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01-01-2013   #1 (permalink)
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Default Darius's Future, Preseason Balance, and What makes a Jungler

Surrender at 20: Darius's Future, Preseason Balance, and What makes a Jungler

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Since today is New Year's Eve and 2012 is coming to a close, why don't we ring out this fantastic year with a red post collection?!
Continue reading for posts concerning Darius's balance, a reminded on preseason balance, Scarizard discussing his thoughts on what makes a jungler a jungler, and confirmation that Sivir is not the next champion to be visually updated.
The Future of Darius
CertainlyT took a little time to discuss some regrets he has with Darius's kit and what the future may hold for the Hand of Noxus:
"... In Darius' case, I regret including an attack speed slow on Crippling Strike and making Hemorhage damage type magic. I did these things as last minute reactions to concerns from our live designers about his viability (at the time, Draven would just 1v1 him even in the rare case that Darius could get to Draven and Darius was considered hard countered by cloth+5pot starts). I should have just designed him in a way that was logical and let our player base figure out where and how to best use him."
He continued on, saying:
"... It's unclear what should be done to Darius. He's balanced, has clear strengths and weaknesses, and is much less matchup dependent than the average forum post would have you believe. Even if we remedied some of the specific complaints about him now, any bruiser that does not lean heavily on raw statistical bonuses to be successful will often generate a lot of frustration from their opponents. Raw stats tend to play out almost unnoticeably over time whereas abilities manifest their power in dramatically noticeable moments. Take Jarvan's Demacian Standard -- it's primary power is in the armor/AS boost it gives, but a good number of players don't even notice it exists.

I would say that, in the case of changing Darius' bleed damage to physical, be careful what you wish for, you might not like it."
CertainlyT finished by mentioning he plans to correctly the previously discussed problems of Darius toting around magic damage and an attack speed slow on his W, saying:
"I will get rid of them. It takes time to test changes and to assess what needs to be done to compensate for them. They also weren't possible prior to Season 3 when armor was ridiculously undercosted relative to its power.

It's worth noting that we have a lot of lane bullies, of which Darius is only one. If you straight nerf Darius, then people who want the lane bully experience will just play Garen or Renekton, champions that *actually* counters all other melee champions (Darius does not... a lot of melee champions have decent matchups against him)."
Issues with the Preseason Balance
When questioned about upcoming plans to "fix" the jungle, CertainlyTdropped off a small reminder to ease the minds of summoners troubled by the recent preseason changes.
"I can say that Statikk is still iterating on the jungle. Remember, this is the pre-season for a reason: the game is in a huge state of flux that will hopefully make it much more dynamic and interesting. If any Rioter promised you it would be perfect on release or that there would not be hiccups along the way, please direct them to me ;-)"
What Makes A Jungler?
Scarizard, an associate live designer, chimed in on a thread about "what makes a jungler in Riot's eyes" and give his thoughts on what defines the role.
"I think something that makes a champion successful in the jungle is how much that champion values - and can thrive - being in Fog of War. In Rengar's development, we knew that he didn't have a competitive clear time, but he also didn't need it - his lane-ganking (with Thrill of the Hunt) or just basic sidelane ganks utilizing his passive along with Empowered Bola Strike made him incredibly strong there.

Kha'Zix, Elise, Diana, and Vi as well all had a significant number of jungle tests - even if we didn't expect that position to be their primary/popular roles, they are all champions that have strong dueling/cc and prefer to get the jump on the opponent.

Zed is a champion where i'm probably the most happy with how his jungling turned out - CertainlyT and i got to work very closely on Zed, and at the time he was a poor jungler at best. He was functioning as a solo laner just fine, mind you, but when he was only a laner (and balanced to be one) he was incredibly frustrating...on demand slow (at the time it wasn't tied to mimicked shadow slash) and potent ranged poke + super escape made laning against a Zed so frustrating some of us didn't even want to participate in playtests. However, opening him up to play in the jungle allowed us to not only drain some of the strengths of his laning, but also increase his mobility/trickiness across the board - the Zed player was casting W more often and jumping over jungle walls, and the opponents had specific windows of time they would be expecting him within the laning phase, which ended up just being more fun across the board.

Of the champions i've mentioned, i think their jungles are quite potent - but almost all of them have to skill/build/play differently to account for their new role. Elise forgoes a sustained damage build and prioritizes raw damage and approaches with rappel to hit-confirm a cocoon into instant-kill. Vi, Zed, and Rengar will all stalk opponents from shaco-esque angles of approach.

tl;dr IMO, the more a champion can make use of burst damage/mobility from the jungle, the more potent that champion can be played there, whereas heroes like Garen/Darius who favor accruing advantage over time and attrition-based combat don't get to exercise the full extent of their strengths. I believe junglers are less 'Can this person jungle?' and more 'Why do you want to jungle them?'"
He continued on to explain the thought process being creating new champions and how they don't start typically start the process by assigning a specific role, like jungling, to champions in development.
"I feel like T hit this one pretty well, but we don't just say 'Time for a jungler, guys!' Or 'We definitely want this person to go toplane!' We have things like 'fighter, mage, assassin' and all sorts of subtypes that influence the design, but other than 'AD Carry' i think they are all pretty open to lane assignments (Varus as well was playtested midlane quite a bit from what i hear).

