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Posts Tagged ‘ghostcrawler’

 

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Game designers Fearless, Ghostcrawler and all held Q&As on the official forums. Here are all the questions they answered:

 

 

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INTRO Jo Fearless Graylock Lead Designer Gameplay Systems

Fearless New PortraitWHO AM I?

Hey everyone, I’m Jo Graylock. Before I came to Riot I was an RPG designer for most of a decade, as well as Jiu Jitsu instructor and metal radio show host. The vast majority of my developer experience comes from my time at Obsidian Entertainment. Lots of awesome people making awesome games there, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to work on my favorite game.

I try to play a ton of everything, but favorites are LoL, Fallout 1 and 2, Xenoblade Chronicles, Tactics Ogre, Dino Run, FTL, and Risk of Rain, with healthy amounts of D&D and Warmachine at the table. When not gaming, I’m usually doing lots of tabletop painting, playing volleyball, or spending time with family.

I currently own: 2 cats.

WHAT AM I DOING AT RIOT? WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT NEXT YEAR?

I started as an individual contributor at Riot, working on the Sona update before moving into systems work, first on the Jungle Update for 2015 before following up with Cinderhulk. After that, I moved to lead the Lead Design spot for Gameplay Systems. I’ve been lead for the Juggernaut items and the 2016 Season work so far. I’m really looking forward to keeping this season exciting throughout the entire year.

WHAT AM I GOING TO TALK ABOUT?

I’m going to be here to talk about all the systems stuff in LoL. This means items, the map, the jungle, and all the other rules level stuff in the game. A lot of our changes can be pretty easy to miss, but also a little mysterious or obscure. I’m really excited to bring this stuff into the light, as well as the reasons behind why we change the game. I’m also really happy to talk about how we work as designers, both in what our day to day looks like, and some stories about how we think about problems and overcome them. Riot designers were super inspiring to me before I got here, and I’d love to give back a bit of my time to pay that forward.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR FROM ME?

Let’s talk about stuff, for realzies. The openness and honesty of Riot was a big reason to work here, and I’d like to keep that tradition going. 🙂

EDIT: Going to meetings for a bit, will be back around dinner time.

EDIT2: Alright, heading out for some dinner. Thanks for talking everyone! Look forward to a lot more!

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Are you guys going to rework Guinsoos Rageblade

Guinsoos Rageblade Final IconWe are looking to slowly reduce power, but the base goal is one we want to keep. Just need to pull levers to get it into balance.

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Whatre your thoughts on the AP CDR gap with items like Essence Reaver

Essence Reaver IconCurrent thought is that max CDR shouldn’t be something that mages just get by accident, and should be something that actually has meaningful trade-offs. ADC builds are still very much in flux and we’re actively still looking into tweaks to make sure that going into Reaver is powerful, but has a few more trade-offs as well. 5.24 has a small change to delay the rate at which ADC’s get the full CDR, which should help with how free that stat is currently. Totally possible we’ll need to do more there still.

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Whatre the plans for underwhelming Juggernaut items like Steraks Gage

Steraks Gage Final IconWe have some more communication on this coming next year. TLDR is that these items are all answering the question we wanted them to answer, but some could still get some small changes to adjust how well they answer those questions.

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Are there plans to create a more defined subclass of AP Juggernauts

Fearless New PortraitWe’ve talked little bits about these guys, but the crowd is pretty small. Given that we have some pretty large blocks of champs that are in very difficult spots, my guess is that the work on this group might be a ways off. That or they might get some love from the projects targeted towards other groups. That tends to happen a lot when it comes to systems projects, just because everything is so interconnected.

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Whats happening to Cull

Cull IconCull is on watch, and probably needs a small buff. Staring items are extremely sensitive to small changes, so have to tread carefully.

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What kind of designers work at Riot, and what are their tasks

Fearless New PortraitAt Riot we don’t split up game designers much besides Designers and Tech Designers, with the main difference there just being the ability to check in code. In terms of things like systems design or mechanic design, these are competencies that each design has some ability to do, but will be stronger or weaker depending on who you talk to. At Obsidian, I moved between being a Cinematic Designer, a Combat Designer, a Systems Designer and even a Technical Designer for one project. Each company has their own ways of understanding their teams, and I think that’s smart for each company to set out who they want and how specialized they want them to be.

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Fearless New PortraitAnd for the last question, there is a place at almost every studio for designers that don’t have tech educations, definitely including Riot. I have a film background before I got into gaming, and I’ve worked with Designers with every sort of education, from Art, Philosophy, Architecture and Literature. I’ve also worked with plenty of incredibly talented designers who did not complete a degree. The most important thing for a game designer is that they are great at understanding and making fun games. Some people learn things that help them do this in school. Some people mod and some people figure this out along some very strange paths.

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What was your journey to becoming a Systems Designer like

Fearless New PortraitWhen I think about the work that I did, really everything has been some form of system, apart from Sona. For example, even though I was the Cinematic Designer for Alpha Protocol, most of my work there was building out the game experience of the story. AP wanted the cinematic sequences to still very much be an interactive part of the game that gave players the space to express themselves, experiment, and feel like they could “win” the story by getting to be the character they wanted to be. A lot of the decisions we built into how players picked their dialogue options and how those payed off and showed progress all went back into making sure the cinematics could be that gameplay experience.

Basically, being a systems designer was simply a matter of taking on a big project, and then consistently thinking about the entire impact and interactions of the project. It also really helps if you’re comfortable working on the nuts and bolts level stuff, knowing that when you do your job well, players might not even notice a lot of what you’ve done. Great systems design is often like great film editing, in that many of the best examples are amazing because of the subtle things that they do that most people won’t (and shouldn’t need to) notice.

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Whatre your thoughts on permanent modes like Dominion

Fearless New PortraitI’m really not an expert, or even particularly familiar with the other game modes. Before I started working at Riot, I was actually pretty into Dominion, and would play a few games every week, to test out champ match-ups and builds in the faster setting. Once I got to Riot and found myself on a team that is entirely focused around SR, I pretty much only play SR to make sure that I stay as current as possible and am testing and experimenting as much as possible in the space that lets me build awesome stuff for players.

Sorry I don’t have more deep thoughts to throw in here.

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll be completely honest: we have neglected them, especially Dominion and TT. We view the heart of League to be SR, and that’s where we spend most of our development effort. We aren’t happy with that answer however, and we have some ideas for how we can give Dominion and TT a little love. We’ll talk more about this soon. We are unlikely to add new permanent maps in the future. Often, they lack the depth of SR, which means they are popular at first and then slowly lose players over time. In some regions where we have fewer players, it can also cause long queue times by sub-dividing the bucket so much.

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What RPGs have you worked on

Fearless New PortraitI worked on Neverwinter Nights II, Alpha Protocol, Dungeons Siege III, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, along with some projects that never quite saw the light of day.

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Did you intentionally design the thin walls on SR that can be dashed over

Fearless New PortraitMap geometry is an element we generally keep fairly fixed, while letting champs determine how they want to interact with it, given that it’s going to very likely be stable. A lot of systems work is about making sure we have a solid rules base for champions to interact with and navigate, and the map is a very base layer set of “rules.”

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Whatre some of the funniest bugs youve encountered while balancing

Fearless New PortraitI didn’t understand where the decimal point for move speed values were supposed to go, so I had a Sona that pretty much just blinked where you clicked for as long as her E was up. Caught before it got into a playtest, but very fun for a few minutes.

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Are there any Mastery or Item ideas for Preseason that got scrapped

Fearless New PortraitThe marksman items had a lot of revisions, some of which had some extreme power, and of course some of these lined up with champ iterations that were very strong. Combine that with the fact that we have some high skill marksman specialists in the main playtest group I’m in, and we had a few playtests that felt like an alternate game mode where the goal was just to run as fast as you could away from the marksman. Not good for the game, but very entertaining to see the roles flipped so hard.

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Is there anything already live that you feel is unappreciated unnoticed

Fearless New PortraitI think our bounty changes, coupled with the game pacing changes to towers and minions are very exciting, personally. I care a lot about making sure the game is still fun, even when you’re losing, and these changes make it much more clear what you should be doing when a team is down, and cut down on some of the worst game states to experience as a losing team.

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INTRO Greg Riot Ghostcrawler Street Game Design Director

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWHO AM I?

My name is Greg Street, Riot Ghostcrawler. Before working at Riot, I was a lead designer on World of Warcraft for 6 years. Before that I was a lead designer on Age of Empires for 10 years. Before that, I was an oceanographer, which is where the crustacean avatar came from. I was an army brat who lived lots of places, but I identify most as a Texan.

My favorite game of all time is Dungeons and Dragons. I have played for 30 years, in all 5 editions. For video games, I’ll just list broad families of games that I love and that have influenced me: XCOM, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Chrono Trigger, Diablo, Doom, Civilization, Legend of Zelda, Dark Souls, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, Mass Effect, Metroid, Grand Theft Auto, and Okami. Outside of games, I enjoy travel, reading about history and science, and being outdoors. My last research project as a scientist involved collecting live, radioactive alligators. I have been attacked by animals as diverse as: Portuguese Man-o-war, Roseate Spoonbill, Southern Stingray, Rock Rattlesnake, Coatimundi. My favorite animal is the Mantis Shrimp.

I currently own: 4 dogs and 2 cats.

WHAT AM I DOING AT RIOT? WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT NEXT YEAR?

I joined Riot in 2013 and I am now the game design director for League. I describe my job as a combination of three things: I’m ultimately accountable for the design quality of League, I work with the other leads to determine long-term strategy and our big bets for the next year, and I manage the design department. I work a lot on projects such as our Season 2016 plan. I help answer things such as what kinds of champions should we be making, what do we want the pace of the game to be, and what new features does League need.

WHAT AM I GOING TO TALK ABOUT?

The best kinds of questions to hit me with are about our design philosophy or core design values. The kinds of questions I can best answer are “Would Riot ever consider this Big New Feature?” “Where do you see League in 5 years?” “How does Riot balance for such a wide range of skills?” “How much counterplay is acceptable?” “What were Riot’s goals with preseason?” “Is League too snowbally?” “Does Riot make too much change to the game?” “How many champions can League support?” I don’t directly balance champions or design new items. I’m fine if you blame me for bad balance, but if you want to know our thoughts on a particular change or the state of a champion, you’re better off asking the Rioters who are working directly on them.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR FROM ME?

If you know anything about me, you hopefully know that I strive to be really transparent with players and that I have very thick skin. AMA.

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Is the complexity and tacked on passives on new Champions a good thing

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe feel overall that the ramp up in complexity on champs (the extra passives and double passives and so on) isn’t a great trend to stay on. It’s a challenge when you’re in the trenches, because you want players to get excited about each new champ that’s released, so we keep trying to outdo ourselves. If we released [next champ] with Vlad’s Q, I think we’d all be disappointed. But that’s the short term view, and in the long term view, we don’t want to end up at a point where champs have 4 passives and 20 abilities and so on.

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How many champions can League support

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI think by around 300 we’d need some kind of seasonal roster or something. At the current rate we make champions, we won’t have to worry about that for some time. The game can handle a lot more than it has today IMO.

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What do you think of Vladimir

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe agree with just about everything you said. “What is the problem with Vlad’s Q?” used to be a question on our design test for potential new hires, but we removed it because it was too easy. Thematically, he’s fine. He needs better abilities. We’ll get there, potentially with the mage roster update this year.

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Wasnt Mordekaiser changed for the sake of evolving the game

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe strive for evolution, not change for the sake of change. That doesn’t mean we always nail it, and it’s an easy trap for developers to fall into, especially folks who haven’t been making games for very long (which is almost every Rioter). It’s a compass heading.

Morde was not change for the sake of change. Morde was not working as champion and we didn’t think it was possible to deliver on his current direction in a healthy way. He really needed a change the same way Poppy and Sion needed a change. Were there other changes we could have made that might have worked out better? That’s entirely possible. Was the community right and we should have listened to them? In 20/20 hindsight, that happens all the time. I’m trying to illustrate there is a difference between a bad change and change for the sake of change.

Change for the sake of change comes about when you see devs say things like this:

  • I’m bored. I think I’ll try something crazy.
  • I never envisioned this champ as X. I’m going to try Y because that fits my personal impression.
  • Z hasn’t gotten any changes for awhile. It’s his turn.
  • I don’t know what will work, so I’ll try this.

Change to add depth to the game come about when you see devs saying things like:

  • This pattern lacks counterplay so we need to add an opportunity for the enemy to do something.
  • We can’t increase this champion’s winrate without their pick rate skyrocketing and players seeing them every game. We are going to have to change some of their abilities.
  • This system is something solved that players don’t really think about anymore. We need to get interesting decisions back in.
  • Our values or goals are X, but this champion isn’t meeting those goals. We need to make changes to meet them.

In general, the changes we try to make are strategic, try to deliver on goals or values, try to open up options or decisions for players, and try to fix real problems.

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How do you feel about the video game industrys development

Ghostcrawler New PortraitBig games are very expensive to make. This makes studios (and more importantly, their publishers who put their money up front) reluctant to take big risks. There have also been some spectacular failures of big games that were super high concept that just didn’t resonate with players and lost millions.

If you look at indie development, you will see a lot more risk-taking and even spot some of the next new trends. You’ll also spot some coming out of other regions, especially China. (I realize asking you to download a Chinese mobile game is a non-trivial ask.)

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Do you agreedisagree with Zileas list of ten balance design antipatterns

Ghostcrawler New PortraitConflicted purpose. If you have an ability that is say both a shield and a heal, it can be an interesting decision about when to use the ability. You may need the shield now but you may need the heal even more a few seconds later. It is possible to screw this up, which was his point, but it’s possible to make it work out well as well.

He is my boss, by the way, so I’d love to tear down his arguments in a way that could publicly humiliate him, but I actually agree with his list for the most part.

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What would you say are the biggest pros and cons of the PBE currently

Ghostcrawler New PortraitPros: Great for “feels” feedback. Good at catching bugs. Good as a point of reference for players to discuss on boards and Reddit.
Cons: NA only. Players don’t know how to participate. Bad for balance data (sample size is so small that matchmaking suffers, and players aren’t generally in tryhard mode anyway).

