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Feb 16, 2013

2/15 PBE Update: Celestine Soraka and Tons of Balance Changes

Earlier last night the PBE updated with a TON of balance changes along with a new Soraka Skin! Check it out below:

Initial skin preview by SkinSpotlights

RiotXypherous had this to say on the new balance changes in this PBE patch:
Hey, I'll be talking briefly about the major changes in today's PBE patch to give you an idea of where we're going and what we're experimenting with so that you guys will be both less confused and more informed about the changes we're currently tinkering with. 

Keep in mind that everything in PBE is experimental and subject to change but as time goes on - I'd like to try to explain some of the more possibly confusing / relevant stuff or stuff that might not be immediately apparent on first glance.

Hopefully I'll get to do these explanations a little more often - I won't do my usual long Q&A at this time since a lot of this stuff is experimental and is subject to further tuning - mostly because testing turns out to be a lot more effective than discussion most of the time.

So let's start:

Bilgewater Cutlass

Recipe: Long Sword + Vamp Sceptre + 200 Gold = 1400 Gold total from 1950 gold.

40 AD --> 25 AD
10% LS --> 12% LS
150 Active Damage --> 100 Active Damage
30% MS slow --> 25% MS Slow
400 range --> 500 range

So, our major problem with Bilgewater Cutlass has been that, while attractive, it never really felt like the utility you purchased was anywhere near the price. It's meant to be a cool utility pickup that offered some lane sustain and gave you a chance at an all-in but it seemed to be just generally ineffective unless your character already had an all-in.

Hence, we're trying to tune it so that it becomes a better utility pick-up and slightly more usable in general at the cost of some of the active power.

Blade of the Ruined King

Recipe: Cutlass + Dagger + Dagger + 500 Gold = 2700 Gold total from 2850 Gold on live.

* 45 AD --> 30 AD
* 0% AS --> 40% AS
* 10% LS --> 0% LS
* Passive now heals you for 30% of your total attack damage, rather than 50% of the damage dealt. This is essentially premitigation lifesteal.
* Active slow/speed duration is now 4 seconds from 2 seconds.
* Active now deals 100 + 10% of the targets maximum life - serving as an execute or a wind-up peel
* Range increased to 550 from 400.

Numbers still need further tuning.

So our problems with the previous iteration of the PBE BoRK was that it still suffered from a number of cross-purposes. This version is most likely way too mathy to be entirely elegant - ideally we'd find a more elegant phrasing of it - but this is kind of the sledgehammer approach. We'll probably try to find ways to refine it.

Essentially, the problem with the 'sustain-tank' approach that the old BoRK was after was simply it gave you the sustain frequently at a time where you didn't need it and as you got low. By the time you wound up needing the sustain near the end of the fight, the item simply didn't give you any sustain - hence the move towards a more flattened sustain approach.

The active is either an execute for those close fights and then further MS to capitalize on cleaning up the fight - or a mid-fight kiting tool.

The approach here is to move BoRK away from being a primary damage slot item and into your attack speed slot as a Carry. BoRK should be ideally competing with your 2nd major multiplicative item, like Shiv or Phantom Dancer - rather than your first big damage item.

Also - I am now deathly scared of Irelia - but at the very least she's not assassinating squishies exponentially faster than tanks with it. 


* Shatter no longer gives a flat 10-30 armor aura, instead radiating X% of Taric's armor to allies.
* Shatter has an armor scaling damage ratio.
* Taric's passive changed to deal X% of his maximum mana as bonus damage.

Taric is a generalist support pick that has a success rate far far far above his compatriots at the moment. We have a couple options on where to go with him at this point - but in general, Taric suffers from being a generalist lane bully to transitioning to a walking ball of aura statistics for his team. 

This tends to lead to Taric feeling like he does very little overall to the team - even if he is adding something like 1000 Gold to everyone's base statistics.

Keep in mind, we're still heavily iterating the numbers on him. In the end, Taric should be a compelling pick if you are facing a heavy attack damage team and we'll adjust the aura value until he fits that mold.

Taric's base AD reduction is mostly compensate for his passive attack damage which is still undergoing numerical tuning. 
Taric is unquestionably above his peers at the moment in terms of overall power level - so in the end, keep in mind that it *is* intended to be an overall nerf to his laning presence. Source


* Spirit of Dread (W) heal from damage flattened to 20% at all ranks from 10-30%
* Rampage (Q) base damage increased slightly at all ranks.

Hecarim is a character who is entirely dependent on levels for his major game advantage - The terrific power of his 'W' sustain once he actually gets the levels to fuel it. 

This also leads to his major weakness - in that when he falls behind, he tends to be terrible at almost all ranks. We're essentially flattening this 'W' curve out a bit better such that Hecarim has a more consistent performance. Hecarim is already fairly intensive to play from a mechanics perspective with a lot of subtle nuances in successful 'E' and 'R' positioning so the added level pressure seems superflous a lot of the time.

Warmog's Armor 

* Regeneration lowered to 1% from 1.5%.

