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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy lcs’

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Top scorers points earned for week 1

  1. Shiphtur – Dignitas: 60.27 points
  2. Piglet – Liquid: 58.89 points
  3. Freeze – Renegades: 48.31 points
  4. WildTurtle – Immortals: 48.29 points
  5. Fenix – Liquid: 47.84 points
  6. Trick – G2: 47.09 points
  7. Kiwikid – Dignitas: 45.69 points
  8. Altec – NRG: 45.65 points
  9. FORG1VENGRE – H2K: 45.45 points
  10. Stixxay – CLG: 44.17 points

 

First impressions from Week 1

  • Immortals look amazing. I’m happy to give especially Reignover and Turtle higher priority. I get the feeling Fnatic’s early game shotcalling last season was heavily directed by Reignover, although I can’t prove it, but that usually means a lot of fights. Turtle’s back to his aggresive self too so he’ll be awesome.
  • We have yet to see Dignitas fight upper tier teams (NRG had subs, so it didn’t count), but their point gain versus middle pack teams is amazing. Pay attention to their matchups, and Shiphtur may very well get you 50+ points in a week.
  • NRG’s question marks to me at the moment are KonKwon and Moon. Their other players look great though. They did very well this week, but it would be great to see how much Moon influences the tide of their games.
  • CLG is looking alright. Heavy rotations still in play, but lots of diving and teamfighting as well. I still have questions about Huhi, but I think Stixxay deserves a spot on the map.
  • Liquid‘s members are looking to be very good fantasy point generators, even though they’re 0-2. I don’t know if I should include Matt on the list yet, however, and the whole sub squad thing does not help their case. Be careful about running them, because if they’re subbed out midweek you’re in trouble.
  • TSM and Origen I think had off weeks… I’d have to see their week 2 play to decisively lower any of their positions, since apparently neither team had much practice coming into this week. Also Doublelift randomly got high points, so he’s working that + status well.
  • Renegades seem to have a pretty rotation heavy style (ode to MonteCristo I suppose). Their teamfighting seems alright though, so I’m happy to give small boosts to some of their members.
  • Consider fielding players who get to play against TiP. TiP is looking very weak, and that’s exploitable.
  • UoL looks pretty good. Diamond and Viziscasci have decent synergy, and their new bot lane have been performing acceptably. They’ll put up a good fight regardless of their opponent, so I expect good things to come from them. However, I’m still not convinced about the nature of their aggression. Their points seem to be above average, so I’m keeping an eye on them.
  • I’m still unsure about Echo Fox, Fnatic, G2, and Roccat. Fnatic moreso because they had one decent game against an out-of-form Origen, and because they had one terrible game against Vitality.
  • H2K is looking fantastic as well, but they seemed to play more rotationally as opposed to aggressively. I feel like they’ll get consistently high points, but absurd maximums will be rare.
  • Vitality’s performance looks to be about whether or not Shook wakes up right that day. I’ve lowered Kasing and Hjarnan temporarily for now, but there’s a good chance I might bump them back up again.
  • Elements, Giants, and Splyce did not impress me at all last week.

Based on these impressions, I have slightly adjusted the Drafting Priority for Week 2. Notice the tonne of new additions. Below the list, I’ve done a small run down for notable Week 2 matches that might be worth setting up your roster for.


 

W2-Recommended-Picks

 

Notable Week 2 Matches

Average points per game ~= 20 per player. The games I note are ones I expect to be higher than average or lower than average in certain ways. If I don’t note something, it’s because I either don’t think it’s worth mentioning, or I think it’ll give average points.

Team Impulse vs. Cloud9

  • Probably a convincing C9 win. Rush, Sneaky, and Jensen expected to do exceedingly well here.

TSM vs. Immortals

  • Slanted in favour of Immortals, probably 65-35 odds from TSM’s poor showing this week.
  • TSM looks to be good at putting up fights, so they (Doublelift and Bjergsen especially) should be able to net decent scores.
  • IMT has a very aggressive style that has been successful so far. Unless TSM has found a way to completely shut them out, they should score quite well too.

Liquid vs. Counter Logic Gaming

  • Probably a bloodbath.
  • Liquid has a good record vs CLG in season games.
  • Pay attention to which players Liquid fields.
    • If Piglet, Dardoch, and Fenix are in, I think they’re bound to get lots of points.
  • Also, if Liquid beats CLG like they have in the past, expect it to be a stomp (low CLG points).

