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Explore Mount Targon

February 25th, 2016
Mount Targon Banner Final


A new lore event has begun! Three spots have already been revealed, those being backstories for Pantheon, Leona and Diana. The other two will probably be revealed in the next few days.



MOUNT TARGON Banner

Mount Targon is the mightiest peak in Runeterra, a towering mountain of sun-baked rock amid a range of summits unmatched in scale anywhere else in the world. Located far from civilization, Mount Targon is utterly remote and all but impossible to reach save by the most determined seeker.

Many legends cling to Mount Targon, ranging from tales of blazing warriors imbued with incredible powers falling from the sky to battle monsters, to fantastical tales of gods and their celestial abodes crashing down to form the mountain. Some legends even go so far as to claim the Mountain itself is a sleeping titan of antiquity.

Like any place of myth, Mount Targon is a beacon to dreamers, madmen and questors of adventure. Those who survive the arduous journey to the foot of the titanic mountain are welcomed as fellow pilgrims by the scattered, tribal communities that have set up nomadic camps around its base.

Here the weary traveller learns of the tribes, such as the Rakkor, who have endured the harsh climate and unforgiving lands around the mountain for millennia. These people are united in their belief that living in the shadow of these cyclopean structures of monumental scale is a true calling of mysterious powers. The origin and purpose of these structures – if such things ever had one – remain a mystery, for mortals can never truly know the minds of the structures’ lost creators. Many faiths find root around the mountain, but all are beholden to the Solari, a sun-worshipping faith whose tenets dominate the land. The Solari high temple sits on the eastern slope of the mountain, reachable only by crossing swaying rope bridges over abyssal canyons, climbing winding stairs weathered into the living rock and traversing whisper-thin ledges cut upon sheer cliffs carved with ancient symbols and vast effigies.

Some brave souls attempt to scale the impossible mountain, perhaps seeking wisdom or enlightenment, perhaps chasing glory or some soul-deep yearning to see its summit. The dwellers at the peak’s base cheer as these brave souls begin their ascent, knowing the mountain will find the vast majority of them unworthy. And to be judged unworthy by Mount Targon is to die.

The mountain’s sheer flanks and the treacherous conditions of its high slopes make it incredibly difficult to climb. Its rocks are littered with the contorted bodies of those who have made the attempt and failed. The ascent is all but impossible, a grueling test of every facet of a climber’s strength, character, resolve, willpower and determination. Some climbers ascend for weeks or months, others for only a day, for the mountain is inconstant and ever-changing. And even for those hardy few who somehow survive to reach the top, the testing is not over. Some who claw their way to the summit do so only to find it utterly empty, an abandoned expanse of ruins and faded carvings beyond human understanding. For unknowable reasons, the mountain has found the climber’s soul lacking.

For a handful of others, however, the summit is said to be veiled in a cascade of shimmering light, through which wonders and far-distant vistas can be glimpsed, the bewildering, tantalizing visions of a mythical domain beyond. Despite attaining their goal of reaching the summit, most fail this last test, turning away in fear from this inhuman realm. Of the rare few who press on, most never return, while others may reappear minutes, years or even centuries later.

Only one thing is certain – those who return are changed beyond all recognition.

 

THE ASPECTS Banner

The sky around Mount Targon shimmers with celestial bodies; the sun and moons, but also constellations, planets, fiery comets that streak the darkness, and auspicious arrangements of stars. The people living at the mountain’s base believe these to be aspects of long-vanished stellar beings, creatures powerful and ancient on a scale beyond human comprehension. Some believe the power of these Aspects sometimes come down the mountain within the lambent bodies of those climbers found worthy. Such an occurrence is unimaginably rare and amazing tales of their exploits form around such individuals, who only ever appear once every few generations.

It is incredibly unusual for more than a single Aspect to walk the earth of Runeterra at any given time, so the tales of several Aspects manifesting has spread a pall of fear and uncertainty around the mountain. For what threat might be arising that requires the power of so many powerful beings to fight?



PANTHEON Banner

Pantheon Single Banner

“Bring forth one true champion, or a hundred morelike you, and then we shall have a battle that will bespoken of until the end of time.”

The peerless warrior known as Pantheon is a nigh-unstoppable paragon of battle. He was born among the Rakkor, a warlike people living on the flanks of Mount Targon, and after climbing the mountain’s treacherous peak and being deemed worthy, he was chosen to become the earthly incarnation of the celestial Aspect of War. Imbued with inhuman power, he relentlessly seeks the enemies of Targon, leaving only corpses in his wake.

Atreus was a proud young Rakkoran named after one of the four stars that formed the Warrior constellation in the night sky – the constellation known to the Rakkor as the Pantheon. While not the fastest or strongest of the young warriors of Mount Targon, nor the most skilled with the bow, spear or blade, Atreus was determined, single-minded, and his endurance was legendary among his peers. Every day before dawn, while the others slept, he rose to run the treacherous paths of Mount Targon, and he was ever the last to leave the training ground at night, his arms leaden from blade-work.

A fierce rivalry developed between Atreus and another young Rakkoran, a boy called Pylas. Born into a line of renowned warriors, Pylas was skillful, strong, and popular. He seemed destined for greatness, and none his age could best him in the fighting circle. Only Atreus refused to back down, pushing himself up from the ground to fight on, bloodied and bruised, even after being knocked down again and again. While this earned Atreus the respect of his grizzled instructors, it gained him the enmity of Pylas, who took Atreus’s unrelenting defiance as a lack of respect.

Atreus was shunned by his peers and suffered numerous beatings from Pylas and his followers, though he endured it all with stoic resilience. He kept his growing ostracism a secret from his family, knowing it would only cause them pain.

On an early winter patrol, a day’s march from their village, the young warriors and their trainers came upon the smoking ruin of a Rakkoran outpost. Blood stained the snow, and bodies lay strewn across the ground. A hasty retreat was ordered, but it was too late… the enemy was already upon them.

Clad in furs and heavy iron armor, the outsiders sprang from beneath the snow, axes flashing in the cold light. None of the young warriors had completed their training, and their superiors were all greybeards, well past their prime, yet several enemies were slain for every one of their own that fell. Nevertheless, the outsiders outnumbered them, and the Rakkor were cut down, one by one.

Pylas and Atreus fought back to back, the last of the Rakkor still standing. Both were injured and bleeding. The battle would be over in moments, yet they knew they had to warn the village. Atreus plunged his spear into a barbarian’s throat, while Pylas cut down two more, creating a momentary gap in the circle of enemies. Atreus told Pylas to go, saying that he would hold their enemies off so Pylas could get away. With no time to argue – Atreus was already charging the enemy – Pylas ran.

Atreus fought hard, but as a heavy axe slammed into his chest, he finally fell, and slipped into unconsciousness.

Atreus awoke, not in the celestial afterlife as he had expected, but upon the mountain where he had fallen. The sun had dropped behind the surrounding peaks, and a fresh layer of snow covered him. Numb and barely lucid, he pushed himself to his feet. He picked his way between the bodies of the fallen Rakkor, but all were dead. Worse, Pylas lay some way off, a throwing axe embedded in his back. Word had not reached their village.

Half-crawling, half-stumbling to Pylas’s side, Atreus found his one-time rival alive, but horribly wounded. Hefting the young warrior to his shoulders, Atreus began the long trek home. Three days later, he stumbled to the outskirts of their village, and finally allowed himself to collapse.

He awoke to find Pylas watching over him, and his wounds stitched and bound. While Atreus was relieved to find that their village had not been attacked, he was also surprised to learn that neither the Rakkor nor the Solari elders had sent out the Ra-Horak to find and kill the intruders, choosing instead to stay and defend against any possible attack.

In the months that followed, Atreus and Pylas became close friends. All earlier antagonism forgotten, they threw themselves into their training with renewed vigor and purpose. All the while, Atreus’s resentment toward the Solari order grew. He felt the best way to protect the Rakkor was to actively seek out and destroy their would-be enemies, but the new leader of the Solari’s warriors – a former member of his own tribe, Leona – preached a different form of protection, which Atreus felt was weak and passive.

As with all young Rakkorans, Atreus and Pylas had grown up hearing stories of great heroes climbing to the peak of Mount Targon and being blessed with great power. Having passed the arduous Rakkoran warrior rites together, the pair began to train in earnest toward making the ascent themselves. Atreus hoped to gain the power he would need to seek out and defeat the enemies of the Rakkor himself, since it seemed the Solari were not willing to do so.

Only the strongest attempted the climb, and fewer than one in a thousand even glimpsed the peak. Nevertheless, Atreus and Pylas joined a larger group gathered from all the Rakkoran villages scattered around the foothills of the mountain, and began the ascent. As they set off, the sun turned dark as the silver moon passed before it. Some saw this as an ill omen, but Atreus took it as a sign he was on the right path – that his beliefs about the Solari were correct.

After weeks of climbing, the group was half its original size. Some had turned back, while others had been claimed by the mountain, having fallen into crevasses, been buried beneath avalanches, or frozen to death in the night. They were high above the cloud line, and the sky was filled with strange shifting lights and illusions. Still they pressed on.

The air grew steadily thinner, and the cold ever more bitter as the weeks turned to months. Several climbers stopped to catch their breath, never to move again, their flesh freezing to the mountain. Others, driven insane by the lack of air and exhaustion, threw themselves from the cliffs, falling like stones. One by one, the mountain claimed those who attempted to master it, until only Pylas and Atreus remained.

Exhausted, frozen, and their minds addled, the pair made the final ascent to the summit, only to find… nothing.

They saw no fabled city at the peak, nor any sky-warrior heroes waiting to embrace them – only ice, death, and rocks twisted into strange circular shapes. Pylas collapsed, the last of his strength finally giving out, and Atreus roared his frustration.

Knowing Pylas had not the strength to make the descent, Atreus sat with him, cradling his head in his lap as he watched the life drain from his friend.

Then the heavens opened. The air shimmered like liquid, and a gateway opened before Atreus. Golden light spilled out, warming his face, and a city beyond the veil could be glimpsed – a place of inconceivable architecture and grandiose vision. A figure stood waiting for him, hand outstretched.

Tears of awe ran down Atreus’s face. He would not have left his friend, but as he looked down he saw that Pylas had died in his arms, a beatific smile upon his face. Atreus stood, closed his friend’s eyes, and laid him gently on the melting snow. He stepped forward to meet his guide, walking through the veil of reality to the real Targon.

Months passed. On the lower flanks of the mountain, it was assumed Atreus and Pylas had died along with everyone else who had attempted the ascent. They were mourned, but this was nothing unusual, nor was it unexpected. Only once in a generation did someone return with power from the top of the mountain.

It was at this time that another raiding party of northern barbarians mysteriously appeared on the mountain, almost a year to the day since they had butchered those Rakkorans at the outpost and Atreus’s peers. They attacked a number of isolated villages, slaughtering and pillaging, before pushing on toward a Solari shrine high upon the mountain. The guards there were heavily outnumbered, yet they stood ready to die defending the relics and mystics within.

As the enemy marauders closed in, an unnatural, keening wind descended, whipping the snow around in a growing fury. The swirling clouds parted, exposing the full majesty of Mount Targon at the epicenter of the storm. Warriors on both sides struggled to maintain their footing, shielding their eyes against the ice storm as a ghostly, glowing city appeared in the heavens at the mountain’s apex.

The four stars of the Pantheon constellation pulsed brightly, then turned dark overhead. Simultaneously, the burning light of a falling star appeared within the ethereal city and streaked toward the ground.

It screamed toward the temple, moving at astonishing speed, and the barbarians prayed to their heathen gods in quivering voices. The streaming light slammed down, striking the ground between the two forces with an earth-shattering impact.

This was no star, but a warrior mantled in starlight and bearing a gleaming, golden shield and spear of legend. He had landed in a warrior’s crouch, one knee lowered to the ground, and as he looked up at the enemy defiling the lands of Mount Targon, the Rakkorans saw it was Atreus… and yet not Atreus. The Aspect of the Warrior had infused him, and he was now both mortal and immortal, the incarnation of war made flesh. He was now an avatar of battle. He had become the Pantheon.

He rose from his crouch, eyes blazing with celestial light, and the enemy knew death had come for them.

