Certainlyt on Zyra's E and Thresh's Lantern While Silenced


Certainlyt on Zyra and Thresh

On Zyra's E

We nerfed the speed of Zyra's E, Grasping Roots, nothing else about the spell (I am speaking of the now month or two old nerf here already on live for a while, not anything prospective -- she's stable at the moment as a powerful mid and support). I must confess I was nervous when we began testing it internally, but honestly the change was one of the best live balance adjustments we've ever made to a champion. 

There's so much additional gameplay there now. When I'm on my game, my roots can't miss; when my enemy is playing well, I feel it, but can recover with good seed placement (the Vine Lasher spawn range of E is larger than the root itself). Zyra's role as an aggressive, almost kill lane, support was clarified, since she can still fish for roots for her and her partner to engage on, but cannot simply negate all aggression by pressing E any time the enemy gets cheeky. Currently, she is the only champion we regularly see all the way up the elo ladder (including competitive) as both a (supportive) mid and a (high threat) support.

Some facts:
Grasping Roots moves at 1150 units per second -- compared to champions who start at 325-355.
It is harder to hit now than it was previously. Prior, it was too easy to hit relative to its immense power -- minions cannot block it; you can root multiple enemies; engaging Zyra teams in tight corridors is a virtual impossibility. This spell is on the short list of spells that could legitimately qualify as ultimates on a champion (just up the damage), along with such stalwarts as Feral Scream, Crystallize, Event Horizon, etc.
It typically (though admittedly not always) has the lowest cooldown of all our line roots, due Zyra's passive CDR from W.

On Thresh and Lantern

Good question -- I tried all sorts of iterations of this: lantern usable while stunned/silenced/etc; Lantern not usable if Thresh is stunned/silenced. It was *extremely* confusing to click the lantern and get no response if you happened to not notice that Thresh was disabled (keep in mind that Thresh can be off your screen when you use the ability), so I abandoned that approach quickly. It was also a pretty illusory form of counterplay in the defensive case -- Thresh is generally far from danger here -- and was a real kick in the teeth in the offensive case, where your ally may have consciously moved backward to take the lantern only to be stymied by a silence. If only one of these had been an issue, it might have worked, but the lack of counterplay in the defensive use case was the nail in the coffin.

As to allowing the cast while silenced, but not disabled in other ways, that makes some intuitive sense -- grabbing something does not require speaking. However, silence is not a literal status effect in our game. It is a metaphor for not being able to use abilities of any kind (except those that remove silences), including such outliers as not being able to turn off toggles like the second activation of Jarvan Cataclysm. I didn't feel comfortable breaking a game rule for Lantern that was uniformly adhered to elsewhere in our game. If we go back and revise our definition of silence (something I am not principally opposed to), I'd be interested in including Lantern in that conversation, though I still think the counterplay of silencing an enemy to deny them lantern use is the best overall option for gameplay reasons, thematics be damned.


European Maintenance - "Increased Stability and Performance"

At 2am GMT on Wednesday, February 20th, we’ll be performing a scheduled maintenance to our European network that is supposed to take up to 1 hour.

- Goal: Infrastructural changes to the European network designed for heavy populated environments.

- Timeline: The maintenance is planned to start Wednesday Feb 20th at 2am GMT. All the environments will be shut down simultaneously.

- Player Impact: Platform outage for up to 1 hour. Queues will be disabled around 2 hours prior to the maintenance.

- Benefits: All shards using our EU infrastructure in Frankfurt (EUW, EUNE, TR) will benefit from increased stability and performance. The upgrade should also minimalize network issues during peak times.

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