Nautilus, Titan of the Depths coming to LoL

The next champion to join the League will be Nautilus, the Titan of the Depths. Again, I think Riot did an awesome job with his splash art. I also really liked the sneak peek comic. It’s simple, doesn’t try to do too much with a story, just shows off this drowned guy and he looks pissed.

I have to say, I still enjoy League’s art style a lot. It was one of the first things I liked about the game and, barring a few exceptions, I’ve been impressed with their overall style.

I’m willing to be Nautilus will be some kind of tank, though I suppose melee DPS isn’t off the table. Looking at him, though, I’d have to say tank.


League of Shields: Locket of the Iron Solari

Locket of the Iron SolariToday’s patch introduced a new tank/support item called the Locket of the Iron Solari. I know supports have been complaining for a while that there aren’t enough support items. I have so little sympathy for them, mostly because I think the current version of support is really toxic to LoL as a game, that I’m sad to see Riot adding these kinds of items. That’s to say nothing of the fact that it adds yet another shield to a game in which shields already have huge presence. Hello survivability creep. How you doin?

Here are the stats for the new item:

+300 Health
+35 Armor
UNIQUE Aura: Nearby allied Champions gain 15 Health Regen per 5 seconds.
UNIQUE Active: Shield yourself and nearby allies for 5 seconds, absorbing up to 50 (+10 per level) damage (60 second cooldown).

I don’t think the shield is too big, and I will agree that as long as support is going to be a cornerstone of gameplay that they need to have more support options. This though? More survivability? I played a game today against a Galio/Janna combo. Janna built one of these early, which meant we could never get through the shields. At least with healing there is some counterplay; use ignite or an Executioner’s or play a champion with counter-healing. The only counterplay to shielding is more damage, but building more damage in an already tanky metagame isn’t really an option. The tanky DPS gets tankier and can deal out just as much pain as a carry buying damage items.

What do you think? Is this a good thing for LoL or pushing survivability even higher than it needs to be?


Ziggs Spotlight impressions

After yesterday’s delay, the Ziggs patch went live on the servers this morning. After watching the Champion Spotlight, I’m more than a little sad I don’t have the IP to get this guy. He looks awesome, but he also looks crazy broken. His burst damage is ridiculous, and his range is amazing. I hope you’re ready for some frustrating matches.

I think the worst offender in Ziggs’ kit has to be his ultimate. I’ve never been a fan of global ults or even semi-globals. They’re just too powerful, mostly because they allow an unseen party to add unpredictable damage to a fight. Players engaging in bot lane suddenly have a ton of unpredictable damage changing the outcome of their fight. The existing globals/semi-globals are just too easy to land. Gangplank’s ult hits almost instantly, Nocturne’s ult is targeted, and even TF’s port can cause problems. With Ziggs, Riot is adding a high-damage AoE nuke to the mix.

Just watch Malphite get hit with that ult at 3:25 in the video. Granted, Phreak is 16 and has a Deathcap, but holy hell. And Ziggs will regularly be in the position that he overlevels his opponents, just by nature of being a typical pick for mid lane.

I’ll have more thoughts later in the day. For now, I’m not excited to be facing this guy.


Oh Riot, will you never learn?

This isn't working.

You know, I hate to write this post again, but repetition as a method for conditioning behavior is tried and true, and frankly I don’t know what else we can do. I’ve tried to appeal to logic, to cite examples of effective communication strategies, to state again and again that players want information and that the information we want should be readily accessible, but Riot continues to drop the ball and seems to be committed to doing so.

It’s Tuesday. What’s Tuesday? Tuesday is patch day. Don’t give me any of this “we patch when patches are ready,” crap. Nope. Tuesday is patch day. Why? Because the vast majority of patches go out on Tuesday. Because humans are creatures of habit. Because your customer base prefers a consistent update schedule.

Does every patch have to go out on Tuesday? Of course not. As is the case with today’s patch, things come up. However, when things come up, the changes need to be communicated to the user base in a timely fashion. The message should be clear, concise, and easy to find. I found the explanation of the delay by going to CLG’s redtracker–which remains a superior tool to Riot’s own because it threads red responses, but that’s another issue entirely–and finding RiotRara quoting RiotDaemon from another thread, which was also asking for the patch notes. RiotRara also posted the following:

Check out the Service Status forums. I will no longer be posting these kinds of threads in GD because they don’t belong here.

The Service Status forum is a new sub-forum, which on some level I can appreciate. Riot is trying to compartmentalize information to make it more accessible. Unfortunately, the effort is sort of half-assed. There is no indication on the home page that this kind of information is available or where it might be available. As far as posts “belonging” anywhere, General Discussion is the most used sub-forum Riot has. That probably won’t change any time soon. I found the post directing me to Service Status in General Discussion. Without that post, I wouldn’t know where to get the information. What was wrong with the old banner system? Granted, I don’t think that was perfect, but it was certainly better than a random post in one of the likely thousands of posts asking for information about the patch.

Like I said, I’m tired of talking about this, which is really to say I’m tired of it being an issue. Players shouldn’t have to hunt for this kind of information.


Ziggs skill list announced


Riot has released the official skill list for the new coolest-champion-I’ve-seen-in-a-long-time, Ziggs. I don’t know what it is about his splash art that makes me so happy. Maybe it’s that he looks so happy…to be blowing things up. That said, I’m really curious to see how his skills will play out. He seems to be built around serious lane and positioning control. That could make him a powerful choice in mid with strong ganking abilities. I don’t really see him doing well in side lanes.

Short Fuse (Passive) – Every 12 seconds Ziggs’ next basic attack deals bonus magic damage. This cooldown is reduced whenever Ziggs uses an ability.

Bouncing Bomb – Ziggs throws a bouncing bomb that deals magic damage.

Satchel Charge – Ziggs flings an explosive charge that detonates after 4 seconds, or when this ability is activated again. The explosion deals magic damage to enemies, knocking them away. Ziggs is also knocked away, but takes no damage.

Hexplosive Minefield – Ziggs scatters proximity mines that detonate on enemy contact, dealing magic damage and slowing.

Mega Inferno Bomb (Ultimate) – Ziggs deploys his ultimate creation, the Mega Inferno Bomb, hurling it an enormous distance, Enemies in the primary blast zone take more damage than those further away.

Most of these skills are pretty self-explanatory; I wonder about the skills’ range and visibility, and the latter only really applies to the proxy mines. It looks from the screenshot like the mines are visible, which is probably for the best. With the rest of his skills, an invisible minefield would be a little ridiculous. The only real question, then, is whether his range can compete with other AP carries in mid or not.

I’ll be interested to see his Champion Spotlight. I’m a little bummed out that I won’t have the IP to buy him on release, but I’m sure I’ll see him enough on launch day to give some basic impressions.


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