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Do you think Hybrid champions will be supported in the future

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe are fine with hybrid champions or rule-breakers, but we need to establish that is our intent and not let it just sort of happen accidentally because the kit is overloaded. We didn’t really have a good framework for this before say 12 months ago when we started considering rosters.

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What do you think should be done to make Sona a viable Support pick

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe think her kit is fine. Not every champion needs to have a ton of mechanical complexity so long as they still have strategic complexity. For Sona, positioning (when to hug and when to not) are supposed to matter enormously.

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If you were to redesign League would you still use the AD and AP stats

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI haven’t socialized this with the team, so they might disagree, but back in the day, League made the conscious choice not to go with the Strength, Agility, Intelligence model that Wacraft 3 originally used. The idea was that items were a bit more agnostic and any champion could use them. Was that the right call? I’m not sure. While there are still a lot of champ agnostic items, we also are jumping through hoops now to make sure e.g. Marksmen items are attractive to Marskmen but not necessarily to mages.

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What are your thoughts on Preseason games being a lot more snowbally

Ghostcrawler New PortraitSo interestingly, our data suggests that games are no more snowbally than before the preseason changes or all of last year. We realize there is a common perception among players that it is more snowbally, so we are trying to unpack that and figure out why the discrepancy exists. Games are definitely shorter, but a shorter game that isn’t more of a shut out would actually be a pretty good place for the game to be.

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Will you be aiming for strategic diversity in Season 6

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe also would like to see 10 different ADCs get played. Balance and strategic diversity play into that for sure. But it’s not the only factor. Players (of any game, not just League) really hate to be wrong, especially in front of strangers. That can lead to a situation where everyone wants to know “Who should I pick?” by which they mean “Which champ should I pick that is currently considered the best so that nobody will get mad or make fun of me?” In other words, the perception can sometimes drive the reality.

The perception that there is a best and second-best ADC can often cause players to choose those champs, even if their winrate would be better with a champ they’ve played a lot or really enjoy. Seeing what the pros pick can also have a huge trickle down effect on ranked queue champion choices. The difference between a “strong” and “weak” champion can often mean the difference between a 55% and 45% win rate. Think about that. That means you’d win approximately 10% more games if you picked the right champion. If you played 10 games, you might win 1 more because of your champion pick. Your individual experience with that champion can have a far bigger impact. Overall, League is a pretty well balanced game. That doesn’t mean we can’t do better, and we will strive to do so. But we’re not talking about champions who are twice as likely to win a game as another choice.

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Why are you reworking Taric before Warwick Is it the gems

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitYeah, it’s pretty much just the gems.

Seriously though, a lot can go into the determination of which champion update we work on next, including whether we have potentially good ideas for how to fix the champion (thematically, visually and mechanically). We do have someone working on Warwick, because he desperately needs it, but it’s too soon to tell how or when that may pan out.

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If Rioters hate ballofstats Champions why was Mundo given free stats

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitGenerally speaking, we do two kinds of changes — things that have a chance of a long-term fix and things that are band-aids just to tide things over until we can get to a long-term fix. That said, Mundo is somewhat simple, but I don’t know that he needs a major update.

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It seems that Yasuo is designed purely around free stats from his passive

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitYasuo’s winrate generally isn’t all that high because his skill cap is insanely high, one of the top 2-3 in the game. That is the challenge for why he is tricky to balance moreso than the double passive, IMO. We’d have to ask the champion designer who worked on him the origin of the double passive though.

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How When will you fix Champions who rely on free stats to be viable

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s less about free stats and more about whether a champion is nothing but a bag of stats. If your win rate is high because your stats are higher and not because you make good decisions, that’s the kind of thing we want to fix. We have fewer of those champions this year than we did last year.

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How often do you play League and whats your favourite team role

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI tend to play in bursts like lots of players. I am playing fewer games now because I have been spending so much time on Fallout 4 and the Bloodborne DLC. Before I came to Riot, I’d say I played mostly Support (I played a priest in WoW) and ADC. I have tried to double down on improving my weaknesses rather than my strengths since I have been here. Jungle is by far my weakest role. I need to spend more time there.

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What are your thoughts on the diversity of item recipes or lack thereof

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe want the early items to be a little safer because you aren’t locking yourself out of potential later items. You may not have enough information early in the game to know which items (or even in which order) you’ll want at the end. This means some amount of similarity among the builds themselves. There probably are some opportunities for those mid-tier items to branch out a little more.

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Was it a conscious decision to move League toward mobility and flashy plays

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI think there is a tendency to want to design a champion that gets a lot of YouTube videos made because of flashy plays. Similarly, in a game with 130 champions, you can’t just offer a kit of skill shot + shield + steroid. I’ve said before that I think the concern that too many of our champs lately have been on the more complicated end is very fair and something we want to combat. You can have champions that make strategically interesting decisions (or even big plays) without them having double passives and lot of gigantic tooltips.

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Do you see League lasting another 10 years If so how will it change

Ghostcrawler New PortraitEasily ten years. It’s not going anywhere. I think the biggest gains we have to make are outside of the core game loop. We can’t ever take our eye off that ball, but it’s pretty fun already and we don’t want to bury it under tons of complex systems. On the other hand, some of our systems outside of the game are pretty weak. For example we have focused a lot on fixing player behavior problems but not as much on helping you play with your friends.

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Does Riot consider the Juggernaut reworks a success

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt was a good proof of concept for the roster project. We’re happy with Garen and Darius, less so with Skarner and Morde. Overall, hitting 4 champs is probably not enough to feel like a roster was really updated. However, compared to Marksmen, Juggernauts barely even had a function in the game, so in that sense, we feel like it was successful.

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Whats the reason for having 6 bans per game instead of 10

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe don’t want to be in a perpetual arm’s race. We have some fear that if we did 10 today it would be 12 next year and so on. There is some evidence that giving each player one ban in solo queue might be a better experience. We have some changes with the new team builder (with still just 6 bans) and we will see how that plays out first and then evaluate.

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Has there been a region where Riot have found it impossible to support League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThis is a great question but I don’t have a great answer. Maybe another Rioter who has been here longer will share a good story with me that I can then relate to you guys. Going into a new region is a fairly expensive commitment in that we have to localize a whole lot of text and VO and then either set up servers and matchmaking ourselves or find a regional partner who can do so. We have to be convinced that we can develop a sizable player base in a new region for it to be worth it. That is usually the biggest barrier to going into a new region. There are some interesting quirks though — we can’t play on Korean servers because Korea requires you to have the Korean equivalent of a social security number to play. (We were able to play when we visited Korean PC bangs though).

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I think League could use more miniobjectivesminigames like Skarners crystals

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI agree we could have more, and we’ll probably add more over time, but not toooo many more. Imagine a game with 10 “Skarners” and 10 “Skarner crystals” all over the map.

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Are Champion mains taken into consideration when that Champion is reworked

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe don’t make the changes just for those mains for a few reasons. Maybe they main that champion for reasons we don’t want to encourage. Maybe there are a bunch of potential mains out there who aren’t playing the champ but might with a good rework. Ideally we don’t alienate mains, and we do always target our survey questions towards both mains and non-mains.

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Should there be more champions whose spells provide options to enemies

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s a cool space but it increases the amount of information you need to play the game by a lot. Consider the Poppy rework — you have to know to step on her shield. Maybe you’ll stumble upon that at some point but maybe you won’t.

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Is fun to play as or fun to play against a priority when making Champions

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe look at “play as” first. If nobody wants to play the champ, it doesn’t matter if they are fun to play against. We definitely look at how frustrating they are to play against once we really get into development.

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How do you feel about additional gamemodes maps

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’d love to see a more casual yet still competitive mode around some of those less-played maps.

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Whats the best ways for individual players to impact Riots decisions

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt depends on your target. If you’re looking to change our development culture or something, that’s pretty hard. If you want to give feedback on a champion change, there are a lot of ways to do that. Posting in the threads (often the PBE threads) where the developers are asking for feedback or discussing upcoming changes is a good way to focus your efforts. Just don’t assume that there is some kind of magical lever that you can pull to guarantee your suggestion will get incorporated. That’s just really hard to do when you have millions of players with their own suggestions. 🙁

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Do you think every Champion should occupy a unique team role

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s fine if they are in the same space but have different play styles. It’s probably not possible for us to come up with 130+ different strategies.

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Why arent bad changes reverted more often eg Cassiopeias rework

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitI think I mentioned this earlier, or maybe it was Twitter or ask.fm.

I think it sucks when we do an update that is okay but not awesome. The reason is because it generally gets a champion into a healthier play space (so they are no longer at the top of the “on fire” list) but we haven’t made them awesome either (and because they are no longer at the top of the “on fire” list, they may not get touched for awhile).

We’d like to hit Cass again when we look at mages in 2016. I can’t promise because it’s impossible to predict how the projects will work out. I really wanted to update Volibear for the juggernaut update, but it just wasn’t coming together.

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INTRO Mark RiotScruffy Yetter Lead Game Designer Champions

Scruffy Final PortraitWHO AM I?

Hey everyone,

I’m Mark, but you can call me RiotScruffy here. I’m a totally obsessed video gamer (in the best possible way), and games like DOTA, WoW, LoL, and pretty much anything with the Star Wars brand have occupied the best years of my life.

I’ve been a few places around the game industry before Riot, most notably I worked at Treyarch on Black Ops 2 right before I joined. They taught me some great stuff about how to make everything feel OP, and how to really sell a fantasy.

I currently own: 1 cats.

WHAT AM I DOING AT RIOT?

There’s kinda two sections here for me, the past and the future:

The past (and present): I’m the Lead Designer of the Champion Update team, which has worked on many of your favorites (and unfavorites I’m sure) like Sion, Poppy, Gangplank, Fiora, Juggernauts, Marksmen updates and many more. I have a TON of history with this team, having helped build it up from the ground when I started at Riot almost 3 years ago until now.

The future: I’m going to be moving over to be Lead Designer of the Champion team. A new set of challenges and a really talented new group of people there is really exciting. Building up the next generation of new champions and hopefully surprising you all with some great new innovations is my goal.

WHAT AM I GOING TO TALK ABOUT?

Champ-Up has grown and changed so so much over these past years, and I can talk about so many things. “Why did we start doing group updates like Juggernaut/Marksmen?” “How do we decide how much to preserve or redo on a champ-up like Poppy?”

Or even less specific stuff that is more related to our champion/game design philosophy like: “How have we evolved our strategy for making interactive gameplay without overusing skillshots?” “How do we build up a new champion from concept to completion?” “How did we go about categorizing our champions into archetypes so that we could better understand them (see juggernauts)?”

I’d also like to bridge the gap – when I can – of how our general game design practice can carry over into good character mechanic design and vice versa. It might be cool to do some topics that explore how to apply our champ design principle to other systems or even games altogether.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR FROM ME?

Anything about Champ design or Champion updates is definitely on the table for me. Get creative, I’m open to whatever cool topics you all would like to talk about.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What would you say are the top 5 Champions that need to be changed

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  1. Scruffy Final PortraitYorick – Both super unhealthy for the game and incredibly unsatisfying/lame
  2. Taric – So much promise with so little delivery. He has a ton of upside in making him more interesting, cohesive and higher quality
  3. Urgot – incredibly unclear fantasy and unhealthy gameplay
  4. Talon/Akali/diana – the trio of assassins with the potential to be great, but lacking so much in gameplay depth and interaction that if they ever are strong its the most frustrating experience
  5. Xin Zhao/Aatrox/Pantheon/Irelia – The grouping of fighter types with overly one directional gameplay patterns. This results in a “stat check” where they press their buttons in the right order and the rest is up to numbers not skill. (fiora used to be in this camp)

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will there ever be more nonlinear skillshots like Dianas Q

Scruffy Final PortraitI don’t see why not. It’s a cool way to create new feel and gameplay – see Vel’koz geometry Q

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Could you give us a few spoilers about Tarics rework

Taric Banner Single

Scruffy Final PortraitWe want to solidify his role as a tanky protector type support with armor affinity. The gameplay is pretty nearly 100% and we are working hard on the new visuals. There are some really great surprises in his new kit/visuals but I will not spoil those.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Do you have any thoughts on Ao Shin

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Scruffy Final PortraitNo comment on Ao Shin sorry, this was just a way premature reveal and there are a lot things in the pipe on the new champion team right now.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

For Season 6 are you focusing on making new Champions or reworking older ones

Scruffy Final PortraitA lot of the work I’ve started on the Update team will be finishing in 2016, so I will still have a loose hand in it, but my main focus will be running and creating awesome improvements and innovations for our new champion team.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Is there any fantasy or gameplay niche you feel is missing from League

Scruffy Final PortraitI think there are a bunch of new fantasies that I’d be excited to explore. I’m especially interested in pushing for really really innovative ideas that will completely break the mold of what we currently consider champs can be.

My pet project – The “branching future character:” A good warrior comes in contact with a corrupted weapon, his/her choices throughout the game will either keep them pure or cause the corruption to take over. By the end of the game you have transformed into one of multiple possible kits.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What are your plans for Mordekaiser

Mordekaiser Single Banner

Scruffy Final PortraitThis is a good question. Statikk and Feralpony have been posting about morde and he is in their team’s hands. They will be the better people to have the long term discussion with.

My personal opinions:
-Solo morde needs love, he may not be the “main” role but he has a lot of room to become more playable
-W in solo has had some improvements, but is still a pretty lackluster ability without an ally, this could be a good area for us to look into again

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why did you redesign Mordes W to only be usable with allies

Scruffy Final PortraitI think the original thinking was that morde was oriented towards a solo lane so clearly before, that it would take a lot to make him even remotely viable in the duo lane. In retrospect we clearly overestimated how much we would have needed to do there.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How much influence does the original Champion designer have on a rework

Scruffy Final PortraitWhenever possible we get the original champ designer to consult heavily on the rework project, but it’s usually a good idea to get someone fresh to actually own the project. (attachment too strong can be a problem)

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Do you think theres a future for pointandclick spells

Annie Single Banner

Scruffy Final PortraitI think that point and click spells have a bright and consistent future in LoL, they provide a clear, satisfying, and reliable output. The key is making sure that the champ kit outside of the point and click offers enough places for interaction and counterplay. Take GP Q for example, which we kept point and click because the new E is so interactive.

