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Posts Tagged ‘champion biographies’

 

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Summary

Stashu, the designer behind Cassiopeia’s rework, has made a lengthy post regarding her future direction. Following yesterday’s gigantic PBE update, Xypherous, FeralPony and Ghostcrawler have all joined on the forums to discuss the preseason balance changes and how League will play out in Season 5. Like EUW, an EUNE server migration has been announced, we also have post-game gifting coming to the PBE and a request to the community to come up with interesting biographies for LoL’s Champions.

 

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STASHU New PortraitHey everyone! Sorry for not having the Cassiopeia discussion on Boards earlier. The discussion on GD has been going pretty strong for a while now, and I’ve learned a lot from it, but it’s definitely about time I brought this over here. (Also, sorry for not posting there in the past week or two).

 

I’d love to discuss everybody’s experience on Cassiopeia since the update, but I think I should first address the concerns about her identity and power level. Also, as it’s come up a number of times, I’ll include a more detailed background about what inspired this update and how we got to where we are today. It’s quite long, so I’ll throw that at the end of this post for those of you who are interested.

Let’s start with the more pressing issue. On top problems from a balance perspective, Cassiopeia has lost a lot of her poison feel. This is the bigger pain point for most, and we definitely understand where everyone is coming from. Much of what has historically contributed to Cassiopeia feeling like the ‘Snake Mage’ is her poison DoT’s, and, as these have been deemphasized, she’s lost some of this — well, to be more specific, we inadvertently took it away. It was never the intention to strip her Snake Mage identity, but we agree that we’ve done so in trying to meet other goals with the kit. This has left Cassiopeia in clear need of our attention, and we’re really sorry about that.

Further, while she’s statistically in line with several other champions in League (Twitch, Lee Sin, Elise), there are still some power concerns regarding her kit. That is, skilled players can take advantage of many of the challenging aspects of these champions’ kits in order to overcome their inherent weaknesses (Lee Sin and Elise can overcome their lack of innate tankyness with mobility and cc, and Twitch can overcome his range disadvantage by using his stealth to get in range of his opponents). It has become abundantly clear that on top of being rather difficult to play, Cassiopeia has weaknesses which her kit can’t answer. In isolation, this is okay or even good, champions should have clear weaknesses, but they should also have appropriately powerful and relevant strengths. Cassiopeia’s strength, her damage, is gated sufficiently that despite how high it can be, it’s not contributing enough to overcome her clear and often crippling weakness (namely a combination of range and mobility that just leave her terribly unsafe, particularly in lane).

With all this is mind, the primary reason why we had no changes for 4.18 is that we still haven’t fully determined which tools to add to/bolster on Cassiopeia’s kit. We know that we can buff her stats to a point where she’s strong, but we’re spending some extra time to ensure that our changes do everything we want them to (namely, reinforce her Snake Mage identity). We’ve been moving a bit more slowly than we (and I’m sure all of you) would like, but resources have been a little tight (we have a lot of awesome stuff in the works for pre-season! Coming to pbe soon :D).

That said, I plan on getting some Cassiopeia changes into testing with the target of finalizing them by the next patch or two. Our goals here are to preserve the direction Cassiopeia has gone in (high mechanical skill, combo-casting, late game carry mage), but add back some of the poison feeling that was lost along the way. These changes won’t be on the scale of the original update, but we won’t be hesitant to change mechanics/abilities more significantly where appropriate. The primary candidate here is Twin Fang– we’re considering having Twin Fang play into the DoT game somehow, perhaps through increasing poison damage to its target. Not sure if this is going to be what we ultimately land on, but that should give you an idea of how we’re thinking here.

I know it may feel like we’ve abandoned or forgotten about Cassiopeia to some degree, but I promise you it’s something I think about every day. I’m eager to bring Cassiopeia into a place where people are happy with her, especially those who used to love playing this Champion. While the GD discussion got a bit overwhelming, know that I’ve read the majority of your feedback and we’re trying to figure out how to best respond to the problems you’ve all helped to identify.

