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News 20 01 Banner

 

Summary

Game Systems analyst ricklessabandon shared a list of tentative changes to Katarina on Twitter. Also, Lead Champion Designer Meddler held a Q&A together with Xypherous, talking about the balance of certain mid mages, the state of Gangplank’s rework and how crit damage on ADC items can be tuned. That plus a sweet conceptual kit for Nautilus.

 

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Single Posts 20 01 Banner

 

 

Tentative changes to Katarina coming soon to the PBE

 

I’ve formatted the changes below:

 

Katarina Final Portrait

  • Base Attack Speed decreased from 0.658 to 0.625
  • Attack Speed-per-level decreased from 2.74% to 2%
  • Sped up Katarina’s auto-attack animation by 46%

 

Bouncing Blades Final IconBouncing Blades [ Q ]

  • Damage on initial hit decreased from 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.45 AP) to 60/70/80/90/100 ( +0.3 AP)
  • Mark damage increased from 15/30/45/60/75 ( +0.15 AP) to 20/55/90/125/160 ( +0.4 AP)

 

Sinister Steel Final IconSinister Steel [ W ]

  • Damage changed from 40/75/110/145/180 ( +0.25 AP) (+ 0.6 Bonus AD) to 60/75/90/105/120% of Total AD ( + 0.25 AP)

 

Shunpo Final IconShunpo [ E ]

  • Damage removed (live value is 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.4 AP)
  • Damage reduction increased from 15% at all ranks to 10/15/20/25/30%
  • (Also fixed a bug which caused Shunpo’s damage reduction duration to be 1 second instead of 1.5 seconds)
  • Cooldown increased from 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 seconds to 15 seconds at all ranks

NEW: Now refunds 80% of Shunpo’s cooldown after blinking to champions Katarina hasn’t Shunpo’d to in the last 9 seconds

  • Cooldown refund will trigger on both enemy champions and allied champions
  • The 9-second lockout is removed if Katarina gets a reset via her Passive

NEW: Now resets Katarina’s basic attack timer

 

 

Too many people dodge in Nemesis Draft

[ Note ] Nemesis Draft is a new Featured mode that was released in a recent PBE update.

L4T3NCY Final PortraitWe sure can. :) There are actually already some changes in place to discourage dodgers, but they aren’t testable on the PBE environment, which is why I didn’t detail them above. As many people have brought up dodging in Nemesis Draft though, let’s get into them right now.

 

1) Dramatically increased dodge penalties of up to 2 hours for recurring dodges. We can also change these numbers on the fly once live, and we’ll be keeping an eye on them. As many players here have pointed out, Nemesis Draft is an opt-in experience, so there should be no surprises in champ select.

2) In the spirit of rewarding good behaviour, we also have a special reward icon planned for players who don’t leave or dodge any games of Nemesis Draft throughout the mode’s run. There will be a low minimum game requirement, but the goal is to give players who loved Nemesis Draft a badge of honour to display afterwards. This reward will be delivered after the game mode has ended.

For anyone curious on the detection of AFKs, leaving, etc, this recent LeaverBuster FAQ has all the details.

https://support.riotgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/201752714-LeaverBuster-FAQ

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Concept Art for Bloodmoon Elise

 

 

Champion Design QA Banner

 

 

QA on Champion Design

Meddler Final PortraitHey all!

Anyone want to talk about LoL, game design, how we make champions etc? Going to be around for a couple of hours and looking forward to chatting with some of you folks.

 

To give you a quick bit of background I’ve been at Riot for about three years now. I’ve previously worked on Ziggs, Varus, Syndra, Lissandra, Elise and Gnar. A lot of my time these days is spent looking at the year ahead, working with other Rioters to figure out what sort of champions we want to make, what our goals are etc.

Edit: Xypherous, from the Systems Team that handles stuff like the Preseason changes, is also going to drop by to chat. If you’ve got questions about that sort of stuff should definitely throw them in too! He also worked on Nautilus, Lulu, Orianna, Fizz and Renekton before that as well, so if you’ve got questions about them he’s the guy to hit up.

Edit 2: Thanks for the chat all, I need to head off and grab food. Will drop back later tonight though and add in a few more replies.

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What change coming into this season is your favorite

Meddler Final PortraitI really like how dragon’s now an objective that matters throughout the game, that teams plan around and fight over, rather than something that, late game, someone just does on the way past at times.

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Are there Champions you feel shouldnt had been released

Meddler Final PortraitThere aren’t any champions I don’t think should be in the game at all, I think they’ve all got a solid core to them. In some cases though that’s not very well executed on though. Urgot and Yorick for example have cool underlying ideas (undead cyborg war machine and gravedigger with pet ghouls) that aren’t well realized.

Oh, yeah, then there’s Teemo. Teemo should burn.

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Was the idea behind designing Fizzs troll pole E

Xypherous Final PortraitI’m totally responsible for Fizz’s ‘E’ – and the intent was to make a frustrating skill that conveyed that aspect of Fizz’s personality. I think my goal was something like ‘Let’s aim for something that feels like Shaco in terms of trickery/frustration without going too far.’ In retrospect – it’s probably worked too well in a lot of regards with that.

The idea for Fizz’s ‘E’ was primarily to allow him to evade opposing damage without actually being durable – so that every now and then his opponents can choke Fizz and obliterate him and feel good about that.

Fizz was really meant to be a character that felt slippery enough so that you experience a moment of catharsis when you finally catch the jerk and annihilate him.

As to lane functionality, it was meant much more for the ‘lower the poke he takes’ rather than the ‘instantly annihilate you with Q’ that it’s become. In hindsight, I wish there was way more incentive to stay on the pole rather than instantly double-tap to move faster.

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Follow Up

Do youve plans to tweak his E along the lines youve described

Xypherous Final PortraitI don’t work on live balance directly these days, but the incentives to staying on the pole (and perhaps less damage on the double jump part of it) are generally good directions I think. I’d also love to trim Mana costs from his other abilities and shove it even more into the ‘E’ to punish spamming it recklessly like you’ve pointed out.

However, again, don’t work on balancing directly. There’s a bunch of super smart live designers whose job it is to make sure things look okay from a competitive angle.

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Will you change Annie to compensate for the removal of DFG in Patch 52

Meddler Final PortraitWhat we’re currently looking at (note this is experimental, so could well change tomorrow) is slightly lower resistances on Molten Shield, with Tibbers also getting the resistance bonuses as well plus a brief movement speed boost. One of the big goals there, in addition to balance changes, is to make casting Molten Shield a bit more interesting and add a bit of extra depth to how you micro Tibbers.

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What do you think of AD carry itemization currently

Xypherous Final PortraitFor the short term, there’s a wide range of ADC itemization paths depending on the ADC. However, there is little variation on the items that an individual ADC buys.

There isn’t a whole lot of range on a specific ADC for the items they can buy – but at least they’re buying different things (I see 3 or 4 main builds that vary across type – and then there’s Hurricane on Kalista – so there’s variance across ADCs but not in an ADC.)

That’s in an okay spot for now – but in an ideal world lots of things would be different in terms of reactive purchases and such but I think the other classes’ itemization deserve a touch up before we delve back into ADCs.

For an example of more long term stuff – critical strike is eventually going to have to be looked at to prevent AA based carries from forever being the norm, for example – but that exploration will take a while.

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Where do you see crit damage as a mechanic in the future

Xypherous Final Portrait(Warning – the following comment is entirely Pie in the Sky and not going to happen in the near future.)

I’d kind of like to envision a world where every ADC has a special ‘Crit Damage’ skill like:

Vayne – Silver Bolts (Every 3 hits, deal X + Y% of the target’s maximum Health as true damage. Every critical strike does Z% of the target’s maximum Health)

-or-

Varus – Blighted Quiver (Critical Strikes automatically apply full Blight stacks to the target).

That way, every carry would look at crit a little differently – based on their pattern and what they think they could accomplish etc.

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What are your thoughts on Essence Reaver at the moment

Xypherous Final PortraitWe could fork Essence Reaver off Brutalizer – and the item would be immensely more popular and bought more – you’re absolutely right on that.

Unfortunately, making Essence Reaver’s build path and build up good is something that would most likely send a certain class of AD assassins (whose gates are early/mid-game Mana) into somewhat crazy levels. Pantheon/Talon, etc – would get the lion’s share of benefit until ER was nerfed to be suitable for them.

Ultimately, ER will always kind of be bad until Assassin’s have their own itemization and have their inherent power reduced.

The weird part about items is always that we can always make an item good or powerful – but making that item good and powerful on the people we want it on and not cause side effects elsewhere is the tricky bit.

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How has female champion design in League evolved over the years

Meddler Final PortraitSomething we’ve been aiming for is to get a greater variety of appearances/tones for champions of both genders. There were a couple of years there where many of our female champions especially ended up looking pretty similar and we’ve been making an effort to try and avoid that. That’s not to say we won’t continue to make attractive champions, male and female, where appropriate for their character, but that we also want a wide range that includes champs like Kalista and Rek’Sai as well.

I can’t speak with personal experience about the intent around the game’s initial release, that was well before my time at Riot. Certainly there seems to be a lot of support internally for the greater variety we’ve been exploring recently though.

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Why did you design Varus with no escapes other than his ultimate

Meddler Final PortraitThe intent with Varus was to make a champion with strong poke, a lot of utility by ADC standards and reasonable auto attack damage, in exchange for low burst and mobility. Fitting into the gap between Ashe at one end of the immobile spectrum (heaps of utility, lowest ADC damage) and Kog’maw at the other end (heaps of damage and poke).

Been thinking recently we might want to strengthen his poke a bit (possibly by tying his passive into more than just his auto attacks). Haven’t had a chance to bounce any thoughts about that off the live balance team yet though, see what their current thinking is.

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How did Nautiluss development go Any scrapped abilities

Xypherous Final PortraitA ton of moves were scrapped in the making of him – he started out as being very light in CC because he had the hook but… yeah.

Off the top of my head, here’s the things I remember trying:

A punch which knocked back anyone but the primary target (Xin Zhao’s current ult).

Passive X-Ray eyes that could see through walls in a cone.
Cage of Pain, which brought up a giant circular shock/slow ‘fence’ – like a super big wall of pain.
Bullrush, where you got MS and flung anyone you moved through (multiple times, charging bull kind of deal)
Throw – where you impaled someone on the anchor and then flung them and the anchor to a point of your choice
‘Enrage’ when a nearby ally got attacked (yeah…)

I tend to cycle through skills a lot – I’m sure there was more that I can’t remember. I just remember a long phase of Nautilus being ‘A bull who sets up cages that he then chases people in.’

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Follow Up

Meddler Final Portrait“Bullrush, where you got MS and flung anyone you moved through (multiple times, charging bull kind of deal)”

Man, that was a memorable playtest. I recall one team fight near dragon, where Naut ulted and ran back and forth, juggling 3-4 of us in the air for about 5 seconds until we all died. I still wake up screaming occasionally…

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How did you decide Syndra would need her Q for all other spells

Meddler Final PortraitTook a little while to hit upon the Q as the foundation of the kit, though then felt obvious in retrospect since her original concept art featured her spheres so prominently. Once the basic idea of ‘Q generates objects, other spells manipulate them’ came together things were relatively smooth.

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How did you guys come up with the idea of her incredibly bursty ult

Meddler Final PortraitThe intent with her ult was to give her a reliable tool (given her other abilities were all skillshots) and allow her to punish someone caught out of position or diving into her team (theory being that as a non mobile mage she’d have limited target selection). Ended up being a bit more of a ‘burst down a key target after stunning them’ ability than originally intended. It’s counterplay’s a bit lower than I’d like in that regard, though having said that champs do often need tools like that if they’re to compete with other highly mobile options.

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How separate are the Systems team and Balance team

Xypherous Final PortraitThey’re two different teams. We both have a strong focus on the state of the live game but systems tends to take a longer view on game flow and game health while Balance tends to look at the immediate things affecting champions.

For example, systems might think about whether or not we want more or less snowballing in the game and adjust things like jungle gold or laner experience to accommodate while Live might look at a specific champion and whether or not he should be changed in the upcoming patch because he’s too snowbally.

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What kind of qualifications resume do you look for in the field

Meddler Final PortraitSome of the most useful skills:

  • Analytical abiliity
  • Communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Demonstrated ability to drive on/own projects
  • Understanding of both LoL and other competitive multiplayer games

That stuff can be hard to demonstrate on a Resume sometimes, past work/study, pet projects, gaming background, written design tests etc come together to give a fairly good initial read on applicants though.

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Any news on a Gangplank rework

Meddler Final PortraitBit early to say much alas. We had a crack at a GP rework last year that had some interesting stuff in it, but didn’t quite hit the mark so didn’t get shipped (or talked about after a while, our bad, we should have mentioned it was a project that had been put on hold). We’re going to give him another look this year, wouldn’t expect anything for a while though, a number of other reworks will come out beforehand that are further along already.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

News 17 01 Banner

 

 

Recent News

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Free NA Oceania Transfer Window

CptStupendous: Happy Friday Oceania!!

We’re going to open the free transfer window from North America to Oceania for 2 weeks! The free window will open on January 23, 2015 and run through February 8, 2015. After that time it will go back to the regular price of 2,600 RP.

To transfer your account:

Log into your North American account
Click on the store icon up the top
Unlock the Transfer to Oceania when it is free from January 23 through February 8
You can find out more information about the transfer process here: http://oce.leagueoflegends.com/en/page/oceanic-transfer-faq

Paid for a transfer from NA to OCE within the last 2 weeks? Then you can get it refunded by contacting player support! https://support.riotgames.com/hc/en-us

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NA Live Events

 

 

NA Live Events in 2015

RiotPDB New PortraitHey guys,

I’m RiotPDB, and I head up the NA team at Riot. I’d like to provide some insight into our goals and plans when it comes to live community and esports events in NA during 2015.


This past year, we attended more live events in North America than ever before. From Boston to Seattle to Toronto to Atlanta, we had a great time exploring new places and ways to interact with the community in person. We’re still learning and have lots of new things we want to tackle, which means further changes to our event strategy in 2015. Broadly, this year we’re going to shift our focus away from some of the bigger cons and instead experiment with new event formats and, more importantly, new locations.

One of the first changes you’ll see is that we’re toning down our presence at PAX East. We’ve had an amazing time there over the past few years, but this year we’re scaling our presence down to speaker panels and the Cospitality Lounge for all the hardworking cosplayers. Similarly, there’ll also be a shift on the esports side as we won’t be hosting the NA LCS 2015 summer playoffs at PAX Prime in Seattle. PAX has been an awesome host for the finals the past two seasons, but this year we’re exploring ways to bring that experience to even more players across NA.

So what’s the upside? Well, you can expect at least five live League events across the US and Canada in 2015, and likely more. The specifics will vary between dedicated esports events and broader NA community events built around things like collegiate play or specific League topics (content creation, cosplay, etc), but the goals will be the same – to give players an ideal setting for sharing their passion for League with each other.

When it comes to esports, this year we’re planning to bring LCS to more esports fans across North America. This means more stops and events outside of the West Coast and more opportunities for esports fans across the region to join us for live events. Additionally, refocusing away from existing conventions like PAX gives us the chance to create a tailored experience for League players and esports fans, with venue setups specifically optimized for the live esports experience rather than the space and logistical restrictions that come along with being part of an existing con. Check out today’s announcement about our Mid-Season Invitational and All-Star 2015 for a sneak peek at just a few of the events we’ll be sharing more details on soon.

As the NA event scene continues to evolve, we want to make sure we’re hosting amazing live events for League in different locations (all across the US and Canada) and for all types of players. While that means you might not always see us at the same events every year, it also means we can explore new venues and opportunities. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we finalize our plans and give you plenty of advance notice for events, so keep an eye out for announcements on Boards and lolesports.com.

As always, we’d love your continued feedback as we provide further updates. Whether you’re most interested in meeting pros, chatting with content creators, seeing cosplay, or watching matches (or all of the above!), make sure to let us know and help us put together kickass League events in 2015.

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Will Riot have a booth at PAX East this year

Aklaen Final PortraitHey, TheSleepingOne. I can say for sure I’ll still be attending PAX East so we shall definitely meet again and there are also going to be a lot of cool Rioters at the panels and helping at the Cospitality Lounge, so don’t feel like you can’t come say hi and talk to them.

As last year we focused on attending a lot of anime/ gaming conventions, this year we switched the focus on different types of formats that will also allow us more flexibility on the location. It doesn’t mean we won’t be back there in the future and it definitely doesn’t mean we’re not going to have events outside of esports, on the contrary, as RedBeard said we’re looking more into developing esports events that have a lot of different elements to them including the community aspect, on top of the community events we’re planning for 2015.

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Follow Up

Why announce you wont be there after peopleve bought tickets

Aklaen Final PortraitI totally understand your point of view and get that this isn’t ideal for you and other League players who have already bought tickets. That’s why we put together this announcement as soon as we knew our presence at PAX East would be smaller this year. Sadly, as you point out tickets already went on sale, but we wanted to at least provide this heads up so you’d know what to expect. Ultimately, this is a trade off that’ll let us explore awesome new event possibilities that hopefully you can all enjoy throughout the year. While our presence at PAX East will be different and definitely smaller, we’re still really excited about interacting with the community through panels, and I personally hope to see you there.

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Scrapped Abilities

 


Scrapped abilities on champions

Xelnath New PortraitLux’s shield used to give her allies stealth/invisibility until they attacked.

Azir’s passive (Tower resurrection) used to be his ultimate, except it shot lasers like Viktor E.

Ryze used to deal magic damage on his basic attacks.

Xerath’s ult mode used to have no cooldown and each shot cost 20 mana on a 0.33 sec cooldown.

Yorick used to have an ultimate where a line of creeping hands reached out and rooted everyone in his path. (Zyra E)

Lucian used to have two independent auto attack timers.

Rengar’s rework used to allow you to get an acceleration gate effect by running through bushes during your ult.

 
Xelnath New Portrait

Elise used to not be able to jump to her target in spider form, but could instead create webs that would ensnare enemies who ran under her.

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Gypsylord New Portrait Thresh R used to be a targeted buff that turned an ally into an avatar of undeath and gave them 60% CDR (stacked with other CDR)

Vi R used to be 3 spells. She’d suppress you and then choose to WW R you, Malphite R you, or throw you across the map.

Jinx R used to be “Circle of Cats.” She’d shoot a missile across the map that she could detonate to spawn a donut of magical smoke that would turn enemies into cats ala Lulu polymorph

Jinx R used to “Carpet Bomb.” She’d shoot out a global missile that would drop hundreds of Ziggs Q’s randomly around it as it flew.

Jinx R used to be “Bring Down the Hammer.” She’d designate a location on the map and 4 seconds later a giant lazer beam would come out of the sky and annihilate anyone standing in the area.

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Vesh Final PortraitSoraka had AoE Mikael’s, a Penance look-alike channel heal, her silence zone used to pacify (no attacking in zone – one iteration it actually polymorphed you into celestial lulu cupcakes).

Trist didn’t have anything to crazy.

The other champion I’m working on updating though… oh man he’s had some craaazy stuff.

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Maokai Disabled Single Post

 

 

Maokai disabled due to invulnerability bug

 

Follow Up

Why was Maokai disabled immediately but Nidalee still hasnt been disabled

[ Context ] There have been several complaints on Reddit about Nidalee disappearing after exiting a brush.

Repertoir New PortraitHey guys,

Here’s the deal on Nidalee. With the 5.1 patch, we put in a change that we had hoped might be causing the visually glitchy movement with Nidalee. Due to the nature of the bug being difficult to reproduce (despite some people apparently seeing it every game?), we did not document the change because we aren’t completely confident that it’s a fix.

If anyone can provide a video and any other information regarding how to reproduce the bug on the 5.1 (so since this morning), it may be useful in helping us get it fixed.

Equally useful to get us an idea as to whether it’s still happening may be if you were experiencing the bug before the patch and now aren’t, or you weren’t experiencing it and now are, or if you were seeing it beforehand and still are since the patch.

Thanks in advance for anyone who happens to get a video of it happening on Live servers since this morning.

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LeaverBuster  Single Post

 


Delayed LeaverBuster Penalties

Tantram Final PortraitHey all,

There were some firewall and networking issues recently and we decided to turn LeaverBuster off to ensure that players were not mistakenly sent to low priority queue. When the server issues were fixed, we turned LeaverBuster back on, but the penalties weren’t firing. As a result of this, we’re seeing that some players who left/AFK’d in games after the firewall and networking issues resolved did not receive their penalty until this week.

Sorry about the confusion! All low priority queue penalties should be granted immediately after leaving/AFK games now, instead of after a delay.

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Follow Up

Why arent players pardoned for AFKing before the downtime

Tantram Final PortraitPeople will serve the penalty for punishments they earned. We turned off enforcement in order to prevent people suffering from a known bug from being punished. We did this to help players. So yes, if a player earned a punishment, they do have to work it off.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

News 14 01 Banner

 

Summary

We’re entering the PBE cycle for Patch 5.2 and the major change here is the removal of Deathfire Grasp; below you can find a discussion on what Riot plans to do for mages reliant on that item. Also, Lead Champion Designer Meddler jumped on the forums to address unpopular picks like Yorick, Urgot and Evelynn and where they are on the priority list for reworks. Lastly, the newly-overhauled Fantasy LCS is currently experiencing issues and Patch 5.1 has been delayed for at least a day.

 

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[ ! ] Deathfire Grasp has been removed from the store on the PBE.

 

 

52 Live Gameplay Patch Forecast

Riot Jag Final PortraitHey guys, Jag here from the Live Balance team. It’s a new year, a new(ish) season, and we’re back with the Patch 5.2 Forecast!

The biggest change we’re making in 5.2 is that we’re removing Deathfire Grasp from Summoner’s Rift. There are two major reasons we felt we had to do this, so I’ll run through both:

First, DFG tends to make burst patterns even more bursty. The item effectively adds another nuke spell on top of kits that are already designed to have strong up-front damage and aggravates the “whoa, I got one shot out of nowhere” frustration of playing against certain champions. A good example is LeBlanc; DFG adds reliability to her assassination patterns and ends up removing counterplay (she gets to rely on her Q, E, and DFG spells for damage, and can use dashes to reposition or escape instead of making more risky plays).

The second reason is strongly tied to the first; removing this item gives us room to buff champion kits that would otherwise be overpowered if they could use DFG. The most obvious example is Ahri; more ‘magey’ elements of the character, like her sustained damage or kiting, end up getting washed out because she has so much power to blow up charmed targets with a DFG burst. This ends up forcing us to balance Ahri around her assassin playstyle because there’s always the “I can buy DFG” route to consider; removing the item means we can buff her in more interesting ways while still keeping some of her burst because she can’t just pick up a DFG and double down on a single playstyle.

As far as champions that purchase DFG are concerned, some will get some love now that DFG is gone (I mentioned Ahri; expect Veigar to get attention either this patch or next); some are strong enough that losing DFG is a healthy nerf; some rely on alternate item builds sufficiently that they won’t be affected too much. When 5.2 goes live, if we feel there is an itemization gap for mages, then we’ll address that further.

One of the other character classes we’re looking at in 5.2 in Assassins. Some assassins have top tier burst potential that is loaded onto high reliability spells (think Akali or Fizz here) and don’t have enough real weaknesses to compensate. Others may simply be too strong along a variety of dimensions; Zed being one of the best 1v1 champions in the game and an extremely efficient tower diver helps make him a super split pusher. However, him having such strong tower killing statistics (e.g. AS, bonus AD from W passive) on top of that makes for an overwhelming combination.

Last point regarding jungle; we have seen the jungle receive a huge amount of changes since the start of the preseason, and Patch 5.1 was no exception with the addition of the Smite charging system. We want to keep a close eye on what happens when 5.1 hits live servers and we will continue to make changes to jungle as appropriate.

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What are your plans for Mordekaiser since youre removing his core item

Riot Jag Final PortraitMordekaiser is a guy we’re still looking at. He’s an interesting problem because admittedly it seems like DFG is core to his late game team fight objectives, but on the other hand it’s really hard to play up some of his basic play patterns (especially in lane) without aggravating the “this guy is miserable to play against” experience.

