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Warwick Rework

Warwick’s experimental kit finally got teased! Please note that this is rework isn’t even on the PBE yet – a ton of things may change.

 

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Well, here’s more information.

(DISCLAIMER as always, this kit will almost definitely change before we ship. It’s not been in actual production yet–that is to say we’ve not tested it with custom animations, models, particle effects, sounds and so on. We’ve been testing a prototype kit with art stolen from the rest of the game. So a lot may change. But this is what we have right now.)

(ALSO SUPER EXTRA DISCLAIMER: We are not in production yet. It’ll be many, many months before we will be. I HOPE we’ll be able to release this rework in 2014, but no guarantees.)

 

Eternal_ThirstEternal Thirst PASSIVE ]

  • . AAs deal 2% of their target’s max HP as magic damage and heal Warwick for 5 flat + (0.9-1.8% bonus hp) (scales with champ level) Every time this passive is procced, WW gains a stack of Eternal Thirst (max 10). Each stack of ET increases the self-heal effect by 11%. Stacks fall off after 1.8s (just enough time to keep the buff alive at lowest AS + a fleeing enemy) (if you’re faster than them), they fall off one at a time at 4 stacks/second (sort of hyper-quick Jinx Q style).

Thoughts: This is where we lock the drain tanking away behind meaningful gating. You gotta be battling dudes to get full access to your drain tanking potential, and unless you open with your ult it’ll take a while to build. The numbers sound really low, but between AAs and your much more spammable Q you’ll get some meaningful heal out of this, especially in super tanky builds where heal is worth more (MR/Ar are multiplicative with healing, obviously.)

 

Hungering_StrikeHungering Strikes [ Q ]

  • Double-attack a nearby enemy target. Deals a total of 80-200 + 0.6 AP magic damage, but does proc on-hits (and your passive) twice. Note: it’s super weird that we have a skill that procs your AAs but ignores your AD. I know. This is a tradeoff the kit needed. Additionally, passive healing from this spell is further increased by 60-100% (so at 10 stacks you’d get 220% base heal from each proc for a total of 440% of the stated value; at level 18 that would be 5 + 1.8% bonus hp–a good value to hit here is about 35 by end game. This works out to about 180 hp healed, before spirit visage.)

This Q is also super spammable (CD 9-5, mana cost 40-60 on a kit with better base mana and better mana regen) (these numbers will definitely change as we move into tuning later in the year)

Thoughts: Your bread and butter “click a unit and heal some” ability. Separating the offensive (AP) and defensive (max health/armor/mr) builds leads to a much more balanceable skill. If you want the damages, you’ll be frail. If you want to be immortal dog, you’ll take forever to kill a target.

 

Hunter's_CallHowl [ W ]

  • (all names placeholder, obviously). PBAOE terrify away from the center of the effect (NOT from WW; subtle distinction, but important for the E). 0.75s duration on the terrify and then a follow up slow, the duration of which scales with skill rank. This is how you gank pre-6 and why the enemy cannot ignore you in team fights. CD 12-8, mana cost 50 flat. Damage 70-190 + 0.6 AP.

Thoughts: 90% of the time you’ll combo this with E. That’s cool. There are cool uses of this as a standalone, and it helps your jungle clear.

 

Blood_ScentBlood Scent / Hamstring [ E ]

  • Passively this is still Blood Scent, with some tweaks (more range early on, shows an Orianna ball indicator under your feet toward the nearest revealed target, only gives MS when you move toward a revealed champ, also reveals big monsters at <50% hp (for the counter janglings), MS doesn’t all kick in at once but becomes stronger as revealed target gets lower.)
  • Active: Hamstring. This is the “boomerang move”. You’re standing at point A, click B, Warwick dashes A->B->A with no pause in between. He hurts all targets touched en route and puts a strong micro-slow on them (falls off almost immediately). You CAN use W and smite during this ability, but not Q (optimal use case became too micro intensive). The micro-slow BARELY allows you to catch a fleeing enemy, but if you E and they dodge, you’ll lose distance. Mana cost 50 flat, CD 16 flat, damage 140-220 + 0.6 AP total. Does not proc passive, but keeps stacks alive. Slow 95% for 0.25s.

Thoughts: I hope this will be the cool skill that people really enjoy using. It sounds so dry on paper, but man it’s fun in game. The E->W combo when pulled off right drives the enemy right into your arms. Dispersing an enemy team with a well timed E->W only to then get a clear shot onto their ADC for your R feels glorious. Use it to jump in front of a Jinx rocket, out of a Lucian ult for just long enough to live, out of tower range to swap aggro during a dive, or simply go over dragon wall, smite-steal dragon, and come back to safety for free.

 

Infinite_DuressFinite Duress [ R ]

  • Think Sejuani Q, but stun first enemy target hit for 2.5s while attacking them 6 times. Spell has its own base damage and AP ratio (180/240/300 + 0.9 AP), but also procs your passive 6 times, so it also does 18% of target max hp as magical damage.

Thoughts: I really dislike that this can now be used as an escape, but I’ll just tune CDs such that it really hurts when you do that (think Malphite ult). Otherwise this is a straightforward improvement on live WW ult. The enemy gets counterplay (stand in the way), it is much clearer what happens, and when WW does hit, he hits hard. Even a tank will get seriously hurt. Plus 2.5s stun! (Oh yes, suppression is BS. That’s a topic for a different thread tho ;P) I’ll potentially do a thing where the CD is halved when you actually hit this to really reward in-combat usage. WW also gets a 20% damage reduction shield while he is in this ult. Plus did I mention that if you Q right after this, you get to start a fight at 8 stacks of your passive? Yeah. That’s pretty sweet.

 

 

Hype and Reality

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Remember, this is FAR OUT IN THE FUTURE. Me talking about it so early is a huge experiment with setting expectations, but I’d rather hear comments now while I can still make changes :)

 

 

 

Why do his spells scale with AP when he’s, thematically, an AD Champion?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: VERY good question about the disconnect between fantasy (claw and tooth = AD) and mechanical implementation (AP). Let me first explain why I made the choice on the mechanical side and then give you a hint how we hope to reconcile it with the fantasy.

 

So early on in ideation around Warwick’s new kit, we noticed that drain tanks usually tend to be very binary in our game. The way rickless abandon put it, it’s a very stat-checky affair. “Do I have more numbers than you? Cool I win. No? Okay, I can’t do anything.” We identified the problem being with the dual scaling nature of most drainers in our game.

Take Bronze League Master Yi. He builds Blade of the Ruined King (never uses the active, of course) and four Blood Thirsters. Awesome. If he runs into a non-fed enemy in the jungle, he presses R and right-clicks them to death. If they fight back, they either have enough damage to out-damage his heal before they die or they don’t.

Or take the Wizard Wolf, live Warwick with a strong AP item or two (Athene’s, perhaps). His Q does more damage and heals for more; so there simply comes a point at which he either kills you before you kill him, or he doesn’t get to that point and blows up.

