Spirit Guard Udyr, New Summoner Icons, Future Rework of Yorick, Oceanic Servers and More!
(Credit for the art goes to WooCushWashi, a deviant artist and fan of LoL. If you like his work, make sure to visit his profile!)
Udyr’s brand new ultimate skin, couple of small PBE changes, Summoner Icons awards based on lifetime RP purchases, massive discussion of Yorick with Xelnath and Morgageddon, Oceanic Servers now in beta, a Skin sale and more!
Spirit Guard Udyr: Ultimate Skin
PBE: Champion Changes
PBE: Ultimate Summoner Portraits
Lifetime RP purchase rewards
@Xelnath – Let’s talk about Yorick
Skin Sale – from July 2nd to 5th
Spirit Guard Udyr: Ultimate Skin
The second ultimate skin is here! Pick up Spirit Guard Udyr for 1950 RP during the discount period or the whole bundle for 2295 RP if you don’t own the champion. After the sale ends, the skin will return to its regular price of 3250 RP.
Apologies for not providing screenshots of the skin on the PBE, I’ve been having a continuous bug splat problem I can’t seem to resolve. If you’d like to see more of the skin, Riot have released a promotional website dedicated to Spirit Guard Udyr.
If you’re looking for a custom death animation, you won’t find one with Spirit Guard Udyr! Here’s why:
Riot DudeBro: Hey folks,
We skipped a custom Udyr death (vfx and sound wise). The reason is he had 4 sets of emotes, 4 recalls, 4 minion deaths, 4 jungle creep deaths, 4 champ deaths.( on top of the other stuff involved with him). We wanted to focus on those as there was of backend tech and content creation involved as well as all the QA that needed to happen. Overall, it was me that didn’t do anything for it( I was underwater in work as it is with this skin).
We’ll take this data so we can use it to for the next Ultimate skin.
“You’re lazy, that’s why you didn’t do it!” (don’t be this guy)
Why was the decision made to not include a custom death animation?
This is something we talked about. We decided that we wanted to focus our efforts on making the stances and custom kills as rewarding as possible. We wanted to encourage players to be rewarded when they do something awesome, and encourage them to do those things.
We didn’t want to encourage players to have to die in order to fully experience the scope of the features in game. After play tests and talks we felt it was much more rewarding to see cool features you trigger by killing things, using emotes, etc. It felt not as cool to make the features of Udyr dependent on something negative or that other players controlled like getting killed.
There are times when it fits the theme so much that we are just like “well yeah, that makes sense, we absolutely should do this” (Phoenix Quinn is a great example) but this one didn’t stand out as an especially cool place to do so. It is more of a gut feeling on a skin by skin basis, including discussion as a team.
Not saying this is right or wrong, but just want to be able to answer the question of why.
PBE Update: Champion Changes
- Fury-per-hit decreased from from 2/2.5/3 to 2 at all ranks
The core issue is that increasing the rate at which she passively generated fury -and- the rate at which she built fury per auto-attack was accelerating her dragonfury a little too much. In some cases, players were being stuck in their Dragon form when they wanted to defend the base, push, or farm the jungle (thus prolonging the time to the next transformation). The change you aren’t seeing is that in response her Dragon Form drains less Fury per second, ensuring that she’s able to transform – stay around longer – but then appropriately reset and prepare her next ult cast.
PBE Update: Ultimate Summoner Portraits
There are the in-game portrait icons for both ultimate skins.
Lifetime RP purchase rewards
Similar to the icon upgrade system based on number of wins, an update is coming exclusively for those who have been long-term supporters of League of Legends!
Hippalus: (Old post) We have plans to provide players with permanent summoner icon rewards for many different things over the next several months, including lifetime RP purchases as well as good behavior in game. The Shadow Isles summoner icons were specifically designed to reward players for participating in the Shadow Isles and the Harrowing offerings, with some of the icons being extremely rare for those who provide the greatest amount of support. However, I understand the frustration of those who feel they haven’t been rewarded for past RP purchases, or for other contributions such as being a great player in-game, but I can assure you, it is coming.
