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Posts Tagged ‘feral pony’

 

BALANCE TEAM AMA Banner

The balance team’s AMA has now concluded; here all the questions answered in the thread:


Scarizard Final PortraitEDIT: AMA’S DONE FOR TODAY! Thanks for coming out and asking questions – If you’re reading this and missed this one (or if we missed yours D:), we’ll be doing two more this month at the same time! We’ll see y’all at 12:30pm pacific, on Friday 10/23!

If you have follow-up questions or want to stalk us on the internet, you can follow almost all of us on ze twitters at (@RiotJag) (@RiotFeralPony) (@RiotTimeWizard) (@G_mang) (@ManWolfAxeBoss) (@SmashGizmo) (@ricklessabandon) and (@RiotScarizard)

Hey folks,

We’ve gathered together the team behind the balance and tuning of League to talk shop about the state of the game, balance, and whatever else you might have on your mind!

On deck, we’ve got:

RiotTimeWizard (amazing Morgana player, holds the record for the highest win streak in ranked of 19 games among teammates)

ricklessabandon (obsessed with ffxiv, lowercases, and playing bloodthirsty supports)

SmashGizmo (prolific melee player and toplane scumbag, known for his top Vi, Pantehon, Olaf, and even Nunu)

ManWolfAxeBoss (actually a wolf)

RiotGmang (slayer of playtests)

RiotJag (top 10 on the vaynespotting leaderboard of busters and marksman enthusiast)

FeralPony (bard lover and a literal pony)

and yours truly! Got a burning question or top-of-mind curiosity? Fire away: Ask Us Anything!


If you want some more behind-the-scenes insights on how League’s balance goes, check out these devblogs by RiotJules and King Jag The King, RiotJag himself!

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/riot-official/xORLd02r-data-and-champion-balance-part-1

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/riot-official/cBUqHAm5-data-and-champion-balance-part-2

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Lots of Feedback on Zyras current state

[ Note ] You can find the user’s post that SmashGizmo addresses below HERE.

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SmashGizmo Final PortraitThanks for sharing such in depth thoughts here, really appreciate the effort you put into your post. I’ll try to go through and touch on some of the important parts where we seem to see things differently and hopefully give you some insight as to what we think of Zyra:


  • “she is still considered in your point of view as an OP Champion with no rooms to buff”: This just isn’t true. We buffed her plant AI in 5.20 and have been considering additional buffs from there. It is true that we feel pretty limited in what we can actually do because her winrate is actually quite high, which suggests that she’s probably not as weak as people think, but it’s just not true that we don’t consider that we have room to buff her.
  • You talk a lot about how we view Zyra as a long ranged mage, but I’d say that we view her as a ‘zone-controller’, more akin to Anivia and Heimerdinger than say Lux and Ziggs. A large part of what defines a zone control mage is their slow movement and set-up time, but extreme power once they have established a position, which is a large part of why they tend to have low defenses and movement and slow casts. What this means for us is that many of the weaknesses you point out on the character are actually intended weaknesses. Her E is supposed to represent a window where she spends set up time to CC opponents and establish plant control and I at least feel it’s important for it to have a longer than usual cast time.
  • You also talk a lot about Zyra’s matchups as a Mid laner in the context of professional play. While I think we do want to support Zyra as a Mid Laner for Solo Queue play, it’s felt out of reach to get her into Pro Play as a midlaner (similar to Annie). I don’t want to say that this is completely off the table long term, but as our team mostly works in 2 week spurts, making Zyra a desirable Professional Mid Lane pick without straight breaking her for the overall game is just out of scope.
  • With all that being said though, I will say that Zyra probably isn’t getting enough payoff from her kit at the moment. Personally, I have my eye on the Ult knockup duration and Plant scaling throughout the game as potential areas that we could buff on the character in the near future.

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Are there going to be changes to Riven to make her feel less oppressive

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Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitYes, we are looking into nerfs for Riven, and fairly soon! We don’t wanna ‘gut’ her, though. Riven players love their brokesword.

