Quick LoL Thoughts: January 31

Hi folks, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Usual Disclaimers** These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get delayed or even stopped. If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Clash Improvements** We've got the full launch of Clash coming fairly soon and should have details about when that will be to share next week. Before that though I wanted to cover a few improvements to Clash we've been working on based off player feedback from the beta tests in December. These changes should all be in for the full launch. * All teams play three matches Previously teams that lost their first two matches wouldn't play any further. That led to both a shorter than expected/desired Clash experience for players and left exact placings a little unclear for rewards purposes. We're moving to 3 games regardless as a result. * Presenting info about Clash more clearly We're working on surfacing various bits of info about Clash functionality a bit better. The most useful of those is likely to be the timer that shows the maximum time you'll need to wait until your next match could occur, based off how far through their game your opponents are. Then there are also some smaller things like distinguishing more clearly between different types of entry tickets, clarifying that all champs are unlocked for Clash etc. * Helping players give Clash a try Some players are interested in Clash but hesitant to give it a try, have trouble finding a team, aren't sure when it will be etc. We're looking to use things like a mission that gives you a free Clash ticket for your first event, clearer notifications Clash is coming etc to help with that. Our plan is to continue to improve Clash throughout the year. Feedback on things you'd like to see improved much appreciated, whether you’ve played in previous tests or have been following progress about Clash but haven’t yet had the chance to play it yourself. Our plan is to run Clash regularly. We're still figuring out the exact cadence we want to go with though. We want to ensure gaps between Clash weekends don't feel too long. We also want to avoid running tournaments so frequently that the potential player base is split over too many different days (leads to weaker competition and lower significance per tournament). Longer term once we've got Clash in the right state for SR, we also want to look at whether it's worth trying Clash in any other contexts (e.g. event game modes, TFT etc). That's still a pretty speculative topic, but something that I wanted to mention is on our minds too, given it's been a question that's cropped up a number of times. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **Top Lane Impact** Top lane’s a position that’s got very varied popularity, depending on the MMR and region you look at, ranging from most popular role in some contexts to least in others. Position selection rates by region and MMR 12/28/2019 - 1/28/2020 https://imgur.com/a/Pbjn3a4 https://imgur.com/a/6fbpvy4 https://imgur.com/a/AXVh8ft https://imgur.com/a/oAlz0lv Our belief going into preseason was that in high MMR and pro play top lane did not have sufficient impact on the outcome of the game, based off both position selection rates and degree to which a lead in top lane affects a team’s likelihood of winning. One of our goals with preseason as a result was to give top lane increased impact, with increases to solo lane XP, Rift Herald respawning and lower jungle/duo lane XP as levers for that. Those changes have now been out for a while and they haven’t had as much effect as we’d hoped. We’re taking another look at top lane influence as a result right now, with a focus on influence in high skill games specifically. Details we’re considering to follow once we’ve got some potential changes to share.Timeline on work shipping is likely fairly soon but not in the next patch at least. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- **TFT during February** Now that Rise of the Elements has been out for quite a while we’re entering a period where changes to it for the rest of the set will be fairly light. We’ve got some smaller balance adjustments and polish planned for upcoming patches, like a bit of a nerf to Light and potentially a buff to Glacial 6 at least. We’ll also be experimenting with Spatula presence on the carousel, starting with a patch without any Spatulas at all there. Overall though we think the set’s in a good state and have shifted most of our focus onto getting the next set and mobile client ready for their March release. That includes incorporating a range of lessons we’ve learned about set design from seeing how Rise of the Elements has played out, including: * Making sure we’re rewarding players enough for going deep on a particular trait (6+ shouldn’t be a trap) * Being cognizant of how large numbers of summoned units can make fights much harder to follow * The degree to which lots of early regen and armor can slow game pacing down * The importance of having enough traits/spells that bring spectacle in addition to interesting gameplay

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For anyone who didn't see it last post - changing format a bit this year. My role doesn't involve as much time with the SR (balance etc) team anymore, so I won't be covering balance as much. RiotScruffy will take every second post as a result and be pretty focused on balance and state of the game. I'll be covering wider LoL stuff and overall direction more. Will respond on balance questions when I've got the context, but won't always be the case.
