FeralPony and Roku Discuss Preseason Changes



  • FeralPony here with an update on the mastery changes coming this preseason. We had a lot of goals for the coming rework, so I wanted to take a moment to explain a few of them to you. Mostly they’re aimed at providing you with more options, greater build diversity, and upgrade paths with fewer “wasted” points to get to the masteries you want. We started this process with our first mastery redesign at the start of Season Two, but since then the game has continued to evolve and we’ve identified a some areas we can continue to improve. Here’s an in-depth look:


    Increase diversity within builds

    In the preseason you’ll find a number of new options in each tree to allow for more diversity in your builds. There are now more choices within each tree so you can spec out and optimize your champion however you choose. This includes new, more focused options at each level of the tree so that you have more options to select bonuses that specifically benefit your individual playstyle.


    Make each tree more useful to more champions

    In Season two, masteries were a bit too targeted toward specific roles. AP and AD carries took Offense, tanks took Defense, and supports took Utility. While these straightforward options will still be good in the preseason, we want you to have additional incentives to dive deep into trees that might not be the obvious choice for your role. For example, a jungler interested in applying a lot of early game pressure might find the bonus starting gold from the Utility tree useful for picking up early Boots of Speed. Likewise, an AD carry with limited escape skills might find the bonus tenacity available in the Defense tree allows him to refocus his early itemization. In short, we want you to have more options.


    Move or replace out-of-place masteries

    There were a number of Season Two masteries that didn’t really fit well into their trees. Masteries like Siege Commander (which reduced the armor of nearby enemy turrets) didn’t really belong in the Defense tree, so we replaced it with a more appropriate mastery called Tower Shield that reduces incoming damage from turrets.


    Indomitable is gone and Tough Skin has been updated

    You’ll notice the absence of a few of the previous masteries, most notably Indomitable. We also changed Tough Skin so that it no longer grants reduced damage from lane minions. These two masteries trivialized early game minion damage when combined, allowing players to easily “freeze” lanes. Freezing lanes contributes heavily to snowballing and limits the viability of certain champions, so we wanted to make it a more risky proposition.


    Reduce “wasted” points

    There are a number of popular builds where you might find you have to waste points on masteries that don’t really benefit you to reach the masteries you want. We’ve changed up the dependencies so you can now reach the end of each tree without wasting any points.


    Improve the Utility Tree

    In Season Two, the Utility Tree wasn’t all that appealing to the majority of champions. We’ve made adjustments to ensure this tree has more useful options for champions in all roles. Champions like manaless casters who currently have to waste a lot of points to get to the bottom of the tree can now make it down 21 or more points in Utility and be rewarded for doing so.
  • Hey summoners,

    I’m Roku, Game QA Analyst at Riot Games, and I’m here today to fill you in on some of the upcoming summoner spell changes we have planned this preseason. Overall, we want to offer you more viable summoner spells, so that you have plenty of options to tailor your selections to suit your individual playstyle and strategic needs. We hope to accomplish this by equalizing power levels and solidifying unique roles for each spell choice.

    For starters, we plan to make Barrier available across all maps rather than just the Proving Grounds. To ensure it’s balanced it we’ll be increasing its cooldown and reducing its duration. Barrier will require faster reaction time in its new form, but will remain the go-to defensive option against burst damage. To reinforce this change, we’re also reducing the overall effect of Heal, but modifying it to heal allies for the same amount as it heals the caster. This will solidify Heal into a support role, while making it less useful for baiting opponents.

    Next, we’re making some subtle tweaks to many of the summoner spells. Flash and Ignite will each have their cooldowns increased slightly in order to bring them more in line with other spells. Clarity, Clairvoyance, and Exhaust are set for small changes that will make them more visible during gameplay and emphasize their specific roles.

    Finally, we’ll be removing both Promote and Surge. We’re creating an item with an effect like Promote since it makes sense as a strategic option, and having it as a buy-in strategy means we’ll be able to better balance the effect in relation to its gold cost. Surge is being removed because it isn’t always clear when to use it or which champions benefit from it. In the end, Surge is a competing spell in a niche we’d like Ignite to fill.

