Patch 3.8 Potentially This Week, Xypherous on Tanks and MR, Old Splasharts, Xerath, And Lots More!

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PBE Patch for 6/3

You may have noticed a small patch today. Not much was added at all. However some new ".help" files that look tied to the new "tips" file have been added. They give very basic information about things like "Champion select", and "Summoner spells". Nothing all that big.

Patch 3.8 - "Potentially Sometime Later This Week"

Not really a surprise here. The pbe has slowed down like it normally does before a patch is ready.

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Custom sets are still usable you just can't edit them in

I believe the plan is to reenable the functionality in the client with the release of 3.8 (potentially sometime later this week). Please note that this is an off the cuff estimate on my part; we've not announced a hard date.

Xypherous on Tanks and MR

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

There's a couple instances of dissonance in this thread which I'd like to see if I can address and clear up.
There's a lack of choices for tanks. If they want to build magic resist, they would literally HAVE to get Aegis and/or Spirit Visage in general. I would suggest you bring back Force of Nature or add in a few other items.
The answer for a lack of choices for tanks by introducing one single huge tank MR item doesn't introduce more choices. It simply offers one single best choice. It is slightly odd that the proposal to add more MR options for tanks involves first locking them to a completely different MR item - especially one that can be used by both fighters and tanks.

Tanks have no options against sustained AP damage, hence why Health is insufficient.
In general, sustained AP damage comes from a magic damage source with some very special properties. Not all AP mages can actually output high sustained magic damage at all. Karthus and Cassieopeia certainly fit this bill but they have very nuanced play / skill required as that is their primary strength. Orianna outputs sustained magic damage but her DPS is abysmal compared to any other mage.

So who are these sustained AP damage characters that are frequently referenced? The answer: Sustained AP Fighters - Elise, Diana, Rumble.

The lack of decent MR options against these characters is quite punishing, I agree but this is an entirely new class of characters - One that I'm not convinced should actually exist at the strength they do or if a dedicated MR item would actually help in this case. These characters are extremely punishing mid-game, for example - but tend to start suffering late game due to being closer range fighters.

Resource-less champions and Magic Resistance
Yes, resource-less champions don't have the greatest itemization pool - as the existence of Mana and MP/5 seems to drive you away from a large portion of the item pool.

This is, at once, a controversial and yet obvious statement: Playing a resourceless champion is not a pure benefit - there are tradeoffs. For example - the advantage of being able to be completely resourceless in lane, you pay a cost in that your starting item pool is far more limited. You have enormous strengths that are also easy to plan for by your opponent.

Similarly, for the late game, it is going to mean that your champion might waste statistics. It is going to mean that some purchases will be suboptimal for your character - and it will mean that you will feel bad in that stage of the game as your strength now no longer matters.

In general, I'm okay with how the current model works because the alternative is to simply take a lot of power away from resourceless champions across the board to the extent that being resourceless is actually a penalty and then providing itemization to get around that penalty.

Why not make a massive Health + Magic Resistance Item
Let's think about the goals here for a second: If the goal is to make tanks feel better about fighting mages - why is the solution presented to create one of the most powerful defensive fighters items?

Don't get me wrong, this would be a good tank item. However, at the end of the day - it would be an even better fighter item - no matter how you look at it. Intrinsically, durability alone does not make a tank item - because two classes are defined by durability - Fighters and Tanks.

That's the crux of a lot of the issue with raw durability statistics - the desire is to be more durable and to not have to 'waste' a whole lot of statistics to get there. However, if there's any class that prizes durability even more so than tanks - it is fighters, because they, not only have to initiate - but they have to frequently stay in the fight much much longer to actually contribute, because their power in a fight is typically sheer time and presence - while a tank's purpose can be fulfilled by an overwhelming initiation or a clutch peel.

For example, contrast how much longer Udyr has to stay in a fight to contribute meaningfully versus a character like Sejuani or Malphite. If Sejuani only survived to throw her ultimate and follow it up with Perma Frost, how long does Udyr have be able to live in a fight to actually match that?