We decided to split up the defensive and offensive item paths on new Warwick. In order to do more damage, WW needs to build AP (or AS I guess? Nashor’s/Wit’s End might be a strong damage build). In order to heal more, WW needs to build more max health (which in turn synergizes well with armor and MR). This means that if WW goes straight tank, he won’t be able to solo kill someone (or it’ll take forever, like a murder by spoon). The enemy can just run away to safety or call in allies while WW sticks to them. If WW wants damage, he opens the counterplay route of “just f-king kill him” to the enemy: without an AS steroid (and artificially low base and per level AS) life steal builds won’t be great, and the base on the passive heal is so low that just straight up building AS won’t do much for you (particularly as a lot of the power of the passive is actually tugged away in the Q and the R, where AS won’t do anything for you).

So this meant he needed a tanky itemization path, which in turn means his skills need AP scaling. Our tank + AP itemization is actually decent (Iceborn Gauntlet, Abyssal Scepter, Rylaj’s Crystal Scepter, etc), whereas our tank + AD itemization isn’t (Atma’s Impaler, Maw of Malmortius, ???) (bonus points for someone who can read up a few paragraphs and figure out why we don’t have great AD+tank itemization by design). AP scaling means magic damage. Magic damage also means he’ll do more meaningful damage to enemy tanks, which is great (because he often has no choice but to fight them). Finally, giving any of his abilities AD scaling at all would slowly but surely track us back toward the binary aggressive drainers we want to avoid.

So, the fantasy then. The first thing I did when I realized this thing about itemization was to round up with a creative designer (RiotEntropy) and a concept artist (some dude you never heard of called IronStylus) and pick their brains on how we can reconcile our mechanical needs with the fantasy. Both of them were surprisingly positive on how easy this would be.

From Entropy I learned that the potion Warwick took to turn himself into the monster he has become is very much a magical/alchemical thing. His power is derived not from being a natural monster, but from being a thaumaturgically enhanced human. It is absolutely imaginable that this power expresses itself visually on top of the existing visuals.

IronStylus was pretty much on the same page. Bulging, glowing veins (wherein the potion courses still), glowing slash-trails in the air left behind by his claws, etc.

This disconnect was one of my bigger concerns going into this iteration, but creative and concept art have pretty much put my fears to rest.

 

 

Does Warwick’s ult still proc his passive 6 times?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yup, it does.

 

 

 

 

Can Warwick use E to move forward and then ult?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Ult is disabled during E.

 

 

 

 

What can you use while ulting?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Only your W and smite right now. Potentially ignite as well?

 

 

 

 

Are you stuck while in ult?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: You’re currently stuck, but that’s a big thing I want to revisit. Potentially a re-activate after 0.5s to break the effect early? Always scared players will end up screwing themselves, but there might be cool plays that require you to cancel out early (?)

 

 

 

Why does Q have such a low mana cost?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: The problem here is that his Q MUST be spammable in a long team fight for him to function as a drain tank. If you get three Qs before you oom you cannot be a drain tank. That’s why we ended up lowering the Q cost so much (also current Q cost is crazy high because WW was one of the original 40, from before the time when we understood that letting people pressing buttons a lot is a good idea).

 

 

Will the passive on Blood Scent be removed?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: No way. Blood Scent is why you play Warwick.

 

 

 

 

Will this rework make it easier for players to itemize against Warwick?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yeah, I really want to give both WW and his enemy a much clearer idea how to itemize (as: tanky stats to be drain tank, on-hit/ap/as to be aggressive. Against: always MR).

As for the E, you’d aim such that your peak would be between them and their turret. That way your W pushes them into the arms of your ally mid-laner. The W has a follow-up slow as well, so not only do they run AWAY from safety, they’re also slowed after the terrify. This gives you plenty of time to run in and start wolving them.

 

 

Does Tenacity reduce the duration of Warwick’s ultimate?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: This is a good point! I thought mostly about cleanse (which isn’t really a thing anymore I guess), but yeah, the tenacity’s a tough one. I can technically set a flag in the stun to make it ignore tenacity, but should I? I’ll ponder on that question (read: corner CertainlyT at 3am and have a much too long conversation with him. Poor CertainlyT.)

 

 

How different is Warwick’s Q in the rework?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Q is still very much point and click. Slightly smaller range, but edge to edge (rather than center to center) so it’s easier to Q big dudes (6 stack Cho for instance)

 

 

 

 

Does Warwick need a gap-closer?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Well that’s what the design is attempting to circumvent. The E is very much NOT a gap closer because you will always return to where you started (unless you get stunned or rooted mid-move).

 

 

 

Will these multipliers and % ratios change?

 

ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yeah, there is a mess of multipliers on the kit right now. I’m looking for a way to simplify, but what they do is give you meaningful sustain that’s build from small increments. This really drives home the fantasy of “slowly turning into a wolf as the blood lust comes over you”.”



If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.

 


Week 13 Season 4 RotationThe following Champions will be free-to-play until April 22nd:


Aatrox - 6300 IP / 975 RP
Ezreal - 4800 IP / 880 RP

Blitzcrank - 3150 IP / 790 RP
Fiora - 6300 IP / 975 RP

Corki - 3150 IP / 790 RP
Karthus - 3150 IP / 790 RP

Darius - 6300 IP / 975 RP
Katarina - 3150 IP / 790 RP

Elise - 6300 IP / 975 RP
Thresh - 6300 IP / 975 RP


 

Sale April 18

 

Champions

 

  • Ahri – 487 RP
  • Ezreal – 440 RP
  • Singed – 292 RP

 

Gothic Orianna - 260 RP

 

Orianna_Gothic_Splash

Gothic Orianna Splash

 

Kennen M.D. – 487 RP

 

Kennen_MD_Splash

Kennen M.D. Splash

 

Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV – 675 RP

 

JarvanIV_WarringKingdoms_Splash

Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV Splash

 

If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.

 

PBE 12 April

 

 

Atlantean Syndra Splash Art

 

 

Atlanthean Syndra Splash

Atlanthean Syndra Splash

 

Twitch New Splash Art

 

 

Twitch New Splash Art

Twitch New Splash Art

 

SKT T1 Skins Splash Art (shared between skins)

 

SKT T1 Splash Arts

SKT T1 Skins Shared Splash

 

SKT T1 Jax Splash

 

 

SKT T1 Lee Sin Splash

 

 

SKT T1 Vayne Splash

 

 


SKT T1 Zed Splash

 

 

SKT T1 Zyra Splash

 


If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.


 

Sale 14 April

 

Champions

 

  • Lissandra – 487 RP
  • Nocturne – 440 RP
  • Xin Zhao – 395 RP

 

Chosen Master Yi - 260 RP

 

Chosen Master Yi

Chosen Master Yi Splash

 

Gangster Twitch - 487 RP

 

Gangster Twitch

Gangster Twitch Splash

 

High Command Katarina - 375 RP

 

High Command Katarina

High Command Katarina Splash


If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.

