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Posts Tagged ‘ghostcrawler’

 

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Summary

Ghostcrawler answers forum drama regarding players being ignored in the development process of League and delves into the community split on reworks and who the game should be balanced for. Morello continues the discussion regarding Soraka’s upcoming rework and, more specifically, her passive making her squishier. Finally, a few suggestions about more functions for the Smart Ping wheel and an explanation on Reddit by Socrates regarding the extreme LP losses Diamond players in EUW have been experiencing lately.

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

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Riot needs to listen more to its player base

Ghostcrawler New Portrait One of the things that really infuses the workplace here is value that players are the most important thing, period. I am convinced that Rioters really believe that in their souls and we’re pretty good about not hiring people who aren’t bought into that value. If it has felt lately that we’re putting ourselves up on a pedestal over you guys, then that’s just a communication failure on our part. I love that aspect of Riot. We aren’t the VIPs; you guys are. If you don’t feel that way, then we’re just going to have to work harder to convince you.

Now, I’m not going to comment on the story elements at all. That’s not my gig and I’m not armed with the proper context to have that conversation. Apologies in advance.

I can talk about the champion updates and related issues about gameplay such as the Fortify and defensive play topics mentioned by the OP. 

First, we don’t know better than players. We have some experience making games and hopefully we’ve hired folks with some natural talent for game development, but at the end of the day players are going to decide if they play the game or not. To put it in a bland business sentiment, this product is for you. The biggest challenge here is that players rarely speak with one voice. It may seem to you that “everyone” wanted a champion changed in a certain way or even all the “X players” really liked a specific identity that we decided to change. It’s just rarely that cut and dried. (And man, this job would be so much easier if it were.)

Remember that only a small minority of players ever post on forums, or reach out to us on Reddit or Twitter, and also remember most of you are only viewing those conversations in one or two languages at most. What may seem like universal consensus is rarely anything close to that.

And that’s okay! We’re not trying to design a game based on community vote, and you probably wouldn’t be happy with the results anyway. We do very much value player feedback and we use it to make informed decisions. That’s the reason I cracked open this (long) thread this morning — to see what you guys thought.

To provide some context on champion updates specifically, here is the way I view player sentiment. Feel free to disagree. 

Player response, again IMO, generally falls into one of these categories:

1) I am indifferent to this champion or her changes.
2) I play the champion because she is broken, so I’m not going to be happy once she is fixed.
3) I believe the champion needs to be updated, but I am excited about one particular direction, which is unlikely to be the one Riot chooses.
4) I believe the champion needs to be updated, and either Riot managed to pick the direction I liked, or I was happy just to see an update period.

Out of those four categories, you’re going to see a lot of communication from players in groups 2 and 3. Indifferent group 1 dudes are unlikely to post that they are still indifferent. Group 4 might post a little. As a result, it can feel like there is a lot of negative sentiment every time we make a change. We keep gathering data though, to make sure in the long term that the champ is getting more play and that players are enjoying playing her. To be fair, we sometimes miss the mark, or frequently a champion requires a few subsequent rounds of updates to really deliver on the promise of the update.

I’m not sure of a better way to operate other than considering player feedback in this way. I don’t think polls or votes would really be a strong way to design a game. I’m not sure how we could isolate the most hardcore or passionate players of a specific champion and redesign her with the aim of pleasing those dudes. We’re totally open to suggestions though. How would you determine the best way to update a champion? I’m not asking because we are without a process, but because some of you don’t seem happy with that process.

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He’s not wrong to say that

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe point I was trying to make was that forum posts aren’t good quantitative (numeric) sources of data. They are excellent qualitative (value) sources of data.

Saying “everyone is saying X” doesn’t provide a ton of information, and is almost certainly not technically true. We get less information out of something like “100 posters agree with me that Nidalee sucks” and a lot more about reading something like “What I really liked about Nidalee was how she threw spears across the map. If I had wanted a champion that changed into an animal, I would have picked Shyvana.”

Again, there is a difference among “we know better than you” and “we make decisions informed by what you’re saying” and “we go implement whatever you want.” We shoot for the middle option if that wasn’t obvious. 

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Some people are happy with their favourite Champion and don’t want a rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitOkay, that’s fair. I was describing the feedback once we’d already announced that we’re working on an update, but there are players who are reasonably happy with the state of a current champion and think he or she needs tweaks at most. Point taken.

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Why is Cassiopeia’s rework taking priority over Sion’s, Urgot’s or Poppy’s

Ghostcrawler New PortraitA lot goes into determining the order of champion updates. Here are just a few elements:

— Maybe someone is already working on another champion, but it’s taking longer.
— Maybe we’re trying to coordinate a visual update with a gameplay update.
— Maybe we don’t have a good idea yet for how to update a particular champ.
— Maybe an update won’t help because the champ in question is being dominated by another in the same role with even worse counterplay, so nobody is going to play the former until the latter is always fixed.

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Summary of player complaints on Riot’s control over League’s design

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThis is one of those threads that has gone on so long in so many different directions that it’s difficult to respond to the variety of comments. Nonetheless, I’ll try to hit a few common responses.

 


“You guys need to engage with us more.”

We’d love to, but what specifically do you mean by that? I don’t have the breadth of knowledge or even the bandwidth to debate point-by-point every topic that comes up in GD. I don’t want to get into the situation where we have to convince the community to allow us to make a change. That would be remarkably inefficient and risks feeling like the crowd sourcing model that I said we wanted to avoid. However, if there are specific opportunities to talk to players that you think we are missing, we’d definitely consider those. I am thrilled that some of you mentioned you feel like we have gotten better about providing context for design changes. That’s awesome, but there’s still a lot more we can do.

“You’re just making an argument for why you don’t have to listen to us.”

This makes me sad, because it’s the exact opposite of the impression I was trying to make. Let me try another angle. How many times do you make a point on GD or anywhere and have someone else disagree? Many of those threads go on quite long because you might think a champ is oppressive while someone else thinks they are fine, or underpowered, or just needs a small tweak. In these frequent situations where there is a lack of consensus, how are we supposed to navigate the right path, when almost every design change (or even lack of change) is going to disappoint someone? (And if you think you’ve seen a thread where “everyone” agrees on a design change, I’d love to see it.)

Again, this is how feedback works. If you tell us your concerns, your goals, your ideas, then we will consider them as we make changes. We also seek feedback after a change to see if it’s hit the mark, and then frequently iterate over the course of a few patches before we feel like we’ve really accomplished the goal of the update. Do you really want a game where we implement every change that gets posted on GD? Wouldn’t that be terrifying? If not, how would you decide who to listen to or not?

We love feedback and we do appreciate it when you take the time to post something. For all the complaints you may still have about League, I suspect you’d have a whole lot more if the feedback cycle didn’t work to improve things over time.

“You’re calling us a vocal minority.”

The point I was trying to make is that quantifying this or any forum is challenging and prone to abuse. In the end, the numbers don’t really matter. It comes down to the strength of arguments. We aren’t trying to make the majority happy. We’re trying to make everyone happy, without watering down the game, as ridiculous a goal as that sounds.

Here is another example. A couple of months ago, USA players were taking us/me to task for not nerfing Lee Sin. While he had some defenders in that thread, it was, to be fair, pretty one-sided. I said we thought he was too good at too many things. The next day the Chinese forums exploded with a lot of players who love the way Lee plays that were outraged that we would consider him broken. Were there more of them than there were US players? Was the overall passion of the Chinese players greater or less than those of the US players? I have no idea. How to you even measure something like that? In the end, we tried to figure out how we could tone him down without wrecking those aspects that players really liked about him. Nearly every change to the game plays out similarly.

“You only talk in generalizations, not specifics.”

High level, long term design is what I do. That’s the only thing I feel comfortable discussing unless I’ve had a really recent discussion with someone on a specific topic. We have been trying to get more Rioters out here so you have a bigger chance of talking to someone who is working on your exact feature. But that’s also a two way street. I’ve been doing this a long time (sixteen years!), and it’s not really possible to scare me away from forums. But when we ask other Rioters why they don’t spend time doing it, the three most common answers are: I’m scared of saying the wrong thing, it takes a huge amount of time, and the environment feels hostile. To the extent you can make the environment more positive, you’ll see more participation. I’m not saying don’t criticize. I’m saying don’t be a stereotypical internet troll when you do. Yes, it’s part of our job and I will do what I can from my end to encourage more designers to be out here.

If there are other high level topics you would appreciate me tackling (not specifics like Cass reworks or the future of lore) I’d be happy do do so.

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Why did Riot suddenly decide to rework the

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIf I am remembering correctly, the concern was that fear was really random. Sometimes a feared target would run toward you and sometimes they would run away (a particularly sad reaction for Fiddlesticks). A little bit of unpredictability provides situations in which players have to make on-the-spot choices for how to react, which is a good test of mastery and reflexes. But when it feels like RNG has more effect on your performance than your decisions, that can be really frustrating. Crit is another example, but that’s a very long discussion. 

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Communicate with Challenger and Diamond 1 players on private message boards

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe do some of this already, and may dive deeper into it. The main risks have to do with a sense of elitism. We already try to navigate a knife’s edge of perceptions about whether we design the game only for the pros or only for the average player. The thought that pros (or even top tiered players in general) might have a bat phone to reach the developers in a secret conversation in which other players can’t even participate rubs other players understandably the wrong way. The top-tiered players themselves get nervous of their comments being used against them, especially if it’s private correspondence that becomes leaked.

Finally, there are expert players who don’t have great insight into which changes would be good for the game overall, and there are Bronze players who can’t execute on plays but have a really good sense for specific changes that would improve the game for everyone. This is the whole “just because you eat a lot of good food, that doesn’t make you a chef,” argument.

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New Soraka won’t be able to build health and will loses resists

Morello New PortraitOh Linna, I’m glad to see that some thing never change. Our war shall never resolve!

On a serious note, I’m excited to crack open how to make a healer with gameplay in a PvP game. Vesh has worked very hard to try to make this a reality, and the previoust costs/downsides with things like blue healers or even other LoL champions don’t do well when you give a character bonkers haling to friends.

I’ve been against healing as a role a long time – I’ve learned my problems are with its execution and lack of decisions (for themselves or enemies) that’s problematic. So, we’ve take a stab at fixing that.

You should be scared as Soraka. You’re trying to heal people who should kill people and protect people for you. You can still buy GA and have 80% of the value in defense. You’re not going to have 4000 HP and 200 armor/100MR on Soraka. As a healer, being tanky WOULD be the natural build, so we have to prevent that case.

THIS can let us make a character who SUPPORTS by HEALING to an unprecendented degree in LoL. No one else can do this. You want support to change a game? You want new reasons to pick a character? I hear you – super clearly.

It’s not all buffs. It’s hard ass choices.

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It’s a scary concept of how she may be too squishy with this passive

Morello New PortraitIt’s definitely scary – on this we agree. I think there’s three conversation points:

1) I fundamentally believe if Soraka is allowed to get tanky, we’ll have to gut her. This release valve is there to prevent this and allow her to be good.

2) New Soraka is both more narrow and more unique. Picking Soraka is very different than picking another support. If we want champions to have a unique strategic identity and have a reason “to be played,” this is important.

3) The current passive can be tuned into obliteration if it’s actually a problem, but we need a release valve. I know Soraka wants AR/MR/HP – that’s why we have to discourage it or it will run afoul of 1), and Soraka will be gutted, and we might as well have not done anything and left her in the dumpster.

Tradeoffs are a huge component of good design, and sustainable champions. We’ve chosen these ones because we believe it will allow us to actually make a real healer character.

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Follow Up

Morello New PortraitThat’s basically how insane her HPS and saving gets. It’s unlike anything we have on heals…2s Cooldown, high AP ratio, and big gains. You NEED to kill Soraka or a fight is unwinnable in this model.

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What if she’s so good at healing that she can't be allowed to be tanky

Morello New PortraitYes – this is the first time we’ve done that. My expectation is not that people get super excited about this, but instead it makes it so she can function and not get kneecapped as soon as she’s good.

This design technique acts as a release valve for bullshit scenarios without requiring us to murder the core functions and unique abilities of the character. A Critical Guideline of Soraka is that she must be vulnerable to being killed while healing to allow her to be an insane health-refiller. This means we have to put preventative measures in there to ensure she stays what way – especially as items will be buffed/nerfed/added/removed long after Soraka’s out.

So Soraka can’t get tanky. That’s the whole point.

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So you don't think that we need a

Reinboom New PortraitOops! Most of my post was focused at the “Ult up in…” (mainly).

I actually like “Warded”, it’s very positional, very informative, and difficult to describe in current tools. It’s exactly the type of problem that the radial menu would be perfect to solve.

For that I think the issue there is more “Where do we put this?”. Which is solvable (Another radial menu perhaps?).

If a team looks at the problemspace in more depth, I think that’ll be the real difficulty, thinking out in the blue.

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Why don’t you remove the

Reinboom New PortraitThat’s a consideration that’s been passed around quite a bit.

My worry there is that of familiarity.

Anecdotal case: When we were first developing the radial menu, the left and right were actually swapped.

We actually had it internally for nearly 9 months before we released it IIRC (the team prioritized the then new HUD and the item shop above the radial menu so it got set aside for awhile). That’s a LOT of time to get familiar to something in play behavior.

Even now, personally, I will accidentally ping as though it was what it used to be because the menu optimized around muscle memory. We flipped it for good reasons, but it’s still quite disruptive as an individual.

That’s a type of disruption I would rather avoid if possible for other players. Again, muscle memory is super significant here.

That said, a few of us have played with the idea of other types of ping as well. Establishing a different input behavior rather than replacing an existing one could open us up to do more. (And it means we don’t let you guys sink in to the muscle memory case in the replacement version).

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Cassiopeia’s rework is expanding beyond her just being a lane bully

Morello New Portrait Very true – Cassiopeia – WHEN powerful – is a lane bully only. That’s why you pick her and what she does.

While we were doing a little texture update, we had a really fast, low-scope idea to help fix her up and make her into something other than a “remove ability to lane champion” and focus on the other identity she does have; AP super-carry.

We don’t balance around alternate maps. That’s why I don’t like the idea of more maps, because they erode the game for low benefit. I do think the proper way to FIGHT stagnation and staleness is to add identities to “why do I pick this champion instead of X?” Cass’s low-scope changes are an attempt to address that, as opposed to “I take her to beat the shit out of people when they can’t fight me.”

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Extreme LP losses in Diamond EUW

Socrates New PortraitHey all, here is what’s going on in this case:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Some of the gains and losses here do look a bit extreme but 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.

This should have been more explicitly called out in our messaging around this to prepare players for the shift. I will work with the messaging team to update the original post around this.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

 

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Summary

Ghostcrawler shared the balance team’s thoughts on Tristana and that she’s in need in nerfs that won’t be at Worlds, for fear of changing the game environment unnecessarily for training teams. He also addressed Soraka‘s healer-focused rework, ADC itemization and the age-old topic of Ranged vs Melee. Soraka was also within scope of today’s red posts on the community beta forums, along with Sona and her state post-rework. Lastly, Meddler confirmed Sion won’t be receiving band-aid changes before his rework and an announcement that the in-client store will soon be revamped.

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

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Do you guys have any plans to nerf Tristana

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYeah, she needs nerfing. Realistically it is unlikely to happen before worlds. We like for those matches to take place on as stable a build as possible that has been thoroughly tested, so even very good changes can be ultimately risky. We also think it’s reasonable for the players to expect that numbers won’t go changing wildly right in the middle of worlds.

To clarify, she needs some sort of weakness. If we just lower her damage or something, players may just switch from her to Kog or someone which just substitutes one dominant ADC for another. Ideally we’d like to give her some trade-offs so that you can choose her for her strengths or avoid her because of her weaknesses.

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Follow Up

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI said: To clarify, she needs some sort of weakness. If we just lower her damage or something, players may just switch from her to Kog or someone which just substitutes one dominant ADC for another. Ideally we’d like to give her some trade-offs so that you can choose her for her strengths or avoid her because of her weaknesses.

You said: Remember when you said the whack a mole strategy was something you were trying to steer away from? Yet you just keep doing it. 

I think we are saying the same thing.

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So will every game at Worlds be decided by who gets Trist

Ghostcrawler New PortraitAs a few other players have pointed out, she isn’t as popular in Korea.

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So you’d rather nerf Tristana than buff other ADs

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYou get the same outcome whether you add or subtract numbers. You’re just deciding if the number 20 or the number 25 is the target and adjusting all the others to reach it. The same risks apply because if you accidentally get Trist at 26 and Ashe at 23, then players still understandable choose Trist over Ashe. In fact, bringing all the others up is actually more risky — in other words, it’s easier to nerf than buff — because the more numbers you touch, the more the likelihood that you will change something in a way you didn’t anticipate.

A better solution, we believe, is making sure champions have niches — that they have strengths and weaknesses. To use the same example, rather than asking whether you’d play the champion at power level 20 or power level 25, you’re choosing among the number 20, the letter B or the color green. It’s easiest to see this in supports where choosing Thresh vs. Braum vs. Nami gives you different strengths for different trade-offs and also causes the rest of your team and the other team to approach things differently. We want to make sure fighters and marksmen (who typically have the least well-defined niches) feel the same way. Does that explanation make sense?

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Can’t we get the Trist nerfs on Live, but keep Worlds on the old patch

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere is some value in players not having to remember two versions of the game (live vs. LCS) because it’s confusing, but overall we agree that there isn’t much point in holding back good changes from live. My point was that we are unlikely to see changes in worlds themselves. You might see them on live. (We do know that a lot of players do gravitate towards whatever the pros are using, even if the builds are different.)

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The problem with ADCs is they have too much self-peel

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI agree. They already have the advantage of range. They don’t also need excellent movement, survivability and tons of CC. I feel like we often slapped those mechanics on abilities just to give the ability a little oomph, not because the ADCs really needed to be more slippery. Part of the intent is that in a team fight you need to cooperate as a team to keep them alive.

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You’ll always assume the most popular Champion has no weaknesses

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWell to be fair, a lot of champions do lack weaknesses. But we’re pretty happy with Lucian, Vayne and Kog for example. Even if they start to feel over or underpowered we feel like we have dials we can turn there. If we nerf Trist’s damage right now, she probably just goes away as a viable pick. For example, she used to be weaker mid game where she needed a few more items to become really scary. Now she can get like 1-2 and be good to go. She also used to be weaker in lane, but we toned down Lucian’s lane bullying. Without explicitly intending to, we removed her downsides.

I don’t know what specific changes we would make to her. I leave that up to the live team. I’m just presenting the problem.

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Some Supports are clearly better than others\

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTrue, but we did recently update Sona and Soraka is incoming. There have been some pitches for Taric. We’ve had difficulty nerfing Lulu mid a little without nerfing her support ability, but she doesn’t feel that far off either. (And to be clear, she’s fine in mid, so long as that doesn’t push out other mids or push Lulu out of support.) We see a lot of Leona. Janna can do things nobody else can do, so I bet we’re a tiny tweak away from her getting picked.

Caveat: I’m also talking a lot specifically about the NA finals here, because they just happened and I was fortunate enough to watch them live. The sample size is small and those guys, like everyone, have their own personal preferences. They tend to play conservatively (though it’s fun to watch when they don’t) because the price for failed experimentation is pretty high. I’m not sure it should be a goal that each game in a pro match has a different ADC and support from the previous one. (Which is not to say Nidalee getting banned or Trist getting pick/banned most games is the target either.)

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ADC meta is going to stay like that as long as you’re in charge

Ghostcrawler New Portrait Is this because of the discussion a few weeks ago when I said melee need love? 

If we look at the NA finals (which certainly aren’t the only measure of balance but they’re fresh on my mind) we saw Corki, Jinx, Lucian, Kog and a whole lot of Trist. I may have forgotten one. Of those, Trist (and maybe Kog) are the ones we worry about being too dominant.

We think it’s safe to say that the ADC itemization tweaks from a few patches ago, while noble in their goal, ended up removing some of the weaknesses that Tristana had. I’m not sure what steps the live team will take to make sure Trist has some kind of weakness again, but when we last discussed it, we all agreed it was a problem. Interestingly, we see her used less in Korea so it will be fun to see how this all shakes out in worlds.

Again, LCS picks aren’t the only measure of champ power that we use, but we know they do heavily influence picks in normal ranked play.

Apologies for the derail, since the original topic wasn’t ADCs at all, but I wanted to share our thoughts on the issue. If you have feedback on the Cas or Soraka updates, we’ll make sure the respective designers see it.

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Questions about GC’s past, Cassiopeia and Soraka’s reworks

 

Its Ghostcrawler. What did you expect, a rework that makes any sense?? Let me point you to the many ‘reworks’ we had in WoW… Oh ya, they all went just like this as well.

 

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI don’t do champ updates and I don’t tell that team what to do, other than offer some higher level design direction. What I am interested in is the long term health of the game. So questions like “How do we position melee so they have a chance against ranged champions without just pumping up their passive stats?” is something I am involved in. So is making sure you guys have some insight into why we make the changes we do. More on that below.

 

Just a question, how do you explain the fact that since you’ve joined Riot ranged champions have been dominant over melees for the most part of your time being here?

 

Also since I have been here, Riot has updated SR and announced Worlds in Korea. I also can take close to zero credit for either of those decisions. If I were to secretly or overtly tell the designers that our mission is to make ranged dominant but shhh don’t let any players know of our plan, I’m pretty sure I’d be fired. This is a business, not any one developer’s private toy box.

