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[Analysis / Discussion] Akali balance at Diamond

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ZaganJustice

Senior Member

05-18-2013

guys the patch just went live, let's give it a few days before we jump to any conclusions; as they said earlier, they're still collecting data


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Sayath

Senior Member

05-18-2013

Quote:
Invisibleally:
"Skill transcends champion balance"
My champion now has 99% damage reduction, 10 trillion hit points, and deals 100% of the enemy's maximum health as true damage with each basic attack (range 9001), and is healed for 90 billion times the damage dealt by this over 10 minutes (stacked on hit).

Beat me with Akali now, smartbutt.

You've truly spoken like someone who plays a champion with high damage, can teleport across the screen, and give herself stealth and a huge armor/resist bonus. Of COURSE you want to buff her, this is the champion you've played exclusively.

You've chosen to limit your perspective and then based your idea to further power up the only champion you've used on that woefully restricted viewpoint. Compare Akali's kit to Twitch and some other champions, think a while on this.


http://imgur.com/r/atheism/STOWQ (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fimgur.com%2Fr%2Fatheism%2FSTOWQ)

Do you even realize that your whole argument is just one giant rhetological fallacy?

Straw man:
Creating a distorted or simplified caricature of your opponent's argument, and then arguing against that.

Your whole argument about your new champion is exactly the quintessence of this.

Circumstance ad hominem:
Stating a claim isn't credible only because of the advocate's interests in their claim.

The second part of your opinion: Just because I play the champion, doesn't mean that I'm not stating the truth.

In the last paragraph you accuse me of my limited perspective. I should compare Akali's kit to Twitch's and some other champions. There I simply ask myself why I should compare an assassin to a ranged carry? The two roles are completely different.

Furthermore, I have taken a look at the tradeoffs Akali makes, in order to be allowed her powerlevel. Have you, however? Again, we run into another fallacy.

Burden of proof:
I don't need to prove my claim - you must prove it false.

You are claiming Akali is fine.

However, Riot has agreed with me multiple times that that is not the case. A lot of other people have also. Why? Because I have given a constructive argument. If you want to disagree, you can. But if you want to convince me of your point, you need to provide a constructive argument yourself.


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Extra Lunatic

Senior Member

05-18-2013

Quote:
Sayath:
http://imgur.com/r/atheism/STOWQ (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fimgur.com%2Fr%2Fatheism%2FSTOWQ)

Do you even realize that your whole argument is just one giant rhetological fallacy?

Straw man:
Creating a distorted or simplified caricature of your opponent's argument, and then arguing against that.

Your whole argument about your new champion is exactly the quintessence of this.

Circumstance ad hominem:
Stating a claim isn't credible only because of the advocate's interests in their claim.

The second part of your opinion: Just because I play the champion, doesn't mean that I'm not stating the truth.

In the last paragraph you accuse me of my limited perspective. I should compare Akali's kit to Twitch's and some other champions. There I simply ask myself why I should compare an assassin to a ranged carry? The two roles are completely different.

Furthermore, I have taken a look at the tradeoffs Akali makes, in order to be allowed her powerlevel. Have you, however? Again, we run into another fallacy.

Burden of proof:
I don't need to prove my claim - you must prove it false.

You are claiming Akali is fine.

However, Riot has agreed with me multiple times that that is not the case. A lot of other people have also. Why? Because I have given a constructive argument. If you want to disagree, you can. But if you want to convince me of your point, you need to provide a constructive argument yourself.


CONGRATULATION
on demolishing this genius


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Holy Malevolence

Senior Member

05-18-2013

Quote:
Sayath:
http://imgur.com/r/atheism/STOWQ (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fimgur.com%2Fr%2Fatheism%2FSTOWQ)

Do you even realize that your whole argument is just one giant rhetological fallacy?

Straw man:
Creating a distorted or simplified caricature of your opponent's argument, and then arguing against that.

Your whole argument about your new champion is exactly the quintessence of this.

Circumstance ad hominem:
Stating a claim isn't credible only because of the advocate's interests in their claim.

The second part of your opinion: Just because I play the champion, doesn't mean that I'm not stating the truth.

In the last paragraph you accuse me of my limited perspective. I should compare Akali's kit to Twitch's and some other champions. There I simply ask myself why I should compare an assassin to a ranged carry? The two roles are completely different.

Furthermore, I have taken a look at the tradeoffs Akali makes, in order to be allowed her powerlevel. Have you, however? Again, we run into another fallacy.

Burden of proof:
I don't need to prove my claim - you must prove it false.

You are claiming Akali is fine.

