Riot considering permanent stealth for stealth characters


In the past two days, the forums have become a fountain of leaks about the long awaited stealth changes and remakes for the two primary stealth characters, Evelynn and Twitch. The changes are not final, and while Riot is definitely taking a risk by leaking these things before they are finalized, it’s very cool to have a little something to talk about while we wait for Season 2 and some other features to launch.

Here’s a quick look at Xypherous’ proposed stealth changes:

1. Evelynn and Twitch are permanently stealthed when they rank their level one stealth abilities. However, Evelynn and Twitch can be seen when they are within X units of an enemy champion (Slightly under vision range), or when they are within a true sight radius.

If they attack, they are revealed briefly for 2 seconds before going back into stealth.

This ‘X’ is being adjusted for feel between the two champions. ‘X’ is smaller than champion vision radius, so you can “stalk” an opposing champion, but it will be farther away.

2. Evelynn and Twitch have a “sight gem” above opponent’s, telling them when the enemy can see them or not and whether they are “safe” (green sight gem), “warning – you are close to being seen, but still unseen” (yellow sight gem) or “being seen” (red sight gem.)

So, once Twitch and Eve rank their stealth skills they become permanently stealthed unless attacking/casting. All other players now have limited true sight, allowing the stealthed characters to be seen if they are within a certain radius of the player. Stealthed players can determine their visibility to other players by looking for a “sight gem” on each player that will change color accordingly (probably utilizing tech from Orianna’s ball distance indicator).

This is definitely the best idea I’ve seen so far for the stealth remake. I’m not a huge fan of stealth in general, but I think that was mostly related to the inability for a non-stealth player to know just how much benefit an enemy was providing to his team. The fact that a stealther could literally be standing under my feet without my knowledge was just ridiculous. This removes that element and forces a lot more careful planning and thought on the part of the stealther.

That said, this system could be very painful for new players to learn, especially in conjunction with brush. The ability to get into brush unseen is very powerful, especially during the laning phase. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see a more active lane phase, but it worries me to think that the aggressive play could be so one-sided toward invisible units. This is all speculative, though, so I’ll wait on my critique for a more finalized build. For now, I like the idea, and I like the potential it creates for future stealth characters.


Xypherous sheds some light on the Eve/Stealth remake


We’ve been hearing about an Eve remake for months now, but nothing has really happened, other than of course the big nerfs she caught a couple weeks back. Now that things have leveled off a bit, players will undoubtedly start to get restless for a full remake. Xypherous, one of the newer designers at Riot, shed some light on the process thus far.

It’s a long but fairly interesting read if you have the heart. Basically, they keep changing and changing things, hoping to land on that magical spot where she feels both decent to play and to play against. I think it’s going to be a tough thing to balance. Long duration stealth is a big problem for this game because so few champions have a way to directly counter it, and too many counters makes the mechanic unenjoyable for the stealther. There are a couple stealth mechanics that I think are fairly well implemented, though.

Akali stealth seems pretty good, though I would like her to appear a bit longer than she currently does on attack. Shroud works for her opponents because they can generally guess where she is and adjust accordingly. Shaco, though he has his issues, is actually a good example of stealth these days. He can use it for positioning an attack, but in most cases, players see the little puff of smoke he leaves in his wake. It also has a short enough duration that he is compelled to attack shortly after he enters stealth or he’ll be vulnerable to attack shortly after.

Eve just has too many tools for extended stealth to work. She can stun, has a nice nuke/debuff, and can heal massive amounts of health, which refreshes her ability to deal sustained DPS. Add to that her high mobility and you have a champion that frankly, shouldn’t have passed the drawing board. Based on the direction the rework process has been headed, I’ll be interested to see where we end up in the next couple months.


Jungle Eve just worked me


This is not a joke. This is not a troll. My team just got legitimately smoked by jungle Eve. I don’t mean we fed, I mean we were warding, talking, moving together, everything, and we just got smashed.