 

Would you at least care to comment on why cassiopeia is being changed from the poison dot queen to just a ryze 2.0?

 

You’d be better off talking to the designer working on that update. IIRC the direction was to give her more of a late carry feel at the cost of some of her lane bullying potential, but I’m pretty sure nobody here wants to see a hyperscaling, CDR crazy snake Ryze.

 

I’m pretty sure at this point the respective designers (it’s Morello really for Soraka) don’t care about the issues the community has with the reworks.

 

Couple of things. Morello isn’t doing that update. He doesn’t do those either. He feels like he needs to comment because for so long he told players that we thought a true healer wasn’t healthy for League. We are trying it anyway with Soraka, so he wants to provide context for this apparent change of heart.

Second, we understand that champ updates aren’t likely to be greeted with universal acclaim. Some players like broken champs because they’re broken. Others want to see them fixed, but have a specific direction they’d like to see that is sometimes at odds with the direction we choose. We have been trying to articulate our thinking in patch notes, forecasts and rundowns to make that direction clear. Ultimately we do want players to feel like they have lots of options in who they play, and don’t want them to feel that a favorite champion is doomed to stay non-viable in competitive play. That’s a compass heading and not the kind of thing we can fix overnight. There are a lot of updates needed.

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Do you want Ranged champions to have more influence than Melee

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI think ranged champions are too dominant and I’d like to see melee bring more to the table than “I hit hard if I can ever close the gap.” I don’t think that’s a simple matter of just buffing melee stats, because then the seesaw just tips in the opposite way: ranged can never kill a melee until the latter is in their face, at which point the melee dumps out all their CDs and gets a kill. (It also makes melee vs melee duels pretty boring because they are both soaking a lot of damage.)

We want to rework fighters. It’s a big project and not the kind of thing you are going to see in a patch or two. I know that’s frustrating, but really our only options on large scope changes like this are to talk about them early (in which case it’s frustrating that you see no action for a long time) or we don’t talk about them (in which case it’s frustrating because you don’t know if we even acknowledge the problem or are formulating a solution). The option of “just fix everyone next patch” isn’t really an option.

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The ADC itemization changes harmed the game

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt was something the design team as a whole wanted to do. The problem we were trying to fix was having such static, pre-determined build orders for ADCs. In retrospect you can argue that the change caused more overall harm to the game than good, but at the same time, if we’re super paranoid about making any change with long-term ramifications, it just means we’ll make fewer changes overall.

If anything, the ADC itemization changes (in 4.11 IIRC) illustrate how hard it is to touch one part of the game without touching everything else, which further complicates really big projects like a melee rework. We can try to make larger changes in preseason where players tend to be more understanding of disruption, but there are probably inevitably going to be times when we make a change for a good reason, but have to follow it up with a lot of other changes in subsequent patches.

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We don’t like you because of what you did to WoW

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWhat I did on WoW is get out on forums and twitter and talk to players. That is the only reason most players even know my name and not many of the other leads. I plan on still communicating though, hopefully even more so.

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Soraka and Sona Banner

 

 

Current state of Sona and suggestions for buffs

Here’s a link to the whole post; it’s a good read if you’re interested in an analysis of post-rework Sona.

Fearless New PortraitHey all, just wanted to hop in here and say that I have read this post and have been thinking about what next steps Sona needs or can support. Initial thoughts are that while Sona is slightly less successful, she’s still very much on the winning side, so justification for straight buffs is pretty weak.

Usability changes are still something I’m very much interested in attempting, but finding ones that don’t increase her power dramatically may take some extra time. I can’t commit to anything, but I did want to let everyone know that we’ve still been talking about Sona, and we do want to make sure she’s satisfying, even if she’s not in need of straight buffs.

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Will other healers receive changes like Soraka in her rework
Scruffy New PortraitSoraka is an exception in this case: we want to give her healing that is so much stronger than any healer we have ever tried in League before that the health cost becomes a necessary tradeoff.

Healing like Sona’s or Nami’s is within a more ‘standard healing’ amount that wouldn’t need a health cost to stay balanceable.

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What would make Soraka’s heal better than Sona’s

Scruffy New PortraitTo sort of simplify it a bit, Soraka has pretty much the same heal as Sona’s W but on a 2 second cooldown instead of a 10 second cd.

So both the overall sustain and the burst healing are more. This is where health cost comes in, we want her to have extreme healing power that she doesn’t just spam and has to think about when to use it and how.

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Soraka’s new passive seems pretty bad

Vesh New PortraitOk so let me explain a bit about the reasoning here.

The goal is to let armor and MR purchases still make Soraka tanky, but in the correct ways. For each point of armor and MR you have, each individual health point becomes a higher effective amount. The ways we don’t want Soraka to be tanky are in the short window of burst, because we feel that Soraka needs to be vulnerable if she’s allowed to spam low CD heals on her whole team.

We -do- want Soraka to be survivable over the long run of the fight however. This means that the health return she gets for landing Q restores similar amount of -effective- HP in the long term because you still have 80% of the mitigation as raw stats and 20% of the value as AP that is effecting the value of the heal. Does that make sense? 

Defensive stats still make her scale defensively, but a lot of that defensive power comes from her health regen being stronger, and when she has resists each point of HP is “worth” more, causing the value of the health return to scale in two ways at once. This way we can adjust how much of her long term tankiness needs to be dependent on hitting Qs and how much should just be stats. If we find that the health return isn’t offsetting the lack of resists, we can simply increase how much AP she gets per point of resits. It’s already in her favor currently (each point of armor/MR is worth 20 gold and AP is worth 21.75 I believe).

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Why not make Soraka’s W heal cost a % of Current HP, not Max HP

Vesh New PortraitThis gets asked a lot so let me explain. As you get close to the 50% mark, you create a pretty binary situation where if the enemy doesn’t have the tools to burst you, you basically get to sustain your carry infinitely as your costs get lower. Additionally, it creates weird incentives about how much health you ideally want to have to be the most efficient. With the % current model, it’s actually way more efficient to keep your health low, but we don’t really want to *encourage* people to tank their health down for efficiency. ideally, you want to stay as healthy as possible all of the time.

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Will the Store be revamped

Saberprivateer New PortraitThanks for the question. We ARE working on revamping the store as well. The first target for the Unlock team will be the boost page. This is part of a larger effort where we’ve been getting feedback from players and diving into the overall design. In parallel with that the team has been working hard on improving the infrastructure. There is a lot we can do to improve the experience in the store!

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Will Sion receive changes before his rework like Urgot

Meddler New PortraitFair question, in this case I’d argue what’s good for one champ doesn’t suit another though. That’s because Sion’s kit update is a lot closer than Urgot’s. Urgot’s is sometime next year, and not at the start, at the very earliest. Sion’s also in a better spot effectiveness wise than Urgot was. His kit’s pretty disjointed, but it’s more feasible to be an effective team member as Sion at present than it was on pre 4.15 Urgot. 

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

 

News Update August 29 Banner

 

Summary

 

Recent News

Bans-for-Feeding-Banner

PBE-Update-August-27-Banner

 

 

Soraka Rework Banner


 

 

Vesh New PortraitSoooo as some of you may have heard, we’ve been working on some pretty big changes to Soraka. Hopefully this post will help you guys see some of the challenges we faced with her as a character and how we are looking to resolve them while creating a really deep and interested play experience that no other character in LoL can offer.

 

Right then, so first thing first. We wanted to carve out a really specific niche for Soraka so that we could make her really strong and unique in that role. The role that we identified for her was as the core healer of the League of Legends roster. So, I’m sure that raises a bunch of alarm bells for a number of you.
“Wait a second, hasn’t Morello said in the past that he hates healers in LoL? What changed?”

Well, there’s a difference between healing with and without meaningful costs and interaction. Let’s talk about that for a second. With Live Soraka (and especially season 1 Soraka, if you were around for that), heals tend to “undo” action at the cost of mana. Specifically, being a sustain fountain that clicks your ally until they are healthy doesn’t create a very compelling gameplay space, and certainly doesn’t feel like a fair interaction to enemies. After all, all they can do is keeping harassing until Soraka runs out of mana. So then, what would feel fair?

That was the core problem I was looking to solve when I started on Soraka. After some early iterations, Morello pitched something crazy to myself and RiotScruffy. What if Soraka had to pay her own health to heal allies, but could then get it back through a separate enemy-interactive spell? ;
This became the driving vision behind the new Soraka, and I’m really excited to share what’s going to be hitting PBE in the next cycle with you guys. This is not going to be a tl;dr post (if you want that version, I’m sure you can wait for blakinola’s). I want to get in depth about every choice that was made and why we felt it was necessary. So without further to do, here’s the kit. (This is going to go in the order most conducive to walking you through my process, so don’t get confused when I start on W).

PLEASE PLEASE note that all of these numbers are definitely not final. We will be doing a lot of tuning over the next couple of weeks.

W:

This is the core of Soraka’s new kit. It’s a 4 second (scaling down to 2) heal that she can use to constantly direct her attention to the ally that needs it most. We are trying to really capture the feeling of the core healer that is constantly managing her allies’ health bars and keeping people alive. As I mentioned previously, the % health cost is necessary to allow Soraka to have such insane potential healing. Using this spell, you can easily heal an ally from almost dead to full health, but you will pay a heavy cost for doing so if you aren’t actively engaging in your offensive loop (Starcall). The Max Health cost was chosen very specifically over a flat health cost so that Soraka would not be able to increase her overall healing potential by stacking tank items (especially warmogs). If Soraka is going to be allowed to keep people alive in fights, she needs to be vulnerable in doing so. Soraka’s positioning and decision making will be a huge point of mastery. That reminds me, the cast range on this spell will be rather short. This is necessary to make sure Soraka is accessible when she chooses to heal and can’t sit 800 units behind the back line and heal from total safety (seriously, this is the most frustrating thing ever to have to deal with). Good news though, she will have other tools on her kit to help her here.

Passive:

This passive we called “Astral Ambulance” internally. Because Soraka’s cast range on W needs to be constrained, we need to give her another way to reliably reach the targets she wants to heal. This new passive allows Soraka to keep up with the fight and make clutch saves by sprinting across the river to get that heal off.

The second potion of this passive allows Soraka to get the cool bonus effects off items like Frozen Heart while making your healing and damage stronger. This should open up a couple cool new itemization choices for her. It also serves a potential release valve in a future where mitigation itemization allows Soraka to be too tanky. This way we can tune how strong Soraka is in certain areas (healing/damage) without just flat out nerfing her if she is ever able to become too tanky.

That brings us to the new Starcall. I don’t think you guys need much of an explanation of why the previous starcall needed to be cut. It was essentially a ramping damage PBAoE ability on a character that is supposed to be a support focused around her ally. A ramping damage pattern like this is really indicative of tanks, and if we wanted Soraka to be an interactive and fair healer, we had to give her opponent a way to be successful against stopping her healing.

Q:

Ideally, we wanted this spell to be very reliable at close range (when Soraka is at extremely high risk) while be equally as powerful but less reliable at long ranges (so that if Soraka is poking with it her opponents can dodge). This led us to a targeting paradigm similar to Corki Q or Twitch W (basically a missile that doesn’t have any effects until the end where it blows up in an AoE). To really accentuate the reliable-when-close paradigm, we also added a small sweet spot in the middle of the AoE (think Leona ult style). If Soraka hits an enemy with the sweet spot, the enemy takes 150% of the damage and is slowed for 2 seconds. You’ll see why this slow is really important to her offensive pattern when we get to E, but one other thing I wanted to point out was that this is one of the few tools she has to stay safe when she’s by herself.

Finally, let’s talk about the E. Soraka’s previous E was one of the better decision points on her old kit, but a targeted silence just wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been. A lot of the time you don’t even realize how much you have or haven’t hurt your opponent. Tryndamere and Riven are both AD stacking melees. If you use it on Tryndamere, it might not be a big deal, but if you use it on Riven she literally can’t do anything. What we really wanted to do here was give Soraka a much bigger moment when it came to play making that still fulfilled the power of quickly silencing a dude quickly

E:

Equinox is an incredibly powerful spell. An AoE silence zone is no laughing matter, and the root at the end allows her to make some really cool plays (dropping it where Lissandra is about to blink to, or underneath an incoming enemy teleport, etc.) The root will scale with level, but once again try not to focus on numbers since these are all subject to change with tuning.

Wish is largely unchanged, but because her old passive was removed (more healing at lower ally health), this scaling was kept on wish but concentrated into a clear threshold.

R:

This change allows Soraka to understand exactly how many “bonus heals” she is going to get when she presses the button, and also makes the spell just generally more powerful when it matters (anytime the ally is below 40% they get the equivalent power of being at 1% with the wish on Live currently). We kept the healing scaling on Wish and not on W because we didn’t want Soraka to allow her ally to drop to dangerously burstable levels just so she could get a slightly better heal on a basic ability. Soraka should always want to keep her allies at the safest health she can (while also managing her own health) and we felt that a bonus heal on W not only encouraged play that was often wrong, it also felt really baity for the enemies. Keeping the “flash heal” button and the big saving cooldown separate allows us to make sure each has a clear and satisfying purpose.
So that’s the kit.

I guess I want to close by talking about how this Soraka is not going to play like anything else in League of Legends. We’re taking a lot of risks by basically allowing Soraka to put herself at near death, but the gameplay experience of the core healer is something we really want to explore. We’re willing to try some risky stuff to accomplish a cool niche champion like this, and we will be watching her really closely on PBE to make sure she isn’t doing anything overly abusive.

We’re really excited about what this champion could provide to players who love to play combat healers, and we’ll be doing plenty of tuning on PBE to make sure she’s in the best place possible upon release. Please remember that regardless of whether she is strong or weak on PBE (or even on release) that we are building a champion that we are comfortable buffing up even if she is weak, so bear with us as we get her into a good spot in the coming weeks.

I’ll be around to discuss all of this stuff with you guys, so fire away with any questions you might have!

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The Truer Evolution - Viktor Rework

Solcrushed New PortraitHi everyone, a couple of weeks earlier I shared some preliminary peeks into what the Viktor gameplay update will bring. Today I am here to talk in more detail regarding the kit changes as we near completion.

OBLIGATORY THIS IS NOT FINAL THINGY

 


Evolving Technology PassiveEvolving Technology [ Passive ]

We’ve already talked about the passive, and not much has changed from what I spoiled back then. Viktor is able to upgrade his Hex Core 3 times, and each upgrade will allow him to augment a basic ability & grant AP and mana. The completed item will be certainly slot efficient and grant a load of AP in the late game.

 


Power Transfer New IconPower Transfer [ Q ]

We talked about the Q somewhat in intentionally vague terms. The Q is gaining a significant increase in range in exchange for significant reduction in damage. The lost damage will be made up as Viktor will gain a strong damage modifier on his next basic attack, akin to Lich Bane.

This is intended to divorce the utility portion of the Q from the damage portion while keeping it a targeted spell. Viktor should be able to gain access to his shield and speed boost (with augment) from a safer distance, and decide whether he can risk coming in closer to deal the bulk of his damage.

but Viktor’s autoattack sucks!

Not THIS one

The augment on the Q remains the speed boost. The divorce of the utility and damage opens up offensive use cases of the augment (to get closer to land your other spells with higher accuracy), and should be a strong contender for 1st augment.

One last thing, the shield, speedboost and on next hit are all granted upon cast. You can finally shield an enemy’s spells on reaction.

 


Gravity Field New IconGravity Field [ W ]

This is all in all a fine spell with very strong potential. However its lack of range makes it very difficult to utilize in non-defensive ways. The spell has also had its range increased significantly (but not as much as live Augment W) to clarify Viktor’s engagement range to be around his R range. In exchange, the enemies will be warned earlier that the trap is opening beneath them. This should both increase usability of the spell for Viktor but keep it feeling fair for the enemy.

The W augment no longer increases range but sucks in enemies that are stunned by it to its center. This will allow Viktor to both function as a very strong follow up AOE burst (someone else probably needs to initiate for him) and enhance his kiting gameplay against the front line of the enemy who he ends up fighting against due to lack of jumps. This is probably the 3rd augment to take in most situations but if you need to kite a lot or foresee a mid level teamfight it could be taken earlier.

 


Death Ray New Icon Death Ray [ E ]

The Lazer of Death is an iconic spell on viktor and we have fought very hard to keep its numbers intact on the base spell. Nothing much has changed, it is still the thing we all love and hate.

The E augment on the other hand, has undergone significant changes. It will no longer apply a DOT on hit, but instead an explosion will follow the initial laser’s wake. If Viktor hits both the laser and the explosion, Viktor will deal more damage than the Augmented E on live. This will be a net nerf as the reliability hit is significant, and the spell will be weaker as poke, but stronger for waveclear or in combination with other spells .

 


Chaos Storm New Icon Chaos Storm [ R ]

I said back then that the R is also undergoing a big change, unfortunately the change we planned did not pan out and the R will stay very similar to what it is on live. Not much more to talk about here.

 


So there it is, the updated Viktor should become a strong followup mage that excels as a secondary AOE wombo, and deals strong sustained damage against the front line with his Q and R. Hopefully we will meet again soon when phase 2 of the Glorious Evolution commences as I will leave you with one last tease.

wSRKprx

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LCS Season 2015 Banner


 

Next season, we’re excited to officially announce that we will be expanding the NA LCS and EU LCS to 10 teams. We’re looking forward to this team expansion to bring more diversity of talent and new gameplay into the professional scene in North America and Europe.

 

EXPANSION TOURNAMENT

 

In order to fill these new team spots, we’re introducing a onetime event called the Expansion Tournament. The tournament will take place after Worlds and will pull teams from the ladder. Teams that lose in the Promotion Tournament will still have another chance to qualify for the LCS as they will automatically be entered into the Expansion Tournament. We’ll confirm official dates, tournament structure, and format soon, but we wanted to let everyone know it was happening before we all get swept up into the excitement of Worlds.

 

POSSIBLE CIRCUIT POINTS

 

We also wanted to share that we’re seriously considering introducing some form of circuit points to the LCS tournament structure. Points would bring more weight to the Spring Split and help make every playoff match more significant due to the awarding of these valuable points. We do have some concerns about the intuitiveness of this point system, specifically as it pertains to new viewers.

We want to ensure the point system enforces that teams should always play their best as well as gives all teams from both splits a fighting chance at advancing on to the NA Regionals and Worlds. We’re currently running simulations to find the ideal solution, but we’d like to open it up to the community for point distribution suggestions and feedback. Tell us what you want to see around potential LCS circuit points.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Based on more teams entering the LCS, we will be updating the format and some policies for next season, and we’ll share the final details after Worlds. We’ll continue to provide insights into some of our thinking and considerations for 2015 along the way to Worlds.

Don’t forget to share your ideas for potential circuit point systems in the comments below. We’ll also be watching the forums and other community channels.

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Have you considered Blind Pick in the final game of a Bo5 like in OGN

Magus New PortraitYeah I highly doubt we’ll be implementing blind pick in a bo5 series. Teams earn side choice advantage during the regular season and we want that to be an incentive to finish higher in the standings.

Also the team has certain issues with the validity of the format in that it’s a much different type of strategic planning that rarely is used during the season – doesn’t seem like a great way to end an epic best-of series.

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Rework Updates Banner

 

 

What happened to Urgot’s W scaling off mana

Meddler New PortraitDecided to go for a set of high confidence changes and then assess how they’ve affected Urgot before looking at more experimental changes such as the W mana scaling. Urgot still has some core issues unaddressed, lack of sufficient counterplay at times in particular, so we need to be cautious about just giving him raw power.

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Follow Up

Regardless of the changes to Urgot in 4

Meddler New PortraitWe’ll do a rework and it’ll almost certainly include some substantial changes. That’s still quite a long way off though, hence these smaller changes in the meantime to try and get Urgot into a better spot until then.

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What happened to the Gangplank and WW reworks

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere are a lot of champions that we need to update. Many factors to into determining what the order of attack is, including art resources, coordination with visual updates, waiting for engineering support, or sometimes just the passion of the designer or having a clear idea for how to update someone.

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Why not skip the VU for Warwick and just rework his abilities

Meddler New PortraitCombining reworks and VUs together is both more efficient and gives us a lot of more options in terms of how we can improve a champion’s kit. A VU means we’ve got the freedom to create new spells, get different animations, get new sounds etc. Without that we’re working within a much narrower space. Sometimes that’s fine – some champions just need numbers adjustments (even if substantial). For a champion like Warwick though that’s not the case, there are some solid changes we’d like to make but they require a combination of both art and game design changes.

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Will you make Gangplank’s ultimate more consistent

Meddler New PortraitYeah, we’re going to test out a more consistent version of the ult, hopefully for a patch soon (needs some visual adjustments since the timing’s changing a bit, so can’t commit to an exact timeline). It’s a change that’s part of his rework and has tested well that’s probably a good fit for being pulled forwards by itself.

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Follow Up

When will this change to GP occur and what will it include

Meddler New PortraitMight be within a couple of patches, that’s very much a guess though.

Removal of RNG (which here generally provides a chance for failure without giving GP a way to play around it).

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What do you think of abilities that require 0 decision making

Ghostcrawler New PortraitVlad’s Q is often the example we also use of an ability with no decision making. Shameless plug: I think we mention it in the design PAX panel this Saturday. It’s the kind of thing we are likely to eventually update.

Not every decision needs to be a huge decision and not every interesting decision needs to have huge consequences for using it wrong. As an example, many Qs are on a pretty short cooldown, because while it is rewarding to use an ability at the right time and feel smart for doing so, it also feels unrewarding to not be able to hit hotkeys very often.

