Home > LoL News, Red Posts, Riot News > Morello on State of the Jungle, Fiora and Soraka’s Reworks, Lyte on Perma Chat Bans, League’s Lore, Clarity on Viktor’s Rework and Lulu PBE Changes, IronStylus Wants YOUR Skin Ideas & Lots More

Morello on State of the Jungle, Fiora and Soraka’s Reworks, Lyte on Perma Chat Bans, League’s Lore, Clarity on Viktor’s Rework and Lulu PBE Changes, IronStylus Wants YOUR Skin Ideas & Lots More

August 7th, 2014


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Continuing yesterday’s discussion on Soraka, Morello and Vesh offer their insight on her design as a dedicated healer and explain why Starcall was scrapped and replaced with a skillshot version that enhances Soraka’s heals. Moving on, the jungle is in a rough spot and in need of big-board changes this preseason, Lyte elaborates on cases of permanent chat restrictions, Fiora’s rework has been delayed for an unidentified period of time, League’s lore hasn’t been forgotten, the PBE changes to Lulu were just a tooltip update, IronStylus wants YOUR ideas for a skin and added clarity on the scope of Viktor’s rework.


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Can you keep Soraka’s Q the way it is

Vesh New Portrait I’m sure there are people who like Starcall. There are going to be people who generally like any given spell on a kit. However, ramping damage in a PBAoE around Soraka is a tank pattern and honestly can’t exist on a character like her.

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Follow Up

Vesh New PortraitRamping PBAoE says stand in the middle of a fight for a long time. Standing in the middle of the fight for a long time says build defenses. A character who is incredibly tanky/builds defenses can’t also be leagues best healer. You can’t kill her allies because she heals them, and you can’t kill her because she’s tanky. It creates a situation with no clear optimal choice and feels bad for the entire enemy team.

There are other problems too, but we want Soraka to be an incredibly powerful healer but also someone who can just get blown up if she misplays. She will definitely be more high risk/high reward when it comes to healing.

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Will Soraka be harder to play post-rework

Vesh New PortraitTo give some context, the heal itself is not a skillshot. Overall the only spell that had it’s targeted type changed was Q, so while the champion is technically more hard to play from an inputs standpoint, she’s still substantially easier than most of the champions in our game. 


The thing that makes her harder is that she will require a great amount of judgement and awareness to play properly. She will still be a character that newer players can be somewhat successful with, but that is not the primary goal of the update. For a character to be “simple” or “easy,” what you’re actually saying is one of the following:

1) Very simple mechanical paradigms (which generally don’t have many points of mastery)
2) Extremely direct pattern with little to no decision making required.

At the end of the day, our player base has become much more mature in terms of what they expect from gameplay, and I would not feel comfortable putting out a champion update that fit strongly into one of those categories. 

I will say though that Soraka definitely has much greater mechanical simplicity than an average release and the tradeoff is that she has much more decision making and situational choice.

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Soraka can’t be durable and healer at the same time

Morello New PortraitWell said. If we want Soraka to be a great and healthy healer (and we do!), then she can’t also be durable. The tradeoff on her is that she becomes vulnerable in order to help allies, and be someone who can have rich gameplay while providing healing.


If there was one common thread in the feedback concerning Soraka, it was how much her identity means to players – that of a healer. With the challenges around making that work, we’re actually trying to define a good healing paradigm in a PvP game to meet that identity. With that as the goal, the details of old Soraka be damned – we can’t improve and evolve the game if we constantly shy away from changes that might not be desirable purely because they’re different.

Also mark your calendars – Morello is saying Soraka should be a healer, and is a huge advocate of it. 

I think the actual healer problem has lied in the paradigm of the pure MMO healer who lacks the right tradeoffs and weaknesses. Not healing yourself well is a great one to have that allows us to make her really bonkers in certain situations.

