Thresh Preseason Proposal (Scaling Rework)

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Faceplosion

Senior Member

10-31-2013

Disclaimer, TLDR is available at the end.

Oh boy! Preseason support changes! Let's see...Thresh...Thresh....Thresh? No Thresh changes? Better make a thread on GD about it.

"But Thresh is fine! He doesn't need buffs!"

This is true, Thresh does not need buffs.
The point of this thread IS NOT TO BUFF THRESH.
The point of this thread is to point out Thresh could really benefit in getting preseason changes that other supports are already getting, namely scaling changes. Let's start off with some facts:

-Thresh was designed around having good late-game scaling for a support
-Thresh has been the target of nerfs because of his ability to do well at all stages of the game
-Thresh, at higher elos, is not being played the way he was designed to be played because that method is no longer as effective

Thresh, as he currently stands, works likes a utility suicide bomber. Watching any high elo Thresh streamer, high elo games or LoL competitions, you can see players will barely put any effort into collecting souls. Thresh just doesn't benefit enough from souls in order to benefit justify going the extra mile to pick them up. Thresh's play pattern in these games consist of:

Q enemy>throw lantern>initiate onto enemy>bring in someone to help initiate>ult+flay>absorb as many cooldowns as you can before dying>hope team wins teamfight

Because of this playstyle, Thresh doesn't need armor nor AP, and so Thresh doesn't need to risk himself early on in order to scale well. This creates a multitude of problems, adding up to gameplay that isn't as satisfying to both Thresh and his opponents.

My suggestion: Change Thresh's scaling in a way that makes souls and different builds more worthwhile, moving him away from relying on base stats.

How do I plan to do this? Why, it's as simple as counting to 3!

  1. Make Thresh's AP Ratios scale utility, not damage
  2. Give Thresh more soul based scaling
  3. Allow Thresh to have more clear strengths and weaknesses

Step 1: Torment comes in so many flavors.
This one should be a no-figure, considering this is what Riot hopes to do to all supports with the preseason changes. As it stands, Thresh has AP scaling on all of his abilities, and he is one of two characters in the game who can have literally INFINITE AP. So why is no one building AP on him? Because Thresh cannot make good use of his AP scaling. Thresh does not need damage from building AP. The fact he has AP built into him means that this is taking up an necessary part of his power budget. He has a strength with no way to use it.

Giving Thresh utility scaling opens up a new buildpath for Thresh, and an entirely new way to play him. Thresh can now be given less utility early, but more utility later on. This drastically improves his early to late scaling and means that Thresh has to commit to be effective. If Thresh wants extra utility, he's allowed to have it, but only if given gold or if he risks going out to get souls (no free stats, smoother scaling, less suicide bomber Thresh.) This also means that Thresh does not get to be safe, tanky and powerful all at once. If Thresh wants to scale well, he will have to take action to do so, and his opponents will have input as to whether he can do this (insert dev buzzword such as counterplay here.)

Step 2: What is the worth of a soul?
As mentioned previous, Thresh is not being forced to take risks, and therefore his early game is overbearing in high elos where many players recognize souls aren't worth it. The fix? Thresh already has it on Flay (his E):

BONUS MAGIC DAMAGE: Souls + up to 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 / 200% AD

That's right, soul scaling. "But I thought we already fixed his scaling back in step 1!" While it's true step 1 fixed a lot of problems, it didn't fix the fact that Thresh is still capable of playing safe early to reap the benefits later in the game. Utility AP scaling may even encourage Thresh to play more passively in a bad matchup, waiting until late game to buy items and scale well without counterplay (buzzwords OP.) The solution to this problem is to roll out soul scaling alongside Thresh's AP scaling.