 

pbe skt t1 zed banner

 

PBE 07/04

Void Fizz in Store – 1350 RP

Guinsoo: Fiora’s Rework

Meddler: Ao Shin Release

Single Posts – Lissandra’s Passive and Miss Fortune W QoL

 

 

PBE April 7

 

Previous PBE Changes from Patch 4.6 Cycle:

 

SKT T1 Zed Shadow Changes

 

 

 

 New Potrait Rengar 

 

Thrill_of_the_HuntThrill of the Hunt [ R ]

  • Indicator won’t alert enemies who can’t see you when you exit stealth. If you’re in their field-of-view, the indicator will trigger as normal. (check this red post collection for context)

 

 

Rumble New Portrait

 

 FlamespitterFlamespitter [ Q ]

  • Now again deals half damage versus neutral monsters (changed here)

 

Scrap_ShieldScrap Shield [ W ]

  • Movement Speed when in Danger Zone increased from 12.5 / 18.75 / 25 / 31.25 / 37.5% to 15 / 22.5 / 30 / 37.5 / 45% (from 25% to 50% bonus)
  • Shield health when in Danger Zone increased from 62.5 / 100 / 136.5 / 175 / 212.5 (+ 0.5 AP) to 75 / 120 / 165 / 210 / 255 (+ 0.6 AP) (from 25% to 50% bonus)

 

Electro-HarpoonElectro Harpoon [ E ]

  • Slow when in Danger Zone increased from 18.75 / 25 / 31.5 / 37.5 / 43.75% to 22.5 / 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5%  (from 25% to 50% bonus)
  • Damage when in Danger Zone increased from 56.25 / 87.5 / 118.75 / 150 / 181.25 (+ 0.5 AP) to  67.5 / 105 / 142.5 / 180 / 217.5 (+ 0.6 AP) (from 25% to 50% bonus)

 

 

 

Twitch New Portrait

  • Base armor increased from 14 to 18 (back to live values, was probably a bug due to his visual update)

 

 

Trinkets

 

Scrying_Orb_itemScrying Orb (and upgrades)

  • Reveals target area for 2 seconds, increased from 1

 

 

Void Fizz in Store Banner

Link to official announcement.

 

A chill grips the man’s spine as a warped giggle echoes through the streets. He’s coming. Fizz used to be welcomed with open arms but recently, something’s changed. Vaulting over walls with his corrupted trident, he’s been terrorizing everyone for weeks with his demented games. The man starts running, passing by an alley when something strikes his back and drags him to the ground. Reality tears beneath him and a sickly sweet odor envelops the street. He looks back and sees Fizz, reeking of corruption, staring and chuckling. Moments later the ground erupts as a putrid leviathan bursts forth from below, devouring the man in an instant. Void Fizz and his pet love to play hide-and-seek.

 

 

Play gruesome games with Void Fizz, available now in the League of Legends store for 1350 RP (discounted to 975 RP through April 14).

 

Void Fizz Skin Preview

 

 

 

Guinsoo Fiora Rework

Following yesterday’s discussion on Fiora’s rework, Guinsoo elaborates on Fiora’s power curve, passive and development.

 

 

Will Fiora carry in late-game like other Melee ADs, or will her power be focused on early/mid game?

 

Guinsoo Button Rioter Guinsoo: That’s a good question that I think as a design team we haven’t fully solved – what exactly should a melee ADC’s power curve look like with respect to time? I think we did make strides with the new Yi and Yasuo. I guess in an ideal world I’d like her to be fairly well rounded, maybe shading slightly weak in the early going and leaning slightly strong in the late game.

But at the end of the day I want her to be about her abilities and how well she used them. But this is a very complicated question whose answer will likely change or become more defined over time, as we discover what exactly she’s capable of, what feels good, what exactly we want to emphasize about the actual mechanical skills themselves.

 

 

Will you make Fiora’s passive more engaging?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Yeah to be honest I’m not super stoked with where the (new) passive is at, it’s a fairly generic steroid that we plan to replace with something more relevant once we get a good grasp for exactly how her gameplay flows. I have several ideas for different ones I’d like to try out to encourage various target selection/gameplay choices.

 

 

Can we get a release schedule for this rework?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I’m not clear about the timeline at all, so I can’t even give you a vague “soon™” or “not soon™”. I have a meeting about it tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll be able to share too many details. At this point I don’t even know if she’s planned to be tied to an art rework, new VO, or anything like that.

After I combed through 50 pages looking for all my posts, I found the “next Riot post” feature. Lol.

 

 

Is reworking older Champions harder than making new ones?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: It’s definitely harder. As you can see, players have strong opinions about their favorite champions, so changing them is never easy. I also think it’s more enjoyable – I think there’s a more clear design path since you have an idea for how the character plays now and how you might want them to play; that’s a lot harder when making a character from scratch, which is like setting sail for the new world without having any idea where it actually is or what it looks like, but you’ll know it when you get there.

 

 

Is the new Blade Waltz meant to complement her other abilities?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: This is definitely what we’re striving for. If you break Blade Waltz down to its primal components, it’s a bunch of dashes, it makes you invulnerable, and it does damage. All of those pieces are there on her kit already (with a few enhancements for example to the Riposte).

 

 

Suggestion: Make Fiora’s ult like Riven’s, where she gets buffed, but can also use the ult

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s definitely a possibility I’m open to. Maybe a Coup de Grace to end the ultimate. Sounds kinda neat. Filed away.

 

 

 

 

Won’t making Fiora mobile during Riposte overload her new kit?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I don’t disagree with this point. The benefit to starting with Riposte as an immobile spell are multifold. First, it makes the Blade Waltz enhancement to it feel super epic; second, it puts maximum counterplay into the opponent’s hands to counter out the extreme defensive capabilities in the skill, matching most closely the fantasy of extreme counterplay between Fiora and opponent; and third it allows us to increase the power budget in a successful Riposte to the maximum (because it’s harder to pull off).

We are definitely not opposed to making it more mobile if it doesn’t work out well, but this is the appropriate starting point, I think. We’d definitely have to make it weaker in terms of amount of damage blocked and/or return Thrust damage dealt if she could normally move during it.

 

 

Isn’t fencing in the real world all about not making a mistake and punishing the opponent’ts mistakes with a single blow?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: This is definitely the case. I’ve always thought fencing was about maintaining a maximum defense (so you don’t die) while looking for the opening to kill the opponent, so that by fighting in this manner if you don’t make any mistakes you would never die and would beat any opponent who made a mistake.

 

But it becomes slightly different in the world of League of Legends where a single sword wound will never kill an opponent. I’d imagine that in that world, fencing would be about being able to inflict maximum damage output while minimizing ‘great risk’ (since both parties can afford to take a couple hits, I suspect you would no longer opt for a 100% defense strategy).

 

 

Off-topic: Pokemon has One-Hit-Knock-Outs. Why can’t League have them?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Those are all always banned in any serious match or competition. They also ban moves that give an enemy a chance to miss and a few other things. Pokemon PvP has a steady pacing based around either matching your poke’s types and attack types versus the opponents and vice versa (essentially trying to always super effectively hit while resisting his attacks), or trying to stall by countering all of his threats with defenders that can slowly whittle them down. OHKOs do not fit into Pokemon at all.