Tanks and the current environment
Lastly and this is the most interesting one for me - there doesn't seem to be any evidence right now that tanks are doing poorly in the current environment, nor does it seem that tanks are unable to perform in order to win a game. Jungle Tank characters such as Sejuani, Zac and Nautilus contribute heavily towards their team's success - even if they fail to be invulnerable late game.

As for more traditional tank characters that lane - for example, Singed or Jarvan - perform excellently in the current environment. If the environment were shifting towards a dominant double or triple AP strategy - it certainly hasn't impacted their abilities to win games.

Grumpy Monkey on Old Splasharts

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Yeah the splashes need to be updated, its a bandwidth issue. Those splashes can take a while, and the team responsible for them also has to do all the new skins and champions. Its something they are painfully aware of, and they are doing thier best to prioritize so they can attend to the older splashes.

Sivir Rework Most Likely Will NOT have a "Traditional Skin"

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Traditional Skin?
Most likely not. The new base won't be so distinct from the current base in terms of primary visual reads and costume landmarks.

More on the Xerath Project

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Are we looking at a relatively similar cooldown on the new Q as we have on live?
8 sec at rank 1, 5 sec at rank 5.

However, Q's cooldown doesn't start until you release the attack, so your sustained DPS over time will be less if you are always max-distance charging it. (Max charge-up time is 1.5 sec currently)

You can move while charging, but your movement speed is reduced.
Xelnath this rework seems to have progressed very quickly compared to others. Is that just perception or is it true? If it is true why is that?
Perfect storm of time, opportunity and resources. We've still got a while before he shows up on PBE. I just feel like communicating about these topics now gives everyone visibility into our process and input into our decision making.

I generally have good instincts when it comes to the direction a design needs to go and Morello, Volty, Xypherous and I also were pretty aligned about what Xerath should be. That helped short-circuit a large number of "back to the drawing board" iterations that often happen. However, the remaining details are the crumbly bits that still need a lot of polish work. This is my weak area and it will probably consume the majority of the rework time.

This process is very similar to ones I've used in the past. The primary risk is that it people start expecting to see the rework soon. I feel confident in our direction now, but the final numbers remain to be seen.
Unless you're boosting the power of Q, this is a nerf to the long-range Q because it used to have 40% spell pen. Has that loss been compensated?
Yes. You now get to use Arcane Barrage on a 20->10 sec cooldown with permanent spell pen as his passive.
How exactly does the number crunching process work? Is there some sort of formula that is utilized to allot power to a champion? Or is it more a 'these numbers seem about right, let's try this and see how it goes'?
Here's an old burst damage spreadsheet from a much older Xerath design.

Generally, we try to balance base damage, AP coefficients and passive bonuses.

These numbers aren't necessarily accurate anymore, but they give an example of what type of analysis we do.

Name: penexample.jpg Views: 0 Size: 72.2 KB

In this case, I compared the raw values before and after to see where Xerath was at vs his old kit, other champs, etc. These kinds of very rough analysis make sure we won't waste a playtest where he is absurdly out of place.
Does building mana on Xerath for the spell pen actually seem worth it over just building spell pen? I've never felt compelled to buy mana on Xerath in his current state.
This is more about giving you the option to build mana to become "I care less about any given spell, but I am spamming spells all of the time" guy vs "I build raw AP. Every spell *must* count since I will hit like a truck, but I go oom sooner" guy.

In practical terms, I expect most players to pick-up archangels as a 2nd or 3rd item. I don't expect to see many people stack only mana, based on current tuning. This is mostly gum & guesswork though. We've got a lot of testing to do to prove if this works or not.
Sooooooooo will Arcane Barrage have its name changed? Considering that its no longer a "Barrage" and now one big shot?
Never really liked how Xerath and Kog'Maw basically shared an ability name anyways xD
Not sure. Maybe we should call it "mana rift". Or maybe it should go back to being less damage, but two charges. Playtesting will reveal the best course of action, I hope.
Attachment 697423
Eternal Blast?
Power Overwhelming... which overwhelms a target (stuns) with Xerath;s power.
Overwhelming Power is already the name of his new passive.
YaY, so basically its 6.5 Seconds now and his Damage didn´t improve? Thats exactly what i feared. It´s not that you actually use a skillshotmechanic a lot of people don´t like(i never saw one player saying he DOES like chargeup), but you also weaken a big chunk of his playstyle. Unless his new W got 1300 range also, its NOTmaking up for an CD addition for poking.
Dude, seriously. You've consistently nay-sayed and fought the idea of change this entire process. I get it, change is scary, you're worried you won't be able to have fun anymore.