Thanks to everyone who has been raising visibility on and contributing to the discussions surrounding Cassiopeia, and thanks for caring. We’ll do our best to make her the best Champion she could be.


Main post: over. Detailed history of the project below for those who are interested. It’s really long, so, sorry about that!


Background: Cassiopeia was in line for a texture/art update since she was a bit old-fashioned and could use a little work both in general but also for her appearance as it will fit on the new Summoners Rift. With this in mind, we saw a good opportunity to add some gameplay updates to Cassiopeia, so we decided to look into it and see if she could benefit from any. This led to some deep analysis, and after a lot of discussion, we identified some problems on the kit. Casseopia’s damage profile (spamable, high damage, AoE DoT’s) made her impossible to balance and fight against when strong and had some readability/satisfaction problems on top of that. Additionally, much of Cassiopeia’s kit was nondistinct and, though she was unique in some ways, we felt she could be more interesting than a ‘vanilla’ mage than she already was.

Hence, our planned changes primarily revolved around identifying and clarifying her identity. Our results: Cassiopeia had good AoE damage, but she wasn’t the AoE mage. She also had good control, but she wasn’t the control mage. She used damage over time, but she wasn’tthe DoT mage– Brand, Rumble, Swain, Zyra, Malzahar, and even Mordekaiser compete in many/all of these fields. However, it was quite clear that compared to other mages, Cassiopeia stood nearly alone when it came to consistent DPS output.

Even previously, those who knew her well feared Cassiopeia as the highest damage output mage in the game– and this occasionally led to some very interesting strategies, even in the competitive scene, like the Yorick/Cassiopeia Zombie-Snake combo. Karthus admittedly was a close competitor here, but we recognized differences between him and Cassiopeia wanted to push them a bit further (have to mention Ryze as well, but his thing is tanky/reliable damage, more than the highest damage possible).

For Cassiopeia, this meant emphasizing her single target damage and her utility surrounding it. On the flip-side, this also meant de-emphasizing her AoE damage (and as a result, her DoT damage). In some ways, we were certainly happy about this, as there are some design problems surrounding the satisfaction/power ratio and readability of DoTs. In others, we were less happy. Poison has been an important part of Cassiopeia’s thematic identity, and a part of it that many people have deeply enjoyed, so this direction was dampening that a bit and thus costly in that sense. However, truthfully the poison aspects of her kit were not integral to its gameplay even as it stood before–one could argue that Twin Fang depends on the target being poisined, but her Q/W could just as easily applied a non-poison marker which enabled E-resets and retained nearly identical gameplay. I could imagine a Champion’s kit that depends on a thematic poison identity to work with its gameplay (a debuff-focused champion comes to mind), but Cassiopeia would likely have to change dramatically to become this. Our changes here were focused on driving Cassiopeia into a unique area which emphasized many of the things she already was doing, not switching her role entirely.

As a brief aside, I’d like to explain a bit about how why we decided to push Cassiopeia so far in one particular direction– bare with me for a moment. Consider Cassiopeia, and, side-by-side, consider a nearly identical champion, except one who uses nukes instead of DoTs (imagine all the other mechanics stay the same, like her Q applies a 3 second marker to the target that resets her Twin Fang when it hits them). Do these champions bring anything different to a team? Of course, there are some differences between DoTs and Nukes that would likely result in minor number changes, but, overall these champions would be doing largely the same thing, with largely the same damage. Now consider Cassiopeia again, but with half her damage and twice the crowd control effects, and compare that to a Cassiopeia with twice the damage but no crowd control (forgetting for a moment whether or not these champions would be balanced). These two champions have clear strategic differences, as they bring dramatically different things to a team (in this case, general damage vs general crowd control). As the League roster grows and grows, Champions need to occupy more and more specific niches to be unique, and this general damage vs general crowd control difference is no longer meaningful.