I’d guess Baton Pass teams are probably a lot stronger in the new gen so I guess that can be a third type of team, where at the start of the match you focus on super buffing your pokemon and then passing that buff to a super hard hitting mon that can sweep the entire enemy team, regardless of typing. But even this team has counterplay, as taking out the buff chain at any point basically wins you the match, as does getting off a Clear Smog or Haze, or priority Brave Birding it down with Talonflame, etc.

Not to mention when you see his team will likely to be Baton Pass, you can just use a starting pokemon that has a buffing move of its own, so while the opponent is using some turns to buff and some turns to Baton Pass, you can just buff the whole time, and then out sweep their sweeper.

It gets a little complicated if they start with a Scolipede or Blaziken (banned) because they can buff their speed every turn while Sword Dancing, but for example a Volcarona can Quiver Dance every turn to buff her dps and speed (and sp def which is admittedly useless vs a Sword Dance BP team). There’s counterplay.

 

 

Ao Shin release banner

Long ago, a sand dragon was teased as a new Champion release. So when is Ao Shin coming to League?

 

 

Can we get a time table on his release?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: We’re still working on Ao Shin, but for now he’s a long way out. Some of our initial ideas for translating his concept into an actual in-game champion haven’t quite panned out, so we’re continuing to work towards an approach that really hits the bar. He’s definitely a champion we want to make happen, but we’d rather take a long time than fail to do his concept justice.

 

 

Will you guys do a Dev Journal on Ao Shin’s development?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Good suggestion, will look into that at the time..

Follow on question: What are you folks most interested in seeing in dev journals?

 

 

 

Off-topic: Are you working on a new Champion?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: My time’s more focused on working with the other folks on the team and general champion stuff now, so I’m not doing full gameplay design on new champs anymore. Have been tag teaming the design on a champ with Gypsylord though, which I’m really excited to see come to fruition sometime this year.

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

A Look at Lissandra’s Passive

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Lissandra wise I’ve been pondering some passive tweaks. Have tested out a couple of alternatives that tie in with her need to dive into fights (conditional ice shields). Haven’t yet hit on anything that hits the mark, nor determined whether that would be instead of or in addition to her current passive. Going to keep testing, no guarantees that’ll go anywhere though.

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: One of the passives I’ve been looking at’s pretty similar to that actually, though based on a stack building system, with a shield at max stacks, and stacks gained when you CC an enemy (more stacks for champs/less for minions). Current version, due to the CD in particular, runs into some issues where it just happens in team fights, and so there’s a lot less gameplay created than I’d like. Going to try tuning it when time permits, see if there’s a version that minimizes that issue.

 

 

Can Miss Fortune get a W stack indicator?

 

ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: I’ve asked about it, but we won’t be able to do something like that independently of some kind of visual update (which I totally keep trying to bring up casually as a thing that would be awesome to do). So short answer is that we’ll totally look into it once we’ve allocated artists to working on her, but I have no idea when that would possibly be since it isn’t currently on anyone’s schedule that I know of.

 

 

If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.

 

 

Week 12 Season 4 Rotation

The following Champions will be free-to-play until April 15th:

 

Amumu - 1350 IP / 585 RP
Lucian - 6300 IP / 975 RP

Anivia - 3150 IP / 790 RP
Olaf - 3150 IP / 790 RP

Graves - 4800 IP / 880 RP
Riven - 4800 IP / 880 RP

Janna - 1350 IP / 585 RP
Shen - 3150 IP / 790 RP

Lissandra - 6300 IP / 975 RP
Taric - 1350 IP / 585 RP

 


Sale April 11
 

Champions


  • Karthus – 395 RP
  • Viktor – 487 RP
  • Yorick – 440 RP

 

Charred Maokai – 440 RP


Charred Maokai

Charred Maokai Splash


Mad Scientist Ziggs – 487 RP


Mad Scientist Ziggs

Mad Scientist Ziggs


Nightblade Irelia – 260 RP


Nightblade Irelia

Nightblade Irelia Splash


 

Nidalee and Fiora Rework Banner

 

Red Post Collection

Single Posts – Stale Balance, Skarner, Support Gragas

 

 

Fiora Rework Banner

Awesome news – Guinsoo is back and he’s ready to deliver on the fantasy of dueling Champions with a French fencer lady!

 

 

 GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Hi guys. I’d just like to weigh in on what some of the Fiora goals are. The main problems we see with Fiora’s current kit are that thematically, she doesn’t deliver on the fantasy of being a skilled duelist/fencer, and mechanically, her game presence / play pattern / role doesn’t line up with being a skilled duelist/fencer.

As far as the duelist fantasy goes, at least when I think of Fiora, I expect her to be extremely mobile but not just going in, she needs to be good at dancing in, out of, around and about combat. She should be about finding weaknesses in the opponent’s play and finding the proper occasion to go on the attack. She shouldn’t be about running in and bursting enemies down, she should be dealing high, steady DPS over time that is relatively target agnostic.

Mechanically speaking, I’d expect a duelist type champion to be mechanically intense. I expect opportunities to use my abilities at optimal times to counter out the enemy’s champion. I want to have a lot to keep track of, but with clear success cases when I do well.

At the end of the day, live Fiora is a ball of stats with some untargetability thrown in; she pushes her buttons pretty much as fast as she can without a second thought, and she’s also extremely snowballey. In short, she’s bland with no cool opportunities to exchange gameplay between her and her lane opponent.

Some of the current goals including switching Fiora from an assassin to a melee DPS, and moving her lane from top to mid/jungle, and adding tons of ‘outplay’ functionality on her kit, as well as more mobility especially in terms of being able to disengage and re-engage at optimal times.

I can’t share too much of exactly what the plans are for her kit, as I’m sure it’s going to change tons during development, but I’ll leave this here to hopefully stir up some excitement for our favorite rapier wielder. Also bear in mind this is an early, experimental Blade Waltz, and could certainly change drastically between now and remake launch time.

I also understand it’s hard to understand exactly what this sample Blade Waltz does, given the lack of context on her basic spells… but rest assured, there are significant tweaks (or more) to all 4 of the other abilities, so hopefully your imaginations run wild 

 

FioraUltSample

 

 

Do you think this new ultimate will accomplish what the old one did?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: A great question. I’m not going to directly answer it, but I’m going to pose a theoretical question.

If one assumes that Lunge is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s jump around and hit things function, and that Riposte is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s untargetability, is it hard to envision a scenario where you don’t get the current functionality of Blade Waltz if you’re allowed to rapidly cast your basic spells? But with options around when each individual jump and spell block comes from, as well as considering how many jumps to use vs spell blocks vs disengages, when, how many auto attacks to weave in, when to focus more DPS vs more survivability vs more mobility, etc.