[ Link to Post ]

 


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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Could you update the Champion Update schedule

Scruffy Final PortraitWe’ll get to this very soon.

Spoiler (the nearer future):

Poppy (big)
Taric (big)
Shen (medium)
A bunch of small marksmen updates (like the juggernauts)

There are others that we’ve talked about (yorick, akali etc) but those are still in earlier phases.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Are these reworks listed in the order theyll be released

Scruffy Final PortraitNo sorry, it’s not even 100% clear to me how they will shake out. Different “pods” on the team are working on different projects concurrently so sometimes things finish faster than others.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Can you share which Marksmen women are slated for updates

Scruffy Final PortraitThere are a lot of them in progress, and we’ve mentioned a few already (MF/Quinn). Not sure if I should spoil the rest.

There will be a bunch of them with like 1 skill or mechanic change (like the juggernauts) focused on making them more unique. Some marksmen, Lucian and Graves for example, have a ton of overlap in playstyle and strengths/weaknesses. We hope to fix those type of overlaps.

On top of the characters getting “reworks” we are probably going to do a stat/scaling pass on nearly all of the marksmen to go with the updated marksmen items that are being worked on by the systems team.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Is Caitlyn on your Marksman Update list

Caitlyn Banner

Scruffy Final PortraitWe are indeed doing some work on Caitlyn as part of the pre-season’s Marksmen update. None of her abilities are likely to change substantially. As many have mentioned she’s fun and functional on Live. It’s just hard to identify a situation when she’s the right pick over other marksmen.

Here’s the gist of the present direction, roughly ordered big to small in terms of where our changes are likely to focus:

  1. Hone Caitlyn’s strategic identity as a siege/zone control-focused champion, likely by emphasizing her traps.
    Hone her thematic identity as a sharpshooter by emphasizing accuracy and range.
  2. Give a bit more depth to her playstyle, likely by emphasizing shot timing and target selection. You should know a person who has 30 games on Cait from one with 5.
    Add this depth through rewarding good planning and judgment, not pure mechanical skill.
  3. Retain/enhance her trademark safety, again likely through enhanced traps, in exchange for not being a great tank buster compared to less safe marksmen.
    Ensure she has access to offensive rewards should she trade in some of that safety, likely through 90 Caliber Net.
  4. Create limited windows of breathing room to her early pressure so that more champions, when properly played, can fight back against her laning phase.
    Use those windows to let us be comfortable with her being a potent lane bully.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Where do you think Irelia sits in terms of being updated

Scruffy Final PortraitWe aren’t working on her currently, but she is a champ that we have a ton of interest in for the future. There is so much we could do now to better deliver on the promise of the “psi blade” character. It’ll be a lot of work and we’d probably want to build her from the ground up (new model, anims, kit etc).

When we do start working on her, we will definitely have some dialogue about what are the things that current irelia has that are really working. I would rather we enhance the things that irelia mains love than just create something cool, but too different.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Could you elaborate on what changes youll be making to Quinn

Quinn Banner

Repertoir New PortraitI appreciate your guys’ concern with the upcoming Quinn changes, and I do enjoy seeing threads like these that are well thought out and in the spirit of making a character everyone can be happy with.

We’re still not quite ready yet to discuss Quinn’s upcoming changes in detail, but I’m looking forward to being able to do so. I will say in advance that the above stuff that OP mentions Quinn mains agree on won’t necessarily be everything you can expect from the changes, and I do understand that there will inevitably be players that disagree with some of the changes I’ll end up making, as is the case with almost every update to a character. In her changes, we’re trying to mostly preserve what is cool and fun about the character while hopefully making the whole package make a bit more sense, especially from a gameplay perspective.

I will say that in the update, you can expect her abilities to mostly be the same, with changes here and there to their effects, cast types, numbers, etc.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Whatre your thoughts on Darius being permabanned in Patch 5 18

Darius Banner 1

Meddler Final PortraitPersonal feeling is that his current ban rate made sense for 5.17 Darius, but doesn’t for 5.18 Darius since he’s lost a noticeable amount of power. He might still be ban worthy for some people/some match ups, and might or might not still be too strong, but not 90% ban rate worthy. I’d expect it to take a while for his ban rate to lower though, most people banning him won’t be seeing him in game in the first place to observe the changes (super high ban rates limit feedback), so it’ll take a while for them to get a read on his revised state.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up Banner

Meddler Final PortraitAs far as follow ups go, if we needed to do something flat + % missing, or flat multiplied by % missing on the heal would definitely be one of the things we’d look at. Whether that’s the change we’d go for would depend on what the issue was though (no sense nerfing his heal if something else turns out to be an issue for example).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Riot Music Team Update

Praeco Final PortraitHello folks.

With the Kindred theme coming out, I’d like to introduce you to Edouard “Ed The Conqueror” Brenneisen, who just joined our music team as composer. Kindred was his first project, and we’re all very excited to have him on our team, writing music for you all in the future.

With him, our team now consists of the following vagabonds:

  • Sebastien “Chemicalseb” Najand (His work includes the themes of Ekko, Braum, Urf, Super Galaxy Rumble, Rek’Sai, Bard, PROJECT, etc.)
  • Alex “Scherzophrenia” Temple (His work includes the themes of Bilgewater(including map music & champion themes), Snowdown 2014, Tiny Masterpiece of Evil, Tales of the Rift, etc.)
  • Jason “Protoshredanoid” Willey (He also joined our team somewhat recently. His work includes the theme of Tahm Kench, Pentakill & eSports music contributions)
  • Edouard “Ed The Conqueror” Brenneisen (As mentioned, Kindred was his first piece for us)
  • Myself, Christian “Praeco” Linke (My work includes the themes of Nami, Diana, Jinx, Vi, Amumu, etc.)

Together, we work on all musical aspects of League of Legends. We all have different and musical styles and backgrounds that we try to utilize intelligently for all the different projects that we tackle, and one of the awesome aspects of working on this team indeed is being able to learn from each other every single day.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask us whatever you’d like.

Also, for the curious, the awesome dudes from surrenderat20.net already uploaded the theme, which is currently on PBE:

Thanks,

Christian // Praeco

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will we have more music from Pentakill

Praeco Final PortraitYeah! We’ve had a handful of get-togethers so far to write on some new stuff. We don’t have much yet, but we’re actually working on it 🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Is there going to be an update to the League of Legends album

Praeco Final PortraitYes. Also in the beginning phase, but this one should be taking way less time than the first, because the newer music is produced much better, and hence will not require as much re-production.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How did you develop the music for the Burning Tides event

Scherzophrenia: Hi!

Bilgewater was a fun project to work on, particularly as someone who probably plays 10 ARAM games for every SR game. One of the first things we looked at was what kind of instruments it should have, and whether there should be a “featured” instrument (in the way the Nyckelharpa is for Freljord). We decided that rather than focusing on one instrument, we could capture the melting-pot feel of Bilgewater better by using a variety of different instruments “imported” from other parts of Runeterra, brought together with some questionable playing techniques to make some unsophisticated noise at a pub down by the slaughter docks. The next question was, what should that ensemble sound like?

A lot of the “percussion” that you hear in the track is quite literally what you might hear in a Bilgewater pub: it’s recordings of mugs being slammed down onto wooden tables that I later cut up and assigned to keys in a playable MIDI instrument. Some of the other non-MIDI instruments were chosen based on what was available, which in hindsight I think fits the spirit of how a Bilgewater ensemble would be assembled. We brought back the same bouzouki that chemicalseb used all over Braum’s theme, but after traveling all the way from Freljord we thought it shouldn’t sound that great. To fix this, I tuned it down almost an octave to get a loose, nasty twangy sound from it. I also bought a cheap Mandolin for the project, and while I do my best to play it “correctly” on many parts of the tracks, I think we actually had much more interesting results when I played it with a violin bow. I thought of it as the sound of a drifter with a bit of mostly-forgotten fiddle technique bartering his way into possession of a mandolin somewhere in Bilgewater, and trying to play it like a fiddle because in his addled mind, it looked kind of like one. You can hear this in a lot of the drones, like the ones that begin most of the logins and the champ select music. The voices are a bunch of Rioters having a little too much fun for a Monday afternoon. We’d considered doing lyrics but concluded that it would be too distracting for in-game music.

Musically, I thought everything should be simple and unsophisticated – the kind of music that would be picked up through oral tradition rather than properly learned. Thematically this meant straightforward rhythms with a lot of note repetition and a lot of stepwise motion (moving up or down by just one note rather than in larger leaps). I developed all of this in the map music first, and then later extracted and re-purposed the themes for the various logins. We actually work this way on a lot of our projects, where we might do a promotional video first, and then expand certain elements into the login. (For example Shurima, Ekko, Freljord, and Summoner’s Rift were all done this way.) This often is due to project timelines more than anything else, but it also works in our favor, because it can be tempting to get carried away while working on a standalone login and write music that will be harder to adapt for a more time-locked format.

I have been meaning to get the rest of the music up onto Soundcloud, sorry for the delay! I’ll try to get it up this week 🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How do you feel about the open mid situation developing in NA and EU

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s a really nuanced conversation. The reason we don’t allow surrender immediately (for example once you see what the enemy team comp is) is because it’s often possible to win a come-from-behind victory, and we want to give players an opportunity to focus on strategy rather than focusing on campaigning the team to surrender. In addition, we don’t want to use quick surrender as a run-around leavers. For example, we don’t want to encourage someone harassing you to surrender because they didn’t get the position they wanted or because they didn’t get First Blood.

However, it does also suck when you are really, really far behind (say a couple of players never connected) and you’re just killing time waiting for that 20 minutes to tick down. Our surrender mechanic may need more flexibility in its design.

The open mid situation is further complicated by a number of factors. For example, teams may be throwing games just to get around the surrender limit I discussed above. Or maybe players perceive the game to be more snowbally than it really is, so they feel like playing from behind isn’t worth the effort. (Our data suggests the game isn’t more snowbally for players in most ELOs, but perceptions don’t always match reality.) Also, there may be a perception that since open mid started in Korea, and Koreans have a well-earned reputation as skill players, that they must be onto something. 🙂

We’re discussing what to do about it, if anything.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

PROJECT community creations

Jynx Final Portrait…SEARCHING… TARGET // FAN ART //

ACTIVATE.

 

 

Akujin-b0x and crimson-seal

 

drweesnaw and goodknight2sday

 

grouchygutterrat and Gumae

 

kaerru and Kai Cosplay

 

KaerruArt and kiremeister

 

Maciej Kuciara and McDobo

 

MgnZ and MonoriRogue

 

Muju and Naheht

 

NE0SHIN and nerdrodder

 

Noscium and Polkadotzombie

 

Racchoi and RazeArmada

 

Shintaibee and Skullwidow

 

SuperKusoKao and synclairekapturart

 

Tropic02 and yuan lan

 

zymv587 and キノコ

 

Share more of your favorite PROJECT creations in the comments below!

 


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

 

16 07 Red Posts Banner

 

Table of Contents

 

Recent News

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Ghostcrawler on Riot communicating with players

Ghostcrawler New PortraitHey there,

Since you guys are talking about me by name, I figured I would jump in here.

First, there appears to be some misperception that players somehow chased me away from communicating. I want to clarify that it is in fact a misperception. I’ve been making games for some time, and long got over the point where an angry forum rant is going to hurt my feelings. 🙂

Second, we do agree that there has been a drop off in Rioters out here on the Boards and Reddit trying to have a conversation with you all, and that is something we are trying to improve, to get back closer to the good old days. Part of what originally attracted me to Riot was having so many Rioters out there talking to players.

In the interim, that has put more pressure on those of us (I’d call out myself, Meddler and Lyte just to name a few on the design side) who are out here still trying to engage.

Boards and Reddit, to be frank, take a lot of time to scan, read, sort through and answer. It’s not so bad when there are a lot of us, but it can get overwhelming quickly as I am sure you can attest. The conversations move fast. A lot of them are just discussions or debates between players, which are informative for us to observe, but not really our place to step in and disrupt a conversation that should really 90% of the time be among players. That’s not intended to be an excuse, but it’s a reality that we are struggling with.

I am personally experimenting with some other ways to reach out to players and answer questions that have a better signal to noise ratio.

You can hit me up on twitter at @OccupyGStreet or ask.fm/RiotGhostcrawler.

At least I know those conversations are directed towards me and I can feel free to intrude upon them. It’s also a little easier to reach players in regions besides NA that way.

Again, not intended to be a permanent solution, but something I’m trying in the short term.

[ Link to Post ]



Why is Elise getting such minor changes in Patch 514

For reference, these are the changes Elise will receive in Patch 5.14 next week:

 

Buff BoxCocoon Final IconCocoon [ E ]

  • Stun duration increased from 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds to 1.6/1.7/1.8/1.9/2

 

Buff BoxSpider Form Final IconSpider Form [ R ]

  • AP Ratio on spiderlings’ damage has been increased from 0.1 to 0.15
  • Spiderlings now deal magic damage (they deal physical damage on live)

 

Meddler Final PortraitI believe those are the changes for 5.14, though I don’t have the patch notes to hand at the moment so there might be something small I’m forgetting.

While there are only a few lines of change there I do think we’ll see some substantial improvement in Elise’s performance. The stun increase in particular is a pretty substantial buff, increasing stun duration by 60% for the majority of the game (Elise, even with the current E rank ups, still tends to max E last, so has rank one E until level 14).

[ Link to Post ]


 

Trinkets dont encourage team vision again only Supports ward the map

Meddler Final PortraitOverall we’re pretty happy with the ward limit per person. There’s a limit to how much vision we think’s right for the game (FOW’s there for a reason), so the limit per player’s allowed us to offer vision in other ways. Trinkets in particular we’re really happy with – they generate some interesting gameplay. It’s also put supports in a much more interesting spot, where they’re able to invest in items rather than being forced to sink anywhere near as much money into vision.