The battle was over quickly; none could stand against Pantheon. The outsiders’ blood ran from Pantheon’s armor and weapon, leaving them pristine and gleaming with starlight. His enemies defeated, Pantheon marched into the roaring ice storm and disappeared.

Atreus’s family mourned their son and held a funeral for him. While they had suspected he was dead after he had not returned from the expedition, now his demise was confirmed. The Pantheon Aspect had obliterated his personality, memories and emotions. Atreus’s flesh was nothing but a shell inhabited by the supernatural Aspect of War; his mortal soul had joined those of the ancestors in the celestial afterlife.

Atreus was not the first appearance of Pantheon on Runeterra – there have been others, and there will likely be more. They are not immortal, limited by the human flesh they inhabit, and can be killed, though it takes great effort to do so. Pantheon’s latest appearance has been greatly debated by the elders of the Solari, for his arrival is both a blessing and a curse, as it often heralds a time of darkness yet to come…

 

THE SPEAR OF TARGON Banner

A lone figure awaited the armed convoy, standing silhouetted against the sun. His heavy cloak and the long plume atop his helm billowed in the hot, dry desert wind. A tall spear was held at his side.

The convoy was thirty strong. Most of its number were hired mercenaries – rough, warlike men and women garbed in hauberks, leather and chain, bearing crossbows, halberds and blades. They walked the dusty path alongside heavily-laden mules, though they came to halt, crude insults and jokes dying on their lips, as they saw the warrior standing motionless before them. The dark-clad leader of the expedition frowned as he pulled his coal-black steed to a halt.

The figure atop the rocky outcrop made no move to stand aside.

“You come with murder in your hearts,” he said.

His voice was as hard as iron, and strangely accented.

“I am of the Mountain. You shall go no further.”

The mercenaries smirked and scoffed.

“Piss off, madman,” one of them shouted, “lest we plant your head on a spike to mark our passing.”

“You are a long way from home, friend,” the leader of the convoy said. “We journey to the mountain ourselves. There need be no blood spilt here.”

The lone warrior was unmoved.

“We are simple pilgrims, and still have a long journey ahead of us,” said the leader. “And besides, there is no way back for us now. Our ships have sailed, see?” he said, gesturing behind him.

Behind the convoy, less than a mile distant, the sea glittered like dragon-scales in the dying light. A trio of galleys could be seen, sails unfurling as they turned north on the long journey home.

“We come with no ill intent, I assure you,” the leader continued. “We merely seek wisdom.”

“Your tongue is forked, serpent,” said the lone warrior. “You seek the blood of the Seer. Turn aside, or be slain.”

The rider’s frown deepened, and he turned away with a dismissive shrug.

“So be it,” he said. “Kill him.”

In an instant, crossbows were hefted to shoulders and the air was filled with loosed bolts. The lone warrior was not punched from his feet, however; the bolts clanged as they ricocheted from his heavy, circular shield. Then he began to advance.

He appeared to be in no hurry. He strode forward with grim resolve, still silhouetted against the sun, the tip of his spear lowering toward his enemies. Another flurry of crossbow bolts. Again they were turned aside by his shield.

The first of the snarling mercenaries launched herself toward him, a jagged-bladed scimitar arcing in for his throat. She died in the blink of an eye, the warrior’s spear buried in her chest. The next two died almost as quickly as the warrior’s spear slashed a crimson line across one man’s throat and the rim of his shield cracked another’s skull.

“Take him!” roared the expedition’s leader, drawing an exquisite, bespoke pistol from his waistband.

A cloud passed in front of the sun, allowing the warrior to be seen more clearly. He was bedecked in armor of archaic design, though his arms and legs were bare and tautly muscled. His cloak was deep crimson, though in the twilight it seemed as if stars gleamed in the shimmering fabric. That starlight also glittered in his unrelenting gaze, shadowed within the visor slits of his helm.

The lone warrior moved like liquid, every movement smooth, efficient and deadly. He was impossibly fast, faster than any man should be. More mercenaries died, their blood staining the dry desert ground. None could land a blow upon the deadly fighter. He moved effortlessly through the battle, closing inexorably on the horseman. One by one, the mercenaries were slain. In moments, those still standing turned and fled in the face of this unstoppable foe.

The rider levelled his pistol at the lone warrior and fired. Impossibly, he swayed aside at the last moment, and the shot merely scraped across the side of his helm. The leader swore and cocked his pistol for another shot… but he was too slow.

The warrior’s shield took him square in the chest, and he was hurled from the saddle. He fell heavily and grimaced as the warrior’s foot came down on his torso, pinning him to the ground.

“Who are you?” he hissed.

“I am your death,” said the lone warrior. “I am Pantheon.”

The leader of the convoy turned his head to the side, seeing his pistol lying in the dust nearby. He reached for it, but it was a hopeless act of desperation.

“Rejoice, mortal,” said Pantheon. “It is a great honor to die beneath the Spear of Targon.”

The broken man made to speak, but his words were cut short as Pantheon’s spear drove down through his chest. Blood bubbled from the dying man’s lips, and then he lay still.

Pantheon pulled his weapon clear and turned away. Twilight had given way to dusk, and countless stars lit the night sky.

A comet of burning fire streaked down toward the distant mountains, a hundred miles east.

Pantheon’s eyes narrowed.

“It is time, then,” he said to the darkness, and began the long journey back to Mount Targon.

 

 

LEONA Banner Leona Single Banner

“If you would shine like a sun, first you must burn like one.”

Imbued with the fire of the sun, Leona is a warrior templar of the Solari who defends Mount Targon with her Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak. Her skin shimmers with starfire while her eyes burn with the power of the celestial Aspect within her. Armored in gold and bearing a terrible burden of ancient knowledge, Leona brings enlightenment to some, death to others.

To live in the lands surrounding the towering peak of Mount Targon is to embrace a life of hardship. That many willingly do so is testament to the power of the human spirit to endure anything in search of meaning and higher purpose. As harsh as the rugged foothills of the mountain’s base are, it is nothing compared to the hardships borne by those who dwell on the mountain itself.

Living high on Targon is fraught with danger. When the glittering mist wreathing the summit descends, it does not come alone. All manner of otherworldly things are left behind when it withdraws; radiant creatures that kill at random and muttering voices that whisper unspeakable secrets to drive mortals mad.

Eking a living from mountain plants and their precious herds, the Rakkor tribe dwells at the very limits of human endurance; honing their warrior skills to fight the war at the end of the world. Rakkor means Tribe of the Last Sun, and its people believe that many worlds have existed before this one, each of which has been destroyed by a great catastrophe. Its seers teach that when this sun is destroyed there will be no more, so its warriors must be ready to fight those who seek to extinguish its light.

To the Rakkor, battle is an act of devotion, an offering to keep the sun’s light shining. All members of the tribe are expected to fight and kill without mercy or hesitation, and Leona was no exception. She learned to fight as soon as she could walk, mastering sword and shield with ease. She was fascinated by the mists wreathing the summit and often wondered what might lie beyond them. That fascination did not stop her from fighting the ferocious beasts, inhuman entities and pallid, eyeless strangers that came down the mountain.

She fought and killed them as she had been taught until one day when young Leona encountered a golden-skinned boy with horns and bat-like wings wandering on the mountainside. He did not speak her language, but it was clear he was lost and frightened. His skin shimmered with soft light, and though everything she had been taught since birth told her to attack, Leona could not bring herself to murder someone so obviously helpless. Instead, she led the boy to a pathway leading to the summit, watching as he walked into a ray of sunlight and vanished.

When she returned to the Rakkor, she found herself accused of failing in her duty to the sun. A boy named Atreus had seen her leading a creature of the mountain to safety instead of killing it. Atreus had told his father what Leona had done and he in turn denounced her as a heretic for going against the beliefs of her people. Leona did not dispute this, and the laws of the Rakkor allowed only one sentence for such a transgression – trial by combat. Leona would face Atreus in the fighting pits beneath the noonday sun, and by its light would judgment be rendered. Leona and Atreus were evenly matched; her warrior skills were formidable, but Atreus had ever been single-minded in his pursuit of martial excellence. Leona took up her sword and shield, Atreus his long spear, and none who gathered around the pit could predict the battle’s outcome.

Leona and Atreus fought beneath the blazing sun, and though both bled freely from dozens of wounds, neither could land a deathblow. As the sun dipped toward the horizon, an elder of the Solari marched into the Rakkor camp with three gold-armored warriors and called a halt to the duel. The Solari were adherents of a martial faith built around sun worship, whose unforgiving tenets dictated life around and upon Mount Targon. The elder had been led to the Rakkor by dreams and an ancient Solari prophecy that spoke of a warrior whose fire burned brighter than the sun, a daughter of Targon who would bring unity to the celestial realm. The elder believed Leona was that daughter and upon learning the nature of her transgression, his belief was only strengthened.

The tribal seers warned against interfering in the duel, but the elder was adamant; Leona must come with him and become one of the Solari, to be fully instructed in their beliefs. The Rakkor were fiercely independent, but even they paid heed to the holy decrees of the Solari. The warriors lifted Leona from the pit and bore her wounded body from the Rakkor toward her new life.

The Solari temple was a towering citadel on the eastern slopes of Mount Targon, a glittering spire of gold-veined marble and polished granite. Here, Leona learned the ways of the sacred order  – how they worshipped the sun as the source of all life and rejected all other forms of light as false. Its strictures were absolute and unyielding, but fueled by her belief in the elder’s prophecy, Leona excelled in this disciplined environment, devouring her new faith’s teachings as a parched man in a desert seizes upon fresh water. Leona trained every day with the warrior order of the Solari, the Ra-Horak – a Rakkor title which means Followers of the Horizon – honing her already fearsome skills with a blade into something sublime. In time, Leona rose to command the Ra-Horak, becoming known around Mount Targon as a just, devoted and, some might say, zealous servant of the Sun.

Her path changed forever when she was called to escort a young member of the Solari to the heart of the temple. The girl’s hair was purest white and a shimmering rune glowed upon her forehead. Her name was Diana, a troublemaker well known to Leona from the exasperated woes of the temple elders. Diana had gone missing months before, but now returned, clad in a suit of pale armor that glinted with strange silver light. Diana claimed to bring great news, revelations that would shake the Solari to its foundations, but which she would only reveal to the temple elders.

Leona brought Diana in under armed guard, for her warrior instinct sensed something awry in the girl’s demeanor. Presented to the elders, Diana spoke of the Lunari, an ancient and proscribed faith that venerated the moon, and how all the truths the Solari clung to were incomplete. She described a realm beyond the mountaintop, a place where the sun and moon were not enemies, where new truths could show them fresh ways to look at the world. Leona felt her anger build with every word Diana spoke, and when the elders rejected her words and named her a blasphemer, Leona knew it would be her blade that ended the heretic’s life.

Leona saw Diana’s incredulous fury at the elders’ denial, but before she could react, the white-haired girl hurled herself forward. Blinding light exploded from Diana’s outstretched hands, and orbs of silver fire burned the elders to dust in the blink of an eye. White flames surged in a hurricane of cold lightning and blasted Leona from the chamber. When she regained consciousness, she found Diana gone and the Solari leaderless. As its remaining members struggled to come to terms with this attack on their most sacred space, Leona knew there was only one path open to her. She would hunt down and destroy the heretic Diana for the murder of the Solari elders.

Diana’s trail was easy to find. The heretic’s footsteps were like shimmering mercury to Leona’s eyes, leading ever higher up the slopes of Mount Targon. Leona did not falter, climbing through a landscape that seemed strange and unfamiliar, as though she followed paths that had never existed until this moment. The sun and moon passed overhead in a blur, as if many days and nights passed with her every breath. She neither stopped to eat nor drink, letting fury sustain her beyond what should have been humanly possible.

Eventually Leona reached the top of the mountain, breathless, exhausted, starved and stripped of all thought save punishing Diana. There, sitting on a rock at the top of the mountain was the same golden-skinned boy whose life she had spared as a child. Behind him, the sky burned with blazing light, a borealis of impossible colors and the suggestion of a majestic city of gold and silver. In its fluted towers and glittering minarets, Leona saw how the Solari temple echoed its magnificence and fell to her knees in rapture.