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Are you guys holding off on balance patches in preparation for Preseason

Scarizard Final PortraitMostly prepping for Preseason. 5.19 and 5.20 were relatively small, and 5.21 will follow suit as we’re putting the finishing touches on our preseason work.

Then, we will open wide each of our 10 mouths and sing the song that consumes the earth.

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Syndra excelled in a glass cannon meta but shes now useless against tanks

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Ricklessabandon New Portraithi, hi~
reading over your post, it sounds like your analysis of syndra is pretty aligned with our current understanding of where she’s at, how she functions, etc. to recap (and make sure we really are on the same page), here are some key notes about syndra:


  • role/function – if we were to ‘zoom out’ and pick just one threat that syndra’s opponents should be mindful of, it’d be her ability to make picks. opponents should need to be more mindful of the space around them when fighting syndra, and mistakes in positioning shouldn’t be forgiven very often. we’d want syndra to be functional in this regard above most other threats she could provide.
  • power timing – syndra’s ‘thing’ is about her ascension to more powerful states, so we’d much rather have larger amounts of her power come from things like her upgraded abilities than her first few levels in lane. currently, this is an area where we have a lot of room to improve. changes to address her power/impact/satisfaction in the later phases of a game (e.g., levels 16-18) are likely the next project we’d want to take on for her.
  • cadence – i personally feel like syndra is in a really good position to have one of the more satisfying and clearly represented ‘ramping threat’ profiles in league, especially since it directly ties in with her threat relating strongly to a need for spatial control and cashing in on good play there by making picks. i’m not sure if we’d have a strong reason to make further improvements here in the near future, but i can imagine a world in which we get to play this up even more and that makes me excited! practically speaking though, making refinements in this area would likely be a larger undertaking since it’s tied so strongly to the feel of playing the character (which i personally find quite enjoyable) so prioritizing it over other projects can be a tricky proposition.

so, getting back to your original question, i think the future of syndra includes a lot of focus on getting her timings right regarding power curves. we’ll most certainly look at her passive (a lot to be gained there, i feel) and anything else that lines up with a project in that vein. when making those adjustments, we’ll be looking at preserving her baseline function as a control/pick mage and playing up the good feels around her cadence if possible.

hopefully that covers your question!

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Any plans on reworking Leona into sololane or jungle viability

Riot Jag Final PortraitDon’t see a way we could do that without compromising on her duo lane power. One of the reasons we make Leona so incredibly powerful and tanky without many items is because her base values are calibrated around her not having a gold source.

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Why hasnt Sejuani received compensatory buffs after the Cinderhulk nerfs

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Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitWe tend to let champions like Sejuani (who thrived close to a 60% win rate for a while) level off after we nerf them in some way. We’re not intending to leave them to die and be forgotten, but in the interest of keeping the live environment fresh, we don’t want to rebound and throw more buffs at her, since she only just stopped being picked so much. She’ll be back — we’re just trying to let other champions have some time in the spotlight!

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Didnt a Rioter previously say you werent rotating between viable picks

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitI think I miscommunicated! We don’t want to rotate the META, but we want to make sure that champions all have time to shine at one point or another. The meta shifts itself!

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Feral Pony New PortraitFor clarity, a rotational meta to me has some pretty explicit goals where you aim to make a totally new set of characters the dominant choices, often with the subgoal of focusing on selling more content. This is NOT our goal.

Our goal on the team is consistently bring up champions below the balance bar and bring down champions above the bar so we get progressively towards a better state (which will get shuffled around during preseason most likely).

This can have a rotational style effect where the “top tier” of champions is often changes but it’s a very different approach. Sejuani in this case is pretty middle of the pack right now by most metrics (data) and perception, which is a good spot to be for any champion but generally means we won’t revisit her for a little while, as our primary targets are the outliers at the top and bottom.

