Dec 24, 2012

Xypherous On FoN Removal, S3 Itemization, Upcoming Alacrity/Swiftness Nerf, Warmog Buff

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The removal of Force of Nature was a little surprising, and also a little necessary in the eyes of many League players, including myself.  However, Xypherous and the rest of the Riot team believe otherwise. In a very long discussion thread, I've managed to extra the following upcoming changes:

  • The enchantments Alacrity and Swiftness will be nerfed in a future patch, being too strong in their current incarnation.
  • The Flask + 5 HP Pot start also seems a little too strong at the moment and may be tweaked on the 5 HP pot side.
  • Xypherous also hinted at a possible Warmog buff in the near future!
Meanwhile, here's are the full texts from Xypherous:

Xypherous on MR and FoN Removal:
The magic resistance option for tanks currently are:

Runic Bulwark
Spirit Visage
Banshee's Veil
Mikael's Crucible

AP Tanks also have: Abyssal Scepter, Twin Shadows

Roughly half of the items in this pool build out of a Negatron Cloak (Abyssal / Visage / Veil) while the other half build out of Null Magic (Runic, Crucible, Shadows)

There isn't quite a concept as AD Tank as anyone with this classification turns out to be a fighter more often than not.

The movement speed options for tanks currently are the same as most other characters in the game, by intent:


Wraith Collar
Alacrity Enchantment

Jungle Tanks additional get two additional options, due to the fact that Golem Soul grants Tenacity and can thus sub out Mercury Treads for additional options:

Swiftness Boots
Mobility Boots

As for HP/5 - that statistic has been admittedly unsupported as a late-game statistic - mostly because we raised Strength of Spirit a tier up - This change hasn't been as effective as I'd actually liked it to have been for support end-game HP/5 without mid-game HP/5 and it's something that I'd want to take a look at in the future.

The reason for removing FoN are as follows - here are the typical cases you'd purchase FoN:


1. You need MR - and you need it now.


However - why are you paying 1900 for an additional Null-Magic Mantle's worth of MR over Negatron Cloak? This meant that the best MR option was to go double Negatron Cloak or Aegis + Negatron Cloak. Considering that Aegis was cost-efficient by itself in terms of statistic strength and that the lone Negatron Cloak could always be upgraded to Abyssals - this meant that optimal MR was always going to include Negatron Cloak sitting in your inventory without a build.

2. You need movement speed somehow on your tank character


However, again, why are you paying 1900 for a bunch of HP/5 and Magic Resistance when you need something for *speed* in a current game. This simply impacts casters negatively - because if tanks are balanced around always having an additional 76 MR for their movement speed options - almost every source of magic damage needs to be absurd (or conversely, there cannot be other movement speed options)

Speed being attached to a primary resistance counter-item is always going to be awkward - if you need movement speed ubiquitously - unless you fight the perfect composition, you are always basically screwing yourself if this is your primary movement speed source.

3. You prize HP/5 as a statistic.


This is really where the crux of the main argument lies. If you are a player who thinks highly of HP/5 as a statistic - then Force of Nature made sense because that is the primary function Force of Nature did well - otherwise, if you were actually optimizing MR - you built twin Aegis and a Negatron Cloak (which would turn into Abyssal).

However, HP/5 is a very *poor* statistic coupled with burst mitigation and movement speed. One is a set of statistics for primary initiators - the other is a set of statistics for dedicated siegers - Force of Nature was suboptimal unless broken with additional sources of Health (such as Warmog's Armor, for example) - However, this particular pairing is (as many people have pointed out in terms of what champion they miss Force of Nature on) a dedicated Bruiser/Fighter path - one that we don't really particularly need / want to support given how durability focused those characters can get.
Quote:
It's a ****ty abyssal scepter with two situational slows and **** stats.
Both the Kage's upgrades service different tanks for the purposes of initiating fights - the combined effect of movement speed, long range slows and having a large portion of the item cost negated by how early it fits into your build makes Twin Shadows fairly powerful when used well. Source
He makes some pretty good points as to why we no longer *need* a massive magic resist item, and also explains why the stat combination of MR, movespeed, and % HP Regen punished squishy AP casters too much.
Xypherous Says Why FoN was too OP:
Quote:
So what if the stats don't really mesh together, people bought it because it worked with the champion. That's all that should matter.
No, it doesn't - not when one of the primary statistic is a stat that is valued across *all* characters (movement speed).

When an item favors a particular character in a class but also contains a ubiquitous statistic that no characters in that class can easily itemize for - you create odd swings where some characters are simply faster for no reason other than the item is awkwardly statted for other characters.

If you look at the current movement speed options (Shadows / Alacrity / Swiftness / Mobility) - they are ubiquitous and universal enough to be applied across most tanks - and that most tanks have at least one option they can choose to opt into high movement speed. Source

Xypherous Declares Alacrity Enchantment and Swiftness Upgrades on the Nerf Table
Quote:
How is removing the option improving the game though? Wouldn't it make sense to leave it in? I guess I just don't understand why it was necessary to remove it. If a tank is doing very well, they should have the items available to take advantage of that just as much as the rest of the roles, right?
You typically have to balance things around their maximum abusive potential - rather than their minimum abuse potential. Which means that, for example, the Alacrity Enchantment or Swiftness upgrades can't exist in the power level that they are currently at.

By having such statistics on an item that was only good if you prize high regeneration, you unnecessarily degrade the power level on every other item that shares statistics in that category or else the stacked case becomes abusive. Then, when we inevitably nerf the abuse case - the entire spectrum crashes as a result.

Quote:
What the hell kind of tank "looks" for movement speed? That's a weak reason right there! We get FoN for the MR and the HP5! The movement speed is just a neat bonus! Who the hell decides to get FoN for it's movement speed bonus???
This is *exactly* the problem with FoN. Generally, you will find many camps on FoN, each of which doesn't care about 1 out of the 3 statistics on the item. Source

Xypherous on Flask + 5 Pots:
Quote:
So then why is Flask a ward and 5 Health Pots ok? thats 1050Hp of regen right there.
This is actually one of the things we're looking into right now. We're currently dissatisfied with how powerful this start is - we're watching it closely in the hopes that it isn't as effective as it is on first glance - but it's on our list of impending changes if it keeps trending towards being out of line.

Mostly, the 5 potions are the annoying thing thats tipping the starting build over the top - because we're actually relatively okay with how it plays out past the first-buy.

Source 1Source 2

Xypherous on Buffing Warmogs
Quote:
Can we please get a premium endgame health regen item into the works, then?

My main purpose of getting FoN was the massive in-field regen after stacking HP. It felt really good.

Especially after breaking an engage, and while most teammates either have to B or retreat to jungle for lifesteal, I could simply go to some lane and push or threaten objectives, and just during the time I spent offscreen or not in battle, I would regenerate enough HP to feel safe should I need to disengage.
Yeah, I fully agree we probably need a premium end-game health regeneration item - The trouble here is how to avoid making a premium *mid-game* rushed health regeneration item rather than a premium end-game health regeneration item.

I kind of want to try tripled passive regeneration on Warmog's if you haven't been damaged by champions in the last X seconds - but we'll see. Source

Sorry for the massive blocks of text! You know I try to avoid it if possible, but there's tons of information that Xypherous spoke about!

Mad Scientist Singed Skin
I feel like they're on to me...



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