The golden-skinned boy spoke to her in the old Rakkor tongue, telling her he had been waiting for her to follow him since that day, and that he hoped she wasn’t too late. He held out his hand and offered to show her miracles and to know the minds of gods.

Leona had never turned from anything in her life. She took the boy’s hand as he smiled and led her into the light. A column of searing illumination stabbed down from the heavens and engulfed Leona. She felt an awesome presence filling her limbs with terrifying power and forgotten knowledge from the earliest epochs of the world. Her armor and weapons burned to ash in the cosmic fire and were in turn reborn as ornate warplate, a shield of sunlight wrought in gold and a sword of chained dawnlight.

The warrior who came down the mountain looked the same as the one who had climbed it, but inside Leona was much changed. She still had her memories and thoughts, was still master of her own flesh, but a sliver of something vast and inhuman had chosen her to be its mortal vessel. It gifted her with incredible powers and awful knowledge that haunted her eyes and weighed heavily upon her soul; knowledge she could only ever share with one person.

Now, more than ever, Leona knew she had to find Diana.

 

 

THE LIGHT BRINGER Banner

The raiders attacked before dawn; fifty wolf-lean men in iron hauberks mantled with strange furs and bearing ash-dulled axes. Their steps were swift as they entered the settlement at the foot of the mountain. These were men who had fought as brothers for years, who lived in the heartbeat between life and death. A warrior in battered scale armor and bearing a heavy-bladed greatsword over his shoulder led them. Beneath his dragon-helm, his face was bearded and raw, burned by a lifetime of war-making under a harsher sun than this.

The previous settlements had been easily overcome; little challenge for men weaned on battle. The spoils were few and far between, but in this strange land, a man took what he could get.

This one would be no different.

Sudden light flared ahead, sunlight gleaming brightly.

Impossible. Dawn was an hour or more away.

The leader raised a callused hand as he saw a lone figure standing athwart the settlement’s street. He grinned as he saw it was a woman. Finally, something worth plundering. Light enflamed her, and the grin fell from his face as he stepped closer and saw she was clad in ornate warplate. Auburn hair spilled from a golden circlet and sunlight glinted from her heavy shield and long-bladed sword.

More warriors emerged from the street, taking their place to either side of the woman, each gold-armored and bearing a long spear.

“These lands are under my protection,” she said.

Leona lifted her sword as the twelve warriors of the Ra-Horak formed a wedge with her at their center. Six to either side, they swung their shields and hammered them down as one. Leona made a quarter turn and locked her own shield into place at the apex. Her sword slid into the thrust groove beneath the shield’s bladed halo.

She flexed her fingers on the leather-wound grip of her sword, feeling the surge-tide of power within her. A coiled fire that ached to be released. Leona held it within her, letting it ease into her flesh. Embers flecked her eyes and her heart pounded in her chest. The being she had joined with atop the mountain longed to burn these men with its cleansing fire.

Dragon-helm is the key. Kill him and the rest will falter.

Part of Leona wanted to give the power in her free reign; wanted to scorch these men to smoldering bone and ash. Their attacks had killed scores of people who called the lands around Mount Targon home. They had defiled the sacred places of the Solari, toppling sacred sun stones and polluting the mountain springs with their excretions.

Dragon-helm laughed and swung his greatsword from his shoulders as his men moved away from him. To fight with such a huge weapon and keep it in constant motion needed space. He yelled something in a guttural tongue that sounded more like animal barks than anything human, and his warriors gave an answering roar.

Leona let out a hot breath as the raiders charged, their braided beards flecked with frothed spittle as they pounded toward the Ra-Horak. Leona let the fire into her blood, feeling the ancient creature merge its essence with hers more completely, becoming one with her senses and gifting her with perceptions not of this world.

Time slowed for Leona. She saw the pulsing glow of each enemy’s heart and heard the thunderous drum-beat of their blood. To her, their bodies were hazed with the red fires of battle-lust. Dragon-helm leapt forward, his sword hammering Leona’s shield like a stone titan’s fist. The impact was ferocious, buckling the metal and driving her back a full yard. The Ra-Horak stepped back with her, keeping the shieldwall unbroken. Leona’s shield blazed with light and Dragon-helm’s mantle of fur smoldered in its furnace heat. His eyes widened in surprise as he hauled his enormous sword back for another strike.

“Brace and thrust!” she yelled as the rest of the raiders hit their line. Golden spears thrust at the instant of impact and the first rank of attackers fell with their bellies pierced by mountain-forged steel. They were trampled underfoot as the warriors behind them pressed the attack.

The shieldwall buckled, but held. Axes smashed down, sinews swelled and throats grunted with the effort of attack. Leona thrust her sword through the neck of a raider with a scar bisecting his face from crown to jaw. He screamed and fell back, his throat filling with blood. Her shield slammed into the face of the man next to him, caving in his skull.

The Ra-Horak’s line bent back as Dragon-helm’s sword slammed down again, this time splintering the shield of the warrior next to her. The man dropped, cloven from neck to pelvis.

Leona didn’t give Dragon-helm the chance for a third strike.

She thrust her golden sword toward him and a searing echo of its image blazed from the rune-cut blade. White-hot fire engulfed Dragon-helm, his furs and hair instantly igniting and his armor fusing to his flesh like a brand. He shrieked in hideous pain, and Leona felt the cosmic power inside her revel in the man’s agony. He staggered backward, somehow still alive and screaming as her fire melted the flesh from his bones. His men faltered in their assault as he fell to his knees as a blazing pyre.

“Into them!” shouted Leona, and the Ra-Horak surged forward. Powerful arms stabbed spear blades with brutal efficiency. Thrust, twist, withdraw. Over and over again like the relentless arms of a threshing machine. The raiders turned and fled from the Ra-Horak’s blood-wetted blades, horrified at their war-leader’s doom. Now they sought only to escape.

How and why these raiders had come to Targon was a mystery, for they had clearly not come to bear witness on the mountain nor make an ascent. They were warriors, not pilgrims, and left alive they would only regroup to kill again.

Leona could not allow that and thrust her sword into the earth. She reached deep inside herself, drawing on the awesome power from beyond the mountain. The sun emerged from behind its highest peaks as Leona thrust her hand to the light.

She dropped to one knee and slammed her fist on the ground.

And sunfire rained from the sky.

 


diana banner Diana Single Banner

“I am the light coursing in the soul of the moon.”

Bearing her crescent moonblade, Diana fights as a warrior of the Lunari, a faith all but quashed in the lands around Mount Targon. Clad in shimmering armor the color of winter snow at night, she is a living embodiment of the silver moon’s power. Imbued with the essence of an Aspect from beyond Targon’s towering summit, Diana is no longer wholly human, and struggles to divine her power and purpose in this world.

Diana was born as her mother and father sheltered from a storm on the unforgiving slopes of Mount Targon. They had travelled from a distant land, drawn by dreams of a mountain they had never seen and the promise of revelation. Exhaustion and blinding stormwinds overwhelmed them on the eastern slopes of the mountain, and there, beneath cold, pitiless moonlight, Diana came into the world as her mother breathed her last.

Hunters from the nearby Solari Temple found her the next day as the storm abated and the sun reached its zenith, wrapped in bearskin and cradled in the arms of her dead father. They brought her to the temple, where the foundling child was presented to the sun and named Diana. The girl with the sable hair was raised as one of the Solari, a faith that dominated the lands around Mount Targon. Diana became an initiate, and was raised to venerate the sun in all its aspects. She learned the legends of the sun and trained every day with the Ra-Horak, the warrior templars of the Solari.

The Solari elders taught that all life came from the sun, and that the light of the moon was false, offering no nourishment and crafting shadows in which only creatures of darkness found succor. Yet Diana found moonlight entrancing and beautiful in a way the harsh sun glaring down the mountain could never match. Every night the young girl would wake from dreams of climbing the mountain to sneak from the initiates’ dormitories to pick night-blooming flowers and watch freshwater springs turn silver in the moonlight.

As the years went by, Diana found herself ever at odds with the elders and their teachings. She couldn’t help but question all she was told, always suspecting there was more that went unsaid in every teaching, as though what she was being taught was willfully incomplete. As she grew, Diana’s sense of isolation only became stronger as childhood friends distanced themselves from the mordant, questioning girl who never quite fit in. At night, watching the silver moon rise over the impossibly distant summit, she felt more and more like an outcast. The urge to climb the mountain’s flanks was like an itch that could never be scratched, but everything she had been taught since birth told her the mountain would claim more than just her life should she ever try. Only the most worthy and heroic dared make such an ascent. With every passing day, Diana felt more alone and more certain that some vital aspect of her life remained unfulfilled.

Her first clue as to what that might be came when she was sweeping the temple library as punishment for arguing with one of her elders. A glint of light behind a sagging bookcase drew Diana’s eyes, and upon investigation, she discovered the partially burned pages of an ancient manuscript. Diana took the pages and read them beneath the full moon that very night, and what she read unlocked a door into her soul.

Diana learned of an all-but-extinct group known as the Lunari, whose faith saw the moon as a source of life and balance. From what Diana could glean from the fragmentary texts, the Lunari spoke of the eternal cycle — night and day, sun and moon — as essential for universal harmony. This was a revelation to the girl with the sable hair, and as she looked beyond the moonlit temple walls, she saw an elderly woman wrapped in a bearskin cloak trudging up the far path that eventually led to the mountain’s summit. The woman’s steps were faltering and she leaned on a carved staff of willow to remain upright. She saw Diana and called for help, saying that she had to reach the top of the mountain before morning — an ambition Diana knew was utterly impossible.

Diana’s desire to help the woman and climb the mountain warred with everything the Solari taught. The mountain was for the worthy, and Diana had never felt worthy of anything. Again the woman asked for her help, and this time Diana did not hesitate. She scrambled over the walls and took the woman’s arm, leading her up the mountain, amazed someone so aged had even made it this far. They climbed for hours, above the clouds and into the chill air where the moon and stars glittered like diamonds. Despite her age, the woman kept climbing, urging Diana onwards when she stumbled or when the air grew thin and cold.

As the night wore on, Diana lost track of time as the stars wheeled overhead and all but the mountain faded from view. Together, Diana and the woman climbed ever upwards and each time her steps faltered, she drew strength from the pale glow of the moon. Eventually Diana fell to her knees, exhausted and weary beyond imagining, her entire body strained to the limits of exhaustion. When Diana looked up, it was to see that somehow they had reached the mountaintop, a feat that should not have been possible in a single night. The summit was wreathed in cascades of spectral illumination, veils of brilliant light, spirals of vivid color and the glimmering ghost of a vast city of silver and gold hovering in the air.

She searched for her companion, but the woman was nowhere to be seen — only the bearskin cloak mantling Diana’s shoulders suggested she had existed at all. Looking into the light, Diana saw the promise of the emptiness within her being filled, of acceptance and the chance to be part of something greater than she could ever imagine. This was what Diana had sought all her life without truly knowing it, and fresh vitality flowed through her limbs as she rose to her feet. She took a hesitant step towards the incredible vista, her resolve growing stronger with every breath.

The light surged and Diana screamed as it poured into her, a union with something vast and inhuman, impossibly ancient and powerful. The sensation was painful, but also joyous – a moment or an eternity that was both revelatory and hallucinatory. When the light faded, the sense of loss was an ache like nothing she had known before.

Diana stumbled down the mountain in a fugue state, oblivious to her surroundings, until she found herself before a cleft in the mountainside; a cave mouth that would have been invisible but for the moonlight shadows. Cold and needing shelter for the night, Diana sought refuge within the cave. Inside, the narrow cleft widened into the crumbling ruin of what might once have been a temple or vast audience chamber. Its crumbling walls were painted in faded frescoes depicting warriors of silver and gold fighting back to back against an unending host of grotesque monsters as the sky rained comets of searing light.

At the center of the chamber stood a crescent sword and a suit of armor unlike any other; a mail shirt of spun silver rings and wondrously crafted warplate of polished steel. Reflected in the gleam of the armor, Diana saw her once sable hair was now purest white, and a rune shone on her forehead with incandescent light. She recognized the symbol so exquisitely etched into the plates of the armor; the same symbol depicted in the pages of the burned manuscript she had found in the library. This was Diana’s moment of truth. She could turn away from this destiny or choose to embrace it.

