CertainlyT über den aktuellen Stand von Yasuo und zukünftige Pläne

LoL - Yasuo Artwork

LoL - Yasuo ArtworkNicht nur Lead Champion Designer Meddler, auch Champion Designer CertainlyT war am vergangenen Wochenende in den offiziellen LoL-Foren unterwegs. CertainlyT hat sich dabei die Zeit genommen, um ausführlich auf den aktuellen Stand von Yasuo und kommende Änderungen für den entehrten Krieger einzugehen.

Laut CertainlyT sind die Entwickler aktuell mit Yasuos aktuellem Power-Level aus verschiedenen Gründen relativ zufrieden. So gewinne er beispielsweise ungefähr so viele Spiele wie er verliere und sei zwar furchterregend, wenn er einen gewissen Vorsprung habe, verfüge aber dennoch über Schwachstellen, um von koordinierten Gegnern besiegt werden zu können.

Auch mit einem Großteil des Gameplays ist das Team zufrieden. Yasuo bietet laut CertainlyT z.B. ein großes Spektrum an Skills und verfüge über viel situationsbedingte Varianz. Aufgrund dessen sei nicht geplant, Yasuo per se zu buffen.

Allerdings gebe es offensichtlich ein paar Punkte, die noch verbesserungswürdig seien, weshalb einige Änderungen für den entehrten Krieger geplant seien, wozu u.a. ein Boost für Last Breath (Windschwert) gehöre.

Zitat von CertainlyT (Quelle)

Hey guys,

We’re relatively happy with Yasuo’s current power level, for a few reasons:
He wins about as many games as he loses;
He is terrifying when ahead but still has the vulnerabilities to be defeated by coordinated enemies;
He is vulnerable to falling behind during the laning phase but still has the tools to contribute meaningfully with careful play;
He excels in synergistic team comps, especially when learning him, but functions well independently in the hands of an experienced player.

We’re also enjoying most of his gameplay:
He rewards a broad spectrum of skills — getting better at him involves improving your mechanics, judgment, and situational responsiveness (both in positioning and build);
He has a lot of sitational variance — seldom do two fights play out identically in any given game;
He succeeds at similar rates at all levels of play, implying that he scales roughly equally with both player skill and opponent skill.

As such, we don’t plan on buffing Yasuo per se. Obviously, he has a few kinks to be worked out in response to player feedback, so there will be changes, but the net effect should be fairly neutral when it comes to power level.

Specifically, in addition to a bunch of bug fixes, we’re looking at the following changes:

1)Boosting the power of Last Breath by having it grant maximum Flow on cast. The ability is currently lackluster at level 6, causing Yasuo to often fall behind in lane compared to his opponent’s ult unlock. This change will make it a better means of turning around a fight or re-engaging while low but keep its power in ganking cases unchanged.

2) Reducing the power of Statikk Shiv on Yasuo in two ways:
First, Shiv’s proc isn’t receiving the -10% crit damage modifier that Way of the Wanderer applies to all of Yasuo’s other crits. This will take Shiv crits from 200 to 180 damage before Infinity Edge.
Second, Shiv currently calculates its crit chance twice — if the attack that procs it crits, Shiv auto-crits; if the attack that proc’d it doesn’t crit, Shiv rolls for a crit. With 50% crit chance, you get a 75% crit rate on Shiv procs. This is true across all champions. We’ll be fixing both of these in upcoming patches.

The result should address some of the snowball concerns players have correctly expressed regarding Yasuo — a fast Shiv won’t grant as much non-scaling magic damage at a very early level — and will leave us in a better position to assess his overall power level. We still expect Shiv to remain a core item on Yasuo, but it won’t offer quite the power spike it does at present.

Anschließend ging CertainlyT dann in mehreren weiteren – zum Teil sehr ausführlichen – Beiträgen auf Spieler-Feedback ein:

Zitat von CertainlyT

The are nerfing static shiv. That will effect him AND many other champions. Honestly thats pretty lame. Why not just make the 2nd roll of shiv use half of yasuo’s crit chance? You know, that way its fair across all champions and you don’t nerf the item unnecessarily…

That change to Shiv was not motivated by Yasuo directly. It just happens to hit him pretty hard, so I felt compelled to point it out. The change was prompted by a desire to better differentiate Shiv and Phantom Dancer, both of which might soon be seeing some statistical adjustments.

Every match up is a team game, as it is the nature of the game itself. But not every fight is team related, and every match is DEFINITELY not always built to cater to Yasuo. The point he’s making is that an able player came make the champion work well even in circumstances not ideally created for him.

