Swain is on release notice

Swain, the master tactician.

In another early announcement, Riot’s given us the official “champion approaches” forum post before the weekend even got started. Swain is on his way, and like I guessed, that shapeshifting skill is indeed his ultimate.

Here’s the official skill list:
Decrepify: Swain sets his raven to cripple an enemy. Over the next three seconds, the target takes damage over time and is slowed.

Nevermove: Swain marks a target area. After a short delay, mighty talons grab hold of enemy units dealing damage and rooting them.

Torment: Swain afflicts his target, dealing damage over time. During this affliction, a percentage of all damage dealt by Swain is added to the periodic damage of this debuff.

Ravenous Flock (Ultimate): Toggle: Swain transforms into the form of a raven, during this time up to 3 lesser ravens strike out at nearby enemies each second. Swain is healed for half the damage dealt by the Ravens.

Again, pretty pumped about this guy. I like the synergy between his skills, and it’s cool to have another shapeshifter.


How do you respond to losing?

Defeat screen.

I’ve been spending less time than usual in ranked games since crossing the 1500 marker for the second time. It’s that “second time” part that’s really important, because it took me a while to make my way back up after dropping as low as 1410ish. Prior to that point, I usually jumped into a new game shortly after losing. I had this sense that I could “erase” the last match by winning another. Unfortunately, we all know the game doesn’t work that way, and more often than not the losses pile up along with the frustration.

I’ve taken a different approach lately. When I lose a game I back off, let myself chill out from the loss before I queue again. It keeps the rage down a bit and even better, it gets me new teammates. I often feel like a losing team tends to lose when they get paired together because a demoralizing defeat just carries over into the next game.

Occasionally I’ll play a few in a row, but it’s usually on nights that I know I’ll be okay dropping 40-50 ELO, but for the most part, I’m sticking to a one and done schedule for losing. How do you handle your losses?


The client bugs have got to go

Chat FailI’ve had a frustrating run of games recently – losses, droppers, feeders, the usual – but they’ve been made even more frustrating by the seemingly rampant client bugs.

First, check out that chat list. Looks normal, right? Except I have six friends on line but they are nowhere in my chat list. See how the arrows all point down? That means the lists are expanded, there’s just nothing in them. All last night this was happening, and I had talked to a few people (sorry, Sannu) about getting a game in. Occasionally my notification box would light up red, but when I would click it, it would just say “No recent notifications.” Neat.

Then there’s the lobby chat bug, wherein I don’t get to talk to my teammates about comp, to offer my services as a tank/jungler/carry/whatever, don’t get to beg the Gangplank who insisted he take mid at nearly 1600 ELO to not take it the second game I got stuck with him (and watched him feed, again). Or how about changes to your rune page not saving properly, masteries taking forever to load, champion skins not being selected properly (sorry, I want my Magnificent Twisted Fate, not PAX Fate), or the chat rooms I have set to load on start loading without a name and without me in them.

These things seem small, but they all happen frequently enough that, when piled onto the frustration of playing with feeders, make for a bad experience. I have just as many good experiences in this game, even more, but the bad ones feel so bad it can be hard to remember the good.

Anyone else having client issues?


Why have armor penetration runes gone unchanged?

Armor with a bullet hole.A while back, Riot was talking very seriously about nerfing all of the armor penetration runes in the game. The argument was pretty simple. They provide too good a benefit, mostly at the early stages of the game. So why have they gone unchanged?

It may seem strange to be asking this now, but I just had a game against a Miss Fortune where I got to feel the full brunt of her lane prowess. I was playing Kennen, and positioning myself well, but it just didn’t matter. She was getting lucky bounces, and I seemed to catch creep aggro if I looked at her wrong. With a champion like Miss Fortune, armor penetration runes are particularly effective because she’s given a mage-grade nuke that can be dealt as pure damage with proper runes.

In my particular case, I had no recourse against her as Kennen, because his magic damage doesn’t get through nearly as much resistance. As the game goes on, it becomes a bit less of an issue. Most champions have scaling armor, while their magic resist remains the same throughout. Armor penetration items tend to be significantly more useful than their magic pen counterparts. The 40 percent armor penetration item increases both the damage you deal and how frequently you deal it. The base armor penetration item grants you cooldown reduction and damage. The magic penetration equivalents only increase the magnitude of your damage (and in the case of Haunting Guise, give you a little health). Granted, part of that is a difference in playstyle, but there’s no denying the strength of physical damage as compared to magic. That’s why the physical damage dealers are considered “carries.”

The thing is, armor penetration runes wouldn’t be such an issue if there wasn’t such an abundance of skills that make use of them these days. When it was just auto attacks, it wasn’t as big a deal. With champions like Miss Fortune, Urgot, and even Pantheon in the game, the runes need a change.


Champion sneak peek: Jericho Swain

Jericho Swain.

Riot’s made the sneak peek announcement for Swain, the Master Tactician. It’s the usual backstory kind of stuff, but if you know how to use Google, it’s not hard to find a little more. I would like to say, this info was leaked elsewhere. Riot’s been issuing bans to people responsible for leaking information, but my test realm client hasn’t been working for a couple months. Let’s do the usual fluff, first:

Here at Riot Games, we’re making every attempted to ensure that we deliver exciting champions to even the most twisted and deviant of human minds. So if you’re a budding veterinarian or ornithologist, it’s now your turn to start getting excited. Meet Swain, the Master Tactician. In addition to being a distinguished Noxian gentleman of impeccable wealth and taste, Swain also just happens to be a fan of our feathered friends. And like some people who wind up at the League of Legends, well… let’s just say that he’s much more than meets the eye.

More than meets the eye, indeed. Here’s a tentative skill list:

Carrion Renewal.Passive: Carrion Renewal: Swain gains 150% increased mana regeneration for 5 seconds upon killing a unit. Note: This looks like another great passive

Decrepify.(Q)Decrepify – Swain sets his raven to cripple an enemy. Over the
next three seconds, the target of Decrepify takes damage over time and is slowed.

Nevermove.(W)Nevermove – Swain marks a target area. After a short delay, mighty talons grab hold of enemy units dealing damage and rooting them.

Ravenous Flock.(E) Ravenous Flock – Swain inspires dread in his enemies by temporarily taking the form of a raven. During this time ravens strike out at up to 3 nearby enemies. Each raven deals damage and heals Swain for the same amount.

Torment.(R)Torment – Swain afflicts his target, dealing damage over time. Each tick deals additional damage based on a percent of all damage taken from Swain during Torment (this includes the spell’s periodic damage).

Ravenous Flock.

Check out the picture of his Ravenous Flock. I am a little surprised that the shapeshift isn’t his ult, but that could be subject to change prior to release. I can’t say I’m crazy about his ult being a simple damage increase, but hopefully it turns out to be a little fun. I can’t wait for this guy to launch.


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