Diana reached out, and as her fingers touched the cold steel of the armor, her mind exploded with images of lives she had never lived, memories she had never experienced and sensations she had never known. Scraps of ancient history raged like a blizzard in her mind; secret knowledge she but dimly grasped and innumerable futures scattered like wind-blown dust.

When the visions faded, Diana saw she was now fully clad in the silver warplate, armor that fitted her as though wrought especially for her. Her mind was still afire with newly-acquired knowledge, but much of it remained frustratingly out of reach, like a picture half in shadow, half in light. She was still Diana, but she was also something more, something eternal. Feeling vindicated with this new knowledge, Diana left the mountain cave and made her way unerringly towards the Solari Temple, knowing she had to tell the elders what she had learned.

She was met at the temple gates by Leona, the master of the Ra-Horak and the Solari’s greatest warrior. Diana was brought before the temple elders, who listened with mounting horror as she told of what she had learned of the Lunari. When she had finished her tale, the elders immediately denounced her as a heretic, a blasphemer and peddler of false gods. For such a heinous crime, only one punishment could suffice; death.

Diana was appalled. How could the elders reject what was so patently true? How could they turn their back on revelations brought from the very summit of the holy mountain? Her fury built at their willful blindness, and blazing orbs of silver fire spun in the air around her. With a scream of rage-fueled frustration, Diana’s sword swept out, and where it struck, silver fire burned with killing light. Again and again, Diana lashed out and when her fury ebbed, she saw the carnage she had unleashed. The elders were dead and Leona lay on her back, her armor smoking as though fresh from the forge. Appalled at what she had done, Diana fled the site of the massacre, escaping into the wilds of Mount Targon as the Solari reeled from the savagery of her attack.

Hunted by the warriors of the Ra-Horak, Diana now seeks to piece together the fragmentary memories of the Lunari hidden within her mind. Driven by half-remembered truths and glimpses of ancient knowledge, Diana has only one truth to cling to — that the Lunari and the Solari need not be foes, that there is a greater destiny for her than that of a simple warrior. What her destiny might be is unknown, but Diana will find it, whatever the cost.

 

 

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Night had always been Diana’s favorite time, even as a child. It had been that way since she was old enough to scramble over the walls of the Solari temple and watch the moon traverse the vault of stars. She looked up through the dense forest canopy, her violet eyes scanning for the silver moon, but seeing only its diffuse glow through the thick clouds and dark branches.

The trees were pressing in, black and moss-covered, their branches like crooked limbs reaching for the sky. She could no longer see the path, her route forward obscured by rank weeds and grasping briars. Wind-blown thorns scraped the curved plates of her armor, and Diana closed her eyes as she felt a memory stir within her.

A memory, yes, but not her own. This was something else, something drawn from the fractured recollections of the celestial essence that shared her flesh. When she opened her eyes, a shimmering image of a forest overlaid the close-packed trees before her. She saw the same trees, but from a different time, from when they were young and fruitful and the path between them was dappled with light and edged in wildflowers.

Raised in the harsh environs of Mount Targon, Diana had never seen a forest like this. She knew what she was seeing was an echo of the past, but the scents of honeysuckle and jasmine were as real as anything she had experienced.

“Thank you,” she whispered, following the spectral outline of the ancient path.

It led Diana through overgrown and withered trees that ought to have been long dead. It climbed the slopes of rocky highlands, and passed through stands of twisted pine and wild fir. It crossed tumbling mountain streams and wound its way around sheer slopes before bringing her to a rocky plateau overlooking a vast lake of cold, dark water.

At the center of the plateau was a circle of towering stones, each carved with looping spirals and curving sigils. On every stone Diana saw the same rune that shimmered upon her forehead and knew she had reached her destination. Her skin tingled with a sense of febrile anticipation, a sensation she had come to associate with wild and dangerous magic. Wary now, she approached the circle, eyes scanning for threats. Diana saw nothing, but she knew something was here, something utterly hostile and yet somehow familiar.

Diana moved to the center of the circle and drew her sword. Its crescent blade glittered like diamond in the wan moonlight penetrating the clouds. She knelt with her head bowed, the blade’s tip resting on the ground, its quillons at her cheeks.

She felt them before she saw them.

A sudden drop in pressure. A raw charge to the air.

Diana surged to her feet as the spaces between the stones split apart. The air buckled and a trio of screeching beasts charged her with ferocious speed; ivory flesh, bone-white carapaces of segmented armor and steel talons.

Terrors.

Diana dived beneath a snapping jaw filled with teeth like polished ebony, slashing her sword in an overhead arc that clove the first monster’s skull to its heavy shoulders. The creature fell, its flesh instantly unraveling. She rolled to her feet as the others circled like pack hunters, now wary of her gleaming blade. The creature she had killed now resembled a pool of bubbling tar.

They came at her again, one from each side. Their flesh was already darkening to a bruised purple, hissing in this world’s hostile atmosphere. Diana leapt over the leftmost beast and swung her sword in a crescent arc towards its neck plates. She yelled one of the Lunari’s holy words and incandescent light blazed from the blade.

The beast blew apart from the inside, gobbets of newly-wrought flesh disintegrating before the moonblade’s power. She landed and swayed aside from the last beast’s attack. Not fast enough. Razored talons punched through the steel of her pauldrons and dragged her around. The beast’s chest split apart, revealing a glutinous mass of sense organs and hooked teeth. It bit into the meat of her shoulder and Diana screamed as numbing cold spread from the wound. She spun her sword, holding the grip like a dagger and rammed it into the beast’s body. It screeched, relinquishing its hold. Steaming black ichor poured from its ruptured body. Diana spun away, biting down on the pain racing around her body. She held her moonblade out to the side as the clouds began to thin.

The beast had tasted her blood and hissed with predatory hunger. Its armored form was now entirely gloss black and venomous purple. Bladed arms unfolded and remade themselves in a fan of hooks and talons. Unnatural flesh flowed like wax to seal the awful wound her blade had ripped.

The essence within Diana surged. It filled her thoughts with undying hatred from a distant epoch. She glimpsed ancient battles so terrible that entire worlds had been lost in the fires of their waging; a war that had almost unmade this very world and still might.

The creature charged Diana, its body rippling with the raw power of another realm of existence.

Clouds parted and a brilliant shaft of silver speared downwards. Diana’s sword drank in the radiance of distant moons and light burned along its edge. She brought it down in an executioner’s arc, cleaving plated bone and woven flesh with the power of the night’s illumination.

The beast came apart in an explosive detonation of light, its body utterly unmade by her blow. Its flesh melted into the night, leaving Diana alone on the plateau, her chest heaving with exertion as the power she had joined with on the mountain withdrew to the far reaches of her flesh.

She blinked away after-images of a city that echoed with emptiness where once it had pulsed with life. Sadness filled her, though she had never known this place, but even as she mourned it, the memory faded and she was Diana again.

The creatures were gone and the stones of the circle gleamed with threads of silver radiance. Freed from the touch of the hateful place on the other side of the veil, their healing power seeped into the earth. Diana felt it spreading into the landscape, carried through rock and root to the very bones of the world.

“This night’s work is done,” she said. “The way is sealed.”

She turned to where the moon’s reflection shimmered in the waters of the lake. It beckoned to her, its irresistible pull lodged deep in her soul as it drew her ever onwards.

“But there is always another night’s work,” said Diana.

 

 


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

 

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How far off are Shacos and Evelynns visual updates

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Meddler Final PortraitWe did do some exploration into a possible Shaco direction a year or two ago. That was a gameplay only update that didn’t hit the mark at the time however, so got put on hold (it was some opportunistic work to see what was possible in some free time, rather than a prioritized project). Evelynn we haven’t looked into a major gameplay update for since her rework years ago. I do think we’ll need to take a look at how stealth/stealth detection works again sometime in general though (possibly as part of an assassin class update at some point).

As far as VUs go I’d expect both to be pretty sizeable projects given the age of their current models/anims/VFX etc. Taric’s our current priority, and Yorick’s the likely full relaunch after that. After that it gets less certain. There’s some argument for Shaco or Eve certainly, some other champs we’d really like to tackle too though (Urgot and Warwick for example).

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What happened to Galios update

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Meddler Final PortraitWe pulled those changes because they weren’t hitting the mark, in terms of solving issues on Galio or making him more satisfying to play. For one thing there’s not really any available power budget for an alternative passive. Galio’s not popular at present, but he’s pretty effective in the average game, so we don’t have space to add power to him without pulling it elsewhere.

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Why doesnt Galios shield heal the ally its cast on

Meddler Final PortraitI’m not 100% certain as to the original intent, Galio was designed before my time at Riot. I’d be fairly sure the goal was to keep Galio further forward in fights by locking the healing to him, rather than having him potentially lower on health himself and therefore hanging back poking and buffing allies.

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Will Galio be a part of the immobile mage rework this year

Meddler Final PortraitWe’ll be looking at more standard mages for the mage update mid year, rather than hybrids like Galio (mage/tank).

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Would you consider Vladimir and Swain the Juggernauts of the Mage class

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Meddler Final PortraitVlad/Swain lack the range, and in some cases the mobility, of other mages certainly, and get extended damage patterns and health sustain in exchange. That’s fairly similar to the trade offs a lot of juggernauts make, so yes, if that’s what you mean I’d agree with you.

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Rework Cassiopeia entirely but keep the debilitation theme in her kit

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Repertoir New PortraitWhat does “debilitation” mean to you? I see suggestions like this come up from Cass players pretty often, but it’s usually not followed by much more than wanting DoTs to be emphasized on the kit, and Twin Fang to be de-emphasized. Do keep in mind I’m not saying this is incorrect. However, I do hope that if we were to do poisons or “debilitation” better, it would manifest in a way that wasn’t just stronger DoTs. Unique debuffs? Time delayed afflictions? More CC? Is it simply that you want your Q to be stronger in lane?

Please do keep it civil from this point forward. I’m interested in what’s going on here, minus a lot of the aggressive nature (though I understand it to a degree, to be fair).

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Were just asking for a few Cassiopeia tweaks before her next rework

Repertoir New PortraitIt’s not exactly what you’re asking for, but I put in some changes to Cass this last week that should make her no longer cancel her Movement or Attack orders when casting Twin Fang. It’s not something that could ever be data-mined, so it may not appear on PBE, but it should be there. Assuming it gets through QA bug-free, it should be there for 6.2. For those unfamiliar, this treatment was also given to Ryze a few patches after his release, and it seemed to make his play a bit smoother.

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Can we have the QoL lifebar change where the entire DoT is shown

Repertoir New PortraitThat sounds like something that new tech would need to be created for, so it doesn’t seem like a quick easy thing at the moment, unless there’s an internal workaround that could do it that I’m spacing on.

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Can we see some of Cassiopeias past mana cost and sustain nerfs reverted

Repertoir New PortraitI’m not really one to field buff requests, sorry. If there was something about her gameplay that mechanically wasn’t functioning, I may be in line to help in the immediate, but despite her low win rate in solo queue, the fact that Cass saw pro play as recently as this week does suggest she’s not incredibly far off from a pure power level perspective.

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Repertoir New PortraitBalance and health aren’t really the same thing. Champions can be balanced without being healthy, and they can be healthy without being balanced.

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Why dont you nerf the Champions who see pro play constantly

Repertoir New PortraitBecause we don’t take such a binary approach to the matter.

Regardless, it would be great if this conversation could move back toward directional changes for Cassiopeia, and away from game balance. I came into this thread with the objective of learning what kinds of directional changes players are interested in for Cass.

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Shouldnt the majority who dont compete on a pro level be your target audienc

Repertoir New PortraitHonestly, it feels like a bit of both to me, where the allowable power level of a champion is something like the maximum of their power level in Solo Queue and their power level in competitive play. When the discrepancy between those is too great, we run into issues, issues that are a frequently a reason for doing Champion Updates. Ryze has some of this going on at the moment, where hisallowable power is regulated by the fact that he’s a competitive power pick despite being sub par for most players.