We're mostly concerned at the moment with the early laning snowball case of this item, rather than the teamfight potential - considering the way we're trying to position BoRK. Depending on how well the BoRK tuning works out - the majority of the pain point of Warmog's should be how well it allows you to win the lane by mere stubborness and be immune to ganks.

Vayne / Tristana / Ashe 

The current version of PBE has some heavy modifications to these character's attack speed per level statistics.

Vayne: 3.1% --> 4.5% ASPD / Level
Tristana: 3.01% --> 4.5% ASPD / Level
Ashe: 3.1% --> 4% ASPD / Level

The goal of this change is mostly to fulfill the basic promise of Vayne / Tristana. At level 18, these characters are supposed to absolutely destroy the enemy team - so long as you can get them there. They are, along with Kog'maw, some of the truest ranged carries in League of Legends at the moment.

However, with the decrease in power from itemization - these characters are suffering from a mid-game slump and a farming slump - thus power in their levels seemed to make sense for addressing their basic curve. This change basically ensures the power level of these traditionally weaker early-game carries for guaranteed power late game.

As for Ashe, she's kind of the ultimate late game utility/kite carry - thus the attack speed here is mostly so that she is always able to fulfill her role as kiting carry. Attack speed is a major factor in being able to "orb-walk" to poorly use DoTA Jargon (Attack Move fluidity, roughly).

Further Tuning 

We'll be trying to look at the various AS options for this patch and trying to ensure that AD carries have sufficient options for customizing their damage load-outs based on playstyle / needs of the game.

Additionally - we'll probably be looking more at the Bulwark / Locket / Sunfire combination and trying to assess how powerful this defensive teamfight style is, as it's been very effective in LCS thus far.
As for the planned Garen nerfs, Xypherous mentioned this tidbit:
Garen is among a very special group of 10 or so champions that are statistically much much stronger than his compatriots.
That's pretty much it - we had a choice of hitting durability or damage, so we decided to hit the free durability in lane. Source
Balance Changes
  • Attack speed per level buffed to 4% ASPD from 3.1%

  • Courage [W]  now grants additional value to BONUS Armor and MR instead of total Armor and MR. 

  • Rampage [Q] damage increased to 60/95/130/165/200 from 50/85/120/155/190
  • Spirit of Dread [W] damage nerfed to 80/120/160/200/240 from 80/125/170/215/260.
  • Spirit of Dread [W] now heals for 20% at all ranks from 10/15/20/25/30%.
  • Spirit of Dread [W] cooldown increased to 18/17/16/15/14 from 14 at all ranks.

  • Reckoning ( Q ) slow changed to 35/40/45/50/55% for 3 seconds from 25/30/35/40/45%

Quinn and Valor
  • Tag Team [R] now allows Valor to move through units
  • Tag Team [R] damage nerfed to 120/170/220 - 240/340/440 from 130/185/240 from 260/370/480.

Taric - :(
  • Base Damage nerfed to 48 from 58.
  • Gemcraft [Passive] has been reworked: Now deals bonus magic damage 4% of Taric's Maximum mana as magic damage per hit. Damage doubled against champions. BUFFish
  • Shatter [W] mana cost decreased to 50 at all ranks from 50/60/70/80/90 mana.
  • Dazzle [E] mana cost reduced to 75 from 95.
These changes...tbh I feel like this passive may actually be a nerf in the end. I'd rather sometimes get in an extra stun than do bonus magic damage based on a stat I never build. Muramana Taric inc.
  • Attack speed per level buffed to 4.5% from 3%

  • Attack speed per level buffed to 4.5% from 3.1%

  • Base damage nerfed to 52 from 55.

Bilgewater Cutlass
  • Total price is now 1400.
  • Builds from Vamp. Scepter + Long Sword instead of Vamp Scepter + Pickaxe
  • Attack damage nerfed to 25 from 40
  • Life Steal buffed to 12% from 10%.
  • Active now slows for 25% down from 30%
  • Activate range buffed to 500 from 400.

Blade of the Ruined King
  • Total Cost reduced to 2700
  • Attack Damage nerfed to 30 from 40.
  • Attack Speed buffed to 40% from 30%.
  • Unique Passive now heals you for 30% of your total AD on hit instead of equal to half of 5% of target's current HP.
  • Unique Active nerfed to 100 base damage from 150.
  • Unique Active slow buffed to 4 seconds from 2 seconds.
  • Unique Active range buffed to 550 from 400.

Hextech Gunblade
  • Total price reverted to 3400.
  • Lifesteal buffed to 12% from 10%.

Spirit of the Elder Lizard
  • Unique Passive damage nerfed to 14-50 from 15-66.

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    1. I wonder if Taric might compete in the top lane now.

    2. I could totally see Taric top laning to a degree. and i wouldnt call the rework a nerf per say, with a normal taric support he will build mana esque items anyway, much like frozen heart or Crucible. I think his passive endorses building an early tear on him for a bit more oomph in his early game damage. Or if he does go top, Muramana Wits end frozen heart all day. i think its helping out a lot.

    3. Taric top, Ryze Mid...oh the mana haxxx!!


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