Well said.

Can you give him another nerf along the lines of the skillshot width nerfs to champions like Ezreal? Something as powerful as Windwall absolutely needs to be paper thin.

It’s kind of stupid when you think you’re actually on one side of windwall and have your spell projectile canceled since it originates from the center of your character. Or simply just making it so that you can’t stand in the middle of Windwall and expect to block most projectiles headed your way.

We haven’t been consistent with the exact position from which our missiles spawn on champions. Some come from the hand, some from the center of the model, etc. Yasuo’s Wind Wall is already 1 unit „thick“ so further improvements will come over the next few patches as JHa and I make sure missiles are coming from the right „bone“ or position on a champion’s model.

How about bugfixes for his ultimate, CertainlyT? Will it still be able to be hourglassed next patch?

This should largely be fixed next patch with a tech solution that resolves any remaining edge case possibilities the patch thereafter.

yasuo is too strong and the only reason he seems „balanced“ is because hes new and nobody has dedicated enough time to him. He doesnt need QoL buffs he needs nerfs straight up.

That’s possible. He’s certainly a very powerful champion, but then again champions should be powerful.

These changes put him in a position where we can better assess his true power level. I would note that many players have already played 100+ Yasuo games, so we are starting to get meaningful feedback which suggests that he is not as dramatically out of line. Since you appear to have very few games with him, I don’t think you’re in a better position to assess whether or not he is overpowered.

Zitat von CertainlyT

If you’re still lurking, CertainlyT: will there be any investigation into the responsiveness of his E->Q combo? I almost always feel like it behooves me to E, auto, Q, instead of doing a spinning Q, due to an ever so slight delay.

Yes, the combo should be more responsive after next patch, though of course your circular Q will still be delayed until the end of the dash. Generally, the EQ combo is not intended to be strictly better than the Q by itself, but it should offer the player a choice in how they best perform their Q. In the mean time, smartcasting your Q should increase the reliability of the combo (especially EQ3) due to how the client handles sending and receiving information to and from our servers.

Zitat von CertainlyT

I don’t really think the R change is all that well thought out….sure maybe it keeps him on par at 6 but umm let’s look late game? Giving a melee ad carry the capacity to have 1300 points of shield via passive seems really unwise.

You raise a relevant concern. However, the R is not an on demand move. If a player can set this up, they deserve to be rewarded. Since the core counterplay to Yasuo (Maintain proper spacing in the face of AOE knockups, CC, focus fire) denies his ability to refresh his shield, I’m not particularly nervous. I would also note that we as a design team shouldn’t shy away from risky changes. The most cautious design choices are seldom the best. One virtue of running a live-updated game is that changes which turn out to not generate good gameplay can always be reverted.

Zitat von CertainlyT

This will always keep it useless unless the enemy team is grouped for a perfect E->Q AOE due to how it applies on-hit (nearest first, so red buff only applies to one person – as an example)
The fact I need to be close to use it means its only useful if I’m chasing – and the E->AA->Q feels more responsive/better to pull off. Especially if the enemy is near a creep and you need to proc the on-hit effects you may have..

There is never a time I feel rewarded for doing the E->Q. If the enemy is smart they just walk towards you as you dash and dodge the Q 80% of the time in a 1v1.

And thats coming from someone with well over 125 games played as Yasuo…

The EQ combo has a number of advantages:
1) It has no cast time, so does not impair your mobility. Real talk: While dashing through minions to catch an enemy, it’s strictly better to EQ minions to build a stack toward your Q3 than to E…line Q. so your assertion that it’s „never better“ is just hyperbole.
2) Can hit multiple enemies not lined up, and so offers targeting flexibility.
3) Is less avoidable in a number of contexts. For example, if an enemy is near max dash range, they will more easily be able to avoid a regular Q than an EQ due to the narrowness of the Q. When I speak about EQ responsiveness changes I am referring to not having to mash Q immediately upon beginning your dash. With reasonably quick decisionmaking, you should be able to decide mid-dash whether you’d like to circular Q or save your Q for a post-dash line nuke.
4) It forces the enemy to adjust their counterplay, which can often put them in the position you want.

You have mentioned some of the disadvantages of the combo. Most of those just involve the enemy playing well, which is something we should reward, not punish.