This soul scaling could be either gradual (abilities get better with each soul) or threshold based (abilities get better every certain amount of souls, and yes, the pun was intended.) While this scaling could (and in my opinion should) be applied to all his abilities, the biggest contender I see for this scaling is Thresh's ult. An ultimate should define a champion, and as it stands Thresh is not at all defined by his ult. giving it some sort of utility scaling (NOT damage scaling, we've been over this) relating to the amount of souls he has could be a perfect opportunity to promote soul collection and add a layer of complexity to his rather binary ult.

Step 3: Come out and play.
Thresh has for a long time now, and still does, hold a high ban rate. A lot of this comes from the fact good Thresh players can make Thresh good where he should be bad. He is strong in laning, he is strong in midgame, he is strong lategame. Thresh is too good in too many situations. Thresh is supposed to have clear strengths and weaknesses, but they can be so easily nullified at the moment that he can't be balanced using them. You can't balance on the riskiness of his souls, because players will ignore souls (as they are doing right now.) You can't balance on late-game utility, because he has the same utility early on. In order for Thresh to be a fun champion to play against, be a fun champion to play as and be well balanced all at once, he will need changes.

I've already outlined the changes I believe will do this, but there's just one problem. So far I've only really talked about how to make Thresh better at something. I stated at the beginning of this thread that I do not want Thresh buffed. So naturally, there will have to be negative changes as well.

Thresh should be given encouragement to pick up souls, but do so in a risky manner. To this end, I purpose giving Dark Passage a scaling throw range, based on either Thresh's AP or soul count. This accomplishes making Thresh riskier to pick up souls with, and gives him a more smooth power curve into late-game. This also means more skillful play with his lantern, as his leash range will remain the same. He has to get closer to immediately save an ally, but he can still pull back an ally who isn't targeted with CC and allowed to run to the lantern. Preemptive lantern drops also means Thresh will have to risk the cooldown, at which point opponents could stop trading and simply force Thresh on a long 22 second cooldown where his allies have much less peel.

This change to Dark Passage was an example of the kind of changes I would like to balance out Thresh (in other words, don't focus your critique on the example, I'm just trying to get a point across.) I'm not going to list all of my ideas, as there are tons of variations that could be used. I'm simply trying to point out how Thresh could be changed to have his gameplay more transparent, skillful, counterable and make his strengths/weaknesses more transparent for everyone. The goal of these changes are to make Thresh a more fun champion for everyone; mains, allies and enemies alike.

Conclusion: Me, mad? Haha... quite likely.

I understand just how enormous some of these changes are. It's not a rework, but there's a lot of stuff contained in this one post. The goal of all these changes is similar. Make Thresh more enjoyable, transparent and distinct. If you have read everything up to this point, or even managed to skim it, CONGRATULATIONS! you probably have more patience than 98% of people who will click on this thread. I want to thank you for reading the rantings of some stranger over the internet, and I hope you got some enjoyment from it. Feel free to criticize any way you wish, just please keep the thread constructive.



TLDR: Thresh could use some preseason changes, alongside other supports. The main changes I would like to see are his AP scalings being converted from damage to utility, soul based scaling being put on more abilities (namely his ult) and Thresh's strengths/weaknesses to be adjusted so that they're more distinct and transparent. The point of this thread is not to affect Thresh's balance, it is to affect Thresh's gameplay. Overall, I hope to make Thresh more enjoyable for everyone experiencing him (as a main, an ally and an enemy) by providing small tweaks to his gameplay that should make him a better champion overall. If you want more detail, read/skim the post.



[RIGHT]I saw you click that upvote button, don't forget to leave a bump![/RIGHT]


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Faceplosion

Senior Member

10-31-2013

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Stupid Thresh main looking to buff his freelo machine, downvote and move on.

A: Not a question, but this needs to be addressed anyway. For those of you who didn't see the other five thousand times I wrote this, This is not a Thresh buff.

Q: Why doesn't your post have any ability numbers?

A: The point of this post isn't to affect Thresh's balance, it's to affect Thresh's gameplay. If I start suggesting numbers, people will start to criticize those instead of looking at the overarching concept, which is the purpose of making this thread. If you want to discuss Thresh's balance, this is not the thread to do it.

