DJ Sona Model, Spells & Splash Arts Leaked, Patch Notes for February 2nd, Phreak on Ahri’s PBE Nerfs, IronStylus on Updates for Kassadin, Ryze and Evelynn
To iterate, you can change between Sona’s music with /toggle in-game at any time, the songs are NOT bound to her different spells.
The music and Sona’s model automatically updates when you level up your ultimate. You change both her model and the music she plays by toggling her stances.
When we changed Nidalee’s “Hunt” passive to apply to jungle monsters, we also made it so that hunted monsters would be rooted for 2 seconds when debuffed. This was to prevent those frustrating situations when Nidalee would spear a monster over a wall only to have it run out of Pounce range trying to get her. This was included with Nidalee’s 5.2 changes, we just forgot to document this one. Sorry!
This is a discussion following a recently-released dev blog, which you can find here.
We have plans and opportunities.
The plans include a lot of the known big updates, the Visual & Gameplay Updates (VGU’s) which are planned out usually super far as they need a lot of planning for execution. The projects can take months to do (maybe a year). They’re heavily comprehensive. They’re often used for the worst offenders in our game, often characters that need complete gameplay, art and thematic rebuilding, sometimes one of those aspects, sometimes all. The Sions, Tarics, etc. We slot and fantasy slot these far in advance.
The opportunities include lower scope Model & Texture Updates (MTU’s) which aren’t planned quite as far out, and are usually jumped on when we see an open slot, or a new gameplay update has been cracked, or we have the ability to borrow art resources from another team. Also when they’re themeatically “safe”. Nasus was done in this way. The legendary skin enabled his VU. These MTU’s are usually built on what we have, existing rig, tweaked animations, etc. The reason being is that if we made them as high scope as full large-scope projects, you wouldn’t see them for a year or more. We simply can’t accomodate doing 8 Sions a year.
While yes, a lot of these champions could benefit from complete tear-downs, we have great opportunities that present themselves. In Kassadin’s situation, Tokkelossie, being a big Kassadin fan, had made a completely new model on his own time. So boom, we had a start. Additionally, we started working with an outsourcer that has proven really, REALLY effective in making quality models, and we’ve begun to leverage them on skins, especially existing skins for VU’s. The fast ramp-up can be attributed to having the existing new base model, some work the skins team had been doing, his VFX being in a good place, and a 3D external partner able to handle both reconcepting and remodelling the existing skins allowed us to jump on this.
Would it be nice to burn everything down and rebuilt it from scratch? Sure, if we can do that in an optimal time. We could knock down the house, re-pour the foundation, build a new frame, etc. But sometimes, because the opportunity to save time and resources is there, we build on top of a workable foundation with the frame intact.
A lot of time goes into writing the backstory, bio, script, the in-game text, recording the VO, editing, processing, localizing, casting and recording in 15+ languages around the world…
If we were to do this with every champion we wanted, we wouldn’t be putting out a new update but once every so often. So while we take our larger projects through this longer pipeline, we cant take every project champion update chooses to touch through the process.
That said, we arent ruling out VO for future projects just yet. We are deliberating what can take the longer road for the upcoming year.
Right now, with the current outlook, Kassadin VO wouldn’t be in scope with what we’re planning. It’s of course a nice-to-have, but right now the bandwidth we have is mainly in the modelling department. Given the current constraints we feel what we’re planning will add value in a time frame that won’t leave players hanging for a year.
Taric is pretty far along in the gameplay design process already. He’s my other current project, along with Ryze.
Cho’gath is pretty massive in scope. Currently he’s someone we’d like to fantasy slot, but it’ll be entirely dependent on technical resources that are allocated to the team. Right now there’s not enough animation bandwidth to do what we’d really want to do. That said, we may try experimenting with him on the Battlecast rig which might allow us to speed up development, that’s not an immeidate priority right now but it’s one I’d personally like to see us take on sooner than later.
You can find Ahri’s PBE changelist here.
I’m sorry, but that’s ludicrous. She used to be easier to gank pre-6, and now it’s a bit harder. Ok, so that changed a little bit. So what?
Here’s the thing: Ahri didn’t have a real weakness. If the only weakness you can point out is, “Well, for 6 minutes you could kill her, but for the other 35 she could do whatever she wanted” that’s stupid. That’s not good design, that’s not healthy, that’s not anything good. For what it’s worth, a lot of the reason LeBlanc is frustrating is because of this – She just sort of does whatever she wants all game and you just have to deal with it.
You also mentioned “ruining her build diversity.” It’s not mentioned anywhere outside the intro. So I’m really not sure where that point’s headed.
And Ahri already IS squishy. She’s one of the frailest champions in the game. Even Annie has an Armor/MR shield. Cassiopeia builds fairly tanky with (RoA/Seraph + Rylai’s). The point of the changes is to actually EXPOSE the squishiness. Her W puts her in Equilibrium Strike range. GOOD.
See, here’s the thing about Ahri now. She’s really mobile. She has medium-speed medium-range skillshots. She also has non-skillshots with very short range. You know what’s cool about that? She can skirt around medium range poking with skillshots. She can also use her high mobility to get into close range and put herself at actual risk to land her reliable damage. Sounds like an actual weakness! She’s in range of Equilibrium Strike if she wants to do more than poke. And then skillfully use her movement speed buffs and dashes (with long cooldowns after) in order to succeed.
Sounds a hell of a lot better than, “Well, now it’s after 6 minutes, her core weakness is gone.”
Also, increasing the mana cost of QÂ DOESÂ affect her early game: If she can’t simply spam Q on cooldown for immense sustain and easy wave clear, she’s going to have less overall sustain and forced to walk into autoattack range to last hit more often.
Ultimately, it’s always tricky dealing with reworks, either small- or large-scale. I’d consider Ahri’s total changes now a small-scale rework. Ahri now:
- Is much more mobile than before. She’s arguably the most mobile mage in the game who can’t dash over walls before level 6.
- Has a medium-range poke pattern as well as a short-range all-in pattern that uses multiple rotations of spells (as opposed to Fizz just REQW’ing you, Ahri Q-R-E-W-R-Q-W-R-W) supported by a lot of mobility to keep her in the fight (as opposed to something like Jax who just tanks you until he gets multiple ulti hits)
Ahri no longer: * Hits you with her entire kit from out of your counter-attack range and then dashes away
And of course, any time a champion “no longer” does something, everyone who’s attached to it gets really scared, because a specific thing their champion used to do doesn’t exist any more. But really, Ahri shouldn’t be hitting you with non-skillshots while dodging everything you ever do. If she’s hitting you with non-skillshots, you should be able to hit her back. Ahri’s power is in getting to choose when those windows are. That’s always been the core power of Ahri: Her ability to choose those windows and if she chose wrong, say “Oh crap” and burn her other two Rs backwards.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me atÂ @NoL_ChefoÂ or e-mail me at email@example.com.