Ask Riot: Unbench the Kench
The latest on Tahm Kench’s mini-update and the revival of server transfers.
These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The work or goals could change depending on what we discover, and projects mentioned may get delayed or even stopped. That said, I believe it’s important to share as much as we can even if plans may change.
We’ve got a small gameplay update in the works for Tahm Kench. It’s still a good number of patches away, but the game designer working on it, CaptainGameplay, has some goals and a preview of our current direction:
“Let's talk Kench. It's no secret he is one of the champions most famous for being weak for the vast majority of players because his kit is so strong for pros. With a semi-global ultimate that requires him to plan map rotations ahead of time with his allies, and his marque Devour that both negates opponent playmaking and enables his allies to position in ways that would otherwise be incredibly dangerous, Tahm has a lot of power that specifically requires the highest degree of coordinated play. On live, this means when he ever rises above 44-45% win rate (in support) he takes over the professional scene.
In testing right now, we have moved Devour to his Ultimate slot, where it gets to be significantly more powerful as a spell cast and therefore less dependent on allies playing around it. It will both deal more damage to any enemies you may manage to eat, as well as better protect allies you are trying to save by granting them a shield and slowing you less. With a longer cooldown and no access to the ability before 6, opponents should also be able to capitalize on it's down times. The open W is becoming a new engage tool that will similarly be less coordination reliant than his live engage ultimate. Think a faster, shorter range personal Abyssal Voyage that damages and knocks up enemies on arrival. We are also taking this time to adjust his sustained combat pattern and give him some cool tricks. We are trying out a self heal on Tongue Lash, as we've identified that his combat pattern tends to be very one-and-done due to the all or nothing nature of Thick Skin's defenses, and we are trying to encourage offensive uses of Devour by allowing Tongue Lash to once again stack An Acquired Taste - as well as letting you use it to Devour enemies at range who are fully stacked.
The current timeline for this work is after our worlds patch, to avoid potential upheaval to Summer Split/Worlds and to give us the most time to tune and adjust him before the professional scene picks back up."
-Riot Captain Gameplay
Earlier in the year we made the autofill parity feature, focused on ensuring it resulted in fair matchups between teams. Since then the team has mainly moved onto other projects, but we've still been working on smaller-scope optimizations to autofill aimed more at the individual player experience. We recently found a minor but successful change that increases our weighting to preference secondary position over autofill. The result is that you should see about the same amount of games in your primary position, a few more games in your secondary, and even less autofill.
For all regions combined:
BEFORE: 91% Primary,4.2% Secondary, 4.8% Autofill
AFTER: 90% Primary, 7% Secondary, 3% Autofill
And here’s a graph showing our data for NA:
Blue line is primary position, orange is secondary position, red is autofill.
Ranked Seeding is the feature we discussed in our last Ranked blog, which would use MMR data from other queues to provide an initial ranked MMR when players are just starting out in ranked. We’re seeing a few more challenges than expected translating normal MMR into ranked MMR due to the nature of the two queues. The normal queue has a significantly larger population of players that includes many who never make it to ranked or just opt out. This creates a MMR distribution with both a different shape and different center points. We’re going to do the necessary work to correctly translate between the two MMRs so we’re seeding ranked players much closer to their skill level—the core goal of the project. In short, it’s not coming soon as we originally planned, we are aiming to include it with a bunch of other features (like division promo removal) in the preseason.
While this isn't strictly a gameplay topic, we wanted to share a followup to Meddler's post last week, which some of you might have seen on Meddler's twitter by now. We're putting the plan to remove Little Legends from ARAM and refund them for players who haven't played TFT on hold for now. We'll get back to you when we have an alternative or modified approach to share.
Thanks again everyone for playing. Stay safe out there.