Riot is dialing back the power on some of the changes coming with the Midseason update to League of Legends, according to a post on the Dev Corner of the official League forums.
The focus of the Midseason update in Patch 7.9 is certainly the champion updates to the Vanguard subclass of tank champions, including big changes to Sejuani, Maokai, and Zac, but there are a handful of other updates arriving on the Rift as well. Between the new items, changes to pre-existing items, and changes to the map itself, most of the ideas are pretty great, but a few have proven a bit too powerful during testing on the PBE.
The mutated Rift Scuttler was jealous of the Vanguards getting their own makeovers, so Riot’s giving her one as well, and it’s downright frightening. There are two goals that the Herald rework sets out to accomplish.
Firstly, and most obvious, is the fact that the current Herald is somewhat of an afterthought. The buff it gives is only worth going for when your team’s top laner is already steam-rolling their opponent, because they can sacrifice time to get it. After that, once they have the buff, they’re unstoppable, but there’s no benefit for the rest of the team. The second goal is more ambiguous. Adding a powerful new effect to the Herald will make teams want to capture it more and pull some attention away from the Dragon Pit, and therefore the bot lane. Arguably the biggest complaint amongst ADCs is that their lane is always the center of attention for ganks and parties.
Well, the big new effect that Herald gives, which is essentially a deployable siege engine that can take out half a tower with one hit, is a bit too strong for teams that dominate the early game. If they can find an early lead and nab the Rift Herald, the game just got a lot closer to ending, because the weaker early-game team will have a big problem dealing with it. Riot is looking at either tuning down its damage or its survivability after being summoned by a team.
The idea behind the Adaptive Helm is great on paper, but a little less great after you’ve given it some thought. There aren’t any Magic Resist (MR) items that lower the effects of persistent magic damage, when there are several items that do this for Armor (Thornmail, Randuin’s Omen, Frozen Heart). Adding in an MR counterpart to these items seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately though, the Helm’s unique ability that lowers incoming magic damage only lowers damage from one source or spell at a time. It lowers repeating damage, basically, so ticks of Brand’s burn, Cassiopeia’s Q spams, or multiple hits from Katarina’s ultimate are less impactful.
But do many mages actually use that many spammable spells? Even people like Syndra, who toss out a bunch of Q’s, interrupt spam with other spells, thereby negating the ability of the item. The Adaptive Helm doesn’t really affect mages that much, but when it does affect them, it hits them too hard. Teemo’s poison, Cass Q’s, and Taliyah’s Q are a few examples of champions affected too much by the item. Raising the MR and lowering the trait’s effect might be a good middle ground that would work better for all instances.
The Gargoyle Stoneplate is the other new tank item arriving with Patch 7.9, and it looks like it needs a little work, too. It’s being added to the game because the Guardian Angel (GA) is being taken away from tanks and is being geared towards AD champions instead. With the GA on ADCs and Zhonya’s Hourglass for mages, everyone has an invulnerability item except for the tanks. The Stoneplate’s ability to double your champion’s health while lowering your damage output by a lot seemed like the way to go, but it had a key issue.
The item doesn’t seem to affect true damage, so champs like Cho’Gath, who can deal a metric ton of true damage with one ability, can become nigh-invincible without taking a significant hit to damage. The other issue is that some champions, like Tahm Kench or those who build the Titanic Hydra, deal damage based on their health. As you can imagine, suddenly having 8,000 health helps them out a bit too much.
The support items of League are undergoing updates as well, and the Ancient Coin is seeing the most. When allies kill minions nearby, the Ancient Coin causes them to drop coins that can be picked up for a variety of benefits, including mana. This might be a little too great for support champions that are normally hindered by high mana costs, and Riot is thinking about tuning the power down. There isn’t anything related to this mentioned nerf on the PBE yet, but don’t be surprised if it shows up soon.
The Midseason update is going to be the largest patch of the year so far, so it isn’t surprising that there are some kinks that need worked out before the new features and changes go live. Although, patches have been historically launched about three weeks from one another, and if Riot intends to stick to that rhythm, the kinks are going to need to be worked out soon since Patch 7.8 came out last week.