Should Riot focus on unplayable champion remakes?

evelynn_splash_2

I was browsing around Riot’s forums this morning and stumbled upon an interesting comment that got a few upvotes. The thread was a discussion of Kayle’s current status and whether or not she should receive another remake. Here’s the comment that caught my eye:

“Evelynn too, while you’re at it. I dislike how I spent IP on the champ and RP on her skin only for you to literally make her unplayable to the point where I will be reported for playing her.”

This is not a new concept – far from it, I know. It is, however, an issue that has never really affected me. I’ve been writing about the game for almost as long as it has been a game. I’ve had every champion for probably a year, and I play enough that I have the IP to buy new champions every time they release. At least, I did until now. Now that my time is spread between a wider variety of games, I don’t have that luxury. Champions I buy will be the result of a long, slow IP grind, and you can bet I won’t be spending RP on them. At this point, too many champions have stagnated, in desperate need of a remake. When I had a seemingly endless fountain of IP this was no big deal – I always had another champion I could be playing.

But what about people who spend cash to unlock champions as they go. When those champions get nerfed beyond viability, it’s essentially a hit to their pocketbook. Again, this isn’t anything new. Players of all kinds of games have seen potential “investments” deteriorate as the result of nerfing. Any MMO player knows the pain of putting a couple hundred hours into the class, spec and gear that goes behind a character just to have it wiped out by developers. A game like LoL seems unique though, because while I may still be able to participate in large portions of an MMO with an underperforming character, most of the lower-tier champions in League can’t hope to compete with any reliable success. The options those players have to enjoy the game diminish far more quickly than those of an MMO player in most cases. Sure, there are always the free champions, but players don’t pay for access to free champions. The champions that have been purchased should have some viability.

So what do you think? Should Riot be spending more time and resources on remaking underplayed/unplayable champions or does the current method suit you just fine?

  

Community unhappy with Kayle remake

Battleborn Kayle.

If you’ve been on the forums over the weekend you’ve probably noticed the pile of threads about the Kayle “remake.” I use quotation marks because, c’mon, a new passive and some late game nerfs and we’re calling it a remake? This is what took six months? The majority of the community seems as unexcited as I am. I think there are a couple reasons.

First, there is precious little to get excited about in the game right now. Everyone is waiting on Season 2 or waiting on Magma Chamber news, or waiting for something that changes gameplay in a significant way. The Kayle remake was at least something to get pumped up about in the interim. Even if it went well, though, it would just pull another champion into viability, which really doesn’t do a whole lot for the game’s longevity.

I think the biggest reason people are upset with the remake is that it’s going to be very easy to make Kayle either under or overpowered but nearly impossible to balance her. The fact that she can heal, speed boost, and make herself invulnerable means her carry potential better be in the toilet, but Riot is trying to give her something like 75 percent carry, 75 percent support power. While I think the idea of condensing two roles onto one champion is a good one, I’m not sure the game supports the change, at least not in its current state.

Supports are already a huge balance problem. Giving a support some carry power doesn’t resolve the issue, it makes things worse. Take away too much of Kayle’s damage, though, and she becomes horrendously unfun. She’s a terrible early game farmer as it is, which seems to point her toward support, but she doesn’t have the skills to truly support a team as needed.

I think Riot would have done well to scrap her kit entirely, think about what they really liked about the kit and kept it, and then built a champion from there. Is a targeted nuke/slow really an exciting ability? No – scrap it. Same for her ranged skill and her passive, old or new. Now you’ve got a champion with a heal/speed boost and a potent shield. It’s a nice setup for teamfighting, but how do you make her enjoyable in lane? Working with her existing kit makes for a really lackluster buff to an already underplayed champion.

  

Kayle remake goes live next patch

Looks like the Kayle remake is finally set to go live with the next patch. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel. I was a little disappointed at first because they aren’t changing much, but I also think Kayle has a kind of cool kit. She’s an odd champion for sure, and the update doesn’t make her any less odd.

Her passive has been remade into an armor/MR shred, which should be better than her current passive. She’s getting some mana cost buffs and base damage buffs to compensate for some of her scaling, which also should be a good thing. My biggest frustration/misunderstanding with Kayle is why she can build Righteous Fury into an “always up” skill. Just make her ranged and balance her around that. It isn’t interesting in any way that she can only sometimes be ranged from levels 1-9. Give her range and give her some balance around that.

I’m curious to see how the remake will play out, though. Honestly, I think most of the spotlight was education about the way Kayle works. Most people don’t know when to use Intervention, which is a big part of what makes her strong. Now that they know, will we see Kayle in the support lane?

  

LoL: Kayle remake impressions

Viridian Kayle.

For anyone who missed it, Kayle got a bit of an overhaul in this last patch that has made her much stronger, particularly once she’s acquired a few items. I was never a Kayle player and rarely a Kayle fan. She was usually useless until level 16, when, with some CD reduction, her ult would get down to a 36 second cooldown. Now, it’s an entirely different story.

The biggest change was made to her passive, which now reads as follows:

Holy Fervor (New Passive): 30% of Kayle’s attack damage is added to her ability power and 15% of Kayle’s ability power is added to her attack damage.

That is one kickass passive for a hybrid toon. The other major change was to Righteous fury, the bonus damage from which is now applied as magic damage (and scales with AP). Other than that she got some cooldown reductions, a few leveling tweaks, and better attack range on both her regular attacks and Righteous Fury.

On the whole, nothing big changed about Kayle, but the small changes were enough to pick her damage up to very competitive levels. I spent a bunch of time playing Kayle yesterday, mostly on Twisted Treeline, and I can’t help but wonder if she wasn’t overbuffed. Early game she still struggles with mana regen, but by the time you have a Nashor’s, Kayle is a devastating force. The synergy between Reckoning and Righteous Fury tears anyone apart. I mean anyone. I was shredding a Singed with both Rod of Ages and a Rylai’s, all while healing myself or my team and waiting to hit Intervention to save someone’s ass.

For now, my Kayle build is a Nashor’s rush with Guinsoo’s after. I follow that with either an Aegis if I need survivability or a Trinity Force for some general goodness. At some point I’d like to try a more damage heavy build after the Guinsoo’s, but I’ve always need to get more health in the games I’ve played.

For a skill build, I take Reckoning at level 1, then one rank of Righteous Fury. After that I alternate between Reckoning and Divine Blessing, taking my ult when I can. At level two you can hand out a surprising amount of damage with just a Reckoning -> Fury combo. Righteous Fury also deals bonus damage to towers, so once you have your Nashor’s you should be trying to push since you can really tear into some buildings.

As Slygoat said on the forums, I think Intervention needs to be reworked. Even with the increased cooldown (up to 90 seconds at all ranks), it’s virtually always up for teamfights, the cast range is enormous, and it essentially nullifies what was probably many of your opponent’s best skills.

  

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