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Xerath, the Magus Ascendant Rework on PBE Today!

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Newbonomicon

Member

10-16-2013

Oh my god, these changes sound HORRIBLE! I love the thrill of getting Xerath's combo off. It's pretty much the only reason to play him! Then you go and completely change him, and this new version of him doesn't even have a combo! It's Trundle all over again...


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Crownface

Senior Member

10-16-2013

Quote:
Newbonomicon:
Oh my god, these changes sound HORRIBLE! I love the thrill of getting Xerath's combo off. It's pretty much the only reason to play him! Then you go and completely change him, and this new version of him doesn't even have a combo! It's Trundle all over again...


If it was Trundle, I'd be thrilled, because that means he'd retain his kit with some meaningful buffs and no drastic playstyle changes.

This is more like Karma, but with advance warning.


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Thornmaelstrom

Senior Member

10-16-2013

The only thing I do not like about the current incarnation of Xerath is how his ult still rewards unloading all of the shots as fast as possible.

There's no way you can get around a Mage wanting to unload all his damage as fast as possible, but those 7 seconds instill a sentiment like "Okay, I have to launch all 4 of my projectiles RIGHT NOW!! and get out of my Ulty ASAP." Even when you're in the jungle.
Balance his damage any way you want, but as a player this isn't even remotely a seige-tank like feeling; you need to feel leisurely while seiging. Even if the action is high-risk/high-reward, super-high-damaging long-range skillshot (Lux anyone?), you need that "Okay guys, I've got this. Just gimme a second to line up mah shot." FEELING that Lux has while your normal-casting her ulty, waving the gigantic skillshot indicator over a good third of the map as you pick the perfect place to plop it down.

Now, I don't think this is the end of the world, since Q has become practically the perfect sieging spell; and one might even think that it was Xelnath's design to make QWE (his spells available pretty much on-demand) carry the full weight of his "siege-able" power and aesthetic, whilst R is the compromise offered to all of the fans that Xerath picked up for being one of the best ridiculous high-burst mages of all time.
And really, when do you usually see a champion willing to burn an ultimate pre-teamfight for a protracted siege? The only accepted ones are ammo-based, like Corki/Kog'Maw. They don't actually lose any teamfight presence by using theirs as poke, since they were designed to work that way; high pressure all the time without a huge bursty spike.

Still, even if Xerath's ultimate is built ground-up as a non-poking, non-sieging "Artillery Burst", it can't fully deliver a 'calling the shots' arm-chair Artillery feel if the player feels punished for not click-spamming, only allowing the shortest delay to guess jukes.
There are probably countless ways to fight this problem, but some off the top of my head would be a longer duration, ANY sort of reward for not shooting immediately (Each shot starts at ~60% damage, charges up to 100% over the course of 1.2ish seconds of not firing? Some guy recommended refunding cooldown on shots not spent? ANYTHING that makes the player feel good for not pretending to play LeBlanc)
If I wanted to mash buttons and click really fast, I'd play any number of Assassins or Vayne or something. But no, when I play Xerath, I want to feel like I am doing so from a fine leather armchair; or even better, the cockpit of a Siege Tank.


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Arlich

Junior Member

10-16-2013

I have several ideas to throw into the loop.

what if instead you incorporated locus into his passive? for example:

Passive: Locus of Power
Whenever Xerath casts a spell, Xerath's bindings loosen, rooting him in place giving his next spells longer range. The range is lost if you click to move.

-This would be a non-clunky version of locus, as most of the clunkiness came from its cast time. You already stop to move after casting his spells, this wouldn't feel any different. Also, this gives him way more depth because you don't get the bonus on the first cast, you have to anticipate your spell order and come up with combinations.
-This wouldn't interfere or effect his ultimate range.
-I don't think the range bonuses should be accompanied by MP bonuses, as I think you would have to nerf the spells too much
-if his stun increases with range, max 1 second stun if cast first, max 2 seconds stun if cast under passive's effect?

I feel like this will prevent his skillset from being too bland, like a combination of other champions spells altered slightly. Instead of having a skillshot taric stun, it would have more depth and relationship with the other spells in terms of cast order and purpose.

