Vesh: State of Diana
IronStylus: Visual Updates, Reworks and More
RiotSilver - Splash Art Q&A
- Ashe now gains bonus gold from killing structures as well as enemy units
- Slow reverted to 2 seconds flat, changed from 1-2 seconds based on range
- CC reduction returned to 10/15/20/25/30%, changed from 10/12.5/15/17.5/20%
- All changes reverted to live state
- Reverted back to live values.
- Reverted back to live values.
- Reverted back to live
- Reverted back to live
- Damage increased from 170/220/270 ( +0.4 AP ) to 180/235/290 ( +0.43 AP )
Perseverance ( Defense Mastery t4 )
- Regen lowered from 0.7/1.35/2% to .o .35/0.675/1% of missing health per 5
For many moons our prison held the butcher at bay, but now it’s simply a matter of time before he erupts onto the rift.
You’ve been warned.
Is Diana a healthy Champion for the League? Would she make a viable bruiser?
Answering feedback from Summoner
“This is because she has a fighter/assassin design and you guys don’t like shields on assassins or burst damage on fighters. You’ve accidentally given her too much durabilty in situations where she gets a full shield off which makes her feel unfair to play against even though one crit will probably eat her shield assuming she gets it off and doesn’t have to use hourglass immediately or get hit with some form of CC. “
This is pretty much the problem. Diana has a role identity crisis right now where shes pretty good at a lot of things but not really the best at any of them. When she’s strong, she’s good at way too much. Her vacuum on E also accentuates this problem because it puts a huge amount of her power budget into her team’s followup ability (Diana when Rumble and J4 were really strong in competitive was really scary despite her average winrate in soloqueue/normals)
Let’s talk about both the fighter and the assassin role and what some options and challenges are for each.
Assassins generally have one primary goal: Get in, get a kill, and get out. Diana on live currently can get in, kill someone, and then just generally stays alive due to tankiness. She doesn’t really have that many hoops to jump through to do this either. Squishier assassins like Akali have to measure very carefully when they go in and then have other elements of evasiveness (her twilight shroud) that gives her play/counterplay with the enemy that’s both positioning and sight based.
Diana doesn’t have this however. She just needs to jump a guy and hit all her buttons and if she’s ahead enough then she wins. This is especially problematic due to her AP scaling shield (get defensive rewards for building offensive) and you correctly identified that as a core problem. Even without it, if she was powerful enough to just nuke somebody from full but then squishy enough to die for it, Diana post-6 might as well have a Q that reads “on hit, both Diana and her enemy die.” Clearly not a very exciting ability for either party involved.
I personally find her prospects as an AP fighter to be much more promising. Taking off some of her crazy burst while giving her tools to do more in fights late game could be a cool approach, especially since she has a cool tuning point in her passive. Increasing base attack speed could definitely allow her to make better use of her 3 hit passive pattern which is generally a little less “bull****” then getting Q -> R -> R’d to death as a carry.
There’s other ways to do this as well, and I’m not saying in any way that Diana should be an auto-attack-only champion. Her passive definitely feels pretty good but to add to that, her pattern of making a grand entrance with Q -> R -> E -> Zhonyas is really awesome. After that effect wears off though, we need to ask what Diana should be doing. Should she get to auto burst a carry with another Q->R->R combo, or should she be using a mix of her spells and autoattacks to have a longer time to kill but with more sustained damage?
I personally believe that this approach would be better for Diana overall and would allow her to have healthier tuning points.
This is seriously a great post though. I’d love to have more discussion about her.
Why does Diana stop moving when casting Q?
Thematics are important, but should not compromise gameplay.
(Part of the reason why the Q being so reliable isn’t very good is because it enables her to go R->R right afterward extremely reliably to just kill someone)
What’s a good style for Diana to transition into?
Vesh: I feel that it would be even cooler if she started off in a more “initiator” type role with her R->E and maybe zhonyas that set up her team to follow up with additional CC and then transitioned into fighter mode after. Diana feels really good when she’s hitting people with her epic moonblade.
With the way she functions currently, her assassin pattern would basically just degenerate to an even more bursty Akali with less options and less points of mastery.
Suggestion: Moonlight stacks don’t get consumed by R
Vesh: I don’t think the core Diana fantasy is spamming R on everything she hits with her Q. Plus, this is an unrealistic expectation of her. When given the tools to jump a squishy, Diana isn’t going to make 4 other pit stops on the way there, she is going to go kill the target she can kill immediately. By the time that target is dead, it’s not really important if other targets have moonlight on them because her Q is on such a short cooldown. Plus if moonlight lasted long enough for this to relevant the enemy team would basically be permanently revealed and there’s a ton of power in the fact that it grants sight.
