@RIOT Why can't other classes have a late game fantasy that compares with marksmen?

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Critkeeper

Senior Member

12-14-2013

I feel like the amount of damage a markman has to do in order to be a threat to a heavy armor / health stacker is so great that it makes them inordinately dangerous to any other class. If the marksman has enough damage to threaten a tank, then she can blow anyone who isn't a tank up in four auto attacks.

Is that really necessary though? It would be nice if other champions could experience a late game fantasy in a team fight without being under the constant threat of being blown to bits by 3 auto attacks from a marksman. But marksman need to have a fantasy too-- I just don't think it necessarily has to involve killing anything that isn't a tank in less than 3 seconds. That should be assassin territory, not markman territory.

So what fantasy is more endemic to the marksman role than assassinating targets in a couple seconds from range? I think knocking down hulking tanks that seem to be impervious to ever other source of damage is what makes a marksman's auto attacks feel satisfying. Coordinating with your team to keep a zone of control around you so that you can take down the beast really promotes interplay between all the classes. Your own tanks can zone out assassins, assassins can threaten mages, mages can lay down suppressive damage on the fighters, the fighters can dive hard on the marksman, the support can peel those fighters, and the marksman can burn down the tank.

Taking down the tank or heavy frontline fighter on the enemy team means removing a huge zone of control and disruption from the enemy team. It usually makes or breaks the team fight-- and a marksman melts down a balanced tank better than any other class. That is what makes a marksman feel unique.

But it seems kind of silly for them to be able to assassinate squishy targets as fast as an assassin, from range, in the late game. Do they really need that power to provide the essential front line melting utility for the team? No. Should all ranged carries be equal in terms of their ability to melt the front line or damage squishy champions? Of course not, and that isn't what I am trying to say.

I'm talking about how critical strikes scale linearly regardless of the kind of target they are hitting. Given that tanks generally withstand about 4-7 times more damage than a squishy before dying, without any kind of special scaling a marksman that can do 400 dps to a tank would end up doing 1600-2800 dps to a squishy, which is absurd. So some scaling is added that makes it so that even if a marksman has 'only' 1k dps versus a squishy, it won't be reduced to nill against tanks-- primarily % armor penetration in the last whisper.

I don't think that is the right way to go about it. We've always had problems with the interaction between the tanky resist stackers and the marksman-- they have never felt like they were on even footing with eachother throughout LOL's entire history. That is because, mathematically, the % armor pen model doesn't actually change anything-- the critical strikes still scale linearly regardless of the kind of target they are hitting, they just have a different coefficient.

In other words, though the total amount of armor penetrated against a tankier target is more than it is against a squishier target when using the last whisper, they both become squishier.

Health *( 100 + Armor * (1 - %Pen) ) / 100 = EffectiveHealthAfterPen
Health *( 100 + Armor ) / 100 = EffectiveHealthBeforePen

Dividing these equations yields a ratio of the Effective health after the last whisper, as opposed to the effective health before last whisper. This shows us the percentage loss in total tankiness of the enemy target provided by the % penetration.

( 100 + Armor * (1 - %Pen) ) / ( 100 + Armor ) = EffectiveHealthAfterPen / EffectiveHealthBeforePen

We can turn this into something that is more meaningful though. We want a graph of the percent of Effective Health the last whisper takes away from an enemy as their armor goes up.

100 * (1 - ( 100 + Armor * (1 - %Pen) ) / ( 100 + Armor ) ) = PercentEffectiveHealthLost

Now I just set the values according to what they are in the game, and make a graph.

100 *(1 - ( 100 + x * (1 - 0.35) ) / ( 100 + x ) )= y
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As this graph indicates, the more armor the enemy has the greater the percent of effective physical health they lose. However, look at how the graph curves. It starts out very steep, granting a ton of increase in the percent of effective physical health lost as the armor increases, but it flattens out. Eventually, at very high armor values the increase in the percent of effective physical health lost is marginal.