NRG vs. Immortals

  • I expect a lot of kills to go both ways in this matchup.
    • Impact vs Huni, Pob vs GBM, Turtle vs Altec are all going to be crazy.
  • The question mark here will be Moon, and his performance will determine which way the points slant.
    • If he does well, NRG and Immortals should go even on points, but if he does poorly, Reignover’s going to take over.

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Cloud9

  • If C9 run hai, expect a lot of rotations, and an average to above average game for points.
  • This shouldn’t be a stalled out game. I expect a lot of proactive diving and skirmishing.
  • Whichever team wins this game will likely have a tonne of points from objectives.

Giants vs. G2 Esports

  • If both teams have the same showing at last week, I expect Trick, Emperor, and Perkz to have nutty points from this game.

Origen vs. Unicorns of Love

  • This game will probably have quite a bit of action going on, so I think points should be higher than average.
  • There might be a bit of a mid and bot lane mismatch in favour of Origen, but if Diamondprox plays well he can probably balance it out.
  • The key question is if Origen was able to get meaningful practice this week, as opposed to the last one.
    • If they are in practice, they’ll score amazingly
    • Running Origen & their members will be a high risk high reward decision for this week

Fnatic vs. H2K

  • H2K seems to play a very rotational style game.
    • Even though they convincingly won both their games in week 1, they didn’t have absurd amounts of points.
  • Fnatic also looks really shaky.
  • I expect H2K to have average-above average points for this game.
    • However, if they sweep the game, Fnatic will do extremely poorly on points.

Fnatic vs. Unicorns of Love

  • Last season, I would run all my Fnatic and UoL members regardless of their other matchups whenever I saw this was going to happen.
    • It just got the most insane points for no reason whatsoever.
  • Fnatic and UoL now have really different lineups, and I find that their playstyles are have yet to be solidified.
  • If you feel like a gamble, this game might explode and possibly win you the week.

 


Graphics by Ling Gu: @SixSonatas

Writing by Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee: Tweet any questions you may have to @SoullessFyr

Special thanks to Chefo

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Fantasy LCS isn’t about picking up the best players historically. For example, a good player last season who didn’t get top tier fantasy points is Froggen. Consider that Elements was in shambles, and though he’s still arguably a top mid laner in EU, it was hard to consistently perform for him. Fantasy LCS is about being able to pick players that are able to consistently achieve a high amount of kills, assists, and multi-kills.

 


Explanation:

Quality 1

As mentioned above, all that matters in Fantasy LCS is high kills and assists. You want extremely aggressive players who will always try to get kills instead of farming safely. Having a high number of deaths is not a detriment as long as the player is getting kills. This is pretty simple math:

  • A player who trades a kill for a death nets 1.5 points.
  • A player who dies but gets an assist nets 1 point

Trading for an assist is already the same as getting 100 CS. A passive player who aims to only farm is going to lose out big time on fantasy points. Farm should be seen as a bonus extra 3-6 points.

Quality 2

Multi-kills play a large factor in getting bonus points. In my experience, you should aim for about 20-30 points per player per game on your fantasy team. If a player gets on average 25 points a game, you’d get 50 points in a week per player, leading to an average of 300 points, which is very difficult to beat.

  • Pentas mean a bonus 10 points, Quadras 5, Triples 2
  • This is on top of the kill points. So technically, a Penta is worth 17.5 points, Quadras 16, Triples 6.5

If a player gets a pentakill, already get near the 20 point floor you’re aiming for. This is key, and how players like Niels or Doublelift can get 40-50 points in a single game. Of course, a player won’t be getting pentakills every game, but players who consistently mop up team fights are more likely to get these bonuses (mostly AD Carries and Mid Laners)

Quality 3

Think about a fantasy team player as a car. Having a fantasy player that are incarnations of qualities 1 and 2 is like having a pretty shiny lamborghini. However, that lambo is only going to go as far as it has fuel for. The fuel in this analogy is going to be their team, and how well it works together. Case in point: Froggen/Forgiven last split.

A top fantasy team is one with excellent teamfighting and macro play. These usually lead to wins, and the math is pretty self-explanatory.