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Schedule for Double IP Weekend for All Regions

RiotWingfield: Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to clear up what’s going on here. All regions are getting 3 days of double IP. NA is 8/30 – 9/1 while all other regions are 8/29 – 8/31. NA is pushed back a day so people can take advantage of the Monday off for Labor Day.

The post referenced is an error on our end, so we apologize for the confusion. It should be corrected shortly.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

 

News Update August 22 Banner

 

Summary

A small patch containing bugfixes for Kayle, Sona and Yasuo, Lyte answers a complaint on the forums that players are “too sensitive” and punishment is being handed out for unjustified cases, Ghostcrawler addresses numerous balance issues in LoL such as Champions who can fill multiple roles, lack of diversity and unique mechanics and the age-old topic of Ranged vs Melee, more on ARAM’s fairness for re-rolls, EU LCS moves from Cologne to Berlin, identifying and fixing targeting bugs in League, clarity on the instability issues NA has been suffering and how to get a job at Riot by attending PAX Prime.

TL;DR here.

 

Recent News

Client-VU-Soon-banner

Worlds-2014-Banner1

VZZ8I1v

 

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

Here’s a list of the updates for Patch 4.15:

 

PBE Content for Patch 4 15

 

 

20th August Patch Update


 

General

  • [ BUGFIX ] Targeting is now more reliable in cases when units are stacked on top of each other
  • [ BUGFIX ] Resolved Spectator Mode choppiness that appeared after using time controls to jump forward or backward in the match

 

Kayle New Portrait
  • [ BUGFIX ] Fixed a bug where Kayle was unintentionally gaining too much attack speed per level

 

Sona New Portrait

  • [ BUGFIX ] Fixed a rare bug where Sona’s auras were refreshing indefinitely with too many nearby allies
  • [ BUGFIX ] Fixed a UI bug where allies with togglable or multi-cast ultimates (ex. Karma’s Mantra, Maokai’s Vengeful Maelstrom) would see their ult buttons light up when shielded by Sona’s W – Aria of Perseverance

 

Yasuo New Portrait

  • [ BUGFIX ] R – Last Breath now properly applies CC to Alistar, even when Alistar is ulting

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Ingame Behavior Banner

 

 

LoL players are too sensitive, which leads to undeserved punishment

Lyte New PortraitThis is a really challenging topic, and there’s no answer that will make every type of player happy.

In real life, there are laws for almost everything. However, one of the biggest problems with this model is that changing laws takes a lot time, and it can almost never keep up with the rapidly changing trends in the world. So, an example of what happens in real life is that some behaviors become “unacceptable” by society, but it can’t be enforced for years.

In online societies, trends change even faster. We could write a Summoner’s Code that lists out every single behavior that is allowed or not allowed in League of Legends, but would it actually do anything? Most human beings don’t know about every law in real life societies, and only some lawyers have a robust understanding of all the laws while most are specialized in some niche of law. You can Google “random laws” to find a huge list of things that are “illegal” depending on the country or state, or sometimes even depending on the city. For example, one random law in a city is that you cannot wear cowboy boots without owning at least 2 cows! Similarly, most players aren’t going to be able to memorize every single Summoner’s Code item or keep updated on new additions to the Code.

To give an example of how rapidly online societies change, a lot of players are using the phrase “rekt” now, but this phrase didn’t even exist in matches as recent as 6 months ago. Is this phrase offensive? Is it considered verbal abuse if you spam it? What if you said it once in a game? If we wrote a new “Summoner’s Code” to include this phrase, how many players would visit the Summoner’s Code frequently enough to see the new addition?

At the end of the day, most people get along fine in real life societies just using common sense. They don’t know all the laws, but they have mutual respect for one another. As gamers, we already have a pretty bad rep from those outside the gaming community. That’s our fault. We’re actually a pretty awesome community, but we need to respect each other more; after all, we’re all gamers and we have something in common that only we understand. Why is “Definitely Not Blitzcrank” a hilarious skin? Non-gamers have no clue what we’re talking about. 

It’s not about being babied. It’s about respecting the fact that we’re all here to have fun. No one deserves to be b*tched at just because they play the game differently than you. You know what? A lot of us play soccer or basketball differently too. Some players believe in half-court ball, and prefer bigger line-ups in basketball. Others believe 100% that fast-paced run and gun strategies are king. If players disagree with you on the court, do you start going “moterf*cker why are we doing a 3-guard lineup that sh*t is whack, you’re f*cking retarded for even trying that.” No. 

The majority of the world doesn’t tolerate random acts of jerk. I’m not sure why online societies need to either. People don’t always play nice in real life, but the answer isn’t “If you can’t handle it, go find another activity.” Maybe the people should stop being aggressive jerks. On a separate note, let’s stop spreading rumors that we’re banning things like “gg ez” or banning things like “plz stop feeding.” Right now in League, only the worst offenders (the bottom 1%) have been hit with any penalties at all. In a recent survey, a majority of players thought the penalties were too light. 

We’ve said this time and time again: the community agrees that excessive verbal toxicity isn’t tolerated here. It’s not tolerated in real life societies either. If a player doesn’t agree, they need to take their time elsewhere. They don’t have the right to tell everyone else to leave, when they are the outcast in the community.

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Riot draw the line on what’s a bannable offense and what’s not

Lyte New PortraitActually, we’ve (almost) never drawn the line.

Players have always informed exactly where the line is. We use information like Reports, Honors, Tribunal, LeaverBuster and more to determine what the community agrees is OK or not OK.

Every time you report a behavior, you’re voting.

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Can we hope for an overhaul of the boring meta the game is in

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI hesitate to use the word “meta” because that means so many different things to different players. However, we are hearing a lot from players that games are feeling a little stale. Part of that is from us occasionally over-zealously stepping in when players try something unexpected. But beyond that, we’re probably going to have to make some deeper, more fundamental changes to bring about diversity.I’m not talking about making random changes for the sake of change, and I’m certainly not talking about making League unrecognizable, but more that we would make some specific changes to keep the game from going stale in the future.

I know that’s vague, but it’s what I meant when I said we’d start using PBE to try out some crazier ideas that may not actually ship. We’ll start talking about some of these ideas pretty soon… maybe after worlds.

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Why don’t you remove Lulu from mid

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYou quoted me just above your question, so I’m going to re-quote myself. “Part of that is from us occasionally over-zealously stepping in when players try something unexpected.” We don’t feel the game really benefits when we slap champions that dare to stray from their assigned lanes. Maybe players will come up with counter strategies. Maybe having a less predictable game is more fun. If Lulu (or anyone’s) win rates or ban rates or play rates etc. go up and stay up and we feel the new strategy is going to stifle diversity, then we can step in. I’m worried we do it a little too quickly at the moment.

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Melees are at 50% win-rate

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYeah, when I say “need some love,” it’s not just buffing their health and damage. I tried to explain our point of view a few weeks ago that it isn’t just a matter of buffing melee until they dominate ADC or mages. It’s more about improving their kit, really deciding what they’re good at, and making sure ranged champs can’t do everything melee can do on top of fire from a distance. Unfortunately, that means it’s not a quick fix that we can do in one patch. Fortunately, it means that once we fix the problem that balance may be more stable and not require so much whack-a-mole.

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Do you think that is there low diversity and champions need more unique mechanic

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYes, we do think that. Note that it doesn’t need to be a different skill shot between the two, but there does need to be more distinction between champions in the same role. You should consider whether you want to play Graves or Lucian based on what you would have to do as those champions, what your team would do differently, and what the other team would do differently.

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How about adding Champion turnspeed to solve the melee vs ranged issue

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI don’t want to dismiss any potential idea out of hand, but overall we’re not convinced that is the right solution for League. It seems to work for DOTA.

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ARAM Banner


 

 

ARAM isn’t truly random

L4T3NCY New PortraitHeya guys ^.^/ I realised we’ve never explicitly called this out before, so in the spirit of transparency, here we go! 😀

ARAM’s RNG is truly random from within the champions you have available at champ select.

I’ll elaborate a little here. ARAM’s RNG is truly random from the champions you own + the free weekly rotation champs. There is no weighting on any groups or champs whatsoever. When using a reroll, you obviously can’t reroll a champ that someone on your team already has, so the system randoms again from your remaining pool (you are also guaranteed to not reroll the exact same champion again, so your pool is technically n-1). Rerolled champs go back into the available pool for everyone else to random if they use any subsequent rerolls.

Remember though, as pointed out previously in this thread and others, asymmetry in people’s champion pools (whether intentionally manufactured or naturally occurring through varied champion pricing) will probably cause certain champs to come up statistically more often than others. This is what we’re hoping to address by exploring the idea of unlocking all champions for ARAM.

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If all 10 players don’t own their Champions, what happens when someone re-rolls

L4T3NCY New PortraitOk. So if all 10 players own 0 champions, at first, everyone would be perfectly distributed across the 10 free champs on rotation that week. If you clicked ‘reroll’, here’s what would happen:

1. You CAN’T receive the same champ consecutively when rerolling, so that champ’s out. 9 left.
2. You can’t receive a champ that one of your team-mates already has, so that’s another 4 out. 5 left.
3. You would randomise one of the 5 remaining champs (which are all represented on the other team at this point, although you wouldn’t know that yet) and end up with a mirror match against one of those players. 😀

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You can re-roll and get the same Champion several times in a row

L4T3NCY New PortraitTo clarify, you can’t reroll the same champ consecutively in the same game. Of course, in the next game you play and use a reroll, you have equal chance to potentially reroll whoever you had last game, as much as any other champion you own. Using 2 rerolls in one game back-to-back, there is a slim chance to reroll the champion you first started with on your 2nd reroll, but not consecutively.

If you do happen to reroll the same champ consecutively in a single game again though, that isn’t intended behaviour, so be sure to let us know by filing a bug with Player Support!

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EU LCS Moving to Berlin Banner


 

As part of our ongoing efforts towards full transparency with our LCS audience, we’re confirming that later this year our Riot Germany office and EU LCS studios will be moving from Cologne to Berlin.

Although Cologne has been an awesome home for us for the past year, we couldn’t be more excited about the move and to usher in a new season of EU esports in our brand new base.

We’ll be back later this year with a glimpse of our new studio once details are squared away – but suffice to say we’re excited to offer more space and a better entertainment experience for fans across Europe. We’ll be up and running in our new home by the start of the new EU LCS season.

Leaving Cologne wasn’t an easy decision. Cologne is often considered the capital of esports but Berlin is the German city with the biggest concentration of LoL players.

Although moving away from Cologne will doubtless be a disappointment for local fans who lived nearby, we’re confident that our newer, bigger studio will allow us to create a better entertainment experience for fans in Germany and across Europe. In Cologne, a large majority of our attendees came from throughout Germany to join us in studio, and we expect to see the same thing in Berlin.

We’ve been working closely with and talking to LCS teams about this move for a few months. Moving to an international capital city like Berlin offers LCS teams and players the opportunity for more sponsor attention and visibility, better cost of living and broader domestic and international media exposure.

We’ll be back within the next few weeks as we get the details ironed out, but wanted to give LCS fans from EU and around the world a glimpse of where our thinking is around the future of the EU LCS. Above all, we believe this move to Berlin will allow us to continue to grow and level up the EU LCS ecosystem and experience for teams, players and fans.

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Targeting Bugs Banner

 

 

Targeting is completely inconsistent

Boourns New PortraitHey guys, I think I identified what was going on with this. The BotRK post from last week rang some alarm bells for me. What happened was that the pixel perfect targeting part of the code was broken so the targeting system was making decisions based only on the bounding volume around models.

How this manifests is that when you have targetable objects near each other (like Taric near a tower, or minions packed in a wave) you will get imprecise targeting even though your mouse is over the model of the thing you’re trying to target.

I just checked in a fix and it’s going through the QA process.

Thanks to all of you for raising awareness on this. I’d been thinking that something felt “off”, but I thought I was just a baddie or had intermittent lag. Your comments helped narrow things down. This video is really helpful for providing a solid test case for us.

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Follow Up

Boourns New PortraitAlso, can you help us out by digging up any past threads on this. It’s a really tricky issue to test and I want to make sure we’re hitting all the right cases.

I already have g30therm’s thread and the BotRK post. Please reply here with any more that you folks remember.

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Will the fix address targeting BotRK’s active

Boourns New PortraitIt should improve this! Although the fact that this was a problem for BotRK implies that our bounding box selection algorithm might benefit from some tweaking. Even if we broke the pixel perfect selection part, the bounding box selection should still prefer to target something that your ability would work on even if you are touching other non-targetable things.

Either way with this fix, if you are over an enemy champion it should target them with BotRK.

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When will the fix be released

Boourns New PortraitNot completely sure, I don’t normally do engineering or release related things (UX designer by day) so I am not familiar with our hotfix policy. It should go out with the next patch based on my current understanding.

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Regarding Recent Instability on North America

ArmiesofZNight New PortraitHey Everyone,

Over the last couple of days, many of you have experienced some problems while playing the game. You’ve seen reconnect spikes, issues with game starts, and very large login queue in many occasions. We wanted to take some time to give you all a little more information on what’s going on, since we haven’t spoken much about this since the issues started occurring.

In the last couple weeks our datacenter and game have been the target of some DDOS attacks. The results of these attacks have caused instability in our service. We’ve been experiencing large attacks that have been filling up a significant chunk of bandwidth and causing parts of our system to lose connection to each other. The end result is a poor play experience for you all. While we’ve been able to turn on our loss forgiven feature as soon as the attack is detected, this does not equal a good play experience.

While we can’t share the details of the work we are doing internally to combat this (since it would give the attackers information to circumvent it), we want you to know that we are tackling this from many different angles. This includes working with our datacenter and internet service provider partners, as well as developing tools and services internally to make our service more robust against these types of attacks. Defending against DDOS attacks is an arms race that we will always be engaged in, and we are committed to reducing the pain you all feel as swiftly as possible when the service is being impacted by malicious attacks.

We want you to know that this is the top priority for the Live Services team. We share your frustration at the impact of these attacks, and we are working to make sure you can play the game every time you want to.

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Attending Pax Prime

Dannamoth New PortraitWe are currently looking for high skilled players (platinum+) to help us build out a Gameplay QA group. This is a great opportunity for someone looking for an entry level job who is bright, passionate, and wants to help shape League of Legends. Working with others and being able to give effective feedback are critical components for this role. You will have the opportunity to work with design, engineering, and art to influence the creation of new game modes, champions, and champion updates, among other things.

The QA Recruiting team will be at PAX Prime at the end of this month. We will be setting time aside on Friday and Saturday(29th and 30th) to meet up with interested folks. We will be spending time somewhat close to the Esports entrance. If you aren’t attending PAX Prime, but will still be in the area, also reach out! I’ll do my best to answer any questions in this thread in the meantime.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

 

News Update August 11 Banner


Summary

Vesh returns to the forums to iterate on Soraka’s rework and her infuse healer style of play, i.e sacrificing health to heal allies. Lyte also steps on Reddit and forums to discuss Team Builder‘s long queue times, prioritizing between punishments and rewards and improving the Honor system. Lastly, tidbits on Taric being on the list for a rework, Darius‘s rework being de-prioritized and using the PBE realm to test “crazy ideas”.


Recent News

Interview with Bjergsen Banner

PBE-Roundup-Patch-4-point-14-Banner1

State-of-the-Jungle-Banner


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

Here’s a list of the latest updates:

 PBE Content Banner

 

 



Team Builder and Honor Banner

 


Why doesn't TB use normal elo or average ranked and normal ELO

Lyte New PortraitIt does use Normal MMR; however, a lot of Ranked players (who don’t play Normals as often) were recently in Team Builder trying to get icons, so matchmaking was a bit wonky.

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Any chance you guys simply replace Blind Pick with Team Builder

Lyte New PortraitIt’s something we’re considering, but a lot of players love Blind Pick for various reasons and we have to respect that too.

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Can we expect improvements to Team Builder’s queue times

Lyte New PortraitWe’re going to be making a few changes to the system so that almost full groups get higher priority, so groups tend to fill up faster and launch into a game instead of multiple almost full groups constantly getting a cycle of players.

There’s lots of things we can try, such as replacing Blind Pick for a day, possibly giving small bonuses for playing high demand roles, etc.

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You should be queuing for a Role only, not Role and Champion

Lyte New PortraitActually, the champion pick doesn’t delay the queues at all. A Captain only selects the position/role they are looking for, and players aren’t declined often because of the Champion. We could try a version of Team Builder where you can’t kick players and see how queue times are affected though, because it would help solve the issue of solo players trying to jump around too many groups.

We already have systems in place to limit the number of groups solos can jump around to, so we can try some interesting tests. We could even do it so that Team Builder just makes a complementary set of roles (that isn’t necessarily strict meta), which would reduce queue times dramatically; but, it depends how much players value having more control, versus more speed–very easy for us to tweak one way or the other.

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Did you expect to have issues handing out the Role Icons

Lyte New PortraitIt was definitely expected, and we expected it to last ~4-6 days. However, long-term, the icons are a cool thing to earn and Team Builder is the only place it made sense (since you don’t choose a role in the other queues).

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How long do I have to wait, on average, in a TB queue

Lyte New Portrait10-15 minutes is for 95th percentile.

The average player sees queue times 2-3 minutes, and many players see < 1 minute.

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Queue times are way too long for smurf accounts

Lyte New PortraitThere’s actually quite a few things the matchmaker does to smurfs that result in long queue times–we generally don’t want to encourage smurfs unless it’s specifically to play with a new friend… and even then we want to find new ways for players to do that.

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Why are more resources being put toward punishing people than rewarding them

Lyte New PortraitThis a great question, but as we know, perception tends to be influenced by recent events.

When we first started work on Tribunal and Reform Cards, there was a lot of forum discussion on the behaviors in Reform Cards, and a lot of focus on punishment. At the time, there were lots of questions about positive reinforcement, and if there were any future plans on the ‘positive’ side of things.

Then, we started work on Honor, Teamwork OP, Team Builder, Santa Baron Icon, and personal rewards (where players who were positive secretly got a signed poster from player behavior Rioters). All of these systems were focused on experimenting with positive reinforcement and creating positive environments, to see what rewards would be effective, and what systems we’d need to build to sustain these positive behaviors long-term. During this time, a lot of players voiced concerns about new punishment features, and some more things we could do in that area. In fact, you’d see lots of posts about intentional feeders, what we were doing about new kinds of verbal abuse, etc.

Right now, we’re working on a new system that aggressively addresses severe cases of verbal abuse, Leavers and AFKs, and intentional feeders. However, we’re also working on a new Tribunal system that allows players to review both negative and positive behaviors–and even have the ability to reward players for their positive behaviors. There’s more in the works that we’re not ready to talk about yet, but they are a mix of punishment and reward systems.

It just so happens that recently, some of the punishment systems are going through testing and closer to “done” than the other stuff–so, it may seem like we’re only making punishment features or you may perceive that we think we only need punishment in League, but that’s false.

We’ve always known that we need systems that address both punishment and rewards; however, we jump back and forth between the two types of systems depending on what we think the next piece of highest value is to players.

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Are you saying that punishments are more important than rewards

Lyte New PortraitNo, I said what the teams work on jumps from punishments -> positive -> punishments -> positive. The teams switch back and forth.

Right now, there are a few punishment systems in development, and a few positive behavior things as well. I also mentioned that it just so happens, coincidentally, that the punishment systems are testing on live earlier than the other stuff.

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Why are you so silent about development

Lyte New PortraitSo do players prefer no information at all about what’s coming in the future? Because we could just release information when systems are done, but I don’t think players want that.

You can already “see” the effects of the new systems that are in-development–you can see the results on the forums, etc. But, if the preference is to not talk about things until they are released, that’s important to know.

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Clarity on number of players with Honor badges

Lyte New PortraitRight now, about 20% of players have badges, but they are mostly Co-op vs Bots and ARAM players.

We have plans to separate it into top 20% of each queue, as well as some more incentives for both giving and receiving Honor.

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Are you considering tangible rewards such as IP

Lyte New PortraitNothing is off the table, we’re considering systems that may provide intrinsic rewards (social status, reputation rewards), and perhaps some extrinsic rewards like Santa Baron icon.

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Soraka’s new gameplay Banner

 

Related collections


More-on-Soraka-Banner

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Infused healers have the downside of being incapable of healing themselves

Vesh New PortraitPart of the engine will be something Soraka can do to regenerate her own health. It won’t be her “heal” spell exactly though…

Remember when I said Q would allow her to heal more? 

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Shouldn’t I then build health on Soraka to mitigate the health costs

Vesh New PortraitYour heals will be crazy expensive for the (flat) amount they will heal.

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Follow Up

Does “flat mean that her heals don't scale with AP

Vesh New PortraitFlat as in it doesn’t scale with a % of your health or anything like that. % cost for flat gains generally means build AP.

This doesn’t mean health is a useless stat on her because you still need to be somewhat durable, but it will definitely be less efficient than resists and AP.

I’m actually putting GA as a core item for her with this rework because it feels realllly good.