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One reason it slopes down is because of the fact that each percentage point is worth more and more as they lose Effective health. Imagine if you could take away 99% of their effective health, and then want to take away that last 1%: it would be only 1% of the total effective health you took away from them but it would be 100% of what they had left. Each point of armor taken away takes away an amount of Effective health equal to 1% of the enemies maximum health. In terms of absolutes, the last whisper is more effective against tanks than against squishies. In terms of percentage effective health lost, it is equal against everyone.

When you buy items for DPS, you aren't concerned with the absolute damage numbers. You are concerned with buying whatever item grants you the greatest percentage increase in damage at this moment. If you already have 400 attack damage, then a BF sword is approximately a 10% damage increase, but if you have only 1 attack per second and can buy enough attack speed to give you 1.2 attacks per second for the same price as a BF sword, for a 20% increase in damage, you will buy the attack speed. Last whisper doesn't specifically target tanks as a % damage increase. It might seem that it does, but mathematically it doesn't.
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Against a target with 500 armor only 5% more effective physical health is lost than against a target with 250 armor. So last whisper doesn't really counter high resist stackers any more than it counters moderate resist stackers.

But marksmen still melt tanks in a reasonable amount of time, so how do they do it without a huge amplification against tanky targets? They do it by just having silly raw damage-- crits, attack speed, and attack damage. Its not really that they need any of that to deal with tanks mathematically speaking, they just don't have any other options. Its not like there is any other source of % penetration to buy.

Compounded with this is the fact that many tanks have either frozen heart or randuins omen or both. The combined attack speed slow from these two sources stacks multiplicatively to form a 32% attack speed slow after all other attack speed modifiers take place-- a 32% reduction in damage effectively.

What that means is that the damage output a marksman needs to pose a threat to a high durability tank is so high they eventually overshadow the purposes of other damage oriented classes. Their auto attacks eventually have to do so much damage in order to kill a tank they are comparable to long cooldown nukes cast by mages in the late game, except on a 0.6 second cooldown. They become better at assassinating targets than assassins are, because they can kill squishy champions without putting themselves in significant danger, from range, in under 2 or 3 seconds.

Because of that, they push out other damage oriented classes. This is the reason marksman distort the late game: they have to have game distorting damage in order to deal with tanks that itemize against the marksman, because the marksman's itemization for dealing with the tank isn't specific enough. Last whisper is supposed to be the end all be all one stop shop of dealing with tanks, and although it is effective it isn't specific. It has practically the same effect against a bruiser or fighter as it does against an actual tank. Because of that, marksman need silly damage output in order to deal with tanks, far more than they should really need.

It isn't good for marksmen to shove out other damage focused classes, but they ought to be able to deal with tanks if they itemize specifically for that. I suggest lowering the damage marksmen do against squishies and increasing the damage they do against tanky targets. This way, marksmen don't have to have so much damage they can 3 shot a squishy in order to be any kind of threat to a tank. This would allow other damage focused classes to thrive even in the late game and to have a presence that isn't eclipsed by the markmen.

A few questions arise:
  1. How do you make it so that marksmen don't do as much damage to squishies as they do currently, but make it so that they do more damage to tankier targets than they do currently?
  2. How do you implement it in such a way that it doesn't make the marksman useless as a damage oriented class BEFORE people stack resists.
  3. How do you implement it in such a way that is clear and easy to follow?

I think the answer lies in critical strikes. Here is a suggestion:

Critical strikes no longer do +100% AD damage. Instead they do +X% of AD true damage. As for infinity edge or any other critical strike damage bonus, it would be scaled down to be the same proportional increase.

What do you think?
Here is a sample of X = 0.4 (infinity edge isn't figured in below, but for x=0.4 it would be +0.2)
  • CURRENT-- you have 200 ad, and you crit for 200 physical + 200 physical = 400 physical.
    ARMOR :: DAMAGE
    0 :: 400
    50 :: 266
    100:: 200
    150:: 160
    200:: 133
    250:: 114
    300:: 100
  • PROPOSED-- you have 200 ad, and you crit for 200 physical + 80 true
    ARMOR :: DAMAGE
    0 :: 280
    50 :: 213
    100:: 180
    150:: 160
    200:: 146
    250:: 137
    300:: 130

Essentially, rather than needing a goofy amount of physical damage that has to be pushed through the resists of the tank, a critical strike would just guarantee a certain baseline minimum damage on anyone equal to X% of AD, (here I used 0.4).