When can we hope to get the lifetime purchase icons?
Hippalus: The icon rewards for lifetime RP spending are still a high priority, but to make them as cool as we’d like (automatically upgrading as you reach new tiers), they need some new tech that is part of a larger initiative. It now looks like that tech might not be ready until next year so we either have to wait on lifetime RP icons or come up with an interim solution that is less awesome. In general, Riot is more focused on the long term and would rather wait to do it right.
Hippalus: In this case it’s that the tech and design for the larger initiative are complex and interrelated so I can’t just ask the tech guys to ignore every other aspect of the project and give me the tech for the Lifetime RP icons. Sorry that’s not much of an answer but it’s all I can share at this stage.
Why are upgrades necessary? Can’t we just get different icons via the current tech?
Hippalus: Two reasons. 1) We want to have a lot of tiers so players don’t have to wait as long between upgrades. If players have qualified for the 12th tier, it’s a little strange to fill their icon library with 12 relatively similar icons. 2) The current limitations of our icon design space make it hard to make a progressive series of icons like this awesome, so the end result should be much better if we wait for the new tech.
Something interesting that caught my eye…
Riot you are so disappointing and show that you just are interested in making money….
You cant be sure that you had no time for us players who spent so much money (600€+) in this game for 9 month… I just have no words for that…
Riot this is just really really sad…
Let’s talk about Yorick
Xelnath posts a simple question: what, according to you, is the problem with Yorick?
Xelnath: I recently polled players on the most frustrating Top Laner to face. 4 champions floated to the top. Singed, Yorick, Teemo and Jayce. I then read the comments about those four champions to determine what the issues where.
Jayce: “He can poke me, escape and he’s hard to face.” –> Tuning Amplifying Mechanics Singed: “He can farm all day and killing him means nothing.” –> Bounty Mechanics Teemo: “He can poke me, escape and when I reach him I’m blinded.” –> Champion Mechanics
Yorick: “He is a brick wall in lane, with no counterplay, who often loses the game when he can’t turn that power into a victory later on.” –> Champion Mechanics deny satisfaction from both Yorick’s opponent and Yorick’s team in the late game.
Aka, the most toxic kind of experience a champion can bring to league of legends.
While it is likely a *very* long time before I’ll have anything major to show, help me understand how you experience Yorick better.
- What is the fantasy of playing Yorick?
- What are the high moments of Yorick?
- What do you dislike most about playing Yorick?
- What is the most frustrating part of facing Yorick?
- How do you win a game against Yorick?
- What do you enjoy most about facing Yorick?
- How does Yorick lose a game?
What’re the results?
- The general fantasy Yorick players have is very consistent and unsatisfied.
- Yorick is much more offensive to players than I had imagined.
- Yorick players come in two major categories.
- – Pick Yorick for his Theme (Necromancer)
- – Pick Yorick for his Raw Power (Broken sustain/poke)
This guy will probably be a much more severe rework than Xerath. However, it seems clear what direction he must go:
1) Yorick must feel like he controls an “Army of the Damned” – multiple minions, not one powerful one 2) Yorick must feel like he can make skillful plays, using his ghouls. 3) Yorick opponents must feel like they can outplay his moves.
Some Yorick players show that they appreciate how powerful and uncounterable Yorick is. However, this is not healthy for league, as I think most players will agree. The surprise to me is that these Yorick players feel that he prevents other, worse, champion playstyles from becoming dominant in top lane.
If this is true, it means we may need to simultaneously investigate those issues, if Yorick is the last bastion counter champ…. I will confer with higher skilled players to see if this is consistently true.
Either way, his “no-brain” playstyle clearly must go.
What’s wrong with Yorick currently?
Xelnath: I do not feel like Yorick’s mechanics are good at all.
Q – an attack reset + move speed buff)
* This ability is only good if you can already close to reach the target. Compare with Garen Q which allows you to close to the target to enable the rest of his kit.
