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NA SERVERS MOVE TO CHICAGO ON 25 08

NA’s servers are moving to Chicago in a week from now:

 

NA Server Roadmap Update NA Server Move on 8 25

Ahab Final PortraitTL;DR: On August 25, the NA game servers will move to a new, centralized location inChicago, Illinois. This move, along with other components of the NA Server Roadmap, should improve connection quality for the vast majority of NA players. West Coast players will see an uptick in raw ping numbers, but should also see that uptick mitigated by connection improvements in the form of better overall stability and reduced packet loss. We’ll follow up the server move with a weekend stress test (complete with Party IP) fromAugust 28 – 30. More details below.

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve shared a bunch of the details behind the upcoming move to new game servers in Chicago, Illinois, as well as our latest testing of the new infrastructure. Today, we’re ready to announce both a date – August 25 – and our plan for the day of the server move.

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THE PLAN

Considering the level of activity handled by the NA game servers, our main priority is ensuring maximum safety and minimum disruption. To that end, on the 25th we’ll kick off a phased, zero-downtime transfer of server activity at off-peak hours, with game starts steadily re-allocated to Chicago in escalating fashion over the course of the transfer period. Keep in mind your game starts may hop back and forth between Chicago and Portland if you’re playing during this period. By the end of the day, all games will be supported out of Chicago, with Portland reverting to a disaster-recovery backup while we continue to gather data and make any required adjustments. Tentatively, we’re shooting for around 5 AM PDT to 12 PM (noon) PDT as the transfer window, during which ranked play will be disabled.

Given our extensive preparation and the lack of downtime, the most likely outcome is that you won’t notice any disruption on your end, but we’re also preparing for any and all contingencies. For example, we already know that we’ll very likely have to troubleshoot emergent local routing issues that crop up in the days following the server move. Worst case, we encounter significant issues and temporarily roll back to the current Portland servers so you all encounter minimal downtime or disrupted play as we fix any major problems.

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On the 25th, we’ll also offer free transfers directly to players located in the US and Canada who are currently playing on other servers – look for a transfer email from us and a free transfer option in the store on your account!

After the move itself has been successfully completed, we want to roll right into a stress test weekend from August 28 – 30 to observe how well the new game servers handle peak traffic. To help make sure we really put the new Chicago infrastructure through its paces, we’re enabling Party IP over the weekend – check out the details below in case you need a refresher.

Number of players in party –> Bonus IP awarded

  • 2 –> 100% bonus
  • 3 –> 150% bonus
  • 4 –> 200% bonus
  • 5 –> 300% bonus

You earn rewards win or lose, but only if you’re in a party with at least one other player. Make sure to log in, help us test, and earn extra IP from August 28th, 00:00 PDT through August 30th, 23:59 PDT!


BEYOND THE SWITCH Banner

As I mentioned earlier, in the days following the move the Roadmap team will be working to make sure your connections are taking the most efficient possible paths on our dedicated network to the new game servers. As you might imagine, moving the server destination requires quite a bit of recalibration of preexisting network paths. Most will be well-aligned by the time Chicago is live, but internet infrastructure can get pretty complicated and there willlikely be some straggling connections that aren’t getting to Chicago as fast as they could be. Next week, look for a support megathread for troubleshooting potential network pathing problems by testing your connection to Chicago and sending us traceroute info from your machines.

While the Chicago move will complete our outlined milestones for the NA Server Roadmap, there will always be more to do on the service front. ISPs will change, routes will merge, and the landscape may shift, so multiple teams here at Riot will remain dedicated to making sure players across the US and Canada experience the best possible connection while playing League. One consistent task will be signing and maintaining peering agreements with ISPs across the US and Canada – check out our latest peering list in this thread.

We’ll be back with final details and reminders over the next week, but in the meantime we’re also happy to address any immediate questions you may have in the comments below!

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

NA SERVER ROADMAP BANNER

You can find earlier steps in the roadmap by visiting the links below:

 

TL;DR: Soonâ„¢, the NA game servers will be transferring to a more centralized location in Chicago, Illinois. This move, along with other components of the NA Server Roadmap, should improve connection quality for the vast majority of NA players. West Coast players will see an uptick in raw ping numbers, but should also see that uptick mitigated by connection improvements in the form of better overall stability and reduced packet loss. We’ll keep everyone updated on the specifics (including exact timing) as we get closer to the move. For more details, check out the full story below.

