Quick Gameplay Thoughts: March 19

Split Pushing Goals.

DevAuthorRiot Scruffy
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Split Pushing Goals

Something we’ve been talking about a lot internally is finding ways to enhance the “split push” strategic play and improve its gameplay while we’re at it. Historically split pushing has been both an exciting strategic option that added variety to the overall endgame, but it’s also been sometimes a frustrating and uninteractive strategy that grinds down a losing team without opportunity for them to respond.

What do we think contributes to healthy split pushing gameplay?

  • Split push allows a solo player to exert pressure - Creating a strategy that allows a team that is generally behind but has a strong solo player to avoid a likely losing 5v5 is a good outlet for skillful comebacks.
  • Attrition is a meaningful element - We wouldn’t want a single duel to decide the outcome of the game for all 10 players, so healthy split pushing is an attrition game. Successful trades or duels gain resources and advantage over time, which can eventually lead to a strong position to win the game.
  • Split pushing enhances strategic play for both teams - The dynamic of 1-4 or 1-3-1 leads to a large amount of different opportunities for map rotations, vision control, and fight sizes. When this is present, we see more diverse champion meta and more skills to master for everyone.
  • An avenue for top lane impact in the late game - Top lane as a position has historically had issues translating early success to a meaningful impact on the team’s late game chances of winning. We think that split push can offer the common fighter and skirmisher picks that you see in top lane a better opportunity to push objectives when they normally struggle in 5v5 fights.

What things would we like to avoid?

  • Pushing without a champion present - We don’t like to support strategies that create objective pressure without champion conflict. Almost all of the skill expression and interest in League’s gameplay comes from the back and forth conflict of champions in various scenarios. So we generally want to ensure that the path to winning involves as much of the best gameplay that we can offer.
  • Pushing without risk or counterplay (usually death) - The biggest cause of uninteractive and frustrating split push is when the solo pusher is too safe. Rotating or all-inning for a kill is an important counter strategy that we want to preserve. In the past we’ve seen this caused by champions with overly strong escape tools, ability to damage the tower from too far away, and vision tools being significantly too available so approaching rotations are always seen.
  • Split pushers have too many strengths without necessary weaknesses - Different champions that split push will have different strengths that they can bring like incredible tower threat (Nasus), strong escapes (Camille), dueling power (Fiora), or global mobility (Shen). When champs operate with too many of these strengths and not enough weakness it can create an unhealthy state where there is no usable counter strategy.
  • Avoiding fights too easily - When a split push is happening, the pressure is on for the defending team to effectively rotate to the pusher or force a successful 4v4 fight. When the pushing team is too effective at disengaging it creates an unhealthy stalemate where slow pressure is applied forever without any action.

We don’t have any solid plans or promises to make yet, but we’re in early exploration on ways to enable split pushing (in the ways we think are good for the game).

Thanks again for playing with us.

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