W – instant AoE snare + minion summon
* This ability isn’t bad except for the fact that it is unavoidable harass
E – instant DD + lifesteal nuke
* This ability has zero counterplay and is the reason Yorick is so incredibly frustrating to play against. Worse, the ghoul only makes the experience worse if the enemy wants to fight you head-to-head.
R – Clone ally, revive them if the ally dies
* The optimal use case for this spell is throwing it on an enemy who will live long enough for you to take advantage of the double AD. Then just as the duration is about to wear off, that ally dies and comes back again.
This is a double level of frustration – the scenarios to get the best out of it are narrow. The cases where you use it on yourself, it feels like a very bad Tryndamere ultimate.
Passive – +% dmg and %damage reduction
* This is the worst thing on his kit. It says “if you close on yorick, he’s harder to kill than if you harass him”
* This means that players “intuit” how hard he will be to kill by poking, then all-in Yorick and see that Yorick is suddenly 15% more damaging and 15% harder to kill. This leads to constant frustration.
Why are you reworking these champions? First Xerath, now Yorick?
* They fail to fulfill the fantasy most players have when they imagine that champion
* They have raw power that is either hidden by or tied to mechanical clunkiness
* They have the potential to bring a game-changing experience to league of legends.
Xerath was the long range caster who was outranged and given one OP spell as a crutch. Yorick is the toplane bruiser with no counterplay and no skill-based differentiation.
Both of these guys could be phenomenal, game-changing characters… or at least be more awesome to play.
Why the current Yorick feels rewarding to play
- The ability to be losing a battle, duck into a bush to force a melee fight, drop ult and all ghouls, and proceed to mug my opponent for his bounty money.
- The ability to Q onto a tank, dive into the enemy team after the ADC/other squishies, and force them away from the fight/force a tank peel from my scary shovel.
- Duking it out with someone, dying off, and then resurrecting to take them down with me.
- Being a melee champ, but barely keeping the powerful bruiser off of my tower with my ranged ghouls, surviving just long enough that I can get melee power of my own.
- Slowing and ripping into anyone that tries to dive past me after my ADC/squishies.
These are my game-changing moments. I’m only looking at it from a Yorick perspective – I can’t imagine any of these are fun for my opponents, but they’re certainly fun for me. The question is which ones, and for how many of these does the unfun for them outweigh the fun for me?
2) Cutting through the enemy team via smart use of spells to reach the ADC
3) Revenge killing someone
4) Defending tower against the odds
5) Protecting your ADC with slows and ghouls.
Is he more problematic than Sion to rework?
You can read about the issues with Sion here.
Xelnath: Sion has a conflict of mechanics and fantasy. Yorick seems to have no real mechanics that players latch onto – only power. Perhaps a few nuances with the ultimate or the ability to position minions.
However, the fantasy space of a spirit/ghoul conjurer who also fights is a rich one.
Why did you decide to rework Yorick instead of the other picks mentioned?
referencing Singed, Jayce and Teemo
Jayce, Singed and Teemo all bring cool, unique experiences to league in the form of tactical shrooms, gateways with dodgable balls of explosiveness and poison trail.
Yorick brings none of that. Maybe he clones a fed ADC once in 20 games.
Yorick is toxic in lane, detrimental to his team in the midgame and outright useless unless absurdly fed. So yes, its a mix of personal passion along with the confirmation granted by the feedback in these past two threads that has solidified my belief that Yorick needs to be reworked.
Xelnath: It was not just the poll – it was the emotional reactions, combined with the logical reasoning expressed as to why a specific champion was bad. Four champions all arose as highly frustrating. Only one arose as both frustrating and incomprehensible and difficult to respond to.
Dominus, I totally respect your skill and I have bookmarked your video to watch at work on Monday. The issue is that his issues are clearly so deep that many, many, players cannot see the windows of vulnerability you feel. In fact, I suspect most players who injure Yorick during them do it by accident.