With that being said, here’s my top picks for fantasy. The players were divided based off how well their prior performances (stats from previous Fantasy LCS splits) fit the aforementioned criteria:

 

Recommended-Picks

 

Two Notes:

  •  Be wary of slumps. A fantasy team that does well on week 1 will not necessarily do well all split.
  • Try to draft a fantasy team where you are able to substitute players out in order to avoid your team playing against each other (in the worst case, the game is a shut out, and one of your players gets like no points)

 

Disclaimer: I am not personally responsible for whatever happens if you follow this guide. 


 

Graphics by Ling Gu: @SixSonatas

Writing by Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee: @SoullessFyr

 

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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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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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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.

 

 

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Red Posts 13/01

 

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QA on Champion Update Design

Scruffy Final PortraitHey everyone!

This is a totally unprompted thread where I thought I could answer whatever questions about new champion or champion update designs. I’ll come back to the thread and post answers to a bunch of questions up into this OP.

Because this is the first time I’m trying this, let’s do a broad and obvious topic – Champ Design (including reworks). The type of question that would be fitting here is like “how do you determine which skills to keep when you rework a character?” or “what makes a good character passive in your opinion?”

Stay on topic (sorry I don’t work on URF so DONT ASK LOL) and I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can.

Fire away!

EDIT 1:

I’ll answer a few now and come back later for more (and probably throughout the weekend)

  • If a champion is relatively fine in a purely BALANCE perspective, do they ever have an opportunity to get reworked to be more like what they’re supposed to be? Or be made so that they aren’t such a wasted concept?
  • Yes! We most definitely do and will continue to use thematic delivery, fun, and satisfaction as a reason to revisit a character. We always set out the goals of a project when we start, so we know if it is more mechanics focused (something like soraka) or thematic/satisfaction focus (something like gangplank) or a lot of both (sion).
  • How do you prioritize updates?

Currently we prioritize updates by which are the most “in need” of the improvements (gameplay or visual). Each group (art, design, sound) will use their own analysis and player feedback to rank which champs are really needing the update. This led us to champs like soraka, sion, nidalee, poppy, karthus, etc. While going through this list we have some spare people to work on smaller less urgent projects like viktor, gragas, tristana to keep things coming as often as we can.

  • How much more mobility can we expect to see added to League of Legends in the coming season?

This is a timely question, with so many more mobile champs in recent releases than in the early days of LoL. We actually met with a large group of new champ and champup designers to talk about how much mobility we are giving to characters and at what cost. The general consensus is that we are probably going to both be a bit more selective with where we give mobility and give the characters appropriate costs to having mobility. For example, we think that by default a marksman doesn’t have burst mobility, so the question that we are asking ourselves is “what cost is a character like lucian, tristana, or corki paying for the powerful mobility tools that they have?”

  • Can you describe the factors in/process between deciding whether a skill is a skillshot or targeted ability?

You could have a great ability on both sides of this coin (skillshot or targeted). The real question that we are asking is what parts of a character’s overall kit are reliable and which are unreliable. Having a healthy mix of both is typically a recipe for success because it gives the character some baseline tools that they can count on mixed in with some important moments where hitting a skillshot, blocking a spell with a spellshield, or dodging a big burst of damage with your Zed ult can determine the outcome of a fight.

EDIT 2:

A few more answers

  • What is Riot’s current opinions on hybrid champions, either current or possibly new?

Hybrid champions aren’t problematic as a concept, we just try to factor in how being a hybrid character affects the game. A hybrid champ has both a harder time itemizing for penetration and makes it harder for their opponents to itemize defenses against them.

  • Ever considered an energy-based Support?

We haven’t put any serious work into an energy based on manaless support recently, but it isn’t an impossible design space. The key factor here is that we would want to preserve the important “attrition” element of bottom lane, so this character should probably not have strong health sustain or healing in combination with no mana.

  • How does Riot determine what to keep and what to revise on champion kits in need of a rework for “thematic” reasons?

The first step of a rework is often more about finding the right overall direction for a character. Take Sion for example, we first determined that this guy is best delivered as a tanky “undead juggernaut” that moves slowly but is a major disruptive force in the middle of a fight. It is a very high priority for us to find the right core concept for a character that matches the coolest and most important elements of the character before the rework. With the high level direction figured out, we can see what abilities on the old kit would still work with the new direction for the character.

  • Does how often a champion get played factor in to the decision to rework them? Or are you fine with niche picks, like Urgot?

