Catch-up what happened on the Assassins AMA

By Luqizilla

Hey, folks!

Last Wednesday (11/09) the Champion Update Team held an AMA on Reddit - in case you missed that, we got you covered. Here’s some of the stuff they talked about.

Question: Do you feel like your changes actually helped to balance assassins in the long run, or was it a bandaid fix?

20thCenturyFaux: I feel strongly we've done good work for the long run. First patch of preseason is typically pretty spicy balance wise, but all of these assassins are far more balance-able than they were before. Those little things here and there that give some breathing room to the opponents also give breathing room to the numbers on the assassins' kits. It's subtle but in the long haul it's likely to be the most important aspect of the update in terms of keeping these characters fun to play.

Question: Is there a possibility that when you see the LeBlanc change was total failure, to revert the entire rework?

Reav3: Of course. Any rework has that possibility. I think LeBlancs rework has a insanely high mastery curve now though. We will definitely have to wait a bit of time to evaluate how her rework turns out.

One risk of a revert though is that old LeBlanc will go back to being a generalist assassin, which means if she is ever strong she invalidates all the other Assassins. The main goal of the class reworks is to make the champions in the class different from one another. One of the problems with the marksmen class is that Lucian is still a very strong generalist ADC. If Lucian is ever strong he kind of dominates the ADC champion pool.

Before this class update Zed and Leblanc were kind of the generalist AD and AP assassins. If either of them were ever strong they dominated the Assassin Champion pool.

Question: Any cool assassin rework related ability ideas that were scrapped during dev?

RiotMEMEMEMEME: At one point when LeBlanc ulted she would go invisible and the clone would use the ability ..... people were very frustrated every playtest. At one point we all heard Groovylord yell across the building "I DON'T KNOW WHATS REAL ANYMORE".

20thCenturyFaux: Specifically, LB's R had a wukong clone type mechanic where enemies couldn't tell if she had ulted or not--the clone would swap in at the beginning of the spellcast and LB would be stealth for a second or so. Any single-target damage from a champion would pop the clone and reveal LeBlanc's stealth.

It was pretty sweet conceptually, but there was a devil in the details--playing against it felt like mobility and LB already has a ton of that so its frustration cost was too high for what we were getting. If you see LeBlanc at spot X, then she vanishes and there's LeBlanc at spot Y, that's functionally the same as if she teleported in terms of the playing against experience.

RiotRepertoir: Rengar had a localized team stealth at one point. Was pretty fun. Will make a cool ability for a less selfish champion in the future.

GreaterBelugaWhale: Katarina had free-targeted shunpo, with a 1 second delay (but untargetable like Elise Rappel during the delay), that basically killed anyone in the target area on arrival. Combined with resetting, it was uh.. Hard to play against.

Question: Oh and how come that AP Assassins didn't get any new items while AD assassins did?

ricklessbanadon: I think that time and scope played in as big factors. we talked about doing some smaller changes, but given how closely tied together mage items are, we weren't confident we'd be able to get in a set of changes that wouldn't do more harm than good on top of everything else already in motion.

If we do a pass later on, we'd have to make sure we're able to differentiate between items that feel good for ap assassins vs items that just make burst mages (e.g., syndra, annie, et al) better. that would probably include making sure their gold is going towards cool things that aren't "be better at killing someone" that ap assassins actually want, which means the scope of the project is decently sized at the start.

Question: What have you learned from the Marksman Update and applied on the Assasin Update?

Reav3: Sometimes less is more. We did less big reworks but put way more time into them.

RiotRepertoir: I think one of the main things that differed in our approach is that we didn't limit scope of change so much on Assassins, but we did fewer as a result. Ultimately I think it's a better approach. We don't have to cram an update into just one or two skills.

Question: What now distinguish assassin's from full damage Wukong\j4\Vi\Diana\Lee-Sin\Fiora\etc?

Reav3: Very High Target Selection and High Mobility. Most of the champions you mentioned don't have a way to reliably get out of a bad situation. Divers go in and don't go out. Assassins generally have a reliable escape route.

Question: Thoughts on which rework will be most relevant in the professional scene?

Reav3: It's always tough to predict these kinds of things. For example, we didn't initially think Vlad would be super relevant in pro play and he ended up the most relevant.

My guess is that initially Rengar, Kha'zix, and Fizz will be relevant.

I think once pros put enough time into LeBlanc she will be relevant again. Her mastery curve is crazy high though so it will probably take time.

Talon is a wildcard. His parkour is so unique that I have no idea what will happen with him in pro play.

I can see Kat being a situationally strong pick in competitive if someone puts the time into her to learn her. She will likely not be blind pickable though due to her inherent weaknesses.

I'm sure all of this will be wildly inaccurate though as it usually is.

Ququroon: Personal thought would be Talon. The rotations and global pressure could be fantastically strong in the right hands.

Those were some of the questions that popped up - if you still wanna discuss more about Assassins head over the forums!

Catch you later -- hopefully -- if you don’t run away.

3 years ago

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