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Given the team’s record, do you plan on a follow-up to Soraka’s rework

Morello New PortraitI think Skarner’s story is representative of what I want to see. We made a mistake and corrected that by continuing to work on it until it was right. This is an important metric of both being bold with changes, and allowing us to not release things that don’t satisfy their objectives and satisfy players.


Much of this is due to the holistic Champion Updates (reworks) team being its own effort with focus on nothing else. So when something doesn’t go well, instead of having competing priorities (**** BETTER WORK ON THIS NEXT PATCH), they can support their work. This should have huge implications.

That being said, it still does mean there will be change and disagreement with the details – I’m fine with that. We have an obligation to earn your trust…I believe in that a great deal. I don’t concern myself with short-term anger or change-aversion as those are a simple cost of passion and engagement.

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Will the MR shred on Soraka’s kit remain after her rework

Vesh New PortraitAlso for all the people talking about MR shred, it’s not going to remain on the kit. Shreds are extremely powerful but somewhat problematic because they are almost unnoticeable for how powerful they are. There is no good representation of how “shredded” you are, especially with one that stacks. In general, I think it would be a lot better for Soraka to have power that is really cool and noticeable than an equal amount of power that, while understandable intellectually, doesn’t translate to exciting gameplay.

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State of the Jungle Banner



Jungling is too easy, which makes high-stat champions prevail

Morello New PortraitI totally agree. In fact, I think our jungle direction has been completely backwards over the last few seasons. That’s our bad and I think the results are clear.

To that, returning different ways to succeed at the jungle is key to restoring choice, and making it not a chain-gank fest in lanes. I’ll give more details on this in the coming months, but directionally we’re totally in agreement.

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Why, then, did you nerf Feral Flare shortly after releasing it

Morello New PortraitDefinitely wrong way to solve the problem – the jungle itself needs to allow for these styles, THEN we support them.

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How would you buff a jungler without buffing his laning, too

Morello New PortraitI think by making it so that things other than just gank/duel/clear speed can matter in jungle. 

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Do you and Ghostcrawler look at recommended buffs nerfs by the live team

Morello New PortraitI don’t pay attention to details of balance – I’m not really focused on that level of stuff (though I know statikk and his team is). Our roles are to provide guidance on larger-level strategy for the game design, so I tend to not read the balance-specific stuff as much since I feel out-of-date in that realm.

Things like “we need to solve the jungle” as a design project priority, for example 

EDIT: To add, it’s because I largely trust the details-level work to that team. They do a good job as long as we all know WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. So my job is to clarify where we’re going and what our objectives are, and working with the Live Gameplay guys in that way is my focus.

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Elise Lee Sin are just setting a bar for all other junglers

Morello New PortraitWell, in this case, I think the jungle direction we’ve set (and that IS my bad completely!) previously has lead to a greater whack-a-mole state. In the interim, getting the long-standing dominant picks to have some competition was a goal, and fixing the jungle systemically is how we can make REAL progress towards variety. 

And much of this is undoing some previous work, and adding new ways to master League.

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Can we hope to see meaningful changes to tanky junglers soon

Morello New PortraitPreseason is my target for real serious change. Competitively, we won’t see much past 4.14, but might see more QoL/buffs as needed.

In non-competitive, tanky junglers are LORDS – and with Worlds being on a patch around next couple of patches, I think we’ll have to look at the state in more regular play too.

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Was it hard to admit your plans for the jungle went backwards

Morello New PortraitIt wasn’t hard to admit once we dug down into it more – being wrong is a huge part of design, and I think Riot DETECTS problems well. I think we have a hard time executing fixing them in a timely manner – especially big problems.

Watching our intentions have results that were completely opposite of our goals was a pretty clear roadsign 

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Why should I trust you will do a good job fixing the jungle

Morello New PortraitI don’t think you should trust me on jungle. I’ve made big mistakes there.

