How hard did the ult nerf hit Twisted Fate?


I’ve only played one game as Twisted Fate since the ult nerf, but it seems to me that it hit him pretty hard. I’m also willing to say, though, that I probably need to spend a bit more time with him to figure out the magnitude of the nerf.

Quick refresher: Twisted Fate’s ult used to be insanely powerful. It granted vision of enemy champions, slowed them all (if you don’t remember this, it was nightmarish), and allowed him to port, all on a pretty short cooldown. When he was reworked, the old Gate skill was combined with his ultimate and the slow on Destiny was removed, reducing some of the power but still not addressing the fact that global ults just stink, especially on damage dealing characters.

Now his teleport has range a bit more like Nocturne’s paranoia, still with the vision functionality. For TF, though, that ultimate isn’t nearly as good. It works on Nocturne because Nocturne is a jungler, constantly roaming, invisible to the enemy team for the most part. TF is a lane champion, though, which means he’s hopefully getting called MIA when he leaves the lane. Now granted, he can go from MIA to behind you much faster than other champions, but if your mid lane is diligent, it should be easy enough to keep his early ganking power down. The fact that he can’t jump from base down a lane now also makes a big difference. It used to be that you could pretty much expect a TF ult every time he went back to base. Now he has to get into position long before casting Destiny.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s a good thing, but I think at this point I think I’d rather see him get a full-fledged damage ultimate than have another teleport in the game. Either that, or reduce the range even further, remove the vision component, and reduce the cooldown by like half. As it stands, his kit is balanced around dropping on unsuspecting players, but as a lane player he can’t do that very well for the early game. He’s stuck farming in lane, typically against stronger 1v1 opponents who can burst him down at some point between levels 6 and 11 while he’s stuck running up and down river to get enough range for a proper gank.


Reducing global ult range doesn’t solve the design problem


Among the big changes slated for upcoming League of Legends patches is a rework to the global ults in the game, most notably the ones that that teleport the player to a new location. Riot has said in several places (none of which I can seem to find, though this quote from Phreak serves as an indicator of the design decision) that they want to limit the range of what are now global ults so that they work more like Nocturne’s Paranoia. The problem, of course, is that this doesn’t solve the problem with global ults.

Globals suck because they allow players to effectively be in two places at once. As Phreak mentions in the quote linked above, TF and Shen can go push bot during a mid stalemate, all the while planning to port mid when needed. They present all the defense necessary for mid lane while still being able to push bottom. This scenario isn’t completely fixed by limiting the range of those ultimates, but teamfights aren’t the only thing affected by semi-global ults.

When players can gank in a 3500 unit radius around them, they don’t have to play with any kind of foresight or worry about positioning. They can linger longer in the jungle. They can finish that dragon before defending a tower. They can spring out of the jungle from beyond ward range for the gank. In short, it encourages lazy play from less skilled players and offers masters of the game an easily exploited advantage. It’s also just not a lot of fun to play against.

Personally, I’d love to see the global ults removed. They’re too strong for skilled players and don’t provide the learning hurdle for map positioning that new players need.


LoL: Dealing with losing streaks

Summoner's Rift defeat.A couple weeks ago I went on a tear. I had been somewhere around 50 games over .500 for a little under a month and for whatever reason it seemed the stars had aligned. I was getting matched with smart teammates who could communicate and move as a group. Even when my teammates left a little to be desired, my opponents were always in far worse shape. My win count climbed and climbed until I plateaued sometime last week at 69 games up.

I should have seen it coming. Over the course of the past two weeks I’m now down 16 games, back to 53 over even. I know, that’s still 3 games positive, but when the swings come in batches of 15 games or so, I don’t really know what to do. As it stands I’m about as frustrated as I’ve ever been with the game. As my friends and I like to say, I seem to be losing the teammate lottery time and time again.

Once my score dropped below 60 games up, I decided I would go tryhard, choosing only the strongest toons for the map at hand. I rolled a bunch of games as Jax and Poppy on TT and had my first Twisted Fate match on SR in a long, long time. None of it seemed to matter. I carried the SR game handily, with 2 legendary streaks and a handful of turret kills. The rest, though, were mostly losses. I’ve had teammates AFK, teammates leave, teammates who start fighting with one another before the game even starts. The latest trend is teammates who refuse to get survivability. Two games in a row I played with an ally Morgana. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but Morgana dominates on TT if she’s played well. The spell shield alone is enough to make any DPS champ climax with glee. Throw her ultimate down in a team fight and you’ve got nearly guaranteed victory.

