Red Post Collection
Reddit – New J4 and Ezreal Splash Arts
Fan Art Showcase – Magicna Anavi
Champion Rotation – S4 Week 3
Champion/Skin Sale: 04.02 – 07.02
Taste Their Fear [ Q ]
- AD ratio increased from 1.3 bonus AD to 1.5 bonus AD (back to live value)
Bouquet Ward Store Image
Minimap Bug – Icons popping up
Riot Feithen: Hi folks,
In today’s patch we’ve fixed one case that was causing the mini-map vision bug. For those not familiar with the bug, it’s where an enemy champion icon appears on the edge of the fog of war for a split second in the wrong location. It quickly jumps to the correct location where the champion is actually standing (usually somewhere across the map). In the absolute worst case you would see the champion model and particles in the wrong location.
Our fix should lower the frequency of the issue significantly: we’d like to know if you guys feel like it’s improved. Please post any feedback in this thread.
Shaco has been suffering in popularity in Season 4. What does Riot plan to do to get the Jester of the League back in the jungle?
Do you have a general clue what you want to do with Shaco?
Meddler: We’ve got a direction in mind for him, yes. Goals are solid, exactly how they’re met, ability details in particular, very much a work in progress.
Meddler: 1. We’re still working on Shaco. Other reworks however are being given a higher priority (Xerath/Skarner being close to done, Sion being a major project that’s in the early stages, Kassadin and Rengar both having much more urgent needs due to their impact on game health/other players, a couple of low gameplay impact reworks to accompany visual upgrades).
2. Shaco’s a pretty difficult character to rework well. It’d be really easy to just strip away all his problematic elements and in the process remove many of his tricks and distinctive skills that people really enjoy when playing him. Finding the correct ways to fix his issues and preserve as much of his gameplay identity as possible however is much tougher, involving a lot more analysis, playtesting, iteration and sometimes, if something isn’t working as hoped, restarting, than many other champions would.
Hope that explains a bit on why rework timing can vary, and why it can be hard to make any concrete estimates or promises on a rework’s ETA.
TLDR: Lots of different types of rework, Shaco’s a tricky one.
Why did the Rengar rework take priority over Shaco’s?
Xelnath: The path for Rengar was much clearer than Shaco. For Rengar, we knew we wanted to clean up his core abilities a little bit, experiment with bonetooth, remove some exploits, then experiment with some ideas for his ultimate.
Shaco requires more tinkering. In the worst of cases, Shaco is frustrating to play against, stifling and frustating for everyone in lane, is an uncatchable split pusher and can lay traps that murder you without a chance to counter Shaco.
Rengar’s burst vs. Shaco’s inherently frustrating kit need dramatically different solutions.
So why is Shaco still in this state?
Xelnath: Basically, what I am saying is that Shaco’s rework is not on the near horizon, despite being discussed in the past. We had a couple awesome leaps forward, then sat down, looked at the champion list as a whole (see Meddler’s post) and prioritized to suit the upcoming year and champions best.
I really want to reinforce this – meaningful reworks take a long time to do right unless they are minor updates or quality of life improvements.
Shaco is a cool character. We want to do cool characters right. Shaco has some very harsh edges in his playing against experience. Thus we need to do more work than just a few minor tweaks.
What happened to his Rework? Why is it being delayed so heavily?
Xelnath: In this case, the guy who was working on the Shaco rework switched his time and energy to help us deliver preseason. I’ve learned in the past year, that people get very “fast” expectations when we talk about things – this is just a side-effect of not framing “hey, I’m looking at this” properly.
To be fair – I expected to ship Xerath in August when I started working on him in May… but as we all see now, it ended up being another 6 months before other important things got done and we were able to schedule team time to finish Xerath.
Why is Shaco a problematic Champion?
Xelnath: He’s best played as a split-pusher who is nigh uncatchable, an assassin who can’t team fight, an ambusher who can’t be countered, if you are chasing him into a next(p.s. does anyone know if red trinket disables his boxes or not?)
And once he starts to get ahead of you, he has a permanent slow in addition to a backstab + crit multiplier – aka, once he wins, if he catches you away from a tower, you don’t have a good way to escape.