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Whats your current view on Rengar Do you think hes balanced

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Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitRengar, balanced?! IMPOSSIBLE.

Joking aside, Rengar’s win rate and pick rate for the average player are actually reasonable, but as with any other feast or famine type of champion, when he gets strong he feels awful to play against. He’s been a tricky one to keep balanced, because there’s a fine line between removing his cool stealthy burst combo and making him feel ‘fair’. As an assassin, he also is strongly affected by meta shifts. We are still considering ways to make him less faceroll-one-shot feeling without alienating players that really love to play as him.

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If Rengars fed the ! sign doesn’t help at all before he unstealthes

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitI’m an ADC/squishy support main, so I definitely empathize with how awful it is to play against people that delete you from the game.

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How much math goes into the balancing of Champion abilities power

Riot Time Wizard Final PortraitPretty open-ended question there, and not as many obvious troll responses. Well, let’s say that we do a lot of different types of analysis for what a champion’s numbers should look like. Sometimes we look at pretty basic comparables (i.e. this is Lucian’s full combo at 9 with a BF Sword vs Graves) to get a first sense that something may be off. Then we can look into much more detail. For Ekko before release, Gypsylord and I looked at multiple different burst profiles (poke damage, full damage besides ult, full damage including ult) and measured them against other champions in his class that either had similar burst styles (maybe Diana) or had really spikey high-ends with huge AP Ratios (Leblanc, maybe Annie).

We also have a pretty decent read on knowing what small base stat changes will do to a champ because we’ve seen the effects of them so often.

That said, a lot of what we do is pretty well tied into both the objective aspects of playing a champion (i.e. this guy has X base damage at 13), as well as the subjective aspects (i.e. we have a huge amount of expertise on this topic, and we can confidently say that Darius is overtuned…that one may be a gimme).

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Did FeralPony buff Veigar so that he could play him in Ranked

Feral Pony New PortraitTotally bro, gotta climb that ladder.

Kidding aside, I stay far away from pushing for buffs for any champions I’m playing to avoid conflicts of interest. Additionally, I’ve never pushed for any buffs on any champions I’ve designed for similar reasons. The champions I’m currently playing are,

  • Bard
  • Tahm Kench
  • Udyr
  • Heimerdinger
  • Miss Fortune
  • Cassio (just starting to pick her up)

I generally steer away from Mid Lane, but I find Veigar’s Q double-tap farming pattern really fun. I’m more of a Support/Jungler.

As for do members of the balance team use their secret insider knowledge of the state of the game? Generally no, but it depends on the person. I play Bard and Udyr as my two main guys in Ranked. Neither is exactly topping the win rate charts, but I enjoy playing them and can carry a game with either.

It doesn’t give you much of an edge anyways, most of the data we have available is essentially public knowledge. It’s not really a secret for example that Wukong is reeeeeeeeaaaallllly strong, just not seen professionally. The best advice in League generally is play the champions you know, and you’ll do better then just grabbing the “OPs”

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What numbers do you look at to judge the balance state of Supports

Scarizard Final PortraitNumbers actually don’t discriminate when it comes to things like pick rate, win-rate etc for supports like you might imagine – though they’re often banned far less than other champions unless they’re wayyyy out of line (A little while ago, Janna sported a higher win-rate than maybe all but ~6 champions in our game, but was banned in less than 1% of games). TL;DR – We evaluate supports on similar metrics to the rest of our champions, though we’ve seen large swings from small changes in this category specifically due to the smaller pool of supports (so even a small nudge could make someone played a ton or played a little, because the next one replaces it).

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Do you take Champion countermatchups into account when balancing

Scarizard Final PortraitHeavily, actually. Our changes to all of the Juggernauts in 5.18 (where all 4 + GP/Fiora were nerfed) were actually done with champions like Gnar in mind, who we consider to be a popular and effective counterpick to these champions. Worlds has proven this to be mostly true, though obviously GP and Mordekaiser need further work.

