Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 21
These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The work or goals could change depending on what we discover, and projects mentioned may get delayed or even stopped. That said, I believe it’s important to share as much as we can even if plans may change.
**Matchmaking and Ranked future**
We’ve been collecting feedback and ramping up on many big and small problems that we’d like to solve around matchmaking and ranked throughout the year. After taking it all in, we’ve created a pretty exciting roadmap for the future changes we’d like to make to ranked and matchmaking over the next year. Expect a dev blog very soon with our plans for the future.
One update I do have for now is that we’re currently working on adding **autofill parity** to matchmaking - this means we can balance both teams to have a similar number of autofilled players on each team. Our results so far are very promising and we think we can ship this feature pretty quickly and see significant improvement.
**Top Lane Impact**
With our long term goal of giving top laners higher game impact (ability to carry a game) in high elo, we’re exploring a few different strategies:
* Carrying through items - We have a few potential changes to core top lane items like Black Cleaver, Sunfire, and the Hydra items to give fighters and tanks some more carry power later.
* Early strategic impact - The dragon creates a highly valued objective that all positions other than top have a strong ability to contest. We’re hoping to get top more integrated into the early objective game through a more powerful teleport summoner or making Rift Herald more comparable in value to dragon.
* Turning leads into victories - Finding some ways to slightly amp up the payout in the early game for winning top lane can make it more comparable to the other positions. We’re exploring things like increasing melee damage to plates.
**Jungle Satisfaction and Personal Power**
With our long term goal of increasing Jungle satisfaction while not pushing their control over the early game too high, we’re testing a few things for upcoming patches:
* Reduced Gank Power - in particular lowering the value of a gank (which is currently very high). This might sound counterintuitive for making jungle feel more satisfying, but the goal is to allow junglers to hold a bit more of the power themselves instead of donating it to their laners through ganks.
* Introducing a new early game homeguards when you respawn after a death
* Slight reduction in shared XP for kills by multiple champions
* Slight increase in XP for solo kills (which is a small buff for invade junglers, too)
* Increased farm XP
* With the reduced gank power we can give junglers more XP through farming the jungle
**How snowbally is the game today?**
Short answer - it’s in a good state.
Long answer - one of the key game statistics that we monitor and balance systems around is the amount of snowball in the game. Over time we’ve found that there is a sweet spot where we get the core benefits from snowball that we’re looking for:
* There is enough snowball that early game leads matter (if the game had no snowball, you could sit in fountain for the first 15 minutes and still win)
* There is not too much snowball so that early game decides the game entirely
Some interesting data to show - This is one of our metrics that tracks how decided (snowballed) a game is at 15 minutes. The three lines shown are
* Red - Large Lead - One team has a 90%+ chance of winning the game
* Green - Medium Lead - One team has a 75%+ chance of winning
* Blue - Even Game - No team has a 75%+ chance of winning
We’ve found that this “sweet spot” for snowball in LoL is when at 15 minutes, roughly 25% of games have large lead, 35% of games have medium lead, and 40% of games are close to even. Currently we’re seeing a pretty good state of snowball.
You can see that in the last few seasons there have been spikes and dips in snowball, and through systems changes we’ve been able to re-stabilize that game state.
Here are some factors that we commonly rely on when we want to change overall snowball a lot:
* Kill gold/rewards
* Early objective rewards (towers, dragon, etc)
* Shutdown gold
* Death timers
Thanks again for playing and engaging with us about the game. See you next time!