The marksman class has already been forced to go through significant meta shifts recently, but it doesn’t look like they’re out of the woods yet.
Critical strike might be next on the docket for a big system change, and Riot is also considering tweaking lethality, according to a post in the Dev Corner of League’s forums.
Lethality has already undergone dramatic changes since its release in November, each of which has had a heavy impact on the meta for marksmen. It’s gone from over-powered, to under-powered, and back to over-powered all within a couple of months. Crit, on the other hand, has never been significantly changed.
Riot’s been considering removing crit for some time, but the idea hasn’t been entirely embraced by the community. It seems like the fans, players, and even Riot staff are split down the middle either in favor of removing crit or not. Each post on the forums and Reddit is always met with a raging debate.
Those in favor of removal say that crit is an example of “output” RNG (when you roll a dice over and over again hoping for one outcome, I.E. critical strikes) when only “input” RNG succeeds in League (a random encounter that forces both teams to adapt and react to the game, I.E. which type of dragon spawns). Those against the removal of the stat say crit is the only good proactive RNG left in the game, and that the meta of the game and too many champions depend on it to stay relevant. In case you’re curious, Riot went into detail on its stance of each type of RNG a few months ago.
One thing that’s rarely debated, however, is the possibility of changing how crit works rather than just removing it. Judging from Riot’s post on the forums, this seems to be the plan it will actually test out, or at least discuss internally.
So what would that look like? Right now, we don’t have enough (or any) details to go on, but we can guess. Crit is a fairly straightforward system. Building 1 percent crit chance adds 1 percent onto your total chance to land a critical strike. It doesn’t seem like there is much room for change there, but perhaps crit damage can be tweaked. There’s only one item that modifies critical strike damage, and that’s the Infinity Edge. Removing the ability to boost crit damage with the Infinity Edge might be a possibility, or perhaps even lowering the amount of damage that critical strikes do in all circumstances.
We could also look to Jhin for ideas. Jhin’s fourth shot is a guaranteed critical strike. A way to balance crit might be to add a “guaranteed crit” system to champions like Yasuo, Gangplank, and crit-based marksmen and removing the chance for critical strikes to happen altogether. For example, if Gangplank chains together at least two or more barrels with his Q, it automatically crits. Another idea: Every auto attack after Yasuo lands three Q’s is a critical strike. Or maybe, for Vayne, she automatically critically strikes anyone stunned by her Condemn.
There are many possibilities here, but the elephant-sized issue would be how the meta would change as a result. Even if crit’s inner workings were only slightly changed, the meta will bounce around, and frankly, that’s something that has happened too often lately as it is.