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Which Champions need buffs at the moment

Scarizard Final PortraitOften times if some champion or strategy is domineering, we’ll think a lot about why that is – and in some cases, endeavor to buff a champion or item that’s part of that champion’s counter-matchup (such as making Spectre’s Cowl more efficient/better when mages are everywhere top, etc).

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Do you have any changes planned for unit collision

Feral Pony New PortraitWe have a few changes to pathfinding that should make Unit Collision a little smoother in lane for Preseason.

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Is the balance team still working on fixing Quinn

Riot Jag Final PortraitI’m not sure how much I can get into with Quinn. All I can say is, we have been testing some changes to her that I am super excited for, as something of a Quinn enthusiast. You may be able to ask RiotRepertoir for more, he’s been doing some really cool work there.

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What stats do you use to decide which Champions to rebalance

ManWolf New PortraitWe have a ton of different metrics that feed into our balance decisions. For example, we look at base win rate across all elo, Plat+ win rates, pro win rates, and experienced player (more than 30 games on a given champion) win rates. Aside from win rate, we look at picks and bans, popularity, player perception, etc. We monitor this stuff from patch to patch, so it’s pretty easy to pick up on trends as well as predict them.

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How are assignments spread across the balance team

ManWolf New PortraitWe get together for each sprint (basically our tasks per patch) to both pick tasks and assign them. We use a healthy mix of data and intuition to select our projects and then assign them pretty organically (whoever wants it, takes it – though we tend to have people who “own” various champions because they have more experience with them than anyone else)

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What are the backgrounds of the people working in the balance team

ManWolf New PortraitLike most of Riot, and really game development in general, we’re pretty diverse. We have people with no college education up through PhD’s. It creates a really unique design atmosphere because everyone sees things in a different way. Some people are very good about thinking in systems, others better in numbers or thematics. It’s a lot of fun.

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Who does the balance team collaborate with when working on Champ design

ManWolf New PortraitWe work with pretty much everyone in “core” LoL, Champion, Champion Update, Game Systems, and so forth. It’s super important to understand not only what everyone is working on, but also why. Cross-team alignment can be tricky, but it’s a must for game health and balance.

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What are your thoughts on Veigar Is he too strong at the moment Veigar Minibanner

SmashGizmo Final PortraitDefinitely a bit on the strong side. I still believe that the changes made in 5.18 were important to make his W feel like a reasonable skill on it’s own (not just a slave to his E), and take away the weirdness around missing champion last hits on his Q, but it does appear to have put the character a bit overboard. We’re currently investigating some nerfs to the guy and I think are leaning towards easing back on his base damages a bit to soften up his lane and play up his role as a hyper-scaling evil mastermind.

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Why do you think Lux hasnt seen any play at Worlds so far despite recent buffs

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ManWolf New PortraitSomeone’s secret weapon and they don’t want to show their hand yet…

Alternatively, popular team compositions right now aren’t terribly favorable for Lux, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up.

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Scarizard Final PortraitI’d agree with MWAB here – Lux’s performance in normal play (especially since 5.17) has actually improved a lot, but professional teams just don’t seem to be valuing their pick-potential from the midlane, opting for Kalista, Kench, Thresh, Elise etc to do that for them.

She’s got the waveclear though. She’s one of my few picks (like caitlyn, thx flash wolves :D) to still see play before the tournament’s end!

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What are your thoughts on the current state of Ahri

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Riot Jag Final PortraitWith you on the jack of all trades aspect atm, but I don’t think she’s missing in high moments (her ult + Charm is still a premiere pick combo). I think Ahri is probably on the strong side a bit, may need to keep an eye here.

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How much will the current ADC meta be affected by the Marksman update

Riot Jag Final PortraitChanges are more focused on making each Marksman feel unique and different, highlighting what they’re really good at, and making sure they’re supported by our current itemization. The changes are less about changing relative power levels and altering the meta.