We do consider a champ’s play rate when we are selecting reworks but we don’t bias one way or the other. A good mix of popular and unpopular champions is what we are aiming for currently so that we can sometimes update popular champs to create positive impact to a wide group of players and sometimes update niche champs to keep them relevant or give them new life.

EDIT 3:

  • How often do reworks get canned, and how far do they usually make it before they get canned?

Rework projects rarely get canned. Though in the past, maybe 1 in 5 that goes into early exploration is put on hold and picked up later. A project like Warwick that Zenon was working on but had to be put on hold for him to work on other projects will be picked up where he left off and finished. Even if entire kits are scrapped and restarted, the work is not a waste because we likely learned a lot about what didn’t work for that iteration and that leads us to things that usually work much better.

  • When it comes to new champion design and such, is the factor of said champion completely overshadowing another, older champ taken into account?

We very heavily consider this when working on new champions. We want a new champ to bring something new to the game rather than replace and overshadow something that champs already do. Sometimes if a champion is released in a too powerful state, it can give them strengths that they aren’t designed to have.

For example, Braum is intended to be a unique defensive support in how he can block projectiles for his team while staying mobile. When he released he was doing that just fine, but he was also a very strong aggressive pick support with Q slows, damage and follow up stuns. When we saw that he was overshadowing a lot of other supports in this way, Wreckz and the live balance team responded by lowering his aggressive play potential to focus his power in the ways that he is meant to have it.

  • How would you go about reworking Teemo?

Hehe, I can’t resist answering this one because TEEMO. So first off don’t take any of this as gospel because I’m just spitballing here.

First off is to try and understand the core of what Teemo is about and what his current problems are. The really unique and fun thing about teemo (IMO) is the way he can control an area of the map like top lane or baron pit with his mine field of shrooms. He also has a clear poke pattern in lane and high sustained damage in the late game. Some of the most obvious problems that he has are that there is no meaningful counterplay to his mushrooms and his poke pattern is also not interactive and just involves trading targeted damage against an often melee opponent.

So when it comes to solutions I would try a variety of mushroom version with possible counterplay and to compensate the teemo player, add or emphasize the awesome rewards he gets for catching his opponents in his traps. A crazy example would be that if he was stealthed (by standing still) and someone triggered a mushroom trap, he could keep his stealth and run quickly towards the triggered trap for an ambush. The other solutions around his poke lane would also need to be creative but would definitely move in the direction of his opponent having opportunities to avoid or counter his poke, and we could give teemo some new tools to compensate for the loss of reliability.

EDIT 4

  • Where does the buck stop when it comes to big decisions on a champion rework?

There is no single individual that has the 100% say over any particular champion update, but many people get to have strong input. From a game design perspective the primary “owner” as we like to call it is the main designer that is spending most of their time working on the project. They receive a lot of input from the other designers on the Champion Update and Champion team and get really detailed and thorough feedback from the Lead Designers on their team and other teams (Scruffy, Meddler, Morello, Ezreal, etc). In the end, by the time any character goes out, many different people have reviewed the kit and, if something is good enough to ship, often most people on the team are very happy with it.

  • You gonna give talon some form of cc (a real cc, not a shitty quarter second slow) on his cut-throat (e) or maybe a decent form of utility so he can keep up with all the incredibly good kits other assassins have?

I think in the future we will shy away from hard CC on Talon because as we have seen in the past, the combination of hard CC and his burst damage led to very frustrating and non interactive situations where he can 100-0 an enemy while they are unable to react.

On the topic of how we would want to improve talon (no immediate plans yet just talking about direction), his current pattern of burst an enemy or be useless is pretty binary and honestly a bit boring. I would want to buff up some of his utility tools like his stealth or even give him new utility tools that are not hard CC (like dodge, spell shield or something like that) to allow him to not feel useless when he can’t immediately burst kill his enemies.

  • What are some themes you want to check out that haven’t been touched on yet?

These are just my personal – Mind Controller, Earth Mage, Group character (multiple yordles or something cool), Mountain Climber, Blacksmith, A bunch of animal type creature characters, Flying characters that interact differently with the map, and these are just off the top of my head.

EDIT 5:

  • Using Rek’Sai as an example, what makes you decide to use a non-mana resource on a champion? Is it a thematic decision, gameplay, or a mix of both? How do you feel about the state of mana in LoL?