However, Riot has agreed with me multiple times that that is not the case. A lot of other people have also. Why? Because I have given a constructive argument. If you want to disagree, you can. But if you want to convince me of your point, you need to provide a constructive argument yourself.

I would've gone with "Reductio ad absurdum" personally.


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Sayath

Senior Member

05-18-2013

Xypherous talked this time about hybrid itemization and its effect on Akali:

Quote:
Akali's was intended to be a hybrid champion, but hybrid itemisation is not exactly great right now. Any plans for the near future?


Quote:
Xypherous:
In my opinion, focused hybrid itemization is kind of a misstep, overall.

The advantages of having both AP and AD ratios is that any item is good for you - not that there's a specific class of items with 30% more stats because no one can use it correctly and thus it is good for you. When hybrid items are in vogue, like gunblade - it simply leads the detriment of any champion that can use it well.

The end result of that is that once you're balanced around hybrid itemization, you have 70% of the ratios of any other champion *and* you've effectively locked yourself out from any cool AD or AP itemization, defeating the point of being hybrid in the first place.


Quote:
I've read some decent arguments against having hybrid builds in the game, but here you don't do a very good job of supporting your claims in this post. After reading this I don't see how hybrid builds are effectively bad for the game at all.


Quote:
Xypherous:
Sure. I don't claim that hybrid builds are bad though - I claim that focused Hybrid items are bad for the game because they lock the character in question to only using hybrid items when they are balanced *or* the character is overpowered when they aren't.

If you think about the breadth of itemization that a champion has - an item that appeals to hybrids would have to offer more statistics than one standalone AP or AD item. This means that the item in question is far more efficient for that character than any other item because it provides mixed statistics that no other character can take full advantage of.

Now think about what happens if this is a core item for the character build in question: Either he needs the increased statistics from the hybrid item (which means his AD / AP ratios are artificially low because this item exists) - but then almost every standalone AP or AD item now sucks, or more likely, the character is overpowered because he has decent ratios for AP and AD - but now there's an item that gives him a wealth of both and he now simply has more raw damage or scaling than any other character.

To put it in concrete terms: think about what Gunblade did to Akali's balance and ratios - I would rather a world in which Gunblade never existed so that Akali could simply have higher AP and AD ratios - and then she could then use more items that suited her from the normal pool of AP and AD items. However, because Gunblade exists, everything about Akali's scaling is toned down around the fact that there's this keystone item giving her 50% more statistics and thus everything that scales about her had to be toned down or she would simply be massively overpowered.

One could argue that Gunblade is the overpowered item in this case - however, break that down. If Gunblade wasn't overpowered in terms of statistics for hybrid builders - why bother getting it when you could get an AP item *and* an AD item? By necessity, in order for an item to be appealing to hybrid characters - it has to offer a surplus of both statistics.

Note that this says nothing about hybrid builds - A hybrid build consisting of getting a Bloodthirster and then a Rylai's scepter is interesting and compelling. However, focused hybrid items destroy a lot of the power of a hybrid character's dual scaling - it takes away from the character being able to build whatever they want in terms of AP or AD - thus losing the benefit of a lot of good unique passives and actives.


Quote:
Then please fix it. I would love to be able to play Akali, have mutliple build options and not be binary (less so now, it's more you lose 60% of the time because you can't contribute late game due to dead or low damage).


Quote:
Xypherous:
Convincing people that the best thing for their hybrid characters is to have no hybrid items at all is difficult at best.

The other aspect of this is that the hybrid characters we have don't actually take advantage of hybrid scaling - they need a much heavier focus on basic attacks if they were to dip into the advantages of AD.

You have a handful of characters who hybrid scale - but don't actually benefit from a hybrid playstyle of attacks and spells - hence the drive for sheer raw statistical power. They don't actually benefit from building any of the AD items - nor does their playstyle synergize with some of the more focused AP items like Zhonya's and the like. If you take a look at the line that connects Kayle, Akali and Jax, the common thread is that they almost all rely on going nuclear at some point through sheer statistical might.


Quote:
Hmm... what you say seems to make sense, and yet also seems not to. How is this problem fundamentally different from characters with only AD ratios being locked into only using AD items, characters with only AP ratios being locked into only using AP items, etc.?


Quote:
Xypherous:
It's not a fundamental difference in the problem. It's a difference in expectation.

When you pick a ranged carry - you expect to do ranged carry like things. Kill dudes with your ranged attack - harass with spells - train on people. You have a specific set of needs and you are trying to accomplish them.

Similarly, when you pick a mage - you want to kill people with abilities. You could care less for your basic attack. You hit buttons - they die in a wildfire.