 

Ahab Final PortraitHey, everyone! Riot Ahab here with another update on the NA Server Roadmap. In our last post we updated you on our completion of Phase 2 – building a dedicated network for League traffic. ISP partnering and routing optimization will be an ongoing project as routes and ISPs change, but the hardware is now up and fully functional.

Now it’s time to talk about Phase 3, in which we’ll move the game servers to a central location that, in conjunction with Phase 2, will even out the currently vast ping differences across NA. We don’t have the when to share just yet, but we can share the where: Chicago, Illinois.

 

 

Why Chicago

Our selection of Chicago as the home for the new NA game servers likely comes as no big surprise to those of you who’ve followed previous Roadmap updates, and saw the Windy City figure prominently in many player theories. For those of you with a bit less background on the need for a new location, it largely comes down to geography, and more importantly, connectivity to the rest of North America.

The most obvious issue with our current Portland game servers is their coastal location. While keeping the original servers near Riot’s west-coast offices made sense back when we were just starting out, both the exponential growth of the NA server and North America’s changing internet landscape mean that west-coast servers are now directly contributing to markedly inferior service for a huge number of east-coast players.

But geography isn’t the only reason for this switch, else we might have ended up in Wichita or Denver. The truth is that in the complicated world of internet architecture, Portland is less directly connected to the rest of North America than we’d like. Chicago, on the other hand, happens to be one of the best connected cities in the entire world, let alone in North America. With more bandwidth running through it, more fiber running through it, and more data center space than any other North American city, plus a central location and role as a major exchange between the US and Canada, Chicago is simply the premier place to provide the best overall service for the far-flung NA player base.

Some of you may ask, “Why not just keep the Portland servers online and create separate servers?” Ultimately, our answer is simple – the community. Today’s NA community traces its roots all the way back to the beginning of League’s open beta in April 2009. Starting from a grand total of three hundred players, in less than six years the community has swelled tomillions of us. We’ve all been there together through League’s constant evolution, and continue to welcome new players from across North America every day. For us, the preservation of the NA community is worth any effort, and with that in mind we’ve focused all our energy on creating a stable, long-term, single-server solution.

 

What does this mean for me

At the highest level, this server move will allow us to bring the vast majority of NA players under 80 ms ping. Currently, more than 50% of NA players actually fall above that threshold, so Chicago game servers (along with continued work on peering agreements and direct networking) will allow us to create a far more balanced latency outlook for the NA player base.

While this move will be an overall positive for the NA player base, the specific effects you experience will depend on which part of NA you call home. Compared to our current Portland servers, and speaking very broadly, moving to Chicago will result in:

  • Moderate latency increases (up to ~45 ms) in the Pacific Northwest and outlying regions (Hawaii, other Pacific Islands, Japan, etc)
  • Minor latency increases (up to ~30 ms) across the rest of the west coast of North America.
  • Generally neutral effects across a broad strip of the Mountain States and Saskatchewan
  • Moderate to major latency reductions (up to ~50 ms for much of the East Coast) across the entire eastern half of North America

Keep in mind these are extremely rough generalizations that simply represent physical distance added, and don’t take potentially wonky ISP routing into account. We also want to emphasize again that ping is just a part of the picture and that no player will be left out in the cold with this move. Mitigating the localized downsides of the Chicago move is a major part of our latest Roadmap initiatives, and all NA players can expect positives (lower packet loss rates, improved stability, etc.) as part of the other work we’re doing.

 

WHATS NEXT

While we fine tune the infrastructure and finalize plans, we’ll also need to do some live testing of the new game servers in the next week or two to make sure everything’s working as expected. We’ll need to disable ranked play for a few hours during testing, so we’ll give you guys a heads up the day before via the in-game ticker and the server status page.

Other than that, we’ll be back several times in the coming weeks with more info on everything from server transfers to how exactly the switchover will work. And, of course, a date!