I’ll answer your last question first, I feel like mana is still a very important element of LoL, especially for some types of characters. Mana as a resource creates a second strategic layer of attrition for a lot of characters that adds a “long game” strategy to champ vs champ combat. Mana allows more outcomes to fights or trades than just “I killed you” or “I took more health away.”

When it comes to when we give mana to champs (or not in Reksai’s case) it is more often a mechanical decision than a thematic one. With Reksai we were exploring some different resourse mechanics with the health return passive, where health is the resource she has to manage more than mana. By comparison a mana based jungler like Warwick or Elise should stay healthier than Reksai when they are usuing mana on their sustain tools but they will eventually run OOM and have to go back to the fountain.

  • I’m seeing a lot of questions about Yorick and Mordekaiser so lets talk about them

First thing, we’re not actively working on either of those two champs but in terms of what is next for us when we finish current projects, they are very very high up on the priority list.

So Yorick we actually have a decent starting point with Xelnath’s earlier work and it is pretty clear what this guy is about – Ghoul Minions and Melee fighting.

Morde is a bit trickier because he is really straddling the line between what is a mage and what is a fighter. I bet when we start working on him and are trying to discover his core, we will find that both elements are very important to why Morde is Morde. The tough question will be answering what unique stuff a fighter mage can bring to the game (maybe play up his “ghost enemy” stuff).

EDIT 6:

  • What is Riot’s opinion on champions with more then one way to be built?

Personally I love it when champions have multiple build paths. The things that we have to watch out for are when one of the builds creates toxic or low interest gameplay. As an example if AD Varus played like he does now but the off build AP Varus (I know this isn’t really a thing) could one shot enemies with his Q and do not much else we probably would want to change the way AP varus worked so that it had a more healthy play pattern.

  • What is the maximum amount of crowd control you think you could and would load onto a kit without going overboard? How long would the target be disabled in some way?

The way that we think about this is more about the ratio of damage a character can deal vs the amount of CC they have. A character can have crazy amounts of CC (see nautilus) if they do low sustained damage, but another character could be problematic with even 1 second of CC if they deal high burst damage. The goal here is that the enemy receiving the CC will always have some window of time where they are not CCed and not dead so that they can react.

Have you ever considered having non-ultimate global abilities that deal no damage, but instead support champions in other lanes? Something on the line of care packages.

Yes, we have considered a bunch of stuff like this. Nothing has made it into a champion but I think there is room for some pretty cool mechanics in this vein. For example, a “scouting” focused character could do all kinds of global vision plays or even give allies an oracle buff from across the map. Another example is a “global push pressure” champ that could make minion waves on the opposite side of the map much stronger to create global push pressure for their team.

I think this is all of the questions for this week. I’ll try to rope in some other designers next week and maybe we can pick another topic. Was this useful/fun for you all?

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Mystery Skins for Good Behavior are still coming

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitHey everyone,

Many of you have seen your friends receive their Mystery Skins with you left wondering where your Mystery Skin is, or whether you even qualified for one. Never fear!

Mystery Skins are still being sent out!

We are sending them out in waves every single day, and it may take the next couple of weeks (until the end of January) before they are all distributed. We’ll update this thread once the last wave has been sent!

As a reminder, here are the qualifications:

  • All Riot Regions qualify – NA, EUW, EUNE, LAS, LAN, BR, OCE, RU, TR, and Korea
  • You need to be level 5 (reached level 5 in 2014)
  • You need to have played and completed at least one game of any mode (including Custom Games) in 2014.
  • You did not receive a 14-day suspension
  • You did not receive a ranked restriction (a single game ranked restriction will disqualify you)
  • You did not receive a chat restriction (a single game of chat restriction will disqualify you)
  • If you received a Leaver Buster Penalty, you still qualify for the Mystery Skin
  • If your account was compromised and suspended by Riot until it was recovered, we will double-check our list to make sure you receive one
  • If you have under the 10 skin minimum for Mystery Skins, we will check the list again and make sure anyone who did not receive one, but met all other qualifications, gets one!
  • If you recently transferred to another Riot Region, you will still get a Mystery Skin, as long as you meet the previous qualifications

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I think Irelia as a whole needs a VU

IronStylus Final Portrait^ this. In fact she will most likely be a comprehensive gameplay and visual update (VGU). She’s listed as a high-value target but currently there is no prioritization for her for 2015, but that could change. We’re trying to get ahead on a number of front’s so we’ll see. I have a concept for her but it’s definitely not final. She’ll need a probably semi-large scope effort because of thematic issues. What is she exactly? Ionian metal-manipulating general? That’s cool, but could she be more? We shall see!

