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League of Legends patch 4.21 brings gifts for “many orphaned champions” (but not Warwick)

League of Legends

In past years, preseason follow-up patches like 4.21 have been conservative affairs – but this time’s different. Riot have taken the opportunity to fiddle with balance in the new League of Legends jungle, tweak early-to-mid-game gold flow, and solve a hairy problem named Warwick.

“We know everyone’s still getting adjusted to the new preseason, so we’ll be watching closely over the next while to see what new Warwicks come bubbling to the surface,” wrote Chris ‘Pwyff’ Tom. “Please don’t let it be Warwick.”

Riot have introduced far more changes in the 2015 preseason than during the same period last year – but they’ve kept on top of things with better ‘design levers’.

“That’s a fancy way of saying we have the right dials in the game to crank up or down when something appears too strong or too weak – all without having to fully reconstruct the kitchen,” explained Tom. “We’re mixing metaphors, but you get the point.”

Last night’s patch is ample demonstration of how that works. The developers have been brave enough to tackle the preseason’s most “egregious” problems early, cleaning up the new LoL jungle and swapping out the numbers on some 24 champions.

Check thefull patch notesfor more on them. The headline nerf is Warwick, whose recent “insanity in the win rate department” has seen him become terribly popular all of a sudden. Riot point the finger at rejigged systems including the new jungle, as well as a couple of the powers in Warwick’s kit: Hunter’s Call and Infinite Duress.

“We all know Warwick should be lowered a peg (or two. or five.),” said Tom. “We’re going to be monitoring Warwick heavily to see if we need to go harder, but we’re confident this reduces his power enough that you might actually be able to compete with him in games.”

That would be nice, wouldn’t it?