Skarner Rework Follow Through

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tolore

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Senior Member

02-14-2014

[quote]Permanent slow in melee range often only created two situations for Skarner, the case where he catches someone and they can never escape and the case where he can't ever engage on his target. The winner of fights often revolved around who had more items, not who made the better plays. We hope to create more situations where Skarner catches a target in the first place, but more opportunity for escape one the target has been caught. /quote]

I don't know how to say this in a way that hasn't already been said but you just described what most of us felt the old identity of skarner was and said you wanted to get rid of it. You will not keep the old identity of skarner without "if he gets you, you are got, if he doesn't you're fine". There's already a ton of champions that can get into melee range easily but then be escaped.


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Locke64

Senior Member

02-14-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
I don't think anyone thinks slows are toxic, the design philosophy is that when both players have the opportunity to make plays and change a fight it results in more engaging fights and a more skill based game overall.
Giving the opponent opportunities to make plays is fine. The original idea of reducing the duration of the original Q slows or whatever was great. But now you've taken away too many opportunities for Skarner to make plays. Yes, the opponent has an opportunity to escape now. But does Skarner have an opportunity to stick (or at least recapture)? Not with how poorly E works with his passive.


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Axle the Beast

Senior Member

02-14-2014

In the end what's been done with Skarner is essentially completely removing an interesting champion paradigm -- a mobile sinkhole of perpetual damage and CC that's challenging to position and gap-close right with, but just as challenging to escape from (and it's flat-out false that you CAN'T escape from Skarner) -- and, in addition to removing the champion's interesting paradigm, you completely stripped off all of his powerful elements and just shuffled around his frankly inconsequential elements and pretended that did anything except make him weaker.

I'm not trying to be rude when I use words like "pretend", but I'm just making the point: There was no reasonable way to think these kit adjustments would amount to anything more than butchering an interesting champion. It's not even like with Olaf. Olaf was insanely overpowered, got butchered, but still FELT the same. Skarner wasn't even GOOD to begin with, got butchered, and doesn't even FEEL the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
These changes in 4.2 were targeted at improving his gameplay to accomplish a few goals:

-Enable more ability for Skarner and his opponents to display their skill
-Reduce the amount of feast/famine that Skarner can experience (when he's ahead he is unstoppable, when he's behind he has a hard time contributing at all)
-Create more defined windows of power for Skarner to create more interaction between him and his opponent
-You removed ALL potential for EITHER to display their skill; Skarner can't succeed anymore and his opponents don't need to do much aside from very basic play (ward up, dodge a skillshot) to counter him.

-I don't really see how old Skarner came anywhere close to feast/famine unless his opponents outright didn't know how to play the game, because he had NO RELIABLE GAP-CLOSING, was SUPER EASILY KITED, and he only ever HAD power in close-range. He required huge skill or huge mistakes on the part of your enemy to succeed with.

-The window of power on old Skarner and his interactions could not be BEEN more clear before; Skarner is at maximum power in melee range... so HE needs to get into melee range and his OPPONENTS can't let him. This is as clear as night and day and I don't think there's any champion with a more obvious window of power.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
We think that the changes have accomplished these goals and we always try to release character in as balanced of a state as we can, but it is always a possibility that he is not balanced. The important thing here is that we are actively monitoring and planning on a follow up in the next patch for Skarner to make sure that he is balanced and viable.
If you want to fix Skarner then you're going to have to realize that numbers-balancing isn't going to be enough. Odd thing is that might actually have sufficed before, but that's a moot argument at this point, and regardless his current direction and kit-design is not good.


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MaingoSeven

Senior Member

02-14-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To answer your questions:
-Yes getting permanently slowed by his Q was frustrating to play against, but there are actually other gains that we were trying to achieve with the change.

Permanent slow in melee range often only created two situations for Skarner, the case where he catches someone and they can never escape and the case where he can't ever engage on his target. The winner of fights often revolved around who had more items, not who made the better plays. We hope to create more situations where Skarner catches a target in the first place, but more opportunity for escape one the target has been caught.

-I don't have the lane vs jungle data yet, but I will definitely see if there is a significant discrepancy for his lane case

-The mark with E and hit for a longer slow is a reasonable idea, but in that case we would probably just make the E slow last longer baseline to reduce the mechanics clutter.
My problem is that these changes seem to be focused around skarner in a bubble, constantly chasing people 1v1 and never reaching them.
Skarner's job never was to initiate, he lacks the tools to do that. Skarner's job was to sit in the middle of fights and control the pacing with his spammable AOE slows and his ult to peel assassins and fighters diving his backline.