--------------
if that doesn't seem like a good idea, What if instead of buffing his ultimate more you made it give range bonuses to your other abiltiies when activated? Also, the ability to move and reroot yourself to use up the rest of the charges? The charges would have to last longer too, in order to utilize his skillset.


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t4tNoFp4Ve

Senior Member

10-16-2013

Quote:
ZenonTheStoic:
*Snip*


Zenon, your feedback, interest and insight is so awesome, that i wish you were handling the Ahri tuning instead of rickless

Seriously, why couldnt Riot put you there instead of him?, sigh.....


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Malurth

Senior Member

10-16-2013

I think there's a lot of room for an additional effect or two on his ult casts, such as giving vision on the target area (perhaps somewhat larger than the actual AoE, or giving vision of targets hit for a period of time), or giving a mild slow on hit (tuning the initial casts to be more easily dodgeable, but making follow-up hits easier to land). Have you considered something like this?


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BadgerDrool

Senior Member

10-16-2013

Quote:
Crownface:
If it was Trundle, I'd be thrilled, because that means he'd retain his kit with some meaningful buffs and no drastic playstyle changes.

This is more like Karma, but with advance warning.


Sorta? Not really?

Karma changed in the following, fundamental, and visceral (but hard to explain) ways...
-Her engagement ranges shifted dramatically and significantly.
-Her in fight focus shifted from Major (Timing) Minor (Everyone's positioning) to Major (Landing a Skillshot) Minor (Ability comboing).
-Her kit's feel went from a sorta Lulu to a Zyra/Lux place. IE: She went from 50/50 support/mage to Mage as far as play went.


Trundle's rework, from a kit perspective, barely changed anything in terms of play. You can W a little more freely and like Lifesteal more. Beyond that it's all the same but buffed.


Xerath's rework may be best viewed on it's own merits but let me compare to my above points with Karma.
-Xerath's engagement range went from "Attacking beyond normal engagement range" to "Attacking beyond normal engagement range". Certainly his method has shifted but once you get past ~700 units there's not a lot of difference.
-I'd say Live Xerath's in fight focus is Major (Finding a Combo opportunity) and Minor (Personal Positioning/Nuking). I'd say that's pretty much the same as PBE Xerath's in fight focus. You try to nuke peeps. Again, the method has shifted.
-Xerath is going from Mage to Mage. He isn't losing half his identity. If anything he's embracing his own identity more then ever.



I was a Karma player. I'm still very sour about the entire affair and don't regard the new Karma as Karma at all. (Despite, ironically, being able to play new Karma very well)

I also have some history with Xerath. I saw his previews and fell in love. Got him at release. Played him. Saw he was a Burst Mage with long range instead of "Bombardment" and stopped playing him. So you and I may not see eye to eye. Cause, for me Xerath's finally really showing his face with this rework. I'm okay with him losing the stuff that was holding back that visceral feel of artillery. That made him feel awkward next to Sniper Lux.

Still maybe I can convince you there's stuff to enjoy. Xerath's new ult? I think it's very freeing that it isn't attached to his basic spells. You never have to think "Should I save it?". If an opportunity arises just use it and go. Don't over think it and expect it to carry his entire kit like it used to. The fact his ult doesn't carry his kit is very different.

Consider that Q is still risky. You still have a decent cast time. So you still worry about positioning with it! Sometimes the right decision is to not cast it and let it fizzle. That's interesting and is along the lines of when casting W was a bad idea for Xerath.

Another point on Q is that it's in practice range is longer then it appears. This is because you can move. Consider Nidalee leaping forward, shifting form, and then spearing. It allows her to "increase" the range of her spear". Xerath's slow walk forward isn't as good but it can certainly let you wait a second to get a second's worth of extra distance.

Yet another Q point is that it makes great in lane mind games. You have all this time while you charge and position to watch the enemies movement and figure out where you want to place it. This really lets you feel connected to the opponent (as the Xerath) despite the long distance.

Oh and then there's farming. W gives Xerath another low cooldown AoE for farming waves. His farm feels way better. You can push into the enemy tower more easily then Old Xerath due to this.



