Vel'Koz Confirmed, Doran's Shield Nerfs Heading to the PBE, Tons of New Info on Shaco's Rework

Vel'Koz Confirmed!

Several confirmations of Vel'Koz's existence were spread out today. The best compilation of video teasers was posted on reddit by user koenmvo. @ 0:36 @ 2:06 @1:28 @ 2:05 @ 0:13 thanks to appieftw @ 1:35 thanks to HairBears @ 0:18 thanks to AngelLink @ 0:09 thanks to Dinhox @ 3:01 thanks to Akiwasha

There has even been a champion page for Vel'Koz for a short amount of time that has been taken down. However, a member of the official forums - MÄ™w - was able to take a screenshot of it:

Now there are also Rioters talking on the topic!

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Will wait to see how he plays. Im not much of a mid laner so i dont know if ill like him.
But i want to get him just to show support for more monster champions.
Couple folks here seem really interested in the monster champs, curious what it is about them that you like so much. I personally like that they look so different but wondering what others think.
Because they're unique.
They aren't human and that is awesome.
I mean, we see humans everyday, we live in a world of humans and some of us use videogames as a meaning to escape reality. So why pick a human? Humans are boring in my opinion:we know too much about them. I never play humans in rpgs: in fact, i pick the thing that's less human possible.
I know that's just confirmation about what you think about them but i wanted to say my two cents here.
Humans are lame: i learned that in history books and by social contacts. Monsters have a potential to be better in so many ways.
Yeah, I see where you're coming from. Basically brings a whole different feel to the game when everything is not human. One thing I think is interesting about them is how different an ability feels coming from a monster champ (IMHO) than from a humanoid champ. Like Cho's ulty. Technically you're just doing damage and gaining HP as a result, and I can think of any number of ways to represent that in game. BUT when it's a giant insectoid monster devouring the target, well that just feels satisfying and different from what a humanoid could pull off.

Well, maybe Graggy, but he's too busy drinking his dinner.

p.s. Loved me some TS2 bot games with friends.
By nature of looking different they fulfill a desire that I personally have for diversity. Not having to create a human allows for some fun designs that I think frees up artists creativity a bit. Though for the most part the monsters in League maintain some basic human designs (Bipedal and one set of arms) with a few exceptions. Being able to play as a monster allows us to fulfill a fantasy of not being a human and being an "evil" character without really having to feel some kind of guilt. I would also like to see some "female" monsters. While there are "non-human" female champs, they don't really go into the "terrifying" kind of looks. The closest that we really have I think to a female monster is Elise in spider form.
Personally like that you don't have to be male or female playing a monster champ. I think it's another pillar in what allows for a fairly unique play experience as a monster.

Doran's Shield Nerfs Heading to the PBE

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

Just a quick note because this will hit PBE soon (Monday) and will probably require some decent scrutiny / input. I also wanted to provide a quick heads up to head off the storm of conjecture these kinds of things usually do.

Testing some fairly severe Doran's Shield nerfs - going kind of ham on the initial testing numbers to try to quickly find the point where it makes or breaks things.

Doran's Shield is warping the bottom lane matchups and pick structure right now fairly significantly. The relative power of the item has also dramatically increased due to the mastery / vision / support changes and so the item is just better in every respect this season compared to last.

What this means is that certain harass based characters are basically in a weird twilight state where they get stomped heavily and also have to pick up shield in order not to get counter bursted by the same ones using Doran's Shield.

Doran's Shield
100 Health --> 80 Health
10 HP/5 --> 5 HP/5
8 Block --> Unchanged

The idea behind hitting just the Health / HP/5 is to enable magic-based harassment still effective while also keeping Doran's Shield strong against ranged attacks (I.E. I am fighting Caitlyn and Lulu and I hate my life.)

We like the item's niche - but at the moment it's just too generically good against a wide array of matchups at the moment and shuts down both counterburst and harassment strategies a little too hard.

I suspect that the HP/5 nerf is a bit much and we'll have to reassess the strength of some mid-laners who rely on the item. As for 'Why do this now?' kind of issues - We're in the middle of some tier 0.5 item cleanup and Doran's Shield also kind of warps all of those issues, making tier 0.5 items kind of dance around the fact that they'll never compete.

Tons of New Info on Shaco's Rework

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Reworks can take like a year and sometimes get canned or sent back to the drawing board repeatedly. I wouldn't expect too much in the way of updates for a while.


