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Given numerous responses from both Statikk and Xypherous I want to elaborate where we currently stand and what questions remained unanswered. In order to do this, I'll give you an overview of who Akali is supposed to be, what makes her unique and fun to play to me and what problems she suffers from. Then we head into a brainstorm session on possible solutions and their respective implications. I'll try to take a look at this from a design perspective (In advance, please excuse my shortcomings. I might be Diamond and spending too much time with Akali, but that still does not make me a qualified designer).
The original post (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3402930) did put a high emphasis on survivability when defining risk. Instead this time we want to shift to a more generalized version also used by the live balance team, namely:
To reiterate on the ability details: You activate Shadow Dance. The shadow begins moving, a fast skillshot, hitbox being around Akali's size. Now immediately the reuse timer (like you have on live: 2s / 1.5 s / 1 s) begins counting done. If you hit something, you are given a window of activating Shadow Dance again (similar to Lee Sin's Q). This does not impact the cooldown timer though (therefore, if you wait 3 seconds, in order to activate shadow dance, it's already up again). Once you decided on your real target (out of the ones you hit), you activate the second portion of Shadow Dance, click your target and you appear next to it, instantaneously. Thus, the time it took to move to your target did not change compared to the live version.
In essence, we added counterplay to the ability without affecting the feel (speed, range, etc.) compared to live. We also allowed for some intricate use cases. However, this is a large scale change. Therefore, probably won't be implemented.
Above I have given three distinct suggestions. One of them failed to achieve anything, one of them achieved a partial solution and the other fully achieved the goal, yet is probably too large scale.
I hope given these examples you can think of your own suggestions having understood what's required:
In the following you'll find all relevant red posts put together:
Xypherous talked this time about hybrid itemization and its effect on Akali:
Nice this is finally up. Your other post talked about balance. This thread should not be of balance but ways to improve Akali's counterplay.
Step 1: Fixing Akali's design flaw: Hybrid vs. AP
Passive scaling from AD
Crescent Slash doing physical damage.
Step 2: Remove Gunblade
Step 3: Determining if she's an assassin/hypercarry. Alot of evidence points at the latter.
Step 4:Giving Akali skill combos. Additional effects if skills are chained, skills must lead in order to use next skill, skills cannot be used unless debuff is applied, etc.
Step 5: Step 4 leads to increased depth, therefore increased counterplay.
Step 1: She's an AP hypercarry, this is obvious since her early game is extremely weak, and gets power spike once she hits 6. This is further supported as she has a stat conversion passive. The problem is that she was released as a hybrid, which by today, she is of not. The two things in Akali's kit that make her hybrid is her passive, Twin Disciplines, and Crescent Slash. First obvious step is to make Akali AP-centric. Remove any trace of AD scaling in her passive, scaling only off AP, and Crescent Slash should deal magic damage -> Base damage, AD and AP ratio should be adjusted as well.
Discipline of Force — Akali's auto attacks deal bonus magic damage equal to 5% of your ability power, increasing by 1% for every 10 ability power gained thereafter. (Magic damage affects all structures.)
Discipline of Might — Akali gains 5% spell vamp, increasing by an additional 1% for every 20 ability power gained thereafter. Breakeven to get 35% spellvamp with this is 200AP with WoTA instead of Gunblade(removed).
Physical Damage: 30 / 55 / 80 / 105 / 130 (+0.6 per attack damage) (+0.3 per ability power)
Magical Damage: 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.6 per Bonus Attack Damge) (+0.5 per ability power)
This fixes Akali's design flaw and gives her the promise of a late-game hypercarry. Crescent Slash doesn't scale with total AD anymore, so base and ratio are compensated for this fact as well as dealing magic damage. Her passive does not require any use of AD, therefore this points to step 2: removing Gunblade.
Step 2: As Xypherous has pointed out, Akali's base damages and ratios are balanced around the fact that she will always get this item as a core. With the passive fix in step 1, she no longer relies on the combination of hybrid stats given on Gunblade, thus she will not need to be buy it anymore as a core. The choices here are obvious, either leave it in the game incase other champions want to buy it, or just remove it.