I feel that it's entirely possible to approach new Xerath with an Old Xerath mind set and be successful. Save W and E for fighting off jungle ganks or when the enemy closes. Go slow and steady and poke em down with Q spam. Get Mana Regen and do it more. Force em back with lightning then drop an orbital cannon when you hit 6 then go back to farming. Maybe go gank bot from river by unloading your level 6 burst on their ADC and returning to the farm after! (Oh and of course if anyone rushes you then stun em and burn em while floating away)


Hmm...bet no one reads this..


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BadgerDrool

Senior Member

10-16-2013

Gah lost my post.

Quote:
BooleanCube:
The only thing I do not like about the current incarnation of Xerath is how his ult still rewards unloading all of the shots as fast as possible.



What if they tied vision in instead of damage?

Imagine Xerath's reveal/view of the fog of war creeps from his position to his max range. Every time he uses an ult Barrage it resets his vision. The incentive to delay shots becomes being able to see your target.

It'd require a real rethink of how vision works for Xerath during ult. His ult shots would have to not grant vision. Yet Xerath needs to know if he hits! Maybe a "Battleship" particle to mark successful Barrages in the fog of war? (likely xerath only)

Thematically it can tie into Xerath making this giant cloud of power above him. Which grants him sight and is expended when he focuses the energy.


...hmmm...

Bonus idea @ Red.
-Have a border effect on the top of the screen showing a lightning storm to communicate to players that they are within the range of a Xerath Ult. Nocturne sets precedence for something like this.


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Crownface

Senior Member

10-16-2013

Quote:
BadgerDrool:
Sorta? Not really?

Karma changed in the following, fundamental, and visceral (but hard to explain) ways...
-Her engagement ranges shifted dramatically and significantly.
-Her in fight focus shifted from Major (Timing) Minor (Everyone's positioning) to Major (Landing a Skillshot) Minor (Ability comboing).
-Her kit's feel went from a sorta Lulu to a Zyra/Lux place. IE: She went from 50/50 support/mage to Mage as far as play went.


Trundle's rework, from a kit perspective, barely changed anything in terms of play. You can W a little more freely and like Lifesteal more. Beyond that it's all the same but buffed.


Xerath's rework may be best viewed on it's own merits but let me compare to my above points with Karma.
-Xerath's engagement range went from "Attacking beyond normal engagement range" to "Attacking beyond normal engagement range". Certainly his method has shifted but once you get past ~700 units there's not a lot of difference.
-I'd say Live Xerath's in fight focus is Major (Finding a Combo opportunity) and Minor (Personal Positioning/Nuking). I'd say that's pretty much the same as PBE Xerath's in fight focus. You try to nuke peeps. Again, the method has shifted.
-Xerath is going from Mage to Mage. He isn't losing half his identity. If anything he's embracing his own identity more then ever.



I was a Karma player. I'm still very sour about the entire affair and don't regard the new Karma as Karma at all. (Despite, ironically, being able to play new Karma very well)

I also have some history with Xerath. I saw his previews and fell in love. Got him at release. Played him. Saw he was a Burst Mage with long range instead of "Bombardment" and stopped playing him. So you and I may not see eye to eye. Cause, for me Xerath's finally really showing his face with this rework. I'm okay with him losing the stuff that was holding back that visceral feel of artillery. That made him feel awkward next to Sniper Lux.

Still maybe I can convince you there's stuff to enjoy. Xerath's new ult? I think it's very freeing that it isn't attached to his basic spells. You never have to think "Should I save it?". If an opportunity arises just use it and go. Don't over think it and expect it to carry his entire kit like it used to. The fact his ult doesn't carry his kit is very different.

Consider that Q is still risky. You still have a decent cast time. So you still worry about positioning with it! Sometimes the right decision is to not cast it and let it fizzle. That's interesting and is along the lines of when casting W was a bad idea for Xerath.

Another point on Q is that it's in practice range is longer then it appears. This is because you can move. Consider Nidalee leaping forward, shifting form, and then spearing. It allows her to "increase" the range of her spear". Xerath's slow walk forward isn't as good but it can certainly let you wait a second to get a second's worth of extra distance.

Yet another Q point is that it makes great in lane mind games. You have all this time while you charge and position to watch the enemies movement and figure out where you want to place it. This really lets you feel connected to the opponent (as the Xerath) despite the long distance.

Oh and then there's farming. W gives Xerath another low cooldown AoE for farming waves. His farm feels way better. You can push into the enemy tower more easily then Old Xerath due to this.