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How will the new ADCoriented items be implemented

Riot Jag Final PortraitI think some of the changes might make Teemo/Urgot feel a bit better about being Marksmen, but we don’t have a true “Urgot ADC dream item” in the works. The changes aren’t huge, but personally speaking, when testing them I think people do feel like they had a bit more choices and build flexibility than on Live.

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How do you decide which role in the game is allowed to have what power

Scarizard Final PortraitPerhaps not an exciting answer, but these are really case-by-case. For instance ‘no hard-cc on an assassin’ is thrown out the window by Ekko, but we specifically designed all of his damage output and abilities around that fact. I’d say it’s generally less that there are ‘hard rules’ and more that there are some mechanics or abilities that are handled with extreme care. For instance, sustain and hard CC tend to be some of the ones that make people the most nervous – having the highest ‘potential’ to get out of control if not handled carefully.

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Do you think Yasuo and Tahm Kench are too strong currently

Tahm Kench Single banner

Ricklessabandon New Portraitregarding the other questions, yasuo has an easier time in mid lane right now than we’d historically be content with given the current balance state of the game overall (items, balance of other champions, etc). this in some part points us into looking at other champions (like zed, for example) and doing a deeper dive on them. tahm kench is someone we’ll almost certainly need to look at again next season, but there’s still quite a bit to assess here in terms of which strengths are the healthiest/best to keep strong and which ones could potentially cause problems—same goes for his weaknesses. we’re not currently in a rush to jump on tahmmy boy though, so we have a bit of time to digest all the data we have coming in for him and that should lead to a more complete analysis soon.

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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.

 

News 08 10 Banner

 

Summary

The balance team has detailed major balance changes to objectives and items during preseason, including a Dragon Buff and the removal of Dragon gold, an item that helps with split-pushing, updates to existing items and lots more. Following yesterday’s post regarding the NA server infrastructure upgrade in November, we now have a list of goals Riot wants to accomplish to ensure stability in the server region. Lastly, we have some clarity on the upcoming jungle items during preseason, one of which will be able to Smite champions.

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

Recent News

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Feral Pony New PortraitHi there!

Riot Reinboom and Feral Pony here to bring you an objective look at the objective changes we’re making for the 2015 season.

Philosophically, our big goal this season is to encourage more strategic diversity in League of Legends. This touches a lot of different areas but it all boils down to making your high level decisions matter (versus tactical decisions like last hitting, fight mechanics, etc). What champions can I bring? Where do I go on the map? How do I respond when the enemy team takes an objective? What can I do now that we’ve secured dragon? How does my build impact my interactions on the map? These things currently do matter, but we feel there’s room for improvement and we’re excited to explore some of these opportunities with you.

Along with this goal, we also want to ensure that we have more options in place to better balance the game. We want to be able to tone down problematic strategies and enhance weaker strategies without having to nerf or buff every champion involved in that particular playstyle (if anyone remembers Shen or Rengar pre-rework).

It’s kind of hard to talk about these changes without directly referencing some specifics, so I’ll highlight a few changes that speak to the above philosophy. Also worth repeating: all of the below are rough examples and very subject to change / may not even ship!:

One opportunity we have is examining the currently similar rewards of Dragon and Turrets – that is, gold. Often teams will trade these objectives and end up in roughly the same spot that they were at prior. Our hope is that by differentiating these rewards when a trade occurs, both teams can end up with different strengths and options as to how they progress the game from that point on.

Dragon

In more specifics: we’re going to be piloting a change where killing the Dragon grants a permanent “Dragon Blooded” buff that increases in power and function as your team kills more dragons. Since this reward increases the more times a team slays the Dragon, this puts an increasing value on the Dragon as the game progresses, both for the dragon-slaying team seeking greater buffs and for the opposing team trying to prevent them from powering up to take the victory. This change should add additional tension as the game progresses while also keeping the Dragon a more relevant objective as the game continues.

Turrets

With Turrets, we took a slightly different perspective. They already do their job well when it comes to shaking up the game; taking a turret means the enemy has less vision and defense to return to, and their playstyle changes accordingly.