The different kinds of Reworks – are Reworks scrapped all the time?
Meddler: Sometimes true, depends on what the rework involves and why it’s being done though. Reworks generally fall into one of a few different categories:
1. Those that accompany a visual upgrade for a champion. Sivir’s a good example of this, where our art team had plans for an upgrade to Sivir’s appearance so we took the opportunity to pair some gameplay changes with that upgrade. Visual upgrades are great opportunities to do valuable, not not immediately urgent, gameplay work on a champion, because since animations/particles/sound etc are being redone anyway changing how abilities function is easy to support.
Timing on these reworks is tied to the readiness of the visual upgrade.
2. Those done because a character has gameplay issues that are creating significant problems at present. This is the category that Kassadin and Rengar currently fall into. This is the most urgent category, and one where we’ll put a lot of focused effort into finding a solution, since the alternative’s nerfing the champion so much the issue’s aren’t a major problem (something we’re really trying to avoid where possible).
Timing on these reworks is dependent on how quickly we can identify and valid an appropriate solution to gameplay problems.
3. Reworks on a champion who’s not a major problem, but has the potential, with some adjustments bigger than just number tweaks, to be healthier, more effective, a better take on their theme etc. This is the category Shaco falls into. He’s not creating massive problems, but he struggles if unable to snowball and/or splitpush, and can be a noticeably more frustrating experience than average to play against.
Timing on these reworks can be variable, since they’re much more dependent on how well an initial idea works out, what other responsibilities the person working on the rework also has and whether other emergent works pops up that needs to take priority (e.g. reworks from category 2 above).
4. Reworks on champions that aren’t in particular need of work, and may even be really good already, but that someone believes could be better still. These reworks are side projects, sometimes done in someone’s own time, because they’ve got some cool ideas they want to test out/a vision for how a champion could be better. The Miss Fortune changes ricklessabandon’s testing at the moment are a good example of this. MF’s not a problem, fun to play and well designed. That’s not to say there might not be some good opportunities to smooth out some smaller stuff or enhance her play a bit though.
Timing on these reworks is extremely variable and these are the reworks most likely to get put aside (most often because an idea, when investigated and tested didn’t work out, sometimes because something does work well but is a better fit for another rework, new champion or an item).
Xelnath: Reworks can take like a year and sometimes get canned or sent back to the drawing board repeatedly. I wouldn’t expect too much in the way of updates for a while.
Edit: Reworks take a long time. Xerath had 18 thrown away kits before he got to PBE. Shaco’s going through similar kinds of exploration to distill the best features of his kit. See Meddler’s post for details – I know it sucks to hear, but Shaco is a lower priority than Sion, Skarner, Xerath and some other champions.
Can you comment on Yorick’s state?
Meddler: We’ll definitely do some really substantial work on Yorick at some point – gravedigger/necromancer offers a lot more potential than just what’s on his current kit. That’ll be a fair way off though, he’s potentially a Sion sized project and there are only so many of those we can have underway at once (not to say he’ll necessarily be the next major rework post Sion either, there are other good candidates like Poppy that would be worthwhile too).
Can we have an ETA on when Sion’s Rework will be live?
Meddler: Apologies, timing’s something I’m going to have to be vague on. Would be extremely surprised though if he took as long as a year for what it’s worth. He’s a big project (roughly the same amount of work as a new champion), but also one of our priorities this year.
Is Graves getting any kind of Rework?
ZenonTheStoic: Very early ideation. Not a rework as much as a minor touch up as well, from my understanding. What I’ve heard boils down to “do more damage the closer you get”. No one has implemented any changes much less tested them yet.
Is Viktor still slated for a rework?
RiotScruffy: Honestly we would like to make improvements on so many champions (Viktor included), but right now he is not an active project. It is definitely noted that there are so many people interested in and hoping for some Viktor changes.
Xelnath: We realized it was a much bigger ball of yarn than it appeared to be. We had some specific ideas regarding his unique item, how to improve the feeling of his laser, etc. And it required a lot more work than we could support while getting trinkets, vision updates, new jungle, etc.
