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Breakdown of Summoner’s Rift Q&A

November 8th, 2014

 

New Rift QA Banner

The Q&A on the updated Summoner’s Rift has now concluded, here are all questions answered and sorted:

 

Summoner’s Rift Q&A:

 

Here are all Rioters who took part in the Q&A:

  • Aeon - Associate Producer Manager
  • Jooballin - Associate Game Engineer
  • JxE - Technical Artist
  • ManWolfAxeBoss - Q&A Analyst
  • Nekomaru – Quality Assurance Analyst
  • RGBDeathPolygons – Senior Software Engineer
  • RiotDesertRose – Senior Environment Artist
  • Tiki – User Researcher
  • Tokkelossie – Character Artist

 

 

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How long has SRU been in development

Jooballin New PortraitWe’ve been working on updating Summoner’s Rift for the last few years. We’ve gone through a lot of iterations, some of which didn’t make it out to players and there have been a few iterations that have made it out to all y’all. The updated Summoner’s Rift in its current fashion has been in full production for a little over a year.

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What prompted the idea for the updated map

Jooballin New PortraitWe have many reasons to update Summoner’s Rift and the main reason is, like everything we do for LoL, to improve our players’ overall experience by continuous evolution. Our main focuses are increasing gameplay clarity and readability, visual fidelity, and thematic cohesion.

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Whats the biggest thing you learned from the old map

ManWolf New PortraitThat is a super tough question. There are so many things we wanted to preserve and build upon from the old map. Ultimately, next to game-play, the biggest lesson from the original map was how well it balanced a sense of danger with light-heated fun and whimsy.

Personally, I really wanted to make sure we kept some of the odd little things you found when really looking around the map. For instance, we added something special in the North base shop as a nod to the old days…

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Were there any funny features you had to scrap

Tiki New PortraitVultures! Vultures sound scary and like something you wouldn’t mind beating up over and over but we ran into some issues, one of them pretty big:

Targeting

When the vultures flew around, our camera angle makes it pretty tough to target them effectively. We’d click one area, think we were targeting them, but not actually hit them which lead to some pretty poor gameplay 🙁

Ultimately R.I.P vultures and we went back to the drawing board!

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Will the update have any effect on the gameplay at all

Tiki New PortraitOne of our main goals in designing and developing the map was to maintain the same gameplay as much as possible. Basically if you’re used to the feel of Summoner’s Rift now, it should feel about the same when the update hits with a couple of exceptions that we hope are improvements:

Clarity improvements. Ideally things should look more clear in a number of ways:

  1. Stuff stands out against the background better. This should help you more easily see your champ both in and out of teamfights
  2. When particles hit is more clear: Should help with last hitting and knowing when you’re gonna get hit.
  3. Animations are more clear for our minion attacks: Should also help with last hitting
  4. Nav Mesh is more accurate: Helps you know there path ends and wall begins. Should reduce annoying fail flashes 🙂

Baron & Dragon get waaaaaaaay more epic
These guys have an important place on the map, and a visual update alone wasn’t enough to make them feel as epic and important as they are. So we made some gameplay changes to support more epic in-game encounters and go along with their new look. We’re honestly still looking at both of these creatures closely and changes could still happen to make sure they’re working well for visuals and gameplay.

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How were the camera angle and pathing improved

Nekomaru New PortraitWe actually did a bit of trickery with the camera on the updated Summoner’s Rift to make skill-shots appear more accurate and help players on red side. The camera has been zoomed out while decreasing the field-of-view on the back-end, which has the result of showing the same amount of playable space while reducing the fish-eye effect around the edges of the screen. This reduces the curvature of visual effects (Nidalee spears!) that are near the edges so that you don’t run into the situation where you get hit by something that looks like it missed as often.

The camera angle has also been raised slightly, as the current camera angle shows more above your champion than below them when playing with a locked camera. The new camera angle evens it out so that you see about the same above and below, which should help players on red side while in lane.

As for the pathing, one of our major art goals was to make sure that the visuals of the environment match what you can and cannot walk through as accurately as possible. All of the trees, rocks, and other things blocking your movement have been created with that in mind.

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If I click a wall will I walk to the wall or try to walk around it

ManWolf New PortraitWe made some slight improvements to champion pathing, but it functions identically to live.

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Has the

ManWolf New PortraitThere’s a sizeable difference in win rates between Blue and Red, and we’ve largely narrowed it down to the camera angle–specifically because our game camera displays more game space on the top half than it does on the bottom half. The camera angle change alleviates this slightly; though we cannot FIX this issue unless the camera were completely top-down.

In addition, we pulled out the camera away from the ground plane, while decreasing the field of view simultaneously. This has the effect of showing roughly the same amount of game space, but decreases the amount of fish-eye distortion at the edges. In our game, this distortion effect causes skill shots and skill indicators to appear inaccurate. Here’s a great site that demonstrates the fish-eye effect in game cameras: http://strlen.com/gfxengine/fisheyequake/compare.html

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Has jungle monster interaction been fixed

ManWolf New Portrait Leash mechanics are nearly the same as live, but some slight tweaks have been made.

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Will the shopkeepers get new VO lines

Nekomaru New PortraitVO for the shopkeepers is still something we hope to have in the future.