Suggestion: W scales with HP, not AP
Learn more about Riot’s schedule for releasing new Champions, reworking old ones and get some insight on how it’s all developed.
What’s next in terms of release?
IronStylus: Currently we have 4 VU’s/Relaunches in the pipe, including the Sion relaunch which is a while out. Not going to spoil what’s grouped into our launch cadence but we’re now beginning to project what’s going to slot in between other slotted relaunches if Sion’s takes a while longer.
That said, we have aspirations to do a relaunch per month, but it’s not a hard deliverable we must hit. It’s what we want to hit. It’s what we plan to hit, but it’s not always feasible if we encounter problems.
Problems can be anything from the theme of the character being unclear and how we go about tackling that more philosophical side of a relaunch. That can sometime be the biggest point of contention. Production is often easy. Modelling, animation, VFX, while challenging is often more of a straight forward process and series of deliverables than something that’s a lot more malleable and subjective like the concepting/thematic solidification theme.
IronStylus: In addition to process and concepting, we also had a fairly long break over the holidays, and that’s pretty standard not to be producing content during that time. We had about 3 champions in various states of completion before we left. Some near the end of production, some in the middle, some at the end of the concept phase. Who knows, we might end up having a few close proximity VU’s together because we have a couple of champions as a pretty late state hanging out in the polish phase. Not sure.
Either way, it’s the beginning of the year, and we only recently got back into full steam. There’s a lot coming this year. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
Also, we’re still hammering out process, especially with the aforementioned concept phase. That’s not just concept art, that’s also thematic clarification/overhaul. Creating some pillars for the character, reinforcing/revamping story, and generally figuring out how to capture charm. It’s a very intense process actually because unlike champions or skins, what we’re dealing with has a ton of emotion attached to it. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has feedback. It can be challenging to navigate those waters, but it’s our job to come to a consensus. With a large group of passionate people, that consensus takes a lot of discussion.
We’re still figuring out how to best approach that concepting process. Get people involved, pitching in, and letting people who are passionate drive the product and hold vision. I’ve found myself not doing as much straight forward concept work, but rather finding who’s passionate about a relaunch and getting them assigned as the primary artist. I think that’s a better allocation of my time and better way to insure people feel included.
It’s a process fraught with challenges and emotions but we’re working on it.
Why has production slowed down?
IronStylus: There’s a mix of reasons. Some of it is resource allocation, some of it is the philosophical things we’ve talked about previously. We’re sort of sitting on a clump of content that’s close to being done, but polish and a few sort of.. existential things need to be resolved.
I know that sounds vague, it’s hard for me to describe. A lot of what we do sort of revolves around: “Is this _____?” as in, what makes this champion? Every step of the way we ask ourselves, does this animation set, does this model, does this VO, feel like an updated/enhanced/re-envisioned version of that character. That’s a very methodical process with a lot of feedback and a lot of work done based on that feedback. While yes, I’d love to fire out content week after week, we have to do our due diligence. My hope is that our pace picks back up and we can hit 1 per month. That’s my hope at least.
How do you decide which Rework gets done first?
IronStylus: We like to let people know we’re addressing, be it slowly sometimes, the big elephants in the room. Like Sion. He’s a major issue in the game for many many reasons. Because he’s far out, and we have no dates attached to him, the benefit of telling the community “hey, we got this” is helpful in showing that we at least have it on our plate.
On the other side of it, characters like Master Yi, being a bit straightforward and not as intense of a UV/Rework, was a nice surprise that we could keep a lid on because it wasn’t some dramatic thematic/artistic/gameplay abomination (Well.. AP Yi.. sooooo.. yeah) That was one of our easier relaunches to do because of the concept being pretty much established, the charm identified, and most of the production time just spent on making the visuals awesome.
Case by case basis really. I feel there needs to be a balance of “Hey, yes, we know this one thing is a big deal, here’s where we are.” and “HEY LOOK! It’s a thing you didn’t expect and it’s SHINY NOW!”
Is “one VU per month” a deadline for the company?
IronStylus: The goals is not to drop a date and have it done by then, the idea is to have enough stuff in the works, staggered if need be, and have it pop out in it’s full done-ness at a general ballpark projected time. The time it takes to create the content dictates the time frame. There are no “deadlines” per se.
How do you decide which Champions are aging/outdated?