Something that is a bit of barrier to appropriate trinket use though for some players is that they’re put off by the upgrade cost. We’re planning to test removing the gold cost for the upgraded versions in the preseason as a result, find out if that has a good effect on the game. You should pretty much always be upgrading them as is, so it’s a change that’s got the potential to help players that aren’t appreciating the vision system yet engage with it more. At the same time it would also free up a bit of gold for players that are buying the upgrades at present.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

The HUD update ready to go live with 514


Rayven New PortraitAfter an extended stay on the PBE, we’re pushing the HUD update out to the live servers alongside patch 5.14! Check out the HUD update microsite for the full story, but if you’re already familiar with the initial changes and just want to know what’s changed since the new HUD hit the PBE, then read on!

Here’s what’s changed – in a large part thanks to your feedback – since the HUD update said hi to PBE:

  • Teammate ult timers – we’ve added in timers that indicate when your allies can use their ults! Before the update, this was just represented by a binary green light, but you’ll see the ult timers fill up with the update, meaning you can more accurately figure out when it’s time to wombo.
  • Teammate summoner spell timers – hit the tab key at any point and you’ll see if your allies can use their spells, and, if not, how long until they can.
  • Teammate mana bars have returned – we left out allied mana bars with the update, thinking they weren’t super important. We were wrong, you guys let us know, and they’re back in now.
  • Persistence – if you open champion stats or latency display during a game, it’ll persist between matches.
  • Level up ceremony – we added a bunch of animations and sounds to make sure you know when you ding.
  • Spellbar clarity – made some pretty hefty changes to the shape, color, and animation of cooldown, loss of control and out of mana to improve readability.
  • Minimap changes – game time feels like it belongs near the minimap because timing is usually related to map objectives, but ultimately playtests and feedback have shown it’s a more natural fit in the top corner.
  • Visual style – we’re all for minimal, but we may have overshot it. We’ve since tried to squeeze in more magic through texture work and animation.
  • Accessibility – added camera lock and options buttons back in.

We’re planning on rolling the HUD update over to live with patch 5.14. We’ll target non-ranked queues first to make sure nothing goes boom, then, if we’re ship-shape, add the update to ranked a few days later.

We’re super excited to get the new HUD out to you guys! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

MMR Boosting Punishments for the 2015 Season

Rhojin New PortraitHey Everyone,

Through past seasons we have been dedicated to the detection and punishment of players who have been involved in MMR Boosting in one way or another. Over the past seven months the Player Support Player Behavior team and Risk team have been working together on vast improvements to our detection methods to ensure even more of a strain is put on Boosters and those they are boosting.

Now after months of hard work and dedication we are able to aggressively go after players who have participated in MMR Boosting. Over the following weeks we will be rolling out MMR Boosting punishments to over 70,000 players who have had their accounts boosted in the 2015 season. These 70,000 are not the only ones who will receive MMR Boosting punishments this season; starting today we will be rolling out normal ban waves punishing anyone who has had their account boosted this season.

For those who are new to League of Legends and for anyone who needs a little refresher, a MMR Boosting punishment is not something to disregard. Anyone punished will face the following punishment :

  • A two week suspension
  • Removal of all previous Season Rewards (Victorious Skins, Borders, Icons, Ward Skins)
  • Ineligibility to receive the 2015 Season Rewards
  • A second offense will result in the permanent suspension of the account

If you have any questions or concerns regarding MMR Boosting or the punishments please share them in the comments, I and members of the Risk team will be here to answer them. Please remember the Boards rules on naming and shaming, if you feel a player is involved in MMR Boosting in any way please do not post your report here. You can send a report in through a support ticket and we will begin investigation.

[ Link to Post ]



What is your definition of MMR boosting

Riot Cluvie Final PortraitI think that going into detail here would reveal a little too much information behind our detection method. That being said, we go through extensive audits to ensure accuracy and look at a variety of factors, not just one or two things.

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Playing duo with a friend is not boosting

Rhojin New PortraitExactly this. We do not punish players for playing games (ranked or otherwise) with their friends.

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Can we share accounts for normal games

Rhojin New PortraitSharing an account is never okay. While sharing an account for only normal games would not result in an MMR Boosting punishment, it can still be punished for Account Sharing violations.

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How will this affect players who use a VPN or travel a lot

Rhojin New PortraitUsing a VPN will never result in a MMR Boosting suspension, nor will playing from a friends house. We know players like to play from locations other than home all the time. Our methods take this into consideration. The last thing we want to do is punish someone for hanging out with friends or family.

[ Link to Post ]

 


Do you investigate accounts prior to banning them or are you just guessing

Rhojin New PortraitThere is no guessing or blind firing of bans involved. Before we ban anyone, their account goes through a rigorous investigation process in order to ensure we only punish players who were actually participating in MMR Boosting. If there is even the slightest doubt that a player may not have been boosted we will refrain from punishing them.

[ Link to Post ]

 


How can you tell between a boosted account and a player on a win streak

Rhojin New PortraitSimply going on a win streak will not get you punished for MMR Boosting. We understand that players may go on win streak, try new builds and playstyles. The only time we punish anyone is if we detect someone else was playing ranked games on their account.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How will this system detect the difference between smurfing and boosting

Riot Cluvie Final PortraitI think there might be a little bit of confusion here on what boosting and smurfing is — boosting is sharing your credentials with someone else with the intent of them playing on your account to raise your rank up. Smurfing is something that has come to mean creating an alt account and playing.

If a case is brought to our attention and confirmed that it has not actually been boosted, but was detected for boosting, we will take a look and see what caused it to be flagged and adjust the system accordingly.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do these 70000 players include other regions or are they all from NA

Rhojin New PortraitThis wave of punishments are going to hit players from the NA, EUW and EUNE servers.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 


Will boosters and the people who are boosted receive similar punishment

Rhojin New PortraitYes, the punishments are the same for both Boosters and the Boosted.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

What about competitive players

Rhojin New PortraitAny competitive rulings against pros/teams are made by Riot E-Sports. That being said, if anyone is caught being involved in MMR Boosting they will receive a punishment on their account, even pro players.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How will players learn if theyre banned for boosting being boosted

Riot Cluvie Final PortraitAccounts that have been suspended will receive an email informing them of the suspension as well as the punishments that have been placed on the account.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 


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

 

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Summary

Following yesterday’s HUD Update on the PBE, we have Rioters responding to community feedback on the forums. Also, GC weighed in on Riot’s champion release schedule and the burden of new picks on players. Lastly, Meddler shared some context regarding Ashe’s recent PBE nerf.

 

Recent News

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Will there be a similar update to Champ Select

Chager Final PortraitFor this project we specifically focused on the in game UI (this team’s specialty). I hear you though about wanting to have an updated look and feel for Champ select though.

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Will you add Ult timers to the new HUD

Rayven New PortraitWe are considering it for post launch.

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Follow Up

Rayven New PortraitThanks for the feedback. We are considering timers for post launch.

Hadn’t considered Ignite, Heal, and Barrier, but that might make a nice addition.

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How will the HUD update affect turning DJ Sonas music on and off

Chager Final PortraitDJ Sona will have same functionality as she does now in the current hud. We’re working on final placement for her UI now.

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Can you add a transparency option for the store interface

Rayven New PortraitYou won’t be able to play through it, but we will try some transparency in the store similar to the scoreboard.

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Will you bring back ally mana levels to the HUD

Chager Final PortraitWe are considering putting in mana/power bars on the team portraits. Stay tuned for more info regarding that.

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Allow us to move the HUD elements around They obstruct much of the screen

Rayven New PortraitWe’ve found in playtests that we can see more of the game, not less. Once you’ve tried it, let us know if the minimap is really too cluttered.

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Where are the mute buttons

Rayven New PortraitOn the scoreboard when you hover over a champ portrait.

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Riot should take a break from making new Champions for awhile

Yi Wreck Shen: We all agree that new champions are fun and exiting, but there are a lot of things riot needs to work on to better balance league and make it anext even better game.

  1. Rework the champs that needs reworks. Getting Ashe was basically like getting a new champion. It brought a lot of people to pbe and was and is a very popular pick now. Saw some lcs Play too. There are a ton of champs that need minor tweaks or complete reworks. Balancing what you have already presented us should be priotithere. There are a ton of champ options and diversity now.
  2. Learning champs is incredibly hard for new players. This game gets bigger every day. I started playing a year and half ago. Learning every champ and what they did toOK a very long time. I have only played probably about 25% of the roster. There are so many champs already and you have to master a few if you want to get anywhere in ranked. How can you expect all these champs you took time into making to get played by noobits when there is a new champ released every month and said players are trying to learn and findo already released players they may like.
  3. Why do I have to go on Lolking.net to figure out ratios and what not for champions? Why is the in game description of skills less descriptive then online? Why are certain things even left out in game description? Like the fact hecarim can move through creeps and a bunch of others.

This game is great but I feel like it’s time to start doing some fine tuning and it would make the game experience a lot more enjoyable. FixING champs and reworking them is like a new champ in itsself. We basically got two new champs back to back with Ashe and Ekko. Work on fixing poppy/Taric/Yorrik etc. Then those champs will get a bunch of play again.

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Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe have separate teams making new champions and updating old champions. While we could probably increase the update cadence if we collapsed the first team, we do get some benefits of working in parallel.

Figuring out the right cadence of new champions releases is something we talk about A LOT. There was a belief a few years ago that we were going to freak out players (new and existing) if we kept shipping 20 champions a year. On the other hand, getting a new champion is one of the most exciting things that can happen to the game for existing players. I think the game might actually start feeling stale if we stopped releasing new champs. We’d like to figure out a way to release them a little more frequently than we have done the last year or so, if we can do that without affecting quality.

We understand it’s a challenge for new players to learn League and that adding more champions over time doesn’t help with that. But, honestly, we feel like it’s the right thing to do to support you guys, you know actual League players, than starve you for content in the hopes of getting new players. There is a lot we can, should, and eventually will do to make League easier to learn, but I worry about any strategy that improves the learning curve at the expense of current players.

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Why was Ashes Q nerfed against towers

For reference, here’s the Ashe nerf in question (part of this PBE update):

 

Ashe Final Portrait

 

Nerf BoxRangers Focus Final IconRanger’s Focus [ Q ]

  • Active can no longer target structures

 


Meddler Final PortraitThat’s the thinking here. Where possible we’d like to create or preserve distinctive strengths on different champions, particular those within the same class (ADCs in this case). Jinx and Trist are both really good at destroying buildings, it’s a defining characteristic for them. Ashe by contrast’s distinguished from other ADCs most by the sheer amount of CC she brings. Since we feel Ashe is too strong at present we need to nerf her, we’re trying to do so in ways that ensure that Ashe continues to offer a different impact on the game, and a really distinct experience for people playing her however.

Removing a character’s strengths, or giving them strengths that overlap too much with other characters, risks creating a really homogenized game, where, even if you see a wide range of characters played, the difference between them’s not very significant, so it still feels samey. Removing unnecessary strengths, if a champion is overpowered, is the approach we prefer as a result.

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Diamond 5 LP Gain Changes

Socrates New PortraitHey all,

Right now, some players in Diamond 5 receive unusually low LP gains and losses. We’re releasing a change that should smooth out gains for most of the affected players. That said, a small number of D5 players close to being demoted will continue to see low gains until they climb back to a high enough MMR to move through Diamond.

There won’t be any down time as we release this to each region.

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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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Here are a few recent topics on the forums with a generous sprucing of fanart.

 

 

Are AD Carry mains ever happy with the meta

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThis is a healthy discussion, and I can try to help it along a little by providing some context about how we think about the meta.

(As a meta comment, “meta” is one of those words that gets used to describe so many different things that it has started to lose some of its meaning.)

First, we’re okay with having a 1+1+2+J configuration. Things like duo jungle or three champs in one lane may happen from time to time, but we’re not going to go out of our way to support them. For the most part, the way players allocate number of champs per lane works, and we don’t feel the need to monkey with it.

Second, we are trying to keep the concept of position (top, middle, bottom, jungle) separate from role (fighter, mage, assassin, tank, etc.). We care a lot less which roles are played in which positions as long as the game is healthy overall (more on this below). The characteristics of some roles is going to make them better at some positions (e.g. most junglers are melee) and we’re okay with that. Likewise, there are some individual champs that we don’t want to see frequently in particular positions, because the results tends to be less fun for everyone. The word “Support” is particularly confusing here, because it refers both to a role (“utility mages” like Janna and Sona) as well as the (traditionally bottom) position of jumping into a lane with another champ without actively farming minions. A support role like Sona can play the support position, but so can a mage or a tank.

Third, every role (and ultimately every champion, though we’re not there yet) has to exist in the game somewhere. This is the big corollary to my second point. If there are mages in the top lane and mages in the mid lane, that’s fine. If that means fighters have nowhere to exist, that’s not fine. Ideally (and I mean in the sense of a compass direction, not the state of the game today) you’d sometimes see mages and sometimes see fighters top. To use the current topic, jungle tanks didn’t feel viable, so we made some changes, and now they are plenty viable and I realize some of you feel they are too viable. In crazy world, maybe there is somewhere for marksmen to live besides bottom and maybe you don’t even need a marskman every game. But let’s not get too crazy yet. We used to design new champs as “Gnar is going to be a top lane fighter.” Now we would say “Gnar is a fighter” and leave it up to experimentation and evolution to determine where he fits best, so long as (1) he has some position in which he can be played and (2) isn’t oppressive when he does.