It's usually more important to our champ designers to create an experience - get a cohesive kit down, then figure out where it fits into the grand scheme of things. Mages and supports (Mid and botlane) are often times interchangeable. Toplaners and junglers are as well, in a lot of cases. For Vi, i remember having lots of conversations with Gypsylord about her production and not really until the last month and a half did we sit down and say 'okay where do we 100% expect to see her?'

Sometimes we push boundaries, and sometimes we don't. Looking forward to the future, we have some really cool designs that, in a co-ordinated setting, could lend themselves to changing up lane assignments or working in different teamcomps, but i think we've always done that. The meta is the meta, and we don't really decide it. Xypherous i think did this really well with lulu and nautilus specifically, in that Naut is a tank/initiator and Lulu is a support/enabler no matter where they are played. Both champions can be played multiple builds and in multiple roles, but the kit defines what they do, not where they go.

Echoing CerT, having champions 'be good at one role' isn't always the best - Shyvana is my example. I wasn't around at the time, but that champion feels like she was designed to be a jungler through and through - which means her state of balance is binary. 'Is she good at jungling?' If yes, she's probably top-class due to her mechanics. If no, she has no place on a team.

We definitely have a lot of characters like this (usually one build/role) that can be balanced, it just means it's often times trickier than saying 'X mechanic/build is abusive, but at least they can still perform with Y build/in different role to compensate', similar to how Zyra players used her as support after the nerfs to midlane. She was still incredibly potent after the first round of nerfs, but the option for her to play bottom was still there as something alternative she can do if her pew pew gets nerfed."
While these two posts aren't extremely revealing or anything, I thought they proved quite interesting.

Sivir's Visual Update not next.
Finally, here is a quote., from RiotAmes, saying that Sivir will not be the next champion to get a visual update.
"We will absolutely relaunch her at some point - but she's not next. The relaunch team ( and the rest of Riot ) are keenly aware of how poorly Sivir stands up next to our newer champions especially."
Welp those Darius' changes scare me I think he's fine atm besides his stupid ultimate. It shouldn't automatically cooldown after he kills someone, more like a 5 or 10 second cooldown so he can't just RRRRR pentakill lol.

As for the "Sivir isn't the next visual update"......KARMA?!
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01-01-2013   #2 (permalink)
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If Riot says Darius is balanced, they obviously haven't seen him on Dominion.



But then again, I highly doubt Riot even remembers about their other modes anyways. Better just release them to appease players and then just forget about them.
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01-01-2013   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jare
If Riot says Darius is balanced, they obviously haven't seen him on Dominion.



But then again, I highly doubt Riot even remembers about their other modes anyways. Better just release them to appease players and then just forget about them.
Dominion is a broken concept overall with the "fast-paced" gameplay and insane gold generation on the map.
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01-01-2013   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jare
Dominion.
What's that?
 
01-01-2013   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Veloze
What's that?
Only mode I'm not completely worthless on.
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01-01-2013   #6 (permalink)
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Just remove Darius from the game. Awful design, I don't know how his kit was allowed to even pass. I don't like having one on my team and I despise playing with one on the enemy team.

The comment about Shyvana was incredibly stupid as well. I'm literally at lost of words to talk about how ignorant that comment about her being binary and being set to the jungle is.

This was an extremely displeasing read to start the new year with, though I expected it when I read CertainlyT is being quoted.
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01-02-2013   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nihil679
Just remove Darius from the game. Awful design, I don't know how his kit was allowed to even pass. I don't like having one on my team and I despise playing with one on the enemy team.

The comment about Shyvana was incredibly stupid as well. I'm literally at lost of words to talk about how ignorant that comment about her being binary and being set to the jungle is.

This was an extremely displeasing read to start the new year with, though I expected it when I read CertainlyT is being quoted.
Vlad's kit is entirely broken by design and they manage to put him in at least an ok decent place.
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01-02-2013   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer68
Vlad's kit is entirely broken by design and they manage to put him in at least an ok decent place.
Did you seriously compare Vlad to Darius?