This is the line of thinking that brought us to distilling Cassiopeia to the highest — single target — late game — consistent damage — mage. This is a particular space that Cassiopeia can maker her own, not shared with any other champion; unlike DoT mage, for example. It does have some differences compared to her pre-update identity, but it comes directly from the unique things about her that we identified and wanted to support. We may not have gotten the numbers right here for her to hit each of these aspects, but that’s the goal and we’re still working towards it.

Now, there may have been better ways to tie the poison thematic (or more importantly, the DoT feel) into this identity than the ones we landed on (the ones we settled on being certain aspects of her passive and Miasma slowing more). One idea that has arisen both internally and on the forums is something like making E into ‘Corrosive Fang:’ Deals some minor damage to the target and increases all poison damage to the target by x% for y seconds, stacks up to z times. This wouldn’t change her gameplay at all (she would still mark targets with Q/W then hit them with a bunch of E’s, and continue to try to land Qs, just as she does now and even before), and thus wouldn’t add anything particularly poison-y to it, but it certainly goes some way towards amping up her poison thematics and adding back some poisony feel. While this particular version has some problems, I quite like the goals and direction and it’s something I’d like to take a stab at.

In any case, that’s a more detailed look into our thought processes and the story behind this update. Hope that helps/explains some stuff!


TLDR; We could meet our goals of keeping Cassioepeia’s use case (namely, late game single target mage carry) unique and special while amping up her thematics and making it more of what everyone wants from the Snake Mage. And that’s where we’re going in the next set up updates!

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Will you be looking at champions with low base regen

FeralPony Final PortraitThe short answer is yes. We’ll be doing a pass on health and mana regeneration statistics.

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So will games start like Dominion

FeralPony Final PortraitWay less extreme than that. Assuming a champion had 500 starting base health and 100 per level under the old system their stat growth would something like this.

Level – Health
1 – 500
2 – 600
3 – 700
….
18 – 2200

The new system might look more like this –

1 – 550
2 – 625
3 – 700
….
18 – 2200

There are a few advantages to this approach, but the biggest one is it allows to curb some of the really crazy snowballing power seen in level advantage from statistics – You’ll still gain a ton from levels (lots of stats, new spell etc) but this allows us to keep the laning phase more in check which gave us the opportunity to remove some of the more heavy handed rubberband mechanics we weren’t happy with but felt necessary to include like reduced first blood gold. First blood gold will be worth the full 400 gold regardless of how early you get the kill. Murder away!

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Will these base stat changes address snowballing

Sotere: Xypherous touched on it in his context a bit. Early level advantages create crazy power swings and we wanted to tone that down slightly. You can still create good opportunities for yourself by leveling up and having access to an extra or stronger spell, but no longer will you simply outstat your opponent(s) to the same degree.

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Xypherous Final PortraitExactly right – this reduces early snowballing by level advantage as levels are far easier to acquire earlier than later. If you can maintain a level lead, being 18 when your opponents are 17 will (relatively) matter more than on live. We’ve pulled back the really unpopular first kill gold rubberbanding stuff though.

So, roughly speaking, level advantage from 1-9 is lessened but the harder it is to maintain a level advantage (due to the increase XP requirements per level) the more a level advantage will be worth.

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Don’t you think map vision is being overdone for Season 5

Xypherous Final PortraitIt is a lot of vision, but the uptime on these effects vs. the respawn time of these effects generally keep it down. There are periods of time when its down because the thing just hasn’t respawned yet.

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Riot Axes New PortraitThere’s a lot of vision on the map in the spots you’re successfully controlling, which ends up making for more of a map control war through early/mid game than before. You do have to spend a pretty decent amount of time establishing all that vision if you want it – it isn’t free (burn your smite on a wolf, spend a while hunting down crab is a lot of vision but also a lot of time spent getting it).

It’s different for sure, but we haven’t generally been seeing teams that just have vision everywhere or anything like that unless they have a counterjungler who is just owning the map. And ganks still work.

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Sotere: This is something we’re excited to get feedback on and will be a careful tuning point as we continue testing. The number of ways to gain vision has increased. Gift of the Eagle Eye (Raptor smite reward) counteracts this to some degree by allowing vigilant junglers to remove vision but we’re still feeling out the balance.