Fourth, we are trying as a team to be a little more hands off and provide players more room to experiment, and this applies to the state of the meta as well. Now, I’ll admit it’s difficult sometimes for us to make the determination of when it is time to step in. This year, we wanted to give y’all a chance to adapt to the preseason changes, but our opinion now is that we waited a little too long to react. We are pretty happy overall with the state of the game post patch 5.5 and 5.6, but maybe things would have felt even better if we had made those changes in 5.4, while 5.2 likely still would have been too soon. Make sense? Likewise, we know there is some concern that tanks are too dominant right now, but we want to wait a few patches to see if that’s a persistent problem or not. The meta will shift on its own, and has, even without Riot involvement. Sometimes it needs a nudge and sometimes the shift is towards something that is likely unhealthy in the long run, and when that happens it’s our responsibility to take action.

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When is Patch 5 8 coming

Meddler Final PortraitNot this week, 5.7 -> 5.8’s going to be longer than the usual 2 week cycle.

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When will the Champion Mastery system be released

Meddler Final PortraitIt’s still being worked out – it’s not ready for a proper release just yet.

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Why is Jinx being nerfed on the PBE

Here is the change being discussed:

 

Super Mega Death Rocket Final IconSuper Mega Death Rocket [ R ]

  • Minimum damage (from point-blank range) decreased from 125/175/225 [ + 0.5 bonus AD ]  to 25/35/45 [ + 0.1 bonus AD ]

 

Gypsylord New PortraitOkay got response typed up again.

So as Jinx’s designer I asked to head up the nerfs coming out for her this patch. Let’s talk about them and Jinxy in general.

First full info on the nerfs:

The min damage on the R is being cut. The max damage is staying the same. Additionally, the execute damage is not being touched. SMD rocket will ALWAYS deal 25/30/35% of the target’s missing health regardless of range.

Below are the rough damage estimates based on ranges Jinxs should be familiar with:

NUMBERS AND CHANGES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE (or not). ALL THIS IS STILL IN TESTING

  • R damage @ Point blank: 125/175/225(+.5) >>> 25/35/45 (+.1)
  • R damage @ Minigun range: 175/245/315 (+.7) >>> 110/155/200(+.45)
  • R damage @ Level 9 Rocket range: 185/260/335 (+.75) >>> 135/190/245(+.55)
  • R damage @ Shock Pistol range (max): unchanged – 250/350/450(+1.0)

TLDR summary of the below wall of text:

We like Jinx being strong for a variety of reasons but she may be TOO strong at the moment. Jinx’s snowballing and hyper-carry potential is intended to be strong and we like it where it is so this change is targeted at amping up her main weakness (gets wrekt if jumped on). IF THIS CHANGE GOES TOO FAR WE’LL FOLLOW UP ON IT. THE GOAL HERE IS A SLIGHT TONING DOWN OF JINX’S POWER.

Generally we like Jinx being a strong champ in League of Legends. Even when winning she has a lot of inbuilt counterplay which makes losing to her feel a lot less demoralizing. Thanks to her general immobility combined with the delayed and conditional nature of her spells players tend to come out of games against Jinx with gameplans on how they’re going to beat her next time.

Going off of this, it is likely that Jinx “at balance” sits at above a 50% winrate. This partially stems from the nature of her power profile. Jinx is highly snowbally, especially in AoE focused teamfights, and is one of the best characters in the game at taking objectives after killing off the enemy team. This is going to contribute to a higher number of wins in solo queue where the “group and push” strategy is so prevalent (Jinx loves grouping and pushing!). People group, teamfights happen, Jinx AoE’s things, and 1 kill tends to lead to 1-4 more + towers and dragons.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning Jinx’s dedicated player base. If you run into a Jinx player on live that person is going to have 31 games on her on average, That’s up there with other “I main dis guy forever” champs like Yasuo, Lee Sin, and Riven. For comparison, Graves has a similar play rate to Jinx (they’re neck and neck for most picked ADC), and yet the average Graves player only has 16 games on him. This isn’t meant to be a knock on Graves but more a highlight on the fact that many of the Jinx’s you run into out there have played her A LOT and as such you’d expect a higher win rate out of her due to player experience.

So I’ve gone over why we’re okay with Jinx being strong so in that case why are we nerfing her? Well the thing is there’s strong and then there’s I AM THE GOD OF SOLO QUEUE strong. Jinx is trending towards the latter and has only been getting better each patch. She’s got one of the highest winrates in the game at 55% across all elos and that combined with her insane playrate is cause for alarm. We felt some light tuning would be appropriate to level the playing field vs. other ADC’s so we looked across her kit and asked ourselves “is there anything Jinx is doing right now that maybe she shouldn’t be?”

So as her designer I’ve always felt that Jinx is defined by the following strength and weakness

A) Jinx is a snowball: If you let Jinx get ahead and can’t figure out how to get to her SHE WILL TAKE EVERYTHING YOU LOVE AND BURN IT TO THE GROUND.
B) Jinx has a hard time with people who invade her personal space. If you manage to jump on her when she’s unprepared you should be rewarded accordingly.

The strength is supported by things like Get Excited (the speed passive), the always-on AS/range+AoE steroids on Switcheroo (the Q), and Jinx’s reach in general which progresses from 525 range – to 700 – to 1500 – to global. This power combination ensures that if Jinx has enough gold and manages to get a foothold of safety/advantage in a fight she WILL GET TO YOU, BLOW YOU UP, AND THEN TAKE YOUR TOWERS. This is good, it’s character defining and it’s what we’d like her to excel at.

The weakness is supported by the ramp up on minigun, the cast/arm times on all her spells/ and the damage w/distance mechanic on the R. If you manage to close with an unprepared Jinx she’s going to have a hard time dealing with you. Her spells leave her vulnerable, her AS needs to ramp for full DPS, chompers take a while to arm, and ideally she can’t just Graves ult you for a burst of power unless you’re incredibly low on health.

^^^^^that last thing is where we found a possible problem. Jinx was winning a number of engagements off the sheer burst power of her ultimate, even at pointblank range. This to me is out of line with her strength/weakness profile.

In summary:

Jinx is a hyper carry who can kill every single member of your team from extreme ranges if left alone but if you jump on her she should be at a severe disadvantage. Nerfing the pointblank ultimate makes the weakness more true and allows us to preserve her strengths in light of extreme power in solo queue.

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Follow Up

Do you think this change will affect her playstyle

Gypsylord New PortraitSo yeah I’ve tested the changes and I’m pretty confident that this will not massively affect Jinx’s playstyle. You’re mainly going to feel it against people in melee range of you (and that’s the point) but in the average lane duel at 525 + range it should still be a potent execute. In the early game you’re likely going to need one more basic attack than before to secure those closer range kills.

I’m also willing to admit that we’re not omniscient and this change may affect her in ways we didn’t anticipate. We’ll follow up on it if that’s the case.

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Will we ever have new Champions with Taunt

Meddler Final PortraitI expect we’ll make more Taunt using champions at some point. It’s a type of effect with some pretty specific gameplay, so as with other specialized CCs we’ll probably only ever use it occasionally, in part to ensure those champions with it remain distinctive.

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Lastly, here’s some fan art to wrap up the post.

 

Epidemic Singed

Artist: scodo

epidemic_singed_by_scodo-d4s6qaz

 

These next ones don’t have linked sources. If you guys know who the artists are, let me know and I’ll add them to the post.

 

Arcade Zyra

tumblr_ng2o44PinR1r0yrcjo1_1280

 

Ghost Bride Zyra

16jr5sh

 

Mecha Rengar

mecha_rengari

 

 

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

 

 

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Summary

On the board forums,Ghostcrawler and Sotere discussed in length the current balance issues with League – mobility creep, an overtuned jungle and a lack of champion diversity. Over on Reddit, Lyte commented on the new Tribunal and what features will carry on from the old one. Lastly, we have a confirmation that Team Builder will be available for Ranked Games, a minor buff to Urgot coming soon, a discussion on champions with ‘bad identity’ and an awesome community spotlight showing Katarina’s daggers forged in real life.

 

Recent News

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How do you want or expect this season to play out

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe want more champ diversity. A lot of the preseason changes were made with the goal of having games play out differently. Overall we are happy with the changes made to towers, objectives and the jungle, but it hasn’t yet created the space for more champs. (I should add at least within one region – if you look world-wide, diversity is preety good, but that’s largely because different champs are getting played in different parts of the world.) We knew the changes would be disruptive, meaning it might take players a few patches to explore the best strategies to use in the new environment, but things are starting to settle in now and diversity isn’t where we want it to be.

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What do you mean by wanting strategic diversity

Ghostcrawler New PortraitStrategic diversity refers both to champs and to the game itself. If every game is won with a similar comp (even if the champs are different) or every games be becomes a 5 dragon stack, then the risk still exists that the third game you play feels exactly like the previous two. On the topic of champ diversity specifically, it’s not a reasonable expectation or a goal to have every champ played equally. Champs have different play styles and themes and that all factors in. But we can do better than we do today.

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How exactly do you plan on dealing with mobility creep

Ghostcrawler New PortraitMobility is fun and useful or we wouldnt’t keep adding it to kits. The problem is that too often it comes for free just to give a champ a little extra pizzazz. Roles that need a lot of mobility, like assassins, aren’t a huge problem, but roles that already bring a lot to the table, especially mages and ADCs, can be. Even with these it doesn’t need to be an ironclad rule that they can’t dash, but they do need to pay for it elsewhere in their power budget. For these champs, we are less likely to nerf their movement mechanic and more likely to reduce their damage, survivability or control to pay for the mechanic.

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Would you agree the jungle is currently overtuned

Sotere New PortraitWe are constantly following up on the state of the jungle. Turret shields also have changes on the docket for 5.05. Giving players time to figure out changes could be construed a number of ways. Should we not change the jungle, and leave Turret Shields exactly the way they are such that players innovate around those changes?

I frequently think about and ask others in the office: what would happen to the game if we (Riot) took our hands off the wheel for a year? Would it be a better or worse game? Undoubtedly, players would innovate and we’d see some very creative meta manifestations. Overall, though, I’m confident that we do more good than harm with our updates.

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Sotere New PortraitIt is fair criticism that we overly focus on the jungle and not on the champions. I would say (as someone who works more on the jungle/systems side) we believe that the jungle can be a place that caters more favorably to tanks and that is something we have not yet delivered on.

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How do you feel about people saying that towers are too weak

Sotere New PortraitI can understand why people feel this way: we have a lot of tools available in the game to destroy turrets quickly. Full tanks, which are pretty common, can also sit and tank a lot of turret shots. However, I’m fairly confident that turrets are just all around stronger than they were before the season swap. So much so that it might have deleterious effects on the game as a whole. This is actually the most troubling mismatch of perception to power for me in the game at the moment.

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How do you feel champion diversity relates to the LCS

Sotere New PortraitThe LCS (and pro play across the world) impacts player perception and thus play rate pretty dramatically. It is hard to imagine a world where pro play has little diversity but common play does. This makes it tricky, because pros have a lot of legitimate reasons to not add a ton of variety into their play. They often use picks to steal away high priority champions from the enemy team. Teams, imo, also get advantages by practicing with similar squads in repetition, so ‘surprise’ picks are less valuable.

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Are you OK with the same champions being played most of the time

Sotere New PortraitI definitely want to see more diversity. I think even if we get champion diversity to a state where it’s “okay” in our view, we’ll still see some repetition in picks. I think balance issues are the primary culprit, though there have been some cases where professional play stubbornly would not adopt certain champions and held onto others too long.

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Do you think mobility like that of Kalista and Yasuo is good for the game

Sotere New PortraitJust wanted to touch on one point here: while they are ‘free’ in the sense that they don’t cost a resource most of the time, they are much more conditional than Kassadin. He has freedom to move any direction he wants. Yasuo can only dash into enemy targets, Kalista needs something to hit to access most of her extra mobility. To that end, they’re probably more healthy.

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If Kalistas mobility becomes a problem would you nerf her free jump from Q

ISotere New Portrait probably wouldn’t be the one to give insight to CertainlyT for her future balancing. I don’t have particularly great insights into her play. That said, Pierce is one of the things I would be least excited to see changed.

When he was in ideation he got me into a conversation about her. He asked, (paraphrasing of course) “shadow isles evil-ish marksman, what weapon do they use?” I said spear. He said he’d already settled on that but was just making sure it made sense. Then he was like, “when you think of a spear thrower, what excites you about what they do?” My response was that I really liked in movies when the character launches the spear after throwing their whole body (jumping) into it. The extra momentum really sells the use of the weapon for me. I think Pierce sells that fantasy the most for me.

In her development she also would do more damage when moving forward with her passive, which I thought made a lot of thematic sense.

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I miss doing Tribunal work

Lyte Final PortraitEvery once in awhile, I see a thread like this and it’s a 🙁 day.

Tribunal’s been down for 9 months, and we know that’s a long time. However, player behavior in League has been at record bests due to a few different systems that were implemented while Tribunal is being re-worked.

1) The new LeaverBuster has been out for 2 months now, and has pushed leavers/AFKs to a record low in the history of League. I’m hoping to share more data around this when we wrap up analyses.

2) The machine learning system has been extremely aggressive at combating racism, homophobia, sexism and death threats. Right now, these types of behaviors show up in approximately 2% of games globally. An interesting “test” is to think about your last few games, and think about the last time you actually saw someone use the “n” word, or c*nt, or similar obscene phrases.

3) There is a new intentional feeder detection system that has been banning out intentional feeders outright. We have a record low in number of players who are actually intentionally feeding (the old days of 0-20 and 5 Zeals are gone).

But, this is not an excuse for the Tribunal’s delay. It just turns out that re-working the Tribunal required re-working several foundational pieces of League, such as the Report System’s backend, how chat logs are generated on the platform, and how websites/front-ends are created across every server. When players think of “just” re-working the Tribunal, they don’t think about all these other pieces which are each complex systems.

In addition to the above, the new Tribunal will have the ability for players to review positive behaviors and reward players with in-game bonuses, and some algorithmic upgrades to improve efficiency of the system, accuracy in detecting troll voters, and improves overall system accuracy.

I’m happy to answer some questions for a bit tonight, but apologize for the delay in the system coming back.

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Being personally involved in cases feels rewarding

Lyte Final PortraitWe completely agree, there’s huge value in the ability for players to directly contribute to the community standards, whether it’s rewards or punishments.

