What were your thoughts when you introduced the vision reduction mechanic with Graves' smokescreen and was it true that Graves was designed due to the lack of masculine ADCs at the time

He was not made specifically to address the lack of masculine ADCs but myself and IronStylus really cranked up the testosterone because of it. That's why he ended up with an absurdly sized shotgun, a bulky dad-bod and an excessive amount of hair.
For the vision reduction mechanic I had the rest of the kit complete at that point and I knew I needed a primarily utility move as he already had enough damage, and placing more damage on W meant I would have to pull damage out of other spells and reduce their impact and satisfaction. The reason I chose vision reduction was it was a suggestion from Coronach (former champ designer) as a CC type we hadn't used much. It fit reasonable well thematically as a smoke canister and fit with my idea that I wanted this guy to be in melee and scrapping with dudes.
In particular I liked the vision reduction was the one CC type in LoL that is more effective vs Ranged champions than Melee ones. This doesn't do much at all versus a Xin Zhao training on your face but absolutely lets you fight those other Marksman with 600+ attack range.
I know it's a pretty polarized mechanic on the frustration side, but I really appreciate the mental game that occurs with vision denial and I would take that any day over getting hit with a Root or a Stun or something that temporarily removes agency as opposed to something that limits my information available but still leaves me in full control of my character. As a Marksman archtype that generally have pretty low amounts of CC this felt like a good middle ground in regards to making a mechanic that was impactful and made a lot of sense on his kit mechanically.

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About Brian Feeney:

Senior Game Designer, Riot Games.

Los Angeles, CA