Skarner, I miss your kind

First Riot Post
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The Champion

Junior Member

08-13-2013

Though you are trying to make some changes to him, I still think he isn't as good as the other junglers. He won't be able to do good ganks, or anything at all... All the other junlgers got more cc and damage than him. D:


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Sightless66

Senior Member

08-13-2013

So, overall, I like this iteration of his E more than I liked the autoattack reset. It seems significantly more useful (if arguably less reliable), and it won't be quite as boring. It also opens up the Q to take the attack speed from W, and getting the attack speed off of the shield so it can't be easily removed is wonderful. However, I still have a few concerns about how this will play out.

First, regarding his ganking: This will most likely be a buff to his pre-6 ganking (assuming that you hit the skillshot), where it will give him and his ally a good window to close in and engage on his target. However, I'm concerned about two situations: Ganking when allies have to initiate for you, and ganking/skirmishing after level 6. It seems that if you're ganking for someone like a Jayce or Renekton who can start the fight while you close in, then it will be weaker to have this shorter duration CC. This change seems to be based on the idea that Skarner will be the one initiating conflict in the gank, but if he's being relied on to follow-up instead, I'm not sure he'll be able to do so with the weaker CC. Ideally, the increased shield movement speed would deal with this problem, as Skarner would likely be able to finish off the target before it broke. However, that does bring me to my second concern: His post-6 ganking and skirmishing, particularly on tanky targets. The way live Skarner deals with ganking tanky targets is by chasing them down and murdering them while they can't escape. If Skarner lacks permaslow, how is he expected to deal with these enemies? Will he be sticky enough to actually catch these targets? What about mobile enemies with damage? If he catches them and slows them, aren't they practically guaranteed escape by breaking the shield and then porting away? If Skarner used the slow to close in on them, then they won't be slowed when they port away, making their escape easy. It might be worth considering adding a small slow back to his Q, to give him some more follow-up and chasing potential.

Part of the reason that I have this concern is because live Skarner has damage and cc tied to one ability, and movespeed to another, allowing him to reach maximum ganking potential by level 12 (or 13 if you take E). Assuming maxing Q first is still optimal (and from the details you have posted, it looks like it will be), then proposal for Skarner would have him gaining no additional CC or movement speed until level 8 or 14 (depending on whether E or W is maxed first). I'm concerned that his miidgame ganking power, one of his current strengths, will be weakened because his utility will be split between 3 abilities instead of two. He does seem like he'll better at ganking when he reaches his level 18, but by that point, he'll be in teamfighting, and I actually do have concerns about that too.

In teamfights now, Skarner is often faced with the problem of having his shield popped, getting CCed, and becoming relatively immobile. Oftentimes, this means that he can't effectively assault the enemy carries. He deals with this by applying permaslow and peeling for carries. He is effective at this because his Q applies permaslow in a significant AOE, making it hard for enemies to close in. With the more limited AOE on his E, it will be harder to CC multiple divers. (I'm not worrying about the uptime on the slow because with max CDR and autoattacks, it will effectively be permaslow, and he should have that by lategame teamfights). This could make his teamfighting role more difficult because peeling will be less reliable against multiple enemies. The ability to apply CC to the backline from a distance may make up for this weakness, but I'm not really convinced yet.

What I'd like to see is some information about how the changes affect these types of situations. I'd like to see some information about how his midgame ganking and chasing has been affected, I'd like to see information about how well he teamfights, and I'd like to see some information about how he deals with mobile enemies or tanky enemies now that he can't permaslow them anymore. How has Skarner's power in different aspects/stages of the game been modified, how well or poorly does he work when outside of his optimal situations, and what are your goals regarding both of those? Knowing more about your goals and how these changes are actually affecting Skarner will be helpful.

Finally, I'd like to say one thing. I know you're concerned about making sure Skarner has ample counterplay, but it's important to make sure that Skarner still has ways to make things happen. It should not be the case that any action Skarner takes can be completely stopped by his enemies without significant effort when he doesn't have the potential to do the same to them. The removal of permaslow, the moving of his CC to a narrow skillshot, and the creation of a gradual movement speed increase are introductions of more counterplay to Skarner's kit, which is an addition to his already high vulnerability to CC as a non-gapclosing melee champion and the ability to remove his movement speed by breaking his shield. If too much counterplay is added, you can reach a point where enemies will have easily-preformed optimal plays against Skarner, limiting his usefulness. Please make sure that Skarner has methods of actually counterplaying his enemies and reacting to their actions instead of just hoping they don't know a guaranteed way to react to his (the increased shield movement speed is a good step in this direction).

Oh, and thanks for the good work. Even if we're expressing concern and doubt, we do appreciate that you're looking at Skarner, and we don't think that you really want to change the feel of the champion. So, thanks man.