So Marksmen do not have to have game distorting damage output that overshadows the other damage oriented classes in order to do their job, because they have a guaranteed amount of damage on hit regardless of how much armor their opponent has, so long as they crit. As the armor tends to infinity it doesn't reduce the damage of the crit to 0, as it does now, rather it reduces it to X% of AD.
  • Currently a crit on a target that has 0 armor can do 2.5 * AD damage with infinity edge, which is 1.25 * AD after resists on a 100 armor target, but only 0.625 * AD against a 300 armor target.
  • With this change a crit on a target that has 0 armor will only do 1.6 * AD with infinity edge, which is 1.1 * AD after resists on a 100 armor target, and still 0.85 * AD against a target with 300 armor.

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Marksmen do not have weak early game or poor utility to offset their overpowering ranged damage late game, nor should they. If all marksmen had little or no utility and a weak early game just so they could all universally justify having the same eclipsing late game, then there would only be a handful of marksmen because they would be all nearly identical. It doesn't add any gameplay or fun for marksmen to be far weaker than the average class early on, and that is what video games are all about-- fun.

People perceive marksmen as having a weak early game, but that is only a perception. People have that perception because long long ago before the meta was cemented people took marksmen in various lanes, solo lanes top and mid, but they would receive all the pressure from roamers and junglers. They receive that pressure because of fear. People fear what the marksmen become in endgame, so they try to delay that event as much as possible.

In order to put the marksmen somewhere where they can acquire the gold necessary to reach endgame status quickly and without interference from the enemy roamers and junglers, at first they were placed mid. That is the shortest lane and the safest solo lane. Eventually people took them bot with a support because the marksmen only need gold, not levels, and there are a variety of mages that can cause trouble for the marksmen in the mid lane.

It isn't that marksmen have a weak early game and need a support to babysit them. Its that they have such an eclipsing late game the enemy team must fear the marksmen, that they need a support to keep the enemy team away.

If marksmen didn't eclipse the other classes late game they would be the primary target at all times throughout the entire game. That means they could potentially live longer in fights since they aren't always the best target to kill first. This grants players the experience of defending someone who isn't a marksmen for a change, and the dynamics involved with that, increasing the sophistication and depth of team fights. The team fights would more more complicated than just "whoever dives and kills the enemy ad carry first wins" in the endgame-- all the interesting dynamics of team fights in the early mid game are preserved throughout the entire duration of the game.

If marksmen didn't eclipse other classes endgame, they wouldn't always be the primary target on the map, so they could potentially go to a solo lane. Setting the marksmen back isn't always the best move-- it might be better to set their mage or fighter back. Being able to put a marksman in a solo lane opens up the lane assignments and brings back old strategies that have long been abandoned. It allows people to run something like Zilean + Malzahar bot lane for voidling timebomb homing missles of death and not be worse off for it soon after the laning phase is won. That is how you break open the meta.

As long as marksmen have an endgame that eclipses the other damage dealing classes, the meta will remain stagnant because the meta will revolve around them. It has for over 4 years and it will continue to unless a change is made. This game could be so much deeper... there is so much variety in strategy and lane assignment and the types of champion matchups and fun is lost because of this one flaw.

If it so happens that making a change like this would lead to a "bruiserfication" of league of legends, then that is a problem inherent to bruiser design, not an excuse to artificially polarize the metagame because of a lazy design principle. There is no such thing as a free lunch-- the force exerted on the system by that polarization costs something. It costs variety in terms of the number of ways the game can be played competitively, the number of strategies that can be used, the depth of the gameplay, and the number of decision points available to the players in the game.

Ultimately, the longevity of a game depends on both its fun and its depth. Five years from now league of legends may have a much smaller community because people would have grown tired of the game-- when in fact they haven't experienced the game as it could be. They have only experienced a distortion of the game manifest by the polarizing effect of having ANY class, marksmen or not, with such a powerful endgame as to eclipse other classes.