Vlad:
Passive: HP to AP and vice versa, yes sounds good but it's nowhere near as strong as other "golden" passives such as Jax's old one, anyone who stacks only HP still dies fast, especially now that a lot of champs have % HP damage.
Q: Single target damage, and a % heal from that. Not spammable at all at low lvls.
W: Invulnerable for 2 seconds, some move speed but costs a shit load (20%) of health to cast.
E: Very short ranged AoE nuke around Vlad, and bonus healing buff, every cast also costs health.
R: % Extra damage in a small area and some nuke, very team oriented.

Vlad is also a AP champ, i.e. he's helpless on CDs just like every other AP champ.


Darius:
Passive: Bleed damage that scales with levels+AD and is also magic damage for some reason despite scaling with AD. Oh and you thought that was all? It also gives Darius 5% bonus move speed per bleeding champ.
Q: Spammable AoE nuke around Darius, it also gets a 50% damage bonus if used properly for some reason. It costs 40 mana to use.
W: An on-hit modifier, ok pretty simple. It also slows move speed AND attack speed... Oh, the cooldown on the skill is also reduced per bleed stack.
E: Most broken mechanic in the game, pulls. As if that wasn't bad enough it's also AoE and for some reason grants 25% armor penetration.
R: true damage scaling with AD and levels that encourages purposely taking kills from the rest of your team. It also deals up to double damage depending on bleed stacks.

He's also both an AD caster and an auto attack bruiser who deals all 3 kinds of damage, have fun building defenses. He also has a strong CC kit and lots of utility.
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Last edited by Kenzor; 01-02-2013 at 06:06 PM.
 
01-02-2013   #9 (permalink)
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I also now wonder what Teemo's future will be. (I still yearn for Riot to put a cap on how many Shrooms he has out).
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01-02-2013   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenzor
Did you seriously compare Vlad to Darius?

Vlad:
Passive: HP to AP and vice versa, yes sounds good but it's nowhere near as strong as other "golden" passives such as Jax's old one, anyone who stacks only HP still dies fast, especially now that a lot of champs have % HP damage.
Q: Single target damage, and a % heal from that. Not spammable at all at low lvls.
W: Invulnerable for 2 seconds, some move speed but costs a shit load (20%) of health to cast.
E: Very short ranged AoE nuke around Vlad, and bonus healing buff, every cast also costs health.
R: % Extra damage in a small area and some nuke, very team oriented.

Vlad is also a AP champ, i.e. he's helpless on CDs just like every other AP champ.


Darius:
Passive: Bleed damage that scales with levels+AD and is also magic damage for some reason despite scaling with AD. Oh and you thought that was all? It also gives Darius 5% bonus move speed per bleeding champ.
Q: Spammable AoE nuke around Darius, it also gets a 50% damage bonus if used properly for some reason. It costs 40 mana to use.
W: An on-hit modifier, ok pretty simple. It also slows move speed AND attack speed... Oh, the cooldown on the skill is also reduced per bleed stack.
E: Most broken mechanic in the game, pulls. As if that wasn't bad enough it's also AoE and for some reason grants 25% armor penetration.
R: true damage scaling with AD and levels that encourages purposely taking kills from the rest of your team. It also deals up to double damage depending on bleed stacks.

He's also both an AD caster and an auto attack bruiser who deals all 3 kinds of damage, have fun building defenses. He also has a strong CC kit and lots of utility.
No i didn't compare them by what there skills are xD. I compared how someones saying darius has an awful design. So i put vlad as a champion who's always been regarded as having a broken design flaw and kit.
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01-02-2013   #11 (permalink)
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You can't fix a champion no matter how reasonably skewed you make the numbers (reasonably because if it's something like 0.00001, no shit) if their kit is broken.

Admittedly I hate Vlad, but his only shit design lies in his pool, which does way too ****ing much. Everything else about him is fixable by just juggling some numbers to look less retarded. Not surprisingly enough, I don't like his champion designer, Guinsoo, all too much either.

I swear to god, I can rework almost all of these champions to something much less stupid.
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01-02-2013   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nihil679
I swear to god, I can rework almost all of these champions to something much less stupid.
Really anyone could. I imagine you could fix the suckier champs too. Riot has no idea of appropriate champion design.

(Ezreal designed Vlad ps)
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01-03-2013   #13 (permalink)
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Xypherous does okay considering the fact that a lot of his champions are highly experimental, at the very least the man understands what the **** REAL weaknesses are. I find Coronach and Meddler to be okay as well (I only recently respect Meddler with Syndra, his early designs were pushing boredom).