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How will mages deal with bruisers without DFG

Riot Jag Final PortraitThe interesting issue with DFG is that despite being a nuke scaling off of percentage health and therefore in theory being a tank shredder, it ends up being arguably more potent on squishies since it reduces the threshold required to one shot a carry’s low health pool by 20%.

Your point suggests to me that maybe there’s an itemization hole for mages that want to deal with health stacking (that Liandry’s is not currently serving). I think that’s a good issue for us to keep an eye on.

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Will Riot add more items with actives to the game

FeralPony Final PortraitSo I can comment on this a bit. We’re looking at some longer term changes to the itemization system this will probably result in some additional active items though I wouldn’t expect anything in 5.2. A lot of the work on the Active Item UI (making active items more prominently displayed on your cast bar) had the goal of allowing us the ability to make more active items. Any additional actives we add would most likely be targeted at classes or roles that currently have a lack of activated items (ie- probably not supports as they can often be overloaded with actives though we had some ideas there as well)

There are also a few active items we had experimented with during Preseason that we liked (like ZzRot Portal) but were delayed due to scope which we might be able to get ship ready sooner.

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Will you buff LeBlanc to compensate for the removal of DFG

Riot Jag Final PortraitOur opinion is that Leblanc and Syndra are not hurt too hard by DFG’s removal (or at least not so badly that they’d need compensation).

Annie is another story. We’re working through some changes that can make her still feel good about bursting people without so heavily relying on “drop Tibbers, cast spells, enemy explodes” pattern.

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Will there be any changes to Cassiopeia in Patch 52

Riot Jag Final PortraitCassio is an interesting topic that I’d like to dive deeper on later. But to start I’d ask what you perceive she needs fixed, as she is trending quite strong since 4.21 (she’s popping up as a real force top lane).

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Ahri without DFG Banner

Deathfire Grasp is a core item on Ahri and the team is looking for ways to compensate for its removal.

 

 

DFG is a core item on Ahri Will her changes be reverted now that its gone

Meddler Final PortraitWe are testing some changes to Ahri that support the kite mage pattern she used to use sometimes. Those changes (not guaranteed, but being experimented with at the moment) include things like removing the damage amp on charm, buffing her other damage sources and giving her a speed boost while her Q’s in the air to allow more reposition plays and kiting while casting.

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Any changes to her W other than numbers

Meddler Final PortraitLong term: We’d love to spice that up a bit, with you that it’s useful but could be more interesting.

Short term: Nothing major planned. We’re looking at small changes to her as DFG follow up and kite pattern support, not significant changes to core functionality of skills right now.

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Follow Up

Not every spell needs to be mechanically complex

Meddler Final PortraitI’m with you there, both on the value of non champion defining skills sometimes being fairly simple (e.g. Rek’Sai’s burrowed Q) and that Ahri’s W’s an example of such a skill. Even on a simple skill though I’d argue there’s a lot of value in adding a bit of distinctiveness/ways to optimize things a bit more. Putting something there basically to enable a person that’s played 200 games on Ahri to pull off the occasional cool play with Foxfire that a player with only 20 games might not be aware of or able to execute at the right time.

Using Vayne’s tumble directly into a piece of terrain to AA as soon as possible’s a good example of that to my mind. A lot of the time it’s not the right call, or not relevant, and new Vayne players won’t do it deliberately. It does add an extra option to the skill, making it a bit richer though, without making the skill’s core concept or tooltip more difficult to understand.

Similarly Ezreal’s Essence Flux being able to hit himself’s often irrelevant or a poor idea to utilize. Occasionally though it’s worth playing into and, pardon the now horribly cliched phrase, is one of the sort of things that separates good players from great.

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Why dont you change Ahris ultimate to an ammunition system

Meddler Final PortraitWe did actually test Ahri during her initial development with an ammo system on her ult, with separate use/recharge, rather than the current 3 casts in X seconds approach. Conclusion we came to’s the same point you’ve made – high mobility, within a limited period of time, results in both healthier and more interesting gameplay. Ammo system Ahri always had a dash charge up to escape with, so was much harder for opponents to deal with and was disincentivized from trying to make cool multi dash plays.

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How about lowering the internal cooldown between her dashes

Meddler Final PortraitI’d be more inclined to find ways to give her other mobility or access her ult a bit more often. Having those gaps results in a longer combat pattern, with more kiting and thought for both sides about where she’ll go and when. Reducing them incentivizes her to spam them to move quickly in a direction or get damage out as fast as possible.

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Whats your opinion on the state of Akali and Diana

Meddler Final PortraitMy current thoughts/couple of general comments:

Akali – Lot of fun and a good alignment between her kit and theme, Lacks sufficient counterplay, resulting in frustrating playing against experience especially when she’s ahead. Removal of the mitigation stats from her W’s reduced her dueling power against tankier champs which is a positive, squishy targets still struggle with a lack of options sometimes however. The live balance team’s currently experimenting with her ult range to see if reducing that’s an appropriate lever to put her into a better spot (her having high reliability’s less of an issue if it’s more practical to stay out of her zone of threat or at least force her to use another ult charge before getting to you).

Diana – Would benefit from being more clearly an assassin or a fighter, rather than a generalized mixture of the two (a good fit for her personality that unfortunately results in her being hard to give sufficiently clear strengths and weaknesses when strong enough to be picked). In an ok state, would probably require that work be done to get her to what you’d call a really good state/be a character we felt was good for the game if a really common pick. Not currently being worked on.

Both of them – Bit much overlap between the two, both utilizing a similar combat approach through their ults, Q’s and cleaves. Ensuring the two of them end up with a few more points of distinction would do both some good (which personally suggests Diana should be pushed towards being more of a fighter, though I can see the argument for assassin as well).

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When will you update unpopular Champions like Urgot Yorick etc

Meddler Final PortraitSome of the key questions we ask when deciding which champions to do updates on:

How badly does this champion need a visual/audio update?

The more out of place (or out of date) they currently look/sound the more reason we have to rework them. A champion that gets played a lot and really needs a visual upgrade is particularly significant – since they’re in games a lot they’ll be seen a lot and therefore contribute substantially to the overall average visual quality of the game. Tristana’s a good example of this – she’s a popular character, who’s also really easy to acquire (Facebook or 1350IP), with quite a few visual/audio upgrade needs.

How problematic is this champion’s gameplay?

Champions with a lack of counterplay, that result in degenerate lane picks, that suppress interesting play etc can be rework priorities because they make the game worse overall. Xerath and Soraka are good examples of this category.

How much untapped potential does this champion have?

These are characters with cool themes that aren’t properly executed on, unsatisfying kits etc. Stuff that could be really cool, but isn’t, usually for a number of reasons (gameplay+aesthetics+personality for example). There’s a good seed of a champion in there, but it’s not done right. Sion’s the best example of this.

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Why are Eve Olaf Yorick Urgot Lee Sin and Xerath low priorities

Meddler Final PortraitYorick/Urgot – Both Sion levels of rework in terms of amount of work. We talked a lot about which champion was the best fit for that level of update next and conclusion we came to was Poppy was the best overall choice. Lot of good points in favor of Yorick, and especially Urgot, but Poppy felt like the best choice for the next slot.

Lee Sin – We feel his problem’s that he’s a generalist who crowds out other picks if you’ve got a player able to take proper advantage of him. That means the work he needs is a combination of accentuating (or creating) weaknesses (and potentially strengths) and possibly a bit more counterplay. Some of that work at least’s going to be an issue of balance, as much or more than rework.

Eve/Olaf – Could do with some work, agreed. I don’t personally feel Olaf’s too far off being playable, amount he leaves some champions without options when he’s strong though’s pretty problematic.

Xerath – I’ll have to disagree with you on Xerath, I feel his rework overall left him in a pretty good spot. Would be nice to improve the visual satisfaction on his ult at some point though, the current visual effect was designed for a somewhat different style of ult so doesn’t sync up well with the feel of the current gameplay.

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Alistars new update hasnt improved his gameplay

Meddler Final PortraitAlistar’s a champ we’d like to do some light gameplay work on at some point. He’s in a reasonably good spot overall though and there are a lot of other champions we felt needed gameplay reworks more. That left us in a spot where we had the option of shipping some visual improvements, and doing some further work at an undetermined date, or delaying the visual changes until everything else could be worked on (probably quite a long time).

Getting those model/texture changes out felt like a clear win, so that’s what we decided to go for, given we had a spot in our schedule where we had enough free artist time for a job of this size and type.

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Will you continue working on Alistars gameplay after his VU

Meddler Final PortraitFair question and no offense taken at all.

I’m quite confident we’ll do some work on Alistar at some point. To be quite open I’m not sure that that’ll be this year necessarily though (talking about skill functionality changes specifically, I would expect some balance changes sometime this year of course as needed). Alistar’s overall very impactful, fun to play, and reasonably well differentiated from other champs. Sure, his passive’s a bit uninspiring, as is his E in some circumstances (powerful though it be). When he’s significantly too strong he’s also basically must pick/ban (see last year’s World Champs).

Overall though he’s in a pretty good spot, and other champs need gameplay work done a lot more than he does.

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These updates are disappointing compared to real reworks

Meddler Final PortraitThese lower scope visual updates are almost always in addition to the other, larger upgrades, not instead of them. If we’re limited by how many champs we make can new character animations and spell effects for at one time, but have the capability to do some more texture/model work, doing those smaller upgrades seems like a good way to help out an extra set of champions that would otherwise not be getting visual upgrades at all at the moment.

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Single Posts 14 01 Banner

 

 

Patch 5 1 delayed at least 24 hours

[ Note ] You can check out everything that’ll be in Patch 5.1 here.

 



Will Warring Kingdoms Katarina receive more work on her model

[ Note ] Warring Kingdoms Kata is a new skin introduced in yesterday’s PBE update. You can check out a full preview here.

KateyKhaos Final PortraitThere’s been a bit of positive feedback, yes. I think one of the larger complaints I’ve seen is that her back is pretty flat, since her hair is dark, and her pants are, too. At this point, we’re still collecting feedback, and will be looking at analyzing them in the next meeting for her. It’s possible there will be changes, but I don’t have an answer for that one yet since she only went out to PBE several hours ago.

If you’ve got some specific feedback about what you don’t like about the skin, I’d be happy to take it!

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Fantasy LCS Known Issues

[ Note ] Fantasy LCS recently received an overhaul, you can read more about it here.

OMHALODIL Final PortraitUpdate | January 13, 11:05 PM PST | 14 January, 08:05 CET : We’re continuing to investigate the issue where players are getting stuck in draft. Unfortunately, we don’t have an updated ETA at the moment. Once we have a fix in place, we’ll be looking into ways to reset the leagues affected by this issue to the pre-draft state.

Update | January 13, 7:40 PM PST | 14 January, 04:40 CET : We’re still investigating the issue where players are getting stuck in draft. We don’t have an ETA at this time, but we’re hard at work at bringing things back to normal ASAP.

Update | January 13, 4:38 PM PST | 14 January, 01:38 CET : We’ve temporarily turned off drafting to resolve an issue where some players are getting stuck when the timer reaches 0 on their turn and multiple picks for a single player are made in a row. For those of you who ran into this issue, we’re looking into figuring out a way to roll back your leagues to the state it was in pre-draft.

We’re also aware of another issue where after creating a league, some players aren’t able to share the link to others to join the league.

We’ll keep this thread updated as we find out more information and resolve these issues.

Thanks.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

News 13 01 Banner

 

Red Posts 13/01

 

Recent News Banner

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Champion Updates Banner 3

 

 

QA on Champion Update Design

Scruffy Final PortraitHey everyone!

This is a totally unprompted thread where I thought I could answer whatever questions about new champion or champion update designs. I’ll come back to the thread and post answers to a bunch of questions up into this OP.

Because this is the first time I’m trying this, let’s do a broad and obvious topic – Champ Design (including reworks). The type of question that would be fitting here is like “how do you determine which skills to keep when you rework a character?” or “what makes a good character passive in your opinion?”

Stay on topic (sorry I don’t work on URF so DONT ASK LOL) and I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can.

Fire away!