However, what do you expect out of a hybrid character? The flexibility to do both - or run a range from whatever you want it to be. Focused hybrid items kill that - because they demand that you build them. You don't get to choose what range you are from 'burst caster' to 'sustained drain-tanker' - you only get to build the hybrid items because your ratios have been tuned around these inflated items to exist.

It goes against the base expectation of flexibility or 'jack of all trades' nature that the hybrid scaling seems to promise you in the first place.


Quote:
What is the Ideal Hybrid like? How does their playstyle change when this Hybrid picks the AD-heavy build? What about when they go AP? When they go half-and-half?


Quote:
Xypherous:
If you want the bluntest expression of a hybrid character - recall Kayle's old passive which I will always miss even though it made her explode and hyperscale.

You *could* not be anything but a hybrid character with that passive. Your attack damage was ability power and vice-versa. Every item improved every facet of your character, whether you wanted it to or not.

It's blunt, crude and possibly the purest expression of what it means to be hybrid to me.

As for playstyle changes - it depends on the passives and statistics which you favored. A hybrid playstyle looks remarkably similar to every hybrid character - except for the player playing him who is familiar with exactly how he wants to build or play.


Quote:
Then there needs to be a reason for people like Akali to like AD. Right now Akali recieves three benefits from AD. Passive, E and obviously AAs. AAs isn't very big and her E is mostly for wave clear or a last resort to get a kill on something.


Quote:
Xypherous:
I agree with you on that - Akali as a hybrid character, is really odd because she really doesn't want to autoattack much. Nothing gives her a chance or an opportunity to - which is why I suspect the AP build is the default - and that any hybrid items created simply augment the AP build, if they're good.

I'm not sure what you could do to change that - or if making Akali more AA focused would be a good change now. It certainly doesn't fix her current problems if you made AD stronger on her.


Quote:
This argument hinges most of its strength on the incentive to go hybrid being ap/ad ratios. The man incentive to build AD shouldn't be ratios, it should be autoattacks. So Kayle / Jax should buy it because they want to have a balance of ability and autoattack damage (presumably burst vs sustained damage) The fact that most hybrids are incentivized to go hybrid to maximize both (I think Kayle avoids this, as do some pure melees, but those mostly build tank anyway) is more of a problem with bad hybrid design rather than bad items.


Quote:
Xypherous:
True but items don't help bad or good hybrid design. My argument mostly rests on the fact that hybrid items hurt a well-designed hybrid rather than help it by restricting the pool of items that the character could build to have a balance of both (if that's even a goal of 'good' hybrid design.)


Quote:
Also, btw, I get that it's probably prohibitive to do so when the only hybrids are Jax, Kayle and Akali. I guess I'm just asking the question of whether or not more items would help solve the problem, so that Gunblade isn't the only thing to build and it doesn't have to fill all the roles that other items would have to fill. If Gunblade was, say, the Rabacap of hybrid builds, providing the most efficient stats, but without any of the bonus survivability or utility of, say, Rylai's or Zhonya's, maybe then it wouldn't be super strong. And, at the same time, it'd provide for more survivable versions of hybrid items.


Quote:
Xypherous:
More hybrid items would definitely make hybrid characters stronger - which means you'd have to go back and nerf all the scaling on these characters to the point that Jax would never ever consider picking a hybrid item that wasn't from this hybrid set.


Quote:
Hmm, then in the spirit of allowing hybrid characters the flexibility to build to various points in that range, wouldn't it make sense to tune the hybrid characters to be viable with non-hybrid items, and then tune the hybrid items to be balanced against those characters to fit in the middle of that range, rather than trying to tune the hybrid characters to fit the hybrid items?


Quote:
Xypherous:
That's definitely a good approach to take - the issue you run into there is that any hybrid item will then be seen as prohibitively weak by any non-hybrid character. How big an issue of that is up to you to decide - but they'll be seen as dead items by a majority of the character pool.

In a world where there was many hybrid champions - that'd definitely be the ideal approach to take. In a world dominated by more standard scaling champions - it'd be mostly taking up space in the item store.


Quote:
Wait, what on Earth is Nashors for then? It's attractive to a very narrow band of champions.

Would it be that brutal to have a simple dual penetration item for hybrids? It's not like massive itemization effort is mandatory, they are missing essentially one basic hole in their arsenal.


Quote:
Xypherous:
Nashor's tooth allows the potential for a large group of existing champions to branch out into a subtype (autoattacking) and synergizes with champions that work well with it.

However, core hybrid itemization, when balanced, does not allow either AD or AP to branch out in such a fashion. A balanced gunblade does not help any AD or AP character aspire to any aspect of their character.