Q: Why not just leave Thresh as-is? Don't fix what ain't broke.

A: Thresh currently is broken in some aspects though. His ban rate is high, even though his win rate doesn't match. He has AP ratios that no one pays attention to, and a passive that is supposed to reflect who he is but he functions best when it is ignored. I'm not asking for an overhaul, I think Thresh is awesome (otherwise I wouldn't be playing him so much.) I just want a few simple changes that can make a world of difference.

Q: Why are you doing this now?

A: Riot is currently set on reworking supports, so I figured if this was ever going to happen, now would be the time. A lot of these changes are already happening to other supports anyway, so why not include Thresh?


This post is a work in progress


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Young Luv Murder

Senior Member

10-31-2013

I was surprised myself that I didn't see Threash in the notes.

I like your ideas. +1


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Crimson Mutt

Member

10-31-2013

The soul scaling idea is really really interesting.

It would have to be threshold based, not linear, since infinite scaling scaling (yes twice) is hard as hell to balance with linear scaling. You're essentially squaring his current balance problem.
It caps at 9999 souls if i recall correctly, and they would have to take that edge case into account if they go linear.
Going by threshold, it doesn't matter by how much you pass the last threshold, you reached that "milestone" so your ability does "X".
If suddenly bonetooth necklace was capped at 20, not 14, it wouldnt change much, since 14 is the best benefit and 14-20 stacks is the same in terms of stats it gives. It would give a safety net for your stacks, but that's a whole another thing irrelevant to this analogy.


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Faceplosion

Senior Member

10-31-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimson Mutt View Post
The soul scaling idea is really really interesting.

It would have to be threshold based, not linear, since infinite scaling scaling (yes twice) is hard as hell to balance with linear scaling. You're essentially squaring his current balance problem.
It caps at 9999 souls if i recall correctly, and they would have to take that edge case into account if they go linear.
Going by threshold, it doesn't matter by how much you pass the last threshold, you reached that "milestone" so your ability does "X".
If suddenly bonetooth necklace was capped at 20, not 14, it wouldnt change much, since 14 is the best benefit and 14-20 stacks is the same in terms of stats it gives. It would give a safety net for your stacks, but that's a whole another thing irrelevant to this analogy.
This makes sense, I would agree with this reasoning. Making Thresh infinitely scale on his stats an abilities will be too much infinite scaling on one character. This might result in his scaling being tuned to pitifulness. Thresholds would provide a good "Alright, you're pretty fed. Time to slow down so that you aren't Poppy V2.0 at 50 minutes"

Thank you for contributing!


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Xunos

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Senior Member

10-31-2013

[RIGHT]Writing Right Justified is neat.[/RIGHT]


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Faceplosion

Senior Member

11-01-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Luv Murder View Post
I was surprised myself that I didn't see Threash in the notes.

I like your ideas. +1
^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xunos View Post
[RIGHT]Writing Right Justified is neat.[/RIGHT]
I find the right writing great for when I write a long post like this and people upvote a lot without bumping. Having the text there really helps when it comes to that, as you can see a lot of people are bumping the thread. Even if I have 20 upvotes having to bump my own thread 10 times is kind of pathetic.


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Misaka Worst

Senior Member

11-01-2013

I like this, a lot of proposed changes that actually makes sense for the direction in which Riot wants to take supports. +1 Well thought out post.


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Faceplosion

Senior Member

11-01-2013

Bump for a Riot response (hopefully.)


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Faceplosion

Senior Member

11-01-2013

I don't mind downvotes, but if you do downvote, I'd like you to post! Criticism and disagreement is a vital part of any discussion. As much as I like agreement and praise, it'd be great to have someone post a comment disagreeing with me and pointing out any flaws I have in my arguments (as long as it's constructive.)


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