Hi Meddler, Do you have plans for Ahri? She's not playable far from there either but I still find her a little "weak" compared to the other mages/champion of the moment, a lot of pros saying she has literally 0 damage but it's still different to their elo, We don't see her at all in professional games too :( if nothing's planned, how do you feel about her right now?
Will the work for Top include changes to TP? Given that you're talking about positions, any thoughts on positions and roles as well? For instance, playing a tank in top lane or jungle **feels** rather bad, especially in the early game stages. Especially with the fact that the need to itemize HP (on most tanks) really restricts your early item choices.
Hey Meddler, can I ask if you guys are happy with how support items have landed.
Any plans to help the clunkiness of some champions due to mini reworks? {{champion:350}} {{champion:517}} {{champion:163}} Come to mind. With upcoming Yuumi buffs, it really doesnt change how bad she feels to play. No E charges give players less to do on a lower interactive champ, Q feels useless, W is extremely clunky. Most Yuumi players would prefer release Yuumi over this, and personally, I'd take that but with the change that made her enchanter. Just sad to see champs feel horrible to play now, even when they get buffed...
So mid is the most impactful role? PLZ NERF MID!
Has there ever been discussion by the tft team to have units automatically target champions over summoned creatures? Feels bad to lose an advantageous fight because of a random malzahar minion
I know you said you don't involve as much time in the SR team anymore, but do you have any insights on sylas. The rework had some nice parts to it, but is there any chance the auto resets could come back in a future patch with the attack speed removal. I understand a goal was to increase accessibility but the other changes, mainly w did that. I love the champ but it feels like now I just get rewarded for just having my passive rather than taking advantage of specific moments of power. Also the clunk
Trying to ask this as a more generalized question to better suit your role; What's riots current stance on Enchanters? Atm they feel really really bad to play compared to their engage counterparts (Naut, Thresh, Pyke, Leona etc. etc.) I know Riot doesn't typically like to make these champions strong as they aren't fun to watch, but is there any talk of helping them out?
The issue with top lane is that it is a counterpick lane and whoever gets a lead wins the lane by a large margin most of the time. At the same time, it often does not matter much in a win or a loss. Top lane needs some work to how champs that get played there scale. Another big reason I noticed as to why top laners don't get to impact the game much as game progresses is that, unlike other positions, they can't get beyond 20% CDR easily while ADCs attack at 2.0AS and everyone else has 40% CDR. They built TriForce/BC, now what CDR item can you get? For most of these top lane bruiser champs, their CDs are what allow them to get in range of others or generally make an impact in a fight.
It's not even them being completely bad, but there's been a lot of changes over the years just making them feel horrible to play (like all the changes the ardent meta caused; yuumi's horrible feeling mini rework etc).
I don't wanna hate, I think you guys are doing a great job with satisfying your players. But please, bugfixes. Bugs are usually something normal in any game; but when the bugs are so recurrent that they just make you hate your own champion, it's something that need a closer look. In my case, what I'm talking about is Shaco. If I had to list every bug, it would take a while. Please give us your insight on unpopular champions that just crawl with bugs all over them?
Hi Meddler! I've got more of a general design question: How does the team make champions that spikes in the mid-game? Early game seems easy, give them high base states and rank 1 numbers, but poor scaling. Late game is just the reverse, good scaling, poor early numbers. But we have some mid-game champions whose early and late game both aren't great, but they are wickedly powerful in between. They are encouraged to snowball and end the game quickly. What parts of their kit make a champion do that?
Hey Meddler! Big TFT fan here with a question about event missions. It's awesome that TFT has been represented in these events like Mecha Kingdoms and whatnot by earning tokens from simply playing games and by being able to use them to purchase emotes and little legend eggs (hoo boy I bought like 8 emotes after the dawn/nightbringer event, lemme tell ya). Just curious if there's been any thought about making the specific missions a little more interesting for TFT players in particular? I get that we already have the baked in TFT missions and it might seem like a bit of overlap but it could be neat to have a mission or two where there's a SR win condition, a TFT win condition, and the general "win 10 games" mission. Just curious if there has been any internal thoughts/discussion on this!
