Last night I saw that League of Legends released a new /dev diary video on their YouTube channel. Ghostcrawler(one of the lead members of League’s design team) talked about champions, their state(future possible reworks) and what makes them come to life(what criteria they have to fulfill). I’ll put the video down bellow so you can watch it and be able to understand what I’m talking about.
What I want to talk about are 2 major aspects: Fairness and Reworks, both being in my opinion the ones that Riot try to emphasize as much as possible, but in many cases fail lamentably.
“Clear strengths and weaknesses” said Ghostcrawler. But what if a champion has multiple MASSIVE strengths and only one tiny weakness, that can be avoided to it’s minimum when the champion is mastered?!
Let’s talk about Kayn for example, the newest champion at this moment, in the game. How come his E ability, Shadow Step, an ability that in essence makes him invulnerable for a couple of seconds(remember Fizz’s E ability ?!the one that everybody complains of) is fair? Warding all the map with your support and this guy comes out of the wall towerdives and kills you. Is this fair? What weakness can you exploit in this case?! And I’ve talked about Kayn just because he is the newest champion, but there are many champions that fit perfectly here, that seem to have almost no counterplay(and no I don’t see zhonya’s as a counterplay).
Once they are mastered their strengths increase dramatically and their weaknesses become smaller and smaller. Now I know that this is a natural process of getting good on that champion, but in many cases the gap between strengths and weaknesses becomes enormous in comparison to other champions(talking here about the same level of mastering those specific champions).
From what I’ve seen in the video you are preparing Nunu for his major rework. What I’ve noticed with the past reworks is that I don’t usually see any of those champions in my games(excluding Urgot who has just been released). Yorick, a fantastic rework, he looks cool he seems not that boring to play as in the past BUT he still stays at a 1% pickrate, without having that “insane” gameplay like Ivern has(meaning that he is not one of those champions released only for a specific type of players).
What I am trying to say is that somewhere along the way you are making something wrong. The reworked champions seem very fun and cool to play in the begining, but only for a couple of days or weeks. After that what happens?! Yorick 1% pickrate, Ryze after so many reworks: 0.7%, Taric 1% etc.
I know that having 137 champions in the game, balancing it, is almost an impossible mission and I really appreciate your efforts. But try to take in consideration this aspect as well along side with: satisfying to play, resonant theme, skill-expressive, fair and unique, the aspect of LONG TERM CONTINUITY.