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Single Posts banner

 


Is Darius still being worked on

 



Taric needs a rework


Repertoir New Portrait Taric is on my radar on the design side. Though the project is nowhere near ready to have its details talked about, I am pretty actively working on him.  [ Link to Post ]  





Using the PBE to test out crazy ideas




 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]


 

News Update July 23 Banner

 

Summary

Lead Game Designer Ghostcrawler took some time on the forums to discuss the overall direction of Riot’s balancing, the feedback from both the community and the competitive scene and how Melee vs Melee interaction should be improved. On Twitter, Morello continued the topic and added some tidbits about Riot’s current balance priorities as well as acknowledging the need to work on unpopular Champions. Balance Designer Statikk hosted a Q&A on the new Community beta and addressed specific Champions like Akali, Kha’Zix, Yasuo, Lucian, Lee Sin and Ezreal, Taric, Alistar, Quinn, Zilean as well as much larger topics like Spell Vamp, new Champions easily reaching the enemy backline and balance favoritism, or lack thereof. Finally, GPL icons are in store and clarity from CertainlyT on why Zyra’s W grants her “free’ Cooldown Reduction.

 

Recent News

PBE-Update-July-21-Banner

A-New-Dawn-Cinematic-Banner

PBE Update July 22 Banner

 

 

GPL Icons in Store Banner


 

The Garena Premier League (GPL) hosts South East Asia’s greatest League teams including Season 2 World Champions the Taipei Assassins. This season, we’re adding permanent summoner icons featuring the GPL team logos for 250 RP. If you’re a hardcore GPL fan, you can pick up all 12 icons for 2400 RP (20% off the regular price).

As before, you’re not just showing off your team allegiance with these icons – 20% of each purchase goes straight to the team, while we use the other 80% to directly support esports through prizing, streaming, events and more!

Rep your favorite GPL teams as they compete for the top spot of the Summer Season!

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a (1) a (2) a (3) a (4)

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Who does Riot balance for Banner


 

 

You seem to be terribly biased in balancing League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitHmm. I felt like Age of Empires 3 was pretty balanced. I did err on making skirmishers and dragoons cool. That was the last game I balanced myself, and it was over 10 years ago.

Now, I have hired a lot of designers whose job it was to balance other games, so I’m fine if you hold me accountable for the work they do, but it’s really not fair to the hundreds of developers who work on titles like WoW and LoL to attribute all the game design decisions to one guy, even if he does like to post on forums a lot.

If you have concerns about the high level direction of League, I’m happy to address those. If you want to talk about changes to individual champions, you’re better off addressing the developers who make those changes. I’ll point you to the recent Q&A with Statikk for instance.

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Is it true you want Champions with flashy plays to be LCS-viable

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe believe there are champions that are more fun to watch than others. That is absolutely not our sole balancing criterion or design direction though. I would say that over time we want to make more of the champions more exciting to play. The guys with fewer exciting moments and just several varieties of “hit that other dude,” are the kind we want to update.

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Do you not want Lee Sin changed before Worlds

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’m not sure if this was from me or Xelnath, but that wasn’t the message we intended to send. Rather we try to be careful as we approach the end of the competitive season not to make radical changes to the game. Preseason has been our traditional time to upset the apple cart. That doesn’t mean we won’t continue to try to balance champions going into worlds, and that includes Lee Sin.

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How are your plans to turn all Champions into OP frost mages going along

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s no fun if they are all frost mages. You need someone for them to dominate.

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What is the high level direction of League as far as Riot is concerned

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat’s a big question, and probably beyond the scope of a single forum post. But since I kind of asked for it, I will say that we want to improve champion diversity (both which champions get played and making sure they feel as different from each other as possible), we want you to play with friends (because that’s often a better experience), we want to explore strategic diversity, and we want to look at those areas of the game that are starting to feel a little stale (not just dated like SR, but stale mechanics as well).

I know that’s vague and arm wavy, but like I said above, preseason is a better time for larger changes, and we’d rather socialize these ideas to a lot of you guys in different regions to make sure we have plenty of feedback. It’s something we’ll start to talk about more. Stay tuned.

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TP’s short cooldown encouraged passive, melee-vs-melee top lanes

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYou touch on a couple of different issues that have a strong interaction. First, we agree that top melee vs. melee does get a little boring. Strategic movement (versus say just having short-term speed boosts) is a way to get those guys interacting a little more with the rest of the map, but we agree there are risks of passive play and having no consequences for bad play. Just increasing the cooldown might help with the second part but does nothing for the first part, and meanwhile means the summoner spell could just be dead. We don’t have any changes to announce but we recognize the problem.

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If you’re taking the flak for decisions, you should be getting the credit for them, too

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTotally, and I have no problem with that aspect of the internet. It’s the other half that bothers me. Imagine you’ve worked on say Braum for months, whether you were the designer or the writer or the artist making particle effects. Then the champion that has consumed so much of your life goes live… and some high level designer gets all the attention for it. That’s really unfair at almost any company and it’s particularly unfair at Riot. We really try to avoid the rock star thing.

I’m fine with you blaming me for anything (and most Rioters would feel the same way) because I also don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to pass the buck, but be aware there are a lot of people that work really hard on this or most games. Don’t boil down the company to just a few people whose names you might know.

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You shouldn’t balance the game around pro-players; they’ll adapt

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe don’t balance the game just for the pros. We do pay a lot of attention to how they are playing because A) they tend to influence what a lot of other players are playing, and B) their skill is such that they are very sensitive to small balance nuances that many other players might not notice.

 



As far as champion popularity, the issue isn’t that we are afraid of player wrath if we nerf popular champions. Sometimes the champion is popular just because they’re overpowered. But sometimes they are popular because they are fun or because others in the same role aren’t as much fun. We try to be very responsive to players, and that includes having a game that is balanced but also a game that is fun to play. If you keep slapping players across the wrists for playing fun champions it’s really easy to send the unintentional message that we don’t want them to have fun.

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Why does it seem like Riot is constantly understaffed

Ghostcrawler New PortraitRiot tends to have small teams, but it depends a lot on what that team is working on. The live team has more than 3-4 people, but that’s really not the whole story. A lot of Rioters contribute to balance, from playtesting, to live data analysis, to assimilating community feedback, to “Hey this experience happened to me last night, maybe we should look at it.”

 

There are also risks to having too many people working on a team — it’s hard to keep in tight communication and make sure two groups aren’t trying to solve the same problem in different ways. In any case, “design” is my team. I don’t tell the balance team what to do, except at a very high level. I talked a lot about WoW class balance, which led to this persistent myth that I did it all myself.

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Slower Champion release means less potential balance issues

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere are some solutions to having a huge champion roster. Yes, the game would probably be easier to balance at 100 champions or even 5, but that would be boring. One of the things that keeps League fresh (by which I mean it contributes but isn’t sufficient to solve the problem all by itself) is a constant stream of new champions (and some updated old ones as well).

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What purpose do you want Supports to serve on a team

Ghostcrawler New PortraitUtility is fun. We don’t want supports to just be warders, nor we want them to just be the dudes who don’t get any kills in order to funnel all the gold to their carries. We also don’t feel that we nailed the season 4 gold income, so it’s something we’re going to have to keep working on.

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Where’s the Bruiser rework promised for Season 4

Ghostcrawler New PortraitPromising anything is dangerous, because it implies we should ship changes that we aren’t happy with just because we said we would. The game still needs a fighter / bruiser rework. Some of that is itemization changes. Some of it is just giving melee champions some interesting ways to interact with other champions beyond just smashing someone with an axe or be kited endlessly.

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Who does does Riot want to balance League of Legends for

Ghostcrawler New PortraitUltimately, we try to balance for the players who are playing the game, which means all of them. I know that’s a tall order, but we wouldn’t be happy with a model that was to only balance for the best players or to neglect them. We do want LCS to be fun to watch, but we also want League to be fun to play for the Bronze player who is still finding their way. Sometimes those directions are contradictory, say for a champion that is only good in organized team play but not solo queue, and in those cases, balance gets super tricky.

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Why are most Champions forced into a single role and lane

Ghostcrawler New PortraitAll things being equal, champions that can fill multiple roles are cool. There are two big footnotes to this. First, we haven’t always been great at supporting novel use of champions. In the past, if an AD Marksman started to get played as an AP, we’d sometimes stomp it out quickly because it was unintended without really establishing if the play pattern was healthy (e.g. did it have sufficient team play and counterplay) and if players would be able to come up with strategies to counter that play.

We are trying to be less reactionary to those opportunities. Second however, game health still is a thing we have for which we have to be mindful. Jungle Alistar tends to be pretty frustrating for the other team, so it’s not something we’re likely to support without some fundamental changes to his abilities. Support Annie, Mid Lulu, AP Ez are champion roles we have no fundamental issue with, as long as they don’t eclipse the champion’s performance in all other roles.

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Is your design goal to make sweeping changes to keep League fresh

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt isn’t our philosophy to constantly reinvent the game. We think the core games is pretty compelling. There is a risk that League can get stale though. New champions and alternate game modes can help offset that, but you do see players who just get bored if they think the meta is too rigid or each game just feels too similar to the last. So in that sense, we do think it’s healthy for the game to evolve.

I think I am reacting most to the subtext of the accusation (which I realize isn’t yours per se) that the changes are sweeping, arbitrary or thoughtless. There is a happy medium between the extremes of ossification and the wild, wild west.

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Is there truly no room for melee DPS

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThere is room for melee DPS, but we’re not there yet. It’s harder to give melee skill shots. It’s harder to give melee a reason to go in, do damage, then break off the attack, since they are designed to do damage in a small window (when they are in melee) and spend the rest of the time gap closing / being kited. It’s harder to keep the distinction between fighters and tanks, since fighters have to be fairly survivable to even get to melee.

We think we can address all of those issues, but they will take time, and sadly longer than we originally thought. Some of these changes are champion updates to give them more to do than just whack at an opponent. Some of these changes are more systemic, such as making sure fighters and tanks build items differently.

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How are we to speak with developers when they rarely respond

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe are trying to get back to that. There was a time when more Rioters were all over the boards and Reddit. For a variety of reasons, that has eroded somewhat, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I personally always loved that about Riot, and it’s something I am passionate about trying to get back to.

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It seems Riot underrates small tweaks made to Champions

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll be totally frank here. I think it’s playtesting. The logic the designers use to make every change is typically pretty sound and we have a culture of beating up ideas. By that I mean, nobody is changing anything without getting a lot of input. We also try to leave room to react to player feedback when you guys see the patch notes or even our initial thoughts on potential changes.

We also do have some very strong players who work here (i.e. Challenger tier) and we rely a lot on them and a whole bunch of other Rioters to put these changes through their paces. But even if we played 200 games with every balance tweak, that is far, far fewer than the bazillions of games that get played when a patch goes live. Yes, there are plenty of unintended consequences that we really should have caught, but there are others that we just never realistically could have predicted until some smart player tried out something wacky and a bunch of other players adopted it.

One idea is to try and leverage the PBE better. Most participants just mess around to get a feel for any patch changes, but aren’t really trying to exploit a change the way they will once it goes live. We have some other ideas as well.

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What exactly does the Design team do

Ghostcrawler New PortraitDesign is a discipline. The “big three” disciplines in game development are design, programming and art, though there are others as well (production, sound, QA, etc.) At Riot, teams are multidisciplinary, meaning that the champion team for instance has a lot of people on it that are not designers.

 

Not every team needs a designer on it. Some are focused on say engine refinements. Others have someone with enough design skill that they can fill in for not having a dedicated designer. Most teams that touch the game directly do have designers though. There are designers on the Live team who do balance the game. (It’s more accurate to say that they are accountable for short-term patch-to-patch changes that can’t wait for a larger update or rework, but that’s a Riot technicality, not something you need to understand to have an opinion on LoL.)

Fortunately, while your question sounds like you’re just curious, it isn’t necessary to understand how Riot (or any game developer) is structured in order to give feedback on the game. In fact, I often say that if your post is focusing a lot on the people making the game and not the game itself, that’s a good hint that your post probably isn’t super helpful in terms of providing us feedback. “I don’t think Jax is competitive in this situation,” is what we call actionable feedback. That’s the kind of feedback we can discuss. “Ghostcrawler nerfed Jax,” doesn’t provide us much actual information. Maybe it helps you feel better by venting, but as I pointed out, since you don’t really know how we structure our teams internally, your statement is likely to not even be correct.

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Why do Rioters respond to trolls but not to reasonable threads

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat’s a reasonable concern. My personal experience from a decade and a half of trying to communicate to players is that if you step into a good discussion, you risk derailing it. Devs can still read and appreciate the discussion, and we do, but if we try to “reward” the thread with our appearance, it ends up attracting a lot of folks who want to make “Rito where” posts or troll or whatever. Troll threads are in essence already ruined, so a dev jumping in can’t make it much worse. 

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Have you ever thought that some top laners liked Melee vs

Ghostcrawler New PortraitOf course. That’s why I asked the question. A lot of the answers are “Because then a ranged champ doesn’t shut him down,” which is a reasonable concern, but doesn’t really get at the issue of how to make melee banging away on another melee interesting. In team fights, we think there is more for melee to do, whether they’re trying to block the front lines or dive past them to hit the softer nukers in the back. But slow, top lane duels feel like they need some help.

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Riot doesn’t hate melee top laners, they just can’t balance them

Ghostcrawler New PortraitExactly. We are trying to formalize (for want of a better word) what strengths melee should have to help them offset the huge advantages that ranged champions have. The traditional solutions have been that melee are hard to kill, or they really mess you up if you fail to kite them. Both of those cause a lot of balance problems though. The first means melee slap fights are boring. The second means that melee vs. ranged encounters can be binary — either the melee zeroes the mage, or the latter escapes.

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Is it true you don’t know where the “Renekton” balance bar lies

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe Renekton “bar” came about, IIRC, because we were just nerfing whoever the dominant melee was at the time and the next melee would come take his or her place. We realized this was because many melee were just ball of stats without interesting interactions (I exaggerate, which I often do, but you get the point). We decided that Renekton actually had some interesting gameplay going on, so rather than nerf him, we’d make him the bar for how melee should act. That doesn’t mean just giving his abilities to all the other melee and it doesn’t mean buffing the stats for Mundo or whoever else to help them pass Renekton.

It means trying to find unique ability and item hooks for those melee below the bar. (Also to be clear, the bar doesn’t mean we nerf all other melee to have worse win rates than Renekton. It’s just a target for power and kit.) Unfortunately, that does take some time and exploration which is why we haven’t delivered on it yet. I hate that we haven’t delivered on it yet, but that’s the story for how it happened.

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QA on Balance Design Banner


 

 

State of Kha’Zix and Hecarim and popular Champions not being nerfed

Statikk New PortraitYou have made a ton of comments, and I’ll try my best to address them all.

1) Kha’Zix

Firstly, I actually think Kha’zix isn’t far off from being balanced. In fact, we have seen him get spot-picked in Korean pro games even in his arguably currently “underpowered” state (I believe they are actually evolving E first).

The changes to Q and its evolution path were actually largely motivated by Game Health concerns with the Isolation mechanic. Essentially, Isolation is a mechanic that works super well later on in the game when you are more heavily grouping up since you have allies to play around, but early on in the game (especially pre-6) avoiding Isolation is not really an option for some roles (ex: the opposing jungler). We think it’s appropriate that Kha’Zix has to invest in his Q to apply this kind of pressure to the enemy team that Isolation brings, and it’s clear that at least some evolutions such as E are still competing with it.

I think Volty (Kha’Zix’s original designer) kind of nailed it on the head when we released Kha’Zix. He claimed that Kha’Zix is a champion we have to normally re-visit in order to re-balance his evolutions to be competitive with one another, and I honestly agree with that. The game and our understanding of the game changes so much even on a daily basis. I suspect we’ll have to revisit his evolutions in the future, but for now we want to monitor how the Q buffs in 4.12 have affected him.

2) Hecarim

Agreed 100% that we went overboard with the Q Mana cost tuning the last time we changed him. This is something we’re looking to change with the next upcoming patch. His Q Mana cost will now be in the middle ground between where it was before and where it is now.

3) Balance “Favoritism”

I think it’s a bit unfair to jump to conclusions about why we are hesitant to nerf X champion versus Y champion. Firstly, there’s always going to be variance in the power of champions after we change them. Getting them right 100% out of the game is honestly unrealistic, as it takes time for everyone to understand how to optimize champions after we change them.

Lucian was a case where we were more concerned with ensuring that he was still functional post Attack Range changes. Yes, we went overboard on our first shot, but this is something that can be and will be corrected in the upcoming patches (everybody deserves a second shot amirite?).

Lee Sin is a different beast altogether. Firstly, we didn’t go through with our first initial larger changelist months ago due to a legitimate concern that players brought to us which was that we were fundamentally altering his gameplay identity with our changes. This made us go rethink our approach to Lee Sin and instead of normalizing him into a champion we know fits the game, we are trying to fit his unique identity (early game gambit, late game falloff) into the game. This is something we will be pursuing fairly aggressively with Lee Sin.

In addition, we always have to assess what each champion brings to the game and how that can affect our analysis of the situation. Let’s be honest, Lee Sin is one of the most fun and exciting champions in our game, it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone why he is so popular. We’ll continue to adjust his power as we always have (and if you don’t think we’ve changed him a ton…go look at his patch history), but Lee Sin is a champion that as a design team we feel brings a lot of positives to the game.

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Melee Carries, Assassins, Access to Team Backline, Stealth & More

Statikk New PortraitHey Sayath, always a pleasure to read your posts. I’ll answer the questions in your Summary as best as I can:

1) State of Akali

Akali currently looks to be in a decent spot, and as I hear she is starting to gain more popularity recently especially in solo queue. I also think she will be benefiting from the changes we are making to the overall game to make it less anti-Assassin. As far as Game Health goes, I still believe she is a champion with a lot of flaws. When she gets ahead, there is usually very little individuals can do to overcome the situation due to her simplistic mechanics (tons of just “I click you and hope you die” abilities) and when she’s behind she has very little power to come back since she doesn’t have any strong “fallback” patterns and the her primary defensive ability (W) is still tied to our primitive and hard counter-y stealth system.

2) Squishy Melee

We are still exploring what it means to be a squishy melee in the game. Yasuo was obviously an experiment in this field. I see 2 possible positions for them:

1. Enemy backline (Assassin): I think everyone is familiar with this pattern. In my mind there are 2 inherent steps in this pattern – 1. The Infiltration to get to the right target and 2. The Execution when they arrive at the target to take them out. Assassins should be champions who rely on flanking and other creative ways of infiltrating towards the enemy’s high-priority targets. I think a large part missing in a lot of our Assassins is an interesting Execution phase, where they still need to make a play once they reach the target to finish them (maybe Zed after the more recent changes meets the bar now).

2. Ally backline (Melee Carry): This is a term we’ve thrown around a ton but have never truly delivered upon. A lot of the supposed Melee Carries we’ve put into the game are honestly very Assassin-like in their pattern since we often give them the tool to access the enemy backline. The idea behind this character would be similar to that of a Ranged Carry mindset – start with whatever targets present themselves, usually the enemy frontline and eventually make their way through the team to clean up the enemy’s backline.

Yasuo was a champion I believe had a lot of potential of fulfilling this role due to mechanics such as Wind Wall which keeps him safe from the enemy backline while he deals with the enemy frontline, but once again we ended up giving him a way to easily access the backling via his ult which I think really undermines this role’s purpose and essentially turned him into an Assassin. To me it feels like a somewhat lost opportunity.

3) Spell Vamp

Spell Vamp is honestly another old system that we probably need to revisit and re-set the goals around its purpose in the game. I would say in its current state, Spell Vamp being any more prominent would probably just lead to abuse cases. One of the largest problems with Spell Vamp is how much it favors resourceless champions vs. Mana champions. This is something we’d have have to take a hard look at if we wanted to adjust it, but I don’t think there are any immediate plans.

4) Stealth

I don’t just think it would be beneificial, I think it is integral to the health of all stealth champions that we figure out a better system for them to work under. The current binary / hard-counter system is one that provides little gameplay and disallows these champions to scale with player skill effectively. It’s something I’m very personally interested in investigating but have never found the time to.

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Who do you think are the top 5 Champions in need of Rework

  1. Statikk New PortraitUrgot
  2. Poppy
  3. Mordekaiser
  4. Yorick
  5. ??? – can’t decide =/

Once again, my personal opinion. I think the above 4 have incomplete/confused identities/roles within the game and have flawed play patterns that offer very little counterplay.

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Immobile Mid-lane Mages, Athene’s, Deathcap and Void Staff

Statikk New PortraitThis is definitely an issue that we have struggled with a lot internally. We call this class of characters the “Immobile Mid-Lane Mages” and I 100% agree with your identification and breakdown of the problem.

I’m definitely on the same page with you when you say Mobility Creep is one of the largest contributors to this. As we’ve added more and more mobility to the champions in our game (for good reasons – mobile champions are really fun to play, create a lot of “outplay” moments, etc.), the Immobile Mid Mages have fallen off especially in the competitive scene.

The bottom line is that we have done a poor job of valuing Mobility as it relates to the amount of power it gives to a champion’s kit. Champions with high mobility need to be paying a larger cost for having that strength, and this is obvious with examples like Kassadin, LeBlanc, or Lee Sin. Mobility is actually a tool that scales extremely well with player skill, pros are able to exploit both the strategic map mobility and tactical in-combat mobility to its fullest extent.

As far as itemization goes, I know the Systems team is looking into different the lesser used items such as Rylai’s. The lack of Mana Regen in the Rylai’s + Liandry’s combo is interesting (I believe most stack a few Doran’s Rings to try to get around this), but overall I think it might be pointing out a larger issue in our game which is our ever-growing pool of Resourceless champions and how we have maybe warped the game to allow Mana users to compete with the resourceless guys over time. A big example of this is how strong Athene’s is at the moment. When you look at the item objectively, Athene’s is pretty insane in terms of gold-efficiency, but this leads to a scenario where the only mages that are viable are the ones who can leverage Athene’s effectively. This is something I’ll definitely bring up to the other guys on the team to see if this is another avenue we can help attack the problem.

Overall, I don’t think there’s an easy fix to this problem. I think we’ll have to do a lot of systematic changes to the game in order to get Immobile Mid Lane Mages back into the game in a healthy way, but it’s something definitely on our radar (just not right at this moment since we are prepping for Worlds).

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 Lucian feels like a better Ezreal right now

Statikk New PortraitFirstly, I’ll start with new Lucian. Flat out, he’s just currently overtuned and that will be corrected soon. This means that Lucian’s current state is not really a useful grounds of comparison when it comes to power level.

To address Ezreal, we honestly feel Ezreal is still fitting the vision we set for him. He’s a long-range, mobile, poke ADC and he fits that pretty well. In fact, Ezreal is still being valued in the Korean competitive scene.

I don’t think it can be easily assumed that Ezreal is “weak” at the moment. He has things that Lucian doesn’t have (long range) and Lucian has things that Ezreal doesn’t have (hyper mobility). That’s a great place to be in when they can be valued for different reasons. I think something to clarify is that Ezreal should probably not be the most mobile ADC in the game given that he has such high range. He can be mobile sure (and he is because of his E), but being the most mobile is probably not ideal given his other strengths. I think it’s easy to forget, once a champion has not been dominant for a while, the times they actually were dominant and how small of a change it takes for us to revert back to those times.

Purely using Win Rates averaged over all skill levels is a dangerous way to approach game balance. In fact, I think this kind of mentality has heavily contributed to the Mobility Creep that continues to grow in our game. Some things simply scale extremely well with player skill level – it turns out that Mobility is one of these things. The fact that a lot of our more mobile champions do have “lower” win rates is not an accident or mistake. It takes a ton of mastery and skill to leverage Mobility to its maximum potential.

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What’s your opinion on underplayed Supports like Zilean, Alistar and Taric

Statikk New Portrait1) Taric

Similar to Garen, I think Taric is at a place where we have to weigh simplicity vs. mastery. If we were to change Taric, I doubt we would put more emphasis on Auras as they are biggest examples of “Power without Gameplay.” Stat-based Auras typically have to be fairly game-warping before they are noticeable and satisfying, which is why we usually avoid them.

Overall, I think we need to find a more interesting core gameplay pattern than “stand near an enemy and press all your buttons” for Taric. I don’t want to get your guys’ hopes up, but we actually do have some experimental Taric changes that are pretty different from his current kit. No guarantees on if it will ever release or when, but he is someone who the Reworks team is looking at potentially changing.

2) Zilean

Zilean’s kit unfortunately has very little counterplay, and it’s the large reason why it’s hard for us to find a place for him in the game. Currently when he’s powerful, he creates an extremely frustrating experience for the enemy laner. He is also one of the champions that is higher up on the Reworks priority list, but because we would have to change his kit so drastically to make him healthy for the game, it will definitely be a while until we can release changes.

3) Alistar

The W+Q combo is something that we never intended to exist, but it’s something that Alistar players have gotten used to and is honestly integral to his current balance and gameplay. If we were to revisit him in a Reworks style approach, I think there’s a high likelihood that we would remove the combo and instead give him more ways to create situations where he can W enemies into walls to setup a follow-up Q. This is probably a healthier version of his combo, but it’s not something we’d do unless we supplemented the kit with ways to function and succeed without the combo.

I agree the heal is also something that doesn’t necessarily mesh well with his kit – both from a game health perspective and a thematic perspective. Functionally it is honestly just a bunch of sustain in lane (arguably not a “bunch” anymore now that we’ve tuned it down over time) and then falls off in usefulness once it gets to late game. It creates a fairly un-interactive lane pattern that is diametrically opposed to his all-in initiation combo style. It’s something I think we’d have no qualms of removing if we found something better to replace it with.

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Are there any plans to rework Garen

Statikk New PortraitThe difficulty of a champion like Garen is that we see him as a great beginner champion. He’s easy to pick up and easy to understand, so he does bring a lot of positive to the game even when he isn’t necessarily a strong champion at the competitive level.

If we wanted to make him more healthy for competitive play we would have to start weighing the costs of adding complexity to his kit via new mechanics and probably adding more points of mastery in his gameplay which probably means making him overall more demanding to play.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned working on this game is that it is rare for any decision to be completely free of costs or tradeoffs. Almost every change we make that has a benefit also has a cost and we always have to weigh them against each other.

In Garen’s case we would have to understand the costs we would have to pay in his simplicity in order to make him a healthier competitive champion. I can say right now, that there are no immediate plans for work on Garen, but you’re definitely on the mark when you say that if we do go and change Garen we would need to try our best to preserve his low skill floor while still increasing skill ceiling (which is extremely difficult to do).

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What's your view on Quinn

Statikk New PortraitIn terms of balance, we think Quinn is actually pretty strong.

In terms of design, I think we all feel Quinn is somewhat of a missed opportunity. Here’s a list of things I think we are not exactly content with:

  1. She’s a sub-par bot lane ADC
  2. She’s overly reliant on snowballing / doesn’t have a great fallback pattern
  3. Her ult specifically is great when she’s ahead (potentially makes her feel overbearing when ahead due to the amount of burst it adds) and feels almost useless when behind or even

Overall, I think Quinn is a fun champion with a lot of potential, but we’re simply not there yet.

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Do you think Spell Vamp is in a good place right now

Statikk New PortraitUnfortunately, I actually don’t have a ton of insight into Spell Vamp and how it should function in our game (probably more appropriate for one of our Systems guys like Xypherous), but I will say that although a “Spell Vamp ratio” on each spell would make Spell Vamp healthier and more functional in our game, it would be an extremely inelegant solution. For example, how would players know whether they had good Spell Vamp ratios or not?

We would probably have to display it in the tooltips somewhere and that has its own complexity and costs as well. I think you are getting at the heart of the problem though, which is that Spell Vamp is a lot weaker on champions who have to expend resources (Mana) to get returns out of it. Personally not sure what the answer would be here still.

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The Direction of LoL Balance

Morello was up on Twitter yesterday, tackling balance questions one at a time. The first 5 are sequential, after which come a small set of replies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will you address unpopular Champions like, say Viktor

 

Will you address Diana’s currently poor state

 

Don’t you feel that you’ve overnerfed Kha’Zix

 

How long does it take to rework or update a Champion

 

Which takes more time - new Champions or new updates

 

Will we see a solution to the ball of stats fighters

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Why does Zyra’s Passive on W give CDR and not, say, Magic Pen

CertainlyT New PortraitHi there. Zyra’s W gives CDR for two reasons:   First, Seeds have relatively little inherent value. We wanted to ensure that Zyra could cast more spells as she began to replenish her seeds faster, because as you put more points into W, you are expressing a desire to have more plants.   Second, because we wanted Zyra to be able to buy non-CDR items. We wanted players to be able to buy the items that made sense for them in their particular game from the entire line of mage oriented items, such as Zhonya’s or Abyssal Scepter, not be restricted to the (at the time) small pool of CDR items.

A bit of context: We struggled during her development to balance 0% CDR Zyra builds against 40% CDR Zyra builds. The latter could put so many seeds out that certain enemy team compositions felt completely stifled. When W’s cooldown was at a healthy level assuming 40% CDR builds, all other item paths felt terrible. Giving Zyra “free” CDR (20% on release) was accompanied by raising the cooldown of her W to compensate, meaning that Zyra’s effective CDR cap for Rampant Growth was 20%.   Today, it’s unlikely we would make the same decision, as CDR is a much more accessible stat. This is the reason that I lowered Zyra’s passive CDR on W from 20% at max rank to 10%. In a game now filled with CDR choices, the “free” 20% was actually stifling her ability to purchase items. Hopefully getting to 40% these days involves a good amount of choice and compromise without leaving the player feeling like they are struggling to get to cap if they so desire or going way over if they do opt for CDR items.

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Can we have an update on Dunkmaster Darius

Baconhawk New PortraitThe answers to these and all your other questions will be answered in time, friend.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Update July 14 Banner

 

Summary

 Lead Game Designer Ghostcrawler shares the thought process behind possible nerfs for Lee Sin and why his dominance has largely been left unaddressed for so long. Lots of arguments for where Lee Sin stands, why him warping the meta game by his own is an issue and unlocking weaknesses in his kit without ruining what’s fun about him. Moving on, Lead Champion Designer Meddler hosted a Q&A session where he answered a lot of questions about the design of some of League’s Champions and even teased the New Champion’s role – top laner. You can find a full breakdown of the AMA below.

Lastly, Q&A analyst Baconhawk explains the design motivations behind Headhunter Caitlyn’s new looks and why her original space-suit concept was scrapped in favor of her current looks. And some clarifications on why Yasuo’s ultimate triggers off any displacement, not just knock-ups.

 

Recent News

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Nerfing Lee Sin Banner

 

 

What’s so hard about nerfing Lee Sin before Worlds

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll address this at a philosophical level, because someone in the trenches of the live team would be better to mention specific tactics.

Champions are coolest, in our opinion, when they have distinct strengths and weaknesses. (This is why we describe champs that are just balls of stats as a bad thing and try to update them.) Moreover, when balancing champs, we achieve the best results when we buff things a champ is good at and nerf things a champ is weak at. This opens up opportunities for cool moments when a champ leverages their strengths, but still leaves clear opportunities for counterplay.

The problem with Lee Sin is that while he has some really cool things he does well, he doesn’t have obvious weaknesses that we can enhance in order to open up windows to try and shut him down. This means we have to invent a weakness, which is a dicey prospect, because it means having to redefine a champion’s role. “Oh, you only thought Lee was great at mobility and that’s why you played him, but we just decided that should be something he’s bad at instead. So sorry.” (Just an example obviously.) That doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility to balance him, but it means it takes more exploration than just nerfing his Q or whatever.

I’ll even expand on the philosophical discussion and say that improving champion diversity is something we need to deliver. By champion diversity I mean three things: more champions actually played, more distinction among champions, and sometimes actually getting to play the champion you like instead of him or her getting pick/banned all the time. These are long term goals and not something we’re going to quickly accomplish in a patch or two, but they are long term goals, and I have no problem if you hold me accountable for making sure we drive in that direction.

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Follow Up

Xelnath New PortraitHey buds, 

Look, I get it. You’re upset, you’re frustrated. You feel like the diversity of champions that should exist is being crushed by Lee Sin. You are sick of seeing the same thing over and over again. It sucks. 

I hate when I want to jungle it up and see yet-another-lee-sin-invade steal my buffs and being unable to punish the **** out of him for it. (Cuz he just ward hops away, woo hoo!)

At the same time – look at what happened last year when we got close to worlds and made some tweaks to Tri-Force. The result was that it distorted the entire competitive scene for worlds, potentially invalidating months of build-up and expertise. 

Now, I am not saying there aren’t tweaks to Lee Sin that would push him out of Worlds. The perfect solution might even be in this thread. What I am saying is that to find, evaluate and iterate on that solution takes time and causes ripple effects on the rest of the game. 

Lee Sin has become a jungle-defining staple because he has no weaknesses. This is why the long-term solution Ghostcrawler described is the right one – and will probably cause some pain along the way. Once Lee’s out of the way, who are the next three champs to surge to the front? They could make the game just as bad, if not worse. 

When we hit a champ like Lee, we want to do our jobs and do our jobs right. Thank you for holding us to that standard. We’d also be doing you a disservice if we didn’t tell you that the right solution isn’t easy.

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So you admit that Lee Sin has been inhibiting other jungle picks

Xelnath New PortraitYou know, it’s a fair criticism that he’s been strong a long time. 

But do you remember when we had some pretty severe changes to him on PBE? Lots of you guys got pretty upset, saying we over-shot so we scaled back the changes. (E.g. His ult doing damage based on the number of enemies hit)

Maybe we should have pushed forward harder to hit competitive. However, we already saw Lee Sin’s success rate plunge while players continue to play him a ton.

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You’ve yet to address Lee Sin because he makes flashy plays at pro level

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYep, that’s a totally fair criticism, but you can also see the challenge in trying to navigate those two extremes: removing what is cool vs. tinkering around with changes that don’t really solve the problem.

A few of you have mentioned that I didn’t respond with a specific list of changes for Lee. That’s true and I tried to address that up front. What I was attempting to provide is some insight into how we think about these things. If you are only interested in specific patch notes, the patch forecasts or notes themselves are better for that sort of thing. I appreciate not everyone is interested in our conceptual framework for how we solve problems, but my experience has been that some players are.

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Lee Sin has no weaknesses, that’s why he’s problematic

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTo be clear, he does need counterplay. We have to engineer some versus just nerfing something he is already bad at, because he’s not really bad at anything. Our intention is to do that, and when we have a direction, we’ll let you know.

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If you want to hit Lee Sin, why not nerf his energy costs

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThat would nerf him, and something we can consider, but does it really open up coubterplay? Maybe if you survive his attack, you have a chance to counter….

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You overnerf some Champions to remove them from the scene and leave others imbalanced

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTotally agree. We understand how frustrating the inconsistency can be. If we were consistent, at least you could predict what you were likely to see in a patch or two. We also understand that actions speak louder than words here and you won’t take our word on improving consistency. We have to earn that trust.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why not rework Poppy, Urgot and Olaf first before moving onto Lee Sin

Ghostcrawler New PortraitSo the difference here is these champions need reworks to some degree. We have several champions, many of which were designed before we really solidified what made a good champion, who don’t have a lot of counterplay or don’t do much interesting to the game overall. We do keep them weak so that they may get some play but aren’t really competitive at higher levels. This isn’t ideal by any stretch but it’s better than having the game dominated by these guys. Our apologies if you play League for Poppy and we will get her straightened out at some point.

Lee Sin isn’t in that category. He does interesting things to the game. He requires skill to play and you can make mistakes. He doesn’t need an update or rework by the team that does that for champions. However, he is very dominant. We don’t think he just needs a simple number tweak. He does need a weakness that skilled players can exploit. Does that distinction make sense?

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Meddler QA Banner

 

Meddler’s Q&A Breakdown

 

 

 

General New Champions

 

Is it true that Champion designers can’t look at the player creations forum

Meddler New Portrait Not to the best of my knowledge, I’m not aware of anyone on the champion design team that frequents them though. Good starting ideas aren’t usually the issue we run into, it’s how you refine, implement, iterate, balance etc that’s the bigger challenge.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What makes a Champion Kit or Lore

Meddler New Portrait Gameplay, lore and art are the pillars of how we approach making a champion. The initial idea can be any of the above – someone’s got an image they’d like to draw, a story they’d like to tell or an ability they’d like to play with. Working from that starting point we then explore what the rest of the champion might look like and what opportunities there are to offer something new. Braum for example started off as a female Piltover engineer, with a giant mechanical shield.

We tested a kit for that initial idea in game and hit on some abilities we really liked (similar to Braum’s current passive and E), the art and personality weren’t coming together however. We consequently took another look at who such a kit could fit on and, after a fair bit of exploration of different possible personalities and origin factions hit on Braum.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How many Champion concepts never make it to development

Meddler New PortraitMost suggested champions never get made. A lot of ideas stop in their early stages when they’re no more than a sketch or some discussion about abilities that might be interesting. Some do end up getting put aside later in the process though, either because the character’s not working out or because we’ve got something we feel’s better. A number of those ideas do later get revisited and often work out the second or third time though (Lucian and Vi are good examples of that). Finally champions do occasionally get cancelled late in the process, that’s pretty rare though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Which lane is Riot looking to design the next Champion for

Meddler New PortraitNext champ’s a top laner. Balancing a lane or the meta’s not something we try to do with a single release though, the roster’s too big and the game too complex for that to be a viable approach.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

When are we going to see Ao Shin , the Storm Dragon

Meddler New PortraitNot for a long time. We do still plan to make Ao Shin, but we ran into a number of issues with how we were approaching him. As a result we basically took his concept back to the really early stages – would rather go for slow, but good, than quick but disappointing.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How do you like these new forums

Meddler New PortraitLiking the flexibility of these RE ‘pick your own layout’. Bit dark for me though, going to pass on some thoughts to the folks working on them, find out if color scheme modification’s something on their mind.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Is the Role of a new Champion pre-determined or is it a result of development

Meddler New PortraitWe do have a rough layout of what roles we want to release over the course of the year. As a result if we’re trying to come up with an idea for a particular release slot then yes, we do tend to target a particular role. Having said that if, during the exploration of a champion, we find out that a different role’s a better fit for the character we’re creating we’ll embrace that new role and then usually change which slot we’re planning to release said champion in.

The other thing though is that not all champion ideas are targeted at a particular release slot. Some are instead explorations of what might be cool, with no fixed timeframe in mind. Those by contrast are pretty open, with the goals (gameplay, art and story) eventually deciding what role’s a good fit.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Champion Skin Design Banner


 

What were the team’s ideas about Syndra’s kit

Meddler New PortraitTried a lot of different versions of sphere manipulation, some of which consumed the spheres on use. Also tried some other stuff that didn’t work out at all, like a giant nova effect, slow moving extremely powerful skillshot (think a line of Veigar meteors) and an ultimate that let you throw enemy champions (suspect we’ll go back to a variant on that for someone someday, Syndra wasn’t the right fit for it though).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why did you make Vel’koz’s first skin of the Battlecast series

Meddler New PortraitWe did look at Deep Sea and Jurassic as options, the visual mockup for the Battlecast skin however was a clear winner for the team though, in terms of personality fit and visual opportunities.

We went for a ram with Braum since it was a great fit with the sort of character we wanted to convey – tough, at home on a mountain, headstrong, forceful but kinda fluffy etc.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Were any other shapes or blast patterns tried for Vel'koz's Q

Meddler New PortraitSubninja, who did the gameplay design on Vel’koz, did try out a 45 degree split instead of a 90 degree one. Was generally both less useful and harder to land, so didn’t show much promise.

The ult was driven by a desire to make a real disintegration ray, something that gave the player the feeling of melting a target under a blowtorch if they could keep the flame on it.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What’s your favorite mechanical idea that didn’t make it to live

Meddler New PortraitXypherous played around with a champion that could attach themselves to an ally, soaking damage for them and casting spells as the ally moved around. Would love to try that again sometime on a tank or support.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up

It wouldn’t make sense for that Champion to be humanoid, right

Meddler New PortraitYeah, creature or shapeshifter seems likely. I believe (before my time at Riot) the original concept was for a swarm of insects for example. It’s an idea we’ve tested a couple of times since but haven’t found the right fit for.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Was Jinx different during her concept stage

Meddler New PortraitWe did have another concept that was competing for the same space as Jinx at one point, a heavy hextech chaingunner. There were some cool bits and pieces to the idea, it never really got off the ground though and if we were to revisit it we’d want to do something pretty different – Jinx does the chaingun space well.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Any updates on your earlier comments regarding Lissandra's passive

Meddler New PortraitStill planning to test out a defensive effect after CCing enemies, probably with a greater effect against ranged attacks than melee, given Lissandra struggles in some ranged match ups . Hoping to put some time into that after getting some Urgot tweaks out.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up

What are you tweaking on Urgot

Meddler New PortraitBunch of discussion in this thread:

http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=42998910

The tweaks I mention are described in a couple of my most recent posts, short version is making bigger changes is going to require art support for a proper rework, so we’re looking to give him some help (quality of life changes, smallish buffs) in the meantime).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Was Braum’s concept inspired by Alex Armsrong from Fullmetal Alchemist

Meddler New PortraitArmstrong’s a good example of the archetype we wanted to tap into with Braum, and was one of around half a dozen reference points we had for the sort of character we wanted to make. He wasn’t the initial inspiration though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

What were some of the biggest challenges while designing Ziggs

Meddler New PortraitI just started on a Ziggs dev blog the other day actually, which should give a bunch of details about how his development went. That’s probably quite a way off though, we’ve got other dev blogs we’d like to get out first, so the short answer is that nailing down his initial personality and appearance was one of the hardest things for the team (Ziggs actually started off as a human in a bomb disposal suit for example, not a manic Yordle).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What’s currently the biggest unexplored piece of design space

Meddler New PortraitWe went through a period where we avoided doing creatures much at all and that’s something we’re looking to remedy now, so less human/humanoid would be my answer on the visual side. Gameplay wise I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff to be done with clickable objects (like Thresh’s lantern) and we’re playtesting a few things at the moment I’m hoping see release sometime this year (no promises, but fingers crossed).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Player Suggestions Banner

 

Will we see a different female Piltover engineer

Meddler New PortraitIt’s a possibility, though we’d want to do something other than a shield now of course. No firm plans, but it’s a concept we have talked about occasionally since.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

Could you make a projectile that blocks other projectiles

Meddler New Portrait Spells that interact with other missiles in flight is something we’ll likely visit again at some point, certainly. No plans to do so in the near to moderate future at least though, that’s gameplay space we’ve tapped into enough for now. Would definitely see a variant on that sort of spell someday though that’s all about a single, brief cast, rather than an extended effect in the world, would have noticeably different use cases.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will you ever create a true pet Champion

Meddler New PortraitYeah, we’d like to explore a champion with a more permanent and significant pet at some point. Would definitely want engineering support to do that properly, the current system works well enough for straightforward pets like Tibbers but wouldn’t support a pet that was around constantly, with a bigger skillset, well. Can’t make any promises on timeframe though, besides not for a while at the very least.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will we see more Champions with a vacuum mechanic, like Diana’s  E

Meddler New PortraitWe’ve talked about vacuums a lot. They’re extremely powerful however, in terms of how they amplify other abilities’ effectiveness, to the degree that a champion with an accessible ranged vacuum is going to have to be balanced around their best case scenario to a degree that will leave them feeling pretty mediocre otherwise. As a result we’ve opted to limit vacuum like effects in other ways instead, whether that’s with a melee requirement and short range (Diana’s E) or movement compensation (Orianna’s ult, which is as much a flip as a vacuum much of the time).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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Why is Headhunter Caitlyn’s different from the skin’s original concept

Baconhawk New PortraitThis has been answered before but I am happy to answer it again. That was exactly what you said it was: concept art. If you look closely, it doesn’t bear much resemblance to Caitlyn. In order to fit within our guides for readability and clarity within the game, it had to be adjusted. Otherwise it would definitely not have worked. (You are comparing that artist’s hand-done paintover to an ingame model on the PBE, which we are still working on!).