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Have you considered making a champion that actually BREAKS terrain

Meddler Final PortraitWe’ve talked about terrain destruction abilities a fair bit and do think there’s some pretty cool gameplay opportunities in them. Making such abilities look good enough’s the biggest challenge remaining at this point (still some technical and design issues to solve, but of a smaller scale). Given the way our maps are made there’d be a lot of work on the art side needed to support such abilities. I’m hopeful we’ll get there at some point, definitely won’t be in the short term though.

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Meddler Final PortraitIt’s not so much the programming side, as it is making the destroyed terrain look good (rubble of broken walls, destoyed trees, appropriate ragged edges for still standing terrain etc).

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How about terrain passing Have you considered making a flying Champion

Meddler Final PortraitSome form of ongoing flight on a champion at some point’s pretty likely, and mainly a question of finding the right gameplay fit, rather than technical limitations. Would be a really different ability though to terrain destruction of course (changing one characters options a lot versus changing both teams’ options a lot).

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When will the Team FIRE Diana skin be released

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Vonderhamz Final PortraitThere’s lots of work to do on her right now, since she just recently got picked from all stars, but I assure you she will be coming out – we’ve just got to make it super awesome first. I’ve always wanted to make sounds on a skin for her. Sorry on the lack of specific dates, but you’ll hear more as it’s getting developed!

Is there anything you think would be awesome for this aesthetic?

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With the addition of Dynamic Queue why is there still no voice chat in LoL

[ Note ] Today (Jan. 19th), Riot will issue a statement whether the new Champion Select will be used for Ranked queue this season. Stay tuned!

Lyte Final PortraitTo be clear, I think you’re making a few assumptions. It’s pretty universally agreed among industry experts that voice chat introduces some amount of toxicity into an ecosystem or game; however, that doesn’t mean we are opposed to it.

We definitely understand the importance of communication in a competitive team-based game, and every time we talk about voice chat, we mention that we’re open to it, we’d just want to change some of the basic designs of voice chat to mitigate some of the known issues.

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Whats the device on Jhins shoulder supposed to be

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Kindlejack Final PortraitThe Bravo Ray designed the appearance of Jhin (concept artist =/= gameplay designer) and was excited about the idea of a ‘mystery box’. You see this creepy thin guy who is asymmetrical because of a huge shape on his shoulder, you have no idea what it is… until the final act.

What it is is four huge magically infused artillery shells racked up on a hextech accelerator built right into his mechanical shoulder (he’s sacrificed much for his art). When attached to Whisper (and the extended barrel for accuracy) it forms the final piece in the biggest, most powerful gun Runeterra may have ever seen! Kinda reminds me of Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2.

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How does Ekkos time rewind work in terms of his backstory

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FauxSchizzle Final Portrait

A big key thing to understand about Ekko is that his Z-Drive doesn’t always work the way he wants it to, mostly owing to the fact that it’s homemade hex-tech that runs on the exotic properties of a shattered crystal.

In terms of Parallel Convergence, (story wise) is what happens when you wrinkle time too much — sometimes it tears and your parallel self lends a hand to seal the breach. I mean, he’s the boy who shattered time. That can have some unintended consequences.

With Phase Dive, Ekko basically blinks out of the timeline, returning at opportune moments.

As you can tell, he’s probably made (and broken) a few Z-Drives.

The Timewinder feeds off his Z-Drive. However, he initially designed it to have an entirely different function — probably a smoke or flash bomb — but… it didn’t quite work as intended. In fact, Ekko’s sort of unsure about how it works, but it works reliably enough (and with no lingering effects) for him to be cool with chucking it around all willy-nilly.

Thanks for making me think about this stuff. One of my 2016 goals is to write Ekko a long bio, and you’re inspiring me to put it before my other work that has deadlines (because I am a triple-A rated procrastinator — heck I’m supposed to be making my wife bolognese for dinner at the moment).

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Can we have more information about the Hexatech villain from Ekkos trailer

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WAAARGHbobo: If i remmember correctly, he’s an enforcer for one of the piltover owned companies in Zaun. Never had a real name, was called hexa-thug or something in script.
I think a sion skin for him would be dope. Giant arm acts as (and maybe even transforms into) the axe. Prob couldnt be a champ though as he occupys a space already covered by urgot and sion.

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Lastly, and as usual, fan art!

Acknowledgement (Nidalle and Rengar) by Arcanedist:

93KtBgV

 

Azir by Skence:

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Chosen Syndra by mickking:

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Jhin the Virtuoso by Aths-Art:

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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

 

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Summary

We’re entering the PBE cycle for Patch 5.2 and the major change here is the removal of Deathfire Grasp; below you can find a discussion on what Riot plans to do for mages reliant on that item. Also, Lead Champion Designer Meddler jumped on the forums to address unpopular picks like Yorick, Urgot and Evelynn and where they are on the priority list for reworks. Lastly, the newly-overhauled Fantasy LCS is currently experiencing issues and Patch 5.1 has been delayed for at least a day.

 

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[ ! ] Deathfire Grasp has been removed from the store on the PBE.

 

 

52 Live Gameplay Patch Forecast

Riot Jag Final PortraitHey guys, Jag here from the Live Balance team. It’s a new year, a new(ish) season, and we’re back with the Patch 5.2 Forecast!

The biggest change we’re making in 5.2 is that we’re removing Deathfire Grasp from Summoner’s Rift. There are two major reasons we felt we had to do this, so I’ll run through both:

First, DFG tends to make burst patterns even more bursty. The item effectively adds another nuke spell on top of kits that are already designed to have strong up-front damage and aggravates the “whoa, I got one shot out of nowhere” frustration of playing against certain champions. A good example is LeBlanc; DFG adds reliability to her assassination patterns and ends up removing counterplay (she gets to rely on her Q, E, and DFG spells for damage, and can use dashes to reposition or escape instead of making more risky plays).

The second reason is strongly tied to the first; removing this item gives us room to buff champion kits that would otherwise be overpowered if they could use DFG. The most obvious example is Ahri; more ‘magey’ elements of the character, like her sustained damage or kiting, end up getting washed out because she has so much power to blow up charmed targets with a DFG burst. This ends up forcing us to balance Ahri around her assassin playstyle because there’s always the “I can buy DFG” route to consider; removing the item means we can buff her in more interesting ways while still keeping some of her burst because she can’t just pick up a DFG and double down on a single playstyle.

As far as champions that purchase DFG are concerned, some will get some love now that DFG is gone (I mentioned Ahri; expect Veigar to get attention either this patch or next); some are strong enough that losing DFG is a healthy nerf; some rely on alternate item builds sufficiently that they won’t be affected too much. When 5.2 goes live, if we feel there is an itemization gap for mages, then we’ll address that further.

One of the other character classes we’re looking at in 5.2 in Assassins. Some assassins have top tier burst potential that is loaded onto high reliability spells (think Akali or Fizz here) and don’t have enough real weaknesses to compensate. Others may simply be too strong along a variety of dimensions; Zed being one of the best 1v1 champions in the game and an extremely efficient tower diver helps make him a super split pusher. However, him having such strong tower killing statistics (e.g. AS, bonus AD from W passive) on top of that makes for an overwhelming combination.

Last point regarding jungle; we have seen the jungle receive a huge amount of changes since the start of the preseason, and Patch 5.1 was no exception with the addition of the Smite charging system. We want to keep a close eye on what happens when 5.1 hits live servers and we will continue to make changes to jungle as appropriate.

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What are your plans for Mordekaiser since youre removing his core item

Riot Jag Final PortraitMordekaiser is a guy we’re still looking at. He’s an interesting problem because admittedly it seems like DFG is core to his late game team fight objectives, but on the other hand it’s really hard to play up some of his basic play patterns (especially in lane) without aggravating the “this guy is miserable to play against” experience.

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How will mages deal with bruisers without DFG

Riot Jag Final PortraitThe interesting issue with DFG is that despite being a nuke scaling off of percentage health and therefore in theory being a tank shredder, it ends up being arguably more potent on squishies since it reduces the threshold required to one shot a carry’s low health pool by 20%.

Your point suggests to me that maybe there’s an itemization hole for mages that want to deal with health stacking (that Liandry’s is not currently serving). I think that’s a good issue for us to keep an eye on.

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Will Riot add more items with actives to the game

FeralPony Final PortraitSo I can comment on this a bit. We’re looking at some longer term changes to the itemization system this will probably result in some additional active items though I wouldn’t expect anything in 5.2. A lot of the work on the Active Item UI (making active items more prominently displayed on your cast bar) had the goal of allowing us the ability to make more active items. Any additional actives we add would most likely be targeted at classes or roles that currently have a lack of activated items (ie- probably not supports as they can often be overloaded with actives though we had some ideas there as well)

There are also a few active items we had experimented with during Preseason that we liked (like ZzRot Portal) but were delayed due to scope which we might be able to get ship ready sooner.

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Will you buff LeBlanc to compensate for the removal of DFG

Riot Jag Final PortraitOur opinion is that Leblanc and Syndra are not hurt too hard by DFG’s removal (or at least not so badly that they’d need compensation).

Annie is another story. We’re working through some changes that can make her still feel good about bursting people without so heavily relying on “drop Tibbers, cast spells, enemy explodes” pattern.

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Will there be any changes to Cassiopeia in Patch 52

Riot Jag Final PortraitCassio is an interesting topic that I’d like to dive deeper on later. But to start I’d ask what you perceive she needs fixed, as she is trending quite strong since 4.21 (she’s popping up as a real force top lane).

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Ahri without DFG Banner

Deathfire Grasp is a core item on Ahri and the team is looking for ways to compensate for its removal.

 

 

DFG is a core item on Ahri Will her changes be reverted now that its gone

Meddler Final PortraitWe are testing some changes to Ahri that support the kite mage pattern she used to use sometimes. Those changes (not guaranteed, but being experimented with at the moment) include things like removing the damage amp on charm, buffing her other damage sources and giving her a speed boost while her Q’s in the air to allow more reposition plays and kiting while casting.

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Any changes to her W other than numbers

Meddler Final PortraitLong term: We’d love to spice that up a bit, with you that it’s useful but could be more interesting.

Short term: Nothing major planned. We’re looking at small changes to her as DFG follow up and kite pattern support, not significant changes to core functionality of skills right now.

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Follow Up

Not every spell needs to be mechanically complex

Meddler Final PortraitI’m with you there, both on the value of non champion defining skills sometimes being fairly simple (e.g. Rek’Sai’s burrowed Q) and that Ahri’s W’s an example of such a skill. Even on a simple skill though I’d argue there’s a lot of value in adding a bit of distinctiveness/ways to optimize things a bit more. Putting something there basically to enable a person that’s played 200 games on Ahri to pull off the occasional cool play with Foxfire that a player with only 20 games might not be aware of or able to execute at the right time.

Using Vayne’s tumble directly into a piece of terrain to AA as soon as possible’s a good example of that to my mind. A lot of the time it’s not the right call, or not relevant, and new Vayne players won’t do it deliberately. It does add an extra option to the skill, making it a bit richer though, without making the skill’s core concept or tooltip more difficult to understand.

Similarly Ezreal’s Essence Flux being able to hit himself’s often irrelevant or a poor idea to utilize. Occasionally though it’s worth playing into and, pardon the now horribly cliched phrase, is one of the sort of things that separates good players from great.

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Why dont you change Ahris ultimate to an ammunition system

Meddler Final PortraitWe did actually test Ahri during her initial development with an ammo system on her ult, with separate use/recharge, rather than the current 3 casts in X seconds approach. Conclusion we came to’s the same point you’ve made – high mobility, within a limited period of time, results in both healthier and more interesting gameplay. Ammo system Ahri always had a dash charge up to escape with, so was much harder for opponents to deal with and was disincentivized from trying to make cool multi dash plays.

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How about lowering the internal cooldown between her dashes

Meddler Final PortraitI’d be more inclined to find ways to give her other mobility or access her ult a bit more often. Having those gaps results in a longer combat pattern, with more kiting and thought for both sides about where she’ll go and when. Reducing them incentivizes her to spam them to move quickly in a direction or get damage out as fast as possible.