Part of the re-work is actually re-working the Justice Review (the place players can visit to see their contributions to the community overall). What are some stats that players would like to see on the Justice Review?

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The Justice Rating made me feel bettering the community was worth it

Lyte Final PortraitThanks for the feedback. You’ll be happy to hear that we agree with a lot of it, and # of cases judged correctly, total number of cases, and toxic days prevented are staying.

In addition, we’re adding number of positive players you influenced (after all, it’s pretty awesome to know you made someone’s day!). We’re currently back and forth about what to do with the Justice Rating and Longest Streaks and whether we just need to change the definition of those things to motivate players to always make the best decision instead of what they think will increase these numbers.

The Tribunal’s tuning was always on the conservative side; toxic players might not agree and once in awhile you used to see these players complain on Reddit, but the system was always tuned such that we’d rather err on the cautious side and make sure no innocent players received a penalty instead of trying to target all known negative behaviors. Perhaps in the future we can allow top Tribunal voters (in terms of accuracy + engagement) be able to flag cases for our Player Support if the verdicts were wrong. We’ll see.

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Leaverbuster doesnt work leavers should be handled by the Tribunal

Lyte Final PortraitWe agree, there will always be some amount of emergency AFKs/Leavers.

However, before LeaverBuster, there were a lot of intentional leavers as well; surprisingly, a lot of players came from FPS/MMOs/etc where leaving really had no penalty, so they just Alt-F4’d or left in League thinking there were no penalties for MOBAs either.

We had to tackle that problem first, then it becomes a question of what should we do when there is the rare 4v5 match. We have some solutions in mind already, but want to see how LeaverBuster shakes out, and what the remaining issues are with leavers/AFKs.

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Upcoming minor buff to Urgot

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re going to try a small mana ratio on his shield in testing soon. That was something that showed some promise when tried briefly last time we were testing possible changes for Urgot. Didn’t proceed with it at the time due to a desire to focus on other things first and see what impact those had. The last set of changes certainly didn’t overbuff him though, so we’re going to look at it again.

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Do you think a champion can have a bad identity that can only be reworked

Meddler Final PortraitI’d argue it’s definitely possible to have a champion with a core identity that isn’t worth keeping. This will be a bit hyperbolic, but imagine a champion that was built around the core idea of ‘complete randomness’, expressed through things like a passive that reads ‘When attacking champions you have a 50% change to kill yourself per auto attack and a 50% chance to kill your target’. There’s a really distinct identity there, but it’s not one that’s going to result in good gameplay.

That’s a pretty extreme example though of course, and one that assumes something went really, really wrong during a champ’s development. Being more realistic, what we tend to see are problems with how an identity is executed on, more than problems with core identity. Old Soraka was a strong example of this. Soraka’s identity has always been as the healerest healer in LoL (even if she hasn’t necessarily always putting out the most actual healing). Her old, old kit however, that allowed her to spend mana to heal an ally and then top up her own mana for free, resulted in some lanes where nothing really happened. In some match ups Soraka’s lane couldn’t kill you, but damage dealt to her or her ADC didn’t stick, resulting in low action farm fests. Our conclusion there, eventually, was that ‘dedicated healer’ was a solid identity it was appropriate to include, but that it needed to be done in a way that didn’t nullify past action as strongly. As a result Soraka’s recent rework allowed her to put out significantly more healing per second, but at the expense of her own health, avoiding stagnant lanes. Same foundational concept, pretty different execution on it basically.

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 Why are Veigars changes locked for Patch 5 4

Meddler Final PortraitIn case it’s unclear the changes aren’t necessarily ‘permanent’ but they are what’s going into patch 5.4. Locked in this context means we’ve reached the patch deadline and can no longer make changes to content going out in it. We’re confident enough in this direction for Veigar that we think it’s appropriate to put the changes out, assess how he performs and then adjust as appropriate in following patches.

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Team Builder coming to Ranked Games

Lyte Final PortraitWe’re working on a Team Builder version of Ranked that is just selecting positions. That system in particular should help address problems like the one you noted.

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Follow Up

Can you explain how the system will work for Ranked

Lyte Final PortraitWe are locking down the final designs of Ranked Team Builder, so it’s still too early to talk about it!

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DJ Sona QA on February 24

DJ Sona’s tech crew steps out from behind the curtain for a question and answer session at 12:00 PSTon February 24. If you’re looking to go backstage with DJ Sona and the rest of the skins team, swing by with your questions!

If you missed DJ Sona’s opening set, get all the details on League’s premier disc jockey here.

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How to make Katarinas Daggers

Here’s some amazing blacksmith skills brought to the world of League:

 

 

 

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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News 05/02

 

Recent News

tesZ3UY

 

 

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BY RIOT METASYSTEM

We started RAF to reward players for their part in growing League and we’ve updated the program to simultaneously remove incentives for abuse and better serve most League players. As we were working on the update, we found that the majority of League players refer between one and five friends.

The updated design now rewards you for bringing those friends into the game. With the new update, for every friend you refer who reaches level 10, you’ll earn 1000 IP. You can refer a total of five friends, and with three successful referrals, you’ll unlock the Grey Warwick skin. Recruit five friends and you’ll unlock Medieval Twitch.

There are no additional rewards to earn, and everyone who participated in Refer-a-Friend in the past have been transferred to the new program with the same number of referrals as before. For example, if you’ve already referred four friends, you’ll automatically earn 4000 IP and Grey Warwick. Please note, we’re also auto-redeeming unclaimed rewards for players who used previous versions of Refer-a-Friend, but this process could take a few days.

We’re excited to launch the update to the Refer-a-Friend program, head here to get started — good luck and have fun bringing your friends into League of Legends!

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Allow us to see reports submitted against us

Lyte Final PortraitWhen the Tribunal is back, we’re including systems that will send players “Reform Cards” that will outline the games and chat logs that led to the punishment.

We believe that getting the whole picture of game stats, chat logs, reporters is valuable feedback to help change behaviors, and is better than just a report category or comment.

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Why did you turn off the old Tribunal while working on the new

Lyte Final PortraitThe Tribunal was driven by numerous other systems such as the Report System, the Honor System, and others. Some of the issues with Tribunal were related to the underlying Report System, and we had to re-work some of those aspects first. So, in many cases it’s easier to re-work the foundation of a system without ensuring that it’s constantly still functionally working with the old Tribunal. We could have tried keeping everything up in parallel, but we would have needed more resources and time to bring out the new one.

Secondly, we wanted to test a few different systems and feedback loops such as the machine learning system driving escalated bans. We wanted to see the efficacy of such a system without the results having added noise from multiple other systems like the Tribunal interfering with punishments or reform. From these cleaner tests, we were able to figure out the effectiveness of these new systems and apply the lessons to the new Tribunal.

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Will the system show us meaningless reports

Lyte Final PortraitWe wouldn’t show “false reports” anyways because the system has already labeled them false reports. Showing false reports does nothing except make players worried, even though the system has already discounted them and given them 0 value.

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Reporting without a Tribunal is just being abused right now

Lyte Final PortraitLet’s be honest, there’s very little abuse because the Report System has an entire featureset that filters false reports and gives them 0 value.

If you are getting chat restrictions, it’s probably because you are doing something verbally that warrants a light penalty. I’m happy to review your case if you disagree.

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What was Ahris originally intended role

Meddler Final PortraitNice post. Some additional context below on our thoughts on Ahri, both now and in the past.

  • The original intent with Ahri was to create a mage with strong (windowed) mobility and single target pick potential. That does result in a mage with assassin like elements, goal was to put her in a spot that was mage first, assassin second (in contrast with Le Blanc who’s more assassin overall).
  • The idea was that Ahri would have longer combat/kill times than assassins. Less bursting you down in a second from full if she caught you out of position, more having to make a multiple passes or poke you a bit first (hence the multiple dash ultimate and Q with decent poke potential).
  • While understanding original intent behind something’s extremely valuable we don’t feel initial vision’s something that’s sacred and shouldn’t be challenged. If a different approach seems more beneficial overall it’s worth looking at. That mentality lead us to make some changes to Ahri a year or two ago that pushed her into more of an assassin role (the charm damage amp primarily).
  • Our conclusion, after seeing those assassin changes play out, is that we were wrong there and that going back to a more extended combat pattern’s best for Ahri (particularly in terms of the playstyle her ult’s multi cast best matches).

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What happened to the Fighter rework you promised

Ghostcrawler New PortraitAh the fighter problem…. 🙁

Yeah, we’d agree with both of those comments. If assassins and mages typically bring burst, and fighters and ADCs bring sustained damage, then there needs to be something fighters can do better than ADCs, or they are just always going to be inferior. If you make the argument that the fighter has to do even more damage than an ADC to make up for the fact that they aren’t on target as much as a ranged champ, they tend to be really frustrating for both sides: they either die before they can close the gap, or they erase the other champ when they do. This, in a nutshell, is the fighter problem.

We are working on it. We think there is room for a class of champions that are as tanky as tanks, but with higher damage to make up for the engage or control of the tanks. Many fighters don’t deliver on this at the moment — they are squishier than tanks, with lower effective / realized damage than ADCs. In addition, there are several mages that play like fighters, and several fighters that play like assassins. Finally, on top of all of that work, we think fighters just need to bring more utility. It’s going to be hard for guys like Darius to find a comp if what they’re offering is bringing tons of damage when other champs potentially bring that as well as some kind of team benefit or buff.

It’s a lot of work, which is why it has taken us so long to fix the problem. We have built up a lot of “design debt” and it takes time to dig our way out of that. We’re not happy that it has taken this long, but we are happy that we feel like we have a pretty good understanding of the problem and how to fix it now.

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Riots concept of assassins lacks reactive counterplay and is not fun

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe’ve been talking about the assassin role a lot lately, as you can probably imagine as part of the whole DFG discussion.

While counterplay is a League design value, assassins probably deliver on it less than some roles, and to some extent that’s okay. I say that because playing an assassin is often about getting the drop on someone and taking them out before they can respond. That lack of response can feel like lack of counterplay, but we’re okay with it as long as assassins still have some weaknesses. (The alternative is that we conclude we can’t really support an assassin play style at all, which we think would be unfortunate).

High mobility and burst damage are pretty important for assassins so they can accomplish what they are supposed to, but that means assassins have to give up something elsewhere, such as CC and of course tankiness.

We’re also talking a lot about which champions fit in the different roles. Some of the champs you guys mention in this thread play more like mages (lots of control) or fighters (more tankiness than the typical assassin). Historically as we developed champions, we were pretty fast and loose about which role a champ filled — often it had more to do with theme or even art as much as it did the function the champ filled on the map, especially in team fights. We’re now in the process of trying to be more explicit about what makes a champ an assassin vs a mage or whatever. This might mean reclassifying some of the more ambiguous characters, or at least understanding when they’re breaking rules that they are in fact breaking rules and may have to pay for that somewhere else in their kit.

I mention this because it should provide some context for the kinds of changes you’re going to see us make, and also because it’s a chance for you guys to talk about what you perceive as the strengths, weaknesses and roles of the various champion types.

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Inquisitor Skins Renamed


Inquisitor Nautilus and Sivir renamed to Warden Nautilus and Warden Sivir

Galetta Final PortraitHey all,

Sorry this is happening so last minute (we’ve been swamped lately) but we’re changing the names of Inquisitor Nautilus and Inquisitor Sivir to Warden Nautilus and Warden Sivir. We want these skins to feel imposing/foreboding when you play them and we think these names capture that fantasy more strongly than the previous ones. Again, sorry this is so last minute. Appreciate all the feedback!

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 Sona 5 3 banner


DJ Sona will NOT be released with Patch 5 3

Galetta Final PortraitHey just to clarify DJ Sona will not be out in patch 5.3. She’s going to be on PBE for an extended period of time in order for her to get the proper amount of quality testing! She’s very very complicated. @u@

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KateyKhaos Final PortraitHey there!

Having Sona not release in Patch 5.3 wasn’t a mistake. :]

As Riot Galetta stated, DJ Sona is a pretty complicated skin. She’s got a lot of music, particles, form swapping and moving parts.

We wanted to release her to PBE a bit earlier than most skins because having more people playing her means a better chance at catching any glaring bugs before release. (We’ve also got a team testing her, but the more eyes the better!)

Our goal is to have DJ Sona in the best shape as possible when she hits live, rather than rushing her out the door with a bunch of unpleasant bugs to play with. :]

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Why wouldnt Normal  Games be part of our match history

[ Note ] This is part of a discussion regarding the update to match history on the PBE.

Mattenth New PortraitNormal games are still in Match History for you and your friends. We’re phasing them out from the general public to continue to encourage normal queues being a more relaxed, for fun atmosphere.

In football, it’d be the difference between a club match and a pickup game. In the club match, both stats and the game outcome are recorded and made publicly available. But with pickup games, while you’re still trying to win, it’s much more laid back.

One specific case we wanted to avoid is 3rd party websites and services that try to aggregate normal game stats and winrates over time. We don’t want players to feel pressured or insecure to try out new champions and playstyles in normal games because it might affect their macro stats and perception.

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Lore What Champs do you want to hear more about

Ant in Oz Final PortraitHi guys,

I wanted to jump in and ask which Champions (or regions, events, storylines, etc related to their backgrounds) you reaaaaally want to see / learn more about.

As Jaredan and others have mentioned in other threads, in addition to ongoing new Champ / ChamUp support we’re currently focused on developing things like world building, longer storylines, R+D, etc. Nevertheless, going back and developing the stories and backgrounds of the characters we all love – and fixing things that are just broken from a narrative point of view – is really important to us. The stories for many champs need some love, and we want you guys to have a voice in helping us determine where we need to focus our attention.

A couple caveats to set expectations:

This isn’t a promise to drop everything and focus on fleshing out your favorite champ’s background (at least not yet) straight away. Having said that, if there are some clear favorites among players around the world, then we’d like that to factor into our decision-making process.

Please don’t offer up specific story ideas – legally, we just can’t use them (the same reason I don’t read fan-fic – it’s a can of worms from a legal POV).

