Name Cleansing Update, Tear Mechanics Change - Not in 3.8, Morello on Lots of Topics, IronStylus on Female Monster Archetypes

Name Cleansing Update: Downtime scheduled for early AM 6/18

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Hi everyone,

We had an issue during the downtime where our cleansing script reported success on North America, although the script didn't actually cleanse the names.

Because this cleanse script requires a downtime, we'll be running the name cleanse in its own separate downtime on Tuesday morning early AM on June 18th.

We know that we've really dropped the ball on this one; we are going to be investigating some alternate solutions to these mass cleanses to make it easier for active players claim desirable names. There isn't any timeline for these changes, but we'll share more info once we are closer to a sustainable solution.

The name sale will stay active until 6/25 at 11:59PM PST.

As always, thanks for your patience.


Meddler on Tear Mechanics Change - Not in 3.8

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

sorry. I should've been more specific. He was talking specifically about SR. He said something along the line of 'tear won't charge with form changes (re: jayce). Anyone confirm?
It's something we're testing internally, it's not part of 3.8 (the current live patch) though.

Morello on Fiora

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

We don't have specific plans right now, but only due to workload. Some of our work on Yi will likely inform our work on Fiora (plus I still want something sexy for Riposte), but it's not our top priority currently.
Fair enough. Not that I'm necessarily qualified for ideas behind adjusting her, but I do have suggestions if you're interested.
A lot of it really is about Melee ADC qualities overall, which is a hard conversation to have as its little to do with her current stuff and more to do with "how do we make this work"?

She'd have the same skills, but power budget would be modified. Again, I do want to make Riposte way better.
It's not that she's bad, she just has a very small niche right now due to the meta and her high skill floor.
Yep. It's more noise tan truth that Fiora's bad. If you're sub-plat, play Fiora and win all you'd like.

This is more about improving the character, not buffing it. There's different levels of depth to the work and design for those.
Hoping the Heimerdinger rework is a top priority now, would be great to finally have him usable again!
As far as design-driven total reworks, yes he is.

Morello on Kha'Zix

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

"Watering it down" would actually make it flatter/easier. While I think casting Spikes while in air does feel good and responsive, it accidentally improves its power a lot. It also creates a weird missile issue that makes it lie to opposing players on its location a little - something that's inherent with how skills like this work.

I think a fair critique is that Kha'Zix will feel a little worse and less responsive when using these spells together, but these changes are to actually make his play more varied and robust. Void Spikes currently contains too much of the power budget.
I think this is right. If anything it will punish current Kha players who were used to the fluidity of his movement and play. It's gonna feel more clunky now having to land before you cast the spikes. A definite hit to his "power budget", I agree. It's still gonna feel wonky.
I remember a post someone made that was really good a couple days ago, talking about how Kha's power is really less numbers and more fluidity. The particles and animations allowed for things like leap/casting. I think it's the right move, addressing that rather than nerfing numbers, but it's not going to feel "good" to Kha players on any level.
Yeah - I agree here. It makes me a bit sad too - right for the power tuning we wanted, but not optimal for good feels.
and herein lies the problem with your design team

you think bugs, accidents, and exploits are bad for the game

Any game designer without an ego will laugh at you. The greatest compliment a game designer can ever receive is when players start finding interactions that even the developpers did not think were possible to add further flavour and gameplay.

instead of rewarding them and encouraging further gameplay, you remove such interactions and punish such thinking.

Instead of understanding the animation quality creep problem, you mindlessly remove it because it's the easy and lazy thing to do. Instead of working on the older people who are outdated with animations and cast times, you hurt khazix
I think missiles not being where they say there are is bad for the game, yes. When you see a missile, and you dodge it, it should not hit you.