This is symptomatic of a badly designed champion. It’s not your fault, it’s ours for releasing him in that state. While yes, we could bandaid him, I question if that’s a good investment of resources. Even minor balance tuning requires playtesting and analysis which are a limited commodity. I know you’ve heard this before, but if our options are to nerf a champion into nigh inviability or rework him to be healthy and appropriate for league… where do you really want to see Yorick end up?
The ghouls that deal damage to you like a DoT, but can be targetted and are nigh impossible to kill are confusing and not fun. Should we just make the ghouls untargettable? Should they just be a debuff at that point?
I’m exaggerating these points, though, which I’m sure you already understand. While I am definitely listening to your expert opinion, I also agree based on my gut experience as a designer that Yorick has very little that he brings to the table that doesn’t take away more from the game he’s in than he provides.
Suggestions to improve Yorick’s ghouls
If Yorick were to be readjusted, it’d be nice if his Ghouls acted more like Elise’s Spiderlings and only attacked the things near him or the things he was attacking or if there was some actual reward for killing the ghouls like spiderlings. The current situation is, damned if you do, damned if you don’t because the ghouls are disposable, too disposable. There is no point in killing them, they are too fast to avoid and they die on their own within the time it takes you to kill them.
So I have Two Ideas I’d like to share with you.
- Twin Shadows Method – Make the ghosts immune to all damage and die after they have preformed one attack. Keeps him unique and takes away his endgame weakness (ghouls dying to AoE instantly). This makes them less of a disposable pet and more of a two part spell that looks like a pet.
- The Orianna Method – Killing units with his auto attacks (The shovel) plays a digging animation that grants him a ghoul which follows him around like spiderlings and are controlled with his spells similar to Orianna’s Ball. This “digging” passive has an internal cooldown so killing his ghouls ends up having meaning, and Yorick actually wants to keep his ghouls alive instead of spamming them at you. Proper Risk/Reward.
TLDR – The problem as I see it in regards to Yorick, some champions can’t get near him because they can’t kill the ghouls. Other champions flat out ignore him because they can kill the ghouls extremely easily which is also the problem Yorick has endgame. Ghouls need a total rework.
I find your two concepts interesting. I love the thought you’ve put into this post as well.
1 is “Ghoul as spell effect”
2 is “Ghoul as remote unit which performs spells”
Yorick players – which of these directions do you find more appealing?
Here’s why live ghouls are utterly terrible:
1) They are attackable, but only live for a short time.
2) This means they are killable and can consume resources, but are difficult to kill
3) If you choose to kill them they gain their almost full effectiveness (autoattacking you)
4) If you choose to run away from them, you are kiting almost constantly because there’s always some ghouls out.
5) When you do kill them, they don’t grant gold
Here is what this remake will almost certainly NOT have:
1) I will not make short duration summons that are attackable
2) I will not make things with the ILLUSION of counterplay
3) I will not also punish players for focusing ghouls.
Based on those philosophies, I believe that temporary ghouls are a very bad idea and are endemically broken in league unless aoe damage or focused attacks one-shot them, in which case they are useless.
To look at our other summoner character, Zyra:
1) Her whole kit is about summoning
2) She still does damage even without seeds.
3) Her plants create specific areas to avoid
4) Her plans can be killed, dramatically reducing their damage output
4) You are compensated with gold for destroying them, since it probably cost you last hitting.
For this reason, I think Yorick’s present ghoul summoning mechanism is very, very bad and should not be preserved. You have some cool ideas in here I like, such as every X spells, you get to summon a super ghoul who is meaningful. Ghouls who debuff the enemy are conceptually cool, but all that it means is “closing on yorick is bad”. This is something which is already true, because of the existence of ghouls. (Like Elise spiders).
So I don’t feel it really helps his kit.
Thanks for taking the time to share this.
Why should the ghouls be ranged?
A) I am the tank, protecting my pets as they do ranged damage from behind me.
B) I am the caster, my pets are my frontline and they provide space and safety for me.