I feel that it's entirely possible to approach new Xerath with an Old Xerath mind set and be successful. Save W and E for fighting off jungle ganks or when the enemy closes. Go slow and steady and poke em down with Q spam. Get Mana Regen and do it more. Force em back with lightning then drop an orbital cannon when you hit 6 then go back to farming. Maybe go gank bot from river by unloading your level 6 burst on their ADC and returning to the farm after! (Oh and of course if anyone rushes you then stun em and burn em while floating away)


Hmm...bet no one reads this..


I read every post, and I should probably say that I don't think the new kit is bad (except for the ult, I think it's really poorly thought out and will be in a constant swing between being super fun for the Xerath player and no one else due to his complete safety and power while it's up if it has significant damage potential, or feeling awful for the player *and* everyone else due to them being so far away from a fight and only allowed to do pathetic bits of damage to compensate for the range, but still being in complete safety.)

If this kit was on a different champion, I'd probably buy them in their first week; I love poking and sniping and whatnot.

The biggest problem I have with this rework is that it removes so much of Xerath's playstyle, mostly from Locus being removed. If you ask anybody what Xerath's defining skill is, they'll say Locus, it's what gives him his flow and makes him unique. Locus only enhancing his other spells' range and damage isn't "limiting", it's just how he plays. It works extremely well and hasn't proven to be a balance problem, and "sleeper OP" isn't justification for a rework like this. It doesn't matter what Xerath is "supposed" to be, he's been out for 2 years, enough time has passed for Xerath's playstyle and place in League to be solidified, and it's absurd that he's being changed so drastically when the people reworking him can't come to a consensus as to why they're actually reworking him.

Look at other reworks and compare them to this one:

Master Yi can't build AP and do crazy burst damage with Alpha Strike any more, but, to compensate, he now has an AD ratio on Alpha Strike and can chain them together fairly well late-game without depending on Highlander to refresh it. You still engage with him in the same way, you can still do cool meditate "dodges" and baits (even though the ability doesn't really make sense on a melee auto-attacker). He still plays exactly the same way as before.

Sejuani and Trundle just got very basic QOL fixes and buffs that have made them both incredibly powerful and much more popular than before, they both play the exact same way, and the only problem with Trundle is his lore, theme, and voice being changed for silly reasons.

Katarina had everything that was on Killer Instinct moved to her other abilities, and was given a cool new ability on top of it that better fits in her kit.

These reworks have all been successful; there was a lot of resistance to the Trundle rework because Riot has always been pretty bad with communication, but all of these champions retained their playstyle nearly 100%.

The only other rework as drastic as this one is the Karma rework, and you've already shared your opinion on that. That's my problem with this, Xelnath has completely ignored previous cases and moved forward with a rework that's more similar to Karma's than any other more successful one, and it's only made worse by the fact that Xerath doesn't have any real balance problems that have manifested themselves, so the rework makes even less sense.

Can super drastic reworks be positive for both the champion and the game overall? Maybe, but Riot hasn't proven they can do it well just yet. It should be saved as a last resort, not a preemptive strike.


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Teho

Member

10-16-2013

For those who say this is a major alteration to Xerath:
Old Combo:
W+Q --> 1300 range
Total Cast Time: about 1-1.5 seconds
New Combo:
Q--> 1500 range
Total Cast Time: about .5-2 seconds
Similar cast time for similar range
Old Combo:
W+E+R+Q....--> Range 1000
Total Cast Time--> 4 seconds

New Combo:
E+W+Q--> Range 1000
Total Cast Time--> 2 seconds
Less damage but highly spammable, and more immediate

Xeraths old combos have been condensed into basic abilities. His Ult is now an excellent snipe/ execute, which can compound on his new combos for even stronger burst.

His Stun is now less selective which detracts from his style, but his W does offer a slowing ability and is selective. By selective I mean Xeraths ability to single out targets even in team fights. However, noticing the present damage buff Xerath is getting I think a slow is a fair trade for a stun. Instead his E has a similar effect as Ahri's (how ironic its his counter): it is the touch of death that allows Xerath to land his highest potential damage on the target.

All Xerath players don't worry Xeraths signature ability isn't lost, it has simply been spread out across his kit