The goal behind the current ult was to sometimes emulate the behavior of the old one, but make it more timing and decision based, add more options, and add more counterplay for the opponents. I feel like the new ultimate offers far more opportunities than the old one, if one assumes that R/Q emulates the feel of her live Blade Waltz.

 

 

Do you think Fiora’s rework will allow her to duel the current top lane picks?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Right now to me the ‘natural’ top laners are people like Renekton, Shyvana, etc. I feel like in order to make a melee ADC (ala Yasuo) compete with those types of champions in the top lane, we’d have to make other sacrifices to her core design (e.g. putting life regeneration on her kit, I really don’t like her current passive but I worry that without it she’d really struggle top lane).

 

 

As a fencer, Fiora should be about one-hit knockouts, not poking enemies

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: OK, I feel like I used the wrong terminology when I said “poke enemies down.” I edited my first post to “deal steady, high DPS that is relatively target agnostic.” While I mostly agree with you that fencing is all about scoring OHKOs, well obviously that type of gameplay isn’t great for any type of PvP game.

 

The way we’re choosing to handle this is to give her strong, steady DPS, but have it come in bigger chunks that one might anticipate from a steady DPS champion. For example her Riposte has heavily negative implications on her outgoing DPS… unless she blocks a significant spell or attack, at which point she can respond with a very hard hitting Thrust.

In general we want her to feel good (and be greatly rewarded) for using her abilities properly. While that can’t be in the form of OHKOs, I think the next best thing is “big chunks of damage.”

 

 

Off-topic: Why were you gone for so long?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Truth be told, 6 years of intense video game development got to me and I really needed to take some time to destress. I spent about a year traveling and relaxing and now I’m locked and loaded and ready to pump out some sweet content.

 

 

Why would Fiora be picked over Yasuo?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Here are 3 reasons off the top of my head to pick her over Yasuo. Please note I’m talking about her new kit with new abilities, not her old kit with a new ultimate. I just spoiled the ultimate for funsies 

1) Kayle ult with a few catches on a normal slot
2) Weaker engage, but much stickier than Yasuo
3) Built in disengage

 

 

Will her Reposte be able to block tower shots while Fiora is using her ult?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I doubt it. I’m not a great fan of tower diving. I think her kit still leaves her much better positioned to tower dive than the average champion even without being untargetable/immune to turrets. I’m not completely opposed to her having some turret mitigation capabilities. But I’d rather avoid it, and so far my instinct tells me she’ll do okay with out it just due to the sheer mobility on the kit.

 

 

Do you feel her passive is underwhelming?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s kind of what I’m driving at – the passive feels lame, it’s especially lame in tense moments like battles with other champions, and its only real use is allowing her access to a lane that I don’t really feel she belongs in in the first place. It’s power without gameplay, and plus it feels useless too. It’s effective, but totally lameballs. That’s pretty much the opposite of where I’d like her passive design space to lie.

 

 

Why would a duelist be a jungler? It doesn’t seem thematic

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s an interesting consideration. But I still think mid lane works fine for her; perhaps you’re right that jungle isn’t where she belongs.

 

 

 

 

How will you balance Fiora’s damage spike from her new ultimate?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Originally I was debating how to primarily balance this implementation of Blade Waltz. There are two obvious limiting levers, duration and number of casts. The version of which I posted a screenshot is clearly more duration limited. In this iteration I was counting on the various “drawbacks” / nuances of the abilities to limit the ultimate – e.g. travel times, delays, parry times, etc.

 

In the end with the directions we took for some of the other , and the more recent version is more moderate 8 second duration, with a limit of 4 / 6 / 8 casts (still needs tons of tuning). Also note that right now Blade Waltz doesn’t provide any bonuses to how hard the skills hit, to emphasize mobility and tactics over brute force during the ultimate (obviously when casting that many spells in succession, it’s going to be doing a certain amount of brute force work).

You’re partially right that an ultimate that uses stronger versions of your basic skills requires a sharp tuning knife to make it feel good with and without. But in this case, I think there are some “under the hood” things that we can do to make the ultimate feel like a thing of its own. For example right now when you activate it, it resets all your cooldowns so you can start your comboing or dancing immediately, you get X number of casts chosen pretty much any way you like, and afterward it puts the cooldowns back where they were. I think this really helps make the ultimate feel like a spell all of its own. Additionally, the more potent the “spell modifications” that Blade Waltz offers, the more it feels like the ultimate is a collection of different spells. I think the W captures that well right now, the E to some degree, and the Q not nearly enough.

She definitely pulls a lot of weight with all her spells. In fact, she’s decidedly spell based and mostly weaves autos between them, but still plays a lot like a melee ADC because she can cast so many spells within her windows and (conditionally) deal steady spikes of damage. As far as the actual itemization, that is yet to be determined. Right now, she does have an attack speed steroid elsewhere on her kit (originally it was on the ult, but that doesn’t fit for obvious reason), but it’s not clear to me yet if that will or should stick. That is one of the balancing levers for her that partially determines if she’s more assassin or melee ADC; in an ideal world I’d like her to play exactly like a melee ADC without any basic attack steroids, but that’s a lofty goal that’s probably not possible. I also don’t want her to rely exclusively on her auto attacks like for example Tryndamere, I think it should be somewhere int he middle.

And I don’t really have any thoughts on jungle Fiora at the moment. I’m really not sure if that’s a reasonable expectation or not. It has not yet been tested, and it’s definitely not the primary focus/intended role for her.

 

 

Will Fiora’s kit be overtuned to fit the Melee DPS archetype?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I think there are levers you can tune to allow a character to be very mobile while not being completely out of hand. It’s definitely a hard goal, and melee DPS seem to be one of the hardest classes to get right. I certainly would like to try.

 

 

Can you make Fiora’s dash work on allies?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: It’s something we’ve considered; ultimately I don’t think it fits the fencing fantasy well so I’d rather try to go other routes to get the mobility we like. But we’re not opposed to it if other methods fail.

 

 

 

Why are you reworking Fiora when some people don’t want her changed?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: People don’t like change. It’s in our nature; if we like something we don’t want it to change. But that doesn’t mean it’s not for the better. I’m confident we can deliver a new Fiora kit that delivers most of the same mechanics that the old one has (including the important ones like the Blade Waltz experience) but creates new gameplay and makes her actually feel like a duelist.

I prefer to focus my responses toward posts that are more constructive.

 

 

Warwick Relaunch

Warwick will soon be getting a full balance rework, complete with a visual update. More from Zenon.

 

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We have a full relaunch slated for Warwick, but the question is indeed when. Currently our highest priority in terms of full relaunches is Sion; as for visual only stuff we’re excited to bring you Twitch very very soon.

I’d love to say Warwick will happen at some point this year, but who knows. The landscape of what needs work most is ever-shifting. For what it’s worth, I have a kit I fully believe in ready for further work.

 

 

Is Warwick getting a full ability rework as well?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yup! Blood Scent stays (but receives a toggle) and Hungering Strike becomes Hungering Strikes (still with a very similar purpose), but other than that a lot of things will change.