So instead of changing the reward, we wanted to take a look at how teams were taking turrets. Our current idea is based on the concept that teams will need to play slightly different with each turret layer they encounter. For example, a strong split pushing team might be well-equipped at taking outer turrets but will need to switch up their tactics as the fight moves deeper into the enemy base. This allows for more variety when a team is trying to opt into a fast-pushing strategy, as they’ll have multiple layers of objectives to account for.

And more to come

The above are just two examples of the space we’re investigating when it comes to strategic diversity in League of Legends. There’s a lot more on our preseason plate as we look to things like Baron Nashor, early game objectives versus late, new forms of objective rewards (e.g. map utility), and more.

In the end, our hope is that by creating uniquely incomparable rewards for different objectives, we’ll be able to differentiate each game based on the accomplishments therein. A team who controls map objectives and wins by mounting pressure should see victory in a different way than a team who, for example, fast-pushes their way to a win.

Also remember that objectives aren’t the only way we can pursue this goal. While Fearless and Axes spoke about the new item changes for the jungle in the 2015 preseason, we also have a some additional changes to items to assist with the above goals, so without further ado…

Hi!

We’re back again with news of what’s in store for items with season 2015.

A Choice Most Strategic

When we looked at all of the high-level strategic opportunities in League, some questions and opportunities arose. Through items, could we follow the same path as objectives in allowing teams to opt into different strategies? Where would the meaningful choices be found? What would they be? Could there be a method to protect yourself against opposing strategies?

We set out to investigate.

Ultimately, the philosophy we’re pursuing with preseason items feeds into the same goals as before: strategic diversity. As such, we want to create and retune items with a specific focus on macro-level value (ie: pre-fight, or out of combat) over micro-level contributions (more on this in a sec). If more teams can pick up the items they need to change course in a game (ie: switching to split pushing or sieging through item purchases rather than relying purely on champion composition), we hope to provide the right tools for strategic innovation to prosper in League of Legends.

‘Macro’ items versus ‘micro’ items

As a foreword: you can think of this preseason patch as a light ‘macro’ item revamp, in that we’re looking to create items that interact and enhance the broader game: a team’s ability to siege, initiate, split push, recover from a siege, etc, rather than items that interact on a fight-to-fight basis, like Zhonya’s Hourglass or Locket of the Iron Solari. By focusing our efforts here, we hope to see teams really branching out in terms of innovative strategies, and that we’ve created the proper ecosystem for opponents to react with unique responses of their own.

Radiant Glory

For soft initiation tanks, it can be tough to opt into the play pattern you’re expected to excel at (that is, aggressive initiation) if you’re not ahead. Historically, the ability to initiate with tanky ‘run-at-you’ champions was provided in the form of an old item of yore, “Shurelya’s Reverie.” The speed boost from Shurelya’s was often good enough for champions like Olaf to get into a fight without having to rely on Flash or Ghost. We want to give that strategic opportunity back while also focusing its design.

Zz’rot Portal

We want to give tanky dudes a way to rapidly devour turrets. With minions. As a team, opting in to a split push is your choice and we didn’t want to lock that in just at champ select. This items allows for better split pushing, as it spawns little dudes who go on to assault nearby turrets.

Warmog’s Armor

An example where we’re trying to find strategic power in items that already exist is something like Warmog’s Armor, where we’re tripling its out-of-combat regeneration (although we’ll be reducing its maximum health bonus). The big goal here was to create an item with a strong focus on skirmishing and poke recovery rather than simply being a pile of regenerating combat stats. As to what strengths a Warmog’s purchase will offer, well, we’re leaving it to you to discover!

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When will we see the stats of these new items

Feral Pony New PortraitWe’re not quite as new item heavy this preseason as we have been in previous seasons overall, but we’ll have specific numbers and changes as the game as we move onto PBE.