As to your main point - simply put, it's naive to think that all interactions are good for the game. The type of game design you talk about (anything goes) is a valid path - it's just not the one we use on League because that's not how you make a deep, long-term competitive game.
Is this something that we may see reverted someday when older champions catch up to his fluidity?
If every champion felt as polished and fluid and Kha'zix does atm, I feel that gameplay on any champion would feel extremely rewarding.
Maybe if the bugs (heh) are fixed, sure.
He acts like leaping and firing missles was a big unintended secret that players discovered.
True - Volty did add that intentionally. So really, you're just using a mechanic we tried that has more problems than we realized.
Just wondering Morello, will you ever make it so that evolving E isn't a necessity? Overall Jump range and resetting on kills/assists is too good not to take. Doesn't leave much choice there.
I'm OK with getting it each game, since you'll get 3 in most games, but when you get it should be the interesting choice.
Speaking of fixing bugs to make the game better...I'm sorta sad to see the whole Thresh flash/death sentence thing go. I understand why it would be bad for the game as it seems it would take away from counter play to death sentence but it was always awesome to see it pulled off.
I agree there. These are usually tough decisions because we want to keep "cool" stuff around, as long as it's not really out of line.
Just wondering Morello, you ever gonna learn anything about balancing, and game design in general?
*Gets popcorn*

Enlighten me.
Well the players are always right, you know. So that being said, I want a champion that only I can use the can instantly 1 hit the enemy Nexus from any where on the map at any point in the game.
See, I'll always win now. So the game is balanced.
You are correct that you would have more fun if we implimented that change
Okay, well, maybe first answer this: Why have you given assassin champions good AoE and poke?
Poke/harass gives an assassin two combat ranges, which is important for any opportunistic character. Poke fills the gap before they can seize an opportunity to dive on an exposed target. This keeps assassins from being completely binary experiences, and adds pacing to the play overall.

You don't pick an assassin to poke (you pick a sieger for that), but them having it gives them flexibility and lets them be opportunistic.

IornStylus Responds on Female Monster Archetypes

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

So.. we talkin' Anivia 'n such as well? There's a few things in the works that would qualify here. I myself am very much for pushing the boundaries in what we'd consider monstrous females. In my opinion we probably could have gone crazier with Zyra and Elise especially. We've milked the "girl in a costume" thing pretty dry and we need to look towards character design rather than costume design.

We'll certainly still have women in costume, but I'd personally like us to push past the human barrier if we're going to do monster/creature females.

One of the reasons that I'd love us to not be relegated to humanoids for such female creatures is that characters like Zyra and Elise can be problematic when making skins. There's not a ton of features or large distinguishing parts of their bodies that can serve as landmarks for change. If we're unable to make some distinct silhouette or fairly massive internal detail breakups, the changes in the skin don't end up feeling as impactful.

So yeah. There's some stuff in the works. I think it fits the bill, but it'll probably be a while for the pipeline to spit it all out.
But I want cool monster champions with a design that focuses more on the monster than anything else too. So we're torn between *** appeal and wanting things to be metal as ****.
Focus too much on the girl part, and it we get more Zyras, just a hot chick dressed up funny. Focus more on the monster part, we get Anivia, where the only "Female" indication we have is the voice. Might as well made it male for all the difference it makes.
It's quite a conundrum.
Good breakdown of the challenge at hand.
We gave you the answer with Elise: driders and arachnae designs. You went full transform character.
Luckily the human form was soooo sexy and her kit was soooo fun I ended up liking her anyway ... but a more Cassi-like design would have been welcomed (female frame top and spider bottom).
I myself was pulling for more of a spider-centaur sorta thing.
Holy **** Ironstylus posted..
Thread about female champion design.. imagine that! :P

I'm all for Female monsters, maybe have a female void champion?
There's some ideas floating around..
I can't tell if this is an expression, or a hint, or a joke, or all three.
What would ever lead you to believe that there's any sort of subtext at all to what I say?
What about just one of these feminine monstrosities? Anything soonish?
From what I've seen there's nothing slotted that would fit what's being suggested in this thread. There's a few things in the works that are being ideated upon or concepts that have been approved, but nothing that's in the production pipeline as of now.