Reworks take a long time. Xerath had 18 thrown away kits before he got to PBE. Shaco's going through similar kinds of exploration to distill the best features of his kit. See Meddler's post for details - I know it sucks to hear, but Shaco is a lower priority than Sion, Skarner, Xerath and some other champions.
I'm just guessing, but I'd guess that rework projects start and get ditched a lot more often than we think. Some designer has what he thinks is a good idea for something and sets it up in his spare time, but once he gets it prototyped it turns out to be completely unviable or unfun, so his lightbulb goes out and he has to get back to work on his assigned tasks...or the idea is too much of a change from the core concept of the champion and gets turned over to new champion assets for use in possible future champs. Either of which kills the rework.
Sometimes true, depends on what the rework involves and why it's being done though. Reworks generally fall into one of a few different categories:

1. Those that accompany a visual upgrade for a champion. Sivir's a good example of this, where our art team had plans for an upgrade to Sivir's appearance so we took the opportunity to pair some gameplay changes with that upgrade. Visual upgrades are great opportunities to do valuable, not not immediately urgent, gameplay work on a champion, because since animations/particles/sound etc are being redone anyway changing how abilities function is easy to support.

Timing on these reworks is tied to the readiness of the visual upgrade.

2. Those done because a character has gameplay issues that are creating significant problems at present. This is the category that Kassadin and Rengar currently fall into. This is the most urgent category, and one where we'll put a lot of focused effort into finding a solution, since the alternative's nerfing the champion so much the issue's aren't a major problem (something we're really trying to avoid where possible).

Timing on these reworks is dependent on how quickly we can identify and valid an appropriate solution to gameplay problems.

3. Reworks on a champion who's not a major problem, but has the potential, with some adjustments bigger than just number tweaks, to be healthier, more effective, a better take on their theme etc. This is the category Shaco falls into. He's not creating massive problems, but he struggles if unable to snowball and/or splitpush, and can be a noticeably more frustrating experience than average to play against.

Timing on these reworks can be variable, since they're much more dependent on how well an initial idea works out, what other responsibilities the person working on the rework also has and whether other emergent works pops up that needs to take priority (e.g. reworks from category 2 above).

4. Reworks on champions that aren't in particular need of work, and may even be really good already, but that someone believes could be better still. These reworks are side projects, sometimes done in someone's own time, because they've got some cool ideas they want to test out/a vision for how a champion could be better. The Miss Fortune changes ricklessabandon's testing at the moment are a good example of this. MF's not a problem, fun to play and well designed. That's not to say there might not be some good opportunities to smooth out some smaller stuff or enhance her play a bit though.

Timing on these reworks is extremely variable and these are the reworks most likely to get put aside (most often because an idea, when investigated and tested didn't work out, sometimes because something does work well but is a better fit for another rework, new champion or an item).

Finally, a couple of comments on Shaco:

1. We're still working on Shaco. Other reworks however are being given a higher priority (Xerath/Skarner being close to done, Sion being a major project that's in the early stages, Kassadin and Rengar both having much more urgent needs due to their impact on game health/other players, a couple of low gameplay impact reworks to accompany visual upgrades).

2. Shaco's a pretty difficult character to rework well. It'd be really easy to just strip away all his problematic elements and in the process remove many of his tricks and distinctive skills that people really enjoy when playing him. Finding the correct ways to fix his issues and preserve as much of his gameplay identity as possible however is much tougher, involving a lot more analysis, playtesting, iteration and sometimes, if something isn't working as hoped, restarting, than many other champions would.

Hope that explains a bit on why rework timing can vary, and why it can be hard to make any concrete estimates or promises on a rework's ETA.

TLDR: Lots of different types of rework, Shaco's a tricky one.
Does this mean you have a general idea of what you want to do with him? You don't have to share of course, just wondering what constitutes "early stages" for a rework.

When we asked Morello about it a couple months back, he basically shrugged and said "we're going to have to axe him." Which was hilarious, but kind of unhelpful.
We've got a direction in mind for him, yes. Goals are solid, exactly how they're met, ability details in particular, very much a work in progress.
I know the phrase "undead battering ram" has been tossed around a bit. If this is the direction pursued, I have no issues. Honestly, probably would be happy with any direction, as long as it's a cohesive kit.
Cohesive kit and theme is one of our core goals for Sion.


In this case, the guy who was working on the Shaco rework switched his time and energy to help us deliver preseason. I've learned in the past year, that people get very "fast" expectations when we talk about things - this is just a side-effect of not framing "hey, I'm looking at this" properly.

To be fair - I expected to ship Xerath in August when I started working on him in May... but as we all see now, it ended up being another 6 months before other important things got done and we were able to schedule team time to finish Xerath.
This sounds like a piss poor way of saying there will not be a re-work for Shaco. Thanks for not getting our hopes up with hype about reworking him. One would think that the Shaco re-work has been "canned" in order to re-work their servers, but that doesn't look like it is happening either.
I'll edit my original post.