 

Beyond the switch

While the Chicago move will complete our outlined milestones for the NA Server Roadmap, multiple teams here at Riot will remain dedicated to making sure players experience the best possible connection while playing League. For example, the dedicated network for League traffic will require constant tweaking and adjustments as we add new ISP partners and our current partners adjust how they route traffic across the US and Canada. On that note, we’ve got an updated list below of the partners we’ve added since the last update.

Hopefully we’ve preemptively answered a lot of your questions, but we know you probably have many more. Two options for you:

  1. We’ve put together a live support thread where Rioters are on hand to help you diagnose any funky latency issues you may be experiencing. Head on over if you’ve seen any consistent streaks of higher-than-usual ping over the last six months and would like to chat with some experts about it.
  2. If you have general questions about the Chicago move, we’ve got a bunch of Roadmap team members on hand – ask away!

 

Partnered ISPs:

(talks in-progress)

AT&T
Cox Communications
Verizon

(new additions)

Accelerated Connections
Bel Air Internet
Bell Aliant Regional Communications,
Cablevision Systems
Qwest Communications Company
RCN

(already partnered)

3Z Canada
Abovenet Communications
Alaska Communications
Altopia
Atlas Networks Corporation
CenturyLink
Charter Communications
Clear Wireless
CoastCom
Cogeco Cable
Cogent Communications
Comcast Cable Communications
CTS Communications Corp.
Electronic Box
Eltopia
Fibrenoire Internet
Frontier Communications
Google Fiber
Hurricane Electric, Inc.,
Interconnected Associates
Level 3 Communications
Lightspeed Communications
LS Networks
Molalla Communications Systems Inc.
NetRiver
Network for Education and Research in Oregon (NERO)
NTT America
Oricom Internet
Pavlov Media
Pocketinet Communications
Rogers Cable Communications
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel)
Shaw Communications
Sonoma Interconnect
Start Communications
Syringa Networks
TDS Telecom
TekSavvy Solutions
TELUS Communications
TeraGo Networks
Threshold Communications
Time Warner Cable
Vanoppen.biz
Videotron Telecom Ltee
Vision Net
WindWave Communications
WiscNet
Worldlink
WOW! Internet

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News C2E2

 

 

 

PBE 25 April


 

Previous PBE Updates from Patch 4.7 Cycle:

 

 

New Animations for Flash, Cleanse, Exhaust and Clarity

 

 

Braum New Portrait

 

Q BraumWinter’s Bite [ Q ]

  • Mana cost reduced from 60/65/70/75/80 to 55/60/65/70/75

 

Dragonslayer Braum Passive Icon

 

Check in “Single Posts” for context.

 

Dragonslayer Braum Passive

Dragonslayer Braum Passive

 

 

Lyte AFK Topic

Lyte hopped on a popular thread on Reddit to discuss what’s being done to address unfair scenarios in Ranked.

 

 

Do you think you can better handle player disconnects / AFKs in Ranked?

 

Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: Actually, we agree that we could do more when it comes to better feedback loops (like giving players more information about the results of their reports) or better ways to handle AFKs/DCs.

For example, we’d like to restart games if players fail to connect in the first few minutes, and we’d like to put more aggressive measures into Ranked Modes. But, it takes time to research the underlying problem space and truly understand how to improve it.

We have been working on Team Builder for awhile, and are interested in exploring a version of Team Builder for Ranked Modes–this should address a lot of the frustrations players currently experience with Ranked and do so more effectively than one-off small band-aid features. We want to improve the foundation of the experience, which is way better than giving players better ways to report one another. We want to prevent negative triggers, not just give players ways to react to negativity.

When we start advancing further into the research and prototyping for a version of Team Builder in Ranked, we’ll work on some of the smaller features that are ‘obvious’ along the way. For example, in Team Builder, we actually can do stuff like temporarily ban players from Ranked Modes, or automatically mute players after a streak of negative behaviors.

We took a lot of risks with Team Builder, and we fully plan on taking more risks when exploring the Team Builder for Ranked space. Ranked is my main mode after all, and I’ve accrued over 3000 games in the last few seasons–I’m excited to think about what we can do with this space and I hope players are too.

