I wanted to share my thoughts on why Riot is balancing AD Carries in the wrong way, considering what they originally had planned to do with them back around Mid-Season 8. For reference, I am a Diamond 4 AD Carry main from EUW playing the Game since late Season 3, watching competitive LoL since Season 4 and maining ADC since late season 6.
TL:DR can be found below the text
Let me start with what Riot planned (according to patch notes) to do with AD Carries.In Patch 8.11 they reason their changes the following:
The dominant strategy in bot lane has, over time, become sustaining through lane phase and scaling up into teamfights. Between health regen and Fleet Footwork, it's pretty hard to put the hurt on marksman [...]. Weakening marksman sustain [...] means damage will stick on marksmen, making 2v2 fighting (more successful) for the stronger bot lane. Shifting some durability from armor into health should also let aggressive marksmen like Draven and Lucian shine a bit harder in the early game. Finally, we're nerfing marksman (bAD) by 4 and (pushing that into growth), with the break-even point around level 9.[...] It means (that) non-marksmen (ex. Leona, Brand) wont be chipped down by marksman (AA) as quickly. [...]
In this patch, Riot also reworked Infinity Edge, added Stormrazor to the game, and increased the cost on all Zeal items.To not make this post too big, I won't cover the Item part of that much since they already got (partially) reverted (will get to that later.
Now, we all know that AD Carries - especially "traditional Crit-Marksman" - were in a really rough spot after those changes.How exactly has Riot now changed the AD Carries directly, to make the situation better?
I wrote down all relevant changes to AD Carries (and partially their Items) from 8.11 up until 9.18 (PBE).From 8.12 until PreSeason 9, there's only a few changes.
Riot, in my opinion, started off somewhat well. They show that they didn't wanna touch the items again pretty early, but also saw how weak those AD Carries were in the late game at that moment. At this point I should add that the main reason these Champions have not been picked (except for a few) is, that their late-game "powerspike" is not really worth the effort it takes anymore. Other Champions (such as Ezreal, Kai'Sa, Varus - who do not need to build crit - are/were a lot more reliable and also offered a strong late game.Keep those Champion names in mind.)
They started buffing the scalings on a few Champions, for example Trist E, Twitch E, Jinx Q & W, Caitlyn Passive, Varus Q, and others.
However, there's already some things to see that I, personally, do not like. Instead of trying to find a way for those back who got hurt, they nerfed Champions who weren't affected too much aswell. Ezreal was the first one, and even Lucian - who was supposed to shine harder - got his first few nerfs.While Ezreal lost even more Armor, and part of his AD Growth buff, Lucian lost more AD Growth aswell and his R waveclear was nerfed aswell.
Towards the end of the season we can see this trend continuing, although the changes themselves become more rare over the patches. Varus and Jinx got their HP adjusted, matching the goals stated in 8.11. We saw first cost reducements on zeal items and Kai'Sa got hit for the first few times. However, another bad change that came up (imo) is that they decided to buff lucians Q Ratio late game.
For PreSeason, Turret Plating might've helped AD Carries out to scale better compared to mages/non-marksman (there already has been a post here about that so I won't go into that topic).
The start of Season 9 didn't really contain any surprises for AD Carries.We got some totally random placebo buffs on Jinx and Xayah (jinx w cast time scales with AS, Xayah Root duration increased by 0.25 sec) and Brands passive was nerfed because it "dealt too much damage".
Here I'd like to address another thing that I really do not like about recent Patches and Patches throughout the whole Season 9. We have changes where we are actually able to read the thought process behind those changes but for some, if not most, there's only a cheap explanation such as "Has been played too much, won too much, dealt too much damage, dealt too little damage, ...". This just gives me the thought of Riot actually not knowing what they should do and instead just randomly hitting Champions at random points simply because they have been around for too long.
Back to the ADC Patch Notes and this time with something bigger - 9.3
In 9.3 Riot reflected a bit on how AD Carries got hit and what they plan to do in the future. They now say that their initial plan was to "broaden the range of champions and playstyles" (which is somewhat correct) and said that Crit-ADC were left frustrated with bad items while non-marksman were showing up "occasionally". They also shared their "new" goals which now are: -> Make Crit Users EXCITED about their core build again -> Crit builds should feel more SATISFYING -> Crit build should be able to FIT DEFENSE in their core builds
To mention the IE revert a bit, it now costs the same as 8.10, has 10 more AD and +5% crit (irrelevant because of item pathing) but only amplifies your Crit damage by 25% instead of 50%.
This is where the changes just went totally down the drain.On my sheet I was now able to summarize 9.4 - 9.15 on only one sheet with 1-2 rows for each patch.
They read like "less CD, more mana costs, less dmg, more base damage, more Attack speed, more damage, less cooldown, ...."You now might ask yourself - why is this bad?
Well, this does not address the issues about that Role AT ALL.
Riot said that AD Carries were a bit too safe on lane, while having a way too strong late game. They now nerfed both late AND early game and try to fix it. In my opinion, there is two ways to fix that issue: A) Give more tools to survive through early and mid game (which we didn't want anymore according to 8.11) B) Make the late-game powerspike much more rewarding so the bad early game is actually worth the risk
So, since we can agree on that A) should not be our solution, since it would just be rolling back to 8.10 again, let's think about how we can make this late-game feel more rewarding considering the risk you take with your weak early game.
You could increase the Crit DMG on IE again while offering more item choices Example: You can only build 100% if you give up most of your safety (we do have that already, needing 4 crit items) Reduce the Crit that IE gives you and shift it towards other items (zeal items?). I won't add more thoughts here since this is not the intention of this post.
To finish this, I wanted to show you on one example (Caitlyn), how these changes mostly read as a Joke considering what Riot has been stating in 8.11 and 9.3.
Comparing 8.11 Caitlyn to now we have: Same Base AD as pre8.11 Same AD Growth, Same Armor, Same Health & Health Growth & Regen More Damage on her Headshot (Passive, all ranks) More Damage on her R (all Ranks) More Damage on her Headshot (W, all ranks)
They rolled back the 4AD nerf completely, buffed every Headshot-part (key for caitlyn, especially with headshot cancels) except for E at ALL RANKS aswell as her ult AT ALL RANKS.
They also kept nerfing the champions who were not hit directly by the crit changes, simply because they were now in a fine spot comparing them to others, who have been in a really really bad spot. (wtf?)
To finish all this, instead of addressing those Crit-ADC problem earlier, they started by nerfing AD Carries who were SUPPOSED TO SHOW UP stronger (Lucian).
In my opinion, this will just end in Caitlyn and others being "too strong" once again before they get hit again.Simply because Riot keeps tweaking at numbers and places where they shouldn't. I am very open to discussion in the comments and will try to answer as much as possible if there are any questions. Also, feel free to critizise me and tell me your thoughts. My intention was just to summarize and bring up the AD Carry topic in a neutral way and address the problems in-depth instead of just keep saying "Riot are you ****, why the f* are you nerfing X" etc. etc. Have a great Day!
___________________________________________________________ TL;DR: -> Riot wanted to weaken sustain of Crit ADC and make their late less explosive -> wanted Lucian/Draven (aggressive marksman) and non-marksman (leona/brand) to shine more -> to achieve that, they converted some armor into hp, nerfed base AD -> ADC fell into a bad spot -> started by buffing some scalings on spells, nerfing lucian and non-crit ad carries -> reverted IE to a worse -> kept buffing base stats of important spells at all ranks, instead of just late game -> Cait is now back to 8.10 base AD (PBE) with much more dmg on passive, w and ult -> Will result in those Carries being "too strong" once again because they got buffed at the wrong places.