I don’t really know what to say about it other than it was simply the best Eve I have ever seen. Her positioning was near perfect and she never overcommitted. Our Morgana wasn’t great, and that might have helped, but their team was meaty enough that four of them could fight and we’d be stuck either waiting for eve to pop out or watching her push a turret while we fought. It was…sort of sickening.

So what do you do against an invisible champion that is always mia? It’s very difficult to counter if done well and means you spend the majority of your time away from turrets, buying wards, and hoping she doesn’t choose you as a target. As Twitch, I was always the target.

The good news is that Eve still suffers as she always has. She’s very soft once you get to her and not much of a threat without the element of surprise. I’ll be interested to see how she progresses as more people learn to jungle with her, and what changes Riot will make to either help or hurt the endeavor.


Painful reminders that Riot is young, still growing too fast

Evelynn is dodge-worthy.

Today we got another patch, this one full of bug fixes and small tweaks to existing characters. It also brought some painful reminders that Riot is still a very young company and growing to fast to handle its exploding community.

I’ve written a lot, both here and on the official forums, about the queue dodge penalty system. It sucks. It doesn’t work. People still dodge and troll and do whatever they can to avoid playing with certain players or champions or whatever. This most recent patch actually increased increased the queue dodge penalty. Instead of rewording things, I’ll copy my thoughts from a forum thread I created today.

No one likes to get queue dodged. It sucks. Adding a penalty doesn’t encourage players not to queue dodge, though. It encourages people to attempt to force a teammate to queue dodge. Increasing the time penalty will only make this problem worse.

The whole point of the penalty was to encourage players to make an informed decision about whether or not to drop queue. An informed decision shouldn’t force you to always make a bad decision. I don’t want to join a game with an AFK player or a player who chooses revive/smite Eve and threatens to feed if he doesn’t get mid solo. I also don’t want to wait six or a ridiculous fifteen minutes for another game while that player gets dumped right back into queue.

And let’s say I actually start the game and our friend leaves or goes AFK or feeds or any number of things trolls do just to get to the next game – what’s the penalty for that player? He has effectively ruined the game for 9 other people and in most cases wasted at least 25 minutes of time for 9 players. Even if he leaves it doesn’t count against him in any fashion whatsoever. He gets a leaver mark that can’t be seen until he has likely already ruined a game? That’s like covering up the scarlet letter until Hester Prynne has nailed every married man in town and then telling their wives they should have seen it coming.

Get rid of the queue dodge penalty. It didn’t fix anything when the penalty was two and ten minutes. It made the game creation process much, much worse. I realize the queue dodge system sucks but this little band-aid won’t stop the bleeding. Figure out something new (new lobby system, perhaps?) that will actually address the problem.

In short, the dodge penalty is not doing its job – improving the game experience by reducing dodged games. It’s actually making things worse by incentivizing players to troll, which is terrible for a community.

The reason I think this all points to Riot’s immaturity as a company is that they’ve remained quiet about it, responding to few if any of the posts regarding the dodge problem, and there are a lot of them (posts). Riot is trying to force this system, which is a crap solution, to work when it just doesn’t, instead of implementing a new lobby system or some other player management system that accounts for things like dodging and leaving.

Granted, they might be working on something, but the dodging has been an issue for months. I wrote about my first experience with the queue dodge penalty back in February. The development cycle for these kinds of fixes is way too long, most likely because Riot is understaffed, so the company comes up with these bandages when what they really need is surgery.

Thankfully the community has started to turn around. When the queue dodge system first came out, anyone willing to speak out against it was downvoted into oblivion. Players are starting to realize, though, that the current system sucks and it really needs to be fixed. There’s a lot of support in the forums for reverting the change. Even if the old system wasn’t any better, it certainly wasn’t this bad.

Get on the forums and show some support.