Speaking for the art team, we some great monster/creature ideas, we need to get some kits for them.
That's what people mean when they talk about a "drider" design. Driders are D&D spider-centaur things.
Yes. Those things. I like those things.
Ironstylus we need more dragons. Specifically a dragon pirate, because I can't think of anything more badass than that.
Going along the lines of this thread, we could make said dragon pirate a lady.
@ IronStylus
On the subject of making them appear female but not sexualizing them, may I suggest something like GW2s approach with the charr? The female charr look more lithe than their male counterpoints, more akin to cougars where I'd compare the males to lions. Even without the human assets of the holy double B, they're obviously female. I know the monster cat is already taken up with Rengar, but just as an example. Not something like the female worgen in WoW where they're pretty much just fur covered, wolf headed women.
Also, just for the sake of it, any chance we'd get something akin to a faerie dragon in league? xD Newt was my favourite character in the Druidhome trilogy ._.
Heh, I actually pitched a female anthropomorphic cat gypsy oracle of sorts. Man, that was a LONG time ago. I think we messed around with the idea of her having some sort of clairvoyance but we couldn't really nail any sort of kit that wasn't retarded.
ding ding ding we have a winner
you can make a female with just a voice and facial traits (eyes etc) it doesn't have to scream female human.
I just want lol champs to be closer to real life species rather than girls in costumes, or girls that transform into animals but more focus on girl (nidalee, elise, quinn, shyv wow there are quite a few of these)
Honestly, that's easy. Anthropomorphic creatures are straight out of Disney. Shown to work pretty well as far as I've seen. In my opinion they're easy go-to's for creature design. I'd very much like to see how we can push beyond it, but I really am fond of them.

Huh, another waaaay long ago concept I had was a bird/ostrich sort of creature who had like.. weapons that slung from behind his wings.. He was sort of in that direction too. Man, I have to go digging through my old sketchbooks for some of this stuff.

Morello on the Meta and More

  • He covers a few topics in this, such as "Xyph is working on some new ideas for melee ADC"

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Your logic is very flawed here; you define "enforced meta" as "I can't play anything, everywhere, anytime" without considering that if one thing is a lot stronger than others, it heavily limits available options.

For example, if Nunu top pushes out all other choices by being the best, leaving him alone enforces a low-variety strategy. Nerfing it and letting 10 other characters be comparably better picks opens variety.
I can't think of any well designed competitive game where a chaotic strategy of "throw anything anywhere" is successful at high level play.
It's a pipe dream for some people.
Granted for most of us in League, adhering to the "meta" isn't really necessary or always best in the first place. Gotta be a real metagamer to see that though, and they usually advance past low skill pools.
It's a good guideline for making sure you have a rounded-out team, so I think that helps in solo queue a lot. As people have shown, it's not the only way to win, and different regions even break the core strategies occasionally, but I think it's tough to do something different with 4 strangers, yes.
So what you're (essentially) saying is that the biggest thing enforcing the meta is just the nature of solo queue?
Generally, yes. There's a lot of viable strategies that likely exist without our knowledge. Hell, we even see the 2v1's in LCS every week, but we don't seem to do that much in solo queue.

Trying to come up with that strategy requires leadership, persuasion and a little luck to get 4 people you don't know to get on board with it. These expectations help us rally around something "normal" and reasonable by default, which I think is an advantage in solo.

In premade 5's, well, go wild. The current wisdom is just that - current wisdom on best play, but it changes over time.
I think you completely avoid the main point of the OP here, Morello.
A big part of the OP was about SotEL getting nerfed because of Blue Ezreal, even though the build is not by any means pushing out all other choices, making it seem like it was nerfed because Riot simply didn't like it.
I'll ask Statikk to explain that one in detail; there were some other problem cases on that item in higher level play as well.
Isn't one of the the things you look at when considering whether something is OP or Unorthodox simply, 'It's not an issue until it's abused'. Doesn't this just reinforce the fact that you nerf FotM champions?
Well, think about it this way. If it's popular and abused, we have more testing and data on it - and likely there's more work into trying to counter it. When possible, we do want to let people find counters to things if they have good gameplay/counterplay opportunities.
When are ADc's going to be nerfed, across the board, again.. They are the only role that is 100% required to have.. Top lane switchs between Bruisers, AP, and Carries; Mid lane switchs between Bruisers, AP, and Assassins; Jungle switchs between Bruisers, Carries, and Support; whereas bot lane is ADc+Support always with very little to no deviation..

