How is everyone on this fine patch day? Good? We are good as well. Excellent.
We were taught to be polite when delivering tough news, so now that pleasantries are out of the way, here we go: back in the foreword of patch 5.2 we mentioned that 5.2 and 5.3 were going to be our Deathfire Grasp-removal patches, but now that we’ve been hard at work, we realized we could use an extra cycle to build confidence. So that means we’ve delayed a few dudes we promised would come in 5.3, including Veigar, Mordekaiser, Katarina (more on her below), and a new +120 AP item to replace the gap left in DFG’s wake. We’re aiming for 5.4 and are expecting to stick the landing (except maybe the new item, as it’s a bigger project and might take longer!).
As an aside, we’ve been keeping a close eye on all champions who were affected by the passing of Deathfire Grasp and haven’t seen a real impact on performance. We’re not saying this to justify the removal of an item that many felt were important in their builds (in other words, we’re not dismissing your feedback!), but it’s an interesting tangent we wanted to explore.
While we’re pretty certain at high levels the strategic removal of DFG hurt players who could utilize it properly, a proportionally equal number seem to be benefitting from finding alternative builds that don’t rely on using an active. We looked into it and, given the low (low) percentage of players who use their actives, it seems there’s a tipping point where replacing your DFG with a different AP item (try a Morellonomicon or two (or five)) nets roughly equal results. Once again, this is probably different at high levels of play but it’s true from a broad statistical perspective, so here we are again, talking about statistics.
But we’ll repeat: the reasoning behind that info-dump was not to justify the change, just to give some background on the complexities we deal with. One thing we do agree with is that there needs to be another +120 ability power item for endgame mages, and we’re investigating that space as we speak. Rather, as you read.
After this long, rambling foreword, what’s all this mean about this patch? Just that we’re going pretty light, with changes aimed at a few outliers in competitive and normal play (oh dear Ahri). I guess you could say this patch’s narrative is defined by what’s not in there (hence we spent four paragraphs talking about that), but now you can charge up to 2 wards in an upgraded yellow trinket, so that’s very cool. See you next patch!
It’s safe to say that Ahri’s return back to her kitier, mage-ier (that is a word) roots has been a success, but her new-found mobility has left her feeling a tad overbearing. For someone that skirts the edge of fights so well, Ahri wasn’t taking enough risk for the reward (less dashing in, more dashing out). Forcing this fox-girl to walk the line for her guaranteed damage makes expert use of her Orb-speed and Charm, which is where we’d like to leave her feeling – skillful and satisfying to play, but vulnerable when making mistakes.
Orb of Deception (Q): COST
55/60/65/70/75 mana ⇒ 65/70/75/80/85 mana
Fox-Fire (W): NEW Fox-Fire’s rotation speed has been increased by ~30%. This means if Ahri’s hitting a champion with Fox-Fire at maximum range, she won’t have to wait as long for her other Fox-Fires to rotate closer.
50/80/110/140/170 magic damage ⇒ 40/65/90/115/140 magic damage
650 ⇒ 550
Spirit Rush (R): ACQUISITION RANGE
700 ⇒ 600
Sometimes when the skins team takes on large projects, they take a ‘snapshot’ of the champion’s files to work on, including certain hard-coded values like base stats and movement speeds. Unfortunately, when the team finally finishes and implements the skin, those old values can be reintroduced to the game, overwriting any recent balance changes made. There have been a few cases of this happening in the past (Kayle’s attack speed per level when we released Riot Kayle, Galio’s Q when we released Gatekeeper Galio, etc), but rarely with so many ‘reverts’ to the champion. Unfortunately, Sona went through a small update during the time we were working on her skin, so she’s gone back to all of her old base stats pre-champion update. While we considered shipping 5.3 with Sona disabled, we don’t think the full extent of these changes merits taking her away from so many, so we’re just fully communicating what’s happened while we work on a bugfix as soon as possible.
50.04 ⇒ 52.04
482.36 ⇒ 497.6
77 ⇒ 70
Base Mana Regen per 5 seconds
9 mana per 5 seconds ⇒ 8.1 mana per 5 seconds
Mana Regen Per Second Growth
0.4 mana per 5 seconds ⇒ 0.65 mana per 5 seconds.
Base Movement Speed
325 ⇒ 330
Hyper-carries are often defined by a weaker early to mid-game (think Tristana, Jax) as they ‘ramp up’ into their core items and ability scaling. Lane bullies are the reverse – powerful up-front until their less-than-impressive late-games (like Renekton or Quinn).
Enter Azir. Who is both.
As it stands, the emperor’s strengths are at odds with themselves. On one hand, he’s a hyper-carry with monstrous late-game damage to both champions and structures; on the other, he’s a powerful lane-bully with the ability to shove even the most aggressive opposition back to base. When a champion can cover their weaknesses so well, something’s gotta give.
Enhancing Azir’s end-game effectiveness goes well with our intended goals for the sand mage, so we’re softening his spikes to achieve a more manageable lane along with a little bump to his AD to help him last-hit when his soldiers are slacking off. Which they do. Often.
