that I want to throw a lot of effort into so badly. :x

I just want to ask, but is there much point in tanky characters to build any type of MR other than merc treads, bulwark, and negatron cloaks? It seems that to build any item that gives a considerable amount of MR (for a tank) costs too much gold that could go into a better item - especially with how much MR negatrons give in the first place.

Twin Shadows will add to your core initiation / Spirit Visage will greatly help if you have a strong self-heal (Hecarim or Alistar, for example) and Abyssal Sceptre always helps your team and yourself, depending on who you are.

Although, yeah - I do suspect that Negatron is in an odd spot - it feels like it should be cheaper and give less MR so that its upgrades could also be slightly cheaper or give more MR. The build path for the MR items providing most of the MR you need seems to be strangling how good the final MR item can be sometimes. Not sure.

The biggest problem is that LW/VS are still core items that are fantastic for damage, and are *NOT* being used as counters to armor/MR. They're being used just willy nilly because they're so overpowered right now. 
Yeah - it's something that has been running through my head for a while but I'm not sure. Depending on my AD scaling versus base damage ratios - LW/VS may be the only damage add that I have in a lot of cases - aka Mordekaiser syndrome.

There is quite a bit of "splash" damage though, I agree.

"If the players have a problem with something, they are usually right, if the players think they know why, they are usually wrong". 
I remember. XD 

I have since revised this statement to be "If human beings have a problem with something, they are usually right. If they think they know why, they are usually wrong" because I have found that it applies to designers as well. >_>

BV never refreshes under a siege, and is more prone to be knocked off by an Udyr' phoenix wave than by something actually meaningful. If BV refreshed on 30 seconds CD again with no drawbacks and strictly applied to only single target effects it might be good again. 
You know, at some point it'd actually be good to do an entire sweep of what we want spell shields to affect and revise it to like.. respect that. 

Although the single target effect doesn't actually solve much - mostly because of things like Karthus who.. doesn't actually deal single target effects. 

I think I mentioned this earlier before but I think I completely invalidated Catalyst with Flask. Oops.

The problem with burst mages is that Anivia is a burst mage. What can Leblanc possibly do other than launch nuclear warheads to compete with a mage who does similar damage on top of having support level utility? 

And when leblanc DID launch nuclear warheads it wasn't very fun to fight. 

Clearly, what you're telling me here is the Leblanc's spells should be area of effect and apply radiation to her enemies.

But you did just nerf shields by a significant amount. Does this not affect balance? (Indirect Janna nerf Q_Q) 
Depends on who she's shielding - but yes, Supports support fighters less now. I'm not sure how much that nerfs Janna because well, hopefully she's shielding someone who can make use of the AD.

Why does the "just build a negatron cloak nab" argument work against Leblanc but not against Talon
It doesn't - that's why Leblanc is at where she's at.

Actually, for AP versus AP - Chalice or Hexdrinker are the better comparisons - cheap, easy to build, very strong early and fits well within builds.

Start off by enabling more ways to win the game than the standard 40 minute lane-gank-siege-teamfight-baron progression. Enable push teams, earlygame gank teams, lategame turtle teams etc like Dota. This creates asymmetric goals (one team wants to push and win early, the other wants to turtle and win late) and therefore more dimensions for champion variety. 
I think the problem here with strategic variety is that it's pretty hard to get 5 people who've never met before to decide on a strategy without making those strategies kind of self-contained. I could be off though - I will readily admit that grand strategy is actually not something I'm particularly good at - or something that I've particularly researched. I should actually try to delve into this more when I have time.

Shield/regen/drain are all on the same multiplicative scaling plane as health. To put it another way, for the purpose of multiplicative scaling with resistances, they are all effectively conditionally added health with only the sum being multiplicative with resistances. 
Yes, if you want to get specific, this is true. However, if you want to get specific in the context of this discussion then the correct comparison is to compare health itemization, or buying health items compared to shields / drains / regeneration.

The core here is that buying health does have an added conditional - it only takes effect when you're going back to base for the most part - you cannot add health in the field by buying health. Shields / Drains / Regeneration effects are essentially always up - the act of buying health, however, only happens once and typically cannot be replenished until you go back to base.

So while, yes, I agree that they are all health here if you want to get really specific - you also have to understand that when we talk about health in terms of itemization - you have to compare the act of buying health rather than health, the general stat.

Besides, your team has been nerfing all these different forms of "conditionally added health" based on S2 gear numbers. Now that you have messed with that, in most cases you will need to go back and rebuff them again. 
Yes, which is why I'm asking for feedback on which tanky characters feel weak - those that relied upon conditional health mechanics. Some characters, for the most part, are fine - they were compensated in some way that they lost in resistances - but certain characters didn't make it out cleanly. 