I think since ADc's are considered so important that you have to have one in 100% of games if you want a 50% chance at winning, that something needs to be adjusted about them..
I'm fine with "damage" being a requirement. ADC's just have natural scaling that gives them a lot.
Aavak, p*ssing off Morello since 2012.
No, not at all - trying to answer your question!
Counterpoint: You've (as in the design/rebalance team) constantly restricted people from discovering new team comp configurations since, what, late season 1/early season 2? The two solo lane/one jungler/adc and support thing has been defended rather forcefully.
I know they're different games entirely that depend on different core mechanics, but look at dota 2. Instead of, say, allowing/making an entire class of champions completely unviable in almost any level of play (melee adcs like fiora), they actively try to get people to play underused heroes and to figure out new ways to incorporate them into the meta.
Riot simply doesn't do this. Instead, you punish people for this. Whenever something is found to change the meta, you instantly nerf it into unviability. The meta is stale, and it's designed to be that way. The biggest shift we've had in the meta in the past, what, two years? has been minor itemization stuff. Do I stack health? Should we all go AD? Do I buy boots now or later?
That isn't really much when you look at Dota 2's "Do we even need a jungler this game? What about a trilane? What insanely dynamic team configuration will work best against theirs?" Instead ours is, "Do we want our cookie-cutter lanes to swap positions?" After that, it's the same thing over and over.
Thanks for keeping it bland.
To be fair, the only thing that makes melee carries work in DoTA is BKB, which basically removes all the gameplay they'd offer (UNTIL you consider ultimates sometimes work through BKB - and that gets into a whole mess of bad just to let a class work).

It's because you're seeing meta as lane assignments. Football always has linemen, there's always a catcher in baseball, there's always Knights in chess. I don't think it actually matters all that much as long as the sub-strategies (poke, AOE, farm, push, etc) exist and have play.

I'd also rather there's variety in role and character representation than "we can **** on this other team by running 3 junglers" be as valuable. So maybe that priority set is what you're speaking to here. Melee carry viability is a weakness here though, to your point.
So you either pick an ADC and have a viable teamcomp or you don't and you make it harder to win. So you want the meta to be static. Gotcha.
This is getting to a silly point. It's like saying "I'd like to run a team with no damage or no CC, and I want it to be competitive." There is a core DNA set that you guys have discovered that makes sense - you need certain tools on a team, and those tools define a comp - damage and CC being two base ones.

You always pick a carry in other MOBA too. Sometimes he's melee or magic damage, but you play him by doing damage to enemies.
Very true but I didn't say anything should be able to go anywhere like I did say on the other hand if a champion( or item for that matter) is too strong then the nerf is justified but to nerf all support ratios because they are either too strong in other lanes or too weak as a support should say something about the underlined problem.
As such to nerf ap EZ ratios so ad EZ is competitive then turn around and nerf elder lizard so only standard ie/pd/lw is the only viable ad build is silly
I don't play bot lane at all so I'm not stating specifics in that way just the ones off the top of my head.
Yeah - this point is a common point of contention. The short answer is that the gameplay/counterplay of the character (counterplay being something we tend to value a lot more - not just counters, but counter-play overall) has a problem, or allowing one thing to be strong causing abuse cases. AP Ezreal is still one of the most contentious things there, so it's a more subtle and nuanced example for sure.

A clearer example for when it's due to abuse/gameplay is AP Trynd. Might not be overpowered, but removes decision-making from the game when he's good.
and you have made it clear that you dont want melee carries to be a viable goto choice, for teams that dont want to use a ranged ADc.. There would still be a carry on every team, it would just differ between ranged ADc and melee carry, depending on how the team wanted to play..

My problem is, is that ADc's are too strong right now, what with Vayne, Graves, and Quinn capable of going top lane against bruisers, and winning lane.. With MF, Ashe, Cait, Quinn, and Sivir able to go mid and win lane against AP's, and a few of those ADc choices being able to win lane against assassins..

ADc's are just too strong right now, in my opinion. They dont suffer nearly as bad as people would have you belive in the early game, and alot of ADc's actually have a considerable mid game, with all of them also having the Carry tag for lategame.. ADc's just do too much right now, and as a result you HAVE to have one in 100% of games if you want a 50% chance of winning, and that just seems wrong to me..