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What stats will Radiant Glory give

Feral Pony New PortraitNo CDR currently, but yes health and mana. It builds out of Catalyst atm.

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Won’t the split-push portal item be problematic

LtRandolph New PortraitThere is some amount of space for an item that helps a non-split-pushy champ split push that an innately split-pushy champ wouldn’t want. I would imagine that a Tryndamere would opt into just hitting faster and harder, rather than getting little helpers via the Portal. But a Maokai who’s going full tanky would be more likely to want some company.

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Will Dragon still grant gold after these changes

Reinboom New PortraitThe last hitter gets the standard 25 gold. Otherwise – no. This could still change after some testing.

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Feral Pony New PortraitIt does not currently give global gold. The dragon bonus is instead of the large sum of gold.

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Won’t this Dragon buff lead to very one-sided matches

LtRandolph New PortraitOne thing to keep in mind is that dragon is already snowbally, just in a hidden and not very clearly differentiated way. By shifting power from global gold into other forms of power, it makes choosing between a tower and a dragon, for example, a much more interesting choice.

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Reinboom New PortraitThey serve differing purposes now and their value is individualized to each team.

In some cases, you really need to setup and burn your control to ensure you get the next dragon fight, even if it might cost you baron.

Individually, Baron is still the boss of the map and the star of the “man, I really want to make this river purple” show, and as such still holds a generally stronger overall benefit.

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RiotPDB New PortraitHey, everyone. I’m on the NA projects team and we want to clarify plans around NA’s future as a server. Currently, service is not equal across the region, and that sucks. Even worse, it feels like we’ve talked about plans to improve things for a long, long time with no real visible action taken. We currently have multiple projects aimed at addressing ping issues in NA, so read on.

 

Yesterday, we were so excited to start talking about the new server infrastructure build, but we chose our words poorly. While technically we’re rebuilding the servers from the ground up somewhere new, the word “migration” naturally sounds like we’re moving to a central location, which we’re not ready for just yet.

We want to apologize for the confusion, and do more than say “we’re working on it,” because you’ve all heard that before. Allow us to put the infrastructure rebuild into context and map out the three-phase plan we’ve outlined for NA. We can’t promise to dish details about everything because we’re still finalizing some projects, but we can give you a better idea of what we’re doing behind the curtain.

Right now, there are three main issues with the NA server environment:

  1. Out-of-date infrastructure (poor stability)
  2. ISP traffic routing (network optimization)
  3. Server location (ping distribution)

Ideally, we’d tackle all three at the same time, but these are big changes and we want to make sure we’re getting each one right before moving on to the next step. Measure twice, cut once.

  1. The Infrastructure team is leading the charge on building a new server infrastructurefrom the ground up to make sure the game experience is stable and more secure. Instability causes cascading problems like fluctuating ping, downtime, and poor service, so we want to address this challenge first. Expect a more stable connection on these shiny, sturdy servers this November.

  2. The Internet Optimization team is actively working with ISPs across the US and Canada to build what’s known as an internet backbone for League players. This backbone will decrease variances and chokepoints in connections across the region, resulting in a better optimized connection to those shiny new servers. Expect these internet superhighways to roll out in early 2015.

  3. Finally, our team is dedicated to scoping out what will ultimately be the new locationthat the NA servers and optimized backbone connections will call home. We aren’t ready to share where this new home will be or when this project team will be ready for prime-time, but we want you to know that the ultimate goal is providing a comparable, stable ping no matter which coast you’re playing from. As these first two projects finalize, we’ll know more and will be ready to share additional details.

Stay tuned for more info from us in the future!

  • RiotPDB, NA Projects Team

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Taric Banner


 

 

IronStylus Final PortraitGot my eyes on him as of late. This isn’t at all a confirmation of any release or production work any time soon, we’re just snooping around the concept potential now.

A lot of people have a lot of different opinions on Taric, and many of them differ. This discussion has been had before, I’m sure it will be had again, but I’d like have you guys spitball some ideas. This isn’t a mechanics discussion as much as it’s an art and theme discussion. Taric as a character, visually and thematically.

