@Morello, can you explain the design philosophy used for nerfing champions?

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Dues Pater

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Senior Member

12-17-2012

no rengar comment ?

come on you guys went over board on the nerfs with him lately


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Morello

Lead Designer

12-17-2012
2 of 32 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ́lliad View Post
DIana, Black Cleaver, Rengar, Shaco, global ults.

Riots strategy is that sweeping nerfs are better than tweaks. Nerf it into the ground, then slowly bring it back up with minor tweaks (I assume Volibear will get tiny buffs a little at a time because of how strong he was pre-megasupernerfville).

People that love champions or play them enough will be able to do well regardless of how much their kit is hurt. I have seen Karmas,Trundles, and heimerdingers DOMINATE, but it always makes me think - what if they were playing Karthas or Ezreal instead of the worse champ.
It's also important to realize that it's not our goal (nor statistically possible!) to have every champion in the top tier picks list. We just want options to be viable, and especially have them be situational or strategy-based.


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Doov

Senior Member

12-17-2012

And here we are in the wild forums again, sonny. Be careful. LOOK! A Rioter just appeared. He's using commonsense to answer a question about champion balance. Careful now, careful. Where Rioters go, players tend to follow - WHOAH! Duck! It's a stampede!

Are you okay, Sonny? Let's watch. See how they gather around the Rioter, begging for attention? This is all part of what we Riotologists call the "nerf and buff cycle." Players whine about a champion being OP. Riot nerfs it. And then players whine about a champion being UP. Riot buffs it.

Just be careful sonny. Sometimes Rioters prove immune to the cycle. In fact some champions don't even have a cycle at all. The evasive Irelia, for example, has been nerfed a grand total of sixty five quadrillion times with nay a buff in between. Tune in next time for more on these outlier champs.


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chaser676

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
It's also important to realize that it's not our goal (nor statistically possible!) to have every champion in the top tier picks list. We just want options to be viable, and especially have them be situational or strategy-based.
This is eye opening. Didn't know this.


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Tarinis

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Heimer?!


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Morello

Lead Designer

12-17-2012
3 of 32 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaser676 View Post
This is eye opening. Didn't know this.
Right - it's an expectation difference here that I think causes a lot of conflict. I think Kog'Maw is a good example - he's pretty OK (but not omg must pick) in quite a few teams, but if you create a babysit-the-carry comp, he has a unique place in that team and really performs.

I really like this overall as Kog'Maw players can use him effectively, he has weaknesses, but also has a situation he is king in. It lets us use incomparables to balance.

We tend to have an easier time with this on AP and carries, but fighters are tough as we have a lot of baggage on fighters - and a numbr include less gameplay/counter-play overall, making us have less levers to pull. Slowing Diana's Q speed, for example, would give us another gameplay lever, and would allow for bigger high moments and bigger windows of vulnerability.


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imweasel09

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Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
It depends on the situation and certainty - gradual changes are good for easing a character towards a more nerfed state, while drastic or faster nerfs are needed to solve more severe problems that are having a big impact. This is important because if a few champions are really out of line, they disallow use of any champions who compete with them for a slot on a team.

For Diana and Rengar, I'll be honest - I can't really comment in an informed manner here. The "appropriate force" approach is the overarching balance philosophy. A philosophy won't speak to accuracy (as that lies in execution details), but that's what we're trying to do at least.

Additionally, some of the Diana stuff might have been to fill in for the nerf we'd really like to do but is much tougher; slowing Q's missile speed. I think that would exemplify good Diana gameplay and create more counterplay.
So instead of waiting till you could slow Q's missile speed you make it so that she can't detonate her W in auto attack range? I'll be honest, that one makes me wonder if the balance changes were even tested. Its one thing to over nerf a character by making their damage or tankyness too low, its another when a skill flat out doesn't work on jungle monsters unless you run inside them on a character originally designed to be a jungler.


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Ragebeard Manric

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by imweasel09 View Post
So instead of waiting till you could slow Q's missile speed you make it so that she can't detonate her W in auto attack range? I'll be honest, that one makes me wonder if the balance changes were even tested. Its one thing to over nerf a character by making their damage or tankyness too low, its another when a skill flat out doesn't work on jungle monsters unless you run inside them on a character originally designed to be a jungler.
Maybe sometimes its better to solve an immediate problem as soon as possible rather than letting it sit there and mess up games?

Who's to say this wont come later as well as some small increases to the areas that were just hit now?

Inb4 Black Cleaver, key words are as soon as possible.


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Mynt

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12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Right - it's an expectation difference here that I think causes a lot of conflict. I think Kog'Maw is a good example - he's pretty OK (but not omg must pick) in quite a few teams, but if you create a babysit-the-carry comp, he has a unique place in that team and really performs.

I really like this overall as Kog'Maw players can use him effectively, he has weaknesses, but also has a situation he is king in. It lets us use incomparables to balance.

We tend to have an easier time with this on AP and carries, but fighters are tough as we have a lot of baggage on fighters - and a numbr include less gameplay/counter-play overall, making us have less levers to pull. Slowing Diana's Q speed, for example, would give us another gameplay lever, and would allow for bigger high moments and bigger windows of vulnerability.
The literal fix to lowering Diana's missile speed is to add an animation delay before it casts. It's not ideal, but gets the job done if tweaking the missile speed is somehow an impossibility.


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chaser676

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Right - it's an expectation difference here that I think causes a lot of conflict. I think Kog'Maw is a good example - he's pretty OK (but not omg must pick) in quite a few teams, but if you create a babysit-the-carry comp, he has a unique place in that team and really performs.

I really like this overall as Kog'Maw players can use him effectively, he has weaknesses, but also has a situation he is king in. It lets us use incomparables to balance.

We tend to have an easier time with this on AP and carries, but fighters are tough as we have a lot of baggage on fighters - and a numbr include less gameplay/counter-play overall, making us have less levers to pull. Slowing Diana's Q speed, for example, would give us another gameplay lever, and would allow for bigger high moments and bigger windows of vulnerability.
So when you see champs like veigar or nasus, you want them to be a viable option, but not necessarily the best pick if a team isn't dedicated to them?