There is one caveat: she has to live. You know what doesn’t help her live? All the blasting wands my teammates keep buying. Then there was the Ashe that refused to buy any health items against Sion, Nasus, and Shaco. I’m sure you can imagine how that turned out.

By this point I’ve given up on the tryhard comps. My last game I played Yi. I was legendary. We still lost because of the aforementioned Ashe. I’ve got my fingers crossed for some good action in the next round of games I have time for. I’ll be playing whoever strikes my fancy until I can turn this ship around. At the very worst, I figure my ELO will drop to the point that I can just steamroll some opponents and hope that the streak will turn in my favor.


LoL: Where’s the patch?

Ezreal wallpaper.It’s been three days since Riot officially confirmed the patch for this week – yes, I’m considering a sale on new content that ends this coming Sunday an official confirmation – and there’s still no word on when it will actually drop. Nothing. Nada. No post in the announcement forums, nothing in the server status forums. Not even an update to the sale announcement that pushes the dates back.

I’d like to say I’m not one to speculate but, frankly, I speculate often so here it goes. My guess is that there’s some trouble related to a widespread Twisted Treeline rollout. I still stand on the assumption that it’s coming in this patch. The matchmaking test on the Test Realm was so short that my guess is they got a quick confirmation that, yes, it will work. If it was a no, you can bet there would have been more testing to figure out why. It’s a pattern Riot has followed rigorously to this point. Hell, when it seems 80% of the population can’t connect or chronically crashes the servers are set to “busy” while the team attempts to sort things out.

It’s also safe to say that this is the biggest patch since launch, with the possible exception of the store. The Twisted Treeline update will change the game in a huge way, and will likely a whole new set of hardware. Add to it the major revamp the patch gave to Twisted Fate and the release of a new champ with completely new mechanic and you have the heaviest content patch we’ve seen.

I’m still convinced it won’t happen, though. Tomorrow’s Friday and there’s still no news.


LoL: The latest Test Realm patch has me scared

Twisted Fate.Patch notes are up on the Test Realm forum for the Ezreal rollout and I’ll say it, I’m scared. I was mostly excited for the last patch, but the XP system blew chunks and that queue dodge penalty is the worst thing to happen to the game since Nidalee. There are a few diamonds in the rough, though, and I’m hoping they will be enough to carry me through.

First, Shaco is getting a massive nerf. Deceive damage is down 10% at all levels, Jack in the Box damage scales more slowly and has its AP ratio decreased, and, the whopper, throwing Two-Shiv while stealthed breaks you out. It’s not clear whether that removes your crit damage bonus – my hope is that it doesn’t – but it’s possible. You might notice that none of this makes him any more viable for the late game, which is most players’ complaint.

Then there’s Nidalee. I’m personally of the opinion that she needs the kind of nerf Shaco received. Unfortunately, Riot didn’t contact me regarding the matter, so she’s getting a tiny nerf and a little buff. Primal Surge now has its mana cost increased by 5 per level instead of the flat 50. Can I just say that this is in no way a nerf. By the time you reach the max rank, most players have more than enough mana to cover the difference, particularly if they’re going AP build. Which reminds me, AP Nidalee just got a fat buff. Javelin Toss AP ratio is up to 55% from 40%. The other change is reducing her passive to 15% move speed from 25%. Really, though, that’s not the issue with Nidalee’s escapability. It’s the fact that you can spam Pounce, which, when coupled with the brush bonus, makes her extremely difficult to kill. They could take it down to 8% and she would still probably get out of most situations.

Twisted Fate got enough changes to make him a lot less frustrating to play against and probably more overall fun. His new passive, Loaded Dice, grants TF’s team an extra 2 gold per kill. It’s actually worse than Second Sight in my mind, but not such a problem. Gate is gone. In its place is Stacked Deck, which is basically a built in Sword of the Divine. Every fourth attack deals magic damage that scales by level, affected by ability power. It also increases his attack speed and reduces cooldowns. He’s another in the latest string of toons that will benefit in big ways from Guinsoo’s. The new skill is obviously severely overpowered, but a slight nerf should bring it in line. Gate is now built into Destiny, allowing you to teleport anywhere on the map though it no longer slows. Overall, I think it’s a good change, and will actually make him a lot more fun.

There are some other minor changes, including a slight buff to the XP system (50% of a level’s XP for same level champion kills instead of 40%) , but most of them shouldn’t change the game much. The XP system will still likely too heavily prioritize farming, but it just might be enough to discourage a lot of 5-man while encouraging some push. Honestly, though, ganking is what makes the game fun. Almost no amount of XP nerfing will make me want to stop.


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