Patch 8.17 may have only just been released, but design director Andrei “Meddler” van Roon already has his eyes on future patches. In his Quick Gameplay Thoughts for Aug. 29, van Roon outlined his vision for the patch that will host the 2018 World Championships as well as a preview of what the balance team has been working on for that patch.
The post starts by outlining Riot’s goals for the Worlds patch. More than anything else, the patch needs to make games fun to watch. That means high action games rather than slow, uneventful ones. This also means diversity in champions at least to the point that Riot would like no champion to be 100 percent picked or banned throughout the tournament. Finally, in keeping with its promise to the community for the second half of the season, Riot is going to avoid any major systematic changes to the game, instead focusing on small changes or individual champion balance.
Speaking of balance, van Roon also gave us a few specific changes that the team would like to make to champions that are particular outliers in strength right now. Some likely nerfs in the upcoming patches include Trundle and Gragas, who both have the ability to completely take over the game from the jungle, without any significant risk to themselves. Similarly, Ryze, Gnar and Braum are just a little too dominant in their roles and represent picks that are both too safe and too effective. As for buffs, the team is currently looking most at Renekton and Vayne.
When looking for champions to buff, Riot’s primary goal was to find champions that had room to grow in effectiveness in the competitive scene, while not becoming too strong in regular solo queue play. While Renekton and Vayne both fit that bill, the balance team felt that certain champions like Zed and Ekko had room to improve competitively, but were a little too strong in regular play to receive buffs right now.
While van Roon didn’t give us specific information about which patch the World Championships would be played on, expect some of these changes to start going through as soon as patch 8.18, which should be out in about two weeks.