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Whats your opinion on the state of Akali and Diana

Meddler Final PortraitMy current thoughts/couple of general comments:

Akali – Lot of fun and a good alignment between her kit and theme, Lacks sufficient counterplay, resulting in frustrating playing against experience especially when she’s ahead. Removal of the mitigation stats from her W’s reduced her dueling power against tankier champs which is a positive, squishy targets still struggle with a lack of options sometimes however. The live balance team’s currently experimenting with her ult range to see if reducing that’s an appropriate lever to put her into a better spot (her having high reliability’s less of an issue if it’s more practical to stay out of her zone of threat or at least force her to use another ult charge before getting to you).

Diana – Would benefit from being more clearly an assassin or a fighter, rather than a generalized mixture of the two (a good fit for her personality that unfortunately results in her being hard to give sufficiently clear strengths and weaknesses when strong enough to be picked). In an ok state, would probably require that work be done to get her to what you’d call a really good state/be a character we felt was good for the game if a really common pick. Not currently being worked on.

Both of them – Bit much overlap between the two, both utilizing a similar combat approach through their ults, Q’s and cleaves. Ensuring the two of them end up with a few more points of distinction would do both some good (which personally suggests Diana should be pushed towards being more of a fighter, though I can see the argument for assassin as well).

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When will you update unpopular Champions like Urgot Yorick etc

Meddler Final PortraitSome of the key questions we ask when deciding which champions to do updates on:

How badly does this champion need a visual/audio update?

The more out of place (or out of date) they currently look/sound the more reason we have to rework them. A champion that gets played a lot and really needs a visual upgrade is particularly significant – since they’re in games a lot they’ll be seen a lot and therefore contribute substantially to the overall average visual quality of the game. Tristana’s a good example of this – she’s a popular character, who’s also really easy to acquire (Facebook or 1350IP), with quite a few visual/audio upgrade needs.

How problematic is this champion’s gameplay?

Champions with a lack of counterplay, that result in degenerate lane picks, that suppress interesting play etc can be rework priorities because they make the game worse overall. Xerath and Soraka are good examples of this category.

How much untapped potential does this champion have?

These are characters with cool themes that aren’t properly executed on, unsatisfying kits etc. Stuff that could be really cool, but isn’t, usually for a number of reasons (gameplay+aesthetics+personality for example). There’s a good seed of a champion in there, but it’s not done right. Sion’s the best example of this.

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Why are Eve Olaf Yorick Urgot Lee Sin and Xerath low priorities

Meddler Final PortraitYorick/Urgot – Both Sion levels of rework in terms of amount of work. We talked a lot about which champion was the best fit for that level of update next and conclusion we came to was Poppy was the best overall choice. Lot of good points in favor of Yorick, and especially Urgot, but Poppy felt like the best choice for the next slot.

Lee Sin – We feel his problem’s that he’s a generalist who crowds out other picks if you’ve got a player able to take proper advantage of him. That means the work he needs is a combination of accentuating (or creating) weaknesses (and potentially strengths) and possibly a bit more counterplay. Some of that work at least’s going to be an issue of balance, as much or more than rework.

Eve/Olaf – Could do with some work, agreed. I don’t personally feel Olaf’s too far off being playable, amount he leaves some champions without options when he’s strong though’s pretty problematic.

Xerath – I’ll have to disagree with you on Xerath, I feel his rework overall left him in a pretty good spot. Would be nice to improve the visual satisfaction on his ult at some point though, the current visual effect was designed for a somewhat different style of ult so doesn’t sync up well with the feel of the current gameplay.

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Alistars new update hasnt improved his gameplay

Meddler Final PortraitAlistar’s a champ we’d like to do some light gameplay work on at some point. He’s in a reasonably good spot overall though and there are a lot of other champions we felt needed gameplay reworks more. That left us in a spot where we had the option of shipping some visual improvements, and doing some further work at an undetermined date, or delaying the visual changes until everything else could be worked on (probably quite a long time).

Getting those model/texture changes out felt like a clear win, so that’s what we decided to go for, given we had a spot in our schedule where we had enough free artist time for a job of this size and type.

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Will you continue working on Alistars gameplay after his VU

Meddler Final PortraitFair question and no offense taken at all.

I’m quite confident we’ll do some work on Alistar at some point. To be quite open I’m not sure that that’ll be this year necessarily though (talking about skill functionality changes specifically, I would expect some balance changes sometime this year of course as needed). Alistar’s overall very impactful, fun to play, and reasonably well differentiated from other champs. Sure, his passive’s a bit uninspiring, as is his E in some circumstances (powerful though it be). When he’s significantly too strong he’s also basically must pick/ban (see last year’s World Champs).

Overall though he’s in a pretty good spot, and other champs need gameplay work done a lot more than he does.

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These updates are disappointing compared to real reworks

Meddler Final PortraitThese lower scope visual updates are almost always in addition to the other, larger upgrades, not instead of them. If we’re limited by how many champs we make can new character animations and spell effects for at one time, but have the capability to do some more texture/model work, doing those smaller upgrades seems like a good way to help out an extra set of champions that would otherwise not be getting visual upgrades at all at the moment.

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Single Posts 14 01 Banner

 

 

Patch 5 1 delayed at least 24 hours

[ Note ] You can check out everything that’ll be in Patch 5.1 here.

 



Will Warring Kingdoms Katarina receive more work on her model

[ Note ] Warring Kingdoms Kata is a new skin introduced in yesterday’s PBE update. You can check out a full preview here.

KateyKhaos Final PortraitThere’s been a bit of positive feedback, yes. I think one of the larger complaints I’ve seen is that her back is pretty flat, since her hair is dark, and her pants are, too. At this point, we’re still collecting feedback, and will be looking at analyzing them in the next meeting for her. It’s possible there will be changes, but I don’t have an answer for that one yet since she only went out to PBE several hours ago.

If you’ve got some specific feedback about what you don’t like about the skin, I’d be happy to take it!

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Fantasy LCS Known Issues

[ Note ] Fantasy LCS recently received an overhaul, you can read more about it here.

OMHALODIL Final PortraitUpdate | January 13, 11:05 PM PST | 14 January, 08:05 CET : We’re continuing to investigate the issue where players are getting stuck in draft. Unfortunately, we don’t have an updated ETA at the moment. Once we have a fix in place, we’ll be looking into ways to reset the leagues affected by this issue to the pre-draft state.

Update | January 13, 7:40 PM PST | 14 January, 04:40 CET : We’re still investigating the issue where players are getting stuck in draft. We don’t have an ETA at this time, but we’re hard at work at bringing things back to normal ASAP.

Update | January 13, 4:38 PM PST | 14 January, 01:38 CET : We’ve temporarily turned off drafting to resolve an issue where some players are getting stuck when the timer reaches 0 on their turn and multiple picks for a single player are made in a row. For those of you who ran into this issue, we’re looking into figuring out a way to roll back your leagues to the state it was in pre-draft.

We’re also aware of another issue where after creating a league, some players aren’t able to share the link to others to join the league.

We’ll keep this thread updated as we find out more information and resolve these issues.

Thanks.

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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.

 

 

Champion Skin Sale January 16 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until January 16th:

 


Champions


Diana Final Portrait

Maokai Final Portrait

Rammus Final Portrait


 

Black Belt Udyr – 260 RP


Udyr_1 (1)


 

High Noon Yasuo – 487 RP


Yasuo_1


 

Warlord Shen – 487 RP


Shen_5


 


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


 

Free Champion Rotation November 25 Banner

The following Champions will be free-to-play until November 25th:


Diana Final Portrait

Graves Final Portrait

Hecarim Final Portrait

Kayle Final Portrait

Leona Final Portrait

Lissandra Final Portrait

Miss Fortune Final Portrait

Olaf Final Portrait

Soraka Final Portrait

Twisted Fate Final Portrait

 


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

 

 

News Banner 10 10

 

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.

 

Recent News

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End-of-Season-4-Banner

 

 

Cassiopeia Banner

 

 

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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Preseason Talk Banner

 

 

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.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Single Posts 10 10

 

 

 

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!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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).

🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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

 

 
Champion Skin Sale 26 09 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until September 26th:

 

Champions:


Brand Final PortraitDiana Final Portrait Shaco Final Portrait

 

Deep Terror Thresh – 487 RP


Thresh_1


 

Executioner Mundo – 260 RP


League-of-Legends-Executioner-Dr.Mundo-Wallpaper


 

Hired Gun Lucian – 487 RP



Hired-Gun-Lucian

 


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

 

 

Free Champion Rotation Week 33 Season 4 Banner

 

The following Champions will be free-to-play until September 9th:


  • Diana - 6300 IP or 975 RP 
  • Fizz - 4800 IP or 880 RP
  • Galio – 4800 IP or 880 RP
  • Gnar – 6300 IP or 975 RP
  • Jayce - 6300 IP or 975 RP
  • Lulu - 6300 IP or 975 RP
  • Maokai - 4800 IP or 880 RP
  • Sivir - 450 IP or 260 RP
  • Urgot - 3150 IP or 790 RP
  • Vel’Koz - 6300 IP or 975 RP

 


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


 

Diana, Scorn of the Moon Banner

 

  Welcome to the Rework Forge, a series where we theorycraft reworks for Champions that have fallen out of glory over the seasons. In each issue I cover one Champion, going over thematic strengths, why that Champion is currently weak/unsatisfying and my proposed rework. I’d like to turn these articles into discussion points, so if you have a crazy idea for the Champion in question, I’d love to read it in the comments!

 

  I took up IronStylus‘s challenge to rework Diana without using numbers. Before we get to the crazy theorycrafting, though, let’s first identify the problems of Diana and why the Champion relaunch team is even interested in reworking her.

 

Why should Diana be reworked

 You may remember Diana’s days of glory, when she could pop you like confetti on level 6, build tanky while carrying and make you hate both her and the Earth’s only natural satellite. Since that time she’s been repeatedly nerfed and is now neither an issue nor is she relevant in the meta.

 The core problem with Diana is her design struggles with an identity. She’s both an assassin and a fighter, which might have sounded fantastic and unique on paper, but turned out to be a disaster to balance in practice. The assassin role is about making a quick pick-off and trying to avoid any fights you can’t disengage from or end instantly. The fighter role has you diving in, expecting to take a lot of damage and having the survivability and mobility to be a threat to the enemy back line. Mix them together and you get… a whole lot of nonsense. Diana’s only option in a fight is to go all-in, yet she’s supposed to have both the threat of an instant burst and sustained damage. In a scenario where Diana’s live version works well, she’s so completely overwhelming on the front line that she’s able to both survive and nuke squishies. If she can’t do both, she becomes an underwhelming bruiser and that’s no way to end up if you’re occupying a theme as awesome as having moon powers.

 Diana is, thematically, a star concept for Riot’s Champion creation team. She is an outcast who worships the Moon of all things, an ideology shared by no one else on the Fields of Justice. Yet in execution, her kit, aside from Crescent Strike [ Q ], seems so bland and uninspired by her appearance and backstory. Here’s my idea on how to fix that:

 

 

My ideas and goals with Diana’s Rework

 

Diana New Portrait

 

Pale Cascade New IconMoonsilver Blade [ Passive ]

Every 3rd consecutive hit, Diana cleaves targets in front of her for additional magic damage.

 

Crescent Strike New Icon Crescent Strike [ Q ]

Diana unleashes a bolt of lunar energy that travels in an arc, dealing damage and applying a Moonlight debuff to enemies hit. Moonlight can be consumed by W and E and grants Diana increased Attack Speed for a few seconds after it’s consumed.

 [ Notes ] Overall the same spell, with decreased cooldown and damage.


Lunar Rush New IconBlade Dance
 [ W ] 

Cannot be cast on targets unaffected by Moonlight.

Diana rushes a small distance through target enemy, gaining a huge attack speed bonus for the duration of the dash and landing an instant basic attack as she goes through her target. Consecutive casts of Blade Dance increase the number of instant basic attacks.

 [ Notes ] Really small cooldown; think Yasuo’s E. Ranks in Blade Dance decrease the internal cooldown between casts and increase the number of basic attacks you can potentially stack.


Moonlight
Moonpath Seeker [ E ]

Diana throws an illusion of her weapon at target location, dealing damage and slowing nearby enemies. If Moonpath Seeker hits an enemy Champion affected by Moonlight, the debuff is consumed and Diana can instantly teleport to the weapon illusion.

