Skarner Rework Follow Through

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P Chro

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To speak to what we have learned from the work so far on Skarner, we targeted making changes that would positively affect the gameplay and interactions on the character but didn't go far enough on improving him in ways that make him an exciting and unique character. We tried to keep the scope of the changes smaller to preserve as much of Skarner's current gameplay as we could but we think that in the end he will need some more upgrades to be a character that we can all be excited about.

In the present and immediate future, we will keep balancing Skarner and make sure he's a viable pick. You should definitely expect to be able to play Skarner and be successful. In the long term Skarner could go for some changes that bring some more excitement and uniqueness to his kit.
First off: Thank you for coming back to comment in this thread.

Second: Did you, by any chance, look at this rework I came up with while trying to take a similar approach to the rework as it (appeared) that you did? I wouldn't call it perfect but I believe it would play more like the old Skarner for those of us that really miss that style of play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by P Chro View Post
As a thought experiment I decided to try and take the same approach to this rework Scuffy did. I think I could have made Skarner still feel more like Skarner while still removing the perma-slow and heal.

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Passive: Unchanged

Q Crystal Slash
(4 second cooldown): First hit does physical damage and charges ability. Charged hit does physical damage and magic damage while charging Skarner's energy giving him 4/6/8/10/12% bonus move speed stacking up to 3 times, lasting 4 seconds and falling off all at once. Damage from this ability can also trigger mark(s) from E.
(alternatively the buff could last 2.5 seconds and fall off one at a time)

W Crystal Exoskeleton
(16 second cooldown): Gives Skarner a shield for 6 seconds and a move speed boost of 50% for 2 seconds. While shield holds Skarner releases energy around him slowing enemies for 20/30/40/50/60%.

E Fracture
(10 second cooldown): Skarner releases a pulse of energy dealing magic damage and applying a mark to target(s) hit with it for 5 seconds. If Skarner hits an enemy(s) with the mark using an auto attack or his Q, the mark is removed and Skarner gains 4/6/8/10/12 mana and gains an attack speed bonus of 9/13/17/21/25% for each mark triggered this way. The attack speed bonus lasts 3 seconds, has a cap of 4 stacks, and triggering a mark refreshes the buff.

R Impale
: Unchanged
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I moved all of Skarners abilities around between the skills and removed the heal just like the current rework did. I also greatly reduced the possibility of perma-slow while still making it more reliable and consistent for the person playing Skarner and keeping a high level of counter play by giving the enemies the ability to remove the application of the slow by destroying Skarner's shield. The changes to the shield also give Skarner a hard choice to make between using his W for the speed boost to get in and slow the target for less time, or trying to get to the target before using it for maximum slow time to give his Q a chance to buff him enough to stick to his target. I even addressed one of the major issues Skarner had (and still has) by removing the heal and replacing it with a small amount of mana gain to make him less reliant on blue buff for the whole game.

By moving the movespeed buff to his Q I retained his old play style of sticking to targets without keeping the perma-slow. With the changes to the W and E I have given greater reason to get at least one point in every ability while giving variability in what to skill up first based more on what your own team needs (for example E will probably be more effective than W if you have people like Ashe or Nasus on your team); W gives more slow but the move speed boost doesn't change making it a very needed skill, but perfectly viable as a 1 point wonder. E gives some mana regen to make it more effective in the jungle and the attack speed buff giving synergy with his passive making it useful in more situations throughout the game (still reduces tower pushing potential just like this current rework did though). Further more, a highly skill Skarner player could learn when to trigger the stacks all at once for the full boost to his attack speed in a short fight or when to trigger them one a time to refresh and extend the buff giving his damage potential more ramp-up but sustaining the buff for a drawn out fight.

While these changes would make his ability to get to his targets even harder than it used to be, I don't think it would be much harder than it is with the current rework and would feel more rewarding than his current engagements do. I also believe these changes would still feel more like the old Skarner once he did get in. While I wouldn't call this a "perfect" rework, I think it would be much more fun for those of us to used to like playing him.

EDIT: I changed W cooldown to 16 seconds. With a 16 second base cooldown perma-slow COULD be possible, however with 40% CDR there is an unmodified (shield does not break and passive does not take effect) 3.6 seconds of cooldown without the shield being up. Yes the cooldown could be reduced with the passive somewhat easily by attacking a champion 4 times (or minions 8 times) in 6 seconds to have there be 100% up time on the shield and thus the slow, but this is ONLY if the shield is not broken during the 6 seconds of up-time. The chances of this are pretty low since chances are the shield won't be on for more than 3 seconds or Skarner will be disabled somehow for a portion of the duration if the enemies fight back at all. And again, this is in a scenario with 40% CDR.