Since then, Solcrushed has still been looking at the jungle (see the new spirit stones and some work on the Wriggles line).
Post preseason, we took the time to sort out the reworks but I don’t recall where he ended up.
Why did you pack all the changes to Vision, Jungling and Supporting, into one patch?
Xelnath: The reason we did those things together was to try to bundle most of the “okay, how I have to think about the entire game has completely changed for everyone” factor into a single patch.
It’s easier to accept, “okay, I’ve got some big changes to learn, but so does everyone else”. For example, just doing the jungle item rework would be all of the junglers are in flux, but everyone else feels kind of the same.
Bundling changes together means players can kind of go through a mutually shared experience of re-experiencing summoner’s rift.
Re: Losing things – part of improving a game is culling features too. The opposite is feature bloat, champion sprawl and creeping complexity.
Xerath’s been on the PBE for quite some time and his new kit is close to hitting live. What makes him a better pick this time around?
Xerath’s ult doesn’t feel as satisfying as other long-range ults like Lux, Karthus, Ziggs, etc.
ZenonTheStoic: Lux’s kit is problematic in that she is a “fish for root, 100 to 0″ pattern. This means we don’t have a lot of levers to adjust her if she ever does become problematic. Her pattern is all or nothing. Sure her ult fits in that, but I think Lux’s ult is much more interesting when used at long range.
I’m hoping that the amount of damage and range Xerath gets (it IS the highest range in the game) make the ult compelling. But most importantly, even if that is not the case when he goes live, we’ve created a kit that ALLOWS us to tweak these levers. By divorcing the ultimate from the full burst case of the basic kit we’ve made it ADJUSTABLE. I’m not saying it’ll be perfectly well adjusted when it goes live, but we have the tools we need now.
Will you keep Xerath’s strong teamfight presence?
ZenonTheStoic: His Q, which he typically maxes first, goes down to a 5s cooldown. New Xerath hangs around the edges of a teamfight, constantly trying to snipe a high value target. Between that and his W cooldown generally allowing him 2 or 3 casts per fight as well, we find he has very strong teamfight presence.
Let’s also talk about his ult, because I see a lot of mentions of that in this thread!
The way I see it, you can do a lot of different things with mage kit ultimates. One of them is to have an ult that perfectly slots into the kit. Think of Brand: Brand wants to AOE dudes with W/E or just burst one guy out. Pyroclasm helps him do either of these things better. What this means is that Brand has one kit, but every so often that kit is a LOT stronger. He needs to decide when to use his ultimate (generally whenever he feels he can get a kill with it) and then commit to that fight. While his ult is down, he generally does the same kind of thing, only less powerfully. That is a perfectly fine way for a mage kit to work.
Ahri works a little differently from this. Ahri is about poking and fishing for an E hit confirm. When she has her ultimate ready, however, she becomes an all in assassin who zips around the battlefield, getting a kill and using her remaining dashes to get to safety (hopefully). Whether or not her ultimate is up very much defines what she can or cannot do.
Then there are guys like TF and Karthus, where the ultimate isn’t so much part of a rotation as it allows them to exert their influence strategically. This might be to follow up aggression from their team mates, clean up after an exchange they were involved in, or to capitalize on an enemy finding themselves in a compromising situation; say someone being brought to low health by doing Baron/stepping on a Teemo shroom or someone walking over a ward, revealing that their far from their team. Xerath very much falls into this category.
The coolest uses I’ve seen for Xerath ultimate are for instance firing in the path of an enemy ADC who is running from a gank in bot lane (forcing them to make the decision between eating Xerath ult damage or potentially letting the enemy bot lane / jungler catch up with them), stalling out a team from doing Baron (you do not want all three shots to hit multiple people on your team while they’re doing Baron) or to put damage into a team fight when the enemy team has a diver intent on taking out Xerath every single time (Xerath just hangs 1500/2000 units back, waits for the two teams to commit, then shells the teamfight with his ultimate and joins to clean up with his basic kit).
No, Rite of the Arcane will not work as part of his normal in-fight rotation. That is very much by design. The fact that Arcane Barrage worked as part of Xerath’s rotation on live was contributing heavily to Xerath’s biggest game health problem, which is that he is super high burst champion who, if he ever got popular, would have to be balanced around his full kit burst. That way lie boring/safe damage numbers.