If you want Skarner to be played as an initiator with a large focus on landing a good ult at the start of a fight, he's gonna need a long range gap closer with at least some soft CC attached.
Malphite, Vi, Hecarim, J4 are all initiators because they have long ranged, very fast, unstoppable AOE CC riddled gap closers, Skarner is a slow but meaningful in-fight control tank/fighter made to zone and peel.


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RiotScruffy

Game Designer

02-14-2014
11 of 29 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maulkrieg View Post
On the "whoever had more items wins" part of this discussion, Scruffy...with ADCs, whoever had more items wins in a 1v1.

Midlane/support is arguably the only case where skill starts to take a bit more precedence than items.

That's just how this game works.

If Renekton has THE SAME or more items as me top lane, he's very, very, very likely to win.

Same with Lee Sin. Are they all of a sudden not issues?
These are pretty good points and we acknowledge that many champions (including some listed by you) are not perfect. Over time we try to make improvements to the game that allow for more skill expression and player agency on both sides of a fight. Even if a fed Lee Sin engages in a fight with you, wouldn't it be cool if you still had a chance to outplay him for the win?


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ThePatronox

Member

02-14-2014

As an avid skarner player, before the rework, I do not like what you have done with him. In my opinion skarner was perfectly balanced before the rework, and now he's just boring. Jungling with him early game is unbearable if you get invaded and lose blue, or if you get counter jungled and killed w blue buff. I find that skarner is ruined now. I just cant bare to play him. I was so eagerly waiting for battlecast skarner but now, no way. His kit before was pure perfection. This rework was intended for him to be more "competitive" right? I havent seen ONE skarner since the live patch and he is even WORSE than the old skarner! Best way to fix this is to revert the changes, Imo. Thanks for your effort anyway Scruffy.


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Super Explosion

Senior Member

02-14-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Even if a fed Lee Sin engages in a fight with you, wouldn't it be cool if you still had a chance to outplay him for the win?
That would certainly be great-- we're just not sure you're aware of how to do it.

You'd probably need to nerf absolutely everything to reduce the snowball and extend fight durations.


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Super Explosion

Senior Member

02-14-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Explosion View Post
That would certainly be great-- we're just not sure you're aware of how to do it.

You'd probably need to nerf absolutely everything to reduce the snowball and extend fight durations.
As a side point, this is pretty much what players have been asking since the end of Season 1:

"Where is Guinsoo? Why do we have a restrictive snowbally metagame right now? Why don't we have itemization counters like in Dota? Why is ranged DPS so titanically powerful early mid and late? Why do towers do enough damage to shut down melee aggression? Why are you releasing gapclosers and tanky DPS instead of just nerfing range and towers?"

"Why are champions being made into classes that do mostly the same thing, rather than having unique strategic value like in Dota and Season 1?"


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LesLlamas

Senior Member

02-14-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
These are pretty good points and we acknowledge that many champions (including some listed by you) are not perfect. Over time we try to make improvements to the game that allow for more skill expression and player agency on both sides of a fight. Even if a fed Lee Sin engages in a fight with you, wouldn't it be cool if you still had a chance to outplay him for the win?
The way you outplayed Skarner was by not allowing him to engage. You can't really do that with lee sin, hence the need to make his lockdown skillshot dependent. He can gapclose to you while Skarner really can't from a comparable distance.


Counterplay is not simply "see skillshot, try to dodge skillshot". That's one KIND of counterplay. If you don't consider positioning counterplay, you may as well remove AoE ults, as they punish poor positioning hard. You may as well remove any point and click ability, as they punish poor positioning.

You've removed the mindgames and decision making hurdles that both Skarner players and their opponents had to overcome.


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GodKilleR 999

Senior Member

02-14-2014

Reposting what I had already said. Hoping for a response this time.

Why didn't his Q receive the proper QOL changes for removing the slow on it? Right now unless you're standing right on top of them enemies can just walk out of the Q because of its slow animation and low range. Hecarim's Q in comparison deals damage instantaneously around him and has the same range. So perhaps it would be a good idea to increase it's range by maybe 100 units.

Not only that but why does it still have a weak first cast if the slow is gone? Design wise that was the whole reason it couldn't be full power from the start and it still having one seems unnecessary.

Finally why can't he hold his Q stacks longer? Keeping them up without the permaslow is quite harder not to mention since it now has the AS speed steroid it hurts his clearing a little, because you can't really go from one camp to another without setting yourself up for it. Again the reason he couldn't hold it long was to add counterplay due to the permaslow, with that gone he should be able to hold them much longer.