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PuIse

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To speak to what we have learned from the work so far on Skarner, we targeted making changes that would positively affect the gameplay and interactions on the character but didn't go far enough on improving him in ways that make him an exciting and unique character. We tried to keep the scope of the changes smaller to preserve as much of Skarner's current gameplay as we could but we think that in the end he will need some more upgrades to be a character that we can all be excited about.

In the present and immediate future, we will keep balancing Skarner and make sure he's a viable pick. You should definitely expect to be able to play Skarner and be successful. In the long term Skarner could go for some changes that bring some more excitement and uniqueness to his kit.
So basically what YOUR saying is you put him AND US through alot of **** and knew it then released it and now your coming in to say he's been S2 eve'd to be put in the trash till someone take's the time and patience to rework his kit properly


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Coldmanj

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Sigh... I was afraid of this. It is great that you finally told us more scruffy but what everyone doesn't realize is that we are not going to see any sort of changes for months or more. I realize that those of you on the rework team have a timetable and need to try and keep up with demand. However, in my opinion, after dropping the wrecking ball on this one I would be calling for all hands on deck to rectify what has clearly not met expectations. If I were to bring a finalized product to a customer after hyping it up to them only to have it blow up in my face with disapproval, I wouldn't tell them I'll get around to it later because, guess what, I would lose their business.

Ya messed up, it happens, but turning this situation into an Olaf is not the answer. You have 300+ pages of feedback with many many people asking for the same solution that even you eluded to. So please don't just tell us you will keep him "viable" until you get around to him again. We all realize you are focused in on getting Rengar done and shipped, that is understandable. The least you could do though is say "once we roll out rengars rework we are putting all our attention into skarner to get him where he needs to be."

Edit: forgot to say thanks for at least givning us a heads up for what is going on.


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RiotScruffy

Game Designer

03-23-2014
27 of 29 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by P Chro View Post
First off: Thank you for coming back to comment in this thread.

Second: Did you, by any chance, look at this rework I came up with while trying to take a similar approach to the rework as it (appeared) that you did? I wouldn't call it perfect but I believe it would play more like the old Skarner for those of us that really miss that style of play.
Ya, interesting stuff in your rework. One issue I could see happening with your suggested changes are that his slow is totally dependent on the shield holding, which can lead to him getting a really long really powerful slow or almost no slow at all.


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Orivar

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To speak to what we have learned from the work so far on Skarner, we targeted making changes that would positively affect the gameplay and interactions on the character but didn't go far enough on improving him in ways that make him an exciting and unique character. We tried to keep the scope of the changes smaller to preserve as much of Skarner's current gameplay as we could but we think that in the end he will need some more upgrades to be a character that we can all be excited about.

In the present and immediate future, we will keep balancing Skarner and make sure he's a viable pick. You should definitely expect to be able to play Skarner and be successful. In the long term Skarner could go for some changes that bring some more excitement and uniqueness to his kit.
Why not just revert him?


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Simba Pridelands

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Ya, interesting stuff in your rework. One issue I could see happening with your suggested changes are that his slow is totally dependent on the shield holding, which can lead to him getting a really long really powerful slow or almost no slow at all.
well right now if u miss ur e u have no slow and why does it have a cast time?


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P Chro

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Ya, interesting stuff in your rework. One issue I could see happening with your suggested changes are that his slow is totally dependent on the shield holding, which can lead to him getting a really long really powerful slow or almost no slow at all.
This is indeed true, though the problem is similar right now with his speed boost being tied to the shield. The main idea of putting the slow there was to give him the AoE effect like he used to have, and (hopefully) just long enough effect to get some stacks on the movespeed buff from his Q.

I still think there is some strong potential here though. Perhaps change the numbers a bit? Make the shield stronger overall so it doesn't break as easy, have it last 4 seconds instead of 6, and lower the cooldown to 13 seconds or something like that. Remember, to have it take effect at all he needs to be in almost melee range, and to have the full duration of the slow Skarner would not get his controlled speed boost for engagement.

EDIT: Just had another thought. Leave the duration at 6 seconds but have it apply the slow for 2.5 seconds upon casting the spell and then apply it again when the shield either breaks or runs out. Would probably need to up the slow values at lower levels if this was how it worked though. Something more like 30/38/46/52/60%.


