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

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Akava

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Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I like nachos. A lot.
You're probably gone for the night, but how do you guys feel about feast or famine champions? I'm thinking AP Assassins like Akali and LB who deal single target burst but suffer from "If my target doesn't die in an blink of an eye, I haven't done my job".

There just seems like there's no way to make that a balanced thing.


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MarthaJones

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Senior Member

12-17-2012

On the topic of niche roles/champs

I've always been a supporter of having each champ viable within the context of a team strategy. Even if the champ requires a very specific strategy. I'd call that champ niche..

But if i recall correctly, i have seen changes in characters that move them away from the niche roles toward more well-rounded champs, with justification stating the niche was bad, as well as not-fun.

some examples of these would be the Alistar rework, and the ryze rework.

Alistar was seen as a pretty mediocre pick for a long time because of his clunky cooldowns, despite high base damage skills. But a few weeks before the rework came out, players discovered the power of roaming. Alistar was king at that game. But he got a rework that made him more of a conventional champ, who could do a whole slue of roles.

And ryze, who wasn't at any point popular (from what i remember) but had very strong 1v1 potential, especially vs melee champs.

so i guess the question is at what point does niche = not-fun and versatile = fun?

having niche champs allows for every champ to be viable, but also allows for some of the more extreme anti-fun situations, such as hyper snowball assassin champs who are either feeding or carrying.

There is a rather large list of pros and cons for niche-balancing, so where's the line drawn. and do some of the champs follow this philosophy while others do not?


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FullTimeWarrior

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Senior Member

12-17-2012

I can't believe people think that nautlius is DEAD. He's one of the most wonderful junglers in my opinion. I think with a lot of the unused champions people suffer from a certain type of defeatism. They say he's bad so when they plan him they do bad. They set limiters on themselves so on and so forth. I think nautlius is fairly solid... Sejuani could use some work and rammus is fairly solid as well could use maybe a little tweak. Tanky Junglers were/are my forte :v. I played a lot of naut since the new season came out and I'm fairly confident in our titan.


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LightEcho

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Quote:
Nerfbat killcount so far:
-Rammus
-Gangplank
-Heimerdinger
-Urgot
-Nautilus
-Tryndamere
-Rengar

Doesn't that make you a little bit sad, at least?
Not really - I mean it's not optimal to have any, but if that's it...wow! That's better than I thought.

Also, I just looked into Nautilus. I think he's actually good - we did let him jungle with a level 1 W - try it!

Some of those are endemic of other problems, and should not be strong for the right reasons - Heimer being one of them. Anything that requires a rework is a victim of their gameplay being fundamentally flawed. This is less balance and more core design.
This seems to be the core issue for me. While personally I feel Nautilus is probably fine and its too soon to call Rengar dead. Champs like Tryndamere, Gankplank,Urgot were top tier picks some of them even first/ban first pick or you lose champions. There was no doubt these champions where unbalanced, no doubt that they needed nerfs, but its since become clear that the nerfs were too harsh. Which is fine riot makes mistakes the problem is they don't undue or tone back the nerfs. They leave these champions to rot as former shells of themselves. Riot won't get balance right in one patch and they sure as hell need to be willing to admit their mistakes and correct them.


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Zuphlas

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Players worry about balance accuracy. I actually worry about this a lot less; balance details are easy to fix if we're wrong (go go rapid patching game!) and will always, always, always be a primary subject of disagreement.
With all due respect, it wouldn't be such a huge subject of disagreement if you guys didn't take so long to dig in and fix the things that you do screw up. I understand having a priority list, but at some point (and I'm saying this in general) you need to stop kicking certain things back down the list over and over in favor of other things.

This happened with the stealth rework/eve rework - you guys kept kicking it down the list time after time, and it took what? the better part of two years to finish? Having a list of priorities is fine, and something will always be at the bottom of the list, but you guys should still take care of it before moving on to something newer over and over. We don't want to see any more situations like that again, and that's kind of how I'm starting to see certain champions' balance states at this point. Let's look at heimer, since you mentioned him - if you know his kit is the problem and not his numbers (and likely have known for over a year) you need to get on it instead of sending it further down the priority list. Things are never going to stop getting added to that list, so you can't keep putting things like that off no matter what the situation.


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Valtielx

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.


Then do you have any plans for the future of Warwick? You guys kind of decimated him with that 4% off his Q and just left him there. He isn't viable as a jungler or a top lane under any circumstances so...


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Meowlick

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Champs are nerfed if they're played efficiently/frequently in competitive play and in ranked matches. AKA Ezreal, Diana, Sona, Shen, Blitzcrank, Alistar, Rengar

Champs whose nerfs weren't needed (recently):
Alistar, Sona, Shen, Global Ult Nerf to Soraka, Rengar's most recent nerf to ult.


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Reedonidas

Senior Member

12-17-2012

but why leave champions like Trundle and Karma and Heimerdinger as completely non-viable for such a long period of time? They just don't have anything a player would want, in any situation that is competitive. Why not just determine what they need to be viable, and fix it? It isn't like ADs where you kill the holy trinity and other stuff works; they're so varied and diverse that you really have to redesign them. Heimerdinger could be a cool Nidalee type split pushing champion, for example. Karma could provide some sort of aggressive defense against AP assassins. Those are two niches that desperately need more champions that are viable. Trundle just needs something way, way better than what he has. Pillar needs buff or ult needs complete rework.


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Avicide

Junior Member

12-17-2012

So... Diana...
Ive played her since I started playing LoL, and what not.
I agree on most of the nerfs, especially the damage nerf of her Q, cause that was MAADDD stupid. But the range of her R is poop now. She's suppose to be a hard counter for Kat, I ran over her during lane when I played kat. It's a bit sad to see my favorite champion get stomped on.

UGHH AND HER WWW.


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Drinniol

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Morello, what do you think balance wise of Lee Sin? As someone who tries to main Shaco, he's kind of a bugbear of mine. I feel like, essentially, he's me but better. We're both super mobile, have very deadly early ganks, and fall off a bit late. But Lee Sin has so much more utility in his kit, falls off a little less hard, and, for flavor reasons I feel are detrimental to gameplay, has two stealth detection abilities. The one area I felt Shaco excelled at over Lee Sin in S2 - dragon and baron control - has been turned on its head by S3. Lee Sin can build BotRK and with his passive attack speed clear them even more easily than Shaco, because BotRK is bugged on Shaco's clone! And Lee Sin can do his fantastically fast dragon clears without using his ult!

It's like, Lee Sin already crushes Shaco in a straight fight, why does he also need to have two mechanisms of stopping stealth? He's already a top tier jungler, and even laner. Why does he need to absolutely **** on stealth champs as well?

The other thing that really bothers me about Shaco is how much of his gameplay is dictated by under the hood mechanics that are impossible to know about in advance. For instance, on hit items are supposed to work with Shaco's clone, but Blade of the Ruined King and Spirit of the Lizard Elder and Guinsoo's Rageblade do not. Shaco's clone is supposed to allow him to be tricky and juke, but simply pinging him ahead of time nullifys it completely (it also always spawns on the same side). Shaco's Q is a guaranteed crit, but how it works with regular crits and things like Infinity Edge is not at all clear (IE adds 50% crit damage to Q, if you want to know). There's also his clone and box AI - clone does nothing but follow last champ after you die, and boxes are finicky as hell. And how about his clone and split pushing? His clone does half damage to turrets, but full damage to inhibitors. These kind of invisible balance auras are really frustrating to play with!