The latest-released League of Legends champion Hwei is giving some work to the developer due to struggling in the meta, leading to emergency buffs on Dec. 8.
Riot revealed it will be bringing a buff to half of Hwei’s abilities in a tweet. The mana cost of his Q ability was reduced in the early game. The QQ, EQ, EW, and EE abilities also received increased damage. The hotfix has already been introduced in League.
Those buffs came as a response to Hwei’s incredibly low win rate after his launch. Many players feel that it’s not the right solution, however. They argue his awkward place in the meta isn’t due to a lack of strength of his ability kit, but to its high complexity. The midlaner features 10 different abilities. Each of them are stances that each feature three possible effects, which are painting shapes. You also have to grasp his Passive and Ultimate, on top of his three stances.
Players have been begging Riot Games for a light rework of Hwei to fix his ability kit. They feel that part of it is unnecessarily complex: combos almost all follow a pattern of painting shapes (such as a circle AoE or a rectangle). But two of his abilities don’t match that pattern, which makes Hwei even more difficult to grasp and master.
Is Hwei the new Aphelios?
Riot Games has a history of struggling to balance champions with complex ability kits. It’s the case for Aphelios, who is one of the bot laners with the most challenging ability kit to master. The developer has to strike a difficult balance between accessibility and strength when perfectly mastered.
Making this kind of champion too fragile will deter players from learning their ability kit. But they also have to feel rewarding when mastered, so they become much stronger when players can utlize their potential. Without that balance, those champions become weak in low and mid tiers of the ladder, but overpowered in higher tiers.
Aphelios didn’t receive many more balance changes than other champions in League, but when he comes to the forefront of the meta, his rates in high ranked play and competitive leagues skyrocket. Riot Games might face the same challenge for Hwei in the future, as his emergency balance changes before and after release suggest.