Welcome to the second installment of Weekly League, a new segment by the UDuelists team to tell you all of the information about up-and-coming features that arrive on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment (PBE)! As always, we won’t be able to talk about all of the changes, however, we will highlight some of the more major ones that have happened within the PBE.
The iBlitzcrank skin has finally been released to the PBE, and it. is. FANTASTIC! It doesn’t appear to be a legendary-tier skin, as the recall animation and moves icons still retain the classic Blitzcrank style, however, new animations have been made for all of his moves. I have yet to encounter any bugs while playing iBlitzcrank, and it seems like there have been very few reported bugs in general regarding the new skin, so we may be able to see his release in the public League of Legends servers within a week or two.
Quinn and Valor, Demacia’s Wings have officially been released to the PBE as of 2/14/2013! Though her stats are still subject to change, her abilities have been revealed, which you can read here.
Our overall opinion? She’s an interesting champion with a kit that reminds us of various champions. Her Blinding Assault is like an amped up Teemo blind, but unlike Teemo’s blind, Blinding Assault can temporarily blind enemies within a certain area. The cooldown for this ability is relatively short, and the mana cost is equally so.
Heightened Senses is a bit like Ashe’s Hawkshot, but instead of directing the area in which you want to reveal, Quinn/Valor reveals the area in a larger range; pretty much the entire screen if you’re in locked camera mode.
Vault is a little more unique than the others, as Quinn/Valor will charge at an enemy, marking that enemy with her Harrier passive, and then jump off to her maximum attack range. Also, once you hit an enemy with Vault, the enemy looses some movement speed for a short duration. Speaking of her Harrier passive, Valor will periodically and sporadically mark a random enemy, and if you hit the marked enemy, you can deal quite a bit of damage. If an enemy champion, then, is marked by Harrier, a good combo would be to attack and claim the passive, and then follow up with Vault to deal heavy burst damage.
Lastly, there’s her ultimate: Tag Team and Skystrike. By using Tag Team, you turn into Valor for 20 seconds, and within that 20 seconds, you get a revised set of abilities to use. Technically, Valor’s new abilities are the same, however, Blinding Assault looses its range, and Valor doesn’t jump from the enemy after Vault. Your movement speed is also increased dramatically during this period, but decays over time. After 20 seconds pass, or if you manually cast her ultimate again, Quinn will descend and bring with her a hail of arrows, damaging enemies in a large area depending on their current health; the less health the enemy has, the more damage Skystrike will inflict.
Overall, Quinn/Valor are, essentially, single-target assassins. The passive is well built to ensure your last hits, or, at the very least, mark high-priority targets. Her mobility isn’t the best, however, her chase ability is top notch with her Vault and Tag Team ability. Blinding Assault can potentially turn the tide of a teamfight, as it can blind multiple enemies for a short amount of time. In any case, she can deal quite a bit of heavy damage, but she is indeed squishy and requires the player to be a bit clever in order to reach her full potential.
In other champion news, Taric and Hecarim are getting a few (test) changes. For Taric, his shatter ability no longer gives flat armor, replaced by radiating a certain percentage of his actual armor to allies. Also, Shatter now has an armor-scaled damage ratio, and his passive has been changed to dealing a certain percentage of his maximum mana as bonus damage on his basic attacks, but the effect is doubled against enemy champions. This, of course, nerfs his support play just slightly, but gives him quite a bit of damage output depending on how you build him (some have even considered using Taric as a jungler now!). Our initial tests placed Taric as a top lane bruiser type, and the results were fantastic. With a combination of heals, enemy armor reduction, and increased basic damage attacks, Taric can contend with some of the most popular current top lane champions as of right now. Jungling? Not so much (though we probably haven’t found the right build for a jungler Taric yet!).
For Hecarim, his Spirit of the Dread heal from damage is losing its 10%-30% based on level, and replaced with a flat 20% at all levels. Rampage is also getting increased damage.
Vayne, Tristiana, and Ashe are getting attack speed/level changes. For Vayne, her new attack speed/level is 4.5% (compared to 3.1% currently), Tristiana will be set at 4.5% (compared to 3.01% currently), and Ashe will be set at 4% (compared to 3.1% currently).
There’s a new function being tested right now that could very well leave LoLReplay in the dust: Riot is now testing a replay feature! Basically, replay will allow you to view past matches by going into your match history. A “replay browser” button has been placed underneath the RP/IP totals in the PBE profiles, which will then allow you to view any previous replays that you have watched. Also, you’ll be able to share your replays, as well as give them a name to better distinguish one file from another.
Smart Ping is also a relatively new feature being introduced, and will allow you to better distinguish which types of pings you want to use to alert your fellow teammates. The current Smart Ping system can be activated by pressing the Alt, Ctrl, G, or V key, and by clicking your mouse at a desired location, a menu with various ping types will appear. The new Smart Ping system is set to better distinguish different types of pings, ranging from MIA (Missing in Action), OMW (On My Way), and Assist X.
Minor changes include adding some color to the death screening. Before, when a champion dies, the player’s screen would be viewed in black-and-white mode, but now, a slight cosmetic change grays the environment, but keeps some of the colors for minions, champions, etc. Essentially, any team-based figure ranging from champions, minions, and turrets will have a slightly greyish version of their color when viewed from the death screen.
Lastly, Blade of the Ruined King is getting a slight ingredient change. Before, all you really needed to build the item was a Bilgewater Cutlass, but now, there’ll be two Daggers added into the ingredient list. Also to note, Bilgewater Cutlass is having a few stat changes, mainly lowering its attack damage bonus (40 to 25), increasing its life steal (10% to 12%), lowering active damage (150 to 100), lowering movement speed slow (30% to 25%), and increasing its range (400 to 500). This then affects the stats of Blade of the Ruined King, with decreases in attack damage (45 to 30), increases in attack speed (0% to 40%), and removal of life steal. Its passive now heals you for 30% of your total attack damage instead of 50% of the damage dealt, the active slow’s speed duration has been increased from 2 seconds to 4 seconds, the active now deals 100+10% of the target’s maximum health as damage, and the range has been increased from 400 to 550.
To keep up-to-date with the latest PBE stuff, you can check out the official League of Legends PBE forum here!