This is a huge problem for me, and the reason I talk a lot less on here is because I want our actions to show if we’ve learned, then to talk. I don’t care much about player anger – people get mad at good changes frequently – I do care a great deal about trust.

Skarner and Soraka are a couple of efforts I want to point out as good on this front, but we have more to do systemically.

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Lee Sin and Elise should be nerfed, because they excel at everything

Morello New PortraitThis is true. Unless you want every champ to be the same, we can’t just buff up to “does everything.”

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Any plans to tune what blue red buffs offer to teams

Morello New PortraitDefinitely. I think they’re an easy lever to tune.

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You seem unwilling to commit to big-broad balance changes

Morello New PortraitWe’ve been pretty conservative – I agree on that, especially in the jungle. 

I’m not going to make promises here much based on that fact, I’d rather get it right and be like “hey guys!”  But I did want to acknowledge the problem as agree-upon and important, so that you guys get that we think we’ve gone backwards and are looking to fix. 

Previous jungle stuff has been lightweight.

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Fiora's Rework Banner



Morello New PortraitWe’ve had to yet-again delay Fiora’s rework due to some unforseen circumstances on resourcing. I have nothing of worth to say about that except for my apologies that we’ve let down Fiora players with promises on this stuff.

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Follow Up

Morello New PortraitIf you rate on power, we’d not need to do many reworks – I think Fiora is a pretty same-y melee carry who misses to opportunities to provide a really high-skill fencer fantasy. That’s on us as a champion team.

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It always feels like everything gets delayed and nothing ever comes out

Morello New PortraitWe get excited and want to tell people, then normal development stuff occurs and we’re like, “well, ****.”

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Was Fiora’s gameplay update scrapped

Morello New PortraitDelayed for (x) time as we needed to shuffle some resources and priorities. Still a thing to-do.

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Can you explain how chat restricting works

Lyte New PortraitThe chat restriction system is going through some tuning. Before, players were confused when the chat restriction system would under-give chat restrictions, so you’d get 10, finish 10 games and get another 10 when the system should have just given you 20 to start.


The chat restriction system now tries to hand out the right number of chat restrictions in the initial waves. For players that have racked up a lot of consistently negative offenses, it’s now possible to basically be “permanently” chat restricted. For many players with 500+ chat restrictions, it’s effectively a super harsh, long-term chat ban. Some players say they’d rather be permanently chat restricted than permanently banned and lose their account, so we’ll see what’s more effective in improving behaviors.

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Follow Up

Lyte New PortraitThe chat restriction system is far more accurate in how many games you’d have to show neutral or positive behavior to reach a neutral state. So, theoretically if you finish the 700 games and have improved throughout the process, you’d be in neutral status.

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Isn’t restricting communication harming teamplay

Lyte New PortraitThis is a pretty common misunderstanding. For players that are being chat restricted, a lot of their communication wasn’t enhancing teamwork, or improving player experience anyways. In fact, players being chat restricted tend to do the opposite–they inhibit teamwork, create negative experiences, and frustrate teammates.


Furthermore, we see about 75% of players improve their behaviors after their 1st set of chat restrictions, and many toxic players win more games during chat restrictions… so I don’t agree that chat restrictions are a bad idea.

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500+ games chat restriction doesn’t incentivize better behavior

Lyte New PortraitThe factor you’re missing is that only players that have shown they haven’t improved with smaller sets of chat restrictions will get huge “permanent” sets of chat restrictions.

75% of players tend to improve after a smaller set of 10-20 chat restrictions, but those that don’t improve tend to get chat restrictions repeatedly. Sometimes, we’ll permanently ban these accounts if they show high severity offensive behaviors, but if the behaviors are low severity, we’re going to try permanently chat restricting the accounts instead of just permanently banning them.

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Has League’s lore been forgotten

MilkManiac New PortraitI’ll take a shot at this. For clarity though, I am not on the lore team. However, I am a huge lore geek. I, like many of you, love books/movies/games with massive, fully fleshed-out worlds (Kingkiller Chronicles anyone?). So obviously, when I joined Riot, one of the first things I did was to gobble up any lore-related information and understand what’s going on with it.