We don’t even know ourselves. Right now, we’re even looking at champions as recent as last year possibly being on the hit list, probably not for complete overhauls, but at least TU’s. I can feasibly seeing us going up at least until mid 2011 and still be deep in the initiative.
We’ll see, it’ll evolve. Every character is different in it’s needs.
It’s prompted by a lot of factors from individual dev interest in particular character, something needed for an event, an arising opportunity because of new tech being developed that we can piggy back a relaunch onto, and a lot of other stuff. Characters are relaunched for all different reasons and at different tiers. That makes things really fluid.
I can’t answer what champions are currently in the timeline aside from Sion which people already know about.
Will Rumble’s upcoming skin make it easier to develop more Rumble skins?
Currently we’d be unable to do any of the cool fan ideas out there because all of that wackiness in his current mech would carry over. We can only do geometry changes over that. Anything that would involve a more slick set of movements, a more advanced mech, whatever, is dependent on a new rig being in place.
Is Eve’s VU in there or is that still on the backburner?
IronStylus: Eve currently sits in the “what is she?” land of concept development. She needs something more of a hook than just “blue lady in tights”. Maybe she’s a shadow isles hybrid. Maybe she’s a demon. She needs not just an update in fidelity, she needs a thematic overhaul. That said, she’ll probably get a traditional skin to go with whatever we do with her. We’re only just in the early, early phases of her development. Very slow burn.
Any plans for Warwick?
NO GUARANTEES. But we’re doing some very VERY early exploratory work.
Will you be doing visual changes to Renekton?
IronStylus: Funny thing is, I think we could simply replace base Renekton’s head and we’d be cool. His animations are fine, his rig is fine, his particles are decent, his face just looks a little derpy. I’d like it to fall in line with the splash.
Can you reinforce, rather than replace Sion’s lore when you rework him?
IronStylus: Well, Sion needs something. But I do like the idea of reinforcing. I’m not 100% up on his current lore, but the idea of a giant undead brute who signifies the glory of old Noxus is a pretty good playground.
Any news on the Ryze VU you mentioned a year ago?
IronStylus: Because he’s pretty straight forward and we didn’t see any real need to dramatically shift him, we did a model (Grumpy Monkey did it in his spare time actually) and it’s hanging out. Though that’s “done” we still have to go through the motions to make sure it lives up to where we want him conceptually then of course go through actual production along with his skins. We don’t have him on the board yet. My hope is later this year, no certainty on that though.
Can you perhaps update Zilean’s visuals?
What happened to Kassadin’s VU?
Nothing on Kassadin, but I’d like to put him into pre-production soon.
Can we expect any news on the Yordles front?
IronStylus: With one relaunch, we’re currently diving into yordles. It’s going to set a precedent, and off of that we’ll base the Great Yordle Unification Pass (YUP) of 2014 will be started. Currently our goal, even if we lack a style guide on yordles, is to bring them more in line with Ziggs and Lulu, our current standard for male and female yordles.
What’s happening to outdated Splash arts? How long does it take to work on one? This and more.
Sorry about the delay. I’m going to answer all of the questions I can and that the team is ready to answer. Feel free to continue posting feedback or questions. I will do my best to get back in here as often as I can to update.
Any word on old splash art for skins? eg: Nidalee and Master Yi.
For context. A while back around the time we reworked the Morgana/Miss Fortune/Tryndamere splashes, the splash team at riot reevaluated what our goals should be with all future splashes. We decided that if we were going to work on creating higher quality splashes, one of the things we would need to do is to start spending more time per splash. What used to be under two weeks (and in some cases, a day or two) has become 4 solid weeks of work per splash and while our team has grown to about 8 artists, this is still very limiting in the resources we have to make splashes. Because of this, we’ve had to prioritize what we are able to work on at any given time. Right now, our first and foremost priority as a team is to rework all of the base champion splashes that don’t meet our standards along with new content. The main reason for this is that the base champions are both IP defining and also what the majority of our players see when they play the game. Once those are done we will prioritize skin reworks for the champions who have been relaunched where the skin splashes no longer accurately represent the in game model (champions like Trundle, Karma, and Nidalee) and after that we will work on the rest of the skin splashes but do not currently have a priority list defined for those. We are working on setting up a pipeline for working very closely with some of our trusted partners to begin working sooner on those relaunched skin splashes. No guarantees at this point, but we are constantly looking for ways to improve our process and get updated splashes for all of your and our favorite champions/skins as soon as possible. We’ve also been looking very hard to find artists (and passionate gamers) that are capable of hitting both the league of legends style and quality bar so that we can increase the rate at which we can achieve these goals.
