Morello, let's talk AP Ezreal

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bruce ıee

Senior Member

03-08-2013

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Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Mostly that I think that's just a wave-clear component overall. I guess if it had terrible bases and high ratios it would be AP Ez only, but I think I don't want to give Ezreal more farming ability since his Q and R is so helpful for getting CS. At that point, he lanes like Morgana, which I don't think any of us can speak to being an interesting and dynamic lane opponent.

I don't see the connection to Morgana here, it's more similar to Ahri: her farm clear ability is also her main tool of harassment (Morgana also brings a load of pressure with her; land one Q/R and you're going to be immobilized for a long time, so that also alters how people lane against her).

If W affected minions, it wouldn't really alter how AD ezreal played, since W as an overall ability is very lackluster and doesn't add much to his overall power. It may have been a major issue if it still lowered attack speed and was as thick as it used to be, but it's difficult to reliably land (it could also be given a high enough mana cost to prevent spamming if you don't itemize for mana, which AD ezreal doesn't usually do).

What if it only did 50 - 70% damage to minions? It would be extremely ineffective for an AD build, but still have worth for an AP one.

There have been so many discussions and debates over AP ezreal, but it hasn't received any support yet; what harm could play-testing some changes to his abilities and seeing what comes from it? It's obviously something a significant portion of the community would love to see.


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Quintessence

Senior Member

03-08-2013

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Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Let me talk high-level and then to your specific suggestions;

1) I tend to prefer off-builds that allow similar gameplay with different high- and low-points, or a different pattern altogether. An example of this is, while there's a power problem here, AP and AD Nidalee.

2) Support of off-builds should not sacrifice strong gameplay patterns of primary paths - for example, AP Tryndamere, before nerfs, subverted his entire gameplay pattern to abuse a mechanic. This is not worth supporting an off-build as the costs are higher than the benefits.

3) We have to primarily think of one thing to balance when tuning. It's more important that there's situations you build different items (such as Bloodthirster vs Infinity Edge vs Last Whisper) than you can build different scaling points.

Now, onto your post.

I think the Q and R changes are potentially pretty safe. I do think Ezreal is pretty balanced as an ADC right now. My only worry is the potential to remove satisfaction from AD Ezreal by lowering the damage of his two primary damage spells, but these numbers might be OK.

I don't think the Essence Flux change is a good change, but I think you're looking at a general Ezreal problem with a correct diagnosis; without the AS Slow, the skill is lacking in interesting or defining qualities. This, additionally, can hurt AP Ezreal, but overall is something I think is lame for Ezreal in general.

I'd like to see something that defines it, but my critiques here are: it does give an ADC access to a team-wide AS buff (both potentially OP, and potentially terrible based on who's on your team) and it doesn't actually do anything that I think helps AP Ezreal more than it helps Ezreal overall. That might be OK, if that's your goal here, but it's agnostic to AP/AD.

Overall, I don't have an issue with AP Ezreal, I just think you guys are putting more value on this than it actually provides. You still do the same things, except you do one less thing - auto-attack - and with the low CD of Mystic shot, is it even possible to make that spell feel good on both builds without being absurd on one? I'm not convinced that it is. I think this is more something that's more based in the idea that it makes you feel special (and that's valid in a vacuum) but it doesn't actually do anything real, gameplay-wise. AP Kog'Maw, for example, I think does offer a new pattern because you overly-focus on different skills, but there's still gameplay. Even in that situation it's hard to balance. I guess I understand there's a desire to have AP Ezreal from a core group of die-hard AP Ez fans, I just don't understand why he's the champion people focus on when there's no new gameplay to find within AP Ezreal.

I do feel, though, Essence Flux needs some mechanical help to define and differentiate it from Q and other damage spells generally. I'd like to see some work go into that.
You say that AP Kog was interesting, then why did you guys completely destroy him?


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Economicz

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Senior Member

03-08-2013

what about making the % damage fall off on his ult get reduced by ap? like 1% per every 100 ap so it doesn't help ad ezreal


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FallenBlade

Senior Member

03-08-2013

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Originally Posted by Economicz View Post
what about making the % damage fall off get reduced by ap?
You mean like what I said earlier

Quote:
Ezreal charges for 1 second to fire a powerful broad energy missile that will travel in a line by the whole map and will deal magic damage to each enemy unit they pass through. It will deal 10%(-1% per 200 AP) less damage for each subsequent target hit, down to a minimum of 30% (+1% per 40 AP) damage dealt.


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Arai Kitsune

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Senior Member

03-08-2013

Alright, first off, thanks for taking the time to reply Morello. I admit it was a bit unexpected to refresh my thread and suddenly have a red post and a bunch of replies, especially with few or no replies on similar threads.

