Since this is the patch the 2014 All-Star tournament will be played on, we’re taking it a little easy on the changes. After 4.5’s laundry list, here’s what we’re tackling next.
Reworks: We've released a number of reworks over the past few patches and we're committed to following up to get these champs to a better place. We saw quick opportunities to polish up Kassadin, Gragas and Rengar. We also have plans for Skarner, but we're going to keep him in the lab a little longer. You can read about our specific design intentions below, but the general theme (for all of the above) is to make these reworked champions more unique within their role while still preserving game health.
Top lane: We're particularly aware of low champion diversity - especially in competitive play. The current state of top lane is a couple of champs go to fight on an island and that makes the balancing act tricky. We know that nerfs won’t work because taking down today’s bullies (hi Renekton!) means that others would rise to the spot. Instead, we're going to be buffing(!) champions over time that have teamfight-oriented, healthy gameplay. In this vein we have changes in store for Jarvan IV, Malphite, Rumble and more, but Rumble is the only one shipping because he’s the only one done. Stay tuned, as this will be an ongoing project.
Onward to the patch notes!
In this patch we've fixed a bug responsible for creating errors during the patching process. We've also added crash logging to the patcher as another tool to help us discover, track and fix issues going forward.
Now that Gragas is a full-on drunken brawler, he needs a little help in the mid-fight mobility department.
We're happy with Kassadin's direction as a high-mobility mana-fueled void mage, but he's a little under-equipped for the job. Old Kassadin could survive by blowing up targets (dead targets don't deal damage), but since the rework put more emphasis on his mobility and close combat, he's had some problems sticking around the fight. These changes are to give Kass more opportunities and rewards when he Riftwalks into the fray.
This is a fix for a longstanding bug where Maokai's slow didn't accurately match his tooltip. We're giving him the benefit of the error.
Following up on our Rengar rework, we're giving him power back in two areas where we've heard your feedback: Savagery and Thrill of the Hunt. Rengar's rework is currently doing a lot of things successfully, but we agree that kitty needs a little more claw.
We're adding more danger to the Danger Zone in order to separate the good Rumbles from the great Rumbles.
Twitch has received a visual update. And legs. Check out the full details here! We've also bundled a few quality of life improvements and ability name changes for skills that've mutated past their original designs over the years.
We wanted to err on the stronger side with Feral Flare's release so that players could see exactly what it offered as a carry jungle item. That certainly hasn't been a problem, as it's performed extremely well thus far. Too well.
The Heal debuff was something we should have left in when we updated the summoner spell. Without the debuff, there's no real drawback to bringing multiple Heals to a fight instead of an assortment of spells.
The recent update to Twin Shadows made for a lot of design overlap with Hextech Sweeper, so we're pushing Hextech Sweeper into more of a tanky mine-sweeping direction.
This change was also spurred by the recent changes to Twin Shadows. Generally speaking, we knew Blackfire Torch needed to be toned down, so when we started seeing piles of additional movement speed on casters, we felt we could step in now.
Now that we've hit the middle of the 2014 season, we were able to safely assess how to update Twisted Treeline to the new game flow mechanics.
We also took this opportunity to create more viable jungle routes and to alleviate some early jungling concerns.
We flipped the switch on a suite of bot improvements at the tail end of the 4.5 patch cycle - you can find the changelist in the Patch 4.5 Notes and head over to the dev blog for the scoop on our goals to make bots more human. This patch is a continuation of those efforts.