    In the preseason we want summoner spells to be another way to customize your champion to suit your playstyle instead of being dominated by a few, extremely strong choices. We’re confident that these modifications will free you up to experiment with different combinations and tailored to your favorite champions.
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    Originally Posted by InertSteak View Post
    Will there be any cool new masteries?
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    Indeed!
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    Originally Posted by ploki122 View Post
    @Roku, anny new summoner spells? (if they aren't settled yet, a yes/no/"eventually but maybe not in S3" will do. The question is basically, do you confirm we will have less choices (although some were false choices) for summoner spells)

    and is Rohan you son and/or grandpa?
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    For Preseason 3, there will not be any additional Summoner Spells available other than Barrier. We would like to nail down the existing choices first, while cleaning up some of the false choices / unclear use cases.

    As for the future, we'll continue to watch how Summoner Spells are doing and make adjustments as necessary - whether it be addition or modification.

    And no
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    Originally Posted by Fox P McCloud View Post
    Could you give us a preview of some of the new masteries, feral pony?

    For example, I always thought it was intensely unfair that AD champs and 100% free access to lifesteal in the offense tree (with little to no impact on their offense), while AP champions had to give up a lot of damage and spec deep into the utility tree just for 3% Spell vamp.

    Is this something that has changed?
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    This specifically has changed. You are correct Lifesteal didn't really belong in the offense tree. Lifesteal and Spellvamp are now bundled into the same mastery inside Utility. While it may not be popular among AD carry players to lose the LS from the offense tree, Utility as a whole has been made a more attractive choice for all character types.
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    Originally Posted by Katarina PENTA View Post
    Lol? lifesteal quints were only good on 1 champ. Warwick Jungle. You start W, and you can start boots and never use a single hp pot.

    Spellvamp quints were only good on 1 champ as well. Mundo Jungle. It helps you sustain early and it procs on smite.

    Both of these strategies consider that your team is bad and doesn't leash for you. And these are the only times you would get these expensive runes optimally. Again, I tried this all in PBE. So don't be like "I don't listen to lvl 24 smurfs".
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    We're talking about the lifesteal and spellvamp masteries not runes. The runes are untouched as far as I know.

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    Originally Posted by Aflaack View Post
    Does this mean that champs like jax can get 3% lifesteal and spellvamp?
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    That's correct. Though if Jax wants to spec into Utility for lifesteal and spellvamp to drop offense or defense and not smash your face in while being unkillable I think I'm okay with that
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    Originally Posted by Lostshard View Post
    Since there are at least 2 known items which affect summoners. Then the 3rd item which you said produces the to be defunct summoner Promote. Is there any mastery that affects items?
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    Yes but no spoiler... yet
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    Originally Posted by Runnykine View Post
    I am so excited now, especially about the utility tree.

    Also, how many sugar cubes does one need in order to ride the FeralPony or is it more of a height issue?
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    I will never be tamed for mere sugar cubes. Cookies do work reasonable well though.

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    Originally Posted by Schplat View Post
    Does this mean that I will have to redo all of my mastery pages? This is the first big change to the mastery tree since I started playing, so I'm asking in all seriousness.
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    Yes, we will be resetting everyone's mastery pages. Sorry
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    Originally Posted by 2pudge1cup View Post
    i hope the duration of barrier is less than the duration of ignite.
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    It is. Ignite lasts 5 seconds, while Barrier lasts about 2.5 if I recall the new numbers correctly (though things are still subject to change)
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    Originally Posted by Xenoproboscizoid View Post
    @Roku: I'm a little worried about what the implementation of barrier will mean for burst characters and especially for AP mids. Most APs deals their damage in a burst combo so if you run barrier mid, you can pretty much eliminate the threat of death from your lane opponent. While this might not mean much in the 1v1 scenario since getting 1v1 kills in lane is somewhat rare in mid, when combined with the jungle changes aimed towards making ganks less frequent, I fear that mid will become a stale farm lane. This would have an especially high impact on burst champions without a lot of cc options, eliminating the viability of champions without sustained damage or cc options to wait out the shield (like Kat, who is already getting nerfed in the upcoming patch).

    I do appreciate that this might force the mid lane to have a bit more global presence since a), the jungle wont be ganking as often, and b) you cant get kills mid so you'll have to roam. Is this sort of what you're going for with the addition of barrier?
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    With a much shorter duration (currently 2 seconds, still subject to change), it is possible to counter a Barrier bait by forcing them to Barrier then waiting out the shield.

    With internal testing, it has actually shown that offensive uses of Barrier mid lane have been more prominent - tower shots are pretty easy to predict and block.