BASE ATTACK DAMAGE
49.704 ⇒ 52
Conquering Sands (Q): BASE DAMAGE
75/105/135/165/195 magic damage ⇒ 65/85/105/125/145 magic damage
Arise! (W): SOLDIER STAB RANGE
~400 ⇒ ~325 (we’re marking them as approximate values because they get very complicated).
TOWER BOMB DAMAGE The tooltip values were incorrectly saying +0.6 ability power (it’s actually 0.7).
90 + (15 x level) (0.7 ability power) ⇒ 50 + (10 x level) (0.4 ability power)
It’s been a while since Diana’s fall from orbit, so we’re sending a care package to tide her over. Her passive shows you how long it lasts until you need to use it, and quicker orbs on Pale Cascade give her more consistency when embodying the vengeful moon.
Moonsilver Blade (Passive): CLARITY! Now displays number of stacks and remaining duration.
Pale Cascade (W): ORB ORBIT Pale Cascade’s spheres now rotate at roughly double the speed.
Drain’s mechanics are simple – break the tether and you’re good. Stay around, and risk losing a duel to a stick figure. Fiddlesticks can still lock you down with Terrify to ensure his success, but lowering Tether’s range makes sure enemies can actually escape when he fails to scare them good and proper.
Drain (W): TETHER RANGE
700 ⇒ 650
From concept to release, Gnar has always been built around his unique transformation trigger and its inherent inconsistency. Will the enemy engage because Mega Gnar’s losing steam? Should we begin a fight and have Gnar transform as it begins? These are the types of questions we want his teammates to ask, and the type of situations the Gnar player to manage. When a champion based on unreliability becomes a staple competitive pick (where reliability reigns supreme), we felt like something was up.
Due to a bug since his release (oops), Mega Gnar was lasting a good bit longer than intended – discovering this, we thought it would be a good time to tighten the windows Gnar has to go crazy so we can really accentuate his highs and lows. We’re not trying to make Gnar disappear, but teams should have to work a little harder than just picking Jarvan IV. Shots fired.
Rage Gene (Passive): ‘TIRED’ DEBUFF DURATION
13 seconds ⇒ 15 seconds
MEGA GNAR DURATION
19 seconds ⇒ 15 seconds (as a note, the tooltip originally said 15 seconds, but it was actually 19 seconds).
Gragas’s last round of nerfs weighed heavy on his effectiveness against minion waves, so we wanted to give him better incentives to roll out the barrel against champions. This buff’s on the house.
Barrel Roll (Q): BASE SLOW
30/35/40/45/50% ⇒ 40/45/50/55/60%
45/52.5/60/67.5/75% ⇒ 60/67.5/75/82.5/90%
Let’s talk about Kassadin. Near unparalleled mobility coupled with high damage and precise target selection has historically made Kass among the League’s most resilient champions. Right now, our best method of ‘gating’ this guy (that is, trying to keep him from facerolling over the game) is by intentionally keeping his lane weak in the hopes of staving off what can feel like an inevitable riftwalking nightmare. While we want to preserve Kassadin’s mobility-driven identity, he doesn’t really have windows of vulnerability necessary for opponents to smack him in the face, meaning most fights are his to lose rather than any outplays his opponents can make.
With all of that said, this is not the change to do that. Sorry. We’ll be kicking of some deeper investigations in the future (who’d have thought an ultra-mobile assassin would have game health difficulties), but for now we’re just looking to tune him down. Very precisely.
Null Sphere (Q): DAMAGE
80/105/130/155/180 magic damage ⇒ 70/95/120/145/170 magic damage
As we called out in the foreword, DFG’s removal didn’t really impact some its frequent buyers quite in the ways we expected. While we were experimenting with some compensation, one thing from our data became very clear – Katarina is still a very strong champion.
We went back to brainstorming small ways to add power to Kat, but quickly found that buffing an already strong champ might not be the right course of action. This isn’t to say she’s exempt from further tweaks in the future, but forcing the issue on anything other than quality-of-life changes could very likely cause more problems than it would fix.
IT’S COMPLICATED Attack frame sped up slightly. This doesn’t mean Katarina attacks faster, just that she completes her attacks faster.
For someone that runs into your entire team (talk about a big risk), it’s pretty lame when the difference between a game-winning 5-man stun or an over-confident failure comes down to random chance. Slicing Maelstrom’s unique feel as a multi-hit storm is cool, so we’re just looking for ways to amp up that electric party. Haaayaaa!
Electrical Surge (W): NEW Electrical Surge now hits all enemies caught in Slicing Maelstrom, in addition to targets afflicted by Mark of the Storm (does not double stack, that’d be crazy).
Slicing Maelstrom (R): Fixed a bug where Slicing Maelstrom could hit the same target every 0.25 seconds, when it’s supposed to only be once every 0.5 seconds.
Not much to see here. Last patch when Nidalee became a monster-hunter we added functionality that rooted them (because it’s a huge bummer to trigger the hunt from fog of war, only to pounce and miss everything you just hunted), but we forgot to add it to the notes. This patch we remembered. Hooray!