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Sleepy Skarner

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To speak to what we have learned from the work so far on Skarner, we targeted making changes that would positively affect the gameplay and interactions on the character but didn't go far enough on improving him in ways that make him an exciting and unique character. We tried to keep the scope of the changes smaller to preserve as much of Skarner's current gameplay as we could but we think that in the end he will need some more upgrades to be a character that we can all be excited about.

In the present and immediate future, we will keep balancing Skarner and make sure he's a viable pick. You should definitely expect to be able to play Skarner and be successful. In the long term Skarner could go for some changes that bring some more excitement and uniqueness to his kit.
In other words, Skarner will simply receive number changes right now, and in several months, another sort of rework? Meh, I hope it will be worth the wait. Skarner right now is empty, boring, with nothing that catches your eyes. Far from being exiting, original, and unique. You will need more than numbers changes to achieve that, AKA mechanical changes, and visual changes wouldn't hurt either.

If it takes one year, so be it, but do it right. Well, don't take a year though, it's a sht ass long time to wait.


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Krshna

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To speak to what we have learned from the work so far on Skarner, we targeted making changes that would positively affect the gameplay and interactions on the character but didn't go far enough on improving him in ways that make him an exciting and unique character. We tried to keep the scope of the changes smaller to preserve as much of Skarner's current gameplay as we could but we think that in the end he will need some more upgrades to be a character that we can all be excited about.

In the present and immediate future, we will keep balancing Skarner and make sure he's a viable pick. You should definitely expect to be able to play Skarner and be successful. In the long term Skarner could go for some changes that bring some more excitement and uniqueness to his kit.
This is on one hand, hugely encouraging, and totally deflating at the same time.

A) Riot realizes that no matter what they do numerically, Skarner isn't fun to play. So now, to a certain degree we can take a deep breath and know that Skarner wasn't just raped and then left in a corner to die.

B) It's discouraging in a way too, though. Because these other changes don't sound remotely soon. They sound like a borderline second rework, and we all know how long that takes. That means that sometime around the beginning of Season 5 we might see the next iteration of Skarner.

Just giving him numbers buffs in the meantime to keep him "viable" isn't fair. None of this should have made it past the PBE. We all made it very clear that this was all terribly, terribly wrong, but no one listening. Very, very frustrating.

Why would anyone want to play Skarner right now, when he's certainly not good, but might be able to kept viable with a close eye from Riot, when all of his unique stuff is gone, and we know that something good will be back down the line? Playing him right now is just disappointing and frustrating.

C) I hope Riot learned a major lesson with this rework. Counterplay is important, but not as important as the gameplay itself for the person playing the champion. First worry about play, then worry about counterplay.

Skarner needed a rework badly. But not to get rid of all the things that made him strong. He needed even MORE things that made him strong. He needed a big, honkin' buff. Instead he got a major nerf in the name of counterplay. Next we'll see Galio getting reworked with a nerf. Or Gangplank reworked with a nerf. For God's sake, power creep is real. Buff these awful old champions, and buff them hard! STOP NERFING AWFUL CHAMPIONS! Jesus!


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encyclopedea

Senior Member

03-23-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Ya, interesting stuff in your rework. One issue I could see happening with your suggested changes are that his slow is totally dependent on the shield holding, which can lead to him getting a really long really powerful slow or almost no slow at all.

I remember thinking about the idea with the shield slowing too at one point lol. This was the reason I didn't suggest it though.

You COULD try giving the slow aura a minimum time and a maximum effect in order to cap the effects of feast or famine situations. Maybe something like "Skarner can activate this ability again to shatter his shield and slow all enemies in the area for an additional X seconds" (based on the slow at the time of the reactivation) coupled with a reducing slow over time (the question is do we make it on a separate basis for each champion or calculated based on how long Skarner has had the shield up). That way, if Skarner gets behind, he has the option of shattering the shield for a high value slow for a few seconds, making him still useful, or, if he gets ahead, the slow isn't so oppressive after a few seconds, and even if Skarner gets off a full duration shield plus the shatter, the shatter slow wouldn't be very effective. In addition, skilled Skarner players would be able to get the most out of the shield by shattering it just before it breaks, whereas if the shield was bursted quickly, Skarner's target is home free (other than the Q speed and the ult). For this sort of thing, you'd have to make the frequency of the slow refresh rather fast so that the decaying slow can be accurately modeled and if the shield is broken rather than shattered by a reactivation, the target is rewarded by an immediate slow removal.

The only real problem with this suggestion is that it goes against Skarner's theme of "the longer you fight me the worse it gets for you", but if we reversed the decay and made it a ramp-up, it would only worsen the feast/famine situations.