But your still #1 Morello, and I trust the choices you make regarding this game, I just wish ADc's were not viewed as the only reliable way to win games.. Keep up the good work, though..
Xyph is working on some new ideas for melee ADC - we would like them to have a role, but BKB is a route we'll never go.

I think without relying on AA damage and squishiness, you run into League of Bruisers really fast, which is a meta that really sucks a lot of fun and variety out of the game.
You basically actively enforce the current metagame by designing champions only along its strictures and balancing only to it.

Will you release an AP scaling autoattacker? Probably not.

Nerf the damage/safety of Ranged AD? Doesn't seem so. (It's "popular". But of course, obviously not because it's gamebreaking, eh?)

It's just like a slow tightening of the screws where you don't explicitly say the metagame is "enforced", but you do all your background work to make sure that it is.

Will a Rioter ever say "it's okay for the Support to take CS, you don't have to give everything up every game, go with the tutorial you won't get banned"?

Again, probably not.
But these points are red herrings - and that's why the metagame argument is typically so full of ambiguity. Everyone has their own vision of what's important to be able to do in the game.

For example;

* An AP-scaling auto-attacker doesn't really have any different gameplay, he just builds AP instead of AD. Additionally, unless he gets special rules to make Crit work with it somehow, he's just worse because you're talking about a difference in the fundamental statistics of the game. And after all that, the gameplay doesn't differ, just the item choice. It's novel, but it doesn't make the metagame (by your or my definition) more rich.

* We nerfed every ADC in the game's damage overall in Season 3 - ADC players were pretty sad at the time because they felt less explosive. Will we make them do less damage than Bruisers? Unlikely, as then there's no place for squishy characters at all - League of Bruisers, as we saw mid Season 1 and early Season 3.

* The support doesn't take CS because there are 4 gold streams and 5 characters, and funneling gold is more efficient than splitting.

This is how the game has naturally evolved. We're not interfering with it because what we have accomplishes a lot of the things that matter for League to be engaging overall. All roles (minus melee ADC) are represented, roles have different playstyles, and different types of roles can swap into other positions. But non-interference isn't enforcement. Should we just go throw everything out the window to artificially create some new meta (and likely one that wouldn't have the variety benefits we have right now)? I tend to think that all that does is make it novel until its re-optimized, then this conversation happens again.