LoL: Champion updates on the TR (AKA how they broke Eve)

Eve will be so OP.I’ve covered both Al’Zahar and the sweeping changes to the magic/armor penetration system, but this latest TR patch also includes a number of fairly serious champion changes. It’s also worth mentioning that Riot has removed base critical chance percentages from all champions, as well as their scaling chance to crit per level. It’s a small change toward reducing the RNG factor of early game fights, though I wonder if critical chance runes won’t become a whole lot more popular because of the change, especially since armor pen runes will be terrible for physical damage dealers. Compared to the penetration system changes, though, this is small potatoes. Let’s focus on the champion changes.

Ashe finally got the Plentiful Bounty rework in the form of a directional truesight shot called Hawkshot. For now the particle looks like Ezreal’s ult and casts in the same fashion, though it only covers 15-20 percent of the map in a straight line. It does grant vision to an area, so you can catch invisible targets. The spell kept its gold/kill passive, which is kinda nice, but I don’t think there’s great reason to take more than one rank . That’s not really a problem, since most characters encourage you to focus on two skills and then the ultimate, but it is kind of anticlimactic. Ashe also caught a long overdue volley nerf, bringing the number of arrows down to seven from nine. A lot of people are upset about it, but considering that Ashe is in almost every game and that building her for mana regen and CDR gave an almost unparalleled level of harass says to me it was time.

The only serious change Cho’Gath got was losing up to three Feast stacks on death instead of losing them all. It’s a decent solution to the death problem, though I think it could make him a little strong. Cho already snowballs pretty hard, and giving him the ability to die and be essentially right back at that massive level doesn’t seem like the right solution to his problems.

Teemo’s been the subject of the forum’s ire for a long time, though it took one of the PTR Fridays to get him onto Shurelia’s “list.” His camouflage now takes three seconds for fade instead of four and grants 40 percent attack speed buff for three seconds on stealth break. It’s a nice thought, but how often will you really take advantage of that change in a fight? Standing still for three seconds is a lot of wasted time. Move Quick has changed so that it only breaks on damage from enemy turrets and champions, which is nice. His poison was also changed to deal one tick of bonus damage on hit rather than after the first hit. It’s a minor tweak but should help him a bit with last-hitting.

I saved Eve for last because she received the most dramatic changes, changes that Riot has said aren’t complete. Her passive is now a 30% AOE damage reduction, which seems completely ridiculous compared to some of the other passives in the game. From a design perspective it seems to me that a champion has poorly designed engagement or disengagement if you have to give her an amazing damage reduction skill, particularly as a DPS toon. Hate Spike now has built in spell vamp and hits two additional targets (up from one), which gives her some extra lane stay. I don’t mind this change so much but coupled with her new passive it makes her difficult to kill. Her stealth now lasts 40 seconds at all ranks and grants a move speed buff. This was an obvious fix so that you only take one rank of stealth and focus the rest of your points on damage abilities. Ravage now grants the bonus MR/armor reduction regardless of your attack position, which again, coupled with the other buffs is over the top. To cap off the ridiculousness, her ultimate grants cooldown reduction along with 35% flat damage reduction for 15 seconds. Do you see where I’m going with this? They’ve turned her into an unstoppable machine of death with stealth, a two-second stun, massive damage reduction (almost on par with Alistar’s ultimate) and lifesteal. I saw her take down a level 18 Jax who was massively farmed with three elixirs while she was sporting a Rageblade, an 8-stack Mejais and a Gunblade. It was absurd. I’ll save much more criticism for later, but only because Riot said the ultimate is going away. Even with something different, though, I think they made her far too durable for a character that also has the benefit of stealth and a stun. Oracles is practically worthless against her because in all likelihood you won’t kill her, even if you have a couple people focus fire. But I’m criticizing and I said I wouldn’t. Just know that her changes might not go live with this patch, but if they do, you better be ready to see her in every game.

Other heroes got some small tweaks that won’t change much about the game. Rammus will be more mana efficient and a little better at farming. Janna won’t be quite so ridiculous at level one on TT. Zilean caught an early game nerf but a buff to his assists, and Ryze won’t burst quite as hard. I’m keeping a cautious eye out for the rest of the Eve changes.


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