It’s easy to say “amagad that look so much bettar rito y u do dis” but in all honesty, a lot of our concepts look totally different (for better or worse!) than the final product, but it’s all about readability and gameplay clarity as well as looking totally badass/sexy/amazing/baller/Teemo.

I hope this answers your question.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why does Yasuo’s ultimate trigger from every form of displacement

Meddler New PortraitYeah, knocked up’s a misleading shorthand here, I should be saying displaced. We opted to have Yasuo’s ult trigger off any displacement because it both clarifies which allied skills are relevant (if it moves an enemy then you can) and because it opened up the pool of champions Yasuo works with more. Our intent was to make Yasuo stronger with some allies than others, but we did want to keep that set of champs he synergizes with moderately broad.

As to why the ult went out that strong? That was our best estimate on appropriate balance for Yasuo. For the first few weeks players really struggled with him, and we thought for a while we might have undertuned him and buffed him a bit as a result. Those buffs, combined with his learning curve and some quality of life changes (consistent targeting indicators, better visual feedback etc) however brought us to the conclusion he was too strong once mastered so we took some power off him. He’s currently played with some success in both competitive play and normal play. Some discussion internally on whether he may be too strong late game, last I heard we hadn’t come to a definite conclusion on that yet though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

 

News Banner June 2

 

Official Announcements: River Spirit Nami in Store – 975 RP

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River Spirit Nami in Store Banner

Nami’s new skin is riding the tide to League’s store!

 

 The young farmer had walked this way home countless times before. Beside the jungle, the path stretched from crop to home, but lately he’d found himself a companion on his long trek: a song, drifting through the woods with the cool fall breeze. He’d always ignored his curiosity before – pulled his hood up and marched on home – but this time… it was different. It was calling to him. The boy paused, peering into the mighty woods beside him. Without thinking, he dove into the trees.

 The song filled him, pulling him through the brush. Thorns and nettles clawed at him, tearing through his clothes and ripping his flesh as he sped through the woods. Louder still, the melancholy voice sung.

 Finally, he burst through the undergrowth and fell into an open grove. The boy, gasping for breath, stumbled to his feet and looked around. Evening sunlight danced through the canopy, and in the grove’s center lay a crystal- clear pond filled with water lilies. River Spirit Nami sat at its heart, her emerald mane of hair framing a wide smile on her pale face. Humming, she beckons him forward, healing his wounds with faerie-touched water. Step by step, he wades into the pool, the water coming to his chest as he lurches deeper into the pool. Tears stream down his face. River Spirit Nami pulls him towards her, wrapping him in an embrace. Slowly, she slips beneath the surface, dragging him into oblivion.

Soothe your allies and enthrall your foes with River Spirit Nami, available now in the League of Legends store for 975 RP.

 

 

Suspension of Nukeduck and Mithy Banner

 A reminder that not only lowly casuals can be punished in League: Nukeduck and Mithy from Challenger team NiP are being suspended from League for excessive language and poor behavior in-game.

 

 

Riot aBhorsen Button Rioter Riot aBhorsen: Summoners–

We recently completed our investigation around highly offensive language used by two Challenger Series players. Below you will find competition rulings related to those events.

League of Legends Competition Ruling

Player: Alfonso Aguirre Rodriguez / Mithy
Region: Europe
Date of Ruling: 2/6/14
Subject: Suspension; Violations of CS Ruleset

Facts

In recent months, Rodriguez has exhibited extremely toxic behavior in solo queue. This behavior included, but was not limited to, in game harassment, verbal abuse, and continual use of racial slurs. In the past month, Rodriguez has been reported in over 30% of the games he played, with nearly 60% of those reports being for Offensive Language, Negative Attitude, and Verbal Abuse. During this period, his harassment score rose to be within the top 1% of all players on EUW. Additionally, he was reported over 30 times for leaving the game/going AFK.

Despite previous punishments for his toxicity, Rodriguez’s behavior has shown no improvement over the past months, even after his account became Chat Restricted.


Relevant Rules

Section 9.2.7 of the CS Ruleset states:

If LCS or Riot determines that a Team Member has violated the Summoner’s Code, the LoL Terms of Service, or other rules of LoL, LCS officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion.

Section 9.2.9 of the CS Ruleset states:

A Team Member may not engage in any activity which is deemed by the LCS to be immoral, disgraceful, or contrary to the conventional standards of proper ethical behavior.

Analysis

Rodriguez has consistently engaged in behavior which violates the letter and spirit of the Summoner’s Code. His tendencies to engage in verbal abuse, racial insults and otherwise offensive behavior is unacceptable for any player (even if provoked).

Ruling

Rodriguez has violated the Summoner’s Code in a persistent and systematic fashion, and has therefore violated rules 9.2.7 and 9.2.9, and will be subject to penalties.

Competition Penalties

Rodriguez is:
– Suspended from the League Championship Series and the Challenger Series through the end of 2014.

League of Legends Competition Ruling

Player: Erlend Holm / Nukeduck
Region: Europe
Date of Ruling: 2/6/14
Subject: Suspension; Violations of CS Ruleset

Facts

In recent months, Holm has exhibited extremely toxic behavior in solo queue. This behavior included, but was not limited to, in game harassment, verbal abuse, and general toxicity. In the past month, Holm has been reported in nearly 30% of the games he played, with over 65% of those reports being for Offensive Language, Negative Attitude, and Verbal Abuse.

Despite previous punishments for his toxicity, Holm’s behavior has shown no improvement over the past months, even after his account became Chat Restricted.

Relevant Rules

Section 9.2.7 of the CS Ruleset states:

If LCS or Riot determines that a Team Member has violated the Summoner’s Code, the LoL Terms of Service, or other rules of LoL, LCS officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion.

Section 9.2.9 of the CS Ruleset states:

A Team Member may not engage in any activity which is deemed by the LCS to be immoral, disgraceful, or contrary to the conventional standards of proper ethical behavior.

Analysis

Holm has consistently engaged in behavior which violates the letter and spirit of the Summoner’s Code. His tendency to engage in verbal abuse and otherwise offensive behavior is unacceptable for any player (even if provoked).

Ruling

Holm has violated the Summoner’s Code in a persistent and systematic fashion, and has therefore violated rules 9.2.7 and 9.2.9, and will be subject to penalties.


Competition Penalties

Holm is:
– Suspended from the League Championship Series and the Challenger Series through the end of 2014.

 

 

[ Facebook ] Alex Ich on losing Nukeduck & Mithy

 

546114_398523980255859_743118986_n Button Rioter Alex Ich: I did know the risk of playing with nukeduck and mithy. And having them banned now, ye its sad, but I guess we will be fine. They are really nice guys in real life and really dedicated and all the circlejerk about them being super toxic started from the leaked screenshot of custom game. I guess I agree on bans but the timing isn’t really the best one for the team. Now we got only around 10 days to prepare for next Coke match. But I won’t give up, there are worse things happening in life. Sad morning.

 

 

[ Facebook ] Mithy and Nukeduck released from NiP 

 

1012624_325736094226509_560515048_n Button Rioter NiP: Erlend “NukeDuck” Holm, and Alfonso “mithy” Rodriguez have been released from Ninjas in Pyjamas

Ninjas in Pyjamas have released Erlend “NukeDuck” Holm and Alfonso “mithy” Rodriguez from our roster with immediate effect. This is as a direct result of the recent suspension they have both received from Riot due to breach of code of conduct which bans them from competition for the rest of 2014. Therefore they are unable to participate in Coke Series in 2014.

NiP will immediately start searching for suitable replacements for the two players, and will try out several options during the upcoming weeks.

Statement from Gustav M. Karto, Managing Director of Ninjas in Pyjamas:

“This is a highly regrettable situation that the players can only blame themselves for. Ninjas in Pyjamas do not condone this kind of behaviour and we hope that the players take the time to learn from this incident and come back to competitive play in the future with a refreshed attitude. But for now, we will unfortunately have to say goodbye to Alfonso and Erlend, who have been exceptional and loyal players of NiP for the last 9 months.”

 

 

Hardcore vs Casual Banner

Ghostcrawler is up on the forums again to clarify what Riot’s target audience is following their statements in a recent devblog.

 

Relevant News

 

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Q: Are hardcore players the target audience for Riot?

 

ghostcrawler  Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I think we’re all using a different definition of “hardcore” and “casual” here, which isn’t surprising because those terms are pretty vague and subjective. It seems like some of you above are using casual to mean non-Diamond players or even non-LCS players. That’s not what I meant at all.

League is not an easy game to learn. It certainly isn’t an easy game to master. If you play League at all, chances are good that you’re a pretty hardcore gamer (under the definition I am using). Someone whose primary interaction with games is tablets, or someone who buys one console game a year, or someone who don’t really buy games but might play them if they visit a friend’s place once in awhile, probably isn’t a hardcore gamer. 

Riot likes to define core gamers as folks who self-identify as gamers. If you asked me my hobbies or what I do in my free time, gaming is on those lists. I suspect the same is true of many of you.

There are games out there whose mission is to try to attract very casual or even non-gamers. There are games out there who try to appeal to everyone. That’s not something Riot is interested in. We make games for gamers.

So, if the original question was “Are you interested in providing a fun experience for someone who loves messing around, playing League with friends but views it more as a social experience or a way to blow off steam, and isn’t ever going to hit plat and doesn’t care?” the answer is yes.

If the original question was “Are you interested in providing a more casual experience to attract players who play casual games or no games at all?” the answer is no.

Does that clear things up?

 

 

Follow-up:

 

ghostcrawler  Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I posted something similar in another thread, but to reiterate, if you are the kind of League player who is posting on forums in what is the middle of the night in North America, then you are the kind of player who is important to us and we want you to have fun. These design values were crafted with you in mind.

When I joined Riot, I saw a few concerns that I would try to dumb the game down. The quote you are referring to was an attempt by me to reassure you that isn’t the case. Part of the reason I joined Riot was because I found it exciting to be able to work on a game targeted at gamers (in other words, dudes like me). All of the games I have worked on before had a mission of trying to broaden the existing audience. League’s mission is to provide a great experience to you guys. Pardon my language, but F yeah!

 

 

Q: Why don’t you take the direction you took with WoW?

 

ghostcrawler  Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: They are different games with different business models and even different development cultures. If I went to work on the Sims and told them I wanted to steer the direction towards players who play League, I probably wouldn’t be working on the Sims for long. 

However, I do hope the success of League can send a message to developers and publishers that they don’t need to try to appeal to ALL different kinds of gamers with their games.

 

 

Q: Follow-up: If someone plays the Sims for 9 hours a day, isn’t he a hardcore gamer, too?

 

ghostcrawler  Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Totally. That’s the challenge with labels. People don’t tend to fit into neat little buckets like that.

There are certainly players who enjoy both The Sims and League, and that’s awesome. But if I came out here and said one of our design values to change League to be more attractive to players who liked The Sims, there would probably be a lot of concern from League players. 


You’re awesome!

 

ghostcrawler  Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Thanks! Another thing I really like about Riot is that so many Rioters are interested and encouraged to hang out with players on forums and Reddit. While I was a lead on WoW, I was just one of many leads on a very large team. Because players knew my name, I got credit or blame for many decisions that were made on the game. With so many Rioters, it’s easier (I hope!) for our individual personalities and opinions to come out.

It’s still fine to blame me, or any of us, for things you don’t like in the game. But earning your trust is also important to us, which is why I’m making a little effort here to restate that our goal is not to “dumb the game down” in hopes of attracting a broader, more casual audience.

 

 

Update on Sion's Rework Banner

Sion’s rework is still a priority for the team! This and a few bits about Skarner.

 

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: Sion is actually going quite well. 

There was a long discussion thread over here.

However, now we’re into that part of development where things go dark, as rapid iteration, experimentation and development means that a play-by-play forum update doesn’t help as much. I think it will be fair to expect lots of interesting reveals once he’s closer to showing off.

 

 

Q: Why are we only hearing about the rework on forums ?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: If it were as easy to develop new art, concepts and feature as it is to write a forum post, I’d be out of a job. 

That’s OK, you don’t have to believe me. The proof will be once the character is ready. Development is never as easy as you ever wish it was from the outside.

 

 

Q: Can we have an update on Skarner?

 

Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Few details from RiotSeb a couple of weeks ago can be found here.

We’re still aiming to get something onto the PBE within a patch or two. The passive changes we’re trying out, aimed at giving him a bit more CC if played successfully, require that we change some visual effects. As a result it’s not as simple as just adjusting some numbers in a spell, which is the case for many balance changes, hence the longer timeframe.

 

 

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Q: Which jungle path should I take as Shaco?

 

Riot Wittrock Button Rioter Riot Wittrock: I like to start at my own red, take Q and level 2, and gank mid, then go to my own blue.

Sometimes gets a kill, usually gets at least some summoners out of the opponent. Be careful not to dive or get too greedy with this play. 

Shaco has TONS of options at levels 1-3, and being adaptable is really important. So, as a Shaco player, don’t ever get locked into “this is my jungle path”.

 

 

 Q: Is Nightblu3 good company in Solo Q?

 

Cedriel Button Rioter Cendriel: Having been trolled by Teambuilder and matched against Nightblue3 (I’m Gold 3), I found him to be a classy gentleman in chat even as his Braum pounded my face.

 

 

 

Q: Why am I stuck in a 40+ minute queue in Team Builder?

 

Lyte  Button Rioter Lyte: This is because you have higher MMR than the majority of players. This is fixed in a patch in the near future.

 

 

 

Q: Did you take out the stun on Zyra’s ultimate?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: The stun used to last much longer than the knockup.

 

 

 

 

CLG partners with Twitch, leaves Azubu

 

Link to onGamers article.

 

Counter Logic Gaming announced today that the organization has established a new exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch.

Effective immediately, CLG’s League of Legends player streams will be available on the team’s new Twitch directory. The new partnership ends the company’s previous relationship with competing service, Azubu.

The sponsorship also marks the first time an official partnership has been established between the two esports organizations as CLG streams were previously only available on the now defunct Own3d.tv prior to Azubu.

Counter Logic Gaming Owner George ‘HotshotGG’ Georgallidis said of the announcement:

The CLG organization was built out of a community; a group of fans who rallied together behind a League of Legends team and set of values which defines CLG to this day. Streaming, and interaction with our community through it, is one of these primary founding values, which I will readily admit we’ve at least partially neglected. Friends, I’m here to tell you now however that I and the rest of CLG are back. I know CLG fans have waited on this moment for a long time, and I’m happy that we can finally deliver it to them.

Additionally, Twitch released the following statement from COO, Kevin Lin:

At long last, we are incredibly excited to welcome Counter Logic Gaming to Twitch. The good folks at CLG have built one of the most respected brands in esports: one rooted in community, friendship, and gaming culture. Together, we will bring their audience an endless river of pentakills, ragequits, and awkward moments. We look forward to working with CLG to bring premium competitive gaming content to new heights.

Along with the new Twitch partnership, CLG also announced the addition of sports nutrition company Cellucor as a sponsor.

 

 

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

 

 

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Official Announcements: One for All is Back with a Twist

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One For All is back with a twist Banner

One-For-All returns to live servers, but now the rules are slightly different.

 

Last time you tangoed with One for All, you could nuke the enemy team with five Final Sparks or chain together a series of Unstoppable Forces. Some teams even achieved immortality with back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back Chronoshifts.

Now it’s time for One For All: Mirror Mode! We’ve moved the action to the Howling Abyss and changed the rules so players on both teams clash with the same champ. Soon you’ll really play pinball with Monsoons, dodgeball with Dark Spheres or hide-and-seek with ten times the Noxious Traps.

For this iteration of One For All, champ select is determined by the combined nominations of both teams. A vote tracker shows the nominated champions – if one champ achieves a strict majority, they’re chosen. If not, we base the choice on a weighted random from all the nominated champs, so if four people vote for Amumu, three people pick Blitzcrank and the last three all pick different champs; there’s a 40% chance everyone plays Amumu, a 30% chance everyone plays Blitz and a 10% chance for each of the remaining champs!

After playing your first game, you’ll permanently unlock the One For All icon (it’ll take a few days to hit your account). Additionally, we’ve added a feature to One For All: Mirror Mode that allows you to purchase a Battle Boost for your team during champ select. If you purchase one (150 RP), you’ll temporarily unlock all the chosen champ’s currently available skins for yourself and your allies. Everyone on your team also gets a one game 100 IP boost!

This game mode was inspired by feedback from you guys, so let us know what you think! One For All: Mirror Mode will be live from May 29 through June 8 and we’ll be hanging out on the Community Beta looking for your thoughts and awesome ideas!




DevBlog the design values of League Banner


Morello recently posted an exploration of the defining game design that’s gone into League of Legends. 



morello Button Rioter Morello: It’s long been our belief that to make a long-lasting game, we can’t set our sights on a single target. Being able to constantly work on League of Legends means we’ll never stop evolving and (hopefully) improving the landscape of the game. Hand in hand with that philosophy is also our desire to improve how we communicate – to have a real, meaningful dialogue with all of you guys so we can stay connected to the community while also holding ourselves accountable for the changes we make.

On that note, communication is what this dev blog is about – if League is going to continue to evolve, then why shouldn’t the way we talk about the game? Specifically, how can we continue to have real, meaningful conversations?

This got us thinking that we should really sit down to establish a foundation for our talks: our values. At the center of every discussion, shared values – or knowing where we differ – arenecessary for the conversation to have meaning. Also, and more importantly, we can have conversations about where we’re successful and where we need more work. With these values out in the open, our hope is that if you don’t agree with a change, you at least understand where we’re coming from.

Ultimately, if our goal is to make a competitive, hardcore game that’ll last for decades (and it is!), then these are the values that will get us there.


Mastery


League of Legends is about the pursuit of mastery and challenge. A player can grow in skill, teamwork, decision making and adaptability, but being the best means learning all paths, not just picking one. We’ll always find new ways to reward and support a player’s developing mastery of the game.

Whether a player aspires to be a motivating in-game leader, a mechanically gifted marksman, or a trendsetting strategist who shapes the landscape; they’re pursuing mastery. Skilled players can carry the game on a few core aspects, but masters understand and work on all of them. Whether a player’s starting their 10th or 1000th game, there should always be new and exciting challenges to pursue.


Meaningful Choice


A meaningful choice requires tradeoffs. If it’s a no-brainer, it’s not interesting. If nobody understands the consequences of their decision, it’s not engaging. If there’s a better choice rather than a differentchoice, players become followers rather than pioneers. We support new strategies by ensuring that tradeoffs exist for the game as a whole.

Instead of offering a best path forward, we want to offer different paths forward that have real tradeoffs. Players should see changes that reflect this philosophy when we introduce strategic tradeoffs for emergent strategies, not because they’re new and unique, but usually because they’re dominating the scene.


Counterplay


Rich and exciting fights need to be two-sided, not one-sided. In order to dominate your opponent, you need to consistently outplay them, not just pull off that one perfect kill. League isn’t won at champion select and no phase of the game should be decided before a team steps up to fight. We strive to ensure a player’s decisions, actions, and reactions matter.

While counterplay is a type of meaningful choice, it’s so important to League of Legends as a competitive multiplayer game that we consider it a pillar of our design values. A fight loses its excitement if the first punch wins – it’s what you can do after that adds depth and complexity. We try to prevent hard counters and abilities with no room for reaction, as no game should be over without a real show of skill.


Teamplay


No victory is won alone. Players need to rely on teammates to augment their strengths and cover their weaknesses. Supports can’t make plays without a team to follow up, and marksmen can’t dish out the damage without protection.

Rather than designing champions who do everything, we create distinct roles to enhance teamplay. Marksmen deal tons of damage, but they’ll likely deal tons more with a tank up front and a support by their side. Teamplay is also an avenue for self-expression. Whether a player wants an assassin that waits for the perfect engage or a tank that fights when he pleases, we want to present a wide selection of champions that can deliver on a variety of distinct roles.


Clarity


Players should fight their opponents, not the game. We strive to present information in a clear and precise way so that League can be about dominating opponents with skill and teamwork – not through bookkeeping hidden information.

Clarity means we want distinct, transparent mechanics in everything we design. When the outcome of a game hinges on a player’s ability to quickly assess the situation, information needs to be clear and accessible. This doesn’t mean we tell players the best play to make, but we should make sure they have the right info to make calls as best they can.


Evolution


A constantly evolving game is a healthy game. We will continually update League of Legends with new champions and mechanics. As long as we work through the lens of our design values, we believe we can create a more satisfying and compelling experience.