Why did you remove Xerath’s % Penetration?
Meddler: R.e. the removal of the % Magic Pen – we wanted to really reinforce Xerath’s niche as a really long range poke/siege mage. That sort of range gives freedom of target selection. As a result giving him more raw damage, and therefore ability to be effective against a range of targets was a better fit than giving him % magic pen, and therefore focused effectiveness against a subset of enemies who he generally doesn’t need that range to reach (the enemy front line).
The long-awaited Sion Rework is finally being talked about!
Hellioning: Now, I’m sure everyone is aware that Sion is an issue. He has two real builds; ap and ad. AP completely ignores two of his skills and instead focuses on a point and click that removes the intended counterplay to his exploding shield, that is, blow it up before it can respond. While this is fine in a teamfight environment, since he can only stun one champion and their teammates can explode the shield, it is incredibly hard to play against in a lane enviroment. This build also falls off in late game, due to the ease of which a full team of five can explode his shield, therefore completely neutering his damage. It also completely ignores his theme; he’s a giant zombie with an axe that is a big Ahnuld fan. He should not be a mage.
Meanwhile, his AD build takes forever to build up to a reasonable level. While this build does not ignore his shield and stun, they are much weaker and only used for the utility and survivability they bring. After he gets his items, he gets much stronger, so he can right click people and kill them during the stun. This makes much more sense in regards to his theme, but is also incredibly boring.
Now, it’s no secret he’s getting reworked, because when people think ‘clunky kits’ Sion is either the first or second champ they think besides Urgot (incidentally, both are reanimated Noxian warriors. Coincidence?) The issue is ‘what IS Sion?’ Theme wise, it’s obvious; he’s a giant axe-swinging zombie that quotes Schwarzenegger, so he should have something akin to Darius’ kit. When it comes to gameplay, however, people are far more attached to his AP mage pattern. Even if it’s impossible to play against, that shield is so much fun when it explodes. Something has to change; but what?
Please post your comments and concerns in this thread; IronStylus has promised to post this thread on his twitter and hopefully get some discussion going, so he can properly express the average player’s opinion to the relaunch team. Hopefully, we can make a Sion that everyone enjoys or, at the very least, everyone can tolerate.
IronStylus: Great ideas here. There’s not much I can add in terms of mechanics, but I can say that these ideas can slot in very well to the overall thematics. Something specific which you’ve mentioned is being this slow, un-killable, unstoppable undead force, who, yes, would have died previously. I think this is a core characteristic.
Another thing that you’ve said about his axe not defining him, I think you’re correct there. Sion himself is the focus here. He’s a brute, maybe one that was consumed by such uncaring murderous momentum in his time in the Noxian military. Almost a precursor to Darius, maybe a similar position as Darius not commands. A idea we had is that Darius might even be the modern day incarnation of what Sion’s “style” used to be. Sion might have been a great ax wielder (though a more primitive style) in the past, but is now this lumbering monster where his ax is just representative of his brute strength. It’s used in more of a clobbering, smashing way than a precise slicing that Darius does.
This also adds into potential story lines. We can draw parallels back into Sion’s previous life, perhaps in the heyday of the Noxian-Demacian war. Whatever might have transpired there could have caused his death and eventual arcane reanimation. But, that’s just it, he’s a behemoth which has been brought back, reinvigorated with undeath. Not really a Frankenstein which has been put together from other people’s parts, Sion is still quinticentially Sion, just an undead extension of his brutal formar sense.
We’re playing around with the idea that maybe he’s sort of like.. if the US were to resurrect a great war hero. What would that person be like in present day? What would they retain? We surmise that in undeath they’re motivations would sort of taper off where they’re core craft still exists, or their fighting spirit is still there. Maybe Sion is Noxus’ George Washington or General Patton, resurrected. Who knows!
“he FEELS NO PAIN, NO REMORSE, THERE IS ONLY DEATH. And if you kill him? I’LL BE BACK!”