As for dual penetration %, think about how much % penetration it would take to rival Last Whisper or Void Staff. You are dealing split-damage already. Thus, any advantage of % penetration is cut in half. This is mitigated somewhat by lopsided resistances of the opponent - but then it's hard to argue that Last Whisper or Void Staff wouldn't simply be better in that regard then.


Quote:
What does a world in which existing hybrid champions want to build "normal" items look like? If Rageblade and Gunblade didn't exist, can you picture a sustained-damage Akali with a BotRK and a Ravenous Hydra who spams Crescent Slash (instead of Mark) for the physical damage? A Katarina who puts emphasis on her W (instead of Q) for lots of physical PBAOE with Hydra and a Black Cleaver?

Could those designs (hyper-mobile AD near-carry, or nimble, AOE-spamming AD burster) have value in a world where Lee Sin and Zed exist?


Quote:
Xypherous:
What you're describing isn't a hybrid build - what you're describing is something closer to the split between AP / AD Tristana than a true hybrid build - and no, I don't think they have a ton of value because we have champions that do similar thing.

The challenge of a hybrid character is that they still have to use their complete kit in order to function - but that they also have a drive to increase both AP and AD statistics. Hybrid design is tricky and often what we think of as hybrid characters were just characters whose had two "designed" AP / AD builds but ended up with the same gameplay.


Quote:
So rather than take the position that these items are detrimental to these champions because they prevent you from making more interesting choices, isn't it more correct to say that there simply aren't any other choices available?


Quote:
Xypherous:
I can easily point to Gunblade limiting hybrid champion build options because whenever Gunblade has been good at had to be balanced around, we've continuously nerfed the AP ratios of the characters who could use it.

If I removed those 3 hybrid options from the game and simply increased the ratios of hybrid champions, now instead of those 3 items being their only options they now have access to every other AD or AP item in the game. It's the fact that balancing around hybrid items simultaneously forces them into those items and also takes away existing items that is so criminal here.


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Holy Malevolence

Senior Member

05-18-2013

Quote:
Sayath:
Xypherous talked this time about hybrid itemization and its effect on Akali:

Meh.
In all honesty, I find that hybrid nature would actually be better than either primary AD or AP scaling.
'Cause, quite frankly, AD is a terrible stat. It's proven to be mostly worthless outside of extremely low risk ranged champions in the role that it's intended for, AKA modifying autoattacks, and trying to apply it to abilities has ended in far more incidents of failure than success. It'd probably be a dead stat by now if they weren't trying to constantly push it where it doesn't belong.

A better implementation would be to make basically everything hybrid.
Have autoattacks have high AD scaling and low AP scaling, and change abilities to have high AP scaling and low AD scaling. Make it so that you build MR to not get bursted down and armor to prevent sustained damage.


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Hexten

Senior Member

05-18-2013

So is there any definite conclusion from what Xypherous has talked about today on Akali?

I personally think Gunblade is holding her back tremendously. She's addicted to it. Every other champion I play doesn't need the type of benefit Gunblade gives in order to play/be effective.

Akali's passive/spells should be tweaked so that she doesn't need to buy Gunblade in order to be effective like if she got a Gunblade. Then we can remove Gunblade now.


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Holy Malevolence

Senior Member

05-18-2013

Quote:
Hexten:
So is there any definite conclusion from what Xypherous has talked about today on Akali?

I personally think Gunblade is holding her back tremendously. She's addicted to it. Every other champion I play doesn't need the type of benefit Gunblade gives in order to play/be effective.

Akali's passive/spells should be tweaked so that she doesn't need to buy Gunblade in order to be effective like if she got a Gunblade. Then we can remove Gunblade now.

No.
'Cause every gunblade you get is a Rylai's you didn't. I enjoy hybrid itemization because where it's available you end up sacrificing durability for it.


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sniperfodderz

Senior Member

05-18-2013

my only concern is her growing to the power she had before the gunblade nerfs. Right now she snowballs, but it's not as easy.

On a side note, I disagree about the damage on Q if you rush a gunblade because it provides an equal if not greater benefit than rushing straight ap.


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Sayath

Senior Member

05-18-2013

The conclusion we get from Xypherous:
Gunblade and all other hybrid items should be removed. Whether he acts on it though, I can't say.

Reasoning:
The idea behind being hybrid is: Being able to choose from both AP and AD items. Hybrid items prevent this, because they force you to buy them (the champion ratios need to be toned down if good hybrid items exist; if hybrid items are bad and only half-viable with hybrids, then these become dead items in the store).