I hate Ezreal and Guinsoo. Both of them manage to develop some of the most broken champions in the game.
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01-03-2013   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer68
No i didn't compare them by what there skills are xD. I compared how someones saying darius has an awful design. So i put vlad as a champion who's always been regarded as having a broken design flaw and kit.
No, I meant are you seriously comparing Vlad to Darius in terms of awful design?
tl;dr version of my last post: Vlad's skills do 1 or 2 things each, Darius has like 5000 things going on in each of his skills and his kit overall is not team friendly at all.
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01-03-2013   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihil679
Xypherous does okay considering the fact that a lot of his champions are highly experimental, at the very least the man understands what the **** REAL weaknesses are. I find Coronach and Meddler to be okay as well (I only recently respect Meddler with Syndra, his early designs were pushing boredom).

I hate Ezreal and Guinsoo. Both of them manage to develop some of the most broken champions in the game.
I like Xypherous because he has the most exciting champions. Almost all of them are unique in some way. Meddler's gotten better with Syndra and Elise and Coronach has made some nice ones. I don't care too much for Ezreal or Guinsoo in terms of champion designs. Some of them are either just broken or really stale.
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01-03-2013   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jare
I like Xypherous because he has the most exciting champions. Almost all of them are unique in some way. Meddler's gotten better with Syndra and Elise and Coronach has made some nice ones. I don't care too much for Ezreal or Guinsoo in terms of champion designs. Some of them are either just broken or really stale.
Yeah I like Xypherous' champion designs too, especially Orianna, I still have yet to find a person who disagrees that Orianna is insanely fun to play.
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Last edited by Kenzor; 01-03-2013 at 03:51 PM.
 
01-03-2013   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kenzor
Yeah I like Xypherous' champion designs too, especially Orianna, I still have yet to find a person who disagrees that Orianna is insanely fun to play.
I'm not the greatest Orianna, but I always have so much fun playing with her. I just love Orianna in general. Good lore. Good mechanics. Good.

Also, I've decided that I hate Ezreal as a designer the most. Has the most champions that I think are dumb and/or poorly designed, though mostly dumb (Kayle, Singed, Sion, Kassadin, Teemo, Master Yi, Blitzcrank, Zilean). And the fact that Guinsoo is spearheading the Karma revamp means it'll be excessive and naturally will just break her. (He's tweeted about Karma's shield having a stun....?)

(Also think Volty does a decent job on the champions he makes. Well at least the lore part. I really like Diana and Leona, even if Leona (and Sejuani) are crap for tanks compared to the other tanks (so why haven't the other tanks lost more of their ratios...?).
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01-03-2013   #18 (permalink)
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Volty designs very... weak champions. They're great champions, they just never really lift off the ground, lol.

I knew Karma was going to be broken the instant I found out Guinsoo is doing her rework. I've been following his twitter and all I've heard was "Wow, I accidentally made her OP."
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01-04-2013   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nihil679
Volty designs very... weak champions. They're great champions, they just never really lift off the ground, lol.
I don't think he necessarily designs weak champions (after all, he did make Diana and Vayne), but rather he makes more appropriate champions for their roles.

Sejuani and Leona, I feel, would be more viable as tanks if it weren't for the fact that the other tanks have higher ratios on their skills. I mean, bar her ultimate, all of Leona's skills have ~.4 AP ratios. No AD ratios, no HP ratios, no defense ratios, no %HP damage. Nothing. And I think that really hurts her ability to be a tank since she's not able to deal enough damage to attract attention. What I'd probably do is lower other tanks' damage across the board (namely Volibear) and bring up Sejuani and Leona's damage to match.

(Of course, then there's the problem that tanks are out of the meta anyways, but w/e.)
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01-04-2013   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jare
I don't think he necessarily designs weak champions (after all, he did make Diana and Vayne), but rather he makes more appropriate champions for their roles.

Sejuani and Leona, I feel, would be more viable as tanks if it weren't for the fact that the other tanks have higher ratios on their skills. I mean, bar her ultimate, all of Leona's skills have ~.4 AP ratios. No AD ratios, no HP ratios, no defense ratios, no %HP damage. Nothing. And I think that really hurts her ability to be a tank since she's not able to deal enough damage to attract attention. What I'd probably do is lower other tanks' damage across the board (namely Volibear) and bring up Sejuani and Leona's damage to match.

(Of course, then there's the problem that tanks are out of the meta anyways, but w/e.)
Since when are tanks supposed to deal damage? They're supposed to soak it, not deal it.

Leona is an amazing tank AND support, her W gives her 70 armor/MR at lvl 5 and has insane burst, her E is MADE for jumping on the furthest targets(the carries) and she has an insane CC kit which, obviously, the carry needs to avoid and her passive adds really scary burst to her team's damage. She also has a really great initiation. Up to 5 seconds of CC from a single champ that you can't do anything about because she's so ridiculously tanky is pretty scary if you ask me.

Sejuani is bad because her base stats are too low for a tank, she deals very little damage and her only reliable CC is her ult. i.e. there is nothing good about her kit.
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