Many people, including SK Gaming support Erik “Treatz” Wessén, have suggested that League of Legends needs to nerf its damage, healing and lately shielding (that one is brought up less but it became an issue over the last couple of weeks).
“Nerf damage and healing/sustain by 20% and LoL is in a good spot,” Treatz tweeted.
So what would happen if Riot actually put these suggested nerfs into effect?
Nerf damage and healing/sustain by 20% and LoL is in a good spot
— Erik Wessén (@Treatz) December 14, 2021
Lead Gameplay Designer Bryan “CatchesAxes” Salvatore answered the age-old question with some conclusions the League team drew from their internal testing with 20% less damage (on champions by champions), healing and shielding.
Even with no data published, we can take a look at the the three main findings of this popular experiment.
Healing in League of Legends becomes more vital, even with nerfs
With less damage on champions, the importance and usability of healing increases because people don’t often die before being able to take advantage of their healing. The short trades in lane that normally end with one of the champions dead now leaves both sides wounded, favoring the one who can heal back up to win in the next trade.
Phases of the game face drastic changes
The laning phase, where those short trades happen, changes too. According to CatchesAxes, the number of lanes “where nothing ever happens” goes up, but some lanes peak in interest as a result of this change. With more survivability, it’s not surprising to see fewer attempts at going for a risky move when you can safely farm and build up to deal damage in the late game fights. But for some champions it also means more chances to take risks, since they aren’t the glass cannons they used to be.
Champion types gain new identities, return to old ones or face downfall
Champion types have been the most affected by these changes — especially those that are based on damage, shielding and healing. Tanks are first thought, and yes, they become very overpowered. To play their parts they mainly need to just stay alive, and these changes make it easier for them to.
On the other side of the coin, burst mages turn into absolute pool noodles, specifically the ones that rely on a singular rotation to deal their damage (like Lux or Syndra). Riot doesn’t have a way to save them from their inevitable execution other than undoing the damage reduction.
A third role that changes significantly with less damage is Attack Damage assassins. Unlike burst mages who fall out of meta quickly, AD assassins can still deal their burst damage to take out an enemy of importance. However they have to go for pure, unmitigated damage builds to do it. No more Sterak’s Gage, Death’s Dance or Goredrinker on Kha’Zix and Talon; it’s lethality or bust now.
Will we ever see a change this drastic actually happen to the game? Probably not. But, it gives me hope to see experiments like these attempted and statements like this provided by a Rioter:
“This leads us to believe there is probably a better game out there to shoot for, but that there are a lot of ways it could go really badly. Hence the caution in exploring it.” RiotAxes said on Reddit.