The fundamental problem with “I am melee and my pets are melee” is the Elise problem. Nobody appreciates her spiderling. Yet they are like 40% of her melee damage.
When you’re in melee with her, you want to be meleeing her. You don’t want to be dealing with garbo spiders. When you’re at ranged, her spiders are no threat and are not worth harassing down.
Let’s not repeat that mistake. Ghouls should be important, relevant to kill and a meaningful part of Yorick’s gameplay. Yorick should feel the pain when they are missing, but not feel hopeless that he will never get them back.
Summary of the feedback
A lot of good thoughts here.
Things filtering to the top:
* Yorick should still be in the front line
* Ghouls are what Yorick is about.
* Ghouls should last longer
* Ghouls should be meaningful to Yorick
* Ghouls should give *some* gold (maybe 5 like Zyra plants?) if you last hit them
* Yorick’s free, ranged sustain is highly frustrating and doesn’t require himself to be at risk (Compare with Nasus)
* Yorick’s snares and lockdown kit (W -> Q) means once you do close, the enemy has no chance to escape in an even match
* Yorick’s ultimate is too dependant on allies and feels out of theme with Yorick.
* Yorick’s kit doesn’t give Yorick players an opportunity to be skillful.
Going to cook up a couple ideas based on the stuff I’ve seen here. (Keep in mind, no work on this will begin for quite some time – I’m trying to establish a baseline understanding of player expectations and gameplay hypothesis I want to solve.)
Xelnath: I’ve thrown together two “kit” ideas based on the concepts posed earlier for discussion of the ideas behind them. Keep in mind, these are only tooltips… and tooltips are much easier to write than abilities are to build.
Which of these fits the kind of character Yorick should be? Please explain why you like or hate it.
Good Talking Points:
* Counterplay – which one provides the better experience?
* Creativity – which one lets the player feel like a pro?
* Cohesiveness – which ones feels like it works well together?
Ghouls buff Yorick. Yorick can give these buffs to an Ally.
Ghouls interplay with each other. Yorick’s ultimate is a powerful army command tool.
(Q – Ranged Nuke)
(E – Skillshot)
Why did you change his ultimate?
Xelnath: His ultimate is reliant on others for you to be successful in the best case, in the worst it’s negated if you use it prematurely, and serves as an underwhelming revive in the case where you use it on someone about to die.
In addition to those clunky use cases and mechanics, Yorick’s Ult has caused more bugs in league of legends than even Mordekaisers and brings an immense amount of invisible power into the game.
Based on these factors, I believe exploring another ultimate which better serves his kit and his fantasy would be a good idea.
How many ghouls will Yorick be allowed to have at the same time?
Kit 2′s ultimate seems lacking because of the channel time
Basic idea: Yorick is a close-range, melee bruiser. He can use his ghouls to gain ranged damage and harass, but only by putting them at risk.
I also mocked up what it would look like when 3 ghouls were protecting Yorick defensively.
Is the new ultimate also a channel?
A Red’s opinion on Yorick
I think the main issue with Yorick top was that he was both impossible to harass (due to the slows from his ghouls) and the healing they provided. When he was grouped together with his team, he was good at focusing a single target away from his team, as well as using his ultimate to make the fight more of a 5.5 vs. 5, since the revenant added additional damage and then bringing the champion back if they died.
If you wish to retain that to be a core part of his kit, while also removing his impossible sustain in lane, Kit 1 would be the better of the two due to the ability to protect a chosen ally, giving them bonus stats to sustain and endure during the fight.
However, if you wish Yorick to be more of a mass CC control champion, Kit 2 makes more sense, since he’d have the ability to slow and root enemies. However, for the ultimate, I’d actually have a counter included and have him summon however many ghouls he had made in the game up to that point. In that way, it encourages you to spam ghouls to increase the numbers and puts the game back in the other team’s hands in order to prevent the game dragging on (thereby allowing extra time for Yorick to increase his past ghoul total and output damage). Perhaps it would reset after each ultimate, with increasing damage with every time the ultimate was leveled up.
