Sometimes Riot Does Things With Words That Make Me Angry

Welcome to season 7 and 3/4!

I say this partially just to make a Harry Potter joke, and also because I thought that season 8 started now, but it actually doesn’t. This is just some strange in-between world. Like platform 9 and 3/4.

I guess that kind of makes sense, but I was very much looking forward to having my chests reset. Oh well.

Anyway, I have had some time to play around with the new runes, and while I haven’t tried everything, I have enough initial thoughts to make a blog post about it.

My favourite keystone is easily Kleptomancy. I am disappointed that you don’t actually steal from others, considering that’s what kleptomania is, but I guess Kleptomancy is technically a different and made up word. I guess. What I like about it is the variety of items you can get. I knew you could get health potions and other consumable items and gold, but you can also get items that no longer exist in the game (mana potions, single wards) and items that appear to be brand new. I kept getting something called ‘Potion of Rouge’ or something like that. Does anyone know what that is?

It seems to be perfect for supports and junglers, but my concern is that it activates via basic attacks. I suppose i could just try to hit minions with the highest health or get basic attacks off on champions when they happen to be close enough but that’s really hard for me. And god knows I’m always being scolded for accidentally hitting minions, let alone on purpose. What do you guys think? Do you think that Kleptomancy is effective on support champions, or do you think there are usually better choices?

My second favourite keystone is, of course, Summon Aery. And yes, friends, sadly that is how you spell Aery now. They must have changed it from the -ie at some point. Possibly to avoid conflict with Aerie the store? But that seems odd. Maybe they actually just like the -y ending better because they are heathens. Sometimes, Riot does things with words that make me angry. As we all know too well.

Aery is adorable – in case you were still unsure whether or not she is a cat, when she shields allies, the shield HAS CAT EARS. How cute is that?? However, I find that unless she is currently in transit (when she’s floating around) or shielding someone, she’s impossible to see. I straight up can’t tell if she’s available to send out or not, or when she goes to attack an enemy. Why doesn’t she just fly beside you the whole time, unless she is shielding or attacking, like Pix or Zephyr do? That would be a lot easier to see and understand, in my opinion. She also seems a little overpowered on shielding and healing supports at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll fix balance issues like that soon enough.

I was a little unsure of the meaningful differences between Electrocute and Arcane Comet at first, but I think I get it now. Electrocute is harder to activate (requiring 3 unique basic attacks or abilities) but is a guaranteed hit, wheras Arcane Comet activates with only one ability (provided it’s not on cooldown), but can be dodged. (Another comment I have on Arcane Comet – has anyone else noticed that when the comet is orbiting, it looks just like the little orbs from Relic Shield?) And of course they’re in different paths, so if either one would work well on your champion, I guess it would come down to which lower tier runes you wanted. Am I right? Also – how exactly are the ‘3 unique abilities’ determined? For example, would all 3 re-casts of Evelynn’s Q activate Electrocute?

There’s one rune that seems pretty overpowered right now, at least for ADCs, and I’m not actually sure what it is but I think it’s Overgrowth. I was very distracted by something green and sparkly heading towards tect in our games together in bot lane, and I think that’s what he told me it was. Some rune that heals when minions die. I was playing Soraka and I noticed that I barely had to heal him at all.

One keystone that I was expecting to really like was Unsealed Spellbook, but I actually don’t think it’s that useful. Unless a game really goes sideways and something totally unexpected happens, why would you ever want to switch out your summoner spells? There aren’t a lot of options and in many cases, there is only one clear best choice. I think that this keystone would be much more useful (but still not overpowered) if it reset your cooldown when you switched it out – provided you could only do that in base and so many times per game.

I don’t like Future’s Market as much as I thought I would either, because I didn’t realize there was such a steep ‘lending fee’ (or any fee at all, for that matter). However, it is fantastic in ARAMs, considering that you never know when the next time you’ll be able to shop will be.

Zombie Wards are pretty awesome and very straightforward. Ghost Poros are adorable but quite frankly I think that Zombie Wards are a stronger choice in pretty much every situation except for in ARAMS (because there are no wards in ARAMS but, hilariously, Ghost Poros are enabled). I also think that Ghost Poros should have to be manually activated, because otherwise you can stand still in a bush for 0.5 seconds and then boom, Ghost Poro. Although I guess there isn’t really any downside to having Ghost Poros wherever because they just move with you when you enter a new brush.

My biggest question about the runes is about all the new runes that give you items, especially Kleptomancy and Biscuit Delivery. What happens if your item inventory is full?? It would suck to feel like you had to keep one slot open so you could get your biscuits and/or other random items. I think that those ‘bonus’ items should go into a new trinket slot (or something like that) so that they don’t compromise the already limited real estate that is the item inventory. Because runes are supposed to help, not hurt, right?

I tried some other keystones as well but I didn’t notice too much about them. The only think I noticed was that Aftershock is, I think, really only effective on melee champions. I took Aftershock on Bard, thinking it would activate when I hit my stun, but if I’m not mistaken, the aftershock erupts around your own body, thereby making it totally ineffective for ranged champions.

There are certainly still some runes that I’m confused about, but I think I’ve reviewed all the ones that I will realistically be using the most often.