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ManWolf New PortraitThey will not be in for launch but it’s something we’re exploring for a possible future patch.

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Will you show where minions spawn from

ManWolf New PortraitWe’re not going to have anything in for launch, but it’s something we’re considering doing in the future.

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Will stylistically outdated Champions be updated

Tiki New PortraitYup! Lots of new visual & texture updates for champs have happened and will keep happening to make sure everything plays nice together 🙂

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Why do turrets look the same for each side

ManWolf New PortraitPart of it was clarity (making sure there is no confusion about what a turret is and does) and part of it was art (cohesive shapes and structures for each team)

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Considering you call the respawn points you considered adding real fountain elements to them

ManWolf New PortraitGreat question. We considered many angles while designing the bases. The big challenge with designing around the name used in NA is that we have many regions to consider. For instance, in China the inhibitors are called “crystals.” Therefore we decided to focus on creating thematically cohesive structures. That way we create something that really feels like a place in Runeterra.

That said, the north base kinda looks like a fountain. 😉

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Why are the jungle camps mirrored on both sides

Nekomaru New PortraitIt basically comes down to clarity. For a player who doesn’t know what the wolves do, having two different camps, say wolves and dingoes, would raise the question as to whether these monsters have different combat or provide different rewards. Having wolves on each side makes it easy for newer players to recognize that these camps serve the same purpose.

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What was the inspiration for the wildlife on the map

Nekomaru New PortraitWe started with the idea of Summoner’s Rift as a magical forest habitat. From there, the goal was to create jungle creatures that fit in and live in that environment while still fitting into the League of Legends world and remaining familiar to people who have been playing on the current Summoner’s Rift for years.

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Shouldnt the river be flowing through the lanes

ManWolf New PortraitWe agree and this was a difficult challenge to tackle given the balance the map needed to maintain. We decided to build fountains into the islands near the center of mid lane to act as a source. With a bit of imaginative thinking we see the river as “flowing” towards the edges of the map and exiting out a cave you can see outside of bot lane. We imagine there is a similar cave in the North. To keep it simple and clear we imagine the water to have descended into an underground aqueduct. It was a tough call but we wanted to prioritize game-play over art.

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Will older machines be able to run the updated map
Jooballin New PortraitWe’ve done a lot of testing on this, and most low spec computers should run faster on the update to Summoner’s Rift. Every computer is different, so, while this can’t actually be guaranteed, we feel comfortable saying most people will have better frame rate performance now.

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RGBDeathPolygons New PortraitWill SR’s graphics be more demanding? In some ways yes, and in other ways no. You should see similar or better framerates to the current SR. We are going to be releasing a devblog in the near future that gives more information about this topic :).

When testing the update to SR, we haven’t reproduced these issues in our compatibility lab. However, there are a lot of factors that are out of our control, and there are millions of possible hardware combinations, so it’s always possible that we missed something.

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Is the map easily editable

Jooballin New PortraitWhile we have definitely taken this into consideration when building the update to Summoner’s Rift, I can’t provide an answer to any specific holiday or other skins that are upcoming.

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Are there brush changes on the updated map

Nekomaru New PortraitWhile we were working on the updated map, we noticed that the brush in top and bottom lane was actually slightly closer to the red side turrets than the blue side ones. That’s been addressed in the update, but bush placement in general is the same as the current map.

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Will the UI be 4k screen compatible

RGBDeathPolygons New PortraitCurrently, the UI does not handle extremely large display resolutions. We recognize that 4K displays are slowly becoming more common, so we may add support for them at some point.

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Will the new brush affect Rengar’s leaping range

ManWolf New PortraitAside from some minor improvements to layout, brush is identical to live.

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Will spawn animations for Baron

Jooballin New PortraitThe spawn animation will happen every time the creature actually spawns into the rift. To clarify, if the Dragon has been alive for a couple of minutes and you walk over to him, you won’t see the spawn animation play. However, if you are near the pit (or you have vision because you were a great teammate and placed a ward there) as the Dragon spawns in, you will see the animation play out. This is the case for every time the creatures spawn in.

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How big will the patch with the updated map be

Riot JxE Final PortraitWe’ve been patching out parts of the update for a while now, so you don’t have to worry about massive patch hitting you all at once.

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How will this update affect ranked games

Jooballin New PortraitThe update to Summoner’s Rift will be rolling out to the Team Builder queue first. We will eventually roll out to all queues, including ranked. At this point, all ranked games will be played on the new Summoner’s Rift, and the old one will be retired.

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Whats your favourite detail of the new map

Tiki New PortraitReally really love some of the small animations in the environment. Things like wind over the grass and trees go a long way to making the place feel like a living place to me 🙂

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Jooballin New PortraitI love the East jungle. It’s got this great eerie and magical feeling on which the artists really knocked it out of the park. I also love the Dragon encounter, especially when he spawns in. He really looks menacing.

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Will Chris Hansen be incorporated into the map somehow

Jooballin New PortraitPlease have a seat. So, what are you doing here?

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How many trees are on the new Rift

Nekomaru New PortraitDepends on if there’s a Maokai in the game.

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How do the champions arrive on Summoner’s Rift

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]