The days of new League of Legends champions taking over the meta might be gone.
League lead gameplay designer Mark “Scruffy” Yetter addressed the state of new champions and VGUs in today’s dev post. Since newly-released or reworked champions often dominate the solo queue ladder, Riot will employ two strategies to improve launch balance.
“We don’t want new champions to warp our game’s meta or for anyone to feel like they have to pick up every new champ to remain competitive,” Scruffy said.
The first focus is a “long term balanced target” so that the dev team can go months, and sometimes years, without buffing or nerfing a champion, according to Scruffy. Though a new champion might suffer from subpar win rates at first, it should slowly climb up as players get used to them.
The second strategy is faster and stronger follow-up. Senna, Aphelios, and Sett rampaged the solo queue ladder, especially at higher ranks. This forced Riot to issue repeated nerfs in nearly every patch until they were in a healthy state. To avoid this in the future, Riot plans on following up faster with more “comprehensive” nerfs.
Though this sounds great in theory, Scruffy admits the difficulty in releasing a perfectly-balanced champion before players can ever get their hands on them. So expect some buffs and nerfs after a champion is released.
In the past, Riot released new champions to be more forgiving for players picking them. But high-level players were able to pick these over-tuned champions up quickly and dominate the meta with them. This unbalance in the meta should change moving forward.
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