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Do you think laners will be playing with Smite items

Riot Axes New PortraitIt’s conceivable that a few laners might occasionally take smite with the intent of applying some jungle pressure, and use the item as an added bonus to that strategy, but yeah, I would be pretty surprised if taking Smite just for one of these items was ever worth it. 750 gold and a summoner spell until you spend that 750 gold is a STEEP price to pay, even if the gating is somehow a non-issue.

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Why can’t we place wards with the new jungle items

FeralPony Final PortraitThe ability to place wards from the jungle items was a bit overkill with the addition and modification in the smite rewards several of which grant vision in various forms. The trinket system as a whole also goes a long way in covering for this need.

 

I don’t think anyone is opposed to adding these again if needed. Some of the elements of the older items – feral flare stacking etc could very well sneak back into either the items themselves or into the enchant system. I know it’s been a topic of discussion recently. Feedback on what specifically you miss from either a functional or simply a fun perspective is always helpful.

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Do you think the PBE changes will diversify  jungle picks

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI would argue Jungler diversity isn’t particularly good on live. What we are trying to do is having multiple axes on which a Jungler can be good so that the same champions don’t keep rising to the top. One champ may be better at traditional camp clearing, but another might be better at counter jungling or even farming Feral Flare-style.

In any case, we will have to adjust the tuning on some champs for sure if we go through with these changes. It isn’t worth taking those steps until we feel pretty solid about the changes themselves or the target will just be constantly moving. I would focus on your feedback on the system overall and not necessarily which champs have become better or worse at jungling. That information is still important, but it’s easier to iterate on than the new jungle design overall.

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End of game gifting up on the PBE

Saberprivateer New PortraitHey guys!

We’ve released end of game gifting to the PBE for testing. This is a new way for players to gift fellow Summoners via the post-game lobby. Now, whether you want to thank a friendly player or reward someone’s first Pentakill, you can show your appreciation after the match! Here are the details:

 

• You do NOT have to be friends to send a gift
• You can send gifts to players on both teams
• Only mystery skins and mystery gifts are available at this time
• The prices will be the same as in the store
• Gifts will count towards the daily gifting limit. In other words, you can only send/receive up to five gifts each day (For example, sending three mystery skins from the store and two end of game gifts hits your limit)
• Available in all queues except for custom games

The Unlock team is looking forward to your feedback so please respond to this post with questions and let us know what you think!

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EUNE Server migration on its way

Dromaius New PortraitHey guys,

We’ve said it before, but our main goal for 2014 is to provide you with the quality, reliable League of Legends service you deserve. We haven’t posted any major status updates as of late, but rest assured that the efforts we’ve begun in our new Amsterdam data center are progressing according to plan, and the EUNE service will soon be getting a new home! Our engineers continue to work on all aspects of service migration and we should be ready to launch EUNE from the new location sometime in November of this year. We expect to have a firmer go-live date as the project nears completion.

Our Amsterdam data center already hosts the new EUW service, and our quality uptime has improved. EUNE stands to reap similar benefits from the facility’s new infrastructure, hardware solutions, stability and network security. This will enable us to safely increase EUNE’s capacity, expand every part of the service, reduce patch deployment times and boost Internet connectivity.

Another important aspect of this his change involves the consolidation of the EUNE service – both platform and game servers – in Europe, removing the dependency between globally shared services and reducing vulnerability when third-party service providers experience disruptions.

Our teams in Europe and North America will continue working together to deliver on the promise we’ve made of increased service stability. Do note however that setting up a new data center is a massive undertaking, and while we are currently on track to complete it in the November timeframe, there’s always the potential for unforeseen delays.

Stay tuned for more updates on the progress, final maintenance date and expected downtime involved in this transition for EUNE players. We appreciate your dedication to League of Legends. Thanks for playing!

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Singed’s PBE Balance Changes

 

[ Note ] Here’s a link to the PBE update where Singed was tweaked.