EDIT 1:

I’ll answer a few now and come back later for more (and probably throughout the weekend)

  • If a champion is relatively fine in a purely BALANCE perspective, do they ever have an opportunity to get reworked to be more like what they’re supposed to be? Or be made so that they aren’t such a wasted concept?
  • Yes! We most definitely do and will continue to use thematic delivery, fun, and satisfaction as a reason to revisit a character. We always set out the goals of a project when we start, so we know if it is more mechanics focused (something like soraka) or thematic/satisfaction focus (something like gangplank) or a lot of both (sion).
  • How do you prioritize updates?

Currently we prioritize updates by which are the most “in need” of the improvements (gameplay or visual). Each group (art, design, sound) will use their own analysis and player feedback to rank which champs are really needing the update. This led us to champs like soraka, sion, nidalee, poppy, karthus, etc. While going through this list we have some spare people to work on smaller less urgent projects like viktor, gragas, tristana to keep things coming as often as we can.

  • How much more mobility can we expect to see added to League of Legends in the coming season?

This is a timely question, with so many more mobile champs in recent releases than in the early days of LoL. We actually met with a large group of new champ and champup designers to talk about how much mobility we are giving to characters and at what cost. The general consensus is that we are probably going to both be a bit more selective with where we give mobility and give the characters appropriate costs to having mobility. For example, we think that by default a marksman doesn’t have burst mobility, so the question that we are asking ourselves is “what cost is a character like lucian, tristana, or corki paying for the powerful mobility tools that they have?”

  • Can you describe the factors in/process between deciding whether a skill is a skillshot or targeted ability?

You could have a great ability on both sides of this coin (skillshot or targeted). The real question that we are asking is what parts of a character’s overall kit are reliable and which are unreliable. Having a healthy mix of both is typically a recipe for success because it gives the character some baseline tools that they can count on mixed in with some important moments where hitting a skillshot, blocking a spell with a spellshield, or dodging a big burst of damage with your Zed ult can determine the outcome of a fight.

EDIT 2:

A few more answers

  • What is Riot’s current opinions on hybrid champions, either current or possibly new?

Hybrid champions aren’t problematic as a concept, we just try to factor in how being a hybrid character affects the game. A hybrid champ has both a harder time itemizing for penetration and makes it harder for their opponents to itemize defenses against them.

  • Ever considered an energy-based Support?

We haven’t put any serious work into an energy based on manaless support recently, but it isn’t an impossible design space. The key factor here is that we would want to preserve the important “attrition” element of bottom lane, so this character should probably not have strong health sustain or healing in combination with no mana.

  • How does Riot determine what to keep and what to revise on champion kits in need of a rework for “thematic” reasons?

The first step of a rework is often more about finding the right overall direction for a character. Take Sion for example, we first determined that this guy is best delivered as a tanky “undead juggernaut” that moves slowly but is a major disruptive force in the middle of a fight. It is a very high priority for us to find the right core concept for a character that matches the coolest and most important elements of the character before the rework. With the high level direction figured out, we can see what abilities on the old kit would still work with the new direction for the character.

  • Does how often a champion get played factor in to the decision to rework them? Or are you fine with niche picks, like Urgot?

We do consider a champ’s play rate when we are selecting reworks but we don’t bias one way or the other. A good mix of popular and unpopular champions is what we are aiming for currently so that we can sometimes update popular champs to create positive impact to a wide group of players and sometimes update niche champs to keep them relevant or give them new life.

EDIT 3:

  • How often do reworks get canned, and how far do they usually make it before they get canned?

Rework projects rarely get canned. Though in the past, maybe 1 in 5 that goes into early exploration is put on hold and picked up later. A project like Warwick that Zenon was working on but had to be put on hold for him to work on other projects will be picked up where he left off and finished. Even if entire kits are scrapped and restarted, the work is not a waste because we likely learned a lot about what didn’t work for that iteration and that leads us to things that usually work much better.

  • When it comes to new champion design and such, is the factor of said champion completely overshadowing another, older champ taken into account?

We very heavily consider this when working on new champions. We want a new champ to bring something new to the game rather than replace and overshadow something that champs already do. Sometimes if a champion is released in a too powerful state, it can give them strengths that they aren’t designed to have.

For example, Braum is intended to be a unique defensive support in how he can block projectiles for his team while staying mobile. When he released he was doing that just fine, but he was also a very strong aggressive pick support with Q slows, damage and follow up stuns. When we saw that he was overshadowing a lot of other supports in this way, Wreckz and the live balance team responded by lowering his aggressive play potential to focus his power in the ways that he is meant to have it.

  • How would you go about reworking Teemo?

Hehe, I can’t resist answering this one because TEEMO. So first off don’t take any of this as gospel because I’m just spitballing here.

First off is to try and understand the core of what Teemo is about and what his current problems are. The really unique and fun thing about teemo (IMO) is the way he can control an area of the map like top lane or baron pit with his mine field of shrooms. He also has a clear poke pattern in lane and high sustained damage in the late game. Some of the most obvious problems that he has are that there is no meaningful counterplay to his mushrooms and his poke pattern is also not interactive and just involves trading targeted damage against an often melee opponent.

So when it comes to solutions I would try a variety of mushroom version with possible counterplay and to compensate the teemo player, add or emphasize the awesome rewards he gets for catching his opponents in his traps. A crazy example would be that if he was stealthed (by standing still) and someone triggered a mushroom trap, he could keep his stealth and run quickly towards the triggered trap for an ambush. The other solutions around his poke lane would also need to be creative but would definitely move in the direction of his opponent having opportunities to avoid or counter his poke, and we could give teemo some new tools to compensate for the loss of reliability.

EDIT 4

  • Where does the buck stop when it comes to big decisions on a champion rework?

There is no single individual that has the 100% say over any particular champion update, but many people get to have strong input. From a game design perspective the primary “owner” as we like to call it is the main designer that is spending most of their time working on the project. They receive a lot of input from the other designers on the Champion Update and Champion team and get really detailed and thorough feedback from the Lead Designers on their team and other teams (Scruffy, Meddler, Morello, Ezreal, etc). In the end, by the time any character goes out, many different people have reviewed the kit and, if something is good enough to ship, often most people on the team are very happy with it.

  • You gonna give talon some form of cc (a real cc, not a shitty quarter second slow) on his cut-throat (e) or maybe a decent form of utility so he can keep up with all the incredibly good kits other assassins have?

I think in the future we will shy away from hard CC on Talon because as we have seen in the past, the combination of hard CC and his burst damage led to very frustrating and non interactive situations where he can 100-0 an enemy while they are unable to react.

On the topic of how we would want to improve talon (no immediate plans yet just talking about direction), his current pattern of burst an enemy or be useless is pretty binary and honestly a bit boring. I would want to buff up some of his utility tools like his stealth or even give him new utility tools that are not hard CC (like dodge, spell shield or something like that) to allow him to not feel useless when he can’t immediately burst kill his enemies.

  • What are some themes you want to check out that haven’t been touched on yet?

These are just my personal – Mind Controller, Earth Mage, Group character (multiple yordles or something cool), Mountain Climber, Blacksmith, A bunch of animal type creature characters, Flying characters that interact differently with the map, and these are just off the top of my head.

EDIT 5:

  • Using Rek’Sai as an example, what makes you decide to use a non-mana resource on a champion? Is it a thematic decision, gameplay, or a mix of both? How do you feel about the state of mana in LoL?

I’ll answer your last question first, I feel like mana is still a very important element of LoL, especially for some types of characters. Mana as a resource creates a second strategic layer of attrition for a lot of characters that adds a “long game” strategy to champ vs champ combat. Mana allows more outcomes to fights or trades than just “I killed you” or “I took more health away.”

When it comes to when we give mana to champs (or not in Reksai’s case) it is more often a mechanical decision than a thematic one. With Reksai we were exploring some different resourse mechanics with the health return passive, where health is the resource she has to manage more than mana. By comparison a mana based jungler like Warwick or Elise should stay healthier than Reksai when they are usuing mana on their sustain tools but they will eventually run OOM and have to go back to the fountain.

  • I’m seeing a lot of questions about Yorick and Mordekaiser so lets talk about them

First thing, we’re not actively working on either of those two champs but in terms of what is next for us when we finish current projects, they are very very high up on the priority list.

So Yorick we actually have a decent starting point with Xelnath’s earlier work and it is pretty clear what this guy is about – Ghoul Minions and Melee fighting.

Morde is a bit trickier because he is really straddling the line between what is a mage and what is a fighter. I bet when we start working on him and are trying to discover his core, we will find that both elements are very important to why Morde is Morde. The tough question will be answering what unique stuff a fighter mage can bring to the game (maybe play up his “ghost enemy” stuff).

EDIT 6:

  • What is Riot’s opinion on champions with more then one way to be built?

Personally I love it when champions have multiple build paths. The things that we have to watch out for are when one of the builds creates toxic or low interest gameplay. As an example if AD Varus played like he does now but the off build AP Varus (I know this isn’t really a thing) could one shot enemies with his Q and do not much else we probably would want to change the way AP varus worked so that it had a more healthy play pattern.

  • What is the maximum amount of crowd control you think you could and would load onto a kit without going overboard? How long would the target be disabled in some way?

The way that we think about this is more about the ratio of damage a character can deal vs the amount of CC they have. A character can have crazy amounts of CC (see nautilus) if they do low sustained damage, but another character could be problematic with even 1 second of CC if they deal high burst damage. The goal here is that the enemy receiving the CC will always have some window of time where they are not CCed and not dead so that they can react.

Have you ever considered having non-ultimate global abilities that deal no damage, but instead support champions in other lanes? Something on the line of care packages.

Yes, we have considered a bunch of stuff like this. Nothing has made it into a champion but I think there is room for some pretty cool mechanics in this vein. For example, a “scouting” focused character could do all kinds of global vision plays or even give allies an oracle buff from across the map. Another example is a “global push pressure” champ that could make minion waves on the opposite side of the map much stronger to create global push pressure for their team.

I think this is all of the questions for this week. I’ll try to rope in some other designers next week and maybe we can pick another topic. Was this useful/fun for you all?

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Single Posts January 13 Banner

 

 

Mystery Skins for Good Behavior are still coming

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitHey everyone,

Many of you have seen your friends receive their Mystery Skins with you left wondering where your Mystery Skin is, or whether you even qualified for one. Never fear!

Mystery Skins are still being sent out!

We are sending them out in waves every single day, and it may take the next couple of weeks (until the end of January) before they are all distributed. We’ll update this thread once the last wave has been sent!

As a reminder, here are the qualifications:

  • All Riot Regions qualify – NA, EUW, EUNE, LAS, LAN, BR, OCE, RU, TR, and Korea
  • You need to be level 5 (reached level 5 in 2014)
  • You need to have played and completed at least one game of any mode (including Custom Games) in 2014.
  • You did not receive a 14-day suspension
  • You did not receive a ranked restriction (a single game ranked restriction will disqualify you)
  • You did not receive a chat restriction (a single game of chat restriction will disqualify you)
  • If you received a Leaver Buster Penalty, you still qualify for the Mystery Skin
  • If your account was compromised and suspended by Riot until it was recovered, we will double-check our list to make sure you receive one
  • If you have under the 10 skin minimum for Mystery Skins, we will check the list again and make sure anyone who did not receive one, but met all other qualifications, gets one!
  • If you recently transferred to another Riot Region, you will still get a Mystery Skin, as long as you meet the previous qualifications

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I think Irelia as a whole needs a VU

IronStylus Final Portrait^ this. In fact she will most likely be a comprehensive gameplay and visual update (VGU). She’s listed as a high-value target but currently there is no prioritization for her for 2015, but that could change. We’re trying to get ahead on a number of front’s so we’ll see. I have a concept for her but it’s definitely not final. She’ll need a probably semi-large scope effort because of thematic issues. What is she exactly? Ionian metal-manipulating general? That’s cool, but could she be more? We shall see!