Here’s what I learned: Lore is by no means forgotten. I’d like to draw a comparison to the Summoner’s Rift Update. Around winter a lot of players started asking why there was no winter-themed Summoner’s Rift. Some players assumed Riot just didn’t care about the map anymore. However, by now it should be apparent that we didn’t ignore flavoring the map, but instead we had most of our environmental artists working on SRU, which in my mind is much more important than having a winter-themed map. In fact, I would argue that making a skin for an older map, and delaying a newer map to do so, would be a disservice to players.

Getting back to lore, I know that since Freljord, there’s be almost nothing related to lore that has come out. I also realize that many players, such as yourself, have determined that we are starting to “get cheap” with our lore and our world, and given the visibility you have, that’s an understandable conclusion. But let me pose a different theory. What if the Lore is like the current summoner’s Rift: It’s functional and has some really cool features, but it also has some glaring bugs and is by no means as pretty or as flushed out as it could be? What if the reason why there are no Journals of Justice or any lore updates of any kind are because everyone related to lore is working on stuff that takes priority?

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Players want to hear what Riot is thinking about narrative direction

MilkManiac New PortraitWell Said!

A lot of the reason why we’re so “Hush Hush” is that we have so much going on at once, and the last thing we want to do is to tell you about a work in progress, only to have it get cancelled or changed, and then crush your expectations (because… lets face it… we’ve done that in the past). It may be a slow journey, but there is most definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Send your community skin ideas

IronStylus New PortraitYup! I know there’s a lot of individual threads with suggestions. However..

I’m looking to doodle some skins in my spare time. I know there’s a TON of great community concepts out there. Some are serious, some are silly. I’m interested in what’s floating around. Got any suggestions? I know there’s individual threads, but sometimes it’s hard to skim through them all D:

TO CLARIFY! Ideas floated have no guarantee of actually happening. I’m just overall curious to see what shows up in this thread and what rises to the top, as well as maybe messing around with some ideas on my spare time.

Some pro-tips:

  • While trolly ideas are great, but think of things that would really appeal to a wide variety of players. “Cool” is a subjective term, but ideate on things that would feel great on existing characters and would really add something special and appealing.

  • Think globally! That’s an important aspect of skin development. While NA is where a lot of us on these forums live, we want to show love to the entire world! How cool were the Warring Kingdom skins? Wasn’t River Spirit Nami gorgeous? Those are ideas inspired from cultures from around the world. If you are thinking of ideas that are more NA/EU derived, think of things that still appeal to the rest of the planet. Pool party skins are great examples. Everyone loves a pool party!

  • Preserve the character. While Eternum Lux might be a neat looking idea, does that fit Lux’s personality or core character? Is it complementary or does it distract? Additionally, preserve the characters graphic reads. You probably don’t want to change the size of Draven’s blades too much, or make Jarvan’s lance really skinny. You probably don’t want to give a character that doesn’t have a helmet something that blocks the face too much.

Anyways, give it some thought! I’d love to see what the cream of the crop ideas of the community are!



Lulu’s W change on the PBE is a tooltip update


[ Context ] This is providing clarity on a change to Lulu’s W from yesterday, which was actually just a tooltip update. Sorry ._.


Hongyou New PortraitNo actual gameplay change.






Clarity on Viktor’s rework
Solcrushed New PortraitOn the scope of the upcoming GU, its not intended to be a full scale rework and is geared mainly toward his Q and passive. W E and R will remain quite similar to their current form (although with tweaks)





Can you make ARAM truly random

RoboLions New PortraitWe agree that something could be done to make ARAMs a more balanced and cohesive mode. We’re still working towards identifying an end solution so I can’t share any specifics at this time, but I want you to know we are on the case! 🙂

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]