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Why did Evelynn get a skin Safecracker before her visual update

Nurse Flan Final PortraitFor Eve, we saw an opportunity to create a skin for her before an update that wouldn’t interfere too much with any then-current plans with her. This does not mean every potential champion update is in the same state and can be treated in the same way. The team felt it would be a win to create a skin at the chance we got, so we took it instead of passing it up. It may not have coincided with what was said in the past about skin plans, but I think it’s much better to try and take things on a case-by-case basis rather than let a statement be the end all be all for the rest of eternity 🙂

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Why hasnt Zac received a skin yet

Nurse Flan Final Portrait*disclaimer – Zac skins are a hot topic and we are not able to answer any questions about -when- a skin is coming out or is in the works (or any other skins). I’m here to perhaps shed a little light and let you guys know Zac is not forgotten!*

Definitely don’t think you’re being rude! What I can tell you is that Zac’s champ and stretchy tech is very difficult to work with, and that alone increases work time on him a lot. So using a popular community skin suggestion for him, Gentleman Zac – his clothes especially around his arms would have some crazy weighting and stretching issues. And it would also be really weird to see cloth stretching and turning into globs of goo haha I’d love to hear any suggestions on workarounds you may have to mitigate this!

I know “easy” recolored skins have been suggested for Mr. Blob, but then it would seem unfair if say we released a 750RP Bubblegum Zac and have him wait a while for another skin instead of taking the time to make sure we make a super awesome blow-your-mind quality skin for him.

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Follow Up

 What about a swimsuit Zac skin

[ Note ] Here’s an example of how that skin could look like.

Nurse Flan Final PortraitThat’s a good example! Besides the addition of the swim trunks, it’s technically just about a fancy blue recolor though. 😡

The fanart done of pool party Zac include some cute arm floaties – which I like, but that would again cause problems with his stretchy arms! > n <

Summer is coming up for the Northern Hemisphere kinda sorta soonish (brr, that 50 degree California winter weather!). I can definitely make an extra poke about a skin like this!
^This is not a promise that this skin is going to be made! ; u ;

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Welcome to Fantasy LCS

OMHALODIL Final PortraitWelcome to Fantasy LCS, where you build your dream team of LCS pros and compete against your friends for bragging rights and season glory! Beginning this week, we’ll be opening up the 2015 Spring Split Fantasy draft window.

Fantasy LCS is getting a face-lift for 2015, thanks to the feedback you gave us in the 2014 Beta. Here’s what’s new:

  • NA and EU are now on separate roster locks that correspond to the first day of matches for each league.
  • Each league now features a message board where you can coordinate draft times and discuss strategy.
  • We added chat functionality during draft
  • Scoring has been slightly tweaked: we added a fast win bonus of 2 points for teams that win in less than 30 minutes. Stay tuned for an article that dives into the rationale behind this scoring addition.

We added a few administrative tools:

  • If you are a league creator, you can delete your league if you haven’t drafted yet.
  • You can also leave a league if you haven’t drafted yet.
  • You can now rename your team.

Your league home page, roster page, and match-ups page are now shareable publicly. Show off your dream team, those close wins, and your standings to your friends!

Never played fantasy? Don’t worry — it’s easy! Join together with up to seven friends or fellow League players, then build your dream team, one draft pick at a time. Every player from the NA and EU LCS is up for grabs, and what they do on the Rift each week matters. You’re awarded points based on their performance, so when your pros do well, you do too! Fantasy LCS also adds a new layer of fun to watching matches each week, as fantasy stats updates will be piped in at real-time.

We’ve got a bunch of resources to help get you ready for your draft. Learn how to play and about draft strategy at fantasy.lolesports.com.

Stay tuned for more details on when you can get drafting! In the meantime, feel free to discuss strategy below. Who are your top picks?

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Update El Tigre Braum price updated to 1350 RP

Galetta Final PortraitEDIT: Just wanted to update the El Tigre Braum thread about his price. He was always intended to be 1350 RP but we mistakenly listed him at 975 RP (sorry!). It’s his custom respawn animation specifically that pushes him into the 1350 price tier. Like all 1350s though, he’ll be on sale for the first week after his release so you can get him for 975 RP during that time. Sorry for the mistake and we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again!

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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.