Also, I can’t promise exactly when or how we’ll be able to deliver on this stuff. Despite the best intentions, we’ve burned ourselves before by making overzealous promises, so we’d rather not go down that route.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Cheers!

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


 

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Summary

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

 

Recent News

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Will you be looking at champions with low base regen

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

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So will games start like Dominion

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

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

The new system might look more like this –

1 – 550
2 – 625
3 – 700
….
18 – 2200

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

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Will these base stat changes address snowballing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Do you think laners will be playing with Smite items

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

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

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

 

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

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Do you think the PBE changes will diversify  jungle picks

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

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

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End of game gifting up on the PBE

Saberprivateer New PortraitHey guys!

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

 

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

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

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EUNE Server migration on its way

Dromaius New PortraitHey guys,

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

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

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

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

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

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Singed’s PBE Balance Changes

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fun facts about Diana

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

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

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

🙂

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Let’s talk Champion biographies

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Summary

Azir has been delayed on the live client because of bugs, Ghostcrawler explains the goals of the Fighter rework and Lyte notes that extending chat restrictions for neutral players is a mistake of the system. Lastly, IronStylus with clarity on texture rebalances and why the end result seems less detailed than the original.

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

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Are you delaying Azir because his Shurima story isn’t over

sixtwo Final PortraitHey guys, not sure where the quote comes from, but Azir isn’t out yet because he’s not done – bug fixes are being checked in around me as I type this. Now carry on!

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Baconhawk Final PortraitI was not clear in stating Azir is not available yet because of “reasons” (he is getting bugfixes). I did not mean to insinuate we are waiting for a lore story part 2… just to give some sort of hope and looking forward. My wording was ****.

I’ll try to be more clear next time. Let me know if you have any more questions.

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He shows up in Champ list but is unavailable for purchase

Baconhawk Final PortraitThis is because he was shipped in the patch but not switched on. This is normal.

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Can’t you give us detail on issues or at least a timeline

Baconhawk Final PortraitI totally understand. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten really burned when trying to give you guys dates on when x will come out (or if it even will at all, RIP Magma Chamber, so say we all), so to save us all the the heartache, its best if we just get him ready and unlock him when he’s finished.

 


You DO know there’s a champ coming. There was a time before PBE when surrender@20 and other sites wouldn’t be able to do all these great screencaps and preview videos, and set the hype stage for champs, skins, game modes, etc. We have a lot to deliver and we’d like to make sure it’s ready before we say YES IT IS GOING OUT ON THIS DATE and then what happens when we get an Azir and he ends up with some last minute bugs that just absolutely cannot ship? We look bad, you’re upset, we’re upset, and no one wins. The expectation is that we will release everything perfectly, meet everyone’s expectations 100%, release on time AND let you know ahead of time when that is. IN A PERFECT WORLD!

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What are the exact goals for the fighter rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe goals are to agree on what is the strategic identity – the strengths and weaknesses – of melee champs, as well as figure out how many categories of melee we actually have (e.g. Is a bruiser different from a diver? What is a melee carry?)

The list of champs that we’d want to adjust to meet these goals is beyond the scope of a forum post. Generally those who are largely balls of stats with limited counterplay or those who seem mirror images of other melee are the ones most in need.

We haven’t decided yet on the future of red buff. As a general guideline, I think we do throw around movement speed debuffs too readily.

It’s okay for someone to have good or weak laning, within reason, as long as there are trade-offs elsewhere. Our general concern about melee is they don’t have any trait to offset their lack of range. The two characteristics that we have tried (hard to kill or eats your face if they manage to close) have been problematic. The former erodes a niche for true tanks and the latter makes the counterplay pretty binary, as well as making melee on melee engagements slow slugfests.

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How would you define a “tank” in League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitA common thread we’ve found with tanks is that they are good at initiating. The problem is that the word “tank” also carries a strong connotation from other games that they have a ton of survivability as well. If we renamed the role it would be easier to define, but we’re not sure players would react well to redefining a whole lot of roles in the game (as I mentioned for fighters above).

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Why don’t you name the Fighters you plan to rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitNot sure I agree with that.  Even stating that we think a champ is overtuned feels like a mic drop without a lot of context. The other challenge is that when we mention we want to work on something (like say a fighter rework) and then it takes a lot longer than expected, players get frustrated and want even more context for the delay. Believe me, my inclination is to be as honest and open as possible. If we can earn enough trust with the community that changes we mention will eventually come to pass, I’d love to be able to talk more about long-term plans.

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Can we have specific information on the Fighter reworks

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s just a big project that touches a whole lot of champions. At our current cadence for gameplay updates, it would take a long time to reach them all. In the meantime, if we introduce say counterplay for one fighter and not another, then the second one becomes overpowered in the interim. It’s not just fighters either. If we decide that we offer too many slows, then a lot of ranged champs would need to be touched as well. This is the kind of thing we’d love to be able to hit with some sweeping changes all at once, but we’re still working out how that could be possible.

I’ll talk to Morello and some of the other designers. Maybe we can put together a dev blog that explains our current thoughts so long as we can provide sufficient caveats that we haven’t ironed out all the details yet and would welcome plenty of feedback before those thoughts turned into patch notes.

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Chat Restrictions shouldn’t be extended if you’re neutral

Lyte Final PortraitCompletely agree. We recently tuned the system to try to be more accurate up front, but it’s clear we might be up to ~20 games off still in some cases.

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Can you provide an example of toxic gameplay

Lyte Final PortraitAt the end of the day, are you a neutral player, or a negative one? If you’re still negative, your account will continue to get chat restrictions.

Have you actually reformed after going ~50 games in silence? The answer is probably no. Even how you communicate with others here on the forums shows that your behaviors really haven’t changed.

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Lyte Final PortraitThe idea that the system expects toxic players to be “positive” is a misunderstanding. If a player is “neutral,” their account will eventually be clean of any penalties or punishments.

The actual problem with the system is with situations like these, where the system should have probably just given the player 78 chat restrictions right off the bat; however, that’s a tuning problem that we’ll need to continuously work on to get right.

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Why texture rebalances seem less detailed

IronStylus Final PortraitGotta remember that detail frequency often works against us. Excessive detail, especially detail that is highly contrasted against it’s adjacent material leads to “flickering” and “buzzing.”

That a) hurts they eye, b) generally feels low quality, c) doesn’t fit in with our changing style.

While it can be sometimes confused with feature removal, it results in a cleaner asset, it’s for the overall health and quality of the game.

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What are some of the more known Rioters working on

FeralPony Final PortraitSure, no real spoilers here (sorry) but CertainlyT is still working on Champions. From what little I’ve seen the next one he’s working on looks pretty awesome. Xypherous and myself are working on “Systems” which is primarily working on the next pre-season patch change with a number of other folks.

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

 

 

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Summary

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

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If Melee is so problematic, why is the Marksman class the only mandatory role in pro-play

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt seems apparent to me that League wasn’t designed with melee carry as a viable alternative to a Marksman. We have melee carries in the game, but they fill sort of a questionable role at the moment.

I’m not saying that’s how League should be, but in terms of why there is a must pick Marksmen in most games, the answer is tradition.

If you ask me how League should be, that’s a much larger question that requires a big discussion. For starters, maybe it would be nice if players picked positions (top, middle, bottom, jungle) but not roles for those positions. Would players be ready for something like that? Is there benefit in having the tacit agreement that if you pick a Marksman, she’s probably going bot? Would you want to see games with two Marskmen or none at all? Does that sound exciting or destablizing?

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The meta has

Ghostcrawler New PortraitRight, something like that. The current melee = top etc. setup has been in place for so long that teammates will call you out if you’re “doing it wrong” and they will certainly report it to us as something broken. (The pros are often more adventurous in trying what works rather than what is expected.)

 

But there are definitely benefits in having an assumed configuration. It’s easier to coordinate a pickup team for example because you can infer a lot of position intent just from their role choice. The question is whether those benefits outweigh some amount of fatigue for every game ending up melee-top, mage-mid, ADC-bottom.

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Follow Up
Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’m not saying players are ignorant and choose ADCs because they don’t know any better and cling to tradition. I’m saying Riot has ended up supporting ADC mandatory bottom because it’s a relatively stable configuration of the meta. There is no reason that has to be the only configuration. It’s just the one we have traditionally used for at least the last couple of years.

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Support means a team role, a Champion type and a position

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe have discussed whether we should rename the role of support to something else (“utility?”) just to avoid the potential confusion there. So “support” would be a position, as you describe, when you share a lane but don’t go for CS, and could conceivably be performed by a melee like Alistar or a mage like Annie or a “role-formerly-known-as-support” like Sona.

It may cause more disruption just trying to change it though.

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LoL over the years has lost some of its replayability

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYes. This is exactly the sentiment we’re trying to improve for next season.

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Promo Series Banner


 

 

Promo Series should not exist and here’s why

Originally Posted by Lil Soybean View Post
Before we go on, let me ask you guys something honestly.
Recall the last time you reached a Series. Whether it be from Bronze IV to Bronze III, or Diamond II to Diamond I, it doesn’t matter – just think back to that time.

Now tell me, honestly – which of these two feelings were you leaning more towards?

1) Super excitement at how important these next matches are!
2) Extreme frustration at the possibility of feeders/trollers/AFK’ers in your following promo matches.


As I recall, it has been Riot’s stance in the past that they have Promo Series between divisions because it makes certain games feel more important and more exciting.
But with the end of the season coming up, I feel like one of the big changes for S5 should be removing the existence of Promotional Series.

Please, hear me out.

I honestly think the existence of Series is at the core for a lot of the games major issues. Trolls, feeders, AFKers, etc. would not be as harmful if Series didn’t exist, simply because they couldn’t completely ruin your work by forcing you to lose that one important series match. Toxicity and raging would be lessened in a similar way – if you’re super-anxious and frustrated because you’ve proved you deserved to be a rank up, but have to win a select few specific games in a Series just to actually go up that rank, then you’re more likely to rage/be toxic to people who don’t do well in that game. Why? Because the stakes are so much higher, for no good reason. Because you’re not just losing more LP from that one feeding botlaner, you’re losing your entire series. You’re not just losing more LP from that one ‘Diamond I Smurf Warwick Mid’. You’re losing your entire series.
While much of the player base is capable of handling these situations without resorting to toxicity, if a player is going to rage, it’s liable to be in that moment; when all of their hard work is crushed by one other allied player, because of the way Riot’s ‘Series’ System functions.

Another benefit of removing series is that it’d help destroy the concept of ‘ELO hell’, whether it exists or not, by making transition between divisions much smoother. Currently, a player could effectively win almost every single one of his games, but still be stuck in Bronze V because he had 1 or 2 AFKers on his team in each series. This situation is highly hypothetical and unlikely, but it isn’t unlikely that players are often screwed out of ranking up because of a troll/feeder/afker in their Promos. In fact, I’d say this probably happens a lot.

Last but not least, lag. Lag is obviously a major factor in winning or losing in a game like this, especially lately with all of the apparent DDOS attacks and major server lag spikes. The Loss Prevented system is helpful but we all know how unreliable it can be. Lose a game due to lag, lose full LP – win the next game, have your LP cut in half because of loss prevention? Those sort of issues. The biggest problem is that Loss Prevention doesn’t actually apply to series. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if everyone in your game lags out and the servers are being DDOS attacked and Riot turns on Loss Forgiven, you’re STILL counted as having a ‘loss’ for that game in your Promo Series.

Basically, Promo Series increase the excitement of the game on a small scale, by making certain games more important. I believe Riot has specifically said this is their reason for wanting series in the game.

But that increase in ‘excitement’ comes at the cost of;
  • Increased stress & anxiety
  • Increased punishment from trolling teammates
  • Increased punishment from AFKing teammates
  • Increased punishment from feeding teammates
  • Increased toxicity
  • Increased rage
  • Increased belief in & rage over the concept of ‘ELO hell’
And finally, 

Increased factor of ‘random chance’ in determining your placement, rather than skill.

How is it worth it?

EDIT: An excellent compromise has been suggested. Keeping Promo Series only between ranks, but not between divisions. 
So, for example, there’d still be the increased stress & excitement of going from Platinum to Diamond, or even just Bronze to Silver – but you wouldn’t have to go through that stress for every division, between Bronze V, IV, III, etc.

 

Socrates New PortraitThanks for the feedback. A few of the reasons you called out for removing promos are issues that should be addressed across all ranked games and not just in promos. For example, whether you’re in promos or not, having somebody rage or AFK on your team isn’t a great experience. Also, lagging out in the middle of a ranked game whether you’re in promos or not totally sucks. 

We’ve been working with the player behavior team to create a more robust system to address behavior related issues in ranked. For example, we’re testing a feature on PBE called Ranked Restrictions that blocks players with a consistently negative behavior from playing ranked games. We will have more details to share on this in the coming weeks.

I’m not able to speak to lag issues in a super educated way, but I do know there is a team at work to address those issues. When we see connection issues, we enable compensation mode which forgives lost promos and lost LP, but still counts wins. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it does help shield players from a situation outside of their control.

One of the reasons you called out I disagree with. That is making ranked a more smooth experience. There is a bit more to series than just making the matches feel important and exciting. Division promotions reinforce the value of achieving competitive milestones. If we removed promotional series it would be easier to climb. In ranked easier doesn’t mean it’s strictly better though. Ranked play is about accepting the challenge of being measured by your skill. This is really what separates it from normals. Every change to make the system easier undermines what the accomplishments mean. What separates you from the players in lower tiers is not only the LP gains, but the series you fought through where you proved yourself and came out on top. 

If you consider the example you gave where a player is at the top of Bronze V and wins consistently, then fails to win his promos repeatedly, should he really qualify for Bronze IV? Probably not. If he’s going 1-1 assuming equal gains and losses he’s at 100 LP still. If he’s going 1-2 he’s lower than 100 LP, which is why LP can be lower after failing a series (especially in the case of going 0-2). There are a also number of safeties in place to ensure if you’re more than qualified to move on to the next tier you can either skip two tiers after completing your promos, or skip them entirely. If you’re in promos and not skipping it’s because the system isn’t confident enough in your skill to move you to the next tier yet.