Players and designers are both a part of the League of Legends experience and evolution doesn’t come through inaction. Our commitment to evolution means we can keep League healthy and dynamic over a number of years. Mistakes will be made along the way, but with player feedback and consistent iteration, we can create a constantly improving, ever-evolving game.



With our values right here in the open, we can have open conversations about how we approach design in League of Legends. Better still, we can be held accountable when we make changes that aren’t in line. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, but stay tuned for in-depth articles from senior League of Legends game designers on each core value. We’ll be updating this post as they go live!


 

Q: Why can’t we delete Teemo?



ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Oops. That was supposed to be the seventh design value.

 

 



Q: Why is Clarity so bad?


morello Button Rioter Morello: haha. Well, it is a good callout in how that choice isn’t very meaningful 🙂

 

 



Q: When will Mages be buffed?


morello Button Rioter Morello: We’ve got Ghostcrawler – mages should be overpowered soon! 😉

Ducks




Q: Why was Feral Flare released on live servers in such a problematic state?


morello Button Rioter Morello: We agree – we messed up on Feral Flare, and that’s why I think it needs a lot more work. The great part about talking about these publicly is that you guys are better armed to talk about where we’re making mistakes.



 

Follow-up:


morello Button Rioter Morello: We messed up on Feral Flare – it wasn’t necessarily A mistake. Some of this is the “farm until big” play being SO extreme, but much of it is in the raw power. The tradeoffs weren’t there.

It was successful in opening up the jungle to other junglers – but there are also much deeper problems there in how that happens and what the enemy’s options are. I DO like that the strategy is different.

Wanna talk about egg on my face – let’s discuss how our direction on the jungle in the last 3 years has had the opposite effect.


 

Q: Will anything be done to prevent AFK-ers in Ranked?


morello Button Rioter Morello: This is a complex issue, I feel your pain (I just had 3 AFKs in my own placement matches). Making a system that can tolerate or avoid this, without removing the meaning of rank (via a “gameable” system) is something we’re very interested in, though Lyte can speak much more intelligently on this than I.



Busted! If you rearrange the letters in “Singed” you get “Design”


Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: They’ve figured out that Designs and Singed are the same thing? Quickly, launch the orbital laser cannons!

 

 



Q: Are comebacks hard to design in League?


morello Button Rioter Morello: I think the balance between consequences and making this so you can comeback is hard to do, but something we’ll always be looking to smooth out. We don’t want the game to be “you can always win!<3”, but we do need to make it not about a single moment until later in the game.

These values are really a compass for where we’re going, not where we are today – many of our designs fail this rubric.


 

Q: Is LeBlanc problematic right now?


morello Button Rioter Morello: LeBlanc is tough – she takes skill mechanically, but if that player is skilled, there’s nothing you can do. What do we do?

By these values, we would change LeBlanc to add interaction/counterplay.

 



Q: Is Caitlyn too stagnant to meet your design goals? Why is she so hard to counter?


morello Button Rioter Morello: Agreed – it’s easy to see why Caitlyn performs well so consistently. Her range and safety eliminate any other tradeoffs pretty well. This makes her more self-sufficient and reliable, which then pushes out other picks who may have more appropriate strengths and weaknesses (say, Ashe).

In many cases, balance will look fine, but the ability to make choices that are variety, interesting and exciting can be really undermined by these all-purpose designs. Many of our gameplay reworks need to focus on this.


 

Suggestion: Make small hot-fixes for Champions who are problematic to counterplay and study the metrics in-between


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Those are good points, and we do intend to follow up this general feature with dev blogs going into more detail on each value.

We don’t think randomness necessarily violates the clarity value. Randomness is just one of those challenges you need to overcome and can help ensure that players are actually reacting to current situations at that moment. When randomness gets out of control is when it gets to the point of randomly winning or losing, which was the problem we were trying to fix with fear.

In terms of counterplay, having a single powerful ability or even a combo that is tough to counter isn’t necessarily a violation of that value. As the opponent, you can time your own abilities to try and go in when your opponent’s cooldown is down for example. It’s when you feel like you literally have no options that counterplay is really being violated.

The specific tactic you suggest of making frequent small changes is a viable one and we have done that on occasion. There is also value to ripping the band-aid off quickly or making larger changes to make sure we’re actually moving the needle. It’s tactically simpler sometimes to overshoot the target and then correct back than it is to incrementally buff or nerf something that is going to end up taking dozens of increments to reach its target (if that makes sense).

Most of you got this intuitively, but it is worth restating that these values are aspirational — they are what we want the game to be. There are plenty of examples where we currently aren’t living up to the ideal, and those are things we want to fix over time.


 

Suggestion: Implement a Council of Players, similar like the one in EVE Online


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I am personally very passionate about any mechanism that improves player and Rioter communication. While I am familiar with the CSM, I’m not immersed enough in EVE itself to know how players evaluate its success.



 

Q: Do point-and-click abilities lack counterplay?


Button Rioter DanielZKlein: Good question!

There are ways of putting counterplay into point and click abilities, though, to steal a Morello expression, in my opinion point and click (or more technically correct unit targeted abilities) are “guilty until proven innocent”. One way to add counterplay is range. Annie Q is okay because of its relatively low range. Another way of doing it is by having your cake and eating it too–aka Lucian Q, which is a unit targeted ability that borrows dodging counterplay from skillshots (but fails at execution; this could be a devblog all by itself).


 

Reminder: Design Philosophy vs Design Reality


Button Rioter DanielZKlein: Remember that this blog post describes our values and goals. We’re not saying “EVERYTHING CURRENTLY IN THE GAME PERFECTLY AND FLAWLESSLY ADHERES TO THESE STANDARDS”, we’re saying “this is the game we’re trying to make. All our design is striving to bring the game closer to this platonic ideal.” Do call us out whenever we do not live up to these values, but please don’t expect every single instance of where we fail to live up to these values to be fixed overnight. There are so, so many.

That said, I’m so happy this is out there now. It’ll make talking to you guys about design much easier and much more fruitful. Thanks to Morello and Pwyff for putting this together!

 



Does Chat Restricting Work Banner


The debate for whether chat restricting is proper punishment continues. Lyte and Wookiiecookie are once again on the forums to explain to players why they’re muted and how this system reforms toxic elements in the community.


Relevant Red Post Collections


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Q: What’s wrong with showing Tribunal chat in public?


WookieeCookie Button Rioter WookieecCookie: Since the reform card system is currently disabled (until the tribunal is back) it’s not exceptionally easy to get chat and provide it in a format that is acceptable for the public. We generally don’t manually release lines of chat as it takes some extra time to edit out information we don’t want to share. Since an excerpt of chat was already shared, I felt it appropriate to give extra context.



Q: Don’t we need something other than Tribunal reports so players know why they’re punished?


WookieeCookie Button Rioter WookieecCookie: We agree! Unfortunately the reform card is tied to the Tribunal System. Since we took the tribunal down for extended maintenance we had to disable reform cards as well. It would take too much work for us to transfer the reform card feature to the chat restriction experiment. That’s time we’d much rather spend on improving the Tribunal and getting it back online.

In the meantime, if players genuinely are concerned or frustrated about their chat restrictions they can write to Player Support to talk to my team about it.



Q: How does chat restricting work?


WookieeCookie Button Rioter WookieecCookie: You start the game off with 4 or 5 lines of chat. As you continue to play the game you will unlock a few additional lines of chat. This way, a player can still have the ability to communicate throughout the game but they will have to think strategically about what chat is important vs what is unnecessary banter.

You can check out our full knowledge base article on it here: https://support.leagueoflegends.com/…cted-Chat-Mode



Q: What about people who intentionally troll & feed? Why aren’t they punished?


WookieeCookie Button Rioter WookieecCookie: Players who feed, rage and troll are not immune to our punishment system. They are treated the same way as people that verbally abuse others. If they don’t respond to our chat restrictions then it’s very likely they’ll end up with other punishments like the loss of ranked rewards or in-game suspensions.



Q: Isn’t a Bachelor’s in Computer Science more impressive than a Ph.D in Psychology?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: Maybe. It depends what you’re looking for. In Neuroscience or Cognitive Neuroscience (the field I’m from), some of the top scientists in the field are former Computer Scientists or Physicists. In Economy, some of the top economists in the field are former Psychologists or Neuroscientists.

Psychology (whether it’s Social, Cognitive, etc) often collaborates hand-in-hand with Computer Scientists to help them out and vice versa.



Q: Why am I chat restricted when I don’t trash talk?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: Let’s be more constructive. Your chat restrictions were deserved. We generally prefer not to copy and paste chat logs, but just looking at a sampling of chat logs reveals negative behavior where you just piss off a lot of players. You will earn more chat restrictions or a permanent ban if you continue to behave this way, and even if you don’t agree that your behaviors are bad, many of your own peers don’t believe you should even be able to play League of Legends. In fact, in many games, even the enemy team is telling you to stop raging at your teammates because they are doing OK and just having a bad game.



“BECAUSE”
“YOU DON’T PEEL”
“OR MAYBE”
“YOUR NOOB WHOLE GAME”
“THIS RIVEN SUCKS”
“THIS RIVEN IS SO BAD. ASHE DOESN’T PEEL. ONLY KAT FEELS MY PAIN.”
“ASHE SUCKS. I CAN’T DO ANYTHING WHEN ADC IS A COWARD.”
“IT’S LIKE GIVING A CHILD THE EXCALIBUR.”
“OMGZ, ITS THE EXCALIBURS… TOO BAD I DON’T HAVE THE BALLS TO USE IT.”
“I HAS **** BEADS”
“ASHE DOES’T EVEN HAVE A KILL. HUEHUEHUE.”
“NOT A GG”
“BAD TEAM”

“because I don’t care, lol”
“just a bunch of children that blame others for their own discrepancies”
“i destroyed your nid, and outplayed you. lolol. Get off your high horse, kid”
“yet you couldn’t beat me 1v1”
“lol, stupid team”



Many players would agree that spamming negative comments in caps all game isn’t a positive experience, and when you intentionally start messing with your team because they are “kids” and you “don’t care,” it’s definitely not a positive experience either.

The chat restriction system isn’t perfect. There are going to be a few false positives, and we will do everything we can to minimize them and correct them, but you aren’t a false positive.



Follow-up Q: Aren’t you being too strict at punishing players who are not racist or overly offensive?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: It’s not “us.” It’s not Riot versus the players, or Riot versus certain language. The community participates in defining what’s cool and what’s not in League of Legends. Numerous players in the community felt that this language was unnecessary, and we support the community 100%. Remember, this player wasn’t just getting a little feisty–this was a large chunk of his games, every time. This also wasn’t the worst examples… just a random sample since I only had a few minutes available.



Q: Is it true only people who haven’t been punished by the Tribunal get to vote in it?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: No.

That’s just flat out wrong. It’s nearly always been a random sample of League of Legends players. I know you might find it hard to believe, but most players are pretty awesome and don’t believe it’s just about “not being racist.” It’s about being human beings and just having fun and enjoying the game.

Do you really just go yell at random people in public? Maybe you do, but most people don’t think it’s cool.

 


Q: Isn’t chat restricting in a competitive game where interaction is needed a bad way to punish players?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: I hear this complaint a lot, but there are fines for many kinds of behaviors in most professional sports. We’re not limiting chat for everyone and not allowing any interactions–something like 95% of players have complete freedom to chat and interact in any manner they like.

We’re just limiting chat for those who the community agrees don’t have enough respect to use chat responsibly and with respect for others.

 


Q: Doesn’t chat restriction lead to players reporting the muted person for “refusing to communicate”?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: A lot of players just use pings to communicate in-game, and they are almost never reported for Refusing to Communicate. In fact, a lot of players are concerned about that report type when it’s rarely used in the situations players are concerned about.

For example, we’ve never seen a chat restricted player get an additional punishment because of Refusing to Communicate. It’s usually because they continue to be negative, verbally abuse others even with their restricted chat, etc.



Q: Does the 95% reforming statistic include inactive accounts?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: It doesn’t.






Q: If this system is so effective, then why am I matched up with toxic players so often?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: I think this may be related to a cognitive bias. A lot of players report experiences like this, but forget that it’s maybe just 1 or 2 players in the game–not everyone in every game.

If you look at the number of players you interact with (up to 9 strangers per game) and the number of players that are actually negative… it’s a low percentage. This means that a high number of games might be frustrating experiences, but it’s due to a very low percentage of players.



Twisted Treeline after Patch 4 point 8 Banner

Do you play 3v3 in League? Me neither, but this might interest you.



Scarizard Button Rioter Scarizard: 

WARNING THIS POST IS PROLLY GON’ BE REAL LONG

Hey, thanks for making this thread. There’s a lot of good discussion here, and feedback such as this is what’s going to help us make the map better in the long run.

For those of you who don’t know me, i’ve been working on Live Balance and assisting in Reworks/Champions for almost 2 years. Pretty recently i’ve joined Nome and the legendary ManWolfAxeBoss to aid their efforts of making our Alt Maps better for everyone. Most recently we shipped Soul Anchor to Dominion (mega-props to Manwolf for this one) as well as balance changes to items (sweeper, BFT and Twin Shadows) and systems changes like the ones to Inhibitors, Monster Level Scaling as well as the ones you’re talking about here.

Let me make clear that while the work we do is informed (we keep up with the opinions/posts of high tier players like this one, as well as having access to a ton of data) i’ll admit it’s iterative. There will be side-effects of changes that we either didn’t intend or don’t wholly support, and my goal is to react swiftly on a patch-by-patch basis to help resolve some of the issues you’re feeling. We’re players of League (and lovers of Dominion -and- TT alike) and aim to increase the quality of life for these communities as best we can. So let’s work together and make a better experience for everyone 

THAT SAID! Let’s get into meat of y’all’s feelin’s and break down what’s up. 

I’ve detailed and broken into points your concerns in this thread, and i’ll respond to them as best i can. If you feel i’ve left any out drop me a comment and i’ll try and get to it.

Concerns 
– ‘Smite being optional’ is desirable – these changes ruin that.
– The necessity of Jungle Items limits my diversity of items that i can build on junglers.
– The jungle pool has become less diverse with these changes.
– Y no Madreds???
– Turtling is too effective with AP/Waveclear champions (Ziggs being a big one named here)
– Ichors OP 
– Games are taking longer (or at the very least feeling longer)
– 3v3 becoming a mini-5v5

Smite isn’t optional

First up on our list gives me a chance to detail our current thinking about jungling on Twisted Treeline. At this time, we do not believe that jungling should be mandatory the same way that it is on SR. Since the map’s release, comps with ‘support’ lanes vs ones that had junglers were a unique and defining characteristic of teams’ playstyles. We want to keep this and feel like it’s a point of mastery and learning for TT players. That said, if you do want to jungle on TT there are certain conventions we expect you to follow. 

On both maps, Junglers perform a very important role – controlling game flow through uncertainty and strategy. Their power on these maps have been linked to and controlled by the use of Smite and build paths giving us predictable power curves/spikes throughout the game. We intend to enforce this on TT as well. There may need to be a ton of balance changes to support this stance – Smite might need more damage, a lesser CD, a cooler effect, who knows? Jungle items might need to be reworked entirely to fit the needs and flow of this map. If it comes to that, we’ll compensate where necessary.

Jungle Items limit build diversity // Jungle champions are too limited 

This one i feel less sure on. Let me up front agree with you that yes, build diversity for junglers is limited. I do not agree that this is new, however. Ravenous Hydra was (and likely still is) bought on every common jungler as their first and sometimes only damage item. It didn’t just limit the jungle items outright – how good you were with Hydra defined how good a jungler your champion could be, with an exception being made for Evelynn. We see making Spirit Items better as an opportunity to introduce diversity to jungle picks and builds by allowing different characters to be played.

That’s probably not true right now. It’s likely that Lee Sin, Kha’Zix, and all the other top tier junglers still just build Hydra and dominate everyone. Instead of just taking out Hydra with the nerf shotgun however, i’d like your thoughts on what spirit items could accomplish to enable diverse junglers (Super Golem Spirit letting Maokai, Nautilus. Amumu more niche? Super Wraith Spirit letting certain AP’s into the fray?)

Y No Madreds?

We’ll be adding this. Now that we’re embracing machete/spirit stone, we’ll likely be putting this into Grez’s lantern or something else. Unsure how it will manifest, though i like the idea of tweaking the costs such that you could start with either Spirit Stone or Madred’s Razor’s from start of game. Would like thoughts here!

Turtling is too effective with AP Champions/Waveclear

While i think this is a problem, i’d argue this is mostly a champion specific issue. Ziggs does this on every map he’s played in – but ours having two lanes makes his ‘clear endlessly in one lane and ult another’ even more obnoxious. Ichor’s duration and effect also make stalling champions pretty rough.

It’s unclear how we’ll respond to this right now – i’d like to hear your ideas on how you’d like to see it solved, but my gut says that waveclear is just too powerful on this map. Your champion can probably hit a point where they -can- one shot minions, but maybe it needs to start later? A lot of possible solutions to this. As an aside, the tower defense changes were actually made in an attempt to address this meta before it took hold – Champions like Ziggs, Cassi, Vel’Koz and Syndra (and many others) who can waveclear to siege a tower with little to no effort would poke the towers down super quickly – so this change was made to try and give people defending AP sieges a little more time/bulk to deal with it. Naturally this means defending AP/Waveclear is also pretty hard to deal with. 

Regardless, this is something we’re keeping our eye on with great interest/caution.

Ichors OP 

I agree here. This isn’t ‘BOTH ICHORS NERFED NEXT PATCH GG RIOT’, but i think Blue Buff on an elixir and Tower Damage on an elixir may just be too strong. It could also be the duration/cost, but i’m inclined to think that any gold threshold that says ‘you stall the game out longer for x minutes’ is probably overdoing it. Will put a lot of thought into what elixirs -should- be, but as with every other bullet-point (you guessed it) i want to hear what y’all think.

The last two concerns have a lot to do with the overall identity of the map (What should TT be?) and as such, i’d rather respond to them separately and give them the discussion they deserve instead of trying to boil my thinking down to a paragraph or two.

Not the longest post ever, but not the shortest. This is not me simply telling you how things are going to be, but meant to be a first transmission that can lead to y’all communicating with us on the issues you’re most passionate about.

Fire away! ALSO IF YOU MANAGED TO READ ALL OF THIS YOU ARE A HERO [i probably overused commas to hell]



All the Quinn Art Banner

This thread is like Christmas in May. Enjoy! 


Do you love League art? Check out all these awesome collections:


Fan Art Enijoi

Fan Art Erina Topic

Fan Art School Designers

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Single Posts banner



Color Blindness


MattEnth Button Rioter MattEnth: I’m not colorblind, but I did help out with color blind mode over 2 years ago. Some random stuff I learned during its development.

  • A common misconception is that color blindness usually means that you “can’t see color,” or that everything is monochromatic and black/white/gray. This is extremely rare.
  • The most common use of “color blind” really refers to red/green color blindness. It has some genetic links and mostly affects men due to them only having one X chromosome. Women would need to have the same genetic defect across both chromosomes to become red/green colorblind – men lack that redundancy. In contract, blue/yellow colorblindness is equally likely for both sexes (though extremely rare).
  • Color “blindness” isn’t as much of a binary as you might think – it’s much more of a spectrum from completely “blind” to just color deficient. If you’re in this category, odds are you can see and identify red, but have to focus much more than someone without any color deficiencies.
  • One in every 12 men have some level of red/green color deficiency. Statistically speaking, that means you’re probably running into someone who has deuteranomaly every few games (we haven’t actually studied this, but just extrapolating from the entire male population). On a stream of hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands are probably colorblind (which is why we switched to blue/red instead of blue/purple as the default in eSports spectator).
  • Photoshop has a pretty great color blind filter. For me, it’s View–>Proof Setup–>Color Blindness. You can use this to see any image as a color blind person would see it. Gimp also has the filter, and there are a few free online ones too (just Google “Deuteranopia filter”).



List of improvements for Summoner’s Rift


Button Rioter MasterVidallis: The map needs a graphic rework pretty badly. The general design is fine for the most part, it’s really just about the textures and the shapes of the decorative models. Here are some ideas from an very active player who also happens to be a professional designer:

A lot of the issues has to do with just low resolution textures and low polygon models for the both the map itself and the items on it. That they both need to be increased significantly goes without saying, and with today’s computers even at the low end, there is no need for such a low graphic map. But onwards to some specific aesthetic suggestions.

1- The cartoony styles works for the game and is it’s identity, so I’m not saying the jungle needs to be realistic, but I do wish it looked and felt like a jungle as we all call it that. Pine trees don’t belong in the jungle, it’s a jungle not a forest, neither does that really pastel color pallet. I would love to see some more tropical jungle looking trees, some more fierce and colorful flowers, something like this is what I imagine for the vegetation stylehttp://www.worldfortravel.com/wp-con…zon-Jungle.jpg.

2- The towers need a lot of love, they’re magical so more magic effects like designs that light up when it’s attacking and a more epic magical explosion when it goes down (just bigger, probably light purple particle effects on a wider radius sort of thing, would be awesome. They should also fall apart gradually and show damage as they are attacked. I think rather than human shaped they should be creature themed, one for each side, a lion for one side and dragon for another would be really cool. This would give each side of the map more visual identity and people would soon call it “dragon” side and “lion” side.

3- I think the river, being so shallow would be much cooler if redone as a swamp, which would also be more suited for the jungle. So things like little frogs and a murky greenish color for the water texture would be awesome.