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RiotScruffy

Game Designer

08-13-2013
20 of 35 Riot Posts

Sightless66 I really appreciate your thoughtful post. You are pretty spot on with a lot of your predictions. Keep in mind that with any of the losses in power there are gains in other areas. (we want him to be played more)

-His pre 6 ganks seem to just be all around better. Even in the case where you are ganking a lane with good initiate, you can just save the E for when their CC wears off.

-There is a noticeable hunger in the midgame for ability points because he now uses 4 abilities instead of 3. Choosing to max W or E first is viable, and it depends if you want the more consistent speed/defenses or stronger damage/slow. It is a good thing that he doesn't max out around level 12, and can keep growing all the way into late game.

-Like you thought, his ability to permanently slow and stick to tanky characters is less. This isn't actually a big problem because his brawling ability with Q and attack speed is still very strong, and when your target tries to run, you can use E to close the gap. The power of having a ranged slow makes his chasing ability as good if not better than before.

-As for late game teamfights we have seen that the ranged slow is actually very useful for peeling because Skarner can actually dive on the back line and still throw Es in any direction to peel for his back line. It seems like a net neutral change in his ability to peel for his team. The more significant difference in late game teamfights is the R, which is now much more reliable once you have gotten in range of your target.

These changes are still being evaluated, and everything you all say is very high on my radar. I'll let you know if we make any other changes.

-Scruff


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exec3

Senior Member

08-13-2013

New E sounds good to me as long as it provides the sticking power he needs in practice.


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Renzokuken19

Junior Member

08-13-2013

I'm glad to see that you're keeping the skillshot nuke. I always liked the aesthetic of Fracture even though it was a pretty terrible ability in practice. I'm sad to see the "mark" effect go, though. I felt like it added a little extra dimension to Skarner's gameplay. How bout making Fracture reduce Ar/MR slightly when slowed champions are attacked by Skarner? It is called "fracture", after all.

Anyways, I'm pretty excited about the changes you've made so far. Keep up the good work!


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Tsuusetsu

Senior Member

08-13-2013

20% longer range from his current E still seems to be to short. You can barely hit caster minions though the melee minions if your on top of them right now. Id say he would need nearly double the range, or atleast a 50% greater E range to reliably hit anything more than a character model away from him.


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HeartworkGG

Senior Member

08-13-2013

^ this guy serious right now? crying about mark... of dead champ when they are taking the time to rework him...


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oldRakdos

Senior Member

08-13-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Hey all, back with some more details. We're trying out an iteration of the E that is a bit more like the old E in usage but there are some other changes that help it fit nicely into his new gameplay pattern.

-It is now a free cased line nuke like the E in game currently
-The range is increased by about 20%
-The width of the projectile is decreased by about 20%
-Deals magic damage to targets hit and now slows them for 30/35/40/45/50 for 2.5s

The goals here were to retain the fun and diverse gameplay of the line nuke. The free targeting and skillshot feel of the E is a nice change of pace from Skarner's other melee focused abilities. We're also trying a longer/slow/less wide projectile so that targets of the E have the opportunity to dodge it (counterplay).
interesting, but what happen to the heal, is gone?, have you decide to eliminate it or is still in more testing?


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oldRakdos

Senior Member

08-13-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Sightless66 I really appreciate your thoughtful post. You are pretty spot on with a lot of your predictions. Keep in mind that with any of the losses in power there are gains in other areas. (we want him to be played more)

-His pre 6 ganks seem to just be all around better. Even in the case where you are ganking a lane with good initiate, you can just save the E for when their CC wears off.

-There is a noticeable hunger in the midgame for ability points because he now uses 4 abilities instead of 3. Choosing to max W or E first is viable, and it depends if you want the more consistent speed/defenses or stronger damage/slow. It is a good thing that he doesn't max out around level 12, and can keep growing all the way into late game.

-Like you thought, his ability to permanently slow and stick to tanky characters is less. This isn't actually a big problem because his brawling ability with Q and attack speed is still very strong, and when your target tries to run, you can use E to close the gap. The power of having a ranged slow makes his chasing ability as good if not better than before.

-As for late game teamfights we have seen that the ranged slow is actually very useful for peeling because Skarner can actually dive on the back line and still throw Es in any direction to peel for his back line. It seems like a net neutral change in his ability to peel for his team. The more significant difference in late game teamfights is the R, which is now much more reliable once you have gotten in range of your target.

These changes are still being evaluated, and everything you all say is very high on my radar. I'll let you know if we make any other changes.

-Scruff
Finally a reliable R, thanks Scruff


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Iceoh

Senior Member

08-13-2013

Riotscruffy, just how scruffy are you?


I really appreciate doing what you can to help skarner (i love his concept, but i've stayed away because he felt gimmicky), but I think we could use some clarification on this.