Quote:
1) I tend to prefer off-builds that allow similar gameplay with different high- and low-points, or a different pattern altogether. An example of this is, while there's a power problem here, AP and AD Nidalee.
I'm actually curious how you see Nidalee's AP and AD builds as being different from Ezreal's AD and AP builds? As AP Nidalee you primarily rely on landing powerful skillshots, playing keep away, having a stronger heal, and relying on Lich Bane procs to push turrets. As AD, spears are nice but not nearly so potent, and you rely on the heal more for the AS boost, primarily taking advantage of that and your Takedown in cougar form for executes.

As AD Ezreal, you use your ult or W just to get some passive stacks, and in W's case buff the AS of your allies, but then just throw out a few Qs while autoattacking at relatively short range, using your E to reposition. As AP you play either as a powerful poke, similar to AP Nidalee, or as a burst assassin, similar to Leblanc based off of the scenario, either standing back and landing continual Qs for high damage due to Lich Bane along with some AoE Ws, and using your E either to escape and continue poking or to jump in and execute with the rest of your combo. Your ultimate also becomes much more potent for a variety of things, it helps with a big push, the damage is higher so a cross map snipe is more likely to succeed, and it's teamfight damage is significantly higher as well.

Quote:
2) Support of off-builds should not sacrifice strong gameplay patterns of primary paths - for example, AP Tryndamere, before nerfs, subverted his entire gameplay pattern to abuse a mechanic. This is not worth supporting an off-build as the costs are higher than the benefits.
I get where you're coming from on Tryndamere, but I don't think we can really justify comparing the two. The core difference is, AP Tryndamere created both frustrating gameplay to face, and didn't try to work with his rage mechanic or the crit that his gameplay is based off of. Now, at least one of those things are fixed, he does need to work with his rage, so in that sense it's better designed than before.

Ezreal on the other hand, the only thing he's not directly working with when built as AP is his attack speed passive. Gameplay wise though, despite the fact that the passive hardly benefits him, he does have incentive to do the same thing AD has to do to stack it up in the first place, and that's land skillshots, which is Ezreal's main gameplay mechanic.

Quote:
3) We have to primarily think of one thing to balance when tuning. It's more important that there's situations you build different items (such as Bloodthirster vs Infinity Edge vs Last Whisper) than you can build different scaling points.
Referring to what I said earlier, while that may be somewhat understandable, why throw some champions under the bus, but allow others to work being built more than one way, even when those different ways are significant?(Nidalee)

Quote:
I think the Q and R changes are potentially pretty safe. I do think Ezreal is pretty balanced as an ADC right now. My only worry is the potential to remove satisfaction from AD Ezreal by lowering the damage of his two primary damage spells, but these numbers might be OK.
Glad we're agreed on those being safe changes. I figure they are at least a start. If AD Ezreal wants satisfaction for using his main two spells, he's going to need to build more AD and less other ADC style stats, which I'd be more fine with. Alternatively, if you really want him to rely on the damage of those two spells, you'd need to buff their ratios and reduce something else, such as his passive, so that he became slightly more reliant on spells and less reliant on right clicking.

Quote:
I don't think the Essence Flux change is a good change, but I think you're looking at a general Ezreal problem with a correct diagnosis; without the AS Slow, the skill is lacking in interesting or defining qualities. This, additionally, can hurt AP Ezreal, but overall is something I think is lame for Ezreal in general.

I'd like to see something that defines it, but my critiques here are: it does give an ADC access to a team-wide AS buff (both potentially OP, and potentially terrible based on who's on your team) and it doesn't actually do anything that I think helps AP Ezreal more than it helps Ezreal overall. That might be OK, if that's your goal here, but it's agnostic to AP/AD.
The Essence Flux change is primarily to open up a new passive slot while retaining his old AD oriented passive in some form. It also gives some incentive for AD Ezreal to actually level it. If it isn't obvious yet, I, and other AP Ezreal players, hate his passive. It means about as much to me as Ashe's Focus or Sion's Feel no Pain.

