Big changes in League of Legends. Riot on critical hit items and status of assassins

LoL developers have planned a lot of interesting changes to mark the middle of the 2023 season. Here are the latest thoughts from Rioters.

The mid-season update is a great time to make changes to the meta and help characters who have had a bit of a rough time lately. The developers are aware that some character classes or item groups need some tweaks and improvements.

Riot openly admits that it agrees with its community on many issues. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to improve the balance with buffs alone. It’s not uncommon for the situation to require bigger changes, which is why the following things have been taken care of.

Changes to critical hit items

Two staff members – Riot Phreak and Riot Truexy – spoke about the updates in critical hit items.

The crit item changes started with an exploration of what the system would look like if Infinity Edge, Navori Quickblades, and Guinsoo’s Rageblade were the official Mythic items. It’s a departure from the old direction of Mythic items (create as much parity as possible and Mythics should be bought first) and onto a new direction that focuses on Mythics being your most impactful item, even if that means your favorite champion is hard-bound to just one of them.

From there, it was figuring out if a new Mythic should enter the fold and what the former Mythics should look like. We spent some time prototyping Statikk Shiv as a Mythic whose bounces scaled with Mythic passive and carried all other Energize effects on its chain lightning, but we decided against making a mythic with such rigid synergies. In the end we decided to retain Galeforce as a Mythic since that was the only way to keep Galeforce’s active effect.

Degrading the previous mythic items to legendary status was basically about reducing the stats, as they didn’t need to be so versatile back then, and changing the price/effectiveness ratio to the level of other legendary items. We left the Noonquiver as a transitional epic item and the first item for heroes under critical hits to make their kit-building smooth.

The Rioters mentioned that the goal of the changes to legendary items was to reduce price differences to make it easier to compare them directly, as well as minor enhancements to items that are used infrequently and weakening those that are used too often. The same goes for epic items so that none of their components is a dead end.

Early data on 13.10 has shown some balance outliers, which we’re adjusting in 13.11. We will continue to tune the system to ensure that each item is best in slot somewhere, and we’ll continue to monitor role power over time as well.

Changes of assassins

Another topic centers around the assassin class. Riot Truexy told something about the plans of the game developers.

Assassins have been in a rough spot since the 12.10 Durability Patch. We knew the class was weak, but ran into the same problems that have slowed us down since Season 10…the Mythics. The Assassin Mythics came with some of the most exciting and unique effects, but were also some of the most dangerous to game health. This meant that we kept the Assassin items at a lower winrate than a lot of other classes. Whenever the class was up for buffs, we were left with buffing the items that we knew would be risky to the game when powerful (Duskblade and Prowler’s Claw) or buff the champions, knowing that if we ever adjusted their items that we’d quickly need to undo a lot of those cool, champion specific, buffs.

We decided to adjust the Assassin Mythics to have less power in their frustrating effects (dashes, repeated stealth) so that we could shift more into power that Assassin players needed. This gave us the room to expand upon each Assassin’s needs and let them pick which items fit their perfect lethal fantasy.

In Season 10, we originally wanted Ghostblade as an Assassin Mythic, but held it back since we thought the effect was a bit too generic and didn’t fit the goal of “game-to-game decisions” that we originally wanted for the system. We’ve since loosened that restriction and want to return an item that Assassin players have been building first for ages. We have added some nuance as the item has been reshaped to be all about shifting around the map for one upfront burst moment.

Duskblade has been changed to be our other standard Assassin Mythic, and has a focus on seeking out low health enemies and executing them for a quick getaway. We’ve shifted away from Stealth, which was a big clarity hit to enemies, and altered it to a more understandable (and a bit weaker) version of Untargetability. With less power centered in a stretch fantasy of four Stealth resets, Duskblade can have the power budget to better help Assassins pick off those weak stragglers.

We’ve left Eclipse the same as it’s a fantastic bridge between a more greedy Fighter DPS pattern and burst Lethality. All in all, we hope the new structure of roaming burst damage, low health pickoff, and repeated DPS better helps the entire Assassin class at completing their one true dream…..killing that pesky Marksman.