Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 21

**Disclaimer** 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. https://imgur.com/a/6n25UHy 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! Scruffy https://twitter.com/MarkYetter https://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/9.24.2/img/champion/Sion.png

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**Thoughts on this: ** There has been a constant homogenization of the game relative to champion (play-styles) and systemic elements such as runes/items. The big worry from my end is stems from champions. Why are Riot pushing for champions to play similarly? The bloated systems I talked about prior have inflated damage, sustain (hp/mana), and cool-down accessibility which in turn has gutted unique identities of champions in favour pushing them to just be viable in this team-deathmatch meta. For example: Sub-classes such as control mages have vanished and replaced by Riot's favorite, the burst mage. Please stop deviating from the design pillars that got the game to where it is today. I would link Morello's design philosophy article from 2014 that suited what LoL is; a hardcore competative mulitplayer game but your new shiny website has destroyed all archives of such /dev blogs AND patch-notes from previous seasons -_-
Thoughts on Quinn?
I'm surprised that top impact is being addressed before ADC. I would say in my 8 years of playing this game the role is the weakest it has ever felt, especially in pre-fifteen minute influence, and still quite a lot past that. Getting one-shot by supports is not necessarily fun or interactive. Has there been any talk regarding that state of ADCs? We are seeing them evacuate bot lane to solo lanes to avoid having to lane against a support, for example.
Hi Scruffy! Something about the meta toplaners at the moment (Ornn,Sett,Morde and Darius) they are a bit strong right now .Something planned for this champions?
Will we ever be able to actually see our MMR or will MMR ever be tied more closely to rank(so things like silver player playing in plat but cant duo with plat friend dont happen)?
Thoughts on Zyra?
In gold elo i face smurfs every other game. Why is are they always on the enemy team? Is it because i play a lot of games? So you dont care about ruining them? Literally every other game someone on the enemy team is lvl 30 ish with a high winrate ruining the game. Its time to address the smurfing problem. Leveling an account to 30 is way too easy, buying botted accounts is even easier. Fix this smurfing epidemic in gold elo, where all higher elo smurfs start off, and constantly ruin games.
Thanks Black Cleaver will be buffed,even juggernauts now are building triforce(Darius,Garen,Sett etc) and the main Black Cleaver users (Riven,Renekton,Aatrox) and a bit weak atm.Can u give me some thoughts about Riven,Irelia and Aatrox? how they are doing at the moment? Thanks in advance.
Hi Scruffy, Please consider removing placements at the start of every season. There is nothing more demoralizing than grinding all year only to get knocked down a division or two. It feels like punishment. Let your loyal player base start where they finish. I've ended in Silver every year except season 6. I think it would go a long way with your player base. Lastly Match making has felt bad since S9. I don't understand why I get iron 4 players in any of my games (currently grinding myself out of B3). I might understand I1 maybe I2. Thank you.
any Kalista {{champion:429}} plans?
Excited for the ranked news, hopefully you will make changes similar to Rainbow Six Siege's ranked. Also liking the jungle changes, with reduced gank importance junglers will be under less pressure and will make it easier for autofills to play their part.
Does Kai'sa's ability upgrade system need to be changed? Small item nerfs like 5 AD or attack speed can sometimes have huge impact on her because of her thresholds.
What are you going to do with akali in the future is she in the spot where you wanted her?
Good afternoon!! As a new-and-upcoming GLP + phase rush control mage abuser, do you foresee any changes coming to these two options on this sect of champions? Also, any thoughts on Malzahar or the issues with making Omnistone a viable option?
Are you guys planning to help Brand MIDLANE anytime soon? He has been a support champ ever since his 6.9 rework.
Hey scruffy, Do you guys have any plans for akali for 10.5? Seeing as she is pretty weak in all levels of play, even in pro having only a 5% presence without much success,She could make use of some changes/buffs.
What's the status of Irelia? Are you looking at ways to make her less tilted towards Elite/Pro level play?
Well said.
I'm concerned over the saying of "more powerful teleport summoner" as I remember the days of all 3 lanes taking it over anything else. Also I curious how exactly you all plan to change the herald
Hey Scruffy could I ask if you can share any details about the Kai'Sa changes you guys have testing and where did Sona and Soraka land post hotfix

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