Quote:
Overall, I don't have an issue with AP Ezreal, I just think you guys are putting more value on this than it actually provides. You still do the same things, except you do one less thing - auto-attack - and with the low CD of Mystic shot, is it even possible to make that spell feel good on both builds without being absurd on one? I'm not convinced that it is. I think this is more something that's more based in the idea that it makes you feel special (and that's valid in a vacuum) but it doesn't actually do anything real, gameplay-wise. AP Kog'Maw, for example, I think does ofer a new pattern because you overly-focus on different skills, but there's still gameplay. Even in that situation it's hard to balance. I guess I understand there's a desire to have AP Ezreal from a core group of die-hard AP Ez fans, I just don't understand why he's the champion people focus on when there's no new gameplay to find within AP Ezreal.
You want to know what the new gameplay to focus on is? Your skillshots mattering. That's really all it comes down to. AD Ezreal doesn't at all feel rewarding, he's just an ADC with some token skillshots. Are they important early on? Sure. Do they matter much as the game draws on? Not really, you just stack up your passive and right click away. We enjoy AP on him more because we don't like autoattacking to do most of our damage when we have an all skillshot kit. If we want to autoattack, there are plenty of choices, but if we want all skillshots, we're limited to like Lux, Orianna, and Xerath. Meanwhile we have a champion who was built as a skillshot mage/assassin, who we still want to play that way. Basically, what I'm saying is that AP ezreal is more engaging, and thus more fun than AD Ezreal.

Similarly, I know I and some other AP Ezreal players enjoyed AP Kog'Maw's gameplay before you started pushing him towards AD with changes like adding AD scaling to his ult(similar to what you did to Ezreal). I also enjoyed Corki back in beta, once again before he got pushed more towards AD, once again with AD scaling being added to his ult, and if I recall some AP nerfs as well. You noticing a pattern here? You release skillshot reliant champions that at first people play AP, and then because you intended for them to be AD in the first place you try to push people away from that and towards being autoattackers with supplementary skillshots. I don't like it, at all. Oh, and when I say you, I don't mean you personally Morello, I'm talking about Riot's balance team in general, and whoever pushed for those changes.


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Stexe

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Adjudicator

03-08-2013

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Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Because you do less, not different things. The dash damage is valid, but that just makes me want to make it do better damage overall instead of just make that something one build thinks about. It'd make the skill overall better.
That's the problem with making off-builds compelling. They need to offer something you can't get in other Champions but still be nearly on par with other attributes. AP Tryndamere and AP Yi had the insane healing power that other casters do not have -- that's what made them "work" (although definitely was too strong). AP Sion works because he has insane burst, farming, poking, and most importantly shielding ability. Those off-builds work because they do things others do not. AP Warwick has awesome trade ability and lane sustain. Same with the old AP Rengar. It seems like all the successful AP off-builds do things that other casters do not: heal / sustain / survive.

What would AP Ezreal bring that AD Ezreal does not? What would AP Ezreal bring that other poke casters do not? Those are the questions everyone needs to first ask and answer. I think a better route would be looking into hybrid Ezreal over a pure AP Ezreal -- someone who can mix damage types up and still be comparable to other Champions, but even then that is going to be difficult.

It is really hard to come up with successful off-builds for most Champions because of the way they are designed. Either they have poor scaling, or don't offer anything you can't already get better from someone else.

As for non-AP off-builds, you need to have abilities that let you do things that are unique and make you stand apart. AD Thresh works because his Q steroid both lets him poke hard (pure AD) and do more damage with more attack speed (bonus damage per attack).

I really do wish more Champions had viable off-build paths, but typically it isn't just about ratios, it is more a fundamental problem with the kit.


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BedderDanu

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Senior Member

03-08-2013

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Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I do feel, though, Essence Flux needs some mechanical help to define and differentiate it from Q and other damage spells generally. I'd like to see some work go into that.
I believe I have the answer.

1) Cut The Missile Speed in half
2) Shooting it with mystic shot while it's in the air causes it to explode, dealing mystic shot damage and essence flux damage in an area ~50% larger than the missile width.

Basically, give Ezreal the Pulse Rifle from Unreal Tournament. You want a defining ability that labels Ezreal "King of Skillshots" and has a really interesting, unique mechanic that wouldn't necessarily be better on an all new champion? This is it.

At least, I think it would be. I know the first thing I did when I played ezreal was see if I could hit essence flux with mystic shot.


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Economicz

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Senior Member

03-08-2013

My main quarrel is that Essence Flux is meant to be an aoe spell, yet its width is less than a teemo


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ChocoKelly

Senior Member

03-08-2013

Weird people can not playing champions with normal build. They want to play AP Ezreal , AP Trynda, AP Rengar.


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BedderDanu

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Senior Member

03-08-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocoKelly View Post
Weird people can not playing champions with normal build. They want to play AP Ezreal , AP Trynda, AP Rengar.
It's not that weird. It's one of your three basic player types. The basic rundown is that there are those that play to feel awesome, those that play to feel clever, and those that play to feel successful. These off builders are usually playing to feel clever.