Statikk here - after reading your feedback on our Lee Sin changes (and after tons of internal discussions), we’ve decided to hold off moving forward with the majority of the changes for now. We still believe in the core philosophy behind the changes, but let’s talk about what we’re sticking with and why.
First, we’re no longer doing the changes that were directed towards shifting some of Lee’s early game power and moving that power towards late game in the upcoming patch. To be clear, our analysis of the situation remains the same: champions who have overly dominant early game power seem to be actively reducing champion diversity, especially at the competitive level. We’d like to continue to collect more data and feedback though to re-check 1) if this is true and 2) if there are other potential alternatives to help solve champion diversity.
Second, we’ll still be addressing Safeguard when used on wards and minions. Currently, Lee Sin makes very little tradeoffs in these situations and, with enough mechanical skill, Safeguard essentially becomes a free-target dash. In order to maintain the big playmaking ability of Safeguard while also ensuring there are different optimal use cases, we’re planning on the following changes (and these changes only):
• Increased base cooldown
• Cooldown is now reduced by 50% if cast on an allied champion (including himself) - this is lower than the current Cooldown on Live
• No longer grants a shield if he dashes to a non-champion unit
• Shield duration slightly reduced
• Duration slightly reduced
Essentially, we’re buffing Safeguard when used on allied champions but nerfing it when used otherwise (the duration changes are necessary to keep the total uptime of these spells in-line). This means that Lee Sin should feel extremely mobile and rewarded for his teamwork with allied champions, but still have the ability to initiate or escape on his own when he really needs to.
I’ve heard a lot of general concern on power curves and champion diversity and how we may be over-homogenizing the game, so I'd like to clarify our perspective here. We like champions with unique power curves, they provide awesome experiences and give LoL more strategic options. Our concerns lie in power curves that are so extreme that they effectively shut out the viability and diversity of large subset of other champions in the game. We’re working on getting these thoughts in front of you faster and earlier so we can have real conversations and less surprises about the changes we want to make.
Once again, we may ultimately ending up going forward with the rest of the Lee Sin changes in a future patch if it is appropriate or we might not. We're perfectly okay with being wrong, especially here where we feel we have to make changes to an already amazing champion. Hopefully you guys better understand where we are coming from here, and as always thanks for all your guys' input.