Do you guys plan to replace the Chinese art you were putting in the game at one stage?
Yes this is an idea that was brought up a while ago and again very recently. We want to avoid communicating the idea that the splashes from the Tencent client, which we would theoretically substitute, would be a final solution for the current live clients in most other territories. This is because a lot of the older splashes created for the Tencent client no longer match the style of our new target. That being said, as a team we do agree there are probably splashes in our current client where the benefit of replacement might greatly outweigh the difference from our visual style. It’s something we will explore.
Question regarding Pantheon’s splash. In the Facebook page, as well as during the shifting portraits in the LCS, he uses a unique splash image that looks quite well. The one currently used is the one from the Chinese client years ago. What is the status on that splash, and what reasons were made for not using it in the game?
This splash was made a while back but we felt that it didn’t accurately represent pantheon as a champion and what he is able to do in game. I would say however that the quality and personality of the splash overall is higher than the one currently live in game. We may revisit this one as a temporary replacement, since it is already done, until we can get to creating Pantheons actual reworked splash. I will talk to the team about it.
How much time is spent making ONE splash art?
For one person, 3-4 weeks depending on the artist.
How do you determine the position the champion will be in?
Our normal process is to make 3-5 quick black and white sketches exploring different compositions for the splash. We talk to writers, modelers and enthusiasts of the champion to find what we feel is the best version, pose and story for the splash. After we pick a direction we do a few color explorations and start to draw/render the final.
Is a splash art being “created” by one artist, or multiple?
Yes and no. Splashes are worked on primarily by one artist but we do regularly help each other to complete splashes based on each artists strengths and also to accommodate deadlines. On some cases, we have a large number of artists jump on one splash. (Elise’s base splash was made in just under 4 days with 5 people working on it simultaneously.)
People point to Dragonblade Riven, the new Lux splash, the new Sivir splash, and others as being “humanly impossible to recreate”. While I do see this and recognize the disjointed look that these art pieces give, I personally view these with a more open-mind because I give benefit of the doubt that there must have been some visual basis for these poses. If that is not the case, how did you decide on such postures?
You’re right. I’m not sure if the team has previously highlighted our goals for the current target on splash art and if not, then that is probably my fault. We have a bunch of things that we want to aim for when creating new splashes and illustrations. For this question in particular, I’ll talk a bit about character poses. The world of league of legends is a fantasy world where things and characters outside the realm of possibilities in the normal world exist. Furthermore, the game and stories are focused primarily on the champions, the super human characters of that world. Our champions have very exaggerated proportions, some can shoot fire from their hands, and some can jump 30 feet in the air. To be able to fully convey the force and impact of these moments, we employ a lot of the same principles used in comic books. We purposefully break anatomy to enhance the gesture of the pose and push characters into extreme perspective. The idea here is to communicate something that is not possible by a normal human. I will take some time in the near future to make a post where I deep dive into what we feel is our splash style. Right now the high level goals are: exaggerated comic book style character proportions and poses, high polish, but still hand painted rendering, limited color palettes with powerful accents, and dramatic lighting.
Are you guys responsible for splash-based animated login screens as well? if so how do you do it?
The illustration/splash team makes the 2d assets, separated out into Photoshop layers that the motion graphics team animates in programs like After Effects.
How do you guys feel about posting videos of the splash art creation process?
Unfortunately, around the same time that we reevaluated our splash style and timeline, we had to stop making process videos. Due to the larger file sizes, lag that’s caused by the recording process, and the fact that we regularly collaborate on splashes, we found it unrealistic to continue to record the process. We are exploring new ways of opening the doors to our art process though. I’m not sure when things will be solidified, but its something regularly talked about at Riot HQ.
What other software are you familiar with for working on art? Which is your favorite? Do you use different software for different things?
Splash artists at Riot use Photoshop in tandem with other programs like Maya to create environment/prop models for reference, and a few internal tools. Photoshop is the medium that I’ve learned how to control the best, but Ive seen people make amazing works of art with MS Paint and Gimp. It all comes down to decision making rather than tools.
Elite Squad Skins
Artist: Anti-Pioneer (can’t find blog or website)
Pupper Master Rumble
Katarina, Ryze, Tryndamere and Ziggs Statues
Link to full album
- Amumu – 292 RP
- Skarner - 440 RP
- Varus - 487 RP
Missed any recent articles? Check below: