- Meddler on gameplay updates currently in progress
- Lyte on voice chat and toxicity
- The risks of MMR Boosting
- Fan Art Corner
Here are the most recent news in each category:
Wanted to share a few of our thoughts on where we’re up to on some currently topical gameplay stuff. Trying out a different approach here with just quick updates on a number of topics rather than a focus on a couple of things (feedback on that much appreciated!).
- We’ve been putting a lot of work into updates for the upcoming preseason patch over the last couple of months, with changes to champions, items, vision etc. We’re getting very close to putting that stuff on PBE (all going according to plan).
- Kindred have been out for about a week now and we’re starting to see players get to grips with their kit. So far we’ve been really happy with the state of their release balance, so 5.21 won’t contain any buffs or nerfs, just some bug fixes. Really interested to see where they end up over the next couple of patches, there’s some definite learning curve there and we’re also seeing people experiment with them in a range of positions with a mix of success and failure.
Morde’s a pretty topical dude at the moment. Our belief is that he’s too strong in a duo lane, despite previous nerfs, so we’re going to be reducing the amount of bonus XP he gets from his W in 5.21. Our hope is that that will then give us some room to buff his base stats, bringing his solo laning closer to his duo lane performance. That’s something we’ll likely do as a follow up change though (potentially in 5.22), once we’ve got a read on what the impact of the XP reduction was.
Thematic side note for anyone that’s interested and hadn’t already heard – we’ll also be changing his title to ‘The Iron Revenant’ rather than the previous ‘Lord of Death’ (Iron Revenant being a player suggested title update that we felt did a great job of merging different thematic elements from Morde).
- Works heavily underway on Poppy. She’ll be the next really big champion update that goes out (Sion/GP sort of scale, so full overhaul of abilities, visuals, voice etc). Her E’s the only ability effectively ported over from her old kit, feel we’re going for’s still very much small, noble, determined warrior who smacks others around with a large hammer.
- Worlds has been getting a lot of attention for the Gameplay teams of course. We’ve been really enjoying the diversity of picks in some positions (mid lane especially), though are seeing that some others could do with more help (jungle for example). Some outlier champions that definitely seem too strong (Morde, GP, Darius etc), some of whom we’ve already nerfed post 5.18, some of which we’ve got stuff underway for. A number of champions too that we don’t yet have plans for, but are keeping a really close eye on and talking about quite a bit (Tahm Kench for example).
- We’ve had a couple of trends with new champions recently that have helped opened up new gameplay space (non damage utility ults) and thematic space (creatures of myth). We’ve been pretty happy with how those explorations have gone, we don’t have to overdo them though. Next set of champs we’ve got underway are going for a bit of contrast with that as a result, with a few more damage/combat focused ults and characters who are somewhat more a part of the regular world of Runeterra.
General Balance Changes
- Since a lot’s going to change in the upcoming preseason patch we’re generally holding off on smaller balance changes for a little bit, given which characters are a bit too weak or a bit too strong could change significantly in the near future due to systemic changes.
I’m also interested in finding something along those sort of lines. Still trying to figure out exact format, frequency, style etc, with this post as one test of what works for people versus what doesn’t.
I’ll be trying to do these every so often. Buffs/nerfs/updates are one of the things I’ll be best able to cover, new champ ideas by contrast we generally prefer not to talk about until the champion’s ready. Game modes and skins by contrast are outside of my own area of expertise, so I’ll leave discussion on those to the folks who work on them who are much more able to talk about them usefully.
Ao Shin got put on hold quite a while back, in large part due to technical issues with making a serpentine creature look like we wanted in game. Plan’s always been to look at Ao Shin again once we’ve got the tech to do those body animations properly.
Current expectation is that Kindred will not be the last new champ of the year.
We will continue to look for opportunities to get classes into less common positions, that’s not going to be a good fit for some champion concepts though.
Poppy’s Q is a very functional spell, but we felt there was opportunity to shift to something with more play and interest to it.
She’ll be more focused at controlling a fight and fighting people over longer periods over time than exploding a dude really quickly.
Sightstone upgrades will be part of the changes. Intent is to still keep those in a position where they’re generally more appealing on supports than other classes though.
Speaking frankly about Cass:
- We don’t believe Cass is in a good state post rework.
- We also don’t believe pre-rework Cass was in a good state either.
- We would like to do some work (scale unknown, though extremely unlikely to be a full scale rework) on Cass next year.
- How that work will be prioritized hasn’t been determined yet. There are a number of other projects it’d have to be traded off against on either the Live Gameplay (balance) team or the Champion Update (reworks) team (projects like Ryze, Azir, Taric, Yorick etc).
- Even if we do do work on Cass next year I can’t offer any promises as to when that might be. Could be some small stuff early in the year and some medium work later, just balance/QoL changes at some indeterminate point, a moderate sized piece of gameplay work late in the year etc.
Azir’s kit is sufficiently difficult to learn that it doesn’t seem to currently be possible to put him in a spot where he’s sufficiently balanced for experienced players without being extremely inaccessible to people unfamiliar with him. Learning curve and skill ceiling are great of course, in this case Azir’s skill floor’s too punishing though. Current intent is to look at ways to make him somewhat more accessible, with if needs be, some nerfs to his top end if those changes buff him there too.
Crit’s definitely got some issues (feeling screwed by RNG when you did everything right especially), so at some point we do want to do some work on it. It does add some variance and risk to otherwise extremely reliable, consistent actions (right clicking/getting right clicked) though, and LoL’s arguably a little too predictable at times at present. We don’t want to simply replace it with a guaranteed damage multiplier as a result and, whenever we do work on it, would want to bundle that with some other systemic changes.
I feel mana management’s a useful lever to have, both in terms of the control it offers over champion power at various points in the game and as an expression of player skill. Having said that I don’t feel that all characters should be mana gated equally. Some melee should arguably be gated in lane, but free to use spells generally on CD later in the game, given the challenges they have getting onto targets. Other long range characters, or healers, by contrast should generally have significant costs throughout the game.
Resourceless characters and energy users are both types of champion I feel have a good place in the game in terms of the different playstyles, pacings (in lane and after) and abilities designs they allow. I do believe it’s healthy to have mana as the default resource however, with occasional exceptions and we’ll be going through a period of new champions who consistently use mana for a while (last non mana user was Rek’Sai, next 4 upcoming champions at least will probably all use mana).
I believe it’s very possible for high and low mobility champions to coexist in lanes, I don’t think we’ve always given lower mobility champions sufficient compensation for the low mobility price they pay however. Being a low mobility champ should allow you to get access to some pretty powerful stuff that wouldn’t be appropriate on champs with dashes/blinks etc. Kog’Maw and Anivia are good examples to me of where that’s been done right, with both of them being options that more mobile marksmen/mages respectively don’t offer.
We’d still like to make some improvements to Syndra’s passive, probably in a way that added a bit of power to her to. No short term plans for that though, that’ll be a sometime post preseason project (timing uncertain, since our current road map for balance type changes primarily reads ‘Get preseason ready and then follow up on preseason’).
Those are currently on hold while the Live Gameplay team’s focused on preseason work. We’ll probably look at Riven against once that stuff’s out, unclear whether those specific changes are what we’d want to go with yet or not though. In the meantime we’re shipping a small nerf to Riven’s ult CD to take a bit of power off her.
If we were to nerf Tahm where we did so would depend on where he’s too strong. If that’s something we’ve recently buffed, then certainly, reverting a recent buff would make sense (e.g. if enemy Devour’s now too strong reducing the regurgitate range back down could be a good fit). On the other hand if the issue’s elsewhere reverting a recent buff might not hit the right issue (e.g. if his healing’s too strong nerfing devour range isn’t an appropriately targeted fix).
Yes, Marksmen changes will be in the preseason. We haven’t decided yet which class we might tackle after that (enchanters also isn’t a name or clearly defined subclass we’ve got a consensus on, though it is a term some people have been using internally to describe caster supports like Janna or Nami).
QUESTION: Are you trying to make the game full PG? (Like even below PG-13) Couse it looks like you are trying to completely remove toxicity when there will always be people that act ughh… silly.Couse for example, voice chat would help immensly but your toxicity “excuse” ruins that idea…
League is a hardcore game, and it’s played by many adults so no, we’re not trying to make it a PG-13 game. In fact, we’re not against offensive language per se. For example, saying “Fuck I missed that skillshot” or “Fuck, that was a bad engage, sorry” is completely fine and is not punished. You’re only punished when you start focusing your language against someone else, for example, “Fuck you asshole, wtf was that play. Uninstll plz.” Of course, hate speech, death threats and more severe language is not OK in any context, and that stuff will be punished with pretty much zero tolerance.
With regards to voice chat, we’re not opposed to voice chat. A lot of research suggests that voice chat between friends is an awesome experience, but voice chat with strangers is more hit and miss. These are known problems with voice chat and these issues exist in every game. If we do voice chat, we’d like to try some new features to tackle these problems but right now, all our development teams are focused on other priorities.
To the OP though, there’s a huge difference between 3rd party voice chat and integrated voice chat. Players that already have a voice chat solution installed, and are willing to add a stranger to their personal voice chat friends list and voice chat in a game are a very different, self-selected population compared to the general playerbase. In many cases, you could say these players are more likely to want to voice chat with others and very few people would do this purposely to yell at someone or be toxic to someone. If we had integrated voice chat, it would be available for everyone in the game, which has very different player behaviors.
A couple months back I made a post regarding MMR Boosting punishments and the updated investigation and identification methods we created for the 2015 Season. Today I wanted to talk about something else in regard to MMR Boosting, the security of your account. By now Iâ€™m sure you are all aware of the announcement of the 2015 Ranked Season Rewards; and after seeing what waits for those who reached Gold or higher we have seen a large increase in the number of players receiving MMR Boosts. While it may be tempting to pay for a boost or getting your friend/family member to play a couple games to boost your rank up, there are some serious risks involved in receiving a MMR Boost.
First and foremost, you will receive a MMR Boosting punishment. Your account will be suspended for two weeks, any ranked rewards you may have earned in the past will be stripped from your account and you will be ineligible to receive the 2015 rewards. Now this isnâ€™t an â€œIFâ€ your account is caught this is a when your account is caught. No matter how elite a booster may claim their methods are, there is no hiding from us.
On top of the punishment looming over a boosted account, the security of the account could also be at risk. Far too many times have we seen players share their information with people offering to boost their account, only to have that person then run off with the account and either sell it to another party or use it for other nefarious means. There are boosters who will boost an account and then report it directly to us for whatever reason they may have. And then there are those who set up sting operations, offer to boost someone and report every player to us who says yes, and they arenâ€™t even contracted through us to do something like this. This is something they do out of their own free will to ensure boosters are removed from the community they love.
But even after being boosted there is no guarantee that an account will remain in the ranking it was boosted to. Throughout the 2015 Season we have seen 35% of boosted accounts drop back down to the ranking they were at before being boosted or lower. So not only is there the MMR Boosting punishment being issued to an account, the numbers show you may drop back down in rank and expose your account information to unnecessary risk.
I will be checking this post throughout the day to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
You shouldn’t have anything to worry about. We know players travel all the time and play from location other than home. When we investigate accounts we make sure to take this into consideration. The last thing we want to do is punish someone because they wanted to enjoy a couple League games while they were on vacation or visiting friends.
Nah, you’re cool. Duoing with a friend is something we allow, even if they were the one doing the carrying. As long as you played on your own account you have nothing to worry about.
As long as both players are on their own accounts it is not considered to be boosting. Though chances are a challenger player is not going to have a legitimate smurf account that can duo with a bronze player but by some chance they have a legitimate smurf able to duo with a bronze friend it is not punishable in regard to boosting.
Now if the challenger player intentionally lost games to have a lower ranked account in order to stomp lower ranked players or to duo with friends, then the account would be open to another form of punishment.
We are working around the clock on MMR Boosting investigations and we still have a large list of people who are set to be punished for their boosting participation this season. While nothing anywhere is perfect there is a very slim chance someone may get lucky now to avoid detection, but sooner or later their time will come. Also if you feel you have information pertaining to someone who had their account boosted you are more than welcome to send a report to us through the support site. We appreciate these types or reports as it does help us ensure we can identify those who have received MMR Boosts.
We never punish anyone based simply because a report was sent in. When any reports are sent in to us we begin an investigation into the reports player, gathering our own information and comparing it to what the reporting player may have sent to us. Only when we are 100% sure that the reported player is guilty will we ever issue a punishment. There are times when players have been reported to me for being boosted and it turned out that the account wasn’t boosted, rather they just had a bad losing streak in their Diamond ranking.
You made it to the end! Here’sÂ some fan-art to wrap up the red posts for Saturday:
Lux by Raikoart
Haunted Zyra byÂ dotswap
Female Thresh byÂ Gumae
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me atÂ @NoL_ChefoÂ or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.