There’s a lot of nuance that people have gleaned from our Gem Knight, despite him being quite the old and outdated asset. Pizza feet, a whole 16 VO lines and a whole lotta gems. The line that we always have to walk is how to we retain/enhance/reconstruct what makes that champion special while also doing the hard work of an overhaul, which objectively, the character needs.

I maintain that Taric is an interesting and complex case. Almost a blank canvas due to how low fidelity and limited his in-game assets are and even the supporting story and themes around him. However, many people see different things when they see Taric. Be they enthusiasts or newcomers. It can be difficult to parse what’s objective reality and what’s been created and filled in by the player. Currently, one of my assumptions is that so many people have different projections as to what Taric is because right now there’s no solid foundation as he exists. You can pretty much project whatever you like to on him, and currently, that projection tends to be a bit of a joke.

Despite that, there’s great opportunity with Taric. But the question is.. what sort of opportunity? What do you see as important aspects to consider, to build upon, or to remake when it comes to Taric?

What would you do? Feel free to throw reference imagery here, personality write-ups, or just drop your 2 cents.

Thanks, guys!

EDIT: You guys are awesome. I’m reading every single one of these comments, just so you know. Keep them coming and don’t be hesitent to post even if it’s far down. I’m still skimming and reading! Gunna start another thread to ask for some reference that players think would help define Taric’s look. Thanks again!

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Part 2 - Images you relate to Taric
IronStylus Final PortraitHey guys,

So that other Taric thread is an amazing gold mine (or should I say GEM MINE! AHH? GET IT? Anyways..) of ideas and suggestions. The sentiments and discussions are absolutely fascinating and extremely helpful. I’m always floored by how insightful and thoughtful, you, our players are, and how in depth you go. You have no idea how valuable that insight is.

What I’d like to ask for here is reference. As artists we constantly look at reference imagery for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s to look at anatomy, to make sure we’re creating a body correctly. Other times it’s for light or color, so we can see how a scheme will serve an illustration. In this case however, I’m looking for design reference.

What does that mean? Armor! Gems! Motifs! Flourishes! Portraits! Anything that could be pointed to and said “Hey, I think Taric could incorporate elements from this!”, or, “This image really hits me in the feels, those are the sort of feels I want to feel when I look at Taric.”

So while the last thread (which is still going strong, please continue to post in there) there was a lot of visual suggestions, explanations in written format sorta dominated. That’s totally fine. Here I’d love to see you throw some images at me!

Thanks!

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Jungle Items Banner

 

 

Missed the preseason jungle news? Here’s the announcement:

Jungle-Changes-Banner

 

 

Can you give us details on these new jungle items

Riot Axes New PortraitThe items will focus on your job as the jungler, augmenting the kinds of actions junglers need to take (invasion, ganking, etc). Can’t promise no junglers will ever just disappear into their jungle to farm forever, but the items generally encourage you to take action, not avoid it.

 

Now, a successful counterjungler on one team might mean relatively few ganks for lanes – but it will be because of another pvp match happening on the map (directly through combat or indirectly through camp stealing), not because the junglers aren’t interested in participating in a pvp game until 30 minutes go by or anything like that. We are looking at ways to let control of the jungle translate into better ability for your laners to roam, but that kind of system would be pretty light and you would not see ganking at today’s frequency.

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Fearless New PortraitSo, we don’t want to throw out too many details, just because there are a ton of elements in actual flux, and setting the expectation that anything is for sure, or here to stay is a real risk when we release details.

With the caveat that this could still get pulled, changed, etc., one of the new jungle items allows you to use your Smite on enemy champions. Still figuring out what effect is going to be (damage + slow, just a crazy slow, ???). Mainly just very excited about the patterns that emerge when Smite has more pulls on its usage so that Smite becomes a multidimensional choice.

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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.