WHOOPS Fixed a bug where Nidalee’s cooldowns were not properly set when switching from Human to Cougar form.
Prowl (Passive): UNDOCUMENTED CHANGE Prowl’s tooltip now properly indicates that Hunted monsters are rooted for 2 seconds.
We’re always looking for ways to help out champions in need, so we’ve slipped TF a few extra cards under the table. Stacked Deck now builds up on towers so you can pressure enemies even while pushing, and Gate uses an ‘On My Way!’ ping a la Rek’Sai to make coordinating cross-map ganks less of a gamble. Still a gamble. Just less.
Stacked Deck (E): NEW Stacked Deck now builds on towers, but will not apply bonus damage.
Destiny (R): Casting Gate now sends an “on the way” ping (similar to Rek’Sai’s Void Rush).
Varus’s unique team-disengage has always been near the top of marksmen when it comes to strategic niches, and it’s something we’re excited to see more of. In an attempt to brighten his mood, we’re amping up a bit of that reliability.
Chain of Corruption (R): MISSILE WIDTH
100 ⇒ 120
In our never-ending Crusade for Clarity ™, Zyra’s getting hooked up with sweet range indicators for each of her plants to help her really appreciate the things they do for her. Appreciate your plants, Zyra. Please.
Deadly Bloom (Q): Thorn Spitters now display their range when grown.
Grasping Roots (E): Vine Lashers now display their range when grown.
We’re aware this is a small nerf to Sivir and Nocturne, but this was definitely not an intended behavior.
FIXED an issue where Sivir’s Spell Shield, Nocturne’s Shroud Of Darkness, and Banshee’s Veil reduced damage from all sources when blocking a spell. Now periodic damage and auto-attack damage are unaffected by spell shield.
The Farsight Orb now places a ward that lasts 60 seconds.
Map vision is actually an underestimated tool that teams can use to press an advantage or come back from a deficit, but not many players think about it like that, so we’re suggesting you should. Relating specifically to Farsight Orb, if your first idea was that now you can place long-distance teleport points for the most amazing ganks ever, TOO BAD. This little guy’s untargetable to ally teammates to prevent just that (and free ward hops).
Greater Stealth Totem
NEW Greater Stealth Totem now stores up to 2 charges. Stores 1 charge per 60 seconds.
Just giving fighters and tanks a little help when dealing with mages in lane.
100% base health regen ⇒ 150% base health regen
He’s like a piece of terrain. A big, fat, purple piece of terrain you can’t move through.
WALL OF NASHOR Baron Nashor now cannot be walked through even with effects like Ghost or Fizz’s Nimble Fighter, which grant this ability.
FIXED a bug where inhibitors weren’t taking ability power to structure bonus damage (if 40% of your ability power equals to higher than your bonus attack damage, you instead deal damage equal to base attack damage plus 40% of your ability power).
CAN’T GO HOME IF YOU’RE ON FIRE Ignite now interrupts champions who attempt to recall while Ignited.
NEW Players can now separately adjust keyboard and mouse camera scroll speeds.
NEW Added a “mouse button drag scroll” option, which changes middle mouse button scrolling to behave like you’re physically dragging the map around (click, hold, drag the map in a direction) instead of scrolling (click, move in the direction you want to scroll).
NEW Adjusted camera lock offset on Summoner’s Rift and Howling Abyss based on which team you are on. This can be toggled on/off in the options menu.
FEATURED GAME MODES
Nemesis Draft, our next Featured Game Mode, will be released later on during patch 5.3!
We haven’t talked too much in the past about player tooltips – the hovercards that appear in your friend list when you mouse over another player’s name. We want player tooltips to be a convenient, accessible point of reference for basic player information, but there are a few areas we noticed we could improve upon. This update will be activated in the days following the initial patch!
Our traditional layout relied on text, simply shrinking if any attribute was missing (e.g. not all players have a ranked division). As a result, tooltips were inconsistent between players and often became bloated as more and more information was recorded. By contrast, the new design will give each data point its own space: if something is missing, that space will simply be left blank. This should make the tooltips less cumbersome to use.
Which is good, because we’ll be adding them to your game lobbies.
WHO ARE YOU… When the update is activated, player tooltips will appear in game lobbies, in addition to your friends list and chat rooms
new…AND WHAT DO YOU WANT? Player tooltips will include “Recent Playstyle” information which indicates what champion, position and role a player has recently been playing in matchmade queues
TRUST US, THEY’RE 30 Once level 30 players complete their ranked placements, their summoner level will be replaced by their current division, indicated via tier emblem and division number
LOADING SCREEN TOOLTIPS
We’ve added a bunch of random League facts to the loading screen (thanks to the community for some of these suggestions!).
LOADING SCREEN TOOLTIPS
Tibbers now inherits skin-specific E – Molten Shield VFX when certain Annie skins are used.
Videos Sources: FrostyNinja, SkinSpotlights