When I think of all the love and attention devoted to this game both by its developers and its fans, all the time and effort i've spent playing and improving and communicating on the forums, it pains me to recognize that it is on a track to die much much sooner than it should.

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TLDR:

Just read the paragraphs. The mathy stuff can be skipped if you don't want to follow it.


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Spitsonkittens

Senior Member

12-14-2013

I'd still appreciate a tl;dr in layman's English.


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ShakeNBake EUW

Senior Member

12-14-2013

gooby plz, marksmen are trash in S4.

whole class is only "good" when played by a 300apm Korean with godlike mechanics, a good team to protect him, and zero positioning mistakes, and that's only if his team can drag the game out to 40mins so he can complete 3+ recipe items.


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Critkeeper

Senior Member

12-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitsonkittens View Post
I'd still appreciate a tl;dr in layman's English.
Marksmen do so much damage they push out the other damage oriented classes in the end game. All the damage oriented classes at end game pale in comparison to the damage output of the marksmen.

Marksmen do not need that much damage in order to be effective. They just need to be able to melt tankier targets much faster than anyone else in order to have a solid place on the team and an end game fantasy. They still need to have respectable damage against any kind of target though, just not so much that it distorts the game.

Right now aside from last whisper they have no real way to itemize against tankier targets, so they end up doing a silly amount of damage to everyone who isn't a tank, and a respectable amount of damage to tanks-- that isn't ideal because it shoves out other damage oriented classes. Mathematically, last whisper doesn't do its job well enough-- it is an effective item against tanks, but that is only because it is effective against nearly everyone. It doesn't specifically target tanks.

It would be better if they did less damage to squishies than they currently do and more damage to tanks than they currently do. I gave a suggestion for changing the way critical strikes work that would establish that change.


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ninjagear

Senior Member

12-14-2013

and then u realize that any mage will one combo an adc.... then u realize that a tank will pewps on mages, then u realize that adc's pewp on tanks, then u realize that mages one combo adc's....

and the cycle of life and death continues.


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YossarianSensei

Senior Member

12-14-2013

That's just the way the items are designed.

ADCs are relatively gold inefficient until they build their 'holy trinity' of AD+AS+Crit, whereas other champions like Riven or something scale very well from the get-go with just AD or AP items.

AD+AS+Crit is a huge commitment to build, as at minimum you'll need 3 pure damage items that don't really pay for themselves until you have all 3 and can reliably autoattack stuff in a fight, thus you don't see anybody except marskmen building these items.


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ShakeNBake EUW

Senior Member

12-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by YossarianSensei View Post
That's just the way the items are designed.

ADCs are relatively gold inefficient until they build their 'holy trinity' of AD+AS+Crit, whereas other champions like Riven or something scale very well from the get-go with just AD or AP items.

AD+AS+Crit is a huge commitment to build, as at minimum you'll need 3 pure damage items that don't really pay for themselves until you have all 3 and can reliably autoattack stuff in a fight, thus you don't see anybody except marskmen building these items.
dont forget armor pen + lifesteal

oh yeah, and u usually want a defensive item too, so you dont get blown up in <1 sec by enemy champs.


ADC is useless til IE + PD/Shiv + LW + BT/BotRK.
and if they actually manage to build those items before getting wrecked by enemy team early/mid game, they basically deserve to win XD yet even when you have those items, you STILL get dumpstered by pretty much anything if you get caught in a situation where the enemy champ can dmg you.


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xCalico13

Senior Member

12-14-2013

ad carries were literally created to be the largest source of consistent physical damage lategame, hence the title "carry"

EDIT: this game is structured by design, and the fact of the matter is that adc's are supposed to have the greatest lategame fantasy, while other roles have their other purposes in winning the game


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ShakeNBake EUW

Senior Member

12-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by xCalico13 View Post
ad carries were literally created to be the largest source of consistent physical damage lategame, hence the title "carry"
hence why Riot now calls them MARKSMEN and not AD carries..?


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MichaeI Jaxon

Senior Member

12-14-2013

I actually read all that and I must say:

Everyone please read this thread, it's legit.


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