 

 

 

Will Warwick’s other skins get the running animation from Blood Scent that Hyena Warwick has?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: That’s a very good question! I do want special animations for all skins when he goes into Blood Scent, but I like that Hyena gets something special. Maybe the other skins will get somewhat more vanilla wolf running animations? That’s a conversation I will need to have with my animator once the pod comes online (once we start working on the art).

 

 

Will WW’s balance rework ship before his visual update?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We had the discussion on whether or not we can ship WW without art, but some of the things we’re doing would just look very, very derpy without new art, so I’d rather wait. WW is at least a niche pick right now, unlike Heimer who was simply unpicked before the remake.

 

 

Is Warwick going to retain his life-drain tank niche?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Absolutely! If anything he’ll be more of a drain tank. He currently gains self-heal with bonus health, so if you want to drain tank you no longer build AP on him. He has a passive that stacks up on himself when he attacks stuff and his self-heal also increases with those stacks, so he needs to be in combat for a while before his drain tanking really comes online. It creates some pretty tense “can I live through the first 10 seconds of this and then become IMMORTAL DOG” situations.

 

 

What’s your favourite thing about this rework?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: My biggest like about the warwick gameplay changes in progress are that they give him many more important decisions and high moments. He will actually be able to make “big plays,” which is really great.

 

 

 

Nidalee Rework Banner

After extensive research, it turned out Nidalee is anti – fun. Rioters are on the case to bring Nidalee a shift in balance, along with some welcome QoL changes to her Cougar form.

 

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Hi guys! As has already been mentioned here, I’ve been doing work on Nidalee for some time now, and I definitely think things are headed in the right direction with her. I can’t really share specific details of the kit changes just yet, but I can share some of the primary (there may be others, but these are the forefront ones) problems that we’ve identified and are working to solve.

Problems:

-The way Nidalee utilizes both forms to succeed is out of whack. She very regularly doesn’t have to use Cougar form as part of her killing pattern. This is not only unfair to enemy players, but also just a bit lame as a shapeshifting character.

-Nidalee doesn’t put herself at enough risk of death when she succeeds. I personally think it’s okay if Nidalee averages a high number of kills every game, but the number of deaths she accrues needs to be a bit higher to reflect that.

-Nidalee is pretty hard to control in Cougar form, and she just feels clunky much of the time. Even in pro games we see people Pouncing/Swiping in the wrong direction while farming or faceplanting into walls they meant to hop over.

As for Javelin Toss, I know this doesn’t provide a definitive answer on that subject, and once we have more definitive details on a direction, I’ll be happy to talk about them. At this rate, I wouldn’t expect Javelin Toss to undergo fundamental changes to its mechanics. It will almost assuredly remain a “deals more damage at greater range” ability, and it will hurt to get hit by. Furthermore, it probably won’t have cooldown reducing mechanics or ramping mana gates or something like that on it. None of that really matters if the Javelin that does hit you or your carry drops them from 100% health down to 40% at the beginning of the fight, because you’re still just forced to leave. In that case, we’ve just condensed the window of frustration rather that targeting the frustration itself.

Looking forward to sharing more details with you guys once we’ve something a bit more well-defined to talk about!

 

 

Any major changes to Javelin Toss?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Basically, I think we can put Javelin Toss in a good state that leaves it satisfying without added intricacies to the reasons or timing of casting the spell. With a kit to support this, of course.

 

 

 

Will this impact bruiser Nidalee’s viability?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Bruiser Nidalee should be fine following the changes, if not more fun to play.

 

 

 

 

Currently tested kit

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Piggy-backing on this: we do have a kit in testing, designed by RiotRepertoire. That kit mostly tones down Javelin Toss’s mid range damage and creates a follow-up opportunity to encourage more time spent in cougar form (which is currently the wave-pushing and teamfight clean up form) (plus strategic map movement I guess).

However, to set expectations appropriately: just because we’re testing changes doesn’t mean those changes necessarily see the light of day. We test a LOT of kits, sometimes with crazy experimental changes (a Brand kit from last year comes to mind where Pyroclasm slowed down after each bounce but could bounce INDEFINITELY so long as the enemy team stayed together), and often the answer is “probably not worth doing”.

This is a strength of our design process. We’re highly iterative and we realize that there’s only so much value to be gained from theory-crafting it all out in your head. There’s a time and a place for spreadsheet design, and IMO that’s in the very beginning of a design idea, when you just want to get a rough read for the power level. After that there’s no substitute for “just put it in a playtest and see how it goes”.

My personal feeling is that while everything Repertoire’s changing about Nidalee is a positive change compared to live (a couple of GREAT QoL changes like pounce and swipe going toward mouse cursor), we’re not addressing the truly grating aspect of live Nidalee, which is random spears chunking you down to 50% health. In theory, Nidalee is mana gated and can’t just throw out spears all day. In practice, blue buff exists and Athene’s is a gold-efficient pickup even without the mana on it, so yeah. May not be a Nidalee problem. May be a problem of how we’re failing to do mana gating in modern League.

But the kit is still in testing and it’s way too early to tell where it’s going. Definitely don’t expect it to hit live any time soon; these things take time.

 

 

State of Rengar Banner

After the big changes to Rengar in Patch 4.5, it’s time to sit back and not get one-hit from stealth. What’s the community’s take on the rework?

 

 

Is Rengar getting shifted from an assassin to a fighter?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: To be clear about Rengar’s role in a team, we wanted to leave this mostly unchanged. He is still the guy that hunts the enemy squishies and can stalk around choosing his prey at will. His damage is lowered some, but we still want him to be a strong damage threat.

 

He is unique from some of the other assassins like zed or khazix because he has much more versatility with his ferocity skills (CC, Damage, Heals, many options here). On the other hand, some other assassins have escapes, where he does not. Considering he doesn’t have a reliable escape once he has engaged, we gave him some more tools like durability and speed so that once he is in, he has a means of contributing.

As far as items, we’re not designing towards any “right” way to build Rengar. He scales well with both offensive and defensive items and that is something that is cool about him as a character.

Keep in mind, we’re not going to leave Rengar out to dry if he has problems/needs changes. We already have a bunch of changes planned for the next patch like speeding up the Q attack animations significantly, and some ult warning changes that we have been talking about in this thread. We should have a bunch more data soon, which will help inform us if he needs more changes, and where.

I appreciate all of the feedback, and I know that change can be frustrating on a character that you know and love so well. Don’t fear for Rengar, he’s not going away anytime soon.

 

 

Any changes you’re planning for his ult?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We have an ult change coming in the next patch that will not alert enemies if you wouldn’t be visible to them outside of stealth. This is really big for when he is ganking or approaching his targets from a brush or near walls. It was pretty silly to alert the enemy when Rengar wouldn’t have been visible out of stealth anyway, you guys were totally right on this one.

Also, the Q and Empowered Q attack animations are getting significantly sped up. This will fix a lot of the “my Q didn’t go off” cases, and it’s a non trivial buff in his dps output over time.