Zitat von CertainlyT

My biggest worry about the Flow change is that it seems to invalidate a lot of his passive’s counterplay. The whole idea is that you’re supposed to poke him whenever it’s up, wait for it to decay, then poke him while it’s down, but now it just seems like you won’t have those safer times to poke him post 6. He’ll always be able to engage on you at full power, regardless of whether you’ve been playing the Flow minigame.
I dunno, his design just seems to have an excessive number of minigames for his opponent to micromanage. First you have Flow, then you have Q stacks, then you have to count which minions and champiopns he hasn’t dashed to yet, then you figure out a way to play around Wind Wall. On the one hand, I’d be happy to not have to juggle yet another thing when playing against him, but on the other, that’s only going to be because you auto-lose that minigame now post-6.

Definitely thought a lot about this concern. What motivated us to make the change anyhow was that the poke, wait, engage strategy against the shield is intended to become less relevant as the game progresses. In lane, being ulted is generally a result of the enemy’s poor decisionmaking and so with proper management of Yasuo, it shouldn’t be a huge issue.

As to Yasuo having too many mini-games, I will agree that counterplay manifests on a number of axes (axises?). This is intentional as I feel it makes Yasuo less binary in his matchups. Different champions (and players) are able to better perform at different mini-games, which means that even if your champion isn’t good at one, you can focus on the other. As an example, champions without ranged attacks are weaker at poking through Yasuo’s shield (e.g., Riven), but also can take more liberties with their positioning vis-a-vis their own minions since they are likely want Yasuo to close on them.

Personally, I find laning against Yasuo more enjoyable than laning against Garen (a champion with two primary axes of counterplay — maintain range when his cooldowns are available; damage him periodically to prevent his passive from activating) or LeBlanc (shove the lane or she kills your side lanes) because of how many ways there are to improve against him and because my strategy often varies dramatically depending on my champion’s strengths, but opinions may vary.

Zitat von CertainlyT

Yasuo is probably my favorite champion released last year, but I think he has a problem

He’s one of the strongest mid-laners in the game. I feel it’s against his design for him to be so powerful early on. If he’s paired against a squishy mage there’s almost nothing they can do vs his all-in potential at level 2 and there’s no risk for yasuo since he can just dash away to an enemy ranged creep.

I feel like his shield regeneration rate needs to be slightly lowered early on to allow enemies for more windows to harass yasuo, since he is resourceless and unrelenting in his ability to dive and poke others
Yasuo is designed to have a „Tristana-esque“ power curve — a strong level 1-3, a notable spike at 6, with a distinct trail off until he reaches his core items. I really like these sort of power curves across time because they mean that one player is sometimes the aggressor and sometimes not. Figuring out „who’s the beat down“ given a number of variables is one of the cooler aspects the laning phase.

That said, it’s very possible that Yasuo’s levels 1 and 2 are too strong. Too soon to tell at the moment though. At the moment, I think that with cautious play Yasuo is containable at these levels. I also think that Yasuo needs to play very cautiously himself the rest of the time.

Zitat von CertainlyT

I like multiple sources of counterplay. I don’t like when every single one of them is so crucial. Against a decent Yasuo, it takes a lot of effort to beat him at any of his minigames, but you still don’t win the lane unless you beat him at all three while also beating him in trades with your own abilities, and of course farming. It just seems to require a lot more mental effort to play against Yasuo than virtually anyone else except possibly Lee Sin.

This isn’t what we’ve observed. Yasuo players tend to have to properly manage all of their resources (Flow, Q stacks, W/R cooldowns) to win lane. It’s possible that we are wrong, but that doesn’t seem the case based on direct observation and quantitative analysis.

Zitat von CertainlyT

can you please stop making resourceless champions. They have far more non-choices than meaningful decisions to make in gameplay.

What is the actual drawback that Yasuo has for being resourceless? He is pure output with little to no input

it’s certainly not „long cooldowns“ It’s certainly not itemization, and it’s certainly not a mechanical limitation of his playstyle.

„hur dur he melee and very aggresive in the thick of the fight“ cough Fiora Darius

I see this posted a lot. Mana is only one way to gate a champion.

In the case of Yasuo, the resource gate on spells is actually inverted. Yasuo is gated by the NEED to act. If the Yasuo player is not successfully casting Q and E, he’s falling behind — Q builds stacks toward his knockup. E builds his passive. Each of them also leaves Yasuo vulnerable. In lane, Q starts at a 0.42 second cast time and E alerts the enemy to his exact position in 0.6 seconds (the time of the dash). Using those momentary losses of control to your advantage as the opponent can help you land skillshots or reposition against him. In team fights, the need to build Q stacks requires Yasuo to find targets (like the Wraiths, minions, or enemy champions that move into his team’s lines) before he can cast his more powerful Q3. The E requires him to move around in a fight to keep his passive working, making him less of a target chooser and more of a target taker.