Although the new system definitely needs balancing still, I’m confident that they’ll get there by the time season 8 starts. My opinion on the system as a whole still stands – it is far superior to what we were working with before, and in my opinion, nothing is more indicative of that than this – even though it’s only been a few days, I can already create a new rune page from scratch in champion select without it being terrible. It might not be the best, but I can pretty much guarantee that it won’t be terrible. I have been playing for 10 and a half months now, so I’m not claiming that a brand new player could do that, but before this system, I couldn’t even do that with the old masteries, so this is definitely a huge improvement.

Two improvements I would suggest (mainly for the benefit of newer players but I’m sure everyone would benefit from this somewhat):

  1. Colour-code the secondary rune path icon on the loading screen (without the associated colour it is hard to tell what it is, especially since it is so small)
  2. Bring up a “recommended” rune page for your selected champion in champ select (this can just be one of the preset pages – the preset pages are a great start, but sometimes it’s hard to even know which one of those would be best). This can be ignored if the player wants, just like recommended items in the game, but it’s helpful for those who may need it.

As for the new levelling system, currently I’m pretty happy with it. The thing I like most about it is that if you want to unlock a champion with a shard you get from levelling up, you receive that champion at a discount:

Let’s say you drop a Jinx shard which DE’s for 1,240 Blue Essence. If you need to unlock Jinx, you can use the Shard to get her for an extra 20% off. This means instead of paying 6,300 Blue Essence, you actually only pay 3,780 and use the shard. You basically get DOUBLE the BE value if you need that champ. So if you’re a new player who wants to unlock all the champions, each time you drop a champ you still need, we’ve greatly increased your IP/BE gain even more.

This is fantastic for new players. I have also heard that they’re curating level-up capsules for earlier levels to ensure that players have what they need – I can’t comment on how they’re doing with that, but I think that’s a great idea.

The pace at which players are earning Blue Essence seems to be about the same as how quickly we were earning IP, if not slightly faster. I have levelled up twice now and both times I earned around 900 BE from disenchanting all the champion shards in my level up capsules. That’s a total of 1800 BE in only 3 days, playing about the same amount I usually do. And if I had chosen to buy any of the champions with my shards, I would have gotten even more value out of that.

My only concern is that all the champion shards I’m getting are for champions worth 1350 BE or less, and I have all the champions I really want out of those price tiers already. Of course I can disenchant them, but I’m really hoping that I’ll start getting shards for 3150 BE+ champions.

Hopefully it doesn’t take too much longer to level up as we progress in levels – I like being able to buy new champions every 1-2 weeks so I hope that levelling up never takes longer than that, no matter how high up we get.

A longer-term concern is what will happen for players who already have all the champions and nothing to spend their BE on. Riot has said they want to solve this problem, and I know they are trying with the current ‘BE store’, but I don’t think that’s a good enough solution unless the BE store is permanent and continuously gets updated with new and better items (personally, there’s not a whole lot in there that I even want). tect suggested allowing players to buy skins for BE, just a ridiculous amount of it, a la Urfwick.

Ultimately, I’m thrilled about all this and I can’t wait to see where everything settles in a couple of months.

On a more serious note, I want to say thank you to everyone for being so supportive (and honest, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear) after my blog post last week. It has enabled me to make the decision to take half a step back until I feel okay again. This means that blog posts and videos will be kind of irregular for the next little while* because I’m making a commitment to myself to only work on them when I actually want to/have the time to, and dedicate more emotional energy to the relationship between myself and tect and just figuring out who I want to be, I guess. This is not to say that I don’t want to play League or stream or that I regret this project – it’s just that at this time I need to do less of it. Once I take care of some other problems in my life, I’m sure I will feel better about everything, including this project.

It also means that if I’m not feeling it, I won’t be on stream. If I’m feeling okay, I’ll join in of course, but if not, I would rather just sit it out and allow tect to just have fun and interact with you guys. It sucks to have to pretend to be happy, and while I know some of you will say “you don’t have to pretend, just be yourself!” watching someone who’s miserable and clearly not enjoying themselves isn’t fun. I heard from some of you that you’re mostly interested in watching me rather than him, which I understand, but I hope that by now you’ve connected with us enough to know that he’s worth watching on his own, even if he’s not Challenger or whatever. If you’re here, then you know that skill is less than half of what makes someone worth watching. And besides, it might be fun watching me learn, but A) I’m hardly the hilarious girl from Day 1 anymore, anyway, and B) no matter what rank you are, we’re all still learning. And I think that what makes our stream fun is that we can all learn together.

I hope that you’ll stick with us through this pre-season, where we’re all just trying to figure things out, both on and off screen.

*That said, Patreon rewards will still happen – I don’t know exactly when, but at some point, you’ll definitely get Patreon-exclusive blog posts and videos. I have some of my own ideas, but it would help a lot if you let me know what you want to see regarding those.

P.S. If you haven’t heard Taylor Swift’s new album yet, I highly recommend it, even if you aren’t usually a fan. It is very different – not exactly what I was looking for, but it’s great. If you’re wondering, my favourite is “Call It What You Want”, but close seconds are “New Year’s Day” and “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”. And if you were a fan of ‘Old Taylor’/country Taylor, I recommend you at least listen to “Call It What You Want” and “New Year’s Day” because they are beautiful and make for a wonderful end to her story so far.

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