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Why did Evelynn get a skin Safecracker before her visual update

Nurse Flan Final PortraitFor Eve, we saw an opportunity to create a skin for her before an update that wouldn’t interfere too much with any then-current plans with her. This does not mean every potential champion update is in the same state and can be treated in the same way. The team felt it would be a win to create a skin at the chance we got, so we took it instead of passing it up. It may not have coincided with what was said in the past about skin plans, but I think it’s much better to try and take things on a case-by-case basis rather than let a statement be the end all be all for the rest of eternity :)

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Why hasnt Zac received a skin yet

Nurse Flan Final Portrait*disclaimer – Zac skins are a hot topic and we are not able to answer any questions about -when- a skin is coming out or is in the works (or any other skins). I’m here to perhaps shed a little light and let you guys know Zac is not forgotten!*

Definitely don’t think you’re being rude! What I can tell you is that Zac’s champ and stretchy tech is very difficult to work with, and that alone increases work time on him a lot. So using a popular community skin suggestion for him, Gentleman Zac – his clothes especially around his arms would have some crazy weighting and stretching issues. And it would also be really weird to see cloth stretching and turning into globs of goo haha I’d love to hear any suggestions on workarounds you may have to mitigate this!

I know “easy” recolored skins have been suggested for Mr. Blob, but then it would seem unfair if say we released a 750RP Bubblegum Zac and have him wait a while for another skin instead of taking the time to make sure we make a super awesome blow-your-mind quality skin for him.

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Follow Up

 What about a swimsuit Zac skin

[ Note ] Here’s an example of how that skin could look like.

Nurse Flan Final PortraitThat’s a good example! Besides the addition of the swim trunks, it’s technically just about a fancy blue recolor though. :x

The fanart done of pool party Zac include some cute arm floaties – which I like, but that would again cause problems with his stretchy arms! > n <

Summer is coming up for the Northern Hemisphere kinda sorta soonish (brr, that 50 degree California winter weather!). I can definitely make an extra poke about a skin like this!
^This is not a promise that this skin is going to be made! ; u ;

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Welcome to Fantasy LCS

OMHALODIL Final PortraitWelcome to Fantasy LCS, where you build your dream team of LCS pros and compete against your friends for bragging rights and season glory! Beginning this week, we’ll be opening up the 2015 Spring Split Fantasy draft window.

Fantasy LCS is getting a face-lift for 2015, thanks to the feedback you gave us in the 2014 Beta. Here’s what’s new:

  • NA and EU are now on separate roster locks that correspond to the first day of matches for each league.
  • Each league now features a message board where you can coordinate draft times and discuss strategy.
  • We added chat functionality during draft
  • Scoring has been slightly tweaked: we added a fast win bonus of 2 points for teams that win in less than 30 minutes. Stay tuned for an article that dives into the rationale behind this scoring addition.

We added a few administrative tools:

  • If you are a league creator, you can delete your league if you haven’t drafted yet.
  • You can also leave a league if you haven’t drafted yet.
  • You can now rename your team.

Your league home page, roster page, and match-ups page are now shareable publicly. Show off your dream team, those close wins, and your standings to your friends!

Never played fantasy? Don’t worry — it’s easy! Join together with up to seven friends or fellow League players, then build your dream team, one draft pick at a time. Every player from the NA and EU LCS is up for grabs, and what they do on the Rift each week matters. You’re awarded points based on their performance, so when your pros do well, you do too! Fantasy LCS also adds a new layer of fun to watching matches each week, as fantasy stats updates will be piped in at real-time.

We’ve got a bunch of resources to help get you ready for your draft. Learn how to play and about draft strategy at fantasy.lolesports.com.

Stay tuned for more details on when you can get drafting! In the meantime, feel free to discuss strategy below. Who are your top picks?

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Update El Tigre Braum price updated to 1350 RP

Galetta Final PortraitEDIT: Just wanted to update the El Tigre Braum thread about his price. He was always intended to be 1350 RP but we mistakenly listed him at 975 RP (sorry!). It’s his custom respawn animation specifically that pushes him into the 1350 price tier. Like all 1350s though, he’ll be on sale for the first week after his release so you can get him for 975 RP during that time. Sorry for the mistake and we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again!

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

Patch 51 Maintenance Banner

Patch 5.1 will be here in the early hours of January 14th. Here’s the schedule for all regions:

 

Don’t know what will be in the next patch? Here are all the contents:

PBE-Roundup-Patch-5-1

 

 

Patch 51 Maintenance Schedule

Riot Noc New Portrait

On 01/14/2015, starting at 01:30 PST, ranked queues will be disabled in preparation for patch 5.1. At 03:00 PST, the servers will be shut down and all games currently in progress will end in a draw and stats will not be recorded. We estimate the battlegrounds will be unavailable for 3 hours.

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And here is the schedule for the other regions (patching starts on January 14th):

 

  • EUW ] 03:30 GMT – 05:00 GMT
  • EUNE ] 00:30 GMT - 02:00 GMT
  • OCE ] No announcement for OCE
  • LAS ] No announcement for LAS
  • LAN ] 03:00 (MX/CO/PE), 04:00 (VE)
  • BR ] 06:30 BRT – 08:00 BRT
  • TR ] 04:30 – 06:00
  • RU ] 01:30  - 03:00

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

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Tarics Dazzle E should charm when Radiance R is active

Repertoir New PortraitCool idea. We’ve actually tried a charm mechanic or two in his in-progress update, though none of them have proven particularly satisfying so far. It may be an idea we return to, though. He’s definitely a charismatic gentleman.

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Follow Up

Repertoir New PortraitFor what it’s worth, we’ve experimented lots of random things for him to date. Most of them won’t ever make it into the game. The good ones may or may not. When we get closer to locking things down and announcing what we’ve got in store for him (which is likely not for several months still), we can talk about some of the stuff we’ve gone through along the way with him and how we end up where we do.

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DanielzKlein Final PortraitTo reiterate what Repertoire is saying: this mechanic has not proven itself. Compared to what dazzle currently is on the kit (and I will not answer any Taric questions–he’s entirely Repertoire’s baby) the charm was really underwhelming. The current dazzle? I can’t WAIT for this to go live, again, if it proves itself. I played him yesterday in playtest and had a blast.

Overall our champion update team has leveled up so hard it’s not even funny.

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Vesh Final PortraitWe experiment with a lot of things. This isn’t any indication of what might be on a kit. Soraka used to have AoE mikael’s crucible for an ult in a few playtests because I wanted to try something off the wall even though Wish was a fine spell.

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Follow Up

Why didnt you go with this iteration of Sorakas ultimate

Vesh Final PortraitActually the biggest problem was that it was almost impossible to understand how well you did. If you cleansed a stun that had .4 seconds left, a slow that was 2 seconds long but only 30% and was reduced by your ally’s tenacity, and got rid of brand’s debuff incidentally because you were trying to cleanse the stun, how well did you do? How do you know when you did a good job vs an average job.

Also, average reaction time is ~240 ms, and a lot of our CC is between .25 and .5 seconds long. This is a problem mikael’s has already, and its already strong enough to totally keep Ashe arrow out of pro play.

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Did you choose a charm mechanic because it would fit Tarics theme

Vesh Final Portrait Charm refers specifically to a gameplay mechanic that forces the affected unit to walk in the direction of the caster. I could just as easily play a “cyborg brain implant” particle on your character’s head.

This has nothing to do with flamboyance. It has nothing to do with theme, or hearts, or gimmicks. If repertoir puts a charm on his kit, it will be because the pattern needs a tool to bring an enemy into melee range or make them move in a predictable fashion.

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Whatll be the scope of Tarics rework

Repertoir New PortraitThis time around, Taric’s update is not going to be a small one. The next update you guys see to him will be pretty substantial. Haven’t locked down full details yet so we haven’t established a release patch yet (and don’t have too much to share as far as details go), but he’s one of two projects I’m pretty actively working on.

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Follow Up

Would you compare the scope of this rework to Sions

Repertoir New PortraitI would say Taric will probably be a lesser degree of change compared to Sion, but that’s mostly because Sion had such drastic thematic issues to deal with as well. To the response below, I’d expect Taric’s update to be a significantly larger overhaul than Heimer’s last year.

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What happened to Yoricks rework

Repertoir New PortraitBasically, the designer that was starting to work on him had to reprioritize different projects. He’s on the list of updates we want to do, but he’s a bit on the back burner at the moment. Sorry if that’s disappointing :(

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3rd Party Banner 2

[ Note ] This is a discussion of the dev blog on supporting 3rd party tools which was recently released.

 


What does 3rd party program refer to

Tuxedo Final PortraitA third party application is a website, mobile app, or program that is not developed by Riot Games.

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What does API mean

Tuxedo Final PortraitAPI stands for Application Programming Interface. Really it’s just a fancy schmancy way of saying a system that is setup for the primary purpose of making our internal data more accessible externally.

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When are we going to have the option to hide from third party sites

Sargonas New PortraitWe don’t have plans for that at this time. There is a topic on the developer forums where another Rioter, who has more insight, commented as to why a decision was made in terms of the data we make available through the API (specifically match history). You can view that topic here: https://developer.riotgames.com/discussion/riot-games-api/show/Uk2kEo3E[1]


TL;DR Normals are being protected under a player’s personal experience and will only be available for you and your friends to see. Ranked games, as they are an opt-in experience and part of a public ladder, will remain visible for the public to see. At the end of the day, we strive to maintain a consistency between the information made available in the client/match history and that which is made available via the API.

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Can you explain why Premade data cant be shown

Sargonas New PortraitThis is an intentional choice that was made. The teams who work on player behavior have a lot of background on what kind of data is and is not ok to share, based on how it affects players. Based on that research they asked that this data be obfuscated.

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Why wont you guys reveal the actual accurate MMR

Sargonas New PortraitMMR is a number we intentionally obfuscate. It’s been discussed in the past by other Rioters and it’s not a subject I am an expert on so it’s hard for me to speak to eloquently, but the long and short is we don’t want players to focus on a single number being the end-all driving factor behind their playstyle. Because of that, we don’t surface this information, and we actively work with 3rd parties to turns them away from building any form of replacement for this as well.

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Is there any chance of opening the LCS servers to the API

Tuxedo Final PortraitThe API team had a discussion about this in the past and again, today actually. There’s still work to be done in this area, but it is definitely a goal to eventually have LCS data in the API.

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Is there any site for me to check my normal game stats

StillRampant Final PortraitYou should check out the first comment to this post by MattEnth for some in-depth thinking about how we treat ranked vs normal game stats. TL;DR, We think ranked stats should be more public and accessible than normal stats. Highly encourage you to read the whole thing though!

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What would the best way be to get build a historic timeline of champions per tier

Tuxedo Final PortraitFor the Dev Blog we’re trying to avoid diving into technical conversations, but these are exactly the kind of questions that the developer community engage in on the Developer Forums within the Dev Portal. If you make a topic there with the exact same question, I’d be happy to talk about a couple ways to attack this problem. If future developers comes along with the same question, we’d want them to be able to find the discussion on the Dev Forums :)

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Why dont you create your own site instead of patching for other sites

Sargonas New PortraitNo apologies needed, I spent half my life in Louisville Kentucky and I say “yall” all the time. ;)

As to your question, we touch on this a bit in the blog but I’d be happy to elaborate. Riot has only so much we can do in a certain amount of time, even with the resources we have at our disposal. If there are things that players can do that enhance the experience, we should help them do so! It allows them to work on those sorts of things while we can focus on the stuff that we are uniquely positioned to work on in ways that they can’t. Also, the honest fact is people will ALWAYS try to build these tools. It’s much easier, and more importantly better for the players, if we help guide them in the right direction towards the best player experience.

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So I cant make mods new champions new  game modes etc

Sargonas New PortraitUnfortunately, those sorts of changes are the very things we’re trying to protect against for the reasons outlined above. We truly love the enthusiasm and creativity you guys have around these things, but it doesn’t mesh well with some of the overall core philosophies we have.

As someone once said “We’re running a theme park here. Please don’t try to take bolts off the roller coasters.” ;)

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Naughty or Nice Banner

 


FAQ on Mystery Gifts for positive players

Wookieecookie Final PortraitA lot of you have noticed by now that mystery gifts for positive behavior have started arriving on players’ accounts.

((If you don’t know what I’m talking about then check out our announcement:http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/special-event/celebrating-end-years-snowdown – this promotion is occurring on all Riot servers))

Don’t worry if you have not found yours yet! Given the large number of positive players throughout the world the process will take a few days to complete.

In the meantime, I figured I’d answer some of the common questions we’ve been seeing about the gift.

How will I know if I received the gift?

  • There will be an animation in the pvp.net client after the gift has been given to your account.

How will I know if I qualify for the gift?