Since I typically make Karma rage posts towards you I'm going to take the time to time about something else that is a major problem with this game. Is there anything being worked on to combat the massive amounts of toxicity like inting games, rage quitting games, players running it down mid, players disrupting the game because of their poor attitudes, and teammates picking troll picks? I think the vast majority of us can tolerate it in a normal game and just move on, but when someone is in their promos and just trying to climb . . . . it's unbearable to think someone is enjoying themselves with these toxic players. A lot of the problems with the community do stem from a faulty matchmaking system, terrible game balance that is not being addressed quickly enough, and a punishment system that is either not doing it's job or it's extremely light on people who should no longer be playing the game. I'm really not a toxic person in real life and generally not in this game. I'm a very sweet and caring person, but for the past 2 years the behavior of some players and the toxicity these people think they can get away with, and have been getting away with, in games . . . makes me not want to play this game anymore. I don't like muting my team and not communicating because I don't mind learning from others and helping other people. I had a Caitlyn I was in lane with who was struggling against a Soraka and Senna last night so I told her to build Executioners Calling early and we started winning lane hard. A couple games later I had a Senna Support who would rather play ADC than the Support role she got filled and kept taking my CS, Q'ing the wave, using her W wrong and just not helping me in lane at all, but she didn't want to listen and was being toxic and inting on purpose because she fed 3 kills. The matchmaking system is a failure, game balance is a joke and the punishment is not doing it's job. It's literally every single game now Meddler that has someone purposely going out of their way to ruin games for others and these people think it's their job and funny to do it. What are you doing, as a Game Developer, to make the matchmaking system better, the game balance more healthier, and improving the punishment system by punishing and removing players that are straight up ruining ranked games for others . . . . and have a clear history of doing it more than once?
Hey Meddler! Are there any plans to bring play.op.gg back? Finding a team is pretty hard without a unified site specifically for doing so, and having it as a resource was extremely helpful when Clash first was tested.
CdR items for top laners beyond Triforce and Black Cleaver: {{item:3001}} {{item:3194}} {{item:3812}} {{item:3025}} {{item:3158}} {{item:3156}} {{item:3110}} {{item:3800}} {{item:3065}} {{item:3083}} {{item:3142}} There's even or better odds that a Triforce/Cleaver top laner's 2nd full item is a 10% CdR item. In fact, there are fewer common 2nd items that do not offer CdR: {{item:3742}} {{item:3193}} {{item:3026}} {{item:3074}} {{item:3143}} {{item:3075}} {{item:3748}} {{item:3053}}
Multiple auto resets is a pattern we've seen lead to balanceability problems a lot of times in the past, especially when they're not a clear focus of the character like on Riven. Nidalee before she had a lot of resets stripped was a good example of that, with a lot more burst than intended, given her poke, mobility and healing. Completely agree with losing them from a kit feeling poor once you're used to them, and it's something we'd prefer to avoid whenever possible, so would ideally either find other solutions or avoid putting them on the kit in the first palce. We do think it was the right call for Sylas however.
> Those changes have now been out for a while and they haven’t had as much effect as we’d hoped. We’re taking another look at top lane influence as a result right now, with a focus on influence in high skill games specifically. As a toplaner, thanks for finally noticing us. Is there a chance that this time changes will be focused on things that actually hurt toplane? I.e. how easy it is for junglers to take any advantage away from us. While I initially appreciated the preseason changes, in the end it is really meaningless to buff XP and buff objectives close to toplane when the _people deciding who gets this XP and this objectives are not toplaners_, but (at least largely) junglers. It feels bad even for me being a hardstuck plat scrub, but when watching higher level games it becomes _really obvious_ that toplaners just don't get to control their lane at all due to it being a long lane with just a fraction of vision available when compared to botlane.
We're pretty positive on them overall. Some smaller friction points do exist that aren't ideal, particularly around the farming penalty. At the same time though we've got better ability to keep funnel comps controlled and have seen increased support item flexibility early game as a clear win.

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