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You can climb the ladder with winrate as low as 52

Socrates New PortraitThere is a misconception around this being true. In reality promotion series win rates are about ~47%.

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Win Streaks are counter-logical in SoloQ for a team game

Socrates New PortraitRanked solo isn’t for everybody, this is why it’s an opt in experience. Some players want to know how they measure up to the competition as an individual. It exists to serve this purpose. I challenge your assumption that solo queue position doesn’t reflect skill because it’s a team game though. Players consistently climb or fall to an accurate position on the ladder even after resets or when playing on alts. 

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Not familiar with Cassiopeia’s rework? Here’s the changelist.

 

 

If Twin Fang E lands on a dead target, will you be healed

STASHU New PortraitYes it should function in the improved way you describe here. If it’s not as forgiving as it needs to be, we can make it more so or less so as necessary. But yes, this problem was in the scope of these changes ;D

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You’re reversing Cassiopeia’s power curve and changing her

playstyle, when Cass players only wanted bugfixes

STASHU New PortraitGreat thinking here, you bring up a lot of interesting points. The ones I’m most interested in talking about are 1) 180 degree shift in play pattern , 2) that her damage is no longer reliant on her skill shots, and 3) that the update was just tacked on to bugfixes/reliability changes.

 


1) We tried to pay very careful attention to this one in our brainstorming. The reason the passive grants LOTS more stacks when hitting champions than minions/monsters is to preserve a lot of her old play pattern. That is, in order for lane bully Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently, and in order for scaling Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently. In terms of actual play pattern, not much has actually changed. The outputs (or, what her opponent notices) has changed a bit– Cassiopeia is less of a threat early in the game but more of a threat late game.

2) While her damage (number wise) will mostly come from her Twin Fang, she is entirely dependent on consistently landing Noxious Blast for both poison application and the movement speed to stay in range of Twin Fang. Miasma also helps her here, in much the same way.

So, where her damage is coming from in particular and at which points of the game her damage will be high arechanging, I think we’re preserving much of the traditional Cassiopeia play pattern.

3) So, I can definitely see how this update comes across as a misguided attempt at making a character ‘better’ for no good reason. I assure you, this is not the case! There were problems on Cassiopeia’s kit that, while not on the level of some other champions in the game, still needed to be addressed. Shurima and her texture update provided a great opportunity to do all of these things. I wont go deeply into the problems here, but they generally involve non-interactive lane bullying patterns, game-stalling, and problem with unsatisfying or under-appreciated DoTs (though, not by all people).

I hope all of this makes sense/seems fair. I also don’t seek to invalidate the concerns you expressed, as they are all certainly valid. I just wanted to provide some context on the changes and hopefully explain that there was a reason for everything. It’s true that all of this comes at costs, and as you explained, it may have left “her feeling like not-Cassiopeia for some people.” This is probably true for some people, and I’m sorry for that . However, in the end, I think Cassiopeia will still feel a lot like Cassiopeia in many of the ways that people love, express less problems than she has historically, and have a stronger identity overall. Time will certainly tell, and I promise to be around to make right anything that goes wrong.

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You’re turning Cassiopeia into a 2

STASHU New PortraitI could definitely see how some of the changes come across like this, but I’d have to disagree on a few points. Primarily, I think she has more of a kite pattern now than before, with her kiting tools having more power in their movementspeet related aspects and with her ult being more reliable.

I the end, it’s true, a lot of the math and comparison points for this update were ADCs, but I’m very confident that there are enough defining and distinct features in Cassiopeia’s gameplay (i.e, the way her kit comes together) to make her feel significantly different than ADCs.

As for mana, maintaining the mana to cast spells in lane should be very doable with some practice on priming minions with poison/basic attacks and last hitting them with E. If this turns out simply not to be true, then we’ll have to retune things accordingly.

I think we landed on a coherent kit that flows well, especially when you invest time into mastering it, so I encourage you to play around with it a bit. I really do hope that you enjoy it, as it definitely makes me sad to disappoint Cassiopeia players 

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Will Cassiopeia’s passive stack additively with Deathcap

STASHU New PortraitSo this is a little unclear, but the way these stack is as follows:

Base AP.
Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Archmage on top of Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Deathcap on top of Archmage and Aspect of the Serpent AP boosts.

So, the way the numbers break down, when both Deathcap and her passive are both giving 30% amped AP, Deathcap will actually be giving more, numerically, because it stacks on top of her passive.

Does that make sense?

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Why are you focusing her passive around farming

STASHU New PortraitIt’s not a farming passive D=. Well, it does include farming but…

The minion/monster farming part of the passive functions almost entirely as a fallback pattern. Though, it does come across as being the primary stacking mechanism. I found this very difficult to solve through messaging, but I assure you, if you crunch the numbers or just play enough games on her you’ll quickly realize that farming minions/monsters in hopes of stacking your passive is MUCH less efficient than hitting enemy champions with your abilities.

The minion/monster part of it is just so that when you can’t find any champions to fight, you have something to do to work towards your end goal. If this wasn’t the case, enemy champions could just play keep away all game and you’d get reallllly frustrated. That said, this is still an effective way of slowing down Cassiopeia, but at least she won’t be full-stopped.

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Suggestion Cassiopeia’s passive to evolve her spells

Cassiopeia gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent 
for each second that an enemy champion is poisoned, 
for each poisoned unit that she kills and when she 
hits an enemy champion with Twin Fang, 
up to a max. of 400 stacks.

  • 75 STACKS: 5% increased ability power.
  • 150 STACKS: 10% increased ability power.
  • 225 STACKS: 15% increased ability power.
  • 300 STACKS: 20% increased ability power.
  • 350 STACKS: 25% increased ability power.
  • 400 STACKS: 30% increased ability power.

At start of the game, and for each milestone she will also get 
an evolution point. These points can be spent on 7 
different upgrades. She will eventually get every 
upgrade, but the order is completely player dependent.
(Sort of like how Kha’Zix evolves)

  • Twin Fang now heals for 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 16 (+ 10% AP).
  • 25% bonus cooldown reduction.
  • 15 (+ 2% AP) bonus flat movement speed.
  • +15 HP/lvl (+ 25% AP)
  • 150 bonus range to Noxious Blast
  • 3 second lower cooldown to Miasma

Latent Venom – 5% of the damage from her basic abilities will be
added as Latent Venom, which will then burst 4 seconds after
the last damage taken from these abilities, refreshing with every new
instance of damage. (Imagine a refreshing Zed ult)

 

STASHU New PortraitI have to say, this is super exciting. However, if the passive we landed on had complexity costs, boy does this one haha. It would be fun to try something more like this, but it would require implementing all sorts of new systems to work with evolving a trait from a pool of 7 and all sorts of stuff like that, which the game currently doesn’t support. Maybe this could be a cool project some time in the future, but seems unlikely for now.

That said, I like the way you think!

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Why did you give her power spikes at

STASHU New PortraitWe actually had a version like you describe in testing, and the first version of Cassiopeia to hit PBE did this smooth scaling for the AP bonus. However, neither tested well, as the incremental increases were simply unappreciable, and other bonuses are intended to come into effect at specific points in the game and not until then. The stack mechanism and numbers that we landed on solved all this pretty well.

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In teamfights, Cass will be using

STASHU New PortraitIt’s true, things might be overtuned. However, itemizing one large many item (seraphs or RoA, say) allows you to over come this pretty handily because of how valuable they make the mana restore. As you grow your mana pool, you grow the rate at which you recover it, which should mean that both Cassiopeia has more ‘ammo’ and takes less time to ‘recharge’ as the game goes on. 

But it’s true, we’ll have to see if the numbers are just a little off.

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Her ability icons should be updated as well

STASHU New PortraitTotally agree here, but sadly they are on the backburner for now (they are there, though).

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You should be responding to criticism of the rework

STASHU New PortraitYeah, this seems to be how everyone is reacting. I see that I replied to one particularly positive one, and can see how that drew some suspicion. Though, I believe the rest of my posts have largely been in response to dissenting opinions. Maybe I’m wrong here. If that’s the case, I’m really sorry, that wasn’t my intention =[

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Is her new passive adjusted for Dominion

SSTASHU New Portraithe has not been adjusted on alternate maps. We could take an awkward stab at the numbers and hope they are close, but we simply don’t have enough data on how she would perform on those maps to make an accurate guess. The levers are in place to adjust her accordingly (namely, the number for her breakpoints changing based on the map), so we should have an easy time adjusting her for the different maps as we get more information.

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There should be visible particles for her passive stages

STASHU New PortraitI totally agree with you on clarity. There should be some particles in to more accurately represent this, like a poison explosion around her when it happens and snakes spiraling around her for each tier she has hit.

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If you don't want to support alternate game types, why did Twisted Treeline get a Ranked queue

Lyte New PortraitA lot of players have mentioned that “indication of improvement” and Ranked as a measurement of skill might be key drivers of player growth, but I haven’t found that to be a compelling argument for a few reasons.

One, when we look at Normal Summoner’s Rift versus Ranked Summoner’s Rift, we can see that most players prefer to play Normal Summoner’s Rift (and that the queue has done really well over the course of time).

It may surprise some, but Ranked is not the the mode the majority of players play! Although I agree that some players would play Dominion more if there was progression and a measurement of skill in something like Ranked, to say that it would drive general player growth is a stretch because most players prefer not being faced with high-intensity, high-stakes games every time they play League.

In fact, depending on how you slice the data, it’s possible that removing MMR in Dominion/Normal Summoner’s Rift actually increased the engagement of these modes because you’re removing the constant “stakes” in each match. 



Regarding Twisted Treeline Ranked, in retrospect, it’s hard to say whether it was the right choice. As a games studio, I think it’s OK sometimes to admit mistakes, and try to learn from them. Game design and game development is really hard, and it’s pretty difficult to predict exactly how players will receive a new feature, system or queue. In the old days, it seemed obvious that we should open a Ranked version of Twisted Treeline, but did it actually damage the overall growth of Twisted? Did players get frustrated with the queue times and lopsided matches, and quit Twisted altogether? These are key questions that help us learn from the choices we make.

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ARAM succeeded because it was heavily advertized

Lyte New PortraitI intend on reading the full post, but am curious about this point. How do you explain the growth of ARAM when it was a Custom Game? This was before the blog post, before being able to queue for it, before any support at all.

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How about replacing Normal Draft Dominion with Ranked

Lyte New PortraitThis is another interesting data point. If there was a large number of Normal Draft Dominion players, you might be able to argue that most of these players would be interested in Ranked Dominion and that would be the “starting” playerbase of Ranked Dominion plus some additional group of incoming players. 

However, Normal Draft Dominion is completely unplayed and has never had any engagement. In fact, after reviewing the data, we should probably close Normal Draft Dominion completely.

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Has Dominion's population ever drastically

Lyte New PortraitI didn’t see any times when Dominion’s population drastically rose. However, the official release of Howling Abyss did reduce the numbers on Dominion. This could suggest that players that enjoy “alternative” maps that have different pacing prefer Howling Abyss to Dominion, and that these maps fill the same need for these players. I understand that some players might think of Dominion as a competitive map, but it might not be the majority opinion. For example, I bet there are some players that think Howling Abyss is a competitive map and would prefer to play Ranked Howling Abyss too–but, it’d be a far stretch to say the majority of players think that way.

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How has ARAM's popularity fared over time

Lyte New PortraitHowling Abyss has done really well over time. 

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How many players prefer Normals to Ranked Games

Lyte New PortraitUnfortunately, I can’t release the exact orders of magnitude, but the vast majority of players still prefer Normals compared to Ranked.

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How has Team Builder affected queue populations

Lyte New PortraitInterestingly, Team Builder hasn’t pulled much from the alternative maps like Dominion and Twisted Treeline. Team Builder has mainly split the Normal Blind Pick population, which is something we’re very sensitive to. We have some key design choices we want to make in Team Builder to make the queues as fast as Blind Pick, and want to see how these changes play out before discussing the replacement of Blind Pick. For example, we may run some experiments where we do have players only select Position and see if the experiences are just as positive, but queue times are much lower.

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Are players not punished after being reported in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitThis is false. Players aren’t immune in any mode.

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Any short-term solution to Bot accounts in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitYes, we’re working on a few short-term things to combat Bots in Dominion. Drevarius is a designer that has been working on that problem. As you might know, we usually don’t discuss anti-hacking or anti-botting measures because it typically is an arms race.

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Ranked gives legitimacy to modes and ups their popularity

Lyte New PortraitIntroducing Ranked Dominion might translate to an increase in the population that plays Normals, but the question is what the increase might be? Secondly, would the increase in Normal Dominion players be enough to compensate and overcome the pull that Ranked Dominion would have on current Normal Dominion players? 

As an aside, realistically, turning on new queues isn’t as simple as flipping switches. Rioters might have trivialized this in the past, but as someone directly involved in Team Builder, new queues require continuous monitoring and maintenance by a team.

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Master Tier now live on NA

Socrates New PortraitHey all, with the launch of Master Tier Diamond players may notice some changes to their LP gains and losses. Here’s what is going on in these cases:

* The top 200 challenger spots were protected by a concept called ‘clamping’ before Master Tier was introduced. This ensured the top 200 dudes on the server had both the highest LP and MMR. This greatly slowed gains and losses, making small gains appear normal. Removing clamping means gains (both up and down) are more fluid now. Since in some cases clamping was actually protecting players from falling down too quickly, these players will see some larger losses and smaller gains until they’re back where the system expects them to be.

* In other tiers (bronze – plat) league standing is a very accurate mapping of player skill, but there is a buffer to slow players LP losses temporarily if they start to go on a losing trend. Since clamping was removed, but challenger and master must contain the very best players, the loss shielding is thinner in diamond than other tiers. In other words, gains and losses can feel more swingy.

Gains should become more stable over time. We’ll be monitoring how LP changes stabilize over the next few days and evaluating if we need to make adjustments or not based on the results.

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Patch Rundown – 4 16

Want to check Patch 4.16’s notes? Here’s a link:

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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.