Just my 2 cents.
FUTURE DISCUSSION: What type of champion should Yorick be?
Is Yorick a melee fighter or a minion commander
Players who want a necromancer style of play want more ghoul commands.
Players who want a strong melee fighter want to ignore the ghouls.
Of these two categories, which one does League need more? Which one is the best “fit” for Yorick? I’ll be discussing this more with coworkers tomorrow as well.
There will probably be a lot more to this thread in the coming days. Lots of suggestions are floating around, some of which I haven’t mentioned here. If you’re interested in Yorick’s feature, test yourself and read the whole thread! There’s even StarCraft in there, I promise.
Will we learn more about Heimerdinger’s rework soon?
Xelnath: Actually, Heimerdinger is making progress. However, my sudden insertion of Xerath into the playtesting schedule pushed Heimerdinger back severely. (You can’t playtest two AP mid characters effectively in the same game without warping feedback.)
Morello actually asked me if I would like to pickup the task of finishing off Heimerdinger now that Xerath is getting into a good state. I actually said no, because I’m fried mentally on the AP character space right now and the “cleanup/pruning” stages of development are the ones I find most stressful. (I’ll post more about this in the Xerath thread).
So, feel free to blame me for Heimerdinger being pushed back. That said, the guys who are assigned to him have actually done a great job of remaking him to feel way more satisfying!
Oceanic servers now in Beta!
Australian players rejoice – LoL is coming to you!
It is with great pleasure that I announce you that League of Legends is now available down under with the beta launch of the Oceanic server. Players will have English-language support, local servers and a dedicated Oceania website.
Starting today, you can join the Oceanic beta by transferring from NA, LATAM, Russia, Turkey, EUNE and EUW. This transfer is free for a limited time. Early transfers earn exclusive rewards including Ziggs and Pool Party Ziggs and enjoy a 100% IP and XP boost for all players until after the beta is over!
Claim your free OCE transfer token by heading to the in-game store and clicking on the Other tab. Secure your summoner name on the new server by transferring today!
We’re also celebrating the launch with an online tournament from July 6 to July 14. The tournament’s top four teams will head to PAX Melbourne from July 19-21 to compete for cash prizes. There will be more info soon, so check back for all the details.
For the full scoop on the new server, transfer options, beta limitations and more, check out this FAQ.
Thank you SO much for pushing us in providing a better service to you!
If I can’t buy RP during the beta-test, how can I get the ultimate Udyr skin at a discount?
What will RP Cost? Will champion and skin prices vary in Oceania?
MasterMirkinen: We are still finalizing the pricing structure of the Oceanic server, but we can anticipate this will be very close if not exactly the same of what you are paying today. The RP price of items in the store is unchanged.
Will I keep my ranked standing (tier and division) when I transfer to Oceania?
MasterMirkinen: Sort of. League standings are relative to the other players on your server, so when you transfer to Oceania you’ll be placed based on how you stack up against the other ranked players who make the switch. In most cases, you’ll find yourself in a higher tier and division than your original server.
You’ll still have one placement match before you’re officially placed into a league, but your prior ranked standing will be the key determiner. If you think some nefarious ghosts in the machine got ahold of your ranking at some point in the transfer process, please contact player support.
Skin Sale – expires on July 5th
Enjoy the following champions and skins at a discount until June 5th!
Nocturne – 440 RP
Thresh – 487 RP
Xin Zhao – 395 RP
Minuteman Gangplank – 260 RP
Statue of Karthus - 260 RP
Uncle Ryze – 260 RP
IMPORTANT: A kid from Texas is being prosecuted for plotting terrorism on the grounds of a sarcastic comment he made while playing LoL. He may face up to 8 years in prison for this absurdity. You can read the full article here and if you want to help his case and you can sign this petition to help free him of charge and force the US government to reevaluate the anti-terrorist laws it’s currently abusing.