Originally Posted by SmashGizmo
In a nutshell, the reason why the damage balance between Q and E is so important is because of Zed's burst potential between levels 6-13. I can't stress this enough because when W had no damage tied to it, Zed had really absurd power spikes in the middle of the game when he was maxing his Q and his E, followed by a BRUTAL lategame falloff from level 14 onward where he gained essentially no damage from his additional skill ranks other than the rank 3 ultimate. We see this to varying degrees on champions like Pantheon and Talon, but it was particularly pronounced on Zed because of how inescapable the character was with 2 dashes that essentially assured his full combo. Thus, the AD ratio on Zed's W is there to essentially smooth out the character's damage curve over 18 levels rather than 13 levels. You'll notice a similar technique was applied to Darius's E for a similar reason. It's certainly not the most elegant solution to early power spikes, but it gets the job done quickly with minimal impact to the kit.
That being said, I do think the energy incentives on the W are probably excessive at the current levels and am considering either flattening it's energy cost or flattening the energy restore to alleviate the energy dependence on W ranks. I can't make any promises yet, but hopefully you can rest assured that I am monitoring Zed and considering ways to make playing him more satisfying.
Zed's pretty ****ing satisfying as it is. So good job on that. A part of the problem is that satisfaction is very short lived. No champion that uses energy is as gated as Zed is by it. I would not have a problem with Zed if he would get energy back on a kill or assist to allow him to snowball to the next target. That would leave me feeling all tingly.
Another part of the problem is that jungle Zed is much weaker. You took damage from E, an ability that we max in the jungle, and gave it to Q, an ability you level in the laning phase. While the clearing times haven't really changed much, the damage is very noticable during ganks. Where I would normally find a kill in a gank pre-nerf, post nerf I do not get the kill.
So i tried going through the jungle with 1 Rank in E, and then maxing Q first. Cleared a bit slower, had enough ganking power, but the energy completely shut me down because I lack the damage through raw itemization power. E is easier to use during a gank because it slows become progressively stronger, it's on a shorter cooldown so i can get more of the damage off, and it costs far less energy to use. It's also an ability you WANT to use because it lowers the cooldown on W. So if you're going to be spamming something, you might as well want to be dealing more damage with it right?
I still think you should at least give W's energy returns to the individual abilities themselves.