 

Moonpath Seeker Ingame Preview

 

Fading Moon New IconEclipse [ R ]

 Diana brings down the sun and shelters her moon behind a celestial body, causing an eclipse. Target circle area is illuminated and enemy champions outside it lose vision from wards, turrets and teammates. If an enemy champion steps outside the illuminated area while the spell is ongoing, he is feared for a short time.

 Over the duration of the spell, the circle gradually becomes smaller from one end. Targets in the illuminated area have the Moonlight debuff constantly applied until they leave the area or the spell ends.

[ Notes ] Huge cast range & cooldown. Ranks in R increase the duration of Eclipse.

 

Here’s a preview of how Eclipse would look like (in glorious 10 FPS):

Fading Moon Preview

 

Here’s what I sought to remove in Diana’s kit:

  • Fighter spells like an AoE vacuum and a spammable shield
  • Lack of initiation before level 6
  • Reliance on a single combo (Q, R, R) to kill targets
  • Contradictory champion design, i.e focused on both bursting and being a durable front-liner

And here’s what I wanted to keep/add:

  • Lots of opportunities for Diana to pick her fights and initiate on squishies
  • No easy way to disengage
  • The passive cleave, with added mechanics that make it core to Diana’s combos
  • Moon-inspired spells that capture the theme of Diana being ruthless and a loner
  • Eclipse! How do you a moon champion without an eclipse spell?

  Some of the ideas and interactions in this kit you may have already guessed, but I’d like to go over how this version of Diana would function.

 

How does this rework function in-game

I’m glad you… I asked myself that.

 Going into it, I knew I wanted Diana to be as unique gameplay-wise as she is thematically. I also wanted to solve the binary nature of her engages, mainly Q-R-R. I scrapped the concept of a tanky front-liner assassin completely, because it goes against the idea of assassins. I removed Diana’s shield and vacuum/slow spell and focused on creating as many opportunities in her new kit to pick fights and make plays.

 I love Diana’s Q and passive and I wanted them to be central to how she plays out. Crescent Strike sets up everything for you before your ultimate. It’s a unique skillshot and should, in my opinion, be at the fore-front of Diana’s future design. It fits her theme so well and works great in-game. The passive isn’t as exciting as Crescent Strike, but it emphasizes a thematic point of Diana – her curved sword. I love the design of it and how it’s swung so oddly; it makes Diana stand out from your typical sword-wielding character. Also, it’s pretty satisfying to get that swipe off and it makes a nice swooshy sound… moving on.

Blade Dance is simple on its own, yet surprisingly complex when mixed with Diana’s passive

 I’m a fan of champion mechanics with simple use, but deep potential, and I think they fit the assassin archetype perfectly, because they involve a lot of practice and game knowledge. Blade Dance, for example, sounds pretty simple, right? You run through a guy and swing a weapon at him, which might be common life in your district. Now let’s take into account that every 3rd attack you’re hitting for bonus damage and Blade Dance gives you an escalating number of instant attacks. After every dash, you need to be thinking, “how many times can I proc my passive onto an enemy and not waste it along the way”? Before getting into that, you need to set up Blade Dance with Crescent Strikes, which should hopefully be on a low enough cooldown that you have the freedom to create paths to your target quickly. Thus, a spell that’s easy to understand at first glance becomes a lot more mechanically complex in the context of the champion’s whole kit.

Throwing your weapon at sun-worshipers is useful and solves design issues

 Speaking of chaining mechanics together, Moonpath Seeker is another spell that requires the player to set up a scenario where it’s great. On it’s own, it’s a long-cooldown, long-range poke that slows. But if you hit a Crescent Strike and follow up with Moonpath Seeker, you get a clear opening for Blade Dance due to the instant teleport. Again, the mechanics behind it are nothing complex; what can be complex is considering which method to use in a given situation.

 A major change to Diana’s kit is you can’t chain Crescent Strikes with Lunar Rush and start wailing on heretics anymore, because Lunar Rush is gone. I thought of Moonpath Seeker as a substitute to that initial lack of gap-closing, but I also wanted to fix the issues I find with Moonfall, it being short-range CC you don’t need when you’re already in range for your other spells. My reworked E works like a two-step dash and a slow all in one and is a spell that helps you engage, not follow-up on an engage. It works great if you consider that Blade Dance has a really short cast range.

The ultimate is where the whole kit comes together

 Diana having a spell that turns day into night and causes an eclipse is, admittedly, a no-brainer. However, it’s hard to fit gameplay mechanics that accurately depict the nature of an eclipse. DotA’s Luna can block out the sun, but the end result is a bunch of space lasers that hit really hard and nothing that plays with the aspect of restricting light.

 Having Eclipse apply Moonlight constantly while in the illuminated area gives Diana a battleground for Blade Dance. She can spam it on a single target until she’s omnislashing them with each cast, run between enemies if they’re all in the area of the eclipse or try to escape by using the fear aspect of leaving the spell’s AoE. It’s a shrinking arena that gives you the tool you need to fight efficiently (Moonlight debuffs) and also poses a constant source of pressure for anyone caught in it.

 In keeping with the spirit of having multiple combos and opportunities to create picks with the new Diana, Eclipse can be used in a manner of ways. If you’re far away from your target with no chance of reaching them, you can call down an eclipse and throw a Moonpath Seeker to absorb a stack of Moonlight and teleport for a Blade Dance smackdown. You can also use the same combo of ult + E as a very long cooldown escape. If you’re really good with Eclipse, you can catch someone off with the shrinking light and fear them in a direction you want. I can go on, but Eclipse is, in short, a play-maker and a memorable spell that unlocks the potential of the rest of Diana’s kit.

 

Why did you remove...

Pale Cascade New IconThe shield (Pale Cascade)

Spammable survivability is a fighter mechanic, not an assassin one. In going with the theme that I want Diana to be a straight-up assassin that interacts with Moonlight, it didn’t make sense to keep it on her. Then there wouldn’t be room left for Blade Dance and that’s a core asset of my rework proposal.

 Also… shields are pretty damn boring, aren’t they? They can be cool if they help other mechanics stand out (like Karma’s shield allowing her to set up her snare leash (W) ) or they’re reactionary, like Janna’s E, but in Diana’s case, it’s just extra effective HP you get for free when you jump on someone. It makes her a ball of stats, which is why she was gutted to begin with. It’s hard and counterproductive to be balancing tankiness on a Champion that should be approaching fights with finesse and hitting combos. It ruins the philosophy of making a Champion that shouldn’t be going ham without a front liner.

 

MoonlightThe vacuum (Moonfall)

 This one never made for me on Diana, for a number of reasons. First, her ultimate defines her as a single-target assassin, yet Moonfall seems to suggest you should be fighting lots of enemies at once. Its lengthy cast time makes it hard to weave between other spells while you’re chasing a target that’s actively trying to not die. On the same note, you can’t really do without a slow on Diana’s live kit, since she wouldn’t be any threat if she didn’t have some way to keep you in range.

 As a signature utility spell, I translated the uses of Moonfall to Moonpath Seeker, while getting rid of the awkward vacuum and close range. In my opinion, Diana’s utility spell should help her close the gap, not keep up once she’s in range, because she struggles with the former, not the latter.

 

Closing thoughts Diana deserves a unique kit

 I had plans to cover Diana in this series later down the road, but the challenge from IronStylus lead me to think she’s closer to being reworked than some other champions. Whatever course the Champion relaunch takes with her, she deserves a set of mechanics that no one else has, that truly make her stand out. She occupies a space in fiction that few characters have threaded and I’d love to see the gameplay match up to that level of artistry.

 There are many avenues you could take with a champion that has such a unique theme (if you need examples, this thread is filled with awesome suggestions) . The one I chose is a kit that benefits from an eclipse spell, yet functions well without it. I took what I most enjoyed about Diana and kept it in its original form, while thinking of new mechanics that would resonate with Diana’s theme and gameplay. In my head, it’s all flowers and fairness; in practicality, it could be useless or obscenely broken. But that’s why these articles are aimed to be a discussion point.

 I love interacting with creative people and I’m sure there are many readers who have their share of ideas about Diana. I’d like to read them in the comments, so whatever your thoughts are on my article and Diana, fire away!

 

New to the series? Here are all my previous entries on the Rework Forge:

 

Rework-Forge-Issue-1-How-to-Make-Ashe-Viable-Banner

Rework-Forge-Issue-2-Soraka-Banner

 

 

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

 

 

News Update August 6 Banner

 

Summary

Vesh returns after a lengthy silence on Soraka to iterate on the direction of her rework and Morello‘s involvement in the process. Up next, Diana and Sona‘s state, with player feedback on both champions. Lyte talks controlling your emotions during a match and punishment for homophobic slurs and aggressive language, an update on a skin for OCE and Team Builder’s icons finally available for EUW!

 

Recent News

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EU eSports News

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Want to keep up with news on the Public Beta Environment?

Here’s a list of the latest updates:

 

PBE Content Banner

 

 

Updates on Soraka Banner


 

 

Progress on Soraka’s rework thus far


Vesh New PortraitHi guyssss.

Sorry for the radio silence. Been heads down trying to get Soraka’s kit ready for production for new effects and such. While I really appreciate you guys taking the time to make this thread, the kit is pretty close to design locked ^_^.

I’ll be sharing lots more details soon, but the core of this rework was to make Soraka the core healer of League of Legends. We really wanted to capture the feeling of a healer who is constantly managing their resources and attention to keep their teammates alive. We want the core button you’re pressing in a fight to be a heal, not spamming a pbAoE spell constantly.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will Soraka be forced into a Support role after her rework

Vesh New PortraitTo be fair, how many times has support lulu had to suffer because she is so dominate in solo lane? Supports that have reliable CC and also decent damage have a hard time not being problematic in other lanes (especially mid) and undermining the less reliable but higher gameplay mages/etc that live there. 

I will say this though, a champion whose core strength is healing allies will probably not be very good by herself, since the majority of her power budget is dedicated to being the best healer in the game.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will you be getting rid of her mana-battery capabilities

Vesh New PortraitI went back and forth on this one a lot. The mana battery thing doesn’t seem very cool on paper but it was a cool unique output that only she had. It’s probably going to remain, but the spell as a whole will have a much larger cooldown (and thus a bigger choice) since her silence aspect is also getting some more changes that will make it more impactful.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will you be changing Soraka’s Q in any way

Vesh New PortraitQ is now a spell with more gameplay that will be the driver of her healing engine. Without going into too much detail, you will need to be successful at landing these if you want to heal to your full potential.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

When will Sorakas reworked kit be released on the PBE

Vesh New PortraitNo. We still have to make some new vfx for her and tune/balance her appropriately with the new kit

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

How much did Morello help in remaking Soraka

Vesh New PortraitMorello was actually the one who told me not to give up on her core healing identity. He pushed for the high-level pattern we ended up going with, and I honestly believe Soraka is a much better character for it. He’s a great leader and really good at identifying what things are cool at a high level.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

State of Diana Banner


 

 

Can Diana be buffed before her gameplay rework

Vesh New PortraitDiana is a difficult problem to adjust with just numbers because she is a tank burst assassin with an all-in pattern and no success case except for taking a guy 100 to 0. As far as any potential gameplay balance updates, that’s up to our Core Gameplay team who handles patch to patch balance changes.

 

We actually had a really passionate producer who loves Diana who did some experimenting during our latest Thunderdome (sorta like a hackathon where you can work on anything you want) and he had some cool ideas. Diana is definitely on the board for changes, and it seems from the many threads like this that have been made in the past that people are fairly opposed to a bruiser direction. The key will be pushing her more towards the light fighter/assassin pattern in healthy ways which means not just going Q->R->R and mudering a guy.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Challenge Redesign Diana


IronStylus New PortraitSo, I’m not a designer, obviously. But! I’ve seen a lot of Diana threads pop up, and indeed she is on our list of low-hanging fruit on the potential gameplay update of the ChampUP team but she’s not a priority at the moment. I’m actually jamming with Vesh and one of our new dudes, Paul, just ideating on stuff for a potential update. She’s obviously close to my heart, so any discussion surrounding her peaks my interest.

Many times, discussions say fighter Diana, some say Assassin Diana, but a lot of what I see on the forums focus around numbers. Thing is, a lot of our design internally focuses on creating holistic characters and cohesive themes, not just a walking spread sheet of base stats augmented by QWER mashing.