That, or you get a large slew of really novel and totally competitively-unusable characters. I don't like that for a game that's really focused on eSports.
Nunu top pushes out all other of the SR meta's choices. Picking a bruiser against a champion with ranged poke, an attack and movement speed slow, and sustain is probably a bad idea. You wouldn't pick Garen vs Teemo. Likewise you wouldn't pick Jax against Nunu.
Nunu does however, get destroyed by a large variety of champions that don't typically go top. I know this because I'm a dominion player. Nunu bot lane was an absolute terror. Unlike SR however, we don't have mother riot to make the mean strong strategy that we're not familiar with go away. It took a few weeks but eventually we figured out that champions like Sivir, Urgot, Diana, AD Malzahar, prework Karma (and post rework) and Jayce can all deal with Nunu. And that's even with a Nunu that has additional health and mana sustain thanks to having access to two health relics.
Likewise Soraka mid was a thing for a while that got nerfed because no one in the mid lane meta seemed to be able to deal with her. I don't understand how a champ with zero escapes and two spells that have their effectiveness halved by almost everyone else mid lane was OP. Stick Malz against her.
I understand certain champs like AP trynd getting nerfed. He was the worst thing to go up against. Nerfing Nunu top however because he was too good against all the usual top laners was unacceptable though. Let the pro players develop strategies to counter this. If they can't figure it out then they're not pro players.
This is true in the Nunu case - there are character counters. However, this makes the game much more reliant on champion select as opposed to in-game, because Nunu either wins hard or loses hard there. Not a good situation overall.
What about Executioner's Calling and other Item counters?
Take for instance a starting item that does nothing but apply Grevious Wounds every attack (A mini-EC, I suppose). If you take it against a Kayle/Sona bot lane, you just cut down all of their sustain.
If you take it against a Janna (Shield)/Graves (Tanky Stats), not so much. In fact, now you are even more behind because all you do is apply 50% less healing against a lane that doesn't rely on healing at all.
I like item counter, but starting items as big counters creates a similar problem. If you have a good GW item at the start, it could similarly invalidate the entire laning phase in one way. This is why most counter items are mid-game, so harder counters don't just kick a guy in the dick from level 1 on
The problem is, this means you guys take executive control over who can use what lane. Anyone who it turns out kicks the snot out of the usual suspects in a given lane will be nerfed so that people who normally use that lane can go there.
Characters come in and out of fashion all the time. Perhaps characters who normally aren't seen top beat nunu top?
This could have shaken things up, but riot seems to nerf anything that seems really dominant without giving the community an honest shot.
Dominion guy was right. You don't really balance for that map, so they really just have to make it work, and have a more interesting meta/team setups for it.
And Dominion is nigh-unplayable because of the lack of variety and gameplay problems that OP characters cause.
But couldn't you say that about taking Cloth + Pots against an AD Top, Null-Magic Mantle mid, or Doran's Shield support bot (Not a great idea, but it can work on someone like Leona if you give her the Ward/Biscuit masteries).
I admit that 50% is a little too much for level 1 healing removal, but it was the idea I was trying to get across :P
Yeah - in this case, it's more a soft counter, which is appropriate for the start of the game.
Just wanted to reply to this real fast. I can understand and agree with where you are coming from. That being said, every time I hear pro players talking in an interview or whatever about a match, they are already saying that the majority of it is decided in champ select. So I think the problem you want to avoid is already here.
It's definitely more pronounced when play is optimal, but only goes to show we have a lot of work to do!
I just hope you realize that replayability is usually inversely proportional to linearity.
It's not a fast death if you linearize, but it does tend to eventually cause burnout.
You can examine other complex steady-state games for what happens if a metagame devolves to a single-type win condition, such as the Darksteel period of MTG. (After a couple tournaments of that, with WotC not enacting bans, some professional players started to quit.)
League is in less danger of that at this point, because there's a twitch-play aspect that can compensate for some strategic linearity. But it's likely just a delay. It almost certainly will eventually become a problem, starting possibly in casual play.
I'm not shooting for linearity, I'm shooting for some ability to do something when someone has a strategically superior lane matchup. I agree with your metapoint here, and am not looking to go down that route (though we did run risk of that in 2011, eep!)
Morello, stop using this face at the end of your posts. It has a self righteous feel to it when speaking to the community. Or maybe just me...
Unintentional, it's my "I ain't mad" face
Dominion is nigh unplayable because there is no support for it from riot. Not because of lack of variety. So long as you have a solo laner and someone who can turret dive, EVERYTHING can work in dominion.... Your statement shows that you probably know very little about the game mode and inherent strategies involved simply because in your mind OP champs make the game unplayable.. but you're wrong!!!

Those of us who play dominion are far more used to figuring things out for ourselves and adjusting on the fly. And that is something Summoners rift should have too.

Every time something new comes up you guys DO actively rush to nerf it... and that is the real complaint...

AP Tryndamere wasn't OP... yet you nerfed him in less than a week under the pretense "he wasn't meant to be played that way"

You guys nerf too much, too often, and leave little chance to FIND the counterplay you want... if the counterplay is not immediately evident... you nerf.

It's almost insulting that you basically tell us "you guys arent capable of figuring it out so we'll do it for you"
That complaint has validity, but there are things we just don't want to have in the game because it's clear the damage they cause is greater than the good of the variety being there. AP Trynd was explained specifically earlier.

This is also why I have Nome on Dominion - I don't have good insight into it.

Champion Spotlight: Aatrox, the Darkin Blade

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Learn to dominate top lane through damage-heavy exchanges and potent lifesteal in the Aatrox Champion Spotlight.

Aatrox's combination of mobility and survivability enables a hyper-aggressive playstyle, punctuated by brazen dives and daring escapes. He excels at relentlessly pushing lanes, relying on his Dark Flight and Blood Well to evade incoming ganks. In team fights, Aatrox's mobility takes on a more offensive bent, allowing him to dive past tanks onto valuable back line targets.

Learn how to massacre your enemies with Aatrox in the Champion Spotlight, where we'll sample the Darkin Blade's tactics, masteries and more.



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