  • Player Support isn’t able to check if you qualify for the gift until the entire process is complete. Hopefully you didn’t drink too much on New Years’ and remember if you were naughty or nice last year. But if you’re on the fence you’ll have to wait it out a few days to see if it arrives.

What if my account does not qualify for a mystery gift due to a technicality? (ie: I own all skins and champions)

  • After we’ve completed sending the mystery gifts we’ll be checking our list twice to see which accounts SHOULD have received it but did not. We will then grant a gift to these accounts; please keep in mind this likely won’t occur until next week.

I was a bad boy or girl last year and all I got were these chat restrictions! Is there any hope for me?!?!

  • Yes! It’s never too late to change your ways. It’s a new year so start fresh. Work hard at reform and adjusting your behavior and you may qualify for promotions in the future. That doesn’t mean it’ll always be a Mystery Gift… but really; isn’t being nice its own reward?

Help I received Panda Teemo, what do I do now?

  • I’m sorry.

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Im eligible for a free Mystery Gift but havent received one yet

Wookieecookie Final PortraitDistribution is ongoing for all servers right now.

But it’s very possible some players won’t get their rewards until next week due to the number of gifts being sent.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

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The new champion should be delayed to prioritize reworks of older champions

Scruffy Final PortraitHey Sinwrath, we totally feel like you do in terms of how much we need to (and want to) update our old champs. The potential of these characters to be awesome is really high. Just in terms of designers on the champion update team, this year we are growing from 4 to 6, and at the same time I think (hope) we’re getting better at what we do.

We don’t have any set timelines like “expect 1 update a patch,” but we will release as many high quality updates as we can this year (both big and small). We are in progress on a bunch of the champs you have listed above, and the work is looking very promising so far.

That said, we don’t have any plans to slow down new champion releases. IMO new champs are part of the lifeblood of what keeps League fresh and evolving.

2015 is gonna be a good one.

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Follow Up

Do you mean only 4 people get to decide what the reworked kits will be

Scruffy Final Portrait We actually work very closely with a lot of people, so every update gets feedback and improvements from 10-20 different designers and another 20 artists, producers and engineers.

The whole champion update team is closer to 30 people, in 2014 we had 4 game designers (not including me).

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Can we at least get a vague timeline on each of these champions

Scruffy Final PortraitI don’t want to bring up any stuff that is still too early and experimental but a few projects that we are working on and are going pretty well IMO are:

Ryze
Poppy
Taric
Tristana

Some are small, medium, and some are big scope. Also there are a bunch more in the pipe just not ready to talk about yet.

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What will be the scope of Tarics rework

Repertoir New PortraitThis time around, Taric’s update is not going to be a small one. The next update you guys see to him will be pretty substantial. Haven’t locked down full details yet so we haven’t established a release patch yet (and don’t have too much to share as far as details go), but he’s one of two projects I’m pretty actively working on.

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What about Gangplank

Scruffy Final PortraitWe’re actually working on GP as well, he’s just a bit earlier in the process.

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Will Shen be reworked He isnt on the list

Scruffy Final PortraitAgree that Shen needs work, we just have so many to do and only enough bandwidth for a handful at one time. We will get to everyone that needs it in time.

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Follow Up

What do you mean by bandwidth

Scruffy Final Portrait“Bandwidth” refers to how much content you create and work on simultaneously. It’s a combination of how many resources you put the team (primarily staffing and testing) and type of the work required (how many people you can throw on a problem before you hit diminishing returns or “too many cooks in the kitchen problem”)

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Adding too many new champions will make League impossible to balance

Scruffy Final PortraitIt’s definitely true that there is a point (just for illustration say 500 champions) where there are more champions than there should be and it starts to detract rather than add value to the game.

At our current rate of ~8 new champs a year, I think we have at least a few more years before we start to hit the point of slowing down further.

On point though, we definitely want to ramp up the rate of fixing/improving existing champs by a large amount.

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What kind of impact are you hoping this item has on the game

Reinboom Final PortraitThe main ideal impact is more teams can split push even if it costs an item investment to do so. Or a different type of siege pressure.

The item actually functions best when there is someone present to support it. It’s kind of weak at pushing minions itself (intentionally). It WILL eventually push down a tower, but it takes awhile by itself.

The type of opening that provides though could be useful.

Nasus CAN gain stacks on it. Be careful when building against Nasus.

And yes, the item does have uses outside of split pushing. It can compliment a siege. It can be placed preemptively against a lane that is at risk of slowly pushing towards a tower alone to help negate it. It can be used for vision (in kind of a weird manner).

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Why cant the gate be killed by skillshots

Reinboom Final PortraitOne of the core concepts to the item is “here is a defensible point you must take from me”. It’s a tool to lure your opponent into engaging or making a mistake.

Making it hittable by skillshots goes against that.

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Shouldnt the Voidspawns grant gold to enemy champions who kill them

Reinboom Final PortraitMost ranged champions have better tools available to them for taking towers than Zz’Rot Portal already.

If it becomes a must pick on all champions, then the base stats of the voidspawn can be dropped even further and more of it shifted over to how your defenses contribute to its damage. That is, pushing it even further into the realms “tank only-ness”.

Damage output counters Zz’Rot Portal innately in that you can clear the voidspawn and the void gates. If your opposing ranged character purchases an early Zz’Rot Portal, then you can build clear and sustain (Tiamat) to deal with it or you can threaten pressure elsewhere. By putting their value into pushing power, they sacrificed stats that could’ve helped them with Dragon.

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Reinboom Final PortraitThe cost of the item is already paid by building it. Unlike a champion ability, there was already significant investment given to getting a void gate out.

Turning such an investment into a reward for your opponent is… tricky and not ideal. The void gate itself does provide 25 gold when you kill it, but even that is only a tiny bit for the purposes of the incentive, “this is the thing you’re supposed to kill”.

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Do you expect it to be actually used or do you feel the itemll be forgotten

Reinboom Final PortraitMy predictions: It will have a spike in usage when it first rolls out then it will have a drastic decrease. People will find creative usages and some people will become attached to it. It’s a uniquely fun ability – active map presence on an item – for some players. I don’t think it will have an overwhelming usage rate though, it’s not really “core” on many champions.

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Do the Voidspawns benefit from the Siege Commander Elixir

Reinboom Final PortraitThey currently aren’t boosted by siege commander. That will probably change.

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Is ZzRot Portal supposed to be a support or top lane item

Reinboom Final PortraitTop, Bruisers, or a late game “My GA is on cooldown and I just really need to take a turret so I’ll exchange the GA for this new thing” item.

Fun fact: Raptor Cloak (and thus Point Runner) was made for this item. It building into Ohmwrecker was a later changed. This item just got delayed enough that it got released in a weird order.

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Will the item be available on Twisted Treeline and Howling Abyss as well

Reinboom Final PortraitCurrently, no. It was tuned for SR lane distances so we would need to do a bit of research to make sure it would work healthily on those maps first.

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Follow Up

How about Dominion

Reinboom Final PortraitNope. Sorry! It could be kind of interesting on Crystal Scar, though the cooldown might be a bit long for the map. Hm.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

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 [ Context ] Sona’s base MS was recently decreased from 330 to 325 on the PBE.

 


Sona isnt stronger than other toptier supports right now

Riot Jag New PortraitI can definitely appreciate the perspective that she isn’t really crowding out support selection diversity. That said, we want to stay on top of the successes and shortcomings of all of our champion reworks, and we feel that some of Sona’s gameplay patterns are not the most healthy experience for bot lane. Fighting Sona has a lot of strategic depth that you talk about (pick hard engage or burst characters like Leona to fight her), but we want counterplay to extend past champion select and still be relevant tactically (in lane). The MS change is intended to give enemies without extremely strong engagement capabilities a fair shot at fighting Sona, without exaggerating her weaknesses to hard engage that something like a base HP/armor adjustment would do.

Understandably, Sona isn’t perceived as particularly strong, given that she isn’t being picked every game (especially in competitive play), and does not seem like she is taking over games that she is in. That said, we have a lot of tools and data we use for examining the game, and in addition to some of the play pattern issues I mentioned, we do feel that she is on the strong side for supports for a wide range of ELOs. Keep in mind, this is intended to be a pretty small nerf overall.

Now let’s talk about a few of the other issues you mentioned.

1) Jungle diversity is an issue we agree we can help improve. Next patch you’ll see some movement towards what you’re talking about (for instance, Hecarim and Skarner are getting a little love).

2) There are some counterplay issues with a few assassins in our game. These problems are pretty complex ones to solve, and some of the champions you mention definitely need some changes to stay healthy (I think Zed is probably at the top of that list right now).

3) Top lane is a much bigger issue. There are so many factors involved here (power of Teleport, relevance of Dragon, power of Marksmen vs Fighters, etc.) that this is a larger scope problem that would take multiple patches to work on. But you definitely make a great point, there are some issues in champion diversity top lane and we need to do some work on that.

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Most of Sonas current power is in her Power Chord Q

Riot Jag New PortraitNice explanation.

The changes we’re putting in this PBE cycle for Sona will be going out with the next patch, but hearing opinions from Sona players and seeing this discussion is very valuable for us in the future if we need to reexamine the state she’s in.

The feedback regarding how players feel that so much of her power is weighted in her Q is useful. Also agreed regarding Q Power Chord pushing out other choices (this is part of what the changes are supposed to address, but we may need more work here).

I also want to thank everyone for contributing your view in this thread (particularly the constructive posts…); improving communication with our players is something I always want to be working on.

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Almost everyone wants to see champion diversity in LCS

Phreak New PortraitIt’s definitely an odd space.

On the one hand, you’re right: The number of unique champions played in top tier competitive play is dwindling slowly over time. The real question is “Why?”

You could certainly force a wider variety. You could say “Okay, you can only play each champion once per month / once per series / if your opponents haven’t played it either.” Enforcing a wider variety of champions can be interesting because you’ll see more of them played. You could have 20 bans. You’ll definitely see different stuff played if you do that.

Another question can be if just “Champion named Ezreal was picked” counts as one unique pick. What about Mid Ezreal vs. ADC Ezreal? What about Support Nautilus vs. Jungle? Kayle Top/Mid/Support? How about different builds? AP Amumu vs. Tank Amumu? You can track the specifics of “Champion named X was picked.” Does that tell the whole story? Do you care if they were built differently? AP Mid vs. AD Bot Kog’Maw? I’d argue this counts as a “different” pick, but it’s of course not tracked as that. Certainly, an edge case, but it’s food for thought.

On that line of reasoning, I think 2014 was a year full of flex picks. We saw Karma, Lulu, and a whole host of other mages go in various lanes. Would a better line of reasoning be, “How many Supports did we see this year? How many Mid Laners did we see this year?” Double-counting Jayce doesn’t make for a very interesting comparison, but Annie might count. I think we saw more flex picks in 2014 than any other year. There were probably at least two dozen champions that were played in more than one role this year in professional play.

The game has also become more homogenized. Up until halfway through Season One, many teams weren’t running ADC+Support bottom lanes. Now it’s considered commonplace. Not everyone knew Kassadin was crazy strong throughout 2013, Cloud9 least of which, but he defined the first half of 2014′s Ban phase. Nowadays everyone’s watching the Koreans and saying, “Ah, LeBlanc and Corki are contested. We should all learn them.” The fact that all the top-tier players have a standard to look to and compel themselves to emulate shrinks our champion pools significantly.

I specifically asked Cloud9′s Hai about this at the beginning of 2014. He said they sat down, had a meeting, and told me (paraphrased), “We chose to drop our old playstyle. We should play like SKT. They won the world championship. Let’s be like them” Well, SKT couldn’t even qualify for Worlds the next year. I’m not certain that emulating a specific team or style of play in a constantly-evolving game is the right way to thrive. Cloud9 had, consecutively, their worst splits ever after making the decision, “Let’s copy SKT.” Throughout 2013 they made their own rules. Meteos made his own jungle style. Sneaky and LemonNation pulled in their own champion pools and style (Hello, Ashe/Zyra). Certainly, other factors than just “not innovating” led to teams taking more games off C9 than before; I’m just bringing up trends I see.