Step 3: Akali has a double-stat passive. That means she's a hypercarry. The only problem is that she never makes it to late game, and the stats it scales from are not what Akali builds typically. Step 1 already outlines a fix.
Step 4 and 5: Her kit in general:-
Passive - Problem is scales from wrong stats. Should scale both with AP, with Discipline of Force dealing flat bonus magic damage based on your total AP, rather than a percentage of her AD. This with the fact that Discipline of Might scales with AP, means absolutely no reliance on AD, and possbility of removing Gunblade now. This only requires number tweaking. Mentioned in step 1.
Q - Fine as it is.
W - Stationary and gets countered by true vision is what I really don't like, but things like these need counterplay, so it's here to stay. If Akali's reward doesn't increase then R should interact with shroud. Dash to centre.
E - Filler skill. Needs major interaction with Akali's other skills, as well as with enemies. Any ideas would do, just keep in mind, its to improve her ability to kill better, skillfully.
R - The only skill that has no counterplay is her ultimate Shadow Dance. For her to be viable in high elo and low elo at the same time, her ult needs individual counterplay for players vsing against her. Others have mentioned a skillshot, which originally was one during her beta stage. You cannot stop a high 800 range, point-and-click gapcloser. Any ideas here to add counterplay to her ult while still retaining the feel.
Please only constructive discussions. Anyone can join.
If you have trouble dealing with Akali, its okay. Please tell us why you think she is problem. What skills do you not like? What would you like to see yourself do in order to stop Akali from killing you? Anything you find that is a problem in a constructive manner.
I really appreciate the effort you put into all these posts. However I very highly doubt Riot will do anything since they very rarely buff champions, especially if they consider them "toxic" whatever that means. This is of course ignoring the fact that her stealth is the most easily countered stealth in the game.
If a champion is all single target burst he/she better have at least 130% of the damage of an AOE mage because there would be no reason to pick the single target mage (Akali). As she stands now her damage is low enough where she is out-traded by nearly all champions levels 1-7. Because she is the last champion in the game to actually get to use her ultimate (3 dashes) she was already at a disadvantage and if the opponent is smart they would simply all-in Akali as soon as they hit 6 because she only has one dash, which is useless.
As I mentioned in the other thread, I think any counterplay changes will have to adjust her pattern of damage, as she just doesn't have a lot of room for any more "tricks" or evasion/pursuit mechanics. Phasing stealth, long-range dashes, AOE slow, kill/assist momentum, defiant spell vamp numbers, and now scouting over walls. Short of some extremely situational tactical changes (I'm sure we can all think of a million fun things that could be triggered when she Shadow Dances into or out of Twilight Shroud), I think it's going to have to be power tuning for mastery and judgment.
Near the end of the life of the other thread, I suggested having the proc damage on Mark of the Assassin build over the duration of the Mark, but only be triggered by other abilities. I imagine this would encourage similar play/counterplay as Lee Sin's Q. Akali players would be discouraged from proccing it immediately with a basic QR except on targets at critical health, in a similar manner to how LeBlanc doesn't really just want to QR unless someone's low enough that the finesse with follow-up spells isn't necessary.
Targets would recognize the debuff as a true "Mark" of Akali's intent, and try to stay out of Dance range, or use the knowledge that she'll be coming to set up some bait with the team. I think this would also solve some minor Akali issues:
- Because she'd be more dependent on Crescent Slash to trigger the Mark, Crescent Slash could have a real identity on her kit other than being the dead ability that scales mostly with AD.
- It would create a wider gulf between Akali's "I need to kill you now" and "I just need to make sure you leave" play patterns in duels and fights, and create room to give her back some Q damage. Taking today's values as the baseline, Mark of the Assassin could start at something like 80% when triggered immediately, climbing to ~130% if Akali waits the full duration.
- It gives the proc on R that it feels like she was always supposed to have, which is a nice QoL bone to throw Akali players.
Finally, it would be a change that would have high optimization/skill ceiling impact, with low actual playstyle disruption. It's not on the level of making Shadow Dance target friendlies or giving Twilight Shroud impunity to pink wards.
TL; DR: Give Akali a reason to let her Mark hang out for a bit, beyond just mechanical burst.
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