He also has no inherent sustain, rare for a melee, and most of the time is short range, allowing him to be harassed. We could have given Yasuo mana, bumped his durability/regen up a ton, and given him long range waveclear tools, but instead we made him manaless, fragile, and short ranged. Personally, I think this was the right choice as health as a resource is something that the enemy actually has control over. Mana regen is mostly a function of itemization. It should be more satisfying to maintain proper range while harassing Yasuo out of lane than to build enough armor that Pantheon cannot kill you with spears before OOMing.

That’s not to say that resourceless designs are not more stressful to fight against than mana driven designs. Mana-based champions can be tied by avoiding their damage. Resourceless champions must be defeated through offensive action. Creating the proper amount of stress is an important part of design and really hope that Yasuo has the vulnerabilities to make players feel like they can find opportunities to defeat him through skilled ability use, which in turn should make the added stress worthwhile.

Zitat von CertainlyT

I think Yasuo makes a strong case for the idea that League of Legends is suffering slightly from a ‚mobility creep‘ from it’s newer champions. (Before you say it, Jinx has her passive).

I’ve always found „mobility creep“ to be an odd choice of words. Would you say that we are suffering from downward „point-and-click stun creep“? It’s no secret that we tend to favor some element of mobility in our newer designs. It’s also no secret that we tend to favor fewer point and click stuns. Personally, I feel mobility is very helpful for the following reasons:

First, champions with mobility can be given a lot more weaknesses, particularly when it comes to durability and reliability of CC. Nasus/Darius/Mundo etc. have to be more or less able to buy 100% defensive items in order to be viable. There are only so many Patchwerk-style DPS tests we can put into the game. Additionally, we can provide a lot less reliability to other elements of their kit when we add dashes to champions. Nasus Wither, Nunu Ice Blast, and Sion Cryptic Gaze are not our best spell designs, but are required for these champions to be able to close the gap against ranged champions since in the absence of reliability in their CC they would die to ranged basic attacks should they ever miss a skillshot.

Second, mobility makes the game more volatile. Ever played Udyr against Ashe? You just slowly lose. Mobility allows for the sort of rapid turn arounds or engagements that can swing fights drastically in the blink of an eye. That is exciting and adds an element of unpredictability to the game. Lower mobility champion encounters often „end“ well before one champion dies, because the outcome becomes obvious.

Third, mobility limits the problem of fighter stacking. Historically, when the metagame shifted to low mobility fighters, it shifted waaaay toward low mobility fighters. This is because champions that crowd control their enemies in order to reach them are highly symbiotic. Mundo loves a Nasus Wither, because it allows him to gap close freely and spam Cleavers from melee. Nasus loves a Mundo Cleaver hit because it means he can close to Wither range with 100% certainty and from there he’s tough to stop. When we give our melee champions mobility instead of CC, they all have to use their mobility skills to reach the enemy backline and so can be balanced to be satisfying and effective on a team that is otherwise comprised of ranged champions and can be given more specific synergies than „is melee“.

Additionally, I’d like to make a few observations about mobility.

First, the game will always grow most in the directions it hasn’t yet grown. This is almost a tautology. Our early designs tended to be relatively immobile. Our subsequent designs tend to be relatively more mobile because we want to give players novel experiences. Since mobility, and kit designs made possible by mobility, were not well explored on release, it is only natural that we would flesh that area of design space out more fully as the game continues to evolve. We’ve also evolved the game in other directions including novel sorts of skillshots, new methods of casting, etc.

Second, mobile champions do not actually crowd out non-mobile champions. We are currently seeing a ton of powerful but immobile champions dominating the scene in every position except the jungle (where wall hopping is currently highly favored). Mundo and Shyvana are arguably the defining top laners at the moment alongside highly mobile champions like Renekton. Orianna is the most consistent mage since we nerfed Karthus earlier in the season (and Kayle will likely be the next dominant mid), alongside the mobile Gragas/Kassadin. Draven, Jinx and Sivir, who have MS boosts but not dashes, are dominant AD carries, alongside Lucian/Ezreal.

Finally, I would note that we are hopefully getting better at implementing interesting mobility skills. We try now to gate movement in ways that create gameplay for the opponent. Jinx is slow as molasses, until the first kill. Yasuo is a flurry of motion, unless you isolate him from your minions. Rengar has infinite leaps, but only near brush. Even in the domain of free target dashes, we have consistently upped the counterplay to dash abilities over the past year. The most obvious recent examples are Vi, Zac, Lissandra and Aatrox, who all have a special animations/cast paradigms to allow for clever enemies to CC them out of their dashes.

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