I think the trend actually feeds on itself. Because everyone’s compelled to learn specific champions because “better teams” do so, everyone shares similar champion pools. And because you can easily predict your opponent’s champions, and magically you ALSO play those champions, it means you have heavily contested picks. I know they want Corki. Well I know how to play Corki! Let’s first pick Corki. This repeats for every role, 2-3 champions deep. Some players branch out and have their own fun touches (Xerath players, Rengar players, Rumble players, Vayne players, etc.) but anything that sees a lot of success falls back into the old pattern of, “Oh this champion’s successful, let’s all learn it.”

In my opinion, almost every single champion in League of Legends can be that champion. The next Rengar is out there. The next Support Annie or Support Morgana is out there. People just arbitrarily started playing them and everyone decided it was a good idea. But people seem to glom onto them really, really hard, so the pools decrease.

What’s the way to fix that? Is it OK to “force open” the champion pools? Should we just track “# of Supports played” across seasons and trend that? What should change?

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Immobile champions are largely unpopular in LCS

Phreak New PortraitI absolutely disagree.

Ryze, Warwick (except ultimate), Orianna, Jinx, Morgana… The list goes on pretty much the entire way.

Very few champions have no mobility abilities, so it’s easy to say, “Well, mobility wins.” Except that Looper showed us both Singed and Kayle as completely dominant champions. Talon can only jump to enemies, and crushed people. Jayce likewise, same impact.

So, I have to reiterate, that saying things like “Cut in half” is very odd when there is I think literally one melee champion without some way of moving faster in Mordekaiser, and then some other fraction only has movement speed buffs… Yet we saw Dr. Mundo played for most of the split. And again, as far as ranged champions go, I think literally every conventional Support doesn’t contain tactical mobility skills. Twitch was arguably the defining ADC of the World Championship. Orianna hasn’t gone anywhere in literally ever, and neither has Rumble.

Now you can make the point that champions can be come non-viable, but mobility is an absolute red herring.

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Alternative champion roles tend to get nerfed immediately

Phreak New PortraitThat’s not quite correct, though I understand where you’re coming from.

We are not, as a game, against a champion being viable in multiple roles. We’re fine with Lulu working in 4 roles right now. We’re fine with Karma working in the same ones. We’re fine with Hecarim as a jungler as well as a Mid Laner (and I’m sure he’s fine Top also).

The changes to champions when they worked in certain lanes came from the gameplay impact of that lane. When Janna walked into lane, Pressed Q in the vague direction of the minions, and then immediately last hit the entire wave, that was an issue. When Lulu clicked “E” and then pressed “Q” twice, causing you to lose 50% of your health without it honestly being a real skill shot, that was the issue. When Annie’s low level base damages and stun were so obnoxiously high you immediately lost any possible 2v2 fight bottom lane, that was the issue.

Notice how literally nothing changed about Karma after we saw Bjergsen get a pentakill on her in the LCS playoffs, despite being played as a support the week before. Lulu hasn’t been changed in about 4 months (E duration on enemies being the big change) after her mid lane pattern became significantly less toxic.

The awkward thing about all of this is that it’s not that pro teams were looking for support mids to play. They didn’t immediately replace Janna with Morgana, or Karma, or Lulu, or Soraka. They played mid Janna because she was bullshit. They played mid Soraka because she was bullshit. Pros really like to pick champions that are un-counterable. Their opponents are, just like them, extremely skilled League of Legends players. If you can find a champion that CANNOT be outplayed, that’s a really strong champion to play in top tier play. So while a lot of people see, “Oh, Janna got played outside of her recommended lane, so Riot nerfed her,” what’s actually happening is, “Janna mid has no counterplay, let’s add some.” And then to pros go, “Oh, this champion has counterplay? Time to find something else to abuse.”

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What does void targets mean in the description of ZzRot Portal

Reinboom Final PortraitVoid Gates (created by Zz’Rot Portal)

Voidspawn (created by Void Gates)

Voidling (created by Malzahar)

There’s a bunch more void things in the game, but the Voidspawn ignore them for other reasons already such as various champions (Rek’Sai, Kha’zix) or Baron.

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So all the abovementioned Void creatures are allies

Reinboom Final PortraitThese creatures (Voidspawn at least) has no reason or natural behavior to attacking other void things.

This may be a normal void behavior – at least for the more “basic” void creatures – but there’s been no other real cases where we’ve gotten to see what the unchained whims of a void creature has been. The Voidlings you see in game are mostly under the control of Malzahar and thus could be directed against what is natural for them.

Voidspawn, unlike voidlings, aren’t “directed”. They have a sense of team apparently, but beyond that you have no way of really directing them. Their behaviors are very simple. This is probably due to opening a portal for them to come through is suitably different than calling for their service. It might also explain their volatility.

Of course the real reason for them ignoring void targets is that, gameplay wise, it was kind of boring to cancel a void gate with another void gate since it just meant inaction for both sides. Making them ignore all void targets was a “clean” way of solving that issue and allowed for a cute “also ignores voidlings” secret behavior.

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Will there be any changes to Tristanas E

Vesh Final Portrait This is correct! The E is a new spell although it has similarities to the feeling of the previous one (it’s still a targeted spell, still has the passive AoE on minion kill).

The rest of her kit is basically just numbers tuning, and the W will have an interaction with the new E.

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Will there be any changes to AP Tristana

Vesh Final PortraitYes. I have adjusted the AP ratios to be a bit healthier (less free burst for just clicking R) but her overall burst power will still be the same if you use the new E correctly. There will be more emphasis on her jumping in to do her combo instead of just click E click R though.

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Zenonthestoic Final PortraitHello friends of Shurima!

One of the long standing issues that we’ve had with Azir is that his Q behaved a little unpredictably sometimes. UnknownMartian most recently posted a Youtube video to reddit that lays out the problem clearly:


TLDR: When assigning soldiers positions for Conquering Sands (Q), Azir would historically grab all soldiers on the map in random order (most often this would happen to be in order of creation, but not always). As demonstrated in the video, in the three soldier case this sometimes leads to an unfortunate situation where the nearest soldier is assigned one of the side positions, 240 units off your mouse cursor.

I took some time tonight to rewrite how Q works and cleaned up some bugs surrounding the 2/4 soldier cases as well (4 soldiers is technically possible, but very, very rare). Here’s the breakdown, with pictures!

XxWuN12

One soldier

Pretty straightforward. Goes where you click. Your click position is a 75 radius green circle, the calculated soldier position is a 100 radius red circle. In this case they’re identical.

FTF77t1

Two soldiers

The soldiers align themselves around your target position, equidistant to the left and right of it. The nearest soldier always goes to the left position, viewed from Azir’s perspective along the axis of your cast direction.

S8XhAyT

Three soldiers

This is the situation from Unknown Martian’s video. I fixed this so the nearest soldier will always go to the MIDDLE, which is the position that you clicked on. The second closest will go to the left and the farthest will go to the right.

Four soldiers

This is very rare and hard to achieve. Hint: both Q and AA extend soldier lifetime by a fractional amount in certain situations. Not something I expect players will be able to exploit in real games, but just in case. As you can see, the first row of soldiers places itself slightly nearer to you than where you clicked, with the nearest soldier going to the center. This is only a difference of 120 units, and Q overshoots by 50 units, so this difference shouldn’t make you miss (we do check forward an additional 100 units at the end of a Q to see if we can find someone to hit anyway, so it’s a moot point).

None of this has been QA checked yet so details may change or the rollout of these changes may be delayed. They will also not be in the next patch; at the earliest, they will be in the patch after that.

Questions?

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.


 

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News 06/01

 

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 NA Server Roadmap Update Optimizing the Internet for League and You

Ahab Final PortraitUPDATE: Thanks for all your questions and joining in on the discussion, that’s it from us for now. If you haven’t already, please fill out the survey. And keep an eye out on Boards for future updates from the NA Roadmap team!

Hi everyone,

Riot Ahab here again to share more updates on what we’re doing to address East Coast ping problems. By now, you may be familiar with the NA Server Roadmap, which outlines our approach to addressing ping disparity across the US and Canada. You can check it out here.

Today, I want to introduce Riot WizardOTL (formerly Riot WizardoftheLake), who has been busy leading the charge on Phase 2 of the Roadmap: building a dedicated network for League of Legends traffic.

Why are we doing this? Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes, which is good for buffered applications like YouTube or Netflix but not so good for real-time games, which need to move very small amounts of data in milliseconds. On top of that, your internet connection might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go, which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street.

This is why we’re in the process of creating our own direct network for League traffic and working with ISPs across the US and Canada to connect players to this network.

There’s a lot of fine-tuning to do as we bring additional parts of the network online, and we could use your help. Some connections can misfire and run a longer route than necessary to get to this network, so If you have experienced a sudden spike to your connection since November, please let us know by filling out this short survey.

There’s a lot to cover, so we thought this would be best served as a Q&A. We’ll hang around this thread for the next 4 hours to answer questions and get into the nitty-gritty should anyone be curious.

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You should keep the community informed of your progress

Ahab Final PortraitAgreed – we’re talking on our end about ways to keep the community informed as we go along these steps. As pieces of the network come online, maybe we post an update to a thread and explain what happened (what went right, what didn’t). There are of course some things we can’t talk about for security concerns in the nitty-gritty, but still it could be worthwhile to outline the project into steps.

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If the Roadmap is complete how will gameplay improve

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitMany players should see improvements in network quality as our new North American network rolls out. These improvements could be less ping time, less network packet loss, and more stable connections (less disconnects). Ping, packet loss, and stability may not all move in the same direction for all players depending on location within North America, their ISP (how their ISP connects to Riot’s network).


Ping, packet loss, and stability are not always tied together and can be affected by many things. When it comes to network quality we prioritize stability, reduced packet loss, and ping time pretty much in this order. You can’t play the game if you are not connected, you will see more lag with more packet loss, and ping can become a problem when it gets significantly high or is unstable (shooting up and down all the time in the middle of the game).

The game client only reports ping time to players but it also tracks stability and packet loss to Riot (and in client log files) on a near real time basis (though it can take us a day to crunch all the data from all the game clients before we see a troubling trend developing so we are not yet at real time detection of some network problems). Sometimes packet loss will show up in your ping time, usually you will see it jump up and down quickly which often indicates packet loss is happening or if severe packet loss will show up as lag in the game.

Faster ping time is often reported by players to “feel” better and is often something that is reported to be more meaningful the better you are at playing a game. How fast ping is before you feel the difference is likely dependent on the individual but it is generally thought the lower the better (diminishing returns apply, going from 160 ping to 90 ping is more impactful than going from 110 ping to 40). Lower ping time can also help mitigate packet loss since the game can recover missing packets faster. Because the Internet is a loose collection of various private and public networks, ping time is something that will constantly change for players. Some players could see slight increases in ping times while others can see significant reductions as our new network comes online. Our goal is benefit the most players and then troubleshoot ISPs that still have players with poor network quality.

EDIT: Formatting

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Ahab Final PortraitThis network should bring a marginal improvement for everyone – coast to coast. West coasters are impacted by this as well – we’ve seen traffic in San Francisco get bounced across the country before finally getting to the server.

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When will this be ready

Ahab Final PortraitThe full network is slated to be built by the end of March this year. 

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Does that mean itll be fully functional or just that the network will be ready

Ahab Final PortraitThe hardware will be functional — the agreements may take a little extra time (since contracts always do), and there will be extra work hammering out individual hiccups and making sure as many players as possible have their connections pathing correctly to this network.

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Ahab Final PortraitThe March goal should include getting the agreements done (and we are currently on schedule in that regard), but the back-and-forth on contracts never fails to amaze me on how long it can take!

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So youre setting up your own Tier 2 or 1 network

Ahab Final PortraitExactly, we’re focused on peering directly — technically we may not meet the classification of a Tier 1 network, but you’ve got the idea.

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How will you involve NA ISPs in the process

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitIt can take us many months to work with large ISP companies to achieve even modest results. Gaming is currently not a priority for most. However we are investing a lot of time in educating the ISPs that have LoL players as customers. It is very company dependent and we expect it will be a long road to travel but ultimately great for gamers.

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Isnt collaborating with ISPs for a service against Net Neutrality

WizardOTL Final BannerNo and yes. So we are forced to do this because of the way the Internet is architected, not because the ISPs are forcing us to. Net Neutrality is not in play here, this is just the way any network would have to be built to achieve our goals.