Basically, what I am saying is that Shaco's rework is not on the near horizon, despite being discussed in the past. We had a couple awesome leaps forward, then sat down, looked at the champion list as a whole (see Meddler's post) and prioritized to suit the upcoming year and champions best.

I really want to reinforce this - meaningful reworks take a long time to do right unless they are minor updates or quality of life improvements.

Shaco is a cool character. We want to do cool characters right. Shaco has some very harsh edges in his playing against experience. Thus we need to do more work than just a few minor tweaks.
Not to derail the thread, but is this along the lines of what happened with Viktor when Solcrushed said he was going to take a look at him? I know he was a big part in the preseason 4 stuff.
We realized it was a much bigger ball of yarn than it appeared to be. We had some specific ideas regarding his unique item, how to improve the feeling of his laser, etc. And it required a lot more work than we could support while getting trinkets, vision updates, new jungle, etc.

Since then, Solcrushed has still been looking at the jungle (see the new spirit stones and some work on the Wriggles line).

Post preseason, we took the time to sort out the reworks but I don't recall where he ended up.
Shaco is tossed aside time and time again. Why? At least get him some bug fixes and QoL fixes.
That work has to start sometime, though. I get that you guys have a lot of work to do, but reworking champions that have were released as recently as Rengar OVER a champion like Shaco that was released in 2009 who has had issues since his launch?
The path for Rengar was much clearer than Shaco. For Rengar, we knew we wanted to clean up his core abilities a little bit, experiment with bonetooth, remove some exploits, then experiment with some ideas for his ultimate.

Shaco requires more tinkering. In the worst of cases, Shaco is frustrating to play against, stifling and frustating for everyone in lane, is an uncatchable split pusher and can lay traps that murder you without a chance to counter Shaco.

Rengar's burst vs. Shaco's inherently frustrating kit need dramatically different solutions.
Do you really need these big shakeups that new seasons bring? Like, I can understand a soft MMR reset every season, but having to change the game that often seems to have issues when it comes to things currently going on, and I think we can all agree that if something falls of Riot's radar it tends to stay off.
Correct me if I'm misunderstanding here, but what I'm hearing is:

"Adaptation is work that can be frustrating and lead to me feeling like I've lost skill I used to have."

In that case, yes, it is necessary, yeah its frustrating. The other alternative is for the game to die as "Riot never fixes the problems" is a worse.

That's what this whole thread is about "Why haven't you fixed my mans" - answer is, there's 117 mans, plus core systemic problems that once fixed always reveal new problems.
Only problem i see wrong with shaco is his squishyness and q nerf range.
What exactly is wrong with him??
He's best played as a split-pusher who is nigh uncatchable, an assassin who can't team fight, an ambusher who can't be countered, if you are chasing him into a next(p.s. does anyone know if red trinket disables his boxes or not?)

and once he starts to get ahead of you, he has a permanent slow in addition to a backstab + crit multiplier - aka, once he wins, if he catches you away from a tower, you don't have a good way to escape.
I meant something along the lines of 'why do you feel the need to do all of these big changes at the same time instead of spreading them out, especially considering you yourself admits it causes smaller changes to fall by the wayside?'
I'm not saying that, say, support gold income wasn't an issue that needed fixing. I'm wondering why you decided you had to do that AND rune changes AND jungle changes AND mastery changes at the same time, not to mention that most of those aren't done yet. Wouldn't it make more sense to spread these out? I understand that your patch cadence has decreased dramatically, so you want to put a bunch of extra effort into every patch so that the game doesn't feel terrible for the month each new patch takes, but it seems incredibly disruptive.
Then, of course, there's the 'we tend to lose things when we have to do these big updates' issue, but that's secondary at this point.
(As a sidenote, you are good at making me feel terrible whenever I complaing about Riot, Xelnath.)
The reason we did those things together was to try to bundle most of the "okay, how I have to think about the entire game has completely changed for everyone" factor into a single patch.

It's easier to accept, "okay, I've got some big changes to learn, but so does everyone else". For example, just doing the jungle item rework would be all of the junglers are in flux, but everyone else feels kind of the same.

Bundling changes together means players can kind of go through a mutually shared experience of re-experiencing summoner's rift.

Re: Losing things - part of improving a game is culling features too. The opposite is feature bloat, champion sprawl and creeping complexity.

Alright, thanks for the distraction. Back to work.

Zug zug. er... what do minions say when they leave base anyways?


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