 

 

How was Team Builder a risky undertaking?

 

Lyte Button Rioter Lyte“Let’s be fair, how is restarting games when a player fails to connect risky? How’s giving players more feedback about their reports risky?

Risk could be assessed in a variety of ways–how much impact a feature will actually have on a problem space (and the cost it took to implement it), the player perception of the feature (i.e = whether they support it or not, or think it’s fair or not), and the long-term engagement of a feature (i.e = is the effect of the feature robust enough to last through years? Or, will players stop using it after a few weeks?)”

 

 

Why is nothing being currently done to address these issues?

 

Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: Well, I wouldn’t say nothing is done about it. Players who AFK/DC are actually automatically banned for X games, and they lose LP regardless of the team winning or not.

We could increase the punishment for AFK/DCs, but that doesn’t solve the real problem; the real problem is that you, as a player in the game, feel helpless because you are left playing a 4v5 and 4v5s are extremely tough to win. You feel helpless because a player can AFK/DC and basically force you into a high chance of losing LP.

This problem is actually pretty complicated, and isn’t fixed by just letting you leave games with no LP loss. For example, what about premade situations? Can 2 friends queue up, and 1 friend always leave when they have a disadvantage, allowing the 2nd friend to leave with no penalties?

Do you know how many more games would never complete and would ‘reset’ in 5 minutes, if this feature was implemented? Can you imagine the frustration of playing 5-6 games in a row, and 2 hours later getting 0 LP and completing 0 games?

Again, players that AFK/DC often are automatically banned. I agree, we could improve the experience for the remaining 4 players in the game, but that’s not actually a simple problem.

 

 

Will you add picking Champions to Team Builder?

 

Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: We definitely wouldn’t want to incorporate Champion picking as early as standard Team Builder, because team synergy is more important in competitive League; however, there’s still a question of whether enforcing the meta is OK in Ranked Team Builder and whether that makes it extremely difficult for players to evolve the meta over time.

 

 

League in Chicago C2E2


 

This weekend, for the first time ever, we’re packing up and heading to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2)! Our expo booth will feature live art demos with Riot artists, a gallery of jaw-dropping community art, and 360 degree video booths where players can digitize their C2E2 experience with Teemo. We’re also sponsoring the Crown Championships of Cosplay and the Cospitality Lounge, where cosplayers can get dressed, touch up, and chill out.

Can’t make it to C2E2 April 25 to 27? Check out our live coverage on Twitter and tumblr.

Miss the League action at PAX East? We’ve got you covered with tons of cosplay, booth, and behind-the-scenes shots on our tumblr.

 

C2E2

C2E2 Poster

 

 

Single Posts banner


 

 

Will Warwick be the next rework?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Warwick’s not next. Sion’s going to be before Warwick. Warwick is a bit smaller in scope. Sion is going to be a massive overhaul of the champion.

 

 

 

Will Sion be fully relaunched?

 

MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: Yeah, full relaunch is the plan for Sion. Looking at a complete visual overhaul, mainly or entirely changed kit (focusing on the undead juggernaut part of his current kit has) and some thematic tweaks.

 

 

 

Follow-up: How far into Sion’s rework is the team?

 

MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: In progress (kit and visuals), but not mostly done – while yet. Stuff so far’s looking cool though, both visually and in general.

 

 

 

Why was Dragonslayer Braum’s Passive Icon changed?

 

RiotWrekz Button Rioter RiotWrekz: This is a totally reasonable question.

Braum’s passive requires a lot of ally interaction, probably the most of any ability in our game outside of thresh lantern. Braum getting Concussive Blows on an enemy is a call to action for his allies to focus fire that target, as a result the call needs to be very clear. We evaluated these things and made the decision that changing the iconography on his skin was too different from the base for allies to be expected to follow up in the way that we wanted, so instead took an approach to make changes to the base icons color that make it feel at home on the skin while still maintaining a consistent and readable shape language/symbol.

We totally think that the dragon face icon was cool, but pushing towards our game design goal of clarity we felt in this case making the gameplay oriented decision of providing a consistent symbol was the best choice for all players experiences.

 

 

 

If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.