This isn’t the end, but it’s what I can say is coming with certainty right now.

 

 

Can you bring back Rengar’s Q+Auto Attack chain from brush?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The Q from brush will be working better after our next set of changes as well. Also Q does currently and will still reset his auto attack.

 

 

 

Are damage a likelihood if Rengar proves too weak after his rework?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Things like damage numbers are never set in stone. We will make adjustments to his damage if we overdid the changes. Real data will give us lots of information about how the changes turned out: Is his early game too weak? Is his late game too strong? etc.. Depending on what we find, adjustments will be made. It’s unfortunate that we cant play millions of test games with any changes before they release, but the least we can do is respond to the real data once the changes are live.

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Are LoL Champions being standardized like the classes in WoW?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Flattening unique and powerful abilities was something WoW had to embrace to some extent or else players would just stack classes with the most valuable unique mechanics and neglect the others. In Sunwell, you needed one shaman per melee party for Windfury, and in Throne of Thunder, you wanted several warlocks for Demonic Gateways and perhaps even Healthstones.

 

This is largely a function of the noble desire for boss encounters to have different mechanics, though it does exist in WoW PvP to a lesser extent. The sweet spot is having classes feel different without actually being dramatically different. Too many differences leads to lack of diversity, because your group composition becomes inflexible. You are forced to play Tetris to min max the class mechanics you need.

League is a different kind of game. Champs have fewer abilities than WoW classes, but the fights are also less predictable, so you don’t know that you will need a certain ability to solve the puzzle. Blitz’s grab or Sona’s auras are useful, but hardly mandatory, and you’re giving up something else to bring them. The game rules also don’t allow you to stack champs, One For All not withstanding. In this case, it’s important for champions to be as different from each other as possible. If two champs have similar mechanics, it’s easy to evaluate which one is the best choice, usually just based on higher damage or stats. In this case, not having enough differences can lead to lack of diversity. While it’s advisable to build teams with some synergy, there’s a ton more flexibility and much less of the Tetris feeling.

TLDR, champ similarity isn’t a League value.

 

 

Upcoming Buffs for Rumble

 

morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: Right now, the balance team is looking into Rumble buffs for an upcoming patch. With All-Stars, we’re unsure if that will be 4.6 or 4.7 (or later…), but there’s a few top laners we’d like to bring up – Rumble is one of them.

 

 

 

Can you give Vandal Twitch his green shades on his visual update?

 

Ququroon Button Rioter Morello: We’re investigating changes on this now.

 

 

 

 

State of Skarner

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We still have plans for Skarner, mostly in the realm of bringing excitement and a bit of the old identity that people liked about the old Skarner back.

We can keep a lot of the gameplay gains (versatility, windows of power/weakness) and add a bit more stickiness/cc control that people liked about the old kit. I’ve been in ongoing discussions about these changes with a lot of the team, and I should get down to implementing them sometime next week. When we have a more final changelist, I’ll let you know what we intend to do.

 

 

Is Support Gragas a possibility after the rework?

 

Riot Zephyreal Button Rioter Riot Zephyreal: When I first saw his kit on the community beta thread I immediately thought support Gragas. He now has 3 forms of CC at 6, his knockback on E is either tied or slightly further back than Thresh flay, and his Q slow is pretty heavy if there is any sort of charge up time (which you can set up with combos with his E or even more impressively his R).

His passive is also pretty sweet since he has to go kind of close with his body slam for trades, so that extra heal is nice if he can manage the passive timer well. But also given the fact that the E knocks back and stuns, he pretty safe to begin with if he wants to do an E+Q combo for harass. I’m literally chunking people for 35-40% HP (depending on Q charge) and walking away without a care in the world.

The one downside is that you’re not flanking much in laning phase as support Gragas to maximize the displacement on body slam, but again if you can combo a Q through an E (super easy with practice), it should be easy for your lane partner to follow up.

 


If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.


 

Sexism in eSports banner

 

  Disclaimer: Some of you may remember this article being published a few weeks ago. It underwent heavy editing since then and should be a lot tighter on arguments now. Enjoy reading!

 

  I believe gamers need a realistic perspective on the issue of sexism in eSports and gaming in general. Here are the major points this article will address:

  • The banal sexist remarks and misogynistic jokes we’ve all grown accustomed to as a result of constant stereotyping.
  • The male dominated culture of gaming.
  • Team Siren‘s impact on professional gaming last year and the negative perception they have created towards females who want to become pro gamers.
  • Female gamers being forced to either openly express their gender or hide it entirely.

 

 

Stereotyping Females

 

  We all like to make our assumptions about a group of people who seem consistent in behavior; stereotypes make life easier for us. They also lead to a complete lack of understanding issues in society and almost always promote hate speech, abuse and bullying. So how much do we really know about what women go through when they try to adopt gaming as a hobby or profession compared to men?

 There’s a huge difference between how two players, a man and a woman, are seen in the eyes of the majority. Females are condemned and bullied for being incapable of competing in gaming alongside men because the male-majority assumes women can’t achieve the same skill in video games as men, which is untrue. Let me explain.

  There are no studies that show females are weaker players than males. You can use the argument that there are far more men than women in pro gaming, and casual gaming in general, but that’s due to how games were originally marketed and how “gaming” was assigned, and socially upheld, as a male gender role. As a result women have had less time to: develop serious interests in gaming, develop the skills needed to compete at a top competitive level, and make major contributions to gaming, both in achievements and in their numbers. 

 However, this does not mean that gaming is incapable of embracing strong female contenders. For example, StarCraft II player Scarlett is recognized as one of the strongest players in the scene at the moment, consistently beating top-ranked opponents, despite being “a gamer girl.” But she is one of few and that is the problem. Women are less encouraged to pick up gaming as a hobby as a result of consistent framing and the rest of the community alienating them. The problem with sexism in pro-gaming starts at the bottom of the pyramid; if the industry molds around female interest and starts marketing itself equally for both genders, then we’ll see the issue resolved in more serious gaming.

Anna Prosser

 We’ve established that women are repressed in gaming, but that this is mainly due to the marketing tactics used early in the industry, alongside the community’s shock and inability to properly accomodate the increasing flux of women becoming interested in games. Pro-gaming isn’t a viable profession for women yet, as the industry hasn’t tried to reach up to a female audience. Circumstances have developed a situation where women who wish to make a living out of their hobby are cornered into finding alternate ways to do it, because their gender is a detriment to this.

 One such alternative is streaming. Streaming generates revenue through view count, rather than skill. (sometimes, skill results in a bigger audience, but this is just an isolated case, whereas in pro-gaming skill is a requirement). It favors one gender over another, because looks and character generate attention quicker than just playing well in most cases. Note that this does not include all female streamers, but it’s simply the reality of the medium. Because (most) women are left without opportunity to pursue a pro-gaming career, but streaming is easily available to them, you get a discrepancy in relevance of the two careers for females.