However, you have nit picked at every possible detail that could be interpreted as a downside. Guess what - to push him to be stronger in the qualities that make him unique means broadening his weaknesses and letting enemies have opportunities to exploit them. It's not your job to recognize the value of that - I totally understand that. That's my job.

Can you acknowledge at some level that there are things we're keeping that you like? This one-sided perspective is really making it hard for me to fairly weigh your opinions into the mix.
lol i hope u make him better because hes already great
This is what I hope too.
Xelnath, I don't even know who to talk to anymore. I see you having an extremely active rework thread, and I understand that this is your style of doing things, but why does SolCrushed keep us Viktor players in the dark for months? Is he working on something else? If yes we would at least like to know :S
I understand that this doesn't have much to do with Xerath, but like I said, we are being ignored everywhere else, especially on our own thread. Why is Viktor so much harder to fix?
I am looking forward to playing with the reworked version of Xerath, he looks awesome!
I am not going to comment on Viktor again in this thread after this post. However, Solcrushed was been severely ill recently, and just started recovering, in addition to being required to travel and help with emergent issues in Korea.

It has been a very stressful, difficult time for him and he's also been asked to help with another rework in parallel with the Viktor upgrades. He's doing twice the work that I am with less than half the time. That guy is a rock star.

That said, FeralPony has been pinch hitting by taking on the Viktor crystal-upgrades and following up with game technology to get the features he needs to support them. I can't speak any more about Viktor than that.
Honestly, there isn't very much we can go on, and you have to admit that this is a fairly drastic rework, especially for a first visible step. Change this radical is definitely scary, especially when you consider the reason behind the rework in the first place, which is Xerath being a less popular pick. It's a really bad feeling knowing that the champion you enjoy the most is having all of his skills, passive, visuals, and overall theme changed to make him more appealing when there are so many other choices for players who don't currently enjoy his playstyle. You can't fault him for being worried at this much change all at once, I personally see very little of Xerath's original playstyle or theme in the previews you've given so far, but that might just be due to what little info I have to analyze.
I don't know what he could possibly be complaining about weakness for though, I'm genuinely worried that this rework is going to take away his weaknesses altogether.
Fair enough. There's a good chance he's incredibly OP right now in his new state. If you are recognizing that fact, this gives me some faith that you hardcore guys in this thread can see both sides of the argument. This was the real source of my frustration.
His Locus now does seem like it'd give him ridiculous safety in team fights. How is that suppose to be balancing out?
Opportunity cost. Keep in mind his basic Poke is built into his Q baseline.

This means his ultimate is about making use of the right situation. If he has to cancel early, he blows his cooldown. If he stays inside, he's immobile for an extended period of time, leaving him vulnerable to flanking, split pushing/retreat gameplay or dive comps.
Well, some people can, and some people can't. I get sad seeing posts that just say "Don't touch Xerath" or "You'll ruin him" with no other substance at all, too. I know you've read my posts and know how frustrated I am about the whole thing, but if you have your data straight, then there's little I can say against it, but I'll still be hesitant.
What would be making him OP now?
The amount of time you can stay in the ultimate and contribute to a team fight without being at risk. In a previous iteration, he was basically in locus all of the time and incredibly frustrating. More recent tests have turned out ok.

We'll keep an eye on it.

(I'm all about market research, data is pretty strong to me),
You've probably noticed that I've tried to back up all of our decisions with data, then complimenting it with experiential reviews from players like Morgageddon who was also pretty concerned about the changes.

Ultimately though, I am realizing that a lot of this will come down to actually playing the final product. Proxy can never be enough.

Champion and Skin Sale

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Give your champions a new look with these skins, on sale for a limited time:

Add these champions to your roster, on sale for a limited time:

  • Zed 487 RP




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