Originally Posted by Dibble
I think Samurai hit's on an interesting point. There really are cookie cutter builds for each archetype. There is little variance when it comes to playing each type.
There used to be slightly more variance, things like locket, sunfire's (while annoying), etc changed the scope of how you could play a character. It wasn't about being an AP carry rushing your Rabadon cap trying to get damage to snowball.
That's something that is lacking, there is no real item choice for interesting takes on the archetypes for most characters. There are no gimmicky things that when used right would make for unique and interesting game play. I understand gimmicky things are hard to balance, but ultimately it would add depth.
This is probably the best case-study since I think it includes the exact kind of thing that is worth this to change, though maybe we could let him tank in another way.
The question is "when is an item build variant a cool build choice" and "when does it just make interactions that make the game worse." Let's look at Locket Gragas as an example;
This is one I'm really glad we did. Locket Gragas is a clear-cut example of an abuse case, in which anytime this is good, it's just awful for the game, overall combat experience, and works to exemplify an existing problem (sustain). To Gragas, Locket is an alternate item build. To the game, it's destructive. I mean, in what scenario should a nigh-unkillable character with high base damages exist, who also has an initiation ability? If we left this, how do you expect this to be something that could be balanced? If we lower his damage, we weaken his damage build. If we lower his tankiness, we lower his tank build. At what point should there be things that have too powerful of an effect be left in "because they're fun?" I mean, I'd have fun if I had an ultimate that could kill a guy in one shot, but that doesn't mean it's good to have :P
Back when this build existed, you had two options; Locket Gragas, and AP Gragas. That choice could be summed up as:
Locket: Be very tanky, do decent damage, initiate. Very powerful!
AP: Do a lot of damage and be less effective than the thing above it.
Do you guys want things adhered to that are less effective left in the game? Are you OK with core imbalances if they provide variety for its own sake? Should we make balance decisions around builds that aren't competitive?
Has there ever been a viable full hybrid that's been competitive in both build paths?
These aren't rhetorical, I'm actually curious to what players think of the tradeoffs. The costs are high - would you be willing to pay them?