That’s a great sentiment, like Prince Vigo from Ghostbusters minus the maniacal mentality
Thanks for the feedback!
Is Sion’s character defined by his axe?
FeralPony: Jumping in real quick as I’m working on the mechanics design on Sion. It’s a bit early to start talking specific mechanics here since we’re still very early in the process but I do want to confirm that we’re aligned on the thematic goals. Sion is an undead juggernaut.
Sion does have an axe and he needs to hit people with it. As to your concern of does the axe define him? Not at all. As far as I’m concerned mechanically the axe only exists because it’s the tool in his hands he died with and he uses it to break people. It’s about force and impact, not cutting and precision. Mechanically his weapon could just as easily be a hammer, a tree trunk, or a lead pipe. It just needs to hurt people and act as an extension of his force and brutality.
As for your concerns of him being a reskinned Darius I have no desire to tie Darius and Sion together mechanically despite being thematically tied (Sion is basically an older, deader, Champion of Noxus). They both have axes but that isn’t enough for us to make them similar. Just as Garen and Yi both have swords but are totally unrelated.
I am going to very upfront on one point though despite being very early in development, I have no intent or desire to retain the current AP Sion playstyle. It doesn’t make sense thematically, visually, or have much mechanically worth salvaging. Run at a bro – click to stun then explode before they can react is really harmful to the game as a whole and is an incredibly frustrating and binary experience. It simply is not worth preserving. We are trying out versions of the character where we keep the exploding shield because it is a really solid tank mechanic and has some cool gameplay around it. But the current Q is most definitely getting removed.
What sort of DPS do you think is appropriate for Sion?
FeralPony: It’s a little mathy but yeah it’s something I’ll definitely consider. He is a champion that I think would look silly at 2.5 attacks per second. I’d rather see him with something like 600AD with a more reasonable AS in a DPS build
Any ideas for his Q? Will it stay the same?
FeralPony: I think shifting him a bit more in the fighter/tank direction is very natural and makes a lot of sense to fit the overall unkilling/juggernaut theme. This would involve retaining CC and mostly likely increasing the amount of CC on his kit. The current kit actually has a ton of CC, we’ll see how it plays out internally before I go into more details on it though.
Suggestion: Sion’s new ult throws his target in a direction
FeralPony: Thematically it’s super awesome and I tried this in the very first prototype. I even had a version of it where champions thrown into walls would bounce off back into Sion (Pro Wresting Style) but I really didn’t like how it played out when I actually implemented it and played with it.
It basically felt like a more frustrating/crazy strong Skarner Ultimate with clunkier targeting. I had to slash so much power out of the rest of the kit because it was basically a guaranteed death sentence to the enemy in any team fight that the rest of the character felt pretty unsatisfying.
The scenario of throwing someone back into their team (the cool play) almost never occurred, instead it devolved into just flipping them into Sion’s team every single time which is a much less cool version of the skill.
Will you get rid of his Schwarzenegger voice?
IronStylus: That’s probably the direction we’re going to go. It’s just really an odd phenomenon.
Will you give Sion players a Classic Skin when he’s reworked?
FeralPony: I can’t commit the relaunch team to it but I would suspect there will be a classic skin. Keeping the VO or the feel of the classic VO if there is a classic skin would be very likely.
New Splash Arts for Jarvan IV and Ezreal coming to the client? Affirmative, according to Reddit.
Jarvan New Splash
Ezreal New Splash
I’ll try to turn this into a daily/weekly series where I preview an artist and his LoL-related work. Hope you enjoy!
Champion Rotation – Week 3, Season 4
- Anivia - 3150 IP / 790 RP
- Draven - 6300 IP / 975 RP
- Elise - 6300 IP / 975 RP
- Karthus - 3150 IP / 790 RP
- Kha’Zix - 6300 IP / 975 RP
- Malphite - 1350 IP / 585 RP
- Nami - 6300 IP / 975 RP
- Orianna - 4800 IP / 880 RP
- Shen - 3150 IP / 790 RP
- Sivir - 450 IP / 260 RP
- Dr. Mundo – 292 RP
- Kog’Maw – 440 RP
- Quinn – 487 RP
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