I mean, it would naive to think that we should go back and buff all shields because we changed this relationship because those characters may have gained or loss in other ways. Speed is easier to itemize for generally and a lot of characters needed durability to compensate for how hard it was to itemize for speed. Some characters are actually hurt by how generalized it is to itemize for speed and thus may need more attention than not.

Essentially - while in a vacuum this would be true, in the end, only the champion holistically matters.

LOL. How is that "merely"? What other mistake is there to make when it comes to the relative power between resistance and health? There is only one mistake to make there, which is to shift the relative balance too far in a direction, and you made it. 
A "noob trap" is something that is almost never right to buy ever - only one that looks good. Anything can tell you that stacking full HP without any armor still isn't the best call - otherwise double or triple warmog's would be the ideal build.

It's still right to buy armor sometimes, especially if you have a truckload of health behind it - it's just not right to buy it enough of the time.

That's just the point. Your changes has knocked an entire class of characters, namely burst casters, out of whack. There certainly are some flaws in that! 
True - but is it a more easily solveable problem than the flaws of the previous system? Hopefully, systematic changes are designed to shift focus from the problems you have and replace them with problems that are easier to solve or things that can meld together better. Essentially, you realize that you've hit a local minimum for "balance" or "optimality" so you take a step back to find better ground somewhere else.

Champion Tease

Can't really get into specifics but you'll probably see some "funny" or more light-hearted stuff show up this year. I agree though. There are only so many badasses you can make.

Light-Heated Skins

ood ideas. That said, yes, we do have a bit of a gap in our releases I feel which should be filled with more light-hearted skins. I think one of the reasons we haven't done as many is because we're really trying to get global with our approach, making things broadly appealing to our world wide audience. That isn't to say we want to water down silly ideas or dial back, what we want to do is find the best universal silliness possible. 

The global community isn't necessarily on the same wavelength as maybe a skin like Brolaf or Gentleman Cho'gath. That doesn't make them not awesome, or make them off limits, it just means that we might want to expand what is appealing to a wider variety of people. Pool party Ziggs, Astronautilus, Battle Bunny Riven, those are all pretty universally appealing takes on humor.

We get a lot more discerning nowadays.Since the skin quality has also upped recently, when we do do more of a "fun" or silly skin we deck it out to the nines where previously we might just have geo swap. That makes light-hearted skins just as work intensive. We want to make them have the most thematic penetration throughout thier custom animations or particles. 

Yes, we've gone a bit serious recently, but that will change. We need to make room for everything and introduce a bit more of a steady silly cadence into our releases I feel.

 Champion and Skin Sale

Welcome back, poor souls. You've returned just in time… in time to watch another waylaid wanderer fall victim to the gloom that caresses the Shadow Isles. Take care with where you step, and we will watch him from the darkness. 

  • Taric has no idea what he is about to walk into. Now that you're with me, you'll soon find out! But in the meantime, you can see that shimmering blue armor is not the best camouflage in this twisted forest. Place your bets, summoners, how long will the Gem Knight last? 292 RP
  • Hecarim is tangling with a pack of wolves up ahead. Listen to the howling spread through the canopy. A death-dealing centaur will be more than a match for our poor victim. 487 RP
  • Of course, Mordekaiser might challenge everyone for the right to prove who has the number one suit of armor. But he appears to be heading off in a different direction. He may not want any part in my grim hunt after all. 395 RP

  • Ah! Our prey has found the outfit we left for him. All sparkle and ruby gloss. Little does he know I rigged a trap to that chest. Armor of the Fifth Age Taric's going to be at his wit's end when our surprise triggers. 487 RP
  • Wait! Infernal Mordekaiser came back. He looks so…red. There! A first attack. Only glancing blows, unfortunately. I see chunks of gems flying, but it's so unsatisfying. What about the big bad? When I set up that trap I was promised someone would be devoured whole! 260 RP
  • Finally, Dreadknight Nasus shows up. Why is he tossing the metallic master away from our prey? He'd better just be saving some for himself. Now they are whispering? Big eyes, big ears, and not even the tiniest flash of some big teeth? Someone is about to find their trap-making business webbed up. 487 RP

Nevertheless, this was exquisite entertainment. I'll have to do this again. A sprinkle of memory-purging death blossom spore will ensure this happens over and over, at least from January 25 to January 28. They might develop an immunity after that, but I'm sure you can put them to better use.


Voyboy Replies to Winner of " Revolutionize Your Game"

You may remember this contest over here. Well Voyboy has responded to user Phaux.






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