SO! Community, I present a challenge. Make Diana a kit, but don’t use numbers.

Whether you take from her current kit, give her an entirely new kit, or change the order/effect of her existing kit, dandy. Just don’t get into the nitty gritty. In this scenario, granularity is the enemy. Take a look at theme. How does the moon create an opportunity for this character’s play style? Does moonlight application open up different abilities? Does she make the entire map dark aside from a single AOE damage zone? Does she have an entirely resource system different than mana? Is she a symbol of grace and uses her blade as sword play? Think about it. Think about synergy and the completeness of the experience. Think about Diana as a person, as a character through which you can feel is expressing her personality, motivation and core characteristics through her mechanics, not just an icon that’s a series of numbers.

I’m interested to see the suggestions 🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

State of Sona Banner

 

 

I feel Sona’s rework is completely underwhelming

Fearless New PortraitOne of the coolest things about Riot is how awesome our support structures are so that we don’t have to be experts at everything. I’m not a high elo player, though not due to a lack of love for the game. It’s mainly due to the fact that for the last ten years, I’ve been building games. Throughout the entire process of updating Sona, I relied on the feedback from multiple Challenger and diamond players that work at Riot, many of whom have played a very large number of Sona games and identify as former or current Sona mains.

Never did I imagine that my experiences as a player would be enough for this work, nor even my experience as a designer. The reason I could have faith in the Sona work came down to the fact that Rioters don’t get in the door without being pretty awesome at something, and are really good about sharing what they know to make other people around them more awesome.

That doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes, and it’s entirely likely that Sona may still need some adjustments in the future. We don’t have enough data to make that call yet, but I’ll be very open when we do, and make sure you all know where we’ll be going with her and why. I understand that the lack of communication at the end of the PBE time has really upset people, but at no time have I ever suggested that anyone should not question the choices we’ve made, or that anyone should just “trust me.” I’m happy to explain every change we made on Sona, or at least point to where I’ve already done that.

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 Sona’s E doesn’t feel powerful when you rank it up

Fearless New PortraitOne of the reasons we gave E the scaling it has was because we knew that it is extremely likely to be a one point wonder, especially if we were going to give Sona reasons to level W more often. We’ve also had E values as high as some that you’ve posted, and it was infuriating to play against. It simply didn’t matter how squishy she was, because she flew around like a race car. That being said, we’ve made other changes since we had those values in that directly impact E, both on the cooldown of the spell, the rate of decay, etc.

It’s possible that if we needed to give power to Sona, but didn’t feel good about giving her more damage or more sustain that something like you suggest would be possible. That being said, it’s harder as a player to get satisfaction out of movement speed when compared to satisfaction in damage or heals/shields. it typically takes a lot more of an increase in MS for players to value. Not ruling anything out, but this was something I hit a lot during experimentation with her kit.

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Can we have a list of words considered offensive in chat

Lyte New PortraitThis is a pretty nuanced topic. There really isn’t a list of phrases or words somewhere that dictates what’s good or bad, and usually it comes down to the attitude and the harm you’re inflicting on other players. At Riot, we don’t conjure up a list of “what’s OK or not OK” in League of Legends; in fact, we simply use the data provided by systems like LeaverBuster, Tribunal, Reports, Honor and more to determine what the community thinks is OK in the game.

To the toxic player, that concept sounds crazy because we’re “letting toxic people decide what’s OK in the community,” but actually, that’s just flawed logic. If the average player is good (and we know for a fact they are neutral or good), then letting the community decide what’s OK or not OK should pretty much reflect real life society. Not surprisingly, that’s pretty much what we find. 

In real life, there are small percentages of people who may think racism, sexism or homophobia is OK, but they are the minority–they assume more people are like them, that others agree with them, and they perceive that these behaviors are more common than they are. 

For example, in your own chat logs, it’s not cool to throw around “rape” so casually. It doesn’t matter if you said it for years in other games, this community doesn’t believe that’s acceptable here. In real life, we’re starting to see this trend as well. So, when you say “I raped your ass” or “he’ll f*cking rape me,” it sounds trivial to you because you might be used to it, but the community has agreed that stuff needs to go.

When you say stuff like “i smoke weed all day and get b*tches, im not a kid,” do you think that’s a respectful comment towards women? Now you start stringing your lines together and you see stuff like, “i raped your ass. stfu, i smoke weed all day and get b*tches, im not a kid” and you start to see why the community disagrees with your behavior. Do you really think you can go to a random school, mall, university, library, factory, retail store, or stadium and say stuff like that and actually believe everyone around you agrees with that behavior? Here’s the truth: everyone is staring at you and thinking, “That’s unacceptable. Why is that person doing that?” Do you really think when you get older that these behaviors are OK? How many of us throw around phrases like “dude, raped them b*tches” at work? 

In other examples, it’s not cool to make light of Nazis, or threaten to AFK, or call people ******* and morons non-stop in games. You might have been doing these behaviors for years–I get that. Other games might not have punished you in the past for these behaviors, I get that. But, these behaviors aren’t acceptable online, or in real life, and that’s what this community has decided. You might think these behaviors are OK, but we don’t. 

If you don’t agree, just stop playing League, and spend your time elsewhere. Don’t be another reason people in real life think gamers are terrible human beings. We’re not, and we need to start showing that we’re not.

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Controlling your emotions when playing LoL

Lyte New PortraitThe average League player believes they are more skilled than they actually are, and they believe that they carry when they win, and someone fed when they lose. This isn’t a League of Legends personality flaw, this is just being human and decades of research in cognitive biases explains why humans are this way.


If you understand that sometimes things are out of your control, maybe you’ll have a better time controlling your emotions when things slip out of hand. You should go into every match knowing that you are going to lose some and win some, and that that’s OK. You should know that even in losses, there’s something you learned from the game that makes you a better player. You should know that if you are skilled enough, you’ll come out on top in the long run. Whether it’s sports, games, or business, many successful people tend to have above average impulse control. For example, the top Poker players in the world don’t get pissed and go on tilt making reckless decisions just because they lost a hand due to somebody else getting lucky–they know that in the long run, their skill will shine through and they calm their emotions to ensure the best decision-making.

At the end of the day, if you can control your emotions, you’ll just be a better (and happier) player. I bet you know inside that you don’t play better when you start raging at that other player, so now you (and that other player) are now just playing worse due to heated frustrations. But, I know how it feels to feel helpless–like the game is out of your control and there’s simply nothing you can do. But, that’s why the best players learn to overcome this feeling and play on. That’s why the best players learn how to comeback, by supporting that other player having a bad game and not trashing them into the ground.

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What happened to updating Riven’s Resource Bar

[ Context ] Riven was supposed to have the stacks from her passive indicated on her resource bar, but the project was scrapped.

Feral Pony New PortraitWe did give this a try and ultimately ended to not do this as it causes a number of consistency issues. It was a while ago and my memory on it is a bit fuzzy since I wasn’t working directly on it but iirc what is came down to was the resource bar is fundamentally meant to function as aresource bar, doubling up on the buff bar goes against a pretty solid rule of thumb in UI/EX design which is limit special cases in UI and avoid duplication. Breaking consistency here has a huge long term cost that can be difficult to quantify.

From a gameplay perspective, the resource bar is meant to be a relatively stable and slowish moving bar showing a characters relative strength, current threat level, and reveal their general flow of attrition (how long it takes to be exhausted). Seeing a champion low on energy or mana means they have limited casts available to them and is a moment of weakness enemies can exploit. In this case for the opponent this bar would be incredibly misleading with Riven being most dangerous but also most vulnerable when this bar is empty. With some weird middle ground of when partially full you’re most likely being killed.

The second important gameplay element is that there should have some level of consistency and flow in the resource bar. Rarely do mana or energy users dump their entire bar in one go, while Riven can cause the bar to fill and empty in only a second or two. It can be incredibly tempting to see an open spot on a UI and want to fill it (believe me I’ve been there, as a mechanics designer I want to cram as much information as I can pretty much everywhere) but there is a steep clarity and readability cost which increases exponentially each time you break. Sometimes this cost can totally be worth it, in this specific case we didn’t feel it was. I would love to explore the space of custom UI elements only the player controlling the character can see/interact with though, and this seems like a logical candidate for that.

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Will there be sound proof booths in future LCS seasons

The Flash New PortraitFrom my experience on stage, the crowd may encourage the players, but the noise itself doesn’t help the team’s play.

Most of the live game runs on a delay of several seconds. Actions in the moment occur well before the crowd can possibly react to it, and by extension, if a player could pull any information from the crowd noise it would not be useful. That information (noise) isn’t actionable.

A few people (including OP) mentioned pro players who set a dragon timer when they hear a commotion in the crowd. The crowd noise/chanting is too unpredictable to be realistically used this way. Think about all the “BALLS” shouts you’ve been hearing lately on the streams. If you’re on stage as a pro player, all you can really pull from the crowd is a binary noise vs no noise, because even something like “BALLS” usually comes across as “edowifjndos!”

Thirdly, the teams that do try to secure an advantage from ‘bad data’ through audience chatter usually pay for it in the game. With the boss headphones and white noise, its not terribly hard to ignore the external chatter, especially when you roll into the same studio every weekend. But occasionally I hear a player asking their team about what the crowd noise was for, and each time they get punished for paying attention to external factors instead of the live game happening right in front of them. The teams that trust their teammates and their own skill get by much better than those trusting the audience for guidance on plays.

I’m not the Rioter who makes the call on whether or not to have a booth or deflection screen, but if that person came to me for my thoughts, I’d say that since noise vs noise is still an issue with these sound mitigation options, installing them is an unnecessary detriment to the overall LCS experience.

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Oceanic Skin Update

CptStupendous New PortraitHey party people!

A lot of threads have been popping up which lately and I’ve been called out for an update (rightly so!) I responded in another thread but I thought it made sense to create a new thread here as well. It’s been a journey I can assure you all of that. We have been quiet about where it’s up to and to be honest the reason why we haven’t said much is we haven’t had any meaningful updates. As a Player, when I hear a company say ‘we’re working on it’ my initial thought is always ‘yeah, bulls#@t’. We’re working on it sounds like such a cop out even if it happens to be true.

Sadly though it is the truth. We are working on it. It’s not something I spend all day every day working on, but it’s definitely not something we’ve forgotten about. In fact, each time a new forum thread goes up the other Rioters in the office print out the thread and pin it to my desk just in case I forget:

http://imgur.com/qayjg7p

So Stupendous, if you’re ‘working on it’ why haven’t we produced an Oceanic skin? It doesn’t take that long to create a skin! 

You’re absolutely right about that, but what does take time is coming up with the concept. Oceania is many countries and we don’t feel it would be right to create a skin with an Australian theme or a skin with a Kiwi theme. We’ve chosen to run with concepts that appeal to multiple countries which is where things get complicated. Then mix in the quality control factors designed to ensure all new skins reach a certain bar and it’s really hard to come up with a skin design which ticks all the boxes – a) relevant to Oceania as a whole b) works with a champ who’s due for a skin c) ticks the quality assurance guidelines. We’ve had a few ideas that we thought were cool, but the champions they applied to were too far down the pipeline to wait on.

So what? Does that mean you’re going to give up, sissy?

No, no it does not. We have a discussion pencilled in for tomorrow (already on the books before this post, believe it or not) to discuss a few new concepts we’ve come up with. From there if we think they tick the boxes we’ll submit them to the skins team go from there. There are Rioters in the office as passionate about this as you guys and girls are, so I can honestly say we feel the pain! All I can do is give you my assurances that I’ll continue to do my best..

Originally Posted by iNoob View Post
also make a new zealand skin like Kiwi Leona or Kiwi Lucian
or ANZAC Vayne, ANZAC Graves etc etc

We did think about an ANZAC skin, it’s definitely the most notable bond between Australia and New Zealand. However at the end of the day we decided it wasn’t the best way for us as a region to pay respect to our armed servicemen and women.

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Team Builder Icons now available on EUW

Draggles New Portrait06/08 – 10:56 GMT+1: Icons are now available! Thank you for your patience, now go collect’em all! 

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Viktor scheduled for a rework

Viktor is now listed in the Champion update schedule for a gameplay update!

 

 

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