 Women didn’t become involved in streaming with the mentality of selling their looks. But they approached a scene that was (and still is) awkward in how it accepts them. Exploiting gender traits for revenue isn’t a conscious decision made by the majority – it’s simply a logical alternative to professional gaming when professional gaming fails to provide women the proper environment for a stable job.

 

 

Team Siren

 

Team Siren Promo Video The majority of the playerbase has only had bad experiences with female teams. To have girls compete in pro-gaming is a recent concept and is burdened not just by the gaming community’s prejudice, but by segregation in the real world. What few opportunities females have had to be recognized as eSports material have gone down in history as sore examples and have further exacerbated the issue. Such is the case from last year with Team Siren.

I believe the majority have seen their introductory video. One can immediately tell this promotion wasn’t thought through. It implies that their team (Gold I at the time) was capable of taking on any competition from the pro teams. The Sirens tried to sell immaturity and snobby attitude to the public and this severely imapcted the perception people had of female pro players.

Trash-talking enemy players during games only served to further degrade Team Siren’s image. The team’s reaction to the community backlash, coupled with poor management, forced the Sirens to disband a month after creating the team.

Ironically, the demise of Team Siren may have actually benefited women who wish to compete in eSports, by bringing attention to the issue that there are practically no pro women gaming currently. Attitude and marketing aside, the Sirens were brave enough to step up to the spotlight as a team of women aiming for the big scene. If the focus had been more on gaming and less on selling an image, the team could had been a success.

This all partially leads to the creation of the 2014 Amateur Challenge for ladies.

 

 

Scared of eSports

Colalin_tps  We shouldn’t ignore the fact that what being a gamer means for a male doesn’t mean the same for a female. There are societal views and expectations that all weigh heavily on a woman’s decision to commit to gaming. Women generally care more than men how they look in the eyes of the public. It’s a problem with gaming in general that it continues to be shunned by popular opinion, but women are much more affected by this than men.

  Women want the approval of others and when gaming doesn’t resonate with the people around them, they tend to stay away from it. Those women who have committed themselves to gaming and feel comfortable with are attributed the same characteristics, simply because they are a minority.

  There is a fact working against females who want to be in eSports – they’d be among the first. Teams participating in the Season 3 World Championship didn’t have a female member and, historically, have never had. After extensive research, the only example I found was Lin “Colalin” Ying Hsuan, substitute player for Taipei Assassins and Taipei Snipers. Statistically, women who compete in pro-play are a rare sight. A female wishing to pursue this career is going against the odds and that’s a demotivating realization.

  As a male you’ll probably face a wall of criticism if you go right now and tell your parents you want to abandon everything else and become a pro-player. This is without taking into consideration outside views and having the evidence to show them that people like you have become successful in pro-gaming. Now imagine how it would feel from a female’s perspective – she holds both a responsibility towards friends and family not to be perceived as “weird’ or “out of social standards” and she can’t show that women can become pro players and make a living.

  A woman who’s decided to be a pro gamer has all of this to overcome and she can’t be sure whether or not it’s even worth it.

 

 

Catch 22

 

  All these complex reasons for why sexism is so prevalent in gaming boils down to a simple truth – female gamers just aren’t taken seriously. Because the community is dominated by men, they assume everyone is male. Women then stick out as sort of exceptions to the rule, and they either need to conceal their gender or openly express it.

  In the first scenario, a woman is afraid of revealing who she is, because she understands the repercussions of doing so and the backlash that will follow. And insults targeted towards female gamers rarely attack the way they play; more often than not they’re just gender abuse. The male community treats women like outsiders and that’s why so many girls hide behind male avatars and nicknames – they don’t want to be blamed for being themselves.

  Good, then the problem is gone since they pretend to be male and we don’t have to care about their problems. Wrong! Being forced to hide your identity doesn’t solve anything; it’s a band-aid, a desperation move. This actually magnifies the second situation gamer girls find themselves in – expressing their gender.

  Most women simply choose to forget they’re women when they game online. This hurts those who don’t want their gender identity bent by senseless sexism on the part of the majority. When a girl gamer openly displays the fact she’s female, she’s seeking attention. If she doesn’t, she emphasizes the problem for those who are honest with their gender.

  This is not something women can solve for themselves. The male community of gamers needs to look at the way it views girl gamers currently. If basic understanding and respect aren’t present, we can’t move forward.

 

 

2014 Amateur Challenge

 Background: keSPA ( Korea e-Sports Association ) hosted The Amateur Challenge Ladies tournament this year, which features exclusively all-female teams on the pro Korean scene (OGN).

All female league  The all-female league in eSports, though inherently wrong, is currently the only real opportunity women have of breaking the gender barrier of the scene. People have likened it to other amateur leagues already out there, but what it gives girls with an interest in pro-gaming is a chance of creating a competitive environment where they are able to improve, gain experience as teams and compete at the peak level, and have a chance at making a living playing games competitively. “Professional status,” as in making a living playing video games, is something females currently aren’t even given a chance to achieve, and this league changes that!

  Though segregation of genders is inherently wrong, in the case of pro-gaming it can lead up to an equal audience of men and women. Once there are females at a skill level high enough, with experience backing them, we could see a female team climb into the LCS, and beyond. This will, indeed, make eSports a scene where anyone can become big.

  A female league is a solution born out of lack of alternatives. The fact that it’s, right now, the only shot women have at becoming relevant in eSports shows how deeply rooted this issue has become. There are girls out there who can and want to compete on the same level as other pro players, but, as all the above-mentioned arguments point out, the community and the scene have been slow to adapt to the rising interest in gaming among women.

 

 

The Sad Reality


  Female leagues serve to artificially equalize the number of men and women competing in pro gaming. The more females being involved with the scene, the more will start aiming for a career in eSports. And this is the bothersome aspect of the whole issue – we’re not that far off as a community to fixing it, we just refuse to acknowledge that the issue exists, due to the preconceived notion that games, and the leagues the pros play in, are unisex.

  In a previous section I touched on the topic that no LCS team has a female in the roster. This isn’t only applicable to the actual team members; several teams lack a single female staff member. It proves how male-dominated the gaming industry is. Bad thing? Certainly. It does make one consider whether or not we truly appreciate talent more than we appreciate the comfort of a mono-gender environment. The people reading this are among the most dedicated players and viewers of eSports and LoL. I’m assuming we all want the same thing – the best experience pro-gaming can deliver and a sport that can keep us a close community.

 

What Can I do to fix this

 

Everyone could make this easier simply by avoiding misogynistic remarks they’d never use in person. When referring to a player, talk about their skill, strengths, weaknesses and exclude gender from your mindset. This goes both ways: if you use your cleavage to attract people to your stream, then you know what kind of people to expect. Allow me to quote Magic the Gathering player Jackie Lee, from an amazing article of hers:

1. Gender jokes are not funny, they’re insensitive.

2. Seek criticism and express criticism at poor behavior.

3. Don’t insult someone based on gender. (or race, or sexuality, all these characteristics do not determine a person’s qualities)

Small note, all these points relate to both men and women. Gender equality goes both ways.

 

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