4- The baron area should feel epic when you walk into it, rather than just sticking out of the ground it should look like it burrowed itself up through a cave stone floor and the area should feel like a cave with magical symbols shining on the walls. There should be skeletons by the entrance and an ominous light effect coming from the area as you walk by the river.

5- The nexus is this massive source of power and should be redone entirely with some lively animation so it looks more like a living energy source irradiating from the crystal, probably various circular motion light effects that look almost liquid spinning around a large round crystal, players should feel like they’re attacking the crystal itself when hitting the nexus not a stone base. The crystal should glow red when being attacked and start pulsating faster and faster as it gets lower, as if it knows (it knows!).

6- The bushes should look taller and like bushes, not low poly tall grass, seehttp://lucieonthelam.files.wordpress…/dsc01437m.jpg on the right side. Their shadows should also be more intense so they look like they’re completely dark inside.

7- The summoner’s platform looks really bland considering it resurrects players and deals a lot of damage. It should look entirely and change color when enemies step on it.

These are general as I could write pages on pages to get to the details, but hopefully it gives you some ideas.



Fan Art in Full 3D of Diana


  • by Summoner Endesong, link to thread


StephenBreux_Diana_LoL_BD

Fan Art of Diana Full 3D


 

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


 

Nidalee and Fiora Rework Banner

 

Red Post Collection

Single Posts – Stale Balance, Skarner, Support Gragas

 

 

Fiora Rework Banner

Awesome news – Guinsoo is back and he’s ready to deliver on the fantasy of dueling Champions with a French fencer lady!

 

 

 GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Hi guys. I’d just like to weigh in on what some of the Fiora goals are. The main problems we see with Fiora’s current kit are that thematically, she doesn’t deliver on the fantasy of being a skilled duelist/fencer, and mechanically, her game presence / play pattern / role doesn’t line up with being a skilled duelist/fencer.

As far as the duelist fantasy goes, at least when I think of Fiora, I expect her to be extremely mobile but not just going in, she needs to be good at dancing in, out of, around and about combat. She should be about finding weaknesses in the opponent’s play and finding the proper occasion to go on the attack. She shouldn’t be about running in and bursting enemies down, she should be dealing high, steady DPS over time that is relatively target agnostic.

Mechanically speaking, I’d expect a duelist type champion to be mechanically intense. I expect opportunities to use my abilities at optimal times to counter out the enemy’s champion. I want to have a lot to keep track of, but with clear success cases when I do well.

At the end of the day, live Fiora is a ball of stats with some untargetability thrown in; she pushes her buttons pretty much as fast as she can without a second thought, and she’s also extremely snowballey. In short, she’s bland with no cool opportunities to exchange gameplay between her and her lane opponent.

Some of the current goals including switching Fiora from an assassin to a melee DPS, and moving her lane from top to mid/jungle, and adding tons of ‘outplay’ functionality on her kit, as well as more mobility especially in terms of being able to disengage and re-engage at optimal times.

I can’t share too much of exactly what the plans are for her kit, as I’m sure it’s going to change tons during development, but I’ll leave this here to hopefully stir up some excitement for our favorite rapier wielder. Also bear in mind this is an early, experimental Blade Waltz, and could certainly change drastically between now and remake launch time.

I also understand it’s hard to understand exactly what this sample Blade Waltz does, given the lack of context on her basic spells… but rest assured, there are significant tweaks (or more) to all 4 of the other abilities, so hopefully your imaginations run wild 

 

FioraUltSample

 

 

Do you think this new ultimate will accomplish what the old one did?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: A great question. I’m not going to directly answer it, but I’m going to pose a theoretical question.

If one assumes that Lunge is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s jump around and hit things function, and that Riposte is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s untargetability, is it hard to envision a scenario where you don’t get the current functionality of Blade Waltz if you’re allowed to rapidly cast your basic spells? But with options around when each individual jump and spell block comes from, as well as considering how many jumps to use vs spell blocks vs disengages, when, how many auto attacks to weave in, when to focus more DPS vs more survivability vs more mobility, etc.

The goal behind the current ult was to sometimes emulate the behavior of the old one, but make it more timing and decision based, add more options, and add more counterplay for the opponents. I feel like the new ultimate offers far more opportunities than the old one, if one assumes that R/Q emulates the feel of her live Blade Waltz.

 

 

Do you think Fiora’s rework will allow her to duel the current top lane picks?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Right now to me the ‘natural’ top laners are people like Renekton, Shyvana, etc. I feel like in order to make a melee ADC (ala Yasuo) compete with those types of champions in the top lane, we’d have to make other sacrifices to her core design (e.g. putting life regeneration on her kit, I really don’t like her current passive but I worry that without it she’d really struggle top lane).

 

 

As a fencer, Fiora should be about one-hit knockouts, not poking enemies

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: OK, I feel like I used the wrong terminology when I said “poke enemies down.” I edited my first post to “deal steady, high DPS that is relatively target agnostic.” While I mostly agree with you that fencing is all about scoring OHKOs, well obviously that type of gameplay isn’t great for any type of PvP game.

 

The way we’re choosing to handle this is to give her strong, steady DPS, but have it come in bigger chunks that one might anticipate from a steady DPS champion. For example her Riposte has heavily negative implications on her outgoing DPS… unless she blocks a significant spell or attack, at which point she can respond with a very hard hitting Thrust.

In general we want her to feel good (and be greatly rewarded) for using her abilities properly. While that can’t be in the form of OHKOs, I think the next best thing is “big chunks of damage.”

 

 

Off-topic: Why were you gone for so long?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Truth be told, 6 years of intense video game development got to me and I really needed to take some time to destress. I spent about a year traveling and relaxing and now I’m locked and loaded and ready to pump out some sweet content.

 

 

Why would Fiora be picked over Yasuo?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Here are 3 reasons off the top of my head to pick her over Yasuo. Please note I’m talking about her new kit with new abilities, not her old kit with a new ultimate. I just spoiled the ultimate for funsies 

1) Kayle ult with a few catches on a normal slot
2) Weaker engage, but much stickier than Yasuo
3) Built in disengage

 

 

Will her Reposte be able to block tower shots while Fiora is using her ult?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I doubt it. I’m not a great fan of tower diving. I think her kit still leaves her much better positioned to tower dive than the average champion even without being untargetable/immune to turrets. I’m not completely opposed to her having some turret mitigation capabilities. But I’d rather avoid it, and so far my instinct tells me she’ll do okay with out it just due to the sheer mobility on the kit.

 

 

Do you feel her passive is underwhelming?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s kind of what I’m driving at – the passive feels lame, it’s especially lame in tense moments like battles with other champions, and its only real use is allowing her access to a lane that I don’t really feel she belongs in in the first place. It’s power without gameplay, and plus it feels useless too. It’s effective, but totally lameballs. That’s pretty much the opposite of where I’d like her passive design space to lie.

 

 

Why would a duelist be a jungler? It doesn’t seem thematic

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s an interesting consideration. But I still think mid lane works fine for her; perhaps you’re right that jungle isn’t where she belongs.

 

 

 

 

How will you balance Fiora’s damage spike from her new ultimate?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Originally I was debating how to primarily balance this implementation of Blade Waltz. There are two obvious limiting levers, duration and number of casts. The version of which I posted a screenshot is clearly more duration limited. In this iteration I was counting on the various “drawbacks” / nuances of the abilities to limit the ultimate – e.g. travel times, delays, parry times, etc.

 

In the end with the directions we took for some of the other , and the more recent version is more moderate 8 second duration, with a limit of 4 / 6 / 8 casts (still needs tons of tuning). Also note that right now Blade Waltz doesn’t provide any bonuses to how hard the skills hit, to emphasize mobility and tactics over brute force during the ultimate (obviously when casting that many spells in succession, it’s going to be doing a certain amount of brute force work).

You’re partially right that an ultimate that uses stronger versions of your basic skills requires a sharp tuning knife to make it feel good with and without. But in this case, I think there are some “under the hood” things that we can do to make the ultimate feel like a thing of its own. For example right now when you activate it, it resets all your cooldowns so you can start your comboing or dancing immediately, you get X number of casts chosen pretty much any way you like, and afterward it puts the cooldowns back where they were. I think this really helps make the ultimate feel like a spell all of its own. Additionally, the more potent the “spell modifications” that Blade Waltz offers, the more it feels like the ultimate is a collection of different spells. I think the W captures that well right now, the E to some degree, and the Q not nearly enough.

She definitely pulls a lot of weight with all her spells. In fact, she’s decidedly spell based and mostly weaves autos between them, but still plays a lot like a melee ADC because she can cast so many spells within her windows and (conditionally) deal steady spikes of damage. As far as the actual itemization, that is yet to be determined. Right now, she does have an attack speed steroid elsewhere on her kit (originally it was on the ult, but that doesn’t fit for obvious reason), but it’s not clear to me yet if that will or should stick. That is one of the balancing levers for her that partially determines if she’s more assassin or melee ADC; in an ideal world I’d like her to play exactly like a melee ADC without any basic attack steroids, but that’s a lofty goal that’s probably not possible. I also don’t want her to rely exclusively on her auto attacks like for example Tryndamere, I think it should be somewhere int he middle.

And I don’t really have any thoughts on jungle Fiora at the moment. I’m really not sure if that’s a reasonable expectation or not. It has not yet been tested, and it’s definitely not the primary focus/intended role for her.

 

 

Will Fiora’s kit be overtuned to fit the Melee DPS archetype?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I think there are levers you can tune to allow a character to be very mobile while not being completely out of hand. It’s definitely a hard goal, and melee DPS seem to be one of the hardest classes to get right. I certainly would like to try.

 

 

Can you make Fiora’s dash work on allies?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: It’s something we’ve considered; ultimately I don’t think it fits the fencing fantasy well so I’d rather try to go other routes to get the mobility we like. But we’re not opposed to it if other methods fail.

 

 

 

Why are you reworking Fiora when some people don’t want her changed?

 

GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: People don’t like change. It’s in our nature; if we like something we don’t want it to change. But that doesn’t mean it’s not for the better. I’m confident we can deliver a new Fiora kit that delivers most of the same mechanics that the old one has (including the important ones like the Blade Waltz experience) but creates new gameplay and makes her actually feel like a duelist.

I prefer to focus my responses toward posts that are more constructive.

 

 

Warwick Relaunch

Warwick will soon be getting a full balance rework, complete with a visual update. More from Zenon.

 

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We have a full relaunch slated for Warwick, but the question is indeed when. Currently our highest priority in terms of full relaunches is Sion; as for visual only stuff we’re excited to bring you Twitch very very soon.

I’d love to say Warwick will happen at some point this year, but who knows. The landscape of what needs work most is ever-shifting. For what it’s worth, I have a kit I fully believe in ready for further work.

 

 

Is Warwick getting a full ability rework as well?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yup! Blood Scent stays (but receives a toggle) and Hungering Strike becomes Hungering Strikes (still with a very similar purpose), but other than that a lot of things will change.

 

 

 

Will Warwick’s other skins get the running animation from Blood Scent that Hyena Warwick has?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: That’s a very good question! I do want special animations for all skins when he goes into Blood Scent, but I like that Hyena gets something special. Maybe the other skins will get somewhat more vanilla wolf running animations? That’s a conversation I will need to have with my animator once the pod comes online (once we start working on the art).

 

 

Will WW’s balance rework ship before his visual update?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We had the discussion on whether or not we can ship WW without art, but some of the things we’re doing would just look very, very derpy without new art, so I’d rather wait. WW is at least a niche pick right now, unlike Heimer who was simply unpicked before the remake.

 

 

Is Warwick going to retain his life-drain tank niche?

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Absolutely! If anything he’ll be more of a drain tank. He currently gains self-heal with bonus health, so if you want to drain tank you no longer build AP on him. He has a passive that stacks up on himself when he attacks stuff and his self-heal also increases with those stacks, so he needs to be in combat for a while before his drain tanking really comes online. It creates some pretty tense “can I live through the first 10 seconds of this and then become IMMORTAL DOG” situations.

 

 

What’s your favourite thing about this rework?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: My biggest like about the warwick gameplay changes in progress are that they give him many more important decisions and high moments. He will actually be able to make “big plays,” which is really great.

 

 

 

Nidalee Rework Banner

After extensive research, it turned out Nidalee is anti – fun. Rioters are on the case to bring Nidalee a shift in balance, along with some welcome QoL changes to her Cougar form.

 

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Hi guys! As has already been mentioned here, I’ve been doing work on Nidalee for some time now, and I definitely think things are headed in the right direction with her. I can’t really share specific details of the kit changes just yet, but I can share some of the primary (there may be others, but these are the forefront ones) problems that we’ve identified and are working to solve.

Problems:

-The way Nidalee utilizes both forms to succeed is out of whack. She very regularly doesn’t have to use Cougar form as part of her killing pattern. This is not only unfair to enemy players, but also just a bit lame as a shapeshifting character.

-Nidalee doesn’t put herself at enough risk of death when she succeeds. I personally think it’s okay if Nidalee averages a high number of kills every game, but the number of deaths she accrues needs to be a bit higher to reflect that.

-Nidalee is pretty hard to control in Cougar form, and she just feels clunky much of the time. Even in pro games we see people Pouncing/Swiping in the wrong direction while farming or faceplanting into walls they meant to hop over.

As for Javelin Toss, I know this doesn’t provide a definitive answer on that subject, and once we have more definitive details on a direction, I’ll be happy to talk about them. At this rate, I wouldn’t expect Javelin Toss to undergo fundamental changes to its mechanics. It will almost assuredly remain a “deals more damage at greater range” ability, and it will hurt to get hit by. Furthermore, it probably won’t have cooldown reducing mechanics or ramping mana gates or something like that on it. None of that really matters if the Javelin that does hit you or your carry drops them from 100% health down to 40% at the beginning of the fight, because you’re still just forced to leave. In that case, we’ve just condensed the window of frustration rather that targeting the frustration itself.

Looking forward to sharing more details with you guys once we’ve something a bit more well-defined to talk about!

 

 

Any major changes to Javelin Toss?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Basically, I think we can put Javelin Toss in a good state that leaves it satisfying without added intricacies to the reasons or timing of casting the spell. With a kit to support this, of course.

 

 

 

Will this impact bruiser Nidalee’s viability?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Bruiser Nidalee should be fine following the changes, if not more fun to play.

 

 

 

 

Currently tested kit

 

ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Piggy-backing on this: we do have a kit in testing, designed by RiotRepertoire. That kit mostly tones down Javelin Toss’s mid range damage and creates a follow-up opportunity to encourage more time spent in cougar form (which is currently the wave-pushing and teamfight clean up form) (plus strategic map movement I guess).

However, to set expectations appropriately: just because we’re testing changes doesn’t mean those changes necessarily see the light of day. We test a LOT of kits, sometimes with crazy experimental changes (a Brand kit from last year comes to mind where Pyroclasm slowed down after each bounce but could bounce INDEFINITELY so long as the enemy team stayed together), and often the answer is “probably not worth doing”.

This is a strength of our design process. We’re highly iterative and we realize that there’s only so much value to be gained from theory-crafting it all out in your head. There’s a time and a place for spreadsheet design, and IMO that’s in the very beginning of a design idea, when you just want to get a rough read for the power level. After that there’s no substitute for “just put it in a playtest and see how it goes”.

My personal feeling is that while everything Repertoire’s changing about Nidalee is a positive change compared to live (a couple of GREAT QoL changes like pounce and swipe going toward mouse cursor), we’re not addressing the truly grating aspect of live Nidalee, which is random spears chunking you down to 50% health. In theory, Nidalee is mana gated and can’t just throw out spears all day. In practice, blue buff exists and Athene’s is a gold-efficient pickup even without the mana on it, so yeah. May not be a Nidalee problem. May be a problem of how we’re failing to do mana gating in modern League.

But the kit is still in testing and it’s way too early to tell where it’s going. Definitely don’t expect it to hit live any time soon; these things take time.

 

 

State of Rengar Banner

After the big changes to Rengar in Patch 4.5, it’s time to sit back and not get one-hit from stealth. What’s the community’s take on the rework?

 

 

Is Rengar getting shifted from an assassin to a fighter?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: To be clear about Rengar’s role in a team, we wanted to leave this mostly unchanged. He is still the guy that hunts the enemy squishies and can stalk around choosing his prey at will. His damage is lowered some, but we still want him to be a strong damage threat.

 

He is unique from some of the other assassins like zed or khazix because he has much more versatility with his ferocity skills (CC, Damage, Heals, many options here). On the other hand, some other assassins have escapes, where he does not. Considering he doesn’t have a reliable escape once he has engaged, we gave him some more tools like durability and speed so that once he is in, he has a means of contributing.

As far as items, we’re not designing towards any “right” way to build Rengar. He scales well with both offensive and defensive items and that is something that is cool about him as a character.

Keep in mind, we’re not going to leave Rengar out to dry if he has problems/needs changes. We already have a bunch of changes planned for the next patch like speeding up the Q attack animations significantly, and some ult warning changes that we have been talking about in this thread. We should have a bunch more data soon, which will help inform us if he needs more changes, and where.

I appreciate all of the feedback, and I know that change can be frustrating on a character that you know and love so well. Don’t fear for Rengar, he’s not going away anytime soon.

 

 

Any changes you’re planning for his ult?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We have an ult change coming in the next patch that will not alert enemies if you wouldn’t be visible to them outside of stealth. This is really big for when he is ganking or approaching his targets from a brush or near walls. It was pretty silly to alert the enemy when Rengar wouldn’t have been visible out of stealth anyway, you guys were totally right on this one.

Also, the Q and Empowered Q attack animations are getting significantly sped up. This will fix a lot of the “my Q didn’t go off” cases, and it’s a non trivial buff in his dps output over time.

This isn’t the end, but it’s what I can say is coming with certainty right now.

 

 

Can you bring back Rengar’s Q+Auto Attack chain from brush?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The Q from brush will be working better after our next set of changes as well. Also Q does currently and will still reset his auto attack.

 

 

 

Are damage a likelihood if Rengar proves too weak after his rework?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Things like damage numbers are never set in stone. We will make adjustments to his damage if we overdid the changes. Real data will give us lots of information about how the changes turned out: Is his early game too weak? Is his late game too strong? etc.. Depending on what we find, adjustments will be made. It’s unfortunate that we cant play millions of test games with any changes before they release, but the least we can do is respond to the real data once the changes are live.

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Are LoL Champions being standardized like the classes in WoW?

 

ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Flattening unique and powerful abilities was something WoW had to embrace to some extent or else players would just stack classes with the most valuable unique mechanics and neglect the others. In Sunwell, you needed one shaman per melee party for Windfury, and in Throne of Thunder, you wanted several warlocks for Demonic Gateways and perhaps even Healthstones.

 

This is largely a function of the noble desire for boss encounters to have different mechanics, though it does exist in WoW PvP to a lesser extent. The sweet spot is having classes feel different without actually being dramatically different. Too many differences leads to lack of diversity, because your group composition becomes inflexible. You are forced to play Tetris to min max the class mechanics you need.

League is a different kind of game. Champs have fewer abilities than WoW classes, but the fights are also less predictable, so you don’t know that you will need a certain ability to solve the puzzle. Blitz’s grab or Sona’s auras are useful, but hardly mandatory, and you’re giving up something else to bring them. The game rules also don’t allow you to stack champs, One For All not withstanding. In this case, it’s important for champions to be as different from each other as possible. If two champs have similar mechanics, it’s easy to evaluate which one is the best choice, usually just based on higher damage or stats. In this case, not having enough differences can lead to lack of diversity. While it’s advisable to build teams with some synergy, there’s a ton more flexibility and much less of the Tetris feeling.

TLDR, champ similarity isn’t a League value.

 

 

Upcoming Buffs for Rumble

 

morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: Right now, the balance team is looking into Rumble buffs for an upcoming patch. With All-Stars, we’re unsure if that will be 4.6 or 4.7 (or later…), but there’s a few top laners we’d like to bring up – Rumble is one of them.

 

 

 

Can you give Vandal Twitch his green shades on his visual update?

 

Ququroon Button Rioter Morello: We’re investigating changes on this now.

 

 

 

 

State of Skarner

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We still have plans for Skarner, mostly in the realm of bringing excitement and a bit of the old identity that people liked about the old Skarner back.

We can keep a lot of the gameplay gains (versatility, windows of power/weakness) and add a bit more stickiness/cc control that people liked about the old kit. I’ve been in ongoing discussions about these changes with a lot of the team, and I should get down to implementing them sometime next week. When we have a more final changelist, I’ll let you know what we intend to do.

 

 

Is Support Gragas a possibility after the rework?

 

Riot Zephyreal Button Rioter Riot Zephyreal: When I first saw his kit on the community beta thread I immediately thought support Gragas. He now has 3 forms of CC at 6, his knockback on E is either tied or slightly further back than Thresh flay, and his Q slow is pretty heavy if there is any sort of charge up time (which you can set up with combos with his E or even more impressively his R).

His passive is also pretty sweet since he has to go kind of close with his body slam for trades, so that extra heal is nice if he can manage the passive timer well. But also given the fact that the E knocks back and stuns, he pretty safe to begin with if he wants to do an E+Q combo for harass. I’m literally chunking people for 35-40% HP (depending on Q charge) and walking away without a care in the world.

The one downside is that you’re not flanking much in laning phase as support Gragas to maximize the displacement on body slam, but again if you can combo a Q through an E (super easy with practice), it should be easy for your lane partner to follow up.

 


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