Quick Gameplay Thoughts: Nov 20

Preseason Followup, Item Icons.

DevAuthorRiot Scruffy
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These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The work or goals could change depending on what we discover, and projects mentioned may get delayed or even stopped. That said, I believe it's important to share as much as we can even if plans may change.

Preseason Followup

With the Preseason patch out for over a week now, I wanted to summarize our thoughts so far.

  • Disruption is about what we expected - With changes this big, we expected a lot of adjusting to do in the first weeks. So far, we're getting about what we expected, which is a lot of balance work needing to be done on items, runes, and champions. We're approaching it as quickly as we can, having done 2 balance hotfixes and prepping a large patch in the first two weeks alone.
  • Too much burst from items - Something that we saw on release and have been looking to bring back down is the amount of burst coming from item procs and actives alone. Because damage from items is often fairly reliable, we don't want to push too much power here and undermine the counterplay in champion kits.
  • Choice is mostly good - We're seeing most champions having a good range of viable options, and we want to continue broadening them in our upcoming patches. Players tend to gravitate towards their comfortable favorite picks, but if you correctly pick items to match the game state, there is a real advantage to be gained. If you missed it, our recently posted Item Balance Framework shows our goals for item choice diversity. We don't expect to hit those numbers on 100% of champions but we hope to get the vast majority of them.
  • Snowball - Early indicators, somewhat surprisingly, seem to show that snowball is slightly down in preseason compared to 10.22. Typically as players are learning new systems, snowball increases from wider skill differences in a game. We're not acting on this currently, because a small reduction in snowball is still within our ideal snowball state for the game.

Shop and Item Icons

There is a lot that we're happy with in the new shop interface so far, but we know that it takes a lot of getting used to for long time players. But there are still a lot of missing features and improvements that we're still planning to make:

  • Icon Clarity - We're taking multiple improvement passes on the new item icons in the next few patches to improve their clarity and readability (especially at small sizes). Notably, toning down the intensity and amount of detail in background elements and making sure the foreground and background have strong contrast for a clear silhouette.
  • Icon Similarity - Another icon improvement we are working on is to identify cases where two items have too much similarity and create confusion. Spelltheif's Edge and Hailblade are one example of items that we want to shift color and silhouette to make them more easily distinguishable from each other.
  • Icon Rendering - Purely for the visual quality and art style, we want to do a rendering pass on a few icons to bring them up to par. This makes them feel less "plastic" and more like powerful fantasy weapons.
  • Shop Scaling - We're currently working on the ability to scale the shop up and down to match each player's preferences. This should be available in the next few patches. Longer term we want to add more advanced scaling options like scaling the item icons specifically in the all item view.
  • Quick Access Panel Pin - A much requested feature that we are also working on for the spring is the ability to pin the quick access panels open (with boots, pots, and inventory).

All around, we are enjoying the preseason so far and working hard to respond to all of your feedback to make it the best it can be. Thanks again for playing League with us. Stay safe out there.

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