 

SmashGizmo Final PortraitHey guys, SmashGizmo here from the Live Gameplay team, and I’m here to just give you guys a little heads up on some Singed changes coming to PBE soon. We don’t think Singed needs a big push to make his way back into the mix in top lane, so we’re looking at some small scale changes, both to give him something new and cool to do and to give him a little nudge up in power. The main changes we’re looking at here are:

  • When Singed Flings an opponent into his Mega Adhesive, they are snared for 1 second
  • Slight buff to rank 3 Insanity Potion stats bonus

The first change is about adding some cool thematic utility to Singed and opening up some big play-making potential when he gets creative with comboing his abilities. We like the core stuff that Singed is doing and we didn’t really want to change that too much, but we wanted to give him some new ways to think about his E and W usage and reward players for using them well together. The second change is just a slight nudge up to his late game effectiveness, as Insanity Potion’s rank 3 isn’t quite as noticeable in the late game as the earlier ranks are in the early-mid game.

Also, Singed is receiving these kit changes in tandem with some visual changes! The model and textures for all of his skins have been updated, so you can look all spiffy as you run by people and throw them onto disgusting puddles of goo.

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Thresh would be a viable pick even if he did no damage

Zephyreal New PortraitNo damage would be brutal in laning phase, but the concept is kind of the same late game where he (generally) doesn’t build damage so his entire fight contribution is CC, saving mispositioned allies, and area control with his ultimate. Personally, I am of the latter where some of the older supports just aren’t at Thresh’s level as opposed to Thresh being super OP, but obviously that’s not a hard-fact statement, just a subjective thought. And if the main problem is the flashy feel (which some people pointed out is their primary concern as opposed to wanting more gold or assists to give more power), then utility as opposed to damage or item power reliance is one way to go about it.

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Fun facts about Diana

IronStylus Final PortraitDiana is named so because the name Diana is derived from the Roman goddess of the moon and hunting.

Also! Diana’s weapon, the Moonsilver Blade is a “reverse khopesh”, making it a stylized scythe, alluding to it being a metaphorical reaping tool, alluding to the harvest, another aspect of the moon.. and also the murder of the Solari elders in her case whom she “reaped”.

Bonus art tidbits! Diana’s character design utilizes forms and shape language which are antithetical and opposing of Leona’s design language. While Leona’s design flairs out in many aspects (the Solari symbol, her crest/crown/faceguards, dress, etc) Diana is comprised of inwardly converging circles or ovals (chest guard, gauntlets, dress, etc).

🙂

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Let’s talk Champion biographies

Carnival Knights New PortraitContinuing an interesting discussion from this thread here, I’d like to talk about some characters we’ll be taking a crack at soon as a natural course of the revamp. As pointed out earlier we still have a lot of champs that have outdated lore, but for the sake of keeping a clear focus I’d like to hold this discussion primarily to champions whose biographies are completely dependent or intricately entwined with the Summoners/the IoW. Without the aforementioned institutions, where did they come from? Why are they here? What do they want? Nocturne, Fiddlesticks, Lee Sin, fourth example. All the champs. All your favorite champs (I make a lot of bad jokes, by the way. I apologize in advance).

To give you some insight into our motivations, we’re looking at stories holistically, rather than storytelling in a vacuum. What that means is, our goal is to preserve core personality aspects of characters while reinventing the how and why of their stories to create an interesting and vibrant world. For the sake of this discussion, you do not have to adhere to those rules. Offer any crazy idea you can think of! I’ll try and check in as often as I can and respond as often as possible.

A couple points of note: this is not a promise to act on any of these suggestions. As well, I’d like this to stay as positive as possible – if you have criticisms feel free to voice them, but I’d rather have a friendly, focused discussion of these champs. Besides their core personalities, they’re almost blank slates! Mostly blank. Kind of sort of blank. Ish.

I’ll get it started: where should Nocturne come from? Is he a living shadow that kills people in their dreams and impresses nightmares on the waking world in the form of hallucinatory episodes? Or something… more? Share your thoughts! Lets do it!

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