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Why was there a huge packet loss around December 29th 30th

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitThere was a lot of DDoS activity targeting the game industry the last 2 weeks of the year. While it may not be your specific cause, DDoS can create congestion for more than just the target. Congested pipes create packet loss. Hard to tell for a specific player though.

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Will you address the other connection issues players are dealing with

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitNetwork quality has been a big focus for us in 2014 with a ton of planning and work being accomplished. As work continues into 2015 players should see improvements in network quality for many of the LoL services though game play is our biggest focus. It might be worth contacting player support about your specific frequent issues with PvP chat disconnecting.

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Should I stick it out with Verizon or switch to another provider

WizardOTL Final BannerGreat question! We are working as fast as we can with Verizon to peer with them, and are not aware of any issues (though I just reached out to their VP of network infrastructure). We are also working to make sure that we are not going to get throttled, our traffic is really low (300k or less) so that shouldn’t be a problem. I really don’t think the VPN service is worth it, but it does not hurt to try.

Thank you for playing ! Even if you are a Cisco guy ;) Seriously though, great post.

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Why havent the NA servers been moved to a more centralized location

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitNetwork quality is the foundational thing in any online service (online being the key word). Once we have a handle on being able to firmly control the quality of the Internet between player ISPs and LoL data centers we can tackle the issue of what is the best location for the servers. With the big changes in the Internet business model going on since 2013 (net neutrality, rise in huge DDoS attacks, popularity of online video exploding which has created unprecedented Internet congestion, etc.) we have had to take a step back and really think about the foundation first. Network first is the right long term strategy for players throughout North America.

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Are you having trouble finding T1T2 lines in various parts of the country

WizardOTL Final BannerNo, we have our own all optical network and we are asking the ISPs to send League traffic through that.

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Will you manage the network yourselves or let an outside company do that

WizardOTL Final BannerWe manage it internally. We have a great core team and we are actively recruiting to grow that group.

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How did you as a company react when an employee suggested doing this

WizardOTL Final BannerHonestly, it took us a while to digest and wrap our heads around it. We had to meet with outside groups, and recruit people that have dealt with “service provider” networks versus data center networks. And then we ran some tests and found that this was the right path.

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How long do you think itll take for the investment this will require to pay off

WizardOTL Final BannerWe don’t really look at it that way, this is the best for the players, so it is just something we need to do.

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Pabro Final PortraitsSay farewell to your friends, for Snowdown has passed.
The Legend of the Poro King conquered at last.
We won some, we lost some, we tossed many poros.

Some landed and some missed, that is just how it goes.
Who really won this Snowdown? Only the poros know.
Every single game, a unique Snowdown surprise.

The year may be over, but only Amumu cries–
Even if it’s over, we learned one thing at the end:
Snowdown gathers strangers, but we all leave as friends.

Thank you! Together we’ve had another incredible year and we’ve enjoyed taking a few big steps in League’s evolution with you. While Snowdown may be over, there’s one more thing we wanted to do to commemorate 2014.

Over the next few days, we’ll be rewarding positive League of Legends players with a classic Mystery Gift as thanks for being such an awesome part of our community. If you haven’t received a chat restriction, ranked restriction, 14-day ban or permanent ban in 2014, and you meet the requirements to receive a Mystery Gift (you’re Level 5 or higher and there are at least 10 skins you don’t own), you’re on our list!

Thank you again for a fantastic 2014. Share what you unlocked in your Mystery Gift below, and we’ll see you on the Rift in the new year!

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Free Mystery Gifts for positive players

Lyte Final PortraitHope everyone had a good holiday and New Year. I’m seeing some questions about this new announcement, so hopefully can help out.

One, a few players are wondering why we are giving out an extrinsic (tangible!) reward for positive behavior when they might have heard we were against it in the past. This is a misunderstanding! We’ve always said that our player behavior philosophies include punishment, reform, and positive reinforcement. There’s no silver bullet to improving player behavior in online games, and you always need a mix of punishments and rewards. You can read more about our design philosophies here:http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/player-behavior/exploring-player-behavior-design-values

However, to give more context about this extrinsic reward, the key is that it is a surprise and not deterministic. What I mean by this is that it isn’t some kind of achievement system where you are sportsmanlike for your next 10 games, then directly unlock a mystery gift. If you design a system like this, players will simply behave for 10 games, unlock their mystery gift and go back to their normal ways.

This current design is something we’re trying out in 2015 and will surprise players once in awhile for their positive behavior. Because players aren’t sure what the next reward is (or when it is), players will strive to be sportsmanlike in a larger range of games to try to get all the surprises. For positive players in the game, this won’t really affect them and they’ll just get surprises every so often for being awesome. For neutral players, this effort might convince some of them to put in that extra effort in a few more games to get the next surprise. For toxic players, this effort might also encourage a few to change their ways though we expect the biggest impact to be with the neutral players. It’s important to note that we did 2 tests of this design before (with Santa Baron icon and IP Boosts), but in future roll-outs it will be possible for players to earn the next surprise if they’ve been positive since the last surprise was awarded. So, if you were chat restricted and missed a surprise, you will still be eligible for the next surprise if you were positive in the time range between the 2 surprises and are not blacklisted for life.

Not every surprise will be a mystery gift. Every surprise will differ in magnitude, and be tailored to different players. For example, the last surprise was an IP Boost which was mainly beneficial for newer players still building out their champion pools. Other surprises may include collectibles like unique summoner icons (which we tried before with the Santa Baron icon).

Hopefully this answered a few of your questions, and seeing all these surprises will nudge some players to be a little more positive in their games!

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How can we earn the Santa Baron icon

Lyte Final PortraitIf you were positive around Q4 2012, you got a Santa Baron to keep! Use it in all its glory.

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Lyte Final PortraitTo be fair, the Santa Baron used different criteria than not getting a chat restriction or ban, but we found being very transparent with our criteria helped players understand how to get the next surprise which is why all current surprises use very clear criteria.

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What happens if you own too many skins to be eligible for Mystery Gifts

Lyte Final PortraitWait for the next surprise! Unfortunately we can’t ensure that all surprises are beneficial to every player, every time.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

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Small news post to start the new year with. PBE updates will resume on January 5th!

 

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Concept art for Winter Wonder Orianna by Zeronis




What damage does Dorans Shield reduce

Phreak New PortraitThere are roughly 4 different “ways” damage can be dealt.

Basic Attack / On Hit. This is any basic attack, things like Mystic Shot, Double Up, etc. These are really common of course, and interact with Doran’s Shield. Note that most of these abilities are rolled INTO the basic attack and thus are only counted once total, as though you had simply attacked your target. You’ll typically not see Doran’s double-dip an ability like this.

Single Target Spell -> This is anything that deals damage in one chunk to one single target. A spell like this receives full power from Spell Vamp and Rylai’s. Some older champions do this in more ways than you’d expect, like the second half of Akali Q is actually a Single Target Spell. This stuff will be affected by Doran’s Shield, as it says in the tooltip of the item.

Damage Over Time -> Swain Q, Swain E, Brand Passive. This will trigger full Spell Vamp and reduced effect from Rylai’s. Will not be affected by Doran’s Shield.

Area of Effect -> Whether it’s a damage over time effect or not, if it hits multiple targets at the same time (Malzahar W, Morgana W, Brand W, LeBlanc W, Kayle’s E), it’s usually this. These will trigger the reduced versions of Rylai’s and Spell Vamp, and will not be affected by Doran’s Shield.

Proc -> This is stuff that doesn’t apply anything. Sunfire Cape is an example of this. The bonus damage on Shyvana’s E, Kog W, MF W, Nami E are others. Unaffected by Doran’s.

Warwick ult and Shyvana Q are multiple basic attacks, so each would be reduced by Doran’s.

Syndra’s R is actually multiple single target spells, so each is reduced.

Unfortunately, there’s just a lot of “this is how the ability was coded.” Jax is an old champion, and his W and R are both “Single target spells” even though they probably should be “proc” abilities. There’s no good way to intuitively know this, and other similar abilities don’t work this way.

I believe Karthus Q becomes a “single target spell” instead of “AoE Spell” when hitting only one target.

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Why is Zyras base movement speed so low

Phreak New PortraitI can’t speak to many of the other champions. I know we are fairly inconsistent with things like base stats (I’m not personally a fan of that).

But Zyra specifically has:

A lot of reach – You can spam plants to deal damage for you from very far outside almost anyone else’s range.

A lot of crowd control – Her E is an almost 2 second long root and spawns a slowing plant, completely unblocked by minions. This has about 1,000 range I believe. Her R is a gigantic knockup that you also can’t chase through. You can theoretically dodge away, but if you’re running at her, you’re pretty much guaranteed to eat it.

So because she’s long ranged and hard to reach, the compromise is that if you manage to dodge her stuff and catch up to her, you’re pretty much ensured the kill. If she were long ranged, could easily inhibit your progress, AND was fast, I’m not sure there’d be anything you could do about her.

To speak to the other champions you listed at least a little:

Syndra has a similar set of mechanics to Zyra – Long range, lots of safety tools. She’s only 5 MS higher, so that’s not far off. Zyra is a bit longer ranged than Syndra, so I can see this being somewhat fair.

Malzahar has rather short range. He also has no crowd control unless he’s channeling it. I think it’s totally fair to give him high move speed for a ranged champion.

Akali is melee. Totally fair, IMO.

Annie has no long-ranged tools at all. She can stun, but she’s hard capped in her range. She’s somewhat on the high end of movespeed for a ranged champion, but she’s short ranged (for a ranged champion) so this is fine, IMO.

Heimerdinger is an oddity. He doesn’t keep people at bay very well, but he has plenty of long range tools. I don’t know why his move speed is as high as it is.

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Is Last Whisper an early mid or lategame item for ADCs

Phreak New PortraitHere’s how the items stack up for about 80% of the AD Carries. Hopefully this’ll help you make your item-buying decisions.

Critical Strike is the single most under-coster/under-represented stat out there. Items like Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer/Statikk Shiv are GIGANTIC damage increases, so you will always look to buy both these items. If you care about your basic attack damage, you want both of these and you want them early. Most pros build IE/SS or IE/PD as their first two big items every game.

The big-ticket life steal items (Bloodthirster, Blade of the Ruined King) are reasonably strong damage items, but you get what you pay for. The gold you sink into life steal isn’t sunk into damage, so you’re getting understandably less damage per gold than an item like Phantom Dancer, Last Whisper, Infinity Edge, etc. This is pretty much just straightforward logic, but it’s worth keeping in mind: You get what you pay for in extra durability by buying lifesteal instead of increased damage. Understandably, Ruined King is a bit higher on the Damage – Durability slider.

Last Whisper is just fine as a third item. After IE/PD, you’re basically saying “Okay do I want life steal (BT or BotRK) or do I want more damage (Last Whisper). It’s actually efficient 25-30 minutes into the game, because you WILL be hitting front-line tanky targets, and even against squishies, it’s better than you might think. The Chinese Marksmen at the 2014 World Championship typically built Last Whisper third, optimizing their damage output at the expense of durability.

There is one huge caveat with Last Whisper though: Part of the reason the item is so good is because Armor Penetration is the best multiplier in the game for physical damage skills. If your champion doesn’t deal meaningful physical damage though abilities (Corki and Kog’Maw primarily) you actually don’t have a reason to buy Last Whisper. It actually falls beneath Blade of the Ruined King (which also provides lifesteal) making it a fairly senseless purchase on those champions.

So there are basically two main builds I see from AD Carries:

Infinity Edge -> Berserker’s Greaves -> Phantom Dancer or Shiv -> Last Whisper -> Bloodthirster -> Durability item.

and

Infinity Edge -> Greaves -> PD/Shiv -> Bloodthirster -> Last Whisper

There are some other builds with Trinity Force and stuff as well, and the math gets more complex there, but following those two builds should work for most of your games. You also may find yourself needing something like Quicksilver Sash (vs. Warwick, Malzahar, Zed) and those can be slipped in mid-build as well.

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Follow Up

I get Last Whisper around the 25th minute after IE

Phreak New PortraitThat’s a decent rule of thumb, but keep in mind that no matter how well or poorly you’re doing, you basically always want to wait until after two major items are completed before thinking about LW. All the Armor Pen is going to do is multiply whatever damage you currently have, and if you don’t have any damage yet, there’s nothing to multiply.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.